Chronicles of Brushes: Charm Retractable Flat Top Brush

>> Friday, August 31, 2012

Happy, happy Friday! *blows kisses* It is the last day of August and tomorrow is first day of September and WOW it IS September!

Such a pretty day outside and here I am, sitting in front of my laptop, sipping tea. Most days, I am a happy contented girl doing this, after all, writing will always be my first love! I hope you're having a fab day, too!

Today's entry will be special, as it is about a product that's very close to my heart: Charm Brushes! Owned and founded by my good friend, Sophie Uy, it's always a treat to be reviewing something that's so ingenue and fabulous!

Flat top brushes have always been known as the densest brush in the pack. Even back in the time when beauty enthusiasts ordered their brush stash from US-based cosmetic companies, the flat tops {as I'd like to call it} always had their fair share of fans, myself included.

As it is intensely dense, the application of foundation can be thick at first swipe --- which works well for foundation with medium to heavy coverage.

The Great:
  • When I first started using this, I was covering massive breakouts so I brought this to the office for my noon retouch. When I emerged out of the ladies' room after lunch, my friend C asked me, "Oh, what happened to you? How did you become flawless after five minutes?" True story.
  • The fact that it is retractable solves the problem of tossing the brush around your bag for fear of getting it dirty.
  • The kabuki and the stippling brushes, in my opinion, does the buffing but this one does the covering part truly well. I think that's what differentiates their 'tops.'
  • It's pink. What's not to love?
  • As I've mentioned over and over again, the Charm Retractable Flat Top Brush is intensely dense so as to pack all those mineral {or otherwise} foundation and deposit them onto the face. I find that it can buff so well and finish amazingly {I was using Maybelline's Mineral Foundation}.

  • Made of lush vegan bristles that are not harmful to the earth or to any animal.
  • I use this for both liquid and powder foundation and works well with both.
  • Sturdy packaging, sturdy bristles. I kind of subject brushes into torture when I scrub them clean every week and yet my brushes are in perfectly good shape as you can see above. 
  • Perfect for traveling!
  • Affordable at Php 600 each and available online.
  • If you're the test-first-then-buy type, you can always check it out for yourself first at the following Charm outlets: The Ramp Crossings Shangri-la & TriNoma, and Purbeauty in Serendra.
The Not-so-great:

  • None, really.

Overall: It can get kinda confusing what foundation brush to get sometimes and truly, with all the options out there, it can be overwhelming. I recommend Charm Retractable Flat Top Brush for that seamless, heavy coverage {like what I need these days}. If you need is a more 'airbrushed' finish and on a budget, you can opt for the other Charm options like the stippling brush and the kabuki brushes as mentioned above. But for me, this is truly the best brush to cover imperfections on any given day.

Happy, happy Friday, loves! =)


On Forgiveness: To give even when I am stripped of everything

>> Thursday, August 30, 2012

I was inspired by the author of the famous 30 by 30 Project to put Forgive in my list too at the time I was building my own list. After all, I did have that one {or two} person I had held a grudge for the last six years maybe. As years went by, there were more people in the grudge list and on the rare occasion that I ponder on the meaning of life and why forgive, I'd thought that when I finally learn how to wield that almighty virtue of knowing how to forgive, I could sprinkle a dash of forgiveness for all of them all at the same time. Or maybe the universe will vindicate me at some point and in my head I would walk in front of them with my head held high and them in apologetic faces and gestures.

It's been more than a year and I didn't know as much as I {think} I do now.

I owe it to S {you know who you are}, who shared with me her personal battles with forgiveness, and later on this prayer of forgiveness as detailed in Paulo Coelho's book, Aleph. I didn't think forgiveness could be answered by a prayer {shame on me for not thinking a prayer can answer anything!}. As I read line by line, tears were starting to form in my eyelids and I was shaken by the thought that forgiveness is not a one-time, big-time event in life. It is a continuous process one must do everyday with every single thing that passes through one's life. Each day, each minute and every time I do myself something I wasn't supposed to do, I forgive myself. I forgive the circumstances of my daily life. I have to forgive myself for making bad decisions in the past. I need to forgive the citizens of Mandaluyong who always cross the roads every five seconds and for driving me with road rage every single day. I need to forgive the people who purposely do something to get ahead of me. I need to forgive the guy who cut me on the road. I have to forgive the judgy receptionist at the spa and the men who leer at me when I walk by. I need to forgive the circumstances I have no control over. I have to forgive the people I love who hurt me, a more painful thing than being hurt by people you don't know. In order to exercise forgiveness, one must forgive without hearing the word "Sorry," even when the hurtful deed is still in the process of being done, even when you don't get vindicated and never will be, even when the people who hurt you don't deserve it. That, I thought was, forgiveness.

That and giving someone who have immeasurably hurt you  the nicest chocolate you can find --- without having to hear the word "Sorry."

The Prayer of Forgiveness, lifted from Aleph, by Paulo Coelho:

Hilal searches for inspiration on the golden walls, the columns, the people coming at this hour of the morning, the flames of the lit candles.

- I forgive the girl I was, not because I want to become a saint but because I do not want to endure this hatred. This tiresome hatred.

This was not what I expected.
- You may not forgive everyone and everything, but forgive me.
- I forgive everything and everyone. I forgive you because I love you and you do not love me. I forgive you because you reject me and I am losing my power.

She closes her eyes and raises her hands towards the ceiling.

- I am liberated from hatred by means of forgiveness and love. I understand that suffering, when it cannot be avoided, helps me to advance towards glory.

Hilal speaks softly but the acoustics of the church are so perfect that everything she says seems to echo throughout the four corners. But my experience tells me that she is channeling the spirit of a child.

The tears I shed, I forgive.
The suffering and disappointments, I forgive.
The betrayals and lies, I forgive.
The slandering and scheming, I forgive.
The hatred and persecution, I forgive.
The punches that were given, I forgive.
The shattered dreams, I forgive.
The dead hopes, I forgive.
The disaffection and jealousy, I forgive.
The indifference and ill will, I forgive.
The injustice in the name of justice, I forgive.
The anger and mistreatment, I forgive.
The neglect and oblivion, I forgive.
The world with all its evil, I forgive.

She lowers her arms, opens her eyes and places her hands on her face.
I move closer to kiss her, but she makes a signal with her hands.
- I have not finished yet.
She closes her eyes and looks up.

Grief and resentment, I replace with understanding and agreement.
Revolt, I replace with music that comes from my violin.
Pain I replace with oblivion.
Revenge, I replace with victory.

I will be able to love above all discontentment.
To give even when I am stripped of everything.
To work happily even when I find myself in the midst of all obstacles.
To dry tears even when I am still crying.
To believe even when I am discredited.

She opens her eyes, puts her hands on my head and says with an authority that comes from above:

- Thy will be done. Thy will be done.

It's a miracle how the prayer lifted me up to dissipate all thoughts of anguish, of grief, of loss. Today, I am forgiving myself, the past, today and all that I've lost.

Thank you, S, for sharing with me the wonderful prayer. May you find your own way to forgiveness and that your heart be free of the hurt.



Debunking the Mystery: K Palette Eyebrow Liners

You cannot imagine the raves I have heard about the famous K Palette Eyebrow Liners. 

The first time I heard of it was from a lawyer friend who was just as kikay {or might be even more!} as me {hello, Ate Hani!}. She took a photo of K Palette and posted it on my Facebook wall. Then I have heard from my beauty loves {that would be the beauty blogging community} about the revolutionary pen that will answer all our eyebrow woes and ever the fan girl, I was thoroughly convinced I needed to try K Palette in my life.

The Universe must've heard me loud and clear. Thank you, Cheryl of K Palette!

This revolutionary liquid eyebrow liner now comes with a powder tip on the other end! You can simultaneously shade and tint long-lasting eyerows with its smudgeproof and water-resistant polymers.

This eyebrow liner is made of just the right amount of translucence such that the color is deep enough to conceal the sparse areas of your eyebrows but not too dark that it gives a severe, unforgiving tone. If you want a darker tone, just go over the same area twice or more. Suitable for everyone, from beginners to professionals!

Top: 02 Honey Brown
Bottom: 01 Chocolate Brown

By now, if you are an avid reader of any beauty/makeup blog, you'd know that grooming the eyebrows can truly make a difference in a made up or non made up face. My friend C, who has discovered the joys of a filled eyebrows lately, has been getting comments about her perfect eyebrows, which have gotten prettier since she filled them in. Ah, the wonders of makeup!

So that is why I never really stop from experimenting and trying out new products. We never really know when something's better for us until we give them a try. Lately, I'd been happy with Benefit Brow Zings + Majolica Majorca Brow Colorist but sometimes, I'd be in a rush and the two-step routine felt all too time-consuming. That said, here are my observations on the K Palette Eyebrow Liner:

The Great:

  • Two colors to choose from -- as always, it's an issue to be conscious of our skin tone and hair color when coloring our eyebrows. K Palette comes in Honey Brown and Chocolate Brown. 
  • It's a double-edged sword. K Palette comes with a powder edge and an ink edge. According to the instructions in the package, the thicker parts of the eyebrows are to be lined with powder and the thinner edges are to lined with the ink tips.

  • The color deposit is very moderate --- meaning, no one can accidentally draw a line too quickly and end up like Frida Kahlo. On the flip side, this can be a downside, too.
  • Natural Finish. With feathered strokes {a technique Sophie and Jheng detailed to me}, I was able to achieve a very natural set of eyebrows from Chocolate Brown.
  • The tips are precise ---- it's almost impossible to draw outside of the eyebrows.
  • One stick, two products. It's almost always a single brow product in the market today but I think why people are drawn to this is because of its duality in purpose. That means it's a space-saver in your makeup kit and in your boudoir, too!
  • Diversity in colors. I have a big issue with shades that aren't different at all. Somehow, K Palette's shades are completely different from each other, which is a relief.
 This was about three swatches each.

Notice that Honey Brown leans towards the green side.

  • Because the human hands' nature is to use the fingers as such in drawing, it is pretty easy to follow the lines of the eyebrows versus when using an eyebrow brush.
  • Plus points for the English directions at the back of the package.
  • Fills in the brows and sharpens the eyebrow tips which is pretty much the basic requirement of any eyebrow product.
  • It is true when they said it lasts all day.
 My eyebrows are still perfect -- and that is my inaanak, Sophie.
  • The mix of the powder and ink make up for a perfect and seemingly natural finish. 
 K Palette's Chocolate Brown Eyebrow Liner

The Not Too Great:

  • It is expensive at Php 1,050 {being sold at Beauty Bar}. While I have no qualms shelling out money for products that last a lifetime, I am not too happy that the product is being sold at such a price. I have serious doubts that the pen contains that much a product inside to merit such price. Or maybe I am just too kuripot :D
  • It took me a long time to achieve the coverage I wanted --- which goes against this being a dual-purpose product which I thought could answer to my morning rush woes. 
  • It took me a long time to understand the techniques. That of course is not the product's fault but mine.
  • Honey Brown looks transparent on me and had no effect on my skin tone and eyebrows altogether, unfortunately. {Chocolate Brown was perfect though!}
  • While Chocolate Brown was perfect, I wished it was a bit lighter.
  • The powders are stored in the caps --- which in my opinion, are of too little quantities.
  • No one can know if there's still ink left --- plus, it has to be stored horizontally so as not to dry out the pen.
  • Choice of font on the pencil and the all-plastic packaging. This shouldn't matter to product performance but it bothers me that the pencil doesn't reflect how expensive the product is and the Japanese plastic packaging is a wee bit kitsch for my taste.

Overall: K Palette is a wonderful invention {especially from the wonderful country of Japan, who always invents the best things!}. I am, however, underwhelmed with the function and delivery when forced to justify its costs. I would highly recommend buying it if it went on sale, or if you have a lot of money lying around. Of course, eyebrow makeup is one thing that we cannot truly forego so that might be a justification :D  I tried the concealer from them on the very same day though and IT WAS AMAZING. I'd pay monies for that one. More of that on a separate review, though.

K Palette is available at all Beauty Bar stores {Trinoma, Rockwell, Greenbelt, Shangri-la, Eastwood, Galleria, Gateway, ATC, Podium, MOA, Midtown, Lucky Chinatown, Cebu, and soon to open Bonifacio High Street} or at It retails for PHP 1,050.


There's no surprising you

>> Wednesday, August 29, 2012

If you ever ask me why, and I have no words, these are the answers.

Vanderlyle Crybaby Geeks | The National

Leave your home
Change your name
Live alone
Eat your cake

Vanderlyle, crybaby, cry
Though the waters are risin'
Still no surprisin' you
Vanderlyle, crybaby, cry
Man its all been forgiven
Swans are a swimmin'
I'll explain everything to the geeks

All the very best of us
String ourselves up for love
All the very best of us
String ourselves up for love
All the very best of us
String ourselves up for love
All the very best of us
String ourselves up for love

Vanderlyle, crybaby, cry
Though the waters are risin'
Still no surprisin' you
Vanderlyle, crybaby, cry
Man it's all been forgiven
Swans are a swimmin'
I'll explain everything to the geeks

Hangin' from chandeliers
Same small world
At your heels

All the very best of us
String ourselves up for love
All the very best of us
String ourselves up for love
All the very best of us
String ourselves up for love
All the very best of us
String ourselves up for love

Vanderlyle, crybaby, cry
Though the waters are risin'
Still no surprisin' you
Vanderlyle, crybaby, cry
Man its all been forgiven
Swans are a swimmin'
I'll explain everything to the geeks

I'll explain everything to the geeks
I'll explain everything to the geeks

Sometimes, a song is the only answer and there really are just no words.


