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: 

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.


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.