Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Foundation Series for Oily / Combination Skin: EPISODE 01 - MAC Studio FIx Fluid

MAC Studio Fix has been my HG foundation for the last 5years. 

I’ve finished bottles and bottles of this baby. As we all know, MAC has one of the best color selection for foundations. I’m NC37 btw and because all foundations oxidize on me, it initially applies lighter on my skin and perfectly blends after a while.

This foundation finishes demi-matte on my skin. It has medium coverage which is buildable and I have tried spot concealing with this baby. But, I have to say after a while, the foundation melts and blends on your skin, the camouflaged spots will show up. I was suggested initially to do this method by the SA but it did not work on my oily skin. So if you need extra coverage, I suggest using a concealer.

swatch with camera flash
swatch on natural light

Finish is very good and can last for hours and hours even after a few times of blotting. It may even look naturally dewy as the day passes and it’s beautiful. It has never looked cakey and looks more like a second skin but of course should be applied well.

As for application, I use a round top or flat top kabuki brush for more coverage and a beauty blender on days that my skin is more forgiving and I have less to conceal. What can be helpful too is after going through a kabuki brush, you finish the application with light taps of a beauty blender.

I know you probably heard this advice many times but make sure to color match the foundation on your face near the jaw and see how it matches to your neck and your body. While it may be good to swatch on your hand, remember that the skin on your hand and face are totally different. The foundation blends differently since you have more oils on your skin. As you can see on my swatches, the foundation when blended appears to be matte but it applies demi-matte or glowy the rest of the day on my face. 

This is a very good foundation for everyday use since it gives a very natural finish especially when you color match well, and though it has SPF15, it photographs very well with just a natural glow on your face and not an obvious white cast.

This is that foundation that I will continuously purchase and will always have on my vanity table. It is still is my go to and my HG foundation. 

If you have further questions about this product, drop a comment below and I will do my best to answer each query.

Have a beautiful day!


Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Foundation Series for Oily / Combination Skin

Let me start the revival of this blog with a foundation series which will feature my top 5 high end foundations ranging from Medium Coverage to Full.  I’ve been currently using all of them on rotation depending on my current skin condition.

We will be featuring the following products:

EPISODE 01: MAC Studio Fix Fluid (NC37)

EPISODE 02: Makeup Forever Ultra HD Foundation (123)

EPISODE 03: Estee Lauder Double Wear Foundation (3W2 Cashew)

EPISODE 04: Too Faced Born This Way Foundation (Natural Beige)

EPISODE 05: Kat Von D Lock It Foundation (Medium 53 Warm)

We will feature these products

The different shades I use for each brand


This series is part of my quest for finding my holy grail foundation, so each item was tried and tested several times for quite some time already. To add to that,  I want to observe how each product affects my very sensitive and oily skin.

To know more about this series please watch out for my upcoming blogs.


Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Product Review: Proven Beauty Product Which Solved my Pimple & SkinDiscoloration Problem!

*Update 16 July 2014

Okay guys just an update. Remember how I mentioned below that I will try to use it on my underarms? Well, after two weeks of use, my underarms is now as fair as the rest of my arms. It's not totally white (yet). I think that would be a bit funny when you have whiter underarms compared to the rest of your arms.. just my opinion though. Actually the effect was quicker, after a week I have seen changes. My underarms went through micro peeling as well but no noticeable and it doesn't burn or sting. I still use my Nivea Deodorant after I have applied Beauche. I also noticed a smoother complexion apart from the whitening. My underarms will probably lighten more with continuous use. I might stop it at one point when I am happy with the shade of my underarm skin. Then will repeat the process after a few months maybe as maintenance.
I really love this product. I'm really telling you ladies (and gentlemen) this product I will use forever!!!

02 July 2014

When I moved to Dubai 7 years ago I had to adjust to many things. It was my first time to live with people who's not family nor relative. I had to adjust to the way of living here because it is a conservative country. 

Physically, my body did a lot of adjustments as well. There's the hot weather, the skin-drying water and I had several issues in finding the right products that works for me. Remember my post on finding my HG Shampoo just recently that you can read from here. It took me 7years to find the perfect shampoo and conditioner which is balanced to the PH of my body and the water here.. whew! I had nightmares of the worst dandruff experience in my life on my first month in UAE. Oh boy it was just terrible. 

Another big problem I had here is my skin. I had terrible breakouts. Believe it or not, I was crying and I became depressed. I couldn't even look at myself in the mirror. It was horrible. 
Until I found Beauche.

This is not an advertorial. If you are a reader of my blog, you know that I never endorse products that I don't believe in and never experienced first hand. And also, I am not paid to endorse products, I just want to share my personal experience to help which could be a solution to people having the same problems.  

Going back to Beauche, I have been using his product for the last 3 and a half years and is my HG beauty regimen. I have to admit that I was hesitant at first because I have already tried many other products because of my desperation. I spent a lot of money with dermatologists, Dermalogica and Obagi. Obagi improved my skin a bit, but it was too strong and it burnt a hole in my pocket, apart from that, it did not totally clear up my skin. 

One day my hair dresser introduced me to Beauche. She told me about her daughter using this product and helped eliminate her pimples. She sold it to me for a whole set for the amount of 140AED. It comes with a soap, several creams and toners. I did not hesitate because compared to how much I was spending that time on my Obagi products, it was cheap. Imagine, I was already using Obagi then but my pimples and pimple marks are still terrible which was actually the reason why she told me to try it. Back then I just thought, what the heck, I wont lose anything if I try it. I've tried many other products and so far nothing was successful. Why not?

These are the things that came with 140AED. 

Not bad right? A small paper with instructions on how to use it is part of the whole kit. make sure to follow the instructions religiously specially the ice on the face in the morning. 

So.. the verdict..and this is me writing with all honesty based on first hand experience. I cannot live without it. It has been my HG beauty regimen for more than three years now. 

The soap smells nice.. kinda orange-y scent. It's easy to use, no need to leave it for a few minutes whatsoever. Just use like a normal face soap. Wet your face, lather soap on hand then on face gently then wash with water. done. 

First few days, I already felt some changes on my skin.. It is less oily and it became tight because of the initial micro peeling. 

Did I peel? yes, but it was so mild (micro peeling) that I did not look horrible whatsoever, it's unnoticeable. I was able to still use my normal makeup after applying the Age Eraser Cream.

After a week my skin is really different.. more smooth.. and pimples are drying up. I heard that on some, on the first to second week, they developed a few pimples. Which is normal. This happens to any product you use because your skin is adjusting to the product. But as I said, only on some. I did not experience this, in fact it dried up my pimples.

Continuous use made my skin radiant and pimples subsided, I could say more or less gone.. and I'm saying this because I would still get a pimple or two when I have my monthly visitor.. But if I'm lucky.. nothing at all.. 

I got complimented by friends whom have not seen me for some time because my pimples were gone and the marks too. Since I am more on the olive skin tone, my pimple marks my pimple marks were really dark. All that, was gone too. 

I noticed also that when I would have occasional breakouts, the pimples dry up more quickly and the area where you have the pimple dries up, then peels. As long as you dont prick them, the marks are very light and goes away quickly. 

Another thing is, my forehead used to be darker than the rest of my face, Beauche helped correcting this by making my skin color even. 

I'm really satisfied with this product and it's now part of my daily beauty regimen for the last 3 and a half years. I's so easy to use and I can still use my daily makeup with it. 

Beauche can be used by both men and women of all ages. It is not a solution just for pimples but also discoloration and uneven skin tone due to aging and over sun exposure. All it takes is just a few minutes of your mornings and at night as well as patience.

I have recently tried using it for my underarms since I was told you can use it to lighten your underarms. This I will have to write back an update. 

The beauty set comes with a leaflet with instructions of use..
Make sure to religiously follow it. It is your guide to beautiful skin in two weeks.. or with some in seven days..

For my readers in UAE, you can purchase Beauche beauty set for only 85AED ($25) (Yeah! the lady who sold it to me first time and ripped me off.. but I don't take it against her, in the end she introduced me to this wonder!) from this link.

For international readers who want to try it, drop me a message or a comment with your email and I will see how I can help in getting this product for you! 

Let me know your experience once you've tried this miracle wonder. This is the product that I cannot live without, and I am saying this without exaggeration. I have been using it for more than three years now and has kept my skin fair and pimple free.

I hope this post helps specially my readers in UAE. Bad skin is a prevailing problem here due to water and the weather and this is the proven solution. 



