Thursday, September 8, 2016

Neutrogena Hydro Boost Gel SPF 30 PA++

Hydration shouldn't be confused with oiliness. A lot of Dermatologists will tell you that no matter the skin type, we should always use a moisturizer to keep skin healthy and supple. I know that a lot of women (especially those who live in the tropics) prefer to skip moisturizer and/or sunblock (gasp!) in order to keep oiliness at a minimum, but let me tell you that this will cause more harm than good. 

First, you're traversing the hot streets of Manila without sunblock which means you're absorbing all the UVA (aging) and UVB (burning) rays = wrinkles, pigmentation, spots, etc. Second, without proper moisturizer skin becomes stressed and dehydrated = rough skin, more oil production. 

Thankfully, Neutrogena released their own water gel moisturizer with sun protection. It's like hitting two birds with one stone: a hydrating and light moisturizer spiked with SPF 30 PA++ sunscreen made especially for hot, humid weather. Sounds like a winner, doesn't it? 

The Neutrogena Hydro Boost Gel SPF 30 PA++ is part of the Hydro Boost line that claims to boost hydration by 400%, strengthening the skin’s moisture barrier making skin smoother, supple, and younger-looking. 

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Trekking in Foresthill, Auburn, CA

Burned out from all the shopping my family has been doing for the past 2 weeks in the US, my Tita and I decided to go trekking and explore the outdoors a couple of days before my return to Manila.

Over an hour away from Sacramento, we headed East to the quaint town of Auburn. My Tita, while on her way to a wedding months ago, made a wrong turn and ended up seeing the Foresthill Bridge. She stopped and looked down, then said to herself, "What a nice place to trek. I shall explore this area soon." She made a mental note to go back, and this was a good a time as any to bring us there for our first trek on American soil.


Friday, August 26, 2016

Pixi Beauty Hydrating Milky Serum

There's something about mint green packaging that makes it seem very friendly, hence my affinity with Pixi Beauty products. The new addition to my skin care routine is the Pixi Hydrating Milky Serum which I got prior to leaving for the US. Although the Pixi Skintreats line was released in May, I'm always a little slow in trying new products. At my age, I don't want to deal with additional breakouts or rashes anymore. So far, it's been deduced that I get redness and irritations when I have too much [direct] sun exposure (surfing or beaching), so yeah, my skin situation is a little difficult.

Anyway, because I was pleased with the Glow Tonic I was a little excited to try the Hydrating Milky Serum. With the word "milky" thrown in, it seemed gentle enough to use. 

This nutrient-rich serum restores dehydrated skin, revealing its natural radiance. Silky-smooth & lightweight, it gives a burst of hydration without a heavy feel. Rose flower extract, jojoba oil, and aloe vera nourish, while glycerin traps moisture to the skin for a plumped effect.

Price: Php 1,280 
Where to buy:

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Milk Makeup Hero Salve

I love a good salve -- it can moisturize chapped lips, cuticles, soothe rashes and pimples, even tame flyaway brows. It's very versatile and I always have one in my purse (or at my bedside) all the time. But because I was in a hurry to pack for my US trip, I had forgotten -- for the very first time! -- to pack my VMV Boo Boo Balm! I never leave home without it, so I was really distraught since it was my go-to product for anything skin. 

So, off to Sephora I went to look for an inexpensive alternative. I could've gotten just plain ol' petroleum jelly, but I might as well explore what the US has to offer and get something new. 

Enter Milk Makeup Hero Salve. While the brand has been on my radar since my Glamourbox days, this was my first time to actually pick up their product. You know that feeling when you've been pining for a product for far too long and then you actually see it on the shelf? Yep, I was that ecstatic that I let out a gasp and immediately grabbed it. 

I got this for only $10 in the black hole that is the Sephora samples aisle. Because samples still are my guilty pleasure. 

Rich, healing salve is the ultimate multi-tasking product. It melts into skin to condition and nurture. Apply to lips, face, and body - anywhere needing a serious douse of hydration. Made with jojoba oil, shea butter, grape seed oil, and lavender oil. Apply daily and generously to lips, elbows, knees, and cuticles to condition and relieve dryness. All Milk Makeup products are cruelty-free.
Ingredients: Vegetable Oil, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), Diisostearyl Malate, Hydrogenated Polyisobutene, Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Microcrystalline Wax, Euphorbia Cerifera (Candelilla) Wax, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Oil, Camelina Sativa Seed Oil, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil, Tocopheryl Acetate.
Price: $10/8g

Thursday, August 18, 2016

New skin care finds: Shea Moisture, Sukin, Yes to Cucumbers

Over the last week I've been to Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco, Nevada, and now we're all settled in Sacramento.

I was fortunate to visit the famous tourist spots and I've shared some of them on Instagram @kirasworld. I am still uncertain if I should write a full on post on my first US trip, for now I'll share with you new products that I got from Target.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

My Weekend in Taipei: 10 Things to Do in the City

Just like Palawan, an unexpected trip was sent my way when I qualified for AXA's incentive trip to Taipei. Featuring AXA's top 120 agents nationwide (I lucked out!), I was so happy that I was given a chance to explore another popular Asian destination that, admittedly, wasn't on my list for 2016.

All aboard EVA Air, travel time was approximately 2  hours and 10 minutes. Some delegates were on board Philippine Airlines, I heard they got a warmer welcome there with customized head rests and all.

Monday, August 8, 2016

The Lisa Macuja School of Ballet Manila opens in Fisher Mall, Quezon City

Soft pink tutus, the perfect ballerina bun, and pretty satin pointe shoes, it's enough to bring out the girly girl in anyone. If you're like me then you've probably dabbled in ballet way back in grade school or high school. While some have progressed and have become actual Prima Ballerinas (like my cousin Noreen Ostrea who still performs in New York), the lot of us still continue to dream about our ballerina days.

So, imagine our delight when we were told that a new Ballet Manila branch was opening in Fisher Mall, Quezon City.

Now retired from performing full time, the country's premier Prima Ballerina Ms. Lisa Macuja-Elizalde now acts as CEO and Artistic Director of all Ballet Manila branches. Her main goal is to bring ballet and arts closer to the people. After all, the only way you can develop world class dancers is to hone them in the best schools.

Sunday, August 7, 2016

#WinningBeauty: The Robinsons Department Store Beauty Sale

Get your game face on! It's time to hoard our beauty staples once again at the yearly much-awaited beauty sale at Robinsons Department Store. Aside from getting our tried and tested favorites, it's also a great opportunity to explore new brands.

Here's a rundown of what to expect this whole month of August:

Friday, August 5, 2016

Let go and let live

One of my personal issues is learning to let go. Sometimes I can't seem to get myself to surrender, to trust that everything will work out for the best. I cling, hold on, grasp so tightly it becomes suffocating. And it was only very recently that I accepted the fact that there are things I can and cannot change.

You see, when we hold on to something (even with the purest of intentions), it consumes us. It makes us selfish, it hinders our growth, and it's definitely not pretty. I guess one of the things I learned about letting go is to appreciate the little things. It's gratitude day in, day out (I have my Headspace app to thank for this). My Barre3 classes have helped me cope and release any form of emotional stress -- it has cleared my head, and has made me more happy and relaxed.

So when a client wakes you up at 7am because he wants to get an AXA plan or has a random question, be thankful. When you're stuck in traffic but comfortably riding an Uber, be thankful. When you lament about your life (you're not making more money, you're tired and beat from work, bad luck seems to be hounding you), be thankful you're still alive. Be thankful you have a little dog that patiently waits for you at home and can't wait to play with you.

And most importantly, when life gives you another shot at this one thing you've been waiting/praying all your life, you better take care of it and enjoy it for what it is. Do not overthink. Let go, and let live.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Shopping at BeautyMNL + a new sunscreen discovery

When Beauty MNL got in touch with me regarding a blog post, I was more than excited. You see, I have this funny habit of going through online shops, putting stuff in my cart, and then abandoning them in the end because I tell myself I don't really need them. It's a good exercise in decisiveness though, because I'd rather spend on things that I can take with me when I travel -- and god knows I've spent so much money on bikinis already, LOL. It's time to go back to my beauty roots and discover something new.

So anyway, as the team gave me credits for shopping I spent a fair amount of time going through the website. I initially settled on a new tattoo brow kit but since it was sold out (and the staff was uncertain when it would be back in stock), I clicked on the "Organic" section and checked their offerings. You see that's one of the nice things about BeautyMNL, their products are categorized with beauty enthusiasts in mind and we all love an organic/all natural buy every now and then.

