A Beauty Kit Edit: Neva of ManilaMommy.Com

With all this talk of makeup, my mommy friends (or my mudrakelles, if we must put it in the words we usually call each other) have been asking me for tips on what to buy to put some color in their life. And so here were are, doing a Beauty Kit Edit. Neva, of course, is the blogger behind ManilaMommy.Com. Aside from being a mother to two wonderful boys, wife to husband Dan, and holding a full-time job, she also manages Manila Baby Shop. Busy busy!

Note: this is not an “expert” opinion, but rather, just one woman giving a fellow woman some advice in the name of anti-losyang/anti-nene/prowfesyonal development/balik-alindog.

The Beauty Kit:

Face powder, BB cream, Cheek tint, eyeliner, mascara, blush, eyebrow powder and some lipsticks.

Neva’s Makeup Routine: Eyebrows and lipgloss.

Neva’s Goal: “Well I want to look my age, haha! Since im 35 na, I need to look polished maski papano. :p Minsan mukha akong temp sa office with my business casual attire and bagong gising fez haha! I actually like make-up! I just don’t know how to use it so I don’t invest in it but favorite ko ang lipstick. I feel it brightens up my face. Choz!”

The Edit:

Well, Neva and I agree on one thing – lipstick! It does so much to a person’s face. I also asked Neva about her skincare regimen and she has an A+ when it comes to this: cleansing, toning, mositurizing, and treatment. Remember gals, when you are coming at an age when you’re closer to the thermometer rather than the calendar, it’s time to up the ante and take care of your skin. It’s the best foundation you can ever have.

First level edit: makeup age and sanitation. Neva’s BB cream, powder, mascara, cheek tint, and lipsticks are all less than a year old. But her eyeshadow powder and blush are more than 2 years old! #FacundoAngTrashReceptacle

Makeup does have an expiration date. So please do the smell/feel test. If it smells off and feels weird, chuck it out! I am not particularly OC about powders, but I am really particular with mascara and liquid liner. The most I would go with those is 6 months. Most of the time, I change after 3-4 months.

Second level edit: usage. Neva wants to achieve a polished look with as few products as possible. #goodlucktome This was a challenge to me because I am a fan of the prep. I would rather spend 30 minutes doing my makeup before I leave and touch up maybe just once or twice throughout the day. Doing the shortcut usually means more fiddling with your face during the day, or if you don’t have the patience for that, look much like you did when you woke up at around 2pm.

To those wanting a “10-minute makeup routine” and still look very polished, here’s the real secret: PRACTICE. It seriously only takes 10 minutes because of the many hours that were spent for that one eyebrow-defining moment. < NAKS.

So with that here’s my reco for Neva:

Mascara vs. Eyeliner: Mascara wins!

If you want to delete some steps in your everyday look, I would choose mascara over eyeliner any day. Mascara opens up your eyes and lasts all day. Eyeliner can be tedious to apply and if you have oily lids like mine and not willing to take an extra step for eyelid primer, you’ll be smudging all day. But I would really take the extra 5 minutes to put on gel liner. A good one is smooth and easy to apply, and will last all day.

My current mascara stash: Tarte’s Lights, Camera, Lashes; Eye of Horus; BYS Mascara Flex Effects



If you make do with just powder, it will be wiped off in no time without anything to “cling” on to. Apply a base, whether it be tinted moisturizer, BB cream or foundation, and set it with a powder for a longer-lasting face. The key to it is finding the right shade. You really don’t need much to even out your skin tone.

My everyday foundations: BYS Complete Coverage Foundation; L’Oreal True Match; Missha Perfect Cover BB Cream
I love loose powder. Don’t judge. BYS Loose Powder; Skin Food Buckwheat Powder; Snoe Poudre Extraordinaire; Make Up Forever HD Finishing Powder; Nichido Loose Powder


Not a Cheektint Fan

I find cheektint to be too arbitrary to achieve a “polished” look. Powder blushes get my vote.

