Category: How Tos & Tutorials

Revisiting Winged Liner: How to Make Your Eyeballs Fly

It didn’t occur to me until very recently that I was doing winged eyeliner wrong.

Not wrong, maybe, but not…optimally. I always erred on the side of conservative, ending with a slight curve at the very corner of the eye, yet stupidly wondering why I couldn’t achieve the same “uplifted” look that other girls had.


Like this but less fierce. Source

As my guru idol Baby Smiley/Glowpinkstah instructs in her iconic Chola tutorial, “The wings of the liner will take you higher.”

My wings were more like uplifted smiles, which is oh-so-lovely and poetic until you realize that smiles don’t get you in the fucking air. I didn’t want smiles on my eyes. I wanted to soar like a goddamn falcon.

Baby wings.

But it was not meant to be, until one morning a few weeks ago when I was midway through a winged line. Amidst other profound thoughts (sandwich flavors ranked by mayo content, fanfiction ideas for obscure fandoms you’ll never know, and how to eliminate odors from trash bins) I decided, on a whim, to end the line sooner, and to flick at the most ridiculous angle I could imagine.

Obviously, my imagination was a bit stunted, because what resulted was a perfectly normal — dare I say, more than passable — winged line.

Now these are wings!

I think the issue is that the shape of my eyes requires the illusion of an uplifting boost, which is why I shouldn’t extend the wing all the way to the edge of the eye. Stopping just before the corner means that the main detail in the look – the flick itself – never sinks lower than the eye.

Also, because my eyelids are hooded, I need to begin with a steep angle so that when my eyes are open the flick “settles” into a more modest angle. I draw the flick at about 90 degrees from the slant of the outer corner, or roughly 45 degrees if based on a horizontal line across the eye.For a less crooked flick, I make a thicker line. It looks a little silly when my lids are lowered, but I’ll take the silliness some times for a decent wing most of the time.

I’ve also taken to “starting” the liner about half a centimeter from the inner corner from the eye. “Starting” is in quotations because I actually start with the flick, then sweep it towards the inner corner to make an outline, then fill in the edge. This is no innovative technique – I think several people do this already. I do it because there’s no point taking it to the inner corners, which are hidden behind the folds of my lids. I also think it lends to the illusion of looking more awake, which is my forever quest.

In this look, I’m using the K-Palette 1 Day Magic Liquid Eyeliner*. This liner lets me exert a huge amount of control and easily draw both thick and thin lines. I love that it’s a strong opaque black too and is pretty long-lasting. I regret not stocking up on this in Manila, as it’s the only thing I can count on at the moment to make these wings!

There’s nothing wrong with the original examples, and I’ll likely use them for other looks, but I’m really enjoying the look of the upturned flick. Also, this look is my current “makeup uniform” — I think I wear winged liner 4-5 days of the week now, with a random selection of Laura Mercier Caviar Sticks for dimension.

What are your tips on drawing a winged line? Are there any workarounds you have to do to accommodate your eye shape?

My Top 15 Beauty Guides Written for LXEdit

It’s hard to write about this without coming off a little obnoxious. What kind of person makes a list of recommended articles that all happen to be written by her? This person, obviously. But hear me out.

As I mentioned in March’s Life Update, for just under a year I contributed to the beauty e-zine LXEdit. For much of that time I pretty much went radio silent on the blog. I just couldn’t generate enough content or interest to write about beauty for both places (not to mention the articles I was writing for print). Of course paying work took priority.

I stopped writing for it before I moved abroad in order to concentrate on schoolwork, but the articles are still available even as LXEdit grows with impressive speed. A majority of my posts are longform beauty pieces (2000-4000 words) on a particular beauty topic. Due to all the interesting research and breadth of subject involved, I much preferred doing those over the standard 300-500 words on the next celebrity trend. Though I did quite a few of those too.

I didn’t do due justice in sharing these links at the time (I did push for more social sharing of everyone’s links via the brand’s channels, but it didn’t seem to be in line with Luxola’s social media strategy then). So, in no particular order, here is a list of articles I wrote for LXEdit that I recommend for one reason or other. Some are informative, some were really fun to write, and some just needed to be said. All of them taught me something new. I leave them here in case there is a topic that may interest/be of use to you!

