SAMPLE ROOM MEDIA LAUNCH

More than a month ago, Sample Room, the first beauty and lifestyle sampling website, held their official media launch and 3rd year anniversary celebration at Balay Indang, Cavite.

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Sample Room is a website where you can order deluxe size samples (and sometimes in full-size) of beauty products that are locally available for free! You can specifically choose what that you want to try, pay for the shipping fee then just wait for it to arrive at your doorstep.

I have always found myself buying a product but ended up not liking it because it just doesn’t suit me. Thankfully, Sample Room’s concept of “Try before you buy.” gives consumers the power to make informed purchasing decisions of their chosen product first before deciding to purchase in-store. Thus, saving time and money.

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But it doesn’t end there. Sample Room also provides real and honest details about the product and customer reviews. Honest ratings and reviews from users will surely help you in purchasing your desired product. How convenient, right?

Read on to find out more about the media launch. 🙂

It was my first time in Balay Indang and look what greeted us as we were nearing the event area — pastel-colored dream catchers. Cute!

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We were treated to a boho-chic getaway. Check out the setup below. Totally, leveled-up the event experience.

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The ladies behind Sample Room.

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After launching Sample Room officially to the press, we moved on to the main activity. We were tasked to go around the partner brand’s booth, sample the products, write a review and get samples – which basically how Sample Room works.

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The Sample Room’s partners are Beauty & Butter, Belo Nutraceuticals, C-Lium, Cure, Laneige, Lux, Pantene, Shiseido, Soffia Brushes, Vaseline, and Zenutrients.

This cute boho roundie was the perfect backdrop for photo ops. So happy I was able to experience this wonderful day with Janeena and Czari. Thank you Sample Room and to all the sponsors for the perfect R&R summer getaway!

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What are you waiting for? Log on to www.sampleroom,ph and get started! To know more about the latest products and exclusive perks and special offers, follow @SampleRoomPH on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat.

 

 

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SAMPLE ROOM MEDIA LAUNCH

GAME CHANGER: THE PUPPY EYE

I know what you’re thinking – “What in the world is the puppy eye?”. Well, it’s basically the opposite of the cat eye. While the sexy cat eyeliner flicks up at the outer corners, the Korean puppy eyeliner look flicks downward to create an almond-shaped, doe-eyed look that follows the curve of your natural eye shape.

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Here is my easy step-by-step tutorial to get the look:

1: Start at the inner corner of your eye, apply eyeliner along your upper lashes, extending the line down slightly past the outer corner.

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2: When you reach the outer eyelid corner, slick the liner downwards slightly, following the natural shape of your upper eyelid. Make sure to fill in the outer corner and the corner of your lower lashline-merging both ends. This makes your eyes appear more intense.

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3: Curl your lashes and swipe a heavy coat of mascara.

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I really do think this look is more flattering on me than the typical cat eye. Definitely nailed the “Who me?” look. Hahaha So if you’re not into the cat eyeliner look or if you want to try something new, give this trend a shot. Have fun!

GAME CHANGER: THE PUPPY EYE

JAPAN BEAUTY HAUL

Yes, guys! I’m back and ready to blog again!

So today I wanted to share a little beauty haul of some products I picked in Japan during my recent visit.

As a makeup artist, I always try to update my kit so I was really excited to shop in Japan, but the problem was I didn’t have much time to actually shop. So I thought, I would do a mini haul and leave some tips for all you readers who are planning to visit the country but are short in time to pursue through the aisles for hours!


First things first, I got all of these products at a drugstore, which mostly sells hygiene, cleaning, and beauty supplies – think Watson’s level. Hahaha

Don Quijote, a 24 hour store, is another good alternative. Their collection is decent so I am positive you will come out with a bag full of products.

EXCEL EYEBORW MASCARA

Eyebrow mascara is a fast and easy way to change the color of your brows. I was overwhelmed with the different shades but decided to purchase a chocolate brown tint which is perfect for my clients.

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SWEETS-SWEETS SOFT BROW EYE PENCIL

I love a good brow pencil. This one is a retractable soft eyebrow liner that is easy to control while the other end has a powder to fill in those sparse areas.

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MAYBELLINE THE MAGNUM BARBIE MASCARA

One word – BARBIE. I’ve been a fan of Maybelline mascaras for years so when I saw this in Japan, I instantly had to get one. No questions asked. It’s Barbie, guys. BARBIE!!!

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SUGAO SOUFFLE BLUSH & LIP COLOR

While I was there, I noticed how much they love their bright pink and red blush. So it was important for me to at least get hold of any cheek product. The Sugao blush and lip color has mousse-like texture that gives a natural healthy glow.

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SHISEIDO EYELASH CURLER

Three reasons: great fit, curls perfectly and great price (Php 500.00). A no-brainer pasalubong for your “kikay” family members and friends.

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DIAMOND LASHES

Japanese women are really into their false eyelashes, and they are everywhere. I gravitated towards this brand since they have more natural-looking styles but feel free to try the others.

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LOREAL TINT CARESSE

Before my trip, I’ve been hearing good reviews about this product so when I tried it in Japan I instantly fell in love. It has a powder finish that’s not drying on the lips. Plus, they have so much vivid colors to choose from. These went directly to my personal makeup kit.

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JAPAN BEAUTY SHOPPING TIPS

1. If you are a foreigner, some stores will allow you not to pay taxes. However, you can only use your purchased products when you get back from your vacation since you cannot open it until you go through customs. Do your homework and research on the items you want to buy. This trick will definitely save you money.

2. Look for the @cosme stickers on the products. These stickers mean that it was rated by the consumer. So if it says #1, then you can expect it to be that good!

3. A lot of pricier items are usually under a lock and key so find a representative to assist you.

4. If you buy anything that has liquid in it, remember to put it in your check-in luggage. I purchased a Shisheido Perfect Whip facial wash but it was confiscated at the airport because I had it in my carry-on bag. Typical me. Hahaha

So there you have it, my very first beauty haul. I drained my wallet and cleared my wish list but I couldn’t be happier. Let me know what other Japan skincare, makeup and beauty tools you are eyeing for. Planning to visit Japan again next year.

