Friday, March 30, 2012

Summer Musings...


How are you guys spending summer this year?

I'm just flying out for a couple of days to visit my Dad in beautiful Mindanao and that's basically it. No month-long summer escapades for me, as I did in previous years. One of the highlights of this month (among other things) is this gorgey pair of sunnies that the boyfriend got me. I haven't seen him recently because we're both too busy (more him than me, actually). And oh, I also got a new mobile phone that I've been pretty fascinated with. I've also been buying purple accessories like crazy -- well, not really. I just got a purple jelly case and a purple leather sleeve *wide smile*.

What's everyone up to these days? :)

Stop Living in a Flat World with Browhaus Brow Resurrection

A few weeks ago we were invited to Browhaus Salon in Serendra, the popular brow salon that Alex has been raving about since last year.

Inspired by Bauhaus, the German architecture movement, Browhaus believes that there is a functionality behind every style. It is this idea that created Browhaus, your one-stop urban grooming pitstop for the look-conscious individual. Offering brow and lash grooming services, Browhaus designs your perfect brow and accentuates your lashes for your best face forward. 
Simply put, Browhaus specializes in grooming and achieving eloquently designed brows. It doesn’t matter if your brows are likened to a bush or the malnourished desert, Browhaus will transform your brows into the best kind of arch you’ll ever have.

Before the actual program, Alex and I had our brows threaded. A lot of people squirm at this idea, because there's this notion that threading hurts. I admit that to a certain degree (especially to newbies) that it might sting a bit. But good news, Browhaus uses a specific type of thread that is thicker than normal and is used specifically for brow threading, and as such it minimizes pain and the risk of skin irritation.


Monday, March 26, 2012

Neutrogena Fine Fairness BB Cream: The 6-Week Journey (plus week 06 winners)

It's been a great 6 weeks of using the Neutrogena Fine Fairness BB Cream UV! So much so that it has become a staple in my skin care routine. I promised Neutrogena that I would use their BB Cream straight for 6 weeks, and I never faltered. Here's a recap of my week 1 and week 6 photos taken under natural sunlight:


It's been hard to take photos in the same location every week since I travel most of the time, but in this quick comparison you'll notice that for week 6 my skin is naturally lighter with an overall radiance. I would like to stress on the word "natural" because it didn't give me crazy white skin and I still look like, well, me ;)

Snoe Beauty Emu.Tox: A Lightweight, Oil-Free Moisturizer for Oily Skin

It's terribly warm nowadays and I really can't stand oily/heavy moisturizers and makeup. Summer is the time I switch to lighter and water-based products as I want my skin to breathe and not be loaded with oil, grease and other pore-clogging stuff. What's a good oil-free moisturizer, you ask?

Check out Snoe Beauty's Emu.Tox:

Pushing innovation to its limit, the Snoe Emutox cutting edge serum fortified with Emu Oil and Acai Berry gives your skin a youthful lift making you look and feel instantly younger. Acai Berry’s potent anti-aging properties defend against the accumulation of pre-mature wrinkles while the Emu Oil’s amazing rejuvenating and moisturizing effects hastens its smoothening effect. Can be used as a primer before you apply your SPF lotion under your make up. 
Ingredients: Deionize water, Carbopol, Propylene Glycol, Acai, Phenoxyethanol, Penetyleneglycol, PEG 40, Triceth-9, Emu Oil, Lycopene, Bengkoang, Vit.b3 (niacinamide), Hyaluronic acid, Arbutin, Retinylpalmitate, Tocopherol (vit.e), Vit C 
Price: Php 449/30ml

Sunday, March 25, 2012

My Silver Lining


We saw this huge sign along A. Mabini, San Juan last Friday and even though it took a couple of wrong turns (there were one-way street everywhere!) we managed to go back and check out this store-slash-warehouse. We love bargains, I tell ya! And the boyfriend loves sneakers.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Review: MAKE UP FOR EVER White Definition Foundation SPF 30 PA++

Summer is upon us and there is no excuse not to protect ourselves from the glaring sun. However, I understand that not a lot of us follow the cardinal rule of sunscreen, and that is to reapply every 3-4 hours. I know, I know. It's so taxing not to mention inconvenient to do so. So thank god for cosmetics that have built-in sun protection in them.


At the previous White Definition Party, the new MAKE UP FOR EVER White Definition Foundation SPF 30 PA++ was introduced to us. And oh yes, it boasts of so many things that are so appropo for combination skin. You know my weakness, anything with a high level of SPF and I'm all ears.

WHITE DEFINITION SPF 30 / PA ++
Brightness, evenness, comfort: the ultimate combination

Created in France in partnership with Japanese laboratories, WHITE DEFINITION is truly the expert instant brightening powder foundation Asian women have been waiting for. 
Its state-of-the-art formula, which contains an optimum blend of the finest-quality powders and pigments, and also incorporates high-level UVA/UVB protection, reconciles three apparently irreconcilable qualities to ensure the professionally perfect result for which MAKE UP FOR EVER is renowned.  
Price: Php 2,950 / 10g

Summeriffic Treats from HBC


Great discounts on Beauty Exclusive products like San San, Hortaleza Professional, Allue My First, Body Recipe and Hortaleza,M.D. when you shop at HBC!

Aside from the mark down, you'll get a chance to take home a FREE HBC Beach Bag for every P500 worth of purchase. The promo is available in all HBC mall-based stores only from March 15, 2012 to April 15, 2012.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Neutrogena Fine Fairness BB Cream Giveaway - Week 06

Here's everyone's quick question for the week, it's the last in this series so put your thinking caps on:


Am I wearing the Neutrogena BB Cream in the photo above? 

Guess correctly and you might a full-sized bottle! Please note that you will have to pick up your prize from the Neutrogena office in Taguig City. And ooh, I can't wait to have lunch/dinner with the girls soon, that's part of my Neutrogena Fine Fairness Beauty Forward Challenge :)

Disclosure: Product given by Neutrogena Philippines. 

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* Contest is for Metro Manila residents only.
* Deadline for entries is March 23 at 10pm.
* Prizes will be claimed at the Neutrogena head office 

Friday, March 16, 2012

Reactivate your curls with TIGI Bed Head Foxy Curls Contour Cream

I've been enjoying my permed hair since December, so much so that I swore several times that I will never go back to straight hair (okay, I hope I don't eat my words again, haha!). It's been 3 months since my first perm, and my "greatest fear" is that day when I'd have to endure another 4 hours at the salon to have my perms redone. People say perms should last for only about 6 months, I'm halfway there and I think I'm getting separation anxiety :(

Anyway, I've stopped using my mousse last January because my hair would feel crunchy and it didn't really do anything to help ease the frizzies. I then settled for a curl defrizzant which was okay to use, but a bit lacking in the hold department. I knew what I wanted -- frizz-free and bouncy curls that would last the whole day.

One of our clients (I work for Outsmark) is TIGI Bed Head and when they asked me if I would be interested in trying out any Bed Head product, I chose Foxy Curls right away without batting an eyelash.

Control your curls and fight the frizz. Foxy Curls Contour Cream defines, shapes and supports style; encourages soft, manageable curls and eliminates frizz.  
Feature/Ingredient:
  • CRC (Curl Responsive Complex) Technology - Defines, shapes and supports curls
  • Superior Styling Polymers - Promotes curl hold and encourages soft, manageable curls
  • Sunflower Seed Extract - UV and thermal protection
  • Jojoba Seed Oil - Eliminates frizz, smoothes curls, enhances shine
  • Panthenol (Pro-Vitamin B5) - Fortifies and moisturises
  • Glycogen - Reinforces hair for added strength
  • Shea Butter - Add shine
  • Green Tea Extract - natural antioxidant 
Price: Php 1,645

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Spur of the moment lunch date at Aria Cucina Italiana

I couldn't sustain it any longer...I was seriously craving for Aria's famous Rucola e Pinoli! And so I dragged the boyfriend one sunny Saturday afternoon to have lunch at Aria Cucina Italiana's newly opened restaurant in High Street. My sister tagged along as well.

Here's a quick breakdown of what we had:

Aria Shake - Php 140
Rucola e Pinoli - Php 590
Cream sauce, mozzarella, fresh arugula and pine nuts

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Calling all bargainistas: Check out the Watsons Switch & Save Campaign

Watsons is a barganista's paradise. Imagine rows and rows of skin care, hair care plus bath and body essentials that are comparable to high end brands yet are conveniently a fraction of the cost. Even though I've been blogging about mostly mid-range and high-end stuff as of late, I am still a true blue bargainista at heart. If not for Watsons, I wouldn't have discovered the Pure Beauty Treatment Conditioner, Pure Beauty Cleansing Oil and my Curls Up Defrizzant (review soon!). 


