Saturday, April 26, 2014

Summer must-haves: Avon SSS Fast Hydration Body Gel Lotion & Body Wash

Just as the weather stations predicted, our chilly first few months of the year would translate to a much more brutal summer. And though I normally don't flinch during the really hot months of March all the way to June, I can't help but feel like a tremendous heatwave is upon us. I'm forced to wear skirts and dresses (which I love anyway, so no biggie) because wearing jeans is starting to give me rashes -- again.

Anyway, no matter what the weather or temperature, I'm the sort of person who still applies any type of moisturizer on the face and body. I am just hardwired that way. Of course, I do switch to lighter formulations for summer, and my oh my, Avon really hit a home run with their new Skin So Soft Fast Hydration line.

If you hate applying moisturizers because of that "coated feeling", then you'll be happy to know that Fast Hydration Body Gel Lotion comes in a gel form, and has a lightweight and cooling texture that instantly hydrates skin on contact. It's highly spreadable and is virtually undetectable after a couple of seconds.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Current obsession: Non-foaming Facial Cleansers

I rarely step into a mall these days. but every time I do I end up purchasing milky/cream cleansers. I've been using the VMV Red Better Deeply Soothing Cleansing Cream since last year, and then sort of snowballed from there. To date I have quite a *few* but I'm thinking it's a little too much since I only have 1 face and I only wash it max of twice a day. 

Still, let me share with you the ones I have accumulated so far. I still feel like I have more in my stock room but these are the ones I was able to round up this early Friday morning:

They all have fancy-schmancy names but they're all pretty much mild non-foaming creamy cleansers suitable for reactive and sensitive skin. I think what's missing here is the Philosophy Purity Cleanser and Kosmea Purifying Cream Cleanser which I plan to purchase soon. Some of these products may find themselves on the blog again if I feel like reviewing them individually. 

I have not explored gel cleansers extensively which are non-foaming as well, but I do have about 2 products here at home that are awaiting usage. 

What are your current obsessions/impulse buys? 
Share them with me below, I want to know I'm not alone!

Friday, April 18, 2014

Revlite Laser Therapy Treatment at Wink Laser & Wax Studio

We just got back from Walkway at High Street, one of the activities I look forward to on Holy Week. This year, Church Simplified really made us reflect on our shortcomings and the meaning of Holy Week by encouraging us to have a stronger internal dialogue and understand on a personal level how each Station of the Cross. 

Towards the 9th station, I was teary eyed (honestly, I did cry in broad daylight and I saw some folks stare at me). There are times that I still question my purpose in life and I'm still in the process of discovering it, but Walkway made me realize that I am indeed blessed with a lot of supportive friends amidst all the challenges I encounter. I am especially thankful for my family and my best friend. 

In other news, there was also a bunny at Walkway! Moccasin was a pet bunny who made an appearance and the owner was nice enough to let us hold him and take photos. Isn't he the cutest?

Anyway, the other thing I like about long weekends is finally I can catch up on sleep and blogging! Writing (about products that I love) is therapeutic, I look forward to it every weekend as my crazy schedule only allows me to sit down peacefully and write towards the end of the week.

Last month, I was invited to try the new Revlite Laser Treatment at Wink Laser & Wax Studio. Finally their Trinoma branch is open and I can get my wax and laser fix anytime. As usual, Wink's interiors are a huge pick-me-upper from the very bright and happy colors to their signature asterisk decor.

Revlite is a new and revolutionary laser treatment designed to help you achieve smoother skin texture and more even skin tone by treating skin pigmentation, enlarged pores, wrinkles and fine lines, aging skin, and sun damage.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Rose Hip Oil: Kosmea vs RoseHip Plus

It seems like Australians really do take skin care seriously! Over the last 2 years I've encountered so many organic Australian brands (family-owned at that), most of which I picked up from Vivi of Eco Beauty Secrets. There's Sukin, Mukti Botanicals, and La Mav, all of which I hope to try out in the next few months. 

For now, I've been reading on Rose Hip Oils (yep, still obsessed), studying blog reviews, and comparing the two Australian brands I have at the moment: Kosmea and Rosehip Plus. If you're new to RHO please be advised that it's not for everyone. Vivi says that I'm lucky the high vitamin C content in RHO worked for me as it made her break out. I was surprised myself, I never thought that facial oils would become an integral part of my [anti-aging] skin care routine.

Okay, here's a quick comparison.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Ellana Minerals updates: Get 15% discount + FREE foundation returns

Buying makeup online can be tricky. Call me old-fashioned but I prefer traipsing into an actual store, swatching the products, and even taking my sweet time reading the labels. Oh yes, I am a very touchy-feely customer. But I also understand that things can get so busy sometimes that shopping online is the most convenient and efficient way of getting things done. Confession: I've been so busy even on weekends that I've been to the mall only twice in the past 2 months. I declare, being busy can also serve as an opportunity to save. My bank account is leaping with joy :P

Anyway, I wanted to share with you that Ellana Minerals is now offering such a great deal: if you purchase a foundation or powder online or in stores and discover that it doesn't truly match your skin tone (believe me, mall lights can be deceiving), you can exchange it for the correct shade FREE of charge. This offer is only until May 11.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Celebrate the Woman of Today with Untold by Elizabeth Arden

*lifted from press release

There is an untold story behind every modern woman who is thriving in her life’s journey. She owns every experience she’s had, every decision she’s made and is blossoming into a woman of many facets. 

Whether it’s dreams she has yet to share, secrets she has yet to reveal, or ambitions she has yet to declare, there are countless facets to every woman. While some of these facets are apparent on the surface, others remain hidden, only to be discovered over time.

The world never sees all of her, but can only steal a glimpse at a time. In those few fleeting moments you see her genuine smile, vibrant energy and effortless grace, but her story remains unrevealed..untold. Celebrating the sophistication and intrigue of the modern woman, Elizabeth Arden announces the launch of its new fragrance UNTOLD.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Beautifully Healthy Skin with Neutrogena

I've heard the term tiis ganda far too many times. Often related to fashion pagtitiis like wearing sky high heels that hurt, sucking your gut in while wearing a skintight dress, and wearing that fashionable jacket when the temperature calls for sleeveless tops and lighter fabric. In beauty, tiis ganda is often used as well. It could perhaps refer to enduring painful treatments just to maintain one's youthful looks, or even something as simple as layering on too much makeup in order to look "perfect."

Neutrogena® recognizes these tiis ganda episodes that all women go through, and they've set out to banish these popular skin myths and set the record straight. Ella David-Reyes, Neutrogena's Senior Brand Manager, shares, "Many Filipino women believe in tiis ganda, making it acceptable for them to go through skin irritation and discomfort in the name of beauty. Our main goal is to spread the message that healthy is the new beauty."

And indeed, a lot of women are switching to gentler (and more effective) formulations in lieu of harsh products that strip away moisture and do more damage than good. "Neutrogena®’s products combine scientifically proven formulas with skin-friendly ingredients.” David-Reyes added, “This combination allows Neutrogena® to effectively address skin problems in a healthy and pleasant way."

For someone like me who didn't have perfect skin growing up (I battled oilies and pimples, too) and who thought that washing with a good bar of soap would "get rid of all the bacteria", I've learned to slowly transition to gentler cleansers that don't foam as much yet keeps the pH balance of my skin intact. You'd be surprised how just switching to the right cleanser or moisturizer can do wonders for your skin, and keep wrinkles and dryness at bay.

with Director Joel Salindong
When Neutrogena contacted me last February about shooting a video and help banish some popular skin care myths, I felt honored. I've always looked up to Neutrogena as a brand that took skin care seriously. I've always been a fan of their products and secretly wished that they'd bring their makeup line to the Philippines. On the other hand, I was also terrified about video shoots because I'm shy and I get self-conscious easily. So please, when you watch the video below please be kind :D

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Five beauty brands I wish were in the Philippines

Inspired by Alex's blog post, I decided to list down the brands that I've been dying to try out ever since I heard about them a couple of years ago. I'm sharing them here in case a kindred soul decides to bring them to the Philippines.

1. Korres Natural Products

I've been wanting to try Korres since forever. This Greek brand has been around since 1992 and is known for their homeopathic philosophy and using only natural formulations in all their products.

I would love to try their best-selling Guava Lipstick, Raspberry Twist Lipstick, and Pomegranate Moisturizing Cream-Gel.

A skin-friendly makeup line that is free from parabens, mineral oil, phthalates, triclosan, SLS, and gluten? I'm in! I've always been intrigued with Tarte's Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blush, Amazonian Clay Full Coverage Airbrush Foundation, Amazonian Clay Waterproof Brow Mousse

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Rave: Don The Grill Korean Bistro

While driving along Scout Rallos one night, we decided to stop at this new building called F7 Rallos and try a seafood restaurant. Unfortunately we were not satisfied with that restaurant and decided to venture elsewhere, and that's when we spotted Don The Grill on the second floor. It was fairly new and empty but we saw the flashing "Samgyeopsal" sign and we were reeled right in.

Just a quick background, Korea ultimately has delicious food, and that was one of the things that haunt us until now. We've been trying to look for a good dupe in Manila but have been disappointed so far. So since we were still searching, we might as well try this new unassuming Korean bistro.

In case you're wondering, "Don" in Korean means pork. Don The Grill offers 6 different kinds of samgyeopsal: fresh (plain), spicy go chu jang, garlic, parsley, miso, and black pepper. We're purists so we always order the plain one. Each order of samgyeopsal is only Php 280 which is good for 1 person.


Monday, April 7, 2014

Pixi Shea Butter Lip Balms

For fans of the popular Pixi Tinted Brilliance Balms, here's a new arrival at Glamourbox that's perfect for summer. The Shea Butter Lip Balms from Pixi come in 6 variants: Pixi Pink, Ripe Raspberry, Coral Crush, Natural Rose, Honey Nectar, and Comfort Clear.

Awaken lips with this super-nourishing balm. The unique formula is rich but lightweight and gives a gorgeous wash of colour to lips – it’s the perfect pick-me-up anytime! Packed full of beneficial ingredients, this balm soothes lips immediately & nourishes them long term. 
Price: Php 420
Available at 

Friday, April 4, 2014

Korea Travelogue Day 3: Bau House Dog Cafe

On our 3rd day in Korea, my sister Tish celebrated her birthday and decided to bring us somewhere special. She never told us where and we trust her because she has always been our "tour guide" when we travel (haha). So while we were on Hongdae‘s Seogyo-dong, we followed her into a grey non-descript building and then around the bend we heard barking and we gasped... was a dog cafe! Prior to heading to Korea I never did any research on cafes save for Nami Island and Myeongdong. This was the best surprise thus far! Awesome job on keeping this a secret, Tish!

the puppy area
Seoul pet cafes in Hongdae are popular now, and I heard there was also a cat cafe somewhere in Seoul but I am a dog lover first and foremost, thankyouverymuch. When we arrived we had to fall in line as the place was packed with couples, families, pet owners and their pets, plus the Bau House resident dogs. 

Thursday, April 3, 2014

New discovery: Absynthe Bath and Beauty Beautanical Oils

April just arrived and it is starting to become just as crazy as March! Oh my, I need a break. My next travel schedule is on August where I get to hang out with Vivi of Eco Beauty Secrets again, we plan to explore all the hole-in-the-wall coffee shops in Singapore and visit her favorite beauty health shops. I also can't wait to get my US Visa. This will be my first attempt at getting one and I am very excited to attend Comic Con next year with my cousins and friends. Please pray for me, I hope I get approved!

So many things going on in my head, a very busy full-time job and a part-time job that is just as demanding. *sigh* I try to be positive all the time, and I'm thankful that Epsilon and Komiki keep me sane.

Anyway, becoming a recent beauty oil convert is making me a rather voracious reader. Two years ago I discovered Argan Oil and its wonderful effect on permed hair, then discovered Rose Hip Oil via Glamourbox last year. And now I'm hooked -- I advocate these oils nonstop! As I was researching further on RHO, I chanced upon Jojoba Oil which is said to mimic skin's natural sebum, and in effect helps "trick" the skin into thinking it's already saturated with oil and thus has no need to produce more oil. Sounds intriguing, I shall definitely read more on this soon. I am currently reading Love Vitamin, a blog dedicated to clear skin. Tracy (the author) has suffered from acne for years and has now found skin nirvana through a balanced and natural lifestyle.

During one of my searches for locally available RHO, one of the brands I encountered on Instagram is Absynthe Bath & Beauty. It has been around for years but I only heard about it now. I commented and inquired about their RHO and they kindly sent me an Absynthe kit yesterday! Thank you so much :)

Absynthe Bath and Beauty is a homegrown brand that focuses on offering high quality, premium skin care products that are 100% harmful chemical-free, GMO-free, paraben-free, triclosan-free, SLS/SLES-free, and do not contain petroleum byproducts. Their skin care line is cleverly called "beautanicals".

Here are the contents of the kit they sent me: