Thursday, December 24, 2015

My VMVery Favorite Things

Fitting my life into one backpack felt daunting in the beginning. But over time I've managed to trim down my skin care essentials with the help of these tiny pint-sized products. This Christmas edition skin care set is the perfect gift for any travel enthusiast or skin care fanatic. 


Remember: When you fly and wish to bring only a backpack with you, you can place liquids in your carry-on as long as each container's capacity is 100ml or less.  

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

My first snorkeling experience

I am surrounded by divers at the AXA office. Every time I ask them to come surf with me they'd always say that life underwater is much more exciting, and then they'd invite me to come join them. I'd always decline though because I never really thought of diving or snorkeling -- visions of sharks circling me always occupied my mind. Plus diving is an expensive hobby compared to committing to surfing where your main expense would only be a Php 25,000 surfboard. 

Now after my first snorkeling experience in Puerto Princesa, I'm realizing I am missing out on a lot! I must rectify this next year and get certified! A more long-term plan is to learn to free dive, I've seen Lillian of Wanderlass do it when we snorkeled together and I got so envious.  

So anyway, I  mentioned that I went snorkeling as part of a tour last November and this is a more extensive post on that. 

 

An hour away from the city proper, Honda Bay Wharf is a good area to test-drive your snorkeling skills. We rented our masks, snorkels, Aqua shoes, and fins at Panz Mask & Snorkeling Shop while waiting. You need permits to snorkel so make sure you process those beforehand or tell your tour guide.

Tip: Bring your own dry bag to protect your gadgets from saltwater. 

Monday, December 7, 2015

Burt's Bees Soothing Lip Balm with Eucalyptus and Menthol

I've  been searching for this particular variant of the Burt's Bees lip balm which seem to be sold out in all Beauty Bar branches, and was also MIA for some time on their website (it's available now, btw). The curiosity stemmed from my good experience with the original incredibly minty Beeswax Lip Balm, and I wanted to know if this Soothing variant can surpass the minty kick.

Thank god Jessa gave me hers, I was so giddy and tried it out the moment I got home. In fact, I was so excited that I tore open the seal and didn't even bother to take photos first. #beautybloggingfail

Give your chapped lips some love and care with our Soothing Lip Balm. Let the cooling combination of Menthol and Eucalyptus Oil soothe seriously dry lips while Shea Butter helps moisturize them. 100% natural, this balm leaves your lips looking healthy, feeling happy and hopelessly hydrated. 
Price: Php 225

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

67th Heaven: A hidden holiday resort in Puerto Princesa

I woke up with the sun shining on my face, the rays piercing through the jalousie windows. In the distance, I heard the waves crashing on the shore. I wondered for a second where I was. I stretched out my arms and remembered I was shacked up in a nipa hut-inspired room in Bgy. Concepcion, along the Northeastern part of Puerto Princesa, Palawan. While most of the tourists would prefer to stay within city limits, I chose to spend the next 3 days in this quiet shelter devoid of cellular signal.


67th Heaven Resort Hotel is a two-star hotel neatly tucked on the outskirts of Puerto Prinsesa -- a good 2 hours away from the city. Named after the 67km marker placed directly in front of the resort, it's a place for those who want to disconnect, reflect, and leave the busy world behind.


Owner and Manager, Lydia Varala, was once a salon owner-slash-waitstaff in Bahrain where she had been working for many years to fund her children’s education back in the Philippines. Later on she met Gunner and soon married, with her gung-ho attitude they set up this quaint resort hotel in Palawan where they enjoy the beachfront view and the company of tourists and backpackers every day. Lydia solely manages the hotel in all aspects, as such you'll expect hands-on service every time.

Here are 6 reasons why you should stay at 67th Heaven:

1. The beach

Think of Palawan and most likely the white sandy beaches of El Nido or Coron would come to mind. 67th Heaven, on the other hand, boasts of unspoilt beachfront real estate with grey sand and blue gurgling waves (up to 2 feet!). It being so far away from other tourist destinations, you can sunbathe in peace while reading a good book or two.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Gift Idea: Kala Milk Soaps Special Holiday Blends

I haven't started with my Christmas shopping (have you?) but I am done with my travel list for the next quarter #priorities. Anyway, a great gift idea every year is to choose locally made and all-natural products. Not only are you helping them promote their small scale businesses, but you also help our farmers and local workers in the process. And get this: in your own little way you are also helping change the mindset, paving the way for friends and family to switch to all-natural alternatives. It's hitting three birds with one stone. 


