Lip Balms from Siem Reap

It was our last day in Siem Reap, Nat and I decided to go around Psar Chaa. We had just had lunch and we thought that buying last-minute trinkets would help digest the food in our bellies.

Psar Chaa, the old market, is located between Pub Street and Siem Reap River.

A warm wind will greet you as you enter. You’ll smell it first; when your eyes adjusts to the dimness, you’ll see what’s being sold. Fresh produce, fresh meat, dried meat, dried goods, clothing, and various souvenir items.

It was my third time in Siem Reap. On my first two visits, I’ve always purchased massage oils, essential oils and various soaps. It was only during this trip that I noticed something new.

Lip Balms. Scented Lip Balms.

This got me pretty excited because I love scents.

Cambodian lip balms in wood nuts.
This woman had lip balms of different kinds at her kiosk. I have noticed that the lip balms came in two types of packaging. The first type were lip balms housed in small lidded ceramic cups and the other were lip balms housed in wood nuts. I chose the later because they were more practical. The lids of the wood nut were more secure than that of the lidded ceramic cups.

Jasmine Lip Balm
One of the lip balms that I chose was Jasmine. I love this scent. It’s quite pleasant; not overpowering.

I actually had a hard time when I first opened this. I had to use a nail pusher to open up the lid. This was caused by excess product that spilled over when it was first closed.


Mix of 6
The other lip balm that I chose was a mix of 6 flavours.

I initially wanted a Lotus flavoured lip balm, but alas the woman didn’t have any. She must have seen how disappointed I was because she insisted on letting me smell a particular lip balm.

It was a combination of Banana, Pineapple, Mango, Frangipani, Lotus and Lemon Grass.

When I first brought it to my nose, it was very fruity; but not overly sweet. But when I started rubbing the balm, the other flavours started to come out! This created another scented blend that took me by surprise. The mint of the lemon grass balanced the sweetness of the fruit scents while enhancing the flowery scents. This lip balm is my current favorite.

The lip balms are smooth; very easy to blend/spread on the lips. It does not have a high shine content which I like. I don’t know how these lip balms were made because there was no ingredients list. I wanted to know what was the main vehicle of the balm, but alas, language barriers can make conversation difficult. It’s highly likely that these lip balms use petroleum jelly as their base, the texture reminds me of it.  The balm does not have that distinct beeswax taste nor does it have any hint indicating that it is derived from Coconut.

So far, I have not had any adverse reaction to the balm since I had started using it. So it is most likely safe to use.


The wood nut lip balms are available around Siem Reap. I’ve seen these in some upscale stores, along the night markets and on some souvenir stalls around the temples. The price ranges from $3 – $10 per piece. It will be more expensive in high end stores. It will be cheaper at the market. I bought mine for $5 for two.



Let me say that the products I am using has worked for me and it might not necessarily work for you. Always be discerning when purchasing cosmetics or skin care products. Always read the label and the literature! Always do a patch test before you purchase a product for the first time to see that you are not allergic to any of the ingredients listed.

This blog is not sponsored. The products that are shown here are the products that I always use, love and live by.


Say “Hi!” on Instagram at







Purederm Skin Solutions Make-up Remover Cleansing Towelettes


There have been many times over the years, where in a model arrives at work wearing a full face of makeup. I sometimes sigh at exasperation because some of these models do not abide by this simple rule: “Come To Work With A Clean Face”.

Most of the time I work on location with no proper amenities. Sometimes I am behind a black curtain backstage in a fashion show. If working in a proper studio I am pressed for time. When a full cleanse is not possible, this is where I pull out the cleansing wipes.

My favorite to use are the Argan Oil and Collagen Make-up Remover Cleansing Towelettes from  Purederm Skin Solutions.

There are two reasons why I use these two products:

  • These don’t have any other ingredients that might not work in tandem with most of my cosmetic products.
  • I am also cautious when it comes to using certain products that has vitamins, anti-aging ingredients, and exfoliating properties because the person I am working with might get a reaction. I do not want that to happen while I am at work causing unwanted delays.

I use the Collagen Make-up Remover Cleansing Towelettes when I am working with a person who has combination to oily skin. This way I am still able to effectively remove makeup and excess oil with out overstimulating production.

I use the Argan Oil  Make-up Remover Cleansing Towelettes when I am working with a person who has dry to normal skin. The minute amount of argan oil will leave the skin nicely moisturized.

The other main reason why I have this in my makeup kit every single time is because I frequently use the back of my hand as a working palette:

  • I mix different colored foundations on it.
  • I warm concealers on it.
  • I check the slip of eye pencils / gel eyeliners on it.
  • I  create lipstick shades and check if a lip liner is a match on it.

I used to use alcohol and tissue to remove them but they are not effective in fully removing cosmetic products. With the cleansing towelettes, my cleansing process is cut in half and I don’t get makeup stains on my clothes anymore.

Purederm has four other types of cleansing towelettes available namely: Peptide, Tea Tree, Q-10, and Vitamin. So you have an array of product types to choose from according to your needs and skin type.


Upon doing some research, I found that these cleaning towelettes are made by a Korean company named Adwin Korea Corp. The same company who makes Skinlite facial Masks. To read my blog about those facial masks, click here.

These cleansing wipes are available at Watson’s. They retail for Php 99. Do be on the look out because they go on sale once in a while, slashing the price 50% off *winks*.

To know about Purederm Skin Solutions, visit their website at

Check them out at the Watson’s Philippines website at


Now, what might work for me might not necessarily work for you. Make sure to read the proper instructions before using this product.

Always take time to read the ingredients lists before purchasing. Be an intelligent consumer. Only buy products that suit your skin type, skin care routine and budget.

Say “Hi!” on Instagram!


VMV Hypoallergenics Id Monolaurin Gel

I was introduced to this products a few months back and I have been testing it out since then.

The first time I saw VMV Hypoallergenics Id Monolaurin Gel I passed over it because I read that it was primarily for sweat acne and acne treatment, which luckyly I don’t suffer from.

Years later, I was replenishing my stocks at the VMV Hypoallergenics store when the advisor asked me if I had tried this gel. I told her I have not because I don’t need it. The advisor knew I was a makeup artist and told me that this product is a perfect makeup base for people with oily skin types because it controls oil and mattifies the face with out drying it.


The VMV Hypoallergenics Id Monolaurin Gel  comes in a 120 ml blue bottle. You squeeze it, and the gel comes out. The amount of gel that comes out depends on how much pressure you exert unto the bottle. I was initially worried about spillage, but the bottle works like a vacuum, sucking in the gel once you stop squeezing it.

Upon first contact, the gel felt cool on my skin. It made me feel relaxed actually. I also felt my skin tighten but it was soft to the touch. That’s when I knew this product was controlling my oil without drying my skin.
Unlike some makeup bases in the market, this gel left my skin matte with out  the white cast!
I proceeded to apply some makeup on and it did not interfere with the slip and slide of the foundation.
I have been using this for the past few months on people who have oily skin (me included). Here’s what I have observed:
  • This is a good makeup base. Since this gel dries quickly, it needs to be applied on the skin as soon as it’s out of the bottle. It’s best to use fingers in doing so.
  • You don’t need to use as much as you think you do. A little bit of the product goes a long way and it’s best to use this on the main problem areas of the skin, i.e. T-zone.
  • If you use too much, flaking can occur. You’ll see white “dust like particles” sitting on top of the skin especially when you “layer” the gel over. You’d need to buff it off with a brush.
  • If you use too much, your foundation might not slip and slide easily. Remember, you’d need a little bit of moisture to make that foundation work.
  • This helps extend the wear of your makeup by inhibiting the oil production process of the skin by a few hours than in comparison when not using VMV Hypoallergenics Id Monolaurin Gel as a base.

The main active ingredients of this product are Monolaurin ( Gylceryl Laurate) and Glycerin. Monolaurin is derived from coconut oil, which is known for its antibacterial, antiviral, antimicrobial, and anti-inflammatory effects. That why this is a good treatment for those who suffer from acne, sweat acne, ingrown hairs, waxing and shaving bumps. Glycerin is the ingredient that “locks in” moisture.



Recently, my nephew from the US came over for a visit. Having  stayed under the sun a tad too much with out sunscreen he came up to me complaining about the discomfort of his sunburn. He asked me if I had anything that could be of help to rid him of the pain of the sunburn. I initially, said I didn’t have any. Fortunately around that time he was asking me, I was arranging my kit and I saw the blue bottle ofVMV Hypoallergenics Id Monolaurin Gel sticking out. I handed him the bottle and I told him to place a generous amount all over his face while I proceeded to apply the gel all over his back.

I had a hunch it might work.

He said the gel felt cool to the touch and the uncomfortable feeling of being “burnt” was alleviated instantly. He looked less uncomfortable too, which was a good sight. 24 hours later, no adverse side effects. This might be a good  aide in relieving the discomfort of sunburn. I was banking on the Monolaurin to work its anti-inflammatory power on him.


If you are from the Philippines and you’d want to know more about VMV Hypoallergenics Id Monolaurin Gel , vist the VMV Hypoallergenics Philippines  website at For the rest of the world visit

In the Philippines this retails for Php 830.

In the US and the rest of the world, it reatils for $30.

If you are an avid online shopper, VMV Hypoallergenics offers lots of online discounts every now and then. So do watch out .


Let me say that the products I am using has worked for me and it might not necessarily work for you. Always be discerning when purchasing cosmetics or skin care products. Always read the label and the literature! Always do a patch test before you purchase a product for the first time to see that you are not allergic to any of the ingredients listed.

This blog is not sponsored. The products that are shown here are the products that I always use, love and live by.


Say “Hi!” on Instagram at



Alcohol, Aqua/Water/Eau, Glyceryl Laurate, Glycerin, Carbomer, Triethanolamine.

Dr. Jart+ Dermaclear Trans-Foam Clay

I like skin care products that are effective and multi purpose.

Left: Dermaclear Trans-foam Clay GREEN      Middle: Dermaclear Trans-Foam Clay Pink        Right: Dermaclear Trans-foam Clay White

That’s why I like these products from Dr. Jart+.

The Dr. Jart+ Dermaclear Tans-Foam Clay is a clay mask that you massage on your face and leave on to dry for three minutes. Feel it transform into a foaming facial wash when you rinse it off with warm water.

These three products were part of my New York stash when I was there in October of 2016. A gift from my good friend Nat.

Prior to getting Dr. Jart+ Dermaclear Tans-Foam Clay, I had zero experience with clay masks because they are not available here. I was very excited to start using these on my self and “see” how they work.

I first tried this on my self for the first time when I arrived home from New York. I wanted to feel refreshed and hydrated after a long flight.

I chose to use Dermaclear Trans-Foam Clay in Green. The clay had a very light green tint to it (The Dermaclear Trans-Foam Clay in Pink has a light pink hue to it and the Dermaclear Trans-Foam Clay in White is white.).I massaged a generous amount of the clay unto my skin. The clay appears white once applied unto the skin.

The clay felt cool on my skin. Minty. Refreshing. I also felt my skin tightening as the clay started to dry.

After three minutes, I washed my face with warm water. In circular motions, I gently rubbed the clay on my face, instantly transforming into foam! I continued massaging the lather unto my face for a couple of minutes before washing the product off completely.

Once dry, my skin started glowing and it felt soft and hydrated.  To my surprise, I did not loose the “tight” feeling. I followed this up with my regular skin care regimen and I was happy with my results.

A full 24 hours later, I was happy find that my skin did not get any reaction. It stayed clear.


I wanted to try using Dr. Jart+ Dermaclear Trans-Foam Clay before putting on makeup. To see how it affected the makeup application process and if affects the staying power of the makeup.

I tried this on myself.

It was the day of the Christmas Party of Mars, the TV magazine show I work for. To get the story, read my blog about it and it’s accompanying makeup video tutorial by clicking here.

I have been working all day and I needed to put my makeup on once my body temperature has regulated and my heart has paced normally. It’s always best to apply makeup when one is relaxed. Dr. Jart+ Dermaclear Trans-foam Clay in White helped me relax and it calmed my skin. The active ingredient in this clay the Roman Chamomile, an herb that is known for it’s calming agent / stress reducer.

In my experience, my makeup lasted longer. The clay made my skin toned and tight. I also noticed that my skin did not get as oily as it usually did making my makeup last the entire night without extensive retouching. Since then, I use this clay when I have a shoot with a beauty makeup requirement.

I highly recommend using a clay mask before putting on your makeup. It does make a difference.


While writing this entry, I managed to find the official Dr. Jart+ Dermaclear Trans-foam Clay video.

This video will explain further the methodology, the ingredients, the benefits, and the science behind this product.

I have to say, what a lovely video. The photography, production design, cinematic flow and the music made me feel… beautiful.


At this time, I do not know if this is available in the Philippines. So if you are abroad do try to check this out.

This product individually sells at $15 and the Trio sells at $35 ($45 value) on

To know more about Dr. Jart+ ,their products and where to buy them, visit their website by clicking here.


Let me say that the products I am using has worked for me and it might not necessarily work for you. Always be discerning when purchasing cosmetics or skin care products. Always read the label and the literature! Always do a patch test before you purchase a product for the first time to see that you are not allergic to any of the ingredients listed.

This blog is not sponsored. The products that are shown here are the products that I always use, love and live by.


Say “Hi!” on Instagram at


Ingredients List As Stated in the Packaging:
Trans-Foam Clay in Calming White:
It’s main active ingredient is Chamomile (Anthemis Nobilis Flower Extract) great for it’s calming properties.

