can lashes grow back? neubrow brow enhancing serum
One coat of Maybelline Colossal Big Shot Mascara on lashes. Burberry Liquid Lip Velvet Military Red on lips
Remember my post- lash extensions saga? let me recap in case you missed it. Around November last year, I went in for my very first lash extensions at a lash bar here in Hawaii. The stylist did a fairly decent job plus I enjoyed the idea of not having to bother with mascara or even eye makeup because the lashes say it all. So I went back the following month because I wanted to try a more dramatic effect in time for the holidays. Then the horror of horrors unfolded. A week into it, my natural lashes which were attached to the faux ones started to fall at an abnormally faster rate almost to the point of looking like a lash-less alien! Don't laugh because I hated it! I hoarded fake lashes: wispies, demi, glam, natural, singles and anything in between to "camouflage" my dilemma: weak and deteriorated lashes, damaged is an understatement. I swear I am not doing any kind of lash extensions anymore, it may have worked for some but definitely not to me. And I tell you why! Even if it's in the technique, product used or skill of the stylist, remember that it's the constant tension or "weight" that is being added to your lashes which will eventually result to weakening. Then the pattern becomes addicting, refill every three weeks, which isn't cheap to begin with. But then came neuBrow, a brow enhancing serum I featured back in December. While it is technically a brow product (which by the way helped with a millimeter-size sparseness on my left eyebrow), I was stoked to try it to rejuvenate my lashes. I am glad I did!
pr sample, affiliate link
can lashes grow back? neubrow brow enhancing serum
can lashes grow back? neubrow brow enhancing serum
I know what you're thinking, why am I using a brow serum for my lashes? why not, they're both hairs! And if you pay attention to ingredients, they don't differ that much. I have underlined the similarities.

neuBrow ($100): Water, Rhizobian Gum, Sodium Hyaluronate, Keratin, Hydrolyzed Keratin, Butylene Glycol, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Biotin, Panthenol, Pantethine, Hydrolyzed Glycosaminoglycans, Allantoin, Cucurbita Pepo (Pumpkin) Seed Extract, Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate, Sea Water, Octapeptide-2, Copper Tripeptide-1, Alcohol denat., Isopropyl Cloprostenate, Polypeptide-23, Glycerin, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Fruit Extract, Malus Domestica Fruit Cell Culture Extract, Xanthan Gum, Lecithin, Backhousia Citriodora Leaf Oil, Styrene/Acrylates/Ammonium Methacrylate Copolymer, PVP, PEG-12 Dimethicone, Phenoxyethanol, Chlorphenesin, Sorbic Acid, Sodium Hydroxide.
neuLash ($150): Water, Rhizobian Gum, Sodium Hyaluronate, Butylene Glycol, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Biotin, Panthenol, Pantethine, Hydrolyzed Glycosaminoglycans, Allantoin, Cucurbita Pepo (Pumpkin) Seed Extract, Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate, Sea Water, Octapeptide-2, Copper Tripeptide-1, Alcohol denat., Isopropyl Cloprostenate, Polypeptide-23, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Oil, Glycerin, Phosphatidylcholine, Phenoxyethanol, Chlorphenesin, Sorbic Acid.

Aside from the $50 difference, the whole point in lash rejuvenation is nourishment. Both have sodium hyaluronate which is excellent for retaining hydration which in turn helps the hair, along with other vitamins as listed, nourished. But did you notice that neuBrow has keratin which is important in hair cohesion and strength? long story short and after 2.5 months of patience (I use it nightly by applying along the lash line as you would with eyeliner), my lashes although not as full yet, are back in action. They're definitely longer and healthier than ever, even my bottom lashes grew longer. Let me tell you, I have never been complimented on having full lashes my whole life until now. And to top it all, I have very few lash fallouts these days. I just purchased a tube!

But that's not the only thing I have done. I have also stopped using lash curler (again the constant tension or bending makes lashes weak). And last but not least, I only use oil-based makeup remover when removing mascara. TLC. Tender Lash Care.
can lashes grow back? neubrow brow enhancing serum
Bonus tip is my go-to mascara: Maybelline Colossal Big Shot, it's one-coat wonderland! Give it 2 weeks to work (most mascaras require a "cocoon" period) and you will love it. It does not smudge nor weigh down my lashes. The best drugstore brand I have tried to date.

Elizabeth Arden Liquid Assets Color Collection
So it's officially spring! Over here in Hawaii, it actually feels like beginning of summer so I'm all about light makeup with a pretty dose of pop. According to Elizabeth Arden's Global Makeup Artist Rebecca Restrepo, one of spring's beauty trend is "runway's wet look". But see, the big challenge there is how to translate it to everyday wear because let's be real, what looks fabulous on a model can be tacky to us regular Jane. I received some products from their Liquid Assets collection, scroll down for the scoop plus a very wearable daytime makeup look featuring these products. 
press samples and affiliate links are provided below
Elizabeth Arden Liquid Assets Color Collection
This collection is pretty much straightforward and streamlined; as you can see from the photo, it basically focuses on three main items to incorporate in your makeup stash (1) a liquid liner (2) liquid highlighter (3) liquid lipstick. Wear one or all at the same time, the final output is effortlessly glam.
Elizabeth Arden Liquid Assets Color Collection
Initially I thought that this pot-of-a-gem is cream eyeshadow so that's how I wore it when I took the makeup photo below. You can't blame me because I own several cream eyeshadows (Tom Ford wins hands down) with the same packaging until I read the brochure that came with it. The consistency is almost water-like but with a dash of bling, it's a luminizer after all. Aptly named Golden Kiss, it does give a sun-kissed radiance when applied light-handedly on cheekbones. For a "wet-look" effect, don't set it with powder highlighter which is okay for quick photo shoots and events but for extended period, you do need to apply highlighter on top for better wear time, at least based on my experience. Either way, who doesn't want to glow like JLo? I sure do so I am happy to add this product to my ever-expanding stash of highlighters.
Elizabeth Arden Liquid Assets Color Collection
Do not question a woman with winged eyes why she's late! Funny but true isn't it? life is unfair, sometimes you just want cat eyes but end up like a drugged raccoon, tell me I'm not the only one! But do you know that the tip of the eyeliner plays a crucial role in creating perfectly-defined winged eye? yes, especially if you have hooded eyes or monolids!  This liquid eyeliner has the right fine-point tip to it,  it bends enough to follow the contour and shape of the eyes and is water and sweat-proof (I danced hiphop/ exercise wearing it). The only downside is that it doesn't deposit powerhouse opacity in one swipe, you need to build it few times so if you have shaky hands, you may start nice and perfect then crooked on the 2nd and 3rd. My experience, my point of view though.
Elizabeth Arden Liquid Assets Color Collection
Peach and coral are hot colors this season so I am happy to own this Liquid Lipstick in Passionate Peach. Unlike traditional liquid lipsticks, this product does not turn matte. It applies and settles like a creamy lipstick hence retouch is necessary as need be. The packaging is worth mentioning because it has the fanciest mechanism I have come across with it. You click the lever up to release the pigment. The cushiony tip then oozes out with luxurious formula akin to lipgloss sans stickiness. It is comfortable to wear and the color as I've mentioned is so in this season.
Elizabeth Arden Liquid Assets Color Collection
 Left to right: 
Beautiful Color Bold Liquid Lipstick Passionate Peach
Beautiful Color Bold Illuminating Liquid Highlighter Golden Kiss
Liquid Eyeliner Electric Blue
Liquid Eyeliner Gilded Brown
Elizabeth Arden Liquid Assets Color Collection

