Budget Beauty: Eyeshadow primers under P500

Next to lipstick, the beauty product we tend to collect a lot of is eyeshadow. You can get just about any color imaginable to enhance the peepers, so it’s always fun to play around with an assortment of brands and finishes. Once you’ve amassed a diverse collection, you’ll begin to notice the differences among formulations, particularly in terms of longevity and pigmentation. If you’ve fallen hopelessly in love with a beautiful shade that needs to be layered or have oily lids that cause colors to crease and slip, eye primers are must-have additions to your arsenal. No need to drop big bucks though, because these picks will help keep your shadow play exciting without overly taxing your wallet!

ELF Eyelid Primer (P129.75) ELF offers a creaseless wonder of an eyelid primer. Unscented and super-smooth upon application, the formula glides on to create an effectively even base for eyeshadow. The other thing worth mentioning is the affordable price point, making it an easy decision to reach for a tube.

Essence I Love Stage Eyeshadow Base (P229) Some primers figuratively blur the lines with other makeup categories, because of their added features. Essence I Love Stage Eyeshadow Base is already touched with yellow-toned color, so that it can also double as a light concealer for the eye area.

Image via Essence

Image via Essence

NYX Eyeshadow Base (P460) Eyeshadows have varying finishes, and so do certain types of primer. The potted NYX Eyeshadow Base comes in three colors/finishes, so you can choose how you want to define your eyeshadow. There’s a flat/matte white to create a truly blank canvas, a shimmery pearl to highlight the lid, and a flesh tone shade that works with morena skin.

Image via NYX Cosmetics

Image via NYX Cosmetics

Etude House Proof 10 Eye Primer (P298) Housed in a curvy bottle, Etude House’s Proof 10 Eye Primer is the quick-dry lid primer that lasts all the live-long day. The Proof 10 line itself is being marketed as Etude’s waterproof collection, so it’s looking to be an obvious choice when it comes to longevity.

Image via Etude House Philippines

Image via Etude House Philippines

Jazzy Collection Eyeshadow Base (P299) Don’t let the clear formula fool you! Jazzy Collection’s Eyeshadow Base can bring out the vibrancy of your eyeshadows. It enhances the pigmentation by giving the color something to adhere to. That should also make application easier, as you immediately get a bold swath of color within first few pats of your brush. Sounds like a time-saver, doesn’t it?

Image via Jazzy France

Image via Jazzy France

Have you tried drugstore eye primers yet? Share your favorite below!

What is Reverse Hair Washing, and does it work?

It's not exactly new, but I'm sure a lot of us have yet to try this unique hair washing technique. I've spent the past 2.5 weeks trying out this thing called reverse hair washing, and to compare, I alternated between testing this technique, using just shampoo, and doing the regular shampoo-then-conditioner method. But before I reveal which method actually works best, let's get these questions out of the way:

image via michaelanthonysalondc.com

image via michaelanthonysalondc.com

What is reverse hair washing? Put simply, it’s washing your hair the other way around—conditioner first, then shampoo. There isn’t much to it, really.

So, why should you consider it? To understand it better, it helps to know how conditioners work. According to cosmetic chemist Randy Schueller in his Beauty Brains podcast, hair conditioners work by smoothing the cuticle layer.

If you look at human hair under a microscope, cuticles are the small scales that layer the hair shaft. In healthy hair, the cuticles lay flat and create that smooth texture. But when these cuticles are splayed, the hair is considered damaged and would need the smoothing power of conditioners. The conditioner is designed to stick to those damaged spots, coat the hair shaft, and stay on the hair even after rinsing.

Image via nisenet.org

Image via nisenet.org

I guess we can all agree that conditioners are important products to add in our hair care routines, but before I tried reverse hair washing, I didn’t normally use hair conditioners all that much. For reference, I have thick, dense hair and a very oily scalp. Due to this, I find that most conditioners weigh down my hair. When I use conditioner the regular way, my hair looks like an oily, clumpy mess with no volume. It’s as if my hair hasn’t seen the insides of a shower in three days! When I don’t condition however, I will get volume, but my hair will look dry and dull.

So when I heard about reverse hair washing, I thought it might be the perfect solution. After all, you supposedly get the benefits of using a conditioner, but without that heavy and greasy build up. My theory is that some of the conditioner stays on the hair even after shampooing, but the excess goop that makes the hair flat and clumpy is washed off.

