Ask Gem Anything | March 2012

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It's another last day of the month!  Time to answer questions!

1.  Where did you buy your Sephora mirror?  I've seen Judy of ItsJudyTime using one but I can't find it at Sephora's website!
     I got it in Sephora for free.  They don't sell that mirror that's why you won't be able to find it at the website.

2.  May grado ba yung contact lenses mo?
     Yep, meron :) 350, I think.

3.  Are you really engaged? Can you post a photo of you engagement ring?
     Yes, I am.  I'll think about posting the photo though.

4.  Do you also do hairstyling?
     I only know a common up-do and curling hair.  I'm thinking of taking a hairstyling class if it will fit my schedule.

5.  Hi! Ikaw ba yung girl sa Beauty Pro?
     Hi, yes that's me! Please buy a palette :)

6. Hi! May I know what products you use on your face? Foundation, primer, setting powder, skin care products. You're skin's so flawless. Thanks. :)
     Hey there. I use different brands of foundation.  Right now, I switch between MAC Studio Fix Fluid NC35 and Revlon Photoready in Cool Beige (?).  My current setting powders are Maybelline Mineral Foundation in Buff and Revlon Photoready powder in Light/Medium.  For primers, I use Stila's hydration primer once in a while.  But on regular days, I let Flawless sunblock as my primer already because I have too much gunk on my face already.  For skin care products, I'm still using Flawless whitening kit. Hope that helps :)

7.  Okay ba talaga ilakad ang DAS shoes mo?
     I would have to say yes despite its sky high heels.

8.  Do you work in Makati? I think I've seen you walking.
     Yes, so that's probably me!

9.  Sorry I sent an email. Nahihiya ako mag-comment.

My Birthday List

On one of my random talks with my mom, she asked me what I want for my birthday - not that she'd get me what I want.  Hehe.  It has always been one of the questions that was so easy to answer.  But the last time that she asked me, I actually had to think for a while and just told her that I'll get back to her.  I don't know what I want - for my birthday, that is.  Of course, I'm talking about gifts that are realistic.  I could always tell my mom that I want an all expense paid trip to Brasil.  But that isn't realistic as we speak.

It bothered me not being able to answer - good and bad.  Good because it seems that I am contented with what I have now; Bad because hello, I'm human.  You will always want something no matter what.

So, I decided to write down the things that I think I want for my birthday.  And it didn't happen in one sitting.  Jotting down the list happened randomly - during lunch, during a meeting, and just right after waking up to my alarm in the morning.

Let's start the list, shall we?

1. A new satchel/batchel. Just because I can never have one too many.  I know satchels are no longer a fad now, at least not as much in 2011.  But boy, oh boy, I still find myself gushing about satchels.  Really.  Of course, I prefer the sturdy ones from the fancy ones - except if it's a gold satchel.  That's another story.

Seriously, how can you not like this baby?

2. A new makeup brush set.  My almost 4 year old Charm Travel brush set is slowly giving up on me. Not only did I lose some of the brushes, the remaining brushes are, one by one, falling from its ferrules.  I tried to put them back together using Mighty Bond and it sticks for a couple of days or until I drop it again.  And yes, I have my MAC and Charm Pro brushes.  But I don't want to use them on a daily basis because they serve another purpose.  I alternate, yes.  But I still can't afford to use them on a daily basis.  I want to prolong their life span.  Seryoso nga.

14pc vegan brush set, I need you in my life.
photo from Beauty & Minerals

3. A new man watch. Yes, a man watch.  If you know me, you know how much I love men's watches.  I think I only have one woman's watch left.  The rest are oversized and for men, talga.  I know this is pure luho but I really, really want a new watch.  And how I wish that the watches that I want are cheap.  Pero hindi eh, they are always more than I can afford.  Say, my salary is X and the watch that I want is Zed.  Ganun kamahal.  This is why I said this is really luho talga!  I remember back in 2010 that I almost bought this watch in Chopard.  Good thing my bestfriend hit me in the head literally to see things in a bigger picture!

Oh, IWC Pilot, why do you have to be so damn guapo?

3 materials things that I can not afford at the moment.  Le sigh.

Aside from those 3 items, I'm praying for greater things this year!  This might be the last year that I'll be single so better make the most out of it!  I'm targeting to have a new investment this year.  I also wish that I'll be able to travel more this year (although this seems like a big shot this year because I'm not entitled to any leaves yet).  I want better health for me and more quality time with the fiancé.  Lastly, I want peace of mind.  Everything happens so fast now that sometimes I can't keep up or that my mind can't absorb it.

