Friday, November 29, 2013

Poreless Perfection with Ellana Minerals

When I heard that Ellana Minerals was re-launching, I couldn't contain my excitement! You can ask every beauty blogger, they'd tell you that Ellana was their first mineral makeup brand. Back in 2006, mineral makeup was all the rage as it was deemed safer and more compatible with sensitive skin. Ellana was proudly a local brand, and I've been to their showroom in West Avenue several times just to swatch and restock on my mineral powders.

If you're new to mineral makeup, you should know that Ellana Minerals is made of high cosmetic grade pigments, it's paraben-free, oil-free, does not contain unnecessary fillers, binders, and fragrance, and free from unhealthy nano particles.

Last week's blogger launch was held at Rastro in Burgos Circle where we were given a peek at the new reformulated line with packaging illustrated by top Pinay illustrator, Soleil. *Kira faints*


I always found loose powders somewhat cumbersome to bring around, so I mostly left my Ellana powder at home and touched up mid-day with another product. Good thing the awesome folks at Ellana decided to repackage some of our favorites and encased them in compacts! Woohoo!

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Sneak Peek: INGLOT opens in the Philippines


Polish cosmetics brand, INGLOT, has finally invaded our Philippine shores! An intimate press and blogger event was held today at their flagship store in Glorietta 5 where we were able to swatch to our heart's desire! 

the Freedom Bar
Established over 30 years ago by Wojtek Inglot, INGLOT is now famous for offering high quality cosmetics at very reasonable prices. The brand prides itself in using only the best possible ingredients from only the most reputable suppliers from Japan, USA, France, Germany, UK and Italy.


We were all given a palette which we have to fill with eye shadows, concealers, lip shades, and/or blushes of our choice. This is INGLOT's unique "Freedom System" which allows customers to experiment with countless shades and combinations and create their unique and personalized palette. Quite intuitive as your palette will only contain the shades that you love, and none of the shades that you don’t.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Kate Moss Fragrance Giveaway Winner

Apologies for the delay in the announcement of the winner. A lot of things happened since the contest launched, but I'm done reading all the entries and we finally picked a winner. 


Aviva Domasian
I would name it Aviva because I want it to be me, to be unique, to be uncommon. I would definitely incorporate vanilla into the fragrance because I looooove vanilla fragrances. I would also include some musk in order to temper the sweetness of vanilla, so that it would also appeal to a more mature market.
Congratulations, Aviva! Please email me your full name, mailing address, and mobile number to hello[at]kira-ramirez.com. :)

Sunday, November 24, 2013

They're back! VMV Hypoallergenics Holiday Sets

The VMV Holidays Sets are back! These pint-sized versions of their bestsellers are the perfect gifts for your loved ones (especially those skin sensitivities) or for yourself. I love travel sizes so I can't wait to get my hands on these!

Here's a quick rundown:


Very Merry VMV: Creams de la Crème

It’s lovely weather for a sleigh ride together with “dew”. Feel younger, brighter and utterly cared for (even when on the go!) with travel sizes of our mmmost popular mmmoisturizers, cozily packaged & ready to gift.

Each box contains 1 each:

  • Re-Everything® Face-Hand-Body Lotion (30 mL)
  • Creammmy-Rich Intensive Moisture Milk (50 mL)
  • NEW: Essence Skin-Saving Hand + Body Smoother (50 mL)

Price: Php 490.00 (a Php 700.00 value) 


Very Merry VMV: You’ll Love The Bubbles!

Our yummiest, creamiest bathing “dew”ties.The weather outside may be frightful, but your bath shall be delightful!

Each box contains 1 each:

  • Essence Skin-Saving Clark Wash Hair + Body “Big-Softie” Shampoo (15 g)
  • Essence Skin-Saving Conditioner (50 mL)
  • Essence Skin-Saving Clear + Clean Body Soap (135 g)

Price: Php 600.00 (a Php 745.00 value)

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Remembering Pnut: May 23, 2003 - October 23, 2013

At a recent event, a good blog friend Ae of An Artechoke, had heard about Pnut and offered her condolences. As a pet owner herself, she was also very sad about his passing. She told me the sad reality is that no matter how much we take good care of our pets, we will always outlive them. That thought has haunted me since because it is true. I've had so many pets before (including a hamster named Caramel who I've even travelled with in a airplane, who after 2 years in my care died in my hands and I spent a good 2 hours in the bathroom crying incessantly) and I've always been very attentive to their needs but still they stay for only a few years and then move one. I still end up heartbroken. 

Baby Pnut in 2003 (taken using a Nokia 7250)
Pnut having a blast in the park, circa 2005

Friday, November 22, 2013

My Colorwash Experience

Okay, first things first. I don't own any designer bags, haha. I just don't invest in them, but my sister does! And she swears by Colorwash Serendra branch.

