Hi! It’s me and I thought I’d put in a normal, blabby, non-beauty bloggery post just to give you guys a primer on what’s been going on with me. At the moment a huge career opportunity has come up and I’ve never been so excited and pensive. It’s a role that is still in makeup and the beauty industry but it would mean a temporary side-step from a fulltime freelance career and a stepping stone leap into the corporate scene. I am still pursuing the path of makeup it’s just that a possible position has opened up that involves a bigger responsibility which involves the makeup professional in me.
By the way the top in no way suggests I might be working for someone scary okay? LOL, they’re just random visuals to support the relevance of a cosmetic job opportunity. Should things push through, my lovely blog readers, don’t worry the blog of course is here to stay! In fact, should this thing land smoothly (I pray it does) I’d definitely have even more insider-y things to post for you because this involves a lot of traveling, skincare, and makeup, however because it’s a more regular job I might have less time so daily posts (which actually aren’t very daily right now) might not be sooo daily, more like 3-4x a week, but I assure you guys this blog will go on as usual giving you, as best as I can, wonderful content. The manner in which it will most likely change, if the position goes my way, is the number of brands I’ll be able to publicly review for all of you may lessen, however, it’s great that I review a mix of both foreign and local stuff so not everything will be in conflict of lockout since some brands I review anyway aren’t available here and that also means more tips, how-tos, travel, and editorial posts. The opportunity that has come my way involves a huge beauty brand so there will be a reasonable handful of limitations on what I can review if I do land the job (God-willingly), but they also completely respect that I’d still like some freedom to feature various brands or products that aren’t direct competitors or even more style, and lifestyle brands once in awhile. So in effect I won’t completely have my hands tied and that’s fine with me.
The reason why I’m hopeful for this opportunity and went gung-ho for it is not because I don’t enjoy being a makeup freelancer, but it’s because honestly this year business for me was not as good as last year…it was a sudden drop and it was quite spotty. The Philippine market is quite saturated with freelance hair and makeup suppliers at the moment. Every major entry point you want to take means the possibility of maybe “supplanting” already very well-loved regulars on jobs they do. Every-other-other person I know has taken a class and though I know I have quite good skills everyone’s got their “manok” as we say here, those who have started several years before our batch. It takes a minimum of 3-5 years to make a name for yourself amongst A-listers because the positions are all currently filled. I’d love to apprentice with someone as well but the people I’d like to apprentice for to my knowledge don’t take apprentices. I felt that because of my goals I didn’t have time to wait and work that long to put my name on the map and I certainly needed to establish myself professionally by working with top people, teaching, working on more faces on a regular basis, and being able to travel more with a stable income, too. I was told that random freelance jobs that come along if ever need not always be turned down as long as it’s a day I can file leave for in advance, so it’s nice to hear they’re quite understanding about clients I’ve already touched base with. I also read this article via Caroline Hiron’s blog about a freelance makeup artist named Katy Messer who took a sidestep of several years with another brand, Laura Mercier and ended up working with the biggest names in the biz, alongside Laura Mercier herself.
CH: When did you get your ‘big break’?
“After working in make-up for 7 years I left freelancing to work for Laura Mercier and quickly worked my way up to the position of International Make-up Artist. That put me in the position to travel the world and I got to work directly alongside Laura herself on some fabulous projects. This opened up so many amazing opportunities and I got to see parts of the world I’d not have got the chance to otherwise.” - KATY MESSER, Pro MUA
CH: What advice do you have for aspiring MUA’s trying to get into the industry?
“Nothing beats experience. You can train as much as the next person but assisting, practise, passion for the art of make-up will hold you in better stead than any certificate. It’s a dog eat dog world and people will climb over you in a heartbeat to get to the top but if you’re truly passionate about the work you do, that will hold you in good stead. For experience, don’t overlook working at least part time for a cosmetics brand. In the right company they will nurture your artistry and it’s also a great way to build your kit.” - KATY MESSER, Pro MUA
So I do believe that, given the right job description, corporate opportunities in the cosmetic industry do not take away from the possibility of becoming an established freelance makeup artist in the far future. My dream job that comes with that, is to be Creative Director for a world renowned beauty brand, or at least an internationally on the map brand, the way Lisa Eldridge does it for No.7 cosmetics, the way Tom Pecheaux does it for Estee Lauder, or the way Pat McGrath is Global Creative Director for P&G Beauty. I’m waiting on God basically at this point after the interview and I’m praying that this is the moment my wheels turn on the runway…I’m ready for takeoff.
After my recent counter with the UK’s acclaimed Emma Hardie Moringa Cleansing Balm I’ve come to the conclusion that it is lovely and luxurious in itself and does what Caroline Hirons says but it’s a pain in the ass to put up with locally in a tropical climate, simply because you have to keep it refrigerated so it doesn’t melt and you have to twist open a pot to scoop it out with a spatula or fingers to get cleansing. Once you’ve come home real sleepy, that’s not gonna happen. I will be finishing it up then I think I’ll be finished with it. The product itself is completely lovely on the skin but not made to survive warm climates so I knew I most likely would not be repurchasing it due to the fiddle-faddle inconvenience it brings, apart from local inavailability. We all know that skincare guru Caroline Hirons approves of non-foaming cleansers and although non-mineral oil cleansing balms are her top choice she has approved and said “Cleansing Milks are okay”. She also approves of Cetaphil since it’s basic and doesn’t foam but the lady in me still wanted something souped up with more natural ingredients, non-greasy hydration, and feminine flair. I currently stumbled upon this relatively new brand at Watsons Megamall, Le Couvent Des Minime (“Lurhh KooVahn Dei Mineemh” hear & learn pronunciation here at this link) which is a more affordable French brand absorbed by L’Occitane as a sister/daughter brand. I got this out of curiosity and the operating word “Mineral Oil-Free”…and I didn’t expect this but because it was so convenient since you just squeeze it out of a bottle I ended up using it more than my Emma Hardie Cleansing Balm since I didn’t need to make trips to the refrigerator any more.
“Gently removes makeup…face, lips, and eyes…formula without Mineral Oil”
Key Ingredients: Water, Glycerin, Grape Seed Oil, beneficial kinds of Rose Water, Rose Seed Oils, and Rose Flower Extracts, and Vitamin E. Mineral Oil-Free and Paraben Free. Made in France.
They’ve also got a “Rinse Off Cleansing Cream”, I got both but this Gentle Cleansing Milk won over that one. The Rinse Off Rose Cleansing Cream made me gag from the scent that was too strong for my liking, the Gentle Cleansing Milk has a WAY MILDER rose scent. This Cleansing Milk is really exciting for me to cleanse with because it takes off the makeup and leaves a soft fresh, not heavy, hydrated feeling behind.
I also like that the Cleansing Milk in real life is not pure white in color (which is such an artificial thing) the cleansing milk is the lightly creamy color of condensed milk which makes me believe it isn’t artificially colored. My camera could only catch the cream color in the bottle.
I found that this Gentle Cleansing Milk of theirs not only smelt mildly enough of roses but happens to be Mineral Oil and Paraben Free. The brand promotes “natural,original recipes” concocted by Franciscan Monks, proceeds of which originally went to charity. While I’m all for a bit of history I just simply like that this takes off makeup (except waterproof mascara), it’s mineral-oil free, when you mix water onto it it turns into a milk wash over the face that short of emulsifies and gives a similar supple finish as the Emma Hardie Cleansing Balm. While it’s got more of a high-street price at Php800.00 for 200ml you get a lot of product for that cost. I use a 5 peso coin size dollop of this on my face, massage with fingers on skin, and then another dollop on a cotton pad to help move and unseat all the makeup first (if I don’t choose to use Bioderma) then I repeat for a thorough cleanse…you can wipe it all off with a wet face towel (to keep more hydration on) or if you still want to rinse with water you obviously can since this seems to slightly emulsify. I follow with my Moringa O2 Malunggay Toner to make sure my face is completely clean. If you’re not a fan of rose scents don’t get this…stick with Cetaphil (but that doesn’t remove makeup well apart from cleansing). Le Couvent Des Minime have lots of other products available in the range packaged in “L’Occitanesque” fashion. In my opinion they’re a bit hard to market locally here in the Philippines simply because the labels are not just cluttered, they’re cluttered with French…but the packaging is still very classy and nice to look at. This Gentle rose Cleansing Milk costs Php799.00 exactly at select SM Watsons stores (the bigger ones, Makati, MOA, Megamall should surely have brand kiosks…Southmall maybe).
