Sunday, June 27, 2010

Why Don't You...

  1. Trade in the usual black smokey eye shadow for an unexpected shade such as a nice bronze/gold. Who says smokey eyes should always be in shades of black?

2. Get a portrait of yourself taken in black and white with out-of-bed hair, a bit of gloss, and some eye liner, every time you turn a year older. There's something sexy about the raw and undone quality of capturing a woman who is barely made up.

3. Vamp up your typical french tips for something a little bit more edgy but still feminine.

4. Take cue from Maggie Q ( I love her!!!!) and darken your locks from beach babe to smoldering nymph. Ever heard the term "your hair is your crowning glory"? This is the best example of that, notice how her makeup stays the same!

5. Skip the gloss and keep everything shimmery except the lips as we approach cooler months. Matte lips work best with bright colors, but make sure your lips are supple and soft to begin with.

6. Keep it simple and go down the "less-is-more" route. Leighton's pulled back hair shows off her neck, shoulders and an awesome tan that makes her look slimmer. Dewy skin that screams I'm so hot hot hot hot hot.

7. Do a Gwyn and reach for that straightening iron. I understand the affinity for surfer-girl waves but if every single girl is already riding that swell then it's time to make a change. You'll not only stand out but your hairdresser will love you too.

8. Update your makeup routine in less than 5 minutes. When you hear the name Gwen Stefani, what comes to mind is: red lips, winged eye liner and perfect platinum hair. How refreshing is it to see her in the same everything but with a pale lip. Wow. Can this lady do any wrong? Ugh.

9. Make like a modern Jackie O. It's fun to play grown up especially if you get it right. Camilla Belle does not disappoint. Volumized hair+porcelain skin+strong brows = straight out of a 60's film!

10. Shock everyone with dark lips if you've been sticking to the same shade like um forever. This works best going from day to night. Instantly brightens up the complexion too!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Makeup Brushes 101: The Idiot's guide to proper care of one's brushes


That's how I felt after perusing the May 2010 issue of Real Simple Magazine. I love this magazine to bits because of the practicality and tongue-in-cheek suggestions for anything and everything that's DIY. I was taken aback when, upon flipping to the beauty pages, it read: "clean your makeup brushes once a month with a mild soap or shampoo"...not verbatim, but something to that effect. First of all, the cover blurb is loud and clear, the May issue is "SPEED CLEANING". Readers, I assure you that washing your makeup brushes in mild soap and/or shampoo is not only the longest route you can take to cleanliness but the most impractical and unsanitary of all methods.

MAY 2010 Issue


So let's say you are an aspiring makeup artist, or maybe you've just purchased a set of very expensive brushes. Why not? all the best makeup artists and magazines tell you to invest in a good set of brushes because doing so is a worthwhile investment. I could not agree more. This is not some marketing ploy or conspiracy to make just one brand's brush line flourish. Investing in a good set of makeup brushes means a lifetime of brushes that deliver the best application. I'll let you in on a secret if you do not know it already: SOMETIMES IF THE MAKEUP BRAND IS NOT HIGH-END, WITH A GOOD SET OF BRUSHES YOUR NOT-SO-HIGH-END MAKEUP CAN LOOK LIKE A MILLION BUCKS. Reverse that phrase and honey, you've just flushed all that expensive makeup down the drain. Aside from near to perfect makeup application, a good set of brushes compliments a good skincare routine. How? well, calculate the amount of money you spend on skincare+trips to your dermatologist+treatments/facials,etc. So if you're not the soap and water kind of gal, yes dear, it is most likely that you cough up a fortune to keep your face as flawless as it can possibly be or have been spending a fortune to achieve flawlessness. Okay so given all that, you buy a set of brushes that are mediocre. For me, the definition of mediocre is any brush that is A. stiff and feels scratchy on the skin B. too soft that it doesn't really pick up any makeup. I can go on and on and on but it's not my intention to land on the makeup brush shit list. I'm simply sharing my knowledge and practical approach on how a bad set of brushes negates any skin care routine you've already invested in. Another thing, would you reach for a bar of "mild soap and/or shampoo" to take off all your makeup at the end of the day. Think about what I just said, yes that's it and let it sink in, I believe we are on the same page by now.

An aspiring makeup artist? say you have a 22-piece brush set. Correction, a very expensive 22-piece brush set. You have an assembly line of 6-15 models you have to makeup for a fashion show. OR 6 bridesmaids and a bride waiting in line to get made up. I doubt if you'll reach for "mild soap and/or shampoo" in between girls. Um, yeah I thought so. The most practical thing to do as a professional is to keep at least 3 sets of brushes as back up, because using the same brushes over on a different client is TOTALLY and COMPLETELY unacceptable to me. In some countries, this would be a lawsuit waiting to happen should you cross-infect a cold sore or a skin infection. You don't even want to hear the horror stories told to me by models. I have some clients who in fact, bring their own brushes when they get made up by me for the fear of spreading any sort of bacteria back and forth!


