Saturday, January 31, 2015

#GlamJan with Marilyn

Back in makeup school, part of learning how to artfully apply makeup the pro way, one of my most favorite topics is actually history of makeup. We studied the makeup styles and trends from different decades as well as getting to know the beauty icons of each era. It was the nerd in me, I guess, having fun every day travelling back in time and trying to recreate the look that was hot then. Some of these looks have had its modern-world adaptations (at this point, I remember every single Great Gatsby, Godfather, or Chicago - pegged HMU that I ever did). Although not as harsh as pencil-thin brows and droopy smokey eyes. they have that still-wearable for today's age look while still keeping tabs with its historical origins.

One of the most popular looks that has transcended time is the "flawless skin, dramatically lined eyes, and red lips" look. It may have taken a backseat during the 90s when it's all about Kate Moss and her minimalism or Jennifer Aniston as Rachel complete with layered 'do and Y-necklace but it has always been spotted in magazines or red-carpet events, weddings, or just everyday in the mall. It's classic, elegant, and not to mention takes less effort than usual. And one of the loveliest iconic ladies that have sported this look is Marilyn Monroe.

In the late 1940s, a young brunette woman named Norma Jeane entered the Blonde Room in Mr. Max Factor Junior's Hollywood makeup studio. She emerged later the red-lipped and creamy-skinned platinum blonde Marilyn Monroe we know today. Marilyn is his most iconic client and right now, she's its Global Glamour Ambassador.

Her look is actually very effortless and clean, and the go-to for any woman, as it doesn't take much effort to do. Simply conceal blemishes and set skin with Max Factor Creme Puff Pressed Powder (also mattifies oilies), Groom and define brows, sweep some blush, Frame eyes with mascara and eyeliner, and literally let the lips do the talking - by taking the center stage with red lipstick. Now not to worry about wearing red. There is a red for every skin color and girl. Check out Ruby Tuesday, for example, a go-to red of Max Factor Global Creative Design Director, Pat McGrath.

Another trivia about Ruby Tuesday, this shade is inspired by Marilyn's most favorite red lipsticks. To give attention to hands, try red polish as well to match the lips. Another bonus about red polish is that it makes the hands look whiter, cleaner, and well-kept,

This clean with oomph may be taken from office setting to dinner table. There are versions as well for each girl, One may prefer thicker eyeliner or skip it altogether. Maybe smoke up the eyes during nighttime. We don't have to wear curls either. Even Thalia in her book Belleza had her modern-day version of it.

And even though there is the classic formula and peg for this, we are all free to create our very own interpretations, adapting to our own facial features. So even if this is the last day for #glamjan, we can still post our classic Marilyn-inspired selfies. :) Because of course, she is a legend that lives on.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

The Seven Awesome Makeup Discoveries of 2014

Happy New Year Kitties! I am currently recovering from the after-new year booboo. Actually. I thought I'd be skipping the annual Holiday booboo this year since the sniffles usually comes around before Christmas or after Christmas and into the New Year. I just had overall tiredness and fatigue, but I was taking the precautions with a lot of fluids and good food interlaced with the happy food. Towards the end of the break, I woke up with a funny throat feeling and it blossomed into a cough the following day coupled with difficulty breathing. If this was a detox or effect from all the fatigue plus fireworks pollution I don't know. In a good way, I'm just thankful that recovery was quite faster since I just had a day of runny nose and no congestion.

As I am sipping my warm water with organic honey drink (yummy), I yin out by typing out a little New Year post - and giving a happy and literally - colorful - vibe, because I'll be featuring seven makeup and makeup tools I discovered last year and are totally rocking and now are stars in their own right in my makeup kit. Now I am not saying to chuck out everything not on this list in the trashcan. I'm saying that last year, I encountered these products and they really are awesome and I thought I'd share. Actually, some of them have been around for quite some time, but it's only now that I got to use them.

These are in no particular ranking or order. They are as random as how some things are.

1. Beauty Blender. (purchased at Purbeauty Seremdra)

I know, I know, I'm a late bloomer. You can imagine what a makeup artist friend of mine told me, "WHAT? You just got yours now? That's a pink sponge that will save your life. " Uhm, yeah, and correction, I bought a black Beauty Blender, because  it's easier to clean and pink is erm.. no.

Yes, that is the black  Beauty Blender and as you can see, I just used it before I took a photo of it. for its pristine, clean, virgin state, you may view at the website here. So yes, I'm a wee bit late, but the reason why I did not buy a beauty blender was because I was like, No way am I going to spend Php 900+  on an egg-shaped sponge when it's 88 pesos a pack!" But actually, it makes blending so much better and look so much seamlessly. I should always remember to use the sponge slightly damp, and when it has I think doubled in size. It polishes brush strokes, when some paddle-brush foundation brushes can leave streaky marks and helps blend makeup to make it look seamless almost like naturally flawless skin without it looking too caked on. I should remember though, that since it's black, I should be very careful as to where I place this because losing this Php900+ sponge is painful for the heart

2. Real Techniques Expert Face Brush (bought at The Ramp Glorietta)

Another brush brand with good reviews and quite affordable SRPs. Real Techniques is a makeup brush brand created by sisters Sam and Nicola Chapman, who are awesome makeup artists and YouTube beauty gurus (these are the ladies behind Pixiwoo). I am thankful for Kalm Cosmetics, Real Techniques is now available in our tropical shores and now in retail stores such as The Ramp Glorietta where we get to see them in the flesh. The Expert Face brush is actually recommended to me by my good friend and fellow #fitmua Jinky while we were out shopping for makeup. She uses it for her Flash Colors, I found a use for it for liquid and creme foundation, to deliver that flawless-looking base color that looks natural, just like how I like it. It's easy to use and super easy to clean. Best of all, it's Php 580, a big fraction from expensive makeup brand brushes.

3.  Max Factor Skin Luminzer Foundation

Unless I'm performing onstage where I want my foundation and contours screaming "Happy Foundation Day", I want my funda to look like not really like funda but a prettier and better version of my skin. This is most especially if I'll be having close-up photos (selfies included) or will be seeing someone up close. Max Factor Skin Luminzer Foundation does the trick just right (I used Expert Face Brush for this). The coverage isn't super heavy so there's a bit of skin texture showing through (tip: applied with a Beauty Blender, the feel is lighter, just if you want a bit more sheer coverage). I think it feels lighter than a BB cream, in fact. The white swirlies on the bottle aren't decoration but they are subtle luminzers that brighten the skin, not to make it shiny sparkly like a Twilight vampire, but give you that healthy-looking skin. The bonus moisturizers also makes this makeup care for your skin as well. I would recommend this also to mature women looking for the right foundation to enhance their beauty rather than age them more. Retail price? Php 945,

4. Ofra Cosmetics Long Lasting Liquid Lipstick

Left: Hollywood Right: Laguna Beach

Ofra Cosmetics have been here for quite a while, thanks to the lovely ladies of Glamourbox who introduced this to me a few months ago. The Long Lasting Liquid Lipstick (Php 950 at the Glamourbox website) is less gloopier than lipglosses, glides on easily, super economic (the highly pigmented formula only needs a little amount of product for color to show), buildable coverage, and dries to a matte, almost-lipstick finish that melts and blends with your lip texture. Another bonus: smells like cake. 

Left: Laguna Beach Right: Hollywood

Laguna Beach is the best-selling shade, a flattering neutral mauve shade that's perfect for day wear or night wear with smokey eyes. 

Same makeup, different lipstick. Switch up to a brighter pink, Hollywood. Actually the two lipsticks can be used for bridal. Use Laguna Beach for the day ceremony and then come the dinner reception, switcheroo to Hollywood. Hollywood can be used for the entourage, especially for the Mommies and principal sponsors, as this can really brighten up their features. 

I recommended this to bridal gigs because of  the long-lasting capacity. Again, I really recommend applying little product and build along as you go. 

5. Red Cherry Lashes

Ah yes, my new discovery of gold mine of lashes. #213 is one highly-recommended length  that enhances the eyes without interfering with the eye makeup you worked hard for. Again, I like that the nylon base is soft and pliable so it molds better accordint to the eye shape and blends well with your own natural lashes. DW gives a wispy, flirty flutter and enhances Asian eyes. Another mentionable is 747XS, which I let the mothers of the bride wear. Php 160 at The Ramp Glorietta and Digital Traincase.

6. MAC Prep + Prime Lip 

I love my retro-matte MAC lipsticks but I don't like the drag during application, where the lipstick, since the formula is so much drier than the usual matte, drags the lip as well. The solution is actually Prep + Prime, which not only makes lipstick last longer but lessens the drag and in fact, my retro matte lipstick looks so much better on my lip, Php 1100. Here's my Ruby Woo applied 30 seconds after a coat of Prep + Prime Lip

7, Anastasia Beverly Hills Tamanna Palette 

 There are a lot of good reviews on Anastasia products, particularly their brow products. Their eyeshadow palette is very promising and quite affordable too. The Tamanna Palette is a fall and holiday eyeshadow palette designed in collaboration with makeup artist Tamanna Roashan (@dressyourface) and the colors are inspired from a makeup masterclass on East Asian bridal makeup taught by Tamanna herself.

These rich, warm and very pigmented shades are flattering most especially for us Asians.


Top (L-R): Fresh, Blush, Venezia, Gilded, Custom
Bottom (L-R): Sangria, Bengal, Chocolate, China Rose, Noir
Fresh, Bengal, and Chocolate are my usual go-to's for a quick neutral look with just eyeliner to take the center stage. The teal-ly shade Venezia can be used as an accent, which is in fact a very strong complimentary color to the orangey and rich browns and coppers. The Noir is as solid as a matte black can get, and I am not very disappointed with it at all. I like using Sangria on the crease, as it warms it up quite dramatically. 

The set also comes with six cheat sheets with step-by-step instructions on how to create these lovely looks. The downside to this is that they are not locally available in retail department stores. They are available abroad though, so you can ask a friend or relative abroad to get these for you through Sephora or the Anastasia Beverly Hills website.

Of course, these are just subject to my own personal opinion, and some might have a different take on her top 7 or may limit it to 5 or increase to 25 if you must. I kept it at 7 because 7 is a lucky number (heee,..) and through the year I may discover new products or find new uses for my old products. 

Happy New Year, kitties, here's to more love and health. 

My Raket Season Haul!

December to January peaks for most of us MUAs. We may have our pre-scheduled bookings already, but there are also times when I would often get a call for a client in a few hours. Like, "Hi! would you be available to do makeup tonight?" So yeah, I kinda like need to be ready.

So yeah. this month and the next few months to follow would give me the right excuse to shop for -ermmm -- office supplies.

My recent discovery are Red Cherry Lashes, which I see in Instagram being used by celebrity makeup artists. Top wedding makeup artists also hoard them so I was like, so what's with this Red Cherry lashes? So I purchased like two of their bestsellers through their distributor, Digital Traincase and thought I'd give them a try.

I noticed too that the base is very soft, and this can be an advantage because it would easily "mold" with the eye contour. I used Red Cherry Lashes in 747 with my January bride, Noelle.

Her comment was that it felt very light and also it stayed quite long. Red Cherry Lashes are more expensive than your regular falsies (Php 160 a pair). I can use this for brides or debutantes. I can also use this for clients who find regular falsies too heavy.

I also tried DW on my friend, Tin for her party. Tin has the typical Asian eye, the ones without the crease. DW opens up the eyes without much of the added weight as compared with other lashes. and gave her a smokier look without covering up her eye makeup.

Aside from face base, my makeup obsession is brows. Brows because it's the most challenging and I always like challenging myself in perfecting it. I'm always searching for new brow products that do not turn gray, red, green, or age but give the ideal brow look I want to have - full but not bushy and unkempt, well-groomed but not pencil-thin, and lighter than head hair color but still complimenting it, giving the overall appearance just the perfect frame - either making it soft and youthful or strong without being too harsh. I found two eye pencils by Prestige cosmetics in Beauty Bar which cost only like Php 350.00

I have both dark and light shades, which I can use depending on the client's color. It's not super waxy (I still need to set this with powder just in case things happen) and it stayed long on my hand when I swatched it. Plus awesome shades, since they're not super red or harsh.

I also got this brow mascara from K-palette, in case I get brides with really light hair.

My new brow best friend : brow stencils. perfect for those with very sparse brows or even drag makeup.

New affordable brushes from Beauty Cosmetics, because we can never have too many makeup brushes.

nothing here is over 300 pesos. Never underestimate the power of a spoolie in drag makeup. And the round puffy brush can be used for highlighting.

So here are my purchases for raket season, just in case better having them rather than going to the mall at this time. :) Best be prepared.