How to do reverse hair washing

1. Get your hair soaking wet before applying conditioner, so it will be easier to spread the product on every inch of your hair strands. However, if your scalp is oily like mine, avoid putting too much conditioner on the roots of the hair.

2. Leave the conditioner for as long as it says to on the label. I’m not the most patient person though, so I use this waiting time to cleanse my face and soap the rest of my body.

3. Shampoo your hair. If it's difficult to work up a lather, you can wet your hair a little bit but make sure not to rinse off all the conditioner before you shampoo. The key to get the best results out of reverse washing is to have some conditioner left to coat the hair.

I find that different sets of shampoos and conditioners don’t yield the same results. I did several trial-and-errors to find which combination of products work well with each other, and at what quantity. Reverse hair washing seems to work best with conditioners that are thicker and harder to rinse. My favorite combinations are Head and Shoulders Cool Menthol shampoo and conditioner, and L’Oreal Ever Sleek Shampoo + Pantene 3-Minute Miracle Conditioner.

I also had to tweak the amount of shampoo I use. I had to use less shampoo normal so as not to totally strip the conditioner off my hair. With thinner conditioners, like most organic ones, I used way less. 

So, does reverse washing work? YES!

My reverse-washed hair is comparable to my second-day hair, but cleaner and nicer-smelling! It also looks shinier and healthier, and has more volume. But it’s not a perfect system. Over time, I felt some product build up. There are days when I feel the need to deep clean my hair with a clarifying shampoo. To get the same second-day hair effect, I shampoo, condition, then shampoo again.

Even then, I would definitely recommend this to women who also have oily hair and struggle with using conditioner. I imagine that this would also work well for fine hair that has a tendency to look flat!

If you’ve already tried reverse hair washing, please share your experiences and tips in the comments. I'd love to know which products you used, too!

The Weekly Poll: What type of lipstick do you wear on a date?

weekly poll.jpg
What lipstick formula do you wear to a romantic date?
 

Single or not, it's always fun to go out with someone and maybe trade a few smooches in the process. Right? *wink* We'd love to know what the consensus is when it comes to kissable lip colors. Do you go for stains, rock-solid formulas, or normal lipsticks? Do you go bare?  

Personally, I like getting my baddest, reddest lipstick, dotting it all over my lips and then blending it with my fingers. I'd leave that on for a minute to allow a stain to develop, then slather a clear lip balm afterwards. Once this mix dries, it doesn't transfer too much and stays on even after some action.  My lips feel soft and kissable, but the color remains. 

If I have to name names, I'd pick up something like the MAC Russian Red or the L'Oreal Color Riche in Pure Rouge. I would choose a lip balm that dries; I don't want anything too emollient as it might take the stain off after a while. The La Mer The Lip Balm, Burt's Bees Lip Balm, or Nuxe Reve De Miel Moisturizing Stick are my go-tos for this technique.

Hope this helps! Let us know what your kissable colors are!

 

Beauty books every makeup junkie must have in the library

When YouTube tutorials and how-to blog posts are aplenty, one would think there’s no use for beauty books nowadays. But even with the constantly evolving beauty industry and the fast-paced innovation of makeup techniques that can easily be shared online, we still have a soft spot for actual, tangible books in our hearts and our coffee tables. Why, you ask? For one, we can’t help but get inspired every time we crack open our fave books, plus they look amazing on our bookshelves. Here are some of our faves to help you start your beauty book library!

The Classics

Making Faces by Kevyn Aucoin. Millennials may not know of Kevyn Aucion but he was the one of the most important makeup artists in the '80s and '90s, not to mention probably being the most well-paid in history. He worked on several cover shoots with Vogue, and collaborated with Revlon in a groundbreaking makeup line for all skin tones. Kevyn believed in the philosophy of helping women feel beautiful, with makeup as a tool to help them discover themselves.

For his book, he worked with big stars such as Linda Evangelista, Cindy Crawford, and Elizabeth Hurley alongside everyday women of all colors and nationalities to show step-by-step illustrated makeup tutorials. What makes it stand out as an instructional makeup book is his historical take on the different makeup looks that worked through the decades, such as the '50s lip and '30s thin brow, film noir, and Hollywood bombshell looks.

Some find the techniques in his book a little dated - like his penchant for too-matte foundation - but Making Faces is a classic that we just can’t help going back to whenever we need to relearn the basics.

Bobbi Brown Makeup Manual: For Everyone from Beginner to Pro. A perfect read for teenagers who are just starting to discover makeup or enthusiasts who want to make it in the beauty industry as an artist, the Bobbi Brown Makeup Manual packs all the necessary information one would need about makeup.

It has the usual full color pages of how-tos, including the fresh-faced no-makeup look that Bobbi Brown is known for, but what makes it an interesting read are the insider tidbits about the makeup industry. For example, did you know that M•A•C was born because the makeup that was coming out that time were too shimmery and bad for photography? Or, do you need tips on how to break into the makeup industry and work with a celebrity or a photographer? All these questions are answered in a positive and empowering voice. Burying your nose into its pages is sure to give you the confidence to say, “Yes, I can master a smoky eye!”

BONUS: If you loved the Bobbi Brown Makeup Manual, you’ll also love Bobbi Brown Beauty: The Ultimate Beauty Resource which has topics such as "Learning to appreciate your own beauty", "How to do makeup fast", "How to handle bad beauty days", "How to get out of a makeup rut", "How to make lipstick last", and "How to wear foundation correctly".

The How-Tos

Makeup: Your Life Guide to Beauty, Style, and Success - Online and Off by Michelle Phan. It was almost natural for YouTube makeup guru Michelle Phan to release a book. But when she was approached by a publishing house to come up with a coffee table book, Michelle, in her infinite passion to teach more than makeup, decided to write a life guide instead. And we couldn’t be happier!

The book follows Michelle's inspiring evolution from a girl who loved makeup into a successful businesswoman. Although there are tips on skincare, makeup, and style, Michelle also throws in valuable tips on relationships, how to turn passion into a profession, how to become an entrepreneur, and online etiquette.

Bloom: A Girl's Guide to Growing Up Gorgeous by Carmindy. Aside from Bobbi Brown, there are not a lot of books that talk to tweens and teenagers. In comes Bloom: A Girl's Guide to Growing Up Gorgeous by makeup artist Carmindy, a New York-based makeup artists who is famous for her stints in What Not to Wear and Good Morning America.

The book may not be targeted for more mature ladies, but it is still a good read for moms, aunts, and big sisters who want to teach younger women about makeup. The 10 chapters in this book  cover topics and issues teens usually deal with, such as: basic skincare, eyebrow grooming, the 5-Minute Face, and even how to’s on zits and body odor.

We also find it endearing that Carmindy included awkward adolescent photos of herself and her team, plus bare-faced shots of the book's teen model.

The Coffee Table Books

Makeup Your Mind: Express Yourself by Francois Nars. Penned by François Nars himself, founder of well-renowned cosmetics giant NARS, Makeup Your Mind ups the ante for other makeup instructional manuals by using breathtaking makeup transformations and dramatic makeup editorials. So even if it is technically a how-to book, this is one makeup manual you’d want to put on display to be appreciated everyday. A plus - each makeup spread has a clear acetate that overlays on the model’s face, showing readers where each product - all NARS cosmetics of course - should go.

Miles for M•A•C. Who would have missed the avant garde and revolutionary M•A•C advertising campaigns that graced billboards, storefronts, and magazines? If you have, Miles for M•A•C compiles some of the best M•A•C campaigns shot by celebrated photographer and artist Miles Aldridge in collaboration with James Gager, the Senior Vice President and Creative Director of M•A•C Cosmetics. This 200-page coffee table book showcases Aldridge’s otherworldly and surreal world of M•A•C. While not instructional, it makes for great eye-candy that you can draw makeup inspiration from

The Biographies

Free Gift with Purchase: My Improbable Career in Magazines and Makeup by Jean Godfrey-June. Have you ever wondered how it is to live a beauty editor’s life? Well, you can find the answer in Jean Godfrey-June’s autobiographical book. You may be surprised to learn that it’s not always gift baskets and free moisturizers. Sometimes you have to endure makeovers from hell, “acne breakfasts”, and test shelves upon shelves of products on yourself. How do they deal? Read this book and go behind-the-scenes of the beauty editorial world.

Bonus: Jean Godfrey-June honestly and candidly answers the question “Is Creme de la Mer is worth it?” Aren’t you curious to find out?

Paul Starr on Beauty: Conversations with Thirty Celebrated Women by Paul Starr. No other industries are joined at the hip more than makeup and Hollywood. There’s even an ongoing joke that actresses confess more to their makeup artists than to anyone else. This is the same concept that goes behind Paul Starr on Beauty: Conversations with Thirty Celebrated Women. Paul Starr pairs original and revealing interviews with photographs of his favorite muses such as Cameron Diaz, Iman, Salma Hayek, Jada Pinkett Smith, and Renée Zellweger. Varying in ethnicities and ages, Paul’s interviewees talk candidly about makeup, beauty, and aging, with each interview having a commentary of how Paul achieved the look. Our favorite looks and interviews? Ellen DeGeneres, a young Britney Spears, and an even younger Lindsay Lohan.

No matter how awesome you think you are with hair, makeup, and skincare, there’s always something to learn from these beauty books you should definitely add to your reading list. So which ones are you looking to pick up on your next bookstore run?

Video Tutorial: Strobing 101

When I was very young, my dad had the strange habit of constantly pinching my nose. He said it was to make my nose "matangos" but fast forward to many years later, I still don't have that perfect nose he wanted for me, hehe. In the absence of less than perfect features, a lot of us have turned to the Kardashian method of adding a play of lights and shadows on our faces. Contouring became the adult woman's color by numbers, as we obediently followed diagrams and covered our faces in tape to map out different areas.

But who has the time to do all that? When you're trying to squeeze an extra few seconds of shuteye but have to dash out before you get stuck in the morning traffic rush, you're going to need to cut down on your beauty routine. Strobing is basically an easier and faster contour method for those who are always on the go, just starting to learn about makeup, or much too lazy and impatient to go the traditional route (that would be me).

Instead of looking for fifty shades of brown that perfectly suit your skintone, all you need for strobing is a bit of highlighter. Simply apply it to where the light naturally lands on your face (or what they call high points), lightly blend out, and you're ready to go! The result is a subtle lift in your features, plus fresh and radiant glow that seemingly take off years from your actual age.

Highlighter used in the video: Pixi Flawless Beauty Primer

When strobing, remember to keep the rest of your face matte to prevent you from turning into a disco ball. This trick can give you better selfies because of all the added light. Do give it a try, and let us know if strobing has changed your makeup game in the comments below!

What went down at the Nivea Summer Kickoff in Bohol

Summer is right around the bend, so if you're stocking up on beach essentials, you must include some Nivea Sun products! The brand makes the best sunscreens IMHO, and that's not just because they send me to these fun pre-summer shindigs. I love how light and non-streaky the sunscreens are even if the SPF number is reliably high, and the price is pretty good! My daily body lotion-slash-sunscreen is also from Nivea; I am a huge, huge fan of their Body Serum and have finished so many bottles since it launched years ago. They have a new variant btw, which I will review soon! HG rin!

So. Last week, they sent media, bloggers, and social media influencers to Bohol to experience Nivea Sun products first-hand and to hear about a huge bombshell from the brand. We stayed in Bellevue Resort Bohol, a beautiful hotel right by the sea. Loved the spacious, well-appointed room and the yummy local food!

 

The most exciting thing about the whole trip though is Nivea announcing their high-tech yet uber cute Dolls. What? Yes, dolls. These dolls are made of a special UV-sensitive material that turns red when exposed to the sun. When you place sunscreen on their skin, the redness goes away! They are designed to teach children about how the sun can burn the skin and how crucial sun protection is to everybody's health.

So simple yet so useful. The dolls will be available soon in your local supermarket and stores, just in time for summer. Best thing? They're free with a purchase of Nivea Sun products. ^_^ Hope you can grab a doll for your little one!

During the trip, attendees got to enjoy a few activities that pushed their limits and their sun protection to the test. We were divided in two groups: Land and Sea. The Land peeps did some extreme challenges like zip biking while the Sea groups had a sliiiiightly more relaxed time of it as they raced in a banana boat and waterbee. Everybody looked like they had the time of their lives though! I unfortunately missed this activity since I was down with the flu, argh. Last year our group won in Balesin. Well, there's always next year! 

After the media presentations and activities, we had a few hours of free time at the beach. It was low tide so we didn't get to do a lot of swimming but it was still nice to play and take pictures. I took the time to paint a sunset scene.

To end the perfect summer getaway, DJ Tom Taus played some beats while everyone chilled by the pool.

So that's the rundown. Thank you Nivea for having me over again this year! <3 I learned so much and as always, got to bond with my blogger and media friends. Till next!

How to look better even without any makeup on

I love wearing makeup, but there are days when I’d rather skip it. I’m pretty low-maintenance, and going makeup-free also gives my skin a chance to breathe. This doesn't mean I'd dare leave the house without making the effort to look nicer, though! Even if I can survive a day without The Gunk, I like to keep myself presentable and polished. Here are some of my favorite tricks for looking good sans makeup.

Establish a regular skin care routine with products that work for you. Back in high school, my cheeks were covered with acne scars. Everything you post on the Internet is permanent so there’s no way I’m going to post a throwback photo here, haha! Let's just say that I felt reaaally ugly. I wanted to get rid of my dark spots, so I tried using different products until I found out ones that worked for me. I strictly followed this routine. The dark spots took months to disappear, but it worked! If you're on a tight budget, check out our picks for oily skin and for dry skin.

Keep yourself hydrated, inside and out. Did you know that serums have smaller molecules than moisturizers? That means they are better at penetrating the deeper layers of the skin and targeting specific concerns. But no matter how amazing they are, serums can’t serve as substitute for moisturizers, which helps keep your skin hydrated. Your number one source of hydration is still from getting enough water in your system, so make sure to drink up!

Curl your lashes. This is a good trick for giving your eyes definition even without liner, eyeshadow or mascara. I think they help you look more awake, too! Plus, doesn’t it look better on selfies? 

Apply sunscreen and, maybe, some powder. Protect your skin from the UV damage by applying sunscreen with at least SPF15 and PA protection . If you can find one that also contains moisturizer, that's even better. The combination of moisturizer and sunscreen tend to put my face on the shiny side of things, though, so I like to apply a translucent powder after. 

Fix your brows and hair. The real game-changer of the Absolute No Makeup look is having good eyebrows and hair. When your arches are well-groomed, you can simply brush them up with a clean spoolie to make them look tidy and full. I don’t know about you, but I feel 10x better when my hair is on point, even without makeup. Whether you enjoy curling your hair as I do or simply prefer to tie it up, do spare a minute or two to make sure your hair looks well-styled rather than haphazardly brushed into place.

Don't forget your lipbalm! Hey, even though it can add a nice sheen or even a hint of tint, lipbalm is primarily a skincare product. It's moisturizer for your lips, so make sure to apply it just as religiously.

So here's me in a truly no-makeup look! Admittedly, it takes some confidence to go out into the world with all your imperfections in full view, but I like to think that I've embraced who I am and how I look like. That's really the "secret" to feeling beautiful without makeup: being comfortable with our appearance no matter how the world says we should look.

How about you? Do you ever leave home with a bare face? What are your tips for looking fantastic even without any cosmetics on?

Look for these pimple-fighting ingredients in your skincare

If, like me, you failed to draw the winning ticket in the genetic lottery and have less than perfect skin, you have probably dealt with acne at least once in your life. (For the record, I always get it once a month, pre-period.) In fact, you may be dealing with it even now. If it’s something that has plagued you from your teenage years all the way into adulthood, you know how incredibly frustrating and downright demoralizing it can get to try out all the well-meaning advice and not have any one of them work in the long-term.

Contrary to popular belief, it doesn’t help to simply tell someone to “just wash your face!” Not only is it useless, but it is also hurtful. People can be quick to assume that acne sufferers simply have bad hygiene when in reality, acne has very little to do with poor hygiene or diet. The Propionibacterium acnes bacterium is a natural resident in our skin, and causes inflammation when it infects a hair follicle that has been plugged by a hodgepodge of excess sebum and dead skin cells. This overproduction of sebum is brought about by hereditary and hormonal factors, and occurs beneath the skin’s surface. Hence, acne can form regardless of how often or thoroughly you clean your face. If anything, washing your face more than twice a day is even counterproductive, because too much friction can aggravate your skin.

With all that said, treating acne for the long-term is a layered and somewhat arduous process. The first and best advice is always to first consult a dermatologist. They can help you with your skin problems more than anyone else, and should be able to recommend products to treat and prevent pimples. These products usually contain known anti-acne ingredients such as:

Image via priceline.com.au

Image via priceline.com.au

Image via Target

Image via Target

Benzoyl peroxide. This chemical works as an antibacterial against P. acnes and is commonly present as a gel or a cream topical, in concentrations of 2.5% to 5%. It may also be infused in a facial wash. BP is considered one of the milder acne treatments and can be bought without a medical prescription. Its side effects can include dryness, irritation and bleaching upon contact with clothes. Dermatologists recommend to start from the lowest concentration possible and build up as appropriate. Panoxyl®  and Benzac® are some of the BP medications available in the Philippines.

Salicylic acid. Like BP, salicylic acid comes in many forms and concentrations and may be bought without a medical prescription.Though not an antibacterial, it works by unclogging pores and shedding the dead skin cells that lead to pimple formation. It is commonly employed as the active ingredient in anti-acne facial washes and toners. Most BHA products on the market has salicylic acid as the BHA component.

Image via kikaysimaria.blogspot.com

Image via kikaysimaria.blogspot.com

Antibiotics. Obviously, antibiotics work by killing the bacteria that cause acne. They could be applied topically or taken orally. Topical antibiotics (clindamycin, erythromycin) are commonly used on mild acne, while oral antibiotics (doxycycline, minocycline) are more suitable for acne that is moderate to severe. If you are looking to establish a skincare regimen dedicated to managing mild acne, VMV Hypoallergenics has a line of skincare that contains Clindamycin. I have tried the facial wash and the toner myself, and they’re ok. They work gradually and gently—but please follow the instructions to avoid side effects!

Image via MIMS

Image via MIMS

Retinoids, such as tretinoin and adapalene. Retinoids exfoliate the dead skin cells from the surface of the skin, hence preventing them from building up within hair follicles. Despite having a similar mode of action to salicylic acid, retinoids are more potent and may require extra caution with its usage.  Apply them sparingly and avoid sun exposure when using them, as they can cause extra sensitivity. Personally, what helped me manage my acne was a dermatologist prescription called Epiduo®, a topical mixture of benzoyl peroxide and adapalene. Side effects included itching and dryness, but I can honestly say that the positives outweighed the negatives. I don’t get those nasty cystic pimples so often now.

Tea tree oil. Also written in labels by the scientific name Melaleuca alternifolia. This is one of the well-acknowledged natural remedies for acne due to its disinfecting and soothing properties, and if you are all about natural products, you’re in luck! Many anti-acne products in the market contain tea tree oil. Despite being natural, tea tree oil may still cause the common side effects associated with acne treatments such as dryness and sun sensitivity, so take care not to overuse. The Body Shop has a Tea Tree Oil line for acneic skin, and many people swear by it.

Witch hazel extract. Also written in labels by the scientific name Hamamelis virginiana. This ingredient is actually commonly used in conjunction with tea tree oil. It is a natural astringent, meaning that it can shrink and tighten pores, making them less susceptible to clogging. Witch hazel is also great at reducing inflammation. All good things for acne, we can agree!

A final word of caution: some of these ingredients are regarded unsafe for pregnant women, especially salicylic acid, retinoids, and oral antibiotics. You should also make sure to check with your doctor first if you can use benzoyl peroxide, clindamycin, erythromycin or tea tree oil while pregnant. Opinions on witch hazel are mixed, but I suggest to steer clear of it just to be safe.

Any acne-related stories or other treatments you found to be effective? Share in the comments!

With research from WebMD, RD, and acne.org

You need to try the Maybelline Super BB Cream ASAP

Maybelline makes excellent liquid foundations, but their BB creams have not stood out to me in the past. That's why I didn't have any expectations from the new Maybelline Super BB Cream (P399). It promises may things: high coverage with a satin finish, all-day wear, and high SPF at 50 PA++++.  Sounds good, yes?

You'll be pleased to know that it's exactly what it says it is.

The first time I used the Super BB Cream, the single thought that came to my mind is, "This looks freakin' expensive!" If you've tried high-end bases, you will know that they go on smoothly with minimal blending, and they seem to hug the skin, covering it in a flawless finish. Expensive bases are typically a masterful mix of light-reflecting minerals and coverage-giving pigments. This Maybelline BB cream, I swear, feels just like something I would blow two thousand bucks ++ for in Rustan's!

The texture is light and sets with zero tackiness on my skin. Coverage is amazing; I have a few dark blemishes on my chin now but they disappear almost completely with just one layer of this BB cream. Nevertheless, the formula never feels like a heavy mask on my face, even when I've worn it for hours. A little goes a long way.

I also love that it features SPF50 PA++++. That makes it an excellent everyday base! I may even skip the sunscreen if I won't be exposed in the sun for too long. The Super BB Cream has stayed for eight hours on me with minimal fading. I don't get as oily, either.

The catch? Ok. There are only two shades, 01 Natural and 02 Medium. I have the Medium with me and it looks okay on my medium-yellow skin...but I find it a shade lighter than I would prefer my foundation to be. It also shows a white cast on camera. If you're darker than me, you might find that the Super BB Cream would be a disappointing match.

Maybelline Super BB Cream in 02 Medium

Maybelline Super BB Cream in 02 Medium

Using the BB cream here with minimal concealer and powder so you can see how flawless it is! It does look satiny smooth on skin, as advertised.

Using the BB cream here with minimal concealer and powder so you can see how flawless it is! It does look satiny smooth on skin, as advertised.

Still, I highly recommend the Maybelline Super BB Cream if one of the two shades suit you. I don't mind mine being slightly lighter; it doesn't look that off in person. I do use a powder foundation that's the exact match of my skin (just not in the photo above; I'm only using a translucent mineral powder) so the lighter BB cream doesn't really show through.

If you're looking for a long-wearing, high SPF, flawless coverage base, you will love the Maybelline Super BB Cream. ^_^ Let me know if you've tried it already!

Ten ways to save time on your morning routine

I don’t know about you guys, but I feel like I’m pretty much the poster child for rushing out of the house in a hurry. With the ridiculous traffic, who wouldn’t? When I know I have an early day ahead, I don’t like to compromise my precious few hours of sleep. Instead, I opt for beauty shortcuts to get me to look presentable without having to spend time meant for the commute inside my bathroom. Here are ten things you can do to speed up the beauty process for days when you’re just not allowed to luxuriate:

1. Maintain second-day hair. Woke up past your alarm? Brush on some dry shampoo to banish greasy roots and refresh your tresses. For days when you know you’ll be leaving super early in the morning, prep in advance by washing your hair before bedtime and allowing it to air-dry. Hair tends to be less frizzy the morning after, so you can just finish it off with a little bit of styling product. 

Images via Batiste, Olay, and Pixy

Images via Batiste, Olay, and Pixy

2. Have a multipurpose skin prep product on hand. Invest in a primer that has SPF, moisturizer, and/or color correction properties. Who needs three separate layers, anyway?

3. Stick to powder. Applying liquid foundation, waiting for it to absorb, then setting it with powder are three steps you can cut down to only one. Simply slap on a powder foundation! A full-coverage one can even allow you to skip concealer.

Images via Food World Me

Images via Food World Me

4. Limit tools to the bare essentials. In a scenario where you could only take two brushes with you when stranded on a desert island, you'd probably only need a fluffy powder brush and an eyeshadow shader brush. You can realistically survive on that duo, so there’s no need to complicate things with a 12-piece set on a busy day.

5. Reach for a go-to neutral eyeshadow palette. Do you have “thoughtless” days where you don’t have the patience to coordinate your shadow to your cheeks and lips? That’s where a default palette comes in. You can’t go wrong with neutrals.

6. Trade the shadow palette in for a cream shadow. If you have even less patience to contour with different eye shadow colors, grab a cream shadow instead. Invest in a one-color wonder, usually a metallic shade that works well on its own from morning to night. The subtle shimmer is great for faking that fresh and wide-awake look, too!

Images via NARS and Ulta

Images via NARS and Ulta

7. It’s all about the blush. While the long version of cheek makeup involves two shades of blush/bronzer and a highlighter, the one-step version only requires a universally flattering blush (typically a peach pink) with a hint of shimmer. Should give you that pretty flush of color and mild highlighting. We love NARS Orgasm!

8. Don’t skip the mascara. Use a nice, volumizing mascara that’ll instantly add definition to your eyes. When your lashes look thick enough, you can already do away with eyeliner. 

9. Max out your MLBB lippies. Neutral shadows and MLBBs go together like peanut butter and jelly. 'Nuff said.

10. Breeze through makeup mishap corrections. Use a makeup corrector for when you can’t afford to start over from scratch. The enemy of hasty makeup application is usually a clumsy stroke that could destroy the FOTD. Thankfully, the remedy exists. Look for corrector pens with wet tips that contain makeup remover. Can't find any? Get a cotton bud, load it with some moisturizer or makeup remover, and you can use it to fix mistakes easily.

Add to this list! Share your time-saving techniques in the comments below. ^_^