Can you believe we're half-way done with March? As the adage says, time flies so fast when you're having fun... and busy! But being busy is a happy problem so I won't complain certainly! Not to sidetrack you but I am excited to share my March staples, most of which I haven't introduced to you via a formal review so this is the perfect opportunity to fill you in as well as talk about them in detail. For this month, it's a hodgepodge of makeup, skincare, accessory, and a nifty tool you think you don't need but really you do, if that makes sense.
Self-purchase, affiliate links are provided below
Let's start with this pair of cat eyes sunnies from Tory Burch. If you ask me what is a decent mid-priced designer brand that appeals to working and mature women, what with its discreet and simple design, my top of mind answer would be Tory Burch. The price point, from purses to shoes to accessories (even makeups) are justified, considering the craftsmanship and quality. I can't say that across the board but based on what I have purchased and used many times (i.e 1 leather flap messenger cross body, 2 leather perry totes, pair of sneakers, continental-type wallet, 2 sunglasses including this pair, swimsuits, swimguard, among others, I can't even keep a quick mental note of my TB inventory because I own so many), but my point is, you will not be disappointed. I purchased this pair of sunnies after Christmas and have worn them since. The shape compliments my small round face; big enough to hide what I needed to hide (eyebags, haha!) and stylish enough when I'm dressed down doing weekend errands. I got these from Macy's for a little over hundred bucks (50% off one-day sale), great deal I must say! Subscribe to Tory Burch newsletter to get first hand dib on sitewide sale and don't forget to use e-bates for cash back. As of this writing, select Tory Burch items are on sale up to 70% off (online only, March 16 to 20).
Chantecaille is one of my favorite luxury brand in the natural beauty category. This particular shade   (Tea Rose) from their lip chic line smells heavenly (whiff of sugared vanilla) and feels superbly soft on the lips. It's the ultimate treat for your precious pout. Tea Rose is a great neutral shade which is universally flattering! That girl above modeling her sunnies is rocking this tint.
Enabler alert: if you don't own any Dior luminizer yet, I say catch the train now! This is luxe in a pan and I am not exaggerating or tooting a tootless horn when I say that I am often complimented for having nice and radiant skin whenever I wear this (one clean sweep on cheekbones). You know that I don't have perfect skin, enlarge my unfiltered photos and you will see my pores waving back at you! 001 (warm champagne) renders a stunning sheen sans tacky glitter! This compact is sold with a mini brush, it's not the best out there but it picks up the powder just right.
If you are looking for medical grade skincare products without the exorbitant tag, you'd be surprised that eltaMD definitely fits the bill. This AM Therapy facial moisturizer feels light on the skin, plus it hydrates and primes the face like a boss! It has niacinamide (to help boost dull skin), sodium hyaluronate (excellent for moisture retention), willow bark extract (soothes the skin), among others. eltaMD is directly promoted to doctors (we sell some at our clinic) so if you happen to see one at your derm's or aesthetic doctor's clinic, grab one! I highly recommend it.
Dogs + black outfits= dander galore. My life in a nutshell. That is why I consider this Flint lint remover a sassy invention for the sassy woman. Roll it up to reveal the tape paper, roll across your trousers or blouse, tear the paper if need be, roll down. I know you can remove lint with scotch tape from a practical standpoint but grown up women be like, Flint it, haha!

I hope you enjoyed this month's curated favorites. Shop your way.

Cargo You Had Me At Aloha Eyeshadow Palette
Cargo is a brand that remains under the radar amongst beauty junkies but if you value quality over fancy marketing, I think it deserves a spotlight in your vanity. Recently they collaborated with Hawaii singer Rylee Anuheakeʻalaokalokelani Jenkins or better known as Anuhea via its You Had Me At Aloha Eyeshadow Palette. Her beautiful voice and dynamic personality make her so endearing to her ohana. If you are from Hawaii or live in any of our islands, everyone is uncle, auntie, bradah, cousin, manong and manang to anyone even if you're not blood-related. It's the aloha spirit in us so to say that I am excited for this makeup release is an understatement!
press sample and affiliate links provided below
Cargo You Had Me At Aloha Eyeshadow Palette
Retailing for $34, You Had Me At Aloha features 12 eyeshadows, 1 eyeliner and 1 dual-ended eyeshadow brush. They are housed in a rectangular cardboard-type palette with decent mirror to boot.  The shades are named after popular Hawaii names, spots and objects, which to me is a cool way to introduce our beautiful islands to makeup lovers around the globe!
Cargo You Had Me At Aloha Eyeshadow Palette
The shades are predominantly neutral, except for Kai (teal) and Lei (violet) which render quite a pop to this smorgasbord of awesomeness. Worn over eye primer, the longevity is around seven hours with minor fading thereafter. I was particularly excited to try the black liner that came with the palette because I've had great experience with Cargo waterproof liners in the past. Unfortunately, the color budged about two hours into wearing it, and we're not even in the thick of summer yet. The dual-ended brush is a nifty addition because let's face it, a makeup junkie can never have too many brushes!
Cargo You Had Me At Aloha Eyeshadow Palette
Although I favor neutral eye makeup, I can see myself wearing Kai during the summer as accent liner along the upper lash line. I might do that one of these days but meanwhile, here's my typical daytime look using some of the shades from this palette.
Cargo You Had Me At Aloha Eyeshadow Palette

Bronze Makeup, By Terry Cellularose Brightening CC Serum Sunny Flash, Tom Ford Cream and Powder Eye Color Naked Bronze, Guerlain Terracotta Joli Teint Powder Duo, Hourglass Radiant Bronze Light, Tom Ford Skin Illuminating Powder Duo Moodlight
If you ask me what makes a certain look effortlessly elegant, my top-of-mind answer would be to throw in some bronze! Done right and never overboard, it instantly elevate drab to fab status. For today's post I'd like to share my favorite bronze makeups and how I incorporate them to achieve a very wearable daytime look (previous reviews and affiliated shops are linked below for your reference).

By Terry Cellularose Brightening CC Serum Sunny Flash (discussed in detail here). Some call it makeup, some skincare. I vote for the former because technically, it's a bronze-tinted luminizer which gives face a covetable lit-from-within radiance. I use it two ways (1) underneath foundation for subtle radiance that gets better throughout the day, sort of luminous but never greasy if that makes sense (2) mixed with foundation, 1:1 ratio for instantaneous sun-kissed radiance. 

Tom Ford Cream and Powder Eye Color Naked Bronze (featured here). I have tried many cream-based eye shadows but Tom Ford wins hands-down! Its impeccable quality, cushiony texture and ease of use make it truly splurge-worthy. You can apply it with finger or pat with flat eyeshadow brush then blend the crease to diffuse the edge or apply soft brown eyeshadow for transitional color. You can set it with powder eyeshadow but I usually leave it as is. It also comes with a gold eyeshadow as topper but I rarely use it.
Bronze Makeup, By Terry Cellularose Brightening CC Serum Sunny Flash, Tom Ford Cream and Powder Eye Color Naked Bronze, Guerlain Terracotta Joli Teint Powder Duo, Hourglass Radiant Bronze Light, Tom Ford Skin Illuminating Powder Duo Moodlight
Give it to Guerlain, the master of bronzers! For a natural healthy glow, try their Terracotta Joli Teint Powder Duo.  The technique is to sweep your powder brush along the side of your face in #3-motion. Quick tip: skip contouring for subtlety. Then follow with golden luminizer lightly applied on the cheekbone for understated elegance.

Hourglass Radiant Bronze Light is another favorite. This highly-pigmented golden beige bronzer is summer in a compact. It has very fine sparkles which makes you glow like jLo! 

Another Tom Ford I know, but really, whenever I wear the Skin Illuminating Powder Duo Moodlight, I feel like a celebrity in my own little world of Oscars, haha! The lighter shade illuminates while the bronzer creates warm radiance. Used alone or layered, I can't help but fall in love with this product, over and over again!

For my makeup below, I mixed By Terry CC Serum Sunny Flash with my holy grail foundation Estee Lauder Stay in Place (Rattan). I applied Hourglass Radiant Bronze Light and a little bit of Tom Ford Moodlight using the #3 motion technique. For my eye makeup, I applied Tom Ford Naked Bronze. On my lips, I layered Buxom Full On Lip Polish Sandy over Charlotte Tilbury Honey Hepburn.

Bronze Makeup, By Terry Cellularose Brightening CC Serum Sunny Flash, Tom Ford Cream and Powder Eye Color Naked Bronze, Guerlain Terracotta Joli Teint Powder Duo, Hourglass Radiant Bronze Light, Tom Ford Skin Illuminating Powder Duo Moodlight
Bronze Makeup, By Terry Cellularose Brightening CC Serum Sunny Flash, Tom Ford Cream and Powder Eye Color Naked Bronze, Guerlain Terracotta Joli Teint Powder Duo, Hourglass Radiant Bronze Light, Tom Ford Skin Illuminating Powder Duo Moodlight
Bronze Makeup, By Terry Cellularose Brightening CC Serum Sunny Flash, Tom Ford Cream and Powder Eye Color Naked Bronze, Guerlain Terracotta Joli Teint Powder Duo, Hourglass Radiant Bronze Light, Tom Ford Skin Illuminating Powder Duo Moodlight

shop my favorites

If there's one indie beauty brand that amazes me more and more, it has to be Beauty Junkees. The products that I have so far tried from them rival mainstream, if not better (check out reviews of kabuki brush set, eye brush set, contour palette). I know some of you are looking for a magnetic palette that can hold your eyeshadow singles, I can't recommend theirs enough! Sans froufrou and bling, the ones that I own are sturdy enough to protect your beloved singles. As if it won't get any better, Beauty Junkees recently launched eyeshadows, blushes and highlighters, much to every beauty junkie's delight!
press samples provided for editorial consideration
There are 33 brand spanking new eyeshadow shades, sold either as singles (at $6 each) or quads ($19.97) in case you can't decide which colors to purchase. Consider it like your makeup guide. The eyeshadow colors range from neutrals to bolds, covering both warm and cool spectrum. The mattes and sheens have moderate but buildable pigmentation while the shimmers pack on more color at first dib. 
Concurrently, Beauty Junkees released six blushes and two highlighters retailing for $8 each. It's a steal because judging from the size in comparison to single pans, you're getting almost three times more! Here are individual swatches for your buying reference:
First Snow: matte white
Vanilla Freeze: sheen nude
Sugared Shortbread:: pearl nude
Peachsicle: sheen light peach
Peach Vanilla: matte warm nude
Gold Flicker: sheen nude with ultra-fine gold specks
Winter Wheat: matte warm nude
Iced Lace: metallic mauve brown
Stay Golden: pearl yellow gold
Victorian Gold: pearl gold
Tiki Shed: matte light brown
Brown Canyon: matte chocolate brown
Grizzly: matte dark chocolate brown
Grizzly: matte gray
Cosmetic Peach: pearl baby pink
Love Affair: matte mauve pink
Rose Beige: matte rose beige
Tuscan Rose: matte dark pink
Crushed Velvet: metallic purple with micro glitters
Brew: metallic berry brown with micro glitters
Raspberry Glaze: metallic bronze berry
Penny Lover: metallic bronze orange
Dash of Curry: matte orange brown
Tiger: matte orange
Ripe Olive: metallic olive green
Sonic: pearl army green
Blue Slate: pearl blue purple
Black Leather: matte black
Blink Pink: don't blink, I can't see it. Honestly, the dud in the collection. Can't get it to swatch and apply even when wet
Citrus: sheen yellow orange
Oh Deer: matte soft brown
Beams of Light: pearl white with pink shift
Steel wool: metallic gray
Finally, the highlighters and blush colors:
Pow: champagne
Pink Parfait: pink champagne
Peach Petal: matte peach
Russet roseL matte rose
Infinity: sheen rose
Mauve Mist: part-matte, part-sheen mauve
Whipped mocha: matte mocha
Twilight Dream: pearl dark pink

Here are simple eye makeup looks I created. With eye primer underneath (which I always do), the wear time of these eyeshadows is about seven hours, with quite noticeable fading thereafter. I went with green vibes on the first set of photos and berry merry with the next. I was wearing Pow highlighter in both looks but added Russet Rose on the second look. Overall, I am happy to add these beauties to my ever expanding Beauty Junkees collection. You can buy them online (storefront or Amazon). Unaffiliated links.

"green vibes"

"berry merry"

what is water-based moisturizer? what is water moisturizer? best water based moisturizers
We're back with another segment of "The Truth in Skincare"! This time, I want to focus on water-based skincare products, in particular moisturizers, which are becoming more and more popular in retail displays, TV ads, and social media. As always, I would like to begin with few basics so you and I are on the same page.

  • Cosmetic ingredients are listed in descending order using their standard names (International Nomenclature of Cosmetic Ingredients), with the most active on top and least at the bottom. Ergo, if a product is hyping on a "miracle ingredient" that will do wonders to your skin but it is sandwiched somewhere in the middle or last, you are not really paying for the "miracle". Informed decision is always better than impulse purchase.
  • Water comprises about 60%-70% of the human body. Each cell in the body depends on water to thrive. Water serves several vital functions such as controlling body temperature, delivering oxygen, flushing out toxins, keeping the skin moist, among others.
  • There is really no definitive study that will support long-term effects of chugging water on the skin (remember 8 glasses a day which I'm sure you heard from your mom or grandma back in the day, I do!) but given the importance of water (and hyaluronic acid) which nourish collagen (found in the dermis which supports skin's structure), this genius interplay does make the skin look plump, hydrated and youthful.
  • But as with other physical changes that go with aging, the skin's water-binding capacity also declines. This moisture loss leads to cracks, susceptibility to injury and prominence of  wrinkles. This alongside lifestyle (smoking, drinking) and years of unprotected sun exposure can lead to premature occurrence of wrinkles.