But you know what? Even if I don't get to have all those things this year or even in my lifetime.  It's okay cos I have L with me :)

Happy Friday, loves!

Review: Ever Bilena's Mousse Eyeshadow

Mousse eyeshadow has been out for quite some time but I've never actually tried it.  Swatched, yes.  Put it on my eyes, no.  When I was looking around Watsons, I passed by Ever Bilena's counter and saw their mousse eyeshadows besides their matte lipsticks.  It was their lipsticks that I was checking out initially.  There were about 5 or 6 pots of eyeshadows and the lavender one caught my eye.  Since it was only PhP75, I decided to buy one pot.  I wanted to get more eyeshadows since it's pretty cheap for the size.  But then I remembered, that hey, it's a local brand of eyeshadow - and they usually have poor quality.

Ever Bilena mousse eyeshadow in Amethyst

after rubbing my finger several times

Okay, basing from the first photo, it is obvious that the eyeshadow is dry - which shouldn't be the case since it's mousse.  I tried to use an eyeshadow brush but the eyeshadow didn't transfer on the brush.  Nothing happened.  So, I had to use my finger - which kinda sucks for me because I don't always like to apply makeup using my fingers.

So, did it show up on my lids?  Look below.

In fairness, it showed up.  It's lavender so you can't expect it to be bold no matter how much you put.  It stayed on the whole day cos of my eye primer.  The only good thing I can say about this eyeshadow is that it stays true to its color.  It's pretty pigmented.

Overall though, this eyeshadow is crap.  It's not at all mousse.  I wouldn't buy another pot of this even if it goes on sale.  Even if they give it as a freebie, I'd probably refuse.  It's PhP75 down the drain.  If you're thinking of buying this, don't.  Trust me.  Just go for the powder eyeshadow.

Video Tutorial: Colorful Summer Makeup Look

Summer is finally here!  And what a great way to embody the season is by wearing makeup using pastel colors!  I got an e-mail last week asking if I could do a makeup video tutorial using pastel colors because I've used too many blacks and browns on my previous videos.  I replied politely by saying sure!  But I wasn't that sure how to go about it.  I have never done makeup using different pastel colors.  I don't know but I just haven't.. Perhaps because there was never a situation that called for it - until I got that e-mail.

Well, well, challenge accepted!

So, here's my attempt on creating a colorful summer look!  I liked the look so much that I took a lot of photos!  The video is embedded after the photos! Please watch it!

Please let me know what video you would want to see next.

MAC Studio Fix Fluid in NC35
Maybelline Mineral Foundation in Buff
Urban Decay Primer Potion in Greed
88 Palette
Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Pencil in Flipside
Benefit Erase Paste in Light
NYX Xtreme Lip Cream in Nude Peach Fuzz

I'm currently having a giveaway!  Be the commenter of the month for the month of April!  Please click on the link below to see the mechanics!

Birthday/Commenter of the Month Giveaway (April 2012)

Hi, everyone!

After almost three years, I'm back again with a giveaway!  My birthday is coming up and as thank you to those that read this blog, I decided to have a giveaway!  This giveaway will continue month after month as I am going to pick one lucky commenter every month starting April!

To kick off the awesome month of April, I'm including the last week of March for fun =)

The chosen commenter of the month of April will receive the following:
1. Estee Lauder eye makeup palette
2. Estee Lauder lipstick in Hot Kiss
3. Estee Lauder lipliner in Spicy Writer
4. Two Ellana eye makeup brushes
5. Bobbi Brown Beauty Evolution book

Please watch the video to see the actual products! 

It's so easy to become Rarevanity's Commenter of the Month!  All you have to do is follow me on social network sites (which is done one time only) and comment on my blog posts!  Those who will like and subscribe to my YouTube channel will be given extra points on being the commenter of the month!

Below are the easy mechanics:
1. Follow on Google Friend Connect (GFC)
2. Follow me on Twitter:
3. Like my page on Facebook:
4. Comment (suggestions and questions) on my blog posts =)

To double your chances of winning:
1. Subscribe to my YouTube channel:
2. Comment AND like my videos on YouTube

You can start by commenting on this entry saying that you'd like to join :)  

You may also tweet about this giveaway!  This will, well, triple your chances of winning!

"Win a Bobbi Brown Beauty Revolution book and Estee Lauder Makeup by being Rare Vanity's Commenter of the Month!   @raregem"

Choosing the commenter of the month will be based on how much he/she comments on my blog and YouTube channel.  I will be manually checking if all commenters have done the simple steps.

Winner will be announced on May 1st!  Good luck! =)

MAC Shop MAC, Cook MAC Collection

I went to Rockwell yesterday for the lunching of Shop MAC, Cook MAC.  Honestly, I haven't gone to MAC launches since Hello Kitty or Colour Craft (whichever was released later).  I have come to realize that 80% of the time, splurging on limited edition makeup is 80% of the time a waste of money.  You waste hours just to get the product you've been eyeing on only to find out it was sold out a few minutes before you reached the counter.  Even if you find something a product that is one of a kind, chances are, you wouldn't use it as often as you would like to because you know that it's limited edition.  There's like a 20/100 chance that MAC will re-release it on their next collection.  So, I figured it's still best to invest on their permanent line.

But when I saw Shop MAC, Cook MAC - I was sold.  Yes, I was sold even though there were other collections that seemed better than it.  I love everything about this collection, as in everything.  If money were not a problem, I would have bought the entire collection.  But since there is monetary constraint involved, I went home with only these goodies:

Kissable Lipcolour in So Vain
Amplified lipstick in Watch Me Simmer
Cremeblend blush in Florida

I'll post another entry about my review on those products above.

I can't believe that there were a lot of people at MAC today.  There was even once makeup class who was there for the launch.  Amazing!  So many ladies are into makeup now.  I got to Rockwell at 2pm and I was given a number for the counter.  My number was 18 and I waited for roughly an hour and a half before my number was called.  There was a short workshop and MAC store supervisor, Odessa, demonstrated how to use the products.  She had a very pretty model, too!

Odessa with the models

Products from the new collection that was used

bare face

done with the eye makeup

final look

Shop MAC, Cook MAC Collection

If you like this collection, I suggest you drop by any MAC store tomorrow.  Watch Me Simmer is already sold out at MAC Rockwell because I got the last one, haha!  I'm guessing Quick Sizzle and Naughty Saute are also sold out before this day ended because pink is the new red here in Manila.  Dish It Up is another lipstick that I'm thinking of buying (although it reminds me of Most Popular from the Hello Kitty Collection).  All the Kissable Lipcolours are nice, I swear!  And so are the creme blend blush!  As for the eye palettes, my favorite would have to be Shop and Drop.  I just had to resist buying because I have a lot of palettes and I couldn't justify the need to buy a new one.  The tender tones are nice to have, too.  I couldn't decide what to get so I ended up not getting one!  It was the same case with the fluidlines!  But thinking about it now, I should have gotten all three!  I hope it won't be sold out anytime soon so I can get my hands on it on the next payday!

So, there you have it girls!  If you bought something from this collection, let me know!  I'd like to know your thoughts!

Subscribe to my YouTube channel and like my page on Facebook!

Nu-Pore Makeup Remover Tissue

The last time I wet to Duty Free, I saw this makeup remover on sale for USD1.  I've never tried makeup remover tissues before.  I guess, it was my assumption that they just won't deliver.  But since the item was on sale for a dollar, I grabbed a box.

So, Pond's also has a makeup remover of this kind!

wet wipe, much?

makeup transferred to the tissue

- affordable at USD1.00 only
- nice scent
- removes makeup efficiently
- one tissue is enough to remove makeup in the face
- leaves a cooling effect on skin
- the seal does the job of sealing and storing its freshness
- packaging it not bulky.  It's travel friendly

- not available locally (I've never seen this at department stores)
- it's so effective that my face feels a bit dry after wiping my face with it

Overall, I like it.  I'm guessing there are about 30 wipes inside the box.  I'm not so sure.  I don't use this all the time because I'm trying to save it because I don't know if I will ever find this product again.  I got this at Duty Free and it's not like I would go there any time just to get this makeup tissue.

If you know where I can this item locally apart from Duty Free, please let me know.  I'd really like to hoard on this!

Chillin at Chatime

I love Chatime Milk Tea!  IMO, they serve the best milk tea in the Metro.

Last weekend, L and I decided to go to Chatime - BGC to get our milk tea fix.  It was my first time to go inside.  I was amazed when I went in. It looks so cozy and there are a lo of couches!

Grass Jelly Milk Tea and Pearl Milk Tea
less sugar, no ice.

Chatime's counter

their couches

ain't this set cute?!

Video Tutorial: Smokey Eye Look Using Urban Decay's Naked Palette

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Here's another video tutorial on doing a smokey eye look.  This time, I decided to use Urban Decay's Naked Palette.  I love this palette because you can create a lot of different looks!

The video is embedded below the photos.  Some of the photos are kinda blurry because the camera was already low batt when I took the shots.

Products used:

Benefit Erase Paste concealer in Medium #2
Nars blush in Orgasm
Nars bronzer in Laguna

Urban Decay Primer Potion
Harujuku liquid eyeliner in black
NYC eyebrow liner in Dark Brown
MAC Chromographic Pencil in NC30
Thrifted false eyelashes


Happy Friday, girls!

Brown Smokey Eye Look Using MAC Palette

And here's another smokey eye look video tutorial  This time I used the brown eyeshadows (MAC Scant, Satin Taupe, and Dark Devotion) included in the palette.

Satin Taupe is a very nice eyeshadow!  It's actually one of my favorites!

The video is embedded below the photos.  Watch the video and let me know what video you want to see next!

Happy Wednesday, loves!

Video Tutorial: Black Smokey Eye Look Using MAC Palette

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As requested, here's a video tutorial on creating that black smokey eye look!  I decided to use my MAC smokey eye palette so that it would be easier for you guys to do this look.  This is just a simple tutorial on how to create the smokey eye look.

I made a little boo-boo on the video tutorial.  The eyeshadow that I used on my brow bone is MAC Gorgeous and not MAC Scant =)

A few photos of my simple black smokey eye look! The video tutorial is embedded below the photos.  Please watch it and let me know what video you want to see next!

Happy Tuesday, girls!

Pampering Time at Benefits Salon*

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Last Friday, I went to Benefits Salon in Eastwood for some pampering time with the beauty bloggers.  I barely had an idea who would be there.  But I was so glad to meet familiar faces.

When I got there, I was warmly welcomed by Camilla (Megaworld's Marketing Associate), and the owners of Benefits Salon - Roseann and Robina Ko.

I was given a cupcake (Sonja's) and hot tea to mellow down and was assisted to my seat.  Then I saw Martha and Jheng were there, too!

So, how did the pampering time go?  I had a keratin treatment for my hair, the usual manicure/pedicure, and eyebrow threading.

with Jheng and Shen

with Robina and Roseann

my Orly painted toe nails

my brows have a "new" look haha

it's a really rally dark red shade

Okay, honestly I don't know what keratin treatment does to the hair.  But my hair feels way softer now.  I really liked the service of the Benefits Salon crew.  They were so nice and checked on me every now and then to ask if there is anything else that I needed.  Other beauty bloggers had their hair dyed and their crowning glory looked all great!  They even dyed Helga's hair pink and it was so funky + awesome!  Very even application, I swear.  If you read my blog, I am now very particular with hair dye application ever since a certain salon damaged my hair oh so badly in 2010.

The salon uses Orly nail polish which is a plus for me!  I've been to salons that charges as much as Benefits Salon and yet they use local brands of nail polish - there's an additional fee if you request for an imported brand of nail polish.  Crazy, right?!  Benefits Salon manicure is PhP150 and their pedicure is PhP170.

I'm quite conscious now when it comes to my brows.  It's too thin and genetically shaped fugly.  My lack of knowledge to shape brows isn't much help either!  I've been growing my brows for about three weeks now so I can go to a brow salon to have it fixed again.  Good thing, Benefits Salon also offers brow threading for only PhP150!  The person that did my brows was Rica and shaped my brows perfectly.  Even Jheng commended her - to think that Jheng is my idol when it comes to brow shaping and eye makeup!  I'm so happy with the new shape of my brows!  I just hope I won't have problems shaping it in the next few days.

I also like the interior of the salon.  There are lights everywhere and the color combination screams girly!  Pink + Purple + Apple Green = Funky yet Girly!

I am definitely going back to this salon!  I love the service and I'm rest assured that I will not go home disappointed!

Benefits Salon is located at 2nd Floor Fashion Square Building, Eastwood CityWalk, Libis.