Product Review: Hair Fix Deep Repair (Watsons Series)

10/25/2015 11:51:00 PM

Image courtesy of

Finding an affordable yet effective hair treatment product has been a quest ever since my stylist accidentally ruined my tresses a few years back. I realized that I should not rely on the strand strength of my mane alone.

This is part 3 of my Watsons hair treatment product review series. Click HERE for part 1 (Hair Fix Intense Straight), click HERE for part 2 (Casa Cellophane), click HERE for part 3 (Hair Treats Hair SPA), or go to the Watsons label located at the right hand side of the page.

Click HERE to read about a short article I wrote about tips and tricks for at-home hair treatment.

This product promises to restore and rebuild dry and damaged hair and claims to be enriched with Argan Oil and Aloe Vera.

It doesn't take rocket science to figure out how to use it. Just remove excess water after shampoo, apply the treatment product on damp hair, leave on for 5-10 minutes then rinse. Use a hair cap if you like.

For Php49 you get two sachets with 25ml of product. It is good for 2 uses if you have medium to long hair. I picked up two packs and got it only for Php65 instead of Php98.

Consistency: think Creamsilk conditioner in a thicker formula.

This is how my hair looked like after using this treatment product for the first time. Although my tresses felt softer and silkier, I wasn't impressed.

I used it again after a week and was shocked to see the result! No heat styling was involved when I took this picture was taken. I did not even use a blow dryer.

  • Affordable
  • Easy to use
  • Smells pleasing
  • Can be used 3-4 times depending on hair length
  • May produce promising results after weeks of continued use
  • Works well with chemically treated hair

  • Treatment effects will wear out easily when shampooing everyday
Overall Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Although I try to avoid shampooing on daily basis, there are just days when I can't. Unlike other treatment products, whatever result I got washed out easily. It would have scored higher if the effects lasted longer.

Note: Effects may vary depending on hair type, condition, length, and other external factors. Use at your own risk.


Learning the Starbucks Way: Other Choices

10/20/2015 09:28:00 AM

We are almost there! Just a hop and a skip away from finally finding your very own Starbucks favorite! If you missed the first three articles on this series, you can check them out here:

Click HERE for part 1 Terminologies
Click HERE for part 2 Espresso
Click HERE for part 3 Syrup and Milk

Aside from milk, syrup and espresso, there are many other ways to put final touches on a Starbucks coffee, placing your personal stamp on a drink.

Dry (or foamy): A dry Cappuccino is foamy but with little steamed milk. The espresso shoots through the foam and intensifies flavor.
Wet (or flat): A wet Cappuccino has more milk than foam. The result is a milky espresso taste, more like that of a Latte.
Whipped cream (or not): Add a touch of cloud to your coffee heaven for a little fun! Or, if your drink usually comes with whipped cream, you have the option to hold it off.
Light: Anytime you want less of something, say "light" - light whip, light syrup, light foam, light ice – you name it.
Sugar substitute: Your Starbucks barista will be happy to add sweeteners if you desire.
Extra hot: Milk is steamed to around 160⁰F (70⁰C), but if you want it a bit hotter than that, let them know!

Not a fan of hot coffee? Frappuccino® blended beverages have a number of options just as regular Lattes do.

Frappuccino® Light: It’s the same as regular Frappuccino® but with 60% less fat and 40% less calories.
Add syrup: Create your own treat! For example, hazelnut syrup in a Mocha Frappuccino® blended coffee makes a delicious nut-chocolate combination.
Affogato style: Try a Frappuccino® blended beverage with mocha or caramel drizzle and a shot of espresso on top. It gives the drink a more pronounced coffee flavor – and makes it fun to watch as the espresso drifts down.
Add Coffee Jelly: Compliment your favorite drink with yummy pieces of Coffee Jelly.
Blended whip (blogger added): Love whipped cream but don't like it sitting on top? Then have it mixed! When you don't see it, the lesser your guilt. *wink* *wink*
Twice blended (blogger added): Say goodbye to the ice bits. Ask the barista to blend your drink twice for a smoother Frappuccino®.

Now you're ready to order! Learn the "barista-speak" HERE.

Source: "Find Your Favorite - A guide to Starbucks® drinks" booklet 2005
Note: List may be different per country.


Sponge Wars: Beauty Blender Dupes Below PHP500

10/12/2015 04:12:00 PM

Nowadays, makeup sponges are considered a necessity in every makeup junkie's loot. This tool gained so much popularity due to the inception of the most coveted sponge of all, the Holy Grail of all makeup sponges: the Beauty Blender. This product is so remarkable that a lot of companies desperately tried to reproduce a similar item.

I believe anyone reading this will agree that as of the moment, there is nothing that can beat the amazing Beauty Blender. However, I can't deny the fact that there are cheaper alternatives out in the market. If you are in the Philippines, this post will provide details of sponge options that are below Php500.

Other notable items that may not be locally available are the Cynthia Rowley Precision Blending Sponge, and the BH Cosmetics Studio Pro Beauty Blending Sponge. I highly recommend trying them as well. And if you're wondering why the Too Cool for School Marshmallow Puff is not included in this article, that's because it retails for Php650. If you would like to see a review on it please type "Marshmallow Review" in the comments.

A few things to remember on sponge usage:
1. With daily use and given proper care, life of a sponge (in general) should last about 5-6 months.
2. Long nails will puncture/cut any sponge.
3. Always clean a sponge (regardless of the brand) after each use.
4. Use damp to get best results.

Here are the contenders (clockwise in order) : Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge, Bonni Beauty Sponge, Caiqian Sponge, BYS Blending Sponge, and Moonkini Sponge. Review and testing is based on Beauty Blender standards thus, all comments and findings about each product's performance are in comparison to a Beauty Blender.

Note: This is not a sponsored review. All items were purchased using my own money. All sponges were brand new at the start of testing and were used on myself only.

Score/Result scale:
1. High
2. Above Average
3. Average
4. Below Average
5. Low

Toughness scale:
1. Very Tough
2. Slightly Tough
3. Easy
4. Slightly Easy
5. Very Easy

Makeup used:
1. Dollface Cream Corrector and Concealer Palette - applied using a brush, blending using sponge
2. Max Factor FaceFinity Liquid Foundation - 1 pump to a mixing plate, applied and blended using sponge on top of the concealer

Cleaning agents used (mixture):
1. Joy Antibac
2. Johnson's Baby Bath Milk

Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge

Retailing between Php400 to Php500 depending on where you'd order it, this remains at the top of my list. It is by far the best dupe for the Beauty Blender in my opinion. I wouldn't go into detail as there's already an abundance of reviews on this item. Google search should help you find out more information about this product if you're not familiar.

To my horror, the new sponge doesn't seem to have the same quality and texture compared to my earlier purchase. I've heard a lot of similar stories. Pictured on the right is my older RT sponge. If you have the same problem do comment if there's a noticeable difference in makeup application.

BYS Blending Sponge

Dry (Beauty Blender on the left)

Wet (Beauty Blender on the right)

Price: Php299
Purchased from: Watsons
Colors Available: 1
Packaging: Soft plastic box can be reused as desired. I did like the plastic bed it came with (2nd picture) and have decided to keep that instead
Latex feel: Above average, doesn't indicate if sponge is latex-free
Bounciness: Below average, feels full, has tendencies to deform for a few seconds when wet
Growth (when wet): High, grew double the size
Product pick up: Below average, doesn't absorb too much makeup
Product application/blending: Average, gives a sheer finish, covers area faster during foundation application because of bigger base
Cleaning: High, very easy to remove makeup deposit, slightly tough when squeezing water out
Staining: Low
Drying: Average
Stress test: Above average, showed minimal cuts after first wash

Bonni Beauty Sponge

Dry (Beauty Blender on the left)

Wet (Beauty Blender on the left)

Old Packaging Image courtesy of @agoraboutique Instagram

Old Packaging

Old Packaging

New Packaging

Price: Php270 per piece, Php500 for 2 pcs (special offer)
Purchased from: Instagram seller @agoraboutique
Colors Available: 1
Packaging: Plastic zip lock bag, can be reused as desired
Latex feel: Average, doesn't indicate if sponge is latex-free
Bounciness: Above average, feels less full
Growth (when wet): High, grew double the size
Product pick up: Average, may absorb liquids a little more
Product application/blending: Above average, gives a sheer finish
Cleaning: Above average, easy to remove makeup deposit, slightly easy to squeeze out water
Staining: Above Average
Drying: Average
Stress test: Below Average, showed minimal cuts after several washes

Caiqian Sponge

Dry (Beauty Blender on the left)

Wet (Beauty Blender on the left)

Price: Php140
Purchased from: Instagram seller
Colors Available: a few, cannot chose color upon purchase
Packaging: Hard reusable plastic container similar to cotton buds container, best packaging in my opinion
Latex feel: High, doesn't indicate if sponge is latex-free
Bounciness: Below average, feels very full
Growth (when wet): High, grew double the size
Product pick up: Above average, absorbs liquids more
Product application/blending: Below average, patchy effect, has tendencies of dragging makeup, slightly tough when using under the eyes because of the shape
Cleaning: Below average, slightly tough to remove makeup deposit, very tough when squeezing water out
Staining: High
Drying: Below average
Stress test:  High, showed a lot of cuts after first wash

Moonkini Sponge

Dry (Beauty Blender on the left)

Wet (Beauty Blender on the right)

Price: Php150
Purchased from: Facebook seller Le Boutique PH
Colors Available: Several, cannot chose color upon purchase
Packaging: Flimsy plastic box, can be reused as desired
Latex feel: Above average, doesn't indicate if sponge is latex-free
Bounciness: Below average, feels a little full
Growth (when wet): Low, minimal to no almost no growth at all
Product pick up: Average to Above average, may seem to absorb a lot (liquids) but transfers adequate amount of product
Product application/blending: Average, gives translucent finish
Cleaning: Above average, easy to remove makeup deposit, slightly tough when squeezing water out
Staining: Above average
Drying: Above average
Stress test: High, doesn't have any cuts to date


Remember, results may vary depending on the makeup product used and skin condition. My rating doesn't affect the possibility of repurchasing because a particular sponge may have fallen short on one area but may have performed on another area. I actually found a particular use for each item.

Bottom line is, they are all usable. Your skill on makeup application will determine which sponge will work best for you. Here's my ranking in order:

1. Bonni Beauty Sponge
2. BYS Blending Sponge
3. Moonkini Sponge
4. Caiqian Sponge

Do you have knowledge of other sponges priced below Php500? Let me know and I'll be glad to include them here!


Product Review: Daiso Brush Cleaner

10/06/2015 11:08:00 AM

It's puzzling how fast the Daiso Makeup Brush Cleaner disappears from the shelves. I wondered what makes it so special. Some beauty community members rave about it. Some makeup enthusiasts swear by it. And I've been trying to pick up a bottle or two, if only it wasn't always out of stock. Luckily, I was able to grab a few recently.

Instructions printed on the back say (in verbatim):

1. Put the cleaner into the  container and dip the brush thoroughly.
2. Wash it like drawing a circle with running water.
3. Dry it with a towel and then arrange ends of the wool. Lastly, dry again naturally.

My choice for testing: an unbranded dense flat brush used with cream concealers. It's been sitting on my kit untouched for roughly 2 weeks so the cream product has already dried up and hardened.

I left the brush submerged for 5 minutes and went back. There was no reaction. If this cleaner is concentrated, makeup will detach and dissolve in an instant.

This is how the solution looked like after giving it a few swirls with light pressure.

Found myself dipping into the solution four times to get the brush at this state.

See that colored substance? Yes you're right, that's left over concealer.

  • Very affordable
  • Easy to use
  • Doesn't irritate skin
  • Doesn't leave any odor on the brush
  • Conditions brush hair well
  • Air drying is a breeze after using this cleaner
  • Has a distinct smell that's not appealing but not appalling either
  • May not be suitable for "deep cleaning" dense brushes

Overall Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Makeup artists with back-to-back clients on a daily basis may not have the time to deep clean brushes regularly. Thus, using the Daiso Makeup Brush Cleaner is a quick fix. It does a fair job in removing makeup residue but may require more product for denser brushes. Definitely not the best one out there, but it isn't the worst either. And for Php88 a bottle, you wouldn't go wrong.

At the end of the day, I will still go back to using mild shampoo or an antibacterial dishwashing liquid mixed with olive oil and water for my cleaning needs.