Best Products I’ve Used in 2018

Hello readers. I’m here to do a recap of my favorites last year. I selected these because I reach for them the most out of all the products. They’re divided into categories; skin care, lip care and fragrance.

Skin Care

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Rashfree Zinc Oxide Ointment
My most favorite in this list. I’m using this for my topical steroid withdrawal. It instantly gives itch relief and protects the skin from external harm. A 30 gram tube of this is only 170 pesos. Available locally at the drugstores.

CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser Bar
My first review on this didn’t turn out well when my skin was still oily. But now I have dry skin and works well. It doesn’t cause breakouts anymore and no irritation. It has 3 kinds of ceramides that can aid in strengthening skin’s barrier. The only downside is it’s not in-stores yet. It has to be ordered online.

Human Nature Sunflower Oil
I used this as moisturizer when I posted my full review. But I found a better use for it as makeup remover. Since my skin is flakey, I can’t use cleansing tissues anymore. This oil dissolves my makeup in a few circular motions. It works better for oil-based makeup than water-based. It can’t be washed of with water alone so I follow up with CeraVe soap. I splash my face with water and then add a little bit of water to the lather. Sunflower oil has comedogenic rating of 2 but it doesn’t break me out.

Watsons Unscented Wet Wipes
This was my makeup remover before my TSW. The sheets are wet enough to breakdown my makeup. I’m a full coverage girl so I use liquid foundation, concealer and powder foundation. 2 sheets are enough to completely remove them. We choose fragrance-free products as much as possible. A pack of 50 sheets is 75 pesos. Make sure to reseal it properly to avoid it from getting dry.

Althea Petal Velvet Sunaway Cream
I really liked this sunblock because it’s long lasting. It stays on the skin even if I sweat a lot. There’s only a minimal flashback for photography. There’s a ball mixer inside which makes shaking the product a lot faster. The oil doesn’t separate unlike with other sunblocks. It’s good for sweaty skin. It mattifies and makes skin look fresh. This has a strong fragrance though.

Klairs Soft Airy UV Essence
Now this sunblock is for everyday use. It feels light on the skin and gives hydration. Great for warm weather because of it’s lotion-y texture. It’s fragrance-free. It doesn’t stay on for long but that’s okay if you’re just in an air-conditioned place.

Lip Care

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Human Nature Tinted Lip Balm
I wasn’t a fan of lib balms before. But this one form Human Nature got me hooked. It gives a subtle tint. Pink Orchid is close to my natural lip color. It has a little bit of shimmer but it’s not bothersome. The peppermint in it gives a cooling effect on the lips. It’s locally made plus it’s very affordable.

Fragrance

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Stay Fresh Body Sparkling Mist by Titi Kamal x Althea
This came in the mail just in time for the holidays. It has a light floral scent. I used this a lot during our gatherings. It smells sophisticated. I can see myself choosing this scent for formal events too. The packaging is sturdy and sprays evenly. This is a great gift for your best friend.

I carefully selected these as they all work well on me. I’m quite picky now when it comes to shopping for cosmetics. I’m still excited to explore stores and find new products to try. By the way, what’s the one thing that you could rave about? Share it below. 😉

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Review: Rashfree Zinc Oxide Ointment

I’ll be reviewing an ointment that I’m currently using and is one of my faves this year. But first, I want to share what I’ve been searching online. It’s about Topical Steroid Withdrawal or TSW. People who suffer from skin conditions like eczema and dermatitis can relate to this. Your skin became so dependent on steroid creams that it flares up when you’re not using it. What is TSW? It’s when you finally decide to stop using steroid cream for good. You can either go cold turkey (completely stop) or gradually reduce it so you wouldn’t be overwhelmed. The discomfort will probably be the same but it helped me to prepare mentally and emotionally. Those few months or years of flare ups and flaking without using steroid will be worth it in the end. I’m going to discuss more about it in another post.

I tried going cold turkey but it was so uncomfortable. So I’m gradually stopping it instead but by areas.. Right now, I stopped using steroid on my T-zone area; forehead, nose and chin. I’m going to deal with the cheeks next year… which is the biggest part of my rashes. I’ve watched Youtube videos on how to reduce discomfort. Some of them used Sudocrem. It’s an antiseptic cream used for itch relief. Zinc oxide is one of the main ingredients. I couldn’t wait to order online so I found an alternative that I can get on that day.

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I found a review on Rashfree Zinc Oxide Ointment and the result was amazing. It’s locally made and can be bought at drugstores. I bought mine for around 170 pesos at Mercury Drugstore. It’s mainly used for diaper rash and minor skin conditions. According to Unilab’s website, zinc oxide is a skin protectant. See the leaflet in the box for instructions and when to stop.

