September 26, 2016 / 12:49 PM
Doing my make-up on the daily is a routine that keeps dull days worth living out. I spend extra time perfecting my face, and it makes me feel confidently beautiful…and sometimes, late. When I’m not trying out new make-up for the blog, these are my go-to products!
Nivea Men Sensitive Post Shave Balm (P549, Your Make-up Store)
YouTube is abuzz with NikkieTutorial’s spontaneous discovery of Nivea Men’s Shave Balm; it happens to be a brilliant alternative to a primer! I got mine as a little pasalubong from my best friend from her US trip. It works absolute wonders! It blurs out pores, smoothes out my skin, and makes my make-up last the entire day. I can sweat, commute, and still look good after a long work day. The smell is very strong (think men’s cologne) once applied but it fades after a few minutes.
Catrice Camouflage Cream in Light Beige (P329, Watsons)
I tried the Catrice Camouflage Cream as recommended by Liz of Project Vanity. It’s not exactly life-changing but it does cover my acne and dark circles plus it’s good to highlight certain features. It’s already very pigmented with just one swipe. It also doesn’t dry up fast unlike my L.A. Girl PRO Conceal.
L’oreal True Match Liquid Foundation in Nude Beige (P600, Watsons)
I finished my bottle of the much raved about Bourjois Healthy Mix Foundation after three months which led me to try the L’oreal True Match Liquid Foundation. (I bought it for P450 during one of their month-long sales.) It does a great job of covering my blemishes and dark spots. It feels weightless, and it leaves my skin with a beautiful satin finish. It carries 18 shades which makes it easy to find the perfect shade for your skin. It does have some hints of shimmer – nothing too noticeable – so that’s something to consider.
Bourjois Paris Loose Powder in Peach (Watsons KK)
To set my face after applying my foundation, I use the Bourjois Loose Powder which makes my skin feel velvet smooth and matte. It’s a life-saver especially during long day shoots but I just hate how loose powders, in general, are so messy; it gets everywhere.
Fashion21 Eyebrow Gel in Light Brown (P165, Watsons)
I’ve never been one to do my kilay…surprise! My brows have always been thick since time immemorial (just look at my baby pictures). I never really bothered doing mine but so many of my friends told me I’m missing out. I grabbed the Fashion 21 Eyebrow Gel on a trip to Watsons out of curiosity. I love how it matches my (artificially colored) brown hair. The gel has some shimmer so I tame it with my Nichido Mascara Brush. The gel fills out my sparse areas but I think I can still make do with days devoid of the product.
Fashion 21 Double Up Mascara (P225), Maybelline Lash Sensational Waterproof Mascara (P429, Watsons)
I alternate between the two mascaras. Fashion 21’s Double Up Mascara – a favorite among local beauty gurus – is the best local drugstore mascara I’ve tried. It lengthens my lashes very well. I’m on my second tube already, and I know I’ll keep repurchasing it. A number of people compliment my eyes when I wear it! It’s so easy to remove, I find that facial wash does the trick. Maybelline’s Lash Sensational is another favorite. I love how it volumizes my lashes but because of how big the mascara wand is, application can get messy. I’m also such a fan of the pink packaging! Because of how waterproof it is, I use micellar water or cleansing oil to remove it.
Stila Eyes Are the Window Shadow Palette in Mind (Sephora KK)
A recent matte eyeshadow convert, I just had to get this Stila palette during my trip to Sephora in Malaysia last summer. It has a wide selection of neutrals and bright colors that are great to build up and mix together. Also, as an eyeshadow rookie, I don’t find the colors intimidating at all. Wit and Creativity (browns) are great as a duo. Perception (orange) is amazing on its own. I can probably live life with just this palette in tow – but that would be depressing.
Milani Baked Blush in Luminoso (P450, Your Make-up Store)
My most used and abused blush is Milani’s Luminoso. It gives my cheeks color and a noticeable glow! This blush is just one of a kind.
Happy Skin Shut Up & Kiss Me Moisturizing Matte Lippie in The Morning After (P649, Zalora), MAC Lipstick in Velvet Teddy (P1,050, MAC)
Aside from the Maybelline Brown Nudes, nowadays, my everyday lipsticks happen to be Happy Skin’s The Morning After, which is a beautiful mauvy pink, and MAC’s iconic Velvet Teddy, a universally flattering nude. The Morning After feels so weightless, like there’s nothing on my lips to begin with. The formula is so unique, I haven’t chanced on any lip product quite like it. I plan on getting all the other Moisturizing Matte Lippies! Velvet Teddy is so pigmented and wears great with all make-up looks. I’m so close to finishing it – a miracle in itself – which reminds me to get a new tube soon.
Essence Soo Glow Cream to Powder Highlighter in Bright Up Your Life (Watsons KK)
Essence’s Soo Glow is the most beautiful and subtle highlighter I’ve tried from the drugstore. It looks great on my morena skin and lasts on the high points of my cheek all day (it doesn’t on my nose bridge and Cupid’s bow). Sadly, it isn’t available in Essence counters locally. I’m such a fan of the German-based brand, in general, after several product tries. They deserve more rave!
Nars Blush in Madly (P1,450, Nars)
Madly is the perfect bronzer for my color! Because it’s so expensive, I only use it on weekends and special occasions. I use my Zoeva Nude Spectrum Blush Palette on the daily. It gives the perfect tan color on my skin without looking overdone. It’s also great as an eyeshadow base for days when I forget to bring my palettes.
Shu Uemura Eyelash Curler (P1,400, Shu Uemura)
I’ve been a believer of the Shu Uemura Eyelash Curler ever since my Japan trip two years ago. (Tip: it’s P900 in Narita Airport.) This will be a beauty essential ’til my last breath.
Features&Shades Loose Powder Brush (P299), Foundation Brush (P325), Slanted Concealer Brush (P299), Large Eyeshadow Brush (P150), Pointed Crease Brush (P150, Watsons)
As a beauty beginner, I don’t think I’m in any position to invest in Zoeva or Sigma brush sets so after scouring the drugstore for good local beauty brushes, I finally found them! The F&S (Features&Shades) brushes are all spectacular but my absolute must-haves are the Foundation Brush, the Slanted Concealer Brush, and the Large Eyeshadow Brush. The bristles are so soft that I’m actually trading these for my Real Techniques!
Any beauty products you’ve tried from the list? Let me know in the comments!
September 20, 2016 / 12:59 PM
(Maybelline Color Sensational Creamy Mattes in  Daringly Nude,  Clay Crush, and  Touch of Spice)
I missed the launch of the Maybelline Brown Nudes a month ago on Beauty MNL so when I found out that they were on sale again (P199 in counters nationwide – originally P299 – until October 2), I rushed to the mall(s) to get these three shades. I wanted to get Nude Nuance too but it’s sold out where I went (Watsons Megamall and SM Department Store, Watsons Podium). I didn’t feel the need to get Burgundy Blush (the darkest shade) because I already have Divine Wine, which is an amazing dupe for MAC Diva, by the way. Nude Embrace (the lightest shade) felt a little too similar to Daringly Nude.
The products don’t disappoint at all. These are seriously the best drugstore lipsticks I’ve tried. The colors are extra pigmented considering drugstore nude lipsticks I’ve tried usually aren’t. From a single swipe, the full opacity of the color’s displayed. It’s excellent for Filipina skin, both for morenas and mestizas. Personally, I tend to navigate towards nudes and pinks, which is why I have so much appreciation for the range. It applies really creamy but is still very much matte. It reminds me of ColourPop’s Lippie Stix, another favorite. It’s crazy long-lasting, Touch of Spice survived an entire work day (9 hours) on me. It’s great for everyday wear (school and work) as well as events – especially with a bold eye look. It feels expensive on the lips, maybe even comparable to the NARS Audacious lipsticks. The sweet, vanilla scent is also endearing!
Colorwise, Clay Crush is my favorite. It’s an amazing MLBB (My Lips But Better) shade. It’s a close match to MAC’s Velvet Teddy but more peach. Formula-wise, Touch of Spice is the best. It’s a wonderful dupe for MAC Twig. Daringly Nude is great when trying to mute down or desaturating a bold lip color but it’s also good worn on its own. Tip: It’s better worn with a lip liner. The lighter colors tend to accentuate the lines on the lips but not so visible that it becomes daunting. Also, it fades a little in the innermost part of my lips after a few hours.
Have you tried anything from the collection? What’s your favorite color? I’d love to know what you think!
June 16, 2016 / 16:40 PM
(Bourjois Paris Radiance Reveal Healthy Mix in Dark Beige, Loose Powder in Peach, Little Round Pot Blush in Radiant Rose and Frosted Rose, Rouge Edition Velvet in  Happy Nude Year,  So Hap’pink, and  Pink Pong)
Make-up, my late love, how I’ve missed you.
After a long beauty hiatus – my last entry was in January – I am back with a number of exciting hauls; first on the list: Bourjois Paris!
The French cosmetics brand is a cult favorite amongst the YouTube beauty community because of the Healthy Mix Serum. So many gurus gush about the foundation – a holy grail from the drugstore (or the high street, as Londoners would say). During my recent trip to Malaysia, I freaked out when I saw a row solely dedicated to Bourjois on a spontaneous visit to a Watsons. It stood out alongside other drugstore brands like Maybelline, L’oreal, Essence, and Silky Girl. After a full month of incorporating the products to my daily routine, I can honestly say that I am in deep, mad, undeniable love.
Radiance Reveal Healthy Mix Foundation in Dark Beige
To be frank, this foundation is the product from my entire haul I’m least impressed by. It’s good but from all the rave reviews, I had such high, too high, hopes for it. It’s most ideal for days when you don’t want to have too much on your face – a great alternative for those who prefer BB creams and cushion compacts over (full-coverage) foundations. It gives sheer to medium coverage; a concealer is needed to cover blemishes. It’s lightweight, glides easily without being greasy or sticky, and wears comfortably. It’s available in eight shades but Watsons only carried one. Dark Beige is not dark enough for my morena skin. I have to mix it with another foundation (currently: Jordana’s Complete Cover 2-in-1 Concelear and Foundation in Golden Caramel).
Little Round Pot Blush in Radiant Rose and Frosted Rose
The reformulated blushers do smell like roses; it reminds me of fond childhood memories with my Lola. The beautiful packaging comes with a mirror and a small brush but I prefer using my Elf blush brush to apply the product. I dust a little bit along my cheekbones for a subtle, radiant shimmer or build it up for a (contoured) sun-kissed glow. I put this on top of my bronzer to complete my look!
Loose Powder in Peach
I’ve definitely noticed a big change ever since I started using the Bourjois loose powder; I’ve become less oily! Setting the powder after my foundation and concealer makes my skin silky smooth. It doesn’t cake up even after reapplication. It definitely makes my make-up last longer, a great alternative to more expensive powders like the Laura Mercier translucent loose setting powder.
Rouge Edition Velvet in Happy Nude Year, So Hap’pink, and Pink Pong
My relationship with the velvet lip creams went from from ‘I hate this with a vengeance’ to ‘I need all colors in my life’ real quick. These are my favorite from the haul. It’s incredibly pigmented, wears comfortably, and lasts the entire day (more than eight hours). It dries semi-matte but the texture remains creamy – very similar to the Nyx soft matte lip creams. It takes, at the very least, three swipes to get the full opaqueness. I’ve been alternating between the three – Happy Nude Year being my favorite – and I keep getting compliments every time I wear it. It’s a brilliant product for those who want the lasting power of a liquid lipstick but refuse to sacrifice moisture on the lips.
Anything you’ve tried from the brand? I’d love to get your recommendations! Also, look out for my next beauty entries: my Sephora haul and Maybelline (Rosy, Creamy Mattes) review.
January 10, 2016 / 18:18 PM
(Ruby Woo, Whirl, and Stone)
I have a deep fondness for matte lipsticks. Sure, they dry my lips after a long day, they mercilessly stain my cup of coffee, but I would not trade it for anything else – except the occasional cream and satin bullet.
In 2015, MAC relaunched their Matte Lip Collection, which includes 21 glorious shades – six in the retro matte finish – all of which are permanent. The new releases include Naturally Transformed, Men Love Mystery, Tropic Tonic, D For Danger, Persistence, Antique Velvet, Matte Royal, and two of my purchases, Whirl and Stone. These particular colors have been sold out everywhere ever since its release that I had to have mine purchased abroad (Singapore) a few months ago.
Retro matte is starting to become a personal favorite next to the original matte formula; I also have Relentlessly Red and Flat Out Fabulous. It does not transfer – applying lip balm beforehand does make it transfer a little bit – and the lines on my lips are not defined unlike cheaper matte lipsticks and liquid lipsticks available in the market.
Ruby Woo is a a very matte vivid blue-red. With all honesty, I did not need it because I already have Russian Red, which (I thought) is a very similar color. The sold-out product because of a certain Maine Mendoza was a surprise (along with the other bullets) from an ‘AlDub’ fanatic mother. Apparently, I needed the signature Yaya Dub lips – I’m not complaining, at all.
Russian Red vs. Ruby Woo
Russian Red and Ruby Woo are similar reds – both are ridiculously pigmented – but from experience, they are pretty different.
Russian Red, a bluish-red, has a one-of-a-kind creamy matte formula. It applies like a dream. It is more neon. I don’t know if it’s just me, but it makes my lips fuller, and I already have such plump lips. I used it the entire day – 11 hours in total – with plenty of eating and sipping on straws involved, and there were no signs of feathering.
Ruby Woo is more lightweight; it feels like you have no product on your lips. It is a universal red; it looks perfectly good on all skin tones. I needed more coats aside from a single swipe to perfect the application. It leaves a great stain but product fades towards the center throughout the day – reapplication is necessary.
The grunge lipstick trend has made a comeback that Whirl – a dirty rose – is the perfect every day, warm brown lip color. I actually set this aside for a few months because it was so dark and dull for my morena skin. I tried it again recently and fell in love. It is the type of lip color you pair with the right make-up – a slightly bronzed, highlighted face with a good shimmer eyeshadow and really big lashes in my case. The most similar color that I have is MAC’s Creme in Your Coffee, which is more on the mauvy side. This was drying on the lips after a whole day’s worth of wear but nothing a good Carmex lip balm can’t fix.
Stone is a more complicated lip color that you can either really love or hate – there is no in between. It is a muted grayish taupe brown that can make your lips look really pale, depending on your skin color. I had trouble covering my already pigmented lips so it needs more than a single swipe to get its full opacity. From recent tutorials and reviews, beauty gurus say that Stone is best worn with really dramatic eye make-up, which I have yet to try.
Anyway, any New Year beauty resolutions? I’d love to hear yours (while I try to formulate mine). Thank you for reading!
December 13, 2015 / 12:00 PM
(Dreamy, Bazaar, Rebel, Obsess, Backstage)
I thought I was over liquid lipsticks until one October day – I was at an incredibly fragile state – my reasoning was compromised, and I purchased these lip products. YouTube has been abuzz over the L.A. Girl Flat Finish Pigment Glosses. Lately, liquid lipsticks have been a bit sparse at the drugstore that these seem to be Heaven-sent (P250 on online stores, $5.00 on the website).
Count Milani’s Amore Matte Lip Creme, Nyx’s Soft Matte Lip Cream (which simply don’t dry to a true, kiss-proof matte finish) and Liquid Suede Cream Lipstick, Sleek MakeUP’s Matte Me Liquid Lipsticks plus ColourPop’s Ultra Matte Lip (only available online), and everything else is expensive (Anastasia Beverly Hills’ Liquid Lipsticks, Sephora Collection’s Cream Lip Stain, Stila’s All Day Liquid Lipstick, Kat Von D’s Everlasting Liquid Lipstick, etc.)
With 16 (cruelty-free!) highly pigmented colors, these remain true to their claim; they do last the entire day. If you’re not a fan of touching up, these opaque matte ‘glosses’ can last for about 5-6 hours before your lips get patchy – meals and drinks included. It stays on during long hours of shoots and coverages, which makes me, the photographer, so relieved!
Watch: L.A. Girl Flat Finish Pigment Glosses Swatches via Emily Fox
Among all the colors, Dreamy is my favorite. I’ve been using this color 70% of the time for the past two months. It’s replaced my favorite nude liquid lip cream, which is Sleek MakeUP’s Birthday Suit. Rebel is also such a gorgeous color, considering I hardly wear purple. The product is a bit tacky upon application (nothing too bothersome) but it gets lighter after a few minutes. The applicator is great so messy applications can be avoided. It is very difficult to remove so better use an oil-based make-up remover or even baby oil.
Disclaimer: I drank green tea upon trying the product, and it started to disappear but other than that (water, coffee, and other liquids), it does stay put for (almost) the entire day.