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The Spare Makeup Kit | Put Together in a Mad Dash

Okay, so I groaned when I realized I had scatterbrained-ly left my makeup kit in my uncle’s house.  It happens to the best of us.  My cousin, Ella, was kind enough to secure that baby the minute I texted her.  If you’re wondering, that illustrated “Prettify” canvas pouch has most of my personal favorites. It’s a good thing I’m a makeup bug blessed with more than enough to choose from.  Without overthinking it (and in a complete hurry) I managed to put a small temporary kit together using the pretty Kate Spade polka-dot wash bag Mom got me. 


Let me significantly point out that this spare kit came together in 2 groups:

1) What I grabbed the moment I knew I left my kit the other day…


CLOCKWISE (sort of): Wet & Wild Megalast matte lipstick 902C, MAC Studio Sculpt Concealer NC30, Jordana lipstick Beige Glow, NYX Nude Beige lipliner, Korres Multivitamin Pressed Powder, Maybelline Volum Express Falsies Black Drama mascara, Okuma concealer (by k-palette), black Maybelline Eyestudio Eyeliner pencil

and 2) What I added in today with time to think.


FROM LEFT: Stila Smudgestick automatic eyeliner in “Halfmoon”, Za EverBrows pencil with brow brush, Maybelline Eyestudio Gel Eyeliner black (pot) & brush, Missha perfect concealer in natural beige, Nichido mineral concealer pencil (for small spots & perfecting the lip edge after lipstick), and Elizabeth Arden 8-hr Cream Stick.


You’ll notice i haven’t added a lash curler and blush product that’s simply coz I didn’t have time and I’m being super honest. I’d probably add a lash curler and my new NARS Zen blush to make this complete but that’s in the kit I left behind. I’ll have my main makeup kit back with me soon enough but these will see me through.… To full post & COMMENTS...


My Lil’ Black Book of Beauty Pt. 2 | Foreign Blogs I Love Reading

Beauty videos, to say the least, are all very engaging but sometimes silence and a wash of beautiful photos over some prose is golden.  It’s equally relaxing to have a read through some of the most prolific beauty blogs online.  By the way this is part 2 of the Lil’ Black Book of Beauty Pt.1 post I began first containing the channels I watch.  I sometimes don’t  have the time to download or wait for a full video to stream, so reading these blogs is the quickest way to stay updated.  To save even more time I don’t always cart around my 17″ ASUS laptop (which baffles everyone who sees it) to read these.  I have most of the blogs booted via RSS on my Android Pulse Reader app (available for Apple, too) which allows me to view all the blogs I choose by row and I can immediately scroll to see if there’s a new post or not because of thumbnails then I can read them via Pulse, too.  This way I don’t waste precious time loading up each website /channel only to find some may not have an update.  Also once you’ve loaded them you can read the posts offline if you’re on the go, great for traffic on certain days.



I have a Pulse page for blogs, local blogs, and a pulse page for YouTube channels.  Many of them are British and reading through a ton of British blogs has actually improved my writing because no one  writes English like the English…ahem.  I do have a certain bias towards European beauty blogs simply because it’s the dead smack center of carefully developed luxury beauty brands using the freshest and best ingredients and also because they’ve banned over a thousand questionable chemicals for use in cosmetics (the U.S. have reportedly only banned 9?).  Okay, enough blabber, click  read more to see what are more or less my daily beauty reads.

Continue reading My Lil’ Black Book of Beauty Pt. 2 | Foreign Blogs I Love Reading


Speaking of Sampleroom…

When my good friend, top beauty blogger slash Charm brush businesswoman, Sophie Uy, invited me on board as a partner blogger for I was EXCITED and DELIGHTED.  Before I got to know Sophie better her reputation had already preceded her.  In business, Sophie’s Charm makeup brush sets were recently given the seal of approval by the COSMO beauty awards.  She happens to be one of the most highly revered and honest pioneer beauty bloggers in the country with her blog, and if you happen to supposedly be one of the first bloggers approached by the likes of  MAC cosmetics as early as 2007/2008 you’re probably one of the best online.  When Sophie points out that something is good I have next to no doubt that it’s something worth checking out.  So it’s time to give you a little introduction to Sophie’s most recent beauty project, it has to do with beauty samples and it isn’t a box, this is Sampleroom!


Sampleroom is to a certain effect similar to an online beauty forum like Makeup Alley where women rate and swap beauty items in the U.S.  What Sampleroom aims to be is an online beauty base where you can sample the best products, post reviews, and read the thoughts of other beauty lovers like yourself.  Be guided and inspired by the sincere musings and reviews of Sampleroom’s chosen partner bloggers (once we get cracking and reviewing) or embark on your own beauty sampling adventure as a Sampleroom member!

The Sampleroom team wants to build a community of beauty enthusiasts that help each other by reviewing great products while at the same time bringing the industry’s best beauty samples AS YOU PICK THEM right to your doorstep.  Read more to get more information about the benefits of being a member and see me featured as a partner blogger in the Sampleroom site screenshots!

