//own purchase // pr sample//

The post that almost didn't make it. I've been planning to show you more products that I've used up but never had the time to sift through my bag of empties. But finally it's here so before I toss 'em away, let's dissect each one for the very last time.

Burt's Bees Garden Tomato Toner is good for those with oily and acne-prone skin. I've said it few times that my default drugstore skincare brand is Burt's Bees. I reviewed this toner way back in 2010, when I was still a noob blogger.

If you have The Face Shop near you, I suggest you try their Pore Minimizer Controlling Toner with Powder. Again, it's good for women cursed with oily skin and obnoxious pores like me. The Face Shop is a popular Korean brand. I think they have three branches in the island of Oahu (Hawaii) and several more across the United States. I feel like an overwhelmed clueless kid every time I visit their store, I just want to grab every product there is!

I hoard wipes. Makeup wipes to be more specific. If I were part of The Walking Dead, I'd chop zombies ala Michonne to get to the nearest drugstore and grab all makeup wipes. Again my default brand is Burt's Bees and recently, my new favorite The Face Shop Herb Day Cleansing Tissue.

Prime Time Foundation Primer by bareminerals is a good lightweight face primer. I can't say that it's my favorite since I go through different brands, given the nature of this blog.

I have reviewed MDSolarSciences Tinted SPF30 last year and it remains my favorite mineral sunscreen to this day. Its packaging underwent a facelift but I love the unscented formula just the same. It applies smoothly and it doubles as a makeup primer for me.

Kat Von D High Voltage Eye Primer is another favorite. It's better than Urban Decay in my experience. If you want a smudge and crease-free eye makeup, try it!

Lorac Behind The Scenes Eye Primer is another must-try. You only need a teeny weeny amount for priming.

I'm not a fan of Benefit They're Real Mascara. While it gave my lifeless lashes some volume, it smudged pretty bad.

Bodycology is a nice drugstore body wash brand. While I adore the coconut lime twist (I love me some coconuts!) Hub says the fragrance is too strong.

I shave my legs, do you? I have no brand preference. I just buy whatever I see from Target.

The Body Shop Olive Shower Gel smells divine. It's my new favorite from the line. I will definitely stock up next time.

So far the only gud shampoo and conditioner combo that I like is the "pearanormal" fragrance. The Orange Petalooza didn't appeal to me at all. But see I still forced myself to use it. Waste not, want not.

I have reviewed Crest 3D White Strips early this year and I have purchased it a few times since then. Blame the coffee addiction my dear!

I love body scrubs. Again I have no brand preference. But so far I like the ones from Victoria's Secret because they smell so good. Tree Hut is a good drugstore alternative. While it does a good job of exfoliating, it attracts black ants big time!

What are your recent product empties?


// own purchase // affiliate link //

Let's switch things up a bit. Today I'm doing a back-to-back review plus the infamous face of the day featuring my recent Sephora online haul: DiorBlush 849 Mimi Bronze and Rouge Dior 555 Rose Dolce Vita.

DiorBlush 849 Mimi Bronze ($42, 0.24 oz) is part of DiorBlush Vibrant Colour Powder Collection. Sephora carries eight of the twelve shades, ranging from corals to pinks to nudes. Mimi Bronze is best described as peachy- rosy bronze with tiny specks of gold that adds just the right amount of shimmer when worn. The texture is soft, buttery and luxurious. Although I prefer using a different brush, the slanted blush brush comes in handy for quick touch-ups. It's bronze, can you use it to contour? Not for my medium warm skin tone because it appears more peachy when blended and buffed onto my cheeks. The shimmer factor imparts a barely-there glow without accentuating my waterloo, open pores!

