Aika Neko http://aikaneko.net A beauty, cat, lifestyle and personal blog by Aika Callora. Sun, 14 Jan 2018 06:05:44 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://i2.wp.com/aikaneko.net/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/cropped-cropped-14457312_1118579651567243_3677089880796551093_n.jpg?fit=32%2C32 Aika Neko http://aikaneko.net 32 32 104577455 How I got my BPI Express Start Credit Card http://aikaneko.net/random-musings/bpi-express-start-credit-card-review/ http://aikaneko.net/random-musings/bpi-express-start-credit-card-review/#comments Sun, 22 Oct 2017 22:07:03 +0000 http://aikaneko.net/?p=841 I am aware that there are many who warns people about credit cards. It can be a powerful tool but it can also be your downfall. HAHA. However, I really like to get one for myself as it’s very helpful especially when booking flights during a sale and you don’t have enough money. They say […]

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I am aware that there are many who warns people about credit cards. It can be a powerful tool but it can also be your downfall. HAHA. However, I really like to get one for myself as it’s very helpful especially when booking flights during a sale and you don’t have enough money. They say it’s dangerous but I really like to have one as it feels like I am a financial literate when I have one. HAHA. Since I am an online freelancer, it can be difficult to apply for credit cards. Good thing is, I read about secured credit cards online. There are numerous banks who offer this but I chose the BPI Express Start Credit Card as I have several accounts with them.

Secured credit cards are different from normal ones. To apply, you must have a certain holdout amount. It’s like you deposit an amount and the bank will hold the money. You may still see it on your account. It’s just that you can’t withdraw it. The bank will then base your credit limit from it. With BPI Express Start Secured credit card, your credit limit will be 80-90% of your holdout amount and as per what I’ve read online, your application is still subject to approval.

BPI Express Start Credit Card Journey

September 18, 2017 – Went to SM Megamall to apply for the Express Start Secured Credit card. Take note, this branch is always full of people. I don’t know what got into me and I chose this branch to be my Branch of Account. So, I was given an application form and 3 blue forms to fill out. The application form is the same form for the unsecured credit cards. You just need to choose the Express Start option. After I filled out everything, the teller said everything is all set and it takes at least 2 weeks for the process and I may even receive a text as early as this week. They didn’t give me a copy of the blue forms which made me wonder but decided to ignore it. So waiting game starts now. I checked my Express Online account and saw that my holdout amount was already held. You will still see your money in your account though but you can’t withdraw it.

September 25, 2017 – Nothing happened the past week so I called the hotline just to check if there are any updates. They said, they still haven’t received my application yet. Since it’s just been a week, I let it go.

September 27, 2017 – I also tried to contact their email support. Same information – there’s no application under my name yet. This worried me since my holdout amount was already held the same day that I applied last week. I read that the TalktoBPI on Twitter was very responsive so I decided to contact them as well. They said I have to contact SM Megamall directly since they don’t access accounts for security purposes. I tried calling the branch but became very frustrated because they are not answering! I’ve called all the numbers that their twitter and hotline support provided but they are just not answering. Some calls are even rejected! I sent another message to TalktoBPI and their email support for assistance. Twitter support said that they will relay this to the branch and they will contact me for an update.

September 29, 2017 – I asked for an update regarding my BPI Express Start Credit Card application from TalktoBPI again and they said the branch tried to call me but I was not answering. This made me frustrated because I NEVER received any response from them. I tried to understand that the branch is a very busy branch so maybe that’s why they can’t answer calls immediately so I tried calling again at 5 pm which I think is not a very busy time for them. Thankfully, they answered! They said they already submitted my application since last week and I should make a follow-up and call the hotline. This gave me hope. At least they confirmed that they already submitted my application.

October 2, 2017 – This is now the third week since my application and I am now frustrated. I received an email response from their email support(please be advised that they usually respond 2-3 business days) this morning and they advised me that they DID receive my application but they asked me to visit the branch as there are impediments in processing it. So, I went back to the branch the very same day and I was told that I may have signed the old blue forms. So I filled out another 3 blue forms and decided to add an amount to my holdout. Again, they didn’t give me a copy. I also requested to update my contact details so they won’t say that I can’t be contacted again. Haha. The teller who assisted me didn’t promise a date but he said that he’ll text me for an update. I was still doubtful but I agreed. I asked him to expedite my application and he promised that he will. Well, we’ll see. It’s just frustrating that I have to wait AGAIN. *sighs*

October 4, 2017 – FINALLY! I finally received a text this morning that my application has been approved. I was actually expecting it that day but now, I got excited again. I immediately sent a direct message to TalktoBPI and they instructed me to send an email for the delivery instructions. Thankfully, their email support responded immediately and said they already requested for the delivery to be sent to SM Megamall so that I can just pick up my card there. The waiting game resumes…

October 5, 2017 – I received another text from BPI this morning with the tracking details from Air21. Yes, I’ve read that Air21 or LBC is the courier that deliver the cards. However, when I tracked it on Air21’s website, it says that they cannot deliver because the “Business is closed” and they will have to deliver the next day. I wonder why SM Megamall was closed on a Thursday. So I was like, “Oh, well. I’ll just call to make a follow-up tomorrow”. I was a bit disappointed though.

