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#DalagaNa: My First Beauty Post, because why not?

Hello to everyone who missed me! My blog was down for about three weeks because my domain expired and I completely forgot about it. I was so lost because I just didn't have the time to figure things out due to my internship, but thanks to the help of my good friend, Adrian, I have it back up again! So yep, this blog is still alive. And I'm still alive. Busy, but having quite a grand time!

This week, I missed work to spend a long-awaited vacation with my family to Singapore and Kuala Lumpur. I wanted my first post back from the unintended hiatus to be about the trip, but we just got home today and I'm still in the middle of sorting out all the photos - they're quite a lot! Not to mention, I also have some deliverables from work that I still have to accomplish, so that SG/KL post might take a while. But in the interest of updating this thing again, and writing while I do have the time, here's a little something different.

My ask box has been quite ~dead~ lately, but there are a few questions that keep getting asked time and time again. Just last week, when I opened my account after ages, I saw several make-up related queries, one of which I already answered. But a few hours later, I received other questions on it again. So due to insistent - err, can one person be considered "public"? - demand, I've decided to write about something I've never done before in this blog: beauty!

That's right. Finally, at 24, I've reached a point where I kinda know stuff! :)) Some time in the last four years of law school, my small group of girl friends took great interest in watching make-up tutorials and reviews on YouTube during our break time. For me, it started out as just listening to them in the background to keep myself awake while studying. But then it turned into genuine curiosity. I ended up following IG accounts, discovering and finding blogger make-up friends, and always checking out make-up counters. Suddenly, I was discovering the joys of playing with my face. My ordinary wash-tone-moisturize-step-out-the-door routine just didn't cut it anymore.

I slowly started building my collection - not big, but just decent enough to get me through different days and different moods. And you know what? I'm actually quite pleased! I've now gone through enough BB creams, eyeshadows, lipsticks, etc to finally say that I have my "staples" and "holy grails." #NAKS. Not that I'm an expert in any way, or anything. But I do get a few compliments on my make-up every now and then, and it's so thrilling, especially because it's something I NEVER imagined myself dabbling into. Random comments from Titas are the best! Haha! (Also compliments from the Boyfriend, but that's always a given :P )


So how do I start this? I actually have no idea, but I'm diving into it the same way I dove into the world of cosmetics: Bahala na! Please just indulge me as I write this. #DalagaNa!

Here's the question that got me thinking about writing a beauty entry:

"What is your daily skincare and makeup routine?"

And after I answered that here, it came with a follow-up:

"So does the BB cream already serve as your moisturizer? Or do you still tone and moisturize before? I'm so overwhemled by all the products I read online and I just want a simple, hassle-free routine for everyday where I don't have to put on too much and feel cakey all throughout haha. I just saw that you post some makeup related stuff every now and then and thought it wouldn't hurt to ask hahaha sorry for bothering you with these MU questions!"

First off: whoever you are, Anon, whether or not my answers help you out, I owe you a great amount of thanks for finally convincing me to write about this stuff! It's always been at the back of my mind, something to try for trying's sake. But I never had the reason (or excuse!) to do so. Until now! If this becomes a thing I enjoy, it's all your fault! Hahaha ;) Anyway, I'll be expanding on the answer I first gave on my Ask.fm, and then incorporate the answer to the newer question.


From pre-adolescence to my teenage years, and even through my 20s, I've had a very simple, no-fuss habit when it comes to my face: cleanse-tone-moisturize. And it's still pretty much the same up to this day, except that I finally changed brands just a few years ago. Yep, since I hit puberty until I was about 22, I was still using Clean and Clear! Bagets! But I made the switch when I realized I needed something more appropriate for my age. So now, I'm using Neutrogena across the board - facial wash, toner, and moisturizer or cream. I'm currently using two ranges, alternating between them depending on whether I'm in Paranaque or in QC. Right now, at home, I'm using the Neutrogena Daily Pore Cleanser line. In my dorm, however, I have their Fine Fairness toner and night cream.

Just recently, I've added something new to my ritual: serum. My dad went to Korea a few months ago for work, and as pasalubong, I asked for a ton of skincare stuff (!!!) - one of them being this Innisfree White C Double Serum. It's super lightweight and smells amazing! I put it on before I apply my moisturizer. Ever since I incorporated it into my routine, I've noticed my face appears brighter and a bit more glowing. Lol, or baka ako lang yun kasi placebo effect! HAHA.

Another important step I've recently added to my nightly habit is removing my make-up. I used to not wear make-up to school, with the exception of eyeliner and lipstick. (Ah those were the days! I miss being able to get away with not wearing concealer! #FYouEyebags) But now that I do put a number of products on my face, it's incredibly essential to make sure that the slate is wiped clean every night. I use Bifesta Micellar Cleansing Water (not in photo), which is gentle on the skin and feels like water. It works wonders because it can easily remove even the most waterproof of all my eyeliners and mascaras, and the mattest-of-matte among all my lipsticks. One pump of product is enough, so a bottle lasts long - although I often use two pumps just to make sure that nothing gets left behind.


As for my make-up, it really is nothing impressive :)) I can't contour (yet - LOL, sadly. Not for lack of trying!) and I don't use blush, but I experiment with a number of eyeshadow palettes, eyeliners, and lipsticks.  In the last year or so, I've managed to put together a solid "team" of go-to products for day-to-day use. Some products I've had to let go because I was left unsatisfied, and others, I still use as an alternative to these.

These are the products I brought with me to SG & KL, and with the exception of a few, this kit basically makes up my default everyday look. 