Rouge Dior 555 Rose Dolce Vita ($34, 0.12 oz) is part of Rouge Dior Couture Colour Voluptuous Care Lipstick Collection. For reference, Sephora sells 17 out of the 32 color selection. It's a full coverage lip color ranging from reds to pinks to nudes to sheen to matte to frost. I was eyeing Rialto (rosy red) but didn't realize that I checked out with this shade until I received my order (that's why you should never shop online when you're dead tired!).  555 Rose Dolce Vita is rose-peach with golden frost finish. I wasn't a fan of it initially because frost looks dated to me. But don't get me wrong, it's a pretty shade so I decided to keep it for the holidays! It feels light on my lips and the wear time is about five hours sans eating.

And now for my Face of the Day....

til our next haul-review-FOTD ladies,


If there is one item in my stash that became an involuntary witness to my triumphs and downfalls, it has to be the iconic shu uemura eyelash curler. Okay that's overly-dramatic lady, what I'm trying to say is that this original curler remains a great ally in the last eight or so years since I had it.

That's why I have very high expectations when shu uemura released the new "s curler" ($24). Will it dethrone its predecessor?

Before we go to my formal review, I want to ask if you have ever ordered online from shu uemura. I cannot for the life of me understand their slowest (yeah in superlative degree) shipping policy. Would you believe I received this curler after one month in transit? such a bummer! I'm not ordering online again (said no woman ever, haha). Anyways, let's go to the meat of the matter.

What the website says about the new s curler: "The innovative new s curler fits any eye shape and offers precise application so that you can really emphasize parts of your lashes without pinching skin, thanks to its small structure without side-bars. It is compact and portable, allowing you to curl even the shortest of lashes due to its non-sidebar and angle of the padding. It's truly an essential piece that you'll fall in love with instantly".

Here it is upclose:

And for comparison, here's a side-by-side photo of the original shu uemura eyelash curler and new s curler. You can see that the s curler is definitely smaller and slimmer. It is slightly concave with white pad on top and black pad at the bottom.

Pictures say thousand and one words so let's do a blow-by-blow comparison of my lashes using the original and new s curlers.

What I like about the s curler: you can definitely tell from the photo that my lashes look more curled and lifted compared to the original curler. Since it's slimmer in structure, you can curl your inner lashes as you please. I think women with smaller eyes will benefit more from this so-called innovation.

What I don't like about the s curler: it is time-consuming my lovelies. To get the curl effect, you have to crimp your lashes by section, starting from roots to end, moving from side to side. It took me all of nine crimps to get the look I wanted. So this ain't your I'm-rushing-but-I-want-to-look-nice secret tool. Also, that white pad keeps popping out which makes me wonder why is it there in the first place- to protect my skin from accidental pinching? I was even more careful because it sits so close to my lids. And since curling and applying mascara are the last two steps whenever I do my eye makeup, poor white pad gets stained pretty much all the time. It's not for the OC like moi!

With that said, you bet I still prefer the original eyelash curler because of ease, function, and proven longevity. 

What's your holy grail lash curler?


  • Blushing Noir: RiRi Hearts MAC Fall 2013 quad in Her Cocoa
  • Mama Fashionista: Quinn shares some wonderfully decadent new moisturizers from L'Occitane!
  • Lola's Secret Beauty Blog: Guerlain lovers rejoice: The Emilio Pucci Terra Azzura Bronzing Powder and Blush are perfection with the Place de Vendôme Eyeshadow Palette!
  • TheFabZilla: Enter to win haircare products from Taya Amazon White Clay Thickening Collection worth $182+.Open international.
  • Painted Ladies: Long, fluttery lashes for $8? Sheila is sold on L'Oreal Voluminous Butterfly Mascara!
  • In Her Makeup Bag: Stephanie swatches & reviews one of the new Revlon Colorburst Lacquer Balms in the shade Whimsical!
  • My Highest Self: Lost and Found! See which limited edition lip gloss Tina found after losing it for a whole year!
  • Lipgloss Break: Enter to win SinfulColors Leather Luxe nail polish collection for Fall. The line is filled with deep, bold colors for Fall!
  • Glamorable!: Patriotic nails don't always have to be Red, White and Blue. Check out these swatches of Bondi Lady Liberty - an iconic shade inspired by an iconic landmark!
  • Beauty by Miss L: Miss L? simple Halloween manicure
  • daydreaming beauty: A fabulous mascara that actually keeps your lashes curled? I reviewed CoverGirl Flamed Up Mascara this week!
  • Slashed Beauty: Miranda takes you through the essential makeup brushes every beginner needs!
  • D.G.S.Beauty: Sleek MakeUP Pout Paints are amazing! Check out my review and swatches.
  • Pammy Blogs Beauty : Giveaway!!! Are you a beauty box lover who likes to support good causes? Be sure to enter Pammy Blogs Beauty's contest for a Total Beauty Collection Pink Embrace box!
  • Beauty Professor: The Jouer Holiday 2013 Collection is full of lush red lip color and the Beauty Professor has swatches of every stunning shade!
  • Advice Sisters Beauty, Fashion & LIfestyle WebSite: There is never an excuse to have a bad hair day!
  • BeautyTidbits: Harshleen gives you a sneak peek into the exclusive Total Beauty Collection for HSN - Sampling box of 9 best selling beauty products for just $20!
  • // press sample //

    This blog has become a confession booth for moi. This time I'm going to reveal that I am a sucker for fragrance. I have refrained from buying larger bottles because I hardly use 'em up. My preference change from season to season. Citrus, floral, musky, fresh. Let's just say that I buy whatever delights my olfactory nerves.

    I and Hub had the opportunity to try Super Playboy Fragrance. I'm not gonna lie, I have no idea that Playboy sells perfume.

    What's behind the name Super Playboy? See I know you would ask!
    According to the company, "it is called Super Playboy for a reason. It is inspired by the sexy powers of superheroes, and the superhero alter egos in all of us. The men’s fragrance has notes of cedar and patchouli. The women’s fragrance is imbued with musk, amber and margarita".

    I can't think of any superhero that has sexy powers. Maybe you know anyone? Oh my! forgive this woman's over-analytical nature. But seriously, blame Hollywood for putting George Clooney as Batman's face or Halle Berry as Catwoman. Now we're talking sexaayyyy!

    Going back to Super Playboy, here's what TheFabZilla and HubZilla have to say:

    She says: "Super Playboy Fragrance For Her reminds me of Ralph Lauren Big Pony 2. I can smell  cranberry and floral notes. The size is good for travel and those bunny ears are quirky. The wear time is about six hours. Overall it's a nice scent for everyday wear."

    He says: "While it's not my kind of cologne,  Super Playboy For Him smells decent for the price. I would imagine a confident young executive wearing it".

    Both fragrances are available at Playboy Store. For Her retails $16.95 (30ml / 1.0 fl oz); For Him $15.95 (50ml / 1.7 fl oz).

    // pr sample // affiliate link //

    There's something about aging that makes you up the ante on all things skincare. I wasn't this hardcore when I was in my 20s. You see I'm cursed with oily and acne-prone skin; and now, maturing skin. But who's spared anyway? Even Cameron Diaz can't hide her wrinkles in high definition- screen.

    Truth is, we can all whine about lackluster sagging skin or do something about it. Enter Jurlique Herbal Recovery Advanced Serum (30ml for $54, 100ml for $150).

    What the website says: "this youth defense concentrate serum features a proprietary active complex: Naturadiance PB18+ to help reduce the appearance of fine lines, help increase elasticity, restore radiance and increase hydration, while antioxidants create a natural defense shield to help protect against environmental aggressors. Leaves skin visibly glowing, hydrated and younger-looking".

    Key ingredients:

    Exclusive Naturadiance PB18+ complex combines 15 Bio-Intrinsic TM botanical extracts with 3 breakthrough ingredients to deliver potent antioxidant properties to help protect, revitalize and enhance your skin’s recovery cycle.

    Persian Silk Extract to help strengthen skin cell capacity to shield against environmental stress.

    Whu-Zhu-Yu Extract possesses excellent microcirculation boosting and skin smoothing properties.

    Peach Leaf Extract to help recover skin vitality and promote cellular regeneration.

    What my skin says: "similar to other Jurlique's serum, this new product is housed in a sturdy glass bottle. I like that it has a pump for obvious sanitary reasons. The fragrance is part floral, part-herbal, a tad strong initially but dissipates once it's absorbed onto the skin. I use it morning and evening, after toner and before moisturizer. It comes in a lightweight gel formula".

    I actually read your mind as I type this next question. "What's the difference between a serum and moisturizer? A serum is usually more concentrated than a moisturizer. Its molecules are smaller which allows the ingredients to penetrate deeply into the skin. A moisturizer on the other hand makes the skin hydrated but it remains on the top layer of the skin.

    Gut- feel tells me you have a follow-up question. Do you need both serum and moisturizer? Yes and no. Yes if you want to reap the true benefits of serum whilst keeping your skin supple and hydrated. No if you're satisfied with a moisturizer alone. But if you're slowly turning into a hardcore like moi, it's never too late to start using a face serum.

    You can buy Jurlique from the company's website and Sephora.

    Have you tried Jurlique?


    // Brought to you by Coupons.com //

    Hello mah lovely readers. I've teamed up with some fabulous bloggers for this Halloween Beauty Special. Hosted by Coupons.com thru Harshleen of BeautyTidbits, each of us received a $50- gift card to shop for makeups to be used for this collaboration. Mine was from  e.l.f. cosmetics, and you know what that means: makeup madness! Can you believe I snagged 12 items for only 50 bucks? 

    I lurveee me some Bollywood! Dramatic eyes, bold lips, stunning jewelries, you bet this zilla will seal the dilla!

    Curious to see what I  used for this halloween look?

    The big e.l.f reveal.

    e.l.f mineral infused face primer
    e.l.f studio flawless foundation
    e.l.f translucent mattifying powder
    e.l.f HD lighting concealer

    blush and bronzer from e.l.f. Beach Beauty Palette

    e.l.f primer
    e.l.f Beach Beauty Palettes
    e.l.f. cream eyeliner
    e.l.f mineral infused mascara
    salon perfect false lashes #110

    LA Girl lipgloss in antique gold

    I can't help but mention a few things about my e.l.f haul. I was surprised with the quality of the studio flawless foundation! The finish is quite dewy with light to medium coverage; the mattifying powder is good for controlling oil albeit for few hours only; the mineral infused face primer is a must-try, it goes on smooth and it did minimize my pores; the beach beauty palettes are great for those branching out to bright colors; lastly, the eye primer is the best in the whole drugstore-slash-cheapo category!

    You can get your dose of e.l.f mania via Coupons.com

    Now on to our  blogger collaboration giveaway!  PR folks from coupons.com will reward one lucky winner a $100 Sephora e- gift card. Open to USA residents only. Wait for Rafflecopter widget to load. Good luck!

    a Rafflecopter giveaway

    // press samples //

    I have some hair memories that I want to share with you today. It won't be long, promise!
    • Once I had a classmate who burned my hair with a candle. I was eight or nine years old then, thankfully my teacher caught it right away! My grandma was furious upon learning the incident and if I remember it right, she fought with the spoiled girl's mom. 
    • My mom is so obsessed with changing her hairstyle every now and then. One time she was perming, I got mighty curious I wanted it so bad. So there at eleven years young, I had my first ever perm. It didn't help that my hair was already short so my friends started calling me Annie!
    • I've always had short hair, super cropped to be more specific. Cutting my hair short was my way of dealing with stress then.
    • Growing up, I had lifeless straight hair. My hair started to become wavy in mid- 2000. Since then I decided that I'll grow my hair long like a real woman, haha!
    Fast forward to future. Second to makeup, ooops make it third after handbags, haircare is my obsession. I'm sure you have noticed quite a few hair postings lately. Well it's no secret that being a blogger (on the side) has exposed me to a multitude of brands outside my comfort zone (Sephora what else, lol). Enter Taya, a hair company with products made from raw, unprocessed, and natural super botanicals derived from the rainforest.  All Taya products are free from parabens, animal products and testing. I had the opportunity to try their Amazon White Clay Thickening Collection. As the name suggests, it is made from the Amazon River clay, known for its rich mineral salts and nutrients.

