Nails in November | Cutting it Close…

It really is cutting it close isn’t it?  It won’t be November anymore tomorrow so I’ve highly decided to take advantage of the fact that it is still November today and I can very well make use of the title.  By the way, cutting it close just doesn’t have to do with the date.  There’s just an uplifting sense I get when I get my nails trimmed and hands exfoliated for an overall clean.  I had to form the regular “mani” habit by myself because as a freelancer in-salon manicures just really add to monthly expenses and also because as a makeup artist my hands always have to look pristine and worthy of handling other people’s faces, not to mention my own.



Cure Natural Aqua Gel, HURRAW Lemon Lip Balm (Cold-pressed, vegan), CLINIQUE A Different Nail Enamel in “Do Not Disturb”, Trim Mani Kit (Dad got from S&R) Apostrophe Nail Cutter, Trim Nail File (forgot to include my body lotion here, LUSH Celebrate)

I’ve quite outgrown (pun intended) the need for long nails and while my nails will never be kindergarten short I’ve recently been always keeping the length close to the nail bed, not too far out.  My nail growth sadly is in an awkward upward angle, not a lovely forward and downward sort of growth…one lovely example of which is YouTube Jen/frmheadtotoe’s fingertips, she can grow them long and they won’t splay and snag.  So anyway I cope with what I have and learn to enjoy them.  Recently I’ve updated my manicure steps with 2 FACIAL products that do the job with flying colors and just really aid in keeping my fingertips polish-worthy in a more gentle way.  Read more to get the full feature on how I clean my nails, what 2 new current products I use and how I use them.  Click more to make the jump.… To full post & COMMENTS...

My Benefit Holiday 2013 Workshop!| FREE On Dec.5, Shangrila Mall Edsa

Come one, come all to my Benefit Cosmetics Holiday 2013 Workshop at Shangrila Mall, Edsa on December 5, Thursday!  We’ll be accepting 2 batches of you eager beauty beavers from 1-2pm and 3-4pm based on reservations via Benefit’s FB page (message).  I’ll be doing DAY to NIGHT looks using Benefit Cosmetics’ current holiday sets and other awesome products.  This workshop does not require a purchase :) you just need to reserve a slot for this workshop via messaging Benefit Cosmetics Philippines’ FB page here (beside the LIKE button there’s a MESSAGE button).  Send them an FB message requesting to reserve for my workshop (indicate whether 1 pm or 3pm) and provide your complete contact details :) It’s FREE!  Tis’ after all the season to be jolly, and of course, to look good while being jolly!  Remember this is a FREE workshop you just have to reserve because there are limited slots!  You can also reserve thru me if you like and I will forward to them.  Reserve your slot now here via Benefit Cosmetics’ PH Facebook page.


 … To full post & COMMENTS...

INGLOT Cosmetics Now at Glorietta 5 | Featuring Their Freedom System!

It’s no surprise that everyone’s been blasting this white hot topic, yes, INGLOT cosmetics is now in Manila!  First, I’d like to thank the INGLOT team for the trust and my fellow beauty blogger Martha Sta. Barbara aka The Beauty Junkee who is now also INGLOT’s Brand PR Consultant(you go, Girl!).  Thanks for the opportunity to feature these wonderful products!  INGLOT is a premium Polish cosmetic brand that exploded in popularity globally thanks to their professional formulas, mid-range pricing, their customizable palette system and hundreds of smooth colors  to choose from.  Their first flagship store launched in Glorietta 5, Makati yesterday.  I’ll get this out quickly, the first thing that I wasn’t quite aware of about INGLOT cosmetics was how affordable the individual pans of product are, and actually even the empty palettes (considering the quality) super good value.  That’s the first thing I wanted to mention because when you walk by an INGLOT store you get the impression that most of the products in there must be pretty expensive, well guess what, not all things are as they seem, however the system palettes themselves that hold the pans are the ones that are a bit pricier here than in the US (there system palettes are under Php1000, over here between Php1200-1400).  I’ll tell you right now, the pan products themselves though are still more affordable than I first perceived, perhaps this Christmas it would be best to put a system palette that you can fill up on your wishlist.


To properly showcase how we bloggers felt when we arrived at the INGLOT boutique and were requested to choose what we liked check out this photo of Project Vanity’s Liz Lanuzo and My Lucid Intervals’ lovely Donnarence, LOL.  In that moment I could completely and totally relate, where do we begin????  That and with Martha’s announcement that there was an Instagram contest with major freebies attached half of us nearly lost all orientation on what to do first LOL…I did my best not to :).


Currently eyeshadow pans are rolling out for a maximum price of Php375 each, (not bad given the quality and size) and blush pans for about Php700 each.  By the way, 95% of the products are manufactured in INGLOT’s very own factory in Poland (where you’re strictly required to cap your hair and suit up if you want to visit).  So no need to presume that they’re affordable because they’re manufactured somewhere else, they’re not, they’re nearly all homegrown.    I brought home a sizeable chunk of loot yesterday and am still pretty chuffed with the fact that I won the Instagram contest during the launch :) but before that let’s talk about the palette they initially gave us, the Freedom EB (5s) palette.


These were the shades I chose prior to winning the larger 10 slot palette.  I didn’t go for “wearable neutrals” simply because I have so many neutral shades already.  To tame my excitement and get organized in selecting at the launch I went for a theme after writing down a short list of shades.  I decided to go for Peacock/bird of paradise colors, so this originally had gold instead of 450 a cranberry red, but hey, since it’s Christmas…I decided to go flip one for the season. By the way the palettes don’t come with numbers on them, I just numbered them with photo editing in case you were curious to know what shades I picked and also see the following combinations of palettes I made from my winnings.

Apart from taking home my complimentary smaller Freedom EB palette as a blogger for which I chose 3 eyeshadow shades and 1 blush  I also brought home my contest prize which was the 10-slot Freedom palette and it was pre-filled as a bonus!  Read more to check out all the different ways I shuffled up the shades and made different palette combinations, you’ll be able to sort of tell I ended up being like a kid with 2 new “Lego” sets.  If you want to have even more fun you can play the “I’ve got my own brand” game and give your palettes cool names, just like I did after the jump.   Click “more” to continue reading and check out the combinations I put together.… To full post & COMMENTS...

BYS Matte Liquid Foundation | A Decent Drugstore Matte Foundation, Amen

Again, late on the bandwagon but it’s always good for great things to resurface.  This is THE sort of matte drugstore foundation I have been hoping to find for years.  I heard about the BYS Matte Liquid  foundation from my good friend Ashley Campbell, she’s half African-American and Filipina and is one of the talented singers of the AKAJAM group.  I’ve been helping do their makeup for the past few weeks for a concert series called Tuesdays With Gary at Teatrino, Greenhills.  Ashley is herself a bit of a beauty expert (the way she does her own  makeup is gorgeous, too follow her @mysweetrelease_ashley on IG) and  she  has oily combination skin and one of her flat out recommendations from the drugstore was this, as she said “Matte kung matte…ito lang talaga nakita ko na okay yung kulay and yung texture matte talaga…” .  Ashley’s color is similar to Beyonce/Rihanna which is more between medium tan and deep coloring, deep but not too deep, and the deepest shade which is the 4th I believe in Medium Beige suits her.  Before our last concert session I managed to purchase my shade in BYS Matte which is Sand Beige, it’s about Php650+.  BYS is an Australian drugstore brand that was launched here last year.


This foundation is water and glycerin based making it to date the most comfortable and hydrating matte foundation I’ve ever worn.  It’s hard to explain you have to try it for yourself.  It’s not silicon and paraben-free (hello, it’s a drugstore find, parabens are preservatives) but hmmm, ingredients do indicate it’s oil-free, GREAT!  And so it’s mineral-oil free to be precise.  Believe me I super hunted this baby down since I swatched the tester at SM Aura, the texture is dense yet light, not at all a runny liquid (see my friend Shen’s swatch here…).

BYS Matte foundation coverage is Medium to Full coverage and buildable.  I like that it’s a matte foundation that is comfortable to wear and doesn’t look completely flat on the face.

What proves it’s a truly matte finish is if you use powder blushes over the top once the foundation has set, even without powder the colors don’t stick or get splotchy because the surface is matte.  I still recommend setting this with a translucent setting powder though. Read more to see this foundation applied on me and a finished look I did on singer, Julianne Tarroja.… To full post & COMMENTS...

Alice Blue “Palawan Mystique” Candle | If Marc Jacobs’ Daisy had a candle…

I’ve begun to realize I’m a bit of a scent whiz or have developed a nose.  I don’t mean that I’ve memorized the identities of tons of fragrance notes or anything like that but when it comes to matching up fragrances or identifying that something smells a WHOLE LOT like something else, I’m your gal.  Not sure how long this “skill” is going to hang around but I’m positively sure I’ve still got it coz I just discovered something wonderful.  I’ve sniffed and found out that locally crafted Filipino soy candle brand Alice Blue (around since 2005, I was on Venus or perhaps Pluto…) have a candle that smells way too much like the Marc Jacobs’ Daisy fragrance, 2011’s summer sellout version Eau So Fresh to be exact.  I proudly got it, it’s called “Palawan Mystique”.



Palawan Mystique Deluxe Candle| Php529.00 for 5 oz. hand-poured soy candle, candle holder Php199 | Proudly Philippine-Made
Scents of the Underground River and ‘Last Frontier’ island. Fresh marine accord and rainforest with bergamot, orris, musk, boise de rose and amber. 

Can I just say this, this is the most quickly fragrant candle I have at the moment, the others I own get fragrant as well (I still love the complexity and build of imported scents) but it takes a good 15-20 minutes before they do fill the room completely with fragrance.  I’m not sure if it’s because it’s a soy candle base but this candle makes the room smell good faster, the catch from what I’ve observed is it burns down slightly faster too, but just slightly. Read more to get the full review, pricing, and tips on usage.… To full post & COMMENTS...

It Makes You Think | “Plastic Bodies” Art Series, Sheila Pree Bright

 Do we venture too far from ourselves from time to time?  Maybe we do, maybe we don’t.  I’m not trying to judge people who have makeup on all the time, this is just visually something quite mind stirring and it is something to think about.  Plastic Bodies is a photo composite series by photographer Sheila Pree Bright.  I have similar feelings when I’m reviewing just one makeup product.  I often don’t put on a full face if I’m only featuring that one item ( as seen in today’s earlier post) simply because, I don’t always have to have a fully made up face.  Makeup is fun of course and it’s great for consistent presentation but I like having fun without it sometimes as well :) it doesn’t have to define me.

View more details on the full series slideshow HERE via Huffington Post… To full post & COMMENTS...

Bobbi Brown Nude Glow Shimmer Brick | Holiday 2013, “Candlelight in a Compact”

Okay, it’s time to present some luxury holiday items.  I’ve never made a Bobbi Brown purchase for myself in my life, yup, that’s the truth.  That changed last week when Rustan’s invited me to the relaunch of their beauty department in Makati.  I never purposely avoided the brand, there was no particular reason I didn’t buy Bobbi Brown, I just always seemed to have something else on hand and the “stripe-y” design of their famous shimmer bricks didn’t appeal to me back then.  Mom got me the duo pack of their gel eyeliners from an airline duty-free and that’s all I had until this year when the brand contacted me and now I get to try random bits of their stuff to review, this glam one though is an actual purchase :).  One factor in the past may have been the price, Bobbi Brown have come a long way and are now undoubtedly one of the world’s most luxe cosmetic brands.  I’ll admit, I can’t afford their stuff on a regular basis.  However know this, from product to packaging they don’t tend to disappoint.  When I first set my eyes on this beautiful, GORGEOUS holiday 2013 offering, the Nude Glow Shimmer brick highlighter, even if I knew it was overpriced compared to abroad I still caved and what closed the sale was when I  tried it on for the first time, and guess what it’s HANDMADE IN ITALY.  Presenting the first half of my first Bobbi Brown purchases and also featuring the Soffia Opulence Soft Focus brush (premium grade goat hair, available this link, PUREBEAUTY & Sofa Retail Lab, Powerplant) which I used for soft sweeping application today, super soft bristles.