I then settled for sunscreen -- so predictable of me, I know. But you can never get enough sunscreen in your life, plus I am always open to a product that says "cooling" on the label. In my mind, I was pretty sure it wouldn't make it in time for my Siquijor trip since I ordered on a Friday.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

A Newbie's Guide to Siquijor Island

While most people would immediately think of Panglao Island or Palawan for their beach escapes, I would highly recommend Siquijor for its laid-back atmosphere and hidden beaches. Over time, I've leaned towards places that are more secluded and provincial. My last adventure was in Tablas Island, Romblon where I drove a scooter up and down the mountain (still the highlight of my 2016), and now two months later I was itching to drive and explore again.

I distinctly remember Cendy (I had met her previously in Tablas) inviting me over to Siquijor, and so I felt this was as good a time as any to come visit. Plus, I always feel comfortable in places that speak Cebuano.

How to get there

There are no straight commercial flights to Siquijor, but there are several jump off points. I chose to take the Philippine Airlines flight from Manila to Dumaguete, a flight that would last an hour and 10 minutes. Make sure to get the 8:40am flight (there are only 2 options) because you'd like to catch the ferry to Siquijor which leaves at 12nn. You can check the ferry schedules here. When you get to Sibulan Airport in Dumaguete, ask the tricycle driver to drop you off at Dumaguete Port.

buy your Jaylan tickets here

Tip: Tricycle rates at the airport are from Php 80-125. You can walk and hail a tricycle outside to save money, or hangyo from the driver to lower the rate. 

Monday, July 4, 2016

Sleek Matte Me Swatches: Birthday Suit, Bittersweet, Velvet Slipper, Old Hollywood

Praised for its highly pigmented and matte formula, the Sleek Matte Me line is taking over purses and kikay kits the world over. I have always heard so many nice things about the cult-favorite shade "Birthday Suit" (a flattering pink nude), and I'm so touched the Sleek Makeup team kindly sent extra shades for me to try. When asked what I wanted, I answered, "Any shade that would complement my tan," and send over 4 gorgeous shades they did.

What they are

Matte Me are ultra-smooth relatively long-wearing lip creams with a matte finish. There is no need for a second coat as just one swipe delivers a blanket of rich color.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

After a two-year hiatus, I'm finally back to Barre3

It's a little TMI but when my personal life went disarray last month, I decided that the only way I'd distract myself and feel better was to workout. I was getting bored of just using Youtube as my exercise guru (my yoga mat at home was not very inspiring), and the treadmill was boring the hell out of me, so the obvious choice was to go back to Barre3 which I've tried 2 years prior

What is Barre3?

The short answer is: it's a fitness program that combines ballet, yoga, and Pilates. Barre3 makes use of pulses or isometric movements to wake the muscles and fire them up. I'll be upfront, it's not particularly easy especially if you've been sedentary like me. But the graceful "ballet" part of it attracted me the most, as I was a frustrated ballet dancer growing up.

Monday, June 13, 2016

10 things I learned at the VMV Hypoallergenics Megamall Boutique launch

Growing up I remember my Mom using VMV Hypoallergenics, particularly their Superskin moisturizer. As I envied my Mom's perfectly clear caramel skin (I was more blemish-prone and oily), I then understood that good skin would supersede the most expensive makeup any day. 

VMV was pretty much a part of my family's life. I used the 100% pure Glycerin Soap, I blotted shine in high school with their oil-absorbing compact powder, I beached with their famous Armada 70 sunscreen. I wouldn't say I was just a consumer -- I was a fan! And up to this day, my family still chooses VMV for our skin care and sun protection needs. 

So when they invited me to the opening of their SM Megamall boutique, I was ecstatic! For the first time I'd be able to meet and mingle with the team I've admired all these years. So here's what went down at the media event, plus ten things I learned at the bubbly launch: 

1. Presenting VMV's first boutique in an SM mall

After years of waiting, VMV has now unveiled their first ever boutique in SM. Previously only Robinsons and Ayala Malls housed VMV boutiques and counters, but now we can [hopefully] expect more branches in the near future in more SM malls across the country.

2. The launch was their first media event

For many years VMV shied away from blogger events and the like, but they made an exception on this grand celebration. It was the first time I met everyone (we'd mostly just correspond via email or Instagram) that I felt equal parts anxious and giddy.