 

 

 

 

JAPAN BEAUTY HAUL

LUSH: A LITTLE GOES A LONG WAY

One of the values that I admire about Lush Cosmetics is their ability to give back to organizations locally and around the world.

In 2007, Lush invented a delicately floral-perfumed hand and body lotion called Charity Pot – where every penny (minus the VAT) goes to carefully selected small grassroots organizations working in the areas of environmental conservation, animal welfare and human rights.

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In 2013, Charity Pot raised over £2.5 million globally, and since launching in 2007 over £7 million has been given away around the world, to good causes such as: Frack Off London, Sea Shepherd, Climate Rush, Humane Society International, Beagle Freedom Project (BFP); and Reprieve. Locally, Lush is supporting PETA Asia Pacific and Cara Welfare Philippines.

Now in a self-serving formula, the Charity Pot contains seven ingredients from SLush Fund (Sustainable Lush) projects around the world. Some of the fresh ingredients included are Rosewood Oil from Peru, Geranium Oil from Kenya and Fair Trade Shea Butter from Ghana.

Established in 2010, the SLush Fund develops supportive partnerships with communities that produce fairly traded ingredients. The SLush mandate donates 2% of the amount spent on raw materials and packaging to invest in sustainable farming and community projects. Although a completely separate initiative, using ingredients (mentioned above) from the SLush Fund in Charity Pot allows customers to support sustainable farming initiatives, at the same time as raising funds for grassroots campaigning around the world.

Hence, purchasing a Charity Pot not only gives you velvety-smooth and beautifully-scented skin but you’re also doing a world of good. How awesome is that?

For more information, check out www.facebook.com/charitypot.

LUSH: A LITTLE GOES A LONG WAY

SKIN 101 & LASER 360: MY VERY FIRST ENDORSEMENT SHOOT

SURREAL – The first word that came into my mind when my mom, Cristine Duque, and I were at the photoshoot for Skin 101 and Laser 360. Never in a million years did I ever think of myself as an endorser, let alone an endorser for a skin clinic but I am thankful for the whole team for a super fun and an unforgettable experience. Just look at us below. We obviously couldn’t keep a straight face.

Photographer: Gee Plamenco

Videographer: Raffy Miranda

Makeup Artist: Rick Martell Calderon

Hairstylist: Mark Familara

To my Skin 101 and Laser 360 Family, thank you for trust and the opportunity to educate people on the importance of skincare. This is just only the beginning of a wonderful and fruitful partnership. THANK YOU!

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SKIN 101 & LASER 360: MY VERY FIRST ENDORSEMENT SHOOT

SKIN MATTERS: YOUR ONLINE SKIN EXPERT

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We all know that beauty starts with smooth, healthy, glowing skin. And Filipinos are now turning to the web when looking for solutions to skin concerns, how-to’s and products recommendations. Yet, there has never been a single online expert on skin readily available on the internet until now.

SkinMatters.com.ph is the first ever website dedicated to skincare. A collaboration of the savviest authorities on skin, Unilever, the Philippine Dermatological Society and an editorial team of skin care experts and writers, SkinMatters.com.ph aims to offer concerned men and women an omnibus site of everything and anything skincare related.

SkinMatters,com.ph features a wide array of content including articles on how to best fight pimples, how to decode your sunscreen, to how-to videos and even top bloggers’ and celebrities tips and trends. Visitors can even read testimonials from real users and can recommend products themselves in the reviews section of the website. The “Ask a Derma” function on the website is the most exciting feature where readers can consult with the Philippine Dermatological Society regarding any skin concerns. And they reply within 48 hours – so useful especially at this super busy time of the year.

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“The website will be curated to remind our readers about the importance of taking care of their skin,” SkinMatters.com.ph Editor-in-Chief Nicole Romero explains. “We teach them how to find the best products for their complexion by talking about the best ingredients to look out for in the aisles – not which brands to buy.”

For more information on SkinMatters.com.ph, visit the website at http://www.SkinMatters.com.ph, like it on Facebook at SkinMattersPH and follow (@SkinMattersPH) on Twitter and Instagram.

SKIN MATTERS: YOUR ONLINE SKIN EXPERT

ALDUB & PREVIEW: PUTTING THE PIECES TOGETHER

PREVIEW NOVEMBER 1

Due to numerous fan requests and fan-made covers, the Philippine TV’s current “It” couple, Alden Richards and Maine Mendoza, are on the cover of this month’s Preview Magazine.

Well, like all things ALDUb, there’s a catch. The pair could not be photographed together, much less be in the same place at the same time before their record-breaking “Sa Tamang Panahon” event last October 24. What a challenge, right?

So, the Preview team had to carefully orchestrate a production flow that would allow the shoot to happen within one day at Sulo Hotel, Quezon City. Creative Director Vince Uy, who also styled the shoot, also made arrangements for pieces from Gucci’s Cruise 2016 collection to be flown in, just for the

Here is the most interesting part. While Alden was in front of the camera, Preview’s Editorial Assistant Yanna Lopez, was the lucky (stressing the word — LUCKY) stand-in talent for Maine while Associate Art Director Eugene David was the stand-in for Alden during Maine’s shoot.

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And thanks to modern technology (aka Photoshop) and the superb editing skills of the magazine’s creative team, the results were seamless perfection. Here below is an alternate cover. You really must get a copy like right now!

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So what’s my key takeaway from all of this? It’s all about teamwork. In amongst the models, stylists, photographers, set designs and assistants, you’ll find people from all walks of life, pooling together their talents and experiences to help realise a shared creative goal. This is exactly what I love in this industry that I am in. It’s all about conceptualizing, helping and feeding from each other’s ideas that really make a good photo/video.

For more #kiligpamore photos, grab a copy of Preview Magazine’s November issue which is now available on newsstands and in bookstores, convenience stores, and supermarkets nationwide. A digital edition is also available for download through Apple Newsstand, Buqo and Zinio.

Visit www.stlyebible.ph, and follow /preview.ph on Facebook, @PreviewMag on Twitter and @PreviewtheStyleBible on Instagram.

