Tutorial Tuesday: Prime Makeup Look

The Perfect Prime Look by Bobbi Brown

We’ve all heard about prime makeup but really, is it just the 5-minute no makeup look? After blogging for some 8 years now, I can definitely say otherwise. Over the course of 8 years, my skin’s gone through a lot of changes ranging from different sorts of breakouts, the dreaded appearance of fine lines, extreme tanning (both from a bottle and au naturelle thanks to surfing), occasional brightening and various dermatologist-approved procedures (acne surgery, RF and chemical peeling). These changes prompted me to shuffle a lot of products just to achieve the prime look for both work and play.

I’m sure you can tell that based from the photo above, the first thing we need to achieve this look is to have impeccably clear and toned skin skin. What if you don’t have the luxury of time to achieve so through skin care? Are all hopes gone?

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Friday Q&A: Should I buy an entire skin care product range or can I mix and match?

Can you believe we’re a stone throw away from being halfway into 2013? Hope you’ve accomplished a lot of your 2013 goals/bucket list must-dos. :)


I read somewhere that products are more effective when they’re made of the same ingredients or come from the same “collection”. Is there some truth to this? I feel like my skin needs a serious boost because I look and feel so haggard the last couple of weeks due to work-related stress. Help!

Haggard? Girl I feel you. I feel like dunking my face in a bed of facial masks just to get rid of “stress signs.” Kidding aside, I guess my first question is, do you take vitamins and anti-oxidants? While they have no therapeutic claims, I would strongly suggest you see your doctor for a prescription on what may work for you. Right now, I have a cocktail of multivitamins plus iron as a staple, additional 500 mg of vitamin C (it’s flu season again!) and Thiocell.

I’ve been taking Thiocell for at least a month now to fight signs of aging (thanks to the vitamin D, grape seed extract and Glutathione content) and increase my immunity (it has 100mg of vitamin C). I can’t truly attest to its whitening effect since I’ve been going back and forth to the beach. However, what I can vouch for is 1) how fun it is to take (you take it like a lozenge candy!) and 2) how much more energy I have towards the end of the day. It’s the only thing I changed in my daily routine and I like that “second wind” I get that time of the day when I’m usually a slump.

Now on to the fun part — skin care! My answer to your question is yes and no. Product ranges or collections are developed to complement each other. Because they (usually) have the same chief ingredients, the overall potency is increased hence faster and more visible results. However, some lucky ducks can get away with simple cleansers, toners or SPF protection. If you’re one of them and you’ve had a fantastic relationship with your holy grail product for years, then it might actually do you good if you stick with it and like what they say — don’t fix what’s not broken. Now if you’re hell bent to try new products that come in a collection then I have a couple of recommendations for you. :)

Watsons’ dermatologically tested, Korean-made skin care range Pure Beauty Pomegranate Antioxidant promises youthful radiance with every bottle. It’s the latest from the brand and it can actually be mixed and matched with other variants from the Pure Beauty label. I’ve tried it for a good while and what I like about this range is that they considered removing the harsh traces of paraben, lanolin and alcohol hence promoting naturally healthy skin. My favorite product from the range is the 2-in-1 Foam Cleanser that doubles as a facial mask (!!!) and the Exfoliating Gel aka. the “save” counterpart of Cure Natural Aqua Gel.

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Friday Q&A: On Eyebrow Essentials, Make-Up Removers and more!

TGIF! Reader Q&A’s back! Shoot me an email at phoebeann[at]live.com if you have a nagging beauty question on hand. :)


I like how you “do” your eyebrows. They’re never too drawn (maybe because they’re naturally full?) and not too undone. What do you consider your eyebrow makeup essentials?

Thank you for the eyebrow love. :) You are correct — my eyebrows are pretty full, thankfully even after over plucking them in high school. Honestly, if my lazy bones will take me to the salon to have them professional threaded every two weeks, I’d rather not touch my eyebrows. Then again, I have these trusty eyebrow helpers in tow in my hopes of getting away with “naturally perfected” eyebrows.

