Nowadays, "nail art" is becoming more accessible to a lot of us with various templates, stickers/wraps and other forms which for me makes it less of an art. While the concept of instant nails that a lot of the brands offer give us convenience and comfort, there are just times when you need a drawing or painting on the nails that reflects how you feel!

So last week, I got the chance to meet a fabulous artist, Mimi Qui, who's also now the creative ambassador of the No. 1 nail brand in Korea called Bandi. She has 1 main shop in Malate which I've heard of before through my tita who would go to there for special designs and add-ons. And I really like how she worked on my nails. Despite the 1 hour I had, which is very short for her (plus she really hated how I rush the process haha), she took so much effort on how executing the design that I had pegged and chosen with Bandi. And she's super nice too! 

Mimi's passion for nail art started at a young age as she believes that the design of the nail speaks to the wearer's character, mood and likes. She enjoys using Bandi because of the color selection for Asians.

But also, versus acrylic which dries faster, gel nail polishes allow more time for her to blend, create and draw. I like how Bandi takes the gel to another level. And oh, it really stays so long - the art and the crystals are still on my nails even after 1 week!

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The long overdue blog is now up with a new layout/design c/o Sherica Ocbania and logo by Vince Canlapan! Now I do hope that you can share the site to other people who also love what I'm interested in and passionate about. There will be more as I'll be also celebrating my Blog birthday event soon ;)


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Note to self: Accept the labels and realities. There are spells. Deal with the insecurities. To get to a more beautiful place. Do what you love, be who you are and speak louder. There is a beautiful space for everyone. 

NO SPELL


Fall/Winter, or simply Holiday, is when I could wear the shades I truly love. Brands will promote and others would wear the darkest plums, blacks or fuchsia but I love sticking to the colors that fit me, and only slightly adjusting the intensity. Now with lips where I would place color emphasis next to my eyes, I have my reds, oranges and metallics lippies in my bag!

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Small, dry, uneven lips - I have them all. And while I focus too much on my eyes every single time, sometimes, I just do want to give attention to my lips despite all these. And when I do, this is how put volume to it.

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I always want to think ahead. The future for me is always bright no matter how past and present may seem like. For my LOTD, I am inspired by the future and will always be.

Photography: Drake Dustin Ibay 

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BYS is a fun, fashionable and reachable brand that is making an impact in the global market as well as locally. In the past 12 months since its launch in the Philippines, BYS focused on face products such as foundation primers, a new matte foundation, crème foundation (which is a bestseller in the Philippines), and the new HD (high definition) powders - reviews coming up soon. I have reviewed nonetheless some of its lipstick lines and I was really impressed with how they value their users' value for money. With 120 stores currently, BYS has proven that it is possible to produce innovative cosmetics without exorbitant price tags, says Ed Aitken, founder of this Australian makeup brand - whom we met at the anniversary launch. Currently, BYS has shifted its focus on brows with new brow pencils, an auto brow, and a game-changing brow kit which will be in Philippine stores next month. Also, there are a lot of new products for lips and face (I swatched some below) that are truly exciting. Way to go, BYS, and congratulations on your success!

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The third installment of the Hunger Games will be out soon. I got so excited and inspired to create my own Capitol looks since last year after Catching Fire (see my Instagram posts!!!) and will be finally sharing these with another one! While the movie (and a new website) places emphasis on entertainment and fashion which is what's being used as escapism for the wrongdoings of Panem in the literal sense, we must not forget the Mocking Jay.


THE GAMES BEGIN!

That day was the first time I participated in a photo shoot. Not as a makeup artist or part of the planning team as I always am behind the scenes, but as MYSELF!! I am also used to taking photos of myself for this blog and I was really nervous (I had to drink!! haha) but I just thought of things that inspire and move me, the reasons why, and my friends who supported me in this.

And because I had real fun, I am thinking of doing more creative shoots like this for my OOTD's or LOTD's. Soon!

Again thank you Drake, Terence of MAC and Bon for helping out!

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A few weeks ago, MAC launched their PRO lipsticks (click for reviews) but alongside that, I had a one-on-one with a MAC artist with regard to lipstick application. Now, if you can see the swatches, you'll know how intense the color payoff of the lipsticks and if you ask me, I won't really care about application (you just know when the product can take care of that). But then during the event, with the use of extra products like a lip primer, lip pencil, etc - I realized that I need volume for my lips. I am impressed with they can do this in minutes. Thanks, MAC!

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See what inspires this week. Because really, there's also beauty in farewell's.


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STORY SOON

This month, MAC releases a new color collection that is rich with luscious shades and desire. I was not able to attend the launch and I was only able to quickly swatch in store but the hues are truly captivating! I specifically love the eye shadows and the Fluidline Eye Pencil (because I just love the Fluidline line!!).
Source: MAC

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This holiday, I am inspired by these colors and textures.
Cover Photo: MAC

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Yesterday, I went to the #Batman75_PH launch and it reminded me of how and why I have loved the idea of having super heroes. Since I was a kid, I've been consuming a lot of movies and games from DC, Marvel, etc and that's because I felt that I can be greater for myself and these SUPERheroes move you to those extra levels with their unique ideologies. But then realize when growing up that it's never about just the self. And that in as much as I adore my Batman, Superman and Storm, I also have my real-life heroes and that I can be one too. That inspires me this week!

When you've been fighting for it all your life 
You've been working every day and night 
That’s how a superhero learns to fly 
Every day, every hour 
Turn the pain into power
- The Script, SuperHeroes

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Here's the list of shows that i want to watch from the #ImaginariumMNL! I have been really wanting to watch Dani Girl especially after reading Katrina's review. Also, I am glad to see Glass Menagerie again, which I've been part of a production/run when I was still in college for Tanghalang Ateneo. Of course, Mourning Gurlz, which is based on a Filipino classic that I love. And lastly, the shows where Topper will be at! =) What shows are you planning to watch?

Source: SandBox Collective

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Social media has been abuzz lately about The Sandbox Collective’s most exciting (and  curious) endeavor – The Imaginarium, a multi-arts festival of the absurd. Everyone from philosopher Albert Camus to designer Karl Lagerfeld has been quoted on their philosophies and thoughts on the ‘absurd’ (whether taken at face value or its core essence inspired by the post-World War II French theatrical movement). These were then followed by the hashtag, #ImaginariumMNL. On September 22, 2014 at the PETA Theater Center, the veil has been lifted as Manila’s newest performing arts group, The Sandbox Collective, following the success of its critically acclaimed production of the Off-Broadway musical “Dani Girl,” a musical good for the soul, launches The Imaginarium, a multi-arts festival of the absurd.

I am just excited to be watching a lot of these shows as I involve myself again with theatre especially after Kleptomaniacs, as I put all of my thoughts in this new blog, as I place all of my unique experiences from the things that I love. We have flocked towards mercatos, trade fairs, music festivals, specialty stores, and fringe movements – and I will be continuously doing so to open my doors  to new and creative things.

Source: The Sand Box Collective

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COMING UP SOON


A few weeks ago, I conducted a makeup and hair workshop in cooperation with D&V Hairpieces, a luxurious hair clip-on extensions brand made of 100% human hair,  Shu Uemura, and my cousin-in-law/blogger Shari Macainag. When D&V asked me to do this, I was really thrilled because I've been an extension user ever since I started this blog - since I had to cut my hair before and I had a phase wear I would wear full-head wigs - and I really wanted to share my hair experiences.

Now hair extension education is really needed if one needs such a product. From proper application, selection of the right product and color, caring for the hair, to blending and styling. During the #beautytheraphy which started with a makeup workshop , I discussed basic color and lighting theory because really, matching hair color and shaping the hair or face is very much the same as the concept of foundation matching and contouring/highlighting. I also emphasized how the latter should be done by only targeting areas where needed, both for hair and makeup. (I will share more of this through a tutorial especially now that I have lighter and longer hair - and I love how D&V has single clip-on's to selectively volumize my thinning hair. )

It was a fun hands-on workshop and sort a meeting with our readers! Shari was able to discuss in detail as well her hair and makeup journeys. We then challenged the participants to do a makeover to one of their friends and despite limited time and resources, I think they learned a lot. Thank you to everyone who joined and of course, to D&V, Shu Uemura and Shari!

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COMING UP SOON

A few years back, I knew MAKE UP FOR EVER whenever I would visit SM The Block. I would see a lot of makeup artists as I checked out the colored eye liners which I was addicted to before. But since last year, MAKEUP FOR EVER is back with more quality products that cater to both professionals and consumers. And a few weeks ago, I've known more of what will be in store this year, especially with the 30th anniversary of the brand.

With the celebration, we got to know Dany Sanz, the founder of french makeup brand, MAKE UP FOR EVER and her philosophies. As a theater person - which i can relate to - and artist, she just knows what the needs are of her market. We learned to paint (story soon!) her famous quotes and beliefs and of course, nothing beats swatching the Artist shadows which is now available in time with the brand's anniversary. You too can view this new launch through a pro workshop by Hollywood trained artists on October 18 and October 25, 4pm at Greenbelt 3 and SM Megamall Fashion Hall consecutively.

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In celebration of NARS' 20th anniversary and the launch of the new Audacious lipsticks, I definitely confirmed and celebrated the #NARSissist in me during this party. In the NOVA Gallery, the Rustan's Beauty Source displayed everything about the brand and Francois Nars and his philosophy, and I just knew that I knew NARS!! haha (look at this iconic nurse advertisement). Thank you for 20 years of creativity and expertise!

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Photo: http://vadamagazine.com/

Last month, I read about Rappler's The Untapped Power of the Pink Peso and I remember doing the same research back in freshman college. It brought me also to a contemplation of how rare it is until now for companies or advertisers to actually target LGBT through mainstream or targeted media when in fact the market segment is big, has enough spending power, locally as well, especially in the US. And brought me as well to rage on how bars, resorts or even advertisements would discriminate the third gender when it comes to offering services or products.

Now why do we need this? I recall someone from my class asking me the question that tackles isolation when I defended my report. Why would LGBT want to see themselves talked to by brands when they want to consider themselves women? Why is there really a need? I also can remember the question of men's products when most of them are just the same as the products manufactured for women, only stronger/different when it comes to scent or formulation.

As a previous marketer, segmentation deals with the profiling of consumers depending on psychological/behavioral and social factors, and it goes beyond just income. Even if there is enough spending power by the consumers, I think that messaging can go deeper and wider. After all, a good brand will always deal with factors that are in the upper portion of Maslow's heirarchy of needs: satisfaction, happiness, security, etc. LGBT who have specific needs can definitely be one opportunity for a brand to expand its horizon, if it is really caring enough for the people who use the brands.

Clearly, there is still an untapped market, and I agree with Rappler that there are times when we would choose or prefer a brand based on its market treatment. I just hope that brands can see this and be open-minded and even if that cannot be really controlled, the challenge is to just go beyond. Nonetheless, the cosmetics and personal care industry which is almost dominated and patronized by LGBT makeup artists, performers, hair stylists, or consumers is moving forward with this idea. I mean even if a lipstick is just pigment and wax, the LGBT-specific packaging, advertising, CSR or distribution will tell how concerned they are. They just know that they need to communicate with their LGBT customers who have different needs as well (as a drag queen would need more professional products for performances and shows) and below you can see a few of them.

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I have never been to New York but I know through the TV shows and movies that I consume that it is just pulsing with a lot of possibilities and passion and I always love that. It is so cool then that DKNY fragrances would capture all that is NY to a bottle that is like a collective heart, with an urban and modern spirit, that reaches out to every individual. Holding the bottle makes me feel, really, that I can be bold, playful and infinite even if I am not (yet!!) in New York.

Photo Sources: DKNY

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"NARS Cosmetics introduces the new Dual-Intensity Eyeshadow and a brand new campaign for this. Double-down with the new dual-application formula – apply dry for a sheer, airbrush-like finish with a luminous sheen or apply with a dampened brush for high-impact and intense, opaque color. Twelve ready-to-wear and rebelliously romantic shades transform your look with a riveting range from delicate peach pink to fierce black orchid." Product Review here. 
Source: NARS Cosmetics 

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DID YOU KNOW that Founder Francois Nars is also a photographer? Notice how precise and expressive all of his color campaigns and visuals are. But also, there's just something about French artists! They're so talented (I can name 2-3 artist brands that I really like!) that they can build their cosmetics line and influence other people with their beauty philosophies - which for him, is all about expression. 
Started with 12 lipsticks, NARS now is one of those high-quality brands in the market. Happy 20th anniversary, NARS!

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It really is easier online when you're leaning things to do with your hair. I mean, versus doing makeup which takes time and practice - and that's why I often go to workshops and still learn a lot - hair is a bit easier! And since I've come to the point that I badly need new styles for mine, I've been doing some research on this and I saw this. Hope you see changes in my hair in my OOTD's and LOTD's! Timely, Last September 18, All Things Hair officially launched in the Philippines, the first in Asia. All Things Hair constantly looks at top hair-related Google searches online and responds by creating video tutorials that suit Filipinos and their hair needs. Just launched in the UK and in Canada, ATH collaborated with the top Filipino vloggers - including a close friend in the beauty blogging community who you can see in the Dove commercials, Angela - to provide unique and personalized hair advice for modern day Filipinos. Dedicated to addressing hair solutions, ATH is a collaboration between Google, the world’s biggest search engine, global hair brands, Dove, TRESemme, Toni & Guy, Cream Silk, Sunsilk and Clear, and vloggers: Angela Nepomuceno, Kelly Misa, Laureen Uy, Nicole Andersson, and James and Phil Younghusband.

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There is a new exciting TV show available for viewing in the Philippines! Ever since the latest season of RuPaul Drag Race, I've been addicted to these kinds of show because, well, fashion and beauty can be performance in reality. Now, B.O.R.N. To Style is a fresh lifestyle makeover format centered around a fierce fashion foursome from New York and their larger than life boss Jonathan. Springing from their shop B.O.R.N. (Borrowed, Old, Recycled, New) in Harlem, their style super heroes land at the door of those desperately in need of some color in their lives. By rifling through their clothes and asking some blunt questions they get to the root of their fashion malaise, before whisking them away for a shopping trip around New York. In each episode they transform women in need of fashion inspiration into their best possible selves. With the sassy styling's of QUEER EYE FOR THE STRAIGHT GUY and the sitcom banter of THE GOLDEN GIRLS, their team adds some spice to the vanilla among them and shows us that cutting edge can work in any shape or size. Exciting indeed!!
Website: www.fyiasia.tv (Launch Oct 6)

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