Sunday, June 28, 2015

Exploring Batanes: North Batan

I've decided to implement this rule that whenever I travel, I should be able to write about it within the next 2 days (or within the week at the latest) lest it gets overshadowed by another trip or life event. Or worse, gets buried under tons of beauty posts. I know this blog is slowly transitioning into a travel and lifestyle site, but rest assured I won't let go of my beauty posts just yet. Beauty is still my priority, it's just that a lot of [good] things have been happening lately and I can't wait to share them all with you!

One such happy event is we finally got to tick Batanes off our bucket list. I've always known Batanes to be such a beautiful island, and a lot of my friends have been urging us to visit. So we did -- and spent 5 memorable days there, too! First things first, we got our tickets from the famous Travel Expo held every February at SMX. I suggest planning and blocking off your travel dates as early as January so you can easily purchase tickets. The line is always long but no pain, no gain: we got our tickets for about Php 5,000 roundtrip (regular rates are Php 16,000 roundtrip).

We arrived in Batanes early Saturday morning after an hour and 45 minutes in the air via Philippine Airlines. Having lived in Agusan del Norte I was not shocked with how provincial Basco is, in fact I was very impressed with how preserved the city is, their sense of community, and the simplicity of their lifestyle.

DDD Habitat was to be our home for the next 5 days. It's a very simple lodge (think Kahea's in Baler) but with a private bathroom, aircon, and warm shower. It was only 5 minutes away from the airport and in the middle of the city.

the Siayan Room can accommodate 4 people
this is where we have breakfast

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Refilling your Ellana Minerals Loose Powder

As I just got back from Batanes, I'm still getting back into the groove of things when I realized while getting ready that my trusty loose mineral powder foundation had run out! I had basically used up the last bits and had to make a beeline to the mall yesterday. I now use a darker shade called Almond Coffee Cream* thanks to my forever tan, and don't have a backup product to tide me over (I do have my original shade which is Chai Tea Latte* but it's unforgivably too light now).

Although I had raved about Ellana's Pressed Mineral Foundation last year, I had learned to love this loose powder version. Initially thinking it was going to be messy while touching up in the car, but after a while you'll get used to the idea and find yourself applying it on the fly anytime, anywhere.

Friday, June 26, 2015

After Sun Care with Human Nature Natural Baby Wonder Oil

I chanced upon the the Human Nature Natural Baby line while shopping for my niece in Landmark, Trinoma. Though they've been on a radar for a while, I never felt compelled to purchase probably because the packaging and design wasn't too cute enough for my taste. But anyway, out of all the products in the line (Baby Wash, Baby Lotion, and Nappy Cream) I picked up the Wonder Oil for myself thinking it would be a good way to moisturize skin on the fly post-surf. 

Premium-grade sunflower oil that’s ideal for that gentlest and calming infant massage. As nature’s wonder oil, it also helps soothe itchiness, irritation and little boo-boos. It’s dermatologist tested, so you can be sure to keep your little angel’s skin soft and supple with every gentle rub. Our natural formulations incorporate an Eco-Cert certified all natural baby fragrance that is 100% phthalate-free! 
Price: Php 129.75/10ml
Where to buy:

Friday, June 19, 2015

Baler Photodiary: A Tour of the Town

I went to Baler again a couple of days ago. I'd like to think that it was because I needed to practice surfing but at the back of my head, I knew a little voice was telling me I should escape the city (even for a while) on account of Komiki's untimely passing. So off to Baler I went with Gera, with once again, no plans except to spend 3 days at the beach.

I got to the Genesis Terminal at 1:00am with no Joy Bus reservation (what's new) but we still managed to snag a Deluxe one that was leaving at 1:30am. This is the 2nd time this has happened and I swear, sometimes I feel like the surfing gods are too kind (thank you!). We always seem to have perfect timing and encounter accommodating people.

This time we checked in at Kahea's Lodge which had a beachfront view. Bonus: I could get a good glimpse of the ocean every morning (wave check!), I didn't have to walk too far while carrying the board, and the splashes of the waves lulled us to sleep every night. I'll spare you the mishaps and I'll cut to the chase, here are some of the things you can do in Baler:


Finally I had the opportunity to bike around town and visit some tourist spots. I haven't biked in decades and impressively once I got on, all the reflexes kicked in. It's true: just like driving or roller-blading, you never forget how to ride a bike.

You can rent bikes at El Teodoro Lodge for Php 100/hour, there's a map plastered on the basket that will show you how to get to the Museo de Baler, Dona Aurora's House, the town plaza, the Church of Baler, Rolling Stores, Dialyn's, etc. Once you've gone around, it will be pretty easy to get off the beaten track and go on an adventure.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

New Discovery: Kala Milk Soaps

I've always been a bar soap kind of girl. You can show me all the fancy and heavily scented shower gels but you can't deny the practicality of having a reliable bar of soap in the shower. Thank god, soaps nowadays are gentler, are concocted using [natural] ingredients, and comes with various skin care benefits. 

One brand that I discovered last month is Kala Milk Soap. Or maybe it's more appropriate to say that they "discovered" me since they reached out first, haha. In any case, if you're a longtime reader of this blog you know that products kade with natural origins are really top priority in my book. So of course I was more than excited to try out the whole line. 

Most soaps that I've tried use coconut oil (or other oils) as base, but Kala Milk Soap proudly claims to be the first soap that uses local Carabao Milk as its base ingredient. What's so good about carabao milk? Aside from it being so yummy (I love the milk and the cheese!), 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.

Now, these soaps come in several variants: Milk, Honey & Oats, Peppermint, Coffee, Green Tea, Citronella, Lavender, and Lemongrass. I was hard-pressed at picking the first one to use but I eventually settled for Citronella for its refreshing and grassy scent.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Recent Faves: Juicy Colors + Lip-Loving Formulations

It may be pouring outside, but darling in my head it's still summer. When I'm at the beach I wear zero makeup and just pile on sunscreen, but oftentimes I'd feel the need to apply some lip color so as not to look dead. My lips are not pigmented unfortunately, and I look pale and unkempt with just balm on.

So I rounded up some lip products that I think you'd be interested to check out, these come in sheer washes of color that I imagine would work on most skin tones. Even if you're not a beach bum these are still great for every day use, plus they all contain emollient and occlusive ingredients to further enhance lips.

Pop Beauty Plump Pout in Honey Rose
Loaded with peptides, avocado and jojoba oils, this non-tacky gloss leaves lips shiny and moisturized. I even feel a tingling sensation after application which I suspect is the "lip plumping" action happening, please be warned in case you're allergic to that type of ingredient. The Honey Rose shade is also a nice mauve MLBB color (when used on its own) but it can be used on top of lipstick for added shine.

Max Factor Colour Intensifying Balm in Voluptuous Pink
It took me a long, long time to embrace the use of lipsticks on a daily basis as I was always a balm-type of girl. I loved the moisturizing feel, the see-through color, and fool-proof application. But when I started to become a somewhat more "serious" working girl, then I decided to amp up my game with deeper berry lipsticks. BUT when I'm feeling more relaxed (i.e. at the beach or on weekends), I still reach out for my colored balms and this one from Max Factor is a must-try.

Voluptuous Pink is indeed a dainty shade of sheer pink that is buildable. It's also chock-full of mango butter, shea butter, and cocoa butters that leave lips moisturized, no need to use balm underneath unless you have really chapped lips. It has a strong sweet scent which I am not a huge fan of, but I like the pink stain it leaves on lips once the balmy sheen part is gone.

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Baler Photodiary: Where to Eat and Hang Out

In my last Baler post, I gave a quick rundown of places where you can eat along Sabang Beach. Now here's a more detailed list as this time, I was really able to go around and check out the food. Most of our selections were recommended by locals and frequent visitors, and Jerome (whom you shall meet in a bit) was also our resident researcher who loved to Google everything.


So anyway, Carl and I went to Baler midnight of Friday onboard the Joy Bus. The travel time was impressively 4 hours only and we arrived at The Circle Hostel bright and early at 5 am. There were reportedly only 3 of us checked in at the hostel that day (with more coming in Saturday and Sunday), and later on while getting ready to hit the beach,  I managed to make friends with Jerome who travelled to Baler all by himself. He was such a chatty being and I immediately warmed up to him, huge deal because I'm suplada haha.

It was pretty flat with a few sets coming in and breaking close to the shore. I didn't really mind, I needed the practice, I needed to paddle and learn to catch the waves on my own, to find my balance and pop-up in time. Plus after our Zamba trip I forced myself to use regular boards (so long, soft tops!). I was grateful for the opportunity to hit the beach and surf again, albeit so poorly. The key here, as what I've been advised, is to practice, practice, practice. I get taranta sometimes when a strong wave hits me, and I really need to get over that.

oops! holding it wrong
You can rent Dalluyon surfboards over at Surfer Girls Lodge, look for Kuya Marjim or have yourself trained by Sandy or Raymart. I met Errole (owner of Dalluyon) at my first trip to Baler and I'm really liking how lightweight his boards are. I'm probably going to get a board of my own next year. For soft top boards, you can head to El Dawn which is near Circle Hostel. Look for Kuya Jason, he was one of the first few people I met in Baler and he was really friendly and will give you a good deal on board rentals.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Human Nature Detoxifying Mask + Scrub

Can you believe it, I haven't had a facial or visited my Dermatologist in months! I guess I'm pretty scared that she'll scold me because I've gotten so dark, plus I'm also budgeting my expenses and a facial (or anything prettifying) is not high priority at the moment.

My skin savior of choice is Human Nature Detoxifying Mask + Scrub which has been around for a while but I only got curious about it 2 weeks ago. I've been wary of using facial scrubs because although they leave my skin smooth upon rinsing, some brands can be drying after repeated use. Plus I'm not too keen on using products that have whitening ingredients in it, or make use of those dreaded plastic microbeads. Thankfully, this Human Nature scrub has none of those.

This luxurious spa-in-a-tube beauty treat contains deeply purifying strawberry seeds, bamboo granules, and kaolin clay, plus skin-renewing multifruit extracts to dissolve excess oil, clear pores, and gently polish away dead skin cells for a brighter, healthier complexion.

Price: Php 249/100g 
Where to buy: