Thursday, June 30, 2011

The Booties Call

Standing for two hours, soaked in all possible places during the typhoon Egay, made me swear to be more ready next time. Not that I was not; I was wearing washed jeans and bright blue cotton shirt, with a warm, water resistant trench coat to (presumably) protect me from getting wet. The people beside me failed to compare, wearing only their usual office clothes, some sans jacket, with some wobbly umbrella in hand. I thought my outfit was already “bagyo proof”, but a drenched, broken flats says otherwise. I nearly cried because that pair from Kimi is merely a month old!

I’m in serious need for some badass rain boots.

I’ve been meaning to buy a pair for as long as I can remember, but rain boots are traditionally ugly, until recent years when some shoe companies started designing pretty rain footwears. I worked in Alabang for almost 5 years, and since it’s faster to travel through friendship route, it’s practical to bring a car everyday. I park in the basement, I don’t get wet and I practically forgot about getting rain boots.

But now that I work in Makati, and have to take public transport often, I can’t risk plunging my much adored shoes in mud and rainwater. And my unfortunate Egay experience validated this need.

I roamed malls in frenzy, constantly texting my BFF who's also in search, but found none. Thanks to online stores, I found some really interesting, moderately priced booties. There were lots of choices from colorful eye candies to plain and classy (since it's my first and only, I favored this) but I'm such a sucker for animal prints and pretty, lacy prints so like a confused bride, I don’t know who to marry between these two.

Plueys in Ooh la lace
Php 2,399

Baja booties
Php 1,900

Should I get both? I'm tempted. I can use some help that can save me from spending too much! Save me? =)

From the Nook,

Monday, June 27, 2011

EOTN: Bouquet of Strength

When 15 minutes are all I have in hand before an event starts, my bestbuddy will probably be two things: MOUTHWASH and EYE SHADOW PALETTE.

Mouthwash is for the obvious reason, while eye shadow palette, a quad ideally, will save me from spending precious minutes picking the colors that will match. A complementing quad or trio will avoid trial and error, or the worse, which is ending up with watercolor mashup lids.

Since I know I will be working and cramming during Cirque Du Soleil Varekai's Gala Night last week, I immediately tossed this ES quad (thank you, BFF!) in my makeup bag, and it sure did a great job! :)

L'oreal Colors of Hope in Bouquet of Strength

I only had time to take a photo of my eyes after the event, hence, the oily skin.
 But my ES held perfectly, even without a primer! Yehey!

L'oreal Colors of Hope in Bouquet of Strength
Avon Super Shock Mascara in Brown
Estee Lauder Artist's Pencil in Black

If there's anything I regret, that is my 15 minutes weren't enough to line my lids, something I still need to master doing in a rush. I usually need 10 minutes to line my lids alone, that is, if my clumsy fingers won't let me down! Regardless, I'm still very happy with my new baby.

How's your Monday, loves? Mine is manic, as usual! :)

PS: I finally watched Varekai!!! It's really fun and spectacular! Can you tell I'm a happy kid?

From the Nook,

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Gala Night of Cirque Du Soleil's Varekai

I'm a slave of work, a happy one. Last night, while the VIPs dazzled in their fasyon outfits, I and the rest of the team made sure they're well taken care of. Typhoon Falcon may have joined us, but it didn't ruin the magical, festive mood of the most awaited circus show of the year: VAREKAI!

Here are just some personal snaps of the event since I don't like to preempt the official photos.

Photo wall at the VIP entrance

Exclusive Tapis Rogue

I want to bring him home
Some things are meant to be perfect together

I rememeber the scene from Indecent Proposal where Demi pocketed the chocolates! =)

The most interesting one, lobster custard with caviar.

Courtesy of Manila Hotel

Haggard after standing for 4 hours. My smile is already frozen!

One for the team!

