Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Quick Tips On How To Retouch

Retouching makeup is something most people think that only a professional could do. I've heard a lot of girls go, "but how about my makeup? I don't know how to retouch." It's true, though that even though the face has been primed and the most expensive cosmetics used to put on makeup by the most talented pro makeup artist, makeup is still bound to fade one way or the other. there are a lot of factors that contribute to fading - it could be the tears shed during that special moment or the sweat and humidity. The warmth of the skin, studio lights, and climate plus daily activities can cause makeup to wear out. Subconscious scratching or rubbing, or even a kiss or two may contribute to the fade factor. Not to worry though because  there's good news - retouching is actually a very easy step that can be done without much effort.

Learning basic retouch can make your makeup look almost as fresh as when you stepped out of the house, at least presentable enough for that photo. For a bride on her wedding day, it can save her the additional retouch fee, and that cost may be used for spending probably an extra dress or 6 more people to invite as guests.

Here are simple retouch tips you can do during your next event. Whether you're a bride on a budget or a guest who still wants to look fresh, here are tips for making your makeup look fresh when nature worked against your will, just a bit.

What you need (some may even be optional):
  • Powder in your shade. Better this be in a compact to avoid messies.
  • Your lipstick
  • Tissue and q-tip
  • optional: hydrating spray, a sheer blush and blush brush, an eye blending brush

So okay, this is a face with makeup that's been worn during the course of the day's activities.

 Look familiar? Well it's the makeup for my LOTD! I thought I'd maximize this look and use it for another post. I went to pole class in this makeup, braved traffic, had Mexican dinner, and now I'm home to teach you how retouching goes.

An optional step: hydrate with a misting spray. These hydrating fix gives a boost of energy and refresh also my senses. Just spray until a mist envelopes your face, but not to the point of makeup dripping. Just mist, take on the burst of energy, and let the moisture evaporate. I like The Body Shop's vitamin C mist because it smells like fresh orange juice. Evian is a classic that works forever. If you're a bit luxurious, go for Shu Uemura's iconic Depsea Water (note: The Peppermint is just awesome!)

If you don't have a hydrating spray with you, go ahead and tissue off sweat, dirt, and excess oil with tissue or oil blotting films.  You can do this before spraying with hydrating mist as well. But before applying powder or any makeup, please do this step first!

Blend where blotchy. Use your finger to blend eyeshadow that might have creased or makeup that turned blotchy. Just soften the edges. You can use an eye blending brush to refresh eye makeup or "fine tune" any spots. In this photo, I used my ring finger to re-blend my eye makeup.

In events, especially weddings, the makeup artist waterproofs everything, even for the bride who swore she never cried.If it's not tears, it might be sweat, or a cold. For eye smudgies, a q-tip may remove anything that runs. 

Mattify. Using your powder, pat powder on where it's shiny, usually the t-zone and chin. Pat some on the cheeks and undereyes to make everything look matte and fresh. I prefer pressed powder than loose in retouching as it's less messy. I like MAC Blot powder because it takes away the shine without interfering with makeup although MAC Select Sheer functions just the same. There are also pocket-friendly alternatives. Maybelline clear smooth foundation refills cost less than 200 pesos, have yellow-toned colors, have excellent coverage, and fit even the tiniest of all purses. It also comes with a sponge you can use. It just has no mirror though, so you might need to bring a spare or rely on bathroom mirrors.

Swipe lipstick that might have worn off from eating, drinking, or smooching during the photo ops or when it's time to kiss the bride.

Another optional step: Amp that flush of color by touching up with blush. Most makeup artists during weddings do this step before the reception. Hotel lights are dimmer than the church so the bride might need a bit more of a glow. highlighting powder may also be used here, if you want an all-over glow, but again, that's optional. I want this tutorial as minimalist as possible.

So no more oiliness, no more dirt, and color on cheeks and lips and yay! Freshness once more!

Now the only thing to worry about, is if there's still room for dessert. Anyway, in any event, it's important to just relax and have fun and not worry too much. Just look fresh. Enjoy that cake. 

LOTD: That Neutral Glow

I haven't been posting LOTD's in a while, oh wainnaminute... for quite some time. I'm giving my face much of a rest and resulting to my usual minimal makeup of mascara, brows, lip and cheek tint, plus powder. It's the skin-breathing stage now, I thought to give my face a bit of a rest from months being splashed on with makeup and then working out after. It does save me an hour and a half of time too,

Just yesterday, I had a bit more of time in my hands so I thought, maybe it's time to get the brushes out and practice. It's still one of those neutral bridal looks. I'm in my neutral phase now, and I've been told I've been doing like peachy pinks or pinks or peaches or pastels a lot. It's quite funny. I always think of myself as a bronzey type of girl in my palette since I like a lot of warm colors. Anyway, in this LOTD, it's a bit more beige on the eyes and peach on the cheeks and lips, so pretty neutral overal. I kept the look matte since I'll be going to pole after.

No primer on my face, say whatwasithinking and I'm going to pole after. Just basic skincare. :)

For the face:
MAC Studio Sculpt concealer in NW20 on undereyes
Revlon Photoready concealer in 002 on redness and all that shnizzit
Shu Uemura Face Architect Fluid Foundation in 764
MAC Studiofix Powder in NC35
Ben Nye Banana Luxury Powder
Benefit Hoola and Catwalk Cosmetics Contouring palette to contour.
Make Up For Ever White Definition Powder in 20 to highlight undereyes
Paul and Joe Bambi blush

For the eyes:
Make Up for Ever Waterproof Eyebrow Corrector in 0 and Aqua brow in 02
Covergirl liquiline blast in brown (lower lashline) and black (tightline upper lashline)
Urban Decay in Virgin on browbone and tearduct highlight
Urban Decay in Toasted and Hustle on lid
Urban Decay in Buck to contour and drop shadow
Urban Decay in Creep (to define and darken) on outer V
Shu Uemura gel eyeliner in brown on upper lashline
Benefit They're Real! Mascara in Jet Black on of course, the lashes.

Shu Uemura lipstick in OR540

It kinda felt different wearing a full face of makeup again, but gladly I survived and so did my makeup even after a day of running errands and ending it with a pole class. I like that it's a pretty clean look. The subtle smokiness does not make the eyes disappear in photos but it still qualifies in the natural category. Maybe in a real event, I could tame the darkness and add a bit of smoke.

These stalactite earrings are just awesome. I got them on Forever 21 MoA at 50 off. It doesn't pierce through my shoulder though, but I like the spiky thingie. It looks so badass.

Hmm... maybe I can try to set aside like 30 minutes for quick makeup fastbreaks for myself when I feel like looking like a girl. Yay, still on my neutral phase but hey, let's all be pretty.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Nail Test: Pole Dance. Challenge Accepted

Okay, so what was my first road test for the nail art using the new Max Factor nail polish? Hop over to the Polecats Studio for my pole workout. Yay pole!

The stag jade entails balancing, squeezing that darn pole with your hip and thighs and lots of control from the core so you don't topple over.

The upright ayesha or elbow hang has got me hanging by a thread, errr elbow I mean, with my tummy skin helping me stick and stay up there. When that elbow of mine gets stronger, I can hang by it for dear life solely.

There's this part in pole where you're focused on not falling in a trick or trying to hold that upside-down pose without dying or getting your faced smushed on the floor that you think you resemble a persian cat. You don't realize that your polish, that you thought was dry has actually got some tack in it so you're like, what are those fingerprints and skid marks when you look at your nails.

Thankfully, I had none after, and as I said, chipping started at day 3 (or was it 4) but it was so minute I hardly noticed it. The day before Stellar 3, you know what I'll be taking to the nail salon.

Fun Nail Colors That Last with Max Factor

Nail polish is a very affordable beauty indulgence. This pop of color on the hands is already a fashion statement on its own. When I was a teenager, I remember oohing and aahing on nail polish bottles in drugstores but alas, we were not allowed to wear nail polish in school back then (one of those rules in high school where we have to be "simple") and so the polish was reserved during the weekends or on toes where they were hidden by our school shoes. It was a fun way of experimenting with color without costing a lot. In a way, it's a very affordable accessory.

Somehow, ironically, when I got older, I stopped wearing polish on my hands. This was not because I lost the fondness but because since  my work involves a lot of things literally on my hands like typing (which is prone to chipping) plus chores like dishwashing, cleaning the bathroom, and taking care of the kitty's litterbox  can take a toll on my freshly-applied color. I still however, put color on my toes, as due to nail surgery a few years back from pedi boo-boos, I resolved to have my nails done outside in trusted nail salons.

On my way home from pole lunch class last week, I got a text from Aireen inviting us bloggers for a very fun and pampering afternoon at Beauty and Butter Megamall to launch the new nail colors from Max Factor.
Since I'll be meeting Iana that day at Strata to teach her makeup application for her finals, Megamall was a hop and a skip and a backflip from strata so it was absolutely yes. And hey, I never say no to pampering. I just said that I can't have lotion since I might be poleling that day (I did by the way, and I didn't slip).

Beauty and Butter is such a cute cute nail salon with an art deco theme. Their prices are also quite affordable. I think basic mani costs like Php170 and a mani-pedi package Php350. I like that they do not dig in to cuticles and have excellent service.

The best part of it all is the free and trusty WiFi. They can even lend iPads for their clients to tinker with, like checking Facebook or the news. For those working "from home", they can get their foot spa while catching up on work in their laptops, sort of a yin-yang thing.

Max Factor introduces two polish varieties, the Max Color Effect Mini Nails and Glossfinity, which are very affordable and come in a variety of shades to mix, match, and clash.

The Max Color Effect Mini Nails comes in colors that are bright, bold, and fruity that are an instant fashion statement. It's a great way to change the look. Imagine wearing just neutral classic like white shirt and jeans then a burst of lime green on the nails. Or a black dress with hot pink nails. It's like the red lipstick, but cheaper. It also comes in a tiny bottle that fits the teensiest of all purses.

Check out the color wheel swatches they showed us. As you can see, the colors are brighter and a bit more fun. This would be great to wear on weekends or like a nice party. They're also pretty affordable as a bottle costs Php 175.

For a job interview or a more serious event, Glossfinity has shades that are more classic and neutral as well as occasional navy and deep colors. They can last up to 7 days and stay shiny, from the name. They have roses, pinks, reds, beiges, and browns so if you're the girl who's till scared to go hot pink or deep vampy wine colors, they have neutrals for you.

Awesomeness too is that we could mix and match these colors for our very own fun nail art, which we got to experience thanks to the girls at Beauty and Butter. For me personally, obviously I didn't want something tame, sweet, and neutral. I wanted something fun and something with kitties. there weren't kitty print designs available on the nail art but I went for something close - leopard and tiger prints!

My nails were painted leopard-print spots after a coat of Max Color Effect in Lollipop, a sweet bright pink color. 

 I initially wanted leopard print on the nails but however, toenails were too tiny for leopard print so I settles for tiger prints. At least tigers are cats too.

My leopard nails after. As I took this photo, my nails were already surprisingly dry. I love that there's no need to wait for one million years.So super shiny! Thanks to the Glossfinity topcoat to seal it all in. Oh, by the way, Glossfinity costs Php 245, since the bottle is bigger.

I'm a Jungle Cat! Meoooowwwwrrrr!!!!!!!

Remember the reason why I stopped wearing polish on the hands is that they tend to chip considerably come day 3 even if I have it done professionally? Thankfully, this one stayed on longer. The chip came on day 4 or 5 but it was unnoticeable and day 6 was when it started to lose the shine. But of course again, I do a lot of manual labor and I swim a lot so I guess it's my lifestyle already. The chips though, were not big chunks as like other polishes where it looks like half of the polish is already gone. If you don't look close enough, the chips aren't noticeable.

After day 6, I decided to go DIY and try my hand on nail art. I used a variety of nail polish brands here. I painted my thumb orange from Max Factor's Max Color Effect in Satsuma as a base color and for the other nail, a yellow color from another brand. I personally have a hard time applying opaque colors as they don't come out even but this one was pretty easy, even comparable to a brand that costs twice its amount.

The Max Factor Max Effect Mini Nails I would recommend to a lot of people, for young girls starting out with polish on their toes hidden by school socks or school shoes, or the fickle-minded nail fanatic who changes polish every so often. It's also a great way to experiment with a new bold color as well, and since the bottle's tiny, it's like a sample size first. For those with active lifestyles or with jobs that entail more conservative color palettes and dresscodes, Glossfinity has the neutral shades and last to stay in top condition until the weekend when it's time to make a switcharoo to the fun colors. Although Glossfinity stays on its own, I'd still recommend a topcoat so it lasts shinier and longer.

Happy bloggers with the Max factor Team :) Thank you Max Factor and Beauty and Butter for that super fun afternoon. For those curious, yes, the polishes are already available. I just bought one this weekend.

Monday, September 10, 2012


This shoot was done during the time the Philippine Area of Responsibility was expecting another tropical depression or typhoon. Thankfully, from where we are, the raindrops and cloudy skies were our allies in this shoot that seemed to channel European fashion line's A/W collection. No angry downpours though, just happy drizzlies.

Photo: Christine Day Lorico
Styling: Ian Cartalba

Monday, September 3, 2012

Up in the Air With Aerial Silk

Hello! My arms are sore, my core hurts but I'm still super giddy and happy from last weekend. You wanna know why? Read on.

I believe that once in my past life, I was a circus performer, despite the fact that I have a fear of heights. It just came naturally to love the thrill of being upside-down while up in the air and hanging by the back of my knee. Even when I still sucked in pole, there's something in me that made me still go on until I got it. Well, what do you know, I'm still here and I'm staying, upside down with feeling.

My teachers posted a teaser in their blog which left us guessing what the Polecats have in store next. Screws and loops meant one thing... it's time for another aerial adventure: aerial silk and hoops! And they brought in another announcement when we guessed right, which got me screaming louder than the fire drill. They would be bringing in the first ever aerial arts workshop in the Philippines to be conducted by San Francisco Circus Centre -trained instructor Symone Dolai. I screamed even more. I have to take a class!

I was choosing between aerial silk or aerial hoop but as the rest of the kittens and tigers had the same thing in mind, slots were filling faster than we could air invert, up to the point that a second silk class had to be opened since a lot really wanted to take the class. Luckily, I was able to get a slot for the silk class. I rushed from the house to the studio and paid and thankfully I made it! Yay! I was really excited for this class! I'm up for learning anything new, meeting an awesome person from another country who's just as passionate as I am.

Symone is the founder of Pole Paradise Studio, the tallest aerial studio in Hongkong that offers classes in pole, aerial silk, and hoop and other interesting weekly workshops. She's a super fun and awesome teacher who puts a little humor in things, and in her little weekend stay here in Manila, was able to pick up a few Tagalog words along the way. Some of my teachers have taken workshops under her when they're in Hongkong and I'm glad that they gave their kittens and tigers opportunities like this to learn from international experts.

Pole and silk are alike and different in some ways. They are alike in a sense that they involve being up in the air doing the tricks and stuff. They both involve upper body and core strength to be able to do the tricks prettily. They are unlike each other because, well for the obvious, pole uses a metal pole and silk uses cloth. Silk is much more difficult and challenging than pole because you really have to control so the silk doesn't sway around much when you do the tricks. Also, pole requires us to reveal as much skin as possible to save our lives (hence short shorts and sports bras are the usual uniforms of a pole dancer). For aerial silk, we cover our skin to save our skin from silk burns. So, prior to our workshop, our teachers already warned us that we should be wearing fitted leggings and a tight sleeved shirt.

We were taught a lot of beginner tricks for aerial silk. Since we were relatively all beginners, the silk fabrics were made into a hammock by tying them into an egg knot, which when done correctly, is a very stable knot that can support our weight. Also, if you're thinking the fabric is any random silk fabric bought in Divisoria, this is a special kind of fabric for aerial silk that can support the weight of 1-2 people and also, it stretches a bit when pulled (I guess a safety procedure based from a law of physics which I couldn't identify).

Symone taught us pretty beginner tricks, like standing on the silk properly  and a very easy trick called the triangle, which is very stable and looks really strong in photos.

photo by Nikki Isaac
A pretty trick called Candy Roll was next (I got excited to learn this because it was named Candy!). It's kinda like wrapping the silk around your supporting foot and it sort of looks like the stripes in a peppermint stick or something. It's really pretty and fun once you get it

photo by Nikki Isaac
Margaret, the Polecat with the awesomest abs and splits demonstrates a very pretty pose you can do when you finally get to a secure place from a candy roll.

The fun part was getting to an invert. This proved to be more challenging than hooking my foot up to a gemini but it was really fun when you get to it. It's like climbing up a high swing.

The iron cross (if done higher would look super awesome in photos) and me. and a precursor to a boomerang. Our classmates and I had so much fun flipping and swinging!

Being inverted could be so much fun and challenging. It's like making HOHOL but with awesomeness. HOHOL like a batgirl!

I had so much fun I didn't know it was time to cool down. I didn't want to let go of the silks after. Hahahaha. It was kinda tiring because it really challenged my arm and core strength, which I have yet to develop. I woke with my arms sore the next day, but I really felt awesome!

Photo-op with Symone! I swear she's so adorable! I'll visit her studio whenever I get to Hongkong and make it one of my stops!

Our class still happy and giddy from the workshop. It definitely is an experience!

Thank you Polecats Manila for another awesome opportunity, and thank you too, Symone, for spending your time with us and teaching us all the amazing stuff you know! See you real soon!

(all photos of the workshop in this post by Nikki Isaac)

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Discovering Lisa

I spent the last two days of the weekday with Avy and as usual, with her around, there's makeup talk, retail therapy, and more makeup swatching. Makeup love gets recharged and at the same time, we have this objective and scientific view on makeup as to what's not good and what should be used on certain skins and what should we not give in to spending because of cute packaging and hype or what-not. While over Very Berry Starbucks drinks, she mentioned about this makeup guru in YouTube named Lisa Eldridge that's super awesome in making her tutorials.

image credits
Reading up on Lisa, I found out that she is a makeup artist by profession and started out when she was booked to do Cindy Crawford's makeup for a shoot and the rest is history. She owns a very organized makeup blog apart from her YouTube channel. She is based in the UK with her family and she makes her tutorials from her home studio. All her videos, I saw are very clear in excellent lighting and quality where you can see the whole process clearly as she speaks and demonstrates the procedure. Reading up on her and watching her videos, here are more reasons why I am instantly converted to a fan in two days:

1) Her looks are simple and easy-to-do. Obviously, even if we love makeup, busy girls do not have 2 hours each day to sit down and do their eyeshadow when they have to rush to work and still have to do their chores. She shows simplified methodologies on how to recreate red carpet looks and even some of the works that she has done in magazines.
2) The quality of her videos is awesome. There's the angle, light, and sound quality. You get to see most of her face.
3) She loves and has cats. Wait, should that be my #1 reason?

I've discovered that whenever I'm on gigs, I'm always makeup-free most of the time. This is understandable for outdoor shoots but of course for weddings and shoots where I'm expected to look my work, I have to be more presentable. I think I'll take a cue or two on how she does some of her tutorials. A favorite is the Kristen Stewart smoky smoldering look that takes like around 5-10 minutes to do. Yay Internet! And probably I could take a tip or two when I start doing my own videos again.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Bridal Work: Mitch

I would like to call this wedding the cat lover's wedding. Why? because most of the people in this event loves cats. The bride loves cats, the wedding coordinator loves cats, the photographers have 9 cats, I love cats, and the hairstylist that day loves cats too! No wonder I was so giggly the whole time, because I was surrounded by cat lovers!

Mitch was recommended to me by their wedding coordinator, Honey, who I know from way back when I used to work in an office. Honey chatted up with me in Facebook and then I found out that she happens to be a wedding coordinator already. Wow! What's with medical field and wedding industry? She scheduled  trial makeup with me in my house. I always ask my clients who have makeup done in my house if they're okay with cats as I have a cat at home. Thankfully, Honey and Mitch were okay with cats and in fact, they love cats too and were excited to meet Candy. Mitch's trial makeup was a way of catching up as well with me and Honey as the last time I saw her, we were both still working. Candy though was super shy. Honey even fed him some chicken, which he ate. He was actually a good boy as his mommy worked.

I did a very neutral look on Mitch, something sweet, rosy, and classic as I want her to look back at her photos when she's 70 years old and say, "Wow! I really look good when I was younger!" I also don't want the look to be too dated, so as you can see, I stuck with neutrals, like a sort of enhanced no makeup look.

 Mitch before the makeup .

And after the makeup. Mitch has really long hair and since her wedding dress had a lot of details, we put her hair up for the wedding ceremony since it was really humid and if we put her hair down, the curls might not make it to the reception so we opted for hair up during the wedding and then reception, we would let her hair loose. It was really fun and cute during the preparations. Thank you Mitch for asking how Candy the cat is. It was so sweet of you to remember him. And yes, he still eats chicken.

The kitty conversation was carried on as well to the photographers who shared their kitty stories and also showed pictures of their kitties (I remember they were named after singers Chris Brown and Lady Gaga. So cute!)

More photos of the bride.

 Honey helping out Mitch with her gown.

 Of course I was a kitty girl and wore kitty accessories that day. My top also had a kitty on it.

Honey and I went over to Gazebo Royale as she had to leave some stuff. Before the crowd started pouring in as they were still in church, we had a photo together with her friend, Bea. After that, I had time to do her makeup too as me saying thank you to her for remembering me. And by the way, good job Honey!

Reception time, I retouched Mitch's makeup and let her hair down so she could, literally, let her hair down and enjoy her big day.

Congratulations Jelmar and Mitch!

photos: Photoimagicraft by Gian and Fidgi
hair: Lorybelle Barretto
coordination: Honey Carrera of Soirre Etc. Events Planning