Fude Matsuri + Hakuhodo Brush Haul

Chapter One

Some time in 2013, I was busy researching online for Japanese makeup brushes when I bumped into an article entitled “With Life on Paper – Kumano Fude Festival” written by Paul Walsh for GetHiroshima.com. I was amazed to have read that a small town located 20 kilometres east of Hiroshima had a brush festival. Every year since then, I would plan to visit; but it never pushes through. Over the years, I have managed to collect information about the festival – how to get there and what to expect.

I was so ready to be there.

In early April of this year ,while randomly checking out flights, Cebu Pacific Air had an amazing flight deal that I could not resist. I decided to go for it.


By the end of August, I started my plans for my trip to Japan. Fude Matsuri falls on Autumn Equinox which plays between the 22nd and the 23rd of September.

Around September 4th, My plans were suddenly put on hold because Typhoon Jebi passed through Japan and caused wide-spread damage. Typhoon Jebi was a very strong typhoon, a Category 5 Hurricane on the SSHWS.

This typhoon flooded my port of entry, Kansai Airport. The winds were so strong that it blew a fuel tanker into the rail and road bridge, the sole link, that connects the artificial island airport to mainland Osaka. Destroying a 100 meter slab of roadway and moving the rail tracks 50 cm inward. This made Kansai airport inaccessible.

For three weeks, all flights to Osaka were cancelled. I had two options:

  1. Move my Fude Matsuri plans to 2019.
  2. Reroute my flight to Tokyo or Nagoya.

I was ready to reroute my flight and I had already plotted my train journey to the festival from both cities. Fortunately, three days before my scheduled flight, Kansai International Airport announced that they would resume airport operations and that the railway system would be up and running by then.


On September 21, 2018 at 2:55 PM, my Cebu Pacific Air Flight 5J 828 left on time from Manila bound for Osaka.


It was quite a journey to get to the festival.

After having spent the whole day of September 22nd sight-seeing in Kyoto, I took a nearly 3 hour bullet train ride from Osaka to Hiroshima. For travellers out there, do take note that you cannot ride the bullet train from Kyoto to Hiroshima on your JR Pass. You have to take the local rapid train service from Kyoto to Shin-Osaka. You are able to take ANY of the bullet trains from Shin-Osaka to Hiroshima Station.

The following day was Fude Matsuri.

From my hostel, I walked to Hiroshima Station and took a 30 minute train ride to Yano Station on the Kure Line bound for Hiro.

Once I got to Yano station, I had a few problems locating the Yano Ekimae bus stop because my goggle maps was f-ing up. The data from my pocket wifi was not at it’s best given my current location.

After walking a few meters and asking a Japanese man, he pointed me to the bus stop. It was right at the foot of the stairs of Yano Station. *laughs*

The bus stop had a small electronic billboard. It shows you what bus stops there, what time they are expected to arrive and depart… all written in Japanese (Kanji+Hiragana+Katana).

I have had 10 years of Chinese classes during grade school and high school and I am very good at the game “spot the difference”, so comparing the characters on my phone to the ones stated on the schedules was a challenge I did not back down from.

Once I had an idea on which bus to take, to be sure, I asked the Japanese girl in front of me if this was the bus stop for Fude Matsuri. Lucky for me, she spoke English and told me that I was at the right place. Her name was Del and she was also bound for the festival. Del was kind enough to share with me some information about the festival. She had a map at hand and she showed me the places of interest around the Brush Museum and the festival proper.

A bus was arriving at the station and I noticed that the signboard showed the English translation of the bus route. I asked Del, if I could just follow her until we got to the festivities and she had no problem with that at all. Everybody hopped unto the bus and off we went.

The bus brought us to Kumano-eigyosho station. From there, we rode a free shuttle service to Fudenosato Kobo, the brush museum. This was where my Fude Matsuri adventure began.


Fudenosato Kobo is a facility that was built by the town of Kumano in 1994 and the Fudenosato Promotion Foundation runs it. According to the flyer, “The museum engages in investigative research on the history of Japanese brush-making and the collation of such materials, as well as introducing the culture intertwined with brushes against the background of Japan’s biggest collection of brushes, in both qualitative and quantitative terms.”