Given all the amazing capabilities of good old H20, should we abandon our present skincare regimen and turn to all things water-based like what you see in TV ads (i.e Neutrogena Hydro Boost? Why is it even called water moisturizer? Marketing is all about product positioning. Put water (or anything synonymous) beside it and it will sell. Okay, can I briefly ask you to read the ingredients in your current moisturizer? is water, aqua, or even purified water listed first? If yes, then it's a water-based skincare product which works best for oily, normal and combination skin. You'd be surprised that most beauty products have water in them because it primarily acts as a solvent, meaning it is used to dissolve all other ingredients thrown in the mix. It also acts as an emulsifier for creams and lotions; the thinner the formula, the more water in it, the thicker the formula, the more oil in it. Oil-in-water means there's more water hence the consistency is lighter. Water-in-oil means there is more of the latter which makes the moisturizer thicker in terms of consistency. Ergo, it's all about the ratio.

Here are my favorite "water-based" skincare products. Note that it's the combination of ingredients that make me like them and not so much on the marketing hype that is water.
press samples, own purchase, affiliate links provided below
what is water-based moisturizer? what is water moisturizer? best water based moisturizers
Tatcha Pore Perfecting Water Gel Moisturizer. Company description: "ultralight moisturizer which refreshes, clarifies, and balances skin. Designed for makeup lovers and those with oily skin types, it absorbs quickly with a petal-fresh finish that lasts all day. The formula features Japanese wild rose to visibly tighten pores after 28 days of regular use. It also contains Japanese dokudami and leopard lilly, known for their abilities to diminish shine and the appearance of blemishes. A hint of 23-karat gold dust gives skin instant radiance with a shine-free glow.

Ingredients: Water, Glycerin, Propanediol, Rosa Multiflora Fruit Extract, Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea) Leaf Extract, Inositol (Rice Extract), Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract, Sophora Angustifolia Root Extract, Belamcanda Chinensis Root Extract, Houttuynia Cordata Extract, Sericin (Silk Extract), Stearyl Glycyrrhetinate (Licorice), Algae Extract, Gold, Hydrogenated Lecithin (Soy Origin), Squalane (Olive Origin), Lecithin, Pistacia Lentiscus (Mastic) Gum, Sodium Dilauramidoglutamide Lysine, Mica, Silica, Xanthan Gum, Bispeg- 18 Methyl Ether Dimethyl Silane, Ammonium Acryloyl Dimethyltaurate/Carboxyethyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Hdi/ Trimethylol Hexyllactone Crosspolymer, Polyglyceryl-10 Myristate, Disodium EDTA, Tin Oxide, Titanium Dioxide, Peg-400, Bht, Butylene Glycol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Alcohol, Phenoxyethanol.

Why I like it: It acts as a humectant which draws and retains water with a healthy mix of natural ingredients in between. While it does not reduce the size of pores, it makes skin feel a little taut. The hint of gold does not translate to glitter ball madness but enough to illuminate a dull-looking face. 

belif The true cream aqua bomb. Company description: "ultra-lightweight, mineral oil-free gel-cream that instantly cools and refreshes skin while providing intensive hydration. This formula contains a blend of apothecary herbs, including antioxidant-rich lady's mantle, which helps neutralize skin-damaging free radicals, improves skin elasticity, and minimizes the appearances of pores. This refreshing cream is formulated to 'burst' when applied, releasing a flood of weightless moisture onto skin, and then absorb completely for a healthy, smooth, supple appearance".

Ingredients: Water, Dipropylene Glycol, Glycerin, Methl Trimethicone, Alcohol Denat, Dimethicone, Cyclopentasiloxane, 1,2-Hexanediol, Malakite Extract, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Pentaerythrityl Tetraethylhexanoate, PEG/PPG/Polybutylene Glycol-8/5/3 Glycerin, Alchemilla Vulgaris Leaf Extract*, Equisetum Arvense Leaf Extract*, Stellaria Media (Chickweed) Extract*, Urtica Dioica (Nettle) Leaf Extract*, Plantago Lanceolata Leaf Extract*, Avena Sativa (Oat) Kernel Extract**, Calendula Officinalis Flower Extract**, Nepeta Cataria Extract**, Rubus Idaeus (Raspberry) Leaf Extract**, Baptisia Tinctoria Root Extract**, Dimethiconol, Polymethylsilsesquioxane, Sodium Acrylate/Acryloyldimethyltaurate/Dimethylacrylamide Crosspolymer, Isohexadecane, Polysorbate 60, Ceramide 3, Cholesterol, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Phenl Trimethicone, Pentaerythrityl Tetraisostearate, Panthenol, Squalane, Triethylhexanoin, Macadamia Ternifolia Seed Oil, PEG-150, PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, C14-22 Alcohols, Arachidyl Glucoside, Hydrogenated Lecithin, PEG-100 Stearate, Stearic Acid, Glyceryl Stearate, Carbomer, Tromethamine, Trisodium EDTA, Fragrance+, Citronellol, Limonene, Citral, Geraniol, Linalool.

Why I like it: Save for the superbly-written and excellent use of marketing proposition, this is another humectant which doubles as a primer (dimethicone, cyclopentasiloxane) which is good in "blurring out" pores albeit temporarily. I like to use under a full-coverage makeup.

Lather Cucumber & Ginseng Facial Mist. Company description: "a wonderful complement to any of our face washes, this gentle, alcohol-free facial mist has cucumber, ginseng and algae extracts. While cucumber and algae extracts help refresh and tone the skin, ginseng helps to strengthen and revitalize for a fresh look. It can be used after cleansing, after shaving and throughout the day to soothe, refresh and tone the skin". 

Ingredients: water (aqua), propanediol , algae rodophycea extract, panax ginseng extract, aloe barbadensis extract, foeniculum vulgare (fennel) extract, cucumis sativus (cucumber) extract, hamamelis virginiana (witch hazel) extract, ascorbic acid, retinyl acetate, cucumis sativus (cucumber) oil, vetiveria zizanoides (vetiver) oil, cananga odorata (ylang ylang) oil, polysorbate 20, phenoxyethanol, potassium sorbate, ethylhexylglycerin, tetrasodium edit.

Why I like it: this is a great mist to tote around when you're out and about or whenever you feel that your face is dehydrated. Dehydrated is not the same as dry although most often than not, they are used interchangeably. Dry skin lacks oil resulting to cracked and tight-feeling sensation. While dry skin is exacerbated during colder months, it is practically present year-round hence you need constant moisturization. Dehydrated skin lacks water, it is present on all skin-types, even more common on oily skin because our body compensates to produce oil in response to lack of water. If you're face feels "tight" underneath despite the sebum/oil breakthrough, chances are your skin is dehydrated. It takes a lot of understanding to really "understand" what's going on behind the scene so when in doubt, a mist that is alcohol-free like Lather makes sense.

derma e Hydrating Day Cream. Company description: "thoroughly moisturize and plump skin to reduce the look of fine lines and wrinkles with this ultra-hydrating day cream. This fine, silky formula delivers the unmatched hydrating properties of nature's moisture magnet, Hyaluronic Acid (HA). A single molecule of HA can hold up to 1,000 times its weight in water, binding moisture to help plump, soften, smooth, tone and rehydrate skin. Enriched with anti-aging antioxidants Green Tea, Vitamins C and E, and soothing Aloe, this formula helps defend skin from free radicals and the effects of the environment. Ideal for dry, dehydrated skin that needs long-lasting moisture throughout the day, this creamdelivers maximum hydration while helping diminish the signs of aging for softer, smoother, younger-looking skin. 100% vegan, cruelty-free, paraben-free, sulfate-free, mineral oil-free, lanolin-free, gluten free, GMO-free".

Ingredients: Purified Water, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride (Plant Derived), Glycerin (Vegetable Derived) , Stearic Acid (Vegetable Derived), Glyceryl Stearate SE, Cetyl Alcohol (Plant Derived) , Glyceryl Stearate Citrate (Vegetable Derived), Sodium Hyaluronate (Hyaluronic Acid; Actimoist® Bio-1), Ascorbyl Palmitate (Vitamin C Ester), Panthenol (Provitamin B5), Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E), Xanthan Gum, Retinyl Palmitate (Vitamin A), Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel) Extract, Organic Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe Vera) Gel Extract*, Organic Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea) Leaf Extract*, Organic Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil*, Allantoin, Polysorbate 20, Dimethicone, Titanium Dioxide, Potassium Sorbate, Phenoxyethanol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Natural Fragrance Oils. 

