Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Cream Silk Fresh Hydration

The best beauty innovations for me are products that promise up to 24-hour hydration while having the lightest, loveliest texture. An example is the moisturizer I reviewed yesterday, Althea's Fixer Cream. As for the hair, Cream Silk's newest variant FRESH HYDRATION, is designed specifically to combat summer-dryness. (Bye bye, amoy araw!)

I actually saw this in the department store earlier this month and was drawn to it since the packaging looks bright and cool. I'm all for products that can give me a fresh feeling, since it gets really hot and humid here in the Philippines.

To be honest, I have no patience with heavy conditioners. I'd rather skip them and just use shampoo alone. I'm currently using Zenutrients Strengthening Gugo Shampoo for my thinning hair, but sometimes my hair feels rough/hard when I rinse it, so I paired it with Cream Silk Fresh Hydration Conditioner for a softer finish. I immediately felt the difference as I washed it off - super soft and not greasy at all! It smells and feels fresh, and it takes longer for my scalp to start feeling oily.

This variant just launched this month and is limited edition. HUHU 😭 Based on its performance vs our forever summer weather, Cream Silk should make this variant part of their permanent range. 👍

Price: P109 for 170mL
*also available in a big 340mL tube

Have you tried Cream Silk Fresh Hydration? 💙


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For quick updates or any questions, just message me on IG! 😗

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Monday, March 26, 2018

Althea Bare Essentials Capsule Review

When I first tried the Althea Petal Velvet Powder (which is my favorite translucent powder to date), I wished that the brand would come up with more products since the first one was really good. I got my wish and more - now they have the Althea Petal Velvet Powder in Shade #23 Warm Beige and a minimalist 3-step skincare line! 👍

Althea strips down to the Bare Essentials with their new skincare line. Dropping all the non-essentials and focusing on the basic fundamentals of skincare, this 3-step skincare line promises to give you the benefits of a 10-step Korean skincare routine! The packaging looks really simple, clean, and basic. It somehow reminds me of Muji beauty products.

Contour Cleanser (P300 for 150ml)

When I first saw this, I found the name really strange. A cleanser that contours the face AKA skinny cleanser? The star ingredients of this product are soothing Ice Plant and detoxifying Lemon Myrtle extracts.

You only need a pea-sized amount as this cleanser foams up richly. Upon massaging it on your face, you'll be greeted by a subtle but invigorating lemon verbena scent. It improves blood circulation to decrease puffiness for a V-shaped look - not that my face needed any more slimming. 😂 The micro-capsules in this product are unlike regular facial scrubs - they burst upon contact with water, so they literally melt away while whisking away dirt and dead skin cells. This one's the most gentle scrub wash I've tried, and it can definitely be used everyday. This mild cleanser leaves my skin clean (never dry and squeaky), balanced, and soft - ready for the next step.

Primer Water (P550 for 200ml)

This toner looks like a bottle of cloudy water. Upon further inspection, it has higher viscosity (similar to an essence) than a regular toner. It's more on the nourishing side vs astringent-type toners that can strip moisture off your skin.

At first, I thought that the toner and moisturizer came in glass packaging. The Primer Water comes in a soft plastic bottle that you can squeeze gently to control the amount of product you're dispensing.

I use this in two ways:
(1) On regular days, I just use this alone with a cotton pad after cleansing. It's gentle yet able to remove leftover dirt on the skin.
(2) On days when I wear heavy makeup or when my skin's itchy and on the verge of breaking out (from stress), I use my trusty Snow Pore Minimizing Toner with a cotton pad to remove dirt and cool down my skin, then use my hands to apply the Primer Water with a patting motion to nourish my skin back to health.

The primer water is a hydrating toner + primer in one. Patented dewdrop formulation gently fills the gaps between pores and allows hydration to penetrate deep within the layers of the skin. Snow Lotus extracts make your skin softer, smoother, and brighter.

From the first try, my dehydrated cheeks drank the Primer Water up, said "ahhhhh", and thanked me. It's good!
Fixer Cream (P640 for 50g)

When they said that this moisturizer is made for ALL skin types, they weren't kidding. The Fixer Cream can be used no matter if your skin is dehydrated, dry, normal, or even oily. My skin's acting up by being itchy dry on the cheeks and shiny elsewhere, so this moisturizer is exactly what I needed.

This water-based moisturizer contains Trehalose (found in cactus plants that prevent moisture loss) to provide the skin with 24-hour hydration. Wild Green Tea extracts pack on antioxidants, while Baobab Tree extracts promote collagen regeneration.

My experience with this one: The first time I used it, I got too excited and put on too much product, so it took a while to get absorbed and it made me look shiny. When I used it again with just the right amount of product, the result was perfect. My skin just looked healthy and dewy, and it felt plumper, too. The only con for me is the initial sticky feeling before it gets fully absorbed by the skin, but once it gets absorbed, you will love how glowing your skin is. I use this day and night. During the day, my face feels balanced (and my cheeks do not get flaky and itchy) despite staying for more than 8 hours inside an air-conditioned environment. At night, I use this before sleeping and I always wake up to soft and supple skin!

Contour Cleanser, Primer Water, and Fixer Cream
Expiry dates are indicated on all Bare Essential products 👍

You can get the entire Althea Bare Essentials set for less than P1,500 - a steal considering its quality! Althea is giving out an additional 10% off when you buy the full set + a FREE beauty mirror while stocks last. 🛒 Get P200 off your first order with a minimum purchase of P1,500. 💝

You can buy the Bare Essentials products here.


Let's keep in touch!
For quick updates or any questions, just message me on IG! 😗

@LUCKYCITRINE on Instagram
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Sunday, March 25, 2018

My favorite reds - lip balm, lipgloss, and lipstick!

You got that James Dean daydream look in your eye
And I got that red lip, classic thing that you like
-Taylor Swift

My go-to makeup look is the classic black eyeliner + red lipstick combo. Some might shy away from red, some might reserve it for special occasions, but I'd wear it any day. 💋 Today, I'll be sharing with you my favorite red lippies in 3 forms.

The Body Shop Born Lippy Lip Balm in Strawberry

The Body Shop's Born Lippy Lip Balm is a classic. It's the lip balm I dreamed of having when I was a kid living on allowance, no kidding! I finally bought my first tub of this good stuff way back when I was in high school. I've been repurchasing this on and off since I have a lot of lippies in my stash, so this one's my 4th repurchase. (Proof!) I chanced upon The Body Shop on flash sale last December, and got this at a whopping 50% off (from P250 to P125!). I've broken my personal rule of not buying stuff I don't need, since I have unopened lip balms in my drawer, but this one's too good to pass up.

This tub is now made in Germany, and I'm not sure if they've refomulated, but it still has that deliciously sweet strawberry scent AND flavor. My 7-year old niece exclaimed, "It tastes like Air Heads!" the first time I let her try this. (Start 'em young! LOL) It also has an ever so slight tint that brings my pale lips to life when worn alone.

This is the Air Heads candy she was referring to. LOL

Born Lippy vs Bare Lips

Happy, healthy lips 💋

I love using this before I sleep to give love back to my lips as I wear matte lipsticks all day long. I wake up to super soft lips in the morning! 🌞

Tip: Whenever I retouch matte liquid lipsticks after lunch, sometimes they leave a flaky, uneven residue. I also use this lip balm to REMOVE the remaining liquid lipstick and reapply for a smooth look.
Make Up For Ever Artist Plexi Gloss in 400

This cute little lip gloss is a gift from Dawn. What I find most interesting about this gloss is its applicator - it has a lip-hugging shape for a precise application and split tip to get just the right amount of gloss. Shade 400 is Orange Red, and it's very pigmented for a lip gloss. It lasts for a long time, around 4-5 hours! Because it's a gloss, it's still a bit sticky considering I'm used to liquid matte lipsticks. I also have to apply it with caution so it won't migrate to my front teeth. But I like the shade and how it makes me look fresh even when I'm just wearing powder and this alone. Dalagita days. Haha

MAC Retro Matte Lipstick in Ruby Woo

AKA my favorite Christmas present from last year 🎄

This one's my first MAC lipstick, and I am so happy with it! Ruby Woo is a very matte, vivid blue-red shade. I've always preferred blue-based red lipsticks since they complement my skin tone better. But then, it's been said that Ruby Woo is a red that anyone can wear.

While I love the color, the formula tugs on my lips (that's already in tip top condition) so I can't imagine using this on dry, chappy lips. I also can't get it on evenly on the edges, so I had to buy a retractable lip brush to make it work. I apply the lipstick straight from the bullet and just fix the edges with a lip brush and it looks perfect! If I didn't love the color this much, I won't bother with it since it takes effort to apply. It wears beautifully and last long. It doesn't feather or bleed, but it fades on the inner lips whenever I have a full meal. Retouching is necessary but easy since it's just on the inner part. The best part of it all, I feel confident whenever I have this on. Also, it has a lovely vanilla scent! 😉

What's your favorite red lippie? 💄


Let's keep in touch!
For quick updates or any questions, just message me on IG! 😗

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Saturday, March 24, 2018

2018 Achievement: Non-Professional Driver's License

Up until 2017, I've always had "learning to drive" as part of my personal goals, but there was no push mainly because I don't own a car. ("What's the point?" was how I thought.) I didn't want to purchase one, yet because a car isn't an asset but a liability as it only depreciates over time. Plus, I've already mastered the art of commuting - haggard pero kaya naman. LOL! We only had one old car at home which was my dad's everyday car to and from work. I didn't want to borrow and risk it. Then before the TRAIN law was passed, my dad finally bought a new car so his old one can retire. My younger sister who got excited with the spare car actually enrolled in driving school ahead of me. The week before Chinese New Year, my dad was driving me to pick up my laundry and suddenly asked me, "Ann already knows how to drive, how about you?" (SO PRESSURE. Haha) To which I answered, "Sige, next week." And so I enrolled at Xcel in Fisher Mall ASAP. I didn't canvass other driving school prices anymore since Xcel had the most convenient location for me, turns out I got lucky since their rates are actually cheaper than other driving schools.

Disclaimer: This post is definitely not sponsored. 😝

Before you enroll, you have to have your Student Permit ready. Getting this one is easy and you won't need any licensing assistance (save your money!). I was able to get mine at SM North EDSA Annex. Visit LTO's website for the list of requirements.

Student Permit Fee at SM North EDSA Annex as of February 12, 2018:
  • LTO: P317.63 (might as well be P317.75 since you will never get the exact change)
  • Medical exam: P350.00 (done at their partner lab also at SM Annex, very basic and not worth the amount but at least may computerized eye exam so I finally know my eye grade)
  • SM's service fee: P5.00 (there is such a thing?)
  • TOTAL: P672.75

LTO at SM North EDSA Annex was pretty efficient. I went on a Monday morning around 11AM, and was able to get my student permit in about an hour.

Next stop, Xcel at Fisher Mall!

I enrolled the 10 hours automatic sedan course (P8,000). No discount even if I'm a sales-talker, but I was able to get additional 2 hours. 👍 It pays to not be shy and ask. Hehe 😉 I also liked Xcel's service right off the bat. I asked them if in case I didn't like my instructor, can I have him/her changed on my next lessons? Their friendly staff told me in case that should happen, I can just text him and I won't see the instructor ever again. How delightful! Haha.