Last week, Watsons launched their "Switch & Save" campaign which, simply put, allows you to save big bucks without scrimping on quality. If you're saving up for a holiday getaway, or simply itching to get that new gadget then Watsons just might be helping hand you need. 


Tuesday, March 13, 2012

My Tower of Nutritional Supplements

Tell me, do you take any of these aside from your usual vitamins and minerals?


GLOWW - Php 750/30caps

This product was sent to me for review and is made of all natural ingredients. It is touted to improve skin's condition and reverse damage brought about by sun exposure, pollution and imbalanced diet, alcohol consumption, etc. More research on this product says that contains 11 essential nutrients that help nourish our skin's CLBT (color, luminosity, brightness and transparency) thus improving blood circulation, detoxifies skin, strengthens collagen and protects from harmful UV rays.

Dosage: twice daily with meals

ISSHO GENKI SQUALENE 

Who hasn't heard of Squalene back in the 90s? I believe my parents had boxes of these while I was growing up! It's sure nice to know that Squalene is still available today! Squalene, an oxygen supplement, is said to help deliver oxygen to the body, which in turn leads to smoother, brighter and more supple skin.

Dosage: two capsules daily before meals

CIRCULAN - Php 150/10caps

I've been taking this for 5 years already! It's a dietary supplement that contains garlic oil, ginkgo biloba and other herbal stuff that helps improve circulation, normalize sleep pattern, enhance memory and concentration, plus it also helps lessen cramps during my period.

Dosage: one to two caps per day (I cheat, the box says I should take at least 3-6 caps a day)

Did I miss out on anything? I also want to take Wheatgrass tablets, too, since I am not too fond of green, leafy veggies. What about you guys, do you take nutritional supplements? Share! :)

Guest Review: Charm Pro Stippling Brush

Hi everyone! My name is Chrissy and I write a beauty blog called Cosmetic Fixation where I post all about my life with makeup. I love sharing my thoughts and experiences with cosmetics to my readers so I try to post as many reviews and makeup tutorials as I can. I’m a makeup addict and have been for the longest time so I think it was only appropriate that I took the step to become what I always wanted to be—a makeup artist!

With an addiction to makeup comes, naturally, a larger than “normal” makeup collection. I’ve amassed a good few drawers and containers full of the stuff and I naturally rely on tools to help me apply that makeup onto my face (or my client’s faces!). This was why I considered myself lucky when Kira contacted me and asked me to write a review for Charm Pro’s Stippling Brush (thanks Kira!).

“Stippling brushes has captured everyone's heart, may they be makeup enthusiasts or pro makeup artists, as they are very versatile. They can be used dry to pick up a sheer amount of product and give you a flawless finish, and they can be used wet ( like gel/cream blushes and liquid foundations ) that would help you achieve that effortless, flawless finish!
Our Charm PRO Stippling Brush is your ally to natural, but flawless make up! 
Price: Php 700.00

Monday, March 12, 2012

Alex's Ombre Adventure at Azta Urban Salon (plus a giveaway!) - CLOSED

There's nothing like beach-colored waves to get you in the perfect summer mood. Luckily, waves are Alex's specialty --- her hair is thick and gorgey already as we speak! When I asked Alex last week if she was interested to ride on the ombre bandwagon, she jumped right in as she said she was in dire need of a color. I would have jumped in myself but with my permed and already damaged hair, I decided to wait it out until later this year.

So off we went to Robina's Azta Urban Salon. I tell you, having it finally in Tomas Morato is so convenient! Their Katipunan branch is really just too far from me, even though I loved the service and treatment I got.

Azta offers TIGI Bed Head products, too! Yay!
After the initial consultation, Alex's hair was dry shampooed (Azta's signature shampoo style) to get rid of oils, dirt and styling products.

OOTD: In Casual Khaki

Shoe shopping with Alex at our favorite Ferretti store in Glorietta 5!

animal print belt from Divisoria
classic black ballet flats from Ferretti

Ferretti shopaholics unite! :)

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Neutrogena Fine Fairness BB Cream Winners - Week 05


Lady Anne
Anythiiinggoes

In my previous post, I was wearing the Neutrogena BB Cream on the RIGHT side of my face and the Jane Iredale Dream Tint on my LEFT side. Notice how my right cheek looks brighter with an overall more even skin tone, all thanks to the Neutrogena BB Cream!

