How Not To Go Bankrupt Reading Beauty Blogs

June 7, 2013 by  
Filed under makeup lessons

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Beauty.. Fashion.. Techie.. Food.. Lifestyle blogs.. they’re all the same.. They introduce you to all the cool stuffs you never knew existed. Whenever I’m on a tight budget, I stay away from them. Never mind that I maintain this beauty blog which has been practically abandoned because I was busy looking for money to buy things that I read on other blogs. Err..

You probably read beauty blogs such as this (The Doctor is vaIN), because there’s a new make up or skin care procedure that you want to try, but are hesitant to give in to because you’re not sure if it will be worth it. You want me to tell you, “go ahead, splurge on this one, it’s a miracle from heaven,” or “forget it, it’s not worth the hype.” The best thing about blogs by regular people is that you get an idea about the investment you’re about to make from those who actually tried it. The reviews we read are essential to pre-purchase stages. Problem comes in when there are too many awesome products we blog about and you want to try all of them even if you don’t have the budget for it.

In this age of blogs, Instagram or Facebook, it’s easy to give in to our materialistic urges. The pretty things that we see on other people make us green with envy, sometimes even to the point of insecurity. We think we have to have what they own to make us feel appreciated. Clearly, this is a false sense of security that seduces us every now and then.

Lately, I found myself browsing fashion blogs, not only because their pictures are catchy but I also get style ideas for power dressing from fashion-forward gurus. But then, the subliminal message a blog imparts is too influential that marketers have recognized this power by tapping on bloggers to promote businesses. Sometimes I find myself wishing for- say, a Balenciaga bag because I saw how pretty it looked on Camille Co or Kryz Uy. But then, my rational self would take over and ask, “If I had the money to burn, wouldn’t it be wiser to spend that on real estate, or the latest Mac Book, or the highest end Canon DSLR and lenses, or a cutting edge machine for my clinic?” Unless of course if those bags could fly and carry themselves on their own.

I’m thankful that my inner Suze Orman speaks to me in times of temptations to buy things that are beyond my purchasing power. In reading blogs and browsing pictures containing things we wish to have, let’s go rational before hitting the “buy” button, shall we?

Money Savvy

Are There Cheaper Alternatives?

Go ask yourself, “is it necessary to get the same brand?”

I’m not telling you to steer clear of expensive goods, because sometimes, we do get what we pay for. Although I’m guilty about featuring some beauty products that sting on the wallet, I invest on them because of the quality I need that cannot be found in other brands. Buying cheaper ones that don’t deliver its promises only end up being more costly in the long run.

When I was still doing makeup gigs, buying a makeup chair and trolley bag were necessities because breaking my back would be more expensive. It was an investment. Same goes with my Make up For Ever and Smashbox foundations, I used them because I wanted the best results for my clients. I don’t just choose them to impress people with my tools, I had to have them because they work best.

If you must really purchase, scout for cheaper alternatives first. If there aren’t any, then go for the tried and tested ones even if they’re priced higher. Save up for it.

Rummage Around Your Existing Goods

Sometimes, when we look around our closet, we see things unused because we bought them on a whim. Maximize what you already have before buying something new which will likely gather dust once more.,

When I read about the Urban Decay Naked Palette on beauty blogs, I couldn’t resist having one for myself too. Sure, it was awesome, the quality is superb, in fact if you’re still on the hunt for a neutrals palette, I’d recommend you to get the Naked Palette. But then I already had tons of MAC neutrals that I previously invested on. Getting another set of eye shadows with almost the same shades turned out to be impractical.

If you’re lusting over the heaps of make ups of some beauty bloggers, think again. Unless you’ll earn back your investment by turning pro in the make up industry, there’s nothing to be jealous about redundant makeup shades that are piling up. You only have 2 eye lids to put them on, unless you fancy doing makeup of your whole barangay for free. Remember, make up products have expiry.

If you still don’t feel like using what you already have, sell them. With makeups, sanitation issues may be difficult to reckon with, so it may take a while or a much cheaper price for you to dispose used cosmetics.


Now that you’ve found potentially useful stuff lying around your crib, let your creative juices flow and create something unique that even trendsetters would crave for. The young Carrie Bradshaw found her mom’s Mark Cross purse accidentally tainted by her bratty little sis, but her avant garde artistic sense rescued it into a fashion must-have. In fact, it caught the attention of fashion editor Larisa Loughlin. Alright, “Carrie Diaries” may be a fiction, but you get my point, right?

When I had several lipsticks accumulating, I researched on ways to make my own palette. I blended some colors which resulted to shades that won’t be bought anywhere. Cheap, practical, achievable.

Be Realistic

If you earn below Php 10,000 a month, do you think people will be impressed if you strut around town wearing Hermes? The first thing they’d probably ask you will be, “which ukay did you get it from?” Or, tell you : “nice replica!” Or worse: “who’s your sugar daddy?” Stay real. If you really want it bad, ask yourself, “what would you accomplish from having it?” Think about the bills and obligations you have to fulfill before indulging in luxury. Don’t compromise the your financial security or that of  your family with temporary quirks that will never increase in value.

If you consider your materialistic desires to be your driving force to succeed, then learn how to save and invest with the little income you have, then wait until you can actually afford it before you splurge. However, if you belong to the rare breed of the filthy rich, then what you do with your money is none of my business.

Build Your Confidence

When you are confident about yourself, not a single Chanel or Prada will be required to boost your coolness factor. If you’re insecure, it will be easy to give in to what society dictates and buy anything that you think will heighten your status in the community. Develop your skills, be the best you can be, because people dig in to truly confident, positive individuals, regardless of the brand you wear.

Whenever you’re tempted to blow your budget to fit in, remember Will Smith’s line, “Too many people spend money they haven’t earned to buy things they don’t want, to impress people they don’t like.”

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How to Clean Makeup Brushes

October 3, 2012 by  
Filed under makeup lessons

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By Serena Grant

Cleaning your makeup brushes on a regular basis is important to keep them in the best condition. Over time, makeup brushes in make up sets tend to build up a lot of nasty residue, from hair to dead skin and bacteria. Brushes also become less effective for use if they get clogged up, and can mean that you’re not getting the best value out of them. In this way, getting into a good cleaning routine for your brushes is necessary if you want to look your best, and avoid irritating your skin or causing an infection. There are many ways to do this, all of which are straightforward and require only a small amount of equipment.

Getting the Right Equipment

To clean your makeup brushes, you should have a good supply of white soap for basic washing. Baby shampoo also works as a mild cleaner for bristles, as does hair conditioner for adding softness. Some liquid disinfectant is worth having for cleaning brush handles. Olive oil is similarly effective at getting out stubborn bits and pieces from brush heads. Specific brush cleaners can be bought, which can be used as part of a daily cleaning routine. As well as these items, it’s worth having some rubber gloves to avoid making a mess on your hands, and an old jam jar or mug for storing brushes.

Steps To Cleaning 

  • The first step in cleaning your brushes is to divide them into larger blushes and foundation brushes, and narrower eyeliner and lipliner brushes. Smaller brushes won’t require as heavy duty cleaning.
  • Run brushes under lukewarm water, making sure to avoid the metal part of a brush. If water gets inside a brush, it will cause rusting over time. You now have a few different options.
  • For a basic clean, use white soap lathered up over brush bristles. The soap can then be rinsed off in lukewarm water. Alternatively, use baby shampoo squeezed onto a paper towel, and blot the brush until it’s fully covered. Rub the shampoo gently into fine brushes, and rinse off with water.
  • For more difficult to remove grime on brushes, use olive oil on a brush, rubbing it thoroughly into the bristles and then rinsing. Baby shampoo also works well here to thoroughly lather up brushes.


Brushes should be cleaned in this way about once a week. However, if you want to cut down on cleaning time, invest in a spray on brush cleaner. This can be sprayed onto brushes as a mild disinfectant and cleaner, and can be blotted on a wipe. Disinfectant wipes can similarly be used to quickly remove build ups on a brush after use. You can also use the same process to clean brush handles.

Final Tip

Once rinsed, place brushes flat down on a towel to air dry. Reshape brush heads after use to prevent them from splitting. Hanging bristles off the edge of a towel will help them to dry quicker. Try to avoid using hair dryers, as these can lead to bristles splitting, or the head of a brush losing its shape.

About the Author

Serena Grant is a fashion, makeup and beauty blogger, currently a fan of Crown Brush – experts in cosmetics, make-up brushes and make up sets.

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Expert Tips For Preventing Makeup Meltdown

July 19, 2011 by  
Filed under makeup lessons

They say in the Philippines, there are only two seasons- hot and very hot. Being in a tropical country poses an extra challenge to makeup artists especially during the summer when the city we live in suddenly turns into one giant oven.

Last summer,  I had a couple of makeup gigs in which I was  confronted with the problem of making the makeup stay longer, particularly at the beach setting. I usually have that  issue covered with high quality cosmetics and right application techniques but the heat and humidity were just too much that it demanded extra measures on my end as a makeup artist.