VMV also has wonderful skin-friendly makeup

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Healing sunburn with nappy cream

I developed mild sunburn on my shoulders after spending pool time with my nephew back in Mindanao last weekend. Automatically I'd apply some aloe vera gel to soothe the burn but then I stumbled upon an article that recommends zinc oxide (or nappy cream) as an alternative

Zinc oxide is a fine white powder that is insoluble in water. If you apply sunscreen that uses zinc oxide as its main ingredient, you'll notice that water just beads over it. This is because it creates a film making water slide off skin. Usually zinc oxide is made from natural sources but I read that it can now be synthetically produced

I have 2 full-sized products of the Mustela Vitamin Barrier Cream and I discovered that it contains a decent 10% zinc oxide. So slather nappy cream I did, on my shoulders and back. It is very thick and emollient so I would recommend using this as an overnight treatment. 

Thursday, June 2, 2016

My Physical Therapy experience at 47 Polarity

"We're here," the driver said. And I peered out the window and stared at the grey non descript gate. "Are you sure?" I asked. "It only says 47 out front."

I rang the doorbell and was greeted by a friendly lady. Yep, I have arrived at 47 Polarity Physiotherapy Center, a new [and exclusive] physical therapy center in Manila. The invite came at an opportune moment: I have just flown in from Japan and have been complaining of a sore knee which I attributed to walking nonstop for 4 hours exploring Gion. That or maybe I have to embrace the fact that I am growing older.

I was given quick tour of the place, and afterwards ushered into a room for an interview with Nigel. Nigel is one of the skilled and PRC-licensed Physical Therapists that make up the team at 47 Polarity, and he explained what physiotherapy is and what it can do for my health and well-being. Admittedly, I am not the fittest person on the planet. Just like everyone else, I was pretty much confined to a cubicle working having a relationship with my laptop for many years. Plus, being a blogger meant writing and being seated in one position for hours.

Monday, May 30, 2016

Presenting: The esteemed Pixi Glow Tonic

If there is only one product you should try from the Pixi by Petra line, it's gotta be the cult-fave Pixi Glow Tonic. I've had the full-sized bottle (given as a press gift) since last year but was holding off on using it because I was scared of getting a reaction.

But with my constant sun exposure, my Dermatologist recommended I exfoliate regularly to help my skin battle those dreaded bumps and sporadic cystic pimples that have been plaguing my forehead for months. Admittedly I was only using a cream cleanser and while it was effective at gently cleansing [sunburnt] skin, my pores needed more help in the exfoliation department. Something non-abrasive was recommended, so enter the Pixi Glow Tonic. 

Glow tonic with ginseng and fructose. For normal to dry, dull and aging skin. Oxygenating, exfoliating facial glow tonic. Helps tone, firm and tighten the skin. Removes dead skin cells for healthier looking skin. Alcohol free. Use after cleanser on cotton pad. Key ingredients: aloe vera and ginseng.
Price: Php 1,690/250ml (try the 15ml sampler size for only Php 390)
Where to buy:

Friday, May 27, 2016

Snaps from the Philippine Airlines Boutique Launch

Frequent flyers can now take a piece of Filipino pride with them whenever they travel. Philippine Airlines, the country's flag carrier, has just launched their own boutique with homegrown products created in collaboration with the country's top designers. 

Welcome remarks by Sir JJB

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Lunas by Nanny Rose Giveaway: Win the Feel Good Cooling Cream & Hand Balm

I'm so happy with my newest discovery that I just had to share the excitement with my readers. One of my favorite brands, Lunas by Nanny Rose, has generously sponsored a giveaway that includes two of their best-selling products. I've been using them continuously for more than a month (even packed both with me to Japan), you could say these are my tried and tested favorites. 

Sunday, May 22, 2016

The Pixi Skintreats Launch

Finally, Pixi by Petra brings in the full 17-product Skintreats line to the Philippines! I've always been a fan of the brand -- from its fresh mint green bottles down to the skin-friendly ingredients. If you've ever been a fan of the cult-fave Pixi Glow Tonic (which is almost always sold out, btw), then you'll also fall in love with these clean, treat, and glow products. If you haven't tried Pixi then you're sorely missing out, my friend.

The skintimate launch

Last week's intimate launch was a welcome escape from the heat and traffic of Manila, and we were all very happy to be pampered during the unveiling. Here's a quick peek at the new Pixi products, full line exclusively available at and select stockists. 