ALDUB & PREVIEW: PUTTING THE PIECES TOGETHER

FORGET THE LINES WITH POND’S AGE MIRACLE

Since I was 16 years old, I have followed a very particular skincare regimen. This includes using a moisturizer with an SPF 30 and eye cream so I was pretty confident to try the skin analyzer at launch of Pond’s Expressions of Beautiful Stories.

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Although my skin looks a year younger (27 hahaha. Yes, I am 28 years old and damn proud), I was a bit alarmed with the results – UV spots, roughness followed by the pores and wrinkles.

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With that said, I think now is the perfect time to use preventive measures. Enter Pond’s Age Miracle, a hardworking anti-aging skincare range that leaves the skin looking up to 10 years younger. It has CLA and AHA,that exfoliates old skin cells and stimulate the production of new younger cells. It also has Retinol, a clinically-proven anti-aging ingredient that maintains elasticity of the skin by preventing rapid breakdown of collagen. Lastly, it gas Retinol boosters which prolong the effectiveness of Retinol by as much as 3x!

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The Pond’s Age Miracle Expression of Beautiful Stories campaign also launched the brand’s newest ambassador, Ms. Iza Calzado.

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“Be glad that you are able to feel and express yourself. There is nothing more liberating than being able to express your emotions with authenticity! Let Pond’s Age Miracle take care of the lines and wrinkles so women’s expressions are worry free.”

So ladies, if you feel joyous or sad, these emotions should be expressed without any hesitation. But the good news is that we can now use products to prevent fine lines and wrinkles – such as Pond’s Age Miracle.

Pond’s Age Miracle products are available in leading supermarkets and department stores. Know more about this line by visiting the Pond’s Institute in your favorite malls. Go to http://www.facebook.com/Ponds to know the scheduled runs.

 

FORGET THE LINES WITH POND’S AGE MIRACLE

NUXE: BEAUTY FROM NATURE

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I am so happy to announce that Nuxe, France’s no.1 pharmaceutical skincare, is now in the Philippines.

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This nature-inspired and luxurious cosmetic brand promises healthy youthful skin for all skin types. NUXE’s facial products are all non-comedogenic (their use does not result in the appearance of blemishes), and are formulated without paraben, mineral oils (ingredients of petrochemical origin) and animal-origin ingredients. Plus, Nuxe uses ecological, 100% natural and solvent-free processes to extract its botanical active ingredients, ensuring potency of each component.

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The local beauty, Nikki Gil, was revealed to be the Philippine ambassador for Nuxe as she shared her account of rediscovering and maintaining a flawless complexion in the showbiz industry.

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To date, 69 countries have benefited from the natural wonders of Nuxe. I’ve been using the Huile Prodigiese, a multi-purpose dry oil for almost a week and I now understand why it’s considered a cult favorite. My face, body and hair (yes, hair) has never looked so hydrated and healthy. The best is to apply this elixir after shower when skin and hair is still damp to lock in the moisture.

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As a makeup artist, anything skincare-related gives me butterflies in my stomach, so I’m very ecstatic to try their other products in the coming days.

Nuxe is available in Beauty Bar, Rustan’s Makati and Rustan’s Shangri-La. For more information, follow Nuxe on Facebook (NUXE Philippines) and Instagram (nuxeph).

NUXE: BEAUTY FROM NATURE

BENEFIT X BIRTHDAY BASH & BLOG LAUNCH

Benefit Cosmetics threw a totally cute birthday bash & blog launch for me.

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The party was hosted by the bubbly Nadine Madarang (Instagram: nadinemadarang).

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From fun games to sweet and savory treats, it was truly a girl’s dream come true.

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Check out the personalized snacks and dessert buffet prepared by Cantino (Instagram: cantino13). We all didn’t want to touch or eat anything from the table because everything was just too pretty… and cute!!!

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Time for another game. Look at their faces. Haha so competitive.

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Prizes and goodie bags c/o Benefit Cosmetics.

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A big THANK YOU to my family and friends and of course to Kriska Ramos (P.R. Manager) and the whole Benefit Team. What a fun way to celebrate my 28th birthday.

 I love you guys!

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BENEFIT X BIRTHDAY BASH & BLOG LAUNCH

REVIEW: THEY’RE REAL! PUSH UP LINER FULL COLOR

Originally launched in a single matte black shade, They’re Real! Push-up Liner now also comes in rich colors of brown, bue , purple and green. I love colorful eyeliners so I was pretty excited to do a review on this.

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PACKAGING

The twist-up packaging is intended to keep the gel-cream formula from drying out and offers a new way to apply the eyeliner without the need of a separate brush.

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Once you open the cap, you’ll see  an orange plug on the end of the liner tip. Remove it and start twisting the base to get the formula to come out.

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For some, it will take a bit of practice to master applying this eyeliner as smoothly as you want, but once you do, you may find the slanted point helpful in creating the prefect Ariana Grande cat-eye look.

TEXTURE

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The fragrance-free formula is creamy and super pigmented. One twist is enough for one eye application. If you layer it, it tends to break down and become flaky. Also,it dries pretty fast so better practice first to get that smooth line.

What I love about this eyeliner is that it doesn’t budge at all . In fact, it stays on so well that you’ll definitely need an oil-based makeup remove (Try using They’re Real! Remover. – a creamy gel formula that dissolves the makeup without tugging the delicate eye area.) to get it off as a cleanser or water.

PRO-TIPS:

  • To get a smooth line, always click and wipe away the product that sits in the tip before applying because it somewhat hardens.
  • Always tight-line your eyes to make your lashes fuller and your eyes bigger.

Overall, They’re Real! Push-up Liner in Full Color is such a convenient product for girls-on –the-go. At first try, it took me at least 20 minutes to perfect the winged liner look but with a little bit of practice, I believe that it can be a staple eyeliner in one’s personal makeup kit.

Price: P 1,300.00

REVIEW: THEY’RE REAL! PUSH UP LINER FULL COLOR

BENEFIT’S THEY’RE REAL: NOW IN COLOR!

