Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Robinsons Department Store "In Full Bloom" Beauty Fair


I'm always excited about Robinsons Department Store's Beauty Fairs because I like "discovering" new products and getting them at a huge discount! Plus, it's the best time to stock up on your favorite beauty products.

a preview of what to expect at the RDS Beauty Fair
Here's the skinny:

PROCTER & GAMBLE

  • Get Php100 Robinsons Gift Certificate for every Php1,000 worth of Olay, Camay, Safeguard, Vidal Sassoon, Pantene, Head & Shoulders, Rejoice, Oral-B, Whisper and Gillette items.

Promo duration: February 1- 28, 2014

UNILEVER

  • Get a FREE gift for every Php300 purchase of Ponds products.
  • Get a FREE tote bag and a chance to win a vacation package for two for every Php250 purchase of Sunsilk and Creamsilk products.
  • Get Php100 Robinsons Gift Certificate for every Php500 purchase of Tresemmé products.
  • Collect 6 stickers and get a FREE couple’s watch set when you buy Dove, Rexona, Axe or Block & White deodorants. *Get 1 sticker for roll-on purchases and 2 stickers for aerosol purchases from February 15 to March 15, 2014
  • Get a FREE gift and a chance to win a SPA retreat for every Php250 purchase of Dove products.
  • Get a FREE travel kit for every Php100 purchase of Pepsodent and Close-Up products.

Promo duration: February 15 to March 15, 2014

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

My Skin Rejuvenating Facial at Strip Manila

I've been a Strip regular since 2012 and just when I thought I've seen it all, Strip recently unveiled its newest service -- the Strip Facial. When I was invited to try this out for free, I didn't really know what to expect. I've known Strip to be the master in waxing, so I wasn't too keen on having a facial done there. Furthermore, it was mentioned that I was going to experience the Brazilian facial: Is this a brazilian + facial? Or a facial with a brazilian influence? I wasn't briefed beforehand but I was very game nonetheless.

When I arrived in Strip (Greenbelt) I requested for my favorite Striperella, April. She's been waxing me since 2012, tee-hee. She ushered me into a room and explained the procedure to me.


The new Strip Facial (or Brazilian Facial) is basically a skin rejuvenation procedure that exfoliates skin while infusing it with vitamins. These facials are recommended to clients who want to quickly fix their skin conditions or to maintain skin's health. There are several options available which includes Hydro (for stressed, dehydrated, or sensitive skin) and Brightening (Vitamin C).

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Unboxing: Special Edition Snoe Glamourbox

I remember discovering Snoe Beauty about 2 years ago and was greatly intrigued by its vintage packaging and witty, tongue-in-cheek advertising style. I have tried a few products like the Snoe Hyperfunction Fond de Teint, Emu-ToxHere Comes the Sunblock SPF 45, and their famous Argan Oil (I swear by this!) and I'm excited to explore this brand further. 

Luckily, Snoe and Glamourbox teamed up and released this special edition box. Curious to see the contents? Then read on below: 


Friday, January 24, 2014

Papercut Artwork by #MadebyLai

I make it a point to give my parents something really memorable and unique for their birthdays and anniversaries. A few years ago, Tish and I created an AVP for Dad's birthday, last year I created a photobook (printed on matte paper and hardbound) for each parent that documented all of our travels together, and even before fan-signs became popular, I had people hold fan-signs/birthday greetings for Dad.

My parents are 60+ years old and they do deserve something special every year, wouldn't you agree? For their 33rd wedding anniversary last January 10, I commissioned a papercut artwork from Lai. Lai is one of the most creative people I know, and the sweetest, too!


We gladly worked on the concept together, I gave some elements to work with and my preferred colors. It took two weeks to make, and Lai was very responsive and showed me her progress often.

And a few days before my parents' wedding anniversary, this lovely package arrived:

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Stockton Row Accessories

Lately I've been gravitating towards comfy clothing (read: pullovers, long skirts, shirts, sneakers, etc.) but I still add a little bit of street style by layering necklaces. 

I was contacted by Stockton Row last December and they sent me a few of their pieces which I totally fell in love with. Stockton Row is a new accessory brand that focuses on Bohemian-Androgynous inspired accessories.


Stockton Row takes inspiration from different cultural attributes and techniques from around the world. I received "Sikang Necklace" and "Tsinghai Necklace" both in antique gold finish.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Holika Holika Aqua Max Sebum Control Moisture Cream

One of the products I was really intent on using in Korea was the Holika Holika Aqua Max Sebum Control Moisture Cream (green). It's a gel-type moisturizer that aims to effectively moisturize oily skin without leaving it slick and greasy.

Although I knew that I was going to a very cold country (read: -11 degrees Celsius), I didn't want to risk using richer creams for fear of breaking out. Furthermore, I layer my VMV Skin Savvy over moisturizer and I was worried that layering on too many products (and emollient ones at that) may cause clogged pores, pimples, and comedones. Eeek!


The Aqua Max line was formerly called Water March and comes in 3 variants:

  • Nutri-moisture Cream (pink) - contains Finland Cloud-Berry to moisturize dry skin
  • Sebum Control Moisture Cream (green) - contains Himalayan Raspberry that acts as an astringent to control sebum and shrink pores
  • Ultra Moisture Cream (blue) - contains Alps butterflies Hydrangeas that helps increase skin's water supply, circulation and soothing of your skin

Price: Php 695/120ml

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Epsilon

I am writing this while in the hospital watching over our Mama who just had a mastectomy. Amidst all the stress and worries that loomed over our family for several days, the worst is now over. Mama (my paternal grandmother) has just undergone surgery. I will be staying at the hospital overnight along with some cousins to watch over her. There is a sort of solemn calmness in the room. We are relieved, but we know there is much to be done.

On a lighter note, if you've been following me on Instagram you'll see that I got a new puppy! Although I wan't intent on getting a new puppy right away, come Christmastime my Dad arrived in Manila and said he had brought home a long-haired Chihuahua.

He was barely 2 months old, tiny, and very energetic. He was very cute, but I didn't feel any attachment initially. I somehow felt that I was betraying Pnut because I got a dog right away. My Dad said one of his breeder friends was leaving the country and couldn't take care of the puppy anymore. Dad offered to take him to Manila, and the rest is history. (PS: He was given to us for free)

I named him Epsilon, after Muntz's chef dog in the movie "Up."


When Epsilon arrived, Komiki's reaction was not too good -- she was terribly jealous of Epsilon and wouldn't play with him. She would even bully him sometimes. Additionally, Komiki would vie for more attention and started to follow us everywhere -- even in the bathroom! Komiki never does that as she always keeps to herself and is usually just happy sleeping on the couch.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Korea Travelogue Day 2: Petite France


A few kilometers from Cheongpyeong Dam in the direction of Nami Island, you'll come across a beautiful French-inspired village known as Petite France. Inspired by the novella "The Little Prince" written by French aristocrat, writer, poet, and pioneering aviator Saint-Exupery, this quaint village contains a [licensed] memorial hall dedicated to the famous author with lots of "Little Prince" sculptures and paintings scattered throughout.

map of Petite France
It also has a gallery displaying sculptures and paintings of le coq gaulois (the Gallic rooster), the national symbol of France; Orgel House where a 200-year-old music box plays a sweet melody; a shop that sells herbal and aromatic products; a souvenir shop; and many other locales where you can experience French culture. The village can accommodate up to 200 visitors with 34 guest rooms that hold four to ten people each. (source)


Look closely! Aside from the Little Prince, can you spot the boa constrictor who swallowed the elephant? Look for that passage in the book!

Friday, January 10, 2014

Rave: Ellana Mineral Powder Foundation

My sister is usually the receiving end of all the makeup that gets sent my way. She works for an airline company and wears full makeup everyday. To all the brands that send me makeup for review, I may not be able to review each and every one but rest assured that they don't go wasted on me. I share them with my sister and her airline friends, and they are all used well and repurchased when necessary.

Anyway, ever since the launch I've been obsessed (yes, obsessed is really the right word to describe it) with Ellana. I have long been a fan, but had forgotten about it and tried other makeup brands since. I raved about Ellana to my sister a few days ago and she jokingly quipped, "You know what's funny? You receive all the high-end makeup in the world, and yet it's the simple local mineral makeup that you love the most!" Yes, it's true. Sometimes the simplest, purest things are the ones that make a difference (yes, I'm still talking about makeup here. Haha!)

lovely illustrations by Soleil Ignacio
I've been using my Ellana makeup since November. It took a while for me to get the hang of using a kabuki brush (I've sworn off brushes before because I found application too cumbersome) but after several attempts, I was hooked. Now I find buffing therapeutic and I think it's the greatest thing that ever happened to me, haha. 

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Korea Travelogue Day 2: Namiseom Island

I hope you enjoyed my post on our first day in Korea. I was unprepared for the cold (even with 3 layers of clothing plus thermals, it was still super cold!) but I survived thanks to the bubble jacket that Kari loaned me. My sister told me that I should prepare myself for Nami Island the next day because the temperature there will definitely be lower. But, I wanted to look more fashionable so I wore my dark blue coat. Read on to find out how it fared in the chilly -11 degree Celsius weather...

the parentals all suited up!
The tour guide picked us up at 8:30 am and we rode the bus to Namiseom Dock where we were to take the 5-minute ferry ride to Nami Island.


We were all given a map of the complex which was 553,560 square yards (!), and were instructed that we can wander around for 2 hours before heading back to the dock for lunch.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Korea Travelogue Day 2: Shopping at Innisfree

I will admit that apart from the promise of snow, I was so looking forward to visiting an actual Innisfree boutique. I've been a fan of their eco-friendly products for years and it is the only remaining Korean cosmetic brand that I wish would come to the Philippines.


