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TRAVEL TRILOGY Trip 1 | BOHOL and tag-along beauty…

Like I said in one of my Instagram captions.  The whole world has a major crush on Philippine shores.

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The first beach trip of the year was fine because Bohol remains pristine no matter what seems to happen.  I say fine because we had two days of rain which took the middle chunk of our stay but I shot the only two days of sun we had, the day we arrived and the day we left LOL.  What a tease of a trip weather-wise, my brother’s flight was cancelled, but the days with sun were gorgeous.  I just want to take you guys to places with me through a handful of posts…in some way, not challenging Lonely Planet’s info powers to any degree, mind you, promise.  As many of my Instagram followers already know, I was in Bohol for my Dad’s 70th.  It isn’t our home province but my parents have a couple of friends who own a resort, and so do I but note please, no one asked me to write this.  I just wanted to.

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BEAUTY NOTE: The subtle-but-makes-a-diff highlight across my cheekbone is thanks to a tiny tube sample of LAURA MERCIER Radiance primer, a new fave.  Swimwear provided by @roxyPH

To side-step for a moment, Boracay, another beach which is a well-known Philippine resort hub, is fun and scenic in strategic areas, with incomparable silky white sand shorelines and aquamarine water, but to be honest…and everyone can be honest about it, I get the feeling it hasn’t been maintained and preserved well enough.  I hope somehow we can find a balance between commerce and eco-tourism for that well-loved place which brings so many people together.  Bohol, on the other hand, while it may not be the spot-on place for young people thirsty for a bar-hopping or isle-clubbing rendezvous or endless aqua sports, it is still today home to quite clean shores (they get more debris and the odd piece of trash after storms) and crystal-clear sea water with lots of marine life…which is a sign.

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BOHOL BEACH CLUB, Panglao

Foreigners and locals alike will always find respite here and breathtaking surroundings exist for divers as well, especially in Panglao.  Despite the recent earthquake Bohol has pulled itself together quite well.  By the way, I’ve included the toiletries I chose to pack and makeup as well but chose to lay off the in-depth description and just listed the products :).

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THE SKINCARE, clockwise (sort of lol) : Yves Rocher Micellar Cleansing Water (Toning Makeup remover),Terramycin Triple antibiotic ointment, VICKS Vaporub (coz I was still raspy), Glamglow mask sachet (didn’t get to use it but saving it for the next trip), Daylong (by Cetaphil) After Sun Repair Lotion, Clinique Even Better Dark Spot Defense SPF45, Bioderma Cicabio Creme (every morning before SPF), Daylong (by Cetaphil) Kids SPF50 Face and Body sunscreen lotion (fragrance-free, very water resistant), Hygienix alcohol hand spray, Le Labo Rose 31 Shower Gel and Shampoo (from Fairmont Hotel, the conditioner is gone because it was awesome the moment I tried it at the hotel), Kiehl’s Creamy Avocado Eye Treatment, Avene Gentle Milk Cleanser (according to Mom it’s sold out in many places but a kind saleslady gave her deluxe samples.)

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 THE MAKEUP, clockwise: Pixi Bronzer in Subtly Suntouched, Pixi Endless Silky Eye Pencil in “BronzeBeam”, K-Palette Real Lasting Eyebrow Mascara, Physician’s Formula Black Waterproof Eyeliner, REVLON Colorstay Automatic Lipliner in “Mauve” (best drugstore brand lipliner for me), Marionnaud #37 Eyes crease brush (currently my best Php78 eye brush for blending my Pixi pencils and Laura Mercier caviar sticks over my lids as eyeshadows, great for hooded eyes), NARS #3 blending brush travel size (came w/ NARS And God Created the Woman Eyeshadow kit), Soffia flat top angled kabuki, Majolica Majorca Lash Expander Edge Meister Waterproof mascara (pink butterflies), Tarte Maracuja Oil deluxe sample (my only hair product and helps with stubborn mascara), Maybelline Instant Age Rewind the Eraser undereye concealer (from Duane Reade, NYC), Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer Oil-Free SPF 20, MAC Face and Body foundation (C2 for NC30), MAC All That Glitters eyeshadow, Benefit BeneBalm, Laneige Waterdrop TintKevyn Aucoin Lash Curler, Tweezers, Happy Skin PH Eye Love View EyeBrow Duo (Pen and Pencil), Laura Mercier Radiance Primer, Laura Mercier Caviar Stick in Cocoa, Clinique Chubby Stick Intense in Heftiest Hibiscus, Burt’s Bees Lip Shimmer in Caramel, and HURRAW! Earl Grey Vegan Lip Balm