In 2011, Benefit Cosmetics launched They’re Real jet black mascara which became the #1 Prestige Mascara in the US and the #1 Selling Prestige Makeup in the UK. Three years later, They’re Real Push-Up Liner in matte black was introduced to the family, which became the #1 Prestige Eyeliner in the US.

So what’s next for Benefit? Midway into this year, Benefit has delivered another product game-changer- a whole new range of They’re Real Mascara and Push-Up Liner in bold but wearable colors.

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Benefit Cosmetics Philippines officially launched these new colourful additions to They’re Real! Franchise at Black Sheep in Bonifacio Global City. For mascaras, they added blue and brown shades, and more exciting palette of blue, purple, green and brown for eyeliner.

See anyone familiar? Yes, that’s Me. I am truly honored and grateful to be one of Benefit Cosmetics PH’s Theyre Real GLAMbassadors.

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Here we are posing beside our portraits which were photographed by the talented Samantha Valenciano. Each of us wore an assortment of FreshLook contact lenses to complement the different hues of eyeliners and mascaras.

(L-R: Angela Nopomuceno, Nikki Duque, Samantha Valenciano, Czari Domingo, Rima Ostwani, Janeena Chan) * Arisse de Santos was MIA that day.

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Benefit is known for rowing fun, exciting and unique events. This time, they collaborated with Mystery Manila where guests had to solve crossword puzzles, Algebra equations, and search secret passwords to win limited edition Benefit goodies. Our brains totally had a workout. Haha

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Marketing Maven, Tasha Santos, giving a brief introduction.

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Then, Benefit Cosmetics PH Brand Manager, Donna Shaw formally introduced the new They’re Real! Mascaras and Eyeliners in rich wearable shades.

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  • Beyond Brow mascara and liner: the ultimate brown for a carefree, natural look.
  • Beyond Blue mascara and liner: bright and sexy for a playful, party mood.
  • Beyond purple liner: perfect when you’re feeling frisky.
  • Beyond green liner: suits a more daring mood.

My next blog entry will be a full in depth review and a makeup look using these products so stay tuned 🙂

Couldn’t resist getting a photo with this artwork by illustrator, Tammy De Roca.

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Again, thank you very much Benefit Cosmetics PH! It’s truly an honor to be part of this family!

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BENEFIT’S THEY’RE REAL: NOW IN COLOR!

REVLITE FACIAL TONING BY SKIN 101

Let’s face it, although sunblock and sunscreen help in keeping our skin protected while under the sun, most of the time we still need extra hands from experts. For my monthly skincare visit, I only trust SKIN 101 Clinics because of the quality and affordability of their services.

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SKIN 101 Clinics is headed by Dr. Oliver Diaz for Cosmetology and Dr. Jenie Francisco-Diaz for Dermatology. They have 10 branches in Metro Manila and are looking into opening more clinics this year.

When SKIN 101 Clinics invited me to experience their Revlite Toning Facial, I immediately agreed because of the many good reviews I’ve been hearing from my friends.  Revlite is a non-invasive treatment to remove scars, sunspots, pigmentations and other discolorations while keeping it firm and smooth.

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Before the Revlite treatment, patients undergo a regular facial which involves thorough cleaning, massage and removal of any whiteheads, blackheads and such.

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After the facial, I was brought to the Revlite room. At the start of the procedure, my eyebrows and hairline were taped since exposure to the laser will cause the hair to lighten and burn. I was also given stress balls and was required to wear laser-protective goggles – a bit scary but as they “BEAUTY HURTS.” haha.

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To my surprise, I expected the pain to be worse than facial pricking. There was only a slight discomfort (think a rubber band lightly tapping your skin) and a burning smell from the exposed facial hair. The procedure is done 3 times covering the whole face and lasts about 15-20 minutes.

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The Revlite Toning Facial is only Php 3,000.00 per session but they have a Php 15,000.00 rate for 7 sessions (5 + 2 free). Intervals should be done 2-3 weeks after.

So if you need your skin to be checked or just planning to pamper yourself, try SKIN 101 Clinics. They really are competitive in terms of service and price. 🙂

For more information, visit their website at : http://skin101clinics.com/skin101/index.html

REVLITE FACIAL TONING BY SKIN 101

STROBING – THE BEAUTY TRICK YOU NEED TO KNOW NOW

Gone are the days of severe contouring and razor sharp angles. For this season, it’s all about strobing!

Here’s the gist: Instead of creating shadows to achieve the ultimate cheekbones and a narrower face, strobing seeks to define your features using light. Think gleaming skin, glossy cheekbones and bright eyes.

Though it may sound that it like it’s totally low maintenance, a disciplined skincare regimen (Check my post on how to achieve glowing skin.) is still paramount since this look requires natural healthy skin as its base.

Luckily, I was able to round up my 5 steps on how to create that strobe like effect at home.

1. I don’t know how many times I need to reiterate this but – good makeup starts with good skin. To get that high-shine model skin, take your skincare seriously. Plus, if you want to take it a step further, bi-weekly brightening face masks is a must to amp up your skin. I use Retinol Advanced Brightening Mask from Beauty Bar. It removes the dead skin cells through exfoliation while brightens and helps even skin tone.

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2. Fuse your makeup and skincare for extreme dewiness. For example: if you’re going to use concealer add a little bit of moisturizer, followed by adding cream highlighter (over the existing makeup) on the high points of the face. Try Benefit’s High Beam to achieve that luminous sheen.

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3. Strobing shades can be very tricky. It’s important to select the appropriate color to brighten the skin’s undertones. What you want is porcelain glow rather than a tanned one. Try MAC Strobe Cream under your foundation or even over your makeup. It’s non-greasy and has a non-oil formula. Just don’t overdo it and only on the highest points of your face (forehead, cheekbones, brow bones, nose tip, cupid bow and chin). You don’t want to look like an 80’s disco ball. Haha

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4. Gloss your lids. For my recent shoot, I smeared Maybelline Baby Lip Balm Hydrate over my model’s lids to achieve wet-look eyes in a flash. Petroleum Jelly is another beauty trick to gloss the lids.