I have learned that Fude making in Kumano began during the late Edo period (late 1800’s) when farmers began to create brushes during the winter season to supplement their farming income. Over the years – centuries even, the town became well-known for their brushes. In 1975, The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry designated the Kumano Fude as a traditional craft product.

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I spent a little over an hour in the museum, wandering around, taking everything in. The permanent gallery is located at the basement, right after you come down from the stairs. There are 5 galleries around it where exhibitions are held. There is a “house” of brush masters where you can learn how to create your own calligraphy brush (For 3000 Yen) or observe the masters at work. There is a tea house, Shoseian, that offers tea ceremonies and classes and an area where painting classes are also held. I like the “hands on” part of the museum. Interaction is always the key.

The museum houses all of the brushes made in Kumano; may it be for calligraphy, crafts, makeup, painting, dyeing, etc. They also have brushes and paintings from masters of old on display at various galleries. I spent a good amount of time by the makeup brushes, mesmerised by their beauty.

I bought some brushes at the Kumanofude Select Shop Main Store. As stated in my video, it was located on the first floor – to the right of the entrance door.

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There were many brushes available to purchase here. I had to stop myself from buying a lot because I had yet to visit the stalls at Fude Matsuri. I felt that I would have more choices there and as Del told me earlier, many brush companies offer their brushes at a discounted rate, between 30-50 percent.


I left the museum at around noon. Thankfully, it was also a cloudy day because I could only imagine how hot it would be if the sun was out. I walked through a small paved country road lined with houses, flora, fauna and grave yards.

I first heard the music. Then I saw lots of people in a clearing at the bottom of the hill. As I got closer, the music got louder and the aroma of food got to me. It was time for lunch. The home-made ramen that I had was so good and I will not forget that delicious fresh strawberry shake ever! I enjoyed my lunch over the pleasant live music that was played, while sharing a table with local Japanese teenage girls. I observed everyone around me. If you want to see videos, go to the highlight bar on my instagram page (here) and click on Fude Matsuri.

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As you saw in my video, I was welcomed by big brushes hanging from the torii of Sakakiyama Shrine. According to the Japan Times article “Sweeping Beauties of Kumano’s Brush Area” written by Steve  John Powell and Angeles Marine Cabello, “The heart of the festival is the 10th-century Sakakiyama Shrine. Like many old shrines, it lies at the top of a steep hill. It’s 99 steps to the top, up a path known as Brush Avenue, which is festooned with 10,000 brushes — some pencil-thin, others as big as brooms — hanging down around head-height.”

Anybody can touch and feel these hanging brushes.

There were tons of activities around Sakakiyama Shrine (see the 4:38 minute mark on my video). At around 2 pm (the 16 minute mark on my video), the highlight of the festival started. I found a spot by the rope railings and enjoyed the demonstration of a calligraphy master writing poetry on a tarpaulin using a very big fude. He dipped the fude on a wooden bucket filled with ink. This wooden bucket is held by a man who followed the calligraphy master as he wrote on the tarpaulin. There was also another man who held another wooden bucket, I noticed that this was where the calligraphy master would “unload” the extra ink dripping from his fude before he starts writing again.

There was also a flute master who timed his music to the brush strokes made by sensei. It was quite dramatic actually.

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Once the performance was through, the staff waited for the ink to dry before the tarpaulin was hanged for every one to see.

This happens every year. New calligraphy master, new poetry.


While waiting in between performances, I’ve managed to find a seat by the shade and had a most delicious snack. It was a pancake of fish design with red bean paste inside. I was debating whether I would have the skewered octopus tentacles or candied apples after. I decided to have some shaved ice with cherry syrup instead.

The next performance was by students from the local school; that would be the 17:07 mark on my video. I was excited for their Taiko drum performance. I’ve never seen one before, so this was a treat for me.

The brushes I bought at the festival were not a lot. The primary reason I was there was not to go shopping, but to experience the festival. To immerse myself in the fude culture and to enjoy being “there”.

Frankly, buying brushes in a brush festival can make your brain go haywire. *laughs* I wasn’t expecting to see a lot of beautiful brushes  + I was not expecting to see so many brush companies in Kumano. It’s a good thing I already had an idea of the brushes that I needed. If not, I would buy anything on a whim! *laughs* I did manage to buy a few brushes on a whim.

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Before leaving the festivities, as I said on the video (see the 5:22 mark), people believe in the ritual burning of old brushes. Let me clarify what I said in the video. What I meant to say was, I couldn’t bear to burn makeup brushes. I either pass them down or use them in a different way. But people in Kumano believe that, burning old brushes is a way of thanking them. For the sake of experience, I did burn some old brushes. There is a staff member of the festival who will offer you some brushes to burn. On his table, there are a number of brushes of various sizes and shape. I think this was collected from various fude masters, gentlefolk or maybe from various companies who needed to send their brushes to heaven.

I am so glad to have made this journey. This was a great introduction. I’m sure when I return, I wouldn’t be like a kid inside a candy store.


Chapter Two

Here’s one funny story. Jennylyn Mercado was a guest at MARS a few years back. We’re always friendly towards each other. Saying our “hi’s”, “hello’s” and “how are yous”, after which I give her space.  I was observing her from a far, checking out her makeup stuff from across the room when she suddenly whipped out vermillion coloured brushes. I dunno if my gasp was audible, but I did a bee line to her desk and ransacked her makeup kit and pulled out her brushes. Of course I asked permission! *laughs* That was my first time to hold Hakuhodo brushes.

I have been very intrigued by the Hakuhodo brand for quite some time. I would frequently visit their website time and again just to “check” them out. There was one time, I was in Los Angeles and I wanted to visit the main showroom in Torrance, but it was just so far from Downtown L.A. It’s not exactly easy to commute in America. I wanted to visit their flagship store in Kyoto too, but I ran out of time sight-seeing while I was there.


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In search of Hakuhodo| This morning, I made my way back to Kumano. Buti nalang, magaling ako sa game na “Spot The Difference”; because I had to compare the Japanese Script on google maps to that on the karatula on the local bus. | It was a bit nerve wracking at first kasi, mahirap nang ma wala. | 45 minutes later, dumating ako sa Jonohori. I thought I was lost at first, but after seeing the manhole with brush designs, I knew I was on the right path. | With Tororo on my back, google maps on my hand, my legs brought me through provincial back roads lined with traditional houses, rice paddies filled with rice stalks heavy with grain and random blooming cosmos until I arrived at the head office and main showroom of Hakuhodo. | Shopping lang ako nang very light ha.

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On my final morning in Hiroshima, I found myself at Yano Station waiting for the bus that would take me to the Hakuhodo head office. I am thankful that I was able to take the local bus two days prior during Fude Matsuri. I was now confident enough to go down one bus stop and walk through the Japanese country side. Check out my Hakuhodo highlight on my instagram page (here).

45 minutes later, I found myself at the Kumanohagiwara Bus stop. With the help of goggle maps, I walked for 20 minutes +- to the Hakuhodo head office. It was around 1.1 kilometres.

Walking up the road, the only sign I saw that made me realize that I had found Hakuhodo was when I saw the brand’s logo on the building. As I walked up the stairs to the main entrance, there was beautiful pocket garden to my left. It was illuminated beautifully by the sun. It had a small “house” with a small pond. I found that quite surprising because the building looked so unremarkable. I found out a little while later that that small “house” was the office of the President. Who, by the way, works every day and individually checks brushes to maintain the Hakuhodo quality.

The head office and showroom is on the second floor of the building, across the President’s office. As soon as you opened the door, everybody would greet you. I have emailed the head office months in advance asking them if I could visit and do some shopping. I was welcomed.

Marie, a cute Japanese lady assisted me while I was going around the showroom. She was very surprised to have found out the I was Filipino. I was even more surprised to have found out that she studied in Las Salle a while back for six months. What a small world!

Marie and I discussed about the brushes in the showroom. They had entry-level brushes, professional brushes, traditional brushes and their flagship brush range. I was very interested in purchasing brushes from the flagship brush range, the S100 Vermillion Brush Range.

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Around the Hakuhodo show room. | The brush heads seen here are made from goat hair. They are sorted, shaped and secured by hand. Parang yung ginagawa nung Master Brush Maker sa aking Fude Matsuri na entry. | The trademark of Hakuhodo is their Vermilion colored handles. Medyo pricey, kaya when buying brushes, it pays to make smart decisions. Buy only as needed. | Some of the brushes seen here are made with different natural hair bristles; Goat, Badger, Cat, Sable and Squirrel. Kaya, always take care of your brushes people. | The workshop is also found here, unfortunately bawal pumasok doon kasi, you know, trade secrets. And I was told that the president of the company works there. Everyday. I caught a glimpse of the space as I exited the building. Kinilabutan ako. | Hakuhodo creates approximately 500,000 brushes a month. Hindi lang pang makeup. Pang calligraphy, painting, lacquering, etc. Basta brush. They also create brushes for many big named international makeup brands. Who they are, I wouldn’t know. | I have been meaning to update my brushes in a really long time and I’m glad to have finally done it.

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We also discussed the varieties of natural hairs used in their brushes. We also discussed the specific hairs that were used on the brushes that I chose to purchase. It was a very interesting interaction. Illuminating and educating.

I was very specific about the brushes I purchased in Hakuhodo. Since it was my first time to use their products, I only choose the very basic brushes that I needed. Two traditional brushes, two blush brushes and four eye shadow brushes. I cannot wait to use them and see how they perform. Then, if I am satisfied, I would add more to my collection.

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I spent a good 45 minutes at the Hakuhodo head office. I could have spent all day there but alas I cannot. With my Hakuhodo paper bag in hand, I thanked everybody at the head office, most especially Marie for taking care of me.

I then re-traced my steps to the bus stop. Took the 45 minute bus ride back to the train station. Took a 30 minute train ride to Hiroshima, just in time to catch by 3 pm bullet train to Osaka.


Through all of my readings and research, I found out that the hair is sourced from all over the world. China, North America and Russia. Fude companies in Kumano may use Red Squirrel, Blue Squirrel, Grey Squirrel, Kolinsky, Sable, Badger, Weasel, Tamage, Goat, Horse, or synthetic hair on their brushes. The sorting, mixing, and forming of the hair on the brush is done in Kumano. All by hand. The handles are made in other prefectures in Japan. Assembling the brush is also done by hand.

If you are reading this, I hope you would come to appreciate your brushes. It is a must that you take care of your brushes. A lot of human effort is used in creating a makeup brush.


Here are the links to the different brush companies mention in this post:

Fudenosato Kobo, click here.

Kumanofude Select Shop, click here.

Koyudo, click here.

Mizuho, click here.

Bunkoudou, click here.

Miyao, click here.

Hakuhodo, click here.


Fude Matsuri

Kumano, Aki, Hiroshima Japan

Hiroshima is located 325 Kilometres from Osaka. Prior to flying into Osaka, I purchased a JR West Pass. This entitled me to ride on the JR West Rail system for 5 days. The JR West Pass allows me unlimited travel from Kansai Airport to Osaka, To Kyoto, To Nara, and Hiroshima. For more information about the JR West Pass, click 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 video is not sponsored. The products that are shown here are the products that I always use, love and live by.

This video was shot using the front camera of my Iphone 7.


Say “Hi!” on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/tortorre











Favorite Brushes for Blush, Contour and Highlight Application

In line with my previous posts, I am sharing my favorite makeup brushes. This time, I am sharing my favorite brushes to use for applying blush, highlight and contour.


The oldest brush in this post is around 11 years old, while the newest is around 2 years old. It’s always best to purchase a brush of good quality because, if you take care of them, they last a really long time.


This is made from natural hair and measures around 6.85 inches. The bristles are 32 mm from Ferrule to tip.

Laura Mercier Cheek Colour Brush

This brush has compact bristles. If I need to apply a pop of color, I use this brush because it picks up more product. The bristles are very soft and feels gentle on the skin. I have had this brush on my kit for 11 years now. As you can see to this day, it has still retained its shape. I primarily use the brush when I am using powder blush. This is made from natural hair and measures around 6.85 inches. The bristles are 32 mm from Ferrule to tip.


Japnoseque Kumadori Highlight and Contour Brush

This brush is the “youngest” brush in my kit. Read about my experience with this brush here.


This is made from goat hair and measures around 6.20 inches. The bristles are 37 mm from Ferrule to tip

Hyakusuke Yachiyo Brush (Large)

This brush is fluffy in nature. I use this when I apply cream/gel blush products. The brush tips are white, so this enables me to clearly see the color I am applying. Before I had this brush, I had trouble applying cream/gel blushes using a brush with dark bristles because I couldn’t see the product on the brush tips. I would end up applying to little or too much; constantly second guessing myself.

Sometime I use this brush with powder blushes that have high shine content. The fluffiness of the brush picks up a gentle amount of product which allows me to layer the color as needed.

One tip, after purchasing this brush, run some superglue along the entire cane wrapped handle. This is just a preventive measure to keep the cane from unraveling.



Top: The Ita Bake 35 measures at around 5.85 inches Bottom: Ita Bake 45 measures at around 5.65 inches.

Hyakusuke Ita Bake Brush (35 and 45)

Hyakusuke is a local shop in the heart of Asakusa that has supplied local Geisha and Kabuki actors with makeup for more than 100 years. This is where I bought these brushes in 2010.

These two bruhes are almost identical. Both these brushes are made from a combination of goat and synthetic hair. The bristles on both brushes are 22 mm from Ferrule to tip.

Ita Bake 35          Ita Bake 45

The Ita Bake 45 is wider by 10 mm that that of the Ita Bake 35; which measures at 34 mm.

This makes the Ita Bake 35 have a denser and fuller brush head that that of the Ita Bake 45.

I use these two to blend or define contour. These works well with cream/powder contour products.


Beau-Temps Fan Brush

I have had this brush for around 10 years. As of this writing, the ferrule is wobbly. So this brush is at the end of its Iife time. I bought this in Vietnam during the early days of my career. I could not find any online content for this brush. I do not know where this was made and my best guess is that the bristles are made from Bager.

This is my favorite brush to use to apply powdered highlights. The bristles are fluffy enough to pick up a gentle amount of shimmer that enable me to layer it as needed on the face.

The brush measures at around 8.8 inches. The bristles are 38 mm from Ferrule to tip.


This brush measures around 6.7 inches. The bristles are 35 mm from Ferrule to tip.

Coastal Scents Round Powder Brush

This brush is part of a 22 piece brush set. Although this brush is named a powder brush, I use this for applying and blending liquid contour / cream products. The bristles are made of synthetic fiber which do not absorb the product. The bristles are easy to control and maneuver, gliding easily along the hollow of the cheeks, the jaw line or by the hair line.


See some of these brushes in action on my makeup videos 50’s Inspired Make-up Look and Red Carpet Inspired Glam Party Look.

I am currently not familiar how much these brushes cost individually. If you are interested, and if applicable, do click on the names of the brushes to be taken to that brand’s main website.


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 makeup tools, 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 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 https://www.instagram.com/tortorre


Favorite Powder Eye Shadow Brushes

These are the seven eye shadow brushes that I primarily use for work. With the exception of one brush, these have been with me even before I turned PRO 11 Years ago. This age is evident on some of the brushes, the laquer from the wooden handle has fallen off/warped/melted. I know you think it’s time for me to buy a new one, but I cannot bear to let go of these.

Do take note that some of these brushes are made from natural hair, animal hair, natural fiber etc. This is why I consider my brushes to be very precious. I prefer to lose a piece of lipstick, blush or foundation, my heart breaks when I loose a brush.

I get really upset when I lose a brush. Not only are the expensive, but they are difficult to produce. I do take care of my brushes out of respect for anyone or anything involved in a brush making process.

I have a number of brushes on my kit, but these brushes are the ones that I keep coming back to when applying powder eye shadow.


The entire length of the brush is around 5.55 inches. The brush head is around 11 mm from the ferrule to the brush tip.

Crown Brush C135 Oval Shadow

I use this brush when I want a single full wash of color on the eyelid. This large brush is quite versatile, because it’s bristles are compact. Enabling me to deliver the color that I want, depending on the amount of product it picks up. The key is on how much products is picked up depends on the pressure exerted on the eye shadow product.

This brush is made from Natural Sable.



The entire length of the brush is around 6.6 inches. The brush head is 12 mm from the ferrule to the brush tip.

