Sunday, July 31, 2011

OMG! Swensen's is coming to Manila!

My favorite ice cream parlour is invading Manila! I almost squealed in delight when my sister sent me this MMS message earlier today:

Yes folks, Swensen's is officially opening in the Mall of Asia!

The first time I tasted Swensen's in BKK, I couldn't get over how creamy and delish their ice creams are! I can't wait! In the meantime, here are some photos our Swensen visit last year:


Saturday, July 30, 2011

New accessories @ SunLab, Gaisano Mall

I've been preparing for the Kadayawan Festival on August which is Mindanao's biggest and most anticipated festival. The term "Kadayawan" is derived from the Mandaya word “madayaw”, a warm and friendly greeting used to explain a thing that is valuable, superior, beautiful, good, or profitable.

These are all currently available under the EarthlyDelights label at SunLab in Gaisano Mall, Davao:


Friday, July 29, 2011

Solenn Heussaff: the new face of Asian Secrets

I've always regarded scrubs as important in one's beauty regimen. If there's one thing that I can't stand, it's rough elbows and heels. I'm glad that with Asian Secrets, I can scrub to my heart's content without leaving my sensitive skin raw or red. I've been using it since November and am pretty happy with it -- check out my review here.

In case you haven't heard, the beautiful Solenn Heussaff is Asian Secrets' new celebrity endorser. This Filipina-French fashion designer, makeup artist, painter, celebrity, model and singer (whew!) is the new face of the brand. Quite the perfect model as she has incredibly smooth, even-toned skin. I am envious...

Here are some photos from the Asian Secrets press launch held at SM Beauty in Makati a few weeks ago, where we were given a chance to meet and greet Solenn.


Thursday, July 28, 2011

Human Nature Natural Moisturizing Shampoo & Conditioner

Here's a quick review of Human Nature's new natural shampoo and conditioner. I've been using them since June when it was first released and I've used up both bottles since then.

A little background on my crowning glory...

I have medium-length, thick, wavy hair that's been colored recently and rebonded a few years prior. My hair is prone to tangles and is quite dry. I don't scrimp on conditioner and I apply hair masques every week like clockwork. I try to pamper my hair as much as I can, and I use both natural and regular conditioners/masques. My favorite at the moment is the Pure Beauty Treatment Conditioner which makes my hair crazy soft!

Natural Moisturizing Shampoo with CREAMFoam Technology - Php 129.75/200ml
A huge scientific breakthrough from Human Nature Natural Care Labs! CREAMFoam® works like a lotion together with Philippine coco nectar and pure avocado oil to keep your hair soft and moisturized from roots to tips. 24 amino acids, 17 vitamins and 14 minerals give you truly healthy hair without the dryness or irritation from chemical shampoos. 96.4% natural.
Natural Moisturizing Conditioner - Php 289.75/500ml
The conditioner that truly cares for you hair with avocado oil, seaweed extract and organic virgin coconut oil leaving your hair soft & healthy. 100% natural.
Let's face it, I was really drawn to the "creamfoam technology" bit. I've been using Human Nature shampoos (the clear ones) for two years already and I am such a fan, but yeah, they lack in the moisturizing department. So I was really curious if this new variant will indeed moisturize my hair and scalp better than their previous formulas.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Coral pink fantasy

Some of the things that I've been fancying lately. Coral pink is great in this cold, drab weather, right?

Chanel Heart Gold Chain Flap Bag
Coral Pink Cherry Blossom ring
I miss ballet...le sigh
My Etude House nail polish for the past week:

What's YOUR favorite pick-me-up lacquer? Spill!

You are invited to an exclusive Trunk Show!

My lovely readers are invited to an exclusive TRUNK SHOW featuring fashion designer JOHN PARAS plus evening bags and accessories designer RESHMA CHULANI for their Holiday 2011 collection.

We hope to see you there! :)

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Swatches: NYX Hot Pink and NYX Pink Lyric

And my pink escapade continues...

I'm going crazy over these new NYX shades, so much so that I retired my NYX Louisiana lip color and am toting these new tubes with me everyday. Yes, I still love my EL Pure Color Pink Lolita to death, but these are great pink alternatives, too!

They sort of look alike in the tube, but you'll notice the difference when swatched:

click to enlarge
HOT PINK - a blue-based bubblegum pink in a creme finish. It's not super fluorescent nor overly bright, but it's still pink enough to draw some attention to your face.

PINK LYRIC - this is a more subdued medium pink. I'd say it's a little deeper than Hot Pink and definitely less blue-toned. Has a creme finish as well.

I got these from Makeup Design Academy's kiosk which I blogged about last April. These were Php 315 each (with 10% discount). You can get these cheaper online but I wanted to "try before I buy" hence the visit.

