Saturday, July 31, 2010

Tip for the Day: Foundation Application for Mature Skin


"How do you apply foundation for mature skin?""What must be done to prevent foundation from sitting on wrinkles?"
"I tried applying makeup on my grandmother but her skin got really dry, help!"
You probably think I don't read your queries.  You want to know the truth?  I do, I take your queries seriously!  It's just that, I'm a "One Woman Show" here so it takes forever and 100 days for me to answer queries!  *laughs* Seriously, I take all queries in mind and before I give advises or share my thoughts, I want to make sure it's tried and tested!

One of the most difficult make-up application for me is "Foundation Application for Mature Skin".  When I was studying makeup in school, I have several models right in front of me and I've practiced and done so many looks but none on mature models!  I got my share of mature clients AFTER makeup class!  And I learn so many things the hard way!

Here's a sample photo of a typical "mature skinned".  In fairness to my client, she is already more than 90 years old and her skin is obviously "well taken care of" during her younger years.  Her family requested for a very simple and natural looking make-up.  Definitely not "mask-looking" and does not feel heavy on skin.  


I tried researching about foundation application for "mature skin" but found there aren't a lot of articles out there!  So here's my simple, straightforward, "in your face" tips that I learn base on experience!
  1. Avoid shimmery foundation as this will highlight the wrinkles 
  2. If possible, moisturize the skin with a moisturizer prior to makeup application.
  3. Use a primer that helps moisturize and fill in fine lines and wrinkles prior to foundation application.
  4. Choose a foundation that targets on dry skin (as most mature skin is very dry). In addition, you can mix your foundation with moisturizer to lessen the "heavy" feel of foundation.  
  5. I've found out that applying using a brush in a "stippling" motion is best for mature skin.  This method lessens the look of fine lines and wrinkles.  If you prefer using a sponge, wet your sponge then apply foundation with moisturizer in a "patting" motion.  
  6. Conceal dark spots if necessary.  You can either use a separate concealer or use the same foundation with moisturizer and build up coverage on the areas needed.
  7. Set foundation using a big face brush.  Try to stay away from "oil control" powder as it can enhance dryness and lines.
Extra tip from AMW: Do not expect lines and wrinkles to disappear!  It won't happen! :D It's makeup!  Not magic!  *laughs*

With those tips above, I was able to achieve this before and after shot
(Note to client: Thank you for the trust!)


To my readers who patiently wait for this, thank you and I hope this helps!
Feel free to click comment and ask if you have any follow-up questions!
Have a wonderful weekend!

Keep smilin'
Stay happy!


Friday, July 30, 2010

AMW Reviews: Olay Body

I have been a soap user for almost all of my life!  Most bar soaps I've used strips off the natural oil from my skin thus my skin condition is dry and flaky.  Finding the right soap bar is difficult, though I prefer using them especially when I'm' on a rush!

Recently, I got Olay Bars from Olay Philippines and Yehey!  I was a bit hesitant as I've seen and used so many bar soaps in the past that has "moisturizing" written all over but none of them actually work!  But a test is a test, they smell too good to resist anyways!  I can always depend on my trustee Neutrogena Body Oil after shower.


Olay Body says ---
3 Variants:
OLAY Age Defying Bar. Each bar is formulated with creamy, OLAY lather.

OLAY Fresh Reviving. It goes beyond cleansing, delivering OLAY deep moisturizers to the skin while helping to wash away dry surface cells. So after you dry off, all that's left is skin that feels clean and revived.   



OLAY Ultra Moisture is specially formulated with creamy, OLAY lather and Shea Butter. It goes beyond cleansing, delivering OLAY deep moisturizers to the skin while helping to wash away dry surface cells. So after you dry off, all that's left is skin that feels clean and petal soft.


