Everyone has a beauty turnaround story, that one event where a makeup tip (or tips) was carried through for a lifetime. In my case, it came from a rather morbid event: the wake of someone very near and dear to me that took us from hospital, to the crematorium then to the wake all in the span of 24 hours. Suffice to say, if there was a moment in my life to look like a complete and utter mess, this was the time for it. Thankfully, my beauty angel was nearby and she whispered as she dropped me home to “freshen up” before heading to the wake. “Even if you feel like crap, you don’t want to look like it. Come with eyebrows, concealer, cheeks and lips.” Since that fateful day, this four-point “emergency face” has been the foundation of my daily routine. For example, I make it a point to never leave home without my eyebrows. Of course, there are other beauty bells and whistles that I add on when the occasion calls for it, but when it comes to no-fail products, the following have kept a permanent space in my vanity kit.
1. Le Sourcil de Chanel Perfect Brows. This all-in-one eyebrow kit is an absolute must. Coming with three different shades, two kinds of brushes, a magnified mirror and the pièce de résistance, a mini-tweezer. You can fill and shape your brows whenever, wherever (and in a pinch use a little powder as highligher or eyeshadow). A small investment, but it can very well be the brow-mance of your life. (P3,650 at Rustan’s)
2. Laura Mercier Secret Concealer. I consider this my little pot o’ gold as it kept (and keeps) telltale signs of late nights, lack of sleep and emotional outbursts at bay. (P995 at Rustan’s)
3. Shiseido Oil-Free Bronzer. I don’t care about the Vampire fad; too pale, for me, is an epic fail. I use this for color and contouring, plus it’s oil-free which is an added bonus. It gave me much-needed flush when I felt I had been drained inside out. (P1,998 at Greenbelt 5 and Power Plant Mall)
4. Max Factor Gold Lip Liners. This first came to me as a gift, and I’ve used it in different shades ever since. It’s perfect alone if you want a hint of tint on your pucker or under your favorite lipstick shade. Plus, it doesn’t fade altogether even after eating and drinking. (P500 at Max Factor counters in department stores nationwide)
5. Yamanko Natural Floral Drop. To be treasured, this little gem of a find from the Salcedo Weekend Market works hard at soothing tired eyes. Made simply out of coconut flower extract and distilled water it has a cooling effect that is panacea to weepy, or dried out peepers. It is also used to clear the nose and throat so it is quite a little multi-tasker. (P150 at the Salcedo Weekend Market or call 363-5112 or 0912-3184400 to order)
I always look back at that rather sad day as an ironic beginning to a happier face in my life. Since then, I’ve made it a mini-mission of mine to find other products, both high-end and low-end that work wonders in minimal time like the following:
6. Moroccan Argan Oil. This is my pahabol or last-minute moisturizer for everything. Seriously. Whenever I travel, I never know how the weather is going to affect my skin, a drop of this when before I take off and when I land works wonders. It’s also great for dried out-cuticles, an itchy scalp and, I found out, insect bites. I got mine at a bazaar and a bottle costs about P1,500. E-mail email@example.com or call 421-5745 or 0917- 5576955.
7. Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure. The name pretty much says it all. This little bottle pours on a base, color and topcoat with a single stroke. I read somewhere that “Nail polish is the new black” which I will interpret as it’s now a staple item on your person. This takes about 10 minutes to apply and dried pretty quickly. (A shade or two for P399 at leading department stores)
8. The Farm Kiss Bomb. I’m obsessed with lip balm, and this one, made out of coconut oil and other natural ingredients from The Farm at San Benito does exactly what it says. It heals, soothes and protects. (P100 at The Farm Manila Sales Office, Shop 11, G/F Peninsula Manila Hotel)
9. Ilog Maria Honey and Propolis Shampoo. This is the bee’s knees. This shampoo is not overly perfumed and foamy, indicating that it has more of the good, less of the bad (chemicals). In this humid climate this is the gentlest on the scalp for regular use. (P140 for a big bottle at the Echostore in Serendra and The Podium)
10. Colgate Wisp Mini-brushes. This goes into my bag due to frequent meal-to-meeting schedules. The tiny brush has toothpaste gel in it and does not need water, so you just brush and throw. There’s even a little toothpick at the end of the brush for those nasty bits of food that stubbornly lodge in between your teeth. (Set of four for P220 at True Value)
SOUL TRAIN By Katrina A. Holigores (The Philippine Star) Updated November 25, 2011
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