Glossy-Yay or Nay? A Glossier Mini-Haul and First Impressions

I’ve known about Glossier since 2014, but I think I only became a Glossier fangirl this year. The release of the brand’s Phase 2 set was the catalyst for it, when Glossier included makeup staples such as concealer and lipstick (I didn’t care about their skincare at that time). I dug deeper into the brand, by looking at their online campaigns and watching reviews on YouTube. Almost everything about Glossier’s ad campaigns just screamed “authentic, inclusive, and simple” which is a breath of fresh air from the traditional beauty campaigns that I see in print and online. Just check out this roundup of GRWMs below!

Recently, I decided to treat myself with some Glossier products. Although I originally wanted to try out their skincare (Milky Jelly Cleanser and Priming Moisturizer, anyone?), I decided to opt out of it because I didn’t want to disrupt my current skincare routine. I am at this point where my skin looks and feels really good, and having new products in my arsenal can be either a hit or miss.

Instead, I decided to buy the Balm Dotcom and the Generation G. The balm dotcom is described as a “universal skin salve,” which can be used for dry lips, cuticles, and minor cuts, while Generation G is advertised as a “sheer matte lipstick.” I got the balm dotcom in Coconut (thanks Mel of @glossiermnl!), while the shade I got in Generation G was Crush (which I got from MUP Store), which is a bright pink-berry shade that I would normally avoid.

Now, on to my thoughts about the products! The Coconut balm dotcom immediately became a favorite of mine. At first, people may think that the balm dotcom is a glorified version of petroleum jelly or Vaseline. I guess it’s because of the price (it retails around 12 USD, but I got mine for Php 750), but I’ve looked past that because it works really well and it feels really good. I have dry and dehydrated lips, and the balm dotcom was able to moisturize it. Not to mention, the coconut scent is clean and pleasant, which is a far cry from the coconut scents that I am used to. At 0.5fl oz, you only need the smallest amount to moisturize and hydrate the areas that need some extra TLC. And oh, the flavored balm dotcom’s packaging is beautiful.

On the other hand, I am a bit conflicted towards Generation G. The lipstick definitely lived up to its claim of being a sheer matte lipstick. It’s buildable and dries down to a matte stain, and it glides on like a balm when applied. It lasts long too. Color-wise, I really like the just-bitten pink berry stain that Crush leaves on the lips.  However, I do think that the amount of product you’re getting and the product’s packaging does not reflect its steep price. At 0.04 oz/1.13 g, you’re only getting a small amount of product, and its plastic packaging feels a bit fragile. Also, Generation G just comes in four shades, and I think that expanding the color range a bit would be a big help for many skin tones. If you are looking for alternatives to Generation G, just get Revlon’s matte/balm stains or use a lip stain and put a balm over top.

To wrap this up, I think that the products that I got from Glossier are very good. The balm dotcom definitely lived up to its hype. Generation G, on the other hand is also very good, but I just wished that it was developed better, in terms of pricing, product distribution, color selection, and packaging. I would recommend Glossier if you are a fan of low-maintenance makeup. If you are a big skincare fan, I think you should look into Glossier’s skincare range because I’ve heard good stuff about it. In fact, I am considering getting the Back to Reality trio soon, which includes the mint balm dotcom and the Mega Greens Galaxy Pack. Another thing to note though, if you are buying Glossier here in the Philippines is to find a reseller that gives you really good prices.

 

 

 

Not Now

Hello, crippling self-doubt.

We meet again. Why do we always bump into each other often? Last week, I was at a high because I went to the Philippine Readers and Writers Festival, inspired and motivated to write better. Then here you are again, telling me that I can’t write, or that my writing is comparable to a grade school student.

Is it because my writing is still not there yet? Or am I just too scared to go for it? Write, submit, share your soul to the world—it’s easier said than done. I have skeletons in my closet that I am still afraid to show, and I am afraid that I will be subject to the scrutiny of others. Years of bullying have made me quite self-conscious about myself, and the work that I have put out. It’s as if I’ve let this experience consume me, to the extent that I have to be ashamed of my entire being and mold myself into someone that’s more desirable for others.

I guess it’s the same thing with my writing. I just want to be able to express myself and just write whatever my heart desires, but there are people out there who will mock me and tell me that I can’t do it. On the flip side, there are others who will say otherwise. There are others who will believe in my writing and motivate me to go for it. There are people who will tell you, “You need to straighten your hair for boys to like you,” and there are people who will tell you that they love you for who you are, flaws and all. It runs parallel with one another.

Because of you, crippling self-doubt, I am more motivated to shake off the weight of the past. My bullies from grade school until now do not matter to my growth anymore. I am more motivated to get back into writing more than ever, and you do not need to bother me every single day to remind me that I can’t do things, especially things that I am dedicated to. I will keep on writing, and I have to remind myself that I am strong, beautiful, and capable.

 

Current Everyday Makeup Routine

One of the things that I have been contemplating to write about in my blog is my everyday makeup routine. While funemployment has kept me at home almost every day, I do have days where I go out. Because of this, I have developed a makeup routine that has allowed me to look like an amplified version of myself, without scaring the shit out of people. I have also made the makeup routine versatile enough for any occasion or place.

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I first start with my base. Working on my base is probably the portion of my routine that takes up the most time, depending on how many imperfections I have to correct. I usually start with sunscreen, and I use the Belo SunExpert one with SPF 40. It feels nice and light on the skin and it helps make my makeup stay longer. Next, I use a primer from Maybelline, and I put it on areas where I feel shiny. The Maybelline primer feels nice on the skin, but I don’t like the smell of it. Sometimes, I would forego primer and just use sunscreen because I don’t want to be bothered with an extra step. However, sunscreen is necessary. After putting on sunscreen/primer, I put on my BB cream or tinted moisturizer. I usually use the Pond’s one, but I recently got a tube of tinted moisturizer from Marks and Spencer, so I try to alternate the two or mix them together. Once this is finished, I apply concealer. My favorite is L’Oreal’s True Match Concealer in W4-5/Light-Medium. However, if I have a massive spot, I use my MAC Studio Finish Concealer in NW30 and top it with the L’Oreal concealer. I set everything with powder, and I use my Maybelline White Superfresh Powder in Sand Beige.

Once I am done with my base, I then proceed to the eyes. Usually, I just work on my eyebrows and put on mascara. My favorite eyebrow product of all time is the Etude House Drawing Eye Brow Pencil, but I recently used it up. What I have right now is the Brow Lasting Eyebrow Mascara in Dark Brown from Bench’s makeup line. It’s a good find for its cheap price because it stays on all day. However, I have to use a very light hand with it because the brush is too big to use on the brows. In addition, I have to keep a spoolie with me to blend the product so that my brows would look natural. I recently got the Fashion Duo Brow Shaper from Maybelline, and it has taken over my beloved Etude House eyebrow pencil. For mascara, I usually use the Maybelline Hypercurl or the Majolica Majorca Lash Expander Edge Meister mascara. I like having defined lashes because it looks like I am awake. However, if I am in the mood to wear eyeshadow, my favorite is the Maybelline Color Tattoo eyeshadow in Creamy Beige.

I don’t usually wear blush because I don’t like to be bothered with any extra steps whenever I do my makeup. However, the invention of lip-and-cheek tints have helped me incorporate cheek products into my routine. The lip and cheek product that I use is Happy Skin’s Shut Up and Kiss Me Lip & Cheek Mousse in Swept Off My Feet, which is a neutral midtone pink that gives a slightly pinched look. Unfortunately, I am about to run out of this product, so if you have a good suggestion for lip and cheek tint, please let me know! For lips, I usually wear a lipstick in a neutral or nude shade. My current favorites are L’Oreal’s Tint Caresse Lip Color in Lily Blossom (which somewhat reminds me of Glossier’s Generation G in Cake), Sleek’s Matte Me liquid lipstick in Birthday Suit and Ettusais’ Creamy Lip Crayon in PK-02. However, if I really cannot be bothered, I just put on tinted lip balm.

