Beauty Innovations: the BDJ Box for September 2014

Let's be real here. At this point in my life, I have every beauty product I can possibly need. I've found everything I can think of using for myself, everything that targets all my issues so well that I don't even have them anymore. At least, I'm not as conscious of them as I used to be! The thought of using yet another beauty product or service makes me sigh. I mean, what else can it do for me that something else hasn't done already?

But it's not always about me. It's rarely about me, in fact. This blog started out because I wanted to share beauty discoveries to anyone who cared to listen. After six years it has evolved to become a sort of database for products available here in the Philippines, and it would be a waste to stop adding to it just because I'm happy with what I have. Some of us might be done exploring the world of beauty.

Not all of us are. 

So! Today I want to talk about the BDJ Box for September 2014! The theme is Beauty Innovations, featuring the latest releases from well-loved drugstore brands. The innovations are either entirely new or better versions of existing formulas. They definitely deserve a closer look, if you're into affordable skin and hair care.

Let's run through the contents. ^_^

Cream Silk Daily Treatment Conditioner (P134, full size). This is supposed to combine the thoroughness of a weekly hair treatment with the speed of a daily conditioner.

Jergens Ultra Healing Lotion (P88) and Daily Moisture (P152 full size). I believe I've reviewed the Ultra Healing Lotion before and loved it. Jergens makes deeply hydrating moisturisers that jolt even the driest skin types back to life!

Beach Hut Clear Spray (P390). It's hot and sunny year-round in the PH so use anything with SPF30 or higher EVERYDAY. I don't think I'll be using this one though as I got allergies the last time I used Beach Hut.

Pond's Dewy Rose Gel (P150, 10g). I was excited when I heard that Pond's is coming out with a gel moisturizer. As you know, I love gel formulas for my skin because they are lightweight and easily absorbed! First impressions about the Rose Gel: while it is light and indeed in gel form, it packs a whole lotta moisture. It took a while for it to be absorbed. I'd even say this is a heavy moisturizer which is an oxymoron since it's a gel.

This is good for all skin types, but if you're oily use a tiny bit only or use it at night instead.

Dove Intense Repair Daily Hair Vitamins (P75 per 6 capsules, 65ml each). This I haven't used yet; I plan to review this sometime in the near future! It's like Dove's hair serum except it's oilier and it looks more exciting with the interactive packaging.

Godiva LicoWhite Whitening Facial Wash (P85) and Toner (P60). This has Licorice Root extract that is supposed to help you get clearer and brighter skin.

FS Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner (P299). This is my favorite thing in the whole box! I haven't had ANY FS makeup ever, so yeah, first time. I swatched this and loved the super creamy, mousse-y consistency. Hope it's long-wearing as it claims! Will def review.

FS Single Eyeshadow (P150). This is a light aqua blue shade. Would've loved something more wearable like a neutral color, perhaps.

PAC Makeover worth P1,500. It's not for me, but I'm sure those new to makeup would appreciate a new look.

Overall, the September BDJ Box is just alright. I would've wanted to see more makeup or more unique finds, but I guess it's a challenge to do that month by month when there aren't that many new cosmetic brands to begin with. 

Thoughts are welcome!

The Pimple Killers

Back then, if I wake up with a pimple, my first reaction is KILL IT WITH FIRE. KILL KILL KILL. I would want to get rid of it asap, so while it’s gross and everybody says I shouldn’t, I prick it. My logic? I’m going to wear makeup later anyway. I can cover up redness but not an obvious bump.

It is only after I prick the pimple that I apply a topical treatment, usually something aggressive like tretinoin or salicylic acid. It's a vicious, sick cycle. That's how I got so many blemishes before! I antagonize my pimples but touching them, pricking them, and then irritating them even more with concentrated treatments. They took longer to heal!

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Now I've found a better way to deal with acne. When one pops up I just apply a gel that disinfects and calms it, and maybe speed up the drying process. I don't touch the pimple otherwise. I allow it to run its course - typically 2-3 days, which isn't too long anyway. When it's about to burst (yuck), that's when I pop it, then I disinfect and calm it again with the acne gel. 

