How to Deal with Oily Skin

This is a reponse to the article ‘How to Deal With Oily Skin‘ on It said “oily skin is a beauty junkie’s nightmare, a makeup artist’s stumbling block and an everyday battle for many of us.” 

I agree. A ‘smoothen’ photo filter can’t follow you around.

Although far from impossible to deal with, there is always a comfort in seeing a client for the first time and finding healthy skin. If you are like me and don’t have that luxury, here are practical and personal ways I beat the oily skin blues:

REMOVE any trace of makeup before going to bed.

Virgin Coconut Oil for anything waterproof always does the trick: mascara, eyeliner, or lip color. Try not to rub or tug, the effects of doing so only come when its too late. Also, use makeup remover wipes instead of dry cotton pads. It removes with less friction, therefore less tugging. For the rest of the makeup, I use Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser.

If you want the same effect, less effort and can spare a few extra bucks, Cleansing Water by Koh Gen Do does just that. I especially love this when travelling!

CLEANSE with a cleanser formulated specially for oily skin. Harsh soaps and cleansers can strip too much oil from the skin and dry it out, causing the sebum glands to produce more oil, so look for gentle options.

I use Cetaphil Oily Skin Cleanser everyday and occasionally, I use a mild scrub on my face, neck, and the part of my back i can reach with my hands. I love Human Nature Balancing Facial Wash.

MOISTURIZE. It’s a common misconception (one that I had until a good one on one with my dermatologist) that oily skin doesn’t need moisture because it has enough. The truth is, skin actually produces more oil when it is stripped dry. Avoid anything alcohol based or anything with parabens, instead look for oil-free or water-based hydrators.

I love using Lancome Genefique Youth Activating Concentrate at night and Genefique Youth Activating Eye Concentrate as a treat. It’s light enough even in humid weather. During the day, a recent discovery is Skin White Face Cream Powder. It acts like a tinted moisturizer, but it finishes matte so it also acts like a makeup primer. Plus it has SPF! I am a fan of anything that saves me time and lets me sleep in more ;)

On clients with oily skin, a quick spritz of MAC Mineralize Charged Water does the trick.

PRIME with a lightweight primer. I adore Guerlain L’Or Radiance Concentrate with Pure Gold Makeup Base. Mix it into your favorite liquid concealer for a good face base. It’s easily absorbed into the skin, makes your makeup last longer and makes me feel fancy for special occasions.

For makeup clients, Makeup Forever HD Microperfecting Primer has my heart. It’s lightweight, easily absorbed and does the job… well.

MATTE, BLOT, POWDER on long days.

Shoot days are always long days and locations are not always comfortable but I like feeling comfortable and looking fresh. A quick spritz of MAC Mineralize Charged Water is energizing and refreshing. Evian works too.

To blot, I use hard tissues because it absorbs oil and sweat then finish with a translucent powder so makeup doesn’t cake on the build up of pigment.



On the go

The no-makeup makeup seems to be all the rage these days, with celebrity photos popping up bare-faced. Some still pretty, some surprisingly even prettier, some not so much..

Elizabeth Olsen
Lindsay Lohan

But what if you can’t afford it? I know with the easy access to phone cameras and instant sharing, I wouldn’t dare. Here’s a quick 5 minute fix to make you and I less camera shy.

First of all, prepare beforehand and keep your brows groomed. If you absolutely don’t have time or simply can’t do it yourself, have it professionally done. Then simply maintain it by removing any growth. Keep a tweezer near your toothbrush and make it part of your nightly routine.

Something just as important is to moisturize. If your moisturizer has sun protection better. If it is tinted, then that is best! The Balm’s Balm Shelter Tinted Moisturizer SPF18 does all these. Dab dots on your forehead, cheeks and chin and spread in an upward motion.




For a mattifying finish, try Smashbox Photofinish Foundation Primer SPF15 with Dermaxyl Complex. Use the tinted moisturizer and then the primer and you double the purpose and compound its sun protection.

We’re down to two minutes!

Next up, liven up the face with color. A quick way is to use The Balm’s Stainiac Tinted Gel Blush which works for lips and cheeks. That way you won’t have to worry about matching cheek and lip color. Line up three dots of the product on each cheek and quickly spread. Then dab on your lips and pucker up. It will give the most natural, born-with-it color into your face.

For extra moisture and a healthy plump shine, dab light gloss on your lips and you’re out the door.

The Deal with Primers

“Do I really need it? Which one should I get? What is it really for?” I get asked often. Here’s what I think about the top makeup primers available at Beauty Bar Philippines.

