You need to try this NOW: the Prestige Total Intensity Collection

I don't hand out raves like candy. Yeah, I know I always write good reviews of products here but before I get to that point, I first must sift through a small mountain of products to find things that I would actually love and use. I receive at least two press kits everyday so imagine all of 'em just piling up! I feel hopeless sometimes, I'm not kidding.

Every so often though I receive something that's just too good to be true. Like right now, I am currently head over heels the Prestige Total Intensity Collection, which launched just last week in Beauty Bar! I remember Prestige from my college days when it was the only thing I could afford in BB, haha. I'm glad that everything still remains pocket-friendly, but with amazing, unbelievable quality - at least, in the Total Intense line.

I shall pour out all my observations about the products that I have in one massive post. I've been using most of them almost everyday since I got them. Are you ready? Here goes!

You guys, believe me when I say that the Velvety Smoky Eye Pencil (~P300) and the Line & Style Ink Pen (~P300) are totally worth the price of admission. The pencil smudges beautifully to create an intense yet quick smoky eye, and better yet - it sets completely. This does not fall apart even after I've worn it for seven hours!

Same goes for the pen. This has a felt tip - something I normally dislike to use - but it's actually quite easy to apply since only the base is stiff. The tip is bendy, thus allowing me to create effortless, even lines that do not skid. What I love most about it is just how black it is! It's matte, too. It's one of the blackest liquid liners I've ever come across.

I've worn both all day in humid weather and they do not smudge or fade on my normal lids.

The Makeup Eraser Pen is a liquid remover for booboos while the Magic Pen is supposed to be a lip and eye primer. Haven't really tested them, so I'll probably feature them in another post.

The Total Intensity Total Wear Lip Crayon (price to follow) is buttery, smooth, pigmented, and lasts a decent amount of time (3-4 hours). Red My Mind is an elegant true red with a glossy finish, while Bare It All is a browny nude with pink undertones. Really pretty! I wouldn't say the colors are super unique but they are very wearable and has a lovely formula.

I'm crazy about the Long Lasting Intense Color Eyeliner in Outrageous Emerald (~P300). It is SO SMOOTH! And so pigmented! I only need one swipe to get it to look that brilliant. You'll see it in my FOTD later. It also pretty much stays on until I take it off! I might purchase a couple more ones since it's inexpensive and the colors are like jewels.

And then there are the Total Intensity Eyeshadows. The True Metals (left most) are, well, like liquid metal, the Bold Trio are excellent combinations, while the Long Term Relationship singles  (right most) are indeed long-wearing. I don't even use a primer for these; they crease only minimally during the day and are intense at first swipe.

Here are the swatches! 

And now, the fun part. ^_^ Here are a couple of FOTDs I have wearing some of the things above. 

Here I've got the Bold Trio in Fantasia on - are you seeing that beautiful duochrome effect? That's the middle green shade! I also have Outrageous Emerald as the eyeliner, topped with a thin line of the black Line & Style Ink Pen to make my lashes look even thicker.

On my lips is Bare It All, just to mellow down the outre eye look. I wore this to a dinner out with friends. It might be a bit much for a daytime engagement.

And here is something I did wear during the day - a classic and super quick red lip look! I wore the Total Intensity Shadow Stick in Sand Frost, a sandy beige, all over my lids just to brighten 'em up. Again, I didn't need a primer. This doesn't crease! I then lined my eyes with the Line & Style Ink Pen and finished the look with Red My Mind. Easy, right? It's glamour without a ton of effort.

So there you have it. Overall, I love LOVE the Prestige Total Intensity line and I'm looking forward to see more of the collection the next time I'm in Beauty Bar. I highly recommend the Line & Style Ink Pen, the Long Lasting Intense Color Eyeliner, and the eyeshadows in particular. You must check these out, they're so affordable yet so good! If I remember correctly, nothing is above 600 bucks.

I mean really now. 

Let me know what you're looking forward to see the most! You can find Prestige in all Beauty Bar stores.

Reader question: Best products for sparse eyebrows

Hi! What's the best product type for girls with sparse brows? Brow pencil, brow gel, wax, powder or what? Thank you! - J

Hi J! The thing with sparse eyebrows is that it's easy to overdo them with broad, heavy strokes. They tend to look like painted blocks of color instead of, well, eyebrows made of hair! My best tip is to go for eyebrow makeup that can pull off the appearance of real hair, and then to thicken the hair strands that you do have on there. The perfect way to do that is to use a pen-type shader topped off with a matching brow mascara.

Eyebrow pens are the best for sparse eyebrows because they can be used to draw individual hair strands to fill in gaps in your brows. They are typically water-resistant so you don't have to worry about your "hair" falling apart in the middle of the day. They also come in a wide variety of colors to match your locks - just make sure to use something that's as close to your actual color as possible. Some go too light or too red, and this looks unnatural.

They might sound super fussy to use but a bit of practice should streamline your technique. Just draw following the growth of your eyebrows; if the hair is growing upwards, draw the line upwards, not exceeding the natural eyebrow shape and length. Draw in downward strokes if the hair is pointing down. Easy peasy!

I highly recommend the Happy Skin Eye Love View Pencil and Marker (P799) and the K-Palette Lasting 2-Way Eyebrow (P950). Both are extremely long-wearing and also come with a dual tip - the pen and a pencil/powder to set it with. The pencil/powder tip creates depth and lushness  on your eyebrows; you won't even need a mascara afterwards! Just make sure to use a light hand.

Above you can see how the pen looks like alone and then topped with the pencil (Happy Skin) and powder (K-Palette). Happy Skin has a blonde tint to it while the K-Palette in Natural Brown has a bit of red. Both are perfect for my brunette hair and Asian coloring.

Eyebrow mascara is another option. You can use them alone on your brows or as a topper for your pen, if you'd like the finish to look thicker. Mascara gives the illusion of volume to sparse hair; it thickens the strands and sets them in one place (useful if they're unruly). 

To use, just brush the wand up, downwards, and/or outwards, again following the natural hair growth. If you're using mascara alone, the trick is to press down on your brows to touch the skin. You want to actually color the surface, not just the hair! Otherwise you'll see gaps.

My favorite brow mascaras are the MAC Pro Longwear in Quiet Brunette (P1,000) and the The Face Shop Color My Eye Brow in 02 Light Brown (P395). I love using Quiet Brunette alone - it suits my hair color! The TFS Light Brown is too light by itself, but it's the perfect topper for a darker base. It highlights and gives my brows a nice blonde tint without actually looking blonde.

Below, I'm using the K-Palette Natural Brown pen topped with a light layer of Quiet Brunette. It's how I usually do my brows. ^_^ I don't like them looking too heavy, sharp, or solid. The ideal is to have something that is defined yet slightly imperfect and unbalanced. It's better to stop just before you think you should, to get a more natural finish.

brows.jpg

So there you go! I hope this helps, J!

Eye bags be gone: The Happy Skin Eye Need A Miracle Corrector

I've written about the band K's Choice several times on this blog, and once again, I have to mention them only because they made the most perfect songs. I keep on re-discovering old gems that are just so appropriate for my life right now! One of them is called "Favorite Adventure", and it goes, "There you are, your beauty consoles me / I've come far and I almost didn't find you / And I almost lived without you".

You MUST listen to it then tell me how you like it. ^_^

Anyway, today I wanted to gush about the Happy Skin Eye Need A Miracle Corrector (P799). The thing with Happy Skin is, they either make super awesome stuff that end up as permanent fixtures in my routine (the sculpting kit, ZZ Cream, and the lippies are my top  bets) or they make okay stuff that are nice to use but can be easily replaced by something else in my stash.

The Corrector, which just came out last October, falls in the first category. This is my current favorite under eye concealer because it brightens that area while still being totally lightweight! It has mid to heavy coverage and has this mousse-y texture that glides on nicely, filling in fine lines.

Happy Skin claims that it has a salmon hue to correct especially purplish under eye circles. I didn't see that salmon tint the first few times, but when I started using more product, I did detect a more peachy hue to the blended concealer. It adds to the brightening power of the Corrector! You'll notice below that the reddish verging on purple tint of my eye bags are thoroughly dispelled by one layer of this thing.