My Favorite Online Shopping Stores

Gone are the days one would actually have the time to scour things by hand all day. If I needed something, I'd have to fight tooth and nail with my schedule to accommodate an intensive shopping trip. If only stores were open at night!

In my younger years, during the days when Multiply wasn't as crowded and teeming with tacky items {you wouldn't believe the things you can find in there}, I was a Multiply mainstay and trusted in it for my daily needs.

A girl can grow up sometimes :D

Maybe it is the rise in paychecks, or the maturing of taste, or the elegance of real, structured, well-architectured websites that drew me to real online shopping. {Of course, Multiply, Ebay and the likes will always be in my radar}, but for now, let me invest in quality pieces from my favorite stores.

Shop Mango

I first discovered that Mango had an online store when a top female executive approached me to tell me all about it. "It's free shipping pa!" she excitedly whispered to me one morning when we were discussing our project. When I got home that night, I perused the site and saw that everything was in Philippine Peso, was indeed free shipping and everything that can be found in the store can be found in there, too.

I was sold and had been getting my dresses from there since.

Shop Luca

I discovered Luca from following Divine Lee's Twitter account and can I just say their dresses are truly divine? Now my little secret is out! I get my cocktail dresses from Luca!


It's not really an online shop per se but I love that I can check out everything first in the website, complete with prices and just look it up at Zara Rockwell. That's efficient shopping for you! =)


When you already know what skincare/toiletries work for you, it makes sense to just order them from the online store, save some time and yourself from further temptation of trying out everything in the store.

The only downside of shopping through VMV's online shopping website is that their prices are still in USD so the conversion can be a bit weird and unpredictable in your card but nevertheless convenient!

Wear Charlie

For casual dressing, I really love me some Wear Charlie pieces. I discovered this little website, owned and designed by Jessica Gallegos, during one of my endless internet surfs and I just fell in love with the impeccable craftsmanship of the dresses, the casual, flirty flair with the right dose of elegance.

What are your favorite online stores?


Chronicles of Yoga: Standing on my Head

>> Tuesday, August 28, 2012

It was a rainy Wednesday. A meeting finished late and I had to run to Perea for my Wednesday yoga class. As I arrived breathlessly at the Echo Yoga studio, I saw the teacher, the master of all yogis, the Jedi, Yoda of all yogis in Manila if you will, Bela Lipat, perched on her head, upside down.

I stopped dead in my tracks. If she made me do a headstand right there and then, I'd most probably run.

The Headstand {Sirsha Asana in Sanskrit} is the ultimate ending pose in most types of yoga, especially in the one I've been practicing, Ashtanga. I've known about it for the longest time but it always scared me to death, I was scared I'd fall and break my neck in front of the other yogi students and die a second in shame.

Image via Sprout Savvy

So for the next one and a half years, I just launched into the dolphin pose {a preparatory pose for headstand} whenever my Ashtangi classmates would be standing on their heads for a full five minutes. "See the world differently," my teacher Jeannie would say, and I would always think I'll never get to see the world as they did.

After a year or so, I finally did.

It was one of those classes we had at the office, for when you become too busy to go out for yoga, the only way is to bring yoga to where you are. Another Echo Yoga teacher, Sen, who was also my first ever teacher came on Tuesdays. Some months ago, when my officemate classmates would crumple into child's pose after practice, she would challenge my rather incessant fear of being embarrassed in front of people who actually knew me. "Top of head on the floor, hands clasped like a book, strong core, knees together and lift," was what she instructed. She always reminded me that the weight should always be on the arms and not on the head so I perfected my plank pose days ahead and readied myself for a yoga milestone.

"Lift," she gently instructed me and stood behind my head just in case I chose to put myself to shame. I didn't, thankfully. Nothing, I felt nothing. I didn't feel dizzy {though I've done handstands as a kid and in gymnastics} and the world didn't crumble below my head. The world did indeed look different, I could feel my blood rushing through my veins and it was tough talking upside down. I felt like jumping for joy but I realized I was inverted so I shut up my mouth. The world was unaware that in my little world, I just achieved something new and I am completely a different person now.

