November 29, 2015 / 12:00 PM
“How are you?”
“I’m in a really good place right now.”
Lately, I’ve been taking the time to get in touch with a lot of my friends who are younger than me, and I find that they can teach me so much about humility, faith, and love.
My perception of the three have been tainted – not stained – by experience through the years that I’ve learned to simply humble myself, step back, and start rediscovering the goodness I can only fully understand and accept through someone else’s discerning heart and eyes.
I am grateful that there are people who continue to show me that I am human – limited, capable of hurting, and prone to error. Only in this light am I able to become the best I could and I pray to be.
Portraiture allows me to constantly show people that their beauty is a gift they can fully receive and revel in. This continues to give me purpose when I am doubtful about my journey. Others have stained the idea of beauty that it no longer becomes a woman’s source of power but of shame. I pray that I be given more opportunities to share this message to women everywhere.
Thank you for your effervescent light and love, Ica. Believe me when I say that you are so beautiful!
Photography, Styling, and Make-up: Elisa Aquino
November 27, 2015 / 12:00 PM
Am I dreaming or am I dreaming?
My unceasingly kind, generous, loving mother and I are finally at the stage of our relationship where she spontaneously gives me beauty products out of the goodness of her gracious heart. Bless her.
A few weeks ago, she came home from her last (!) business trip for the year. Before flying home from Singapore, we had a little chat (you are golden, Facebook) whilst she was walking around Changi Airport, and she uttered the magical words which were, “What do you want from the NARS counter?” I may have lost it.
The NARS Audacious Lipsticks are possibly the best lipsticks in the market according to trusted sources aka YouTubers. They are available in 40 shades ranging from everyday nudes and bright pinks to bold reds and eccentric purples. They are expensive ($32 on the website, P1,6K in local counters) but the formula is one-of-a-kind that every beauty collector can and will find a reason to *cough* justify their purchase.
The lip products are extremely pigmented and very true to color from just a single swipe. The texture is so creamy; they apply so smoothly without settling on your lip’s fine lines. They also make the lips look more plump because of its satin finish.
I am also impressed with the unique packaging. I love the matte-black sleek bullet with a magnetic closure. When you put the products side by side, they form the word NARS, which is pretty cool.
Angela is a magenta pink, reminiscent of (a very muted) Radiant Orchid – Pantone’s Color of the Year 2014. It looks particularly great on my morena skin although it is marketed for cool-toned skin. This color may be overwhelming for those who prefer milder colors – I have wild lip color choices – but it is so beautiful!
I already have enough reds but Vera is such a unique type of red. It is a bright raspberry dream – possibly my favorite among the two lip colors. It looks amazing with an everyday nude or a dramatic, glowy look. You may just see me wearing this color for the next few weeks, or so I think.
The Audacious Lipsticks do not claim to be long-lasting (because they are so creamy) although beauty gurus say they do last the entire day so I was verily disappointed when it started smudging after around 3-4 hours – meals included. Again, these aren’t matte so manage your expectations. They do leave a stain but the longer I had them on (with a matching cold), the more the product transferred and faded, especially towards the center. You will need to reapply it after meals so better just bring the bullet/s with you.
The colors are so unique, the color payoff is amazing. I just wish that the staying power would have been longer for the price but then, this lasts longer than any of my other (creamy) lipsticks. With all honesty, I still plan to buy more colors: Anna, Jane, and Bette for now.
If you plan on getting your first luxury lip products, I would go with MAC lipsticks (mattes are the best) rather than the above mentioned because they are significantly cheaper and they last longer. But, I do love them. Yes, I do.
I hope you found this review useful! If you have tried them, tell me what you think!
November 19, 2015 / 12:00 PM
(Makeup Revolution London Beyond Flawless Ultra Eyeshadows Palette, Ultra Blush Palette in Golden Sugar, Radiance Highlighter Palette, and Goddess of Love Triple Baked Highlighter)
(Salvation Velvet Lacquer in What I Believe, Keep Crying For You, and Keep Lying For You)
This entry has been on my drafts for a while, and I felt that it was only just to finally take the time and continue what I started.
Makeup Revolution London has been on my to try-list for months upon seeing their eyeshadow and blush(er) palettes, which are both an absolute feast for the eyes. Their products are difficult to find. My entire haul was from Superdrug in London with the help of an amazing friend who visited a few months back. The drugstore brand is also (finally!) available in Ulta for US residents. They’re ridiculously cheap – think a couple hundred bucks for a single item – so I didn’t really expect so much from the products.
Edit: I found myself drawn to Zalora’s website a few days ago and found that the brand is available there – products are sadly very limited.
The website is a riot to scroll through. If I could, I would offer my services (for free) and proofread and rewrite their horribly punctuated, capitalized, and spelled descriptions and whatnot.
Beyond Flawless Ultra Eyeshadows Palette (£8/P570)
I am awful at eye make-up, that’s a no-brainer. My day-to-day routine consists of my trusted Shu Uemura eyelash curler, my 3-month old Essence volume mascara (I have yet to replace), and my Maybelline Colorshow eyeliner in Shiny Beige I can’t possibly live without.
I try to learn how to do my eyes other than the usual way I would because really, there is no point in watching YouTube beauty tutorials on a daily basis if I don’t execute my learnings.
