UZ: Tagaytay weekend home

Hello friends! I’ve missed you. Sorry for taking that long break. We are THIS close to turning over and moving into our new site. I didn’t realize how tedious it could be. Plus I’ve been learning new skills that I’ll be applying to the new site. It’s like learning a new language, literally. And I’m having a hard time retaining the info unless I practice everyday. Yikes.

So in the meantime I’m back here in LJ to give you a few updates… because I’ve missed you all.

Here are a few photos from last week’s UZ shoot. This is a weekend home in Tagaytay. The owners wanted something that looked playful and fresh. The exterior of the house was dictated upon by the developers – all country-ish. So Mark Madolaria (interior designer) used that basic idea as well.


Lovely climate in Tagaytay.


All the homes had this character.


Setting the tone at the front entrance.


With Mark Madolaria, the interior designer.


Living and dining areas.


Dining area. Yellow was the main colour.


A couple of wing chairs by the side of the stairs. Nice use of those see-through acrylic nesting tables.


Most of the furniture came from Heima store.


They added new floors – engineered wood floor boards. The original floor was indoor/outdoor tiles.


Bedroom of teenage girl. She wanted something inspired by glam Barbie.


Bedroom of older sister. She wanted “Tiffany blue.”


Everything was new.


Mother’s bedroom. Very cute.


Wingchair from Heima. It’s called “Holly Parrot.”


Interiors by Mark That Space.




Auction for Action … for the benefit of UNICEF

Princess Beatrice Royal Wedding Hat by Philip Treacy

As you all know by now, the hat worn by Princess Beatrice at the Royal Wedding is currently being auctioned in ebay. As of press time, there are 51 bids and the latest one is at 15,700 GBP (I can’t find the currency symbol in my keyboard). That’s almost 25,500 USD. There are five more days left. Anyone want to guesstimate?

I think it’s so cool of Princess Beatrice to do this. She seems to have a great sense of humour for wearing that hat. This must have been planned all along. She set up The Little Bee Initiative for the purpose of raising funds for her chosen charities – all funds raised from the sale of this item will be spilt equally between, UNICEF UK and Children in Crisis.

I love her even more for supporting UNICEF.

princess beatrice auction

Meanwhile, back in the homefront, I have been working with the UNICEF team to conceptualize an event that would raise funds for UNICEF Philippines. If you’ve been following me on Twitter, you’d have heard of the online design auction I’ve been trying to help organize for UNICEF. We have our media briefing and preview today. And I wanted you, my readers to also get a preview.

For months I’ve been asking my friends in design to donate towards an auction for the benefit of UNICEF. The asking part was the easiest. 99% of the artists and designers I asked said yes in an instant – by text, phone, Facebook and Twitter. I am so humbled by their generosity and willingness to help the children. And these generous people are all top-calibre artists, internationally-known, award-winning, highly-in demand. These are artists I’ve met throughout my 14-year career on TV. My head spun that first week – it was like I had a list of favourite things from my favourite creative people. I couldn’t believe how easy it was to ask for help. The rest of the hard work is being done by the UNICEF team. It has been many days and nights of coordination, planning and logistical problem-solving. And we’re not even halfway through.

UNICEF Philippines is launching its first fundraising online auction entitled Auction for Action: A UNICEF Fundraising Online Auction to benefit children’s programs in the Philippines and worldwide ( goes live on 25 May 2011). This unique online auction in partnership with Ayala Malls, and Cibo brings together works of reputable artists in art, design, furniture, fashion, jewellery and photography along with exciting experiential packages.

Featured artists are: Manny Baldemor, Michael Cacnio, Celestina, Seb Chua, Kenneth Cobonpue, Araceli Limcaco Dans, Kristine Dee, Janina Dizon, Tom Epperson, Accessory Lab, Ito Kish, E. Billy Mondoñedo, Ramon Orlina, Debbie Palao, Ling Quisumbing Ramilo, Benji Reyes, Popo San Pascual, Vito Selma, Paul Syjuco, Ricky Toledo and Chito Vijandre of FIRMA/Felicity, Reg Yuson, and UNICEF Special Advocate for Children, Ms. Daphne Oseña Paez.

Galerie Joaquin artists such Jovan Benito, Jomar Delluba, Hamzah Marbella, Dominic Rubio and Juvenal Sanso are also participating.

Experiential packages include dinner by Chef Tonyboy Escalante of Antonio’s and dugout experience with the Philippine Football Team or Azkals on July 3 at the World Cup qualifier in Manila.

UNICEF Country Representative Vanessa Tobin shares, “This is a first for UNICEF Philippines. Our partnership with acclaimed artists via online auction helps us engage the public in a new and interesting way. As well as raising important funds for our work, we will be able to raise awareness of important issues affecting children in the most disadvantaged communities of the Philippines and worldwide.”

Here are some of the pieces donated by my generous friends. This is an incomplete list. I will be posting more stories about the design pieces in the next few days leading up to May 25. I will feature every item we have.

CebuNext Furniture Expo 2011
Kenneth Cobonpue’s Harry. I love this quirky stool. I’ve been wanting to order this. I may just bid for it and save on shipping. I want this in my walk-in closet. It’s a little stool that rocks, so the kids can ride on it like a saddle. If you’re a Cobonpue fan, now is your chance to own one. There are two Cobonpues in this auction. The other one is a lamp called Boomtown which is similar to his Little People lamp.

In a couple of weeks we're going to have to give up this Cobonpue cradle
We have many Cobonpues at home. At one point Kenneth told me that my house looked like his showroom. Haha. We are hoarding for our future weekend home, you see. But my most favourite piece is Le Petit Voyage, the cradle me made (and specially tweaked) for Stella Margarita. For more on my Cobonpue stories, go here.

Silya ni Noel 2009
Benji Reyes’ Silya ni Noel. Benji designed this in 2007 in memory of his brother USAF MSGT Severino L. Reyes who passed away that year.

Interviewing Benji Reyes
I am a huge fan of Benji’s work – the clean lines, the use of old wood in different varieties, the architecture and engineering that goes into each piece, and most of all the way the pieces feel – they’re all comfortable and ergonomic. I know because I bought one of his chairs. This photo was taken one of the many times I went to his house/showroom.

Mr Ramon Orlina donated a stunning piece called A Mother’s Enduring Love. I will post a photo of it when I have one. This photo was taken days before I gave birth to Stella. I visited Mr. Orlina’s atelier and saw how complicated and difficult his art was. He was the first to carve figures out of glass using the cold method. He created improvised tools and machines to cut, grind and polish glass. I was a bit shy to ask Mr Orlina to donate a piece. He had just surprised me on my birthday with my first Orlina sculpture. But he was quick to commit and help UNICEF programs for children. Here are some of the blog entries I wrote about Ramon Orlina.

Ito Kish created this whimsical lamp called Tweet. Ito and I go way back. He designed the renovation of our downstairs. And to this day I am so grateful for the work he did there. Our family room is so relaxing. For more about Ito in this blog, click here.

Vito Selma’s Geo. I discovered Vito’s work through Ito Kish. Fell in love with his pieces. I even used a Geo as the backdrop of one of my photos for the UZ opening billboard. The actual piece he donated is made of wood and silverleaf finish. More on Vito Selma here.

Photos by Marty Ilagan
This photo was taken when I was pregnant with Stella. There are three Vito Selma tables stacked on top of each other. Photo by Marty Ilagan at Ito Kish Store.

Maze  DTO-1414B
Debbie Palao’s Maze table. Debbie actually donated two Maze tables – one coffee table and the other one a dining table! I am so touched by Debbie’s work. I just met her husband at the Cebu Next show last April. I was one of the judges and I fell in love with all her pieces.

CebuNext Furniture Expo 2011
With my fellow Mugna Awards judges at Debbie Palao’s booth. Check out her website. You’ll be amazed.

Again, this is an incomplete list of donor artists. I will be posting more stories about the design pieces in the next few days leading up to May 25. I will feature every item we have.

I know that a lot of people recognize UNICEF’s valuable work in children’s rights, but few realize that UNICEF relies entirely on voluntary donations to support its work on the ground. I’ve helped them educate moms all over the country on maternal health, mortality and breastfeeding. This time, I want to help UNICEF raise awareness and funds for all their other goals: providing children with health care, access to safe water and sanitation, education, and protection from violence, abuse and exploitation.

I am also donating this piece for the auction. This is the Daphne armchair made of kiln-dried mahogany wood. As with all my Daphne furniture pieces, the finishing of the wood is very unique. This piece would work with any kind of interiors – whether modern, conceptual or traditional. It’s a comfy armchair.

UNICEF focuses on reaching the poorest, most disadvantaged families in the Philippines, and through our partners we work and advocate to ensure children grow up healthy, go to school, are protected from harm and develop to reach their full potential. UNICEF relies entirely on voluntary donations from individuals like yourself (as well as corporations and governments) to fund its programmes for children.

Watch out for Auction for Action on May 25 (at

More National Book Store goodies



National Bookstore
My summer reading from National Book Store (two books for me and five books for Sophia which I didn’t order, but they sent as a present. They must have read this).


The other day I received the best summer loot from National Book Store. I had ordered Katie Couric’s book “The Best Advice I Ever Got” as soon as Katie and her friends tweeted about it – the likes of Maria Shriver, Ellen De Generes and Ryan Seacrest. It got me curious. So I ordered from National Book Store right away. They have a very efficient system. Just ask customer service and they can order any book for you. Or better yet, join their Facebook page.


Before ordering Katie Couric’s book, I had already placed an order for Gwyneth Paltrow’s new cookbook, “My Father’s Daughter.” Yes she cooks. She did a series with Mario Batali about cooking. She did a travel show. And her website gives some of the easiest recipes. I was excited about the cookbook because, well it’s no secret I love everything Gwyneth. Shoot me.


National Bookstore
The book was inspired by meals she had with her father. But the recipes include her own finds and contributions from friends and family.


National Bookstore
It has snippets of her domestic life. And lots of resource info on eating healthier.


National Bookstore
Lots of anecdotes about meals she’s shared with her dad. I love this about her. You know how much I adore my parents and family.


National Bookstore
The recipes are easy and very doable. But I’m forced to buy fancy vegetables like artichoke – which I like eating but don’t know how to cook. She also recommends vegenaise, a no-cholesterol vegan mayonaise. She’s not vegan but she prefers this over mayo. I also noticed a lot of granola and oatmeal dishes for the kids.


You don’t have to be a Gwyneth fan to like this book. Like I said, the recipes range from fun and easy to scary like duck confit. It’ll be a blogpost if I get to that level. I’ve never liked cooking before. I wish my parents allowed me to be in the kitchen as a child. My brother was daring enough to cook eggs at a young age. Now he hosts dinners with really complicated and sophisticated food. I love his cooking and he loves doing it. It took me forever to appreciate the kitchen. The past couple of years though – with maids and cooks coming and going – I decided to take control, once in a while. And the few times I’ve cooked in our kitchen have turned out to be really pleasant treats for my family. And I’ve even surprised myself that I love the process of cooking. Maybe it’s because I drink while I cook. Patrick eats “too much” when I cook. And the kids rave about the stuff I make – Lily loves “green pasta” which is pesto-based, Sophia loves my shepherd’s pie and potato au gratin, Stella goes nuts over my macaroni and Patrick loves my risotto (I make it the Jamie Oliver way). Lily, who is my most expressive child, said to me the other day, “You are the best Mummy in the world because you cook the food that I love.” (She says Mummy when she’s emphatic, otherwise it’s just Mom or Mommy).

Back to Gwyneth’s cookbook, I’m excited to try her Seafood Paella (Spanish Mama Style), Sole a la Grenobloise (which seems simple enough as it just has butter and lemon), Whole Roasted Fish with Salsa Verde, Sweet Potato Ravioli (I don’t know about making my own fresh pasta but I’ll try), Vietnamese Prawn Sandwiches and Cheesy Stuffed Burgers. This could be the start of a new me. A new mama.


National Bookstore
Another good read, Katie Couric’s “The Best Advice I Ever Got”


Now Katie Couric’s book was a surprise. I’m not a fan of self-help and inspirational books. I don’t have the time and I just cringe at all that. So when I opened it and saw that it was a compilation of notes and essays from her famous friends, I initially thought, “What a rip off. This isn’t a book.” But when I started reading it, I got hooked. I loved reading about how people with extraordinary lives got to where they were, and about how they love what they’re doing. It was a big surprise when I found out that all profits of this book will go to fund Scholarship America – to help kids pay for college. I wish we could do something like that here!

