Short and Sweet – Two Tots on a Train

I pulled out one of the photo files I took when I was in Singapore last year, almost forgetting I wanted to share it with you guys, well, almost.  I spotted a delightful pair of tiny tots on board the train, I think I was bound for Orchard from Pasir Ris at the time.  Their mothers were bonding heavily and they, well at least one of the two, wanted to as well.  You’ll notice the girl on the right obviously has an epic tale on the table or something to say in the works and the other just gazes on wide-eyed.  At one point the one on the right more dominantly reached over, but the other was not as willing to get too much into it, got shy and backed away.

I’m like the girl on the right who was pretty loud, if I meet you and begin reciting my life’s details as I would Psalm 119 it’s hard to get me to stop, I’m not rude, just in your face sooner than later, but things weren’t always like this.  When I was the same age as these girls, I was quiet more often and got “invisibly” bullied a bit in school and at home (not by my folks, troubled nannies) and even had to overcome an eating disorder after being force fed and poked with a fork in the mouth.  One time when I was about 3 that made me vomit and my nanny would feed me back my own vomit in anger and tears would stream down my face with all the food stuffed in my mouth.  Our loving cook, who is still with us today did not like seeing me tortured during mealtimes this way and reported it to mom who just happened to be working at the time.  My cousin’s nanny who loved me like her own also reported the abuse to my godmother, mom’s sister.  It often took me 2 hrs to eat until I was about 7 years old and I was too kind and forgiving too tell on them people tell me now.  I remember what my grandmother, Dad’s mom who lived with us, was saying over and over to me while I was crying when they evicted the last nanny (who was also abusive but close to me) “All you should think about sweetheart is it should be just you, your mommy, and your daddy now, nobody else na”.  I learned to eat properly, speak up a bit more, and talk back to tyrants in highschool and college and from the time I was 10 my parents made sure I didn’t have a nanny anymore and it was such a huge load off my chest.  I’m glad I was able to take this photo discreetly with my Samsung Galaxy Smartphone.  In spite of it bringing back some heavy memories this was just too sweet not to capture, besides most of my life at this age was quite wonderful as well and not completely like a telenovela.… To full post & COMMENTS...

My Makeup Role Model and Dream School – Helene Quille, Artistic Director of Make-Up Atelier Paris and Ecole de Maquillage

If I had more than enough financially at this very moment, right here, right now there is only one place in the world I would want to go to advance myself.  Commercially in the mass market the brand Make-Up Atelier in Paris keeps it low key leaning more towards the immediate needs of artistic professionals, they’re kind of like the French version of Kryolan also hosting a vast inventory of cosmetic products and artistic tools. It’s one of those places that I’ve felt so far exhibit the essence of TRUE makeup artistry where it’s less about the brands, the biz, and more about flawless artistic technique, creativity, and products that simply deliver and support what you need to achieve.

You Tube Pro Makeup Artist Wayne Goss praises Make-Up Atelier products in almost every favorites video he does and when I watched the videos on the Make-Up Atelier YouTube channel not expecting to find anything extremely mind blowing I was mistaken and totally caught off guard, I got stuck on video after video. Here’s one that demonstrates artistic smoky eyes and below it is a look that’s more avant garde.




One thing that had me hooked on each video was the movement of the demonstrating make-up artists’ hands… I just really kept staring, they were more mature and so exceptionally sure with each stroke .  When I watched the introductory video to the school, the Ecole de Maquillage, I realized the beautifully talented hands surely belong to none other than Make-Up Atelier’s lovely Artistic Director, Helene Quille, who is not just a senior professional makeup artist but also a trusted cosmetic product developer. Read more for the full post and more information on the school (Ecole de Maquillage).… To full post & COMMENTS...

Ecotools Bamboo Bronzer Brush – Eco-friendly, cruelty-free, and great for foundation

Since quite a handful of you asked regarding the brush I used in my last video post, voila, here it is :).  I first spotted this brush via Charlotte’s post on her blog Lipglossiping (one of the UK’s top beauty blogs) and when she used the word “mahoosive” to describe it I couldn’t help but laugh.  The timing of her post was perfect because I was looking for a more affordable alternative to the only buffing brush I already own which almost EVERY model/TVC talent I worked on (guys included) asked about…both guys and girls would come to me for retouches sometimes only because they liked the soothing feel of that Ellana brush on their face!  This Ecotools one though not as dense, performs just as softly on the skin for a better price.

