Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Marguerite's Travel Lookbook: Our Interpretation of "Je Ne Sais Quoi"

I started Monday morning in the mall at the Promod store in SM Megamall, minutes before the guards throw the doors open. Charisse of Stratworks invited me to be part of 10 bloggers to participate in this activity wherein a blogger (that's me) partners with a stylist to come up with 5 looks that would be our interpretation of French high-street fashion.

Promod happens to be one of France's biggest fashion store chains that caters to modern and active women between the ages of 20 to 30 years old. Their prices aren't too steep and I could vouch for the quality of the pieces. I like that they have a good mix of classic pieces and come up with different looks to suit the individual tastes of their clientele. As of now, Promod has 796 outlets in 46 countries. Wow!
When I saw the email (days after it was sent to me, since my inbox was clogged), I searched
high and low for a stylist partner among my roster of stylish stylist friends. I chose Argie Salango, a young stylist and fashion student apprenticing for one of the country's top stylists to be my partner-in-crime. I bugged him and he agreed. :) I'm glad that I have to partner up with a stylist here because I personally have a very "safe" taste in fashion and most of my clothes gravitate towards the black spectrum. I need Argie's expertise since a stylist sees things in a different perspective than a makeup artist does.
So we were let loose in this huge store to go around and pick clothes which fit our fancy. Argie was at awe with all of the pretty stuff in this huge store, smiling from ear-to-ear as he was going through rack after rack. When I was picking out clothes, he told me first to come up with a palette. The first color that came to my mind was BLACK, and every so often I would go through black. Argie would go, " 'Te, too dark. let's go light, neutral, and muted" and so I compromised with a pair of black kitten heel strappy sandals and explored the muted neutrals and brights. The clothes and accessories were all so pretty. We were only halfway through the store when we already filled one rack. "Always have options," Argie would tell me.

Once we've picked out our choices, it's time for dress-up. We were supposed to fit the clothes on the mannequin. Think of us playing with a giant fashion doll (without a head). During the duration of the activity, we came up with the idea of a storyboard for our looks, so here we are, telling the story of a woman named Marguerite as we chronicle her vacation.

Marguerite's Travel Lookbook
by Argie Salango and Bambi de la Cruz

"The plane lands. Out steps Marguerite - a single, successful, and sophisticated French lady who decided to take a short trip out of town. Work was too much. She deserves this break for herself. She removes her sunglasses with her perfectly-manicured hands. A smile materializes from her scarlet lips."

Stylist note: A French woman looks put-together in whatever situation. Her clothes exhibit
classic pieces in neutral colors with a little punch of here and there. France is a city brimming with art and culture has imbibed that same influence on her people. Marguerite is no exception. Hence, we chose clothes that were classic and sophisticated but with a punch of statement. For her first look, Marguerite has just arrived from the airport. She wears a jumpsuit in a muted gray-blue color with a tank top underneath to break the monotony and matching blue suede pumps with low heels (to keep comfortable during travel). A floral scarf adds statement plus two belts for texture and an oversize bag to keep her travel essentials during the flight.

The shades are necessary, of course, shield her eyes from the sun (or to look chic even without a stitch of eye makeup or undereye concealer. :P)

While putting together the look, we also saw various ways on how this look can be executed.
Hence, we have featured also how versatile one look could be, and how the wearer could put
together this look to fit her own style.

Aside from being a neckpiece, the scarf could also be used as a bracelet or a bag accent.

"She arrives at her hotel and lies down the bed and falls to a deep slumber. A luxurious bubble bath with a glass of champagne awaits her as she wakes up. By the time she's finished, it's time to hit the clubs. The city welcomes her in style!"

Stylist note: Marguerite mixes and matches with this tough-sexy look. Black kitten heels with strappy details are a more comfortable compromise to toe-pinching and calf-cramping stilettos.
She shows some leg with the classic denim short shorts. A layered tee keeps her comfortable
and the leather biker jacket gives her a fresh and tailored look.

Open the jacket and she wows us all with a statement necklace. Argie decided to get creative and looped five gold bangles on a chain and use that to make this unique necklace. The extra bangle could be worn on the wrist solo. Keep the sleeves rolled up. When walking down the street, zip up the jacket but once it's time to dance, then zip down, let the hair loose and have fun. Since this is such a sexy rocker look, a black messy smoky eye and nude lip gloss would be perfect too.

"She takes a stroll down the beach the next day. Now is her time for reflection and relaxation. Just her, the sand, and the sound of the waves with the warm ocean wind brushing through her long dark hair. Perfect tranquility. She sits down the sand and lets her gaze just float towards the horizon."
Stylist note: The look here is very relaxed and comfortable. The kitten heels are kicked off
and replaced with beach-friendly turquoise sandals that are better for walking on the beach. The scarf could be used at first as a bag to hold essentials such as sunblock (better keep protected!), sunglasses, and a nice book to read. The jumpsuit is made of light and airy material so it's not too heavy for an afternoon stroll down the beach. It could even be used as a bikini cover-up should she decide to take a dip later on. Bangles too, if she wants a bit of bling.

Again, we still make sure that this look stays versatile. The scarf could be used as a head
cover-up (as I have demonstrated. I have borrowed Marguerite's sunglasses from her first look
so as not to disclose my un-concealed undereye circles).

Aside from a head cover to protect the hair from being fried from the sun and to keep hair away from her face, the scarf could be used as a necklace....
or a belt (with the top pulled down using the swimsuit as a top). On another note, the
statement necklace from the second look could also be used as an accessory as the gold details
match with the jumpsuit's beadwork.

"Every girl loves to shop, and Marguerite is no exception. She visits the city's biggest shopping mall. Girls do have fun after all, wherever they may be."

Stylist note: Run around the mall with stilettos? Your calves and ankles would be screaming
"HELP!". So here's a little compromise for those who want a bit of height - wedges. Wedges
provide better support while giving height, which is perfect for the mallrats who want to keep
tall and sexy. While shopping for clothes, look for something that's easy to remove and easy
to put on - hence classic jeans and t-shirts would do, with a twist of course. The oversize knit sweater provides a bit of a bold statement on its own, with just a chunky beaded bracelet
as an accessory (Note: It's actually a necklace made to a bracelet). I chose a big, slouchy bag for Marguerite here, which holds all her essentials and still has room to fit smaller purchases so she need not carry a lot of shopping bags (How very environment-friendly!).

"She ends her day with a quiet dinner with someone special. Her face lights up at the sight of his smile. She coyly returns his gaze as she sips her glass of wine."

Stylist note: As of this time, Marguerite winds down and relaxes. The top's turquoise details and beading provide a statement on its own so we kept the rest simple-black leggings and a white jacket. We borrow the blue pumps from the first look to tie the blue scheme together. A
blue-green scarf keeps the neck warm while providing texture and more versatility. A snakeskin clutch reveals her little wild side.

And speaking of versatility, the bead details from the top can also be removed! The beads can
be used as a choker or ditch the beads and use the scarf as a neckpiece or a headpiece should she decide to go hippie chic (again, I'm borrowed as the "head" model as mannequin heads were not available).
As Marguerite ends her journey, so do we. We packed up her clothes as our muse/mannequin is stowed away. It was indeed a fun day of dressing up our muse and creating a story. However, Argie and I would be reunited with Marguerite again on Thursday, April 29, 2010 at the SM Mega Atrium. We had to choose one look, which would be displayed on that day along with the works from other bloggers and stylists.

See you on Thursday, Marguerite!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Bye Bye Dark Circles With Laura Mercier Under Eye Perfecter

One of the most commonly-bought makeup products is actually concealer, which more often than not is used to nix those dark circles underneath our eyes caused by poor health habits, heritage, or lack of sleep. Looks like makeup brand Laura Mercier hears the vain insomniac's prayers (mine included as I'm typing this at 2:00 a.m.) and developed a new product line called the Under Eye Perfecter.

In dealing with undereye discolorations though, piling with more concealer is actually not the case since this would just enhance the fine lines under our eyes. A truckload of concealer also under our eyes would just crack later on. Getting a lighter concealer though would cause a weird reverse-panda eye. To successfully erase undereye darkness though, at least, until we use makeup remover, the secret is a bit of color correction, hence this is why these new products are a little deviation from the real skin-toned concealer and foundation colors we're used to. The red and orange are actually used for color-correcting.
Orange/Yellow (Top) and Mauve/Rose on the bottom.

Swatches here show that they really are orange (left) and mauve) in color.

Undereye circles aren't really black. If you look closely, they sometimes could be in the purple range or green/blue color. It really depends on the person and how the darkness appears in combination with the wearer's complexion. That's the reason why some peach or salmon-toned concealers do not work on some undereye circles, they may need a yellow-toned concealer since the darkness is purple-tinged.

Laura Mercier's Under Eye Perfecter works not mainly to cover undereye circles. It more of cancels out or neutralizes the color first. You apply this after eye cream just to cancel out the color. Morena skin tones would benefit from the orange concealer while those with fairer complexions or greenish undereye darkness would go for the rose/mauve shade. However, it doesn't stop there. We still need to put our concealer on top of the corrector so the now-neutralized area blends with our skin tone. Just remember to use very little of the corrector since we don't want to pile a lot of products on our undereyes.

The texture of the product is a bit thicker than our usual concealers, so a dab and tap of this would be sufficient. Just don't drag the product on the eye as that could cause wrinkles. Just tap, tap, tap. Since you only need very little of this product, the Php995 you spend on this could go a long way.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Wiiiii Moment From China

Victor, now based in China, proudly shows off his book. :)

Andy tagged me in that photo in Facebook. The guy is Victor, one of the models I've worked with Andy in a two-hour shoot. That's our work, the one on the right with him wearing the brown suit.

This shot was taken on that very eventful day of my bus accident and I still went through with the shoot despite my bruised hip and swollen joints. It was a relatively fast shoot, with us having around 2 hours to work, makeup and hair included. I'm glad that he chose our work to be part of his book that travels around with him as he tours the world.

And we weren't left without behind-the-scenes by Andy:

Victor and the bruised makeup artist. :)

And the stylist extraordinaire Dennis.

Thanks again Victor!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Event: The Olay Summer Fashion Walk-Off

Last week, I had the pleasure to be invited to the Olay Fashion Walk-Off where models in their 20s, 30s, and even 40s walk the walk in summer's skin-baring outfits. Reveal skin even at your 40's? Hell yeah! I dragged along Erika for this event, since we missed each other being immersed in work, plus there's more chance for us to catch up.
Erika and me. The people around us actually thought we were sisters. Yep, we get that a lot.

My pink stilettos and her pink sneakers show how much we started thinking alike. And speaking of twins... check this out:

Romina and I in similar LBDs. No we didn't plan this, but Romina was the one who gave me the idea of where to purchase lovely and affordable outfits that are pretty comfortable. :)
Anyhow, after dinner and cocktails, we proceded to the fashion walk to witness the event.
Runway ready?
And the photographers start getting warmed up with the sight of these beauties. :)

Starting to love this dress.

Phoemela Barranda struts the catwalk.

Sanya Smith side-by-side with Abbygale Arenas.

I must say it was hard to distinguish which models were in their 20's, 30's, or 40's as each model looked absolutely fabulous in the short skirts, sleeveless dresses, plunging necklines, and high heels. The veteran models I must say, still have it - the fierce walk, the poise, and elegance. Definitely they defied age and still looked fabulous all these years. After the fashion show, Olay ambassadors Miriam Quiambao, Angel Aquino, and Daphne Osena-Paez took the stage and shared their experience using the Olay Body line. Already in their 30s, these women still looked fantastic in their own summer outfits. Okay.. so I'd better hit the shower and see if I'd look the same after 7 showers.
After the event, Erika and I had orange juice over at Coffee Bean for some girly-bonding, pink shoes and Olay body bars and all. Looks like my doughnut queen bee is all smiles too. :)
"When I'm 40, I'd still be fierce and fabulous!"

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Morange Makes a Bright Summery Lip

Bright orange on the lips? Why not? It might sound weird to use bright loud orange lipstick to some, but if worn properly, it could result in an interesting and fun color that's apt for summer where people are more adventurous with colors, brights, and all things happy.

Take this MAC shade for example, that's making waves now - aptly called Morange, this shade is a loudmouth orange color in Amplified Creme finish. On the tube, it's bright neon orange and on the lip, it's also bright neon, and I'm not talking about simple glaze or color-on-top color. It's an opaque finish. It's also non-drying since it's amplified creme. Think of the shade Cosmo that just got brighter on the orange spectrum.

Here's the swatch:
Swatched once, it already has a very opaque finish on the hand. Yep, this is bright bright bright orange. It's actually very fun to wear and it's one of those if-you-dare-to-wear loud and unusual colors that could scare you at first if you're not adventurous.

Pair this lipstick with a peach-y blush such as Peaches or Melba. On tanned skin, this looks great. For eyes, keep the eyes simple with a golden neutral look (simple look: Ricepaper on browbone, Amber Lights on lid, and Espresso to contour) and brown eyeliner to compliment the warmth of the lipstick color. Taking this at night, smoke up the eyes with a bit of black and use liquid or gel eyeliner for a sexy cat's eye. Or line the eyes with black liner for a sexy, come-hither smoky eyes. Then throw on an animal-print flowy dress for a summer party. Tap a bit of bronze-y highlights too!

