Review: The New L'oreal White Perfect Fairness Control Day Cream

>> Tuesday, November 30, 2010

If L'oreal White Perfect Day Cream and L'oreal White Perfect Radiance Boosting Double Essence, this would be it.

L'oreal's newest offering says:

Double Action:
1. Helps neutralize the program of melanin production at the source
It helps neutralize the enzyme that contributes to the melanin synthesis program.
2. Helps unload existing melanin in skin layers
It works to help remove the cells loaded with melanin to brighten up skin complexion.
Further, this product aims for the user to achieve:
  1. More Transparent Skin:
    Enriched with Melanin-Vanish™, this cream helps reduce spots and visibly brighten skin tone for a more transparent skin.
  2. More healthy glow:
    With Tourmaline gemstone, known to help stimulate skin microcirculation, this cream helps bring your skin a more rosy glow.
  3. Protection against UV induced skin darkening:
    Exposure to UV rays, especially to UVA, accelerates and intensifies the melanin production, leading to skin darkening. Enriched with powerful UV filters system, WHITE PERFECT Day Cream SPF17/PA++ provides protection against UV induced darkening and the appearance of brown spots.
I've been fortunate enough to have been invited at the launch of this newest addition to L'oreal's skincare line. As evidenced by multiple reviews, I'm an avid L'oreal user, since I've been in high school so I could be pretty biased when I say these things work for me. For sure, whatever ingredients L'oreal put on their products can also be found on other brands but somehow, most if not all of their products work for me.

Can you tell I've been munching on something?

It took me a while to start using this product, as I have been finishing off a jar of it's predecessor. I was satisfied with it for a host of reasons but now that the company launched a supposedly better version, I am all for trying it out {despite the occupational hazard of getting breakouts, darn!}. After all, even if I do not wish for a fairer complexion, I'd like to achieve the same brightness that I've been getting from its old version.

Finally, after two weeks of uninterrupted use, I am now able to provide my notes:

The Good:
  • The formulation seems to be exactly the same as the original one, except that this newer one seems thicker in texture.
  • Higher SPF, from 15 to 17. But Lola Tara would still recommend applying a separate SPF, okidoks?
  • Better scent. The original one smells clean but sometimes it strikes me as too medicine-ish. This one smells like a moisturizer.
  • Easy to spread, seems easily absorbed.
  • Same brightening effect, if not more. I don't know if I want to be 50x fairer because then I'd be white as a sheet. But the levels of brightness are fine by me.
  • The glass jar makes it absolutely classy, however it's such a pain to scoop product out every morning with a spatula but I love you {L'oreal} anyway.
  • Sealed box, jar lid, manufacture date and expiry date. These are small things but  beauty enthusiasts appreciate all these and that's value for money for ya.
  • Price is not bad at Php 595, available at Watson's, Beauty by SM and other drugstores.
  • No additional breakouts. As I've mentioned, my right cheek is peppered with the unnecessary pimples that it's driving me crazy {bad move revisiting an old product}. Thankfully, there were no additional rashes / pimples / breakouts from this product.

The Bad:
  • The jar. Then again, this might be hard to pump out so till then I'm stuck with a spatula.
  • None, really.

What's your day cream and what do you like about it?

*Product provided for review, but this post is in no way sponsored.


    On HIV and Realities

    >> Monday, November 29, 2010

    MANILA, Philippines – Amid continuing debate over the use of condoms to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS, the Department of Health (DOH) recorded 104 new cases last month.

    The figure brings to 1,305 the number of HIV/AIDS cases this year alone, the DOH said. 

    It is also 30 percent higher than the 80 HIV/AIDS cases registered in October 2009.

    The DOH’s HIV/AIDS Registry showed that since January 1984, a total of 5,729 HIV cases – 852 of them have progressed into AIDS – had been reported. 

    The numbers have become increasingly alarming. Every time the 6 PM news blare out, or when I receive my daily newsletter from news websites, stuff like these catch my eye. While I know there are many issues that the country face every single day, I thought, that in this little space I have in the world wide web, I can help spread the awareness.

    About two months ago, a friend of a friend found out he is HIV positive. I saw him a few days after that and he seemed normal. I thought to myself, that if this guy had unprotected contact with an unassuming partner, the virus could easily be transferred and there goes another statistic. I had no judgments, but I was sad. And I also felt like being slammed with a harsh truth. I used to only hear about HIV from the movie Gia and the musical Rent. Locally, there was Sarah Jane Salazar. These were all distant truths, HIV, that is, until I was in the presence of one.

    Some years ago, I've read about Wanggo Gallaga's story. Still this is someone I do not know personally, I only read his articles from newspapers, and I knew that he is one of Philippines' premiere director's sons. But his way of advocacy presents a far more viable process: by sharing his story. We all know World AIDS Day, brands launching AIDS-awareness campaigns of their own but what do we really know about HIV, AIDS and how to avoid it?

    I don't want to start preaching and say that the only way is to abstain. In fact, since I am not a medical person who can dole out health references,  I will let Wanggo Gallaga's story speak for it, through the writing of Gang Badoy.

    7 Things I learned from my friend Wanggo
    by Gang Badoy
    1. Sometimes your parents know you more than you know yourself. He said when he was 12 years old his parents told him that if he turned out gay, they would completely love him just the same.  He was young then and had not defined yet what or who he was so he kept telling them that he wasn’t gay. So they said, okay but we need you to know that we’ll understand and we love you regardless. Then, years later – apparently, he discovers he is gay. “Well, they were right,” Wanggo says and we break into laughter.

    2. It is good to know exactly what you’re getting into and that there will be consequences – if those do come, you have to bravely embrace them. Wanggo knew that the lifestyle he chose had risks. He dated other men and was overtly sexually active.  It was the time of the burgeoning social networking site called Friendster and he met many people online.  Was viva enough to go and make arrangements to hook up.  He did not make it his rule to use a condom, but he thought HIV was more of a ‘foreigner’ thing and that it wasn’t in the circles or the country even – so he really did not put his foot down nor set rules with the lovers.  So he only used a condom a small percentage of the time he was sexually active.  “So, now I’m HIV-positive, I have to deal with it as best I can and see myself through it,” Wanggo says with a tight lipped smile on his gentle face.  I kept looking at his jawbone and how defined and handsome it was when he clenched his teeth.

    3. In the business of healing, there is not much space for blame and vengeance. Wanggo told me that he knows his focus ought to be his health, then he shifts and says his focus is his life.  (I wondered, but didn’t say out loud, if those two were not one and the same?) Then as if he heard my silent thought he immediately says he understands one cannot be without the other so for now, he says he’ll finish his existing projects, articles and assignments but knows that he will have to opt for a family time rest period pretty soon.  Then he said the reason why he agreed to be the main spokesperson for “The Safety Series” campaign was because he’d like for more young ones to hear his story.  This way he can best demonstrate to other (young) people how the risks they take have real consequences.  “I don’t need to know who I got the virus from, I have a feeling even he didn’t/doesn’t know he was/is infected.  I don’t think anyone is that sinister to willingly still have sex with someone when he knows he has HIV, that’s too mean.  So I went public because I wanted the rest (of my lovers) to know and get tested too.  It was too hard to find everyone’s phone number and to call them all, diba? So no, I never really thought of the big blame question. Why waste time on blame?”  He shrugs and I nod.

    4. While we all want to be in the business of ‘optimizing life’ – we need to remember that some of the risks we take have irreversible results. Wanggo says he was pushing his body to the limit for a stretch of time.  He recalled going through grueling work days with very little sleep.  Then at night he partied hard and hooked up with people he’d meet on the internet almost regularly.  He was young and carefree as most of us have been/will be in our lifetimes.  When I asked him why he didn’t really insist on using condoms he calmly explains that he may have prided himself to be such a giving lover that if his partner didn’t want to use one, he felt it was an imposition (or even rude) to insist on what he wanted.  While on this note, I learned too that the sexual act between two people is also a realm wherein the muscle of consideration and selfishness is tested.  Wanggo strikes me as someone who is afraid of being selfish (he really is a generous one) and this spills over onto even the other decisions.  He says, “if I could go back maybe I’d still party as hard, but knowing what I know now there are some things pala that I cannot reverse or solve.  Like this virus, I can’t send it away, it’s here. That’s that.” He picks on one corner of his scarf.  I pretend I’m writing something.

    5. While we think we can resolve things by strategically distracting ourselves, there should always be a stage where we face things squarely and not flinch. I asked him what his days were like and he said while taking in the rhythms of medication and maintaining his immune system to be as strong as possible, he decided to keep things as normal as possible.  He still does shoots with aplomb, finishes his articles on time, submits himself to creative planning meetings and everything he did even before he found out he was positive.  Then he looks at me straight and says, “Soon I will be resigning and dropping some responsibilities and maybe I can make this HIV-awareness campaign my main focus.  Maybe it’s time I decide to make my work about HIV kasi I have it and the campaign needs a voice.”  I interrupted him and said that the campaign needs his voice, and in characteristic self-effacing Wanggo fashion he says, “Anyone, actually! Me lang it’s different because, well, I know it best.”  And I agreed with him.  He does know this one best.  I took this cue and told him how I thought his role in the campaign is irreplaceable and that I was so grateful – and he cuts me with a rather graceful wrist flick and says, “Oh please, thank you – this is fun, too. Well…”  We both trailed off and just nodded at each other.  I like Wanggo, he’s my main teacher as of late.  I find myself nodding a lot.   I wonder if he notices.

    6. How meaningless life is without friends. He told me once that he had to go to a check up for an ear infection recently and that he told a friend.  Then all of a sudden, everyone online was abuzz and praying for him.  He laughed and told me how ‘arte’ that was and that it was just a check up, he wished his friend didn’t make such a big deal out of it but then after a while he quietly said,  “It’s nice to know that people care and all that – “I just don’t like being fussed on.”  I could see that Wanggo pulls through also because of his friends.  He taught me the need for the great balance between knowing when to be around for a friend and when to step back to give my friends their cool space.  Mostly – Wanggo showed me how valuable it is to just accept what your friends offer you – even if you don’t like what they’re offering.  “Yuck, I was just going for a routine check up, ang dami dami nang nag text agad.”  Wanggo indulges us, too and embraces our amateur ways of dealing with a friend who is HIV positive.  How little we know of the disease! But perhaps the lot that we know of friendship will make it easier for him (and us) as we face this virus while standing strong beside each other.  He uncrosses his legs, then crosses them right back.

    7. How sometimes our most extravagant dream is to really just have a ‘regular’ day. Wanggo always uses the phrase, “Wala, normal.”  He says this when I ask him how he feels, how he reacted when he first found out he had HIV, how did it feel coming out in public about being HIV-positive, did he know that I consider that a courageous (and very generous) act.  He says the same phrase first before he expounds.  He first says it again, “Wala, normal.”  He addresses his condition with a regimen of medication and other healing methods, I don’t know how grueling the side effects are, I can only imagine it actually, but I know that it is not an easy, smooth road.  So despite that, he’s been regularly doing our “Safety Series” stint bar tour – and this is how it goes: Wanggo and I go to the front and ‘talk’ to each other about HIV, I interview him in between the band sets while in Saguijo or Route 196, once even at the big central plaza of Eastwood and he answers as candidly as possible.  Our goal?  Just to let people hear a real conversation on HIV.   Many of us know of the virus in theory but we barely relate the red ribbon to behavioural choices.  Many of us are uncomfortable discussing the realities.  The reality is there are men who have sex with men, there are women who have sex with many men, there are many men who pay for sex, and there are sex workers who, by the nature of their work, have multiple partners, and that there are women or men who have spouses who work overseas and contract the virus elsewhere and transfer them when they come home to visit, there are babies born with HIV from an HIV-positive mother.I take offense that the people in charge of managing knowledge and the ones with the power to disseminate information sometimes ban discussion. Why ban discussion when we can actually grab this chance to educate? The issue of HIV is not a religious issue, though I acknowledge that many make it to be one but that is not my expertise so I won’t go there.   HIV is neither a gay man’s issue or a sex worker’s issue, though they are most at risk, it is everyone’s business.   HIV is a health issue.  It is here and it is staring us in the face while we so clumsily confuse our bible verses and ‘turn the other cheek.’  There is no room for judgment tonight.  It is here. It is preventable, but it cannot be addressed if we never even want to talk about it or what causes it.  Let’s stare at this one bravely, shall we? We need to inform people of the many options they can take to prevent HIV from settling into our spheres.  To those who are at risk, we can tell them about the choice to abstain, we can encourage the building of a monogamous relationship and we can even opt to push for use of condoms if having multiple lovers is one’s route. Condoms work, too.  The argument can be placed that they don’t work 100% of the time, but they do work a percentage of the time – more than if you didn’t use one.  So there.   “Wala, normal.”