AMW says (for Ultra Moisture and Age Defying)---

Pros
  • scent is really good and addictive, not too strong
  • skin feels smooth and moisturized
  • can actually survive without body lotion
  • does not melt quickly, one 120g bar soap lasts for almost a month (daily use)
  • body feels clean without dryness
  • texture is really smooth
  • inexpensive
Cons
  • none at the moment

Overall
I've finished up the Age Defying and Ultra Moisture variant and both did not fail me. I will actually start using the Fresh Reviving variant tomorrow.  What I like about the Olay soaps is that they don't melt fast as compared to other moisturizing soaps and they are very smooth on skin.  Texture feels like butter and it does makes my skin soft to touch even without body oil or lotion.

Of course at this early stage, the Age Defying can't be seen instantly, as the effect of most products come in long term.  But I have a positive feeling with this :D

Tips
  • if your skin is super dry or gets exposed to air conditioner the whole day, always follow up with your favorite body lotion 
  • do not forget to use sunscreen to protect your skin
  • use a soap dish and make sure to keep it dry AT ALL TIMES to prevent soap bars from melting fast
  • alternate all 3 variants so you won't feel bored with the scent of your body soap
  • if you plan to use this for your face:  test it on one cheek only to see if you are allergic to this, sensitive skin can be allergic to the fragrance of the soap
  • you can store the soap bars in your dresser for your clothes to smell clean and  good!
Will I repurchase?
Yes!

Where to purchase and how much?
At leading department stores and groceries for Php45.00 (approx $1.00) for 120g bar.

After finishing the 3 variants from Olay, I actually have other bar soaps to try and finish up!
But this product did not fail!
Have you tried this bar soap?  Like it?  Hate it?

Keep smilin'
Stay happy!


Thursday, July 29, 2010

AMW Reports: Loving My Curves with Levi's

Wearing jeans has always been portrayed as "cool", and looking back, I was never that "cool" girl because I've strayed away from jeans because I hate fitting on jeans!  I have several jeans issues that I'm sure a lot of you can relate.

**photo courtesy of Levi's


I ended up wearing mostly slacks and skirts!  Gosh, I wasn't even working then!  Why am I wearing business attire?  *laughs*  A couple of years ago, after losing some weight (yes, I was a bit heavy back then), I mustered the courage to purchase my own jeans but either I do that and hoard a lot then never return as I find it tedious!  Shopping for jeans is definitely a half-day affair!

When I got an invite from Levi's over the weekend for an early morning "get-together", I was expecting a short meeting just talking about jeans.  Imagine the surprise when I got in the restaurant and saw these!  Am I back in Art Class?


Saw a couple of familiar faces which eased up my "Art Class" fear.  Funny how I love doing nail art but I'm scared of art class!  Trust me, I am telling the truth when I tell you I don't excel in that class! 



We were each given a sheet of paper and we were asked to make a stand and declare our beliefs when it comes to jeans.  I don't have a lot of beliefs but I checked on....

"I believe it's easier to be who I am 
than find the perfect fitting jeans"


We were then given 30 minutes (which ended up 1.5 hours) of creating our own "I believe" mood board".  It took us 30 minutes to tear up magazines and I was amazed how its easier for us to cut pictures for fellow bloggers rather than choosing photos for our own mood board!  There were definitely a lot of laughter and interaction! 




Given the last 5 minutes, I was able to come up with my mood board.  I was teasing other bloggers how it felt like doing a "ransom" letter with the letter cutouts!  *laughs* 




Main Title: AMW - which represents ME and my website
A statement "Go to your happy Place":  I believe that each one of us can go to our own happy places if we permit ourselves to by finding stuffs to do that makes us happy.
Material things that's perfect for me:
  • a watch: because I am always on time
  • my laptop: for blogging
  • my Canon SLR camera: as I love taking product shots and event photos
  • my makeup traincase: because doing makeup for others is the best job for me
  • my new Samsung Galaxy Spica phone (or any phone in general): as I love keeping in touch with my loved ones
  • Organizer:  'nuff said!  Important bookings, schedules and events are all written here
  • food and of course...Coffee to perk me up!
  • Bed: my crib, a place where I relax, write and pray
All those are pasted on the sides of the board because I believe material things can be a source of happiness but it's just temporary, the best source of happiness is helping other people (as illustrated by holding hands photo located at lower left).  I told everyone that since we're helping other people, we may as well paint our nails and help other people with fabulous looking nails!  *laughs*

And most of all?  Happiness comes from within. Smiling and laughing together with the people around me is perfect and the most important thing that makes me survive each day!