This technique leaves lighter blemishes on my face, if any. It's the fastest way to heal pimples (barring cystic ones) that I've found. ^_^ Here are the products I use to shorten the life span of my zits!

VMV Hypoallergenics ID Monolaurin Gel (P710/200ml). This is a disinfectant that soothes most skin irritations. It's great for acne but I also use it for rashes, insect bites, and chicken skin. Such a handy product!

Etude House AC Clinic Intense Pink Powder Spot (~P300). I swear, this smells like calamine lotion. It feels and looks like calamine lotion, too. I wouldn't be surprised if it is what it seems to be! It's pretty effective though. It takes down redness and swelling quickly, while sorta drawing out the pus inside the pimple. I use this after I've popped a ripe 'un to keep the swelling down.

The Etude House AC Clinic is an affordable yet thorough line of zit-fighting products. Love the Red Spot Balm too!

The Etude House AC Clinic is an affordable yet thorough line of zit-fighting products. Love the Red Spot Balm too!

Estee Lauder Clear Difference Blemish Treatment. I don't know the exact price of this one but I'm sure it's expensive. Totally worth it though! This dries pimples super fast since it has salicylic acid. It can also be used under makeup since it dries completely and invisibly. This is my favorite out of all the stuff I featured here.

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Sebamed Clear Face Anti-Pimple Gel (P300). Mild and non-stinging, this should disinfect your pimples without the discomfort. It also has drying ingredients but nothing too dramatic. This is good to use if you have dry skin! Because yes, dry skin gets acne too. You don't want to torch it with intense ingredients.

And that is that. Would love to know your favorite pimple killers as well! ^_^

My current fave cheek booster: Benefit Majorette Blush

Have you heard? Benefit Cosmetics now has two new branches: one in Alabang Town Center (their biggest one to date), and a pop-up in Central Square, The Fort! Now you don't need to go too far to get your Benefit fix. ;) Come to enjoy the ambiance as well since the brand has one of the most beautiful interiors this side of town. 

The brand also launched a few new products in time for the fall season. One of them is the Benefit Majorette Cream Blush (P1,600), a cute compact that gives your cheeks a peachy flush on the go! Seriously, you can stop anywhere and use your (clean) fingers to swipe on the color. That's it. It's one of the easiest-to-use cream blushes I've ever come across which is why I took it to me when I traveled recently!

The compact is bulkier than I'd like, but it does house a big enough mirror and a domed pan for easier finger access to the blush. You can of course use your synthetic hair brushes if you prefer! Now I find the formula amazing because:

  • The texture is fluffy and super duper easy to blend. I'm not kidding. It feels like a silicone-y cream but goes on like a stain in just one swipe.
  • The pigmentation is quite good. One swipe is enough per cheek but I like to build up the color with two swipes because...  
  • I LOVE THE COLOR. It's actually a peach bordering on orange if you do a thick swatch, but goes on as a natural peachy-pink flush. It looks fantastic on my skin tone! I think it's one of those universal shades that can work on anyone.
  • It smells amazing, like a fresh field of flowers with a zesty citrus note.
  • It stays on for about 4-5 hours on me. That's a pretty long time for a cream blush!

I took it on the ultimate stress test in Singapore. The weather was considerably muggier there compared to Manila, but Majorette stayed put even after three solid hours of walking outside. No aircon ha. It started fading by the fourth hour but it was only completely gone after five. Not bad!

Ehem, don't my cheeks look great? <3

Ehem, don't my cheeks look great? <3

I love that it can be worn under or over powder. Personally I like on top since it doesn't disturb my foundation anyway, but if you're very oily and want to extend the staying power, do set it with translucent powder.

Overall, I highly recommend the Benefit Majorette Blush if you love peachy-pink colors that are super easy to apply while staying put when you need it to. It's a no-brainer to retouch with AND can be a conversation piece whenever you take it out.

