MOTD: An Ode to 90’s Grunge

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Lately, I have been so inspired by the decades. Big thanks to my mum’s collection of little snaps (and yes, I am talking about legit film-to-print photos, because they are way cooler than us) from the past. I remember the days when I would watch MTV (sans Teen Mom and other stupid shows) the whole entire day without getting sick of it. And I would consistently sit by the radio patiently waiting for my favourite song to come on and hit the play+record buttons. Those were the days when my inner rebellion was born – the inner rebellion who kept her grades up and would still have a little warm snuggle with mum here and there. Haha!

Anastasia Beverly Hills Liquid Lipstick in Craft

Growing up, I have always had a love affair with the city I was born in. Manila, though invariably bombarded with uncertainties and ambiguity, its imperfections make it unforgettable. It is like that bad boy you have always wanted to date. HA! And for the look, I wanted the lips to POP! So I balanced the whole look with a bronzed halo eye makeup. My eyes were inspired by the humidity and streets of Manila and a thousand warm sunsets along Manila Bay.

 

Grunge Look 1

First, I prepped the skin with skincare and primer. I used Laura Mercier Foundation Primer – Blemish-less since I am more oily and prone to breakouts. I did my concealing and cream highlight and contour then I evened out my skin with Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Cover Stick Foundation in Y405. I LOVE it because it provides enough coverage while giving my skin a little bit of that dewy, healthy look. After, I shaped my brows with Make Up Forever Aqua Brow in color 40 then I proceeded to do my eyes and chose Anastasia Beverly Hills Master Palette by Mario.

anastasia_mariopalette002photo via Temptalia

It had the perfect warm tones and shimmer for that bronzed look. After applying a tinted eyeshadow primer, I built up the smokey corners with the colours Isabel then Violeta and then I wet my eyeshadow brush and applied 5th Ave in the center of the lid for more pigment. I didn’t really want to take away from the halo effect so I went with a classic line using Kat Von D Tattoo Liner in Trooper then added extra glam with faux lashes. For the final touch, I swiped Anastasia Beverly Hills Liquid Lipstick in Craft on my lips.

I hope this look inspired you! Wishing you all the very best of 2017 and beyond.

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Brighter Days Ahead

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(image: Lupita Nyong’o for Fashion Times)

Spring is just around the corner. And what I am looking forward to the most is trading in my heavy winter jumpers to my stylish trench coats and light kimonos (because KIMONO = LOVE!) I see breezy, mostly sunny skies in our forecast. So it clearly calls for a beauty overhaul. This is the opportune time to swap not only your style catalogue but also your make up wardrobe. And the mission:

beauty that is simple, effortless and practical but with a pinch of fun!

Pretty things that you need to add to your beauty boudoir to kick yourself into Spring high gear are…

THE ESTEE EDIT Beam Team Hydrate and Glow

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This is a light-as-a-feather moisturizer that provides a subtle glow on the skin. The words “IN LOVE” won’t even cut it. Whenever I am on my errand days, this my go to! It just gives my skin a healthy glow. It is infused with Hyaluronic Acid to hydrate the skin and it not formulated with parabens. It is perfectly paired with a mini touch-on illuminator as well good for the “glow on the go” days and it comes in two colours to HUG all skin types! (Sephora, $49CAD)

LANCOME Juicy Shaker

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A lip oil that leaves lips hydrated with a subtle tint. Where do I even begin? What I love most about this product is its simplicity and no mess applicator cushion. Comfortable to wear, it envelops the lips with nourishing oils and colour. Non-sticky and it comes in different scents and pigments to cater to your spirit and personality. *wink* (Lancome.com, $28)

MARC JACOBS BEAUTY Highliner Matte Gel Eye Crayon

Matte gel eyeliner that provides an intense colour pay-off. One word that I can use to describe this product is OBSESSION. It is pure obsession! If only money could grow on trees, my Sephora haul would include ALL of the colours from this collection. They are soft and effortless to apply. Versatile and playful, one can create so many looks and eye makeup styles. And the wear makes it worth the $$$! (Sephora, $31)

Have lovely days ahead my sweets!

