I REVIEW: Jimmy Choo FLASH Eau de Parfum

I have to start by saying that this is #1 in my “Must-Buy” perfume list right now.  At first I was hesitant to try it- frankly because I associate Jimmy Choo with shoes, and for a shoe line to be producing scents is not totally appealing to me.  But anyway, that was just the shallow thinker in me and that changed completely when I was able to smell FLASH, a new perfume by Jimmy Choo.  And thanks to CLEO Magazine Malaysia because I was able to get a free sample of it.

FLASH Eau de Parfum is for the girl about town.  That girl every man desires and every girl wants to be.  The scent is more for evening use- something you would wear on your weekend night out, cocktails in your glamorous mini dress, or that date with the hot man you recently met at the bookstore.  The smell is solar-floral, based around a bouquet of white flowers.  It is both effervescent and sensual and evokes the promise, excitement and high octane of going out.

Final Verdict:  YES!
More INFO here.

Happy scent hunting!



I REVIEW: Australian Bush Flower Essences Soothing Body Lotion (Evening Rose)

I am very excited for this entry because it is my favorite beauty brand that’s about to be reviewed.  I recently moved to Malaysia and Australian Bush Flower Essences were nice enough to continue sending me their products even on my new address.  And that makes me so happy.  From my recent reviews- you’ve seen me rave about their face serums, the morning body lotion and now I am privileged to try the evening rose lotion.  When I got the package I opened it right away and well, from a brand that I trust it is always a pleasure to be using another product from them.  It smells really good, and you can really distinguish the rose accent to it.  What I observed is that, the morning range of products are usually lighter in texture, and the evening serums, lotions, etc are thicker.

I have been using the lotion for almost a month now and I really love it.  It makes my skin really soft and smells really really good.  There’s a relaxing scent to it that will make you sleep better at night- which is one big thing I like about Australian Bush Flower Essences, because they formulate products that are really not just really good for the skin but also good for your wellbeing.  This lotion retails at AU$24.95 for a 100ml bottle and it lasts for up to 2 months depending on your application.  For a super effective product, it is totally worth it paying more than your regular lotion.  And the great part as always is that, it’s all-natural.  Win-win-win!

For best results, I recommend you using this together with their morning lotion.  They’re both super effective.

Final Verdict: YES!  ABFE never fails to impress me with their products and I will always be a fan.
More INFO here.


I REVIEW: Birchbox March 2013

It looks like Birchbox is trying to redeem itself from the mostly boring offers from the last 2 months and look at my box for March- it’s full of interesting goodies.  Yummy!  I yet have to receive my box but I am as excited- this is the first time I really am convinced- as lately I also realized how easy it is to just walk into a beauty store and ask for samples.

For this month, here are the goodes that are included in my box:

WEI™ Golden Root Purifying Mud Mask

Whish Shave Crave Shaving Cream

Madewell for Birchbox Nail Emery Board

Dermablend™ Smooth Indulgence SPF 20 Concealer

Stella Cadente Miss Me Discrete? Eau de Toilette 50ml

Caldrea Body Lotion

Overall, I am satisfied with this month’s offer that I am extending for 1 more month with them.  Let’ see what they have on offer next month!  Stay beautiful dear readers!


I REVIEW: Mir & Ryvi Skin Lightening Papaya Soap

Before I begin, I would like to mention that I am not in any way looking to “lighten” my skin but Mir & Ryvi offers organic products so I took the opportunity to try their papaya soap.  These days, I find myself more and more into organic products and I think that’s a very good thing.  I always mention how much I love companies who make the effort to produce organic products, and that for me is win-win-win!

