Back Stage at Michael Cinco for Philippine Fashion Week 2009

Giselle Paqueo and Michelle Quinto

I was assisting for Eric Maningat that year (2009) for Philippine Fashion Week. It was my first year to experience Philippine Fashion Week, and it was filled with adrenaline.

One of the shows that Eric handled was for Michael Cinco.

It was amazing.

I would usually stand behind the wall of the main entrance to the runway. There, I could retouch the models just before they stepped unto the runway. Just before show time, I remembered seeing every single model in the line up dressed in clothes that were exquisitely crafted. I will never forget that.

Eric told us that the look of the models would sport smokey eyes while leaving the brows as it is, lashes and pale lips. We were also advised to use foundation that was shade or two darker than their skin tone to avoid washing out their features. A hint of bronzer was also used to warm up their skin tone.

I have worked with Giselle and Michelle numerous times and I always appreciate it when they sit on my chair. I believe Giselle just finished her stint at The Ford Supermodel of the World contest, where she was a semi finalist and Michelle was juggling modeling and her pre-med studies.



Nichido Eyebrow Pencils


My favorite eyebrow pencil has been discontinued. I am currently in the market to find a replacement.

I first encountered this product when my actress friend, Diva Montelaba, guested on MARS (the TV show I work for). We were taking about life in general when she decided to add more definition to her eyebrows. She was filling in her eyebrows and noticed that the eyebrow pencil she was using was registering well. I asked Diva to show me the pencil she was using but she was a bit apprehensive at first because it was a cheap product. I told her it didn’t matter as long as it does the job.


The next day, I decided to go shopping. I visited SM and played around the Nichido Cosmetics counter trying to gauge what color is best to buy.

You see, I am not very particular about using “brown” eyebrow pencils because most of them have too much red pigments. This registers red on-screen, on film and in person. No body has red eyebrows, not unless you are natural redhead. There has been a general trend of eyebrows being overly drawn and filled in using “brown” pencils. If you are observant enough, even to the normal eye, it is the first thing you’d notice.

My philosophy about makeup is that it should be simple, elegant and not obvious.

I always go for a neutral taupe or a neutral blonde eyebrow pencil because in my experience, these are the colors that I know works for everyone.

Anyway, so I decided to purchase two shades that I will use on a test run.


The pencils are very easy to work with, though I find the tips too soft for my liking. The product is easy to handle and it blends easily on the skin. The color seen on the eyebrow pencil registers the same color on the skin. I also like the fact that this eyebrow pencil doesn’t clump up the eyebrow hair. Unlike the ones made by Everbilena and some high-end brands, the wax content in them makes it difficult to blend. It ends up sticking to the skin or  clumping the eyebrow hairs making them look dirty and over drawn in the end.

Swatches of the Nichido Precise Eye Pencil taken at 12 noon.

My only problem with the eyebrow pencils from Nichido Cosmetics is that, they tend to shine. I checked the ingredients and saw that, these eyebrow pencils are mineral based. It contains mica, silica and zinc oxide. So I would suggest that these eyebrow pencils are only to be used by those who have dry skin. This will not work on people with oily or combination skin because the oil or moisture that seeps out of the skin will only add unnecessary shine to an already shiny product.


On the left is a photo of the Nichido Cosmetics eyebrow pencils swatched on my hand.

The color on top is named Walnut. To me it registers as a taupe. The color below is named Taupe. To me it  registers as a warm blond.

I bought these two colors  because I can use them to enhance each other by mixing them together. After all makeup is a play of colors.

As for it’s staying power, it can last the whole day. But just be wary of excess oil because this can lift the product and make “slide”. Then again, makeup will always stay when one is careful when rubbing or scratching ones face.

The  Nichido Cosmetics Precise Eye Pencil can be a nice alternative, but I’m still in the market for an eyebrow pencil.


Nichido Cosmetics  are available in all SM Department Stores or at Watsons.

These “eyebrow pencils” retail for Php138.




Lip Tar : Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics


Lip Tar came into my consciousness when my BFF , New York based Make Up Artist, Nat Yordan told me about this wonderful lip product the year I turned PRO. I didn’t own one until I went to New York in 2012 and purchased a few.

Lip Tar  by Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics is a lipstick that comes in liquid form.  Frankly, I have never experienced so much intensity of pigments that left an opaque coverage on the lips! I was even surprised on the staying power of this lip product.

Above: Lip Tar in Strumpet (grape red) ~ Below: Lip Tar in Hoochie (extre magenta)

Upon first application, you’ll be in for a surprise because of the burst of color that would register on your lips.

Aside from a steady hand, the technique in applying Lip Tar is to use a little of this product. Think a very tiny bead. The tiniest bead you can think of. Spread evenly in a slow manner starting in the middle of the lip and then outward. Remember, this lipstick comes in liquid form. Be patient in filling in your lips so as to avoid feathering and over drawing your lip line.

Blot with a tissue to remove excess product.

You can build color and coverage if you so desire (i don’t believe you’ll need to though). Just wait a few minutes for the product to dry before you add more.

Most of my Lip Tar liquid  lipsticks are MATTE. Though when I first applied it, I was skeptical because it had so much sheen. But after a while, the liquid lipstick will start to mattify.

above: Lip Tar in Memento (pink neutral) ~ below: Lip Tar in Anime (neon pink)

Like any other matte lipstick, Lip Tar can tend to dry out the lips, so have a lip balm at hand and pat some on when your lips feel dry.

Lip Tar  is 100% VEGAN, gluten-free and has not been tested on animals.  How cool is that?! So if you have some allergy issues with some lip products out there, this might be a good alternative. Again, ALWAYS read the ingredients before purchasing any cosmetic product.

Lip Tar has 39 colors you can play with. They retail for $18 on their website. I bought my Lip Tar products at Sephora Columbus Circle in New York. But their color availability and selection was very limited. It would be a much more better idea to buy through their website.

For those in the Philippines some Lip Tar products are available (limited color selection) at Pure Beauty Serenda at the Fort and at Alabang Town Center. Lip Tar retails at Php 815.00.




There are some makeup artists who use lipstick as eye shadow to achieve a certain look. I have no issues with that, but NEVER USE Lip Tar on your eyes because Peppermint Oil is one of its main ingredients.


Lip Tar and Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics website: click here.

Sephora website: Click here.

Purebeauty website: Click here.


Ricinus Communis (Castor) Seed Oil, Cannabis Sativa (Hemp) Oil, Mentha X Peprita (Peppermint) Oil, Tocopherol Acetate (Vitamin E), Stearalkonium Hectorite, Propylene Carbonate
May Contain: Silica Dimethyl Silylate, D&C Red #6, D&C Red #7, D&C Red #27, D&C Red #30, FD&C Blue #1, FD&C Yellow #5, FD&C Yellow #6, Iron Oxides, Titanium Dioxide, Mica