So here's me wearing Morange during a visit at the MAC counter:

As of the moment, since I got a tan, I'm currently an in-between of NC35 and Nc40. I used warm colors on my face so the lip doesn't get to be out-of place, like golds, peach, and coral. If you're quite apprehensive of using Morange purely on the lips, try taming it a bit with a nude lipstick in the brown or beige spectrm such as Blankety. Then as soon as you're used to it, then go with Morange purely. However, the secret to wearing this color fiercely should go with confidence. :) Rock it and love it, momma!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Titania: The Answer To Sweet-Smelling Shoesies and Footsies

I just stared at my shoe closet like a few minutes ago and just realized that my shoe stack is taller than me. I just get weak-kneed when I see pretty shoes that add height (when I need to be instantly 6 feet tall), give oomph, or see a pair that dance and catwalk in my brain that I need to buy them nevermind that I wouldn't eat for three days. Okay, the not-eating part is an exaggeration.

Shoes of course, need to be taken care of. For one thing, shoes don't come cheap. Even those on sale cost a significant dent on my wallet. To prolong shoe life, we need to do one thing, and that is to make sure they stay clean, fresh, and free of any flora, fauna, and merryweather (and I'm not talking about faeries here). Since shoes are near the ground, they definitely are the first one to be in contact with microbes and stuff. Plus, we've got the main culprit of sweat which gives a favorable environment for bacteria to grow.

In order to prolong the life and quality of our shoes, here's a gold mine in an aerosol can that could save our shoes and our wallets. I've discovered the power of Titania and I've kept my can in the shoe cabinet fortunately to remind myself to give my shoes its much-needed quick care.
This is what I have, the deodorizing foot spray, which has set camp in my shoe cabinet in order to remind myself that I need to use it. It not only deodorizes our shoes (works well for our close-toed shoes, boots, and sneakers), it also disinfects and prevents fungi growth on our shoes (hence goodbye flora, fauna, and merryweather). Perfection yes? At least my shoes smell fresh and clean now. Aside from shoes, I use this to disinfect and deodorize my bags so they smell fresh, especially if I change bags.

I like that it doesn't smell too strong. Had I closed my eyes or had no idea what this can is for, I would think I smell a slightly floraly-fruity body spray. The pink cover also helped .

Aside from this, do check the other two products from Titania:
1. The Foot Deo spray deodorizes feet and stops sweat decomposing bacteria from growing. It's got menthol to cool and refresh feet and moisturize the skin on our feet.

2. The Athlete's Foot Protector is more potent containing more active and intense antifungal ingredients. This could be used on our feet, shoes, and socks to kill any remaining fungi to totally stop the fungi from recurring.

Hopefully, with this baby, we could prolong the life of our shoesies, and who knows? We could have more money to save with our shoe lives being prolonged.

Titania is available in Watsons, Beauty by SM Department Store, Landmark, and Mercury. Pretty and dry feet are sexy. :)

Friday, April 16, 2010

A Very Kikay Trial Makeup

My friend Jill is getting married and I'm glad to have the task of being her makeup artist on her special day! So last Saturday, we had trial makeup in her place at BF Paranaque. It's been a while since I've seen her and I'm glad that I'll be part of her wedding.

Jill is actually one of my first blogger friends. I met her online when she left a note in my blog and her note lead to the famous beauty website Kikay Exchange. We've been exchanging comments since then as well as stories on beauty and fashion. Now, stories include organizing, details, and stuff for weddings and all.
Anyway, I arrived at her house Saturday afternoon. I was introduced to her matron of honor. While waiting, we exchanged stories and she showed me pictures of her gown, accessories, and even the invitation so I get a general "feel" of her wedding. I asked her what look she wants and she said, everything's up to me.
Normally, for weddings, I'm not very adventurous when it comes to color palettes. In fashion shoots, I tend to go crazy with styles and colors. For brides however, I need to play it safe and classic. I want her skin to look fresh and dewy. Yet, I want her to still look like her. Jill has very warm-toned morena skin (she mentioned she's an NC40) and perfect eyebrows that needed little reshaping. She also has a nice smile, something I would like to play upon.

