Posts in “Before and After”

New hair color with Schwarzkopf + 3 makeup looks to try!

Monday, April 23, 2018

This shop has been compensated by Schwarzkopf.  #FashionColorExpert #sponsored

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Today in Hello Island Mama, I’m partnering with Schwarzkopf color ULTÎME® to help me to get a new spring look. These looks are inspired by the runway, but I’ve adapted them so that readers can easily try them at home!! Hair is also a big part of my final look, and that is why I’m happy I had a chance to try Schwarzkopf color ULTÎME®. Scroll down for 3 looks you can try for spring and some great makeup tips!

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If you’d like to have a fresh makeup look this season, try adding a golden highlighter on the upper part of your cheeks and brow bone. I opted for this yellow-gold highlighter powder to bring out the glow of my skin.

How to: Use a tapered designed brush or fan brush to apply highlighter powder. This creates a subtle effect on your skin while applying the makeup. Use the brush to blur the edges and blend into your skin. I also like to  use matte foundation, which helps bring out the luminous effect of the highlighter.

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I rarely use colored eyeshadow for my eyes, but this rosy eye look is so pretty, especially if you match it with a pretty curl hairstyle.

How to: Apply eye primer or liquid concealer on the entire eyelid. This will help the eyeshadow to stay longer. Use a flat brush for the eyelid to apply a rosy eyeshadow powder.  Then switch to the blending brush to blur and to add the same eyeshadow on the crease. Use eyeliner to define your eyes.
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Turn your regular winged eyeliner into a sparkle look. There are few ways to create this look depending on what products you are using.  I used a regular black eyeliner pencil + glitter eyeshadow and a mixing medium.

How to: First, make sure you sharpen your eyeliner pencil before using to be precise in applying. Create a winged eyeliner shape you like, I created a look to wear during daytime. Using a pointed small brush, I mixed a pea sized amount of mixing medium and some glitter eyeshadow together. Using the same brush, I applied the mixture on top of the winged eyeliner, mostly on the center. Try to keep looking down (where you hold your mirror) while the glitter eyeshadow is still wet.Also, don’t forget mascara!

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Thankfully my mom is in town to assist me in coloring my hair using Schwarzkopf color ULTÎME® in Cocoa Red.  I was easily able to pick up this hair color in Walmart, and the result is a vibrant, fresh color! I’m happy with how the colors turned out, and even more happy that the color defies fading up to 9 weeks! It is a “true to box” color result. Not only that, it is still shiny after being washed multiple times. Check out other shades at the Schwarzkopf website ,or just head to nearest Walmart. new hair color schwarzkopf makeup looks Spring (9) new hair color schwarzkopf makeup looks Spring (11)

Share or comment below your on-trend fashion or beauty you like to try this spring!

Happy Monday! 🙂


Tutorial: How I Curl My Hair (VIDEO)

Monday, June 19, 2017


I finally had the guts to take video of myself for my blog, although I need to improve on recording myself, like not recording in the vertical position. 😉 This hair tutorial is about how I usually curl my hair, which I mostly do on the weekends when we go out. I like to begin curling with “dirty hair” or unwashed hair. I don’t wash my hair everyday and it helps my hair curl easily and have a loose, soft finish. Here’s the process on how I achieve this hairstyle.

  1. I brush my hair to make sure there are no tangles.
  2. My hair is super dry so I like to apply hair serum to the bottom part of my hair (from the middle to the end of my hair) to make it soft. I use a Filipino brand called St. Joan Hair Care Shine Serum. It protects the hair from damage caused by heat appliances like curling iron.
  3. I usually section my hair, but in this video I didn’t. I just started to curl the left side of my hair using 1 ½ “ curling iron starting from the back of my hair.
  4. I continued to curl on the right side of my hair. I like to grab only small sections of hair (ideally 2 inches), so the curls will last longer. I also curl outwards.
  5. After I’m done curling, I set my hair with hairspray so the curls​ hold throughout the day. I also like to use my fingers to brush off my hair instead of using a comb or brush.


Watch my first hair video tutorial below and don’t forget to subscribe to my new channel!

I hope you enjoy watching my first video! I promise to do better recording next time. Maybe Brent can teach me. 😉 Any requests for my next video?

Have a great week!


How To: Changing Lip Tone Color

Wednesday, September 28, 2016


Putting on makeup becomes more fun when I try to blend and mix colors together. One product experiment with the most is lip color. Lip liners are not only great as a base and make lipstick last longer, but they also help the lip color change tone, brightness, and darkness. I recently used this bareMinerals Gen Nude in Juju. There are some days I stick to one lip product, but want to change its tone. That’s why today, I’ll show you how I change my current favorite lip color to a different tone. It is perfect fit for this new season, fall! makeup-tricks-changing-tone-of-lipcolor-fall-winter



I find red liner is my favorite base of all, if I want to make my natural lip product vibrant. If you have one like this just laying around, or if you are hesitant to use red lip liner, this is the perfect time to try!

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My current fave lip color, bareMinerals Gen Nude in Juju, has a pink tone. That’s why I decided to try a brown eyeliner to add a hint of brown tone to it. It’s not as big of a difference compared to the red liner, but I can tell that it changed the saturation when I used the brown liner as a base.

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I was skeptical about using black eyeliner as a base thinking it might look gothic,  mixing it with my Juju lip color. Surprisingly, I LOVE how it turned out. It created a nice Fall Season lip tone that suits my skintone. I think I’ll add more black for the base to make it look darker next time I apply my Juju lip color.

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NOTE: If you try this technique and use eye liners as a base often,  I recommend getting seperate brown or black eyeliners (or any other colored eyeliners) for the lips and eyes. You can also sanitize the eyeliners by wiping them with rubbing alcohol, letting them dry, and then sharpening them. For retractable eye liners, it’s easy to clean by wiping them with rubbing alcohol. Always make sure they are completely dry before using them on your eyes. 🙂

Have you tried this technique? What liner colors do you want to try?

Feel free to pin this image below 🙂



Simple Bathroom Makeover + Makeup Organizing

Saturday, September 24, 2016


I finally had the time to organize our bathroom last week, since we moved back to Houston and got our own apartment. If you follow me on Snapchat and on Instagram, you might have seen how I used window curtains for exterior shower curtains. I love how it turned out! It looks great and adds beauty to the bathroom. Another nice touch was adding some plants to make the bathroom feel relaxing and calm. I also love these wooden containers from my mom, made in my hometown in the Philippines. These kinds of containers will be on my shopping list the next time I go back there. They are so beautiful and well-made!


I love this round, wood container which I use for cotton balls bathroom-makeover-makeup-organizing-5


A wooden coaster for my rings, so I don’t misplace them.


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My husband loves how this curtain turned out too. It will also help during the cold season, keeping the cool air from getting into the shower. One issue that I encountered was finding longer shower curtains for the inside. Most stores only offered standard sizes, which were too short for our shower. However, I was able to come up with my own solution. I hand-sewed a piece of another shower curtain onto the existing one. This extended the length to help keep water from splashing outside. Our shower has two rods for holding shower curtains: one for the outside, and one for the inside. I moved the inside rod holding the clear shower curtain higher up, so that it wouldn’t be visible.  This helped make it look more aesthetically pleasing on the outside. You can see the changes in the before and after pics below.


Here are similar items you might like to check out for your bathroom. 🙂

Window Curtain

Shower Curtain Rod

Soft Bathroom Rug

Fern Plants In Burlap Planters

3- Opening Rope Collage Frame

Oval Wood Tray With Copper Handle

Palm Tifton Canister

Cactus Mercury Glass Jar With Rope Trim

Wood Placemat

Wood Coaster

Any tips on how you organize your bathroom simply and make it beautiful?


Back-to-School Makeup Tutorial

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

A natural looking makeup tutorial for those who want to try wearing makeup at school. Learn this natural, yet blooming makeup look that is perfect for college students or graduate students. It enhances facial features and gives a boost of confidence.


