Thursday, September 29, 2011

More Than The Eyes Can See -- U.B.E. with my blogger GFs

I started blogging some three years ago, for the sheer pleasure of writing and a wicked attempt to document my life somewhere my parents won't see. I started with writing journal entries in word document and kept them locked in my desktop PC. Independence from them had its own complications you know, but keeping my thoughts and feelings to myself (and eventually to web logs) doesn't change the fact that I love them dearly.

Forward to today, blogging has taken a whole new meaning in my life. It has become more than a hobby, a breaktime entertainment or a mood upper. It's an outlet for me to express my ideas, communicate my thoughts (big and small), shout and plead to the universe, learn new things, and document happenings - no matter how trivial sometimes - in a seemingly overspeeding life of a young woman. But more importantly, blogging led me to meet new people, associates and friends. Having conversations with "virtual" friends also made me more sensitive towards my offline relationships, learning how much I should value the people I'm blessed to have.

To my surprise, online friendships slowly leveled up to personal meetings, and eventually, tangible friendships with some of the most sensible, accomplished women I know. It's funny and weird when you meet for the first time and obviously know so much about each other, just like meeting a character who jumps out from your favorite novel. Either that, or you're each other's stalkers.

And as a bonus, my real life BFF (yay, that kinda sounds like we're in showbiz!), who's also the one behind my movement to blogspot, is with me in building this wonderful relationships with our blogger girlfriends.


Folks, fresh from our Ultimate Bonding Experience (there I said it!) from Tagaytay, meet the lovely girls of Team E.


Dang, Nikki, Sophie, Shen, Phoebe, Jheng & Tara

Gorgeous photo taken by Fo-weh-be! (Phoebe)
Cliffhouse, Tagaytay

We may be blogging about health, wellness, beauty and makeup, but we are no Barbie Dolls when we eat!  


Bawal kiyeme, attack that steak! :)
Hawaiian BBQ, Tagaytay

It's also nice to bring back college days when Tara used to drive me home. It's my turn to return the favor and move my lazy driver's ass and take the wheel.
 
Road trip with my bestfriend, singing along 90s (IT"S THE BEST!) songs and giggling everytime we remember our silly years together. Music carries a pocket full of memories, right? 
MMMMBOP!
 It's one of the most fun weekends I had in months; the simple luxury of having a weekend getaway with a brand spankin' new set of girlfriends is worth all my hardwork. Because at this day and time, knowing people who are genuinely nice online and offline is something not too common.

Happy midweek, loves!

PS: We missed the bunso of Team E, Jamie!


From the Nook,
Dang

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Product Review: Bodivance

I'm not very new to sports or working out. While I don't dare call myself an athlete, I make sure I don't live a sedentary lifestyle. But gone are the days when I can play badminton all Saturday and Sunday long (I'm a varsity player back in HS), nor workout after office when I still had a 9-5 corporate job . Moving to ahensya life, I now usually work 10-11 hours a day, travel back and forth for 3 hours, sleep for 6 hours and spend the remaining hours trying to have a balanced social life.

Heavens forgive me but the only workout I get nowadays are my 15 minute walk in Makati streets, wearing high waist skirts rather than jogging pants. If I have no work, not hangover or am not too exhausted on Saturday morning, then I alternately jog or attend fitness classes. For this reason alone, I have come to a realization to make sure that I get the most out of my Saturday workouts. Ang along came Bodivance.






From the makers of Bodivance:


BODIVANCE is a breakthrough in sports technology. It is an advanced thermogenic accelerator cream that when applied, creates a breathable barrier on the skin that works in two ways.

Firstly, it helps to insulate heat that builds up as muscles are activated. This warms up the muscles rapidly and ensures that workouts are maximized each time. A natural effect of this is the increase in perspiration which hastens the release of toxins through the pores of one’s body.
Secondly, it promotes vasodilation. By helping to widen the blood vessels and improve blood circulation, muscles get more oxygen and nutrients. This increase in circulation dissipates lactic acid build-up, speeding up recovery time and allowing athletes to work out harder and longer. This same principle applies in helping those with sports-related injuries recover faster. Improved circulation can also relieve arthritis and rheumatism while reducing the presence of varicose veins.


When my former boss heard about my 30-day no red meat challenge and my interest in kickboxing and running, she recommended Bodivance and was sweet enough to give me a pack. She said it's a perfect companion during workouts and swears by it. As a responsible consumer, I read the label and did my own research prior to using the product and found out about its long successful history in the US dating back as early as 80s. It was developed by a fitness expert and baseball athlete to improve his team's performance. More importantly, it passed the highest safety standards and is made from hypoallergenic ingredients.


I tried Bodivance for 3 weeks (about 5 occasions) before deciding to post my review. Here are my thoughts on the product:


  • > Serum like texture with silky feel. It smells a bit like the floral scented insect repellant
  • > Easily absorbed by the skin, and doesn't feel heavy at all.  
  • > No stains on my workout clothes
  • > Bodivance claims to accelerate  thermogenesis and helps insulate the heat in our muscles. Thermogenesis is the process by which heat energy is produced by the body through metbolism such as exercise or other physical activity. The result is more, and I MEAN really MORE beady sweat! I tried a left arm/right arm test and I was amazed to see the difference. My left arm where I applied Bodivance perspired at least more than 50% more!
  • > I can't vouch for the faster recovery time from injury as of now, but another plus point for its ability to increase blood circulation. Entonces, less muscle cramps which is very important to perform better in dance or yoga class.
  • > I'm very prone to varicose veins, and any little help in fighting these ugly sight is more than welcome to join my arsenal.
  • > Bodivance is available in 5ml sachets at PhP 55.00, which is not only economical and easy to carry, but also gives us a chance to give it a try before purchasing the bigger pump bottle at PhP 800.00.
  • > Easy to buy online via http://www.bodivance.com/ or from sports store in malls. Click HERE for the compete list of accredited retail outlets.



Bodivance is not wonder product, nor will it give you firmer thighs overnight. But this is exactly why I like it, it's not pretentious and does not have false claims or magical effects. It's Science-based, with years of research and testing, and therefore earned my trust. I have less and very minor cramps when running, and it inspires me to get back on my feet and be more active again. If only for that, then Bodivance has served its purpose.


Have you tried Bodivance? If you're into running, I suggest you give it a shot and let me know what happens. :) 


From the Nook,
Dang 

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Travel Lusting with Paris Hilton Passport Collection



Ever since I decided to leave my comfort zone and jump in for a wild ride to follow my heart (on my 6th month now), I knew traveling has to take the backseat for a while. I used to go on trips at least thrice a year, but now that I’m a happy and creative slave and no longer an employee with a fat paycheck tied to her desk and virtual library 9am-5pm (I used to manage a multinational company’s legal and corporate files), every trip has to be planned and saved for in advance.

But, it’s never wrong to daydream – which exactly is the inspiration behind the new fragrance collection of the jet setting style icon Paris Hilton: Paris Hilton Passport.

The fragrance trio represents Paris’s most loved places PARIS, TOKYO and SOUTH BEACH. Each fragrance is an exciting way to get on-board and share the romance and glamour of Paris’s favorite destinations. Every bottle aims to capture the unique spirit of the cities they represent.



From the makers of Paris Hilton’s Passport:

Paris is enchanting and innocently flirty. It’s perfect for a shopping spree with your BFF as it is for a romantic evening lit by the glow of the Eiffel Tower.

South Beach is blonde and beautiful. The fragrance is totally bikini-ready! It’s all about playful days and magical nights, fresh and seductive.

Tokyo is cool and cute, sweetly radiant and sparkling with energy.

 My personal notes:

  • - The packaging, which features different anime-inspired image of Paris Hilton, no matter how playful and cute, is really just too young for my taste. Paris Hilton fans and younger generations (teenagers to early twenties) will likely be mesmerized and add them to their Paris Hilton collectibles.

  • PARIS is sweet, peachy and musky. This fragrance is more appropriate for night use, think of dance night outs with your girlfriends or an intimate dinner with your beau. This is my least favorite among the trio, as it is too sweet and warm for my taste, and I observed little staining on my shirt, so be careful and just spray on skin.



  • TOKYO truly is truly fresh and radiant! I smell hints of musk but overall is a perfect blend of citrus and floral scents that lasts at least half a day. This is an appropriate fragrance in a casual day at school or office. Not too tame but never overpowering. This is I think, the “youngest” scent among the three.



