MAC Spring Summer 2013



It is always a treat to be invited to the launch of MAC Cosmetics’ trend reports. I learn so much about makeup and beauty products. Last January, MAC’s Senior Artist Victor Cembellin gave a brief demo on the four major trends – Sig-Nature, Nu-Ance, Puri-Tan, and Sci-Chedelic. The names alone say it all. Here are some visuals + Q&A.


SS13 Trend Recap-5
Sig-Nature is about the “purity of perfectly pared back skin”.


SS13_NYFW_DAILY FACE CHART_SEPT 8_Prabal Gurung Signature
Prabal Gurung, NYFW SS 2013. Sig-Nature face chart.



SS13 Trend Recap-8
Nu-Ance shows a “languid wash of colour that takes in shades of highly pigmented pastels from turquoise and lemon to silver and translucently dark metallics.”


Nu-Ance at Francesco Scognamiglo, Milan SS 2013.


SS13_MFW_DAILY FACE CHART_Sept 19Francesco Scognamiglio.Nuance
The MAC face chart for Francesco Scognamiglio SS 2013


SS13 Trend Recap-11
Sci-Chedelic is an “easy graphicism of purist colour blocked on lids or lips as shown above.


SS13_PFW_Sept 29_Haider Ackermann, Sci-chidelic
Haider Ackermann, SS 2013 in Paris Fashion Week. Sci-chedelic face chart.


SS13 Trend Recap-14
Puri-Tan is like a “monochromatic Bedouin bronze, blurred on the eyes and bone structure.”


The Puritan face trend as seen on MSGM SS 2013, Milan Fashion Week.


Manila models wearing the spring summer 2013 looks interpreted by Victor Cembellin.


Me: Which of the four trends would work best on women in our region?

Victor Cembellin: Puri-Tan. I noticed from even being here for just three days it seems like skin is a big focus. What’s interesting about the puritan trend is that there is a brow in there. As far as street style, women are wearing laid back makeup but definitely with their eyebrows on and like a lip in that sort of earthy tone derived from nature and the elements. I feel like the palette is just simple to wear. It’s like the new version of monochromatic. So it becomes easy to wear.

Me: In light of the four trends you showed, what makeup product should we get to achieve an on-trend look?

Victor: The Beauty Balm Compact for me is a massive win and I’m kicking myself because they sent it to me a month ago and I haven’t even opened it. Now I’ve used it on three shoots. I love the Beauty Balm and I think people are going to go bananas about it.



Me: Do you use the Beauty Balm Compact as skincare or cosmetic?

Victor: I use it as a cosmetic. I’m using it actually as a concealer and highlighter. It’s got enough coverage where it transforms and covers. But it’s got enough sort of transparency where you’re seeing real skin coming through. So I find it to be that nice sort of “is it there, is it not there” but it’s not as obvious as the cream so you have more control over it. So you really enjoy creating that blasted out look underneath the eye and down the centre of the nose.


MAC Spring 2013 Mineralize Rich Lipstick Collection 4


Victor: Another product, I’m really loving the Mineralized Lipsticks. Colour is colour is colour. We’re all going to find our perfect shade but if you don’t have the right texture on your lip… it could be a great colour but if it’s dry and is not comfortable to wear and it clings to dry pieces of skin and just doesn’t look right, it’s not going to look healthy. I find the texture of the mineralized lipsticks is quite reminiscent of that really plush luxurious forties lip. Remember those war girls, the poster pin-up girls and it wasn’t a gloss that they’d draw but they’d draw a little bit of sheen. It just gives a little lustre to your lip that looks healthy and gorgeous.

mac InExtra Dimension


Victor: I’m liking the In Extra Dimension the technology that we’ve created. It’s got waves and says MAC all over it. Those products are so pretty. I think here in Manila I can’t consciously tell everyone put all this creme color base all over your face, it’s too hot here! I feel like its this country’s or this region of the world’s version of wearing creme colour. Because your skin will take care of the cream itself and we’re taking care of the sophisticated colour. It’s a very smart metallic. It’s very futuristic, it looks new. You haven’t seen it from any other line. It’s very true to MAC. It’s a very futuristic technology that we’re using. Frost that doesn’t look like chunky gross frost. It’s smarter, more chic.




Me: Now there are new technologies coming out of the beauty industry every month and every body still aims to have that no make up look, that perfect skin, virgin skin. What do you think of all that? Where are we headed?