When it comes to bar soaps, I want something that will not really make my skin dry and rough in the end- I want something that will moisturize, will make my skin smooth, that feeling of softness once you apply your lotion after you shower.  That is always a must for me.  And that is why I love Mir & Ryvi’s Papaya Soap.  My experience with organic bath products is that they don’t really bubble much, instead focusing on giving your body that much needed vitamins.  I almost can compare it with L’occitane Milk Soap- they both have that same effect on your skin and at the same time, what I really love is that the soap really lasts long unlike mass-produced bar soaps, after a couple of uses they’re gone gone gone.  Smell wise, I really cannot recognize the papaya part of it- or maybe because *I think* they use the green one instead of the orange.  But that is not a bad thing at all, I love the soft smell of it, it’s the softer version of L’occitane Shea Butter Milk Soap.  Yummy!

From the website:

Skin Lightening Papaya Soap
Exposure to UV radiation and other pollutants can make skin dull and dark. Our skin lightening bar naturally helps make a fairer skin. Papaya enzymes work as exfoliator. Our mulberry extract, sourced from the Jeju Island, has been clinically proven effective in inhibiting the tyrosinase activity on the skin. Tyrosinase activity is responsible for melanin production that, in turn, darkens skin. The mulberry extract is highly potent yet very gentle. Our soap naturally makes skin fairer without the side effects of hydroquinone.

Organic Papaya
• natural exfoliator
• rich in skin vitamins such as A, E and C
• age-old skin practice in the Philippines in lightening one’s skin

Mulberry Extract
•clinically proven effective in inhibiting the production of melanin
• effective for natural treatment of hyper pigmentation
• non-irritant

Vitamin B3
• proven effective as skin lightening

Combination of Vitamin E and other essential oils

• skin moisturizer
• supports the skin renewal, leaving a healthy skin inside and out
• helps in achieving a glowing skin

Like mentioned, I really am not after the whitening effect of it, but I just love this soap and I will definitely order it again.  

Final Verdict: YES.
More INFO here.


The Beauty of Beautysak.com

I have always been a fan of Beautysak.com – from 2006 when I discovered it, until now that they have fully evolved into a beautiful shopping mecca, I remain one of their avid fans.  For one, I love receiving their newsletters because I am always in the know of the new products they offer, and of course, the contests and the exciting sales.  As a beauty enthusiast, that is always a plus point because not only you are given advantage of knowing sales and new products beforehand, but you are also given the chance to experience new and innovative offerings.  Win-win-win right?

When you visit Beautysak.com, you notice that the website is clean and fresh- no annoying pop-ups here and there, very informative product information, and you are always assured of great service when you shop with them.  One great thing that I really love about them is the chat feature- you can talk to an agent while browsing the site and you are free to ask questions if you have any and that always mean personalized service for me.  I love that.  I also love reading the Beautysak Blog to keep up with the latest beauty and skin care trends.

I think it is also worth mentioning that they carry one of my favorite brands ever, Kai– so that is always a good thing for me.  I love Kai and I always make sure to buy either the travel set or the perfume oil from them.  I simply love how it smells and it is my ultimate “I love this day” scent.  Also, if you are not ready to commit, you can purchase a sample vial which is only $3 compared to the $4 price from the other websites.  They also have a “Best of Allure” section, wherein you can buy products that have been mentioned in Allure magazine, and of course, the SALE section- everybody’s favorite.

But let’s not forget my most favorite part of shopping: the free samples.  You are always assured of that when you shop at Beautysak.com, and if your order is $50 or more, you get free shipping.  Lovely!  Also, this weekend, which will be valid until February 17, they are offering a free gift of a deluxe sample from the choices below when you order $30 or more.  I’d love to have the Marula oil from African Botanicals.  Did you know that Marula oil was used by women in Africa in the past rather than water to clean themselves?  It must really be that good and I am excited to try it.


