Unboxing: May 2015 BDJ Box

May 2015 BDJ Box

Summer is winding down and the rains have begun to pour. But even with this off again on again weather, skin care should never be neglected. Even when the weather’s begun to cool, it doesn’t mean that you can skip the moisturizer. The weather doesn’t moisturize our skin, we do. And as the sun dips behind the rain clouds, we can maximize healing our sun exposed skin and kiss dry goodbye!

Kiss Dry Goodbye!

wpid-wp-1432879683470.jpegThat is the theme of the May 2015 BDJ Box. Another skincare goodness to revitalize the skin. If you’re like me, you probably made the most of your summer, going to the beach and spending time under the sun—to the detriment and sometimes abuse of your own skin. So when I got this month’s BDJ Box, with all  products providing ways to moisturize the skin, I almost jumped for joy (almost because I have a sprain so I really can’t jump).

If last month’s BDJ Box was all about skin exfoliation and whitening, May 2015 BDJ Box continues that deal plus a moisture boost. I mean, if you’re going to remove the tanned layer of your skin, you might as well be prepared to take care of the new layer waiting to be revealed.

May 2015 BDJ Box

10ml each Himawari Dear Beauté Oil in Shampoo and Conditionerworth Php695 per 500ml
8ml each Pure Savon Classic FLoral White/Lily & Rose Blend Scent worth Php545 per 300ml
4pcs of 3g Cure Natural Aqua Gel worth Php1,500 per 250ml

50ml Garnier Skin Naturals Light Complete Whitespeed Multi-Action Whitening Serum Cream with SPF19/PA+++ worth Php265
50ml Garnier Skin Naturals Light Complete Whitespeed Multi-Action Brightening Scrub worth Php 84
2pcs of 14g Cetaphil Daily Advance Moisturizing Lotion worth Php675 per 85g
45g Aloe Derma Pure Aloe Vera Gel worth Php280

3pcs of 23g Dermal Collagen Essence Masks in Royal Jelly, Olive, & Rose worth Php70 each
1 pack Nivea 3-in-1 Exfoliating Wipes worth Php140

6.2g FS Powder Blush worth Php350
2pcs of 100g Colgate Optic White Plus Shine worth Php115 each

Impressions

Can you guess the products that I’m excited about? Yes, it’s the first batch of items above—the Japanese Beauty Bundle—especially Cure Natural Aqua Gel. I’ve tried a sample at Beauty Bar once and I really liked the effect but I didn’t buy one because I didn’t like its effect on my wallet. It’s much too expensive. But with 4 samples to try, I might just buy one for myself.

If you’ve noticed in some of my review posts, I’ve been trying out different facial masks lately (the last one was a Tony Moly mask sheet). So having another three to try is much appreciated.

The Nivea 3-in-1 Exfoliating Wipes brings me back to my July 2014 BDJ Box. In that post I said I might review this product. I haven’t and I haven’t even used it all up yet. This may or may not be a good sign but I’ll give it another try and see if there is something worth mentioning.

Speaking of something worth mentioning, I don’t really know how Colgate Optic White Plus Shine connects with Kiss Dry Goodbye. I don’t know about you but it’s really off topic. Same is true with the FS Powder Blush but since I like all sorts of makeup, I have no complaints on this one.

The Garnier line seems okay but as with the Pond’s exclusive BDJ Box, it may take a while before I can try them out, especially the whitening serum cream. However, Cetaphil Daily Advance Moisturizing Lotion will be used up in no time although I plan to save it for any future travels I may have.

Right now, I’m on the fence with Aloe Derma Pure Aloe Vera Gel because it’s all new to me as with the two others in the Japanese Beauty Bundle. They don’t excite me as much but I’ll make time to give them a go.


If you’re interested to have your own BDJ Box, you can register and buy through their website here. Or if you’re wondering if there are other beauty subscription boxes out there, you might find my post on beauty subscription boxes useful.

Fab Five Beach Must-Haves

Do you love summer—the sun, sand, and sea? If you do and you always have at least one beach outing a year, then you’re already a veteran when it comes to surviving the summer heat and enjoy your time under the sun. If not, then you should at least have these Fab Five things with you. Forget about everything else. These are your basic necessities.