The rest of the bloggers also presented their wonderful mood boards!  Each bloggers' personality and creativity showed in this activity.  It was such a fun way to get to know each other more!



After the activity, we had a gorgeous lunch as reported on my Weekend Food Tripping post.  While enjoying our meal, we watched a video and here's what I learned...

Levi's has started a campaign driven to help women find the best-fitting and most perfect pair of jeans they will ever wear.  Studying the body shapes of over 60,000 women around the world, Levi's has created revolutionary custom-fit denims that are based on shape not size.

The idea of Levi's is to show us girls that the company is also finding ways to find the "perfect" pair of jeans that fits our lifestyle and preference.  There's no "ifs" and "buts".  Real women has real curves and Levis help us celebrate our curves!  No matter what type!
Batch per batch, we were asked to give these jeans a test.  No!  We did not run around and rummage through jeans like crazy mammals!  


We were each measured, in a very unique way.  Glad our waist line measurement weren't announced in public. I was told that when you purchase your own pair of Levi's jeans, they will help you out with your measurement to get the right fit :)

My batchmates!  Thanks Lauren for giving me "insight" on which jeans look best on me!  I realized how I've always chose jeans that's an inch or 2 bigger than my size.  I learn to choose the right pair of jeans and of course, to love my imperfect curves! 



Thanks to the wonderful people behind this event.  Nuffnang, Ogilvy and of course Levi's for the lovely event.  Time flew by pretty quickly and we left the restaurant light-hearted!


Your friendly neighborhood, AMW, all proud with her "work of art".  This mood board is so me!  Thanks Hannah for taking this shot!


Levi's wants to know what you think, your stories and every denim dilemma you've had and will have.  Share your thoughts on denim fashion faux pas, jeans sins, and your frustrations in finding the perfect pair of jeans and get a chance to own a pair of jeans that seems as if they were specifically made for you.  Visit http://www.levi.com.ph/  or go to the nearest Levi's store or outlet near you to know more.

Have you always been comfortable shopping for jeans?
Do you love wearing jeans?
Keep smilin'
Stay happy!



Wednesday, July 28, 2010

AMW Reviews: Revlon Colorstay Foundation with Softflex

Drugstore foundations are definitely living up to what consumers were looking for.   Affordability that works hand in hand with quality!  When I was filling up my train case for makeup school, I have used and tried a couple of drugstore foundation and I'm glad I've been making the right decisions and I seldom have a bad purchase when it comes to liquid foundation.

The brand Revlon did not fail me.  My first ever Revlon foundation was the Custom Creations Foundation, in which, I  have to admit, I purchased solely on the genius and unique packaging!  Thank goodness it passed my standards because I hoarded 3 bottles/shades at a time!  Next came Revlon's PhotoReady Liquid Foundation, which has a bit of controversy due to its tiny shimmers, but yours truly doesn't even mind as I find it works really well and most camera loves the finish!

Because of the 2 positive experiences, I did not mind testing yet another foundation from Revlon!  I originally wanted the one for Dry Skin but unfortunately, it's not available locally and I'm left with the Combination/Oily Skin variant which is okay anyways because I plan to use this on clients as I am not much of a liquid foundation user!

How do I feel about this foundation?



Revlon Colorstay Foundation says ---
Want makeup that is flawless and weightless for 16 perfect hours? Revlon has the solution - ColorStay Makeup with SoftFlex.  Specially formulated for combination or oily skin, this oil-free formula helps control shine all day and gives you flawless looking skin.  Makeup looks fresh and feels great for up to 16 hours thanks to the lightweight, comfortable feel from the SoftFlex ColorStay formula.  Medium to full coverage, with SPF 6 protection*.
*Golden, Caramel, Toast, Rich Ginger, Cappuccino, Mahogany, and Mocha do not contain SPF.

AMW says ---

Pros
  • thick glass packaging, I actually dropped this and so far, it did not crack on me (thank goodness)
  • foundation does not feel heavy on skin
  • gives medium to full coverage
  • though this is for oily/combination skin, this foundation did not dry up my "dry" skin (moisturize skin prior to application)
  • non-cakey
  • no skin irritations
  • not much touch up is needed
  • makeup lasts the whole day and skin looks fresh
  • a little goes a long way!
  • can double up as concealer due to its great coverage
  • does not settle into fine lines
  • foundation does not transfer onto my clothing or handkerchief
  • does cover spots!
Cons
  • packaging without pump, be careful of product wastage

  • just like any other liquid foundation, can cause breakout if skin is sensitive
  • a bit tricky to find for the right shade
  • if applied too much, creates a white cast on photos
  • if skin is not moisturized well, dry-skinned individuals will find this product flakes on them
Overall
I actually got this shade because it is the safest and easiest shade to mix  and match.  The shade Nude is actually a tad lighter on my skin but for the sake of testing, I've used this for a couple of days.  Once I applied this and went out for a whole day make-up gig in an open-air location, it rained, it shined and there wasn't any chance for me to do some retouching.  After 4 hours straight of hardwork, I took a lunch break and got a good look at myself in a mirror!  Surprise, surprise!  I don't look harassed at all! Just a tiny pat  of powder foundation on my cheek area and I'm ready to face the world again!

The product seriously smells like MAC StudioFix Foundation, I am not  implying that this is the exact dupe of MAC but just to give you idea on how the product smells.  The coverage is great for a drugstore foundation and seriously, a little is enough!  Applying all over my face feels a bit heavy! 

Nice drugstore liquid foundation.  No wonder it gets a lot of raves online.

Tips
from Revlon
  • apply to cleansed skin after you daily moisturizer
  • use your fingertips or applicator, blend foundation onto skin
  • apply starting the center of your face, forehead, nose and chin blending outward
from AMW
  • pat on your preferred setting powder to set the liquid foundation
  • retouch with a patting motion, much better if you use a brush for retouch
  • if shade does not match, feel free to mix and match (practice makes perfect).  Or, you can set this foundation with a darker powder foundation
  • spritz your sponge or brush with water for a lighter application
  • since this product dries up pretty fast, you have to apply quickly 
  • if your skin is not that bad, apply this liquid foundation only on areas you want to cover up (undereye circles, sides of the nose, corners of the mouth and spots), then set with your preferred setting powder!
  • search for a pump!  If you've found one that fits, do share!  I am still on the lookout
  • if you may, apply this all over your face prior to purchasing and wait for 20-30 minutes and check if it oxidizes on your or creates a white cast prior to purchasing a full bottle.
  • cleanse your face well with a cleansing oil or makeup remover as this makeup stays even when washed with regular facial cleanser.  It's not called ColorStay for nothing!
Will I repurchase?
Yes, ok to be part of my makeup train case.

Where to purchase and how much?
At Revlon Counters for Php825.00 (approx $17.95)


Revlon ColorStay Makeup with Softflex SPF6 
in Shade 200 Nude


A close up on the mouth of the bottle, sad to say, my MAC pump does not fit


Tip: Use Cotton Bud/Spatula to get product to prevent wastage


Gently blend it with sponge, brush or fingers


If applied sparingly, blended well on my skin color


Applied on bare face after moisturizing with a wedge sponge.  You can obviously see that nude is a shade or two lighter than my original skin tone.  I actually set this with my Mineraux Skin Perfecting Mineral Foundation which is a 2 shades darker than my skin tone


How say you?
Have you tried this foundation?
Love it? Hate it?
Let me know!

Oh Yeah, if you've noticed the new banner, I want to give a shoutout to my reader Kat for making this.  I appreciate the effort and the nice photo of myself!  I think I like the "cartoon version" of myself better!  *laughs*  THANK YOU!!!!!!!!

Keep smilin'
Stay happy!





(Note from Author: products were sent by company as gift. Reviews were made solely from author's experience.  Please purchase at your own discretion.)

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

AMW & Kiehl's Give: A Full Bottle of Kiehl's Midnight Recovery Concentrate (Contest Closed)


Dear Philippine Readers:




Finally!!!  After 15 days and more on my Kiehl's Midnight Recovery Challenge, today is the day!  ONE lucky local reader will get the chance to win his/her own bottle to try this concentrate and see if this will give the "brightening" effect I've experienced! 

How? 
1. Send me an email together with your photo (not more than 500kb) and tell me why you deserve to win this full size bottle worth Php2,000+!
2. All entries should be sent on my email address (nikki@askmewhats.com), no entries should be sent in this comment box
3. Duplicate entries will be disqualified
4. One Philippine reader will be chosen by "judge" friends
5. Winner will be picked n August 15, 2010!

Goodluck!
Keep smilin'
Stay happy!

Stay positive!


AMW Reviews: Kiehl's Midnight Recovery Concentrate

When I accepted the Kiehl's Midnight Recovery Concentrate Challenge, I am very serious about it.  So serious that I tried to complete 7 hours of sleep.  (I use "tried" because there were some days I failed).  To jumpstart with the challenge, I went for a simple facial wash from Mineral Flowers, no scrubs nor toner was used as I went straight to this Concentrate even on days without electricity!  (It's not hard to put on skincare product with flashlight! hahaha)  I even had to tote this bottle along when I stayed in a hotel!

In most cases, it takes me at least a month to review skincare products as I strongly believe most products do not work miracles and it takes time for the skin to get used to the product and of course, to see its effectivity.  Since the challenge calls for 15 days, and I think with this challenge meant the company is confident enough that consumers and users like myself will see some changes as early as 15 days after. 

I have to clarify that my skin is okay to start with.  I don't  have acne marks nor scars *knocks on wood* but one thing about my skin --- it's my "sensitivity-oh-meter"!  My skin has occasional pimples and allergies from food, from environment and of course, from different beauty products!  Let's not forget the dryness that I've been complaining for years since my mid-20s!

I've done The Challenge for 15 days and I've reported about it once in awhile, here's my summary and of course, photos to show!  Ready?  Set?  Go!


Kiehl's Midnight Recovery Concentrate says ---
One night.  Two drops.  Younger-looking skin by morning.  99.80% Natural Ingredients.
  • Paraben-free
  • Skin looks visibly restored by morning
  • Enhances skin's natural recovery activity
  • Recyclable glass bottle, dropper and plastic squeeze top in a protective 100% recycled board carton.

AMW says ---

Pros
  • wonderful dropper that's easy to "gauge" how much product is needed

  • no product wastage
  • does not cause breakouts nor skin irritations/allergies
  • skin looks hydrated and fresh in the morning, non-oily at all
  • this product is paraben-free and silicon-free!  Which makes my skin breathe
  • smells great and relaxing
  • this full size bottle will last forever!  As only the stated 2 drops are needed because this is a "concentrate"!

  • has manufacturing date included on box which makes it easier for you to know the expiration of the product

  • my hubby and myself can see the "brightening effect" after a week!
  • skin feels and looks moisturized
Cons
  • putting a lot may cause breakouts
  • oily-skinned individuals: may find this really oily and uncomfortable upon application
  • first few days of application may cause "discomfort", some sensitive skin may react to this!
  • a bit pricey especially to those who are not working yet!
Overall
Imagine the "Korean actresses" glow we are longing to have?  Well, I kinda achieved it with the Kiehl's Midnight Recovery Concentrate.  It was a glow I am not used to as I found myself re-applying face powder all day thinking my skin is oily but I mistaken the brightness to oiliness!  *laughs*  My bad!  After a week, I found myself getting used to the brightness and waking up and taking a look at my skin in front of the mirror is my favorite activity after using this product for 15 days!  (Note: I am not that vain!) After the challenge, I found myself using this product and incorporate it with my favorite moisturizer to keep my skin hydrated after the challenge!

Does this product work?  It does!  And I shall say, this will probably work better after longer duration.  15 days for me is still not enough to see the overall effect of this product!  So the review continuous! 