The Beyond Flawless palette has 32 natural colors for both daytime and nighttime. It contains mostly shimmer shadows so if you’re allergic to glitter, better purchase the other available matte palette (Flawless Matte).
They’re significantly pigmented. The colors are ravishing, especially for someone who prefers earthly tones. They stay on a pretty good amount of time depending on your use of eye primer and/or setting spray. Also, just a quick mention, they are smaller in real life so I was a bit underwhelmed when the package arrived although that gives me more reason to get other eyeshadow palettes. *winks*
Ultra Blush Palette in Golden Sugar (£6/P430)
The palette is an overwhelming collection of bronzers, merged blushers, baked bronzers, and merged baked highlighters. How can you not give the palette a chance once you’ve seen how beautiful they look (in photographs)?
The products did not meet my expectations. They were very chalky. Also, If you have scars or blemishes on your face, it may tend to highlight them and make them more noticeable.
I personally believe they work better as highlighters than blushes. What I normally do is I use a separate matte blush and then add one of the baked blushes on top to make my face look extra glowy. You can skip your entire highlighter regimen for a more natural look. Alone, they’re horrible but try the product with something else, and it changes everything.
Radiance Highlighter Palette (£8/P570)
I was so, so, so excited for the palette – not that I really needed anymore. The Radiance Highlighter Palette comes with three colors best for medium to dark skin. It conveniently comes with a full-size mirror too, as with the other palettes in this particular haul.
Instead of using a fan brush, I use my finger to apply the illuminator on the high points of my face, which the sun would normally hit for that extra glow factor. They look incredible – not as good as my Benefit Watt’s Up, of course – but they don’t last very long, a couple of hours (2-3 hours max).
Goddess of Love Triple Baked Highlighter (£4.99/P360)
This is my absolute favorite from the bunch. The Goddess of Love baked highlighter – a bestseller – is a gem. It is reminiscent of ELF’s long-lasting baked highlighters, which make you feel like a unicorn after every use.
For a pretty light shade, it looks good on my morena skin, which was a big surprise to me. Dare I say that I can actually use this every day?
Salvation Velvet Lip Lacquer (£3/P220)
I have so much feelings for Makeup Revolution’s lip products. The Velvet Lip Lacquers are ‘lip glosses’ that dry into a completely matte finish. There are 10 equally bold colors with amusing names I can probably find in a future Taylor Swift or Carly Rae Jepsen record (I Fall in Love, What I Believe, Keep Trying For You, Keep Lying For You, Keep Flying For You, You Took My Love, Black Heart, etc).
They claim to last from day to night but they transfer so easily (from being in contact with just your own saliva, water, and other liquids); the product’s gone in less than an hour. They also define the lines on your lips, which make it look horrid. From all the other liquid lipsticks I’ve tried from the market, this is the most drying. The color pigmentation is perfect – the colors are intense and true to the packaging – if only the formula was as good.
All in all, the products are okay. I’m not very sure if I’d like to purchase more from the brand in the future, given other really good drugstore choices with the same price range.
Let me know if there’s something from the brand that’s worked well for you!
July 25, 2015 / 12:00 PM
(Twig, Velvet Teddy, and Please Me)
It was five in the morning, at the airport – a few hours past my birthday. An illuminated store stood out; it was calling my name. I went in empty-handed and got out with three new things. It left me with a full heart and a relatively huge dent on my debit card.
Apparently, I have become quite the collector the past year. It started with lipsticks (from Ever Bilena to MAC *insert Drake song*) but my late Youtube education made sure it left me wanting and needing more than just color on my lips.
If you are a beauty rookie such as myself, before you head out and buy your first MAC lipstick, make sure you do watch video swatches (or maybe, read my blog). It makes a ton of difference (skin color, product finish, price, possible dupe, etc.)!
I have been reserving a much awaited MAC haul for a special occasion so what better way to spend (more) money on things you will rarely use (kidding) than on a b-i-r-t-h-d-a-y (whilst having a near-quarter-life crisis, mind you).
MAC satin lipstick in Twig is a soft muted brownish-pink, perfect for every day use. I’ve been wearing it constantly this week after my much needed vacation. I’ve tanned and gotten darker – around two foundation shades darker – it’s crazy! The semi-matte finish leaves my lips feeling soft without it being sticky. It also lasts for a very long time. I could probably get away without reapplying it if I weren’t too keen on brushing my teeth after lunch. The Rimmel Lasting Finish by Kate in the shade 08 – my most used lipstick – is a great dupe, in my opinion.
MAC matte lipstick in Velvet Teddy is a gorgeous deep-tone beige, possibly the best ‘My Lips But Better’ nude shade for morena skin I’ve ever tried. I actually had to stop and revel in it after applying for the first time. I had my doubts given my really, really dark after-beach skin. I thought it would make me look pale but it did quite the opposite! For a matte finish, it’s doesn’t dry your lips unlike more iconic matte shades such as Russian Red and Rebel. You need this in your life!
Please Me is my least favorite from the bunch – only because of my current skin color. It’s a muted-rosy-tinted pink, a product I tried a few days before I went to the beach and loved, loved so much. I used it post-tan and it just makes me look very pale. I can’t wait for my normal skin color to return so I could enjoy this shade again!