Maybelline Dream Liquid Mousse Foundation | My Drugstore Dream Foundie at Php599

Maybelline, seriously this time you hit one out of the park, it just sailed right over.  You’ve just made me very happy.  I’ve had holy grail /slash/ fave drugstore foundations in the past but they were not THIS GOOD.   This Maybelline Dream Liquid Mousse in PARTICULAR is sooo nice and I had a hands-on meeting with it at the Maybelline Dream Perfection launch last week.  Thanks a ton, Maybelline!



Urban Outfitters top, Roxy shorts, Anteprima bag, “Dreamy” me…lol (slow solo clap).  I’m wearing Maybelline (UK) 14-hr lipstick in Stay With Me Coral, not available here.

Camera 360


Model wearing Maybelline Dream Liquid Mousse Foundation

I actually made the 2nd half of the post title “My Koh Gen Doh Aqua Dupe at Php599″ (yes, it’s that good…to me) but I figured they wouldn’t appreciate another brand sharing the title if I liked the foundation this much, so it stays here in the post.  The only problem I foresee here is the product name Dream Liquid Mousse  is sort of a bummer because it’s not inherently like a mousse at all this one, the name ends up being too similar to a previous Maybelline mousse foundation which was NOT REALLY a hit, the whipped mousse-y one in the pot which lots of people disliked.  This is not that one, this one is good.

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It comes in the standard issue glass bottle containing 30ml but to top it off (literally) you get a bottle cap you can twist clockwise and LOCK…then twist counter-clockwise to enable pumping.  Hallelujah.  Someone actually thought this through for our benefit.  Do not fear, this is not  a mousse “foam” foundation…like I said the name totally misleads, but it’s good.  Test it for yourself at Maybelline counters today, you will be surprised. The foundation glides on with medium coverage and is comfy to wear (Tip: I wear foundation from the center of my face outwards so i have hardly any foundation near the edges of my face and hairline, then I don’t feel yuck at the end of the day).  This is a water based formula and gently hydrates with glycerin, it of course it does have a cocktail of silicones in it (most foundies do anyway) but it’s formulated so well ‘coz my skin didn’t feel like it couldn’t breathe.  I was seriously quiet and staring at the mirror speechless when I first put this on at home, it was perfect.  My shade Sandy Beige (Med 1) was a spot on match for my post summer skin.

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This is the same photo from my Shiseido blush post yesterday where I wore this foundation.  I just brightened the shot and lessened contrast to closely match how I saw this foundation.  First off, please let’s not call it a MATTE foundation, if you lightly dust it with translucent loose setting powder it might possibly be matte but otherwise it’s not, almost but not.  It’s a satiny semi-matte for normal to combination skin but this won’t be a matte finish for oily skin, it doesn’t really boast oil control so it will get dewy in the middle of the day along the T-zone unless you powder up or blot to retouch.  If you’ve got normal to dry skin  this will be fine.  It is kind of like a silkier, smoother, lighter version of L’Oreal True Match without any detectable shimmer in the mix and NO SCENT whatsoever.  I’m wondering if this might be similar to the recently phased out Jemma Kidd Light As Air foundation, which looks and sounds similar when Anna of Vivianna Does Makeup describes it…so many girls in the UK were gutted about that brand folding.


In the Dream Liquid range you get a generous selection of 6 shades locally, 3 or 4 of which have warm Asian undertones and the other 2 shades are pretty neutral. My Dream Liquid Mousse shade at the moment is Sandy Beige (Medium 1, or MAC NC35) which has a yellow enough undertone and when I become paler before the Ber months I’ll be Nude Beige (Light 3.5, or MAC NC30) which is a hint more neutral than Sandy beige and only 1/4 of a shade lighter.  Overall I like the silky, airy-light finish by a knuckle-crackin’ good liquid foundation and the texture of Maybelline Dream Liquid Mousse really reminds me of my Koh Gen Doh Aqua Foundation (which is an A-lister fave…slapped on by Liv Tyler, or Rumi Neely).  I’m brave and confident enough to say that the foundation texture is similar to Koh Gen Doh Aqua (for a fraction of the price, Php599 vs. Php2750?!) and gives a completely healthy looking semi-matte finish for normal to dry skin.  I wore this for a whole day and didn’t get greasy or weird bits rubbing  off.  It set really well so late in the evening it felt a bit tight, just a bit but that just meant it was about time I got all my makeup off.  The foundation is a win, and so is the twist-lock bottle cap, no more misplaced or cracked caps.  This lovely foundation costs Php599 in retail via Maybelline kiosks or counters in Watsons pharmacies and department stores.

*products provided for review by Maybelline PhilippinesTo full post & COMMENTS...

Shiseido Luminizing Satin Face Color | Or Blush RD103, A Basic Necessity

I’m back…life sort of got in the way of blogging but I’m back. There was no hype about this particular item I’m featuring today, nothing fancy, and no extreme claims, but after conducting my not-so-recent Shiseido workshop session I still had to pick this as one of my rewards. There is something utterly classic about their Luminizing Satin Face color shades…especially this requisite peachy-pink blush RD103 or Petal as it is known abroad.



