The Arsenal: Golla Laptop Bag

>> Monday, March 28, 2011

I cannot say how ecstatic I've been since pretty and cushioned laptop bags have become mainstream.

Back in the day, about seven years ago when I had my first ever laptop, there were no styles other than the standard black bags which were, face it, UGLY.

Nowadays, and ever since stylish and tote-able laptop bags came, I am not afraid of looking like a boring corporate person anymore.

Everyday Essentials: My Laptop {inside the red Golla bag}, my BDJ planner,
a book I'm reading at the moment, and my huge CMG bag.

There it is: All Cushioned Up
Regardless of what I'm wearing, the red of the bag is a pop of color
in my sometimes very neutral outfits.

Best of all, my laptops are protected!

Want your own Golla bag?

Protect your expensive gadgets {without having to look boring!}
with Golla!

Here are the easy steps to getting that chance to win one for yourself:

1. Take a photo of you, and your favorite gadget. Explain why it’s your favorite, and why you love it so much!
2. The photo should have 1024×768 resolution and shall not exceed 1MB. It can be modified or edited and may contain text but should be void of offensive content.
3. Email your official contest entry to :
4. Contest entries will be uploaded at Golla’s Facebook Page
5. Upon our upload, tagged at least 50 of your friends to your entry
6. Ask your friends to “like” and comment on your entry.
7. Contest is 70% based on number of likes and 30% based on quality of entry.
8. Contest runs from March 15, 2011 to April 15, 2011
9. Contestants will have the chance to ask their friends to vote for their entry until April 15, 2011 12 noon.
10. Winners would be notified through email.

Oh and Golla Bags are available in the following stores:
The Travel Club, Globe Telecom, Bratpack, Fullybooked, Istudio, Hello Telecom, Fashion Rack, PowerMac, Island Souvenir, A Shop, and Pixelpro!

Good luck!


One Day in 24 Hours

>> Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Why are we such sucker for sad stories and desperately cling to anything of hope and nostalgia?

I do not know what it was that brought me to once again to endure walking in four inch heels going to Bibliarch Glorietta from the office because I couldn't wait to read David Nicholls' One Day. Ok, now that I think about it, it was a deep-seated sadness that causes me to revert to retail therapy, and what better way to treat sadness than a shiny new book?

It’s 1988 and Dexter Mayhew and Emma Morley have only just met. But after only one day together, they cannot stop thinking about one another. Over twenty years, snapshots of that relationship are revealed on the same day—July 15th—of each year. Dex and Em face squabbles and fights, hopes and missed opportunities, laughter and tears. And as the true meaning of this one crucial day is revealed, they must come to grips with the nature of love and life itself.

The 'one day for twenty years' reminded me so much of one of my favorite movies, 'Same Time, Next Year,' starring Alan Alda and Ellen Burstyn, who had a love affair in 25 years, coming together only once a year, on the same date. I knew I had to get the book.

 At 4 AM of a Friday a week ago, just as I arrived home from a night around BGC with friends {who were, incidentally, reading the same book, too!}, I parked myself on the comfiest nook of my bed and started reading. At 6 AM, just as the dawn was beginning to come over me, I fell asleep with this book in hand.

It was 12 noon when I woke up and as what you might have guessed, I toted this book around the house during the rest of the day, read while having brunch, while someone did my nails, while in the loo, while dinner and you know the rest. At 2 AM of Sunday, I was done with the book.

The novel reeked of maudlin, all through out ---- Nicholls probably knew there were some of us who exist to live for sadness, and for missed chances, for pining over lost books, for trips we need to take to find ourselves, and letters we never have the guts to send.

As I always muse to my friend R, my favorite conversations about books are always with her, that there are those books from which you learn, there are those that take your heart and rip it out, there are those that leave you hungry and thirsty for life and ready to take on every single challenge, there are those that make you want to strangle one of the characters, and then, there is that one book that paints too vivid a picture that you are jumping word to word --- careless, and unwitting, because you cannot wait for all the words to unfold right before you. One Day is THAT book. I couldn't wait.

