Saturday, October 18, 2014

The Makeup for Cat Ladies who Love Makeup and Shu Uemura

The cat lady in me is excited for Shu Uemura's newest collection. Makeup and kitty in one cute package! I squee with delight. Karl Lagerfeld and Shu Uemura once again collaborate for a new collection for Shu Uemura. This time, the inspiration is Karl Lagerfeld's famous kitty Choupette.

This lovely kitty who has her own Twitter account (ChoupettesDiary) who has captured the fashion world's and the cat lover's world's hearts is the face of  this purr-eety collection. She is not only famous in social media (she has her Facebook page as well) with her love for her iPad and all things posh, but she has graced magazines as well and has become a model herself. She has also become the inspiration of Karl Lagerfeld in his cornflower blue Spring 2012 Couture collection. Now, she models for a world-famous makeup line.

Shown in this photo are cleansing oil, eyeshadow palettes, powder, and travel brush set. The eyeshadow palettes are actually refillable. If the eyeshadow begins to hit pan and finally see their last days, you can still re-use the lovely container with your favorite Shu Uemura eyeshadow.

I like the lashes, which look like cat claws. I don't know when I'll be wearing the lashes though. Or maybe I won't and just add them to my eyelash collection.

This collection is like catnip and silvervine combined in one cutesy package. A must-have for cat ladies like me! I must choose wisely what to buy. But knowing me, if money was no object, I would have bought everything.

The makeup case would make me hyperventilate with delight. Look! It's a kitty!!!!!! Meow meow meow meow!!!!

As of the moment, looking at the photos are making me squee with delight. Now excuse me while I squee more with the perfect combination of perfectness and squee.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

New From Banana Republic: Scents for Him and Her

As wedding season approaches and you would want to think of a wedding gift that's not in the registry or do not fall in the rice cooker and toaster oven staples, here's something that's useful, won't collect dust, and pretty handy to carry in the reception.

Banana Republic's, a brand known for their crisp, classic clothing line brings two new his and hers fragrances that will attract the modern man and woman.  Wildblue Nour and Wildbloom Rouge are a mix of sophistication and sensuality and compliment each other, making it a perfect gift for couples. Just like towels, toothbrushes, shirts, and pillows, this is a really awesome his-and-hers gift idea that's not cheesy. These new fragrances scents  can be used during the day at work or on date nights in their honeymoon.

For her, Wildbloom Rouge's topnotes of citrusy, fruity scents of fresh clementine and bergamot fades into the sensual scents of magnolia and jasmine. Woody sandalwood and amber endnotes add a charming touch. There's still a bit of lightness for me personally to be able to wear this scent during the day. I would prefer wearing this scent during the colder weather due to its floral-woody nature as the scent lingers.

Wildblue Noir has a sophisticated scent with a mix of spices, suede and leather (yes! fabrics!). I was kinda interested when I was told that elements of leather was added to the scent until I'm reminded of the scent of leather bags and belts from a leather store. Overall, there was a somewhat mystery in the scent with a bit of elegance and sophistication. Normally, I find fragrances for men a bit too overpowering or "ageing" but this one still has that sensual appeal.

Wildbloom Rouge and Wildblue Noir are also friendlier in the pocket. Wildbloom Rouge retails for Php 2,500 for 50 mL and Php 3,200 for 100 mL. Wildblue Noir costs Php 2,300 for a 50-mL bottle and Php 2,900 for a 100-mL bottle. Aside from newlyweds, this can be a gift for parents for Christmas or celebrating their wedding anniversary or why not give one for yourself and another for your partner? They are available at Banana Republic stores and leading department stores.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Yin Yoga Teacher Training: The Beginning of a New Journey

Hello everyone! As of the moment you are looking  at someone who has just completed her 50-hour Yin Yoga Teacher Training. You got that right! I am now part of the newest batch of Yin Yoga teachers here in Manila. I took my training last week and it has been a very enlightening journey both for my body and my mind. This training is just the beginning of another adventure in Yin Yoga.

A few months ago, I announced that I would be taking my teacher training, a no-turning back move I had. Although I'm poorer, I know that this is a big investment career-wise and also in my yoga journey. I have practiced yoga informally for about a decade (starting from looking at tutorials in magazines and YouTube) and two years formally in a yoga studio, taking workshops, and self-practicing homework at home, but there's so much to learn!!!

