Posts in Reader Question
Reader question: How will you know if your shampoo is breaking you out?

Hello Ms Liz and all the readers :) I hope you could answer my question. I recently tried another variant of shampoo kasi I was getting tired of the scent of the old one. I just started two days ago and just today I noticed a few bumps on my forehead near the hairline. I don't know if it's the shampoo or the hormones as my period's approaching. I just wanna know how I can avoid getting serious breakouts caused by hair care products in the future and how to distinguish them from a normal breakout. Thanks! - Nerys

Hi Nerys! This is an excellent question because I feel that a lot of us may be unaware that hair products are as guilty of causing breakouts as skincare. Thing is, whatever's applied there and on our scalp can easily migrate to our face! When I was younger i would ALWAYS get pimples and I can never tell what causes them. Until I switched to my current (and unglamorous) shampoo - Head and Shoulders - the pimples did not stop.

I invest in good skincare but so far there is only one shampo that doesn't break me out after regular use. So yeah, this is pretty important! I've gone through a LOT of breakouts caused by hair products, so my advice is to observe a new hair care product closely the first couple of weeks.

So how will you know if you shampoo is breaking you out? Ask yourself the following questions:

1. Do you usually break out on those sections of your face/body? Usually, breakouts caused by hair products happen on the chin and near the hair line. If you don't normally get pimples there, then it's likely your new hair care is causing it.

Even if you're breaking out somewhere else, it might be because your hair tends to touch that area (like the cheeks and back). 

2. Is it the only new thing you're using? I strongly recommend using new products only one at a time so you can isolate any effects you get from them. I know how exciting it is to use new things all at once, but a bit of restraint and patience will save you a lot of trouble and backtracking in the long run!

Read More
Reader Question: Makeup for college students on a budget

Hi, Ma'am. I'm a fan of your blog and have been reading it since before. I would just like to ask some advice on make-up. What brands can you recommend, taking consideration of the budget since I'm a senior in college (still depending on allowance. Huhu.) on these following products:

1. BB Cream - matte finish
2. Lipstick - nude pink or the natural pink // super hydrating, please because I've tried a lot of lippies and after a while, my lips are cracked already
3. Concealer - to cover my eye bagsss (from lots of sleepless nights studying)
4. Blush and Bronzer in one - I find it cute to have a gold shimmer along the blush 
5. Pressed powder - mineral 
- Tricia Chua

Hi Tricia! Thanks for sending this message! It takes me back to when I was in college myself, and struggling to buy nice makeup on my allowance. I remember eating P20 palabok (a noodle dish) for lunch, which worked out very well as I am a HUGE fan of it. I can eat it everyday! :P

Anyway, I've answered your questions a few times in the past, but I'm answering it here again based on your exact preferences. I highly recommend these products! They are not mega cheap but that's because they are totally worth what you'll pay for them. None is over P800.

Here goes! 


Etude House BB Cream Cotton Fit (P795). This is a matte finish BB cream with mid to full coverage and SPF30. It's a great everyday base since it has sun protection, plus it does a great job of brightening skin! This is the most expensive thing you'll need to get, but there's a lot of product in the tube and the quality is at par with high end bases. It's a pretty good deal for the price, IMHO.

Read More
Reader Question: What makeup to wear to work outs

Hi Ms. Liz! I do Bikram Yoga every day. I make it a point to not wear any sort of makeup whenever I go and practice since I will be sweating a lot and I want my pores to open healthily without gunks of foundation blocking them. But honestly, I feel really awkward with my bare face since I have a LOT of pimple marks that can only be salvaged by foundation and concealer. Can you recommend some good tinted moisturizer that can at least cover pimple marks that is sweat-resistant? Also, can you share some thoughts regarding the use of makeup (at least foundation) during workouts?

P.S Doing yoga every day has actually taught me to let go of any complications and let it be. Sometimes I feel comfortable with my own skin just because I just can "be". But low self-esteem days cannot be helped sometimes :( - Regina

Hi Regina! When I started doing yoga, I went in with zero makeup. I thought that it was too impractical when it'll surely melt anyway. Besides, no one should care what you look like inside a gym or place of practice! I thought that everyone should leave their judgey selves by the door when they enter. I try to.

However, I found that the practice is more enjoyable if I look good in the mirror. Haha. Vain, yes, but I know you know what I mean! So I started wearing a bit of makeup, just the tiniest amount. It made a huge difference. I feel a little more glamorous in the mat, more put-together. Somehow looking good made me challenge myself in poses more. Does that make sense?

Photo grabbed from @noelle_hilario over at Instagram

Also - I totally understand what you mean about letting go of issues when you're at the mat. That's the beauty of yoga! It never hurts to look good while you're enjoying that feeling.

Now, I honestly haven't found foundation or powder that'll last through a whole session of bikram yoga. It's just waaaay to much sweat in such a short time! However, I do know of a few things that can cover up your marks, make your skin look better, and just enhance your natural features. Here they are!

Read More
Reader question: Makeup look for wedding guests

Hi Liz! The moment I got the invitation for my cousin's wedding, I have instantly told myself that I should ask you for advice re make up :) I have a few make up pieces for special occasions but my eye shadows are not very colorful , I have preferred to keep them in conservative hues. Also, [please] include tips on how to make them last longer for the duration of the event esp lipstick.

P.S. I am coming just as a guest. - Kris

Hi Kris! Attending a wedding, even just as a guest, is a fun opportunity to dress up and make up. Of course you'd want to look your best among friends and relatives! Now, a few pieces of makeup (when used correctly) can really take you a long way. I decided to do a video tutorial of this look with only minimal products to show you how it could be done.

I used the Laura Mercier Foundationer Primer in Radiance here, topped with the Shiseido Brightening Spot Control Foundation. I used the Shiseido Natural Eyebrow Pencil in Deep Brown to sculpt my brows.

How to make your makeup stay on longer

Primer (on the face, eyes, and lips) helps to keep your makeup down for a longer time. However, it's also important to bring blotting sheets and a powder brush to help retouch your makeup as you oil up.

Read More
Reader question: How to deal with people staring at your makeup

Hi Miss Liz! I've been a lurker for far too long and I stumbled upon your blog sometime November last year and I'm super thankful to have found it.  

I was never really interested before with makeup because my family and the community I'm in (which is very small that news travels fast in the grapevine) has this fixation that natural beauty is the only way to go and most of my friends haven't really been using makeup aside from the occasional lipstick. Because of this, I'm not really confident walking around with makeup when everyone else is bare faced. I just wanted to ask if you have any tips for a girl who is just starting out and how to deal with the stares.

I'd like to thank you in advance and please continue with Project Vanity since it has given me purchase ideas :) - KitKat

Glad you like it here! ^_^ l also grew up in a small povincial town, so I totally understand where you're coming from. I was also self-conscious about wearing bright eyeshadow and lipstick (not to mention, crazy outfits when everyone else is just in jeans!), but I did get over it. It may be difficult to change a person's POV about dressing up, but it's never too late to change yours!

1. Know and remember why you're wearing makeup. Is it to feel more confident about yourself? Is it because you enjoy the process of collecting and applying it? Whatever your reasons are, it pays to acknowledge them. Remember that you're doing this for you. You're not seeking approval or attention. You just want to bring out the beauty you already have. 

Say it like a mantra, if you need to. It will make you feel more comfortable with yourself.

2. They don't really care, and if they do, they can't do anything about it. I think all of us has this paranoia that everytime we're in a crowd, everyone else is just watching us every second, waiting for us to make a mistake. This is hardly true.

Read More
Reader Question: Updated top foundation picks

Hi! Can you please post your top foundation picks as of 2013, particularly ones that are great for our humid weather. Thank you! - CM

Hi CM! Great question. I have a newish rotation of foundations so this is quite timely. ^_^ There's lots of amazing bases but there are only a few that I use regularly. This narrow selection is what I feel matches my skin type (combination-oily) and preference (demi matte to dewy) perfectly. They stay on for a minimum of five to six hours which I think is average for face bases in this tropical humidity.

Here are my current favorite foundations. I wanted to list only five but I didn't want to cut down any more than I already have, hehe. Also I have yet to review two products (the Ellana and Happy Skin ones) in this line-up so you'd have to be contented with a summary. :P The rest, you can find full reviews linked to their names.

Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Even Finish Foundation (P2,650). This is my most reliable foundation, ever. It looks great no matter how bad my skin looks, it's photogenic, and lasts all freakin' day. It's a pain to apply unless you have a Beauty Blender. So get a Beauty Blender sponge if you want to maximize this particular base.

Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Even Finish Compact (P2,400). And here's the no-fuss version of the liquid foundation. This requires very little blending or layers.

Read More
Reader question: What should I get from Watsons for my first makeup kit?

What products found in Watsons would you recommend for a start up make up kit? Just the basics from eyeliner, mascara, lipstick, blush and foundation/ powder. - Alyson

Hi Alyson! Thanks for your great question. I think Watsons is indeed the best place to visit if you're looking to build your first makeup kit. :) There's a huge selection of brands from the Philippines, Japan, USA, Australia, and even Europe, would you believe! Watsons has definitely gone a long way from being just a boring ol' pharmacy.

I've already posted many drugstore suggestions in the past, but I've picked out an updated list of products for you to try if you're in the process of beefing up your kit. Many of these are just fairly recent finds, and toe the fine line between quality and affordability. 

Maybelline Dream Liquid Mousse (P599). This has a great lumi-matte finish with a light to medium coverage. It can definitely hide lesser eyebags and blemishes, great for everyday wear! I'd recommend this for dry to combi skin though; if you're really oily, I'd recommend something like the Revlon Colorstay Whipped Creme Makeup.

BYS Minerals Naturale Compact Foundation (P599). I like the natural, glowy finish of this powder and how well it controls my oiliness. It could be a dupe of the MAC Mineralized Skinfinish powder.


Read More
Reader Question: Is my new skincare making my skin purge or am I breaking out for real?

Hello Project Vanity readers! I'm really curious about skin purging. Is it really true, or is it just a hoax? I'm trying out a new skin care regimen, but I'm breaking out. When I asked a representative of the product, she said that I was just experiencing "skin purging", and that my pimples are coming out now but it will discontinue later as my skin adjusts. How do you know if you are actually skin reactive to the product, or just purging? Hope you can help me on this one! Thanks. - Beth

Hi Beth! This is a very useful question. I checked out the topic online and yes, skin "purges" (and this is only in a figurative sense okay) when we use new skincare (especially those for curing acne). Certain active ingredients like retinoids or a new exfoliating regimen can cause deep-seated dirt, dead skin, and oil to rise to the surface of the skin. So you get pimples. It's the only way for all that junk to get out of your pores.

Sometimes, your skin simply adjusts to the new ingredients in your new skincare. You're basically shocking your skin into accepting these alien ingredients, which is why it's okay to cut your new products some a certain degree, that is.

I've tried A LOT of products since I started beauty blogging, and here's what I've experienced: a product is fine for me if I just break out for one week.

Read More