Here are some excerpts from Katie’s book:

Life Is Not a Recipe:
“Whatever you choose to do with your life—whether it’s running a company or cooking dinner—stand for something you know is true. If there’s a recipe for success, it’s staying real and true. Which reminds me: Life is not a recipe. Recipes are just descriptions of one person’s take on one moment in time. They’re not rules. People think they are. They look as if they are. The say, ‘Do this, not this. Add this, not that.’ But, really, recipes are just suggestions that got written down.”
—Mario Batali, chef and restaurateur

Life Is a Series of Happy Accidents:
“Sometimes you just have to learn to get out of your own way. I know there are a lot of folks out there who are hoping for some words of wisdom or keys to the kingdom or that I might let them in on the Big Secret. So I will defer to Carol Brady, who in her infinite wisdom once said, “Find out what you do best and do your best with it.”
—Jane Lynch, Emmy Award-winning actress and comedian

Say Yes:
“Find a way to say yes to things. Say yes to invitations to a new country, say yes to meet new friends, say yes to learn something new. Yes is how you get your first job, and your next job, and your spouse, and even your kids.”
—Eric Schmidt, executive chairman of Google

Patrick and I are consciously going back to reading books – real books. Our iPads are full of so much reading material. I must have more than 20 Zinio annual subscriptions. But reading from the iPad and reading magazines on it have sort of turned me a little impatient and distracted. I wasn’t appreciating or retaining information. So now we are buying real books again. And over breakfast instead of swiping our iPads we are turning pages. It feels good.

I highly recommend these two books. And check them out in National Book Store because they almost always have lower prices than the other bookstores.

Feel free to share your summer reading here… I’m curious to know what you’re reading now.

(Re-published from



My beauty essentials

A couple of months ago Grace asked me to contribute my beauty must-haves in her Divasoria blog. I was cleaning out my desktop and found the original. Here it is again, with some minor additions, in case you missed it. This is a long one. So if you’re not interested in beauty products, please skip this. And do let me know what you think of posts like this. Is it helpful? Do you enjoy it? Or is it a complete waste of time?

Here goes…

For major shoots I work with Christine Duque or Xeng Zulueta. Most of my TV commercials have been with Christine (or Ting). Xeng and I go way back. She used to do my makeup in F, ANCLife and in the early days of Urban Zone. But because all my work for UZ is on location, it’s hard to coordinate schedules with artists, so I just do my own face. I actually really like putting on makeup myself. For events and public appearances I do it myself too. It’s hard to carry professional makeup on your face when there are no studio lights. So I like to keep it natural. Or if there’s time I go to Victor Ortega of Emphasis because he does makeup in a natural way. I actually work with many makeup artists for shoots. Denise Go-Ochoa is also an old favourite.

Ting Duque doing the make up of Ines Delgado
This is Christine Duque at work (with Ines Delgado).

with Xeng Zulueta
Me and Xeng Zulueta

At the launch of Daphne Linens (Vibrant Chic Collection)
Denise Go-Ochoa did my makeup here.

I love this picture for some reason
A very dark photo, but I like it somehow. I enjoy doing my own makeup. I love my little red makeup box.

Salon services are a mix. Emphasis Salon with Victor Ortega, Basement Salon with Joseph Tabile and recently I’ve rediscovered Alex Carbonel of Fix Studio in Greenbelt 5. For big events I get my hair done by fancy blow out with a bit of curl or body. I now refuse to get my hair done up; I find it makes me look old. And because we have black/dark hair, we can never get the same effect of Hollywood updos. Too heavy. I’ve learned that the hard way.

Joseph Tabile of Basement Salon Rockwell. I have been going to him since 1997. Very talented. He’s the only one who can cut my hair short.

365-29 The longest my hair has ever been
In Victor Ortega’s chair at Emphasis Salon. They make the best iced coffee.

I don’t get my brows waxed or threaded professionally. I don’t like thin, over plucked brows. And I have trust issues with salons. When I’m at shoots, I get bonus brow grooming from Ting and Xeng. But in between I groom it myself with an old-fashioned Tweezerman tweezer. Whenever I’m in Canada I get my brows reshaped by an Indian woman at a salon near my parents’ home. I love the way Indian women arch their brows.

In my bathroom

I have a very simple bathing ritual. I use Olay Body Bar ofcourse. If you click on the link, you’ll see my campaign. Olay Philippines website. (Edit: I guess the site is down). I’ve been endorsing Olay for 5 years now and people always ask if I really use Olay. Yes I do. Here’s what my bathroom counter looks like. Sometimes, for variety I switch to Olay Total Effects Body Butter – these have different scents and anti-aging properties. With Olay soaps I find I don’t really need to use lotion anymore. Sometimes I massage a light layer of J&J Light Baby Oil after my shower while I’m still wet. I learned this trick from Angel Aquino. I did this throughout my pregnancies and I’ve kept the habit. It helps lock in moisture. L’Occitane Green Tea Body Milk is good after my evening shower. It leaves a nice light clean scent on the body. When I need to fake a golden glow at shoots, I use Smashbox Body Lights Glowing Lotion. This is my last tube. They don’t make this anymore. The big jar where I keep my soaps in is antique and it belonged to my MIL. A lot of people ask me where I got that. I wouldn’t know where to source that now. You can try kitchen supply stores for huge storage jars that are similar.

My hair regimen isn’tt very exciting. I used to be high maintenance – commercial shampoos would cause me to break out. I was limited to using organic shampoos like Nature’s Gate Tea Tree and Blue Cypress. It’s good for avoiding build up and it would leave a slight tingly effect. But after years of using this I got bored. When I tried the new Pantene, I was so surprised I didn’t break out. So now I use Pantene Total Care. But ever five days I use Neutrogena Anti-Residue shampoo to make sure there’s no build-up in my scalp. But I also use Kheils Creme with Silk Groom even though I’m paranoid about build up because I have virgin hair – never been rebounded. And it’s not even coloured right now. I have very thick and textured hair. Silk Groom helps tame my hair without weighing it down too much.

For skin care, needless to say, I swear by Olay Total Effects. On a daily basis I use Total Effects with a Touch of Foundation but when it’s too hot I use the one with cooling essence. It really does feel lighter on the skin. At night I use Olay Regenerist Serum lightly all over my face and neck.

Every two weeks I got to Belo Medical Clinic for a facial. This keeps my skin free from buildup and whiteheads. If I have a little breakout I use Chat 2% from Belo, which isn’t available commercially just through prescriptions. I’ve never done any laser treatments at all. Too scared.

One of my shelves

I love old lady French perfume. The heavier the scent, the better. But I never dab it around my neck because I’ll make myself dizzy. I just spray a bit on my wrists and on my legs. I usually start the off with a sophisticated heavy scent in the morning. And I never reapply within the day. I don’t like leaving a trail of my own scent. I wear scents for my own pleasure. I don’t want to be obnoxious. I don’t have a problem mixing scents. Usually by late afternoon I spritz a bit of my kids’ baby cologne in the car (Bench baby in Jelly Bean, Chicco or Jacadi). I like my hands to smell like baby cologne. I don’t like the smell of alcogel or mall bathroom soaps.

Some of my favourites

Burberry Brit. It smells a bit nutty and Oriental. This is my current favourite. Even though it’s heavy, it’s fades nicely in our hot weather. Viktor & Rolf. I find this scent almost similar to Burberry except it has more floral notes and the patchouli lingers long. L’Artisan Parfumeur Timbuktu. I love this scent. It was a gift from Ingrid Go from one of her Paris trips. She made me choose between Timbuktu and another pineapple-like scent which was much lighter. But I chose this – it’heavy and woody. Smells overpowering at first but after an hour it’s so yummy. It actually stays on ’til the next day. Daphne. This is my most precious perfume. There are only 3,000 bottles made by Commes des Garcons. Adora sent it to me as a present. This scent is not subtle at all. It’s very woodsy and spicy – like a combination of different perfumes. It smells different every hour. I wear very little of this at a time. Les Nuit du Hadrien. This is a special bottle, handpainted limited edition I got from Rustan’s. I love this scent – it’s spicy, woodsy and very sensual.

My “active” makeup kits.

I have a few makeup kits. My main one is in my dresser at home. When I have Urban Zone shoots I bring the red Shu Uemura kit (I just found out that it has been discontinued). It has everything inside. I like doing my own makeup for TV. I can do it inside the car. The black bag is from Muji. It’s smaller so I only keep some essentials here. This bag stays inside my car 24/7. The bronze bag is a freebie from Bobbi Brown. I keep this inside my day bag. But when I find it too heavy and unnecessary I leave it in the car and take Johnsons & Johnsons Oil Control Film in Pink Grapefruit and one lipstick for touch ups.

I get my toes done in Fabio Salsa Rockwell. They know how I like my toes done – semi square, no nipping of cuticles, just pushing. I used to keep my nails with light/natural pink or colourless shades. But now I’m into colour – pinks, dark reds, black. This summer I’m using blues, greens and lavender. I do my own manicure. Salon manicures hurt my fingers. What’s up with cutting the sides of the nails? It’s a recipe for an ingrown and infection!

The only valentine thing I'm doing - red nails
I went red on Valentine’s day.

Today's colours: Chanel Insolente nails, red Pylones ring, striped dress, blue ponytail holder
Two weeks ago I was in bright pink – Chanel Insolente. I like this for the summer

Bluish nails
On Palm Sunday I was in light blue. I forgot the name of the bottle. Oops.

I'm loving lavender. Here's Orly Bonbon.
This is my current favourite. Orly Bonbon.

My own nail lacquers are a mix of high end and drugstore brands. I have a problem spending almost 30 dollars on one bottle of nail lacquer. I only do that as a special treat. Nail colour is something new to me. I used to keep my nails bare (only my toe nails had colour). Liz Uy gasped when she heard me say that. In her words, “I feel naked without nail lacquer.” So now that I’m into this, I enjoy owning a lot of colours. Which means, I can’t spend too much money on them. Besides, there are some really good inexpensive brands – like Face Shop. I use a top coat from Sally Hansen. It dries the lacquer in 30 seconds. I swear!

Some favourites (pre-summer)

The Face Shop RD 303, a deep burgundy shade. Poor girl’s Chanel Vamp. Mac Nocturnelle, black without iridescence. I prefer this on my finger nails rather on my toe nails. This was a gift from a 65 year old aunt in Canada. Rimmel London Steel Grey, a pleasant surprise for only $4 Cdn. I got this before Chanel Particuliere became all the rage. I love the brush applicator of Rimmel, it’s flat and wide. Chanel Rose Insolent, the happiest pink nail lacquer. Shu Uemura P927, a peachy pink iridescent colour. I use these on my toes. Perfect for a nearly nude colour. Unfortunately it seems shu uemura has discontinued its nail lacquer collection. Essie Bordeaux, deep wine but for some reason it looks redder on my nails. I rarely go with red nails, but when I do I use this.

I did my own manicure
The day of my wedding. I did my own nails.

For TV shoots I use Shu Uemura Face Architect in both pressed powder and liquid, also La Mer Crème foundation in Honey. I can scrimp on eye shadow and lipstick but not on face powder and foundation. I have yet to find a more economical alternative to these two brands. Lately though I find that I prefer to leave my face bare during TV shoots, so I actually forego foundation and just use MAC Studio Finish concealer under my eyes and a bit of powder to even out my skin tone.

My face products

I like using highlighters around my cheek bones and sometimes around my eyes. Guerlain Parure Pearly White Sculpting Highlighter Brush is awesome. It gives a really amazing glow. This is actually a makeup base, but I use it on top of makeup. Guerlain Meteorites Voyage pressed powder. It’s transluscent. I use it as a highlighter sometimes. Or when I’m barefaced, I apply this lightly with a brush.

I prefer lipsticks over lipglosses. I don’t like having sticky lips – my hair gets stuck on my lips and I can’t kiss my kids. I love pink lip colour. I feel it makes me look younger and fresher, haha. I can only pull off nude lips when I have heavy eye colour. My current nude is Smashbox Exquisite. My current pink favourites are (L-R) Estee Lauder Rubellite, which I can’t exactly find online because I think it was a limited edition issue from their Breast Cancer campaign, The Body Shop #55 Pure Blush, very rich consistency and I feel like it moisturizes my lips, and Chanel Rouge Allure Insolente – which leans towards fucshia. My other Chanel lipcolours are Matador, Mademoiselle, Legende and Precious. For times when I want a rich red stain but nothing too opaque, I use CO Bigelow Tinted Lip Balm in Merlot Mint – it feels medicinal and makes lips look wine stained.