So here's a stocking stuffer for ya: the Kala Milk Soaps Special Holiday Blends. From my previous introductory post, Kala Milk Soaps are the first in the PH to use Carabao Milk as its base ingredient. What's so good about carabao milk? Aside from it being so yummy it contains the highest content of good butter fat which is known to be a good skin moisturizer, as well as lactic acid (naturally occurring in milk) considered a mild exfoliant that helps improve skin's texture and battle fine lines.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Unboxing: BYS Matte Maven Glamourbox

Happy Sunday everyone! I know you're all excited to see the contents of this Glamourbox x BYS collab after the success of their BYS Makeup Pro beauty box last September, so here's a quick unboxing before I run out the door. Of course, thank you to the team for sending me one :)


This makeup stash is filled with full-sized matte must-haves that will allow you to create a variety of muted looks.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Time to reformulate: Human Nature Perfect Coverage Mineral Foundation

It doesn't take a lot to surprise and please me nowadays, and I'd like to think that with age I've come to appreciate the simpler things in life. Like sleeping in on weekends, successfully downloading an ebook that I've been waiting for for so long, or playing with Meerkat and Epsilon. But if there's one thing I'm passionate about is natural products, with the inclusion of mineral makeup. Granting that not all natural-made products are safe for everyone (there are still allergens about), I try to make them work as much as I can, sometimes even to a fault. Case in point, the Human Nature Perfect Coverage Mineral Foundation.

The reason I switched from my other mineral makeup brand is the compact case -- sometimes having to apply foundation on the fly with a sponge is better and faster than having to buff everything in the car. Sponge application equals heavier coverage, too, another perk of switching.


So anyway, I've been a fan of this brand in the past and wrote a review here. But for some reason, I've been getting duds lately. In just a week, my powder was in bits and pieces. I had discovered upon arrival in Manila that the product had already made a mess inside my kikay kit.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Basking in Bali: The Beach

There are only two things I wish for in life: to have a farmhouse or retire by the beach. I have all the details down-pat, from the flowers in the yard down to the terracotta kitchen tiles. And I want my white geese running around, too. One can dream, I suppose. Seriously though, I have a bad case of the Bali blues. I miss Bali tremendously and I can't stop thinking about it.


While many well-meaning friends advised me to stay away from Kuta Beach as it is considered the default and "mainstream" beach (ala Boracay), I couldn't help but still feel so lucky to be there. I mean, come on -- it definitely doesn't have white sand but take me to any beach with the sun shining bright and I'd be deliriously happy. 


The beach shoreline stretches from Kuta to Seminyak, the latter where most of the tourists, surfers, surf instructors are located. In short, Seminyak (from the side of beach anyway) is a more populated area where I spotted so many tourists hanging out, drinking, sunbathing -- it was pretty crowded. But it's in the Seminyak  beach area where all the activities are: you can rent the surfboards, kayaks, banana boats, jet skis, etc., and where you can enjoy Bintang by the beach if you prefer to mingle with tourists and locals.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Fairer & firmer skin with Nivea

As the weather cools down and the holiday season approaches, a lot of women focus their attention on achieving even-toned skin. Back when I was fairer, I'd recall having to deal with ashy skin during this time of the year. Aside from the regular weekly exfoliation in the shower, you can also try switching to lightening skin care products to achieve that holiday glow perfect for parties and family gatherings. 


When I got back from Palawan, a wonderful gift pack from Nivea arrived on my doorstep. I've had first-hand experience using Nivea at their previous #ComeCloser launch in Balesin last January, and I was impressed with their sunscreens and lotions, so I was glad to receive back-ups of their popular products.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Celebrating Puerto Princesa Underground River Day

Puerto Princesa has long been a tourist destination but recently garnered more attention when it was inscribed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site on December 4, 1999. So obviously, you can't leave this wonderful city without visiting the Underground River at least once!


