flatlay photo of birchbox april 2019 unboxing with products like Vasanti® BrightenUp!® Enzymatic Face Rejuvenator, Love of Color Liquid Shimmer Shadow, OUAI Volume Spray - Travel-Size, 100% Pure Green Tea EGCG Concentrate Cream, Sunday Riley Luna Sleeping Night Oil, TPSY Lip Crush Lip Oil

BEAUTY REVIEW: Birchbox April 2019 Unboxing

This post may contain affiliate links which means I may receive a commission for purchases made through these links, at no additional cost to you. See my disclosure page. 


As I have mentioned in my previous post about Birchbox, I have been granted a free April box due to the shipping delay of my February box (that I got in March). For those of you who have never heard of Birchbox, it is a company that offers monthly subscription box filled with beauty products usually for sampling purposes. Most boxes contain at least 5 beauty products (makeup, skincare, haircare) all for just $15 + free shipping.

I know this post is so late since it’s already May (how crazy it is we’re almost halfway through 2019?!), but the past couple of weeks have been so busy for me I just have the worst time management. Anyway, let’s get on to unboxing my April 2019 Birchbox!

APRIL 2019 BIRCHBOX UNBOXING

Here’s an overview of all the products I received this month.

flatlay photo of birchbox april 2019 unboxing with products like Vasanti® BrightenUp!® Enzymatic Face Rejuvenator, Love of Color Liquid Shimmer Shadow, OUAI Volume Spray - Travel-Size, 100% Pure Green Tea EGCG Concentrate Cream, Sunday Riley Luna Sleeping Night Oil, TPSY Lip Crush Lip Oil

Birchbox ships their boxes in light pink box with cute titles next to your name such as Your Marvel in this case (my previous months had The Stunning and The Famed). I also quite like this month’s iridescent box!

Upon opening the box, there was a card with a short message regarding the new Birchbox experience since they recently increased their previous price of $10 to $15. On the other side of the card were little snippets of information regarding the products that are inside my box. I also got a coupon code for $15 off my next order in their shop!

Now let’s get on to the products themselves.

Birchbox subscription box April 2019 unboxing, asanti® BrightenUp!® Enzymatic Face Rejuvenator1. Vasanti® BrightenUp!® Enzymatic Face Rejuvenator ($34, full size)

This post-cleanser treatment tackles dullness, uneven skin tone, dark spots, and wrinkles in one glow-inducing step. Plus, it helps the rest of your skincare products absorb 20% better.

My thoughts: I have never heard of this brand, but as a skincare enthusiast, I would love to try this product! It also says that it’s paraben-free, sulfate-free, vegan friendly, 99% natural, never tested on animals, and no plastic beads. Sounds promising!

Birchbox subscription box April 2019 unboxing, OUAI Volume Spray - Travel-Size2. OUAI Volume Spray – Travel-Size ($12, full size)

This volumizing hair spray lifts roots and creates instant all-over volume without added weight. Plus, each of the brand’s products come in an addictive hibiscus scent.

My thoughts: I don’t think I really need this since my hair isn’t actually fine and flat, so I feel meh about this. Would probably still try using it, though.

Birchbox subscription box April 2019 unboxing, TPSY Lip Crush Lip Oil3. TPSY Lip Crush Lip Oil ($14, full size)

This sweetly scented oil hydrates your lips while adjusting to their natural pH, imparting a just-for-you hue that lasts all day. Not quite a gloss and not quite a balm, the satisfyingly smooth stain sinks in fast without leaving behind flakes or residue.

My thoughts: I’m excited for this product because it sounds like it works like a lip tint and lip tints are the BEST for girls like me who are usually too lazy to re-apply their lipstick throughout the day! However, most lip tints are drying but this lip oil claims it’s hydrating. Awesome.

Birchbox subscription box April 2019 unboxing, 100% Pure Green Tea EGCG Concentrate Cream4. 100% Pure Green Tea EGCG Concentrate Cream ($45, full size)

This face moisturizer is highly concentrated with potent antioxidants from green tea, acai, and olive. Its nutrient-rich formula protects against environmental damage and leaves your skin softened and fortified.

My thoughts: Yay for another skincare product! I’ve never heard of this brand, but an antioxidant moisturizer sounds very promising to me. I don’t think I’ll see much of a difference because it’s such a tiny sample (I initially thought it was an eye cream), but we’ll see!

Birchbox subscription box April 2019 unboxing, Love of Color Liquid Shimmer Shadow5. Love of Color Liquid Shimmer Shadow in shade Eclipse – Rose Gold ($10, full size)

This liquid shimmer eye shadow provides a subtle, sheer hint of color and shine that can be easily layered for a bolder look. The water-based formula feels lightweight and comfortable on your lids while providing long-lasting, flake-free wear.

My thoughts: I’ve been meaning to try liquid eyeshadows, so this is a nice addition to my Birchbox. I also love that I got the shade Eclipse which is rose gold because it’s definitely one of my favourite colours!

Birchbox subscription box April 2019 unboxing, Sunday Riley Luna Sleeping Night Oil6. Sunday Riley Luna Sleeping Night Oil – 1.18 oz. ($105, full size)

This retinol nighttime face oil is clinically proven to reduce the appearance of pores, wrinkles, and redness and visibly improve uneven texture, age spots, dryness, and dullness. In the morning, you’ll see more plump, smooth, luminous, and even-toned skin.

My thoughts: This was actually a personal choice because Birchbox gives you the option of customizing your box before they ship it to you. You can choose between two curated boxes (so you’ll know the exact products that you will receive) or you can choose 1 sample from 2 Sample Choice options then have the rest of the products be handpicked for you. A more detailed explanation regarding Birchbox’s customization can be found here.

