Ways to enjoy Human Nature products without breaking the bank

Human Nature products which I asked a relative (who's a dealer) to buy for me. I got huge savings because of it!

Human Nature products which I asked a relative (who’s a dealer) to buy for me. I got huge savings because of it!

No doubt that Human Nature products are affordable. It’s almost the same price as regular store brands. And if you compare it to the prices of other organic and natural beauty products, you’ll realize that it tends to be significantly cheaper. But if you’re like me who always looks for value-for-money deals and ways to stretch my peso, I’m sure you also found ways to enjoy your favorite organic and natural products without spending too much. Because let’s face it, although something may be cheap or affordable enough, when there are just too many interesting things to buy from a certain brand, the cost tends to pile up. I’m sharing with you some of my ways of saving.

1. Watch for promos at supermarkets or department stores. Sometimes, a big bottle of facial wash will come with a small bottle of lotion. Instant freebie, instant savings! And this lotion, you can use at the office where the air-conditioning tends to dry your hands, or while traveling when you have to travel light.

2. Watch for promos at the Human Nature website. Again, instant freebies and instant savings. And when you spend more than PHP2000, you get free shipping, too. A good strategy would be to pool you and your friends’ purchases to avail of this free shipping.

3. If you have a friend or relative who is a Human Nature dealer, ask her or him to buy products on your behalf. I have a relative who’s like this, and asking her to buy for me gives me huge savings. She doesn’t really sell stuff per se, but she uses her account to buy products for herself and her whole family. She gets to buy more, and I get more savings. It’s a win-win situation.

How about you? What are your savings tips? Do share!

Tried and Tested: Forest Magic Gugo Shampoo

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

The funny thing was, I bought this gugo shampoo while on vacation in Baguio, thinking that it was a Baguio product. What was I thinking? For one, I was thinking how much I needed to re-stock on shampoo pronto. Two, I was determined to buy a natural product. Three, I’ve always wanted to try gugo shampoo since I was a kid, except that the gugo that I saw decades ago was very raw and scary. Four, this bottled version seemed friendly. And last but not least, I bought a bottle because I wanted to help the folks at Good Shepherd in Baguio.

But as soon as I examined the fine print at the back, it turns out to be a product from (ta-daaah!) Antipolo City!

Don’t get me wrong through. Although I almost regretted buying this product, using it made me change my mind. It’s actually a good product. I’ve been using it for more than a month now, and I’m pretty happy about it.

The highlights:

1.  It has a very rich formula, as evidenced by the thickness of the liquid. It’s not runny, but a rich, gooey brown that assures us that the manufacturers didn’t scrimp on ingredients.

2. It lathers up quite nicely, so we can imagine how it cleans our hair thoroughly.

3. It leaves my hair soft, even without using conditioner. I’m happy that it does the job of cleaning my hair without stripping it off its natural oils.

4. It leaves a faint gugo scent on one’s head. The smell isn’t for everyone. It’s not as fragrant as flowers, but I don’t mind since the smell isn’t overpowering nor disgusting. It’s just…a smell that we can live with.

5. Gugo shampoo is supposed to be a great remedy for thinning hair. It’s also supposedly good for preventing dandruff. As for thinning hair issues, I can’t say much since I’m not balding yet. For preventing dandruff, I suppose it works since my hair has felt soft and squeaky clean since I used this Forest Magic gugo shampoo.

About to Try: Coconaturelle soaps & MediHerbs Shampoo Bar

Photo by Me.

Landmark really has a nice selection of affordable organic soaps. I spotted two brands that I’m about to try.

First is Coconaturelle. These are soaps made from pure virgin coconut oil. I bought the peppermint and lavender variants. These are some of my favorite scents. I hope these soaps are as good as they seem in my imagination!

Second is MediHerbs Shampoo Bar. It says in the packaging that it’s a handmade soap that’s infused with Vitamins B, C and E and jojoba esters, wheatgerm oil, rosemary and gugo extracts. It also claims to deliver a non-sticky feel in the absence of commercial conditioners with regular use–whatever that means. I’ll get to understand soon after I try this, I suppose.

At any rate, I’m excited to try my new finds!

About to Try: ONE Naturales Citrus Spice and Everything Nice Lotion

Photo by Me

I saw the ONE Naturales product range at ANC’s Shop Talk some time last year but I haven’t gotten around to buying one. It’s supposedly made from all-natural ingredients. It’s also not tested on animals. The packaging uses no plastic so none of the usual cosmetics bottles will end up in landfills for something like 1,000 years–plastics will take that long to decompose.

It’s weird, though, how the ONE packaging uses a lot of carton. That is, recyclable carton. But still, I wish the packaging were a lot simpler…

Anyway, I bought the Citrus Spice and Everything Nice lotion at Landmark last Saturday since I’m running low on lotion. My other alternative was the Human Nature lotion but I decided to skip that one in favor of ONE. I figured I should give this lotion a try since the texture of the Human Nature lotion really disappointed me–it’s a bit on  the gummy side so when you apply it, it takes a while for the lotion to get absorbed by the skin.

So once my lotion runs out, I’ll start using this ONE. I hope it does its job without the gummy texture. The package says it’s made of sweet almond oil, linseed seed oil, and coconut oil, so I hope all those oils will keep my skin moisturized!

Human Nature products now sold at Landmark in Trinoma!

Photo by Me.

I was only supposed to buy organic soaps in the beauty section of Landmark in Trinoma but I guess  last Saturday was my lucky day. While idly walking by the various aisles, I spotted not one but many Human Nature products on the shelves! I spotted the deodorant, the conditioner, and the toner which I always use. Needless to say, I bought them all! It turns out there’s no need for me to drop by the Human Nature store in Commonwealth anymore. How convenient!

I’ve always wished for Human Nature products to be sold in supermarkets (I’ve recently seen these products in Shopwise and Rustan’s) and department stores (Landmark!) and now I’ve realized my wish has been granted. Also spotted on the aisles were the sunflower and beauty oil and strengthening shampoo. So if ever you’re in Landmark and you suddenly realize you’re running low on your favorite Human Nature products, just go to the beauty section and buy away!

Loco over promos: Tony Moly is on sale!

Tony Moly, one of my favorite Korean cosmetics brands, went on sale! From January 27 to February 19, prices of selected items were slashed by 40 percent!

I bought a variety of face masks for my weekly use. I know I bought the Human Nature Purifying Facial Scrub recently to help me save money, but the 40%  discount is just too hard to resist.

Each mask pack contains a cotton-like material soaked in various natural extracts like chestnut peel, wine, and manuka honey, to name a few. You put this on for 15-20 minutes at night after cleansing and toning to give your face great moisture.

I’m liking Tony Moly face masks over other brands because I feel that the size of Tony Moly’s masks fit my face better. The ones from the other brands are just too big for my face. So even if the other brands also make my skin luminous and more moisturized, what makes Tony Moly my favorite is the way it delivers moisturized skin with the right mask size for my face.

February 19 ended a long time ago. But if you want to give Tony Moly’s face masks a try (and at discounted prices to boot!), fret not. I read from the Tony Moly Facebook page that their promo is extended:

  • Tony Moly SM Fairview – sale is until March 4
  • Tony Moly SM North – sale is until May 31
  • Tony Moly SM Manila – sale is until Feb 29
  • Tony Moly SM Megamall – sale is until May 6

I hope you can visit any of these branches and tell me what you think of their products, especially the face masks! =)

About to try: 100% Natural Purifying Facial Scrub

This wasn’t on the list I made of things to buy at the Human Nature store today, but after seeing the “Introductory Price” mark (P99 for a 50ml tube), I figured there’s no harm in putting another product in my shopping basket.

Aside from the price, another reason why I decided to give Human Nature’s newest facial scrub a try was the sweet strawberry scent. This supposedly has real strawberry seeds and fine bamboo granules for gentle exfoliation, resulting in smooth, supple and oil-free skin. I hope it delivers on its promise. Well, the reviews on the HN website look promising so I’m optimistic about this.

Another reason why I’m giving this scrub a go is because I want to see if it will make a good alternative to my weekly facial mask routine, in which I use The Face Shop’s various masks (my favorite is the Pearl mask). I like Face Shop masks. However, the routine is getting to be expensive (P65 per mask vs. P99 facial scrub which can last for several applications), and since I’ve booked several trips for this year, I need to cut down on some expenses to give myself several decent vacations.

Besides, I’m the type who likes to simplify processes, so if I can improve my cash flow, keep the amount of lovely goop I put on my face low, and keep my skin smooth and supple all in one go, then I must be doing something right, yo! =)

Naturally Beautiful: Ancient Korean Makeup

If you like watching Korean historical  dramas, you’ve probably seen scenes where women color their faces with various concoctions laid out neatly in tiny ceramic containers. In Hwang Jin-Yi, for example, there’s this scene were the courtesans were being taught and trained in applying makeup, using charcoal to define their eyebrows.

K-drama Hwang Jin Yi

K-drama Hwang Jin Yi.

This scene (among many others) got me curious about how Korean women from the olden times prettified themselves. Charcoal? For the eyebrows? Really? But why?

Makeup according to class

A quick Google search got me some preliminary answers. Based from articles I read from the internet, I learned that makeup of upper class women and common people differed, so you can usually tell which class a woman belonged to based not only on the way they dressed but on the way they colored their faces as well.

18th century Korean Beauty

An 18th century Korean beauty. Attributed to Kim Hong-Do (A.D. 1745- ?) © Seoul National University Museum.

Simple and light makeup was especially preferred by the upper class women and was seen by them as the ideal look of beauty, according to the Record of the Chinese Embassy to the Koryo Court, Xuanhe fengshi Gaoli tujing (1123) . Applying too much makeup was a no-no, so the only cosmetic they colored their faces with were powder without rouge. They also liked drawing eyebrows in the shape of a willow leaf.

During the Chosun period, aristocratic women began using a mixture of flower ashes, indigo plants and gold powder for the eyebrows. Makeup made of saffron flowers and cinnabar, meanwhile, were used for the cheeks and lips. A pale skin color was preferred, in accordance to the Confucian ideal of dignified and simple demeanor.  They avoided white powder for the face, since this was associated with the lowly kisaeng, or women entertainers who were trained in the art of music, dance and poetry. Instead, aristocratic women of the time used light-peach-colored makeup.  To make their hair shiny, upper class women applied peony flower oil.

The common people of Chosun were not to be left out. They also enhanced their features with color, but with less expensive cosmetics. To highlight their eyebrows, they used a piece of charcoal (which explains the charcoal-for-the-eyebrows scene in K-drama Hwang Jin-Yi). For the lips, they used dried red pepper.

Natural makeup, which didn’t contain preservatives, was made in small batches according to what women needed per makeup application. Makeup items were kept in small containers with narrow openings to prevent contamination and spoilage.

Kyuhapch’ongso: Aristocratic women’s guidebook  

More can be learned about how Korean women beautified themselves through the book Kyuhapch’ongso (1809), which contains a comprehensive guide for Chosun period’s upper class women on how to make cosmetic products and fragrances, perfumes, and oils for the hair. The book even has descriptions of shapes of eyebrows.

Aside from beauty, majority of the book’s contents details other useful advice for women, such as cooking, cloth-making, gardening, and family life, among other things. It was written by Lady Bingheogak Yi.

I tried searching for more information on Google (in English) but didn’t find much. A trip to my local library didn’t yield many results either. I wish I can get a hold of this guidebook to learn more about women’s lives in ancient Korea, preferably a version that’s been translated to English. =) Sigh. I suppose that will be one of my projects for the year. So if anyone of my readers can point me to the right direction and resources, please do. Someone here really wants to try making her own natural and organic concoctions and potions the Korean way! =)

References:

http://www.asianartnewspaper.com/article/the-cosmetic-culture-of-ancient-korea

http://www.mimifroufrou.com/scentedsalamander/2008/04/beauty_perfume_in_traditional.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gyuhap_chongseo

Another great use for HN Sunflower Beauty Oil: Lip Soother

While vacationing in the US, I found out another great use for the very versatile and multifunctional Human Nature Sunflower Beauty Oil. This time, it’s for soothing chapped lips!

I’ve learned from previous trips that autumn doesn’t do any good for my lips, so I made sure to bring lip balm. But for some reason, it didn’t work. As a temporary relief, I swiped a few drops of the Sunflower Beauty Oil and (surprise, surprise!) it did the trick! It eliminated flaky lips, smoothed it out, and kept it hydrated. It’s a beautiful (and beautifying) accident!

Now into mineral makeup

Love Minerals mineral foundation Love Minerals’ claim of leaving your face pimple-free even if you accidentally sleep with makeup on is—tadaaan—TRUE! I’ve done this a number of times already since balancing work and grad school and other important things in life leave me tired and ready to crash on my bed as soon as I get home.

I’ve accidentally slept with BB Cream on (I bought tubes and tubes of this in Seoul–but more on this at a later post—if I manage to remember, hehehe!) and sadly, while it wears well with its magic during the day, sleeping with it makes unsightly pimples appear. But not so with Love Minerals. Love Minerals is…loooove!

So there. It’s BB Cream for lazy days at the mall or for times when I really need for my face to look almost flawless. For most days, it’s the ever dependable and gentle Love Minerals. =)