Liebster Award!

Liebster award

Hello!

I’m posting soon after my last entry because I just received my first ever Liebster award nomination! I am elated! Thanks a bunch to Kirst of lipstickedxo! I’m completely new to blogging and most of the people I follow I actually only started following this week. This is such a fun way to make new connections and create a community. So here’s my post! πŸ˜€

THE RULES

1. You must link back to the person who nominated you;
2. You must answer the 11 questions given to you by the nominee before you;
3. You must list 11 random/fun facts about yourself.
4. You must pick 11 nominees with under 200 (or 2000 if you want to go with that) followers to answer your questions;
5. You cannot nominate the person who nominated you;
6. You must let the people you nominate know they have been nominated

Kirst’s 11 questions:

1. What is the first makeup item you bought for yourself?
Hmm I can’t even remember hahaha. I think it was Maybelline’s Mineral Powder Foundation (sorry, I can’t remember the variant). I distinctly remember how pretty I felt after applying that foundation on hahaha! That was back when I was 11, I think. I have acne, which is probably why that was the first product I bought for myself.
2. Do you have a signature scent or perfume?
Err not really but the scent I wear most of the time is from a baby cologne by a local brand called Bench in Ice Mint. My boyfriend loves the scent, which is why I wear it most of the time hahaha. Otherwise, I wouldn’t really be wearing any. Not a perfume fan.
3. Do you still use anything that you bought (or since repurchased) when you first got into makeup?
Yes! I still have a pot of Maybelline’s Mineral Powder Foundation and I still use the mascaras that I first bought — Maybelline’s The Falsies and Volum’ Express. I guess I’m into Maybelline until now because most of the first products I bought were from them!
4. What is your guilty pleasure?
Sweets! Either chocolates or baked goods! I love Cadbury’s Fruit and Nut variant, I used to finish 200g of that thing! And I bake, so that’s where the baked goods come from haha.
5. Milk, Dark or White Chocolate?
Milk and dark. I find white chocolate too sweet.
6. What is your next makeup purchase going to be?
I’m still not sure, but I’m eyeing a foundation palette from Cinema Secrets for my professional kit.
7. If you could come back as any animal what would it be?
A dog! I love how they relate to humans. If not, a clingy little tarsier or koala just because they’re cute hahaha.
8. What’s on your ultimate pizza?
Lots of cheese! I also like peppers and olives. I dunno how those will come together though. Haha.
9. Do you collect anything other than makeup?
Hmm. Trash? Hahaha! I can’t seem to differentiate a thing of value from one that has none. I’m a hoarder in that sense.
10. What’s one word your best friend would use to describe you?
Mommy! Everyone I get close to call me that at some point.
11. Do you still have anything from your childhood like toys or blankets?
Yes! I still have stuffed toys and some clothes from way back. I’m donating all my stuffed toys to an orphanage this year though. πŸ™‚

My 11 fun facts:

1. I bake and sell my favorites! ❀
2. I choose my friends quite carefully, which is why I don’t have a lot.
3. I want to start a one-stop wedding (or events in general) organizing company in the future.
4. I love to sing!
5. I graduated from Ateneo de Manila University, one of the top local universities, with a degree in Management, cum laude! But I am now a freelance makeup artist. :p
6. I used to be indifferent toward dogs. Now, I love them. I got that from my boyfriend, who loves dogs like I love babies hahaha.
7. I’m a Christ follower! πŸ˜€
8. I’m often a perfectionist and control freak. I try to hold myself back. Haha.
9. I’ve been told so many times that I wanna do too many things.
10. I don’t really like reading, except when it’s about something I’m really interested in. Like makeup. Haha.
11. I originally wanted to pursue a degree in Chemistry! I liked Chemistry back in high school but later realized that I didn’t really want to work as a chemist. I still like Chemistry in general though. See how diverse my interests are? :))))

My 11 questions:
1. What facial feature do you like playing up the most?
2. When, why, and how did you start blogging?
3. Who are the boggers/vloggers you look up to?
4. What’s your ideal vacation/getaway?
5. Do you like the beach? πŸ˜€
6. Have you been to the Philippines! Haha!
7. What comprise your everyday makeup routine?
8. What kind of music do you like best?
9. What was the first makeup product you picked up? (borrowed from Kirst)
10. Do you think you’re pursuing what you were made to do?
11. What’s your favorite skin care product?

