Sunday, January 25, 2015

REN Skincare Vita Mineral™ Active 7 Eye Gel

The REN Skincare Vita Mineral™ Active 7 Eye Gel was one of the products I received from dear friend Yaelie who is based in London. This teeny eye gel was part of a pack of 3 REN products which included the Vetiver V7 Hand & Body Cream and Hydra-Calm Global Protection Day Cream. 


REN Skincare is a skin-friendly brand based in London. "REN" is Swedish for "clean" and this is the company's primary philosophy: to provide only the cleanest of skincare products possible. They specialize in skincare that use only 100% plant and mineral derived actives, and is free from skin-unfriendly synthetic ingredients. All of their products are free of parabens, sulfates, mineral oil, petrolatum, synthetic fragrances, colours, silicones, the works!

Now it's a no-brainer that I would go for the Eye Gel because though I do have a lot of eye treatments waiting in the wing, it's an eye cream for day use that I'm hard-pressed for. My lids are oily and sometimes the eye cream I apply in the morning before foundation (or any sort of makeup), makes my mascara or eye liner run and smudge. Did the REN Active 7 Eye Gel pass this test? Find out below.

A light and cooling gel to treat, revive and brighten the delicate eye area, under or over makeup.
Results: Cools and refreshes, reduces the appearance of puffiness and dark circles, the eye contour looks smoother, firmer.
Ingredients: Rosa Damascena Flower Water, Glycerin, Hydrolyzed Glycosaminoglycans, Zostera Marina Pectin, Arnica Montana Flower Extract, Laminaria Digitata Extract, Carbomer, Ficus Carica (Fig) Fruit Extract, Phenoxyethanol, Panax Ginseng Root Extract, Faex (Yeast) Extract, Rumex Occidentalis Extract, Gynostemma Pentaphyllum Leaf Extract, Sodium Hydroxymethylglycinate, Sodium Hydroxide, Sodium Benzoate, Xanthan Gum, Potassium Sorbate.

Monday, January 19, 2015

We love you, Pope Francis!

We had no prior plans to see Pope Francis in the flesh when he arrived this weekend. As usual, we were busy with work (my sister works odd hours at an airline company, while my work in sales wasn't really governed by the 9-5pm weekdays rule) and we were content with just watching the coverage on television. 

But, I think it was the Pope Francis effect that prodded, nay, encouraged us to go out on Sunday and see His Holiness. My Mom in the beginning didn't want to head out because she wanted us to be safe and was happy with just watching everything on TV. She also reasoned, "Wag na tayo makigulo, it might not be safe! Also, no one will feed the dogs!" We have 12 dogs (Chihuahuas, Dachshunds, Yorkies, Aspins, etc.) so every time we had travel plans, they were always our priority. 

But as my sister and I were adamant about going, I said, "Mom, he might be the last Pope you'll see in your lifetime. Let's go to Quirino tomorrow!"

So head to Quirino we did. Early morning my sister tweeted me as a precaution: 


Still, we trudged on and took the LRT to United Nations Avenue. The train was filled with people eager to see the Pope, they brought their babies, kids, grandparents, practically the whole family. Plus some even brought Sto. Nino statues to have them blessed by the Pope. It was a kilig experience already on the train, everyone was so excited! The woman beside me said, "Kahit masulyapan ko lang, masaya na ako!" And that brought a smile to my face :)

Sunday, January 18, 2015

So I started Oil Pulling...


A few weeks ago I posted on Facebook that I was curious about Oil Pulling and requested for recommendations and comments. Lo and behold, about 20+ people messaged me and left their helpful and encouraging words. Oil Pulling is apparently a very common practice in Manila, it's just that not a lot of people talk about it.

I first read about it extensively from Mind Body Green and then discovered some local brands from Cat Juan's blog. In the end, I ordered Gargoyle Oil Pulling Tonic (Php 280/200ml) from Cutieverse because it seemed like the more popular one (or at least the brand that's being used in my network). I was told it has a minty taste (naturally flavored, of course) which is great because I can't take pure VCO as is.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

L'Oreal Colour Riche Moist Matte in Berry Allure

At the recent L'Oreal Mat Magique launch, I was able to pick another lovely lipstick shade and this time in a juicy berry color. My berry lipstick collection is growing exponentially....and since I don't really use all of them, I feel like someone else will benefit from them eventually (aka my sister). 

The Colour Riche Moist Matte offers lipsticks with a creamy matte, non-drying finish. I was not aware of this at all last December, apparently this was already released in early 2014. I passed by L'Oreal by waiting for my Dad finish his shopping, started swatching lipsticks and before you know it, I was off to the cashier paying for Blaze of Red and Rubie Follie. Both are bright reds though I fell in love with Blaze of Red (a deep matte true red) more. 

So anyway, after we had our photo taken by renowned photographer BJ Pascual at the aforentioned event, we were asked to take home some L'Oreal products and one of them was Berry Allure. 

A lipstick that delivers intense moisture while providing a velvet matte finish. Colour Riche Moisture Matte's unique formula contains jojoba oil for unrivaled moisture and comfort along with matte gel technology to create an intense matte look.
Price:  Php 625 

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Why I will never cheat on my hair stylist #JuRoICU

I never fully understood the impact of a "bad hair day" until my hair was colored a repulsive seaweed green. In my previous post, I mentioned that a salon botched my hair color -- instead of the ash brown shade, I got this:


While two friends said it looked cool, the thing is, it's not what I asked for and the overall shade didn't complement my skin tone. I looked sallow and sad. Now I won't dwell on what happened or how it all happened, the salon apologized and took full responsibility for the mishap. But let me tell you though, that Jude and Rose were my hair saviors during these trying times.

Since the botched hair color happened on Dec. 31st, there was no way Jude and Rose could accommodate me on Jan. 1. So all throughout the reunions and parties, I had my hair up in a ponytail. Thank god my Lola prefers yellow lights at home otherwise my green hair would've been too obvious in white light. Though some relatives did say that I looked older and darker, but they couldn't quite put a finger on what went wrong. I knew it was my hair :(

Come January 2, I was excited as can be! I didn't wash my hair for 2 days because my scalp was also sore due to the chemical the salon used, plus I wanted Rose to see the color untouched. I arrived at JuRo Salon Exclusif at 2pm sharp, greeted them, and took a deep breath -- I prepared myself for a good scolding!

Monday, January 12, 2015

The New Strip Ice: Hair Removal That's Cooler and Faster

The best gift you can give yourself in 2015 are 6 full sessions of IPL Treatments at Strip Manila. I started with mine late last year (I'm currently on my 4th session) and the results are nothing short of dramatic. The ease of not having to worry about underarm hair for months is truly liberating. In my first session, I blogged that I was hair-free for almost 3-4 weeks! That's pretty impressive for a first-timer!

Last December, I was invited to try out Strip's newest offering which is an improved version of the popular Strip IPL Ace. Called Strip Ice, it's a cooler and faster way to semi-permanently reduce unwanted hair anywhere. Always on the forefront of hair removal, Strip Ice is only available in Strip Manila's Megamall branch. 


Saturday, January 10, 2015

Finally, I no longer dread Mondays

I used to loathe Sunday nights because in a few hours, I'd have to wake up early and face the usual Monday traffic. I'd drag myself to work still sleepy and disoriented, have a cup of coffee, stare into my laptop (or into oblivion, whichever seems appropriate), and try to do some work. Don't get me wrong, I loved all the jobs and the companies I've been a part of; but Mondays, ugh, it was the worst.

Now because I handle my own schedule, I won't go as far as saying I love Mondays. I still give my manager this exasperated look every time I have to come in at 10:00 AM on on the first day of the week for our usual AXA Sales Caffeine, but the feeling isn't as heavy anymore. He told me today, "Kira, the only thing I require from you aside from consistent sales is to be at the branch every Monday at 10:00 AM. Please don't be late again." I just smiled weakly, and laughed. He knows I am not a morning person, but I try to be. Really. Every Monday is a struggle. It doesn't help though that my manager is also my best friend, he knows me through and through.


Friday, January 9, 2015

Perfectly Plum Lips with the Clinique Chubby Stick Intense in GrandestGrape

It's interesting how my lip color has progressed over the years. From being shy and favoring tinted lip balms (paired with no kilay!), to mustering up the courage to wear bright pink lippies (I had a pink phase and practically wore only pink for a couple of years), I'm now more comfortable wearing deep reds and plums. I don't know, does it have something to do with growing older? Or being comfy with deeper, more high maintenance shades? Or just being too lazy to fix up the rest of my face? Whatever the reason, I am just in love with plums and it's perfect that they're having their moment in 2015


I've long been obsessed with finding the perfect plum/berry lip and I have quite a few, including the cult-favorite Pixi Tinted Brilliance Balm in Bitten Berry and The Face Shop Black Label Lipstick in Lady Wine. There was, however, one that I've been eyeing but only succumbed to purchasing recently, the Clinique Chubby Stick Intense in Grandest Grape.

There's something very commanding about plum (or any bold lip color for that matter), and it's perfect for busy ladies because you can just wear blush, do your brows, and go about your merry way. For me since I'm out on AXA meetings all the time and don't want to fuss with too much makeup, plum has been my go-to lip color since the holiday season.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

CoverGirl Bombshell Intensity Liner

A precise felt tip liner instantly gives your eyes drama and definition. It's my weapon of choice for amp-ing up my look. I just line, flick, and go! I received the CoverGirl Bombshell Intensity Liner last Christmas and here's my quick review. 

Create the ultimate bombshell sexy eye look with Bombshell Intensity Liner by LashBlast. Featuring a precision felt-tip applicator, the liquid formula glides on smoothly and easily making it simple to achieve the bombshell looks you crave.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Goodies from L'Oreal Paris


Since I was mostly out of the country in December, I wasn't able to do a proper unboxing of Christmas gifts sent in by brands. Here's one of the parcels I received and boy, am I really excited about the contents!

Garnier Color Naturals Cream
New year, new color, I always say! This Garnier hair color was immediately swooped by my cousin who was raring for a hair change.

Garnier Pure Active Anti-Imperfections Cooling Roll-On 
I initially thought of this as a roll-on eye treatment, until I read the label on the box and it is apparently for pimples. It contains salicylic acid which is known for penetrating the deeper layers of skin, thus helping in treating pimples faster. I may have to try this product one of these days when a pimple pops out.

Garnier Light Complete Multi-Action Whitening Cream
I guess this would work hand in hand with the Anti-Imperfections Roll-On. Once the pimples have been treated, you can lessen the appearance of scars with the Garnier Whitening Cream. Love multi-tasking products? Then you'll be happy to know that it also sops up shine and promises an 8-hour shine free look.

L'Oreal Revitalift Laser X3 New Skin Anti-Aging Night Cream Mask 
Contains the highest concentration of Pro-Xylane that plumps, renews, and refirms skin. I almost have the whole line, check them out here.

Maybelline Diamond Glow by Eye Studio in Copper Brown
A great every day eye makeup palette.

Maybelline Lipstick in Mauvenificent Mauve
A pearlescent mauve lipstick

Maybelline Hyper Glossy Liquid Liner in Silver Trance
Something to spike up your makeup routine -- silver liner!

Thanks, L'Oreal, for sending these goodies my way! Can't wait to try them :)

Monday, January 5, 2015

How to deal with Winter Rashes

While I enjoy cold weather and delight in the sight of snow, I am not too happy about dealing with the aftermath of exposure to the harsh winter air. On our 3rd day in Seoul, we started getting these small bumps on our legs and arms, though my sister got the worst bit as it developed faster on her. By the 4th day she had these red bumps on her legs already.

I was spared from these rashes but my lips, cuticles, and nail beds suffered. My hands were super dry and my nails were splitting even though I heavily moisturized every single time. I decided not to take a photo but my nails were their worst and I have never been so embarrassed in my entire life!


Winter Rashes 101

The dry, bitter cold partnered with warm (or hot) showers contribute to dry skin which in effect, give us those dreaded winter rashes. They can be pinkish, and/or scaly, and are terribly itchy. It's recommended to use only gentle soaps and also refrain from bathing too often or using warm water during winter, but really in 0-degree weather it would be terribly difficult to do so.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Musings on the New Year + some Resolutions

My Dad flew out today, along with several of our relatives who spent Christmas and New Year's in Manila. Tomorrow is officially the start of work which means vacation is now officially over. I'm being so melodramatic about it, huh? 

The next time I get to see my Dad and my relatives will probably be in February (if I'm lucky) or in the next couple of months, but in a different setting altogether since everyone will be immersed in work. Anyway, as I try to relive some important moments that transpired over the last weeks, let me share with you my fave snaps:

fun in Korea...as always :)
At Bau House: "Someone needs to shampoo more often." xD