Hi Bellas!

You know I love Eve Pearl products. They're especially amazing for your kit or travel. Check out some amazing deals. Even if you spend $50 you can get a free blush trio. Check it out, deals end this week!

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Hi Bellas,

Today's review will be over a classic product with a twist...Chapstick True Shimmer. At some point in our lives, most of us have had some form of Chapstick in our purse or pocket. We all know that it's an affordable option for lip conditioner.

However, as times change, classic products stay up with current trends by adding some flair to their products.

Chapstick has done so by introducing their new True Shimmer Line.

They're available in Botanical Berry and Tropical...soon to be available in Peppermint Rush and Blended Fruit Sherbet in August 2009.

As you can see from the swatch above, one swipe of the chapstick leaves a subtle shimmer down the middle of my hand.

  • Smells yummy!
  • Perfect subtle shimmer would be great for young teens first experimenting with makeup or for adults who want to wear something subtle for class or work
  • Same moisturizing formula as the original
  • Available in most drugstores at under $3
  • I personally need something a bit more moisturizing and emollient like my trusty Aquaphor
  • The shimmer in this could be a deal breaker for some who prefer the original formula
I think this is a really great product for the summer. Use it as a primer underneath your lipsticks and glosses for an extra pack of shimmer.

Atlanta Makeup Artist

Hi Bellas!

If you've seen any of my last YouTube tutorials, you'll notice that I have been rocking the Red Cherry lashes non-stop. Thanks to Killa Cam for leading me to www.beautyshopoc.com where I finally found a site that sells Red Cherry at an affordable price. Being in Atlanta, it was always hard for me to find these amazing lashes at a decent price. I googled the heck out of it and could only find them on Ebay for over twice the price. For those of you who don't have Red Cherry near you, or don't know about them, let me explain.

Red Cherry lashes are extremely affordable. I don't usually get MAC lashes unless they're a a limited edition item because they are just way too expensive. I had switched to Ardell but Red Cherry lashes are even cheaper! They average around a dollar and some change and are available from natural to dramatic. Lashes make such a difference in completing a look...you can see that I use them in nearly every tutorial. Celebrities like Kim Kardashian also rock the Red Cherry lashes.

After working with the owner of BeautyShopOC he informed me that they are launching a brand new site dedicated entirely to Red Cherry lashes. This is awesome because they can focus on great service and getting you affordable shipping. The owner told me that they do free shipping over $30! This is the lowest price I've heard of for a beauty site. Also, since they're sticking to shipping lashes, the cost is as low as possible for shipment...unlike a lot of companies.

One thing to keep in mind is that Red Cherry lashes can come in two different packagings: one says Red Cherry and one says Bliss. They're the exact same but Red Cherry just uses different packaging companies. Just wanted to point that out so you don't get confused.

After some discussion, I partnered with Thomas in order to celebrate the launch of http://www.iheartredcherry.com/

As a result, he is giving all my readers a 10% off code using renren!

(FYI, if this code hasn't worked for you, the site is working on fixing any glitches...those who have tried to use the code without success will be reimubrsed and hopefully the code should work moving forward.)

Check out the video to hear about the contest!

To celebrate we will also hold a contest and giveaway. Here are the requirements for entry:

  1. You must be a subscriber to my YouTube page and/or a follower on this blog
  2. This contest is open to only US and Canada at this time
  3. You must be 18 to enter, or have parental permission.

About the Contest:

  1. There will be 3 winners: 1st place wins 60 Red Cherry lashes, 2nd place wins 30 Red Cherry lashes, and a Random Commenter on my page will win 10 lashes.
  2. The contest will begin July 1st and end at Midnight July 20th, Eastern Standard Time. I will announce the winners on July 30th. I heart Red Cherry will ship the prizes directly. It will include an assortment of Red Cherry lashes.

How To Enter:

  1. Make a video response to the contest video. It can be either live video or pictures.
  2. Create a completely dramatic, creative look using false lashes. The use of Red Cherry lashes is highly encouraged. Think outside the box...use false lashes as creative as possible! Dress them up with different appliques...color them...put them in unexpected places!
  3. This has to be a brand new video entitled "I Heart Red Cherry Lashes Contest"
  4. The video does not have to be a tutorial...instead, you must show me the beginning, middle, and end of the look and explain what you did. Also explain why you love Red Cherry lashes and why you want to win. This can be through pictures as well, but you must always show a full face shot to ensure there is no identity theft.
  5. To win the 10 lashes commenting prize, leave a comment on the wall for this contest video. Tell me what your favorite Red Cherry lash is and why. Visit http://www.iheartredcherry.com/ to see the different styles.

Good luck!

Atlanta Makeup Artist

Hi Bellas,

I've had these products to review for a while now, but my vacation put me behind on testing them. I've also been itching to do a tutorial, but after coming back from vacation, I haven't been able to wear contacts for about a week and a half. Luckily my eyes are better so I could do a look!

Check out my video tutorial to see my look!

Onto my review! You might have already seen these double stack palettes.

Shimmer Double Stack

Matte Double Stack

My first impression, "Whoa mama these are vibrant!" Out of all the pre-filled palettes I've tried out, these are the brightest...right up my alley! You can find these for $27.95 on Stars Makeup Haven. They're called double stack palettes because the first layer has a palette filled with 32 eyeshadows, and the second layer/stack has a palette filled with 10 blushes.

Unfortunately the blushes are the same in both palettes...it would have been cool if the Matte palette had matte blushes and the Shimmer palette had shimmer blushes, oh well! The blushes in this palette are actually different from an individual 10 pan blush palette that I have. They are a little more pigmented which is a plus for the medium to dark skin tones out there...not quite as smooth as MAC blushes but definitely wearable.

In terms of the eyeshadows, they are really fun, bright colors to work with. The consistency is harder than a lot of the other palettes out there, which I actually prefer so that way the eyeshadows don't crumble as easily. The colors are really super duper pigmented...you can do so much with these palettes. I definitely recommend them. I actually took both palettes and then put both stacks of eyeshadows in one palette and both blushes in another...most likely I won't be using the blushes as much as the eyeshadows...plus I like to have all of my eyeshadows in one place.

Stars Makeup Haven Single Eyeshadows
In addition, I've been testing out SMH's single eyeshadows. They are the exact size of MAC shadows and fit perfectly into SMH's magnetized 28 palette. The packaging of the eyeshadow is very nice...the whole pan is a shiny, heavy metal with the words printed directly on the back...IMO it looks even nice than the MAC shadow where you can see the exposed magnet on the back. At $4.95, these eyeshadows are very affordably priced. They come in a range of colors (currently 50 colors to choose from) from neutral to bright and bold.

Here's a picture from Stars Makeup Haven with the shadows in her 15 pan palette. You can buy the pans and palette individually, or you can build your own 15 pan palette for $49.95. That's an amazing deal since if you bought all 15 pans individually you'd be spending $74.25 already, and that's without the empty palette. Great Deal! Or you can buy the 28 pan palette and fill it for $79.95...saving you $58.65 in eyeshadow alone! Just for comparison sake, if you bought 15 MAC pan eyeshadows, it would be already over $150...these are half the price.

As you can see, it's better to do the "build your own palette" option...and they're not pre-filled, you can choose your own colors. Let me also mention that SMH's magnetized palettes are amazing! You really don't need to buy MAC empty palettes anymore...and no more adding magnets to anything, love love love!

In terms of the consistency, the shadows are super smooth. Watch out though, because they're a little soft, my fingernail accidentally hit them a few times, leaving a nick on the surface. I tried some of these out in the Philippines and they were really nice. The color is vibrant and blends easily. They can be a little dusty, but just shake off the excess on your brush before applying and you should be fine. I paired this with my eyeshadow base from Steelo Cosmetics and they lasted all day. This is such a great alternative to MAC eyeshadows...I love how you can actually choose your own colors as opposed to the larger pre-filled palettes (88...96...120) where you end up not using a lot of the colors in the palette.

Check out the look I created with the double stack palettes and single eyeshadows!

Check these out at http://www.starsmakeuphaven.com/ !

Stay tuned for my next video on Monday where I announce my Red Cherry Lashes contest!

Atlanta Makeup Artist

Hi Bellas!

I wanted to show you pics of the Indian Wedding I did before I left for vacation. I finally had a chance to put them up. For this event, I was contacted by one of my YouTube viewers all the way in New Jersey. She wanted to get made over for her brother's wedding which was taking place in Atlanta. At the same time, I would be doing her mother and sister in law. This was a two look gig...one look for the day and another for the night. I had so much fun working with Gunjan and I wish her the best for her own upcoming wedding in Jersey!

Here is Gunjan's first look. Her priority was to even out her skin which had been going through a few tough months of breakouts. My cinema secrets came in handy for that! In terms of the colors, we pretty much wanted to do looks to compliments the gorgeous Saris they were wearing.

Since this was a daytime look, I went for a light pink with a little bit of maroon in the outer v for a bit of dimension. We went with a subtle mauve gloss to top it off.

I also did a look for Gunjan's Sister in Law. She actually had really nice skin. Her skincare regimen consists of the use of a lot of Indian herbs and spices mixed into a paste. I have seen this done before and it really does work! In terms of the colors, she favors a darker tone, so went for a berry shade apporpriate for day time. As for eyes, I coordinated the look to match her Maroon/Gold/Black Sari.

Lastly, I was able to do the mama. Gunjan informed me that she is pretty natural with only one preference - red lipstick! I focused on evening out her skin tone. On the eyes, I used very natural eyeshadows and emphasized the shape with individual lashes and kohl liner. On her lips, I applied MAC Brick Red lipliner and Dubonnet lipstick. I chose these colors since they're a little deeper and went well with her coloring.

Now comes the night looks! Gunjan's sister in law actually wanted something a little more subtle for the evening. I stuck with gold's and bronzes to coordinate with her Mustard Colored outfit. We replaced the strip lashes with individuals and again went for a berry lip with a pop of gold in the center.

For Gunjan's evening look, she definitely wanted to have a bit of teal on her eyes to match her gorgeous outfit. I combined the teal with gold eyeshadow and the same Red Cherry lashes. A shimmery pink gloss to complete the look. FYI, this look was a little on the dramatic side for Gunjan, so I easily toned it down by applying a neutral shadow like MAC's llama to a blending brush and just blended the shadows to soften the color.

Till next time, Ciao Bellas!

Atlanta Makeup Artist

Hi Bellas!

So yah, it's my birthday. Could you tell from the title, lol? It's the big 26...I think after 25 the irresponsible young days are over, ha ha, time to be an adult!

This morning, I woke up and my bf had a bunch of pretty presents wrapped as well as flowers on our table. Yay! I don't know about you though, but when I get up for work, I give myself just enough time to get ready and i'm out the door! I'll open them tonight :) I got to work, and my co-workers were sweet enough to decorate my cube. I also got flowers and a ballon from my boss as well as a breakfast sandwich (which I can't eat since I'm not doing carbs, lol).

We're also planning on seeing Transformers tonight with our crew. I felt like the first one was just okay, so hopefully this one is better. Then tomorrow my friends have a "surprise" birthday dinner planned for me, lol. Friday is my BFF's fiance's birthday so we're also going out for that. Then Saturday is just for me and my BF to celebrate :) I want to do something low key...just quality time together since we're going on vacation next weekend to Savannah.

Thank you for all the birthday wishes on YouTube and Twitter, they made me feel so special :)

Meanwhile, I uploaded a video last night on how to pack makeup for summer vacations. If you know me, you'll know I'm extremely OCD about packing. I usually have a spreadsheet and pack way in advance. I like to know I'm not forgetting anything, but also make sure that I have everything I need.

Check out my video for tips and tricks for packing:

Hi Bellas!

Thank you everyone for participating in this contest. The entries were seriously on another level, just absolutely amazing! For those of you who didn't win, you're still fierce anyways! Also, I have two more big contest coming up. The first one begins July 1st where I'm giving over 100 pairs of Red Cherry Lashes. Stay tuned!

Check out this short video to see who the winners are!

The time has finally come to announce the winners of the Are You Fierce contest. What took months of preparation has finally come to a conclusion leaving us seven guru's to a very difficult task! Picking only 3 winners. There were over 600 entries from all over the globe.

Check out the winners!!!
3rd place: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6osU35FLGyk
2nd place: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0igRVcyx0y4
1st place: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o1WqOw9hpe4&feature=channel_page

Winners please contact us with your full name and address so that we may forward the prizes to you!

Every entry is a winner! STAY FIERCE!

Atlanta Makeup Artist

Hi Bellas!