When I’m beyond words tamad, I just brush on some Majolica Majorca Brow & Lash Colorist. When I need extra definition, I use the Shiseido Eyebrow Pencil (available in Japan). While it doesn’t hold the hair in place like the Brow & Lash Colorist, I love how I can load up on it without the brows looking too strong. On days when I want to look extra polished, I use the MAC Fluidline Brow Gelcreme. It has more “hold” compared to Majolica Majorca’s Brow & Lash Colorist. To groom my brows with these products, I use a couple of tried, tested and beat up brushes from Charm.

I think I’m ready to commit to more makeup…but I’m scared of breakouts due to not-so good makeup removers. Is this something I should invest on?

Great question! I believe in 2 integral beauty rules: 1) don’t prick your pimples and 2) always thoroughly remove your makeup towards the end of the day. Call it crazy but more than applying makeup, I favour the “ritual” tied to its removal. I never remove my makeup with plain old baby oil just because I never really got around doing so. My first makeup remover’s the classic Pond’s Cold Cream. If you love the local variant (the one that smells like lemons), you have to try the one from the US too. It smells divine – like freshly picked red roses! I love luxe smelling and feeling makeup removers — it’s a great daily treat after a longgggg day. Here are some more faves:

Since I tried the Leyende Multi-Task Cleanser some 3-4 years ago, I don’t remember a day I ran dry of it. I’m hooked on the light almond scent it bears! Based on my experience, this cleanser’s best applied on the face when it’s just lightly misted/damp. It never stings and I can go up to 5 minutes just massaging it all over my face. To remove heavy eye makeup, I like using Clinique Take The Day Off Makeup Remover. Apart from removing the heaviest eye makeup in seconds, this makeup remover never burned my lids. It’s not inexpensive (I can finish a full sized bottle in 8-10 weeks) but in my opinion, it’s worth every penny. The Estee Lauder Perfectly Clean Triple-Action Cleanser/Toner/Makeup Remover is the latest member of the gang. It functions as the name implies where in a pinch, it can be used all the way as a toner. Since the airy foam cleanser transforms to a silky oil upon contact with dry skin, I’m always left with smooth skin everytime I use this. It never emolliates to runny, milky water like my shu uemura Cleansing Beauty Oils (green and yellow pump bottles) but they perform the job very, very closely with each other.

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Majolica Majorca Secret Blink Collection

Collection after collection, Majolica Majorca surprises us with all things dainty, pretty and swoon-worthy. This spring’s collection, Secret Blink, not only celebrates the beautiful churning of the season but also Majolica Majorca’s 10th anniversary. This collection bursts with all things gorgeous not just for us MJ fans but also for our boudoirs and purses.

A whispery song can be heard.
Listen to your heart’s desire.
Once you step into a forbidden place, you are sure not to go back again…and that’s fine.
A secret that nobody knows about except me.
It’s bold and it knows no bounds.
An unforgettable immersion.

Majolica Majorca Secret Blink Collection
collection breakdown after the cut

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Majolica Majorca Chapter 35: Circus Ecstasy

I’m beaming ear to ear every time Majolica Majorca sends some love over. Why not when they’re always housed in such pretty packaging? Case point:

my first MM package
March 2011

Sugary Trap
April 2011

Last Monday, over dinner at Geisha, the usual suspects and I received this gorg black satin box from Cathy of Majolica Majorca. I couldn’t wait to hurry home to snap away and play with the new beauty candy that came with it the moment I Instagrammed (@phoebeannramos) + tweet (@phoebeann) the photo below. Imagine the torture I had to deal with considering I had to wait for 12 more hours (I had work after dinner) before unboxing!

The moment I got home, I didn’t take my sweet time unboxing Majolica Majorca’s 35th chapter aka. Circus Ecstasy. I just pulled the tassle, took a quick snap and unwrapped the red wrapper like a mad woman!

Is this unboxing routine killing you? When I started this blog my inspiration was nothing but the sheer experience of unwrapping what I shopped for, what I worked hard for. I hope I’m able to send some of the thrill your way! :)

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