I’m Kristel. I vlog. I blog. Professional makeup artist based in Manila. 300 hours training in Make Up For Ever Academy, Seoul, South Korea. I live makeup, you have no idea.

TUTORIAL: Make Your Own Tone-Up Cream!

TUTORIAL: Make Your Own Tone-Up Cream!

One of the things I enjoy about the professional side of makeup artistry is the confidence to try things. I used to be really stuck in a box when it came to makeup. Even if a different use was sensible (say, applying highlighter on my eyelids,) I would still just stick to what they boxes say. It made my early makeup days really boring and cookie-cutter, and there is definitely a whole new world hiding behind my reticence.

Today, I thought I'd share a little hack with everyone: how to make your own tone-up cream!

Koreans have a trend in face bases called 맑은 피부 (malgeun skin) The root word, 맑다, means "clear," as in a clear and sunny day. Unlike 촉촉 피부 (chokchok skin) which focuses on a hydrated or wet look, malgeun skin focuses on a bright, lit-from-within base. They do this by spot correcting and color-correcting.

A quick and easy way to brighten your face, without having to worry too much about color theory, is to use a veeeeery soft pink in your base to level up your brightness. Pink brightens most skin tones, and it's only people with a lot of redness (acne, rosacea) that I discourage from using pink to brighten.

Here's what you need for Tellie's Tone Up Cream:

  • Current moisturizer or cream that's working for you (in my case, Hada Labo Gokujyun Milk)
  • Ellana Minerals Loose Multipurpose Pigment in Halo
  • Mixing palette and spatula

STEP 1: On a clean mixing palette, dispense a pea-size amount of moisturizer or cream. Don't use your regular amount of moisturizer or cream because you're not using this for skincare. You're using just enough to cover your face with a thin layer.

NOTE: I don't like to make a bigger batch. I'm just iffy about mixed product sitting out. I prefer to make my cream per-use, because my makeup mood changes daily anyway. 


STEP 2: Add 2-3 small scoops of Ellana Minerals Loose Multipurpose Pigment in Halo. To me, a small scoop of pigment would be about the size of a peppercorn. This is the amount that works for me because I'm all about the shine. If you are oilier or don't feel comfortable with that, consider using less. MIX WELL. Hada Labo is an oil-free moisturizer, and Ellana LMPs mix way faster with oils. Have patience.

This takes a while. Make sure to get rid of those lumps.

This takes a while. Make sure to get rid of those lumps.

Apply Tellie's Tone Up Cream all over your skin before applying sheer to medium, dewy foundations. Note that this WILL NOT WORK with full coverage foundation, and doesn't look good with matte ones.

Here it is on my arm. I love how glowy and shimmery and unicorny this is! It seems a lot, but once I have foundation over it, it mixes with foundation and looks really bright. 




Liquid Highlighter


If tone-up is too subtle for you, I've also used Ellana LMP in Halo as a liquid highlighter. Doing similar steps as above, I just replace moisturizer or cream with a lightweight oil. I've done this numerous times with In Her Element Squalane Oil and it's been great! The oil is a fave of mine, and squalane disperses the pigment so evenly.

This tip is actually inspired by a conversation with Ellana founder, Theresa Carbonel-Buenaflor. Being the only mad scientist I know, I one day asked her why my dark full-coverage foundation was lightening up on me. I said I was mixing it with squalane because it was so drying, and she guessed that squalane was further dispersing titanium dioxide (white mineral) in my foundation. Since then, I've been loving squalane as a makeup thinner!

In Her Element Squalane Oil + Ellana Minerals Loose Multipurpose Pigment in Halo

In Her Element Squalane Oil + Ellana Minerals Loose Multipurpose Pigment in Halo

I apply Tellie's Liquid Highlighter after liquid foundation, on spots where I would normally apply highlighter. I top it with powder highlighter for a more intense shine. Sometimes, I use it all over 'cause I'm just really into shine.

Brightening Setting Spray / Facial Mist

Another easier tip, if you don't feel like mixing either of the above on a palette, is to dump a bunch Ellana Loose Multipurpose Pigment in Halo in a bottle of setting spray or even toning water. If, like me, you carry a bottle of toner water in your purse to keep from being crusty, a bit of Halo can defs add a nice kick to your retouch routine!

You could also mix it in a bunch of setting spray, but I'm not sure if the pigment can compromise the integrity of your setting spray. It's just an idea, but I've always preferred to put my Halo in toner water as opposed to setting spray.

What do you guys think? Would you try any of these? Let me know!


Ellana Minerals is available in They also have branches in Landmark Makati, Landmark Trinoma, Landmark Alabang, SM Makati, SM Aura, SM MOA, SM North EDSA, Robinson's Ermita, and  Fairview Mall 1.

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