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April 2014 – Another Day at Paluan

Remember me saying in the last post that we were supposed to be leaving Mindoro that day, but changed plans at the last minute and stayed another night? Well, here are more photos from that day, consisting of, but not limited to: posing with an Atlas-worthy rock, bathing in fresh spring water, and an impromptu spa session, completely free of charge.Calawagan Continue reading

Colour of the Week

COLOUR: Orly – Enchanted Forest

To be more accurate, colour of the week… from more than a month ago. LOL gaaaah I’m so behind on blogging right now. Like, more than a month behind… oh yeah, I mentioned that, did I? *brain in blank mode*

It’s amazing how one goes through that phase of not-blogging. It’s almost like a state of mind when you don’t even want to look at it. Maybe it was that amazing one-month trip to Beijing, which I should have been blogging about instantly? It almost feels like when you’re in a relationship that you were really excited about, then comes the part in the middle where something unexplainable eats at you and you have to work hard to keep the spark alive eklavu. LOL I don’t know, but consider this post as a mini-comeback of sorts, started by one of the main reasons I started blogging in the first place – nail polish.

Orly Enchanted ForestJust look at Orly Enchanted Forest. Pretty straightforward name without losing that touch of drama – it’s a gorgeously elegant shade of dark forest green that’s one of those shades that, when seen from a distance, looks black but is not.

Orly Enchanted ForestOrly Enchanted ForestAs I mentioned before, I love that Orly’s polishes come in 18ml bottles, so there’s more polish to enjoy than the normal bottle of nail polish. 🙂

In natural light

In natural light

In natural light

In natural light

In natural light

In natural light

Had to turn up the green on my photos a bit to bring out the colour – there is simply no time to even think about photography right now. Bad excuse, yes. On another hand, look at how glossy it is on its own – no topcoat there!

With flash

With flash

With flash

With flash

Enchanted Forest performed on par with what I expect of Orly polishes from past experience: fluid, goes on smooth, doesn’t go globby, fully opaque in two coats if you’re good (and careful). Such a dreaaam to work with.

With flash

With flash

With flash

With flash

As usual, flash photography captures the colour best. Doesn’t it look regal and sophisticated? 🙂

With flash

With flash

Under artificial light

Under artificial light

Staying power was very decent, lasting 3 days on me before the first chip appeared. I had to take them off by the 5th day. Something I just noticed: you see how little cracks appear on your polish (especially the index fingers) by the 3rd or 4th day? They aren’t so obvious (sometimes nearly invisible) with dark polish. Random fact. 🙂

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Colour of the Week

DSC_4093I’m so updated right now, I’m typing this entry while taking this colour off my nails. LOL it’s summer vacation for a reason, people. 😉

DSC_4099DSC_4101This is Skin Food Nail Vita (I dunno, based on the label) nail polish; I’ve featured a black and a silvery shade of this same polish series before. Today, we have PK211, a Barbie pink that I never would have picked up for myself… but I don’t know why. 😐

In natural light

In natural light

Skin Food PK211

In natural light

I mean, look at it. I don’t normally go for bright colours because they always make my skin seem darker or tanner than it is, but anyway, we make them work, right? PK211 is not bright pink ala-Nicki Minaj type, but it definitely screams Barbie. If you used to have a Barbie and owned a pair of little pink high heels for her, that’s the closest colour I can think of.

In natural light

In natural light

With flash

With flash

It comes out a pastel, so it’s kinda tricky on the first and second coats to maintain even distribution of the colour. This was actually three coats because I was so out of practice  it’s a tricky colour to work with I’m not just good at it anymore. 😀 As you can see, I’m almost halfway through with the bottle as well, and compared to the more quality polishes, it starts to get goopy and everything. Not so good to work with at this point!

With flash

With flash

With flash

With flash

With flash

With flash

Without a topcoat, it held its own for three solid days – not too shabby for the price point, in my opinion! 🙂

Are you digging the colour? Would you get it for yourself?

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New In

Featuring the star of today’s show: my first-ever MAC lipstick!!! LOL yeah that was super-excited me. What can I say, it’s my first, and I think it’s pretty legit to feel excited about that. 😀

DSC_2593

This one is a shade named Shy Girl, and is, to my knowledge, one of MAC’s bestsellers. I’ve been looking for a perfect neutral lipstick that gives you that “oh, you’re wearing lipstick but it doesn’t look like it” vibe, and at the same time wasn’t a corpse-colored shade. I think this might be the one 😀 (of many. HAHAHA)

DSC_2588DSC_2589

DSC_2592

in natural light

under artificial light

under artificial light

with flash

with flash

with different kind of flash... :| #SLRexploration

with different kind of flash… 😐 #SLRexploration

It doesn’t lean more into pink or beige; it’s like just in the perfect middle of all things… which is perfect. How amazing that my first lipstick from MAC would be this perfect! 🙂 And yes, MAC lippies do make a difference because they stay on and go on different – you can feel the quality there.

I’ve decided that I’m not the beauty-blogger type so as to put my face that much on a regular basis, so let’s go with Temptalia – who has the perfect lighting and equipment, btw.

You likey? Would you get Shy Girl for yourself?

DSC_2594Before I forget… meet Bifesta! Bifesta’s a Japanese brand of makeup removers, which I happened to know about entirely by accident, on the Internet, through a blog. Curiosity got piqued, I looked up the reviews, and they were all amazing. I can’t wait to try these after I finish the cleansing oil I’m using right now. 🙂

Left is the cleansing liquid, which you can use in the shower and rinse off; right is the cleansing lotion, which is like cleansing oil, but water-based. The concept is that you could put it in a cotton pad and swipe makeup right off your face – and that’s the least of their amazing qualities. If I have time during the summer, I might even do the whole makeup swatch test thing for ze blog. :p

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theBalm Nude ‘Tude Palette

theBalm Nude 'TudeSooo excited to be having time to beauty-blog; work has been insane, and do not mention the upcoming graduation season. Gaaah. It’s all a blessing though: God has blessed me enough with a new job, one that rocks more than my current part-time ones. Thank You, Lord!

Anyway, off to the nude ladies…

theBalm Nude 'Tude

theBalm Nude 'TudeNude ‘Tude is an eyeshadow palette from theBalm featuring, you guessed it, neutral shades for that perfect “nude” makeup look. If you’re familiar with Benefit, then theBalm and its general vibe is somehow like that – playful, a bit more kitschy and fun though. You can see from the packaging, press releases and generally how the whole thing comes across that the creators have fun with it. Gotta love makeup like that!

As you can see, Nude ‘Tude is packaged in a cardboard flip-open box, ensconced inside another cardboard box. Don’t think too low of it though, the cardboard’s pretty sturdy! It comes with its own dual-ended brush (one for shadow, one for liner) and has 12 shades:

in natural light

in natural light

in natural light

in natural light

One feature about theBalm’s eyeshadow palettes is that they always follow a theme – there’s this Matt Palette where shades were named after “Matt”s of different nationalities: this one has an “S” theme going. There are also actually two kinds of packaging: one with clothed ladies and one with them nude and strategically covered (LOL) like mine. Definitely not taking this out in front of the little kids! LOL.

with flash

with flash

theBalm Nude 'TudetheBalm Nude 'TudetheBalm Nude 'TudeI’m an Urban Decay Naked fan, but I’m in love with all of the shades – especially Sexy (deep burgundy), Serious (matte black), and Sleek (matte deep brown)! The shades are all so easy to work with – not super buttery, but easily blendable, and very pigmented in their own right. It’s like a step down from my holy grail which is Urban Decay. I also love the fact that the shades themselves are already laid out in a pattern: light/highlighter shades, middle shades, and the dark/liner shades – makes it easy for people not so good with makeup, like me! Doing smoky eyes and more natural makeup is easy with this! I love! 🙂

under artificial light

under artificial light

theBalm Nude 'TudeOkay… let’s just say I tried my hand at swatching, with camera in one hand, and it was awful. Please, please excuse the quality of these – I definitely underestimated swatch photography! Need to bust out the tripod next time – and make do with natural lighting as opposed to the lighting equipment the big guns have. *I’m just a teeny tiny beauty blogger wannabe…*

theBalm Nude 'TudetheBalm Nude 'TudeThey don’t look very pigmented to you, but trust me when I say… they are. These are all one-strokes with sponge applicators – imagine using your normal makeup brushes for these!

