Gorgeous Beauty: Makeup for the Empowered Cebuana

In all honesty, it’s been a while since I got excited about makeup.

The face needs to be covered with a face shield and face mask anyway, and it gets all hot and melty underneath, so most of the time I really couldn’t be bothered. In fact, the handful of times I actually applied makeup, it felt so foreign to my face I couldn’t wait to wash it off.

These past few days with Gorgeous Beauty single-handedly reminded me why I love makeup in the first place — to look good, and to feel good.

Gorgeous Beauty is a makeup brand based in Cebu and founded by Chlea Lugatiman. The company celebrates women and aims to bring beautiful and inspiring touches to as many of them as possible. The products are manufactured in Cebu and are cruelty-free!

I first saw their products scrolling through my social media feeds, coincidentally around the same time my brother’s girlfriend Eldawn told me about them. Yes, our phones are listening to us and you cannot convince me otherwise. But what really caught my attention was a specific post about one of their matte lip creams.

Listen. You can’t name things like that and expect I wouldn’t be interested. I was all in, hook, line, and sinker. Do I have like 20 other lipsticks on my arsenal, all of them mostly unused in the past year? Yes. Does it matter? It should because consumerism and dear lord Patty stop hoarding lipsticks, but the principle of the thing and all that.

I was already on that train of thought, convincing myself to buy it when they offered to send stuff my way! Who was I to say no? So, yes, full disclosure, these products were sent to me but everything written here are my own thoughts and opinions.

Gorgeous Beauty Lip Creams

Real talk: I am not the biggest fan of liquid lipsticks. I really wanted to be one because of how long-lasting they promised to be. But everything I’ve tried so far, from Nyx and Dose of Colors to Colourpop and Sephora, were all so very drying and left my lips flaky and patchy, even when I prepped my lips with all the tips and tricks I found on the internet. Retouching just made it look worse unless I really removed everything and started anew.

I stuffed them all at the back of my dedicated lipstick shelf, never to be opened again.

It has been a while since I tried to make liquid lipsticks work for me, and I was especially hopeful for the ones I got from Gorgeous Beauty because I was interested to start wearing lipsticks underneath my masks again. The traditional lipsticks I usually preferred would smudge everywhere or transfer like crazy.

To my surprise — one I’m very happy about — the Gorgeous Beauty Lip Creams mostly worked like a charm! My experience did vary with the three shades I got, so let’s break them down one by one:

Ginger Spice

I first tried Ginger Spice, a velvet formulation in a vibrant red that was immediately right up my alley, shade-wise. It’s not as bright as my go-to MAC Ruby Woo, but it does stand out on its own that you need to tone down everything else. The product picked up by the doe-foot applicator was enough for one coat, full coverage on top and bottom lips, and it glided on smoothly and evenly.

I had it on for roughly five hours at a focus group discussion, during which I ate dinner and drank water from a cup. I had iced coffee too, but I drank from a straw. There was barely any transfer when I took my mask off, and my straw came out clean, though it rubbed off a little when I ate. The venue was open-air and mostly cool because it rained, but I did briefly sweat out early on because I was in a blazer.

When I finally got home, I was pleased to see it lasted through all that talking, though the edges were very slightly feathered. The best part though, even if it is patchy in some places, it was not flaky and my lips didn’t feel dry. It’s just like the wear of traditional lipstick. I tried to see if it would come off with just a gentle cleanser (I used Cetaphil), but some pigment definitely remained, so I doubled back with a dedicated makeup remover.

Empowered Woman

The following day, I moved on to the matte lip creams and first went with Empowered Woman, a deeper yet more subdued red, like a plum. This one got me a lot of compliments on social media (thank you!), and my beauty enthusiast friend Joanna dubbed it “the most perfect red on [you].” I was surprised at that one because I’ve always felt fire-engine red was the way to go for me, but I’m excited to play with this shade a little more. Also, obviously, that name.

This one, I wore to a 12-hour day of production work for a corporate video. I don’t actually like to eat during shoots even when there’s a lot of waiting around, so I only did so at the end of the day when everything was over. Besides that, I drank cold white brew from a plastic cup and kept my mask on. It was an air-conditioned location, but I occasionally broke out into a light sweat because of running around.

In an effort to combat the feathering from the previous shade, I lined the corners of my lips with a red lipliner. Unfortunately, it bled even worse, though upon closer inspection it was definitely the lipliner — I was able to differentiate right away because of the difference in shade. Not sure if my lipliner is funky or the two formulas simply canceled each other out for some reason, but I won’t be doing that combination again! Besides the bleeding, from afar I still looked like I had a lot of color at the end of the day, but up close, you can see the unevenness.

No progression photos because I was extremely busy, and also I looked like a clown without a mask, lol. Even then, still not drying, no weird flakes, all good. I’m excited to wear it again, but properly.

Working Woman

Lastly, I went for Working Woman on an adventure that is most taxing on any product I have on my lips: aggressively drinking hot coffee while I work on my laptop. So, yup, totally apropos! Working Woman, which is another shade from their line of matte lip creams, is a nude that leans a little more on the warm side. It looks very orange in the tube, so I was glad to see it ended up more natural-looking on the lips. Like the other two shades, this one applied very smoothly and evenly, and the applicator picked up enough product for one full coat with great coverage.

There was still no transfer on my mask the first time I took it off. It put up a good fight against the coffee all afternoon with very minimal transfer, though it was completely obliterated later that evening when I had ramen for dinner. With the hot drink and the even hotter noodle soup, I didn’t have high expectations for it lasting — I’m just glad it lasted as long as it did!

When I got home and checked, the lipstick was completely gone. Not even uneven patches. But same as the others, I didn’t have disgusting flaking and my lips didn’t feel dry, so this feels like a major victory for me.

All 10/10, highly recommend!

Gorgeous Beauty Cream Blush and Luminizer

Alongside their top-selling matte lip creams, I got to try out three of Gorgeous Beauty’s blush and highlight, which only added to my sheer fun in getting reacquainted with my love for makeup.

I only recently added cheek products to my routine because I felt my natural cheeks were so red, it kind of seemed stupid to use blush when I spent so much time toning them down with foundation. But a consistent skincare routine seems to have helped with the redness, and I now appreciate what blush and highlight bring to the table, though I admit I’m still experimenting with shades and where to apply them until now.

If I’m using fingers to apply product on my face, I usually go for my ring finger for a lighter touch. However, I personally felt I was tugging my skin a bit more because the product seemed to require a bit of effort to blend, so I switched to using my middle finger to work the blush in faster. This may just be me and my inexperience with cream products in general though, so take that thought with a grain of salt.

Cream Blush in Coral

I wore Coral the same day I had on Gorgeous Woman and Empowered Woman because out of the two Cream Blushes I got, this seemed less warm. For those two lipstick shades, I was aiming for something more cool-toned to compliment the reds. It still came out initially warmer than I would have liked for the looks I was going for, but after a few minutes the product ‘settled’ on my skin and looked more natural.

Cream Blush in Tan

I was hesitant Tan was going to be too… err, tan on me and began thinking it might be best to use this for contouring than blush. Just like the Coral one though, while it applied super pigmented, it also ‘settled’ on my skin eventually to look more natural. It is definitely warmer than Coral and worked nicely with Working Woman.

I think technically this can be used for contour, but that’s a whole different minefield that I’m still learning myself, so we’ll figure that out later.

Cream Luminizer in Rose Gold

Like blush and contour, highlight is something I’ve yet to completely perfect, though I do have slightly more experience with them. I usually just dapple some product on the tops of my cheekbones and so I did the same for Rose Gold. My initial thought was that it seemed so subtle that I could barely see it in the mirror, though it popped rather nicely in photos. Not too glittery, just a nice little shimmer to lighten up your features.

Other Products

Gorgeous Beauty was so generous to also send me their Dip Brow Pomade, which I will admit early on, is tricky for me to use. It’s not a criticism of their product, but I’m just inexperienced with this type of brow product. I usually go for a powder duo or an angled eye pencil. Nevertheless, one doesn’t learn if one doesn’t try, and so try I did.

Photo: Gorgeous Beauty/Facebook

The pomade comes in a small jar and is paired with a double-ended brush with an applicator on one end, and a spoolie on the other. Despite instructions of using a small amount, I feel like the applicator picks up a lot. I tried to use the brush like I do my powder duo, but the texture and consistency of the pomade are new to me that I struggled to apply it evenly. The spoolie fixed up any harsh lines I made, but it still looked slightly wonky at the end. Then again, they do say eyebrows don’t need to be twins, they just need to be sisters. I feel like at least I nailed that down.

My inexperience aside, I will say the Dip Brow Pomade lives up to its promises of being smudge proof and waterproof. I ran a finger against one of my eyebrows and no product transferred, even despite my oily face. It also took some effort to remove with just a gentle cleanser, so makeup remover is the way to go.

The only legitimate caveat I have with this product is that the brush and the product are not in the same case together. There is a very big chance I’m going to lose the applicator one of these days, but we’ll cross that bridge when we get there.

There are two other products in the box that I’ve yet to try out. One is a set of Lash Lust False Eyelashes in Alpha Female. Falsies are fairly self-explanatory, but I’m especially curious about these ones because they’re faux mink, a premium type of synthetic lashes that intend to mimic the quality of real mink lashes. I had just run out of lash glue, so this will have to wait.

The other is the Gorgeous Beauty Lip and Cheek Tint in Plum Vibe. I had actually stuffed this in my purse for when I need a pop of color without bringing so many products, but have never gotten around to using it yet. I have swatched it though. The applicator is a roll-on so it can dispense product across your cheeks quickly, which you’ll need because you really need to be fast with this tint! Once it dries, it won’t budge anymore. You can control it a bit more by applying using your fingers instead of directly onto your lips or cheeks.

The color is a plummy pink, which might be nice on the lips but perhaps too pigmented for the cheeks. We’ll find out one of these days!

It was really nice to enjoy makeup again and letting the fun of getting dolled up win over the boring practicality of not bothering. Just because we all need to continue wearing face masks and face shields doesn’t mean we can’t make ourselves look cute. There are also on-camera Zoom meetings to look nice for. We just need to be smarter about our makeup so they can also serve us well.

Gorgeous Beauty’s products, most especially their long-lasting matte lip creams, are great can’t-go-wrong choices for these times.

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