Tuesday, July 15, 2014

House Renovation Project - Dubai

This is a house renovation we did located at Springs, Dubai back 2012.  
Our client was an Indian Family of four. They are Hindu so they have these Vasthu beliefs that we had to consider when we did the renovation. It is actually their main reason for this change. They have a limited budget since it is not their permanent house, as the lady of the house said, Dubai is not their permanent residence so they do not want to spend much. 

I will show you photos of before and after for this project.  Shall we?

This is the existing view of the Foyer and Living Room..

and I came up with several options for this area.. it was a bit of a discussion with the client because they were a bit confused of what they want.. 

I initially gave them this..
The wall of that library is connected all the way to the dining and the family room.. I wanted to unify the three rooms with a long library. That was my concept. Very modern. A sculpture in a corner and clean colors with accents. 
But then.. it's not what they wanted.. in the end we realized they did not understand what "Modern Architecture" is.. Frankly, what I proposed wasn't even too modern because I gave consideration on their personality after having been to their house and meeting them. That's when you get the sort of feel of how you can please your client. 
We ended up with this as final design.. which they were still not very convinced by the way..
They mislead us with their understanding of "modern" architecture. It was after the first presentation that we had the understanding of what they really wanted. We heard that they did not do this

Here is the view of the dining room which is connected to the living room..

Please take note of that fixed window.. We didnt know why they did that.. could be because of Vasthu.. 
and this is m original proposal..
I used stained glass on that window.. had this element on the left side. A low cabinet going from dining to family room (which is covered that wall which is a part of a fireplace). If you try to see the wall on the right.. that's the long wall library that I proposed to connect the three spaces.. 

But of course they didn't want this and we revised it according to their taste..without changing much of the initial design..

They wanted chandeliers.. so we had similar chandelier design with the living room since both rooms are connected..

Now let's go to the family room. This is actually an added space they did for this renovation. It was usually an outdoor terrace and since you cannot stay outdoors most of the time in this country due to the heat, they decided to close it up. 

The room opens up to their garden.. 
and this is my initial proposal..
again you will see that low cabinet on the left which was connected to the dining area, and that library on the right which was connected to the dining and the living room..
I wanted continuity since it is one big space.. 

I had to revise this one and I tried to keep the elements and change finishes as to how I think they would like..
a touch of wood is what they wanted and those horrible ceiling fans.. I hated those.. but they waned it so.. what to do?
This change wasn't so bad, I actually like this too.. apart from the ceiling fans..

Then we have the kitchen.. what they wanted was to use all IKEA. This is the relocated kitchen space..
I love IKEA. They have cheap stuff that aren't bad. I would spend hours their looking at every corner of the store for something interesting.

I initially gave a fresh and vibrant palette for their kitchen.. and here are the views..

I like this..
Unfortunately they didn't want the colors. They wanted black granite.. so here's the one that got approved..

It's not bad as well.. 

Now let's go to the Master Bedroom.. This was one of the difficult rooms.. There were many restrictions like ceiling heights and also because the client was really more into personalizing it.. This is the original bedroom
Sorry for the shot.. we used an old camera when we took the photos on site.. 
This is my original proposed design..
those things in the back are mirrors which would give the room more depth. Then a nice textured wallpaper on one side as a feature. I proposed these upholstered headboard which goes up to the ceiling. 
They didn't want this so after long discussions and several revisions this is the final design for the Master Bedroom.. of course with the ceiling fan again.. i wish i could remove that!
and this is the Master Bathroom..
I gave the lady of the house her mini Spa. 

That's it. Let me know your thoughts..



Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Product Review: Petra Uplifitng Salt Scrub and Dead Sea Mud Soap

Chief went home one day with this..
and this is what's inside..
He was a bit skeptical and was apologizing when he was giving me the bag from Petra.He was explaining that he is not trying to intervene with my beauty rituals but just thought I might want to try these new things.  He looked so worried and cute at the same time lol!

Who would be angry when you receive little surprises right? But I understand where the worry comes from though. I have very sensitive skin and I cannot use anything randomly. This is why I only buy familiar products which I know works well for me. I am quite scared to try new products because of this.

