Top Shelf Talk | Updated Skincare February 2015

Since I saw one of my followers and online IG inspiration, Sarah Loves Makeup, suddenly get featured on for her ITG Top Shelfie I figured I’d join in.  Who knows, right?  You simply shoot your current products on your bathroom shelf or wherever shelf you keep them and use the hashtag #ITGtopshelfie in your post.  If it snaps up the Glossy gang’s interest they’ll contact you and request to feature you and give you what basically is a global introduction at the top of the beautysphere.  So whether or not this makes it up there here it is.  My current skincare picks (which I update on the blog every 6 months anyway).  I’ve linked the individual reviews to the products listed below.

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NEKKID Beauty Cleansing Cream, Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair II serum, L’Occitane Fresh Gentle toner, 100 Percent Pure Tomato Lycopene Face Cream moisturizer, Burt’s Bees Intense Hydration Cream Cleanser with Clary Sage, Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting  8% Glycolic Acid AHA Gel, and unseen in photo is the Yves Rocher Micellar Water with tea in it which I used to remove any remaining makeup.

The serum mentioned which is Estee Lauder’s Advanced Night Repair can be used day or night contrary to popular opinion, it was Guardian beauty journalist and Pretty Honest book author Sali Hughes who cleared that up.  Estee Lauder’s ANR, quite a gentle serum, is actually quite a stable,healing formula and is even safe to use on children NOT as a facial treatment but more of like a healing formula over arms or legs, over itchy, irritated skin patches like at the beach for example if something external sets off a reaction.  It was one of their global makeup artists who told me in person that while on holiday he takes this away with him and has used it now and then on his nieces or nephews if ever they got a reactive skin itch, he would smooth it over that area to soothe them.  My favorite item in this post is actually my delicate glass tasseled sparrow jar for cotton pads (I ran out hence the balls), which is a gift from Mom.

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It’s so delicately fashioned and light I thought it was plastic when she first gave it to me, it isn’t, it’s real glass, it actually looks like it was glass blown, maybe not but maybe yes.  This is my favorite top shelf thing of the moment.  What’s yours?

 … To full post & COMMENTS...

NEW Happy Skin InstaBeauty Blur Cream | Primer Foundation With Benefits

It’s a little funny, in a positive way, that booming local beauty brand Happy Skin first came out with their Silicone-Free foundation over a year ago and now they’re presenting one that offers the benefits of a silicone primer base and more.  It just proves they’re out to help everyone.  It’s true some people would rather live with less or no silicone in facial products but others who don’t react can benefit from it’s filling and smoothing properties.  This new product can be worn alone or under your makeup to help mattify and extend its staying power (sort of like what the brand Living Proof does for hair-styling) and also boasts some stable yet active age-defying ingredients to help keep the years at bay.  Presenting Happy Skin’s new Insta Beauty blur cream primer foundation which is basically a smoothing, mattifying silicone-based primer with a generous amount of tint.  This is waterproof-ish primer I was talking about that wouldn’t come off in my previous review of NEKKID Cleansing cream, all my makeup came off with the cleanse but the layer of this was left behind underneath and I had to use a makeup remover to finish the job.



HAPPY SKIN InstaBeauty BLUR CREAM PRIMER FOUNDATION Php1299.00 click here to purchase (domestic & global shipping available)

“This unique primer foundation provides a light tint veil that corrects and blurs away skin imperfections. It refines large pores, fills in lines and wrinkles, and instantly mattifies, too! It contains the tried and tested anti-aging ingredients Retinol and Peptides to make skin plump and smooth. High penetrating Vitamin C helps boost the production of collagen. Super Vitamin E moisturizes & protects while this pre-makeup primer keeps makeup in place all day.” Happy Skin Cosmetics are also available at Plains & Prints outlets, Beauty Bar, and Rustan’s

An aunt of mine in her 40s (but looks like shes in her early 30s) a couple of months back was constantly getting fresh compliments about her makeup.  I love custom creation stories like hers.  She told me that based on the tips I gave her and videos I’d been sending she had personally created her own base routine which delivers a difference that works for her and she would diligently do it just with fingers.  She had begun blending Porefessional silicone primer together with another base or BB Cream she was using to create a blurred tinted base which looked like she had a fresh, shine-free yet radiant complexion with less visible wrinkles and pores.  She had steps when she told me this tale, how some areas of the face only received the primer and other areas the blend of her base with the primer.  Now this product here by Happy Skin could have technically been the birth-child of my Tita’s experiment, in reality it isn’t, but it is a very closely related makeup concept.  I believe if she knew this product existed (I haven’t told her yet) she’d be onto this item in a millisecond.  Click through to get the full post and see how it looks on my skin.… To full post & COMMENTS...

Becoming a Grit and Grace Woman | Women on a Mission

It isn’t fresh news and all that big, but nearly two weeks ago on Instagram I was chosen to be a Grit and Grace woman to follow by (@gritandgracewomen), an inspirational group based in San Francisco with the aim to connect, encourage, and promote women who share and live Spiritual lives to inspire others in their niche calling.  The feature itself is nothing huge in earthly terms really, just a Follow Friday blast if you think about it, but this meant a lot to me personally because I was inserted alongside all these amazing, beautiful women of varying ethnicity (but mostly American I think) who all love the Lord.

