01 July 2020

Are we really more than halfway through the year? Quite unbelievable what the last almost one hundred days have caused and cost us. It has really been difficult, in previously unimaginable and unprecedented ways. We are all forced to find ways to cope, to heal, to survive - easier for some, and crushing for others. The hope is that we never get tired of trying. More importantly, that we never grow weary of seeking accountability and dismantling of oppressive institutions.

Elsewhere on the Internet, I'm pretty vocal about the current state of affairs. But in the meantime, allow me to share things that are currently (and sufficiently) distracting me from the noise and keeping me sane. 

I've been going crazy the last few months (who am I kidding, aren't we all) and funnily enough, out of all the many things I've done - okay, attempted - this quarantine, the one thing that has consistently given me joy is playing with my makeup. Since quarantine began, I've bought new drawers to fix my dresser, had a chance to go through makeup I haven't used (in a while, or ever), and seen what else is in my stash that I can experiment with. The funny thing is that this whole makeup business just started during bar review. To keep myself awake, I'd watch YouTube makeup tutorials and do a look with one eye, go back to studying, then feel sleepy again and try doing another look with the other eye. Fun times. (Not surprisingly, this happened a lot while reviewing for Tax and Crim, so that explains my grades in those two subjects HAHA.) Anyway, what started out as a distraction ended up being a legitimate hobby that I wanted to explore. I can wax poetic and go "I love the whole color theory aspect of it all; blending eyeshadows together requires a good eye for pigments," - and that is true, to a certain degree - but who am I kidding? The best part of it all is ending up looking pretty cute with almost anything you try doing. There, I said it. No shame in admitting it!
Here's a couple of looks I tried over the last few months.
01 | Festive IG Filter look

While browsing through Instagram filters, I came across a particularly interesting look which involved lots of warm colors, contrasted with a bold green eyeliner.
I had just hung up a new painting on my wall (it's one I made at Sip and Gogh with friends a few months back), so while I was taking selfies with the filter on, I was like, "Hey wait, that goes well with my very amateur sunrise!" So off to my makeup stash I went.

Granted, I only have very limited colors, so I made do with what I had. I went from darkest to lightest from the outer corners to the inner corners, starting with a warm red and orange then transitioning to yellow. I used green eyeliner because I didn't have aqua or something leaning towards blue. I also didn't have a bright pink, which is why the finished look pulls a bit darker.

Here's the IG filter I based it on, by the way, vis-a-vis my attempt:

Makeup used
Base: Maybelline FitMe! Concealer in 120
Eyes: Details Metallics palette and Nicka K 23 Mattes palette (Both really cheap brands that I got at the department store! My mid-range palettes are mostly neutral)
Brows: Wildbrow
Lips: Maybelline Color Sensational in 376 Pink for Me
Setting Spray: MAC Prep + Prime Fix Plus in Rose

02 | Ariana Grande in "Boyfriend"

When the video for "Rain on Me" came out, I spent the entire day playing that song on loop and wishing I had a lavender latex suit to dance around in. (Some tears fell too, since it aptly belonged to my "dance-songs-to-cry-to" sub-genre. #OA) I also wished I had white liquid eyeliner to recreate that makeup look, but alas, quarantine said "Nope!" on that.

I still wanted to experiment with an Ariana look though, and I remembered how obsessed I was with her eyeshadow in her "Boyfriend" music video. Ugh, that powder blue matte!!!

Again, I was working with limited colors, so instead of matte, I had to settle with whatever blues I had - mostly shimmers, but I made it work! I mixed some shimmery blue shades with some white highlighters to lighten it out.

We have completely different eye shapes though: I have hooded eyes, which means when I open my eyes, the shadows disappear under my lids! This also means winged eyeliner just doesn't look the same on me, so I can't make it super thick like hers, otherwise it'll come off like a panda. It is what it is.


I went with pink in the outer lids since I swear it looks more blush-toned in the video than in this screen cap. I also think it's because she's more tan than me.

I'm trying to grow out my hair (and resisting the urge to cut it short, out of boredom), so when it's long enough to mimic her signature ponytail, I'll go for another Ari look. But for the meantime, this'll do!

