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11.28.2016

Sneak Peek | Laneige Milkyway Fantasy Holiday Collection.

With Christmas barely a month away, more and more cosmetics brands have begun to unveil their holiday collections, most of which have been released in stores just in time for Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Not to be outdone, Korean beauty brand Laneige has also launched its holiday collection, and this has got to be the brand's prettiest limited edition line thus far.
Laneige Milkyway Fantasy Collection.
Released earlier this month, the Milkyway Fantasy Collection reflects the beauty of the enchanting universe in its sparkling packaging. With dots of twinkling stars set against the background of the night sky, this capsule range mirrors the 'sparkling beauty' for Laneige has been known for.
For that sparkling beauty.
Revel in the fantasy after the jump!

11.27.2016

Seoul Searching | Doota Duty Free + Descendants of the Sun Hall.

Last year, during our first ever trip to South Korea, I had the chance to explore Dongdaemun by my lonesome and enjoy its sights and sounds, its food stalls, and the shopping experience. I made a resolve to take the boys along the next time we visit Seoul, and the plan finally materialized last spring - on a Saturday night when the husband got off work early. And by early, I mean 10 pm.
Off to Dongdaemun!
In the Philippines, most shopping malls operate until 9 or 10 pm. In Dongdaemun, the number of shoppers usually increase during these hours, making the area one of the busiest and most crowded at night.
Weaving through the crowd.
My son was amazed at how many people were still up and about, strolling and shopping, when it's already way past his bedtime. Haha!
Still abuzz even when it's almost midnight!
I, on the other hand, was amazed by Doota's new look. Or should I say, enthralled by its new poster boy? :)
Making our way to Doota.
Apparently, Doota Duty Free - the first 'overnight' duty free store in Korea (because it operates until 2 am) - opened the day prior to our visit, and its endorser is no other than the hottest, most popular Hallyu star of 2016 - Song Joong Ki.
When you see it. :)
More of Doota Duty Free (and Song Joong Ki) after the jump!

11.22.2016

Spotlight | Missha x Line Friends Magic Cushion.

Much as I love BB creams and BB cushions, I have actually been shying away from them for quite some time now. You see, the past few months have been unbearably hot and humid here in the tropics, and mattifying powders have become my new best friend.

But now that Christmas is nearing, the days have become progressively cooler and thankfully, more makeup-friendly. That being said, I finally had the chance to use my Missha x Line Friends Magic Cushion, which I brought home from my spring trip to South Korea.
Missha x Line Friends Magic Cushion.
If you remember my earlier post about the Missha x Line Friends 4D Mascara, Missha released two editions of this makeup collaboration with Line Friends. The Magic Cushion was included in both editions; however, there is a difference between the contents of Magic Cushion box.
Inside the box - the Magic Cushion pact, Magic Cushion refill, and two air puff sponges.
While the first edition had one air puff sponge and two refills of the Magic Cushion, the second edition includes two air puff sponges but only one refill of the Magic Cushion. Mine is from the sophomore release, as you can see. Both editions sold for 11000 won, but you actually get more value for money with the first edition since it comes with two refills.
The air puff sponge.
The Magic Cushion is housed in a cute, brown - albeit made with plastic - compact printed with Brown's face. The compact has a built-in mirror and a flip-out tray which holds the sponge and acts as a moisture seal; its edges are slightly curved which makes for a comfortable grip.
Sealed for protection.
When I got hooked to this Korean cosmetics craze, Missha was the first BB cream brand that I tried. I fell in love with their BB creams in a heartbeat, with their excellent coverage, impressive staying power, and nice, powdery finish. The Missha x Line Friends Magic Cushion does not disappoint, and lives up to par with my expectations. 
The cushion itself.
The cushion looks quite 'juicy' from the get-go. Its texture is a tad watery and feels 'wet' when applied. It does not feel sticky and settles into a semi-matte, slightly dewy finish. The air puff sponge also picks up a great amount of product and does fine with blending and application. It also feels soft and gentle as it glides on the skin - does not feel rubbery at all!
Shade #23.
One thing I noticed about the Missha x Line Friends Magic Cushion is the shade. They seem to be lighter than the usual, so instead of my usual shade #21, I settled for the darker shade #23.
Shade #23 swatched.
Left without BB Cushion, right with BB Cushion.
Left without BB Cushion, right with BB Cushion.
When swatched, it appears light - perhaps too light for my skin. But when blended, the cushion adjusted nicely to my skin tone, and looked very natural with just the right amount of glow on the skin.
Bare-face.
As for the staying power, it lasts for a decent 4-5 hours, and requires minimum touch-ups. It feels light on the skin, and does not cake or patch after a few hours of wear.
Magic Cushion when worn.
The Magic Cushion is suitable for most skin types, but for those with oily skin, I suggest you wear a primer underneath to maximize the product's staying power.
Products used:
FACE: Innisfree No Sebum Blur Primer,
Ever Bilena Liquid Concealer in Light,
Missha x Line Friends Magic Cushion #23.
EYES: Shiseido Eyebrow Pencil in Brown,
The Face Shop Ink Graffi Brush Liner in Black,
Missha x Line Friends 4D Mascara.
CHEEKS: Ever Bilena Cheek Blush in Raisin.
LIPS: Ever Bilena Matte Lipstick in Sexy Nude.

