What's inside my makeup retouch bag

I'm working on a huge, exciting launch today! I'm writing this right before I get dressed haha. Please do follow me on Instagram @lizlanuzo to see what's going to happen later this afternoon. ;)

Anyway, since I'll be out all day in an event that will be heavily photographed, I thought I'd show you what's inside my retouch kit. I don't bring ALL the stuff I use for my face, just the few key ones that I either need to intensify later (for photo-ops) or retouch when they fade! Bringing everything is a mistake I've made before. In fact, most of the makeup just ended up being dead weight in my bag. I like to travel light, so if I don't need it, I ain't gonna bring it.

The bag I'm using is this leather Makeup Pouch from Katre (P850). It's lightweight and elegant, just the way I like my pouches. ^_^ At first I wasn't sure if I'm into the oxblood color but I figured it's a classic. Plus, it's not too kikay to house my other things on other days (watercolor paint, fountain pens, and pencils, cough)! The size is perfect too - roomy but it doesn't occupy too much space in a hand bag.

See? How pretty is that. I'd love to see the other colors in person one day. Here's what's inside!

I retouch with powder foundation, normally, but during events I need something that looks more photogenic and has zero SPF. That's where the Laura Mercier Loose Powder comes in! I like to use a fluffy brush like the Zoeva Luxe Face Definer with it. This brush can also help me apply my blush (MAC Pro Longwear Blush in Stay Pretty) and contour powder (Happy Skin Sculptacular) later in the day.

Pro tip: if you're going out early to do some prep for your event, don't apply your blush and contour powder when you leave the house. You can add those right before the event starts so that your makeup looks fresh! Retouched makeup simply does not look at fresh as when it's first dabbed on.

That doesn't apply to foundation, however. Your face base actually looks a lot better after a couple of hours once it melts on your skin! It looks more natural and less like you slathered a living mask on.

I also packed a hydrating sheer lip balm (Benefit Lolli Balm) and the lipstick I'm going to wear today (Pixi Semi-Matte in Haruka Pink). I'd usually just wear a sheer lip balm when I step out of the house, then add the lipstick later. Why? So my lips don't dry and flake out prematurely! Sheer lip balms are also a lot more comfortable. You won't need to worry about anything.

Miscellaneous: super important to have a travel version of the scent you're wearing and a concealer on the off chance it gets wiped out. I have a DKNY Be Delicious vial here as well as the MAC Pro Longwear Concealer.

And that is that. ^_^ What do you bring in your retouch bag? Do you tend to pack all your makeup when you leave the house?

FOTD: Clean and quick

Sorry if my blog is a little boring this week. I'm working on two events over the weekend, so I barely have time to photograph and sit down to write amazing things as per usual (humor me lol). Seriously though, everything should be back to normal next week - ahhhh, September! I'll be able to spend more time to blog once things quiet down. This whole month has been intense!

Anyway, today, thought I'd share what I used for a quick and clean face I wore last week. I was just off to have afternoon tea with beauty bloggers, so I knew it was going to be very casual and fun. We chikas are very chill when it comes to makeup even though our blogs would show otherwise haha. I for one love a quick routine with the most flattering products I have at my disposal.

And this, my friends, is what I'm talking about. Everything you see here is part of my current core routine! I switch out products depending on where I'm going and what I need to test, of course, but this is pretty much what I grab when I only have 15-20 minutes tops to do my makeup. They're easy to apply and they stay on all day without fading or smudging. Ain't that what we all need for a daily face?

For my face base, I typically use two concealers: the MAC Studio Finish Concealer for blemishes and the Benefit Fake Up! Concealer for eye bags. I love the Fake Up because I don't need to wear eye cream underneath! It's very rich and hydrating, but it doesn't melt down my face even if I've been out for hours. I also love its brightening properties.

Before concealing though I put on the Happy Skin ZZ Cream. It's brightening and gives the prettiest dewy finish! I set everything with the Don't Get Mad, Get Even Powder Foundation, also from Happy Skin. Both products has SPF20++ which is a decent number for me as I rarely get exposed to the sun for very long.

Then, I contour with the Happy Skin Sculptacular Kit and finish it off with a blush with a bit of gold shimmer like the Benefit Rockateur. I also love the Ellana mineral blush in Obsession! That and Rockateur are my staples.

I usually wear at least one eye shadow color but since I recently blogged about my favorite singles and haven't put them back in their places yet (derp), I skipped the color. I just used the Shiseido Natural Eyebrow Pencil (sooooo convenient and reliable!), the new K-Palette 1-Day Magic Liquid Eyeliner (this doesn't smudge and the new brush is awesome), and the NARS eyeliner in Barrow Street. Mint eyeliner brightens up my eyes, I find, making them look a lot less tired.

It's important not to wear too much though. It looks weird to have a green waterline!  

And finally, the lips! I used the L'Oreal Collection Star Lipstick in Barely Coral. Such a lovely, lovely shade. I mentioned in my review that it's a bit streaky and not very long-wearing, so I first layered on the Make Up For Ever Aqua Lip Pencil in 22C to make it opaque and to increase the wear time. This is a really good lip liner! I don't have to worry about retouching whenever I wear it, plus it doesn't change the color of the lipstick all that much since it's a pale pink. Highly recommend it.

Sooo there you have it! Hope you enjoyed this FOTD. ^_^ I have a meeting in Binondo today (it's so far huhu) but we gotta do what we need to do, amirite.

How's your week been so far?

Prices + photos: The MAC Sharon & Kelly Osbourne Collection

When I think of Kelly Osbourne, I think of lavender. It's only fitting that her first collection with MAC would involve her trademark color! The packaging features the shade that she's known for, and of course, has a lipstick called Dodgy Girl - a lovely lavender with a satin finish.

This lipstick would only truly flatter fair skin tones, but if you love lavender lippies then this  would be fun to have. It's also nice to mix with hot pink to create lilac-tinged pink lips as these would work better for Asian coloring.  ^_^

A lip + face swatch of Dodgy Girl. It's a fun color but definitely not a daily shade for me!

A lip + face swatch of Dodgy Girl. It's a fun color but definitely not a daily shade for me!

The Osbourne Collection is a mother-daughter collaboration though, so you must also check out Sharon's line too. Hers is housed in red packaging and features a gorgeous neutral eyeshadow quad. She also Patentpolish Lip Pencils - jumbo sticks with the shine of a lip gloss and the convenience of a twist-up crayon. 

Check out the product pics, descriptions, and complete prices in the galleries! 

Aaaaand I'm out. I have a super early meeting today so I need to get going! Hope your mid-week isn't as rushed as mine! And lemme know what you like from this collection, alright?

The Happy Skin Zit Zapper Cream

Do you suffer from adult acne? If  your acne is of a serious and stubborn nature, it's really best to go see a dermatologist. Cystic acne is typically caused by hormonal imbalance -  the doctor will most likely prescribe oral medication instead of just topical treatments. If, however, your "normal" pimples are caused by a reaction to a new product or just bacterial build-up on your skin, creams and solutions should easily dry up your problem.

It's useful not to confuse the two, so you know why all the products you've used before simply doesn't work. Go see a derma to be sure! 

 Anyway, if you're looking for a foundation that won't aggravate your acne while covering it up at the same time, you must try out the Happy Skin Zit Zapper Cream (P1,299). This contains salicylic acid as its top zit-fighting ingredient, as well as grapefruit and yoghurt extracts. It doesn't have silicone so, if your skin is sensitive to it, you don't have to worry about getting unwelcome reactions.

I love this foundation even though I don't get that many pimples. It's good for maintenance and prevention if you have average skin! Troubled skin will also benefit from its hypoallergenic formula. Here's a quick run down for your reference. ^_^

Finish and texture. The ZZ Cream's finish is demi matte immediately after application, but turns dewy after a couple of hours. I noticed fine shimmer in the formula, which brightens up my skin nicely without making me look like an oily mess.

The lightweight texture doesn't feel like a heavy mask on my face even when I've been out the whole day. Oh, this doesn't have silicone so prepare to spend a bit more effort blending it properly. I find that fingers apply this foundation best! Try a wet sponge, too. Brushes don't really work well with silicone-free bases.