I was trying to decipher why I couldn't let go of the book and why  despite the tall stack of books waiting to be read perched on my bedside table, I was able to breeze through 400-something pages of prose. Was it the writing? I could hardly quote nor highlight anything. There were no monumental, life-changing lines, no mind-boggling quandaries. True, it was written like a movie ---- and if anything else, one of books' purpose in life {rather falling low in the list, as 'education' is first and foremost} is to entertain. And highly entertaining, this is.

The author lets the reader in to the twenty years of friendship and twisting and turning, every July 15th since 1988. Dexter Mayhew and Emma Morley met right after college, had a bit of a rendezvous but eventually fallen smoothly to becoming . And by friendship, I do not mean constant togetherness, Hallmark-ish images or whatever cheesy definition can pop up for the word. Dexter, who was rather pompous in the beginning of the book, revealed to be a kindred soul as he writes to Emma from India, where he's gone after teaching and getting kicked out of school:

Em, you're young, you're practically a genius, and yet your idea of a good time is to treat yourself to a service wash. Well, I think you deserve more. You are smart and funny and kind {too kind if you ask me} and by far the cleverest person I know. And {am drinking more beer here -- deep breath}you are also a Very Attractive Woman. And {more beer} yes I do mean 'sexy' as well, though I feel a bit sick writing it down. Well, I'm not going to scribble it out because it's politically incorrect to call someone 'sexy' because it is also TRUE. You're gorgeous, you old hag, and if I could give you just one gift ever for the rest of your life it would be this. Confidence. It would be the gift of Confidence. Either that or a scented candle.

Dexter to Emma | Bombay, India
July 15, 1990

One notable aspect of the book, or rather the story was how life could play out for an individual. Emma stuck with a job at a crappy {or seemingly crappy} Mexican restaurant and eventually got together with Ian Whitehead, the un-funniest stand up comedian the world has ever known. I found myself getting into constant parallelisms with Emma, as the story shows how painful it was to be living with someone you can't stand anymore, or being at the receiving end of someone's spite because you walked away. Or being the protagonist in an ugly story. By the middle of the story, I was silently cheering on Dex to take her away from the smell of salsa and the joke that was Ian Whitehead.

But the story takes on a late turn of goodness, just after Dex gets divorced to the beautiful, I-thought-the-love-of-his-life Sylvie Cope, and in Paris, nonetheless. Images of cafe au lait cups, little French cafes and my imaginary French lover came tumbling on my mind for days. The writing in this particular part of the story was so descriptive, it was not hard to imagine the streets of Paris, and myself in it. It was a sigh of relief as Dexter and Emma finally gets together, as a couple, as she leaves her Parisian boyfriend, after years and years where Emma sat in the background while Dex jumped from one woman to another.

I guess, what captivated me the most about this book was its timeline-d chronology. As it turns out, Dex and Emma did not meet every July 15th as I had originally thought. Rather, the book touched on whatever was happening to the two of them, regardless if together or not. Some of the chapters go back to events that did not happen on July 15, some predict. Some do not say it at all.

This is a romance novel, folks. Just in case that much is not obvious, it's a story of two people whose chemistry is apparent all throughout the book. I have a thing for being caught in a limbo -- of just being stuck with that level where you would still have to guess what the other person is thinking --- there is no promise of forever, there is no comfort level. At all. As it is with the thread that holds the love, the struggle in life all through out the book broke my heart a couple of times and made me cry whilst reading.

And yes, there is not a happy ending. However, just like Same Time Next Year, things do find a way to work themselves out.

Just like the novels I have chased in the past, One Day is set for release this 2011, starring Anne Hathaway and Jim Sturgess:

Photos from IMDB

One Day is not the best novel I have read, simply because I didn't have that 'hey-this-is-the-best-novel-ever' feeling right after I read it. But it's such a good read, if only for playing with my emotions and making my tear ducts work overtime. And too, if there was a movie that seemed perfect for a movie adaptation, with not much changes and incredibly big-screen ready, THIS would be it.

Watch this with me?


Things I Love Sundays: Books and Friendships

>> Monday, March 21, 2011

No one can ever really go wrong with books and friendships, don't you think?

