Friday, December 30, 2011

BB Creams are just for the Fair Ladies? BSKIN BB Cream Says Of Course Not!

"Woah, it mimics my skin color!" Those were the words which automatically came out of my lips the first time I used BSKIN BB Cream.

I was introduced to this brand by a good friend of mine from HDI, one of the first direct marketing companies established in Philippines and Hongkong in 1989. 

An intimate dinner was arranged for five chosen beauty and lifestyle bloggers to have a first hand on the much anticipated blemish balm.

Me, Martha of Beauty Junkee, Shen of Shen's Addiction, Michelle of Mrs. Martinez's Raves and Rants and Rowena of Animetric's World with Elaine Gallardo, Marketing Manager of HDI Network.

 Just like most BB Creams, BSKIN is aimed to help conceal and heal blemishes and skin imperfections while protecting the skin as it boasts of SPF 37/PA +++. But what makes it a cut above the rest is its ability to adapt to any skin color (and I mean even morena girls!) as soon as you apply/rub it on your skin. White cast and having a paler face than the rest of the body are common concerns among BB Cream users and BSKIN promises to solve this problem.

I was skeptical as first and so we asked Martha to try it since she's the most morena among the group. To the group's surprise, it did match Martha's golden tone! Michelle captured it on video, on the spot, no camera or lighting tricks. 

Credits to Michelle Cu Martinez of Mrs. Martinez's Raves and Rants

BSKIN BB Cream is colored white but can adapt to any skin tone, even the darker ones, because of the unique Microcap Technology. This releases 95-97% of the active ingredients after smooth rubbing action. The micro-caps will remain intact until application on targeted areas. Now that tells me that this product is backed up by Science and a lot of research.

According to HDI, they opted to let go of a box packaging for cost efficiency and affordability to more Filipinas.

BSKIN starts out white then mimics your skin color as you rub it on your skin.

A closer look on how it changes color to match your skin tone

Before applying BSKIN BB Cream: Red blotches and dark acne marks

After applying BSKIN BB Cream: More even skin tone, and less obvious dark marks

If you're like me who's not into heavy foundation everyday, then BSKIN BB Cream is an ideal alternative. It has light to medium coverage which is perfect for normal days. I let it set for a few minutes, then dust some pressed powder or mineral veil to seal it in and mattify my skin. Best of all, I get other benefits from a blemish balm like firmer skin, reduced lines and wrinkles and UV protection. 
Other natural healing ingredients inside BSKIN BB Cream include Green Tea Extract, Royal Jelly, Arbutin, Jojoba, Allantoin and Vitamin E.

My only concern with this product, which I know many of you are also aware of, is that BB Cream tends to make the skin oily. To start out, I already have super oily skin, and so I usually use BB Creams on colder days and when I'm sure to be indoors all day. If only I have dry, matte skin, then BSKIN BB Cream would be my best friend! So in case you're an oil mine like me, then make sure to set it with powder and have blotters handy.

30ml tube only costs Php 780, and goes a really long way. If you have darker skin, then this baby is your best bet among BB Creams in the market. 

For orders or inquiries, you may call HDI Network at 635-2431 (office hours and weekdays only), or you may order through me. Just leave a comment or email me at and I will gladly connect you to my friend over at HDI. :)

You may also check what others have to say about this product:

Have a great skin in 2012! :) 

From the Nook, 

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Skin Care: Hydra Facial by House of Obagi

I'm scared of getting facials. The mere thought of the scary metal tool they use to pop acne is enough to get me to turn my heel and head the opposite direction.

I guess I owe this fear from my first facial experience, which unfortunately turned out tragic. It was  back in first year high school, when having the word teen attached to my age convinced me I must get one. Of course I don't know any better then, and so I bugged my mom for some money and nervously headed to a random facial salon. They started with an over the counter cold cream to clean my face, followed by a facial scrub which they keep in the kitchen fridge (how did I get so tanga?), and hot towel and steam to open my pores. That's where the drama began. They pricked my young skin too harsh I ended up with a wounded face for days! I'm quite sure that's when my acne problem also started. 

Now that I know so much better, I only go to reputable skin care clinics. One of the most trusted authority in skin care is the House of Obagi. Recently, I tried the new Hydrafacial from the HOO branch in Alabang Town Center; a breakthrough skin resurfacing and hydrating treatment that is non-irritating, non-invasive and safe or all skin types. Hydrafacial took its name from the rootword hydrate, as it removes dead skin cells and impurities while simultaneously bathing the new skin with cleansing, hydrating and moisturizing serums. 

For about an hour, I felt like my face traveled to skin heaven! The Hydrafacial procedure combined massaging, cleansing, exfoliation, extraction, hydration and antioxidant protection. This powerful combination improves the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, congested and enlarged pores, oily or acne-prone skin, hyperpigmentation and brown spots and is safe to be done twice a month. The best part is that you don't have to worry about painful (and unhygienic) facial procedures that you get from dime a dozen facial salons. All you get is a relaxing experience and softer, more hydrated face in an hour with no downtime at all. Yep, say goodbye to mini lacerations and hiding indoors after each facial treatment. I actually attended an event a few hours after getting Hydrafacial.

The price may be steep at Php 4,000/session, but your face will surely thank you for a much deserved rejuvenation. You can also watch out for promo offers on this procedure (up to 50% off at times!) and many others by following the House of Obagi on Facebook.

House of Obagi, Alabang Town Center branch
Treatment room is simple, cozy and clean
My skin's condition before the treatment is a giveaway on the countless days of stress and exposure to pollution. Look at those dark eye bags!
Cleansing and skin preparation which includes inhaling of scented extracts and a relaxing facial massage. Nurse Luanne is very polite and accomodating. She explained every step of the procedure and answered my question patiently.
The Hydrafacial machine infuses the serums directly into the skin for optimum absorption and immediate effects
The serums that cleanse, exfoliate, nourish and hydrate the skin
The magic wand is at work, infusing the rich serums on my face and neck.
There's also a bit of pricking, but read this: NO PAIN AT ALL. The skin is very soft and well hydrated before extraction that blackheads and whiteheads literally jumps out of my pores!
My glowing skin, 3 days after Hydrafacial

You may get your treatment from these HOO branches. Better to call ahead for a schedule.

House of Obagi Trinoma
Level 2, TriNoma Mall
Tel. nos: 916-6564/ 916-9820/ 0917-8610147

House of Obagi Alabang
Service Town Center, Alabang Town Center
Tel. nos: 659-1600/ 659-1599/ 0917-8610148

House of Obagi Greenbelt
Ground floor, Greenbelt 5
Tel. nos: 756-0771/ 729-0576/ 0917-8661463

House of Obagi SM Pampanga
Annex 3, SM City Pampanga
Tel. nos. (045) 455-3336/ 0917-8720876

House of Obagi SM North
Ground floor, Main Building, SM City North Edsa
Tel Nos.: 332-0421/ 0917-8720873

House of Obagi Robinsons Place
Level 2, Padre Faura Wing, Robinsons Place Ermita
Tel. Nos.: 559-7760/ 0917-8720874

Note: Author was given a gift card from an Obagi bloggers' event, but review and comments are solely based on her personal experience. Gracias to our friends from the House of Obagi especially Ms. Eileen Marcelo. 

It's only a few days before we say goodbye to 2011, have you decided what your 2012 goals will be? Grab a pen and paper and start your list! Be ambitious and aim high, ladies! :)

From the Nook, 

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

CALL FOR HELP: Thousands Left Homeless in Negros Oriental

To my dear readers, 

I was supposed to post about a BB cream I recently tested but opted to give way to call for help instead. Filipino hearts are in pain over the recent tragedy that struck Iligan City and Cagayan de Oro. This feels so much like Ondoy, or even worse. I'm safe and sound in a hotel, detached from the news when everything happened. My house was not affected either, unlike before that to my horror, our ground floor was submerged in thigh-deep murky water.

Companies, NGOs and government agencies are pooling energy, time and resources to reach our brothers and sisters in Mindanao, but let us not forget that Negros Oriental was also badly affected, the coastal city of Dumaguete in particular. I did an event in Dumaguete City in early December, and I fell in love not only with the natural charm and prosperity of the place, but the gentleness and kindness of the DumagueteƱos. I'm so in love that I'm supposed to book a flight for February 'til this happened. While we shared our resources to CDO and Iligan, I hope we can also funnel a little for our brothers and sisters in Negros Oriental. 