Shade availability. There's only one yellow-toned shade and it matches me nicely. It looks about one step lighter on me when I put it on, but it blends on my skin after a few minutes. I wear a powder foundation on top to make it look even more seamless.

The shade would work with fair to medium morena skin, but if you're really dark (say, NC40 up), the ZZ Cream might look too light already. Make sure to swatch it on your face before you buy!

Coverage. Coverage is sheer to medium. That's how this product can get away with a one-shade-fits-all proposition. It covers redness and evens out the skin (again, great if you have acne), but it doesn't cover up blemishes. You'd still need a concealer.

Wearing the ZZ Cream here under the Happy Skin Don't Get Mad Get Even Powder Foundation. I love this combo and have been on it this whole month! The finish is super smooth and quite flawless without being heavy.

Wearing the ZZ Cream here under the Happy Skin Don't Get Mad Get Even Powder Foundation. I love this combo and have been on it this whole month! The finish is super smooth and quite flawless without being heavy.

Wear time. I've worn this for 10 hours and I didn't notice major fading. I still get oily after three hours, but that's easily blotted away. Wear a primer underneath if you're extremely oily. Dry to combi skin can just set and retouch with powder.

Sun protection and packaging. It has SPF20 PA++, a decent number for everyday wear. The packaging is compact, plus the tube dispenses a controlled amount of product. I waste nothing when I use this!

Overall, I highly recommend the Happy Skin ZZ Cream as an everyday foundation for those who suffer from acne, or have acne every so often. It evens and brightens the skin beautifully while staying put all day (with a bit of retouching of course). Great stuff. Try it out if you're on the market for something that will make your skin look good while defying your zits!

Does this look like something you'd try?

My first mall makeup demo: The Watsons Doll Glam Event with Pixy Cosmetics and Heroine Make

The last two months saw me doing a couple of things for the first time. One of them was facilitating a quick watercolor workshop for a heritage brand (I'll blog about that as soon as I get pics!) and the other one is holding a makeup workshop...in a mall's activity centre, on a Saturday! I've done makeup workshops before but this was my first time to do it in a major, open-to-the-public event. I still feel overwhelmed as I was choosing the pictures for this post. Can't believe it happened!

The makeup demo happened last July 26 at SM North EDSA during the Watsons Doll Glam event. It was for Pixy Cosmetics and Heroine Make, two new Japanese brands that just arrived in the PH.  You must check them out in key Watsons stores when you get the chance! I swear by their affordable makeup, and I'm not just saying that. I carefully choose the brands I work with because if I can't confidently recommend them to you then it doesn't make sense collaborating.

Anyway, here's what happened if you're interested! ^_^ I had so much fun even though I was sweaty and nervous the whole time haha. Yeah, so much for glamour!

Here's the lovely host introducing Pixy and Heroine Make. We talked about the new brands - Pixy is a Japanese-Indonesian line of cosmetics that's actually the biggest in Indonesia. It specialises in everyday, flattering makeup that's designed for Asian skin tones. So yes, if you're looking for affordable, perfect-fitting foundies and gorgeous lipsticks, Pixy is worth checking out.

Heroine Make on the other hand is huge in Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore. If you've shopped in Sasa or Bonjour in Hong Kong, you can't possibly miss it! It's also available in ALL the Japanese drugstores I've visited. It's that popular. Once you try the Long & Curl Mascara and their eyeliner, you'll understand why.  I also love the translucent powder!

Here's the demo commencing. I applied the Herione Make BB Cream as base, then set it with the Pixy Ultimate Cake foundation for a flawless, long-wearing finish. Tellie of Beauty by Tellie is my model that day btw! She's so pretty, and everyone was asking if she's Filipina haha.

Surprised by the turn out! Didn't see this many people while I was doing the demo. It was also shown on the stage's big screen live.

The finished look is so Japanese - flawless, creamy skin, with wide dainty eyes and lips. The Japanese are famous for their crazy fashion sense but in Tokyo, their makeup is just like this. They don't like loud eyeshadows and lipsticks all that much, instead opting for flowery pinks and big eyes with the use of mascara and eyeliner.

Here's what I used!

Face: Heroine Make Protect UV Mineral BB Cream SPF50 PA+++ as base, Pixy Ultimate Cake Foundation to set,

Cheeks: Pixy Blush in Carnation Bloom

Eye definition: the brown eyeshadow in the Pixy Eye Shadow palette in Sorrel Brown for the eyebrows, Heroine Make eyeliner, Heroine Make Long & Curl Mascara

Eyeshadows: Pixy Sorrel Brown Eye Shadow duo - peach on the lids and matte brown on the crease

Lips: Pixy Semi-Matte Lipstick in Haruka (so pretty! And only P225!)

With the Beauty Mates! Love these girls, they've been so helpful throughout!

With the Beauty Mates! Love these girls, they've been so helpful throughout!

So that's what happened. ^_^ Hope you enjoyed my coverage, and please do check out these new brands when you get the chance! I'll update this space for the complete list of branches as soon as I get them.

Have you tried Pixy and Heroine Make already?

Freshly scanned stuff

I've been hemming and hawing about getting a scanner for a while now, but today is the day I finally gave in. I don't know why I made such a fuss about it when 1) scanners aren't that expensive and 2) I need them for work and for my art! Seriously, sometimes I can be such a poopyhead.

Anyway. Here are some of the things I just scanned. ^_^ Now that I have this machine, I feel more confident about taking on commissions. So if you would like a portrait, wedding invitation (or any type really), personal stationery (cards, tags, letter sets), and notebook covers commissioned, hit me up! Let's see how we can work together. I'm at lizlanuzo [at] projectvanity.com. 

Lady and Wolf

Lady and Wolf

Plantasia (watercolor and drawing ink)

Plantasia (watercolor and drawing ink)

Indigo and Gold (watercolor, acrylic pen, and calligraphy ink)

Indigo and Gold (watercolor, acrylic pen, and calligraphy ink)

Origami (watercolor and calligraphy ink)

Origami (watercolor and calligraphy ink)

Hope you're having a fantastic long weekend!

Reader question: What is a good, affordable contour powder and highlighter?

Hello Liz! I am into cosplaying, and recently I have also been into putting make up on my other cosplayer friends. I just realized how essential bronzers and highlighters are, especially if I want to put some effects on their faces, to look more anime-ish.
Can you recommend highlighter/bronzer brands? I am quite on a tight budget at present so I would appreciate affordable ones.  - Karumichan

Hi Karumichan! Oh, you must share your cosplays some time! I admire the dedication that cosplayers have for their craft. I can only imagine all the resources and detail that go into creating just one costume! Of course, makeup is an important part of the whole look. You're right in saying that bronzers and highlighting powders can alter a person's appearance dramatically - I think it'd take considerable facial sculpting to copy certain characters!

I know you requested for shimmery products, but might I recommend a matte contour powder and highlighter? Matte powders are more realistic in person and more photogenic. Traditional bronzers/highlighters tend to look too shiny in photos, therefore taking away from the intended effect. 

Currently, my fave sculpting duo is the Happy Skin Feeling Sculptacular Face Contour Kit. It's sheer at first pass so it looks more natural, just like you were born with a defined bone structure. It's quite pricey at P1,199 though. You might wanna check out the Ellana Mineral Blush Dup in Light Roast/ Butter Rum Coffee (P460) instead! It's less than 500 bucks and you get A LOT of product. I have another Ellana duo which I use regularly but I haven't even made a dent yet.

Light Roast is a warm, toasted brown with a slight copper undertone. It's the kind of color that would suit most skin tones as it doesn't lean too orange. Butter Rum Coffee, on the other hand, looks like a chalky white at first glance but it actually has super fine gold shimmer that gives a nice glow. This is intended as a highlighter but I also like to use it as an illuminator all over my face, after foundation.

The formula is super smooth as you can see in the swatches. ^_^ I like applying this with a typical fluffy blush brush to get a more diffused effect - this is rather pigmented so use a light hand. Staying power is quite nice at 4-5 hours in case you're wondering.

This pressed mineral compact can be a bit powdery so just make sure to tap out the excess before applying the color to your face.

And that's that. Hope you found this useful, Karumichan! PV readers, please recommend your fave contour/higlight duos as well!

Pale n' pretty: the L'Oreal Color Riche Collection Star Lipsticks

How's your nude lipstick collection? Mine is dismal. I have hundreds of lipsticks at this point but I only have a small amount of true nudes that suit me. Even then, I barely wear them out, as they tend to be unflattering in photos. They look great in person but they make my face look larger once they're captured on cam!

So I hope you understand why I am burnt out with nude lipsticks. I'm not talking about MLBBs or just pale lipsticks ha - I'm talking about true nude colors that blank out my lips and blend in with my skin. That's why I was hopeful to receive a press kit of the L'Oreal Color Riche Collection Star Lipstick (P625), an Asia-exclusive collection of five colors that promises to be the perfect nude for our warm skin tone.

How different can these be from all the nudes I've tried before?

Quite a bit, it turns out.

 

Each of the five shades were picked to be five beauty icons' perfect nudes: Jennifer Lopez's "Barely Greige", Doutzen Kroes' "Barely Pink", Fan Bing Bing's "Barely Coral", Sonam Kapoor's "Barely Plum", and Gong Li's "Barely Moka". I find all of the colors beautiful - but are any of them actually a true nude on my lips?

Well, no. I don't think that's a problem though as long as you go in a L'Oreal counter being totally aware of that. Otherwise you'd be disappointed! If you take the marketing speak out of the equation, these lipsticks are all lovely in their own right. The colors as well as the packaging are both impressively sophisticated, so much that you wouldn't have guessed they're drugstore. I mean, look at them! The gold bullets are sleek and classy with each celebrities' signatures on them.

I find the formula a bit streaky though. I don't have pigmented lips which means I've given passing rates to other streaky lipsticks, but for shades as light as these, streakiness can be a deal-breaker. I recommend using a lip liner or a lip primer to get the three lightest shades (Greige, Pink, Coral) to look solid. A base would also increase the staying power of these lippies - otherwise, they just last about 2-3 hours on me.

But I'm just grousing. They are streaky up close, but appear totally fine when you look at the whole face. And check out the pretty colors! I've said this time and again: I don't mind a so-so formula if the color is interesting enough to wear. These Collection Star lippies don't disappoint in that regard.

Here are my lip swatches and color notes! ^_^

Barely Greige is a frosty, semi-sheer beige lipstick with golden shimmer. Sounds like a bad idea on the get go, I know, but it surprisingly works for me! As long as I wear heavy eye makeup, that is. Greige is the color that's the most nude on me out of the five. 

I look surprised in this picture because I AM surprised. I take random shots of my face when I try out something new. I totally expected greige to make me look dead in the picture, but on the contrary - it looks fab! I'll try wearing this out next time. I chose another lipstick to go with this FOTD because I needed something long-wearing.

Barely Pink is a white-based, pastel, Nicki Minaj pink. This would be a nude lipstick for you if you are alabaster fair. I wouldn't recommend it to typically warm Asian skin tones, unless you're going for Ms Minaj's statement look.

I like pinks like this but they just don't love me back, ya know?

Barely Coral is my favorite out of the five! It's a peachy coral with a white base - it reminds me of MAC Peachstock, actually. I'll show you an FOTD with this one time! It looks so streaky and blah in the close up swatch but I swear it's more fabulous when zoomed out.

Barely Moka is a gorgeous reddish chocolate shade that would be the perfect nude for dark skin tones. If your fair to mid-toned though, it would be a nice throwback to the 90s lip. It's chic and perfect for the upcoming fall season.

Barely Plum is my second fave shade. It's a pale mauvey color that gently toes the line between gorgeous lips and zombie lips. I think I'd go for gorgeous, haha. It's warm and pigmented enough to work for my skin tone.

Overall, even amidst all my complaining, I do enjoy the L'Oreal Color Riche Collection Star Lipsticks. ^_^ I highly recommend you check out Barely Coral, Barely Plum, Barely Moka, and heck, even Barely Greige just for the spirit of adventure! Just remember to wear a base or to bring a tube to retouch during the day. 

Thoughts? What's your bet?

Singles unite! My picks for the best one-eyeshadow look

Many women are intimidated by eyeshadows because of the seeming complexity that goes into applying them. There's a lid wash, a crease color, a brow bone color, and goodness gracious - even an outer-v! What's the frick is an outer-v? Is that a hipster restaurant serving gourmet chips? Haha, seriously though, eyeshadows can be confounding when you're just starting out with makeup. I feel you. 

Even if you're well-versed on the topic, however, ain't nobody got time for doing full eye makeup every single day! But here's the thing. If you have an extra minute or two, I highly recommend wearing a single eyeshadow just to contour your eyes, perhaps brighten them, and make them stand out more. It doesn't take a lot of time to put on a single eyeshadow. I swear you can even just use your fingers!

When I do it (and I do it A LOT), I choose these ones from my collection. ^_^ Check 'em out!

Bronze and taupes are the best colors for single-eyeshadow looks. They contour the eyes, giving them depth and a bit of sparkle. My absolute favorite single would be MAC Mulch. It just works so well to deepen my eyes plus it flatters my skin tone.

The Ellana MMP is awesome because you can also use it as a lipstick topper, as a bronzer, and as body shimmer when mixed with lotion. And yeah. the L'Oreal Bronzed Taupe and Maybelline Bad To The Bronze look almost alike, but they are vastly different when it comes to formula. BTTB is quicker to use because it's a cream; BT is more blendable since it's a powder.

Beiges and golds are amazing lid washes. You can wear them all over to just dispel the darkness in your eye area. What a lot of people don't know is the lids darken too, just like eye bags. If you don't conceal them and/or add some sort of eyeshadow on top, they make your eyes look droopy and tired.

So yeah, spare some time to add a lid wash, at least! These four are the best lid washes I've come across.

Some color notes: the Inglot #11 is a sandy gold, MAC All That Glitters is a champagne, Shu Uemura Soft Gold is exactly what the name says, while Inglot #15 is a gold duo chrome that flashes a bit orange. All are amazing!

Pink eyeshadow also does wonders to brighten the eyes. It gives off a sweet, dainty vibe, perfect with cute and feminine outfits. Finish off your look with a demure pink lipstick and you will be irresistible like candy! Well maybe not but I trust you got my point haha.

I usually apply single pinks on my lids, blending up to the crease (same with bronzes). It's too weird to apply pink all over the eye area.

Clinique's Pink and Plenty is a beautiful peachy pink with super fine gold shimmer. Maybelline Inked in Pink is a cooler, silvery pink. Both look great on my skin tone!

Purples and blues are edgier and therefore more dramatic choices. Most people would use them with other eyeshadows, but I love to apply them alone, blending up to the crease with something like the MAC217. Instant smoky eyes! I prefer them better than just plain black eyeshadows.

DSC06220.jpg

I love the Shiseido RS321 cream eyeshadow - it's kinda transparent, but it somehow makes my eyes look deep-socketed, like they're straight out of a starving Victor Hugo character. The finish is almost matte! The L'Oreal one in Purple Priority is a recent discovery. It's so beautiful, promise. The Clinique Massive Midnight is an old favorite. It's a navy blue eyeshadow that I love to wear as a thick line along my upper lashes for an understated smoky look.

So there you go. Hope you enjoyed the swatch fest! ^_^ Would love to know your favorite singles as well! What eyeshadow would you choose if you can only use one eyeshadow for the rest of your life?

I'd go for MAC Mulch. ;)

It's a taupey sensation: the Joey Healey Luxe Brow Powder

Early this year I cut off all my dyed hair and stuck to my natural, brown-black one. Since then, I realized that most of my eyebrow makeup only just barely look decent on me since most of them have a reddish or blonde tint. Well, I had dyed hair for the last three or four years so that's only to be exepected!

If you tend to mismatch your hair and eyebrows, just, don't. Reddish brows look weird with hair that doesn't have any red in it. Likewise, ashy brows look off if your hair is dyed a completely different color. I think that getting great brows isn't just about learning how to shape and fill them in; it's also finding the right shade for your skin and hair color.

I do fall off the wagon every now and then because I have to review some products, but thank goodness that the Joey Healey Luxe Brow Powder in Corduroy (P1,472 from Luxola) kept me on track. Joey Healey is an eyebrow stylist based in New York. His eponymous brand is, of course, all about creating the perfect eyebrows! His Luxe Brow Powder is a stiff-texture powder that has a soft, natural finish. It can be intensified as needed, but it is meant to be built up in layers.

It also wears well during the day as it barely fades. The formula can be used wet or dry according to your preference.

Yes, it's quite expensive for an eyebrow powder, although you do get four grams of product. This will take you years to finish even if you use it everyday - it's almost as much as a powder blush! I would understand if you get stuck on the price. I mean, if you're not a makeup artist you really wouldn't need this much brow powder in one go.

Corduroy looks like a pale grey in the pan. Once it's on the brows though, it matches my hair perfectly. It's an ashy brown, more like taupe with zero red in it.

Love my natural brows here! I'm happy to discover Joey Healey over at Luxola, but I would honestly not have purchased it for myself if I didn't get it for review purposes. There are a lot of amazing eyebrow products out there for much less, y'know? If you're liking this one though, you must get it using the code LX-LIZ to get 25% off storewide at Luxola. Yes, storewide! Am not sure yet how long this code is valid for, but do use it as soon as you get the chance. ^_^

The future of eyeliner: the Benefit They're Real Push-Up Liner

The beauty blogging world is divided on the subject of the groundbreaking Benefit They're Real Push-Up Liner (P1,200). Some people love it, while some hate it with a passion. And I? I love it. I love what Benefit tried to do here and how, as far as I'm concerned, they succeeded. 

This "lash-hugging gel liner pen" is the first of its kind with a bendy, rubber tip where the black gel is discharged. You need to twist up to get the gel out - I had to do it dozens of times to get the product going - but once it's out there a few twists is all it takes to get the right amount.

I love the bendy tip because it can draw the finest of lines, and thicken them up if I wish. Once this dries, it stays. It might flake a little after five or six hours, but this has NEVER smudged on me after almost two months of using this! I also like that the pen delivers a velvety matte black line that's immediately dark on the get go. No need to layer repeatedly to make it dramatic.

The top photo shows the Push-Up Liner, freshly applied. Looks lovely eh? The photo below shows it after eight hours - that day, I've been out since 9am working on an event, and after (literally) sweating it out for seven hours, I got home by 5pm. You'll notice that the liner's tail end has sort of faded a bit, but there is zero smudging. My eyes look tired and the concealer has creased, but the liner is intact and clean!

The Benefit Push-Up does have a learning curve, however. It's not instantly easy to apply the product if you're not used to the tip yet. But once you learn the right combination of the amount of product, pressure, and angle, it'll be a breeze!

So how do I use it? I find that a tiny amount peeking out of the tip is enough for one eye. I don't actually need to apply a lot of pressure, although my instinct initially told me to rub it in since the formula is quite thick, like your typical gel liner in a pot! But I only get skid marks on my lines when I glide the tip on too hard. I only need to use a gentle hand to get a smooth, even line on my eyes.

We're living in the future.

We're living in the future.

The formula dries up quickly so it's important to work fast. Once it sets, it's a pain to remove. I must mention that the formula is non-washable which means that you need a proper makeup remover to take it off.

A few more tips: clean the rubber applicator with a tissue or wipe after every use. It's tougher to apply when the product has crusted on the top! You also must screw on the cap tightly once you're done. The gel liner inside dries up too easily so exposing it to air might ruin it.

Overall, I highly recommend the Benefit They're Real! Push-Up Liner to anyone who loves the matte, intense, and easy-to-control look of gel eyeliner but has so far not mastered it using the traditional brush and pot setup. This liner makes the whole thing a lot easier, IMHO, after a bit of practice.

The formula is long-wearing on me but it bears to know that some women have complained about it smudging like crazy. IDK how that could be when this sets into a solid crust! Well. Different strokes for different folks I guess!

Love this stuff. Let me know what you think!