Posts tagged Makeup Reviews
Sephora Haul + Reviews
2018-02-24 08.45.44 1.jpg

I discovered Sephora about 4 years ago, when I first moved to Chicago. I had always loved experimenting with makeup but back in the Philippines, it was difficult to find products that worked for my skin tone. Foundations and concealers were always several shades too light, skincare products were usually geared towards whitening, and the right nude lipsticks were nearly impossible to find.

Sephora was the first makeup store I encountered in Chicago that had products that matched my skin tone perfectly. For the first time, I had options for my brown skin and I didn't have to worry about mixing shades or settling for an entirely wrong one. Sephora quickly became my favorite makeup store and my go-to when I'm looking for high quality makeup. 

When I walked into Sephora last week, I was determined to find products to wear on my wedding day. They had to be long-lasting, full coverage, photo-ready, smudge-proof, tear-proof, AND kiss-proof. Here are the products that I found and how they held up. 


2018-02-24 08.35.47 1.jpg
2018-02-24 08.35.47 3.jpg

Boscia Porefecting White Charcoal Mattifying Treatment Primer ($38)

I discovered this primer when I asked a beauty consultant at Sephora for a primer that would work for my incredibly oily skin. She gave me a small sample of this primer and the rest is history! 


  • Gel formula, melts into the skin and doesn't feel like a thick layer  
  • Mattifying and fills in my ginormous pores 
  • Really extends the staying power of my eyeshadow (yes, I also used it as an eyeshadow primer) and my foundation 


  • A bit expensive for a primer
  • Has a tendency to pill if too much product is used or if skin isn't properly exfoliated or cleanse 


Rating: 3.5/5



Estee Lauder Double Wear Stay-In-Place Makeup in Bronze 5W1 ($42)

This foundation has been recommended by beauty bloggers and gurus for ages and I'm a bit surprised that it took me so long to give it a try. I had already grown very attached to my Fenty Beauty foundation but when Joe told me that a swatch at Sephora looked better that the FB foundation I had on, I decided to give the EL foundation a try. 


  • Great coverage, a little goes a long way 
  • Blends perfectly with a damp beauty blender, looks like my skin but better!
  • Doesn't move around when other makeup products are applied on top 
  • Very matte, perfect for my oily skin
  • Still looked beautiful at the end of the day albeit a bit shiny (nothing a little powder or a blotting sheet can't fix)


  • A bit expensive for a foundation 
  • No nozzle or dispenser, difficult to get the right amount of product out
  • Tends to be a bit patchy around particularly oily areas like my nose and chin (could be my primer's fault) 


Rating: 4/5


2018-02-24 08.35.46 1.jpg

Too Faced Just Peachy Velvet Matte Eyeshadow Palette ($45) 

I have been in love with the whole peachy makeup trend from eyeshadows to lipsticks but I didn't want the shimmer that usually came with some palettes. My dream wedding makeup is a peachy, matte, sun-kissed monochromatic look. So when this matte palette came out, it was instantly on my makeup wishlist. 


  • Lovely packaging that has a nice, luxurious feel to it and it comes with a mirror!  
  • Blends beautifully, doesn't take much for shades to show
  • Peachy scent is a nice touch, not overwhelming 


  • Can't think of any! I've used it almost every day since I got it and I've been so happy with it. 


Rating: 5/5




Too Faced Peach Kiss Moisture Matte Long Wear Lipstick in Got Peach? ($21)

For my wedding, I was looking a perfect terracotta peachy shade to complete a monochromatic peachy look. Joe and I walked around Sephora and came across the display of Too Faced's Peaches and Cream Collection. We  tested a few of the matte lipsticks and found this gem! 


  • Cute packaging and peach stamp design on the lipstick
  • Terracotta peach shade
  • Very hydrating and comfortable on the lips
  • Very pigmented and applies smoothly (I apply it with a lip brush for a more sheer look)


  • Has a tendency to settle into the fine lines of my lips 
  • Some people might find the peachy vanilla scent of the lipstick a bit overwhelming
  • Not very matte at all
  • Definitely not kiss-proof or smudge-proof


Rating: 3.5/5

Final thoughts: 

The Estee Lauder foundation and Too Faced eyeshadow palette are my new favorites! The foundation lived up to all the hype and I've gotten several compliments on how great my skin looks. The eyeshadow is perfect for daily use and is versatile enough to be dressed up for fancier affairs. The Boscia primer works great for me and I particularly like how well it works with the EL foundation. Absolutely a keeper! The Too Faced lipstick is so pretty but I'm not sure it'll be my pick for the big day since it doesn't have the best staying power. 

I've been playing around with these products for about week now and it's reminded me of how important investing in quality cosmetics can be. I've been using mostly drugstore products for the past few months and after trying these out, I can definitely see and feel a difference especially for foundation and primer. I can't wait to put a look together for the wedding. ٩(^ᴗ^)۶ 


What are your favorite Sephora brands and products? 


New Makeup: Impressions, Review, & Tutorial

As a makeup enthusiast and budding makeup artist, I love experimenting and playing with new makeup. A few days ago, my friend and I found ourselves at SM Makati’s department store and of course, I almost immediately gravitated towards the makeup section. National lipstick day had turned into national 'discounts on makeup' week and I was all too happy to participate. As we explored, I began picking up items from brands I'd never heard of or tried before. As my basket started filling, I decided to get items I could use together to create a look.

Thank goodness for friends who are patient and also happen to like makeup because I probably circled the area thrice before being satisfied enough to head to the cashier. To my delight, all my items (which included a full eyeshadow and concealer palette) added up to only about $25! 

I bought a concealer palette, a lip tint, bronzing powder, and a 48-shade eyeshadow palette. Here are my first impressions and reviews of each item and the look I put together with all of them! 


All Around Concealer Palette by Catrice Cosmetics (₱379.00)

After my usual skincare routine, I started with the concealer palette. I used a medium-sized concealer brush to apply the concealer around my face. Green to control the redness around my nose and off my blotchy spots, pink for my eyebags, and dark beige for spot correcting. 



The clear casing has a decent weight and doesn't feel horribly cheap and fragile. I actually dropped it several times and it didn't have a single scratch. The design and style of the packaging is minimalist and simple, letting the product speak for itself. I also appreciated the guide provided on the back that indicated what each color is for. 



The first thing I noticed was that the concealer didn't feel too goopy or heavy like some potted concealers. It also applied quite sheer at first which is not necessarily a bad thing, especially if you're someone who prefers slowly building coverage. 

My personal makeup routine involves applying concealer before foundation but sometimes, concealers get swept away during the foundation application. When I started dotting my foundation and blending it in, the concealer stayed put and still did a good job and covering those trouble spots. 


Final Thoughts

I am very pleased with the results and if all goes well and I don't have a horrible skin reaction or breakout when the day's over, I'll happily continue using it! 


Go Bronze Bronzing Powder by Nichido (₱150)

At first, I thought this was a setting powder and was pleasantly surprised to find out that it was a bronzing powder. I had never tried bronzing powders before and I was excited to see what the result would be against my skin tone. To apply it, I used the provided puff and applied the product little by little. 



The powder came in a simple circular case with a small puff. It's not the prettiest thing. It was plastic and relatively light but I actually prefer this packaging to ELF's setting powder. Besides that, there wasn't anything particularly special or notable about it. 



According to the packaging, the product claims to enhance skin tone, provide sheer bronze radiance, and leave a sun-kissed finish. Sure enough, it did go on very very very sheer. On top of foundation, it gave me a barely there glow with a hint of shimmer. It took several layers and pounding my face with the puff to get a little more shimmer and glow. 

The final result was a rather pretty, subtle, and natural glow. 


Final Thoughts

At first, I was quite annoyed at how sheer it applied. After one pat, I checked to see the result and it was the tiniest hint of shimmer with not much actually bronzing. I would recommended this to those who are fans of natural, glowing-from-the-inside looks as a highlight. As a bronzing powder, it didn't really do much. Then again, I only paid $3 for it, so what was I really expecting?

I'll probably keep using it as a highlight for lazy days and natural makeup looks. 



Color Set #2 by Fashion21 (₱395.00)

According to the company’s website, Fashion21 was conceptualized and introduced to the Philippine market in 1985 by its founder, Mariano Ngo. It is a popular local brand known for its affordable prices and quality product so I jumped at the chance to see if their product would give me pigmentation, blendability, long-lasting quality. 

I was drawn to the gorgeous brown and neutral shades of this palette so I decided to create a warm smokey eye. I used shades no. 3, 4, 5, 6, 15, 21, and 42. Since I only wanted to use the products I purchased (besides foundation), I also used this palette to fill in my eyebrows (no. 48), add blush (no. 20, 21, 32, and 33), and little highlight (no. 25). 



The packaging had a nice weight to it and the palette came with a cloth sleeve but the plastic was a bit cheap and the closure of the palette had trouble fully closing unless I pressed down hard. 