Water, Titanium Dioxide, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Kaolin*, Glycerin, Palmitic Acid, Stearic Acid, Bentonite, Betaine, Potassium Hydroxide, Sodium Methyl Cocoyl Taurate, Butylene Glycol, Phenoxyethanol, Xanthan Gum, Chlorphenesin, Ethylhexylglycerin, Tetrasodium Pyrophosphate, Caprylyl Glycol, Cellulose Gum, Pelargonium Graveolens Flower Oil, Myristic Acid, Arachidic Acid, Lauric acid, Disodium EDTA, Dipropylene Glycol, Decyl Glucoside, Anthemis Nobilis Flower Extract, Sodium Palmitoyl Proline, Nymphaea Alba Flower Extract*.

Trans-Foam Clay in Moisturizing Pink:
It’s main active ingredient is Lotus Flower (Nelumbo Nucifera Flower Extract), which hydrates the skin.

Water, Titanium Dioxide, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Kaolin*, Glycerin, Palmitic Acid, Stearic Acid, Bentonite, Sodium Methyl Cocoyl Taurate, Betaine, Potassium Hydroxide, Butylene Glycol, Phenoxyethanol, Xanthan Gum, Chlorphenesin, Polyquaternium-7, Ethylhexylglycerin, Tetrasodium Pyrophosphate, Caprylyl Glycol, Cellulose Gum, Acrylamidopropyltrimonium Chloride/Acrylamide Copolymer, Arachidic Acid, Lauric acid, Myristic Acid, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Peel Oil, Disodium EDTA, Pelargonium Graveolens Flower Oil, Boswellia Carterii Oil, Citrus Paradisi (Grapefruit) Peel Oil, Amyris Balsamifera Bark Oil, Dipropylene Glycol, Decyl Glucoside, Nelumbo Nucifera Flower Extract, Sodium Palmitoyl Proline, Nymphaea Alba Flower Extract*.

Trans-Foam Clay in Refreshing Green:
With Lemongrass (Cymbopogon Schoenathus Extract) as it’s active ingredient which helps control sebum.

Water, Titanium Dioxide, Montmorillonite*, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Glycerin, Palmitic Acid, Stearic Acid, Bentonite, Kaolin*, Betaine, Sodium Methyl Cocoyl Taurate, Potassium Hydroxide, Butylene Glycol, Phenoxyethanol, Xanthan Gum, Chlorphenesin, Ethyl Menthane Carboxamide, Ethylhexylglycerin, Cellulose Gum, Tetrasodium Pyrophosphate, Caprylyl Glycol, Menthol, Lauric acid, Myristic Acid, Arachidic Acid, Disodium EDTA, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Peel Oil, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil, Pelargonium Graveolens Flower Oil, Amyris Balsamifera Bark Oil, Eucalyptus Globulus Leaf Oil, Citrus Paradisi (Grapefruit) Peel Oil, Melaleuca Alternifolia (Tea Tree) Leaf Oil, Citrus Aurantium Bergamia (Bergamot) Fruit Oil, Boswellia Carterii Oil, Juniperus Mexicana Oil, Cymbopogon Schoenanthus Extract, Dipropylene Glycol, Decyl Glucoside, Sodium Palmitoyl Proline, Nymphaea Alba Flower Extract*.

The three Dermaclear variants shares these ingredients:

*French Clay (Kaolin, Montmorillonite): Cleanses pores and exfoliates.
Hydrogen Mineral Water: Purifies.
*Sepicalm VG (Nymphaea Alba Flower Extract [Known as the European White Water Lily]): Tones skin. Sepicalm VG also known as a lightener and brightener.

Color Trend: Rose Gold

Yesterday was my first official working day for 2017 . Usually, while setting up, I have an inner dialogue about possible eye and lip colour combinations to use on my model/client for that day. As I started setting up my table at Studio 1 in GMA, I subconsciously laid out my favourite Rose Gold eyeshadows. That’s when it all “clicked”.

Cue in Celine Dion’s song, “It’s All Coming Back To Me Now”.

Rose Gold For the New Year Holiday, I was reading the January 2017 issue of Allure Magazine when my eye caught a small advert on the upper right hand side of a page I was perusing. It was for Tweezerman; a Rose Gold Love Story Gift Set. A week before this, I acquired my new Iphone 7… in Rose Gold.

Everything was coming up Rose Gold in my eyes.

I suddenly remembered that I have seen this colour trend late last year on sneakers, heels, bags … even on hair (I first saw this colour on Kylie Jenner in October 2016;  see this post by MTV to see which stars sported the Rose Gold look on their manes).


Laura Mercier Cream Eyeshadows
Top Swatch: Laura Mercier Metallic Creme Eye Colour in Rose Gold / Bottom Swatch: Laura Mercier Caviar Stick Eye Colour in Rose Gold

I first encountered this colour circa 2008. It was a metallic cream eyeshadow from Laura Mercier Cosmetics. This was a delicate rose coloured eyeshadow with fine gold flecks became my “go-to” eyeshadow. I used it on many shoots and on all of my brides. Either as a single colour wash or as a base colour. The colour gave off a very feminine appearance. Soft and dreamy. I usually use a small flat synthetic brush to apply this. Your fingers can do the trick as well.

The Laura Mercier Caviar Stick Eye Colour was a recent addition (circa 2013). I decided to purchase the Rose Gold version in this product line thinking it would be the same colour as the metallic cream eyeshadow. It is not. It is more gold than pink. The Caviar Stick is relatively easy to use, just run the “stick” along your lids. The pressure of your application can intensify the colour on your lids, so always use soft gentle strokes. I blend this product with my fingers or a synthetic eye shadow brush.

In terms of longevity, the caviar stick lasts longer than the metallic creme eyeshadow. Since it’s very humid here in the Philippines and some women can get quite oily quickly (especially on the eyelids), I enhance the staying power and colour pay off of both products by first applying a generous amount of  Nars Smudge Proof Eye Shadow Base (click to read my blog entry about it) on the lids.

On this photo feature from my Instagram page, for the sake of comparison, I am wearing the Rose Gold Mettalic Creme Eyeshadow on my right eye (your left) and the Rose Gold Caviar Stick Eye Colour on my left eye (your right).

The Laura Mercier Caviar Stick Eye Colour in Rose Gold works very well with Green, Hazel, Blue and Light Brown Eyes. I believe this colour works really well with medium to dark skin tones. If you have very fair/pale skin, I suggest not to use this colour alone because it can make you look “sick”, instead layer together with warm browns/taupes plus add a gold highlight for drama.


Rose Gold has been around for quite some time. Thanks to the Iphone, it is now a very popular colour. If you are a girl who loves riding on trends, this eye colour is a good way to match those heels of yours. Ok, fine… it would match your new Iphone.

But if you are one of those girls who doesn’t have the care in the world for trends, a girl who prefers to have a “romantic” eye makeup look, then this eye colour is definitely for you.


Upon writing this blog entry, I decided to check out for a price check. I found disappointment instead. The Mettalic Creme Eyeshadows are no longer in production (BOO!). The Caviar Sticks are still around and they retail for $29 / Php 1350. Visit the Laura Mercier Boudoir in Rustan’s to check out the other 18 shades.




Maybelline Dream Cushion Liquid Foundation On-The-Go

First look at Maybelline Dream Cushion Liquid Foundation On-The-Go.

The packaging is quite handy. It is made of plastic, which is lighter than that of traditional glass bottled foundations out in the market. It is quite easy to store with out the risk of spillage or bottle caps turning loose. This is perfect for women who are always “on-the-go”.

Maybelline Dream Cushion Liquid Foundation On-The-Go compact had a radius of 2.6 inches and a depth of an inch. The applicator sponge that comes along with the compact is more rubbery in nature. It feels smooth to the touch and spreads the liquid foundation on the skin quite well.

The cushion is soaked with liquid foundation and housed at the bottom of the compact. It is separated from the rest of the compact (and the world) with a “snap-on” lid. This “snap-on” lid acts as an anti spillage mechanism, it keeps the foundation from drying out and serves as the “well” that stores the applicator sponge. The cushion appears more porous and holds .51 oz/14.6 grams of product.

As you’d noticed on the video, this liquid foundation is quite pigmented. As stated on their packaging, it offers medium coverage. You can start off with a sheer application and “build up” the coverage as needed.

The main ingredient of this is water. Which means it’s hydrating. Anyone can use this but, it’s best suited for people with normal to oily skin.


Maybelline Dream Cushion
True Beige 40

I decided to try this out on myself at work; I work closely with people who work for TV and I’m sure they’d notice.

With a taping motion, I applied True Beige 40 on the centre of my face and under the eyes, spreading upwards and out wards. This was the color that matches my skin tone. I applied Medium Beige 45 to the rest of my face to add depth. I lightly contoured my temples, hollows of my cheeks, on the side of my nose and on my eyelids with Caramel 55.

All three colors were easy to apply and blend using the applicator sponge. Again, I used a tapping motion when applying this product. I did not set this with powder. If I did so, it will look very obvious that I was wearing makeup and I wanted to see how long it was going to last by “itself”. Plus, I love looking dewy. ALWAYS.

Let me say, I do not wear makeup unless needed (in DRAG) and I’m proud of my skin. I wanted to be sure that this product does not make me look like I’m wearing makeup.

Off the bat, people started noticing.

“You’re looking fresh today!”

“Your skin looks lovely!”

“Your skin is looking glow-y today!”

“Why is your skin dewy?”

“You’re wearing makeup today aren’t you? It matches your skin perfectly!”

I had a generally good response. I was impressed.

I have oily skin, and I have to say that the foundation stayed all day. Despite the occasional blast of heat from the hair dryer, going in and out the studio, eating, and even after brushing my teeth; it stayed. Then again, I am very disciplined when it comes to my face. Aside from having a skin care routine (click here to read my blog about that), I rarely touch my face. When I do, I’m mindful about it. That in itself helps makeup stay on longer.

As soon as I got home, I jumped into the shower and washed my face. I skipped the toning and the moisturizing to see if any residue of the foundation would lead to a breakout the next day. I am happy to announce, that my skin stayed clear.


Let’s talk about cleanliness.

Before wearing makeup always clean your skin first. Cleanse, tone and moisturize. This will create a clean canvass for your makeup and there would be less dirt, oil or grime the applicator sponge will pick up.

The applicator sponge of the Maybelline Dream Cushion Liquid Foundation On-The-Go, as I described earlier, feels more rubbery. It’s also feels dense yet fine and very soft to the touch. I’m not too sure if the sponge is made with Rubycell technology because it is not stated in the packaging. Rubycell technology creates microporous materials that has anti-microbial  and anti-bacterial properties. The only sponges I have seen that were made with Rubycell technology are colored blue. Once this launches we’ll have more information and I will update this entry.

I must reiterate, always clean your applicator sponge every so often. Like every two – three days with warm water and an anti-bacterial soap. It’s very easy to do. Do it at night before going to bed. Leave this to dry overnight on your bathroom counter. It should be dry once you wake up.

I have tried washing the applicator sponge after using. No matter how much soap I use, even if the water from the applicator sponge runs clear, the foundation stain stays. Never the less, it’s always best to have clean tools. Your skin will thank you for it.

Over all this product does the job. It feels light and it makes the skin look refined. Since this offers medium coverage, additional concealing methods should be applied to cover any spots and blemishes.


As of press time (char!), the product featured in this blog entry, The Maybelline Dream Cushion Liquid Foundation On-The-Go, is not yet available on the market. If my readings are right, it is set to launch in 2017.

I got this from a friend of a friend of a friend during my recent trip to New York, straight from the backstage of New York Fashion Week . I ended up with fifteen pounds of makeup products that left me scurrying for new luggage.


The first time I saw cushion compacts was when Korean cosmetics companies launched them in 2014. Most of the products launched were BB and CC creams. I have had no experience with these types of products until recently. The reason they did not appeal to me is because these products are marketed for personal use.

I still believe, after this review, it is best for personal use.

I would like to hope that the Maybelline Dream Cushion Liquid Foundation On-The-Go will have a color range that would suit most skin tones. I have 8 shades with me; colors that would suite fair , medium and dark skin tones. I’m sure when this product launches it will have more shades. After all their Fit Me Matte and Poreless Foundation has 24 shades, their Fit Me Dewy and Smooth Foundation has 16 shades, their SuperStay Better Skin Foundation has 16 shades, while their Dream Matte Mouse has 12 shades.

Take note that Maybelline Dream Cushion Liquid Foundation On-The-Go does not have any SPF. This would be great for photographs because there will be no flash back. But if you’ll be out and about on that specific day, dab on some sun screen prior to applying this foundation.

If you are a Maybelline fan, you have something to look forward to this coming new year.




The Artis Makeup Brush

My latest brush acquisition is this Elite Mirror 5 Brush Set from Artis Brush.

Over the years, I have seen these brushes pop up online every so often. I have been been generally intrigued by it. I first saw this modern makeup brush from MAC. However, upon seeing the design sensibility of Artis,  I wanted to have one.

Nat passed on to me this Elite Mirror 5 Brush Set during my recent trip to New York. He had this in stock but he never used it. This set comes with:

Elite Mirror Oval 6
The Elite Mirror Oval 6 ($55)


Elite Mirror Oval 4
The Elite Mirror Oval 4 ($45)


Elite Mirror Oval 3
The Elite Mirror Oval 3 ($40)


Elite Mirror Circle 1
The Elite Mirror Circle 1 ($35)


Elite Mirror Linear 1
The Elite Mirror Linear 1 ($35)

This set retails for $165 with a $210 value.

Nat and I have discussed the ergonomic design of this brush in detail. Using this for the first time will take some getting used to. We have come to the conclusion that it is easier to use this brush on oneself than using it on somebody else.

The brush heads of Artis are designed to be like the pad of your fingertips. Therefore the movement in makeup application is the same as that when you are using your fingers.

The bristles on the brush are very compact but very soft. It’s the same sensation as running your fingers through a very fine piece of Persian carpet. I used this on Suzi Abrera when I did her makeup for the show (MARS) we work on, she found them to be very soft. The bristles glide smoothly. She said it was like a cross between a brush and a sponge.

The fibres are called Cosmefibre. Synthetically produced to be more superior than that of natural animal bristles. These fibres do not absorb any product. This means more product is delivered unto the skin, less residue on the brush.

I have used this with cream, liquid and powdered products. It’s very versatile. I have used these for foundation, cream and powder blush, concealer, powder and cream eyeshadow, eyeliner, gel and powdered eyebrow products and lipstick. It does the job, with a little bit of practice.

I clean my Artis brush heads the same way I clean my traditional brushes. Although Artis has it’s own cleaning system. I find it too extravagant and wasteful (click here to see their full range of cleaning products.). I still prefer to clean my brushes on the palm of my hands or on a brush cleaning pad with an anti-bacterial washing agent.

Over time, as a makeup artist, you will find your own rhythm, your own style, your own process. The tools you use will adapt to this. As an artist, you can use any brush to suit your needs at any given time. As with any other brush, there is no one specific way that you have to use them. What works for you might not necessarily work for other, and that is totally fine!

To see tips on how to individually use the brushes featured in this blog, here are a few videos from the Artis Brush Youtube page:

The Oval 6:

The Oval 4:

The Oval 3:

The Circle 1:

The Linear 1:

Artis Brushes are made by Japanese manufacturing company Taiki. The brushes however are produced in China. The brain behind the redesigned brushes from Artis is former MAC executive Mathew Waitesmith.

VMV Hypoallergenics Essence Skin-Saving Antiperspirant

Essence Skin-Saving Antiperspirant


My antiperspirant/deodorant of choice in helping me control the sweat on my pits all year round is VMV Hypoallergenics Essence Skin-Saving Antiperspirant.  This is a  liquid antiperspirant that comes in a spray bottle.

As stated in their website, this underarm care product offers intense protection from hyperhidrosis (extreme sweating) while preventing irritation, bumps, and underarm darkening.

Here’s how I use it:

I spray it on my underarms after I bathe in the evening. I do not wash my underarms with soap when I shower in the morning. The only time I spray them again after my morning shower is when I know I will be having a busy day, other wise, I skip it. I know you might think me weird for spraying deo at night before sleeping, but it is more effective in keeping my pits as dry as possible.

My regimen was confirmed effective when Allure Magazine ran an article detailing why putting on an antiperspirant/deodorant at night works. To read the story, here’s the link .

I know it’s difficult to change old habits and processes. It does takes time and effort. It would be an easy transition once you’d have realized it does work.

One advantage of putting on an antiperspirant/deodorant at night  is: I do not get white stripes on my shirts. That’s because the antiperspirant/deodorant has dried thoroughly. I also get less staining/discoloration on my shirts because of this.

Speaking of stains, I am quite careful with my clothes because I don’t buy a lot of them. I always wash my clothes by hand.  Through the years of doing laundry I have come to despise antiperspirants/deodorants that came in stick form. They always leave product on the arm hole of the shirt. I get really annoyed by this because, product build up destroys a shirt by leaving skank, stains and an unpleasant odour. No matter how well you wash your clothes, the waxy product stays! Over time, the arm hole area of the shirt stiffens because of product build up! Eventually, they all fall into ruin.

After switching toVMV Hypoallergenics Essence Skin-Saving Antiperspirant in 2010, I have not had product build up, skank, or any form of unpleasant odour. Some yellow staining does occur (which are apparent on white shirts). This only happens when I wear my shirt when the product has not completely dried on my pits. This is caused by the ingredient Aluminium Chlorohydrate. Fear not, it’s easily removed when the shirt is washed using a gentle bleaching agent.

VMV Hypoallergenics Essence Skin-Saving Antiperspirant is unscented.  I love perfume and I am very passionate about my scent personality. Gone are the days when the scent of my deo intermingle with my perfume. Despite the fact that it is unscented, I do not develop any underarm odour. Glyceryl Laurate is its active ingridient that acts as an antibacterial agent that keeps underarm odour at bay.

I am one happy camper.


VMV Hypoallergenics Essence Skin-Saving Antiperspirant is available for delivery online and at all VMV Hypoallergenics Physical Stores.

This comes in a 150ml spray bottle.

If you are in the Philippines and want to get to know more about this product visit This retails for Php450.

For the rest of the world visit This retails for $20.


Active Ingredients:

Aluminum Chlorhydrate.

Other Ingredients:

Alcohol, Aqua/Water/Eau, Glyceryl Laurate, Glycerin, PEG-12 Dimethicone.







BrowLash EX Eyebrow Coat

I fist saw this product on the show “Document 72 Hours” on NHK World. As stated in their website, Document 72 hours “is an unusual program series that explores human dramas through chance encounters with ordinary people at selected locations.”