A few months ago, she let me "borrow" her Coach Patchwork Quilted bag which I found to be the cutest. I used it everyday for work (que horror) until it became too dirty. The suede parts rubbed against my skin and some of the hairs on the leopard print fabric were starting to come off. By late October, it was time to bring it to Colorwash.


After a quick consultation and inspection of the bag, I checked it in for cleaning and [slight] repairs. I was advised to come back in a week. I was so excited...but was so busy at the same time so I asked my sister to pick it up instead.


Oooh, it's like unwrapping a present! Let's check out the before and after:

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Komiki's New Lease on Life

For 3 weeks I've been deeply considering switching to the vet that my friend has been recommending ever since she learned about Pnut's passing. Part of me is just too lazy to switch to a new vet altogether, yet another part of me is constantly nagging telling me to get a move on. So last Saturday, I woke up early (something that I try to not do on weekends because, hey, it's the weekend!), got ready, prepared Komiki and headed to Dogs N Us.

I spoke with Dra. Olive Inocencio who was apparently expecting me since my friend, Ijin, had previously told her about Pnut's condition. I explained that that reason I wanted to switch was that I needed a vet that was close by in case there would be any emergencies.

I told Dra. Olive about Pnut's sickness, the symptoms he showed years prior, and how I wasn't able to reach him that afternoon he passed away. I was advised that that moment I saw him contort, I should've brought him in for a full check up as he might have had a liver disease early on. She said that Pnut's sickness could have progressed slowly, over the years, resulting to an increase in blood toxicity, distention of the kidney which led to the bloating, etc. It was painful for me to think that Pnut has been suffering all these years, and I cried (my heart is still heavy with guilt and regret) because I was really so sad that I had no idea and was unable to help him. When Pnut turned 5, I was so focused on preventing rheuma or patella luxation that I wasn't aware of the risks of kidney and liver diseases because I thought he was such a healthy Chihuahua and was well taken care of.

She explained everything in medical terms (I love it when people explain everything to me, ignorance is not bliss!) which helped me accept the fact that Pnut's passing was probably for the best. At least, he's not suffering anymore. Dra. Olive also told me, "That's the irony of life, [we take care of our pets but they won't live forever]. I won't promise heaven and earth for your dogs, but I promise to prolong their life as best we can." And that was enough for me.

So happy after her first pro grooming!
I had the staff administer a general check up on Komiki via blood chemical profile and a complete blood count. I brought her booklet so they can analyze her previous shots, and Komiki also had her first professional grooming. I am so proud of her because she wasn't fussy at all (at home she'd bark, bite, and even try to escape), the staff was so nice and Komiki appreciated that, so she was calm the whole time.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

New product alert: b.liv by Cellnique

A few months ago, I was given this instriguing skin care kit from b.liv by Cellnique. It's a brand that's popular in Malaysia (if I'm not mistaken) and I was fortunate to have met their Marketing Executive during his visit to Manila

I've been told that b.liv is a brand that is marketed towards teens and adults with troubled complexions, who battle acne, comedones, large pores, and scars/spots from previous breakouts. The name "b.liv" is a contraction on the word "believe", and is also a union of the words “be” and “live” aiming at forming a lifestyle motto that encourages b.livers to “live the moment".


I was given a full set based on my current skin condition: sensitive skin that's blackhead-prone, with minimal fine lines, and slightly dark circles around the eyes. I did emphasize that my skin is [hyper]sensitive and is prone to flare-ups and they assured me that b.liv is suitable for sensitive skin. They also offer a 30-day money-guarantee.

I got the following in my kit:


The kit was impressively placed in a reusable tin container. If there was one thing that I was initially drawn to, it's the cute packaging and labels! Once my skin normalizes, I'd love to test these. Which would you like me to test first? :)

Monday, November 11, 2013

Holiday Lips: PIXI Tinted Brilliance Balm in Bitten Berry

Working for Glamourbox, I've discovered a lot of fun and interesting beauty products over the last 7 months. My relationship with some products are fleeting, while some have taken up permanent residence in my vanity kit. While admittedly I am not a huge makeup person, lip products and bases/foundations are my Waterloo.

I've gushed about the PIXI Beauty Tinted Brilliance Balm in Bitten Berry on my social media accounts but never really got around to reviewing it. So here goes!

Packed with lip-loving ingredients, this glossy gel balm protects & hydrates lips instantly. After the balm wears off, lips are left tinted with a flattering, personalized hue just for you (colour & intensity depends on pH level of lips). Twist-up crayon requires no sharpening. Secure lid after use. 
Price: Php 760/3g

Saturday, November 9, 2013

My Aromatherapy Swedish Massage at Ki by Neo Day Spa

Is it just me or is November just really a crazy, crazy month? I can't wait to go on a vacation, you know? I really need to clear my head and relax a bit. For the time being, a good massage every weekend has sort of become my guilty pleasure. I really have these tight knots on my right shoulder (it's been there for years) and thanks to constant walking and commuting, my calves are sore and are in dire need of a good massaging, too.

I recently received an invite to try some services over at Ki by Neo Day Spa and I immediately jumped at the opportunity. This was to be my first visit since I rarely find myself in the Greenhills area.


The spa will be a challenge to spot for first-timers, Alex and I missed the signage and ended up going around Wilson street several times. Here's a tip: Once you turn towards Wilson, keep your eyes peeled for the huge Ki by Neo Day Spa banner on the right side, it's the first block after the corner and the building is where Dita Sandico Ong's showroom is. Does that make sense? Let me know if my directions are accurate!

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Liz Uy for Rags2Riches ARTEsenal Luxe

R2R is creating a stylish social statement by bringing together the best design minds of the world and artisanal hands from all over the 7,107 islands of the Philippines. The Rags2Riches Fall/Holiday 2014 collection is inspired by style icon and R2R Style Advocate, Liz Uy. The collection fuses the glitz and glamour of the Art Deco Movement with the subtle intricacy of Artesanal Craft.

Browse the collection below:

Georgia Clutch Php 1,595
Greta Envelope Clutch Php 2,295

Sunday, November 3, 2013

The scrubbiest: Soap & Glory Pulp Friction

A few months back I won Julia's awesome UK Spring Giveaway -- what a great surprise because, well, I rarely win anything online. I got a lot of really awesome stuff delivered by Julia herself, products that I am so excited to use myself!

Side note: When Pnut passed away, Julia offered a coffee date to cheer me up. At that time, I was so distraught I didn't want to talk to anyone about Pnut's demise. Julia's adorable 10-year old Jack Russel Terrier, Jack, passed away last May (a few days after Pnut's 10th birthday) so if there was anyone who knew and felt my pain, it was her. Thanks, Julia! Let's have that coffee date soon!

One of the products that stood out the most was the Soap & Glory Pulp Friction, a foamy fruity body scrub chock-full of fig powder, pumice, orange waterjuice, lemonade tree liquid and vitamin balls of A, C, E. I've always been interested in Soap & Glory but never got around to actually purchasing one in Sephora. I really love their packaging and their humor, Soap & Glory is such a fun brand!

Get fresher, smoother and softer skin with fig powder, pumice, peppermint oil, lemonade tree liquid, orange waterjuice™ and vitaminballs™ (A,C,E). Scented with our new Fruitigo™ fragrance.
Retail price: £8.00/ €9.36/250ml

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Water-based Sunscreen: Enavose Invisible Sunbrella UV Mist SPF 45

It's been a week since Pnut passed, and although I feel better now (though not 100% back to normal) there are still some days I wake up and cry uncontrollably. I think of Pnut everyday, and I wonder what he's up to in doggie heaven. I also planted a bunch of margarita flowers on top of his grave and I greet Pnut everytime I leave the house. I'd like to think that he's always watching over me.

I also take comfort in the fact that Komiki gives me joy everyday, plus most my friends are pet owners as well and empathize with me. In some cases, my friends even love their pets more than humans, which I think totally makes sense. So that's how I feel right now. I cherish all the years I spent with Pnut. I love him very much and you will definitely still read snippets about him in this blog for the next few months.

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Anyway, I wanted to also talk about this wonderful product that I discovered through my meet up with Vivi last June. I use sunscreen everyday, mostly by using VMV Skin Savvy SPF 60, but I'm also on the look out for other sunscreen products that are skin-friendly and non-greasy (very important!).

Vivi gave me two Enavose products: the Invisible Sunbrella UV Mist SPF 45 and City Defence UV Base SPF 50. Enavose is a Swiss brand that believes in incorporating pure botanicals (such as natural herbs, spices, vegetables, fruits, natural spring water, glacial water and Dead Sea minerals) in their products in order to maintain youthfulness and improve skin's overall health. They do not claim to be 100% organic or 100% natural, but they do employ a lot of [active] natural ingredients in their products.

This advanced invisible sunscreen offers broad-spectrum UVA and UVB SPF 45 protection in a convenient micro-vapourised mist that applies evenly and dries instantly on skin. Its innovative formula includes a new tetrapeptide born from preventive cosmetics that protect skin cells from UVA-induced damage and support skin’s repair system. Ideal for face and body, this versatile spray can be used over makeup. Feel empowered to replenish your sun protection whenever, wherever. 
Active Ingredients: DNA Tetrapeptides, Organic Green Tea, Lecithin.

Price: $39.90 SGD/30ml