Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Morena signs off

Hello ladies,

I have decided to sign off from the blog for a while. I didn't want to just disappear off the face of the Internet without saying that. I shall miss all of you. One day I might open the blog again and I do hope all of you would still be around.

If you have any questions, feel free to email me at mabuhay.morena@gmail.com. I'll be glad to answer you as best as I can.

Until then, stay beautiful ladies. It's been a short, but fantastic, ride.

See ya.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Concealer Brush

Okay, when you've found your perfect concealer, the next stop is finding the right way to apply it. Some people prefer to use their fingers, some prefer sponges. I prefer using concealer brushes. I like the sponges too but I personally think the application is more precise when I use brushes specifically designed for concealers.

So anyway, I have two concealer brushes, Bloom's and Bobbi Brown's.

Bloom concealer brushes are made from taklon, a form of synthetic fiber which is perfect especially if you're using cream concealers. Generally, the best concealer brushes are made from synthetic fiber. I like Bloom's concealer brush because it's soft and it's wide, which helps in spreading the concealer more evenly.

The Bobbi Brown concealer brush has a narrower, more tapered tip, which is fantastic for hard-to-reach-areas. I found though, that it hurt the area under my eyes when I tried to apply it. It's good for depositing just the right amount of concealer, but then I'd have to put the brush aside and use my fingers to spread it around. I use this on problem areas like maybe a pimple or the sides of my nose. I also like that this brush comes with a cap so you can bring it along in your kikay kit and not have it smudge everything in it.

All in all I use my Bloom concealer brush more, because it already does everything. It packs in just the right concealer and I don't have to use my fingers or sponges to spread it evenly. Still, these are two excellent brushes and I would definitely recommend them if you're looking for concealer brushes.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Concealer reviews

Hello ladies! I have missed all of you! Even if I've been such a delinquent, please don't think that my interest in makeup has waned a single bit. If anything, I've become more into makeup and skin care products than ever before. I have to, unless I want eyebags, wrinkles, breakouts and all other stress-related problems to completely take over my life.

Moving on!

The topic for today is CONCEALER.

You all know my obsession with concealer. It really is heaven sent! Well, at least for those like me who really need them.

I've been trying different concealers and so far, here are some good choices.

1. TheBalm Time Balm Concealer
- Tucked away on a little, inconspicuous shelf in Beauty Bar is the Time Balm Concealer of The Balm. It's easy to miss this product, especially as this is surrounded by other big name brands like Smashbox or Red Earth but do go check this out. The Concealer comes in four shades (if you're morena, I suggest you go for Medium). The texture is creamy, although it's less creamy than say, Cinema Secrets or MAC concealers. It's chalkier and not as easy to apply, but don't let that deter you. When you apply it, it stays on forever! Really, I go running with this baby. I can sweat a lot and it still won't rub off.

You don't even have to put on powder over it anymore. Once you put these on dark spots, or dark undereye circles, you're good to go. You can even use it on your legs, to hide unsightly scars or small varicose veins, although if you do that I suggest you top it off with powder to enhance its staying power. It really does the trick of covering dark undereye circles, which is a perennial problem of mine. Plus, if you suddenly find yourself out of powder, you don't have to worry as the color of the concealer blends seamlessly onto your skin.

One last tip: Go to Beauty Bar in Shangri-La, because they actually have testers for this product. Other Beauty Bar branches don't, which is a pity. You have to rely on guesswork, and that really takes the fun out of makeup shopping! Not to mention you risk paying good money for a product you're not sure works well on your skintone.

2. Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage -The Secret Camouflage is one of Laura Mercier's bestsellers so of course I had to check it out. What I like about Secret Camouflage is that one package comes in two colors, so you can blend to get an exact match for your skin tone. I suggest you go for set 04. The consistency is similar to that of Time Balm, in that it's not super creamy, but it spreads out evenly. It really does cover imperfections very well and it didn't cake on me when I used it under my eyes. Staying power is excellent too! No wonder this is such a hit.

3. L'Oreal True Match Super Blendable Concealer
- This nifty little liquid concealer is a particular favorite of mine. It does the job of brightening up dark areas, like undereye circles. The downside maybe is the brush, because you can't really use it as a concealer brush. It's only good for applying the product onto the skin. The brush is too small and too soft to actually blend the product well. What I do is just use my fingers, or those wedged sponges to even out the product.

Actually, on regular days, I can just use this concealer on problem areas, like my eyes, on the sides of my nose and around my lips and top it off with powder. No need to put on foundation because that already brightens up my face to a considerable degree. Then I just fix my brows, dust a little bit of eyeshadow, swipe on my favorite blush, put on lipgloss, curl my lashes, and that's it. I look human again, at the very least.

So here are some more concealers for you to check out. Next up: Concealer Brushes

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

In Deep Makeup Workshop

In-Deep: A Two-Part Makeup Workshop held last April 19 and 26 was a success! The workshop catered to women from all walks of life, from college students to young professionals and working moms. They all trooped to Richmonde Hotel to learn all about basic and advanced makeup techniques from Ms.Lorelei Tan, professional makeup artist and part-owner of Metro Salon. Of course, we couldn't let the ladies go home without freebies like brush sets and fake eyelashes.

Because of the success of the event and because of request from other ladies, there will be a part two of In Deep, sometime in July. Lorelei has agreed to be the same instructor for the event, which is perfect because we all love her! She's like our big sister. The whole event was more like an informal session where we learned and swapped make up tips and made friends with other makeup enthusiasts. Don't miss the next one!

Here are some pictures from the event.

Lorelei demonstrating on Carla, my partner in this activity


The participants, during the hands-on session

I want! Lorelei's train case

One of the demo sessions

Some of the lovely participants

Sunday, April 27, 2008


Grabbed this little survey from Liz.
These are my favorites or the ones I reach for the most.

My Foundation: Mac Mineralize Satinfinish in NC35, Makeup Forever Mat Velvet Mattifying Foundation

My Mascara: Lancome Definicils Mascara, L'Oreal Double Extension Mascara

My Blush:L'Oreal Blush in Pink Grapefruit, NARS Orgasm, MAC Pinch o Peach, Shu Umeura P Orange 58D

My Eye Shadow: Prestige Eyeshadows and MAC eyeshadows

My Day Cream: Olay Total Effects

My Lipstick: Guerlain KissKiss lipsticks

My Beauty Product Brand: MAC, L'Oreal, Guerlain

My Essential Beauty Product: This is so hard.... um, I'd say moisturizer with SPF because skin care is still the most important thing.

My Favorite Makeup Product: Concealer. Or eyelash curler. I can't decide!

My Perfume: J.Lo Live, Lancome Miracle

My Nails: Essie Wicked and Orly Platinum

My Feet & My Hands: The Face Shop Fragrant Nail Enamel Remover. Smells yummy and does the job well.

Three Products to bring on a deserted island: Lip balm, sunscreen, toothpaste. Or mouthwash. Hehe.

Women I admire for their beauty: Gong Li and Monica Bellucci because they are GORGEOUS. Nicole Scherzinger of the Pussycat Dolls and Jessica Alba because they have the most amazing bodies. Uma Thurma because she has an interesting face: it's beautiful but it's not nakakasawa. Same goes for Gwyneth Paltrow.

Woman with the Best Sense of Style: Tough! I like Gwen Stefani a whole lot though. She can rock absolutely anything. I like Cameron Diaz's style too. It's quirky and classy at the same time.

My Ultimate Dream: To work for the UN.

How Do I Define Womanhood: To paraphrase Muhammad Ali, it's about floating like a butterfly, stinging like a bee.

My Favorite Fashion Publication: Vanity Fair, although it's not particularly a fashion magazine

I'm tagging just about anyone who reads this! What are YOUR faves?

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Cheap eyeshadow

Once again, hooray for cheap stuff!

Qianyu, a cheap brand that sells eyehsadows for a grand total of P50-70 bucks, is almost as pigmented as other eyeshadows that retail for a higher price. It lasts for a good couple of hours, too, maybe not as long as other expensive brands but good enough given it is uber-cheap. Its sister brands are Aily and Baxi, which are worth checking out too.

You can find it in your friendly neighborhood tiangge.

Here's one I especially like for its colors.

Just trying it out... forgive the unruly brows. I have yet to set a date with Mae, eyebrow shaper extraordinaire of Emphasis Salon.

I used three colors from the palette: the first peach one, the red and the dark brown.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Makeup SOS

My cousin Tish asked me to help her with her makeup for a dinner party. She wanted a no-makeup look ("Makeup na hindi mukhang naka make-up masyado"), an eye makeup that would look natural but would still emphasize her eyes, and an overall look that would match her white and gold outfit.

She's not morena but I'm posting it here anyway because we were both pretty happy with the outcome. She really is the only model I get to practice on so this will have to do.

Here's the finished product: (no flash)

The eye makeup:

With flash:

Makeup/tools used:

1. I evened out her skintone using MAC Mineralize Satinfinish NC30, dabbed on YSL Touche Eclat on her undereyes, then topped everything off with Laura Mercier setting powder.

2. Next I did her eye makeup. I used MAC Prep+Prime in Light to well, prep and prime her eyes. Hehe. Next I brushed gold eyeshadow all over her lids, to match her top. Then I used an olive eyeshadow at the Outer V. I wanted something different from the usual brown/dark brown family so I opted for olive instead. Then I lined her lashline using a dark brown shadow. I used eyeshadows from two different palettes, Red Earth Sunset Glamour Eyeshadow Quad and Guerlain Divinora eyeshadow quad. I added a beige eyeshadow as highlight. I curled her lashes using Fanny Serrano eyelash curler and applied Max Factor Masterpiece Mascara after.

3. I didn't have to do much with her eyebrows because they're groomed perfectly already. I just filled in some areas using Laura Mercier eyebrow pencil.

4. As for blush, we used NARS Orgasm. Using a nice stippling brush, I just dabbed a little on the apples of her cheeks.

5. Lastly, I used my favorite lipliner, Guerlain Lip Pencil in Beige Rose to outline her lips. Then finally I used my favorite golden lipstick to complement her outfit. It's Guerlain KissKiss gloss in 801.

I wanted to use a bronzer but she didn't want to anymore, so we skipped that part.

Anyhow, she was happy and that's the most important thing. I guess that's it for an easy peasy no-makeup look.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Shameless plugging!

Full Stride Productions Presents

In Deep: A Two-Part Makeup Workshop

Learn basic and advanced makeup, know which products work best for you, and get some tips on becoming a professional makeup artist!

Instructor: Ms.Lorelei Tan, professional makeup artist

When: April 19 and 26, 2008, 1:00-5:00 pm

Where: Palm Function Room, Richmonde Hotel, 21 San Miguel, Ortigas Avenue, Pasig City

Fee: P3,500 inclusive of snacks and materials

For more information, please contact:
Mia - 0917.5234689
email - indeepworkshop@gmail.com

See you there!!!

Monday, March 24, 2008

Blush favorites - part two

First of all, ladies...
I haven't been updating as I have been so swamped with work and thesis. I can't believe it's been two weeks since I last updated! I'll try to update more regularly now. Anyway here's part two of the Blush Shades for the Morena.

1) MAC Peachykeen
- This is one of my favorite MAC blushers. It's quite pigmented, so make sure you just swipe a dollop onto your cheeks.

2) NARS Crazed
- This plum shade is really pigmented too so use a light hand when applying this.

3) NARS Lovejoy
- This blush is a mixture of rose, bronze and peach. It has a slight golden shimmer and looks very natural on the cheeks.

4)NARS Gilda
- I was a bridesmaid at a wedding once and the makeup artist used this on me. I love it!

5) L'Oreal Front Page Peach
- This blusher is a perfect shade of peachy-coral, which I imagine can suit most skin tones, morena and mestiza. It has a slight shimmer and it lasts a pretty long time. Last time I heard, L'Oreal was phasing this blush but if not, better grab this one while supplies last!

6) MAC Sunbasque
- This is another favorite of mine among the MAC Sheertone Blush line. It has a slight shimmer but not the overpowering kind.

7) Maybelline Soft Plum
- This blush is part of the Dream Mousse line so it's a bit trickier to apply than powder blushers. It looks pretty dark in the pan too, but like with most blushers, the color transforms on your cheeks. I really like the color it gives but it doesn't stay put unlike NARS and MAC blushers, which have great staying power.

Other blushers to check out are MAC Pinch O Peach, Peachtwist, NARS Exhibit A, NARS Desire, E.L.F Blush in Glow and The Body Shop Sweetnut Blush. In general, us with darker skin tones need more color than our mestiza counterparts. When looking for a blush, opt for dark peaches, apricots, plums, red oranges and deep bronzes. If you want to use bronzers along with your blushers, blend the bronzer on the spots where the sun hits most often. These are your forehead, the bridge of your nose and the top of your cheekbones. Use the blusher along the apples of your cheeks.

So there, these are the blush shades that I think will suit those of us with darker skin tones. The trick is to not be afraid of trying out new shades. Most of my favorite blushers, such as NARS Cactus Flower, looks scary in the pan, but then they actually look really nice when you apply them onto your cheeks.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Blush favorites

Based on countless product testing, here are some blushes I think would suit morena skin tones well. This is just part one, because there are so many. Part two, coming very soon!

Anyway, you might want to check these out:

1. L'Oreal Blush Delice in Pink Grapefruit
- A pink powder blush with light shimmer. One of my HG blushes and one of my favorites in the Blush Delice line. In general, I don't like using the brushes that come with L'oreal's Blush Delice because it's scratchy and it tends to streak, so I just use my regular blush brush.

2. MAC Dollymix
- A MAC blush bestseller, this shade practically suits all skin tones. It looks kind of scary in the pan, but when you put it on, it looks really good on your skin. MAC blushes are really pigmented so go easy on the application.

3. NARS Orgasm
- One of my most used blushes. Ever.

4. Body Shop Blush in Golden Pink
- This blush esembles NARS Orgasm and MAC Springsheen but it's definitely more affordable.

5. Awake Stardom Pure Blush in Burnished Honey
- I stumbled onto this while I was checking out their eyeshadow palettes. At first the color didn't seem striking enough for me to try it, but the saleslady at the counter told me to check it out so okay, I did. I'm all for checking new stuff out anyway. I'm glad I did, because like so many other blushes, the color transforms on your cheeks. Pick this up if you're going for a neutral shade.

6. L'Oreal Blush in Fresh Papaya
- Another favorite Blush Delice product, this blush is an apricot shade with light shimmer. Love love love. Gives the most natural sheen which is really perfect especially if you have a nice golden tan or if you've just come back from the beach.

7. NARS Cactus Flower
- like MAC Dollymix, it looks scary in the pan, but when you put it on, it fades onto your skin very nicely. It's a cream blush so it's perfect especially if you have dry skin. Use your fingers to blend it in.

8. Shu Uemura P Orange 58 D
- My favorite among the Shu Uemura blushes. It looks dark-orangey in the pan but gives you just the right pop of color when you apply it on your cheeks.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Beauty on a Budget

A reader requested something on beauty on a budget. It came just at the right moment because I've been wanting to put up something like that. Anyway, here's something morena ladies out there might want to use.

Before anything else, have a good skincare regimen. Invest in good skincare products because not only will it protect your skin now but someday you'll look back and you'll be glad you took care of your skin when you were younger. Besides, makeup does look much better on good skin and you won't have to spend so much money on products just to cover unsightly blemishes.

The rule of thumb is cleanse-tone-moisturize. Fortunately for all of us, there are tons of good skincare products out there that won't bust our budget.

1. Cleanse- For cleansers, I personally love L'orea Pore Minimizing Cleanser. It's my HG cleanser. My friend also swears by this. She says she doesn't get pimples when she started using it. Another product you might want to check out is Cetaphil cleanser. It's around 235 pesos. Biolink Papaya Cleanser is also pretty good, and it's cheap, at just 46 bucks. Tip: Spread the cleanser onto your face in swirling motions using only your ring and pinky fingers. This way, you don't tug at your skin and cause premature wrinkles by using all the fingers of your hand.

2. Tone - Toners or astringents are used to remove excess impurities that your cleanser hasn't removed. Go for alcohol-free ones because these don't strip away the moisture your skin naturally needs. Go for Neutrogena alcohol-free toner or Cetaphil alcohol-free toner.

3. Moisturize - Yes, even if you have oily skin like me, you'll still need to moisturize. I prefer moisturizers with SPF already. I cannot stress enough how important it is to wear sunscreen. You should even wear sunscreen even when you're just at home because the UV rays of your computer or your TV also make an impact on your skin. I like Oil of Olay Total Effects Moisturizer. It contains SPF 15 already so you're both moisturized and protected. At night, you can switch to a moisturizer without SPF, so you can let your skin breathe. Check out Clean and Clear's Moisturizer or Myra E-Moisturizer.

Do this routine twice a day and I'm sure you'll be on your way to great skin in no time. These products are relatively cheap and are available at your friendly neighborhood Watson's store.

As for makeup, there are also plenty of makeup products that are budget-friendly. I think for a basic makeup kit, you would need the following:

1. Foundation/Tinted Moisturizer
2. Blush
4. Eyelash curler
5. Concealer

You might also want to get eyeshadows and eyeliners just to make your eye more "eye-popping." But anyway, those four will do for a simple, no-makeup look.

After prepping your skin (cleanse-tone-moisturize), apply your foundation. Determine your skin type first so you'll know which products work best for you. Liquid foundations are the most versatile type of foundation. They glide on easily and offer natural-looking coverage. If you have dry skin, check out mousse foundation. Dab a small amount of the product onto the back of your hand and then dot onto the skin with a sponge. Check out Maybelline's Dream Mousse Matt Foundation. It's light and very easy to apply. You just have to blend using your fingers. This product is around 599 pesos. Other products to check out are In2It Oil Control 2-way foundation with SPF or Maybelline Clear Smooth Two way powder. Mineral makeup is also starting to get a cult following. I've tried L'oreal's True Match Mineral powder foundation and I love it. For morenas, check out #5 Golden Sand. Just swirl the brush that comes with it onto the powder, tap to get rid of excess powder and dot on forehead, cheeks, nose and chin. Spread, spread, spread and you've got flawless coverage. To check what your foundation color is, get a small amount of the product and test it onto your jawline. The color should fade easily. If it doesn't, then it's either too dark or too light.

2)After foundation, apply your concealer. I personally like L'oreal's True Match Super Blendable Concealer because it works wonders on my dark undereye circles. For blemishes, I sometimes dab on VOV's cream concealer. VOV also works as a foundation. This two in one product is so cheap at just around 200 bucks! If you're morena, you're either #2 or #3. Get a concealer shade that's ONE shade lighter than your skintone. Remember, foundation FIRST then concealer.

3)Set everything with powder, like Clean and Clear oil control powder.

4) Apply blush. There are sooo many good blushes out there. Check out E.L.F. Radiance Blush in Glow, which is similar to the famous NARS Orgasm blush but much cheaper at just 120 bucks. Herbench Pretty When Pinched is good too, at just 158 bucks. Many girls are raving about G-lish blush, which costs only 350. Fashion 21 single blush #1 is good too and it's cheap at just around 125 bucks. For beginners, I suggest you use powder blush first because it's the easiest to apply. Swirl your powder brush onto the blush, tap, smile and apply blush on the apples of your cheeks. Blend carefully so you don't have streaks on your face. I like L'Oreal's Blush Delice in Pink Grapefruit. If you're morena, you might want to stick to blush shades that are more on the peach, deep apricot, coral shades.

5)Apply lipgloss or lipstick to give your lips a nice, healthy sheen. Check out Maybelline's Fruity Jelly lipgloss which is just 199 bucks. Check out the glosses in The Face Shop too, for good but inexpensive lip tints. I super love Revlon's Super Lustrous lipgloss in Glossy Rose. It's an HG gloss for me. It's just the right amount of shine. Not too pale, but not too tacky either.

6) Curl your lashes. If there's one super easy thing you can do to look more "awake" and alive, it's curling your lashes. Grab Fanny Serrano's eyelash curler. It's so similar to the Shu Uemura eyelash curler, but it's so much cheaper at just Php175. Get a good mascara too, so your lashes will have more oomph. Check out Avon's Astonishing Lengths Mascara. This product is around 390 pesos. Maybelline is also famous for its mascara. Check out Maybelline's Unstoppable mascara to give your lashes that extra length and curl.

To further save money, you might want to opt for two-in-one products like Nichido's Multiple Stick which works on cheeks and eyes. It's just around 188 bucks. Also check out Mistine's Lip and Cheek tint. It's less than 200 bucks and as the product name says, it works for both your cheeks and your lips. It's also super similar to The Body Shop's lip and cheek tint which is more expensive. Tip: Before you apply your cheek tint, put on moisturizer first. That way, the color pops out even more.

If you want to give your eyes more definition, grab Nichido's eyeliners.You can also use Elianto eyeliner. Just dampen an eyeliner blush, and gently line on your upper and lower lash lines. Blend a little so you don't look too harsh. You can even use a q-tip for this but make sure you don't run it all over the place. Just soften your eyes. Better yet use Fashion 21's eyeliner because it already comes with a smudger at the tip.

If you want to get eyeshadow, check out Elianto's eyeshadows. They're super cheap but they work just as well as the pricey ones. One eyeshadow can go as low as 99 bucks. Elianto, The Face Shop all carry cosmetics that are good but relatively inexpensive compared to other makeup brands.

Last but not the least, don't forget to get a makeup remover! Don't skip this super important process of your makeup routine. For a cheap but effective makeup remover, check out Pond's Cold Cream. Just a few easy swipes and you're good to go.

Monday, March 3, 2008

SIP photoshoot

Just a quick insert ladies:

Yesterday, for the first time in my whole life, I did the makeup for a photoshoot. I've never really done makeup that will be used for um, commercial pursposes (?) Usually I'd do them for myself or for friends for parties and stuff like that. Just yesterday, though, I acted as makeup artist/stylist/"beautician" for SIP Magazine's cover photoshoot. It was my first EVER time to do a photoshoot for a magazine. When Milan, the editor, asked if I wanted to do it, I was a bit apprehensive at first but I'm so glad I said yes.

May I just say? I was thrilled. Thrilled to the bone thrilled. I was happy with the makeup (photos later!) and the photographer, art director, production assistant and editor-in-chief were pretty satisfied too. "Nag-go-glow yung model," one of the them said. Hayluvet. She might as well have said I was glowing. The instruction was makeup that would suit different types and colors of clothing so I opted for earth and neutral tones.

The model isn't morena but I'm posting it here anyway hehe. Watch out for the mag folks! It's going to be released on the second week of March, at all Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf outlets.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Lip Therapy

Out of all the parts of my face, I think my lips are my most neglected part. Chapped, dry and dark lips - not a pretty sight at all. Especially now that summer's fast approaching, we need to make sure that our lips are just as protected as the rest of our body. Besides, if we have a regular face care regimen, or an eye care regimen, then why should we not have a lip care regimen as well?

For dark lips, check out Godiva's Lightening Lip Gloss. It says it lightens both your lips and nips so they're dual-purpose. It's super cheap too, at just 90 bucks or so. After a week's time, your lips will be noticeably lighter in color. Another cheap solution to dark lips is good ol' Petroleum Jelly. Apply this on your lips to restore your pigmented or discolored lips to its natural pinkish state.

To protect your lips against further pigmentation, apply lip balms with SPF in it. I really love Neutrogena's Lip Moisturizer with SPF. Not only does it keep my dry lips in check, it also contains SPF 15 to prevent my lips from darkening even more. I use this even when I'm just staying at home because even the rays that come from TV or computer exposure are harmful and can cause skin darkening. Nivea Lip Balm and Chapstick also contain SPF to shield your lips from sun damage. You can't go wrong with Kiehl's Lip Balm #1. This famous lip balm feels creamy and luxurious and it also has SPF 4. If you want something with higher protection, head on over to VMV. VMV Armada Moisturising Protective Lip Balm contains an SPF of 60! You can't beat that. Before you head off to the beach, you might want to pick up Hawaiian Tropic SPF 45 plus Aloe Vera Sunblock Lip Balm. It's moisturizing and it's waterproof so you can lounge around in the beach all day without worrying about dry, dark lips.

If you want something more tinted, there are a variety of lipglosses and lipsticks out in the market that also contain sun protection ingredients. For a cheap gloss with SPF, try E.L.F's Super Glossy Lip Shine. Their glosses come in a variety of shades that also contain SPF. Another brand that carries tinted lip treats with SPF is Smashbox. Their Tinted Treatment Lipstick line comes in five different shades aside from having SPF 15. Elianto's Spa Lipstick line does not only contain SPF, it also has Vitamin E which gives anti-aging benefits.

To combat dry lips, I love using the ever-famous Smith's Rosebud Salve. I even use this on other dry parts of my skin sometimes, such as my elbows or heels. My mom swears by Blistex when her lips get uber-chapped and dry. On regular days she uses Burt's Beeswax Lip Balm or Vaseline Lip Therapy.

Once a week, I slather on YSL's Exfoliating Lip Balm. When I first heard about this product, I was really amazed. Wow, these people really think of everything! In just one treatment, all my dry, peeling skin were removed. I do that at night and then I put on my favorite lip balm before I sleep. When I wake up in the morning, my lips are softer and more moisturized.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Makeup tips from Myca Feng

Hello all! I'd just like to share some makeup tips I got from the makeup workshop I attended a couple of weeks ago.

Eyebrow Shaping Rules:
1) The beginning of the brow should be directly in line with the tear duct. So chop off anything that goes beyond that. To align your tear duct and eyebrow more clearly, use a pencil and place it on a vertical position at the end of your tear duct. You'll be able to see then whether your eyebrow goes beyond that.

2) Look straight ahead. The highest point of the arch should line up with the outer side of the iris. The top and bottom edge lines should be parallel until the hight point and then taper to a thin edge.

3)Use the same pencil and line it up approximately 45 degrees, beginning at the side of the nose through the outer corner of the eye. Your brow should end there.

4) For perfectly groomed brows in a second, try combing through them with a brush to flick away any powder or foundation.

Working with different types of eyes:
1) To make wide-apart eyes appear closer, use more intense eyeshadow colors near the inner corner of the eyes. Line the eyes completely, both top and bottom, from inner to outer corners.

2)For close-set eyes, do the opposite. Apply the most intense color near the outer corners of the eyes. Line top and bottom of eyes in any color, but begin drawing a quarter of the way out from the inner eye. Dust a highlighter just below the outer corners of lower lashes to call attention to the outside of eyes. Brush mascara to upper and lower lashes.

3) If you have small eyes, apply a medium-toned shadow to the crease. Use a soft-colored liner on the top and bottom lash lines, extending the top line across the entire lash line and the bottom line from just under the iris to the outer corner. Apply light shadow on the eyelids, then more intense shades in the creases.

4) For those with prominent eyes, apply a medium to dark shadow on the crease and the hooded area. Sweep a lighter shadow on the brow bone and on the inside corner of the eye. Draw a very thin line along the top lashline to keep the eye looking open and smudge. Line upper lash line only. Gradually soften shadow as you near the brow.

5)Finally, for deep set eyes, draw a fairly thick line all the way across the top lash line with a brown or black pencil. Apply a medium to dark shadow on the lid and in the crease. Dark colors make features recede. So if you want to hide something, like prominent lids, use dark colors.

Other tips:
1)Try to use correcting bases. Correcting bases can help in evening out skintone. Green bases helps lessen the appearance of severe skin redness, orange for dark spots like undereyes, around the lips and the the nose, while violet correcting base helps brighten dull pale colored skins.

2) Concealer is always AFTER foundation.

3) Throw away mascaras that are older than three months. To preserve your mascara, try not to pump the brush in the container because this speeds up the drying process. To rescue drying mascaras, immerse them in hot water, making sure the lid is tightly sealed. That will help melt the dry mascara.

So there! Some handy tips you might want to keep in mind after Anyway, for those interested, Myca Feng will be having another makeup workshop on March 23. For more information, check out makeupbymyca.multiply.com!

Sunday, February 17, 2008

My first ever mineral makeup haul

I've heard soOoO much about the wonders of mineral makeup I thought I'd finally give it a shot. I ordered from Monave, since they have a local reseller and I've gotten some really good reviews about this brand. A few weeks ago, I finally got my first ever mineral makeup samples. Yahoo my first ever foray into the world of mineral makeup.

Top row: Monave Multi Purpose Minerals, L-R: Lime, Gold Salmon, Wave
Bottom Row: Monave blushes, L-R: Silk Garnet, Star Lily and Mystic Rose

Monave foundation, L-R: Hyeyeon, Teporah, Saturnina, Canela

Initial observations:
1) Monave's foundations are some of the creamiest-looking foundations I've tried. The coverage and staying power are unbeatable. The finish is really flawless and beautiful and the foundation stays on from the moment you apply it until you have to take it off. The reviews really weren't exaggerated. The foundations come in loose powder for light to medium coverage and concealer powder form when you want heavier coverage. Still, whether you opt for the loose powder or the concealer form, you won't feel as if you have too much makeup on. In fact, the foundation goes on lightly, allowing your skin to breathe and making you feel as if you have almost nothing on. The color range is fantastic too. You can also mix and match the foundation colors to match your skin tone more precisely. As morenas, I suggest checking out foundation colors in Hyeyeon, Teporah, Saturnina and Canela.

2)I'm in love with the Angel setting powder. It gives a smoother, more matte finish to your look.

3)The blushes and shadows are super pigmented, so you need very little per application. I love it because the colors are great and they're very economical to boot.

4)The delivery of the makeup samples was hassle-free. I gave my orders on a Friday morning and got the samples on Saturday afternoon. The reseller, Sophie, was very accommodating too. She answered my questions thoroughly and handled my orders quite efficiently. She even threw in an illuminizer as a freebie.

All in all, I'd say Monave is an essential element for your Mineral Makeup stash. If you want to venture into mineral makeup but don't know where or how to start, try starting with Monave. They have a very informative website, beautyandminerals.multiply.com which contains just about all kinds of information you'd need about your mineral makeup needs. They also give out samples and packages so you can see which colors are right for you. Ordering is hassle-free too and you're guaranteed to get your orders ASAP.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Rant or Rave: Kiehl's Blue Astringent Herbal Lotion

Rant or Rave is a new section here in the blog, inspired by Girltalk's Rant and Rave thread. I'll basically just rant or rave about a new beauty product or service I've recently encountered. Trying out the best products out in the market is really a trial and error process. Sometimes you'll just have to do a bit of sifting around to get a diamond in the rough. For this entry, I'll both rant and rave about Kiehl's Blue Astringent Herbal Lotion.

Rant: What I didn't like about this is that it's too drying! It says on the label to put it on oily areas. Since I have oily skin all over, that's precisely what I did after cleansing. Yikes, my face ended up feeling so dry. I think it's because of the alcohol content. You can actually smell the alcohol when you put it on. Immediately after applying this, my face felt too tight and stretched. I didn't experience any major breakouts, thankfully, but if you have particularly sensitive skin, this might be too drying for you. I tried this for several days consecutively and my skin became a bit flaky, which was evident when I was using my moisturizer. You might want to just use this every other day instead of every day. It says on the label too that this product is good to use after shaving so you might want to recommend this to your boyfriends or your dads.

Rave: Now, what I do love about the product is that it completely eliminated this one pimple that was just about to erupt. It's similar to spot treatments or pimple drying treatments in that sense. It might be handy to keep around just in case a pimple is threatening to appear.

I like Kiehl's on the whole, especially its famous Lip Balm #1. Generally, if your face is not an oil mine, you might want to skip this product. Actually, you might want to just consider toners that are alcohol-free as alcohol strips away natural oils that our skin needs.

Friday, February 8, 2008

From Cheap to Steep: Bronzers

From Cheap to Steep is a new section in the blog where I'll feature different products that are identical to each other, except of course, when it comes to price. So for this first ever post, Ill put something about bronzers.

From Cheap....
Ever Bilena Advance Bronzing Powder

A perfect skin tone enhancer that gives sheer and shimmering effects
Retails at: P200.00

to Not-So-Cheap...
The Body Shop Brilliance Powder

A lightweight sparkle powder with shimmering pearls that provides a natural-looking sun-kissed finish for the face and body. Available in a shimmer or matte finish.
Retails for: P1,195.00

to Steep!

Lancome Star Bronzer Magic Brush for Body and Face

This innovative brush dispenser is convenient and portable for quick touch-ups on the go. Combines tinting and shimmering agents to enhance the skin's natural colou. Sweep on a shimmering, sun-kissed glow, from head to toe, at the press of a button.

Retails at: P2,595.00

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Green eyeshadow

Yey my first ever EOTD and semi-tutorial!

Since it's Chinese New Year, I thought I'd experiment with the color green, since green can stand for good luck and more fortune. (Besides, the color green really pops out on morena skin tones).

Now, for the EOTD and semi-tutorial. This is really very basic eye makeup, as in anyone can do it.

1. Prep your eyes with eye primer. If you have oily lids, eye primers work wonders. They make colors pop out and they make your eyeshadow stay on longer. I use MAC Prep+Prime in Medium. I've been wanting to try Artdeco eye primer but they're always out of stock. Urban Decay Primer Potion, supposedly the king of eye primers, is unfortunately unavailable here in the Philippines. If you don't have eye primer, you can always use your concealer and just top it off with loose powder.

2. Brush light green eyeshadow all over the lids.

3. Take a darker shade of green and brush on the outer corners of the eye. So the effect is like lightest green from the inner corners until it becomes dark green at the outside. Blend blend blend. You can always layer it on depending on your taste.

4. Line your upper lashline with black eyeliner.

5. Take the light green eyeshadow and line your lower lash line, starting from the inner corner to the middle. Then take the dark green eyeshadow and line your lower lash line from the middle to the outer corner. I didn't have eyeliner in green colors so I just made do with the eyeshadows themselves.

6. Curl your lashes, apply two coats of mascara.

7. Don't forget to fix your brows and apply concealer if you need to.

There you go! Your simple Chinese New Year EOTD. Happy New Year everyone! I wish you all a happy and prosperous year ahead!

Makeup used:
MAC Prep+Prime in Medium
Lancome Color Focus in Enchanted April (light green)
Shu Uemura Pressed Eyeshadow in Olive (dark green)
Avon Glimmersticks eyeliner in Blackest Black
L'Oreal Volume Shocking Mascara

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

The Hunt is On

...for the perfect undereye concealer, that is.

I haven't been blogging lately because I've been super swamped with work and my thesis. I don't get to sleep as much too so you can just imagine the horror my eyes have become. If you, like me, suffer from undereye circles then you'd understand my need to find just the right concealer. I have these undereye circles that can make me look like tired and stressed all the time. I sleep really late, like sometimes I don't get to sleep till four or five in the morning, so when I wake up, hello Uncle Fester! Even when my sleeping habits do return to normal and I get seven to eight hours of sleep, I find I still have these dark circles that just won't go away. Hence, my seemingly unending search for the perfect concealer that can banish these ugly dark circles to kingdom come. Stick concealers, cream concealers, liquid concealers, bring them all to me! Undereye shadows, begone!

Here are some of the concealers I've tried:
1) YSL Touche Eclat #3:
I chose number 3 because it seems to suit my morena skin tone most. Numbers 1 and two seemed too light. YSL Touche Eclat is a liquid concealer comes in a sassy gold pen-like case which is really handy for quick touch-ups. Just open the cap, pump the liquid and presto! Instant concealer and highlighter. I loved this at first, but now whenever I put this on, I get these unappetizing-looking orange streaks that won't fade even when I top it with loose powder. I suppose I got lighter, but when I tried the #2, it was too light! Plus, over time it kind of develops this smell that's well, not exactly a heavenly scent. While I like YSL Touche Eclat overall, I find that it works better as a highlighter and not so much as a concealer. It does nothing for my undereyes and nothing for my blemish spots. However, when I applied it as a highlighter on my nose or around my lips, it did a rather swell job. I really wanted to love it as a concealer, as I've heard so many raves about it. Alas, not even its ultra-chic golden packaging can help its lackluster performance as a concealer.

2) Watercolors Concealer
I'm a fan of cream concealers so I decided to pick this one up. While not as creamy as other cream concealers, Watercolors concealer does its job well. It brightens the undereyes and manages to hide the little imperfections without caking. The drawback is that it only comes in about four shades so choosing the right shade can be a little tricky. As for me, I got the one in neutral medium and it works just fine.

3) VOV
For just 395 bucks, VOV is just about the cheapest concealer I have. It's a cream concealer that also acts as foundation, so you get two for the price of one. However, finding the right shade for my morena skin wasn't that easy as VOV comes in only four shades. I ended up getting #3 since it's yellow-based and it's the closest I got to my skin tone. Closest, but still not the right match. I use this when I'm just going for a quick trip somewhere and I want to save on other concealers.

4)Cinema Secrets
I've been using Cinema Secrets since high school (let's just say that's a long long time ago!) and I love this product until now. It's creamy, probably the creamiest out of all my cream concealers, glides onto the skin very well and it doesn't cake or streak. Plus, it comes in sooo many shades which can make choosing the perfect shade for you quite difficult. Cinema Secrets is also a cult fave, used by makeup artists everywhere. For morenas, I suggest checking out #62, or #15. One of the best places to try out Cinema Secrets is in PCX at Powerplant. You get to check out all the colors you want. For a hefty price of 1k plus, you really need to test the colors first before purchasing them. Cinema Secrets also comes in a palette which makes concealing even easier.

5) MAC Studio Finish Concealer This is another cream concealer. For some reason though, I have to use a concealer brush to get the coverage I want. Unlike with Cinema Secrets, which I can just use with my fingers, getting the right coverage with this one takes just a little bit more effort. You have to be more careful with this one. If you get it right, you get a flawless finish. If you don't, it will tend to crease and settle in the fine lines. I like that the little itty bitty pot holds so much stuff that you can use it for months on end.

My favorite is still Cinema Secrets but I'm always on the lookout for cheaper alternatives. Plus I heard Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage and Bobbi Brown Concealer are good too. Will update when I get to check out those products!

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Synthetic Vs. Natural

Inspired by Liz's comment on a previous entry, I'll put a little something on one of the biggest considerations when selecting makeup brushes: Do I go for natural brushes or synthetic brushes?

(Before I say anything more, I would just like to say that I love animals just as much as the next person and, like a lot of people, I'm very much against animal cruelty. Still, as this is a beauty blog, I leave the fiery debates about animal vs. synthetic hair to other worthwhile discussion sites).

As every makeup enthusiast knows, great makeup application depends heavily on finding the right makeup tools, foremost of which are brushes. Using the right makeup brushes for our various make up needs can spell the difference between skillful and sloppy makeup application. Therefore, it's just but proper to examine which type of makeup brush can aid us in our face painting adventures.

I have to admit, there was a point in my life when I didn't pay much attention to the type of brush I was getting, just as long as the bristles felt soft on my face and they seemed to do whatever they were supposed to do. Apparently, particular brushes work so much better depending on their type and their use. So hey, I'm all for improving my makeup application skills. All it takes is asking the sales assistant at your favorite cosmetics counter the type of brush you want to purchase.

The general rule is: natural fibers work best with powders (powder eyeshadows, blushes, etc) while synthetic fibers work best with creams (lipsticks, cream concealers, cream blush, etc).

There, that's all there is to it basically. Natural fibers are best for powders because unlike synthetic fibers, natural hair has scales and they are more porous so they are able to hold the pigment on the brushes for a longer period. Also, creams stick to natural fibers more easily so they don't glide on as well when you apply them. Natural bristles can be made from a single animal (squirrel, sable, goat, even mongoose!) or they can be a mixture of these animal hairs while most synthetic fibers are made from nylon or Taklon. Brushes made from natural hair are more expensive, so keep that in mind when you're looking for concealer brush or liquid foundation brush. You might be spending more when you could get synthetic fibers that are not only cheaper but are more suited for your needs! Still, some people prefer to invest in brushes made from natural hair because they say they last longer. A drawback of brushes made from natural hair like squirrel is that they take longer to dry when you clean them. In the end, each type of brush has its own pros and cons so it's really up to you to decide which type of brush you'd rather invest in. This is just but a little guide to help you choose the perfect brush for you.

