Run for cover

A smash hit: Smashbox's Camera Ready Full Coverage Concealer

My girlfriends and I were exchanging beauty secrets at a Baby Shower earlier today when a friend of mine pulled out her latest makeup purchase, a stylish black tube from Smashbox.

As a beauty editor, I’ve road tested concealers in all shapes and forms, so I figured this little stick was the same as the rest. Until I twisted the tube, swiped a bit of the stuff on the back of my hand (to warm up the product), picked it up with my ring finger, and tapped it under my eyes.

The product felt very light and not cakey at all, and it went on my skin effortlessly. When I didn’t think the product was covering my dark circles enough, all I needed was to add a little more, building it up and stopping until I noticed my imperfections were, like Jack Johnson crooned, gone going gone.

I turned to my girlfriends and they all agreed—my dark circles were a thing of the past! Four hours later, the makeup hasn’t caked or creased, and I still look like I’ve had a full night’s sleep. My next step: sprint to Beauty Bar to get my hands on this nifty little stick.


Get out of that beauty funk

Try on a new lipstick shade helps you get out of a beauty funk.

You know how you have bouts of beauty-related neglect? Like when you don’t feel like plucking your brows for three days, then you think “I could do without it for a couple more.” Then another seven days pass by and you look at yourself in the mirror and find a cro magnon staring back at you. How about when keep your nail polish on even when the one nail has started to chip. “I spent a fortune on my manicure, might as well keep this on for a few more days,” you tell yourself. One and a half weeks later your poor nails look you’ve scraped them against concrete. It’s called neglect.

I realized how much I’ve been ignoring this blog when one of my star students in barre3 class sweetly reprimanded “you haven’t been updating your blog!” Gulp. It hit me. I had been putting off blogging for over a month because of this and that (working on the current issue of Runner’s World Philippines, doing makeovers for Sisters On Style—a project my sisters and I are working on [more on this in the future!], writing for Women’s Health, teaching barre3, doing makeup for weddings and magazines, running, climbing, and so much more.

I wear many hats/play different roles, but being a beauty coach is one of my favorite duties because I help women (and men, too) learn how to feel better about themselves. Another reason I love my job: Sharing beauty secrets. One of my secrets in getting out of a rut: trying on a new lipstick shade. It changes my look instantly and perks me up instantly.

Tell me, what’s your secret to getting out of a beauty rut?

Postrace Footcare 101

Uh oh. I made a mistake of watching an enthralling episode of Fringe while filing my foot calluses. Sure, skin on my feet may be back to their soft, pre-race condition, but they feel as raw as the complexion of an underdeveloped Shapeshifter (for Fringe fans only).

The skin on my feet grew so thick because of training for my first ultramarathon (an ultramarathon is a foot race above 50 Km). For four months I ran on mixed road and trail terrains twice during the week, and back to back on weekends to prepare for The Northface 100 Km race which was held in Baguio last weekend. (Incidentally, HAPPY ONE WEEK ANNIVERSARY!! My race companions and I crossed the finish line of the TNF 100 around this time last Sunday.)

Checking the damage after the race

All those hours training as well as running/walking/climbing on race day (it took my running buddies and I over 29 hours to finish) caused the skin on my feet to get pretty thick (thankfully, not cracked). I needed the thick skin on race day to protect me from blisters. Now that it’s over, however, I can finally file my skin down to original form.

Before I got overzealous with my foot filer last night, I had a more ideal set up the day before: a basin filled with warm water and a mix of two relaxing treatments: Hot Pink Tease Exotic Coconut Epsom Salt Scrub (unfortunately this is no longer available at Hot Pink Lingerie, so generic Epsom Salts will do) and Earth Therapeutics Tea Tree Oil Foot Soak (P675, The Beauty Bar). I placed my feet in this heavenly concoction and leaned back on my couch. Minutes later I took I took my Pedro Ceramic Callus Rasp (P750, Zwilling J.A. Henckels) and gently filed my wet feet. I then rinsed off the solution, wiped my feet dry and massaged a generous amount of Clarins Foot Beauty Treatment Cream (P1,650, Rustan’s) all over my pampered tootsies.

Sex and the City 2 at our fingertips!

Sex and the City fans are revved up for the sequel of this fabulous chick flick, and to celebrate the movie’s arrival, I’m getting my hands on Dashing Diva’s Manhattan Collection, an array of nail polish shades that scream New York.

Got myself Carrie-d AwayRight now I’m wearing Carrie-d Away (P325), a natural shade with just a whisper of color. It’s the perfect polish to make my fingers look longer and more graceful, which is the effect I want to get when I do my ballet stretches in the barre3 classes I teach. My normally stubby-looking digits (thanks to climbing) look as refined as a ballerina’s in this fresh shade.

Polish up your act with the Manhattan Collection from Dashing Diva

You’ll love the other shades, like Charlotte’s Wedding (a sweet cream color with shimmer), DD MC Miranda’s Law (a red orange color reminiscent of the fiery lawyer’s locks), Limo Service (fashionable jet black) and so much more.

