Sunday, March 29, 2015

My Top Swimsuit Brands

I just came from the beach last week and yet I can't get it out of my much so that I ended up buying another bikini set just to compensate. I'm just too excited for summer! Anyway, since we're on the topic of beaches and surfing, I might as well share some of the sites I visit for covetable swimwear. Most of the time I scour malls, too, but for the lot of us who are online 24/7, check out these shops for IG-worthy swimwear:


One of my favorite IG accounts, I am in love with their vibrant neoprene sets which are almost always sold out *sob*  Fashionable and functional, their designs will make you stand out at the beach. These halter-types are calling me, perfect for surfing sans rash guard.


If you're having difficulty finding a good bikini that will withstand those waves, try a onesie! These ones from Naiya River are super adorable and well, cool. Cat prints? Yes please.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Too Cute: Holika Holika Egg Soaps

Now isn't this little package too adorable? As part of Holika Holika's Easter promo, they sent me their best-selling Egg Soap Special Set that consists of 4 egg-shaped facial soaps. 

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Venus & Mars Naturals Tsubaki Luxe Beauty Oil

I've long been preaching about the benefits of Argan Oil on dry, curly (natural or digipermed) hair. Now if you find Argan Oil too expensive, then a good alternative is the V&M Tsubaki Oil (also known as Camellia Japonica Oil). It's already a popular ingredient in hair care products in Japan, it's even in my favorite Innisfree Camellia Conditioner and Pure Beauty Treatment Conditioner from Watsons. I can attest to its hair-softening benefits as I've been using both conditioners for years. 

So naturally, it would make sense for me to use Tsubaki Oil in its pure form. 

Experience the luxury of true Japanese Tsubaki Bauty Oil. Native to Southern Japan, Tsubaki Oil comes from the famous cold-pressed anti-aging Camellia japonica seeds. It is an antioxidant-rich skin moisturizer. Also known as Rose of Winter, this beauty oil contains 85% Omega 9 Oleic acid which makes it a potent wrinkle corrector and can greatly diminish minor scars.
Price: Php 425/30ml

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Surfing in La Union: Yes, I went back!

When you’re on a wave, time ceases to exist, and you’re in a such an intense combined state of euphoria, peace, presence and excitement that it’s something you have to return to over and over again. Once you realize that, to live any other way would seem completely insane. (source)
Ever since my first visit to La Union, I couldn't get surfing out of my mind. I got so emo on the way back to Manila that in my head I was counting the days til my next surfing session. I was missing the sea so much that a few weeks ago, I organized a trip to San Juan with my friends Alex, Anne, and Krissy. I was so eager to be in the water again and get up on the board.

As usual we chose Circle Hostel (Php 550 per day) and planned to stay for 3 days and 2 nights. That was definitely more than enough time to get baked and escape from the big, bad city.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Happy 100th Birthday, Maybelline!

Maybelline's humble history

It was ten decades ago when Maybel Williams sparked a fire and changed the history of beauty as she attempted to enhance her very own lashes that were accidentally burnt. Her astonishing solution? A mixture of Vaseline with coal dust to make them look darker and fuller. Fueled by this inspiring act, Tom Williams, Maybel’s entrepreneurial brother, adapted the formula to what later became the very first Maybelline mascara called Lash-Brow-Iine.

To celebrate their 100th year, Maybelline sent me a cute #EyeLoveMNY luggage filled with their best-selling makeup products.   

Friday, March 13, 2015

Rave: Kate Eyebrow Pencil in BR-2

This is such a great discovery that I had second thoughts about posting this because sometimes, I can be selfish too y'know :P. Anyway, I was looking for a good replacement for my Eye of Horus Brow Define which I found to be too expensive for daily use -- I used up the whole thing in just 2 months!.

I went to SM Department store and started a swatchfest of all brow products (pencil preferably) a couple of weeks ago. Several brands later, I chanced upon the Kate Eyebrow Pencil which seemed very similar to EOH and (here's the clincher) was even selling at half the price. 

An eyebrow pencil with a superfine 1.5mm core to draw fine lines to the outer end of the eyebrows
Price: Php 420/.07g

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

The newest beauty secret: L'Oreal Revitalift Magic Blur

L'Oreal is once again addressing our greatest skin concerns with their newest release, the L'Oreal Revitalift Magic Blur (Php 899). It boasts of Opti-Blur technology that softens lines and wrinkles, and it's also infused with Retinol (a powerful anti-aging ingredient that helps re-texturize skin) to combat and correct existing signs of damage.


It's recommended for day use and is touted to have a non-greasy, non-sticky formula. While I am inclined to agree on the non-greasy/non-sticky part, I find that if you have combi-dry skin you will get oily in a couple of hours. The key is to apply just a very thin layer before makeup in order to magically blur pores and other imperfections. You can easily top this with your favorite mineral makeup after for a smoother canvas. 

Friday, March 6, 2015

Summer Must-Have: Nivea Sun Protect & Bronze Sun Spray SPF 20

Never in my entire life have I ever thought I would enjoy being tan. I've always preached the use of sunscreens (and I still think it's majorly important, FYI), and old friends would know me as the fair girl back in college. But my trip to Balesin last January opened the floodgates and now I can't stop thinking about how to become more tan and which beaches to visit. Seriously, I am willing forego my usual solo sojourns to Singapore and just head to La Union or Baler (or any local beach for that matter). I think it's time to shake things up a bit, wouldn't you agree?

Anyway, one product that's been a mainstay of my luggage is the Nivea Sun Protect & Bronze SPF 20. It's not necessarily a new product (I Googled and it was launched January 2014) but I only found out about it at the recent Nivea Come Closer launch.

Nivea Protect & Bronze sun spray combines immediate protection with a natural looking tan. *The formula contains a natural plant extract which helps support skin's own melanin production (in-vitro). Use regularly for an even and natural looking tan. Contains no self tan.
Price: Php 599/200ml 

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Have you tried Tea Tree Oil on spots?

I am still on a surfing high but since it's back to work for most of us, here's a beauty-related post to jumpstart the week. Usually after any out-of-town trip that requires staying up late and eating way too many sweets/dairy (i.e. at my previous La Union trip), I break out along the chin area. This time though since I fell asleep with makeup + sunscreen on, I have a huge pimple on my right cheek. 

It was just perfect timing that I met up with a friend yesterday and she was nice enough to give me a full-on tour of the Human Nature store. I picked up a couple of things including their 100% Natural Tea Tree Oil which was part of their new Heritage line.

I've always known tea tree oil to be such an effective blemish-buster, but I haven't really used it in its purest form til now. I was told that it can hasten the healing of pimples and also dramatically lessen redness. So I'm testing it now and perhaps I'll write a full-on review if the results are impressive.

In the meantime, do you use Tea Tree Oil? Please share your experiences with me in the comments.

Monday, March 2, 2015

La Union Photodiary: Surf, Sun & Vitamin Sea

I woke up today with an aching back, sore arms and legs, not to mention scraped knees and elbows. My back is also terribly itchy and sunburnt, and to make matters worse I am unable to reach back to thoroughly scratch it.

And then it dawned on me, I am back in the big bad city after spending 2 days in La Union. I've never felt so happy, rejuvenated, fresh. It's only been 2 months into 2015 and I've already been to 4 beaches (Balesin, Subic, Amontayan, La Union), and I have 3 more planned in the next few weeks. There's something about being in the water that makes one forget about all the worldliness and just focus on the sun, sand, and fellow (hunky!) surfers.

While in bed, I kept thinking about this particular scene in "You've Got Mail" where Kathleen Kelly ponders on her life and writes:
"Sometimes I wonder about my life. I lead a small life - well, valuable, but small - and sometimes I wonder, do I do it because I like it, or because I haven't been brave?"
Whether it was changing careers, opening up myself to new relationships, or trying out surfing for the first time, I vow that this year will be my year. To be braver, to be more receptive to new things, and to generally just be the best version of myself. That said, I'm glad 2015 is off to a great start. I am truly grateful (and blessed) for all these opportunities to travel and grow as a person. 

What a long introduction to my adventures in La Union! Perhaps it's because I'm really, truly happy now, with everything just falling into place. So how did I end up in the surfing capital of the North? It all started when I received an invite to stay at The Circle Hostel La Union for 2 days. I immediately said yes because a) I have never been there, b) it was a great opportunity to get a tan, and c) I wanted to try surfing at least once in my lifetime. 

So come Friday evening, we endured the 6-hour drive to La Union and arrived at Circle Hostel 4am of Saturday (February 28). It's a surf hostel for beach lovers and surfers: they have 1 bunk room with 45 single beds (at Php 550 per day), 35 hammock spaces (at Php 450 per day), and a relaxing common area where you can sleep on the floor with pillows or sit back in a hammock. All the sockets are in the common area to encourage all the guests to mingle. It's a very effective strategy because we ended up having so much fun with visitors from Europe :)

the common area where everyone hangs out
the shower/changing area