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Pros:
– Affordable, around 170 pesos
– Available locally at drugstores
– 30g is a huge amount for an ointment
– Little goes a long way
– Did not trigger contact dermatitis
– Did not cause breakouts
– Can be used as spot treatment
– Helps to protect skin
– Helps to reduce oozing of rashes

Cons:
– Difficult to wash off
– Can be drying

I was a bit hesitant at first because the ointment is thick. I thought it would clog my pores and cause breakouts but it doesn’t! You’ll only need a small amount since it has thick texture. It did not make my rashes worse. It actually calmed my skin down and helps to stop the oozing of rashes. This can also be used on small areas or spot treatment as you can see in the photo below.

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In my case, it doesn’t remove rashes completely but it protects skin from getting infections. I’m going through TSW so I know the rashes will be on and off for a while. I’m glad there’s a local alternative that’s so affordable. 30 grams of this product can last for a long time. I also love that it’s in an collapsible aluminum tube. I can control how much I just need.

The only downsides that I can think of is it’s difficult to wash off and it can be drying. Sometimes it stays on spaces of dry patches. But even if it happens, there’s no pimple breakouts. It can be drying but that helps to “close” my rashes. Overall, this is my most favorite product this year. It really helps me while I’m going through TSW. It makes this journey not as bad as what I’ve expected.

Review: Leiania House Of Beauty Virgin Argan Facial Beauty Oil

Hello readers! I’m changing my routine and making it more suitable for hypersensitive skin. I’m dealing with rashes, redness and dryness from time to time. Remember the first time I got hooked with argan oil? I wanted to use “liquid gold” again but this time I found a cheaper one. I was browsing BeautyMNL’s website and came across Leiania House Of Beauty. They have 15ml pure argan oil for only 200 pesos. How cheap is that? I added it to my cart and the next day I got my order.

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Description:
Formulated with 100% cold pressed, virgin, unrefined Moroccan argan oil rich in vitamin E, essential fatty acids, and proteins; enhances and improves skin texture and tone; helps boost elasticity and moisture levels; diminishes the appearance of wrinkles and scars; treats acne, eczema, and psoriasis; relieves inflammation and irritation; neutralizes free radicals; softens and smoothens; works to regulate sebum production; plumps up, firms, and tightens; hydrates and enhances hair growth; repairs brittle and damaged tresses; nourishes cuticles; lightweight and easily absorbed; gentle even on hyper-sensitive and allergy-prone skin; handy 12ml roll-on fits your handbag

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Pros:
– Affordable, 15ml for 200 pesos
– Locally available on BeautyMNL
– Glass dropper bottle
– Gives glowing skin
– Gives hydration
– Skin feels soft and smooth in the morning
– Did not cause breakouts
– Did not trigger my contact dermatitis

Cons:
– None

It says in the description that’s in a roll-on tube but I’m glad they changed the packaging. I’m going to say it again, I’m very pleased with glass dropper bottle for oils. Brands usually use the one with pump which is messy and not travel friendly. In fact, I dropped this one time and it didn’t break. Another thing that I like is it’s very affordable. This product is also good if you want to start adding oils in your routine. Its comedogenic rating is 0 but we all know anything can block pores. I keep coming back to it because it’s less likely to block pores compared with other kinds of oil.

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It has the same effects with my previous brand. It gives glowing skin from within. It’s not something that you can get with makeup/highlighters. It gives enough hydration. When my skin is still damp, I like to press it on to be absorbed quickly. My skin feels soft and smooth in the morning when I wake up. It doesn’t give me breakouts and doesn’t make my rashes worse.

I’m using this especially when my dermatitis is so dry and itchy. It relieves the itch and softens the look of my desert-like skin. Yes, I’m in drought right now. It doesn’t cure the rashes but it definitely gives relief. I can’t think of any negative experience while I was using this. I can say that it’s safe for my hypersensitive skin.

Review: Althea Petal Velvet Sunaway

Last month, I received a package from Althea. It’s their first product for sun protection. I have been testing it out for almost two weeks now. You know me, I only post reviews once I completely tested out a product. 😉 I just known the importance of sunblocks when I started to have combination skin. Lately it’s cold in the morning and then it’s either hot or it rains after a few hours. It’s important to use products that are comfortable in different weather conditions like this.

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Description:
Give your skin the look and feel of soft flower petals with this moisture-filled, velvety sunscreen. Filled with premium Damask rose extracts, Althea’s Petal Velvet Sunaway uses advanced micro particle technology to protect the skin from UV rays while giving it a petal-like finish.