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5. For those who are living in a tropical climate, powder is still necessary. To set everything, use a fluffy brush and sweep a finely luminescent powder such as NARS Soft Velvet Loose Setting Powder. A little goes a long way so you only need a sheer wash of powder to set the entire face.

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Just like contouring, strobing is also very technical. For those who have oily skin, remember that little goes a long way therefore you don’t need much to get that beautiful ethereal glow.

So will you be swapping contouring for strobing? Show me your strobing efforts by tagging me on Instragram @nikki_duque.

STROBING – THE BEAUTY TRICK YOU NEED TO KNOW NOW

HOW TO CLEAN YOUR MAKEUP BRUSHES LIKE A PRO

Let’s face it. Good quality makeup brushes can be expensive so learning how to properly clean them is one of the best ways to protect your investment. There are 2 brush cleaning options: a quick-dry method (perfect for makeup pros or on-the-go girls) or a more thorough wet wash.

QUICK DRY METHOD

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Materials:

  • Makeup brush cleaner
  • Facial issue of soft towel

Instructions:

  1. Put some makeup brush cleaner on to the tissue/towel. Personally, I use the Parian Spirit Professional Makeup Brush Cleaner since it has powerful cleaning properties that dissolve all types of makeup products including powder, liquids, wax-based products and adhesives. Plus, it has this orange scent that’s so calming and refreshing.
  2. Swirl your makeup brush unto it. Domed and round brushes can be swirled while flatter ones can be dragged from side to side.
  3. Repeat the process until you see no residue on the towel.

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This cleaning method is only done when there is limited time. It’s important to deep clean your brushes to remove all the makeup residue. Nippon Esthetic Philippines is the exclusive distributor of Parian Spirit Professional Makeup Brush Cleaner. For contacts: nipponretail@nipponesthetic.com | nipponesthetic.com | @nipponph.

DEEP CLEAN METHOD

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Materials:

  • Shampoo
  • Dishwashing liquid
  • Soft towel

Instructions:

  1. Begin by running your brushes under lukewarm water, rinsing out all the residual makeup. Keep in mind not to wet the part where the bristles meet the handle as this can loosen the glue overtime.
  2. Squeeze a pea-size amount of shampoo/dishwashing liquid on your palm. Then swirl your brush to work up a lather. I use shampoo for powdered brushes while dishwashing liquid can be used for concealer and foundation brushes since oil-based makeup are harder to remove.
  3. Rinse the brush tip under running water once again. Repeat step 2 until the water runs clean from the brush.
  4. Gently squeeze while reshaping the brush on its original form. Don’t be rough with it.
  5. Set your brushes on a clean towel and make sure that the bristles are over the edge so they get a 360-dregree air circulation. This way, you won’t get odd shaped bristles like you would if you set it down on a flat surface.

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Wet washing can be done every after 2 weeks but for professional makeup artists, brushes should be thoroughly washed after every single client. And there you have it! Clean and good smelling makeup brushes. 🙂

HOW TO CLEAN YOUR MAKEUP BRUSHES LIKE A PRO

5 Tips to Take Care of Your Skin

As a makeup artist, no canvass is better than a smooth, healthy, glowing skin. While heredity may determine how your skin looks, behaves, and ages, you can improve it by taking good care of yourself. Here are my 5 tips to properly care for your skin.

1. The health of your skin begins with a good diet. Remember to look for “ACE” vitamins: A to help prevent aging, C to promote clarity, and E to protect against the environment.

A: carrots, spinach, broccoli, sweet potatoes, melons, egg yolks, dairy

C: citrus fruits, peppers, berries, tomatoes, broccoli

E: leafy greens, nuts, whole grains

Ever since I was little, we were taught to eat all kinds of vegetables and fruits. Aside from the health benefits, I just love the colors, textures and most importantly the taste. For those who are haters, start with small amounts and gradually add more to your meals as the weeks pass by. Call me weird but I think of them as beauty vitamins.

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2. Exercise is a skincare essential. Raising the heart through vigorous exercises increases blood flow, brings more oxygen to the skin, and cleanses impurities from the body through sweat.

I’m obsessed with HIIT. HIIT or High Intensity Interval Training is a method of exercise in which low to moderate intensity interval are alternated with high intensity intervals. It is considered to be more effective than normal cardio because the intensity is higher and you are able to increase both your aerobic and anaerobic endurance while burning more fat. For more information, follow HIITPH on Instagram.

If you’re just starting a workout program your goal shouldn’t be to get buff or lose weight. The first step is getting to a fitness level where you get excited to workout. And for that, all you need is consistency. I can’t believe I’m saying this but “there’s always time for fitness”. Haha

 

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3. Excess sun exposure is skin’s number-one enemy. It causes wrinkles, age spots and other skin problems as well as the increase risk of skin cancer. Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen on your face and body with an SPF of 30 and above.

I’m an avid fan of sunscreens. The standard rule accepted by most dermatologists is to use an ounce of sunscreen or what would fill a standard shot glass for head-to-toe coverage. For the face and neck, liberal application is approximately ¼ teaspoon, and if exposed, the same amount for the chest area.

With technology nowadays, makeup products such as moisturizers, foundations, pressed powder and the like have SPF in it. Make it a habit to put on every day to keep your skin looking young and to reduce the risk of brown spots, sagging and most importantly, skin cancer!

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4. Smoking and excessive alcohol intake can cause the skin to age prematurely. Lessen it or just quit. It severely damages your skin and lungs and is common cause of cancer. Plus, it makes you smell and robs color from your skin and lips.

It’s hard to quit smoking, but you can do it. To have the best chance of quitting and staying a non-smoker, you need to know what you are up against, what your options are and where to go for help – so do your research.

I used to be a social smoker a few years back. I stopped smoking when I became a makeup artist since I don’t like my clients saying that I smell like an ashtray. Haha Quitting is one of the best things I have done and I’m super proud to be called a non-smoker.

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5. Uncontrolled stress can cause acne breakouts and other skin problems. To encourage healthy skin and a healthy state of mind, take steps to manage your stress. Set reasonable limits, scale back your to-do list and make time to do the things you enjoy.

I’m a planner. I like to jot things down and make sure that I do everything that needs to be done that day. Every year I buy a planner to keep work and social activities organized. That’s a good trick to keep yourself on track.

