Thursday, March 24, 2016

Period Myths Debunked

With our periods come the 101 old wives' tales that we should or should not do. I'm sure you've heard of them and probably are guilty of doing them or cringing at the thought that people believed them. Here are some of the monthly flow myths we probably might have heard and you can sigh now, because none of them are true.

She may tell you funny tales

PMS is just plain kaartehan. It's imaginary and just an excuse for girls to get what they want.

"It's real, I tell you! It's reaal!!!"
We know you don't like the mood swings, irritability, grumpiness, and the yoyo of feelings we have. But most often than not, we hate it as well. And no, inasmuch as we wished it were some sort of imaginary thing or just kaartehan because we're crazy, it's something that's real. The cause of PMS is due to the hormonal changes in the body, not because we woke up one day and decided to make everyone miserable because we have our monthly flow. The good news though is that it can be alleviated by certain medications and a few lifestyle and diet changes can help us bid PMS bye-bye in the long run.

On your first period, wash your face with your blood so you won't get pimples.

It's so funny that a male friend asked me about this myth. Here's what I found out: your flow is the body's natural detox, and what's in there are stuff our body needs to get rid of. Washing your face with the blood will not prevent you from getting pimples. In fact, aside from the thought of it being super gross, it may aggravate the situation more. What will prevent you from getting pimples is proper skin care and a good facial wash for acne prone skin, not blood your body doesn't need.

Tampons will make you lose your virginity.

This has been a long debate in conservative crowds and Catholic schools. But no, tampons will not make you lose your virginity. They may stretch the hymen but they won't. Only sexual intercourse makes a person lose his or her virginity.

Taking a bath during your period will make you crazy

If this was the case, we would have a lot of crazy people around the world. There's nothing wrong about taking a bath during your period. In fact, a nice and warm bath can actually help alleviate menstrual cramps. Just avoid any super heavily perfumed soaps that may be harsh to your delicate area.

Jumping will make your period last for only five days

Periods generally last 3-5 days, sometimes they linger on for a sixth, depending on your flow. There is no relation between jumping and the monthly period. In fact, just for fun, I did burpees, jumping jacks, squat jumps, jump to hang swing, etc.,  and what did you know, my period lasted still for 5 days, which is how long it usually lasts.

Any crazy period myth to share? Let me know in the comments below.

Picture sources:
grandma and cat photos:

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Tips for DIY Hair Coloring

If you're saving a few bucks and going DIY by purchasing your own box of hair color, you can avoid a DIY mess and get good results by following a few tips.

My new DIY color. Make DIY a breeze with a few simple steps

First of all, never forget to do a an allergy test.

We often take this for granted because we're excited for our new color right away. Different people react to different products so before placing the whole thing in your hair, best to know if that's good for you. A red patch behind your ear is better than your whole scalp flaring up. Better be safe than sorry.

Find a shade that would flatter you well

The shade on the model on the box may be different from your own natural color. To know which shade suits you well, you can download those fun makeover apps in your smartphone or tablet (like Virtual Makeover) so you can virtually "try" several shades and brands. This will help you narrow your choices so you don't stare at the shelf of hair colors looking clueless.

L'Oreal Excellence Creme (Php 399) in 6.35 is a flattering auburn shade that softens the features. It's an office-friendly shade too, making it the bestselling shade, Available at department stores, supermarkets, and drugstores

Do your application in the bathroom, where cleaning is easy, and keep pets away during the coloring process

Since I have pets, I had my furbabies hang out in the room first as I did my DIY coloring in the bathroom. There's less distraction of kitties rubbing against your leg or being curious on how you look. I hugged them later after the coloring has been done and my hair has been dried and styled.

Wear an old black top and use a dark-colored towel to protect your neck and shoulders.
DIY hair color can get messy so drape a black towel on your shoulders (secure it with a clamp, just like what they do in salons). Wear an old black top, especially if you have long hair so that just in case there may be stains, it's okay.

Don't forget the hair at the crown and back section! 

Make sure you get all areas covered! We often get the front side even but by the time we reach the back of the head, we can get a patchy, uneven result. You can get a friend to help with the back and make it a fun bonding session bringing memories of slumber parties of our pre-teen years.

Plan your activities

You can't wash your hair a day after color usually so make sure you're not going to the gym for a major sweat session right after your color. Plan your color when you are not going to go to the beach or swim on the pool since that can cause major fade. If I know I'll be hitting the beach, I would usually color my hair a month before. Also, no HIIT or core training the day after coloring since I know I'll be sweating buckets. Maybe yin yoga, light yoga flow, or pole dance perhaps?

Invest on a sulfate-free shampoo and products for color-treated hair

L'Oreal EverPure Sulfate-Free Color Care System Moisture Shampoo cleans your hair while caring and preserving your color.  Once a month, treat your hair to a hair masque treatment. I recommend the L'Oreal Professionel Vitamino Color Color Radiance Protection + Perfection Jelly Mask. Smells good too! Available at salons.

This would make your hair color last longer and stay more vibrant. They also contain ingredients that can hydrate your hair. Care for your hair as well by applying hair masque on your hair once a month.

Hopefully, these may make your DIY color experience a breeze. Have fun with your new color and rock that head of hair.

Work Diaries: Browhaus Makeup Range Launch

I was invited a few weeks ago by Browhaus Manila to give a demo during the launch of the Browhaus Makeup Range, which are long-lasting eye makeup products that are super easy to use. I'm a longtime client of Strip and Browhaus and what else to complement a perfect set of arches but the makeup to enhance our eyes right?

This event was held at Cafe Naya and the attire was Military Chic, for these products are weapons of mass seduction.

Makeup station dressed for the occasion. 

Makeup artist also dressed for the occasion. Inspiration for this look was General Guile in Streetfighter. I would've done a pompadourish high ponytail too.  Got my pants at the men's section of H&M, which are super comfy
 The makeup products are very easy to use, even for the makeup noob and are created for the woman on-the-go, the woman who doesn't have two hours to spare to sit down and set up her gear to do her makeup everyday.

With most brides, even if they ask for very clean and natural makeup, they would always want emphasis on the eyes. Like they would go, "I want my makeup clean lang, but I want my eyes to really pop." I guess it's because the expression, the eyes being the "windows to our soul" is somewhat true. What we feel reflects in our eyes, even if what we say may be different. The eyes show our true feelings. A flutter, a wink, or a stare can convey a lot of things, even in the most subtle way.

As I mentioned during the  demo on the products, these products can easily transform a very subtle daytime look to a dramatic glamour look if you plan to go out at night after.

The heart and soul of Browhaus is brows, it would not be complete without the Browhaus Classic Brow Lead pencil (Php 648), which comes in three different shades - Blonde, Asphalt, and Soft Brown.

swatched of Browhaus Classic Brow Lead L-R: Blonde, Asphalt, and Soft Brown

 I personally use Asphalt for my brows since I color my hair and would like a soft but defined look for my brows. I understand that brow pencils scare a lot of us since if used wrongly, they give a harsh, pencilled-in, old-school soap opera antagonist look. Each shade of the is very subtle and very buildable so you create soft, hairlike strokes that can mimic a slight shadow on the brows, just to give them emphasis. This is easy to use with no waxy finish. It also comes with a sharpener so your brows stay on point.

When applying to brows, just use light, feathery strokes and brush with the spoolie on the other end. Although I use Asphalt for myself, Soft Brown, their bestseller also works for me especially if I want my brows stronger and paired with a red lip.

Since we all can't live without our eyeliner, the Browhaus Precision Eyeliner (Php750) is for those who want their cat eye on point without spending 2 hours just trying to make things even.

The secret is that it has a super fine felt-tip pen that's easy to handle and control. It comes in two shades, black and brown.

The brown is a soft shade that can be used for everyday, especially for those who would want just a subtle definition. This eyeliner also has the best of both worlds - it's waterproof but when it's time to remove it, it's easily removed with warm water or makeup remover. If you're pretty new with the liquid eyeliner thing, just dot your lash line with the Browhaus Precision Eyeliner and just like the childhood activity we used to do, connect the dots slowly using small, short strokes. Then go over the finishes line to even things out.

The Browhaus HD Mascara (Php 998) is a client favorite.

 My friend Cita hardly wears makeup but she swears by this to give her lashes that make her look like she's wearing falsies. It gives long, lush, and glossy lashes and the brush delivers just the right amount of product so there's no clumpy, spidery effect. This, I would say is my most favorite among the line. I could even just go out of the house with just brows and mascara and I'd look like I have eyes.  For brides or clients that are uncomfortable with falsies, I could use this instead. It can be used with a disposable mascara wand or a mascara fan brush for hygiene purposes.

Here's how it looks on my lashes.

Here's also another look I did on my friend Kelay. Kelay chose not to wear false eyelashes for her look  so I used a fan brush to apply the Browhaus HD mascara on her to finish her eye makeup.

The Browhaus Heavy-Duty Bi-Liner is the newest product. It's a pencil with a gel finish and an eyeshadow in one. The bi-liner comes in a set of five sparkly, shimmery shades, purchased at Php 1998 or you can just purchase your favorite for Php498 each.

All these pencils have a shimmery finish, which are great for nights out.

swatches from L-R: Blush (a frosty baby pink), Burgundy (a warm violet shade), Amber (a shimmery gold shade for daytime or brown smokey eyes), Noir Shimmer ( dark charcoal gray with shimmer), and Midnight Blue (a dark blue shade great for smoky eyes or a colorful cat's eye)

If you're the type who likes colorful cat eye, this comes with a built-in sharpener so you always have a nice, precise pointy end. If the smudgy smokey eye is your trademark look, use the smudger end on the lower lashline.

Anatomy of a Heavy-Duty Bi-Liner: The other end of the pencil reveals both a sharpener and a smudger. No need for a lot of brushes in your kikay kit!

You can use this the same way as you would use your pencil eyeliner.To use it as an eyeshadow, just shade on your lid like your were coloring and then blend with a brush or your ring finger. The brush works well for me because I have more control. For the lower lashline, I use the smudger brush that comes with it. You do have to work super fast though, because this sets really fast.

For the daytime look, I like using Amber on my eyelid then contouring my crease with a matte brown powder shadow if I want more warmth and definition. If I want more smoky at night, Noir Shimmer or Midnight Blue would be my best bets.

products used on Kate: 
Brows: Browhaus Classic Brow Lead in Soft Brown
Lid: Browhaus Heavy-Duty Bi-Liner in Burgundy
Lashline: Browhaus Heavy-Duty Bi-Liner in Noir Shimmer and then smudged to "smoke" it up
Top lashline: Browhaus Precision Eyeliner in Black winged out for a nice and flirty lift.
Lashes: Curled using an eyelash curler then 3 coats of Browhaus HD Mascara

Here's the smoky look I did on my model, Kate. I used Burgundy and blended this well. The Heavy-Duty Bi-Liner can also be used as a base for matching powder eyeshadow, if you want more intensity.

What I do like about these products is that they're very easy to use and compact. You can take this with you in your personal makeup kit when you travel. Complicated brushes are not necessary as well, so this really saves a lot of space. Your makeup kit can practically be a slim pencil case and a compact.

my usual work look using the Browhaus makeup range. This look is super easy to do and I look quite polished. All I needed is brows, a bit of winged eyeliner, and mascara.
This time and energy-saving line is great for makeup artists and afficionados alike. Even if makeup artists like me know how to apply makeup professionally, we need time-saving formulas like this. When going to work, doing the whole shebang is an extra two hours and if our call time is 8 am, that may not be possible. This simplifies our work look while making us still look the part.

Thank you so much Browhaus Manila for asking me to do the demo. I had a lot of fun during the event!

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Beauty items to Fit Your Tiny Bag

I'm one of those guilty ladies who carry a lot on my shoulders - literally. I'm not talking about just all 118 pounds of me when I do my shoulder mount (correction: attempt to shoulder mount). My bag contains like the world and even more - bottled water, a scarf in case it gets cold, cat food for stray kittehs, and just a while ago my gong/bell chime for teaching yoga and my sequence notebook. Sometimes, when I have to bring a tiny bag, I feel kinda lost if I can't fit all essentials, especially if I have to take a day to night look.

Thankfully, beauty knows our needs, and if we need to go beyond the phone, keys, and money formula in our bags, here are mini beauty essentials that we can keep in our evening bags or tiny purses so we're prepared and polished.

products that don't take up much space in a teensy bag and cover all the essentials you need. Personalized bag with initials from Design Ur Bag studio purchased at the Supersale Bazaar.
Snoe Hair Heroes The Fixer (Php 399, The Landmark)

When there's no time to blow-dry, the go-to hairstyle is either bun, braid, or ponytail. Frizzies and baby hairs can be an eyesore for a supposedly neat 'do. Nix the tuchang with this lotion that's less sticky than hairstyling wax yet keeps our baby hairs in place.

The Body Shop Lip and Cheek Stain (Php 795)

This bestselling product from The Body Shop is a cruelty-free product that gives the right amount of color to your lips and cheeks when you feel that you look kinda a bit dead. Use this before powder and blend really well so it's less patchy.

Scents of Solenn Pocket Perfume (Php 69, leading convenience stores, drugstores, and department stores)

This is a pocket-friendly scent - literally! Because that teensy little bottle can fit in your jeans pocket. There are three scents to choose from but my favorite is the fruity-floral Sunrise, which is just perfect for the summer humid weather that's about to come pretty soon, Also, this very sophisticated scent doesn't cost much as well.

Browhaus Heavy-Duty Bi-liner in Noir Shimmer (Browhaus stores Php 498 each)

When you need to take your eye makeup to something more intense, you have a pencil liner that has a gel finish that can be smudged for a sexy, smoldering, smokey eye. If smokey eye is not your thing, do a nice, colorful winged eyeliner. No need to set this because the waterproof formula stays put until you decide to take it off.

L'Oreal True Match Genius 4-in-1 Primer, Foundation Concealer, and Powder (Php 600, leading department stores and drugstores)

A shorter name for this would be a True Match Genius Compact of Awesomeness and Handiness. This is a primer, foundation, concealer, and powder, all in one slim compact. Perfect complexion without bringing jars, bottles, tubes, or bulky compacts.

Messy Bessy The Little Warrior (Php 70 for 50-mL, Php 500 for a 1-L refill. Click here to shop)

This is an all-around germ-busting sanitizer for hands, surfaces, tabletops, phones, room spray, and so on. The list is endless. The one I have right now is the seasonal Winter Chill (available during Christmas season) but I also like the Chamomile scent). It's local with super uncomplicated ingredients you wouldn't have any difficulty pronouncing. I also use it as a quick-spritz sanitize for makeup brushes and yoga mats.

These tiny essentials can get you covered if you're iffy with leaving your big bag at home. Also, it helps to just enjoy the lighter load and the event itself so you don't need to worry about leaving your trust big brush or bottle of body spray. Enjoy the less burden your shoulders have to bear and have fun. Take care. Stay awesome.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

A Tour Inside The Pond's Skin Institute

If you have been in Bonifacio High Street recently, you may have seen a building in front of Halal Guys amd Fully Booked, which I posted in my Instagram account.

That's the Pond's Institute, your one-stop guide to every Filipina's skin care needs.

I had the chance to visit this place last week so I dropped by after work to check it out and let me share what's inside.

I may not wear a lot of white (#MUAproblems) but I appreciate white interiors in workplaces. White walls and floors light up the place quite nicely (perfect for photo-ops) and naturally and it gives a pristine appearance. If ever I had a makeup studio, expect a lot of white in it (with accents of black, red, and leopard print).

The first step was to have my skin analyzed with the skin analyzer. The skin analyzer is super accurate. It works even if you're wearing makeup, but I removed my makeup just in case for this because I wanted super clean results.

After that, a Pond's Skin Expert would recommend you the Pond's line that's perfect for you, based on your skin analysis and your lifestyle. Pond's has a whole range of products addressed to specific skin conditions and we of course want to have what's good for us.

What are these mirrors for? To find out the BB cream that's right for you, of course. The BB cream is the answer to every busy Filipina who wouldn't want to bother with a full face of products but would want to have a flawless face - it's skin care and makeup in one. It also contains sunscreen to combat both UVA and UVB rays. It also has the consistency of a tinted moisturizer instead of the super thick "paint-like" consistency of the BB creams of the past.

I've been swimming again recently as an added sport for arms and back day and since I'm still in peak season, I've been shortcutting my skin care so I guess I need a bit of help in the dryness/roughness and UV spots department. My skin age still matches my real age, though.  Of course, having my skin age younger than actual would be better. The line recommended for me is the Pond's Age Miracle line.

The Pond's Age Miracle line contains anti-ageing ingredients as well as boosts collagen production and can make the skin look up to 10 years younger. This was the line recommended to me.

As of the moment, my current facial wash at night is the Pond's Age Miracle Face Wash, which is non-drying for my skin. I guess it's time to try the rest of their line soon.

The selling area contains the Pond's products should you wish to purchase anything. Aside from popular ranges like the White Beauty and Pond's AcneClear Face Wash, it contains the ever-so-classic Pond's Cold Cream, which still remains a favorite makeup remover and cleanser for longtime fans at the end of the day.

As a makeup artist, I know very well the importance of beautiful and clear skin, which I always emphasize in most of my posts. If you want to jumpstart your way to beautiful skin and would want Pond's to help you with the journey, then feel free to drop by the Pond's Institute at Bonifacio High Street in BGC. They are located in front of Fully Booked/Halal Guys and facing Serendra. The Pond's Institute would be here up only until June 4, 2016.