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Making space for makeup

Hello. I’ve been meaning to make a comeback on this little slice of the Internet for a while now, but I think I kept getting stuck on the why. It made little sense to resurrect a space that was dedicated to makeup and beauty when I had slowly been, in a way, weaning myself off of it over the last couple of years. Which isn’t to say that I’ve stopped consuming or using beauty-adjacent products… I’ve just reined in the monster, so to speak.

I moved to London to pursue a masters degree in late 2017, bringing along some key items, with full intention on moving back home once the programme finished in 2019. Well, I’m still here, and the collection I’ve amassed is back home in Manila. At some point, I did a “big” clear out, and I intended to bring some more of them back here, but I haven’t been able to leave the U.K. since late 2019.

Anyway, my point is, I have so much crap and I can’t use them. Which is sad, but probably inevitable, given the amount that I’ve amassed. A big part of why I’d dropped off the face of the beauty blogging world is because I just kept buying shit and eventually, it made me feel gross. Even if COVID—19 didn’t happen, I wouldn’t have been able to work through most of that stuff anyway.

But, I sat down on my desk this morning — fully procrastinating on another project I should be working on — and thought that surely there is a place in the beauty blogging world that didn’t entail doing five million product reviews a week. And it should have been obvious to me, because they’re the kinds of blogs I like reading anyway. Big duh.

So, here I am, crawling back into your lives (if anybody else is still tuned in). To be honest, I’ve been keeping it pretty boring with neutrals because I have a pretty labour-intensive 9-to-6 (!) job, and I just can’t be bothered most days. It’s partly a comfort thing, too, I guess. I know now what looks best on me (after 32 years alive, and 9 years of trying!) but I think I’d like to have fun again.

My friend Gabbie looked into how the pandemic changed our beauty routines, and ultimately, our attitude towards it. I was one of the people she asked (which ? omg!) and it led me to think about what I actually stopped doing and missed. Anyway, I missed having fun with makeup. I missed playing. It’s obviously the least of my (our?) worries, and it shows, as it’s fallen by the wayside and just laid there for five years. But, you know, it’s nice to find pockets of joy where you can.

I remember how diving into beauty helped me cope with an overwhelming anxiety and sadness I had. It sounds made up, I know, but setting up this blog gave me something to do and focus on, and I think that for the time I was most active on here, that was when it was helping me not lose it all entirely.

So, again, hello. I hope I stick around for longer now. I hope you do it with me, too.

Barely any base: BECCA Backlight Priming Filter

So, a few days ago, I led a customer into a fitting room and she took the time to pause and tell me that my skin looked really great. Obviously, I beamed… some more, ha. I’ve been too lazy to wear any type of base, especially during the summer when my skin went very tan and nothing I had matched me.

Anyway, I thought I’d share the base combo I was wearing that day, since I did wear something new that I felt helped give me a little facelift. I picked up a travel size of the BECCA Backlight Priming Filter at SpaceNK¹ for… uh, reasons. I think I wanted a bit more glowy-ness, but having tried the BECCA Shimmering Skin Perfector (in Opal!), I wanted something more subtle. I figured that “primer” meant it was meant to use under makeup or alone (I was right — but yes, I could have read the instructions).

The product is much more watery than the Shimmering Skin Perfector, and I don’t have mine with me at the moment, so I can’t compare, for sure. What I do know is that I feel more comfortable using it because I can sheer it out a little bit and it’s easy to blend.

As per the instructions, you’re supposed to put it on your T-zone, but I’ve chosen to do that (quite a pointless exercise, considering my fringe) and I’ve also been putting a bit of it on the high points of my cheek. After moisturiser but before the rest of my base. Do I still use highlighter? Yes, but I think this makes my face a bit more prepped, if that makes sense. I am possibly rationalising this purchase, but to be honest, I’m quite thrilled with the outcome, so I think that’s all that matters.

Products used for the base:

— BECCA Backlight Priming Filter
— Glossier Perfecting Skin Tint (Medium)
— Makeup Revolution Pro Foundation Drops (F13 — ordered online based on the description… uh, decidedly way too dark for me lol)
— Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder (Mood Light)
— RMS Beauty Living Luminizer

I know that looks like a lot of stuff, but it’s all just very thin layers that don’t need any sort of precision, which is what I enjoy when I’m rushing about my day. Also, I’m going by the word of a strange lady who said my skin was nice, in case you forgot. I kind of think that maybe she’s on to something.

¹ This is my SpaceNK referral code, if you want to use it! I just get rewards points and £10 off £40 for any referrals, lol.

