Saturday, November 28, 2009

My Bathroom Best Friend

No, dears, I don't deny my age when I have my IDs to prove how old I am, but that doesn't mean I should just let myself get wrinkled and crinkly, like a piece of crumpled paper right? So my best bets have been anti-ageing creams, which prevent signs of ageing like wrinkles, dark spots, fine lines, etc. My first step towards anti-ageing was when I was introduced to Olay Regenerist last year, being conscious that there are preventive measures for fine lines, wrinkles, and all that, and I should be very aware of them. Plus, what I discovered is that stress (which is inevitable in our day-to-day lives) and the free radicals in the air (although I've been smoke-free for two years, I'm still exposed to dust, dirt, pollution, and second-hand smoke) could contribute to ageing.

While I was grocery-shopping, I saw that Olay had a range of bath soaps and of course, I decided to pick this baby up and give it a try, as I need a non-drying bath soap now that the colder months are coming and my body skin has been suffering dry spells.

An age-defying bar. Yay! Actually, this has been my soap for quite a while and I've fallen in love with its scent, and how it lingers on me as I opened the box. The soap feels lush on the skin and my skin doesn't feel tight and dry when I rinse the residue off (I guess that's why it's called moisturizing bar). I actually do an extra loofah rub with this one, especially if I have a shoot and I need to rid my skin of dead cells. Another thing I like about it is this doesn't melt that fast, provided that it is a moisturizing soap bar, and soaps like these tend to wither down in like 2 weeks but I still got more of this left after 2 weeks. Nope, doesn't feel greasy either. Oh by the way, do not expect the skin to magically transform into the skin of a 20-year-old girl immediately. What this does (I think) is moisturize the skin as it cleanses, so the skin isn't scaly and dry after bathing and soaping, but still soft and supple (and cleaner!). Of course, I do moisturize with lotion after, to replenish lost moisture, even if I'm using a moisturizing soap.

Another thing too, is that I didn't get red spots on my skin after. I usually get like red rashes on my skin and I kinda itch in some soaps (even certain baby soaps, not just the harsher ones), but this one didn't leave a single red itchy spot.

Do I like this? I really do. :) It works great for me now that the colder months tell me to boost up on moisturizing.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

The Corner Room

Photographer Christine Day Lorico delivers another spectacular rendition of her fashion photos with me as the willing guinea pig. This is my super utang shot to her as I promised I'd get in front of her camera but schedules didn't permit it. To think I live quite close to her. I always hang out in BF Paranaque with ruins being one of my fave spots and also the fact that I just hop and step and I'm at BoNa already.
This shot was done in less than 3 hours. I also had her shoot my statement necklaces, and she did so wonderfully. They look like magazine spreads here.
Smoky eyes were plum and blue and more on black and I made strong contours and braved heavy lashes. The lips were kept neutral and pale, and the peg here is very grungey but sexy, something that I haven't done before. I was having a slight bloat case there so I made sure I prepared for that shoot with pilates and yoga to keep lean. But I did drink the week before and pigged out at Gloria Maris. hahaha. Food. :D
Photo Credits:
Photographer and Stylist: Christine Day Lorico
Makeup Artist and Model: Bambi de la Cruz.

FOTD for the HBC Event

At the HBC event last night, here's my simple FOTD. Giving red lips a break, I went for candy pink and slightly smoked up my eyes.

On face:

  • MAC Mineralize Satinfinish Liquid Foundation NC35
  • MAC Studio Sculpt Concealer in NW 20 on the undereyes.
  • MAC Studiofinish Concealer in NC30 on dark spots and redness
  • MAC Studiofix in NC30 to set and topped with MAC MSF in Light
  • MAC Studiofix in NC25 to highlight and MAC MSF in Dark to Contour
  • MAC Blush in Stark Naked then for a glow, I used MAC MSF in Redhead.

On eyes:

  • MAC Paint Pot in Fresco Rose as a base
  • MAC Eyeshadow Palette in Smoke and Mirrors: Fire in Her Eyes on the Browbone, Deception on the lid, Spell No. 9 on the inner lid, Smoke & Mirrors to contour lid with a tad of Glamour Check! (Love That Look Collection), I also added Black Magique on the outer lid and blended this well.
  • MAC Technakohl in Brownborder to line my eyes and set this with Smoke & Mirrors.
  • MAC Plushlash mascara in Plushblack
  • Make Up For Ever Eyebrow Corrector in 0 on the brows.

