HAKUHODO’s NEW MISAKO Portable Brush Set

Though they be but little, they are fierce!  My Hakuhodo Misako brush set has arrived, with natural bristles and according to my Dad this white goat hair version is the newer and softer upgrade to the previous Misako portable sets.


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SALE! Charm Makeup Brushes 20% OFF | Via Beauty and Minerals

You can’t go wrong with a set of Charm makeup brushes. They’re the locally recognized mid-range makeup brush brand consigned in quite a few locations around the city like in Glorietta and at Pure Beauty in Serendra. The brand has also been cited several times by magazines like Cosmopolitan.  Top blogger Sophie Uy has done a superb job of championing her brand!  I use these brushes often on wedding jobs and advertising shoots and they just really deliver…without shedding. 


Use coupon code PH-Twentyoff on all transactions until February 28, and get a whopping, happy 20% off on all items from Beauty and Minerals!

They’re having a sale over at the brushes’ online home Beauty and Minerals, be sure you don’t miss out! I think the discounts are only for online purchases. If you’d like to know what I’d put my money on other than the retractable brushes, which every self-respecting girl on the go needs, it would be this.


The J&C Super Clean Solutions Brush Spray Cleanser (which I’ve reviewed here is part of the SALE as well! I plan on getting more than 1 bottle of the stuff because it works so well and smells great.… To full post & COMMENTS...

J & C Super Clean Solutions Brush Cleanser | MUFE Brush Cleanser Spray Dupe

I had a brush cleansing post about 2 months ago that tackled both spot cleansing and deep cleansing.  I mentioned that I already used up my favorite Make Up For Ever spray brush cleanser for spot cleansing after every job. Well I was invited to a launch about a week after that post went up and I am now so glad they introduced us to this product.


J & C Super Clean Solutions is a brush spray cleanser with ethyl alcohol and spearmint oil that’s great for spot cleansing ( read how to spot cleanse brushes here ). It was created by Jenny Yrasuegui and Celine Gabriel-Lim who recognized the need for an affordable brush cleaner that smelled pleasantly fresh and mild, not too strong.


I love that it smells like mint and that it works just as well as my Make Up For Ever Brush Cleanser does for spot cleansing, for about a third of the cost at Php395.00 (approx $9.40) per 120ml bottle. I’m excited because I hear that they may be developing a brush shampoo as well for deep cleansing to complement the brush spray cleanser.  J&C Super Clean solutions brush cleanser is available at BeautyAndMinerals.com and restocking this Friday at Sofa retail Lab in Rockwell. LIKE J&C Super Clean solutions on Facebook and email jenyrasuegui@gmail.com for more information… To full post & COMMENTS...

E.l.f Studio MakeUp Brushes | Kitten-paw Quality for Less

A whole lot of people seem to be split down the middle on the subject of e.l.f. brand (“eyes, lips, face”) products, it’s either people detest or love that they’re a way cheaper brand.  Everyone who knows a thing or two about beauty knows that the product range is quite unbelievably affordable.  Many items you can get for $1-2 worth or just a little under or over Php100.oo but they also have a few that cost a little bit more.  I wouldn’t say the quality is “dirt cheap” though, I actually like their creamy no fail gel liners, just don’t like the plastic pots they come in because it doesn’t keep the product as well as a glass pot would.  The e.l.f. range actually has a lot of items that perform well, they do the job, period…like the Studio makeup brushes for example (take note, the Studio line, the black ones designed for professional use).  If you’re frustrated that we don’t have the Real Techniques brushes more readily available in retail, try these which are locally available at Rustan’s Beauty source and SM if I’m not mistaken, not sure if SM carries the Studio line.



LEFT: E.l.f. Studio Complexion Brush, RIGHT: E.l.f. (Flat Top) Powder Brush

The brush on the right, the E.l.f. Powder brush is the more popular one online among pros and bloggers and is a larger version of the Charm Luxe Flat top brush I featured before. It would be lovely for buffing in foundation or mineral makeup, perfect for either.  If you’d like to conserve more liquid product though using the flat top Powder brush that’s possible.  I recommend applying and slightly spreading the amount of liquid foundation you need with your hands onto your face first then using the brush to work and polish it onto the skin so the brush doesn’t soak up product.  The Complexion brush is simply like the softest synthetic powder brush I have ever, as in ever felt and would be great for applying loose powder.  There’s a debate on whether natural bristles pick up powder products better than synthetic bristles do.  I believe that principle when it comes to powder eyeshadow but I’m neutral when it comes to the application of loose powder or blush. I think it has to do with how the hairs, synthetic or not, are tapered at the tip.  I think this Complexion brush will do really well for loose powder especially.


If pro MUA Lisa Eldridge can sport an e.l.f. brush or two to use on herself in her videos once in awhile then that is good enough reason for me to put in a bit of money to replace just a few other brushes I have that are shedding.  I settled on these two brushes for now.  Because these are developed with finely groomed synthetic Taklon bristles (just like the Real Techniques brushes) they can be used with wet or dry products.  They are so unbelievably soft, actually softer than the Real Techniques brushes, in fact so soft they deceptively feel like natural bristles.  I’m actually returning to Rustan’s only to exchange one of these today for an exact same one simply because the handle of the one I picked was just very slightly bent, someone else probably wouldn’t have noticed (I realized when I twirled and looked at the brush 360), but other than that the brush is fine, no pre-use shedding at all and the bristles were densely packed.  At Php249.50 per brush (these ones) from Rustan’s Beauty Source (got mine at Glorietta Grand mall) you can be certain I’ll be getting a few more later on as needed.  What’s lovely about getting these at Rustan’s is you can inspect your purchases first and you’ve got 10 days to return or exchange any item as long as you have your receipt.  Edit: If you’re an online shopper a reader just shared that she gets her E.l.f. studio brushes for less at this local site, and cheaper indeed at under Php180 per  brush http://www.nyxwholesaleph.com/testopencart/.  My top UK beauty blogger friend Charlotte (she hit #1 or 2 on occasion and won the Johnson & Johnson Best Beauty blog award in 2010)  in this video shares her favorite budget makeup brushes and has a couple e.l.f. brushes to praise in it.

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Cleaning My Makeup Brushes – Two Ways that Work for Me as a Pro

Welcome to brush cleaning tutorial # 533,381 *LOL*.  It’s true!  There are hundreds if not thousands of brush cleaning tutorials online offered by amateurs and experts alike, not to mention a whole variety of brush cleaning sprays, fluids and cleansers available on the market.  In my opinion, brush cleaning shouldn’t triple the cost of your already expensive trade as a makeup artist if you are one nor should it painfully mark up your hobby as a beauty blogger or cosmetic enthusiast.  Brush cleaning is something that has to be done, as long as you own makeup brushes and use them, you must know how to clean them properly.  Today, I’m going to share with you what products I use and how I’ve been cleansing my brushes as a professional.  I use Make Up For Ever Brush Cleanser which contains Alcohol and Tea Tree Oil (I’ve just used up the last few spritzes, it lasted me 1 year and a half) for spot cleaning before each job and Joy Ultra Dishwashing Antibacterial Detergent (with Safeguard) for deep  cleansing after every 3-4 major makeup jobs.

One of the first things that Camille, my French makeup teacher, shared is that what absolutely works brilliantly for deep brush cleansing surprisingly is the cheapest, non-moisturizing, stripping soap you can find, great plus if they’re antibacterial “Sometimes ze cheaper ze soap ze better eet iz for the brushes, just get zat really cheap soap”.  Those are usually the tiny complimentary white soaps you find in resorts or hotels (she says she stocks up) or yes in my case, grease-stripping dishwashing fluid.  The principle of cleaning brushes is quite straightforward and surprisingly simple and if some of you have noticed that your brush heads no longer retain the same shape or feel as when you bought them (clumped bristles that don’t snap back to shape, greasy feel, or worse funny smell) then there is certainly something wrong in the way you are cleansing them even if you are using the right products.  I’m sharing this because I know, I’ve cleaned my brushes wrong a few times before.  Your brushes should feel soft again once completely dry and look like new, save for perhaps some discoloration because of product.  I’m not fond of brush cleaners that require you pour then SOAK brushes in them, they’re often wasteful and more expensive.  Click Read More to see the two ways I use step-by-step to 1.) Spot clean my brushes and 2.) Deep clean my brushes.… To full post & COMMENTS...

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 @ BeautyAndMinerals.com

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.

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Planting Pretty – My Nifty IKEA Storage Idea

In IKEA Queensway, Singapore, that was where I spotted these lovely coated, galvanized (anti-rust) steel planters for $SGD 5.20 each (Php175).  The IKEA “skurar” pots looked lacy to me and worthy of my dressing table.  I’ve never seen a post done on these plant pots although I wouldn’t be surprised if people have already used them in this same way.  This idea purely came to me while I was fixing and sorting my strewn calamity of costume jewelry last night, and I’m quite proud of having thought of this.  The opportunity to fix was inspired by Vivianna, and the idea with the plant pots was instinctive.

These are majority of the makeup brushes I own and use professionally.  Real life dictates that I not keep them all here, I’m merely showing that this can be done.  The IKEA Skurar pot is actually somewhat tall for the brushes so I layered in some cotton wool at the bottom so that the brushes would stand above the rim with better height.

The stuff in the other pot will truly stay as is for the moment.  This currently sits on top of my dresser with my brushes, body spray and hand lotion for daily use.  I remember how my best friend, Alma, keeps her earrings plugged into a stand frame specifically made to store and display earrings.  I’m particularly fond of the fact that this prettily scored plant pot does the job even if it was probably not meant for what I discovered it could do.  In keeping with the “garden theme” the 3 pairs of earrings I chose to display are all birds or bird related.  A suggestion would be to keep 3 or more most frequently used pairs out on display like this and the rest in a jewelry box you can keep nearby.  You’re sure to use displayed accessories more often, because otherwise, if out of sight, out of mind.  Read more to see more photos and another thing that surprised me.… 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...

The Winner of my Real Techniques Travel Essentials Giveaway is…

…hang on to your butts, clutch your pigtails, close your eyes…at the same time… *drumroll.  The winner of a new set of Real Techniques brushes plus a Php500 voucher from House of Flair is…

Congratulations to ELINOR SEMIRA aka @mhoie1325 on Twitter!  Please DM me at @blessmybag or email me your shipping details to probinsiyana(at)gmail(dot)com and I shall forward it to Suyen of House of Flair, she will be sending out your Real Techniques brushes as promptly as possible.

Thank you everyone for joining this lovely giveaway and showing support for the House of Flair venture which is such a lovely business.  I’m so happy a pre-ordering service like them exists. I feel less detached from everything available in the U.S. now.  Of course when one giveaway ends, another begins on this blog so keep your eyes peeled for the next one, ladies!  Oh and if you haven’t followed @houseofflair on Twitter, even if you didn’t make it to this giveaway please do and spread the love :).… To full post & COMMENTS...