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The finished product!

That concludes my everyday makeup routine! It took me quite awhile to figure out and somewhat perfect it, but this combination has worked for me ever since I started doing it.

 

 

The Weekend

Another free-writing exercise. This time around, I will be talking about how my weekend went.

Saturday

Yesterday, I had lunch with my best friend Jow. Jow and I have known each other for sixteen years, but we’ve been best friends since we were in the fifth grade. We haven’t seen each other for months, and we really needed to decompress and see each other.

For our lunch date, we had lunch at Pancake House in Glorietta. Jow ordered the Grilled Cheese and Spaghetti combo, while I ordered Salisbury Steak. Too bad we didn’t take photos of the food, because we were really hungry at that time. Over lunch, we talked about work, writing, and life in general. We also tried catching Pokemon in between bites. After lunch, we decided to pass by Baskin & Robbins as an attempt to chill out and talk about more things again.

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Jow got Chocolate Chip, while I got Maui Brownie Madness. I usually get Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough whenever I drop by a Baskin & Robbins, but the Maui Brownie Madness is so delicious!  We also took turns in taking snaps and tried to catch for Pokemon again inside Glorietta.

After we had ice cream, we decided to head to Landmark. Jow wanted to buy the new Maybelline brow product that Liza Soberano is currently endorsing, and that said brow product is on sale. Unfortunately, it was out of stock at Landmark, so we passed by Greenbelt and checked out a couple of stores such as Muji and PCX. We dropped by PCX, and the brow product was out of stock there. We also tried some foundations and other beauty products at the store. At some point during our stop at Greenbelt, we also dropped by the Beauty Bar branch at Greenbelt 5. Going to Beauty Bar is equal parts hell and heaven, because the products that they have are so cool, yet we can barely afford them. Finally, we dropped by the Watsons at Greenbelt 1 and we finally found stocks of the Maybelline Fashion Brow Shaper Duo. Jow and I got one each after we tested them out. After deciding on getting it, Jow got a new face powder while I got some sanitary napkins. I know it’s TMI territory, but I get paranoid when I don’t have an adequate stock of period products.

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We needed to take a photo.

After we went shopping, we decided to roam around the Greenbelt area while waiting for Jow’s sundo. While roaming around, I asked her if I could charge my phone, since my phone was running out of battery. She agreed. We also stopped by Cafe Mary Grace, because she wanted to buy some treats for one of her aunt’s friends. Afterwards, we parted ways because Jow’s sundo already arrived. We parted ways, and then I realized that my phone was with her! Fortunately, my iPad was connected to the Ayala  Malls wi-fi, so I was able to message her. She then messaged me that she left my phone at her aunt’s office, so I just picked it up from there. We parted ways (again), and we promised that we will do something again next month. We’ll go to a board game cafe, perhaps? Or try a new restaurant? We’ll see.

I was on my own for the rest of the day, so I decided to do my usual routine whenever I go to the mall.  I window-shop, leech wi-fi, go around, eat, the works. I dropped by the Color in History exhibit at Ayala Museum, which was on free admission. While there, I saw one of the women that I looked up to back in high school.

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Meet Ms. Villegas! Ms. Villegas was my Literature teacher back in third year school, and she was one of the teachers I had in high school that I admired. She had an immense passion for writing and literature, which inspired me to read more and write. We talked about life in college and in high school, as well as some stuff about the exhibit. It was nice seeing her!

 

Some photos from the exhibit.

After I dropped by the exhibit, I did my usual routine. Along the way, I bought a notebook for my mental health journal from Papemelroti. I was also able to try out a bunch of makeup, but I recently promised myself to buy less makeup in the coming months. I was also able to catch a lot of Pokemon yesterday.

Sunday 

Sundays are usually chill days for me. I woke up at 6:45 am, which is something I consider early (I usually wake up at 8:30 now). I had pancakes for breakfast. Afterwards, I went back to my room to check stuff online. I ended up feeling ambivalent after, since I learned that President Duterte said something absolutely shitty. His charm is comparable to a cult leader, with his supporters blindly attacking those critical of his administration with rude comments. His comments have made my day a bit terrible, but thankfully there are some things to be happy about.

First, there’s the release of Frank Ocean’s second studio album, Blonde. I like Frank Ocean and his music, and his songs hit an emotional nerve for me (“Thinking About You” made me cry). Next, I finally got some alone time— well, sort of.

My brother asked me to buy something for her (He and her are my brother’s preferred pronouns) at SM Bicutan, so I obliged to her request. After I did it, I spent the afternoon at Bo’s Coffee to write in my journal and use the wi-fi. I was also craving for coffee, so I ended up ordering an iced latte with vanilla syrup.  In a previous post, I mentioned that I will try to stay away from coffee as much as I can, but  I realized that I still need coffee once in a while. Afterwards, I roamed around the mall, with Booksale as my last stop. The Booksale branch in SM Bicutan has a couple of rare finds; I was able to find some old issues of i-D, The Fader, and Wired there a couple of years back. I didn’t want to buy anything at first, but the preloved book section came calling. I ended up getting Steve Martin’s novella, Shopgirl! I have a lot of books on queue, but this book was one of the books that I’ve been meaning to read for quite a while now.

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After I went to SM, I went to Army Navy. I wanted to try Army Navy’s steak breakfast burrito, so I ordered one with some extra bacon. I really liked it, and sour cream gave the burrito an extra kick. It’s the perfect all-day breakfast meal, and I highly encourage meat lovers to try it!

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(P.S.: I am just going to eat bacon less. Maybe when I’m out of the house.)

Before I went home, I did some window shopping at a Korean general store in Better Living. I found some Face Shop products, as well as some Pepero variants that I have never heard of.

And oh, Jow and I decided to go to the Philippine Readers and Writers Festival this weekend. We’re usually not morning people on weekends, but we will go to two of the morning talks on Saturday because the topics are right up our alley.

This weekend was a good breather. Friends, food, and alone time? Yes, I know it’s a strange combination, but this is how I would want to spend my spare time. I have to read Shopgirl now, and probably try to sleep.

1:09 (Stream of Consciousness #2)

It’s currently 1:09 am, and I am still not asleep. I have a lunch tomorrow with Jow, plus I have to continue some writing for work. Speaking of writing, my other writing gig hasn’t given me any assignments yet, so I have a whole month to focus on Philihappy assignments. I am also looking into other opportunities for writing, in case that secret writing gig won’t pan out. Right now, I am just trying to gain as much experience as possible, so I can build a proper portfolio in the future for job applications. I really need to stop ruminating about this. Just apply for those gigs, Lea. Stop being overly self-conscious!

On the topic of being overly self-critical, I think I developed that trait after years of feeling inferior to other people. For most of my grade school and high school life, I have been constantly compared to one of my close friends. I guess it’s because our parents are close friends also, and that my father felt that I had these deficiencies that needed to be compensated by being exemplary in certain areas. As a result, I guess this experience made me feel like I needed to compete with everyone— to the extent that it’s holding me back from making true friends along the way. I guess my father wanted me to imbibe this work ethic that he has developed growing up, and while it is admirable, I am aware of certain variables that will prevent me from being like him. I can work smart in my own way, and I can make my own mark. I guess the reason why I looked for jobs and internships without his intervention is because I wanted to prove to him that I can do it, and that I can stick with what I know and love. I am still somewhat bummed though, that I didn’t spend the first few months after graduating from college attending writing workshops, blogging consistently, or doing an internship related to media. Yes, the management classes were helpful and they gave me some credibility, but I can’t discount the fact that it felt forced. I may have said way too much, and while my dad has played a huge role in harboring these bad thoughts and feelings, I still have the capacity to break free from it. I have accepted that my friends are better than me in certain areas, and I have also accepted that I am better than them in others. That’s how life works, and life shouldn’t be a competition.

