Basic Skin Care Routine

Hello loves! I am sharing something new here in my blog today.  Ever since my teenage years up until my late 20s, I never really followed a very strict skin care routine, I know I should’ve but I didn’t; it’s not cute right..  I guess I was too slack when it comes to taking good care of my skin before.  Now that I just turned 30 a few months back, I felt like I need to religiously follow a good skin care routine, which I have started, finally!  After all, I owe my skin a decade of tender loving care, don’t I? :-)

That being said, I am sharing my simple yet effective skin care routine.  There are actually 4 or 5 steps to a good skin care routine, and I have only been following 2, can you imagine? Ugh I can’t comprehend how I was depriving my skin of enough nourishment before.

Just to give you an overview of what you’re reading up ahead, I am also going to share some inexpensive products which I have been using for the past few months, and some that I have been using interchangeably for the longest time.  I also want to share what skin care products are out in the market that I am eyeing and wanting to try out.

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Skin care products need not be expensive or high-end.  We just have to make sure we check the labels cautiously, if it contains properties that suit your needs and your skin type, or else we won’t be doing our skin a favour.  I am using mostly trusted US drugstore products and those from Korea and Japan.  Also, ZALORA has a range of skincare products from Kawaii you might want to check out.  Korean skin care range like Etude House, The Face shop and Innisfree has one of the best products suitable for Asian skin.

To achieve a healthy looking skin, it is best to follow these steps: Cleanse, Exfoliate, Tone, Moisturize, Hydrate and Protect.  I mentioned earlier, that I have only been following 2 among these 5 steps before.  I only just cleanse and slather my face with moisturizer and that’s it.  But, that has changed and I’m patting myself on the back, because I am now following all 5 steps unfailingly.

On days when I get photographed for my OOTDs, I usually have a full face of make-up on.  So, I always remove my eye make-up first since it contains the most layers of eye products that are fairly difficult to remove, especially the waterproof ones.

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I use an oil-based eye makeup remover from Etude house to remove most of my stubborn eye makeup. To remove the rest of my face makeup, I use my current favourite Etude’s Happy Teatime cleansing cream in Lemon tea.  Depending on my mood, I sometimes use Ziaja’s phyto aktiv cleansing milk cream for delicate skin, but I kind of like the smell of Etude’s lemon tea cream better.  I then reach for my ultimate favourite Watsons rose-scented invigorating wet wipes to absorb excess moisture from the cleansing cream.

Since I started learning how to do my own makeup, I then realized how important it is to follow a good skin care routine.  On normal days when I only have to do errands with my family, I don’t put any makeup on; I just spritz my holy grail Evian facial spray for added moisture, fill in my brows and powder my T-zone.

Now for the interesting part, these are the recommended skin care routine that we should all consistently follow:

CLEANSE

If you have dry skin, you might want to refrain from using foam cleansers since they have properties that dry out your skin even more, making cleansing ineffective.  Try cream or milk cleansers instead.  Same goes to those with oily skin, you might want to shy away from milk cleansers as these types of cleansers contain moisturizing properties, which is not suitable for an already oily skin.  A gel type cleanser would be much suitable for you, what this cleanser does is, it sheds off excess oils you might have, making you feel fresh and thoroughly cleansed afterwards.

As for me, I have combination type skin.  My T-zone is oily and the rest of my face tends to easily tighten and dry out.  There are some days when my skin feels really dry and there are also days when my skin feels way oilier than usual. For combination skin, gel or foam based cleansers are suitable as long as it’s not too drying or does not feel too tight after a wash.  I occasionally switch between 2 different cleansers because I tend to break out easily if I stick to only one product consecutively.  I don’t mind switching between products from time to time, that has quite worked well for me.

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The facial cleansers I currently love are: L’oreal White Perfect purifying and brightening milky foam, and St. Ives green tea facial cleanserI also like to use Etude House’s Natural Konjac Face Cleansing puff with my cleansers about 3 or 4 times a week.  I do love to try out the Clarisonic  Mia 2 with deep pore cleansing brush head one of these days.  It’s a good beauty tool to have especially that it promises to: remove makeup 6 times better than your hands, deeply cleanse, and reduce pores.

EXFOLIATE

I rarely exfoliate before, although I have tried a few facial scrubs way back, but I have not really been doing them consistently.  Nowadays, I really find the need to exfoliate every so often about 3 times a week, just to get rid of dead skin cells that might be clogging my pores and probably causing me some breakouts.  Exfoliating is a must so long as you are not over doing it every day, as that will also cause your skin’s cells to slough off uninhibitedly.

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I am using my trusted Pond’s clear solutions anti-bacterial facial scrub with herbal clay about 2 – 3 times a week.  Sometimes, I use it with Etude House’s Konjac puff; it exfoliates my face better with the puff.  It has worked wonders for me and I have no qualms about this product, only loves and hypes.  I have used this inexpensive product for quite some time already.  I want to try the St. Ives blemish control green tea scrub; I heard some great reviews about it too.  I am still in the hunt for some good exfoliators; I’d love to hear your recommendations. J

TONE

Since we cleanse our face every so often, we need to rejuvenate and balance out the skin’s normal ph level.  Cleansers tend to strip off the normal ph of the skin.  Toners on the other hand revitalize and neutralize the skin.  Apart from bringing the ph level into the neutral, toners do more than just revitalize the skin; they also get rid of any stubborn makeup residues the cleansers might fail to remove, clearing out the skin even more.  It also preps the skin for other products you put on the face afterwards.

With toners, I am interchangeably using Neutrogena’s Alcohol-free toner and Olay’s Natural White 7 in one Hydrating Glow toner.  Both are good products, do the job quite well, and are very inexpensive.

Moisturize

Depending on the type of skin you have, a moisturizer is a must.  Some have this notion that,” they don’t need to moisturize because they are already oily”.  It doesn’t matter if you’re oily or dry or combination of both, you have to moisturize.  It leaves your skin supple and re-hydrates your skin especially after all the strong properties your cleansers and toners might have.  Moisturizers hydrate the skin and protect your skin from outside impurities as well.

There are a wide range of products available in the market that caters to all skin types.  In choosing the right product for you, always check the labels and see if it matches your needs.

The moisturizer that I use in the morning is the Innoxa Restore Ultra Lift day cream moisturizer, and during the night I use, the Models Prefer Intense deep comfort moisturizer with MP aquaFLEX, both are Australian brands.  I have been using both these products for a fair bit of time now.  Recently, I have tried out a new product which has been recommended by my blogger-friend Ragdoll Sparrow of the A.R.T Box.  It’s the Etude House Jeju Aloe 99% fresh soothing gel which can pretty much be used in various purposes such as: in moisturizing, soothing, facial pack and even after sun-care.  It is quite a heavy gel so I use it only sparingly about ones a week.

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Another very good recommendation from my friend Ragdoll Sparrow, are some of her favourite facial masks, namely: the Snail essence collagen mask from Beauty Bar and the uniquely adorable character face masks with Hyaluronic acid and Collagen from The Face Shop.  These masks are my new go-to facial masks; I can’t get enough of how moisturizing and refreshing it is on the skin.  It literally feels like I’m on a different skin after applying the masks for 15-20 minutes.  It makes my skin dewy and glowing right after application.  Thumbs up to these masks, highly recommended.

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HYDRATE

The best and most cost effective way in hydrating our skin is to drink a litre or 2 of water every day.  Keeping our body constantly hydrated not only nourishes our veins and organs, but they also help in keeping our skin healthy, glowing and young looking.

PROTECT

Lastly, we need to always protect our skin from the harmful rays of the sun.  UV rays can not only damage our body’s skin cells but it also penetrates deep into our skin tissues causing skin cancer and other diseases.  A product with a sun protecting factor of 50 or under is all it takes.  Some moisturizers or face makeup has SPF properties in it, which is great.

If you know you’re going to be under the scrooching heat of the sun for hours especially during summer, don’t leave the house without applying any sunscreen, if it’s hard for you to do that because you don’t like the smell of SPF, then stay covered or remain indoors.

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I am using Avon’s ANEW White day cream with SPF of 20 on the face when I don’t wear any makeup on.  The foundation I am always using when I shoot outdoors has already an SPF of 30 in it, which is great and convenient.  During summer when the sun is at its highest glory, I use Banana boat Ultra Protect Sunscreen lotion with an SPF of 50.

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Lastly, I have very dry and flaky lips.  To exfoliate my lips ones a week, I apply my trusty homemade olive oil + brown sugar mixture and rub my lips ever so lightly with the mixture.  This homemade exfoliating scrub is perfect for the face as well.  I then use Burt’s bees beeswax lip balm to keep my lips moisturized all through out the night before I sleep and variety of Chapstick or Maybelline lip balms throughout the day.

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My au naturel, bare face..

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That wraps up my skin care routine.  I am still in the constant look-out for new and effective products in the market. Thank you for reading up to the very end of this article.  Again regardless of what products you use, drugstore or high-end, the important thing is we must never fail to cleanse, exfoliate, tone, moisturize, hydrate, protect and take good care of our skin.  If you’re not keen yet on following a thorough skin care routine, start now! :-)

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For more of Korean skin care, my favorite is Etude House, check their newest range here

For Japanese skin care products, check out Zalora’s Kawaii skin care range

I am loving “all about beauty” blog posts like this, I might make a regular beauty series on the blog soon.  Probably incorporating make-up looks too hopefully soon, fingers crossed ^^

More about beauty here


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Bridal 101: Prenup & Postnup photo ideas

In my previous post, I blogged about my top 50 wedding gown inspirations from Rosa Novias.  If you haven’t read that yet, kindly view it here.  As promised, I am sharing a gallery full of photos from our engagement and post-nuptial photo session.

Prenup Ideas:

I am not certain when engagement shoots became a first hit.  All I am aware of is that, some engaged couples has been decisive to have a photo session months before their wedding.  Perhaps one good reason would be, to have a photograph that will serve as a layout for the couples “save the dates” and for RSVPs.

There a lot of themes circulating online shared by photographers, bridal websites and couples alike.  To name a few, themes such as Rustic, Shabby Chic, Travel, Beach, Ethereal, and Fairy-tale engagement shoots has well been popular among couples. There are creative themed photo shoots as well for the much daring couples who are after of fun and uniqueness, such as: Grunge, Adventure-filled, and Movie-inspired.  For my husband and I, he agreed to go for whatever theme I had in mind, so we had 3 different sets for our e-session: Classic/Vintage, Retro and Luxe.

Classic-Vintage

I always have a thing for classic, vintage and retro fashion so I asked my stylist Kevin Abdala and the Lakshmi Photography team that I wanted our sets to revolve around these themes.

Our first set was to mimic a classic setting which shows pure simplicity and elegance.  My makeup artist Hale Demetrio did an outstanding job in recreating the classic look that I wanted.  I felt like a classic lady from the ’60s with classic curls, bold lip, and black ensemble.

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 Get this look here:

rosa novias long dress

Retro: Into the Scrap

Blogging about my random spills and posing in front of the camera for my daily outfit pairings has made me a bit confident with photo shoots.  But for my husband, the experience was new for him.  He was always behind the lens taking my photos for my ootds and random chants.  During our engagement shoot, it was his first to be professionally photographed.  I knew he was nervous because he was a little bit stiff during our first few shots and he was mumbling on my ear how uncomfortable the scenario was.  Luckily, we were already friends with photographers Jiva and Julie Jimenez of Lakshmi photography, after a few laughs and giggles he was bringing the A game.

This was our favorite set because (1) we had matching bright retro outfits and (2) we had a non-typical backdrop full of barrels, pipes, scraps and scrolls.  It was indeed memorable.  Our photographers came up with this location which we never thought would turn out so vibrant and great.

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Get this look here:

rosanovias purple short dress

Sunset Luxe

The last set of our engagement shoot was all about the luxury of having to be photographed during a sunset.  It was magical.  The sky was gloriously beautiful enveloped with shades of magenta, yellow, pinks and blues.. It was perfect. We had a fun time with the shoot and we couldn’t be any happier with the team whom we entrust our engagement shoot with.

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Get this look here:

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 Photos by Lakshmi Photography

Styling by Kevin Abdala

Makeup and Grooming (1st set) by Hale Demetrio

Makeup and Grooming (2nd and last set) by Jhong Roa Banquerigo

Postnup Ideas:

Into the Light

I love the concept behind this shoot.  Although the plan was to shoot right before sunrise, the weather wasn’t on our side at that time, and unfortunately all we had was a gloomy sky, with Mr. Sun beyond our sight.  But, luck was still upon us and by the talent of our photographers, the photos were all stupendous.

These jaw-dropping shots were taken by Ayo Fotography, we couldn’t be any happier with how the photos turned out especially with a backdrop as breathtaking as this.  Nothing beats the beauty of nature.

Get this look here:

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Trash the Dress

Out of all the pre and post nup photos we’ve done, I must say this was the most fun, exciting and yet tiring shoot we ever did.  What’s really interesting was, hubby and I got to climb a huge mangrove tree, and we had to walk barefoot and crouch over tiny sharp mangroves sprouting everywhere.  I was too petrified and hopeful at the same time, not to poke my foot with its spikes.  The most challenging part I guess was carrying the bulk of a soaking wet wedding gown train, ’twas heavy but all worth it.  Not only have I posed for the camera, I got to do a bit of lifting too to tone my arm muscles 😀 It was indeed a great experience for my husband and I.

In these last few snaps, I have to say, thumbs up to my hubby as he posed for the camera like a pro. I was so proud of him. ♥

Get this look here:

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Photos by Ayo Fotography

Hair, Makeup & Grooming by Cristie Jane Sia

Styling by Kevin Abdala

Gowns by Boogie Musni Rivera

Husband and I were blown away by the outcome of our photo shoot.  We will surely treasure these photos forever.  We are beyond grateful for the amazing team that we worked with.  If you are from around Cagayan de Oro, kindly check their respective links for contact details.  I hope this post has given you a little bit of insight on what theme to go for, in your soon-to-be wedding photo sessions.  Best of luck!

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For a complete list of “wedding dresses“, “wedding party dresses” and “special occasion dresses” which you can wear for your engagement sessions, kindly visit for all your bridal needs. ♥♥♥

NOTE: These photos are copyright protected but not locked. If you are to use or share these photos in any way, please do not crop its signature marks.  Kindly link them back or give credits to the owner instead. Thank you.


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