Monday, June 29, 2009

Ready, Rest... Pose!

Okay so Glenn, the torturer of my photoshoots (okay kidding dude, you know I love your shots), and I had a shoot that involved me getting squished inside a box so enabling me to bend in pretzel-like proportions a-la Giselle Bundchen.

As he told me to rest so he could adjust the camera settings, he saw me and was like, "Wait, hold that and pull up your hair!"

And my dear friends... here is the result....

I love the contrast of the red against my monochromatic outfit and I kinda look like a couture-ish Barbie doll here.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Estee Lauder Sale Haul

Warning: Picture-heavy post up ahead :P

Last week, I was guest artist for the MAC booth when the Estee Lauder group of companies had a big sale held at the Mandarin Hotel. Aside from the huge discounts (50-70% off), I also got the chance to be surrounded with makeup, make huge sales, and uhmm... of course I can't help but make a few buys.

What's being sold are actually limited edition collections and extra stocks that are still good (of course! they're unused) but they have to get rid of them to make way for new collections. Participating brands were Bobbi Brown, Estee Lauder, Clinique, Origins, DKNY, Dolce and Gabanna, and of course, MAC! The sale lasted for 3 days with brush sets, makeup, and fragrances flying off the tables. Sales like these only happen once in a blue moon (I don't know if they'll have this next year though, so we sure took advantage).

And my own hauls by the end of the sale period:

Colorforms advanced brush set. Wheee!

Nail polish at 70 off. I was glad that there was a basecoat as I don't have basecoat and I need something to protect my nails especially since I like wearing dark polish. I also got nail lacquer in black, which I'm wearing now.

I got a can of leg spray, which could be used as a body bronzer (thanks to Sam, plus it was 70 off) I was advised to get the dark shade. The dark wasn't really clownish. I used this on a photoshoot with my model. She's actually very fair, about an NC25 but when I bronzed her, the bronzing didn't look muddy. She looked sunkissed. Very good buy, and one to review soon.

The following day, I was glad that they had new stocks of mineralize satinfinish foundation. I'm more of a fan of mineralize satinfinish since I like the dewy glow it gives. I got one in NC42 and since it was 50 off... I just had to say yes.
Foundation is important! And I was glad to get a very universal Asian shade.

Since I've been yearning for MAC brushes for the longest time, the Colorforms Advanced Brush Set was the tip top of my buys. Retail price for this is 3,600 but I got it at half off. It's actually a good buy since a MAC brush costs really expensive at the store. I got really premium brushes look!
168 Brush for blush and contouring

275 for eyeshadow lid and nose contour

219 brush AKA pencil brush for setting pencil eyeliner so they don't run or slide

212 brush for tightlining, eyebrows, gel liner, and also setting powder shadow


The purple case (that also comes with the makeup case) that holds the brushes also doesn't hurt. So pretty and at least my brushes stay in top condition. :)

The brushes are all short handled brushes, meaning travel-sized but the performance is still the same with full-length brushes. They're okay to travel too, so I get to have more space on my purse or makeup bag.

These are purchases that I surely can't wait to use, and this also means I have to work ten times as hard. :)

Oh, and my MAC collection as of this day (not shown: MAC pencil in lingering and MAC Mineralize Satinfinish Foundation NC35 backup)

;-) Makeup Addict!

Friday, June 26, 2009

The VNC Mid-Year Sale

So many shoes... so little time :)

For those who can never get enough of shoes, this one's for you:

VNC celebrates its MID YEAR Sale! Satisfy your foot fetish with up-to-the-minute trends at half the price! Get strapped with fab finds at 70% off!

Visit VNC at Robinsons Galleria, Glorietta III, Robinsons Place Manila, TriNoma, SM Mall of Asia, SM Megamall, Alabang Town Center, Shangri-La Plaza Mall and SM North Edsa Annex.

Sale Period: starts June 26, 2009

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Test-Driving My Laura Mercier Eye Base

Freshly-applied:After an hour's journey to Glorietta, dinner with Dennis, meeting Apy at Starbucks, and at an event in Fiamma (1-1/4 glasses of cocktails after):

Still intact with no smearing. I forgot to bring my Select Sheer Pressed Powder (whaaa) that night and I was worried I'll be stuck with makeup meltdown but thankfully it didn't. I just tissued off when I felt it needed refreshing. Of course makeup faded late at night during our midnight snack/latedinner at McDonalds, but that was midnight and that's when I started removing my makeup to give my face a rest.

So definitely, the Laura Mercier Eye Base is a winner, a tried-and-tested product, something I'll repurchase (next in line: Flax).

El Paso Doble

Sharing another fantastic photoshoot with a very fabulous team of artists. This is just a fun shoot/collaboration. Rachel came from Boracay with a fantastic tan and a super-toned body (I love the fact that she looks fantastic and her warm personality radiates throughout the shoot) and Rudge and Apy have been wanting to work together so we scheduled this shoot.

When Apy mentioned that Dennis was coming, we were thrilled to have him in the set but here was the surprise, he also styled the shoot and lent his fabulous accessories for the models to wear.
Models: Philip Rudge Arca and Rachel Lobangco
Groming: Bambi de la Cruz
Matador Vest, Accessories, and Styling: Dennis Celestial
Photo: April Arevalo

The shoot was entirely good vibes with such great working chemistry with everyone. These are just teaser shots. I can't wait for the entire set! Much love to the team.

Sporting Red Lips On a Movie Night With Friends

I could never get enough of red lips. Classic and effortless.
I was chatting with my friend (and a fantastic photographer in fact) the other night when he suggested to me to keep the look we had when we last worked together, which was, the classic vintage pinup girl look. Apparently, that look has garnered a whole lot of praise and I guess it's one of the looks that simply fit me the most (the second being no-makeup look). And as a request, I recreated my red-lipped look since I went out yesterday with my friends since we were gonna be watching the advanced screening of Transformers 2. :)

To recreate the look:

Red lips call for flawless skin because the red lips could accentuate redness and zits so I covered imperfections (dark circles, redness, and a few zits. hate hormones grrrr) with the necessary color correctors and concealers. In this case since it was for everyday, I used mineral foundation since I wanted sheer coverage with a nice glow, and I buffed this on my face and set it with loose mineral setting powder.

For some reason, light, ashy brows give me a softer look so I used a blond brow pencil and set it with light brown mineral powder that doesn't turn red. Blond brow mascara to keep brows in place.


My eyes are all about neutrals here so I swept a skintone nude shadow on the lid and used bronze powder to contour the lid for shape and highlighted the center of the lid, browbone, and inner eye with shimmery nude loose shadow. Of course I needed eyeshadow base to prevent creasing. I lined my upper lashlines with brown gel eyeliner. I like gel eyeliner since it gives me more dexterity without sacrificing precision and intensity. For the bottom lashline, I used gold eyeliner mixed with brown liner and set it with a bronzy-brown eyeshadow powder. I used lots of mascara to keep my lashes popping and defined.


A sweep of warm peach-pink blush kept the complexion warm followed by a shimmery golden highlighter on the tops of my cheeks and bridge of my nose.


I used two shades of lipstick here. I lined my lips with red lipliner and filled it in. I used my favorite all-time red lipstick as base color (MAC Russian Red) and blotted followed by a sheer glazy shade of lipstick (MAC Hot Tahiti). I want my lip shape defined so I went over the edges with red lipliner again.


I knew I had to bring a coat because it started to rain. Boo. Nevertheless, good thing I got inside the mall before the rain started pouring in. I met up with Rudge at Glorietta since he needed to have his fitting so we went to Rockwell after the fitting and just before the crowd started pouring in so we were able to have lunch first then after which we hung out at Shu Uemura and I love EJ for fixing my brows that time and pausing for quick chats. After which, guess who we met and had a new (and pretty) look:
Erika Plurked about having a new hair look and I was intrigued what it was. She can't have possibly cut her hair, since we've all loved her with long hair. When she texted me that she was at Rockwell already, I told her to meet me at the Fully Booked entrance. Naturally, I needed to spot a girl with her curly hair perpetually in a bun skipping along the corridor when I got greeted by a girl with super straight hair. OMIGOD! Butty got rebonded! And it was so cute since my hair was straight that day. Apir pwet!

The rest of the group came in earlier with birthday boy Mike and we watched Transformers 2. NO SPOILERS OKAY? The movie was fantastic and even if you're not a Transformers fan (I grew up playing with Barbie dolls) you'd love it. Okay, I honestly think the Megan Fox scenes especially the ones focusing on her *uhm* assets were kinda uhm... I dunno, but I guess the guys in the audience were not complaining. A suggestion would be to choose a seat that's not too near the screen coz you'd definitely get dizzy from the rumble-tumble fight scenes. It's still a fantastic film and I'm glad to enjoy it in the company of really good friends. :)

Monday, June 22, 2009

Pantene's Mane Event with Louis Kee featuring Asian Hairstyles

As I've wrestled with my hair for decades, a night of hair care and haircuts is just what I need. Not that I'll finally say have my hair chopped off because many would scream and say no since long hair is what suits me more (plus I'm eyeing on a concept shoot which requires me to go waist-length with my hair) . I would love to learn a thing or two about hair care since my hair needs its TLC, so I think I need an expert's view to tell me how my hair should be maintained.
And who else is the expert but Louis Kee of Louis Philip Kee Salon?

The Pantene Council of Stylist member was there to personally show us the latest trends in Asian Hairstyles which were blunt bobs, layers, and edgy shags that were very much anime-like. Of course, these suit our features and hair better, and with our hair being naturally dark, the styles are very defined. Think your favorite leading lady in that Asian soap opera, the anime spikes (without the crazy color of course), or Lucy Liu's red-carpet tresses.

A few lucky ones also had the opportunity to get haircuts from Louis Kee himself:
Spotlight on Leslie, whose hair I absolutely adored. I love the layers and the sideswept bangs, which framed her face.

For me, with hair being naturally curly, Louis Kee advised to use a light spray-on wax. Just spray a bit on the palm, rub it to heat it up and use it to scrunch the hair to hold the curls and keep the shine without weighing it down, which worked well for me.
After which, we were given tips on how to style and care for our hair. One is to invest on ceramic heating tools since these have protective elements to keep hair from drying. The smooth surface also doesn't tear or break the hair. He also advised to use ionic hair dryers and the right brushes that do not tug, pull, or break hair.
At least after that night, I learned to love my hair more - curls and waves and all. Maybe on days I can give the hair iron a rest and scrunch up some wax when I want a bit of definition :)

Friday, June 19, 2009

As Requested

A softer photoshoot look inspired by mermaids:

Photos by Lyka Orhel

Which Laura Mercier Primer Fits You?

One of Laura Mercier product bestsellers are their primers. Their primers help the face get ready for foundation and enable the makeup to last long.
I've been using their primer too, and I only use little amounts and I'm still not finished with my tube. I like the cool feeling it leaves my skin and how light it feels (Sean Stevenson tip: Chill it in the fridge).
The primer comes in 3 kinds:
1. regular foundation primer
2. the hydrating primer - for dry skin
3. the oil-free primer - for oily skin. this one has a mattifying finish.
Primers can be used if you want your makeup to last longer, especially if you're attending a party where you wouldn't want to fuss much about makeup and would just like to have fun.

Bright Eyes with Laura Mercier Eye Basics

Thanks to Kai to dragging me to a mini-event of Laura Mercier yesterday I ended up purchasing a baby that could save me money, time, and effort. Over sweet potato strips, makeup sampling, and a post-rainy morning, I was introduced to Sean Stevenson, their international makeup artist, who I had the pleasure of asking a thing or two about their products and some tips on starting off work in the US, as I have plans of heading there in a few months or so.

When I asked about smoky eye techniques, he gave me a technique for crease-free, waterproof, water-resistant, and super fool-proof technique for smoky eyes. He mixes their cream eyeshadow with a bit of Laura Mercier caviar (not the one you eat, but a gel/cake eyeliner in an intense, matte finish) and this forms a creamy base that you can use for a really intense smoky eye. He also introduced me to the eye basics, which look like lipglosses at first but are actually eye primers/eyeshadow bases to hold eyeshadow.

They come in 3 colors. The one on the left is has a peach tone, the middle blue and the right one a yellow and universal skintone color. The best, however, is the one on the right but since they ran out of stocks, I settled for the next best thing, which was the blue one, named eyebright.

The blue hue counteracts the redness on the eyes and those veins and gives the appearance of brighter eyes, hence the name Eyebright. It's also a base that's quite light so eyeshadow color is
more prominent. I also like the texture too, which wasn't too oily for me. The Laura Mercier technique of applying eyeshadow is actually different. For one, they don't put foundation or powder on the lids, since the lids can be oily so they put the eye base instead, and since the eye base is tinted, it counteracts whatever redness or discoloration there is on the lids.

Here's when I put it to the test, so I applied little amount on the back of my hand and blended it. If you see there, it's not really blue but a little bright color.

And then I patted some eyeshadow. It doesn't have to be Laura Mercier. I just used whatever existing eyeshadow I have.

Then I sprayed water

and smudged too!

Here's another test on counter where my hand was literally soaking wet

This I'll definitely put to test later. Oh, and my purchase did come with a pretty gift:

I think I would be wearing smoky eyes tonight. :)

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Bambi Loves Plueys For Cheery Rainy Days

Here's something to help me by during the rainy day

I remember back in college when classes were suspended due to rains. Since UP Manila was at the heart of Manila where little showerettes of rain could cause terrible floods, classes can be suspended quite easily. At first it was okay until I had to tread through floodwater and come home with a broken umbrella, soaked sneakers, socks, and jeans, and a horrible cold. Since then, rain has been something I have always dreaded. Not only do I get soaking wet but imagine the what murks lie beneath flood water (ew).

Lately is no different, and it's even more tricky and unpredictable since a very very very sunny morning can morph into a rainy afternoon, and rainy meaning a golf umbrella can't be enough. Just this morning, it rained practically the whole morning, then stopped, rained in the afternoon, but by the time I got out, there was no need for my umbrella.

The magic box above contained two essentials that I could be wearing when rain starts to pour making my life easier and more comfortable.

I luv my new Plueys!

Plueys are actually stylish Wellington boots (nicknamed "Wellies" ) that were created to protect our feet from the rain. They're comfortable, durable, and cotton-lined and not to mention super cute! They came out last 2007 and not only have I seen girls wear Plueys and stomping with them on the rain, but also at the mall, eating out, or anywhere. They are just too cute! When I chose my design, I chose Catstooth, which Esel described to me as having a houndstooth print with the colors of brown, black, and white. I saw it over the website and absolutely fell in love with it since it looked so classy but funky and it goes well with most of the stuff in my wardrobe. I do like a bit of classy too. :)Isn't it cute? Okay, I just saw an interesting detail too while I was going over it. It's not just a houndstooth pattern. Those little colors actually are the shape of cats!

Meow meow meow meow meow meow! Rawwwwr! If you look closely, even the white portions are also cats. Heeheeeheee! Preppy-classy meets quirky. Wear them with socks, tights, or stockings inside.

Another baby in the box are the waterproof rain flats, which can be used during the unpredictable weather where we leave the house sunny but didn't expect the rain to pour down the streets.

Classic black flats accented with rainbow dots. They are comfortable and waterproof. The size I got was a bit loose (I got a size 9 as the 8 was too tight) but cork could fix that.

I guess rainy days can make me smile and be glad to show off these babies! Heeheehee.

Simply Glowing FOTD Using Mineral Makeup

I'm in a very neutral mood today. :) So I went for another basic makeup on the face but since I don't want much stuff sitting on my face I went for light coverage.

I haven't been using purely mineral makeup for some time so I did today, since I kept it light. Okay, so it isn't exactly purely mineral makeup but it's like 80% of what I used. I sometimes use mineral makeup only for everyday use as the coverage is sheer as compared to my traditional makeup. I like that it still feels like skin. I just don't put too much though.

  • Moisturizer: Olay Regenerist Day Cream massaged to face. Olay Regenerist Eye Cream on the eyes (my super duper favorite eye cream as it gets absorbed by the skin around the eyes easily.
  • Foundation: Bare Escentuals in Light and set with Elegant Minerals transparent setting powder. Mineral Foundation over concealer in this case, since I needed to cover up minor discolorations
  • Blush: Elegant Minerals in Peaches and Cream
  • Eyebrows: MAC Lingering topped with Elegant Minerals Khaki
  • Eyeshadow: MAC cream color base in Shell. Elegant Minerals Egyptian Gold all over lid (all the way up to the browbone) and Elegant Minerals in Latte on the lid and up to the crease and blended well
  • Eyeliner: Italia Gold on the lower lashline. Kryolan black on the top lashline.
  • Mascara: Lancome Colour Virtuose
  • Lipstick: MAC Flash n' Dash

The look is just simple since I was gonna meet a couple of my friends over at Alabang for an early dinner plus coffee so I kept it all casual and glowy, not too made up.

VNC Puts their Best Foot Forward During the Rainy Season

Shoes are probably like for me one of the things I have difficulty with. For one thing, at least here in Manila, my size is quite rare and my feet are picky since they are well, humongous. My shoe size really in the US is an 8-1/2M but for some bizarre reason I end up getting a 9 here in manila for close-toed shoes, 8 for sandals, and 10 for toe-pinching efforts like pointy boots or certain flats. I also have to choose shoes that will last me a long time without causing my wallet to throw up in gargantuous proportions (hey..... not my feet okay?). They also have to be comfortable so that I could withstand hours of work running and standing.
When I got an invitation to join an event hosted by VNC, the magical word "shoes" was enough for me to say yes since I do love shoes (next to makeup I think). VNC has intrigued me with their cute colors and designs that were surprisingly cheaper than what I expected.

It was also fate since although I had work at that same day, the location for work was just practically minutes away from the Venue. At the event, we were introduced to the Spring/Summer 2009 Collection of VNC, which takes inspiration from designers from Europe.

For Spring, we have the Ethnic Pop vibe, and with spring being a season of life and everything blooming, there were colors everywhere ranging from earthy colors to neon.

Wedge heels always give me comfort without sacrificing height, I chose wedges for myself then for casual wear as I have more heels for my shoots.

I asked about how high the shoes are and VNC's shoes are about only up to 3 inches for comfort purposes, and it would be stretched to 3-1/2 only because there's a stacked heel. Shoe size is a standard Malaysian size so I am still stuck with a size 8-9 range.
The Summer 2009 collection was more on the neutral sides of purple, maroons, black and beige. Just love the metal details on the heels above. :) I like the black one and that's one shoe that I'm eyeing on as a purchase. This also goes back to basic with blacks, whites, and metallic so I guess if you're more conservative with shoe colors, the summer collection would be for you.

The bling details make it a bit more glam. I find the red shoes cute as an ultimate pick-me-upper. :)

After the launch, I had to dash back to work but I did get my VNC vibe by purchasing my shoes the following day. I chose a low-wedge shoe with its main color being black and having a striped band for an interesting detail.
Photo by April Arevalo
And yes... I did wear them for a shoot. Hey that's just a behind-the-scenes photo! :)
Thanks to Noemi Dado for the invite extension. :)