Why I like it: This brand is a regular mainstay in my skincare posts because despite the lack of recognition in the online beauty community, derma e does deliver in terms of product efficacy. I like that it has sodium hyaluronate, a salt-derivative of hyaluronic acid which makes it more permeable due to its smaller molecular configuration (read truth on hyaluronic acid here). Sodium hyaluronate is excellent in moisture retention.

pur-lisse Blue Lotus Brightening Serum. Company description: "enhanced with 9 powerful plant extracts work together to visibly improve uneven skin tone, dullness, discoloration and age spots without harsh ingredients.  This hydroquinone-free formula safely delivers radiance, luminosity and clarity to complexion, while guarding against future damage".   

Ingredients: Water (Aqua), Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Diglycerin, Cetearyl Alcohol, Dimethicone, Squalane, Trimethylpentanediol/Adipic Acid Copolymer, Tocopheryl Acetate, Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Oil, Sodium Hyaluronate, Butylene Glycol, Melia Azadirachta Leaf Extract, Hydrolyzed Prunus Domestica, Hydrolyzed Lupine Protein Octenylsuccinate, Alaria Esculenta Extract, Hydrolyzed Soy Protein, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Nymphaea Coerulea Flower Extract, Biotin, Alpha-Arbutin, Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate, Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Panthenol, Glycerin, Glycereth-26, Dicetyl Phosphate, Ceteth-10 Phosphate, Cetyl Alcohol, Sclerotium Gum, Aminomethyl Propanol, Disodium EDTA, Caprylyl Glycol, Chlorphenesin, Phenoxyethanol, Geraniol, Limonene, Citrus Medica Limonum (Lemon) Peel Oil, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Oil, Citrus Aurantium Bergamia (Bergamot) Fruit Oil, Pelargonium Graveolens Flower Oil, Cymbopogon Martini Oil, Citrus Aurantifolia (Lime) Oil, Juniperus Mexicana Oil, Tagetes Minuta Flower Oil, Michelia Alba Flower Oil.

Why I like it: While this is not comparable to hydroquinone (prescription) in terms of reducing hyper pigmentation, this serum is very hydrating, thanks to avocado oil and combination of plant extracts which altogether help create a smooth canvass pre-makeup application. As you know, I layer skincare (more elaborate at night and a little less in the morning, stay tuned for a separate post).

I hope you enjoyed today's skincare dissection. What topic do you want next?

by terry cellularose moisturizing cc cream, by terry cc lumi serum sunny flash, tom ford soleil contouring compact, spring makeup trend
by terry cellularose moisturizing cc cream, by terry cc lumi serum sunny flash, tom ford soleil contouring compact, spring makeup trend
by terry cellularose moisturizing cc cream, by terry cc lumi serum sunny flash, tom ford soleil contouring compact, spring makeup trend
Let's keep things light and simple today, such is the case with my go-to makeup look lately. With spring almost upon us, it's time to showcase radiant skin and vibrant lips! I'm also sharing few tricks to make your under eyes look refreshed sans baking and all!
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  • Start with your skincare ritual per usual. My typical morning includes Sulwhasoo First Care Activating Serum (reviewed here), followed with Obagi Vitamin C Professional Serum 20% (discussed here), and Tatcha Pore Perfecting Water Gel Moisturizer. For my under eyes, I am currently using Pixi 24k Eye Elixir
  • By Terry is a favorite brand year-round but recently I have been mixing the Cellularose Moisturizing CC Cream (reviewed here) and Cellularose Brightening CC Serum Sunny Flash  (reviewed here) for a slightly tinted/bronzed complexion. 2 squeezes for both then blend with Artis Oval 7 face brush
  • For under eyes, apply Estee Lauder Youth Infusing Brightening Serum (Light Medium) to illuminate then lightly set with Guerlain Meteorites Compact (Medium). No baking involved ladies as the key is to create a lit-from-within effect. Then lightly dust the same powder all over the face once. Matte is not an option for this kind of makeup look
  • For a very light pop of color, swirl a fluffy face brush on all three shades of Tom Ford Soleil Contouring Compact (another year-round staple for me) then lightly apply on the apples of the cheek, sweeping towards the temple. For little highlight, use the same brush to dip on the highlighter from the palette and then apply on cheekbones
  • Finally, apply NARS Audacious Lipstick Catherine, a sweet coral shade to complete the whole look
by terry cellularose moisturizing cc cream, by terry cc lumi serum sunny flash, tom ford soleil contouring compact, spring makeup trend
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