Sunday, June 28, 2015

Lasting Makeup Over or Underwater with Make Up For Ever Aqua Collection

It's Stellar season once again since it's summer and while I'm not dancing this year as I did two years ago, I'm doing backstage work this time since I'll be doing hair and makeup with my pole sisters and brother. Yesterday, we just had our photoshoot and I was at the studio the whole day transforming students to comic book villains, sorcerers, and sweaty, sexy jazz dancers. Even though it's a photoshoot and the makeup would need to last up until the last pose, I took this as our "trial makeup" for the actual day.

As dancers need makeup that not only would be seen way up to the back of the theater, they also need to last long. A few weeks ago, I was invited to the launch of Make Up For Ever's Aqua Collection. The Aqua Collection is supposed to be made for synchronized swimmers who need to look pretty with their makeup not melting and turning the pool to a rainbow of pigments. If it could last swimming with no retouch, it can last  a sweaty pole dance number.

The Aquamatic glide-on eyeshadow glides on like a pencil and blends well like an eyeshadow. It can be used as an eyeliner for a quick look on the go or blended like a wash of color. It's got a wide range of colors from the natural and wearable ones like blacks and browns to metallics and brights. Use the brights and metallics not just on the face but to create festive body art.

Aquamatic Glide-On Eyeshadow in Matte Black, Php 1,350
The black one (Matte Black) is your basic black matte for smoky eyes or cat eye if you don't want to bothered with a lot of control liquid liner needs. Yesterday, I used it to make question mark details and lasting cut-creases on my makeup for Riddler and Two-Face. I blended it as soon as I applied it if I am doing the cut-crease or the dark-eye detail of Harvey Dent's evil side.

Lanie (left) as the Riddler and Angela (right) as Two-Face. I used black to create the question mark details and the dark makeup detail. 

Just last week, I did makeup for my yoga teacher Nikki since she would be attending an event at Resort's World. I used Noir Mat as a smoky eyeliner for the eye makeup to stay put.

Brights like purple and blue can be used as a statement eyeliner too if you are tired and bored from the usual blacks and browns

 Just in case you want a pointier tip for your glide-on eyeshadow, the bottom end twists off for a built-in mini sharpener. Just be careful in using it so you don't break off the tip. How waterproof is this? I wore this as an eyeliner without setting it with powder, taught a yoga class at noon when it's really hot and I even sweat buckets,  took a shower, and I still have my liner on with no smearing at all. You would need makeup remover to remove this. Make Up For Ever suggests Sens'Eyes Waterproof Sensitive Eye Cleanser to remove this easily.

Compliment your colorful eyes with sweet kisses of apricot and cotton candy with the Aqua Rouge liquid lip color. The colored product is topped with a sealing topcoat (clear formula, like a clear lipgloss) to seal the color without the stick or crack so your color lasts the whole day.  

The Apricot color is my personal favorite for nude lip colors. I'll be using this in a prenup shoot later. Php 1,550 at Make Up For Ever stores.

Dancers, make up artists, theater performers, and even makeup afficionados who would love their makeup fix without the smear wherever they go would love this because of its durability and user-friendliness. Have the basic black or dark brown with you for subtle eye definition and probably choose your favorite color pop if you want to buy. If this product can withstand synchronized swimming and a yoga class in the hot humid weather we have, it must be awesome.

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Thursday, June 18, 2015


I have witnessed the effects of animal abuse, having rescued one who was once a victim of this cruelty. Every time I see an animal die due to animal cruelty, it just strikes my heart because I know that no living thing deserves to suffer this fate, especially innocent animals.

This tradition in Southern China where pets are stolen from family homes and tortured before being cooked (boiled alive) and eaten definitely has to stop. Stealing is a crime and so is animal abuse. This campaign to #StopYulin2015 has been going around social media in an attempt to put an end to this barbaric tradition. I certainly would not want this to happen again ever in this lifetime and several other liftetimes after. This is not just one dog or cat tortured. These are thousands of beloved pets who have homes.

Let us do our part and spread awareness in this matter. Post and hashtag #StopYulin2015.  Let's do our part in keeping our furry friends safe from harm.

Happy Birthday To Me!

This Kitty celebrated her birthday last Monday! Yaaay!

I'm a funny kitty. Behind the eyeliner and dark lipsticks, I'm not one kitty to host big extravagant birthday bashes or celebrations. I like celebrating my birthday quietly doing things I like and just being chill. I actually like quiet time now and big crowds really exhaust me a lot. I like quiet spaces and tranquil areas. I'm very much an introvert, which comes as a surprise to most people. It must be the lipstick, I guess.

Probably the best birthday gift I've had so far is my digestive issues have finally been resolved. I was about to just resign myself to the fact that the issue will be with me forever until I had dinner with a friend and while she chowed her pizza with delight, I was having a hard time downing my cup of tomato soup. I mentioned to her that I've been having issues like these for 3 months now after an indigestion incident or food poisoning incident which made me projectile vomit my lunch and stomach contents. She mentioned that a friend of hers had that exact same issue and had to go on a reset diet, I remembered that back in 2010, I was prescribed a diet just to correct my eating habits and purge fast food chemicals from my body. It wasn't exactly starving myself, but eating a lot of good real food. The diet consisted of fish, chicken, lots of veggies and fruits, good carbs, and no refined sugars, chemicals, or red meat. I guess it did me right because I was able to start eating again. I haven't had fast food in a while (and it's good because it's bad for me anyway) but I can finally have moderate amounts of red meat and sugar. All in time for my birthday.

I got to have cake on my birthday. Costa Brava's caramel cake and a slice of marshmallow cake. My favorite cake ever.

I also was able to teach a yoga class for Yoga For Life at Beyond Yoga Libis. On my birthday class, I used my favorite hip sequence to free the hips because it was also independence day weekend (or I should say Yin-dependence weekend).

It was also Burt's adoption anniversary so I gave Burtie Boy lots of hugs. Happy adoption day baby boy. Has it been a year already?

I remember spending my 2011 birthday attending pole class so I did the same thing four years later. And it felt wonderful, although painful. The lesson for today was all about contact points, and CD describes the lesson as "not hard, but painful". The class did not involve strength or flexibility but contact points, push-pull relationships, and all. So there were a lot of underarm and skin grips. Here's what we learned, the Jujuba hold and variations of it.

Another quiet time was getting a pedi enjoying (non-alcoholic) iced tea while getting the car washed. I even had the entire salon all to myself.

I forgo the big birthday dinner blowout with the waiters singing Happy Birthday and giving me a huge chunk of cake or ice cream. This one prefers to cook a quiet dinner at home, which is probably what I would be ordering anyway outside, at a fraction of what I would pay for,

Black pepper mushroom pasta with truffle oil for dinner.

And just like last time, I celebrate my birthday, although quietly for a month and I take it seriously. And even though I like it quiet, I still enjoy the emails and text messages I got and thank everyone who remembered to greet me on my birthday. As for gifts, I didn't ask for a lot of gifts this year and suggest to donate instead whatever money to be spent on gifts to animal welfare groups to help animals in need.

Another wonderful year! Let's make this awesome shall we?

Friday, June 12, 2015

Tutorial: Funky Braided Undercut using Goody Ouchless Elastics

So last Tuesday, I went out of my lungga to accompany my good friend Kate Alvarez (who happens to be the managing editor of to Le Jardin restaurant at the Fort for an #OuchlessHairDay event with Goody. I'm a Goody user myself, a current fan of their stay-put hair ties that really stay put in jumping jacks and chaturangas and I'm talking about my super thick hair,

Le Jardin has got really amazing food, and this is from someone who's very picky with what she eats. I'm happy to be healed already from my eating disability (I just had to reset my food a bit and gradually introduce normal eating pattern) so I was able to eat my food. We learned a lot of new hairstyles from  Lourd Ramos, CEO and Creative Director of Creations by Lourd Ramos Salon.

These hairstyles were super easy to do and very wearable both by kids and adults. Most of them were braids, which, according to Lourd, are very in this season (and I think also last year). Blame it probably on Hunger Games and Game of Thrones that I have probably seen braids in almost every wedding and editorial. But on a personal note, I like braids because they're neat but not too school marm pulled back and it's got that softness to your hair. It rescues my hair from bad hair days when it's frizzy and I need to look polished. Braids nowadays go beyond just schoolgirl plaits at the back or Dorothy pigtails. There are various ways to style the hair, and my favorite among what Lourd showed is the braided undercut.

 The braided undercut is an assymetric look that imitates the  undercut, you know, where you shave part of your hair. I was inspired to make my own tutorial of this undercut, and I decided to go for an edgier alternative.

I've actually had my share of this look though, at our second Stellar Summer Show where we were Jungle Cats. Here's a throwback photo for you:

The Jungle Cats
Pole dancers really love this look because it keeps their hair neat enough while it's still got the movement for hair flips and head bangs and shakes. I love its versatility and funkiness, so here's my tutorial for the Braided Undercut.

Start with dry hair. Blow-dry it to rid it of frizz. If your hair is slick, use a seasalt spray to give it some grip or spray some volumizer for volume. You gonna need that for all those flips. Brush through for smoothness

Make a deep side part. I chose to make the part on the left side of my head because that's the side that I invert on and I want my inverting side to be neat.

Divide the hair on the left side into two. We would be making two rows of braids, like cornrows, French braid the top part tightly and as close to the scalp as possible. Braid all the way through and secure with a Goody Ouchless Elastic in a color of your choice.

Do the same thing with the bottom half and French braid all the way to the nape. Join the first braid to the second braid and braid sideways until you reach the right side of your nape (this will hide the elastic later with the loose hair.

 Take out the elastic from the first braid and use it to fasten the final big braid at the nape of the neck.

You would have a ponytail  like this. I changed the elastic to black since I wanted it to be almost invisible. You can choose a bright elastic to be like a statement color or a black one and just wrap it with a lock of hair if you don't want it seen.

At this point I was starting to sweat and my hair started to frizz from the humidity so I took a break and turned on the airconditioning and blow-dried the sweat away.

Time for some volume and style. I curled the bottom ponytail with a curling iron. I used my conical iron here because I wanted tight mermaid curls for this.

 I finished off by curling the loose hair on my right side. You can find the tutorial on how to  do these mermaid curls here.

Break the curls with your fingers or a wide-toothed comb and arrange for volume! Volume! Volume!  I can tame the strays with a bit of wax and hairspray and curl tinier sections of hair for tighter corkscrews.

So here's the finished product:

The look here, since I made two braids instead of one, is much edgier and funkier. I like this since it fits my personality a lot. I would wear this to work, to a pole performance, teaching a yoga class, or heck, even on a formal event. I personally want tighter braids because I want to make it look like a real undercut. Oh yes, and this look would enhance a jawline.

However, if someone would request a softer look, I can make the braid part looser and do big curls instead of these tight corkscrews for a more romantic look.

For tools I used Goody products such as these: the Ouchless purse brush and Goody Ouchless elastics. These elastics are super sturdy and wouldn't break or lose shape easily.

Goody hair ties are known for decades to keep my hair in place and since I'm using Ouchless products, they are not a pain to use or to remove.

The look can be made your own with different colors of hair ties and textures. Put extensions, straighten the hair, crimp it or wave it. The choice is yours!

Just for fun, here's what I used for my makeup:
concealer: Collection Cosmetics #3
powder foundation: MAC Studiofix NC35
Blush: MAC Stark Naked
Brows: Shu Uemura Hard  9 Formula in Walnut Brown
Liner: Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Pencil (Black)
Liquid Liner; NYX Ergonomic Eyeliner
Mascara: Maybelline Greatlash
Lipstick: Bobbi Brown Art Stick in Rose Brown

Goody products are available at all leading department stores and drug stores nationwide.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Backstage Pass: The Real World of Makeup Artistry

So you want to be a makeup artist? Well congratulations! Makeup artistry is a very rewarding career. A lot have found love and success in this field, and the world is an absolutely beautiful world. It has been my home for almost a decade, probably the longest job I've had. Before you hand over your resignation letter to your boss and then start buying your stash (a fun part, believe me, it's like shopping for the prettiest office supplies in the planet), take a moment to read this first, Because I am about to talk about the reality of this kind of job. I'm not saying it's not a rewarding career because it is, and there are names to prove it. Yet it is not an easy job as most people think.

When I was still studying in makeup school, the older makeup artists said that going into the business is much easier now (i.e. the time I was studying) than before (when they were studying). I was enrolled in a makeup school based locally when they had to travel abroad because there were no makeup schools in Manila then. It was much easier to network and get your work out there since there was Multiply and Facebook (which was very very young at that time), which are free sites when you can't afford a dotcom yet. I can say that it is even much easier now. More affordable but good-quality brands of tools and gear are popping up in bazaars and social media. Social media and the Internet has even helped a lot of us get our work through. And also, there are so many local schools out there available for those who would want to study makeup. Heck there are even makeup artists who didn't get to go to makeup school at all but learned makeup by practice and watching online tutorials. The Internet is a wonderful tool after all.

The misconception of other people is that makeup artists have the easiest and funnest job on the earth. Again, we have the Internet for this. We are surrounded by beautiful people most of the time, have beautiful things as tools (A Naked Palette is much prettier than a stapler yes?), go wine and dine at fancy events and wear so many beautiful clothes and look beautiful most of the time in our Instagram photos. Hello our main job involves BEAUTY!  I'm sure you have heard of these expressions:

"Makeup is so easy! You just stand there and then after you get paid Php3,000!"

"You party every week! It's so fun!"

"Wow I saw your makeup haul post! You are so lucky to have all of that!"

That's what our social media accounts say. But that's just the tip of the iceberg. That's what most of you guys see. You do not see what goes behind that. That it's all not just parties and pretty things. Just like a day job, or any job for that matter, there is still hard work involved. Blood, sweat, and tears name it. It is not an easy money kind of job. I repeat. And I will be real as this lunch of sisig and sinigang I am having right now on my desk as I am typing this post.

Being a Makeup Artist is Hard Work and Here is Why.

You Have To Network

You may be super skilled at eyebrows or have the best HD skills ever. You may possess that enviable stash or that pretty makeup stand. If you do not know who to approach, it's gonna be hard. I had a really hard time with this even though my skills are awesome and I graduated makeup school at the top of my class (yeah, Nerd.). I didn't know anyone. Some of my batchmates worked in ad agencies, salons, or were designers who took this as a backup course. Then there are the fashion models transitioning to a different career path and the artistas. They already had their network. They're one step ahead. But then again, like I said, thank you Internet, networking is easier now. Get your work out there and make your presence known. Blog. Post. Add friends. Follow. Like. Comment. Repost. In person, befriend people in fashion shows and shoots. Hand out your calling cards. Oh, and get a really awesome person to make your calling cards. And that process doesn't stop when you've established yourself as a pro, it goes on.

Even if social media made networking much easier than before, it doesn't mean that it's still easy. Remember,  there's more competition. More accounts and Facebook pages will open, new talents will be discovered, more students will graduate from makeup school, You gotta know what to do and where to go and how to stand out and stay there.

It Takes a Toll In Your Body

What was the first thing I bought when I enrolled in makeup school? Compression stockings. I knew that I was going to stand for long periods of time. Makeup artistry is both a physical and mental job. MUAs carry heavy gear. Be prepared to carry because there won't be someone to carry things all the time. MUAs stand for prolonged hours, sometimes not in comfortable positions. They do not have OT but they have long work hours. 24-hour shoots actually exist. If you plan to do movies or TVCs, be prepared to be sleep-deprived on certain days yet still have the energy to be able to go to your next gig the following day. Some bridal work does not stop when you put your brush down when the bride's makeup is done. It still applies when you go to the reception to do her second look,

The solution to this: Take care of your body. Balance your work and know when to stop. Enroll and invest on a gym membership because this will make you stronger. Eat healthily and try to cook healthy food when you can. Also, please rest. Being coffee-powered with no hours of sleep will not do your body good. Take good care of yourself because that will make you do your job better.

It Is a Constant Learning Process

What separates a real makeup artist and a fake-up 1000-per-head  artist: education.  I'm not saying that I limit the definition to just makeup school, I know a lot of very talented real makeup artists who didn't undergo formal makeup training. Yet, it also took them years or practice, hard work, and networking before they established themselves. And up to now, even the most talented makeup artists are constantly learning and updating their knowledge by attending classes, master classes, workshops, taking courses, and even reading and researching.


Makeup does not come cheap. How much is a bottle of Make Up For Ever HD Foundation? Php 2,800. A MAC Lipstick? Php 1,000 (Php 1,100 if limited edition packaging). A tube of L'Oreal mascara that won't budge? Php 599. How about Shu Uemura Eyebrow Pencil? Php 1,400. These are quality makeup brands that perform really well so your makeup lasts with minimal retouching up to the time you take it off, Also, a real makeup artist would never, ever buy fake makeup off of Ebay because the skin of her client's is her top priority. A real makeup artist buys original makeup on the makeup counter or reputable sellers and distributors. She knows what makeup to buy because she does her research. A real MUA will also know how to wash her brushes and take care of her gear because she spent good (hard-earned) money on it.

It Involves Patience

Waiting for your second look, waiting to be called for retouch, change look, waiting for your paycheck etc. Patience also involves dealing with clients (oh and please future MUAs, don't let these clients bully you. be patient but know when enough is enough. I shall write a future post on that later)

A MUA is Professional

Darling, it is a job. not a hobby. There are  BTS shenanigan photos which are fun and cute, and yes things like these are allowed. But know when 5 heads in the fashion show is supposed to be done in time for their tech run. Study the pegs, Know that 9-10 am is the time for the first character and by 9:45, you should be wrapping up in time to do makeup for the next one scheduled at 10-11. Arrive on time, do your paperwork, and keep all contracts, reservation forms,  and receipts. You are running your own business, not painting faces for the heck of it.

I am not writing this to discourage everyone to become a makeup artist. Like I said, it is a very fun and fulfilling legitimate job. But like any other job, it is not a walk in the park. Makeup artistry involves a lot of hard work,  Let's face it guys, there is no such thing as easy money, even though how fun this seems to be. There's the long hours, the back pain, the constant updates, those clients that you just want to give your right hook to but can't, the list goes on. If deep in your heart, you know that this is a career that you will fall in love and you are prepared for the hard work and time and monetary investment, then I say go ahead and take that leap. Despite the fact that it is a hard job, you still love where you are.  But if you would rather not the hours of training and work and if you just want to learn makeup to be able to put makeup flawlessly on yourself and your friends, then just go online and watch tutorials and just make it a fun bonding experience for you and your friends.