I REVIEW: Australian Bush Flower Essences Gentle Face Wash Serum (Morning & Evening)

My new favorite facial washes from Australian Bush Flower Essences

In an earlier post, I’ve written about my new favorite body lotion.  And this time around, I’ve discovered new favorites from the same brand- these amazing face wash serums for day and night that I really really love.  I’ll let you in a little secret:  the man who created the Love System products from Australian Bush Flower Essences, Sir Paul Loveday wrote to me personally after reading my blog post about the lotion I’ve used.  I feel so honored, and I feel so happy that he took the time to send me an email explaining about their products, how they started, etc.  Imagine the person who created the same products I am using right now is reaching out to me and even offered that I try their other product offerings- and so my love affair with anything Australian Bush Flower Essences continues.  I certainly love this company- from the friendly people behind it, to the effective products they offer.  Win-win-win part?  Very organic.  You can’t mess with that.

The Morning Serum

The Gentle Face Wash Serum for Morning smells like freshly crushed oranges and I totally love it!  It’s my ultimate morning perk-me-up and very gentle to my skin indeed.  It’s not harsh at all, and leaves my skin feeling soft and smooth.  Funny thing is, I cannot eat oranges because of my GERD issues, but I am happy because I might not be able to put it in my mouth, but I can definitely let my face eat all the great ingredients this serum has.  Perfect!

“This exquisite formulation has been blended using Australian bush flowers with unique qualities, ecologically gathered in unpolluted and naturally occurring regions of the vast Australian landscape.”

The Evening Serum

The evening serum is what I tried first before my morning serum arrived.  It smells of dear grandma when she goes to church- and I mean that in the best of ways.  I totally adore my late grandmother’s fragrances and that is what I remember when I smell this serum.  It’s a mixture of Angelsword, Billy Goat plum, Black-eyed Susan, Bottlebrush, Crowea, Five Corners, & Fringed Violet.  What I noticed about it is that aside from its cleaning powers, it also makes you feel at ease, calm, and makes you sleep better.  How’s that for a facial wash?

Both facial serums retail at AUS$18.14 per bottle and I think that is reasonable enough for an organic line with great benefits.  I highly recommend Australian Bush Flower Essences, and I am very excited and looking forward to trying out the other products from the brand.

Final Verdict:  YES all the way!
More INFO here.


I REVIEW: UrgentRx Upset Stomach Relief To-Go aka The Best Discovery of the Day

New Favorite: UrgentRx Upset Stomach Relief To-Go

I have GERD and everyday, I have to take my medicine to make sure I don’t end up having issues with heartburn, bloating, etc.  It’s not fun at all, and add to that I don’t really like taking medicines especially if it’s in capsule form.  Ugh!  But I have to, or else my GERD symptoms will get worse.  Only a day or two not taking my meds will already give me crazy heartburn and gas and I certainly do not want that.  These days though, I think I am more familiar with my condition already and I rarely have gas attacks compared to when I still do not know I have GERD.  One very simple and effective solution I discovered is eating bananas- it’s my natural medicine.  I recommend all of you GERD sufferers out there to include it in your everyday diet.  Banana is very powerful.  I think everybody should be eating bananas, don’t we all agree?

And here’s another effective solution I discovered today:  UrgentRx Upset Stomach Relief To-Go.  I am very happy to have sent a sample of this.  I was having a bad case of gas earlier, I was in bed and then I realized I have a packet of this.  I read the label, opened it and wow!  It tasted really really good!  Yummy to the highest level!  Cherry flavor is the bomb!  After several minutes, my bloat is gone.  It really is that fast.  I really love the idea of having it in powdered form- and the great thing is that you can take it with or without water.  It’s very handy, you can have it wherever you go.  As a curious consumer, this is a great product that I recommend to people out there who have upset stomachs, those who suffer from GERD like me, or in extreme situations- diarrhea.  Fast acting, taste great, and do not require liquid to take them.  Just fold, tear, and pour the powder in your mouth for ridiculously fast relief!

There is another one from their product line that I really want to try:  the Heartburn Relief To-Go.  Here are the other Fast Powders from UrgentRx.