Anyway, I chose this Sunday Riley night oil over a Wander Beauty lip retreat because I’ve been hearing so much good stuff about the brand. And can you just look at the price tag?! I don’t think I can ever splurge more than $100 on just one skincare product, so I’m glad I have the chance of trying it out with this 15ml sample.

Check out my previous subscription box unboxings:

BEAUTY REVIEW: April 2019 Ipsy Unboxing

BEAUTY REVIEW: Birchbox Feb 2019 and Mar 2019 Unboxing


My final verdict: This is, hands down, my most favourite box from all of the subscription boxes I have received. I am SO glad about the fact that I didn’t receive any black eyeliner or mascara (they really ruin boxes for me) and got more skincare products instead. The Sunday Riley alone was enough to make this box so worth it. Granted I didn’t pay for it because it was a complimentary box from Birchbox (their customer service is amazing, by the way).

I can definitely see that this is a new and improved Birchbox. If their future boxes are also like this one, then paying an extra $5 (as I’ve mentioned, they’re now $15/month instead of $10) every month wouldn’t be so bad. What do you think of this box? Are you also subscribed to Birchbox or any other beauty subscription box?

flatlay photo of ipsy lemon april 2019 bag with products like buxom mascara, eyeko eyeliner, 111skin serum, laura sanchez moods eyeshadow, tarte base tape

BEAUTY REVIEW: April 2019 Ipsy Unboxing

This post may contain affiliate links which means I may receive a commission for purchases made through these links, at no additional cost to you. See my disclosure page. 


Just a couple days ago, I finally received my April 2019 Ipsy bag in the mail. To those of you who may not know, Ipsy is a monthly beauty subscription box of 5-6 curated beauty products personalized for you. It costs only $10 a month + free shipping! The products are usually just samples, but there are also times when you can receive full-sized ones. If you want to subscribe, you can do so through my link.

APRIL 2019 IPSY BAG

This is the overview of all the products I received.

photo of ipsy lemon april 2019 bag with products like buxom mascara, eyeko eyeliner, 111skin serum, laura sanchez moods eyeshadow, tarte base tape

Ipsy bags ship in hot pink (or is it magenta?) poly mailers like this. I prefer this over Birchbox’s shipping boxes because it’s more compact and easier to recycle.

ipsy april 2019 poly mailer shipping bag

Now let’s get on to unboxing my April 2019 Ipsy bag!

Ipsy April 2019 Spring Lemon Makeup Bag1. Ipsy April 2019 Spring Lemon Makeup Bag

From superfood-infused formulas to juicy hues, the April 2019 Glam Bag is blooming with fresh beauty picks.

My thoughts: What I love about ipsy are the pretty makeup bags the products come in… and this one is probably my favourite, so far! So perfect for spring. Seems pretty sturdy, too!

BUXOM® Lash Volumizing Mascara in Blackest Black, Ipsy Subscription Box April 2019 Spring Bag2. BUXOM® Lash Volumizing Mascara in Blackest Black

BUXOM Cosmetics wants you to feel sexier in your skin, starting with a mascara that gives you the fluttery, fanned-out lashes of your dreams. The volumizing formula creates thick, clump-free lashes and an hourglass-shaped brush grips every lash for volume, length, and lift.

My thoughts: I’ve received a lot of mascara from other subscription boxes and as gifts with purchase from Ulta, so I’m not really that excited about this. 😦

EYEKO Black Magic Liquid Eyeliner, Ipsy Subscription Box April 2019 Spring Bag3. EYEKO Black Magic Liquid Eyeliner

Looking for a new liner to love? This A+ waterproof liner dries ASAP and won’t fade, smudge, or budge, so no worries about having to reapply. With its tapered precision tip, the looks you can create with it are limitless— go thin with your flick, or lay it on thick.

My thoughts: Just like the mascara, I have received loads of black liner from subscription boxes and as gifts with purchase… and I hate this more than mascaras (which I actually use regularly) because I don’t use liners that much + I received a full sized one (this one is just travel size) of their Skinny Liquid Eyeliner from Birchbox.

Ipsy Subscription Box April 2019 Spring Bag, LAURA SANCHEZ Moods Eyeshadow in Rose Gold WomanIpsy Subscription Box April 2019 Spring Bag, LAURA SANCHEZ Moods Eyeshadow in Rose Gold Woman4. LAURA SANCHEZ Moods Eyeshadow in Rose Gold Woman

Laura Sanchez is a Colombian makeup artist that was NYX FACE’s 2016 Beauty Vlogger of the Year and her brand is all about bold colour and self expression. This highly-pigmented metallic, pinky rose gold eyeshadow is ultra creamy and blends easily to set your creative urges free.

My thoughts: HOW PRETTY IS THE PACKAGING!! I love it so much. This is just a sample of one of the eyeshadows in Laura Sanchez’s palette and I’m glad I got this shade because it’s something I would actually use. Hopefully it doesn’t suck!

Ipsy Subscription Box April 2019 Spring Bag, 111SKIN Y Theorem Repair Serum5. 111SKIN Y Theorem Repair Serum

111SKIN was founded by globally renowned cosmetic surgeon Dr. Yannis Alexandrides, who was searching for a formula to help his patients’ skin heal after surgery. That’s why this luxe serum does it all—it hydrates, helps boost collagen production, and helps minimize the appearance of fine lines.

My thoughts: I’ve never heard of this brand, but its claims are pretty interesting. I could use a serum in my skincare routine right now!

Ipsy Subscription Box April 2019 Spring Bag, TARTE Double Duty Beauty™ Base Tape Hydrating Primer6. TARTE Double Duty Beauty™ Base Tape Hydrating Primer

This brand new primer does more than keep your makeup in place—it’s loaded with healthy ingredients, like jojoba and grapeseed extracts, to help keep your skin hydrated for 12 full hours.

My thoughts: This is the only product that was actually familiar to me. I’ve heard good things about this primer, so I’m really happy I’ve got the chance to try it out!