“Create a natural-looking, sun-kissed glow with this beauty editor favorite! Our widely-acclaimed bronzer brush features soft, cruelty-free taklon bristles, a recycled aluminum ferrule and heavy bamboo handle. This brush is packaged in our zip-top, reusable pouch.

The lovely thing about buffing brushes, which is a popular method now, is that you conserve more foundation because it diffuses and buffs out minimal product evenly all over the face, you get the most out of a tiny bit of product and the brush doesn’t drink it up.  The Ecotools bronzer brush is absolutely massive I agree which makes it so ideal for buffing in a base, just like my reviewed Ellana XL Buffing brush (local, Php800 with shipping) which is slightly smaller but the bristles are more densely packed (which I like).  That Ellana one is almost exact super more affordable dupe of the NARS #19 bronzer brush which costs about $50.  I was hoping this Ecotools one would be as dense as my Ellana one but I’m not irritated that it isn’t only by a fraction.  This glides smoothly and softly all over the face, they’d be better kept though if you used brush guards which I believe are sold locally by Suesh Makeup Tools in Greenhills.  Note though, this would also be FAN-TAS-TIK as a mineral powder brush or general setting powder brush and what it was originally named for of course, all over bronzing.

Anyway, I got this at almost a third of the price of the Ellana one at about Php300.00 ($7 US) EACH, free shipping off Ebay from this link.  I found the pricing so worth it and since I believe in Ecotools (their retractable kabuki is in my personal kit) I decided to buy 3 in one go to take advantage of the free shipping offered by the Hong Kong ebay seller I found online, can you imagine…Php900+ for THREE of these?  That’s practically the price of only one Ellana XL Buffing brush (but I think that Ellana one is a step up in density and quality).  I needed more of these because on shoots when there are so many models I’d like to have a brush to use for light, medium, and dark shades of foundation that I can rotate, also so they don’t get disappointed by the fact that I’m only using one brush I repeatedly clean on the spot for all of them.  I suddenly remembered what my Yaya (nanny) used to tell me which I found ridiculous when I was young “1,2,3 means I love you” LOL.   To see how I use this brush go to my last blog post here and watch my video day makeup tutorial.

 … To full post & COMMENTS...

My Day Makeup Look with Heavy Eyeliner – Yes, another video so soon??!

Yup, I made another.  Sooner than you thought isn’t it?  LOL.  I was so disgusted visually with where and how I shot my first video that I decided to shoot one right away.  This is not a no-makeup makeup look, this is a day look that I often wear out when I want to look made up and the only heavy thing about the look is the eyeliner.  You’ll also get to see how I do everything from start to finish.  Consider THIS video as my OFFICIAL maiden voyage into the new world of makeup video tutorials and reviews.  I’ll probably try, but won’t promise, to film one every week or so.  The eyeliner tutorial two days ago kind of only felt (and looked like) practice because I was such an unprepared goof.

You sure you wanna?  Okay, fine it’s your screen and your eyes.  Watch my Day Makeup Video Tutorial embedded below or at this link.  The list of products I used is right under with each one I reviewed linked in bold to the actual blog post, and also if you open the video via YouTube they’re all in the description box as well.

 Thanks to for the blush!

PRODUCTS USED (Product reviews linked in bold):

Nivea Smoothy Cream
Benefit Hello Flawless Oxygen Wow Foundation “Champagne”
MAC Studio Finish NC 35 concealer
MAKE UP FOR EVER angled eyebrow brush
Anastasia Express Brow Kit “Brunette”
Elizabeth Arden 8-Hour Cream Stick
MAKE UP FOR EVER Aqua Liner in Black
Shu-Uemura Lash Curler
Majolica Majorca Lash Expander Frame Mascara
MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Natural in Medium
Clinique Almost Lipstick “Black Honey”
Tarte Amazonian Clay Blush “Dollface”

To full post & COMMENTS...

ASOS Online Style & Beauty Retail – Free Global Shipping Both Ways No Minimum Spend

I’ve read ASOS being frequently mentioned by European beauty bloggers, including the Pixiwoo sisters, dear Charlotte (Lipglossiping) and my fave style blogger slash designer slash budding model, Anni Jurgenson aka Style HurricaneASOS is reportedly the UK’s largest online-only style and beauty retail store which hosts a vast list of brands inclusive of its own range of items.  If I’ve got my research right ASOS stands for “As Seen On Screen”. is a global online fashion and beauty retailer and offers over 50,000 branded and own label product lines across womenswear, menswear, footwear, accessories, jewelry andbeauty. ASOS has websites targeting the UK, USA, France, Germany, Spain, Italy and Australia and also ships to over 190 other countries from its central distribution centre in the UK.  Aimed at fashion forward 16-34 year olds, ASOS attracts over 13.6 million unique visitors a month and as at 30 September 2011 had 6.3 million registered users and 3.7 million active customers from 160 countries (defined as having shopped in the last 12 months).”

With the enormity of their online success ASOS has already gone and been global for quite a while now.  The “candy” that calls out to the “children” is not just the fashion forward finds with complete size ranges but free membership and also their free standard shipping both ways policy (yes, Philippines included).  For an additional cost, your purchase can arrive more speedily within as little as 4 days.  So ASOS, in comparison to StrawberryNET is super similar, it’s just that StrawberryNET is a purely beauty discount store.

Country, No. of working days to ship, standard shipping cost

If for example you don’t like what you get or receive the wrong thing the item is returnable and refundable within a minimum time period.  Sale periods also are not scarce on the website which makes them highly popular even among those who prefer their frequent dose of thrift.  In fact now they have an ongoing SALE on the site with lots of select items generously marked down.

If you scan thru ASOS’ fashion section, oh especially the yummy Petite category, you’re bound to “ooh” and “ahh” like I did over several pieces that hands down look like must-haves (with the ongoing sale some have been marked down as low as 8-10 GBP).  Read more to get to the full post and my personal picks under ASOS Beauty.… To full post & COMMENTS...

How I Apply Gel Eyeliner – My First Video Tutorial Slash Product Review

Aha!!  YouTube finally made way for my video to come rolling right in (after almost a dozen tries) and I’d like to present my very first video tutorial embedded at the bottom of this post in which I demonstrate how I apply gel eyeliner, no tomatoes please.  This also serves as a review slash product comparison for Maybelline Eye Studio Lasting Drama Gel Eyeliner (whew) and Bobbi Brown Gel Eyeliner.  A few lovely blogger friends have been requesting that I post a video on how I do my eyeliner so finally here it is with a bit of initial reluctance.  I am admittedly a bit of a goofball when it comes to being in front of the camera, so you’ll have to forgive me and my point and shoot cam kind of has a subtle lens distortion that makes my face bulge in the center, so I look obviously different in person .  Next time I’ll be more composed and organized plus will have better lit and clear surroundings..  This photo by the way was taken late last year but I am using the same method and product as in the video so it’s perfect as one of the introductory images for what you are about to watch, however please pardon the slightly rough edge in the photo I used a different brush to apply, I nearly got the same result but I prefer the brush I used in my video which is the Make Up For Ever 2S Brush.

Yea, yea I know, enough stalling (YouTube’s done quite enough of that) and onto the video.  Please…please…be kind *covers face*, I’m usually working on videos and not in them so I’m heaps of bashful right now, okay.



Maybelline Eye Studio Lasting Drama Gel Eyeliner

Make Up For Ever Aqua Liner pen
Make Up For Ever 2S liner brush
Bobbi Brown Gel Eyeliner duo pack – Sepia Ink and Black Ink


Shiseido Sun Protection Foundation in shade Sp40
Make Up For Ever Rouge Artist Intense #17
MAC Studio Finish Concealer NC35
Kate Automatic brow pencil

 … To full post & COMMENTS...

Obagi Medical ELASTIderm Eye Treatment Cream – My Eye Cream Upgrade

I wasn’t very dedicated in using my last eye cream which was the L’oreal Youth Code Eye Cream.  I used it frequently but only for a few months and not as often as I should have.  However I did use it long enough to notice that I wasn’t feeling any specific benefits and that I needed more hydration around the eyes.  So, when a blogger friend asked me if I’d like to participate in a House of Obagi product trial I hopped right aboard and asked if I could try their eye cream.  Who wouldn’t want to try an eye cream from a brand as prestigious and trusted for Asian skin as Obagi?

“Obagi ELASTIderm Eye Cream is a one of a kind topical eye treatment that works to bring back lift, snap and resilience to the delicate skin around the eyes.  Using a proprietary Restorative Elasticity Complex , it’s clinically proven to help replenish elasticity and build the collagen necessary to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles in as little as two weeks.  For normal to dry skin.Made in the U.S.

  • Bi-mineral complex: Includes zinc and copper to help restore elasticity and build collagen
  • Malonic acid: Patent-pending Obagi formulation that helps stimulate the production of skin cells
  • Blueberry extract: Provides antioxidants that help eliminate free radicals
  • Penetrating Therapeutics™: An Obagi technology that helps drive the ingredients deep into the skin

The plastic pot comes with 15 grams of product which is a mint-tinted, smooth and creamy souffle texture.  I partly wish the pot was a glass pot so it feels a little more weighty and expensive in hand, but then again it’s better that it’s light for travel purposes.  The pot itself is nothing fancy but I like how you know…MEDICAL… it looks if you know what I mean.  It reminds me of dermatologist packaging.  I’ve received pre-mixed creams from my dermatologist before and pots like this remind me of those, nothing fancy but you know for sure because of the source, Obagi Medical, that it’s gotta be good stuff that works well.  The formulation contains good ingredients like Vitamin E, Algae, Licorice, and Blueberry, note though it isn’t paraben-free.

Steps to Seeing Results

For best results, ELASTIderm should be applied twice daily, in the morning and at night. So you’re reducing visible fine lines and wrinkles throughout the day and throughout your beauty sleep.

How to Apply 

In order to achieve the best results in the reduction of visible fine lines and wrinkles, ELASTIderm should be applied to the entire periorbital area, including the eyelid, inside corner, and outer corner.
The order of application recommended when using ELASTIderm with your current skin care regimen is as follows:
STEP 1: Cleanse face
STEP 2: Apply toner
STEP 3: Apply prescription skin products (if applicable)
STEP 4: Apply ELASTIderm Eye Cream or Eye Gel
STEP 5: Apply face/eye moisturizer
STEP 6: Apply sunscreen

So far I really like the hydrated feel I get around the eyes.  What I didn’t like so much about the L’oreal Youth Code eye cream was I didn’t get a soft “comforting” feeling after application, not to say it was “discomforting” but on occasion I got the eye itch and found myself rubbing my eyes on days when I’d have eye cream on.  With this ELASTIderm Eye Cream, so far I don’t get that it leaves my eyes soft, supple, and hydrated and I initially am loving that very much so far.  It’s my 3rd or 4th day now using it and of course I will have to get back to you guys with a conclusive post when over a month has passed.  ELASTIderm Eye Cream 15mg costs Php5200.00 and is available with Obagi affiliated dermatologists and at all House of Obagi branches. For more information check out House of Obagi’s local Facebook Page.To full post & COMMENTS...

Summer Musings on Singleness and a Song

Let’s shake it up a bit and get a teensy weensy bit personal.  Oh, how we women love to be like this, spilling the A-Zs on how we are in life etc., hence the blog.  No tsismis though (gossip), go to Jamba if you want something juicy.  Becoming 29 has significantly bumped up my looking-young-for-my-age points, although aspects of that do irritate me sometimes, like physically I truly wish I was taller and proportioned.  I often tend to wonder why it wasn’t enough that I was stamped with “babyface” features, why it is that I have to be kiddish short, flat where I shouldn’t be (you get it, ladies), quite skinny waist-up but with chunky legs and feet that won’t slide into skinny fit jeans or slender shoes like hands into a glove ever.  I’ve had even the most tactful people tell me when we dress up for events together “ahh, malaki pala legs mo noh?” in the kindest tone and it’s not even because they’re HUGE, they’re I’d say of medium heft, it’s just they don’t match the waif build of my upper half.  O,h note to those reading, this might be a bit long.  It’s kinda like an open diary entry made appropriate for public reading.

Anyway, body grievances aside (don’t blame me, we all have them, don’t tell me you don’t) I believe I’m still a pretty perky person especially for someone who’s 29 and still single and I am learning to appreciate how young I look, but I have come to the point where I prefer not to be mistaken for a high-school student. I’m 29, honesty really, I’d rather be thought of as a BABE than a BABY.  Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t write this post to PLUG that I’m single, I wrote it to share that I’m still happy that I am.  This whole mode of self-exploration helps me come to terms with it.  Think of it as a random ramble that I like to do about myself once in awhile just to tie in all the inspired blabbing I do about beauty and cosmetics.  Recently I’ve had a couple of odd days where I’ve met single women a few years younger than me more desperate to be with a guy than I am, I’ve met a few on shoots and they begin interrogating me, presuming I’m in college or just graduated.  They get the shock of their lives that I’m 29 and begin “adjusting” their conversation approach and add more respect because only a few moments earlier they thought they were trying to talk to an “18-yr old” LOL.  It’s not their fault of course that they thought I was a teen.  It’s just the way things are.

A lot of the time these lovely women (usually heaps taller than me) look at me in curiosity immediately assume since I’m 29 that I’m either in a relationship, engaged, newly married, plain married, or dating when it’s really, at this point in time, none of the above for no particular reason except God hasn’t revealed the One and I haven’t found myself “at home” with someone, and it can tend to perplex people to no end.  So they then assume I’m not interested in getting married.  Geez,phooey, I’ve only just come out of a 3-year relationship last year but of course I am interested in settling down.  I’m a hopeful romantic, not hopeless, remember don’t doom yourself by using that word (I revoke the times that I have).  Many still single women repeatedly label themselves as “hopeless romantics” and deep inside they’re like “Oh God I hope I find someone like tomorrow” but hope drains away like water through a sieve.  I got engaged the first time when I was 5 yrs old in elementary, to a Jewish classmate, he was also my first kiss (sorry Mom, not recommended) because he did a Dance Instructor dip while we were lined up after lunch and planted a wet one.  Before that we pranced around school arm in arm announcing to everyone we were engaged, with gusto, and that they were invited to our wedding.  I remember him with his cherub features (blonde curls, blue eyes, freckles, missing teeth, all you could ask for really) yelling “This is Julia, we’re going to get married everyone!”  Good times, I think later on though it had a lot to do with my being transferred.  A few weeks later, my Italian classmate made me his girlfriend for a little under a week, then after that my Australian classmate did.  It was an international school, not I.S. though so “relationships” were fleeting really.  I have had and do have a couple of crushes on hand of course, gosh what am I, numb?  Of course not, and when people invite you to go out, GO OUT, if you don’t invite friends out and be seen, don’t sit pretty and wait aimlessly.  Which leads me to the song by Brooke Fraser called Arithmetic.  A fan of the movie Tarzan had used the song thinking it was a love song for a guy and edited it to fit scenes of Disneys Jane and Tarzan.  However it’s a song primarily for the Lord, and I think it’s a great single girl’s song, because before any guy this is how you should feel about your Maker, excited to spend time with Him.  The lyrics aren’t the USUAL and it’s truly intimate and captivating.  I love it.

In my family, my mom and her 8 siblings found the loves of their lives and though none of the marriages are problem-free, everyone can “relax” with each other and make each other laugh simply because all partners can be themselves with each other.  That’s like 9 out of 9 out of the ball park.  It’s a feat that only God has made possible and He still continues to work with each couple and their victories and struggles.  What was the secret?  Well, most if not all of them were very, VERY, VERY alert and VERY, VERY picky when choosing. … To full post & COMMENTS...

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