Fall Eye Makeup with Giorgio Armani Eye Tint & Eccentrico Mascara

Waking up to this box of #ArmaniBeauty goodies is probably the most exciting thing that happened to me last month. I’ve been a long-time member of Influenster but I never got a single VoxBox until I moved to the US. Influenster is an online community of social media influencers that provides honest reviews on brands and products. Qualifying influencers like me get to receive a free VoxBox containing anything from makeup, skincare, and even household products. We are not paid to do these reviews so you can be sure that we are offering honest opinions on the products that we test.

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Summer is about to end and it’s the perfect time to plan those OOTDs and LOTDs for Fall. Using the #ArmaniBeauty Eye Tints and Eccentrico Mascara from Giorgio Armani, I created a simple brown smokey eye makeup that’s perfect from day to night. Below are the swatches of the 3 eye tints given to me.

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Brighter, Healthier Smiles with Oral-B Cross-Action Pro-Health

Since entering the corporate world more than five years ago, my coffee-drinking habit has probably worsened. Before, I can function without caffeine in my veins but now I can’t even start working without taking a sip. I can’t say I’m addicted to coffee, I just like the warm feeling in my stomach. When I was younger, my mom and I would enjoy one cup before going to bed. It just feels so gooood. Unfortunately, all that caffeine consumption has left stains on my teeth, causing discoloration.

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Aside from the stains, recently I have noticed soft buildup around my teeth, especially the back ones (yuck!). It was pretty alarming because I never had those since becoming more conscious about personal hygiene. Apparently, my current toothbrush isn’t doing the job. I never really took advertisements seriously until recently. I figured I needed something that can clean hard-to-reach areas, including those tricky corners around the teeth. Then, I discovered Oral-B Cross-Action Pro-Health a few days ago. It has criss-cross bristles so I thought this might be just the thing I need. I’ve been using it for a week now and I already noticed some changes. My teeth looked squeaky clean and less yellowish. The buildup around my teeth lessened as well.

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Lost at the Mall? The SM Mobile App Is Here!

SM Megamall, North EDSA, and Mall of Asia are currently the top 3 largest shopping destinations in the Philippines. So naturally, one can easily get lost when you’re inside these malls. While I was doing some last-minute shopping last week for my friend’s wedding, I saw an ad at the SM North EDSA entrance saying the company has released a mobile app. Curious how it works, I downloaded it and was immediately impressed.

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I cannot easily identify my left from my right, that’s how bad my sense of direction is. So whenever I go to places as big as a stadium, I always rely on maps. I frequently use the Location Guide malls have by the entrance doors but more often than not they’re inoperable. As a result, I end up looking for the store myself and getting lost in the process. Luckily, the new SM Mobile App has a built-in store finder which allows you to find your favorite stores in each branch. To use the app, however, it is important that you register first.

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‘Live to Feel’ Stories to Keep You from Feeling Blue

Lately I’ve been feeling a little uninspired with life in general. I consider myself a happy person–my friends and office-mates would even jokingly get annoyed at me for being too happy–but recent events (or the lack thereof) have turned me into a sourpuss. Last week I was even on the verge of deleting all my social media accounts. And then this B’lue box arrived. Unlike the usual packages I get, this one is quite special. I don’t normally read inspirational stuff but this box came right when I was at my “bluest” and questioning myself–I thought the universe is telling me something.
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The box contained a delicious water-based drink and book full of motivational stories from ordinary people like me. I bet at one point in their lives the people in these pages questioned their place in the sun as well. Luckily for them, they eventually found their calling. But how did they do it? Some of them have talents and used them to know their purpose, while some found it through exploration. The others saw it in the simplest of things–like love, recycling, and community work.
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What I loved most about the book are the tips inserted in each chapter. At the back of the cards below are easy-to-do “ingredients” for a refreshed body, an enlivened mood, and a motivated mind–things that I need right this moment.
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It also came with an exploration map to guide you in finding your “self”. It mentioned fashion, travel, food, and cheap ways to make use of your time like sports, reading, and reconnecting with old friends. To many of us these ordinary activities are just ordinary activities, but we do not realize how these could foster important aspects of our lives–like relationships, skills, contentment, and eventually self-actualization.
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Looking at these pages, I realized we all have battles; how we see our lives is just a matter of finding the right perspective. I still have issues that I continually wrestle with everyday, but this B’lue box has taught me everything I needed to do to overcome them. No more defeatist mindset, I hope!
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So whenever I feel down, I know I have this yummy B’lue drink and Live to Feel Stories to lighten my mood. This beverage is a water-based drink infused with vitamins and minerals, making it a great alternative for unhealthy sweetened drinks like soda. It is lychee-flavored so kids can enjoy it too! 🙂

 

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Que Pasa: Naga City’s Hippest Dining Destination

Being away from home has its benefits. You become more independent, responsible, and self-sufficient. However, it can also be lonely, being away from your family and the place you’ve known your whole life. Whenever I visit Naga, I always get this feeling of excitement and loneliness. Most of the time I am excited to see and hug my family and friends, but the the day won’t end without me feeling sad for missing out on so many things in my hometown. Whenever I go out, I would often search for familiar faces. Then suddenly, the whole city would feel so foreign to me. I’m a pretty sentimental person and losing touch with my childhood and all the memories and emotions that come with it can be disconcerting. So, in an effort to stay in touch with my roots, I visit old and new places.
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Last month, my sister and I visited Naga to check on our babies–our doggies Lily and Pochi. So while in the city, we decided to visit Que Pasa. When I was younger, Naga only had very few restaurants, but now everywhere you turn there’s a newly opened cafe or boutique. I’ve been seeing nice photos of Que Pasa on social media so I was really curious. However, I’m not the type who easily takes secondhand info so I always check things out for myself before recommending them to people.

Design

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True to what I saw online, Que Pasa is indeed an Instagram-worthy place–a heaven for the creative freak I dare say. Outside you’ll see a weirdly beautiful time-worn facade, giving the diner a more rustic feel. Inside, however, you’ll see a combination of contemporary and traditional  designs. Walls are filled with works of art by Naga’s best. Even the water dispenser couldn’t escape from their creative hands!

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But for me, the one that took the cake is the restrooms. Que Pasa is the first in the country (as far as I know) that provides three restrooms, namely Que Gayon (girls), Que Guapo (boys), Querebels (gay lingo for ‘whatever’ + rebel wordplay). This is pretty progressive thinking from a region that’s fiercely Catholic.

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Food

I must admit though, I was completely uninformed about the kind of food being served that Que Pasa, but I was so sure they offer laing or gulay na natong in Bicolano. And I was right, however they serve it as side dish. In order to eat, you have to select your main course, your preferred rice, sauce, and sides. I didn’t know this from the get-go because no one guided us, although there was a sign board with instructions on how to order. I only knew about it after I was done ordering LOL. It would have been nicer if one of the staff who greeted us have told us about the process, or at least directed us to the sign board. I’m not sure about you, but when it’s my first-time at a certain restaurant I’m usually nervous, preventing me from seeing important details, like how to order haha! 😛

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So after the confused staff handed me my orders, I proceeded to pay at the nearby counter. You can order your beverages there as well. That day I was with my family so I paid about Php 1,300 for 8 people. Not bad at all. We ordered baby back ribs and tuna for our main course with Cerveza Negra and I-forgot-the-name yellow sauce; laing and grilled veggies for the sides; and laing rice and pimenton garlic rice.

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My relatives and I loved the ribs and the tuna as well as the grilled veggies. The sauces were terrific! I have a pretty high standard when it comes to laing though, because my mother makes the best gulay na natong I kid you not. Que Pasa’s was okay. Our only complaint was the rice was too oily for our taste. The oil kinda overpowered the flavor. Nonetheless, the whole experience gave us value for our money so I was satisfied.

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Would I recommend Que Pasa? Absolutely. It’s family-friendly and has gorgeous interiors so it is perfect for families. But I would advise you to ask for guidance from the staff in case you get confused like I did haha! More than half of them are very young so I guess they were just shy. There are customers who do not wish to be bothered so maybe that’s why the staff were hesitant to help out. At night time, the restaurant opens the bar, making it a great place to hang out with friends after a day’s work. For now, I’m giving Que Pasa a 4/5 stars.

The restaurant is located along Barlin Street, just right beside Naga Metropolitan Cathedral. Have you been to Que Pasa? Share your experience below! 🙂

JORD: Carving the Path to Sustainable Fashion

I used to hear the term ‘Sustainable Environment’ at school and read it on the news a lot, but I haven’t really given it any thought until recently. But with Emma Watson embarking on a new fashion challenge, which is to create a full outfit using eco-friendly brands, I have become more conscious of what I wear. We see pictures of the devastating effects of climate change online (even the refugee crisis the world is currently experiencing is an indirect result of it) so it is important that we rethink and re-evaluate our choices–and I’m starting with ACCESSORIES.

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Wooden watches are becoming popular nowadays but I’ve always hesitated on purchasing one because I’m concerned about their durability. Thank heavens for JORD for sending me this beautiful timepiece to review. The company is composed of artists, designers, and business professionals who create one-of-a-kind watches. Because the timepieces are handcrafted by skilled artisans and made of aged hardwood and quality automatic and mechanical movements, their products are built to last.

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The watch box alone made me think of many ways to use it. Aside from storing my watch, it can also be a jewelry box or a place to put those little notes I get from friends. It’s really well made and I like that it is also crafted out of wood.

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I decided to match the watch with my new paisley dress. One great thing about neutral colors is you can pair it with almost anything. I chose the ELY Maple watch so I can use it for various types of outfits. It is surprisingly sturdy despite it being made of wood. The wristband has steel hinges so they won’t just snap. The enclosures are made of steel as well.

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But how about the sizing? JORD has a ruler which you can print to measure your wrist size. The ruler is pretty accurate and the instructions are very clear. I measured 16.5 and it fit perfectly when I wore it! I’ve already received several compliments from my boyfriend, friends, and family after they’ve seen me wearing it. It not only looks chic and sophisticated–it’s also environment-friendly! 🙂 The store also carries several styles and colors. They also have items for men.

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These photos were taken just outside a seminary in Naga. I’ve always wanted a picture there because the structures are pretty historic. The Cathedral, along with the seminary, was built during the Spanish occupation, and I am glad my hometown has preserved some of its treasures.

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Wooden Watches by JORD

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Wood Watch from JORD | Dress from Avery’s Closet | Heels from Forever 21 | Bag from Parisian

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So what fashionable steps have you taken to protect the environment? Share your thoughts below!

Do the L’Oréal #ExcellenceFashion Challenge

Growing up in the province, I used to help my parents and relatives color their hair. I loved drawing as a kid and I would always pretend that I’m painting on a canvas. Surprisingly though, I never tried doing it on my own hair until recently. L’Oréal Paris PH sent me a bunch of their new Excellence Fashion hair coloring kit to try out. Since it’s my first time, I relied heavily on the instructions manual and chose a shade that’s close to my hair color. Incidentally my hair was in dire need of retouching so this challenge was just perfect.

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Prep Work

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Before doing anything to your hair, ALWAYS do a skin test first. Some people can be hypersensitive to chemicals so it’s a must that you do not skip this process. It is recommended that you do the test 48 hours prior to application. All you have to do is take a cotton-bud and apply a small quantity of unmixed Protective Cream Colorant behind your ear. Cover an area of about 1-2 cm2 and leave for 48 hours without washing, covering, or touching. If there is no abnormal reaction (itching, redness, or swelling), then it’s safe for you to use the product. Otherwise, wash immediately and refrain from using the product.

Care

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Now since I didn’t develop any allergic reaction from the test, I proceeded with the first step—which is the Pre-Color Care. Each box of L’Oréal Excellence Fashion contains a Protective Pre-Serum to protect your hair from damage. Please note that if your hair has not been colored for 3 months or at all, the serum and hair colorants should be applied on dry hair. Apply the serum from roots to tips. Each box is good for short to shoulder-length hair so if you have long hair like me use 2-3 boxes. Leave it in while you color.

Color

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The box contains gloves so make sure you wear them before mixing the colorants. The next step is to pour the Creme Colorant into the Developer bottle. Put the applicator cap back, then shake the mixture vigorously. Afterwards, twist off the tip of the applicator cap to prevent the bottle from bursting and overflowing. Before applying the color mixture, make sure to cover your shoulders with a towel to protect your clothing. However for aesthetic purposes I didn’t do it, so I ended up looking like a hobo afterwards. My white tank top had lots of browns splattered across my chest and back–not a good idea haha! So once you’ve done that, apply the color mixture to your roots. Part your hair into small, even sections using the applicator tip or a fine-toothed comb for an even color.

Lastly, spread the mixture by massaging it all through your hair until fully saturated. Let it stay for at least 30 minutes. If you have coarse and lots of grey hair, leave the mixture for 5-10 minutes more. Be sure to dispose of the color mix properly—pour the contents down the drain and throw away the empty bottles. Doing so prevents the bottle from bursting and causing damage.

Care

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When rinsing, use warm water. Massage your head gently while washing off the color. When the water runs clear, you can now apply the Protective Conditioner all over your hair. Leave it for 2 minutes then rinse thoroughly. The Protective Conditioner helps protect your new hair color and its natural shine, leaving your hair silky soft afterwards. You can also keep the conditioner for the next time you color. As for me, I use it every day after each bath.

I was kinda getting bored with my long hair so right after I was done coloring, I went straight to the salon and had my hair chopped. And this is the final outcome:

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Do you like it? I know there’s not much of a difference but at least the hair color looks more even now. I do not look like I’m sporting a fake ombre anymore. Haha! Now that I’ve done the challenge, I’m passing it on to you my dear readers:

Do the #ExcellenceFashion challenge and document your process on your own blog and Instagram account. Comment the links to your posts below and tag me @dafnyduck on Intagram. I will be choosing the top 3 entries and L’Oréal Paris PH will send winners special prizes. We are excited to see your before-and-after looks, so color away! <3

Nu Skin Philippines ageLOC Expo: A New, Beautiful You Awaits

Have you ever looked at yourself in the mirror and wished that you won’t age? I do, sometimes. Being young has a lot of benefits, otherwise we won’t have a bevy of anti-aging products lined up in department stores. There’d be also no need for makeup. Unfortunately, we do not live in Utopia. Each day, our cells age, causing fine lines and other unsightly skin conditions to appear. This is further exacerbated by pollution, poor lifestyle, and unhealthy eating habits. This is why skin care companies keep on creating products that help slow down the aging process.

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Last week, I was invited by Nu Skin Philippines to check out their ageLOC Expo in Ortigas. You might remember that I once did a review of their facial scrub and toner in 2011, and I loved those products. During that time, Nu Skin is a pretty young direct selling company so supplies were scarce, prompting me to use other cleansers when the ones I had ran out. Unlike other direct selling companies operating in the country, Nu Skin focuses on health and wellness. They regularly collaborate with more than 75 scientists in order to come up with effective products.

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Recently, Nu Skin has introduced their newest line of products. Called ageLOC Transformation, this complete skin care system cleanses, purifies, renews, moisturizes, and reveals younger looking skin in eight ways. The lineup is composed of the ageLOC Gentle Cleanse & Tone, ageLOC Radiant Day SPF 22, ageLOC Future Serum, and ageLOC Transforming Night, which I was able to test. I must say I was really impressed with their Cleanse & Tone product. The staff told me that it is water-based, which means you do not have to wash your face with water when using it. Yes, it’s that convenient!

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Aside from the Transformation system, I also got to try their ageLOC Edition Galvanic Spa System II. Nu Skin also carries the ageLOC Galvanic Body Spa and the Tru Face products. The Galvanic Spa System is an at-home spa that is small, smart and powerful. Since every part of our body is different, the device features different application settings for the face, scalp, and body. It has patented self-adjusting currents and interchangeable conductors to enable the user to alter the settings. For best results and optimal performance, Nu Skin highly recommends that you use their specially formulated products with the device to facilitate the transport of the products’ key ingredients to your skin. The ageLOC Galvanic Spa Facial Gels helps remove impurities, restoring the skin’s natural vibrancy. After experiencing the Galvanic Spa System, my skin has never felt so rejuvenated and supple. Results, however, may vary so the staff told me that they recommend using Galvanic Spa twice a week.

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Me trying out the ageLOC Edition Galvanic Spa System II

On the other hand, the Tru Face Line Corrector helps smoothen fine lines and wrinkles. The Galvanic Spa Body Shaping Gel helps reduce the appearance of cellulite, and the Nutriol Hair Fitness Treatment promotes healthy, abundant-looking hair. I felt I was in a real spa when I tested the products. As expected, they were gentle on the skin and smelled really good.

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After the “royal” treatment, I proceeded to the main hall and did more tests. This time I wanted to know my body age as well as the number of skin caratenoids in my body. Apparently, I am a very unhealthy woman based on the results, which means I have to take my vitamins and supplements seriously. Haha! It was quite depressing, but the bright side is I now know what to do to improve my health.

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If you have any questions, feel free to get in touch with Nu Skin Philippines by following them on Facebook (/nuskinpils) and Twitter (@nuskinph) or visit www.nuskin.com.ph. Have you tried any of their products? Share your experience in the comments section below! 🙂

 

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Asian Secrets Lulur Indonesian Whitening Scrub Review

It’s been a while since I posted a skin care/beauty review so yay! One thing I love about my facial skin is that it’s not hypersensitive. I can use one kind of facial wash today, and a different one tomorrow without causing stress on my face. Of course I don’t do that on a normal basis, but for more than 10 years since I became aware of cleansers I’ve probably tried about five or seven brands already—all of which worked fine on me. Just a few days ago, I’ve been trying a new facial and body scrub from Asian Secrets. I always see them in department stores but I never got to try them until recently.

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What is Lulur?

The Lulur is a 300-year-old whitening ritual experienced by brides-to-be 40 days before their wedding. They are treated with the Lulur to give them softer, smoother, and fairer skin before the big day. This tradition was then passed on through generations, and is now enjoyed by both men and women. To complete Asian Secrets’ line of whitening products, they introduced the Lulur facial scrub.

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Facial Scrub

The facial scrub is contained in a pink + white bottle. When you squeeze the contents out, you wont see any spherical beads like other facial scrubs. Although the Lulur scrub does have beads, it’s a lot smaller. According to Asian Secrets, this is to ensure that they gently and effectively remove dead skin cells, revealing a healthier and brighter skin. It smells great, by the way, and not very foamy when used. When I’m using it, I usually just put a pea-sized amount on my palm or fingertips and apply the product on my *dry* face. Then all you have to do is to gently massage your face in a circular motion to completely remove your skin of impurities. Then rinse. Asian Secrets recommends that the Lulur scrub be used every two days, since exfoliating everyday can damage your skin. I use a mild facial wash instead in between scrubbing.

