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 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.


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.