Pseudo-weekend Mood

>> Monday, August 31, 2009

01 Mood: Contented and happy. My 3-day weekend has been perfect. I was able to do most of my errands [if not all] last Saturday, went to see them girls both Saturday and Sunday nights, met my beautiful niece who looks like Dora only cuter, and stayed sober the whole week.

02 Best thing about this weekend: Watching Up, finally! We arrived to the G4 cinemas at 8:10 PM, and the movie was starting at 8:15. I was pleasantly surprised that there were still seats!

03 Last movie I saw: The Time Traveler's Wife, last week, and Up last night.Both made me hold back tears, I really did not want to cry inside the theater!

04 What I’m watching: Before Sunset, again. I'm teary-eyed as I remember how much I could relate to Celine and basically how adorable Ethan Hawke is, and that I would throw a bitch fit, too, like she did if I found out that he wrote a book about me and got freaking married afterwards. I particularly want to pin Ethan's smirk when he said "I know" towards the end of the movie.

05 Fashion lust:  This!


06 Listening to: The sound of Wowowee outside the room. =/

07 Favourite recent purchase: Inspiration cards from Maya's Etsy. I can't wait to receive them! :D

08 What I’m reading: A Life of Pi by Yann Martel.

09 I want: To stay in bed all day and just daydream.

10 Aim for this week: Avoid going back to the sedentary life, be a good girl and stop complaining. Oh and this --- not this week though but I felt like sharing what makes me giddeh!


Survey questions via Belle Lumiere.


Review: ELF Natural Radiance Blush in Bronze

>> Sunday, August 30, 2009

How are you doing, lovelies?

I'm sitting on my bed now, on a Sunday afternoon and sipping milk and having my cereals. It's such a lovely Sunday [though I haven't checked the weather] and maybe it's even better from my end because it's a no-work day tomorrow, it being the National Heroes' Day.

My review for today is focused on another blush I've had for months now. I've never done a review because as you know, I keep on using my HG blush all the time :x.

ELF [Eyes Lips Face] says:

This exquisite, delicate, pigment payoff makes cheeks radiant combined with a healthy-looking glow. Infused with texturizing agents, skin feels smooth and pores are minimized.
Gently place finger-tip into bottom groove and pull sliding compartment open. To Apply: Brush gently over powder, tap excess powder off brush and blend into apples of cheek.
I initially bought this last summer because I thought I wanted a more summery look but never really used it extensively. These past few days, I switched to this just to see how it fares and here's my humble review about it.

What I liked about it:
  • Inexpensive at Php 129.00. This is cheaper in the US, though, selling for only USD 1.00.
  • No breakouts for the week I was using it.
  • Available everywhere -- and I mean really everywhere. I'm seeing ELF products at all SM branches, Watson's, even The Ramp and at BF Ruins, too!
  • Color payoff is good. One would need a very light hand in applying this, otherwise, one would look like she was punched.
  • Product has the right amount of shimmers.
What I did not like about it:
  • Messy. Real, real messy. Just look at the photo and you'd know.
  • As I've said, while color payoff is good, I need a light hand for this --- something I don't have.
  • Can't use this for contouring [as some bronzers can be used for this purpose] because there are shimmers.
  • Compact is not of every good quality but for its price, it's forgivable.
  • Why is it double the price here in the Philippines? Still forgivable, though.
  • Does not last very long. I had to retouch after 3 hours.

Here's a photo of me from last night and a close up my cheek.

 Sally Hansen Skin Firming Pressed Powder
NYX Eyebrow Pencil
Revlon Liquid Eye Pen
Paul and Joe Lipstick in shade #19

How is your Sunday going so far? I hope it's as good as mine. :)


Review: Venus and Mars Eyeshadow Brush

I've only started getting into eyeshadows in 2008, the same time I started this blog. It was the start of the Mineral Makeup Revolution [was there such a thing? IDK.] At that time, I am so amazed at how beauty bloggers could blend colors so well, that I decided to start my own blog, wherein I could document my learnings in makeup application. Today, I am no expert, still, but I believe there is so much I've learned, especially in blending! Ha, it used to puzzle me how MuAs can make an eyelid look dimensional. Stupid, I know :)

Today I want to share to you a good find of mine. I also created this review for Gale, who asked if she can see how the eyeshadow brush packs and deposits colors.

Venus and Mars says:

This extra soft eye brush is great for applying all eye shadows. It gives great coverage from lid to brow. These brushes are designed to buff on the perfect amount of minerals for the most natural, flawless application. Only the finest quality of hairs are used to make buffing feel like second nature.

I acquired this brush when I got the Venus and Mars' Brush set. I've been using this brush for the past week now and here are my thoughts:
What I Like about it:
  • Soft and synthetic --- made of vegan taklon.
  • Packs traditional eyeshadow just fine. I know this was meant to be an MMU brush but I rarely explore MMUs, especially in the mornings when I'm almost, always running late.
  • Brush covers the whole of my lid, so less applications needed. I find that the brush is larger than an average eye shader, IMO.
  • Works best when eyeshadow is foiled. For some reason, it kind of messes a bit when used to apply dry shadows. I rarely do this as I always wet my brushes before application, so this is a pro for me.
  • Density is ok by my standards. The thing with some soft brushes is that they tend to be so soft they will just be so limp on your eyes and won't do the work. This VnM brush worked fine. However, the problem with synthetic brushes is that they seem to ignore the pressure that sometimes density is not even the problem --- then again, this should be a CON.
  • Metal used in the ferrule does not seemed to be affected when washed. Good job!

What I didn't like:
  • The mix of white bristles can be nice to look at but definitely not when it's used. So now, even if I'm too lazy to wash it, I wash my brushes every after use. I'm not sure if this is okay but I can't stand seeing them dirty.
  • If you normally apply eyeshadows dry, it might be tough for you to use.
  • Not available separately.
Here's a little EOTD I made using this brush. Please pardon the untamed eyebrows.

