It started last Friday when I was on the hunt for a good concealer. I was pressed for time (and, honestly, was too lazy to go around) so I only looked at Clinique and Lancome. Only to be surprised that a tiny smudge of concealer from these brands costs more than what I pay for lunch FOR TWO WHOLE WEEKS. So on the advice of a friend, I jumped ship and gravitated towards the MAC counter, and spent more than what I pay for lunch for TWO WHOLE WEEKS.
Like any innocent shopper who promises their selves that they are just there "to look around", I, too, had the same mindset. But the Ate make-up assistant (MUA), who was just supposed to be there to help me swatch the right shade of concealer for my skin tone, started slathering on foundation, dusting powders, eye shadows, eyebrow liners, lipsticks, and what-have-you's on my fez. Even if I told her that I was just on a dinner break and going back to work with a made up face would look ridiculous, Ate MUA did not stop. She was on a mission to sell as much make-up as she can and probably bring me to poverty.
The result, if I say so myself, is not that disappointing.
These are the watered-down-I-had-sisig-smoke-go-up-to-my-face-and-it's-already-5-AM version of my made-up face.
At least it's an upgrade from from this face.
Albeit that nagging voice in my head that keeps telling me that all I need is a concealer, I was weak. With all those shiny, sparkly pots and tubes of make-up in front of me, I succumb to temptation and bought a pan of foundation, too, even if I am perfectly aware that I can't afford one.
Still, I regret nothing.
I now understand why people are going gaga for this make-up brand. The staying power of MAC cosmetics is ace! When people say that this is the gold standard of make-up products, I wholeheartedly believe like a churchgoer on a Sunday mass. The lipstick the Ate MUA used on me, even if it's not as moisturizing as I want it to be (something which I hope can be remedied with lip moisturizer before application) clung to my lips for its dear life after I've eaten greasy pork sisig and slurped on bouillabaisse the whole night.
Application is idiot proof, too. Even if the attendants at Marionnaud look as if they don't know what they're doing and not at all happy to help me at that time, at least they were efficient in finding the right shade for me (which, come to think of it, is their job, but anyway, digression). I was never really big in using foundation because (a) it felt too heavy on my face, (b) I was afraid of having a too-white-face that does not match my neck, and (c) my face is too oily for foundation. But I am happy to report that I experienced none of these with my MAC Studio Fix foundation.
This is what I looked like the next day when I tried applying the foundation myself:
Please ignore the strip of concealer under my eyes. I haven't received the make-up brushes I ordered, so I used my fingertips. Lolz. My skin did get oily, because it naturally is, after a few hours or so, but it's nothing a good blotting paper can't control.
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This is why I'm poor: Beabi make-up organizer, Revlon Beyond Natural Smoothing Primer, L'oreal Cleansing Milk, MAC Studio Fix Foundation Powder in NC30, Mac Studio Finish Concealer in NW25
But if you think my I-spend-money-on-make-up-like-money-grows-on-trees habit stopped there, in the words of a famous website, Oh No It Didn't. The next day, Saturday, en route to buying tickets for The Killers' concert, another Making Mara Poorer activity, I realized that if I am going to use full-on foundation, I need to get a good make-up remover.
Love does not even begin to describe how much I adore Nivea products. My lip moisturizer, deodorant, facial cleaner, and toner are all Nivea. So when I read from Liz that the Nivea Visage line has a make-up remover as well, this, with no doubt, became my make-up remover of choice in an instant. But alas, the fates were not with me as two branches of Watsons, two branches of PCX, and two malls later, it seems as if as no one has ever heard of the mythical Nivea Visage Cleansing Milk of which I speak of. These shops, however, had an abundance of Pond's cold cream that they keep insisting is as good as Nivea. I was not convinced as the last Pond's product that I used, the supposed pore-minimizing toner, did nothing but dry up my skin. This is getting to wordy, so let's just say I settled for a L'oreal Cleaning Milk instead, retailed at P349 but was on sale for P285. Can you say "score?"
Also on Liz's suggestion that Art Deco sells cheap primer, a whole P500 cheaper than MAC's, I braved the Christmas Shopping Crowd at MOA to look for said brand only to be snubbed by the attendants with a simple "We don't have it". Not even an explanation of when they will start carrying it, if they still have stocks coming in, or if it really exists. So just to spite the snotty Art Deco attendants, I went over to the Revlon stall adjacent to them and asked within earshot if they have a primer. Surprisingly, they do! And it was on sale! I guess I was still acting on impulse here because I bought the said primer without even batting an eyelash. Only to realize that it was a few hundreds away from a more decent MAC primer. I also threw in a cheap ELF pallet for good measure. Ah, impulse buy, we meet again.
BUT WAIT! THERE'S MORE! THE SPENDING DID NOT STOP THERE! (NO CAPS LOCK, NO PASSION!)
I also found a great store called Beabi that sells clear plastic bottles where you can transfer your products to (they even have a foam dispenser!), travel kits, and bag organizers! They also have contact lens containers (which I thought of was given away for free when you buy your contact lens solution) and those flat, plastic pans, like the ones they use for Nivea cream (the blue one), in different sizes that are really quite charming and interesting.
Their products are intelligently designed and have that minimalist appeal to it. So if you have friends who are beauty products junkies or who travel a lot, this is a great place to start your Christmas shopping.