Friday, March 29, 2013

India Travelogue: The Taj Mahal

A quick drive from Agra Fort and we found ourselves in the vicinity of the Taj Mahal. This is it folks, the moment I've been waiting for! Wheee!

This is the gateway to the gardens. People know that the Taj Mahal is a mausoleum but it is actually part of a much larger complex which consists of gardens and several tombs for the wives of Emperor Shah Jahan. The Taj Mahal is the finest example of Mughal architecture, you'll see why a little later.

To better illustrate, here's a bird's eye view of the complex.

The gateway features inscriptions from the Qu'ran on the outside and the structure is made of red sandstone. Shah Jahan practiced religious tolerance during his reign and as such, the Taj Mahal features designs with Christian, Hindu and Islamic influences.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

India Travelogue: The Red Fort of Agra

We were still a little bit high from our city tour when we bid adieu to Delhi. We were hard-pressed for time so after a quick breakfast, we packed our things and went on the 5-hour drive to Agra. I was excited: today is the day we visit the Taj Mahal!

We were assigned a young driver named Chand, who readily took the challenge of driving us from Delhi > Agra > Jaipur > Delhi in a span of 3 days. India is a big country as such each city was about 5-6 hours apart; take into consideration the traffic and heat, and well, we were so thankful that Chand was terribly nice and never complained about the journey.

While on a potty break in the middle of nowhere, I took photos of this souvenir shop which had some interesting (but expensive!) finds.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Review: Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel

While packing for India, I was deciding on whether to bring the Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel or the Mosbeau All-in-One Facial Cream; both can be used as a makeup base and night moisturizer and both are conveniently in gel form. In the end, I decided to bring the former as I anticipated that my skin would need a more "heavy duty" moisturizer (flying in an air-conditioned aircraft and trekking in the midday heat can do damage to skin after all).

This was a full-sized sample given by Neutrogena last year during one of their events, and it's a shame that I only began to use it recently.

The proprietary HYDRO BOOST™ technology combines Hyaluronic Acid and Olive Extracts and works like a virtual reservoir to continuously supply up to 400% more moisture to dry skin cells. It keeps skin softer and suppler with a lasting healthy glow for up to 24 hours. The water-based gel formula also feels light and refreshing on the skin, perfect for the Filipina amidst the country’s hot and humid weather. 
Price: Php 830

Friday, March 22, 2013

Mir & Ryvi Organic Banana Soap

Long time readers of my blog would know that I have always been partial to natural and/or organic products. I prefer to use products that are paraben, sulfate and dimethicone-free (and of natural origin if possible), however because of my stringent skin care requirements and sensitivities to some natural ingredients (natural toners give me dermatitis), my current skin care routine strikes a good balance between using natural/organic and regular products. When I say regular, I mean those that I can readily purchase in the malls with all those "nasty chemicals" that others seem to stay away from. I'm not a purist and I do bend the rules sometimes.

The makers of Mir & Ryvi Home of Organics sent me their soaps last month, and for that I am very thankful. I've always been supportive of indie brands and their social enterprises, and sometimes these local brands even have better products than their commercial counterparts.

Myr & Ryvi Home of Organics Company was founded by Laiden Pedriña who has been working for non-government organizations and international development projects for years, until she realized that business and development can be integrated and business can also be a platform for social advocacies.

The brand's first offerings are soaps in 3 variants: Banana, Tomato and Papaya. These are cold-processed to retain the necessary nutrients and vitamins for the skin. The raw materials are sourced from certified organic farms in Laguna while natural extracts are sourced as far as the Amazon.

The soaps are wrapped in thick, matte paper. Very classy!
Our Seal Of Commitment is: People-Nature-Science 
People: We value our employees and the process of making our products from sourcing the ingredients to bringing it to our customers 
Nature: We value environment-friendly processes
Science: When we [create] our products, we make sure to only use ingredients that are clinically proven effective.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

India Travelogue: New Delhi

It took me almost 3 months to prepare for our India trip, the tickets were expensive and there were a lot of warnings from friends regarding the food ("Delhi belly") and the unsafe water. But, we were determined to visit the Taj Mahal by March, and so we booked our tickets via Philippine Airlines and planned a tour to the Golden Triangle (Delhi, Agra, Jaipur). We also brought several bottles of mineral water with us, just to be sure :D

So this first post is all about the sights and sounds of Delhi, our first stop. We were fortunate that the PAL crew was insanely nice to us and made the 9-hour trip from Manila-Bangkok-Delhi more than bearable. I still don't like flying for more than 5 hours, so 9 hours was already a stretch for me. We arrived at 3am Delhi time (Delhi is behind Philippine time by approximately 2 1/2 hours), we were so surprised that the weather was chilly. A quick Google showed that in the early morning, India temperatures can reach as low as 13 degrees! Wow, good thing I brought my scarf to keep me warm.

The flight was so tiring, and we had a full day ahead of us. At this moment, I still didn't have an idea of what kind of adventure India would give us.

The next morning, we were up and about by 7am and had breakfast. Our call time was 8:30 am and (as first days go) we were excited to go on the city tour in Old and New Delhi. Presenting, the Venga Bus (haha): 

Tish, Mom, Al, Chia, Dad, Me

Monday, March 18, 2013

The Glamourbox March Box: It's All About Us!

Folks, I just got back from India and I cannot wait to share with you all the adventures we had the past 6 days. It was a grueling week, I tell ya, definitely one for the books. So I hope I can blog about the cities and kingdoms we visited this week or next, just give me enough time to get well from my cough and colds :(

Anyway, I love receiving packages so I was delighted that my Glamourbox box arrived today. It's certainly one of the surprises I look forward to every month.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Our MAC x Archie's Girls Adventure

When my sister heard about the MAC x Archie's Girl collection, she went bonkers! She was adamant about purchasing the lipsticks, especially when we saw the swatches online. I wasn't too keen on getting some initially. I was a huge fan of Archie comics but I didn't really care much about the MAC collection since I didn't want to spend so much a day before our flight to Delhi.

This morning, my sister woke up early and trooped to Trinoma to reserve her favorite shades. Impressively, she arrived before the mall opened and when she got to the MAC counter, looked for our fave MUA/SA Emm and reserved Daddy's Little Girl, Ronnie Red, Betty Bright and Strawberry Malt. She was advised that they start selling at 2pm but reservations are accepted. My sister was #11 on the list.

As if to entice me, she even sent me a Whatsapp message with these swatches with a message: "Come, quick! The shades are pretty!"

From top to bottom: Betty Bright, Daddy's Little Girl, Kiss Don't Tell, Strawberry Malt, Mall Madness
After several phone calls and photo exchanges, I decided to just go and check out the shades. What have I got to lose, right?

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Must-try: Avon Life Boost Supplements

I am a very picky eater, I've been one since birth I suppose. I know I need to include more veggies and fruits in my diet whilst eating less carbs and dark meat. But sometimes, I get so busy at work I don't have time to evaluate my food choices and I just grab whatever's more convenient and cheaper which usually defaults to fastfood. Yuck, I know!

That only means I don't get to eat a balanced diet and usually turn to vitamins, minerals and nutritional supplements to compensate. I'm so glad that Avon decided to release their own Life Boost Supplements which are very affordable and offer the right amount of vitamins and minerals as required per day. 

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Eye of Horus Natural Mascara Giveaway

I've blogged about the Eye of Horus Natural Mascara a few months back, and I'm happy to report that I've been using it since without experiencing any irritation or allergies. As it is formulated with natural nourishing waxes, the Eye of Horus Natural Mascara is perfect for ladies who have sensitivities and brittle lashes (the oils help nourish our peepers). Plus, it never smudged or gave up on me even after crying (click here to read more about that, haha).

Curious about this award-winning product? Two readers of my blog, Elegantly Wasted, will stand a chance to win a full-sized version of this hardworking natural mascara. The mechanics are ultra simple:

Friday, March 1, 2013

The heat is on with SM Accessories!

Say hello to the warm summer months with the newest collection from SM Accessories! Featuring bright hues and drool-worthy accessories that will perfectly complement your summer tan!

SM is also giving away cool must-have accessories for summer. Stay tuned as they announce the details on the ff sites: