Sunday, October 24, 2010

Remembering Archie

A makeup artist's first (bridal) wedding gig would probably be one of the most memorable things in her career as a milestone. But for me and my first clients, Archie and Aimee de Chavez, they left nothing but beautiful and fun memories. They were the couple that inspired me to jump back to wedding makeup from fashion.

Archie and Aimee in their wedding last December 2008.

When I received the news that Archie passed away last week due to kidney failure, I was deeply saddened with the news. Not only were these two close to my heart being the first wedding I ever did, but they were probably one of the easiest clients I ever worked with, being such a fun and kulit couple. I called Aimee the morning after I got the news. I texted her as well if I could make a tribute to Archie here in my blog, as a way of immortalizing him.

Their prenup photo taken by Aimee's sister, Cheryl, was one of Archie's favorite prenup pictures.

Two years ago, I was still a newbie with makeup. It was hard to try to establish myself as a freelance artist. I was struggling too on how I could prove myself among the dozens of makeup artists out there. One day, malas came when my computer broke down. I went to a nearby internet cafe and blogged in my portfolio that my computer broke down and it's in the process of repair. I posted my cellphone number so I could still be reached by potential clients. That day, I received a text message from Aimee. Apparently, she read that post. As we were talking, I found out that her older sister was my former Comm I teacher (hence, I shall be conscious enough to be OC with technicals as she would be reading this post). While discussing makeup pegs and concepts, she told me that she prefers the natural no-makeup look and so does her fiance, Archie. She booked me for trial makeup on a Saturday afternoon. That Saturday was a full one because I had a shoot for a magazine in the morning pero go lang ako with the trial makeup. It was convenient too that both bookings were in my house. Career di ba?

The three arrived in my house as soon as the shoot was wrapping up. I apologized for the overlap and seated them at my makeshift makeup station, our terrace, while I proceeded to refresh my setup. While I was doing makeup, I admit being very nervous. My system has not shifted to "bridal" mode and I was also trying to make an impression. This also is one of my first trial makeup sessions too. It was a good thing that I knew Cheryl, Aimee's older sister so we had stuff to talk about so it was a bit of catching up. Archie wasn't the usual tahimik na groom. He was also kidding around with us. Minutes into the trial makeup session, I was already very relaxed and I felt that I was talking to friends already.

Aimee's trial makeup circa July 2008 was a mixture of fresh, fun, and her favorite color, purple. :) She mentioned it was a morning wedding so no need for much dramatic makeup. My technique has somehow relaxed already. During the trial makeup, Archie was giving a lot of positive comments, which really helped me. Naispire tuloy ako umariba sa trabaho. I love positive reinforcements! While Cheryl took "after" pictures, Archie borrowed some of my equipment and pretended that he was a hairstylist as well. He wanted it to be shown as part of their prenuptial pictures instead of the usual sweetie-sweetie stuff. I was really laughing and laughing while he was doing that and laughing all the more while we were reviewing the pictures. Up to this day, I still share with my clients the picture of Archie pretending to style Aimee's hair. As he joked, "HR by day, hairstylist by night." Aimee put a disclaimer that he doesn't come with my team even when she shared her trial makeup with me in W@W. The upper right hand corner of the collage shows my favorite picture among the four, with Archie spraying hair spray on Aimee with matching graceful hand action. Our joke would be that Archie would be my future hairstylist for gigs and events.

I was so relieved and happy that they booked me for their wedding. I immediately thought that it's gonna be a fun, fun, fun wedding, with these two.

Archie and Aimee had two prenup shoots. I did just one setup. I arrived at Archie's house one Saturday morning for that and Aimee was there to welcome me. For their prenup, they had a cooking-themed shoot.

Aimee being dolled up by me. Yes, rollers galore.

Archie was game when I asked him if he wanted to wear an afro wig. Sa tagal raw ng pagluto, tinubuan na raw sya ng buhok. :P That's one of the hundreds of funny pictures they had. Archie also had an apron matching with Aimee but it wouldn't fit him so he skipped it.

Without the wig, the second layout showed them as a very elegant couple. Would you believe that during their supposedly elegant shots nakikipagkulitan pa si Archie? He always has that trademark ngisi whenever he smiles.

The food they cooked in the photoshoot was the same food they served. I super loved the food. The spicy shrimp and the pesto were divine! Archie's twin baby nephews were absolutely adorable. During shoot downtime, I was playing with them. I didn't have much sleep the night before and it was a lot of layouts but they made everything so easy and fun for me. They took care of me really well and made me feel right at home.

Their wedding happened to be the first Saturday of December. It had the earliest call time known to mankind: 2:00 a.m. since it was a morning wedding. That was also the time that it was traffic everywhere, and looking out their hotel window the night before, they could see how jampacked EDSA was. Wala akong tulog halos noon since I was scared I might not be able to wake up in time for their wedding. Being my first wedding gig ever, my stomach turned into a butterfly farm overnight. Not only was it my first wedding, there were a lot of heads to do as well. The night before, I was restless since I would have to keep recalling what Aimee's shade was while thinking of strategies to style her hair. Oh yes, I was doing hair and makeup at that time too. Good thing I had my friend Elaine to help me out with the entourage.

I was there during the pictures pre-ceremony. I helped Aimee with her veil and watched Archie's reaction as she walked down the aisle. Despite his trademark ngisi, I could see in Archie the look of pride and love as Aimee arrived at the altar. After a quick breakfast break at McDonald's, I went back to the church just in time for retouch and pictorial. It was so funny rin because a little boy teased Archie while I retouched his makeup. Archie said, "Ang lalaking nagmamakeup, macho!" One punchline of Archie I wouldn't forget was that he said that Aimee's lipstick tasted like biscuits (I used MAC lipglass in Viva Glam V to retouch Aimee's lipstick). I use that as a selling point whenever I try selling MAC lipglasses to the customers on counter.

Three years into makeup, it's quite normal to lose track of certain details and some of those I worked with. But with Archie and Aimee, I remember even the smallest details really well. These were my first wedding clients, but they're clients I'm very much proud of and happy to be part of their wedding. I wrote in my portfolio that Archie and Aimee's my good luck charm because after that, the blessings started pouring in. A few months after, I focused on fashion and editorials. I started going back to weddings when I posted Archie and Aimee's wedding pictures in my portfolio. I got so inspired kasi.

Archie was a hands-on groom. He was there to follow up on every detail of the wedding. He considered the wedding one of his biggest accomplishments. He was so proud of their wedding. While I was working with him, I could see he was so much involved with the preps. He's the type of person that you would love to befriend in minutes. Even during the time that he was sick, he told Aimee that he wouldn't want to go through dialysis. That wasn't the life he wanted to give both of them. Although he was the one that was sick, he still thought of Aimee. He may be funny and happy-go-lucky, but that side in him shows that he was a sensitive and caring husband to her.

My visit to Archie came unexpectedly. I was supposed to go to a client that time in Paranaque. Despite that I left early and took the Skyway, traffic was horrible and so was the rain. Sadly, I wasn't able to make it to my client. Suddenly, I thought of visiting Archie. Immediately, I called Sam and asked for the wake details. Sam gave me directions and we were able to make it on the wake. When I got there, I found it surreal seeing Archie's name and even more surreal when I saw his picture near the coffin. I immediately got sad and gave Aimee a hug when I saw her. When Aimee lead me to take a peek at Archie, I had to stifle a chuckle because even there, Archie still had his trademark kulit expression. Aimee told me that everyone who saw him had that same reaction upon seeing Archie, even her. Even at this last moment, he still wanted us to laugh. Archie was known as a joker and a source of laughter. I guess that was one thing Archie would always want to be remembered. While I was at the wake, I thought that maybe the delay in time and traffic was Archie's way of making sure that I would get to visit him so I could say goodbye.

I've worked with several male models after their wedding but there would be only one Archie de Chavez. I will always remember Archie made my work so much easier despite na I didn't have sleep or I was ngarag. Archie would surely be missed not just by his friends and loved ones but the people he worked with.

To Archie, my first and favorite groom, continue watching over us as you blowdry and curl the golden locks of the angels there in Heaven while making them laugh at the same time. You will always be remembered and your memory would live on.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Forever Young With Olay

My love affair with Olay started when I was introduced to Olay Regenerist two years ago (wow! tagal na). After that, I've been a regular Olay user. I'm currently using Olay Total Effects with cooling essence as my moisturizer (under sunblock) and Olay Body as my soap. So far, I have nothing but great things to say about it and I'm glad I'm super hiyang. I admit starting with Olay late in my life, when I became really conscious about skin care and anti-ageing, and I not only use it on myself but also on my clients, particularly those very conscious in the anti-ageing department.