Final verdict: I wasn’t actually planning on getting Ipsy this month. I just forgot to cancel my subscription (I just skipped last month’s subscription and then forgot that it will automatically re-subscribe the next month) so I’m extra annoyed when I saw I’ll be receiving another mascara and black eyeliner again. I love the cute bag and the Tarte base tape, though I won’t be resubscribing anymore. Are you subscribed to Ipsy? What do you think of this month’s products?

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missha, Procure Hair Two Phase Treatment, hair, care, treatment, frizz, korean, beauty, kbeauty

BEAUTY REVIEW: Missha Procure Hair Two Phase Treatment

Hello everyone! I am here to review something that I’ve been using for a year now as part of my haircare: Missha’s Procure Hair Two Phase Treatment!

missha, Procure Hair Two Phase Treatment, hair, care, treatment, frizz, korean, beauty, kbeauty

It’s currently out of stock on Missha’s website but you can it buy it on Ebay for $9.99, though I personally bought mine back when I was still in Manila.

PRODUCT DESCRIPTION

Nourishing hair treatment to provide glossy and voluminous hair.

PRODUCT DETAILS

1. 2 Layers for Moisture & Nourishment
Hydrating water layer and nourishing oil layer simultaneously absorb into damaged hair to provide shine and moisture
2. Hair Volume-Up Effect
Contains Volume Up Polymer to provide volume to thin and weak hair
3. No Rinse Hair Treatment
Convenient to use as the water treatment can be sprayed onto hair without the need to rinse afterward

As someone with frizzy and wavy hair, I needed a hair product like this. I usually use it after washing my hair by simply spraying the product on the ends of my hair and avoiding my roots. This is how my hair (I haven’t had a haircut for over a year!) looks without any product.

BEFORE

missha, Procure Hair Two Phase Treatment, hair, care, treatment, frizz, korean, beauty, kbeauty

Now let’s apply the product…

missha, Procure Hair Two Phase Treatment, hair, care, treatment, frizz, korean, beauty, kbeauty

AFTER

See the major difference on the part of my hair that was sprayed on with the product? It’s instantly smoother and shinier!

missha, Procure Hair Two Phase Treatment, hair, care, treatment, frizz, korean, beauty, kbeauty

This is how my hair looks like after. Less frizzy, shinier, but not greasy at all!

missha, Procure Hair Two Phase Treatment, hair, care, treatment, frizz, korean, beauty, kbeauty


Final verdict: I’ve used this product for over a year, so I could say I did like it. I also still have a good amount left (it’s a 210ml bottle), so I probably could still use it for another few weeks! How cost-effective is that? However, I don’t think it’s the best product for my hair as the effect is not really long lasting.

Pros:

  • you can see instant results
  • the fragrance isn’t so strong and makes your hair smell nice
  • it’s affordable
  • it doesn’t make your hair look/feel greasy (which is usually my experience when it comes to hair products)

Cons:

  • the smoothing effect doesn’t really last long so you would have to reapply
  • it claims it provides voluminous hair, but I don’t think it does
  • all the details at the back of the product is written in Korean so I don’t know the ingredients

Have you tried this? What’s your favourite hair treatment product?

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inflatable island, subic, philippines, travel, beach, summer, pastel, fun, unicorn, friends, getaway

TRAVEL DIARY: Inflatable Island Subic In Olongapo, Philippines

So this is actually a really, reallyyyy late post because I went here with my friends last July 2018. Obviously, blogging hasn’t been a priority then which is why I’m only posting this now but Inflatable Island deserves to be blogged about!

inflatable island, subic, philippines, travel, beach, summer, pastel, fun, unicorn, friends, getaway

We went at the time there was a storm in Olongapo. When we were actually in Manila, it was raining so hard that we were a little disheartened but we still pushed through because 1) we already cancelled the first time due to a storm again (what’s worse is that my friend and I were already there before deciding to take a rain check) and 2) we already cleared up our schedules (which is hard when you’re all working or in med school) for this trip. When we got to Olongapo, the weather was actually still gloomy and it was still drizzling. So just imagine our happiness when Mr. Sun finally showed up a couple hours later when we got to the beach! It felt so perfect.

Inflatable Island also has a detailed instructions on how to get there. We just took a Victory Liner bus from Cubao bound to Olongapo. It was around Php 205 at that time.

You can book your tickets on their website, just like we did to save more money. The following rates are taken from their website (Mar 2019) which may change so it’s better to check the website for accuracy. We took the spray pass or the half day pass which means we were allowed to play at the inflatables for 4 hours (I think it was around 8am-12nn).

It’s also best to bring a friend who’s celebrating their birthday month because they get a free ticket for every 2 paying people, which is what we did for one of our friend who is a July baby. I’m not sure if this promo is still on going so you should always check their Facebook page.

inflatable island subic rates

With any play pass comes a whole day pass in this Bali Lounge, though! Personally, the one-hour or two-hour pass would have sufficed because it is tiring to play at the inflatables (and could trigger motion sickness, if you’re like me!!). I actually only lasted for like an hour before I decided to go back to the shore and take a little trip to their clinic (yes, they have a clinic and a nurse – safety first!) because the inflatables made me feel a little nauseous.

lounging at the colorful pastel bali lounge at inflatable island subic, olongapo, philippines

two girl friends at inflatable island, subic, philippines overlooking the beach, travel

So yeah, I basically wasted my half day pass trying to get over my nausea by the picnic tables on the shore while my girl friends played at the inflatables because I’m such a loser. When their time at the inflatables was up, they went back to the shore, telling me stories of what I’ve missed out on when they were at the play area!

girl by the beach at inflatable island, subic, philippines, travel

Watch us attempt typical blogger poses! Haha!

blogger poses with girl friends during our summer beach get away at inflatable island, subic, philippines, travel

My girl gang ever since nursing school. This was actually our first ever trip to the beach! 🙂

inflatable island, subic, philippines, travel, beach, summer, pastel, fun, unicorn, friends, getaway

Of course I gotta have some IG-worthy shots… even though these actually never made it on my IG feed! I can be so lazy when it comes to my IG sometimes.

We got hungry after playing (mostly my friends) so we bought this boodle fight platter from the resort. It was pretty pricey, but outside foods and drinks aren’t allowed! We also bought some alcoholic drinks (yes, they do offer them) but we didn’t like them because they were too strong for our liking.

boodle fight food from inflatable island, subic, olongapo, philippines, travel eats, filipino food

Also, can I just share with you the reality of getting on these inflatable unicorns?! They’re a 3-person job! It was a STRUGGLE getting on this, especially since the waves were still pretty strong. We all got our individual shots, thanks to teamwork! Haha!

The final result of our struggle:

girl on a unicorn floatie at inflatable island, subic, olongapo philippines, travel


Final verdict: And that’s it for our memorable trip to Inflatable Island. It is, indeed, very IG-worthy that people from all over the world are visiting the island! I’ve read from their Facebook page that there are even new installations and it seems it’s even more fun now. Hopefully, I can visit again someday when I come back home to the Philippines. Would you love to visit this island, too? 🙂

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birchbox subscription box for february 2019 and march 2019 unboxing

BEAUTY REVIEW: Birchbox Feb 2019 and Mar 2019 Unboxing

This post may contain affiliate links which means I may receive a commission for purchases made through these links, at no additional cost to you. See my disclosure page. 


For those of you who have never heard of Birchbox, it is a company that offers monthly subscription box filled with beauty products usually for sampling purposes. Most boxes contain at least 5 beauty products (makeup, skincare, haircare) all for just $10 (they have recently increased their price to $15)! Personally, I think it’s a good way to discover new products, to build your beauty inventory, and to try out products first before making the splurge.

Anyway, I started my subscription last February mainly for their on-going promo at that time which is you’ll get 2 boxes for a 1 month subscription. That’s basically $5 each box! Unfortunately though, my first subscription got affected by a huge shipping delay (my box was stuck in NY since February 19 and I only got the box last March 13) because they decided to change their shipping company. To be fair, though, Birchbox has emailed me this weeks ago. That’s a pretty impressive customer service, considering the box only costs $10! My March box was already billed to me which is why my free box would be on April.

birchbox, email, customer service, cs

So because of that massive delay, I got two boxes arrive at my doorstep. I really thought they were the buy one, get one promo for February but upon opening the boxes, I realised they were not. They’re my February and March boxes. I don’t know what happened to the promo box, but I emailed them to follow up and a few days later, somebody from their customer service got back to me, apologised for the missing promo box, and instantly placed a new order for it! That’s pretty amazing customer service.

Now let’s move on to the best part: time to show you the contents of my boxes! The boxes ship in these pretty light pink boxes and they wrote The Famed and The Stunning before my name, haha! Pretty cute of them, but also kinda embarrassing when somebody else receives your box (just like what happened to me!)

birchbox subscription light pink boxes shipment


FEBRUARY BOX

February box comes in a Valentine’s-themed box, of course!

february, subscription, box, birchbox, benefit, juara, eyeko, no5, wilmaschumann, makeup, products, beautyfebruary, subscription, box, birchbox, benefit, juara, eyeko, no5, wilmaschumann, makeup, products, beauty

 

eyeko skinny liquid eyeliner black, february, subscription, box, birchbox, makeup, products, beauty1. Eyeko Skinny Liquid Eyeliner ($22, full size)

This liquid eyeliner gives you the most precise line—of any thickness—thanks to its easy-to-hold pen tip. Whether you want to achieve a subtle and defined line or a more advanced cat eye, the deep, black color makes any eye pop.

My thoughts: I don’t really use eyeliner (mainly because I suck at it) so this feels meh to me. And really, it retails for $22?!

juara candlenut body creme, february, subscription, box, birchbox, makeup, products, beauty

2. JUARA Candlenut Body Creme ($35, full size)

Its velvety formula, inspired by venerable Balinese recipes, penetrates deep into dry, rough skin for instant, non-greasy softness that lasts and lasts.

My thoughts: I only got a 10ml sample size which I don’t think is enough to actually cover my whole body so I’ll be using it as a hand cream instead. I like the smell and I like the fact that it’s 100% cruelty-free! 

wilma schumann european skin care hydrating collagen eye pads, february, subscription, box, birchbox, makeup, products, beauty

3. Wilma Schumann Skin Care Hydrating Collagen Eye Pads ($18, 5 pairs)

These hydrating undereye masks visibly plump and restore your delicate eye area by reducing the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and puffiness.

My thoughts: My box only includes 1 pair. I haven’t used eye pads in such a long time so this should be a nice treat when I feel like pampering myself! The packaging also says that it’s cruelty-free!

benefit gimme brow no 5, february, subscription, box, birchbox, makeup, products, beauty

4. Benefit Cosmetics Gimme Brow+ Volumizing Eyebrow Gel ($24, full size)

This brow gel enhances and defines sparse brows with a combo of volumizing microfibers and a water-resistant tint for natural-looking fullness.

My thoughts: Now this is a familiar brand for me. I’ve heard of this product so I actually liked receiving a deluxe sample. I got it in shade 5/deep black-brown (cool) which I guess is pretty accurate for my dark Asian hair.

no5 high performance hair care smoothing balm, february, subscription, box, birchbox, makeup, products, beauty5. Number 4™ Jour d’automne Smoothing Balm ($30, full size)

Prep damp strands with this styling cream, which contains tiny molecules that penetrate each strand to minimize frizz, give touchable texture, and protect against heat damage.

My thoughts: This 30-ml sample contains quite a generous amount of product! I love applying hair treatments after washing my hair and my current hair mist is running out so I can definitely use this. I love that it’s cruelty-free, too!


MARCH BOX

march, subscription, box, birchbox, marula, purlisse, , no5, wilmaschumann, makeup, products, beauty, flatlaymarch, subscription, box, birchbox, marula, purlisse, , no5, wilmaschumann, makeup, products, beauty, flatlay

 

marula light hair treatment styling oil, march subscription, box, birchbox, makeup, products, beauty1. Marula Light Hair Oil Treatment ($30, full size)

This sulfate and paraben-free oil conditions, tames frizz, and adds shine without weighing hair down. Run a dime-sized amount through damp or dry strands.

My thoughts: This product is specifically for fine or normal hair, but my beauty profile on Birchbox says that I have wavy and frizzy hair. Well, they missed that one… but I’m most likely gonna use it, anyway.

modelco metallic eyeshadow trio, march subscription, box, birchbox, makeup, products, beauty2. ModelCo Metallic Eyeshadow Trio ($18)

This eyeshadow trio offers three rich, vibrant colors to create a sultry eye look. The formulas blend seamlessly and leave a metallic finish.

My thoughts: I don’t use eyeshadows often, but this would be nice to play around with! I hope it has a nice colour payoff. It’s also cruelty-free!

naturabrasil castanha hand cream, march subscription, box, birchbox, makeup, products, beauty

3. Natura Castanha Hand Cream ($19.50, full size)

This delicately scented hand balm softens and smooths skin while strengthening its natural moisture barrier. The rich texture absorbs quickly, leaving hands feeling comfortable, not greasy.

My thoughts: I initially thought it was Glossier cloud paint (ha, dream on, Angel!) or at least a cloud paint dupe so I’m pretty disappointed when I realised it was a hand cream. Oh well. Also, I’m not very fond of the way it smells. Some people might like the clean scent, but it smells like… hand soap for me?

purlisse watermelon energizing aqua balm, march subscription, box, birchbox, makeup, products, beauty4. Pūrlisse Watermelon Energizing Aqua Balm ($45.00, full size)

This oil-free gel moisturizer instantly energizes and hydrates skin. With cooling ingredients like watermelon, aloe vera, and cucumber, it also calms and soothes inflammation.

My thoughts: I’ve never heard of this product and I never would have thought it’s owned by an Asian woman because the name’s pretty European, I guess? I haven’t tried it yet but I’m excited to! Also, the watermelons on the packaging are pretty cute.

mannakadar eyeliner, march subscription, box, birchbox, makeup, products, beauty

5. Manna Kadar Eyedylic Gel Eyeliner ($19.00, full size)

This jet black liner glides on your lids effortlessly, thanks to the gel formula that’s designed for long lasting wear, and keeps your liner in place all day long.

My thoughts: OH, NO. NOT ANOTHER EYELINER.

luxie eye shading brush, march subscription, box, birchbox, makeup, products, beauty

6. Luxie Beauty 213 Eye Shading Rose Gold Brush ($12.00) – BONUS PRODUCT

This eye shadow brush has just the right shape and density to apply cream, powder, or liquid formulas to your lids. Its rose gold and pink casing adds a chic touch to your makeup bag and the synthetic bristles are super soft.

My thoughts: Got a bonus product! That almost makes up for the fact that I received an eyeliner again. I love the colour of this! The bristles are indeed soft and I could actually use an eyeshadow brush in my limited makeup brush collection. 


Final verdict: I can’t say I’m extremely crazy about all the products I got, but for the price, I guess I can’t complain. I’m also a little disappointed the promo box didn’t arrive with my February box which is the main reason I subscribed in the first place. But still, kudos to their customer service for the free month they’re giving me just because my February box shipped late! Right now, I’m currently unsubscribed to Birchbox but who knows, maybe the free April box might change my mind! What about you? Are you a current Birchbox subscriber or a future subscriber? Which item did you like best? Let me know!

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l'occitane, almond beauty smoothing gift, shea orange blossom fragrance solidarity balm, haul, shopping, beauty, skincare, flatlay

BEAUTY HAUL: L’Occitane With Free Gift & Samples For Only $6.59!!

So last International Women’s Day, I made a purchase on L’Occitane because they were offering free shipping on any order AND there’s a free gift set (valued at $18.50) with promo code BODY or SPRING, no minimum spend! It’s still valid as of writing this so go get your own gift set now! You can also visit their stores to get this even without purchase. How awesome is that?

l'occitane, almond beauty smoothing gift, shea orange blossom fragrance solidarity balm, haul, shopping, beauty, skincare, flatlay

My only purchase was actually this Shea Orange Blossom Fragrance Solidarity Balm for $6. My lips have been hella dry lately so I’m excited to try this out! I also really like how cute the packaging is and that I can re-use the tin can it comes in when I’ve used up the product.

This is the product’s description:

100% of the profits* from the sale of this orange blossom fragranced balm will finance NGOs projects to promote women’s leadership in Burkina Faso, with the support of the L’OCCITANE Foundation. Helps nourish, protect and soften skin, lips and hair.

Ideal for:
– Skin, lips and hair
– Helping nourish, protect and soften
– Travel

l'occitane, shea orange blossom fragrance solidarity balm, haul, shopping, beauty, skincare, flatlay

And this is the free gift that comes in a super fancy box! I’m so happy with this.

This kit contains :
– Almond Shower Oil 1.1 fl. oz.
– Almond Supple Skin Oil 0.5 fl. oz.
– Almond Delicious Hands 0.3 Net Wt. oz.
– L’Occitane Box

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With every purchase, you can also choose a ritual sample. I chose the hydrating & nourishing ritual and the samples come in this little card.

This ritual includes :

– Aqua Réotier Ultra Thirst-Quenching Gel Sample
– Shea Butter Ultra Rich Body Cream Sample
– Shea Butter Hand Cream Sample

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Final verdict: My first shopping experience at L’Occitane has been really pleasant. I appreciate the generous freebie and how nicely packaged everything was, down to the samples! Getting all these stuff for only $6.59 + free shipping (due to the International Women’s Day promo, though you can also get it for the same price when you buy in store!) was such a steal. Have you gotten your free L’Occitane gift yet?

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TRAVEL DIARY: KitTea Cat Cafe & Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco, California

Hi blog, I’m back!! Finally, after almost 3 years? Funny that my last post was also posted after abandoning my blog for like 4 months. Guess I’m consistent like that, haha! Anyway, a lot in my life has changed since then. The most major one is I have recently moved from the Philippines to the US last December 2018… which is why today’s blog post is about my recent trip to San Francisco.

So just 2 weeks ago,  Jason (my friend ever since high school back in the PH) who is now in LAX called me at around 12nn to tell me he’s planning on flying to SFO and he could get there around 2:30 (the perks of being an employee of an airline company!!). I live in the East Bay and I absolutely love San Francisco so of course, I said yes.

We agreed to meet at San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, but since it was already pretty late when we got together (almost 4pm and the museum is closing at 5:30pm), we decided to cancel the museum and go somewhere else instead. Since it’s his first time in SF, we decided to visit Fisherman’s Wharf because that’s the most touristy spot I could think of. While waiting for our Uber ride somewhere a couple blocks away from SF MoMA, Jason spotted this AmazonGo store so we decided to take a visit. I didn’t buy anything, but Jason did and it was a pretty cool experience! You just have to download the app, put in your card details, and you can already enter the store. Just pick up anything you want to buy and it’s automatically placed in your cart in the app (no scanning at all!) and then you’re free to get out of the store. Your card will just then get charged. It was so fast we still had a couple minutes before our Uber ride finally arrived.

A short Uber ride later, we finally got to Fisherman’s Wharf, particularly in Pier 39. We went to watch the sea lions for a while (I forgot to take photos because I kept taking videos, oops) and then looked around the stores. I got some San Francisco postcards, just in case I felt like doing Postcrossing again. I also saw these San Francisco-themed hand creams from Laline. Almost wanted to buy them for the packaging, but reminded myself I don’t use hand creams. Haha!

We got some Trish’s Mini Donuts because I got to try them the first time I went to SF with my family. They are so good!! No wonder there’s always people lining up for them. 😉

And after that, I didn’t know where else to go anymore because I’m really not a great tour guide and it’s only my third time in SF! So we just walked around and somehow got to talking about what’s there to do at Oakland and I just know there’s a cat cafe there. That led to us Googling if there’s a cat cafe in SF… and there is one!! It’s KitTea Cat Cafe.

KitTea Cat Cafe’s Story (taken from their website)

Our purpose is to not only save cats, but also show humans just how relaxing and heart-warming they can be.

Slow down, sip some high-quality tea, mute anxiety, and support rescue cats. 

We provide high-quality care to our permanent resident rescue felines and foster and feature cats from rescues in order to socialize and find them homes at each cat’s own pace. Whenever possible, we go outside of the area to shelters to rescue high-risk cats in euthanasia shelters.

How awesome are they?! Anyway, we got there at around 6pm but we were only allowed to get in at 6:30pm because the cats are still being fed. In the meantime, I read this booklet which contained some information about the cats while I was drinking my tea.

It costs $20 each person to get in the cat lounge. It comes with bottomless tea and most importantly, one hour with the cats! I don’t even really drink tea, but I don’t care; I just want to pet some cats again! And I also don’t mind paying $20 because it’s going to a good cause anyway. 🙂

Warning: the following photos are going to be filled with cats.

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This black cat was so talkative! He was also very energetic and kept running on the wheel as if he was a hamster, haha. Meanwhile, the cat on the fancy seat mostly slept the whole time.

Feline Groovy In SF. How witty is that?

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The employees of the cafe were also there to assist us in taking good photos with the cats… Look at this one showing off her butt for the camera, haha! I was obviously so happy.

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Some of the cats here are also adoptable! The ones with the bows are. I would really like to adopt the gray one if I only had my own place! 😦

Don’t they just look so IG-worthy?

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This is how they look like waiting for food despite being fed only less than an hour ago. That’s how well they’re taken care of.

Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end. Our 1 hour is over!

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Final verdict: Needless to say,  Jason and I had so much fun hanging out that day. San Francisco is such a beautiful city! I was just telling him there’s something different about SF and he definitely agrees now that he’s seen it. There’s just a certain vibe, you know? And to top it all, I found my happy place in KitTea Cat Cafe and I am so thankful I finally got my cat fix (I miss my 3 cats in the PH!!). I will definitely be back. What do you think, guys? Are you a cat person who would love to visit this cat cafe, too?

KitTea Cat Cafe is located at 96 Gough St, San Francisco, CA 94102.

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WHEN IN MANILA: Plane Bistro

… I know, I know. I completely abandoned this blog again for 4 freaking months! I am the WORST. Life got so crazy (read: I got a job that required me working 6x/week for like 70 hours) and blogging just became the last thing on my list of priorities. However, I did miss blogging and reading blogs just inspired me to go back to the blogging world again. Would I be consistent this time? I don’t know and I’m not going to promise anything. But hey, I’m just glad I’m trying to start again. Haha!

Anyway, my comeback post would be about this recent restaurant that I visited with my family called Plane Bistro. The theme was just so interesting and made me feel extreme wanderlust!

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Above pictures are from the first floor of the restaurant. Unfortunately, I forgot to take a picture of the place’s facade. Oops. As you can see, a plane (where the counter is actually located) will welcome you. I also like the different clocks depicting the times of different places in the world!

We opted to stay at the second floor…

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Major plane feels, isn’t it?