Sunday, May 15, 2016

The car accident and my supposed intimacy issues

Part 2 of my brainfarts. You can read the first one here, enjoy! 

1. I am proud to announce that I have signed up for Spotify premium. Early adopter I am not. Finally no ads -- but being ad-free has been making me more indecisive than ever. I hit shuffle, then skip, skip...I can skip endlessly because why not?! No one's stopping me, and I damn well pay for this premium service. I've been staying up til the wee hours fixing my playlists and collecting all my favorite indie songs (with my old Soundcloud as my guide). So yeah, thanks Spotify for making me lose sleep and helping me with my indecisiveness -- I cannot stick it out with one song for more than 30 seconds.

2. Have you ever been so fond of someone you'd be willing to fly across continents anytime? When I say "fond of," I mean it in a platonic kind of way. No hand holding, no ulterior motives, nothing sexual. I am genuinely curious about this person and I'd like to find out more. Is this how guys feel towards girls somehow? I wish someone would also exert this same effort to get to know me.

3. Which brings me to another concern: someone told me I have intimacy issues. I think I do, but only because I feel that connections with people nowadays are so superficial. Everyone's online, and yet I've never felt so disconnected with someone I'm out on a date with who's constantly on their phone. I can only let out an exasperated sigh while I stare at my silken tofu submerged in dashi broth. At least my tofu will keep me company: it will listen unconditionally, it won't talk back or argue, and it won't even dare judge my life choices. This whole dating thing is making me sad.

Friday, May 13, 2016

FS: SK-II Treatment Essence

On my last day in Osaka I went shopping and decided to finally hop on the bandwagon and get myself a bottle of the famed SK-II. I used it for week and then realized it wasn't for me (my skin is ultra sensitive and I developed rashes shortly after). But, a lot of people have been raving about it so I'm putting it up for sale.


SK-II's signature product, the much-loved and most awarded bestseller, Facial Treatment Essence, has over 90% Pitera. Pitera is a clear liquid rich in vitamins, amino acids, minerals and organic acids. It's the miracle ingredient discovered over 35 years ago that remains essentially unchanged till today.

SK-II Facial Treatment Essence helps to improve the appearance of 5 dimensions of beautiful, crystal clear skin: spots are less visible, appearance of wrinkles is reduced, skin texture is more refined, firmness is improved, and radiance is beautifully elevated. Its irreplaceable formula gently exfoliates the face and helps moderate the skin surface renewal cycle.

  • Replenishes skin's moisture to help prevent skin dryness
  • Helps smoothen skin surface texture for soft & smooth skin 
  • Helps moderate skin's renewal cycle 
  • Penetrates better than a cream 

Application Guide

Sprinkle a few drops into the palm of your hand and press hands together to warm and distribute the product evenly, then press onto the face, neck, eye area, and décolletage until the product is absorbed.

Product size: 75ml

Purchase price: ¥ 5,250
Selling price: Php 2,255

Payment is via BPI deposit and I'l have this shipped via GrabExpress so it's same day delivery. Delivery within Metro Manila is free.

Email me at for questions.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Pepe Gaka takes us around Kyoto

I woke up to the hum of the air-conditioner, I looked at my watch and it read 7:00 am. I gave out a light groan, I wanted to get some more shut-eye but we were scheduled to go around Kyoto today with our friend, Pepe Gaka, at 9:00 am. With the impressive efficiency of Japanese trains, I was sure we'd arrive there in no time. Time to wake up the parents, I thought, as I climbed down the ladder to their futon.

Who is Pepe Gaka?

My sister and I spotted Giuseppe "Pepe" Gaka while walking along Auckland's Princes Wharf last January. We were rushing to get some bus tickets for our city tour when I spotted a street artist and got curious. I told my sister we should go and say hi, but since we were on a tight schedule she dismissed it and said we should get on our way.

Friday, April 29, 2016

Things to do in Tablas Island, Romblon

Tablas Island piqued my interest when Philippine Airlines launched their flights to this relatively unknown island last year. There must be more to this place than just the infamous Romblon marbles. So I booked a trip a couple of weeks back and explored this beautiful island for 5 days. 

Romblon has three major islands: Sibuyan, Romblon, and Tablas. Tablas features sloping lands, sometimes even rough to rugged terrain. I was able to explore their municipalities via scooter, which I shall show you later on. 

Where I stayed:

Wanting to book somewhere secluded and cheap, I found Aglicay Beach Resort where a room for 2 went for roughly Php 524  per night. Located in Alcantara the resort is behind a mountain and is approximately 40 minutes away via tricycle from Tugdan Airport. 

with Kuya Louie

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Make perfect summer happen with Maybelline New York

It definitely is summer in this part of the world which means lightweight skin-enhancing makeup and playful lips. After all, summer calls for lots of color! And long-wearing-slash-waterproof color at that. 

This box from Maybelline arrived while I was in Tablas Island, now let me reveal the contents to you.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Tablas Island beach essentials

As usual, my trip to Tablas Island was decided on the last minute -- like literally 2 days before my scheduled departure. I'm a procrastinator, what can I say?

If you're looking at travelling solo exploring beaches and secluded spots, then you can relish in the simple provincial living that Tablas has to offer. I imagine, it was like being in Butuan (my hometown) back in the 90s -- no malls, no convenience stores, only 2 banks/ATMs about 30 kilometers away, only 1 gas station within the bayan, endearing old wooden houses and nipa huts, endless stretches of lonely highways connecting each barangay. It was both exciting and scary at the same time, which I shall expound on more in my post solely on Tablas.

Monday, April 4, 2016

My princessitude

"Yaya, where's my Lemon Toddy?"
I confidently walked into a food place last week, took a look around, narrowed down the dishes I wanted to try, and asked each store a couple of questions. Well, make that lots of questions per station.
"Is your shawarma spicy? How spicy is it? Like super spicy I will cry?"
"Can I have both leg and thigh?" Staff says she can only give the one wing and one leg/thigh combo. I don't like white meat, so I wave my hand and walk away. 
"Ah so this is custard? Is it better cold or warm? But I'm on a no-dairy diet e..." I bought it anyway...
"Wah, salt? Salt will make you bloated!"
Finally I exclaim (in true Kira kuripot fashion), "Ang mahal naman dito! Gusto ko lang ng Recovery Food!"

Saturday, April 2, 2016

New: Priva Perfect Care 2-in-1 Intimate Wash

The Priva gift set was something I received over February in celebration of the love month, but it's still relevant with bikini season rolling in. As we all know, using gentle products for our nether region is important. pH Care was one of my favorite and preferred brands before I turned all natural, but I was willing to try it again because of its cooling variant. 

What makes Priva different? 

Priva is tested by OB-Gynecologists to be safe and effective for everyday use, formulated with tried and tested ingredients that provide noticeable whitening and smoothening effects in as early as two weeks. Plus (and this important for me) it has RevitaCool which provides a refreshing feeling with every wash.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Uber is making me fat (plus other realizations and life questions)

1. My reliance on uber is making me fat. Gone were the days when I'd (happily) commute, burning calories in the MRT or while waiting for a cab. Now, I can happily stay longer in a cafe or resto after my meeting because "I can get uber anytime." Why walk when you can Uber, right? And because of this, I've grown a pouch in my lower abdomen -- and I've never had that before!

2. Does LDR really work? I mean, seriously? This is currently disturbing me. Are my worries indicative of my lack of trust in people, myself, or my lack of faith in love? Or am I just being a realist and extinguishing something before it even gets somewhere?

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Hoard-worthy: L'Oreal Infallible Pro Matte 16HR Powder in Golden Beige

Ah, with summer in full swing it's time to re-evaluate our skin care and beauty products to complement the very hot Manila weather. I've joked numerous times to friends that I hate wearing a bra and would rather wear a bikini under clothes now because it's just too hot! As for makeup, my style has always been to wear as little makeup as possible, and not to pile on [pore-clogging] stuff. So yeah, my "makeup" routine just consists of the VMV Skintangible + powder foundation.

Okay let's get down to business. While I've professed my love for mineral makeup all the way and have been loyal to this one for years, the L'Oreal team recently sent their newest product which I declare is something you gotta check out. The L'Oreal Infallible Pro Matte 16HR Powder promises to nix oil with its lightweight and airy formula. Hefty claims, I know, because commercial powder brands tend to break me out and the non-cakey claim? In this weather? I was more than willing to test this out.