As you’ll notice it’s been weeks since the Shiseido Workshop I mentioned…but I’m also putting this centerstage because in the last 2 weeks I’ve been reaching for it. You know that when you just can’t get your hands off something on a daily basis it doesn’t matter whether you were filled to the brim with excitement when you got it or not, the fact that you organically keep putting it on without over-thinking that you are…tagline or not…it’s a winner. It’s got the right amount of pink, if it had any more peach in it it would be similar to Benefit Coralista. It’s got sheen in it but not the sort of shimmer that gets everywhere and the sheen is understated. The blush isn’t cheap at about Php1250 but if you want a classic blush with a huge mirror and a sophisticated (not overly embellished) compact you can slip into a classy bag even for evenings out Shiseido’s blushes are the bomb.


Blushes on skin are always the most difficult to photograph for a beauty blog so this is just a hint more pink in real life. I didn’t want to pack on too much but the pigment is a medium strength…not something you can make a mistake with, but not disappointingly sheer either. The shine on the apple of my cheek is due to a dewy foundation I was testing out beneath the blush which happens to be my new holy grail drugstore foundation and a dupe for a really expensive foundation I recently bought. More on that perhaps later tonight! I owe you guys a truckload of posts (not to mention excuses that rake in a ton of nods) after being reasonably sidetracked by getting sick, celebrating my brother’s birthday, and a shoot I did yesterday. Shiseido products are available locally in leading department stores and malls with boutiques.


 … To full post & COMMENTS...

A Few Life Updates in a Non-Posty Post | Career Chat

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. … To full post & COMMENTS...

Le Couvent Des Minime Gentle Cleansing Milk | Mineral Oil-free, Made in France, Available Here

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).

 … To full post & COMMENTS...

M & Co. Long Lasting Matte Lipsticks | Plus My Perfect Coral Lipstick

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.… To full post & COMMENTS...

My ZARA Red Lip Shirt | My “Dupe” for that PRADA Dress!

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!… To full post & COMMENTS...

Lenticular Ladies, Double Mirror Compacts | Budget Buys at Metro Gaisano

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.… To full post & COMMENTS...

Emma Hardie’s Moringa Cleansing Balm | Cleansing Reinvented, C. Hirons’ Personal Choice

Meet the cleansing balm that sent UK bloggers swarming into Space NK (England’s version of Sephora) shortly after advanced facialist and brand consultant C. Hirons of the blog Beautymouth repeatedly blogged over a year and a half ago that this is her personal cleansing choice, especially for evening.  Recently, Caroline outright put Emma Hardie’s Moringa Cleansing Balm up first on her featured products via Pixiwoo’s BodyTalk interview with her on YouTube.  I’d like a moment to segue into some emulsifying cleanser insight.



  • 1 x Natural Lift & Moringa Cleansing Balm (100ml) – enriched with an uplifting blend of moringa seeds, wild sea fennel, vitamin E, orange, neroli and mandarin, jasmine and rose.
  • 1 x dual-sided cleansing cloth (100% cotton on muslin side; 80% polyester, 20% polyamide on microfibre side)

 How to use:

  • Mix a few drops of warm water with a little Moringa Cleansing Balm in the palm of your hand to create a milk
    Apply to the face, neck and eye area using circular motions and massage thoroughly to melt away make-up, excess oils and grime
  • To remove, soak your cleansing cloth in warm water, squeeze out the excess and gently wipe over the whole face and neck, taking extra care around the delicate eye area
  • Use the gently abrasive muslin side of the cloth to exfoliate dry, lined, thickened and congested areas and the smoother microfibre side for more delicate and sensitive areas

People are familiar with the globally popular Shu Uemura cleansing oil and some of us were dashed to pieces to find that it wasn’t at all recommended by C. Hirons, in fact she shot it down.  I actually realized on my own, without knowing who Ms.Hirons was yet,  that the Shu cleansing oil wasn’t good for me because for the very first time last year I looked at the ingredients list…practically at the top of the list was Paraffinum Liquidum aka Mineral Oil.  The world’s most popular cleansing oil turned out to be souped up mineral oil made to emulsify with water, I could hardly believe it and I was irritated to say the least because I did like how Shu’s oil performed but I did wonder why my skin felt like it felt smothered when I’d lay it on.  You can’t blame them because they were among the first generation of emulsifying cleansing oils and they participated in beauty innovation…even top UK brand Eve Lom’s most popular cleansing cream contains mineral oil as a huge part of the base so these were the pioneer products.  Research has found that mineral oil isn’t particularly ideal at bringing down the nourishment into the skin so I think it’s time for long-time faves to up the ante and update their formulations.


Well, the first thing our currently fave online facialist says about this Emma Hardie gem here is that it’s a non-mineral oil cleansing balm.  It’s a more solid balm but it melts and emulsifies in the same milky way the Shu cleansing oil does when water hits it.  However, this does the same job with a bang on formula that’s ultimately better for your skin.  Moringa for your mug shot anyone?  Emma Hardie is an English brand that’s being doing wonderful things with formulations using moringa (malunggay).  Being the determined diva I am I sourced my own pot and paid only Php50 customs pickup tax for it.  The new rule at the Makati Post Office is that parcels above $50 USD in value will be taxed heavily so make sure whatever you’re buying online is under $50 USD.  That explains why I only got the 50ml pot (which will last me 3 mos. anyway), it cost £15.99 with £6 shipping, totaling about ($35) Php1450.  Read more to get to the full post.… To full post & COMMENTS...

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