If I could go back to my college days, this look would be my favorite. It is more on the natural side as it is enhances beauty. Today, I’m sharing a makeup tutorial for those gals who wants to try wearing makeup at school without looking “too much” or “over done.” Some steps are optional, depending on what you need for your skin type/tone or want for your look. For example, if you have good brows, that means you can skip filling them up with makeup.

Some of my friends wonder, if I had a daughter, would I allow her to wear makeup at school? 😉  In my opinion, I don’t see anything wrong with wearing makeup at school, IF it is age appropriate. There is also the matter of what kind of look she is trying to create with her makeup. However, I still believe that is better not to wear makeup before college. But if you like to experiment and want to learn (which is good for school presentations, etc.) I suggest mascara and lip balm as a good starting point for young ones. When I was in highschool, I did have a shiny face, so I often used pressed powder or baby powder (oooppss). Now, I wish I only used blotting paper back then. Throughout my college years, I loved to wear makeup, usually pressed powder, blush, mascara, and natural lip color product. I think it helped my face look awake due to sleepless nights I spent finishing up some paintings and artworks. Makeup also gave me extra confidence even if it was just a simple, natural look. To this day, it still does. Below is the step-by-step tutorial on how I create this perfect back-to-school look! Enjoy!


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1 Apply tinted moisturizer onto your clean face using your fingers. I love Bareminerals Complexion Rescue . My color shade is tan.

2 To cover up dark circles, redness around the nose, and to highlight some areas, apply a liquid concealer and use your ring finger to blend it. I prefer liquid because it’s easier to blend.

3 Use a beauty blender or a soft makeup sponge (SIMILAR) and dampen  it with a little water. Then, pat down the makeup under your eyes and face.This will help to avoid patches and gives a smooth finish after applying tinted moisturizer and concealer.

4 Begin to fill up your eyebrows, I’m using L’Oreal Paris Definer Brow Liner in a shade of brunette that comes with a brush too.

5 Go back and grab a liquid concealer but this time, apply it on the entire eyelids and blend it. This will help the eyeshadow to stick on and have a smooth application for long-wearing.

6 Depending on your skin tone, use an eyeshadow in brown tone (Similar Eyeshadow). Pat down the eyeshadow all over your eyelids, using a small, flat brush. Blend it gradually on the crease using the blending brush.

7 With a pencil eyeliner, draw a thin line on your upper lash line and outer, lower lash line. Stop at the center (as the image shown)

8 Curl and put on your favorite mascara. Right now, I’m really digging the Younique Moodstruck 3D Fiber Lashes that comes with fiber making my lashes longer. Ahhh I love it!

9 Apply a cream lip liner. I like to use Rimmel Lipliner because they have a few color options for natural lip tones, which are perfect for everyday looks. Plus, it has a soft texture to blend with.

10 I used this same lipliner for my blush. I’m surprised how it stays smoothly on my cheeks and gives me a natural flash.

11 (Optional) Use gloss if you’d want a shine on your lips.

12 Add a highlight on your tear ducts if you want to open up your eyes. This is great to help tired, sleepy eyes.

13 Don’t forget to dust some setting powder on the areas under your eyes and your T-zone



If you are looking for more affordable makeup products, check out my blog post about drugstore makeup products that I used for this look.

What were your makeup must-haves when you were in school? Share them in the comments below!

P.S. Thanks to my son for letting me uses his books as my props for this shoot. 😉


Have fun pinning this tutorial on your Pinterest board!




Do-It-Yourself Play Kitchen

Monday, May 23, 2016


My eldest son started to love playing cook when he saw his cousin’s play kitchen. It all started whenever we would visit her. So that he could have his own, I tried to look for a second hand play kitchen online, but I didn’t see any designs or prices that I liked. Before I started to create this, I did some research on Pinterest to get more details and ideas on how to create one. Unfortunately, I do not have a step-by-step tutorial to create this, but here are some tips I’d like to share for creating your own play kitchen.  It took me 2 weeks on and off, since I had the kids around. I mostly used diaper boxes, with the oven being made out of a box I got from Walmart. I used construction paper to cover-up all the boxes entirely. To seal the edges, I used blue-colored duct tape from Hobby Lobby. In my opinion, this is very important to protect the paper from tearing, especially from those little hands.

Here’s the oven, stove and microwave:


I used an old thick insulation foam board as the wall for the microwave and oven. I made holes in the foam board and the microwave and oven boxes. Through those holes, I used a strong, tight rope to tie them all together.


For the right side of the “oven” I used the Philippine flag as the design. I was born and raised in the Philippines and my kids have Filipino blood too, so I wanted to pay tribute to my homeland. Am I proud of my country? Oo naman! Syempre! (Of course!)  🙂


And of course, I am also proud to live in Texas! So on the left side of the “oven,” I used the Texas flag as the design. “Howdy, y’all!” Nope, I don’t really talk like that. (Not yet…)

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I used boxes again to cut out the stove top ranges. Underneath each range, I laid down orange construction paper as a base to add some pop and color. This was inspired by Pinterest. Using a glue gun, I made sure it was totally secured so that the kids wouldn’t be able to remove or peel it off easily.


I wish I could have made twistable stove knobs, but I didn’t have any ideas on how to create them, so I created non-movable ones. Haha. Well, at least there are knobs. For the oven, I created a magnetic closure so that the oven door could easily open and close. I made sure the magnet was embossed inside the box and really secured with the glue gun. Again, this is important so that it will be safe for the kids.


Here’s my son, ready to eat some sweets.


This is the microwave. My son love this! It has also a magnetic closure, so it allows easy opening and closing as well.

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I experimented with the microwave top design by using duct tape, for a more interesting and fun look.


This is one of the good things about this part of the play kitchen; the numbers. I can teach my son about numbers in either English or Tagalog. If I say, “Okay son, Pindutin mo na yong ‘Lima.’” (Translation: Okay son, Press the 5 now.”) He’ll look for the number and press it!


Here’s the other part of the play kitchen. It is a counter top and a sink. It is also made from diaper boxes. I found a cheap steel bowl from a thrift store and used it for the sink basin. I went to Hobby Lobby to grab this fabric, as a cover for the sink bottom. This cover was inspired by my grandmother’s Philippine kitchen. When my grandmother used to live in a nipa (palm) hut she had fabric to cover the bottom of the sink.

For the faucet, I used paper towel roll tubes covered with duct tape. It wasn’t that smoothly done, but I like how simple and colorful it is.

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My son making coffee for his Dada.

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Well, I guess this is good way to expose my kids to cooking, so that someday they will be the ones to cook and prepare their own meals. 😉

I hope you all find some inspiration from this post! 🙂

Have a great week!




Fresh Mom Look: Easy Steps to Cover Dark Circles

Monday, February 22, 2016


Recently, my youngest son, who just turned 8 months, has been sleeping through the night now. Yahoo!!! It was a very big help for me and my husband since we also have a toddler who will turn 2 next month. From all the sleep deprivation with my kids, all I really want is to sleep longer. If you are single, mom-to-be, or married with no kids, all I can say right now is that enjoy your sleep! Just sleep and sleep! 😉

Today’s post is about how to look fresh and feel fresh when you have those dark circles around your eyes. I thought dark circles are cool to have when you are in school since you will look studious, but I guess not anymore! Here are easy steps and tips for you to enjoy how to cover those tired eyes!

conceal_dark_undereyes_tutorial_soften_wrinkless_puffiness_eye_cream_OZ_naturals_fresh_mom_look_emsmith_1 1. Freshen up  

I used OZ Naturals Super Youth Eye Gel*  which is natural and cruelty-free. This eye gel comes in a small bottle but you don’t need to put much, only tiny bit of gel. I love to  massage the gel all over my under eyes and also to my outer corner of my eyes. Wait for few seconds to let the skin absorb the eye gel. 

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Although, I didn’t see the improvement of my dark circles, I can say that this Youth Eye Gel* helps to soften the lines I have around my lower lash line. I love the smell too! The eye gel is fast-absorbing which is important for me since I use it under makeup. The feeling is smooth and fresh. You can also use this product day and night.


2) Correct it

Corrector helps to neutralize the darkness of under eyes. It brightens the area before applying the concealer. It makes a big difference to use the corrector especially if you have discoloration under your eyes. I used an orange tone corrector by using a brush and apply all areas of darkness, after that I pressed the corrector  with my finger into my skin. If you don’t have one, you can try to use any cream orange eyeshadow as long as it is matte finish. If you have deep dark skin tone, you may try red tone corrector. You may also try to use darker shade of liquid or cream type of foundation to neutralize your dark circles before applying the concealer. Make sure you blend it well.


3) Lighten up

Clean the same brush and use concealer that is 1-2 shades lighter than your skin tone or foundation. Apply on the same area where you put the corrector. Use your fingers afterwards to pat down and to gently warm up the concealer into your skin, this also helps to avoid crease and cakey under eyes.

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4) Set it!

By using a loose powder, I set the concealer by dusting some powder. Use only enough powder you need. If your skin is dry, use less powder.

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Doing these steps will help you look fresh and less tired! The makeup is also long-wearing especially when I have an eye gel to act as a base and help the makeup to have a smooth skin finish.

Have a great week mommies!! 🙂

Disclosure * This product has been sent to me to review. All opinions are honest and my own. Powered by Brandbacker.


Easy Romantic Hairstyle Tutorial + Concealer for Gray Hair

Friday, February 19, 2016

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #RethinkColour #CollectiveBias


This post is something that my mom will giggle at and be excited about! It’s about how I conceal the gray hairs on top of my head. Yes, believe it or not, I do have them. And yes, concealer is not only for makeup, you can use it for hair, too! Gray hair is something that I got from my mother’s side of the family. From what I remember, I already had gray hair early on in college. Something I regret doing back then was pulling them out. Why? I got more gray hair! Boo! However, I got excited when I found out that John Frieda had released a product that can blur and conceal gray hair. At first, I thought this was only for those who wanting to conceal their root regrowth, but then I found that it is also helpful for those like me who have gray hair on top. I chose the shade of Root Blur™ Colour Blending Concealer Chestnut to Espresso For Medium to Dark Brunette since I have dark hair.

Say, “Hi” to them! 😉


I find it easy to apply the concealer powder to cover my gray hair. Since I have thick, long hair, I tie my hair back. This keeps my hair from moving a lot while applying the concealer powder.


I noticed a big difference in my hair after using this concealer powder! I normally section my hair to one side so that my gray hairs don’t show. However, I’m glad that this concealer powder  will allow me to section anywhere I want, with the style I want. What I love about the John Frieda concealer powder is that it doesn’t feel like there is product on my hair; it is weightless, and doesn’t feel sticky. It also stays right where I place it until the next time I shampoo my hair. Plus, it comes with two customizable shades.


Now that we’re clear of gray hair, here’s a romantic hairstyle I did to match my pretty pink make-up. I used:

  • 1.5-Inch Curling Iron
  • 2 Small Plastic Bonds
  • Hairpins

To do this hairstyle, you’ll need to start by sectioning your hair to one side. Let some hair remain in front. Start to braid your hair, using a thickness of your choice. Tie and pin it underneath the rest of your hair. Do this on the other side as well. Finally, start to curl your hair, including the hair remaining in the front.  So simple and quick!

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John Frieda products will be available on an endcap display at Target until March 5th. Here’s a bonus: If you buy 3 products, you’ll get a $5 Target gift card! Whooa!!


What shade of John Frieda Concealer Powder  will you pick for your hair?




Welcome to Hello Island Mama! I love to share about motherhood, makeup, DIYs, home styling and faith. Based in Houston, Texas. Originally from Philippines. Thank you for your time to read and don't forget to subscribe above! - Em

"I can do all things through him who strengthens me." Philippians 4:13

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