In Her Element Spot Control Facial Oil

If you can only see me now, you will see my unkempt {SHOCKER} eyebrows, unglamorous hair, and same makeup everyday. Lately, I've changed into a simplified version of me, I've completely embraced other parts of my life, such as gardening and fitness, completing Rustans' Schott Zwiesel stickers LOL, my healthy eating regimen and a bursting spice shelf. Life has been very different, but nonetheless fun.

That's what my day looks like many a day, but for some people, like my friend Liz, she pores over oils and their effects on the skin, and tests and learns to no end. One of the products she recently finished and released for her skincare line In Her Element, is her spot facial oil.

The Spot Control Facial Oil (15ml) is a blend of premium, high-grade oils that work together to bring back balance to troubled skin. Sunflower oil is an excellent skin brightener and blemish remover due to its high fatty acid and Vitamin E content; both work to fade marks over time. Our Facial Oil also features Tea Tree and Green Tea, for fighting stubborn acne. Finally, it is infused with Jojoba Oil to re-balance skin.

In Her Element is a new botanical skincare brand that uses premium, plant-derived ingredients in clean formulations that are safe for skin. We believe that less IS more, but this doesn’t mean that efficacy has to be compromised in pursuit of simplicity. Everything we make is cruelty-free and proudly whipped up right here in the Philippines.

USAGE: Apply two to three drops on skin and pat all over the surface gently. Massage it to heal and correct your skin at night, right before you sleep. 

INGREDIENTS: Sunflower Oil, Virgin Coconut Oil, Tea Tree Oil, Green Tea, Jojoba Oil, Vitamin E 

STORAGE INSTRUCTIONS: Keep in a cool, dry place away from sunlight.

WHAT I THINK:  I had my hands on IHE's Spot Control Facial Oil on a day I had a pimple on my left cheek. Stress had been making it to my skin but I was not ready to change up my skincare routine cos everything else was great. I decided to give the oil a spin. I used the dropper that night and applied on the area of my big-ass pimple. You can see below that my pimple immensely decreased in size the next day with only one try. 

I ended up using it a couple more days until the pimple was gone. I also applied it within the rest of my face, together my eye cream {at that moment, VMV Re-Everything Eye Serum}. It's surprisingly moisturized enough to last through the night and could be light enough for the day, too, if you have light hands. I love how it's minty and gives a nice clean and moisturized feeling to the skin. Pleased to think that it's below PHP500, too! 

It's so pretty, is mostly what I think. Order yours today via the In Her Element website.

Things I Love: Best Life

It's been a while since I've sat down on my workdesk area at home and blogged. TBH, it's honestly been a while since I just sat down and stay put. Most days, I'm knee deep in work or working out and all its peripherals. Working out means doing the laundry as soon as you finish because germs and sweat, ugh. It also means I work on improving my dietary systems by prepping salads, healthy meals, yogurt and chia breakfasts and avoiding sugar. It's been a busy life but I'm loving it and I'm happy to be at peace where I am.

I started using a Fitbit :)

So I will review this soon!

Most days, I wake up, eat a granola bowl with Greek yogurt and a sprinkle of chia seeds. I work a bit on my Mac, play a bit with Butters, spend some time in quiet meditation and head to work. At work, life is kind of a whirlwind, things just happen really fast and real intense. After work, I usually work out with my carefully planned workouts. I make it a point I get cardio {boxing at Flyweight or rowing at Saddle Row}, some yoga within the week, HIIT Pilates or Plana Forma. After that, I head home to my two boys, Mike usually cooks dinner, we catch up on life and our respective passions, work and hobbies and how our day went with cuddling Butters in between. When we're not too tired, we watch some old favorites -- we had a Wonder Years phase and now we're on to Boston Legal. I water {and talk to} my plants sometimes, grab a massage afterward and doze off to sleep. It's a nice life.

It's Independence Day here in the Philippines today and I can't help but wonder, despite that big whoosh of relief that we are still very much enjoying our freedom, when can the country be truly free.

I hope you're having a great day and an awesome week ahead!