Happy Monday! Two more days till my bday on Wednesday, yay! I'm counting down. Meanwhile, I wanted to share with you a FOTD I did a few weeks ago. I was trying to do a Beyonce Celebrity tutorial. I asked my Twitter and YouTube peeps to send me some ideas and I chose the look below. I think this is a really pretty and sultry smokey eye. I decided to replicate it. I'm sticking with just the FOTDs because the video I filmed didn't turn out that great.

The look pretty much calls for big hair, thickly kohl rimmed eyes, glowy skin, minimal blush, dark not so perfect eye brows, some light contouring and a neutral lipgloss. These pics are definitely before I got my summer tan, lol. I tried to make my hair as big as I could!

I'm trying to remember what I Used:

-Cinema Secrets foundation
-lightest blush from the Eve Pearl Medium Blush Trio
-MAC Shadester Sculpting Powder

-MAC bare canvas paint
-MAC llama, soft brown and shroom eyeshadow
-MAC smolder eye kohl
-Afterglow Cosmetics Black Powder liner to set black kohl
-Rimmel Brow Pencil in dark brown

-MAC Viva Glam V lipgloss
-MAC luminary lipglass in center of bottom lips for a frost finish
-MAC Dervish lip pencil

Stay tuned for more!

Atlanta Makeup Artist

Hi Bellas!

Whenever I get questions from viewers asking for affordable makeup brands that are comparable to favorites like MAC, Urban Decay and Makeup Forever, the L'Oreal HIP brand is always on my list. Their colors are vibrant, bright, and fun...yet wearable at the same time. They always come out new, innovative products. I had the opportunity to try out a few of their most recent releases.

HIP High Intensity Pigments Color Presso Lip Gloss

How cool is this product? When you take off the cap, you have a slanted tip applicator with two holes to dispense the two different lip colors. The glosses are housed in squeezy type tubes. You can wear each individually or squeeze both sides at once and wear a combo of both. That's 3 glosses in one if you think about it.

-You have 3 ways to wear this product
-Yummy Caramel scent
-Affordable and easily available in most drug stores
-Color is very work friendly...not too intense, perfect for daytime and class as well

-The colors are a little bit on the sheer side
-Might be difficult to press both sides at once to get a mix of the shades.
-Instead of a shiny gloss, this has more shimmers which some may or may not prefer
-The cap was a little difficult to get off. I expected to twist it, but you have to pop it off. The first time I got it off, it popped off 5 feet in front of me, lol.

Check out hand swatches of each gloss. I show you each individually as well as the mixed shade.

Check out the mixed shade on my lips. You can see how the gloss has more shimmers as opposed to the shiny/glossy effect.

HIP High Intensity Pigments Kohl Eyeliner

Another cool new product are these kohl eyeliners. The applicator is a stiff felt tip which applies the loose pigment stored in the jar. The colors Navy and Gold are extremely wearable and in style for this season. I decided to be Santa for a day and gave some of these Kohl liners to my friends, they loved it! Check out what I like and dislike about the product below:

-Easy to apply
-Vibrant color payoff

-There is a bit of fallout after applying the product. Make sure to shake the excess powder off the applicator when you apply.
-The large applicator might not apply the thinnest line.

Check out these products in your nearest drug store or cosmetics aisle. Till next time, Ciao Bellas!

Atlanta Makeup Artist

Hi Bellas,

As many of you might now, I participated in a huge YouTube contest with several other beauty YouTubers and Gurus. At the moment, we're still picking the winners of the tutorial part of the contest, but I am able to announce my guru grab bag winner. Each of us got to pick a random commenter on our Contest Video and award a Grab Bag of our choosing.

Check out my video where I announce the winner and show each of the prizes!

Here are my prizes packed and ready to ship!

Here's What I Included:
  1. 2 NYX Single Eyeshadows
  2. 1 NYX Eyeshadow Trio
  3. 15 pan eyeshadow palette from Stars Makeup Haven
  4. 15 empty eyeshadow pans for pigment pressing
  5. Dessert Treats Vanilla Ice Cream Lipgloss
  6. Grafotobian Glimmer Shimmer - A coordinating pigment and cream shadow base
  7. Aveda Volumizing Mist
  8. 3 pairs of lashes - Revlon, Elf, and Asian Brand

And the winner is...AJROMERO518. Congrats girl! Make sure to email me at makeupbyren@yahoo.com to claim your prize. You have until midnight, June 24th (Yay! My Birthday!) Eastern Standard Time to claim your prize or the Grab Bag will go to someone else.

Thanks everyone for participating! Don't worry, I have a huge contest coming in July with lots more prizes to give away.

Atlanta Makeup Artist

Hi Bellas,

I recently had the opportunity to try out a new product...Hair Rules Daily Cleansing Cream. My hair is colored and highlighted and I'm always in search of products to prevent my color from going brassy and fading. I was excited to try out this product to see how it fared.

Information from Company Press Release:

What It Claims:
Packed with natural cleansers, nourishers and shine enhancers, this deeply hydrating, no suds shampoo dissolves dirt and oils while preserving hair's healthy moisture and sheen. Especially formulated for dry, coarse, over-processed and heat-styled hair, Daily Cleansing Cream is gentle enough for everyday use. Maintains vibrancy in color-treated hair.

Who It's For:
Suitable for All Hair Textures.

Why you need it:
With a few exceptions, conventional shampoos can dry out textured hair, especially kinky, resulting in a spongy, frizzy, fly-away texture. Daily Cleansing Cream gently conditions hair while cleansing. The oils in the formula bind to dirt and oil on the scalp and hair, removing buildup, without stripping hair of its own natural oils. As a result, hair stays soft and pliable, and better able to form a defined, lustrous curl pattern.


My Thoughts:
I used the entire sample of this product to see how my hair was affected. My hair condition is generally dry from coloring so I need a lot of moisture from my hair products. This shampoo has zero suds...instead the oils stick to the dirt from your hair and wash right out. From other bloggers, I've learned that it's common for a lot of organic/sulfate free products to lack the suds that many conventional shampoos contain.

Testing Out The Product
When I used the product, I found that there was indeed absolutely no sud action. This does take getting used to. However, to make up for the lack of suds, I found myself using more product to make sure that I was really getting my hair clean. The instructions say use liberally, so I'm assuming that it was okay. The product is called a cleansing cream, and it definitely felt like I was using a conditioner.

In terms of smell, it had a faint rose scent. I washed it off like normal and followed up with my L'Oreal EverPure Sulfate free conditioner. I figured I might as well stay on the sulfate free tip since I was using this product. Afterwards, I let my hair air dry. My hair felt pretty decent...not stripped and dry, more of a moisturized feel. I used this product for about 2 weeks and found that I had to be careful because if I didn't rinse it out completely, or used too much, my hair got oily quicker and had less of a time span between washes.

Final Thoughts
I decided to do a little research on the product. The website explains that this cleansing cream is best for wavy, curly and kinky hair. That makes more sense! My hair is straight and does not need as much conditioning as the other hair types. As a result, I think that this product was a little too strong for my straight hair. But for kinky, curly and wavy, this moisturizing, gentle no suds cleansing cream is definitely for you! I can see it definitely conditioning the curls and maintaining the wave pattern like it states.

If you're interested, check out the product at : Ricky's NY, hairrules.com, and blissworld.com

Atlanta Makeup Artist

Hi Bellas!

One of my new favorite brands is Steelo Cosmetics. I've been using them over the last few weeks and I really love their products. In a previous post I said if MAC and Bobbi Brown had a baby, it would be Steelo Cosmetics.
Most of the reasons why I like them is because honestly it's just a quality product. A lot of times when I try new brands, I'm a little disappointed with the mediocre quality...this happens a lot with new/start up makeup companies.

A team of makeup artists developed Steelo to cater to all women of color (light to dark) and it is reflected through their choice of color selection. If you look at the Steelo Website, you'll see various ethnic women celebrating color in all forms. I think I might have even spotted a Pinay!

My favorite products from this line are the single eyeshadows, lipglosses, lipliners, eyebrow pencils, and body shimmers (use them on the face - gorgeous!). The eyeshadows are definitely up to par with MAC, and their color range varies from beautiful earthy tones to bright and vibrant colors. All of the lipliners, glosses and lipsticks complement all women of color.

Some of My Favorite Products:
Single Eyeshadows - my fav!

Lipliners - Love sand as a neutral lip pencil...Mocha is just as good as MAC's chesnut

Eyebrow pencils - Earth Brown is my shade, taupe would be for lighter hair colors. The pencil has just the right amount of waxiness so that it creates little feather strokes.

Gorgeous blushes on women of color...notice the richness and warmth to the color

These lipglosses are amazing. Super smooth, not sticky, and the colors are gorgeous.