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FOLLOW US! @blessmybag, @jokotadeshow, @jessigreenny, @styleskinny, @thecreativeporcupine, @jilliandolberry


The G&G gals just went out, pulled my photo, and did it.  If you think about it, pretty daring, they just grabbed one of my photos from my blog and stuck it in there, lol, but I’m totally game like that and I’m glad it was one of the good ones.  The way I discovered this happened was a notification on Instagram popped up while I was backstage doing makeup work during The Ultimate Valentine Concert (Gary V, Regine, Lani , and Martin Nievera), and I was like on IG and saying “…wait a minute, that’s me…in a poster…with who?!  Who are these women, oh, oh my how cool is this?!!!” and I was like prancing here and there backstage being a shameless show-off to the road manager, my partner hairstylist, and everyone else who couldn’t care less in the middle of an ongoing pop concert really, LOL.  I was just sooo flattered and chuffed to the bones.  I followed them all and a few days later was totally inspired and moved by this post of Amanda @thecreativeporcupine.  I’ll be posting a post from each of their accounts here so you get a glimpse of their uniqueness.







We’re not all beauty bloggers, some are crafty, some are fashionistas, some are homemakers, but Jessi and I are in the style and beauty department I believe and someone has designed a dayplanner with an inspirational format.  It’s inspiring how God has broken the mold of each one of us.  I noticed right away that the Grit & Grace team in graphics and layout really know what they’re doing (notice all our faces are practically the same size from different photos).  What was cool was I think I was already following @jessigreenny if I’m not mistaken or vice versa before we were both chosen to be part of the same Follow Friday set.  Feel free to correct me, Jessi, if you’re reading this but you were already a familiar face!  Follow all of us if you haven’t on Instagam and don’t be shy to comment or say hello!… To full post & COMMENTS...

NEKKID Unscented Cleansing Cream | Gently Gets Your Face Nekkid

Local indie bath and body beauty brand NEKKID has slowly been making waves, sweetly entering the biz with supple jazz hands under the intimate direction of seasoned professional makeup artist, Sabs Hernandez-Dy Liacco.  You may have remembered me mentioning indie brand Haus of Gloi in the past, sadly their international shipping costs have hiked up a great deal, making me have to stop repurchasing my favorite bubbling scrubs for now.  I was sent a couple of items from Sabs’ brand to try, but I totally zoned in on NEKKID’s Unscented Cleansing Cream for obvious reasons.  It has an ingredients list I can count on less than both hands.



NEKKID Unscented Cleansing Cream Php350 for 200g, click here to purchase

INGREDIENTS: Almond oil, beeswax, xanthan gum, pure aloe vera gel, vegetable glycerin, Vitamin E oil, Vitamin A oil

“I didn’t want to include chemicals na hindi ko ma-pronounce, so it’s for women who wear light makeup talaga.  Xanthan gum is used as a thickening agent lang in both food or in cosmetics, it is also used as a stabilizer in cosmetic products to prevent ingredients from separating it’s the almond oil that dissolves the makeup fast (light makeup, not waterproof makeup) , and the vegetable glycerin makes the skin retain moisture.”


I’ve tried this lovely cleanser twice and for the price of Php350 and for the amount you get it is great.  The texture is like cold cream but it goes slippy over the face (thanks to the almond oil and aloe) then emulsifies well when combined with water, it’s not like those cleansing creams out there that pretend to be more than just a cream but don’t rinse off with water properly, you will get a proper rinse with this I assure you.  I noted that it removed most, but not all of my makeup (the primer I had underneath was sort of waterproof) but it just means if you go over your face quickly with makeup remover first even in a dash this cream can help finish the job for you.  If you wear light mineral makeup and/or non-waterproof foundation that will certainly come off. This feels extremely similar to the Burt’s Bees Intense Hydration Cream Cleanser I talked about a few posts ago, but with a much shorter ingredients list and no fragrance, *clicks heels in mid-air*.  I highly recommend this for girls with dry to sensitive skin.




It goes on slippy coz of the Almond oil which allows for some massage action and it rinses off cleanly, just what I want in a cream cleanser.  Perhaps the only suggestion I’d like to put out is that they perhaps make a smaller 100g version in a pump bottle or tube that’s easier to bring for travel (and will extend shelf-life), but I see this cleanser still coming along on beach trips with me because hydrating facial massages are in high-demand after baking under the tropical sun.  It’s probably also a good comforting after-sun cleanser for your tender face.  NEKKID Beauty products are currently not yet consigned anywhere for retail but for now you can explore the brand and purchase their products here at  I’m so proud of you Sabs, and so excited for more stuff from NEKKID Beauty!… To full post & COMMENTS...

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.



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)


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.


Credit: Christopher Polk / staff (




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?



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.


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.





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


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...

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