And maybe it's time to take this yoga practice further. Or my life for that matter.



>> Monday, August 27, 2012

The Suits Season 2 Finale was pure TV-gasm and I was left satiated and satisfied for the next five months. That doesn't mean I'm not missing my favorite fictional character since Carrie Bradshaw {I am more interested in Harvey than I'll ever be in Christian Grey} so here are some of my favorite Harvey-isms which got me hooked since Episode 1. Thanks to the parody account on Twitter, I can now remember them and retweet them when I need some lesson in badassery:

  • Light travels faster than sound, that's why some people appear bright until you hear them speak.
  • Listen to what people say when they're angry, because that's when the truth comes out.
  • Oh, I didn't tell you? It must have been none of your damn business.
  • Caring only makes you weak. If they think you care, they'll walk all over you.
  • Everything is great when you don't give a shit.



August Aria

It's almost a year that I'd been 'living' in BGC, what with my hours mostly spent at work and/or getting out of it and capping the night off with a few cocktails every now and then. During lunches and dinners, I almost always never stray very far and I resort to amusing myself with the choices in the next block.

One of my favorite go-to restaurants for a sumptuous meal shared over stories with friends is that Boracay original, Aria Cucina Italia. I remember the first time I brought my officemates there, I always had one description of its location: "Sa tapat ng Jamba Juice."

The thing with High Street Central is that it's never as crowded during weekdays. To quote my friend, on weekends though, it makes like Luneta and therefore must be avoided. I think the trick is to come to High Street on Sunday nights as I do right after worship service. People go home early! :D

As I was cleaning out my camera this morning, I chanced upon some photos of my last dinner at Aria {where I always go to when there's nothing new, cos it's foolproof and yummy!} cos I got so hungry looking at it  so idadamay ko kayo.  Haha!

Crusted chickpeas polenta topped with piccolo fritto misto and ginger mayo | Php 420

Rolled fresh pasta stuffed with sun-dried tomatoes, ricotta, and parmesan cheese served with porcini coulis.
Php 450 | I believe I did my signature involuntary closing of the eyes here.

Oven-baked chicken roll stuffed with Italian spices and wrapped in parma ham | Php 450

Chicken and cheese plate which I am not sure how to call. It wasn't on the menu! :D

As always, the star of every single one of my dinners: the dessert. | Crunchy almond parfait with a hint of Grand Marnier | Php 180

I remember having a Malibu Pineapple that night and it was a sweet confluence of coconuts and all things tropical. Remind me to grab that again at Aria!

For now, I hope you got sufficiently hungry as I am typing this entry. *evil grin*

Happy {holiday} Monday!


Chronicles of Tea Parties: Elizabeth Arden Green Tea Cherry Blossom

In an alternate universe, I am a forever 25-year old housewife chair-ing several charitable organizations and doing high tea socials every now and then. In that alternate universe, my best girls would be joining me in light-colored frocks, hats and we will be sipping Earl Greys in dainty porcelain cups and will be discussing very important topics such as our next high tea social and world peace.

 We would be eating scones, pouring milk onto the tea and talk about girly things.

That, of course, is in an alternate universe where I would always have immense time to tea party and money to burn.

I thank my lucky stars that despite not being the forever-25 housewife I am in that alternate universe ala Betty Draper, I had my taste of an afternoon high tea with Elizabeth Arden and a number of Manila's prettiest beauty bloggers.

Bambi, Liz, Martha, Angel and Me 

It was the launch of Elizabeth Arden's newest limited edition Green Tea scent: Cherry Blossom. Naturally, the venue, Neo Spa, was turned into a Japanese tea room complete with sakuras and Japanese lanterns.

Here is Lush Angel's Angela Nepomuceno under a parasol.

And here is Project Vanity's Liz Lanuzo while being made up with Elizabeth Arden's Rose Aurora line.

Love, love, love that there was a little cherry blossom tree at the venue.

 Sipping green tea-infused drinks from striped straws on lazy afternoons was such a treat!

... and so were these tea-laced mini snacks.

 While sipping tea, we were also spritzing ourselves silly with the new fragrance. Ah, such a pretty, pretty scent. If pretty had a scent, this would be it.

    This season, fall under the enchanting spell of Japan’s famed cherry blossoms with the new Elizabeth Arden Green Tea Cherry Blossom. Inspired by the tradition, heritage and experience of a Japanese Hanami Cherry Blossom Festival, this new fragrance captures the mesmerizing and ethereal beauty of cherry blossoms at the peak of spring.

    Ethereal, fresh and feminine, this new exquisite citrus floral fragrance brings together the sparkling femininity of delicate pink petals and the lush freshness of green tea leaves to create a truly unique and beautiful fragrance experience. The scent opens with sparkling and luminous accords of lemon and bergamot. Its refreshing drops are combined with green tea vapor to announce delicate cherry blossom mixed with fine notes of green tea leaves. A base incorporates woody notes of birch tree intertwining with angelica and moss.

 Incidentally, my shoe matched the bottle. Thanks for noticing, Julia!

Of course, Jheng and I were goofing around :D

Amazing packaging, Rustan's girls! Thank you for the lovely afternoon!

Initial Findings: It is love at first spritz. It takes me a while to warm up to unfamiliar scents, this being not very fruity at all but tea and leaf-ish. Much like its mother scent, the classic Elizabeth Arden EDT, it has a very calming, serene scent that I just love so much I've been wearing it for weeks daily now. Just like its predecessors though, longevity is an issue {though that can be a per-person issue} but I always see that as an excuse to reach out for the pink bottle and spritz on and feel happier instantly. I think I am stocking up on this as it is limited edition.

Elizabeth Arden Green Tea Cherry Blossom is available at Rustan's, 50 mL for Php 2,250 and the 100 mL bottle retails for Php 2,950.



On the Suits Summer Finale

>> Sunday, August 26, 2012

  1. Louis may just have hope after all.
  2. "You don't make a major decision when you're reeling from a loss."
  3. Fun to see Mike and Harvey be friends at last.
  4. "I might not have photographic memory but my mind is too busy being awesome."
  5. Harvey Specter, Donna Paulsen and Jessica Pearson = AWESOME.
  6. Seriously, Rachel should just forget about Mike Ross.


You are where you are supposed to be

>> Saturday, August 25, 2012

The recent four-day weekend was hard to forget --- after all, we, adults don't get to have as much downtime as we want to when we start working. Unlike when we were in school, we had two months every day to sit and do nothing if we wished. As I sit today before my official working hours start {I am about two hours early, in avoidance of Coding Thursdays, my mind wander and think of all those days we spend thinking about NOTHING.

While most of the people within my circles took the chance to get out of town, I spent my weekend being with high school barkada, doing teenagey things and talking about the present, the past, and most importantly -- the future.

 "Dati, all we talk about are crushes and feast days," is what I always say. Upon this weekend's catch up, I noticed that our conversations revolved around grocery shopping techniques, how to manage toddlers {it was, after all, the birthday of my inaanak}, marriage plans, MBAs, career goals or lack thereof, how to spice up long-term relationships / marriages, how to manage in laws, a household, life insurance {of course!!} and so many other adult stuff. It was a bit overwhelming for me, considering I was pretty slow on the family front, being the only one in my family in this country. But I guess, no battle is easier than the others.

Despite all that, it was comforting to know that we are where we are supposed to be. When I look back at my life and all the decisions in my life, I can't help but be thankful that I am after all, where I am supposed to be. I'm glad that I took the road leading to this career, that I walked away from the people and the things I had thought then were not beneficial to me anymore, that no one came too late nor too early in my life and everyone was there right when I was supposed to meet them. And for good reason, too.

Happy to know I am where I am supposed to be --- and my best friends, are too.


Best Career Advice Ever

>> Friday, August 24, 2012

Lifted from this Refinery29 article:

"It's very simple. Women have to hire women. Women have to trust women. Women have to stop competing with women. This whole business is about competing. And women have made great strides, but there is still a boys' club feeling of 'we're all on the same team' that women don't subscribe to, quite yet. And, I think it's getting better, but it's twofold: First, women need to sit around not talking about being women. If you have to be better than the men to get ahead, just be better. Work harder, get it, succeed, and then be in the position to do that for other people. Because that's what men did."

Amy Sherman - Palladino


Beauty is an inside job

>> Thursday, August 23, 2012

Despite all the products, all the skincare tips, all the procedures that can be found in this blog or somewhere else, I am still a big believer that being beautiful comes from within.

Source: Unknown

Now, I'm not about to go I'm-too-perfect on you --- I am and still on a journey to finding that daily source of smiling and being calm and secure. I believe it was Helen Mirren who said it, "Physically, a woman is at her most beautiful when she's in her 20s, but she's also at a time she's most clueless." You have no idea how true that is for me!

Of course, numerous things can make a girl frown in her 20s eg. trying to make it on your own, living alone, if you're single in a world of couples {that can be a stressor, too}, deadlines, proving you're worth to be promoted, blogging {for some}, managing a hectic social life and LOTS MORE. What's a girl to do, more than slapping on a ton of beauty products, right?

I'm sharing with you some of the things that have been working for me when I didn't have as much breakouts and when people teased me about 'glowing.' :D After all, it is my personal belief that everything physical is a manifestation of all things internal.

1.  Get some endorphins aka exercise. I cannot forget the classic Elle Woods line from an eternal favorite, Legally Blonde, "Endorphins make you happy" as she was trying to defend her colleague who allegedly kill someone. And as I'd always say, it never fails to make me feel better whether in the early morning when I do 1,000 sit ups {I only get to 200 though, boo} or at night when I run, practice yoga or go to Plana Forma. The rush is exhilarating and it always, always clears my head. I cannot imagine life without exercise anymore.

 Credit: {also known as one of my favorite fitness blogs. She's inspiring!}

2.  Meditate or spend some time being quiet --- alone. Five years ago, I would've thought that anything to do with the inner self and inward gazing belonged to the woo woo category and I would've shunned it in an instant. However, growing up and dealing with haranguing circumstances led me to seek peace and quiet in the comforts of shalas tucked away in the outskirts of the Metro. And you know what? I've learned how to accept things gracefully -- when I choose to walk away and not fight for something. I've learned that acceptance is such a big component of happiness. 

3.  You are what you eat. Being in the 20s can afford one to be truly adventurous with gastronomy --- after all, our metabolism are still on high gear. When I was in my early 20s, I could drink enough for a distillery and wake up looking like I had eight hours of sleep despite wanting to gag every five seconds. Now that I'm 26, I have consciously lessened my alcohol intake, watched what I ate {I've stopped eating pork and cut my sugar intake by 50%} and I've been feeling better than ever with my body. A happy body translates to a happy disposition so don't forget your veggies and cut down on oily food.

4. ACV, Lemons and yogurt. I've blogged about my new morning habit and that is taking a cup-ful of Apple Cider Vinegar every morning and already, I've been reaping benefits! My digestion has been faster, acne is clearing up {but not enough to merit full face posts yet, sob} and my tummy feels cleaner {how that happens, I don't know LOL}. If you're too turned off with that, make like a Japanese and drink warm water with lemon slices in the morning. Apparently, this is something that helps Japanese women stay thin! And if that is still hard for you, a yogurt a day helps digestion in a lot of ways! That or have tea instead of coffee or sweet juice to aid in digestion especially if you're into snacking and eating buffets =P

5. Read up. A healthy mind is a beautiful mind and I truly believe that what you put into your mind is something that you emulate. I know it's not advisable to be tuned out from news and current affairs but to avoid stress, I've blocked off most news relating to sordid city happenings and I choose not to read up on them. Instead, I subscribe to MindBodyGreen and read a lot of inspiring text like the life of Audrey Hepburn. If those are not your types, you can also read up on the Bible and to me, that will always be the best piece of literature out there.

6. Don't forget your supplements. I have a secret: I take beauty pills {or so I call them}. They're these purple pills that were sent to me before which I thought weren't doing as much effect until I stopped and noticed my skin was better when I took them:

Of course, not to forget are the usual salad of your vitamins {I take a multivitamin, Ascorbic acid and iron} and calcium. 

7.  Play or talk to kids. I find that I have a genuine smile in my face when talking to my nieces and nephews and answering their absurd questions of why I have to go to big school if it's raining. 

8.  Spend time with your best girlfriends. As I type this, I am on my way to seeing my best girl friends to spend the weekend with them, watching chick flick, having bubbly and laughing over silly things. This makes me really, really bust out a smile.

9. Do something kind. Am not one to preach because I can be quite the mean girl sometimes. But when things go downhill and I feel pitiful and sad and ugly, I channel my energies to just choosing the kinder option, doing a random act of kindness and the negative thoughts go away. And then I feel beautiful because I don't feel ugly anymore.

10. Smile. Whenever I'd feel less than stellar / happy / beautiful, I'd call my mom and I'd rant on her about everything that's wrong in my life. You know what she'd tell me? "Smile until you believe it," and you know what? It works!

What about you? How do you cultivate inner beauty?
Share? xx


On Black Beauty Hair Care

>> Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Sometime, long time ago, I was one of the crazy high school girls who jumped into the horse-shampoo bandwagon because I wanted to have long, lush hair -- which I achieved! But just like any of those girls, I promptly forgotten about it and moved on to the next hair care trend.

When Daryl of Black Beauty sent me a package containing bottles and bottles of hair care, I was just very well reminded of those days --- and thought, that now we are lots older, I sure wouldn't mind using a brand that is meant for thickening the hair.


While the products are clearly meant to address various hair concerns such as dandruff and lackluster, I find that its consistent benefit is really thickening the hair. Upon an informal research, I discovered that my male colleagues {with rather decreasing hair} used this. "Kumakapal talaga yung strands ng buhok ko," a male friend said.

The Great:

  • I honestly haven't used a unisex-scented shampoo in a long, long time, so that was quite refreshing and surprising in a good way.
  • I've always had thick hair but for a not-too-moisturizing shampoo, hair fall was very minimal, which was good.
  • Not too heavy on the scalp --- though see next paragraph for the catch.
  • Bubbly --- I mean, who wants shampoo that doesn't sud up?
  • Available at groceries, Mercury Drug and Watson's. 
  • No dandruff -- though I rarely get dandruff, this product didn't cause any of that.
  • No allergies. 
  • Product dispenses well {for the bottle} and the hot oil product is in a tub so no worries on that.
  • Price range is not bad --- a 120 mL bottle is around Php130.

The Not too Great:

  • I have super dry hair so Black Beauty was a real challenge to use even with the conditioner. Despite the dryness, no hair fall but still, I had to use it every other day to manage the frizz.
  • What's up with the packaging? I was thisclose to ripping the cover apart because I don't like seeing horses and italicized fonts in my bathroom.
  • To answer Patricia's comment: It didn't lessen hairfall but to be fair, it didn't promise that.

Recommendation: This is perfect for girls {and boys} who are experiencing thinning hair --- because I've heard of so many comments already about that, so that must be true! Just this long weekend, I recommended this to two male friends because their hairlines are showing ha ha. As for me, I am still using the products every now and then to manage my permed frizz :D

Plus, it's really a challenge to look at the horses in the bathroom.

Have you tried Black Beauty yet?


Capture the Color and What I Wore

>> Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Some days, I am awfully thankful for this blog for being a source of .. social life. While everyone else gets to earn big bucks from blogging, the next thing to friendship I am thankful for is an excuse to meet people and discover new interests and really, enlarge this already big circle I am moving in.

One of those nights that I did not spend being alone in my room or pattering around the house was during Kerastase' Chroma Captive Launch at The Goose Station:

Prior to being a blogger, I was happily moving around corporate circles, seeing old friends and meeting a new friend every once in a blue moon. Now, while being a blogger and its definition, authorities and all that are still gray, I am only happy to be part of a group who are being asked to witness beautiful revelations every now and then.

And what's more? The recent launch of Kerastase's Chroma Captive highlights the need to protect colored hair, an attribute that not many girls I can talk to because where I revolve, not every girl like going through the trouble of getting their hair colored every three months or so.

K√©rastase’s ultimate in colour protection, this new innovative technology is protected by four patents and aims to minimise the impact of the three key causes of colour fade plus protect colour intensity for up to 40 days:

    Linseed Oil: Shine

    Repairs the hair structure and coats its surface for maximum fibre smoothness and shine.

    UV Filter & Vitamin E: Protects

    Protects the hair fibre from all oxidative external aggressions such as UV rays and free radicals.

    Zinc Gluconate: Preserves Colour Intensity

    Traps pigments deep within the hair shaft to stabilise colour and preserve its intensity.

Having had colored hair for almost seven years now, I can relate to the thought of having dull, non-radiant hair. It is true what they say about it: it is a high-maintenance thing. Ask anyone with colored hair and hear that girl talk about all the things we have to do to make it look like we were born with shiny, non-black hair.

But more than the hair products, the girls, including myself were treated to a lovely dinner by Chef Rob and Sunshine Pengson of The Goose Station. On one of the dishes, my seatmate, Glowie of L'oreal mentioned I was closing my eyes in delight. *shucks* Guess it was THAT good.

 Gotta love a centerpiece that's right on theme.

Eggs Benedict aka the culprit to the involuntary closing of eyes

 One of the snacks --- which was utterly delicious!

 The snack with the lychee mojito. Yummmmmy!

 Everyone in my table had steak and I had salmon. YUM.

 Strawberry Sorbet. Yum!

Dress: Promod
Pumps: Nine West

 Kerastase's Glowie and Maita (right) with Chef Rob Pengson

 Glowie and Kerastase's Media Advocate Laura Charlton

Am excited to try the products out! How about you? How to you capture the color of your colored hair?




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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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