First of all, KNOW YOUR SKIN TYPE.

If you have dry skin, try a hydrating primer. It prevents flaking which makes your foundation look uneven. It’s also handy to travel with when the stress of long flights and sudden change in temperature takes a toll on your skin.

 For oily skin, try a lightweight mattifying primer. You don’t need a lot, about a pea-size amount spread around your face, concentrating on the oilest parts of the face: forehead, nose and the corners of the nose. Try mixing it in with your favorite liquid foundation for a barely-there makeup look.


If you have sensitive skin, use a light-weight primer that is free of talc, perfumes and chemical dyes. It’s great for pregnant women who don’t want to worry about unnecessary ingredients.

When going through skin treatments that leave your complexion redder than usual, or if you fell asleep under the noonday sun a day before taking your graduation picture ( I speak here from experience), use a color correcting primer. In this case, a green-tone will neutralize that redness in the skin.

A pink/lavender-toned color corrector will liven up pale and sallow skin, which explains the popularity of BB Creams particularly in the Asian market. And if you have dark spots, a yellow-tinted primer is for you! It will neutralize the darkness and even out your skin tone.

Lastly, KNOW THE DESIRED MAKEUP EFFECT: luminous vs. matte

A luminous skin finish will diminish the appearance of lines while a matte skin finish a more flawless, airbrushed look. I usually mix a pearlized primer with a liquid foundation so it doesn’t look overly luminous or oily, especially on camera.

So, do you really need a primer? Honestly, when in a rush, it’s one of the first things skipped, but always have it in routine for special dress up days or when I know I’m going to need to look my best the whole day.

Let confusion be gone about foundation primers and try one! Test drive your favorite foundation first without the primer. See how smooth it spreads, how long until you need a touch up. Then try it with a primer and compare. If you don’t have the luxury of a trial period, try it on the back of your hand.

2012 Oscar Nominees for Best Makeup: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows part 2

The eighth and final installment of the Harry Potter series is particularly known, in all installments for Ralph Fiennes‘ unrecognizable transformation into Lord Voldemort who, in this movie had to deteriorate as the Horcruxes containing his soul was destroyed. Mark Coulier did it very carefully so  as not to look like the makeup was an edge of a prosthetic piece applied feebly.

Along with other creature effects, animatronics, loads of special effects, injuries, scars, movie dirt, grime, blood and intricate hairwork, it was a sure nomination.

But what caught the attention of makeup critics everywhere including myself was the beautifully designed silicone prosthetic pieces that made up the Goblins in Gringotts Bank. The characters wore full head, multi-piece silicone appliances, black lenses, fake nails, punched eyebrows and hairline, one of which made the creature cover for makeup artist magazine issue 92 where I did most of my research.

The team had the daunting task of 40 prosthetic makeups & 20 background heads shot simultaneously over more than two years. Each shooting day had new appliances so the team had quite a number of perishable pieces in storage.

With 15 different nationalities of makeup artists it was essential to keep the team organized and that they did so by setting aside days for application demos, trials to see what kind of problems could arise until they got the application time down to 4 hours.

It was Katy Fray who suggested to have a set color palette which limited where they could go. They also used the same glue and removers making it unified. Creature designer Nick Dudman says, “We were very disciplined about it. On the first test day, people would come up and say, ‘Can I use my own palette…or this or that?’ but we had already photographed what each makeup looked like, we knew what the tones and colors looked like and each piece had been pre-painted, so I didn’t want anybody painting over them just because they had a better idea. I did wonder what would we would get if I let some of these people loose, but I just didn’t have that luxury. They had all been hired for their skill in applying these makeups neatly and accurately, as well as their ability to take instruction, and they were all brilliant.”

Receiving 14 BAFTA nominations for their work are creature effects/make-up effects designer Nick Dudman, make-up department head Amanda Knight and hair designer Lisa Tomblin.

Photos courtesy of Make-up Artist Magazine.

I have a confession.

An ode to the geekiest video game series I ever played too much of: Final Fantasy. No video game overplaying is completely exhausted until you find yourself updating your sphere grid, acquiring anything from gil to ether, casting haste or reflect while summoning an Aeon in battle. All in your pajamas at 4pm, walkthrough print out in tow.

Oh to have the time is such a luxury now, but there will always be a special controller-shaped place in my heart for gaming and geek speak. Respect to Michelle Phan for making this makeup look so easy to do! This particular look is from Final Fantasy XIII-2.