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.


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Matte Me (Ultra Smooth Matte Lip Cream) from Sleek Makeup

Sleek Makeup Matte Me Ultra Smooth Matte Lip Cream
Sleek Makeup Matte Me

I have known of Sleek Makeup since my Londaon school days back in 2007. I Purchased quite a number of lipsticks from them before I headed home. I think I bought those lipsticks  in Superdrug the day my partner, Cholo, and I were wandering around Covent Garden.

Late last year I discovered a website,, an online beauty store. It was renamed in the beginning of 2016. After keying in my location, I was re-routed to They sold Sleek Makeup products there. Bought some of the lipsticks that I loved and had it delivered here to my home.

A few months after, I was perusing with my friend, Marlon, around the beauty section of SM Makati. To my surprise, I saw a small Sleek Makeup kiosk.  We started swatching lipsticks (click here to see the photo on my Instagram page)   when we discovered Sleek Makeup’s Matte Me ultra smooth matte lip creams.

I wanted to by some that day to try them out but, they were out of stock. Bummer.


A few months later, I was working on the Bench launch of Aldub. No, I did not do their makeup. My team and I did their back up dancers. This was happening at the Trinoma Activity Center. Having arrived earlier than the designated call time, I decided to go around the beauty section of The Landmark Department Store.

Lo and behold, when I turned a corner a Sleek Makeup Kiosk was there. So without any hesitation I decided to purchase two Matte Me lip creams; Birthday Suit and Fandango Purple.

Swatches of Purple Fandango and Birthday Suit
Swatches of Purple Fandango and Birthday Suit

Matte Me is a lipstick in liquid form. It is highly pigmented and it dries matte. Really matte. You’d feel the “matting” process on your lips as the product starts to dry.

When you apply the lip cream on for the first time, you have to do it slowly. It’s in liquid form, so apply using gentle strokes. These are highly pigmented, I’m sure you’ll gasp once the color starts to register on your lips.

Sleek Makeup’s Matte Me Lip Creams comes in four other colors. Check them out at their website by clicking here.

I didn’t buy the rest of the colors available because I am not a fan of matte lipsticks. Aside from the fact they tend to make you feel parched, they will always eventually dry out your lips. ALWAYS. So apply some lip balm before using this to hydrate your lips. Try Bobbi Brown’s lip balm.

So if you are a fan of the Kylie Jenner Lip kits but you find it to expensive, Sleek Makeup’s Matte Me Lip Creams is a cheap alternative. It retails for Php 450 only.


Seen at The Landmark in Trinoma Mall and The Beauty Section of SM Makati.

Also available at Minimum spending required for free delivery.


Post Update: My good friend, Mhykee, told me that he saw a Sleek Makeup Kiosk in the Beauty Department of SM City Cebu.

After a bit of research Sleek Makeup is available at these stores: SM Southmall, SM MOA, SM Megamall, SM Cubao, SM North Edsa, & SM Fairview.



L.A. Colors Lipliner Pencil in Natural

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

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

I was in for a surprise.

L.A. Colors Lipliner Pencil in Natural

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

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

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


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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Smith’s Minted Rose Lip Balm


I saw this tin can in one of the small boxes that line up the aisle on the way to the counter at Sephora (Singapore). When I picked it up and examined it, it seemed to say “Buy me!”. I did just that.

I was initially attracted to the vintage inspired design of the tin can.

I like white things.

The first thing that captured me when I opened the tin can was the distinct scent of rose and mint. At first glance, the red color of the balm looked quite captivating, but I was a bit taken aback on how greasy it first appeared. I flipped the tin can over and read the ingredients. Petrolatum was one of the key ingredients.

No wonder.

The consistency of Smith’s Minted Rose Lip Balm by Rosebud Perfume Co. is softer than I would prefer my lip balms to be. When I initially swirled my fingers on the balm, I made a “pot hole”. I made a mental note, softer swirling next time; so as not to create new “pot holes” and not to pick up an excessive amount of product.

When I applied the product on my lips, I could feel the immediate effects of peppermint oil. It takes a few minutes for it to fully enhance my pout and the sting isn’t as noticeable as some of those lip enhancers that have chilli in them. This is gentle enough for one of the thinnest skin areas of the face. The gloss from Peppermint oil and Cotton Seed oil also helps in making my lips look fuller by catching the light.