The staying power is pretty good. I've worn this for 10 hours and did not notice any major fading. It fades by the 7th hour, but not by much. I just make sure to set it properly with powder! It creases a bit but it's easy enough to fix with a clean finger and to re-set with any powder. 

Oh and did I mention that this is not drying at all? I still recommend using eye cream before but if you happened to miss doing so, it won't leech the moisture out of your under eyes.

What it looks like when set with powder

What it looks like when set with powder

I was lukewarm about the Happy Skin Eye Need A Miracle Corrector when I first got it but after seriously testing it out for a couple of weeks, I realized what I had in my hands. It's a fantastic concealer that's not too badly priced at 800 bucks. I feel this would suit all skin tones, well, except really dark ones. It's best to swatch this in person if you're in doubt.

What do you think? Does this look like your new eye bag BFF?

Make it personal, have your Estee Lauder Lipstick engraved

Out of the hundreds of lipsticks and dozens of brands I've tried, the Estee Lauder Pure Color Lipstick (P1,400) remains as one of my favorites. I first tried it three or four years ago and have always had one in my dresser since. The color selection is beautiful and wearable, and the packaging! So elegant. More than that though, the formula is rich, pigmented, hydrating, and stays on for a good while. Super worth the price tag if you ask me.

This holiday season, Estee Lauder Philippines wants to treat their lipstick fans by offering a free engraving service for every purchase of the Pure Color. You can have as many letters as you want, as long as they fit in the tube. ^_^ It's a good excuse to buy a new lip color for yourself or give someone you love a personalized gift!

I like that the service is pretty fast - you just give the lipstick to the attendants and they're done in like five minutes. It's also cool that you can place the cap on your other Estee Lauder lippies if you feel like wearing a different color next time. 

This service is available all throughout November in the Estee Lauder pop-up store right in the middle of Marc by Marc Jacobs and Michael Kors in Greenbelt 5. In December, the service can be found in the Rustan's Makati counter of Estee Lauder. FYI. Try it out soon!

At the intimate event with Shari, Ira, and Gael

Here's Issa Litton with Mira Villanueva, the Estee Lauder Brand Manager and a good friend of mine. ^_^ Love her!

My top five tinted lip balms

Why bother with tinted lip balms? Some might be of the opinion that if you're going to put anything on your lips, it might as well be a proper lipstick versus half-assing it with a barely-there color. I think, however, that tinted lip balms are perfect for lazy girls or pretty much anybody who wants to look just ever-so-slightly made up with minimal effort. Tinted balms are the easiest to use if you just want shiny, hydrated, and healthy-looking lips in like three seconds.

I love lipsticks (you know that right?) but I can get on very well with a moisturizing hint of color on my lips. Especially now, when it's a little cooler and my lips are more prone to chapping. Here are five of my current favorite tinted lip balms!

Benefit Benebalm. This is inspired by nothing less than Benefit's classic best seller, the Benetint. It gives a juicy red tint to the lips! It glides on like butter and stays light and comfy on the lips the whole day. Love this!

Burt's Bees Lip Shimmer in Rhubarb. This one is the most pigmented out of the lot. It's a shiny tomato red with a hint of shimmer - it has a minty feel to it, and feels a bit waxy like lipstick. I like the slim tube since I can slip it in even the tightest pocket for retouching any time.

Clinique Baby Tint in Coming Up Roses. The original Chubby Stick is sheer, but this one is a whole lot sheerer. Some people don't like it but you know what, I love how the color blooms and stains as the day progresses. It's really designed to give you lips that look as fresh as a baby's so this is the ideal no makeup makeup for your puckers.

Korres Lip Balm in Quince. I like this for more the scent - so yummy and it puts me in a good mood. It delivers a hint of pink on the lips, enough that it will show up nicely with just one layer. The formula is very creamy and needless to say, super moisturizing.

Too Cool For School Max in Pocket #3. This is so cute! It comes with a small chain so you can attach it on your bag. Packaging aside, this has a similar texture and feel as Korres, and the color is a pretty peachy pink. 

And that is that. I'd love to know what your favorite tinted lip balms are too!