Vacation helps shrink stress and anxiety while also boosting the mental and physical health. Every year I make it a point to go on trips with my loved ones. Taking a break from the fast paced world is important to renew the mind, body and spirit. Think of it as a brain break and a timeout from technology.

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5 Tips to Take Care of Your Skin

HOW TO RECREATE THE LOOK: YSTYLE SHOOT

As discussed from my previous post, I would like to share with you how I created this summer dewy look with statement white winged eyeliner. You can actually try this on for summer parties as well and use different colored eyeliners to make it more fun.

1. Start with a clean well-moisturized face. This time, I used Andalou Naturals BB Oil Control Beauty Balm with SPF 30 (un-tinted). It gently brightens and retexturizes the skin plus it reduces the look of dark spots and excess oil.

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2. To achieve that dewy skin, put a small amount of MAC Studio Face and Body Foundation on your T-zone or where you mostly have discoloration/redness. The fluid foundation provides low-to-medium buildable coverage and a flawless natural satin-shine finish. Then buff outwards. Make sure to also put some on your neck.

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3. To remove the dark circles under your eyes, conceal it with MAC Studio Finish Concealer in NC30 with SPF 35.

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4. Dust your T-zone with Studio Fix Powder in NC42.. Make sure also to put some under your eyes to make sure that the concealer doesn’t move.

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5. Brush your eyebrows upwards and if there are any spaces, fill it with Anastasia Dark Brown Eyebrow powder.

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6. The subtle cat-eye look was created using Prestige White Eyeliner. Make sure to line your eyes as close to your lash line and wing it outwards. Curl your lashes after. I didn’t use any mascara for this look because I want to make it look modern.

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7. For that sun-kissed cheeks, buff on Gorgeous Cosmetics Cheek Creme Blush in Peaches and Cream. Cream blushes, such as the one I used for this look, has a peachy tone that gives the skin a very natural soft glow.

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8. To create the highlights on the face, glide on Benefit Watt’s Up! on your cheek and brow bone plus the cupid’s bow (V-shaped gap in the upper lip).

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9. I kept the lips very pale with a hint of pinkish tone and matte so I used NYX Butter Lipstick in Pops Explosif. I used a lip brush and tapped the outer edges of the lips to make it as natural as possible.

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There you have it. Let me know if you have any suggestions on what makeup look you want me to recreate from my portfolio. You guys can check it out on my Instagram account with the hashtag “makeupbynikkiduque”.

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HOW TO RECREATE THE LOOK: YSTYLE SHOOT

MY FIRST SHOOT FOR YSTYLE

It’s been a year and a half already since I’ve been painting faces and all I can say is that everytime I work, I try to learn from my colleagues- whether it would be lighting, styling, production design, even makeup and hair.

Last April 14, 2015, was my first shoot for Philippine Star’s YStyle section. I was pleased to work with talented people for this project because aside from putting makeup on the model, what I enjoy is the amount of creativity that goes into each photo.  It’s definitely a lengthy process of throwing and feeding each other’s ideas, but its also a really important step.

For the makeup, we decided to do a dewy skin and a winged white eyeliner. For many reasons, this 80’s trend has retuned but I’ve put a modern twist to it by just curling the lashes and keeping the eyelids bare. Will definitely recreate this look for my next entry – watch out for it.

It’s definitely a team effort to create great photos that move and inspire the reader. So next time you work or even interact with other people, always see it as an opportunity to learn. Be a sponge. Listen, ask questions, see what you can take and what you can share with others.

Photos by: Jack Alindahao (@jackalindahao)

Styled by: Tina Ong (@religionblack)

Makeup by: yours truly (@nikki_duque)

Hair by: Vien Nueva (@vienology)

Production Design by: Elmer Pueblo (@meisterfix) of Archetype

Model: Alisa of Elite Manila

http://www.philstar.com/ystyle/2015/04/17/1444565/cabin-fever

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MY FIRST SHOOT FOR YSTYLE

REVIEW: MAYBELLINE EYESTUDIO LASTING DRAMA GEL EYELINER

Maybelline’s black gel liner was actually part of my mom’s makeup kit a few years back. I remember it had a frosted glass pot and a silver tin cap but the liner completely dried up in a couple of months. A bit sad but hey, life goes on. Haha – when Maybelline recently introduced a new reformulated gel liner with 36 hour smudge & waterproof formula, I just bought one without any second thoughts.

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PACKAGING

The packaging of the reformulated liner is slightly different. It’s in a square clear base pot with a sleek plastic lid. Plus, Maybelline gel liners always come with a cute brush of their own – how convenient is that?

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TEXTURE

When it comes to the texture, the liner is smooth and super pigmented. It glides easily on the lids and dries quickly but still retains that black opaque color. I have used this product on myself and many of my talents for shoots and it does stay quite well for 15 hours without any peeling, bleeding, flaking or fading. For the removal process, an eye makeup remover is handy since the liner is smudge-proof.

I haven’t tested it for 36 hours (Does anyone even wear makeup that long? Haha) so let me know if it lasts.

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BRUSH

As I said, the eyeliner comes with a small brush. The bristles are relatively firm to allow control but not scratchy at the lids at all -perfect for the newbies and those who have a hard time applying on themselves.

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PRO-TIPS:

  • To avoid the liner from drying, keep the pot upside down and the lid closed tight always.
  • Clean the brush immediately since product gets accumulated fast.

Overall, the Maybelline Eyestudio Lasting Drama Gel Eyeliner does not disappoint. The new formula claims 36 hours wear (not personally tested) but it’s good enough for a full day wear. It has a creamy smooth, very pigmented and smudge-proof texture. The packaging even comes with an eyeliner brush which is an added bonus.

Price: P399.00

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REVIEW: MAYBELLINE EYESTUDIO LASTING DRAMA GEL EYELINER

HOW TO DO A BEACH PARTY LOOK

Whether it would be a bright coral lipstick or a yellow nail polish, summer is a great time to experiment with colors. For this look, I decided to use a turquoise eyeliner which instantly opens up the eye area plus it works well on most hair and skin tone.