The reason I asked was because my sister C who enrolled in another driving school at Frisco had was assigned an unprofessional driving instructor. Her instructor expected her to know the basics of driving and would express disapproval (like saying "Tsk!"/raising his voice) whenever she would not know what to do or when she committed a mistake. Because my sister was pretty young then, she wasn't assertive. There was even a time that the instructor intentionally made her pass by a route during the lesson only to pick up his friend. WTF? My sister never finished her lesson since she couldn't request for a change of instructor. Hindi puede sakin yan! 

Thankfully, the instructors I encountered at Xcel were all nice. 🌟

Day 1 - Toyota Vios (super new and nice!)

At Xcel, they follow a lesson plan/checklist depending on the course you enroll. The 10-hour course is already a complete driving lesson, but 15 hours is more recommended if you have zero knowledge in driving. Mine's at 10+2 hours, so I'm somewhere in between. They even have a 30-hour course with money back guarantee! I had my lessons at 2 hours per session.

Day 2 - A taste of SUV

I enrolled in a sedan course because it's cheaper, but this day we had to pick up the SUV from their Espana branch for the next student, so I was able to drive a Toyota Fortuner for 30 minutes.

Day 3 - Back to Vios in my least favorite color so no selfie. Haha

Day 4 - back to the black Vios

Hack: A drive-thru practice is scheduled at the 15th hour based on the lesson plan, but tell the instructor you're hungry so you can have a drive-thru driving lesson. Make sure to thank him by treating him to a snack! 😁

Today, I discovered a car freshener that I actually agree with. Most of them make me dizzy but this one has a subtle coffee and caramel scent. It's also cheap at P130, now if only I knew where I could buy this... Help! ☕

Day 5 - Happy Sunday since I was assiged an SUV instead of a sedan! Lucky 🍀

I now prefer SUV over sedan since I'm tiny and it's actually easier for me to see the road and what lies ahead via SUV since it's higher.

Day 6 - Last day AKA graduation day. Look at my car today!!! 😍

Xcel let me drive the new Ford Ranger Wildtrak - what a way to end my lessons! I admit to not know much about cars yet but this one's a beauty!

Disclaimer: I was able to drive SUVs because they're the available cars at the moment my lessons were scheduled, but my sister who also enrolled at a 7-hour automatic sedan course drove sedans all throughout.

After my lessons, I attended a lecture which happened on a Saturday, 1-5PM. This is free! I think this is a very important step not all driving schools offer since here, we were given a lecture on defensive driving, road discipline, traffic rules and regulations, traffic violations and penalties, driving during emergencies, minor trouble shooting, and preventive maintenance. We were also given a written exam which served as our reviewer for LTO's exam, plus a free snack and bottled water.

Xcel also offers LEGAL licensing assistance (P1,850 for a Non-Professional Driver's License) if you complete a course in their driving school. You will have to get your license only at the San Juan Licensing Center. (I don't know why this is their preferred branch, but my sister and I went anyway.) Again, please visit LTO's website for the list of requirements.


Tip: Save P10 when you bring a black/blue BALLPEN. Not gel pen, not sign pen, not pencil. I thought I was so prepared since I had 2 gel pens in my bag.  Napabili tuloy ako ng unwanted ballpen. 😑

The process was simple as I recall: submit payment + ADL form > medical exam > photo then written exam > if you passed the written exam you can proceed to the next step which is a practical driving exam, may be waived if you enrolled in Xcel driving school (not sure for other driving schools) > fill out another form then have your photo taken > claim license.

I appreciated that Xcel had someone to assist us and tell us what to do and where to go that day, so we didn't seem like lost sheep, but it still took me and my sister 6.5 hours before we got our licenses. Our companions were luckier since they were done in 5 hours. What ticked me off was our papers (for the actual license card) were submitted at the same time, but our new friend claimed her license at 1:08PM, and at 2:08PM I wasn't called yet to have my photo taken. Ano naaaaa. This gives me the impression of inefficiency. Can someone please enlighten me if 6.5 hours was slow/normal/fast? Because for me, if the people only moved faster and more efficiently, then we could all get things done quicker. But then, maraming tao lagi sa LTO so baka pagod yung staff.