On lips:

  • MAC lipstick in Strayin' (Hello Kitty Collection)

I love how my hair behaved that day (er, night) volume, soft waves and all. All I had to do was set it in rollers and then mist with hairspray and leave. Usually, it falls out flat in a few hours but it only did fall flat after the event and when I walked from Unimart to Krispy Kremes on foot bringing all my stuff. Hahahaha. :)

This also shows how the paint pot can achieve a different effect on the eyeshadow color. Fresco Rose is actually pink/lilac, so it gave a hint of purple on my eye color, which complimented the blush and lipstick. Using a neutral-colored base like Painterly or Laura Mercier eye basics in Flax could give a different color.

My One Big HBC Haul

Bambi's got a new weapon and she's ready to fire. :D

It's that piece of machinery that I'm holding that's my new toy. I was invited to an event at HBC in Greenhills. Shopping and beauty were my key words for me to say yes. Who wouldn't want to be surrounded with products too? Actually, I've been an HBC customer for 4 years since I came home from the States and they opened a branch near my place. I finally have a place where I could get beauty supplies at a cheaper price.

Anyway, at the event, we were given Php1,500 worth of GCs which we had to consume for that day. Here's the thing.... I couldn't decide which to buy. I thought first of buying and hoarding false eyelashes and then hoarding cotton, tissue, and miscellaneous items for Mantra studio. After deciding and opening and returning and re-editing choices... I thought I'd just get one item which I know I really need and would be very useful and one thing I still don't have...

I've never fired a gun in my entire life but this one is definitely bigger than your average gun. I finally got myself a professional-style blow-dryer, which is one thing that I've been really needing. Although I have a my trusty foldable blow-dryer, which I could use for travel shoots, I still need this biga$$ one for better blowouts plus it's time I practice blow-drying hair to perfection.
The thing also that this baby has is it does not only control wind speed but also the temperature.
The top switch controls the speed, and the temperature is being controlled by the lower switch. Actually, I've been wanting to have a blow-dryer that has a cool air function. The cool air function seals and closes the hair cuticle for a sleek and shiny blowout. Also, it cools and sets the hair after blow-drying with hot air. It's also got two concentrator attachments.

I also like how comfortable the handle is (it's kinda rubberized too) and how easy I could maneuver this device, although on my own, it still would be hard especially at the back part. I've worked with a full-size blow dryer before and I still have a hard time, but there really is a difference with the results. I'm really happy with this buy, and I just had to shell out Php 300 more but it's okay. I think good equipment are really worth the investment, and just in case it does conk out, HBC also has a repairing service too, and with a branch just a hop and a leap away from where I live, it's pretty easy. Cost of this blow-dryer is Php 1,800, and it's cheaper than other dryers that perform the same quality.

Other stuff that are worth checking out are as follows:
SanSan makeup, actually one of the first makeups that I used. I like most especially the stick concealers, which I use for full-coverage avante garde makeup and the pen-type liquid liner in black, which gives the intensity of a liquid liner and gives Angelina Jolie-like cat's eyes easier than a brush-type liquid liner.
Bottles of flavored and unflavored virgin coconut oil. Virgin coconut oil had its boom a few years ago. I use it to condition my hair before I go to bed. I also rub it on my tummy and thighs to keep my skin tone healthy. I also rub some to my lashes to keep them conditioned. I've also heard it helps my lashes grow thicker. REALLY NOW? I used to take it too internally, but I use the flavored variety, the one for kids. As I'm hitting the pool soon, I could also use VCO as a tanning lotion since I've been really pale lately.
Body Recipe for affordable skin care that smells really good. I like the cucumber facial scrub (in fact it's what I'm using now) during my no-makeup days when I need to exfoliate my skin. Another thing I use at night is the cucumber eye cream, which feels better chilled to say no to puffiness now that my face has been completely healed from its allergy scars and I'm free to go bareface again. :)
My little hoards of cotton, buds, and lashes would have to wait first, but I guess it would be easy as they're always available. I couldn't catch the blow-dryer in the branch near my place so I was really lucky that I had the chance to shop this baby for free. Horray!

Monday, November 23, 2009

When My TV Isn't Just for Veging Out

Healthy lifestyle also includes exercise, and although I'm not overweight, I still try to get some exercise. In fact, I was advised by my doctor to get regular exercises to keep my bones strong and my muscles toned. I also was told that exercise improves blood circulation, combats stress, and releases skin-wrecking toxins from the body. So why not?

Here's the thing, I don't enrol in the gym since aside from finding it too expensive, I'd rather do exercise at the comfort of my own home, especially by the fact that I'm a hermit. Also, the exercises I choose have to be low-impact and nothing too straining for my weak lungs. Plus, since I'm super impatient, they gotta be quick.

So these CDs have been my best friends for years, and now my secret's out. Video workouts are what I do, since I really find it better for me to exercise at home, since I do enjoy my privacy and me time by doing my workouts. Plus, I chose workouts that are customed to my lifestyle, type of body, and preference.

Carmen Electra Aerobic Striptease - For the mere reason that it takes me only 20 minutes to work out (I'm very impatient, LOL) plus it's fun. And since it's not that hardcore, I could do this wearing high heels and I get the bonus of toning my calves in the process. However, my absolute favorite is the one I do not do on high heels: Fit To Strip which gives me toning and tightening exercises targeted at specific areas. Disc #5 (Hip-Hop), is really aerobic workout at its finest, so I always combine #2 and #5 if I want it intense but not too intense.

Bellydance - I have two video CDs of this, one targetting the upper body and one targetting the lower body. Aside from the fact that it's low impact, it also works on my grace and balance. Plus, I don't feel the 30 minutes pass as it's fun. I've tried the cardio and they really mean cardio. My thighs really hurt after, but hey, no pain no gain.

I Want Those Abs - This video workout has scientific basis and each workout was tested in the lab, and instructor Tami Lee teaches us how to go about it. Aside from the fact that it's quick at practically only 15 minutes per workout (YAY!), it's highly intense. I've tried the advanced workout and whoa! Advanced really mean advanced. My obliques practically burned and my muscles were put to the limit. But here, I was able to see results in a month doing the workouts regularly, although they did hurt. Results? Flatter, firmer abs and my apollo's belt starting to form.

Pilates - Whoever said that Pilates is for lazy girls who just want to lie down and stretch is wrong. This video targeted every muscle in my body focusing on the core. This workout is low-impact so no pain and strain on my knees and wrists and ankles. Pilates also improves my flexibility and I found myself more flexible and able to do more contortionist poses a-la Giselle Bundchen as I got better. Of course, I still can't do very advances yoga and pilates routines but I know I'll get there. This workout is kinda long though, so I only do this when I have a lot of time to spare. But what I like about it too, is that they break down the more complicated postures so you know how to do them right, because if you "cheat" your way to workout, it's apparently less effective.

Other workouts I do are yoga routines that I follow in YouTube (I love Tara Stiles!) and the traditional classic: 300 crunches. :)

Of course, I always couple my toning with a good cardio workout and stretching too. I also make it a point to eat right and try to avoid unhealthy foods, especially if I'm having a shoot. :) I figured out that my doctor is right and I worked out regularly. Not only did I notice an improvement in muscle tone, I feel stronger now. It's easier for me to carry my super heavy equipment and I've got more stamina to do work. I guess exercising really is for everyone, it's just finding the right workout for you.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Horray For Atelier De Maquillage!

After months of gruelling planning and ironing out details, and a week of practically isolating myself reviewing makeup techniques, Mantra Productions had its first event, Atelier de Maquillage yesterday and right now, with our tarp packed away and finally being able to take a breather, I'm very happy to say that our efforts were worth it and it was a success. BREEAAATTTHEEE!

