If there’s one line that stuck to me after watching To Wong Foo! Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar seventeen.freaking.years.ago, it’s fabulous drag queen, Vida Boheme’s (played by Patric Swayze) sage advice:

Oh, sweet pea. Now, you listen to your Auntie Vida. I want you to believe in yourself, imagine good things and moisturize. I cannot stress this enough.

I wish I could say I started moisturizing as soon as I was old enough to (I definitely wasn’t, back in 1995!) but it wasn’t until I was in my 20s when it became a regular part of my regimen. I went through several brands of moisturizers looking for The One; there were a few hits (such as Mary Kay’s TimeWise Age-Fighting Moisturizer) and a whole lot of WHAT WERE THEY THINKING, MARKETING THIS BOTTLE OF LARD AS MOISTURIZER IN TROPICAL PHILIPPINES???

If you guys remember, Neutrogena launched the Hydro Boost line locally this time around last year. The Hydro Boost Water Gel— with its light, non-greasy, and ultra-hydrating formula— became an instant favorite of mine. Not only does it work well with my oily skin, it’s also perfect for Philippine weather. I wasn’t really surprised to find out that a lot of Filipinos forgo moisturizing during the day, given how sticky and gross most moisturizers feel in our climate.

Last week, I attended Neutrogena’s launch of a new formula for the Hydro Boost line. I had no clue what they were going to unveil but I was secretly wishing it had something to do with SPF and the Water Gel. While I mostly prefer to keep my SPF and my moisturizer separate, there are some days when sunscreen feels too heavy and greasy on my face that I *eep* skip it. And what do you know, my wish was granted!

Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel

Hydro Boost Water Gel with SPF 30 PA++

Another welcome change was the switch to a pump bottle! No more having to use your fingers or a brush to dip into the jar and risk spreading bacteria!

At the event, four Sticky Test stations were set up to demonstrate how the Hydro Boost Water Gel compares to Brand X, a lotion moisturizer. I immediately recognized Brand X’s telltale strong tita scent and for a split second, I was transported back to the summer of 2008 when it was the moisturizer I was using.

Considering I’ve already been using the Water Gel, I didn’t really need any convincing that it’s the ideal moisturizer for our hot weather. However, you might.

Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel

The first test had Krissy and I apply Water Gel and Brand X on the back of our hands (we didn’t want to mess with our faces lol) and press them against each other. Krissy’s hand absorbed the Water Gel really quickly while Brand X sat and lingered on mine.

Sticky Test #2 had Kira dunk both hands (one slathered with Water Gel, the other with Brand X) in a bowl of styro balls to see which hand the balls stuck to like glue.

Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel

Pretty easy to guess which moisturizer went on which hand! Look at how those balls just clung to Kira’s hand.

The third Sticky Test had both brands of moisturizers applied on oil control film.

Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel

The Hydro Boost Water Gel being, well, water-based started to disappear on the film as soon as it was slathered on (first set) and almost gone after a few more minutes (second set). Meanwhile, look at all that oil left by Brand X.

The final test demonstrated how the Hydro Boost Water Gel doubles as a great makeup base, something that Lauren primarily uses the product for. Because I use the Fine Fairness BB Cream on top of the Water Gel, I tend to wait a minimum of 15 minutes before applying my foundation to let my skin absorb everything properly. But sometimes, you just don’t have that extra time.

Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel

The Water Gel eliminates the need for a long wait while allowing your makeup to glide on smoothly and evenly vs the streaky application you get when your skin hasn’t absorbed your moisturizer. I couldn’t get a proper photo of Lauren’s hand so I have to use hers:

Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel

Brand X on the left, Water Gel on the right

On top of being light and non-sticky, the Water Gel also promises 200% more hydration than other brands. They illustrated this by applying the Water Gel and two other moisturizers on dry balls and showing us which set retained the most moisture after 45 minutes:

Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel

The plumpest of them all!

Neutrogena also introduced their latest Deep Clean Ultra Foam Cleansers that night— Brightening Mulberry and Revitalizing Pink Grapefruit.

Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel

I am amused at how the products match my current and previous hair colors lol.

The Deep Clean foam cleansers retail at PHP307.50 while the Hydro Boost Water Gel retails at PHP830 and are available at Watsons stores nationwide.