Saturday, January 29, 2011

Review: Cetaphil UVA/UVB Defense SPF 50

I've been reading beauty blogs and catching up on makeup & skincare on the Internet for a couple of years now, and I've never read any skincare-related topic that would say DON'T wear sunscreen. I grew up associating the idea of wearing sunscreen only with swimming though. It was this thick, goopy lotion that came out of a pink and blue bottle:

Photo credit: Amazon. Memories anyone?

It had a smell which I kinda liked and it tasted yucky (did so accidentally and a long long time ago, ok? :) ). When I read about needing to wear sunscreen even when you're not headed for the pool, I didn't like the idea. Sunscreen feels sticky and has a very distinct smell. Did I want that to be with me everyday?

Hence the search for a good sunscreen. The one I'll review today is the Cetaphil UVA/UVB Defense SPF 50.

Photo credit: DermaDoctor

Description (on box and bottle): This light, non-greasy moisturizer nourishes and hydrates your skin while also protecting it from the sun's harmful rays.
  • Broad Spectrum Sunscreen
  • Protection from UVA and UVB Radiation
  • Non-comedogenic
  • Non-greasy
  • Fragrance free
Price & Amount: I was able to buy this in Duty Free for around $17 (P748 with $1 = P44) for 50mL / 1.7 fl. oz. I have only ever seen it there and not in our Watsons or Mercury Drug pharmacies, so while this isn't exactly locally unavailable, it's hard to find. (Edit: Kira commented below that it's available in Watsons for P800+. Thanks, Kira! When I find it I'll update this again for the exact price.)

Packaging: While doing my research (a.k.a. Google), I found that when this first came out it was in a typical squeeze-tube bottle that could fit in one's pocket. The version I have now is slimmer and with a pump, so it's very hygienic. The expiry date is embedded on the top part of the bottle, so you never forget when you should throw it out. You may have to push the pump several times to get product out, but one pump gives a small enough amount of product for you to gauge how much you need. For the face, I used two pumps.

Review: Though marketed as a moisturizer, this one of the few Cetaphil products that contain SPF. I was very excited when I saw this because I had been looking for a facial sunscreen, and I have good memories of Cetaphil's facial wash. For a moisturizer the consistency is a bit thick, but not goopy. if you consider it as a sunscreen it's actually a bit on the runny side. Spreading it around gives a slight white cast and takes some time to absorb, and if not spread evenly enough, would be rather obvious for a skincare product. The fragrance-free claim to me only means that there was no added fragrance, but did not mean that the product was unscented. It still had that sunscreen smell, but I couldn't smell it anymore when I applied it on my face.

Though non-greasy, it did leave my face more shiny than usual. The first time I tried it a few months ago, I wore it under a layer of BB cream. I was horrified halfway through the morning when I looked in the mirror and discovered that my face was rather shiny--I have dry, sensitive skin, and that amount of shine that early in the day was new to me. Today when I put it on, it stung my eye and mouth areas. :(

Conclusion? I am disappointed. If there is one thing you need about a sunscreen for the face, it's supposed to be gentle and non-greasy, and Cetaphil provided neither. To be fair, the BB cream I used usually had a bit of a dewy effect on my face so that might have contributed to it. Also, my face started getting really sensitive due to the weather, but this experience has made me afraid of trying it again. I might in the summer, though. If it still doesn't work then, I'll just use it on the rest of my body instead. The hunt for a sunscreen continues...

Monday, January 24, 2011

Review: Maybelline Moisture Extreme Lipcolor

Photo credit: Maybelline New York

Note: The Moisture Extreme lipstick is sold in the Philippines as the ColorSensational Moisture Extreme lipcolor. What a mouthful.

  • Sumptuous satin lipcolor with built-in balm
  • All-day, deep-down moisture nourishment
  • Anti-chap ingredients repair and protect lips
  • Contains Vitamins C, E, and Jojoba
Price & Amount: P299 for 4.0 g/0.14 oz. However, I managed to get mine in Singapore because the L'Oreal Beauty Sale was happening right in our hotel at the time. If I remember correctly, they were going for two for SGD$10 (around P330 at the time). Bargain!

Packaging: Shiny red plastic that stands out in your makeup bag. It feels very light and flimsy, but the cap is pretty secure. A con for these lipsticks when they were sold in Singapore is that all the shades have the same red packaging, which meant that to know which shade you were picking up you had to look at the bottom. Definitely not a grab-and-go lipstick here if you have more than one shade in your bag. In the Philippines, however, the packaging color is according to the color family the shade is in (pink, red, orange, brown), so it's easier.

Here are some of the shades, freshly bought and sitting on the hotel desk in Singapore:

I gave most of these away to friends, but was left with five pretty shades.

With flash. L-R: Pink Bloom, Light Berry, Coral Pink, Buff, Papaya Milk

Of the five shades, Pink Bloom is the only color that I can confidently swipe on. All the others pack a lot of color and require more precise application. Dabbing on the lips already gives an even layer of color and all the shades are very buildable. I reapply after a meal because they do transfer when you eat or drink; otherwise, they stay put and just look a bit faded at the end of the day. While they do feel a bit moisturizing, they emphasize fine lines and do not look nice on peeling lips. I still put balm underneath and regularly exfoliate. My favorite is Pink Bloom because it's perfect for everyday, but I also like how Light Berry brightens up the face due to its purple undertone. Coral Pink & Buff are perfect for those client meetings/trainings, while Papaya Milk... I've only ever worn it outside the house once, and that was to a 20's-themed party. I'm not sure if I can carry reds yet!

I recommend these for people who are looking for comfortable, pigmented lipsticks that won't break the bank. Maybelline regularly has sales as well so you can probably get them even cheaper. :)

Monday, January 03, 2011

Review: Etude House LUCIDarling Fantastic Rouge Lipstick

Happy New Year! :) Starting off with a review of one of my favorite lipsticks:

Look at all those pretty colors!

Description (from box): Makeup line promotes LED (Light Emitting Diode) color, radiance and clarity to makeup expression.

Price & Amount: P478 per 4.5 g / 0.15 oz.

Packaging (photos from Etude House Philippines):

The lipstick is housed in a flower-shaped plastic case with a bow design at the bottom. Underneath is a sticker with the shade number (and name, presumably, but it's all in Korean). Pretty but it feels cheap. The case is a bit bigger than a MAC lipstick.

Review: I have this in No. 10 Mocha Beige (English names can be seen here). There are 11 shades available, though the 11th was released only recently in the Golden Ratio collection. I used this image as a reference for picking shades:

The original 10 shades.

I liked No. 10 because it seemed to be the most natural and I didn't want an attention-grabbing shade. I found the guide to be near-true (see swatch below), because I did end up going away with No. 10 when I used the testers. Side story: I have this fear of using lipstick testers, but I was lucky enough to be the first to use the ones in Etude House's kiosk inside the SM Fairview department store. So I tested to my heart's content!

No. 10 Mocha Beige (on top). The bottom one is from MAC, which I'll review in another post!

No. 10 is indeed a brown-toned lipstick, but on my lips it leaves a hint of pink plus a little shine (the LED effect, I suppose!). It's very suitable for everyday wear, which was just what I was looking for in a lipstick. I did find this to settle in lines after awhile, so it's best to use a lip balm underneath. It's my SOP to use lip balm so this wasn't a problem for me. When reapplying it's best to take the entire thing off (say, after a meal) and slick on a fresh coat of balm + lipstick. It takes a little more time, which may be a turn-off for some. And the nice thing about MLBB lipsticks is that when it starts to fade, it's not as noticeable ;)

Will I repurchase? Yes! But I won't for now because there are so many more brands of lipstick to try out there. Also, I feel bad about purchasing so many MLBB shades for some reason. I almost bought NYX's B52 but it looked too close to the two everyday shades I already have (plus I felt it was overpriced for 299 pesos :c). Ironically, I'm also a bit scared to try brighter, bolder lipsticks. We'll see! It's a new year, after all. :) Any brands and shades of lipstick to recommend? Please share in the comments!