Ola! Here I am, about to feature the best drugstore priced lipsticks I’ve encountered in a department store. After my recent frustration with Maybelline’s “Bold Matte” lipstick range I concluded only for awhile that Wet & Wild Megalast matte lipsticks were the only available products worthy enough to be called top drugstore matte lipsticks locally…but their lipstick tubes suck and I have cleaned up a mess of lipstick in my pouch as a result. Apart from the cheap packaging, the Wet & Wild ones are pretty good or maybe even perhaps the Jordana matte range. However, Jordana is inconsistently available in local “Dollar Stores” and if you think about it those are both US brands. Today I’ve got some lovely Filipino lipsticks to rave about. M & Co., a direct selling Filipino fashion brand endorsed by the lovely Mikee Cojuangco, have been around for a long time supplying clothes and apparel. Their cosmetic range has been around for a year or two but it seems like it’s only been a few weeks or months since they suddenly were made available in department stores.
All 3 lipsticks you see here are M & Co. matte lipsticks. The two colors behind (“Scarlet” and “Blazing Coral”) which cost Php170 are from the cheaper range and the Php200 gold one in front is the nude shade “Biscuit” from the Eur Color Collection. The M & Co. Eur collection is a mixed more luxe-ly packaged collection of frosted, matte, and satin shades with smaller, elegant lipstick bullets.
I never saw this range in public retail before so bite me if they’ve been there awhile. These look glossy on the outside only when they’re brand new but upon use they lose that outer sheen and they’re matte lipsticks through and through. Along with this range I also discovered my absolutely PERFECT spot on coral lipstick, Blazing Coral.
Before I mention any of the others I have to begin with this particular matte shade from the cheaper range, which even topped my ecstatic encounter with the also lovely Maybelline 14-hr shade, Stay With Me Coral, (a cooler hued coral). M & Co.’s Blazing Coral is the perfect could-have-been bright warm coral that’s been subdued just enough but not too much (so it isn’t Grandma) and as a result it still makes a pretty bold statement on my lips without waxing garish against my MAC NC30 skin. It’s kind of like an ever so slightly pinked up version of the repeatedly sold out lipstick Clinique Runway Coral (which is more orange but has a similar coral tone). This shade in my opinion could look good on skins as deep as NC40, but it would probably behave like a medium coral nude against tanner skin. Click read more to see more photos of the other shades and see my kiss test after blotting to check just how matte these can really get.
Happy Indie Day, FilipiNas and No-s! Most of my long time readers know I’m all over renowned MUA Lisa Eldridge’s channel like a rash and I know she inspires a lot of other women as well. She is my ultimate inspiration in an earthly person when it comes to my makeup career. There is also something I really like that she uses often… it isn’t a tube of lipstick but it’s still got “makeup” written all over it.
It’s Lisa’s red lipped PRADA dress which she first saw whenworn by Michelle Williams on British Elle in 2010 (this was also worn by French actress Lea Seydoux) and then she went out and bought the same one. I happened to be in ZARA last month, a place that I mentally mark with a DO NOT ENTER on most days of the month. This day however I was really badly on the hunt for some clothes, comfortable clothes, and lo and behold…among the cheaper racks I spotted this cotton top. I’m pretty chuffed to have it, it fits me like a glove .
The lips aren’t printed exactly the same but the pattern flatters me and I like that it’s sort of a younger version of what she’s wearing. I also like that some of the lips are bleeding lipcolor…ooh!
Ugh, I’m currently trying to remember the price, all I remember is I smiled because it was about Php599 or was it Php799? I’m 100% sure it was way under Php1000 because I took it immediately and went to pay for it. Walking out of ZARA with this one not too expensive item made me feel like I was walking out with ten!
So I fussed and hissed trying to Google for what to call that old school technology we 80s kids know oh, so very well. You know, plasticized sheets that toggle only 2 images delivering simple animation…enough to lure out a smile. They happen to be lenticular plastic sheets and they’ve been around for what seems like forever. I happened to be strolling around Metro Gaisano department store in Market Market yesterday and found these super cool double mirror compacts (1 regular side, 1 magnifying) for Php69 each with anime-ish lenticular veneers on them (I picked several out for friends, too). The compacts have a firm stub of a button to push the compact open, they’re lightly heavy-ish in weight and not loosely constructed…w-i-n.
Of course this one is my favorite one so I show her off first. I love how she gently pouts a lightly glossed mouth when she closes her eyes. There were probably about 10 to 15 different girl designs to choose from. These weren’t love at first sight because honestly some of the dolly-ish faces (the toddler ones especially which I DID NOT get) were kinda scary but I fished through all the racks to find the cool-ish ones which I felt would not freak me out nor send me fleeing in fear if I caught them blinking back at me in the evening LOL. I just find these actually useful compact mirrors trippy, artsy, and chic. They remind me of some of the concept artwork found on sites like Ballistic Publishing by digital artists like Melanie Delon. Read more to see a few more photos and the inside of the compact.