It's the end of a fabulous year, and it's time to reminisce about my best moments in 2011! I promised myself that I would post this entry before the year ends, and I am fulfilling that promise, woohoo! I've had a blast meeting all the gorgeous and amazing beauty bloggers from Manila. I've been online buddies with them since 2006 or so, but it was my first time to see them in the (gorgeous) flesh last June when I visited the Philippines after six long years. I had a wonderful but short three-week stay, and my schedule was so hectic and full. My family had a blissful 4-day stay at the paradise island called Boracay, but when we got back to Manila, every lunch and dinner during my entire stay was booked for family and friends. Not that I minded that, I loved every second of it. However, exhaustion and jet lag took their toll, so please pardon my appearance in the photos below!
The lovely Manila bloggers: (Top) Shen, Brigitte, Phoebe Ann, Sophie, Smile
Bottom: Nikki, Me, Claudine
Photo Credit: Powwow photos from Sophie
Every one of these ladies brings back special memories.
I actually first met Claud in the flesh way back in 2007 when she visited Scottsdale, Arizona, although we'd been online buddies for quite a while before that. We talked for three hours non-stop, and to think it was our very first meeting! I wrote about our first meet-up HERE.
Claud and me in 2007 in Scottsdale, AZ
We talked about mineral makeup and how it truly helped heal our blemish-prone skin. Claud was a believer herself that she opened her own mineral makeup store as a reseller of Bare Escentuals, for people in Manila who would like to try Bare Minerals but don't have access to the brand. She is a lovely girl and a young and successful entrepreneur.
Brigitte and me
Brigitte is a beautiful girl who I used to chat with in forums about mineral makeup. She was merely a makeup enthusiast then. Now she is a full-fledged makeup artist in Manila.
me, Nikki, and Phoebe Ann
Nikki has an amazing blog at Askmewhats.com, and she is the freehand nail art goddess! Her nail art is amazing, and I am mesmerized everytime I see her creations. She is so nice as well.
Phoebe Ann is the girl with the loveliest tan, and she has great skills in photography. I also like her taste in makeup.
Shen, Nikki, me
Shen is such a breath of fresh air. She lights up the room the minute she walks in. She is bubbly and friendly, and I love her reviews on her blog, Shensaddiction.com.
How come I don't have a photo with Smile?
Smile is my MAC buddy who loves everything MAC, and is now into nail polish as well. I love her Manila gay lingo and her high energy. Miss you Smile!
Finally, the gorgeous Sophie who introduced me to blogging. She was the one who encouraged me to blog, and I truly admire her pro makeup talent, as well as her nurturing, caring quality, and not to mention her amazing photography skills!
Gifts to me from the Manila bloggers
During our powwow, we had dinner at Sumo Sam in the Shangrila mall in Mandaluyong, Manila. It was a quick two hour dinner, and I wished it was longer than that! They didn't have to, but they gave me amazing gifts that truly touched me to the core (*sniffles-sniffles*):
Charm Luxe Flat Top Brush
Sophie has her own line of makeup brushes called Charm Brushes, and as I said in my Charm Makeup Brush Set Review, these brushes work amazingly well, are of high quality, and are affordable. Sophie herself designed these brushes with meticulous care. I will do a full review of the Charm Luxe Flat Top Brush, but I gotta say this rivals the Sigma Sigmax flat top synthetic brush. It's got a beautiful dense head and a big, comfortable handle for maximum control of the tool. The synthetic fibers are super soft on the skin, and this brush is great for applying both cream and liquid foundation. As a makeup brush connoisseur, I am pretty impressed. You can order these on Sophie's brush site which I linked above, or you can go to the Charm Makeup Brush Facebook page (yes they ship worldwide!). Thank you Sophie for this gift! Loving it to this day!
Claud got me this necklace from her Thailand trip. Thank you Claud!
Just what I need, lovely asian cosmetics! Thank you so much Nikki! I have yet to use the dotting tool because I still need to practice to acquire great nail art skills like you do!
From Smile: Reed diffuser
I believe Smile and her family own a company that makes these reed diffusers. Thank you Smile! It smells so fresh and clean, and the packaging is world class!
I am really amazed at the generosity of these wonderful ladies, and they are the epitome of kindness and beauty. Truly. I miss your company and I hope to see you soon. Happy New Year!
Watch out for more 2011 Highlights from The Shades Of U!