Innisfree is popular for their eco-friendly ingredients, 100% recycled packaging, and skin-friendly formulas. Their products are suitable for sensitive skin as they usually have less (or none) of the irritating ingredients such as silicones, parabens, etc. Please take time to read the labels because some Innisfree products still have SLS (especially the shampoos), but there are some makeup products that are completely devoid of these "bad" chemicals.

Innisfree mainly uses Jeju-derived ingredients in their skin care, makeup, hair, and bath & body lines. Jeju Green Tea is grown on a volcanic island rich in minerals off the southern coast of the Korean peninsula. Green tea in skin care can help counter the effects of free radicals and prevent premature aging of skin cells.


Thursday, January 2, 2014

Torikatsu, My Way

With the holiday season winding down, I just want to relax and save whatever's left of my "vacation". With everyone's schedule starting to become so busy again and with work looming around the corner, I just want to be able to be in bed by 11pm (wishful thinking). But of course that rarely happens as I usually plop into bed at around 1:30 AM - 2:00 AM.

My weekends have been pretty hectic as well with errands, post-Christmas luncheons and dinners with relatives, catching up with friends, and sometimes (if I have time) I try to squeeze in a little spa pampering or yoga.

Because I’ve been running around like a headless chicken in 2013 and my mind was constantly racing, I’ve learned to make my Sundays a little bit more sacred -- if I can stay home, I will. I’d rather spend time with Komiki and Epsilon, read a good book, or just catch up with my family.


Just recently, I was introduced to the Torikatsu by Bounty Fresh. What is Torikatsu anyway? Based on the ever-popular Japanese breaded chicken cutlet dish, Top Torikatsu is made from the choicest, 100% chicken breasts and is coated with crispy panko (breadcrumbs) for that extra crunch and texture.

For the uninitiated, Bounty Fresh is the first Philippine company to win the Best Poultry and Livestock Company Award at the 2009 Asian Livestock Industry Awards, thus also dubbed as “Asia’s Best.” Their newest product is Top Torikatsu which comes in two flavors: Classic (with mayonnaise) and Cheese & Chives.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Korea Travelogue Day 1: Jogyesa Temple, Gyeongbokgung Palace, Insadong, and Namdaemun Ginseng Market

I just received tweets and emails about my trip to Korea. It's very heartwarming to know that my readers love my travel posts as much as I do. First and foremost, I started with a personal blog that slowly became a repository of beauty reviews and product recommendations, but writing about my pets and travels is what truly excites me. Thank you very much for reading and taking part in my travel adventures :)

To say that I was unprepared for my Korea trip is an understatement. My initial plan was to start buying winter wear in October and gradually work my way to December. Of course, my birthday happened in October, and then my cousin's wedding, and other stuff happened (Pnut passed away, Veterinary expenses, etc.) that almost depleted my savings. I was also swamped with work. So needless to say, I procrastinated. I also wasn't that excited to begin with because I wasn't in the mood to travel.

So I started shopping only a few weeks before my flight, and packed only 3 days prior. This was unheard of since I always prepare weeks beforehand. But, I was too busy so everything had to be rushed. I am also writing this post to thank Alex and Kari for loaning me their winter wear. Alex loaned me her donya fur stole while Kari loaned me her jacket. Both were very useful to me while in Korea, so thank you so much guys :)
---

Anyway, we were scheduled to fly out on Christmas day. Yes folks, the best time of the year to travel is during Christmas because the airport is empty. I swear, a zombie apocalypse could happen there and no one would know about it.

Korea is about 4 hours away via plane, 3 hours and 40 minutes to be exact. We took the red eye flight on Philippine Airlines (my sister works at PAL, FYI) and arrived in Korea at 5:30 am (approximately). Our tour was scheduled at 8:00 am. We barely had 2 hours of sleep since our Christmas (December 25th) was so packed, but we were so happy to have arrived safely in Seoul.

All the warnings about the coldness in Korea did not prepare me for the actual weather -- it was bitterly cold and even though I had 4 layers of clothing on my upper body (thermals included), the cold was really too severe for my threshold. But you know what's so kilig? The fact that I could see fog or "smoke" whenever I spoke, that was just awesome! :)


The airport is an hour and a half away from the hotel, so we slept in the limo bus and when we arrived, we had unlimited popcorn (a hotel perk) and coffee then left for the city tour.

tour guide for the day, Pela
One thing you must know about the Seoul City Tour is that unlike Singapore, India and Hongkong, it's not a huge tourist destination. I know of some friends who go there to shop or seek business opportunities, not really to go on a city tour or the like. We had several tours scheduled, and we noticed that the tour guides  will not explain everything to you. It's more of them giving you a brief about the destination and letting you roam around for an hour or two. So before you head to Seoul, do your homework ;)