Vanity splurges (next time, yoga and calamansi extract will do)

Not so many people know that I spend my salary on my family, especially my brothers’ education, so before I resigned from work, I splurged on things I never bought for myself. It was my last shot at a premium-rate wage, and I wanted to try some brands of make-up from primer to powder.

I’ll be stating here the brands not to advertise them but to give an honest feedback on their quality. The prices–you’ll have to research yourself.

In addition to the simple set of make-up I already have (liquid foundation, pressed powder, liquid eyeliner, lipstick, lip gloss), I bought a dual wand ArtDeco mascara from Beauty Bar, The Body Shop smokey eye palette, and a pink MAC prolongwear lip creme.

The eye palette gave me awfully smudged eyes, as if I had bruises and black eye. Bits of the product would fall on my cheeks and it wasn’t that easy to blend. Weeks later, I transferred the blame from the product to my poor make-up application skills and for not putting eye primer on the lids. Primers hold the make-up. Little by little I managed to get the look of the sales staff, who was wearing smokey eyes when she was showing me the new TBS palette (on promo that time).



The mascara is one fun toy. It has a wand for ‘natural look,’ and another for ‘dramatic look,’ that is, thicker and bolder eye lashes. The product does not clutter, but there must be cheaper mascaras out there that can deliver like ArtDeco’s. Beauty Bar’s sales staff was generous to give me all the time in the world to look at a dozen mascaras all by myself–my ideal sales staff; but she wasn’t speechless when I asked for advice on different products.

The MAC lip creme is my favorite. Unfortunately, I dropped it somewhere after a month’s use (imagine my remorse). I’m still thinking if I’ll buy another one or buy another shade, or maybe I’ll buy a Laura Mercier lipstick next time since I liked their lip liner (Baby Lips), or maybe I don’t want to buy another lipstick anymore on the account of the lost tube. But, I found out that there’s a new Bobbi Brown stall at SM MoA, so I bought a lippie in Cosmic Raspberry.

Aside from make-up, I tried Murad’s Vitamin C skincare kit at Rustan’s because I like Murad’s matte finish primer I bought in Singapore. The “Sun Undone starter kit” hid my pores alright, on first week’s use. But I wasn’t sure if it was the serum or the facial treatment I had during the time I bought this, or my fruit diet that week (fruits moisturize skin better than water does, I read somewhere). Anyways, I gave up the moisturizer after some time when I realized, I’m too moisturized.

My skin improved a lot, but then again, I wasn’t sure which one did it–serum? fruits? lots of sleep? yoga? all of the above?

When I caught a flu, though, no amount of skincare or make-up could hide my sickness.

That’s when I thought of scouting for heavy duty skincare and make-up (of course, none of these could totally hide traces of sickness, ageing, or stress on the face).

I was pleasantly surprised when I saw the newly opened stores of MAC, Clinique, and Bobbi Brown at MOA when we went there to watch Rurouni Kenshin. I thought these brands are exclusively distributed by Rustan’s.

Quick review: MAC primer and prolongwear foundation gave me zit breakout and I wasn’t reading the label (nor did the MAC make-up artist tell me) that the area around the mouth should be off limits to the primer because of a possible feeling of irritation or swelling.

The artist, I reckoned, didn’t know how to apply make-up on others. She looked pretty and flawless and fierce just like your usual MAC staff, but when she applied the primer and foundation on my face after ‘swatching’ for the perfect shade, the products looked so cakey as if I had the cheapest make-up on the market. But. But. After a few hours of travelling from Pasay to Laguna, when I reached home, I saw the well-blended combo of perfection dusted with Blot Powder and blush.

After weeks of using these, I rest my face by alternating foundation with Maxfactor, which has a flawless effect and is light on the face–lighter than MAC, but Maxfactor (which has SPF 15) shines too brightly when photographed especially with flash. I’m still experimenting on the right application, right primer, right brush/finger stroke, right skincare, because every time I apply MAC, the results are always different.

The MAC primer-foundation-blot powder trio looks nice on photos alright, but so does Murad primer-Maxfactor-Avon pressed powder. But sometimes, I think it’s just the lighting of the room that does the trick! Outside, under natural light, depending on sun exposure, level of stress, and food intake, my face could either glow or deteriorate.

The problem probably lies on my skin, I thought. So another splurge: Clinique. The pore refining serum cleaned my pores fine, but my skin went back to its normal look after two weeks. The serum by the way comes with free moisturizer (which I gave to my mother), eye de-puffing serum (which I use on my boyfriend), pink lipstick and lipgloss (anyone who likes this?), and a tiny bottle of Clinique Happy (I like it, and I’ll keep it!). And oh, that day I bought it in the shop, they were giving away Sola iced tea in bottles. [edited: I forgot to mention two more freebies, Clinique facial wash and a pink make-up purse]. It was a happy, happy day, but I think I’m not buying overpriced skincare again when I can just use cucumber and calamansi extracts on my face, partnered with lots of fruits and rest.

That’s it. Let me cut the confession here because I’m too guilty to share the rest of my 2012 splurges, which I justify as self-reward, but really, I could’ve spent my money on movies and books… but hey, these are also my guilty pleasures this year.

And there goes man’s insatiable needs and wants.

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11 years ago

nice pics, ms ai. and those are really pricey brands because we need to invest on personality grooming too.

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