I’m a lover of make-up. ‘Been putting it on since I was 15 when I started college. We start early in the Philippines – college, I mean, not make-up. I learned applying make-up from my maternal grandmother and aunts who used to work as make-up artists for Avon and Beautifont (oh myyyy, does anyone still remember that brand – Beautifont?) Anyways, they were very good make-up artists. They used to do theater make-up for Dulaang Sibol, the high school theater group of the Ateneo De Manila University. One time, they did a magic on me when my mom entered me in a traditional procession in the Philippines called “Sunduan”. And right there and then, I discovered the wonders these babies can do. I was, believe it or not… pretty! (Holy sh*t, who would’ve known???)
And so it wasn’t a surprise, due to that amazement, I started trying to put make up on when I entered college. Back then it was hit and miss because there was no such thing as Youtube tutorials, or I didn’t know there were books about how to put them on. All I remember is that I would ask my aunts and grandma so often how this and that worked. There were so many days that my mom would tell me I had too much on or my wise-assed sister would give me sh*t because I looked like someone punched me in the eye. But no pain no gain. The adage “if you want to learn, you will” held true. By the time I started working I was an expert on my face.
I started amassing a collection. Most specially when I lived in Canada and I could afford all the MAC cosmetics I can get my hands on. It wasn’t just MAC, it was all the other brands – drugstore and boutique. But I always went back to MAC.
But despite the knowledge I’ve learned thru the years, some things still didn’t look right on my method – my make-up didn’t stay on long or my eyeshadow would all go to the crease of my eye or worse, I still looked pale in pictures. In fact, it was only lately that I paid more attention on my eyebrows, influenced by my sisters and all the flack I got from them because I looked bald without those manicured brows.
So I started watching Youtube and reading books on makeup. That opened up a whole new world for me (yes, sing it with me now). I know I needed to revamp my style. But I couldn’t do it with so much old make-up in the way. You’re supposed to throw away old make-up anyway – it’s not healthy for your skin to use stale make-up. (I read that!). So with a fresh garbage bag at hand, I said goodbye to old foundations, eyeshadows, lipsticks, rouges, mascaras. The only thing I had left were my good brushes (which I gave a good cleaning with baby shampoo), my Anastasia eyebrow paste and 2 eyebrow gels, my shue uemura eyelash curler whose rubber I finally replaced, and other items I’ve had only for the past year. Purging felt good. So I threw them all out except for the old MAC ones because, do you know you can actually exchange 7 old MAC items for a free lipstick? It’s their recycle program that they’ve been doing for so long now. With all the old ones I had, I was able to get 2 lipsticks free. Two!!! Which meant, I had fourteen old MAC what-nots. Imagine that…
It took me a week of planning which brands were good, which ones I needed to start with. I’ve watched so many Youtube videos on how to put on make-up, including Pia Wurtzbach’s ever famous make-up ritual. Armed with a list of the best and brightest, I happily danced my way to the MAC counter at Macy’s. Aaaaand this time, I also went to Sephora for some items that were given better reviews than my favorite brand. I probably did about 3 separate trips because replenishing your arsenal can only do so much damage to your bank account. But patience is a virtue and the fruits so sweet. So now, I only have half of what I used to own but I’m proud that I have quality rather than quantity.
I’ve done some experiments and the over-all results seemed to be better. How different? This you have to wait for, my sweeties. I will be sharing them to you as soon as I can take good pictures of myself in the process. And that will come very, very soon. For the meantime, I am in search of a very good make-up mirror with very good lighting but isn’t worth both my arms and my legs.
The once named “godmother of the Philippine Blogosphere”, Gigi Manaloto-Refugia, known by her pen name “Ate Sienna” has been blogging since 2002 in her old pansitan.net community where she housed famous bloggers. She now writes about being 50-something and shares her tips on fashion, makeup, skincare, travel, food and thrift-store diving.
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