Thursday, March 23, 2017

Hands and Feet Fit For A Princess

Have any of you watched Beauty and the Beast yet? In the midst of the busy week I had last week, I was able to squeeze in a perfectly chill Sunday afternoon to watch the live action film of the animated film that captured our hearts. What can I say? I super loved every minute of it. It may be a retelling and having the same story but spoilers aside, I like the twists and the new character developments I don't really get all the hate and criticism. Of course it's not going to be super exactly the same, otherwise, why make a movie? As a friend said, if you go there to enjoy a good movie, you will enjoy a good movie, and indeed I did.

Anyway, the excitement of the movie launch has captured as well the fans of the movie who are into beauty. Do you know that Gelish and Morgan Taylor came up with a Beauty and the Beast polish collection? I got dibs on it too and I'm so excited to you all about it.

"Go on, unfold your menu. Take a glance and then you'll be our guest. Oui, our guest. Be our guest" 

I went to Nailaholics salon in Glorietta 3 last Friday. Just as I got there, we already had a feast of yummy sweets waiting for us, I felt Lumiere would be there singing Be Our Guest


(I went for the cake pops designed as Belle's gown)

The collection has pastels and neutrals as well as brights and metallics to suit whatever your style is. Each shade corresponds to a particular character or aspect of the movie. Just like I said in my post before, if you're too attached with that particular shade of polish but would have no time to go to the salon to get your Gelish color fixed up, Morgan Taylor has its regular polish equivalent.

Now let's talk polish, shall we?

Be Our Guest is a deep berry pink that's perfect if you want something feminine but not too girly, like if you want something super bright for a pop of color. I actually see this bright pink on my friend Kate (who was with me during the event describing my pedicure on Facebook live) who loves bright colored things.


The Last Petal was the shade I chose. I wanted something classic but not too pale. I'm really into deep colors. This deep red color reminds you of the enchanted rose of the Beast, with each petal falling with every passing time he and the castle is under the spell.

 Plumette with Excitement is for the ultimate girly girl, with the pastel pink color that reminds us of sugary-sweet buttercream icing or the colors of sugar-coated almonds. Just so you know, Plumette is the name of the flirty feather duster girlfriend of Lumiere (in the movies, she's the sexy French maid)

The Beast longs for Days in The Sun and there's a polish with a sunny, buttery, happy yellow color to remind us all that. Aside from the happy days he longed for, this color also reminds us of Belle's gown in the famous ballroom dance scene with Mrs. Potts singing the song "Beauty and The Beast."

Potts of Tea is not really a super white color but it's got light pink flecks of shimmer that remind us of the color of Mrs. Potts in the movie, almost like ivory white instead of "correction fluid" white. Wear this on a wedding and it will be a definite statement white while still keeping it toned down for the occasion. Just like the characters in the movie, there is some sort of a three-dimensional effect in this white color. It's white with personality.


The villain gets a polish named after him too, named Gaston and On and On, which is a sky blue color. With Luke Evans' portrayal, Gaston has been a favorite by a lot of people as well. The blue color is so gorgeous you keep looking at your nails, just as Gaston keeps looking at himself in the mirror so much.

What sets apart this collection is Enchanted Patina, which can be used on its own or layered on top of another polish in the collection to give an antiqued chrome effect. Here's how it looks like on regular polish:


It looks like a regular copper gold color but when you swatch it on your nails, it's an antique-ish gold with pink shimmers. At one angle, it's gold, then angle it a bit it's lilac, then it's pink. If Potts of Tea is white with personality, Enchanted Patina is gold with personality.

Here's how my choice looks on my nails: The Last Petal with a statement nail of The Last Petal with a coat of Enchanted Patina on top:


The color of the statement nail gets a bit more personality with Enchanted Patina. Up close, it looks really gold, and on photo it looks the same too. But on some angles, it mutes out to a soft berry rose color with some golden flecks with some deep red shining through. I guess I do look like I have princess hands for definite #feedgoals and flatlay goals in Instagram.

Is Belle your spirit Disney princess? Which of these colors would you like to try. Head on to Nailaholics, Posh Nails, Beauty and Butter, Nail Cocktales, and other leading salons nationwide, including Kallista in S'Maison, Conrad Hotel.