Have you tried this cushion before? What's your favorite BB cushion? :)

11.20.2016

Sneak Peek | Peripera x The Powerpuff Girls Collection.

Korean beauty brand Peripera will be launching their holiday collection real soon, and here's a sneak peek of what's in store for us.
Peripera x The Powerpuff Girls!
Yep, the adorable little girls are back - not to fight the forces of evil but to add sugar, spice, and everything nice to our daily makeup/skincare routine.
Sugar, spice, and everything nice!
More of the girls after the jump!

11.19.2016

Foodie Goodie | Neri's Gourmet Tuyo.

One of the very few local celebrities that I follow on Instagram is Neri Naig-Miranda, wife of Parokya ni Edgar frontman Chito Miranda. Her IG feed features snippets of her life as a homemaker and mom-to-be, random stories about love and marriage, plus her cooking adventures.
Photo credit: Neri Miranda.
Through her Instagram, I also discovered the sophisticated version of dried herring, or 'tuyo' as we call it here in the Philippines. Cooked and bottled in olive oil and infused with onions, garlic, chilies, and spices, your plain ol' dried herring get's a 'face lift' and becomes 'gourmet tuyo'.

I love tuyo, and have been wanting to give this 'avant garde' version a try for the longest time. I was finally able to satisfy my curiosity and satiate my craving over the weekend - yay!
Old packaging of Neri's Gourmet Tuyo.
Apparently, Neri's Gourmet Tuyo now has an official reseller in my area. Stocks are usually available during the weekends and can be purchased at Kpop Bang, a Korean restaurant located within the city proper.
What's inside. :)
Neri's Gourmet Tuyo comes in 120 mL bottles, and is available in two variants - Original, which retails at Php 170 per bottle, and Spicy, which sells for Php 175 per bottle. I bought the Original variant, thinking that the latter might be a tad too spicy for my liking.
Made with olive oil.
In one of her Instagram posts, Neri mentioned that she uses only olive oil for her gourmet tuyo, which is good since this oil is considered as the healthiest among all cooking oils. In addition, olive oil lends a distinctively fresh, earthy taste to virtually any dish. This gourmet tuyo is also infused with garlic, onions, and spices, plus diced carrots for the crunch factor.
Dried herring + aromatics + spices + olive oil.
I love that Neri's Gourmet Tuyo is neither too salty nor cloying, and is seasoned just right. How I wish I had bought more than one bottle, because that particular bottle was emptied in no time. Haha! Definitely buying two (or more bottles) next time!
This was gone in a jiffy, lol.
In the future, I hope Neri's Gourmet Tuyo will also be available in luggage-friendly packaging. As in pouches, so I can stuff them easily in my luggage and bring some whenever I visit my husband abroad. I'm sure a lot of OFWs missing the taste of home will appreciate this as pasalubong, too!
c/o Kpop Bang,
Paseo de Escudero St, San Pablo City
0915 105 8922


11.17.2016

Sneak Peek | Etude House My Little Nut Holiday Collection.

One look at Etude House's newest collection and you'll know that Christmas is fast approaching. You'd be a total scrooge if you don't get the Christmas vibe from these little cuties.
Etude House My Little Nut Holiday Collection!
A symbol of good luck and protection, the nutcracker is one of the most widely-recognized icons attributed to Christmas - and the star of the Etude House 2016 holiday collection.
My Little Nut is adorbs!
Dubbed as 'My Little Nut', this limited edition series consists of a variety of products - from eyeliners to eyeshadows, even perfume and hand creams. The packaging alone makes them an all too perfect Christmas gift!

View the entire collection after the jump!

11.13.2016

Spotlight The Face Shop White Ginseng Collagen Pearl Capsule Cream.