My 11 nominees:

Have a great weekend lovelies!

Sydney

Zerotohero Day 1: Passion, Makeup, and Empowerment

Hi and welcome to my blog!

I’m Sydney, freelance makeup artist and now beauty blogger. I studied makeup formally after I quit my first job. Through this blog, I hope to share with others my passion for and everything I know about beauty and makeup and maybe inspire others to pursue their passion, whatever it may be, but most especially for makeup artistry.
My passion for makeup started early on. Back in gradeschool, I remember putting on makeup on my lola (grandmother) every afternoon after school just because I liked to. She was always willing to be my victim then *hehehe*.  I remember using lipstick as blush and applied it to make something like a circle on her cheeks. Our helper then would see my made up lola and would tell me not to apply the blush that way. Haha. I didn’t know better then.

When high school came, I put makeup to school almost everyday. I experimented with different products that were lying around in the house. There were times when I’d put makeup on even if I was just going to stay home the whole day. And my mom would say, Wow, nakamakeup pa ah. I spent countless hours watching makeup tutorials, demonstrations, reviews, tips. Most of the time, I wouldn’t notice the time and just go on and on.

I became much busier in college but I didn’t stop spending time exploring makeup. I wore makeup regularly and tried different products. And on the less busy days, I studied everything makeup-related. :p

I eventually graduated from college cum laude with a degree in Management. The next obvious step was to apply for a job in a company and work, which I did. Makeup was put in the back burner. After all, I knew I liked makeup, but I never thought of making a career out of it. I did want to attend makeup lessons after I graduated for the fun of it, but I didn’t want my parents to pay for that after having put me through an expensive school in college. So right after I graduated, I worked as a Management Trainee. Basically, I was being trained to become one of the managers maybe in a year. Great start for my career, right? I had one problem though. I didn’t like what I was doing. Most of the time, we were actually not doing much. But then again, I was being given a good salary. That would have been really great, right? Getting paid a good salary while not doing much. Isn’t that everyone’s ideal situation?

When I was still in school, about to graduate, my boyfriend asked me a simple yet tough question: what do you really want to be? It’s a common question, yeah? People ask us this question even when we were toddlers. Some common answers from children are to be an astronaut, to be a doctor, to be a firefighter, to be teacher. But when he asked me, I had no answer. But I didn’t think about it too much then. When I was already working and I didn’t like what I was doing, I remembered this question. What do I really want to be? I thought and prayed long and hard about the question, and it was then that I realized that I wanted to be a makeup artist. It was then that I remembered how passionate I actually was for makeup. I remembered how I spent so many hours studying everything makeup-related and how, as a child, I actually spent afternoons making my lola up. I didn’t want to spend another day doing something that I was less than passionate about. I thought life is just too short to be spent that way. That was when I decided to resign from my job and study makeup formally.

Makeup has truly been my passion and it has actually helped me be secure in myself.

I started to have acne breakouts when I was in grade 5. I was nine. I felt quite bad about it, my schoolmates made fun of me because of it, and it was one of the reasons I wore makeup regularly then. I felt embarrassed because of the breakouts I had and I wanted to cover them up. But now, I can go out with the reddest face and still feel confident. What changed?

Now, don’t get me wrong, makeup, in itself, does not make me secure. It helped a lot, yes. But it’s not my security blanket. Sadly, I’ve seen a lot of people, including adults, who find their security in having makeup on, just like I did before. They are the ones who can’t go out or even see friends and relatives without makeup on. They are the ones who are afraid to take their makeup off except when at home. They are the ones who only feel beautiful and confident when they have their makeup on.

Once I joined a makeup workshop. Sitting beside me was a middle-aged woman. Before the whole workshop started, we were asked to remove our makeup if we were wearing any. The woman beside me resisted the request. She said she didn’t want to, or if it was really necessary, maybe she could do so later, right when the workshop is about to start so that the time she will have to endure having bare skin around everyone else. She even said that we might be unpleasantly surprised when she takes her makeup off. These weren’t her exact words but they were something to that effect. She was smiling and laughing while she talked but you could sense that she was really hesitant. Unfortunately, a lot of women are uncomfortable in their own skin and have sought refuge in makeup.

My view of makeup is different. I think it’s a great tool to enhance natural beauty and boost confidence, but it’s not something to hide under. Makeup can give anyone totally different looks. And this made me grasp in a deeper way that appearance is fleeting. I can look this way now and look totally different later. I can have big, round eyes today and have almond eyes tomorrow. I can look however I want with makeup. The way we look is definitely temporary. And understanding that has helped me embrace myself as I am. I am myself no matter how I may look. Yes, the way we look is a gift and is identified with us. But it is not nearly as important as who we are as a person. I better understood that the way we look, however it is, is beside the point. Makeup made me realize that in a more personal way.

Once, I came across an article that expressed a view that makeup was women’s warpaint. The writer repeatedly said in the article that she does not wear makeup for the benefit of others, that they would think she’s pretty, or anything like that. Makeup, according to her, has “never been about other people’s perception of [her].” It was for her. It was her way of “channeling her inner Amazon.” It was a confidence booster. [Read full article here.] And I think that’s a healthy way of viewing makeup. It’s a tool for enhancing what we naturally have, not a security blanket. I wouldn’t mind going out with a bare face because I think I’m beautiful as I am. But makeup is fancy. “Makeup is glam” as Judy from itsjudytime would say. It works the same way as power dressing. It makes us feel a little more assertive and commanding. It just makes us feel good about ourselves.

More than that, I think makeup empowers. As I’ve said, it’s a tool to enhance natural beauty. Some people use makeup so that others would look beyond their physical appearance and get to know them for who they are as a person. We can’t deny that perception rules in our society. People readily judge us based on the way we look. Although I am definitely not in favor of that way of thinking, sometimes, I do find myself judging others by their physical appearance as well, even if unconsciously. This is especially true in our era, when everything is photoshopped to ideals. I’ll give extreme examples to better illustrate my point. When we see strangers who have extensive skin discoloration or acute acne, our initial reaction would be that we don’t really want to be around them, if we were to be honest. At that point, we lose the chance to get to know this stranger. We’ve let his physical appearance define him for us. And that’s sad. To get past this prejudice and to give others the chance to get to know them more, some use makeup. In that way, they are able to show others who they truly are. They are given opportunities as readily as anyone else is with the help of a little makeup. They are treated the way they should be in the first place — normal people with some imperfections. See what I mean in the videos below:

With makeup, we would readily be friends with them. When we become friends with them, we would be more accepting of their imperfections. We probably wouldn’t even mind anymore. All because we’ve already known them for who they are as persons already. They’ve been empowered by makeup in an area of vulnerability.

Makeup has worked the same way for me. How about you? How has makeup empowered you?

Sydney

Good Grief

What great faith.

Jordan & Cady Lewis

My Dear Community,Β 

Thank you for your love and prayers. Thank you for the encouragement and support. Thank you for standing with me during this time of grief.Β 

Two months ago from today, I held the hand of my first love and kissed his lips as he breathed his last breath. Jordan walked bravely into the arms of the One whom he lived to serve and love. If I could describe the final moment of his life, I could only paint in such a way: I watched his spirit slip out of the beaten, earth-ridden body and walk into an everlasting life. I felt his life leave his body as I kissed him one last time. He fought with everything and loved everyone intentionally through the most morbid experience of death I have ever witnessed.Β 

God, my heart is heavy. My heart is torn. I’ve been hit. But You are…

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Wakeboarding: Simple yet counterintuitive

On the first Friday of May, we went wakeboarding for the first time. There was a small group of people joining us that morning and we were to take turns riding. Since it was our first time, the cable operator (also the facilitator) told us what to do when the cable starts pulling us. The instructions were pretty simple: hold onto the handle with both hands but really gripping only with the dominant hand and the other for support, bend forward, and let the cable pull you. Never pull the cable toward you.

So off we went with our first tries. Guess what, everyone in line pulled on the cable. And then the facilitator repeated the one thing he would keep on repeating the whole time we were there: Don’t pull on the cable.

It was so simple, but come to think of it, when you begin falling backward (as you are most likely to), what would you do? Wouldn’t you pull on the cable to help yourself get back up? I think that’s what everyone tried to do. But every single time we pulled on the cable, we fell. At first, it didn’t make sense. Not until the facilitator explained why we shouldn’t pull on the cable.

When we are standing on solid ground, we pull ourselves up with a string when we fall backward and we are able to get up. Right. It works because we are standing on a stable surface. But when we are standing on water with a board, that never works. When we try to pull ourselves up, the board always slides forward, and we fall completely into the water. That’s because we aren’t standing on solid ground or a stable surface. Water is fluid and will move and shape itself according to how you move.  And then it made sense.

But understanding the concept wasn’t as easy as actually executing it. We then knew and understood that we shouldn’t pull on the cable, but we instinctively did. The reason why we couldn’t help but pull on the cable even though we knew it was the reason we fell each time was that it was counterintuitive not to! We are used to solid ground. We are used to the principles that operate on solid ground.

On my very first try, my body actually tensed up badly probably out of panic. My muscles suddenly became tight and sore. I started to shake lightly but uncontrollably. I dismissed it and continued trying to ride. Riding the first few times felt like such a struggle, actually. I felt overwhelmed when the cable started pulling, and my body still became stiff although not as much as it did during my first try. And I kept falling in the first maybe third or quarter of the length of the course. And then I’d have to wait for my turn again, just to fall. Again. I just couldn’t get it right. I told the facilitator that when the cable starts to pull me, things to do while riding come flooding into my mind. He then told me, kalimutan mo na lahat, basta ‘wag mo lang hilahin. (Forget everything I said. Just remember not to pull on the cable.)

I eventually got tired of falling every single time so I began to focus on not pulling on the cable. Haha! I really did have to focus on that single thing, and the first time I did that, I got to ride through maybe half the stretch of the course. How did it feel? Well, it felt great that I was able to ride that far! Haha. I was actually the first in the group to be able to ride that far. But another very noticeable thing was that I rode with much ease. I just let the cable pull me, and I effortlessly rode on with the subtle waves of the water. I just had to be still, bent down and holding onto the handle. It felt so light. After that, I just kept on improving. I rode farther each time.

I didn’t get to ride around the whole course tho. 😦 maybe next time. Hehe. Btw, those were my parents in the background, sorry. :))

I find this experience quite similar with our experience with God. Often, God gives us simple instructions. Yet we have a difficult time actually living them out because they run against the principles of the world, which we are so used to. The world tells us to rely primarily on ourselves while God tells us to rely wholly on Him. The world tells us to hold on while God tells us to let go. The world tells us to try even harder while God tells us to surrender even more. God gives us simple yet counterintuitive instructions. They may not make sense at first, but they eventually do. And he repeatedly reminds us about them, just like the facilitator did.

Like my first try riding, we sometimes feel like following God’s instructions is such a struggle, and we’re so confused and overwhelmed by all the things that are happening at once because our ways are so different. Or sometimes, because we are so used to performing and proving ourselves worthy, all 101 to-dos and rules that religion may have taught us weigh us down. But when we just ride on God’s grace and stop striving, it suddenly feels so light. This doesn’t just apply to those who are new in Christ. In fact, this is our everyday life as Christians. We do things in our own strength, we start falling, we strive even more to get back up, and we just fall even more. And then we say, I’m tired of falling. Lord, take control, lead the way, I’m just gonna cling to you. And then we stand amazed at how far we go when we just let the waves of God’s grace carry us through.

Romans 12:2
Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will isβ€”his good, pleasing and perfect will.

2 Corinthians 12:9a
But he said to me, β€œMy grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”

Quick tip: How to deal with brows with scars

Hey everyone! So I recently posted a basic guide on how to do brows. Now, I’m doing a follow-up because I know some people deal with this problem: brow scars. I’m going to share a tip I learned in makeup school. I use this on myself because I actually have a scar on my left eyebrow (I think from chickenpox).

 
If you have scars on your brows, you will notice that powders and pencils don’t adhere very well to the scar itself. A remedy to that is to first use a gel liner on the area of the scar. For best results, use one that is of the same color as what you’re going to fill the rest of your brows with. You can use an angled brush or any brush you’re comfortable using. You will find that you will be able to actually draw on the scar with a gel liner. After which, tap on some brow powder right on top of the gel liner you just applied. Just gently push the powder onto the gel.
 
