A Review of the Benefit Foolproof Eyebrow Powder

Brow powder is pretty much my eyebrow product of choice. I prefer it over pencils and pomades. Even when I do other people’s makeup, I draw them and fill them in using powders. With that said, I’m super picky about the brow powder I use. A lot of the brow products in the market come out really brown, and they tend to look muddy and fake against my already dark eyebrow hairs. I tend to go for more grey brow powders, and those aren’t that easy to find. One day, I found myself in Benefit, and couldn’t help but purchase their Foolproof Eyebrow Powder. I hadn’t really heard anything about it, but the one in the shade 5 caught my eye because it came with grey and neutral dark brown colors. I knew I had to try it, and now I’m ready to share my thoughts on it.

The Benefit Foolproof Eyebrow Powder is a soft filling brow powder that’s supposed to be easy to apply (hence, foolproof). It boasts a 12-hour wear as it adheres to the skin and hair, making sparse brows look full, but not harsh. It comes in an eyebrow shaped pan with two colors; this is supposed to mimic the gradation of natural brows from light at the center to dark at the ends.

It’s applicator is a pointed sponge, with is interesting because I would have never thought to use a sponge for applying brow powder. You can remove the other end of the applicator to reveal a small spoolie, which helps to groom the brow and blend in the powder.

First off, I really like the formula of this brow powder. It’s quite hard and the color payoff isn’t too bold, which is great if you want natural-looking eyebrows. It’s also easy to build up if you want to go for a darker look. I tried the sponge applicator, and it makes the brows look full, but soft. I have thick eyebrows already, but I can imagine people with sparser eyebrows having a hard time using the sponge applicator. I still prefer to use an angled eyebrow brush when using this product.

Left: No Brow Product; Right: Using Benefit Foolproof Brow Powder

Just like how it looks in the pan, I use the lighter color for the inside of the brows, and the darker color for the outside. The difference of the colors isn’t so stark that it will make the brows look two-toned, and when you blend them with the spoolie brush, the brows look full and natural. The two colors really give the brows a lot of dimension. It has excellent staying power and it lasts all day. I don’t really have anything bad to say about this product except that it was pretty expensive at Php1500, but you don’t need to use a lot of it, and I can imagine it would last for more than a year without getting used up.

Overall, I really love the Benefit Foolproof Eyebrow Powder. It has cute packaging, it comes in versatile colors, and it makes my brows look incredible.

Have you tried this product? Let me know in the comments!

Beauty Essentials Class DONE!

Last week, I finished the Beauty Essentials course at MUD Studio Manila. As I mentioned in my post about going to makeup school, the Beauty Essentials class in an introductory course to beauty and corrective makeup, and it’s a prerequisite for the Level 2 courses that I’ll be taking in March.

My batch had only 3 students (including myself), and it’s great because a small class size means that our teachers will be able to attend to all of us. We were taught by seasoned makeup artists like Miss Georginna Desuasido and Miss Kris Bacani. They’ve been in the industry for years, so I’m really grateful that they were able to teach us!

As someone who already had experience with makeup application prior to the course, I thought there wouldn’t be much that I already didn’t know, but I was definitely wrong. On top of all the makeup essentials that we received, we were given a textbook and workbook that included study questions and exercises. As a former literature major, I really appreciated the theoretical side to makeup application, and as an aspiring makeup artist, I loved being able to see that theory being practically applied. One of the lessons that I really enjoyed was the one about eyeshadow. They not only teach proper eyeshadow application, they also present the different eye shapes and what kind of application would be perfect for each of them.

The course took place over 12 days, and we took each lesson slowly. We would usually tackle one element of the face per day (ex. day 1 was base, day 2 was corrector, etc). It was great because it meant that we could really absorb the lesson properly. The course culminates with final written exam and practical exam. We were able to bring models during the last week of class so that we could practice for our finals.

I really enjoyed the course, and I can’t wait for the Level 2 classes. March can’t come any sooner! You can check out the looks I did on my friends, and my MUD Class story highlights on my Makeup Instagram.

I Tried Sulfate-Free Shampoo

Parabens, Triclosan, Pthalates, and Formaldehyde. These are just some potentially damaging ingredients commonly found in skin and haircare products. Among the roster is Sulfates. More often than not, you can find Sulfates in the ingredient list of most shampoos, so why is it that some brands try to do away with the ever-present component? While browsing at Yves Rocher, I came across Sulfate-free shampoo and decided to give it a try, and to see if there really is a difference between shampoos with Sulfates and without it.

Before anything else, what are Sulfates? Essentially, they’re surfactants made of sulfur-containing mineral salts. They lift away grease and grime from the hair and scalp to make them easier to wash away, and they’re responsible for that nice, bubbly lather. So what’s so bad about them? While Sulfates do clean your hair and scalp, they’re pretty aggressive and potentially irritating, and using shampoos containing Sulfates can strip your hair the of moisture it needs. Sulfate-free shampoos are milder and don’t strip the skin of the natural oils it needs.

I had run out of shampoo one day, so I popped into Yves Rocher to grab some more when I saw their Low Shampoo Delicate Cleansing Cream. My curiosity got the better of me (and it was on sale!), so I purchased it to try. The shampoo is a really thick cream, and its consistency is more like conditioner rather than regular shampoo.

The first time I used it, I massaged it into my scalp and ran it through the length of my hair. It doesn’t have the satisfying lather that most shampoos have, but after I washed it off, my hair still felt really clean. I still used conditioner with it, and I noticed that my hair was a lot softer and shinier than normal. Throughout my use of the shampoo, I concentrated most of the product onto my scalp instead of the length of my hair. I did this because I had to be economical about my shampoo use; since it’s a cream, I found myself using way more product compared to its soapy counterpart.

Because I have an oily scalp, I have to wash my hair everyday. I was hoping that by putting moisture back into my skin through the Low Shampoo, it would keep my scalp from producing more oil. I still found that my scalp would get pretty oily after 24 hours, and it pretty much felt the same way it would when I would use soapy shampoos.

Overall, using Sulfate-free shampoo was a good experience as it made my hair feel softer and smoother, but I think I’d still stick to normal shampoo only because I find that I use up Sulfate-free shampoo a lot faster than normal. I should probably learn how to portion it better, and I’d mostly likely repurchase it if I see it on sale again.

I’d recommend the shampoo to people who need the extra moisture in their lives. People with naturally curly hair, colored hair, and brittle hair would probably benefit from Sulfate-free shampoo the most. I have a friend who has beautiful curly locks, and she swears by Sulfate-free shampoo because it keeps her curls bouncy and hydrated.

Have you tried Sulfate-free shampoo? Let me know in the comments!

The Ultimate Skincare Post

This is one of my more ambitious posts as in it, I’ll be outlining my complete skincare routine, including once a week maintenance rituals and troubleshooting. Wow, I made my face sound awfully like a computer. Anyway, I realized that I needed a change from my simple skincare routine (check it out here) because my face pretty much started to plateau. My skin looked okay, but not great, so I decided to mix it up with product changes and additions to my routine. Before we get started, you might notice that a lot of the products are by Rraw PH. This is in no way a sponsored post; I just hauled a bunch of stuff from them last month to incorporate into my routine. You know how much I love local and wholesome products!

The Daily Routine

My daily routine consists of the products that I use each day. Consistency is really important if you want to make a positive change in your skin, and I’ve outlined the products in the order in which I apply them.

Makeup Remover

Before you wash your face with your regular facial cleanser, it’s important to remove your makeup first. I love using cleansing oils, and I’m currently using the Bioré Cleansing Oil. It’s a super easy, quick, and thorough way to remove your makeup. I also like The Body Shop and Sephora brand cleansing oils.

Facial Cleanser

Right now, I’m using Rraw PH’s Witch’s Brew Facial Cleanser. It’s made of a bunch of organic ingredients including Virgin Coconut Oil, Kaolin Clay, Activated Charcoal, and Guava Essential Oil. These allow it to clean deeply without stripping your skin of moisture. It lathers up nicely, and my face never feels tight after using this product.

Toner

Toner is a really important step because it not only cleans your skin more thoroughly, it’s also a great way to incorporate different skin-loving ingredients to your routine. I use the Witch Hazel Toner by Rraw PH. Witch Hazel is great because it rids the pores of dirt, toxins, and excess oils. I also really love the Clinique Clarifying Lotion 3 because it was an easy way to add Salicylic Acid to my routine.

Eye Cream

The skin around your eyes is very sensitive, so it’s important to show that part of your face some love. I currently use Rraw PH’s Tea Butterfor my under eyes and even for my lids. It’s quite thick, but it gets absorbed into the skin quickly, and it leaves the skin around my eyes really soft and supple. I’d also recommend the Kiehl’s Creamy Eye Treatment With Avocado. It has a rich formula, and it’s super hydrating without being too heavy.

Serum

Haven’t had a serum in my routine in a while, but since a lot of the products I use have pretty basic ingredients, I thought this would be a good way to add a bit more oomph to it. I’m currently using the Rraw PH Serum for Oily/Acne-Prone Skin. It’s an oil-based serum, but it absorbs quickly and it doesn’t leave my face slick and greasy. I was kind of scared to try it because it contains Lavender, which I’m not really a fan of, and Peppermint Oil, which I thought would irritate my skin, but this serum works surprisingly well for me! I also really liked the It’s Skin Power 10 Formula LI Effector and the Juice Beauty Blemish Clearing SerumBoth are really great for oily skin!

Moisturizer

I’ve talked about Rraw PH’s Moisturizer before in this post, but I just want to highlight again that even though it’s quite creamy, it’s great for oily skin and actually helps control sebum production, all while being really hydrating. I usually switch my moisturizers up between this and my beloved Virgin Coconut Oil, using the latter when I notice my skin could use more moisture.

Sunscreen

Sunscreen is an extremely important part to anyone’s skincare routine! I make sure not to skip this step even if I know I’m going to be inside all day as UVA and UVB rays can still penetrate through windows. I love using the VMV Hypoallergenics Armada Sport 70 Sun Screen. SPF 70 may seem excessive, but better to be safe than sorry. I have to admit it does get a bit greasy, but it sits really well under makeup. I also liked the Bioré UV Aqua Rich Watery Essence SPF 50. It’s really light and it doesn’t even feel like you’re wearing sunscreen, although I had to stop using it because I noticed that it started to break me out.

Lip Balm

I feel like lip balm is a pretty underrated part of anyone’s skincare routine because frankly, when I look around, I notice a lot of dry, peeling lips. I hate it when I feel my lips get dry, so I make sure to have lip balm with me everywhere I go. I have several tubes open at the moment, and they include the Rraw PH Mint Coconut Lip Balm, and the Yves Rocher Macadamia Nourishing Lip Balm. My absolute favorite lip balm is the NUXE Rêve de Miel Lip Balm, and I would highly recommend that one for anyone struggling to get their lips hydrated.

Weekly Ritual

My Weekly Ritual is what I do with my skin one day of the week (usually on a Sunday night). Like my Daily Routine, I’ve outlined my Weekly Ritual products in the order in which I use them. It’s really important to follow the order because each step supplements each other.

Exfoliator

Before anything else, I like to exfoliate my skin to prep it for what’s to come. Exfoliating is important because it helps to get rid of dead skin and dirt that could affect the way the rest of the products in this line-up work on the skin. Instead of a physical exfoliator, I like to opt for a more gentle option. The Cure is a cool product because it comes out as gel, but when you rub it on your skin, you can see the dead skin cells and dirt come right off. Sounds gross, but it’s super effective.

Clay Mask

Because I have oily skin and blackheads, I like to use a clay mask once a week just to decongest my skin. I’m currently using the Clay Masks by Rraw PH. I’ve tried the Morrocan Clay Mask and the Mediterranean Clay Mask and they both worked really well for my skin! I also like the Aztec Secrets Indian Healing Clay Mask, although that one’s a bit tougher on the skin and it must be mixed with Apple Cider Vinegar to get a good consistency.

Hydrating Mask

While clay masks are great at decongesting my pores, they also tend to leave my skin feeling really dry and tight. I like to follow them up with a hydrating mask, particularly the Origins Drink Up Intensive Overnight Mask. I’ve used this for years, and it always hydrates my skin really well. When I wake up in the morning, not only is my skin clear, it’s also really soft and supple thanks to this mask. I would always recommend using sheet masks to bring moisture back to your face.

Troubleshooting

These are some of the products that I use as needed; usually when I notice a pimple coming up or a dry patch that needs some moisture.

Spot Treatment

When I notice a pimple coming up, I’m extremely unrelenting. I cleanse my skin, and immediately apply the Neutrogena On-The-Spot Acne Treatment. It’s formulated with Benzoyl Peroxide, and it’s great at drying up pimples. I don’t like using it more than once or else it could burn the skin and cause dark spots. I also like The Body Shop Tea Tree Oil as an organic option. They work the same way, and while the Benzoyl Peroxide one clears pimples up faster, the Tea Tree Oil one is more gentle on the skin.

Argan Oil

When my sinuses aren’t clear, the skin around my nose is usually what suffers most. I always notice that that area tends to get dry whenever I have a cold, so I like to show it some love by slathering my Josie Maran Argan Oil on the area. It usually goes back to normal after a couple of days, and applying Argan Oil on the area helps it from cracking any further.

Face Mist

I never really though face mist had an actual purpose, but boy was I wrong. I usually spritz the Rraw PH Rose Fresh Face Mist when I notice my skin could use a pick me up. It’s really hydrating and energizing. It seems so extra, but it really does make a difference in my skin! I’ve repurchased it a few times, so I can attest to how great it is for my skin.

And there you have it! That’s my complete skincare routine, posted in this blog for your perusal. I usually like to switch products as I use them up, but the structure and the order of the routine remain relatively the same no matter what I use.

What’s your skincare routine like? Let me know in the comments!

I’m Going to Makeup School!

Happy New Year! I must say I’m very excited for 2018 because I’ll finally be going to makeup school! I’ve been a freelance makeup artist for quite some time, and being self-taught is nothing to be ashamed of (it’s impressive even!), but I recognize that I still have so much more to learn, especially if I want to build a career out of my passion.

Photos taken from the MUD Studio Manila Facebook Page

Next week, I’ll be attending classes at Make-Up Designory. I learned about them from Project Vanity’s post about makeup schools in Manila. I’ve had the link saved since mid-2016, so this is really a dream come true for me. The courses include student kits (I’LL BE GETTING MORE MAKEUP!), and the certificates they give out for completing their courses are internationally issued. I’ll be taking the Beauty Essentials I classes starting next week. It’s an introductory course, and I assume the focus will be on basic makeup techniques that are important to master before moving on to more difficult types of makeup application. I’ll also be taking the Level II classes in March, and this includes Airbrush Makeup, Bridal Makeup, Studio Makeup, and High Fashion Makeup Trends courses. Just typing all this fills my heart with excitement!

I’m extremely grateful for the opportunity to deepen my skills and my understanding about one of my greatest passions. You can expect more updates about this journey on my blog!

What will you be up to in 2018? Let me know in the comments!

My Current Obsession: Clue

No, I’m not talking about the board game. Clue is a period and ovulation tracker for iPhone and Android, and I find it to be one of the best period tracking apps I’ve ever used. Tracking your period is very important. When you track your period, you begin to notice patterns or irregularities in your cycle. You’ll be able to get a good idea of when you’ll be ovulating, PMSing, and getting your period. It’s also important to have a record of it when you visit an OB-GYN; usually the first thing they ask you is when the first day of your last period was. Clue provides a smart and easy interface for you to track your cycle.

With Clue, you can enter the data for the day. You don’t have to be on your period when you use Clue; it tracks other things like fluid, pain, digestion, and emotions. You can even add more tracking options like exercise, appointments, hair, and skin. It tracks things I didn’t think would be significant to my cycle, but actually are. The more you use the app, the smarter it gets, and it can make predictions about when you’ll be ovulating, when you’ll be PMSing, and when you’ll be getting your period. Clue isn’t psychic, so the predictions may not be too accurate, but it’s good to get a general timeline of your cycle anyway.

There are also explanations within the tracking options in case you’re not sure about what you’re experiencing. It’s really educational, and it makes tracking my period a lot more fun. I also love how it also lets you input whether or not you’re on the birth control pill as I’ve been on it for a while now to ease my PCOS. It’s really extensive as it asks what kind of pill you’re taking and the frequency of when you take the pills in the pack. Since birth control pills are time sensitive, it will also remind you when to take it (you can choose whether or not you want your phone to alarm). Since I’m on the pill, the tracker doesn’t show any ovulation/fertile days (since you don’t ovulate when you’re on the pill). If you’re not on the pill, it’ll show and predict your fertile days and ovulation day.

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I think one of my favorite parts about this app is that you can share your cycle with your friends, and they can share their cycles with you. I just think it’s fun to see if you’re syncing with your friends. It also lets you know when they’re PMSing, so you’ll know when to tread lightly with them.

img_5351Overall, I really love using the Clue app! There’s no excuse for you to not track your cycle when it’s already so convenient for you to do so; the app is free in the App Store! On top of being easy to use, it’s also really informative, and it helps you understand your body better.

A Review of the Slay Colors Lipsticks

Despite my enormous collection of lipsticks, I always like to try new ones. Enter Slay Colors. They’re a Philippine-made indie cosmetics brand that caters to strong, fearless women. They’re fairly new to the beauty scene, but that doesn’t stop them from empowering independent Filipinas by creating bold, high-quality lipsticks for them. I have the shades Razia and Nightingale, and in this post, I’ll be sharing my thoughts on them.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

The Slay Colors lipsticks are made of fine quality emollients and pigments that glide smoothly on the lips for a creamy matte finish. They come in a metal tube that twists to lock, so they’re very travel-friendly, and you know that your lipsticks are safe. They have a lot of heft, and feel very substantial and luxurious. You can’t see it that well in the photo, but the lipsticks have the brand logo in a glossy finish on the tube, and I think this adds a really classy touch to the makeup.

L-R: Nightingale and Razia
L-R: Nightingale and Razia

Even though there’s a lot of hype when it comes to liquid lipsticks, I actually still love and prefer bullet lipsticks. They may not be completely matte and transfer-proof, but I like to make sure that my lips are soft and moisturized, and usually it’s bullet lipsticks that are able to indulge me in this. My Slay Colors lipsticks are steadily becoming my go-to’s because on top of being really pigmented, they’re quite creamy, but not so creamy that they slide around the lips and feel wet.

I have the shades Razia and Nightingale, and I really like them both! Razia is a warm pink, and it was named after the only female sultan of Delhi. It’s a really great my-lips-but-better shade, and I always end up reaching for it whenever I do my makeup. Nightingale is a deep mauve, and it’s reminiscent of the lipstick shades I would go for when I just started getting into makeup. It’s really flattering, and I always get compliments when I wear it.

L-R: Razia and Nightingale

Overall, I’m really into the Slay Colors lipsticks. I know homegrown skincare has always been a strong industry in the country, so it’s nice to see local cosmetics stepping up. The lipsticks go for Php599 each, and while Slay Colors doesn’t have a physical store (yet), they can be purchased on the Slay Colors website or on BeautyMNL. I’m really excited to see what comes next for Slay Colors, and I’m definitely going to be getting their other lipstick shades soon!

Have you tried Slay Colors Lipsticks? What do you think? Let me know in the comments!

The Justice League Series: Batman and Superman

Here is the last installment of my Justice League makeup series! The Justice League movie is coming out next week, and I’m super excited! The looks in this post were inspired by Superman and Batman.

Batman

Batman exudes mystery, but I also find him to be very polished. I decided to go dark with the look, but I still kept it clean to emulate Bruce Wayne’s personality. For my eyes, I used my Smashbox Lighting Theory Palette. I used the shade Nectar as a base, and with a light hand, I took the shade Almond on the crease as a transition shade. I blended the shade Truffle on my lids and lower lashline, and then I blended the shade Blackout on my outer corners and creases. I gave myself a wing using my Stila Stay All Day Liquid Eye Liner, and then I finished off my eyes with mascara. I contoured my cheeks using the shade Fawn from my Anastasia Beverly Hills Contour Kit. It’s a cool-toned contour color, so it doesn’t make me look bronzed, and I find that it adds more definition to the face. For my black lips, I used my Kat Von D Everlasting Liquid Lipstick in Witches.

Superman

I’m not even sure if Superman will be in the Justice League movie, but I couldn’t not include him in this series! I have to say: this is my favorite look in the series because of how bold it is. I got my inspiration from his costume and incorporated the colors in this look. For my eyes, I took my Sisley Phyto Eye Twist in Lagoon and blended it all over my lids. Since it’s such a stark color, I made sure to keep it neat at my creases. I also blended it on my lower lashline. I used the yellow color from The Zulu Palette by Juvia’s Place and applied it on my inner corners. I gave myself a wing using my Stila Stay All Day Liquid Eye Liner, and then I finished off my eyes with mascara. For my lips, I used my MAC Lipstick in Russian Red.

And that’s it for my Justice League makeup series! Hope you enjoyed it!

The Justice League Series: Wonder Woman and Aquaman

Here is the second installment of my Justice League makeup series. For this post, I’ll be sharing the looks I created that were inspired by Wonder Woman and Aquaman.

Wonder Woman

After watching the Wonder Woman movie, I can confidently say that she is my absolute favorite from the league, and I’m excited to see her most. For the gold accent on my forehead, I used the yellow shade from The Zulu Palette by Juvia’s Place as a base, and then I layered the shade Sun Ray from the Anastasia Beverly Hills Ultimate Glow Kit to add shimmer and dimension to it. I wanted to keep the simple and elegant look that Gal Gadot features as Wonder Woman, so I used the Urban Decay Naked Palette and took the shade Sidecar to my lids and Buck to my crease and outer corners. I bronzed my skin using the Benefit Hoola Bronzer, then I highlighted my nose and inner corners with Sun Ray. I kept my lips nude to tie the look together.

Aquaman

I must confess: this Aquaman look is based less off of him and more on the creature he communicates with. I incorporated the scaly look on my cheekbones by using a net as a stencil. I used the metallic teal shade from The Zulu Palette by Juvia’s Place across my cheekbones, on my eyes, and even on my lips. To give these areas more dimension, I also blended in the shade Luna from the Anastasia Beverly Hills Aurora Glowkit. To give my eyes more definition, I blended the matte teal shade from The Zulu Palette on my outer corners, and then I highlighted my inner corners with Luna. I topped of my lips with the MAC Dazzleglass in Prancin’ Dancin’.

And there you have it! Only one more post in these series left, so stay tuned for that!

The Justice League Series: The Flash and Cyborg

The Justice League movie is coming out this month, and I’m really excited about it! I may not be a superfan, but I do appreciate a good superhero movie, and this one looks really promising. To express my excitement, I decided to create a series of makeup looks inspired by the heroes of the league. For this post, I’ll be showcasing the looks inspired by the Flash and Cyborg.

The Flash

I decided to be really obvious with it and paint a huge lightning bolt on my face. I used the yellow eyeshadow from The Zulu Palette by Juvia’s Place as a base, and then I used the shade Sun Ray from the Anastasia Beverly Hills Ultimate Glow Kit on top to make it pop. For my eyes, I used my MAC Lipstick in Russian Red as a base. A lot of my red eye shadows appear orange when blended out, so I used the lipstick as a base to keep the integrity of the color. I used the shade Red Ochre from the Modern Renaissance Palette and blended it out. I applied the shade Cyprus Umber from the same palette at my outer corners just to define the shape a bit, and then I applied Primavera on the inner corners as a highlight. I made a thin line using the Stila Stay All Day Liquid Eyeliner, and I topped it off with mascara. I used my MAC Lipstick in Freckletone and then layered on the MAC Nutcracker Sweet Dazzleglass in Prancin’ Dancin’.

Cyborg

To represent his half robotic features, I used the Luna highlighter from the Anastasia Beverly Hills Aurora Glow Kit to cover a fourth of my face. I did the same thing I did for the Flash with the red eye shadow on the silvery part of my face, although I added more shadow at the bottom lash line to make the whole eye red. For the other eye, I used the shade Gunmetal on my lid and Creep on my outer corners, both from the Urban Decay Naked Palette. I topped both eyes of with mascara, and for my lips, I used the limited edition MAC Star Trek Collection Lipstick in Kling-It-On.

And there you have it! These are my looks for The Flash and Cyborg. Stay tuned for the rest of the makeup looks inspired by the Justice League!