Things I Love ... Friday!

>> Friday, October 30, 2009

Inspired by the original TILT series, Things I love were usually written on Thursdays. It's basically a laundry list of the things that inspired the writer, and in this blog, that would be me, made me happy or what I'm thankful for. In this times when I'm having a lot of questions, doubts, and worries, I turn to happy thoughts to save the day. Hopefully, the next time I do this, it would be on a Thursday in any part of the world, at least.

Being decisive once and for all. A local version of Rusell at work. Playing with kids. Dear Ate Abby. Coffee sessions with a long lost friend. Twick or Tweeeeetttt! Long YM chats with my mother. Two kinds of coffee in one sitting. Chats with my brother about Cafe World. Little Bit by Drake and Lykke Li. Getting free movie tickets and then giving them away. Faith. Peppermint Tea and Honey [Sab! *waves*]. The latest One Tree Hill episode, who knew THAT was gonna happen on the Scott Free show? Writing for work at a garden, while smoking and having coffee. Vintage plaid skirts + purple turtleneck = hot librarian fashion FTW. A new blog URL I'm replacing this one with as soon as I fix the kinks.

What about you, what are you loving randomly?


The Shape of Things to Come

There is inside you all of the potential to be whatever you want to be, all of the energy to do whatever you want to do.
Imagine yourself as you would like to be, doing what you want to do.
And each day, take one step towards your dream.
And though at times it may seem too difficult to continue, hold on to your dream.
One morning you will awake to find that you are the person you dreamed of, doing what you wanted to do, simply because you had the courage to believe in your potential and hold on to your dream.
- Donna Levine

Today, I went to the Garden Loft [a garden at the office building where we smoke and drink] to write. With a pencil in my right hand and a cigarette in my left, I began writing. I wrote until my hands hurt and until I had no more sheets to write on.

It continues to be a sad day at the office. Just as I was packing up my stuff for the night, a colleague places her stuff on a balikbayan box, closing a good nine years she’s had with the company.

I made a huge decision --- that is to move out of my comfort zone give this one thing I’m so afraid of another try. For so many months, I was paralyzed with fear, with anxiety, with an aching and a thousand questions that start with “What if?”

I can’t stress enough how liberating the whole decision-making process was. For a time, the stress showed in my attitude, being cranky and all. I was a little of this, too. Best, I mean, worst of all, I only saw the bad in everything. I started hating every single issue I came face to face with and my decision-making skills were waning. It was un-amazing. Surreal and it came with a trickle-down effect. I hated waking up every morning, I hated going home, I hated walking even just a kilometer and shopping, no matter how many stuff I bought did not matter. Soon it was a letdown after another. Been attracting the wrong vibes, I thought.

But I attracted even more negative vibes. I failed an interview [not for a job though], didn’t get through a screening, cried so much over the phone and racked up a phone bill the size of a third world debt. It wasn’t a pretty sight.

However, it all changed when I made the decision. A decision I pored over through countless YM chats with my mother, deep conversations with my bestfriend, Excel sheets and my own thoughts echoing in between lyrics and the sound of the WeepiesWorld Spins Madly On.

I can’t disclose what this decision was, not because I’m ultra-cool or anything but because it’s another story of its own. For now, do celebrate with me as I revel in the positive effects of this: a stronger relationship with my family, one that is not bound by the distance we have between us, a renewed and reaffirmed friendship with a friend sister, self-esteem I never knew I had and the most exciting possibilities. Seriously, I’ve never been this excited for the shape of things days to come.

*image via AHC.


The Movement.

>> Sunday, October 25, 2009

I have a confession --- and it's not a pretty one. I have an irregular bowel movement -- also known as constipation.

Wikipedia says:

Constipation, costiveness, or irregularity is a condition of the digestive system in which a person (or animal) experiences hard feces (faeces) that are difficult to expel. This usually happens because the colon absorbs too much water from the food. If the food moves through the gastro-intestinal tract too slowly, the colon may absorb too much water, resulting in feces that are dry and hard. Defecation may be extremely painful, and in severe cases (fecal impaction) lead to symptoms of bowel obstruction. The term obstipation is used for severe constipation that prevents passage of both stools and gas. Causes of constipation may be dietary, hormonal, anatomical, a side effect of medications (e.g. some opiates), or an illness or disorder. Treatments consist of changes in dietary and exercise habits, the use of laxatives, and other medical interventions depending on the underlying cause.

I've had this problem for a long time and I'd like to share how I'm coping up with it. I know that it's not a pretty subject to talk about but just like sunscreen, this is one health problem many are ignoring. Simply put, constipation is a major block in having the body dispose all the wastes. Imagine not being able to properly dispose the trash at your home --- the same happens with the body and the mental image is kinda nasty.

Aside from that though, constipation may lead to even more complicated health issues -- one of which is colon cancer -- which is incredibly scary. To me, beauty does not end in the skin. There's your heart and other internal organs, too! Hence, some helpful tips if you're dealing with the same health issue as I am. If you know more, please share it with me as I'd love to add it here.

  • Fiber-rich Fruits. Initially, I thought that only fiber-rich fruit that there was is the pineapple. When my officemate received a shipment of pomelo from Davao, we devoured  it for 10 minutes and it sent me straight to the little girls' room. I know prunes are incredibly inducing, too, but frankly, I don't like the taste. Even the juice one. On the subject of bananas, stay on the lacatan variety as it's the latundan and saba that causes the hardening of bowel.
  • Fiber-rich Food. Oatmeal, wheat and bran products belong to this category. I used to hate oatmeal as a kid, as I am much more of a champorado person [sticky rice with chocolate] but when I was a kid, my mom tries to inject oatmeal into my diet every now and then for the fiber. When I started living away from my parents, my normal breakfast consist of coffee and the occasional pancit canton [what can I do, I don't cook.] Upon my discovery of the flavored oatmeal from Quaker Oats,  my oatmeal-eating experience was never the same again. And I made my regular trips to the room.

My favorite: Quaker Oats Apple and Cinnamon

  • Lots and lots of water. Really, need I say more?
  • Tea. I noticed that whenever I drink tea, which is quite often but less often than coffee, my movement is getting a wee bit regular. Of course, on a normal basis, tea [alongside coffee and soda] dehydrates the body and hinders movement --- something I have to exert effort on because I'm a hardcore coffee fiend.
  • Taho or Soybean Curd and other Soy products. Back in 2006, in an effort to make me laugh [I was dealing with a heartbreak then], the BFF and I went to a Soybean Stall and bought soy products. We had a contest: we had to drink the soymilk and we had to restrain ourselves from going to the bathroom to move. It was a silly contest, of course. But I was laughing my heart out in the middle of the road as I was driving then. The story still gives us a laugh everytime it gets brought up but soy as a natural laxative stayed in mind, too.
  • Lessen your meat intake. Red meat, most of all. And while on the subject of avoidance, include MSG-laden food, too. Like I've said, I once lived on a pancit-canton diet and it was the worst time of my life -- rare bowel movement, dull skin and hair and perennial crabby mood.  
  • Move, literally. Lack of exercise and physical activity causes the body organs to be lazy, including the colon. 
  • De-stress. Stress causes so much health problems and these days' lifestyle can be a bit overwhelming. I myself have been may times a victim of my own worries. So take time to read a book before sleeping, sleep at least 8 hours and leave work matters when you go out the door.

I could have added laxatives to the list but I'm not really a fan since I experienced stomachaches when I tried it -- so I'm just sticking with the natural ones. Oh and I'm sharing a really funny but true quiz I saw on Tumblr:

Click image for larger version.

Do you have the same problem as I do? What do you do about it? Share them here :)


Driving Tip #1: Always Have a Spare Tire

As if there's someone else, other than me, who doesn't.

Like a good and responsible driver, I always keep a spare tire at the trunk. A spare is used when you get a flat tire and couldn't run into the nearest vulcanizing shop. In my almost 6 years of driving, I've never had a flat tire on the road. It's usually one when I check it in the morning and I see it's flat, or I discover that it's low on pressure, thus I head to a shop, asap. I'd like to mention, too, that when a girl gets a flat tire, especially in a busy street, when you get off the car, male drivers instantly swarm you, volunteering to change it. [Do not try that though, because you'll never gonna know when you're getting one.]

 Even celebrities get flats.
Victoria Beckham's flat tire in February 20th.

Given the seemingly perfect tire life I had, when I lost my spare tire [which I forgot how], I wasn't frothing at the mouth to buy a replacement. Also, I wasn't driving everyday, like I did before, since the skyway construction-induced traffic is too much for me. Ho hum.

Until this morning, when I went home to my brother at Quezon City to drive him to the airport when I realized that yes, I'm not invincible and I need a spare tire.

We left Araneta Ave. at 3:20 AM. When I was coursing through Quirino, near the Columbian, I already started hearing hissing sounds. Of course, I ignored it. Shortly after I turned left to Osmena Highway, the hissing sounds turned to unbelievably loud popping sounds. My brother said, "Ate, your tires are flat." I turned on the hazard lights and looked for an establishment with lights on. I quickly eased the car into the PTT Gas Station and got off. Then I saw that my left rear tire was ripped.

As I've mentioned, my brother was off to the US in a few hours, thus, I couldn't make him wait for me. I have some reservations when it comes to flagging a cab along Pasay streets, and on 4 AM nonetheless. It was a good thing that a kind, elderly cab driver came along and I felt that my brother was safe so I eventually allowed him to, after calling cabs over the phone.

After he left, I pretty much had to deal with my ripped tire. Thankfully, a policeman in civilian was in the area and offered to help me bring my car to Evangelista St. [a popular street in Manila where they can fix everything and tires are cheap] so I could  buy new ones. I debated about this for about a minute and decided to go ahead and accept the offer. I didn't know how to go about it, too and I couldn't drive my car going there with all the popping sounds, anyway. I of course, realize, that it was a very dangerous move, as not all policemen in the country are acting the way they should be.

In the end, I was able to replace both rear tires, the BF came almost immediately, too, and my brother was able to get onto his flight on time. By this time, the rightful thing to do was to rag on myself but decided against it. Instead, I would like to share some of the most useful tips I've learned after six years of driving, five incidents of flat tires and two collisions with inanimate objects:

  • Always keep a spare tire. Just by telling my story, I hope you'd be convinced that spare tires do have a purpose :)
  • And when something like a busted tire happens to you, don't panic. Find a gas station, or a police station and park your car. If you live in Manila, it may not be safe to just park anywhere. If you can, stay inside your car first before going out of the car. In the past years, there were thieves who took advantage of drivers who get flat tires, those who get on the car shortly after the driver descends. When you get a flat tire, you don't automatically need to stop, just turn on your hazard lights and slow down. Panicking will alter your sense of direction and focus, it might alarm other drivers and may cause a collision. Don't be an inconvenience to others, unlike the guy who had to get his phone and bump into Jheng's car. Tsk.
  • Prevention is better than cure. Before you start the engine, check all the tires. Do they look marshmallowy? Do they have bumps? If yes, replace them asap. Do they have the right pressure? The usual pressure for a sedan is 30 PSI. If you have passengers, have them alight the car first, before adding pressure. Don't forget to check your spare tire's pressure, too.
  • Checks should not be limited to tires alone. Check other factors such as water, leaks, gas gauge etc. I once had a gauge problem. My gauge was not showing that I had no more gasoline. As it is, my car died along Aurora Boulevard and I was stuck in traffic. I didn't dare get off because I was scared of people who might approach me so I waited for the family driver. When he finally came, and with gallons of gasoline, my car's battery went dead so we reallly had to make a big commotion to the other vehicles. It was then that a young guy [and very, very cute] approached me and asked me if I was okay. Apparently, he was worried that I was being helped by someone I didn't know. He eventually called a mechanic to fix my car on the spot. He reappeared on my doorstep the next day with flowers and made ligaw with the parents. He was a really nice guy but it was three years ago and I've eventually lost communication with him. What a way to meet a guy, right?
  • Now going back --- don't forget about tools that can help you with car troubles. Have on hand stuff like: tire jack, wrench, and other thingamajig that comes with a tire-changing kit. I have this spray-on inflator, too but it's only useful when the tires are not ripped. Have a liter of water inside the trunk in case your car overheats at any time.
  • Have enough money in your wallet, and an emergency fund, too! Having a car is no joke. The expenses under normal circumstances are heavy as it is. Imagine having to replace tires before they're due can be a pain in the ***. A good 165/85/R14 tire costs as much as two MAC foundations, and that is no joke. What I'm saying is, just be ready coz having a car is like having a high-maintenance wife.
  • Have a sufficiently-charged cellphone at all times. In line with this, store all important numbers such as towing services, Motolite [they accept credit cards, too!], your trusty on-call mechanic, or your boyfriend if all else fails. :) 
  • And one last thing: Always be careful. Don't trust strangers as easily as I did, no one knows if they're genuinely helpful or not. I was lucky for all the times I had these mishaps but no one can tell when the bad guys are going to strike so please, please be careful all the time

That's it! Hopefully you'll be able to remember these tips in case you encounter a vehicular trouble. Remember, an ounce of prevention is better than cure ---- in my case, a spare tire is better than a ripped one at 4 AM. If you have more to share, please do! I'm pretty sure a lot of female drivers out there are better than me :D



On Work

>> Saturday, October 24, 2009

Back in grade school, I always had the concept that adults rarely have fun at work. Having watched too many movies, and Filipino TV series then, I thought that the adult life was composed of dragging yourself to work, hiding from your boss and making a huge decision --- that is quitting your job and becoming your own boss.

I didn't always have my dream job. In fact, I still am not with the job my second grade self had imagined: a news broadcaster. Somewhere during college, I let go of that dream. After all, my degree, Mass Communications, was an area of study that could lead one to places. And places I have been. I've had crappy jobs [one that pays really gooooood but well, it's just not me.] And one that I have now, which pays okay, but is a breeze getting through no matter how tough it has been. In February, I will celebrating my second year in the company and I barely feel like I am that old in there!

So that is why this post is about my work because I'd like to share some of the fun moments I had. Take note, though that this is not at all comprehensive because like normal yuppies, I do sit in front of my computer all day sometimes. I attend meetings where I don't understand what we are discussing and do other things a normal employee does [whatever that is!].

One of the first stuff I had to do at work was pose for product merchandise materials.
This was used for a product billboard in Binondo but was taken off after a year,
to give way to the current campaign.
Yes, in crutches, nonetheless!

Meeting colleagues who does the same work across the other side of the world
and some from Asia, too!
Causeway Bay, Hong Kong, 2008

Occasionally picking up the ball for the team [we ended up being champions, too!]

Putting conversational skills to the test with Pia

Occasionally donning a costume [I can't believe I'm posting this here]
but the experience of parading all over Binondo was fun!

Occasional trophy girl, as in yes, handing out trophies onstage!
Unfortunately, no photo in the act but here with the event hosts, Marc Nelson
and Dyan Castillejo.

Live from Petron Macapagal, Sam YG and I were telling everyone
to pass by Macapagal and if we spot them with the special sticker,
the driver will automatically win a trip to Thailand.

A lucky kuya won one of the minor prizes, an iPod Nano.

So that is a little peek of what my work life is --- it's not always advertising, writing, meeting endorsers and fun times. But I'm a happy camper, I enjoy what I do [heck, the passion can be overwhelming, in a positive way, sometimes] and I can imagine growing with the company, the work. To me, that is the most important thing of all.

Hope all of you are enjoying this weekend. I'm off to a birthday party and be a driver to my brother who's leaving yet again for a one-week vacation. Happy Saturday!


Have I Got a Long Way to Run?

>> Thursday, October 22, 2009

Not really. Just 5K.

If you knew me in person, you'd get from first glance that I don't run. In fact, I hardly do much workouts, and I don't have any gym membership anywhere. The last time I ran was last year, at a Men's Health Miracle Run, and before that was a month-long class in Muay Thai Kickboxing back in '06. All the other days, sports were the last thing on my mind.

J, Me, Tubbs and C at The Fort. If you were wondering, I didn't finish the 10K.
Shortly after we passed by a station, a guard said over the radio
"The tail of the run just passed by." [in Filipino] and that well, inspired us
more to just walk. Ha!

However,  when things I least like pave a way for me to learn [or at least learn to like] things, especially for a cause, I let go of inhibitions and my pride and my vanities of being afraid to look stupid. Thus I am joining the Philippine International Marathon: Run for Pasig River, happening on November 8, 2009.

Especially since the company I work for has committed to helping out ABS-CBN Foundation in rehabilitating Pasig River, it is only imperative that we help out, in whatever way we can. Besides, I can fake attempting to be healthy, too!

Are you fond of running? If yes, will you be joining this run?
I'm not but I'm fond of helping out a cause!

Happy Thursday, everyone!


MAC Technique Workshop at Rockwell

>> Wednesday, October 21, 2009


OOTD: Johann and Rose's Wedding

>> Tuesday, October 20, 2009

As promised, here's a few snaps I had during Johann's and Rose's wedding last Saturday. These are from the souvenir photo booth. I know, it's soo not me NOT to take my own photos but let's just say I've been waayyy too disoriented these days to bother.

With my friend Tin

A close up:
Yes, I have no eyes!

Dress: Amour by Cheena Ng-Lio
Shoes [not in photo] Janylin

Hopefully, I'll be able to share some photos from the lovely wedding!
As of now, the newlyweds are having their Asian trip and right now are meeting some of our
friends in Vietnam!


The Weekend That Was

>> Monday, October 19, 2009

Ola, everyone! I've been away from my laptop for almost 24 hours and though I enjoyed all the things I did, I still missed being online 24 hours a day! :x I hope all of you are doing good and having fun during the weekend. I'm done reading everything on my Google reader, finally! I'm starting my Cafe World session in a few minutes, as well as watch OTH 7x05 but let me first share how my weekend was:

Like I've mentioned yesterday, I was off to a wedding, so here I am, sharing you my FOTD for the day [actual wedding photos to follow as I didn't take any from my camera, heehee.]

I look weird :x

Products Used:

Monistat Anti-Chafing Gel as primer
Artdeco Camouflage Cream in 02
Sally Hansen Liquid Foundation in Medium
Ellana Premium Blend Foundation in French Vanilla Latte

Avon Sea Greens Quad [the lightest one]
VOV e/s - Gray
Guerlain Ombre Eclat 4 Couleurs in Touche de Brume 285
[the darkest shade which is black]

MAC Brow Set in Show Off
Revlon Colorstay Liquid Eye Pen
Eyelashes curled using Fanny Serrano curler
The Face Shop Freshian Volumizing Mascara

Sally Hansen Moisturizing Lip Balm
Revlon Colorstay Lipstick in Ice

After the wedding reception, we headed to Mogwai at Cubao X to celebrate Tubbs' 24th:

 Tubbs, Tin, T, Pia, Jestoni/Gardo [yes, fresh from the wedding], C and myself
at the Erik Matti-owned bar. Oh and they do have film screenings upstairs
every now and then!

Oh and let me just say that my foundation and makeup stayed put for 12 hours!
Still minimal blotting required!

 At 4AM, somewhere in Cubao with Allan, Megan, Yang and Tubbs and Ressy who is behind the camera.

Top: Zara
Skirt: Mink Pink
Flats: Ohrelle
Bag: Celine

The dessert was to die for! Triple Delight, it was called and it was YUMMMM.
They also have Molten Lava Cake and it was wayyy more orgasmic, but forgot to take a photo.

I went home at 4 am and woke up, rushed to Cuenca St. at Ayala Alabang Village, and then went for coffee with the girls at Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf, used my BDJ coupon, too!

I've missed cold caffeinated drinks! I <3 this Caramel Latte from CBTL

And finally, when I went home, I had some presents lying around from the BF's sister, who just came home from Australia!

 Revlon's Soft on the Eyes Whispers of Nature Quad.
Can't wait to make an EOTD out of this!

See, that was my weekend! :D Hope you had a good one, too!


Growing Up...

>> Saturday, October 17, 2009

  • means having to wake up early mornings for appointments and chores.
  • looking at a huge pile of laundry in the morning.
  • facing the consequences of bad decisions -- and making an effort to fix them.
  • putting on your game face every now and then.
  • make the decision -- and stand by them. 
  • losing the people who made you who you are today.

I've no words to describe how under the weather [and incredibly discombobulated] I've been feeling these days. No amount of beer and cigarettes can seem to distract me from it so I might as well ---- well, get on and just go with the flow. I know this post sounds so sad but I am. Trust me though, I'll be fine soon, especially since I treated myself to a mini-spree at Greenbelt 5 [cos a lot of stores were on sale] last Wednesday --- I discovered my new love, Promod.

On the happier front, I am finally heading to Bangkok! I know I sound so excited and to think BKK is just a three-hour flight but the thing is I've attempted, several times in the past to book a vacation to BKK. Problem was, every time I did, they had always some sort of a coup and I end up canceling my plans and head somewhere else, instead. Thanks to the Cebu Pacific sale, I was able to book flights for me and my friends for work on January for only Php 24,500 for 5 persons [the other two had waayyy too much air miles, lucky girls]. So in preparation, I've chucked out the other books away from my nightstand for the meantime and started reading this long overdue book alongside this month's Cosmo, of course:

Anyhoo, I'm off to a wedding today [the third I've been invited to this year] at the Manila Hotel, a birthday party at Mogwai in Cubao X and the BFF's bazaar tomorrow. If you're in the South, try to drop by and say hi! :)

Oh and here's a thank you giveaway from Maui/Sush. Don't forget to join!

1. Leave a comment to this post and tell me what is ONE product you cant live without and WHY
2. Repost this on your blog and leave the link as a comment
3. If you want additional entries, subscribe to my blog via email or follow me on twitter (1 entry each) but this is optional

Join here.

