Monday, July 18, 2016

I Bought Books!

It's Monday and the start of the week. For some reason, everyone seems to be out this morning the traffic is just horrible it made attending my 10 am pole class impossible so I decided to train at home instead so I never miss a Monday so I start my week right with fitness. So I'm typing this blog post after 2 hours of training. I did the blogilates workouts for the day and when I get super warm, you know that I take advantage of that warmth to catch up with pole.

Anyway, I'm here to share my recent purchase, which I think came at the right time. I bought Cassey Ho's book - Hot Body
 Year Round. I saw it available at a Fully Booked branch but I didn't think of buying it at first because I didn't want another impulse purchase and I follow her workouts anyway. Somehow though, that book never went out of my mind so when I saw it at Fully Booked in Rockwell yesterday and it was the only copy they had left and it was at 10% off because of a tiny little dog ear on the cover, I knew it was meant to be and it had to be mine. So yay! My own book by one of my fitspirations, Cassey Ho!!!!

No, Sebastian. That book is for Mommy.

But that's not just it because I saw one copy of The Complete Guide to Yin Yoga by Bernie Clark and I knew that by browsing through it I'm super going to need it when I teach my classes since I've been getting more classes lately (and hopefully more!!! *fingers crossed*) so this can really up my teaching and my personal practice.

 So yes, I walked out of the store with two books and it's so funny that I actually bought two books because I'm really not much of a book person and I get really bored when I go in a bookstore so these books really called to me.

I think it's just the perfect combination too because Cassey's energy and enthusiasm is the perfect flavor I want for my fitness. As a yin yoga teacher, it may be weird for me to be all energetic in my classes but I can sort of incorporate that same flavor of inspiration and enthusiasm in a different dish. Like I can make my classes enjoyable for my students for them to come back again rather than scare and intimidate them with all the jargons and pretzel-like poses. Like I want to make my students feel like I'm in the same plane as they are rather than they feel like I'm some flying priestess or something. This is why I love these YouTube fitness gurus like Cassey and Tara Stiles. They make fitness really fun and available for anyone. So in some funny way, the purchase of these two books is like me trying to get my own flavor, or as what they say my "yoga voice." Besides, fitness is fun! It makes you healthy, it makes you pretty, it makes you happy. Yes guys, even in my dark dreary looks, there is still happy in there. just so you know. :P

I'm starting to read Hot Body All Year Round and the foreward just got me. Apparently, Cassey and I have something in common - we are both former biology majors! We both followed that typical smart Asian child path of getting the "proper" professional degree but somehow found out that it didn't quite fit us.So reading that intro was like reading a parallel of my life right there and I think that if I weren't in a public place (I was still at a mall), I would have cried. I'm loving her more because she was not afraid to do what she wanted and she stood by it and now she's super famous and successful! When I saw the part when she was miserable at work, I kinda remembered how horrible my life was at college because I was super bullied (like Revenge of the Nerds type of bullied) by a lot of people, I was in an abusive relationship plus I was under so much pressure because I had to like plow my way through it alone. But that's all gone now! It's like omigod, I am so not alone!

Leafing through the book, there are workouts and recipes (which she divided according to seasons)
to follow to sculpt, tone, and strengthen.

 She also encourages eating clean and shows that it does not have to be super expensive. If you love her Cheap Clean Eats, there are more recipes to follow that I am super excited to try.

 The workouts are perfect because I now have absolutely no excuse to work out and I can't use the Internet is busted and I can't access my workout channels or I don't memorize the primary ashtanga series. I can whip out the book and even do several exercises while waiting for pole to start.

I also found one part she said quite interesting, and surprisingly, it relates to the module 2 of my Yin Yoga Teacher Training, which I'm set to take next year.

"Traditional Chinese medicine explains the sugar craving as an imbalanced Spleen Qi. Qi is the energy force that allows the organs to work seamlesly together, and the spleen is responsible for digestion, metabolism, and energy production."

"When people are spleen deficient, they crave sweet flavors; it's just like when someone's liver is imbalanced, he or she craves the sour taste. Women tend to be more spleen deficient than men because the energy of the spleen is used to make blood. Because a woman's monthly cycle depends on the spleen, we crave sugar more often."

