MAC Archie’s Girls Collection | Love Triangle Lands on March 2013

They’re almost here.  However, it will be increasingly hard to get a hold of MAC’s Archies Girls collection.  There’s actually an ongoing signup sheet in the U.S. that’s first come first serve. Funny thing is they’ve made availability so like we’re all fighting for Archie or something.  Sigh…I feel like I’d really like 1 or 2 things from this collection but don’t stand a chance.

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Anyhoo, to be honest I’m not very fond of the visual…it’s too rarr and not “camp” enough, but the makeup is awesome.  Archie humor is quite camp and it seems they missed it by a bit.  Now look who’s sourgraping, haw-haw.… To full post & COMMENTS...

Laura Mercier Oil-Free Tinted Moisturizer | My Best Light Daytime Base

I have no explanation as to why I’m only blogging about this now.  I guess simply put it’s ‘coz, you know…who hasn’t blogged or heard about Laura Mercier’s iconic Tinted Moisturizer?  Makeup noobs and makeup lovers alike have sung its praises.  I myself have gone through I think 3 or 4 tubes now of the stuff in the last 5-6 years, but this one’s my first oil-free tube and I prefer this variant for our humid climate.  It’s the makeup product of hundreds of models when they’re off duty because of its buildable light coverage, low SPF, and versatile variants (original, oil-free, illuminating/radiance boosting).  It’s what I grab if I’m going on a beach vacay where you don’t want to be scoffed at by others seeing you fuss too much on a holiday.

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This is the veritable “What are you wearing…” product because it’s light so people can’t put their finger on what you’ve got on, but they notice you’ve got something that makes you look better than usual.  As a makeup professional when it comes to beauty I’m a strong purveyor of noticeable subtlety.  Lots of  guys actually prefer seeing stuff like this on their girlfriends’  faces rather than a whole shebang of foundation, concealer and powder masking their beloved, right?   This summer you can also take this down your neck and onto your shoulders if you want some light coverage and sun protection (if going to the beach still apply a high spf sunscreen underneath, at least 40).  On either end of the age spectrum it’s great for teens AND mature skin alike because contrary to what others think, mature ladies ought to be wearing less heavy all-over bases and wear light hydrating products to look fresh, they just need to target conceal a few more areas and powder.  Read more to see this work with before and after application photos.… To full post & COMMENTS...

E.l.f Studio MakeUp Brushes | Kitten-paw Quality for Less

A whole lot of people seem to be split down the middle on the subject of e.l.f. brand (“eyes, lips, face”) products, it’s either people detest or love that they’re a way cheaper brand.  Everyone who knows a thing or two about beauty knows that the product range is quite unbelievably affordable.  Many items you can get for $1-2 worth or just a little under or over Php100.oo but they also have a few that cost a little bit more.  I wouldn’t say the quality is “dirt cheap” though, I actually like their creamy no fail gel liners, just don’t like the plastic pots they come in because it doesn’t keep the product as well as a glass pot would.  The e.l.f. range actually has a lot of items that perform well, they do the job, period…like the Studio makeup brushes for example (take note, the Studio line, the black ones designed for professional use).  If you’re frustrated that we don’t have the Real Techniques brushes more readily available in retail, try these which are locally available at Rustan’s Beauty source and SM if I’m not mistaken, not sure if SM carries the Studio line.

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LEFT: E.l.f. Studio Complexion Brush, RIGHT: E.l.f. (Flat Top) Powder Brush

The brush on the right, the E.l.f. Powder brush is the more popular one online among pros and bloggers and is a larger version of the Charm Luxe Flat top brush I featured before. It would be lovely for buffing in foundation or mineral makeup, perfect for either.  If you’d like to conserve more liquid product though using the flat top Powder brush that’s possible.  I recommend applying and slightly spreading the amount of liquid foundation you need with your hands onto your face first then using the brush to work and polish it onto the skin so the brush doesn’t soak up product.  The Complexion brush is simply like the softest synthetic powder brush I have ever, as in ever felt and would be great for applying loose powder.  There’s a debate on whether natural bristles pick up powder products better than synthetic bristles do.  I believe that principle when it comes to powder eyeshadow but I’m neutral when it comes to the application of loose powder or blush. I think it has to do with how the hairs, synthetic or not, are tapered at the tip.  I think this Complexion brush will do really well for loose powder especially.

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If pro MUA Lisa Eldridge can sport an e.l.f. brush or two to use on herself in her videos once in awhile then that is good enough reason for me to put in a bit of money to replace just a few other brushes I have that are shedding.  I settled on these two brushes for now.  Because these are developed with finely groomed synthetic Taklon bristles (just like the Real Techniques brushes) they can be used with wet or dry products.  They are so unbelievably soft, actually softer than the Real Techniques brushes, in fact so soft they deceptively feel like natural bristles.  I’m actually returning to Rustan’s only to exchange one of these today for an exact same one simply because the handle of the one I picked was just very slightly bent, someone else probably wouldn’t have noticed (I realized when I twirled and looked at the brush 360), but other than that the brush is fine, no pre-use shedding at all and the bristles were densely packed.  At Php249.50 per brush (these ones) from Rustan’s Beauty Source (got mine at Glorietta Grand mall) you can be certain I’ll be getting a few more later on as needed.  What’s lovely about getting these at Rustan’s is you can inspect your purchases first and you’ve got 10 days to return or exchange any item as long as you have your receipt.  Edit: If you’re an online shopper a reader just shared that she gets her E.l.f. studio brushes for less at this local site, and cheaper indeed at under Php180 per  brush http://www.nyxwholesaleph.com/testopencart/.  My top UK beauty blogger friend Charlotte (she hit #1 or 2 on occasion and won the Johnson & Johnson Best Beauty blog award in 2010)  in this video shares her favorite budget makeup brushes and has a couple e.l.f. brushes to praise in it.

 … To full post & COMMENTS...

A Whiff of Summer | Old Spice’s “Fiji” Anti-Perspirant Deo & Shower Gel

I went out and essentially bought something I ran out of but I chose with a twist this time.  Men stuff for moi?  I picked this wonderfully warm, rich, and happy deo by Old Spice from the men’s aisle at S&R Pricemart.  It’s from their Fresh collection which I think was launched 2 summers ago or just last year.  I remember as a child in the shower I’d pick up my dad’s old Irish Spring soap and plant my nose on it because I liked the smell so much…which proves I was never really averse to masculine scents even at a young age.  One whiff of Old Spice Fiji launched me out, my arms pinwheeling through outdoor scenarios like the Old Spice dude and gently landing in a hammock beneath coconut trees by surf and salty-sweet sand.  I smell summer.

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How cute is that sailing ship imprint from the disposable insert cap?  Cue Pirates of the Caribbean theme.  Captain Jack Sparrow would approve wouldn’t he?  If he didn’t prefer to stink that is. It’s a kind of rich fresh scent with a hint of tropical sweetness or spice. I’d safely say that this scent because of its slight sweetness is acceptably unisex. There’s something in it that makes you think beach real quick…don’t know the actual notes but it’s like a soaped (yeh not souped) up drugstore macho version of Diptyque Philosykos, a warm fig scent with some “ocean breeze”-like notes (my current cologne) and this deo actually layers or partners with that quite well. I actually bought the wrong variant first a few days ago because there happens to be a “just deodorant” version (red cap) that will prevent you from stinking but won’t stop you sweating for those who have issues with anti-perspirants. Gave that to my bro and went back for the regular size Fiji deo + anti-perspirant for my dresser.

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“…with a scent that reminds shower-ers of a beachside resort where the drinks are free and the sand helps fight dirt and odor.”

On the first grocery trip where I made the mistake I also partook of the holiday PRICE OFF deal on the shower gel & mini anti-perspirant duo (Php200).  I’ve only tried lathering the shower gel on my hands to see and hmm,  will have to see how I fare with it, I may have to dilute because I felt my hands itch for a little bit afterwards, leaning on the chemically charged side a bit, perhaps.  I now randomly dedicate split-second moments to smelling myself and underarms just ‘coz this Fiji scent from Old Spice’s Fresh Collection is that good on my person. No, I don’t think you’ll catch me.  For those who aren’t S&R members this may be available at Landmark in Makati, Rustan’s Fresh groceries. or Makati Supermart in Alabang…I’m guessing based on supermarkets that have a good haunch of imported stuff most of the time.… To full post & COMMENTS...

NOTD Estee Lauder Spring 2013 | Pure Color Nails “G3 Dilettante”, Mint in Medium

Last year women abroad pulled Essie’s Mint Candy apple off shelves in droves.  There is evidently something mesmeric about pastel, macaron-inspired shades.  It’s almost like…given how perfect the shades are, you can almost taste what you see.  These women (you included?) all just went mad for either mint or coral pink that season.  The thing about Essie’s cool mint shade last year is that it was delightfully sweet looking on fingertips…fair slash pale fingertips that is.  One look at Mint Candy Apple and I knew it was too pasty light a mint green for my medium oriental undertone hands to wear with grace…it was also too (groans) what’s the word…green (lol).  This similar (but in no way a dupe) shade by Estee Lauder is better on me.

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With no voluntary search a better suited, on the nose Tiffany, robin’s egg mint blue shade entered my life when Estee Lauder invited me last time to a nail pampering session.  Estee Lauder polishes might be high end and not commonly on your luxe nail brands to try list…but people should try these more because they have an AMAZING chip resist formula.  It’s a thick formula but lasts longer than others and whatever shade it might be holds that lovely finish well beneath any light all the time.  Lo and behold, Dilettante, this slightly deeper bluish mint came home with me in a random loot bag.  This color will be available from Estee Lauder counters beginning April 2013, right smack in the middle of summer.  See the sun?

 … To full post & COMMENTS...

