Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Loving Covergirl's Liquiline Blast

Are you the type of person who spends a huge chunk of money on eyeliner? I'll raise my hand on that too, especially waterproof ones. Waterproof eyeliner (that includes waterproof eye makeup too) is a wedding makeup artist's best friend. Why? Because you'll never know who'll be crying that day, even if the bride claims that she's the most bato person ever. So when I know I'll be doing a wedding, whether it's makeup for the entourage or a guest, I wield waterproof eye makeup. And I never skip eyeliner, which defines eyes for that come-hither stare with matching "I do" (naks!).

I'm the type of girl though that always constantly looks for value for money, especially on eyeliner for everyday use or for show. In some days, we hafta save money. Thankfully, Covergirl has a new liner called liquiline blast, that costs almost half of what I usually spend for with the same waterproof ability. So I can save my luxury brands for special occasions and this for everyday (agree with me eyeliner-savvy ladies?)

Covergirl lashline blast is available in six different shades. The fun plum, blue, green, and silver-gray can be used for occasions when you want a pop of color on the eye to go with a candy-colored lipstick (Try the green one with a hot pink lipstick, Like Covergirl Lipperfection in fairytale or NARS Schiap). Thankfully, they have shades in black and brown. I chose a classic, full-on matte black for my purchase. It costs only Php450, and since it's super pigmented (I'll show you the swatch) this ought to last long. On the other end of the pencil is a smudger tip, which can be used to blend in the shadow for a smoky effect.

Swatching it, it's very intense, almost like a liquid liner. It glides on smoothly without the annoyingly uncomfortable tug on the eyes, so we're protected from the damage of wrinkles somewhat. Great for tightlining or drawing an Angelina Jolie cat eye look.

So comparing it with gel liner and regular pencil eyeliner, You could see that had I not shown which is which, it looks almost as intense as gel liner. But can it withstand tests? Let's see.

Rub Test:

First up, we have our three swatches here, right? So I rubbed the swatches with my thumb, a bit lightly at first, like brushing a finger on the lid or dabbing a tissue. Then, I tried rubbing it vigorously, like "My eyes are itchy!!!!!" level (until I realize that I'm wearing eyeliner). Compare the "after" swatches:

The gel eyeliner and Covergirl Liquiline intensities remained but our regular pencil liner faded even by slight rubbing. Don't trash the regular one, guys! You can still use this on days when our eyes need rest from waterproof makeup or for shoots where there's no water pouring involved.

Workout test:

I wore eyeliner and did two hours of pole at home. Since I do makeup on my teachers on some gigs, I have to make sure that their eyes are still sultry-smoky past dance numbers and stage lights.

So eyeliner, and then pole!!!! I did extra jumping jacks and burpees for warm-up and lots of inverts. So after:

Just a little smudgie but no biggie, hardly noticeable!

Water test:

I subjected my hand with the swatch on faucet water- with Fort Bonifacio's generously strong water system. This is simulating the situation that I live and breathe eyeliner that I have to swim wearing eyeliner and I still have to look human and not a panda.

And to further torture it, I rubbed my hand and then, here it is, with water droplets to prove it.

If you look closely, I'll be honest and say it's got a little fade but it still looks black. I tried wiping it with a tissue and the swatch is still there. Of course, don't expect it to stay on forever. It's eyeliner, not a tattoo, and even tattoos fade. But if it can withstand torture - rub, water, and workout sweat, and still look acceptable instead of runny, it's a sure win.

For me, Covergirl Liquiline Blast is a win for the following:
  • Bang for my buck
  • Intense pigmentation
  • Texture
  • Long-wearing and waterproof ability, as proven by my tests.
I recommend this to girls who love intense eyeliner but find liquid liner or gel liner much of a hassle with the brush. This can be an alternative to your favorite waterproof luxury brand pencil liner.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Steven's Home!

Wonder why my blog has been silent for quite a while? Well yes, there's work but most of all, I've been busy with this fellow:

That's my dance partner at home, who I nicknamed Steven (after Steven Tyler, nonetheless). In other words, there's a pole already. It's not just any pole purchased from a hardware store - it's a sport pole from X-pole, ordered from my teachers, the Polecats, who are X-pole dealers. These poles are made for dancing, really, and they hold up to 250 lbs of weight. Heck they could even support two dancers when pole dancers do doubles.

This was me in the studio all smiles. This was my second attempt in installing the pole. Of course, Myla taught me how to install it first. I actually thought it was a lot of rocket science involved, but once we got the hang of it, it was pretty easy to connect. The only problem though is that it's heavy so during installation, there needs to be two people in installing it. I got a stationary pole, so it doesn't have a spinny mechanism. I'm not a spinny girl, since I tend to get dizzy quite easily. So at home I can practice my tricks that need polishing, master my cross-ankle, and do my lifts and conditioning exercises for stronger core, thighs, knees, and arms since my classes are only twice to three times a week.

I remember Donna telling me that pretty soon, I'll be addicted to pole. Well what do you know? I got hooked! Actually, Stevie's still slippery (since the pole still has a factory coating, which wears off with usage) so the solution? Spin and climb on it till it wears off. Six-pack and muscle tone, hear I come!

Monday, January 23, 2012

New Hair? Let's See!

While learning hair, I kinda got obsessed with hoarding hair stuff on top of the makeup stuff. I didn't realize though that it's not just gel, mousse, and hairspray that I could toy with. Just last month, I bought a 32-mm ceramic curling iron for big curls since it was on sale. Haha. Anyway, I found another great find yesterday, while at Eastwood to meet up friends after work. Guess what I found? Hair extensions.

My "new" hair. See below how I got my hair to look like this.

I get really inggit at those who purchased hair extensions because it seems really fun to make flat hair into vavoom hair in just a few steps. I got the chance also to use them in a few shoots and I found it fun. But alas, a set is very expensive and it's one of those that remained in my forever "wish list", even the synthetic ones. Anyhow, I found a stall at the Eastwood bazaar that sells hair extensions at an affordable rate - 1721 is an online shop run by sisters Kaye and Kat and now they're branching out to bazaars where clients can see their products and try them on if they wish. They sell synthetic hair extensions in various shades and styles, whether it be poker straight, glamour waves, or sexy curls. They also have clip-on bangs for those who want to try having fringes without having the scissor commitment. And of course, since I want to play with extensions, I bought some.

I chose glamour waves and sideswept bangs, both in black-brown, which matches my original hair color (tip: In buying extensions, better that it's in a shade that's very close to your own color, so it's more natural). I can also use it for shoots, since that's a safe and general hair color. a purchase also comes with an instruction brochure, which shows us how to care for our extensions as well as how to use them. The extensions are also heat-resistant so they could also be styled, especially when the curls start to loosen.

Anyway, using hair extensions is easy. First of all, we got to make the extensions blend in. If we purchased straight extensions, then we should make our own hair straight, same if we purchased curly extensions. Otherwise, it's gonna look funny. So here, here's my hair without the extension: it's naturally wavy but the curls aren't as bouncy.

So I curl it using a curling iron, mimicking the soft curls from the extensions.

After curling, I make a horizontal part on my crown, above the ears. Try to make an even, straight part. I do understand if the part isn't perfect when you're doing this solo, but let's just try. Clip the top portion with a clamp.

If you're the type of person who has slippery or fine hair, a bit of teasing on the roots can help give the extensions some "grab".

Next, unclip the clip from the extensions by giving it a bend so it opens.

Position the extensions on the hair. I like placing it nearer the roots. When the clips have a firm grab to the hair, give it a firmer grab by closing it till it's secure (maybe a few headshakes will give it a good test).

Finally, release the top hair from the clip.

Blend your own hair with the extension so the clipped part is hidden.

And then just flip over and then:

Yaye! Victoria's Secret curls!

See? From the back it's so much prettier when even your own hair is curled. If you want bigger and thicker hair, you can add more extensions and sections and probably a bit of highlights and

Using the bangs is quite harder than the extensions. First, we have to position the bangs on the head in such a way that it looks natural on the hair. Clip it on just like what we did with the hair extensions.

To hide the partition where the bangs are clipped here's what I did - accessorize. Get a pretty scarf and use this as a headband to "hide" that little gap thing.

And I have bangs and they look like I got some scissors and chopped the fringe off. There are lots of bang styles and colors too that are available.

Hair extensions are a fun way to give your look an easy upgrade, like if you want to go long hair for an event or a shoot. I probably would use these at a shoot when I want the supermodel curls or what the heck, a special event to go to if I want to look extra fabulous. Be sure to check out 1721's Facebook page to know also their updates if they'd be in a bazaar or if they have new products. Have fun and Happy New Year!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

My Thoughts on Angelo Falconi Professional Make Up Brush Cleanser

Brush cleansers are one of my must-haves. If I'm doing makeup for several faces, for example, a brush cleanser makes my tools clean for the next user. Having a bottle of brush cleanser sure beats having several brush sets or duplicates of the same brush (and it's way cheaper too). Plus, cleaning brushes in between colors enables the colors to come out much more vibrant. I notice that if I use the same brush over and over without pausing to remove excess pigment, colors can tend to get muddy. So instead of peach, I end up with a somesorta brownish hue.

There are several brush cleansers in the market - some from luxury brands and others from professional makeup brands sold in most makeup supply stores. I've tried them all, and I've narrowed down my choices to those that are quick-drying, retain the quality of my brushes, and smell good, fresh, and clean instead of chemical-like.

A makeup artist friend of mine has raved about a brush cleanser created by Angelo Falconi III. Trust a makeup artist when he or she raves about a product because these are people who use makeup for a living. I also trust most products created by a makeup artist because these are people who understand both the needs of a professional makeup artist and a client. For those who don't know, Angelo Falconi III is a makeup artist who owns a branch of salons in the South area. He also taught in a makeup school and many talented makeup artists have graduated under his helm.

Anyway, my makeup artist friend says that his brush cleanser has all the stuff that I want namely:
  • smells really good and fresh - a combination of tea tree and peppermint oil. So no scent that your brushes came from a chem lab. Yaye!
  • leaves brushes clean without drying out the bristles - even gel eyeliner and lipstick and stubborn liquid foundation
  • dries fast - so it's ready for use with a little swish and flick.
  • affordable - a bottle costs almost half of other brush cleansers in the market.
I learned about it probably 2 years ago, but I never found out where I could purchase it until I saw bottles at Purebeauty in Serendra. Wow! Now it's available in a place that's super near! There are two kinds of bottles available, both 250 mL - one with a spritzer and one with just a bottle cap. There are also two strengths available - regular strength for quick-cleaning in-between usage and extra strength (don't get scared, wait for the description) for deep cleansing of all brushes and to remove concealer, eyeliner, and lipstick buildup.

I just came from an early client this morning, and as I got home, it would be the perfect time to test the brush cleanser. I usually clean my brushes with a brush cleanser first before washing them, since it's easier that way, plus it helps me develop the habit and make me constantly aware of the fact that I have to, even quick cleaning between usage. Anyway, when I spritzed a good amount on a tissue, I took a sniff and I was glad that it smelled quite nice. It smelled like peppermint and tea tree oil. The peppermint part made it smell more like aromatherapy oil than vapor rub, and we all know how clean and refreshing the scent of tea tree oil could be. FYI, tea tree oil has antibacterial properties so yuckies are zapped and killed in a spritz and swish. As the label says, it "eliminated 99.9% of germs without damaging makeup brushes".

Anyway, so I road-tested my cleanser. There are two ways that I cleaned the brushes. First, I used this method:

Step one was spritzing the bristles with brush cleanser, just a couple of sprays would do. This works on big brushes, like in this case, my 187 brush, which I use for liquid foundation. Then, after a good spritz, I rub the bristles against a paper towel (I prefer paper towels because they're disposable and I wouldn't worry about unattractive stains that might be left on the towel even after laundry). I repeat the process if I want it super clean.

Another method is over here, which works if I'm cleaning several smaller brushes, not to mention it saves more product. What I do is spritz some product (i.e. brush cleanser) on the paper towel and swishie the brushes on it.

After my quick-cleansing, my brush looks clean. Foundation, especially dark-colored ones stain my white brushes, and sometimes, for really pigmented colors, they leave a faint stain even after washing. I like the fact that I could confidently use my brushes for the next client. Plus, it's quick-drying so I don't end up getting brush cleanser on my makeup.

The bottle costs Php480 at Purebeauty in Serendra, and they're both available in a spritzer and regular bottle, both at the same cost. Better check though if you're purchasing a regular strength or regular strength cleaner. I purchased regular strength though, since I use it for pre-cleaning brushes before washing them and cleaning brushes before starting on another face, if I'm doing more than one face in a gig. I'm glad that there are more Philippine-made products that are coming out for makeup artists (and makeup fanatics) to use.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Look 10 Younger With ANEW Genics from Avon

Avon launched a breakthrough anti-ageing formula that promises to help the user look up to 10 years younger. Isn't that fabulous? It's actually here, in this bottle of their new product: Avon ANEW Genics.

Apparently, this concept of anti-ageing goes to the genetic level. Scientists have studied that there is actually a gene called a Youth Gene, which is present in everyone (hmmm... now that's like a built-in fountain of youth), although there are some people who have highly active Youth Genes (like those who live long, like 100 years) it's still with us. This Youth Gene, by the name states is what keeps the body healthy and the skin cells, as we call it alive and kicking, or fierce and fabulous. Obviously, as we age, the Youth Gene actively declines and we get all the signs of ageing which happen with time - wrinkles, lines, dry skin, name it.

So with this Youth Gene discovered, scientists came up with a way to stimulate this gene and keep our skin looking younger. This discovery is bottled up in this amber bottle of ANEW Genics, a treatment concentrate to help the skin look younger.

ANEW Genics isn't like the regular sunblock+moisturizer you use. It's actually a treatment you use on the skin before you put your entire routine. This is applied on cleansed and toned skin first. Spread it and let it absorb. Then after this you can start applying serum, moisturizer+sunblock, and then makeup, if it's a day you put on makeup. If putting another layer of cream on the skin sounds suffocating to you, you'd definitely be glad to know that this is a very light formula that sinks into skin quickly. I dunno what ingredient it was though, because it actually had a cool feeling on skin. Immediately, I felt my skin feeling considerably softer and smoother. I tried it too on the skin on my body and saw a difference. The skin on my body is really dry and that little thin layer of ANEW Genics made its chaffed state quite relieved. Yes, I am guilty of trying to use this all over my body, but of course it's really made for the face down to the neck and extend to the chest. It's not recommended to apply this on the lids but I've been told that some apply this on the undereyes. Usually, the instant effect is having the skin looking and feeling firmer, expression lines visibly softened (bye bye frown lines, laugh lines, and crow's feet!), and visibly restoring skin's vitality. I love that there's the word "visibly", which means we don't need a microscope to know that there is a difference. We can just see and feel it.

This product is highly recommended for mature women as well, especially if they're about to wear makeup. Remember the main problem of makeup cracking or somehow not cooperating with mature skin? This product, giving the skin a bit of TLC and "youth-boosting" power makes foundation glide so much easier.

To whom do I recommend this product? Women age 26 can start using this. Obviously, teenagers, pregnant women, and children should steer clear of anti-ageing products. This one I have on my pro makeup kit too. Yep, it is an extra step in skin preparation, but trust me, makeup looks so much better in nice skin. The price isn't bad too at Php 1799. This can last me months, since I only need a little bead-sized amount, which I spread throughout the face and neck.