The Underground River

To get to PPUR, we rode the van to Sabang Wharf and travelled for 1 hour and 45 minutes at 90-110km/hr. It's really far so leave early. For solo travelers or those without a tour guide/agency, you have to secure a permit from the Underground River Booking Office at the PPSRNP Office, City Coliseum, Barangay San Pedro, Puerto Princesa City or call them at (048) 434-2509. Book 2-3 months in advance if possible.

If you want to skip all the hassle, book with an accredited tour guide/agency beforehand.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

The Puerto Princesa City Tour

Take a break from lounging and sunbathing by the beach and explore the inner workings of Puerto Princesa by going on the city tour. After all, a deeper appreciation and understanding of the people and the community is the reason why we travel, right? 

You can book through an accredited travel agency or for budget travelers you can do a DIY tour by taking one of the tourism-accredited tricycles. The former is most convenient as you will be seating comfortably in an air-conditioned van for the rest of the trip, while the latter is deemed more exciting (I would even drive the tricycle myself if possible). Choose your own adventure. 

Here are some the popular tourist spots you can visit in the city: 

Iwahig Penal Colony

Known as the "prison with no bars," Iwahig houses inmates that cannot be accommodated anymore in the Bilib Prison or Muntinlupa City Jail. These inmates (I've been told) have committed the gravest of crimes and are sent to Iwahig for rehabilitation. 


They live and work freely with their families in Iwahig. Their duties vary from farming, to handicraft-making, carpentry, fishing, etc. Inmates are free to choose whatever vocational activities they prefer.

Recreation Hall
The Recreation Hall was built during the American period and is so old that only 60 people at a time are allowed to occupy it. It's for receiving guests and tourists, and serves as a "showroom" of the handicrafts made by the inmates. 

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Straight from the Hive: Burt's Bees "Bee Merry" Gift Sets

My favorite time of the year has arrived! One of the great things about Christmas is shopping for your loved ones, and I really enjoy picking out thoughtful and useful gifts for friends and family. Another thing is I personally love exclusive gift sets. I love travel-sizes and pint-sized versions of anything, so imagine my delight when the new Burt's Bees Bee Merry gift sets arrived today. 


Priced as low as P225 (for the individual lip balms) to Php 1,495 for the actual gift sets, they are in limited edition Christmas-themed cases and boxes that eliminates the need to spend extra on gift-wrapping. What's more, these boxes and cases can double duty as makeup containers in the future. 

Sunday, November 15, 2015

When in Puerto Princesa: Go Ziplining, Kayaking, River Jumping, Snorkeling

So you've booked your plane tickets, reserved your hotel/hostel, packed your bikinis and other essentials, but still don't have an itinerary? Don't fret, that happens to me, too -- I never planned an itinerary when I went to Bali and I still had a wonderful experience.

Puerto Princesa needs no introduction -- it's practically on everyone's bucketlist! Famous for its white sand beaches, diverse flora and fauna, delicious food, and world-class tourist attractions; the strict laws and conservation efforts in this province is certainly something to abide by, lest you want to spend 2 months in the famous Iwahig Penal Colony. But wait, I'm getting ahead of myself.

Having just been to the beautiful island of Palawan, here are some of the places I visited that I think any Puerto Princesa virgin (or frequent visitor) will enjoy.

Sabang X Zipline

Ah, I am probably the last person in the world who would give in to an activity that involves sliding down from mountain to mountain in lightning speed (I did cry on a roller-coaster in Singapore after all). But with the urging of the tour guides and my fellow travellers, I had to do it.

awaiting my fate with Edmar

For first-timers such as myself, the 800-metre Sabang X Zipline is a great introduction to conquering your fear of heights as it's not very steep, and you will literally just glide downwards. You'll enjoy the clear blue waters, the wind blowing through hair, and the warmth of the sun as you descend.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

When in Puerto Princesa: Purple Fountain Courtyard Inn

How embarrassing to admit that I have not been to Palawan when it's on everybody else's wish/bucket list! This award-winning island known for its beautiful beaches and diverse flora and fauna have mesmerized tourists for years. Just last year, it was named as the "World's Best Island," and the Puerto Princesa Subterreanean River is now recognized as one of the seven natural wonders of the world and continues to attract tourists to this day.


So when an opportunity came that allowed me to explore Palawan, specifically Puerto Princesa, I blocked off my schedule, booked my flights (thank you, Philippine Airlines), and packed my bags. I was so excited to see the sights and sounds and travel solo again.

As my trip was sponsored by the City Tourism Office of Puerto Princesa City, my itinerary was packed (imagine starting at 7am and finishing all the activities til 10pm-12mn!) and I was to be alongside other media people and bloggers all of which I have not met yet.

But before I go ahead and share my adventures, let me tell you about the accommodations that was assigned to me. Yes, I loved my place so much that it deserves a post of its own.

Purple Fountain Courtyard Inn
296 Manalo Extension, Puerto Princesa City, Palawan, Philippines


Winner of the Trip Advisor 2014 Traveler's Choice Award, Purple Fountain is a charming inn or B&B reminiscent of our room in Bali/India. Just 3 minutes away from the Palawan International Airport, its pastel colors and eclectic interiors made me feel at home right away.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Grab it now: BYS Matte Maven Glamourbox

Time to switch up your makeup look and embrace the wonderful world of mattes. After a successful collaboration last September with Australian cosmetics brand BYS, Glamourbox is now releasing another must-have beauty box for the season: the new BYS Matte Maven.


It’s another complete collection that covers the basics: brows, eyes, and lips. For those who enjoy contouring and highlighting, Glamourbox threw in a little something as well. With a box value of nearly Php3,000, the selection includes a matte eye shadow palette with eight gorgeous shades you can mix and match to create different looks, as well as a matte lippie that’s to die for!

If the previous BYS Makeup Pro Glamourbox is any indication (they included a lovely eyeshadow palette that's reminiscent of Urban Decay's Naked Palette), then surely this beauty box is something you should nab as well.

Be the ultimate Matte Maven with this beauty stash! Glambabes can already reserve a BYS Matte Maven Glamourbox at www.glamourbox.ph for just Php 1,100 (exclusive of shipping fee). Boxes are limited and will be shipped out on the 3rd week of November, which also makes an ideal Christmas gift for beauty junkie friends.


Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Basking in Bali: Where to Eat and Shop

Let me share with you some of the places we highly recommend if ever you do find yourself in the Seminyak and Kuta area. This is by no means an extensive nor definitive list, rather these are our favorites as these cafes/restaurants offer local dishes as well as comfort food (Italian and American cuisines) which are affordable but of very good quality.


We were lucky to have Yvette join us on our third day in Bali. Having lived and worked there for 5 years, she is proficient in Bahasa and knows the ins and outs of Bali itself. I can't say I'm not officially envious, I would love to immerse myself and live here as well. While I am slowly working towards that dream, anecdotes, tips, and tricks from Yvette which I found extremely helpful will have to do for now.

WHERE TO EAT:

Made's Warung


Yvette recalls Made's Warung as a small roadside hawker place back in the day and it has now transformed into a bustling restaurant. The word "warung" means a small informal eating place that is usually family-owned.

Me, Tish, Yvette
Food here is affordable, home-cooked, and definitely satisfying. Another thing I love in Bali are the drinks, iced teas and juices are made fresh and are never from powdered sources. As someone who always requests for houseblend iced teas in Manila, I was in heaven every time I'd take a sip of let's say, freshly-squeezed beetroot juice or lemon iced tea. The former though made my sister gag xD

Monday, November 2, 2015

Healthy Eats: Gourmade by Chef Rob Lau

I'm now on my second week of enjoying Chef Rob Lau's meals which are delivered straight to my doorstep every morning. Although I am probably the last person on earth who needs to diet (in the traditional sense anyway), one of the reasons I agreed to do this is I'd like to open myself up to new meals and new ways of preparing food. Additionally I wanted to eat healthier, too, but I don't know where to start. I don't cook, FYI.

So given a choice, I chose "Skinny Down" as opposed to "Pescatarian" and waited [patiently] for Monday morning to arrive. Granting that we know the menu beforehand, I was still excited to see how my meals were going to be presented. After all, we eat with our eyes and if something looks appetizing then it would be a cinch to consume it.

Lemon Pancakes with Pesto Egg Salad
Meals (1,200 calories) each day include breakfast (my favorite!), lunch, 2 snacks, and dinner. Admittedly, when I opened my package I was upset with the portions. I thought to myself, "Wow, I can eat all three meals in one sitting," and then proceeded to eat breakfast which was Lemon Pancakes with Pesto Egg Salad. What I wasn't prepared for was how yummy and filling (most important!) the meals were. I was really full with just the pancakes and coffee/juice.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Let's Glow: PIXI by Petra Fall Collection Launch

I've always loved Pixi's fresh take on makeup, making it so easy and fuss-free for people like me who aren't pros to look polished and pretty. Early this week, Pixi launched their Fall Collection which included these coveted makeup products and the most awaited cult-favorite beauty product of all time. 


The event was held at Earth Kitchen in BHS, a rustic restaurant that became the perfect venue to complement Pixi's all-natural "makeup to wakeup" look. 

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Bali Beauty Essentials

What's great about being at the beach is you can basically go around with zero makeup on and just stick with the bare essentials. You have no idea how refreshing and liberating it is (for me, at least) to not have to wear a stitch of makeup on (no kilay, no powder!). 

Here are some of my [current] beach essentials: 

SUNSCREEN
Everyone's non-negotiable should be sunscreen, and my sun protection of choice is VMV Hypoallergenics Armada Sport 70. I've been using this for months and the great thing about it is it applies smoothly and does not sting the eyes. The SPF 70 is also a treat since I usually spend hours under the sun (who has time to keep track?) and protects me adequately. I always say, it does help me tan but it never makes me burn. 


There's now a concern about reef-safe sunscreens: do we stick with chemical or mineral (zinc oxide, titanium dioxide) formulations? I took the liberty of asking the folks over at VMV about their own sunscreens and here's what they have to say: 
"Most reports that we have seen cite certain chemical (organic) sunscreen ingredients as problematic and most sunscreens that claim "reef safe" use physical (inorganic) sunscreens (titanium dioxide and zinc oxide)...but other studies cite these as problematic. There is one peer-reviewed journal study that focuses on the potential dangers of titanium dioxide and zinc oxide nano-particles (which we do not use).
Until there is one standard that is clear, we are uncomfortable claiming "reef safe." Because published studies do not agree on what that is yet, we feel it would be misleading for us to make that claim at this time."

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Basking in Bali: Exploring Batuan and Ubud (Kebune Bali, Tegenungan Waterfalls and Tegallalang Rice Terraces)

If there was one thing (apart from surfing) that I'd love to try in Bali, it's cycling. I've read up on tourist spots and cycling spots prior, and also told our driver Wayan that I'd really, really love to cycle around Ubud's countryside. Silly me, I've forgotten that my sister isn't the outdoorsy type, and Wayan also told me the cycling part in Ubud is far. My heart wept (so drama, lol) but I guess I'll have to do that activity another time.

On our 2nd day in Bali, our driver picked us up at 8:30am from the hotel to get an early start to Ubud which was an hour away from Kuta. Having no plans again, I just flipped through the tour book that was in the van and told Wayan I wanted to check out how authentic batik was made, visit a traditional Balinese village, see the waterfalls and the rice terraces. So off we went.

SARI AMERTA BATIK COLLECTION


On the way to Ubud, we passed by Sari Amerta Batik Collection showroom to witness how batik paintings are made. Funny how batik has always been a part of my life but I never really thought much about it. My Dad who works in Mindanao always sends us fabric with batik prints so it has become somewhat very regular for us, until we discovered how real batik was made. 


Batik is created by:

1) stenciling in the design on cotton fabric
2)  painting the design using molten beeswax
3) fabric is let out to dry

And then depending on the intricacy of the design and the number of colors, steps 2-3 are repeated (up to 20 times even!) in order to create the finished product. It takes about 3-5 days to completely finish painting one cotton fabric. The whole process is so labor-intensive, it made me respect these artisans even more.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Basking in Bali: Kuta, Uluwatu, Jimbaran

When I celebrated my 34th birthday this month, I never intended on having a huge party. In the essence of being frugal, I invited my parents and a friend for a buffet dinner, nothing more. I didn't even plan a trip to Baler. And then when we were about to head home, my sister handed me a gift-wrapped envelope, and lo and behold -- she had booked me a ticket to Bali!

I was ecstatic! We've always talked about Bali but everything was all up in the air, no concrete plans whatsoever. So now with my ticket in hand, it was legit -- it was really happening!

So we had planned to stay for 6 days leaving via Philippine Airlines on October 16 at 8:40pm, arriving in Denpasar, Bali at 12:45am. Bali was only a mere 3 hours away.

The Philippine Airlines Mabuhay Lounge

Of course we always travel on Business Class on account of my sister, the Mabuhay lounge, the food, the [alcoholic] drinks, spacious leg room, and great service on-board make travelling more relaxing and convenient. 


On the plane I watched "Age of Adaline" and I highly recommend this movie, I became a fan of Blake Lively after. Much to the dismay of my sister who felt that it wasn't the best movie to watch when headed to the beach, she thought I was going to be emo the whole trip.

Chicken Sisig wrapped in Pita

Thursday, October 15, 2015

My Short Bouncy 'do with Almond Color Melt by JuRo Salon Exclusif

I said goodbye to my "signature" ballerina bun last Tuesday. That reliable ol' hair style (or semblance of a style) has served me well for the past 6 months when I didn't want to bother with hair in the city nor the beach. It was the easiest fallback when my hair was unkempt and I wanted a quick fix. After a while though, my hair was getting too heavy, too high maintenance (I was using so much conditioner on a daily basis), and too long. A makeover was in order, and of course I was going to my favorite stylist and colorist, JuRo Salon Exclusif

I'll be honest: I was putting off having even a trim because when you have a hobby, you want to be able to concentrate all your funds and effort on it so obviously, a trip to the salon was a luxury I can afford but chose to push back. So when ARC Public Relations invited me for another JuRo makeover, heck, I said yes! I felt it was time and I was in dire need of a drastic change.  


My last visit to JuRo was in January where they fixed my seaweed green hair (FYI, I've been a paying customer for years). Funny how seaweed has now become an inside joke among us. Never again, I tell ya!

Jude assesses my hair and true enough, it was damaged, knotted at the ends, the color had turned brassy due to saltwater + sunlight, and had no style at all. When Rose asked what if I wanted to have it cut short, I let out a YES right away -- but disclaimed that I wasn't ready for a pixie cut just yet. Let's ease our way into short hair, perhaps next time I can go shorter.

Rose already did her research and showed me her peg: a girl with mid-length tousled hair, it was wash and wear, easy to style. My heart skipped a beat. Let's do this, I said gleefully.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Just Launched: Celeteque DermoCosmetics

Being a fan of Celeteque's water-based moisturizer since its launch many years ago, I have long waited for them to release their own cosmetics line. Celeteque is probably the only drugstore skin care brand that truly delivers with formulations and finishes that settle well in our tropical environment, and work well with Filipina skin. And oh, did I mention the prices? Absolutely affordable!

So when they launched their new cosmetics line last Friday, I was all ears.


Now I haven't fully tested all of the makeup products in the line, but here's a quick look at what I got after the event.


Cheek Color Stick (Peach) - Php 645
This Color Stick adds a beautiful glow to your eyes, lips, or face! Get gorgeous color that illuminates and insantly conditions skin for fresh and natural color all day long. Blend anywhere you would like to highlight and brighten, like your cheeks and brow bones.

Monday, October 5, 2015

New LUX Perfumed Bath Collection in Magical Spell

I love bath time. It's the only opportunity I get to zone out, plus I love experimenting with new body washes. Yes dear readers, I used to be a bar soap kind of girl but I have now ventured into shower creams and gels in order to preserve my tan. I have this strange notion that soaps are harsh and may strip off my color faster than the usual (let's reserve that debate for another blog post). 

For me, bath time has always been a sensory experience. The warm droplets of water, the cool floor tiles, and the cushy feel of lather as I suds up with a fragrant body wash. My recent discovery is the new Lux Fine Fragrances in Magical Spell, a deeply fragrant body wash and soap combo with a sensual and sophisticated floral scent. 


I received my samples over the weekend, the plastic courier packaging smelled heavenly as I tore it open with excitement. What greeted me was the strong perfume-y scent of Black Orchids and Juniper Oil, and I will be honest -- I was put off at first. The scent was too strong for me and admittedly, I have been used to fragrance-free or mild scents.

Masterfully designed and crafted by perfume experts from New York, Paris, and London, the new LUX Perfumed Bath Collection is now in the Philippines to enable Filipinas to feel fabulously feminine, as they leave a lasting and unforgettable impression wherever they go. LUX Magical Spell infuses skin with up to 8 hours of lasting perfume.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

A Crafter's Paradise: Common Room PH

We were finally able to visit Common Room in Katipunan to support our crafter friend, Cat of Bedazzle Accessories. It was a very busy (and crazy!) Saturday and the place was crowded, so I'll just cut to the chase and share photos of interesting stuff that I saw on sale.


The place is filled to the brim with locally made accessories, notebooks, plushies, leather goods, etc. It houses local talents and holds workshops regularly so check the calendar on the wall for schedules of Bento Box-making, Calligraphy, Watercolor workshops, etc.

Friday, October 2, 2015

Artist Feature: Joanne Angelique Rebustillo and her Wahine Coloring Sheets

I'm always excited to feature and discover local talents and the first in this series is my high school classmate, Joanne Angelique Papa-Rebustillo. Last week, I had the opportunity to visit her art studio in Manila.

Fondly called Honey by her peers, she has been practicing the art of free flow design since high school and has since created artworks for establishments (she painted the walls of Majestic Puraran), participated in pop-up art fairs and exhibits, and recently just came up with a set of adult coloring sheets. She has perfected the art of free flow design wherein you start from just one area and let your creative juices flow from there.


She is also an accessory and wire designer, that's one of her best-selling pieces above. 

Mother & Child artwork
While conversing with Honey as I haven't seen her since high school graduation, she was also busy completing her latest commissioned artwork. Her weapons of choice: [glitter] pens, markers, and colored pencils. I told her free flow design looks very labor-intensive and what seemed to be a jimble-jumble of doodles at first, she was able to transform into an amazing illustration.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Biore Aqua UV Rich Watery Essence SPF 50 PA++++

Biore makes it easy to stick to the habit of applying sunscreen every day with their water-based sunscreen product called Biore UV Aqua Rich Watery Essence (whew, what a mouthful). I had my doubts at first because my benchmark has always been the sunscreen gel I buy at the Dermatologist's office -- clear and lightweight, with no trace of the heaviness that silicons bring. And usually when commercial brands say "gel", there's still a cream part of it thus making me feel coated. 

Thankfully, Biore's version (though not an exact dupe of my Derma's creation) is close enough. Kao Biore and I have gone a long way as I first discovered the brand in grade school and have been a staunch user of their facial scrub. I was sad when they left and now I'm wondering why it took so long for them to stage a comeback. 

Contains unique Aqua Micro Capsules with UV block ingredient to provide superior SPF 50+/PA++++ protection while keeping skin cool and refreshed. It is enriched with Hyaluronic Acid & Citrus essence to hydrate and soften skin. Its water-based texture spreads easily and get absorbed easily without a white cast. Suitable to be used on face.  
Price: Php 500~/50g
Where to buy: Watsons and other beauty stores 

Friday, September 25, 2015

New pH Care Naturals Intimate Wash Papaya & Guava

Feminine hygiene is something we shouldn't take lightly, we should always check the labels if the products we use are gentle for every day use. I don't think it's necessary to use those medicated ones on a daily basis, unless it's prescribed by a doctor or Aunt Flow is visiting and you need extra protection. 

One of the brands I remember using early on was pH care, and for a while I "hoarded" their cooling variant. Now, pH Care hops on the "all-natural" bandwagon and released two new feminine washes that are worth trying out. Not to be confused with all-natural products, these have natural additives namely papaya and guava extracts. 


The brand kindly sent me samples to try, check them out below: