December 31, 2010

Spring 2011 Make Up

So here's the skinny on the face of Spring for 2011: we'll be seeing lots of purple eye color, which is good because you can still use the ones from your Winter eye palette.  Spring also features pretty pink cheeks and lips.  'Tis the season to be girly!


Bobbi Brown

Estee Lauder
Giorgio Armani
Paul & Joe
Shu Uemura *on my wishlist
Laura Mercier

 Estee Lauder
Urban Decay *on my wishlist
NARS *on my wishlist
 Giorgio Armani
Givenchy *on my wishlist
Laura Mercier *on my wishlist

Shu Uemura

Estee Lauder
Chanel *on my wishlist

Paul & Joe

So tell me, which one of these are your picks?

December 29, 2010

PurBeauty at Serendra

If you:
  • Received money for Christmas and want to update your beauty kit
  • Still need to buy Holiday gifts for your girl friends
  • Need some retail therapy to recover from the Holiday stress (you know what I'm talking about!)
Then it's definitely time to head out to Serendra and visit PurBeauty.

They carry NYX, MUD, Ahava, Temptu, Goody and Orly products.  Some of these brands are cruelty-free which I think is great.  Anne, the store's manager, mentioned that more brands will be added in January.

Anne was very accommodating and provided me with product information and recommendations.  In fact, she helped me pick out a Holiday gift for one of my girl friends.  The Matte Top from Orly when applied to any nail polish, will convert it to a matte finish.  A great and economical way to update your look!

Very pleased with the steel palette I got.  This tool is essential when it comes to mixing colors.   Another use of this palette - instead of dipping your brush directly onto the product or letting the applicator (for glosses and concealers) touch your skin, put a small amount here.  This ensures that the product does not get contaminated.

The best part: they have a wide variety of NYX products - individual shadows, palettes, concealers, lip glosses, lipsticks, etc.   I wanted to buy so many things but I had to practice self-restraint.  It wasn't easy because I was like a little kid in a candy store.  Their eye palettes were so tempting!  But since I have enough eyeshadow to last me the year, I decided to put it off.  Instead, I bought replacements for some items I threw out and they're all reasonably priced.

Aside from the store, PurBeauty is also home to Make Up Designory - one of the best make up schools in the US.  They've begun to offer lessons depending on your interest so if you're planning to take up classes, it's worth looking into.

I've only been to the store once but I'm pretty sure I'll be coming back again and again!

December 25, 2010

Happy Holidays!

May your holiday be filled with love, laughter and all things beautiful!

December 21, 2010

MAC A Tartan Tale Sweep Me Off My Feet Holiday Brush Set

MAC's Brush Sets are something I look forward to during the holiday season.
This year, I treated myself with the Sweep Me Off My Feet Sweep & Define Brush Collection.  The set comes with the 129 (Powder/Blush), 190 (Foundation), 212 (Flat Definer), 227 (Large Fluff), 275 (Medium Angled Shading) brushes and a cute little bag.

The 129 is just the right size for me and it lightly dusts my setting powder.  The 190 spreads out my tinted moisturizer quite well.  These two have quickly become my favorites from this set.

For people who love to wear make up but aren't pros or for those who travel a lot, these sets provide the best value for your money.    While some people have bashed the quality of these sets, we need to accept the fact that not every beauty junkie is a professional make up artist nor do they have the need for pro brushes.

Last year, I got MAC's Do-the-Trick Buff & Line Brush Set which included 168 (Angled Contour), 187 (Duo Fibre), 291 (Pencil), 209 (Eyeliner) and 252 (Large Eyeshadow) brushes.  The picture above was taken last week - so you have an idea how the brushes look after a year of use.

The good news:  you can still get the same set of brushes today.  This year it's known as A Lady & Her Tricks Buff & Line Brush Collection.  If you had to choose just one set, this should be it because it has all the basics.

I can't wait to see what they have in store for next year!

December 18, 2010

Holiday Shopping For The Make Up Junkie In Your Life (Minus The Manila Traffic!)

Whether you're overseas and need to send a present to someone in the Philippines or simply cannot put up with the horrific Manila traffic during the Holiday season, you're in luck.  There are now a multitude of online shops that carry the perfect holiday gifts.  Here are my top three picks, based on the quality and variety of products, and reputation (they won't run off with your moolah):

Beauty Bar

If you don't know this store by now, you've been living in a cave.  Beauty Bar is THE go-to place for beauty addicts of all ages.  They carry great products from Smashbox, Burt's Bees, Japonesque, Bloom, Youngblood, The Balm, Prestige... that's just to name a few.  The sweet part is you get a free gift for a minimum purchase of Php 500.00 and free shipping for a minimum of Php 2,500.00


This is the pioneer beauty online store in the country and, like Beauty Bar, carries a wide variety of brands... the ones you typically won't find at the mall.  They have stuff from Neutrogena, Benefit, Physician's Formula, Mary Kay, Hard Candy and Stila.  They also provide free samples for a minimum purchase.


What if your loved one owns too many cosmetics?  Then give that person accessories instead!  Suesh carries a wide variety of make up brushes that can be purchased individually or in sets (for travel and for pros).  They also carry make up trains, mirrors and disposable tools.  Another good gift idea for the make up afficionado is to sign her (or him) up for Suesh's Make Up Workshop.

Online shopping is convenient - pay and wait for the package to arrive in a few days.  Plus, no parking queues to deal with.  Good luck and have fun!

December 14, 2010

Laura Mercier Holiday Haul

It's the season to reward myself for being a good girl all year.  And so, I present to you my Holiday gifts to myself:

I'll be posting reviews on these products once I've used it long enough.  But for now, let me give you a break down of what each of these goodies contain:

  • Mini Lip GlacĂ© Set has five lovely shades: Sparkling, Violet, After Hours, Bare Beige and Rose.  The variety of color takes care of the need to have a matching gloss for ever lipstick you own.  Since I don't use lip gloss all the time, this will probably last me the entire year - granted I don't open them all at the same time.  If you're a lip gloss addict and need to wear it everyday, this will probably last for 3 to 5 months.  Limited edition for Holiday 2010.
  • The Travel Brush Set is another one of Laura Mercier's offerings for Holiday 2010.  It has a full sized Finishing Brush, double ended All-over Eye Color and Pony Tail (blending) brush, double ended Secret Camouflage (concealer) and Camouflage Powder brush, double ended Flat Eyeliner and Smudge brush, and a double ended Brow Definer and Brow Grooming brush.  The set includes a nice case which has enough room to store your travel sized make up and a removable mesh bag for the brushes.  So far, this is the most complete travel set I've seen with excellent quality brushes.  It was love at first sight for me but I had to think long and hard before I went ahead and purchased this.
  • The Flawless Face Kit contains the basics everyone should have in their make up train: Foundation Primer, Tinted Moisturizer SPF 20, Undercover Pot (which in turn has Secret Camouflage, Secret Concealer and Setting Powder), Secret Camouflage Brush, Camouflage Powder Brush, Velour Puff, Egg-shaped Sponge and a really cute travel bag.  There's enough product to last at least 2 months.  Keep your eye out for the expiration date - I noticed that the Tinted Moisturizer from my kit expires on March 2011.  I wanted to start using it a few months from now but because of the expiration date, I'm forced to use it all up before then.  Bummer.

I apologize for the picture - bad lighting :(

What's your Holiday gift to yourself?

December 10, 2010

Clinique Almost Lipstick Black Honey

It's been crazy at work lately which was why I haven't been able to post sooner.  Since work is so stressful and I need some positive energy my way, I decided to write about one of my favorite things.  And before you think this shade is too dark, read on. 

I remember back in 1996, the product was new and Clinique released an ad for this.  I knew the moment I saw it, I wanted it.  It didn't turn out to be the color I expected but I still fell in love. 

From the tube, the color looks intimidating but once you wear it, you will absolutely love it.  That's a promise!  Black Honey is a wonderful lip stain that's somewhere between wine and berry.  A lot of people say that this shade is universally flattering and it's probably the reason the product still exists to this day.  When worn, it brightens up the face, giving a natural, healthy and youthful look.  Kind of like the color you get after softly biting your lips.  Below is a sample after 1 swipe:

Aside from the color, I love how light this feels compared to lipstick.  It goes on smooth without the waxy feeling that some lip balms have and provides just the right amount of shine without the stickiness  or exaggerated shine of lipgloss.  The catch?  It doesn't stay on the entire day and a few retouches are necessary.  But it's something that's easy to overlook considering how great this product is, overall.  In fact, I've always had a tube in my make up kit for the last 14 years.

Unfortunately, they never sold the product here and its no longer available in HK.  Lucky for those in the US ;)

December 4, 2010

MAC Loud Lash

This is one MAC product I absolutely love!

The first big plus in my book: it's safe for contact lens wearers like myself.  My eyes never got irritated, the product never fell into my eyes.

Don't you just hate it when you look at the mirror at the end of the day and see a panda staring back at you?  Some mascaras end up making you look like one because the product just ends up all over the eye area.  It never happened to me with Loud Lash.  I remember one time I cried (a lot) and my mascara was still perfect.  I washed my face with Cetaphil and it was still there. Absolutely amazing!  Of course, the downside was that it was very difficult to remove - several passes of Shu Uemura's Cleansing Oil followed by Dove Extra Sensitive bar did the trick.

It held curled lashes extremely well and the formula was just right - not too dry, not too liquid.  It dispensed just the right amount of product every time - I never had to blot.  This was the perfect mascara for pros.

This product is still available in Asia but I read that this was discontinued in the US.  When MAC discontinues products, they usually replace it with something else.  I contacted customer service and according to them, Opulash Mascara is the new Loud Lash.  It's not waterproof but it's long wearing (up to 15 hours) and is sweat and humidity resistant.  Supposedly.  Opulash is safe for contact lens wearers too.

December 1, 2010

La Manille: The First & Only Esthetics School in the Philippines Opens Its Doors

We see spas sprouting all over Manila.  I've tried a lot of them, and I can honestly say that only a handful have high standards.

This is why I am so excited about La Manille - the country's first and only esthetics school.  The school aims to provide education in this field at par with institutions in Paris and New York, and will open its doors to the public on January 2011.

The basic program consists of half-day classes from Mondays to Saturdays for three months.  The curriculum is nothing to be taken lightly.  Students can expect to learn:
  • Infection Control
  • General Anatomy and Physiology
  • Basics of Chemistry
  • Basics of Electricity
  • Basics of Nurtition
  • Physiology and Histology of the Skin
  • Disorders and Diseases of the Skin
  • Skin Analysis and Skin Care Products
  • Hands-on classes which include Basic Facial,Body Treatments, Facial Massage, Use of Facial Machines, Waxing and Basic Makeup

It doesn't end there, though.  The school provides guidance on business skills to those who want to venture into or already are in the beauty and wellness industry.  They are also planning to offer an International Licensure Program in the future, which allows La Manille's students to work in over 30 countries worldwide.

During the launch, we were shown the textbook that was going to be used (Milady's) and I softly squealed with delight because I recognized it as one of the books used in the top esthetic schools in the US.  I would enroll just to get my hands on that book!

Left to Right: Sylvia Cancio, Seven Brown and Lanie Aquino

La Manille is the brainchild of three lovely and charming ladies - Sylvia Cancio, the owner and founder of La Manille; Seven Brown, a renowned esthetics educator in New York, will serve as the school's Lead Educator; and Lanie Aquino, former top model and salon owner, will be the school's Directress.

Confession time: I was closely looking at the skin of the folks behind La Manille.  Let me tell you, the pictures above do not do them justice.  I was in awe on how beautiful their skin looked... I want to have skin that great when I'm their age.

Seven Brown explains to the media the Microcurrent Procedure

If you don't have time to take classes at La Manille, you can still benefit from their services as they will be operating the SkinWorks Facial & Body Center.  The spa will be providing services such as Skin Peels, Microdermabrasion, European Facials and their specialty, the Microcurrent Procedure.

Microcurrent Therapy is more popularly known as the non-surgical facelift, where a device sends electrical stimuli to the muscles in the face.  The muscles become tighter over a period of time,  enabling younger and more radiant looking skin.  It helps reduce fine lines and wrinkles, improves puffy eyes and dark circles, promotes better complexion, and evens out skin tone. 

I had the pleasure of experiencing Microcurrent Therapy when they asked for volunteers for a demo (I'm not the one photographed above).  The procedure was painless.  Actually, it felt like my face was just getting massaged and I almost fell asleep.  I immediately felt the tightening effect on my cheeks right after - and that lasted for well over a day.  The demo lasted for only about 10 minutes - I can just imagine how much better it would be had I gotten the full treatment.  According to Ms. Cancio, a treatment usually lasts about an hour and the effects can be seen and felt for up to 3 weeks.

Once the spa opens, I'm definitely dropping by for some Microcurrent love.

One of the things I've always wanted was to get a facial from the world-famous Tracie Martyn... but she's half a world away. And now that La Manille is here, I think I can put that dream away for the time being ;)

La Manille will be opening two schools this year - the first along Pasong Tamo in Makati, (where PSID was located) and the other along Gorordo Avenue, Cebu City.  For more information, please contact Ms. Campos at 0917-835-2102 or Mr. Jamias at 0917-892-2240.

A press visit was provided for editorial consideration.