A few months back, I joined the Seoul Summer Sale contest hosted by Visit Seoul, with hopes of winning either the Super Junior autographed CD or the Shinsegae Duty Free gift card worth 100000 won (around $85 or Php 4000). I did win the contest, but my prize was neither the CD nor the gift card.
My prize from the Visit Seoul Summer Sale contest!
Instead, I received the White Ginseng Collagen Pearl Capsule Cream from The Face Shop. Not bad, I told myself, considering how much I love Korean cosmetics, and that I get to try a new product without having to spend anything. Plus this prize is valued at 52000 won (around Php 2200 or $45) upon checking it at Emart.
Inside the box.
Product description and list of ingredients at the back of the box.
The White Ginseng Collagen Pearl Capsule Cream is a hydrating cream made with natural pearl extracts, ginseng root extract, and hydrolyzed collagen. Together these three ingredients create a healthy, radiant complexion and help achieve glowing, younger-looking skin.
The bottle.
Very elegant-looking.
The cream comes in a simple yet elegant-looking (albeit bulky) glass jar. It's housed in a gold paper box with a plastic tray inside to keep the jar in place. The packaging alone is very luxurious, which makes the product look a lot more expensive than it really is.
The cap and the bottle itself have the same size, lol.
Comes with a plastic seal.
As for the product itself, it has a gel-cream texture that's light as air and sink immediately into the skin. The cream is very hydrating - perfect for this time of year when the cold winds and the sudden change in temperature can make the skin extremely dry and flaky.
Inside the bottle.
This product can be used in two ways - as a regular moisturizer, or as a booster to your makeup ritual.
Pearl capsules inside.
To use as a regular moisturizer, simply scoop out the cream with the spatula provided, along with 3 or 4 pearl capsules. Place the cream and the capsules on your palm, cup your palm, then crush the capsules with the spatula or with your clean fingers. Dab an even amount on your forehead and your cheeks, then spread the product evenly on your face. The product can be used as a cream on its own, or you can mix it with any moisturizer or cream that you're currently using.
Scoop them with the spatula provided.
To use as a booster to your makeup ritual, you can mix in 1-2 pearls with your foundation to achieve dewy, glowing skin. The pearls are quite shimmery when crushed, and glisten like silver dust when used on its own.
The pearl capsules up close. 
Hence, I prefer using this layered on top of my Moistfull Collagen Emulsion during the day, and mixed with my Moistfull Collagen Cream at night. I've been using this product for more than two weeks now and the experience has been great so far. I usually tweak my skincare routine during the colder months (like, now), and I love the extra hydration that this product provides. The uneven patches on my skin have also become less noticeable, which I attribute to this cream's niacinamide content.
A few seconds after applying the cream.
Niacinamide, a non-toxic, non-carcinogenic and relatively safe skin ingredient, helps to lighten areas of pigmentation and age spots. It also reduces blotchiness and evens out skin tone while improving skin texture.
After two weeks of use.
All in all, this product is a great addition to my usual skincare routine. I reckon it will take me awhile to finish this jar, but I plan to buy another jar when I go back to Korea next month. I hope there will be lots of sale events by then! It's almost Christmas after all! :)

11.07.2016

Sneak Peek | Banila Co. x Pink Panther Holiday Collection.

As we enter the colder, blustery month of November, expect a flurry of new products and Yuletide-themed collections from our favorite makeup and skincare brands. Christmas, after all, is just 47 days away! Wow, where did the rest of the year go?!

Korean cosmetics brand Banila Co recently dropped teasers of their upcoming holiday collection, and boy oh boy, we're in for another cartoon collaboration! This time, it's with Pink Panther, one of my favorite cartoon characters when I was a child! (Insert the classic Henry Mancini theme!)
Photo credit: Ceci Korea.
The Banila Co. x Pink Panther Collection includes the cult favorite Clean It Zero Cleansing Balm and the Clean it Zero Cleansing Foam with Pink Panther pictures printed on it. Pink Panther's even wearing reindeer antlers, you know, for the Christmas-y feel.
Photo credit: Nylon Korea.
The Clean It Zero Cleansing Balm comes in an ultra-size 180 mL jar and retails for 25000 won (around Php 1062). The Clean It Zero Cleansing Foam, on the other hand, comes in a 100 mL tube and sells for 18000 won (around Php 765).
Photo credit: Marie Claire Korea.
The two items can be bought as a set - housed in this pink gift box - with the Pink Panther towel hair band as freebie. Great gift idea, isn't it?
Photo credit: Beauty Talk App.
The Banila Co. x Pink Panther Holiday Collection will officially hit Korean stores on November 18th! Hopefully, they'll still be available when I fly back to Seoul next month! :)