Asian Beauty Guides


On Puppy Eyes & V-Lines: A Korean Beauty Guide

Korean makeup trends and the different techniques that maybe sort of get you ulzzang ready?

Makeup for Asians: For Foundation to Finish

The lowdown on Asian skin, the importance of undertone, and the best products & shades for eyes, lips, and cheeks.

A Guide to an Asian Layered Skincare Routine

A step-by-step process on the notoriously finnicky Asian skincare routine. Since Korean and Japanese skincare involves a similar process with only minor differences, this article combines both and points out differences where necessary.

Get the Look: Cheon Seong-Yi and the Girls of “You From Another Star”  

Inspiration from last year’s K-Drama sensation “You From Another Star.” It’s a short read but I had so much fun writing it, mainly because I had just watched the series and was still reeling from the feels.

Your Guide to Korea’s Female Sports Stars

Korean beauty that goes beyond the norm. Can you tell Korean beauty was a popular topic? After writing literally thousands of words exalting Korean cosmetics to the heavens, with all the writers tasked to do the same, I was just not having it. So I decided to focus on a different kind of beauty. It’ll be awhile before I can talk about essences again.

General Beauty Guides


How to Incorporate Classical Art Techniques in Makeup

This is the shortest “guide” in the group as it was technically a blog post, but one of my favorite pieces to write ever. I just really loved translating these Renaissance art techniques into modern beauty looks.

The Essential Guide to Makeup Brushes

Unfortunately most of the images in this article seem to have vanished so it’s a bit of a long read with no breaks, but writing this taught me so much about makeup brushes, from the different benefits of synthetic vs. natural to a breakdown of the most popular brushes and how to use them.

The Beauty & Science of Anti-Aging: What You Need to Know

I promise you, it is this post that got me wearing a dedicated sunscreen product on the regular. So much of aging is extrinsic, and the sun is the biggest cause. We can’t control looking older, but we can take steps to stop looking older too soon.

Expand Your Lipstick Lexicon with this Guide to Lipstick

Given my love for lipstick, how am I not going to write about it? Comprehensive info on colors, finishes, and application. I really enjoyed researching the history of lipstick.

All About Acne: Types, Treatments, and Tricks to Try

Imma be honest: when I wrote this guide, I was pretty good on the acne front. Now all of a sudden acne and I are bestest buddies, and I’m so glad I wrote this, because it’s helping me keep the damn bitch at bay.

On Beauty (Industry, Careers, & Blogging)


The Luxola Guide to Starting a Beauty Blog (Part 1) (Part 2)

Part 1 was written for people who are thinking of starting a beauty blog, and touches on: which platforms are best, how to name a blog, what pictures to take, how to share your content, and – most importantly – what to blog about! Part 2 sort of assumes that you already have a blog and want to take it to the next level with SEO improvements, blog optimizations, and monetization.

So You Want a Career in Beauty? 

Many people want to work in beauty but aren’t sure how to translate their love for makeup into a career. There’s more to the industry than being a makeup artist or model. This article reviews 8 potential careers with an overview on day-to-day tasks, pluses and minuses, and how to break in. AND IT HAS GIFS.

Beauty Standards Through the Ages (from Ancient to Victorian)

Written when I was burning out on writing about products and celebrities and making your body summer fit and fun, etc. This is a look at historical makeup trends that may or may not have killed people over time. Spoiler alert: lead in any form on your face is just no good.

Haul vs Hype: How to be a Financially Savvy Beauty Junkie

Raise your hand if you can relate to compulsive beauty buying! I’d raise mine but they’re busy swiping my debit card into oblivion. Some tough-love tips on how to check yo self before you wreck yo self.

Can You Go a Day Without Makeup?

A short thought piece on makeup’s true purpose, and the consequences of mistaking makeup for beauty.


Featured image source.

3/30 NaBloPoMo

Minimal Summer Coverage

As I mentioned a couple posts ago, these days I tend to favor lightweight coverage as it’s just too hot for anything else. My coverage is usually light anyway, so I’ve been looking for ways to go even more minimal while having sufficient coverage for my problem areas. Even tinted moisturizer feels like too much at times.

I still have uneven skin tone around my nose and forehead, and the ever present dark circles under the eyes so going out bare-faced isn’t really an option. Luckily, some of my newer acquisitions have helped me come up with a solution.

First, I apply a very thin – to the point of translucent – layer of thisworks Perfect Look Skin Miracle.


aside from thislooks, i did my brows and put on lip gloss

I’m pretty happy with how most of my skin is, so this shimmering base is primarily for the benefit of “the good parts”. A lot of times we cover up the natural glow in our skin with foundation and powders and recreate it with highlighters, but this way you can skip all that and work with what you have. It’s harder for me to do though if I have a widespread breakout or lackluster skin in general.

You can see it doesn’t do much for spot marks, dark circles, and uneven skin tone. So, I apply Burberry Sheer Fluid Foundation just on my T-zone and blend out.


This leads to a much more even skin tone and smoother seeming complexion without the weight of full foundation. I don’t like to bury blemishes and skin flaws in heavy concealment and don’t care if some are still visible, but of course you can adjust the coverage based on your comfort level.

I also tackled dark circles with a mix of Stila Concealer Stick and Illamasqua Emerge which alone make me appear more awake. If you only have time to do one thing (aside from your brows), do your undereye circles. It will make a world of difference and is a preventative measure against people asking why you’re so tired.

From there I jump to makeup:


i am number four

Additional products used:

  • & Other Stories eyebrow pencil in boucle greige (its effectiveness fighting a losing battle against rampant growth)
  • Chanel Illusion D’Ombre Eyeshadow Emerville
  • MUFE Gel Eyeliner (will update with more specifics)
  • Benefit They’re Real Mascara
  • & Other Stories Cire Red Blush
  • Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector
  • & Other Stories Scarlet Red Lipgloss
  • Sephora Cheek and Lip Tint Gel

Awkwardly-displayed nails are Twill Blue from & Other Stories. 

What’s your summer base routine? What products do you turn to when you want light coverage?

Semi-DIY Luminous Cheek Stain

Last week I wondered what would happen if I mixed some loose gold pigment into a lip/cheek stain.

sorry for feeling model

feeling model HA

Not bad. Let’s work with this.

This berry gold luminous cheek stain is a much bolder alternative to NARS Orgasm Illuminator, which I wore religiously as blush for almost three years.

Orgasm was part of the makeup stash that disappeared mid-move (along with all my multiple sticks, gah!). Where Orgasm emits a very subtle carnation-gold glow, a whisper to its already quiet iconic older sister, this hacked version packs quite a stronger punch. It doesn’t illuminate so much as it accentuates. Then again, it depends on the products you use.


I used a gel lip/cheek stain from Sephora mixed with a sprinkle of Illamasqua Incite (previously featured in a look here).  Both products are riveting on their own and you get the best of both when combined. As with most things Illamasqua, Incite demands your attention with its blindingly bright gold shimmer. The Sephora gel stain is almost dark purplish in the tube, and applies as a buildable sheer berry (I’m wearing it on the lips – side note, it doesn’t really settle well on lips but is lovely on cheeks). 

I figured gel tints would mix better with loose powder and apply more evenly. With a liquid tint, I was afraid that that the glitter would pool/sink/spread out towards the edges when mixed or applied.

Even with gel though, you can see in the photos that with careless application the gold pigment will be concentrated on the edges. I’m also not wearing any base so the gold did not blend seamlessly into my skin. When you apply, pat with a finger rather than rub to ensure even distribution.


Since I can’t buy a lot of makeup these days (I end up buying anyway, but I really shouldn’t) I’m thinking of how to use what I already have in different ways. It is also fun to play around. I read interviews with makeup artists where they say things like, “I love putting matte brown lipstick on my lids, it’s the perfect neutral shade!” Who even thinks of this stuff?

But we’ve come to a point in the beauty world where the rules exist to be broken. Before, you weren’t supposed to use products on parts of the face they weren’t intended for. You had to choose between bold eyes and bold lips. Only blue-veined people could wear cool tones and only green-veined people could wear warm tones. Blue eyeshadow should stay behind in the 70s. Now, anything goes, and however you want it.

Not that I’m going to be wearing blue lipstick any time soon. But I can’t wait to see how some gold-infused Cha Cha Tint will look.

DIY Lip Scrub, Face Mask, and Hair Mask Using 8 Ingredients You Probably Already Have

First off, I’m very grateful and honored that Carina of Softly Sometimes and Liz of Project Vanity, two of my favorite bloggers ever on any side of the world, have included The Dalaga Project in their lists of recommended local bloggers (here is Carina’s list and here is Liz’s, please check them for some real gems). They set the bar extremely high for consistently good content and disciplined blogging. In the time it took me to write this post, Carina uploaded three, which, omg I could never.

So if you discovered this blog through either of them, welcome! I hope you find bits and bobs here worth reading 🙂

In the beginning, I had one reader (aside from myself): Xichee. I was going to write a little more about her and how she is basically the reason this blog exists, but I’m going to save that for its own post. Anyway, a long time ago she requested a DIY lip scrub post.

Don’t know if you’ve seen, but I am not exactly adept at DIY. But I owe Xichee a debt that cannot be repaid  (I actually promised her my firstborn, for a different reason, please don’t be a real-life witch Xichee) and so here goes.

Why make scrubs and masks yourself?

Why not? Okay not helpful.

You make your own skincare products because they’re 100% natural, extremely good for your body, and ridiculously easy to make. And are convenient as hell. And cheap.

You probably have most of these ingredients in your fridge and pantry, and if you don’t, any supermarket will have them. I get very annoyed with recipes that say something like “Take one teaspoon of Obscure and Expensive Ingredient Found Only in Health Stores and Websites of Dubious Origin” and leave you with an expensive, nearly full jar of uselessness. Please, let’s not.

The Ingredients

diy-8-ingredients-1Olive oil

a natural source of vitamin E; deeply moisturizes and fights the effects of aging on the skin and restores shine to dull hair 


a natural antibacterial cleanser; soothes and hydrates both skin and hair

Yogurt (natural unsweetened yogurt w/ live cultures)

a clarifying cleanser and natural exfoliant; deeply conditions hair

Milk (use whole)

a creamy moisturizer and exfoliant (really); great for cleaning and conditioning damged hair


an exfoliant for sensitive skin; also soothes irritated skin

Sugar (raw is best but any granulated sugar works)

a natural exfoliant and body scrub; effectively sloughs dead skin cells

Lime Juice (Or calamansi juice!) 

a clarifying solution and natural toner; tightens and awakens skin

Egg whites

a natural anti-aging warrior; tightens, clarifies, and revives tired skin

The Recipes

There’s no exact science to this. If you mix anything hydrating properties, you end up with a moisturizing super tool on your hands. If you mix all the clarifying ingredients then you have a multipurpose cleansing solution for skin and hair.

When you think of them by their purposes – hydrating, clarifying, exfoliating – you can pretty much mix them millions of ways according to your needs. So it’s a bit silly for me to call them recipes, but in a world where Dark Chocolate as a Snack counts as a recipe, I figure it’s not so far off.

Here are the few versions that I tested. The ratios can be adjusted based on your personal preference.

**The basic instructions for all recipes is: “Mix together in a bowl.”** Some DIY, huh?

Sugar Lip Scrub 

  • 1 part olive oil
  • 1 part honey
  • 1 part sugar

Notes: Raw sugar is ideal because of the larger granules, in order to aid in exfoliation. Refined white sugar tends to dissolve more easily, resulting in a finer scrub. No problem if that is your preference. You want a consistency akin to a spread or thicker, so it stays on your lips. If it’s too liquidy it will dribble down your chin.

To use, rub with small circular motions across your lips, paying extra attention to chapped areas. Rinse off with warm water.


attempted to do blogger-type picture of things being poured into other things


diy-8-ingredients-4Creamy Lip Scrub (great for sensitive skin types)

  • 1/2 part yogurt
  • 1/2 part milk
  • 1 part coarsely-ground oatmeal

Notes: You can use quick cooking oats for a finer texture- if you have rolled oats, you can pulse them in a food processor or coffee grinder for a few seconds. The bowl of oats in the ingredients list were actually still too coarse for me, as they ended up falling off 🙁 You can support coarser oatmeal by increasing the proportion of yogurt though.