ChampagneDreamsFitness: F45 and Electric Studio

HI THERE! I know, I know, I've been MIA here but it's for a very good reason. I've been busy living a life I really love lately: meal prepping, shopping for fresh produce, working out through boxing, HIIT / Circuit and spinning. I'm happy to feel the results of it: less bloating, clothes fit me better now, I have more energy, I sleep better most of the time and I generally just feel better a LOT! It's been so, sooooo good!

Today, I'll share with you two favorite studios I've been working out at the past weeks. I'm no expert and have only been training daily for a month {A MONTH!} so you can classify me as a beginner :) 

1. ELECTRIC STUDIO, Burgos Circle, BGC. Electric Studio has gained its reputation for really fat -torching workouts and it's true. I always feel thinner after a workout here. Sometime last week, I went to train in Jam's class which features alternative and 90s music and some hip hop tunes by Justin Timberlake, too. I truly loved it, because I felt so energized by the millennial energy in the room and it covered both arm strength and building muscle, too. I like that some parts of the workout was dark -- and lights pulse, too. It reminded me of Soulcycle <3 I'm so thrilled that they have a summer promo {BEACH BODY HERE I COME!} that I can bicycle in between my GuavaPass and my upcoming F45 enrollment. 
PROS: Very clean studios, clean equipment, millennial-ish merch and neon signs, spacious bathroom, with toiletries, blow dry, etc. One of the best I've seen, really. They've also got special lockers which you don't need a padlock for. Super cool!
CONS: Electric Studio's workout can be rather superstrong, I feel like it's not really beginner-friendly. This is a con because I can't count on myself to be always conditioned to go on to the bike every day in full strength as I'd do circuit, for example. It is a very demanding workout. But if you're in conditioned for it which I am half of the time, you go girl.

2. F45 Training, BGC Stopover. Where do I begin? I love F45. I've put on hold coming here because it won't come off as a glamorous gym online, which is, admittedly, my first consideration LOL. I know that's not a good first consideration but that's me. Anyway, I finally tried F45 one day and found it to be rather cleaner than most gyms, had ample lockers, two shower rooms, clean changing rooms, too. More importantly, they have 1 type of class per day, called fun names such as Hollywood, Varsity or Athletica. What is unique about them is that each class is 45 minutes of workout. 
PROS: A TV guides you when you're lost and true to form, all of the 45 minutes are functional: either you're resting, working out or warming up or cooling down. Nothing is wasted. Equipment are well maintained and probably the widest I've seen in spectrum. I like that the coaches also approach you to correct your form! There are two showers in the BGC branch, so hooray! Not as feminine but not so bad!
CONS: Only 2 branches so far, huhu, one in BGC and one in MOA. Also, one of the most expensive when it comes to Circuit classes, at PHP 4,600/month. It gets cheaper as you buy more months in a package so that's nice. 

All in all, both studios are my favorites -- ask anyone who knows me or have gone with me and both studios are regulars in my schedules. Do you also go to these studios? Let me know in the comments section.

Happy Working Out!

ChampagneDreamsFitness: Saddle Row, Yoga+, 360 Fitness, Plana Forma

Hello, hello! How are you all? I'm typing this on a long holiday here in Manila, for Labor Day and the ASEAN Summit. For me though, that's days spent catching up on sleep {wink, wink} + working out at spots I can't go to on a regular working day. We also took out Butters for a lot of walks and playtime with big dogs in Makati yesterday while we stayed under the sun and sipped drinks.

For the most part, my calendar is full of fitness activities. If I'm not at a studio or gym, I'm at home doing Kayla Itsines BBG workout, FitStar's guided workouts or just good old reliable YouTube tutorials on how to burn 1,000 calories. 

For today, let me give you a brief review of the studios I've been working out in this past week. Did I tell you I'm on a 10-day consecutive streak? Yeah. It's not the easiest thing to do especially when it's been quite stressful at work --- but I realize that's more important than any other time. Stress ups the cortisol in the body and that hinders the burning of fat. It kinda puts the body in panic mode, hence the body kind of hoards fat for future use in any case starvation happens. 