Absorbs excess oil and reduces shine on the skin’s surface for up to 16 hours. The lightweight pressed powder can be used alone, to set foundation after application, and/or throughout the day for quick touch-ups.
Price: Php 500+ 

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Start Your Summer Road Trip at Robinsons Department Store

Before you go on that much-needed road trip or fly off to a secluded island, make sure to take a pit-stop at Robinsons Department Store for this season’s hottest wardrobe selections and beauty must-haves.

With trendy bikini tops and cover-ups from Angelfish working double time as chic tops over your other favorite clothing pieces, be sure to be action-ready wherever your wanderlust takes you. Exciting and colorful swimwear selections from Sassa simply invites everyone to get excited with mixing and matching, leaving more room to express yourself.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Review: L’Oreal Brow Artist Designer Pro in 02 Light Brown

Hi, Ae here again from An Artechoke guest-blogging for Kira! Here's what I think about the new L’Oreal Brow Artist Designer Pro in 02 Light Brown.

Those who know [me and] my blog well would be familiar with my brow obsession. Brows are an essential part of my look, and I’m very involved with mine -- I never let anyone touch them. Which is not to say they’re picture perfect every time. That’s also part of it; if you see me with undone brows that means I pretty much want you to see them that way! And lately I’ve been subscribing to the not-so-sharp version, (not very cleanly plucked and no outlines) just lightly defined, nothing too contrived.
Which is why, I had a bit of a hard time using this new pencil+powder product from L’Oreal. Since I’ve turned (temporarily) away from my brow 'detailing' days, I suddenly have no use for shading powders and pigmented pencils. And to be honest, I’m having a hard time now even if I want to. 

This pen-like contraption actually opens up in three segments: one end is a spoolie, the other a twist up pencil, and the middle a sponge-tipped brow powder applicator. Really cool and convenient, very much like a James Bond-type beauty gadget! 

Saturday, February 27, 2016

"Lunas" by Nanny Rose

I was lucky to receive a few up-and-coming products from local brand Nanny Rose. Known for their natural honey wax (click for review) exclusively available in Watsons, Nanny Rose will be releasing a new line called "Lunas" which is Filipino for "remedy." 

Created by yoga enthusiast and doting Mom, Amanda Del Rosario, each product is lovingly made in small batches and is infused with natural ingredients. The sweet balsamic scent of lavender will instantly soothe and whisk you away to a better place. I can see how this collection will be an instant hit with yoga practitioners.

Here's a peek at what I got:

Hand Balm
An easily absorbed hand lotion bursting with the mood-lifting scent of lavender and cedarwood. Made with shea butter, VCO, sweet almond oil, carrot oil. The tube is sturdy and classy, reminiscent of L'Occitane. 


Thursday, February 25, 2016

Pureology Precious Oil Versatile Caring Oil

At my last JuRo Salon visit (where I converted my sister and Mom, ha!), I spotted the Pureology Precious Oil Versatile Caring Oil on the shelf and read through the ingredients list. Boasting of 100% biodegradable ingredients like sunflower, coconut, jojoba, and olive oil, I immediately decided to try it out despite of the hefty price tag. If I remember correctly, it was about Php1,950. 

Offering the utmost respect to colour-treated hair and the environment, Precious Oil contains 100% biodegradable ingredients and is a paraben-and silicone-free formula, earning it the prestigious Green Seal™ certification.
What it does: 
  • Equalize porosity
  • Restore manageability
  • Replenish the protective lipid layer
  • Enhance colour vibrancy

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Exploring Panglao Island, Bohol

The Chocolate Hills and tarsiers have intrigued me for years. And though I've always wanted to see them in person, I never had the opportunity (or enough push) to book a trip to Panglao Island. I will admit that Bali and Palawan sort of got in the way. But interestingly enough, life always makes sure that things fall into place and I got an invite to Panglao last month courtesy of Nivea (more on a future post).


There are varied accommodations along Alona Beach from the upscale Amorita Resorts to B&B's like Aquatica Beach Resort (where I stayed). Both are beachfront property with bars, cafes, restaurants within walking distance.

My fan room was only Php1,000 per night with a king-sized bed, a basic shower and toilet, a ceiling fan, and minimal walking space. It could fit two people, but it seemed spacious enough for just one. Plus, I love places with clothing lines for drying bikinis, shirts, and other stuff.