Sunday, December 7, 2008


To quell all the rumors regarding my current status with Shu Uemura Philippines, I would like to say that I am STILL affiliated with the brand. Though I have resigned from the company, my loyalty to the brand remains and L'Oreal supports all my endeavors. As proof of this, they have arranged a special discount ONLY to my students enrolled at the School of Fashion and the Arts (SoFA). Part of my curriculum is to take the students on a field trip to the boutique and point out the products they must purchase as part of a basic make-up set. I know that Shu Uemura also extends a discount to other make-up schools, but let's just say that there are extra perks for my students and I am actually allowed to use their facilities for my clients and for those who would like consultations in the boutique.
SoFA is now marketing my courses for the next semester which begins end of January. I am still offering the Basic Make-up course for beginners and now will be offering a Progressive Make-up course for the more advanced.
I'll keep you all posted on the final schedule and contact numbers for enrollment. I will also be making an announcement on another big thing that I have in store for everybody.


Sunday, November 23, 2008



First of, it is the hottest new product sweeping Europe and the USA. Think of as an iPOD which fixes your wrinkles, cellulite and hair loss. Sounds too good to be true right? Like many of you, I am skeptical of quick-fix-it kits. When NUSKIN first invited me over to be their guinea pig, I really did not know what to expect. I was relieved to find that they weren't about to sell me a bunch of products but rather, endorse a machine that provides instant results which complements the make-up services I already provide.


In the last five decades, spa and salon therapists have used galvanic currents to refresh and energize the skin. Galvanic currents enhance circulation and renew skincells resulting in revived, refreshed and radiant skin. There are two galvanic currents, NEGATIVE and POSITIVE.
  • Negative galvanic currents transport nutrients deeper into the skin which results in revitalized skin
  • Positive galvanic currents rid the skin of toxins and impurities

I was thinking of something witty to say, but instead let me enumerate the benefits you will get after a treatment:
  1. It takes only 10 minutes for the whole treatment.
  2. Faster healing of blemishes and acne.
  3. Significant reduction of wrinkles, eye bags, crows feet, frown lines.
  4. Excellent for pre- makeup, thus making you look best for that special ocassion.
  5. It is affordable and portable.
Puchasing your own Galvanic Spa II machine will cost you P25,000 (pesos). If you would like to buy one to use in the comfort of your own home, post a comment on the bottom and I will contact you directly on how to get your hands on one. If not, I provide the treatment and will make house calls and all you have to do is make an appointment. Treatment is P2,000 per person.


Monday, November 17, 2008

Head Trip

I woke up one morning to find my hair caught in one big tangled mess. Drastic as it may sound, I had my waist-length hair chopped to a bob. We're talking about 12 inches all scattered on the floor and me biting down on my lower lip. I had nobody to blame but me, given that I don't brush my hair or use product aside from shampoo. I was into that whole surfer-chick look after seeing Blue Crush and my hair, having a mind of it's own, looks best with no products at all. I don't use conditioner, nor do I own a hair dryer. I'm really a wash-and-wear kind of girl and quite low-maintenance where tresses are involved. It's been almost 2 years and I want my long hair right now. It's all about targeting specific key ingredients and knowing what benefits your type of hair will receive. In my case, I've got an oily scalp, tons of fine hair that goes limp with conditioner or any hair treatment. Certain brands of shampoo make me break-out around the hairline so finding the right shampoo has become somewhat of a physical challenge.


Biotin shampoo by NATURE's GATE

This shampoo delivers more than it promises. It is rehab for hair that has been abused by straightening irons, curling irons, dyeing, name it. Maybe you just had a baby and had your hair fall out. Maybe you suddenly want long hair (like me!). Or maybe your hairline is starting to (GULP!) recede.
LOADED: Biotin (Vitamin H) helps stimulate hair growth and improve quality of weakened hair. Add amino acids to that and the result is vibrant, healthy-looking hair.


De stress Muesli & Yogurt shampoo by DAVINES

I have to remind myself that this shampoo isn't edible. In as much as I love eating yogurt with muesli, I am also lactose intolerant. You can just imagine my delight when I actually found this in a salon. Hair that starts to thin or shed more than it's supposed to is the result of being stressed. I know someone whose scalp has turned sensitive because of stress, she writhes in pain when she gets a blow-out. Awesome for frequent everyday use.
SWALLOW AT YOUR OWN RISK: Yogurt, wheat proteins, calendula and hop extract make it your hair's breakfast of champions.


Lavender Nourishing Shampoo by AVALON ORGANICS

My latest discovery after having a bout with flaky scalp as a result of bathing in hard water. My eyes nearly fell out of it's sockets upon seeing BETA GLUCAN as it's active ingredient. As you rinse of you will immediately feel your strands and scalp being revived. It's an awesome clarifying shampoo that zaps life back into your hair. Not only does it smell heavenly, you won't believe how smooth your hair can be.
FOUNTAIN OF YOUTH: Beta Glucan comes from oats which promotes healing and stimulates collagen.

Tourmaline Hair brush at SEPHORA

Tourmaline is more widely known as a gemstone crystal. The bristles of this special brush are made of it. Compared to a regular brush it provides a variety of benefits that, when heated (using a hair dryer) releases negative ions and infra-red heat that banishes frizz, increases the shine and speeds up your drying process. It breaks down water molecules to evenly distribute more moisture to the hair.
STROKE IT: I still don't own a hair dryer but brushing away stimulates heat and friction to activate the tourmaline.

Oral Fixation

Do you suffer from break-outs around the mouth and chin? Is your skin usually clear but every now and then you get a huge zit or two when you least expect it? It is annoying as hell and difficult to conceal. For women, hormones are usually to blame but if symptoms persist then you may be suffering from a condition called Peri-oral Dermatitis. I used to have it, so I can definitely relate to how bothersome it can be.



I know what you're thinking. Yes, it means it can be in anything that you eat. I personally have given up french fries (CRY!!!) because waking up to flare-ups aren't worth it. Even with an antihistamine, my allergic reaction to iodized salt has mutated over the years. Substitute your regular salt to sea salt instead. I can breathe a sigh of relief while I'm wolfing down that bag of potato chips, knowing in the back of my head that I won't be ambushed with zits the next day. Before you say how prissy or vain I must be, well my answer is simple: It's never too late to take care of your skin. If you aren't willing to give up certain things then finding a way around it should be worth the extra step. Remember, as you get older, blemishes are harder to treat and scars will not fade as fast. Did I mention trips to the dermatologist can be as expensive as hell?


If you're raising your eyebrows at this, you must be among the lucky ones who won't need to make that switch. This is the most common cause of around-the-mouth break-outs. Don't stress! I learned the hard way and I'm making it easy for you. These products do not disappoint!

Healthy Mouth Tea Tree Toothpaste by JASON

YOU MAKE ME WANNA: Natural and organic, infused with Cinnamon make this so yummy
UH-OH: Not available in your regular supermarkets or drug stores, stop by a health store instead
Skin-saving toothpaste by VMV HYPOALLERGENICS

GOOD TO KNOW: VMV is a complete skin, hair and body cosmetics line developed by dermatologist Dr. Vermen M. Verallo.  At 16, my mother had almost given up in the search for the doctor who would banish my teenage acne forever. 
DOWN SIDE: Due to it's popularity, it may be out of stock and clients have a tendency to hoard 

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Layer Cake

I can't live without base. It's the one thing I am very particular with whether for personal or professional use. Base or Foundation has to be quite seamless and untraceable. More often than not, foundation application is what separates the experienced from the novices.
I'm often faced with the question: WHAT IS THE BEST WAY TO APPLY FOUNDATION? I know what I know based on my experience and what I have personally tried. A lot of you out there do not realize that with improper use, most of it just goes to waste. Try it for yourself and you be the judge.


I've been using sponges since the day I first learned to put make-up on myself. When I moved on to learn the basics in make-up school, we used sponges (tons!). Triangle sponges vs. round sponges have grown more popular throughout the recent years. It's not only smaller and takes up less space but a triangle sponge is what best resembles an index finger. The edges fit perfectly into the grooves around the eyes and best for overall blending. My issue with sponges is that it soaks up most of the product. Investing in a good foundation doesn't end in buying a great product, what you use to apply it with will give you more value for money.

SPONGE 101: Dual powder foundations are best applied with a wet or dry sponge. Keep sponges away from liquid foundations which will only soak up the product and you end up using more.

I refrain from touching my subject's face with my bare hands. I try to avoid it at all costs for the simple reasons that it doesn't look so professional and it is not very hygienic. One might argue that I can run over to the sink and wash but not all places may have sinks nearby, especially if I'm shooting outdoors. Even with a sink nearby, if my hands are clean, then I can pick up other things without making a mess. Some say that the heat from one's fingers makes any foundation easier to blend. This is also true, that's why finger application is best done on yourself, in the comfort of your own space. With the use of your fingers you will most definitely save on product usage.

PROCEED WITH CAUTION: To the heavy handed, friction from your fingers will make wrinkles and fine lines more pronounced. It is also not very advisable to retouch your makeup at work with your fingers, not only is it a hassle but it is time-consuming.


I only gave in to this trend about 2 years ago. What got me sold was not the idea but finding the perfect brush that didn't leave track marks. The most widely accepted foundation brush is usually made of synthetic nylon. Reason being is that the nylon bristles will not soak up the product, leaving you using less and saving more. Using a foundation brush made from natural hair is something I didn't think was possible. That was until I tried it. It yields a smooth, flawless finish, similar to using a sponge instantly making the pores less visible. Assign one brush for only this usage as it cannot be used for anything else.

KEEP IT SIMPLE: Nylon brush works best with Liquid foundation. Natural hair brushes, used to apply cream foundation will make you look like you had a pro do it.

Nylon Foundation brush from SEPHORA

Brush 18 goat hair by SHU UEMURA

I love the simplicity of this. If only it wasn't so messy and not leaving me running around naked waiting for it to dry in case I need to use it on the body. I went to school for airbrush as well, but until all major brands come up with specific foundations for airbrush use then I'll save it for special occasions. Don't get me wrong, I love the finish of airbrush but I personally whip out my airbrush gun for more conceptual shoots that involve fantasy Linkand avant-garde looks. Most foundation formulas will not go through the nozzle of an airbrush gun. There are specific products sold with specific airbrush guns. Check out the personal airbrush kits by:
The spray-on type of foundations are great, especially if you need to cover large parts of the body. If you have no flaws to cover, spray-on foundation is the way to go.

MISTY-FIED: Spray on foundation + sweat = streaking. Avoid wearing any light-colored clothes, foundation and spray-on tanner will bleed on the fabric!

Spray on foundation "AIRFLASH" by DIOR

Monday, November 10, 2008

Pucker Up!

In this day and age of shimmer and shine, a sure deal breaker for me is rough, dry lips. Gloss and shimmer, though very pretty (when not overly done) also accentuates dryness and lines on the lips. Make it a daily habit to exfoliate your lips after brushing your teeth. Don't do it too vigorously as lips are thinner-skinned than the rest of your face. There are so many products out there which claim to plump up and reduce the unwanted. Here are my top picks:

Aside from the simple, no frills, easy-to-use tube, this lip balm is the brand's best selling product used by both men and women. What sealed the deal for me is that it has SPF 15, which makes it perfect for everyday, anywhere use. We slather so much stuff at the beach but sometimes forget that lips need protection too.

: It comes in tinted shades for those who want a lip-stain effect sans the extra product.

All else aside, I love the vintage packaging and smell of rose petals. It reminds me of my fact, I discovered this on her dressing table. Try to avoid sticking your finger (or someone else's!!!) in the can. Use a Q-tip or lip brush instead to avoid contamination of bacteria which leads to its shorter shelf life.

: Also relieves minor skin irritations, diaper rash and detergent burns

This is perfect for those who only like to use all-natural products. It's non-greasy formula takes the cake for those who don't want to look like they just gobbled up greasy fries. Perfect for men who would rather die than be seen with any cosmetic product in their pocket. Twist-up tube keeps it free from bacteria and germs.

IN THE MIX: Beeswax, Coconut Oil, Sunflower Oil, Peppermint

The Principe (PRAN-SEEP) line's active ingredient is Amino Acid. To put it simply, Amino Acid serves as food for collagen cells. Aside from alleviating dryness, it instantly plumps up the lips and with regular use, restores the natural color of the lips. Smokers will benefit from this product or those whose lips have darkened with aging and sun exposure.

PRO TIP: use this at night while the body builds new cells and Kiehl's Lip Balm #1 for fool-proof kissable puckers.

Sensitivity and allergy-tested makes it safe for children, infants and adults who are prone to reactions with fragranced products. Because of its super emolient ingredients, it may have a tendency to melt faster than regular lip balm so keep it away from the sun and heat.

THE GOOD STUFF: Avocado Oil, Rice Bran Oil, Beeswax