The Best of 2016: Makeup

It's almost a farewell to 2016 but for everyone who'll miss this year especially, don't worry, you'll say more hellos in your lifetime than goodbyes. 

I've finally mustered some time from all the holiday rush to finally take decent photos and I'm currently writing this at the speed of light. Sometimes a hello is soon followed by I love you don't you think? And here are the makeup picks that made it to the love list this year!


Additions to the Arsenal #7

It's been a while and it's been a quiet couple of weeks here. I've just hadn't the time to take photos recently. It's been frankly a very busy time which has been taxing on so many levels and aspects which I'll address in a post sometime. But I've recently  acquired a few things yet again which I promise to review in time since I'll need to get writing more and more in my free time.


The Zalora 12.12 #OnlineFever Sale + A Chance to win A P35,000 Shopping Spree

Alright, I have a love hate relationship with Zalora, meaning I love it but I hate that I don't have the limitless wallet but here's a little heads up for all those sisters out there that have some last minute but not really Xmas shopping. 

Exciting news! ZALORA, Asia’s leading online fashion destination is thrilled to bring you its annual Online Fever sale starting on December 12, 2016. Poised as the biggest online shopping event of the year, Online Fever is a 4-day event which runs from Monday, December 12 through Thursday, December 15. During this time, shoppers are exposed to massive steals and deals on international brands such as Ray-Ban, Herschel, Cotton On and Esprit as well as your favorite local brands such as CLN and Penshoppe. 

Think bundle deals, surprise flash sales and prices slashed by as much as 70% off on ZALORA’s huge selection of clothing, top rated beauty products as well as fashionable sportswear and accessories. For those looking to tick items off their Christmas lists, 12.12 might just be the perfect time to nab the most amazing deals and score major savings on their holiday shopping.

And here's that chance to win that Shopping Spree. It's a Scratch and Win Game that you'll need to share and might win a coupon or that Shopping Spree so just give it a try, Spoiler Alert: I didn't get it.


The Face Uniform

If the title looks familiar, I was inspired in to writing up this post after reading this. And I guess it's time for a little show and tell with my current "Face Uniform". Basically all the reliable products I can't make my daily look without at the moment but I do switch out from time to time, particularly the foundation and lipstick. Fair warning to avid readers, you're about to see some of these for the 145624th time.


The Face Mask Collective

Been a bit of a slow month coming up with this post. And now we're coming up to December and kiss its face with all its bankrupting glory. And I see it's finally time to write up my skin care routine again. Why I only do it once a year? Because skincare is definitely a routine set in stone for me unless I add new products, basically same routine just different products, not nearly as interesting as piling on 3 bronzers in one sitting or say, blue lipstick. But I digress, and here is my current collection of face masks. 


Additions to the Arsenal #6

It's sale season and I regret nothing, or so I tell myself. But I finally got my hands on a few things I've been eyeing on for less the label price. 


The Current Lip Wardrobe

As the title says. on the lips at the moment. This is pretty much what I've been slathering on my lips for the past few weeks and are the current residents of my makeup bag. So let's do some re-introductions and swatches.


Face Base Collection

So it's almost the end of the year and I think I've done almost every major round up so far except for Foundation/CC Cream/BB cream and such and such. Well it's safe to assume that this collection won't be updating any time soon since I'm pretty satisfied and this will last quite long i.e. a couple of years


Pink Sugar Honey I'm Good Eyebrow Kit in Perfect Taupe

Scoff it off but brows might be considered a priority. In the beauty sphere luscious defined brows can be seen on Instagram warranting cringes and praises alike. But since most of us (at least me) are no Brooke Shields or Cara D., there are tools. Like the newest brow kit from Pink sugar.

Price: P399
DescriptionA compact eyebrow quad for everyday brow grooming. Features one wax and three powders; expertly shapes, defines, and fills even the sparsest brows; colors can be used solo or blended together for customization; comes with two mini brow brushes for precision control


Another Affair with Zoeva: Luxury Rose Golden Set II

It's been another long time coming but I've checked another piece off my wishlist after a year. I bought the first Rose Golden Luxury set in January. I've been putting this off for so long because I was having second thoughts. But after a moment of realization I decided to get it. So much for self-control. 

Live your fairytale and master any makeup look with the Rose Golden Luxury Set, a collection of eight handcrafted, essential makeup brushes in an ultra-feminine design, including a chic rose-golden clutch.
Availability: Sephora


October Favorites

It's been an eventful October to say the least. And as you can see with the lack of posts that I've been busy. It's been an eye opening fact to how hard some bloggers work to deliver quality posts, vlogs, and videos when they're also very busy with life and problems. Especially because they don't really have fixed work hours. But luckily I've squeezed some strength out of me to write up a few favorites this month.


Life Update #2

A once in a blue moon life update has appeared. Not that there's anything that's of note but you might be seeing fewer beauty posts since I've been very into clothes lately. I think I'm trying to figure out my personal style which is honestly a lot of black, navy, white, stripes and denim. I like comfort and I'm currently working out the pieces in my wardrobe so I think most of my purchases will be more on clothes and the occasional beauty purchase. I'm also noticing a few things like my skin slowly getting less oily and becoming more normal. It has become quite a shock and I'm contemplating whether to buy a ton of moisturizing treatments and masks.

And here's a little ramble on body image. I'm not thin but I don't think I'm plus size as well. I'm an in between. And as I'm getting clothes more often now it is extremely frustrating how the Philippines carries a very narrow sizing system and someone of my size (I'm a US 10) is considered XL or L and no other or very few options are offered out there. Even for feet, I've been disappointed by high end brands and mid level brands carrying 9 as the largest size. 3 out of my 5 friends have size 10 feet. Oh the agony for bigger sizes. A fashion designer friend told me that demand is the problem, low demand for these sizes means low production. Hmmm that translates to me as how does one know it has a low demand when one doesn't even make them? Or do we treat plus size women as invisible?

End of ramble. And hopefully look forward for more style and beauty posts in the future.


Project Pan #1

A bit late to start a new series on the blog but then again better late than never. But this is a little ditty on things I've managed to hit pan on or use up in a nonspecific amount of time. Some proving that they've given me a bang for the buck I've spent or may have been a very short love affair. And will be including products here that I'm chucking out if they're being a bit funky on the smell or texture. Nothing lasts forever, including that radiance primer.


Makeup Melange #12 Radiant Bronzed Skin and Peachy Red Lips

Here's a little sporadic Makeup Melange coming right at you.  This time it's a bronzed complexion but with a lot of glow and a very peachy lip that just gives a flirty summery vibe, because we all know that summer is perpetual in the Philippines.


Etude House Double Lasting Foundation in Tan Review

Etude House has had several attempts at improving their base products from innovative primers to reinventing their BB creams, I've paid attention a few times in the past and some I've liked and some not as much but by golly I think they've finally hit the nail on this one. So listen up High coverage loving, oily-skinned people. Etude House has finally made a base that has got you covered.
Price: P1078


September Favorites

Now that September is over a certain song from a certain band comes to mind. But besides that, a favorites post is due once again.


Missha All Around Safe Block Sebum Zero Sun SPF50+/PA+++

Sunscreen, an essential if you don't want to prematurely age or get skin cancer. But I honestly find in irritating to buy one since I'm very picky with their consistencies and how they'll affect my makeup on top and how my skin will react with all its glorious oiliness to them. So I'm constantly jumping around looking for something that'll meet my needs.

Price: P360-P500 Online


The SAEM Cover Perfection Tip Concealer Review

Korean beauty has begun to take over my life again thanks to YouTube and this was a purchase born from their influence. And The Saem is apparently very famous for their concealer formulas, so can it hold up to its claims?
Price: P230-P350 online

1. Topical area coverage concealer for freckles, blemishes and dark circles.
2. Easy adjusting, convenient tip type concealer.
3. Perfectly fitted to the spots thinly and lightly.
4. Giving brightness and radiance to the skin by covering pores, freckles, blemishes and dark circles.


Colourette Colourstick in Georgia

I must have impeccable timing to put up this review when this specific shade is currently sold out at the moment. But that's how the cookie crumbles.

Price: P499
Description: If the crown fits, she must be wearing Georgia —a mocha-flavoured Colourstick in cordovan chicness from Colourette's Limited Edition Chocolat Collection.


Happy Skin Face the World Air Serum Foundation

It's my second foundation purchase in two years. I rarely buy foundations now since I have quite a few in rotation but thanks to product expiration dates I can do a bit of foundation shopping. Both my long time reliable favorites, the Estee Lauder Double Wear and Makeup Forever HD Foundation (Old version) are now nearly going past their use by date and are now less than half empty. I'm currently patting myself on the back for these accomplishments. So as it is I was in the market for new formulas, consistencies and this was Happy Skin's release for my curiosity.  