Well for starters, invest in a good set of brushes if you have not already. If you are a pro and would like to share any other brands which I do not mention, then by all means tweet me or make a comment on this post. We are all dying to know what else is out there!!! If I have not listed it, that only means I have not tried it, or I've tried it but would not vouch for it. I am privy to the following brands of makeup which carry these brushes:






Trish McEvoy (handy/travel size)


For personal brushes, cleaning them once a month is all you need PROVIDED the brushes either NEVER leave your home or are stored neatly in a brush roll or case. A lot of women are guilty of stashing their makeup brushes in the same kit alongside tubes of mascara and eyeliners. God only knows how much bacteria is breeding in that thing. A solution that I've provided is to have a separate set of brushes just for touching up. For personal use, you only really need at least 4 brushes: powder, blush, eyeshadow and lip/eyebrow. Keep the professional size ones at home on your dresser, anyway it's a hassle to tote these around. Buy handy-sized versions of whatever you have at home which sole purpose is for touch-ups at work and at play, easily stores in a small kit or clutch.
For professional brushes, I will sound like a broken record when I say please clean as you go. It is imperative that you do so because models have their beauty at stake and if you screw up someone's skin with your unsanitary ways, then the beauty gods shall unleash their karma on you, leaving you on your own and out on a limb. Nothing worse than a makeup artist with a reputation of dirty brushes/tools. Yuck. Brushes that require cleaning after EVERY client are: lip, eyeshadow, foundation and concealer brushes. These brushes work on the most sensitive and bacteria-prone parts of the face.


There are only 2 brands that I know of and use which acts as a disinfectant, brush cleaner and brush softener in one AND you may use your brushes right away with absolutely NO DOWN TIME/WAITING or WASHING. To anybody who wishes to challenge this statement, I would be willing and able in an arena where we can do an actual demonstration in front of a live audience. Again, if there are other products out there that I do not know about, please share them with me.

1. Shu Uemura Brush Cleaner (left) instantly drains ALL makeup from any brush. Put it to the test: take your greasiest grease paint and pour the cleaner into a small cup, the kind that comes with mouthwash and swirl your brush back and forth, you may repeat as necessary then wipe that on a white facial tissue back and forth strokes. TA-DA!!!! your brush is not only clean, but ready use and bacteria free. THAT'S IT FOLKS. No drying, no waiting, no washing, next model in line please? The only down side to this brush cleaner (I'VE TOLD THE FOLKS IN JAPAN TIME AND TIME AGAIN) is that it is only sold in one size. You kinda need to hoard a LOT of this because you will not be able to live without it. Another inconvenience is that for brushes bigger than an eyeshadow brush, you would need a bowl of the cleaner to go through one powder or blush brush alone. This is perfect for personal-use brushes which only require once-a-month cleaning.

2. Cinema Secrets Brush Cleaner (right) is the exact same type of cleaner as Shu Uemura. Unfortunately for us in the Philippines, the Cinema Secrets counters do not carry the big industrial size so you'll have to have it bought for you in the U.S. A friend of mine said that due to some packaging fail, the big size leaked in her suitcase soiling some of her clothes but loves the product anyway.

3. For big size brushes such as the ones used for powder, blush and the like, your best bet would be an anti-bacterial hand soap that foams. Not only are they NOT "mild shampoos" they smell great and do the job of ridding the grime and the grunge that builds up in your brushes. If you can splurge buy any anti-bacterial foaming hand wash from bath & body works or if you're on a budget brands like Ivory and Dove don't put a dent in your bank account available in most drug stores/groceries/supermarkets.


Brushes are very personal to me. As Mr. Shu Uemura says: "They are the extension of my hands and fingers". He could not have put it better. Treat them with care and respect and the love they deserve and know when to retire a brush that has served its purpose. Do I sound like a freak? well maybe I won't sound like one when you thank me in 10 years and your brushes are still intact. By the way, BEWARE of fake brushes being sold on Ebay and on the internet. Always question the authenticity, there is nothing wrong in doing so.


  1. Don't dry your brushes with a hand dryer or a blow dryer
  2. Don't lay your brushes down a towel while waiting for them to dry, instead lay them flat on a table with the bristles hanging off the edge, that way, all sides of the brush get to air dry properly
  3. Mold them back into their original shape with your hands, sometimes washing may cause them to open up like a fan or fountain
  4. Don't soak your brushes in a bowl, this will cause the bristles to fall out and break
  5. Don't throw away old brushes, you may use them to apply shimmer on the body, self-tanning products or clean your computer (HAHA), no seriously....

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Cristina Garcia for IM-HM.COM Resort Luxury Wear

The newest luxury swim & resort wear online boutique.
Coming to you very soon.

bikini by Gottex
neckpiece by Nicole Wisenhunt
photos by: Paolo Pineda
Styled by: Erin Campos
hair by: Felicity of Kiehl's

IM-HM.COM's website teaser

behind the scenes with Cristina

  1. You need not pile on foundation and remember to be light-handed with concealer. Blending is key for a seamless barely-there application and it is totally okay for freckles to show! Try a foundation that does the job of concealer or vise versa. YSL touche eclat (toosh-ekla) is a hands-down favorite by many professional makeup artists.
  2. To achieve the new sun-kissed look, opt for a MATTE bronzer instead of one that has shimmer. Stay fresh, oil-free but not too made up with the new mineralize skinfinish natural mineral powder in "dark" by MAC. It is the perfect tan without the sun's harmful UV rays.
  3. Instead of the typical nude lip gloss that usually compliments this look, turn up the heat with a color that pops like a bubble gum pink. The effect is soft and feminine but youthful and fun. MAC Saint Germain lipstick topped with Sally Hansen lip inflation gloss in sheer mocha.
  4. Matte blush for longer-wearing cheek color that stays put as temperatures rise. Shu Uemura in matte wine delivers the flushed-cheeks effect no matter what skin tone.
  5. Soften a too-matte face by applying a powder shimmer high up on the cheekbones almost to the temples, underneath the eyebrow arch and inner corner of the eyes. These areas will catch light and bring out your bone structure adding more dimension to the face. Shu Uemura powder eye shadows in iridescent yellow (darker skin) or pink (fairer skin).
  6. Define the eyes with a matte black pencil set with a taupe eye shadow. The goal is smoldering not smoky. Dior water proof eyeliner in jet black set with Shu Uemura metallic brown powder eye shadow.
  7. A water proof mascara you can swim in plus enhances eye color - Cover Girl exact eyelights mascara will not smudge or streak!
  8. Keep groomed brows in place with Dior tinted eyebrow gel. I just love the brush of this which is shaped like a mini toothbrush.
  9. Stock up on oil blotting sheets to keep an oily t-zone at bay. Gatsby black oil-blotting sheets soaks up the most facial gunk without ruining your makeup.

Friday, June 4, 2010

This week's picks!

I had another "aha" moment at Watsons last week with the discovery of Himalaya Herbals, a skin care line of natural and Ayurvedic herbs carefully selected from the foothills of the Himalayas. In search of a mud-mask that's best for my oily to combination skin, I came across this neem & turmeric face pack that clears skin and prevents the recurrence of pimples. Neem is a popular anti-bacterial and turmeric (part of the ginger family) is a known healer which eliminates bacteria that causes acne combined with Fuller's earth that soothes the skin.

(available at Watsons)

Make Up Forever HD Microfinish is a totally translucent loose powder disappears on the skin, leaving no trace, keeps skin matte and will NOT affect the color of your foundation. I think I've found the perfect loose powder to use on myself and on clients!

(available at Make Up Forever)

I like cleansers that foam. I particularly like the ones that come in bottles that look like this because I'm quite lazy, and enjoy the fact that instant foam comes out of the dispenser. Herbal Himalayas Neem Foaming Face Wash is a soap-free daily facial wash that deep-cleans without stripping the skin off it's natural moisture but at the same time wards of the recurrence of blemishes. I use this on my chest and back as well to jump start any shower routine.

(available at Watsons)

I've been looking for a facial scrub that's gentle enough for everyday use because I wear makeup almost everyday. Some times it isn't enough that you have a makeup remover. Everyday makeup wearers have more build-up on the skin which leads to a complexion that lacks glow and youthfulness. For those with normal to dry complexions, try Aveeno Positively Ageless Daily Exfoliating Cleanser. Have a go at your elbows, hands, feet and neck to visibly reduce the signs of aging.

(available at First Aid)

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Circuit - June 2010

Hurry and grab a copy of Circuit - June 2010 issue, it's free! A monthly guide to help you paint the town even more red for a complete listing of events and everything else that's bitchin' in the Manila social scene. Carla Abellana is coming up roses as June's cover girl, breathing new life into summer's last hurrah. If this is what rainy season looks like, then I say bring it on and let rose petals rain down on all of us!!!

Photo by: Raymund Isaac
Styled by: Charmaine Palermo
Hair by: Brent Sales


  1. Give your foundation a dewy finish by prepping with Shu Uemura UV underbase with Shimmer.
  2. Even out skin tone and cover the unwanted with Revlon Age Defying Foundation w/ SPF 18.
  3. Set with Chanel pressed powder.
  4. Combine hot pink and bright orange lipsticks for lips that say fun, flirty and romantic.
  5. Dot on clear gloss at the center of the lips to bring out that pout.
  6. For a soft matte smoky eye effect, I used a matte plum eye shadow by Shu Uemura and then with a wet eyeliner brush, define top and bottom lids.
  7. Yellow/gold shimmer on the inside corner of the eyes for a bright-eyed effect, highlight underneath the brow bone to bring out the eyebrow arch.
  8. Coat loads of Max Factor's false lash effect waterproof mascara in black.
  9. Set groomed eyebrows into place with MAC's girl/boy tinted eyebrow gel.
  10. Dust cheeks with a soft peachy-pink blush on by Nars in orgasm.