BASE. I never thought I'd ever get to use the term "Holy Grail" for anything other than the cupeth from which the Lord sipeth but look how the tides turn! I've found it in Biore UV Aqua Rich BB 3D Effect with SPF 50++  which I use as my primer, BB cream, sunblock, and base. For the longest time, I've been trying to find a sunblock that is both high in SPF and lightweight, which seemed mutually exclusive - until I found this at Watson's. It doesn't feel sticky and does not leave me oily at all; it also doesn't leave a white cast on my skin as it appears very natural after just a few minutes of applying. It also helps my make-up last longer and the color of my eyeshadows pop. Not to mention, it's quite affordable too. Does what I need it to do, and more? Check. Doesn't break the bank? Check. HO. LY. GRAIL. And holy guacamole! :)

CONCEALER. I brought with me the Innisfree Mineral Stick Concealer in Light Beige, which is part of Papa's Korea loot. It used to cake on me even after putting foundation / pressed powder on top of it but I discovered the key to making it work: not using moisturizer. I just apply the sunblock right after washing my face, without using toner and cream after. The "dry" effect keeps this concealer in place - and it lasts all day! Even under the sweltering heat or humidity. But for other times, when I feel like wearing moisturizer before heading out, I use a different concealer: Wet 'N Wild concealer wand in 12A. It lasts a whole day at work or in school too, and before I figured out the Innisfree concealer, this pretty much did the job for me.

FOUNDATION. Pwede bang dalawa yung Holy Grail?!? I don't know how I ever lived without this product! I thought foundations are just something I didn't "get" and couldn't figure out, because they always left me looking oily. Sabi nila, "dewy" naman daw yung uso but nope, it really just looks greasy on me! :)) I never liked using foundations before - yun pala, I've just been using the wrong ones. (Looking at you, liquid and cream foundations.) So thank heavens for the Mary Kay Sheer Mineral Powder, which is not only perfect for the matte look that I very much prefer, it also helped even out my skin tone. I generally have good skin (I never had acne) but sometimes when I try out a new foundation, I'd be left with a slight breakout. I did not have a problem with this one at all. And the best thing about it? It survives a whole day of anything - from Manila commute, Kuala Lumpur cave trek, to an entire night of dancing! I swear, I never look hulas when I have this on my face! If you want to be forever #Fresh, this is the foundation for you. :))

EYEBROWS. Drugstore brands are da bomb. For my eyebrows, I use Nichido Tinted Brow Gel in Brunette. I have naturally full, bushy brows, so I super embrace the thick-eyebrow trend. But I also can't stand having mine look unnaturally dark. I don't like them bordering on black and looking super square, fake, and Frida Kahlo-ish. So I use a slightly lighter color for mine, and the brunette shade of Nichido is just the right amount I need to keep the look a bit polished but still natural. On some days, when I don't want to look too made up, I use The FaceShop Design My Eyebrow in 02 (Dark Brown). Corollary: I get my eyebrows threaded at LayBare every three weeks or so. 

EYELINER. Eyeliner is the first make-up product that I started using for my day-to-day life. I've been lining my waterline ever since high school, and I haven't looked back since. I cannot leave home without eyeliner, ever. I can walk out the door with no lipstick, no eyebrow mascara, no foundation, kahit pa moisturizer! But you can't make me step out without eyeliner under my eyes :)) Because of this, I have a ton of them at my disposal. Anything that works well and lasts all day is fine by me, and I actually have no preferred product. As long as it comes in black or dark brown, and it covers my waterline well, I'm good. For this trip, I used MiniSo Silverproof Permanent Waterproof Eyeliner in Black

EYESHADOW. This is my newest "addiction." It was only recently that I started learning how to put on eye make-up. Thanks to dozens of YouTube videos and my favorite make-up vloggers (Chloe Morello, Lisa Edridge, and Sarah Butler, just to name a few), I've finally unlocked this achievement. I prefer using palettes for their versatility, although I've only experimented thus far on neutral ones. Right now, I have several palettes at my disposal: L'Oreal Color Riche La Palette in Nude Rose (which consists of mostly pinks and browns), and Maybelline The Nudes Palette (browns and grays). And right before our flight back home to Manila, I was able to buy (on sale!) the Maybelline Blushed Nudes Palette, which is the rosier version (kinda like the Naked 3 to The Nudes' Naked 1). I've loved playing with all my palettes so far, but I've yet to mix them with each other! Maybe I should, the next time I go out. 

LIPSTICK. The one on the photo is Maybelline Color Sensational Creamy Matte in Touch of Spice, which is just about the perfect shade of nude, brown, and burgundy. I love that it stays on for hours on end, even after heavy meals and drinks. It's the best matte I have right now. But I also bought with me other lipsticks for the trip not pictured above: MAC Brick-O-La and MAC Craving, both of which were my first tubes of MAC :)


WHEW! Well that was quite an entry! Quite a lengthy post for someone who claims she doesn't know a lot about cosmetics, eh :)) Dear Anon, just like you I still feel overwhelmed with all the products I come across on the Internet and on beauty counters. But I just keep trying, reading, watching vids, and finding out what I think works for me. Learning never stops, apparently, even for make-up! :))

Okay, I should wrap this up. That's too much beauty talk for the day. Will I be writing regular make-up reviews soon? Is this going to be a beauty blog now? Safe to say, no, at this point! So you can all heave a sigh of relief because this blog is going to remain pretty much the same! Hahaha! 

But now that this is out there, I can't say I won't be doing this ever again though. Let's seeeee! Masaya pala kasi mag-dalaga ;)