    We need to dream BIG, we need to dream of a world that is HIV free.  A world where we all have chances to have a normal day.  A world where we have stretches of normal days.  If you’re having a normal day, then repost this and spread the understanding not the judgment.  Spread the knowledge and not the prejudice. My friend Wanggo is teaching me all this and I am grateful, so I share it with you.

    Do with it as you please.

    After all, it starts with knowing. 


    The Forever 21 Brand Ambassadors

    Let me tell you a little bit about my love affair with Forever 21.

    One of the reasons that I love having parents in the US for is because of my access to the brand Forever 21. Long before it hit the Asian shores, I have had some key pieces, mostly basics from this well-loved brand. I remember receiving snapshots of store displays in Manchester and Boston where my mom gets my stock of fashion fix, so I can choose. How can you not like the brand? It's fashion forward and it doesn't break the bank.When I was in the Bangkok store of Forever 21, my mind started singing Allelujah as I entered the store and I think I spent so much time deciphering what to pay for because I literally wanted everything.

    Last outfit with a Forever 21 item:

    Men's Shirt: Merona
    High-waisted shorts: Forever 21
    Flats: Staccato by CMG
    Accessories: City of Vintage
    Bag: CMG

    In July of this year, frenzy ensued among the fashionable bunch of this city and populated the most populated mall: SM Megamall. I honestly still haven't been to the store here, no matter how much I want to. I am deathly scared of crowds these days. Forever 21's Marketing Manager Jane Kingsu - Cheng, says, however, the best time to come is on early morning weekdays. I just might schedule a leave for that soon. 

    On my birthday night nonetheless, I was invited to a thanksgiving party at Members Only, hosted by Forever 21. Not only was it a thanksgiving party {hello, open bar!}, they also introduced their first ever Philippine brand ambassadors:

    I honestly cannot think of any other name to become the Forever 21 ambassadors, most especially Tricia Gosingtian. I have so much admiration for the girl, for having accomplished so much at such a young age. She is very down to earth, too and is capable of so many things more than what she says in her blog "take photos of herself and change eyecolor." She is an inspiration to the younger generation and I'm glad Forever 21 chose her.

    Ironically, I had no clothes from Forever 21 that were fit for Members Only, so I wore a little black dress from Kisses and Co.:

    Little Black Dress: Kisses and Co.
    Black strappies: SM Department Store
    Clutch: Gift from C

        Lips: The Body Shop Colourglide #07

    What's your Forever 21 story?


    Conversations with Mama #3

    >> Sunday, November 28, 2010

    Tara: Ang init ng ulo ko.
    Mama: Bakit na naman?
    Tara: Eh kasi XXXXX told me all these things. I mean, pakialam ko di ba?
    Mama: And then?
    Tara: I mean, is that all my life's purpose, to listen about all about her after I've said something important about me? Nasasawa kaya ako. I couldn't help but curse in my head.
    Mama: You cursed in your head?!
    Tara: In my head lang naman, don't panic.
    Mama: Anak, when you curse, curse out loud. Otherwise, don't curse at all.


    TILS: Thanksgiving Edition

    >> Saturday, November 27, 2010

    Belated happy thanksgiving! 

    As we all lounge around or shop to death this Saturday, folks at the other side of the world are probably recuperating from Black Friday, which makes me green with envy but oh well. :D

    I realized I haven't been made my usual Things I Love posts the past two weeks. It can get tiring to say that things get crazier and crazier but they do. For the past two weeks, I hadn't been in one place for one straight day, it makes my boring days seem like ages ago, sometimes I miss them.

    This year's Thanksgiving Day, even if it's not really a Philippine tradition, brings me to an unsurmountable level of gratitude. Despite still not completing the list of things I have vowed to do, I am filled with this warm surge of happiness from being in the presence of people I care for the most, words I can say and kindness that stems from also being kind to others. I am thankful for being alive, for having the time, the air to breathe and the will to do what my heart calls for.

    25 years on Earth and a New Layout

    If you're reading this on my site and not on Google Reader, you'd notice that I've changed my layout! I swiped a bunch of codes off the net and tweaked it to my own liking. I had been lusting over white spaces and Arial font for the main content, and a more 'serious' font for my header since before I turned 25. Maybe it comes with age? I have no idea. I'm still getting used to reading my own thoughts in Arial, but I love how un-cluttered my current layout is. Took me a whole night, too but it was worth the effort.

    Parts Three and Four of a Twenty Fifth

    This is probably the longest birthday celebration I have had, starting with a Gin Blossoms concert and a birthday eve ruckus, continuing with a very chill dinner, iPhone pictorials and chika with Shen and Jheng at Jupiter St., yet again and another round of wings and things at Casa Nami with bestfriends both from high school and from work.

    Team iPhone / Team Hipstamatic / Team Adobo Flakes

     Then and Now: K, The Neurochiq, Me, Y and Tiny, who are,
    apparently, childhood friends.

    Awards, Rewards or Validation, if you'd like.

    Just this past two weeks, our team was awarded for four things {three from IABC}for our financial literacy advocacy. I guess those thesis-like nights that ran on passion, more than anything are beginning to pay off.

     Plus: It's so worth it to be on the same frame of the company president.

    Another award we were given was the Best Insurance website from the Digital Filipino for, of which I work as the managing editor for. Before the awards ceremonies, Janette Toral, Ms. Digital Filipino herself, gave a talk on how the websites who won were adjudged. "When your site is beautiful, or aesthetic, it doesn't mean people visit it. We award sites that are sticky, user-friendly, SEO competitive and engaging. " I am honored {and surprised, might I add}.

    Birthday Gifts

    I never asked for anything. All I wanted and still want is lots of quiet moments, alone time with my books and peppermint tea. Still, my friends and family managed to surprise me and get the better of me by surprising me with the best things I could want {no one gave me a box of silence, of course.} I have never felt so loved.

    A Sony W330 from my mother. She had asked me what model I wanted and
    knowing her, I am very spoiled {a necessity when you're growing up miles away from them}, she would've given me an SLR if I wanted. But I wanted a small, pink Sony because it eliminates the
    need for Photoshop because I'm always glowing in any Sony camera. Oh and it's very inexpensive, too.

    New Books. And not just new books.
    Books that have been buried in the recesses of my book wishlist.
    From T: Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter | Women, Work and The Art of Savoir Faire by Mireille Guiliano | From M: The Art of Travel by Alain de Botton |
    From Jennie: I Kissed Dating Goodbye by Joshua Harris | From my mom, not in photo:
    On Love by Alain de Botton | Love is a Mixtape by Rob Sheffield

    DVDs at such low prices.
    I was on my way to Red Mango Greenbelt when I stopped dead on my tracks and saw some interesting titles at the Astro Vision store at GB 3. I picked up a total of six and they just amounted to a total of Php 1,300!

    Coming across candid photos.
    A colleague uploaded photos from a mini fashion show we did at work and I can't get over at my facial expression. Bitchera!

    I've no idea why my face is like that | Photo credit: DR

    Norwegian Wood, the movie
    One of my favorite books ever, probably the most, in Asian lit, is Haruki Murakami's Norwegian Wood. I don't care if it's not exactly like the book. I want to see this film.

    Signs of Life
    Just recently, a very good friend suddenly suffered from aneurysm and is now undergoing several brain surgeries. She had been unconscious for some days but when we came to visit her last night, I saw signs of life already. While I am already thankful for this, I am also a firm believer that the more people pray, the more that hope and answers will prevail. I'd like to ask you to include my friend in your prayers, that she may overcome this in the best and soonest possible time.

    Those are the things I'm thankful for this week. What are yours?


    This Weekend: Beauty and Minerals at the St. James Bazaar

    >> Thursday, November 25, 2010

    I can't believe I'm missing St. James Bazaar for the second year now.

    I used to endure trek to St. James Bazaar year after year. I say 'trek' because the drive from the entrance of Ayala Alabang Village itself feels like a pilgrimage already. If you're coming somewhere far, it's even more hellish.

    But you know what? It was worth it. I finished all my Christmas shopping in one go. I found all individual and unique gifts for everyone in my list and when I got home, I just collapsed from fatigue.

    But at least I was done shopping. So it was worth it.

    Now that I'm from the far area of the North {Quezon City}, it'll be too much for me to drive down to the South and with the craziness of this week {all busy for this project}, I'm inviting you to visit a dear friend's stall, if you ever are in the area. See the above for the things she'll be offering, they all make great Christmas pressies!

    Happy shopping!


    The Body Shop Winter Trend 2010 is to Sparkle For!

    >> Tuesday, November 23, 2010

    Or alternately titled How to Look Absolutely Mahinhin. *

    I'm totally late for this because this has already been launched all over The Body Shop stores nationwide but I can't stop gushing all by myself as I am looking at the Winter Collection of The Body Shop! I first saw these babies over at Nikki's and Bambi's pages and I was beside myself wishing I had them, too.

    I walked over to the TBS store at Glorietta 3 today, after a meeting and I suddenly had a feeling of a) I wanted everything from the collection, b) I wanted to douse myself sparkly c) Christmas-y, because everything in the store was ready to give as gifts but more on that on the next few days.

    Scroll down below for the gasp-inducing photos. Be still, our hearts.

    It’s time to sparkle! The new Winter Trend Make-Up Collection from The Body Shop combines sexy shimmer, sophisticated glitter and a touch of festive magic to create a look that’s pure glamour. Skin glistens with tiny sparkles. Eyes are dressed in feminine pinks, golds and silver. And glossy lips are shot with iridescence and teamed with glittery nails. This is make-up that’s made to party!
    Winter in countries that actually have winter are usually represented by gold and glistening white. Even though we don't really have winter, the weather's been pleasant and it seems like the only way to go is to be iridescent! I can tell, as early as now the parties will be crazy come December and what more perfect way to enter a room in sparkly presence is to spray yourself with this Sparkler in Boudoir Pink {Php 1,295}!

    Its elegant atomizer ingeniously delivers a completely even veil of sparkle to the skin, whilst the clever combination of different sized pearls and glitters creates a sophisticated multi-dimensional shimmer. 
    I can't promise I can resist this pretty bottle, especially since the nozzle
    reminds me old films where delicate actresses spray themselves with perfume!

    The Twilight Palette: Violet Sky, Lilac Mist, Pink Champagne and Damson Velvet
    and a highlighter in Pearl {Php 1,295}

    To adapt the colour palette into a succulent shimmering pearl effect, first smooth the pearl highlighter all over eye-lid, then apply eye-colours as normal. Chase Aston, International Make-Up Artist & Spokesperson.

    I have developed a love for mauves and pinks and purples over the last couple of days {sadly, I have forgotten to take photos of those}. This is a beautiful set to complement yellow tones and fair-skinned ladies. And the pearl highlighter can be used on brow bones and inner corners, too! Doesn't hurt that this collection comes with a mirror so you can set up a mini vanity station just about anywhere.

    The Midnight Palette: Silver Moon, Bronze Blaze, Pink Light, Starry Night
    and a highlighter in Lunar {Php 1,295}

    Smooth and blend the Lunar highlighter along the brow bone, under the arch of the brow and onto the inner corners of the eyes to widen and brighten the sensual winter smoky eye. Chase Aston, International Make-Up Artist & Spokesperson.
    Ah, sultry, wintry eyes, where do I begin? I have smokey eyes as I type this. No, I did not wear them at home, I have been at work all day but in the morning when I got up, I realized I wanted to line my eyes with beautiful shades of charcoal and gunmetal. I had been looking for a golden bronze shadow in my stash then I realized I had none. Then it was, Hello, Midnight Palette, it's so nice to see you. The Pink Light shade would add even more depth and twinkle on your normal smokey eyes. I am smitten like a kitten!

    Stardust Glitter Pots in Feminine Pink and Glamorous Gold {Php 550}

    Stardust isn’t just the preserve of fairies. Give your party look a touch of fabulous glitter with a Stardust Glitter Pot. Choose from feminine pink or glamorous gold particles and gently apply to your face and body with The Body Shop Eye Shadow. Brush or your fingertips to sparkle the night away. 
    Transitioning from daily makeup {mine, apparently is a smokey look} may be hard if you don't want to redo your whole routine. With these glitter pots, all it takes is a dab of either and I'm sure you'd amp up a normal look and become ferosh and sparkly in no time.

    Eye Liners in Starlight and Dramatic Black {Php 650}
    Lip Gloss in Natural and Pink Sparkle {Php 695}

    Chase Aston says, “Winter’s smoky eyes would not be complete without a bold slick of liquid eye-liner. Re-create the classic retro winged eye using the black shade, or add a twist to both your day and night look by sweeping the shimmering silver liner across lids to add contrast and drama.”
    I've seen the starlight liner on Jheng and it felt like all traffic stopped. It was absolutely gorgeous and I felt like when we were talking I was seeing her eyes sparkle {that doesn't sound right but it was sparkly, eh}. I wanted to grab a tube of this little thingums and line them on my eyes!

    Apply directly to the lips using the special heart-shaped applicator with reservoir that delivers the perfect amount of gloss. Each Lip Gloss features passion fruit oil plus a skin-caring blend of Community Fair Trade organic virgin coconut oil, marula oil, cocoa butter and beeswax for lips that feel sensational.
    Ah, the lipglosses. What is not to love? The heart shaped ends of the wands brings me back to my teenage days when there's barely a hint of color on my lips, just a bit of shine and maybe some glitters {yes, I was so arte even then}. Since I'm on a big reminiscing spree, I might as well try this beautiful love glosses {I especially *heart* the Pink Sparkle!}.

     That's about it! I am unfortunately, my own victim because I have whetted my own appetite for makeup and all things mahinhin and sparkly! I will post a look soon if I don't get too forgetful to take photos.

    Do you like anything from The Body Shop's Winter Trend collection?
    I know I do. ALL OF THEM!
    *Because this collection makes me want to be my opposite: mahinhin. But that's just me and IDK if TBS aims this collection to be.

    Sparkle, sparkle, sparkle,


    Birthday Eve at Casa Nami Surf Pub

    Or alternately titled I'm Old Enough to Diss Tugsh Tugsh Now.

    I honestly did not have any plans.

    When Friday struck, I had an incredible feeling of wanting to finish all my labahin {work to-dos} so I could start fresh this week and deal with all the happenings {there's a LOT, it's cuhrazzyy}. It's a feeling I have not experienced in a while and I'd like to credit the amazing concert I saw on Thursday night. Until after Manila Bulletin's 3D Newspaper launch did I actually had plans, one which included a semi-roadtrip within Makati with two of my best girls Shen and Phoebe with Hubs in tow. It was about three or four stops until we landed at Casa Nami on Jupiter St. {above the famous Whistlestop}.

    The only decent photo I have because I was so busy making chika
    and (responsibly) drinking away.

    It was packed, but not so packed like your normal club scene, which latter's charm is starting to wear off on me. The first thing I noticed was the theme: surfing. At the door is a sign that says, "If you're not barefoot, you're overdressed." I honestly considered taking off my four inch heels but decided against it, just in case no one was barefoot {of course, no one was, ano ba}.

    My dates, S and P.

    I could instantly tell I would like the place. It was my first time to set foot on their surfboard-laden walls and relaxing wooden floor boards. They also had very interesting posters, authentic boards {have I said that yet?}. I have read about this through Tisha's blog as affirmed by Sab {Php 85 Cuervo shots, hell yeah!}. The opportunity came and so I paid it a try. 

    The Good:
    •  No one below 25. I woulda been the youngest person at Casa Nami that night. As I was saying this, Shen commented, "Pero bata ka pa eh," to which I replied, "Yep, 24. Bukas 25 na." Shen shrieked and said, "Birthday mo bukas? Oh my gosh!" And so my birthday salubong was in order. Kidding aside, I surveyed the crowd and was pleased to see no one was dressed like a Burgos St. regular {if you know what I mean}, nor guys who give you a look of judgment if you're hit-on worthy once you pass through the doors. No one looked like they were trying to impress anyone, everyone seemed to be so engrossed with the music and the conversations. Shen even said, "It's not the music that's more overpowering, it's the chatter."
    • The music. No bubblegum pop trash, nor trance music which is fine sometimes but not after four hours of sipping your beer / drink, gets to be the culprit of a pulsating headache. There's no R & B, no profane hip hop or rap, only pure rock and roll and alternative rock goodness. I remember hearing Goo Goo Dolls, Marcy Playground, Stone Temple Pilots, Gin Blossoms {just had to play Hey Jealousy at 12 AM, heehee}, Matchbox 20 and many others from the same era. One's knee jerk reaction is to sing along. Shen and I started dancing when Mr. Brightside leaked through the speakers. The band that played on Friday night was awesome, too, rendering a beautiful cover of John Mayer's Back To You but it was a monumental fail to have lolo bands on a Saturday night {Whyyy? and yes we were there again, with Jheng this time}.
     Uh yeah, I was having fun.
    Taken by Miss Ramos {Thank you, love}

    • The Dress Code. Or lack thereof. There are times I want to dress up and there are times that I don't. And most of the time, I am in work-appropriate {err, almost} clothes. The crowd of Casa Nami if you showed up in shorts, in a polo/slacks ensemble or even a *blush* suit, wouldn't care. In my case, while I was not exactly garbed in my shorts, I was dressed casually in a lace/crochet cami top from Ensembles, a yellow floral skirt from Mango and beige Pill heels. It was perfect that no one cares if I wasn't in couture / fasyon wear.
    • The Food. I wasn't particularly hungry when I reached Casa, but P and H ordered Casa Wings, Php 225 {the hottest, spiciest wings I've had in a long time} and while my eyes teared up on how hot it was, I could not resist because it was soooooo good. Add to that the bleu cheese dip and you're in for a gastronomic delight. I've read other reviews of it and they only have good things to say.
    We have plump lips, thanks to Casa Wings.
    • Smoking area. There's a little section devoted to smokers so we just visit that when we need to light up. It makes it lazier to stand up, too, therefore less sticks.
    • Location. Though we mistook it for the other side of Jupiter, if you know Whistlestop, you wouldn't get lost. 
    • No pesky males who ask for your number.  I wouldn't mind if they were suave, in suits or just charming. But not pesky guys {sorry, but even Republiq, Encore and other upscale bars has these species.} Casa Nami doesn't.
    • 85-peso Cuervo shots. If you're a tequila drinker, you'd like this. Unfortunately, I'm not, but because it's my birthday, Shen and Phoebe made me have one. Liquid courage, yeah!
     Dreading it.

    30 seconds to midnight. Oh can you see I'm pimple-in?
    The Bad:

    •  Beer is a little more expensive than normal. But just little, at Php 70 each. Coronas are at Php 150 so pwede na rin. But still, having been a Makati girl for three years now, I'm used to Php 40 beers. 
    • Parking space can be hard to find. It's on Jupiter St., let's not ask for too much.
    • The Lolo Bands. If it weren't a Saturday, it would have been okay.

    With all things considered, I may be {not closing possibilities here} ending my affair with the tugsh tugsh generation. I'm 25, after all.

    Love, pink nail polish and happiness,


    The Gin Blossoms in Manila Experience

    >> Monday, November 22, 2010

    I am a child of the 90s. 

     Can't think of anything more symbolical than Jen Aniston's 1990s hairstyle.

    I used to cringe whenever my parents would ramble about missing music from the 70s and the 80s and never quite understood how they would always try to revert back to their favorites {ABBA, David Gates, The Beatles, then again that's a different story.}

    As a rebel teenager dressed in elephant pants {I cringe}, culottes and Skechers, I thought the best music was from the 90s, and no I don't mean Spice Girls, Backstreet Boys, N'Sync, however much of a fangirl I am  with those, too. Despite being a poster girl for your typical teenager, I had professed my love, even then, for Goo Goo Dolls, Duncan Sheik, Paula Cole, Barenaked Ladies, among others. The soundtrack to my first love was Slide by Goo Goo Dolls and Any Lucky Penny by Nikki Hassman, my first heartbreak was to the tune of Duncan Sheik's Wishful Thinking and my first unrequited love was underscored by the jarring lyrics of Paula Cole's I Don't Want to Wait and PJ Olsson's Ready for a Fall. Now I finally understand that it wasn't so much about the mere lyrics nor the rhythm. It was about the memories that cling to these songs, it was those clumps of experiences that are forever etched on your brain when you first heard it, first sang to it, first did-whatever to it.

     And who can forget about JTT?

    I was much older though when I discovered Gin Blossoms and it was through a nostalgic piece about the 90s as we stepped into the new millennium in Super! by Tim Yap. There was only Kazaa then and it took me a while to complete my track list of Gin Blossoms {such a task because they split up}. And since then, Hey Jealousy, Till I Hear It From You, As Long as It Matters, and Follow You Down were my constant mixtape / mixCD staples.

    As Long as It Matters, 1992

    This was the ultimate video that built the longtime dream of watching Gin Blossoms live,
    from its bokeh-ish cinematography, to the touch of lomography techniques, I honestly think
    it was one of the best songs of our era. And this is a secret: If you know what kind of girl
    the song was trying to depict, then you'd know what song was responsible for raising me 
    up to be like this =P

    When I found out, over beers and yosi, that Gin Blossoms was coming over to Manila and Cebu for two concerts, I practically screamed my head off, literally. Gin Blossoms stands on the #1 spot that I'd see in a heartbeat, in a tie with Madonna and U2, so watching the concert is a no brainer. Plus, it falls on my birthday week, too, it was serendipity.

    Waiting for the band {I did not watch the front act, bleh} with my Pale pilsens.

    The first song was Follow You Down, so I was screaming and singing along.

    Somewhere between Allison Road, Tiny and I snapped a photo.
    Once upon a time, I wanted to be an Allison, if only for this song.

    But apparently I was Miss Disarray.

    Unforch, Robin Wilson lacks showmanship {his speech was limited to "Thank you Manila!}
    but who cares?

    Also, he looks so much older now {duh} as he did on As Long as It Matters
    but I'm digging his concert attire and he reminds me of someone.

    Recreating the As Long as It Matters vibe.

    Hey Jealousy. I would've posted the video I took but it's so embarrassing
    because my voice singing to it was so loud and I felt like I was high fiving my teenage self.
    Plus, everyone was jumping up and down, raising beer cans and singing
    on the top of their voices. Including me, so the quality was like, shaky.

    This is the song that has made it so all worth it.

    Robin Wilson, Gin Blossoms' front man and lead vocalist up close.
    Photo by Johann Balbido

    Here's the setlist, BTW, just in case you're a fangirl like me:

    • Follow You Down
    • Don’t Change For Me
    • Till I Hear It From You
    • Found Out About You
    • Miss Disarray
    • As Long As It Matters
    • Lost Horizons
    • Long Time Gone
    • Go Cry Baby
    • Learning The Hard Way
    • Until I Fall Away
    • Dead or Alive on the 405
    • Allison Road
    • I’m Ready
    • Pieces of the Night
    • Hey Jealousy
    • Wave Bye Bye
    Encore set:
    • Encore
    • Goin’ to California
    • Now(The Pinsouls Cover)
    • Hands are Tied
    After which, the gang and I trooped to nearby Cubao X {Mogwai} for beers and bacon-wrapped liver and yes, the beer trunk is so sosyal. I love Cubao X forever.

    Poser photo with T and the sidewalk
    Blazer: Colour Eighteen
    Tank top: H & M
    Jeans: Stylebreak {I've waited so long to wear it, heh}
    Heels: Pill

    Part Une of the 25th Year Celebration
    Signs of more awesomeness to come

    I can't say how much my heart is floating after my GB experience. After all, if I only had one to listen to my whole life, it would be them. I guess I am that much of a sentimental person or just non mainstream taste :P Any which way, I couldn't have had a better 25th year prelude part one.

    Can you tell I've had so much fun?


    Passion Flows

    >> Sunday, November 21, 2010

    Passion is a word I have associated with myself for the longest time. I believe passion is a key ingredient in getting out the best out of life. As one of my favorite quotes has said, "Anything less than mad, passionate extraordinary love is a waste of time," {Dream for an Insomniac, 1996}. There is so much wisdom in a one-liner, {Frankie might have been limited to love but I digress}I've applied this to so many things in my life. Do I feel passion for what I'm doing for a living? Yes. Do I feel passion for my friends, for being with them and for being a friend to them? Yes. Do I feel passion for all these people who surround me? Not all the time. And so I make choices, on who to keep, who to extend effort for, what hobbies and activities to shell out money for. After all, it is me, it is my life, it's my passion. There is no other way around it.

    The same goes for expressions of artistry and celebrations of natural resources such as a magazine and a pearl brand collaboration. We have seen incredible collabs in the past, this one has a 'down for the books' making to it.

    This luxurious periodical is a one-of-a-kind version of the 8th issue of Flow magazine that Jewelmer curated. This hardbound edition rests upon a handcrafted box of kamagong wood inlaid with Mother-of-Pearl alongside a lustrous golden South Sea pearl strand necklace and an engraved Mother-of-Pearl bookmark.

    Mia Macapagal, Jewelmer's Marketing Manager calls it a serendipitous partnership. “We’ve actually had our eye on custom publication as a marketing tool for a few years now. When we saw Flow magazine, we saw the potential to expand our horizons and show Jewelmer as it had never been before." Previous curators of the exquisitely luxurious magazine includes Miguel Rosales, Kenneth Cobonpue, Chito Vijandre, Ricky Toledo, Joey Yupangco, Cesar Gaupo, and Ariel Lozada, names which are synonymous to excellence of the Filipino craftsmanship and artistry.

    As if the issue, the pearls and the event itself was not bubbling of passion yet, we were introduced to Jewelmer's advocacy, one that aims to protect the environment it operates in.

    Dress: Promod
    Bag: CMG
    Shoes {Not in photo}: Dexter

    We pledge to protect nature! That's my signature and Sasha's.

    Issues of Flow 8 will be available in National Bookstore, Fully Booked, Power books and leading magazine kiosks on the November 19 while Jewelmer’s exquisite South Sea pearl jewellery is available at branches located at:

    EDSA Shangri-La Hotel (02.9107571),
    Makati Shangri-La Hotel (02.7577447),
    Manila Peninsula Hotel (02.5015862),
    Sofitel Philippine Plaza Hotel (02.8341468),
    Alabang Town Center (02.7723529),
    Glorietta IV (02.7296735),
    Shangri-la Plaza Mall (02.6375146),
    SM Megamall (02.6335068),
    SM Mall of Asia (02.5566344),
    Trinoma (02.9015823),
    Ayala Center Cebu (32.2315665),
    Eastwood Mall – (02.9150389)
    Greenbelt 5 – (02.7576441)
    Marquee Mall, Pampanga – (045.3040295)

    Much passion or nothing,


    An Exercise in Gratitude

    >> Saturday, November 20, 2010

    Today, I turn 25. Quite a few friends can attest to this: I was at my worst the past week. I have been irritable, moody, hormonal, this-is-so-sad-I-am-going-to-cry emotional. I have burst into tears randomly, thrown fits and tantrums every two hours and I can't even recall the reasons behind this moment.

    But I have gotten over it, as I always do. I had been contemplating on what and how to attack my birthday post. I have come from a materialistic wishlist idea, moved on to a non-materialistic wishlist, a rant and finally, here I am. I have arrived to the message I want to say: I want to express my gratitude.

    • For my parents, because I have been given enough room to grow on my own, but still maintaining the guidance I need. Because I have the funniest, most tongue in cheek mother, {who recently told me "Anak, why are you so cranky? Maybe you should date even more."}, who doesn't tell me what to do and lets me be.
    • For my friends. For the old, for the new and for the unexpected. "Tell me who your friends are and I'll tell you who you are." If friends are the gauge of success in becoming who you want to be, then I consider myself successful.
    • The roof on my head, the money that I spend, the career that inspires me and all the things I need. There will be no end for the things I will want but I am eternally grateful for having the things I need to live, to be sane and to keep helping other people.
    • For the opportunities to write, the books I read and the information I learn every day
    • For the silence, no matter how scarce.
    • For the good health, the safety and the good life.
    • For this blog, that serves as my therapy and outlet, for its readers, most of which have become my friends in person.
    Thank you <3

    How very apt for a twenty five year old.
    Photo snapped by Phoebe <3

    Love, happiness and another year of being fab,


    A Mini Review of Purederm 3 in 1 BB Cream

    >> Tuesday, November 16, 2010

    If there would be a BB Cream Late Bloomer award, I would have been the recipient of it. The BB Cream craze has come and stayed, and maybe gone on some days and it yet it is only now that I've bitten into it, thanks to Purederm.

    While I'm infinitely amazed by many things Korean {except food, sorry}, I hardly bite into the trends as quickly. In a recent event, albeit not from the same brand, I heard that an astounding percentage of Filipinas today aspire to look Korean! And well, I really can't blame them. Korean girls have this trademark porcelain, poreless skin. However, I have a penchant for the tried and tested, the fail and fool-proof. That would be good old skincare and a separate liquid foundation. Like most things in life, I Wikipedia'd BB Cream and here's what my bestfriend has to say:

    BB cream, also known as Blemish Balm or Blemish Base, is a cosmetic item sold in Korea.[citation needed]

    It was initially used by dermatologists to help laser surgery patients protect, soothe and refine highly sensitive skin while providing light coverage for post-laser scars, acne and other blemishes. Additionally, BB cream encourages skin regeneration and helps to maintain youthful skin.

    Originally formulated in Germany, BB cream has in recent years gained a huge following for its skin-regenerating properties and is now also widely used in Asia to provide natural-looking skin coverage. Korean celebrities and cosmetic companies were the first to discover BB cream and the craze for this wonder cream, which beautifies while healing, has now spread from Korea to Japan to South East Asia and is already quickly making its way to Europe and the USA.

     I had the fortunate opportunity of having a tube of Purederm 3 in 1 BB Cream for road testing.

    Purederm 3 in 1 BB Cream has three claims, and these are:

    1. Sun protection
    2. Improvement of fine wrinkles ; and
    3. Brightening your skin tone
     I first used this BB cream since the beginning of November, when the temperature have gone significantly lower than normal. I could tell I'd be glowing even without heat so I had to be careful just in case. Let it be known that I am in no way an expert on BB cream. If at all, I'm a hardcore newbie at these things and I can only provide you with my observations on the six to seven times I've used this product.

    But first, here's a swatch:

    The Good:
    • The first thing I noticed is the yellow-ish tone.For someone who has a bit of Chinese {very, very little, I can't even speak nor understand Mandarin, nor do I have any traces of it}, a yellow-based tinted moisturizer is heaven-sent. More often than not, and I am only speaking of the BB creams I scouted but never bought, is that they tend to be more ivory-ish or too pale or too dark for us. I can't really tell if this is the normal yellow {NC 25- NC 30, if that helps} shade but it works for me, and as I am sure it does, too for beauty bloggers I've seen review this product.
    • Glides on smoothly. I had no problem with blending it onto moisturized {and SPFd} face. The texture and consistency were almost the same with Maybelline Clear Smooth Mineral Liquid Foundation.
    • Coverage is medium to fine. I always have blemishes, uneven skin and breakouts. Today, I found myself forgetting about applying a concealer and it's not bad at all.
    Purederm 3 in 1 BB Cream
    Clean and Clear Face Powder

    Maybelline Cat Eyes Mascara

    The Body Shop Colourglide Lip Color #07 {Smoke and Fire Collection}

    • No smell. At least none that my uber-sensitive nose can sniff.
    • No breakouts. Thank goodness. This doesn't guarantee the same result for everyone, though. My best bet would be testing any product on the jawline {if it blends} plus if you don't get any allergies or itch or breakouts from it. 
    • Not sticky at all. I wouldn't know if there were any other BB creams that are sticky but I like it that it isn't sticky and my skin seems to absorb it well. 
    • Glow factor is fine. On the day the photo above was taken, I've taken to use about two sheets of Clean and Clear Pink Grapefruit blotting film all day. I can't entirely put the BB cream on a pedestal for that because I was insanely busy and I was glued to my desk all day. But it helps, I'd conclude. Or at least there was no unnecessary oil contribution from this product.
    • The added benefit of SPF. Purederm's 3 in 1 BB cream contains SPF 30, which is generous but still, as I always say, never trust a product to do another product's job. Eat your vegetables and slather your SPF. 
    • Morus Alba Linne extracts. I'd like to pretend that I know why they are beneficial but I can't =P I sort of researched about it and found out it was some variation of mulberry extracts and that they are good for hydrating the body. I looked up if there were any bad effects and there seems to be none but don't take my word for it. 
    • Available exclusively at Watson's stores. I first had this BB cream on my radar when I was doing my usual rounds in the Watson's branch at my building and I thought, "Finally, a BB cream we don't have to scour for at eBay."
    The Bad:
    • While pink, especially #FF0066 pink will be one of my signature colors, I had no love for the packaging. I thought it was a bit too simplistic and okay, too girly for my taste.I can't really explain it.
    • The Purederm 3 in 1 BB Cream comes in only one shade. Hopefully they come up with more shades in the future.
    • Comes in only one size --- a 50 mL tube. Do Watson's provide samples? I didn't see any on my last inquiry but maybe this'll change in the future.
    • Contains parabens. This doesn't really bother me but with the advent of mineral makeup, I think makeup and skincare companies should be more conscious of this, at least for profits' sake.
    • Not so inexpensive at Php 699.75 but at this day and age, what isn't?
    • It flaked on me one time when I went brush happy with my finishing powder. Ack? I know it's not supposed to happen had I been more careful but it never happened with any of my other liquid / cream foundations so, boo. Note to self: be more reserved when applying products on thy face.
    Overall comment:  It is pretty much a good product, something I can see myself {err, already doing, actually} using every day. It's perfect for my long days, with only a bit of touch ups needed plus, for some reason, it doesn't make me oily as much.

    I've seen this at Watson's and all over the blogosphere, care to share your thoughts?

    *Product was sent to author for review but all opinions posted here are not paid for nor influenced. Thank you.

    Happy Tuesday xx




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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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