September even opened itself to me. I didn't have a single work booked that month. In a way, there was frustration because my brushes were itching to be used.  That free time, though, happened to be a blessing because it gave me an opportunity to really prepare and be pre-yinned out before the training. Since I was at home most of the time, I had time to cook healthy food and incorporate more of them into my system. I also used the time to read and study in advance and also do my yang workouts (pole, Vinyasa, HIIT) to balance the very Yin prep time.

The training itself was intense - physically and mentally. This helped us prepare to become better teachers. One thing Victor Chng, our teacher said to us that, "Teaching is an extension of genuine experience." This echoed what a good friend and mentor in Yin Yoga told me, that everything is still rooted upon practice. We did practice yoga- a lot until muscle memory tells our bodies where to cue and what to feel. My friends in Facebook were probably worried when I posted status messages of my teacher training going like this: Day 1: broken hips. Day 2: broken lower back. Day 3: broken legs. They probably thought I was getting injured from all the yoga I've been doing (on the contrary, it's quite rare to get injured from yin yoga). This broken actually is a different kind of "broken". It's a figurative kind of broken. It's actually a process of transformation, since the old body must be "destroyed" for the new body to develop.

On the lifestyle change, old sayings actually are true. I learned to take water warm or at room temperature and eat dinner earlier and keep it lighter so as to not stress my digestive system when it's supposed to be resting (remember the after 6 diet?). Eating a more plant-based diet is actually good for my body and also the environment. I didn't go diamond-class vegan just yet. Small changes like eating plant-based meals during dinner or going vegetarian a day in a week already can make a lot of difference. I also got exposed to a lot of yummy vegetarian dishes. I always liked vegetables and found out so many other ways to eat them.

Our lunch from Greenery Kitchen - buttered vegetables and vegetarian Korean "barbecue". They deliver in Makati and their rates are affordable!

I still have my surf and turf since I need my animal protein for HIIT and pole, though but I choose when to have them and what kind. Sleep has never been more important. I remember my good friend makeup artist EJ telling me that we have to be asleep by 10 pm to 3 am since this is the time that the skin gets to rest and recharge. It actually holds true not just in the skin but our organs and liver. When we close our eyes, we give our liver a rest.

Another old saying that is true is when we were in grade school we learned to drink 8 glasses of water each day.  Water is very important because keeping hydrated prevents injuries, helps flush out toxins, and keeps the skin clear.

This mason jar was a gift given to me by the nice people of L'Oreal. It came to me the day before teacher training. Been using it to drink my infused water.

Yin Yoga is a type of yoga that is humble and submissive. Although most of these poses are not bombastic enough for #yogaselfie posts and worthy of 20 likes in social media, it actually has a very good impact in our bodies. Yin yoga helps ease our way during our periods and also menopause. It can help with our digestion, It can help with depression, tension, and stress. It can help reduce cholesterol levels. There are so much things a yin yoga practice can do to our body long-term that can make us less dependent on medicines which can provide only temporary relief and may have ill effects in the body due to allergies or physiological sensitivity. I've always been afraid of surgery and yin yoga may help me not undergo surgery in the near future which can actually put the body at risk for a lot more complications.

A photo with my teacher, Victor Chng. When I was choosing my college years ago and my courses, I chose a career path that would enable me to heal people. Obviously, that traditional path to that did not occur. Now, I also took a journey to heal people but in a different path. Despite that this may be different or I may not be wearing that white coat or have a syringe and scalpel to cut through tumors and cysts, I have different tools. It is a path that I chose because it is the path I like, and the journey that my body and heart actually wants to take. As Victor said, "The job of a yoga teacher is to bring healing to another human being."

With me are my mentors, Victor Chng and Dona Esteban (my first-ever yin yoga teacher) and the two ladies who got me into yin yoga in the first place- Jane and Ria.

Although in paper I am a Yin Yoga Teacher, there's still so much to learn and I know that this learning process never stops. It is only the beginning of another journey. I am excited to share my practice with my (future) students.

Some might wonder, "So, is she going to be yoga teacher already and stop doing makeup?" My answer is no. In fact, yin yoga is the perfect complement to my job as a makeup artist. It can in fact, prolong my life in the industry and help with the work-related injuries I might have. Makeup artists are prone to back pains and wrist and shoulder injuries. I might not take jobs though that would require me to endure having days with little or no sleep. There will be some lifestyle changes. I will definitely be around stronger to serve everyone better. And no matter what lifestyle we have, we always could use a little yin. :)

Friday, September 19, 2014

Strip and Browhaus Opens Its Newest Branch

For Strip and Browhaus fans in the Mandaluyong or Ortigas area would be happy to know that they need not travel all the way to Makati or to Fort to get their monthly defuzzing. Just yesterday, Strip and Browhaus opened its newest branch at SM Megamall.

Strip has been around for six years and has been popular for its racy bikini waxing, depending on your comfort level or preference) Whether you just want the basic cleaning or are daring enough to go all off, it's up to you. If you want to permanently remove unwanted hair, there's the IPL ACE option which not only removes unwanted hair but also cares for the skin underneath it. IPL ACE is also pain-free and quick.

Browhaus will take care of what frames our face - our brows by giving the shape that flatters your face structure the most. If you have once been a victim of a plucking horror story, Browhaus can bring back the brows that are right for you.

The new Strip and Browhaus branch is located at the 5th floor of  the Mega Fashion Hall of SM Megamall. It's located near the escalator and the skating rink.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Of Time Warps and Blue Beehives

So, I had a stressful morning today, so to wipe it off.. let me focus on these two new collaborations MAC Cosmetics has which is getting me all excited and I feel wallets (at least mine) ripping apart at the seams.

MAC The Simpsons Collection brings back memories of the 25-year-old series (yes! it has been that long) that we watched as kids and still enjoyed up to now. The image model of course, is the dotting housewife who still has her lithe and slim figure even with three children, with orange necklace and big blue beehive hairdo - Marge Simpson.

We are not expecting yellow foundation here though, not to worry. Just like the bright yellow packaging, While we may not get Marge's complexion, we have candy colored palettes, lipglass, falsies, and eyeshadow palettes embossed with a Marge Simpson Emblem.

Erm, no, Homer. makeup is not applied that way.

Quirky, fun, weird ... let's do the time warp again and just in time for Halloween, MAC would be releasing a Rocky Horror Picture Show collection.

My exposure to this Broadway play was the number Time Warp from Stellar 3 last year performed by the Intermediate 1 students and as of this moment, I can see a few of them eyeing the collection and doing their research. I was viewing the collection photos over at Temptalia and I see a lot of reds in the lipsticks, and not just that glaze of red sheen, but bold vivacious reds in mattes and amplifieds  and of course -  blacks, plums, and reds. I am also eyeing on the glitters and pigments, A permanent lipstick - Sin gets a revamp in its Rocky Horror Picture Show  packaging. For those not familiar with Sin, it's a vamp-y dark red, almost plum, more accurately described in the MAC website as a "deep dark blue red".

I'm hoping that these come by October and I can't wait to see the MAC Counter theme days and collection launches for these. This should be fun!

And definitely

"But listen closely
not for very much longer
I've got to keep control".

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Color Restored via Serie Expert Vitamino Color

I spent my morning today at the L'Oreal Academie in Ortigas to experience Serie Expert, a high performance hair treatment that targets specific hair needs that go deep into the hair's molecular structure. Despite that I left the house at rush hour, around 8:30, the drive to Ortigas was unexpectedly breezy.

We were asked to choose which treatment we were supposed to have. First, was the Vitamino Color, which was for color lock for those who color their hair and want to restore its vibrancy and shine and give our color-treated hair its much needed nourishment.  For super damaged locks, Absolut Repair Lipidum is suggested to instantly reconstruct, detangle, and soften hair, basically making your hair not much of a pain to handle in life. I had my hair colored a month ago and it somehow faded, so I opted for the Vitamino Color. When I made my choice, my hair was washed and then my treatment started,

The first step was the application of Powerdose, a powerful concentrate (not to be taken in to give you superpowers, mind you) treatment to instantly revitalite color-treated hair. The serum was applied using a spray pump attachment, and depending on the length and thickness of hair, you may need a second vial or one might be enough. In my case, I think they only used one. 

The second step involved the application of a color masque. Unlike traditional conditioners which we use at home, this one is thicker, richer, and more intense which nourishes our dry and colored hair bringing it back to life. Just like the Powerdose. this was massaged well into my hair to really get my treatment to work.

The waiting game starts, the products have to be left in my hair for quite some time before rinsing them out. Oh and hello morning coffee!

My hair was blow-dried after into soft curls that feel super lush and smooth instead of dried and fried.  And yay for shine!!!!

My hair is alive. ALIIIIVVEEEE!!!!!

The whole procedure is really fast and took approximately 35 minutes for the whole treatment. Plus points also on the fruity scent of the treatment. Since it was fast, I had time to attend my pole lunch class where my shoulders died and went to pole heaven. My hair was still super smooth and shiny though, even after an hour of class. The curls were more relaxed though, but it was still a big check for touchable smoothness. This treatment may help preserve my color longer, especially if I'm the type that has a wash-and-wear kind of lifestyle. 

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Sparkles and Megawatt Shine From Sally Hansen Triple Shine

Sometimes, I tend to overlook my hands, due to my lifestyle. However, when I realized that some of the behind-the scenes shots from work show my hands, either holding a brush, or arranging the model's hair and - *urk* - I spot hands that looked like it had too much of a day's work. So to make them look a bit more decent, what I do is I use Sally Hansen's Instant Cuticle Remover Gel and push back the dry skin before rinsing. If I do have time, I apply polish depending on my mood. My usual favorites are usually darks and metallics although I occasionally like a pop of color, especially on summer. When I do have the time, I go online and look for nail art tutorials to follow, and from my own experience, these are the ones that seem to last longer on my nails, due to the layering. The only downside of it though is that applying nail art takes time.  On super special occasions though, or on times when I feel my nails really need major overhaul and reshaping, that's the time when I go to the nail salon. Of course, that just goes for my hands, as for my feet, they get their bi-monthly pedicure in nail salons.

Newly-polished nails have their megawatt shine at the start. With the daily grind, wear and tear, and exposure to water and chemicals (detegents, soap, cooking ingredients, alcohol, etc) can make our polish lose its shine and the colors get to become dull. That is why in order to maintain that shiny nail color, we need to reapply topcoat once in a while. Thankfully, Sally Hansen introduces its newest collection - Triple Shine, now available in 28 awesome shades to choose from for a very affordable price of Php 315

There are 28 shades to suit  your very own personal tastes. These 28 shades are divided into 3 groups, Iridescence is for those like me who love metallics and shiny pearlescent finishes. If vibrant and bold colors are for you, hop over to Pop section and find brights to match your outfit. When the Holidays strike (as you all know -ber months are here!), try Fanta-Sea, which have glittery shades that can be used to create glittery glazes or use them on its own fine sparkly nails in jewel and aquatic tones.

The Triple Shine polish bottle actually has two lids - So that cap you see on the display shelf has another cap at the bottom.

The brush is also thicker than some of my other polishes. It can be tricky if applying this to the toes though, since I have tiny toenails, but a bit of control and after-polish cleanup will make things easier for me. 

Shine payoff is also awesome. It's shiny even without a top coat, as shown.

However, if you do want your polish to last longer, apply quick-drying top coat to shine and seal things.

I used Make Waves, a shiny aqua blue color.

I asked though how to apply the Fanta-Sea colors, since glitter polishes tend to just glaze over.  I wanted it to look really awesome, sparkly, and opaque.

I was taught this technique: Apply one coat first in strokes, just like a regular polish. Then, dab on the glitter with a brush or a sponge. Clean up with a cotton bud soaked in polish remover.

Shown on my hands is their bestseller - Seanic

Try this quick and easy nail art tutorial which I put a twist on the traditional French manicure - no need to grow tips. 

1. Apply basecoat.
2. Apply two coats of Make Waves (or a non-glittery polish of your choice).
3. Let dry for 2 minutes. 
4. Using a sponge, Apply Fanta-Sea on the tips of your nails until you get desired sparkliness. For better control, I prefer buying a cheap dishwashing sponge and cutting it up into sizes that fit the nail.  5. Let dry,
6. Apply quick-drying topcoat.

And here you go... pretty nails!

You may choose to apply glitter all over the nails or use the ombre technique in applying glitter. The options are up to you.  Also an added bonus, glitter polish is hard to remove so this ought to last really long.

As of this weekend, Sally Hansen Triple Shine is already available in Sally Hansen counters. :) What's your favorite shade? Do you have a combination you want to try? How about adding stripes and stickers? Just have fun with your new toys!