This is my blush-of-the-moment because , well, it's gorgeous! ^_^ Try it out in a Benefit counter soon. What do you think? Are you digging cream blushes like this?

Benefit is available in Greenbelt 5, TriNoma, Mall of Asia, Alabang Town Center, Central Square, Rustan;s Makati and Rustan's Shangri-la.

Watercolor Workshop by Liz, Episode 1

When I announced my watercolor workshop early this month, I expected only a few sign-ups. I know I'm not a professional, I've never been published or exhibited my works - but I wanted to share my passion for watercolor to anyone who could be remotely interested. I wanted others to know that they can paint, if only only knew where to start. 

That being said, I was surprised when more than my original target number of attendees signed up! I honestly didn't think that many people would be interested! A few couldn't make it because the workshop was moved to a later date due to the storm the other weekend, but still, the turn-out was great. It placed a lot of extra pressure on me - the good kind - to come up with a way to systematically teach them what I know so far. I am SO glad I invested in my reference books! 

Come Saturday morning, I got to meet the attendees and they were all awesome. Some girls have never painted before, while some have a little experience. One was in her teens, another was in her forties. It was inspiring to see them all wanting to learn something new. I can see that some of them are afraid of being terrible at painting, but at the end of the class, they seemed more excited to practice and apply what they learned.

That I think is the most amazing thing about all this: to meet people with the desire to learn, to do more and in so doing be more than the person who woke up that morning.

Below are a couple of paintings that Doms (left) and Krissy (right) did as soon as they got home. How pretty are these? And guess what, Krissy was telling me as soon as she came in last Saturday that she can not paint to save her life. HAH. Obviously not true! Read her blog post about it.

Below is a cupcake painting posted by Kara last night. This is a great idea no? Nothing could be more personal than hand-painted gift tags and cards.

The venue, Commune, is perfect for artsy events like this. The coffee was amazing and brunch was delicious! Ros, the owner, made sure that we had everything we needed. She was so gracious and patient with my requests as I was planning the workshop. I highly recommend Commune if you're interested in doing little shindigs like this. ;)

Paint, coffee, good food, and company - the recipe for the perfect Saturday morning

Paint, coffee, good food, and company - the recipe for the perfect Saturday morning

So that's what happened last Saturday! ^_^ I would definitely love to do this again in October. Hope you guys could join next time!

With my long-time friends, Madz, Kris, and Doms. <3 Thank you guys for coming! Wish we had more time to make chika.

With my long-time friends, Madz, Kris, and Doms. <3 Thank you guys for coming! Wish we had more time to make chika.

The Smackdown: Bifesta vs Bioderma

Ladies and gentlemen, here is a showdown that you’ve all been waiting for! On one side of the ring is Bifesta, our friendly drugstore micellar makeup remover from Japan. On the other side is Bioderma, a world-famous yet rather expensive micellar solution from France. Who wins? 

Both brands can be found in Watsons so availability is no longer a problem for Bioderma, which used to be just available online here. Bioderma will be out by next week. Both are effective in removing makeup without drying up the skin as well as brightening the complexion. No one gets a punch in the first round!

On the second round, Bifesta corners Bioderma on the ropes and delivers a solid hook on the jaw because it’s just so freakin' affordable at only P419 per 300ml bottle. Bioderma is P1,290 /250ml locally, which is quite a jump from the prices in France. (Naturally - the distributor has to pay overhead costs like shipping, taxes, rent, personnel, etc. plus the profit).

Bioderma bounces back strong by the third round, since it’s more efficient at removing makeup compared to Bifesta. A little goes a long way (one squirt), whereas I need to do two to three full pumps per cotton pad with Bifesta. This is quite a large difference! I don’t need to soak the pad with Bioderma to get it to remove one layer of makeup which makes it an economical choice. It has a more potent makeup-dissolving power compared to Bifesta!

