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Monday, April 30, 2012

Goodbye NY Times

I've recently found out that, once again, the NY Times is limiting its access to non-subscription holders from 20 to 10. Now I can only read 10 posts from the site every month. Though it is offering an 8 week subscription at $0.99, further subscription would cost more than what I am comfortable shelling out for an international paper (given that I do not live in the USA), even with a student discount (which I'm not sure is applicable to me).

It depresses me because this was my favorite online newspaper. It seems that quality news will cost me. I guess now I'll have to get news fix from somewhere else. Any recommendations?

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Review: Avene Eau Thermale (Thermal Water)

Some people say that the best things in life are free, but this product is really expensive!




avene thermal water 150 ml






Though much cheaper in the US , this product costs around P700-1,200 ($17-28) in Asia. This is my second bottle of this stuff, though because it delivers. Avene Thermal Water helps calm down my irritated skin, and is especially helpful now that it's summer: I can't live without it in my bag. Just mist over your entire face and let dry naturally (I don't pat dry).


Unlike those other sprays, which have about the same effect as splashing tap water on my face (admittedly with some effect, but I'd splash my face with ordinary water instead of buying those), this spray gives instant results with less redness and that refreshed feeling even under layers of make up. The mist is very fine and you can experiment as to how far you want this from your face.


It also lasts longer than expected so I don't have to spray as often as other sprays. While I occasionally use this to set my make-up, I go around with a bare face most of the time and I still find it dead useful for that hydrating, soothing effect.




PROS
-hydrating
-soothing/calming
- cooling/refreshing
-portable (150 ml for my bag)


CONS
-expensive


Buy Again?
Yes, once I run out and I have the funds XD

Friday, April 27, 2012

Iced Tea at Home

It's summertime right now and it's really hot! Beat the heat without air conditioning with a nice cold glass of iced tea.

Actually, anything cold will help, but I was craving The Chocolate Kiss's Iced Tea, so I decided to make my own.




Ingredients
.5L water
2 tea bags (tea of choice, I chose a black tea)
2 calamansi
LOTSA ICE
teapot
spoon
glass
honey


Procedure
1. Boil water
2. Steep tea for 10 minutes in a tea pot (I aim to oversteep a bit so I can add water later if I want to dilute it)
3. Squeeze calamansi into pot (don't let the seeds get in)
4. Fill glass with ice
5. Place honey in tablespoon, pour from teapot to spoon to glass (repeat until desired sweetness level is reached)
6. Stir and enjoy!

Note: you can add more water/calamansi/honey as needed. Also, all that ice WILL turn into water, especially if your pot is still hot when you pour (but I couldn't wait)

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Review: The Body Shop Tea Tree Skin Clearing Toner

Since I have less than a quarter left, I think it's time to review this tea tree toner. This is a picture of how much toner I have left after shaking process:



I love tea tree oil and I've been buying some version of the oil itself since high school. But let's see how the toner fares.

This toner smells like tea tree oil and doesn't seem to have any fragrance, so I bet there's a significant enough amount of oil in there. There is also witch hazel extract, which is also good for the skin. However, it also contains something they label "lemon tree oil" which is NOT tea tree oil. I don't know what skin benefits this may have, maybe as a deterrent to insects? Don't let it fool you! In addition, this product contains castor oil so you might have to be careful. This product contains alcohol, but I've already said that I don't mind alcohol in my toners.

What makes this product different is that it contains a significant amount of corn starch. I love the act of shaking the toner because I enjoy "interactive stuff" (because I am a child). Now, corn starch is great for mattefying, being a powder. However, it's a cheap enough ingredient that I'm not happy it takes a significant portion of the product (3rd in the ingredients list). Because it's a starch, you also run the risk of sbacteria feeding on it. While the tea tree oil may negate it, I wouldn't recommend putting it near any area that is prone to stinking up or that is acne prone. While I didn't break out with this product, and it was a mild enough toner, it wasn't really helpful for clearing out my skin.

Will I repurchase this product again? No. Not for the price, and not for something with corn starch.

Though being a tea tree toner, this may be better for someone who is preventing break outs and not for someone with acne prone skin.


Pros
-contains tea tree oil
-contains witch hazel
-mild
-you shake it ^^

Cons
-contains cornstarch
-contains castor oil
-contains alcohol (con for others, but not for me, see my opinion about alcohol in toners)
-expensive (650 for 250 ml)

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Review: Bench FIX Styling Stick

bench fix styling stick

Bench FIX Styling Stick (with matte finish)

This is an oldie, so I've forgotten how much it costs, but it lasts forever. It's a 30g twist stick of wax with a twist cap. While there are instructions on the stick on recommended use, I only use this product to smooth out my hair downwards. It's excellent on fly-aways, although you have to be careful to use only a little bit, otherwise it looks greyish and stuff will stick to it.

What I like best about this product is that you don't have to touch the product, so no sticky residue on your hands. It's much more convenient to put it in your bag for on the go touch ups (for example, when you go to the gym) than to use sachets. It has excellent holding capabilities to that effect and looks natural (but doesn't feel like it).