NEW Urban Decay Beauty Balm SPF 20 – What…Is…It…

My first glance at Urban Decay’s email got me thinking “Are they stepping up to the tinted moistie plate that Laura Mercier has been smugly but ever so coolly standing on for years?” but IT TURNS OUT I wasn’t reading through properly.  So it’s not a tinted moisturizer, it’s a Beauty Balm, they say, pardon me, (which SUPPOSEDLY sounds like a Tinted Moistie but more Asian derived stylie) with broad spectrum SPF but at 20, just like LM’s Tinted Moisturizer.  Yes obviously, they are stepping up, but um…with one, yes 1, translucent shade…in short no shade range coz it’s neutrally tinted to suit the universe but with the added anti-aging promise of improved skin within 8 weeks.   Hmm, I was ready with my pom-poms til I realized there were no shades, just a universal translucent tone.  This just fell into my what-is-it box again.  I love you guys over at Urban Decay but are you using the word NAKED to hard sell me neutral tinted primer labeled as “Beauty Balm”?  Please say it isn’t so.

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What It Does
Perfects, Protects, Treats, Primes, Hydrates
Optical blurring pigments instantly even out skin tone and minimize pores, lines, wrinkles and redness.
SPF 20 shields skin from sun damage and Pepha®–Protect helps inhibit DNA damage.
Vitasource™ and dGlyage® firm skin, improve elasticity and provide measurable anti-aging benefits.
Extremely blendable formula creates a smooth finish so makeup goes on beautifully and stays put.
Moisturizing but never greasy, Naked Skin Beauty Balm hydrates skin instantly and improves hydration over time.

I’ll try and get my hands on this dark horse, take it for a ride, and see if it’s worth…wattsat…US$34 ?  My dear readers, at first glance try and tell me you didn’t think it was a BB Cream/tinted moisturizer range with a wide range of shades ready to join its 18-shade foundation predecessor…try and tell me you didn’t think that and I’ll argue with you.  That’s what I thought and when I realized that wasn’t it I was less interested…still intrigued but now less interested.  Hoping to come across a tube and find that it actually lives up to its promises about perfecting the skin with some tint in spite of its vagueness.  I’m banking on it being like an elite finishing BB cream with not much coverage that doesn’t have a shade range, I’ve had a quick look at it on some girls in photos so far, it’s looking fine…but the girls have great skin to begin with so it’s hard to tell.  Maybe it’ll make a believer out of me, we’ll see.

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My Lil’ Black Book of Beauty Online | MUAs & Beauty Vloggers Abroad Pt.1

You have no idea how much labor went into this whale of a post but I’m excited.  Just now (editing this statement in hours later) I’ve decided to break it into 2 parts…this is the entire tube club, people with channels/videos you can watch.  I’m separating the blogs that are famous for being reading blogs and whose authors don’t have super active YouTube channels.  This has taken forever and become too long because first I thought both the video channels and reading blogs I follow would fit well into one post.  Then I became a bit too obsessive about what to say, which pictures to use, and what links to recommend, etc.  I cared about the content so much that after gathering most of what I needed I now have a proper migraine that will certainly postpone my inclusion of some of the photo sources.  In the absence of a proper blogroll on the site (I know how many millenia have passed not to mention the end of the world) this post is way overdue.  As you’ll notice none of the familiar faces below are Filipino…for this edition.  I’m saving another separate post for local bloggers.  In no way does this mean I’m discriminating in my selection of beauty sources, it’s just the honest truth, that I discovered most of these foreign individuals first before realizing there were famous Filipina beauty bloggers thriving since 2005.  Before knowing the beauty “blogosphere” ever existed I lived in a vacuum of seemingly endless deadlines due to my former job.  One day, I clicked and began watching Michelle Phan and the Pixiwoo sisters then something broke free inside of me…I suddenly knew what it was that I really wanted to do.

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Once upon 3 years ago I began following most of these wonderful people.  They’re a hearty mix of both self-taught vloggers, beauty editors, plus seasoned makeup professionals and I learned more about beauty than I could ever hope to know from the comfort of my own bedroom…or whatever was my bedroom at the time.  Eventually, I resigned from post production having started my blog for a year and I began my second career as a freelance makeup artist.  Today I will, in concise detail as a beauty blogger and makeup artist, share these wonderful individuals with you since I keep tabs of each of them online and wholeheartedly tell you I why I follow them.  A couple of these people are slightly recent discoveries I’ve made and I’m excited to see what everyone will bring to the scene for this year!  You’ll have to forgive me, I should have finished this before the work week began while all of you still had time to read while vegging out.  Anyway, read more to get to who they are, their channels/URLs etc, proper descriptions, and larger photos.

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New Year in a New Way | Farewell 2012, Hello 2013

Hello everyone…took a moment just to say it’s nearly New Year and we’ve been lighting up the scene here at home already with bangs, pops, crackles and what not.  I realized I was quite eye weary of dark New Year’s eve photos so I took some photos as one would on default at night…then saw it differently…

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This is so me, looking on the brighter side of things.  This year was a very tough year for me emotionally, but God has always been faithful and I need to see that more and trust in his day to day goodness and compassion.  I love Him to bits…though He can’t ever be…bits (ahem).  I still love how fireworks truly light the sky…but I just wanted to do a different take.  Happy New Year to you all :)  I’ve been thinking about an idea that’s been swimming in my brain just for January… The B.O.M.B. awards aka the Best of My Bag awards.  You heard it first here :)  Happy New Year!!… To full post & COMMENTS...

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