REVLON ColorStay Automatic Lipliner | Best Waterproof Drugstore Lipliner

This summer I’m certain many of you will be roadtrippin’ to the coasts for some shore-loving beach time.  I’ve had something for awhile that I have been using A TON for work and on myself and firmly reminded myself that I certainly had to put this up as a post.  As a makeup artist one of the inconveniences that come with some of the best and smoothest lip-liners on the market is you have to sharpen them. That doesn’t make them a bad product, it’s just an artistic requirement, but albeit still an inconvenience with good pencils.  Sometimes…it can be wasteful and nothing is as heartbreaking as the nib on your $$$ lip-liner falling to oblivion after sharpening (hard when you’re in a rush to finish models or clients), like money crumbling to the floor.  Well I’ve been using a drugstore lip-liner for months now and I’m so, so thrilled that the shade inside actually matches the cap outside.    I love how on point color coded these liners are that way, they’re waterproof (better at the beach), can be worn alone…and they also match several of the bestseller lipstick shades I have.  These are REVLON’s ColorStay automatic lipliners.

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In this test shoot I did with photographer Sara Black late last year we wanted a sort of vintage Hollywood/vintage New Yorker glam shot.  On IM Model Viviane Spielmann I first lined the lips with REVLON Colorstay RED lip-liner then filled it with MAC Ruby Woo Lipstick.  The lipliner and lipstick were a perfect match in person but for the final shot Sara wanted a bit more of a not-super-obvious ombre effect to define the outer part of the lip with a darker hue so I went over the outside rim of Viviane’s lips with REVLON WINE lipliner and blended it with her lipstick towards the center using a lip brush.

(hair by Eddie Mar Cabiltes @pinoyhairaffair)

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The convenience of just twisting these up versus sharpening them is such a great thing.  My absolute favorite shade for myself is Mauve which is a great near dupe for MAC Soar lipliner which is one of Kylie Jenner’s staple lip-liners according to Kim.  Click to continue to the full post, pricing, and see color swatches for the shades I own (yes, there are more shades) and me wearing MAUVE on its own.… To full post & COMMENTS...

My Oscars 2015 Red Carpet Style Faves | Glitz ‘N Glam You Can’t Help But Spam

I’m still in my jammies and happily reporting back to you on the style looks that I liked from the Oscar Academy Awards Red Carpet for 2015, and Dad’s popping the Pop Corners.

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Credit: Christopher Polk / staff (GettyImages.com)

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You may deem me a serial reposter, but because I can, I will LOL and don’t we all wanna see?  All photos from a public album posted by Getty Images.  Watermarks credit the photographers accordingly, saving me a lot of effort on searching for credit.  Click through to the full post to see the looks that I liked up close.… To full post & COMMENTS...

Create DIY Summer Sheet Masks | NIVEA Cleansing Wipes and Your Hydrating Mist

Between Lisa Eldridge’s sparking a storm with her Korean haul and Pat McGrath mentioning her staple mask selection for surviving fashion week it isn’t a wonder that sheet treatment masks are having quite a moment globally and they are more commonly an Asian find.  If you don’t know what a sheet mask is they’re packeted treatments for the face and are essentially what appears to be a wipe but are pre-cut to fit the face and juiced up with either a hydrating, rejuvenating, or serum treatment.  One of my first few features on this blog were Korean sheet masks which I tried with Mom.  The only thing that turns me off about sheet masks is I’m very particular about what goes on my face and sometimes even with the convenience of hundreds of variants sealed in large sachets to choose from…I’d like to know what’s on mine exactly since I break out easily with certain chemical combinations.  So I thought why not DIY my own using  my NIVEA Gentle Facial Cleansing Wipes?

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NIVEA Gentle Cleansing Wipes are great for creating sheet masks for me because they’re alcohol-free, and contain almond oil, and Hydra IQ for added hydration, but you can jazz them up with your own toner/spray treatment.

(25 pcs. Alcohol-Free) w/ Natural Almond Oil & Hydra IQ Php140 “removes makeup and waterproof mascara”

I didn’t research on DIY sheet masks…the concept came suddenly (I’m sure not very originally, it’s a natural possibility that comes to mind looking at a face wipe), and eventually presented itself as something very obvious given the material of wipes.  My favorite wipes of the moment are the NIVEA Gentle Cleansing Wipes which I think, given that they’re alcohol-free and made for sensitive skin, would make very good summer sheet masks.

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These would be good when juiced up with either an After Sun spray or your favorite toner because truthfully no wipe is wet enough to be a sheet mask, they all need help to be something more.  This takes a bit of time and like me you might end up with a couple of wrong ones but trying to get it right for me became therapeutic, and unfolding them to see how off I was at first made me laugh.  It’s a laught trip thing to do with friends at the beach for example.  Click through to the full post to see how I did my DIY sheet mask.… To full post & COMMENTS...

CoverGirl TruBlend Translucent Pressed Powder | Close Drugstore Dupe for MAC MSF Natural

A decent compact setting powder (not powder foundation) that has just the right finish isn’t always an obvious choice at the drugstore or department store for me.  I’m super picky with powder texture which registers so obviously over my normal skin and I easily break out with allergies if the formula isn’t good enough.  I don’t refer to all, but there are some powders that suck which you still have to hunt through, honestly, lol.  Some are chalky, some are too heavy, the buttery ones break and the ones with the right finish have the wrong shades.  That’s why in the past I easily hit pan on my MAC Mineralize Skin Finish Natural compact (still the old packaging, they’ve updated) which ticked all the right boxes and that sadly has ultimately gotten more expensive.  Noticing that lifted yet subtle sheen on Marj Sia’s bare face at a luncheon last year (she claimed MAC MSF Natural was the only thing she had on her face that day) rekindled my desire for MAC MSF Natural’s lit from within translucent finish.  With summer around the corner I’m already counting the remaining cool days that I can still use my bases without the need to set them.  It is a niche sort of powder that one, translucent mineral powder with sheen baked into it, Hourglass deliver similarly with their ambient lighting powders.  All those are lovely because they set your summer base without totally killing its sheer natural finish with coverage.  Out of the blue, this TruBlend pressed powder which was sent to me by the CoverGirl team surprised me because lo, and behold, I got nearly the exact same effect from a drugstore product, MAC MSF has a tad bit more coverage.  There may be a nudge more super subtle glow in this one than MAC MSF Natural but I can hardly, as in hardly tell the difference.

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“Silky, smooth formula adapts to your skin tone for a natural, no-makeup look. Specially designed to work with the truBLEND Collection.”

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I have the CoverGirl TruBlend shade in #2 Translucent Light which matches my MAC MSF Natural one in Medium.  I also noticed if you look closely there is some detectable glint from the grains of MAC MSF, while in the CoverGirl swatch there doesn’t seem to be any, it’s more of a very light pearl sheen, translucent veil of color.  If I’m not mistaken I remember reading on the box (which I threw away last night, tsk lol) that it was also mineral based.  Note though, the powder texture in the compact to the touch of a finger isn’t convincing at first and is no smooth operator.  You may actually think just by touching it that it isn’t any good, ‘coz it isn’t soft it is in fact a little grainy to touch.  Regardless of what I think feels cheap it picks up well on a brush and deposits beautifully over my skin.  I can’t say the same for dry skin, you’d probably have to exfoliate and moisturize to be safe.  I like to apply this power with a duo fiber brush so it doesn’t pick up too much product.  If you’d like to pick up more product use a more dense buffing brush like a kabuki.  Click through to see the full post and me wearing this over a sheer BB cream base.… To full post & COMMENTS...

Works With Water UK is Launching “Help: Beautify Skin” Soon

Remember “Help: Clear Skin”, by Works With Water?  Their image branding reminds me of Indeed Labs but like in the supplements department.  If some of you have been my readers for a long time you might remember (or not) that 3 years ago I blogged about the UK company Works With Water who are behind the product development of Help: Clear Skin, a powdered supplement.  This product was also featured by Grace of “London Makeup Girl” who I was a hopeless fan of at the time.  To make a point Caroline Hirons said here of her “The lovely Grace from London Makeup Girl (site down) is one of my real blogging inspirations. The champion of niche brands and ethical blogging…she writes like she’s speaking to you – not at you.”.  So, Grace’s credibility aside, which I mentioned ‘coz I know how many of you jump out of your pants in fear when it comes to supplements and would rather treat skin congestion topically, let’s now cut to the throwback.  Help: Clear Skin is an inside-out acne targeting,  safe (based on a milk protein, Praventin), tasteless powdered supplement packaged in sachets which you mix with water or any drink daily for a month, after which you could see acne, in some cases, begin to disappear in as little as two weeks.  And yes in case you were asking I did drink this for a couple of days 3 years ago during a pre-menstrual trial (guys cringe, lol) to see if I’d be less…facially spotty during that time of the month…but because I have such normal skin which births like 1 or 2 huge spots at a time I could only spot a minute difference.  But I can vouch and say nothing BAD happened to me when I drank this, I researched the company thoroughly before I did.  It didn’t upset sensitive me in any way biologically, no rashes, upset stomach, or anything like that…and there really is no taste.

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“Although acne is often thought of as a teenage problem, a significant number of adults in their 30’s and 40’s are affected, too. Dairy peptides contain immune-boosting substances, such as lactoferrin, which can reduce the growth of the causative bacteria and improve skin inflammation. This is great news for those having to cope with the emotional and physical discomfort associated with recurrent skin blemishes. Taking a product that contains dairy peptides offers a natural and effective approach to treatment. Sadly, drinking milk itself does not work as milk contains additional hormones that can make acne worse.” – Dr. Sarah Brewer

If any of you have read the conclusive blog post I did here you’ll see that my teenage brother’s cystic acne was kept at bay for a couple of months that is until we ran out of our complimentary supply provided by the company for trial.  As I said in my introductory post “How this works is a bioactive milk protein called Praventin which is rich in lactoferrin helps repress the forming of bacteria that are responsible for forming pimples and acne.  Praventin is made present in a soluble fiber vehicle we can ingest.  It’s tasteless, odorless, and safe for vegetarians, diabetics and lactose intolerant people.”  Now the reason why I am writing about them again is not just because I am now officially a Works With Water affiliate, but because I am excited about the new product that they are about to launch, Help: Beautify Skin…yes, like you, I got goosebumpy with excitement.

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At the mention of the clue word “delicious” and gels by company co-founder, Jules, I immediately knew this new beauty supplement must be something like in the form of the energy gels that runners and fitness freaks consume.  Think Jellyace slivers, perhaps.  The group, Works With Water, which I am fond of (their rep stayed in touch when she found out I was sick after Dad was sick last year) reconnected and said it’s been awhile and they offered me a chance to help them and support the blog through affiliation.  I am totally open for brand affiliation when it comes to brands I believe in.  I want people to try them and see that they care about what they do and work on products that really work and  help people.  I am super excited about their upcoming product which I received confirmation for an exclusive preview on as well as a replenished Help:Clear Skin supply which I am excited to get my brother back on for a better photographed encore of a review.  My intro post of Help: Clear skin is here and my conclusive post on my brother’s trial is here.… To full post & COMMENTS...

L’Occitane Alcohol-Free Fresh Gentle Toner | Soo Nice it’s Got Me Toning Again

I side-stepped that blessed second skincare step for a year.  For the whole of 2014 for some reason I’d lost my love for toning in my skincare routine, I just went for the bare minimum at one point, cleansing and moisturizing and I think I had the odd very rare day of exfoliation.  My skin was breaking out in the last quarter and was reeling from neglect especially from the months of September to November last year.  I was loitering about Central Square mall the day before Valentine’s and I really didn’t believe I’d find anything I needed in L’Occitane. not meaning to snub them but I always saw it as the brand I’d give to other people but never really purchase for myself because nothing interested me other than their Almond Shower oil back then…until I sprayed this lovely liquid over the back of my hand which smelt tenderly of a romantic, sleepy summer.  First word that came to mind when I smelt L’Occitane’s Fresh Gentle Toner was “beach”.

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L’Occitane Fresh Gentle Toner, Php1050.00

“The two-in-one Shea Butter Gentle Toner removes make up as it tones and refreshes.  The Gentle Toner is a gentle alcohol-free toner that respects all skin types. Enriched with shea extract and floral waters (orange blossom , cornflowers), it completes make-up removal and tones skin. Your skin will be soft and your complexion will feel fresh.”

I found that this for me is like a slightly more emollient, comforting version of Bioderma crealine.  It hydrates with glycerin and floral extracts of orange blossom and cornflower.  This toner-slash-makeup-remover-slash-moisture-kick is also supposed to be used as a refreshing mist to top up your skin (body can be, too) in the middle of the day, but unlike Caudalie’s best-selling face mist this at least won’t hurt the eyes.  It can be confusing because they also have a L’Occitane “Fresh Face Water” in the US and this one I have is listed as the “Fresh Gentle Toner” on the L’Occitane Australia website.  The key of mine is in the two French words following Tonique Douceur on the bottle I have, Nettoie & Demaquille “cleans and removes makeup”…so I guess that’s the difference of this from just the Gentle Toner Tonique Douceur without “Nettoie & Demaquille” on the bottle. Can one product really do this much?  Cleanse, remove makeup, and tone?  I was just so happy about how the back of my hand felt after spraying this from that tester of theirs, really hydrated and soft, and the dried foundation splotches on the back of my hand were gone.  Click to read the full post, LOL yea I know what a brochure of an intro.  I never cease to amaze.… To full post & COMMENTS...

Happy Heart’s Day | A Bridal Snippet

I barely knew Heart Evangelista a couple of years ago when I would greet her in person several times at our young couples and singles youth service in church.  I doubt she’d recognize me now with my pixie haircut.  All I knew is that every time I would approach her because she was a family friend I would check and compose myself and take a deep breath, with or without makeup she was that beautiful.  Then when she would recognize and greet me her smile would just knock my socks off even if she was a tad barefaced.  I just wanted to share these beautiful captured moments of her big day today (as half the country is probably doing the same thing at the moment).  I sincerely pray and hope for her every good and perfect thing.

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“Forever starts today.  In thy stillness I know you are God” – @iamhearte IG

Heart’s bridal makeup and hair are kept very classic and traditional.  The makeup by Albert Kurniawan who regularly does her makeup looks more fresh than packed on but Heart’s and eyes and lips boast enough intensity to still lure the lens.  Her hair by Jerry Javier was done in a very classic Hepburn-esque pulled and swept updo , a style also simultaneously reminiscent of Grace Kelly.  The bride’s gown is by Ezra Santos.

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Photo sources:

Instagram: @abtkurniawan (Makeup), jerrybuanjavier (hair), @caliberking, @djstaana #chizheart21515

 

To full post & COMMENTS...

The First Valentine was to a girl named Julia

I know it’s a day late, I had work for the past 2 days, but it’s still Valentine’s Day in other parts of the world and I’m still feeling the buzz simply because I didn’t have time to super enjoy the moments on the day itself.  An aunt of mine who loves me dearly and homeschools her kids shared a bit of St. Valentine history with me.  I’m sure a lot of people have looked into the legend of Valentine’s Day for the sake of it, but I’m not one of them so I was sweetly surprised by the story of a martyred Christian named Valentinus who truly lived (his remains are buried in a church) and a young , blind girl named Julia, the pretty young daughter of his jailer, Asterius.  There are subtle, downplayed hints of Valentinus falling for Julia in the end but these remain in question given how young she might have truly been, in other accounts he was an old man and she was a child, but in this image as you can see, it may not have been that way.  It was always stated in the different stories though regardless of how old she may have been that Julia was beautiful and bright (naks, lol).

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It’s a heartbreaking but touching story about a man who literally died to uphold love and the Christian faith.  In other specific accounts, he was tortured terribly.  I will quote the story here from a source and will not attempt to paraphrase.  The story is quite intact across several sites even official Catholic history ones.  Some aspects of the story vary with regard to her being healed of blindness either within the jail cell with Valentinus after they prayed or possibly after.  There is supposed little embellishment to the core story.  What is not mentioned here is the true historical reason behind his imprisonment, Valentinus would illegally marry young soldiers in secret.  It was not legal because young soldiers were expected to remain single and focus on being warriors.  However Valentinus officiated marriages for young couples in hiding. Too romantic for words. The phrase “Love is blind…” will never sound the same for me again  So goes the tale of the first Valentine:

“The story of Valentine’s Day begins in the third century with an oppressive Roman emperor and a humble Christian Martyr.   The emperor was Claudius II.   The Christian was Valentinus.

Claudius had ordered all Romans to worship twelve gods, and had made it a crime punishable by death to associate with Christians.   But Valentinus was dedicated to the ideals of Christ; not even the threat of death could keep him from practicing his beliefs.   He was arrested and imprisoned.

During the last weeks of Valentinus’s life a remarkable thing happened.   Seeing that he was a man of learning, the jailer asked whether his daughter, Julia, might be brought to Valentinus for lessons.   She had been blind since birth.   Julia was a pretty young girl with a quick mind.   Valentinus read stories of Rome’s history to her.   He described the world of nature to her.   He taught her arithmetic and told her about God.  She saw the world through his eyes, trusted his wisdom, and found comfort in his quiet strength.

“Valentinus, does God really hear our prayers?” Julia asked one day.

“Yes, my child, He hears each one.”

“Do you know what I pray for every morning and every night?  I pray that I might see.   I want so much to see everything you’ve told me about!”

“God does what is best for us if we will only believe in Him,” Valentinus said.

“Oh, Valentinus, I do believe! I do!”  She knelt and grasped his hand.

They sat quietly together, each praying.   Suddenly there was a brilliant light in the prison cell.   Radiant, Julia screamed, “Valentinus, I can see!  I can see!” (in other accounts she was healed weeks later after opening his letter to her which contained a yellow crocus flower that she could slowly begin to see)

“Praise be to God!”  Valentinus exclaimed, and he knelt in prayer.

On the eve of his death Valentinus wrote a last note to Julia, urging her to stay close to God.   He signed it, “From your Valentine.” The next day Valentinus was killed.  His sentence was carried out the next day, February 14, 270 A.D., near a gate that was later named Porta Valentini in his memory.   He was buried at what is now the Church of Praxedes in Rome.  

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It is said that Julia planted a pink-blossomed almond tree near his grave.   Today, the almond tree remains a symbol of abiding love and friendship.   On each February 14, Saint Valentine’s Day, messages of affection, love, and devotion are exchanged around the world.”

Sources:

http://www.olrl.org/lives/valentine.shtml

http://www.cbn.com/spirituallife/ChurchandMinistry/churchhistory/st_valentine_the_real_story.aspx

http://www.priestsforlife.org/africanamerican/blog/index.php/happy-valentines-day-the-legend-of-saint-valentineTo full post & COMMENTS...

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