Congratulations, guys! Please email me at hello[at]kira-ramirez.com. Please be reminded that the prizes must be picked up at the office located in Taguig.

Image courtesy of Clara 

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Tangerine Lips: VMV Subtle Shine Lipstick in Giddy

I don't know why but tangerine has invaded my clothing, shoes and lips! One of my more recent purchases was the VMV Hypoallergenics Subtle Shine Lipstick in Giddy. I've reviewed other VMV lipsticks in the past, and this newest shade invaded my kikay kit faster than I can say "Twin Popsies!"

Rich, satiny, silky-shine lipstick. 
Validated Hypoallergenic: VH -76/76. 100% All-Types-Of-Fragrance-Free. 100% Dye-Phthalate-Paraben + Preservative-Free. Non-Comedogenic. Non-Drying. Non-Darkening. Usage + Patch-Tested. 
Price: Php 1,000

NOTD: Green with Envy by Orly


Had my long overdue manicure and pedicure at Azta Salon in Tomas Morato  this afternoon. I've been their loyal client since last year when I met their fab owner Robina from one of their speed dating events

I wanted tangerine nails for summer, but settled for something that made Alex green with envy, haha. 


My manicurist for the day was Ms. Rosie who, I have to mention, was very nimble and did the job pretty well. No woundssplotched nail polish, or careless manicurists here. Ms. Rosie was very nice and happily retouched my big toe because I ruined the polish twice when I tried to slip on my left shoe! So embarrassing but yeah, I'm OC about my nails, tee-hee.


I love Orly nail polishes because they're free of DBP, formaldehyde and toulene -- three ingredients that contribute to dry, yellow and brittle nails. So if you're like me who can't live with bare [toe]nails, Orly is the way to go!

Summer's coming up and if you're dying to sport Popsicle-hued footsies, I would totally recommend the new Azta Salon in Tomas Morato. The staff is skilled and knowledgeable, very helpful plus the prices are very affordable.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Fluffy and Light like Lemon Macarons: Ptisenbon Tartine et Chocolat

Last week I blogged about visiting FReSH Fragrance Bar in search of a light, summery scent. And I know my post was so bitin, haha, sorry to keep you guys waiting.

Created by Givenchy, Ptisenbon is the first fragrance in a child's life. A fresh, pure, delicate perfume, and ultra-light scent for any baby's or child's skin. The Ptisenbon range includes an alcohol-free skin fragrance for all babies aged between 0 and 2, and a light alcohol-based eau de toilette for older children.
Price: Php 2,950

Tartine et Chocolat, which means "Slice of Bread and Chocolate", is a light lemon citrusy scent that is never overpowering nor cloying, nor is it too sharp. To quote Goldilocks, it smells "just right". Tartine et Chocolat simply makes me feel and smell fresh and clean. The scent reminds me of my carefree days when I sported Denenes and Nenuco (very close resemblance to these two scents), perfect for summer because it doesn't smell too perfume-y nor becomes too heady later on in the day. My boyfriend describes it as a shower-fresh scent, although I think in a perfect world, he'd want me to wear Ralph each and every single day.

I like spritzing Tartine et Chocolat in the office, in the car, everywhere! And it instantly lifts my spirits and transports me to a happy place. I will forever adore this perfume :)

The only downside? Well, it is a baby scent so expect it not to last too long, its longevity will really depend on your skin chemistry and your environment. On a positive note, its lightness does give you an excuse to reapply several times a day; the scent is definitely very light and refreshing, it's the kind of scent that your special someone will only get a whiff of up close :)

Thank you to ARC Public Relations Inc. for giving me a chance to finally get my own bottle of Tartine et Chocolat via their FReSH gift certificate.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Grills & Sizzles Steakhouse + the Galaxy Note makes a cameo!

Perhaps one of the more underrated steakhouse joints in Quezon City, Grills & Sizzles Steakhouse has been in operation for more than a decade. This is our default restaurant for steaks and grilled whatnots, and we always dine here, oh let's say, twice a month or more.


It's a quiet and quaint restaurant that's conveniently located on the corner of Examiner and Times Streets in Quezon City.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Pepper Lunch Express is now open in TriNoMa!


The newest branch of Pepper Lunch just opened on the 2/f of Trinoma Mall in Quezon City. And as of writing at almost 12mn, I am craving for Beef Pepper Rice with mozza. Gah. The servings are a tad smaller and more affordable: only Php 145 (+ 40 for the cheese) for the Beef Pepper Rice vs the regular price of Php 215.