Going back to Chief, I started laughing and I gave him a hug for the little surprise. I also know what made him buy the stuff. You see, Petra products are sold on those kiosks in the middle of the mall and the sales reps would really insist you try their products. I can imagine him being convinced by these ladies to buy the product and he was not able to say no. I started teasing him about it. 

He was explaining that he just thought since the product was all natural from the dead sea, it could be nice and I might not be allergic. It was funny when he told me how he picked the cucumber scent for the scrub and not the coconut because he knew I don't like the scent of coconut on me. The lady asked if he wanted the cucumber or the coconut for the scrub he immediately answered cucumber.. he said that in his mind he was saying.. "No Coconut for my baby! She doesn't like it!" He is just adorable!

I tried the mud soap on my face. 

It was really gentle and smooth. If only I didn't have the problem of pimples because of the water here (yes, i am that sensitive.. the water here gives me pimples and I have proven this) I would continue using this soap. I had to go back to my regular facial soap because though this product gives smooth, soft and supple skin, it does not stop my pimples. I had to go back to my Beauche Beauty Soap which is my HG Face Soap. I wrote about this from a previous blog entry that you can read here
I recommend this soap for those who don't have pimple problems. It will help give a smooth, soft and supple skin. I love the soap, I only wish I did not have the pimple problem (caused by water here). I am reserving to take the soap for my out of the country trips where the water is more gentle on my face. 

The next product inside the bag is the Uplifiting Salt Scrub in Cucumber..

This body scrub is magical! I just love how it smells and how it makes my skin so smooth and soft after use. It is recommended that you only use this scrub twice a week. 

The sea salt scrub has this yummy cucumber scent (also available in coconut) and you should rub it gently on your skin. After washing, you can feel a soft and moisturized skin. Towel dry and I don't think you even have to put lotion after. Try to feel your skin after use and see the difference. 

Chief was happy that the product worked well for me. He said to tell him when I am running out so he can buy them again. My sweet man!

Again, let me just mention that this is not a paid nor sponsored review. I am sharing my first hand experience on trying the products I write about. I aim to help people and not to advertise. 

Petra Products are available on malls here in UAE. I saw a kiosk in Mirdif City Center near Carrefour Supermarket and another in Festival City on the aisle towards Marks & Spencer.

Has any of you tried Petra products? I am curious on how the other product works. So far I am loving their Cucumber Uplifting Salt Scrub. Please share your experience too!  



Tuesday, May 20, 2014

[ARchicTECT Baking Adventure #06] Yummy Pistachio Buttercream Frosting

Hey Everyone! As promised on my previous blog I am sharing the pistachio buttercream frosting I used as filling for my Macarons. 

The ingredients are:
- 1 cup (200g) of granulated sugar
- 3 eggs
- 1/2 cup (50g) ground pistachios
- 1cup & 2 tbsp. (230g) chilled unsalted butter

Pretty simple right?? But the taste?? Amazing! 

Let's make our frosting shall we?

1. Beat together sugar and eggs on one bowl with an electric mixer at high speed. You want your batter to double in volume & become fluffy

This is how it should look like after mixing..
2. Pour the mixture in a saucepan & stir in ground pistachios. 

3. Heat over medium temperature & stirring continuously until the mixture forms a compact batter.
4. Pour in a container and cover with plastic wrap and chill in the fridge.
5. Cut up butter in small pieces and beat in a bowl until it expands in volume & becomes fluffy.

This is the consistency we are aiming for..
6. Add the chilled pistachio batter onto the butter mixture & whip again..
7. Mix thoroughly and refrigerate until it's time to use them..

Here's my pistachio buttercream in a piping bag ready for my macarons..
Pipe into your macarons and enjoy!

This is a really yummy frosting and I got a lot of positive remarks on my Macaron di Paris for this. Everyone just loved the filling. 

I hope once again I inspired you guys to bake. I will be posting a lot of stuff related to baking in the coming weeks since this has been my favorite activity for my weekends. 

I don't know with you guys but it just gives a good feeling of accomplishment every time I bake specially when I get things done correctly & I receive good compliments for it. 

It is quite difficult at first to perfect things from baking but remember not to give up when you make mistakes and just keep on practicing. 

The only downside of this is Chief & myself have increased our waistlines!! lol!! I think I should go slow on it!

Give this frosting a try and it should not fail to impress!