Hello, everyone!

After a long, long phase in which I was absolutely fixated on lippies, it seems that I have returned to my first love: eyeliner. There was a time when I alternated using eyeliner in all forms: pencil, gel, liquid, etc. but ever since my Anna Sui Liquid eyeliner ran out, I've only been using my Bobbi Brown Long Wear gel liner. While it is my go-to liner for everyday use, it's not very travel-friendly. I debated buying either another Anna Sui one or the Etude House Play 101 Pencil for when I need to apply makeup on the go, but the former isn't exactly cheap, and the latter hardens way too quickly for my liking. 

Luckily, during an impromptu visit to Cosmed, I found this gem from 1028 Visual Therapy: Ultimate Superblack Eyeliner. Now, 1028 Visual Therapy is one of my favorite brands, but a disclaimer: I am in no way being paid or sponsored to write reviews. I'm not famous enough for that. (Yet. #char)

(L-R: 1028 Visual Therapy Ultimate Super Black Eyeliner, 1028 Visual Therapy Infinity Black Eyeliner, 1028 Visual Therapy Infinity Longwear)

When it comes to eyeliner, I usually consider three things: Pigmentation, Application, and Resilience.  For Pigmentation, this eyeliner really lives up to its name. When I swatched this eyeliner at the drugstore, I was surprised at how black it was compared to the other eyeliners from 1028 Visual Therapy. Almost like a Sharpie! Can you see how it stands out on my skin? AMAZEBALLS.

(L: Bobbi Brown Long Wear Gel Liner in Black Ink R: 1028 Visual Therapy Ultimate Super Black Eyeliner)

I also swatched it alongside the Bobbi Brown Long Wear Gel Liner in Black Ink. I really thought that the Bobbi Brown Gel liner was already pretty black, but beside the Ultimate Super Black Eyeliner, it doesn't even look black anymore! I feel betrayed by Bobbi Brown :<. The formula dries pretty quickly as well, so I don't have to worry about stray eyeliner getting onto my eyelids.

I've never used liquid liner with a felt tip before, and now all my regrets are crashing down on me. FELT. TIPS. ARE. THE. BOMB. The eyeliner comes with a really fine, felt tip which makes application really smooth and easy! The fine tip allows for more precision and for smooth, clean, and sharp lines. Perfect for a bold, winged eyeliner look! I don't usually wing my eyeliner, but I can already see myself donning winged eyeliner more often.

The Ultimate Super Black Eyeliner is waterproof, smudge-proof, and long-lasting even in the hot and humid summer days in Taipei. No amount of sweat, oily lids, or even furious rubbing can match up to the Ultimate Super Black and make it come off. In fact, I'd even go as far to say that the resilience is on par, if not better than the Bobbi Brown Long Wear Gel liner.

I'm really happy with this product. With it's intense pigmentation and amazing resilience, I think it might just become my new favorite eyeliner. At 360NTD, it's worth every penny. A repurchase wouldn't hurt either. I'm already planning on using this the next time I watch a concert! I'm confident that it would be able to handle all the blood, sweat and tears that would inevitably come out when I see 오빠.

Wow that name is a mouthful.

Hello everyone! It's been a while, but here's a mini-review. I picked up this product during my last visit to Taipei. It's the TTMax 16 Hours Color Stay 2-Step Liquid Lipstick. I randomly came across it in 86Shop and well, the "16-hours" spoke to me. And the rather loud sign that said "99NTD."

I've been on the prowl for long-lasting lippies that don't transfer much, and to be quite honest, I thought I hit the jackpot with the Rire Lipmanicure (You can read my review here.). However, it dried my lips up so much after every use that I only use it occasionally now. I've had much better luck with the TTMax so far, and I have very few complaints about it.

For the 2-step liquid lipstick, each tube comes with lip color, and lip gloss. The instructions on the tube say to apply the color first, then leave it to dry for two minutes. Afterwhich, you're free to apply the clear, shining gloss. The lip color comes with a doe-foot applicator, which makes it really easy to apply the product. The color is pretty opaque for this particular shade and from my experience, one dip in the tube is enough for a solid coverage on my lips. As it dries, it starts feeling a bit sticky. That's easily fixed by applying the shining gloss.

The gloss comes with an applicator that resembles a white calligraphy brush, not unlike the brushes one would usually see on a liquid brush eyeliner. This makes it a bit difficult to apply it on evenly, as the brush does not spread. I would have preferred another doe-foot applicator instead. To be fair, it's amazing how none of the lip color transfers onto the white brush when I'm applying the gloss. I'm not really a fan of lipgloss as I prefer matte finishes when it comes to lipstick but gloss does somewhat dry up after awhile, leaving a semi-matte finish instead of a glossy one.

Look, guys. It's a GIF of my face!

In terms of resilience, this lippie is pretty amazing. It doesn't transfer at all, no matter how much water I drink or how much I try to rub it off. Eating will make it come off though, especially if you're eating something oily. However, for things like cakes or bread, it stays pretty much the same.  I never had it on for a full 16 hours, but I did wear it for 11 hours once. It faded a bit, but I did have two meals in that 11-hour period. When it fades, it doesn't leave much of a stain, which I feel is kind of a bummer because that means I have to touch up if I don't want it to end up looking like a badly done reverse-gradient lip. Leaving it on for 11 hours did dry out my lips a little bit though, but it's nothing in comparison to the Rire Lipmanicure.

All in all, I really do like this product well enough to repurchase it when the time comes.

A photo posted by Athena (@agothena) on


When rumours of EXO'luXion coming to the Philippines first came out, I was pretty skeptical because Manila already missed out on The Lost Planet, and the encore concerts in Seoul were slated for this December. Precisely the reason why I made sure that I would watch the Taipei leg of the tour. So can you imagine my outrage and excitement when the announcement for EXO'luXion in Manila came out? Probably not. But I can tell you it was full of "THEY'RE COMING HERE OH MY GOD DO I HAVE MONEY NO WAIT I ALREADY WATCHED EXO BEFORE SHOULD I STILL WATCH WHAT IF THEY SING ANOTHER FILIPINO SONG?" and a bunch of other incoherent, overly dramatic gurgling in front of my poor, poor laptop.

I was torn, of course, because I've already watched EXO twice– once in 2012 during SMTown, and once last June for the Taipei run of EXO'luXion. Do I really need to watch them again? And once again, my brain fired back with "WHAT IF THEY SING ANOTHER FILIPINO SONG" and I am weak. SO WEAK. So naturally, faced with a dilemma, I turned to my trusted friends hoping that at least one of them would be my conscience. 

I quickly learned that none of my friends are conscience-material.

With advice ranging from "Manood ka na." and "You have the money, the time, people to go with, and you want to go anyway, so go." to "THEY'RE ALREADY COMING HERE NO NEED TO GET ON A GODDAMN PLANE" (Toreja, 2015), I realized that literally, nothing was holding me back and YES. I WILL WATCH THIS CONCERT. 

Psyched as I was, I completely forgot about the torture that is TICKETING. Getting tickets for EXO'luXion Taipei was a nightmare, considering how Taiwanese fans are much more enthusiastic than Filipino fans and that I spent HOURS going to 7-11 and back home because only a limited number of tickets are released per hour. At some point I gave up buying tickets, but at around 7pm, I lucked out and still managed to get not-entirely-terrible seats. 

Luckily (?!), the concert was sponsored by Globe, so subscribers were given a chance to register and get promo codes to the ticket pre-selling a day before the actual ticketing. So, obviously, I registered as fast as I could, and glared at my phone whenever a message that had nothing to do with the promo code came in. Luckily enough, my friends and I all received our promo codes on time.

I bought my (and my friends') tickets at SM Masinag, and it was a much more pleasant experience than buying in Taipei. Okay, so I was stressing out a lot, but who can blame me? There was this one lady who was insisting on buying tickets without a promo code that she spent 10 minutes arguing with the ticketing lady, WHO PROBABLY HAD ENOUGH ON HER PLATE DEALING WITH OVERLY EXCITED AND FRANTIC FANS ALL MORNING, and all I could think of was the seats slipping through my grasp with each minute wasted. Eventually, she left and well, I was left worrying about the other fans who took a REALLY long time to choose where to sit. You know that feeling when you're in a really long queue in McDonald's and then when it's the turn of the person right in front of you, that's when they start thinking about what they want to get? It was that kind of feeling. 

So here I am with an important piece of advice to fans who plan on going to concerts: Have a plan. A Plan A, Plan B, Plan C, and so on. Chances are, if the artist or group you want to see are pretty big acts, tickets will sell out fast. The more time you spend thinking of which seats to get, the more seats are getting snatched up by someone else. Also, it's consideration for those who are queued up behind you. Got it? Got it. 

Moving on, though I was late to the ticket pre-selling by two hours, I still managed to secure tickets in our preferred area. Lower Box B, holla. Honestly, any other seats would be too far, or too expensive. Yo, EXO, I love you with all my heart, not my wallet. 

So here I am. Way, way too excited at the prospect of seeing my boys again. The Taipei concert was fun, but honestly, as a Filipino fan, it would be much more AMAZING to watch here in Manila. Though Filipino fans don't really get to do successful fan projects during concerts like the Korean, Japanese, or Taiwanese fans do, the Philippine crowd is unparalleled when it comes to sheer energy and volume. Forget fanchants. We'll sing along to the whole song, because that's how we do it. Orayt. Rakenroll to da world.

Hello everyone! This time, I'm doing a favorites post! I've been meaning to do one, but for a long, long time, my favorites didn't really change much from the contents of my make-up bag. But a over a year has passed, and I've acquired quite a number of new things in my make-up collection that I really, really love.

Smashbox On The Rocks Photo Op Eyeshadow Palette

Eye makeup is my favorite, so of course, topping the list is the On The Rocks Photo Op Eyeshadow Palette from Smashbox. I've been eyeing this particular palette for months before I finally decided to buy it. I was apprehensive about it at first, because what the hell was I going to do with 28 new shades? Shades that I really, really liked? But it was the same price as the Full Exposure Palette from Smashbox and twice the amount of shades how could I resist? Drama aside, the palette comes with 28 shades, a mix of matte, satin, and glitter finishes. I really love how smooth, buttery, and not to mention blendable these shadows are. The shadows are all very pigmented, and don't let the bright colors fool you- they're all very wearable. I've worn all these colors at least twice, and that's saying something considering how many eyeshadow colors I own. For my last trip to Taipei, I brought this with me because it has a wide spectrum of colors and finishes, so it's easy to use for whatever look you're going for. 

 Double Wear Hydrating CC-dation in Nude Beige from 1028 Visual Therapy

Next on my list is the Double Wear Hydrating CC-dation from 1028 Visual Therapy. For a drugstore brand, 1028 Visual Therapy really is something! I have yet to try something from 1028 Visual Therapy that disappointed me.  Prior to this, I used 1028 UV White CC Essence, but it ran out because I would lend it to my younger brother whenever he needed stage makeup. Upon hearing that I was out of CC Cream, my aunt gave me her Hydrating CCdation in Light Beige, and from them on, it was love. The CCdation is a combination of CC Cream and foundation. The coverage ranges from light to medium, but what I love most about it is that it doesn't dry my skin out. In fact, I feel like my skin is even moisturized after using it. The "hydrating"part of this CCdation is extremely helpful, and I have taken to alternating this with my bareMinerals Foundation as the powder tends to dry my skin out. Much like a regular CC Cream, it does even out my skin tone very well, and covers up the redness around my nose. And though the consistency of the CCdation is a bit watery, it does last for over eight hours, even when I think that I have sweated it off. This is a blessing considering I live in the Philippines. (SPF25, too. Orayt. Rock and roll to the world.)

bareMinerals Blush in Beauty

I got this blush as a free sample along with the bareMinerals Foundation set from our family trip to Osaka last March, and it's the only blush I've used since then. It's a teeny-tiny container, but it's still pretty full even with my mom and I sharing it. I love how pigmented it is, and a little goes a long way. It's really lightweight and easy to apply. At first. I thought it would be difficult to not overdo blush with this, but I've found that it was pretty easy to control how pink I wanted my cheeks to end up.

bareMinerals Warmth All Over Face Color

The first time I got my hands on this was when my aunt gave my mom a bareMinerals Foundation set, and I ignored it because (1) I had no idea what to do with it and (2) I thought the shade was too dark for me. Now, I've taken to using it as a bronzer, blush, contouring, or just lightly dusting it over my face whenever my foundation leaves me looking too pale. It's so versatile. A little also goes a long way, and I do have to be careful not to overdo things with this powder.   

Ultimate Oil Control Powder from 1028 Visual Therapy

I know I've written about this before, as it's always been in my makeup bag, but I just have to rave about this. This is my HG pressed powder. It's light on the skin, absorbs oil really well, and leaves my face feeling softer after use. That's what I love about 1028, to be honest. It's beauty and skincare rolled into one affordable package. In the picture is actually my third purchase of this powder- it's just that good. It also works pretty well at setting my makeup, almost on par with my Guerlain Meteorites Finishing Powder.