Sharing this video that documented the flash flood in Dumaguete City.


I'm personally pooling donations from my colleagues, friends and family that I will send to our contact person from Silliman University, Mr. Mark Raygan Garcia of the Office of Information & Publication. I've worked with Silliman and so I'm assured that our donation will reach the right people and places. Thousands of families lost their homes and are currently staying in evacuation centers and in immediate need of food, clothing, toiletries and medicines. Cash is preferred as it will no longer entail shipping costs (LBC and Air21 sends donations only to CDO and Iligan for free). Please click HERE for a full list of ways to donate.

I know that many of us have already sent relief goods and money to CDO and Iligan (bless you!), but if you still have some left, I hope you can also extend help to Negros Oriental. Please contact me how at I plan to send the money by Friday, December 23. Any amount will do and I'll make sure to email you the copy of the deposit slip afterwards.

Thank you and may you all be blessed this Christmas and always! 

From the Nook, 

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

My Christmas List Would Have Been This

I know, it's too late to make a wish list when Christmas is just five days away, but I'll make one anyway.

This is the season when everyone is occupied and all thoroughfares are packed regardless of the hour. My colleague told me it took her an hour to get a cab from Makati to Quezon City and I candidly answered it's normal before she shrieked that it happened at the dead hour of 2:30 AM.  But I'm not one to complain about anything at all, Christmas is my favorite season and I don't intend to bloat my ego when I tell you that I blow my bonus and part of my savings in buying gifts for other people, that I actually forget to think about what I want for myself. 

I've been an independent head for the past six years, and have not received any financial support or lavish gifts whatsoever from my parents that whenever I want something, it's a given that I have to get it for myself. It's not something to brag about but I'm not comfortable receiving expensive gifts from whoever, not even my boyfriend. If it's more that ten grand, I feel shy and awkward about it that I automatically want to say no. If it's not pride, and I'm quite sure it's not, then I don't know how else to call it. Mahiyain? 

In the several occasions that I have to write a wish list for the traditional monito-monita with my colleagues, cousins and friends, I find myself wanting the simplest things and often unable to finish the required number of wish that is three that I usually end up asking my mom or my Sweetie what they want so they can just have what I'll get. True story. 

I'd like to believe that at my age, I still happen to like material things but gain inspiration and happiness from the comfort and love of people around me.

So here's the wish list that can make this cheapo girl really happy!

1. Paperback collection of Harry Potter  

I was able to finish the HP series from lend outs back in HS. It will be great to have the complete set in my shelf as this is one of the first books I actually finished in 48 hours.

2. Hot Pink of Moss Green Water Bottle (2 Liters)

I cannot reiterate further the importance of keeping yourself hydrated. It can do wonders for your skin and  overall health and the best way to ensure that you're getting enough is to have 2 liters of water on your table everyday. Drink up!

KOR ONE water bottles will be a nice option. Image VIA.

3. Black & Decker Sandwich Maker

Grilled cheese sandwich is perfect to go with my favorite cup of coffee. This will come handy during the Sunday afternoon sessions with mama.

4. Book, Books, and More Books 

I want to expand my book collection and make sure that my nieces, nephews and future children will not ran out of choice; never mind that I have books in every nook and corner of my itsy, bitsy, tiny room.





5. Laptop Bag in Faux Croc or Zebra Print

I have to admit that I'm an old soul and house my laptop in the fugly, black, generic bag that came along with the purchase. It's about time to "brand" my baby with my signature choice of red and/or organic prints.



 6. Cross Trainers

My white Dunlop running shoes I bought from KL four years ago finally gave up. I'm thinking of getting a Cross Trainers instead of Running Shoes so that it can be used for a variety of activities but when I visited the Nike website to canvass for my next pair, I got interested with their finding the right shoes test and here are their recommendations for someone who has a low arch and overpronation stride.

Hmm, not exactly the style and color I wanted, but health and safety comes first. My colleague broke her foot last week (albeit from barefoot dancing, don't ask me how LOL) and I personally brought her to Makati Med and witnessed how serious it can be. She now has fiber cement on her foot and will probably need pinning and will be immobile for six weeks! Six freakin' weeks! How sad especially for the Christmas break. 

Another option is this cute, orange shoes from Adidas Climacool Ride Shoes Collection, but I have to check if it fits my foot profile. I recommend you also take the test online or ask assistance from store personnel to find the best shoes for you.

I honestly can't think of anything else as of the moment. I'm not really sold with the idea of a wish list anyway because it's always more exciting to open gifts when you're clueless. For me, asking for what you like kills the thrill, but oh well, better than getting a sick gift of photo album or a set of hanky! LOL. And then again, I'll probably have to dent my wallet and buy these things myself or divert my resources to buy more gifts to my countless relatives, family and friends that I love so much. In that sense, I'm truly rich and so it's really fine not to complete my wish list anymore. :)

Have a Blessed, Merry Christmas, loves!

From the Nook, 

Monday, December 19, 2011

My Best Christmas Party Eveeeer!

I'm used to traditional Christmas parties from my past corporate life. Traditional meaning 5-star hotel ballrooms, assigned tables, employee presentations, celebrity guests, and the only thing I miss from the list, unbelievably opulent raffle prizes. (I'm talking about cars, out of the country vacations and top of the line gadgets here)

But people (Filipino staff) from where I'm from hesitated to wear costumes, and so year by year, it's been the expat workers who win the best in costume pot. Such a shame. It would be nice to see Filipinos let their guards down and just have fun. Dressing up is so liberating, right?

So since I jumped back to my old world, I never ran low of reasons to dress up. My job requires me to attend media events and other social gatherings, but the best parties so far are internal ones. It was a long list of Christmas party themes we chose from, but it is just right for our party to be inspired by one of the biggest and most successful events we handled this year: Cirque Du Soleil

We decided to let go of the dragging employee presentations or formal sit down affair and chose to be entertained instead. After all, 2011 is such a damn tiring but fruitful year for us and that explains why agency people are too hot to unwind, let loose, and end the year with a loud, drunk bang!

                                                    The performers

Apparently, she's so famous na pala! ;p

Watch her performance in one of the local talent shows. So creepy! 
And here are some of my most favorite people in the world in their Circus inspired costumes. :)

Me, Sexy Clown Carry and Madhatter Karen
Bellydancer Naissa, Lioness Pia, Magician Nina and grand-prize winner Kat
Elegant black girls Tin and Aileen, Madam Jelly and Creepy Clown LJ
Super Cutie Tina, Tin Soldier Amiel and Playboy Bunny Jill
My wicked mother Karen
Time to take off your heels and dance like walang pasok the following day, kahit meron! meron! merooon! LOL.

OOTN: Tiketera?

I was also tasked to host the party but my partner, Amiel, is a professional host and theater actor, ka-pressure naman! LOL.

Makeup peg for the night

I obviously had so much fun! In fact, I haven't jumped and screamed on the dance floor this much in ages. I also stood near the door for a good 10 minutes, feeling cute and silly in my costume, and just watched people dressed even crazier come in. I just had to exclaim, hey f*ck, I really belong here! :)

Merry Christmas to my dear readers, and I hope you enjoyed your parties as much as I did. 

*But while doing that, let us not forget to lend a hand to our brothers and sisters affected by Typhoon Sendong. LBC accepts donations which they will ship to Iligan and Cagayan de Oro for free. Kudos, LBC! 

From the Nook, 

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Product Review: Celeteque DermoScience Makeup Remover/Cleansing Facial Wipes

I'm very particular with my skin regimen. My routine is quite simple, but I make sure to follow it religiously. Here's how a normal day looks like. 


Acne Aid Facial Bar 
Human Nature Tomato Toner 
*followed by my usual makeup 

Since night is the best time for my skin to rejuvenate, I have more steps in my night regimen.