    My hair isn't thin but it's lifeless, frizzy, and lacks volume. Without styling tools, it's plain, bleh, boring.
    So my initial thoughts with Taya were: since it's made from clay, will it make my hair sticky or smell like mud?

    Let's start with the thickening shampoo ($20, 10 fl oz/300ml) and conditioner ($22, 10 fl oz/300ml). 

    Ingredients: Amazon white clay, raw avocado oil, croton lechleri resin a.k.a dragon's blood (known to have many uses in native Amazon medicine)

    Both shampoo and conditioner have clay but surprisingly sweet fragrance. I have been using this combo for few weeks now, I like how it makes my hair soft and lifted. I can definitely tell that my hair isn't as lifeless. Of course, without the styling tools and hair spray, it's impossible to achieve a vavavooom before and after hairstyle as shown in the company's website.

    Next is the thickening hair leave-in mist ($22, 6 fl oz/ 177ml)  and hair spray ($24, 8 fl oz/ 236ml).

    I use the leave-in mist either on damp or dry hair. It adds volume to my hair without the sticky icky feel. I use the thickening hair spray for styling, such as loose waves or updo's.

    Finally, here are the thickening hair spray ($24, 8 fl oz/ 266ml), whipped clay ($24, 6 fl oz/ 177ml), and  acacia collagen hair plumper ($24, 8 fl oz/ 266ml).

    The thickening hair spray performs like your typical firm- hold spray sans the harsh chemicals. To achieve better results, it is recommended to spray hair before blow-drying for body and after blow-drying for volume and strong hold.

    The whipped clay is similar to a mousse in terms of consistency and use.

    The acacia collagen hair plumper acts like a mousse and hairspray in one. I like to use it to give boost to my roots.

    So with all these product assortments, do you need them all to achieve hair perfection? No. It's just a matter of personal preference. Out of all these, my top picks would be the hair shampoo and conditioner, leave-in mist, and acacia collagen hair plumper.

    Curious on how I achieve bouncy waves with Taya Amazon White Thickening Clay?

    1. Spray Taya leave-in hair mist, followed with a heat protectant.
    2. Style or curl hair as you please. Want loose Kim K- like curls? I have a tutorial here. Want tight Beyonce curls? I have another one here.
    3. Finish with Taya hair spray.

    Where to buy Taya? company website and HSN.

    Do you want to try the entire Taya Amazon White Clay Thickening Collection? 
    One lucky TheFabZilla subscriber can win all these products (worth $182+). It's open international my lovelies but you have to be at least 18 years old. Winner will be contacted via email. Taya will ship the prizes. Before entering, please read giveaway rules here
    Runs from 10/21/13 to 11/4/13.
    Wait for Rafflecopter widget to load. Good luck!!!

    a Rafflecopter giveaway

  • Mama Fashionista: Going shopping soon? Quinn's Sephora Wishlist has spectacular suggestions!
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  • TheFabZilla: TheFabZilla's obsession with Givenchy Le Rouge Intense Color Sensuously Mat Lip Color. Check out her review and FOTD of 312 Violine Precieux,a limited holiday 2013 collection.
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  • Beauty by Miss L: Check out this blue & black manicure.
  • Beauty Professor: Hourglass just released their gorgeous, limited-edition Ambient Lighting Palette and the Beauty Professor has swatches and a video review!
  • Slashed Beauty: Miranda compiles an affordable Shopping List for Makeup Beginners

  • // Own purchase // Affiliate link //

    I tried them long but had a helluva hard time removing my contacts so I'm back to short nails again. I wouldn't risk my eyesight in the name of long nails, sigh!