Store Directory

Gelish
facebook.com/GelishPhilippines; instagram.com/gelishph

Morgan Taylor
facebook.com/MorganTaylorPhilippines; instagram.com/morgantaylorph


Monday, March 13, 2017

Announcement: YogaHive PH Grand Launch

This is happening this week and I'm pretty excited!!! YogaHive PH would be having its grand launch on March 15-19! That's free classes, tea, and afternoons of chill, fitness, fun, and simply knowing the community we are in. This launch is going to be jam-packed with raffle prizes, giveaways, huge discounts on class packages, and a whole lot more!
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And here's the schedule for the week (to be updated) for free classes. I suggest you sign up because slots are filling up fast!


This grand launch weekend would not be possible without the following sponsors:

Certified Calm
Manduka
Klean Kanteen Philippines
The Farm
The Wholesome Table
I'M Hotel
I'M Onsen Spa
The Art Boutique PH
Pillow Mallow
Barista & Coffee Academy of Asia
Green Bar
Saladbox
YogaLove
Take Root
Sunnywoods Harvester's
Prulife UK
Lather Goods PH
Empanada MAS
Spoiled by Oils
Easy Breezy Laundry Shop
VMV Salon and Spa
@vinecafebyfns

YogaHive PH is located at Unit 101 G/F Three Salcedo Place, Tordesillas St., Salcedo Village Makati City.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Makeup Artist Tips That We Haven't Talked Much About

Beauty is my yang while fitness is my yin. These are two total opposites but they both make up who I am. Being in fitness for 6 years and makeup for 10, I think that the latter part of these six years is what put the balance to my own being.

Normally, when we search for makeup artist tips in blogs and magazines, we come across technique-based tips to apply in our own techniques and refine our skills. In this post, I decided  to dedicate this post, still to makeup artist tricks, but not necessarily technique-based. Actually, these tips are not only applicable to makeup artists, but to everyone with different schedules and all. As we focus so much on our job, sometimes we forget the most important thing, which is ourselves. So I focus this tip more on the self, because after all, we are all literally hands-on in our job.

Maintaining my yin while on the job
Photo by Paulo Leonido

Do Not Forget To Eat

Makeup artistry is practically a physical job. We carry our gear. We stand up. We work with our hands. I actually find myself  hungrier after doing makeup than say training for two hours since it involves physical and mental work.  Food is fuel and if we don't eat, we might not be able to carry our work properly, and once hAnger strikes, (that's with an "A", yes, I typed it correctly), it's not very pretty and can cost you your job and reputation. I learned to eat a good breakfast before stepping out the door and to have food and water with me always when I'm on the road (I always have crackers and ginger sweets in my bag and my water bottle in the car). Bobbi Brown in her book Bobbi Brown Makeup Manual even mentions to pack energy bars and food in your kit because work hours tend to extend. When the client tells you to eat, please do so. Most importantly, as much as possible, try to eat clean. Bad fuel is still not good.

Leave Early

Manila traffic gets more predictable each time so better alot at least 2 hours travel time to beat traffic, find parking, get to the venue and set up. If you are unfamiliar with the place, do a dry run first so you don't get stressed out during the day finding the venue. You can pre-check out your route via Waze or Google Maps.

Learn To Say No

Newbie makeup artists tend to get bullied a lot, with regards to bargaining and their rates. If you know that the Php 1000 PF is not even enough to cover your cab fare, gas, parking, materials, and labor, then say no. Stick to rates that pay you right and people who make you feel better about yourself.

Jot Everything Down

To avoid missed appointments or botched bookings, I recommend jotting your schedule on a planner or since today is the modern-day smartphone era, in the scheduling app of your smartphone, the one that reminds you of your events and even pre-programs the venue in Waze so you know where to go. This will help you avoid confusion and double-bookings.

Have a Plan B

I've learned the hard way to keep a few basic hairstyling tools in my kit just in case a hairstylist doesn't show up. You don't have to bring everything but a few combs, a curling iron, a box of  pins and rubber bands, and hairspray would do. It works to be prepared when caught in the pickle when you have no hairstylist available.

Pace Yourself and Know Your Limits

While it's quite tempting to double-book, if in the end, you may shortchange your clients, the added income might not be worth the stress. Normally, I give my client 2-1/2 to 3 hours time to do makeup, so that the work is relaxed and not rushed. While I don't hire assistants, I get a hairstylist for a job that involves 2 or more heads to get to focus on makeup.

Inasmuch as we are passionate about our jobs, we should also learn to pace ourselves and to take care of ourselves. These tips may not be technique-based but they can really help us improving our game by having a better disposition and with better health, we can work better. Stay healthy, happy, and passionate!