A close up of how the brush applies on the lids.
Note that I used another VnM brush [the angled one]
for the crease and outer V.
Would I buy this again? No. I would love to try other eyeshadow shader brushes.
That's it! I hope I was able to shed light on your eye shader concerns. It's a Saturday night here and I'm off to see the girlfriends :D 


Why NOT?

>> Saturday, August 29, 2009

Truth be told, I have come to the belief that I am just an idealistic person -- my ideas though, remain as ideas. For many years now, I have had tons of opportunities and chances to execute this seemingly 'bright' ideas. But as instances would have it, I have never gotten over the inertia.

When Bam invited us to the Why not a ReimagiNATION? Forum at the Ayala Museum, I had no idea that such forum would give me the insights I was looking for.
Paco Sandejas, Ph.D. is the Managing Partner of NarraVC. He also serves as the Managing Director of Brain Gain Network Ventures, a Philippine-based management and consulting company focused on technology ventures in the same space as NarraVC.

His topic, "Homebound or Outbound?" is the topic I enjoyed the most. You see, I have the same dilemma. I've long been offerred to study my Masters in the US, in one of Boston's prestigious universities. My mom have always been a staunch supporter of global education and one time, before she left to back to the US, she bought me all these review guides for TOEFL and other exams I needed to take to be able to go study. To this day, all these materials are gathering dust in my bookshelf back in Quezon City. I simply cannot bear to leave the Philippines, in all its smog-infested, corrupted glory.

How does this relate to me? Initially, I thought that Paco will be telling us that it's a sin to leave the country -- but he did not. He presented his case: The world is a borderless world. If you want to be the best, then you have to compete with the best in the world. How does one do this? If one has the option and the chance to go tudy overseas, grab the chance, Paco says. The world lets you mingle, debate and all that when you are out there.

After you get premium education, what do you do? Paco told his story. After his masteral  and doctorate studies at Stanford University,   he proceeded to work at the Silicon Valley. He picked up the best practices and the knowledge and then he was homebound --- to start a business and eventually helped more Filipinos.
It was amazing how his experiences inspired me. For years now, I've been thinking that loyalty to the country meant staying here -- but such is not always the case. Soon, when I've got my acts together, I will get all the exams done, get my MA [and a Ph.D, I hope!] in Boston, I will fly back to the Philippines and make the country a better place in my own way.

Other speakers at the forum include:
Major Dennis Eclarin, Armed Forces of the Philippines
Rep. Risa Hontiveros - Baraquel, Bayan Muna
Rapa Lopa, Executive Director - Benigno Aquino Foundation
Howie Severino, GMA 7


Review: Revlon Liquid Eye Pen

>> Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Hola, ladies :)

It's 9 PM here in my side of the world and as I type this, my head is still brimming with finance-ish acronyms like IRR, CBA, VNB and NVP. Their meanings are all meshed in my head, with all the stuff I learned from my Project Management training. 

Anyhoo, here's a little long overdue review, featuring the Revlon Liquid Eye Pen in Black/Noir.

Revlon says:

  • No-mess liquid eyeliner creates a precise line from soft to dramatic
  • Felt tip controlled application
  • Smudge-proof lasting color that wears up to 16 hours
  • Easier to apply than traditional liquid eyeliners

I received this liquid eye pen from my mom when she sent me goodies when my brother came to the US for his bi-annual vacation. Here is my humble review about this liquid eye pen.

Since I am an avid liquid eyeliner user, I did not hesitate to try this immediately. My liquid eyeliner experience is quite limited though, with these brands: Clinique, In2it, and Prestige

For your reference, here is a mini and lonesome swatch I did:

As you can see, one can actually see through the product once swatched on the skin. For this example, I did line it up twice but the black pigment won't really display lots of opaqueness.

What I liked:

  • Pens are always easier to use. I find it a lot nicer to use this, versus the ones that come with wands, which btw, poke my eyes most of the time.
  • No sting, as again opposed to other liquid eyeliners.
  • The lack of pigmentation can be counted as a pro, since I tend to make mistakes and it's kinda easy to correct or to erase.
  • Not exactly 16 hours on my eyelids but when it did finally smudge, I did not look like a racoon and it was kind of "gracefully smudging." Is there even a term like that??
  • Friendly price at $8.00 [approximately Php 400.00], available at Walmart, Target and CVS.

What I didn't like:

  • I cannot use this pen if I want a super black line on my lids and don't have the luxury of time to apply lots of layers.
  • Pens can dry faster than traditional liquid eyeliners, boo.
  • Not locally available, though I'm sure there are eBay resellers but be careful, of course.

Would I buy this again? Sure, if I had the chance. But my mom would do it anyway, for me, so all is good :)


The Art of Bedbugging

>> Monday, August 24, 2009

You see, my friends at work and I have contributed a term to the dictionary, hence the word “bedbug.” As you can tell, it’s the perfect word for us; citizens who choose to lounge in bed all day, any day [well, weekends] and do nothing. Sometimes, we also do activities [i.e., surfing the net, binge eating, DVD marathon-ing and what have you.] It’s probably the most worthwhile exercise I’ve had in the last six months. I return to work every Monday feeling waaaayyy refreshed and inspired. For you, my dear reader, who toils and toils every day, I invite you to try this, at least once a month. Especially now that the weather is being more fickle than a woman, you’ll be surprised. Here’s a list of suggested activities for your resting pleasure.

a. Update your iPod, plug your earphones and do mental aerobic exercises. Groove [mentally] to upbeat tracks like, of course these are my favorites, feel free to revise according to will: ‘Just Dance’ by Lady Gaga, ‘Brooklyn We Go Hard’ by Jay Z. feat. Santogold, ‘Paper Planes’ by MIA or go back to the 90’s with ‘Block Rockin’ Beats’ by The Chemical Brothers. If this won’t shock you out of your stupor, I don’t know what will.

b. Play to your heart’s desire. If you have a laptop, you can stay in bed and play online/computer games all day. These days, Facebook games are fast becoming the in-thing, with games such as Texas Hold ‘Em Poker, Mafia Wars, Restaurant City, YoVille and Farm Town and FarmVille, [my super current favorite] thus contributing to the baggage I have in my eyes, aka EYE BAGS, yes, seriously. If you’d rather stay offline, The Sims 3, Diner Dash or Little Shop of Treasures are engaging games, they’re guaranteed you won’t notice time pass by.
Speaking of which, I'd like to show you my farm in Farm Town, named Kamote Farm
My pet, Lady Gogo in Pet Society
and my Farm in FarmVille

c. Marathon to no end. And I mean the DVD/TV kind. Still staying in bed, plug in your DVD player [call your yaya to do so, no standing up] and pop in a movie or a TV series. In such weather like this, the most fulfilling ones to watch are those that are such a trip – to somewhere, back or just plain funny. My suggestions are: Now and Then [1995], Shining Through [1992], Serendipity [2001], Nacho Libre [2006] , Old School [2003], or Cool Runnings [1993]. For the series, have a humongous belly laugh with How I Met Your Mother, The Big Bang Theory or 30 Rock.

What do you think? Are you a bedbug like me? :D


Why NARS Oasis is my HG Blush

>> Sunday, August 23, 2009

It's been a good year and a half since I bought my NARS Blush in Oasis but looking at my mere review, it seems like I've never done it any justice. After all, all my FOTDs bear this blush, as I refuse to use any other shade or brand, for that matter. Besides, I know for a fact that anyone who've been using NARS almost always used the shade Orgasm or Super Orgasm and I was the only one who didn't so here goes.

But first, let me show you how it looks now, after a year and a half:

The case can get really grubby after mingling with the other items
in your makeup case. And trust me, I've been really careful at that.

NARS Oasis with flash

NARS says:

Made with transparent pigments for a soft and sheer look. Imparts a natural, healthy glow for any skin tone and may be worn alone or layered together for more depth and intensity. 
Provides a sheer, natural hint of color
Made with transparent pigments to avoid heaviness
Broad selection of shades

Here is why this is my HG blush:

  • Its transparent pigments make it easier for me to build the color up with more strokes, rather than have much color in one brush. 
  • After one and a half year of use, the compact did not show any signs of usage, in fact I'm thinking it would be 5 years more before I would need to buy a replacement!
  • The shade Oasis is probably the most perfect shade on my yellow, NC25 cheeks. When I bought this, I actually stood at the NARS counter in Rustan's for a good hour just to test all the shades that were there. Like most fangirls, I did try Orgasm, only to find out it kind of washed me out and made me look more yellow. I almost went ahead to buy Mounia but Oasis won me over with the "sparkling pink champagne" shade.
  • Color lasts for all day, I never retouched since I used this [except when I'm running or doing something sporty which requires me to wash my face, which is rather rare -- the sport I mean]
  • IMO, the color kind of intensifies during the middle of the day when my face have kind of accumulated a little moisture and it kinda makes the cheeks glow, as accentuated by Oasis. It's pure love :D
  • Although the Oasis does have shimmers in them, it does not show rather blatantly, or intensify pores, which some shimmery blushes do.
  • Perfect, perfect, perfect. Here is Oasis on my cheeks, btw:

NARS Oasis is available in Rustan's Department Store at PhP 1,250. EDIT: According to lelila, it is now Php 1,350.00 though just last year it was just P1,250. What about you, what's your HG blush? Share! :D


Flickin: The Time Traveler's Wife

"We laugh and laugh, and nothing can ever be sad, no one can be lost, or dead, or far away: right now we are here, and nothing can mar our perfection, or steal the joy of this perfect moment."

Audrey Niffenegger, The Time Traveler's Wife

To say that I waited for the book is an understatement. When I realized that the opening day on the Philippines was the 19th, I blocked all activities on the 21st, a Friday, so I could watch the movie I've been dying to watch. Please feel free to navigate away if you aren't into sappy movies like I am. :D

Clare: Henry, are you married?
Henry: Yeah.
Clare: Is she a time-traveler too?
Henry: No. Thank God.
Clare: Do you love her?
Henry: Yes, I love her.
Henry: What’s wrong Clare?
Clare: It’s just that I thought maybe you were married to me.

Yet another adaptation, I was half expecting to NOT like it as much as I did with the book. However, the images of Rachel McAdams and Eric Bana playing the star-crossed lovers were much too overwhelming to not like the movie. Add to that a trailer that had Lifehouse's "Broken" in it and I'm sure to cry. But first the pros/cons:

I loved:

  1. The little girl who played Clare Abshire. The cutest! She was exactly as I had imagined and she's got the Mary Janes and the white socks down pat. My favorite scene had to be when she packed all her stuff because she was jealous of Henry's wife. :D
  2. Rachel Mc Adams and Eric Bana did a great job --- the chemistry was crazy, IMO. Especially in the first few scenes, I kind of wondered, this is rated PG? But that was where it ended so it was well okay.
  3. Eric Bana. I think he deserves a bullet on his own. His acting was particularly moving. He got Henry down to how he was portrayed in the book --- hulking, gentle, and sort of heroic that I was crying to the very end of the movie [but was hiding it, as ATC was jampacked and did not want to get caught sniffing!]. Before I watched the movie, I thought Gerard Butler would make a perfect Henry. Now that I've watched it, Eric seemed perfect. 
 Things that bothered me:

  1. The girl who played Alba is not at all cute. I was kind of expecting she had black curls and really cute but oh well.
  2. I don't know shit about screenplay adaptations but the dialogues were incredibly boring than they were in the book. 
  3. Where is Ingrid? And her lover? 
  4. While I do love the fact that Charisse was played by a Filipina-Canadian actress, I feel that her [and Gomez's] character was too shallow. 
  5. The ending WAS different! Fine, not different but in the book, it did not quite end in there. 

Overall, the movie was heartbreaking, just as it was in the book. For non hardcore readers, the movie is a perfect substitute to the 518 pages -- it's just THAT long for a book, it's okay to skip. But if you'd want to be with Clare and Henry throughout all the ordeals, then read the book first. This is a movie I'd watch over and over again, though. And I'm pretty sure Im'ma cry, too.


Things to be thankful for

>> Friday, August 21, 2009

Whenever I feel like sinking into a fit of depression, I count my blessings. This is something I loved doing before when I embraced all the drama in my life. Not that I've left my old self, what with my happy thoughts here and there, but I think I've gone into a new phase of myself I did not know existed. Today, I woke up with things that I am grateful for, and I promise [more like attempt] to try to do this everyday:

  • while I did get attacked by a mild case of food poisoning last night,
    the pain went away this morning and all the medicines worked very well.
  • waking up to the sound of birds chirping and sunshine through the window and through
    my hair.
  • the BF and I will be busy watching The Time Traveler's Wife and Up!,
    something the both of us have been waiting for the longest time.
  • friends like T who stay with you when you cannot get a cab and would have
    to wait for your sundo for another hour. Thank you, ate! :D
  • Getting a glimpse of my country's history through this trailer. The Last Journey of Ninoy is about his last 8 years before his death at the tarmac. 
    I'm so glad they made a movie out of it and this trailer is WOW.

Ninoy Aquino is played by his nephew, Paulo Benigno Aquino IV,
aka Bam, who's a complete deadringer to his hero uncle.
The Last Journey of Ninoy will be premiering in cinemas today
and will be shown simulatenously over ABS CBN, TFC and Studio 23 on Sunday,
10:45 PM.

Happy long weekend to everyone in the Philippines! :) 


What makes me happy?

>> Thursday, August 20, 2009

... two kinds of ice cream
... finding a lost key
... a yosi break
... knowing who my true friends are
... 'ready to harvest' crops in Farm Town
... a level up in Pet Society
... coming home to a loved one who cannot wait to hug you
... designer label sales
... faith that everything will be alright if you just hang on.


Le Amour Stories

How are you all? It's now 1am as I type this and I just got home. I know that I promised myself that I will be coming home earlier than what I've been accustomed to but what do I know? Hanging out with friends and colleagues are always fun! So fun that I forgot to eat dinner and I am now contemplating if I should still eat because it's already past one now.

So anyhoo, if you've been reading my blog, you would know that I am an avid fan of my friend Cheena Ng-Lio's line Amour. Whenever I need a dress, I would have her in mind and no one else. She comes up with a design and take my measurements and all that and we meet up and I have this fab dress in my hands. The line is now turning a year old and she's holding a sort of a promo/contest:

To help celebrate turning one, AMOUR is giving out 5 exclusive dresses and 10 surprise items form AMOUR . We are giving it to the first 15 people who e-mail us at with their pictures wearing AMOUR or YOUR OWN stories with the brand.

Amour will also revise it's prices for all the items from previous collection on great request, just for the whole WEEK! 

It's our privilege to create pieces that merely aim to enhance the beauty of every women.... Expect for more exciting pieces from us

Amour is seen through its designs.
Foolishness in secrecy.
You crave it.
You breathe it.
You live through it.
See life within its timeless sheets, fabrics, cuts and flow.


If you've got photos of yourself wearing an Amour creation, send it over to! You just might win yourself an exclusive creation.

Oh and here's a preview of her next collection:

Can you feel me drooling from here?

Oh and here's my favorite from among the Amour dresses that I have:

Happy Wednesday, oops Thursday, everyone!
For all Philippine readers, it's our last day of work for the week
as it's a holiday on Friday! :D

Kisses! <3

Image source: Amour Manila


They're at it again

>> Tuesday, August 18, 2009

My favorite swimwear label is having another private sale!
Not really sure if I'll be there but I tell you, their newest designs got me
drooling from where I am:

All images are from the Soak Swimwear website.


Bursts of Sunshine

>> Monday, August 17, 2009

You know how sometimes you get so engrossed with your worries all day [all week, even], turning yourself into a ball of nerves and you get hit by something so unexpectedly that suddenly everything is hearts and sunshine again?

I just underwent that delightful revelation a while ago, something I'm extremely grateful for.

I was doing my rounds of bloghopping when I chanced upon this. It was about her most recent purchase, pocket cards of inspiration. When her six year old brother smelled the paperie, the boy said, "It smells like God."** Isn't that the sweetest thing?

When I clicked on the link, I discovered the most wonderful things: Pocket Inspiration.

Travel light. Something I can apply to traveling
and real life because I have so many baggages!

Maya attributes this lesson to an acrobat
I second the motion.

Maya, former Editor in Chief of Seventeen Magazine Philippines is behind the wonderful cards that does so much to lift my spirits and inspire me [and a whole lot of ball of nerves out there.] 

This boxed set of five (5) Pocket Inspiration cards can have the same effect as a cheerleader or life coach, coaxing one to go for his or her dreams. Each card is rendered with my original, Japanese-style brush stroke illustrations, and carry the following messages:

“Just say yes” * “Step out in faith” * “What you focus on grows” * “Listen to your heart” * “Coffee, tea or therapy?”

Use these Pocket Inspiration cards with or without an envelope (this comes with 5 white envelopes with our Pocket Inspiration stamp). Slip a card into someone’s bag, in between the pages of a scrapbook (as I did here) or tack it on a mirror, next to someone's computer screen or on a vision board. As with all things that intend to bring joy, use liberally!

Each card is digitally printed on off-white card stock, 250 gsm, and measures 2 3/8" by 3" (folded) and is blank on the inside. The set comes to you packed in a lovely handmade folder-type box created using red corrugated board, tied with twine, a little note from me and a little ladybug pin for luck! The box and envelopes are mailed to you in a bubble wrap-lined envelope.

*from her Etsy Shop.

I've been thinking about all the cards' messages all the time on my way home and now I'm dying to buy a lot. You see, they kind of remind me of the store Becky Bloomwood of Confessions of a Shopaholic encountered while she was in Manhattan. I am just grateful that what I thought only existed in books was true! 

The problem though is that Maya is now based in SG and all payments must be made through Paypal, Visa, or Mastercard. As I've mentioned, I don't possess a CC that is under my name. Until I figure out how to buy , I will continue to be inspired just by looking at those wonderful cards online.

All images in this post and text in italics were lifted from Maya's Etsy Store.
** Special thanks to her.


Review: Venus and Mars' Anti-bacterial brushes

>> Sunday, August 16, 2009

Do you remember the time when I've gone gaga over a set of brushes that would cut my brush cleaning time by probably half? What do I know, they're finally in my hands!

I don't normally obsess over brushes because I get really kuripot with them and the sky-high prices of brush sets that have caught my eye usually turn me off. When I fortunately chanced upon Venus and Mars' Prebuy Sale of these Antibacterial brushes, selling at P1,099 per set, I knew I had to buy. Oh and Jamie [owner of V & M, included freebies, too!]

From the V & M website:

These brushes are active AGAINST bacteria, hence it prevents them from lingering in the bristles. These bacteria are the main cause of the formation of blackheads, whiteheads, pimples and other irritating skin blemishes.
The set includes:

  • Body/Face Buki Blush Brush
  • Foundation Buki Brush
  • Angled Shader and Crease Buki Brush
  • Eyeshadow Buki Brush
  • Concealer Buki Brush
  • Pouch

Venus and Mars Brush Soak and Pure Glow Mineral Makeup
Eye Concealer
Initial Comments on the V & M Brushes:

Source: V & M
  • Minimal bleeding when washed
  • Minimal shedding, about 3 to 4 hairs fell off but it's cool
  • Brush is made up of vegan taklon hair, the most expensive synthetic hair which makes it pack color like animal hair.
  • Size is perfect for my hand. Not too big and not too small.
  • The white bristles when used can be quite distracting with its color. With that, even if it doesn't need to be washed, I will probably have to wash it!
  • The brushes are crazy soft but with enough firmness to blend against the face. C'est parfait!
  • The ruby red handles passes my taste. Thank goodness it doesn't look tacky, it's quite elegant actually.
  • Reasonably priced. This product gets me the bang for my buck which is a big thing for me. IMO, I don't mind shelling money for things I foresee myself using a lot of times and this is one of them.
  • The pouch is so-so, something I don't mind but I probably won't be using this as I also have a brush roll from Elianto bought for this.

So basically, those are my initial thoughts on them. I've only had them for about a week and yes, I am really enjoying using these brushes. Should you want me to make individual reviews on the brushes, do let me know and I'd be happy to write reviews.

Venus and Mars products can be bought off:

or my trusted reseller:


Stress Relief in a Minute

>> Saturday, August 15, 2009

How are you ladies? I'm still quite buzzed and a little dizzy from drinking too much Hoeegarden and Gordon Biersch last night. My friends and I were at the Fort and were swinging back and forth Barcino, Distillery and Basilio's. Overall, it was really fun! Laughing a lot, even if you don't remember why next morning is quite fun :D

I don't know about you but my biggest vice next to yes, smoking, is getting a massage, going to a spa or just plain pampering. I used to frequent The Spa at Alabang Town Center, and Anzen in Makati during weekdays. Whenever I feel my muscles tighten, feel the burden of stress and when my body aches and cries for a massage, or a whiff of a spa, I immediately head over to one or call one of them home services. The one thing I don't like though is how it requires so much time, preparation and effort. I hate driving, and trying to wake myself up after the spa session. Then came Amu'in:

Amu'in was born out of the desire to bring into modern-day healing the centuries-old knowledge of the use of plant essences for therapy, restoration and disease prevention.

Understanding how modern-day stress destroys both the body and the spirit, the AMU’IN lines were created to use both the aromatic, as well as the chemical aspects of these natural oils to manage stress and allow the body to heal. The scents balance and empower the emotions, while the chemical compounds fortify and heal the body.  

Infused into lotions, oils, gentle balms, and sprays, the AMU’IN products use only natural, pure essential oils and are designed to delight, excite and pamper – allowing for quicker restoration, more pleasant healing and longer-lasting health. 

One of the best things about Amu'in is that it's like a spa in a bottle. One whiff of the Anti-Stress Relief Balm after one of my stressful meetings at work and I was instantly calmed. For someone who drinks gallons of coffee a day, this balm is a complete lifesaver!

My little Amu'in army

Amu'in has four variants, all of which covers a busy woman's need like mine. For times that I need to soothe tired muscles, there's 'Alaga' which means "to care for."

  • Stress Relief Balm - My favorite of all! This calming blend which relieves stress is made of Lavender and Peppermint essential oils in a natural beeswax and shea butter base.
  • Muscle Warming Oil
  • Natural Insect Repellant
  • Anti-bacterial Mositurizing hand wash
  • Moisturizing Hand Lotion
  • Natural Hand Sanitizer

...for times that I am at home [or somewhere, like travelling], and I need to wash away the day's worries, issues and drama, there's 'Hulay', a word in Visayan that means "relax."

  • Shower Gel
  • Body Lotion
  • Dry Body Oil
  • Essential Oil Blend - Fill spaces with the calming scent of relaxing Lavender and exquisite Ylang Ylang.
  • Massage Oil - Melt stress away and relax tense muscles with this richly moisturizing all-natural massage oil with Vitamin E. This Amu’in signature blend of relaxing Lavender and gentle Ylang Ylang was specially created to calm and soothe the senses. 
  • All-natural Room spray - Purify and refresh your room with this all-natural room spray. Be in a fragrant garden of relaxing Lavender and exquisite Ylang Ylang.
  • Linen Spray
  • Body Mist

... for times I need to wake up and gather all the energy I can get, there's 'Sigla' or "energy."

  • Shower Gel with mango extract
  • Body Lotion with mango extract
  • Dry Body Oil
  • Essential Oil Blend
  • Massage Oil
  • All-natural Room Spray
  • Body Mist

and for the times I'm feeling romantic, sultry and more in love than ever, there's 'Gayuma,' which means "love charm."

  • Essential Oil Blend 
  • Massage Oil - Melt stress away and surrender to romance with this sultry blend of Ylang Ylang, Palmarosa, Rosewood, Sweet Orange, and Cedarwood, used for centuries by lovers to evoke feelings of love and passion.
  • All-natural Room Spray

What about you? What do you do to fend stress away?

Amu'in Wellness Spa
(63 2) 838.0073

Amu'in Products are available at:

ECHO STOREGround Floor, Serendra, Bonifacio Global City
1829 Jorge Bocobo Street, Malate

2/F V-Mall (formerly Virra Mall) Greenhills

Level 5 Wellness Zone, Shangri-La Plaza Mall

G/F SM Department Store, Megamall

Mandarin Oriental Manila

Plantation Bay, Cebu


You can also get in touch with Amu'in through their social networking sites:
Multiply and Facebook.


FOTD: Tania's Wedding

>> Monday, August 10, 2009

"You say you want diamonds on a ring of gold
You say you want your story to remain untold

But all the promises we made
From the cradle to the grave
When all I want is you..."

- T's bridal march: All I Want is You, U2
Yes, and another one.
Fresh from the lovely wedding of M roughly two months ago, here I am again attending yet another wedding. This time, it is the wedding of a good friend/colleague of mine. I could say she is one of the closest friends I have at work. We usually go home together [as she lives nearby], me, her and C as well. If I am at work until 4am, it's probably the three of us who stayed at the office.
After 10 years of being together, T and her boyfriend J took the plunge and get married. Their wedding was probably the funkiest I've ever seen.

The bride's to-die-for necklace and ostrich-feather gown
at the St. Alphonsus Mary de Ligouri Church, Magallanes

At The Manila Peninsula Conservatory with my colleagues/friends
[I look especially fat in this photo, :P]

The blushing bride with the girls

FOTD [the shadows inside made me look tanned, heehee]
Monistat Anti-Chafing Gel used as Primer
Sally Hansen Liquid Foundation in Medium
MAC Studio Fix in NC25
Ellana Finishing Powder in Espresso con Panna
NARS Blush in Oasis
Physician's Formula Shimmer Stripes in Waikiki

Maybelline Brow Styling Gel

Manly 120-pc. palette [yellow]
Avon Fresh Cut Greens Quad [White Gold used]
Avon Fresh Cut Greens Quad [Celedon used], crease
The Body Shop Sea Green Quad, darkest shade, outer V
Cover Girl Lash Blast Mascara
Prestige Liquid Eyeliner

Sally Hansen Lip Balm
MAC Lipstick in Giddy

Dress: Amour by Cheena Ng-Lio

More wedding photos soon. I'm feeling tired already and yet it's just a Monday! Traffic here at the South is a killer, what with the Skyway Phase 2 still being developed. To South people, how do you manage? Ugh. Work has been cool but the bad traffic makes me want to vanish.

Anyhoo, hope all of you are having a fab week. Kisses!
** All photos by Remy Ricafort-Miradora.


How come there is no Vogue Philippines?

>> Sunday, August 9, 2009


No reason, really, why the question popped. It's just I never thought about it. Oh and probably after I've seen this on Vogue China.

Kate Moss, Vogue China

Any answers?

Speaking of Vogue, the documentary "The September Issue" is bound to be released in US theaters August 28. Again, I am not quite sure if this will ever reach the Philippine shores but I'm crossing my fingers.

Happy Sunday, everyone!


Foodie Post: Fish and Co.

>> Friday, August 7, 2009

It's a Friday night and I'm here in front of my laptop and being a total loser. Ha! I've got a wedding to attend tomorrow early morning and sadly, I can't join the party happening at Whitespace, Chino Roces [the J & J one, *sniff]. 

Last time, when the BF and I went to Ayala Town Center to watch the Proposal, we ate at Fish and Co. while waiting for the last full show and here are my thoughts on our dining experience:

*Disclaimer:The following are just the author's opinion and I am in no way claiming I'm an expert :) Thanks.

Fish and Co. says:

At Fish & Co., all seafood is prepared in a simple and straight - forward manner. Using only the freshest fish and seafood; Fish & Co. pans out great tasting meals in generous portion - as a mark of quality and value.

Lemonade for me and Strawberry Lemonade for the BF
Php 80 ea., Bottomless

For the mains, I ordered:

New York Fish and Chips served with White Rice
(instead of chips), Php 465.00

The BF's order: Grilled Salmon Cajun
Php 565.00

Overall Comments:

  • Both the lemonade and the strawberry lemonade were perfect. However, the glass [yes, the glass] does not appeal to me for some reason. This may not be a problem to some :)
  • Service was extremely good. It was only a minute before we were seated and it took only two sticks of Marlboro Lights before the food were served.
  • The BF's salmon is okay for dinner but my fish and chips were not. It was supposed to be fish and chips but I figured I'd be really bored with my food after three bites so I chose white rice instead. It makes for a great meal, but it's so big that the BF finished it instead. Besides, it was so dry. 
  • Reallllyyy big servings. This may be a plus to many but it's not to me. I'd love to eat a variety every meal, which is why I'd prefer small servings. 
  • Fish was indeed, fresh. But I just wish they did not serve it on pans and then they would have to redo their whole marketing strategy so I guess that's okay.
  • I think that the meals are kind of pricey -- especially that the vibe I was getting was that they were going for casual eating. Think booth tables and yellow lamps. It was a little too casual to have a meal worth Php 500 and above.

I give this restaurant only 3 stars. It was good trying it but I will have to try other restaurants next time. Especially since Pepper Lunch recently opened at ATC, as well, I wanna eat some Shimofouri steak!

Fish & Co., Alabang Town Center
Corte de las Palmas, Ground Floor
Alabang Town Center, Alabang-Zapote Rd.
Muntinlupa City, Metro Manila
(02) 659-3476


No one on the corner has a swagger like us

>> Thursday, August 6, 2009

I did mention sometime ago that I was incredibly lucky for winning Bryna aka Mama was a Rolling Stone's contest, right? Anyhoo, my prize, my choice of clothing from Mink Pink, an Aussie brand, came the other day and I'd like to share with you:

Can you tell where the skirt has been?

The prize I chose was a blue fade-away vintage skirt. I am still very much on my vintage-lust right now and in my head, I've already imagined all sorts of outfits I can pull together with this. I am squirming in my acid-wash jeans right now. Thanks again, Bryna and Amy!


Review: Artdeco Camouflage Cream

>> Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Concealers are one of the most useful kinds of makeup, especially if you, like me, are not blessed with perfect skin. Concealers are especially helpful after an all-nighter, a night of crying over something or someone or when you've been in a brawl with someone. It can make a rather flawed complexion seem glowing, smooth and perfect.But since it is considered a foundation as well, a foundation of the makeup you will be piling onto your face, the selection process can be quite tedious. This post is to share my findings on the product I've been using and reflects my opinions.

This is quite overdue as I've purchased this concealer back in April, have been using it since and never did a review. So here goes, for you who is in search of a concealer like I was then:

Artdeco says:

Waterproof cover cream for every skin type to cover red veins, pigmented moles, port-wine stains, tattoos, etc.

Camouflage Cream covers flaws in the skin perfectly and reliably and is ideal for special occasions, like photographic- or bridal make-up. All colors can be mixed with each other which means the skin color can be matched exactly. The Camouflage Cream is also an ideal long-term make-up and lasts well even if the surrounding temperature is high. The cover can be light or heavy – depending on the amount applied and gets waterproof after fixing powder has been applied. It is very practical because Camouflage Creams are available separately, can be combined individually in the refillable magnetic box and those that have been used up can be replaced.

02 Yellow, 0.15 oz. Php 475

I got myself, and according to the SA, too, a shade in 02 Yellow.  I'm an NC 25 with MAC [for reference]. I have no idea what made me go to Artdeco that day. I haven't really read reviews about their concealers and it's only fortunate that it was a good buy after all.

Here's a little comparison I did:

Without concealer, skin prepped with Olay Total Effects
and Aveeno Sunblock SPF 50

With Artdeco camouflage cream in 02,
and MAC Studio Fix NC25

What I like about it:

  • Does not cake. But then again, aside from Artdeco, the only ones I've tried prior are TFS and Clinique, all of which I never made a review about. 
  • Creamy consistency but doesn't slide off the face.
  • Covers lines and eyebags pretty well.
  • Pretty easy to blend.
  • Color blends well with my skin.
  • Lightweight and does not feel sticky
  • No breakouts or rashes, especially my skin is allergy-prone.
  • No white cast in photos, see comparison.
  • Reasonably-priced at Php 475 [or was it lesser?]
  • A little goes a long, long way.
  • Wide range of shades to choose from.

What I did not like about it:

  • Only available at SM Health and Beauty sections, select Watson's branches and where else? I've bought mine at SM Makati just one time I passed through. See? For people like me whose stuff usually bought in non-SM malls like ATC, Greenbelt and the likes, it's kind of hard to acquire this. EDIT: According to the sweet dustbunny, Artdeco is also available at Rustan's Makati! Yay!
  • I really cannot think of any con to this product which brings me to...

Would I buy this again? Yes!


Of Memes and Blogging Inspiration

>> Tuesday, August 4, 2009

It's been a while since I've done a tag or a meme post like this. I kind of feel that doing my normal posts are already about me [yes, vanity, what else?] so doing a meme would be kind of redundant. But it's nice to write stuff like this every once in a while so indulge me. Thankyouverymuch.
Got this from the BFF.
Rules of acceptance:

1) Acknowledge the person who sent you the award [not really, please do not feel pressured to do so

2) Nominate 7 other blogs.

3) Share your 7 personality traits so we can get to know you better.

Step 2, here goes the top 7 blog/bloggers I admire and are basically the ones who shaped me as the blogger I am now [thanks, girls!] A note though, some of the bloggers in this list don't know me, or have no idea I follow/read their blogs but my point is to be brutally honest as this is an award and awarding is giving it to the best and because I don't do this as much, please allow me:

1. Sab. Believe it or not, Sab is probably the closest to my heart amongst the lovely and fab girls I got to know online. Not that we've met, because we haven't yet [let's work on the margarita night, Sab sweetie!]. It's probably our common seemingly unprofessed love for vices and MUSIC that brought us to such. I haven't known anyone who could understand my Facebook statuses like she did, most of those I usually lift from songs and she was the only one who knew! :) For some reason, I think that I am like her in more ways than one [I hope that's okay with you, S] and I like it. When I chanced upon her blog a year ago, I backread down to her first post ever, something I don't do all the time.

2. Nikki. Every single beauty/lifestyle blogger I know has Nikki up on the pedestal. Aside from her being super nice, Nikki is dedicated, she has a post for each single day I've started following her blog. As if that is not enough, her posts are beyond for the sake of just posting. When you read her blog, you would sense that she's put her efforts into it starting from the photos, the writing, everything. You would really ask her what is this or that.. And she has an answer! :)

3. Phoebe. Phoebe's blog was one of the first blogs I've ever stumbled upon. It was one of the first ones I admired, too. I love how her posts are uniquely her --- it reflects her personality and you would know that there is only one of her in the blogging world. Her photos are soooo nice you would want to buy a DSLR yourself. Oh and we both discovered that she and my BF went to the same school in high school. Small world, yes?

4. Shen. I've been reading Shen's blog for the longest time but started commenting only when I read what happened to her mom. I've also lost my dad [due to cardiac arrest] and I felt her emotions that I cried when I read her posts. I felt like I was transported back to the day my dad died and in one way we were through the same situation. Second to that, Shen is probably one of the best beauty blogger/MuAs I know, with mad blending skills and she's very pretty to boot.

5. Jheng. I first encountered Jheng's URL through Girltalk and I remember the post that I saw wherein I ended up laughing and nodding in agreement. It was something to do with makeup, like some women tend to have disregard to co-females who put on makeup nicely and that they tend to criticize us. Jheng won my respect when she said that those kind of women [who badmouth us makeup-loving females] are to be ignored and that maybe they are just insecure [sorry sis, I can't remember it verbatim, it was definitely more empowering]. I've met Jheng once when she agreed to be the MuA for a photography shoot at our office and she made me up! Lucky me, right?

6. Dane. Hers is a fashion blog, set on an island environment which makes it all the more unique, fresh and inviting. I stumbled upon it when I was browsing through Island in the Clouds, another blog of hers, and I was inspired with how she does her clothes herself, re-does vintage and designer pieces to make it uniquely her. Just like me, she's away from her mom and her family, something I can relate to, yet again.
and for a tie:
7a. Fuzkittie. Another highly-regarded blogger, she covers all topics from makeup, to health, to fitness, travels, food and Asian trends. I love how she puts so much effort in every post even if she does so much business travels! She even manages video posts, something I enjoy watching. She's so cute, too! Even if she's based in the US, she doesn't seem to lose even an inch of her Asian flavor [she's Taiwanese]. She has a great sense of fashion, too!

7b. Ok! Philippines' editor Frances Amper-Sales' Topaz Horizon. Aside from the fact that we share the same birth stone, I find her site a writer's/reader's haven. She discusses books she had read and enjoyed, her blog is reflective of her tremendous writing ability and she shares a lot of things I would enjoy reading: restaurants, travel posts, her and her husband's home finds. Her blog oozes with so much positivity that I always end up smiling after reading a post.

Honorable mentions [I can't bear to nominate only 7!]

I am Shallow
Gala Darling
Mama Was a Rolling Stone
And now, on to Step 3 [feel free to navigate away from my page].

1. No matter how shopaholic I may seem, I never forget to save/add to my portfolio. The first rule of thumb in my book is to save first before spending which leads me to...

2. I don't have a credit card. The only one I have is a supplementary card I will only use during out of the country trips is under my mom's name. I can't bear getting one because I know I can rack up a debt enough for a third world country, at one given point in time with that evil plastic.

3. I don't mix spaghetti sauce with the noodles. I want my pasta to have different levels of taste, I keep some of it bland.

4. I am a crybaby. I will never, for the life of me, cry in public but I cry easily over movie trailers, books, blogs etc. Yes, even while reading text messages, as long as I am alone.

5. I can commit to a thing nonstop for a period. I can eat canned tuna for months, I can listen to only one song for the whole day and I can use the same blush shade for more than a year. I have no explanation for this, unfortunately.

6. Much as I love reading, I did not get to page 2 of The Lord of the Rings. I simply got bored with it. I don't blame Tolkien, though. I just think I am waayyy too superficial for his books.

7. I don't watch regular-programming TV. Coming from four years of Mass Communication, I tend to shy away from TV simply because I hate seeing advertisements and yet I love doing them, ha! It's just --- icky, I don't know. Even the international ones. I only watch TV when I have nothing else to do [rarely], when I'm trying to relax during stressful mornings or you know, MJ's memorials and such. As for my TV series addiction, I watch them through DVD and from my trusty hard drive.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to catch my breath.


Flickin: The Proposal

>> Monday, August 3, 2009

If there is one thing I have in common with the BF, that is our mutual love for Ryan Reynolds, the actor. Of course, I drool over Ryan and the bf likes his comic style. So whenever there is a Ryan Reynolds movie, we don't need to ask each other: the answer is yes, we will watch it on the soonest possible weekend.

When we watched Transformers 2, we saw the trailer for the Proposal and I could say that I wasn't hooked on it as much as I was with Definitely, Maybe [starring Reynolds and another actress I love, Isla Fisher.] I was not really that much of a fan of Sandra Bullock, Reynolds' co-star in this movie. But we watched it anyway.

haklsjfjlahdksjsjsjs. I lose all sense of comprehension.

First of all, Ryan Reynolds did not disappoint. He was his usual I-am-clueless-about-how-I-look-no-I-am-not-hunkingly-painfully-gorgeous self. If I counted the times I had dreamy eyes while watching, I never would have finished the movie. Second of all, it was a romantic comedy, only my favorite genre in the whole world --- and only because these kind of movies save me from boredom, occasional depression and what have you. Third --- it was crazy. The plot is crazy. Who would fall in love in three days? Why would Andrew [Ryan] fight for Margaret [Sandra] when she was the boss from hell? I have no idea either. But the movie itself served its purposes, that are: a) entertain me with all the antics [the dog, the eagle, Ryan PG rating naked scene, Margaret's Louboutins and Ryan PG-rating naked scene]. b) the movie made me squirm in my seat in pure kilig. c) There were countless LOL moments that I got a little scared the one to my left at the cinema was gonna whack me in the head for laughing too much. But then again, she was probably laughing that hard, too. d) enjoy a good movie without worrying if the BF was not liking the movie coz judging from our synced guffaws, I know that he was e) made me wish I was ScarJo for a moment.

Scarlett Johansson
for Mango, F/W 2010

How many superficial stars do I give this movie? 3. It wasn't THAT superficial. In fact, it was a mix of hopeless romanticism and realistic issues which makes it all the more watch-worthy! I gotta admit it made me feel a little nostalgic when Margaret admitted she hated not having a family beside her. But then again that is another story.

If you are reading this, please tell me I gave you enough reasons to watch The Proposal [or that you've seen it already and enjoyed it] or I will think I've sunk down to a whole new level of superficiality. Bleh :D



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All I Want to Do

1. Go to NYC. 2.Create and not touch an emergency fund. 3. Tell someone I love him. 4.Cook a five-course meal and serve it to someone I love. 5. Love my imperfections but improve them, too. Read the rest here. Read the the 30th version here.
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