I got invited to an Olay event last Wednesday as it celebrates its many years as an iconic skin care brand. Being an Olay user, it was a yes for me to go. When I got there, I was handed out a card where I should come up with a witty statement by filling in the blanks to this:

"Time can change _________________ but ________________ would live forever."

and then post it to the wall right there.

While waiting I took pictures of the displays

All the Olay Total Effects we love and information about them.

Imagine a vanity that looks like this filled with Olay products! I'll never look old ever! I'll use Olay all over my body then.

Have you guys tried the Olay Total Effects Mask? Then you should! I went to SM Makati though to buy a sheet but they ran out. :( You could read all about it right here. It's a bit pricey for a mask sheet but it really does the job.

When the progam started, we found out the history of Olay, not only when it came here to Manila but how it really started. I found out that it actually wasn't developed by a woman, but take note - a South African chemist named Graham Wulff (yes, he's a he) back in the early 1950s. He created it as a gift to his wife Dinah. Apparently back then, beauty creams were thick and greasy and packed in tins just like shoe polish. Imagine that? Not only did it wasn't that fabulous on the vanity, it was just like putting wax on the face. There were stains on the pillow when you wake up in the morning and how could their pores breathe? The new face cream Wulff created was one that could be quickly absorbed to the skin with the benefits of hydration and protection.

After trial and error then comes the legendary Oil of Olay beauty fluid, which we see on our lola's dressers, the pink fluid with the black cap. I remember than on my own grandma's dresser.

Olay has come so far as the pink facial lotion in the 1950s. We have olay cleansers, serums, day and night creams, soaps, and shower creams. Olay has also different lines. There's the famous Regenerist line, which I currently use alongside my Total Effects with cooling essence. There's Natural White for those who want to achieve fairness without looking fake. Those who want a sunkissed glow would love Touch of Sun, which is available in the US. For higher levels for anti-ageing, there's Olay Definity, also available in the US.

I guess the most popular among all of us is Olay Total Effects, the iconic black-and-gold pump bottle which has raised awareness in the anti-ageing department. Since it got here, a lot of women have been conscious about anti-ageing. And Olay does more than just battle the 7 signs of skin ageing but also nourishes and protects the skin. Of course we needed testimonials to see proof that Olay does work so four Olay ambassadors share their stories of how this tiny bottle lives up to its promise.

TV Host Daphne Osena-Paez, theater actress Menchu Lauchengco-Yulo, designer Ines Delgado-Prieto, and beauty queen Miriam Quiambao join the event host Menchu Antigua as they share their stories and how Olay has been a part of them. These ladies looked absolutely fabulous and take note that none of them are in their 20s yet they seem to look way better than women ten years younger than they are. These ladies have very busy, busy scheduled juggling one task to another and yet there's not a trace of haggardness in them.

After the event, I had the chance to say hi to Menchu Launchengco-Yulo. I'm glad she still remembers me!

I first saw Menchu when she portrayed the role of Fantine in Repertory Philippines' production of Les Miserables at the Meralco Theater. While I was in high school, she also became a guest speaker in our drama club where she gave us several mini-workshops. I did watch her plays after that, the last one being Hairspray and she still looks the same (I can't believe she's 47 already!) One of her most notable performances is where she portrayed Mrs. Lovett in Sweeney Todd last year, which won her the Best Actress in A Musical Award by Philstage Awards for the PErforming Arts. To add to that and her many, many roles, she would soon take on another responsibility, that is stepping up as the Associate Artistic Director for Repertory Philippines next year.

Menchu grew up seeing Olay in her house with her mom being a user and swears by it up to this very day. Despite having her skin cooked under heavy stage makeup and strong stage lights, her skin still has that youthful glow thanks to Olay. Aside from Olay, she tells me that one of her tips is to just be happy. She doesn't stress much now and it really helped as well. One tip I learned!

With proper lifestyle, outlook, and skin care, I really hope that ten or so years after, I get to maintain a youthful vibe, just like the Olay ambassadors. I don't know if I'll be stepping onstage anytime but who knows? Till then, I'll just enjoy what I have and stay happy.

Bonding with SlimTone Therapeutic Day Cream: One Week After

Okay, so last week, I started out my quest on blasting away the ugly dimples on the backs of my thighs and buns. Aside from my exercises and trying to blast away salt from my diet (okay I do have occasional chips and fries too), I started to use SlimTone to help me tone and tighten my waist and problem areas.

So a week after using SlimTone, the moment of truth came, exactly a while ago when I had to measure my - eeek - waistline. I don't expect though that I'll be bouncing back to the 18-inch waistline I had in high school in a span of a week, though, but I just had to see. Get this: I was able to lose 1/4 inch off my waist. I have a 25-inch waistline originally and I guess it did have an effect. I wasn't able to measure my thighs though a week before, though. Yet I had my fitting so I knew my waistline measurement.

Anyhow, so overall how was my SlimTone experience?

After 24 hours from application, I didn't have any adverse side effects, like reddening or itching or skin burning. It didn't dry out my skin despite the fact that it's in a gel formulation. I also like that since most gel formulas tend to peel off the skin like glue, this one didn't. It got absorbed into my skin much like lotion did. After SlimTone pro, I apply regular body lotion so I have extra moisture and I'm glad it didn't rub off. I use this before I apply my self-tanner (I self-tan always at night) and it didn't get in the way with the self-tanner's absorption, since I saw that my tan was even despite that it was only on my thighs, buns, and abdomen that I applied SlimTone.

Actually, I had a beach shoot last Thursday and due to my busy schedule last week, I didn't have the time to do my usual intense workout, but just did quick maintenance and muscle-waking workouts so my muscles aren't lax. I was bloating a bit though and since the shoot would involve me wearing swimsuits and all, I was worried about puckering and dimpling. Therefore, I needed an extra help. Of course wearing a girdle is a no-no (nope, it's not a styled fashion sense) so I used SlimTone as an extra help. It did help firm up my problem areas and when I checked the mirror, I saw no obvious dimpling save when I have to pinch my thighs. I was able to go through the shoot without being yelled like "Your cellulites could be seen!" or "Suck in your stomach, I see bloat!" :P Oh, and remember the cooling sensation? Great for cooling the skin after being exposed to flash, sun, and lights.

So how are my cellulite signs now? Lemme say that I have to pinch really hard to see dimpling. I like how my tummy feels flatter. My skin isn't dry and with regards to stretch marks, they, well, are still taking their time but I noticed that the marks are less depressed and feeling them, the texture is more or less uniform than before. The package told me though that I still have to wait a couple of weeks more for results so I'll get back to you on that.

So far, I'm a happy butty. :)

Monday, October 18, 2010

Happy Hauls

I don't like the storm and I really wish we had happy showers instead of what we're having outside. I'm praying hard that it remains signal number 1 at least and Juan would exit our country quietly and quickly.

Anyway, just sharing a few hauls I got this week.

I bought a book! It was the only copy left though, an open one, so it probably was subject to lots of scannings, but it's okay. I cover my books in plastic anyway.

This book is a compilation of beauty tips that's not just limited to makeup. It's more of makeup for personal application instead of a pro approach but at least it's a great source when I'll be blogging or doing some easy and light makeup. It also gives a lowdown on easy hair tutorials like how to blow-dry or get the vavavoom Cosmo big hair.

Hands, nails, and feet are not left behind. :-)

Look good and feel good too with spa tips and recipes from Morocco, Brazil, and Japan just to name a few. I like how this book encourages anyone to be sexy and look sexy - and love being that. Another thing I love? It's so handy it fits my purse. I could bring it out to read whenever I'm waiting for someone.

I visited Sophie at the Rockwell Moonlit Bazaar yesterday and bought some Clutterzap babies. She spoiled me with two pretty gifts. :)

She knows how much I love that tiny crease brush from my review and she's encouraging me to use a concealer brush. This brush, I could use too for paint pots. It's like a MAC 195 except the handle's a pretty cotton candy peeenk!

My mom and dad went to 168 a while ago and I asked if they could get me a box of lashes since I'm running out of the photoshoot natural variety.

And what does this bag hold? Yiiii!!! Tadatadantadaaannn!!!!!!!!!!

I finally purchased an airbrush kit, something which I've been lemming for for like... hey a year! Of course I would buy from Glambox (that's the deluxe kit right there) because it's easy to use and it's lightweight. It's so user friendly as well. I mean, I have ZILCH airbrush training but I was still able to use it quite well. I texted Val yesterday asking if she's in Rockwell. She said she wasn't but there are kits at LayBare in Filmore so I dropped by Filmore on my way to Rockwell. So now, I'm subjecting myself to studying this baby. Finally, I have an airbrush compressor already! Of course this won't be my last airbrush compressor since I'll be needing a bigger one when I go to heavy bodypainting.

Looking at this picture cheers me up a bit, and my little corner here is a bit sunny despite being gloomy outside. Stay happy everyone. Let's all pray we get through the storm!

MAC Philippines Brings in Venomous Villains

Remember when I blogged about the newest and fiercest MAC collection there is? I'm talking about Venomous Villains of course, and I'm glad that it has arrived at our shores (hey it rhymes!) one store at a time.

Last Saturday, the MAC flagship store in Glorietta was first to release the collection. The entire store was decked in the likenesses of Evil Queen, Dr. Facilier, Maleficent, and Cruella De Vil and fans and makeup addicts were there to get their makeovers done and get their dose of venom(ous villains).

I arrived around 12:30 p.m. since I came from Intramuros. I was really excited and despite my lack of sleep, I needed to be very energized and makeup energizes me!

Choose which villain you love. Eeeeee!!!!! I suddenly spot Heartless, one of the two VV babies I'm eyeing on.

MAC artists are busy, busy, busy!

It was so cute that there are four MAC counters here in Manila and each counter would represent the four Disney villains. For the Makati counter, we had Cruella De Vil, with matching music plays. Check out the fabulosa setup.
Cruella is so fasyon I swear! Skintight black dress and mink coat rarrr! Customers could actually don the Cruella costume hanging there and channel the fur-loving socialite to get the Venomous Villain thing going. They could even have their Polaroids taken and take the picture home with them. I actually did! Yay!

MAC Artists are always fierce, and here, they are fiercer than fierce.
Jarwin and Lynn. Check out the cool platinum bleach hair of Jarwin and the smokey eyes. Rarrr!
Jarwin, Lynn, and Kang. Isn't that fur coat love? I soooo love it. If only we didn't live in a hot, tropical country where wearing fur (faux or real) would be too impossible. Dija all see Kang's trademark red lippie? She's currently sporting Heartless.

With the ever-so-adorable GeeVee, who's celebrating his birthday.

Now how do we use these lovely lovely lovely makeup? That's why a makeup workshop had to be conducted by MAC Training Manager Owen Sarmiento and MAC Product Specialist Mikee Raymundo.

Here's Owen doing a demo on the model. He did smokey cat's eyes in a cool neutral scheme with nude lips.

I just had to take a picture of the model's boots. Heehee.Tadaaa! I love it! And check out the wing, that's effortlessly pantay.

I was glad I was able to purchase my lipstick in Heartless, of course since I'm such a fan of red. Heartless is a cherry red lipstick in an Amplified finish. It glided on quite smoothly on my lips. Personally, I would use this on top of Russian Red or Ruby Woo to give it a bit of shine and dimension but it looks great too when used on its own.
Heartless Cruella bonding with my Fafi. Venomous Villains cost a tad more than the non-collection item. This lipstick is worth around Php 1,000 and normally, MAC lipsticks are Php 950. But it's okay. It's pretty.

Heartless on lips. If you want to wear red but lips are dry, this cushy amplified lipstick could be just for you.
Should I now say, "Kiss me, I'm heartless?" I'm still on the lookout for the Magically Cool Powder, which I've heard great reviews on from the artists. I'll try out going dewy and glowy this time since I'm usually matte.

As I'm typing this, there's a storm up ahead and I sure hope everyone's safe. So far, Metro Manila is spared from ill damages. Let's all hope and pray that it stays this way and the storm exits safely. Take care!

Whiter Teeth Right Now

Achieving pearly whites (that are white-white) are one of our beauty wants. I mean of course, it could be an asset to smile. There's even an editing function to achieve whiter teeth in photographs. I remember this episode in FRIENDS where Ross Geller (i.e. David Schwimmer's character) bleached his teeth by leaving the whitening strips on his teeth a tad longer than the directions state. Here's a screenshot of the episode for your memory.

Oh no Ross! She has black light! And your teeth are really, really white. Omigod it's scary!

Of course we don't want that right? We want a moderate and beautiful beauty queen white for our choppers. The usual remedy for this is either a whitening toothpaste which take weeks to show results or an in-office dental bleaching which strips the tooth surface and could cause the teeth to be sensitive. Not to mention it's quite expensive.

While at the grocery, I spotted a new kind of Close-Up Toothpaste which, get this, promises white teeth right after you use it. I thought, why not give this a try? I'm a Close-Up consumer I did use it, but I didn't quite see much results in the whitening department. Yet I felt that the tooth surface was smoother than usual and there's less plaque buildup with all the food I eat. Okay, maybe I wasn't educated with the product much.

Anyway, I think I found my answer when I received an invitation to an intimate lunch at the Peninsula with the people behind Close-Up's new product, Close-Up White Now (rhymes with "right now") to answer our questions. It was a good thing that my schedule cleared up that day and I was able to attend the event.

After lunch (I just love the Vietnamese Spring Rolls), we were presented the product. Before that, we all had our pictures taken beforehand by a photographer, to show how our teeth looked before using Close-Up White Now. I did mention that I used the product before and I purchased it before the event. I said too that when I spitted out the foam, it was a deep blue color instead of the usual white with a tinge of the toothpaste's original color.

You know what that was? It was actually the Blue Foam Technology, a patented technology. Instead of using bleaches or abrasives which slough off the surface of the tooth weaknening it, the blue coats the tooth surface canceling out the yellowness. It's the same principle as using concealer to cover a blemish or pimple. Think the desaturation function in photo editing except it's in a toothpaste tube. So in other words, the instant whitening is actually a result of the blue film. It's like makeup on the teeth.

However, don't get me wrong. The blue stain is perfectly safe on the teeth, even on children. It does more than "put makeup" on the teeth though. Close Up White Now also contains a conventional cleaning system that also cleans teeth. So, in other words, you get the instant whitening plus the benefits of the toothpaste. Close Up White Now is also safe to use on veneers and false teeth as well. We were told however, that this product could stain clothes (and toothbrushes too, but staining the toothbrush with a blue tint is okay) so take the necessary precautions so we don't end up with a blue glop on our white shirts.

We were invited to try out the product after our very yummy meal. Before that, I was told to dispense a full amount on the toothbrush (a bit more than pea-sized for adults, even though I'm a crazy adult. :P) and brush on for a good 2 minutes (note that I was timed during the process) before spitting out the product and rinsing our mouths. After brushing our teeth, we had our pictures taken and the photographer showed us the difference. I guess that's why I didn't see much of an effect first when I tried it at home. I didn't brush for 2 minutes (think two Happy Birthday Songs).

So what's my take? I like the minty flavor. I personally prefer gel toothpastes than the opaque kind since the flavor's stronger. After two minutes of brushing, I was able to notice a difference that my teeth were whiter. Take note too that I used pink lipstick for the second photo. It was a warmer pink, and it's supposed to make my teeth look more yellow than my former blue-red lipstick, but I noticed it was whiter.

Here's the best part. Sometimes teeth could be sensitive after brushing right? After trying out the product, I still ate and even drank ice-cold orange juice and I didn't have any stinging. Deadma lang ang ngipin. I love it too that the surface still is smooth and there's less plaque buildup. However, note too that the degree of change varies from person-to-person, depending on the degree of yellowness on the teeth. The blue film does wear out with time, and we would need a retouch, just like how makeup needs a retouch. But hey, we still get the squeaky-clean benefits still of a regular toothpaste remember?

The price is around Php65.00 for a tube. It comes in one size right now though, and that was my only complaint, since it could be too big to fit my kikay kit. My solution here though is that i use it at home first and when I could fold it to a more compact size, that's when I tot it around with me.

Now for whiter teeth for a photoshoot or a special occasion, you know now what I'll be whipping out. By the way, it's still okay to use mouthwash with this. It won't stain or sting. And you'd be glad to know that it didn't have the Ross Geller effect.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Glamming with Glambox's Mink Lashes

When you hear of mink, it sounds sosyal, like mink coats worn by heiresses and socialites to keep them warm on a winter day. However, aside from the very lush and plush coats, mink also comes in the form of lashes. Yes, ladies, lush lashes are already available and we don't have to be Hollywood celebrities to wear them. Remember Madonna's eye popping luxe lashes that costs £5,000? These were made of mink fur and had diamonds too. As NY Times called it, it was "Blink of Mink." Clever.

I'm glad the girls of Glambox got creative and brought mink lashes to our shores at the fraction of what Madonna would purchase. Now we don't have to be celebrities to wear mink.
Before anything, I would like to stress that Glambox Mink Lashes are animal friendly. No animals were slaughtered or harmed during testing and creating these products. These fibers are made from individually selected mink furs that have been -take note - harvested by gently brushing live farm animals. These fibers are not chemically treated or dyed, and before assembling them into falsies, they are sterilized first so they are 100% clean. Each fiber you see in these lashes are made from 100% real mink fur.

I had the pleasure of doing the makeup for the presskits and promo materials of Glambox Mink Lashes so I got to experience them from a MuA point of view. I found the pair quite easy to work with, and I didn't have a hard time maneuvering them to fit the eye of my model. All I had to do was measure the lashline length and cut the lashes at the ends. I prefer cutting the ends not only to make sure that the falsies have a good fit, but also the ends kinda tend to get painful in time. I like being comfy. Then, I dabbed a thin line of lash adhesive on the lash band. It does come with a tiny tube of lash glue, but you could use your favorite lash glue if you wish, like DUO or Aido. I wait for the glue to get a tad tacky before positioning the lash bands on my lashline for a perfect fit.

When I got to attach the lashes, I asked the model how the lashes felt. She told me that it felt really light. On packaging, you think the lashes would be heavy on the eye since they look quite thick but it was actually very light, she didn't think like she was wearing very thick lashes. Here's a very natural eye makeup that I did on her. If you look at it, Gwen (the model) looks like she has naturally long and thick lashes.

On heavy smoky eyes, mink lashes enhance the smokiness and makes the look more dramatic, framing the eye well.

Of course, lashes like these aren't for one-time use. With proper care, the Glambox mink lashes could last you about 15-20 uses. To store lashes, we need gentle eye makeup remover to take out the dirt and remove makeup from the eyelash area, being careful not to soak in the fibers. Wait for a few seconds so the glue loosens up before peeling off the lashes from your very own lashline. Eye makeup remover should then be used to wash lashes before soaking them in water for a good 5 minutes. Soaking softens up the adhesive (especially if you like using the heavy-duty ones) before using a pair of tweezers to carefully remove the excess glue. Then, lashes should be stored in the box until the next use.

The price of these lashes cost Php 1,500 a pair. Come to think of it, these lashes are way cheaper than what Hollywood celebrities would pay for. It would look great on very special occasions like a wedding or any major event. I like the soft flutter it has and it really looks like we naturally have long and thick fluttery lashes.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Yahoo Moment With My Makeup Chair

Ladies and gentlemen (at least to the boys who read my blog), I am happy to present a new addition to my makeup family that has saved my back from aching after doing makeup:

I've been lusting on a makeup chair since I don't know when since I've seen how helpful it has been for me to do makeup. Ideally, makeup should be done at eye level not only due to posture issues but also, sometimes we create a shadow which could interfere with the makeup. Plus, it's guaranteed not to give us back pains afterwards. The only store that sold a makeup chair had a cost up to 5 digits, which really boggled the mind. I'm glad that there were makeup artists who decided to use their resources and sell makeup chairs too of their own. As of then, I was relying on a barstool for my clients to sit so I'm at least eye level with them or sitting down to be eye level. However, sitting down too with the client is difficult too since my brushes get sorta deformed since I'm wearing a toolbelt. But hey, at least my back is painless. I knew I couldn't hold that situation much longer especially if I'll be doing makeup at the comfort of my own home where we don't have a bar chair so I opted to save up for my own.

Luckily, an Angel decided to sell her makeup chair for a very good price. She texted me actually if I knew someone who wanted to buy it and I was like, "Yes I do. That person's me!" It was actually a pretty good deal, I got it at a fraction of what I would usually get it if I would buy from the supplier. And since Angel takes care of her stuff quite well (note: She has this very OC habit of cleaning her brushes with brush cleaner right after she works on a face, before washing them when she gets home), I got the chair and it looks like it's in pristine condition. Another tip to save is to buy equipment from a friend you trust. This is the second time I bought from a friend, the first one was my bigger malette, which I got from Nix.

Anyway, I was really glad I got the makeup chair. For one thing, I had a gig the next day where I did makeup for a wedding. That included 5 heads and since I had my period, my lower back was not spared of the pain initially. The makeup chair made me stay in eye level for a good 4 hours with minor pain on my back

It's so convenient too that it folds flat to fit the trunk of the car. The con with this though is that it's too heavy and I can't bring this to shoots or gigs where I don't have a car in tow or when I'm taking the MRT for example. The back rest could also be washed to remove makeup stains and the like. Since the chair ir pretty high, hairstylists may not prefer thus when they do hair.

Do I love it? I sure do! It's my back savior. That and probably a few Advils. At least there's something to save me in several months. :)

Friday, October 8, 2010

Industry Spotlight: Christine Day Lorico

Another feature on a photographer I love and whose work takes up majority of my book.