Are you watching Varekai? Are you as excited as I am? =)

From the Nook,

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Raining Happiness, Makeup and Boracay

If I were to base it from the love drops I received lately, then I guess I must have been a good girl - or just a lucky ass. My brother sent us some usual goods, but sitting neatly at the bottom is a blush from MAC with my name on it! MAC isn't exactly cheap here, and since he's a loving brother to her only sib, I'll take the chance and abuse him by sending a list next time! =)

MAC satin blush in Well-dressed

The other Saturday, while on the road to the fabulous NUFFAMILY DAY and while singing belting 80s hits, my adorable BFF whipped out my pasalubong from her recent Canada trip (You should hear her stories HERE!). And from the colors of the eye quad, I believe she already imagined me wearing it while lining up the counter. That's what happens when you're inseparable since 13!

The Color of Hope from L'oreal

Icing on top of the cake is a 3 days, 2 nights vacation in the posh Tides Resort Boracay, courtesy of my new company. Originally, the outing should be in Guam (because we handle their tourism campaign here), then in Bangkok. But some of the staff had problems getting or renewing passports, especially our helps (yup, all the maintenance, security and messengers are included which is really nice of them to do), so we settled for Boracay instead. I would have jumped from joy if it was Guam, but missing Bangkok is really just fine. I've been there a few months ago and shopping there will surely cost me an arm and a leg, so ending up in Boracay is some sort of damage control for my savings. Also, sun didn't shine on me last month, so it's worth visiting again, especially now that it's for free. Yay!

And because we're a bunch of hyper active, thrill junkies, we even came up with a countdown board and EXTREME activity mood boards. How can patintero or bike be so extreme you ask? Only when you throw fatally competitive, creative, agency people. Expect buwis buhay! =)

I signed up for extreme paraw, extreme flying fish, extreme patintero and extreme sunset yoga.
                If you look closely, there are bloody people on the ground, extreme nga eh!

It's also my first time to stay in Tides Resort, but the photos from their website are good enough to put me into vacation mode already!

Best of all, I'm meeting, or better yet, partying with one of my dearest blogger friend, Jheng of IAMBRIGITTE! I bet we can stay under the sun sipping cocktails and laughing all afternoon because we like the same kind of humor and are technically loca.

I may be wearing out myself too much lately, and had to cut back on my expenses and shopping, but the rewards, I can say, is overwhelming. Thus explains my tweet the other day.

The coming days will be so much brighter, I'll need shades! =)

Let's say this everyday, shall we?

From the Nook,

Monday, June 13, 2011

Skin and Hair Care Secrets, Anyone?

I'm into organics, though far from being a purist. With all the nice products in the market, I don't think I ever will be. I'm always a curious cat in testing new products in the market, especially for skin care.

But last weekend, I decided to revisit my organic stash and treat myself to an all natural home spa, or maybe I'm just making excuses and keeping myself busy, because going to a spa is out of budget until the 15th! LOL. Or until after my Boracay trip this weekend. I know it's company sponsored but I still need moolah for activities, shopping, and extra alcohol should my favorites be not included in the all you can list.

So for this weekend, I treated my skin with Himalaya Herbals Neem Face Pack and my hair and scalp with organic cold processed VCO from Santa Maria.

Both photos from respective websites

I'm not sure if it's even legal to share these photos because I really think I look hideous here, but I'm posting it anyway for the sake of showing all the oil sucked up from my skin. Can you see how active my oil glands are? It's breeding ground for pimples!

The clay is dark, moss green upon application. Apply at least two coats avoiding eyes and mouth area.
I then massaged  organic VCO to my hair and scalp and wrapped it in a disposable shower cap.

It then dries up hard with traces of oil showing up. Look at that oil mine!

The Himalaya Herbals Neem Face pack has been a staple in my weekly or bi-monthly regimen. I make it a point to use facial masks at least twice a month. The most noticeable results from doing this is the tighter feel of facial skin and waaay lesser oil. As for the pimple preventing capabilities, I'm not one to vouch for it, since I'm maintaining a separate regimen for my acne prone skin.

Like most girls with long hair, I'm also prone to hair fall. My hairfall got so bad that early this year, I decided to switch back to my natural hair color. That is after bleaching my hair, and damaging it in the process, for 5 straight years. I also stopped using harsh shampoos and stick to gentler formulas which I only use every other day. Best thing is when I used organic VCO to condition my hair and scalp. It may smell weird, but the effects are amazing. Less hair fall, less flakes and healthy, shiny hair! I'm not exaggerating. Whenever people ask me how I maintain super long and beautiful (I hope!) hair, I tell them my secret with hopes that more people will discover the goodness of natural substances like VCO - preferably the organic ones.

PS: Organic VCO works wonders with pet hair, too!

At windy Tagaytay Cliffhouse. My hair swayed nicely, not so bad, eh?

Any skin and hair care secrets? Learning is always a good thing. Share yours, please! =)

From the Nook,

Friday, June 10, 2011

Meeting Chef Gene Gonzales of Cafe Ysabel

Living in a country where it's warm...or hot 85% of the time makes one accustomed to it leading to two very opposite things. One, you're so used to the oven toaster climate and a slight drop of temperature and some drizzle will already require additional layer of clothing lest you want to catch a flu; and two, because you rarely feel cold in the Philippines, a cool, rainy afternoon is a bliss that makes you hold on to your bed as long as you can. (amen?) I'm no different, I'm late the whole week! When it's cold and wet, it's just so hard to get up in the morning, it's almost painful.

God must have seen me lazy. Last Wednesday, while heaven pours in the greater Metro, I was assigned to do a solo mission - to interview Mr. Gene Gonzales, a renowned Filipino chef who has represented the Philippines to numerous culinary events in the world. You must have seen him in several endorsements, but the most recent I can think of is for Purefoods corned beef.

A food lover and cook myself, I was stoked to do the mission and went to Cafe Ysabel armed with lots of curiosity and appetite for some good coffee to match the cold weather. I'm not to talk about the interview itself, since that will be covered by the feature I'm preparing for Father's day on the 19th (welcome home, dad!). To put it simply, Chef Gene is an epitome of passion and patriotism. He quit his job, followed his love for culinary, worked hard and succeeded in putting up what is now known as one of the top 100 must-visit restaurants, and all the while promoting the wonders of Filipino cuisine. To give back and continue his legacy, he also mentored more than 700 students and continues to offer delicious meals and unique dining experience to the Filipinos. I was so inspired,  I had to get a leaflet of his school - Center for Asian Culinary Studies - which offers short and long term courses, which starts at 20 hours!

With Chef Gene. Damn, I look stiff in here. Hehe.

Facade photo from Cafe Ysabel website

Old but very nice lamps

Capuccino con panna. Perfect for stormy weather.
It's so good that I don't think I'm not getting any coffee from a joint soon because it will surely fail to compare.

Lovely rainy day outside.

Too bad I didn't have the chance to dine since I came past lunch, but the coffee and cassava cake are just perfect for afternoon treat. After the interview, I walked out in the rain more inspired to follow my passion, and a day wiser from a good conversation. Thanks, Chef Gene!

PS: If you like classy, traditional dates/proposals/weddings, Cafe Ysabel is a a must-see! =)
 From the Nook,

Friday, June 3, 2011

Product Review: Pond's Blemish Prevention UV Cream

A few weeks ago, my BFF invited me to be her partner in the Pond's Flawless White Unbeaten Challenge. Nine pairs of bloggers took the 30 day challenge to flawless, fairer skin, with each pairs' experiences documented in the Pond's microsite. Though we opted to back out of the race, we continued to use the whole range of products for one simple reason - we've seen positive results!

By the end of the challenge, my dark spots faded significantly, and my skin exuded a healthier glow, and that to me makes me a winner, too. =)

Among the Flawless White products, my favorites are the cleansing foam and the Blemish Prevention UV Cream. I love them so much that in fact, I continued using them religiously even after the challenge. Now that the Philippines is melting hot, I'm not taking sun damage lightly. I need protection!

And protection is what I get from this tube.

  • Protects me from both UVA and UVB. UV stands for Ultraviolet while A and B are two kinds of UV rays that harm our skin. UVB affects our epidermis or outer skin and causes darkening, while UVA affects our dermis or the second layer of our skin.  It is important that your sun protection product protects you from both UVA anf UVB for overall skin health. 
  • Protects and Whitens. While getting protection from further darkening, it also continuously whitens the skin with its complete VAO-B3 Complex. I do a lot of walking for work, and so far, so good, my face remains fair which means I'm getting the right amount of protection.
  • Smells so good! And by good I mean very "clean". I'm usually turned off with strong scents, so its light, clean scent is a big plus for me. The BF always tells me my face smells good he wants to bite on my cheek! LOL.
  • Hygienic Packaging. Its pink and white packaging looks charming, but the pump sealed the deal for the OC in me. No double dipping, no bacteria spreading and I can enjoy the product up to the last bit.
  • Philippine weather friendly. The consistency is very creamy but the good thing with it is that my skin absorbs it easily. With the hot, humid weather in the country, the last thing I want is a thick SPF that sits on top of my skin and make me scream for oil blotters.
  • Affordable. It's imperative for me (and all fo us!) to use sunscreen everyday. So finding an affordable but quality one definitely won't hurt. I may have to use stronger sunscreens when in beach and when I'm to stay under the sun for longer period of time, but for regular trips to office, this baby will do the work without eating much of my budget. Who wouldn't like that?
  • No breakouts. I've used this blemish cream for more than 2 months, and I'm pimple free. Hurray! The most important thing I consider in a product is breakouts. No compromises here, if I breakout, then the product is canned from my regimen for life. But this baby stays. =)

  • If ever the brains behind Pond's read this, having a water sweatproof sunscreen product for pawisin people will be a great idea! =) Other than that, they just gained another happy customer.

Say goodbye to finger dips and spatulas

                                                              Left: Without Pond's
                                                              Right: With Pond's

Again, please please, do yourself a favor and never skip sunscreen, okay? It's the best thing you can do for your skin next to eating healthy and loading up on water.

It's shoe shopping tonight and Tagaytay with blogger GFs tomorrow for me, I'm smiling all day thinking of it. I hope you have a great weekend, too. TGIF! =)

From the Nook,

Thursday, June 2, 2011

I'm Hot for Some Bold Action

It's a shame how girls go crazy over sales. We endure standing on heels for a long time, wait in long lines to pay and exhaust our credit/debit cards for pretty things we see in the mall display. Makeup is no different. We go gaga over the newest collections and wait patiently for stuff we ordered online. But the worse is that we tend to buy things that we think we like that moment, then end up putting it to rot on the back burner. How many times do you find your beauty products and makeup slightly used and yet nearing its expiry date? Or putting your stack on sale because your traincase refused to close its latch?

I'm no different. This morning, as I dress up to go to work, I decided I look horribly pale in my pink lipstick and looked for a stronger, richer color. I reached for a red tube at the bottom and with the looks of it, the hottie has not been used for a long time. It's a gift from a friend last Christmas (yes, 6 months ago) - Maybelline Colorsensational Lipstick in Summer Sunset. It's so rich, and so red, it will make people think you're in love!

So heck, with the temperature in Manila not parking at anything below 30 degrees, I still think it's summer. In fact, it's always hot in the Philippines, it's legal to say it's summer all year! Entonses I can wear bright lips any day my heart fancies it. And today is the day my Maybelline lippie is seeing the light hot rays of day!

To complement the bold lips, I left my face bare. I dusted some powder, lined my eyes, filled my brows and added two coats of mascara and I'm good to go.

When do you fancy wearing bloody red lips? I'm curious!

From the Nook,