At the end of the match, Bioderma knocks out Bifesta because it makes my skin noticeably clearer and brighter. I really felt the difference in my skin’s texture and suppleness after just a few days of Bioderma (the Sensibio to be specific)! It’s been two years since I last used this brand so this is quite a revelation. I honestly thought there wouldn’t be much difference between the two brands but yes, there is. Bioderma, for me, takes itself a step further than just a makeup remover. I consider this a skincare product with visible effects, versus Bifesta which is primarily a cleansing product.

In fact, sometimes I like to just rinse my face after using Bioderma. I don't use facial wash anymore so as not to completely remove the product on my skin. I swear my face looks fresher the morning after.

Don’t get me wrong ha. Bifesta is awesome and it will always have a spot in my beauty routine simply because it's inexpensive and effective at taking off makeup. But Bioderma is definitely better albeit more expensive. At the end of the day, it depends on what you want for your skin and how much you’re willing to spend for it. If you’re on a budget, Bifesta is perfectly amazing. If you can push it a bit more, Bioderma will not disappoint.

What do you think - are you on Team Bifesta or Team Bioderma?

Revlon Colorstay Moisture Stain

The best beauty products for you are the ones that you can afford. There are so, so many options out there for different budgets and preferences that you're sure to find something that performs well for the price it's going for! It ain't going to be better than it's more expensive counterpart (usually) but it could get close enough to serve you well.

That being said, I've been wanting to try the Dior Fluid Sticks ever since a couple of friends raved about it. Honestly though I can't bring myself to buy it at P1,900 considering the 300-strong lipstick stash I already have. I still do want it though - I've been having this internal struggle with myself for the longest time! Ugh. I even went to a Dior counter to try it out on my lips and guys, it truly is marvellous.

However, it's not unique. I think the first to roll out this type of formula was Yves Saint Laurent with their Glossy Stain, which of course was followed by a cheaper copycat like the L'Oreal Paris Shine Caresse Lip Stain. Finally, Revlon caught up and released the Colorstay Moisture Stain (P625) last spring, and it's now in the Philippines!

This has a wet, tacky consistency when freshly applied on the lips, but it settles down quickly to become more like a glossy lipstick. It's very pigmented in the first pass alone (much more pigmented than the L'Oreal Shine Caresse) and becomes a solid stain after a few hours of wear.

It's also non-drying on my normal lips. There's definitely no need for lip balm or primer. As for the packaging, it looks classy and sturdy! The wands feel plush and snug as they apply the gloss-slash-lipstcik. ^_^

Pigmentation is ace

Pigmentation is ace

In other words, it's pretty good! My only complaint is that my lips have to be completely dry and devoid of any product before application. Otherwise, the product doesn't stick on the wet parts, thus becoming patchy and uneven. That's why my last two swatches here (the red and plum) looks clumsy. There were some left-over product on my lips after the first two swatches - this affected how the latter two went on.

So yeah I just really need to make sure that my kissers are clear. Here are my swatches and color notes!

Milan Moment is a pale orange - nice as a concept but I never can't seem to pull off this particular color on my skin tone. It's pretty though!

Rio Rush is a playful bright pink which suits my medium yellow skin to a T. It should work for most skin tones since it has a warm tone.

Shanghai Moment is a tomato red. It's probably the patchiest out of the four, which means I have to be more careful as I put it on. This color should suit most skin tones as well.

Parisian Passion is a dark plum, soooo perfect for fall. It's dark and dramatic enough, but not too much. It's my favorite out of the four (can I be any more predictable?) followed by Rio Rush! My only advice is since it can make one look older, wear only the lightest touch of makeup with it.

So there you have it! I recommend the Revlon Colorstay Moisture Stain if you're looking for something that wears fairly well (3-4 hours) while giving you a nice shine and moisture. It's comfortable and pigmented and has a lot of fun colors in the line-up. Not too shabby for P625!

(I still do want that Dior though huhu).

What do you think? Will you be trying this out?

JuRo Salon's "secret" atelier for fabulous hair

There are a lot of things I love about Jude and Rose Hippolito - not the least of them their power to give people amazing hair - but one thing always stands out whenever I spend a few hours with them. It's their passion. They are quiet, simple folk, but when they talk about hair you can see how much their work means to them. I don't think that they're after the money even though a cut and color job at their salon can easily cost some serious bucks. No. It's their drive to be better than their best, and pride in what they've accomplished in their two decades in the business.

They are always out traveling and training. They are always looking for new ways to give their clientele an unforgettable experience, which is how they came up with a new concept: a "secret" atelier to which only their most loyal clients are invited. If it's your first few times at JuRo, you'll be visiting their official salon in Burgos Circle. If you've known each other for a while though, you will most likely be invited to have your hair done at their beautiful studio somewhere in The Fort. 

Don't think for a second that Jude and Rose are being snobbish or playing favorites. This is just how a natural relationship progresses - you get to know someone, and if you know them well enough they'll invite you to their house for coffee or a meal. I've been going to JuRo for a few years now so I'm happy to be asked to check out this fairly new space!

It's gorgeous but more importantly, it's cozy. It was a rainy day but inside was all warm light, relaxing music, and Jude's amazing freshly-pressed coffee (Jude if you're reading this you have to text me what it is again haha). I had such an amazing time! It was like reuniting with old friends, people who get me AND know how to deal with my hair.  

And deal with it Jude and Rose did. As you may remember, I had a horrible hair cut on my birthday last February. I was growing it out since it was a bit short, which is why I haven't gone to JuRo yet. Luckily - and I must stress this! - the PR agency of JuRo contacted me about trying out this new location. I can't believe the timing!

Jude basically fixed my hair from that bad hair cut, gave it more shape and volume without sacrificing the length I've been working on these last seven months. I have really thin hair and he managed to give it more body on top while simultaneously slimming down the sides of my face.

Rose did her magic by adding brassy highlights in strategic places where my hair is thinnest. She knows that I'm not that into dramatic colors for my hair and that I have a sensitive scalp, so there was minimal contact of the dye on my skin. She used L'Oreal Majirel Cool Cover! Happy to report that there was no irritation during the colouring process, or hair fall/fried hair after. They also gave me Pureology for hair maintenance.

And here's the finished work! It looks fantastic when blow-dried of course, so below is a picture of it after it's been washed and that's it. No blow drying or even any styling product except for the Kerastase serum I use on the tips of my hair. This is the true test of a good hair cut. Professionally blow-dried hair always looks great, but just wait until you wash it to see if the work is any good.

For messy, frizzy wavy hair like mine, finding a hair stylist and colorist who can make it look good with barely any day-to-day styling on my end is just...unless I really have to, I am unlikely to go to a different salon again. I'll just pay up and call it a day because no one else can do this other than Jude and Rose.

Thank you both for inviting me over again! <3 Love my hair!

JuRO now has an Instagram account @Jurosalonexclusif

ADDRESS:
Kensington Place, Unit #2D, 1st Avenue corner 29th Street

HOURS:
10 AM to 8 PM daily, by Appointment Only

CONTACT:
(02) 822 5673
+63 999 767 907

A treat worth having: The Kerastase Initialiste Gift Box

Morning folks! Today will be all about hair. I recently got a cut and color at my favorite salon EVER, but that's coming in the next post haha. For now I just want to share some good news from Kerastase! Check out this gorgeous gift box, which is free when you avail of P4,500 worth of services and products from Kerastase within the month of September.

 

The gift box contains Initialiste—a leave-in serum applied directly to the scalp, designed to instantly make hair strong, shiny, and soft. The native plant stem cells contained in Initialiste promise the optimised production of hair thereby improving its quality and strengthening the hair's fibres. 

I'm quite excited to try Initialiste since I've been hearing only good things about it. Lord knows my scalp needs the boost! Anyway, the box also contains a luxe hair brush. This is a pretty sweet deal since Initialiste is almost P3,000 for a 60ml bottle - 2/3s of the cost to acquire it. That's generous of Kerastase ha.

If you're at a loss on what to blow your P4,500 on, I highly recommend the Kerastase Elixir Ultime, my Holy Grail hair serum. ^_^ The Cristalliste Shampoo and Serum is also good to start with if you have super fine hair like mine! I personally haven't tried any Kerastase services yet but I'm sure the experts at participating salons can recommend something. Best to give your preferred branch a call to check if they have stocks of the Initialiste Gift Box. ^_^

FYI!

The Physiogel Free In My Skin Movement

Women, in my opinion, receive a lot more pressure compared to men. The pressure exists in various aspects of our lives - in how we look, how we perform at work, how we take care of our family and our household. It's always there, an invisible force silently bearing down on our heads. It can be exhausting. However, we are made of tougher stuff. Remember that quote about women being like tea bags? We don't know how strong we are until we're in hot water!

In the last few years when I've discovered just how capable I am of running my own life and pursuing my dreams. But these things...you don't learn them by winning. You learn them by falling flat on your face, failing not once but innumerable times. That's just how life is. You gotta get up and show up, even when if it's the last thing you feel like doing.

For me, the best way to deal with pressure is to fake it until I get it right. This is important in the industry I work in, where appearances matter so much - sometimes, too much! I have to look my best even when I don't feel like it because the world isn't going to stop for me. It's always going to be now or later when it doesn't matter anymore.

That's why I like the Physiogel #FreeInMySkin Movement. It encourages women to seek the freedom to control their own life, taking on the pressure to be perfect without being afraid to be vulnerable. Physiogel's new campaign and endorser was launched the other week in Makati Shangri-La. The face for the Free In My Skin Movement is none other than Patti Grandidge, who is one of the freshest, most sought-after models and TV hosts in the country. 

Patti loves Physiogel because it's the perfect solution to her dry, itchy, and sensitive skin. Physiogel is actually the number-one most prescribed moisturizer by dermatologists since it's formulated specifically for sensitive skin. I've tried their best-sellers (here's a review of the Intensive Cream) before and I can attest to how gentle and hydrating they are! They're pretty good even though they're inexpensive. ^_^

Back to Patti. She shares, "With Physiogel, I became free from dry and sensitive skin – to get going, to get out there and just be who I really am. So, now I truly believe in the power of having good skin. It gave me the power to feel empowered, to feel free. I became free in my skin. And this is why I have been rallying for this movement to reach out to so many women out there."

Watch Patti's story here!

That's a great message, don't you think? I definitely agree that having good skin can make us feel more confident and ready to face the world. ^_^ I know this from experience. So, if you have troubled skin and just want to let it recover, try Physiogel products - they just might help you to be free in your skin!

Let me leave you a couple of pics from the event the other week. ;)

Martha, myself, and Raisa Mislang, who is an executive at GlaxoSmithKline (the makers of Physiogel). Raisa is always so chic and outspoken, I love her posts on Facebook and Instagram!

Martha, myself, and Raisa Mislang, who is an executive at GlaxoSmithKline (the makers of Physiogel). Raisa is always so chic and outspoken, I love her posts on Facebook and Instagram!

The GSK team: Justin Lladoc, Maita Monsalud, Gikki Martija, Patti Grandidge, Patty Laurel, Jeoffrey Yulo

The GSK team: Justin Lladoc, Maita Monsalud, Gikki Martija, Patti Grandidge, Patty Laurel, Jeoffrey Yulo

If you're interested, find out more about the Physiogel Free In My Skin Movement on Facebook

This post is brought to you by Physiogel.

Why you need to wash your makeup sponges regularly, and how

I get goosebumps of something akin to terror when I see someone use grotty, dirty sponges to apply their foundation. Doesn't she know? I wonder. It must be that she just doesn't know. How else can she bear using a caked-up sponge on her face like that?

In case you're a new reader at Project Vanity though, welcome, and please wash your sponges regularly if you don't. Dirty foundation sponges are the harbingers of dirt, oil, and bacteria picked up from your face after using them, plus they stay in your compact away from the sun - meaning, omg, mold. Mold can grow on a dirty sponge. I can't even.

I rarely use sponges though because I sometimes forget to wash them. If you're like me, I recommend using a brush instead since they're easier to spot clean with a brush cleaner, thus cutting down the drying time by a mile! You can also have extra sponges lying around your desk or bag for when you forget to wash the one in your compact.

There's no excuse. A dirty sponge (or tools in general) might be giving you pimples, which could be why they stay on even after all the treatments and skincare you've been trying out.

So how does one wash a makeup sponge? It's easy! Squirt some dishwashing fluid or baby shampoo (clear, not creamy) onto the little bugger, squeeze it to loosen up the makeup, then rinse it. Repeat until the water runs clear. To dry it faster, wrap the sponge in a towel and squeeze the excess water out.

You can actually use the sponge with a powder foundation after to get heavier, smoother coverage! Make sure the foundation formula can work with water though. Sometimes they're not designed for  wet application techniques.

You must wash your sponge at least once a week, twice if you use it everyday. ^_^ Just a friendly reminder, if you don't do this yet!

How often do you clean your makeup sponges and tools?

Complete swatchfest: the Ellana Mineral Loose Foundation

I hope you're safe and snug wherever you are! The rain is pretty terrible. But let's take our minds off it and discuss, well, makeup! Today I want to share swatches and my advice on choosing the perfect Ellana Minerals foundation shade. There are ten in the loose formula line, which can be intimidating if you haven't seen them in person.

The good thing about it though is that you have more leeway in finding the right shade for you. Ellana offers free samples of ALL their loose powders too, and you only have to pay P80 for shipping to get the full 22-piece set. That's pretty handy if you're the type who likes being dead sure about her shade.

Here are all ten shades, swatched lightest to darkest. There are three under tones available: Warm, which is yellowish/golden; Olive, which is a more neutral mix of yellow and beige; and Cool, which is beige with a slight hint of pink. A general guide for choosing the correct under tone is to check your veins on your inner wrist. If they're mostly blue, you're Cool. If they're mostly green, you're Warm. If it's an equal combination of both, you're likely an Olive or neutral. 

I'm talking in general terms here though! The best way to find out is to swatch everything and see what matches.

Cafe Breve is almost white. This is mainly used for highlighting or mixing with the other colors to lighten them up - it's a shade for makeup artists!

French Vanilla Latte is for porcelain fair skin. It's warm so it doesn't look fake or off. It should suit girls that use NC15 MAC foundations.

Chai Tea Latte is a step darker than French Vanilla. It has slight beige undertones. I would recommend this for NC20/NW20.

Hazelnut Latte is a light medium yellow shade, appropriate for those with NC30-35 skin tones. I'm an NC35 and this suits me perfectly, even though it's half a shade lighter. This is what I use. It "melts" on my skin after an hour so it matches.

Cafe Mocha is slightly darker than Hazelnute latte though it looks similar in the swatch. It has a neutral under tone.

And so we move to the shades for medium to dark skin! The five darkest shades are almost similar, actually, with Caramel and Machiatto being the ones that suit morenas best. Almond and Cinnamon are for medium, leaning towards dark skin (NC35-40).

If this still confuses you, I personally only use five shades on people I've applied Ellana makeup on (that's quite a lot of people as I did makeup on passing guests for two Ellana mall events). They are, from lightest to darkest:

French Vanilla Latte (fair skin) - Chai Tea Latte (light) - Hazelnut Latte (light medium) - Almond Latte (medium) - Toffee Mocha (medium dark) - Macchiato (morena dark)

Hope this is useful y'all! Do share your Ellana foundation shades here as well, and your description of your skin, to help others hone in on their picks. ^_^

 

You can purchase your Ellana Loose Mineral Foundation through my affiliate link. I earn a small commission for every purchase, btw, which always makes me feel kilig because you got something because of my recommendation. If it's your first time to buy from this link, you get 15% off.