Reviews and Other Stuff

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New Skincare and Beauty Minis Review

Sol de Janeiro Coco Cabana Body Cream

 

Hi everybody! There’s been a lot of skincare goodies released recently by several different brands. Most of them are really exciting and really promising. A couple of them have been popping out of Insta, and from what I’ve seen, there’s a lot of raves and buzz about the latest products from Milk Makeup, Laniege, Sulwhasoo, and Supergoop, among other things. Luckily, I got a hold of these latest goodies in mini sizes, and I also got a few beauty minis to review in this post. Do take note though, that since these are in mini sizes, I can only provide a review of my first impression of these products. It’d be interesting to find out how good these beauties will work on my skin with time, and that would mean testing them in full regular sizes. You will know in this review which product warrants a full-size. So, keep on reading.

 

Givenchy Mini Magic Lip Duo Set in Perfect Pink & Noir Révélateur

 

Givenchy Mini Magic Lip Duo Set (2x: 18 USD) – This mini set is so cute and inside there are two mini moisturizing lipsticks in shades Perfect Pink & Noir Révélateur. Perfect Pink in natural sheer pink and is perfect for those with fair to light skin tone. Noir Révélateur is a sheer to deep berry that is perfect for those with light/medium to medium/deep skin tones. These lipsticks adapt to the lips’ pH level, so, they sort of complement and enhance your lip’s natural color. They are definitely both on the sheer side and they are very hydrating like a lip balm. They’re somewhat similar to the Dior Lip Glow.

 

Milk Makeup Sephora Beauty Insider Birthday Gift Set

 

Got this little set from Sephora during my birthday, and I really find this set to be very useful because this contains three of my top picks from Milk Makeup.

 

Milk Makeup Hydro Grip Primer

 

Hydro Grip Primer (mini/0.33 oz – 1.52 oz: 15 – 30 USD) – This face primer is really one of the best out there. The feel of this is gripping, lightweight, and this really makes the foundation adhere to the skin. I do have this primer in full-size and I really really like that this doesn’t have that silicone feel.

Kush High Volume Mascara (mini/0.13 oz – 0.34 oz: 12 – 24 USD) – I love the shape and look of this mascara because this has dense heart-shaped bristles that are meant for delivering high impact dramatic lashes. This also has hemp-derived cannabis seed oil that moisturizes the lashes for long wear. The color of this is very black and this really fans out and curls the lashes even without using a lash curler. I find that this sets on the lashes easily and this hasn’t clumped nor smudged on me even during these highly humid temps.

Lip + Cheek in Werk (mini/0.21 oz – 1 oz: 15 – 28 USD) – This creamy lip and blush color reminded me of Nars The Multiple or the Bite Beauty Multistick. This is a multitasking product that can work to add color not only on the lips and cheeks but on the lids as well, to achieve that beautiful monochromatic look. I find this to be so easy to blend, and this feels creamy and hydrating. The overall finish of this is satin and the shade dusty rose seems a little too sheer on my light-medium skin tone, but the deeper tones work really well on my skin.

 

Skincare/Primers/SPF

 

Laneige Hypoallergenic Cica Sleeping Mask

 

Kiehl’s Avocado Nourishing Hydration Mask (3.4 oz: 45 USD) – There is no question that this mask is full of very good hydrating and nourishing ingredients, however, I do not like the feel of this at all. This clumps and breaks upon application, making this very hard to adhere to the skin, and this makes me look weird after managing to coat this on my face. This turns my skin into something of a yellow-green or yellow-red-orange-green tone (lol), which really makes me look like a half-banana half-avocado hybrid, or better yet, a yellowing cactus, ha! So, definitely not a fan of this mask.

 

Sol de Janeiro Coco Cabana Body Cream (mini/2.5 – 8.1 oz: 20 – 45 USD) – This makes me yearn for a tropical vacay amidst all this quarantine lifestyle going on nowadays. I love the amazing blend of coconut sugar, coconut oil, and Cupuaçu Butter in this wonderful nostalgic cream. This really feels hydrating and not heavy on the skin, and I really love the cute packaging as well.

 

Milk Makeup Vegan Milk Moisturizer (mini/0.53 oz: 1.7 oz – 19 – 38 USD) – I’m really amazed by the texture of this moisturizer, which feels so rich and so thick yet so light on the skin. This has different kinds of vegan milk ingredients, like fig milk, oat milk, and argan milk, etc. To me, this feels non-greasy even though the feel is very rich and very milky. My skin absorbs this easily and I never had any breakout issue with this. I also think that this will work very well for those with dry skin and even for those with sensitive skin types.

 

Laneige Hypoallergenic Cica Sleeping Mask (34 USD) – If you like the Dr. Jart+ Cicapair cream, then you’re going to like this new Cica Mask from Laneige. The feel of this very somewhat gel-like yet very creamy and very cushiony. I do love the feeling of this cream/mask on my hands, and on my skin, this feels so moisturizing and so light. But what I really love about this is the fact that just like the Dr. Jart+ Cicapair, this helps to soothe the redness and irritation on the face. This has fermented forest yeast extract and is supposed to be much better than the usual Cica products. I don’t only use this as a sleeping mask, I also use this as a daily moisturizer, which works really well for my skin. I definitely recommend that you get this in full-size.

 

Sulwhasoo Concentrated Ginseng Renewing Cream (2.02 oz: 240 USD) – This very very luxurious K-beauty cream has a very strong ginseng scent. Also blended with retinol, this cream has anti-aging properties and is meant to enhance moisture. I find this to be very lightweight but has a bit of an oily feel, which really doesn’t bother my skin. This actually makes my skin look and feel smooth given the short amount of time that I’ve used the product. However, due to the price, I’m not quite sure if this is worth having in its regular size. The packaging is really really cute though.

 

Dr. Jart+ V7 Priming Moisturizer review

 

Supergoop! Glowscreen Sunscreen SPF 40 (1.7 oz: 36 USD) – Finally! I have been waiting for a glowy shimmery sunscreen like this. I’ve seen this item popping out of Instagramy lately and there’s a reason why. This sunscreen will be your ultimate Summer vibe because you can wear this alone for that natural and dewy sun-protected look, or you can use this as a primer to enhance the glow of your makeup. This has fine microshimmers and a nice SPF level enough to protect the skin and make it look healthy this warm season. Kinda like you quarantined yourself in a nice tropical island, with all that sun, and with all that glow. Hmmm, imagine that :-).

 

Dr. Jart+ V7 Priming Moisturizer (1.69 oz: 48 USD) – Not quite a fan of this primer+moisturizer hybrid. I like the idea of it, but the feel and the scent are just off. This feels like a silicone primer and the scent is too strong and too weird. Applying this is not an amazing experience. The product sits on top of the face and my skin doesn’t feel moisturized at all.

 

Smashbox Photo Finish Vitamin Glow Primer (1 oz: 39 USD) – This may be marketed as a face primer just like most of Smashbox’s popular primer products, but with added Vitamins, like Vitamins B, C, and E. However, this feels more like a moisturizer/primer hybrid than the Dr. Jart+ product above. To me, this feels really creamy and nice on the skin, and my foundation stays on with this. I also like the nice orange scent. So, I definitely recommend that you get this in full-size.

 

milk makeup Lip Cheek in Werk

 

Smashbox Photo Finish Vitamin Glow Primer

 

Long story short, I really like and recommend the Sol de Janeiro Coco Cabana Body Cream, the Milk Makeup Vegan Milk Moisturizer, the Laneige Hypoallergenic Cica Sleeping Mask, the Supergoop! Glowscreen, the Smashbox Vitamin Glow Primer, and the Milk Makeup products mentioned in this post. They are worth having in full-sizes.

 

Have you tried any of these yet?

 

SHOP THIS POST

 

 

Loving Right Now. Spring Favorites.

Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray

 

It’s been quite a while since I posted my latest favorites in beauty and skincare. As I mentioned in my previous post, I will be rounding up the products I’m currently loving, so this post is all about these items. Actually, some of the products I will be featuring below are not just the ones I’m currently using this Spring. I will still be using some of them for this coming Summer. In fact, I’ve been using some of them since last Winter as well. So, if you’ve been wondering what I’m raving lately, well, here now are my current favorites in beauty, haircare, and skincare.

 

HAIRCARE

 

Peter Thomas Roth Firmx Peeling Gel

 

Living Proof Perfect Hair Day Body Builder (2.8 oz: $15, 7.3 oz: $29) – I first got this when I was checking out some products to volumized my fine hair. I saw that this has really good reviews at Sephora and I was eager to test it ASAP. True its glowy raves, I was blown away by how this made a difference in my usually flat fine hair. This adds real volume and drama to the hair and it goes on clear without leaving any whitish or sticky residue. The nice thing about this is the packaging where you can adjust the nozzle’s opening and it can release either less or more product depending on how much volume you’d want for your hair. This works for just about any hair type and this definitely works for my fine hair. The scent can be too much at times, but it’s not a bad scent, so it’s pretty much tolerable.

 

Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray (2.2 oz: $22, 8.5 oz: $46) – I’ve mentioned before that I’m currently obsessed with texture hair sprays. I feel like they work so well at not just adding volume to my fine hair, but they also add a nice texture to my strands. I think this Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray might just be the best if not one of the best I’ve ever tried. I like this a lot because this goes on clear, light, and it makes my hair look clean, fresh, and fab. Oh, and the scent’s gonna get you swooning too. 🙂

 

Moroccanoil Treatment (0.85 oz: $15, 1.7 oz: $34, 3.4 oz: $44) – I wanted something that would make my stands look healthy and vibrant post styling, so I heard good reviews about this but I was kind of hesitant at first because I thought this may make my hair oilier and may add more weight to it. But I did give this a chance anyway, and I really love it! This has a nice scent that is not overpowering and it doesn’t weight the hair down. It’s great for adding hair shine especially to the roots after a blowout or after any heat-styling. It’s kinda like a lightweight finishing treatment.

 

SKINCARE

 

Supergoop! Super Power Sunscreen Mousse Broad Spectrum SPF 50

 

Supergoop! Super Power Sunscreen Mousse Broad Spectrum SPF 50 (3.4 oz: $19, 7.2 oz: $34) – For this Spring and for this coming Summer, this is still one of my sunscreen of choice because this is so lightweight, non-sticky, and it doesn’t leave any white residue. A small container/packaging of this can last a long time, and its mousse texture is very easy to apply on the skin.

 

Drunk Elephant C-Tango Multivitamin Eye Cream (0.5 oz: $64) – I’ve always wanted this eye cream ever since its release because I really like its ingredients especially its Vitamin C potency, but I read some reviews that this caused contact dermatitis for them. However, I was adamant to try this anyway and see it for myself. Well, good news friends, I’ve been using this for several weeks now and I never had an issue. I apply this on my dark undereye circles and it hasn’t gotten worse, in fact, my undereyes look vibrant and I look less fatigued even when I don’t get enough sleep. I usually don’t apply this on the thin skin around my lids, but when I did it a couple of times, I never had an issue as well.

 

Peter Thomas Roth Firmx Peeling Gel (3.4 oz: 48, 6.8 oz: $89) – Ahhh! my favorite instant peeling product. Ever since I received a sample of this from Sephora a few years ago, I knew I have got to have this product for life. From then on and nowadays, this is my go-to if I want immediately facial smoothness. I use this two or three time a week to get rid of some dry patches and rough skin that doesn’t go away with extreme moisturization alone. This preps the skin for a smooth and easy application of any primer and foundation. You could literally feel and see your facial skin particles sloughing off while you massage this gel on the skin.

 

MAKEUP

 

Clé De Peau Beauté Radiant Cushion Foundation in O20 Light Ochre

 

Clé De Peau Beauté Radiant Cushion Foundation in O20 Light Ochre ($99) – I tend to reach out for my cushion foundations whenever the weather starts to get warm and the sky starts to look bright. Since these foundations are very light on the skin, they’re not prone to cakeyness and they look more natural on the face. Since I want my friends and neighbors to recognize me this warm and bright season, lol, the radiant cushion from Cle De Peau Beauté makes me look more like me, ha! See this product’s swatch HERE.

