Sunday, December 21, 2014

Night TLC For Your Skin

With the Holidays comes parties and engagements left and right. And with those events, it's time to get dolled up so we bring out the heels, pretty dresses, bling, and lipstick. Wait, I stand corrected, not just lipstick but the whole shebang of makeup. Whether you do it yourself or hire a professional makeup artist to glam you up for events, it's not just lipstick on your face but foundation, blush, powder, false lashes, etc.

While we look pretty for the night, we must always never forget one golden rule - to remove our makeup right before we go to bed and give our skin the proper care it needs. Just like our feet that can't just wait to step into the comfiest flip-flops from a night wearing killer heels, our face needs a breather too. With the heat from dancing and being exposed to elements like smoke and dust, your face is being cooked under that pile of makeup, and much more so if you're a fashion model or performer, as stage lights and professional photographer lights plus sweat and oil can add up to the heat. Removing all that makeup can be such a chore especially if you would just want to plop down the bed and sleep but trust me, your skin will thank you for it.

So, here's how I remove my makeup step-by-step and the products I am currently using. Here's one thing,,, I don't shortcut this routine. A smidgen of makeup left on the face could mean a zit the next day, and we don't want that. When I danced at my Stellar recital two years ago, I had probably applied on my face the thickest amount of makeup I ever did in my life, because I was performing onstage. I know I'll be tired from all that dancing and cheering so while I still had some energy and adrenalin left, I did my initial removal of makeup using a round of cleansing oil and wipes before I went home and continued the rest of the stuff at home, since I know it would take me more than just one round of cleansing oil to completely remove everything. (It also gives my skin time to breathe at an earlier time).

Removing makeup:

We all have different preferred products in removing makeup - cold creams, wipes, etc. I really swear by Shu Uemura Cleansing Oil. I have been using them for 8 years and it's really effective in removing makeup and dirt in just one step and leaves my skin really clean.

Currently, this is what I use, but I think for this season, when it's colder I might switch to a more moisturizing formula such as Ultimate. I recommend the pink oil for those with oily skin, since it leaves my skin oil-free awesomely.

Wipes are good if my makeup is pretty light that day but for a full face of makeup, I really whip out my Shu Cleansing Oil. One round usually gets everything, but like I said, depending on how thick your makeup is that day, it may take another round.  Don't forget to extend this to your hairline, near the ears, or jawline and neck, should you have had makeup applied there.

To remove eye makeup, I use a q-tip soaked in eye makeup remover to gently remove wateproof eyeliner that would not budge. I use a cotton pad soaked in eye and lip makeup remover to remove lipstick residue, most especially if I have been wearing long-lasting or dark-colored lipstick.

I discovered this makeup remover from Island Basics a few months back and I use it to remove mascara and eyeliner and dark-colored lipstick. It has also been awesome at removing my everyday makeup, when I save my Shu cleansing oil for special occasion makeup.

It smells really good, is quite affordable (I think less than Php 200 at Echostore. I got this in the Podium branch), local, and organic! So yay! The downside with this though, is that since this is not the type of oil that I can wash off without oil residue, I would really need the extra step of washing my face, hence the next step.

Wash Your Face

Even though I have already removed makeup using cleansing oil and washed it down with water, I still wash my face with facial wash and water. There might have been makeup still stuck there and also, I really want the feeling of residue-free skin, As of the moment, I'm using Ilog Maria's face soap, since it leaves my skin really clean without that tight, dry feeling. It's also got natural ingredients sourced locally. This step, sometimes I include when I step in the shower at night, because I also don't like the feel of hairspray on my hair when I go to bed.


Toner closes the pores and also is the indicator if  I did a good job in cleaning my face. It also removes whatever residue I have left. There are alcohol-free toners like Human Nature, for those who don't like the sting. At night, I use L'Oreal Paris Revitalift Laser x3 Power Water.

This rehydrates skin as it refines pores and improves skin texture. Notice how our skin is drier as the months are colder? We might have to switch to this for the season.

Eye Cream

Our eyes have the thinnest skin, but it's also where we concentrate most of our makeup on - eye primer, 3 colors of eyeshadow, brow makeup, brow gel, eye pencil, liquid liner, mascara, false lashes, Oh, there is also undereye concealer. I use Olay Regenerist Micro-sculpting eye cream and lash serum duo to give my eyes the TLC it needs. The lash serum also cares for my lashes. In the absence of this, I can use virgin coconut oil. It's like conditioner or treatment for processed hair, (or in this case, lashes). Also, try using water-resistant or non-waterproof mascara on regular days, and save waterproof mascara on events when you actually need waterproof mascara, just to give your lashes a break.

Serum and Moisturizer.

Here, I alternate with Olay Regenerist Night Cream or L'Oreal Paris Night-Cream Mask. Both leave my skin feeling supple and smooth the next day as if they were repairing my skin overnight. I do not forget my neck in this step too. I boost circulation by applying this in a massaging motion, and make sure to spread the product evenly. L'Oreal Paris Night-Cream Mask has a richer formula than Olay's. I treat this like a bi-weekly powerdose for my skin, especially on days when I've been quite brutal with cleansing because I wore a lot of makeup that day that sat on my face for a long period.

Sometimes, especially when I feel like my skin has been stressed, especially if I came from a shoot, I use mask sheets from Face Shop or Etude house. I think of this like intense conditioner for my skin and use the 15-minute time I have to have that mask sheet sitting on my face to meditate or do some breathing exercises to slow the body down. Then, I peel off the mask and go to bed.

Aside from taking care of our skin using all these products, we must also remember that there's also that part of taking care of your skin from within. Keep hydrated by drinking lots of fluids and feed your body with a lot of antioxidants. During the party, choose food that is good for you. Go makeup-free on days that you can, and avoid places which can wreck your skin. And always remember, that with good skin, not only will makeup look so much better, there are days when you don't have to put on makeup at all. :)

Sunday, December 7, 2014

This whole weekend has probably been more eventful for most of us... some of us are at the middle of Christmas shopping and probably stuck in traffic somewhere or attending lots of events - weddings and Christmas parties.Despite a storm threatening once again to pound the country, mall parkings are still full and weddings still push through.

This weekend, I wore three different hats - cook, makeup artist, and pole dancer, which put me in a very giddy mood to power a bit of sunshine in me. As sunshines have been alluded with a lot of happy and positive, inspiring things, I'm hoping that this will fuel positive energy which I'll be needing this week.

Both days I started early. Saturday morning was a mini-brekkie get-together with me and two of my pole friends. It was quite random, really. I've been posting a lot of my food creations in Instagram and somehow a "brekko party" was in the works and made into reality.

For breakfast, my philosophy is that, it's okay to have a heavy brekkie because we will need all that fuel for energy that day. I know Oliver's favorite food is eggs benedict and I found a recipe for truffled eggs benedict online. I also made three kinds of French toast - strawberries and cream, Nutella, banana, pecan, and PB&J, which are honestly, recipes that I was constructing from my head as I was staring at the inside of the fridge, They loved the spread of sinful food I made, and I think that truffled eggs benendict deserves a repeat in my brekko table.

Our breakfast probably ended around lunchtime (Ladies Who Lunch ang peg? Hahahaha) and we headed off for the rest of our own Saturdays. I had work at around 3 at Serendra so I grabbed a quick light lunch of soup and salad before heading off. I'll be having work the following day so my yin yogi self knew well not to stay out night.

My client for Sunday morning is my friend from high school, Ria. We interact a lot in Facebook since we have a common ground (i.e. cats, and you know how cat people are) but even that there was a lot still to talk and catch up on. Sharing the same philosophy on beauty makeup, I updated my usual formula of makeup transformation to ground it with a balance of still making whoever I'm doing makeup on still look like her and not look too transformed.

From Eastwood, I had to fly to Ortigas for a 3pm workshop by Marion Crampe. Marion Crampe is this amazing, amazing lovely pole champion who travels the world performing, teaching, competing, and just being this passionate, loving person that she is.

 She's not crazy, guys, she's passionate. I had the pleasure of meeting her last year in the Pole Stars Workshop but I wasn't able to take a workshop under her (I just took workshops under Steven Retchless and Nadia Shariff). This year, I made it a point to take her workshop. I took her Flexibility workshop, a one-hour workshop to work on our bendiness the smart way. I really like how she teachers. It's fun and she gives you key points you wound want to remember. These key points I found really useful not in pole but also in my other physical activities like yoga, HIIT, and dance (yes, I am learning dance, and dance language. more of that later).

a. Take care of your back. in backbends, The misconception is like jerking or crunching the back. While this technique may look pretty in photos, it's actually very dangerous. Work on your hip flexors and shoulders. I found this really helpful. I have a bendy back, and I really tend to jerk it or crunch it, causing compression. However, I have moody shoulders, which I must work on. Working on hips flexors and shoulders is safer.
b. Vary your training. One day, do strength, then work on bendiness, maybe floorwork on another day, and then one day, probably target one area like core or arms, That way, you also don't get bored and your training is balanced. Case in point strength and flexibility. We need our strength to help us recover in flexibility. We need strong core to protect our backs.
c. Rest. For the love of whatever divine being you hold dear to your heart, rest! Our body deserves to rest and recover. I learned this in Yin Yoga, and this is echoed in pole dancing. A weekly massage may be expensive luho to most of us, but injuries are more expensive, and also, a lot of hassle. The body needs time to rest and repair, So during competition season when training is intense and hellish, sleep at night, take a day to rest, or do yin yoga. your body will be able to perform better.

The workshop was challenging too. I mean okay, I thought I was already bendy to begin with, but there's still a range soon to be reached. I need to work on my strength. And also, I learned how to be bendy the right way, which can prolong my pole stay more, so I won't be like those horror stories that were gone from the sport due to injury. It also improves lines, like squaring splits and better shoulder flexibility.

I love Marion! Her passion is contagious.

You know that light happy mood you have after that fulfilling day or week even though you're tired? Yes, there are brushes to be washed and I think my hip flexors will experience delayed onset muscle soreness tomorrow but I just have this awesome feeling from all the good vibes. I usually get all grumpy-cat mode each time rain comes, and developed a phobia when rain pours, much more that there's a typhoon. Maybe I can make this positive energy channel good vibes.

Okay, I know positive energy would not physically be able to improve weather conditions. I am no superhero, and let's be realistic. But rather than let the gloominess of the weather dampen our mood, maybe I can help create a figurative sunshine from within me, by channelling this positive energy. Remember how like when we're moody or grumpy, it just affects everything else, like how food tastes, our decisions, our actions, and so on? Or just how a bad happening just diminishes a good mood? What if positive energy turns things around? What if I use this good mood and maybe, with that, my day won't be dampened and maybe I can actually make better decisions, or think clearly.

Aside from staying dry and safe, maybe I'll let my sunshine from within help me with what's about to come, like how I can handle it better with clearer thoughts.

This was written in my cup lid when I ordered my drink from Coffee Bean And Tea Leaf  Ortigas Park just this afternoon while waiting for my workshop.

These little notes can be cute, sometimes hits you in the spot just right. I kinda felt like Supergirl after though, Let's all stay safe and dry, and take the necessary precautions, and despite this weather condition, let us still face the coming days head on with a clear mind and let this little sunshine we have created in us guide us through this week, and maybe spread this sunshine to others. As Marion's passion is contagious, let our sunshine be as well.