I met Christine Day Lorico (known as curlytops in Deviantart and Tin to her loved ones) two years ago from a model who invited me to collaborate with her. When she gave me the address, I found out that Christine lives near me. Wow! Another photographer from the South. Normally, I expect photographers with that much of a fan base (she's got fans abroad too) to bring a whole entourage complete with lights and gear but when I got to the location, I saw a curly-haired girl wearing shorts, a tank top, flats, and carrying a camera bag. "Hi! I'm Christine!" she smiled her bedimpled smile and gave a firm handshake. I remembered her ModelMayhem profile and it read, "Don't expect a whole entourage when you meet me. It's just me and my camera!"

Simple and low-profile would definitely be the first impression when you look at her. She's also very charming and I have a private joke to her that she could charm her way out of a parking ticket or driving offense. At first, you wouldn't think that this petite girl could produce pictures that could wow. But she sure could! As Christine narrates:

"Photography started for me when i joined Deviantart to learn some digital art tutorials there and browse the galleries. I've always been drawn to art. I guess I ended up uploading some vacation photos and strangers gave encouraging comments. That's really how it started. A kind word from strangers," she told me.

Extraordinary talent never goes unnoticed. Christine used to keep a low profile just posting her works of art in her Deviant Art page featuring self-portraits or shots taken by her then semi-pro cam. Looks like the kind words from strangers did get her far. Christine started out shooting with a semi-pro camera first, because she thought photography would just be a hobby that would just pass by. But it was one talent and hobby that got her heart pumping and she started leveling up now to fashion photography.

Venturing to fashion photography was a result of Christine's own drive to pursue her career to better heights. "I got restless. lol. I always want to learn and absorb everything I can get when I get obsessed with something. the next step I guess was fashion. I've been collecting Vogue magazines since I was fourteen anyway so it's no wonder that I wanted to learn fashion photography." Her fashion photoblog, Wear Your Lipstick Right features her work on fashion portraiture, which separates her from the point-and-click machine guns. Christine truly imbibes art in her work. With her portraits and photographs, you think Christine has studied abroad through scholarships subjecting herself to intense photography bootcamp. However, Christine's talent is just as raw as the salad on my plate. She never went to photography school. Everything she learned was through experience. Her works remind most people of lomo and fisheye, but she didn't knew the terms until they told her.

Christine works best with natural light, as most of her photos show. She has graduated from a semipro to a Canon d10 and Canon 450d, and a reflector, "na ginagawa kong pamaypay sa shoots!" she would say with a laugh. Oh did I mention she's already playing with lights now? It looks like Christine is now finally serious about going through photography, learning the technical aspect of photography from established photographers who are also, fans of her work. She's open to new knowledge and techniques and even sees and looks forward to the day she would be finally stepping to photography school.

Christine narrates to me the sign that showed her that this is what she truly wants. Funny thing was it was the day her camera conked out.

"When my camera suddenly broke, [and] I felt antsy. I took it immediately to Canon that same day. I found out that that was the last day of my warranty. 'Somebody up there loves me' that's the only thing that went through my head because I had no clue about the warranty. Then out of the blue without pursuing it, I got signed by two agencies consecutively. It also helps that everyone that matters to me seems to believe in me and help me. "

And who doesn't love Christine right? Not only does she produce excellent photos, she's fun to be with. Shoots under intense heat or on the middle of nowhere are fun. Imagine just driving around BF and then seeing an empty lot. "Ayan!" No diva attitude as to the shoot location, Christine has shot in a posh condo unit, an abandoned old hotel, or the rooftop of her old office and the office itself and producing fantastic images each time. I remember our shoot in her old office in BF. I got there, did my makeup, changed to an outfit, and in an hour or so, we were done with five layouts. That with matching kwentuhan.

So what's next up for Christine? I've featured in my previous post Christine's next venture, which is prenuptials and wedddings, a niche that's very much in demand here in the Philippines and one niche that's close to Christine's heart. Being the girly-girl that she is, her love for chick flicks and cheesy romantics has reflected in her work behind the lens, writing love stories via digital imagery. Recently, she was the photographer for my Jhojho's prenup and for my own prenup, I booked Christine to do the shoot (more on that soon). Christine has recently created a new photoblog, Bubblegum and Kisses for her works with couples, children, and close friends and family as subjects.

She vies away from the usual pose-y poses and creates a story in each layout, making each picture truly romantic and unique

As of the moment, Christine enjoys what she currently does, and continues to work harder and leveling up being the best as what she could be. Does she see this as a forever thing? Christine smiles, "I learned to accept my unpredictable nature." Let's stay tuned as to what surprise this new talent has.