Posts in Beauty
My Favorite Beauty Products of 2018
 
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Face/Cheek

Fenty Beauty Foil Freestyle Highlighter in Mimosa Sunrise/Sangria Sunset Duo - I love how versatile this highlighter is! I have used the magenta as blush, the orange as eyeshadow, and a mix of the two for an interesting highlight shade. The colors are rich and buildable with a lovely foil finish. Perfect for the summer!

Revlon Photoready Candid foundation in shade 440 - I found this foundation through one of my favorite makeup artists, Katie Jane Hughes (@katiejanehughes) and it quickly became my favorite one for everyday makeup. It has medium coverage that can be layered and still manages to look like skin. I especially love that the foundation doesn’t need to be set with powder. I have ridiculously oily skin and the foundation lasted a solid 10 hours without any setting powder and a quick spritz of MAC Fix+.

Estee Lauder Double Wear Stay-In-Place Makeup in 5W1 - This is my “fancy event” foundation. I wore this foundation on my wedding day and besides a little oil blotting on my nose and forehead, it didn’t budge! A little goes a long way and doesn’t need much to set in place. I think this is a must-try foundation for those looking for a full coverage foundation for super oily skin. For special events, I apply setting powder after my primer then this foundation then bake with setting powder and it lasts the whole day.

Fenty Beauty Match Stix in Truffle - This is hands-down my favorite contouring product. It doesn’t pick up or distort my foundation and it blends out nicely without looking muddy or blotchy. Usually I have to set any cream products with a powder but this stays put and gives my skin a dewy sheen.

Sephora Collection Blush in #29 Fascinated - 2018 was the year of the orange blush trend and I was more than happy to hop on the trend train with this blush. It can be built up, blends out beautifully, and adds such a lovely pop of color on the cheeks. I love pairing this blush with a bright red or red-orange lipstick.

Glossier Cloud Paint in Beam + Haze - This is the perfect blush for the effortless, no-makeup makeup look. A few dots on the apples of my cheeks then blended out with fingers and paired with mascara, highlight, and some tinted lip balm. Easy peasy lemon squeezy.

 

Eyes

Huda Beauty Desert Dusk palette - I quietly stalked this palette online and in store for months before finally making my purchase. I absolutely love the color story of the palette! The pressed pearl and duo-chrome shadows are some of my favorites and don’t give me any trouble while the mattes blend flawlessly and don’t get muddy as I layer and add more shades.

Huda Beauty New Nude palette - I received this palette as a Christmas gift from my husband and I’ve been using it every single day since. The colors are beautiful, very wearable for everyday looks, and blend perfectly. I love that the 'nudes’ pull more smokey pink and mauve. It gives my usual neutral brown smokey eyes a more romantic look.

Morphe The Jaclyn Hill Eyeshadow palette - I bought this palette on a whim. I was exploring an Ulta near my work while on lunch break and I saw the palette on display. The colors caught my eye and after some swatches and a little coaxing from my husband, I picked it up. This palette is my go-to for my daily neutrals, a pop of blue, and some darker shades for smokey eyes. Highly pigmented, easy blending, buttery texture, and great price!

Lancome Monsieur Big waterproof mascara - This mascara was recommended to me when I walked into Sephora and quite aggressively told the consultant: “I need a mascara that is waterproof, the blackest black, lengthening + volumizing, and does not flake”. And I have to say that after wearing it for a few weeks, it does not disappoint. I have horribly watery, sensitive eyes and anything but absolutely budge-proof mascara will leave me looking like a raccoon. This mascara holds a curl very well, flakes very little throughout the day, lasts through continuous eye drop applications and tears, and makes my lashes look like falsies. 10/10!

Milk Makeup Kush mascara - This would have been my #1 mascara of 2018 if it was waterproof. It lengthens, adds volume, and separates my lashes. If you don’t mind that it isn’t waterproof, this mascara is perfect!

NYX Epic Ink Liner - Perfect $9 dupe for KVD Tattoo Liner. Enough said.

Anastasia Beverly Hills Dipbrow Pomade in Chocolate - I was nervous to try this brow pomade because it seemed to be the main product used for the infamous chiseled Instagram brows and they always seemed a bit too much for me. I was convinced to give it a try after watching a makeup tutorial where the pomade was applied a small angled brush in hair-like strokes. My review? Best brow product I’ve ever used. It’s so pigmented so the little container will last me ages, it lasts all damn day even with my oily skin, and it is versatile (bushy brows, structured brows, and even freckles!).

 

Lips

Flesh Beauty Swipe Flesh in Swollen + Tremble - I’ve started to enjoy feeling and applying products with my fingers instead of with my usual brushes. Flesh Beauty’s Swipe Flesh lipsticks are my favorites for dabbing on some color. They have a creamy, velvety feel when applied then dry down to a comfortable semi-matte finish. These lipsticks are perfect for experimenting!

Lime Crime Plushies in Sorbet + Marmalade - LC’s Plushies formula is by far my favorite. They dry down to a weightless matte finish that can be layered to deepen color and mixed to create an ombre look or a whole new color. They are also my favorite lippies for the diffused, just kissed look that makes my lips look full and soft.

Beauty Bakerie Matte Lip Whip in Cherry Flambe - This is my favorite red from my collection of red lipsticks. It is a warm-toned fiery red that works beautifully with my tan skin and golden undertones. It applies a bit thick and goopy like gloss but dries down in seconds. I think it is a beautiful summer color and could work on anyone who isn’t afraid of a bold, bright lip!

MAC Powder Kiss lipsticks - The day these lipsticks came out at MAC, I waltzed into the nearest MAC store and bought 5. First off, they have the most buttery, smooth texture that applies like a dream and has a velvety feel. Second, they are perfect for the soft-blur lip trend and has a soft matte finish. Third, while they aren’t the most long lasting, they are a breeze to reapply and have no issues with layering.

Pat McGrath MatteTrance lipstick in Obsessed! - This bright orange red is not for the faint-hearted. One swipe packs a hell of a velvety, pigmented punch and has great lasting power. I love smudging a bit on the middle of my lips and blending it out.

Colourpop Matte Lux Lipsticks - When the first wave of CP Lux lipsticks came out, I was eager to give them a try but I decided to wait until they came out with a matte formula. So when they finally did, I went ahead and bought 4 shades: Money Moves, Paparazzi, OOUUUU!, and Mind Trick. The formula is lightweight and sooooo comfortable! I can’t wait for more nude and red shades to come out!

Flesh Beauty Proud Flesh Liquid Lipstick in Brazen - This is a stunning blue-red lipstick that applies evenly, dries down to a comfortable matte, and feels very light on the lips. It has a odd applicator but for those who are used to applying liquid lipsticks, it’s not a big deal.

MAC Retro Matte lipstick in Ruby Woo - I am about two decades late but I finally tried MAC’s Ruby Woo lipstick and I completely understand why it is one of the top selling lipstick shades ever. The stunning cherry red has intense color pay-off, super matte finish, and adds an instant pop to any look.

 
 

Hair

Clairol Shimmer Lights Blonde & Silver shampoo

Olaplex No. 3

Joico Color Balance Purple Shampoo + Conditioner

Nexxus Keraphix Damage Healing Conditioner

Loreal Elvive Total Repair 5 Damage-Erasing Balm

OGX Renewing Weightless Healing Dry Oil Spray

Pantene Pro-V Gold Series Leave-On Detangling Milk

Batiste Dry Shampoo

Skincare

Aveeno MaxGlow Infusion Drops

Mario Bedescu Facial Spray (cucumber/rose water)

Neutrogena Hydro Boosting Hydrating Serum

Loreal Hydra Genius Liquid Moisturizer

Garnier SkinActive Pore Purifying 2in1 Cleanser/Mask

Boscia Matcha Magic Super-Antioxidant Mask

Boscia Exfoliating Peel Gel

Garnier SkinActive Purifying Oil-Free Cleansing Towelettes

Tony Moly Sheet Masks

 
Dusk
 
Twilight fell: The sky turned to a light, dusky purple littered with tiny silver stars.
— J.K. Rowling
 
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Products used:

NYX Cosmetics Epic Ink liner + Love You So Mochi palette
Fenty Beauty Mimosa Sunrise/Sangria Sunset Killawatt Foil highlighter
Morphe Brushes 35B palette
Milk Makeup Kush mascara
Makeup Revolution concealer
Colourpop Super Shock Shadow in Rex
Fenty Beauty Mattemoiselle in Single

 
A Romantic Sunday Morning
 
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BASE 

Too Faced Primed & Peachy Cooling Matte Perfecting Primer
Too Faced Peach Perfect Foundation in Mocha
Makeup Revolution Concealer in C12
Makeup Revolution Banana Baking Powder

CHEEKS

ELF Blush Palette in Dark
Colourpop Bronzer in Rodeo Drive
Anastasia Beverly Hills Sun-Dipped Glow Kit 

EYES

Morphe 35B Palette
Huda Beauty Desert Dusk Palette
Lime Crime Venus Palette
ABH Dip Brow Pomade in Chocolate

 LIPS

Colourpop Ultra Matte Lip in Bumble

Fenty Face
 
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Fenty Beauty by Rihanna

Stunna Lip Paint Longwear Fluid Lip Color

Killwatt Foil Freestyle Highlighter Duo in Mimosa Sunrise/ Sangria Sunset

MatchStix Trio in 300 Tan

Pro Filt'r Soft Matte Longwear Foundation in 370 

 

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BASE: Pro Filt'r Soft Matte Longwear Foundation in 370

I really like this foundation! It's a medium-coverage, applies quite nicely, and doesn't feel heavy. I like to apply it with a brush initially then using a damp sponge to press it into the skin and blend in any streaks. 

I have ridiculously oily skin so the matte finish only lasts a couple of hours even when set with a powder. I usually touch up and blot with pressed powder throughout the day. Otherwise, it photographs well, doesn't look cakey, has no noticeable flashback. 

 

CONTOUR: MatchStix Trio in 300 Tan

I love the idea and versatility of these contour sticks but I have a few issues with them. Firstly, I wish their shape wasn't so rounded or at least not so thick. I have a bit of a hard time applying the concealer shade under my eyes. Secondly, it tends to pick up the foundation or product underneath which can be frustrating after spending so much time blending. Lastly, I'm not a huge fan of the finish (a bit tacky) and it disappears quite a bit after blending so I usually layer it with another powder bronzer to up the color and set it. 

 

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EYES + CHEEKS: Killwatt Foil Freestyle Highlighter Duo in Mimosa Sunrise/ Sangria Sunset

I LOVE this highlighter duo! They are such beautiful colors that look amazing and apply smoothly. It starts out sheer and can be layered for more coverage. I like spritzing my eyeshadow brush with a bit of setting spray then dipping into the color before applying. 

 

LIPS: Stunna Lip Paint Longwear Fluid Lip Color

There was quite a lot of hype around this liquid lipstick. It's said to be long-wearing, perfectly matte, lightweight, and suitable for all skin tones PLUS every beauty vlogger I follow was raving about it so I had pretty high expectations. Did it live up to them? Most definitely! The color is gorgeous. It's somehow a perfect medium between cool-toned and warm-toned and I can see why it would suit all skin tones. 

I thought applying it would be difficult because of the wonky applicator but it made it easy to apply clean lines and get that perfect cupid's bow.

As for the wear, it wasn't kiss-proof but it put up a good fight against my greasy snacks and an afternoon fruit shake. 


Final thoughts: 

I think Fenty Beauty is a great brand with impressive products and shade range. I definitely have my favorites like the lip paint and the highlight duo and I can't wait to expand my Fenty Beauty collection. 

What are your favorite Fenty Beauty products? 

 

 

 
Blossom
 

 

I love spring! I love that it breathes new life into the world. I love the colors, the excitement, the warmth, the flowers, and most especially, the fun styles that begin to emerge from under the puffy winter coats. 

It has been quite a while since I did a makeup look outside of my usual winged eyeliner and peachy nude eyeshadow so for this one, I decided to play with colors I don't usually reach for. I'm not a big fan of bright colors so I opted for some that are more muted and pastel. It initially started with the lovely light blue from the Venus II palette called Filter and I started adding more color and finally the yellow wing that my fiance insisted I add. I'm really happy with how it turned out and I can't wait to play with more colors and create more looks! 

 

 

Products Used: 

 

Estee Lauder Double Wear Foundation 

Lime Crime Venus Palette

Lime Crime Venus Palette II 

Too Faced Just Peachy Velvet Matte Eyeshadow Palette

E.L.F. Blush Palette in Light 

Colourpop Bronzer in Rodeo Drive 

Anastasia Beverly Hills Lip Palette (used yellow shade for eyeliner) 

Benefit Foolproof Brow Powder in 03 Medium 

 

 

What look should I try next? 

 
Getting Glossier
 

A few weeks ago, I came across one of Glossier's Instagram posts that featured a billboard in San Francisco. After a quick Google search, I found out they were opening a little pop-up shop in Rhea's Cafe which is only a quick Uber ride from my work. I've been curious about Glossier and their products for quite a while now. With their pretty pastel aesthetic and minimalist approach, it has become the ultimate millennial skin care and makeup brand with a cult-like following. It focuses on skincare first and makeup second with ads featuring flawless models wearing barely-there makeup.

As someone who usually wears a full face of makeup and has ridiculously oily skin, it didn't seem like the brand for me but I wanted to give it a fair shot. So on a gloomy Tuesday, I decided to brave the rain and visit the Glossier pop-up shop. 

When I walked in, I could see how Glossier became so popular on social media. Everything from the well-lit counter and flower arrangements to the small cafe tables and sales associates in baby pink jumpsuits was Instagram-worthy. I couldn't help but whip out my phone and take a few photos of the setup. 

Unfortunately, it was a quick visit and I had to rush out after half an hour. I'm sure I'll be making another trip to Rhea's Cafe to actually try the food and pickup a few more items! After trying their lipstick and blush, I'd love to try to the other shades. I'll have a review of the products posted soon! 

 

What I Bought: 

Lidstar in Lily ($18) 

Cloud Paint Duo in Beam and Haze ($30)

Generation G Lipstick in Zip ($18) 

 

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What are your favorite Glossier products? 

 

 

 

 
Sephora Haul + Reviews
 
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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. 

 

 
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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! 

Pros: 

  • 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 

Cons: 

  • 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

 

 
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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. 

Pros: 

  • 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)

Cons: 

  • 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

 

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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. 

Pros: 

  • 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 

Cons: 

  • 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

 

 
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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! 

Pros:

  • 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)

Cons:

  • 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? 

 

Craving
Loving the monsters always ends badly for the human. It’s a rule.

I've always liked the excitement that came with Halloween. Everyone scrambles around for weeks, even months, ahead to find the perfect costume. Homes and businesses are decorated with pumpkins, fake cobwebs, plastic witches, and spooky lights. Halloween television episodes and horror movies start playing nonstop and makeup artists take to Instagram to create incredibly intricate, beautifully terrifying looks. 

My costumes are always very tame. Cheerleader, hippie, sea goddess, bunny, female Justin Beiber. They're not very impressive and far from spooky. So this year, I decided to try a look that fits into the Halloween spirit a bit more. It was inspired by the work of Sergey X, a facechart artist from Moscow. You can find the photo that inspired the look here. I chose this look because it was glamorous with a bit of a sinister touch. It brought to mind an upperclass vampire just finishing a meal or a luxurious, vengeful ex-wife. Let me know what you think! 

PRODUCTS USED


Maybelline FitMe Matte + Poreless foundation in 330 Toffee, Wet N Wild Photofocus foundation in Toffee, Benefit Cosmetics Porefessional, Colourpop No Filter concealers in Tan 50 and Golden 40, Laura Mercier translucent loose setting powder, Colourpop bronzer in Rodeo Drive, NYX Ombre Blush in Soft Flush, Becca Cosmetics highlighter in Opal 

Face

 

Morphe 35B palette, Sivanna Brown palette, Colourpop Super Shock Shadow in Flower Shop

Eyes

 

Colourpop Brow Boss in Dark Brown, Etude House Drawing Eye Brow in Medium Brown 

Brows

 

Anastasia Beverly Hills Lip Palette, Colourpop Ultra Mattes in Arriba and Rooch 

LIPS