Tips
from Kiehl's
Apply 2-3 drops on cleansed skin. Gently press fingertips to cheeks, forehead, and chin to evenly distribute the application before gently massaging it into the skin. Can be worn alone or under moisturizer. 

from AMW
  • greasy feel on first few usages, it takes time to get used to this product
  • drop 2 drops and gently pat on your skin until absorption is felt
  • if skin irritations occur, stop using product immediately
  • include your neck on application
  • the rest? I rub it agains my knees and elbows!  
Will I repurchase?
Maybe, if I finish up the current skincare products I own.  I have a lot to test!  *laughs*  Do I recommend this?  I strongly suggest to test on samples as not all skin types would work well on such concentrate.

Where to purchase and how much?
At Kiehl's Store Greenbelt 5 for Php2,880 (approx $63.00)

The dropper I love, easy to create 2 drops

The concentrate, though feels oily, is actually light and looks like water


My skin diary
My skin definitely went a bit crazy on Day 1, not used to the oily after feel
The 4th day felt better as seen on photos






Before and after shot from Day 1 and Day 15.  PhotoShop was used only to crop and watermark photos.  Camera settings was set the same, whatever lighting changes are due to natural fluorescent lighting.  Both photos taken at night.

You can click photos to enlarge.  As seen on before and after photos, there wasn't much difference on my skin, only that my second photo has this weird smile!  *laughs*  But in person and up close, I have seen some "brightening" effect on some areas especially on my cheeks.  Take a look at the "shadow" part near the hairline was actually lightened up!  And most of all, I was able to survive without moisturizer with this concentrate. 


Do I really need the concentrate?  I can live without it but its definitely a nice "addition" for that added luxurious feel. 

*whew*  Long post, loads of photos and lots of things to say! 
But overall, I want ONE LOCAL Reader to try this concentrate!
Do check back as I'll be posting the details on the contest anytime within the day!

Do check back!
Keep smilin'
Stay happy!



Monday, July 26, 2010

Nail Art Tutorial: "Colors of the Philippine Flag" Inspired Nails + Contest Winners

Today is SONA day! (State of the Nation Address).  Our new president President Benigno (NoyNoy) Aquino III will talk to the nation about his plans for our country.  Since I am on a "nationalistic" mode, I tried using the colors of our dearest flag for my nail art tutorial.  My apologies in advance as I don't own a dark blue shade so I used a purple instead, but you get th drift right?


Here's my Colors of the Philippine Flag Inspired Nails
How to achieve such nail art design?
Read on!


Step 1:
Do not forget to apply your favorite base coat prior to nail polish application.  Using Elianto's Matte White polish, apply 2 coats and let dry.



Step 2:
To create a nice "glow", apply Caronia's polish in Crystal.

Step 3:
If you have dark blue polish, use that shade.  If not, you can use any shade you want.  I am using Prettynails' Purple polish and create random lines. 

Step 4:
Using White L.A. Colors Art Deco, create lines just below the purple lines created above.


Step 5:
Using L.A. Colors Art Deco in Red, continue the lines...



Step 6:
Create a tiny check with L.A. Colors Art Deco in Black.


Step 7:
The Philippine Flag has a distinctive yellow shade (sun and 3 stars).  I am using L.A. Colors Art Deco in Gold to create a nice "sparkle" between colors.


Step 8:
Top your hard work with your favorite top coat.  I am using The Face Shop Top Coat.


Enjoy your nails!


Feel free to look around your surroundings for nail art inspiration.  Colors, shapes are always there in front of us!  We just have to open our eyes and be inspired!

Since this is a nail art tutorial day, I will announce the winner for my AMW Gives: Prettynails contest.  Thank you so much for overwhelming responses!  Here are the prizes just in case you forgot.


Congratulations to: 
Jesca Maye!

AMW also gives: L'Oreal Expert Hydra Energetic Icy Roll On!  Your excuses are so funny I was laughing when I read all your comments. 

The Winner for this is....

Congratulations!
Mrs. Martinez!!!

I will email you both for mailing information.
For the rest, there are more contests coming for my lovely readers.
Thank you thank you thank you!  *cyber hugs*

Keep smilin'
Stay happy!



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