Even the waitresses are wearing flight attendant-like uniforms and are pushing these trolleys with food on them. The menu also says “in-flight”. Definitely made me feel like I was indeed on a plane!

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Love these frames.

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Had to take some pictures of me in this awesome place, of course. As you can see, I gained weight (I’m blaming my workmates who keep feeding me fast food). Haha!

Kids will definitely love this place. Look at my happy little brother! There were actually a couple kids around when we visited and they were all so happy just playing around the “plane”.

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Some tables had these placeholders with different countries written all over them… guess we were at France!

Now let’s get on the food!

These are what we had as our starters (or engine starters as they’re called on the menu): buffalo wings (Php 130) and Fish and Chips (Php 125). They tasted okay, I guess. I’m not saying they were bad but they were not really that memorable, in my honest opinion. 🙂

Left picture is seafood pesto which my sister and my mother had. It tasted like your usual pesto, honestly. Right one is creamy chicken pasta which is one of their best sellers, according to the flight attendant/waitress. I had it and it was really good, you guys! Liked it better than the pesto (and pesto is like one of my favourite pastas). All Pasta-A-rrival costs Php 175 each.

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I also had this turbulence, salted caramel popcorn (Php 95). I liked it but after a while, it got a little harder to enjoy because the taste was jut too sweet. Definitely tasted like popcorn, though! Loved the real popcorn on top of the drink. My little brother and my mother had the mango and apple fruit shakes, also for Php 95 each.

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With the family 🙂

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Final verdict: Overall, we enjoyed our flight at Plane Bistro. The place was really awesome. The ambiance and the service of the restaurant were great. However, we do think the food could be better given the price. It is not THAT expensive, but it’s definitely pricier compared to other restaurants with better food. It makes me think we’re just really paying for the restaurant experience (which is really cool, anyway). So all in all, I think you should still give this unique place a try!

Plan Bistro is located at 1229 Kundiman St, Sampaloc, Manila, 1008 Metro Manila.

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wet n wild megalast matte lipsticks flatlay

MAKEUP REVIEW: Wet n Wild Megalast Lipsticks Swatches + MAC dupes

Today, I will be reviewing my current favourite lipsticks: the Megalast lipsticks from Wet n Wild!

I’ve heard so many good things about these lipsticks (they even get to be called dupes of some famous MAC lipsticks) that I knew I had to get a hold of them. But while MAC lipsticks cost like $20 ea, these ones only cost $1.99 ea (on Wet n Wild‘s website). However, here in the Philippines, they cost Php 299.00 (like $6.00) at the malls. Crazy!

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I currently have 8 in my collection.

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wet n wild megalast matte lipsticks

So for the packaging… they are obviously just made of plastic. The lipstick itself is held by a black tube with an acrylic cap. Honestly, they’re not the most sturdy of packaging but hey, they are so cheap I’m willing to overlook it!

Another problem, too, is how the lipstick itself doesn’t go all the way down the tube and instead protrudes a little bit (as shown in the picture above)… it could get really messy! I’ve been REALLYYY careful but the lipstick still gets nicked when I’m putting the cap back on most of the time. As a matter of fact, I had to clean the caps up before I took the photos because there were lipstick smears all over them. Not cute!

However, packaging aside, the quality of these lipsticks are AMAZING. They are so pigmented and creamy enough as they’re not totally matte, but semi-matte. I’ll get on to the swatches, shall I?

wet n wild megalast matte lipstick swatches

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Gorgeous swatches, aren’t they?! I don’t know about you, guys, but I love looking at lipstick swatches on my arms… they’re just so nice to look at, haha! Anyway, you can clearly see how pigmented these lipsticks are even with just 1 swipe!

Next up: lip swatches! Warning: selfie galore.

  1. Bare It All – This shade was on top of my list when I went shopping for these lipsticks. I wanted a good nude shade (thanks, Kylie Jenner) and I also heard this was a dupe for MAC’s Velvet Teddy! However, while it looks so good on other people, it felt a little too light for me that I kinda want to add a deeper shade for it to look better on me.

 

wet n wild megalast matte lipstick makeup swatches, bare it all

2. In The Flesh – This is currently my go-to lipstick. It’s definitely MLBB (my lips but better) lipstick shade! It’s like the perfect shade of nude for me.

wet n wild megalast matte lipstick makeup swatches, in the flesh

3. Rosebud – This shade is perfect when you feel like being girly. It just has the right amount of pink. Excuse the duck face selfie, though!

wet n wild megalast matte lipstick makeup swatches, in the flesh, rosebud

4. Spiked With Rum – This is another one of my favourites. I love how the shade is between nude and brown (which is the shade I usually wear nowadays).

wet n wild megalast matte lipstick makeup swatches, spiked with rum

5. Pinkerbell – Woah, Nicki Minaj! That’s exactly how I feel when I put on this lipstick, haha! I was so surprised at how bright this was when I first used this (it looked so nice on BeautyWithEmilyFox whose swatch video I watched before buying these lipsticks). I actually just felt resigned and thought I’d never get to wear these lipsticks anywhere, but I tried again (see on selfies) and saw that it worked quite well with my hair up! This is also a perfect dupe for MAC’s Viva Glam Nicki.

wet n wild megalast matte lipstick makeup swatches, pinkerbell

6. Mauve Outta Here – This one I’m honestly quite disappointed in. Don’t get me wrong, the shade is beautiful but I expected mauve to be more on the purple side instead of pink (which was the case here). Still a pretty shade, though not really mauve for me. How witty is the name, though?!

wet n wild megalast matte lipstick makeup swatches, mauve outta here

6. Stoplight Red – This lipstick is the PERFECT shade of red. Seriously, I love this so much! It’s also a dupe for the world’s most famous MAC lipstick shade ever, Ruby Woo. With that said, I lost count on how many times I’ve referred to this lipstick as Ruby Woo (case in point: I typed Ruby Woo instead of Stoplight Red). I’ve personally tried Ruby Woo on the other half of my lips and Stoplight Red on the other half AND I CANNOT TELL THE DIFFERENCE. Favourite red lipstick, definitely!

wet n wild megalast matte lipstick makeup swatches, stoplight red

8. Sugar Plum Fairy – This one I just added on my list because it’s one of Wet n Wild’s famous shades. I’m not into purple-coloured lipsticks, so I thought I might as well have one in my collection. This didn’t disappoint! It’s exactly how plum should look like. I think it’s such a perfect colour for fall and it just gives off such an edgy look. And oh yeah, it’s also a dupe for MAC Rebel.

wet n wild megalast matte lipstick makeup swatches, sugar plum fairy


 

My verdict: I think it goes without saying (if you read all my random comments above) that these are my favourite lipsticks right now. They’re such a steal for their cheap price without the reduced quality… they might be inexpensive, but they are so pigmented and there are so many shades that can pass up as MAC lipstick shades.

Their staying power is also good. They could last a couple of hours (without drinking and eating, of course). I love how they’re not completely matte because it means they’re not so drying. The application is very creamy, just the way I like it!

Sadly, I only have 8 shades (out of the 24, I think?) at the moment but I’m fairly confident the other shades wouldn’t disappoint. I’ll definitely be buying more in the future (not now because I might be moving soon).

The only thing I have a complaint about is the packaging. I wish they were better… it’s okay if they stay plastic; I just want the lipstick to go all the way down the tube!! It just makes the lipsticks so messy, no matter how careful you are at putting the caps back on.

Positives:

  • super cheap
  • very pigmented
  • creamy application (and not drying on the lips!)
  • so many shades to choose from (and with the cheap price, you can totally buy all of them)
  • some shades are MAC dupes (Bare It All for MAC’s Velvet Teddy, Pinkerbell for MAC’s Viva Glam Nicki, Stoplight Red for MAC’s Ruby Woo, Sugar Plum Fairy for MAC’s Rebel)
  • good staying power (lasts for hours without eating/drinking)
  • Wet n Wild is CRUELTY-FREE!!!

Negatives:

  • THE FLIMSY PACKAGING!! (I think we’ve already established how much I don’t like the packaging, right? Haha!)
  • … and that’s the only negative thing I can see, really

Well, that’s it for my review and swatches! I hope you guys enjoyed. Have any of you used these lipsticks? What are you favourite shades? Let me know!

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TRAVEL DIARY: When In Bataan

Finally, my first travel post for this blog! Last December, I went to Bataan with a couple of my friends because one of them lives there and was nice enough to tour us around her hometown. It was so fun!

The bus ride from Manila to Bataan was quite long (3 hours), but the view can get pretty good as shown in the pictures below. I planned on falling asleep during the trip, but it was so nice to look out the window!

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Got a book to read, too!

After the pretty long trip, we’ve finally arrived! Here’s me and my friend walking to the direction of our other’s friend’s house. You would think I’m backpacking Europe with the amount of stuff I brought! Haha! #girlproblems

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Anyway, after getting to my friend’s home… we’ve eaten and refreshed for a bit before finally going out. Our first stop: City of Balanga’s BEAUTIFUL Plaza Mayor! It just felt so European.

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City Hall of Balanga
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Balanga Cathedral (Diocesan Shrine/Cathedral Parish of St. Joseph)

Do you see how hauntingly beautiful the skies were that night? I’m glad I caught it in camera!

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With my fellow visiting friends in front of Galeria Victoria

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I just love the architecture of the buildings around the Plaza Mayor. Since it was Christmas season when we went here, the buildings had pretty lights, making them even more beautiful.

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You MUST definitely try their taho (sweetened tofu with sago pearls) because it has milk and it was honestly the BEST taho I’ve ever tasted. Taho peddlers are just around the Plaza. 
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Finally, a group picture!

After Plaza Mayor, our next stop: dinner at Saverde! It’s just a couple minutes drive from the Plaza Mayor and it’s apparently one of the best places to eat at Bataan (according to my local friend).

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How cute are the furniture?!

The place was pretty big. It also had different sections. There was the airconditioned cafe part, an open area, and a room which is so girly… where we definitely chose to stay!

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THERE ARE BEARS. IN A RESTAURANT. 
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Told you it was a girly room!
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Of course I had to take a picture with the bears. 🙂

After the mini photo shoot, let’s get on to the food. We all chose the same thing since my local friend told us they’re the best sellers: the beef tapa rice (Php 75.00) and the buttermilk toast (Php 20.00).

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And honest to God, the food was SOOOO good. I love how it was prepared, too! The rice was wrapped with the egg and the beef tapa on top… and ketchup + vinegar? It weirdly works! The buttermilk toast was also the perfect dessert and it’s so affordable! With just less than Php 100.00, we were all so full. Definitely worth it.

After the sumptuous dinner, our next stop was Marcena for karaoke! We’re a bunch of karaoke lovers so this was really fun! The place was also just a few minutes away from Saverde.

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I love how romantic-looking the place is!

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An hour of karaoke costs Php 500.00 which we thought was pretty expensive… but it’s apparently consumable! How cool is that?! We get to eat and the karaoke is basically free! We certainly don’t know a place like this in Manila (because if we did, we’d probably be there everyday!). We were already so full, but how can we say no to food, right?

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Cheese sticks, French fries, nachos (yum!!!), mojos
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Karaoke fun 😉

After an hour of singing our hearts out and before heading back home, we’ve decided to have a photo shoot with the beautiful wreath.

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And that’s it for the first day of our Bataan trip. It was such a fun night! If you ever get to Bataan, definitely visit these places. It took my local friend a long time to bring us here because she keeps saying “there’s nothing to do here”, but it’s so not true! This is just our first night and our next 2 days were even more interesting… however, that would be for a different post. 😉

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