Incoming Haul: Jaclyn Hill’s favorite brushes

I watch a lot of YouTube, and one of the people I subscribe to and watch religiously is Jaclyn Hill. I love her makeup looks, and continuously look forward to the products she tries out on her channel, mainly to see if they would work for me or not. I also like her no-nonsense approach to reviewing products, although of course, there have been quite a few controversies thrown her way as well.

Recently, she launched a collaboration with Morphe Brushes. She spoke about her all-time favorite Morphe brushes on one of her latest videos, and told viewers that she was releasing all 23 brushes in a set, at a discounted price. I have never owned a Morphe brush in my life, so I figured that this would probably be a good time to begin to add them to my (small) brush collection.

The 23-piece brush set contains an assortment of contour brushes, powder brushes, foundation brushes, and eye brushes, all priced at $154.99, which roughly translates into PhP 7,750.00. I ordered a set for myself from a local online reseller yourmakeupstoreph.com. As expected, there was a price mark-up of around PhP 2,000.00, bringing the total to a little over PhP 9,000.00. The price is quite steep, but for 23 brushes, I think (I hope!) it’s worth it.

Estimated time of arrival of this brush haul is by mid June. I’ll let you know my thoughts on the quality and performance after I’ve tried using them. Hopefully, they won’t be that bad. There has been quite the controversy surrounding this brush set, saying that this is false advertising by Jaclyn Hill, because Morphe brushes apparently suck and just shed all over the place. Any thoughts/experience on this? I just hope I didn’t waste all that money on something that doesn’t actually work.

 

Current favorite foundation

Early this year, I found myself on the hunt for the best medium to full coverage foundation for my skin type. I have combination skin, and from January to early April of this year, I was constantly battling breakouts on my face, hence the search for a foundation to cover it all up. Ironically enough, a month a half into having my skin clear up again, I found my favorite foundation: Make Up For Ever‘s Ultra HD Stick Foundation.

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I had used the Ultra HD liquid foundation in the past, which I also loved (still love, actually). It only provided me with light to medium coverage, though. I decided to return to my nearest MUFE store and purchased the Ultra HD Stick Foundation. I had done my research before buying the product, and the reviews were all pretty positive. Their in-store makeup artist also told me that it was appropriate for my skin type, and that it could provide me with medium coverage at the minimum, and that it was easily buildable to a full coverage.

I got to road test the foundation a few days after I bought it, and I was impressed! I only needed a few swipes of product on my face to get to a medium coverage. The product itself was also very easily blendable; it felt like I was just blending out a regular liquid foundation! It was also very easy to build up into a full coverage without looking cakey. I wore the foundation for about 8-9 hours for two days straight, and noticed that it did not accentuate any pores or fine lines, and it stayed put. My skin looked so smooth and beautiful, even my husband noticed!

I love this foundation! It also comes in the same shade range as their Ultra HD liquid foundation, so there’s a shade for everybody.

Verdict: 10/10!

Current price in-store: around PhP 2700.00

Tiny Haul: Sephora Beauty Pass Sale

Sephora Philippines recently held its first Beauty Pass Sale last week, and being a Sephora Black member, I was entitled to 20% off of all items from the site. The brand selection we have at our disposal isn’t as extensive as the Sephora US site, so there weren’t a lot of things that truly spoke to me. I only bought three items from the sale, hence a tiny haul. 🙂

Too Faced Papa Don’t Peach blush

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With Too Faced, I think we’ve always come to expect cute packaging, and the one on this product definitely does not fail. The blush comes in a metal compact with a magnetic closure. There’s a decently-sized mirror in there, too. The blush itself is sized pretty well, and it smells like candy.

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This product isn’t very pigmented, and I had to run my finger over the blush several times to be able to get a decent swatch on my hand. So I guess this is supposed to give you just a sheer peachy-pink wash of color on the cheeks, with the option to build it up as you please. There’s a lot of shimmer mixed in there, so I think this will be great for summer, as it will give a very glowy look.

Too Faced Melted Matte in Sell Out

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I don’t know what it is about me, but I am always ALWAYS attracted to these shades of lipsticks. This particular liquid lipstick applies very creamy, and is completely opaque in one application. The slim doe foot applicator facilitates precise color placement. It takes a few minutes for the product to dry down on the lips. I wouldn’t say that it dries down completely matte, but more of a creamy matte finish. What I like about this formula is that it is non-drying on the lips. Being a creamy matte, I did get a lot of transfer and fading out, so you will have to reapply this throughout the day.

Ciate London Triple Shot Mascara in Midnight Blue

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I’ve been looking for the perfect colored mascara for quite some time now, so when Sephora.ph went on sale, I jumped at the chance to purchase one for myself, at a discounted price at that! I haven’t been able to try this on my lashes yet, but I am excited to. The product isn’t as pigmented as I would’ve liked, but I am more than willing to give it a shot. Although it doesn’t really translate on the photo, upon swatching, there were very very tiny flecks of shimmer mixed into the formula, which makes me doubly excited to see how that will look on my lashes.

Skin care for the acne-prone

I’ve always wanted effortlessly clear skin, but am now finding out that I have to work doubly hard to get what I want.

As an adolescent and young adult, I struggled with acne especially around my t-zone. I went to several dermatologists until finally, in mid-college, it cleared up. My skin was relatively non-problematic throughout my post-graduate studies and training, but now, it’s just a whole different story. I started getting really bad breakouts around my nose and chin, and even on my cheeks. I thought I could get it under control on my own, but soon realized that I needed to seek help from the skin care professionals. I’m glad I did, because it was the right thing to do. Barely a month after undergoing treatment, my skin is clearing up nicely.

It pays to have a good skin care regimen. Mine isn’t quite as exhaustive as the popular 10-step Korean regimen, thankfully (it’s only 7 steps hahaha):

  1. Remove all make-up before going to bed. I make sure to use my micellar cleansing water from Simple to wipe all of my makeup away. They also have an eye make-up remover to help take off waterproof mascara easily.
  2. Use a mask. At first I thought this step was a little extra, but then I realized how important it was when I started to see the effects it had on my skin. I use the Lerosett Mask from Gunilla of Sweden every night after taking my make-up off, and it works beautifully! The mask is made of organic rasul clay which works to relieve the skin of impurities. Aside from being a facial mask, the product can also be used as a spot treatment for blemishes or acne, to help it heal quicker and reduce inflammation. I leave the mask on on my entire face for 15-30 minutes and then wash it off with warm water.
  3. Use a facial wash that’s appropriate for your skin type. Because I have combination skin, I use a facial wash with AHA (alpha-hydroxy acids) and glycolic acid. This helps clean my face and remove excess oils without stripping it of moisture. It’s important to use a face wash that works well for your skin type, isn’t too strong, and won’t excessively dry your skin.
  4. Tone! After washing my face, I also use a toner with AHA. This helps bring back your skin to its normal pH levels, and removes any excess oil.
  5. Exfoliate at least twice a week. Breakouts are sometimes caused by the build-up of dead skin in our pores, so it’s important that we exfoliate to make sure all dead skin is properly shed. I do this step twice a week at night, using the peel pads from Luminisce, which is the skin clinic I go to. The pads come in a plastic container, and are soaked with a fruit acid-based solution for mild exfoliation and peeling. I can’t even begin to explain how much I love those peel pads! My skin always looks so fresh and luminous after using them.
  6. Moisturize. It’s so hot here in Manila, so I prefer light, non-sticky moisturizers. I also prefer products that are unscented, mainly because my skin is pretty sensitive. My current favorite is the Sensylia moisturizing cream.  It delivers so much moisture in such a light-weight formula, and leaves the skin feeling so fresh all the time.
  7. Use sun protection. Aside from preventing skin cancer, sunblock also helps prevent skin aging. This, I believe, is the primary secret to retaining that “baby face” and baby-smooth skin. I use a tinted sunblock from Luminisce to help keep away those harmful UV rays.

Aside from having a bullet-proof skin care regimen in place, it’s also important to consult a skin care professional or dermatologist to help address your skin concerns.

Makeup travel essentials

Aside from it being Labor Day weekend in the Philippines, the ASEAN Summit is also in town, so we officially have a 4-day weekend! While a lot of people are headed over to Boracay Beach to enjoy the soft white sand, the sparkling sea, and the endless parties, my husband and I decided to drive up north to seek respite from the sweltering summer heat. We’re going to Baguio City!

Baguio City is also known as the summer capital of the Philippines. The climate there is much cooler than in Manila and in other parts of the country, which is why Filipinos tend to flock over there during the summer to cool down. Hence the moniker, summer capital. I’ll do a blog post on our itinerary when we get back. 🙂

Just like any makeup junkie, it’s difficult for me to just choose just certain specific items to bring when travelling. I have such separation anxiety from my home makeup station each time, but a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do. So here’s what’s in my makeup bag for this trip:

Primer

Skindinavia The Makeup Primer Spray in Oil-Control. I love how tacky this primer becomes, making sure your makeup just sticks to your face the whole day. Major points also for keeping my oils at bay.

Foundation

Make Up For Ever Ultra HD in Y365. I CANNOT live without this foundation. A pump and half for my entire face and neck, and I’m good for the rest of the day.

Concealer

NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer in Vanilla is great at concealing and brightening. It’s also good enough to use alone, whenever I feel like going out sans foundation.

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Setting Powder

COTY Airspun Loose Powder in Translucent Extra Coverage to set my undereyes and the rest of my face.

Bronzer/Blush/Highlight

Benefit Cheekathon Blush Set because it contains everything I need: Hoola Bronzer, and my favorite Dallas blush. Coralista, Dandelion, and Rockateur are also there if I ever need variety.

Sleek Solstice Highlighting Palette because of the handy, travel-size packaging and the variety available.

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Eyes/Brows

Anastasia Modern Renaissance Eyeshadow Palette because it’s my favorite eyeshadow palette ever!! I love how looks can easily go from day to night with this.

Make Up For Ever Aqua Smoky Extravagant Mascara because it gives me the length and volume I need. Plus it’s extremely waterproof.

Anastasia Brow Definer in Medium Brown because I need my brows to be on-point every single day!

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Lips

NARS Liptensity in Smoked Almond: Love this lipstick not just because of the color, but also because the formula is non-drying.

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Setting Spray

Skindinavia The Makeup Finishing Spray in Oil-Control just does a great job at bringing all the makeup together, and making it look like skin. Makes my make-up last all-day, and keeps me virtually oil-free.

Makeup Remover

PureDerm Makeup Remover Cleansing Towelettes are handy makeup wipes I can bring with me everywhere to remove my makeup, and to also provide hydration to the skin.

Okay so………………. looks like I ended up packing a lot of makeup items for our trip. Just because I am so extra, I’m also going to be bringing my portable lighted mirror with me — in case our AirBnB has poor lighting. 😉

What items are in your makeup bag this weekend?

 

 

Cloud Paints by Glossier

Cream blushes remind me of highschool.

I went to a private, Catholic, all-girls highschool where we weren’t allowed to wear makeup, so the only thing we could apply to our faces was cream blush or lip/cheek tints, because they looked very natural.

These Cloud Paints by the brand Glossier are exactly that: Natural. And I don’t mean that in a bad way.

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These blushes are so light, and blend so well into the skin that you look as if you were flushed and glowing from within.

I got myself two tubes of this product, in Puff and Dusk. There are two more available: Haze (a deep berry shade), and Beam (a warm coral). After swatching these on my hand, I immediately regretted not buying all four shades. 😦

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Puff is a soft, cotton candy pink, while Dusk is a brownish nude that looks like a rosy beige on the face. It is my absolute favorite of the two. Both shades make you look very fresh. There is a tiny bit of shimmer mixed in there, but it does not translate that much onto the skin when applied.

Application is easy, and you only need just a tiny little bit of product. These babies are very pigmented! I just use my fingers to blend into the apples of my cheeks. The formula on these is great, because they go on smoothly, blend very easily, and do not go on streaky.

I think these Cloud Paints are great products because it gives you that natural-looking flush and a healthy glow. Not to mention, these are perfect for those of us who are on the go all the time, and who need something that they can just easily slap on and be out the door.

Verdict: 10/10 ❤

 

 

Butter Bronzer by Physicians Formula

It’s summer here in Manila! The heat is unbelievable; today it’s 34 degrees Celsius outside. While a lot of people are out enjoying the sun at the beach, some of us (ie. Me) prefer to keep it cool indoors with the airconditioning on full blast. When I do go out, however, I prefer to look bronzed and sun-kissed, as if I’d been out at the beach getting the perfect tan.

Like many of the great beauty products from the US and abroad, Physicians Formula isn’t readily available here in the Philippines. Makeup junkies like me have to order online thru Sephora, or buy from different resellers. Luckily enough, my sister went on a trip to the States a couple of weeks back, and brought me home a Butter Bronzer!

The packaging is okay, made of sturdy plastic with a little tropical vibe going on. The compact itself is pretty bulky because underneath the bronzer is a compartment for the sponge applicator (which I have not tried; I use a brush with this), and a nice mirror.

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This Butter Bronzer, according to the Physicians Formula website, is infused with Murumuru Butter, Cupuacu Butter, and Tucuma Butter. It is an ultra-rich bronzer designed to moisturize and condition the skin while giving you that “radiant Brazilian goddess glow” at the same time. Pretty bold claims, huh?

I’ve been using this product for the past two weeks, and I love it! I think it truly delivers on its promise of giving you that radiant glow.

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The pigmentation on this bronzer is a little bit lighter than Benefit‘s Hoola, but is enough to give you that sun-kissed look, and enough to warm up the complexion. I have a fair to medium skin tone, and this shade delivers a perfect glow to the skin, and is able to provide that oomph to my everyday makeup look. On darker skin tones, though, I don’t think this color would show up that much, if at all.

This bronzer does have a slightly creamy consistency when swiped with a finger, but there is a little bit of powder kick-up when you dip your brush in.

The only thing I’d say I don’t like about this is its scent. I know a lot of people have been raving about the smell of this product, saying that it smells like the beach, but for me, it is a little bit overpowering. The scent is certainly somewhat tropical, but it reminds me more of the smell of Hawaiian Tropic sunblock and after-sun lotion. The scent also lingers on the face for quite a while.

Verdict: 9/10

I love how this product gives me that radiant, beachy glow, but I just dislike the smell. That being said, I would still use this over and over again.