FOTD: Here comes the sun

So, after a long hiatus from mixing it up and dressing up and making myself reach for non-offensive “everyday” makeup, I’ve lately been making a bit of extra effort to, in my opinion, “look nice.” This particular look was brought about by a suggestion from my housemate, Ale, for me to wear yellow eyeshadow because I had become particularly tan. (Thank you, English summer?)

The days have grown significantly colder, so these are sort of last-ditch attempts at bringing a bit of summer sun with me, I think. I’ve worn yellow eyeshadow before (see: 1, 2, 3), but funny how the overall effect differs with just a change of lip (or, in this case…  haircut, and uh… everything else).

(RE: the title and potentially coming across as crass or doing something in poor taste… I know that it’s very rainy in Metro Manila right now, and I hope everyone’s doing more or less okay.)

FOTD - Yellow, Make Beauty Illamasqua - 1

The eye look’s pretty simple: cool, reddish mid-tone brown in the crease with a warmer terracotta brown on the outer crease and a bit on the lower lashline, aaaand a matte yellow on the lid. Then, add a bit of swoopy black liner and mascara on top and bottom lashes.

Make Beauty - Terra Eyeshadow

The cool mid-tone brown (more of a transition shade in this case than anything, really) I used is this really nice one by MAKE Beauty — a Terrazzo Matte Eyeshadow called Strawberry Hill — which I don’t think I’ve posted about before. I also use this for a cool-toned all-over lid shade when I’m too lazy.

Make Beauty - Terra Bronzer

On my cheeks: the MAKE Beauty Terrazzo Bronzer in Tower Isle (not intentionally a MAKE tribute post, but here we are). For contour and highlight, I used a new favourite (Illamasqua Gel Sculpt in Silhouette) and an old favourite (RMS Beauty Living Luminizer).

FOTD - Yellow, Make Beauty Illamasqua - 2

Also been easing myself back into wearing darker lipsticks… which I realised I missed a lot? This one’s by Illamasqua called Moth. It’s a gorgeous cool matte medium-dark brown. The formula is so good, I’m gagging a little bit.

(By this I just mean that I ate a spinach-ricotta quiche and had a double espresso and didn’t have to touch up once!)

Speaking of easing back into things… I hope this isn’t a boring post. I knew I wanted to come back but I didn’t want to just keep posting reviews for some reason. Anyway, I hope this is alright and that I get back into the swing of things. Hope everyone is well.

Products used:

— NARS Matte Concealer
— MAKE Matte Eyeshadow (Khaki)* (eyebrows)
— Illamasqua Brow and Lash Gel
— MAC Paint Pot (Bare Study)
— MAKE Beauty Celeste e Verde Palette (Palermo, Brick)*
— MAKE Beauty Terrazzo Matte Eyeshadow (Strawberry Hill)
— K-Palette 24H Real Lasting Liquid Liner*
— Illamasqua Masquara (Raven)
— MAKE Beauty Terrazo Bronzer (Tower Isle)
— Illamasqua Gel Sculpt (Silhouette)
— RMS Beauty Living Luminizer
— Illamasqua Lipsitck (Moth)

* PR samples

Tales from the top shelf: skin care update

Hello, friends. Today, we talk about skin care. Contrary to how I titled this post, I don’t actually reach for the top shelf when it comes to skin care (off to a great start, aren’t I?) — if it works, it works.

I do enjoy trying new things, though I’ve scaled back the trying a lot. These are the skin care things currently in my rotation, in case you want to try new things, too. A caveat: I don’t currently have the best skin situation, though I can say that these have more or less taken care of my skin, under the stress of moving and changing temperatures, among other things.

(I’m moving in a few weeks, and I thought it would be nice (lol) to say ‘hi’ from my current student halls bathroom. I have an ensuite — hallelujah.)


On my very tiny shelf, I’ve got:

  • micellar water and a face wash from the drugstore — nothing to write home about; they get the job done! I also have a face scrub in the shower from this brand. Unsure if I’ll repurchase, or find cruelty-free alternatives.
  • MAKE Moonlight Brightening Serum — something I’ve repurchased since it got rid of the hyperpigmentation around my nose due to stress acne. Not the cheapest… but again, if it works, it works.
  • & Other Stories Moiré Anti-Stress Serum — nothing super great, just trying to get through the bottle, honestly.
  • The Ordinary 100% Plant-Dervied Squalane — squalane oil, which works really well for me (I have dry skin). I know this breaks other people out, but it’s the first layer of moisturiser I use, especially when the air feels especially dry. (My first intro to squalane oil was Indie Lee’s!)
  • The Ordinary “Buffet” — I use this pretty sparingly, because I think my skin can’t take handling too many things at once. It’s a “multi-technology” peptide serum which targets “aging problems,” if I’m not mistaken. Honestly… I shouldn’t’ve, but I did. So here we are.
  • Aesop Camellia Nut Facial Hydrating Cream — layer 2 of moisture. Almost out of it, and I’m scared about that because I want to repurchase but I also have to pay my rent and feed myself, so. I don’t know. It’s an amazing lightweight moisturiser that combats dryness and sinks in easily. I think it’s a great pre-makeup moisturiser.
  • Superdrug Tea Tree Anti-Spot Stick — purchased to replace my Human Nature Tea Tree gel thing, which worked great. If I had money, I’d repurchase the Indie Lee Blemish Lotion. Alas, this works okay, if not as well.
  • Glossier Super Glow — I don’t even know what this does, but I can’t see it. Just using it up!

Misc. Notes:

  • I’ve emptied my Glossier Super Bounce, which was way more useful than Super Glow, in terms of my skin needs (dry, dry, dry). However, I think it’s probably mainly just hyaluronic acid, which is pretty accessible in most places, so you don’t need to have that stuff shipped, probably. The bottle’s really pretty, though.
  • I’ve got a bottle of The Ordinary Granactive Retinoid 2% in Squalane, which I don’t use because I think my skin gets upset (lol) when I try too many products at once. Plus, I’ve been really lazy about sun protection, so I’ll save it for when I’m in a better place. (Not… dead, just like, more diligent about sunscreen.)
  • I have a few wash-off/wipe-off hydration masks that I use occasionally. Very rarely, though. Mostly because I forget.


And, that’s it! Apologies if this wasn’t terribly helpful. I’m looking for an acid scrub, too. I used to use One Love Organics’ which was made from pineapple enzymes, but I have yet to find a U.K. stockist. Any suggestions?

Softly, again

Uh, hi. You might (?) remember me from years ago when I wrote a lot about beauty. Likely in a curious, albeit misguided way. I locked this account away at some point for various reasons I don’t feel like getting into now, but the beauty bug. It has bitten me once again. Not in quite the same way, and certainly, the first initial sting never left me completely. But, I was over it for a while (it felt too consuming, if you can believe that), and now I’m not. So, hi.

I’m in the process of cleaning up house here, but I wanted to just say hi, a bit. I guess? I don’t know. This all feels very strange…

First thing to get out of the way is that I’ve moved continents on account of school. So, I don’t have a lot of makeup with me and I don’t plan on accumulating a lot more (although I did a spot of shopping here and there, of course).

I look like this now:


While I was away from here, I mostly look like this…


… but then I guess I felt like I needed a haircut, so. Here, another one just for kicks:


I’m actually in the process of so many things such as uni and moving and a show, among personal crises etc. etc., but I always find myself thinking about how I wish I could write about so and so beauty thing, so here we are. I’m not sure if I’m going to be leaving this up as sort of an archive and just update sparingly about beauty over at my main blog (which is Nothing Spaces, if you didn’t know) or whatever. We’ll see.

I think the question is, also, what else do I have to say that people would like to read about? Beats me, honestly, but we’ll find out soon enough. (Obviously, you can ask about certain things you know I use, or like, opinions on shit? I don’t know. WHY AM I BACK HERE, AGAIN?)

For now, have this long and convoluted hi-saying! I hope this is more fun than my first try at it.

FOTD: Hello, Rome

Hiya, I finally managed to take good photos of my makeup before it got too dark out! I’ve been feeling pretty bored and repetitive, so I ~tried~ to play with my eye makeup this time around. Still neutrals, though, but I cracked open my Makeup Revolution I Heart Chocolate palette* (a supposed dupe for the TooFaced Chocolate Bar palette) and tbh, I’m still quite impressed by it. Realized, too, that I haven’t posted any looks using this palette.

FOTD - 03082016a

Face & Cheeks

Rediscovered my y.e.t. Cosmetics Fill It Up Primer… And I kind of don’t like how it ended up working with my makeup. My initial review of it was kind of glowing, lol. But maybe it’s the face oil I used.

For this look, I used MAKE Soft Focus Foundation, powdered down with Le Métier de Beauté Peau Vierge Anti-Aging Pressed Powder.

I used Kevyn Aucoin Sculpting Powder for my contour, and am wearing a beautiful MAC blush (!) called Breezy, which I got from Laura as a gift. 🙂

FOTD - 03082016c

Eyes & Lips

Eyebrows courtesy of my MAKE matte eyeshadow in Khaki* which I applied with a MAC 266 brush. My eye base is a MAC Paint Pot in Painterly. I used these shades from the I Heart Chocolate palette: You Need Love, Thank Friday, More!, Smooth Criminal, and What a Way to Go. Then, I thought I’d give the wings a rest and went with a simple line using the MAC Eye Kohl in Teddy.

My lipstick, Mirenesse Mattfinity Lip Rouge in Rome*, is something I got from Sephora! It’s similar to the NYX Soft Matte Lip Creams (which I ended up didn’t loving as much as everyone seemed to) and it smells like candy. I’m not sure how I feel about it yet, but I like it so far. I think the shade washes me out a little, though, but it might be my tan.

FOTD - 03082016 - Eyes Brows

AHHH I wore mascara after the longest time. This one’s the K-Palette 1Day Tattoo 24H Lash Perm Volume Curl Mascara* which I’m liking quite a lot. Not much I can do with my stubby lashes, but I love the formula of this one.

FOTD - 03082016 - Products

Anyway, that’s it. I hope you’re doing well! As you may or may not have noticed, on top of being busy, I hit a makeup slump, but I’ve got some ideas, so… let’s see how far I get with that. WISH ME LUCK, I HAVE MISSED MAKEUP SO MUCH?

* Items marked with an asterisk are PR Samples.

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New Loves: 2016

Hey everyone, I’m alive. I just wanted to take a bit of time to write about some (admittedly kind of boring, but still amazing) things that I’ve been enjoying during the year so far. To be honest, I haven’t been that adventurous with makeup in a while. I’ve been working part-time and I usually have to throw on a quick lewk before dashing out the door.

In any case, what I’ve got here are just essentials, really, to my routine lately. I tried to pick the items I haven’t really spoken about at length here before. Just a disclaimer: most of this post is made up of items that are gifted by friends and family or sent by PR teams, as that’s the only time I’ve been able to really test new stuff out. I’ve cut down on my spending (on makeup, at least) a lot as I’m saving up for trips later on in the year.

Lucas’ Pawpaw Ointment

One of my mom’s brothers has been based in Australia for a while with his family and his wife (my aunt) brought this back on one of their trips back here. I hadn’t paid much attention to it before because I was busy with other lip stuff, but it’s actually been really helpful for stubborn dryness, as well as for other skin shit that needs soothing. A+! I think they sell these here, but at kind of exorbitant prices.

FS Duo Eyebrow Pen in Shade 2*

The PR team of FS Cosmetics graciously sent me this eyebrow pen (my request) and some tiny lipstick samples a few weeks ago. I have to say I’m pretty obsessed with these retractable-type of eyebrow pencils—where the tips are a bit harder/stiffer than the pencils you sharpen. This one has kind of a duo-color tip (as opposed to being dual-ended as I initially thought) and combines a warm brown and an ash brown/grey to create a nice brow match for my black hair that’s not too harsh on my face.

Nudestix Eyebrow Stylus Pencil & Gel in Dirty Blonde*

I wrote about this here, but I just wanted to say that I’ve been enjoying it still! It gives such good definition to my brows, even with the shade match, and I use it when I don’t want a super dark brow. It blends in with my dark hair, too, rather (surprisingly) seamlessly.

Bumble and Bumble Surf Spray

I got this years ago and it’s still going strong. To be fair, I don’t use it everyday, but it gives me enough texture in my hair that makes me look less like a mushroom-head. I don’t get “sexy, beach, windswept” hair, but I don’t really expect much from it since my hair’s pretty thick. I’m okay with a little bit of texture.

Bumble and Bumble Cityswept Finishing Spray

I got this from Shine, who says it doesn’t work much for her. Again, it’s supposed to create something like “lived-in,” messy bed-head, but I get more of a slightly piece-y style that, again, prevents mushroom-head. I use this alone or with the Surf Spray. It doesn’t make a lot of a difference, but it does enough for me.

Bioré Uru Uru 2-in-1 Instant Foaming Wash*

I received this from Bioré and I wasn’t super excited about it at first since I thought I would be receiving their micellar water (I’m an ingrate), but obviously I ate my words because you can see it as part of this post. It foams up really densely—I can’t stress this enough; apparently it has 8x denser foam than your typical foaming facial wash—and it washes away all makeup in one go. I kid you not; I even tried it with mascara, as per Chi’s query.

The Uru Uru 2-in-1 Instant Foaming Wash contains “40% Beauty Essence” including glycerin, rose hip extract, and royal jelly extract that supposedly moisturizes your skin, too. I have to say that it does provide adequate moisture; I sometimes forego my night moisturizer when I’m feeling truly lazy. My only qualm about this, probably, is that it smells so strongly of roses. Like, it doesn’t smell awful, but it’s just a strong scent, so heads up if you’re sensitive to fragrance!

New Loves - 2016a

And that’s it! Sorry these are “boring” products, but they’ve helped me cut back on steps in my routine and streamline it, so that’s always good. Let me know what you’ve been enjoying lately!

* Items marked with an asterisk are PR Samples.

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