So that explains why when we're PMS-ing we always want that candy bar (with the caramel filling) or we go wolf down a tower of gummies. I love sweet things myself, but I know that I can't have too much of it. Sugars and carbs aren't all that bad, and in fact they give you energy. There are bad sugars though, and that's what we're avoiding, The book also shows how you can add flavor to food and how to add some sweetness naturally like add some fruit to your water or drink fresh juices, etc. (or maybe, I can cut down my cookies instead of a dozen to half dozen?) Also, this means I should get to work the spleen and kidney meridians as well (Another sign to take my module 2 seriously).

Don't get me wrong guys, you will still see YOLO meals in my Instagram, but I'm going to include healthy meals that are just as happy. It's food. It should be fun.

I got that evil smirk in me going. If you are my student, you know what's coming. :) Don't worry, we'll enjoy this journey together.

Friday, July 8, 2016

A Look Back: Throwback Items in Our Kikay Kit

I grew up in the 90's and although the fashion and trends weren't super mega distinct like shoulder pads and big hair during the 80's, the subdued trends of the 90's had a sort of classic appeal on its own. In fact, it's been recycled fairly recently with the babydoll clothes, brown lippies, chunky heels, and leather chokers making a comeback. The only heels I wear lately for events are actually very 90's inspired, chosen by Kate. I liked it since it was chunky and sturdy and less likely that I would trip. No, I shall not post a 90's photo of teenage me from my baul because that would probably make me lose my beauty writer credibility with the makeup faux pass I had back then.

The 90's also was probably the time I started collecting items for that tiny kikay kit I had tucked in the corner of my schoolbag or the few items in my mini backpack I'd use when I would go to the mall. Writing this blog post for a #FlashbackFriday at my part of the world or #ThrowbackThursday on your part, stuff like these sort of made me smile. I don't know if this awakened the makeup artist/beauty writer gene that I have though, since I didn't know how to put on makeup back then. Besides, school didn't allow it.

So here were the beauty items I had stashed in my own kit. Any one of you notice your favorites?

Bath and Body Works

This brand is probably in every high school girl's bag back then, and a #1 pasalubong list or an item to hoard during that summer vacation to the US. The fruity scents were fresh and youthful, but more grown-up than the Angel's cologne you wore during grade school. Sun Ripened Raspberry, Juniper Breeze, Country Apple, Plumeria, Sweet Pea, Fresh Pineapple, the list goes on and on. I purchased a bottle of Juniper Breeze just a few days ago, and even though the package has changed, it still has that same scent.

Hard Candy Polish

Long ago, polish colors were red, pink, peach, white (for french tips) and neutral. The colors were too tita for a high school girl to wear on weekends since school did not allow nail polish. So happy that there were brands that had fun colors to wear for young girls. One such favorite 90s brand is Hard Candy, and although they have changed their packaging, the favorite is still the iconic 90s packaging complete with the ring. I had one shade of this, which was yellow, I don't know where the ring went now though. I hope Hard Candy releases a few shades here in the Philippines because I will be just so happy to score a few shades, especially that pretty powder blue shade.

Bonne Bell Lip Smackers

A photo posted by Sidney Ann (@fannypackclub) on

There was a time that I chose lip color not by the actual color but by the flavor and scent. These sheer-tinted lipglosses and lip balms were almost dessert-like. I found myself leaning towards the berry, mocha, and sweet vanilla flavors. Lip Smackers are still very much alive today with new fun flavors like Coca-Cola Classic, Salted Pretzel, and Pink Velvet Gelato

The Paddle Brush

Before VS Supermodels and Cosmo magazine covers made me embrace my naturally big hair, I would have a big paddle brush to help flatten my hair straight as the length of my hair never seemed to weigh my hair down. Poker-straight hair became in way up until the early 2000s. The paddle brush never made my hair super duper straight and flat as I wanted it to be up until I embraced the  beach waves I have all year round. I still have a paddle brush (2 in fact) now, but when I wear my hair straight, it's now straight with volume, like a donya from the parlor.

Johnson's Pressed Powder in Beige

It was 1998, I forgot the exact name, but this and a few oil-control sheets saved me from teenage midday shine. Since MAC Studiofix was too much for my pocket and my teenage skin, this one was bought from the grocery and made me look less espasol-like than putting baby powder on my face. The pink compact was also easy-to-spot. This and lip smackers were probably the makeup I ever owned. I didn't even think of using eye cream because I worried less about wrinkles then. Actually, I worried less about anything in the world then. Life was much simple, no?

Butterfly Clips

A photo posted by ॐMoonchildॐ🌙 (@laughswitheyes) on
Don't judge me. It was 1997. It was the coolest way to get my bangs away from my face.

What were your 90's beauty essentials?

image sources;
Bath and Body Works product shot - Bath and Body Works Facebook Page
Nail Polish shot - Hard Candy Facebook Page

Trying Out Peel-Off Lip Tattoos

I'm a bit late to be honest in the whole lip tattoo trend and I heard about it quite fairly recently from my friend who's a makeup artist. So I thought I'd give a go being intrigued with the whole thing. It's said to give a nice, stain to your lips that lasts the whole day. So I thought, hey! this may be perfect for ladies on the go or for people like me who still want to look quite alive in Vinyasa yoga class or flexi class when I get really super duper sweaty and wearing something on your face for some color is nonsense for it to just slide off  15 minutes or so through the class.

I got this tube of peel-off lip tattoo as a gift for Christmas. I thought it was red lipgloss until I found out what it really was, so yay! No need to spend.

Apparently, all I have to do is to apply the gel on my lips, wait for it to dry, then peel off like you peel dried-up glue from your hands when you were a kid. I was also told that it works better if you leave it longer on your lips instead of the usual 15-20 minutes, just to let the pigments sink in.

So I did apply the gel on my lips. Basically, it felt like  really thick lipgloss with a fruity scent, like Hi-C grape back in the 80s. I used a cotton bud to apply this (I highly recommended it, as it can really stain your fingertips) and carefully tried to not feather out the gel. I applied two layers of gel, letting it really sink in to get some color in.

It really looks like a super intense, super shiny red lipstick.

I left it on for an hour or so just to make sure the gel is all dried up and I started peeling. I did this super carefully and in the most OC possible manner so I don't peel out any dead skin and draw blood. The gel doesn't come out in once piece though and there were bits of gel that was left near the center of the lip, so I rubbed that out with a tissue.

Here's the result:

It's got that just-ate-a-strawberry-pop look that lip stains are known for. The concentration of color at the center makes it very K-pop.

Looking closely, the bottom lip was colored a bit more than my upper lip, even if I already doubled the application. There was also a bit more color on the center part, so it really looked like I ate a strawberry popsicle. There were however, some of the gel that traveled to my teeth, but all I had to do was wipe it off with tissue.

The color lasted even after my yoga class and I did take sips of water midway. After my shower, I noticed that most of the color is gone save for a few cherry-colored stains that were in the natural lines of my lips. I don't advise this for girls with dry or cracked lips as there may be a possibility to accidentally pull out cracked or dry, dead skin which kind of hurts.

It doesn't have an even result like traditional lip stains. If you're a first timer, you may tend to have a patchy result, like I did

worn with lip balm over

I personally preferred using a lip balm after the lip tattoo and then blotted to give my lips a healthy look. Blotting out the color + balm with a tissue made the color look more even. I can also use this as a base to give dimension to my super sheer lipsticks to create a new shade, like a nude color with a bit of rosiness. 

This was my experience though in peel-off tattoos. It's fine though, but something I would be too obsessed that I'd go buy all colors. I guess I can wear this color if I need some color without lipstick. I'll just remember to keep lip balm in handy and avoid picking on my lips.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Makeup Tricks For ID Photos (Without Breaking The Rules)

Unlike our Facebook profile photos, our government IDs (passport, voter's ID, driver's license) can be the most unflattering photos - the type where we look like an ex-con or just got out of the hospital. Does it matter though that we have a nice photo? It's not really important in a sense but it matters, That will be our photo for a number of years and we do have to constantly whip it out for bouncers, credit card transactions, entering villages or subdivisions, etc.

While we may not be bongga as Anna Wintour to get Mario Testino for our passport photos, here are several tips to improve how we look like in poorly-lit overhead fluorescent lighting, blue walls, and have our taken via webcam or point-and-shoots.

Know The Rules

We may be tempted to get our gear and do a very sexy VS look - smoky eyes, big hair, glossy lips, etc. but we know that there are rules to follow. Driver's license photos are less strict as visa applications or passports which require a certain look. Knowing these rules can help you come up with a good palette.


After years of having a shiny forehead in several ID photos (even if I'm not oily), I learned to use matte foundation and mattifying primers. At this moment, strobing  will not work, especially if your highlighters are shimmery. Even the girls with the best skin can look shiny and oily in this case. If you know it's going to be hot, sweat-proof your makeup and do a quick touch-up before your photo.

Get as much warmth and light as possible.

Cool and drab is what we could describe the lighting in these offices. They can make our skin look washed out. To get the warmth, I (very lightly) contour my face, not to Kim K level of chiseledness but just to get some warmth to counteract the cool lights. I stick to corals and bronzies as my color scheme but rosy pinks can look good too. Also, wear light-colored clothing ( a white polo shirt is generally safe) to act as some sort of a reflector.

Define those brows and eyes.

Brows make so much difference. For government ID,s I prefer my brows strong but still natural since the too-light brows can look nonexistent with the lighting.  Eyeliner and mascara can also instantly open up the eyes but if you would want to do eye makeup, I'm usually safe with soft, subtley smokey morning bridal eyes. I don't recommend falsies but if you do, just choose individual lashes on the outer corners for a more natural look. For my lashes, I would go for a really good mascara like Browhaus HD mascara.

Avoid lipgloss and stick to liquid lipsticks or lipsticks instead

Lipgloss can just bounce light away defeating the purpose. Depending on the office, you may need to stick to conservative MLBB lipsticks, but that doesn't mean they are boring. Lovely choices are MAC Please Me, Revlon Mauvelous, Ofra Laguna Beach, and Happy Skin Honeymoon glow, which are not really stark bright but give your lips a nice, healthy shade without breaking the rules. If you can, however wear brights go ahead! For reds, MAC Russian Red gives a nice, warm color. MAC Pink Nouveau and Pink Sugar Catfight are my ultimate favorite pinks. Just avoid vampy colors because they can make the skin look paler.

Master the art of the smize.

Visa applications and passports do not allow you to show teeth. To avoid looking like you just woke up or killed someone, take a tip from Tyra Banks and practice "smizing". One thing that helped me so I don't look constipated or about to sneeze is to think of something funny or happy while having my photo taken.

Fix your hair

highlights can give you warmth and bring in as much light as possible. I styled my hair in waves to frame and add shape.

Soft waves or straight hair can work in this case. If your hair has highlights, style your hair in soft waves that can showcase your highlights since that also brings in some light. Smooth, straight hair is also acceptable. have a brush also with you and do a few fixes before posing for the camera.

Before you snap, Take a good look at the mirror, touch up a bit, smooth your hair, practice your smize, and pose. Hopefully, that will get you good for the next few years, because yeah! ID photos matter. :)

Girl facing front:
mascara photo: Browhaus Manila Facebook page.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Ivory and White 2016 Shoot

I'm glad I got the chance to work with Ivory and White bridal again. They're an awesome bunch to work with. Also, I get to take a sneak peek at their lovely 2016 collection.

Although brides nowadays are quite adventurous with their look, the classic, clean look wins for some. I played with corals this time, giving the rosies and smokies a rest.

Some behind-the-scenes shots:

The usual mugshot. Rebecca, our model is just simply gorgeous and fun to work with. Her skin is flawless. With her hair up and clean makeup, she looks like a beautiful ballerina. The corally colors really made her blue eyes stand out

Shooting all those gorgeous dresses is fun!

Stop and smell the flowers. BTS kakulitan. In my head, I wish that I held a bunch of kale and spinach and a pineapple for a nice smoothie. Haha.

Thanks again to the team of Ivory and White bridal for getting me once again to do makeup for their lookbooks. For brides looking for affordable gowns without sacrificing quality, you can check their website.

Lookbook Photos Credits:

Photos by Chyvin Reyes
Make up by Bambi Dela Cruz Dimapilis
Hair by Mara Ashida

The Serendra Cats

Apart from beauty and fitness and craziness and the (occasional) bitchiness, I thought of inserting another avenue which makes me happy - KITTIES! I am a true cat lady minus the extreme crazy and aside from my three baby kitties, I would sometimes be featuring other kitty friends and kitty communities. This is a cat lady's blog, you know!

I befriend a lot of furry critters, from the cats at our condo's parking lot (which volunteer residents have already had spayed and neutered) and cat communities wherever I go. I'm just glad that in this world, there are a handful of people who still care for animals (vegan or not) and for the animals who have made certain establishments their home, they have been made welcome. Some of the communities even had the cats neutered and spayed. Neutering and spaying is a great way to control the cat population. Cats who are already spayed and neutered grow to be healthier and live longer lives.  The cats are natural pest control, keeping roaches and mice away. Also, they're really cute.

I saw these happy bunch on the way to buy vegetables and fruits at Market! Market! These are the Serendra cats and they have made their nest at the area of Wee Nam Kee, Phat Pho, 8 Cuts, and Abe. The clowder has one ginger tabby cat, a calico, and a gray and ginger tortie (?) and recently, another tricolor and ginger cat has joined the team.

They really are gigantic and healthy cats, and I've heard from the security personnel that a Serendra resident feeds these babies. I sometimes visit them after yoga class or before buying veggies and spend a few minutes of playtime as well as feed them treats from my kibble jar. They appear early morning, before the restaurants open and go hide when the people start trickling in and the weather gets too hot. They do sometimes make an appearance during the peak and hot hours when I stop by for lunch. They're more seen at night though, which probably is one of their feeding times.

The calico cat isn't the cuddly type. She likes to maintain her distance though. If you have food, she would eat. Just give her the personal space she needs. She does look good in photos.

The ginger likes people too but maintains a certain distance. She did allow me a few pats but no cuddles. She does stay a very comfortable distance. I met one of the ladies who feed them and she mentioned two of the cat's names are Ginger and Divine. I presume this is Ginger.

This gray and orange kitty is the friendliest. I don't know if she's Divine, but sometimes I call her that. She does her twirls and plops and even allowed me to carry her for several selfies.

She's adorable and playful and likes being petted.

If you happen to be a cat lover and you pass by this area and see these cats, say hello and give them some food. They are very sweet and gorgeous.

I give props to the Serendra community for giving these cats a nice home and the kind people who make sure these cats are spayed and healthy. These cats are just your ordinary street cats that you see in the street but with proper care and affection, can blossom to these gorgeous felines.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

What To Do With Super Ripe Bananas

Bananas are a pole dancer's best go-to food. It gives you energy without bloating you or making you feel heavy before a class. It's rich in potassium so it prevents cramps. It's a great after workout food to keep you sugar in check. Plus, it's so convenient.

I keep bananas at home as a staple go-to snack if I'm taking a yoga class early in the morning or I want a midday snack. Sometimes though, I find that due to meal planning, I still got bananas that are getting brown or about to get old. To avoid wasting them, here's what to do with bananas that are about to get soft and old.

1. Muffins or Cakes

Overripe bananas are perfect for baking. The soft ones are mushier and so much sweeter. Make banana bread, banana cookies, muffins, or cake. If you're like me with no oven, try mug cakes, which are single-serve cakes you can make with a mug in your trusty microwave.

2. Pancakes

Have some healthy, gluten-free pancakes for breakfast. Mix 1/2 c of mashed banana with 2 eggs, 1/8 tsp baking powder, a dash of cinnamon, 2 tsp coconut sugar, and a few drops of vanilla extract. Mix to form a batter. Fry your pancakes in coconut oil. The pancakes come out thinner and a bit softer than traditional pancakes. Serve this with sliced bananas, berries, and honey or maple syrup. The pancake itself is yummy and tastes like turon.

3. Dairy-free "Nice" Cream

Here is a vegan and non-dairy alternative to ice cream, Slice up some bananas and freeze them until they are rock-hard. Process in a food processor until the mixture becomes smooth like ice cream. You may add some fruit like strawberries or cacao powder if you want chocolate-banana flavor. Place in a container and freeze.

4. Smoothies

I don't like ice in my smoothie because it dilutes the fruit, juices, and milk. I freeze my fruit instead to serve as ice. Add frozen banana slices to your smoothie for a yummy and refreshing drink.

What other banana-based recipes do you like?

Image source:
Banana photo: