Whereas other cosmetic brands launch a collection roughly every three months, MAC does so every month.
This month’s celebrity tribute is for Marilyn Monroe, the classic blond sex goddess. It’s not practical to splurge on the entire collection, so I cut my choices down by focusing on makeup that would approximate Marilyn’s come-hither, half-lidded eyes and those lush lips.
My picks: Penultimate Eyeliner in Rapidblack. It has the perfect applicator tip, so it is possible for even a child with steady hands to draw a precise skinny line on the upper lash line and control the thickness, to emulate Marilyn’s bedroom-eyes stare.
Dazzle Glass in Phiff is a sheer yellow peach frost with microscopic gold shimmer. It gives a megawatt shine and adds the illusion of fullness to the lips. The effect is like a magnifying glass for lips, whether used alone or on top of red puckers, for that sex-goddess pout.
The rest of the collection includes four shades of reds for lips and nails. The dramatic nail polish comes in deep wine, which our skin coloring can effortlessly carry.
The eyeshadows come in pale highlighting colors: soft white (How to Marry), champagne beige (Preferred Blonde), silver screen and dark blue gray (Showgirl), all designed to be worn with heavy eyeliner for the upper lids, as well as the False Eyelashes extreme black mascara.
For the cheeks, there are subtle flushes in shades of soft coral (Legendary) and pink beige (The Perfect Cheek), so they do not clash or compete with lips and eyes.
Among local brands, Fanny Serrano Cosmetics is the bomb when it comes to great quality, elegant packaging and pocket-friendly prices. I have friends abroad who order these for Christmas to give to friends or officemates.
There are six generous-sized eyeshadows, a Quad palette and two BB creams. The total cost is the price of one prestige brand lipstick or foundation.
FS BB Cream
Korean BB creams are meant for colder weather, so most Filipinas who try them complain about how oily their face becomes after an hour or so.
But the FS BB Cream sinks right in and seamlessly blends with the skin tone. It serves as foundation, concealer, moisturizer and UV protection, has a satiny finish and does not feel greasy, heavy or get cakey over time.
There are two shades that suit most complexions, except the very dark. Oriental has stronger yellow tones, while mestiza has more pink blended in. Designed to survive the tropics, this cream reminds me of Prescriptives’ Traceless foundation in texture and feel.
Oilier skin would require a face powder touch-up more frequently. For more sun protection, I recommend Watsons’ Pure Beauty Face Powder with SPF 40, or Etude House’s O2 White SPF 50 face powder.
The eyeshadows in Black Pearl and Mahogany Wood can be used as eyebrow and eyeliner color; they’re sweat- and oil-resistant. Nude Blush is a pinky coral shade that looks fantastic when mixed with browns or gray, but I love it best as blush, as it is a cross between NARS’ Torrid and Amour at a fraction of the price. I carry the palette around, so my eyes and cheeks are covered in one pack.