Final Verdict:  YES.  I am totally satisfied with UrgentRx Upset Stomach Relief To-Go and I am definitely buying the product.  Retail price is around $13.99 for 12 sachets.
More INFO here.



I REVIEW: My Very First Birchbox

Birchbox January 2013

Let me start by saying this is a super delayed review of my January Birchbox because I have had a lot of other reviews lined up before this and I didn’t wanna mess that up.  But here it is now, a first-timer’s take on the whole Birchbox tra la la.

I had to wait for at least a month before I got invited to subscribe.  In spite of all the criticisms, complaints about Birchbox, it fascinates me that there are still thousands of girls/women out there lining up to snag these beauty boxes, including me of course.   For me, it is the thrill of receiving some random beauty goodies every month in my mailbox, second, Birchbox is like the most popular and I think the pioneer when it comes to beauty box subscriptions, and of course, its affordability.  For $10 a month, you get 4 to 5 random deluxe beauty samples tailored to your own beauty profile that you made when you signed up with them.  And speaking of which, I think that what Birchbox needs to improve is the beauty questionnaire section, it looks old and boring.  It certainly needs some oooomph!

Anyway, here are the things included in my first Birchbox, this is the January edition.  Also, it is worth mentioning that I haven’t tested the products yet and so reviews will be mainly for Birchbox and not of the particular items included.

1.  Embryolisse Lait-Creme Concentre 24-Hour Miracle Cream
Full Size Retail Value: $16 for 30ml
Sample Size I Got: $2.65 for 5ml

This cult French moisturizer heals dryness and leaves skin primed for foundation.  It can also be used as makeup remover, after-shave cream, and gentle for babies.  It’s okay to use for all skin types, so I think I will have to give this a try.

2.  theBalm cosmetics Put a Lid On It Eyelid Primer
Full Size Retail Value: $18 for 11.8ml
Sample Size I Got: $5.64 for 3.7ml

This stay-put primer keeps the eye shadow crease-free and also prevents smudges and smears.  Not sure i this is really an “important” beauty product or just one of them “extra baggage” but let’s see.  I will give it a shot and see if I like it or not.

3.  Juicy Couture Viva La Juicy
Full Size Retail Value: $70 for 50ml
Sample Size I Got: $2 for 1.5ml

This scent is more for the younger girls out there.  Not that I don’t like the smell, it smells sweet but I noticed it’s not as concentrated and didn’t stay long when I tried it on earlier.  And for the price of $70?  No I won’t buy it, I’d rather get me a much better perfume with longer lasting scent with that amount of money.  Right now, I am saying NO to this one already.

4.  amika Color pHerfection Shampoo
Full Size Retail Value: $22 for 14.37oz
Sample Size I Got: $1 for .68 fl. oz

This gentle shampoo contains fortifying omega acids and healing sea buckthorn berry oil to keep your hair color bright and shiny.  I think they really made effort to consider what was in my beauty profile and sent me a shampoo that is colored-hair friendly.

Also I mentioned in the profile I love perfumes, they sent me a perfume sample and I mentioned there I have oily skin, and they sent me something that’s okay for all skin types.  Plus points for those.

5.  Juice Beauty Daily Essentials to Go (Bonus Item)
Full Size Retail Value:  $29 for the whole set
Sample Size I Got: No Value

Included sachets are cleansing milk, antioxidant serum, and nutrient moisturizer.

Total Value of Sample Size Items:  $11.29
I paid $10 for this box, and well, that’s not much of a difference.  I’ll be more impressed if total value of my box will be more than $15 at least.

Final Verdict:  YES.  At least for now.  This is an ongoing subscription and this is just my first box so I will have to wait and see my second box and will give me an idea if I push through with Birchbox or not.  They also have a nice point system, wherein you get 10 points which is equivalent to $1 upon signing up with a paid subscription, and then 10 points each for every product you reviewed.  You can use your points to buy full sized items on their website.

To learn more about Birchbox, please click here.

Happy Monday everyone!