Let's be real. I spent roughly $8 for a palette with 48 eyeshadows. I was expecting lots of powder and fall out, barely any pigmentation, and cheap packaging. But when I dipped my brush into the brown shades, I was pleasantly surprised by the pigmentation. There wasn't much fall out and my brushes had no problem picking up the product. I was also glad to find that it didn't have any funny, chemically smells. 


Final Thoughts

I put on my eyeshadow at 10:00am and it still looks perfect at 4:30pm. For a $8 palette, that's pretty phenomenal! I am a believer. 



Peripera Peri’s Vivid Tint Water by Club Clio (360.00)

Club Clio was a brand that my friend immediately pointed out when we walked into the makeup section. It's a popular Korean brand known for their Kill Black eyeliner and fun lip products. I've been trying to get on the Korean beauty bandwagon so I decided to give Club Clio's lip tints a try. 



Club Clio has some of the most incredibly cute and well-thought out packaging I've seen. I particularly love the packaging of the lip tint. It looks like a small milk carton or juice box and even has 'nutrition facts' on the side. Love it! 



According to the packaging, the product is extracted from fruit and should be long-lasting without any stickiness. Well, they weren't kidding when they said long-lasting. I did a swatch on the day I bought it and it took some serious scrubbing with a baby wipe to remove it. When I applied it on my lips I was quite surprised at how bright and pigmented it was. My other tints tend to go one quite sheer and then I can layer on but this one was ready to make its debut from the first swipe! And I loved the color so much that I wasn't mad at all. 


Final Thoughts

A+. 10/10. Most of my lip tints dry out my lips but this one felt great and after a while, it didn't even feel like I was wearing anything on my lips. I ate a pesto pasta, had a smoothie, repeatedly wiped my lips, and the color never faded. I can't wait to try more products from this brand! 



Final look!

With all the products I bought, I decided to go for a look with flawless, natural skin, warm smokey eyes, and a bright pop of color on the lips. I also used eyeshadows for my eyebrows and blush. I was very happy with the final look and my boyfriend said it's his favorite look on me so far! 


What other local or underrated brands should I try? 

Colourpop Lipsticks Review

Two years ago, a dear friend of mine told me to check out the Colourpop website for affordable, pretty lipsticks. At the time, the color range was limited and didn't quite catch my eye so I remained unimpressed. On top of that, I worried that given the surprisingly low price tag, the product wouldn't be high quality. So I moved along and found love with the more expensive but unfailing Kat Von D Everlasting liquid lipsticks. Several months later, Colourpop was gaining momentum in the makeup community and expanding its range of colors. I noticed some of my favorite makeup bloggers mention their 'lippies' and use their products for tutorials. Then Colourpop began collaborating with big names like ItsMyRayeRaye, Kathleen Lights, Ellarie, and Karrueche which piqued my curiosity.

In January, I took the plunge and ordered my first set of CP Ultra Matte lipsticks: Tulle, Bumble, Chilly Chili, and Bad Habit. I used my $5 first time buyer coupon and with shipping my total came out to $23.99. At Sephora, $23.99 would get me just one matte liquid lipstick. At that price, I was anxious to see if the products were high quality and if this was going to be the start of a beautiful relationship.

The year is almost at an end and I now have nearly 2 dozen Colourpop lipsticks as well as CP highlighters, blushes, and eye shadows. In this review, I tried on and commented on 22 of my lipsticks while also rubbing my lips raw. Enjoy!




The packaging of Colourpop is one of my favorites. The white lipstick boxes with holographic lettering draws attention and keeps it beautifully, playfully minimalist. For larger orders or special value sets, the orders come in a larger white box with a decorated inside and a mini guide book for how to use each product. The lipsticks themselves are sleek with silver caps and thin silver lettering of Colourpop's name along the lower portion.

Over time and with several tosses into messy makeup bags, the silver fades away. This is to be expected. The packaging can only take so much abuse after all. Just be sure to twist the cap on tightly when tossing them about to avoid your makeup bag resembling a crime scene.


Pigmentation and Application



Dusty mauve burgundy

Tulle was one of my very first Colourpop purchases. In my excitement, I opened it without really checking and was surprised by how dark it looked on my lips. It is a reddish-brown shade that is vampy without being too dark and is great for the fall. I've seen it on a variety of skin tones and it always looks a bit different which is not necessarily a bad thing.


Bad Habit

Deep dusty mauve pink

On the Coloupop website, Bad Habit is described in more or less the same way as Lumiere 2 but they're very different. Bad Habit has a light berry shade (think frosted rose) that resembles a muted More Better with purple undertones. It's very wearable and easily goes from day to night.



Dusty warm terracotta

This is one of favorite Colourpop lipsticks! I was worried that the terracotta color would come out too orange against my skin tone but it dried down to be a dusty rosy brown-ish shade. The formula is surprisingly thin but highly pigmented, true matte, and very light, drying in about 10-20 seconds. I've worn this to work, to the beach, to parties, and on long flights and it has never failed me.


Lumiere 2

Dusty mauve pink

Lumiere has a beautiful pink mauve color that seems to adjust depending on the wearer's skin tone and lip pigmentation. It dries down to a true kiss-proof matte and feels light on the lips. I personally feel it's a bit too light on me and washes me out a tad but its not-too-pink shade makes it very versatile. Props to KathleenLights for this one!


Cheap Thrills

Dusty lilac

As one reviewer perfectly put it: "Cheap Thrills is like a WOC-friendly Trap". It is a pale purplish pink that achieves the "greige" (greyed out beige) look without making me look dead. I'm not usually a fan of lighter, paler lipstick shades but I can work with this one. The formula is a bit stickier and thicker than the others but that goes away once it dries down to matte.


Privacy Please

Vivid lavender violet

This shade is perfect for spring! It is a beautifully bright berry-ish tone (I would compare it to Kat Von D's Susperia) that works for every skin tone and only takes one coat to get the full pigmentation. I put this on for work at 7am and my sister still complimented it at 6:30pm when I got home. Just note that it is pretty drying so I highly recommend a swipe of lip balm before applying.


More Better

Deep violet wine

I adore this color! The deep wine color is stunning. I wear it often and it never fails to add hint of drama. It doesn't fully dry to matte and definitely isn't kiss proof but for this color, I'm willing to overlook those flaws. I would also recommend wearing this with a lip liner as it tends to feather and bleed out (especially on oily skin). 



True purple

This is one of the best shades of purple lipstick I have ever seen! It is a vibrant true purple and instantly makes a statement. At first I thought I looked a bit silly because it was such a grape-y, Crayola crayon purple but after a while, I didn't even care! It is not absolutely smudge-proof, it does have a tendency to go on patchy, and it's difficult to apply but it does stay on and for the color and price, I can't complain. I would recommend a liner to prevent bleeding and feathering.


Chilly Chili

Muted plum brown

I'm not the biggest fan of Chilly Chili but I can definitely appreciate the color. It is a beautiful brown that is perfect for a 90's look complete with a denim jacket and black choker. It also looks surprisingly similar to Tulle. The muted brown washed me out and it looked like I dipped my lips into milk chocolate. My sister commented that I should use my illuminating kit when wearing Chilly Chili because it makes my face seem very dark. Yikes.



Deep yellowish red

Avenue is my "Bo$$" red lipstick. It is a beautiful yellow red that applies like a cream but dries down perfectly to matte. It is the most perfect rich red on my medium tan skin tone and has a vintage reddish brown feel to it. I feel like a million bucks every time I have it on! Just be wary of flaking and fading color when you eat.



Blackened red

I've always shied away from darker shades but LAX won me over with one swipe. It's a gorgeous blackened red that instantly gives any look a vampy kick. It reminds me of dark wine. It goes on quite easy but is very drying and tends to bleed so I'd recommend getting a liner. On my medium tan coloring, it washes me out a bit and reapplying or trying to layer can result in pilling. But for a night out and fall, it's a go-to.



Russet wine

Rooch is my favorite matte red lipstick from Colourpop. It is a rich russet wine shade that looks amazing on any skin tone and for any season. It dries down to matte beautifully and I've never had to use a lip liner with it. Last week, Colourpop announced that the entire Kaepop collection would be coming to an end and, of course, I couldn't let it go without purchasing one more Rooch.



Mid-tone nude peach

Have you ever experienced that first step into something and knowing you'd made a mistake? The first swipe of Screenshot on my lips had my eyes round as saucers and my sister frowning at my as I applied it. While the color is quite lovely and applies smoothly, the shade just doesn't suit me. It erases my lips and leaves me looking a bit sickly. I think this color could work on certain skin tones, maybe ones with cooler undertones.


Airplane Mode

Dirty peach

I admit it. The main reason I bought this shade was because I saw a photo of Kylie Jenner rocking her dirty peach lipstick with a blonde top bun and sparkly dress. It was an impulse buy and I didn't put a lot of thought into how different it would look on me. The order came in, and lo and behold, it looked as though I had smeared peach-toned concealer all over my lips. The color was definitely peachy but far too pale. On the bright side, I can use this color for creating ombre looks and it does dry down to a decent matte.