Also, my sister's date of birth was different on LTO's records (probably a typo from the one who processed her student permit), and when LTO had to edit, they charged her P100 for it. I couldn't fathom them committing an error and charging you for them to correct the error they made. 😞

Finally, we're done! 😂 I now have my Non-Professional Driver's License + certificate from Xcel. Chocolates not included, but they're my personal rewards for a long day at LTO. 🍫 Next time I'm renewing my license (after 5 years, YAY!), I'm going back to LTO in SM Annex and not San Juan. Whew.

Xcel Driving School Fisher Mall in Quezon Avenue
Upper basement entrance door (near Macao Imperial Tea)

All rates mentioned above are subject to change without prior notice. I just shared my personal experience.

Hope this post helps! As for me, now I can drive my dad to the mall on Sundays. More practice nalang sa parking. 😊💖


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For quick updates or any questions, just message me on IG! 😗

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Monday, March 5, 2018

My Favorite Sample Room Haul: I got a Uniqlo Wireless Beauty Bra for Free!

During one fateful lunch break, I checked my social media accounts and chanced upon Sample Room's post sharing that they were giving away Uniqlo Wireless Beauty Bras for free. I initially thought that the points required were for VIP members only since it's such a premium sample, but I clicked the link anyway to see what's up, and I got the shock of my life when I saw that they were just giving it away for only 104 points. Everyone who signs up at sampleroom.ph automatically gets 100 points to start their sampling journey.

This one's my best Sample Room haul so far! Since I have been with Sample Room for a while, I was able to get the Uniqlo bra together with other items I actually liked. 🛍
Uniqlo Beauty Light Wireless Bra (worth P990!)

It was hard to pick one style from Uniqlo's 4 types of wireless bras as the samples were quickly decreasing by the minute (no kidding!), so I chose the Beauty Light Wireless Bra (which has the classic bra style). I'm so happy that I was able to grab one before the stocks ran out in just a few minutes! Sample Room gave away the bras in GC form which totally made sense because we still had to try it out in store for us to get the perfect fit.

Spoiler: I love Uniqlo in general since their items are well made and perfect for my tita style. HAHA! This "try before you buy" led to a series of purchases. 💝

While waiting for my GC to arrive, I already went to the nearest Uniqlo store to fit all the wireless bra styles to see what the buzz is all about. (Hala siya! Haha) All styles cost P990 each at regular price, which is just right considering its quality.

  • Beauty Light - The one I picked! I like the shape of this one the most. It's classic and flattering, and you can't go wrong with it. I have small boobs, and I always thought I needed underwire + padding to survive.
  • Beauty Light Multi-Way - I also want this one!!! I judged the cups since they looked really wide and I thought magkakahangin kasi sobra yung space (LOL), but it's also a perfect fit. How could this be possible?! Haha. I now have a go-to strapless bra in case my sticky bra from Miniso gives up. I liked that it has an anti-slip lining, so it stays put. I tried size XS and S for this one - guys, hindi na pala ako ganun ka-payat. It's still an S for me! 😂
  • Beauty Soft - They weren't kidding when they said soft. This one has no hooks so it's really comfy. I don't love the shape/look though so it's a pass for me.
  • Relax - Isa pa to, I like this one too. It's the comfiest, softest bra I've tried. It's a good everyday bra since the padding is removable and isn't as thick. (However, removing the thin padding won't make sense since your nipples will stick out. 😮) It feels light and cool because of the Airism fabric. It's perfect for those who wear bras at home (I don't), or when your boobs feel tender if you're just about to get your period. This one's comforting to have.