So I proceded to swatch colors on her jawline. I blended several shades of foundation and finally came up with a shade that matches her skin closely. I cleaned and prepped her skin for makeup. After applying the base and setting it with powder, I proceded to contour her face. I did subtle contouring here to give her face a bit of dimension so that it doesn't come out flat in pictures. Contouring also gives warmth to the skin so she doesn't look that ashy.
For her colors, I chose a warm palette of browns, ambers, and peaches. Her motif is blue so I thought that would make a good contrast as well as complement her skin color. I used amber and brown on the eyes, a subtle smokiness for impact. However, we toned it down a bit when she didn't feel comfortable with too-dramatic eyes. What I did was blend in the highlight color with a blending brush to lighten the eye. I used waterproof gel liner and mascara to frame her eyes and for a finishing touch, I used a pair of natural-length false lashes. It took a while for Jill to get used to wearing falsies (it's her first time) but eventually she got used to it and loved the results.
For her cheeks, I used peach-colored sheer blush and some shimmer highlights so they're soft, warm, and dewy. To top off her look, I used a sheer corally-red lipstick blended in with nude creamy lipstick for her lips topped with very little gloss to keep her lips moist yet not intimidating. I didn't go heavy on gloss since gloss tends to stick to the veil.

Jill has always been sporting short hair since I've known her. For her hair, Wacks, the hairstylist did an elegant hairstyle that mimmicked an updo for a different look. Tessa even sacrificed her neckpiece to make into Jill's headpiece. The result is a fresh and different Jill ready to walk down the aisle and say "I do".

So this was Jill before makeup and after skin care:

And here's Jill after makeup and hair...

I love the hair too.
Jill and her dream team... me and my hair magician friend, Wacks.

She definitely looks fabulous! I'm really excited for her wedding. I'll see her in a couple of weeks now!

Congrats Jill!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Going Gaga Since (we) Girls Just Want To Have Fun

Viva Glam gets a double-dose this year by launching two new LE lipsticks this spring featuring two of the music industry's most popular icons - Cyndi Lauper and Lady Gaga.

[photo from omgcelebrities.com]

Cyndi Lauper made waves during the 80s and became the first female singer to have four top-five singles released from one album. Her songs "Time After Time" and "Girls Just Want To Have Fun" have been popular favorites during that time. Last year, she also became one of the celebrities who designed a T-shirt for the second Fashion Against AIDS campaign, a collaboration between H&M and Designers Against AIDS to raise HIV/AIDS awareness. That and a lot more achievements plus her timeless spunk makes her an apt endorser for Viva Glam.

Fast-forward to this day and age, Lady Gaga has wowed youngsters with her talent and artistic capability. Her songs are forever blasting at the store plus who doesn't love the way she surprises us with her out-of-this world costumes and makeup? I think every mp3 player has a Lady Gaga song in it. She's famous among fans in various age groups.

The lipsticks have been so popular there were reservations made in every MAC store and these babies were sold out in less than a week the moment they arrived on counter. Fortunately, I was able to purchase a Cyndi Lauper lipstick and I set on reviewing both shades for those who are curious about it.

The difference between these two lipsticks between the traditional Viva Glam lipsticks is that instead of numbers, they are labeled according to the names of these artists and each lipstick has their signature. On the left is the Cyndi Lauper lipstick, and on the right is Lady Gaga.
Above are swatches. Cyndi Lauper is more of a warm red-orange shade while Lady Gaga takes on a cool pastel pink finish. Both are Lustre finishes, so they're sheer and less dry than traditional matte and satin lipsticks. Swatched twice, you see the lip texture through, so for a more opaque finish, we need a third coat or so.
Here are three coats of Cyndi lipstick on my lips. Instead of a berry or wine red, I get a very subtle red color that looks very rosy on the lips. On its own, I could use this on a bride who would want some color on her lip without looking too outlandish. In fact, I used this on my trial makeup for my bride and she loved it. Cyndi red is less intimidating than the traditional Russian Red, so this is one entry-level red for girls. It does give a bit of a rosy lift on the lips, without looking too over-the-top.

The pastel pink of Lady Gaga lipstick is more on the nude side than the bright pink. If you remember Saint Germain from the Euristocrats collection, it's quite similar. The only difference is that Saint Germain is more opaque, being in an Amplified finish. It looks great with smoky eyes, just like how Lady Gaga wears her eyes (I bet a little subtle in real life). Actually, I think instead of on its own, Lady Gaga would look better if topped over another pink lipstick in a satin or matte finish. Try topping this with another MAC favorite lipstick like Pink Noveau. It will tame down the bright pink and add a bit of gloss too, if you're not fond of the sticky gloss.
Among the two, the Cyndi happens to be my favorite. I like the Lady Gaga though, but I like how Cyndi brightens up the face. Plus, I could use Cyndi even with minimal makeup. On days when I feel the urge for smoky eyes though and a pale lip, Lady Gaga could be another option.
[MAC Viva Glam lipsticks are available at all MAC counters for a limited time only. Each lipstick retails for Php950. Every cent of your purchase of the Viva Glam lipstick goes directly to the MAC AIDS fund, which was developed to support people who are living with HIV/AIDS worldwide]