Ingredients:

WATER, CYCLOPENTASILOXANE, ZINC OXIDE, DISILOXANE, PROPANEDIOL, TITANIUM DIOXIDE, DICAPRYLYL ETHER, METHYL METHACRYLATE CROSSPOLYMER, PELARGONIUM GRAVEOLENS FLOWER OIL, SALVIA OFFICINALIS (SAGE) OIL, POGOSTEMON CABLIN OIL, CITRUS AURANTIUM BERGAMIA (BERGAMOT) FRUIT OIL, ROSA DAMASCENA FLOWER EXTRACT, PEG-10 DIMETHICONE, STEARIC ACID, ALUMINUM HYDROXIDE, VINYL DIMETHICONE/METHICONE SILSESQUIOXANE CROSSPOLYMER, SODIUM CHLORIDE, TRIETHOXYCAPRYLYLSILANE, 1,2-HEXANEDIOL, SORBITAN CAPRYLATE, GLYCERYL CAPRYLATE, POLYGLYCERYL-6 POLYRICINOLEATE, ETHYLHEXYLGLYCERIN, BUTYLENE GLYCOL, ETHYL HEXANEDIOL, CAPRYLYL GLYCOL

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Pros:
– Affordable, 55ml for 480 pesos on Althea
– Travel-friendly packaging
– SPF 50+ PA++++
– Lightweight
– Easily absorbed
– Gives hydration
– Makes skin look fresh
– Mattifying
– No flashbacks
– Stays on even when skin’s sweaty

Cons:
-Scent is too strong for me

The first thing I noticed was the packaging. It’s travel-friendly. It’s secured and no need to worry about any spillage. It also has a ball mixer inside like in spray paints so shaking the product won’t be time consuming. I skip my moisturizer because this alone provides enough hydration for the day. It’s easily absorbed and feels lightweight on the skin… Which is usually a problem for other sunblocks. I love its brightening effect. It’s not too much, just enough to make the skin look fresh. If you’re oily, you’ve experienced skin darkening at some point. This works well for that.

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I’m also impressed with its longevity. It stays on even if I sweat a lot. I didn’t feel the need to reapply throughout the day. But of course, you still have to reapply after every 2 hours if you’re staying under the sun for a long time. It doesn’t interfere with makeup application. It’s mattifying and actually helped my makeup to stay longer. It’s also fine for both hot and cold weathers.

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The collage above is a test for flash photography. The left photo has no product. I applied Sunaway in the right photo. It gives little to no flashbacks at all. Based on the ingredients, it doesn’t have any artificial fragrances. Which is a good thing but this has a powdery scent. I love that scent but this one is too strong for me. It goes away after a few minutes though.

Overall, this is a good product if you’re looking for something that’s light and long lasting while giving you maximum sun protection. It stays on even for sweaty skin. It can be used for all weather conditions since it gives hydration. This is very affordable and a 55ml tube will last for a long time. You can get this one on Althea and it’s also available in a set with their powder. 🙂

First Impression: Benton Tea Tree Cleansing Water

Hello readers! It’s been a while since I blogged about makeup remover. I usually go for remover wipes ’cause I’m that lazy. But I find that wipes can scratch and irritate the skin. So I’m on the search again for something that’s less harsh. I remembered that I still have samples from Benton. Out of all their products, Tea Tree Cleansing Water intrigued me the most.

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Description:
Infused with Tea Tree Leaf Water and Tea Tree Leaf Oil, this cleansing water mildly cleanses your skin, leaving skin refreshed and calm.

Ingredients:
Alternifolia (Tea Tree) Leaf Water, Water (Aqua), Dipropylene Glycol, Glycerin, 1,2-Hexanediol, Butylene Glycol, Melaleuca Alternifolia (Tea Tree) Leaf Oil, Polyglyceryl-6 Caprylate, Polyglyceryl-10 Laurate, Sodium Chloride

Pros:
– Fairly priced, $17 or approx. 850 pesos
– Fragrance-free
– Lightweight
– No oily or sticky residue
– Non-drying
– Quickly removes makeup
– Did not cause irritations
– Did not cause breakouts

Cons:
– None

They say that if your makeup is oil-based, you have to use an oil cleanser. And if not, you should use water-based remover. Although my makeup is oil-based, I prefer to use this because it’s refreshing. It doesn’t leave any sticky residue. It effectively removed my makeup in just a few swipes. For your reference, I used liquid foundation, concealer and powder foundation while I tested this for 3 days.

It didn’t dry out my skin even if it’s main ingredient is tea tree water. It’s also fragrance-free. That’s a plus for us with sensitive skin. I don’t have cons for this. Benton recommends this for oily and acne-prone skin. I used this when I still had oily skin and I must say it did not cause breakouts or irritations. It is just amazing!

Review: Human Nature Sunflower Beauty Oil

I’m back on exploring local brands again. Recently, I had a bad flare up of rashes again so I needed to “protect” those areas. We bought Human Nature’s bestseller last month. I was hoping it could at least lessen the redness and itching caused by rashes. It’s my first sunflower oil so I won’t be able to compare it with other brands.