Fab Five Beach Must-haves

Fab Five Summer Survival Kit

String Backpack | Shades | Flip-flops | Beach Blanket | Skin Survival Kit


1. String BackPack

I cannot stress the importance of having this item. Not only does a backpack free up your hands, a string backpack keeps your items safe from thieving hands. String backpacks are also travel light so you can put them in your luggage and just use them when you’re going to the beach.

There are different kinds of string backpacks out there, some are waterproof. Personally, I love this one, which I got from a yoga retreat I participated in last year. It’s made of hard cloth but very durable and washable when it gets dirty. Even though it’s not waterproof, I have waterproof pouches I use to protect my gadgets.


2. Shades

The eyes need as much protection from the sun as our skin. The eyelids are not enough to shield your eyes from the sun’s rays. For those with lighter eyes, sensitivity to and the risks of sunlight damages are higher. You can get eyelid cancer or cataracts, among others, if you leave your eyes unprotected.

So when you’re going outdoors, make sure to have your trusty shades with you. Better if it has UV protection. I got mine from Eye Channel (not Chanel), which I really love as it’s perfect for the beach. I call it my Sepia shades. You can guess why.

For more information about eye protection from sunlight, I got my source here.


3. FLip-FLops (or Slippers)

Flip Flops

But don’t let a pair of destroyed flip-flops from letting you enjoy a night of partying.

The sandy beach can become a desert in no time and harsh on your feet as the sun’s rays. So make sure to have soft and durable flip-flops with you to protect your soles. Rubber is not the only option but if you plan to run along the shore, I’d advise to use rubber slippers because it resists salt water better.

Mine’s from Salvatos, a prize I won from BDJ Box (thanks again!). It’s durable and ideal for traveling as it folds in the middle and has a pouch to separate it from my other items. I’ve walked miles along the beach and on concrete with this. I’ve tested this as well, walking knee deep in the sea and on rocky sand. I couldn’t recommend a more fitting brand to use and bring along with me in my travels than this.


4. Beach Blanket

If you like lounging by the beach whether to get a tan or read a good book, then you’d want to invest on beach blankets. Lounge chairs are not enough if you want to be able to lie close to someone or if you just want to play board or card games with your friends on the beach. A beach blanket is necessary.

Mine is not a beach blanket really but a bath towel—an ultra absorbent one. But I find that Towelite can double as a beach blanket and better than using the bath towels from the resort you’re staying at. It’s also travel friendly—you can fold or roll it to the size to want.


5. Skin Survival Kit

Our skin is the largest organ of the body. According to National Geographic, an adult carries about 8 pounds of it and covers about 22 square feet. So normally, it’s the first thing you’d think of protecting when going to the beach.

It’s your choice what products you use. For a kikay like me, I turn to these items:

♥ Sunflower oil. It’s my first line of defense. Applied after taking a shower and before going out of the hotel. Contrary to what you might think, sunflower oil is not greasy and is easily absorbed by the skin so you won’t get that icky feeling.

If you’re sensitive to most sunblocks, consider using sunflower oil as your sunblock as it has qualities that help shield the skin from the sun’s rays. (You can find other ways to use sunflower oil here.)

♥ Sunblock. The most common protection you can give your skin. I have two fail-safe sunblocks, both without chemicals that harm the seas. It doesn’t matter what level of SPF your sunblock has. Just make sure to re-apply when you’ve been in the water or have been sweating for too long as the SPF may drop.

(I’ve reviewed Human Nature Safe Block here if you’re interested. I’ll be posting my review of Human Nature Safe Protect soon so be sure to come back or follow along with me on my social media accounts at the bottom of this page.)

♥ Citronella oil. This one I use on a case to case basis. If you’re the type to lounge at night or do some partying outside, then I advise you to protect your skin from insects, especially if you’re going to a tropical beach. Citronella oil is a natural insect repellent but you can use citronella lotion if the scent is too much for you.

♥ Balms. Another I use on a case to case basis. What happens if you forgot to apply sunscreen or been under the sun for too long and get sunburn? What if you get a headache from last night’s partying? I have two of the best balms I could get my hands on.

One has peppermint, eucalyptus, and bergamot extract that work magic to cool the skin and ease the senses. If you have motion sickness, this is your cure. (I’ve shared in a previous post fab five ways to use this balm.)

The other dispels any skin discomforts I have. In my last beach trip,  I was tested the product to see if it will ease the sunburn I got after staying too long under the sun. Overnight, the sting of the sunburn was gone. So if you have a balm like this, be sure to have one in your kit.


Next time you go to the beach, make sure you have these fab five items with you. What’s basic to bring to the beach for you may be different to another person. You may even have a different set altogether. If you do, I’d like to know what your fab five beach must-haves are.

Unboxing: April 2015 BDJ Box

Sad as I am to have my summer vacation over, coming home and unboxing my BDJ Box—my April 2015 BDJ Box—help put a smile on my face. This month’s BDJ Box is filled with awesome goodness that makes me wonder whether the BDJ Box Team knows when a bella needs a much needed pampering after days of frolicking under the sun. I mean, this month’s BDJ Box mostly contain items that one would normally buy once the tan lines have settled.

BDJ April Box Contents

Usual to beauty subscription boxes, the the April 2015 BDJ Box contains an assortment of brands, namely MyChoice, Tony Moly, Asian Secrets, Mustela, FS Cosmetics, and Revlon. Some are makeup while the rest are for skin and body care.

April 2015 BDJ Box

100g MyChoice Pure Herbal Soap worth Php 55
225g MyChoice Bubble Scrub Shower Salt worth Php 100
20g MyChoice Anti Acne Whitening Facial Cream worth Php 100
22ml MyChoice Perfume Spray worth Php 60

18ml Tony Moly Intense Care Snail Foot Mask worth Php 198
2ml appx Tony Moly Luminous Glow Aura CC Creamworth Php 1,098 per 30ml

100g Asian Secrets Lulur Whitening Facial Scrub worth Php 120
6pcs of 20g Asian Secrets Lulur Whitening Body Scrub worth Php 15 each

5ml Mustela 2 in 1 Hair and Body Wash worth Php 520 per 200ml
5ml Mustela Hydra Bebe Body Lotion worth Php 790 per 300ml
2pcs of 10ml Mustela Stretch Marks Double Action worth Php 1,750 per 150ml

9g FS Cosmetics Lash Extravagance Mascara worth Php 350
7.5g Revlon Highlighting Paletterworth Php625

Product List and Description

Product List and Description

Impressions

Honestly, I’m quite happy with this month’s BDJ Box as several of them are brands and products that I’m curious about but didn’t find the need to buy them yet. The BDJ Box Team did that for me. I’m talking about Asian Secrets and a few of MyChoice products.

I swear, the lot of these seem to cater to us who have spent too much time in the sun and would like to exfoliate and perhaps bring back our normal skin color, not that I don’t like my now bronze skin color. There are whitening products like the MyChoice Pure Herbal Soap (I got Natural Papaya variant) and Asian Secrets Lulur Whitening Facial Scrub and Whitening Body Scrub. Products for exfoliation moisturizing are also included like MyChoice Bubble Scrub Shower Salt and Tony Moly Intense Snail Foot Mask, the latter I can see myself using on my sand-worn feet.

BDJ April Box stickers and catalogue

Motto of the Month

A lot of thought seems to be put into the April 2015 BDJ Box, which is really touching and for that, I give it an A++ mark.

As always, on the makeup side of things, I’m excited to try another mascara and am looking forward to testing Revlon’s Highlighting Palette. At least I’ll test the latter after my tan subsides. I don’t think this shade will work well on tanned skin.

For the rest, I might use them or give them to someone who will better appreciate them. The Mustela set is definitely catered for mothers so I’ll probably give that to my cousin, although I might keep the Mustela Stretch Marks Double Action for myself. Haha!


If  you’re interested to have your own BDJ Box, you can register and buy through their website here. Or if you’re wondering if there are other beauty subscription boxes out there, you might find my post on beauty subscription boxes useful.

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Find anything you like in the April 2015 BDJ Box? Let me know and I’ll review that one first.

REVIEW: Human Nature Acne Defense Solution Gel

It’s been months since Human Nature introduced its first acne fighting skin care product, the Acne Defense Solution Gel or which I normally call the Acne Defense Gel. The product is infused with natural tea tree oil and aloe vera extracts that dry out pimples but keep the rest of your skin moisturized.

What is tea tree oil?

According to Medical News Today, tea tree oil is derived from the leaves of the plant Melaleuca alternifolia, which is entirely different from the plant used for making the tea that we normally drink.

(source)

Tea-tree oil and tea oil are completely different products. Tea oil is the sweet seasoning and cooking oil from pressed Camellia sinensis (beverage tea plant), or the tea oil plant Camellia oleifera.”1

Tea tree oil or melaleuca oil is toxic taken orally. It is more popular in dermatological use such as the treatment of acne, dandruff, lice, and other skin infections.2

HUman Nature Acne Defense Solution Gel Review

Fast Facts

Price: Php 199.75 (about 4.50 USD)
Volume: 20g (0.71 oz)

Ingredients:
aqua (water), Melaleuca alternifolia (tea tree) oil, levulinic acid (rice/corn-derived), glyceryl caprylate (coconut oil, palm oil and glycerin-derived), glycerin, dehydroxanthan gum, zinc lactate, Aloe barbadensis (aloe vera) leaf juice, p-anisic acid (anise seed-derived), phytic acid (rice-derived)

Instructions:
Dab—do not rub—a thin layer of the gel on the affected area.

Product Description:
100% natural
Safe and non-irritating
Helps crack down on breakouts, dry out blemishes, and give you clearer-looking skin without the harmful side effects of chemical treatments
Clinically tested to (1) effectively dry out pimples and help prevent pimple breakouts and (2) help reduce oiliness and the appearance of redness

Impressions

Strength: 8/10

In terms of product description, Human Nature’s Acne Defense Solution Gel does reduce the appearance of redness and dry out pimples. Compared to straight tea tree oil products, this one is in gel formulation and infused with aloe vera. Meaning, the concentration is much diffused and being in gel form and with the qualities of aloe vera, the drying out will only affect the pimple (because that’s where the bacteria are) and keep the rest of your skin moisturized.

However, since it’s diffused, it doesn’t have as much strength as straight tea tree oil products although this doesn’t mean that it is ineffective.

I’ve been using this product for more than a month and have been switching between this and The Body Shop’s Tea Tree Oil (15% concentration) depending on how I feel the former is performing. I think it really depends on the strength that you want. If you wish for quicker results and don’t care for your skin drying too much, then go for the tea tree oil. If you have the patience, however, and would rather have the rest of your skin unaffected, then go for Human Nature’s gel formulation.

Right now, I’m test The Body Shop Tea Tree Oil on the left side of my face and the Human Nature’s Acne Defense Solution Gel on the right for comparison. So far, they fair well on effectiveness. Personally, for big pimples, I resort to The Body Shop’s. Otherwise, I’m quite content with Human Nature’s.

Price: 9/10

The price is pretty decent and reasonable. You don’t need a lot of this product anyway. You just have to dab it on the affected area. But compared to The Body Shop’s, then the product seems more expensive. My take is, the value added here is in the formulation and introduction of aloe vera and other ingredients to give other benefits. So if you don’t want the value added, stick to the straight tea tree oil since you can do a DIY formula at home with honey, brown sugar, and other natural ingredients. But if you’d rather trust the experts, then I would recommend this.

Verdict: 9/10

Definitely worth buying (again) but it won’t dissuade me from buying The Body Shop’s Tea Tree Oil. From me to you, you really have to get to know your skin before you stick to just one product. Sometimes, two or more can do the trick. Other times, you just have to stick to one. Even other times, you just have to give your skin a rest.

Skin care tip: This product is best used with Human Nature’s Acne Defense Facial Wash (up for review soon).

Disclaimer: I am a Human Nature Dealer but I strive to give a fair and objective opinion on Human Nature products. After all, I am a consumer of the products myself.

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Have you tried any other pimple fighting products you’d like to share?

Review: Clinique Makeup Remover for Lids, Lashes, and Lips

With different types of makeup out there with different strengths and qualities, it sure wouldn’t be a surprise for cosmetics brands to invest on a product to remove the pile of junk they encourage their customers to wear. I don’t mean to disparage but when we put too much or just the right amount of makeup, it feels quite “junk-y” at the end of the day and for me, all I wanted was to get rid of it effectively. Wouldn’t you?

Most of my makeup are on the lids, lashes, and lips. Having combination to oily skin that’s also prone to pimple breakouts, I apply little on my face so I invest on those three instead.

My daily makeup routine for my lips, lashes, and eyes consist of matte lipstick that resists smudging, waterproof mascara, and a choice between eyeliner pencil, waterproof liquid eyeliner, and waterproof eyeliner gel. Therefore, I’m likely to invest on good makeup removers, especially one that can effectively remove that junk on my eyes.

If you’re like me, then Clinique’s take the day off makeup remover for lids, lashes & lips is a good investment.

Review: Clinique Makeup Remover for Lids, Lashes, and Lips

clinique take the day off makeup remover

Fast Facts

Disclaimer: I got mine as a gift from a friend so I’ll be getting my info from the Clinique website instead.

Price:  Php3,2511
Volume: 125ml (mine’s 50ml)

Ingedients:
Water, Isohexadecane, Dimethicone, Cyclopentasiloxane, Trisiloxane, PEG-4 Dilaurate, Lauryl Methyl Gluceth-10 Hydroxypropyldimonium Chloride, Hexylene Glycol, Sodium Chloride, Potassium Phosphate, Dipotassium Phosphate, Dipotassium EDTA, Phenoxyethanol2

Product Claims:
Works for all skin types.
Dissolves and “lifts away” long-wearing makeup, even waterproof mascara.
Non-irritating, non-stinging.
Ophthalmologist tested. Appropriate for contact lens wearers.3

Directions for use:
Shake well.
Apply with a cotton ball.
Wipe off.
Rinse before applying makeup.

IMPRESSIONS

Strength: 10/10

It does what it says it does. I’ve never encountered such an effective makeup remover and I’m just basing this on how it made my life much easier when removing my eye makeup.

For review purposes, let’s use my right eye as an example. Here I’m  wearing Heroine Make’s [waterproof] Impact Liquid Eyeliner and Benefit’s They’re Real waterproof mascara. I let the makeup stay overnight (skin care/beauty tip: you shouldn’t sleep with makeup on) so the eyeliner may have smudged a bit into my lashes.


What I normally do when removing eye makeup is to use massage the serum/oil using my fingers onto my lids and lashes and then wipe off with tissue. I do this twice.

For Clinique, it’s not in a pump bottle, I use cotton buds—each end to each eye.

Here’s what it looks like after the first massaging.


After the second massaging and wiping…


You can see how thin and lacking in eyeliner and mascara my eye is after using Clinique’s makeup remover. If you’re still not sure, here’s a shot of my finger and the cotton buds after the first round of eye makeup removal.


If you’re still not sure, here’s a shot of my right and left eye (closed because I look cross-eyed if they’re open) to see the difference.

closed eyes before after comparison

Price: 7/10

Other than the fact that I got mine free (thanks friend!), the price for this one is way up there, around Php26 (0.50-0.60 USD) per 1ml, more expensive than Shu Uemura’s OB Fresh Pore Clarifying Gentle Cleansing Oil. But considering the strength—stronger than Shu Uemura’s—and since most of my makeup is on my eyes and it takes just a little of this to remove it, then I guess it’s worth the price to pay.

Verdict: 9/10

Right now, Clinique’s makeup remover for lids, lips, and eyes is my favorite so I just had to make a review and share it. It really does its job on that department and it’s quite easy to use.

Just a note to share while I was researching on the product but I could have gotten this wrong, but according to beautypedia, Clinique sometimes tests its products on animals.

“Clinique is categorized as one that tests on animals because their products are sold in China. Although Clinique does not conduct animal testing for their products sold elsewhere, the Chinese government requires imported cosmetics be tested on animals, so foreign companies retailing there must comply. This requirement is why some brand’s state that they don’t test on animals “unless required by law”. Animal rights organizations consider cosmetic companies retailed in China to be brands that test on animals, and so does the Paula’s Choice Research Team.”

I just hope the one I got was not animal tested.

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Do you have any thoughts on Clinique’s makeup remover for lids, lashes, and lips you’d like to share? Or do you have a makeup remover that’s just as strong, if not stronger? Share them in the comments below. 🙂