Makeup Used:
Base: Maybelline FitMe! Concealer in 120
Eyes: Sephora Into the Stars palette, Nichido black liquid eyeliner
Brows: Wildbrow
Lips: Tarte Tarteist Lip Paint in Rosé
Setting Spray: MAC Prep + Prime Fix Plus in Rose

03 | Doja Cat in "Like That"

Okay this one is a favorite because it came about via request! (Naks. May demand?!) Plopi, a sis of mine from law school, sent me a DM on Twitter and said I should cop Doja Cat's look on her latest video. 

This one was quite exciting because I love the whole aesthetic of the video. It kinda borrows from Japanese city pop, which is the type of music I love listening to while working (because it reminds me of my Japan trips, and the bills I had to pay for it!)

Again, it's a type of blue/green shade that I don't have on my collection, so I mixed colors using whatever I had and ended up with this. She also had a black eyeliner on top and a solid blue liquid eyeliner on the bottom lids - which, fortunately, I did have. (It doesn't show up much in the pictures though, thanks eyebags.)

I ended up curling my hair too because, why not. The look was - how do the kids these days say it - snatchedttt. My attempt came out more cool-toned than expected, but this can be the more everyday, wearable version of Doja's look.

The longest eyeliner wing I've ever attempted. Man, I was not breathing all throughout!

This experiment was done after I cleaned out my study desk, which explains why I now had space for my camera's tripod and a lamp to add lighting. Wow?! I think I worked hardest on this out of all the three looks because I was salving the wounds of my bruised ego after my failed attempt at kutsinta the day before. (Summary: I tried making kutsinta; it ended up tasting like tikoy, espasol, and buchi ALL AT ONCE, said the people at home. Bwiset! Haha.)

I can't cook but I sure as hell can make my eyeshadows pop!!! There, there.

Makeup used:
Base: Innisfree No Sebum Blur Primer, Innisfree Mineral Stick Concealer
Eyes: Sephora Into the Stars Palette, BYS x Nadine Lustre Lustrous palette in Luna, SilkyGirl Perfect Sharp Eyeliner
Cheeks: 3cE Stylenanda Heart Pot Lip in 02, Sephora Into the Stars Palette, Wet n Wild MegaGlo Highlighting Powder in Precious Petals
Bronzer: Benefit Hoola Bronzer
Brows: Wildbrow
Lips: Kat Von D lipstick in Lolita II, Sephora Lip Creme No. 40, Happy Skin Shut Up and Kiss Me lipstick in Too Cool
Setting Spray: MAC Prep + Prime Fix Plus in Rose
An attempt was made
Anyway, due to insistent public demand (I swear, meron, mga seven?! Mostly Portians LOL), I went ahead and recorded myself to show people how I do my eye makeup. Disclaimer: I'm no expert and this probably isn't the proper way to do it, but I'd argue that my looks work well considering my eye shape. And the fact that I'm trying to pull off casual versions of the looks; nothing too avante-garde or editorial.

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So a bit of an explanation: As you can see, I apply the colors with only my fingers. I only use a brush for blending, to transition the colors and lighten out the edges. I find that colors pop out more when I use my fingers directly instead of with a brush. (This should work especially well for metallic and foiled eyeshadows.)

This is ideal for me because I don't have all the other eyeshadow brushes most beauty vloggers use. They're too expensive, and not really necessary for everyday makeup or just playing around like this one. In my experience, all you really need are good, fluffy blending brushes, *and* an eyeliner brush for sharp lines (just like what I used for the black liner here). The rest, I think, you can do without, if you're not going for editorial looks.

Here, I started from the inner lids and worked my way out. Like I said, I have hooded eyes, so I have to open them every now and then to check if the color still pops out even with my lids open. If it doesn't, I raise it a bit more above the lid. Also, I only use tapping motions to apply. Doing so really packs in the pigment. It also helps to use a light dab of setting spray on your fingers before dipping into the color (like the MAC Fix Plus I used here) to make the color appear more vibrant.

The same technique for eyeliner application: I open my eyes to see if it makes a straight line and doesn't get sucked into the folds of my lid. This is why I primarily use black eyeshadow first before going in with a liquid eyeliner. (I did my liquid eyeliner - both the black and blue one underneath - and my brows off-camera though, since I ran out of battery for a bit.)


And that's that on my not-so-futile attempts at keeping sane while the world is collapsing. Yes, 2020, your e-mails found me quite well. It found me digging into makeup to compensate for these gnawing feelings of anxiety and frustration. The fight for healthcare, liberty, and justice continues. At least I'll look really bomb while we're at it.

Follow Me on Instagram @karlabernardo


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