theBalm Nude 'TudetheBalm Nude 'TudeDefinitely an excellent palette for me – it’s in heavy rotation among my favorites now. Do you have it, and are you loving it as much as I do? 🙂

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Colour of the Week

COLOUR: Essie – Smokin’ Hot

My favorite magazine, InStyle, featured a few polishes which were most often requested across nail salons in the US… and Essie’s Smokin’ Hot was one of them. Once again, I feel blessed to have such gorgeous colours in my hands. 🙂

Essie Smokin' Hot

Essie Smokin’ Hot

Essie Smokin' Hot

Essie Smokin' Hot

Essie Smokin’ Hot

From the bottle, it looks smoky brown – but as you can see from the swatches later, it’s actually (in my own description, of course) a smoky-dark-taupe/smoked-gray-violet. It’s complex, and dark, which is a winning combination in my book.

Essie Smokin' HotEssie Smokin' Hot

In natural light

In natural light

Formula-wise, it’s very excellent – up to par with the excellent quality that Essie polishes normally deliver. It’s thick enough to deliver enough colour in each pass (although a minimum of two are needed for full opacity), but it’s not goopy (quite thin, actually, thin-in-that-Essie-way), and quite spread-able. Gosh, this is sounding like some peanut butter spread haha. But seriously, it’s so easy to work with. I did three coats here, but it wasn’t thick on my nails. Amazing formula, I love!

In natural light

In natural light

In natural light

In natural light

In natural light

In natural light

As you can see, it’s kinda shiny and glossy on its own. 🙂

In terms of wear, I got three whole days before there was a tiny chip on one finger. I only had to take it off by the fifth day. Impressive! Smokin’ Hot definitely earned its position on my top favorites list. 🙂

With flash

With flash

Essie Smokin' Hot

Essie Smokin’ Hot

With flash

With flash

With flash

With flash

Overall, Essie Smokin’ Hot is an A+ polish – excellent, non-bubbly and easy-to-work-with formula, with a gorgeous colour that isn’t simply some “dark colour”. Do you love it as much as I do? 🙂

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Colour of the Week

An actual updated one. Haha!

COLOUR: China Glaze  –  Re-fresh Mint

Merry Christmas, everyone! How was your Christmas day? Mines was spent with family at home, with absolutely no agenda in mind, just lolling around doing random this and that. Sure, it’s not the only way I would have spent Christmas (read: holiday shopping!!), but it’s also perfectly fine. Quite relaxing, in fact. 🙂 Aaaand, it also gave me time to do my nails! Long time!

China Glaze - Re-fresh Mint

China Glaze – Re-fresh Mint

Decided to go mint-y this Christmas with this pastel creme. Never mind that it looks more like a summer shade, LOL. 😀 Photographing this mint green (it’s not that light and pale) was verrrry hard though – I wonder why!

China Glaze - Re-fresh Mint

China Glaze - Re-fresh MintChina Glaze - Re-fresh MintChina Glaze - Re-fresh Mint

Consistency-wise, I was quite worried because, again, pastel colours always are the hardest to work with IMO. They streak so easily and are hard to make perfect & pretty! LOL but this was a lot easier because China Glaze’s formula was very good, as usual – just the right balance, neither watery nor goopy, so it went on smooth but gave good colour. I could have been completely opaque in two coats, but it’s my lack of practice showing now 😀 so I did three coats!

In natural light

In natural light

In natural light

In natural light

In natural light

In natural light

Pretty, right? This was three coats, and it looked a little streaky, but very pretty overall! I think the flash photos show the colour better, as usual:

With flash

With flash

With flash

With flash

With flash

With flash

Not to be confused with Audrey, definitely not – that’s why I said it was tricky to photograph. Audrey is Tiffany blue, while this is green-based, a mint green. 🙂

With flash

With flash

Overall, as with the China Glaze polishes I have, I love it! The formula’s just right for me, easy to work with, even if you’re new to nail polish or just out of practice (like me, haha). This is definitely a shade that will be making a comeback this coming summer. 🙂

Will you be getting this? If you already have Re-fresh Mint, what do you think of it? 🙂

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