I REVIEW: NÉOLIA® Shampoo and Conditioner

Whew!  Busy days lately, and I am doing my best to catch up here on my blog.  But sometimes it’s just not doable.  Work here and there, attending to business, and planning things ahead for my move to Malaysia by the end of this month.  Thinking about it makes me stressed and at the same time, excited.  I can’t believe it’s less than a month and I will be in a new environment.  Well, not very new considering I hae been there before- but staying there for a long time as compared to traveling surely is a new thing for me.  But anyways, let me not bother you with my personal diva issues and let’s move ahead with the reviews.  Reviews, la la la la, reviews!

I used to wash my hair everyday, and living in a hot and humid country like the Philippines, it surely is a must.  But lately, I find myself heading the lazy route and these days, I just wash my hair every other day.  I can go on without washing my hair for 2 days max, and then it becomes oily.  And me no likey oily hair.  When my hair gets oily, I begin to have small rashes in my forehead and that’s never a good view.  Ugh!  Me and my forever struggle with sensitive skin.

Last week, I tested a shampoo and conditioner from a Canadian brand called Neolia.  Their products are all organic, and never tested on animals , very gentle, hypoallergenic, and biodegradable   The company was founded in 1988 and they mainly produce bath and body products.  You know me, my love for everything new brand, new discoveries- and I am always open to trying out new things.

Neolia’s Fortifying Shampoo and Conditioner for me, aside from being organic and all, did not really leave the greatest of impressions on me.  I admire the fact that it’s loaded with natural ingredients but when it comes to effect, it did not really deliver well.  I guess I was looking for that extra ooomph- smell, effect to the hair, etc.  Softness wasn’t there, and certainly, no significant smell.  I want my shampoo and conditioner to not just clean my hair, but also make it smell good.  Don’t we all like that?  By this, I will still stick to my regular shampoo and conditioner.

Final Verdict:  NO.
More INFO here.


I REVIEW: Clearskin by AVON Blemish Rescue Instant Spot Corrector

Clearskin by AVON

I really am not sure if this is an ongoing product by AVON, because I just checked the current brochure and it’s not there.  I then checked AVON’s website and found out you can buy this product “while supplies last”.  I also have to mention that this was a personal purchase and was not given to me for free.

So, if you are keeping track of my previous posts, you must know by now that I do have sensitive/oily skin, and I have pimples every now and then.  I’m in my late 20s, and I still get breakouts, and its annoying as hell.  What’s worst is if you are attending a special event and you want to look your best and you end up stressing because of that diva pimple in your face.  Ugh!  One time, I had to go abroad and a day prior, 3 very prominent pimples started to show up on my face and I freaked out- and because I was stressing and really don’t know what to do, I ended up putting toothpaste on them and before I know it, they became more irritated and the ending?  More visible pimples.  Congratulations.  I just ruined it big time.

AVON’s Clearskin Blemish Rescue Instant Spot Corrector came to the rescue just a month ago.  My brother’s wife is an AVON lady, and when I looked at the brochure, I got interested and had it ordered.  Packaging says “It is formulated with the maximum level of Salicylic Acid and Fast Clear Technology to work fast.  It helps reduce redness and swelling in just 3 hours.”  You apply the gel on the affected area right after cleaning your face, and you can reapply up to 3 times in 1 day.  The smell is very astringent-like.  Only one thing I don’t like is the gel leaves white spots on the dried skin, but it is very manageable though.  As for the result- well, I have to say it isn’t that fast like it was mentioned in the packaging.  I had a pimple just above my lips and I used the spot corrector for 2 days straight- the good result is that, it kind of stopped the pimple from growing but the mark it left is certainly not erased.  And it did not irritate my sensitive skin so I am still using it until now.

Final Verdict:  Maybe.  For the meantime that I still haven’t found the right spot corrector for me, I will keep using this.  It’s gentle, and it’s not too expensive.
More INFO here.