Monday, July 25, 2011

Spikes, Bodysuits, Bling, and Bang!

I was watching Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows Part 2 when my phone rang in the middle of a very intense scene (I'm sorry guys! I really forget to put my phone on silent!) After putting my phone in silent then texting that I'll be on conversation after the movie, it was my awesomest Dennis asking me if I would like to do a shoot with him with Christine as a photographer. I love Dennis a lot and I know I'm in for a really fabulous shoot so I said yes.

The day of the shoot, I met up with Christine first and we went to the venue after my Wendy's to go. Our model for the day is Fatima, one of Dennis's close friends and actually, I did her makeup 3 years ago. She looks really great now, very happy, content, and confident. It was very easy to transform her into the ravishing beauty Dennis wanted.

Dennis's accessories are beyond my wildest imagination, like this skull ring with a spike on top. If it were an engagement ring, it would perfectly say "Till death do us part"

Dazzling bodysuit with jewels and baubles.

Fatima's gotten really good with posing. Her lines are amazing, it's really cool because in my first ever shoot with her, she was very shy and timid. She knows now her angles and what works for her. She's also super prepared. When I left the house, I forgot my dramatic falsies for the smoky eyes for her, and brought my wispy bridal falsies instead. Good thing she has a stock too at home, cut to her eye shape.

Preserving the color in this photo, here's how my makeup looked on her. She bears resemblance to two very famous beauty queens, and you could guess who.

Dennis is a bundle of energy on his own, and he does kid around in shoots, making me giggle every so often but when it's time to work, he's very serious, passionate, and hands-on, making sure that everything is not just alright, but perfect.

The shoot ended when the sun decided to dip down the horizon. After packing up, it was a lot of more catching up with everyone without me hurling into laughter every so often. I really love working with fabulous and talented people. They give me such positive energy, especially needed for me to be inspired.

Bridal Work: Kae

Kae is one of my work friends and the sweetest girls I know. She's one of Yeoh's closest model friends that has been strutting catwalk after catwalk and gracing magazine and broadsheet editorials. I met her at a photoshoot and it was great that through Facebook, our precious memories are preserved.

One time, while at dinner, Yeoh told me that Kae was getting married and he asked me if I would be her makeup artist. I was really happy because Kae's really, really pretty and it's flattering to do a friend's makeup. In fact, I'm the type of girl that if given the choice, I'd rather be the wedding makeup artist than the abay and wouldn't mind if I played both parts. Why? Because I feel that I'm really part of it, it's like really an immersion.

Her wedding was really a romantic getaway. We were whisked off from hot and humid Metro Manila (her wedding was right after Holy Week, the summeriest of all summers) to cool and breezy Tagaytay. Going to Tagaytay, we all met up Christine at Sucat. Kae also got Christine to be her wedding photographer, and Christine's got two of our friends, Ryan and George to help her up with shooting the event.

I haven't seen Kae since the R2R fashion show since it was a busy busy time with Christmas looming through and all. So when we saw her, it was big hugs and kisses. It wasn't just Yeoh, Christine, and Ryan who were there. Kae got two of her close model friends as part of her entourage.

Doing makeup for Kae was a breeze. Yeoh also helped me to do her hair. It was a breezy half-up, half-down look with loose curls, since it's going to be a garden wedding. For her makeup, I inspired myself with the gunmetal gray and old rose motif, with a silvery subtle smoky eye and a neutral pink lip (my choice for her was MAC Viva Glam V, one of my favorite bridal lippies).

This is why I love Christine. Her wedding photos tell a story. She goes beyond stiff angles and templates.

The weather also cooperated that day. Knowing our country to have weather with bipolar disorder and this would be an outdoor wedding - wishes, prayers, and enchantments, if possible were called out for a beautiful clear sky.

The ceremony was overlooking Taal Lake. By the time nightfall came, the temperature dropped so the weather was super cold I had to use the upper chiffon later of my dress as a shawl. On the other hand, I'm glad everything went well and Kae became as radiant as ever.

