Tag Archives: mascara

Getting ready for your close-up: how to look nice in pictures

Admittedly, I am not the most photogenic person in the world. Add to that my current battle with acne, and you’ll understand why I was anxious about the recent photo op that took place at our office for our new IDs. On the day of the shoot (what else am I supposed to call it?), I spent a little extra time on my make-up, working hard to conceal my pimples and scars.

Having managed to make myself look presentable for my mug shot—and with the evidence to prove it (scroll down please)—I thought I’d list a few of the things I did in preparation for having my picture taken.

Ace your base. Sounds like the name of that 90s band; I couldn’t resist, sorry 🙂 Making your base as flawless as possible is key to looking good in pictures. You’ll want to carefully conceal blemishes and any discoloration, taking care to blend your concealer well into your foundation so that no part of your face is abnormally paler than the others.

Take time to define. In order to NOT look washed out in pictures, there are certain features that you need to define with product. These are your eyebrows, lashlines (both top and bottom), and lips. I filled in bare spots in my brows with a grayish-brown pencil, lined my eyes with brown liner, and stained my lips with just a bit of pink lipstick. Of course, I also applied mascara, eyeshadow, and blush/bronzer (not that my contouring was obvious, thanks to my chubby cheeks).

Classic is basic. (Okay, this rhyming thing is getting harder to sustain.) The thing about pictures is that they’ll be around for a really long time. With this in mind, I think it’s better to stick to neutral tones and not opt for shades that are too dramatic or trendy. Case in point: I used shades of peaches and browns on my lids, and soft pink on my cheeks and lips. Keep in mind that this was for an official ID, so I couldn’t really do a smoky eye, now could I? Although I volunteered to do it for an officemate whose make-up I worked on, I’m not surprised she refused 🙂

One last thing, makeup pros discourage the use of foundation/concealer with SPF in it for pictures. It seems the SPF, combined with the camera flash, results in a face that is too white, too pale, too reminiscent of ghosties. Personally, I haven’t had this experience, but I just stick to SPF-less foundation for pictures to be on the safe side.

And now, are you ready for the unveiling? Here we go…

Apart from that pimple above my left eyebrow (which I’m officially claiming is a birthmark which I’ve had since…erm, birth), I think I did okay. Looking at it, you wouldn’t know that I have a bit of an acne situation at the moment.

What do you think? 🙂

This post was written by Anj de la Cruz.

It’s all in the bag: a look inside my everyday make-up kit

While I prefer to do my make-up at home, where I have all my products within arm’s reach—not to mention a huge mirror—but I rarely have the time to do so. I usually have to make do with applying my make-up in the office or while in transit (ever tried doing your mascara/eyeliner while inside a moving vehicle?). I often switch up the contents of my kit, but there are some well-loved products that I always tote around. Here’s a list of these products:

1) Liquid concealer. I don’t always have time to do my foundation at home, and it can be a pain to have to lug around a full-sized bottle of foundation for the whole day. So what I do is I only bring a small tube of concealer, which I apply with my (clean) ring finger only on top of blemishes or red patches; I then set everything with powder.

MAC Select Cover-Up: a little goes a long way

2) Eyeshadow brushes. I bring a basic eyeshadow brush and a blending/crease brush. I’ll do a more detailed post on eyeshadow brushes somewhere down the line; for now; let me just say that having these two brushes should take care of most of your eye make-up needs.

My blending/crease brush from Charm, and my basic eyeshadow brush from the Body Shop mineral make-up range

3) Loose powder and a big kabuki brush

4) Eyeliners in the basic colors: black, brown, gray, …hey, I even have a pale yellow one that’s supposed to make me look “less tired” 🙂

When I’m pressed for time, or when I forget to bring eyeshadow, eyeliner smudged on my eyes can achieve the same effect as more complicated eye make-up looks.

5) An eyebrow pencil with a brow comb on the other end. One trick to make eyebrows look full but natural is to fill in any sparse areas with a pencil  and then to comb through the entire brow to soften the look.

6) Mascara. I bring two tubes, but that’s just me. 🙂

7) One or two (or three) lip products: lip balm, lipstick, some glosses

8) Blush. A little bit blended unto the cheeks can do wonders in making me look more “alive”.

9) An eyeshadow palette. This one I switch around the most often, although generally I bring neutral-colored palettes for work.

One of my well-loved eye palettes: this one is by Bobbi Brown.

I hope this post has given you ideas on what products you can bring with you on a daily basis 🙂

Group shot…sans the blusher (whoops)

This post was written by Anj de la Cruz.

Getting your make-up to last

I’ve heard that people with an oily skin type are lucky because the extra moisture in their skin slows down the aging process. (If this were a Facebook post, this is where I’d hit the “Like” button.) However, I can’t help but be frustrated when my carefully-applied make-up melts after only an hour or two; I have better things to do with my time than to reapply my “face” several times a day. And so, over the years, I’ve made it a habit to take note of and experiment with techniques and products that will help my make-up to last longer.

Here are some tips, tricks, and products that you can incorporate into your make-up routine:

Use a primer. Applied before foundation, this product is especially crucial for those with combination/oily skin, but those with drier skin types will also benefit from using this product. A pea-sized amount is usually enough to cover the entire face; you can also blend it down unto the neck area.

Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer and Mary Kay Oil Mattifier

Work foundation into the skin. Different methods of application—by hand, using a sponge, using a brush–are recommended by different make-up artists; experiment and stick to the method you prefer. The important thing is to blend well with gentle but firm strokes; make sure the product is not just sitting on the surface. Also, setting with powder helps. Blend the powder well, too, so your face doesn’t look cakey; you don’t want to look like an espasol.

Spend a bit more time on your eyes. You can opt to use an eyeshadow primer. But the key to getting your eyeshadows to last is to apply, blend, apply, and blend again. Layering is key. You’ll get more staying power if you apply a little product at a time and slowly build up intensity rather than applying tons of shadow all in one go. Also, matte finish shadows–as opposed to shimmery or frosty ones–generally stay longer on  the lids.

A couple of eye primers: Stila Prime Pot and Smashbox Photo Finish Lid Primer

Use waterproof foundation and eye products if you have them. These really make a difference in terms of longevity. Keep in mind though that waterproof make-up will usually require special removers. Oh and if you will only ever invest in one waterproof product, let it be mascara.

From top to bottom: Max Factor Colour Perfection Pencil Eyeliner; MAC Loud Lash (this mascara really does not budge, but it can be difficult to remove afterwards); Maybelline Hyper Curl Mascara; and K-Palette Real Lasting Liquid Eyeliner

A make-up fixative is helpful, but not necessary. After you’ve finished applying your products, hold the fixative about 12 inches away from your face and spritz 3-4 times to cover your face and neck; wait awhile and then blot the excess lightly with a facial tissue. This should help your look stay in place even longer.

Make Up For Ever Mist & Fix

Retouching is key. During the course of the day (or night), lightly blot any areas that have gotten a tad shiny with oil absorbency sheets or one sheet of facial tissue. Dust powder lightly only on the areas that need it, since applying all over could make you look cakey. Assuming you applied your makeup well in the first place, the only other makeup product that you will need to reapply is lipstick/lip gloss.

This post was written by Anj de la Cruz.

On makeup and being the real you

I like makeup. A lot. I believe that, while makeup is by no means necessary for existence, it nevertheless adds spice and interest to life.

Below are some of the reasons why:

First, makeup serves to enhance what’s already there. I never cease to be amazed at how just the littlest amount of mascara (one of the two items I am never without, the other being lip balm) make my eyes stand out just a tad bit better, or how a swirl or two of blush makes me look more awake and alive even after a late night out. Makeup takes what Mother Nature gave you and works with it so that you look like a better, more polished version of yourself.

Second, makeup is one of the many ways by which I can express myself. At work, my looks tend to be more sedate, although I do a smoky eye every now and then just to liven things up a bit. However, when I go out with family and friends, I tend to favor more colorful combinations (purple and plum shadows with teal eyeliner, you get the picture).

And while we’re on the topic of self-expression, I might as well say that I have a lot of respect for those artists and enthusiasts who are able to come up with avant garde looks (i.e. makeup that you wouldn’t really wear to work or any other real-life situation, unless you’re a runway model). Makeup is an art form, after all, with creativity and imagination setting the limits.

Third, you can work with as few or as many products as you desire or feel comfortable with. Sometimes when I do makeup on myself or on other people, I find that I will use four or five eyeshadows to achieve the effect I want (and that’s just the eyes). However, if for you a made-up face consists of using only concealer, powder, and lipstick, that’s fine, too. If there’s one thing I’ve realized over the years, it’s that there is no fixed rule on the number of products you “need”. Magazines and websites can go on and on about how a product like, let’s say eyeliner, is essential to anyone’s arsenal. But if you know that you’re not going to use it, why buy yourself a tube?

In the end, it’s about using products that work for you and your lifestyle. It’s about creating a look for yourself that makes your day just that wee bit brighter, your stride a bit more confident.

This post was written by Anj de la Cruz.

Makeup: A Must!

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Powder, blush, and lipstick

I’ve always been a firm believer that, at a certain age, women should no longer leave the house without makeup. All women bloom when they put on a touch of makeup that play up their features. And I don’t go for “natural beauty,” because often, women without makeup don’t look natural. They look more plain and tired than “natural.” On the other hand, women who put on even the minimum—in my opinion, powder, blush, and lipstick—look fresh and put-together.

To the uninitiated, ask a friend to help you take your first makeup baby steps. Go shopping for the basics together. Then, learn how to apply makeup naturally. Good makeup videos abound on the Internet. Take courage, you’ll love the new you…the real you!

Once you feel more confident, throw in an eyelash curler and mascara in your bag to brighten up your eyes.

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Add a natural palette of eyeshadow as well. How can you go wrong? Before you know it, wearing makeup everyday will feel like a natural part of your day already!

This post was written by Meg Murrf Trinidad.