    Confession time. I am partial to nail lacquers with metallic finish because I can get away with uneven strokes. 95% of the time it's my fault because (1) I have shaky hands (2) My hands shake (3) yes, both hands shake. Now that you know, Urban Decay Nail Color Addiction ($15, 9ml/ 0.30 fl oz, Sephora) is right up my alley.

    base coat, two coats UD Addiction, top coat

    Addiction is a limited edition from Urban Decay. It is metallic gunmetal/army green with ultra-shine finish. It's a great fall/winter shade! The pigment is superb, one coat renders commendable opacity. Given my OC hand washing, it lasted five days before it chipped.

    The devil skull is in the detail. Sold.

    Have you tried any of Urban Decay's limited edition nail color?


    // Own purchase // Affiliate link //

    Givenchy Le Rouge Intense Color Sensuously Mat Lip Color has become a recent obsession for moi. The finish is divine, it's semi-matte and goes on very creamy. 312 Violine Precieux ($36, .12oz, Sephora) is part of Givenchy's 2013 Limited Holiday Collection. It is described as berry rose, a classic shade that flatters any skin tone.

    Edgy and sleek, this lipstick is housed in leather-soft tube with gold imprint. Except for the color, the design is exactly the same as Givenchy Le Rouge Fall 2013 Limited Collection which I have reviewed here and here

    The wear time is about five hours, and that includes coffee and water-sipping in between. It is opaque in one swipe and does not leave my lips dry. Call it self-indulgence but I feel extra glamorous whenever I wear any of my Givenchy Intense Color Sensuously Mat Lipsticks.

    What lipstick makes you feel extra sexy or glam?


    // PR Sample  //

    Do you know my numero uno pet peeve? ungroomed eyebrows. A hectic schedule is no excuse to let your brows grow like Hercules. Stray, bushy, that ain't fab sissy!

    I had the opportunity to try a grooming kit (tweezers and nail scissors) from ArteStile, a Canadian based company founded in 2009. All their grooming products are handcrafted in Italy with the finest grade stainless steel. Their patented enamel finish provides an easy grip in-hand feel.

    The sample I received is from the Hugs and Kisses collection. For reference, the tweezer and nail scissors retail for $24.97 each.

    I don't read label so forgive my naivety, I thought the scissors were meant for eyebrows, haha! Anyways, it cuts long stray hairs just the same so it's no big deal for moi. But in comparison to traditional clippers, my nails have smoother edge when I use these scissors.

    The tweezers have slanted tip. They are hand-filed and perfectly aligned to tweeze the finest of hairs. They are chrome, lead and nickel free so the chances of irritation are almost nil.

    One of the most common question I get from friends and readers is how to groom eyebrows. I have written here and here but in a nutshell, my techniques are no rocket science.

    1. I have oval- shaped face so a soft angled brow suits me best. Again, here's a post to determine which eyebrow shape is right for you.
    2. Tweeze stray hairs; pluck on the direction of hair growth, never against it.
    3. Shape your eyebrows and fill sparse hair with eyeshadow or brow liner. I'm partial to brown eyeshadow as it looks more natural.
    4. Brush eyebrows with a clear gel mascara to hold hairs in place.

    Of course, you can never have too many tweezers! PR folks from ArteStile is giving away this Buttercup kit (tweezer + nail scissors, $40 retail value) to one lucky TheFabZilla subscriber! Sorry my international readers but it's open to USA and Canada only. Winner will be contacted via email. ArteStile will ship your prize. Runs from 10/15/13 to 10/29/13.

    Please read giveaway rules here, then wait for Rafflecopter widget to load. Good luck!

    a Rafflecopter giveaway

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