On that particular Tuesday evening, Document 72 Hours featured a “Makeup Room” in Osaka Station. It is essentially a powder room for women where they can “freshen up” before heading to work, to an interview, or before heading out to a date. For a minimal fee, you can rent a small cubicle where you can style your hair and put on makeup. You can rent hair styling implements and use makeup from the makeup counter for an additional fee I suppose, it wasn’t tackled.

The camera crew was interviewing this girl who was on her way to some interview. I couldn’t remember the details, BUT I remember this girl applying someting on her eyebrows. When the interviewer asked her what she was applying, she said it was a brow sealant that would make her eyebrow makeup last longer; smudge proof + water proof.

A few months later, Rommel, the director of our show MARS gave Suzi and Camille some pasalubong from Japan. It was the eyebrow sealant that I saw on Document 72 Hours! I asked Suzi if we could try it out.

We were impressed. It delivered what it promised.

It took me a while to have my own eyebrow coat. I don’t really enjoy asking friends to look for makeup products for me during their travels because I do not feel comfortable in making someone go out of their way for me. Well, I didn’t mind badgering my friend Barbie to get me this product when she told me she was going to Japan for a few days early this year.

Barbie is a very good designer from Cebu. Check out her work at:

BrowLash EX

This BrowLash Ex eyebrow coat is made by BCL Company, a Japanese consumer  skincare, hair care, nail care and cosmetics company.

BrowLash Ex eyebrow coat will make your eyebrow makeup smudge proof and waterproof. even swimming will not ruin your brow game.

This product comes in a 5 gram bottle. Very easy to store and handle.

The liquid is clear. It feels cool to the touch and doesn’t feel sticky once applied. Once dry, it creates a film on top of the skin, sealing eyebrow product used.

This is very easy to use. After filling in your brows, you apply a thin layer of the sealant on top of your brows. Use a spoolie to spread the product evenly, ensuring maximum coverage. In my experience, this works best with eyebrow pencils.

Aside from making your eyebrows smudge proof + waterproof, BrowLash Ex eyebrow coat also fixes your brows in place.

This product sells for 500 yen. That’s around Php200 +-. Very affordable.

So if you want to keep your brow game on fleek. This might be a good product to try.


I’m not quite sure if this is available in the Philippines, but if you have friends in or traveling to Japan, you might ask them to pick this up for you.

This can be easily seen in any cosmetics store, convenience store or at any open air market.

To know more about BrowLash EX visit:












My Smoky Eye Palette

My Smoky Eye Palette
My Smoky Eye Palette

My previous blog was about my neutral eye shadow palette (click here to read it), and I find it only fitting to talk about my smoky eye palette.

This is a personalized palette of Laura Mercier products that I have been using as long as I can remember. I have used these colors on a lot of fashion shows or on private clients for the entire length of my career.

I personally chose these eye colors from the Laura Mercier line and popped it into her 3-well Custom Compact.

The colors are:

Luster Eye Colour in Celestial, a shimmery gun metal grey color.

Matte Eye Colour in Noir, a deep black color.

Caviar Cake Eye Liner in Noir (It is now discontinued to my absolute horror!).

In a nutshell, when I am creating a classic smoky eye, I apply Noir all over the lids and blend it beyond the socket line. I gradually intensify the color by carefully “building it up” in the upper and lower lash lines. I also add more definition on the socket line by slowly adding the Noir eye shadow. If necessary, to soften the look, I use the color Truffle (click here to see my neutral eye shadow palette)  to diffuse the blackness of the eye shadow.

I line the entire upper and lower lash with the water activated cake eye liner. This is to further give the eyes a smokier appearance. I blend it upwards and outwards when it is 70% dry.

If needed, to add a pop of color, I dab a but of Celestial on the lids or in the inner corner of the eyes.

If I want to intensify the smokyness, I’d use Bobbi Brown’s gel eyeliner in Black Ink along the upper lash line. Click here to read my experience with that product.

I finish the look with some mascara and/or false eyelashes.


Here’s a look I created using this palette.

( #asthesonggoes ) #smoke gets in your #eyes… for #paukaymondays

A post shared by Tor Torre (@tortorre) on


A post shared by Tor Torre (@tortorre) on

I also used this palette in creating this short video about wearing smoky eyes with light, red and dark lips.


For more information about the cost of the eye shadows and the 3-well palette, click here to be brought to my previous blog.


Let me say that the products I am using has worked for me and it might not necessarily work for you. Always be discerning when purchasing cosmetics or skin care products. Always read the label and the literature! Always do a patch test before you purchase a product for the first time to see that you are not allergic to any of the ingredients listed.

This blog is not sponsored. The products that are shown here are the products that I always use, love and live by.


Say “Hi!” on Instagram at