Sunday: Light Makeup & A Light Box

So I had this grand plan to document my Sunday and write all about it (a.k.a. an actual journal entry of sorts), but my day did not go as planned and I spent most of it at the hospital. I’m fine, don’t worry (if you worried at all haha), I was just watching over a loved one, which I was perfectly willing to do. And please don’t mistake this for whining, but I hate hospitals. It was a beautiful morning out and I had to spend it under fluorescent lights and in hyper-sterilsed, cold rooms that gave no hint of the beauty that was this Sunday. Sigh. photoI did make a start by taking a picture of the makeup I used today though. This is what happens when I have zero time to compose a decent shot. Eek. Anyway. I love “Sunday makeup” because it’s usually when I focus the most on creating the most natural looking base that I can. It’s like a little challenge that I have set for myself once a week, whereas on other days I just go with whatever I feel like doing.

Today I went with the Happy Skin ZZ Cream for my base since I’ve been struggling with some pimples lately. This is actually great for brightening the skin and it feels refreshing, too. I then used the three concealing products I cannot live without: MUD Blue Corrector #2, K Palette Zero Kuma Concealer Type 1 (review), and Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage in SC5 (review). The secret to looking as though you’ve got nothing (or very little) on your skin is spot concealing, so having this number of concealers out does not necessarily mean that I piled heaps of it on. I then set my under eye area with the Hourglass Ambient lighting Powder in Dim Light (review) and the rest of my face with the Koh Gen Doh Mainfanshi Pressed Powder. Again, the use of two powders is not without reason. I pick what kind of powder to use on which part of my face based on the type of skin on that area (more on this will have to be said in another post I think). Since the ZZ Cream is a one-shade-suits-all product, I had to warm it up a bit with my Guerlain Terracotta Bronzing Powder in 03 just around the edges of my face. For blush I went with an Ellana Minerals blush in Peach Passion. That was it for the skin, and for the eyes I used just one shade from my Too Faced Chocolate Bar Palette– Haute Chocolate — buffed all over the lid and smudged into the lower lash line. Not pictured is the mascara I piled on like there was no tomorrow: Revlon’s Lash Potion in 001 Blackest Black. I love makeup. Haha

Now while I was at the hospital, I was stressing about not having the time to take product shots today because all my natural light would have gone by the time I got home. I finally, finally, FINALLY decided that it was about time to make a light box for myself so that I don’t have to be so dependent on daylight anymore. My mom also commented that my photos would look much more professional if I actually had one. So after leaving the hospital, I made a quick trip to the hardware store, rushed home and made this: 

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Singapore Haul: Too Faced, Tarte, bareMinerals, and drooling over HAKUHODO brushes

I recently went on a quick trip to Singapore with my Dad. He was there to do business and so was I (in a sense). My business mainly involved hunting down products inside Sephora and DFS. Not quite as important as my dad’s agenda, but it was definitely a serious matter (to me, at least). IMG_6871Sephora in Singapore doesn’t carry all Sephora brands and sometimes the prices can actually come out a bit higher than Sephora in the US, so I tread with caution in there. I made it a point to get things that were not available in Manila or at Duty Free shops. I didn’t have a specific list of items to pick up, but I knew I would be choosing between the Urban Decay NAKED 3 palette and the Too Faced Chocolate Bar palette.

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The LORAC PRO Palette — Thoughts & Swatches

P1160069One of the things I asked my mom to pick up for me on her recent trip to the U.S. was the LORAC PRO Palette (42.00 USD). This has been around for a long while now, but I wanted it because… uhm, because I like makeup. Lol. Even though it’s been around for so long, I had never actually seen the palette in real life. When I first held it, I was surprised at how light and thin the palette itself was. That said, it is very pretty (although I don’t know how it would handle any falls). It would be awesome to travel with though, that’s for sure. P1160073The LORAC Pro palette contains 16 eyeshadows and a decently-sized long mirror on the backside of the cover. At $42, it’s a pretty sweet deal for anyone who is looking get a good variety of eyeshadows in one place, at one time. The whole top row is dedicated to matte finishes, while the bottom row features the shimmery shades. 

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Her Royal Highness Princess Himeko Presents: Heroine Make Philippines

P1150551This post is long-overdue, but the news is still worth making a formal announcement: Heroine Make has come to Manila! :) For the brand launch, bloggers and press were treated to a lovely afternoon tea get-together, hosted by none other than Princess Himeko herself. P1150573Being a princess is hard work. You’ve always got to look poised, pretty, and overall presentable all the time. Good thing Princess Himeko is not only all of those things, but kind and generous as well– with her beauty tips, no less! Heroine Make is a Japan-based brand that anyone who has been to a Hong Kong, Japan, or Singapore drugstore is familiar with for sure. They’re best-known for their awesome mascara formulas and eyeliners, but they have lots of other products to offer and they’re all now conveniently hoard-able from Watson’s. P1150562Another notable thing about Heroine Make is the adorable packaging and the presence of a beautiful female character on most of it (Princess Himeko, duh). The illustrations are based on Shoji Manga, which features the “most emotional heroines.” Not necessarily in a bad way–they’re just in touch with their feminine sides. Some of the pictures even depict a crying princess–good thing the eye makeup is waterproof and can definitely stand up to a little crying bout. So yes, practical and pretty. Those are words I would definitely use to describe Heroine Make products. 

