My six current favorite body and hair products

Do you keep a ritual when it comes to your body and hair care? I do! Finding good products to incorporate in my skincare is just half of the fun in my opinion. The other half is about the experience, the empowering feeling that I am taking care of myself. Not because I want to be pretty for whoever but because want to be pretty for me. 

I mean, there are many things in my life that I can't control or change but by jove I will have the total freedom to use the best-smelling body lotion I can get my grubby hands on. You feel me? Haha. Here are some of my new favorite body and hair care products for your perusal!

The Body Shop Forbidden Flower Body Gel. I've got loads of shower gels in the bath - fruity, floral, green, aqua - but I don't have anything as musky as this. I like how sultry the scent is! It sets me in a good mood.

Yves Rocher Cherry Bloom Body Lotion. It's sakura season in Tokyo and I. Can. Not. Wait! I'll be there in less than two weeks. In the meantime, this lovely cherry blossom-scented lotion will tide me over. I've been using this for months and I love how such a light lotion can make my skin feel soft and even. 

Burt's Bees Avocado Butter Pre-Shampoo Hair Treatment. I love using this when my hair is very dry. I apply it before shampooing and then rinse it away after lathering as it is very heavy. It's also a good styling aid for wavy, frizzy hair, much like a hair wax. Have to warn you about the scent though - it is distinctly green. I don't think it's for everybody.

Burt's Bees Beeswax & Banana Hand Creme. Burt's Bees makes the best hand creams if you ask me! This one has a faint scent of bananas. It instantly rejuvenates my dying hands without being sticky for long. I also like to use it on elbows, heels, and my hair! It's very good at taming down frizz.

Etude House Any Oil 21. This oil is glorious! It has a dry, light texture so I never feel like a greasy mess whenever I put it on my skin and hair. It's easily absorbed by the skin and has this ointment-y smell. I particularly like to massage it on my occasionally achy joints and flaky areas. Sometimes I use it as a body moisturizer.

Belo Sun Expert Ultra Gentle Sheer Spray SPF50PA+++. This is an excellent, easily applied sunscreen for those who are always rushing out of the door to go to work or school. Yes, you need sunscreen even when you're not at the beach! This dries almost instantly, doesn't feel oily, does not streak, and leaves a clean scent on skin. Winner.

So there you go. ^_^ Hope you enjoyed the post! Please do share your current body and hair faves too!

Quickie: Tony Moly Cotton Pact Delight

I have two sets of friends: those who inspire me, and those who I want to inspire. I like to think that I surround myself with wonderful people I can learn from and improve with, because what's the point otherwise? I love sharing what I know to be true so I do that whenever the opportunity presents itself. On the other hand I'm always constantly seeking knowledge and insight from others. That, for me, is the best way to be better at everything.

So comes the difficult question: how many of your friends inspire you? Do you feel that you inspire them too? I think all meaningful relationships must give and take - or trade - things of value. Give all you can, but never be afraid to ask for what you want.

Anyhoo, I'd like to quickly discuss the Tony Moly Cotton Pact Delight (P398), a macaron-sized translucent powder that is perfect for retouching wherever. I love how silky the texture is, and how it doesn't make my makeup look caky due to the sheer coverage. The finish is so creamy and fresh to look at - very important when you've just been sweating it out in this heat!

It's easy to not take this powder seriously since it's so small, but I promise you that you won't be disappointed by how well it takes down shine and its subtly brightening finish. The #2 shade is completely matte with a hint of peachy tint that just lifts up the complexion. See the proof below!

The Tony Moly Cotton Pact Delight as a finishing powder

The Tony Moly Cotton Pact Delight as a finishing powder

The compact is small and fits in the middle of my hand, so I always bring it with me whenever I'm toting a tiny bag (quite often as it happens). There is also a puffy sponge included in another section of the compact that works pretty well to take out shine without disturbing the foundation underneath! I do wish it has a bigger mirror so I can see what I'm doing better, but that's the trade-off for the petit size.

Tony Moly Cotton Pact Delight Open 2.jpg

And that is that. ^_^ Try the Tony Moly Cotton Pact Delight if you're looking for a travel-friendly retouch powder this summer! This won't prevent oil or anything but it excels at making your skin look good in a hot minute.


Cheap finds: Maybelline HyperSharp Wing Liner

It's always more challenging to blog when you're thinking about 50,000 different things. It's even more difficult when your routine is disrupted. It's almost a pain to attempt it when you've just read things on Facebook that sound like they're questioning your credibility. But the show must go on, and you need to stick to the plan. Beyond passion, beyond the vision that you have for yourself, you must have the endurance to stay steady. 

That's the secret. ;)

Soooo anyway today I'd like to share with you my thoughts on the Maybelline HyperSharp Wing Liner (P399) in comparison with the regular HyperSharp Liner (P379), which I have reviewed before. The Wing liner promises to create that perfect flick or cat eye as it features a longer brush that tapers to a finer point versus the original. You know what? It does work pretty well, and with a kickass long-lasting formula too!

As with the original HyperSharp liner, the Wing liner barely smudges on me, and does not crumble into flakes during the day. I wore it yesterday for eight hours and there was just barely noticeable smearing! As for pigmentation, it's not as instantly black as I would like, but a bit of layering solves that quite easily. It has a shiny finish which I just feel ambivalent about.

Above is the comparison the brushes of the two Maybelline liquid liners. You'll see that the Wing has a fatter base and a slightly longer length, while the regular has a smaller, shorter brush. You can certainly create a good winged eye with it but the Wing does the job quicker due to the specially designed brush. I've observed that it's a lot easier to maneuver around the corner of the eyes! It's also easier to fill in a fat line.

The formula and pigmentation are about the same. Here I am wearing the Maybelline Wing liner:

Nice eh? I love myself a good winged line if you've noticed! I do wish that this was more intensely black but as it goes, P399 ain't a bad price for an easy-to-use, long-wearing liquid liner. I highly recommend the Maybelline HyperSharp Wing Liner if you love a daring flick. If you prefer a line that is more rounded, thinner, and hugs the lashes closer, go for the original one. ^_^

Hope this helps! Have you tried these liners? How did they work for you?

A concealer tutorial + a review: The Shiseido Perfecting Stick Concealer

Over the years I've learned that faking the perfect complexion isn't so much about using the best foundation, but about blending in the right base and concealer. If you've got a good brightening primer or skincare underneath, then cover up all blemishes and unevenness with a heavy coverage concealer, then you've won 80% of the battle against facial flaws. All that without looking like your skin has been plastered over with makeup!

Later I will share with you my current concealing routine, but first here's a quick review of the new Shiseido Perfecting Stick Concealer (P1,350). I fell in love with this at first swatch that I grabbed two! I immediately wore it the next day but was instantly disappointed by the fact that it caked in two hours in humid weather. How could that be? It's not often that a Shiseido product fails me.

I experimented with different ways of application and I've found that it's best blended onto the skin with a dense brush. Fingers are no good; the texture is so thick that it can't be properly blended with my digits or a flimsy brush. It also sticks to skin too well, so basically I was just making a mess with my hands.

I use it with a densely packed brush from Zoeva (a German brand) called the Concealer Buffer and it looks amazing every time! It also doesn't cake since I am now able to properly sheer it out over the skin. I've worn this concealer for over ten hours and it fades only minimally even when I'm sweaty or oily. It does cake on the under eye area a tiny bit; I just even it out with a clean finger when this happens.

33 is my shade match!

33 is my shade match!

This concealer is ideal for those with dark blemishes and under eyes due to its opaque coverage. It's also most suited to dry/normal skin types since it's quite creamy, but this will work on combi/oily skin as long as it's properly set with powder.

Overall, I find the Shiseido Perfecting Stick Concealer a pretty good product as long as it's applied correctly. Here's how I do it!

Before I start, I use a brightening primer like the Make Up For Ever Step 1 Skin Equalizer. This serves to banish darkness in depressed areas of the face as well as too yellow tones. It has zero coverage. Will review this and another MUFE primer soon.

The brush below is the Zoeva Concealer Buffer which I got in a set, although I believe it can be purchased at separately. It functions like fingers but works so much better! The synthetic bristles are so soft too, and easy to clean.

Concealing Routine 3 .jpg

Step 1: Apply the concealer wherever you need it. That would be the blemishes, around the nose or mouth if you're dark there, and under the eyes. I'm not too concerned about being precise since I'll blend it out later anyway. I also make sure to put in a thick layer to get maximum coverage.

Step 2: Blend out the edges in small tight strokes with a dense concealer brush. Try not to touch the middle part of the concealer, instead, feather out the edges into thinner layers until they look seamless against the skin.

Step 3: When concealing the under eyes, use a light hand and gently thin out the concealer from the inner corner of the eyes going outwards and upwards. This ensures that the concealer gets into those folds of skin with minimal caking.

Step 4: Set it with a thin layer of powder and you're done. You can use foundation if you desire better coverage, but an oil controlling translucent powder should be enough.

And that's that. Hope this helps! ^_^ 

So flattering: The Make Up Forever Rouge Artist Intense in 53 and 54

Having a new hair color means that it's a bit trickier for me to find makeup that flatters. My new reddish mocha 'do works wonderfully to brighten up my skin, but I've found that loud makeup looks garish in relation to it. It's not like before when my hair was very dark; the contrast of say a bright shade of lipstick looks fun and happy. Now, I feel clowny if I even attempt it!

That's why I've been sticking to neutral and even pale shades of late until I get used to my new hair. I've got two new Make Up Forever Rouge Artist Intense lipstick shades (part of their Spring 2015 collection, roughly ~P1,500), and I've been loving the colors they sent! Here's a low down on what makes them awesome:

  • These colors are opaque in two layers.
  • They stay on even after eating and drinking, with a life span of 4-5 hours. The texture is hard and sets in a bit, hence the staying power.
  • The frosty finish of these shades (53 and 54) is initially questionable, but when worn on the lips the frostiness is hardly visible from afar. It actually makes lips look fuller and more dimensional without being shiny!
  • I don't find these lipsticks drying on my normal lips, but if you have parched lips, it's still best to wear lip balm first.
  • The packaging is sleek and classy, as expected from a pro brand like MUFE.

I don't have any gripes about the Rouge Artist Intense except I wish it can be more affordable so I can buy more hahahaha. Seriously though, try this out if you like reliable, flattering lipsticks.

Here are my shade notes!

Left is 54 Pearly Golden Pink and right is 53 Pearly Pink Copper

Left is 54 Pearly Golden Pink and right is 53 Pearly Pink Copper

The Make Up Forever Rouge Artist Intense in 53 Pearly Pink Copper is quite lovely. It's a warm, rosy pink with fine copper frost. This should work for fair to morena girls alike as it can be considered a mid-tone color. It's flattering and versatile, perfect for everyday! It can also be a wedding lipstick IMHO. It's very photogenic.

The Make Up Forever Rouge Artist Intense in 54 Pearly Golden Pink looks too cool for me upon first swatch but it actually works; it's not as pale as it seems in the tube. It treads the fine line between lavender and pink! It's pretty and perfect for intense smoky eyes.

Make Up Forever Rouge Artist Intense 53 swatch.jpg

I love both shades and it's likely I will place them on permanent rotation. ^_^ Hope you enjoyed the swatches! Which shade are you gravitating to? Have you figured out your spring colors yet?

Make Up Forever Rouge Artist Intense Ingredients.jpg

Three style tips for top heavy women

If you have a wide shoulder, stout arms, and possibly (but not necessarily) a big bosom, welcome to the top heavy club! I know, oh I know how frustrating it can be to be larger on top instead of equally proportioned. I always look fat in pictures because of my arms, even though my waist, legs, and hips are just fine. I've never been able to physically slim down my arms and I suspect it's just genetics. All the women in my family are top-heavy it seems.

Through the years, I've found some styles that work well to make my body look more proportional. Let me share you some of them!

  • Go for v-necks and scoop necklines, as they reveal skin in the middle, thus making your shoulders look more narrow. These necklines also make your torso longer and leaner!
  • Sleeves are your best friend. I'm not talking about cap sleeves or anything with ruffles, okay! Avoid them! Choose tops with 3/4 sleeves or sleeves that are almost halfway down to your elbow. These kinds of sleeves taper down your arms and make them look slimmer.
  • Define your waist. The smaller your waist seems, the smaller your shoulders will look in relation to your hips. Try to go for cuts that gather in the waist, or wear slim belts to attract the eye to that area. Flowy, straight tops/dresses will do you no favors, sadly.
Dress from Dorothy Perkins / Pumps from Ferretti / Happy Skin acrylic clutch

Dress from Dorothy Perkins / Pumps from Ferretti / Happy Skin acrylic clutch

This is a look I wore to a wedding last Saturday. It's a simple shift dress, but I love how it has all my requirements: a scoop neckline, longish sleeves, and a defined waist. ^_^ Bonus na the striking electric blue color!  I got it from Dorothy Perkins just last week so I'm sure you could still find it in the racks.

Hope this helps!

What being beautiful means to me

It's been exactly ten years since I graduated from high school. Many details of my time there are murky already, but they came into focus when I attended my friends' wedding last weekend. It's amazing to see how many of us have changed - or didn't change. It also felt odd as I held the people in front of me against the people I remember ten years ago.

The weirdest feeling of all however was remembering how I was like back then. I feel that I've accomplished many things and transformed myself tremendously since high school, but I still could not help feeling a twinge of self-consciousness around that crowd.

You see, I was ugly back then. I was intelligent and I had a modest amount of talent but I was ugly with my big curly hair, horribly crooked teeth, pimples, bad eyesight, and rather dark skin. I was smart enough to know that my physical appearance was not crucial to the success I wanted, but being ugly was always at the back of my mind. I knew I would never be a beautiful girl. I would be called smart, talented, well-read - but never beautiful in the first breath.

I spent much of my life so far trying to be as physically pleasing as I could manage, and sharing what I've learned to anyone who could understand the struggle. This beauty blog is proof of that journey! I believe that wanting to be beautiful goes beyond just vanity; it's a desire to be accepted, to be considered special by the people who matter to you.  

Sometimes, a cutting comment takes me back to that dark period of self-loathing. the memory of that never really goes away. You know how some people blindside you with a seemingly innocent non-compliment? There's even more pressure on me now since I work in this industry.

But I am no longer that girl from high school. I love how I look today. I could lose a few pounds, lighten some dark spots, perhaps have a narrower nose, but I like me. I now know that there is only one person whose opinion matters when it comes to how I look: myself! At the end of the day it's me who has to face the mirror and deal with what I see there. I can choose to hate it, or I can choose to accept and perhaps even transform it.

I hope you've come to that realization too. You are beautiful, if you choose to be.

Drugstore finds: Sunkiller Super Lasting Base SPF50 PA++++

It's easy to think of a hundred reasons why you shouldn't reach for something, but if you truly want it, one reason is enough to go for it. It doesn't even have to be a big one. It can be something as seemingly trivial as, "I hate it when people ask me what I'm doing and I often end up telling them 'nothing, so I'm going to write a novel'" Or "I want to fit in my favorite old dress by Saturday, so I'll work out." Your reasons, how ever small, are valid. You just need to acknowledge the ones that will gain you the most positive outcomes.

Moving on, today I've got a summer must-have for you: the Sunkiller Super Lasting Base SPF50 PA++++ (P495). This is my current favorite sunscreen slash tinted face base as it feels light on skin, has very high sun protection, and doesn't cost an arm and a leg. I love the Clinique Even Better with SPF45 PA+++, but the price tag on that is a bit much. It's nice to find something a lot less expensive to use for quick trips out of the house.

This Japanese drugstore sunscreen base has a bit of yellow tint - it doesn't actually cover anything, but it brightens up the uneven areas of my face. It has no shimmer as far as I can tell. It looks wet upon application but dries down to a demi matte finish. It has no scent although it has a bit of that menthol tingle when freshly blended on.

I wear it with just powder foundation on top. I like how my skin looks so healthy and glowing with it! I don't like wearing heavy coverage in the heat (unless I really really have to) so this sheer base topped by my fave foundation is a good combo. 

That said, this base doesn't prevent oil or noticeably slow it down. I still get oily after 2-3 hours, but to its credit, the Sunkiller keeps my foundation on better; it fades less than it naturally does.

And that's that. If you're looking for a sheer base with high SPF, you will do very well with the Sunkiller Super Lasting Base SPF50 PA++++. It brightens skin in a subtle manner while protecting it from the sun's rays. ^_^ I'm sold!

What SPF product are you using for your face this summer? (Please tell me you are!)

Sunkiller is available wherever Heroine Make is available in Watsons. Will post the exact locations once I have the list.

Short for summer: My new haircut from JuRo Salon

People tell me, "I wish I have the courage to cut my hair that short". I think we all have that kind of courage in spades - all we need is a little shift in perspective! Hair is just, well, hair. It will grow back out in two or three months. Allow yourself the slow what-the-hell-did-I-just-do, hey-this-actually-doesn't-look-bad, wow-people-actually-love-it, and finally the I'm-so-happy-I-did it realizations.

The process is enlightening, fun, and makes you feel more confident about yourself. That sounds like a bargain just by losing a bit of hair!

Of course, you actually need to go to a good hair stylist first. If you're going to lose some serious length, it has to be with someone you can trust. A pixie cut or a bob can be a huge mistake in the wrong hands - I know this from personal experience! That's why when I decided to go short this summer, I went to my favorite stylists in the world: Jude and Rose of JuRo Salon.

I popped in the other day and just said, "Jude, my hair is still thinning and I need a style that will create volume. I also need it to be low maintenance because I'm lazy plus I have an upcoming trip. Just do your thing!" Jude knew exactly what I needed. He followed the natural movement of my hair to come up with something that is literally just wash and wear. In these photos, I didn't even blow dry or use any styling product!

Rose also did her magic by using a fairly new colouring technique called balayage. According to Marie Claire magazine, "Balayage is a French word meaning to sweep or to paint. It allows for a sun-kissed natural looking hair colour - similar to what nature gives us as children - with softer, less noticeable regrowth lines. The principal idea being less is more when creating soft, natural looks."

Balayage is completely bespoke, and the color combination that Rose used on me is also of her own creation. It's called Mocha Summerlights - ask for it when you visit! I love the soft, warm reddish shade and how strategically it was placed around my hair. So awesome. 

So that's my new look. ^_^ I love it, obviously, and I'm sure it will grow out beautifully as with all my past JuRo haircuts in the last three years. Thank you, Jude and Rose, for such an amazing job!

JuRO now has an Instagram account @Jurosalonexclusif

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

10 AM to 8 PM daily, by Appointment Only

(02) 822 5673
+63 999 767 907

Come join: Basic Watercolor Workshop on March 28

When I first started painting, my biggest struggle was learning all the basic techniques and gathering the right materials. Later on it was about studying how to translate what I see in real life to paper - it was all about figuring out light and shadow, color and texture, perspective and scale.

Now, the most difficult challenge I'm trying to hurdle is telling a story through my art. I'm certainly not done working on my technical proficiency so I'm still on that track, but now with the addition of imbuing my paintings with life. I hope I am succeeding. I will keep trying.

Man O' War Forest, watercolor painting by Liz Lanuzo

Man O' War Forest, watercolor painting by Liz Lanuzo

Lucy, watercolor painting by Liz Lanuzo

Lucy, watercolor painting by Liz Lanuzo

If you'd like to start learning how to paint with watercolours, do join my latest workshop! Here I will systematically teach you all the basics - finding the right materials, creating washes, mixing colors, and how to paint values. Many of my past students have told me that they like how everything is step-by-step and easy to follow!

To register, simply email your name and mobile number to lizlanuzo at with the subject "Signing up for the watercolor workshop". See you on the 28th!

PS - I just updated my Art portfolio page! Have fun browsing. ^_^

Five affordable gel moisturizers to try this summer

Girls with oily and troubled skin typically avoid moisturizer like the plague, thinking that it will make them even oilier. That's not true. The right moisturizer for your skin type can hydrate your skin properly and possibly even cause it to produce less oil, as it balances itself out. Besides, well-moisturized skin will keep its elasticity and plumpness longer! This might not seem important at the moment but it will matter ten years into the future.

Since summer has arrived, it's time to switch to lighter moisturizers that won't feel greasy in this weather. These are all water-based and absorbed by the skin quickly. Try 'em out soon!

Gel Moisturizer.jpg

Pond's Flawless White Dewy Rose Gel (P149). This is best for normal to dry skin as it's almost feels like a cream moisturizer. It's still lighter though! This has brightening properties for all of you needing a bit of glow. 

Olay Equation Long Lasting Hydration Gel (P859). Light and fluffy, this blue goo is good for normal to oily skin. It feels like nothing on skin once it's dry. Very refreshing!

Etude House AC Clinic Daily Gel Lotion (P548). If you've got oily, acne-prone skin, this gel moisturizer is for you. It helps calm redness and dry up pimples a little faster. It comes in a big bottle so it'll take forever to use up!

Sebamed Clear Face Care Gel (P699 in Watsons). This is a scentless, clear gel moisturizer with zero emulsifiers and oil. It's for sensitive, acne-prone skin.

Tony Moly Pure Eco Aloe Gel (~P300). This big tub is both for the face and body. It also has barely any scent and sinks into the skin with no fuss! 

Hope this helps! ^_^ My favorite gel moisturizer is the Clinique Moisture Surge up to this day. Still, I'm happy that there are more and more affordable alternatives in the market! Any other ones you'd care to share?