Bobbi Brown BBU Palette

View this post on Instagram

My new #notebook

A post shared by Tor Torre (@tortorre) on

Starting out in makeup artistry is an expensive undertaking. Here’s a piece of advice: build your makeup kit slowly. Only invest in products that are useful and universal. This is not the time to splurge on limited editions or whimsical collections. Make sure that you have the basics.

One of the basics that you need is foundation. In knowing what I know now, let me say that it is best to invest in foundation palettes. Foundation palettes have an array of colors that can match any shade of skin at any given time. It is your base, highlighter and contour product in one. Over time, as you continue on your makeup journey, you will notice which colors you frequently use. Those are the colors that you should buy in full size.  On a lighter note, palettes in your kit can make your load lighter. It’s no joke bringing around 20 kilos of makeup.


One foundation palette I have in my kit is the Bobbi Brown University Palette; more popularly called The BBU palette. It has a whopping 20 shades of foundation from her Skin Foundation Stick collection. Aside from that, it also has 13 shades of Corrector and 14 shades of Creamy Concealer. It is practically all you need to create a flawless face.

Bobbi’s foundation on this palette provide, at most, medium coverage. It is very creamy, easy to blend and sheer out. If the skin you are working on is heavily blemished, you will need to work a bit more on blemish by layering foundation and concealer around the area. Do take note that this is a cream foundation, it will always give a dewy finish and will work best on dry and combination skin types.

As a precaution, since the “wells” of this product are closely packed together, it is best to use a spatula to pick up the product that you need. Also always make sure to spritz 99% alcohol all over the palette to sanitize it after every use.

Face Shade Guide

The BBU palette comes in a packaging that is easy to hold and store, it practically this size of a small notebook. It’s made of a black sturdy plastic material with a total dimension of 7.7in x 6.4in x .5in when fully open.

 The BBU palette comes with a face shade guide as well. It gives you suggestions on what products and colors to use to achieve a cohesive makeup look. Have it laminated at once, so it will last longer.

According to the this palette retails for $250. It seems to be expensive but in truth, it is quite a bargain. If you have friends in the US who are makeup artists who are part of the Bobbi Brown Pro Program (40% off on online purchases) or those who work for Bobbi Brown, they are eligible to get this at a discounted rate. Do take note that the BBU palette sells out fast. So when you see one, buy it.

For those of us here in the Philippines, two of my friends saw this at the Bobbi Brown boutique in Rustan’s a while back. To make sure I contacted their facebook fan page, Bobbi Brown Philippines, to ask for its availability. Indeed it is. This retails for Php 12,500.Again it’s quite pricey, but it’s definitely worth it. Trust me.

I had a project a few weeks back where I was working with three beautiful ladies from South Africa, The BBU palette was my saving grace. I had all the foundation colors needed.


Feel free to contact a Bobbi Brown branch nearest you and check if it is on stock : Rustan’s Makati Grand Mall: +63-917-838-6845

Rustan’s Shangri-La Plaza, Level 1: +632-633-4636

Power Plant Mall, Essences: +63-917-838-6842

SM Megamall, 2nd Floor Bridgeway: +63-917-838-6897

SM Mall of Asia, 2nd Floor, Main Mall: +63-917-838-6849

SM Aura, 1st Floor: +63-929-1632-354

Rustan’s Alabang Town Center: +632-850-5532

SM North EDSA: +63-935-946-4511

Rustan’s Ayala Center Cebu: +63-917-838-6901


L.A. Colors Lipliner Pencil in Natural

I have just finished renewing my passport at the DFA South branch here in Alabang Town Center which is located on the 4th floor of The Metro Alabang Town Center Department Store.

I was making my way around the department store trying to find the mall exit when I ended up getting lost. I found myself at the cosmetics department and decided to browse around.

I was in for a surprise.

L.A. Colors Lipliner Pencil in Natural

I ended up finding one of my favorite lip products ever! Ever! It’s L.A. Colors lipliner pencil in Natural.