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“I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.”
C.S. Lewis

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My Top 10 Personal Makeup Picks 2014

Here’s the first wave and naturally, I cheated a little bit ‘coz there aren’t exactly only 10 items.  Some tied with others. If you notice I entitled this post “Personal Makeup Picks” meaning these are the items I use the most for myself.  I’m still contemplating whether I should do a “Pro Makeup Picks” list in addition to my “Bath, Body, and Skincare Picks”.  Let me know in the Disqus comments if you’d like me to put up a pro list as well.

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There are one or two items that tied off in the process because either I wanted to mention a cheaper alternative that I use just as much or they address the same facial feature but just in a different color.  If you factor in optional substitution it generally is my top 10 line up for last year.  They’re not ranked according to number, each are what I feel are the best for me in the purpose they serve.  Click Read More to see the full post, my top 10 makeup lineup with my thoughts.… To full post & COMMENTS...

One Year of Happy Skin Makes Us Happy | Online Store Now Worldwide & New Stuff

Whoever thought a NEW Filipina cosmetic brand like Happy Skin could make the world-class waves that they have in just one year?  I never would have guessed that Happy Skin would be able to penetrate the market this relentlessly and in the most positive way.  A year has gone by and we celebrated at Vanilla Cupcake Bakery yesterday, we who have stood by them, offered support, and watched them grow are prouder than ever.  Congratulations, Jacqe Yuengtian-Gutierrez and Rissa Mananquil-Trillo, we continue to stand by you!  Happy Skin’s online store at HappySkinCosmetics.com by the way is now officially operational WORLDWIDE.  Mabuhay ang mga Pinay!

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Here’s a sneak peek at some of their new stuff with full reviews to follow ;)

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Many I’m sure did not have the slightest suspicion early on that a Pinay beauty brand would ever so suddenly and FINALLY give Filipino women what they deserve, a range of better cosmetics manufactured with close supervision that give payoff and safer formulas.  I’m already making the positive comparison between them and Bourjois, the well-loved French drugstore brand, we’ve got our own brand that stands at par and it is Happy Skin!  Congratulations, girls.  Can’t wait to take pictures and show my readers your new items!!

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Happy Skin Domination! | Ltd. Edition Summer 2014 & New Stuff

When I arrived at the Happy Skin Cosmetics summer launch yesterday high above the city at 71 Gramercy I could hardly believe that practically everything I saw there excited me to pieces.

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Happy Skin makes this your happiest and hottest summer! The Happy Skin limited edition Turn Up The Heat Summer 2014 Collection features three (3) new sizzling shades of their bestselling lippie and two (2) new summer hues of blushes that deliver the same promise of a natural flush as their original blushes.

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It’s pretty much like Happy Skin has expanded to become for us what Bourjois is for the UK beauty lovers, a solid, mid-range beauty range with products that delight as well as deliver.  The news is that with the moisturizing lippies alone in terms of volume sales they are selling at a rate of 100 lippies a day!  Happy Skin has launched their 2014 limited edition summer makeup collection which includes 3 lippie shades (that you can buy individually or as a better value box set) and 2 blush shades.  Read more to see the rest of the post, Happy Skin’s local answer to Bioderma, and more new stuff now available in stores by the brand!… To full post & COMMENTS...

My “No Makeup” Makeup Edit | One Face, Five Products

Lots of you liked this look yesterday, I was getting lots of likes for it on both Instagram and Facebook in both my personal and blog accounts.  This  was primarily shot to show the use of the lip and cheek product I featured but people kept giving me feedback on how they loved the look as a whole.  It really is the most minimal sort of makeup I would ever wear usually on weekends or when with family (which is often), a “no makeup” makeup look if you will.    Cue the acapella version of “True Colors”.  I feel like I cast myself in a Dove ad ‘coz of this photo.

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I put this look on the other day before heading out to visit my grandfather and since many of you liked it so much I’ve decided to share all five products I used to create it.  It also just occurred to me that I didn’t need to use a makeup brush in general, I only did at the very end to do some buffing and retouching but I didn’t really need to.  The look requires minimal effort and you can use your hands for every step except the brows and lashes.

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1.  BECCA Luminous Skin Colour Ultra Sheer Foundation in “Camel” SPF 25 (they were at Adora last I remember, hope they’re still there, my niece got me this in the US, any sheer base you have will do)

2. NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer in “Ginger”  user friendly because of the wand and its creamy consistency, sets to a matte finish, good enough for spots as well as under the eyes.

3. K-Palette Real Lasting Eyebrow Pen in “01” This is one of the closest local brow pens we have to match that phenomenal SUQQU Pen Lisa Eldridge always uses.  It’s water and sweat resistant and doesn’t give the drawn-on brow effect, it gives a more natural look

4. L’Oreal Shocking Extensions Waterproof Mascara - This is the US mascara that does it all for me, volume, length, waterproofing, and superb curl hold.  A good local one is L’Oreal Double Extension Curl Waterproof OR Majolica Majorca Edge Meister Waterproof.

5. Bobbi Brown Pot Rouge in Powder Pink  – Enough said about this awesome lip and cheek product, the color is what makes it rock, I’ve reviewed it in FULL here.

 

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It’s also the sort of look guys and people who know us best tend to appreciate, minimal, radiant, and fresh.  For girls who have problematic skin just switch the sheer base for a foundation with more coverage.  I like this look, I shall be doing this on myself more often this summer.

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Loot Love From Lisa Eldridge | My Lisa Look Prizes

To date this has to be the most iconic blog post ever to appear up here.  Last December 23 I announced in this blog post that I had placed 3rd in Lisa Eldridge’s #MyLisaLook online makeup contest via Instagram.  I screeched like a bloody fan girl because Lisa Eldridge is one of my ultimate role models career-wise, so is the case for thousands of us out there.  At first, shortly after rejoicing I cynically refused to consider the win itself a HUGE anything, I was even beating myself up over the fact that I didn’t take a closer more high-resolution photo since Lisa put it on her website.  My family, the dear souls that they are, kept telling people I won when I actually placed 3rd and I was a stickler for correcting them.  When I think “Instagram contest” I at the onset began to whittle it down to a mere nib and I wouldn’t dare use the term “competition” for it, it was hardly “The Hunger Games” or something you signed up for with a stern panel sitting across from you.  While happy but temporarily belittling the whole thing I was stubbornly forgetting the bigger facts, that a celebrated makeup professional whose clientele include Kate Winslet and Keira Knightley  actually saw my “work” pixel for pixel.  She approved of it, contacted me, placed me on her website, handpicked some luxury beauty prizes and had them sent halfway around the world just for me.  I wasn’t imagining things. Thank you so much, Lisa :)

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Dior Show Mono Backstage Wet & Dry Eyeshadow in 453 “Spencer”, SUQQU Balancing Eyebrow/Eyeshadow palette in 02 Brown, Chanel Stylo Yeux Waterproof Eyeliner in 88 Noir Intense (black), This Works skincare 100% Natural Turbo Balm

 

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When the cancer, that is your lack of esteem, tends to eat away at any triumph you blind yourself to facts that you can be proud of.  To stay grounded you just always need to move forward and take what is positive with you.  I strongly believe in not resting on your laurels (you know, what Roman emperors rest on the heads of champions) but I also tend to forget you should  take a moment to put yours on and have a good satisfying look at yourself in the mirror to charge yourself for what’s next.  My family countered me to pieces on my self-deprecation.  They said I shouldn’t make myself see this as a small thing and I should just do something with the knowledge of Lisa’s approval because it’s real, I didn’t dream it up, she picked me, so I should do something.  So it is true, and on top of that these have arrived.  The handwritten card she included with it was what mattered more than anything else in the package.  And yes, I know you guys want a closer look at what I won.  Read more to see the rest of the post!… To full post & COMMENTS...

REVLON Brow Fantasy Duo | Brows Both Ways

I’d like to thank my friend Rinka for showing me her own Revlon Brow Fantasy Pencil Gel Duo, otherwise I wouldn’t have known about this really.  The saleslady said these arrived last week or something.  Simple things that work two ways are great for pushing, push push…this is good.  This is something women with sparse brows need all the time.