Beauty Light Size Chart
(since they have it in S, M, L, and XL)
Beauty Light (Nude)
(Look at all the colors! I like them all except neon yellow. Haha)

Finally I was able to pick my sample - a black Uniqlo Beauty Light Wireless Bra. I chose the color black since it's bound to still look nice even when it's not so new anymore.

Tip: I always hand wash my bras with care, never with a washing machine even if we have mesh bags at home. I don't like the pads to get crushed together with heavy laundry.

The Beauty Light Wireless Bra still has the shape of a wired bra, but it's made with supportive urethane resin. (I love you, Japanese technology!) The cups are soft to touch and they incorporated micro fibers for a smooth feel. The back is seamless - no back bulge here! I've bought expensive wired bras before and they left the center part of my chest red at the end of the day since the metal part digs on my sternum. (Ouch!) That will never happen with the Beauty Light Wireless Bra.
Beauty Light is seamless and it has a nice, smooth shape under clothing.

It's important for women to wear a comfy bra like Uniqlo Beauty Light Wireless Bra because we all deserve the confidence that good underwear brings. Many would say that it's okay to go for cheap undies, but most of them don't fit right. Even if no one can see, it's a secret confidence booster when you have it on. Your clothes look better on you, too. This makes you feel limitless since you can focus your mind and energy on other worthwhile things - your work, your passions - and not be conscious about your bra. Falling straps, painful underwire, ill-fitting cups, emphasized back fat will be a thing of the past if you invest in the right underwear.

Before I went home with my new Uniqlo Wireless Beauty Bra, I spotted this cute pink onesie that I've always wanted to get for my baby niece (Daphne's little sister COMING SOON!!! Daphne's 7 now and she puts makeup on me already. Haha). It's out of stock in SM North and Ayala Mall Cloverleaf and it's only on display on the hangers/mannequins. So happy to have spotted this in their Fisher Mall branch - on sale pa! 😍 I also got her a tiny pink dress with white tutu skirt (huhu so cute!) but at regular price. I had to get it since it was the last stock of the size I wanted.

And since I loved the Beauty Light Wireless Bra, I decided to clean up by undies act by tossing out my barely used, ill-fitting old bras to make way for these babies. Yes, I went back and shopped for more. I'm boring so I chose black (again) and nude, but they have other nice colors such as pink, navy blue, taupe, etc. I don't like white though since it will look dirty when its old. Now I have 3 Uniqlo Beauty Light Wireless Bras! That's the power of sampling! 🛒

When Uniqlo goes on sale, I'm getting the Beauty Light Multi-Way, too! 😜 That one can wait since I still have a working strapless bra. But for every day use, go for Beauty Light!

Now back to the rest of my Sample Room haul! Can you believe I got the bra, plus the Dentiste Toothpaste, and a Belo Baby cologne really for free? 👍 I only paid P110 shipping fee for everything. I've been telling my friends to join Sample Room! You should join, too!

I've always wanted to try Dentiste Toothpaste but I find it pricey. We always have a stash of toothpaste at home, so I always end up not buying it. LOL! The first night I used this, I woke up to like 50% less funky breath. This stuff is real. Plus, since it's herbal, I feel that it's more gentle on my gums. I sometimes have bleeding gums, but when I used Dentiste, it never happened again. That's something to consider for long-term use.

I love Belo Baby Cologne! I chose Cool Drizzle this time, and it took me back to my childhood with just one whiff. It reminds me of Angel's Breath cologne which I used as a kid. I didn't transfer mine to an atomizer anymore, but I love using this one to clean my hands (yup, it doubles as a hand sanitizer) and freshen up after commuting on a hot day.

I was in denial at first but Cool Drizzle smells better than Sweet Snuggle, which comes in a pink bottle (love!). I still love them both, though! (I got Sweet Snuggle from my last girly Sample Room haul).

Grab free samples at SAMPLEROOM.PH, just pay for shipping! 💝 

Let's keep in touch!
For quick updates or any questions, just message me on IG! 😗

@LUCKYCITRINE on Instagram
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