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New Year’s Resolutions: Beauty Edition

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I am not keen on making resolutions. For one, the upkeep is quite demanding and secondly, I am not the greatest at following through. Big thanks to my free-spirit loving Sagittarius nature! But there are some things worth keeping in mind and that is your wellness. And honey! It shows on your skin.

As you may have noticed, it has been quite awhile since my last post. Well, I was going on an adventure called “paying my bills.” Do you really think writing is a great source of stable income? Haha! God bless if you do! So as I was kicking butt at working life, I have picked up little reminders along the way and would love to share it with you:

1.) STOP, HYDRATE, REPEAT

This is a no brainer. Hydration is probably the best thing you could ever do for your skin. And yes, you can drink your 8 glasses (plus wine!) a day. But I am telling you that is not enough. You see, only a small percentage of that goes to your skin. Most of the H20 are being hogged by your internal organs like a pack of mean girls. That is why the skincare gods have blessed us with hydrating serums. Yes, use them! Some hydrating serums have the technology to retain moisture in the skin. They are expensive for a reason. Haha! But for us cheapskates and poor souls, Laneige Water Bank Serum would suffice. (Sephora.ca, $46) It is packed with minerals to keep skin hydrated for 24 hours. WIN!

2.) ADD BERRIES TO EVERYTHING. LITERALLY EVERYTHING

You name it: cereal, yogurt, your grocery list, your mid-afternoon or late snacks, your water, your ice, on your boyfriend or girlfriend and even on your pizza (Because pizza is life!). Start popping them like your vitamins. Make it a good habit like exercise. They are full of antioxidants which is not only good for your skin but also for your burnt out soul.

3.) SPF IS YOUR NEW BFF

Dearest [please insert name here],

Your skin is not invincible. Go slather that SPF. Wear hats. Stop going to tanning beds. You will thank me later.

x,

Gracie

4.) TO CONCERTS YOU MUST GO!

This is heavily inspired by an aphorism from the book “How To Be Parisian” by Anne Berest et al. These Parisian goddesses said it best, “Go to the theater, to museums, and to concerts as often as possible: it gives you a healthy glow.” I don’t know about you, but concerts give me the ultimate high. You may smell of sweat, beer and possibly some kind of strange paraphernalia that you may or may not have taken but you will come out of there feeling refreshed. Grooving to your favourite music is the best mental and physical detox there is!

5.) STOP LISTENING TO “SOME” BEAUTY VLOGGERS AND START LISTENING TO YOUR SKIN

Yup. I said it! And you heard me right! Beauty vloggers are a great source of useful and/or practical advice but one must be wary as there are a lot of BS out there. The world of cyberspace can be a bit overwhelming. We live in the information age girlfriend! One can get information A-N-Y-W-H-E-R-E even from your creepy neighbor Steve. But the key is getting in tuned with what you really need versus what is trending. Go to your nearest spa, pull up Yelp for reviews, research and never look back.

People worth following though:

Shonagh Scott

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Stephanie Lange

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Happy New Years lads and lasses! x

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Hawaii and Summer’s Day Beauty Favourites

If there is one thing I would’ve done differently, it would be to pack less in the beauty department. That was the main goal until a surge of panic overcame me and my conscious mind started asking questions like “What if we had to go to dinner and in need of a rockin’ smoky eye?” or “What if my powder doesn’t have enough coverage?” A woman’s brain indeed – am I right ladies?

So I ended up bringing all of these:

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I have equal love for all of my beauty products and I treat each piece as if it were a valuable art piece. So when my husband and I found out that the airline lost our luggage, my heart sank because most of my precious liquid and cream makeup was in our checked bag. Those were not my best moments but thank goodness, God had our backs and we were reunited with our luggage.

Those kind of experiences teach you a few things – that there is Costco and Walmart in every corner to save your bum from the first 24 hours and to try to pack a carry-on and as little as much as possible. Believe me, I try EVERY. SINGLE. TIME.

This goes to all of my beauty essentials. I may have packed it all but only ended up using what I needed. My go-to’s most days were the following and should be in your summer beauty kit.

BARE MINERALS COMPLEXION RESCUE GEL TINTED HYDRATING GEL CREAM

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A perfect way to lightly even out your skin on a warm, sunny day is with a good tinted moisturizer. I love this product because aside from its “barely-there” feel and hydration factor, it is also infused with marine botanicals and heart-leaf globe daisy to energize, replenish and protect skin. It also has SPF 30!

ELATE COSMETICS BAMBOO POWDER, BLUSH AND/OR BRONZER COMPACT

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One simply cannot forgo simplicity especially when going to the tropics. What I love most about this compact is its dual compartments which makes it customizable to your needs. I decided to fashion mine with Elate Cosmetics Fix Pressed Powder in Tawny and Flushed Pressed Cheek Colour in Sunkiss Bronzer. The pressed powder is infused with grounded argan shell powder and coconut extract powder to hydrate and nourish. It also has titanium dioxide and zinc oxide which gives it sun protection factor.

ANNABELLE COSMETICS BLUSHON POWDER IN HIBISCUS

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There were days where I would just go out with just complexion and bronzer. But as soon as I brushed my cheeks with this baby, it just gave me the perfect summer flush. It goes on smooth and provided a lovely youthful glow.

May summer bring you endless sunshine and new adventures!

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Food For Thought

 

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Aloha my beauties!

It has been a long time since I have posted an entry. Thank you for your patience! As you may all know, I have been MIA as I was focusing on getting healthier, work and planning my next beauty move. We are creatures of growth. I do not know about you but constant reinvention is what fuels my drive to pursue my dreams.

Two weeks prior my vacation to Hawai’i, I was a constant mess. My anxiety was in full swing and I seem to have lost control over my life. But upon being back, I feel refreshed and ready to hustle! There are a few things I would like to share with you before going to the real topic at hand. And hopefully this will make you ponder and help you overcome obstacles as did I.

PERFECTION IS AN UNREALISTIC GOAL

Looking back at my previous posts and editorial articles, I seem to preach this a lot not realizing to actually practice it. I constantly pushed myself to be perfect and in turn, I end up disappointed and angry at myself. This took a toll on my mental and physical health and even took a damper on some of my personal relationships.

In Hawai’i, there is a term “hang loose” or as they call it the “shaka”. This is actually a friendly gesture and often used to make peace with others. It also means “no worries”. This reminded me to let things be, let go of unrealistic expectations and be more kind to myself.

THE SIMPLE WAY OF LIFE IS THE WAY TO LIVE

During our trip, I heard so many stories of people moving from bigger cities, living everything behind, going to the islands to reinvent themselves and enjoying the simple way of life. Imagine a life of beach surfing and sun bathing? Sign me right up! Though geographically impossible (for now), this taught me to put down my phone, be in the moment, buy less and live more. Keep focusing on what matters most.

YOU’LL GET BACK WHAT YOU PUT OUT THERE

There is a wise Hawai’ian phrase, “Ua ola loko i ke aloha—he alii ka la’i, he ha Ku’ulani na” which means “Life is an echo—what you give out comes back” which teaches the more happiness and hard work you put out there, the more you will get in return. In saying so, life may throw you for a loop but as long as you keep swimming against the tides, you will get to your destination.

I hope you enjoyed these little reminders and may you be well on your journey!

And don’t forget “E aloha Kekahi i kekahi”—Love one another.

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#JungleQueen: Your Official Summer Mood


 

Life is a jungle. Ever luscious yet full of uncertainty. And in the midst of it all there is YOU, a beauty survivalist. You go through the journey relying on your own resources and sometimes, your squad. Because life wasn’t meant to be trekked alone. You may get beat down but you get up again. And you make sure you look damn good doing it!

#JungleQueen – that is what you are. You embrace obstacles, sometimes with procrastination but you stare it right in the face. And of course, like a true goddess that you are, you work hard to look the part. Looking this good have never felt so great.

Inspired by tropical heat and colours of the season, I bring you your summer mood – a beauty lookbook that exhibits warm Hawaiian days and sizzling Ibiza nights.

Photography, Makeup and Hair by Grace Welch | instagram_icon_by_poserfan-d6ur05a @wakeupandvogue
Model: Rachel H. |  instagram_icon_by_poserfan-d6ur05a @rachelalexishiggins

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The quick how-to:

  • I warmed up Rachel’s skin by applying Honey Bronze Tinted Face Gel by The Body Shop (TheBodyShop.ca, $18).
  • To even out her skin without compromising her beautiful freckles, I applied a sheer amount of Ultra HD Foundation by Makeup For Ever  (Sephora.com, CAD$52) all over the face then lightly applied Bare Minerals Stroke of Light Eye Brightener (Sephora.com, CAD$28) under the eyes.
  • To bring out the shape and colour of her eyes, I applied warmer, golden tones from the Too Faced Chocolate Bar Eye Shadow Palette on the lids (TooFaced.com, CAD$67) then one coat of Perversion Mascara by Urban Decay (Urbandecay.ca, $27) on the lashes.
  • For an all over glow, I highlighted cheeks with the ABH Glow Kit in That Glow (AnastasiaBeverlyHills.com, USD$40) followed by swiping Soleil Matte Bronzer by Too Faced ($38) on the side of the forehead, cheeks and jaw line.
  • Then I finished the whole look by swiping her lips with Essence Long Lasting Lipstick in Coral Calling (EssenceMakeup.com, $2.99) then Elate Cosmetics Lip Gloss in Sprightly (ElateCosmetics.ca, $18) on top.

 

Coachella-Inspired Beauty For Those Staying at Home

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Wishing you could be in Coachella this weekend? Well, you and I both sister! Since we have to work (or not) this weekend, why don’t we wallow on our sorrows with homemade cold sangrias, some good ol’ summer 2016 tunes and put on our best sunshine weather beauty look. We don’t need to be surrounded by celebrities and buy overpriced drinks when we can have our own Coachella at the comfort of our own patio.

LESS IS BEST

When it comes to hot weather, let us be real. Everything will just melt off your face. So less is definitely more. You probably have been told that a million times and it will never get old. NEVER! So drop baking, cream contouring and just CTFD! Opt for BB’s and the CC’s for a lighter coverage. Embrace that freckle! It is freaking adorbs!

On my “Getting this on my payday!” list:

ESTEE LAUDER DayWear BB Anti-Oxidant Crème with SPF 35

Estee Lauder Day BB cream

Light hydrating cream that protects and perfects skin with one swipe.  Packed with antioxidants to nourish and keep free-radicals at bay. (Sephora.com, CAD$48)

SIGNATURE POUT

I do not know about you but I love me some colour. Summer is the best time to get playful and get out of your comfort zone. Say buh-bye to nudes for now and take your pick from peaches, corals and sunny pinks!

My Summer lippy go-to:

TOO FACED Melted Matte Liquified Long Wear Matte Lipstick in Feelin’ Myself

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Great colour to match your Summer glow. Compliments well with bronzed skin and neutral eyes + jewel-toned liners. I paired it with Sephora Collection Contour Eye Pencil in no. 23 Summer Cruise (a turquoise colour) and I got a lot of oooohs and aaaaaahs. Make sure to exfoliate, protect and hydrate your lips as the formula can leave it cracking and parched! (Toofaced.com, $28)

GRAPHIC EYELINERS

“Go big or go home!” as strangers would say. At this point, it is literal. We are not in Coachella and staying right at home because we are way too busy perfecting our graphic liner craft! And it takes more than a flick and a schwiiiing to get it right. Since you are the hostess of the coolest patio party ever, your wings need to be on point girl!

My saving grace:

KAT VON D Tattoo Liner in Mad Max Brown

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This is a great way to break away from the traditional black liquid liner. I simply love how versatile the painter’s brush tip is. One can create a fine, sophisticated winged liner to a bold, dramatic look. Application is smooth and formula is long-wearing but not ultra-waterproof.

SKIN DRINK

Drinking lots of H2o can do wonders for your body and skin. But for instant gratification, why not grab your favourite facial spray to keep you calm and cool-lected. Because we all know you will be hydrating with mimosas this season!

My weapon of choice :

CAUDALIE Grape Water

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Makeup artists and soccer moms alike are raving about it. Rich in minerals, it doubles up as anti-inflammatory and will keep skin nourished and hydrated all day. I use it in line with my serum for easy application plus a boost of Super XL hydration! (Sephora.com, CAD$14)