Use in same manner as sugar scrub. If you eat it off, that’s kind of gross, but let he who has not sinned cast the first stone. I love yogurt and oatmeal.

Clarifying Face Mask

  • 5 Tbsp honey
  • 1 beaten egg white
  • 2 tsp lime/calamansi juice
  • OPTIONAL: 1/4 cup ground oatmeal

Notes: fun fact. I tried this with oatmeal at first. Things did not go so well.


already have a bad feeling about this

already have a bad feeling about this

Now, it’s understandable that these things are not pretty. But while I encourage experimentation in most other things, in this I strongly recommend grinding down the oatmeal as far as you can tolerate. There are sciencey things at play here that cannot be contested. Like, gravity. And density.

Disregard my warning about the oatmeal and you may end up looking like someone threw up all over your face, while egg-white oatmeal clusters drop into the crevice (or valley) of your chest in your best rendition of an alien molting process.

When I tried this, I spent a good portion of time leaning half-naked over the sink, breakfast foods engaged in a slow and ticklish race down to my belly button and plipplopping down on the ceramic, all the while thinking the things I do for this blog!! 

So, nixed the oatmeal and tried again.

much better

much better

To use: apply a layer with a brush or sponge (a cotton ball will do if you have neither). In the beginning it will smell like honey and heaven. Then it will smell like egg whites. BEAR WITH THIS. It is worth it. You may feel some slight tingling – if it’s any worse, remove immediately. After five minutes you will smell nothing, and you may go about your business a little smellier and shinier, but no other difference.

Wait till the mixture dries (around 15 minutes) then rinse well with warm water.

The egg white and lime juice clear the skin of impurities while the honey soothes and moisturizers. My face was a little bit red after I removed the mask, but it was…invigorating. I felt brighter, more awake, more…alive.


okay so this looks like the opposite of alive but I felt it inside

You can also mix yogurt and oatmeal and apply it to your face for a soothing face mask, to help with red or irritated skin. Bubzbeauty has a post showing the amazing before/after result of such a simple treatment.

My hands down favorite thing from this whole experiment, though, was the hair mask.

Hydrating and Shine-Restoring Hair Mask

  • 1 part yogurt
  • 1 part milk
  • 1 part honey
  • 1/4th olive oil
  • 1/8th lime/calamansi juice

Notes: The amount that you make depends on the length and volume of your hair, I have a long, frizzy, and voluminous hair cape, enough to cover my boobs, and probably needed 4 cups to lightly coat all of it. You do not need to apply with a heavy hand, but enough to dampen the hair from scalp to root.

I didn’t have a large brush to apply it (not a hairbrush – a brush like you would apply hair dye) so I just worked the mixture through with my fingers.

This smelled amazing. The scent of honey and olive oil and creamy milk cocooned me the entire time I had it on (20 minutes). I wanted to eat myself. I didn’t want to wash it off. And then my ancient nemesis, the ants, started showing up to do battle and I washed it off immediately.

To use: work through hair and let it soak 20 minutes. You can tie your hair in a bun, or wrap in a shower cap. Then rinse thoroughly and shampoo/conditioner as usual. I shampooed twice just to be sure, then used Snoe Hair Heroes Tea Tree and Peppermint Conditioner. 



When my hair dried, it was soft. So incredibly soft. I couldn’t stop touching it. And, despite the frizziness that will be with me till my dying days, there was an extra sheen to my hair. Also, in humidity my hair usually dries a bit wild, but this time the layers curled somewhat nicely into waves.


I need a haircut.

Another note: I considered including banana as the 8th ingredient instead of oatmeal, as there are a lot of banana hair mask recipes floating around the net, but Ginger Mandy’s horror story convinced me otherwise. Long story short: if you think you are the type of person for whom putting pureed banana in your hair will cause even the remotest problem, do not do it. I will reiterate: do not put banana in your hair. Just eat it. Bananas are delicious.

But since I had already bought bananas for the project, here is what I did with them instead:


Banana berry yogurt mik honey oatmeal smoothie!

Because if there’s one thing Pinoys hate to do, it’s let anything go to waste.