Monday, August 30, 2010

Sharing Some Of My August Shoots

Sharing a few of my shoots for the month of August with two of my pretty model friends.

Last Sunday, I had a shoot with my Buhay Baboy friends Jho and Ram. The pegs were amazing and we all know how well Jho registers in pictures (she's got a billboard right smack in EDSA to prove it).

I love the Spanish Senorita peg. would you believe it was supposed to be a plum scheme originally from the peg but when I saw the Spanish fan props, I had to do my own alterations.

Peacock feathers definitely. The lips are a mix of MAC Ruby Woo (which I found out had a retro-matte finish, which explains why it's drier than Russian Red or Viva Glam I) and topped off with Shu Uemura RD 165, Jho's favorite red lipstick from my kit. For her foundation, I used my MUD foundation which clears skin almost instantly.

The second peg was totally not the sunshine-y Jho we know. Dark lips, dark eyes, black fabric, black lace gloves, and yes... black eyebrows (a matte black eyeshadow was used here) were used to change the sweet Jho to someone like this:I love playing with eyebrows since they totally alter the face of a person. Jho's lighter brows during the first peg created a totally different and more subtle beauty shot. This concept shot totally changed her face.

We're cooking up a new shoot soon, this time more colorful and fun.

All of you remember my shoot with Diana right?

Her basic, clean headshot spells fierce.

Models are required to have basic and clean headshots all the time and to keep it updated. The clean headshot should have simple hair and makeup with minimal postprocessing, just basic cleaning and contrast. Here's Diana with super-clear skin that glows and not a hair out of place.

From clean, Diana goes vampy and glam. I think she reminds me of Angelina Jolie here, with dark smoky eyes and nude pink lips, a very Angie trademark look.

And here's Diana chanelling Lara Stone

I used plummy lipstick here topped with a bit of my black lipstick so it still registers dark on black and white photos.

I'm off to go to an event in a bit. It's a national holiday today, and there's no work for me today. I guess it's time for everyone to relax. Enjoy everyone!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

A Little Nose Exercise and Special Surprise from Downy

I don't know if it's just me but I'm the type of girl who likes to get high on fabric softener. If you're rolling your eyes or raising eyebrows at the thought of me getting high over a grocery item, probably you could relate when you get your laundry and sink your face on the clean sheets and sniffing the scent. I'm one of those individuals too. When I lived in California a few years back, my favorite chore was doing the laundry. Everytime it's laundry day, I get all excited. I didn't mind the slight handwashing before I dunk everything in the washer. My favorite part was getting them babies out of the dryer and folding the towels and linen and I'd sniff through those sheets.

Whenever I'm in the grocery, I'd sniff through the bottles of fabric conditioner. I admit the household has had its favorite scents and brands. Among them though, Downy has been a household staple already since they were washing my baby clothes up to my short shorts now (:P) We'd have a stock of these iconic blue bottles with the pink cap and I'd have an occasional boo-boo of staining white towels with the blue liquid. Downy has evolved from the original scent to other variants. Imported ones have an aromatherapy line and we even have our local varieties.

Okay, so you guys might find it funny for me to be talking about laundry stuff when this is a makeup blog. Actually, here's a little thing: I wash my makeup bags, towels, and (fabric) brush rolls myself. My work stuff is actually a separate load from the house linens so as not to involve a mixup.

And speaking of laundry, I was doing the laundry this afternoon when this pretty little basket came for me:
I guess it's with Downy's promotion of the Perfume series with two new scents: Passion and Attraction, which smells almost as if you're wearing luxury perfume when it's actually just fabric softener.

Anyway, the pretty basket is actually a challenge for us bloggers. The first challenge asked us to take a sniff between the two towels provided in the pack. One of them has been sprinkled with perfume and the other one was washed with new Passion from Downy. As soon as I pried the basket off the protective plastic wrap, I got too excited I almost mismatched the two plastic wraps from the two protective towels. Good thing the scent sorta lingered through the plastic. Whew!Here are the two test subjects - towel #1 and towel #2. Both smelled absolutely fantastic and I was sniffing through them a good deal (getting high 8-}) hahaha. As I'm typing this, towel #1 is right by my nose because I couldn't stop sniffing. Addict...

It was quite hard to test as both smelled really good. After weighing my choices and deciding, I decided to go with these guesses:

Towel #1 as the one being washed with Downy Attraction
Towel #2 was the one sprinkled with perfume.

Anyway, question #2 also checked out knowledge on the perfume notes and how sensitive our noses were. It was given that Passion (i.e. the red variety) has jasmine, ylang-ylang, and soft musk. They made us guess the fourth ingredient between the three choices: a) cinnamon b) rose and c) lavander. I'm guessing rose here. (Crossing fingers hoping on getting them right). It was quite tricky for me though, since I was bordering on rose and lavander but I thought rose. Anyway, I do hope I get it right (*fingers crossed*)

The pretty basket also came with an invitation for me to an event at the unveiling of Passion and Attraction. :) This looks pretty exciting too!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Makeup Designory Products Overview and Swatches

One Thursday afternoon, I met up with my makeup artist friend Kris in order for me to check out some of the makeups she's selling. Kris is a makeup artist who specializes in weddings and bridals. She studied basic makeup in CAS and after a year, she went to New York to study at the prestigious Makeup Designory school (otherwise known as MUD). She's one of the most sought-after makeup artists having editorials, tv commercials, and bridals tucked under her belt. Aside from doing makeup, she also blogs and I found out that she's selling makeup from MUD through her blog.

Aside from their courses, MUD also has makeup tools and supplies for sale and they're the brand Kris uses most of the time. Kris swears by MUD products and absolutely loves them. "They're very pigmented but very affordable," she would say. A lot of her clients and colleagues ask her what brand she uses. Unfortunately though, these babies were not available locally until now. And so I tripped over to Greenhills to meet up with her so I could check them out.

I met up with Kris at the 7-11 store near Caltex. She was with a makeup artist friend named Ria and she introduced me to her. She had with her her makeup kit with all her MUD products for us to test, swatch, and try.
First up, I went to the foundation colors. Kris has two palettes for foundation, one for yellow undertones (usually Asians) and one for pink undertones (for Caucassians usually). The one above is what she uses mostly, which is the yellow undertone palette. The foundation is in a cream formulaton instead of liquid. The coverage could be controlled depending upon the application. It's quite small in size, a little bigger than MAC eyeshadows and almost as big as Elianto eyeshadow refills. However, they're quite pigmented and a little smidgen could go a long way.

Here are the swatches. Usually, they're sold in compacts individually or you could purchase refills and fit them in to empty palettes, just like Kris did with her own. She arranged them from dark to light and kept a separate palette for pink undertones. If you want to save though, just purchase refills or compacts of one very light shade, two medium shades, and one dark shade and just mix.

To use, just scoop up a teensy bit of foundation using a spatula and then use a brush to apply to face. A flat paddle brush such as a MAC 190 or 191 would be most apt for this or a flat-top round foundation brush.
Correctors are sold in half-circle shaped refills. think of the foundation compact split in half. Correctors are different from foundation since they're denser and their purpose is to cancel out skin discoloration before foundation so the skin really looks flawless. Depending on the discoloration color, there are different colors to be used to address different needs.

The yellow or greenish-tinged correctors could be used to counteract redness from pimples, broken blood vessels, or rosacea. Ideally, a peach-toned or salmon color corrector should be used to cancel out the bluish or greenish tinge of dark circles since a yellow-toned concealer could cause a reverse racoon effect (unless of course though, that the dark circles are purplish). You could use the darker correctors also to contour. The orange or red correctors can be used to correct extremely dark undereye circles or to perfect really dark skin.

Here's Kris's eyeshadow palette featuring the neutral colors. Just like the foundations and correctors, they could come in compacts or refills and just place the refills on the palettes. Kris has two palettes: one for neutral (shown), which she uses for bridal work and one for colorful, which are brought out for the fashion shoots. The neutral palette is a wonderful combination of mostly matte and satin shades. For a natural bridal look, matte is still the best.