  • SOUTH BEACH, hands down, is the best among the three! I asked some colleagues to try them and South Beach emerged as the crowd favorite. It’s fresh and floral, and perfect for sunny mornings be it on the beach or not. It’s energetic and uplifted my mood with every spray. I’m so addicted with it, I want to buy my own bottle! Lasting power is okay and no staining. J




- The price is reasonable; each 100 ml bottle costs only Php 2,600.
- Paris Passport is now available in major malls nationwide. I saw promos and freebies in some fragrance counters in Makati area, so best to check them out soon.

To find out more about different tones of fragrance and how to know if one really matches you, check my previous post on Rihanna Reb’l Fleur. Clicky Here! :)

Thank you again to Andi Flores of Prestige Brands Philippines for trusting me to review their new products. For questions or more information, you may contact me via email or comment section or email her directly at andrea@prestige.com.ph.

Happy Sunday morning, universe!

 
PS: This is an unpaid post. All comments are based solely from the author’s personal observations.

Lounging lazily from the Nook,
Dang

Friday, September 2, 2011

Who Says You Can't?


Many girls are not very comfortable wearing bold, red lipstick. Why not, the stigma attached to it is still very prevalent in a conservative society like mine. Wearing red lips connotes so many things; from coy,  to wild to "easy A", to plain stupid labels like, excuse my word, puta. (sex worker)

But if you're like me who already learned not to give a piss on what people will say, then congratulations, I'm sure you also love that liberating, empowering feeling everytime you swipe your favorite red lippie! 

MAC's Russian Red is a crowd favorite. There's also Revlon Fire and Ice and more from NARS but if you want an affordable alternative, try the Maybelline Color Sensational lipstick in Summer Sunset. It's creamy and has a hint of shimmer but no glitters - thank goodness!


I have full lips, so I normally put concealer and powder then line my lips a little thinner than normal, and voila! Keep in mind that red lips work best with 'bare' face, so your puckers can take centerstage and not end up like a party clown. Think of Snow White, you get the drift. :)




Gwen Stefani wearing MAC Russian Red

                                             Celebrities who wear MAC Russian Red


See that I drew my lips thinner?
 I intentionally made it obvious for this purpose.

Charm Travel Pro's lip brush is heaven sent! :)

It's a great day today, I've received some really good news, and am extremely grateful. I hope you're having a great Friday, too. :)

Happw weekend, loves!

From the Nook,
Dang

Thursday, September 1, 2011

HOT PINK and SEXY BLACK: Charm Travel Pro Makeup Brush Set V3


You should have seen me when I first got hold of the Charm Travel Pro V3. My lips automatically smiled its widest and you'll almost see stars come out of my eyes. Why not, just look at the travel-themed packaging and you'll know at once that it's something beautiful and worth checking out. The third version of the Charm Travel Pro is in black and HOTTEST pink, my favorite combination in the world!

It's easy to say that it's love at first sight, but being the very OC and quality conscious me, I know I should put these babies to test before blogging about it. Though honestly, at first look and feel, I knew it's going to be promising.


Some people say packaging is just packaging, but not for me! Just looking at it makes me nostalgic of the few countries I've been to, and all the more excited to save up, and see the rest of the world someday!
See, packaging is not JUST packaging. :)

Faux croc with hot pink zips is just big love for not so girly girl like me!


The inside lining is also screaming hot pink, which I really like.
It's my first brush pouch that isn't black.


I also appreciate that each brush has its own plastic guard.
 I still put them on when not in use.

Matte black handle and hot pink ferrule is just chic and classy


The length of the handles are also long enough for comfortable grip.
See my 2-year old Holiday Charm brushes? They are still alive and in good condition!


Here aqre my thoughts on each piece:

POWDER BRUSH
This can be used to apply powder foundation or blush and gives good coverage of the face. I use this to apply my powder foundation and on some occasion, it doubles as my blush brush, too. The hair is soft and picks up good amount of powder pigments. Best of all, no bleeding and very minimal shedding, I think I only saw 2 strands after several washes.

 

STIPPLING BRUSH
This brush is designed to create an airbrushed look and can be used with both powder and cream pigments. In my case, I like using it to apply gel foundation using light strokes and to dust mineral veil to seal my makeup. It’s soft but sturdy enough and did not shed nor bleed when I washed it twice before usage.


ANGLED BLUSH BRUSH
This brush is designed to apply blush perfectly as it “hugs” the shape of your cheeks. It’s also excellent for contouring, something that girls with chubby faces need, like me! Contouring needs practice, and so this baby will surely get a lot of air time among the group. Hair is considerably soft but I discovered that it can get and feel better after I applied deep conditioner.


FOUNDATION BRUSH
Cream, gel and liquid foundation can be hard to apply perfectly without the right tool. I used to apply my liquid foundation using a sponge, but upon trying my hand on my first foundation brush (from a different brand), there’s no way I’m going back to my old ways. Therefore, this is a welcome addition to my foundation brush family. I use it very often, and so my old favorite can get some rest.


CONCEALER BRUSH
This is perfect to conceal my undereye circle and skin imperfections. Using your finger to apply concealer is unhygienic and can cause skin infections, and so owning a concealer brush is a must. The size and coverage of this brush is just perfect to do the job.


EYESHADOW BRUSH ANGLED EYESHADOW BRUSH
Whether you like to apply your eyeshadow wet or dry, you’ll find this brush handy. It’s stiff enough which gives you more control, and can pickup pigments nicely. The angled eyeshadow brush on the other hand is softer, and so I usually use it to apply highlighter under my brows.


EYEBROW BRUSH and  FLAT EYELINER BRUSH
The flat liner brush can be used to apply gel liner and powder pigments used to line the eyes. It’s stiff enough but a little thick than the one I’m currently using (also from Charm), and so I just use it to create thick lines for smokey look. I will probably like it better if it’s slanted, too.

I don’t go out of the house without doing my brows. I can’t and I refuse to, so it’s not a surprise that this brush is among the first ones I tried. Unfortunately, I find it a bit small for my taste which is too bad, because I really like how firm but soft the bristles are. I’m sure I can find another way to use it.


BLENDING BRUSH and PENCIL POINT BRUSH
I have a confession, these two are the least used brushes among the set. Why? Because they’re white, and I don’t like seeing them stained and dirty! In my previous experience, it’s really hard to bring brushes like these to their original white state. But if you’re not sick OC like me, then both are great in blending your eye makeup, and even cleaning up pigments that fell off your lids.

SPOOLIE and BENT EYELINER BRUSH

The spoolie is useful to tame the lashes and brows. My only concern is that it’s a bit hard to clean it up when makeup, dirt and oil builds up in the bristles. My tip would be to use cleansing oils or even olive or VCO to break down the grease easily before washing.

I haven’t tried the bent eyeliner brush since I don’t apply eyeliner on a daily basis. I tried maneuvering it and so far, I felt comfortable and in control to draw the perfect line. I’m yet to discover the power of its bent shape that many women rave about!

LIP BRUSH
First, I like how handy it is. The hot pink casing is so cute, you’d think it’s a pocket pen. I recently discovered the joys of applying lipstick using a brush (and economical too as you get all the products in the tube), and how nice it is to have the perfectly shaped lips all the time! Just always make sure to wash your lip brush often as you don’t like bacteria touching your lips, right?

This 14-piece carefully designed and produced brush set is such a steal at Php 2,200. Ideal for enthusiasts,  even for beginners. And because it's handy, you're sure not to scrimp on your makeup tools even while you're conquering the world! :) As a proud owner of Charm brushes for years now (even before I get to know the lovely owner), I can definitely vouch for its quality. All my Charm Holiday brushes are still in good shape and so I'm comfident that this latest version of Travel Pro will be in my arsenal for a long long time!

The Charm Travel Pro V3 is available at:

www.beautyandminerals.com

PurBeauty2nd Floor, Serendra
Bonifacio Global City, Taguig

Crossings - Shangri-la Plaza Branch
G/F, Shangri-la Mall

Beauty & The Geeks
Eton Cyberpod E-Life ( Bldg 1 )
EDSA


Big thanks to the very pretty Sophie for letting me experience her latest Charm collection. More power, love! Continue creating products that make every girl beautiful. :)


From the Nook, 
Dang