I first discovered this product when I went home to Cebu years ago, I was absently browsing the cosmetics department of Metro Ayala Cebu Department Store. I was just starting out then. I picked up this product because it was very affordable. I hoarded it.

Over the years, I lost touch with the product because I couldn’t find in Metro Manila. It was not until Purebeauty opened, the makeup store that carried the L.A.Colors brand, that I began using it again.


For the past few months, it has been out of stock. I have been saving the last remaining inch of my L.A. Colors lipliner pencil. Trying to let the product lastas long as possible. Everytime I sharpened it, my anxiety shoots up.

Can you imagine what a relief it was when I saw these today?!


The reason why I love using this because of it’s color. It registers as a medium shade of brown pink, which I have observed works well with most of the Filipina lips I have worked with.

This lip product is very easy to blend. It is very creamy, it glides easily on the lips. It is very pigmented, the more you layer the product the more pop of color you get.

The color also reminds me of one of my favoritelip products from NARS , his Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Bahama.

L.A. Colors lipliner pencil in Natural is my go to pencil when I want to emphasize the lips with out making it appear over drawn. I have used this countless of times for TVC shoots pairing it only with lipbalm. I use as well when clients ask for pale lips. I line it lightly around the lips , so as not to loose definition.

To see it in action, see my 50’s inspired makeup video tutorial here.

As for its price point, my friends, it’s very affordable. It only costs Php 99.*winks*

I am not quite sure what other department stores carry this brand. If you are in the market for a lipliner pencil AND if you happen to be by The Metro Ayala Center Cebu or at The Metro Alabang Town Center do check the L.A. Colors kiosk and see for yourself.

I bought three today. There are still two left on the display counter.

Hannah Ledesma for Star Magic Ball 2015

Hanna Ledesma for Starmagic Ball 2015.

I first met Hannah on set for a skincare commercial, she was the cast as the lead. We then serendipitously worked on a stage play years after. Now she’s part of Star Magic Angels. Her journey has begun. Enjoy every moment and always smile the way you do. Best of luck always!

Hanna Ledesma
Hanna Ledesma

I was in contact with Hannah and her designer, Mikee Andrei, a few days before The Star Magic Ball 2015. We were discussing Hanna’s look. We settled for a nice smokey eye and bold lips.

Here is the complete beauty breakdown on how I created this look.

I prepped Hannah’s skin using VMV Hypoallergenics Moisture Rich Creammmy toner and moisturizer designed for dry skin. I also applied Instantly Ageless on her under eyes to rejuvenate them, making her look less tired.

I then applied Photo Finish Foundation Primer (oil free) from Smash Box all over her face. This is to make sure that her foundation will stay all night throughout the party.

I then airbrushed her foundation with MUD’s airbrush foundations in YG1 and YG3 mix. Once I was happy with the coverage, I contoured her cheekbones, nose line and socket liner with the Shading air brush foundation also from MUD.  Before setting it with powder, I first applied a mix of Laura Mercier Cream Blush in Oleander and Innocent Peach.

I then set her under eyes with a mix of Laura Mercier’s Secret Brightening Powder and Ben Nye Banana Powder. In doing so, mutes down the shine and the possible flash back from camera flashes. I then set her foundation with a mix of MUD’s loose powder in Desert and Zero. For some highlight, I then dusted the apples of her cheeks with Nars Orgasm.

Hanna Ledesma

On Hannah’s eyes, I first applied Nars  Smudge Proof Eyeshadow Base. Once it has dried, I then applied Laura Mercier Caviar Stick in Plum all over her lids. Starting from the base of the lashes all the way to her crease. I also applied this on her lower lash line as well. I then blended it upward and outward to give her eyes a subtle lift.

I then tightlined her upper and lower water lines with Bobbi Brown Long Wear Gel Liner in Black Ink. I then enhanced her eye look by creating depth. I used Laura Mercier’s Matte Eye Shadow in Truffle on her crease and blended it upward and outward. I then used Laura Mercier Matte Eye shadow in Noir on Hanna’s lash line on top of the gel eyeliner I placed moments before. I then smoked it out leaving a more intense black color near her lashes. I then added some of this black eye shadow on the outer corner of her eyes and on her lower lash line.

After I curled her lashes, I added Maybelline Great Lash Waterproof in Very Black to set the curl. I then added individual flared eyelashes on her, placing short flared lashes on the inner corner of her eyes and using medium flared lashes from the middle of the eye all the way to the outer corner.

I filled in her brows using Laura Mercier Eye Brow Pencil in Blonde.

Hanna Ledesma

On her lips, I first applied Nars Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Damned (a magenta colored red). On top of that, I applied Sleek’s lipstick in Cherry.

To finish her look, I decided to add some warmth. I applied Guerlain Terra Cotta Summer Stones on her temples and cheek bones.

I then used Sarah McNamara Miracle Skin Transformer Body in Glow Enhancer on her arms and legs to hydrate her skin while giving a subtle shine.

Karen Toyoshima

 I was booked to do a TVC for Hygienix a few months back. I only met Karen on the shoot day. She is a seasoned actress playing roles on TV and on stage. She’s amazing! As I posted on my instagram page, “She got the ninja moves!”

Karen Toyoshima : First look.

I first prepared Karen’s skin by toning and moistuizing it using VMV Hypoallergenics Super Skin 3 Toner and Spring Fresh Oil- Free moisturizer for oily skin. I then applied a generous amount of Photo Finish Foundation Primer (oil free) from Smash Box.

I airbrushed Karen’s foundation using a mixture of MUD’s airbrush foundations in YG1 and YG3. I then set her foundation with a mix of MUD’s powder in Desert and Ben Nye’s Banana Powder. I applied Benefit’s blush in Georgia on her cheeks. I added a small dusting of Guerlain’s Terra Cotta Summer Stones to warm up her complexion and to gently contour her cheek bones.

As briefed, her eye treatment was very natural. I used Laura Mercier’s eyeshadow base in Flax all over eyelids and applied a wash of Laura Mercier’s matte eye shadow in Fresco all over her lids. I applied Laura Mercier’s matte eye shadow in Blanc on her brow bone and on her inner eyelids for subtle highlight. I then applied a thin layer of Laura Mercier’s cake eyeliner in Black all over her lash line and smudged it for a softer appearance.I applied false eyelashes in Natural from The Landmark to complete her eye look.

For brows, I applied Laura Mercier’s brow pencil in blond. Filling in minor gaps with out over drawing her already well defined brows.

I used Nar’s Velvet Matte Lip pencil in Sex Machine on her lips.

Karen’s Second Look.

For her second look, I pretty much kept everything the same.

I updated her eye look by adding a flick using K palette’s black liquid eyeliner. I added a hint of Laura Mercier’s matte eye shadow in Truffle to the outer corner of her lids to enhance the flicked eyeliner. I then added some subtle shine to Karen’s lips using Smith’s Minted Rose Lip Balm.

Behind the scenes. Karen and I at the makeup tent with hairstylist Rey Arciaga.
retouching on set.



View this post on Instagram

Grendel Alvarado | Bride | I first met @grendelgreendoll backstage in 2007 when I did her makeup for the Fashion Watch Series at the Makati Shangri-La. She was fresh from winning #phippinesnexttopmodel and I was still starting out as a #makeupartist. I was part of a makeup team that did fashion. Whenever Grendel and I were working on the same fashion show, she always sat on my chair except when other senior makeup artist got to her first. Nevertheless, I will be forever grateful for the trust that she showed me despite the fact that I was relatively new and very unsure of my skills. Thank you for making me practice on your beautiful face! Now 8 years later, she's happily married to a wonderful guy and I am grateful that she asked me to do her #makeup for her ceremony in Bacolod. It was a full circle moment for me. | I wish you luck and I wish you love. I'll visit you in Kenya ha?! Amping! | makeup by: @tortorre | hair by: @reyarciaga |

A post shared by Tor Torre (@tortorre) on

VMV Spring / Summer 2015

Spring / Summer 2015
Cover: Spring / Summer 2015


Screen Shot 2016-01-15 at 11.01.37 PM
Spring / Summer 2015


Screen Shot 2016-01-15 at 11.02.35 PM
Spring / Summer 2015


Screen Shot 2016-01-15 at 11.02.49 PM
Spring / Summer 2015


Screen Shot 2016-01-15 at 11.03.14 PM
Spring / Summer 2015


Screen Shot 2016-01-15 at 11.03.34 PM
Spring / Summer 2015


Screen Shot 2016-01-15 at 11.04.27 PM
Spring / Summer 2015


Screen Shot 2016-01-15 at 11.04.45 PM
Spring / Summer 2015

VMV Hypoallergenics print materials for Spring / Summer 2015 as seen in stores, online and  inside the pages of InSkin Magazine.

RMK Liquid Foundation



These foundations from RMK are a recent purchase.

I first encountered this product when I was still starting out and I apprenticed for a well-known makeup artist in Manila. I have been wanting to buy them for years, but I was always turned off by the idea that it is not readily available in this country plus the fact that it’s not cheap. At 70 SGD, roughly Php 2380, is quite a lot of money especially when you are starting out.

Last December, I decided that this coming New Year, I was to restock my kit with products that I adore and believe in. So one December afternoon, I called my Singapore based friend Neil and asked for his help. I told him to visit the RMK counter in Isetan Department Store and purchase a number of RMK products for me. So over Facetime, I pointed to the specific products I wanted to purchase while my darling friend Neil pirouetted around the RMK counter.


I asked Neil to purchase three bottles of liquid foundations in the shades of 101, 103 and 105. 101 is the lightest of the color range, 103 is the median shade and 105 is the darkest. These have yellow undertones which is ideal for most Asian skin tones. You won’t get that beige-y “mask” look with these liquid foundations. There are five shades on this color range, but I only bought three because I can always mix the colors to get the “in between” shades. There are also three shades (201, 202 and 203) that are beige color range and the darkest shade (with red undertones) called Coffee Brown. Click here to be brought to their webpage to see the entire shades on both color range.

What I like about this liquid foundation is that it looks like skin. Though it’s quite sheer, it is build-able to a medium coverage. It sits well on the skin and gives off a dewy finish which I LOVE.

Screen Shot 2016-01-09 at 3.52.12 PM
Mica Tuaño and I post makeup photo op.
For a test run, I used this on a commercial shoot I did recently. I was very happy with the results and it’s staying power. On the right, you can see how it looked like on my talent Mica (grabbed this photo from her Instagram page).  I’ll post the video here once it’s airing.

These foundations must be used in conjunction with their make-up base(click to see) to achieve ultimate results. I have observed that RMK‘s liquid foundations instantly diminishes redness and some other minimal skin discolorations with out looking cakey. This liquid foundation works well only on skin that has minimal blemishes. If you have lot’s of blemishes, a cream foundation should be used.

This has an SPF of 14, so it’s good to use for those who are cautious about getting sunburned. Be wary of flashback though when using flash photography. 


Once Neil finished purchasing the RMK products that I wanted, all he had to do was to meet up with another good friend, Marco, who was heading back to Manila for the Christmas holidays.

Finally after years of being undecided about this liquid foundation, I am happy that these liquid foundations have finally made it to my kit.


To know more about RMK products visit

Click here to be brought to their branch index.


RMK is a Japanese brand by Rumiko. It first opened shop in a department store in Ikebukuro in 1997. Since then it has started to slowly open up counters in Japan, Hong Kong, Taiwan, South Korea, Thailand , The United Kingdom, Malaysia and Singapore.