Bless My Bag

beauty bagged by a cheeky Filipina

MAC “Trace Gold” Sheertone Shimmer Blush – My 1st MAC Blush, Proper Glow Anyone?

So my first MAC blush isn’t your garden variety flush sort of blush.  It’s neither pink nor peach.  In fact, it’s a 90s earthy color and *oh-my-gasp* it’s shimmery (signboards go up “Julia, you bought a bronzer”).  I’m still arguing in my head as to whether MAC Sheertone Shimmer Trace Gold is a blush, bronzer, highlighter or all these lovely things rolled into one simple, subtle, but swoon-worthy product.  I love that even if this is dubbed a Sheertone Shimmer it doesn’t mean having glitter vomit on your face.

I’ll admit Trace Gold’s loveliness was quite hard to photograph on myself during the day, but I promise you in person it is noticeable and does make a difference.  It defines cheekbones or cheeks wherever you apply it and the sheen gives the illusion of highlight AND contour in just one product and that hint of color when properly placed is GORJ.  Read more to get the full post and see me wearing my new MAC Trace Gold blush!


A Man’s Antics and His Moisturizer – Gary Valenciano & his Kiehl’s Recovery Skin Salve

I was thrilled to get a call-back to do Gary Valenciano’s makeup (twitter: @GaryValenciano1) for a second shoot, though the photos of him in this post are my shots from the first one.  I knew through and through that even though I was given the opportunity to do his makeup that I might not get a second chance unless I did the job noticeably well and to his liking.  We’re only talking about one of the biggest celebrity perfectionists I’ve ever known and if Gary V. doesn’t approve of something even in the slightest manner you will know it and begin muttering your full name back to yourself.  To make matters worse his newly engaged son, Paolo, my BFF cousin, scared me the night before and said “Yea, you’d better do it good, he knows how to do his own makeup and he has his own way of doing it, so he’ll really be watching how you do it.”  The day came and I tried not to think too much, the main man began having his hair done by his staple hair expert, Tony & Guy senior, Nelson.  I began swatching shades I planned to use on the big GEE VEE who was in that moment brooding over his music downloads.  I approached him to swipe a shade of foundation across his jawline and as I made contact he let out a sudden “ARAY! (ouch)…”.  As I left the planet for a nanosecond he let out a healthy snigger “HEHEHEHE!  Sorry, just keeding…”.  Totally mean and advantageous I tell you, LOL.  I faked stabbing him in the eye afterwards for revenge.  Ay, caramba!  Here he is, folks, made-up and unharmed.

To my delight I found out from his road manager that shortly after our first shoot they were being instructed by him to purchase the exact base color products I used (MUD products) so he could use the same shades when he does his own makeup on international tours.  Then I got called back  for the second shoot which is such an encouraging thing because I enjoy and love working with him.  On board the second project I took the opportunity to ask what this well-loved tube was among his things and he spilled the beans, that it was his favorite moisturizer…obviously.  You can like totally tell because it’s just…always there.

KIEHL’S Centella Recovery Skin-Salve

KEY INGREDIENTS:  Honey, Aloe, and Tiger Herb (Centella) which contains alkaloids and minerals that are beneficial in the treatment of a host of ailments. It has antibacterial, anti-psoriatic, and wound-healing properties. The Tiger Herb plant is sought out by wounded tigers in the wild who rub against it for its healing properties. (Yeahhh, Tito Gary yerr a tigerr…)

  • Alcohol Free for Sensitive Skin
  • PH balanced and lightweight
  • Leaves skin feeling comforted and gently moisturised

I actually handed him a small container of my own moisturizer first, he began applying a bit of that but then he had to have a look around his stuff for what was familiar and well-loved, which was exactly this.  Kiehl’s Derma Solutions Centella Recovery Skin Salve, with Tiger Herb and Aloe Vera.  It’s got no-frills packaging which guys certainly would prefer and that neutral simplicity just shouts “THIS WORKS”.  More than anything it’s really soothing and comforting. I asked GV about the tube and he goes “Ohh yeahh, I like this,” he says, “I actually use it BEFORE shaving not after just so it feels better, and I always have it.”  Guys normally never elaborate more than that about skincare unless it was something that raised them or their dog from the dead, so the fact that he said it actually already says a lot.  He added “You gave me your moisturizer first, I started using it, but I was really looking for mine because I like it.  You wanna what?   Take a picture of it?  Huh? (LOL)  Okay, why??”  Because, Mr. Pure Energy, that’s just how I roll. :)


Charm Luxe Flat Top Brush – Quick Review and HD Video Demo!

When this product for review by Charm Makeup Brushes arrived for me as a bonus along with its award-winning “barangay” from the 14-pc Vegan set (yes, they’ll be up, soon) I was overcome with excitement.  I was always wanting something similar to the flat top  Sigma F80 which Lisa Eldridge used  in only 2 or 3 of her videos including this Minimal Makeup one.  I get a sense that this Charm Luxe Flat Top brush I was sent is the best value local dupe for the one Lisa uses.  I still love my Ecotools big Bronzing buffer brush for fast overall application but this is great to use on people with smaller features and its smaller size makes it easier to refine makeup in harder to reach areas on the face.

“Created with densely packed, ultra soft, synthetic bristles, the Charm Luxe Flat Top Brush ensures you a wonderful time in front of your vanity mirror as you enjoy the silky softness of the Charm Luxe Flat Top Brush, and see flawless results with it.  It’s great for applying loose mineral foundation, or pressed foundation, to ensure even, buildable, flawless coverage on the face!- PRICE: PHP600.00, SHIPPING: FREE @

Base: MUD Make Up Designory Cream Foundation applied with Charm Luxe Flat Top brush

What a lot of people haven’t realized locally about  kabuki and big dense buffing brushes is they can be used for cake/cream/liquid bases as well and not just for mineral and powder foundation.  Lisa made that point in her Minimal Makeup video.  In fact brushes like this one do a good job of bringing out the pristine quality of these foundations because briskly but gently buffing in a circular motion over the skin warms up the product and applies it in a way that doesn’t “mask” your entire face.  I’m even inclined to call the buffing method kind of a “manual” airbrush technique because people have asked me before if I used an airbrush to apply my makeup because they thought I did.  Here’s a simple HD video demo of one way I do just my base using the Charm Luxe Flat Top brush and a few other products.

Kate Spade Polka Dot Nail Appliques – Dotted Perfection without the Drying Time

This was my first time to have a go at nail wraps using this Kate Spade freebie that came with my new bag.  It was significantly more time consuming than painting the nails directly only because it was my first time.  In the end it was a lot less messy without the annoying drying time and it was, how should I put it…as close to nail art perfection as I could ever hope to get.

INGREDIENTS: Epoxy resin, Acrylates Copolymer, Tris-BHT Mesitylene, Xylene, Potassium Cumene, Sufonate, TO REMOVE: Simply apply nail polish remover.

Basically, nail wraps are super thin nail stickers that are manufactured in a special way so they in a sense “laminate” the nail and the excess can be trimmed or cleanly filed off over the nail edge.  Many brands already offer this breakthrough in nail embellishment including Sally Hansen which I am mentioning since you can’t purchase these Kate Spade ones which come as a freebie with a bag.  Read more to get the full post and the complete directions I followed to apply the nail wraps.  Sorry I didn’t show in photos how I did it step by step but the written directions are what I included.


Bless These Bags – Serious Bag Shopping, Alexander Wang/Kate Spade

Honestly, today was the FIRST TIME EVER Mom and I have gone serious bag shopping together, today was for my bag.  Mom got hers first yesterday at Homme et Femme, Shangrila Mall and out of the blue she wanted to treat me.  So let’s begin waxing bag poetic with Mom’s more-than-meets-the-eye Alexander Wang laser-cut Rocco duffel.  It comes in a shade called “parchment” which is a soft, almost white gray with a touch of beige warmth.

Alexander Wang Laser Cut Rocco

“Laser cut leather top zip duffel bag with rolled top handles, aged nickel-tone hardware and rivets at base. Adjustable notch closure along shoulder strap. Fabric lined interior with zipper pocket, two organizational pockets and outer hidden zip pockets. 9.25\” height x 13.5\” width x 9.25\” depth 4\” handle drop, 15\” strap drop Imported Available in Parchment (color) ” – info via Net-A-Porter

It looks plain enough when you first see it, but what is mind-blowing about the AW Rocco is the texture.  It’s an exceedingly roomy leather bag laser-cut with uniform micro shredding.  It’s a bit addictive running your fingertips back and forth across it.  What you get is a velvety texture almost like suede but with more body and the sudden ambush of studs underneath (like terracotta warriors) is like the most unexpected come-on ever, don’t you think?  It’s clear why Mom zeroed in on this one like a heat-seeking missile.  Now, for the Kate Spade procession and what I got.  Read more to see what I chose from the Kate Spade boutique in Greenbelt 3.


Page optimized by WP Minify WordPress Plugin