Whats up for grabs?

  • Small clutch thing from the MAC Holiday Heirloom Collection 
  • MAC Individual Lashes
  • Sample of MAC Pigment sample (hehe it spilled but still half full!) in Reflects Blue
  • BB Cream Sample in Premium Gold Caviar
  • BB Cream Sample: Super BB
  • Rimmel Colour Rush Quad in Smokey Noir (swatched)
  • Kirland Mineral Shimmer Powder
  • Victoria's Secret Beauty Rush Luminous Shadow in After midnight
  • ELF Professional Smudge Eye Sponge
  • ELF Regular and Waterproof Mascara Duo
  • A jar sample of my HG Product! RCMA Invisible Setting Powder
  • Urban Decay Sparkler pen in Dynamite (not pictured)

Happy weekend, everyone!


Review: Ellana Mineral Foundation

>> Thursday, October 15, 2009

I've always been vocal about my dislike  lack of talent in using mineral makeup. It's not really that I do not like it, I just found it messy and hard to apply. For me, I didn't think there was any brand of MMU foundation worth the mess, or the trouble in applying --- so I stuck it out with my traditional foundation.

A little history: I have always been in love with L'oreal's True Match Foundation. In love for years, really. I've been a loyal user since it came out in the market. Have used it a whole lot and I never had problems with it. Until then that I had to attend several weddings and I had to use a more heavy-duty foundation, so I switched to MAC.

Now you see, MAC is MAC. I had no major problems with it --- except that it was slightly more expensive than L'oreal [by a good Php 600] and that while it provided awesome coverage, it made me so oily that I was using 20 blotting sheets a day. But still, I stuck with it. Five months later, during one lazy afternoon, I chanced upon my Ellana Mineral samples and kept it on the makeup table for use the next time I was going to apply makeup. And I am so glad I did! Not only were my eyes opened to a whole new level of respect for MMU --- I actually got to know my newest HG Foundation:

Ellana Minerals Premium Blend Foundation in French Vanilla Latte


What Ellana says about it:

Our Mineral Foundation offers superior coverage, effectively covering and reducing dark spots, acne, fine lines,wrinkles, and other imperfections making your skin instantly flawless with an illuminating glow.
It contains Allantoin for cell regeneration and moisturizing properties.
It glides on your skin like silk, never gritty or sticky.
It’s easy to blend, providing a velvety finish.
Our exclusive foundation blends is formulated with Titanium Dioxide and Zinc Oxide to provide natural sun protection and the long-lasting coverage you need throughout the day.
It sets up as a base for your eye shadow and blush colors to help them glide on more evenly.
Our superb silky foundation comes in three variants.
Premium Blend provides a matte finish for a clean flawless look
Pure Blend 2-1 Foundation & Concealer this blend gives an illuminating finish with the complete coverage of an all over concealer. With minimal ingredients used, this blend is for those who have extra sensitive and dry skin
Intensive Coverage with Real Pearl Powder designed for those with Oily and Problem skin, who needs more coverage and longer-lasting power

What I liked about it:

  • The coverage. I can only rave about the coverage because it's superb! I already feel bad saying I never expected MMU to have this awesome coverage but yeah. It's ah-ma-zing. Thing is, though I've tried a few MMU brands prior to this [and no, I won't name which ones], I always ended up disappointed. Thus the low expectations. But I was surprised that it surpassed how MAC Studio Fix can cover my face --- which is a big, big plus. I can continue for two days about Ellana's coverage but I think you get my point now :) Oh and coverage is buildable, too!
  • The matte finish. Coming from MAC's matte yet oil-inducing finish, it comes as a surprise that I don't glow early or instantaneously after applying  this.
  • No retouch for me all day. Another pleasant surprise was that even after a whole day of sweating [like a pig!] my foundation stayed put and still looked the same. I'm kinda iffy about retouching because I don't like to retouch if I didn't wash my face. This is a very big plus for me and a huge factor in switching because it means more value for money, too! I was surprised to see that my skin looked the same as it was in the morning. 
  • No parabens. This is a known fact --- MMU is healthier for the skin and that alone is a pro. This foundation is part of the three new products I'm using right now -- and maybe a big contributor to my skin's newfound healthy glow.
  • Affordable. 6g of this foundation will definitely last me a long time. Why do I know? Because a sample baggie lasted me a whole 1 1/2 weeks! What more for a 6g jar that is sells only for Php 380?
  • Easy Shade Finder. The Ellana website is dummyproof! :D I was browsing through the website and trying to guess what shade I was and saw the very helpful Shade Finder:


 --- which led me to find that the shade fit for me is French Vanilla Latte [yes, just like Nikki!]

  • Proudly Filipina. Ellana Mineral Cosmetics is owned by fab Pinay Coney Avellana. Isn't that cool, or what? 
  • Accessible. Ellana is available online [with bajilliion of payment methods so no fuss at all], extremely quick response and shipping, even for other countries!
What I did not like about it:
  • It's messy, compared to traditional foundation [as we all know] and until now I don't bring it inside my bag for fear of leaving the jar open but it's worth it. 
  • But aside from this, none! 
 My FOTD using Ellana Premium Blend Foundation in French Vanilla Latte:

 Products Used:
Ellana - Foundation
Aveeno Sunblock SPF 40 [thus the white cast on the photo with flash, boo]
Artdeco Camouflage Cream 02

MAC Brow set in Show Off [bought from the lovely Kaye]
Revlon Colorstay Liquid Eye Pen
The Face Shop Freshian Volumizing Mascara

L'oreal Blush Delice in Rosy Cheeks
MAC Lipstick in Giddy

Do you use Ellana or any other local MMU, too? How was your experience?

Ellana is available through:
Rm 508 West City Plaza, 66 West Avenue, Quezon City, Philippines
Mobile: +63 906 513 8206
Landline: +63-2-9069067
Inquiries: +63 918 945 4266

*screenshots taken from the Ellana website.


Review: L'oreal White Perfect Day Cream

>> Tuesday, October 13, 2009

How is Tuesday treating you, ladies?

It has been a slow day for me yesterday, I'm still recuperating from lack of sleep since I was out with my girls last Friday, till 4 AM on Saturday, went to a company event at 9 AM, and played Cafe World the rest of the weekend. I swear, FB games are the shit, don't try unless you want sleepless nights and groggy days. Anyhoo, I am saddened by how Typhoon Parma [or Pepeng, the one that skipped Manila but went straight to North]. The whole Northern Luzon, Philippines' main and biggest island is soaked in flood and there were a ton of landslides. Please pray for them.

You see, these past few days have been the most harassing for me. We've been working on multiple projects, on top of our BAU tasks and I'm quite surprised I've still been looking decent, fresh and my skin is glowing at 5 PM of every day [something that never happened before, as it's always dull and lifeless, this skin]. The thing is, I've been using three new products, let me introduce you to the first one:

 L'oreal White Perfect Moisturizing Day Cream with SPF 15

A little history on my moisturizing background: My HG moisturizer for probably almost three years now has been Olay Total Effects, and before that it was Clinique's Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion. I had no problems with TE, until recently, when heat has become so unbearable int the mornings and I had to switch to a lighter formula since I also pile on Neutrogena Ultra Sheer SPF 55 on my face everyday.

It was a stroke of luck that there was a package from L'oreal with my name [coming from Shopaholic Universe, thank you!] and it included this day cream. What does it say [straight from the box]:

  • More Rosy Glow. Enriched in new Tourmaline Gemstone that helps stimulate skin microcirculation, this cream gives skin intense rosy glow.
  • Less Yellowish Complexion. It also contains Advanced Melanin-Block, which acts to regulate the melanin production at the source to help skin become fairer.
  • Protection against UV-induced skin darkening. Exposure to UV rays, especially to UVA, accelerates and intensifies melanin production, leading to skin darkening. Enriched with the powerful L'oreal patented Mexoryl SX UV filters system, White Perfect Fairness Control Moisturizing Day Cream SPF15 provides perfection against UV induced darkening and the appearance of brown spots.
With an average fair skin, I do not wish to become any lighter than what I have now. My only requirements are that my skin stays hydrated, protected and bright -- almost luminous [hah, I wish].

What I liked about it:

  • Non-greasy. True to its promise, this did not feel like I had oil on my skin at all. The consistency is much lighter than Olay TE, but still creamy enough not to fall off your spatula or fingers.
  • Light. I love, love how I don't have to blot my face immediately after I go past the door and face the sunshine, as I've been doing with Olay TE. Before, I average about 10 pieces of blotting film. I am now down to 5 a day.
  • It makes my darn skin bright at 5 PM. And as I've mentioned, it's never happened before. Now I am not sure if the reason why this has never happened is because of my moisturizer, because like I've mentioned, I do use three new products right now. Before, at the strike of 5 PM, my skin is beginning to reflect the day's fatigue, heat and all the smoke I and my skin have inhaled. For two weeks now, my skin has been looking like it did in the morning which is always a good, good thing.
  • My skin feels extremely soft with this on.  
  • Locally-available. I see a lot of L'oreal stands everywhere -- and I mean everywhere. Being a drugstore brand, it kind of raises the bar with its skincare line. I've always had at least one L'oreal bottle in my bathroom at any point in my life. I used to use this facial foam from the Gentle --- something. I forgot the line's name but it was the green-bottled one and I've always loved it. I then switched to the Dermo Expertise line, and they upgraded it to the White Relightening one. Oh and I did try the Pure Zone line, too! Review to follow. 
  • My skin discoloration [yep, I have some] have definitely lessened and I owe that to this product! 
  • I would like to say that it is reasonably-priced because I am quite sure this falls into the Php 750 - Php 1,000 bracket but I am not so sure. If you do know, please advise me :)
What I do not like about it:

  • The tub. It's very tedious to scoop out cream every morning just so I won't dip my fingers into the tub. If you knew me in person, you would know that I am almost always late and a very impatient one at that. Why don't they use a pump bottle instead? :/
  • The scent. It reminds me of medicines but it goes away very fast so this is forgivable. 
  • No anti-aging ingredients.
  • Limited SPF but I'm okay with this since I use a separate sunblock. 
  • None that I can think more of, really.
Would I buy this again? YES. But if L'oreal came up with a better one then I'm off to try that one.

Additional Comments: I don't think this product is the solution to your whitening woes and I definitely do not recommend this for that purpose. If, however, you were looking for a solution to brighten your skin and lessen the appearance of spots and discoloration, this just might do the trick. I haven't tried the Night Cream counterpart because I'm still very happy with Olay TE. Has anyone tried it though? Do let me know.

Hope this review has been helpful to you!


If You Could Give One Advice, What Would Be It?

>> Sunday, October 11, 2009

For me, it would be to wear sunscreen.

Here is a perfect explanation, courtesy of this. Of course, I didn't know this was the lyrics of Baz Luhrman's Sunscreen song. Never liked it before but guess it makes so much sense! [thanks, Tessa!]

Wear sunscreen.

If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be it. The long-term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by scientists, whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable than my own meandering experience. I will dispense this advice now.

Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth. Oh, never mind. You will not understand the power and beauty of your youth until they’ve faded. But trust me, in 20 years, you’ll look back at photos of yourself and recall in a way you can’t grasp now how much possibility lay before you and how fabulous you really looked. You are not as fat as you imagine.

Don’t worry about the future. Or worry, but know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubble gum. The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind, the kind that blindside you at 4 p.m. on some idle Tuesday.

Do one thing every day that scares you.


Don’t be reckless with other people’s hearts. Don’t put up with people who are reckless with yours.


Don’t waste your time on jealousy. Sometimes you’re ahead, sometimes you’re behind. The race is long and, in the end, it’s only with yourself.

Remember compliments you receive. Forget the insults. If you succeed in doing this, tell me how.

Keep your old love letters. Throw away your old bank statements.


Don’t feel guilty if you don’t know what you want to do with your life. The most interesting people I know didn’t know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives. Some of the most interesting 40-year-olds I know still don’t.

Get plenty of calcium. Be kind to your knees. You’ll miss them when they’re gone.

Maybe you’ll marry, maybe you won’t. Maybe you’ll have children, maybe you won’t. Maybe you’ll divorce at 40, maybe you’ll dance the funky chicken on your 75th wedding anniversary. Whatever you do, don’t congratulate yourself too much, or berate yourself either. Your choices are half chance. So are everybody else’s.

Enjoy your body. Use it every way you can. Don’t be afraid of it or of what other people think of it. It’s the greatest instrument you’ll ever own.

Dance, even if you have nowhere to do it but your living room.

Read the directions, even if you don’t follow them.

Do not read beauty magazines. They will only make you feel ugly.

Get to know your parents. You never know when they’ll be gone for good. Be nice to your siblings. They’re your best link to your past and the people most likely to stick with you in the future.

Understand that friends come and go, but with a precious few you should hold on. Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography and lifestyle, because the older you get, the more you need the people who knew you when you were young.

Live in New York City once, but leave before it makes you hard. Live in Northern California once, but leave before it makes you soft. Travel.

Accept certain inalienable truths: Prices will rise. Politicians will philander. You, too, will get old. And when you do, you’ll fantasize that when you were young, prices were reasonable, politicians were noble and children respected their elders.

Respect your elders.

Don’t expect anyone else to support you. Maybe you have a trust fund. Maybe you’ll have a wealthy spouse. But you never know when either one might run out.

Don’t mess too much with your hair or by the time you’re 40 it will look 85.

Be careful whose advice you buy, but be patient with those who supply it. Advice is a form of nostalgia. Dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts and recycling it for more than it’s worth.

But trust me on the sunscreen.

What about you?


Vintage Finds: City of Vintage by Mac Vengco-Bergantin

Be prepared to drool.

I've previously blogged about Mac's site a while ago, then, she was just featuring clothes, belts and shoes. This recently, my Multiply feed began showing albums and albums of vintage jewelry and I died and went to vintage heaven.

Liz Collection


Claire Collection

Brass charms (Eiffel tower - 25mm, paris pendant - 18mm), 24 inches long.

Vintage ale label in brass setting (25mm = 1 inch), 24 inches long.

That's it! I cannot take this anymore!
I'm heading over her store now and carting these! I am salivating as of the moment. Are you?

** All photos are owned my Mac VB


WR: Look who's on Cosmo

>> Friday, October 9, 2009

Well, not me. But my words. MY words.

I normally do not blog about work-related stuff because I work for an industry considered by many as 'boring.' I am in the financial services industry, major in Insurance. Yep.

Although the industry may invoke a whole dam of nasty thoughts --- from death, to crumbling companies, I enjoy what I do. You see, I am from the Digital Marketing Section [formerly known as Interactive Services] and I write a whole lot for the company intranet, corporate website, regional intranet and recently, have been blogging for work, too. The work requires a flexibility to write about anything under the corporate sun --- HR, Finance, IT [gives me the biggest headache as I have no clue about this as much as I do with, say...] Events [a topic I really, really love as the company produce the best events for the employees and agents], Operations, and Products, etc. Oh and I get to be on Facebook and Adobe Photoshop the whole day, too!

You see, and I'm sure writers can agree to this: It's a natural high seeing your name and your article on print --- thumbing through the grains of a broadsheet, or the glossies of a magazine. With this day and age of the net and e-books and audiobooks, the novelty of reading the papers, magazines or books and writing for any [at all] has risen astronomically, at least for me.

October 2009 Issue, on the cover: Bea Alonzo


The first time I had a piece of writing published was in sophomore year in high school, for an Inquirer column, Youngblood. It was a story about our dog. I got published twice more in YB. I had more published articles when I started to work for my current company, albeit all product-related, and some for Public Relations. However, it's another level of high when you add two elements one can probably not think of offhand: a female magazine [a bible to some, like me!] plus an insurance piece = Clueless. Let me share it with you:

Originally written in February 18, 2009

I’m clueless. Alicia Silverstone-type-of-clueless, that is.

Way past fresh grad phase, one would think that I have made my way into finding out about studying finances, poring over Excel sheets and maintaining books. But I’m nowhere near anything that requires computations.

As if on cue, my mom called from across the other side of the world to conduct a “catch up” on me, my life and gasp, my finances. Que horror!

No matter how good I thought I was at skirting the issue, my mom dug the cat out of the bag soon. Aside from bajillion clothes, accessories I never knew I had, spa receipts and mementos from vacations, I've got absolutely nothing. Nil. Nada. Zero.She tells me, “Hija, you’re a walking liability than an asset. For the three years you’ve been working, that is all you’ve got to show me. And, don't tell me that gadgets and bags are investments.”

In an attempt to impart a lesson or two, my mom decided to freeze all my accounts, all supplementary credit cards, leaving me a blank check only to be filled out by her sister, my tita, of a company’s name. The check, she instructs, is mine for the taking not now, but for the future. “Find something you can put it into that will give you something back in years’ time. If you learn how to put your money somewhere profitable, for a lack of a better term, you will get all your accounts back. And more.”

And so with a heavy heart and even more clueless-ness, I began my research into the pit of darkness also known as moolah-generating instruments.

So far, these are my options:

1.Garage Sale. I have too many bags and shoes and clothes and gadgets and oh. Forget it. I’m not letting go of my bags/shoes/clothes.

2.Start a cupcake shop. The problem though is I don’t know how to bake.

Cupcake by Eskimo Kiss

. Thing is, I suck at poker or any card game for that matter.

4.Donate to the charity. Maybe my mom was referring to karma? At least I’ll be rich in good karma. Ha!

5.Try that savings instrument SmartStarter8 thing my friend Carla was blabbing about. While I was not so keen on the thought, I was sold on the idea of getting money [returns as she puts it] every three years for the rest of my life. Not only would this mean new designer bags every 3 years, the product, as she says, translates to an insurance policy -- something that I don't have yet. What a catch!

And this, folks, is the story of how I started my affair with math and saving -- without having to give up my shoes. Or my shopping habits.   


So that is my first ever article to be published in Cosmo, thanks for reading and I'm crossing my fingers for more to come.

Oh and if in case you were wondering, it was semi-based on my life. But not everything :)

Goodnight and kisses!


Tumblr: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

>> Tuesday, October 6, 2009

How have you been this Monday? I hope that even if the sun was beating our backs today, the sunshine and the warmth have made you smile, at least. No more flood thoughts and yes, I will take a break from that now :D

My Monday has been quite a whirlwind. The last week was devoted entirely to volunteering at work [repacking and stuff] and to a one-week project. My regular work has taken a backseat to those and now that we're back to regular programming, I was kind of in shock to find my workload like a big pile of dirty laundry waiting to be washed.  And wash a ton, was what I did.

Anyhoo, if you're a regular reader of my blog, you would notice that for the month of September,  I was blogging daily. During the last week, though, the posts came in no particular pattern. During those times, I only blogged whenever I had the time or the energy to do so. I never forgo reading blogs, though. However, when I can't write but feel the need to say something, express something, I get my Tumblr fix.

Tumblr is very much like Twitter [no need to explain that, right?]. In this case, no character limits, one can 'tweet' photos, even if it's not yours. Basically it's just a mood-board of some sort. Sharing photos, music, quotes and what not that you find interesting, inspiring, or scandalous even. As an internet etiquette, though, don't forget to enter the website of your source into the click-through field.

Now, the Good:

  • As Tumblr says, it really is the easiest way to blog. For someone like me who tends to have lotsa brain farts, Tumblring is the best way to deal with it. No excuses, no explanations, I just post whatever I like. And I don't need to do so much proofreading, Photoshopping or resizing because most of the time I just...
  • Reblog! Easier than easy blogging. In the stream of your dashboard are two buttons. One is a heart and one is a 'Reblog' button. Perfect.
  • All I need to see in one stream. No more page-turning, or clicking. 
  • I can follow only who I want   [well this applies to most social networking sites sooo.] and unfollow whenever I like.
  • Domain-friendly. You have your own domain? Cool. You can use it instead of 
  • Inspiration/drool galore. For example: 

 Eva Longoria for Citizen K

 Well, hello, Mr. Franco.

 Events Etc.

And the one that gave a full minute of belly laughs:

And The Bad:

  • Things can get pretty redundant. One item you've seen 5 seconds ago may re-appear in your dashboard, tumblrd by another contact. On the other hand, if you're following a lot, the chances of you running into replicates will be much less.
  • NSFW. Some content are not safe for work. You know the ones.In short, Tumblr has very little censorship, it being a blog of some sort. Frankly, I do not mind and I don't follow for that. However, there are high-school kids on Tumblr [and other sites] and IMO, more discretion should be followed.
  •  IT'S SO ADDICTING! I've lost so much sleep over Tumblr. Because really, every second there's new content that's being uploaded, I reblog, and I see new content. Such a vicious cycle. Ask Sab *waves*
  • The theft. I've run into several cases of users who claim photos which are not theirs and the owner finds out so and so. I don't mind but whenever I see this, I unfollow everyone who's involved because these things can turn nasty.
All in all, I enjoy Tumblr-ing. It's a break from writing, which is both my work and my pleasure, because I'm only taking in the information I see, read stuff and be inspired with the photos. It will never make me give up blogging though, no matter how much I'm loving it.  But in case you decide to go the Tumblr way, my tumblr site is See ya!

It's now 1:03 AM. I started this post at 10:30 PM and I just finished now. Must be all the Tumblr-ing in between. Yikes!

Oh and BTW, for everyone who will be around the South this October 17-18, the BFF will be having her first bazaar at the Cuenca Community Center at Ayala Alabang Village, 8 AM to 8 PM. She will be introducing her new store, House of Organics!


*All images in this post belong to respective owners. No copyright infringement intended. 



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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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