 

Shiseido Eyelash Curler ($22) – I only love three brands of eyelash curler in my life (yeah, for real :-)), one is from Shu Uemura, the other one is from Japonesque (seen HERE) which I use during my travels, and the third one is this Shiseido lash curler. This is very similar to the Shu Uemura one and it’s the kind of eyelash curler that suits well for those with short/baby lashes, small eyes, and even downturned eyes, as well as Asian faces and features. I will tell you more in my upcoming posts whether this is better than the Shu Uemura one or not.

 

Shiseido Eyelash Curler

 

Tom Ford Eye Defining Pen in 01 Deeper (0.03 oz: $58) – The day that Tom Ford will discontinue this product is the day that I will never leave the house, LOL! This is pretty much the only eyeliner that seems to really work out of all the eyeliners I’ve tried in several different brands and stores lately. I used to like the Stila one but I think their formulation had changed. Once applied, this doesn’t smudge and it’s pretty much waterproof. It stays on no matter what the situation, weather, or any event calls for. It’s super reliable especially for those with oily lids. There is only one shade though, and its pigment is the blackest black.

 

Dr. Brandt Needles No More, No More Baggage Eye De-Puffing Gel (0.5 oz: $42) – I got this from my FabFitFun Box and I was really impressed by it. It qualifies as both skincare and makeup and it works by tightening the skin along the undereye area, making it depuffed, and it’s got a nice salmon shade that color corrects the dark circles. Use this for an immediate dark puffy undereye relief. Read more about this product HERE.

 

Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion in Original

 

Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion in Original (0.16 oz: $13, 0.33 oz: $24) – Whenever Spring and Summer comes and you have oily lids, it’s always a good idea to prime them. You’ll never know what could happen next, come rain or shine, you need to have your eye makeup on point. Racoon eyes are a no-no. This Urban Decay Primer in original formula gets the job done. I’ve been using this for years now and even last Winter, and I no longer have to worry if my eyeliner was creasing or not. A small size of this primer can last a long time.

 

Pat McGrath Labs FetishEyes Mascara review

 

Pat McGrath Labs FetishEyes Mascara (0.27 oz: $28) – I didn’t really plan to buy this mascara so soon because I was waiting for some constructive reviews about it. But when I got a sample of this, I was like whaaat?! Is this thing for real?! LOL. I literally saw my short lashes lengthening as I was applying this, and all the while I was thinking “Is there some black magic in here?” Haha! I don’t know how PMG did it, but guys, you have got to try this. This is on my holy grail list now and it makes my lashes look long and volumized. On top of that, this doesn’t smudge and this doesn’t irritate my eyes.

 

Tarte Shape Tape Contour Concealer in 29N Light-Medium

 

Tarte Shape Tape Contour Concealer in 29N Light-Medium (0.33 oz: $27) – This is my concealer of choice as of the moment because I seem to be getting some post-zit dark spots lately, and I need something that gives more coverage. The type that really covers my age, LOL. So yeah, the shade 29 N is light-medium with neutral undertones and it works to make me look flawless and youthful even for just a few hours. 🙂

 

Tarte Shape Tape Contour Concealer in 29N Light-Medium swatch

 

Laura Mercier Flawless Lumière Radiance-Perfecting Foundation in 2C1 Ecru (1 oz: $48) – I’m a big fan of Laura Mercier foundations because of their lightweight next-to-skin feel. This new Flawless Lumiere foundation in Ecru (light with neutral undertones) definitely lives up to the Laura Mercier foundation standard. It is quite similar to the LM Candleglow (my other fave, reviewed HERE) but it’s not as super dewy and it doesn’t slide as much. It still feels creamy and lightweight, and it has medium coverage with a natural radiant finish that still feels like a second skin. I love this formula a lot because it gives a soft-focus radiant look, and it stays on even longer if you set this with a nice setting powder. My favorite setting powders are HERE and HERE.

 

Fenty Beauty

 

Fenty Beauty Mattemoiselle Plush Matte Lipstick in Thicc

 

Mattemoiselle Plush Matte Lipstick in Thicc (0.06 oz: $18)Sultry Natural Mauve. This a long-wearing comfortable matte lipstick and it makes the lips look full. This mauve shade is not just great for everyday wear, it’s also great as a transitional lip shade as you approach another season.

Mattemoiselle Plush Matte Lipstick in Thicc swatch

 

 

Stunna Lip Paint Longwear Fluid Lip Color in Uncuffed (0.13 oz: $24)Rosy Mauve. This is more like a liquid lip color version of the Mattemoiselle Plush lipstick above, though the mauve color of this Uncuffed shade seems to be a bit darker than the Thicc lipstick above, but still perfect for everyday daytime use. This lip color feels very lightweight, it’s not that drying, and though it slightly emphasizes the lip lines, it does stay on the lips for a long period of time.

 

Fenty Stunna Lip Paint Longwear Fluid Lip Color in Uncuffed

 

That comprises my faves this Spring. Have you tried any of these products before? What are the beauty/skincare/haircare items you’ve been loving lately?

 

Stay tuned for some of my Summer favorites.

 

 

2 Days in Chicago

chicago river

 

Hi everyone, last year, I took a very short trip to Chicago for a little R&R plus some important business/errand thing to do. I love Chicago even if I haven’t really explored the city that well, but I like the whole vibe of just being there. The city’s energy and the fast pace of life are just really exciting. I’ve been to the windy city several times before, but whenever I’m around, I always make it a point to visit Michigan Avenue. It’s always nice to see some mid to high-end shopping stores that you may not get in your local hometown, plus there are lots of restaurants to try, museums, and hotels to stay in, not to mention the beauty and vibrance of just strolling along Michigan Avenue and Chicago River. Lots of people, lots of busy friendly faces.

 

langham chicago

 

Speaking of the hotel, this time I stayed at The Langham Chicago. This hotel is Gorgeous with a capital G. LOL. It’s elegant, clean, stylish, and just simply pretty. It’s one of the best hotels I’ve ever been in terms of design, room, space, service, accessibility, and location. I noticed that the hotel has an affinity for something pink. From the lobby down to my room, I saw accents of pastel pinks or what they call Langham Pink all over. Imagine the excitement of seeing beautiful pink roses in round vases, pink tablecloths, pink ribbons, pink hangers and there’s even a pink vintage taxi parked outside the hotel which is so cute. I also love that the hotel has a sleek design but it doesn’t look or feel uppity. Instead, it makes it look cozy and comfy while being posh at the same time. Their customer service is superb and you can feel like your needs are being assisted and addressed in a timely manner.

 

langham chicago bedroom

 

the langham hotel chicago room

marina city chicago

 

My room had a really nice view in which I could see the Chicago River, a few skyrises, and the impressive 19-story spiral ramped Marina City parking garage. It’s also very clean and the bed is super comfy. The bathroom is really nice with marble countertops and glass doors. The wall close to the bathtub which adjoins the bedroom can be adjusted to make it opaque or transparent so that you could see the bed on the other side. This is probably to let in more light or to see the view on the other side. There’s also a convenient little vanity area close to the dresser which is nice because I could put all my makeup in there and get ready for the day easily.

 

langham chicago bathroom

 

langham hotel vanity

 

Most of the skincare and beauty products I took with me are travel sizes or sample sizes that are only good for a few days. I pretty much took one pouch for stuff I mostly need and would reach for during the trip, I keep this pouch with me at all times, whether I’m on the plane or out and about. What’s inside this pouch is just a bunch of little stuff like a small hand cream, a favorite travel-size scent, a tiny face mist, etc.

 

beauty essentials tory burch makeup bag

 

  1. Tory Burch Robinson Small Makeup Bag in Pink
  2. Too Cool For School Dinoplatz Dear Brachiosaurus Blotting Paper – reviewed HERE
  3. Japonesque Go Curl Eyelash Curler (Pink)
  4. L’occitane Mini Shea Butter Hand Cream
  5. Smashbox Photo Finish Primer Water Mini
  6. Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara Mini
  7. Burberry My Burberry Blush Rollerball
  8. Dior Addict Lip Glow in Berry – swatches HERE and HERE
  9. Sample of Tom Ford Sole di Positano Eau de Parfum – reviewed HERE

 

I also have a glossier pouch/zip bag for my skincare stuff.