Nyx Extra Creamy Round Lipstick in Pandora

Now, I'm not much of a lipstick person, as I find it a bit of a nuisance when I'm eating or taking a drink, but this frosty, purple color just caught my eye. This was originally a gift to my mom, and I asked if I could try it. Once I did, I knew I wasn't going to give it back. (Thank you, Mama.)  It applies really smoothly, and the touch of shimmer is just  right. It's a bit sheer, but buildable if I want a more intense color. I was also surprised at how resilient it was! Really, minimal touch ups needed through out the day. It's moisturizing. too. Yes, I know it's purple. A really pretty, purple. Yes, I know it makes me look like a Disney Villain. And yes, I do want to look like a Disney Villain.

Last on my list is this unnamed/no-brand puff which I bought from Sasa at Taipei. I first bought this on a whim, because I was looking for an alternative to the Too Cool For School Marshmallow Puff I once owned. My experience with the Marshmallow Puff did not end well, and I'm not exactly willing to shell out big bucks for a Beauty Blender. I'm not a fan of using brushes with liquid foundation as the results usually ends up looking streaky, so I gambled on this puff I randomly saw at Sasa. And I hit the jackpot. It wasn't really much of a gamble, as it only cost around 150Php and works just as well, if not even better, than the Marshmallow Puff. It's much softer too, so it's easier to bounce the round end on my face for a natural, even coverage. The tip also makes it easier to get foundation under the eyes and around the nose.When I use it with lighter shades of foundation, like the CCdation in Light Beige, it blends the foundation so well on my skin that it's as if I didn't put on foundation.

That's it for my favorites (for now). Hopefully, the Christmas Season will bring me more favorites to come. Teehee. <3

There are just some things that one can't outgrow, and for me, Prince of Tennis (TeniPuri) is one of them. I first got into TeniPuri back in 2007,  when I was still in highschool and eight years later I'm, once again, hooked on the series and its franchise (anime, manga, character songs, stage musicals– you name it). It's ridiculous, really, how much I love this series with all the outlandish tennis moves with just as outlandish names. Would you believe they made a stage musical out of it? A hugely successful one at that? I've been practically drowning in TeniPuri for the past month and it was only a matter of time before I did something TeniPuri-related.

So here it is: TeniPuri-inspired nails. To be more specific, Hyotei Gakuen-inspired nails. Prince of Tennis tells of Seigaku's, a middle-school tennis team, bid to win the National Tournament and Hyotei Gakuen is one of the many rival schools they face.

Image from Zero-chan.net

Like many of the other rival schools in the series, Hyotei is full of eccentric characters that are all strangely endearing that it's difficult not to root for them. Eventually, they ended up as my second favorite rival school in the series, the first one being Rikkai Daigaku Fuzoku.

Hyotei's color motif leans more towards  light blues and gray it was easy for me to find lacquers from my collection that would suit their image. 

(L-R) Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat, OPI Teal the Cows Come Home, Clinique Made of Steel

In Japanese, Hyotei (氷帝) can be roughly translated into "ruler of ice." (If I'm not mistaken.) Due to this, Hyotei is associated with ice.  This association is most notable when it comes to the captain and one of my favorite characters, Atobe Keigo. This is largely due to one of his techniques in the series called "World of Ice", where he can see an opponent's weak spots which are represented by shards of ice. (Sshhh. This is anime/manga. It's allowed to be outrageous.) In the musicals, Hyotei even has their own version of what I call the "douchebag rival song" aptly entitled "Ice Emperor" in which they pretty much tell the protagonist team, and everyone else to "Kneel down, worship, and honor us." This is why I opted for an icy blue and I thought Teal The Cows Come Home was perfect. I added Made of Steel as an accent nail to nail (pun intended) that Hyotei Gakuen color motif. 

Anyone who knows me knows that I am weak against sparkly things, so instead of just going with the icy blue and dark grey I added on rhinestones and glitter. It may seem a bit over the top, but I was going for Atobe Keigo, arguably the center of Hyotei and known for being over the top. Self-styled and widely recognized as "King," Atobe's flamboyant tendencies have been somewhat of a running joke within the franchise and the fandom, so the rhinestones play into the theme well. Maybe I should change the title of this post to "Shousha wa Atobe!" instead. 

I had a lot of fun with this nail art. Granted, it was a bit difficult getting the rhinestones on my nails, but seeing the end-result is satisfying. Isn't it pretty? Not only is it a combination of two of my interests (anime/manga and cosmetics holla), but it suits the Christmas Season as well! December is drawing near and nothing says Christmas festivities quite like a little sparkle sparkle.

I'm hoping I could do more of these cross-overs in the future. Rikkai nail art would be nice, if only I could pull off yellow nails.

Until next time!

Guess who just stepped into the world of lippies? I used to be not too keen on lip products aside from lip balm or lip tints, but I am a changed woman now. I do use lipstick occasionally, when I know that I won't be eating or drinking any time soon, but it's still one of those things I usually forgo when I put on makeup.

My biggest problem with lipstick is that it tends to transfer and fade easily, even when I'm just taking a drink. It might be just me over-reacting, but whenever I see lipstick left on that straw I just used, or the glass I took a sip from, all I could see was the money that went into that lipstick. Still, I did like lipstick well enough, so I began my search for resilient lip colors. During my last visit to Taipei, I found out about Clio's Lipnicure, which had a lot of raving reviews. Sadly though, the original matte Lipnicure was no longer on sale, and I wasn't too keen on the new Lipnicure Glass and its shades. However, I did find the Lipmanicure by RiRe, an obscure Korean cosmetics brand. It was obviously a dupe of the Lipnicure, but since I fell in love with the Wine Burgundy color, I went for it.

Rire's Lipmanicure in Wine Burgundy and Muse Red

Rire's Lipmanicure comes in 11 shades, but they're not easy to find. In Taipei, they're not available in most drugstores or beauty stores. I was lucky enough to find these two colors at Strawberry Paradise Beauty House in one of the alleys in Ximending. In most other places, like 86shop, the shades available were either too pink, or too orange. These were on sale when I bought them, so I bought two colors: Wine Burgundy and Muse Red. At first glance, they look like cute little bottles of nail polish and come with a short applicator. Upon opening the bottles, you get hit by this artificial-smelling fragrance of sort, but it disappears after a while, so I didn't get too concerned about it.

Personally, the applicator was too short and wide cap made it really difficult to apply the lipmanicure. Especially for someone like me who prefers clean lines when it comes to my lips, the applicator was a nightmare. Midway into applying this for the first time, I gave up and switched to a lip brush.

Muse Red (L) and Wine Burgundy (R) applied with the built-in applicator.

Muse Red is a warm, matte, bright red shade, while Wine Burgundy is a rather cool, matte, dark red. All of the Lipmanicure colors come in matte, but you can also opt to purchase the top coat if you want a glossy finish. (Just like a real manicure!)

When it comes to application, awkward applicator aside, the product applies smoothly. However, it is important to note that the product dries quickly. This is because once the lip manicure dries, it will not budge. If you try to even out layers by building it up, you're going to end up with patchy looking lips. What I do is, working one lip at a time, I outline my lips with it, then fill it into get a nice, even layer. The great thing about these shades though, is that one layer is enough for a solid finish. Honestly, two layers might be a bit too much.

Aside from Wine Burgundy and Muse Red being just the colors I wanted for my lips, I loved how resilient it is.This is what the Lipmanicure looked like after I put it under running water and tried to smudge it with a finger.

It smears a bit, but otherwise, it looks untouched. If I hadn't touched it right after wetting it, I doubt it would have smeared. I've worn Wine Burgundy a couple of times, and it really doesn't transfer onto anything. Not on my glass, not on a straw, not on a bottle of water...that's how resilient it is! Though wiping my mouth with a tissue did cause some of it to come off, it was barely noticeable. It did start fading and smudging when I had oily food, but that's understandable. 

Removing it is a bit of a challenge. Although my Shu Uemura Cleaning Oil had very little problems getting it off my lips, it did require a bit of elbow grease to get the stains off the area around my lips where it had smeared while I was trying to remove it. 

The RiRe Lipmanicure dried my lips out so much, that it cancels out its other positive qualities. It's such a shame because I really love the Wine Burgundy shade and it's staying power. If anything, I'll just end up putting this on whenever I feel like taking a nice selfie and then removing it immediately after.

Here is a little selca of me when I first tried out the Wine Burgundy color:
Isn't the color so lovely? I feel like an evil queen. Or a teleserye contrabida mom.