I tapped the help of some of the best makeup artists and beauty experts in the country to shed more light into this perennial  problem of makeup meltdown in a humid country like ours. They offered tips which I believe will be valuable for us whether we do makeup on ourselves or as a professional.

Ara Mina, an actress/entrepreneur who recently ventured into beauty products has these secrets to spill: “It would be advisable to use lighter makeup like a tinted moisturizer when it’s hot and to put primer before applying foundation.”

Bianca Valerio, the sassy host of Lifestyle Network’s F.A.S.H. has her share of  tips from her years as a model and makeup artist: ” Oil film for me is best! Avoid heavy foundation in cake form which could look unnatural, not to mention a torture to your skin as it won’t allow it to breathe. Use BB cream instead with an oil free formulation, which has concealing properties, and SPF, more importantly.”

Xeng Zulueta, the former chief makeup artist of Shu Uemura, was quick to name a single product that she believes to be effective  in addressing our makeup conundrum: ” Shu Uemura BB cream mousse!”

Steven Doloso, a top celebrity makeup artist whose works on Lea Salonga remain my favorite pegs, (and whose humility amazes me!) was busy at a makeup gig for a TV ad with John Lloyd Cruz when I asked  his expert opinion. According to Steven: “There’s a product called final seal (e.g. Ben Nye Final Seal or Kryolan Setting Spray) but it’s not recommended for everyday use as it can clog pores. I normally use that during outdoor shoot or under the sun so the make up won’t melt.”

Finally, I enlisted the help of the madgician herself, Madge Landrito (formerly known as Madge Lejano) whose vast experience in the wedding industry and uncanny ability to turn plain janes into divas earned her the moniker, “the madgician.” Her schedule barely affords her to do things other than makeup, so you can imagine my excitement when she handed me these extensive valuable pointers to share with you:

1. Protect your skin first from UV rays by using SPF skin care products. Apply sunscreen before putting foundation or powder, whichever you use, depending on your skin type. Oil free foundation is much preferred. Then blend.

2. Prime Your Face. Not only will it let your makeup last but it will minimize your lines and creases. It also diminishes the need for powder.

The truth: applying more makeup doesn’t mean it will last longer. Apply it better, not more!
Loading up on powder can make you look cakey as the heat blazes. Greasy makeup like very heavy and creamy foundation don’t last well in hot conditions. A sheer/liquid foundation will be the best option.

For blush, Use cheek stain on your cheeks,
Lip stain or lip tint for your lip.
Add drama by using waterproof Mascara!

A lot of people make the mistake of toning down shine with powder. If you’re hot, sweaty and shiny, you don’t want to add powder onto oil and perspiration or you’ll end up a floury, chalky mess (like an espasol). Instead, blot the affected area by using tissue, blotting papers or oil film. This will absorb the oil without messing up the makeup.

Don’t you find it awesome how the madgician unselfishly shares her wisdom with us? If you can’t get enough of her tips, I’d highly recommend that you attend her ” Mark the Spot” seminar on August 15, 16,and 17 at the St. Francis Shangrila place function room 3, from 10am to 3pm. For more details, please email or contact Grace Ranjo at 09178949480.

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Makeup For Photography

May 14, 2011 by  
Filed under makeup lessons

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Most of us already have a good idea of how to apply makeup for everyday occasions, but model shoots and portraits are a slightly different affair. The camera flash washes us out more easily and in most cases glitter is out of the question. Of course, the way we apply makeup changes depending on the style and location of the photo shoot, but there are general rules of thumb and you’ll find them right here.

• Be near a window or an open door so you have natural light by which to apply your makeup. Avoid dark bathrooms or ones with soul-sucking incandescent lights that will make your skin tone appear different from its actual color. You don’t want to end up using the wrong shade of foundation or blush.
• Prep your skin. In the words of Henry David Thoreau, “What good is a house without a tolerable planet to put it on?” Likewise, what good is the best foundation on the market if your skin is flaky, oily, or scaly to begin with? Wash, exfoliate, tone, and lightly moisturize before applying any makeup. Know your skin type and use appropriate products.
• Didn’t get enough sleep? Preparation H may be embarrassing to buy, but it will ease puffy eyes.
• Got an inflamed blemish? For a quick fix, try icing it for a few minutes.
• Gently pull your hair back into a bun and clip back flyaways. Style after washing your face or applying makeup.

Laying Down the Foundation
• If you have large pores, you may want to begin with a primer. Try Bare Escentuals primer or the oil control version.
• For the concealer, go two shades lighter than your skin tone to cover blemishes, under-eye circles, and dark spots. Use a green tint to cover red spots and yellow to cover purple spots.
• You’ll generally use more makeup for a photo shoot than you will for going out to lunch. Choose a thicker foundation rather than sheer ones to cover blemishes. Blend it all the way down to your neck so it doesn’t look like you’re wearing a mask.
• Apply translucent powder for a matte finish and continue to reapply between shots.

Cheeks, Eyes, Lips
• Try this trick: apply blush to the apples of your cheeks and contour your cheek bones with a little bronzer. Make sure to add some bronzer to the top of your forehead near the hairline, the bridge of your nose, and a little on your chin.
• Highlight your brow bones with light shadow.
• Avoid shimmery, glittery, or frosty shadow, which may distract from the rest of your face in a photo.
• Depending on the nature of the shoot, you’ll go for precisely applied liner or a smoky look. Either way, be sure to begin lining at the outer corner of your eye and go inward three-fourths of the way. Avoid lining the inner corner (unless you’re going for an edgier high fashion look).
• Apply light shadow on the inner corners of your eyes and go darker on the gradient on the latter three-fourths of your eyelids.
• Use waterproof mascara. Run a clean brush through your lashes between applications to avoid clumping.
• Eye makeup usually has to go on thicker and darker than everyday applications. The flash of the camera can wash you out, otherwise.
• Line your lips with the same color of your lip stick. Don’t fall for the ‘90s dark liner, light lips look.
• Avoid too much gloss, since it can be as distracting as glitter in your eyes. Really focus on your lip color—eyes and lips are generally the focus of most photo shoots.
Lastly, remember to take your makeup with you to the shoot. You never know when, during an outdoor shoot, rain will strike or the wind will blow your hair into your lips and drag gunk across your face. Although these scenarios aren’t happy ones, at least you’ll be prepared for last minute fixes.

MUA In Scrubs’ note: the above article  is a guest post from Heather Green. Born and raised in North Carolina, Heather Green has worked as a fashion and beauty consultant as well as freelancing for various wedding, fashion, and health publications. She currently acts as the resident blogger for Online Nursing Degrees where she’s been researching complementary health nursing programs as well as the issue with nursing career outlook data.

If you’re interested to be a guest author in this blog, please send me a message through the contact form. Thanks!

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Eyes To Go: 2-Color Designs

November 8, 2010 by  
Filed under makeup lessons

Make-up artists can use up to 10 shades of eyeshadows to come up with a unique and pretty look for a celebrity or a bride, until their artistic thirst is quenched. On a daily basis, however, you don’t need that much color for an eye makeup for personal use. In fact, you can do away with only two eye shadow colors for a quick makeup fix which you can wear for work or even on special occasions.

The 2 eyeshadow application is the easiest way to learn for newbies, and the fastest to apply for ladies who are always on the go. What you need is one darker matte shade and another color that is shimmery and lighter.

Product suggestions

When I visited the Bobbi Brown counter in Rustan’s Makati a few weeks ago, I found two pretty colors that could make a good combination for 2 eyeshadow designs. These shades are said to be among their best sellers:

Bobbi Brown‘s Camel- a soft matte caramel shade, and Bone- an off-white shimmery highlighter.

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Please refer to this diagram below to understand where to place the colors:


Design A:

  • brush the lids with the darker color (e.g. Bobbi Brown’s Camel), blending upwards until the crease area
  • just underneath the brows, apply the highlighter (e.g. Bobbi Brown’s Bone), blend so it meets the darker color near the crease
  • apply a dark line (e.g. using Bobbi Brown Gel Eye Liner) on the lash line (“liner” on the diagram)
  • curl lashes and apply mascara
  • shape and fill eyebrows

note: this design also works best for those with protruding eyes because the darker matte shadow gives the illusion of receding the eyeballs .

image source:

Design B

  • brush the lids with the lighter, shimmery color (e.g. BB Bone), blending up towards the brows
  • right on the crease, apply the darker shade in a windshield wiper motion
  • apply a dark line (e.g. using Bobbi Brown Gel Eye Liner) on the lash line (“liner” on the diagram)
  • curl lashes and apply mascara
  • shape and fill eyebrows

note: this design makes the lids appear larger and somewhat makes you look refreshed.

For special occasions, you can use either of the above designs and pick a darker color for the matte one and a brighter, more metallic version as highlighter.

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