First up: Saddle Row. I was not planning to go to SR that night but I was checking my Guava Pass and I saw an opening so I immediately booked a rowing class. Been meaning to go to my first ever rowing class as I found out that my upper body skills can use some improvement. The Rowing studio is not in the main Saddle Row one in Serendra. It's farther down the hall. It's a little bit cozy and there are only 10 rowers, hence it's always booked out. They also play a variety of hip music, and it was in fact Rowchella that time I rowed. I was in a Crew class, which means 90% of the time is rowing. I had to spend a couple of minutes learning the coordination of rowing: legs arms, arms legs. The exercises had regular rowing and a variable of power strokes which give you the distance to your goal but will also kill you {haha just kidding}. 
PROS: Maybe because I had weak upper body, but I ended up burning 300 calories from it and I was sweating like crazy, too. It could also strain breathing so it's important to keep breathing while rowing. I ended up rowing 4,000 meters that night, too.
CONS: If you're using GP, rowing is hard to come by and sometimes, the timing will be off for office folks like me. Otherwise, if you're a regular member, it is fun and a full body workout, too.
SWIMMING IN SWEAT FACTOR: 4 out of 5

Yoga+, BGC. This is not my first time at Yoga+ and I'd been going there for months and years even. Yoga+ have been a default yoga place for me: clean, functional, pristine, calm and inviting. Prices are reasonable too if you end up subscribing to their classes, and they have promos for BPI cardholders and Globe employees so that makes me happy. For my yoga / LISS days, I go to Yoga+!
PROS: Has branches in Makati, Ortigas, BGC! WOOT! Classes are abound so yoga all day, any day!
CONS: Can't think of any gross negative at all!
SWIMMING IN SWEAT FACTOR: Depending on the class you're going to, it can get get pretty sweaty if it's a HOT class like what I always go to. So 5 out of 5.

360 Fitness, BGC. I've gone to 360 Fitness some years ago when Circuit Training was new and back then, I died from circuit training, and got dizzy. Happy to report that I survived the HIIT class and I didn't tire as much that I now regret doing just 30 mins. It's like the usual circuit and crossfit gym, which is more like a box where you find everything and just do your thing.
PROS: Simple and functional and perfect if you just want to lift stuff, go through pull ups and all that gym-ish stuff. 
CONS: However, for me, I am a very structured workout person and I tend to get shy when I have to work out on my own so I kinda shy away from these places unless it's a class.
SWIMMING IN SWEAT FACTOR: 3 out of 5. It really depends on your performance.
SHOWER/FACILITIES: Pretty simple but available and private, though you need to bring your own padlock and toiletries if you're showering.

Plana Forma, Legaspi Village, Makati. I also used to go to Plana Forma back at the time it was still in Jeco Prime Bldg. Now that it's only in Makati, I only go there when I can like this long weekend. The class I originally signed up cancelled so I immediately looked for a replacement and found Plana Forma's PILOXING. It's a combination of Pilates and Boxing and knowing Plana Forma, it can be pretty intense. I was right.
PROS: Plana Forma is pretty, clean, and has ample space for everyone. I love that it was a dance-y workout, when all you do are burpees and squat jumps, you can sometimes miss feeling like a woman. So PF made me feel like a woman again and that was a great session.
CONS: No BGC nor any other location, HUHU.
SWIMMING IN SWEAT FACTOR: Damn, yes, 4 out 5.
SHOWER/FACILITIES: Available and private and most of the attendees are women anyway so most stuff appeal to the fairer sex.

So far, I'm loving all of the above, and I do look for them whenever I book my classes on GP. :D Stay tuned for more gym reviews!

Β 

Fit Girl Life: Reviews Pt. 1: Guava Pass, Flyweight & LiFE Yoga

If we're friends, officemates or even acquaintances in real life, you'd know by now that I'd been on a fitness obsession these days. By that, I mean all that I'm watching on YouTube are digestion and metabolism videos, I have worked out for 6 days straight and I've been on a strict no sugar, minimal carb and juicing diet. Actually, no it's not that strict cos I did have rice today when I had lunch with my team so yeah. But I've done a complete 180 degrees shift of my lifestyle.

No thanks to endless fitness Instagram accounts on my feed, I've become quite obsessed about how to get abs and be the thinnest I can get my body to be. As you might know from my Clean Eating post, I am trying better in this fitness life. I've been dilly dallying on what gym to get and I've soft started on the Kayla Itsines workout but I haven't really fully committed to it until last week.

