Beach Essentials

If we're friends on Instagram (@bberrymix), then you probably know I went to the beach last weekend (it's summer here in my side of the planet). I'm still totally hungover from the trip and I miss the sand, the sun and the waves. I have no other beach trips planned this summer but something else is coming up so that's ok. But if you're heading to the beach (I'm jealous!) anytime soon, then you might want to pack some beach essentials with you. You don't want to enjoy a day or two under the sun and then suffer the consequences of not taking precautions when you get back to real life (sunburn, uneven skin, dehydration, etc). Here's what I suggest you pack:
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Excuse the bare face. I didn't feel like wearing makeup that day despite bringing a shitload of products (overpacker alert). Anyway, the number one thing you should bring is a sunscreen. I have the Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Complete UV Waterlight lotion with SPF 50+ PA++. Now I don't know what the +++ means but I think SPF 50 is good enough. Don't forget to bring it with you because you have to reapply this throughout the day especially if you are outdoors (TIP: I also use this daily, not just for the beach). Bring something cold to drink. My choice for the day was the Half Tea Half Lemonade variety which I also always buy on a daily basis from Family Mart. Don't forget your sunnies! I must be the only one but I sometimes wear sunnies even when I'm in the water. Especially when I don't want to swim anyway, I just want to waddle in the water. Bring a magazine along if like me you like sun bathing. It's super relaxing so read along the beach. Not pictured above is a sunblock for the body. Always put on sunblock on the skin that gets exposed in the sun, that includes chest, neck and back. Sometimes I forget and I just apply it on my legs and arms. Chests can get sunburned too! That's my short list of beach essentials! What do you bring to the beach?

The ultimate (overnight) lip balm

I have always suffered from dry and chapped lips. No matter how much I hydrate and drink all kinds of liquid throughout the day, it just never does anything to my lips. It also didn't help that I'm not much of lip balm person and I didn't start using glossy lip products until recently. My skin had a bit of a dry spell last February so the rest of my face started feeling tight and dry patches were showing on my face. That was when I made an effort to inject more moisture into my skin using hydrating/moisturising products (read the post here). One of the products I tried for my lips was the Nivea Lip Butter. It smells amazing and I love that it doesn't feel greasy on my lips (almost a satin/matte finish) but I felt like it was more of a day balm than an overnight one. So I went to look for something that I can wear overnight to really amp up the moisture. Then Estee of EssieButton talked about this lip balm from the The Body Shop which she said really helped her dry lips. She knows her Body Shop products (having worked there before) so I took her advice and got it last month (haul post here.)
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The Body Shop Aloe Lip Care comes in this squeezy tube which I think is handy because the product is very thick and very sticky you wouldn't want it in your fingers. It's a clear lip balm that I apply directly from the tube in a swiping motion. It's not one of those balms that sink into your lips. I find this one sits on top of my lips for a few minutes before it starts to feel comfortable. But despite all of that, it gives instant results! The following day after using this for the first time, I noticed I didn't have that much skin flaking off my lips (sexy yah). That's the reason why I kept on using it and going to bed with greasy lips. After weeks of using it, my lips have seriously improved. It doesn't feel dry and I noticed I didn't have chapped lips anymore. Sure I still have lines on my lips as you can see in the photo above but look at how nicely my lipstick sits on my lips! I feel like I can wear mattes without the product snagging on flaking skin. Haha! If you suffer from dry and chapped lips, give this balm a try!

Minty goodness: Lush Mask of Magnaminty

Since it was a holiday yesterday, I was able to do a bit of mid-week pampering and you know for me, pampering means doing my nails and masks. Just a mini pamper because I still have the weekend to look forward to (two more days!). I thought I'd do a mini review of the mask I used today which is the Lush Mask of Magnaminty. Here's what Lush says about this product:

"Mask of Magnaminty isn’t technically a daily ‘facial wash’; it’s actually a deep cleansing face and back mask. China clay and fresh peppermint reach deep down to pull the debris from your pores, giving you that delightful tingly-clean sensation. We add loads of aduki beans to exfoliate flaky or dry skin, vanilla absolute to calm redness and honey to soothe. Our inventors created Mask of Magnaminty to be the ‘ultimate face mask’, intense but not harsh or abrasive on the skin. We recommend using Mask of Magnaminty weekly to keep the skin in good condition."

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I don't use it as a facial wash as I mentioned, I use it as a mask. You know how to use a mask, I don't have to tell you. (Except I will, I apply it all over my face, leave it on for 15mins then wash it off with water). This is quite different from my other masks because this has lots of big bits so you really have to smooth it on your face. I love all of the ingredients in it (big peppermint and vanilla fan) and it smells lovely (like something I would eat). It doesn't sting the face too. Both Bin and I have been using it a lot and we both get on so well with it (probably because we have the same skin type). As mentioned in the desription above, it's not harsh or abrasive on the skin. It's always a nice experience when I use it. However, it's also not revolutionary. You don't see a big difference right away, unlike the Glamglow Youthmud. But it does make my skin feel super clean and less congested. The tube it comes with is pretty hefty so you will get a lot of use from it. You just have to keep the expiration date in mind. That's just how it is with Lush products and their fresh ingredients.

What's your favorite mask these days?

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The power setting powder

I haven't had this product for long but I wanted to report back right away because I am absolutely smitten with it! The Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powders rocked the beauty world when it was released last year. A lot of bloggers wrote rave reviews while some didn't get on well with it. Of course I was curious. I love setting powders because I get (incredibly) shiny throughout the day and if I don't set my makeup, it will for sure end up melted all over my face just a few hours after application (minutes when it's the middle of summer). So when my officemate went to the US for a worktrip, I asked her to get this for me (along with two other beauty bits - read the haul here). I originally wanted to get Dim Infusion (I might still get it because we local sellers now!) but it was out of stock so she get me Diffused Light instead:


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According to Hourglass, these powders "capture, diffuse and soften the way light is reflected on skin, brighten the appearance, and conceal skin imperfections, pores and wrinkles". Diffused Light is described as "a soft, warm, pale yellow powder that conceals redness and gives skin clarity – like a soft ray of morning light". I think it truly does what it says. It is the perfect last step to my makeup routine. In person, you'll see that it smoothens out the skin and makes the makeup all fall into their proper place in your face haha. It looks great in person but it also translates well in photos! In the morning, I apply it using the brush above which I got from Landmark (review coming soon) and then I pop it in my makeup bag and apply it throughout the day using another smaller brush (this one from Forever 21 - link). The packaging is super pretty and lush, not to mention easy to clean. I think my only problem with this is that it's not suitable for oily skin. If only Hourglass gave it a bit of oil controlling power, it would have been the perfect powder for me. Since it doesn't control oil, I have to apply this several times a day. Now, there's no problem with caking or it feeling heavy on the skin because it's such a lightweight product. My problem is that I might be finishing this whole pan in just a couple of months. And I will have to repurchase it because I love it and it has become my daily powder.

Have you tried the Hourglass Ambient Lighting powders? What's your fave shade?

garlicky ginger chicken




I'm trying to find new recipes to add to our rotation, and I found this Dirty P's Garlic Ginger Chicken Thighs. I don't know who Dirty P is, but the recipe sounded good. The recipe is simple, and I usually have these ingredients on hand, so I figured it'd be worth a shot. But 2lbs of chicken thighs isn't as much as I thought it would be. We'll only have leftovers for 1 meal, but it was inexpensive enough to double. It was pretty tasty but I didn't leave it in the oven long enough. I put it in the oven at 400* for 35 minutes. Next time, I'll cook it longer.