Victor: I think photoshopping became the jumping off point, between adding filters on our instagram photos and photoshopping itself, we’re even on our iphones able to go “It’s an ok picture of me and my friend, but if I throw this filter in and rev up the contrast, then I look amazing!” So I think what it is, we’re almost trying to create that look in person. So where it leaves us in make up is things like the Beauty Balm Compact. Even for my own passport photo I had to renew my passport, I was bronzed in the back and bronzed up here and beauty balmed. It was like I’m doing some serious Beyonce blow out for my own passport photo. The street consumer is now wanting to learn photoshopping makeup cosmetic techniques. That’s why YouTube videos are becoming viral and everyone’s more interested the regular consumer is wanting to be the makeup artist themselves. They’re becoming the makeup artist at their house. So they’re looking for products and brushes and tools that give them that fountain of youth magical effect. So as far as where we’re going – the smoother more skin-like, the most maximum effect that people can get with the smoothest texture is where cosmetics is going. So beauty balms, it does a lot but it doesn’t look like you’ve done anything. These new micro blasted pigments that basically you can put a bunch of frost on your face but when you smile, you don’t look old. It’s like all those products that look like skin that give you tons of cool effects, that’s where everyone wants to be.


Me and Victor.


Me: Now that it’s 2013 what are you glad to see go in terms of cosmetics?

Victor: I think that the smokey eye has gone away. The smokey eye in the traditional sense of “let me put black around my whole eye”, yes it does make your eye look bigger and yes the false lashes make everything look bigger than that. Things just looked like everyone was going to a prom or everyone was looking like the real housewives of whatever city you want to name. It just started getting so contrived and tight. It just started to look like we’re desperate to look younger by wearing more, more, more. I’m going to hide my wrinkles by dragging my smokey eye this big. I’m going to wear this much gloss to make my lips look bigger. There’s this new feminine laidback sensibility about a woman. She sits well with her own skin. She shines in the right places. She’s got a little colour, and she might have put a little mascara. And that’s what makes her so beautiful as opposed to distracting and tacky. It’s like this bohemian sense of style that you see on your day off. It’s like when you go on vacation and you still want to look cute because you’re going to dinner but you’re going to dinner in the Bahamas so you put a little mascara, some cream on your cheeks, a little lip gloss will look cute and it’s like sitting confidently and comfortably in our own skin.


For more information,




Cafe ELLE Deco + Dedon



cafe elle deco citem


I’ll be hosting the official launch of Cafe ELLE Deco + Dedon at Manila FAME. As well as the awarding of this year’s Katha Award. Yay!

This season’s Manila FAME is open to the public for a fee, but buying is only allowed on the last two days.

For more information, Elle Decoration Philippines and Manila Fame.




Pain in the neck!



Dear Neck. I love you. Please love me back. Promise to never take you for granted.
I have Myofascial Pain Syndrome. It’s nothing too awful but I will need therapy. It’s not uncommon. Many people have this.


I’m sharing this story because I’m sure many of you can learn from my stupid mistakes. I developed this nasty habit of using the laptop in bed. I don’t know why, because we have a lovely “escritorio” in our bedroom. Lazy I guess.


This is how I would look like, for hours. Source: fwips.


I’ve been warned by many before. It’s the worst thing you can do to your back and neck. I eventually developed a chronic pain in my neck the past two years. Sometimes it would disappear. I used a fancy foam pillow. But it didn’t really take away the pain. Then last December I finally got it Xrayed. My orthopedic surgeon cousin shook his head. He said I needed physio therapy.

Yesterday while working on some jewelry designs, I felt and heard a cracking noise in my neck and it slowly moved down my left arm. I could not move. It was so painful. All I could do was pray. It lasted about 10 minutes. I ended up leaning my head and left shoulder on the wall. My cousin ordered me an MRI.

Feeling desperate, I over-shared in Twitter. And as his usual habit, Teddy Boy Locsin responded. This time, minus the vacuum cleaner “pain in the neck” joke. I couldn’t get an MRI on the spot in the south. Teddy and his wife Louie got me one in Medical City. Thinking an instant MRI will give me the answers, I went to Medical City for the impromptu appointment. I had a perma-grimace on my face. I was in pain. I answered the questionnaires and realized I won’t really get answers til Monday and my doctor is in the south. Logistics. Plus the thought of spending my Saturday afternoon in a tube scared the living daylights out of me. So I chickened out. Scheduled my MRI in the south.






I’m getting my MRI this week. Not really the way I envisioned spending my birthday week. But this is so important. So please, if you have the habit of working in bed… STOP!

Here are the 10 best laptop positions according to Spine Health. None of them involve using the lap. They best would be to prop the laptop on a table to eye-level and attach an external keyboard. Here’s an article on how laptops are crippling us. It’s not the laptop per se. It’s because we find it too portable that we end up working in the weirdest positions.


This is the ideal working position.


wrong posture laptop
What NOT to do, according to Dr. Stephanie Maj in this article, 10 Tips to Improve Your Positioning.


The Queensland Government issued these safety guidelines for classrooms and work places.


Good bye chichi work room. I’m going to have to look for an ergonomic chair. Speaking of back pains, I hope local schools do something about heavy bags for young students. That was Sophia’s bag in Grade 1.


I have my own line of linens
No more using the laptop in bed. Ever!