Blush for any occasion. Coastal Scents 1o-Blush Palette; Tarte Adventurous; BYS Blush Duo; Tarte Glisten


  • Brushes. At the very least a powder brush and dual-ended brow brush (with a spoolie on one end).
  • An eyelash curler. Invest in a good one. shu uemura is my favorite.
Charm Pro powder brush; Charm powder/blush brush; Charm angled brow brush; MAC 208 angled brow brush; Sigma E65 small angle brush; Charm spoolie brush; Sigma F30 large powder brush; shu uemura eyelash curler


So my proposed office beauty kit for Neva is:

  1. Foundation/BB Cream
  2. Loose/finishing powder
  3. Eyebrow pencil/powder
  4. Blush powder
  5. Mascara
  6. Lipstick
  7. Eyelash curler
  8. Powder/blush brush
  9. Dual ended eyebrow brush

With this kit, it took me just a little over 5 minutes to go from Before to After. Promise. I timed it.

And this is why I do not leave home without makeup.

How’s your beauty kit?

Myrene Santos: Mom, Makeup Artist

Myrene Santos and I met as cast members in the 2002 run of Trumpets’ The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe. She was a hag, I was a bear.

There’s something about being in a theater run together that bonds you for life. Even after the curtains closed and the time we spent together became less and less as we went on with our lives, we always remained very good friends.

Our common passion was makeup. We spent many times huddled together backstage, applying animal makeup, theater makeup, after-show-gimmik makeup, sharing stories, girl talk, and lots of secrets, as girls do. She is a fabulous, bubbly, fun person to be with and motherhood has not changed that about her at all.

Myrene has an amazing stage performance profile. She’s been in countless productions and has worked with Repertory Philippines, Atlantis Productions, Trumpets, Stages, among other theater groups and events production outfits all over the country. Among her performances are roles in The Wedding Singer, Legally Blonde, Fame, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, and Dreamgirls. She also worked as part of the entertainment cast of Hong Kong Disneyland for a number of years. She is a talented singer, actress, and dancer, a true musical theater artist at heart.

When Myrene got pregnant and couldn’t perform, she began to rethink her goals. She knew that having a child would change her world; long rehearsal hours, early call times and evening shows that run till late were not the ideal for the life she wanted for her family. It was during this period of introspection that her husband suggested that Myrene go into makeup professionally. When her little boy Zach was 8 months old, Myrene entered Maquillage Professional to study makeup artistry.

After a year of doing odd gigs, she found herself entering The Makeup Academy in Robinson’s Manila to apply for a position to teach Theater Makeup. She instead ended up teaching Makeup 101, a class she truly enjoyed. When Makeup Academy closed, she and a partner took over the space and opened The Makeup Secrets School. Now, aside from teaching, she is a guest artist for MAC, head of hair and makeup design for The King and I at Resorts World Manila, does hair and makeup for Piaf under MAC, does makeup for magazine shoots, editorials and website features, and is making a name for herself in the bridal and wedding circles.

Clockwise, from top: Sheila Valderrama in The King and I; Migs Ayesa for Rock of Ages; Michael Bolton. Makeup by Myrene.

She is enjoying herself immensely, being able to do what she loves and still gets to spend enough time with her adorable Zach.

I love Myrene’s story of rediscovery because this is my own journey too. Often when I say something like, “Oh I wish I could still do <insert something I used to do here>”, some people will say, “You still can,” with a look that reads total unawareness of what a mother goes through. It’s a fact of life – mothers make sacrifices, sometimes at the expense of their own ambitions and dreams.

Myrene gives me inspiration that even if there’s a part of ourselves that needs to take a backseat, there will always be another part that can shine through. We can reinvent ourselves, find new passions, or rekindle long-dormant interests or even the little “what-if-I” moments that you pushed at the back of your head. It’s never too late to have new dreams!

Thank you for being such an inspiration to me, Myrene! I look forward to growing in the world of makeup with you as my teacher.

Contact Myrene for your makeup inquiries here:

Myrene Santos
email: makeupymyrene@gmail.com
website: http://myrenesantos.lens.ph
4th floor, Midtown Wing
Robinson’s Place, Ermita Manila


Makeup 101 by BYS Cosmetics

BYS Cosmetics is an Australian brand that I only heard of when I saw Michelle post a picture of some of their products on Instagram. After that I started to notice their counters in SM department stores and in Watson’s, but never had time to stop and check out the products. So when I was sent this:

I was soooo excited. It just wasn’t a day of makeup, it was a day of makeup with the SoMoms! Guaranteed fun.

I got there late, because this is my motto in life:

I’m kidding. I’m just really not a morning person.

I did not follow instructions and came with my makeup already in place, so I chose to just sit in, enjoy the BYS products and be usisera to the SoMoms and their Makeup 101 session.

They had these makeup stations with a bunch of BYS goodies to try.

So early in the morning, and already so eager to learn. #notamorningperson

Fleur and Jen were my seatmates. I loved the subtle bronze eye that Jen did on her monolids.

Daytime, everyday looks all around.

BYS stands for “Be Yourself”. It’s a brand that originates from Australia, where it gained popularity within a few years from its introduction and is making its way into the ranks in other countries as well. Japan is one of its biggest markets, which is highly encouraging, since it has one of the most stringent cosmetic quality control systems in the world. They are super affordable and cater to a wide market of beauty enthusiasts.

The one product that I am most curious about is their primer.

It’s got Vitamin E and Chamomile Extract, is supposed to moisturize and prime at the same time. Must get that.

I wasn’t able to take a picture of their brow pencil in Blonde, and their retractable lip liners in the nude colors that I liked. I was too excited. I must make my way to a BYS counter soon and get a couple of those.

Onsite, they also had a couple of their eyeshadow palettes, cream eyeshadows, eyeliners, mascara, lipgloss, lipsticks and some blushes for us to try. BYS has over a thousand products in their lineup, including a mineral makeup line, so what we had in our vanity was not even a fourth of what they had to offer.

Even Berry had so much fun.

It was also at the BYS event that I met these two ladies for the first time.

I’ve regularly checked Shen‘s blog for product updates. It was about time Patty and I met, considering the hours we spent chatting online about anything and everything!

We walked away with this awesome lootbag full of BYS beauty products.

Thank you BYS for a super fun morning of beauty!

Check out BYS Cosmetics at Watson’s and at SM Department Stores.

The SoMoms Say “Sige Sa Mantsa!” (Plus a Giveaway from Breeze!)

It’s soooooo hot. So hot that there are days that I don’t want to move for fear that all my energy will be sucked right out of me. I am equally scared of heatstroke and summer electric bills, so sometimes Basti is running naked around the house in nothing but a diaper.

The first of the #SoMoms summer #sessions was a welcome escape from the urban heat. The wonderful marketing team of Breeze Philippines sponsored us for a day in Nuvali. It was a pleasant, early drive to Sta. Rosa, Laguna, where the #SoMoms and some invited bloggers were gathered for some fun activities for the kids, outdoor time, swimming and catching up with the others. It was a #SigeLangNgSige Day!

Teacher Anna and Teacher Kara of My Masterpiece Movement led a yoga session for the kids that didn’t stop the moms from joining too!

Basti got the be the bright, cheery and super enthusiastic Mr. Sun.

He was so very ecstatic. #hindihalata

The kids went totally nuts over the painting session. Teacher Kara laid out a plastic sheet, dribbled some paint over it and let the kids go crazy! Paint was everywhere! Kids were stained from head to toe, shirts, shorts, socks and everything in between!

We all helped to lay a sheet of paper over the painting afterwards and this was the result.

It became the base for our #SigeMoms and #SigeKids declarations! I think Basti and I will copy this at home. It’s going to be tons of fun making our own messy masterpiece.

Here we all are! (Yes, we have a SoDad!)

From L-r: Marc of The Fatherland, Me, Teacher Anna, Jackie of Go Jackie Go!, Belle of Cruisin’ Mommyhood, Janice of Mommy Mundo, Candy of The Corporate Housewife Mom, Patty of Non Stop Babble, Tin of Manila Fashion Observer, Christine of Mommy Journey, Jenny of My Mommyology, Kris of OC Mom In Manila, Cai of Apples and Dumplings, Teacher Kara.


We couldn’t leave without taking a dip in the pool. The water was irresistible!

The day was all about letting go and just letting the kids have fun. Breeze Philippines’ new campaign “Sige Lang Sa Mantsa” was the perfect collaborative theme for our day’s activities. Having fun can get messy and sometimes being messy is the fun itself!

We ended the day by declaring our Sige Sa Mantsa statements.

This is something I have to remind myself everyday. Even though I am pretty lax compared to others I’ve met when it comes to mess, I do sometimes wince when Basti turns his shirt into a paper towel. I don’t want to be that mom anymore!

We all walked away with a gift pack filled with goodies from Breeze.

The good news is, I’ve got two more of these Breeze gift packs to give away! Two of the blog’s readers will get to say #SigeSaMantsa too! Please join via Rafflecopter below. Entries will be accepted till next Monday, April 22, 11:59pm. The contest is open to all readers nationwide. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Ferretti Shoes a.k.a The #SoMoms Shoe Invasion

It was a slow Tuesday morning for us and Basti was going haywire at home. Luckily, it was the day of Liz Lanuzo’s invitation to come and visit the Ferretti shoes concept store in Glorietta 4. It seemed like a good day for some cupcakes, tea and shoes.

We all met up at Vanilla Cupcake Bakery in Glorietta 4, where Cecille Saculo of Ferretti told us the story behind Ferretti shoes.

And a story it really is! Her parents’ love story is of Romeo and Juliet genre – opposing sides, different backgrounds, against-all-odds-take-a-look-at-me-now levelzzz!!!! It is a family business built on love, hard work, compassion for the people who make each pair of shoes practically by hand – a true Pinoy success story that had us all so excited to take a look at the collection. But not until Basti gobbled up his cupcakes.

The Ferretti Shoes concept store is on the ground floor of Glorietta 1.

Among all the shoes on display, here are the ones that especially caught our attention.

Flat sandals that come in nude, blue and black. Perfect for summer. Tita K went loka.

These “uma-Alexander-Wang” heels that Tin quickly snapped up.

Yummy-colored snakeskin flats.

I was kinda fixated on these glittery heels for a bit.

But I decided on these turquoise pumps. Kris got the nude version and Jackie got the green ones, which were really nice too!

They make me look not-so-fat. And they’re surprisingly light and comfy!

Thank you Ferretti! We had a blast!

You can find Ferretti at the following outlets:

Stand-alone branches

  • Glorietta 1 Ground Floor
  • Sta. Lucia East Grand Mall
  • Robinson’s Place Bacolod
  • Robinsons’ Place Cagayan de Oro
  • Gaisano Mall of Davao
  • Gaisano Mall General Santos

Inside department stores

  • Landmark Makati
  • Landmark Trinoma
  • Shoe Center Greenhills
  • Shoe Center Alimall
  • Gaisano Illustre Davao
  • Victoria Plaza Davao
  • NCCC Ma-a Davao
  • Plaza Fair Limketkai CDO 

#Momtuition is Our Superpower! (Expo Mom 2013 Giveaway!)

Do you guys watch Grey’s Anatomy? I still do. In the latest episode I saw, a mom came in with her sick son. The interns all wanted to discharge the boy, but Dr. Meredith Grey, being a mom herself, believed in the mom’s gut feeling of something terribly wrong and went ahead with more tests. Because of their #momtuition, they ended up saving the boy’s life from a life-threatening disease.

Have you ever experienced this? I have. Nothing as life threatening as a rare disease, though. More of intuition about Basti’s everyday antics. As a stay-at-home mom, Basti and I are together almost 24 hours a day. When he was smaller the only time away from him was a shower. I got to know all his nuances, his little cries, his moods, and his different reactions to everything. The Painter tends to freak out when Basti cries, and he’s perplexed when I tell him, “it’s fake crying”, and when I know that Basti’s really hurt. That’s us. That’s Momtuition.

For this year’s Expo Mom 2013, Mommy Mundo recognizes this uncanny connection we have to our children in the theme, #Momtuition. Even with the amount of information that parents have at their fingertips about anything and everything about parenting, let’s not forget that we have this valuable 6th sense – our gut. We know our children best!

I attend Expo Mom every year, and I always come home with something new and innovative for Basti, myself or the house. The usual suspects will be there – Manila Baby Shop, Mama.Baby.Love/Mamaway, Mommy Matters, Quirks Marketing, Spinkie, Nursingmom, Buggy & Lishy, and other trusted mompreneurs. Making their Expo Mom debut is Mothering Earthlings and Paper Chic Studio! Congratulations Rone and Cai!

To celebrate Expo Mom 2013 #Momtuition, let’s have a simple giveaway by Mommy Mundo! Fill out the form below for a chance to win one of five (5) Expo Mom Swag Bags that you can pick up at Expo Mom at the Rockwell Tent this weekend. Entries accepted till midnight tomorrow, April 4. Winners will be announced on Friday morning, April 5. Good luck and see you there!

(If you don’t see the form, please click on this link: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1a6eAwnBqTLRowDy2tv4s2LiD0zAIc-7Ap4mxr1o7XAo/viewform)