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Forbidden Fruit: Happy Skin’s Christmas Lippies — Swatched & Worn!

Can you believe it’s only been a year since Happy Skin made its debut? I feel like they have just as much influence/presence as some older, more well-established brands already. They (Jacqe Yuengtian-Gutierrez and Rissa Mananquil-Trillo) have done such an excellent job at… well, everything. Of course, it starts with the products, but they’ve definitely got the marketing and business side of things down as well. It’s admirable to say the least and I only wish them the very best and of course thank them too for making such drool-worthy, exciting products. This is the kind of stuff the beauty-obssessed girl in me lives for, and what makes it 10x more awesome is that this a Filipino brand.

So yes, Happy Birthday, Happy Skin! :) I might not be the brand’s biggest fan (because omg some people go cray for these lippies and collect all of them), but I’d say I give them tough love for good reason (see: Battle of the Micellar Waters: Bioderma vs. Happy Skin) while still supporting them. ;) Now on to this Christmas set! P1160189Having this “Forbidden Fruit” set (1,399.00 Php) of Shut Up & Kiss Me Lippies brings the count up to 7 in my collection. You’ll remember the first trio I picked up back in the summer (Turn Up The Heat set) and Honeymoon Kiss, the only single shade I felt compelled to purchase. Happy Skin launched this set, a second trio called Sealed With A Kiss (1,299.00 Php), a set of pencil eyeliners, an eyeshadow palette (!), a corrector, and lip and cheek mousse all in one go in celebration of their birthday.

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Bad Skin Days

We all have them. And I have them much too often thanks to stress from school — but hey, life goes on and the world isn’t going to stop because of your bad skin day, no matter how much you wish it would.

There are a number of different ways you can deal with bad skin days:

  1. Put some extra effort into making your hair look good (pretty hair can work wonders);
  2. Bring out the heavy-duty concealers and foundations (least recommended option);
  3. Treat the skin as best you can by using light makeup and treatment-infused products; or
  4. Don’t leave the house. Period.

I don’t stick to any one method and I have tried each at least once in my life– #2 being the most frequently resorted to, even though it is terrible for already-stressed-out skin. I like option #1 a lot because fab hair is always a mood-booster. Not leaving the house is just not an option when you have to (duh), and option #3 is the most sensible. Here’s my attempt at being kind to my skin on a bad day: 

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Graymelin Vintage Seven Tattoo Eyebrow Pen || Review

Of all the ways to do brows, using a liquid brow pen is the only one I had never tried. Seeing the Graymelin Tattoo Eyebrow pen* actually made me nervous at first. I have thick brows to begin with and liquid brow pens are usually best for girls with sparse brows because they allow you to draw in fine lines that mimic hairs. I imagined that using something like this on my brows would make for lines that were too harsh around the edges, while in the center it would be useless. So I suppose it’s a good thing that I received this just to put my assumptions about brow pens to the test! GSTE2I love simple packaging and design. I feel like it’s so much easier to screw up than elaborate design, so I appreciate when it’s done right. This is an example of simple packaging done right (in my opinion, at least). I suggest storing products like these in a vertical position with the tip facing downward. That way, the liquid will always be at the tip. If you find that it’s too much product at the beginning, store it on its side, but towards the end of its (product) life, you’ll probably need to have it standing on its head. :)

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Shu Uemura’s Fresh Pore Clarifying Cleansing Oil: Why I Use It + Why It’s Worth It

2013 was all about finding the right skincare routine for my combination-oily skin. I know I’ve said this before but I’ll say it again: I hate having oily skin. I’d much rather deal with dry skin. That said, having combination skin isn’t an absolute hell hole if you know how to deal with it. That obviously took a lot of time and experimentation to figure out, but when it comes to the cleansing part of my skin care routine, I’m all about oil cleansers.

If you do a little research about the “oil cleansing method” online, you’ll find a lot of articles talking about natural oils (castor, almond, olive) and how to make a mixture of those to use as a cleanser (it will depend on your skin type because yes, all skin types can benefit from OCM). I personally can’t be bothered to go out and buy three or four different natural oils, so I use the Shu Uemura Fresh cleansing oil instead. I have nothing against going for natural products, but there’s a reason why one bottle of the Shu Uemura cleansing oil is sold every second. It’s also been the #1 cleansing oil since 1967. That’s the kind of product I’d bet my money on. And in a way, I actually have.
SUCO1This is my first empty 450mL bottle of the Shu Uemura cleansing oil. It lasted me just about 9 months, which is pretty good. Funny how finishing a product makes you feel a little sense of accomplishment, especially when it’s a jumbo size of something! So I let myself feel that little bit of happiness before I realized I would have to shell out quite a bit of money for a new bottle. Lol.

Before I even bought this full-sized bottle, I did try some other cheaper options. The most readily available one locally would be the MUJI cleansing oil. That, for some reason, just didn’t jive well with my skin. It did not cause any reactions but I didn’t feel like it cleaned my skin as effectively as Shu Uemura’s cleansing oil (which I had a lot of samples of). MUJI’s version is much more affordable at around 400 Php per 200mL bottle, but I also seemed to need more of it to get it to work.
SUCO2Shu Uemura’s cleansing oils come in many different variants and the 450mL bottle will set you back anywhere from 3000 – 5000 Php. You will always save money by buying the larger bottle. You will save even more money if you can buy a bottle at a Duty Free shop, hehe. I had a discount coupon so this particular bottle of the Fresh variant cost me 3,600 Php, and I was rewarded with this pretty limited edition design, which Shu released to celebrate 50 years of the cleansing oil being on the market. :)

Ok moving on to why I use this and why I thought it was absolutely worth repurchasing:

  • It removes my makeup effectively — While Shu Uemura recommends 3-4 pumps per use, I tend to use 2 full pumps and that works well enough at removing everyday makeup. I does not work on waterproof mascara, but I don’t use that very often anyway. I should also mention that I will often use another cleanser (raw honey) after this. Just for extra moisture and a more thorough clean.
  • It leaves my skin feeling balanced — the number one mistake people with combo/oily skin make is to strip their skin of oil to the point that it eventually goes into hyperdrive trying to compensate. That only means more oiliness, people. The goal should be to create a balance, and that’s why using good oil to remove and replace “bad oil” (i.e. dirt and excess sebum) makes a lot of sense.
  • I trust Shu Uemura — I have Asian skin and Shu Uemura is an Asian brand. It’s also my first (brand) love when it comes to makeup. I love their aesthetic and I love their approach to beauty. I won’t deny it: I’m a little biased. But I promise I would never use something unless it really worked for me.
  • It lasts ages — I’m sure I could have stretched out my first bottle to 10 months of use, but there was a time when I did use more that two pumps a day. I was figuring out what worked for me and that made me a little wasteful. But two pumps does the job very well and that means I definitely get my money’s worth with this product in the long run.
  • The range is extensive — I use the Fresh variant because it’s meant for combo/oily skin. When I’m older (or if I fancy a bit of a change) there will be other variants to suit my needs/satisfy my whims. I’ve had a sample of the anti-oxi variant which I loved (an anti-pollution formula with Moringa extract in it) and the ultim8 Sublime variant looks absolutely luxe!

SUCO3Here’s a close-up of the adorable limited edition design. The cleansing oil was originally called “Unmask” hence the… uhm mask. Hehe. I personally like that it’s now very simply called the Shu Uemura cleansing oil. :)

So there you have it! If you’re not yet familiar with how to use a cleansing oil, check out this video prepared by Shu Uemura. Whenever I watch it, all I can think of is how cool it would be to have a Shu Uemura towel. Hehe!


Beauty For A Cause: Donate to The Beauty Drive

Hey all! Sharing a post that my friend Iya put up on Facebook. If you follow my blog, you’re almost certainly a beauty enthusiast like I am and you understand that although being into makeup and beauty can be affordable, it’s mostly a luxury expense. Obviously food and shelter are the most basic of needs, but basic hygiene and grooming are up there on the list of essentials, too.

The victims of typhoon Yolanda (or Haiyan. Read my post about that here) probably have so much on their minds right now… I can’t even imagine. There are a ton of ways to help them, but here’s one way in particular that a beauty enthusiast like you can help them decrease the burden of going through all of this. Will just post my friend’s memo here:


“ATTN beauty editors, beauty bloggers, and makeup-loving friends—here’s a way to help out Yolanda survivors that’s right on your turf: a Beauty Drive! 

Bro. Armin Luistro, the DepEd secretary, called for donations of lipstick, powder, and blush for teachers affected by super typhoon Yolanda. School has already resumed in some parts of Leyte, and teachers have lost the makeup basics they use to make themselves look presentable in front of their classes. Brand new and minimally-used products (disinfect the used ones first, please) are welcome!

What You Can Donate:
-Makeup (particularly lipstick, blush, powder)
-Skincare (facial washes, moisturizers)
-Haircare (shampoo, combs, clips, headbands)
-Toiletries (soap, lotion, body washes)

Deadline is on November 28, Thursday, since Bro. Armin will be heading to Tacloban shortly after to deliver the goods. We have drop-off points at The Fort, Eastwood, Mandaluyong, and Parañaque areas! Just email and to coordinate. Thank you!” 

I think this is a great idea and I hope that donations of this kind will help the people of Visayas resume some kind of normalcy. Of course that doesn’t mean I feel they should rush, but it’s incredible that some teachers are already going back to work. I have so much respect for people who have a deep sense of duty towards their calling. Education is such an important part of life and I can imagine that going back to school after the typhoon will be a be a big step towards emotional recovery.

Thanks for checking this out and I hope you consider making a donation. :)

*Photo credit: Steph Yapnayon 

P.S. Check out Beauty and Sparkle, Nicole Romero’s newly set-up blog! She’s been in the beauty industry for years and has just joined the blogging world. Her site’s gorgeous (and so is she)! This beauty drive is a litte project she and Iya are working on together. :)

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