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That’s me with no makeup on. On the left is a picture of me before taking a bath. Lol I’m serious, just to show you guys if there’s any difference at all. The picture on the right is after I used the Lulur facial scrub. Do you see any difference? I think my face brightened up a bit. Of course, there’s no major difference since this was taken when I first used the product. Hopefully I can update this post in the future. After cleansing the skin, please do not forget to tone and moisturize. Sometimes facial scrubs can dry out the face so it’s important that you moisturize. With this product though, I have to say that it didn’t dry out my face like other scrubs do.

Body Srub

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Like the facial scrub, the Asian Secrets Indonesian Whitening Body Scrub is made of fine spherical beads combined with a cream-like substance (I honestly don’t know what to call it. Haha!). It comes in three variants–Grean Tea, Licorice, and Seaweed. Each tub smells differently but produces the same result. I loved Licorice though–it reminded me so much of bath soap, ang fresh! Below is a photo of how each variant looks like:

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Not much difference. The instructions specifically says that you should use it before taking a shower, when your skin is still dry. I guess because dead skin cells are easier to remove that way? Not sure, but that’s how it’s done. The Asian Secrets body scrubs, according to them, helps even out your skin tone especially the problem areas, which are usually the knees, elbows, armpits, and inner thighs. I can’t show you my singit (because why should I haha!) but below is a photo to show you if it really works.

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Please note that this was the first time I used the product, so I had to test it first using the back of my hand. ALWAYS perform a skin test if it’s your first time. The right photo shows the “after application”. You can’t really see it in the photo but my forearm felt really smooth and soft afterwards. It didn’t feel itchy also, which is my skin’s usual reaction to harsh body scrubs. Like the face, apply lotion on the skin to prevent it from becoming dry. Since it’s my first time using the product, you can’t see any change in skin color yet, but I will let you know when it does. 🙂

Have you ever tried Asian Secrets? Don’t hesitate to share your experience in the comments section below! 🙂

 

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DISCLAIMER:

This is not a sponsored post. I did not receive any monetary compensation to publish this review. For more information about the products used in this post, please visit Asian Secrets Whitening Spa’s Facebook page.

#IXUSStyleSelfie with Canon

The earliest known photograph was captured in early 1800s. Us millennials think we owned the ‘selfie’ trend, but our forefathers actually beat us to it. It was them who demanded for portraiture in the 1830s, which lead to mass production of the daguerreotype—paving the way for further development of photography. Cameras back then were huge, and we’re quite lucky that we are living in an era where everything is just the size of our palms.

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And I’m quite thankful to companies like Canon for producing cameras that are not only high quality but also ergonomic. I have really small hands and it’s very difficult for me to use DSLRs that are twice the size of my hands. However with the Canon IXUS 265 HS, capturing moments and portraits has become so much easier. This camera has an Image Stabilizer and Intelligent IS preventing photos from looking blurry. It’s also light on the hands (a major plus for me) enabling my fingers to easily position it and click the capture button. If you like taking ‘selfies’, I’m certain you would appreciate IXUS 265.

You guys know that I’m not currently allowed to bring heavy backpacks. This camera is so small, it doesn’t take much space in my already tiny shoulder bag. I brought it in a restaurant a couple of days ago; also took a photo in the office yesterday:

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One of the problems I often encounter when using cameras is how to set them up. Talk to me about exposure and aperture and I would immediately explode. I have difficulty absorbing technical information, I just rely on instinct (and luck) when taking pictures. And most of the time, most of my photos especially the indoor ones would end up either blurred or so gloomy that even Photoshop cannot repair them. So while I was checking out the features of the camera yesterday at my favorite steakhouse I took a few shots to test its indoor, lowlight capabilities and these are the results:

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Apparently, the Canon IXUS 265 HS has a Smart Auto feature that allows amateurs (like me) to just point and shoot and not worry about the settings. My pictures turned out to be really clear and un-pixelated even though the place was not well lit.

Having a camera that captures moments clearly is important for me as a blogger. When people visit blogs, they expect that posts contain well-taken photos. I’m not the best blogger out there but here are a few things I do in capturing the best portraits:

1. When I take selfies, I make sure I look good but not too made up. I just want to look fresh and clean, like I just woke up. I put on some translucent powder and my baby pink blush and lipstick and I’m good to go.

2. Next, I check which side of my face is my best angle. I like showing my full smile so most of my photos are taken from the front.
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3. And lastly, I find a well-lit place. In this case, it’s my kitchen and I snap away with my camera! Make sure you use a quality camera like Canon IXUS 265 — it comes with a selfiepod too!
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Don’t forget to have fun with your camera!

Thank you Canon for giving me the perfect selfie companion, Canon IXUS 265!

Dreaming of Pinkberry

I love to eat. If you browse through my Instagram, you’d find more food posts than pictures of my face. Eating is one of my keenest pleasures in life. It can take away all my stresses and worries, especially when my plate is full of different colors. So yesterday, after a good dinner I began to crave for dessert. Luckily a friend of mine encouraged me to try this new yogurt place at SM Megamall.

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I was told Pinkberry was launched in January 2005 and opened their flagship store in the Philippines just three years ago. When I entered the store, my eyes instantly went to the toppings section. They have all my favorite fruit toppings! YAY!

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They got candies and chocolate toppings as well! Recently, Pinkberry partnered with Sugarpova–Maria Sharapova’s candy line. The gummy candies have three flavors–Flirty Mini, Smitten Sour Mini, and Flirty Sour Mini–which all go well with Pinkberry’s iconic, light and refreshing frozen yogurt.
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In the beginning, Pinkberry only had two flavors: original and green tea. Since then they’ve added more flavors, which include strawberry, cherry, and salted caramel. However, nothing beats the original so I tried it first. I was so happy to find out that when you buy a medium-sized yogurt, you get to choose five different toppings for free. So I piled my fave fruits kiwi, strawberry, grapes, and mango, and added some mochi. Yum! The medium-sized yogurt cost me Php 220 🙂

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Yogurt is a healthy alternative to ice cream. Each serving of Pinkberry uses only real non-fat yogurt and real non-fat milk. It has no high-fructose corn syrup added to it too, so you only get a perfect balance of tart and sweet. The strawberries were a little bit sour but that’s okay since the taste complements the yogurt really well.

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What I really love about this store is they’ve labeled each topping with their corresponding calories. This enables calorie-conscious people to add some sweet flavors to their yogurt without going overboard, I wanted to try these toppings as well so I got a small-sized cup, priced at Php 155 inclusive of three toppings of my choice. I chose brownies, lemon cookie crunch, and nutella.

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I actually wanted to try their green tea yogurt, so the staff gave me a teeny weeny paper cup. It doesn’t taste like the original yogurt but I discovered the lemon cookie crunch actually blends well with the green tea flavor of the yogurt.

In addition to frozen yogurt, Pinkberry also offers fruit parfaits, fruit bowls, smoothies and waffle cookie sandwiches, pictured above. The sandwiches taste a lot like ice cream, which I love.
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Currently, Pinkberry has four branches nationwide: Greenbelt 5, Alabang Town Center, SM Aura, Power Plant Mall, and SM Megamall Fashion Hall (5th floor).

They always give treats to customers, too. If you post your order of Pinkberry yogurt (any product) topped with at least one Sugarpova topping on Instagram and tag @pinkberryph #sharapinkberry, you can get a chance to win P500 worth of Pinkberry gift certificates. One winner will be chosen each week and will be announced every Friday, until October 24.

Get a taste of Swirly Goodness by logging on to www.pinkberry.com.ph or their Facebook page www.facebook.com/PinkberryPhilippines

Feminine Hygiene 101

Perhaps one of the most avoided topics women are so ‘careful’ of talking about is feminine hygiene. No wonder a lot of people are misinformed. It is only through dialogues and right research we get to learn things, so why be ashamed?

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That’s why I’m usually thankful when I’m invited to events that raise awareness about body care. A few days ago, I was invited by ADP Pharma Corporation to the naFlora Feminine Wash event. An Ob-Gyne was invited to talk to us regarding some myths and questions about feminine care that we dare not ask our friends. Through her, I learned that the secretions females experience–when clear–are perfectly normal and that it’s actually the body’s way of maintaining the V’s normal pH. However, as we grow older the pH level changes and using just a single kind of feminine wash for all stages of womanhood can actually do more harm than good. Irritation can occur, especially if you’re fond of wearing tight-fitting clothes.

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To cater to these changes, ADP Pharma Corporation has formulated 3 variants of naFlora feminine wash specifically for everyday use, postpartum care, and menopausal women. These variants are named the following:
1. naFlora protect – This variant has a pH level of 3.5 to 4.5 that is perfect for everyday use and those having their period. naFlora protect contains lactic acid and tea tree extract that prevent vaginal irritations. Girls in their puberty stage/teens do not produce much lactic acid so this is perfect.
2. naFlora restore – Women who have delivered their little bundle of joys would often experience pain and swelling in the area down there, which could lead to infection. naFlora restore prevents this by bringing back the natural acidic environment and help relieve irritation usually experienced during vaginal infections.
3. naFlora moisture – Last but not the least, ADP is the only company that offers a wash for menopause. It contains lactic acid, chamomile extract and additional moisturizers that help soothe and protect the feminine area against dryness and irritation. It has a pH level of 6.o to 7.5. This particular product is endorsed by Ms. Boots Anson-Roa.

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During the event, the Ob-Gyne debunked an old myth that menstrual blood is dirty. I was quite surprised with this revelation as I grew up believing that myth. However, according to her, our period can cause the natural flora to be less acidic, making it prone to bad bacteria and infection. I decided to use naFlora protect during my period to see how my body would react to it. True to its promise, the product is very mild and I never felt uneasy after use, which is my body’s usual reaction whenever I use products it doesn’t like.

Tip: Sanitary napkins should be changed every 2 hours; pantyliners every 4 hours.

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After the informative talk, I and the rest of the bloggers were treated to snacks and a mani-pedi. While having ourselves pampered, we had a game and I won a gift certificate! Yipee! I’m not the luckiest person when it comes to contests so I was really surprised when they called my name. Such a happy day! Thank you, naFlora and ADP!  🙂

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You can find naFlora feminine wash and its variants in all Mercury Drugstores nationwide. If you have inquiries regarding the product/s, do not hesitate to contact them by email: naflorafemwash(at)gmail(dot)com or naflorafemwash(at)yahoo(dot)com 🙂

The Island Cove Experience Part 1

It was a busy week for me last week. After getting off work I joined a few friends to Kawit, Cavite for some Saturday fun. It’s been a while since I last went out of town to relax so I decided to skip sleep and go on with the trip. Just 15 to 30 minutes away from Manila is a beautiful resort called Island Cove Hotel and Leisure Park. It used to be just a small island that the Remullas developed into a resort in the 1970s. Due to economic reasons it had to close but reopened in 1997 and remains so to travelers and families until today.

Island Cove Logo Island Cove Entrance

When we arrived, we were welcomed by the resort’s Managing Director, Gilbert Remulla. If you are a 90s kid, you’ll remember him as a news reporter for ABS-CBN. When I shook hands with him I was quite surprised because he hasn’t changed one bit. Lol!

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With Mr. Gilbert Remulla, Island Cove Managing Director

When we got there, we were immediately treated to a hearty breakfast. We were so excited to explore the place so they toured us around. The first stop was the Wildlife Sanctuary where we were greeted by lush green foliage and man-made ponds and rivers for the fish, ducks, and reptiles. Island Cove is a partner of DENR, ISO 9001:2000 certified, and accredited by the Department of Tourism as a triple “A” resort. Many of the sanctuary’s inhabitants are actually rescued species.

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Found two cute duckies swimming with koi fishes

This turtle looks like he needs a hug. Too bad he’s too far away from me! I would have taken him home in a heartbeat! Too cute <3
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The sanctuary has several ostriches, but these two were the most eager to see us (or be fed). I love how their eyes are so big and expressive and how gorgeous their lashes are. No need for mascara! 😛 Because they can run up to 70 mph, Island Cove made a special runway for them to have space to run around.

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And then we got to meet two baby Bengal tigers, Jasmine and Gerald. I love cats so imagine my delight when I saw these wonderful creatures. When we got there they were being fed so I got the chance to feed them as well.
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I was able to hold this huge snake. I am honestly afraid of snakes but the men holding it said this guy is so used to people.

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The experience was so crazy and scary at the same time. It kept hissing and moving towards my arm while I was holding its neck. Suddenly my whole life flashed before eyes. Haha! It’s very heavy, mind you.

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Outside we found more reptiles like iguanas, crocodiles, etc.

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This Burmese python needs 10 people to carry it out of the cage. It was previously owned by a private individual. But his neighbors became so afraid of it, he had to take this poor fella out of his residence. And so Island Cove was entrusted by DENR to care for the snake. The caretakers said he’s actually a nice creature; he never bit any of them. Good to know. Haha!

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After touring the animal sanctuary, we went to see the other places Island Cove is famous for. They have this giant chessboard which kids and families can use. When I saw it, I immediately thought of Wizard’s Chess from Harry Potter. 🙂

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Of course, a resort is incomplete without its water facilities. Recently, Island Cove added a 350-square meter kid-friendly splash park, the biggest in Mega Manila, to the Oceania Water Park (which is now aptly renamed as the Oceania Swim and Splash Park). The splashers and sprayers were imported from Australia. It is guaranteed safe, due to the colorful, water safe rubber flooring (EPDM) installations which minimize the possibility of accidents.
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The main pools of the Oceania Swim and Splash Park have 4 giant slides and enormous inflatables. The whole water complex spans over 3,000 square meters. Wowza! They also placed lifeguards certified by the Philippine National Red Cross and can offer basic life support and first aid when needed.

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I do not want to bombard you with too may photos so I’m cutting the first part here. In a few days I will be showing you more about Island Cove. Will there be food in that post? Definitely! Meanwhile, here are maps that you can use as guide if you decide to go to Island Cove:

Island Cove Map

Here’s a map showing you how to get there.

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RATES

Oceania Swim and Splash Park

Operating Hours

Weekday ( Monday to Thursday)                   – 08:00 to 18:00

Weekend ( Friday to Sunday, Holiday)          – 08:00 to 20:00

 

RATE 1

(OSSP, Wildlife Sanctuary, Php. 50 Meal Voucher, MAZE)

Adult                                       Php. 400.00

Child                                       Php. 350.00

 

RATE 2

(OSSP, Wildlife Sanctuary, MAZE)

Adult                                       Php 370.00

Child                                       Php 300.00

 

RATE 3

(OSSP Only)

Adult                                       Php. 340.00

Child                                       Php. 280.00

 

Night Rate ( 17:00 onwards)

Adult & Child                         Php. 250.00

 

ANIMAL ISLAND RATES:

Entrance Fee: Php150.00 per head for both adult & kids

Tilbury Ride: 1 hour – Php320.00/ 30 mins. – Php200.00

Horsedrawn Carriage: 1 hour – P620.00/ 30 mins. – Php380.00

Operating Hours: 8:00am to 6:00pm

 

CONTACT DETAILS

Island Cove Hotel and Leisure Park

Binakayan, Kawit, Cavite

T (046) 434 0210

www.islandcovephil.com

e-mail: inquiry(at)islandcovephil(dotcom

 

Makati Sales Office:

Suite 1416 Cityland 10 Tower 1, De La Costa St., Makati City

T (02) 8107878

 

 Follow them on

Facebook

Instagram

Twitter

 

More information to be posted soon so please come back! Let me know how your vacation to Island Cove went! 🙂

Fiber Up!

For months, I had struggled with my weight that it had caused so many problems for me and my body. Last year until summer this year I weighed 56 to 54 kilograms and soon after that I began to experience back problems. According to the JD Robinson formula, my ideal weight is around 49 kg. Although 54 kg is still well within my recommended BMI, my body is apparently incapable of handling too much weight.

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This was me with my boyfriend last year. Actually, he’s the reason why I gained so much weight haha! That’s what love can do I guess. Lol (Feb 2013 – 56 kg)

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And this was me in January of this year. I probably weighed around 54 kg here.

I am a working girl, student, and blogger, which leaves me no time to go to the gym to exercise or even cook my own meal. I guess this is the problem most of us Manila girls struggle with. Just traveling to the nearest gym would take me 30 minutes to an hour (due to heavy traffic mainly), and I could already use that amount of time for so many things, like sleeping. Haha I kid! But when I was literally paralyzed for a week last summer, I knew I had to change my habits and start losing the extra pounds, or else suffer from back pains and paralysis for a much longer period. And I’m telling you, it’s not fun at all.

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Lately I’ve been trying out efficient ways to lose weight. My daily exercise consists of 50 squats a day and 30 pushups, which I do during breaks at work and a tablespoon of Psyllium fiber in my daily water drink, 30 minutes before breakfast. Doing so prevents me from overeating and helps digestion.

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This photo was taken just a few weeks ago. This is how I look sometimes haha! There are days I love pigging out which automatically adds 1-2 kg on my current weight. During good days, I would weigh around 48-49 kg, but this week my weight has been 50-51 kg due to the many dates with friends I’ve been going to these past days. But don’t you think it’s a massive improvement considering that I successfully lost 5kg?

 

MEGAFIBER is available in jars and sachets at Mercury Drug stores nationwide

There are several Psyllium fiber food supplements in the country, but I use Megafiber because it is cholesterol-free, yeast-free and gluten-free.

Megafiber is approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Anyone suffering from diarrhea, constipation, or just simply watching their food intake can use Megafiber. It assists in regulating the digestive system and ensures regular bowel movement by cleaning out the digestive system and eliminating waste from the colon and intestines, which in  turn provides relief to those suffering from constipation or to those trying to lose the unnecessary. According to the product label, when it absorbs liquids, it forms a slippery film and swells by 8 to 14 times its normal weight and forms a soft, bulky mass that passes quickly and easily through the colon and acts like a sponge in the intestinal tract. It also helps stimulate the reflex needed for the bowels to empty.

Additionally, Megafiber binds with cholesterol secreted in bile acids and excretes it before it is absorbed into the blood stream, which helps reduce cholesterol and correspondingly, the risk of heart disease. At the same time, it provides a feeling of fullness which in turn helps reduce hunger pangs, and lessens the tendency to overeat, leading to weight loss as Megafiber also assists in capturing then excreting the fats in our food. [source]

Please take note that Megafiber is suitable for adults and children, but NOT infants.

Megafiber is available in all Mercury Drug stores nationwide, and comes in different sizes: 7.5g sachets at P10.75 each, travel pack of 30 sachets at P325, and in 300g jars at P430. It is also offered in half-kilo family size packs at P705. All inquiries regarding the product can be directed to the installed customer service hotlines 524-6549, 354-2208 to 09 and 09474890262. You can also visit the website (www.megafiber.com.ph) and Facebook page, or email info(at)megafiber(dot)com(dot)ph.

With the help of Psyllium fiber, diet, and exercise, I began to lose weight at a healthy rate and the back pain–although still present–is now tolerable. Hopefully I can continue this regimen until after I reach my goal weight. Wish me luck! 🙂

Sexy White Shirt

One of the wardrobe staples every woman should have is a good v-neck white shirt. It’s simple, comfy, and can be paired with just about anything.

Yesterday I woke up 15 minutes before class and I didn’t have enough time to put an outfit together. I grabbed my cotton v-neck shirt from Sexy White Shirt, a matching skirt and flats.

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What’s great about this plain v-neck shirt, despite its simplicity, is it doesn’t make you look drab and dull. Whenever I see a person wearing one, I often think of her as someone cool and laid-back—two qualities that I really like.

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I arrived at school past one o’clock; I was very late so I was frantically running along the halls of Palma Building. I was quite lucky to have unconsciously chosen this ensemble, it was so easy to move in. So what’s the lesson here? Make sure you have your most comfortable shirt and flats ready in case you’re running late for class. LOL.

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After that class I had to go straight to work. Obviously I could not come in wearing a mini skirt and flats, so I made sure I brought a pencil skirt and a pair of pumps.

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People don’t normally associate v-neck shirts with corporate looks, but I thought why not give it a try? I’ve always had this image in my head about pairing casual and corporate pieces. I’ve never done it until recently, so you can imagine my delight upon discovering they actually looked great together.

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It’s probably because the look creates a balance between ease and formality, which is something that I always gravitate towards, style-wise at least. Not too flashy, but at the same time not too simple. What do you think about how I styled my sexy white shirt? 😛

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Hype this look on Lookbook and Chictopia 🙂

White V-neck shirt from Sexy White Shirt (website | facebook)

Forever 21 pencil skirt | Twinky pumps | Mendrez flats | TMART bag

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TMART Reviews: Ostrich Pattern Gold-Chain Handbag

I don’t have a lot of bags at home. I don’t have too many requirements when looking for a bag, either. It just has to be roomy and sturdy, because I’m not exactly a good owner lol. So when TMART.com told me they’re sending me a bag for review, I immediately said yes. We’ve already heard so many online shopping horror stories so I thought it would be a good opportunity to check out the quality of the stuff TMART is selling. Right then and there I logged in to their website and went to the Shoulder & Handbags section. I wanted a simple black handbag that I can use both for work, school, and travel. I ultimately chose this design:

Fashion-Female-New-Special-Light-Bread-The-Mobile-Chain-Handbags-Ostrich-Pattern-Black_2_600x600Fortunately, the item was available. TMART processed the order on December 4, 2013 and arrived at the local post office on January 13, I believe. The postman left the claim card at my landlady’s mailbox on the 14th, but we only discovered it 4 days ago. So yeah, it took more than a month for the package to arrive, which is normal for me. It really does take 1 month or more for international packages to arrive at my place or at the post office.

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Upon claiming my package at the post office, the customs officer had to open the yellow bag to check what’s inside. I didn’t mind. I was too excited to see the bag so I hurried home afterwards. The bag was placed inside a fabric bag (?) and wrapped in plastic.

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And, tadaaaa! This is the actual item. It looks pretty good in my opinion and is very identical to the product photo posted on their website. Here’s the link: TMART Fashion Female New Special Light Bread The Mobile Chain Handbags Ostrich Pattern Black

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A closer look at the bag and seams would tell you that it is very well made. For Php 859.78 a piece, it’s a great buy. Anyway, below are the specs of the item as posted on the website:

Specifications

Material Leather, Metal
Style Handbags
Pocket Quantity 3
Bag Dimensions (13.38 x 3.74 x 8.66)” / (34 x 9.5 x 22) cm (L x W x H)
Leather Strap Length 110 cm / 43.3″
Color Black
Weight 690 g / 24.34 oz

Package Includes

  • 1 x  Fashion Female Bag
  • 1 x Metal Chain
  • 1 x Leather Strap

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Indeed, the package came with a leather strap and a legit metal chain. The chain is a bit heavy, which is a relief because that would only mean it won’t easily break. It’s an important factor for me because I’m quite clumsy and can be very careless at times.

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The bag has three pockets, like what is stated in the product description, an inside and outside gold zipper, and a gold metal handle. The zippers are working perfectly, by the way.

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Here is how the bag looks like when using the leather shoulder strap (L) and the gold metal chain (R). I think the leather strap would be great for school while the other is for work and meetings. What do you think? I honestly can’t wait to use it!

By the way I made an unpacking video in case you want to see more of the item. Please ignore the noise. My very nice neighbor decided it’s time to wash her dishes just as I was filming. Hehe

OVERALL PRODUCT RATING: 4.5 STARS
Shipping: 4 STARS
Packaging: 3.5 STARS
Truthfulness to the product description: 5 STARS
Product quality: 5 STARS

DISCLAIMER: This is not a paid post. I was not given any monetary compensation to do this review. The opinions published in this review are based solely on my experience. I and this blog are not responsible for any unfortunate incident you may encounter with the above-mentioned seller/merchant.

Shop Branded Apparel for Less

Who doesn’t love branded clothes? They are chic and trendy, but unfortunately come with a high price tag. Brands like Forever 21, Zara, Topshop, and Mango are just some of the many in demand high-street brands in the country. However, most of their items cost a thousand pesos and above, an amount that only the upper middle class and rich people can afford. Fortunately for people like me who are always on a tight budget, there are online stores that offer authentic apparel for half the original price or less—one of them is The Overruns Store.430012_278286178910886_2105158440_n

I found out about The Overruns Store four months ago on Facebook. I’ve always wondered before where all the unsold items from boutiques go. Forever 21, Zara, and the likes may be big brands but I know not all manufactured items get sold out. Through research, I discovered that these unsold items, called excess overruns or stock lots, go to warehouses and are being sold at a very low price, sometimes at 90% less than the original price. Resellers would then buy these excess overruns and export them to interested buyers in other countries. People would often call them as export overruns as well. The Overruns Store is one of the most trusted sellers of export overruns in the Philippines, with more than 20 thousand followers on Facebook and almost 50 thousand followers on Instagram. It’s where I also got most of the high-street clothes I wore on some of my previous blog posts.

I love Forever 21 and The Overruns Store provides the prettiest Forever 21 pieces, even though they were originally released two or three seasons ago. I haven’t met the seller personally yet, but I think she’s young and knows what teens and young adults want. I mean, there are literally millions of excess overruns and those include items for mature women. If the seller doesn’t have a vision of what her customers need, chances are she’ll just sell whatever’s available. But the TOS owner is not like that. 🙂

TOS stocks run out quickly because thousands of girls eagerly await for every post of new items from the store. You will have to be very patient when waiting for confirmation of your order. Other than that, you don’t have to worry about anything else. The items are in very good condition, usually priced beginning Php 250 and above. That’s a great steal! For a thousand bucks, you can get at least four branded apparels. Not bad right?

Fiigirl: Très Chic

As you know I turned 25 two months ago, and since then I’ve been thinking a lot about how difficult fashion can be sometimes. I’ve always gravitated towards pink and super girly things, which are unfortunately not always befitting older women. Worse, I have very few clothes that are appropriate for my age. A week ago I was scheduled to go to a book launch of my favorite fashion blogger, Tricia Gosingtian, and I was worried about what to wear to the event. Tricia has easily transitioned from being cute to sophisticated, and I wish I was that successful. I just can’t seem to let go of my affinity for anything young and girly.

Luckily, Fiigirl–an online shopping site based in China–sent me a really nice black dress, which arrived a day before the event. Talk about timing.

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The transaction was actually made in August, so it took about a month for the package to arrive at my place. This was the dress I was expecting to receive, according to the website:

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Product description (taken from the website):

Features:
* Sleek popular design
* High class standout quality
* Very soft and comfortable to the touch
* Material: Cotton
* Pattern: Solid pattern
* Color: Black/rosy
* Size: M, L

I picked this style because I thought it looked so chic and definitely office-appropriate. Here’s the actual dress, I got the medium-sized one:

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Online shopping is quite tricky because you won’t see the item until it arrives at your doorstep. I’ve heard (and experienced) a lot of horror stories about online shopping–from clothes not looking the same as posted, too small or too big, etc. Thankfully the dress I got from Fiigirl is almost similar to the one posted on the website.

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It’s not as cottony and stretchy as I hoped it would be, but that’s fine because the dress fits–although it’s a little tight around the armpits and a little loose at the shoulders. I’m not broad-shouldered so I understand that part. I just hope the sleeves were a tad shorter and the asymmetrical v-neck was more prominent like what is shown in the website. I think that’s the most interesting part of the design and the dress could have been more awesome if it was more noticeable.

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Nonetheless the dress still looks chic to me. LBDs are a woman’s must-have and I’m glad I finally got one that’s appropriate for my age but still fashionable. The best part is, it looks great with any shoe color.  Zalora sent me these gorgeous heels a week ago and I’m so glad it went well with the dress. They’re very comfortable too!

I wore very minimal accessories because I wanted the dress to be the key piece of this look. Tricia took a photo of me during the launch, I just hope I didn’t look fat in it, hehe. Overall, I’m satisfied with dress. It’s pretty and very affordable so I’d give it 4 out of 5 stars.

triciaTricia + Me at her book launch. Thanks to Candy Magazine for the photo! I gave her a subtle cat ears headband which I made the night before the event. I was so happy she liked it! She’s the nicest, I swear. Be sure to check out her book, 150 STYLE ESSENTIALS FOR EVERY GIRL! #fangirling

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Fiigirl dress | Pill shoes from Zalora

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Hype this look on

AND

chictopia

Analog Love

I mentioned last week that Chad and I have something to announce. People speculated we’re getting married—made me realize I should have phrased it better. We had a good laugh though. Unfortunately, we’re not… yet, but we did launch Analog Love Project on Tuesday and received great response from people. A big thanks goes out to those 250 people who liked our Facebook page and checked out the Analog Love Project site. If you are analog junkies like us, and you’re looking for people who can preserve your memories in legit film photographs and polaroids, we can be of service to you. 🙂

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And speaking of film, we used our new-found film for yesterday’s OOTD and magazine shoot—Kodak Pro Image. The pictures turned out really good and we’re excited to see the photos online.

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I wore this really pretty dress from Persunmall. I love the whole cape thing going on. Persunmall is a global online shopping site that has it’s own garment factory and in-house design team, so online shoppers are assured that they will get the exact same item displayed on their site. Cool, huh? Plus, their marketing and customer service staff are very kind, they attend to customer’s concern right away. I had a small problem with my credit card and they addressed the problem immediately.

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The dress came with this really adorable starfish cuff. I’m not really into bracelets and arm candies and stuff, but I make exceptions when the item’s too cute to resist. Case in point, this starfish cuff. It’s very sturdy, too. I dropped it a lot of times while we were shooting and it didn’t even have a single scratch. How’s that for quality? 🙂

Dress from Persunmall | Starfish cuff from Persunmall | Thrifted sequined flats

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Here’s Chad and I with Ana and Marthe after our magazine shoot yesterday. Excuse our tired faces. We had so much fun though! 🙂

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Hype my look on

AND

chictopia

ULINX: Magnetic Attraction

ULINX Jewelry, a store based in Los Angeles, California, sent me this awesome accessory a week ago. It’s made up of only magnetized links (or “linx”)—which means you won’t see any strings or glues in between links/beads, making it seamless and modifiable.

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ULINX provides the customer 4 collections of predesigned spheres/squares, called CLIX, to choose from. And everything else is up to the customer. To create your jewelry, you will have to choose from the styles on their website app:

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And then choose your CLIX design from the collections. In my case, I chose the peace symbols. I didn’t want to mix and match designs so I came up with this. You can, however, create your own combination.

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What I really love about this jewelry is that you can actually create many accessories from one bracelet. One ULINX bracelet is made up of 26 to 32 beads. It is quite big for my wrist, so I use the spare ones as earrings and ring! Isn’t that awesome?

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The magnets are strong enough to prevent everything from falling off. However, like other magnets, it should not be placed in direct contact with pacemakers and unshielded devices that use magnetic storage, such as ATM cards, credit cards, etc. Per the website, “Under normal use, small magnets should not affect computers, hard drives, cameras, MP3 players, LCD screens or watches.” Children under 14 years of age are advised not to use the jewelry; the jewelry is not a toy. Other than those precautions, ULINX is a very fun accessory. 🙂

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Check out this video to see what I’m raving about:

Check out the ULINX store here, as well as their Facebook page. Ciao!

Online Shopping Choices

Like shopping? Who doesn’t? Shopping is just one of best pleasures in life, especially when we have the spending power. But what if we don’t? Most working women tend to be skeptical about shopping, I know because I experience it myself. It’s difficult to buy stuff when you know you’ve worked hard to earn that money. But I have to satisfy my craving so to speak,  so I always search for shops that do not price too much but sell trendy items at the same time. Aside from that, time is also a factor. Busy women who work 8 to 12 hours a day find it difficult going to malls, so our usual go-to place is the internet. It’s convenient and cheap, we don’t have to worry about bracing the traffic just to get to that sale, right? 🙂

Below are four of my favorite online shops. Their items can be compared to those you see in malls, with prices that won’t certainly break the bank.

Dresses

I like dresses. If you scan my lookbook, you’ll see me wearing a dress in almost every photo. I just feel more feminine in them. Koreana and Gelibean Couture provide the prettiest items at a really affordable price.

Koreana is owned and managed by Pearl Avenilla (pictured above), who is often mistaken as a Korean, which would probably explain why she christened her online shop with such name. I call her secretly a superwoman, as she also works as a full-time bank manager while managing and modelling for her shop. Koreana’s price range begins at Php 300 to Php 600—very affordable if you ask me, not to mention you’ll instantly get a preview of the actual items as they are modelled by ‘real’ girls from my hometown, Naga City. Like Koreana’s Facebook page HERE and be delighted by Asian-inspired goodies. 🙂 I have worn two items from this shop in June and October.

Gelibean Couture is owned and managed by another superwoman, Angelina Go. A jack-of-all-trades, Angelina does the photography, make-up, and styling of her catalog, a testament to how incredible and stylish this woman is. Gelibean Couture (and its owner) has been featured in several media outlets, most notable of which is the Wall Street Asia Journal. Cool huh? What’s way cooler is you can imitate her style in just Php 300 to 900 tops. Like Gelibean Couture HERE or add the Multiply account for easier transaction 🙂

Bags

A look cannot be complete without accessories, and one of the most important and ergonomic piece of accessory is a bag. My favorites are Tsoknat Bags and Satchella.

Tsoknat Bags manufactures handmade bags for customers who appreciate modern, playful, and quirky designs. It is owned by Toni Rose Palma, who hails from Naga City, my hometown. The shop has been around for quite a long time, and thanks to Ms. Toni’s unwavering creativity, her shop offers new and unique designs. And have I told you the bags are made from scraps and used textiles? Tsoknat Bags is also 2007’s No. 1 online shop in the country. Ms. Toni only has one stock per design, so you’ll never worry of seeing someone else carrying your bag. Visit Tsoknat’s Multiply online shop or like the Facebook page to know more about their products and sales.

If you are into satchels like me, Satchella is the shop to visit. Satchels can be quite expensive, but Satchella offers the same design but with a cheaper price tag. The shop is owned by Fay Barroga and Kaycee Umali, a young entrepreneur studying at DLSU.  Their bags are worn by top bloggers Tricia Gosingtian and Dani Barretto. The bags are very roomy, I can even fit my laptop and notebooks in them. I purchased one in June and it’s still good as new. Durability? Check. Price? Check. Like their Facebook page HERE.

As a special, Christmas treat to my readers and blog followers, these shops (plus others which will also be announced soon) will be doing a blog giveaway here on Metamorphosis beginning December 1 until the end of the month. So make sure to drop by one week from now and get a chance to win items (yes, ITEMS) from each of these shopping havens!

 

Van Gogh Is Bipolar and So Is My Stomach

Art is the only abstract thing I appreciate. Unlike others, art can be seen and represented through tangible things, and can be arranged in a way that is pleasing to the eye. I’m always interested with stuff and places having color and design, which could be the reason why Chad and I arrived to the most artsy fartsy resto I’ve visited.

I’ve been hearing great reviews about Van Gogh Is Bipolar and the food served, but what really made me wanna come is the way the place was put together. Chad only had less than a month in the country so I figured I should bring him to a really interesting place.

 What could be more fascinating than a resto with house rules? Below are the ones customers should take note of while inside Jetro’s (the owner) lair:

1. Indoors are reserved for 12 diners only.

2. Please enjoy your tea outdoors.

3. NO SERVERS HERE. If you need anything, please ring the bell by the kitchen window.

4. Write your name and orders on paper provided.

5. For tea drinkers, read instructions on how to make your own.

6. After eating, kindly place soiled dishes by the kitchen window.

7. To pay, please ring the bell. Celebrate your shit life on the red curse-healing wall.

One awesome thing about the Jetro’s humble diner is he gives the guests the liberty to roam around the place , take photos, and touch and use the displays.

 Walls are decorated with pretty hanging things. Adorable huh?

 These  cutie patootie teapots remind me of the province. Ah, the good life.

The day’s menu is only composed of three sets. First set starts with a Php 600.00 (approx.) inclusive of tea, soup, drink, main course, and dessert.

While waiting for the soup, which was personally prepared by Jetro himself, we fixed ourselves some tea. The customer is free to choose whatever “flavor” he prefers, so yay! 🙂

A number of teapots are displayed on the other table for the customer’s use.

 

 This is me enjoying my tea and hat, courtesy of the resto.

This was our humongous drink–Courtney Love’s Potion of the Day–made from fresh fruit pulps and juice. Yum!

An equally tasty soup came after the drinks were served–Virginia Woolf Turkey Soup–which, unfortunately, I wasn’t able to take a photo of.

Now this is mouth-watering–Kurt Cobain Mediterranean Chicken served with the famous Van Gogh Black Rice. I must say that this was the best-tasting chicken I’ve ever eaten. It was well-cooked and bursting with flavor. Five stars to this!

We were supposed to drink Mel Gibson’s Darkest Sin but it had liquor so we opted for a sweeter and fruity dessert.

Do the names ring a bell? Yep, all of them are accomplished bipolars.

All customers place their payments at a money box right below this sign–a great way to exercise one’s honesty.

<3 The good times

NOTE: Major backlog. We went to Van Gogh Is Bipolar last month. I’m terribly missing that dude in the photo. He shot all the ones I posted in this entry. Visit his online journal and photo blog! 🙂

Van Gogh Is Bipolar
living art space. cafe.
154 Maginhawa St., Sikatuna Village, Quezon City, Philippines

Text 0922.824.3051 for reservations.

NU Skin Exfoliant Scrub and Toner Review

I live in a city where pollution is extremely high and the only way to battle it is proper cleansing. However, not all cleansers available in the market can assure a satisfying result.

We all know that our skin has pores that can be clogged by dirt, causing blackheads and pimples. Unclogging pores requires no ordinary cleansers, like the ones that have scrubs. Many people are skeptical with facial scrubs for fear of scratches on the face or any other skin damages. That’s understandable because facial skin is very sensitive and scrubs can indeed harm our skin, depending on their kind.

More than a couple of weeks ago, my friend asked me to try his company’s cleanser products, NU Skin. Without hesitation, I agreed since my skin is not as sensitive as others; besides, it says EXTRA GENTLE.

NU Skin Facial Scrub

Instructions and information

It says on the label that the product should be used twice a week, but according to my friend, three times a week during your first two weeks of use is recommended.

The cleanser contains barely visible, minuscule beads, called marine diatoms, which are proven safe for the skin unlike other cleansers that have pollen-like ones. After washing, you’ll feel more refreshed mainly because of the menthol-ly stuff infused in it.

AFTER IMAGE

The skin will feel slightly tight because of the removal of the dead skin cells.

NU Skin Mattefying Toner

It is essential to use a toner right after washing. It helps remove excess dirt.

One thing that scares me about toners is that some are really harsh to the skin. If you’re not careful when choosing and using a toner, it can leave burning sensations and red patches, BUT not this one. It’s very mild and it can thoroughly remove traces of dirt.

AFTER TONING

Toner chemicals often leave the skin very dry, probably due to its intensive cleansing and skin refinement properties, so moisturizing is necessary after. NU Skin’s toner, however, will leave your skin moisturized and damage-free. Credit that to its pH-balancing and mattefying capabilities.

NU Skin is a foreign product, so it’s not yet available in Philippine stores. But if you’d like to try it and enjoy beautiful skin, you may order from Resty thru restynuegas@gmail.com or contact him at these numbers:

09238407186

09152596998

 

Toodles! 🙂

Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser Review

I thank my parents for blessing me with not-so-sensitive facial skin. When I was growing up, I never had problems with pimples. Yeah, I do get a pimple when my period’s coming, but that’s it. I was never and still am not afraid to try every facial cleanser available in the market because I know I’m not allergic (or sensitive) to any. The worst thing a facial cleanser could do to me is give me dry skin, which I already hate.

I’ve been using Pond’s since college and it has never failed me, except for the dryness it occasionally leaves my skin. I use it night and day, so I figured that maybe I should use a milder facial cleanser to remove dirt and makeup.

I have known Cetaphil way back, but I never considered using it, thinking that it should only be used by people with grave skin problems. There’s something about the brand name and logo that’s so clinic-ky, so I never bothered. Blame it on my judgmental nature. Chos.

If not for the makeup artists I’ve met, I would have not gotten acquainted with Cetaphil’s uses. They use Cetaphil as makeup remover, using a wet tissue and spreading it all over my face. I really liked how it makes my skin feel, so I decided to get one for myself:

It’s quite expensive for a 60 mL, priced at a little less than Php 200.

CLAIMS:

Cetaphil® Gentle Skin Cleanser is great for daily makeup removal. Originally formulated for dermatologists, this cleanser is gentle on your skin and sensitive to your skin’s needs. Cetaphil® Gentle Skin Cleanser will not strip the skin of natural protective oils or emollients, or disturb the skin’s natural pH balance. Recommended for years by dermatologists, it is fragrance-free and non-comedogenic. Cetaphil® Gentle Skin Cleanser is gentle enough for children, teens and adults.

Non-comedogenic means it does not clog pores, which somehow puzzles me because it doesn’t have scrubs or something, not that I’m saying cleansers should always have scrubs to unclog pores.

The best thing about this cleanser is that you can use it without water.

Hello, dry skin. I decided to use my unmoisturized hand to give you guys a preview of how Cetaphil would look like when used.

Just apply it on your skin and rub gently to remove dirt. You’ll need a wet tissue or a soft cloth to remove the excess cleanser.

Let the thin film dry up after rubbing and removing excess cleanser.

 

Look at the difference. Please don't mind the change in tone, I dunno how it happened. Hehe 🙂

I was pretty amazed myself after using it. My skin became smooth and soft, I need not apply moisturizer after!

True to its claims, Cetaphil is soothing, mild and fragrance-free, unlike other facial cleansers smothered with perfume (which, I believe, makes cleansers harsh to the skin).

I give the product a good ten. 🙂

Visit their site for more information about their products.

Conceal That Spot: Basic Beauty Concealer Review

One thing I learned about shopping for make-up is to try the testers AND that you are never required to buy an item after testing it. The tester is there to give you an idea of how it looks and feels–if it’s what you need or if you’re not allergic to it. Another thing is to not buy at the same day of testing. You wouldn’t know if you’re allergic to that product if you buy it rightaway; the best thing to do is to let it stay on your skin for a few hours, or minutes.

With these learning in mind, I went to every make-up counter at Landmark and tried the stuff I needed for a photo shoot the next day (obviously, I was tasked to be the make-up artist). I started from Revlon, CoverGirl, Fanny Serrano, Nichido, Ever Bilena, Basic Beauty, to Ianti. I’ve been looking for the best concealer in malls, and by best I consider performance and cost. Yeah sure, Revlon, MAC, CoverGirl, and other make-up giants may be one of the best performing ones out there, but their cost are too hefty for students and even for average wage earners like me. Nichido was my best friend for years, but I constantly had trouble with it whenever the room temperature gets high. It sort of melts and looks eeky, it starts to stick on its cover and case. I never wanted that kind of trouble, very untidy.

So I headed to Basic Beauty. I was a little skeptical testing their items at first. Their packaging is not as impressive as the others, you know. It’s pretty obvious that it’s a new brand:

But since the sales person was very nice, I let her introduce to me the product. I asked questions after (if the brand is new, if it melts in high temperature, blah blah blah). It’s the brand’s best seller, she said, even if it was just recently launched. Below are the other claims:

  • It’s hypoallergenic.
  • It’s dermatologist-tested.
  • It’s fragrance-free.
  • It’s doesn’t clump nor chalk.

Sorry, I used it already after taking this shot that’s why it looks a little, uhh, used. 🙂

True enough, I didn’t get any uncomfortable feeling when I tested it. It blends really well on my skin, plus it’s a little dry so there was no sticky feel either. It’s like a compact powder with concealing abilities, you know what I mean? It looks very natural!

BEFORE

I don’t know if you can see them, but I have thin lines below and at the corner of my eyes. The color of my eye area is also uneven with the rest of my facial skin.

AFTER

Lines are gone. And the skin is toned and even. (The After photo’s brightness changed a bit, one light in our office got switched off while I and my friend was taking this. Sorry, but I assure you, there were no manipulations.)

The product has three variations–light, medium, and dark to suit every skin tone. I used light, I have a pale face. Anyhoo, this concealer costs a meager Php179.00. Slightly pricier than Nichido, but it’s worth the extra pesos. I found Basic Beauty in Landmark, Trinoma, so I believe it’s available in all Ayala Malls. Like their Facebook page to get updates on their products.

Check here for studio shots where I used the concealer.

On a totally unrelated note, I know this Before-and-After photo might freak you out a bit. I was. HAHA. Reminds me of The Ring. Creepy. Bye! 🙂

From Tumblr to New York Fashion Week

A long time ago, blogs were only considered as an online journal or a hideout for some people. But as technology improved, so does the popularity of blogs and the bloggers. Now, they are both loved and feared by many as this bunch of blog peeps can easily praise or scandalize people with just a few words. Aside from this, gifts, not to mention bangin’ shoes, clothes, and accessories, writing opportunities, media features, and access to sought-after events are some of the  perks that wait on bloggers’ doorsteps.

Tumblr, one of the biggest blog platforms in like the whole world has announced earlier in January of this year that they will be sending 20+ of their bloggers to New York Fashion Week. How’s that for a perk, huh? And yesterday, the list of 24 bloggers were released and they are: *(cue music)*

Jessica Schroeder (whatiwore.tumblr.com)
John Jannuzzi (textbook.tumblr.com)
Tricia Gosingtian (triciawillgoplaces.tumblr.com)
Erin Hagstrom (calivintage.tumblr.com)
Rebecca Stice (theclotheshorse.tumblr.com)
Sara Zucker (sarazucker.tumblr.com)
Courtney Kellner (theowlsarenotwhattheyseem.tumblr.com)
Stefanie Fail (theowlsarenotwhattheyseem.tumblr.com)
Sabino Aguad (sabino.tumblr.com)
Jamie Beck (fromme-toyou.tumblr.com)
Geri Hirsch (becauseimaddicted.tumblr.com)
Giuseppe Santamaria (meninthistown.tumblr.com)
Erica Domesek (ps-imadethis.tumblr.com)
Ashley Yingling (loveforfashion.tumblr.com)
Montserrat Macuer (audreyhepburncomplex.tumblr.com)
Jeannine Tan (papertissue.tumblr.com)
Amy Weidenbach (peacelovechanel.tumblr.com)
Rachel Schwartz (darklamb.tumblr.com)
Stephanie Toms (cocochic.tumblr.com)
Ella Wood (partytights.tumblr.com)
Chelsea Bell (vogueweekend.tumblr.com)
Ashley Simko (simko.tumblr.com)
Terra McBride (stylishwhitefemale.tumblr.com)
Alexandra Froggett (imanotawhore.tumblr.com)

Yes, you read it right. Tricia Gosingtian, the Philippines’ top fashion blogger, will be in New York Fashion Week! Yay! All 24 will get to stay in New York for free, dine with the designers, editors, and some fashion personalities. I follow Tricia Gosingtian in Tumblr and I know she definitely deserves to come to New York Fashion Week, which will open tomorrow (February 10, New York time) btw.

“Everyone from Diane von Furstenberg and Tory Burch to Donna Karan and Derek Lam will be showing their fall collections to fashion editors, buyers, celebrities, socialites and bloggers, while style experts watch closely for emerging fashion trends.” Just hearing Diane Von Furstenberg and Tory Burch makes me all the more excited. I will definitely watch out for the Fall 2011 collection.

Being an online blabber certainly has advantages. ‘Be back in a jiffy. 🙂

CREDITS: Photo © Tricia Gosingtian, http://getoffmyinternets.net/, http://stylebakery.com/style-recipes/new_york_fashion_week_fall_2011_excitement_begins.html, http://nymag.com/daily/fashion/2011/02/the_cut_joins_tumblrs_fashion.html, http://blogs.stylebible.ph/previewblog/tag/tricia-gosingtian/

Forever 21 + St. Francis Square = A Must-Love

Ali and I usually have lazy weekends together. We just normally eat, sleep, watch movies, and surf the net on those days. So today, to spice things up a bit, we decided to go outside Quezon City. She’d been urging me for weeks to visit St. Francis Square for there are lots of goodies there. And since it was just right behind Megamall, I asked her that we pass by Forever 21.

Whenever I go to Megamall, I always make sure to visit Forever 21 even if I do not have intentions of buying. Just looking at the store and its incredibly fashionable items makes me blissful!

Forever 21 has the most amazing pairs of shoes 🙂

Yep, that’s me trying on some nude wedges. I know what I want next time. Hee.

Read more.

TOPSHOP Spring Summer 2011

I was doing my usual fashion trends research today when I was simply starstruck by Topshop’s Spring Summer 2011 collection. I was originally planning to blog about Chanel and LV again, but I just couldn’t resist to share to you, guys, Topshop’s awesome collection. It’s fun and hip, and gave the bohemian vibe that I dearly love.

Read more.

Preview No. 3: Liz Uy

Hurray! I was able to grab a copy of the Jan/Feb 2011 issue with no less than Liz Uy on the cover yesterday.

What is so special about her that made her land the cover of the No. 1 local fashion magazine? First of all, Liz Uy is just one of the most popular or, shall I say, best stylist in the country; she is a presidential and celebrity stylist. Moreover, she is also the fashion editor of the magazine  she posed for. Although some people raised their eyebrows upon seeing her on the cover (because it’s like a rule that magazine editors and staff should avoid featuring themselves), I think it’s quite a great idea having her. For one, Liz’s style is prodigious yet smooth. It’s like natural for her to look fashionable. Second, the buzz she unintentionally created last year is definitely something worth featuring. Aside from that, she handled all the rumors like how a real fashionista should handle them–with grace and poise. And third, as one reader said, it’s probably high time that magazines stop featuring actors. and instead present those people who helped those actors look beautiful.

Well that’s just about the cover, you haven’t seen anything yet. Unlike other magazines, Preview always comes up with creative ideas in every issue. Last December, they launched the augmented reality with Solenn Heussaff. In this month’s issue, Preview presents the best of S/S 2011 trends “in tune” with the greatest musical compilations:

Read more.

Hearting Valentino: The 2011 Pre-Fall Collection

More often than not, ordinary dressers (like me) refuse to wear designs from runway shows for the following reasons:

  • The designs are very out-of-this-worldly, it’s quite embarrassing, instead of uplifting, wearing them in public.
  • They seem to be patterned to a modelesque physique alone.
  • The costs are pretty expensive for average earners.

The last one being the most common, which also explains why many of us sacrifice personal style. We have to admit that better-looking clothes carry hefty price tags. We have to take note though that we don’t have to buy LV or Chanel-like garments  just to be considered in style; it is also a big NO-NO to buy fake ones, and worse announce that they’re authentic. There are alternatives to looking great without burning holes in your pocket, all you have to do is know the current trends and their look-alikes.

Time flies fast and soon we’ll realize fall is back,  and  the best labels to turn to for inspiration this season are Burberry Prorsum and Valentino. i’ll focus on Valentino in this post as I can’t get enough of the label’s 2011 pre-fall collection.

This reminds me of the Adams Family.

Read more.

The Black Swan

One of the best 2010 movies I’ve seen is the Black Swan. It’s a psychological thriller played by the ever-beautiful Natalie Portman.

The Black Swan is a story about a ballerina, Nina Sayers, who dreams of coveting the lead role for her New York City ballet company’s production of The Swan Lake, but finds difficulty playing both the White and Black Swan. Although she perfectly fits the White Swan, her stiffness and perfectionism prevent her from embodying the Black Swan, which suited Lily (Mila Kunis) more, her understudy.

Read more.

Dr. Lydia Venzon Celebrates Her 84th Birthday!

If you’re a nursing student in the Philippines and you do not know Dr. Lydia Venzon, I pity you. No, really. It’s like a must that you know her because she is just one of the founding members of the largest nursing associations in the country. Plus, her three books (which I helped edit, btw. Ehehe.) are most probably your textbooks at school. Are these familiar? (They may look a little bit different because the new editions just got released.)

Read more.

Louis Vuitton Spring Summer 2011 Collection

  

“Louis Vuitton Malletier — commonly referred to as Louis Vuitton , or shortened to LV — is a French fashion house founded in 1854. The label is well known for its LV monogram, which is featured on most products, ranging from luxury trunks and leather goods to ready-to-wear, shoes, watches, jewellery, accessories, sunglasses, and books. Louis Vuitton is one of the world’s leading international fashion houses. Louis Vuitton sells its products through small boutiques in high-end department stores, and through the e-commerce section of its website.” ~Wikipedia, 2010

LV 2011 designed by Marc Jacobs took a really oriental turn in its Spring Summer 2011 collection. Mao-neck pieces were all over the runway. LV made it a little more fierce by splashing some colors. The following were the highlights of the collection:

Read more.

Chanel Spring Summer 2011 Collection

I have been very open about my love for fashion. Sad to say, I only know minuscule things about it. A true fashion enthusiast, I believe, should know every prominent label in Milan, London, and New York. He/she should be adept in executing the current trends, e.g. the colors, textures, and designs for Spring Summer 2011. In this post, I will attempt to share the trend for S/S 2011 and perhaps give a few insights of what’s in store for next year’s fashion industry, well, according to Chanel.

Fashion ignoranti like me only know well a few fashion labels–most of the time, the popularly-used ones. Who has not heard of Chanel? This uber famous brand is founded by Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel. It is recognized as the most established in haute couture, ready-to-wear clothes, handbags, perfumery, and cosmetics among others (Wikipedia, 2010). No wonder, every fashionista in the world worships Chanel.

Winter is almost over, and summer and spring are upcoming. What way to rock those seasons best but wear Chanel’s S/S 2011 collection. They are chic, some are cozy, elegant, and adventurous.

Read more.

REVIEW: Pond’s Pure White with Activated Carbon

When I first saw this on TV, I snorted. I thought, wow, another marketing ploy to attract consumers. Activated carbon, really? I never knew much about chemistry, but I found it ridiculous splashing carbon all over your face. Yeah, that was exaggerated. Needless to say, I wasn’t excited to try it.

When the product was launched, free sachets were given out to MRT stations. This one lady was in a real hurry so she gave me tons of samples. And it so happened I had no more facial wash at home. Great, so I guess I have no choice but to try them then. Being a cautious consumer, I read the labels first.

CLAIMS:

  • Lifts away impurities
  • Helps cleanse face thoroughly
  • Reveals natural pure white skin

THE REAL SCORE:

All three claims are true. It does cleanse really well, I’ve been using it for over a month already. My skin has become noticeably clearer and fairer, too. The only problem is, and this is usually true for all Pond’s products (according to my experience at least), that though it cleanses thoroughly, facial skin tends to become dry in which one needs the use of a moisturizer after.

I am not allergic to any product (that’s a yay for me!), so I cannot assure that Pond’s Pure White with Activated Carbon is safe for everyone’s skin. Overall, the product is excellent. My friend and I actually buy bigger containers now. I recommended it to a neighbor, and she loved the results. 🙂

RATING: ?????

***Photo from Google