 

glossier pink bubble pouch

 

  1. Tarte Frxxxtion Stick Exfoliating Cleanser (sample size) 
  2. Chanel Le Lift Anti-Wrinkle Eye Cream (sample size)
  3. Chanel Hydra Beauty Gel Creme (sample size)
  4. Estee Lauder DayWear Multi-Protection Anti-Oxidant 24H-Moisture Creme Broad Spectrum Spf 15 (Mini)
  5. Clinique All About Eyes Serum De-Puffing Eye Massage (Mini)
  6. SK-II Facial Treatment Clear Lotion (Mini) – reviewed HERE
  7. Tatcha Pure One Step Camellia Cleansing Oil Mini – seen HERE
  8. Neutrogena Healthy Defense Daily Moisturizer Untinted Spf 45 (Mini)
  9. SK-II Facial Treatment Essence (Mini)
  10. Beauty Blender Liquid Blendercleanser (sample size)
  11. Neutrogena On The Spot Acne Treatment
  12. Nivea Essentially Enriched Body Lotion
  13. Glossier Reusable Pink Bubble Pouch – read HERE

 

Then, I also have a third pouch for my basic makeup needs. I try not to wear a lot of makeup on my trips, especially whenever I plan to walk a lot or in instances where I could sweat a lot. I just like to keep it light, fresh, and somewhat natural. The ones I carried with me this time are just things that are fast and easy to use like a beauty blender (not pictured here) and its cleanser, an eyeshadow brush (also not pictured), a small highlighter, a pigmented lightweight eyeshadow palette with enough shades to choose from, and a travel flat iron. I also packed a No Frizz Living Proof Shampoo and Conditioner minis with me, but I think I ended up using the ones provided by the hotel because I got lazy scavenging for my own stuff, and the hotel ones really smelled good.

 

beauty essentials for short trip

 

  1. BaByliss Pro Nano Titanium Mini Straightening Iron (1 inch)
  2. Benefit Erase Paste Mini Concealer (discontinued, now it’s called Boi-ing Brightening Concealer)
  3. Benefit The POREfessional Face Primer Mini
  4. MAC Lip Pencil in Boldly Bare – reviewed HERE
  5. Too Faced Shadow Insurance (Mini)
  6. Marc Jacobs Eye-Conic Multi-Finish Eyeshadow Palette in Glambition – swatched HERE
  7. Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer in Custard – reviewed HERE
  8. Chanel Perfection Lumiere Velvet – seen HERE
  9. Tarte Lip Facial Lip Scrub – also reviewed HERE
  10. Cover Fx Illuminating Primer (sample size)
  11. Benefit Watt’s Up! Cream-to-Powder Highlighter (Mini)
  12. Benefit Precisely, My Brow Pencil Ultra Fine Shape & Define
  13. Marc Jacobs Highliner Matte Gel Eye Crayon in (Brown)ie 43 – reviewed HERE

 

 

the chicago river

 

vosges haut chocolat chicago

 

the magnificent mile chicago

 

I took a stroll along Chicago River and took a few snaps. I then continued my stroll towards Ulta and Sephora (of course) and just did some window shopping. I really didn’t get much during my short stay in the windy city. I know I went to Nordstrom and purchased two new matte liquid lipsticks from Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Lips in Show Girl and Dangerous Liaison (reviewed and swatched HERE). Adjacent to Nordstrom is The Shops at North Bridge where I went to buy caramel-filled bonbons at Vosges Haut-Chocolat. From there I decided to go to The Water Tower Place and had a snack at Wow Bao, then I continued my stroll and eventually decided to go back to the hotel after my feet got so tired. Right before going back, I decided to drop by at Neiman to drool at handbags and more makeups, lol. I was just there to daydream and imagine really. There were some other stores/shops I wanted to visit. There’s Saks and Burberry has a nice building right there, but I was too haggard already. So off I went and had a nice relaxing evening at the pink-loving hotel. I wish I stayed longer, it’s been a nice short trip but it’s worth it. Surely when I come back I already know where to stay.

 

H & M chicago

the water tower place michigan avenue chicago

saks fifth avenue chicago

 

What are your favorite spots in Chicago?

 

For more of RAOS, follow on IG: @reviewsandotherstuff

 

 

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