Acne Aid Facial Bar 
Human Nature Tomato Toner 
Kiehl's ACAI Damage Repair Serum
Celeteque Advance Anti-Age Night Moisturizer 
Eye Cream (St. Ive's, Celeteque or Garnier) 

The regimen has kept my skin healthy and clear, together with twice a week facial scrubs (St. Ive's Apricot of Human Nature Black Rice Scrub) and monthly facial cleaning. But all the doctors and skin experts I've met said the same thing: never go to bed without removing your makeup. Indeed, calling it a night without making sure your face is free of dirt and makeup is the perfect formula for the next morning's disaster. 

Thankfully, there are a hundred and one ways to remove your makeup and make sure your skin is clean and your pores are not clogged before sleeping. There are cleansing oils (Shu Uemura's Cleansing Oil is a top choice albeit quite pricey), OTC makeup removers from L'Oreal, Maybelline and even local brands like Ever Bilena, organic ones like Ilog Maria's Cleansing Milk and the very convenient cleansing wipes/cloths.

One of the brands I've tried is Celeteque DermoScience's Hydration Makeup Remover and Cleansing Facial Wipes (Php 160.00). Although it's ideal to still wash your face with water after using makeup removers, having wipes beside your bed is a good and convenient alternative when you are too tired or in my case last night, too drunk to wash your face (it's my company's Christmas Party so I'm excused, thank you :D)

My notes:

Smells fresh and clean 
Soft on skin 
Non-drying and gentle even to sensitive skin 
Very effective in removing stubborn makeup like eye liners and long wear lipstick
A sheet can clean the whole face, but a second one will finish the job

I wore very heavy, artistic makeup last night and it's the best time to test this product. Pardon the photo, but here's what I removed from my face after a long night of partying. That's a lot don't you think so?

And just to give you an idea how much makeup I have on, see this photo and take note that I haven't even started with contouring and blush application at this stage. 

As I've said, it's still best to wash your face with water and cleanser of your choice after using makeup removers. Not only that ensures a face that is free from traces of oils and chemicals, but also the best way to feel refreshed and clean before bedtime. 

I hope you can also share your beauty regimen, would love to hear how you keep your face clean before hitting the sack! :)

And oh, have a really Merry Christmas! :) 
From the Nook, 

Monday, December 5, 2011

The Good Life:

It's the gift giving season once again, but unlike the previous Christmas when I started planning and shopping as early as August, I was swamped with work this year and just realized I'm running late with my list when I flipped my desk calendar and surprise, it's already December! 

This is the perfect time to get help from online shopping, and group buying sites are everywhere offering great deals left and right. The problem is, I want my Christmas gifts to be extra special, and I can't seem to find the nicest items I want for select people like my mom and lola. The offerings are usually from new establishments that are relatively unknown, or too much people are buying that getting a slot at a convenient time is next to impossible (I have some vouchers that actually expired!). With a lot of horror stories left and right, I'm not risking my holiday treats for the best people in my life. 

Kudos to people behind the Dealuxuries, the newest and out of the box buying site. It's an ultra exclusive online shopping club where members are offered only the finest, most luxurious items and experiences. Dealuxuries promise not only good meals or discounted getaways but a total first class experience for people with an appetite for the good life. 

Since Christmas is the best time to give back and pay forward for the year's blessings, why not shop for something extra special for your loved ones? Or simply reward yourself for working hard, all while still getting great deals from your trusted brands. 

Your ticket to first class is coming in exactly 10 days, and so I suggest your keep this LINK in your favorites tab and like their FB page to keep you in the exclusive loop. I personally can't wait! :)

To start off my first class experiences with Dealuxuries, I together with other bloggers were treated like royalties at Creations by Lourd Ramos.  My good friend and beauty blogger, Shen, has been a loyal customer of Lourd, and now I know why!

First, Lourd himself is very accommodating and warm to his clients, not to mention that he has an army of talented staff. Second, the Davines Hair Spa treatment is the best 20-minute hair treatment you can get. I'm really conscious with my time and so I was really stoked on the idea of getting fab hair in half an hour! I'm sure to go back to "mama" Lourd! :)

With my stylist, Erickson
With Lourd Ramos himself
With Ericka and Ash of Dealuxuries
pretty Kira and bubbly Liz

Now, isn't shopping first class (and on discount!) sounds fun?

How are you doing with your Christmas list? It's my favorite season, and so I hope you're having a blast as well! :) 

From the Nook,