Folks, remind your kids to work on a proper desk and chair. Young students, take care of your back. You may not feel it now, but your 40 year old self will thank you for it.

On to find a good physical therapist.

Downside of blogging too much. Does anyone else have a pain in the neck?





Heima Brixton



Everytime I see a playful piece of furniture locally I know it’s from Heima®. This is actually how they describe themselves — “We’re a company that designs quirky furniture and furnishings for your home.”

I’ve had the chance to work with the Heima team in the first season of DAPHNE Furniture®. It was an instant meeting of the minds between me and Rossy Yabut. I almost worked with her in the re-styling of my home and renovation of my kitchen. But I got too distracted. Back then, Rossy was engaged to her business partner Bong Rojales. Now they’re married. And they’re about to give birth to their third baby – the Pasig branch they call Heima Brixton.

At first glance you’ll feel it’s got this grown up prettier version of the “hipster” vibe. It always gives me an Etsy feeling. But the Heima kids aren’t just playing. They’re very serious about their craft and community.


The new website goes live on March 17.


The cutest catalog. Love the layout and fonts.


Paper Club
The new Pasig branch has this little corner they call the Paper Club. They also sell books and magazines.


Set_Decors - Babel Totems, Trim Phone (Blue), Heima Pillows
Babel Totems, Blue Trim Phone, and Heima Pillows


Sophie Chair 2
They call this the Sophie Chair.


Metal Mesh Media Console 3
Metal mesh media console.


Metal Mesh Drawers 1
Metal mesh drawers.


Drea_CSLewis on A2 Print
This is not another “Keep Calm” poster.


For more information on Heima, here’s their Facebook page.


Simply Jesse



Book Simply Jesse
Simply Jesse, by Yvette Fernandez. Launching on March 15th.


You remember how affected I was about the plane crash that killed Secretary Jesse Robredo. I felt the great loss for our country, but most of all I felt so sad for his three daughters and wife, Leni. I was holding my breath during the search operations and praying so hard that he would be found alive. I remember the sadness when we all learned what we were afraid of – that he was gone.


This morning at Villamor. Waiting for Sec #robredo. #salamatjesse
I was so sad, I felt I had to pay my last respects to a man I only met once at a UNICEF function. I went to Villamor and waited for his plane to land on the day of his funeral.


I had no way of sending my condolences to the family. This was the closest I got. Then during the televised funeral, when Mrs Robredo spoke, I felt an even deeper connection to the family.


That same night just after the funeral, I found a way to send an email to the eldest daughter Aika. She replied within minutes, saying that she would let her mom know about my message. She also said that her mom was an avid reader of my blog. I couldn’t believe it. That was hours after Secretary Robredo was laid to rest.


DILG Sec Robredo, Dr Abdul Alim
I was trying to remember our brief conversation during the UNICEF event. I know he mentioned his wife on stage, saying Leni could be doing more but chose the more important job of raising their daughters.


A week after the funeral, I wrote about how Patrick helped me out with the kids’ reviewers. I wrote, “It doesn’t really take much for dads to be awesome to daughters. I know that having an amazing dad makes daughters become amazing people.”

To my surprise, Mrs Robredo wrote a comment in that entry. Though that apparently wasn’t her first message,  that was how we first “met” – barely a week after the funeral. Then we communicated by email. I felt such a strong connection with her. She had known so much about me because she had been reading my blog even before I reformatted it. And I wanted to really meet her. So we arranged to meet each other the week after.


Just had the nicest lunch with Atty Leni Robredo. Comforting to see smiles on @lenirobredo and daughter Jillian.
Leni and I met at K&Company three weeks after the Robredo plane crash. By then she asked me to call her Leni. Jillian was with her but she didn’t join us for lunch. They travelled alone with no bodyguards or driver. We had the nicest conversation.


After lunch Leni said she had to rush to meet someone who was writing a book about “Jesse”. Meanwhile I had to rush to my taping where Town & Country cover girls, the Alpha Girls (including myself), would be guests. Then Yvette, the editor in chief of Town & Country texted me. She was with Leni. Yvette was the one writing the book!


photo 1



Xandra Ramos Padilla of National Book Store and Yvette Fernandez. Yvette was one of the few people whom I told about my planned lunch with Leni Robredo.


photo 3


I really think many kids will be inspired by Simply Jesse. My kids have known about Secretary Robredo. After Sophia saw me crying when Robredo died, we talked about what good mayors, like Robredo, can do for a city. Ever since then, she has come up with her own ideas on how she would run a city like Paranaque. She knew that a public market must be better organized, that children should have sports facilities, and that roads should have sidewalks. I can imagine how Soph, Lily and Stella will get more positive ideas after reading Simply Jesse.


Simply Jesse is published by Summit Publishing. It will be available by March 15 in National Book Store and other bookstores.

Aika started sharing letters her dad wrote. Pretty amazing. Here.