Continue reading Speaking of Sampleroom…

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Ellis Faas Luxury Make-Up | Now Available on StrawberryNet HK

Who is Ellis Faas?  She’s a Dutch make-up artist whose professional expertise, ingenuity, technical skill, and keen creative craft eventually spawned her self-named makeup range which is nothing short of chic, high-end, and futuristic all at once.  The Ellis Faas makeup range starting from November is now available here from StrawberryNET HK, which means…hello…we have access to it!  Hers was one of those product launches that hit the news near the end of 2009 before it was officially released in February of 2010 and when I caught wind of it it felt like the sort of brand I’d never ever get to touch because it’s just so…far up there.  It’s even way more up there and exclusive than the luxury brands at boutique counters you can waltz over to in high street department stores.  Ellis Faas only happens to be one of the best and most gifted makeup artists in the world.

Photo from

Having worked for many years in her career with top designers and brands like L’Oreal Paris Ellis is most famous for her own range of products which exactly presents itself as the world’s ultimate makeup arsenal like no other.  Read more to see what the products look like and what I mean when I say that.  I’ve also included a video review by Lisa Eldridge on this product range at the end of the post.

Continue reading Ellis Faas Luxury Make-Up | Now Available on StrawberryNet HK

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Unboxing My First BDJ (Belle De Jour) Box!

I’m thankful and glad the Belle de Jour team sent an invite my way for a big peek at their own range of beauty sample boxes.  Let’s have a closer look, shall we?

1.) L’oreal Paris Total Repair 5, Daily Repairing Treatment 50ml, 2.) Garnier Skin Naturals Pure Active Multi-action scrub 50ml, 3.) L’oreal Revitalift Night Repair Essence 5ml, 4.) L’oreal Lucent Magique Skin Illuminating BB Cream SPF20 5ml, 5.) Calvin Klein Eternity Aqua 1.2ml sample vial, 6.) SYOSS (by Schwarzkopf) Anti-Dandruff Shampoo & Conditioner (both 100ml), 7.) Yves Rocher Hydra Vegetal Hydrating Toner 50ml, 8.) BONUS: Garnier Skin Naturals LightSPF17 facial cream sachets. CHECK OUT THE WEBSITE to see first few brands involved at

I’m actually genuinely delighted at how jam-packed my BDJ blogger sample box is and they’ve managed to even fit in 2 or more full-sized products in there!  I’m particularly curious about that tiny sample of BB Cream.  The BDJ Box is brought to us beauty lovers by the same editorial team that brought us the Belle de Jour planner which was spearheaded by Kat Dy.  Belle de Jour is a well-thought-out planner for women that includes tips on beauty and self confidence plus shop and dine coupons to help and encourage you to live more fully throughout the year. 


We also have Barbi Chan the makeup artist and our very own blogger friend Tara on board as part of the beauty ministry team for the BDJ Box subscription service.  Tara is the cheerful face behind the blog Chronicles of Vanity(dot)com.  Read more to get the full post inclusive of subscription details, payment plans, contact details, perks, and photos from the BDJbox launch!

Continue reading Unboxing My First BDJ (Belle De Jour) Box!


Duty Free Beauty Bomb! From Korea & Mexico – Mom’s Back!

My mother just arrived from her business trip which took her to Mexico, Korea, and back.  Even if the timezone change got tiring and it was for work she was actually having a lot of fun.  While in Korea, her stop before coming home, she was accommodated at the Lotte Hotel World which flanked Lotte World Duty Free and for someone who isn’t really a shopper by nature, she was overwhelmed.  Mom texted “Oh my gosh, Jul…you would love this store…”, and I texted back “Really, wow, you know, it’s actually better that I’m not there…” LOL.  Lotte is the biggest Duty Free shop in Korea and one of the biggest Duty Free Stores in the world carrying over 500 premium brands in-store.   Here’s a teaser of what she got me (she followed a list I gave her) for future reviews!  They’re huddled together for a cozy group shot in Mom’s new, quite porcine Mexican mortar and pestle.

CLOCKWISE: Bourjois Healthy Balance Pressed Powder #52 (compared by some as a drugstore dupe of MAC MSF Natural), Bourjois Healthy Mix Gel Foundation Serum #52 (Lisa Eldridge loves this), Origins Drink Up Intensive Overnight Mask (reco by, Benefit They’re Real Mascara, MAC Harmony blush, Shu Uemura Pro Gel Concealer (the original Pro concealer was phased out :( ), and a worldwide favorite, Laneige’s Water Sleeping Pack (another overnight moisture cream).

Just for the sake of sharing what items I initially requested for, here’s the visual list I made for Mom which includes the items that didn’t make it back home due to availability or my regulating the budget for her (like telling her for example not to get any MAC stuff nalang from Korea, not as cheap).

I gave mom a list of 8 items, one or two weren’t available/out of stock, but she substituted items and got me around 7, including just 1 item from Mexico’s Duty Free, MAC Harmony blush.  Go figure, I was asleep when she texted that she was at MAC.  What was absolutely interesting about her Duty Free experience was the form of checkout.  At Lotte in Korea, as a tourist you’re not allowed to bring back your items to your hotel room upon purchase.  This is to prevent reselling of tax-free products within the country.

What happens in Korean duty free stores is your items are individually cleared, bubble-wrapped, sealed together in one big Ziplock cousin and are sent directly to the airport where you will reunite with them only upon your departure from Korea, as seen above in that photo I took before opening them.  So beauty bloggers, hate to bust your bubble but you won’t be allowed any on-location loot shoots or tax-free product reviews on your trip if you buy from Duty Free.  Mom called them quite “effie” aka efficient given that experience.  What blew me away was the delightful price difference on items like the Laneige Sleeping Pack which costs something like Php1500-Php1800 locally, over there in its homeland it amounted to just about Php800-900 when converted.

 … To full post & COMMENTS...


How I Store My Beauty Blog Stash (Not My Dressing Table)

Sometimes, it can be a bit overwhelming (but more exciting) as time passes and products for review slowly start piling up.  Because I don’t have a big room I need to have a system.  This is a simple storage method for the blog that works for me, but please note this is separate from my own personal dressing table and also from the amount of products I have in my professional makeup cruise ship kit.  I practically never lose anything that has been sent to me for a review with this storage method.  Products are not tucked away in drawers so I don’t forget about them, because for me “out of sight…out of mind” and beauty products expire if you know what I mean.  I took the liberty late last year of purchasing around 8 or 10 of these deep storage baskets with handles from Japan Home Center’s 88/99 Peso Store…”arte” bonus, you can pull the baskets out without ruining your newly painted nails.


The 88/99 peso baskets come in varied widths but look similar enough so they look good together and do the job perfectly.  As you can see they’re not unsightly to look at firing-squad style, these don’t make your shelf look like a stockroom and don’t make it look overtly fixed/organized like a Pleasantville shop display window either.  Have patience with the weird in me, I don’t want to pretentiously put these products on display at home like they’re in a boutique, because they’re not…I don’t have time, they’re mine, they’re here at home, and home is chill…right?  The most important basket sits patiently on the far right, containing the most current, yet-to-be reviewed stock on hand.   Sprawled on top you have random things that wont fit for whatever reason but just need to be there, too. (Obsessive Compulsive readers claw at the screen…o…easy lang, your nails, hala!).  At the bottom in the 2 baskets (which are not full) are odd old things that I need to shop from my stash again one day.  This is what the whole bookshelf and consequently the room (the brighter side) looks like.

For what it’s worth, the location is heavily guarded by 9 lives.  She’s ever ready.

By the way that top of a mango tree you see outside my window is the tree my brother planted in the garden when he was about 9 years old.  He’s 16 now and look at how that tree has grown (I’m on the 2nd floor)!  I’d like to end this post with something more personal.  The most immediate way in which I keep my stash trimmed down to a manageable amount is with repeat generosity.  When brands are generous I do my part in reviewing but also share the extra products with friends and family, and I love when I’m able to do it.  What I’m blessed with often contains too much for just one person to enjoy.  It ends up becoming direct marketing in its most genuine form but more importantly it makes the people I know unexpectedly happy.


 … To full post & COMMENTS...


Meet Estee Lauder’s Global Artist Blair Patterson – Reserve an Exclusive Gift Thru Me!

It’s delightful that in today’s modern age we are able to witness some of the world’s best makeup artists demonstrate their techniques online, especially via YouTube or blogazine sites.  It’s still even more special however to witness them weave their magic IN THE FLESH!  Tomorrow afternoon at Edsa Shangrila Hotel you can watch Estee Lauder’s Global Makeup Artist, Blair Patterson, demonstrate his expertise right before your very eyes.

Meet Blair Patterson tomorrow, Saturday, October 13, 2012, 430pm at the Lubang Function Room, Edsa Shangrila HotelTo avail of the MakeUp Workshop purchase P3,000.00 worth of GCs redeemable for Estee Lauder products in Rustan’s Makati and Rustan’s Shangri-la and mention that you are purchasing to join the workshop tomorrow.

To avail of the exclusive gift at the workshop through partner bloggers like myself here’s how:  If you reserve through me, meaning saying you’re interested in the workshop through me and I’ll tell them so they make a list, you still have to pay the GC workshop fee in advance like everyone else at  Estee Lauder Makati or Shangrila counters (which kinda serves as tuition and materials) BUT you’ll be on the list I pass onto them and will get an exclusive bonus gift during the workshop.  So those who are interested in this lovely meet and greet + makeup demonstration plus want a bonus gift, let me know!  Email me with the email Subject: “PURE COLOR PURE EXPERTISE Workshop Bonus” and include your full name, email, and mobile phone details at  Don’t forget to stay updated with events and promotions follow Estee Lauder PH on FB.  Hope to see you tomorrow!… To full post & COMMENTS...

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