Friday, January 31, 2014

A Fair and Generous Fix

This post is an update re: my experience with Studio Fix Salon by Alex
Carbonell. In August I wrote about my hair disaster.
No one got back to me regarding the incident while I was in Sydney,
much to my annoyance. Had no other choice but to bear with the texture
and the hair fall and the "what happened to your hair??" comments.

I came back for vacation in Manila to celebrate the holidays, and was
keen on getting my hair done (brazilian keratin treatment) at another
salon. Then my darling cousin, Denise Congco of
- who's Hermes's fan and regular customer - told me to get touch with
H about my situation. She said that I should go back to Fix to get
things, well, "fixed." So I did - one day before my flight back to AU!

Hermes said he saw my blog post and was quite unhappy to learn about
what happened to my hair. He thought that probably the rebonding
solution was left on my hair too long, and that their team was at
fault. No unnecessary defense or drama or blame or tantrum — just an
apology and pure honesty. That was nice, and the humility was quite

Then he offered a free haircut, and a free keratin blowdry: exactly
what my hair needed. Everything took around 3.5 hours. The attendants
were really nice and attentive. I left the salon feeling that justice
has been served (yay!) and that I have better hair now.

Pictures, around a week and a half after:

Shampoo + conditioner, air-dried, no styling, outdoor lighting.

Still not the best condition - the ends are still frayed! - but waaaay
better than before.

So plus points to Hermes and his team for taking care of incident,
even six months after!

Closing this story now. :)

- Tracy

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Nature Republic: Natural Lemon Cleansing Water

Good evening ladies,

I've always been curious about what cleansing waters are for, only to find out that they're similar to toners and make up removers. So, since I've already used up my two make up removers (Bifesta water-based make up remover and Human Nature Sunflower Oil Make up Remover), I've opted to try this one by Nature Republic.

Here's my short review

First off, the reason why I was so willing to try it, aside from this was a gift, it's relatively cheaper compared to Bifesta. This is a 500 ml bottle with a free box of cotton pads and it costs around 425 Php (if I'm not mistaken) which is definitely cheaper than the 300 ml pump bottle of Bifesta that costs around 300 - 400.

Ingredients, How to Use and Cautions

So with regards to it's make up removing ability, the performance is good. It can melt water-proof make up and heavy gel liners well, however, a reasonable amount of time is required in leaving the soaked cotton pressed over those types of make ups. Also, it gives off a lemony fresh scent which helps rejuvenate you, a welcome bonus especially when you've had a really hectic day. With regards to the caution of contact with the eyes, as long as you do not spray the liquid itself onto your eyes, you're good to go.

Am I bothered that it's not a pump? No, since there is a good control of the dispensed liquid even in this type of bottle. Also, somehow, with these, I think pumps are more wasteful so I actually prefer it this way.

What this product does not have is the variety which Bifesta offers. Not that I can tell the difference between each solution, but yes, that seems to be a bit of a turn off for some. What this has, however, is that it is also available in Green Tea. So if' you don't like the lemony scent opt for the Green Tea one.

Like what I mentioned earlier, this comes with a box of cotton pads. I just love the packaging of the cotton pad box. 



As a toner, it's not as good as the ones really labeled as TONER. I'm not sure how to explain it but it just doesn't feel as clean as when you use a toner. Also, there's a little less dirt/residue on the tissue when using this one than when using a regular toner.

So in summary:

What I like:
Comes with a free box of cotton pads
Lemon Scent
Can remove make up well

What I don't like:
Nothing much really

Well, that's it for this short review of this cleansing water. Maybe I'll start using other cleansing waters when I finish this one so I have some other comparisons. Hope this helped you. 


Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Review : ZA Total Hydration BB Cream UV

Hello loves!

Some months ago, I was walking around for the first time in SM Aura when I found the stall of ZA at the department store. I thought that I didn't have any products from the brand yet and that maybe it was worth the try. I am a fan of Majolica Majorca and Shiseido and knowing that ZA is a sister company of theirs made my decision to purchase easier.

So one of the products I bought is this...

ZA Total Hydration BB Cream UV - Php 395.00
It has SPF 43 and PA+++. Quite impressive especially with the price but it's only 20g so it's not totally affordable.

You might be wondering why I bought the Total Hydration BB Cream even though I already have oily skin. It's just that I don't want to get lighter skin and the other BB Cream is whitening. Simple as that. BUT if the other one was for oil control but still whitens, maybe I'd go with that. :P

Here are the labels from the packaging:

Info from the website:
SPF43 PA+++ 20g
Multi-functional ”12 in 1”BB CREAM that achieves healthy glowing look. With special skincare mineral formula, it not only moisturizes skin but also works as foundation to conceal skin problems to achieve a healthy skin tone.
How to
As the last step of your morning skincare, take an appropriate amount on fingertip and smooth over the entire face with your fingertips from the center outwards.

The packaging is a simple, pink tube. Very easy to squeeze out the product and the cap can be sealed tightly to avoid any spilling.

So here's the product:
It has a very mild scent, almost unnoticeable. 

It has a warm beigey shade and gives a semi-matte finish.

It's creamy and very easy to blend.

Here's my bare cheek:

with the product

It gives a medium coverage. Impressive, right? It's buildable too! It does make my skin a little... just a little greyish. But I usually wear powder on top of this because I need to control the oil on my face. The powder takes care of matching the shade to my skin.

So here's how my face look like with the BB and powder on:
(I used concealer in some of my acne marks there)

So is it long-lasting? Yes. It stayed on me the whole day. But it doesn't control oil so after a whole day at work, this is what my face looked like:

Shiny from all its oiliness. No retouch, no blotting. I guess this BB Cream suits dry to normal skin better. But even with oily skin, the product held up and stayed on me. I just noticed some minor caking at the very oily areas like on the nose.

What I LIKE:

- Long-lasting
-Has SPF 43 and PA+++
- Tube makes the product easy to squeeze out
- Locally available
- No strong scent
- Gives a semi-matte finish
- Brightens my face
- Nice medium coverage

What I am NEUTRAL about:

- Shade is not an exact match but can be remedied with the powder I use on top
- Price


- Not for those with oily skin like me
- Experienced some caking 
- Not recommended for those with darker skin than me (it's already lighter than my skin)

Would I buy again?
I probably won't because this makes me too oily. I do recommend it to those with dry-normal skin though. :)

So what do you think of this BB Cream? Have you tried it? Will you consider trying this? What products from ZA have you used and love?


Tuesday, January 28, 2014

ARTDECO Glam Stars Shimmer Cream

Hello loves!

Sharing a swatch post of one of the products I bought last month.

ARTDECO Glam Stars Shimmer Cream

It was in a huge discount when I purchased it. Original price was Php 550.00 and got this for only Php 192.50.

I don't have much products from ARTDECO so I bought a few products while they were on sale at Beauty Bar.

I think this is like a refill or there's a compact you can buy to put this product in.

This is a cream type eyeshadow.
I'm not a fan of cream types because I have oily lids but I was thinking of using it on the under eyes or maybe just top it off in specific areas when I do some makeup experiments. 

Here's a closeup of the product.
It's a glittery, snowy white color. I was hoping it would be more opaque when swatched (they didn't have a tester for this anymore) but I got a little disappointed. Check out the swatch below:

You have to build it up to get more. I guess I didn't feel too bad that it didn't reach my expectation because I bought it for more than half its price. I can still use it in some looks I've been thinking of doing. You'd still be seeing some of this product on future makeovers for sure. :) I just wouldn't use it in makeup looks that I will have to wear for more than two hours because this creases on my lids even when topped with powder eyeshadow, even with eye shadow primer on.

So, any thoughts on this product? Do you like using cream eyeshadows?


Monday, January 27, 2014

Review : L.A. Colors Smudge Proof Liquid Eyeliner

Hello guys!

So I was looking for a really black liquid eyeliner some months ago for a K-Pop inspired makeup look I wanted to do on myself. The makeup look didn't went well. I guess K-Pop makeup doesn't suit my face... or I'm just not satisfied with how it turned out... But anyway, it goes the same with this particular eyeliner. This turned out to be a disappointed.

L.A. Colors Smudge Proof Liquid Eyeliner
This is somewhere around Php 200.00.

Below are the labels on the eyeliner's packaging:

And additional info from their website:


Water resistant Liquid Eyeliner is specially formulated for long lasting wear. Ultra fine brush applicator ensures precision lining.

The applicator is indeed very fine. Though I like that it can create very thin lines, its bristles became like this:

This annoyed me too much that I never used it again.

The only good thing about this is that it is very black. Check the swatch below:

It takes a while to dry when applied so you need to wait for 10 seconds before opening your eyes.

Is it long-lasting? Yes, if you do not have oily lids like me. It smudges on me when my lids get extremely oily. Is it water-resistant? I believe so. It takes a while to get smudged when I expose it to water but with a few wiping, there are some parts that get smudged off. Remember, it's water-resistant, not waterproof.

What I LIKE:

- Very black
- Water-resistant
- Affordable
- Locally available
- Brush is fine and easy to manipulate


- Not long lasting especially on my oily lids
- Applicator's bristles go all over the place
- Packaging looks tacky

Even though this eyeliner has good qualities, the bad ones are too major for me to reconsider using this product again. I find this a big disappointed and I don't think I'll ever think of buying this again. :( 

So what do you think of this product? Do you like other products from this brand?


Sunday, January 26, 2014

Taking the Short Cut

Good evening ladies,

Since the pixie cut is still the trend and has an extended stay until this year, here are pointers to remember before you start chopping off your hair.

See, I'm quite used to wearing my hair short and there has only been a few instances when I've actually had long hair. So I guess, I can somewhat dub myself an authority when it comes to short hairstyles. So here are my pointers before deciding to cut off your hair in favor of the Pixie.

1. Look in the mirror, and try to tie your hair/style your hair such that you have a visual of how you'd look like if you ever get a pixie cut. Then ask yourself, are you really ready to cut off all that hair just to get trendy?

Although I've worn my hair short a million times, before I decided to chop it all off, I initially intended to wear it long until my graduation day. But since my hair started showing signs of damage (a heck of a lot of falling hair), I had to have it cut real short to let it grow out. It's a scary thing to get your hair cut that short and is also one of the most liberating thing I've done. So, if you've decided to take the plunge, let's move on to advise no.2.

2. Find your stylist/s and never let them go.

They say that when you get your hair cut that short, it becomes quite low maintenance and you won't have to frequent the salon as much. WRONG! When you go pixie you'd need someone you can trust with the scissors to know what they're doing, more than just copying the style on the magazine, but fitting that style to suit your face.

See, all these nice cuts from my whole year of wearing a pixie hairstyle to letting it grow out were not all pretty. You have to constantly get it trimmed and shaped the right way for it to grow out beautifully. That's why it's important to get a stylist and stick with them while you're planning on wearing your hair short. I've had experience of changing stylists midway because the first stylist was not available/was too expensive and it ruined my whole look. So from then on, I've decided to get one and one stylist only for the whole length of my pixie hair experience.

Here are some of the unglamorous phases of a pixie growing out.

Number 3 is somewhat related to number 2, so here we go.

3. Plan how you're going to grow that hair back.

The bittersweet part about getting a pixie cut is not when you get your long hair cut, it's when you finally decide to grow it out. Honestly speaking, once you've had your hair this short, it's hard imagining how it's going to go back to being long because of the "awkward hair length" phase (like the ones above). And that's how most people get stuck with wearing short hair forever.

So how do you get out of that rut? Your stylist of course. For me, Rich from Azta Salon SM San Lazaro branch has been my hair's savior. I just told her, I'm going to grow my hair out and immediately, she knew how we'd go about it. So now, my pixie has gotten long enough to get a posh bob cut, all thanks to her.

So that's all the tip I can give. If you're already wearing a pixie cut and is getting bored of it, get it colored as often as you want... You won't need to spend as much money on it compared to when it's long. Take GD as an example (not that he's wearing a pixie), to avoid becoming a bore, he plays with his hair color as often as he likes. As for me, L'Oreal, HBC, and Azta Urban Salon has helped me achieve my hair color transformations for the past few months. So many thanks to them. 

If that doesn't work for you, then accessorize.

Well, that's all for me today. Hope this helped you in some way.


Saturday, January 25, 2014

Unboxing my Snoe Glamourbox

Hello ladies and gentlemen!

It's been a while since I posted an unboxing post. I've been controlling my urge to buy any subscription boxes during the holidays because I know there'll be loads of things on sale I can spend my money on. Haha!

But when I saw that Glamourbox is collaborating with Snoe, I didn't hesitate to buy the box. Snoe is, afterall, one of the few local brands that really impressed me because of its great quality and lovely package designs.

So I received the box today and was surprised on how heavy it was! It got me so excited to open it because just by its heaviness, I knew the money I spent was well worth it already.

And I don't know if I've mentioned it before but I really love Glamourbox's boxes! They are so sturdy that I keep 'em as storage boxes of random stuff. :P

Let's open the box, shall we?

A happy start for 2014 indeed! My first subscription box is a specialty box containing products from one of my trusted brands. What's not to like?

The list of products included in the box are listed on the card along with their prices.

And here are the goodies!!!!

Wooot! So many full-sized products!!! :D

Hair Heroes Agent Zero Cleansing Serum - Php 599.00
Been so curious to try this and finally got one! Yayyy!

Snoe White Beauty bar in Organic Papaya - Php 139.00

Snoe White Beauty bar in Lightening Licorice - Php 139.00
I've been a fan of some of their soaps but I'm not too fond of these two since they are lightening variants. I don't wanna get lighter! :P

Snoe Body Ritual Recipes Whipped Body Frosting Lotion in Honey Dew Melon Yogurt - Php 249.00
This smells soooo GOOOOOD!

Snoe Fizzy Clean Foaming Hand Sanitizer - Php 179.00
This will surely come in handy. I always bring a hand sanitizer wherever I go.

Snoe Bedside Besobalm - Php 249.00
I actually have a handful of lipbalms but I guess this is worth a try.

Snoe Poudre Extraordinaire - Php 799.00 
I think this is the only product that's not in its full-size. Still eager to try and discover why many love this item. 

And that's that!
I'm super happy with this box and I think my payment of Php 1,190.00 (shipping included) was well worth it. Expect these babies to be reviewed soon!

And btw, I also received some samples I ordered from Ellana Minerals and Sample Room yesterday!

Yayyy! Can't wait to try all of these!!! :D


Friday, January 24, 2014

Collection Hotlights Lipgloss in Glow

Hey loves!

Are you the kind of girl who loves to party? Then this lipgloss is just for you! 

Collection Hotlights Lipgloss 
Php 345.00

The shade I got is number 5, Glow.

I got this 6ml tube from Sample Room. Here are some info from Sample Room's website:

Collection’s Hotlights Lipgloss is this season’s essential beauty buy for perfect gloss application on the go. These dazzling new glosses smooth lips with stunning megawatt shine thanks to its non-sticky, shimmering particles that leave lips looking superstar sexy in no time.
Whether you’re heralding the popular 40s-inspired red lip or playing coral queen this holiday, Collection’s Hotlights Lipgloss comes in six, sassy shades to match.
Available at: 

Packaging is pretty simple. It just looks like any other lipgloss. But I'm a fan of the fonts used for the design.

Except for the back label. It's plain and boring.

But what is more interesting about the packaging are the following...

It is equipped with a mirror and...

The wand/doe applicator has a built-in flashlight!

It's just perfect for those who love the night life! I just dunno how you can get it to work when the batteries for the light are up. :P

So here's a swatch on the arm,

and on the lips.

It has beautiful, fine, gold glitters that give the soft pink shade that warmth and glowing look. It kind of reminds me of NARS Orgasm, don't you agree?

I like that it's not sticky but not a fan of the lasting-power. It's pretty sheer so it looks great when you use it to top off your lipstick or other lip products.

So I guess that's all that I can say about this product. I like the shade but I don't think I'd buy again just because I prefer lipsticks over lipglosses. Good thing I got it for free at Sample Room (I only paid for the shipping)! :D