Tools and Implements

*While I was not compensated for this post, the products featured were sent to me for PR consideration.

Some of Biore’s makeup removers* are finally here! I was a little disappointed that the makeup cleansing milk I once bought from a Taiwanese grocery store is not included in the makeup remover line launched recently. But I’m happy with the products that Biore made available.

I received this lovely pink bucket of makeup removers two months ago and here’s what I think about them (in order of what I like most):

Biore Makeup Removers 1

Biore Cleansing Oil Wipes

I wasn’t looking forward to using this at all. I’m not particularly fond of makeup remover wipes and I dislike cleansing oils. But, I was blown away the first time I used this.

One of the reasons why I don’t prefer makeup wipes is because I find most of them greasy-feeling (I’m looking at you, propylene glycol) or are not wet enough. I was pleasantly surprised that the sheets of the Biore Cleansing Oil Wipes have the perfect amount of wetness — soaked but not dripping.

Biore Cleansing Oil Wipes 1

Also, despite being a “cleansing oil” wipe, it doesn’t feel like there’s oil in it at all — in a good way. The sheets feel more like they’re soaked in micellar water and not cleansing oil. I tried using it without rinsing afterwards and my skin felt velvety rather than oily. There’s definitely no heavy-greasy feel with these wipes. I would be good cleaning my face with just this to keep the velvety-ness, but I’m too paranoid not to double-cleanse.

My whole face on a cleansing wipe. I don't wear a lot of makeup.

My whole face on a cleansing wipe. I don’t wear a lot of makeup.

Another thing to like about this is the sheet itself. It is quite unique. It’s thick, soft, insanely smooth, and fluffy(?). It doesn’t get easily torn apart despite how hard I wipe my face.

One sheet is enough for my whole face. But on most days, I don’t wear a lot of makeup. It can remove waterproof eye makeup but you need to hold it for a few seconds before wiping out everything. Too bad I don’t have a Majolica Majorca mascara to test how good this is. For people who apply heavier makeup, I imagine that two to three sheets would be needed.

Left = One Swipe With the Makeup Remover Wipe, Right = With Makeup
Left = One Swipe With the Makeup Remover Wipe, Right = With Makeup

The thing I dislike about this is the price. A packet of 10 sheets costs Php 99 (almost 10 Php /sheet). I might not repurchase this for daily makeup removal, but I’d remember to pick one up for travel.

Biore Cleansing Oil

As I mentioned, I dislike cleansing oils. So I didn’t expect to like this. Most of the cleansing oils I’ve tried are too heavy for my liking. When I use cleansing oils, I feel like my skin is suffocated to a point where my face sweats and the oil emulsifies before I even wash my face. Biore Cleansing Oil doesn’t do that.

I used this once all over the face and it was easy enough to rinse. But I stuck to just using it for removing lipstick and eye makeup. I didn’t experience any untoward reaction on my face but I am still not comfortable putting oil all over and getting it on my hairline (difficult to rinse = might eventually break me out).

Biore Cleansing Oil

The green apple scent helped a lot in my liking this. It certainly adds to a pleasant makeup-removing experience.

I received a full size bottle (with pump) and 2 smaller flip cap ones. One of the latter I gave to my friend and volunteer Scatterbraintures correspondent, Cheche. She’s happy to report that she can use the cleansing oil without having to ‘second cleanse’ afterwards. Based on her experience, no makeup residue appears on her toner-soaked cotton pad after cleansing with the oil.

Biore Cleansing Oil did not make me a cleansing oil-convert but I am considering purchasing it because my current eye makeup remover, a bi-phase formula from Laneige, is very expensive. The 150mL bottle of the Biore Cleansing Oil costs Php 299.

Biore Micellar Water

Despite being my least liked of the three, the micellar water is actually good. It just didn’t wow me, having tried so many different brands and realizing that they’re not significantly different from each other. They all seem to perform more or less the same, cleaning-performance-wise.

Biore’s micellar water is not the cheapest by the milliliter (Php 189 for 90mL). I believe it’s in the mid-range relative to other micellar water products in the market. It’s still worth trying though, especially if you’re like me who sometimes gets bored with using the same implements (e.g., facial cleansers) over and over. I’ll still include this in my rotation since it didn’t dry my skin out nor irritate my eyes. The label said not to use it when your contact lenses are on, but I did, and I didn’t experience any irritation (thankfully!). As with most micellar waters, this can’t remove water proof mascara and eyeliner as swiftly as a bi-phase formula would, but it works great to loosen up makeup.

Biore Micellar Water Review

I’ve seen Biore makeup removers at Watsons (inside The SM Store), Landmark, and PCX.

Since May of this year, I am able to keep my nail polish (non) stash to two bottles. This is in no way a big achievement because I’m still struggling at keeping down the rest of my beauty products to a significantly lower number.

I wanted to get Zoya Pixie Dust the moment I saw it on Julia’s nails a few years ago. The texture reminded me of a grade school sand art project, which entailed drawing a shape, filling in said shape with a thin layer of glue, pouring sand on top, and removing the excess. Pixie Dust looks like sand on the nails — sand mixed with micro-glitters.

Initially, I wanted to get a bold color, but I settled with Godiva instead. I got a little disappointed after trying it on because I thought it was going to be a little deeper and more beige-toned instead of the pale gold that it is. The color grew on me after a few weeks, tho. Here is Godiva on my nails:

Zoya Godiva Swatch
Zoya Pixie Dust – Godiva

I like that it’s wobbly hand-friendly. The imperfections in my application don’t seem as visible because of the texture. Chipping doesn’t seem obvious, too.

Four years ago, I owned 2 lip products (yes, just 2) and kept more than a dozen nail polish bottles.  I loved the latter so much that when I celebrated my 28th birthday, my then workmates gifted me with a bouquet of nail polish bottles in fancy cellophane sheets.

2011 | Happy 28th Birthday to me!
2011 | The happy-I-got-new-nail-polish face.

Now, it’s the other way around — I own only 2 nail polish bottles and keep more than a dozen lipsticks (probably more).  I wonder if in the next few weeks, my birthday, someone would give me a bouquet of lipsticks, hah!

Anyway, one of the two nail polishes I have, excluding a bottle of top coat, is Revlon’s Gel Envy in Hold ’em (460).  I think I bought this in late February.

Swatch:  Revlon Color Stay Gel Envy - 460 Hold -em
Swatch: Revlon Color Stay Gel Envy – 460 Hold ’em

I was looking for a purplish nail polish to replace my discontinued staple, Max Factor Max Effect in #26 Cappuccino (see Iana’s swatch).  The closest match I could find was Chanel #641 Tenderly (see Alyssa Melanie’s swatch).  I still couldn’t bring myself to spend that much on nail polish just yet so I looked for other purple options.

Hold ’em is not in any way similar to Cappuccino and Tenderly but it satisfied my purple cravings.  I don’t know how to describe what shade of purple Hold ’em is.  All I know is that it’s a purple that flatters olive yellow skin tones.

It’s been more than 2 months since I last wore nail polish.  I wore this nail polish again today.  You’re generally not supposed to when you’re pregnant.  Unfortunately, I lost the baby 2 days ago. I feel kind of awkward to mention this now since I just casually ‘announced’ the pregnancy in my last post.  I’m really wishing I hadn’t.  But, yeah.  Shit happens.  I am sad.  And maybe purple is appropriate.

Hold ’em is opaque in one coat but it looks better and more gel nail polish~esque with 2 to 3 coats.  Maybe one coat would do if you have the Revlon Gel Envy Top Coat but I don’t have that yet.

The nail polish wears well.  I can wear it for 4 days with very minimal chipping, as far as I remember.  That is good enough for me because I wash the dishes and some of my clothes with my hands.

My favorite thing about this nail polish is the applicator.  I find it easier to apply nail polish when the brush is flat.  It is also somewhat rounded at the tip making it easier to apply close to the cuticle.

Revlon Color Stay Gel Envy 460 Hold em 3

I’d probably not repurchase this.  I might go back to a color like Max Factor Cappuccino.  If you know of a nail polish that’s similar to the latter, let me know.

Revlon Color Gel Envy seem to be available wherever Revlon is available.  I got mine from The SM Store for Php 325.

Do you spot clean your makeup brushes? I don’t. I don’t know how it’s done and I don’t know how it works. The only brush cleaning method I know and do is deep cleaning, which is probably bad for my makeup brushes but I don’t care enough to bother googling for spot cleaners.

Anyway, I used to use Joy dish washing liquid for deep cleaning but it leaves a scent on my dense face brushes. I don’t want to be reminded of washing the dishes, my 2nd most hated household chore, whenever I do my makeup.

Dr. Woods Castile Liquid Soap

So, I bought liquid castile soap. I heard that Dr. Bronners is good but I’m not going to spend more on my brushes than my face. I opted for Dr. Woods which is at least half as cheap.

I first tried the Unscented: Baby Mild variant. But it didn’t seem to remove cream products well. When I finished the bottle, I bought the one with Tea Tree Oil. The latter is more runny but same as the Unscented one, it’s also not that good in removing cream products from brushes. I ended up using Dr. Wood’s Tea Tree Castile Soap on my face.

I also noticed that Dr Woods make my eye brushes either too ‘fluffed out’ or too clumpy, in a very bad way, like oily hair strands stuck together.

Dr Woods Castile Liquid Soap

Tony Moly Clear Water Lip and Eye Remover

When I was still using Dr Woods, I double cleanse cream products with Tony Moly. The latter stings my eye, so I re-purposed it as a brush cleaner for lip brushes and dense face brushes. I won’t repurchase it just for that purpose, though.

Johnson & Johnsons Baby Shampoo

This is good stuff. Better than both Joy and Dr Woods. It cleans better and it helps the brushes retain their shape. If it were not for the existence of dust, I wouldn’t have any use for brush guards anymore, except for this.

Johnsons Baby Shampoo

However, I still needed to double cleanse eyeliner and lip brushes, and Shiseido Perfect Foundation Brush. But I’m not complaining. I wasn’t really expecting this shampoo to work on those. I was able to finish 2 bottles of the variant for babies. Recently, I bought their toddler shampoo — cheaper, same performance, but the scent is different. I like scent of the baby variant more.

Ordinary Bar Soap

This is the best of everything and is my current favorite makeup brush cleaner. I had the brightest idea of buying Dr Woods Castile bar soap but I just settled with trying out whatever was in the bathroom. When I first tried this out, I used Human Heart Nature’s Lavender Mint soap and I was mind blown. The makeup came right off. White eye brushes looked as good as new without the need for too much swishing.

It also gives a satisfying squeaky cleanliness.

And yes, it works even for lip brushes and densest of face brushes used on cream products. With eye liner brushes, I still need to pre-cleanse with an emulsifying cleansing oil. Again, not complaining.

It seems to be working for all types of bar soap I’ve been using. But real soap, those made with saponified oil (lye + oil), works best, I think.

The best part: the brushes dry super clean and their shapes retained. Initially, I thought the brush hairs wouldn’t be as soft anymore but so far this isn’t the case.

Safeguard Guava Bar Soap

For the very few natural-hair brushes I have, I still use Johnson & Johnsons. Maybe I’ll try it one of these days. For synthetic hair, I vouch for bar soap.

P.S. I don’t go through brush cleansers fast. I just kept those empty bottles for far too long.

P.P.S. When should I use “cleaner” instead of “cleanser”?

This is otherwise known as the What To Do With Extra Brush Guards hack.

This is not actually a Brush Guard. It’s a rip off that I bought from Suesh. It only comes in one size — too big for eye brushes and too small for bigger kabuki brushes. I have a few extras lying around and thought of using them to store (?) earphones:

Earphones Lifehack

It’s working great so far. I don’t experience the spaghetti-in-my-bag situation anymore.

Anyway, I’ve been going through stuff I don’t use and thinking of ways to re-purpose them. If you have any upcycling tips, do share them below. Thank you!