Sunday, March 30, 2014

Putting Radiant in Radiant Orchid!

I'm one of the many delighted people to hear that radiant orchid is the color of the year. I love lilac and purple for the longest time, making me convinced that I'm somehow qualified to be a Unicorn member if I were in Sweet Valley. I knew it's going to be a fab year! Fast forward today, I'm still unable to maximize the purple eye pencil I bought earlier this year. Ningas cogon, no? Well, THAT and my lack of makeup know-hows. 

So I reached out to beauty blogger/freelance makeup artist Jolly Moly for some help. We both agree that radiant orchid flatters both mestiza and morena. The secret, according to her, is to veer away from combining the fuschia, purple and pink undertones in one look. Instead, choose which undertone to use and decide on your focal point (whether eyes or lips). 

See? Radiant orchid on mestiza and morena

Let us show you how to do the day-to-night look using radiant orchid in these easy steps:

Day Makeup
1.)   Apply eye shadow primer to your eyelids up to the brow bone.
2.)   Apply the lightest purple eye shadow all over the eyelids.
3.)   Apply the darker purple eye shadow on your crease and make little strokes in the outer V of the eyes.
4.)   Apply white eyeliner to brighten the eyes.
5.)   Use the darkest purple eye shadow to line your lower lash line.
6.)   Apply eyeliner to the upper lash line.
7.)   Curl your eyelashes.
8.)   Apply several coats of mascara. Make sure to do it while the first coats are still wet, otherwise it will result in clumps.
Night Makeup
9.)   Add black eye shadow to the outer V carefully in outlining the crease.
10.) Mix it with a clean blending brush.
Day-to-night look. Photos by Jolly Moly.


This entry appeared on's Beauty & Fashion section. Check out the article here

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Bag of Tricks: How To Pamper Your Favorite Accessory

NOTE: This write-up is published under the Beauty & Fashion section of Read it here

It may be true that not all bags are created equal, but they all need attention to maximize their function and aesthetic appeal. Just like how we lavish our skin with cleansers, moisturizers and toners, our beloved bags deserve the same amount of preventive care. So how exactly do we keep them stain-free and damage-free? For a total burara like myself, I seriously need to know how. 


For hair and makeup artist/bag collector Carla Excella, she keeps her designer bags inside their respective dust bags when not in use. This will prevent each prized item from gathering dust and getting scratched by family members or pets. She also ensures she has silica gel pouch inside her bag closet for moisture absorption. She warns that moisture leads to growth of molds that will mar the design and lower its value.

When accidental bag collector/blogger Rome Espinosa suddenly became a temporary owner of this pre-owned Louis Vitton leather bag, he kept it inside a sealed plastic bag. It may not be stored in the dust bag it was originally from, but it remains in good condition after 3 months. 

To retain the bag's shape, training manager Mia Yrreverre Abendan finds it imperative to fill the entire bag with crumpled paper before placing it inside a cotton or satin drawstring bag for storage. According to her, no bag - branded or otherwise - deserves to be folded.

Some bags, particularly the straps or handles, are made of vanchetta (untreated leather). It tends to darken or discolor due to exposure to weather, sunlight and oil from skin. While the latter is unavoidable, it is recommended not to hold the bags after applying beauty products particulatly hand creams and sunscreen lotion.

For bags with chain handles, keep the chain inside the bag to prevent friction with the outside leather that will lead to scratches.

Just hook it!

There's no telling what harmful chemicals are present in the places we frequent to. Hence, it is advisable to refrain from leaving your bags on the floor. While in a restaurant or salon, for example, it's a no-no to hang your bags at the back of your chair due to security risks.

Thanks to this not-so-recent invention called bag hooks, we can hang our bags at the edge of a table without worrying about its exposure to bacteria and stains. For some brands, the hook can carry as much as 34 pounds! Good news for women who love 'em big!

Carla finds this device useful only for tougher leathers but never for lamb skin leather bags. Since it is made of softer material, it may end up being detached. Project Manager Kristina Rita, however, would rather ask for an extra seat for her bag than take the risk.

Bag hook in action!


While some bags can get away with the wash-and-wear or faded look, designer ones come with cleaning instructions. 

Mia applies leather conditioner on her beloved bags every other week using pranela. Some cleaners/conditioners come with a cloth, but if there's none, she makes sure to use the softest cloth especially for soft leather.

Trisha Cruz-Cuason of Vintage Restore says bag owners should be mindful of the amount of cleaners and conditioners applied. Too much cleaner can discolor the leather, while too much conditioner can alter its softness and texture. She advises conditioners should only be used when the need arises or when the sheen of the leather starts to wane.

It is also important to determine the leather type before looking for cleaners to use. There is a particular cleaner for shiny leather, matte leather, suede leather and patent leather. 

If you are into hand-woven bags just like me, never use wet cloth for cleaning. For rattan bags, apply a small amount of premium antique wax or simply any floor wax and use a soft brush (for shoe cleaning) after 10 minutes. According to sculptor/painter Clinton Anniversario, polishing it once a month will help it preserve the color and shine. 

Rattan bags
Photo from Clinton Anniversario

To preserve hand-woven bags made of sodsod leaves that are endemic in Bukidnon (remember this entry?), bookkeeper Lorie Rago-Marte uses clean, dry cloth to wipe off dirt and stains when necessary. Using wet cloth will damage the color and texture of the bags. During our interview, she mentioned Bukidnon Arts & Crafts will be working on waterproof bags in the near future. 

Sodsod bags
Photo from Lorie

Professional Help

How to tell if your bag's damage were beyond your own powers? According to Vintage Restore, you could save your bag and save costs at the same time for seeking professional help for cases wherein the leather is extremely cracked and discolored, the bag stains your hands when you fish for something inside, when the zipper and other metal parts had gone rusty, when the fabric is extremely untidy, when there are jean stains and other sort of stains on the leather, when the leather got twisted out of shape due to extreme humidity, detached and unstitched parts, among others.

See how Vintage Restore saved a deformed Hermes bag
Photo lifted from Vintage Restore's fanpage

Mia admits that she never attempts to wash bags with special fabric (like Fendi) herself. Her friend once committed the mistake of having her Coach bag's zipper taken care of in a more accessible shop, but it ended up being further damaged. It may be expensive to bring her designer bags to a bag doctor for cleaning and restoration, but Mia is truly convinced it's all worth it.

Here's a little roundup of bag restoration shops in the metro:

1. Bag Rx
2. Besa's

Saturday, March 1, 2014

WORLD PREMIERE: That Bejeweled Skull Blouse + Crumpled Leggings

How I love this skull blouse that I found inside my closet one weekend! Turns out my mum had a successful trip to an ukay ukay shop (something she learned from me, yay!) and she found this top to be too loose for her. Who wouldn't be willing to take it, right?

When I was about to leave home for work yesterday, she gave me a disapproving look of my all-black ensemble and handed me a better pair of leggings from her own closet. I initially mistook it as curtains due to its crumpled fabric, but later on realized its feminine appeal gave a cool contrast to my punk rock-inspired top. 

Just like my mum, I felt it's kinda loose, lengthy and unflattering. But I really had to leave for work and I had no time to rummage for other outfits. To my surprise, I received a lot of compliments from my colleagues for this awesome look. Can't wait to wear it again!

What I enjoyed the most about this outfit? The fact that my mudra actually styled me. She stopped doing so since I went to college and I must admit I somehow missed it. Just a little bit. 

Wearing stuff from my mum's closet (except lace flats)

Outfit of the Day:
Bejeweled skull blouse from ukay ukay
Crumpled leggings from mum
Lace flats from Solemate (SM)