Saturday, August 16, 2014

Lash Wishes and Bareskin Waxing Studio - Cinderella's Newest Best-Kept Secret

I admit being apprehensive about lash extensions. It looks pretty but I always thought it would be uncomfortable and it might be too heavy that opening your eyes would be difficult. Some of my friends said that it can be addicting so I thought that I'd give it a try once.

Lash Wishes, a new designer lash extension studio that opened, invited me to try out their services. I was a bit apprehensive at first but since a friend told me that it will really save time in getting ready, I gave it a go.

Lash Wishes was first established in 2013 and it already has a branch at Mall of Asia. This new branch is located at the heart of one of Makati's biggest shopping districts tucked away at the basement level of Cinderella department store in Glorietta. It's like a secret getaway after a whole day working.

Lash Wishes has a whole lot of choices depending on your preference. You can go natural and just enhance your lashes or go for the whole shebang - long, lush lashes that look like you woke up with sexy smoldering eyes. If you feel a bit festive and crazy, you may add color, feathers, or Swarovski crystals. Lash extensions are great for the busy woman who must go from one place to another and still look wide awake and made up and has very little time for a full makeup routine.  

I got lush lashes, which is around 1000 pieces per eye. I chose them to be arranged where the strands in the middle are thicker than the strands on the edges, giving my eyes a wide-eyed doll-like look. Some opted for cat's eye, which is almost like a sex-kitten cat eye look reminiscent of Bridget Bardot where the outer edges of the lashes create a winged effect.  When I asked what fibers they use, Lash Wishes uses silk fibers instead of human hair, so it's lighter and almost weightless. The procedure takes an hour to do to get the lashes really looking lush and natural. 

So here are my new lash extensions (the exact service I got costs approximately Php 1,200). I really got a lot of good compliments when I posted the results in Instagram. And they are very thick but despite the thickness, it's relatively lighter than expected. Of course, there's still a bit of weight and it took a bit to get used to. But nevertheless, it does look really pretty. It's like wearing eyeliner everyday. Lash Wishes is also the only eyelash extension salon to date that offers Japan's "3D lashes". 

Of course with all lash extensions, there's the upkeep and we can't skip it if we want to maintain our doll-eyed fluttery look. I can't wear mascara or curl my lashes (but really, with lashes like these I wouldn't need to) and I have to be really careful in using eye makeup remover and washing my face. To maintain these lashes, I need to come back ever 1-2 weeks for touch-ups. 

Right next door to Lash Wishes is Bareskin Waxing Studio., an intimate waxing studio that offers waxing services both for men and women at affordable prices.

Living in a tropical country, hemlines are shorter and we have the pleasure of wearing our sundresses and tank tops all-year round. As a makeup artist, I'm very OC and concerned with well-groomed eyebrows. Getting defuzzed down there is also a monthly must-do nowadays. Bareskin Waxing Studio is the go-to place to get your defuzzing done from head to toe for very affordable costs for the very busy woman. Waxing services cost as low as Php 150 (eyebrows or upper lip) and a full Brazilian is Php 850. They offer both hot wax and cold wax, for those who want different options and the services are done in the privacy of their waxing rooms.

There are different waxes for every part of the body. That is the reason why there are different waxes available, because hair thickness is each part is different. There's a different wax for the face and a different wax for underarm, leg, and bikini area.

I got my legs waxed and for my legs, they used vanilla wax. The vanilla wax is applied using a roller, which results in a more even and precise application. 

Aside from removing the unwanted hair, waxing also removes the dead skin cells which dull up the skin. Perfect for a girl who loves wearing shorts a lot. And it's super quick you can get it done fast. Of course, that would depend on your pain tolerance but since this kitty feels no pain, mine went fast.

For those who want to add a bit of bedazzling spice in their life, Bareskin Waxing Studio also offers vajazzling. If you don't know what vajazzling is, it was first made famous by Jennifer Love Hewitt. Now we don't have to go all the way to a posh waxing salon in the States since vajazzling is now available in our shores.  

Happy bloggers after their treatments.

One of the post-waxing cares we were taught was to exfoliate 48 hours after the procedure to prevent unwanted ingrown hairs. I'd like to thank Bareskin Waxing Studio for the yummy-smelling strawberry scrub I can use. :) Actually, I used it already and it smells like those yummy strawberry wafer sticks that kinda felt good enough to eat. It also feels very gentle on the body instead of stingy and scratchy.

For those who want to know more, log on to and for more information, promos, and updates. You may also check out @lashwishes and @bareskinwaxingstudio in Instagram as well. 

Monday, July 14, 2014

Flutter and Frame with L'Oreal False Lash Butterfly Mascara

For lazy daisies with eye makeup, a lash curler and mascara is probably like manna from above.  On days when eye makeup seems so much of an effort, mascara can create that wide-awake difference.  I admit that there are days, even for me, where  setting up primer, eyeshadow palette, brushes, etc etc.  can be just too much, like on weekends. Even on shoots, I try limiting my makeup on myself and focus on getting to the trick. I do know that behind-the-scenes photos would be appearing so to look just at least more awake on my eyes, I just groom my brows and curl my lashes and apply mascara.

The newest mascara from L’Oreal Paris, the False Lash Butterfly Mascara gives vavoom lashes by defining and enhancing our lashes to really make our eyes pop even without any eyeshadow. Even if your eye makeup is heavy that day, (I.e. very heavy smoky eyes), this mascara will make lashes still stand out and not look lost in strong eye makeup even without falsies.  Thanks to the lovely people of L’Oreal Paris who sent this over for me to try.

If you look at the brush, it’s not the usual teardrop-shaped mascara wand we’re used to seeing. The brush has actually an asymmetric  shape (the left side is different from the right).

 This is the key to making the lashes pop out more. The application is more precise, with product getting into the hard-to-reach lashes at the corner of the eyes.  As the product is deposited on the lashes.  The lashes stretch out (like the wings of a butterfly!) for a spread-out, wide-eye look with lashes that frame the eye.

Take note of the before and after photos.

my bare eye, just lashes curled

with False Lash Butterfly Mascara 

The False Lash Butterfly Mascara is also waterproof. I tried it, went to pole class and there are no mascara runs or flakes  on my face from sweat. I really needed very potent eye makeup remover to get this all out. Conditioning power is awesome and bridal makeup artists should have this in their kit, especially if the bride opts not to wear false eyelashes.

There are numerous ways of wearing the False Lash Butterfly Mascara. One of course, I have mentioned is on a bare eye, if you want to give your eyes oomph at minimal effort. You can wear this too with bridal makeup and your classic smokey eye, as shown here in the video. Check out the video on how to get the Le Papillon Eye Look and see how easy it is to do with L'Oreal products:


My own take too to this smokey eye is slightly darker and I used a coral lip.

I like how my lashes, even at a distance and not like a Tom Hooper-like close headshot, can still be seen. You can take this on a night out, party, or what the heck, even at a pole performance. Right I told you that these lashes can withstand intense pole class I had? Well yes, I model these looks on the pole.

Top: Brown Belly Yoga
Shorts: Landmark

Makeup Artist Karim Rahman created the Butterfly Looks – bold eye makeup designs where you can wear with your mascara. The looks are really edgy and pretty and I decided to do my interpretation of these looks.

A wearable look, the Flying Fluttery Look channels 60s sirens with exaggerated winged eyeliner. Think Amy Winehouse’s iconic eyeliner with lots of lashes framing it.  It’s a great party and performance look to do.

An edgier, bolder look that reminded me of Elizabeth Taylor in Cleopatra, is the Bold Nympha, which looks really cool in photos and would be a really cool makeup peg in a pole competition.

With lashes that defy gravity, I decided to  defy gravity as well. Like butterflies that take flight, I also take flight on the pole, because what better way to showcase these looks than to fly as well right? 

The Flying Fluttery on a Hummingbird

Sport Top: Zobha
Swimsuit Shorts: Sabre by Lizanne Cua

When I saw the Bold Nympha, I got my pole competition costume that I wore to Vie and Vault two years ago. As I said earlier, the defined strong eyes would really pop out onstage in fashion shows, performances.

Pole Costume by Dennis Celestial

If you want lashes that defy gravity,  L’Oreal Paris False Lash Butterfly Mascara is available for Php 695 at all L’Oreal Paris makeup counters. Get your lashes some #butterflyeffect and start posting your own #butterflyeffect, in air, land or water, since it’s waterproof.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

This is It! Yin Yoga Teacher Training in September!

( I was inspired by my fellow yogi, Jane, who posted her announcement that I shall post mine too)

Before yoga became popular mainstream, I was following online yoga gurus like Tara Stiles in YouTube and doing quick yoga exercises from what I read in magazines. It was more of a 10-15 minute workout really then,  just to get my body started.

My real  first formal yoga class taught me a different style of yoga from what I experienced in the online videos - which is Yin Yoga. Unlike the yoga we all know from what we seem this type of yoga is a passive, quiet, and relaxing yoga. The flow of asanasgoes deeper than muscle and strength and target connective tissues and fascia. Energy channels and meridians are also targeted to recharge and detox the body. After that class,  I can say that I got hooked. I even memorized the sequence even to do at home and followed the asanas in the presskit given to me. After that class, I bought my first yoga mat thinking that if I can't go to the studio, might as well do some sequences at home.

One of my favorite hip-openers, the swan. I attended my first yin yoga class in this studio. 

Yin yoga was a great compliment in my pole fitness regimen it helped me get my splits and backbends safer. It was through yin yoga that I learned that I need to elongate before I do my backbend instead of crunching in order to protect my spine. In a deeper sense, yin yoga brings balance to an otherwise active fitness routine and daily grind to quiet the mind and let the body rest and recover. Even the monthly cycle has been calmed through yin yoga. With that too, my body became ready to practice more active styles of yoga like Vinyasa and Hatha yoga. Yoga for me was the alternative for my cross-training in pole because it is a safe way to develop my strength and flexibility.

During my earlier months practicing yoga, some of the people I meet ask me, "Do you teach yoga?" I was like, "No, I just practice." And then, the follow-up question, "Why don't you start teaching? You're really flexible and strong. Extra money pa" There's more to being a teacher than just being very skilled, strong, and flexible. There's also the proper intention, and not just solely to make extra money. And the proper time.

Earlier this year, I was contemplating on taking up yin yoga teacher training. I wanted to share how the practice affected me physically. Besides, with today's active lifestyle and Facebook feeds underestimating the value of sleep and rest (I have seen too many "coffee-powered with 2 hours of sleep" statuses  turn to "on antibioitcs and fluids" ), it would be great to share yin to others. For people who want to get started doing yoga, yin yoga is a good practice before going to a more dynamic practice.  For example, if I started with a very strong, active practice, I would be  too overwhelmed to come back to the mat.

Yin yoga has helped me not just in my dynamic fitness activities but also in my overall help. I decided to level up and take a formal teacher training program to share this experience with others. 

Yin Yoga teacher training would usually be abroad, and a yoga teacher training program is very expensive. Aside from the module, you would need to spend for your flight, accommodations, meals, etc. The schedule would also be in December.  Since December is usually peak season for makeup artists.  I thought that yin yoga teacher training would just remain to be a dream. There however, was something in me that says that, it will happen. I just didn't know how. Maybe all my bookings would move to the months prior and after, making the teacher training dates magically be free for me to fly to Singapore. Maybe my cat is actually a magical cat that can teleport me to Singapore and back and poops money as an added bonus.

Or maybe teacher training would come to Manila. And that happened

Months back, it was announced that there would be another Yin Yoga teacher training to be conducted here in Manila in September of this year. It would be a 50-hour basic teacher training given by Victor Chng (I attended a couple of his workshops before when he was here in Manila). I was like, "This could be a sign!" . Also, it's going to be here in Manila, so no need to fly out or continue wishing my cat is magical. Also, it would occur on weekdays at an off-peak month. I immediately attended the orientation and expressed my intention to attend the teacher training to Dona (who was my first yin yoga teacher). Just this week,  the reservation has been sealed and confirmed.  No turning back kitty, no turning back. Maybe the stars are saying, this is your time kitty.

Leading to September, I am deepening my yin practice by attending the workshops and classes I could attend. I also attended a teacher's top up class on my birthday in order to further prepare myself by learning from present yin yoga teachers. Self-practice also helps, and I do my own sequences at home and try to practice them or list down the sequence I learn in class or shared by my mentors and practice them at home.

A surprise too, my regular practice and knowledge gained from workshops and asking my mentors was put to test when I taught my first yin yoga class with Yoga For Life. How did it feel? I admit I was nervous in the first few asanas, and I really have to learn how to make that bell chime. It felt more at home as the class progressed, just like easing myself into a yoga pose.

 My makeup career will still continue, and this will even be a good compliment that I can share with my colleagues. It's an exciting experience and I'm looking forward to this new career opportunity while going deeper in my practice. In the future, I look forward to sharing with others my knowledge and yin experience. I look forward to learning from my teachers Dona, Victor, Kit, and Lek and my fellow classmates who have different stories why they decided to take the teacher training too.

I remember a photo posted by my pole teacher Natasha Wang in her Instagram;

I guess it called out to me in one way to not let this opportunity pass, to take a teacher training program here locally.  Otherwise, I would still be in that sea of "what if's?"

This is it!!! Looking forward to September.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Everyone, Meet Burt!

If you follow my Instagram account or are friends with me in Facebook, aside from my work, or me twisting into knots, or inverted on a pole, I post my little critter friends, particularly cats and most especially, the cat we adopted two years ago, Candy (who turned out to be a boy, so he's actually a he) and from that skinny poor cat he became this fat squishable fluffy huge giant cat:

We've been considering getting another kitten so Candy won't be too lonely when we're out and also to give him a playmate so he can have a bit of exercise. A kitten would be good so he won't get intimidated and knowing he's a gentle giant, he won't physically be brutal to the kitten. I believe though that the perfect opportunity will come up, just like what Candy did, how he turned to be the perfect and low-maintenance well-behaved cat he is now.

A few months earlier, one of our usual stray friends, Princess (we theorized to be Candy's little sister) passed away and left behind her newborn kittens. We originally wanted an orange female kitten as our next one and among the five kittens in her litter, adopted one and named her Nutmeg. They were probably about a week old. However, a sad twist of fate happened. Nutmeg passed away a few days after we adopted her. Apparently, she had an anatomical condition that made her unable to poop. It was a very sad day for us when we buried our little girl. We were offered to adopt her other sister instead but we thought we'd wait out for a stronger kitten. Nutmeg's sister eventually got adopted though by another family.

We miss you Nutmeg, run free to the Rainbow Bridge.

The weeks following Nutmeg's passing was difficult and although I had lots of engagements that time, it was hard to accept that our little Nutmeg was gone. A lot told me, even cat experts and vets said that orphaned kittens barely 2 months old have very low risk of survival, since they have not been weaned properly and some may even be born with anatomical defects. Deep in me, I knew that there will be a kitten that would be perfect for adoption, just don't know when. I even went to a phase where I would have the urge to pluck a cute orange kitten off the streets. Of course, that would be like doing a rebound, so I had to restrain myself. Maybe a kitten would just walk our way.

Quite amusingly, that's exactly how it happened a month later. I was buying food at the neighborhood store when I saw a kitten pass by. It wasn't orange though but when I went near the kitten and reached out my hand, it didn't hesitate and allowed me to pet him (yep, it's a boy). I had some food in my bag, which he ate although he wasn't much of a fan of kibble. He liked tuna though when I ran to the house to get some. Since that day was the eve of my birthday, I named the kitten Burt. Burt wasn't a female orange cat but he's a really sweet kitten who loves people and would really play with you. We bonded instantly. Every day, I'd meet him in his spot where I would have some food for him then we'd play. He allows me to carry and hug him.

At the back of my head, I was considering adopting Burt, but I wasn't so sure. Friends were telling me that he might be a good match for Candy since he's an older kitten plus he can put up a fight and won't easily be intimidated by Candy. I thought I'd keep him on probation first and see what happens. If I start falling in love with this cat, then it's a sign to go on. Well, I did. And one time, after our usual playtime, Burt followed me home, all the way inside our apartment. 

Of course Candy, being the cat who's been here longer, fought for dominance. It was funny because he would just try to be bigger and then whack Burt and then run away. There was no bleeding, just whacking, Burt hissing and peeing on himself. I thought of the first few days of Burt entering the house was bringing a regular playmate for Candy. I'd clean him up first and then I'd notice their interaction, then when it was time for me to go to work or somewhere, I'd let Burt out of the house and then when I would come home, I'd pick him up and bring him back home and clean him up. Whenever he's out, that would be the time that he would get to poop and pee. Candy also mellowed down on his attacks and from the looks of it, he just wanted to play.

There were no more Candy's tail fluffing up. He was actually becoming more playful. Burt would hide at the bottom of the couch though. It's still a week though but now the two boys can be in the same place without trying to whack each other's butts. We would still let Burt out during the day when we're out but when I get home he's right by the place where I meet him and I'd carry him back home. Since the past few nights have been raining, we let Burt sleep in our house, where it's dry and warm. Burt was still on probationary status but we were enjoying his cuddles and hugs. If he would go out though, we would have to clean and wash him up thoroughly. 

Cat catchers would mysteriously show up in our condo complex (they're really not into TNR and me and my cat-friendly neighbors have gotten memos re feeding cats) as I've noticed that some of our kitty stray friends have been disappearing. Fearful that the same fate would happen to Burt, we had Burt stay 100% indoors to keep him safe. Then, as we all fell in love with Burt, we decided to adopt him as our own. 

Candy still tries to catch Burt's attention though, even while Burt is doing his business. They're sharing litterbox though, since we have a huge one. We're hopeful that from being civil and Candy trying to be clingy and play, They would end up hugging and loving. They are both eating normal and fine, Burt with KMR and kibble and Candy has his special Urinary s/o diet. 

As a milestone, Burt already had his first bath and also his first visit to the vet. The doctors and handlers at VIP Mandaluyong found him super adorable. Burt is very healthy, just a bit thin since he's newly-rescued. He had his ears cleaned already and dewormed. He will be scheduled for shots soon by Dr. Richard, VIP's house call vet and would be neutered when he turns 6 months (currently, he's 3 months old) 

So officially, Burt is now our cat, and Candy's new little brother. He may not be the initial peg next cat for us being a gray and white cat but this little boy won our hearts. It may be because he followed me home, or he snuggled up to me as I was reading. It may be that both cats still function normally eating and drinking the same. Or my anxiety when I'd let him out that finally made Burt our third cat. Nutmeg will still be his big sister, now an angel watching over her pet parents, big brother, and little brother. 

Expect a lot more fun and furbabies in my future posts, and a kitteh or two sneaking in my photos.

Monday, March 24, 2014

MAC x Maleficent Coming Soon

My friend Jessica posted a link in Facebook and tagged me and Leeanne announcing another MAC collaboration. A lightbulb in my head, angels singing, kitties dancing, and (although the collection doesn't have it) leopard prints suddenly painted the world.

We're all so excited with the movie (starring the sexy modern-day superwoman Angelina Jolie) telling the tale from the character's side of the story with the trailer just building the anticipation. When MAC x Maleficent mix, my evil dark side just squeamed with delight.

My first instinct would say that it was just as similar to 2010's Venomous Villains, which also featured a Maleficent line, that was more cool purples and plums. This year's collection is actually different, which had earth tones and reds this time (taking it I guess from Angelina's makeup)

image again borrowed here. It was quite hard to find photos and swatches of it online

A bit of throwback, last 2010's Maleficent, from my blog

I'm spotting nail lacquers, lashes, penultimate, beauty powder, lip glass, lipliner, lipstick, eyebrow pencil, a shading powder, and a palette. The earths and reds (browns and hardly any blushes) are a stark contrast to four years ago, yet I'm excited nonetheless I feel my wallet burning. 

Actually, the shading powder looks promising and I probably can use that when I do my contours, just to get an approximation of Angie's award-winning cheekbones. Believe it or not, I'm thinking the eyeshadow palette can be great for bridal work, especially if the bride wants smokey eyes. I'm visualizing on how to recreate the easy effortless brown smokey eyes Topshop models have, and the palette has those shades. 

As of now, as we are waiting for the movie here, I'm just as excited and nervous of breaking a buy ban for this. Meanwhile, to build the anticipation, let's all watch the trailer.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

What's In the Gym Toiletry Kit?

Part of being beautiful is not just layering makeup or all those lush creams. Since I started going deeper into exercise and fitness, it kind of makes sense that it also helps not only with the body's circulation, but your overall well-being. Pole has helped me gain strength in my core, which I still need in my job, carrying all my heavy equipment. It also helped in my overall self-esteem. When I cross-trained in yoga, I started out first with a gentle yin practice, with the initial intention of getting a split. When I got in deeper by doing dynamic yoga practice like Vinyasa, it helped also with my own inner peace and concentration. Exercise, whatever form you may find comfortable be it dance, gymnastics, Crossfit, running, or just working out in your neighborhood gym can really do good not only in detoxifying the body and giving it its definition but making you stronger and improving your own well-being.

So hence, I have finally decided to just have my own little gym bag which I have ready just in case I could sneak some time to pole or visit the yoga studio to get my endorphin fix. Aside from our change of clothes and the usual essentials, I'd like to share what I keep in my gym toiletry kit and how I maximize space. The bag I have to work out isn't very big. It's actually a tiny one that has the same capacity as a school backpack. Thankfully, my pole/yoga clothes are very tiny and save for the heels I sometimes need to bring for pole class, I can still have a lot of space and it doesn't get overstuffed. 

I'll start first by going through my toiletry kit, which usually contains the toilertries I need if I have to shower after I work out, since I have a meeting later or just to refresh after sweating the pizza I had the day before.

Since my exercise bag is small, naturally, my toiletry kit is just a small pouch instead of a toolbox or a tote bag. Number one rule, sample sizes are our best friends. This is when the shampoo/conditioner sample sachets or bottles we get in magazines, events, department store counters, or giveaways come in handy. Same goes for the shampoo and shower gel bottles we get in hotels. 

So, here are the contents in my toiletry bag:

See? No need to lug out the big pump bottles of shampoo and conditioner. For those who aren't really fond of sachet sizes, you can always buy travel-sized bottles at department stores and just transfer your favorite shampoo there. Okay back to regular programming. I prefer using liquid shower gel to solid soap as well since it's easier to pack and less messy in the bag. I save the solid cleansing bars for home use.

First row (L-R)

Eye cream and Face moisturizer with SPF 35 - Olay Total Effects Eye cream is light enough to be used during the day and the double-duty Olay Regenerist Day Cream has SPF as well so no need to bring a separate bottle for SPF

Second Row
  • Shu Uemura Cleansing oil (travel bottle) - Going to Hot Yoga or Vinyasa yoga class is better with a makeup-less face since I don't want my makeup to land or stain the studio yoga mat. This is my all-time favorite in removing heavy duty makeup easily. Also, it removes deodorant, i-Tac, and Grip Paste residue as well.
  • Facial Wash
  • Shampoo and Conditioner - To keep with the natural and organic theme, I packed organic shampoo with no harsh chemicals. I got Human Nature Shampoo and Conditioner in the tiny 50-mL bottles (Php 44.75 each) at the grocery store. Right now, what I do is buy the big bottle and just refill the smaller bottles until probably when the small bottle gives out (it's actually Human Nature Peppermint shampoo in the bottle when I already finished the Mandarin Fresh). They smell really good too!
  • Shower Gel -The Body Shop shower gel gift sets are classic gifts and I use this for travel or in my exercise bag because it's so handy. Sometimes I switch to a different scent when I feel like it. The gel variation is also pole dance friendly!
  • Baby Wash - Human Nature's Baby Wash smells really mild! It's also an awesome all-in-one gentle but effective wash that can be used as a facial wash, body wash, and feminine hygiene wash
  • Feminine Wash - Again, I am thankful for Human Nature for having tiny bottles that are perfect for the tiniest gym bags. 
  • Deodorant - roll-on, stick, or spray. Doesn't matter as long as it does its job keeping my armpits dry and my skin likes it.
  • My Amazing Blow Dry Quick Shake 'N' Spray (travel size) - So I can blow-dry my hair so that it can look decent enough for my next appointment without taking an hour to do so. Read my review about it here and thank me later when you purchase your first spray bottle. 

Third Row
  • Hand cream - I use this if I know that I won't be touching a pole after. This works amazingly for chafed heels (since I work out barefoot) and hands as well as rough knees and elbows
  • Wide-toothed comb - separates our wet hair strands and detangles hair without breaking it.

My second bag is more specialized, since it contains equipment that I need for the actual sport I do, as well as a bit of after-pole or yoga care.

This is the one I take out while at the studio.

0Top Row:
  • iTac - Initially, I use this in pole to give my skin some grip since grip paste can be too much. a little goes a long way! I've had my little jar of iTac since Stellar 2. 
  • Tite Grip - I use this on my shoulders to prevent slipping from sweat when I do my shoulder mounts. 
  • Leukoplast and Mueller foam - in the absence of wrist support (Tite Grip and iTac are available at the Polecats Manila Studio) 
  • Rubbing Alcohol - to help dry up the skin and make it more pole-ready. As long as there's no moisturizer.