Just the other night, I woke up at 2:00 a.m. to study my book and to re-pack my stuff. I was supposed to meet Mike, Nix, and Jona at Mike's place at 10:00 a.m. but since I needed an upper, I passed by Starbucks for coffee before passing at Mike's. We got at Greenbelt at 11:00 a.m. where we did the necessary preps, set-ups and dry runs. We met up Faye there and we set up the equipment at the cinema, and kept our tummies full. Of course, makeup artists and models had to look good so we prepped up too. Thanks Gina to my fantabulous curls!

Our first-ever makeup workshop with a bonus of movie showing opened its gates at 12:30 p.m. where people started registering. Rather than staying inside and going zen, I opted to go outside and calm my nerves while talking. It's my first time actually to teach makeup to a huge crowd of 40 people in a movie house. So imagine my nervousness reaching entire heights. Had to clown around and be kooky of course!

After kooky it was time to get serious, and teaching. Nix started off with teaching the basic tools and skin care, and the basic tools covers the question, "Which brush to use?" narrowing brushes for personal use only. After which, I started with the basic daytime look. This look is what I call fresh look, which is perfect for daytime, office, or just going out and you want to look fresh. Nix proceded to teaching an easy smokey eye technique. Here, she stresses that smokey eyes aren't just for large eyes. We specifically chose a model with Oriental features, so we could show that there are smoky eyes for everyone. After the usual tutorial, we were give moments to answer questions from our audience, and this was continued on when we mingled during the intermission before the movie. Basically, knowing the right color for you is a result of experience and experimenting.

That's me on the left with Faye, my model, and Nix with Jona on the right. This was taken after the smoky eyes and during the question and answer. I love Gina for giving me my super long-lasting curls that lasted up to the night. It lasted longer than my feet did on 4-inch high heels. We also raffled out prizes to our participants. Parking for the participants was also free that day.

The event ended with the showing of the blockbuster movie, New Moon, complete with food of course. Since this was held at MyCinema, seats were limited and participants were at a first-come, first-serve basis. We do plan on having more workshops like these in the future, and we're happy how our first one turned out fun and the comments we also received. Of course, we did take note of how we could improve the workshop too. This definitely won't be the last event from Mantra Productions! We were happy too that our participants were able to learn from the workshop, and a friend told me she was inspired to put on makeup after, which is one of our goals. With that, we're inspired to have more of these as well.

These are the faces of happy people - our producer, Mike, me, and Nix. Smiles of sweet success!

Thanks to all our participants who came. To those who couldn't make it, we hope to see you all next time. This blog would keep everyone posted too.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


My photoshoot from 2 Sundays ago.

Model: Jade Dy
Hair and makeup: Bambi de la Cruz
Photographer: Christine Day Lorico
Gowns: Popo Go

This was shot on location at an empty vacant lot in BF Paranaque. The smoke actually provided a good effect plus so did the afternoon golden sun.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Spending the Holidays at the MAC Counter

Christmas is not Christmas without MAC unleashing the Holiday Collection, and here it is. I spent one Friday at Glorietta since it was their theme day, and I photographed the collection

I like how ultra-feminine the displayer looks with the pink, purple, and silver schemes with lots of sparklies. The displayer was quite bare when I took this, as the store was just being set up.

Here are the palettes I've been telling you about. The Smoke and Mirrors eyeshadow palette caught my eye because of the neutral colors that could be used for brides. Plus, these are classic blacks and browns that never go wrong regardless of skin color. It goes on quite sheer though so I recommend a MAC eyeshadow lover's best friend: a nude paint pot color before eyeshadow.

Traditional brush sets for the collector. The case is pretty cute, taking on a silver theme this time. The 227 takes on a short handled form, but I found it too soft for me.

Pigments were the most sellable items, due to the high color delivery. Although they come in mini-containers, a little goes a long way with these babies. I like the Sexpot set, which feature smoky colors for a highly pigmented smoky eye. The downside of pigments is that they can be tricky so our best bets with these are: a dense 239 brush, patience and layering, paint pots, and loose powder to catch pigment fallout. Pigment "stains" could be cleaned with Studiofix.

L-R: Under Your Spell, It's a Miracle, Mayhem, and Midnight Madness

Here are swatches of the mineralize eyeshadows. They come in two colors per pot, one in a plum/gold/gray shade, and a metallic one. The main color comes out really pigmented when swatched (for Mineralize, I recommend a dense brush such as a 242 or 239 brush). The metallic is more of an accent, and comes out like a topping of glitter. Suggestion to wear this: as a highlight on cheekbones or on top of pigmented eyeshadows for contrast.

Lippies come in glaze and lustre finishes, putting the focus on the eyes. Dazzleglasses are sheer and sparkly and are great to add moisture, shine, and sparkle to the lips. Cremesheen glasses glide smoothly when swatched and on lips.

From L-R: Dazzleglass: She-Zam, Phiff!, Jingle Jangle, Cremesheen Glass: Boy Bait, Ever So Rich, Lipsticks: Total Wow!, Utter Fun, Pervette, Surprise Me

I actually like She-Zam on top of a rich matte red lipstick like Ruby Woo, since the silvery sparkle gives it a festive sparkly touch. Another thing I recommend is Surprise Me, which is a corally pink color. If it's too sheer, I suggest using Spice lipliner before Surprise Me, so there's more color.
Since I spent Friday documenting the products, Saturday, I worked as a MAC guest artist at Mall of Asia. It was also the theme day so I got to wear the shirt as well.

Me, guest makeup artist and Frances, who happens to be one of MAC Marionnaud's artists. My eyes happened to be plummy and smokey that night. I got to spend an entire day in black and high heels. :) Sales was really good that time. Looks like everyone's in a good mood to shop.

I'll be posting a more in-depth review on an eyeshadow palette plus a tutorial soon.

Anyone grab a MAC Holiday item yet?

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Sunday Shoot with the Supermodels

I had a shoot last Sunday at BF Paranaque. It was a powerhouse crew with three makeup artists, 6 models, and one kickass photographer with clothes by 2 topnotch designers. Originally, this shoot was supposed to be on October 31 but due to the typhoon (I hetch typhoons), we decided to postpone it for the weekend following this. Good thing that Sunday was sunny and we all were able to make it.

(click for a larger version)

So here are our gorgeous female models with the sole male model, Patrick. I took this as a behind-the-scenes photo but since I loved how they posed, I sort of did some editing first.

These are top models with very strong portfolios and all have strutted Philippine Fashion Week's Runways...

Thanks to Yeoh who casted our models for these shoots. Actually, Yeoh posts castings in his blog and Multiply for fashion shows, go-sees, and even test shoots/collaborations with a really good team, and definitely, we were more than happy to work with these girls.

I did makeup for Jade, who I've met in the past a lot of events. It was my first time to solely do her makeup and it was so much fun. Jade is very pretty and very nice, plus she looked like a doll in her first look, which was smoky eyes, pale lips, and big pouffy hair.

Jade all made up and pretty in a Popo Go gown and me in my summery dress all haggardness :P

After that, I did a second look on her, which was a darker version of her, as I otherwise see her as having a very sunny personality:

She's wearing a vintage dress (but this one was provided by our photographer, Christine) and a vintage hat so I gave her a flapper look since it was a bit elegant. I folded her hair in a fake bob and did a different type of smoky eyes that had a bit more shape. Dark eyebrows to make the face look strong and strong contours. Plus, a plummy lip topped with rich black sheer lipstick used as gloss. Funny thing too, because Jade and I decided to have fun with the makeup and went out to buy taho at Sinangag Express below the venue and everyone was looking at her.

The shoot ended at 6 and we all went home tired but happy. Till the next collaboration and hope to work with these people again. Part I of this project is already up but I'll be posting my part when it comes, which wouldn't be long.

Monday, November 9, 2009


I'll be starting to add sections like these in my blog called Industry Spotlight, featuring the brightest and best people that I've worked with, most of them my good friends. These are not necessarily bloggers or makeup artists but models, photographers, stylists, designers, both male and female. It's time that they finally get noticed and take the spotlight since they deserve it after working really hard to be on top without putting anyone down.

For my first feature, I'll be featuring Yeoh Egwaras. I met Yeoh during a party at Fiamma last year and since then, we got to be really close friends. Right now, he's based in Naga, he still makes it a point to keep in touch. Actually, Yeoh's forwarded text was the first text message I got for the day. Aside from being a model, he's also a blogger. Check out his blog dedicated to the best and beautiful women models with tips on how to get started. I like how he writes, which has an amusing, frank, and honest tone, with no frills and ruffles. Simple, straightforward, with a bit of humor.

When I asked him if he would like to be my first Industry Spotlight feature, he was like, "Are you serious?" Well, I couldn't think of a better person to start of with than one of my closest and smartest friends. More than working hard, he always makes it a point to keep in touch, to make his friends know that he still would be there for them despite being in the province.

Hello Yeoh how are you?
Am awesome.just got back from the gym

Yeoh's first photoshoot, taken by Sheng Du.

Anyway, thanks for letting me interview you. So Multiply knows you more as a model. When was it that you decided you wanted to model? Did you just wake up and say, "Hey! I want to be a model NOW NA!"

I modeled before because of my older sister. She took me to go sees when I was 17 but I never took it seriously. I started getting photoshoots when I turned 20, and found myself loving it. You get to work with awesome, really talented people. And it's great fun. You get dressed up and made up. I was never used to that.

And it sure is fun. What do you prefer doing, ramp or print/shoots?
I'm usually too short for ramp, but I love it when I get to do fashion shows. There's a rush when your backstage lined up and the music starts to play.

Aside from being in front of the camera, you've ventured also in photography, like taking pictures during fashion shows and events plus even helping us in styling the model or assisting in shoots. Being in front of the camera most of the time, why the enthusiasm of working behind the camera, even as an assistant?

It's fun. You become part of something creative, and everytime you get a really good photo who get a rush. And I usually just work with friends so it's the time we bond.
Behind the camera assisting at a photoshoot (above) and as a photographer (below).
So you don't get the feeling like, "Hey, I'm a model, why am I the one assisting the model being shot?"
No. Not at all. Hahaha. I model, but that's work it doesn't really define who you are and how you should think or act.

Okay, so that's model, photographer, assistant, stylist, PA, and now you're blogging. Tell us about your blog.
It's called "Yeoh Will Blog About Girls. Really Pretty Ones". I wanted a blog that featured the top and also aspiring models from our country and around the world. I felt like all the other model blogs in the Philippines are filled with photos of half-naked male models (heeey!!!!... :P)-some not models at all-, and I just wanted to showcase that girl Filipino models are awesome and we should be more appreciative and to an extent be proud of them.

Now I see an event date. Okay I'm kidding. Next question is... tetetetenen...who are the models you look up to?
I look up to people I have worked with actually, models my age who started at almost the same time. We learn from each other. I always say that in this kind of work, you wouldn't last if you you don't have good friends who constantly urge you to go to go-sees no matter how many times you get rejected, and refer you to modelling jobs when they can.

We all are plagued with haters who spam hate comments in Facebook, Multiply, or even blogs. How do you suggest to deal with them?
They can hate all they want, but they never can or should affect you and how you see yourself.

You have so many friends, and just this Sunday, all our models at the shoot happen to be your friends. What's your secret with fantastic people skills?
I guess that's something i got from my Dad, he talks to everyone and has friends everywhere. LOL.

You blogged about having a strong headshot and you produce pretty strong headshots yourself. Any tips you'd like to share?
Practice in front of the mirror. That's all there is too it. You have to know your angles when you wanna model. It's your job to know you flaws and how you can hide them.

Modelling does have an expiration date, and even the most famous international models would soon stop strutting runways and do designer campaigns. If your time came to retire from modelling, what would your career be?
I think I'd be writing for a magazine or newspaper. It doesnt have to be fashion or anything related to that. I like giving my opinions and sharing to the world your ideas and your emotions.

Okay super bonus question: what would be your dream campaign shoot?
Haven't really thought of that before. haha. But anything shot by Mario Testino would be awesome.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

A Hot Treat On a Cold Day

As it was raining outside, my overworked hands got a little R&R. With it being submerged in detergents and doing manual labor, it tends to get dry especially on the sides of the nail. For dry, peeling nails, the same with hair, I was given a hot oil manicure, which I'm about to talk about.

Hot oil manicures are for nails with really thick and dry cuticles. I remember encountering the term when I taught nail care but haven't quite found a salon here in Manila that has hot oil manicures until now (horray now there is). Hot oil manicures preps the skin with a warm moisturizing treatment before manicure. Just as we treat our dry and damaged hair with hot oil, it's the same way for the nails. Our friendly neighborhood spa (My nickname for them, because, it really is, my friendly neighborhood spa since I'm 2 minutes away) had this treatment at a very affordable price (Php200 for manicure and Php 250 for pedicure), with international standards.

Since my hands would be taken care of, I couldn't make my accessories so to keep me company -Broadway pop music on my mp3 player as I get my nails done.

First up, my hands were soaked in a bowl of warm water and lavander oil solution. When I asked why use lavander oils as opposed to other scents, I was told that lavander has properties which strengthen the nails. Well, not to mention that I do like the smell of lavander as it calms me down. It's in an olive oil base, so it feels super luxurious. I kinda like how it envelopes my skin after. Although I initially soaked just the fingertips, when the water cooled down, I dipped my entire hand. Wiiiii!

After the lavander oil soak, my hands were wrapped in hot towels to let the moisture sink in. It was followed by a massage (horray!) using warmed lavander oil. I love that the massage wasn't hurried and the therapist really took her time (why would I complain with a massage right)? The oil was towelled off so I don't get any greasy oil residue. Here, hot towel was again used so there was no greasy and oily afterfeel (which could be exacerbated during hot summer months).

Instantly, I felt like my hands and arms were really smooth and moisturized without the yucky feel of oil. My limbs are undergoing a dry spell, especially my hands from washing my brushes and being very hands-on with my work literally. This downtime I have from work came at the time of my hot oil manicure, so I felt a huge difference.

After the oil treatment, my nails were given the regular cleaning - cleaning the nail beds, trimming, filing, so they look extra clean and we finally say bye-bye to the dead dry skin that's been accumulating on the sides. I've noticed that it was easier to remove the dry skin than before in a regular manicure. I don't have the "peeling" and "splitting" skin that usually appear after a manicure (and the wounds I get from picking them).

Usually, in a hot oil manicure, it is recommended to leave the nails bare as nail polish usually doesn't last. But for picture purposes (and if we'll be having an event right after and we want to look extra polished), I went for a conservative shade of nude bronze:

Moisturized skin. :) Pretty nails.

I recommend this treatment for those who have dry and brittle nails. Think of it as giving the hands an extra dose of moisturizer, especially if we worked too hard. Plus, at Php200, I wouldn't complain. Hands are definitely ready for work now. A little once-in-a-while indulgence if we feel a bit dry.

(Contact Nail to Toe Spa at +639234796058 for appointments)

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Four Ways To Make Use Of Your Black Lipstick

Behold my recent MAC purchase and my last for the month of October:
I did not use photo-editing to change color on the lipstick. I did purchase a lipstick in a true black color. MAC's Style Black collection is finally here in the Philippines featuring dark nail lacquer, lipsticks, and black mineralize eyeshadows to unleash the inner goth in everyone.

As I am the new owner of this color, the question I get whenever people see a black lipstick in my toolcase is - "Black lipstick?" Of course, being a makeup artist, it was expected that I carry lipstick in even the weiredst colors. but hey, did you know that this lipstick can also be taken from runway to real life?

Before I start, I have to whack myself on the head because I was crazy not to introduce this lipstick. The lipstick above, is Black Knight, and it's in a Cremesheen finish. This meaning although it's opaque, it's not as drying as matte and it allows the lip color to be seen in just one coat. The downside? It's not as long-lasting or pigmented as the Mattene version. It's even shiny, if you check the swatch, you'd see that one one coat, it's quite sheer so for more coverage you need to apply like 3 coats (and blot in-between for staying power)

On my hand, it's true inky black, but somehow, it projects a plummy shade on my lips, or maybe it's because of the lipsticks I use? On "subtle" days though, here's what I do: I combine it with some of my lippies so I could wear this lipstick without scaring the living hell out of everyone. Although this is quite a strong color, I wear this with a slightly lined eye, strong brows in an ashy color, and contoured cheeks with a pop of shimmer (Recommended: MAC Mineralize Skinfinish) or a sheer lilac-like blush on the cheeks, or a blush in a cool pink color so it goes with a rather cool-colored look.

Okay, so here are my ways of wearing Black Knight:


Blot it on lips like a stain. Then, blend in a corally sheer color on lips for a warm plummy shade. This one is not that glossy, and it feels quite comfortable for me, so it's just like wearing creamy plum lipstick.

The good thing about this baby too, is that I don't need to use a brush, so it saves me an extra step. I want this look to be more of a stain than a "proper" lip color. I need to work more on the eyes though, so I look more polished, so I add a hint of deep purple on a subtle smokey eye.


Apply a thin layer of tinted lip conditioner on lips before blotting in Black Knight. Blend these two and then top with true blood-red lipgloss for shine.

The shade is similar to #1, but it's shinier due to the lipgloss. To make your lipgloss stay true to its color on the tube instead of getting some black mixed in, use a brush or wipe your applicator with a tissue before capping it back.


For a deep maroon shade (for the bolder ones who still want it looking like a lip-color), line lips with red or nude lip liner and fill in with a bold red lipstick in a matte or semi-matte finish. blot. Top with Black Knight and blend these colors together with a lip brush.

I believe this shade is the most wearable especially for a nighttime look. It's quite similar to MAC's Dubonet, with the deepness of the shade plus the texture.


I took it to the extreme and let the black lip do the show. Line lips with a neutral-colored lip pencil to shape it then fill in with plum lipliner. If you want to go all-out true black use a black eyeliner that's soft enough as not to hurt your lips. Then, apply Black Knight. Blot and reapply.

In this picture, I used plum lipliner, so you still see a hint of purple. It really looks black here, and even in black and white photos, the lips still look black. To clean up the edges, use an angled brush with powder foundation to create the sharp edges so the lips are more defined. Since this look showcases Black Knight in itself, I recommend this if the wearer is bold enough. But really, it does look nice on the lip too, and it's a very unique statement.
Basically, here are my techniques on how to wear an otherwise unusual lipstick. The key though to really rock this lipstick is confidence. Be proud and rock this unique look. Have fun!

What The Rainy Weekend Made Me Do

Hey all! I'm sure that as of now, we're thanking for the sunny day this weekend and this morning. I swear, each time I see the sun shining like there's no tomorrow, I hardly complain. After Ondoy and Pepeng, I really dread rain and get all paranoid when the rain starts to pour or I get these Plurk or flash updates on a low pressure area or a typhoon coming this way.

Metro Manila, on Halloween weekend was faced with another typhoon, Ramil. I hardly had any sleep as I was awakened by howling winds and heavy rain. I was supposed to have a shoot that Saturday but the team decided to reschedule it since even if the rain stopped, the location would be too muddy. At around 3:00 a.m., transformers tripped so we lost power and it got restored at around 12:00 noon the next day. I'm glad that we didn't have any hitches this time, as some had 2 days of no power or water and also Internet didn't have any problems, thank God. :) Weather was calmer in the afternoon. But during the time that there was no electricity, I couldn't blog or check news online or even use my phone's GPRS to check on Facebook. So here's what kept me busy:

My accessories of course. I made a turquoise-colored statement choker. The band and pendant are both hand-crocheted and I sewed the beads. The beads are actually from an old crystal bracelet that broke, so that's giving an old piece of jewelry new life.These earrings I also made, but no beading done here. Just pure crochet thread. Whereas the former is a statement piece and could be worn with a plain open-neck top (or tube top to further showcase the piece), this one is dantier and could be worn everyday.

I did the photography and photo-editing in these pictures. I really feel I should be getting my first dSLR soon, as my friends have been egging me to do so so I could take better product shots. But since I'm such a techie noob, I figured I'll stick to photo and movie-editing first. Heeheehee. Since I've got free time in my hands, I'm doing more neckpieces and some of them have been shot, like this one:

Photo by: Michael Yu of Mantra Photography

Model: Glaiza de los Santos

Makeup and Styling: Bambi de la Cruz

I'll be having the newest additions shot as soon as I round them up, but at least there's stuff not to keep me bored. Who knows, these might end up in magazines as well too!