October 6, 2017 – I called the BPI hotline again to verify to which address the Air21 attempted to deliver my card. I was disappointed when the phone banker said that they tried to deliver it to my home address because I immediately sent instructions to BPI to have it delivered to my Branch of Account when I received the tracking information. Apparently, Air21 didn’t immediately receive the request and it’s still in “pending” status on BPI’s system. When I reread the email response from the email support the other day, they did say I have to wait for 6-7 business days. AGAIN. Oh, well… I also tried to contact Air21 where I had to wait 20 minutes to speak with someone and was told that the parcel is not for dispatch for today contrary of what the update on the tracking information that said they will deliver on the next business day. I didn’t know that the next business day meant next week even if it was still Friday. *eye roll* So yeah, I have to wait for 6-7 business days again.

October 13, 2017 – Today’s the 7th business day since I requested for my card to be delivered to my Branch of Account. I also saw in the initial tracking number that the card was already returned to sender (BPI) on the 12th. I called BPI to confirm this but unfortunately, they said the card is still on its way to the courier and won’t be delivered today. *long sigh*

October 16, 2017 – Finally! I got a text from my branch of account that my card is already ready for pick-up. I felt relieved though my excitement already died down because of waiting for too long.

October 17, 2017 – Just a day before my application turns a month old, I FINALLY got my BPI Express Start Credit Card! It’s already pre-activated so I immediately used it for purchases. Hooray for my first credit card! HAHA.

Experience so far

Since my card was pre-activated, I immediately used it for purchases and bill payments on the same day. It was intimidating at first because I didn’t know how it works but eventually, I got used to it. Yes, it can be dangerous because your debts can pile up immediately if you are not careful but if you use it wisely, it can be a very helpful tool. I just bought my brother a plane ticket with it when there was a sale. So hooray! Also, I liked how the card looks. It also comes with an EMV chip for security.

As to until when I’ll use it? I’ll let you know about my experience soon.

For more information on the BPI Express Start Credit Card, visit their website.

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My Current Makeup Routine // http://aikaneko.net/makeup-or-product-reviews/current-makeup-routine/ http://aikaneko.net/makeup-or-product-reviews/current-makeup-routine/#respond Wed, 09 Aug 2017 08:13:37 +0000 http://aikaneko.net/?p=796 As I’ve mentioned in my previous post, I’m a homebody now and I don’t wear makeup as much as I would love to anymore. I realized that the more I stayed at home, the more I look homeless each passing day. Lol. However, me and my husband still need to soak in the sun(or rain) […]

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As I’ve mentioned in my previous post, I’m a homebody now and I don’t wear makeup as much as I would love to anymore. I realized that the more I stayed at home, the more I look homeless each passing day. Lol. However, me and my husband still need to soak in the sun(or rain) once in awhile and I can’t get out looking like a careworn person. In this post, I will show you how I do my simple and lazy current makeup routine. HAHA.

Steps to my current makeup routine

Step 1. Prep the skin

Before putting on anything on my face, I make sure to have a clean and blank canvas(my face). I usually wash my face with the facial wash of my choice. Currently, I am using the Innisfree Jeju Volcanic Pore Foam and follow it up with a toner.

Step 2. Sunscreen

Current Makeup Routine Sunscreen - AIka Neko

This is the most important part of my routine. Ever since I learned about how sunscreens/sunblocks prevent your skin from aging, I can no longer go out without wearing this. Aside from its anti-aging effects, I love how it protects me from harmful UV rays that can also cause hyperpigmentation. I am currently loving the Innisfree Perfect UV protection cream for oily skin as I feel like it evens out my skin. So, there’s no need to put foundation on. I highly encourage you to do the same. However, if you’re planning to have a photography session, I would suggest not to put sunscreens on for a while as it creates a white cast on photos.

Step 3. Concealer

Current Makeup Routine Concealer - Aika Neko

I don’t usually do this step as I’m not really concerned with covering my imperfections. Not that I’m saying to embrace your imperfections, etc. I’m just too lazy to do this most of the time. However, if I feel like it, I just use concealer on my under eyes to cover the dark circles. I love using the Happy Skin as it instantly covers and brightens my under eyes and it’s not drying at all.

Step 4. Lip and cheek tint

Current Makeup Routine Lip tint - Aika Neko

Voila! I don’t wear foundations as much as possible anymore. It’s not that I think it’s bad for my skin or whatever. I’m just too lazy to wear one. HAHA. So next, I go straight with my lip and cheek tint. I currently use the New Delight Tony Tint in Cherry Pink and Red. I got this from Althea Philippines and it’s pretty affordable for only P150 each. However, be quick on blending this on your cheeks as it stains pretty quick.

Step 5. Highlighter

Current Makeup Routine Highlight - Aika Neko

This is my favorite step in my routine! I don’t know why but I just feel it gives life to my face when I put on highlighter. I use the Becca x Jaclyn Hill Champagne Pop most of the time but recently, I’ve been grabbing the Happy Skin Glisten Up! Highlighter. It’s a cream product and it gives out an almost natural glow on your face.

Step 6. Face powder

Current Makeup Routine Powder - Aika Neko

And, tada! This is the final step in my routine. I usually use the Coty Airspun Loose Face Powder translucent extra coverage but now I’m loving the Althea Petal Velvet Powder as it smooths out my skin and gives an illusion of having no pores. It also sets my makeup and now I’m good to go!

The Final Look

Current Makeup Routine Final look - Aika Neko
Sorry if I look like I’m posing for my passport on this photo. HAHA. Awkward!

This is my final look and how I usually look like when I venture outside(except with the cat ears, of course). It’s easy and simple! I also don’t have to worry much about the hassle of removing them as it’s very easy to wipe them out when I get home.

How about you? What’s your current makeup routine?

 

P.S. Please don’t be bothered with my brows. I’m growing them out for another brow wax session. 😀

 

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Travel Essentials Checklist http://aikaneko.net/random-musings/travel-essentials-checklist/ http://aikaneko.net/random-musings/travel-essentials-checklist/#respond Sun, 06 Aug 2017 08:29:20 +0000 http://aikaneko.net/?p=776 It’s really frustrating to leave travel necessities behind when you’re traveling.  May it be your earphones, neck pillow, your makeup kit or even your sleepless soul wandering through the oblivion. Forget the last one. By the way, you forgot about that thing, and that sucks for you. You thought that you were all set and […]

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It’s really frustrating to leave travel necessities behind when you’re traveling.  May it be your earphones, neck pillow, your makeup kit or even your sleepless soul wandering through the oblivion. Forget the last one. By the way, you forgot about that thing, and that sucks for you. You thought that you were all set and confidently packed for your travel but, no. Now, here are the suggested must – have travel essentials for every certified traveler, and those first-time travelers out there.

Before the travel date: I’m gonna pack this and that, those and all of these. Aaaaand, I’m ready!!

During: Well, fuuuukkhhh…

Travel essentials you must not forget

  1. Cash, Debit/Credit cards

This is one of the worst things to forget when traveling. Money is a ticket to get there, buy some things, and to get back home. Though it has less probability of being forgotten, travelers still sometimes tend to forget it. Without cash on hand, then what the hell are you going to do there?

  1. Photocopied and Original Passport/Plane Ticket

Lost passports and plane tickets are somewhat common to travelers. To prevent this from happening to you, make sure to have your passport and plane ticket photocopied just in case that the original copy gets lost. You can now also access your plane tickets online and show it at the airport. So convenient! Anyway, make sure to bring these because what’s the point of traveling if you’re just going to leave it at home.

  1. Travel document folder

Do you just randomly place all your papers in random spots in your travel bag and die searching for it afterward? Just bring a travel document folder. In that way, you can be assured that the essential travel documents can be properly organized and easy to look for when needed (If you won’t lose the folder itself, actually).

  1. Camera

Travel Essentials- Camera

If you’re sort of a memory hoarder, then this is one of the things that you should never forget. Alone or not, you can spend time getting angles at a beautiful landscape, do selfies and some other sort of creative stuff you can do with it (Error 404: Instructions unclear, camera stuck on butthole). Well, photos of your travel are a wonderful souvenir for yourself or your travel-mates. It’s great to bring an action camera if you’re visiting beaches.

  1. Phone/s

One of the travel essentials you must not forget. Preferably, a smartphone. It could be a substitute for a camera and for leisure purposes, updating your social media, playing phone games, communicate with peers, search for facts about the place you’re about to visit and be updated with memes. This can also be handy if you’re lost. The power of GPS! See? Pretty fun, right?

  1. Pocket Wi-fi

You can’t visit social media, websites and be updated with memes if you can’t access the internet. If you want to stay connected to the internet anytime and anywhere, then you must bring one of these. If you’re traveling internationally, make sure it has access in the country you’re visiting.


Don't travel with your face messy than your existence.
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  1. Charger/s for your electronic devices.

Don’t ever forget these if you don’t want to let your gadgets stay at your hotel room or in your travel bag dead for days. It would be a hassle if you are going to buy new sets of chargers or borrow some from your neighbors in the hotel. Just bring ‘em and you’ll have no problems whatsoever.

  1. Sunscreen/Sunblock – Suntan

The sun is your awful enemy in some of the places you might want to travel. If you don’t want to be bitten by the awful heat from the sun, make sure to bring this with you to protect your pretty skin. Well, if you want to get tanned, bring a suntan instead. Another travel essential you must not forget. Plus, it’s anti-aging!

  1. Make – up kit

Current Makeup Favorites Aika Neko

Don’t travel with your face messy than your existence. Make sure to grab your make – up kit and other beauty travel essentials and be fabulous in every street you’ll walk upon. (You go, girl!)

  1. Wet wipes

Do you have a baby with you? Alone in dusty streets? Or maybe just allergic to your surroundings and obsessed with your hygiene? Then, this is a perfect item for you! Bring a pack of these and you’ll feel clean every day.

  1. Mini toiletries

Travel essentials Toiletries

If you are staying at a hotel and very much unsure about the completeness of their toiletries or questions the toiletries’ quality and content, then just bring your own mini toiletry.

  1. Comb

Honestly, this is what I usually forget when traveling. You don’t want to have a bad-hair day while walking into places and be conscious about your hair and what might the others think about it. It is hellish that you’ll be sitting in public while having the worst hair in history and awareness of extreme self-consciousness and self-shame. Just bring a comb.

  1. Snack pack

Long flights? Trips? Hungry hikes? Bring yourself some snacks. No matter where you’ll be or what you’re going to do, you can have a bite of your favorite snack. Plus, you can have less expense on your trips and avoid unnecessary buys or expenses. Pretty good for most trips.

  1. Pain relievers and medicines for common cold

*cough cough sniff sniff* Argsdfjasfadjfksfk. Don’t want that to happen to you in your ‘supposed-to-be-happy’ trips? Bring painkillers and medicines that will get you through common ailments because these could be the reason for having crappy and unhappy trips. Don’t let these get in your way, be free from these annoying b*tches.

  1. Water bottle

Travel essentials water bottle

A water bottle (of course, with water) is an essential item to bring during trips. Short or long, we need water to keep ourselves dehydrated especially in places where the sun acts like an a**hole, where drinking water is less accessible and where water is totally absent in the area.

  1. Common knowledge about the place

Of course, let’s not forget this. This might be the last on the list but it could be one of the essential things to have in traveling. Anyway, try to learn to familiarize yourself with the place’s famous landmarks, attractions, and simple geography. Learn some basic vocabulary in their language like ‘Please’, ‘Thank you’ and numbers one to ten. It will be one-up for you on every trip that you’ll have.

  1. Accommodation

I would also suggest planning your accommodation ahead of time. You may check Agoda for great deals on hotels and accommodations all around the world! Visit this link to find and book the best deal you can find: https://www.agoda.com/partners/partnersearch.aspx?cid=1784940&pcs=1&hl=en

This ends the list of the necessary travel essentials that makes you ready-to-go in your future travels. I might not have included some items that would deem useful in trips but you can add it on your list. Plan, Pack, Go and stay safe on your trips!

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Althea Petal Velvet Powder Review http://aikaneko.net/makeup-or-product-reviews/althea-petal-velvet-powder-review/ http://aikaneko.net/makeup-or-product-reviews/althea-petal-velvet-powder-review/#comments Tue, 01 Aug 2017 06:12:29 +0000 http://aikaneko.net/?p=719 Aside from a red lipstick and great mascara, a translucent powder is something a girl should also have in her purse to keep that sebum away. I have an oily to combination skin so face powders are a must for me. We don’t want to have a shiny oily face at the end of the […]

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Aside from a red lipstick and great mascara, a translucent powder is something a girl should also have in her purse to keep that sebum away. I have an oily to combination skin so face powders are a must for me. We don’t want to have a shiny oily face at the end of the day. Eek! That being said, I was delighted when Althea Philippines announced that they are going to release a new translucent powder under their own brand – the Althea Petal Velvet Powder. I’m so thankful that I was able to try out the product before it was officially released in the market and I’m very happy about it. Wanna know why?

The Althea Petal Velvet Powder

The Althea Petal Velvet Powder is a white finely milled translucent powder made of pure, natural ingredients. It claims to help with blurring up pores, control sebum and prolong makeup wear. What’s awesome about it is it’s cruelty-free! It’s inspired by Korean Althea petals for a silky smooth finish.

The main ingredient of the powder is Althea (no, not the brand Althea but the actual flower also called Common Hibiscus) which has antioxidants that revitalize the skin.

Althea Petal Velvet Powder packaging

When I first opened the product, I accidentally knocked over it a bit and spilled powder over my hands. It was such a waste so I immediately dabbed it on my face. Haha. To my surprise, it was really smooth and silky! The powder is so finely milled so you must be careful as it spills easily unlike other translucent powders. It has tiny-wimey specks of shimmer but it really is not noticeable. It smells great as well! If you are sensitive to fragrances, no need to worry as the smell disappears over time.

Althea Petal Velvet Powder puff

The powder puff for me is so cute and fluffy! It feels so smooth when you apply the powder with it as well. However, as I mentioned in my review on the Etude House Zero Sebum Drying Powder, I don’t like using powder puffs as I can’t control how much product to apply that can cause a white cast on my face. So I always use a brush to apply it. If you love using them though, you’ll absolutely love it!

Althea Petal Velvet Powder

Althea Petal Velvet Powder did a great job in removing excess sebum when applied. It stays on my oily to combination skin for at least 4-5 hours. As for covering pores, it does help smooth out mine. It even worked well on my husband (yes, my own guinea pig. Haha) who has large pores. It smoothens it out to create an illusion of having no pores.

Verdict

The Althea Petal Velvet Powder is a great translucent setting powder and I am currently loving it. The only downside for me is that it melts quite a bit when I was sweating. 🙁 But overall, it is a reliable product and it’s better than the Etude House Zero Sebum Drying Powder and good enough to compete with the popular Innisfree Sebum Powder.

Althea Petal Velvet Powder Aika Neko
Loving it! Sorry for the unkempt eyebrows and ugly face. 😀

You can now grab the Althea Petal Velvet Powder at Althea Philippines for P210!

Check out my Althea Philippines Shopping Guide + Experience for more information on how to order from their website. 

Do you have a product from Althea Philippines that you would like me to review? Please let me know in the comment section below! ?

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Current Makeup Favorites List // http://aikaneko.net/random-musings/current-makeup-favorites/ http://aikaneko.net/random-musings/current-makeup-favorites/#respond Fri, 28 Jul 2017 09:06:47 +0000 http://aikaneko.net/?p=688 MannyMUA Makeup Geek Palette – I bought this makeup online from the Makeup Geek website and had it shipped here in the Philippines via My Shopping Box. If you want to know more about the process, I’ll link my experience with their service down below. I bought a couple of Makeup Geek eyeshadows with this […]

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MannyMUA Makeup Geek Palette – I bought this makeup online from the Makeup Geek website and had it shipped here in the Philippines via My Shopping Box. If you want to know more about the process, I’ll link my experience with their service down below. I bought a couple of Makeup Geek eyeshadows with this palette and I can say that all of their eyeshadows are superb especially when it comes to blendability, color payoff and just everything. Lol. But this palette is just AMAZING. The color selection is just amazing and I just love it. It has matte eyeshadows which you can use for transition and the rest are shimmery and foiled shades. There’s minimal fallout as well and all shades are soooo pigmented.

MannyMUA Makeup Geek Palette
credits: britishbeautyaddict.com

Detail Makeover Contour – I’ve been using this for a while now and I’ve been loving it so far. Aside from being affordable, the shades are so pigmented. I’ve been using the blushes and it stays all day! You just have to be careful in using it though because again, it’s very pigmented and too much product can look muddy on you. At first I was hesitant to use the cool-toned contour shade on the palette because there are specks of shimmer in it but when I tried it on me, it has a matte finish and the shimmer is not really visible. I usually stay away from shimmery products on my face because I have oily skin.

Detail Make Over Contour and Blush

 

Jaclyn Hill Champagne Pop Highlighter – My view about shimmery products changed when I bought this highlighter. I just love it. There’s a hype on this highlighter all over the world and the claims are true in my opinion. This is one if the best makeup I’ve ever owned. The highlight shade is finely milled and it doesn’t really accentuate the imperfections on your face. It stays on me for a long time as well even if I have oily skin. At the end of the day, the highlight is still there, shining bright like a diamond. So, of course I threw this on my current makeup favorites!

Estee Lauder Double Wear Foundation – I’ve had tons of foundations but I was looking for a a base that can withstand the heat in the Philippines. Also, I have oily skin and most foundations just melt on me at the end of the day. This is not cheap makeup but this one creates a flawless base and STAYS ALL DAY LONG which is the most importanterest thing ever. Also, it helps on oil control. I used this on my wedding day and I was sweating a lot because of the summer heat but it didn’t fail me. No melting and no transferring. Hurray!

Estee Lauder Double Wear Foundation
credits: xonoelle.com

Wet n Wild Setting Spray – After baking your face, it’ll look a bit cakey and I hate that. I got this product directly from Wet n Wild USA . I’m not sure if this is available locally but I’ll just update the description box below once I’ve visited the department store.  I use this spray to set my makeup and to help it not to look very cakey. It’s very effective in making my makeup stay all day and it’s very affordable as well.

Airspun – I’ve been on a hunt for good setting powders for oil control. I was at first planning to buy the ben nye banana powder but there’s been a lot of hype on this product in the beauty world nowadays so I just have to try it for myself and I was not disappointed. I’m using the extra coverage translucent powder and it really helps keep the makeup intact the whole day and it helps me with again, oil control. It doesn’t look very cakey as well that’s why it’s on my current makeup favorites. You gotta try this!

Wet n Wild Setting Spray – After baking your face, it’ll look a bit cakey and I hate that. I got this product directly from Wet n Wild USA . I’m not sure if this is available locally but I’ll just update the description box below once I’ve visited the department store.  I use this spray to set my makeup and to help it not to look very cakey. It’s very effective in making my makeup stay all day and it’s very affordable as well.

I haven’t been using makeup as much as I would love to for a while now as I work and study at home. I’m a homebody now and I rarely get out of my cave. Lol. So I haven’t been makeup shopping and am not that updated with new makeup. However, if I do wear them, these products from my current makeup favorites would always be my go-to and it helps with my oily to combination skin.

What are your current favorites? Let me know! 🙂

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BeautyMNL: An all-in-one beauty online shop http://aikaneko.net/reviews/beautymnl-an-all-in-one-beauty-online-shop/ http://aikaneko.net/reviews/beautymnl-an-all-in-one-beauty-online-shop/#respond Thu, 23 Feb 2017 22:55:55 +0000 http://aikaneko.net/?p=605 Hello, dearests! How have you been doing? I’ve been away for a veeeeery loooooong time but I’m back! This time, I’m going to introduce an online shopping site here in the Philippines. Online shopping is very convenient for me as I work from home and I easily get confused on what to buy when I’m […]

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Hello, dearests! How have you been doing? I’ve been away for a veeeeery loooooong time but I’m back! This time, I’m going to introduce an online shopping site here in the Philippines. Online shopping is very convenient for me as I work from home and I easily get confused on what to buy when I’m on a physical shop or department store. Is it only me or do you also get pressured or overwhelmed when looking at the stacks of makeup at the mall? Haha. So I was really happy that I got the chance to try out BeautyMNL’s site and I absolutely love it!

BeautyMNL is a beauty site in the Philippines where you can buy a wide range of authentic skincare and makeup products from popular brands – local and even international. Let me show you the things that I got and I’ll tell you why.

BeautyMNL Haul

The first thing that was on my mind when I was browsing the site was an eyebrow product. If you’ve read my previous post, I have told you that I have very thin and sparse eyebrows so these products are a must. Haha! Also, I have never tried eyebrow powders before so the Pink Sugar Honey I’m Good Eyebrow Kit in Sassy Brown (P399) which was raved by known bloggers immediately went flying to my cart.

BeautyMNl Pink Sugar Honey I'm Good Brow Kit

The next item that I purchased is *surprise!* – another eyebrow product. Haha. This time, I got myself the Fashion Brow Duo Pen in Dark Brown (P299). I’ve been using this for a while now and I’m loving it so far! Plus, it’s very affordable for the price of P299!

Sometimes, I mean, I am ALWAYS lazy when I get home to wash my face and remove my makeup so I always prefer makeup wipes than other makeup removers. Haha. Fortunately, I discovered a new favorite – the Simple Micellar Wipes (P299)! It’s very convenient especially for travelling plus it has healthy and gentle ingredients which is perfect for those who have sensitive skin.

BeautyMNL Simple Micellar Facial Wipes

The last two items that I got are both lip products. I’ve been recently into Korean makeup for its simplicity and it cuts off a huuuuuge amount of my prep time. Haha. So, I’m obsessed with gradient lips nowadays and decided to get the Delight Tony Moly lip tint in Red (P198) and the new Maybelline Lip Flush Bitten Lip Color in PK01 (P299) which has a pink shade. I’m loving these two, so far!

BeautyMNL Tony Moly Lip Tint Maybelline Lip Flush

BeautyMNL delivery and other services

I saw that BeautyMNL only has free shipping for purchases with a minimum of P2,000 and above. I was expecting mine to be charged with P100+ for shipping. However, I was surprised to see that they only charged P50 for the delivery fee and since I purchased during their promotion, I had my purchases shipped for free! Yay!

BeautyMNL charges a standard fee of P50 for deliveries within Metro Manila and P150 for addresses outside of the Metro. They also strive to deliver the items the next day for those who are in Metro Manila while it may take 5-7 business days for those who are not. In my case, I ordered my items on a Monday afternoon (February 13, 2017) and received them the next day (February 14) just in time for Valentines day! I felt like I just received a gift. Haha. Please note that no tracking number was provided. I love tracking my orders so I have an idea as to what’s going on with my package but it’s not really a big deal since I received it the next day and you will receive another email that your items has been shipped.

 

BeautyMNL Bloom Magazine

Aside from a shop, BeautyMNL has their own online magazine called Bloom where they feature new products and recommendations. I actually discovered the new Lip Flush Bitten Lip Color from Maybelline by browsing on their articles. I specially love how timely their articles are and they also provide swatches for some of the products if you’re not sure what to choose.

BeautyMNL Beauty by You

They also have a review section called Beauty By You where you can read honest product reviews from real-life customers. This is a great way to help buyers know if the product is worth a try considering their skin tone, type, etc. Brilliant! You can also earn P500 worth of credits for every 50 product reviews you make. Just carefully read the rules to qualify.

Verdict

I’m very much satisfied with BeautyMNL‘s overall service. I also love that they strive to add more brands and products for all the Filipinos out there. I’ve been browsing their site waaaaaay way back and was frustrated because there was no wishlist (girls love to add and add items here. Haha) but thankfully, they heard us and added the wishlist feature!

If you are still a newbie or pro at online shopping, you definitely should check out BeautyMNL. It’s an all-in-one shop for me and they offer almost anything that you’re looking for. But beware because some of the items gets sold out really quickly! 😉

 

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Detail Make Over Contour and Blush Effects Palette Review http://aikaneko.net/makeup-or-product-reviews/detail-make-over-contour-and-blush-review/ http://aikaneko.net/makeup-or-product-reviews/detail-make-over-contour-and-blush-review/#comments Mon, 28 Nov 2016 15:16:09 +0000 http://aikaneko.net/?p=591 I have been on a lookout for new contouring products ever since I’ve learned how to do it. My very first contour and highlight product was from Happy Skin. I loved it but the desire to have more makeup made me buy more contouring products than I’d ever need. haha So, when I heard about […]

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I have been on a lookout for new contouring products ever since I’ve learned how to do it. My very first contour and highlight product was from Happy Skin. I loved it but the desire to have more makeup made me buy more contouring products than I’d ever need. haha

So, when I heard about the Detail Make Over Contour and Blush Effects Palette, I got curious. There’s a lot of hype about the product and what’s more? It’s very affordable for a palette! The palette has 2 Contour shades, 2 blush shades, 1 shade for bronzing and 1 highlighting shade. I got very excited when I saw that it was on sale at Beauty MNL. So, I purchased it right away before it gets out of stock. The original price is P499 but I got mine for P349. Yay!

Detail Make Over Contour and Blush Palette Shades + Swatches

Detail Make Over Contour and Blush

The packaging on this product is not very sturdy in my opinion. It comes with a black carton packaging which I think won’t be enough to protect the product in case it falls off. Ouch! It also has instructions on how to use the products which is helpful for beginners. The products are in large pans and I think it’s very sulit because you get a huge amount of product for a very affordable palette.

On the first row of the palette, the first shade is a matte warm contour shade. I’ve been using this shade to contour but it can get very orangey if you use too much so you need to be careful. Also, all of the shades on the palette are very pigmented and it goes a long way so it’s better to put a small amount of the product and just build up the color.

For the second shade on the first row, it’s a matte bronzing shade and it helps warm up the face. I use this before I put on my contour. It’s very subtle though so if you have a darker skin tone, it won’t show up. As for the last shade on the first row is a matte coral blush shade with bits of glitter in it. I love this and use it all the time! I usually mix it up with the other blush shade on the palette but this is very pretty on its own.

Left to Right: 1st shade on 1st row, a warm contour shade; 1st shade on 2nd row, a cool-toned contour shade; 2nd shade on 1st row, a bronzer shade; 2nd shade on 2nd row, a highlighter; 3rd shade on 2nd row, a pink blush; 3rd shade on 1st row, a coral blush with specks of glitter
Left to Right: 1st shade on 1st row, a warm contour shade; 1st shade on 2nd row, a cool-toned contour shade; 2nd shade on 1st row, a bronzer shade; 2nd shade on 2nd row, a highlighter; 3rd shade on 2nd row, a pink blush; 3rd shade on 1st row, a coral blush with specks of glitter

The first shade on the second row of the Detail Make Over Contour and Blush Palette is also a matte cool-toned contour shade with very small bits of shimmer. I was a bit hesitant to use this at first because of the small specks of shimmer. I don’t like to have a very shimmery face because I have oily skin so I mostly stay away from glittery bronzers or blushes. However, it’s matte when you use it and I think it’s a perfect contour shade for those who like cool-toned contour shades.

The next shade on the second row is a highlighting powder. Now, this is what I can say that I don’t like on the palette. It’s chalky for me and it’s not buildable at all. It can accentuate any imperfection you may have on your face and it doesn’t stay long on your face. I also noticed that the shimmer can spread to the rest of your face – at least it did on me and I hate that on some highlighters.

For the final shade on the palette, a rosy pink blush with golden specks in it. Like I said above, I usually mix this with the other blush shade on the palette and it looks amazing! It creates a coral-y and pinky shade with just a bit of shimmer which I love!

Verdict

For the price, quality and the amount of product that you can get on this palette, the Detail Make Over Contour and Blush Palette is totally worth it! This has been my go-to contour and blush palette since I got it and I plan to re-purchase soon. Haha. So if you’re looking for an affordable contour and blush palette, you must have this! You must! Haha.

You can purchase the Detail Make Over Contour and Blush from BeautyMNL or directly from Detail Makeover’s website.

Have you tried this palette yet? Let me know about your thoughts on this product!

 

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Sephora PH Online Shopping Review + Experience http://aikaneko.net/reviews/sephora-ph-online-shopping/ http://aikaneko.net/reviews/sephora-ph-online-shopping/#comments Tue, 18 Oct 2016 15:38:20 +0000 http://aikaneko.net/?p=571 It’s been a while since Sephora Philippines (Sephora PH) officially launched in our country. Sephora is well-known in the United States as a beauty-retail shop that offers a huge range of products like skincare, makeup, fragrance, body and hair care. So it was really exciting when Sephora expanded its doors and is finally able to send us […]

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It’s been a while since Sephora Philippines (Sephora PH) officially launched in our country. Sephora is well-known in the United States as a beauty-retail shop that offers a huge range of products like skincare, makeup, fragrance, body and hair care. So it was really exciting when Sephora expanded its doors and is finally able to send us products in the Philippines. They mostly offer high-end products that we can’t purchase locally.

It was until recently that I tried to purchase from them though. Luckily, I was able to purchase during their “2x points” promotion that I instantly became a Black Member just by purchasing two items. Yay!

Sephora PH
My first purchases: A Beauty Blender and a Zoeva eye brush set

Navigating through Sephora PH’s website was very easy. You just choose a category, pick a product you like and add it to your Bag or Wishlist. I usually do my online window shopping and add things on my wishlist. FYI, it’s full of products I love but my wallet won’t allow me to place them all in my Bag. :'(

When you sign up, you’ll automatically be a Sephora White Member but after garnering a total of 250 points, you’ll become a Sephora Black Member which entitles you to exclusive rewards and privileges like 10% discount vouchers, birthday offers and 2x points, exclusive invites to Sephora private sale, events, workshops and updates on offers and other promotions.

Sephora PH Experience

I have purchased from Sephora PH twice now. Both orders were completed on a Friday(I don’t know why I mostly purchase things on a Friday), I received a tracking number within 24 hours and receive the items on Monday the following week! What I love about Sephora is their tracking is very informative as to where your package is.

Sephora PH doesn’t have a physical store available locally yet. I was really amazed to receive the items as early as possible since the products are shipped from Singapore. Also, they deliver straight to your doorstep so you don’t have to worry about taxes and customs fee. They claim to deliver your items 5-10 business days but I got mine within 2 business days! I also love the packaging where the items came in. It was very sturdy and full of bubble wrap to ensure the items are safe.

Sephora PH
Sephora PH tracking through Aramex.

Shipping fee is P330 but purchased items with a total of P1,300 and above will entitle you to free shipping which is not difficult to get because most of the items are priced P1,000+ each. Hahaha. Also, payments can be made through credit card and PayPal; DragonPay for those who want to make over-the-counter payments.

The only thing that frustrates me is that their products sell out immediately! It would be too late for me to purchase some items when I finally have enough money since it’s already sold out. Hope they stock up on “best sellers” more.

Sephora PH Verdict

If you haven’t tried Sephora PH yet, then you should! Online shopping with them is very easy and you get your orders as soon as possible(Hooray for the impatient ones). They also offer many authentic high-end products and I love how they are adding more brands to offer as time goes by.

Check out Sephora PH here and you can also purchase through ShopbackPH for more savings and discounts. You may also fill in your wishlist which is unending like mine. 😉

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My Shopping Box: Shopping in the US made easier! http://aikaneko.net/reviews/my-shopping-box-shopping-in-the-us/ http://aikaneko.net/reviews/my-shopping-box-shopping-in-the-us/#comments Mon, 10 Oct 2016 04:03:40 +0000 http://aikaneko.net/?p=564 It can be quite frustrating when beauty products that you love are not available to be purchased locally here in the Philippines. It’s also really annoying how expensive makeup is in the Philippines compared to the United States. How I wish they bring everything here, ASAP! Lol. Anyway, there are a lot of shipping companies that […]

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It can be quite frustrating when beauty products that you love are not available to be purchased locally here in the Philippines. It’s also really annoying how expensive makeup is in the Philippines compared to the United States. How I wish they bring everything here, ASAP! Lol. Anyway, there are a lot of shipping companies that offers to deliver your purchased items from the US to the Philippines. However, due to the good reviews I’ve read online, I decided to try out My Shopping Box.

My Shopping Box: How it works

To start using My Shopping Box, you need to sign up and create your own account. There’s an initial $25 subscription fee but they give out promotions from time to time and you can sign up an account for free(I got my account for free as well for one year). You will then be given your own United States address with a unique suite number. This is what you’ll use as your shipping address when you purchase something online. Make sure to include the suite number and make sure that it’s accurate to avoid further delays.

Once your order has been delivered, wait for 2-3 business days for it to be uploaded on your account. Once uploaded, you will see the details of your order and how much the total shipping cost.

My Shopping Box Tracking
My Shopping Box Tracking

You can choose to have it delivered by air which takes 10-12 business days or by sea which takes 45-60 calendar days to arrive. Of course, the quicker, the more expensive. Delivery by air is $5.99 per pound or $8.99 per pound for special items and $2.99 per pound by sea. Once you’ve chosen the method of delivery, you just need to authorize it and pay the fees.

What I love about My Shopping Box is that they deliver your package straight to your doorstep. You don’t need to go through all the trouble with dealing with Customs and taxes. If you know what I mean. Also, there are no hidden charges! The amount that you see on your account once uploaded is the only amount that you need to pay.

My Shopping Box Experience

So, I went ahead and purchased items from Wet N Wild USA to try out their service and because I saw Wet N Wild release a limited edition Fall Collection eyeshadows. Lol.

I made my order on August 19, 2016 from the Wet N Wild website and received a notification that it’s already on its way to be delivered on August 23. On August 26, I received an email from My Shopping Box saying that my package has been received and uploaded on my account. Yay!

My package weighed 2 lbs so I paid $11.98 for the delivery on the same day I received the email. You will be given a unique tracking number where you can check updates on your package. Mine departed the US on August 31 as per tracking and finally, I received the package on September 7, 2016. So that’s exactly 9 days from the date I authorized my package.

I gave it another try and purchased eyeshadows from Makeup Geek and the same thing happened. It arrived exactly 9 days from the day I authorized it and it arrived on a Wednesday which is the same day when I received the package from Wet N Wild. Maybe that’s their scheduled day of delivery? I’m not sure.

Verdict

Overall, my experience with My Shopping Box has been smooth. My packages were all uploaded the same day they received it in their warehouse. Their tracking is not very specific about the whereabouts of your package though so you just need to wait. Their email customer service is not that good but you can have your concerns resolved immediately by calling them.

Wanna order your own items and have it delivered straight to your doorstep? Try out My Shopping Box! Visit their website here.

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Innisfree Sheet Masks 5-Day Challenge http://aikaneko.net/reviews/innisfree-sheet-masks-5-day-challenge/ http://aikaneko.net/reviews/innisfree-sheet-masks-5-day-challenge/#respond Thu, 06 Oct 2016 23:00:34 +0000 http://aikaneko.net/?p=539 So, I’m back with another sheet mask challenge! I’ve been on hiatus for a long time on my blog. I’m not sure why. Writer’s block? Haha. Anyway, I’ve been planning to create my Youtube channel. Just fixing a few things and I’m good to go. So stay tuned for that! I was breaking out the […]

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So, I’m back with another sheet mask challenge! I’ve been on hiatus for a long time on my blog. I’m not sure why. Writer’s block? Haha. Anyway, I’ve been planning to create my Youtube channel. Just fixing a few things and I’m good to go. So stay tuned for that!

I was breaking out the past few weeks and I never had any issue with my pores before but now, they are more visible. It was really frustrating. Not just from the pores, but with the acne that came with it. I decided to buy sheet masks instead because my skincare routine was not enough.

From my previous sheet mask challenge, I was pretty impressed with the results on my skin. I was not breaking out then but I decided to try sheet masks to help with my problem. This time, I decided to try out the Innisfree It’s Real Squeeze Masks (P85) from BeautyMNL.

Innisfree Sheet Masks

I bought 2 Tea Tree variant sheet masks because it is known to treat pimples. Next is an Aloe Vera mask which is perfect for troubled, irritated, or inflamed skin. I also bought a Lime mask for the acne scars and finally, a Strawberry variant which works the same as the Lime variant.

One of the important things for me on a sheet mask is how their masks hug my face. Haha. I really hate sheet masks that comes off easily. Fortunately, Innisfree sheet masks hugs my face really well! The masks are a bit thick but they do not come off even if you sit down and do something. It’s also huge enough to cover your whole face. Be careful with handling the masks though. They are very fragile and tears easily.

Innisfree Sheet Masks
Before: Eww! I’m not sure if you can see it but if you look closely, you’ll see tiny pimples all over my forehead. By the way, please excuse the eyebrows. Haha

On day one, I already saw a difference on my skin. The acne dried up. On day two, the acne are slowly disappearing. Then, on day 3 to 5, my pimples are already clearing up and I noticed that my skin brightened as well. If my sleeping routine was good, I think my acne will all be cleared up for sure!

Innisfree Sheet Masks
After: Muuuuch better…

Verdict on the Innisfree Sheet Masks

Did I like it? Absolutely! So far, the Innisfree sheet masks are my favorite sheet masks as of the moment. It’s really effective and it really leaves your skin moisturized even after you wake up in the morning. Also, it’s not messy unlike other sheet masks! The serum or liquid stays on the mask and it doesn’t drip everywhere.

Have you tried using these masks yet? Let me know how it worked on you!

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