Speed Dial

Rich peach

Peach is not a color I expected to be very flattering on my tan skin. I worried that it would wash me out or make my lips look like they were caked with foundation. To my surprise, the rich peach shade of Speed Dial complemented my skin tone nicely. The shade seems like a muted mix between Bumble and Mama. Not quite orange, not quite terracotta. The formula doesn't dry down to complete matte but it feels comfortable and light on the lips with minimal transfer.



Blackened violet

Hutch is a liquid lipstick with a satin finish. It's perfectly vampy and dark; LAX with purple/plum undertones. The satin finish is lovely on this darker shade and gives it a glamorous look. I can imagine wearing it with a black dress and some glitter on my eyes. I would recommend using a liner. The lipstick applies smoothly and has a light, creamy feel but it tends to bleed on my oily skin.



Muted dirty lilac

When I saw a swatch of Femme on brown/tan skin, I immediately added it to my cart. It looked beautiful against the toasty skin tone and I could imagine it on some beautiful, tanned goddess like Calypso. It resembled a less pink Cheap Thrills with the "greige" trend in full force and I didn't mind at all. Femme can work on any skin tone and definitely gives off mermaid vibes.



True dusty rose

Viper has become my go-to daily lipstick next to Bumble. It is a beautiful, universally flattering shade of pink that isn't too Barbie bright. The formula dries down to a nice matte but does transfer onto cups and greasy food.



Warm deepened rose

My sister actually stole this one from me. It is a true deep rose shade that I believe could work on any skin tone. It looks very natural and subtle, perfect for toned down makeup days. It's not my favorite pink shade because it makes me feel a bit dull but it works wonders for my sister who has more yellow undertones.


Dr. M

Blackened green

I fell in love with this rich blackened green lipstick when I saw it on the website. It looked perfectly Slytherin-worthy and the color was so rich but I was hesitant to try such a bold color so I waited. Months later, I finally ordered one and was not disappointed. The color is amazing! Caution: The formula is pretty drying and can be very patchy when applying. It took me a couple of dips into the container and several swipes to finally get an even, opaque layer. You may need a lip liner and reapplication if you plan on eating with this shade on.


Love Bug

Rich terracotta

Love Bug is a perfect summer-fall transition color. It is a beautiful burnt terracotta shade that is a few tones darker and deeper than Bumble and Mama. It applies smoothly and not too thick, no need for a lip liner.



Burnt orange

It's no secret that I don't like orange so when I took the plunge and ordered Mama, there was a lot of initial regret. When I first swiped it only my lips, I was a tad horrified. It seemed too bright, an almost chalky shade of orange. But when it dried to matte, it was a wearable shade that resembled a more orange Bumble with reddish undertones. I think it could work on everyone!



Staying Power

All the Colourpop Ultra Mattes have phenomenal staying power. They easily rival my beloved Kat Von D Everlasting liquid lipsticks. I find that the lighter the shade, the better it stays on. Don't worry! The darker shades don't come too far behind them but I would still recommend a touch-up after eating a greasy meal or biting in a big burger.

I've worn each of my CP lipsticks for more than 12 hours and I have to say that Bumble, Speed Dial, Viper, and Rooch have the best staying power.



Application Tips:

+ Lip liner is optional but recommended. Most CP lipsticks have matching lip liner for $5.

+ Make sure your lips are completely dry. If a part of your lip is moist, the lipstick won't apply properly and you'll be left with an odd little bald spot.

+ Moisturize or exfoliate lips first. To exfoliate, I use a tiny bit of petroleum jelly or lip balm to my toothbrush and lightly scrub my lips. Applying just a bit of lip balm before swiping on the lipstick can save your lips from feeling and looking like shriveled up prunes.



+ It's important to remember that the same lipstick shade can look quite drastically different on different skin tones and lip pigmentation. Colourpop does a great job of featuring different skin tones to swatch the lippies but I also recommend skimming through the reviews to see what people of all colors say.

+ Most, if not all, Colourpop liquid lipsticks are darker than the tube that are in. Some lipsticks (Kaepop Collection) don't include swatches on their webpage so I wouldn't go off just the color of the packaging. Again, the reviews/comment section can be a real lifesaver.

+ Shipping can take a while. My first order from CP took about a week and a half to arrive (within the US). The processing of the order alone took about 3-5 days and the shipping 2-3 days.

+ The formulas vary from color to color. Bumble, Avenue, and Lumiere 2 dry to a soft matte finish while shades like More Better and Be-Dazzled remain a bit tacky. I would recommend using a bit of translucent powder on those if you really want them to be fully matte.



Which is your favorite?