Price: P1299


Becca Backlight Priming Filter: Radiant Glow in a Bottle

Glow? Radiance? It must be a filter. And could also be this little primer. Becca has gained attention for their Shimmering Skin Perfector but could they translate that glow in a primer as well?

Backlight Priming Filter creates a canvas for your makeup, extending its wear from day to night. Infused with three unique Filtering Luminescent Pearls, each one adds a different drop of diffused light. Blended together, they impart a one-of-a-kind, lightweight, whipped fluid that creates a smooth canvas and acts as an instant filter, while the vitamin E-enriched formula minimizes the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. 

Backlighting acts as an instant filter, creating a diffused, soft-focused radiance that allows your complexion to catch light for a glowing look. Infused with Becca’s proprietary blend of crushed pearls, this primer achieves a lit-from-within, healthy-looking effect.
Availability: Sephora.ph


Additions to the Arsenal #6

Looking back now, it seems that this has become somewhat of a monthly visitor kind of series post. I'm mildly to moderately ashamed of the fact that a good chunk of my salary goes to beauty bits, some well planned and some accidental.


Happy Skin Glam Squad Contour & Color Review

Back from a little blogging break from causes brought to you by lack of a good internet connection. And today's product review is one of the latest offerings from Happy Skin and their Glam Squad collection with a collaboration from the makeup artists of local celebrities. So I guess I'm ready for my closeup.

Price: P1399
The Happy Skin Glam Squad Contour & Color is a marriage of two professional must-haves that chisel and color the face: an easy-to-blend taupe contour and a warm rosy-coral blush with a satin finish. Both long-lasting yet pigmented, it gives you the perfect celebrity-like sculpted face and fresh glow to bring out your features.
Availability: Buy here or at Happy Skin Counters Nationwide
Content: 3.5g contour + 3g blush


Pink Sugar Honey I'm Good Eyebrow Gel in Blonde

Filling in my brows have been life changing. And I say that with no exaggeration. I feel so ready for the day with filled in arches. And I'm not one to turn a blind eye to a good quality brow product. 
A richly-tinted multi-purpose gel for perfect brow definition
Sets, defines, fills, and shades brows; conditions strands with coconut oil and aloe vera; tinted formulas complement natural or color-treated hair; leaves a natural, fuller look
Price: P349
Content: 8g


August Favorites

Already more than halfway through the year and a lot of fun new beauty discoveries through out. And this past month there has been quite a selection from all over the place but be assured that they have well earned their places.


Canmake Marshmallow Finish Powder in Matte Ochre

I previously reviewed this in another lifetime when my blog was called A secret Beauty Geek. Time has passed and data deleted but here's a little reiteration and perhaps updated thoughts on this powder.


Makeup Melange #11 Georgia and Subtly Shimmery Eyes

Since I've been finally able to put up a fraction of the reviews I've been meaning to write up, I can now write more Makeup Melanges more thoughtfully with links to reviews of said product. Lately I've been sticking to a more natural eye look, and what I mean by that is just coats of mascara. So I haven't given much thought to put on eye shadow on a daily basis except maybe for a on-a-whim crease color. So the looks I've been doing when I do get the time to doll up have been more heavy on the eyes.


Charlotte Tilbury Magic Foundation Review

This is actually my first foundation purchase in nearly two years. Yes, you read that right. I’ve been on a foundation purchasing ban for two years on a vow to make a dent on my existing foundations and base products, to which I am proudly half-ways of my high end foundations. So as a pat on my back, I decided to go for a more luxury selection this time around, so Charlotte Tilbury it was. 

This foundation has been pretty much catching and breaking hearts all around the blogosphere and YouTube. Disappointment? Fulfillment? Read on to find out.


Too Cool For School Art Class by Rodin

I don't like to keep my love for bronzing and contouring (please refer to this post) a secret, I've had many successful affairs with the ones in my collection and after hearing one of my favorite YouTubers, Edward Avila, rave about this, I knew I had to get it. And knowing Korean brands don't exactly give much focus on contouring, this has been a stand-out in the market,

Price:Variable online, may go from P800-P900
Too Cool for School’s Art Class by Rodin completes your 3-dimensional makeup with its full set of contouring colors. This shading powder allows you to sculpt your face’s bone structure to be able to create a more gorgeous look without looking matte and flat! This contouring powder is baked the Terracotta way, which makes it give off a more pigmented color and a much smoother texture compared to usual powders. Infused with organic ingredients, this powder not only gives you a beautiful makeup look but also nourishes your skin with its vitamin content.
Content: 9.5g


Additions to the Arsenal #5

Just a few new things that have been in rotation lately. Mostly new eye makeup since it was suggested that I buy new eye makeup after LASIK to prevent bacterial contamination from my previous effects, I'm never one to turn down suggestions that lead me to retail therapy, pause, I say that with shame. But here are the few things I've picked up over the few weeks and days.


Etude House Proof 10 Eye Primer

To not prime is a crime. Then call me a criminal. I've only started liking eyeshadow a couple of years back. But there just has been this stigma of releasing unnecessary or even redundant products in the beauty industry for profiteering. And for years I believed that and I'm not one to invest in trying new things, so I did try an ELF eye primer before but the results were discouraging, but after watching a few videos featuring this Etude House Eye Primer I decided to give it a go. It's relatively affordable and widely available so why not right? 

Price: P298
Proof 10 Eye Primer supplies coverage to eyelids and around the eyes to enhance eye shadow color and intergrity for a longer lasting, Perfect 10 look.
Content: 10g


Happy Skin Work It, Girl! Shut Up & Kiss Me Moisturizing Lippie Duo

I think I'm down with that disease every beauty obsessed girl has been infected with for the past couple of years. I call it The MLBB Browny Pinky Mauvey Lipstick Syndrome. We are convinced that we have found the "one" until a new incarnation unveils itself and we are in love once again. And I can proudly say that I think 4 lipsticks in my possession might look similar but have subtle differences in the amount of brown, pink or mauve. And yet the search still goes on and with much glee Happy Skin has released more offerings.

Price: P1099 When bought as a duo, P599 individually
Availability: Happy Skin Stores and www.happyskincosmetics.com
Beauty Bar collaborates with the country's favorite skin-caring makeup brand, Happy Skin, to empower women with working girl-friendly beauty tools. With Happy Skin X Beauty Bar, make beauty work for you! This Happy Skin Shut Up & Kiss Me Moisturizing Lippie is sure to help you make that lip-smackin' statement.
Swipe on a powerful espresso color and kick butt with Wonder Woman.
Show the world you're Slaying It! with a commanding terracotta brown hue.
Highly pigmented and moisture-packed, these lippies glide on irresistibly smooth and leave behind a rich, creamy pout that's way tempting to kiss. Let your lips say it all and work it, girl!


July Favorites

I have been pretty much away from the blog these past days, mostly because of technical issues and my eyes weren't in their best condition to say the least since I had LASIK last June. And a whole lot of personal issues that have just come crashing down during the course of the month.  But here's the favorite lot this past July.


Zoeva Cocoa Blend Palette

I must say that I am all too easily influenced by YouTube Beauty gurus, and for a good while now, I’ve been hearing raves about this certain palette. Though not something that gave great clamor in the beauty community, it was apparently a sleeper hit.

It's been a month since I underwent LASIK and I have been forbidden to wear any eye makeup whatsoever, but luckily I have a few photos of me rocking a few shades on my eyes a while back.

Price: P1106
Availability: Sephora

The ZOEVA Cocoa Blend Palette features a set of 10 warm chocolate shades you can blend to achieve alluring or sultry eye makeup. Each hue delivers a gorgeous shimmery pigment to the eyes, bringing them glamour and elegance.


Makeup Melange #10 Testing New things

I believe it's been quite a while since I last put up a Makeup Melange. Nearly two months actually. And truth be told I also just haven't been wearing makeup as much lately. So in short nothing really interesting to put up until today. Since I am officially allowed to put eye makeup on again, I have just been itching to reach out to an eyeshadow palette and eyeliner. 


Max Factor Creme Puff Blush in Nude Mauve, Lavish Mauve and Seductive Rose

The world has been over the moon for the Hourglass Ambient lighting blush. But I just can't seem drop the cash on them yet. So I've settled for something that is less than half the price and available at my local drugstore. And I believe that they are the best drugstore blushers out there. And I say that with conviction.
Price: P685
Availability: Watsons, Beauty Bar, Zalora


Carrot Health Soap

So if you've been tuning in to any remnant of this blog, I caught the chicken pox on the first week of May. And as chickenpox entails, It left with it a few unsightly spots on my body. So enter this soap I which has been generously sent to me from an Instagram seller, @katrinasclothing.

Price: Currently P69
Availability: here


Additions to the Arsenal #4: A few bits from Manila

Hello there. Back from a bit of a blogging break since my eyes are still in the healing process from my LASIK procedure last week which meant a trip to the capital city, Manila. If there's one thing I like about Manila, it's the shopping basically. I love the vast selections of shops and restaurants so that also means I wasn't going to leave without a few little purchases here and there. And just brands that I don't come across in Davao.

Be prepared for how skin care centric this has become though.


Travel Skincare (5 Day Trip)

Can you believe I'm writing this at such a last moment? Literally minutes before I'm hailing a cab and heading over to the airport. Not sure about any internet connection where we're staying and honestly I much prefer writing blog posts on the desktop, so this all called for a very last minute post.


The Travel Makeup Bag (5 Day Trip)

I've been literally scrambling for the deadline as I'm writing this post and that I should be packing my bags for tomorrow's trip. And I've been watching numerous how to pack videos, constantly looking out for some tips. And as this will be published I will probably be in Manila by then. But if you fancy a bit of snooping around in my travel makeup bag, have a look at this post.


MAC Whirl

MAC lipsticks. Do these really need an introduction? But it has been a while since I bought myself a new shade since I've been enjoying much affordable and quality lip stuff from local brands. But I guess there are just times of weakness that makes you get a MAC lipstick.


Gorgeous Mauvey Pink Lip Choices from Pink Sugar: XOXO and Queen Bee

And just when I thought I was content with my current Lip collection, there always seems to be some new release which gives me a case of  the straying eye. In this case it's the new offerings from Pink Sugar, a bunch of new MLBB nudes and pinks to pique your interest. Two that caught my attention are these very pretty dusty pinky mauvey slightly browny pinks, and let me add that cannot get any more longer as a description.


Innisfree Jeju Volcanic Pore Clay Mask

Clay Masks. Perhaps a boon and a bane for oily skin. Boon as it deep cleanses pores and effectively reduces oiliness, bane because it just generally comes with that tightening and drying sensation which leaves skin so parched. But this mask comes along and is just the opposite of these preconceptions. 
Price runs from P500-P600 variably on Shopee

May Favorites

Alright, this might be the most gratuitous favorites post you might see in a while since I've had this incoming surge of new products all over the place and a bunch of forgotten favorites all jumbled up but somehow I've compiled what I thought were definitely for May. I've divided it into skin care and makeup picks.


Skin Food Salmon Dark circle Concealer Cream

I’ve gravitated back into the wonderful world of Korean beauty lately and thanks to Shopee, I have my desires sated. And thanks to a little push from a male Filipino YouTuber named Edward Avila in Korea, I had to get this. Though I’ve known about the existence of this little pot years back, I haven’t been convinced to get this back then.

Price: Currently P400+ on Shopee PH
Availability: belaisenares on Shopee PH


Additions to the Arsenal #3: More Makeup

And another haul post. I'll have to admit that May has been quite a spendy month for me in the beauty department. I hide in shame. But I have the convoluted justifications to defend each purchase! 


Brand Chat: Innisfree Capsule Reviews

A bit of a new corner here called Brand Chat, which basically can mean an extensive talk on one brand and their products, my personal experience with them and what I expect and think of them with the products I have in my arsenal. And kicking this off is the Korean beauty brand, Innisfree.


Makeup Melange #9 Bright Eyes and Red Lips

Some of the new products in action here. And I think I was in a more bold mood to sport a red lip. 


The Lip Collection

It's been ages since the last post so I suppose I'll have to make up for that with a more heavy composition. And I can say with confidence that this was the most time consuming roundup but certainly the least boring. And I think that as a makeup enthusiast, lipsticks are definitely that beauty product that you can really say that "Before I knew it I had 20." It seems that every few months or weeks that the number balloons.

So I have about 25 lipsticks but not all are in active rotation, sadly. And I think I have a couple here that are nearing their limit at 2 years old. But besides that, I'm pretty happy with my collection, they're like a family. And I sadly ran out of the Etude House Lip liners, a short-lived romance but nothing a visit to Etude House can change. No lip balms here as I only have one, as listed in my Skincare Routine 2015 post, I only have the Nivea Lip Butter in raspberry. So without further ado, meet the family!


Makeup Melange #8: Post Chickenpox face

It's been a week of suffering from chickenpox and it has suddenly made me want to wear more makeup because I miss it and I have a few spots that I need to cover thanks to lack of sleep due to sticking to the strict schedule of my medications.