I'll post some side-by-side comparisons with my other pink lippies soon :)

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Estee Lauder Pure Color Lipstick in Pink Lolita

I've been a bargainista all my life, but I secretly splurge on high-end products too! Since my focus has always been on skin care, my makeup splurges have always been kept to a minimum. However, I do purchase lipsticks from MAC, NARS and Lancome even waaay back in college. I remember being a H-U-G-E fan of Lancome's now defunct Juicy Rogue line, that I ended up buying 2 backup lipsticks of "Abracadabra" just in case they ran out. Yes, I can be pretty obsessive about lip color as well. And yes, they did run out of that shade eventually.

One of my newest obsessions is the Estee Lauder Pure Color Lasting Lipstick which I won at a contest last month. It's my first ever Estee Lauder lip color and to be honest, I've been wearing it nonstop since.

An intense lipstick enriched with lip-loving ingredients, including apricot kernel, shea butter and murumuru butter that leave lips soft and creamy smooth. Provides long-lasting, fade-resistant medium-to-full, buildable coverage.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Mustard flats

I spent a really nice day with Kari of Pretty Owlsome yesterday. Seeing as we are both Trinoma mall rats, we agreed to meet for lunch in Mary Grace Cafe and go shopping afterwards. Our first destination was supposedly the MAC counter but tough luck as it was being renovated and will be operational again on Friday, July 23. *sadness*

Anyway, Kari was in the hunt for accessories and ended up buying this gorgeous scarf at Accessorize which, by the way, is on 70% off clearance sale. This scarf was such a steal at around Php 270!

And finally, I was able to satiate my craving for mustard-colored things. I got these mustard flats over at Shoebox & Me for only Php 399. The suede-like lining was perfectly soft and comfy, perfect shoes for walking and shopping if I may say so myself. Methinks I'll go back and purchase one in red and beige as well.

PS: I'm a size 1 in Shoebox & Me. Who knew.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Great Cuts by Angelo Justin

A few weeks ago I decided to have a long overdue haircut. And this time with Alex in tow, we went to check out Great Cuts by Angelo Justin Salon which is located on the 2nd floor of Hotel Intercontinental Makati. That's the beauty of being in Makati, everything is so accessible!

I wasn't specific on any hair style and decided to just have a trim since I didn't want to go any shorter. Alex was adamant about having highlights done for a very *top secret* shoot the next day, hrhr. First up, we met up the mane man himself, Angelo Justin, who is known for his trademark "precision cut". Angelo got his training from no less than Vidal Sassoon and Toni & Guy and was KC Concepcion's stylist for many years back when he was with Basement Salon. How timely since Alex also styles KC, yes?

So, I'm up first on the very fab zebra-printed chair:


You might be surprised that I'm having my hair blow-dried early on in the process. Apparently for his "precision cut" technique, hair has to be washed then blow-dried to perfection before Angelo can work his magic. Prolly not the best method for me, since I want the hairstylist to see how wavy and unmanageable my hair really is sans the blowdry. But you can see from the photo that my hair is pretty much very, very long already.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Human Nature Love Minerals Foundation in Orient Pearl

As much as I can, I try to choose all-natural or organic alternatives. I am NOT a carrot-chewing radical, mind you, but I try to lessen my use of commercial/chemical products whenever possible. Now because I love my Pur Minerals foundation to death, I got intrigued with our local Human Nature Love Mineral pressed mineral foundation and decided to get myself a compact.

I've had my Love Minerals pressed mineral foundation in Orient Pearl since January and I was initially on the fence about this product. Seven months later, here's what I have to say about Human Nature's first mineral makeup:

Human Nature Love Minerals powder foundation has sheer to medium coverage and contains Rice Bran Oil, a long-time Japanese secret for beautiful, youthful-looking skin, as well as Rice Powder, a natural skin mattifier which helps improve skin texture. No talc, no parabens, no mineral oil, no silicone, no artificial fragrance, no artificial dyes, no alcohol or other toxic ingredients.

Prior to purchase I've done a little bit of research and even though most users say that the coverage was sheer, I went out and bought one anyway. So needless to say, I wasn't sorely disappointed with what this little powder had to offer. Indeed, let me reiterate that the coverage is indeed sheer. Having said that, it can only do a so-so job of concealing blemishes or discolorations.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

What's new: Maybelline Clear Smooth All In One Shine-free Foundation SPF 25

Spotted these in the department store today, a new Clear Smooth Foundation from Maybelline. How does it differ from the their previous release, the Clear Smooth Extra Shine-free Powder Foundation? Check out some key points below:

  • SPF 25 (5 points higher than their previous release, the Clear Smooth Extra Shine-free Powder Foundation) and PA++
  • sebum and water-repellent powders to help keep skin matte 
  • very pigmented
  • long-wearing, breathable and lightweight makeup
  • covers pores, spots, blemishes
  • has a non-cakey, smooth finish
  • comes in 4 Asian shades 
  • encased in a wider, pink plastic packaging with a separate compartment for the sponge (see photo above)

I was able to swatch Nude Beige (my usual Maybelline foundation shade) and I can say compared to the old formula, the Clear Smooth All In One Foundation offers a lighter, more yellowish shade which is better suited for my NC30 skin tone. I also noticed that the powder is finer and really blends over the skin and pores.

Prices: Compact foundations are Php 249.00. The refills, on the other hand, also come with their own sponge and container (similar to In2It refills). Sorry I forgot how much the refills are.

Have you guys tried this? Let me know how it works for you :)

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Alba Moisturizing Cream Shave in Aloe Mint

Waxing has been an integral part of my routine for the last decade or so. I'm really happy that a lot of good waxing salons have been sprouting in all the major malls, there's really no good reason not to choose waxing over shaving anymore. But sometimes, the situation calls for a quick shave rather than a quick wax. Let's say, whenever I'm in between sessions and a good event comes up (or a good date, haha), a quick jump in the shower with a razor will get things done in less than 10 minutes.

So basically what I'm saying is, I do cheat and shave sometimes. However, I've always been partial to creams or gels as opposed to foams. One day, I will go through laser hair removal but for now, I'll stick to shaving and waxing.

Anyway, one of the products that I am currently loving is Alba Botanica Cream Shave in Aloe Mint (Php 200/235ml).

A soap-free and highly emollient cream that is enriched with jojoba, vitamin E and organic botanicals. The highly concentrated and hydro-active cream formula provides ideal protection against drying and chaffing, while maximizing absorption of water, to lift and soften unwanted hair for effortless razor glide, thus reducing the risk of nicks, cuts and irritation.

Monday, July 11, 2011

What color is your parachute?

Hallo everyone, my week started out pretty nasty but I'm home now and trying to get back on my feet. While I was at the  hospital though, I was able to clear my mind and get enough sleep. It's sorta nice to be able to just sleep all day and not worry about so many things. During the times I was awake, I was seriously bored (I dislike watching TV) but I am so glad ze boyfriend kept me company. I was able to bring this new book I've been reading since Friday, "What Color is Your Parachute?" which is basically a job hunter's manual.

It's an easy-to-read book that discusses how to find that proverbial "dream job" that everyone's been searching for (does it even exist at all?). Are you in need of a career change or just a promotion? Be employed or self-employed?

Plus it features non-traditional ways of developing and rekindling social networks, plus a workbook to determine your [transferable] skills. It's an informative albeit humorous book that isn't preachy nor too condescending for those who are in-between jobs. I'd say if you are in a rut or experiencing quarter-life crisis, this book is for you. My sister borrowed this from a friend and even if you're happy with your current job, this book is still a must-read.

Anyway, my week's gonna be pretty steady (I'm under house arrest, haha) except for this weekend because it's ze boyfriend's birthday! Yay!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Dinner Date at Mary Grace Cafe

Sharing some photos from my dinner date with Mom earlier this week. This time we decided to try Mary Grace Cafe as we've been hearing that their pasta dishes were really delicious. Well, I love anything with cream on it (hee-hee) so I was willing to try out this new place.

my Mom is so cute no?
pretty doilies

Friday, July 8, 2011

Visiting the House of Obagi

There are numerous skin care brands out there, but most of them I can only appreciate from afar. House of Obagi is one of them. I can only imagine why some skin care enthusiasts drop P10-20 grand for a skin care set or service, when I prefer purchasing from the other end of the spectrum.

As this task of researching about House of Obagi was given to me by my editor (hi Liz!), it was something that I took in stride because I was greatly curious about the brand and its popularity not only amongst celebrities, but among common folk as well. By common folk I mean people like me who aren't born with perfect skin, alas, I too have combination/oily skin that is made far more complicated by extreme sensitivity.

So off I was to House of Obagi in Greenbelt to talk to their Medical Director, Dr. Stephen Lacson. While I was waiting in the reception area, I noticed that the medical boutique (albeit small) had their schedule packed for the day, even some willing to be wait-listed beyond 7PM. So Obagi products and services must work, eh? Furthermore, the staff (hello Gillian!) was extremely well-mannered and well-spoken, I was truly impressed.

All of the Obagi products are displayed on the shelves, each with corresponding testers which, admittedly, I took extreme delight in swatching. But first a little background on HOO...

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

We heart Kylie!

I still can't get over Kylie Minogue's "Aphrodite" concert last night! It was all impromptu as I really had no plans of watching, but at the last minute decided to grab a pair of tickets just a mere few hours before the show.

The "Aphrodite Tour 2011" was inspired by Greek mythology and culture thus featuring an array of specially designed props, including a 14-feet tall golden Pegasus, a golden Chariot, 5 video screens, and a sweeping staircase.

Kylie had an entourage of aerialists and mysterious flying angels. Costume-wise, the show featured 200 glamorous outfits and 100 different pairs of shoes that were made of over a million diamante crystals and nearly 1,000 feathers. I read the Aphrodite herself wore bespoke Dolce & Gabbana costumes for the entire show.

It was such an adventure -- I am a self-confessed fan of Kylie and I totally, heart-stoppingly (is there such a word?) love her song "Love at First Sight". It's worth mentioning that my sister and I went to Araneta Coliseum straight from work amidst the pouring rain. Several times we decided to abandon the idea, but the ticket prices weren't something we can just instantly dismiss, they were expensive after all.

Kylie was just the sweetest and thanked the audience several times saying "Mabuhay!", "Mahal ko kayo!" and "Salamat po!".

The numerous costume changes, the grandiose set, dazzling glitter and sexy dancers -- clearly Kylie spared no expense, we were left mesmerized. She truly is the ultimate diva!

And let me leave you with a video of my LSS of the moment, Kylie's "All the Lovers": 

For those who missed her, don't worry for I truly believe she will be back soon. As she said during the concert, she can't believe she hasn't visited Manila sooner. She then spanked her bum and said, "Naughty, naughty [Kylie]!" :D

Photo sources: Noypistuff, The Manila Paper, Navarro

Monday, July 4, 2011

I won the Estee Lauder contest!

A few weeks ago I joined Project Vanity's Estee Lauder contest. I think I joined rather late and I wasn't really expecting to win, not to mention that I was feeling kind of down. I've been noticing that I've been feeling emotionally-drained right now, on account of having so many things on my plate. I feel like I have to let go of some things in my life in order to set things straight. Le sigh.

This was my entry to the contest:
My mood for the day is Pink Lolita. We're in this weird interim weather where summer has passed and it's supposedly the rainy season but the heat of the sun says otherwise. I think Pink Lolita is a nice bright color that is youthful and can cheer up anyone's day. For someone like me who is borderline thirty (ha!) and is somewhat juggling so many things in my personal life (just found out the boyfriend's dad has hepatocellular CA), I badly need some cheering up.

I've seen first hand what CA can do to a person, all of my lolas from my mother's side died of cancer --- colon, skin, blood, kidney, etc. Which is why our family takes health care very seriously, and why I learned the importance of using sunblock early on and eating right.

Anyway, I was very happy and thrilled that Estee Lauder Philippines chose my entry as one of the winners -- yay! It was totally unexpected! And last Tuesday I was able to meet the glam girls behind the brand for some chitchat over Raan coffee (thanks Rizel, Krishna and Liz!). Here's what I won:

Sunday, July 3, 2011

What's new: Garnier BB Eye Roll-on and Hylexin

Here are two new products I spotted this week, all created to help alleviate the tired look of under-eye circles. First, there's new Garnier Instant Fairness BB Eye Roll-on which claims to depuff eyes with its caffeine ingredient plus "conceal" with its tinted gel-cream formula.

Testers aren't provided yet so I don't have an actual swatch of the tint. I suspect this could be a repackaged version of their previous release, the Garnier Anti-Dark Circles Tinted Roll-on (click for review).

If memory serves me right, I experienced allergic reactions last year when I tried Garnier's untinted eye roll-on possibly due to the caffeine content. So I am pretty much laying off any Garnier products right now, though I have to admit the eye cream-slash-concealer marketing ploy is pretty interesting.

Garnier BB Eye Roll-on is Php 229.00

Next, Hylexin has reached Philippine shores. Created by Bremenn Research Labs, this "Serious Dark Circles" cream was developed specifically to reduce stubborn and serious under-eye circles and visible puffiness.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Join the Watsons Beauty Hunt

Get chance to bring home a Watsons loot bag daily by joining Watsons first ever online game:

The game is pretty easy, I just finished it myself. All you have to do is to move the magnifying glass over the product shelf and hunt for the products on your shopping list. You are given 60 seconds to complete the list.

If you don’t find all of the products within 60 seconds, don’t fret, you can play again. The more number of times you complete the game by finding all the products within 60 seconds, the more chances of winning. You can read the full mechanics here.

Here's another good thing that Watsons is cooking up: users will soon have access to e-coupons from all the participating brands namely: Deonat, Hair Treats, Cyleina, Spa Essentials, ONE Naturales and Natures Organics. 

For more information visit