Empties: Neostrata toner, L’Oreal micellar water, Clinique eye cream and more

Here’s an overview of mostly skin care and a couple of makeup bits I’ve emptied recently: Xbrow eyelash serum I may be saddest of...

Here’s an overview of mostly skin care and a couple of makeup bits I’ve emptied recently:

Xbrow eyelash serum
I may be saddest of all about using every last drop of this lash serum. From the same maker of Xlash, which almosut doubled my lash thickness and added 50% in length, this was the brow serum that really worked to thicken my eyebrows. It has unfortunately become too expensive to import this from the U.K. so it is no longer distributed in the Philippines. 

The Body Shop lip and cheek tint
The OG lip and cheek tint that I have been using since high school, since its rollerball packaging days. It’s still the perfect tint in terms of color and wearability for me, but it is quite pricey and there are tons of Korean and local options now that are more affordable and very similar in wear and application. 

Aritaum Style Pop brow mascara
I bought this quite a while ago from Dara Beauty, but it took a long time for me to use up because I liked to bring it while traveling since it’s so small. It’s a good brow gel as the spoolie gives good control without depositing too much product. I would repurchase. 

Missha Green Tea lip and eye makeup remover
This is the second Missha lip and eye makeup remover I’ve emptied. It’s the best that I’ve used and works better for me than some expensive high end removers I’ve tried for taking off the most long wearing lipsticks and waterproof eyeliners. It doesn’t leave an oily film and doesn’t sting at all. You’d think that would be a basic requirement for something made for your eyes and lips, but I’ve encountered eye makeup removers that sting if you get it into your eye. 

Neostrata Refine oily skin solution with 8 AHA
AHA stands for alpha hydroxy acid, which was amazing at refining my skin texture and smoothing out my pores. I got this as a sample from Bodyworx Medical Spa, and made sure to use it sparingly when I found out that a full size bottle costs more than P2,000! 

Clinique All About Eyes Rich eye cream
It also took me a long time to go through this because I’d use it for travel. It’s a good nighttime eye cream especially for cooler climes, but the full size is quite pricey. I’d rather spend money on my HG Origins eye cream because that’s been the best for fading my dark circles. 

L’Oreal micellar water
This is a good micellar water that’s available in most department stores and Watsons. I honestly felt no difference from the much more expensive Bioderma. I would repurchase, but I still have other Korean micellar waters in my stash to use up. 

Neutrogena Deep Clean foaming cleanser
If you’re wondering why this has Chinese characters on it, I bought this in Hong Kong. I don’t know if the formulation has been improved or adjusted for the Philippines, but this cleanser did not deep clean my skin. Even if I had used makeup remover before this, I would still get traces of makeup on my cotton pad when I followed with toner, meaning it hadn’t done well melting off and washing off the remnants of my makeup. 

Human Nature Nourishing facial wash
I received this from PR and I like to use it as morning facial wash when I’m traveling since it’s a gentle cleanser with a nice (not sweetly artificial) scent. I think this is a good cleanser for normal skin, but may not be potent enough to thoroughly wash off makeup if like me, you wear BB cream / foundation and powder most of the time. 

Swatches and review: Penshoppe Beauty Pop Hydramatte lipsticks

No one seems to be talking about them, but the Penshoppe Beauty Pop lipsticks are definitely worth a try, especially for only P219 each for ...

No one seems to be talking about them, but the Penshoppe Beauty Pop lipsticks are definitely worth a try, especially for only P219 each for 3.6 grams of product.

I have them in two shades, Very Berry and Party Fever:
Party Fever (top) and (Very Berry) bottom

They come in plastic sky blue and baby pink ombre tubes, which I think is really pretty and better than expected for such an affordable lipstick. The only down side is the plastic stains quite easily, so if you’re not careful, the lipstick is going to stain it. 
Although the colors appear quite dark and vampy in the tube, Very Berry is a medium red while Party Fever is a toned-down magenta. Both of them apply very smoothly with good pigmentation and have a powdery matte finish that isn’t drying. Because they are not too bright, I find them wearable enough for daytime and even at the office. 

Both shades last around a similar amount of time on me, but I noticed that Party Fever transfers noticeably more than Very Berry. It definitely stained my coffee cup, and it’d be a good idea to wipe it off first before changing out of your office blouse or uniform.

Overall, I am pleasantly impressed with these. You can buy them in Penshoppe stores or penshoppe.com. 

Empties! Maybelline foundations, Benefit babies, mascaras

Foundations These are the only two foundations I've emptied in my life, both by Maybelline. Dream Satin Skin (shade PO3) and Fit Me ...

These are the only two foundations I've emptied in my life, both by Maybelline. Dream Satin Skin (shade PO3) and Fit Me (shade 235) are both great foundations for those who like medium coverage with a natural finish. Both are super easy to blend in and widely available, so I highly recommend these for those who need an easy, affordable foundation for everyday. Fit Me wears on me better with my combination skin; it's the first time I've repurchased a foundation.

Mascara is something I use nearly everyday, and it's something you must dispose of after 4 months (6 at an absolute stretch), so I go through a lot of tubes. The Cover Girl Super Thick Lash and Make Up Forever Excessive lash do the job okay, but aren't really remarkable for me. I have repurchased variations of the Maybelline Great Lash and L'Oreal Voluminous over the years. Great Lash is great for everyday, while Voluminous creates a longer, more dramatic lash while still looking sleek and feathery, never clumpy.

Benefit Cosmetics
Browvo is a unique product that I used as brow grower, though it is called a conditioning primer. It's a good product, but it's quite pricey for only a few ml, so I won't call it a must-have. Posie Tint is a pretty liquid cheek tint if you have fair skin and just want a touch of pink. Though there are endless cheek tints available on the market now, some of them are just too red or pigmented on pale skin. Posie Tint is great for an oh-so-subtle flush.

Lastly, Nichido Tinted Brow Gel in Ash Blonde. This color was great for me when I had lighter hair. The brush picks up a bit too much product, but nothing you can't manage without a spoolie. A good brow gel you won't feel guilty for using everyday as it only costs around P240 for a tube that will last about 3 months.

Bodyworx Medical Spa: A stylish, personal touch to skin care

Entering Bodyworx Medical Spa feels more like entering a hotel lobby rather than a skin clinic, with its sophisticated high-ceiling, stone...

Entering Bodyworx Medical Spa feels more like entering a hotel lobby rather than a skin clinic, with its sophisticated high-ceiling, stone-finish reception area.

The husband and wife tandem behind Bodyworx, aesthetic medicine practitioners Andy and Sugar Mantilla, had their humble beginnings providing skin treatments in their apartment. Three years later, to accommodate their growing clientele and range of services, they have recently opened this beautiful, full-fledged clinic in Cebu Business Park with four treatment rooms and dedicated areas for IV and nail treatments.
Doctors Sugar and Andy Mantilla of Bodyworx Medical Spa

We are accustomed to choosing from a menu of services, but one of the things that makes Bodyworx unique is the thorough analysis that will be done on each client in order to determine what service would be most effective. In the same way we go to our regular doctors, we don’t tell them what needs to be done; we get a check-up and are then advised what to do.

Aside from the patient information sheet, clients will be asked to go into detail about their skin concern, what products they use for skin care, and what past procedures they have tried. Dr. Andy and Dr. Sugar make sure that they are able to consult with every patient for a thorough assessment, and take the time to educate their clients on everything from product ingredients, to how a certain type of laser works. They aim to provide personalized, effective treatments that their clients can enjoy in a very clean and comfortable clinic. 
The Visia face analysis machine checks patients' skin condition
as part of the pre-treatment assessment.

Though both Andy and Sugar are doctors, they differ from dermatologists in that their treatments do not require pathologic testing. The services at Bodyworx are cosmetic to enhance the health and vibrancy of the skin, rather than medical, which focuses on treating diseases.

Facials are Bodyworx’s trademark treatment, and often last up to two hours. Those who regularly go to skin clinics will recognize state-of-the-art machines like Ulthera, Pollogen, Mesobiolift, and Opera; these are all offered at Bodyworx for less compared to other clinics. Other face and body treatments target pigmentation, scarring, acne, fat reduction, and hair removal. 

In a separate area, clients can avail of several types of IV vitamin therapies (popularly known as drips), and nail services including the fun and unique 3D nail art printing. Each lounge chair in the nail area even comes with a tablet so you can Netflix and chill while having your nails done.
Nail lounge with individual tablets

Choose from top nail polish brands like Morgan Taylor, OPI, and Cuccio.

IV therapy area

Bodyworx is located on the ground floor of Solinea Tower One, Cardinal Rosales Avenue. It is open from Mondays to Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., and on Sundays from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Contact them at bodyworxmedicalspa@gmail.com.

A version of this post was published in Sun.Star Cebu on July 5, 2019.

Favorite brow products (pencil, powder, gel)

If there are two things I never leave home without, it's my eyebrows. I only started practicing on them around 7 years ago even if I hav...

If there are two things I never leave home without, it's my eyebrows. I only started practicing on them around 7 years ago even if I have been playing with makeup for 15+ years, but it's now the beauty ritual I can't leave home without. Here are the best brow products I have used so far to achieve my preferred brow style, which is shaped and defined, but not too bold or dark.

Brow pencils
All of these pencils meet my requirements:
* pigmented
* blendable
* not too soft (very soft or waxy pencils will smear easily, not to mention run out quickly)
* has a spoolie
* comes in my preferred shade of medium to dark brown (nothing warm, too gray, or too red)
* long wearing even with my oily forehead

Pinkies Collections eyebrow pencil (Light Brown) - This pencil is so good I am willing to overlook that I have to sharpen it. Available for P100 in Watsons.

Tony Moly Lovely eyebrow pencil - The sticker has come off so I don't know what shade this is, but this suits me best when my hair is darker. Waterproof and stays on even at the beach. Available for around P300 in Tony Moly stores.

Dearberry Rockcat Girl eyebrow pencil - I hoard this whenever I find it available on ph.althea.kr because it is frequently out of stock. About P130.

Soap & Glory Brow Archery (Brownie Points) - Has a fine tip for added control. Bought for £10 in London.

NYX Cosmetics Micro brow pencil - Also don't know the shade name because it has rubbed off. Ultra-fine tip makes it easy to draw cleaner arches or tiny strokes for feathering in sparse areas. Available online for P350-P550, depending on the seller.

Benefit Cosmetics Goof Proof brow pencil (Shade 3) - Hands down the most kikay pencil of all, with a unique diamond-shaped tip. It is also the most expensive of all in this lineup, at P1,660 for the regular size, so this is really an indulgence or something special for me, not something I use everyday. Benefit has boutiques in Ayala and SM Seaside, and is available online on Zalora and Sephora.

Not pictured is the Etude House brow pencil that I have been buying on and off for years, but everybody already knows that one anyway.

Brow powder / pomade
Anastasia Dipbrow Pomade (Dark Brown) - Still the best if you want brows to last even through surfing. About P1,200 on Sephora.ph.

in2it brow palette - Another one that many of us swear by. I was skeptical when the saleslady told me this would last 3 years, but I have probably had it for that long and still haven't hit pan. About P300 in Watsons and department stores.

Wet n Wild Ultimate Brow Kit (Ash Brown) - Seeing how battered this is, it's obvious how much I use this. The powder is more pigmented than in2it but can go on too harsh if you use too much. I mix two dabs of the darker brown with one dab of the lighter one. You can probably also tell I don't use the wax in this palette.

Brow gel
If I know I'm going to have a particularly long or sweaty day, I use brow gel as a last step for added longevity.

Aritaum Idol brow mascara - Suits me best when my hair is lighter, but I find the spoolie size perfect for quick application. Available on Cebu-based daraholic.com for P260.

Benefit Cosmetics Gimme Brow (Shade 3) - Has a teeny, tiny spoolie, which means you don't pile on too much product if you have fine hairs, but also means you can carefully build up brows for a bushier look without caking on the product. P1,500 for the full size, though it comes in a mini size and value kits so it comes out cheaper.

Maybelline Brow Drama Sculpting Brow Mascara (Soft Brown) - The bulbous end is kind of odd because I don't see how this improves application, but this is a good brow gel for everyday since it comes with a lot of product in the tube. Available for about P350 in Maybelline counters, Shopee, and Lazada.