“Give the gift of “glow” with this limited-edition Shimmer Brick – sure to make faces light up instantly. A shimmering quartet of pearlescent colors highlight the skin for lit-from-within luminescence (think of it as candlelight in a compact). Each shade also doubles up as an eye shadow.” MADE IN ITALY Php2,900.00, from Bobbi Brown counters and boutiques (Rustan’s The Beauty Source, SM Megamall)

Unlike its striped older sisters the Bobbi Brown Nude Glow Shimmer Brick is a quad, hence, YES, yes…you’re catching on quick, yup it’s also an eyeshadow palette, not just an all over glow giver so the high limited ed. price point (Php2900 yowch) has multiple value behind it.


You could say it isn’t miles away from MAC’s mineralize range (they wouldn’t mind, sister companies).  With this what stood out completely for me was you could “GET THAT GLOW” without looking frosty,  as someone who put up her review on the Bobbi Brown site said.  I feel this is a smoother, luxuriously packaged, soft version of MAC’s Soft & Gentle MSF which is either not available or often sold out.  Read more to see this highlighter applied on me and see how it also looks applied as eyeshadow :) .… To full post & COMMENTS...

On Thanksgiving Let’s Reward Giving! | An SMS Donation Drive & GoodWorks Bracelets Giveaway

NOTE: Giveaway open NATIONWIDE…

Thanksgiving is coming up on November 28…and it’s hard to process but there are a lot of people locally who have lost more than anyone else can imagine after Typhoon Haiyan aka Yolanda hit our country.  There are many dazed and confused people and many refugees who even flocked to Manila upon arriving hadn’t bathed, eaten, or slept after losing loved ones.  I thought of ways to help and relief organizations are currently overwhelmed with volunteers in many areas.  Now I mentioned on Instagram that I wasn’t comfortable doing a Blog Sale, but I thought about it and I’ve come up with a way to inspire giving and reward givers in a different way that will bless their hearts DAILY, you’ll see what I have in store in a moment, we’ll use Rafflecopter again to make it simple and FAIR.  First off I’d like to say this,  I trust Red Cross organizations flat out simply because of their on-ground operations, international recognition, and I like that they give updates.  Here are some recent updates posted on the Red Cross Philippines site so far and the work they are continuing to do.  Now, here follows the sincere inspiration slash encouragement for donors.



Now here’s part of the inspiration, apart from giving out of the goodness of your heart I’d like to encourage you and inspire you with this positive incentive, Good Works bracelets!  They’ve got positive words from start to finish, the ones I chose are real leather (but they’ve also got fake leather for vegans), are made in the US, worn by some celebrities  and just completely inspiring.  What better way to reward giving with good words by Good Works!  The reason I chose these Good Works bracelets as a reward for giving is simply because they’re inspiring, they’re swag (in other words not “baduy”), they’re positive and you can share the warmth just by flashing your wrist, and if wrapped properly you can stack your favorite words :).  These bracelets are special because THEY’RE NOT CURRENTLY AVAILABLE IN RETAIL LOCALLY.  I bought these with my own money and my supplier Ria gave me a discount as part of her donation for this donation drive effort.  I will be giving away 6 of these, the 6 winners will be chosen by Rafflecopter from giveaway participants!









I’ve decided that for today’s post I’ll be doing a quick donation drive (SMS via Red Cross) and personally and thankfully reward 6 donors chosen by Rafflecopter with a gift, and all you have to do is FOLLOW the 2 STEPS in the Rafflecopter widget below .  I have 6 different colors on hand including this purple one I’m wearing, choice of color will be first come serve via Rafflecopter’s sequential picks, first Rafflecopter winner gets first color choice and so on and so forth. To join you must fulfill BOTH steps listed in the Rafflecopter below.  Proof of your text donation confirmation is required via email using screenshot/camera photo.  The donation amount should be a minimum of Php100. No old SMS donations made and dated prior to this giveaway will be accepted, please be fair.  Text RED<space>100 to 2899 (Globe) or 4143 (Smart)


a Rafflecopter giveaway
Thanks to those who want to join and help continue making a difference for the Yolanda relief effort… To full post & COMMENTS...

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