Becoming Sleek

Archive for June 2014

One of the things I’m also passionate about, outside of makeup and nails, is containers. Any kind of container makes my heart flutter. I think I inherited this passion from my dad, who would also appreciate the container more than the contents like me. One of my recent acquisitions is this Filed Pocket Wallet. This is the wallet’s size compared to my eyeglasses.


It is a wallet that contains an essential requirement I have for wallets and bags: compartments. And compartments it has aplenty! Check out the inside.


It has compartments for cards, receipts, paper bills, and others. It even has a snap button for added security. Here it is with the snap button closed.


One of the unique features of the Pocket Wallet is the external slot for coins. You don’t have to open the wallet just to put in coins. This is especially useful for commuters.


Inside, the coins go into this expandable bin. It’s actually pretty large, and can hold a lot of coins.


There is also a small slot at the back for easy access. You can put here your parking tickets or something that needs to be accessed quickly.


One of my favorite features of this wallet is the quality leatherette material. It looks and feels pretty sturdy and does not look cheap at all. There is the feeling that this is very well made, and that includes the stitching and zipper. According to their website, they use Lacoste Leatherette for their folders and Ripstop for bags and cases, and all products are made in the Philippines.

Would you believe that this costs only Php295? It’s unbelievably affordable for the quality and function that it provides! This can be bought from Filed’s online store, and Fully Booked branches. It’s available in 8 colors. It’s a little hard to hunt for the specific color that you like though, at Fully Booked, as they don’t stock regularly. I think I got this red one at Fully Booked Eastwood. If you want a specific color, it’s better to buy from the online store.

Pros: topnotch quality and functionality; affordable; locally made

Cons: specific colors are sometimes not available at Fully Booked


Here are some new products that I got recently that I am in the process of trying out.


Etude House Proof10 Eye Primer – I’ve been meaning to try this for some time. I am pretty pleased with the Artdeco Eyeshadow Base, but I wanted to compare it to a similarly-priced eye primer. It took me a while to buy it (because reasons!) but I’m happy to finally get to it. I got this at the Greenbelt3 EH branch (near Landmark), for Php299.

Nars Tinted Moisturizer in Finland – I received this sample at the Nars workshop I recently attended. I had initially thought this is a good shade for me, but upon application I think it may be a little too light. I probably need to go one or two shades darker. I’m pretty pleased with this so far, and I am seriously considering buying full (which is around Php2k++). Rae has posted a review of her sample.

Ellana Minerals Sheer Velvet Setting Powder – I’ve been meaning to try this ever since I fell in love with Ellana’s loose powder foundation. I am still a big fan of BB creams and I need a powder to set and mattify and this seemed like a good candidate. It is an incredibly fine powder, very ethereal! I’m looking forward to see how this performs. This, along with the next three items, are from my prize pack from The Beauty Junkee‘s 5th Anniversary Giveaway (thanks again Martha!).

Colour Collection Ultimate Wear Eyeshadow in Golden Veil – Arguably the most anticipated item in the prize pack. I am a neutral eyeshadow whore and I would gladly add to my (already excessive) collection. This one seems to be similar to the Eyebrow/Eyeshadow Quad from Ellana Minerals, but that does not stop me from looking forward to testing!

ZA Impact-full Eyes Groovy – Again another eyeshadow quad, I’m predictable that way. This is an all-shimmer quad from ZA, a brand I’ve never tried before. I’m very excited to try it out, even if it’s full of shimmer shadows of which I’m not really a big fan of. I like the fact that I can try this in tandem with the Proof10 eye primer.

Maybelline Fashion Brow Mascara – I’ve seen this make rounds of the beauty blogs about a month ago, and I’m stoked that I can actually try it out without purchasing it! This is my very first brow mascara, which means it’s something I’ll have to learn to use.

I’m hoping to post some swatches of these soon. Have you tried any of these? What is your feedback for these items?

A few weeks ago I attended a beauty talk held at Rustan’s Makati by NARS MUA Albert Kurniawan. It was a little difficult because I was seated almost at the very back and couldn’t really see what he was doing to the model. I was, however, able to take photos of the final looks. I will share with you the 5 key lessons I took away from that talk, and in between you will see photos of the event.


Before the event started. It was a full house!

1. Apply powder first before foundation.

This was a little counter-intuitive for me, as I’ve always applied foundations first before the setting powder. If I remember correctly, the reason for this is somewhat similar to the idea of face primers. It’s to even out the surface of the skin so that the foundation will be able to go on smoothly.

MUA explaining while demonstrating on a model

MUA explaining while demonstrating on a model

2. Don’t extend blush too far back up the cheek bones.

This is a little no-brainer, but we do experience that sometimes. In our zeal in applying blush, we sweep up the cheekbones a little too far. It becomes a little unnatural, since normally people’s flushed faces only show the red on the apples of the cheeks.