Bottom Row:
  • YogaLove Healing Cream (check link for store availability and contact information) -  a nice-smelling cooling cream that's non-oily and easily absorbed by the body. it relaxes the mind and relieves pain. I use this to relieve migrains too.
  • Band-Aids - for scraped skin and whatever little boo-boo or accident happened.
  • Wet Tissue - to clean dirty feet and hands after 
  • Salonpas - the more travel-friendly pain killers, the better.
With packing-friendly packaging, I still have space for my workout gear and towels, and it's still light enough for me to carry from Strata to Podium and back. Plus, lockers are tinier this time and can't seem to fit the big gym bags that double as overnight bags,. 

Next up is what I pack inside the main gym bag. Stay tuned. 

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Lighter and Brighter with Strip's IPL ACE

As February or Valentine season comes to a close, we know one thing, summer's fast approaching. After the Holiday and love month binge, we've all got a few months to prepare for beach season. Yes, it's a whole production number to prepare for summer, getting our bodies swimwear ready. Why? Because with summer comes beach outings and with outings and our culture, there are photos. And with photos and digital images being shared with today's modern technology, our Summer 2014 (and all the other high-tech summers before that and thereafter) will forever be immortalized in social media and eventually in people's brains. So yes, it's a preparation to have a summer body because one day when we're old and wrinkly, we would want proof that we could rock that bikini, just like Miranda Kerr over here:

Aside from getting summer shapely-ready ( hello pole conditioning exercises and core blasters from yoga), let's not forget to do away those unwanted hairs. Since puberty, we have had a long-struggling battle with bodily hair with our weapons of choice - be it a shaving razor, DIY home wax strips or depilatory kits, or our trusty tweezers. We all want to have smooth and silky underarms like deodorant commercial models and supermodels in glossies with not a strand of unwanted hair peeking through.

IPL (or elecytolysis or laser) hair removals have made us say goodbye to our unwanted hairs almost forever. Back then, if you had older sisters, aunts, cousins, or friends who underwent it when it first came out, they may recall that not only was it expensive but also a very painful process. Thankfully, with more research and development, permanent hair removal procedures are now less painful and deliver better results faster.

I have experienced  IPL ACE,a semi-permanent 2-in-1 treatment that reduces hair growth and rejuvenates skin by stimulating collagen production. This technology is offered by Strip Manila . If any of you have already undergone Strip Manila's advanced IPL technology, it's still the same process of removing unwanted hair but also includes the additional process of  tightening and lightening the skin after hair removal so we get soft, smooth, hair-free skin.

I had my treatment on my underarms a few weeks ago. For busy ladies, I have to say you can get this done during lunchbreak because not only was it quick but also a painless experience. In fact, it just felt cold when the gel was applied. The cold gel gets warmer during the treatment and if the gel starts to get a little too warm or a tad hot for you to handle, more gel can be applied to make it cold. The IPL ACE technology felt more like a massage even. Plus points too on standard SOPs like skin preps like cleansing the area before and after treatment as well as wearing safety goggles.

Of course, one session does not instantly transform our underarms into those silky as a baby's bonbon smooth. Depending on the person, hair reduction can be observed after a course of 6-8 sessions. Most people usually expect around 70-80 percent reduction. Immediately though during the first treatment, skin rejuvenation can be seen (around 10-15 percent textural improvement). As for skin texture, results  are more significant in the 4th or 5th session. The customer may have this done every 4 weeks for face treatments and 5-6 weeks for body treatments.

Chemicals in our deodorant or wearing too much tight clothing or daily activities can cause darkening of the underarms or bikini line. I'm glad that IPL ACE can whiten and tighten the skin to make it look more youthful and as if we never had our unwanted hair since birth at all. Now imagine having hair-free, silky-smooth underarms forever and the liberty of just wearing tank tops during summer without worrying of unsightly fuzziness.

So how much does IPL ACE cost per session? A full face costs Php22,500  Underarm costs Php 7,500. Brazilian Php 22,500. Half leg costs Php 18,750. The service though is only available to female clients at all Strip Manila Branches.