February 8, 2016

My latest mask acquisitions are from the Sephora Collection: the Marine Algae Eye Mask, Green Tea Sleeping Mask, and Lotus Sleeping Mask. While this can now be ordered online from Sephora PH (this used to be Luxola.com, I think?), I got mine from Singapore at roughly the same price, cheaper by around 2 pesos.

So what is this sorcery?! Here's a quick rundown:

The Marine Algae Eye Mask promises to "enhance skin hydration from within and nourishes skin for deeply plumped, supple and balanced skin".

The Lotus Sleeping Mask is a moisturizing and soothing rich cream-gel textured sleeping mask that "locks in water and reduces signs of fatigue for the appearance of plumper, more rested skin".

The Green Tea Sleeping Mask is a mattifying and anti-blemish cream-gel textured sleeping mask for a matte, clean complexion.

*My Sephora mask experience*

Marine Algae Eye Mask
One pack contains two sheets - one for each undereye contour. It is soaked in the marine algae formula upon opening. Hay nako, don't be like me and wear the protective sheet instead of the actual mask. LOL. The mask is the soft white sheet while the protective sheet looks translucent when put on the skin. Watch the video below and see my booboo! LOL. XD

A video posted by Jen Tan (@missjenausten.ph) on

The mask is cooling and refreshing on the undereye area and this is coming from someone who regularly lacks sleep. The formula feels so light and was easily absorbed by my skin - no sticky residue! Since I only used this once, I wasn't really expecting any drastic change. I did notice though that my undereye area looked plumper like whenever I get to have a good night's rest.

Lotus Sleeping Mask

Though small at 0.27 oz, I was able to use the Sephora Lotus Sleeping Mask twice. I reckon it can even be stretched up to three uses. The mask comes in a pink gel cream formula which is easy to apply on the face. There's an instant cooling effect on the skin upon application. It really helped in hydrating my skin and similar to the Marine Algae Eye Mask, my skin looked plumper and more rested the morning after.

Green Tea Sleeping Mask

Like the Lotus Sleeping Mask, the Green Tea mask is also cooling to the skin. The mask comes in a green gel cream formula. I don't have as much love, though, for this one since it kind of dried up my skin. Maybe it got too mattifying? Anyhow, this might be good for those with very oily skin.

All in all, I like both the eye and sleeping masks. On a stressful Friday night, putting on this would be a good way to unwind and get a much-deserved relaxation.

February 6, 2016

The final installment of my 15 Hits of 2015...let's talk about one of my favorite topics - makeup!! *insert kilig girly scream*

Ok so I cheated a bit in this post. Normally, I would have just 5 products but I'm including the "runner-ups" in this post as well. Too many nice discoveries, too little space to talk about everything. Lol.

For the last 5 of my 15 Hits of 2015, *drumroll please*

...1) MAC Lightful Powder Foundation
I'll be the first to admit that I'm not the biggest fan of MAC powders. Its Studio Fix variant broke me out in the past although it's just fair to say it has amazing coverage. So trying out the MAC Lightful powder foundation was a huge risk for me. I was sold when the lovely MAC MUA, Isabelle, tried this on me. The powder is finely milled and gives the skin a nice glow, it's neither flat matte nor overly glowy, so I'd say this is good for oily skin. Best part? It doesn't break me out! Woohoo! If you're due for a new powder foundation, I highly recommend going to a MAC store and trying this on. You just might have found your next buy. :)

...2) Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask
We all went cray with face masks and now we even have hand and foot masks. So why not take care of our lips too, which is by the way very sensitive to weather changes. I got this as a free sample. It's a teeny pot but since you won't need a lot of product, I feel like this will last me for quite some time. It has a pleasant scent and glides smoothly like lip butter on the lips. This one really helped moisturize my lips and even get rid of dead skin even with just one application. Bye-bye flaking skin, hello soft lips! 

...3) Make Up For Ever Full Cover Concealer
LOVE love love this one! Full coverage, matte finish, and waterproof. What's not to love?!❤️ Best of all for me, it didn't break me out. Yay. So I'm completely sold. 'Nuff said. Take my money! Lol.

...4) Mary Kay Concealer
I have a confession to make: undereye concealing used to be one of my frustrations. I really found it difficult to conceal my eyebags even with the best brands. WHYYYYY. Until I stumbled into the Mary Kay concealer. I bought it months ago intending to use it on blemishes but never really liked it because it irritated my pimples and so it went to the back of my makeup drawer. Fast forward to several months after and a super destash session, I picked this up and swatched it. For a shade that's named Ivory, I thought the color looked a little too yellow. I had the crazy idea of trying it on my undereye area and, boom, I found the perfect match for my eyebags! They don't completely disappear but I love how just a small amount of the concealer brightens it and makes me look so much more well-rested. It's very blendable too!

...5) Innisfree Skinny Microcara
This stuff is Holy Grail Material. When I first tried it, I went "Holy, what is this sorcery?!". Your Asian lower lashes (code for short and sparse) will definitely love this. The skinny brush (they're not kidding when they said skinny) is able to coat my lashes without transferring mascara to my undereye area. Yay! It doesn't smear also throughout the day so double win. The only downside for me is that it's not available locally (boohoo), I picked this up in Bangkok and I can only wish now that I got more tubes for backup. Huhu. Oh well, I'll be stocking up on this the next time I get to an Innisfree store.

And the runner-ups...
...1) Happy Skin Feeling Sculptacular Face Contour Kit
Once you contour, it's gonna be so hard to go without it. Taas kamay ng mga nakaka-relate!😂 I recommend the Happy Skin Contour Kit for those days when you have little time and need something fool-proof. It has soft tones so this will be nice for heavy-handed users and it lasts throughout the day. 

...2) Heavy Rotation Powder Eyebrow and Nose Shadow
This is my go-to powder eyeshadow kit to match my colored hair. It's easy to apply, pigmented just the way I want it to be, and can also double as contour powder for the noseline and crease. For gals with colored hair (light brown shades), I recommend to pair this up with Heavy Rotation's eyebrow mascara. Sobrang plakado ng kilay.

...3) MAC Pro Longwear Concealer
It took me long to try this as I haven't had the best skin experience with MAC. My previous experience with it years ago left me with unfortunate breakouts. So I was a little skeptical when I sat down in the MAC makeup chair and had Isabelle (RP Manila branch, she's really good!) work her MAC magic on me. The coverage is good, matte in finish, and stays throughout the day. Sounds like MUFE, no? The only difference for me would be the texture - this one is more liquid. Thankfully, this one didn't break me out! 

...4) Eden's Paradise Lip Majikku
This is my quick-pick-me-up for my lips, providing moisture and a cooling sensation. It has Sakura extracts, Vitamins A, C, and E as ingredients. These skin-loving ingredients leave my lips soft and pinkish, perfect for tamad no-makeup days. I ordered mine in Instagram, check out @edensparadiseloyola.

...5) Dermacol Make-Up Cover
For full heavy coverage, I certainly recommend the Dermacol Make-Up Cover. Plakadong-plakado ang coverage! A little certainly goes a VERY long way. For days when you need good coverage and with very little time on your hands, this is a good option. Although, I don't really recommend this to oily-skinned gals because of its very creamy texture. Should you really want to try it, make sure to set with a good setting/mattifying powder.

...6) Happy Skin Shut Up and Kiss Me lippie in Pop the Question
Shut up, kiss me, and just pop the da*n question! Lol, don't you just wish you could say that sometime to the torpe guy who always does the sweetest things for you but ca never seem to find the guts to ask you out?😂 On a more serious note, this is another Happy Skin winner in my books (I have quite a few!) because of its soft pink shade which is completely wearable (sobrang nakaka-fresh), smooth texture, and moisturizing properties. 

January 8, 2016

Hola, bellas! To continue my post on my 15 Hits of 2015.....

 I am a product junkie, truth be told. I love trying out new products; although I have become more selective now since my skin is really waaayyy too sensitive (madaming feelings eh! LOL) and I have come to know its needs better.

I bring to you my top 5 skincare hits in 2015 (not counting the MAC Lightful Vibrancy Eye Cream), which is basically what makes up my current regimen. This one has worked the best for me so far.

Clinique Liquid Facial Soap Oily Skin Formula 

Don't let its transparency and liquid texture fool you. It's a cooling cleanser masquerading as water in a green bottle. This provides me the cool clean feeling I want after washing. At the end of the day, I think every girl just wants to take off makeup and relax. This allows me just that minus the tight feeling that most harsh cleansers leave.

Murad Acne and Wrinkle Reducer

Adult acne + fine lines + wrinkles = every 20-something's nightmare. It's even scarier than weight gain because you know you can lose fats but those lines look like they're about ready to settle in nicely. Yikes! Apart from drinking lots of water and praying for extra grace to smile even when stressed, the Murad Acne and Wrinkle Reducer is my go-to for decent skin. It has a medical smell, probably due to its Salicylic Acid content, that is tolerable. Don't worry about it being greasy because it's neither gel nor serum type but this is absorbed quickly by the skin and does not exacerbate oiliness.

Shu Uemura Tsuya Youthful Crystal Transparency Lotion

Another wonderful product masquerading as water in an iridescent purple bottle! This is a little more of an indulgence, not really a must-have, but it adds something extra to my regimen. I find that my skin absorbs moisturizer better when I apply this beforehand. I once stopped using this but found myself reaching for it after a week since my skin turned dull.

Laneige Water Bank Gel Cream_EX

Ever feel like your skin can use a tall glass of cold water? That's what the Laneige moisturizer is to my skin. I love its gel texture which makes it easily absorbed by the skin. No more greasy face! It also has a faint smell, like fragrant water (seriously, what?!), which is pleasant and non-irritating. Best part that I like is how it leaves a cooling sensation when applied, just what I need at the end of a long day after I take off all makeup and get ready for some zzzzz's. 

Laneige Water Sleeping Mask

Masks can be great and common knowledge has always told us to use it once a week. I haven't had good luck though with the many sheet masks I've tried. Most have irritated my skin or caused breakouts. Even clay masks can sometimes be harsh on my skin. This is why I've shied away from masks for a long time. Despite the unpleasant experiences, my penchant for trying new products almost always wins and led me to try the Laneige Water Sleeping. Now, this IS the bomb. Seriously. 

If I' not mistaken, sleeping masks are an innovation of the Koreans (who have the best skin, I suppose). The Laneige SA suggested that I partner this with the Water Bank Gel Cream for optimum results. Now, this one is recommended to be used twice a week but I cheat because I actually use it every night! Loving it, though. I sleep better with it since it also cools the skin. Daily use has resulted to more moisturized skin. I wake up to healthier and plumper skin. 

My skin is still far from the ideal state I want for it; I have my hormones my thank (not!). But these products have made the journey less "excruciating" (lol). I wonder how my 2016 skin journey will be. In the last part of 15 Hits 2015, we come to my most favorite part, makeup! Gasp! :)

January 4, 2016

Happy new year, everyone! I'm typing this in between laundry time, yup I'm trying to be more productive and squeeze in more writing time this year! *fingers crossed* I wanted to start 2016 by taking a look back at my 15 hits among the many misses of 2015. Buying cosmetics is really a matter of trial and error. And you know what they say, you'll never really until you try. So as not to bore everyone, I'm dividing this into 3 posts. Today let me tell you about the products I repurchased within the year (yes, it means I fell in love with it!).

(In no particular order)

Yay for repurchases!

Nippon Pro Blend Sponge Cleaner

The OC in me brought out my diligent once a week habit of cleaning my sponges and brushes this year and I've met my match in the Nippon sponge cleaner! It's a basic liquid cleaner with, I believe, antibacterial properties. I just squeeze a generous amount on the sponge, massage and squish it up to get the foundation residue out, then rinse. I repeat this for usually twice more just to be sure I'm getting everything out. Voila, my Beauty Blender and wedge sponges get all cleaned up in a few minutes!  I cannot emphasize the importance of keeping tools clean and this is my perfect partner for it. 

Accra Kappa Eau de Cologne White Moss

I chanced on Acca Kappa when I went gift shopping in Rustans. I was attracted to its minimalist packaging and fell in love at first sniff (haha) when I spritzed it. It had a really clean and fresh smell, like you just got out of the shower. It's like nothing can change how fresh you will smell throughout the day, haha. I won't exactly wear this on a special occasion (that would call for another perfume for another post) but this is my go-to scent for regular days in the office or casual dates. 

Growing up, I've never worn too much perfume. I actually shied away from it since my father is allergic to most scents (particularly strong ones) and we usually refrained from wearing perfumes in consideration. And so my perfume journey started a little bit late just this year when I realized a good perfume, just like the perfect pair of shoes or a tube of lipstick, can complete an outfit. Hey no harm in being a late bloomer, lol!

Celeteque Acne-Clearing Concealer 

Before I discovered my current favorite and HG concealer, Celeteque's concealer was the bomb for me. So much so that I repurchased it quite several times, I probably bought around 20 pieces of this! It's easy to use - the pointed tip makes it ideal even for small blemishes. Just dab on the spot and pat to blend with either fingers or a sponge then set with powder. I believe this has salicylic acid, which can also help in drying up the pimple. 

Make Up For Ever Step 1 Redness Correcting Primer 

The most random trips can sometimes yield the best discoveries and such is the case with MUFE's Redness Corrcting Primer, which I discovered in a random and impulsive trip to MUFE in Greenbelt. True to who I am, I walked in without any plans of buying and walked out with several items, this included. Lol. A sheer amount of this "green stuff" is incredibly effective in taming the redness of my pimples; concealer just isn't maximized without the aid of correctors. Redness minimized, longevity of concealer maximized. Win!

Nivea In-Shower Skin Conditioner 

Now this is my probably my best discovery for 2015. Perfect for girls who are just too lazy to put on lotion but suffer from dry skin. Hallelujah to this product that moisturizers just as well minus the hassle of waiting for the lotion to dry! It doesn't have a strong scent so you won't have to worry about it clashing with your signature perfume. I just slather it on after body wash and rinse in the shower then I am done with my moisturizing duties for the day. After using it for almost the whole year, my skin has never been softer and healthier. 

I'm excited which products I will discover and love this new year. May we never tire of trying out new stuff and finding wonder in each new discovery.❤️ 

⭐️Happy beautiful new year!⭐️ 

September 28, 2015


Put the Glass Down (and Look Up)

Image from gfx9.com

I must confess, it's been awhile since I blogged. And here I am after several months about to dish out on personal, non-beauty stuff. Some comeback, huh? Anyway, this is something I feel I must get off my chest so that I can proceed with other things (a.k.a. get back to work. oh wow.)

Stress is killing me today. Stress management has never been my strongest competency; I'm not very good in coping with sudden changes and roadblocks have a way of really irritating me (making me go into whining instead of immediate problem solving). Combine that with crazy hormones and you get one stressed out person. Wow, that's thrice the use of the S word in one paragraph!

So anyway, today was extra difficult. Looming deadlines and a lot of obstacles sort of got into me. You know how you just feel so, so tired and that you just feel like crying? That's how I felt at the end of this day. I stewed over this feeling for a few hours and I realized, hey it's okay to admit that I am tired! I don't have to be superwoman and deny myself the right to feel tired. I AM tired.

Doesn't mean that I have to keep feeling sucky, though.

Divine intervention just made itself felt and I came across a Facebook post on stress management shared by my boss, hence the stock photo for this post. Nope, it's not about the glass being half-empty or half-full. It was about holding the glass for how long. For better appreciation, let me quote part of the anecdote.
"The stresses and worries in life are like that glass of water. Think about them for a while and nothing happens. Think about them a bit longer and they begin to hurt. And if you think about them all day long, you will feel paralyzed – incapable of doing anything." It’s important to remember to let go of your stresses. As early in the evening as you can, put all your burdens down. Don't carry them through the evening and into the night. Remember to put the glass down!"
It makes much sense, right? I realized, why have I been holding the glass the whole day? Why let myself feel paralyzed and overwhelmed? I can do this! And if I can't find a way, won't my God find the way for me for the work He has given me? It's not very original but hey, it's still a lightbulb moment! For every stressed out lady (and gents too) who may get to read this, please consider putting the glass down and it won't help to look up and ask for His help (or even just consolation, it helps ;>).

Be blessed!

April 21, 2015

Your Prayers Can Bless Someone Today

My father received a call from my brother last night. That was a little unusual since we'd usually see him during weekends and do all the talking then. Not big talkers, my family. Hehe. 

It turns out he was in a "road accident" and was asking for advice. My brother was "t-boned" (his term) in an intersection by an Isuzu Cross wind. He drives a Honda Jazz. The window of his door was shattered and there were also dents on the passenger door. Good thing both have comprehensive insurance. 

Now this is not a rant post. I think they've been able to speak amicably about the incident. I'm just grateful to the Lord for:
A. Keeping both drivers safe especially my brother 
B. That my sister-in-law, nephew and his yaya weren't in the car at that time 

Thank you Lord for your protecting and guiding hands. My brother's guardian angel must have really been protecting him too as he luckily doesn't have any wounds after the window broke. Thank goodness! And I firmly believe that at that time, someone somewhere uttered a memorare for the one who needs it most and it was my brother who needed it most at that time. Thank you to that person, may the Lord bless you as your prayer has unknowingly blessed someone else. 

As my brother put it, ang kotse napapalitan pero ang buhay hindi. This kind of incident usually shakes us up. We realize how fleeting and replaceable material things are and the temporary time we are given to love our dear ones. Lastly, this reminds me how we can not discount how our prayers can bless others even without our knowledge. 

Keep cool heads, drive safely and don't forget to say your prayers today! 

God bless!

February 5, 2015

Eyeliners are just the thing of Asian ladies although I pretty much shied away from it because of my puffy undereye which tends to get dark once the eyeliner starts smearing. Ack, raccoon eyes alert! It doesn't help too that my oily lids just won't stop letting go of what I put on it (hehe!). My makeup journey, however, has showed me never to underestimate the power of a well-drawn line especially for Asian eyes. Sometimes it can make just the difference you need to complete a look! Enter my first Pixi product: the Endless Silky Eye Pen in Bronzebeam.

Though what I've said above is true, I must admit that the main reason why I bought the Pixi Endless Silky Eye Pen is because I saw it on one of my favorite beauty bloggers, Julia of Bless My Bag, and she totally rocked the smoky eye look using just the Eye Pen! Gasp! I was mesmerized by her photo and thought, 'I gotta get my hands on that pen!' After some dilly-dallying, I took the plunge and ordered it through Beauty MNL (see my previous post for my Beauty MNL experience).

Now, what can I say about it? LOVE it! And that's not just me being OA. ;-)

The Pixi Promise:
Waterproof, super-long-wear, no-smudge, no-budge eye liners. They glide on like seamless silk, and in a single sweep motion create a flawless, solid jewel-toned line. No retouching required all day - or night! Gentle on eyes, yet intensely coloured and super-silky. Waterproof. Paraben-free. Mineral oil-free. Preservative-free. Hypoallergenic.
The Verdict:

1. Waterproof? Long-wearing? No-smudge? No-budge? Solid YES to all of that! I wore this once for 10 hours straight (a wedding with a good number of tears, outdoor picture taking in a hilly location, Mcdonalds stopover before the reception and finally, a few more tears during the reception; you get the picture) and it stayed with me until the end when I finally had to wipe it off. Yeah, did I mention it also survived a rainy day with matching zipline adventure. \m/

2. It starts creamy and blendable for a good number of minutes before it finally sets and refuses to budge. I actually tried to copy Julia's look but ended up only semi-successful. :p

3. If there's any con I'll have to point is that you'll have to sharpen this at some point. I'm just being lazy, I know! Haha. I've already sharpened mine and though I haven't exactly achieved its original sharpness, it performs just as well on my lids. :-)

4. Even though it's described as a 'true bronze', you can control the intensity of the color by the pressure with which you apply it. I was initially put off by its satin-y finish but it's not actually very noticeable from a distance. It actually looks less harsh than matte liners but flattering all the same.

Swatching the Pixy Endless Silky Eye Pen in Bronzebeam
If the other shades perform just as well as the Bronzebeam, I just might end up getting a black one. Heehee! :)

I just realized that I have no decent photo wearing this. Hehe. So please make do with what I currently have. I'll try to update this post later with a nicer photo.:D

Wore it in a wedding

At Graphika Manila 2015
 And lastly, for the curious one, what's in the Endless Silky Eye Pen?
Ingredients List

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