Posts tagged reader questions
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!

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Reader Question: Foundation for commuters

Hey Ms. Liz! I commute a lot and I just can't find the right foundation that will make me look fresh even after a long jeepney ride. My face gets shiny and oily so then I'd have to retouch my make up right away when my day is just starting. So is there a foundaion, maybe that will prevent my face from getting too oily after a commute? Thanks in advance! - Ira Samonte

Hi Ira! You're right, commuting is such a pain here - doesn't matter if it's hot or rainy, the humidity will often get the best of us. Thankfully there are a few foundations that can withstand intense oil and sweat. 

Before I list them down though, here are a few tips to keep your makeup looking fresh during and after commuting!

  • Keep oil blotting sheets with you at all times! Use a sheet or two every half hour if you must. I know it's a hassle, but oil will come out no matter what product you use. It's better to stop it while it's just seeping out, before it turns your makeup into a hot mess.

  • Equally important are facial tissues. When you get sweaty, pull out a sheet, let it rest on top of the sweaty area like a blanket, apply gentle pressure on it, then peel it off. Don't rub the tissue on the skin since it'll mess with your makeup.
  • Facial mists are a life saver. Apply them to keep your face feeling fresh, and your makeup not so hulas. If you're just wearing a light foundation you can skip this, but if you have something heavy and thick on (typical of long-wearing foundations), mists can make the makeup feel less of a mask.

Here are some foundations I would recommend for those who go on long commutes. For better oil absorption and staying power, top them off with the Ben Nye Banana Luxury Powder

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Reader question: How to conceal dark blemishes

Hi Miss Liz! I have a birthmark on the face and while I know that sometimes, confidence is the key, people looking all the time can get to you. And I want to try going birthmark free for the first time! How do I cover it? What do I buy? Heavy concealer? Heavy foundation? I'm pretty much willing to go until the MAC budget, but no high-ends such as Chanel, etc. Thank you! :) - Hannah

Hi Hannah! Thanks for your question. I know how debilitating it is to walk around with marks on the face. We want to tell ourselves that it shouldn't affect our self-esteem, but they still exist and people look at them. I've been struggling with blemishes most of my life. They're not quite the same thing as a birth mark, but the principle of concealing them should apply.

The trick is concealing only the problem spot/s instead of your whole face. The finished look would be more natural, showing more skin than makeup! You also have to be careful about the concealers you use. They should be able to stick for hours, even after a lot of oil and swear - maybe even water if you're out for a swim. 

In this tutorial, I used a light foundation (actually, it's just a cc cream) as a base, applied a thick, opaque concealer to completely cover the blemishes, and then applied a thinner concealer to blend in the thick concealer. Then, I set the whole thing with powder to seal the makeup in place.

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Reader Question: How often should Pinays wash their hair?

Hi Liz, just want to ask if how often should we shampoo our hair? I'm currently shampooing my hair everyday which I've read was not a good idea. I also have frequent hair fall and it's really frustrating. I've tried a lot of hair products that claims to prevent hair fall but none of them works for me. Any recommendations? Thanks! - Joanne

Hi Joanne! My opinion is that the frequency of hair washing should be approached on a case-to-case basis. It depends on how humid it is, and how exposed you are to the dirt and the sun! Washing too often can strip your hair and scalp of moisture; washing too little may lead to stickiness and stinkiness.

The trick is to find a balance. Try to see how long you can comfortably go without washing your hair, and that's your sweet spot. The truth is we don't need to wash our hair as long as it is clean and not overly greasy.

Personally I wash my hair every other day only as I am out of the house about three or four days a week. I work mainly from home so I can get away with not washing so often. If you commute everyday, however, perhaps it's wiser to clean your hair on a daily basis - at least with a mild shampoo.

If you're experiencing increased hair fall though, perhaps it's not the shampoo, but your lifestyle.

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Reader question: What does "authentic" mean in online shopping?

I have been online shopping at shops like digitaltraincase, stuffinstyle, makeuphub, redgirlshop and others. I keep seeing those words "authentic" on some brands. For example, Authentic BenNye Banana, authentic Mac.. Etc. what does authentic actually mean in terms of makeup products? I researched definitions of authentic, its like a veryclose replica of the original. Another definition is, it is made the same way. So what is it with shops adding "authentic" to their products, because sometimes I doubt if its oroginal or its whatever. So what is it really? Is it fake products if theres "authentic" in it? - Maggie

Sounds like a straightforward question, but not really! Authentic means "genuine" or "original". If an online store claims that its products are authentic then hold them to the fact that their wares are the exact same ones sold in retail locations. If they say their Benefit Hervana Blush is authentic, then it should be exactly what Benefit sells in its Greenbelt store.

Digital Traincase is a store I trust 100%! Stuff in Style too.

But it gets confusing once a store claims that its products are "Singapore authentic", for example. Perfumes, cosmetics, and bags are usually tagged as such. The sellers would even post elaborate descriptions and photos to prove that their products are not bootlegged from China or something. (Even though most things are made in China these days anyway.)

So are they fake or not? They're fake. :) They might even be a class A or B replica, which means that the products almost look like the real thing, but make no mistake - they are not authentic.

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Rapid fire reader questions: eyeliner for the beach, makeup for a 36-hour duty, and everyday pressed powder

Hi Miss Liz! :) My friends and I will be having our annual beach getaway this Saturday. Can you suggest an eyeliner (either gel,pencil or liquid) that won't smudge even if I get into the water? Big thanks! :D  - Kristin

Hi Kristin! No makeup, when it comes in contact with salt water, will survive for very long. The salt will erode whatever you have on your face and the water will take care of the rest. However, there are certain products that will stay on a wee bit longer!

I would recommend you try the K-Palette Real Lasting Eye Pencil as the formula is very solid and fairly waterproof. Just make sure it has set completely before you get into the water, don't rub it at any cost, and make sure you check when it starts to fade away. Remove immediately when it starts to smear.

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Reader question: Favorite drugstore brand

Hi everyone! What would be the BEST drugstore brand for you? :) - Paulina

Feel free to pitch in your own answer as well! I'll begin. My favorite drugstore brand, top of mind, is Revlon. I love that they come out with new products every other month, and that they try to improve on the technology they've rolled out in the past. I remember that some releases have been dire failures (remember those crappy "long-wearing" eyeshadow?) but the new Colorstay ones are pretty amazing in my book.

Revlon's Colorstay and Photoready lines are pretty extensive, and they are still expanding up to this day. Colorstay is indeed long-wearing while Photoready looks good on camera as promised. True, Revlon is quite expensive here in the Philippines but if you don't mind paying (dearly) for the convenience of finding it in most drugstores then I suppose the price is not too bad.

Revlon Colorstay Whipped Creme Makeup

Revlon PhotoReady Two-Way Powder Foundation

One other thing I LOVE about Revlon is that it's an 81-year old name that has made a mark in makeup history. It was founded in 1932 and sold only nail polish and then lipstick in the beginning. Up to this day, Revlon's polishes and lipsticks still remain some of the best out there!

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Reader question: Do you ever go out without any make up?

I'm just wondering if you still go out without any make up besides skin care? Any of you feel 'incomplete' without any color on? I know it's pretty personal, just wondering how the rest of you would react. - Tin

This sounds like a simple yes or no question but it's more complicated than that, for me. Women who rely on makeup to feel polished are often looked down on. "Wow she needs all that makeup to be pretty?" "Kapal ng makeup niya!" Everyone's all "natural beauty is the best!" but how many people do you personally know wake up looking "perfect" (as defined by society) in the morning?

Humans are built to appreciate physical beauty in others; it is theorized to be linked to evolutionary instinct, where a beautiful person is considered to have a lesser chance of having genetic or acquired defects. The concept of beauty has changed over time, but each culture has always had one - an ideal, an image of perfection that we hold up for worship.

Women and men are pressured now (more than ever) to look perfect because (1) someone is always watching what with the prevalence of social media (2) wider, instant, and insistent distribution of materials that proclaim what is beautiful and (3) better and more affordable access to information/ products to beautify oneself.

So, with that pressure to look beautiful, how can average women like us possibly be celebrated in a society that expects us to be perfect? Quick answer: makeup.

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Reader question: Difference between lipsticks, lip butter, tinted balm, and stains

What is the difference between lip sticks, lip butter and lip tint? Do they actually have distinctive characteristics or is it a matter of labels? - Kris

Hi Kris! Thank you for your question. :) Ten years ago, it wouldn't have even existed! All women had were lipsticks and glosses. However, thanks to technological innovations and new ingredients we now have more formulas to play our lips up with. They may look or even swatch the same but other than a few "confused" lip products I can say that there is a difference in the formula.

Here's the dish on what makes lipsticks, butters, tints, and stains unique!

Lipstick. Mostly wax-based and saturated with pigment, lipsticks can offer you maximum opacity and good staying power. They come in all sorts of finishes from matte, creme, satin, high-shine, to frost. Lipstick colors and finishes are the most complex among all the lip formulas.

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Reader question: How to prevent your face base from fading when applying color

Hi Liz! Long-time lurker, first-time asker:)

So, I followed your tips on how to create a flawless base, I think I got the steps right, because I'm satisfied with the look I've achieved. I even checked it in natural light (OC!). But when I start contouring the blemishes resurface and darken, it's like they take up the pigments of my blush and contour. Wrong choice of concealer kaya? Thanks! - Tin

Hi Tin! This is an excellent question. It could be the concealer but it's probably your application technique. To prevent your painstakingly-painted base from being erased once you start brushing on color cosmetics, just pat or bounce your brush! Swiper, no swiping! (Yes I went there.) Just use a small amount of product for your first layer since patting it on increases its intensity on your skin.

Don't rub the bristles on either. Just sort of bounce the brush in quick patting motions while going upwards to your hairline. This way, your foundation/concealer/powder will just be pressed onto your skin, instead of coming away with the brush.

Bounce it like you mean it

It will take a bit of practice but you'll soon get the hang of it, I'm sure! Here are a couple more additional tips to keep your base in place.

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Reader question: What are the beauty products you can't live without?

Hi Ms. Liz! Just curious, are there any beauty products and/or tools that you can't live without? :) - Yana

Hey Yana! This is a difficult question. I am utterly useless when people ask me "what products will you bring to a deserted island?" or "what will be in your zombie apocalypse survival beauty kit?" I intensely like a lot of things and making me choose destroys me.

Seriously though, this is easy to answer once I start thinking about the products I use all the time. You know what I'm talking about. There are things that you immediately reach out for, without any thought process involved. Now it would be too easy to just list down skincare. Hence, I won't include any skincare in this list because that would be facial wash/toner/moisturizer and you already know what my favorites are.

I also decided against body products since I'm very low maintenance in that department. So, here are my five absolute favorite beauty aids for the face!

Artdeco Camouflage Cream Concealer. This concealer is opaque and stays on all day - considering it's less than P500, that's quite an achievement. It's a concealer that I finish down to the last swipe; it's what I've been using consistently since Artdeco came back to Manila last year.

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Reader question: Is finishing and/or setting powder important?

Hello Liz, first up, thanks for providing us, your readers, so much info on make-up, fashion, etc, etc! Love love LOVE your blog! Anyway, I hope you can help answer my question.

My sister told me that I need to use finishing/setting powder after I put on my make-up so I finally bought one - Laura Mercier translucent setting powder. After a few days into using the product, I noticed that my skin became dry and flaky especially in the cheeks and forehead area. I use a fluffy powder brush to apply it (I even tap the brush to make sure that I don't get too much powder on my face). I was hoping there's an alternative product that I can use to set my make-up as I've never had this problem with my skin before. Is a finishing/setting powder a must or can I skip this part altogether?

I hope to hear from you! - Kaya

Thanks for reading my blog, Kaya! ;) Your flaking and dryness may be an allergic reaction from the product. That is, there might be an ingredient in your new powder that's causing the dryness. It's best to stop using it for now and observe! If you're still using it and the reaction has stopped nonetheless, it could be that your skin was just adjusting to the new product and is a-ok now.

So is it absolutely necessary to use a loose setting powder? Yes, if you're using wet makeup (liquid or cream foundation, BB cream, tinted moisturizer etc.) underneath! The powder helps the wet makeup solidify and settle better, the way sand was used to dry up ink in handwritten letters.

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Reader question: What's the worst beauty product you've tried?

Hi Liz! What's the worst beauty product you've ever bought? I'm reading a magazine and I think this may be an interesting topic. Same question for your beautiful readers out there! :) - ManilaJen

Heeey Jen! Nice question. Thought I'd put this up on the front page so everyone can share their stories as well. ;) Anyway...I don't want to slug beauty brands as I work with beauty brands. When I buy or receive something for free, I always make sure to manage my expectations. Some products are worth more than what you pay for, some just exact, some a little less, but nothing so horrible as to be completely useless. So it's been a while since I've tried anything that is so bad, I didn't bother using it at all after the initial face swatch.

First thing that came to mind is this set of e.l.f Primers. The white and "champagne" primer really didn't cut it for me - the white was truly chalk white and with so many big glitters too! Champagne was chunky and odd-looking on my lids. But the worst part really was that when I opened the box, the primers were already ROUGHLY used. The rims were a mess, it's like someone used the items as testers. :/


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