12 Beauty Secrets from Around the World

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Global Travel Advisory: Take your envy meds.

Maybe it's the sleepless hours at cruising altitude. Maybe it's the fight-or-flight response that kicks in when you have to brave Customs. But, at least in my book, certain countries are hazardous to the self-esteem. You step off the plane and the women look way too good. 

How on earth do they do it?  Save your miles. You can try these international trade secrets without leaving the house.




BEAUTY WITHOUT BORDERS


JAPAN

* The Allure: that porcelain complexion
* Secret Ingredients: rice and seaweed

Rice Body Rub: "In the old days, rice bran was a substitute for soap," says K.C. Kang, speaking on the phone from Japan as she launches her new skin-care line in the U.S.. "You'd bring your little cotton pouch to the local bath house and fill it up with the bran. Then you'd soak and scrub your whole body, including the face. People still do this." Beyond sloughing off the dead skin layer, rice bran oil is known for its potent vitamin E and other antioxidants that brighten the skin. To see for yourself, fill a pouch with rice bran, and rub your body. If you're bathing, leave the bag in the tub and let the nutrients seep into the water.  

Kelp Face Pack: Seaweed has long been used in Japan as a beauty aid, says Kang, whose interest in traditional remedies grew from trying to heal her own severe eczema. The best recipe for a face mask, she says, requires about 7 ounces of raw seaweed (if you can't find any, reconstitute the dried kind.) Thoroughly soak the kelp to rinse out the salt; then drain and place in a pan with 16 ounces of water, and cook at a low heat, stirring, for 10 minutes. Next, pour it into blender and make a creamy paste, mixing in a teaspoon of fresh lemon juice once it cools. Refrigerate for three days (freeze what you won't be using) and apply for 20 minutes.  

Sun Style: Ever considered opera gloves for the car? "Japanese women are so picky about their skin," says Kang, "aside from using the traditional umbrella in the summer, they wear long gloves—past the elbow—when they're driving. They want to make sure the sun from the window doesn't age their hands or arms." 

AUSTRALIA


* The Allure: wild, luxurious hair
* Secret Ingredients: rainforest plums and desert limes

Kakadu Plum Paste:  Aussie hairstylist Kevin Murphy—whose Hollywood clients have included Cate Blanchett, Naomi Watts, and Selma Blair—also became obsessed with natural beauty as a result of eczema. His favorite discovery (which he uses in his hair care line) is the kakadu plum. "The Aborigines have been using it medicinally for 40,000 years," he says. The dumpy little rainforest fruit has the highest known vitamin C content of any plant on the planet. And Murphy has found that its antioxidant power saves hair from serious dye-job damage. "You know how after you color your hair it's all slimy and horrible," he asks? "That's because the oxidants from the dye are still working and breaking the delicate fibers. If you apply kakadu plum right away, it mops those oxidants up." Try it by mixing one part kakadu plum liquid extract—health food stores sell it (or you can squeeze the liquid from gel capsules)—and five parts virgin olive oil. Apply the paste ASAP post-coloring, and sleep in it before washing out.

* Desert Lime Spray: Another Down Under treasure is the desert lime, a plant that flourishes in scorching temperatures. "We use it as a natural heat protectant on the hair," Murphy says. You may be able to find desert lime locally or online in an extract or tea. If so, boil it up and strain it a few times until you get a clear liquid. Once it cools, pour into an atomizer and use it to spray your hair before you work with a hot blow dryer or styling iron.

EASTERN EUROPE

* The Allure: fresh-faced model appeal
* Secret Ingredients: milk, olive oil, egg white, grapes

* Milky Skin Wash: "Eastern European women are extremely vain." That's the verdict from Bella Schneider, who lived in Ukraine, Poland, Italy, and Israel while working in salons with Hungarian and Bulgarian clients, before opening her LaBelle Day Spas & Salons in the San Francisco Bay Area. "These women have always taken every effort to look wonderful, even in Communist times when so little was available and they had to rely on home remedies." A tried-and-true remedy is milk. "We know about Cleopatra taking milk baths," Schneider says. "The reason is the lactic acid, which now, we chemically alter for peels. But you can just use a little milk to rinse your cleanser off and it's great for the skin." If your complexion is dry, she advises, use whole milk; if oily, go for low fat.
* Milky Skin Mask: For a more concentrated dose, boil a little milk until it gets a crusty surface. Once it cools, add a teaspoon of spoiled yogurt ("leave it out until it gets that yucky look," Schneider says) and mix into a mask you can wear for 20 minutes.
* Egg White Oily Skin Lift:  A little egg on the face apparently makes an amazing mask for oily skin: Beat a few whites until they're not tacky, stir in a bit of baking soda, and add some shredded lemon and grapefruit peel. Brush on the mixture and let it harden. According to Schneider, you'll feel a undeniably youthful, fresh lift.  

* Olive Buff: "Back home, women 'schmear' themselves from head to toe in olive oil, and stay in it for hours," says Schneider. "When they rinse it all off, the skin is like silk." You just have to be careful because your face can break out.

* Grape Splash: The juice of grapes (packed with antioxidants) is also great for your skin,says Schneider. "Rub it in, and if you crush the seeds, you've got a great scrub, too."
PAKISTAN

* The Allure: silky skin
* Secret Ingredients: almonds, orange peel, watermelon, extra virgin olive oil

* Almond Scrub: "My mom used to grind the soft shells of young almonds into a very fine powder and mix it with coconut milk or oil," says  New York City dermatologist Misbah Kahn, MD, who grew up in PakistanLike rice bran and grape seeds, the almonds make a good exfoliator. "The home remedies really haven't been surpassed by high-tech microdermabrasion products," says Kahn. "In scar surgery we can even use very fine sandpaper that's available at Home Depot." As for the coconut oil, she says, "it has anti-inflammatory and anti-fungal properties and may be good for keratin, which the outer layer of skin is made of." You can whip up your own scrub with coconut oil and finely ground shells—if you can't find the young almonds, use coconut shell (soak first and shred it.)

* Scalp Balm: "I tell my patients with dry, itchy scalps, to rub on some extra virgin olive oil and wrap their head in a warm towel," says Kahn. "The oil is great for the hair, too."   

* Crushed Orange Watermelon Mask: Another skin secret from her homeland: Take a dried-out orange peel and crush it into a fine powder. Add a little lemon juice, water, or in the summer, mashed watermelon, and apply the mixture on your face for 20 minutes before going out for the evening. "The mask has antioxidants, and—especially if you use lemon—oh boy, forget it!" says Kahn. "It smells good, your makeup goes on easily, and your skin looks so nice and bright."


GLOBAL WATERS

* The soak. From thalassotherapy in French Brittany to the Dead Sea cure, soaking is a universal beauty secret we often pass up in favor of the rush-hour shower. "In Japan, we worship water," K.C. Kang says. "Toji is the word for bathing, and it's been a traditional therapy ever since the Samurais started fighting." Aside from the minerals and healing qualities of certain waters, an obvious benefit is relaxation—and we know a zen mind can translate to beaming skin. To that end, Kang suggests taking a half hour, drawing a nice, warm tub, and throwing in a touch of sake. "It's fantastic for the skin," she says, laughing. "Just don't drink your bath!"




Courtesy of:
http://shine.yahoo.com/channel/beauty/12-beauty-secrets-from-around-the-world-2393238/

Paul & Joe Concealer Revisited

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I take back what I said in my first Paul and Joe post. It's a wonderful concealer! Especially for the undereyes! Does not cake on me, does not crease, last the whole day and looks natural. It lacks coverage though, so its not for acne marks and such.

The picture says it all..


left side bare faced right side with concealer

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MAC Venomous Villains

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I was hopping around my blogroll and lo behold, swatches and reviews for the MAC Venomous Villains collection. Im not a MAC kinda girl, but some products made me want to buy!

Things I would like to get from this collection:
  • Lipstick in Violetta
  • Beauty Powder in Oh So Fair


Great reviews and swatches can be read at: http://www.theshadesofu.com/

I would also make a review/swatch when I get a hold of these :)

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Puppies for Sale!

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Posting for a friend! :) We actually bought from her also, the puppy we got has a very good temperament! Super lambing and super cute! She spoils her pooches so you can be sure the puppies you get are in healthy and happy condition.

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Review: Paul & Joe Creamy Compact Foundation

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I'm loving this foundation. I may say this is holy grail material for me. I got this last sale (see previous post)
and oh boy was I glad to snag one of these. Pardon me, I only applied the foundation on the left side of my face.

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My Paul and Joe Babies

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I have always wanted to try P&J's makeup but was hesitant, thank goodness I was informed of the 70 % off sale c/o Project Vanity I came at the second day of the sale, boohoo there was no Protective Dual Foundation in my shade anymore so I settled for the Creamy Compact Foundation plus a refill. The SA there was really nice :) and people there as well (no snobs yey!)

So please please please inform me if Paul & Joe would have a super sale again, even if it is just 10% or 20% off.



I can definitely say that their compact foundation is HG material. It looks better through time, does not change orange on me and makes my skin bright and lovely without masking my skin. I'm not fond of using foundations with too much coverage because I am blessed with good skin thank God.

Their concealer is pretty blah and a waste of money. Their eye shadows and blushes are well pigmented, even water resistant with my testing.

I would post my detailed individual reviews for these babies next post.
;)

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200 Beauty Tips Series: Attitude

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When I was 8 years old, my mom bought me a book from booksale entitled "200 Beauty Tips" I still have this book and reach for it every now and then I need a fix for beauty knowledge. It's like a new book every time!

I can't believe it only costs 20 pesos back then. I decided why not share the information from this book to my readers. :) One post at a time

1.
Attitude
 Few celebrities consider themselves  a perfect 10. So how do these high profile pros appear beautiful and glamorous on screen? The same way I play any other role.
A film director once said: " A good actress must be able to play a beautiful woman even if she is not beautiful."

Now let's be honest, girls, There's enough theater blood in any woman to do that!

My favorite local celebrity is Toni Gonzaga, I like how funny and real she is, and how she carries herself. Admittedly she has her imperfections, but people barely notice it because of her confidence.
(image from PEP)

For My Readers: Brand Loyalty. Do you have one?

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My favorite auntie only uses Estee Lauder from perfume to cosmetics. My mom only uses clinique.

I, randomly use all sorts of brands to try, to love, and to hate :p

I'm curious if my dearest readers have a brand that they ultimately prefer?

Is it true that as you grow older you would like to stick to one brand instead?

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Review: Ultra Color Rich MegaImpact Review

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Review: Ultra Color Rich MegaImpact Review

I hate to say this but I am very disappointed with this product. Its name simply misleads buyers because of the ff:

1. It is not color rich
2. It doesnt have any impact
3. Where's the ultra?

The advertisement featuring Reese Witherspoon showcases the lipstick as something for HD, colors that pop! colors that wow!
But it was blah for me.

What I liked.
1. Did not dry out my lips

What I did not like
1. It is not color rich
2. It doesnt have any impact
3. Where's the ultra?
(sorry I hate this so much I have to repeat)
4. It is so sheeer!
5. It has no staying power!

Note, apologies for the poor quality of the picture, but the color taken is very accurate.. This is the true color in pink pop.
It's like, my lips, with glitter. MLGG (my lips glitter glitter)

Would I recommend?
NO. Dont waste money like I did. If you like to buy Avon's lipstick, Ultra Moisture Rich, and Mousse lipsticks are my bet.

Review: Dove Whitening Deodorant

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Update: Commercial anti-persperants clog our pores causing dark spots and more. I'm no longer using this as a deodorant and opted for a more natural way to lighten and smoothen my underarms although I know it would take time. I would update you SOON

My husband has been using the Dove Stick deodorant for years now, while I have been switching brands. The last one I used was DeoNat when I was pregnant coz I found this one the safest to use. But after I've given birth and came back to work, I needed something with more odor and sweat protection.

I decided to get a dove deo of my own (unscented) without thinking about getting whitening benefits etc.
To my surprise, my husband noticed the difference. My dark underarms was significantly whiter! I can wear short sleeved tops with no worries! And this was not the whitening variant mind you.

I finished the whole stick in around a month, and bought the whitening variant unscented. I love how it doesnt stain my clothes, doesnt need to be dried out, not sticky, and feels like I have nothing on my underarms. It protects me the whole day from sweat and odor.

HG material? Could be! :)

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Product Review: Halcyon Beauty Drydra Foot Spray

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My cousin-in-law and I was out and about at Pilipina, Ang Ganda Mo! Beauty Fair at SM Megamall and we were searching for new and upcoming products that were good enough to feature. Now we noticed a lot of common brands, some familiar enough like SanSan, VMV, etc. When their kiosk caught our attention.

We got three random products to try out and review, I gave the soap to my cousin, while I got the sanitizer gel and Drydra foot deo for myself.

 Drydra Deodorizing Footspray - When I perspire, it's mostly on my palm and foot area, and when I wear sandals or shoes, I do not use those footsies or socks since they annoy me. However, when I do perspire, it makes my footwear icky and sticky :P blech. Using this spray right before I put on my shoe, makes my feet dry and fresh all day. When I say all day, I mean ALL day! :p Typically tried it on super walking condition on a humid day to Divisoria yesterday. I wish I used this product when I was in college because my friends always joked around how we get smelly feet at the end of each day haha.

The hand sanitizer has quite of a strong smell, I prefer my sanitizers unscented. But it works well just the same. The soap my cousin has yet to try so watch out for her review next!

You can get your hands on Halcyon Beauty Products at their website http://www.halcyonbeauty.net

Fragrance Review: Etude House Cotton Snow EDT

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Petit Bijou fragrance in Cotton Snow is an excellent dupe for bulgari
petit en mamans.

I was not fond of the powdery dry down of both scents that's why I sold
off both. For Cotton Snow, the initial spray reminds me of milk honey
and yes, cotton. It's a very comforting scent. It blooms away into
the scent of mint and the powder starts coming in, just like snow
in winter time.
The dry down is what I do not like. It ends up in a powder mixed
with something woodsy, and something that makes me nauseous.

The packaging is cute, in a 30ml compact bottle, even the name of the
EDT is cute. It also lasts a very long time, it lasted longer
than the Elizabeth Arden "Pretty" perfume that I tried at the same day.
(different wrists)

Where to buy: Etude House
Price: 999 pesos around 20 dollars

Laura Mercier Workshop Experience

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I was browsing around at Rustan's Shang for a good powder foundation (in compact form) when I passed by the Laura Mercier counter.
The ever gorgeous MA Lara then excitedly told me that there was a Laura Mercier Makeup Seminar. :) I learned quite a lot of new things even if
I left early because my aunt arrived earlier than usual. Here are some of the tips I got there that I can share with you.





1. Warm up your concealer on the back of your hand. It makes you waste less product, and end up with a more natural even finish.

2. Do not cover your eyebags and dark circles completely. It will make you look weird if you do not have those, people naturally have darker undereyes, but just to cover the right amount to lessen the intensity of the darkness.

3. Yellow is to cover redness. Pink and peaches to cover the blues and the grays.

4. That I actually have to use less finishing powder than I usually do. When I saw the Makeup Artist used small amount of powder and just squished it in his sponge and patted
it around. Pat pat pat. Pat your loose powder with a velour sponge.


Ok I'm sorry but that's it. I wasnt able to go to the part where you color up your face :( boo. I would probably attend more of these in the future. Im having a bit of more
time for myself lately.  *wink*

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My Happy Experience With Saya

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I have read a lot of good things about having a baby sling/carrier. (See previous posts) and I have tried several kinds. Here are my thoughts on those, and also my choice as the best sling ever! This is not a paid advertisement and I bought my Saya at fabnaima.multiply.com

Apologies for the lack of color/makeup. I'm recently rebuilding up my stash since when I got pregnant I hated cosmetics and gave away or sold off most of them. Stay tune for my shopping sprees since I MISSED MAKEUP so much!

1. Pouch - It's a piece of cloth that's closed and you just slide the baby in. No size adjustments so you have to get the perfect size. I got the small size from Indigo Manila. This was my first carrier. I found it very convenient since it's just wear and go. But when my baby turned 2 months, he couldnt fit, and the medium size would be too big for us. It's not the size of the pouch but the width, he's a fat baby so he's very uncomfortable with this, and it couldnt be stretched (fabric not stretchable) maybe I should try other pouch brands but I only know Indigo's so far.

2. Sling - I kept on thinking if I would buy this, but before I got to purchase It I tried it at EcoMart at Serendra, they assisted me on how to place it, adjust and use it. But alas, I couldnt get the hang of it so I didnt buy it.


 3. Saya - It's like the best of all worlds of carrier. The convenience of a pouch, the versatility of a sling, and the comfort of a wrap. And baby geof loved it! We took it anywhere! When he was smaller he loved the pod position, but when he grew and my baby loves to explore his favorite was the kangaroo and even fall asleep in that position. It's a HUGE help when we go to clinic checkups, mall, church, birthday parties. He was never fussy, and for me, I was never tired! Think of carrying him the whole day.
My baby is the type of baby that doesnt like to be put down, so thanks for Saya for making me, and my baby, Ma-saya! :)

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