As I write this entry, I am also in the process of creating a mashup of Hip-Hop Abs videos so I can create a workout that I can follow four times a week. I have been on a wellness kick lately, but my eating habits are almost the same. I just eat more vegetables now, and I haven’t been eating as much rice. I also have an abundant supply of chicken breast fillets in the fridge, which is more than enough to create homemade chicken nuggets for inumans with friends. Speaking of cooking, I have yet to figure out how to operate the oven so I can bake and make more magic in the kitchen while I have the time. I also have a couple of plans for my 500 Words challenge, and that involves the use of my digital camera. I also have plans on restructuring my finances, so I would  stop buying makeup almost every month. So many plans, so many thoughts. I have to jot these down in a notebook.

 

 

An attempt to write again

Recently, I hit a wall with my writing. As I mentioned in my previous post, I found it difficult to write something— whether it’s an article for work, or a personal piece. It sucks to feel stuck with the current trajectory of my progress as a writer. What the heck, I can’t even be considered a writer by certain people because I don’t have a lot of experience, and my vocabulary is not as sophisticated as theirs. But on the flip side, this is the way that I write, and I will continue to form this writing voice that shows who I really am. Fuck what they think.

As a headstart in improving my writing skills, I discovered this little challenge called My 500 Words. My 500 Words is a writing prompt by Jeff Goins, which compels people to write something in 500 words, for 31 days. I really want to be able to get better at expressing myself through writing, and my fellow writer friends told me that I just need to keep writing to grow and improve. I also want to stop the habit of constantly berating myself for “not being good enough,” or being overly self-conscious about by my writing. There are several prompts in this challenge, which include free-writing, goal-setting, and storytelling. I am excited to do this challenge, and I am hoping that this will help me relax and love writing again as a craft. Wish me luck!

P.S.: Lea, please keep writing. You have a voice, and you can write. There are people who encourage you to keep on honing your craft. Listen to them, and not those who say otherwise.

(PPS: I will take on this challenge in two ways: write blog entries or write a personal entry in one of my many, many journals)

 

 

Odds and Ends (Stream of Consciousness #1)

As you guessed in the title, I am doing a stream-of-consciousness type of entry today. Although I used to do this with my “Life In Bullet Points” entries, I figured out that it would be more organic to do this in paragraph form. Read on if you must:

First, I recently had a chat with my aunt from my mother’s side of the family. Although I am usually the type to stay away from my relatives (from both sides of my family), there are some people in my family that I genuinely love and appreciate, and she is one of them.

During that chat, I shared to her the things that have happened to me over the past five months, from the time I quit my job to the time I started building my writing career. When I told her this, I was expecting to get a reaction similar to my father’s, or someone from my  father’s side of the family, but she told me that she admired my courage for being brave enough to pursue what I really want, which is writing. Her words made me feel motivated to continue to pursue writing. She also told me to be kinder to myself, because she sensed that I was being too hard and forceful on myself to keep up with the expectations of others. For the longest time, I’ve been pushing myself too hard to yearn for what is normal, but deep inside, I know that my interests and passions are not what is usually accepted, and I have to fight for what I want day in and day out to people who are not understanding of it. Because of this, I am grateful for people like her, and people like my friends who are supportive of me, especially with this change in my life’s course.

Speaking of writing, I recently hit some form of a wall when it comes to my own development as a writer. I’ve been trying to juggle two writing gigs, and it has been difficult for me to pace myself when it comes to dealing with writing assignments. Moreover, I guess it’s because I also haven’t found the time to write for myself. I miss writing about the things that matter to me. I guess I need to practice how to carve out time for everything that I need (and want) to do, whether it’s managing my writing assignments, cooking meals, exercising, or writing for myself. I just feel like I need to write for myself more often to balance out the writing that I am doing for work.

Moving on to the topic of exercise and general self-care, I have recently developed a knack for exercising and eating healthier food. I made a personal commitment to eat more vegetables, exercise more frequently, and wean myself off of certain indulgences such as coffee, chips, and bacon. I know it’s a crazy move, but I guess it’s one of those changes that I want to make so I can take care of myself better. I have also been exercising four times a week, which is gradually helping me recognize that I can grow and improve as a person. I’m being cliche about it, but going through Hip-Hop Abs almost every day has been helping me to get out of my bed and do things.

My key takeaway from all of this is that life is not a competition, and that it takes a lot of acceptance (and work) to accept your inner wiring and personal pace. I am still in the process of fully accepting that, but I have faith that I will get there.

The Sunday Currently #2

I haven’t done this in months, so let’s dive into it shall we?

Reading  

I have a lot of books waiting in line, but I just finished Alden Richards’ book!  Speaking of books, I need to finish Luis Katigbak’s Dear Distance and Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale. 

Writing 

This entry, plus a review of the Alden book and other pieces for Philihappy.

Listening

To the new Bon Iver song!

 

Thinking 

My workload for this month. I work from home, and I am trying to make my life as productive as possible.

Smelling 

Ummmm the Maybelline Creamy Matte lipstick I tried on. P.S.: Maybelline’s Creamy Mattes range is to die for.

Wishing 

Improved self-confidence, better writing opportunities, and less worries to care about.

Hoping 

That tomorrow’s meet-up with my friends will push through!

Wearing 

An old Forever 21 sweater I’ve had since December 2011, and a pair of Adidas shorts.

Loving 

Organic green tea, cooking, Snapchat, Pokemon Go, Hip Hop Abs, and nude lipsticks. Oh, the girls of Buzzfeed Ladylike too.

 

Wanting

More self-confidence and self-control!

Needing

To lose weight, more writing assignments to keep myself afloat (creatively and financially), and materials on cat care.

Feeling

Sleepy, because it’s already almost midnight.

Clicking

Buzzfeed’s Ladylike Playlist!

22

Whenever I see someone celebrate their 22nd birthday, there is almost always a reference about Taylor Swift’s song of the same name.

I just turned 22 yesterday, and my birthdays are usually anticlimactic. It’s usually a regular, ho-hum day, and I remember spending my birthdays back in high school studying for my periodical exams. Last year, I remember spending my birthday at my internship. As far as I can remember, I was supposed to have a bunch of training sessions, but ended up listening to a series of talks for the whole day. At that time, I thought I was getting my shit together. I thought I was going to finally going to have that moment where I “stepped up” and got into a ~~*normal*~~ career, where I am supposed to earn good money and be the source of pride for my family (at least in my dad’s side of the family), because I had all these privileges given to me.

My life as a 21-year old was filled with lots of ups and downs. Earlier this year, I went through a spiral. Right now, I am still in the process of recovery, and I am doing my best to pick up the pieces and start anew. I am going after my dream as a writer, I have a solid group of friends, I have a decent relationship with my family, and I am picking up new interests, such as cooking.

This year, I am now 22 years old. My birthday celebration was something right up my alley. I spent it with Gilbi, and we checked out makeup, books, and lures on Pokemon Go.  It was a fairly interesting day, and it was the birthday I had in years where I didn’t really  think about school or  anything. At this point, I still haven’t experienced that instantaneous moment where I have all my life figured out, but it doesn’t have to be that way, right? What matters is that I am open to the possibilities that life has to offer, and that’s perfectly okay.

 

 

Life Update #10000

It’s  been a while since I last wrote something here. While my last entry was an unpacking of sorts, this entry is more of a life update (as obviously seen in the title), where I talk about things.

Writing 

It’s already my fourth month of funemployment, which also means that I have been working towards my dream for four months already. I have mentioned it in a couple of blog entries before that I have always seen myself as a writer, and that I wanted to make this year as the year where I pursue this dream at a certain capacity.

Continue reading “Life Update #10000”