This product is called body shimmers but I use them on my face. The glitter particles are so fine and the powder is smooth that it just glides over your face giving a glow, not at all glittery and chunky looking. The color on the left, Glisten, is a gorgeous bronze shade...beautiful on darker tones. The color on the left, Fairy, is my go to color...I rocked this in the Philippines!
I've done a few looks over the last couple of weeks using Steelo...check them out!
First off, all of these eyeshadows are worn using Steelo's Eyeshadow Base in Light and Medium. Medium is my perfect shade. The consistency is like a sticky cream shadow...which definitely helps to make eyeshadow stick. Make sure to blend out the edges. It also helps to put a base shadow on top to help blending.

The first two looks were done using the Eyeshadow Trios.

Here I am modeling the eyeshadow trio in Onyx, Matte Beige eyeshadow as a highlight, as well as a little bit of MAC's Soft Brown above the crease. Mocha blush on the cheeks, and on my lips I'm rocking a Max Factor lipstick with Steelo's Chesnut lipliner and Sultry lipgloss.

In this look I went for bronzey...wearing the eyeshadow trio in Entourage, as well Matte Beige e/s as a highlight and Mandarin e/s on the lid. On my cheeks I'm wearing Terra Cotta blush and Fairy Body Shimmer. I'm also wearing Steelo's mineral foundation...not sure of the shade though. When I do another tutorial I'll pick another shade. On my lips I'm rocking Mocha lipliner and Runway lipgloss.
This is a fall asleep and then wake up and take a picture of my makeup shot, lol. Let's just focus on the right eye since most of the makeup faded off. Here I am wearing Haze and Exclusive Eyeshadows (gorgeous blues) as well the black from the Onyx Trio.

Another bronzey look. Here I am wearing Steelo's foundation and Mocha blush. On my eyes I have the following eyeshadows: Matte Beige, Bella, and Drama. On my lips I have Sand Lipliner and Pink Pearl lipgloss.
In this look I cut the crease with Violine Kohl pencil. On the lid I have Haze eyeshadow. I'm wearing Sand Lipliner and Crush lipgloss.

Here are some shots of the mineral foundation...my skin tone has changed so much over the last few weeks with getting a tan that I need to go back and determine my exact shade.
If you're into loose mineral eyeshadow, they also have a large assortment of gorgeous eye shimmers. Apparently it's also one of their most popular products.
I'm planning on doing a tutorial on one of my looks...please leave me a comment and let me know which one you like!

Hi Bellas!

Last Thursday I stopped into MAC to check out the Naked Honey collection. Overall, it was a decent collection with pretty, wearable colors. The colors veered more on the summery side with bronzes, apricots and golds. Honestly, no real stand out/must haves but some good basics for your summer makeup look. I picked up a few items.

Check out my video to see the swatches in person, as well as some new updates!

First I got Queen Bee lipglass. This is a great apricot/nude shade...great for the J-Lo lip or even bridal makeup.

I also picked up Golden Nectar highlight powder. I usually skip these, but this shade was surprisingly more pigmented and darker the most. This could serve as a bronzer for lighter skin tones and a good highlighter for darker tones. On me, it looked like a shimmery/bronzey/peach blush...again great for summer. Check out my video to see me wearing this highlighter.

I also picked up two eyeshadows from the collection. I skipped on the frosty gold color because it was extremely dupeable. I picked up pollinator- a peachy pink/apricot shade and buckwheat - a bronze with gold shimmers. If I could do it again, I would probably not have picked up pollinator because it's very sheer - but I think i'll make it work for bridal looks.

Here are the swatches. As you can see, Pollinator is rather sheer...if you wanted to see the color you'd need a base. I could have skipped this one. The only eyeshadow which I could recommend is Buckwheat which would be a nice bronzey shadow for any skin tone.

Here's a shot of me without makeup except for the Golden Nectar highlight powder on my cheeks and Queen Bee lipglass. I'm a lot more tan now after coming back from the Philippines! I like how this highlight powder looks like a pretty shimmery blush on my skin tone.

I filmed a travel makeup video this weekend giving you tips for making smart for summer vacay. I pretty much showed you what I packed for the Philippines. I also have an airbrushing tutorial filmed and ready to upload. Tonight I think I'll film my Grab Bag winner video for the Are You Fierce Contest. Stay tuned!

Atlanta Makeup Artist

Hi bellas!

WARNING - Pic Heavy!

So I finally got my pics up from my recent trip to San Francisco, CA and the Philippines. It was definitely a great experience. It was my first time since I was a baby so I met relatives I had never known before and experienced my culture first hand.

I hope to go again and experience some of the other parts of the Philippines I didn't get a chance to visit.

Take a look at some of the pics! First stop, San Francisco.

My bro graduated from Law School...which explains our first stop in San Fran. We're so proud!

Family shot! I did my mommy's makeup too :) They were selling these really pretty orchid lays for the grads. My brother is modeling one :)

Here's my brother's cat Nelson and my mom :) The cat is 17 pounds! His name is Sam and he has polydactyly...meaning extra toes on each paw, lol.

While in San Fran of course we had to stop at Costco's to get lots of goodies for our Balikbayan Boxes (boxes many Filipinos bring back to relatives filled with goodies)...this is only one of the multiple carts!

While in San Fran I requested we make a trip to Japan town. They had two malls there where my bro and I and some of his friends took some fun pics at pikapika.

I love these pics! You take them in some really fun booths with multiple backdrops and designs and then get to add decorations at the end. It was crazy in there, lol. There was a lot of directions and timers, we were a hot mess, lol. Luckily one of my bro's friends was half japanese so he could read the directions, lol. Click on the pic to expand.

Here's a pic of me and the fam outside of Japantown.

Sunday night we headed to the airport for our 10:30pm flight. Here we are in the line at Philippine Airlines. Check out everyone with their Balikbayan boxes ready to bring to their family in the Philippines! We were due to arrive in the Philippines on Tuesday at 3:30am! The 15 hour flight was definitely the longest flight I've ever taken!

We landed in Manila and immediately went to my dad's family's house in Malabon...about 40 minutes from the airport. After eating breakfast, we left most of our luggage there and headed back to Manila. I took this shot from the cab.

Sounds weird, but we actually stayed at the Manila Adventist hospital for the first week. They had a wing of guest rooms. This is the same place where my mom went to nursing school. One of the reasons my parents went to the Philippines is because they planned on getting lots of dental work done. Getting it done in the Philippines even without insurance is about 90% cheaper than the states.

One of the first thing I was excited to see in the Philippines were the Jeepneys! These are little jeeps that fit about 15-20 people on two benches in the back...it was only about 7 pesos (less than 10 cents) per ride. Those jeepneys were always packed! They were painted so pretty...here are two I snapped.

There were street markets everywhere I went! This one had lots of fresh veggies.

Here I am in the market with a brightly colored straw fan I brought everywhere! It was so hot you used the fan indoors and outdoors! I bought 25 of these fans for 225 pesos...less than 5 bucks! I'm giving them out as souveniers to my friends.

Divisioria was a huge street market in Manila...it was packed and hot!

Here's a shot of my mom in Divisioria trying on a traditional Filipino dress. She got it to wear to her Filipino church back home.

My mom was super pumped about bringing back dried fish with her to the states, lol...again not really my cup of tea. It seems like everyone was trying to sell food in the markets...they even came up to you in the middle of traffic. Here is my mom checking out some fish.

My dad got the infamous Filipino delicacy Balut off the street...he loves it! It's basically an egg where the chick is half developed...my parents made me try the yellow part...it tasted the same as normal boiled egg yolk...but there was no way I was going to slurp down the little chick.

We also made a 3 day trip to Baguio to visit my childhood pastor. Since it was in the mountains it was really nice and cool...we needed it after super hot Manila!

Shot of some houses in the mountains. My mom shared with me that her dad used to work in the mines there when she was young.

For the first time I was there I saw Filipinos in native dress. You can see them sitting down here...click on pic to expand.

My dad paid a taxi driver to give us a 4 hour tour of baguio for like $10...good deal! I would have had more pics but my camera died and I didn't have an electric converter to charge it :( Here we are in front of the Mansion...I think this is where the President stays sometimes?

Back to Manila (these pictures are a little out of order but I tried to group them together to make sense)!

One thing the Philippines does not lack on are Super Malls. We went to the Mall of Asia which was a 10 minute drive from the hospital we were at. We went there a couple of times because they had everything! Here are me and my mom in front.

In the mall they even had a separate ice skating rink and hockey rink.

The mall had soooo many restaurants and stands. Here's a pic of some really yummy chicken we got at a place called the noodle house. It was cooked adobo style and the pot was steaming! It was super yummy. While I was in the Philippines I was surprised that I never could find adobo chicken...it was either adobo pork, fish, etc....the only time I had actual adobo chicken was on the plane. I was kind of disappointed because this is my fav!

They had stands selling Babinka (not sure if I spelled that right), one of mom's fav filipino deserts.


In the mall we hit up the famous Max's restaurant.

For dessert I got my favorite, Halo Halo! It means mix mix and it's a blend of shaven ice and a lot of sweet treats like ice cream, ube, leche flan, and fruits. This version had cheese in it...I could have done without it.

In almost every city we went to there was always the giant SM supermarket which had everything from clothes, to appliances to food. It was like a giant Wal-Mart. I think we went nearly everyday, lol.

SM had a really great selection of fruits and veggies. My parents always got different fruits that they hadn't had in years. Here they are with fresh lychees.

Back to Malabon! Here are some pics of my dad's family.

My cousin is in the pink, her super cute daughter in the middle and my grandma on the right.

Here's Helene giving my dad a kiss...she was so cute!

My dad's brother on the left...he looks like my dad so much! Cousin, aunt and Helene. This if my first time meeting them as far as I can remember. My uncle kept telling me I needed to give my parents grand kids...gulp!

We also made a trip to Pangasinan to visit my mom's family.

It was about 4 hours from Manila (it took more like 7 though) and we took a private van to get there. On the way I took a picture of Water Buffalo aka Carabou...definitely one of the Philippines' national animals.

We stayed in DaGupan (did I spell that right?). We had to pick a random hotel off the street because it was getting dark by the time we got there.

I noticed a lot of the bathrooms don't have a barrier between the toilet and the shower...this means everything got wet, lol. I wasn't really feeling that. This hotel also only gave a ration of toilet paper each day instead of a roll. In fact, many of the public bathrooms didn't have soap and toilet paper. If you go to the Philippines, you might want to carry a travel sized roll in your purse. Oh...and be prepared to pay to use public restrooms!

We visited my mom's family in San Jacinto.

Super cute babies everywhere!

Family shot with my mom and me in the middle. They were so cute, they kept on wanting us to take pictures "for remembrance" as they said. Most of them didn't really speak english to me so I did a lot of smiling and nodding, lol.

While there, we made a 2 hour trip to visit 100 Island beach in Pangasinan.

This was the only day we went to the beach while I was there. Here's a shot of dad and me on one of the islands.

We took a 4 hour boat tour/excursion which took us to about 5 different islands where we could eat and play at the beach. This little boat took us around...it was a rough ride, lol. I had to shield my eyes from the blinding salt water.

OMG it was blistering hot! Mom and I couldn't wait for my bad to take this picture so we could get out of the heat! The Philippines had a different kind of heat than I was used too...very hot but with high humidity...you were soaked in sweat all the time!

Each island had a little attraction...here's my dad at one.

Me and mom in front of the boats. You better believe we had life jackets on the whole time!

Shot from one of the caves on the island.

Our tour was given by a dad and his little son! Look how tiny he is steering the boat with a giant bamboo stick!

Mom and I in one of the caves.

When I was in the Philippines, I was shocked to see some of the poverty conditions. Many of the houses looked like delapidated stacks of tin and tarps. I saw many people bathing in the streets. It was definitely an eye opener. These pics were taken in Manila.

While I was in the Philippines one of my goals was to check out Asian cosmetics and skincare. I honestly didn't pick up a lot. A lot of the focus is on skin whitening and I wasn't really into that.

I did go the the Face Shop for the first time. I picked up 3 face masks and a lipgloss. The brow powder is for my mom...I had to check her on her eyebrows. She was filling them in all crazy with a pencil, but by the end she had the brow powder down! The lipgloss I got was a green color that came out sheer with gold shimmers. Most of the other makeup didnt really catch my eye and it was more expensive than I anticipated.

The last product I picked up was in Japantown in San Fran. I think I've seen this eyeliner on the blog scene before. I'm a huge liquid liner fan so once I'm out of my Eve Pearl I'll try this one out.

I hope you guys enjoyed my pics! It was definitely a great experience. Till next time, Ciao Bellas!

Atlanta Makeup Artist

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