So to summarize, here's something that might help you next time you go makeup brush shopping:

powder eyeshadow
- natural hair

powder blush
- natural hair preferably made from pony or squirrel

face powder
- also natural hair preferably made from pony or squirrel
- brands to check out: Shu Uemura pony brushes, Bobbi Brown pony blend brushes and Japonesque squirrel blend brushes

- synthetic fibers preferably made of Taklon

- synthetic fibers
- check out Stila's concealer brush

lipstick brush
- synthetic fibers

eyebrow - synthetic fibers preferably made from nylon

If, in the end, you just can't imagine using some poor little squirrel's hair on your face, then there are equally good synthetic brushes out there. For fans of synthetic, "cruelty-free" brushes, you might want to check out the following:

Paula Dorf brushes
Red Earth's synthetic eye makeup brushes
Urban Decay brushes*
The Body Shop brushes*
E.L.F Cosmetics brushes*

*Thanks to Fluxcore Magazine for these suggestions!

Saturday, January 19, 2008


I tried out yet another nail polish on my toes: Essie in Wicked.

I love it! The color is just this rich, deep, beautiful burgundy. It's not too in-your-face red but it's not too dark it almost looks black. It takes about three coats to get the color right, though. If you only put one coat on, the dark hue won't show so you have to layer it on. Once you do get it right, the resulting shade is just glamorous and ultra sexy. I like how it offsets my feet. As my pedicurist/manicurist Sherlyn (from Nail Loft in San Juan) says, the color is "nakakaputi." True true! My feet don't look washed out. This shade really suits a whole range of skin tones. I like the shine too. It's only my second day so I have yet to see how chip-resistant this product is.

I'll do a review of Nail Loft in San Juan next time, when I get pictures. I've been meaning to do it for the longest time but whenever I go there, I always forget my camera or my phone's low batt, which means I can't take pictures. For now, I'd just like to say that Nail Loft, along J.A. Santos in San Juan is my nail spa of choice these days. What I love about that place is it's really value for your money. The service is fantastic and the prices are uber-reasonable. I spent only 550 bucks for a foot spa with hydrating mask, french tips manicure (as always) and a pedicure. They have other packages, including packages for guys. All of them are pretty inexpensive. The place has this charming, girly-girl ambiance which I also like. Anyway I'll do a more comprehensive review next time.

Monday, January 14, 2008


Last week, I finally got the Suesh brushes that I ordered. Yahooo! I first heard about them in some magazine, when this makeup artist was raving about them. Since then I'd been hearing and reading about them constantly. I'd been wanting to replace some brushes that I had so I thought, why not give this set a try? This weekend I tried them out and I love them! They're so soft yet they were still able to hold and transfer the colors with much precision. The set also comes in a leather pouch for easy storage.

Check out their other stuff! The bristles are made from both natural and synthetic fibers, depending on the brush. Ordering was hassle free too! They just dropped by my house with the brushes, got the payment and that's that. All I need now is a new concealer brush (I'm eyeing that Shu Uemura #12) and a foundation brush (the M.A.C. #190) and I'm good to go!

Friday, January 11, 2008


I love eyeshadow palettes. They're so pretty to look at and they make my life so much easier. I admit, I'm not yet one hundred percent super confident with eye makeup application. When I see other people's eye makeup photos, I'm really blown away. Haha seriously. The way some people blend colors together just looks so seamless and effortless. Sheer genius.

Because I'm still in the stage of perfecting eye makeup application, (I'm still a makeup newbie) I've found that eyeshadow palettes have become my refuge, my salbabida in this bottomless sea of eyeshadows. Most palettes are designed in such a way that the colors go together, so mixing and matching colors is a breeze.

Here's a shot of my eyeshadow palette collection:

L-R first row: The Body Shop Smoky Grey Eyecolor Trio, Chanel Quadra Eyeshadow in Fascination, Red Earth Cote D'Azure in Sunset Glamour, Estee Lauder Pure Color Eyeshadow

L-R second row: Lancome Color Focus, Lancome Color Focus Duo,
Prestige Eyeshadow Palette in Earthling and Red Earth Glamorous Affair palette in Mystic Seduction

L-R third row: Artdeco Beauty Box Magnum for Eyeshadows/Blushers
Guerlain Divinora Radiant Colour Palette in Touche de Bronze

Well, I know it's a tiny collection but I love every one of these babies. I saved up for them and got them over the whole year I think. The newest member of the family is the Red Earth Glamorous Affair Ultra Luminous Eyeshadow Palette in Mystic Seduction. I think it's from the fall/winter collection 2007 of Red Earth. I've been wanting to get another Red Earth palette ever since I got the Cote D' Azure Sunset Glamour one. Red Earth eyeshadows work well on me and they last long. Plus, the packaging is beautiful!!! It even has instructions on the side, so what more can I ask for? This was the first thing I bought after the holidays were over and I could finally spend on myself again. I played with it as soon as I got home. I didn't actually follow what was on the palette hehe. Oh well. So hey, I still get to experiment. There are so many different ways of applying the colors in any palette anyway.

Speaking of the holidays, I know Christmas is over, but still, I'm going to cross my fingers and I'm sending out vibes to the universe in the hopes of letting me have the following:

1. Lunasol Geminate Eye Palettes

2. Awake Limited Edition Stardom Reflective Eye Quads

3. Testimo Grande Shine Eyes Eyeshadow Palettes

4. MAC Royal Assets from the Antiquitease Collection

5. Chanel 4 Fleurs de Chanel and 2008 Aurora Blues Accent Spring Collection