1. Start with a clean face and apply your moisturizer with SPF. I use Olay Total Effects which has an SPF 15.

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2. For the base, use Laniege BB Cushion Pore Control in Coffee. Coverage is decent and it gives a natural dewy finish. And since I’ve noticed that my freckles have increased in number and getting darker (must be from too much sun exposure from work or … genes — must be the genes! Haha), it’s good to know that this product has an SPF of 50!

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3. Conceal the dark circles under your eyes but if you don’t have or if its already covered by the foundation, then by all means.. skip it.

4. To ensure that the foundation and concealer doesn’t move around, dust it with powder. I used Maybelline Clear Smooth BB Silk in Honey – focusing only on my T-zone since I get a bit oily in that area.

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5. Keep it simple with your eyebrows. Brush them upwards and fill it with ModelCo’s Eyebrows Designer Brow Kit.

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6. To add a bit of caramel shimmer to the eyelids, try using Sidecar eyeshadow from NAKED Pallete. Blend well.

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7. When lining the lower lash line, the best technique is to draw from the outside in. I used Etude House Play 101 Pencil in Turquoise. It has creamy waterproof texture.

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8. Curl your lashes and add a good coat of MAC Zoom Waterfast Lash which provides a 12 hour smudge-proof hold.

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9. In a circular motion, lightly apply MAC Foolish Me on your cheek. It has a sheer coral pink shad that would brighten up any complexion.

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10. Pair your look with a light lipstick in a natural or pale pink tone. In this case, I used Nyx Tea Rose.

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PRO TIPS:

  • If you want a more dramatic look, use a colored eyeshadow on your lids then line it with a black or brown pencil.
  • Add false lashes to make the look even more party or evening appropriate.
  • You can also use purple or even green liners.

So there you have it. A super easy summer party look perfect for all the beach babes out there!


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HOW TO DO A BEACH PARTY LOOK

DIY: HOMEMADE NATURAL LIP SCRUB

Last week I had chapped lips and instead of buying a high-priced product, I decided to check our kitchen cupboard to make an all-natural lip scrub.

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BENEFITS:

  • It removes that top layer of skin often left dry from the sun.
  • It exposes a new soft lip that allows for better penetration of hydrating products such as lip balm.
  • It makes your lipstick go on smoother and last longer.

INGREDIENTS:

1 tsp. of brown sugar

1 tsp. of white sugar

1 tsp. of honey

1 tsp. of olive oil

STEP 1: MAKING THE BASE

In a small bowl, combine the olive oil and honey. Mix well to get a smooth consistency.

The olive oil is full of vitamins and has regenerative powers to help stimulate the healing of the skin, while the honey absorbs and retains moisture.

STEP 2: CREATING THE SUGAR SCRUB

Add the brown and white sugar to your base and mix until it becomes a paste. Adjust the sugar to base ratio to achieve your desired scrub consistency. If you prefer a really silky scrub, add another teaspoon of olive oil.

The brown sugar has anti-bacterial properties and vitamin B, while the white sugar has a natural source of glycolic acid which can help sun-damaged skin.

You can even add cinnamon or cayenne pepper to this mix if you want to give your pout a good plump.

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STEP 3: STORING THE LIP SCRUB

Transfer your yummy lip scrub into a glass/plastic container (try an old pot of lip balm or baby food jar). Label it and add the date. The lip scrub will last for two weeks when refrigerated.

So there you have it! An incredibly easy beauty remedy to get instant soft luscious lips!

 

DIY: HOMEMADE NATURAL LIP SCRUB

MY FIRST EVER BEAUTY WORKSHOP x BENEFIT COSMETICS

Last Sunday, I was fortunate to have been asked by Benefit Cosmetics to conduct their first roll out of beauty workshops for the year. Of course, I was so ecstatic because nothing brings me greater joy than empowering women through makeup.IMG_5774[1]

The 2-hour beauty workshop was held at Benefit’s boutique in Alabang Town Center.

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Before anything else, I briefly explained the importance of maintaining a good skincare regimen. After all, “makeup is only as good as the skin underneath”.

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Since its summer, I decided to create 2 heatproof looks (day & night) featuring their recent star product – Roller Lash and my other benefave products.

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Throughout the workshop, guests were treated with cute doughnuts provided by Benefit.

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Overall, the event was a success. The great news is I will be conducting another beauty workshop with Benefit soon so I’ll keep you all posted.

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Thank you so much Kriska Ramos (Marketing Manager) and the rest of the Benefit Team for the opportunity. You’ve guys made one of my dreams come true.

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MY FIRST EVER BEAUTY WORKSHOP x BENEFIT COSMETICS

HOW TO DO A “NO MAKEUP” MAKEUP LOOK

High summer temperatures call for simplifying your makeup routine. So here is an easy step-by-step guide on how that achieve it.

1. Start by washing your face with a gentle facial cleanser. Pat dry and layer a light facial moisturizer with SPF to keep your skin moisturized and protected from daily incidental sun exposure. I use Olay Total Effects which has an SPF 15.

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2. For the base, it’s important to remember that a little goes a long way. Apply Smashbox Camera Ready CC Cream SPF 30  – focusing on the T-zone where most people have redness or blemishes. You only need to a little coverage so blend well. Conceal the dark circles under your eyes but if you don’t have, skip it.

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4. Using your fingers, dab a small amount of Revlon PhotoReady Skinlights onto your cheekbones, nose bridge and chin. Then dust a layer of loose powder on top.

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5. Keep it simple with your eyebrows. If you have sparse ones, just fill them in – don’t go overboard. Since I have thick dark eyebrows, I just brushed them upwards.

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6. Curl your lashes and add a good coat of Maybelline Colossal Volum’ Waterproof Mascara. This will make your eyes look bigger.

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7. In a circular motion, lightly apply NARS Gilda Blush on the apples of your cheeks to get that sun-kissed hue. It should look natural so avoid applying it on the bottom of the cheekbone.

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8. Swipe on some tinted lip balm or in this case, I used Bobbi Brown’s Pot Rouge for Lips and Cheeks in Powder Pink.

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Easy right? I hope you enjoyed reading this post as much as I loved recreating the look. You can also follow me on Instagram – username: nikki_duque #makeupbynikkiduque #groomingbynikkiduque

P.S. The other makeup products and tools on the table are my mom’s. Yes, she’s also a professional makeup artist and my mentor. It was just the perfect time to use her lights and mirror 🙂


The “No Makeup” Makeup Look

(Before & After)

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HOW TO DO A “NO MAKEUP” MAKEUP LOOK

MAKEUP TRENDS TO TRY THIS SUMMER

From barely-there makeup to purple eyeshadow, I’ve rounded up my favorite themes that occurred on the Spring/Summer 2015 runways and how you can get these looks.

COLOR ME PURPLE

Orchid, lilac or lavender. The girls at Derek Lam used a soft violet shade while Mathew Williamson sported a bright purple eyeshadow.

Purple

In order to achieve that ethereal Derek Lam look, swipe your desired purple shade (try NARS Melusine Duo Eyeshadow) onto your eyelids and blend it outwards across your eyes. Avoid liquid eyeliner, instead line your eyes by pressing a gel or soft kohl pencil along the roots of your upper lashes. Add a good coat of mascara to your lashes and finish off with nude lips.

Nars Purple 

STATEMENT LIPS

Bright red and orange are the colors of choice for the season. This is my kind of go-to-look when I’m tan or when I feel a bit lazy since it beautifully complements my Asian skin tone.

Lips

To create that bold pout at Tanya Taler, start by making sure lips are well moisturized by applying a generous amount of lip balm. Apply the lipstick (such as MAC Morange) to the center of your lips and using your finger to dab it towards the outer corners of your mouth. The key here is not to make it too overly drawn. For a kiss-proof color, line your whole lips with a matching lip liner before applying the lipstick then blot with a tissue.

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“NO MAKEUP” MAKEUP

The natural beauty look is all about glowing youthful skin. Models at Alexander Wang and Christopher Kane walked down the runway almost entirely bare faced.

Skin

For anyone who doesn’t wake up with radiant skin like me, here are my tips. Start with a primer followed by a lightweight sheer foundation-just to even out the skin. Using your fingers, spread a liquid or cream highlighter to your cheekbones, nose bridge and chin (try Revlon PhotoReady Skinlights) – then brush a layer of translucent powder on top. Add a sun-kissed hue to your cheeks by using a cream blush or swirl powdered blush and bronzer together for a more natural shade. Keep it simple well groomed brows and a sheer tinted lip balm or lip crayon (I like Clinique Chubby Stick Moisturizing Lip Colour Balm in Bountiful Bash).

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Which summer beauty trend are you interested in? Let me know. Maybe I can show a step-by-step guide on how to rock that look.

MAKEUP TRENDS TO TRY THIS SUMMER

My Summer Beauty Must-Haves

Summer is just a few weeks away which means it’s time to bust out those sundresses, shades and bikinis. But first, you have to make sure that you are prepped and ready for the scorching heat. I’ve compiled my top 5 awesome must-haves to kick-off the beach season.

Summer Beauty Must Haves1. Vaseline Healthy White Instant Fair Lotion – Aside from its moisturizing effect, this lotion has Microreflectors that make the skin appear lighter and even-toned. It also has Vitamin B3 – an ingredient that’s been proven to work with frequent use. And of course, it has triple (yes, TRIPLE) sunscreen protection against the suns’ harmful UVA and UVB rays.

2. Smashbox Camera Ready CC Cream (SPF 30) – What I love about this is its sheer lightweight texture that gives full coverage while reducing the appearance of redness and pigmentations. Just like many CC creams, it comes in a small but workable range of shades best for light to medium tan skin tones. Plus it has SPF 30. Another innovative product in my book.

3. NARS Gilda Blush – Some describe it as the “perfect coral with a hint of red” blush that gives that cheeky sunburnt look. Prettily works in all skin tones, Gilda has a finely-milled texture that’s buildable and blendable. A definite go-to-blush for the summer.

4. Maybelline Colossal Volum’ Mascara (Waterproof) – No to racoon eyes! The Maybelline Colossal Volum’ Mascara is not only part of my personal makeup kit but I also use it for work. It gives volume in just one stroke and it does not clump on your eyes easily. To achieve that dramatic look, curl the lashes first and apply the product from the root to the tip with a zigzag motion.

5. Burt’s Bees Lip Shimmer – Lips balms are perfect for the summer weather since it’s not too thick. Filled with anti-oxidants and Shea butter, the Burt’s Bees Lip Shimmer will leave your lips deeply moisturized and kissably soft with an added pop of color to boot. My favorite is Rhubarb, a rich deep pink that instantly perks up your lips.

So, what are your top 5 summer beauty-must haves?

My Summer Beauty Must-Haves

An Eye Opener: Benefit Roller Lash Mascara Review

Throw away your eyelash curler. A new mascara is in town!

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A nod to retro rollers, Benefit’s Roller Lashes stretches your lashes outwards and upwards, encouraging them to curl. Think of it as like a temporary eyelash perm.

The secret to this mascara lies in three things:

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  • Brush – It has tiny strategically adjusted hooks that grab all the short and straight lashes for that super curling and lifting performance.
  • Formula – It has the perfect ink black shade which gives instant curl that can last up to 12 hours. Plus it contains Provitamin B and Serine, known for their lash conditioning benefits.
  • Wiper – Compared to other Benefit mascaras, it has a smaller curved wand. This ensures that the brush isn’t overloaded with product -again to prevent the mascara from weighing down the lashes.

HOW TO APPLY:

Gently wiggle the wand from the base of the lashes to the tips. Make sure to catch every lash. Repeat as necessary.

Before

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After

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In my opinion, the Benefit Roller Lash Mascara is perfect for on-the-go girls like me who have straight downward lashes. It lengthens, adds volume, separates, lifts and curls and at the same time, it can be easily wiped and washed off!

The Benefit Roller Lash Mascara will be available in all Benefit branches on the 1st of March and will retail for P 1,300.

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An Eye Opener: Benefit Roller Lash Mascara Review