Laura Mercier Eye Colour Brush

This brush is one of the best brushes I have used. It is a medium-sized brush that pics up the right amount of product. I use this product primarily when I am applying the first wash of color.

This brush helps me shape the the eye. The flat tapered design helps me create a gradation of color when I am blending an eye makeup look.

This is made from Natural Hair.


The entire length of the brush is around 6.45 inches. The brush head is 9mm from the ferrule to the brush tip.

Crown Brush C124 Firm Shadow Brush

I use this brush when I am applying a specific color in a specific area on the eye. It is small enough to fit into the eyelid or at the brow bone.

Since it’s firm, it picks up more pigments and delivers a full impact of color.

This brush is made from Natural Sable.




The entire length of the brush around 6.6 inches. The brush head is 8mm from the ferrule to the brush tip.

Laura Mercier Corner Eye Colour Brush

Unfortunately, this brush is no longer listed on their website. Thus, this is no longer in production. So, this to me is a very precious brush.

I mainly use this when I would apply some minute detailing to the eye shadow look I am creating. Mostly enhancing/deepening the color on the crease or the outer corners of the eyes.

This is made from Natural Hair.


The entire length of the brush is around 6.3 inches. The brush head is 19mm from the ferrule to the brush tip.

Laura Mercier Pony Tail Brush

I use this brush when I am blending colors on the eye lids. I also use this when I want to add a gentle amount of color unto the crease of the eye.

This brush tapers to a point, which enables me to pick up more color at that part and less product on the surrounding bristles. So upon application, the point on the brush applies the intensity of the color right on the crease and blends it at the same time.

This brush is made from Natural Hair.


The entire length of the brush it at 5.65 inches. The brush head is 15 mm from the ferrule to the brush tip.

Paula Dorf Eye Shadow Brush

I use this alone or in tandem with my Laura Mercier Pony Tail brush. This brush does not taper the way LM’s Pony tail does.

It’s more compact. If I’m going for a stronger eye color on the crease, I use this.  It picks up more color from the pot and releases the color generously on the lid.

The bristles are made from Blue Squirrel.



The entire length of the brush it at 6.5 inches. The brush head is 4 mm from the ferrule to the brush tip.

Laura Mercier Smudge Brush

I use this a lot when creating a smoky eye look. The bristles are very short and very compact. This is my go to brush when I want to soften pencil eyeliners or cake eyeliners. I place this brush on the lash line and smudge the product. Sometimes, I use this to apply eye shadow on the lower lash line. It’s fail safe and very easy to use.

This is made from Natural Hair.



See some of these brushes in action on my makeup videos 50’s Inspired Make-up Look and Red Carpet Inspired Glam Party Look.

I am currently not familiar how much these brushes cost individually. If you are interested, do click on the names of the brushes to be taken to that brand’s main website.


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 makeup tools, 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 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 https://www.instagram.com/tortorre

Japonesque Kumadori Brush Collection

I have a number of “core” brushes that I use for work all of the time. Over the years, I have managed to add a few to that “core” number of brushes. It’s a big deal, because as an artist, you end up picking up the same brushes over and over. In time, you get to “know” the brushes that you use; what they are good at and what they are good for.

My latest additions are these brushes from the Kumadori Brush Collection by Japonesque. If you are a makeup fan, you might think that these brushes are from the Kabuki Collection of Nars Cosmetics.

Top:  NARS  Mie Kabuki Powder Brush Bottom: Japonesque Kumadori Powder Brush

For the sake of comparison, on first glance, the wisteria wrapped handle of the Nars Kabuki Brush Collection is shinier than that of the Japonesque Kumadori Brush Collection.  There are also other subtle differences in product design like: the handle designs,  the ferrule designs, and the brush head design. Go see for yourself.

I have been told that Japonesque produces the Kabuki Brush Collection of Nars Cosmetics, but I could not find substantial information to know this to be 100% true. One other possibility is that, both these companies might have the same manufacturer in China.

The Japonesque Kumadori Brush Collection is inspired by Kumadori.

Kumadori Makeup Style. Photo taken from http://goinjapanesque.com/10660/

Kumadori is actually a makeup style worn by Kabuki actors who perform in the aragoto style. Aragoto is an acting style where in Kabuki actors perform using exaggerated, dynamic body movements and dramatic vocals to portray their characters. Kumadori. is described as the use colors applied in stripes or in a specific pattern over white foundation to depict the character he is playing. To read more about Kumadori read on at http://goinjapanesque.com/10660/.

The Japonesque Kumadori Brush Collection is a collection of 5 brushes. All of which have a plastic handle that is wrapped in Wisteria bark. Some people might not like having a textured brush handle, but I like it. It gives me some traction, securing my grip which prevents the brush from slipping through my fingers.

The brushes are very versatile. The bristles are made from natural fibers which feel very soft and very luxurious. You can use these brushes for powder, cream and liquid products.

The wisteria bark, brushes handles and the bristles are dyed black. So always wash the bristles with warm water and soap before using. Don’t be alarmed by the dark dye getting flushed by the water, it eventually clears after the initial wash.

Of the 5 brushes in the collection, I purchased these three:

The entire length of the brush is around 7.25 inches. The brush head measures at 2.10 inches starting from the ferrule to the brush tip.

The Kumadori Powder Brush

This is great to use when you want to have a thin veil of powder on your face.

I primarily use this brush for powder applications when I want to set foundation. I also use this as finishing brush when using loose powders.There have been times I have used this for applying and blending out powder contour.

The bristles are tapered and not as compact as other powder brushes.

The entire length of the brush is around 6.6 inches. The brush head measures at 1.7 inches starting from the ferrule to the brush tip.

The Kumadori Contour/Highlighting Brush

I use this brush mostly in applying bronzer. The brush head is tapered and fluffy. It picks up the right amount of color and helps me deliver it evenly on the skin.

I have tried applying blush, in powder and cream formulas. As seen here, I prefer to use my Mitsuyoshi Yachiyo Brush for this purpose because the brush heads are white. This enables me to see the color of the blush, unlike the black brush heads of the Kumadori Countour/Highlighting Brush.

The entire length of the brush is around 7.05 inches. The brush head measures at 1.5 inches starting from the ferrule to the brush tip.

The Kumadori Fan Brush

I use this brush as a secondary highlighting brush. I find the bristles too “stiff”. I had to re-train my hands in using this brush because, if one is to heavy handed, streaking happens. It’s best to use this brush with a very light hand. In terms of comparison, I prefer to use the badger Beautemps Fan Brush. The bristles are softer, less compact and it picks up a small amount of product that is perfect for layering.


To see the two other brushes from this collection click on their names:

Kumadori Buffing Brush

Kumadori Blending Brush


I bought these brushes during my trip to the US in 2016. Cholo and I were visiting our good friend Frankie in Maryland. We were walking along Downtown Silver Spring, a complex of shops, and I saw an ULTA!  In the US, these brushes are only available at ULTA or at ULTA.com. Prior to arriving in the continent, I had already planned to visit an ULTA physical store to get these brushes. While I was at Los Angeles and New York, I totally forgot to visit a store. I thank serendipity for showing me to ULTA when we were on our way to the parking lot.

The Kumadori Powder Brush retails for $ 28 [Php 1500 +-] (exclusive of tax).

The Kumadori Fan Brush retails for $19 [Php 1000+-] (exclusive of tax).

The Kumadori Contour/Highlight Brush retails for $19 [Php 1000 +-] (exclusive of tax).

Check these brush out at ULTA.com.

These brushes are also available here at the Philippines at the Beauty Bar.

The Kumadori Powder Brush retails for Php 2095.00.

The Kumadori Contour/Highlight Brush retails for Php 1395.00.

The Kumadori Fan Brush retails for Php 1295.00.

Check out the Kumadori Contour/Highlight Brush in action on my Red Carpet Inspired Glam Makeup Look video.


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 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 https://www.instagram.com/tortorre


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 https://www.instagram.com/tortorre






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 www.purederm.com.

Check them out at the Watson’s Philippines website at www.watsons.com.ph.


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.

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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 www.VMVHYPOALLERGENICS.ph. For the rest of the world visit www.VMVHYPOALLERGENICS.com.

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 https://www.instagram.com/tortorre



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 www.Sephora.com.

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 https://www.instagram.com/tortorre


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 http://www.lauramercier.com 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.