The best part was when Kae texted me the following day thanking me for being part of her wedding. It was my pleasure, and she was definitely awesome!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Fitness Inspirations

What inspires me to be fit and healthy? Is to goal up to hopefully have parts like these celebrities. I like looking at inspirations. It's a motivation for me to work out when I feel like being all sluggy.


I have always loved Jennifer Aniston as Rachel Green in friends. Her simple but chic fashion sense, the famous Rachel cut, and her super toned arms accented by her gorgeous tan skin. Everytime her Rachel character does her trademark arm movements, you could see the muscle definition. It's lean, but not too muscular. In fact, it looks strong. Even post-Rachel Green, Jennifer has still maintained the trademark toned arms, and that's a woman past 40.


Abs are every girl's obsession. The queen of all abs would have to be Britney Spears, most especially during her earlier days.

Her monster workout routine and hours dancing has got her the toned, lean abs that are worthy of midriffs and cropped tops that made her abs unforgettable. Tabloids do show her on the heavy side, and of course there's photo-editing to slim her down, but videos and live performances show that when required or inspired, she gets whipped back to better shape than what we see in taboloids or paparazzi photos. I miss these Britney abs though, but this will always remain.

Another lady with a fantastic midsection is Lady Gaga. My jaw dropped open when she showed her midsection at her Alejandro video. If cores like that could be attributed to dancing in high heels and her outrageous costumes, I'll be out wearing spiky bodysuits like she does.

I applaud Gwen Stefani for not making mommyhood a reason for her to stop maintaining her super-defined midsection. Her pre-baby body had amazing tone and I'm glad that she really maintained her body even after giving birth. (Mental note to self: Maternity should never stop anyone from a healthy lifestyle and working out). Remember toned abs aren't just good for picture purposes. A strong and toned midsection can improve posture and protect your back.


Naturally long legs look better with the right tone and definition. My two inspirations are leggy supermodels. I have really long legs and they can appear sticklike and awkward if left alone. Like I said, even the skinniest of all skinnies can have cellulite problems. Curvex took care of cellulites (as well as quitting smoking) already.
Statuesque supermodel Gisele Bundchen shows that mile-long legs are sexiest when they're shapely.

Another supermodel I adore for her super-toned legs and actually, overall muscle tone is my online yoga teacher, Tara Stiles, whose videos I always follow. Tara is someone who's thin, but she's not waify or sticklike. Her muscle tone is excellent, attributing it to her very active lifestyle and her being a yoga practitioner. Although she's got definition, it's not scary. It looks very natural and athletic actually. She actually looks very graceful and strong in her photo above. By the way, pointing toes helps in defining leg shape and making legs look longer in pictures.

Being long, lanky, and lean used to be one of my insecurities since I feel like I'm a scarecrow or like this awkward girl sticking out from a sea of petite and perfectly-proportioned girls. With the right toning and conditioning, I can have my own body work its own way.

Take note, I'm not saying I will be slaving myself to an exercise routine to the point that it centers my life just to attain my "goal body types". Realistically speaking, these girls are celebrities and they have an entire team of professionals, dieticians, nutritionists, and trainers to get them back in fighting form in a short amount of time. Some girls though, don't have the same natural body type as I do, so of course results can vary.

I think having goals could be a good motivation for me to not slack off and continue the healthy lifestyle I started. As with working my way towards proper fitness, I've been told not to starve myself. I still need energy. It's not how much I eat but what I eat now. Secondly, is to learn to accept my body and enjoy the process as I go along. Third, just have fun. Sometimes, a happy disposition helps us attain our goals without being impatient.

TBS Got Bronzey with Honey Bronze And Cruising the Sale Rack

Here's a look at what The Body Shop has to offer. Last season was fresh, springy, but edgy. This season... warm and luxuriously rich and luminous skin that's so bronzey and sparkly. I present, Honey Bronze!

Preserving our beach tans still, are products that enhance this color, or since we're naturally tan anyway, enhance our pretty golden colors! For an all-over glow, I think the Honey Bronze Shimmering Dry Oil would do the trick. It's got shimmer particles that reflect and play with light for luminous skin during that night out. Just when the word "oil" gives slick and greasy-grimy feelings by just the sound of it, this one has a dry finish. I did a patch test on a small area of my skin, walked around the mall, and discovered that it's quickly absorbed by the skin. It's got a faint fragrance too that smells just like my honey-inspired makeup remover. Turns out it's got honey in it, having Community Fair Trade honey from Ethiopia.

To top this off, I tried and dusted some Honey Bronze Brilliance Powder. To avoid being sparkly and shiny that you seem to be a gold reflector, what I think is best is to dab this on parts where the light hits you first like collarbones, shoulders, or the shins. Just don't use this to contour, because the shimmer particles will just do the opposite.
Bronzers are matte, and depending on what shade you are (there are 3 colors to choose from), you could use this to contour subtly to give face definition.

The honeycomb pattern is too cute as well, goes well with the collection theme. Aside from contouring, they give the face warmth or could be used with your favorite face powder should your complexion have gotten dark from your recent beach trip.

If you notice, the collection is more focusing on skin, so palettes and colors are skipped. For the face, there's also a bronzing gel and lip nectar, so basically since the focus is on skin, makeup can be kept simple. Gloss, defined brows, and lots of mascara will do the trick. After all, with skin like that, it's best showed off.

Once I get to know the products more, I'll do more tutorials on how to get pretty bronzey looks that's easy and foolproof. I'll look for ways on how to maximize the products once I get to know them. For beginners, the powder bronzers and lip nectars could be your best bets. Girls who would like to show off a new figure could use the non-streaky dry oil (just take extra care, especially if you're wearing anything white or light-colored).

After taking shots of the new products, I went over the sale section since The Body Shop always has its midyear sale where they drop prices of some of the products.

Bath sets below 500 in every flavor/scent you want (eyeing on moringa, grapefruit, and strawberry).

Sale means sale here, 50, 60, or 70% and if you're a Love Your Body member, they slash off an additional 10% on your net purchase when you show your card when its time to pay on the counter. There are also goodies less than 200 pesos, which are great for giveaways if you're doing early Christmas shopping.

The sale has been going for quite some time. When I asked when it would end, the girls told me the last day would be on July 28, so I think it's time to go and rush if you want to take advantage of the sale. I bought a huge tub of Pink Grapefruit Body Butter and it cost me only Php250.00, which is really a huge fraction of what it would normally cost. Also, if there's a favorite LE product you want to stock, then it's now time to.

Friday, July 22, 2011

You Beauty(ful) Box, You!

Gifts make me happy, and I love the angels who send me gifts, especially if it's something that I'll love and definitely use, like this 64-piece Be Beautiful set from Ulta, which houses get this, 36 eyeshadows, a concealer, 4 eyeliner colors, 18 lip colors, 4 blushers, a bronzer, and face powder with applicators all in one pretty white box. I know the box is bound to get stained sometime in its work life, but isn't it just so purdy?

Open it for eyeshadows for sparkly and pretty peepers organized according to color scheme, like browns/neutrals, lilacs/pinks, greens, and blues. There are sponge tip applicators included, but I really think I'd go for high-quality makeup brushes to apply makeup. The one on the center is a creamy concealer for (purple) undereyes and discolorations. On either side are pencils, with two colors on each end. I'll be swatching these later.

But wait there's more at the bottom drawer!

Blush and lip colors too so our lips and cheeks aren't neglected.

The colors are pretty much wearable colors to wear for everyday it's easy to take this to a client to do makeup to save on space or scrambling for colors and eyeshadow. Below are swatches of eyeshadows:

Au Naturel - Matte fair skintone, great for neutral no makeup looks where the look really is supposed to be like there's no makeup.
Seashell - Nude, peachy and satiny. This color is nice on the lid and works great for bridal makeup or for clean looks.
Lustre - Cool, shiny tan
Toast - Warm, toasty golden brown, which can be used to contour, on the lid (for warm smoky eyes), or to balance Lustre's coolness.
Silk- Bright, shiny ivory white, which could be used to highlight the inner corners or for browbone color after dark, intense smoky eyes
Mystical - Copper, which could be used to give Toast dimension
Sable - Cool matte light brown, similar to MAC Cork. It could be used to define really blonde eyebrows or to contour
Chianti - Its tricky rusty color can be used to contour. It looks cool if used to contour gunmetal gray smoky eyes, since it gives a nice warmth to it.
In The Buff - a very neutral hi-shine color that looks nice on the lid.

Flirty -Unlike Chianti whichis more orangey, Flirty is a pretty fushia red that's a nice contour.
Zephyr - Purple gray for editorial-like smoky eyes.
Love - A neutral light pink that looks sweet on bridesmaids or brides.
Bloom - A sugary springy lilac with silver sparkly flecks.
Pearl - A bit more on the cool side than Silk, great for inner corner highlight.
Wisteria Lane - Reminds you of Desperate Housewives doesn't it? Think Edie Britt sexiness - deep gray with a bit of plum which could be used as a lid color for smoky eyes or a contour, for subtle smokiness like Gabby Solis does.
Pink - a neutral and natural pink (of course)
Majesty - Royal and true purple color that would make emerald green eyes stand out.
Calla Lily - Sweet, simple warm white to balance the coolness of the pink and purple palette.

Molten - Deep, dark brown with gold flecks if you want earthy smoky eyes without making it look like someone blackeyed you.
Mint - Cool, springy minty green
Bone - Warm yellow white, another alternative to MAC Ricepaper, but more matte.
Envy - A deep shiny green
Naked - Another ivory white color that's nice on the browbones.
Sage - Yellow green, a color that would look great with Molten and Toast for green-golden brown smoky eyes.
Stardust - A warm pretty gold that would be an excellent tear duct highlighter for dark skin.
Verdigris - A deep yellow-green, which would look nice on the lid as a transition from Stardust.
Brown Sugar - warm, sweet, and toasty golden brown.

Granite - Deep blue gray
Bayou - Dusty violet-gray
Sterling - Shiny silver to start off smoky eyes
Glamazon - Deep blue green
Ice Queen - A cool dusty white that can be used as a browbone highlight or to clean up the sides after doing smoky eyes.
Peacock - Gunmetal gray, a must for dramatic eyes.
Platinum - High shine silver
Deep Sea - a deep blue green that makes blue less 80's
Galaxy - Just like the galaxy skies, a true black color with silver sparkly flecks, if the thought of deep dark black matte and smoky still scares you.

The eye pencils glide like butter so they could be great when I'm tightlining. I like how they're true to their colors though, and I just need one single stroke to produce much pigment. As you could see though, it tends to get too smudgy for waterproof abilities, so I really think that to hold these in place, we need powder to set it so our smoky eyes don't look like panda eyes. At least they're soft enough that they don't scratch or poke your eye out. To be clear, the pencils, since they're soft can't be used on brows unless you want the ageing look.

The blush swatches made me go boing boing, not for their provocatively sexy names but how natural these colors look on skin. I wish there were some matte ones though, since they're sheer and shimmery. I could use these as toppers for cream or matte blush or a sheer sheen of sweetness.

See? They're not as intimidating as you might think. They look like sweet kisses of prettiness.

Flush (okay what was I thinking typing in "Blush?" I must have been too sleepy by this time) - The browny-pink color on the pan made me hesitant to use this but it came out quite naturally, almost just like a flush after workout.
Afterglow - This could be a dupe of NARS Orgasm but it's more pinky on the skin. Very candylike, fresh, and girly that I'd use on a bride, a natural glowy look paired with a light pink lip color.
Bronzer - This type of bronzer isn't too red or brown. It does what bronzers really are supposed to do - to give warmth to the skin. Since it's fairly light, it could be used on fair skin (except alabaster skin, which has the tendency to make skin look muddy with bronzer). However, it's got sparkly flecks so no-no to use this as a contour.
Infatuation - Sweet mauve that looks fresh and pretty on fair skin.
Adore - It's like Infatuation for morena skin, it looks really fresh and pretty paired with mauve or plummy lips.

For lip colors, these lip colors may look pigmented in their containers, but if you're after in-your-face true blue colors, you might not be too keen on this. The colors are mostly very sheer. The light-colored ones are more like glosses that lipsticks while the dark-colored ones look like stains.
Don't get me wrong though, these are pretty when paired with your favorite pigmented lip colors. Or better yet, you could wear lipliner as a lipstick and top it up with any (or a combo) of these glosses.

Not to overwhelm, the eye colors could be mixed and matched, so you necessarily don't need to stick to one color scheme. The purple could be mixed in with greens and teals. I like wedging a blue or green color to a neutral bridal eye to make it less dull, depending on the eye color. I do recommend primers to be used in conjunction with eye colors though, so they all come out prettier and brighter (on its own, swatched it's pigmented, but I really like the hold the eye primer gives).

This is such a pretty gift and in fact, I already used it in my shoot earlier. They blend perfectly well with my other products. It's a great buy for makeup artists who are still starting. I'm not quite sure if it's available still on Ulta, since it's a limited edition set, but knowing Ulta, it's bound to come up with stuff similar to it.

Birthday Baby Girl

After the bridal fair eons ago, my ever-so-trusty camera decided to take another ER visit. As I finally surrendered it for repair, as I had no choice but to repair it, the guys over the counter estimated a good 3-4 weeks for it to fully heal. So my decision, go on with the repair (crazy I know, as the repair costs practically almost like a brand new camera with double the specs) so I can have a backup camera and well, buy myself a new camera. For my birthday, I got myself a bigger camera that could serve me well in all the stuff I do. I worked hard all summer, it's time for my prize.

I've been contemplating on going proshooter as I do a lot of product shots and for really horrible lighting, a cutesy pie camera isn't just going to do. My blog is in need for better and crisp photos and sometimes, there are shots that don't do justice to my work. Of course, a proshooter doesn't come in cheap and I have to prepare myself for card debt and all. All in good time, because I was done paying for my phone already. So uhm... immerse myself in a yearful of installment programs. :P

I admit that what got me to go inside the store is the price. For a camera like that with that kind of specs and that kind of body, it costs half of what the popular two brands would have for their kind. Fuji isn't quite popular (I see photographers going either Nikon or Canon. Not that I don't like those brands, as cameras have served amazing purpose to my clients and to myself) so I had to ask the guys over at the store a few more questions about the camera). After giving it a few test shots and asking what to do in case I need to take it for repair (I could surrender the camera at the store and they take it to the service center and I could pick it up at the store). I was a-okay and handed out my pink swiper to pay.

I solemnly swear to pay my debts on time.

Seriously, the first model had to be the cat or else she will refuse my Whiskas for three days.

Okay, so I got a Fujifilm Finepix S2950, which I have been using to shoot my pole videos, my pole poses, food shots, FOTDs, EOTDS, and OOTDs for quite sometime. It's a new model, I was told, and when I posted the photo of my cam in my Facebook wall, I was told that I made the right choice with my purchase. Although it's not as popular, it does its job fairly nicely even at 3 megapixels. I remember a photographer who wouldn't let go of his Fujifilm SLR because he loves the colors so much. And I agree. I need colors for my pictures!!!!

First thing I bought to keep it in top condition was a protective LCD cover (you could get one for like 60-80 bucks at CDR king) . It's a bit bubbly though since I cleaned it, and while at it, the huge LCD display shows how pictures look like in an instant, or you could rely on the very trusty viewfinder, if you want to focus more.

And speaking of focus, this feature for me is heaven, the 18x optical zoom which looms in if you want to shoot an object that's very far from you. This is find great if I want to shoot say someone onstage without stretching my limbs or elbowing my way through photographers and th
eir telephoto lenses.
Okay, so here's a demonstration. This is a picture taken from the 18th floor at Diamond Hotel. There's a view of the street, the floor area of Ramon Magsaysay Center, and a few dots and details.

After 18x zoom, my camera is able to capture clearly the image (top view though) of the plant in Ramon Magsaysay Center.
Or the ship by Manila Bay without leaving the hotel room.

It's got a myriad of settings though, but personally, I'm still on Autoshoot mode, which adjusts white balance, lighting, shutter speed, everything according to the settings outside. As I get better playing with the settings and all (as well as capturing a few tips from others) I'll be able to work around and maximize my camera more. I don't need to read the manual much and memorize it to take pictures, thanks to the Auto settings! This cam practically thinks for me. The only adjustment I need is to zoom, use flash, use macro, go black and white, size, stuff like that.

Another favorite feature is that it could record movies too, in HD format that's crisp and clear. I do this when I need to capture our pole videos and dances and study or share it. I could mark also some pictures and videos for upload on Facebook or YouTube. I think I'm taking a liking to this camera and it seems to like me back.

As with all gadgets, it needs care too. Aside from the LCD protector, I got a protective camera bag for it as well. I keep the lens covered with the lens cap when I'm not using it and take care to handle it carefully as I know it's not the shockproof or waterproof kind. In fact, when I didn't have my camera bag yet, I was wrapping this in a shawl before putting it inside my bag.

As of the moment, my old camera has healed quite nicely (in fact, it's the one that I used to take shots of my S2950). Here they are together, seemingly getting along.

For the specs and features, this camera retails for Php 11,420. Fujifilm cameras are available at specialty camera shops. I got mine at Digital Walker in Rockwell. For those who I'll be seeing a lot, you'll see either or camera, depending on the occasion.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Conceal+Heal = Excellent!

I get spots too, I kid you not. I don't know when or why they occur but sometimes, a few nasty red swollen spots get lost on spots on my face that just ruin it. Concealer would be the first thing I'd reach out for, but since makeup can clog the pores (it is, after all, still a foreign body), this still needs to be off me the moment I step inside the house, where that's the only place I allow myself to be seen with the spots as they are. When I get home or sleep, I try to speed up my pimple-begone process by putting drying lotion.

Now only if there could be a magic potion that would conceal and heal in one? That's where The Body Shop's tea tree oil concealer comes in. The one on the picture is the second one I have as I've lost the first one from an unfortunate incident that I'd rather not live again.

Since it's got tea tree oil incorporated into it (the faint tea tree oil smell is a giveaway), that's the part where it sorta heals the skin. Tea tree oil is known to have antibacterial properties as it is used on insect bites, minor wound, and even zits without the pain or stinging or burning sensation as conventional anti-acne medications do

I chose shade #2 because it's yellow-toned (it kinda helps nix out the redness and all). The other shade I find too beige and pale for me, it rather highlights the blemish than conceals it, so I choose something that blends more with my skin. It's effective and creamy enough to cover my blemish without cracking like a mask, so save for the bump, I look a tad more flawless. It works better for me if I rub some on my ring finger (the rubbing and the warmth of my own fingers gets the product to be easier to work with. I like using this on redness, occasional zits, and sometimes on undereyes, since yellow-toned concealers work better for me.

The packaging is also very convenient since it's almost like a lipstick, so it's a-okay for travels too. Just don't confuse it with your lipstick, if your lippie though. Besides, the super-friendly price (a bit less than Php500) makes it a really nice buy for me.

If it contributes a lot with my healing process, I think I'd be happy. But I'm glad to report that this one doesn't sting my skin or irritates it. As with true blue skincare routines, we should remember to still follow them to the letter (removing makeup before going to bed, keeping hydrated, stuff like that) and do patch tests first to see if a product is safe to use for your own body chemistry.

Is this something I'd buy again? Yes definitely! I have a zit-safe concealer that's totally awesome that makes me flawless until I take the makeup off or until its healing properties get the zit to say bye-bye on its own.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Saturday Shoot: Julie

My polemate Ida asked me if I was game to help out in her fun shoot last Saturday with her friends. Since I wasn't doing anything that day, I obliged, I just told her I need to go to class first before heading off home to shower, change, and grab my stuff.

Braving traffic and going through Makati Ave traffic (I didn't know Saturdays are heavy now. WHY???? WHY????), I wolfed my way to get to the venue after which I was up and ready for work.

Fresh look is always first for a casual setting:

with natural daylight too. :)

I like doing transformations so her glam look, I changed up sweet for oomph.

Smoky eyes+nude lips+ high and tight ponytail + strong contours. These are pictures taken from Ida's camera. Makeup here was done using the traditional manner, trying to get my groove first since I haven't done makeup on another girl for weeks.

Thanks guys for taking good care of me and making my Saturday really great and fab.