  • Guava Pass MNL. I started on Guava Pass because a friend inspired me to get one, and also because when I started, there was a one month free when you sign up for 3 months. I've always known about Guava Pass but they used to have unknown studios. Now that they have studios near me like Flyweight, Saddle Row, Life Yoga and Yoga+, I can wind up a week with a variation of those. Since I also live in Ortigas, there's a bunch of classes I can rotate working out after work and before heading home.
    PROS: Reasonable price of PHP 3,000/month, great studios in roster if you're always in main CBDs like BGC, Makati, Ortigas. There are studios in QC and Las Pinas and Pasig so that's alright. Some studios allow you to book up to an hour before the class and I'm glad to have tried it cos I am discovering new studios I may not have bothered trying out. I love it that it answers my problem of not having to stick to a gym because the idea of just gym is boring me out. I also need an external motivator and I am not self motivated at the gym so yes, super perfect!
    CONS: Each billing cycle allows a user to book per studio up to three times. This ensures that a GP user rotates through studios.
  • Flyweight. Flyweight is located at 2F Forbestown in Burgos Circle. It's the area where I work so it's walking distance and the classes are timed well, meaning there are classes at 9, after lunch and the one I go to at 7PM. I've always wanted to go there except that I couldn't live off the first timer pass of PHP 1,500/5 classes and I am not willing to pay the PHP 1,000/walk in pass. I'd describe it as "girly boxing," like you know when want to punch stuff like crazy but you also don't want to end up {dirty like me and on the floor at Elorde}, Flyweight is your go-to. They have clean wraps and clean boxing gloves. I cannot reiterate this enough that clean workout gear is a must. You also get to box to club / HIIT music and during my session, the trainer {Vince} played RHCP so super, super cool.
    PROS: Located at Burgos Circle, easy to find, cool and approachable staff, they put on your wraps on you so yay for that! I also like that the crowd it attracts are crop top wearing ladies so instant fitspo, too!
    CONS: If you get addicted to this, workouts are PHP 1K a pop, not super affordable but nobody said fun and glam fitness was never affordable.
    SWIMMING IN SWEAT FACTOR: 5 out of 5. Sometimes I wonder how I am able to get out alive.
    SHOWER/FACILITIES: Not bad but there's only two and the space is pretty tight.
  • LiFE Yoga, Burgos Circle, BGC. I've heard about LiFE Yoga from a colleague who's super fit, so yeah, I was like, "Why not?" I treat yoga as one of my more passive exercises that I do when I am not in the mood for HIIT. I skipped the yoga stuff and gunned for HIIT Pilates and boy was I gasping for air, HAHA. So basically, their HIIT Pilates class, led by Asha, was a series of planks, squat jumps and core exercises. They were also done in 1-minute intervals and the pace is rather fast, hence the HIIT bit. I couldn't go on full jumping jacks since I injured my left food about two weeks ago and was on a modified scheme. Nonetheless, my session at LiFE Yoga was one of the most profound ones I've done. In front of me was a woman, maybe in her 50s who was very muscular and didn't have as much trouble getting into the exercises. Meanwhile, behind me was a group of girls in their early 20s and kept fumbling all over themselves. I realized that in this fitness journey, age is just a number that one can optimize.
  • PROS: LiFE Yoga is also in the same area as Flyweight, so yay for us BGC-working girls! They mostly offer yoga class with enhancements like Feel Good Flow, Rock and Flow etc but I especially love HIIT Pilates. It was exactly what I needed and my core hurt the next day so I am feeling like I'm losing tummy weight HAHA. I also love the whole authentic vibe of the place, they have a cafe, and they have these LiFE Jams, and a music community. I love its natural vibe amidst all this city shindig.
    CONS: I am not sure how much their LiFE yoga class cards are but my friend said it was around 750 or something. I can't remember. 
    SWIMMING IN SWEAT FACTOR: 3 out of 5. It really depends on your performance.
    SHOWER/FACILITIES: A bit dark inside but clean enough though I'm not a huge fan of the industrial look, it's alright :)

Overall: I'm very happy with my Guava Pass because it gets me access to the studios I want to go to and it offers a wide variety of workouts! I wish I could book up to 5 per studio though next time but 3 ain't so bad. Stay tuned for my next reviews!

Links: Guava Pass | Flyweight | LiFE Yoga