The Perfect Arch Exists: the Browhaus Experience

>> Saturday, March 31, 2012

I used to think I had okay brows. Some months ago, I've had them threaded at a local salon and thought I looked fine with the neutral shaped brows --- I mean, they're just brows, right?

Hello standard issue brows.

I truly thought that brows, as long as they are the shape of eyebrows as we know them, they should be fine. For years and years, all I've known to do is just dab on MAC Girl Boy and I feel perfect. Who knew it can be better?

Brow Resurectees.

Last week, a few blogger friends and I dropped by at the Serendra branch of Browhaus to roadtest their threading services. At the same time, they shared with us the news of the Brow Resurrection, or the procedure in which the brows are drawn upon realistic eyebrows with the use of individual and specific needles to achieve realistic brows. Every treatment takes about 90 minutes {consultation and drawing altogether} where vegetable dye is used. In this day of overplucked and nakakalbong kilay, this seems heaven sent! The catch? Brow Resurrection costs about Php38,000 --- but if I have balding to none left of eyebrows, even I would succumb to that.

 Browhaus' Tab Abad explains that while Brow Resurrection may be Browhaus' most painful treatment, the pain scale reaches only up to 4, with 10 being the highest, thanks to topical anesthesia that comes with it. In this picture, that day's model, Giselle, is being prepped for Brow Resurrection, and in the back, a brow architect mixes dye to match Giselle's hair color. See how her left eyebrow has almost none of the hair on it?

Another point that piqued my interest was how much of a stickler for quality Browhaus is. The very pretty Tab explained that each architect goes to train at their Browhaus Camp in Singapore to train for two months on all possible shapes and sizes and cases of eyebrows. I'd think my eyebrow fiend friend Sophie would love for us to go there! :D

I wish I had a photo to show you of her 'after' photo but I can't find it in my archives --- but do check out Kira's post for Giselle's eyebrow result.

 At the waiting area is an assortment of reviews from magazines and blogs. Something looks familiar!

Row, Shenny and Martha and hello Sophie!

Eyebrow Cuppycakes <3


I thought I had fine eyebrows, so I wasn't too sure if I had wanted to endure the torture of threading. However, to the convincing powers of friends Kira, Alex and Martha, I had gone under the thread and well, you be the judge:

The tools of the trade --- Browhaus use a thread that's specifically made for the face and not for well, stitching or sewing clothes. That means that it hurts less {at one point, I even fell asleep}.

Since skin around the eyebrow area cannot be washed nor used with something wet (like MAC Girl Boy), the eye brow tech mixed colors to line my brows and make it perfect.

 See, the skin around it is a bit red but just wow. I never thought perfect arches can really help brighten up the face!

 A Sitting Down OOTD

Purple Dress: Greenhills
Cardigan: Mango
Scarf: A gift from Sab 
Clutch: Fab Manila / Gift from Carla
Shoes: {not in picture} March
Earrings: Pinkbox

Some notes on the Browhaus experience:

  • You know all those run of the mill threading services practically everywhere and you end up having painful eyebrow area and mediocre arches? Nothing like at all at Browhaus! I was waiting for the pain to kick in and I was expecting clean but normal arches and kind of blinked twice when I saw how angular my new eyebrows are.
  • I have a theory that eyebrows tend to not grow back when being plucked -- so I stick to shaving and threading. But that's just me.
  • Php 580 for classic threading may be expensive but since one doesn't have to do it regularly {one time then just stick to maintenance}, the price is well worth it. As I type this {which is a week after the experience}, I still don't see stray hairs, which is weird in a good way.
  • Done in less than 30 minutes. Tops.
  • Hygienic, polite and helpful service. The little details always matter.
  • I asked for the slightly arched eyebrows since I learned from the shu uemura Yume class that angled eyebrows give the impression that the person is more intelligent. HA! =P And I got it!
  • The eyebrow powder is something I want to take home, it's bongga! It's made me believe in the power of powder eye brow fillers once again and that dark eyebrows still look good on me pala. 

  • A old good Classic Threading is something that will really light up the face but some folks I know have asked me offline and it's also nice to go for the eyebrow color.
  • They accept walk ins but it's always courteous to call first for an appointment. Also, so you don't have to wait. =)
  • The solid eyebrow tattoo victims of years past will be saved now -- thanks to Brow Resurrection.

What's your take on eyebrow threading and Brow Resurrection?


Browhaus has two branches: one in Greenbelt 5 {beside Strip} and one in Serendra's 2F.


Barcelona, I Want You.

>> Tuesday, March 27, 2012

That's the thing. What you want tends to funnel through work and here I am -- part of a team giving away a trip to Barcelona, Spain for Shine Big in Barcelona {with Sun Life Financial Philippines}, my employer. Before the details and all that, let me tell you how much fun I had working on the mechanics and promo materials of this project. I spent the entire day researching about Spain -- what to do, how much one needs, the interesting things a tourist can do {my fave's gotta be the Salvador Dali museum!}.

Sigh. I wish I can go, too!

But for all of you who wish to know how lucrative it is, have thought of becoming one as a full time career or on the side, here's a fun and simple promo we've cooked up for you. And yeah, regardless if you decide or not to become an advisor with Sun Life {best if you do!=)), you are eligible to win a trip to Barcelona, Spain!

The promo runs only until March 30th (IKR? I was so busy to blog about it) but I do hope you join. Last year's winner had a blast in NYC! I can't wait to find out who wins this one!



Makeup Ed: shu uemura Yume Class

>> Monday, March 26, 2012

For someone unamazingly maarte and geeky like me, a makeup class is a surefire way to get me awake at 9 AM on a Saturday morning to pack makeup school essentials.

It was a good thing that {obviously} one of my favorite cosmetic brands, shu uemura, opened its doors to mangmang in makeup person that was me, and makeup students like them and the students of the shu uemura Yume class, especially through the site Dealgrocer.

Class-ready. That's me, pretty sisters Bianca and Aina and my partner in crime Shen behind the lens. Photo credit: Shen Gee

As a makeup enthusiast, I felt like I was back in kindergarten --- everything I knew about makeup and skincare were from reading books, blogs and watching Youtube clips of friends and gurus. All I had in mind were my personal makeup experiments and theories and I was in an advanced class now. WOW.

Despite it being an advanced class, our teacher, Sharon Soledad, accredited shu uemura makeup artist, touched base on skincare routine {oh the importance!} and makeup theories such as determining your look based on the color of your skin, clothes, the texture of your surroundings, lighting and so much more. Now, who says make up is easy?

Cleanse {shu uemura cleansing oils to the rescue} + Tone + Hydrate + Moisturize!

I'm ready for makeup battle with my Charm Travel Set Pro!

As a diligent student, I took some notes for all of you, and I hope they help you like they helped me in my succeeding makeup sessions:

  • Consider the lighting source --- fluorescent lights are always harsher than incandescent / soft lights {such as in hotels} so darken or lighten accordingly. 
  • Point one focal point -- and revolve your makeup around it. It can be really bold red lips, blue smokey eyes or avant garde blush. Never all together unless your point is too many points. :P 
  • The magic of lip liners. Use a lip liner for fuller lips {light or same color} and darker liner if you want to thin out pouty lips. 
  • The eyebrows. The shape and arch of eyebrows influence an overall look. For example, my eyebrows during the shu uemura class were of 'standard' shape and therefore made my look more pacute. 
  • Skin Texture. Is your skin oily or dry? Take advantage of matte finish foundation if you're oily and dewy finish if you have dry skin. There are other finishes, too, such as pearl, iridescent and metallic.Strike a balance.
  • "Makeup is to enhance the good of the face instead of correcting the weak points." I therefore conclude I celebrate my siopao face!
  • Beautiful makeup starts with beautiful skin. I agree.

  • Start the foundation application where the skin is the thickest: The cheeks. Avoid too much foundation on the nose where it gets oilier than the rest of the face --- iwas fake look.

 Sharon applied shu uemura smooth fit foundation on me and it was during this class that I learned to minimize the use of concealer!

Our first of three looks is The Healthy Glowing Look. We were to come up with dewy, parang-high-school-lang, just-saw-my-crush look. Challenge accepted!

Kilig with our Charm brushes. In this look, I incorporated the use of gradient blush {used very very light pink to contour} and topped with bright pink on the apples of the cheeks. In this look, I used only a swipe of shu uemura's Blooming Pink from the Celestial Garden collection.

With flash {and a little weird facial expression}. If you notice, the makeup I used has a lot of glow and shimmer into it, perfect for daylight -- to make papansin to the crush in question.

The second  part of the class dealt with transitioning day makeup to night makeup --- a skill that's very applicable to me, corporate slave in the morning, party girl at night. At this point, I was already a lost cause because I just stared at the mirror because I did not know what color to use. Here's a little confession: I am scared of colors. Especially with blue. Already, as it is, I am overdressed, I was scared I'd be over made up, too!

My seatmate, Bianca, suggested I conquer my fear and use shades of blue to create a look perfect those nights spent partying and walking rushing through hotel lobbies in long gowns.

So I did:

Shen and I went out to get coffee in this makeup --- I'd be very rich if I got a peso for every look I got that afternoon at Rockwell :D

Sharon does my other eye and enhances the crease of my lids with black eyeshadow.

Left: Tara. Right: Sharon. I have a long way to go.

I've always dreamt of posting this kind of picture --of an eye with eyeshadow overdose.


  • Blend, blend, blend! I have a problem blending, so the class opened my eyes {quite literally} and made me think that eye shadow application is just a lot like Adobe Photoshop! :D
  • Don't forget to apply eyeshadow on the lower lids to complete your look. I always forget this!
  • Glitter, baby! Sharon made us go the distance and applied glitter on top of our crazy eyes.

Lastly, and probably the 'advanced' part of the advanced class, we were tasked to create an Avant Garde Look for runway. I was like #$%#^#^?. I'm just a newbie -- what do I do?

This is where I hopped over Shen's work table and swiped colors from her Crazy Colour Palette from BeautyPro. I took a look at the palette and chose which color no one would ever dare wear on any given day.

According to Shen, this look is called the Barbie Superwoman look.

I've been receiving inquiries regarding my earrings -- they're from PinkBox! :)

Barbie Superwoman by Shen Gee

Excuse the non-blended-well eyebrows, both eyeshadows from Beauty Pro, and the falsies are by Aya Takano for shu uemura. Trivia: The eyelashes were so long and pamaypay-levels, that I got a bit teary-eyed, hence the smudgy yellow lower lid color.

Sooooo beautiful! I sometimes forget I'm in my late twenties and I am like a little girl all over again. Sigh <3

 Mainit ba? Papaypayan kita with my eyes. LOL.

Of course, just like any other class, I and my classmates graduated {with honors, chos!}:

Happy Graduation to Meeeeeeee! xx

Yume {Dream in Japanese} Class Batch 3: Aina {who has award-levels blushing and contouring skills}, Bianca, Shenny, Me, our teacher Sharon and John of shu uemura. Does that merit us the term 'Dream Girls?'

The Good:

  • The class was originally priced at Php 6,000 -- thanks to Deal Grocer, it became Php 3,000.
  • Is it worth it? Definitely.
  • Did I learn a lot of things? This is where it becomes different for every student. Like I've said, I'm very beginner -- I've had no formal schooling on makeup nor have I ever taken any class. To me, everything I heard was new which brings me to the point..
  •  Can a beginner join this class? Yes. I am Exhibit A.
The Bad:

  • If you'd rather sleep on a Saturday {like I always do, hehe}, this is not for you. But I gathered up the energy to do so and was rewarded! So I guess it isn't so bad :)

Sigh --- so fun doing all these exercises and learning so much more about makeup! Now, I'm off to work more so I can afford all these classes. Happy Monday!


*Some photos by Lee Shen Gee.


Things I Love Sundays: Grateful Heart

>> Sunday, March 25, 2012

It was a happy week for me -- the kind that even if some things go wrong {of course there were some, let's get to that}, one manages to smile through and sigh a sigh of relief and gratitude. There was one day --- I had become a slave to my emotions. At least inwardly. After a restful session at my happy place, a really good night's sleep, nothing changed -- but I felt better. I was really happy.

Sundates. A lot of giggling. Afternoons spent with friends over silly stuff. Milestones crossed over together with friends. "Only friends high five each other -- not two people dating."

 The perfect arch + orange eyes. Medyo I look gulat, no?

 Photo booths <3

Common ground. Unexplained dreams. Shades of Meredith Grey. Shopping and lots and lots of shopping. McDreamy. A flowchart for clothes. Tributes. Career inspirations. Love. Not being bothered at all.

Dainty nails by Beauty and Butter <3
And if you and I are friends, you would know why this picture makes me happy <3

Something exciting that I did over the weekend <3 

 Cutie pies <3 

 Gotta love Anna, my hair stylist at Tony and Jackey Morato. Look at her outfit! Plus, her hair is my peg <3

The smell of pure and fresh peppermint. Of ginger. Doughnuts. McDreamy. Seeing girls who share the same passion as yours.

 Who's going? I wanna!

Here's to a lovely week ahead, sweethearts!


shu uemura launches the Celestial Garden collection

>> Saturday, March 24, 2012

Tinkerbell. Tinkerbell comes to mind.

the world above the clouds, surrounded by overflowing positive energy, full of colors and full of light.

the same scenery, the same world can look so different, if seen with all your senses full open.

unchain yourself, play with the colors, enjoy make-up, and above all enjoy precious moments that exist in your life.

The most noticeable of the bunch would definitely have to be the punchy, ethereal and dream-like colors of the collection's eyeshadows:

Top (Leftmost): Light
Colors are inspired by the breath of fresh air and the embrace of warm light found in the spring season.
The three eye shadows found in the limited edition case may be replaced to fit one glow-on blush refill or 2 pressed eye-shadow refills.

Shades and finishes found in the trio of eye shadows:
  • metallic light grass green with hints of glitter
  • pearl light yellow canary
  • pearl medium warm earth brown

Top (Rightmost): Scent
Blooming flowers in unseen colors, a floral pink, sherbet orange and dark brown.

Shades and finishes found in the trio of eye shadows:
  • metallic light pink with hints of glitter
  • sherbet orange
  • pearl medium warm earth brown

Bottom (Center): Air

  Precious colors and radiance in the limited-edition refillable custom case. colors are inspired by the breath of fresh air and the embrace of warm light found in the spring season.

Shades and finishes found in the trio of eye shadows:

  • Metallic light sky blue with hints of glitter
  • Pearl medium lavender purple
  • Pearl medium cool earth brown

Celestial Garden gloss unlimited: Blooming Pink (left) and Corona Orange (right)
tint your lips with fresh and pure colors of spring. apply alone to add a natural luster on your lips or use together with rouge unlimited to create pure dewy lips.

Rouge Unlimited Shine L-R: PK 337 (baby pink), PK 340 (soft warm pink) and BG 957 (beige undertone)

A fusion of breakthrough watery dewy shine and rich color payoff. Revolutionary film keeping capsule, ultra shine oil and shu uemura's signature hybrid pigment create a smooth, thick veil on the lips that glides on easily to deliver unforeseen shine and vibrant pure color payoff.

Will be posting a look soon <3

Happy Saturday, folks!


Things You Can Do to Nails With Gel Nail Polish

>> Monday, March 19, 2012

  1. Open and close the clasp of your tight pearl necklace -- all by yourself and not enlisting the assistance of your yaya.
  2. Wedge open a can of fruit cocktail --- by using your thumb.
  3. Get distracted during yoga --- why are your nails shining in the dark?! Wait, that's a good thing, right?
  4. Ask officemate #1 to scratch your nails and smile smugly when there's no effect whatsoever. Do the same on officemate #2.
  5. Type furiously on the keyboard when you get inspired. Screw the manicure --- oh wait, it's intact.
  6. Fiddle with a tube of Mighty Bond and glue everything that needs gluing. Act surprised that despite the glue sticking to your clumsy hands, and nails, the glue just washed off the nails.
  7. It's the weekend -- might as well do some cleaning. Do the works -- vacuum, mop, bleach what needs to be bleached and sleep.
  8. Get to the chore of hand washing clothes --- scrub furiously.
  9. Rummage through your bag for your keys every night you get home. Why you always have to do this every night baffles you to no end. 
  10. Play with the guitar despite not making any sense nor exhibiting any talent.
I don't know about you but the only time a woman is a bit useless is when her nails are still wet. Like many of the female populace, I troop to the salon every week to have my nails done and every single time, I'd wait a number of hours to make sure my nails are indestructible --- and the waiting time is the time when I resort to doing nothing at all and eventually emerge with perfect Stepford wife worthy nails. That almost never happens. Despite all the quick dry formulas out there, nail polish is bound to chip even before your next mani session and it can get pretty frustrating. As for me, I get my first accidental chip when I fish my bag for my car keys. Frustrating. This is why I rarely have manicures done.

I recently had the chance to try out the newest hardcore nail polish in town --- Jennifer Lynn. By hardcore, I mean that one can be a superwoman {see list above}and still have fabulous nails!

I first heard of Jennifer Lynn when I spent the day with fashion bloggers and I was teammates with managing editor, Trixie Reyna some months ago at the Roxy style challenge {we won!}. I couldn't keep my eyes from looking at her gleaming pink nails so I asked her what brand it was. "They're gel polish, by Jennifer Lynn," she said. That was the first time I learned of gel polish that are chip-free and ultra shiny. Finally, two weeks ago, I'd been able to try me some gel polish and here are the photos documenting the journey of my nails:

As it is in every Posh Nails session, feet are prepped for a pedi in warm water {although I had my feet polished with Orly}:

Jennifer Lynn polishes look the same from the outside -- each bottle is ..

 ... black (right). Colors need to protected from UV light so they don't dry up. On the left is the extra stick which is used  as top coat for protection and extra gloss.

Cure time, or drying time is only 2 minutes for gel polishes, under UV light. When I arrived at Posh Nails, I almost didn't push through with my gel polish session --- as the UV Light equipment was nowhere to be found. Special thanks to the assistant manager at Posh Nails who drove back to the office to get it :)

Eeny Miny Moo. Which one? The nail tech had to swatch several colors on my nails because we cannot see it from the outside of the bottle. That -- and of course ...

... refer to the color wheel to choose your polish. 

 I eventually settled for Claire, a pretty fuchsia polish, and very #FF0066, too.

 Step 1: The Extra Stick is applied as base coat.

Step 2: The polish is carefully applied, in about three coats.

 Step 3: Under the UV light, the nails dry up in just two minutes.

 Step 4: The nail tech wipes off the surface of the nails for any excess moisture.

And voila! Really, really shiny nails! {Excuse the dirty keyboard :D}

 The color near the cuticle tends to be the area that suffers the most, with the uneven lines as seen on this picture. My guess is that the polish do not adhere well to this part. The edges are a winner though!

Look at how shiny it is!

 Still perfect, if you ask me.

By Day 11, the chip on the middle finger has grown worse -- but the shine is just outstanding!

Key notes on Jennifer Lynn and the entire Gel polish experience:

  • A quick-drying manicure is to be honest, a sort of miracle. It was a relief not to have to act super dainty after polishing both sets of nails. 
  • The Gel Polish's strength is that it's crazy shiny. If you have a penchant for shiny nails, this is for you!
  • If you're going to a special occasion where your hands will be very busy {eg.: you'll be the maid of honor at a wedding, events coordinator, AE at a product launch or a bride}, and still have to look very beautiful, this is the perfect kind of polish to get.
  • It is an expensive service to avail {Php 650 for hands and Php 750 for pedicures} but it's worth it if your hands would still have to do a lot of work {see above} and they have a legal way of staying chip-free.
  • No polish scent -- which is nice.
  • This is only removable by a special soak, which can be done at salons offering gel polishes. In my case, I only go to Posh Nails so yay! However, the removal process of gel polish is not your standard acetone-based polish removers. When I went to B & B, it took me 20 minutes before the entire polish could be removed.
  • The Color selection is not bad --- about 40-ish colors are already available. However, I'm not the adventurous type when it comes to nails {plus I am not sure how I'd behave inside the boardroom or meeting room in nail art} so I always stick to the safer choices and my signature color --- pink. That is bold enough for me and Jennifer Lynn has it so YAY!
  • The UV Light experience is not to be scared of --- it looks like a sci fi scene but it's not harmful -- as Paul Bryson, director of research and development at nail-product manufacturer OPI, says there's no cause for worry. "The exposure to UV from a nail-gel-curing lamp is equivalent to a few minutes of summer sunshine, not the hours that it would take to burn or do tissue damage of the sort that can progress to cancer," Bryson said.. As there are no comprehensive study yet on UV-light dryers, it is with caution that you try these. {Source}

What's your manicure story? Have you tried gel polish yet?



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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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