Kris recommends the colors dulce de leche, cashmere, and taupe as her personal choices when creating a natural look. They're not very shimmery and they fit almost anyone. Dulce de leche is almost like a matte version of MAC's Ricepaper with a bit of Shroom mixed in.

Kris's blush palette is pure love. The almost empty pan on the center top part holds Kris's favorite shade, Glow. "It's like a less shimmery version of NARS Orgasm," she told me. The peach-pink shade is universal so anyone could wear it. Since it's not super shimmery, this is perfect for editorials and photoshoots since too much shimmer could reflect light and make the skin look oily rather than radiant. The yellow shade on the bottom right is great for highlighting the tops of the brows, bridge of the nose, or the corners of the mouth.

If you're wondering about the palettes, they are available in various sizes. For personal use, there's the four-pan palette but makeup artists could use a lot more colors than that. Refills and eyeshadow pans fit snuggly in them (they're magnetic by the way) so rest assured that the pans won't dislodge or break into smithereens when dropped. Kris has dropped her palettes a whole lot of times and apparently, her stuff are still alive. These palettes are also up for sale. MAC eyeshadows could also fit into the eyeshadow palettes so they go very well together. Now I just have to know how to depot...

Anyway, of course I would check out the lipsticks. Kris showed me four lipsticks and they're all very moist in formulation as seen in the swatches. Spotlight too on the very red lipstick named Ladybug which is a bright red that doesn't dry our kissers.

The best weapon to apply the lipstick is this lipstick brush.

The pointed tip allows a much more precise application should you want to create a more defined cupid's bow. It's also wide enough to apply lipstick with precision when you're pressed for time . This lipstick brush is priced at Php 800. Not bad!

One of my up-for grabs product is Kris's personal favorite, the MUD face primer. She just uses a little amount after skincare and before corrector and foundation to prep the skin up to be the perfect and smooth canvas for makeup.

That's all you need

Primer blended in.

As you could see, the primer does not reflect light hence it saves us from a very ugly ghost effect. The skin feels much more smoother and velvety to the touch. Primers also make the makeup last longer. That's perfect for weddings when makeup has to stay from start to finish.

After our meeting and chika, I purchased a corrector and foundation in a fair tone so I could test-drive the products more myself. I was able to use both in two of my shoots just last weekend and I really wasn't disappointed. The corrector instantly erased my undereye circles and the high coverage of the foundation was instant skin smoothness. I also like that it wasn't that cakey. The two refills cost me a little over Php1000 only.

If you want to order MUD products, you could contact Kris Bacani at 0917 629 3303 or email her at should you want to know the prices in Philippine pesos. Feel free to browse at for more products that could get your fancy.

Energize, Soothe, and Relax with Amu'in

It has been months since I was whisked away to paradise with a few other bloggers to witness the new Nurture Spa. I do miss the fresh air and the food and it was my visit there that I pushed myself to living a healthier life more, which means more of the soy, granola, and hence Tara Stiles and I bonding thrice weekly and now I incorporate the Bidasha twins in my exercise routine.

Anyway, I'd like to share too my experience with the goodies I got in the bag after the trip, namely the Amu'in products whose scents I am so addicted to right now. I've finished already two of the travel-sized bottles and I am so loving them. I've seen Amu'in products whenever I visit the Echo store over at Serendra when I shop for my stock of organic products but it was only during my Nurture Spa trip that I experienced them first-hand. They come in four varieties and here I am writing this post to share my thoughts on it.

Depending on our needs and our mood, we tend to shift to different products. Whenever it's hot and sunny, we prefer lighter and more citrusy fragrances. For a night out with someone special, a mellow scent like vanilla or musk would be my personal choice. When I have a hard time sleeping, I bring out something with a tad of lavander. There are several scents that could address the needs of our minds and emotions and hence that must be the principle behind aromatherapy.

My goodies were travel-sized products from Amu'in, which feature three of their four lines: Alaga, Hulay, and Sigla.

These are so convenient travel-sizes I could tot them along with me in my purse. Oh a little trivia with Amu'in products is that their ingredients are all sourced here in the Philippines since Amu'in is committed to build the essential oil industry and support the communities producing essential oils. Lemongrass essential ils are sourced from Mambugsay, Negros. Also, a percentage of the sales of Amu'in products is donated to the communities living there in Negros.

The woven pouch that holds these three bottles is actually locally-woven fabric. "Abel" is a century-old weaving tradition in Bangar, La Union that is in danger of dying out. The use of Abel fabric in gift boxes, bags, and pouches aims to keep the craft alive.

Aside from promoting tradition and using materials sourced locally, Amu'in uses Filipino words to name their products. The name Amu'in itself is actually a Tagalog verb that means "to caress" or "to tame". Even their four lines are also named using Filipino words, depending on their use.

Sigla is a Tagalog word for "energy". If the orange labels are not enough, the citrusy and fresh scents (blend of Lemon, Lemongrass, Peppermint, and May Chang) are there to perk up the mood two to three notches higher. The Sigla line is for those who would want a healthy jolt of energy and focus for the day.

Isn't the happy orange hue uplifting in itself? The scent spells E-N-E-R-G-Y too, and the citrusy scent is reminiscent of taking a tall glass of fresh orange juice for breakfast. The body mist could be totted in the bag during a day full of energy, say I'll be doing makeup for a wedding.

The body lotion is what I use in the morning before I run off to work when I have work. The smell is pretty fresh and the lemongrass scent isn't reminiscent of cough lozenges. Plus, there's a tingly minty feeling after due to the peppermint and this could be great for hot days that make us all sluggish.

Use Sigla when:

  • You have a hard time getting out of bed but need to.
  • You need focus for a number of tasks during the day
  • You're on the beach. Citrusy scents and sunshine give such positive vibes. Plus the mint will cool us down.
  • During a post-workout shower to keep the energy up.

Winding down after a long day, the Hulay line eases tension and relaxes the body. A lot of stress sometimes couldn't make us sleep, and we all know now the importance of a good 8-hour sleep. With the warm and delicate scents of Lavander and Ylang-Ylang (which are iconic ingredients in spa products), this would be absolutely perfect during the time that we need to wind down. The word "Hulay" is actually Visayan for "relax," which this line aims the user to do, and I don't mean Frankie says Relax. :P

Lavander is such a calm and cool color to look at. The room and linen sprays would be a must-have in the bedroom especially when we need to rest after a long day at work. The lotion (above) is my nighttime lotion which I apply all over my body before I go to bed. It's not very greasy and the scent doesn't offend the nostrills, to think it's a pretty warm nighttime scent. The scent though lingers through the morning when I wake up.

Use Hulay when:

  • You need to sleep and wind down after a long day.
  • You get your at-home massage.
  • You do meditation or yoga to calm the mind and the senses.
Alaga, which means "to care for" or "to soothe" in Tagalog is what we could use whenever nasties come our way. Depending on our needs, the Alaga line has special blends to address them whether it be aching muscles, headaches, insect bites, or dirty hands. For example, the insect repellant has citronella and peppermint to ward off bugs and insects (perfect during dengue season). The Alaga massage oil has Rosemary, Ginger, and Peppermint to warm and relax tense and tired muscles.

What I have with me is actually an almost-empty bottle of the Natural Hand Sanitizer. This 50-mL spray bottle protects ad cleanses my hands without the need of water. It smells really good and citrusy. I use this to sanitize my hands before I do makeup on my client or when I need to quick-clean my brushes. This hand sanitizer does not sting the hands since they use ethyl alcohol instead of isopropyl.

Use Alaga...

  • Natural insect repellant when you would be outdoors. You'll never know what bug could bite.
  • Stress Relief balm when you need a midday calming-down, say you're plugged up with meetings and deadlines.
  • Hand Sanitizer for quick-cleaning before eating, snacking, or handling clients (in my case).
  • Massage Oil when you need to relieve aching backs, feet, or legs.

For the romantics, Gayuma (Tagalog word for "love potion") was created to unleash and induce romance with sweet orange, cedarwood, rosewood, and ylang-ylang to put anyone in the mood for some loving. Nurture Spa uses this for the couple's massage and it's been said that some of the ingredients were used by Cleopatra to lure Marc Anthony to her. Apparently, it seemed to work. I was able to smell this and it wasn't that musky or heady. It starts out rather fresh at first and then fades to a muted musk. Ylang-ylang calms the nerves too and the woody fragrances rather attract the senses. I told them that I was quite intrigued by this line.

Use Gayuma when...

  • On your next out-of-town trip with your honey
  • When you want to spice things up a bit. Spray the room with the room spray, light up the essential oil, Use the massage oil as a moisturizer and get creative.

Plus, pink is such a pretty color too. Sometimes alluded with femininity, beauty and love, the pink-labeled bottles would look great on a seductress's vanity. But who says that this could only be used for couples? We could use this whenever we just want to feel sexy. Try using the massage oil sparingly or walk through a mis of the room spray. Who knows? Cleopatra's charm could work too. The Gayuma line is also a great bridal shower or affordable wedding gift to add spice to a friend's wedding night.

So there you have it. If this got anyone's interest up, you could check Amu'in products at their website. In Manila, I know they're available at Echo stores (I saw stores in Podium and Serendra). You could hop over too at Nurture Spa during one of your out-of-town trips since they're available as well there too.

[pictures of the Alaga, Sigla, Gayuma, and Hulay lines taken from the Amu'in website]

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Disney and MAC Come to the Dark Side with Venomous Villains

Looks like Disney loves makeup now as they collaborate with various makeup brands. This time, Disney collaborates with MAC to come up with a limited edition makeup collection (wiiii!). Instead of pretty princesses in frou-frou and fluffy gowns whisked away by a handsome Prince Charming though, Disney pays tribute to those who give spunk, spice, and story to their fairy tales, namely the villains. Don't you just love how they broke tradition here? Come to think of it, the villains do deserve a treat this time. After all, if it weren't for them, there would be no story in the first place. What would 101 Dalmatians be without Cruella de Vil and her henchmen with the car chase? Imagine if Ursula didn't make that bargain with Ariel or what twist would Aladdin's tale have without Jafar returning twice? Yep, we need them nasties for those tales.

For this collection, four of Disney's nastiest villains are featured. And the packaging takes a revamp with the characters images embedded on them. Isn't that just... nice? (*evil smirk*)If you look closely at the villains too, you'd see that they are stars too in their own dark world. Take for example the beautiful Evil Queen from Snow White with a heart as cold as ice:Poised and primped as she forever is, the Evil Queen forever hungers to always be the fairest in the land. No one must be more beautiful than her, except of course her lovely stepdaughter Snow White. Fearing competition, the Evil Queen at first made her scrub and work in the palace and dressed her in rags in vain attempts to uglify her. When that didn't work, the Evil Queen did the last resort, which was to kill her. This villain who would go to the extreme to be on top is immortalized in cool palletes to match her cold heart - purples, cool deep pinks and burgundies.Maleficent, the evil sorceress from Sleeping Beauty who cursed the beautiful princess to sleep for 100 years and morphed into a dragon up to her death would be every child's nightmare. Her cool green skin, horn headress and pet vulture used to send chills down my spine as a child, I'd hide under the covers every time her scene comes up in the cartoon.

Despite her scheming character (plotting 18 years to kill a princess), I have yet to see the evil witch pull a tantrum. Iconic evil smirks and her cool, calm voice as she talks to her pet vulture make her iconically poised (Why do these villains seem more poised than the heroes?) As a tribute to her, just like the Evil Queen, we have cool colors of purple, green (just like her skin) and plums.

The clean and cool plums of the lipsticks Violetta and Dark Deed (both in Amplified finishes wiiii!) would look great with a strong brow and clean skin. Plus I'm eyeing on the nail lacquer called Bad Fairy, which is a very landi red color. Find this look too pale? Sweep a bit of Briar Rose beauty powder so as not to look too pale.

The most fasyon of all fasyon villains is probably none other than the fur-loving socialite, the empress of Hell Hall Cruella De Vil. Her name does ooze with evil, I tell you. Evil.
Perfect fashion sense all the time this woman, even in a car chase and going on hysteria with fur and puppies. The cartoon version's weight seems to collapse under all that fur (white mink, nothing less). But she loves fur right? She loves fur she would dognap and kill for them.
Lipstick picture grabbed from

Cruella trully seems to have good taste, just like her obsession for fine fur, I've got the same for deep red lipsticks, and the lipstick on the left, named Heartless is a cherry red in an amplified finish got my eyes popping. Since MAC's carbon would be included in this collection, a nude lip using Innocence, Beware! (right) would be perfect for the dark coppery smoky eyes in Cruella's palette.

Of course the dastardly devious male villains had to be included. Here, they are represented by Dr. Facilier. As a child, I didn't remember Dr. Facilier scaring the bejeezus out of me until I googled him while researching for this post. Turns out this dude appeared in a rather recent Disney film, namely The Princess and The Frog. Sinister and charismatic are words to describe this voodoo master. Just like several other Disney villains, his SOP is to trick his victims into making deals with him.
So what would be makeup to represent a male villain? For the eyes that pierce through skulls, Dr. Facilier's got greasepaint sticks to line, smudge and define. Sparkles would be taken care of by the pigments Brash and Bold (bright magenta), Melon (a soft and bright golden peach), and Push the Edge (deep bright purple with pearl). Lips are not left out with lipgelle and Dr. Facilier's got Resort Life (off-white with pink pearl) to add balance to darkly defined eyes.

Spotlight on the MAC Magically Cool Liquid Powder too. I've been told by the MAC Artists that this is one product to look for. It not only gives a dewy finish when brushed onto the skin using a brush but it also has a cool minty feel on the skin. Magical yes?

This collection would be out definitely by September 2010. Whether it be Cruella's obsession for fur and fashion, Evil Queen's competitive strike and hunger for beauty, Maleficent's decades-long planning for murder and deception, or the devious and scheming ways of Dr. Facilier, MAC's Venomous Villains are there to unleash everyone's innermost contrabida in a fun and colorful way. As of now, I know what I'm about to lunge for and claw my way when they come out, red talons and poisoned apples and all. ;-)

Monday, August 16, 2010

Spending My Sunday with Yeoh, Tin, and Diana

I was chatting with Tin last week and she asked me if I'm okay to shoot Sunday afternoon. It's just one model for her set cards and a few glam shots. I love Tin, I love her work and she's my friend. Of course I'd say yes. I was just a bit late since I had a fitting in the morning and I needed to take shots of fabric swatches. Nevertheless, I got to the place and I was able to chat with Yeoh and Tin before setting up.

Our model, Diana arrived looking fresh with little makeup (some girls are lucky). First up, we had to do a very basic, clean fresh headshot. I just found out that models need clean headshots that need to be updated periodically. For the headshots, I had to make my model look like herself, with minimal makeup and simple hair. "No smokey eyes," Yeoh told me. The smoky eyes would come later of course.I skipped the falsies for the clean headshot. I wanted Diana to look like how she usually appears in her go-sees. Yeoh was kind enough to iron her hair and he definitely did a good job. Some of the raw shots looked like a shampoo advertorial. No shimmer overload here, but I did place shimmer on strategic places for highlights .
Tin asks Yeoh's approval of the light settings.

Here's a look of my makeup on Diana taken using my phone.

Clean, pretty, and simple. :)

Diana also had a few more glamour and fierce shots. In between, we got hungry and ordered McDonald's. Multitasking, here's how we are:
Yeoh: Ordering McDonald's while curling Diana's hair
Bambi: Holding the phone while retouching Diana.
Diana: Browsing through my Bobbi Brown book.

This is a darker Diana from the former look. I gave Diana a Lara Stone inspired look with the light brows and dark eyes. The peg called for dark lips so I mixed plum and black for this color. The shoot ended at around 5:30 p.m. with four layouts. Definitely couldn't wait for the pictures. Looks like I'll be doing another set card layout pretty soon.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Fresh-Faced Face of the Day

Ladies and gentlemen, I decided to be a girl yesterday when I went out. So I decided to immortalize that I, in fact, have two X chromosomes and take pictures:
See told you how pink makes me look fresher. I actually look like I'm a nice and harmless person.

On face:
Maybelline Aquagel foundation in Sand
MAC Studioperfect foundation in NC30
MAC Studiofinish foundation in Nc30
MAC Mineralize Blush in Love Rocks

On eyes:
Paul and Joe eyebrow pencil in #4 topped with MAC charcoal brown
Smashbox e/s in smashing starlit
MAC e/s in mineral on crease
Stila smudge pot in Little Black Dress

*Here I used white fluidline as a base, just to have something to hold on to and finally make use of the white fluidline I have sitting there.

On Lips:
Ever Bilena Matte lipstick in Off Beat Pink topped with
MAC lipstick in Fun Fun.
*Seriously. These EB matte lipsticks are addicting. They may not be the yummiest but they are rocking definitely. I bought another one a while ago.

I intentionally skipped mascara because I wanted to give my lashes a break from all the curling and mascara wiggling. It's pretty tempting to just go barefaced now since I would rather spend time sleeping or working out. However, I needed to look like a girl today since I had an event to go to.

The hair, I might say, I used a straightening iron to create the curls. Curling my hair that way makes it hold more than a curling iron.

I'll be off to work in a jiffy now. I'll see you guys soon!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Stripe and Spots: My First Attempt At A Nail Tutorial

Okay, so since it was my day off yesterday, I worked on rehearsing for my piano cover (which would soon inspire a makeup tutorial I'll be doing) then I kinda saw the three bags of polish I have on my dresser. Thought to myself... probably this is the time I practice on doing nail art and work on a tutorial. I haven't done a tutorial ever for nails prolly because I'm lazy to paint my own nails since I do lots of manual labor (washing brushes, dishes, and cleaning) and I don't sport long nails since it hinders me when I work or when I play the piano.
This is the first attempt I did. I worked on the design on the spot, so everything's coming at the top of my head. I had fun making this. The design is relatively easy, though, but for beginners like me, it was tricky switching on the right hand and making sure the stripe was even. So here goes.

First off, I had to make sure my nails were clean and free of oil by wiping them down with a non-acetone polish remover. Oil would just cause the polish to chip and slide off, so it's gonna be useless. After that, I applied a basecoat to prevent the polish from staining the nails. I use my basecoat from MAC, which is pretty easy to apply. I like the consistency since it's not too thick. It dries relatively fast too on the nail.

Next up, I fished out the colors I wanted. I went for safe primary colors of yellow, red, and two shades of blue.

I painted my nails two coats of yellow. I chose a not-so-frosty yellow color that could be good as the base.

On me, yellow on its own doesn't look pretty, and it makes my nails look stained, so I had to move on to the next step. But before that, I had to let this layer dry (a good two coats) so it would be easier to work with.

Next up, I painted a stripe of red right down the middle. Don't get that red too thick. Just a good stripe right down the middle. If you're used to painting your nails, the stripe wouldn't be as wobbly. Again, let the stripe dry for a few good minutes (Mental note... arm self with good music while doing this, particularly something soothing)

On the yellow sides, I dotted a few blue spots using toothpick dipped in blue polish. I used a bright blue on the right side and a darker blue on the left side. Why? Because I'm crazy! 8-} Okay, kidding. As I told everyone, I'm just designing at the top of my head here. I used toothpicks not because I'm crazy but toothpicks give me better control in creating the fine details. It does take a bit of practice though. Plus toothpicks are cheap and disposable and I could toss one out when I switch colors.

I did the same on the other side but with a darker blue. Again, I let the dots dry before topping and sealing everything with a topcoat so that hard work I did would last me a good number of days. And then I excuse myself from manual labor for a good 30 minutes and leave my hands to rest so that they dry well.

So here's the final art work I did:

It's a bit simple though, for first-timers who would like to just have fun with color. I figured too that opaque and non-frosty colors work best here rather than the shimmery kind so the designs come out sharper. Don't be afraid if it's not too perfect. I didn't get it quite 100% pro level here at first, and I did a few cleanups with a Q-tip and polish remover after the photo was taken. The colors do look fun and fierce.

Of course it doesn't have to be this color scheme. I'm thinking it would look absolutely pretty black and white or black, gray, and white as well. How about a glittery topcoat? Probably I'll graduate to more complicated designs soon when I get the hang and control.