The Reluctant Stylista

The kikay kit – generally regarded as a woman’s secret weapon, her little bag of mojo.  The variety it contains is much like her closet: full to the brim with what she’ll usually wear everyday, but it also has options to transform her into a woman much more mysterious and rare.

To the reluctant stylista who is toying with the idea of assembling a somewhat serious kit (something that’ll make a real noticeable difference apart from that pressed powder and lipgloss you always tote inside your bag), the question is, where to start?

I remember accidentally parting with my own a while back and I didn’t realize how much I depended on it until that day.  I had to make do with some borrowed eyeliner and the stuff I leave in my closet when I think my kit is too full.  After that, I realized I should have an emergency kit at home, but at the same time, I don’t want to be too extravagant.  So I figured I can afford to have only some key items on my second string team.  And definitely nothing expensive this recession season.

Also, this entry was inspired by a friend’s call for help because she left her kikay kit inside a cab some weeks ago.  She wants to rebuild a new one but requests no “fancy things”!  I don’t really see myself as a make-up expert, but with that in mind, let’s see what we can come up with:

1. Tinted moisturizer

Preferably one with SPF.  Call it magic for the lazy, since it’s practically fuss-free skincare.  You want to be moisturized and sunscreened, why not have even-looking skin at the same time?  And as it’s not as heavy as foundation, it’s perfect for girls who are cautious around make-up.


Nu Colour Tinted Moisturizer from Nu Skin (P1700). I love it because it’s lightweight and just a little bit goes a long way.  It’s the lightest formula out of all tinted moisturizers I’ve tried.

Smashbox Sheer Focus (P1450). I love the dewy finish!  And it gives off a healthy glow even if I’ve been doing late nights.  Heavier than NuSkin, it may require some powdering for oily skin halfway through the day, although I wonder why since it says it’s oil-free.

You can also try:

Nivea Visage Tinted Moisturizer (much cheaper at P275, but heavier than other tinted moisturizers I’ve tried)

Maybelline Clear Smooth Aqua Gel Foundation (not really a tinted moisturizer, but lightweight. Provides ample coverage, but doesn’t have SPF)

Tinted Moisturizers

2. Eyeliner

I think eyeliner was one of the first few things I played around with when I started wanting to look different.  It’s definitely a staple, because it’s versatile when you’re desperate.  I, for one, do not step out of the house until my eyebrows are filled in.  You can use the eyeliner with brush for that.  Also, something as simple as lining your lashes (upper and lower) can already change the way you look dramatically.  And it doesn’t require that much effort or expertise.


Nichido Eye Pencil in Black (not really good as good for lining the lids, but nice for the eyebrows and incredibly cheap at P60).

Prestige Skin-Loving Minerals Eyeliner in Azurite (Eyeliner always ups the score when defining your eyes, but brown makes it look more natural and undetectable to the unpracticed eye)

Prestige Skin-Loving Minerals Eyeliner

3. Lip-cheek tint

I like how these things look natural, and how it makes you look young, fresh and flushed.  Everyone wants to look pretty, but looking naturally pretty like you didn’t lift a finger is my favourite.  I also have a problem with my lips looking lifeless and chappy, and lipstick doesn’t work for me (it cakes on my dry lips!). This does.


The Face Shop Freshian Real Tint in Cherry (P450.00) (real pretty color! For something darker, you can try it in Wine.)

The Face Shop Fresian Lip and Cheek Tint

You can stop right here, or you can take my word and add two more things:

4. Brown eyeshadow

I think brown is really flattering for Filipinas, be it in matte or shimmer.  I use it for eyeshadow, eyeliner and even shaping my eyebrows.  I’m a fan of anything this versatile.


Ellana Minerals in Wish or Intense (P130 each). For more information, visit their website.

Ellana Minerals

5. Mascara

I think mascara falls under the category of intimidating for most women who are not as adventurous in the name of vanity.  I was like that, once, until I found something I could really use well and saw the difference.  I marvelled at how wearing mascara can make one’s whole face look softer and innocently…flirty.  I’ve been a convert ever since.


The Face Shop Freshian Volumizing Mascara #01 Curling

The Face Shop Freshian Volumizing Mascara #01 Curling

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