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Description:
A cult beauty classic rich with moisturizing and nourishing vitamins A, D & E this holy grail oil has earned its place as a well-known and well-loved miracle worker.

Ingredients:
Premium cosmetic-grade sunflower seed oil

Pros:
– Very affordable, 50ml for 199 pesos at Sesou branches
– Can be used as makeup remover
– Can be used as moisturizer
– Gives glow
– Quickly absorbed
– Helps to heal blemishes
– Reduced my itching
– Did not cause breakouts

Cons:
– Pump bottle is not travel friendly
– Clogs my sink

Neutral:
– Might be too heavy for the skin depending on the weather and your activities

I tried using this to remove my makeup first. It really did melt all my heavy makeup. After cleansing, I used it as moisturizer for flaky areas. It smoothened those areas. I like that it gives a subtle glow too! I can definitely see it even under my makeup. I also noticed that my blemishes dry and heal quicker than usual. It did not cause breakouts even on my oily t-zone. While there was no improvement on redness, it did reduce the itch and provided comfort while I had rashes caused by dermatitis.

It’s quickly absorbed if you press it down lightly with your palms or by gently sweeping on the skin. If you’re in a hurry, just dab at tissue and proceed to your makeup routine. Your tissue paper should be organic or at least unbleached if you have hypersensitive skin like me.  Just putting it out there.

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The only down side is the packaging. It’s not travel friendly. From my past experience with other products, oils are easily spilled out from a pump bottle. Spillage will be avoided if oils are in amber glass bottles with droppers. Aside from that, frequent use of this clogged my sink a little bit. But it can be solved by pouring hot water in the sink. It’s a factor for me because I’m lazy to do it all the time. 😛

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I’m neutral about its heaviness. In my opinion it’s ideal as night treatment since we’re living in a country that’s hot and humid (& messed up. lol). But you can also use this during the day if you’re just in an air-conditioned place. Your activities like commuting and exercising should also be factors on your skin care decision-making.

Overall, using this turned out pretty well although it’s not a cure-all for dermatitis. Dermatitis is also linked in the body’s health so don’t just rely on topical treatments. The only thing that I want was to reduce the itch and it delivered. It’s multifunctional and one of the most affordable oils out there. I was a bit hesitant because sunflower oil has high comedogenic rating, meaning it has a high chance of blocking pores. Each skin is unique so trying out products is always a trial and error.

Review: Aritaum Full Cover Liquid Concealer in 03 – 2017 Edition

Im back with a makeup review and it’s about my current favorite concealer. I got 03 Natural Beige. I usually pick natural beige but surprisingly this one’s dark on me. Read more to find out below what I like about it and how I can compare it to the original version.

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Description from Althea’s website:
It gets fixed on the skin smoothly and naturally covers the skin flaws without cakiness on the next step of makeup. The soft liquid texture covers broad and light blemishes and the tip type applicator covers even tiny areas on the face. The three colors can cover skin flaws naturally according to one’s own skin tone.

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Pros:

  • Affordable
  • Fragrance-free
  • Good for highlighting
  • Its finish is in between matte and dewy
  • Lightweight
  • Doesn’t accentuate pores
  • Covers redness really well
  • Covers most of my dark spots
  • Did not cause breakouts
  • Did not trigger my contact dermatitis

Cons:

  • Only available in few shades
  • No ingredients list on the packaging
  • Wears off easily for someone who sweats a lot like me
  • Can get cakey
  • Only 5 grams. Weight is obviously less than the original
  • Gives white cast for flash photography

Neutral:

  • Sets easily

Talking about the price, it’s very affordable. I got it on sale for 180 pesos only on Althea. The regular price is 220 pesos. I noticed that it doesn’t have a strong scent. I’m guessing it’s fragrance-free since it smells like the other foundations and concealers I’ve used before. It gives white cast and they made it for highlighting and contouring. The finish is in between matte and dewy. It just looks a bit like skin.

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It has light to medium coverage in my opinion. It’s lightweight and can completely cover redness and dark circles. This could be full coverage if that’s just your concern. Most of my spots are covered too. For other spots, I have to go back for a second layer. It did not cause breakouts and did not give me redness and itch. That’s good news for us with sensitive skin.

It does wear off easily if used alone. It sets quickly so you should apply it by areas instead of going on full face. It would be difficult to retouch or blend once it’s set. It can also get cakey if you dont blend it well. I like this one better than the original when it comes to texture and light feeling. It oxidizes on me and yes, I’m acidic. It’s ideal for day time and not for flash photography.

The original version is better when it comes to coverage and longevity. I doubt that they will go back to it because the old one almost had the same thickness as their Full Cover BB Cream.