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“Good makeup starts with good skin.”

In the Glamourbox Personal Makeup Workshop last year, our resident makeup artist, Au Mauricio, opened her workshop with this line—and it has stuck with me ever since.

Being a beauty junkie and working with Glamourbox has influenced me to horde makeup, but before using any of these products on my face, I make sure my skin is clear and acne-free.

Like most Filipinas, I unfortunately suffer from oily skin. And sometimes, when I use products that don’t work well with it, I tend to break out — and this could take a week or two to clear up, which means I’m not allowed to use any of my makeup until the scars and marks completely fade.

Which brings me to this question — how do you get rid of acne for good?

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When the -ber months come rolling in, I tend to gravitate towards deep red or berry lipsticks. Glosses and satin finishes are fine, but sometimes for a more dramatic look, matte lips are more appropriate. One thing you should remember when wearing matte lipsticks is to prime your lips beforehand.

Here are some tips on how to properly prep your lips:

Exfoliate

You can use a very soft toothbrush with petroleum jelly to gently exfoliate the lips, but I prefer using the Ellana Lip Scrub in Strawberry Vanilla for a more sensual experience. It contains sugar and being a natural abrasive, it can remove dead cells easily. Sugar is also considered as one of the best natural exfoliants. This locally made lip scrub also smells heavenly — almost good enough to eat!

Hydrate

After you’ve sloughed off the dead skin cells, it’s time to moisturize the lips. I always use my favorite Hurraw! Lip Balm in Mint which is 100% vegan and slightly cooling. Moisturizing your lips is also very important as matte formulations tend to dry out the lips. 

Conceal

To really make matte lips pop, apply concealer all over your lips to create the perfect base for color. Using a precison tip brush, you can also use the same concealer to “erase” any mistakes while applying lipstick.

Which berry shade will you be wearing this Fall? Share them with me in the comments! I think I’ll be using my tried and tested Pixi Tinted Brilliance Balm in Bitten Berry ;)

xoxo,

Image credit: http://essentialhealth.com/

The Vain Mama Reviews: Not just for the kiddos

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The “Beauties & Babies” curated selection is one of my favorite Glamourbox sets to date. It contains products that can be shared by moms & kids alike. Here are some tips & tricks for some of my best picks from the box:

1. MUSTELA PHYSIOBEBE Cleansing Fluid

This is a super mild no rinse cleanser that dissolves dirt on its own. I’ve used this for myself as a quick make-up remover when in a pinch.

2. MUSTELA Vitamin Barrier Cream

Yes this is meant for nappy changes to avoid skin rashes and irritations, but we also discovered that you can use this as a soothing balm for minor insect bits or rashes as well! The cooling sensation helps to calm itchy spots and stop the kids from scratching.

3. MESSY BESSY Bug Repellent Cologne

This is a great double purpose cologne that can be shared by the whole family while staying protected. For major outdoor activity, we like to layer with a lotion insect repellant to ensure ultimate protection.

4. MESSY BABY Toy & Surface Cleaner

This is great and handy to bring along to ensure a germ-free environment at all times. I’ve also used this to do a quick clean of my own make-up brushes when am travelling and don’t have the time to do a thorough cleansing.

Hope these give you ideas on how you can make products work double or even triple-time for you and the family!

Cheers,

Vanessa aka #thevainmama

"Don’t you think daisies are the friendliest flowers?" quipped Meg Ryan in her movie "You’ve Got Mail." It’s probably one of my favorite romcom films and the inspiration behind this week’s TTT. 
Here’s how you can do it at home: 
Step 1 - Pick a light blue nail color. We used Essie in Bikini So Teeny. Apply two coats on nails for bright and opaque color. 
Step 2 - Time to draw the petals. Using a thin nail art brush and white nail polish like Orly White Tips, Press your brush down and flick outwards, repeating this for the whole flower. You can place 2 daisies per nail or just one. 
Step 3 - Paint the center of each flower orange. We used Misa in Sisterhood which is a striking orange shade. 
Step 4 - To accentuate the middle of the daisy (called capitulum), take a yellow shade like Orly Lemonade and add little dot in the middle. 
Step 5 - Add a top coat to seal in the artwork. 
Step 6 - Let dry. 
This would be a great pick-me-upper on a lazy, rainy weekend, wouldn’t you agree? :)
Special thanks to Honeyca of Belle & Cat Nail and Wax Studio for the lovely nail art.  
xoxo, 

"Don’t you think daisies are the friendliest flowers?" quipped Meg Ryan in her movie "You’ve Got Mail." It’s probably one of my favorite romcom films and the inspiration behind this week’s TTT. 

Here’s how you can do it at home: 

Step 1 - Pick a light blue nail color. We used Essie in Bikini So Teeny. Apply two coats on nails for bright and opaque color. 

Step 2 - Time to draw the petals. Using a thin nail art brush and white nail polish like Orly White Tips, Press your brush down and flick outwards, repeating this for the whole flower. You can place 2 daisies per nail or just one. 

Step 3 - Paint the center of each flower orange. We used Misa in Sisterhood which is a striking orange shade. 

Step 4 - To accentuate the middle of the daisy (called capitulum), take a yellow shade like Orly Lemonade and add little dot in the middle. 

Step 5 - Add a top coat to seal in the artwork. 

Step 6 - Let dry. 

This would be a great pick-me-upper on a lazy, rainy weekend, wouldn’t you agree? :)

Special thanks to Honeyca of Belle & Cat Nail and Wax Studio for the lovely nail art.  

xoxo, 

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We asked our lovely intern, Monika, to share with us their delish Baklava recipe. Baklava is a popular dessert in the Middle East, popular mostly in Turkey and Greece.

I am proud of my Greek heritage, and when I’m in the Philippines I always let some of my friends try this famous dessert. Thus, with the help of my sister who is great cook, we came up with this recipe that will be easy to replicate at home. With some simple steps you will find out that Baklava is easy to whip up, making it great for family, friends, intimate get-togethers, parties, and other occasions.

You will need:

- 1 package of Phyllo Dough (Pastry Sheets)

- 450gr. of Chopped pill nuts (Pistachios, walnuts or pecans)

- 1 Cup of Butter

- 1 tsp. of Ground Cinnamon

- 1 Cup of Water

- 1 Cup of White Sugar

- 1 tsp. of Vanilla Extract

- ½ Cup of Honey

- 1 to 2 tsp. of fresh lemon juice

You can also incorporate some Filipino ingredients such as:

- 250gr. of Coconut Flakes

- 3 Bananas (sliced) 

(These are the simple ingredients used to make the easy baklava. For dietary and healthy matters, there is a possible substitution of ingredients. For instance, butter can be replaced with olive oil and white sugar with brown sugar, if desired.)

Directions

1. Make sauce ahead of recipe. Boil sugar and water until sugar is melted. Add vanilla, honey, and lemon juice. Simmer for about 20 minutes and put it in the fridge.

2. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (163 degrees C). Butter the bottoms and sides of a 9”x13” pan.

3. Chop nuts and toss with cinnamon. Set aside. Unroll phyllo dough. Cut whole stack in half to fit the pan. Cover phyllo with a dampened cloth to keep the dough nice and moist. Place two sheets of dough in pan, butter thoroughly. Repeat until you have 8 sheets layered. Sprinkle 2 - 3 tablespoons of desired chopped nuts (coconut flakes and place sliced bananas on top flat). Top with two sheets of dough, butter, nuts, layering as you go. The top layer should be about 6 - 8 sheets deep. (It can be layered or in a sandwiched form).

4. Once done, place the baklava in the fridge for 15 minutes in order to stay in place.

5. Using a sharp knife cut into diamond or square shapes all the way to the bottom of the pan. You may cut into 4 long rows the make diagonal cuts.

6. Sprinkle a bit of water on top of the baklava.

7. Bake for about 50 minutes until baklava is golden and crisp.

8. Once the baklava is done, pour syrup all over coating and wait for about 15 minutes in order for it to submerge within the dough.

9. Ready to Serve!

Tell us what you think of Monika’s Baklava recipe! 

xoxo, 

Image credit: www.greek-islands.us

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Busy & stressed, unable to find time to go to the gym and workout? Sounds familiar, right? If you’re on lockdown and can’t leave, try this 20 minute workout which can help relieve stress and also condition your b ody. No equipment needed, just a gym mat so you can be comfortable.

1. Squats: 15 Squats

Feet should be shoulder width apart and slightly pointed outwards. The back should be straight and while squatting you should go down till upper leg is parallel to the floor. Make sure that your knees don’t pass your toes.

2. Push-ups: 10 Push-ups

Start with hands and feet anchored on the floor, keep spine and legs in one straight line, slowly bring chest down closer to the floor and push back up while keeping a neutral spine.

3. Planks: 1 Minute plank

Anchor body on hands and feet on the mat/floor. Keep spine & legs in one straight line and make sure to keep core engaged to stay stable.

4. Burpees: 5 Burpees

Start with a tall standing position. Bend from hips and place hands on mat/floor in front of your feet. Jump into a pushup position then return to previous step and jump while returning to the first position. 

5. Mountain Climbers: 10 Mountain Climbers

Start with a pushup position. Bring one knee toward your elbow and repeat alternately with other leg for the required amount of mountain climbers. 

Note: Perform exercises 1-5 without rest in between and then after completing that set, rest for 2 mins. Repeat set 3 times.

xoxo, 

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Rainy Day Fashion Forecast

I welcome the rainy days because it’s the perfect time to layer and bring out your colorful accessories and outfits to fight the somber mood. Here are some of our favorite looks for this season: 

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A pop of chartreuse is all you need to for a striking outfit

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Opt for colorful and patterned umbrellas for a cheery ensemble

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A trench coat + knitted sweater + cuffed jeans = chic rainy day wear

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The rain and gusty winds can turn any pristine hairdo into a frizzy mess. Make sure to bring a lovely hat so you can still look chic anytime, anywhere. 

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Keep yourself toasty warm, plus add a  bit of texture to your look with a fuzzy sweater. 

How do you keep fashionable in this rainy weather? Share your recommendations with us in the comments :)

xoxo, 

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The Image credits: www.lovelyish.com, www.katiesbliss.com

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