The Physiogel Lotion: My travel BFF in cold, dry weather

The weather in Tokyo was quite cold, colder than I remember it the same time last year. It's a welcome change from the humid heat we get here in Manila - so fun to wear a coat and layers! - but the almost-but-not-quite freezing temp has its downsides. For one, I knew that my skin would seriously dry up. I was not mistaken. It started with my lips chapping and then the rest of my body feeling rough and yucky by the second day I was there!

That's why I brought the Physiogel Lotion (P100+) with me. The brand claims to be made for sensitive, dry skin, so I really wanted to see how it would work when my skin became seriously dry. I'm happy to report that it did its job pretty well. I slathered this on right before I put on my clothes and by the time I got back at the hotel, my skin is smooth and hydrated even if I couldn't feel my face and hands most of the time I was outside. 

I like the light texture, which was easily absorbed by my skin. Most hydrating lotions would feel thick and heavy but not this one. I'm sure this would also be ideal in warm weather simply because the formula is thin while packing on a moisturizing punch.

I also like the small and slim bottle, so easy to travel with! 

Now, I've shared the Physiogel love by sending gifts to some of my blogger friends, namely Tellie, Gen-Zel, and Celline. ^_^ I've also given some to my Lolo who loves using this for his itchy skin. It's a nice gesture to show that I care, I feel. Pass on your fave Physiogel products to your loved ones, too!

This post is brought to you by Physiogel.

That perfect Zara bag

Sometimes, the best things come to you when you're not looking for them. Like the other day when I went inside the Zara store in Shibuya just to browse. I didn't really intend to buy anything because I'm fairly happy with my wardrobe at this point, and besides, I'm sure that we have/will have in Manila whatever is in Tokyo. We've got some of the best shopping this side of South East Asia, no!

When I saw this bag though, I stopped in my tracks. It has everything I want in a bag: good material, clean stitches, and classy hardware. It wasn't that expensive, too! Still, I walked around to think about this purchase. In the end I decided that I need this more than another box of paint, haha.

Bag.JPG

The size is perfect for me - I'm not into big bags, and I like long straps. The size of this bag is juuuuuust right for my sketch book, paint box, and brushes. It has open sides so I can simply grab things and put them back quickly. The bag itself is light too!

So there, my new favorite bag. Have you got any serendipitous finds lately?

Watercolors and makeup: My workshops this November!

I'm back! So happy to be back to normal. Tokyo is amazing and fun and crazy but I still would rather be here in Manila, doing the things I love. That's really why I to travel: the act of throwing myself into a strange place makes me appreciate what I have here, much more.

And one of the things I enjoy the most is teaching. ^_^ These two upcoming Saturdays, come join me as I talk about what I know! I have a Makeup 101 Workshop with Ellana Minerals this Saturday, November 22, from 1-4pm. Here I will discuss how to streamline and polish your routine, so even if you know a bit about makeup, you'll still discover interesting techniques to refine your look.

The fee is P2,500, including a P2,000 GC to the Ellana store as well as snacks. ^_^ Interested? Sign up here!

And finally, another Basic Watercolor Workshop! It will be in the same venue and time as the first two ones. Learn the basics of watercolor painting with an interactive, hands-on lesson. You'll get your own materials (no need to bring anything!) plus brunch and yummy coffee from Commune. It's a fantastic way to spend a Saturday morning, if I do say so myself! Haha. The fee is only P1,500. 

To register, simply email me at lizlanuzo [at] projectvanity.com with the subject "Signing Up For The Watercolor Workshop". From there I'll send you the rest of the details to seal in your reservation. 

And that is that! I'm so excited! See y'all soon!

Rave: Clinique Even Better Dark Spot Defense SPF45PA+++

Great sunscreen can truly change your skin. I swear by this. You can use Safeguard for your face forever and if it works for you then I won’t recommend you use anything else - that is, anything else but sunscreen. Use sun protection everyday as if your life depended on it and you won’t regret it when you’re a few decades old!

My current absolute fave sunscreen for my face is the Clinique Even Better Dark Spot Defense SPF45PA+++ (P2,000+). I love it because it has an ultra-light watery texture and a brightening finish that gives a healthy sheen to my skin. It has no sunscreen scent even with the high multi-spectrum sun protection; it has no scent, period. It feels like nothing on my face too.

It actually looks like a white layer of doom when it’s freshly applied, but the white cast fades in a couple of minutes, leaving just a nice glow. It might be a bit of a turn off if you’re oily - it’s almost shiny, the finish - but I recommend just setting it with your fave powder. The product has micro-mineral brighteners that give this effect. I adore it because I love anything brightening, but some people might not. It depends really!

I also like the Even Better DSD because of its long-term effect on my skin. I’ve been using this regularly for about three months now and noticed that my blemishes lightened faster, or didn’t darken that much to start with. My complexion is also now much more even, meaning that are no dark areas around the nose or mouth where my skin typically tend to get pigmentation. I can get away with not wearing foundation anymore at this point! My typical base routine just consists of this Clinique SPF, concealer, and a sheer mineral powder.

Overall, the Clinique Even Better Dark Spot Defense SPF45PA+++ is pretty awesome. It’s light to wear, has an instant brightening effect, and has demonstrated long-term benefits, at least for my skin. I will definitely purchase when I run out! 

Hello again from Tokyo!

Just checking in to say hi! I'm in my favorite place in the world and the fall weather is fantastic. Fantastically cold (for me). I don't take to cold very well so I made sure to pack warm clothes this time. Thank goodness for Uniqlo.

Left to right, top to bottom: That perf Zara coat, the approach to the inner city, Chuo at night, and a candy store

Left to right, top to bottom: That perf Zara coat, the approach to the inner city, Chuo at night, and a candy store

Anyway, this is my first time to travel out of the country alone. It's liberating, not to have to worry if the other person is walking fast enough or taking too many pictures. I'm not fun to travel with precisely because I walk (very) briskly and I take only less than five seconds to snap a photo. I'm shy that way. I don't like looking like a tourist. (Which is such a dbag thing to say! But it's true!)

There is no itinerary for this trip. I just really want to walk, eat, and sketch/paint. Oh and look for new art materials of course! I am salivating at the thought of Tokyu Hands and Sekaido!

It's 7:14 am in Tokyo right now and I'm off to explore, most likely Shibuya and Shinjuku. I'll update my Instagram account later so let's catch up there! I'm @lizlanuzo and I use the hashtag #lizintokyo (just to track things easily). Have a lovely weekend!

Share the love and light by making your own COCA-COLA® Parol

Could you believe that Christmas is just a little over a month from now? The year flew by, as it always does, and I’m looking forward to end it by celebrating the holidays with family and friends. I’m not going to put up a tree in the condo but I’m definitely going to string some lights around. They should add to the festive mood, I think! I might also hold a small party just for friends since I’ve got enough space now.

I remember when I was very young, my grandparents would cover up the house with Christmas lights and parols as early as September. Their house was in the middle of the village so everyone would pass by and marvel at it. During Christmas day, they’d hold a big family reunion in the morning, and in the afternoon, they’d invite neighbors over to celebrate. It was so fun! I miss those days. Just being a kid on Christmas is so magical!

But we must make new memories where we can. One fun way to have a bright and happy Christmas is to try Coca-Cola’s #SariSaringHappiness project. Basically, the brand has come up with an ingenious way to recycle Coke bottles, encourage a bonding activity, and create beautiful holiday decorations - all at the same time!

All you need to do is collect five Coke bottles, connect it to the Coca-Cola star, then go crazy dressing up your parol with paper, plastic, and lights. Here’s how:

Once you’re done, light up your very own COCA-COLA® Parol and hang it where everyone can see it. It’s a great way to share the light and love in your neighborhood! There are lighting hubs around the country, specifically in Manila, Tacloban, Pampanga, Batangas, Bacolod, and Davao.

Make sure to take a photo or a video of it and share it on social media accounts using the hashtag #SariSaringHappiness Day. You can also visit the Coca-Cola Sari-Saring Happiness website for more info about this exciting project.

So there you go! I’d love to know: what are your holiday plans? Are you decorating your house already?

This post is brought to you by Coca-Cola.