The finished Day Look. Neutral shadows and pink gloss.

The finished Day Look. Neutral shadows and pink gloss.

3. If layering mascaras, apply volumizing mascara first before the lengthening mascara.

Do you layer mascaras? I’ve only tried that a few times and I’ve tested variations of which mascara to put on first. It seems true that it’s better to put on the volumizing one first so that the lengthening mascara will be something to hold on to.

The finished Evening Look. A light smokey eye and coral lip.

The finished Evening Look. A light smokey eye and coral lip.

4. When defining brows, use a darker color on the outer arch of the brow.

Now this is something completely new to me. The MUA said that it looks more natural for the brows to go progressively darker as you move from the middle of the face outwards. I’m testing this out currently, so I can’t really comment on whether this is true or not.

Day and Evening looks

Day and Evening looks, with a close up on the eye makeup

5. Sweep powder over the finished eye makeup.

When I heard this, I thought it made a lot of sense. Do we not apply setting powder to our face after application of foundation? Then it should follow that we need to set the eye makeup as well with the same powder, doesn’t it? Lazy me though hasn’t done this yet; but then I only regularly put on neutral eyeshadow so it doesn’t matter yet. I intend to try this out when I do more colorful eye looks.

Me with the MUA Albert

Me with the MUA Albert Kurniawan

There you have it! Btw, I attended the event with Rae of Scatterbraintures and her friend.

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Do you agree with the above ideas?


Have you watched Maleficent and fell in love with Angelina Jolie? No? I respectfully suggest you go now and do so. You will not regret it.

But this post isn’t really about the movie (which is great ofc!), but about the Maleficent makeup. Isn’t it just divine? I still can’t get over that razor-sharp contouring, and that stunningly red lip. In fact, I’m so taken by that red lip that I decided to go and see if I have anything similar in my stash. Here’s what I found, my reds collection.


From left to right: Pixi Shea Butter Lip Balm in Ripe Raspberry, Avon Vitaluscious Lipstick in Reviving Red, Colour Collection Ultimate Wear Lipstick in Bellissima, Revlon Colorburst Matte Balm in Standout (top of tub), Colour Collection Ultimate Wear Lipstick in Queen Bee (bottom of tub), Ever Bilena Lipstick in Flaring Cranberry, and Ofra Lipstick #202.


I wore each of them to check how Maleficent-ish they are. I also just wanted to swatch some lipsticks. Ahem. For reference, above is my lipstick-less state. Let’s start with Colour Collection Ultimate Wear Lipstick in Bellissima.

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As you can see, Bellissima leans somewhat pinkish, and comes out pretty glossy. The red is also quite a lot lighter compared to Maleficent’s. I’ll rate this as 75% Maleficent (according to Pat’s Totally Arbitrary Scale of Lipstick Comparison).

Let’s move on to Colour Collection Ultimate Wear Lipstick in Queen Bee.

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Ignoring some twinges of pain when looking at that tub, I’m glad to see that Queen Bee comes out as a deeper red compared to Bellissima. It’s also still a bit glossy, so I’d put this at a slightly higher 82% Maleficent.

Let’s move on to Revlon Colorburst Matte Balm in Standout (in another of those tubs).

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Oooh well look at that! This one came out pretty matte (well it should!) which brings it closer to Maleficent in terms of texture. It’s still quite bright though, while we are actually looking for something rather brickish. I’ll say this is 88% Maleficent.

Next we have Avon Vitaluscious Lipstick in Reviving Red.

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This one seems closer now in terms of shade, rather than texture. It seems to lean more brick compared to the first few ones, but it’s quite glossy. I’ll place it the same with Revlon, 88% Maleficent.

Now we come to Ofra Lipstick #202.

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I really like how strikingly bold this is. It does feel like Maleficent, but unfortunately it doesn’t look quite like Maleficent. It is quite matte, but it’s too bright to be called brick red. I’ll go with 85% Maleficent, because it feels closer to the target compared to Queen Bee, but less so than Standout or Reviving Red.

Next we have Ever Bilena Lipstick in Flaring Cranberry.

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I know this would turn out quite on the pink side, but I wanted to see how it looked compared to the others. It’s quite bold, yes, but it’s totally not the right color. I’ll rate it 50% Maleficent.

Last but not the least, Pixi Shea Butter Lip Balm in Ripe Raspberry.

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It’s definitely not a lipstick, but I thought it is red enough to be included here. Unfortunately, while it is quite pigmented as a lip balm, it is not of course as pigmented as the lipsticks. Compared to them it really is quite sheer, although the red is pretty evident. Since this is red and not pink, I can put this at 60% Maleficent.

In conclusion, I didn’t really come that close to Maleficent-level of lipstick. The closest I got is Revlon Matte Balm in Standout and Avon Vitaluscious Lipstick in Reviving Red, both at 88%. It made me realize that I barely have any dark or brick reds, and I have too many bright reds of the same “level”.

One of the most exciting items in my loot from BU7xSunsilk last May 17 was this most awesome nail polish set: Deborah Lippmann Silk Collection. I had heard tons of great things about Deborah Lippmann nail polish and here, finally, I can get to try it!


It came in this tiny cardboard box that housed all three polishes in the Silk Collection. Opening it up I was greeted by the iconic Deborah Lippmann bottles.

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This collection has three shades. Pseudo Silk Kimono, a silky white shade that, from the bottle, reminds me of its namesake; Harem Silks From Bombay, a deep sparkly purple that bids to be one gorgeous shade; and finally Red Silk Boxers, a bright sparkly red that may turn out to be one of my favorites.


I’ve finally finished swatching all of them. Let me start with the one I started with: Red Silk Boxers. I knew it was going to be a beautiful red shade. As you can see above, there’s some shimmer in the bottle, which doesn’t translate much on the nail.


What I didn’t expect was the interesting matte effect that came out. When you first apply this on the nail, it looks like the usual glossy polish. But it dries surprisingly matte! And it dries surprisingly fast too, almost as fast as Dazzle Dry. And it needed no topcoat! This is really good news to me. And check out that color! I like a good bright red, and being matte means this is quite office-appropriate as well. Perfect.


The next shade I swatched is Pseudo Silk Kimono. Like Red Silk Boxers, it dried matte. Unfortunately, being white, it was a lot more prone to showing brush marks than the red (and the purple one).


For some reason it also didn’t last as long as either of the two. It chipped after just two days (I didn’t use top coat in any of the three). I guess it is pretty clear that this is my least favorite.


Finally I got to swatch the last, Harem Silks From Bombay. I thought it had the most interesting name, and the most interesting potential. It was purple, with shimmers! And it would probably dry matte as well, like the other two. It turned out to have a lot less shimmer, but it is there if you look closely.


I love the color so much! It looks almost black in certain angles, but the purple flashes every once in a while. I also love the pinkish microshimmer as well!


There you have it! I really love how these turn out, and I think I might explore the brand a little bit more because of this very positive experience. Deborah Lippmann is cruelty-free, and is available at Rustan’s Beauty Source for Php875 per bottle.

Myra recently released their own version of BB cream, called Myra VitaGlow BB Cream. It comes in two shades, Ivory (the lighter color) and Beige (the slightly darker one). The tube is very tiny, and contains only 20ml of product. Standard BB cream tubes contain 30-35ml.


This BB cream claims to come with a chock-full of benefits:

  • It’s moisturizing.
  • It contains Vitamin E.
  • It doubles as foundation.
  • It contains skin-enhancing minerals.
  • You can use it as concealer.
  • It also has sunscreen (SPF15).
  • It’s hypoallergenic.
  • It’s affordable! (Php99 a tube)

At the back of the tube you will see the list of ingredients, as well as instructions for use and a few of the skincare benefits mentioned above.


As I said above, the Ivory shade is lighter while the Beige shade is a little darker than Ivory. Check them out side by side here on my skin. Ivory is on the left, Beige on the right.


And here they are spread out on my skin. As you can see, neither of them are my shade exactly. What I do is that I mix the two shades to create an intermediate shade which I think suits me better than either of them.


Here they are blended out. You can see some shimmers on the upper part of my arm. This is what the “glow” part of the BB cream is. Thankfully it doesn’t look so bad on my face once it’s properly blended out.


In this look I used this intermediate shade as base. The shimmer is very faint here, which is further obscured by using a setting powder over the BB cream.


I think that this BB cream is workable, especially for people who will be sitting in an airconditioned office all day. Once out in the heat, though, this melts off pretty quickly and creates a really oily looking surface even with a layer of setting powder. I’m thankful I got the two shades so I can mix them to get my preferred shade. To be honest, I think this is a reformulation of their tinted moisturizer, which I also reviewed previously.

Blogger and Youtube vlogger Ana Victorino demonstrates a good way to incorporate the Myra VitaGlow BB Cream into your daily makeup routine. Here is a step-by-step guide. [Click for a larger version.]

Myra Vitaglow BB Cream Signature Look Full-page

You can also watch this Youtube video, where she also uses a combination of the two shades.

The BB creams come with an amazing press kit which is a personalized brush set. Thank you Marcie and Myra for these and the opportunity to try the new Myra VitaGlow BB Cream!

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Disclaimer: Press kit and the two tubes of BB cream was provided to me for editorial purposes. All opinions here are mine, and I was not required to write about it.

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So, let’s give this a try! This will be the first time I did a blog “award” or tag. I’ve been tagged by the sweet sweet Dawn over at Peachy Pink Sisters. I wanted to share a little bit about the blogger behind Becoming Sleek.

Image credits: Dawn

The Rules:
1. Post a picture of the Sunshine Blogger Award
2. Post 11 random facts about yourself
3. Answer 11 questions from the nominating blogger
4. Link back to the blogger who nominated you
5. Nominate 11 wonderful bloggers that you feel bring sunshine to the blogging world
6. Write 11 questions for your nominated bloggers


11 Random Facts About Me
1. My work computer uses four monitors at the same time. I need all of those to keep track of a lot of things at the same time when I’m working.
2. I’m an avid dog person! I love everything dog, and I think all dogs are cute! (yes even the traditional ugly dogs are pretty cute!) I, however, got my first dog just last year.
3. I’m also a nail polish addict, as you may well know from this blog. However, I only started with nail polish around the time I started this blog, which was only a little over a year ago.
4. I’m a foodie (di halata lol). I love cooking and baking, and I also used to regularly make bento baons for me and my daughter. I actually have a food blog!
5. I’m a board gamer! And by that I mean the true board games such as Through the Ages, Dominion, Agricola, and Descent.
6. I’m a non-practicing scientist! I have a degree in Applied Physics. 😀
7. I’ve always been interested in calligraphy, typography, and handwriting, and I only recently started being serious about it. The main motivation is the fact that it was my weakest subject in elementary!
8. I am currently addicted to chocolate milk (as in Chocolait or Chuckie!). I drink one tetra pack a night at least!
9. I enjoy video games too. My most recent favorite is Fire Emblem on the 3DS!
10. When I quit the corporate world years from now (maybe retirement age?) I plan to go back to teaching. I loved being a teacher!
11. I watch all sorts of cartoons and anime. My all-time favorites are Miyazakis (Spirited Away, My Neighbor Totoro, Nausicaa), Dennou Coil, Read or Die.


11 Questions from Dawn
1. What’s your favorite makeup? – I’m a big fan of eyeshadows, and I want to be really good at it!
2. Where is your dream destination? – Tokyo! I’ve been there once as a child, and now that I have my own kid I want to take her there, Disneyland in particular.
3. What’s your favorite Ice Cream Flavor? – I’m not a big fan of ice cream, but I would choose chocolate almost 100% of the time if I do eat them.
4. Indoors or outdoors person? – Indoors
5.Your favorite Nail Polish brand is? – Dazzle Dry! It dries super fast, looks great, and is cruelty-free!
6. Dogs or cats? – Dogs please!
7. What’s your favorite clothing brand? – Hmm that’s tough. I love a lot of brands, but I tend to stick to those that fit me well. These include Uniqlo, Paperdolls, Erzullie among others.
8. Do you drive? – Yes
9. What body part are you most attracted to? – Tricky question! I’ll go with butts! 😀
10. What accessory do you like most? – The one I can’t live without is wristwatch. I can’t get out of the house without one.
11. Do you like to read books? Which is your favorite? – I love books! Scifi and fantasy is my favorite genre, and is what comprises the majority of my collection. My favorite authors are Tamora Pierce, Neil Gaiman, Mercedes Lackey, Jim C. Hines, among others.


My Sunshine Bloggers
1. Tellie of Beauty By Tellie
2. Rae of Scatterbraintures
3. Carina of Softly Sometimes
4. Kira of Elegantly Wasted
5. Krissy of Krissyfied
6. Victoria (Becs) of The Vee Side
7. Shari of The Misty Mom
8. Bea of The Dalaga Project
9. Eula of Eula Sleeps
10. Tina of What Tina Loves
11. Elaine of Flabs Rule the World


My Questions for My Sunshine Bloggers
1. What started you into makeup?
2. Dogs or cats? Introduce me to your baby!
3. What book would you recommend I read?
4. What is a quick perk-me-up that you do whenever you feel down?
5. What specific local makeup product would you recommend I try?
6. What is your night time skincare routine?
7. What is on the top of your beauty wishlist?
8. Last of the recommendations: what restaurant would you recommend I try?
9. What is your skill that you’re most proud of?
10. Coffee or tea?
11. What are your non-beauty hobbies?


Who is Becoming Sleek?

A Filipino blogger interested in all things makeup, skincare, and nail polish. She may or may not also be interested in crafting, cats, and food.

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