The Manhattan Collection is available at Dashing Diva in Beauty Bar. For more information visit

My top two Zit Zappers

Back in college I plunged into the Metro Club swimming pool at 5:30AM three times a week, where I trained with my triathlon training buddies and sisters. The water in the club pool contained so much chlorine that made my skin break out. My complexion got so bad that I had to make weekly trips to the dermatologist (without any success, unfortunately) to get pricked and scarred and sucked. I left the doctor’s office each time looking swollen and red like a longganisa.

Even when I stopped swimming, my skin NEVER cleared. The pimples weren’t as massive as when I was in college, but I had numerous bumps that took over my face. Then of course there were the zits that turned up very often like unwelcome dinner guests. I was constantly hiding under full-coverage foundation, and my high school friends can even attest to my New Year’s resolution of “finally having clear skin.”

When I took on the job as beauty and fitness editor at Marie Claire Philippines in 2005, I got exposed to different kinds of skincare and haircare products which I tested like a lab rat. These trials let me abandon my original facial soap, shampoo, and conditioner, which I later realized were the culprits of my bad skin! Finally, a moment of clarity dawned on my face. Whew!

These days my skin is smoother, with an occasional zit arising from PMS or a beauty product that doesn’t agree with me. And when that happens, I turn to two of my favorite pimple exterminators:

Junkisui Refreshing Spots Serum (P1,150), is a clear liquid that uses a tip applicator to put on this quick-acting product. Because it’s invisible, I use it on troubled spots in the day time. Because it’s so small, I can carry it with me to reapply on pimples that want to take over the planet. Hours later, the horrendous zits shrink dramatically.

My other favorite is Clarins Stop Imperfections Tinted Blemish Control Cream (P1,150). It’s a lightly-tinted cream which is aims to camouflage your spot while killing the bacteria that causes the pimple. Since I’ve gotten two shades darker this summer, this cream is too light for my skin, so I use it at night before hitting the sack, and the next morning, my once troubled area is hardly noticeable! Talk about overnight sensation!

I’m curious. What’s your tried and tested pimple treatment?

Junkisui Refreshing Spots Serum (photo courtesy of Kosé) and Clarins Stop Imperfections Tinted Blemish Control Cream (photo courtesy of Clarins) are available at Rustan’s.

Cream on

Minerals and Flowers: perfect combination

My hands take a beating when I climb, especially when I hold on to rough climbing holds or rock. This friction makes my poor digits tender,  red, and painful. Over time, a layer of callus builds up, thickening my skin and making it possible to hold on to smaller, sharper surfaces, which is great for climbing, but terrible for makeup artistry.

Models, brides, clients—all those who sit on my makeup chair want to feel at ease while they get their makeup done. The last thing they want rubbing against their skin is my sandpaper-like fingers. That’s why I find salvation in rich hand balms like the recently introduced Mineral Flowers Hand Cream (P430, Watson’s). This ultra-moisturizing formula is just one facet of the Israeli brand’s extensive skincare line. Its key ingredients: Dead Sea minerals, which penetrate the skin and nourish skin cells to help stabilize its moisture content. Other elements mixed into this hand cream are Bee’s wax, fresh flowers, pomegranate juice and peel—which help the skin regenerate and (my favorite) reduce the signs of aging. When I slather this stuff on my hands, I’m confident that my makeup subject feels the velvety hands of a dainty makeup artist, not the rough digits of a rock climber.

Mineral Flowers is available at Watson’s as well as Beauty by SM in Megamall, Mall of Asia, Makati, Cubao and North Edsa.

Chocolate without the guilt? Bring it on!

A chocoholic's delight!

I’ve been treating myself to a lot of chocolate lately—Reese’s, Ferrero Rocher, Kit Kat, and my recent and only guiltless discovery—Montagne Jeunesse Chocolate Mud Masque.Because I’ve been working and working out under the sun the past couple of weeks, my skin is in dire need of moisture. So I ripped open this spa-in-a-sachet and slathered the chocolate goodness on my face layer by layer by layer (I must have put about five). Now I know what it feels like to be a pastry chef.

I puttered about my apartment waiting for the properties of the mask to sink in (deep cleansers to draw out the skin’s sins, shea and cocoa butter to moisturize, and the yummy smell of chocolate to make you want to actually eat chocolate. ), after which I rinsed off the brown mask with warm water. The upside: My skin looked lighter by half a shade (no kidding! Was my skin THAT dirty?), and it felt softer. The downside: the mask looked and felt like chocolate that I ended up popping a Ferrero Rocher into my mouth as soon as I patted my face dry.

Do you want to experience this calorie-free chocolate treat? Tell me in three sentences why you want to try the Montagne Jeunesse Chocolate Mud Masque. If your answer is sweet enough, I’ll give you an entire box of this yummy delight!

Montagne Jeunesse Chocolate Mud Masque, P78/pack is available at leading drugstores and department stores.

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