I also like using MAC Pigment instead of powder eyeshadow. I feel like a real artist when I blend pigment. I have a few but I end up using Dazzleray and Reflects Gold more often. But as it turns out, upon research I found out that MAC pigment isn’t recommended for use around the eye area. Gasp! You may risk scratching your cornea. Okay, so that’s the end of that. (I still use them though. Gosh, I know my eye doctor Dr. Alnette Tan reads my blog. Ooops.)

The only time I use gloss is when I’m shooting something close up. And when I do I prefer something with shimmer. Right now I’m into Bobbi Brown Rose Sugar 3 and MAC lipglass New Flame. Otherwise, no gloss for me. I can’t kiss my babies.

I’m probably the only one in the industry who hates waterproof mascara. I don’t like how difficult it is to wash off. I have very little lashes left after years of wearing waterproof mascara. I prefer easy-to-remove mascaras like L’Oreal Telescopic Clean – it lengthens really easily, but it’s not a mascara you can reapply over. It has tendency to get dry and hard fast. I love that all you need is soap and water to wash it off and it comes off in flakes, doesn’t smudge. The other mascara I use is Cover Girl Professional Super Thick Lash, it really does make your lashes look thick. And with this you don’t even need eye make up remover. Just water. Kuh Ledesma tipped me off on this one.

Here are the eye/cheek colours that I like to use. A mix of high end, professional and cheap finds.

Joe Fresh Eyeshadow Trio in Forest, I love this! Only 6 dollars. Joe is a brand created by the original creator of Club Monaco who then introduced Joe Fresh inside Loblaws, a giant chain of supermarkets. I blogged about this a few weeks ago. Victoria Jackson Mystic Eyes, this is so easy to use. Good for every day. No need to blend the multiple hues, I usually just use one colour and spread it across my lids. Mac Cheek & Cheerful Mineralize Blush, this has a nice sparkle. Good for highlighting cheekbones. Guerlain Ombre Eclat Duo Liner in Heuere Bleue, my no-fail product for smokey eyes. I use this for my on-cam work. I find it easier to do a smokey eye than natural/bright eyes. Mac Eye Shadow Haunting, I use this for daily non-occasions. It can be applied with an opaque effect but I like it transluscent, with just a hint of blue. Credit goes to Xeng Zulueta who introduced me to wearing eye colour (as in real colourful colour) during her Shu Uemura days. Shu Uemura (the code is in japanese). This is a great shade to cover the entire eyelid. It makes your eyelids appear dewy and glossy. Bobbi Brown compact, I always have this with me. The problem is it doesn’t have a brush or applicator. So I still have to carry brushes. But the lip colours are great in this palette.

Eye pencils

I don’t have links and specific names of these eye pencils (too tedious). Basically, I’m a major user of eye pencils. I can get away with not wearing any eyeshadow and just a bit of eye pencil because my eyes are already pretty strong. I was stuck on black eye pencil but about ten years ago I discovered how lovely dark green and light blue can be. It’s tricky at first, but with practice you’ll know how little you’ll need. I like using a dark pencil on the upper lid and a lighter colour like blues or moss green on the bottom. The three middle pencils above are from MAC. They were a special edition issue. The pencils have shimmer on them. So awesome! I like using them in the outer part of my lower lid and it gives a little sparkle. I used to use Chanel, Estee Lauder and other prestige brands. But lately I’ve learned that drugstore brands also work well – like Maybelline, L’Oreal, Cover Girl.

So that’s all for now. Whew! With all these crazy products, you think I’d look polished everyday. Truth is, I rarely have more than 5 minutes to spare for makeup and grooming. And yes, sometimes I dare go out without a hint of makeup. Like this…

Early morning egg hunt
Boo! Early morning easter egg hunt. Thank goodness for my aviators. And those hair clamp things.

Lipstick only. And a smile with my little one.

Hope I didn’t scare you. Honestly, before spending gazillions on cosmetics, take care of your skin first. You’ll be amazed at how little you’ll need after.