In true fastfood style (it's situated in the 2/f fastfood section beside Razon's), everything is made in less than 5 minutes and in plain view of the customer.


Man oh man, now I'm really hungry. Do you guys love Pepper Lunch as well? What's your favorite Pepper Lunch meal? :)

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Can you tell which is which?

Confession: I haven't been to my Dermatologist's clinic in 2 years, and so recently (like starting last week) I've been trying to make up for lost time by having a facial + diamond peel every 2 weeks. I think at 30 (eep!) I really need to exert more effort to keep my skin clear and healthy. You know me, I'd rather curl up in my bed that go to the Doctor's, haha.


Anyway, here's your quick question for the week. I'm wearing the Neutrogena BB Cream and the Jane Iredale Dream Tint in the photo above. BUT, can you guess which side has the BB Cream -- left or right?

Guess correctly and you might win a full-sized bottle of the Neutrogena BB Cream! I will be raffling off the correct answers next week :)

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Disclosure: Product given by Neutrogena Philippines. 

Exclusively available at Watsons
For more information on this product visit https://www.facebook.com/neutrogenaphilippines
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* Contest is for Metro Manila residents only.
* Deadline for entries is March 9 at 10pm.
* Prizes will be claimed at the Neutrogena head office 

Neutrogena Fine Fairness BB Cream Winners - Week 04


Monica Santos
MAN025

Congratulations, guys! Please email me at hello[at]kira-ramirez.com :)

Believe it or not, I was wearing the Neutrogena BB Cream in this post. I take sun protection very seriously and I wear sunscreen even when I'm set to visit the dermatologist. I also received a lot of interesting comments and props to you guys for really scrutinizing the photo, I'm impressed! Check out my next post and see if you can guess correctly this time! :)

Image courtesy of Clara 

Friday, March 2, 2012

Unsung Hero: Human Nature Aloe Vera & Guava Facial Wash

Organic and natural products are usually a hit or miss for me. My very picky sensitive skin can't tolerate some products in the market regardless if it's natural or not. Having said that, one of products that I've been using on and off is the Human Nature Aloe Vera & Guava Facial Wash (Php 149.75/100ml) which is made for troubled or oily skin.


I was a dealer back then when Human Nature was just starting, and this easily became one of my favorite products. I don't eat the fruit but the facial wash has a fragrant and relaxing scent that I just find delightful. I stash this in my bag when I travel and leave the Bare Naturals No Breakout to Makeup soap at home, both are equally my favorite facial washes.

The Human Nature Aloe Vera & Guava facial wash is a clear gel that transforms into a light foam when mixed with water and gently massaged onto my skin. For someone who has combination-oily skin, this really helps clean my skin thoroughly without leaving it too dry or taut. It actually feels like it has a bit of slip to it when washed off, and my skin feels clean but moisturized.

I was advised by Human Nature customer service that this can also gently exfoliate the skin. Some of my customers also said that they experienced light peeling around the sides of their nose with minor stinging, but thankfully I've experienced none of those. But I would advise to rinse your face well to remove all traces of it.


The Human Nature Aloe Vera & Guava Facial Wash is set to be de-listed soon, and I just bought 3 more bottles as backup. If you check out the reviews section on the website, you'll see that a lot of customers are actually fans of this product; it looks very unassuming on the shelf, but it works great for oily and pimple-prone skin. I'm sad to see this go, so if you're a huge fan, too, you better stock up!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

The MAKE UP FOR EVER White Definition Party


At the MAKE UP FOR EVER High Street boutique, bloggers and press people were treated to a makeover and an endless supply of snacks. MAKE UP FOR EVER  launched their White Definition Instant Brightening Foundation with an impressive SPF 30 PA++ last Wednesday, and let me tell you that this is something I was really excited about. Anything with a brightening effect paired with a high SPF rating and I get insanely curious!

White Definition is a powder foundation which gives an instant, intense brightening effect. It contains a combination of synthetic mica and lamellar mica coated with microspherical structure powder which reflect light in all directions and gives an instant and intense brightening effect.  
Silicon-coated powders selected for their extreme affinity with the skin become hydrophobic and repel environmental humidity to ensure flawless wear, plus elastomeric silicon powder which has a cotton-soft feel, absorbs exces sebum to combat shine even in conditions of extreme heat.