Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Kikay Weekend: The Clinique SPArty

Friends and readers of Project Vanity were treated to an intimate skin consultation and makeover at the Clinique counter of Rustans Makati last Saturday. This was a great opportunity to know more about the luxury brand and to experience their best-sellers first hand.

I've always been a fan of Clinique, I remember my glamorous Lola using the Dramatically Different Lotion back in the day. I've only played with their lipcolors though, because I like how sheer and moisturizing they were.

Hooray for Project Vanity readers! They were all as excited as can be to be there and meet Liz (hee-hee).
First order of the day, a skin consultation. The SAs were very helpful and carefully listened to all of our skin care concerns. My concerns were specifically related to oiliness in the t-zone and aging, because I have those fine lines under my eyes that my current eye cream can't seem to rectify. Plus, I am the poster child for bad sleeping positions -- I sleep face down on my pillow, hence the lines under my eyes. Sorry, I can't help it.

I always assumed that I had sensitive combination-oily skin, but I soon found out that I was wrong. Turns out I have dry-combination skin since my cheeks are on the dry side. I may have *cheated* a little bit, I still think that I have combi-oily skin though. Hahaha!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Clinique samples: my secret guilty pleasure

Yep, I am a sucker for free stuff alright!

Presenting my lineup of *free* stuff that I've acquired over my last few Clinique visits. It's awesome because I never get around to buying full-sizes of their products -- except for the Dermawhite Liquid Foundation SPF 38 which I lalala-LOVE but haven't reviewed yet because I'm lazy, ha!

7 Day Scrub Cream (rise-off formula)
Super City Block SPF 40 (tinted)
Turnaround Concentrate Visible Skin Renewer
Moisture Surge Extended Thirst Relief

Repairwear Intensive Eye Cream
Superdefense SPF 25/PA +++

Have you tried any of these promising Clinique products? 
What are your favorites? I'd love to know :)

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Folded & Hung CEO talks about developing a fashion brand

This is an excerpt from the SoFA Capsule Class I attended last weekend, which is also published on thePOC.net. For all the budding entrepreneurs and netizens, this is a must-read. Hope you get inspired to set up your own business, or to push harder if you have an existing one.

Folded & Hung CEO talks about developing a fashion brand 

Making a name for yourself, let alone establishing your own brand, is tricky business. In our fashionable modern world, everyone wants to become a designer. But only the headstrong and the passionate usually succeed. In one of SoFa’s Fashion Capsules, Ronald Pineda tells us his secrets in creating one of the most recognizable and successful retail empires in the country: Folded & Hung.

Dr. Ronald Pineda, the driving force behind Folded & Hung, started from not-so-humble beginnings. Being entrepreneurial from the start, he remembers buying and selling non-branded apparel while he was still a Dentistry student. He reminisces that he used to stash his wares in the trunk of his car and selling them to his classmates. Even at a young age, he was aware of the trends and knew that in order to create brand loyalty and recall among consumers, he would have to establish his own brand eventually and manufcture the products himself.
After pooling enough capital, he set up a small shop in the legendary Shoppesville Plus in Greenhills in 1998, mostly selling RTW women’s apparel and boxer shorts. Amongst a sea of other sellers, Ronald states that the customers came back mainly because of the personalized service he and his partner provided.

He eventually set up his Folded & Hung boutiques in Galleria, Glorietta and SM. And the rest, they say, is history. Folded & Hung is now available nationwide and is 61 stores strong. What makes this brand a force to be reckoned with? Let’s learn some business-savvy tips from the CEO himself.

1. Know your product

Travel, observe the trends, and seek inspiration. In order to be ahead of the rest and provide products that are competitive, you have to know what sells. Ronald recalls when he would tag along with his mother to Hongkong. Once there, he’d check out the new designs and spot what other people are wearing. He would carefully select hard-to-find pieces to bring back to the Philippines for reselling.

Ronald also advises to invest in the details – such as fabric exclusivity, unique prints and styles. Always think of a unique quality that will make your product different and memorable. In the beginning, they had no idea on what niche to focus on. That is, until his brother mistakenly ordered 1,000 pieces of baby tee shirts which weren’t initially part of their lineup. Due to budget constraints they decided to sell the shirts anyway. As fate may have it, this “accidental” product was immediately sold out and later on catapulted them into the consciousness of every Filipina. Ronald then decided that they had found their niche - they would focus more on the smaller, sexier, and slender figures. So in essence, it may take just one or several “accidents” to discover your niche, but once you do, you can slowly build your business around it.

2. Offer value for money

Study your consumer demographic and target market, then price your items accordingly. Always strive to provide the best designs and fabrics at affordable prices, without sacrificing quality. Also, be aware of inflation rates and how it affects your consumer.

Click here to read the full article!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Bread n Butter

Hola! How was everyone's weekend?

I am honestly still so tired and sleepy, which makes me wonder: is it just me or is March just a really busy month for everybody? I can't wait to take a vacation.

Anyway, last Saturday I took one of the SoFA Fashion Capsules which was facilitated by Ronald Pineda, the force behind Folded & Hung. I was glad to have bumped into Lauren there. Check out her outfit below, she looks so adorbs:

After that, I trooped to Trinoma to meet the parentals and my sister. My Dad was leaving the next day so we decided to have a little snack there before we go straight to my Grandma's place. I haven't had lunch yet (and it was 5:00 PM!) suffice to say, I was literally starving.

I have a certificate! Hehehe
Cheesy Garlic Focaccia bread...yummeh!
this wins as photo of the week, hands-down
Top/mini dress: Bread n Butter (thrifted) | Jeans: Divisoria | Animal Print Flats: Shoebox & Me | Bag: SM Dept. Store
ZOMG, I just love my top/mini dress. I got this at Raberly ukay-ukay along Quezon Avenue for only --- wait for it--- Php 80! I love, love the rick-rack details in front. I belted it so I can wear it with jeans. I've been wearing jeans as of late, just because they're comfy for commuting and such. My jeans, if you have to know, are from Divisoria. Nice no?

How was your weekend? Hope you guys had fun! It's back to the daily grind for me. Can't wait for next weekend ;)

Friday, March 18, 2011

Cut and Color at Azta Urban Salon-Katipunan

When was the last time you had your hair colored?

I think I haven't had one in years, it's been so long I don't even remember. When I met Robina at the speed dating event last month, she invited me to visit her salon along Katipunan. Robina was even so generous that she also sponsored my blog giveaway by donating lots of coupons redeemable at Azta Urban Salon.

Cheq and I took a break from work and decided to have our hair professionally cut and colored today. I was quite hesitant at first, because I really didn't feel like spending money on hair services, especially since I'm saving up for my summer vacation. Plus I was content with my good ol' neighborhood salon.

The moment we got there, we were greeted by the staff who assisted us with our questions. I was initially bent on just getting a haircut since I had a free haircut coupon, while Cheq was dead serious on having her hair colored. The front desk wasn't too friendly (I was indifferent and didn't really care either), but it was the Sr. Stylist Mylene and her assistant Edwin that won me over.

These guys patiently and nicely answered all my questions -- and I had a gazillion of them! I asked questions mainly about the hair color they used and what color would suit me.  

Light blonde or Warm Golden Blonde?

Plus, I was very iffy about the prices because the services aren't cheap -- haven't had my hair professionally done in a while, hence the price shock. LOL. BUT Mylene and Edwin were very accommodating and in no way forced me to take this or that. And that, my friends, is the right way to persuade me. In the end (and after 20 minutes of pondering), I decided to have my hair colored. Yay!

I was specific about the color and chose Warm Golden Blonde because I wanted a lighter hair color, but not too light as Robina's. Though I love her gorgeous hair, I don't think I am that adventurous yet. Warm Golden Blonde was a richer, more full-bodied color than Light Blonde (both were in the #6 range which supposedly complemented my skin tone). And so after the hair cut, my fingers were crossed and I hoped it would come out as beautiful as I envision it to be.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Surprise Parcel: UNE Beauty

Last year, my friend Evie contacted me on Facebook requesting for Gibo merchandise. At that time, I was campaigning for presidential candidate, Gibo Teodoro, and gladly sent her family ballers, stickers and calendars. Her Dad was so pleased with the merch that Evie said she'd return the favor by sending me some organic/natural cosmetics from the UK where she is based.

Evie was one of my colleagues over at Expedia (PeopleSupport) from way, way back in 2002. We parted ways when I transferred companies and she flew to the UK. I really haven't seen my batchmates since, and I miss them terribly. Thank God for blogs, twitter and Facebook, right?

Anyway, I wasn't really expecting her to send me stuff because I know that we all lead very busy lives. But look what came in the mail today!

Gasp! I love, love receiving parcels, it makes me all warm and fuzzy inside :) And I love how used glittery paper and a cute polka dotted ribbon. So tres chic!

Love the handwritten note, too <3 Do you guys still send notes with your gifts/parcels? I do! Especially for really close friends and loved ones. The art of writing letters (or personalized notes) shouldn't go away, no matter how busy we all are.

Evie knows how I like natural cosmetics, and she gladly sent me my first UNE beauty loot. UNE offers natural, paraben-free cosmetics that enhance our skin rather than hiding it.

UNE prioritises ingredients from natural or organic origin to guarantee that products are not only effective, but also good for the skin and more environmentally friendly.

The packaging is eco-friendly so as to minimize the negative impact on the planet. This means that the sliding packs (for eyeshadows, blushers and pressed powders) have been designed to accommodate refills and the materials used are all recyclable. With all of our suppliers, all plastic waste is sorted and recycled, and for some packaging, waste is non-existent due to its eco-conception.

Finally, we chose to produce most of our packs and products (formulas) in Europe in order to minimize transport and therefore the environmental impact. This is what makes UNE eco-friendly.

"I am natural. I don't hide behind a thick layer or make-up that absorbs my personality. I want make-up that enhances my beauty without concealing it."

I can't wait to try out these awesome goodies! Thank you so much, Evie! XOXO

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Where to shop for graduation dresses

Graduation is easily one of the most memorable experiences in a young adult's life. It puts a climactic and emotional end to several years of preparation for what adults call “the real world.” As the celebration draws near, there is still one more thing that needs our attention before we finally bid farewell to our alma mater: what to wear under our symbolic graduation gown.

Although finding the perfect dress isn’t too much of a concern here, finding the right dress is important. First of all, dress for the occasion. Try to find out first if your school has particular dress codes for the ceremony. Although you might feel tempted to loosen up and wear whatever you think is going to be convenient, recognize the dignity of the occasion and the fact that you have to dress appropriately.

Next, remember that graduation gowns are usually made of thick fabric so whatever you wear underneath should help keep you cool and fresh. Otherwise you’ll end up sweating like a pig – hot, uncomfortable, and sweaty shouldn’t be the words that first come to mind when you think of this joyful day. If your graduation will be held outdoors, your best bet is to choose cool, lightweight fabrics.

A little patience is all you need to find that suitable dress that you can wear not only for your graduation but, hopefully, for several other occasions to come.

Encore Red Tulip Dress w/ scarf P699
It’s been said time and again; SM Dept. Store really offers a lot of well-made dresses that are surprisingly affordable. A good dress can go for P600 to about P1,500 only. One of their exclusive labels, Encore, offers clothes in figure-enhancing and weather-appropriate fabrics such as stretch cotton and jersey.

Blanc et Noir dress below P1,000
As the name suggests, Blanc et Noir offers moslty classic, tailor-cut black and white dresses for about P1,000 and below. If this may seem a little too bland for you, keep in mind that these outfits can work as a blank canvas which you can spruce up with the right accessories. Blanc et Noir dresses can also do double duty as corporate wear later on.

Studio Lace dress with tiered hem P1,199.75
For vintage romantic pieces, try checking out Studio as they incorporate lace, tutus, leopard prints and other interesting combinations in their dresses.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Feast your eyes on something sweet...

April 6, 2011
OPUS RESTAURANT & LOUNGE at Resorts World, Manila

Models: Ornusa Cadness, Sanya Smith, Michelle Pamintuan, Rachel Tan, Halley Chiapazzi
Created by: Samantha Maristela & Karla Zulueta
Cinematographer: AJ Almario

The Chocolate Clothing Co. just got more delish!

For as long as I can remember, I've always been a fan of Chocolate Clothing Co. I love, love their accessories, girly dresses and swimwear. Ruffles, tiered hems, ribbons and quirky prints are things that make me giddy. But sometimes though, their prices were either too steep or I'd fall in love with a piece that was just too big for me. Le sigh. 

I'm really glad that Chocolate recently got a makeover -- their stores are definitely more delish and pretty. Plus they've now got a lot of interesting styles that will surely appeal to the very discerning, fashion forward woman. These photos are from the newly launched boutique in Trinoma:

Monday, March 14, 2011

Pure Beauty Treatment Conditioner

I personally have dry, chemically-treated hair that needs some serious pampering. I take hair care very seriously but I don't have the luxury of going to a salon every few weeks for treatment. To make up for this, I've somehow "collected" a number of hair conditioners, masks and intensive treatments in my bathroom which are all paraben-free (sadly parabens make my scalp itch). And so far, these products have all satisfied my need for soft, silky hair.

From L-R: Treatment Shampoo, Conditioner, Hair Mask, Essence Water, Hair Care Oil
From the Watsons Beauty Lab I attended last week, it was their new Pure Beauty hair care line that first caught my attention. Denise and Jared (from Watsons) advised me that their new hair care line will definitely soften thick, dry and coarse hair. And they even said it is comparable to most high-end hair care brands.

I was intrigued, and so I tried the Pure Beauty Treatment Conditioner when I got home. And here's what I have to say about it:

Thursday, March 10, 2011

The Pure Beauty Youth Restore Black Pearl Range

If there is one thing that's been bothering me as of late, it's the eventual wrinkles and fine lines that aging brings. I am in my late twenties and I have this bad habit of sleeping on my side and face down. We've been told time and again that sleeping face down is such a huge no-no because it can cause creases and deep wrinkles, but yeah, old habits die hard.

So if you're anything like me, you know, nearing thirty and dead-set on riding the anti-aging bandwagon, then listen up. The latest from PURE BEAUTY is the Youth Restore with Black Pearl Skincare Line. This latest line claims to counter the first signs of ageing and appearance of wrinkles caused when the skin’s elasticity begin to fade. This luxury anti-aging skincare line provides special treatment that counteracts dryness, erases signs of wrinkles, creates luminosity and provides radiance for younger-looking skin.

The secret lies in the natural goodness extracted from rare black-lipped pearls found only in Tahiti. The Tahitian black pearls nourishes the skin to give a rejuvenated and flawless effect, while the revolutionary SYN-COLL rebuilds collagen to restore tired, mature skin back to youthful exuberance. The Black Pearl essence and a stem cell activator also helps to restructure and diminish dark spots.

how SYN-COLL works
Additionally, these contain deep-sea water that enriches the skin with abundant ocean minerals and vitamins -- a selection that is further boosted with aloe ferox leaf, rice or algae extracts which are responsible for soothing, antioxidant and moisturizing properties. 

Off the bat, the black, iridescent packaging is just beckoning. It looks so luxurious, don't you think? A part of me is itching to ask this black globe a question, and it may just answer with a 'yes', 'no', 'maybe' or 'seems like it'. Hahaha.

Pure Beauty Youth Restore with Black Pearl Skincare line:

Essence Php 449 / 30ml -  A key product of this range, the Essence provides advanced restorative functions to restructure skin cells and replenish the cell membrane, while neutralising the damage brought by free radicals.  It slows down the aging process and boosts the formation of elastin for tighter, more youthful looking skin.

Night Cream Php 499 / 60ml - The high concentration of SYN-COLL extract helps to nourish the skin during the night to boost skin hydration and enhance its restorative functions.  To restore a healthy glow from within and reduce wrinkles.

Day Cream Php 499 / 60ml - Contains the special Stem Cell Activator that restructures the skin cells during the day to enhance the skin’s metabolism and boosts hydration levels.  Revitalizes and strengthens skin against external factors.

Foam Cleanser -  This unique formula helps the skin retain moisture and softness whilst gently removing dirt and excess oil.  To be used twice daily, it helps to prepare skin to absorb nutrients from other products in the skincare regime.

Eye Gel Php 299 / 15ml - The high concentration of SYN-COLL extract promotes the renewal of the skin around the eye contour area, smoothing fine lines and reducing puffiness.  For more radiant and refreshed looking eyes.

Toner Php 299 / 170ml - This toner soothes and hydrates the skin, reducing the appearance of fine lines whilst energizing and revitalising the skin.  Nano technology helps nutrients to penetrate and improve the skin’s elasticity.

These are all available at Watsons and at the beauty section of all SM Dept. Stores.

The Pure Beauty Super Brightening Range

One trip to the nearest mall and you'll soon be faced with an insane amount of whitening products! I kid you not, Filipinas have always been obsessed with lightening/brightening products in the hopes of having clear, radiant and an even skintone.

I believe we all agree that nasty blemishes, sun spots and other discolorations are things that we all need to address, regardless of our skin color and skin type. The goal is not really whiten like crazy, but to achieve luminous and healthy skin, yes?

So in line with this, Watsons brings us their newest product line, the Pure Beauty Super Brightening range. The line offers natural whitening care for long lasting brightening effect and radiant flawless skin. The Pure Beauty Super Brightening range blends the skin whitening power of AWC (Advanced Whitening Complex) with intensely moisturizing White Flower Complex to hydrate, refresh, protect and visibly brighten your skin.

The products are also mildly scented with a refreshing and pleasant floral aroma. This line not online brightens, but combats aging as well.

Pure Beauty Super Brightening Skincare line:

Multi Cleanser Php 229 / 125ml– An advanced cleansing formula for day and night that rinses off impurities, prevents the formation of melanin and provides a soothing function to brighten and nourish the skin.  Special Vitamin E granules enhance the antioxidant benefits, for a brighter, clearer and flawless complexion.

Toner Php 299 / 150ml  - Follow the Multi-Cleaner with the whitening formulated Toner that provides anti-oxidizing, soothing and whitening functions to combat dullness and enhance skin tone.  Key ingredients, Arbutin and Vitamin B3 help to block the formation of dark skin pigmentation resulting in brighter skin.

Eye Gel Php 229 / 15ml - For brighter looking eyes, this gel has a unique whitening formula that fights against formation of pigmentation and targets puffiness and dark circles, whilst protecting against UV rays and free radicals

Essence Php 399 / 30ml – Used on cleansed skin both morning and night, this essence is quickly absorbed to boost the skins’ whitening process and nourishing functions throughout the day.  It is a concentrated formula that combats pigmentation for whiter, clearer skin with a radiating glow.

Day Lotion SPF 15 Php 449 / 50 ml - A multi-whitening day lotion that moisturises and helps purify skin of pigmentation and blocks oxidation for a clearer, whiter and flawless complexion.  Added SPF 15 helps to protect the skin from harmful ultraviolet rays.  Easily absorbed for enhanced penetration.

Night Cream Php 449 / 50ml – This unique whitening formula effectively helps fight against pigmentation and dullness while you sleep.  Melts into skin for enhanced penetration and boosts the whitening effect overnight.  Results in refreshed, rejuvenated and radiant skin.

I am personally very interested in the essence and the eye gel (am trying it out as we speak). And I'm trying to determine how to incorporate the others in my current skin regimen, but so far, I am liking how these formulations feel light on the skin.

Are you lemming any of these items? Have you tried any product from the Super Brightening line?

These are all available at Watsons and at the beauty section of all SM Dept. Stores.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Watsons Beauty Lab 2011

Anyone who's gone beauty/makeup shopping with me knows that I take the time to scour the aisles for new products and thoroughly read the label to check on the ingredients. I like having all my needs in one place, and it's no surprise that Watsons has always been my go-to store for the past couple of years.

Watsons offers a bevy of beauty innovations -- lotions, cleaners, hair products, you name them and I'm pretty sure Watsons has them exclusively in-store. What's more, I can now depend on Watsons to carry all my internal beauty needs as well like Myra-E, Cosmo and Belo Nutraceuticals. Indeed, Watsons has now become an indispensable part of my shopping lifestyle.

Today, we were invited to witness the unveiling of some of Watsons' new products. I was quite giddy because as beauty blogger/writer who's very particular about skin and hair care, I am always on the lookout for new products to address my sensitive skin and dry, thick hair. First let me share with you what we had for breakfast at 2nds, Fort:

delish Apple Crumble

Finally, I was able to drag Alex to this event. The last time I saw her was at the Robinsons Yuletide Sale last year! (Busy kasi ako e -- Alex)

Monday, March 7, 2011

Gaga over Sanitizer Sprays

I don't know about you, but I have absolutely been going gaga over these sanitizer/potty sprays since last year. I think I may have collected quite a few, but the ones pictured are my current faves.

Why do I love them so much?

Well first of all, the pocket-sized versions are easy to stash in my bag organizer (I have 2 in my bag at all times). Plus they come in a variety of scents:

Potty Spray - tea tree oil scent
Human Nature Spray Sanitizer - citrus burst
Messy Bessy Candy Cane - cinnamon and mint (so Christmas-y!)
Holy Seat - lemongrass

Also, they can be used many ways: surface cleaner, potty spray, disinfectant, anti-bacterial spray, room/linen spray and hand sanitizer (for the natural/organic ones), plus tons of other stuff you can think of -- like making public bathrooms a little bit more tolerable.

These are all cheap, some go as low as Php 35 each (Holy Seat) to Php 190 (Human Nature), and are available at most malls and organic stores. I still have a few that I am dying to get my hands on (like the ones made by Plantex).

And lastly, they're actually cute and nice to whip out in the bathroom. Hee-hee.

Am I the only one or are you loving these new mini lifesavers, too?

Angry Birds VS PVZ

Before we all go back to the daily grind, let me tell you that I couldn't stop gushing about these hats. Finally we found a store nearby that sold them for only Php 295. My sister loves the Sunflower one. We were quite disappointed that somebody beat us to the Peashooter hats though.

I say, if you are going to wear any sort of character/animal hat it better be Angry Birds or PVZ --- and oh, if anyone could direct me to a store that sells Omnom hats, I'd be much obliged :)

And oh lookie here, we also have an Angry Bird bag charm (soon to be released). Wheee!

And my sister is starting to collect PVZ figurines. These are only Php 120 each.

Where do you buy your Angry Birds and PVZ stuff? Share share!