Friday, January 31, 2014

NeuroEVENTS: PIXI Pilippines Launch

Diamond Makeup is a girl's bestfriend. When used correctly, makeup enhances our best features and conceals flaws. But on the other end, girls also share a common fear of ruining their skin as makeup are known to clog the pores that may lead to acne problems and dull skin.  Most commercial skin care and makeup products, ironically, contain harmful ingredients like parabens. Parabens are associated to premature skin aging and worse, breast cancer, infertility and even mental retardation for unborn children. That's a mouthful!

That is why it's such a relief to observe that some makeup companies are now going after the safer choice and stopped using parabens in their beauty products. Others were formulated paraben-free from the beginning. Hooray!

Such is PIXI, one of the newest makeup and beauty line that hit the Philippines late last year. Pixi was founded in London 12 years ago by Swedish born Petra Strand, an accomplished makeup artist, and is now being exclusively distributed in the Philippines by Glamourbox.

The formal launch was held at Simply Thai in Greenbelt, and featured Pixi ambassador and makeup artist Au Mauricio, demonstrating how quick and easy it is to use Pixi makeup to create a natural, "just had a good night's sleep" look. 

Au Mauricio is a renowned makeup artist in the US, and is instrumental in bringing PIXI in the Philippines.
Model Theresa Jose wearing Pixi's  "no makeup but fresh and glowing" look

Let them girls play :)

I'm yet to road test Pixi makeup, but I'm looking forward to its promise to provide natural, glowing look with a few, multitasking makeup products that we can achieve in under 10 minutes. That will definitely make a lot of girls' lives easier in the morning! :) 

Lots of nudes, neutrals and pinks. Hooray for office-friendly palette!

Interested to give Pixi a try? They have lots of unique and award-winning pieces (I'm intrigued with the flesh-toned eye bright liner) to check out. Visit their Facebook Page, Glamourbox website or visit your nearest Snoe outlet. Watch out for my Pixi reviews soon. 

Shout out and congratulations to the lovely girls of Glamourbox, Kira and Lia. So happy to see both of you again! :)

Much Love,


Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Gratitude List: January 2014

I can't believe the first month of 2014 is coming to an end, which means I'm two months away from my much anticipated Macau-Hongkong vacation with the sweetie to celebrate, no judgment please, our tenth year together! I feel like a lola. :)

I already booked our hotels/hostels and started plotting our itinerary which unlike previous vacations, is more relaxed and involves mostly food, more food and even more idle time. My boyfriend and I already reached a point where vacation no longer means stretching our energies too thin only to come back to work more exhausted than ever. I also learned to enjoy things slowly and immerse myself silently in the beauty of each country/culture I discover.  Ah, traveling always gives me blissful chills. Traveling to see new places, meet new people, learn more of the world, is never wrong in my vocabulary. Of the many things we have to buy in this world, traveling is one of the very few where we always get more than our money's worth.

Hey, I missed you so. (2009)

But before I get overwhelmed, I'd like to start a personal blogging tradition of listing the things I'm grateful for every close of the month. I know everyday is a blessing we should be thankful for, but the most especial ones deserve to be shared in hopes that you, my dear readers, also appreciate how blessed you are!

1. New year, new opportunities. They say great people don't see problems, only opportunities. Whatever baggage I collected last year, I've learned slowly (albeit painfully) to let go. And when I finally did, doors just keep on opening left and right, I can't keep up! :)  

2. No hurries. Along with letting go, January also gave birth to a more relaxed and patient girl. Like any competitive person, I want things to happen my way, my time. Well, it doesn't work that way most of time. The universe is tricky and full of surprises, hurrying your way can lead you to situations you never liked in the first place. Relax and think with your head, not your emotions. And yup, good things happen to those who wait.

3. The joys of giving. :)

4. Little financial victories. I'm now more responsible with my money than say, five years ago. I save, I pay my insurance and I track my expenses. But this year, I'm taking it a notch higher by investing in mutual funds. Baby steps for #MyRoadtoRiches and #FinancialFreedom projects.

5. I'm healthiest to date. I have this chronic condition that I've kept on the back burner for years. Truth is, I was scared to know what it is and often self-medicate and dismiss the thought once the pain is gone. I finally did the right thing and walked into the hospital to get professional advice, which eventually led to lying under scary looking machines. It's probably the longest hours of my life as I wait outside the door for the results. Happy and relieved that I'm still okay, some condition I have to deal with but nothing life threatening whatsoever. Hooray! 

How about you? What's your biggest blessing this January? It's nice to hear good things and spread positivity. So, spill! :)

Much Love,

Sunday, January 26, 2014

NeuroEAT: Project Pie

Filipinos love food. With the various trends that spread like wildfire, there's no denying that Juan has become more adventurous with what he puts in his mouth. Gone are the days when Filipinos settle for the simple and ordinary. We welcome foreign and fusion cuisines with open arms, not only for the pleasure of our palates but for new, overall experience.

Such is the case of Project Pie. I started to notice this on social media during a pitch proposal that we anchored on the eating and social media habits of Filipinos nowadays. I'll save you the geeky stuff, but simply put, food trends that caught the interest of the nation instantly becomes popular kids in social media. With the advent of #foodstagram and #foodgasm, it's not surprising how much people love expressing food pleasures online. 

Going back to Project Pie, what makes it so special? To be honest, more than the pizza, what they sell is the new experience. As the name suggests, you're given freehand to build your own pizza, no holds barred. For Php 298.00 for a personal thin crust pizza, you can ask for any combination, put as much meat, cheese, spices and veggies as you want. You don't need to get your hands dirty either, you just have to line up and ask the super giddy staff what you want and watch your pizza come to life. Drinks are unlimited, soda, juice and iced tea all for Php 65.00.

The place can be packed even on weekdays, so get ready to fall in line.

Olive oil, canadian bacon, prosciutto, black olives, artichoke, onion garlic and mozzarella+ricotta cheese

Did the Project Pie bug get me? Just a little. I think the idea/concept is great, their place (I visited Alabang branch) is neat and cozy, the staff are enthusiastic and very cheerful, and the choices are plenty. The dough can be a little thicker IMO, and perhaps the white pizza (red is made with tomato-based sauce, white with only olive oil) can have olive oil and a bit of creamy white sauce instead? The experience is enjoyable, though I have to admit that finding the right combination is a bit tricky and might take you several visits to perfect. Personally, I still prefer the pre-set, signature pizza from other pizza places, but thank goodness Project Pie also offers seven, pre-set combos for the newbies, those in a hurry, or simply not into building their own. 

BTW, we also ordered the nutella and peanut butter pie (Php 195.00), but I find the dough rubbery and too heavy for dessert. No good for me. 
Price is a bit premium for a solo pizza, but the overall experience compensate for this. If you have kids, in love with DIYs and simply want a new pizza experience, go ahead and visit Project Pie.
  • Blk. 28, Commerce Avenue, Alabang (beside Jollibee) 
  • 515 Shaw Boulevard, Mandaluyong  
  • Follow their FB page for more info

Good luck and build the best pizza ever! :)

Much Love, 


Saturday, January 25, 2014

Product Review: Human Heart Nature Perfect Glow Mineral Blush

It's only the third week of 2014 but work is already in full blast, juggling client briefings, campaign proposal development and business pitch here and there. I guess it's one of the things I really like about agency life - thrilling, fast-paced and never predictable. So with one million things to think about and do everyday, how can a working girl keep up and still manage to look presentable at all times? The secret? BLUSH. 

Swiping some blush across your cheeks instantly gives you a healthier glow and prevents the puyat-and-kakagising-lang lookNo time to do your makeup before a client meeting? Apply blush and swipe some tinted lip balm in the car and you're good to go. A tried and tested instant fix!
One particular blush I tried and loved is the Human Heart Nature Perfect Glow Mineral Blush in Pink Bloom.It's made from 100% natural ingredients, skin and earth-friendly, and comes with a reasonable price tag of only Php 295.00.

It comes in a compact with a mirror and small brush that's really handy. Now let's talk about the good and the bad.

The Good
  • VERY LIGHT. HHN Perfect Glow Mineral Blush is matte, silky and feels very light. This is the type of blush that you can build and layer as it doesn't pay off too much color in one swipe. 
  • GENTLE ON THE SKIN. It's made of 100% biodegradable minerals, hypo-allergenic and proven safe. I usually get a zit or two with new cosmetics, but it never happened with this one. Yay!
  • EASY ON THE POCKET. Php 295.00 for a blush that will probably last you at least 1-2 months is truly bang for the buck. Packaging has been improved to include mirror and a small brush, so what else can we ask for?
  • LOOKS VERY NATURAL. I believe that the best way to wear a blush is to "not wear it at all." HHN Perfect Glow Mineral Blush looks very natural on me as if I just finished a long power walk or yoga. And it still gives me a subtle glow despite being matte. 

The Bad
  • BRUSH. It's good that a small brush is included in this compact, but it smells really off  (even after washing) and sheds a lot. I suggest you only use it for emergencies. On any given day, bring your own trusted blush brush instead. 
  • DOESN'T LAST THE WHOLE DAY. You need to retouch several times throughout the day. In my case, about 2-3 times. It's ideal for normal days but not for special occasions.

No to pale skin!

Give this budget-friendly blush a try by visiting their WEBSITE or going to the nearest Sesou or Beauty Bar branches. Have a lovely weekend!

Much Love,

*This is not a sponsored post

Monday, January 13, 2014

Gratitude List: Live an Inspired Life

To live evey single day full of sense and out of the right reasons, instead of just watching life pass by. To find joy in the smallest of things, to spur hope in the simplest ways. To find nourishment beyond the superficial. To draw inspiration from people that surround you. To never give up without trying. To accept defeat and learn from your mistakes. To know when to give up and when to try again. To adjust one's perspective. To protect what you value. To love and respect yourself because you are your Father's child. To find true love, and fight for it. To stand for your beliefs. To dare and choose happiness. To go against the tide. To celebrate beauty and victories. To inspire kindness and justice. And to have someone who perfectly understands and reminds you of how beautiful life can be!

To my best friend who's been present in every aspect of my life, cheers to more inspired years and wine nights-turned-bible studies. I'm grateful to have you with me in this journey. 

Follow her and live an inspired life! 

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Reader's Nook: How To Exfoliate Your Skin

My next post is inspired by an elevator (literally) conversation with some good friends in the office. My friend C needs to exfoliate some rough patches on his face but his skin is too sensitive that he starts to break out when he uses strong scrubs. I rummaged through my beauty stash and did some more research. This post is dedicated to you, C! :) 

Exfoliation is the process of  removing dead skin cells from the top layer of your skin. Exfoliation is important to help reduce acne problems and maintain clear, smooth skin. It also helps encourage the skin to renew itself, giving you more radiance and youthful glow. There are several ways to exfoliate your skin and intervals also depend on your skin type. Oily skin needs more frequent exfoliation up to thrice a week (given your skin is not sensitive) to reduce build-up of oil and dead skin cells which is a recipe for acne disaster. Normal and dry skin may only need once to twice a week exfoliation. I have sensitive but oily skin and my ritual includes twice a week exfoliation with gentle, non-acidic facial scrub. I've been observing this regimen for quite some time and so far so good! :)

Here are several ways to exfoliate:

1. Chemical Peels. Make sure to consult a professional if you plan to try chemical peeling. While there are over-the-counter exfoliant available, I'm convinced we should leave this to the professional. I go to my dermatologist once in a while to get a chemical peel where she applies thin coats of peeling agent that makes my face peel like crazy for a week. It's important to go to a professional who can determine the chemical concentration that your skin needs. Otherwise, you'll be left with uneven, even burnt skin. Scary! Also, expect that you will look weird with strips of dead skin peeling off your face for roughly a week but your skin will look and FEEL unbelievably renewed by week 2. 

Diamond Peel session at Perpetual MedSpa

2. Microdermabrasion is a non-invasive machine-assisted skin-exfoliating treatment that uses aluminum oxide crystals and vacuum system that sucks away dirt, dead cells and used crystals. The newer version is Diamond Peel where the micro-crystal flow is replaced with a disposable or reusable diamond tip wand. I've tried Diamond Peel several times and the effect is already visible after a few sessions. In fact, you will have tighter and smoother skin after the first try. Hooray!  
3. Commercial Facial Scrubs and Masks. Keep a tube of cleansing beads or scrub in the shower and always remember to gently apply to your face, neck and body using gentle, circular motion. Do not scrub hard! Since I have sensitive skin, I use gentle, natural formula like Human Heart Nature Purifying Facial Scrub. It's a plus that it smells like strawberry field! :) If you're not too sensitive with salicylic acid, St. Ives Apricot Scrub is affordable and works like magic. There are also exfoliating facial masks that contain gentler acids that aid in exfoliation of the skin. As a general rule, clay type masks work best for oily skin, and cream/gel for dry and combination.

The gentlest facial scrub ever!

4. DIY Facial Scrubs. If you want to keep it natural and budget friendly, head to your kitchen and you'll likely find ingredients you need to do a DIY scrub. Here's my tried and tested recipes:
  • Oatmeal scrub - Combine warm water, natural honey and oats until you get a paste. Apply on your face and gently scrub especially on dry areas like sides of your nose. Leave for 10-15 minutes, rinse with cold water and pat dry.
  • Sugar/Salt scrub - The simplest of them all. Combine fine granulated sugar and olive oil and gently scrub your face using circular motion. Do not scrub too hard. For rougher and less sensitive areas like feet, knees and elbows, you can substitute the sugar with fine salt.
  • Coffee scrub - Aside from exfoliating, coffee scrub is also an excellent way to reduce cellulite.High five! This can be really messy so I suggest doing this in the bathroom before shower. Simply apply fine coffee granules on wet skin and scrub gently. Wrap your legs with cling wrap and let it stand for 15-20 minutes. 
Remember that exfoliated skin will likely be more dry and prone to redness and sunburn. Don't worry, the redness will go away after a few hours so it's best to exfoliate before bedtime to give your skin some rest. Don't forget to apply moisturizers and sunscreen, too! 

I'm not a doctor nor a skin expert. My suggestions are based on my personal experience and road-to-recovery from acne. If you have serious skin problems, pick up the phone and schedule a check-up with your dermatologist instead! ;) 

Much Love, 


Friday, January 3, 2014

Dream Board and Must Dos for 2014

We're down to the last three days of the agency shutdown, and here I am, still curled up in bed at 3pm, getting disciplined by Haruki Murakami's short stories. The greatest thing about reading books, among others, is how it prods us to think, rethink and discover. For one, Murakami's Birthday Girl was given one wish by a rather enigmatic man, and chose the road less traveled. To wish to not have a wish at all, is peculiar as it is, but come to think of it, will it ever come to a point where you have nothing left to wish for? I pray not. The day it happens to me is the day I give up on life. So yeah, for 2014, I have a long list of what I want (and have to work hard for), some strange, but every bit normal for a girl who will hit 29 this year. Here's the top items on my dream/must-do board:

1. A house for my mom. The biggest and most ambitious goal this year, it just has to land on number one. Unexpected things forced us to uproot from our own home in Cavite and rent in the city instead. With His provision, I'd like a new home with no contract expiration, and my mom can call her own. 

2. Level up my career. If I have to stay, or I have to go, here or elsewhere in the world, this is the year I pray and believe it will happen. I'm claiming it now and I'm more than ready to once again take the big leap of faith. Inspired by Pudge's seach for the Great Perhaps.

3. Wear my business savvy hat. I don't think I'll get tired of being employed anytime soon, and I have so much to learn, achieve and enjoy where I am right now. But the time is right to up the ante, triple my capacity and see what this enterprising girl can do. Let's just say the Sweet Blessings can be even sweeter, and the boyfriend's own business is up to a good start. Thank God! :)

4. Spend more time with people I love. On top of 10-hour sleep, short shorts and flipflops days, the 16-day break gave me opportunities to finally catch up with people I love without worrying about time or work. Each one said the same thing "Dang, you've been TOO busy to see us the whole year!" So 2014 will have to be more balanced. Regardless of how much I have on my plate, I WILL FIND TIME. 

5. Manage my finances better, and share more. They say it's not always about how much you make, but what you do with your money. My BFF also reminded me never to say "I'm poor", but rather declare and claim wealth. Because wealth transcends money and it means differrently from one person to another. I'm proud to say I've been faithful in keeping a tab on where my money goes and keeping some for the rainy days, but I can still do better, and I can share more. To whom much is given, much will be required. I am blessed immensely, and I shouldn't squander nor deny help. 

6. Be kinder. Simply because this world needs kinder souls. 

7. Be kinder to my physical and spiritual body. Less Coke and second hand smoke, more Yoga and running. Less stress and more time to meditate and understand the scriptures. NO HATE. Hate kills! And oh, continue cooking and baking yummy and healthier, preservative-free meals/sweets for my friends and family! 

Wide-eyed, brimming with positivity and ready and quite excited to go back to work (IKR!), I pray that you, my dear readers, also fulfill the good desires of your heart this year! 

Much Love,