Since petrolatum is one of its main ingredients, it’s quite slippery; especially upon initial contact with the heat from your fingers. Petrolatum has a lower melting point than that of Beeswax.

Speaking of melting point, one thing that I have noticed about this product is that when it gets too hot, it melts. I’ve noticed this every time I work on location. You leave it at an angle for a specific period of time and the balm shifts to the angle of the tin can. One time, I was so surprised when I opened the tin can after retrieving it from the front pocket of my belt bag. You see, the tin can stood in a vertical position inside my belt bag; because of the heat from the sun and the lights, the balm changed its orientation and sank into the new “bottom” of the tin can. When I opened the can and laid it on the table, I gasped.  Think half moon. One side of the tin can was empty and the other was full of lip balm. I had to heat the tin can with my hair dryer so that the lip balm shift back to it’s original position.  Now, I only use Smith’s Minted Rose Lip Balm by Rosebud Perfume Co. when I am working in a studio.


I have used this for work numerous times. After the skin prep process, I apply a generous amount of  Smith’s Minted Rose Lip Balm by Rosebud Perfume Co. on the lips of the person I am working with. This is to act as a moisturizing agent and as protective layer.  If ever foundation or concealer makes it way to the lip area, it would be easy to wipe it off.

Often when I create the “no makeup” makeup look, I line the lips with lip liner and apply Smith’s Minted Rose Lip Balm by Rosebud Perfume Co. The color of the balm adds a hint of rose to the lips.

One of the things I appreciate about this product is that it doesn’t leave any after taste in the mouth. That’s one of the reason why I am not so fond of Burt’s Bees Beeswax Lip Balm. The Peppermint flavor leaves a fresh feeling in general.


Upon doing some research about this product, I found out that most of their customers use the product for massages! As stated in their web page (click here), “Dab a bit on you temples to help relieve headaches and tension”. On, one of it’s suggested usage is to “pat on dry lips, elbows, or knees to condition whenever needed”.

This is quite a multipurpose product.

Smith’s Minted Rose Lip Balm by Rosebud Perfume Co. retails for $7 as listed on . I purchased mine at Sephora Ion in Singapore and I have seen this is Sephora Siam Center in Bangkok. I have yet to find out where I can get this here in the Philippines.

Bobbi Brown Lip Balm


I got this product as a gift from my bessie, Nat, a New York based makeup artist who works part time for Bobbi Brown.

Here my take.

Bobbi Brown‘s Lip Balm is a new product that I have not fully experienced, it is currently on a personal test run before it would have a permanent place in my makeup kit. But, so far so good.

I like the packaging. The polished silver tin is quite chic in an understated way. It is quite easy to store in your bag or makeup kit. For personal use, I still prefer lip balms in a swivel-up stick. That way, I can easily store it in the coin pocket of my jeans; like my Chapstick.

I was quite surprised when I opened the lid of this product, I was expecting it to look greasy like that of Smith’s Minted Rose Lip Balm by Rosebud Perfume Co, but it was not. At first glance, Bobbi Brown‘s Lip Balm looked more compact to me. When I swirled my finger on the product, it did not instantly melt from my body heat. I was able to pick up a desirable amount of product while swirling my fingers without leaving “pot holes” in it. It’s like having the consistency of a swivel-up lip balm in a tin can. It feels more compact and I think its has a higher melting point*. Living in a tropical country, this is an important factor. After all, my work entails me to shoot either on location (under the sun) or under harsh shooting lights in the studio.

Bobbi Brown‘s Lip Balm has a very delicate scent which I really like but cannot identify. It has a delicate flesh toned color, that appears clear on the lips. Unlike some lip balms in the market that are greasy and minty, Bobbi Brown‘s Lip Balm feels quite neutral on my lips; as if it’s not there. The lip balm is very hydrating and soothing. It gives a nice sheen to my lips without looking greasy.


My only issue is that I do not like is it’s taste. Every time I use Bobbi Brown‘s Lip Balm, it reminds me of Burt’s Bees Beeswax Lip Balm which I didn’t quite enjoy. I’m not saying that I’ll stop using Bobbi Brown‘s Lip Balm because of that, again this is a personal preference. Your experience might be different from mine.  Having read the immediate ingredients list, beeswax is the only ingredient which is common between these two products. I am not entirely sure though if this it is the taste of the beeswax that is not to my liking.


Currently, I am using Bobbi Brown‘s Lip Balm twice a day. I apply it in the morning when I am about to leave for work and in the evening when I am about to go to bed.

In my opinion, this would be perfect to use as a primer for matte lipsticks. This will prevent your lips from drying out while keeping the matte look. Just blot your lips with tissue to remove excess balm before lipstick application.

Please do take note that Bobbi Brown‘s Lip Balm is scented. If you are sensitive to perfume then be cautious in using this product.

Bobbi Brown‘s Lip Balm lists at $20 at  and retails at Bobbi Brown Philippines in Rustan’s department store for Php1250. For the price,  I wished it came in a much bigger packaging. It currently only holds a net weight of 15 grams, while other in my kit hold a net weight of 22 grams.

*In comparison with lip balms that have petroleum as one of it’s main ingredients. Will still test this product once I’ll be shooting on location .

Ingredients are available at there website, click here to be brought to it’s page.

Lip Tar : Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics


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

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

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

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

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

Blot with a tissue to remove excess product.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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




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


Lip Tar and Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics website: click here.

Sephora website: Click here.

Purebeauty website: Click here.


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














NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil

Seen here is Sex Machine, Marina, Never Say Never and Damned

My favorite matte lipstick comes in a pencil form and it is called Velvet Matte Lip Pencil from NARS.

This highly pigmented product is very versatile. I use it most of the time as a lip liner or as a base for lipstick.

It’s texture is very creamy. It slides easily on your lip when you apply it. Being a pencil, it is very easy to control.

Layering is the key when using Nars Velvet Matte Lip Pencil. It initially registers on your lip as the main color of the lipstick and as you layer the product, the color becomes more vibrant or deeper depending on the lipstick that you purchased.

As I stated, I usually use this as a lip liner to define the lips before I apply any other matte or cream based lipstick. It helps me create the dimension that I want on the lip. The formulation of this lip pencil helps in preventing the feathering of your cream lipstick.

As you know, working for TV commercial production means working for long hours.  Nars Velvet Matte Lip Pencil has an amazing staying power. My go to lip pencil is described as a light pink/mauve-ish color that is neutral yet bright enough to give life to the lips. It is the one named Sex Machine. Yes, you read it right. Nars Cosmetics are known to have very provocative names. VERY provocative.

My favorite “red” Nars Velvet Matte Lip Pencil is called Damned. It is a blue-based red that goes very well with the yellow undertones of the Filipina, especially those who are morena.

My only problem as with all matte lipsticks is the drying effect they cause on the lips. So always apply a lip balm first before using Nars Velvet Matte Lip Pencil and keep creamy lip stick or clear gloss at hand to rehydrate your lips.

NarsVelvet Matte Lip Pencil comes in 20 shades and are  available at Rustan’s Department Store.* It retails at Php1500 (I have yet to do a new price check). I know it is quite expensive, but it is worth the price.

Sharpener is sold separately.

*I’m not sure if Rustan’s carries all of the 20 shades, but based on past experiences they don’t. Usually they only carry colors that fly off the counter.


C12-13 Alkyl Ethylhexanoate, Candelilla Cera (Euphorbia Cerifolia Wax) (Euphorbia Cerifera Wax), Polyethylene, Cyclomethicone, Phenyltrimethicone, Silica, Dimethicone, Sucrose Acetate Isobutyrate, Hydrogenated Coco Glycerides, Dicalcium Phosphate, Quaternium 18 Hectorite, Propylene Carbonate, Propylparaben, Methylparaben, Aroma (Fragrance) (Flavor), Lecithin, Tocopherol (Natural Vitamin E), Ascorbyl Palmitate (Vitamin C), Citric Acid, May Contain (+/-):, Iron Oxides (CI 77491, 77492, 77499), Yellow 6 Aluminum Lake (CI 15985) (CI 15985), Blue 1 Lake (CI 42090) (CI 42090), Manganese Violet (CI 77742), Yellow 5 Aluminum Lake (CI 19140), Red 30 (CI 73360) (CI 73360), Yellow 10 Aluminum Lake (CI 47005) (CI 47005), Red 6, Red 7 Lake (CI 15850), Red 28 (CI 45410) (CI 45410), Red 22 Lake (CI 45380) (CI 45380), Carmine (CI 77163) (CI 77163)