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REVLON Brow Fantasy Php570+ (purchased personally at PCX) – This product actually comes in four (4) shades and to my surprise wow, all four for now are available locally.  If I heard the saleslady right the shades are light blonde light brown, brunette, and deep brown.  Brunette and Deep Brown have already sold out in some stores like the one I went to in Alabang Town Center.

It’s nice to see Revlon doing more drugstore products we actually really need on a daily basis.  I love that they’re doing classic staple products that tick the right boxes.  Read more to see before and after shots of application and get the full review.… To full post & COMMENTS...

Theme Park Beauty Edit | All Saints’ Break in a Bloggy Sort of Blog Post

Remember me?  The girl behind this beauty blog? LOL, don’t worry I’m still here for that, I just decided to put a doorstop on the beauty posts while everyone was on break, smartest thing to do for the blog?  Not really, coz lots of people were home cozying up to the internet or Instagramming to the nines at some beach it would have actually been “statistically” more ideal if I had posted stuff.  The main thing was, emotionally I was on break, it was more a personal choice than a beneficial choice for the blog.  I decided to relax, so I did.  I prepared a hefty artsy makeup look post thinking it might make it to Halloween but it didn’t so I’ve saved it to be posted, knowing that thousands of parties will be happening between now, Christmas Day, and New Year’s YES we’re getting there, folks, so that artsy look will still be relevant.  Among other things my mother came home from Spain just recovering from a nasty viral flu (which silently came from me before she left & stalked her in Spain) so I did the groceries, errands, and gassing up in advance (don’t be too impressed, it’s not the picture in your head, I had her driver because she was away lol) before her return.  When she came back within 2 days we had cousins IMPROMPTU come over to sleepover, EAT, go to Enchanted Kingdom + friends, EAT, sleepover, and EAT again… and there went the groceries lol.

 

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TOP: “Creme de La Creme” tank by Bershka SHORTS: Forever21 studded shorts SLIPPERS: Havaianas Ltd. Edition Cheshire Cat

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SUNSCREEN: Avene High Protection SPF50 sunscreen “Very Water Resistant” (WARNING: the spray is a squirt, so spray onto hands first), BASE: Laura Mercier OIL-FREE Tinted Moisturizer “Nude”, CONCEALER: Shiseido Perfect Refining Foundation SPF15 (used to conceal under eyes and around nose and mouth only, long-wearing), BRONZER: Dior NUDE TAN BB Creme 02 blended around edge of face towards center to take the pale sunscreen edge off the look POWDER: Laura Mercier Loose Mineral Powder in “Natural Beige”, BROWS: MAC Riri Veluxe Brow Pencil “Deep Brunette LIPS: Happy Skin Shut Up & Kiss Me Lippie “Crushing On You” BLUSH: Benefit Rockateur MASCARA: Maybelline Full ‘N Soft (U.S. only) Waterproof

For Beauty’s sake, in case you’re wondering, yes, I wore theme-park-appropriate makeup coz I knew there’d be photos (alongside a lot of young people, just in case you didn’t know, I’m 30) ! And no I didn’t bring ALL these with me, did the look at home and only took the powder, Happy Skin “Crushing on You” Lippie, MAC Riri Brow Pencil, LM tinted moistie and Avene Sunscreen along > ( the SPF which all the kids asked for in a hot minute…literally), wait, yea that’s half LOL.

The aim was to look fresh in photos, not DONE, that’s why I used a liquid foundation as my concealer, didn’t wanna go heavy but I wanted to make sure it would be longwearing.  I thought randomly this would be great to post since I hadn’t PLANNED to do a post on this at all when I pulled this look together.  Also, I was organically rushing so it’s quite the birthchild of sun & sweatproof requisites + on-the-go instinct.

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Mom, at first, thought I was wearing a too much during breakfast at home because the WHITE-ish Avene sunscreen hadn’t oxidized beneath my tinted moisturizer yet, but once I got to the theme park and began sweating, the sunscreen & makeup + mineral powder began to blend in and I knew it looked just right for photos, and in person, too!  By the way this day was absolutely awesome because we hadn’t planned to be this many, we just randomly invited each other and others like friends of boyfriends and girlfriends etc came and joined us!  Then best of all, maybe not all will agree LOL, it rained in the evening and we rode the Space Shuttle rollercoaster in the DARK in the RAIN, I didn’t think it was a great idea strapped in my seat on the way up hahaha, but once we’d done it it was actually really, really cool.

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