I was musing to myself on Saturday afternoon after I woke up from a deep nap, of the things that I have done or accomplished over the latest week and while yes, I knew there had to be a hundred reasons why I was so tired, I suddenly asked myself: "What have I done this week?"

Is this adulthood? Being able to do things perfunctorily and not remember them, or the experience or the feeling?

But thankfully, my reliable social networking sites have done a good job of documenting the week that was and if I need to summarize them in two words they will be: Books and Friendships.

The Book that I Got Because I was so Sad which Made Me Cry Even More.
Despite the buckets of tears I shed over this, I still like you, One Day.
More on you tomorrow.

The Beauty of Mauve Lipstick. Such fun, I tell ya.
Thanks, Sasha!

In the middle of a dreary, stressful day, dark chocolate with cherries
is a savior.

A book I've been looking for the longest time, a friend who took
the effort to surprise you, and a handwritten note.

Midweek night out with friends, in this photo with Tin and Soki
at Bordeaux, Bellagio Square

... which means a little of quality time with my favorite drink: Corona and Lemon
at Rue Bourbon, Burgos Circle

Books by the bedside are piling up big time BUT I'm not complaining.
From top to bottom:

Oh and since it's the weekend, and I had time to go book shopping
{and yes, I had to distract myself}, MORE BOOKS!

 From top to bottom:
Cathie Black's Basic Black 
Love Letters of Great Men and Women
Brains on Fire by Robin Phillips, Greg Cordell, Geno Church and Spike Jones

Oh! And finally, the BFF and I joined the Pond's Flawless White challenge
and the first post is up:

Visit the Pond's website to see the other challenge takers and see
us glow all the way in 14 days. Dang, I and some more beauty bloggers
will be reviewing products from the PFW line, so do stay tuned!

Here's to a week filled with reading in between breakfast bites, before
taking a shower and after, and before sleeping.

What did you love most about your week?


It's Raining Love!

>> Sunday, March 20, 2011

Despite my inability to blog on a daily basis, I keep tabs on what's happening to the blogging world. One of the things I have noticed of late is that there are lots from my blogging friends who are celebrating their blogversaries.

And with contests, to boot.

Celebrating Beautynomics' Fifth Anniversary is Sophia Uy {haha, love you, Sophie!}

What's up for grabs?

1. 5 Pond’s Gift Packs ( full range of either Pond’s Gold Radiance, Flawless White, or Age Miracle )
2. 1 The Body Shop Shiso White Skin Care range
3. 5 L’Oreal Paris Gift Packs + Charm Luxe Kabuki Brush
4. 5 Avon Gift Packs mixed with Purederm Goodies
5. 5 Golla Bags with Pond’s Dual Action UV Therapy Eye Cream inside each bag!
( 3-12-11 update : okay, got the bags – here are the descriptions – 1 Golla Ipod Touch/Iphone Pouch, 1 Golla Ipad Messenger Bag, 2 Golla Laptop Sleeves, and 1 very cute Golla Laptop bag! )
6. 1 Obagi C-Rx Set ( Cleanser, Toner, Moisturizer )
7. 1 Kerastase Hair Care Set ( Basic Nutritive Set )
8. 1 Special Gift Pack from Goodskin Labs  

The mechanics are fairly simple and contest runs till end of March {that leaves you a little more than a week!}. Visit her blog now if you haven't yet. Good luck!

Another one who is celebrating the 3rd year of Shen's Addiction is Ms. Gee herself:

Prizes at stake are from: Pond's, Bobbi Brown, Avon,  Kiehl's, Ellana, The Body Shop, Kerastase, Neautrogena, House of Obagi, Revlon, Sakura Bella, One Naturales, Clinelle, Maybelline, L'oreal Paris, L'oreal Professionel, Myra and more!

Contest runs until April 13! Hop on over to her blog for the full mechanics.

And finally, Tisha Alvarez - Angluben is celebrating her blog, Here, Tishie, Tishie's First Anniversary by giving away three swimsuits from Cocomo!

I am rooting for myself to win this super cute swimsuit called Love Story!

Also at stake is Vienna

 And Black Savannah

It's summer time, a perfect time to win a new swimsuit, yes?

If you're joining any of the contests above, goodluck!

*Dear lovely reader: I do apologize if all I'm capable of now are short words. My mind is exhausted from all the things I have to write these days. I promise to do better in the next couple of days.


Charmed Yet Again with the Holiday Brushes

>> Tuesday, March 15, 2011

And amidst all that charming, this review has taken three months to come out. The thing with brushes is that, with them always in use, and always tinged with eyeshadow, eyebrow powder and blush, it was hideous to take their photos.

Charm Holiday Brush Set, available at Beauty and Minerals

I have received this lovely set of pink brushes last Christmas from Ms. Beauty and Minerals herself and the brushes, after careful cleaning, went straight to my luggage and we both went to Singapore.

However, ever since I returned, the brushes have been constantly with me, too, despite not being on 'holiday,' {you realize that is a desperate attempt at joking,}thus, not being able to blog about them.

But as is my blog philosophy to never fail to write about the things I love and share them to my reader base, that I am gathering them altogether now {I do keep them at separate places where I do my face, yes multiple places} for a photo op and a proper review.

Made from synthetic hair, this set is guaranteed soft and durable! Comes with a pouch that can house some of your mineral makeup jars as well. It's great to bring around to the school, office or even world traveling! :)
This set is made up of the following:
  • Powder Brush - for foundation and finishing powder application
  • Blush Brush : for shading ( contouring ) and blush application
  • Crease Blending Brush : for eyeshadow application and eyeshadow blending
  • Lip Brush : for applying lipstick and lip gloss
  • Concealer Brush : for precise concealer application ( this can also be used as an eyeshadow applicator)
  • Angled Brow Liner Brush : for shading the eyebrows and can also be used for eye lining
  • Eyeshadow Brush : for eyeshadow application ( which can also be used for concealer application )
  • Pointed Liner Brush : for precise eyeliner application
However, as I do not really apply every single element of makeup on my face, I shall only provide my opinion on the brushes I do use often:

(L) Powder Brush and (R) Blush Brush

The Good:
  • I never realized how nice everything is when they fit your hand better. Ever since I tried these babies, I want everything to come in travel size! I use the powder brush in the morning with Human Heart Nature's Love Minerals Powder {just like its distant cousin}and I'm happy how it picks up the rather loose powder.
  • All of the brushes did not bleed and did not shed on the many occasions I have washed them. 
  • Yay for synthetic hair! And what I noticed was the bristles were not scratchy at all. And while it's fun looking at white bristles, brown bristles hide the color much better.
  • The set comes in a pouch which has a large section for the thinner brushes and one for the powder brush which I think works, especially if you like mixing your sets with other brushes from other brands or collections.
  • The pouch comes with a compartment where you can fit a bunch of eye shadows or small containers of MMU, which for me, proved helpful, especially when traveling.
  • Both brushes {Powder and Blush} comes with a plastic protector, which I like very much.
  • Reasonably-priced at Php 950 and available online!

Individual Details:
  • The Crease Brush {right, above} is lovely and densely packed, that I drift away in blending my eye shadows lately. I noticed how soft it is against my eye lids when it's been five minutes and I've been singing and I'm still blending my shadows! Again, it being travel-sized is a plus because it seems easier to blend {for me} when the brushes are just the right length.
  • The Concealer Brush {middle, above} does its job of softly depositing concealer to the under eyes. However, I am partial to using fingers for concealer, though this does a real good job of blending concealer into problem areas. Too, it can be used as an eyeshadow brush but I think it's too wide for that.
  • The Eyeshadow Brush's {left, above} head size is just right, IMO, but I guess this is the brush type wherein I would want it to be longer or normal sized. Just the same, it does its job of smoothly depositing eyeshadow on the lids.
  • The Blush Brush {right, second photo}is stiff enough to solidly apply blush on the cheeks. Unlike another blush brush on my boudoir, this angled a tad more flatly, which makes spreading color easier for me. This brush, together with the Angled Brow Liner, comes with me everyday, wherever I go.

  • The Lip Brush {center, above} draws out flat lipstick pigments, which IMO, is better than round-tipped ones {I have one!} which end up drawing line-y lip color. If you shall apply lipstick with a brush, use ones with flat contours such as this one.

  • The Angled Brow Liner {leftmost, topmost photo}, is my favorite brush of all. Because of this, I have neglected my pencil eye brow liners as well as MAC's Brow Set because it makes eye brow shading so much fun! With its tapered end, my eye brows look so polished and perfect, that lately, it has become my most favorite part of my make up routine. And one time, I had a good eight minutes of panic because I couldn't find it! Que horror! As it turns out, I left it on my vanity table at home and having gone down two flights of stairs, I just had to come back and get it.

The Bad:
  •  If you're not a fan of travel-sized brushes, then this set is not for you. As for me, I love travel sized things!
  • If you're a girl but not girly-girl, the pink handles might not be your cup of tea. I do suggest Charm's Pro Makeup Brush Set which comes in black.

Overall Recommendation: If you're looking for a set to take care of your basic makeup needs and is also usable and tote-able everyday, this is your best bet. With its price of less than a thousand bucks and free pouch and basic brushes, you're getting value for money and great quality that will last you years.

Have you been charmed lately by a set of brushes?

*Charm Holiday Brush Set is available through Beauty and Minerals or you may email Sophie Uy for inquiries.


Jean Serendipity

>> Monday, March 14, 2011

I cannot tell you enough how much I abhor wearing jeans.

Every Friday, as it is with most companies in the Philippines, people at work are allowed to wear jeans {as long as they're not ripped} with respectable footwear and in our case, our advocacy shirt. Since I belong to the team which started this advocacy, I was in charge with assigning dates on when the shirt can be worn, since colleagues like wearing jeans every Friday and other days, too. But I'll let you in on a little {not anymore so}secret: I don't wear the shirt unless it's a matter of life and death for the simple reason that I hate wearing jeans. This is the reason why on Fridays, even if it's legal to look dressed down, I am usually seen in trousers, flowy dresses or skirt suits. No kidding.

It's not that I do not completely wear denims, though. I do wear jeans when I know there will be much walking around, if I want to go through the day unnoticed and if I need to move so much. However, if I can do without it, I will. My reasons are simple, really:

  • It's so hard to drive in jeans. Driving in dresses is so much comfortable {provided you drive with a rolled up window and decent tint.}.
  • It's the country's universal uniform. I dislike wearing jeans because it makes me feel normal {not to offend anyone who wears jeans a lot, mmkay?} and living in a city with 12M population, walking anywhere and wearing jeans is like looking at people who look like you, except that most people wear their jeans with a basic un-tucked shirt and nondescript shoes. Not wearing jeans to me, is an easy way to stand out.
  • It's time consuming and strenuous going to the loo. I almost never wear jeans with un-tucked shirts so it's always a feat to tuck my shirt because all my jeans are tight as hell.
  • Speaking of tightness, it's been incredibly hard finding jeans that fit the leg area well without squeezing your midsection hard. I'm a size 2 and they fit me well on the hips and legs area. However, after a day of wearing size 2 jeans, I am ready to collapse from the tightness in my puson area. I can't believe I'm saying this, too.
  • Flats, be gone! I have a personal rule of never wearing flats when wearing jeans because it makes me feel punggok. I am only 5'3" so if I wear jeans, which I feel makes people look shorter than they are, I have to brace myself for a day of at least 4 inches heels. Tiis ganda, in other words.
When I was invited last Wednesday to the Denim Launch of French brand Promod, I had another motive in mind for visiting their Greenbelt 5 store, that is to ogle their dainty dresses and accessories, things I'm very much a fan of {so much so a random officemate approached me one time and told me I always remind her of Promod}. But obviously, I have once again underestimated the power of the French to change my mind.

All cuts and washes of denim at the new Promod Denim Bar

Cocktails while making chica with fellow bloggers {my partner!}Shen, Lauren, Liz, Ed. Trixie and OK! Magazine's Elaine, Promod GM Louie Scott
and Stratworks' Kezia Romblon.

And what else is better to have on an afternoon of shopping?

Ogling Promod's slouchy and relaxed bags.

Shen's and my favorite thing to ogle every time at Promod: The Scarves!

And while I was lost in delight looking and searching for something to buy,
an SA came handing me a gray pair of skinny jeans. Promod's Brand Associate,
whose name escapes me now, have been saying that just by fitting a pair, a shopper
will get a Php200 off voucher. So, what was the harm in trying?

And that was when serendipity kicked in.

That's me at Promod GB5's dressing room, where it was love at first try.

 And there you go: A back view.

It really did not take me long to realize that I should not let go of that size small, gray, acid-washed skinny jeans. After all:

  • The jeans slipped up on me with no trouble. Denims are not exactly the friendliest materials to wear, so when I tried a pair, it was surprising to feel it glide up. Point 1.
  • No muffin top. I may look skinny but I have puson and bilbil. Never a good sight. When I tried it on, as you can see above, I was wearing a dress. When I got out of the room, I showed Kezia {and many other people outside the room, surprisingly} that my bilbil was nowhere to be seen. And I could breathe, too!
  • Speaking of being able to breathe, I had no problems with the pelvic area, where most jeans tend to hug too tight. As I have said, I wear only one type of jeans: low rise skinny jeans, and most of the time, they're too tight in the pelvic region. This one felt incredibly comfy. I think it's because the jeans was made up of 2% Elastic, reason why it stretched accordingly.
  • I now have a pair of jeans that fits me like a glove without having to resort to jeggings. Now, nothing against jeggings, it's just that I find them too thin to be covering more than half of my body. One of the reasons I wear jeans is when it's a bit cold and jeggings aren't really useful for protection {when worn alone, I think}. This fits the bill perfectly. After all, French women are not famous dressers for nothing. They just make everything they wear look tailored!
 Last Friday, just before closing my belt. LOL.
See how it hugs every nook and cranny? And it doesn't feel tight at all!
{And no, I am not that fat in person.}
  • And as a testament to how great these jeans are, lookie lookie who was spotted getting the same pair?
 OK! Magazine's Elaine Natividad and Shen and our identical jeans.'s Trixie Reyna and Liz were supposed to get the same pair
but the store run out. They got a darker version, though!

This little bag says it all: I <3 My Jeans!

  • The best part? This particular pair costs only Php 1995, which in this day and age of Php 5,000 and up jeans are darn inexpensive. I want to go back for a darker version because of that! Too, if you do fit a pair, you automatically get a Php 200-off voucher.
  • There are more styles available {like straight cut, boot cut, flared, capris, etc} so do drop by any Promod branch and have a bit of serendipity like me!

Looks like I'll be wearing more jeans moving forward.
Any serendipitous moments lately?

BTW, you can now subscribe to my blog through Feed Burner {or you can type your email address in the top part of my blog.} Yay! 


Things I Love Sundays: L'Art de Vivre

>> Monday, March 7, 2011

There is much to be gleaned from the French way of living {no one said about a complete turnaround}, now that I have been reading Mireille Guiliano's French Women for All Seasons. In the une vraie fran├žaise's second book, I am astounded to find a book chock full of guides to living life in quality.

I never want to share negative thoughts on this blog but sometime from the beginning of this month, I have been having anxiety attacks from all the things on my plate, and even work-life balance is starting to strangle me like a noose. I confess to feeling heady and restless when confronted by noise and railroad conversations. There was a time that I stood in the middle of my bathroom, breathless from all the thoughts doing a 21K in my head.

I am not quite sure what's bringing this on. I used to be really good at compartmentalizing career and life issues, but the past months have been extremely challenging, stress-wise. I used to be able to turn off the useful cogs of my mind once I step out of the office but the past few weeks have been the opposite.


The answer came in the form of Guiliano's book, which I originally bought for a friend {Sorry naman} but took to reading to shut my mind off. I realized that I have taken my life to a whirlwind of things to do and I that rush through things {eating, most especially!} most of the time. I multi-task, not out of choice but out of pressure and it hasn't been doing me any good.

I haven't finished the book yet, and a proper review will be in order soon. But for now, let me list as one of the things I love this week, for it has helped me choose Crispy Kangkong over Pork Sisig, halved my sugar in my coffee and savored my Shrimp Coconut lunch today, to savor my meals longer, let its natural flavor seep through my taste buds and not just mindlessly shove food into my mouth as I have been doing.

Other things I am grateful for this week:

The Music of Andrew Lloyd Webber is coming to Manila!
I'll probably cry hearing 'All I Ask of You' and 'You Must Love Me'
but who cares?

La Belle et Le Bad Boy | MC Solaar

If we're friends on Facebook or Twitter, you'd know that all I've been talking about are
quips in French, being romanced in French and listening to French songs. And if you knew me
in real life, you'd know I used to hate the French language because I feel nauseous
just hearing it.
Special thanks to la partenaire, for reintroducing me to the song above.

Jello Shots! It was Y's birthday and shots have to be rather cute, yes?

Something Borrowed

One of my favorite books from the chick literature genre just became a movie and while I'm
not too keen on Ginnifer Goodwin playing Rachel, it's rather apt and exciting, especially
since Kate Hudson is playing Darcy!

And since I'm on a French roll, some French favorites:

Heartbreaker | Vanessa Paradis and Romain Duris

Paris, J'etaime

And of course, Friends.

At Tavern Asia, BF Paranaque

La vie t'apelle!


Wonderfully Surprised with Love Minerals

>> Sunday, March 6, 2011

It was a Friday night, still high after watching the Manila run of Rent: the Musical, when my bestfriend Y and I stumbled upon the opening of Mercato Centrale Night at Bonifacio Global City. I was driving aimlessly around BGC, like I always do for I never really remember which street is which and which side Kabisera {our real destination that night} was on, when I saw a huge white tent with lots of people milling about. This is Wonderful Surprise #1.

I shrieked and told Y that we will just park for a little bit so I can look for some mochiko or some odd dessert and we can go drink afterwards.

 But the mochiko was sold out. We had Kahlua Cake instead, which was more than amazing.

We were ready to move on to Kabisera when the rain started pouring, causing us to linger a little bit more,
which was fine because we stumbled upon this:

Human Heart Nature products!

After a good thirty minutes of ogling all the bottles and the containers, I finally settled on the lemongrass hand sanitizer and HHN's Love Minerals Foundation in Orient Pearl, aka Wonderful Surprise #2.

Human Heart Nature's Mineral Makeup Line | Foundation in Orient Pearl

A beauty breakthrough! Love Minerals by Human Nature was created especially for the Filipina. Expertly formulated to suit the Filipina skin tone and enhance her beautiful complexion, Love Minerals is 100% natural and completely free from all harmful ingredients found in most conventional cosmetics. Finally, for the first time, every Filipina can enjoy make-up that is safe, healthy and designed with her in mind.

Our pressed powder foundation has sheer to medium coverage and contains Rice Bran Oil, a long-time Japanese secret for beautiful, youthful-looking skin, as well as Rice Powder, a natural skin mattifier which helps improve skin texture. No talc, no parabens, no mineral oil, no silicone, no artificial fragrance, no artificial dyes, no alcohol or other toxic ingredients. So good you can sleep in it!

Choose from ORIENT PEARL (very light skin tone), ISLAND SHELL (fair tone), SAND DOLLAR (fair to medium) or BORACAY BRONZE (morena).

Love Minerals by Human Nature - bringing out the beauty in the Filipina.... naturally.

I was especially stoked to see mineral foundation in a compact, though I had a sneaky suspicion that anything mineral pressed would tend to be loose. Still, I went ahead and purchased it {Php 425, how inexpensive} and tried it on the next day. I have long wanted to find a mineral foundation that's compressed, because by nature, I am already a messy person, and anything else messy will just aggravate my state of disarray. I have been using this nifty little product since and here are some observations after three almost four weeks of usage:

The Good:

  • The light gold packaging is a nice touch, looks very pretty though it gets easily grubby after mingling with the other items in my bag. Or maybe it's just me.
  • I did not break out, nor were there any allergic reactions on my skin, which were expected because it's mineral makeup, after all.
  • The embossed heart is just too cute <3
  •  Coverage is medium, good for days when you don't need to be too made up, good for daily use because it does not feel heavy at all and yet it finishes of matte. 
  • Reacts well with liquid foundations I've tried it with such as Purederm BB Cream and Revlon Colorstay Mineral Mousse, as opposed to some getting sticky when mixed with other forms of foundation.
  • It did not make me oily, in fact, I noticed a significant decrease in my usage of oil-control film, to the point that some days, I don't use any at all.
  • Since it's mineral makeup, there was an absence of parabens and other harmful chemicals {I think!} and I feel that using it is so much healthier for my skin. When I met up with Sasha the other day, she commented how nicer my skin was. I'd like to think this foundation had something to do with it, but it could be, too, that I have just gotten out of the hospital and have been on detox.

  • The shade Orient Pearl is perfect for me. I am MAC NC30/25, for reference.
  • Locally produced and all that CSR thingamajig.
  • The foundation comes with a sponge though I use my Charm Luxe Mini Kabuki in applying this.
  • Extremely reasonably priced at Php 425.
Here are some FOTDs, BTW:

I have blemishes and red spots on my right cheek but they're hardly visible now =)

And this was taken in Tagaytay by my friend Katy.
It registers so well on professional camera, I LIKE!

The Bad, however:

  • Since it is still mineral makeup, it tends to come off the compact when brushed too swiftly. I do try to be careful as I don't like wastage. I noticed too, that some brushes tend to scrape it more than the others.
  • Nine grams for a product seems to little for a girl's foundation threshold. I like having not to go to the mall every month for foundation, it's a complete waste of time for me. And as of the moment, I am nearly hitting the pan. Ack. :{
  • I'm too tamad to physically buy this every now and then. Sure, there's online shopping but I'm too afraid it will break in transit.
  • Limited shades. It's fortunate that Orient Pearl is a perfect fit for me, however, with other brands having multitudes of shades available, it's as easy to shift to other brands and find a match, yes?
  • It can be a little dry and powdery, might not be a good choice for dry-skinned girls but I think it could be fixed with lots of moisturizer.
  • The box looks tacky, IMO. Of course, this is not really bad, just a personal preference.

Overall: I'll probably stick to this, lest I have to ask someone buy it for me from a physical store or maybe I'll risk it and order online OR through my usual way of ordering HHN products through the Island Berry. I like how it's perfect for summer {which I believe is coming, no matter how much it's been drizzling recently.}

Any wonderful surprises lately?
La vie t'apelle!


Low EQ, we meet again.

>> Friday, March 4, 2011

And I thought I've been doing well.

Friends and I talk about this common phenomenon, err, sickness, that occurs every now and then when we have one particular thing in mind to buy at a store and end up getting more than what we intended to.

Last week, it was the case of my 'nesting' phase, wherein I was only supposed to buy my prescribed antibiotics. When I walked into the mall from the parking, I was lured into the linen section and before I knew it, I was hauling 400-thread count bedsheets, two new pillows and three Victorian-inspired curtains.

I was like, "Where did that come from?"

I wasn't regretting my decision. After all, the curtains make me smile every time I see them and the bedsheets and pillows, God bless them, have helped me sleep like a baby {as if I can sleep tighter than I already do.} So I forgave myself for the uber spontaneous purchase.

And then it happened again, on a smaller scale, however:

The Body Shop's White Musk line plus Vitamin E Toner and Moisturizer

I only wanted a second bottle of my White Musk chiffon mist and I ended up getting the entire line {Blame the pretty bag that came with it, HA!}. Oh and in true Becky Bloomwood fashion, I ended up signing up for the membership thing which earned me the Vitamin E freebies. Sweet, right?

As if that was not enough, The Body Shop Greenbelt was right across Powerbooks and you guessed right:

Paper Cuts by Pam Pastor
French Women for All Seasons by Mireille Guiliano
Mini Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella

Damn, bouts of sadness in the afternoon!

I wonder what my mother have to say. :D
What about you, do you succumb to low EQ, too?



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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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