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Makeup Monday #3

Welcome to another edition of Makeup Monday! Today I wasn't able to make a Cameo video because I woke up late. That was because I had a pretty fun weekend spent at the beach with my husband and in-laws. If you want to see some videos from the beach trip, then please visit my Cameo account (link here). I have also posted some photos on my Instagram account (I'm @bberrymix over there) along with some beauty bits so please check that out too. Anyway, I was babbling about the trip because that's the reason why I wasn't able to wake up early to do my usual morning makeup routine. I was tired. I literally went out of the house with nothing but sunscreen on my face. I just grabbed my makeup bag and luckily I had everything I need to make a semi-decent FOTD. Lol. Here are the products I used and the result of my efforts:


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Excuse the grainy selfie photo but I just can't take a decent photo using the back cam of my phone. Anyway, I haven't used this BB cream in a while but I'm glad I have it in my makeup bag. It's the Matte BB cream from Too Cool For School. It gives good enough coverage but I still needed to use my NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer in Custard to cover my dark circles and some blemishes/scarring. I set all of it in place using the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder in Diffused Light. My eyebrows are done using my trusty Shu Uemura Hard 9 pencil and then I topped it off with this Color My Eye Brow mascara from The Face Shop (I'm using it so I can buy new one, a better color match). For the eyes, I just curled my lashes and applied Benefit They're Real mascara. Cheeks are sorted using the Stila Convertible Color in Petunia and to add a bit of glow (because I used a matte bb cream), I added Benefit High Beam on the top of my cheekbones. For the lips, I'm keeping it pink and glossy with the Maybelline Lip Polish/Color Elixir in Carnation Pink/Pop 5. That's it for my easy Makeup Monday this week! What products are you loving today?

To read other Makeup Mondays posts, please click here.

Let's go to the beach each (beach makeup)

We're going to the beach! Or at least by the time this gets posted, we're probably (hopefully) already at the beach. I'm going with my husband and in-laws including my baby nieces so it's going to be fun. The beach is in the central part of Luzon called Subic. We're heading to a resort called Camayan which is the resort we always go to when we go to Subic. The beach doesn't have white sand like the more famous beaches (like Boracay) but it's pretty nice. But you know what I'm actually looking forward to? Spending the afternoon inside the air conditioned room watching movies or maybe spending time in the tub with my magazine. It's going to be super relaxing, just what I need after this looong week. Anyway, I thought I'd pop a quick post on the makeup I'm bringing with me. Unlike my last trip, I kept it pretty lean this time. Also because I'm just going away overnight. Here's what I'm bringing to the beach:
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I'm keeping my base light with just the NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer then setting that with the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder in Diffused Heat. For brows I'm bringing this brow mascara from the Face Shop (I think). I brought my eyelash curler and mascara (Benefit They're Real) because I need to have fluttery lashes all the time. Cheeks will stained with the Tarte stain blush which my office friend Jinky loaned me (she's being a BI in hopes of making me buy it myself too). Then if the mood striked maybe I'll highlight using the Benefit High Beam cream highlighter. The Body Shop Lip and Cheek stain will mostly be used for the lips for a pretty stain.

I am bringing my A game when it comes to shower stuff. In bag are the bath bombs from Lush that I wasn't able to use during my last trip, Soap & Glory Calm One, Calm All bubble bath, some face wipes and the Origins Out of Trouble Mask (because I've been having under the skin tiny bumps on my face lately).

Those are what's inside my makeup and shower bags for this trip. I'll see if I can blog from Subic but I'm definitely going to try to do a Cameo video. So stay tuned!

Blush Week #5: Hourglass Dim Infusion

Here we go, the last post for Blush Week! This is being posted a bit later in the day because I was in back to back meetings all day. I will definitely share what is keeping me busy at work soon. In the meantime, please excuse the inconsistency in posting times and dates. Things outside this blog are just crazy and exciting and hectic and fun. Anway, back to the blush! I may have saved the best for last. I'm sure you've all heard about this product and if you saw my haul post a few days ago, then you probably know what's coming. This post is going to be about the beauty that is the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush in Dim Infusion:

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I guess you can already tell how infatuated I am with this blush due to the number of pictures posted above. Din Infusion is described as "a subdued coral blush fused with Dim Light to add warmth". I love coral blushes and I am currently coveting Dim Light (I have Diffused Heat). I'm sure you've read a ton of reviews about this blush. All of them are true, yes, even the negative ones. This blush is not the most pigmented coral blush (different effect from MAC Melba) but that's what I like about this blush. Since it is infused with Dim Light, the color it gives is very subtle. It gives a hint of coral so that when you apply it very minimal blending is needed. It's like it's already blended when you apply it. It is also very powdery. And my heart breaks a little whenever I swirl my brush and little fragments of blush dust float into the air. But despite it being powdery, it's not chalky. It doesn't have the longest weartime (around 4-5hrs) but since it's so very pretty, you wouldn't mind reapplying it. Overall, I am inlove with this blush. And I'll be happy to trade all the four other blushes I featured just for this one. Mood Exposure, you'll be mine next.

Blush Week #4: Topshop Afternoon Tea

I am forever wondering (whining) why our local Topshop doesn't carry the makeup line. Why oh why? Some products from the makeup line of Topshop have even achieved cult status (at least in the beauty blogging world ahem, Glow Polish and Lip Bullets) so I don't think there will be a scarcity of buyers. I bet the products will be flying of the shelf even. But yeah, we DON'T have the makeup line, we just have the clothes and accessories. So whenever I can, I ask friends to buy them for me abroad. My friend Addie recently went to Copenhagen so I asked her to pick up a couple of Topshop makeup bits for me (and she did, view the post here). I've had a proper go at both these products and since this is Blush Week, I'll be talking about the Topshop Cream Blush in Afternoon Tea:
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Firstly, I have to talk about the packaging. This cute little blush comes in black and white polka dotted compact with a good sized mirror inside. Very handy when you want to touch up your blush (which you have to for this one but more on that later). Topshop makeup just looks very modern, I think. Aside from the packaging, the photo above shows just how pretty the color is. On my skin, this looks like a cool-toned pink blush. The only other cream blush I can compare it with is Max Factor Miracle Touch Cream Blush in Soft Pink which is slightly warmer than this color. If you can't get the Topshop one, that's a good alternative (but again not a dupe). As for the formula, I have to be honest, this isn't the best. And that is because I feel like it instantly turns into a powder formula as soon as you touch the product. I usually apply it using my fingers so I dip my digits straight into the product and dab it on my cheeks. It's definitely down to preference but I want more dew in my cream blushes (otherwise I will just use powder). It also fades after about four hours (again might be because of my skin type which is oily).

Overall, I'm glad to have this color but I don't wear it that much because I just don't like touching up my blush. The only products I touch up throughout the day are powder and lipstick. Maybe next time, I'll try the powder blushers as I hear they are really nice too. If you have normal to dry skin, maybe this will work better for you. It's just not the best for me.

Blush Week #3: MAC Melba

This is turning out to be quite a busy week in the office. It's only Wednesday and I already feel super, super tired. I have a feeling I'll be depending on coffee and energy drinks in the coming days just to get through all the work. But despite all that, I still want to continue with Blush Week! The third product I want to talk about is also my first and only blush (so far) from MAC. I have a bunch of their lipsticks, a few eyeshadows and mineralize powders, but for some reason I've never been that interested in their blushes. Until now. Here's the product that is making me want to go get a bunch more:
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MAC Melba is a matte warm peachy coral color, which is less pink and more orange on my skintone (NC30). I wasn't really planning on buying this but it's the color that stood out to me when I found myself wandering over at the blush section. What I like about it is that it's a truly matte blush. It doesn't give shimmer or shine, it just deposits color on your cheeks. I do love my sheeny shiny blushes (NYX Angel, Benefit Dandelion) but sometimes I just want a matte cheek color and this is perfect for those days. I wish I was wearing this right now actually. The weartime is pretty impressive. I'm going to say it's right up there with the Tarte Amazonian clay blushes. And that's saying a lot especially on my oily skin. However, when I wear this, I find that I can't wear a bronzer or contour product because it clashes and it makes my cheeks look muddy. But maybe that's just me. I can't comment on all MAC blushes as I only have this one, but based on it, the product is very good, pigmented and not at all powdery. It blends and applies nicely too.

Overall, I really like this blush and next on my to swatch lists are Well Dressed, Peachstock and Dame!)

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