You also don't have to fear for spillage since it's a solid and uses a twist cap (instead of a dispenser). It doesn't smell as nice as the other bench waxes, though it is strong. Some hair might get stuck on the wax, but since it's a solid, you can easily wipe it off (more hygienic).

I wish there was a manufacturing date, but since it's on my hair (not scalp or face!), I don't feel too bothered about it.


Pros
-convenient (portable)
-no contact necessary
-excellent hold

Cons
-best for "flattening" (I'd recommend using other products for active styling)
-no manufacturing date

Edited Note: I've heard complaints of this product being hard to wash off. It is, because it is a wax. Use a gel if you prefer something easier to wash off. Also, waxes are best on DRY hair while GELS are for WET hair, which is why it's better to use a wax on the go.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Tutorial: A Noob's Eye Make-up

This is the first time I've done my eye make up for an event. My sister, who normally does my make up for me (because i am n00b), is gone for the next X years. :( (IMY SISTER)

So I did my it all by myself and it turned out quite well. I wasn't able to take a picture of it before the party, but I got a lot of compliments for my eye make up. I took a bunch of pictures when I got home. This is after being on my face for over 6 hours so it doesn't look decent anymore.

Without flash:


I actually placed black eyeliner but the eyeshadow went over it, creating the blue line. There has been some debate over whether to put it before or after, and I chose to do the former. I'm putting it on after next time.



With flash:



Note: Tools and make-up belong to my sister (heehee).

I used these four colors from the Stila Barbie pallet:

stila barbie pallet

And this is how I did it:

eye makeup tutorial

This is meant to be read like an english comic (left to right, up to down). Click to enlarge image :)

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Review: Fashion 21 Dipliner

This is my newly bought Fashion 21 Dipliner. I'd been using my old one for over 2 years and I had to throw it out (because unlike a pencil, you cannot sharpen dipliners and as it can go INSIDE your eye, it's better to throw it out after 1 year), so I bought a new one today.

fashion 21 dipliner with expiration date

What's nice about this liner is that it's cheap at P115 (around $3), so I don't feel too bad for disposing it.I also like the non-tube packaging. Also, it comes with a manufacturing date (circled-this one at 21/2/12) so I know when I should be throwing it out.

fashion 21 dipliner swatch

The tip is flexible so you can get a nice thick line or a thin one (top to bottom). Though it isn't a true black, you can layer it on or not wipe it too much before applying to get a deeper black. It's going to need to dry for a lot longer if you do the latter, so don't open your eyes for 15 seconds to prevent smudging. Afterwards, THIS DOES NOT BUDGE on my oily face. Unless you rub your eye, it's there to stay!

Pros

  • cheap
  • with manufacturing date
  • long lasting (nearly anything proof)


Cons

  • not a deep black


I'm not very good at applying make up so I prefer using pencils, but I just love this product.

Edit: May 15, 2013. I may have gotten oilier, but right now, this liner lasts less than 8 hours now. I am probably not going to buy this product again.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Oversharing About Underarms Part I

Ever since I've reached puberty, I've had 3 problems with my underarms.

1. Hair
2. Skin darkening
3. BO

There are many ways to get rid of the first problem and they all come with pro's and cons. Also note that they also all have risks of ingrowns, etc.

1. shaving
+quick
+painless
+can be done continuously (you can always look "hairless")
+cheap on the short term
-expensive in the long term (considering how many blades you'll need over your lifetime along with shaving cream)
-hair grows quickly after one day
-possibility of nicking skin
-may cause skin darkening

I avoid shaving unless I'm in need of a quick fix. I think it's a good idea to have a razor stocked at home in case of emergencies.

2. plucking
+slow return of hair
+may be done at any time (you can always be "hairless")
+cheap (all you need are tweezers)
-time consuming
-painful
-may cause skin darkening

This is only to get rid of any stray hairs: I don't use it as my primary hair removal method.

3. epilating
+slow return of hair
+quick
+cheap in the long term
-painful
-expensive in the short term
-hair has to be a certain length

I like using this, except it doesn't get all the hair sometimes (hair grows in different directions) so you have to change angles.

4. depilating
+hair grows back quickly compared to 3 and 5 (not as quick as shaving)
+painless
-expensive
-possibility of chemical injury
-slow

Not something I'd recommend for underarms (sensitive as they are).

5. waxing
+can be cheap (DIY)
+slow return of hair
-hair has to be a certain length
-painful
-can be expensive (done in a salon)

When using hot wax, i tend to burn myself (darkening my skin in the process), and I can' get the hang of using sugaring or cold wax. I prefer having it done professionally, and be hairless for a around 10 days, but it does get expensive.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Tutorial: How to Jump Start a Car

visual guide to jump starting


Take this with a grain of salt. I'm not responsible for your car troubles. This is just what works for me.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Nails: Layering

I haven't been able to do my nails lately, and I've only recently realized that I don't have my preferred top coat lying around. I've been forced to use the Seche with 1 dropper-full of Restore Thus, bubbles galore coz I can't use it well...

wing it wine over liquid leather nail polish

Raw (without cleaning): One layer of China Glaze Liquid Leather with one layer of NYC Wing It Wine Creme

Use two different polishes to create a new color. This one reminds me of a glittery version of Lincoln Park After Dark.