I prefer to use this technique after I’ve made the rest of my brows already. I find it easier to work that way. I’ve also used this technique on a model and it worked quite well. 
 
Mae Olayta_brow scar
 
She actually has a scar from a cut on her right eyebrow (left when you’re looking at her). Well, no trace of the scar after using this technique. πŸ˜‰
 
Give this tip a try and I hope it works wonders for you as it does for me! Send in a photo if you can. I’d love to see them. πŸ™‚ also, if you found this tip helpful, please do share it with your girlfriends. They’ll love you for it!
 
 
Hoping to empower you,
 
Sydney
 

How to do brows: A basic guide

To be honest, before I went to makeup school, doing my brows was the last thing I paid attention to when I wore makeup. Now, when I go out, I have to do my brows. Hahaha. It’s because my brows are quite short and my left brow has a big gap (I think from a chickenpox scar) toward the tail. 😦 eyebrows do frame the face and affect your overall look, and well-groomed brows instantly make you neater-looking. After reading this post, I hope you also get to appreciate doing your brows. πŸ™‚

Before I went to makeup school, I had watched a lot of videos and read a lot of articles about doing brows, but I never really learned how to do it until I actually tried it out myself. So after reading this, I do hope you really try doing your brows yourself. πŸ™‚

Eyebrow Shaping and Grooming

As a general rule, we refer to the following:

Keep in mind that this is a general rule. Different faces are suited by different brow shapes and thickness. Don’t be afraid to experiment and find out what shape suits you best! I personally don’t follow the general rule and keep my brows a bit shorter and my arches a bit farther out than the ideal and are not as highly arched because that’s the way I like them. πŸ˜‰ two things though: (1) I think that brows should taper to a point (or at least almost, again depending on your preference) toward the tail whatever the brow shape you choose for yourself; and (2) try not to overpluck. Overplucked brows generally make you look older than you really are.

If your brows do not yet follow the shape and thickness that you want, you can shave or pluck the unwanted hairs and trim those that you think are too long. Just try it out. Before, I was also so afraid that I might make some really bad mistakes in doing my brows. I did, but they grew back anyway hahaha. And you can always draw them on. :p so don’t be too afraid to start grooming them. Start plucking, shaving, trimming little by little until you get your desired shape and thickness. πŸ™‚

Filling in the brows

When you are happy with the shape of your brow, you can start filling them in. As a general rule regarding color: those with dark-colored hair can wear their brows one to two shades lighter than (current) hair color while those with light-colored hair can wear their brows one to two shades darker than (current) hair color. Too fill you brows in, you can use pencils, liquids, gel liners, brows gels (which are really popular in Manila now haha), or powders. [I’ll write a separate entry differentiating the formulas.] For everyday wear, you want your brows to just look well-groomed and not drawn on. Remember to use a light hand when filling in your brows. It is easier to add than to take away in this case. πŸ™‚ also, don’t worry if your brows don’t end up perfectly even or symmetrical. Brows can be sisters and not twins, too. πŸ˜‰ ready?

Start by drawing your upper and lower outlines of the brow. After which, start filling in. As you reach the part of the brows toward the nose, you can just drag or feather in color as you don’t want your brows to look so harsh. I prefer to make them a bit round and not very angular. You can do the filling in as lightly or as heavily as you like. You can also use an eyebrow brush or comb to soften your brows, especially when you use pencils or gel liners to fill in.

Brow brushes

For those with fuller brows (including myself), there will be relatively less work for us to do in filling the brows. Sometimes, we just need to fill in a few areas and emphasize the arch. For those with thinner brows, you get to draw your brows on more. πŸ™‚

When you are happy with how your brows look, you can highlight under and above them (especially the arch area) to make them pop even more or you can leave them as is.

I hope this helps! Give doing your brows a try and let me know what you think. If you found this helpful, please do share it with your girlfriends. πŸ™‚ also, you can send me photos of your brows after following this! If you’re not happy with the way your brows turned out, let me know and I’ll try my best to give you tips as needed. If you think you need a video to better understand this, let me know as well.

Hoping to empower you,

Sydney

P.S. Thank to Mae for the question! Hope this helps you!

More tips on eye makeup? Check out my previous posts on the best waterproof eyeliner and on curling eyelashes!