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Vegan Flourless Black Sesame Pancakes Recipe

Here's a pancake recipe that's healthy and yummy. I made this vegan and flourless so it's also super healthy and clean. One recipe makes one serving so just double it up if you want to serve more people. This pancake is much softer though than regular pancakes so be careful in flipping them!

Black sesame seeds can be found in a Japanese grocery store. Aside from this, you can also use this to make salads or other Japanese-inspired meals. I buy my flax already pre-ground (it says flax meal on the package) at health food stores.




Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup oat flour (measure 1/2 cup rolled oats, place them in a blender, and process until finely ground)
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. baking soda
  • pinch salt
  • a packet of stevia to taste
  • 1/3 cup soy milk (or any type of nut milk) + 1/2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar, left to sit for 5 minutes
  • 1 tbsp flax meal + 3 tbsp water left to stand for 15 minutes until sticky like an egg
  • 1/4 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/2 tbsp. toasted black sesame seeds, ground with a mortar and pestle


Procedure:

  • Whisk together oat flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and stevia.
  • Combine milk, flax + water mixture and vanilla. add this gradually to the dry ingredients until just combined
  • Stir in the ground sesame seeds. Let stand for 5 minutes.
  • Heat the pan. To make sure the pan is at the right temperature, sprinkle a few drops of water. They should bounce and sizzle. Spray pan with cooking spray.
  • Place 1/4 c of pancake batter on the pan and cook until the edges are bubbly and the pancake is easy to flip. Cook the other half until brown, but not burnt. Remove from pan and repeat for the remaining 3 pancakes.
  • Drizzle the pancake with nut butter. Top with desired fruit/nuts. I used strawberries and pumpkin seeds in mine. Serve with maple syrup. 


Enjoy breakfast!


Monday, February 20, 2017

Learning Ballet Again

Lately, I've been trying to get myself back to dancing again, as in really dance. I try to include dance whenever I practice pole on my own. In classes,  I tend to focus more on tricks, spins, getting stronger, trying to not fall or get injured, or trying to convince myself to not wuss out of a trick or combo.  There are times where I find music that I would like to dance to, although lately, I kind of feel I'm running out of steps and transitions.

Going back to ballet after how many years and having no less than Lisa Macuja herself refresh my ballet memory.
I really took the opportunity to say yes when I was invited to try out Ballet for Fitness class to be conducted by no less than Lisa Macuja, the country's prima ballerina. This one-time pop-up class was held at Yoga+ Express in McKinley Hill.. I did take a short 30-minute class before in her newly-opened school in Fisher Mall. This class, however, would be longer (yet still beginner-friendly) and have more moves to learn.

Ballet-ready!
Ballet for Fitness is a class developed for people who would want to learn ballet as a form of exercise. just like how we learn Zumba or ballroom dancing. Although pro ballerinas start their ballet journeys at the tender ages of 6 or 8, it's definitely never too late to dance, even ballet! Ballet is actually one of the hardest (if not, the hardest) dances. Ballet teachers would even say that if you can do ballet, it's easy to dance any other dance.

For ladies' ballet, comfortable exercise clothes are recommended, such as leggings or yoga pants and a comfortable top you can dance in. I had ballet shoes with me since I like the cushioning during floorwork but barefoot is also fine.

Since we didn't have ballet barres so we did the moves sitting down as well as some center work (standing at the center of the room). We were reminded of  the proper ballet form also includes proper posture, shoulders and hips forming one rectangle, or as some dancers would call, within the box.  To visually illustrate the box, check out the form of one of my dance idols, Misty Copeland:


Come to think of it, this is actually very good posture. It even makes you look taller and more confident.  With this established, we did arm exercises, or what is known in ballet as port de bras. In moving the arms, we were also taught how to execute the movement well with our lines, our thumbs hidden touching the line on our middle finger, and elbows slightly bent, like hugging a beach ball.

We did plies (bending the knees) and tendus (exteding the leg out) sitting down and already, I felt the activation of my quads and adductors, reminding me to work on active flexibility.

Lisa explains the proper hand position, where we hide the thumbs to maintain a dancer's line. In Russia, young dancers in training hold coins to remind them of the proper hand shape and position. 
So much things to remember even while seated

Resting adductors. Ballet is an ultimate leg workout.
(notice I kept my toes still pointed, My pole dance teachers would be proud)

Standing up, we applied what we learned seated while standing up as well as combining techniques. We also learned other new techniques like the jete (brushing the leg out, remaining the pointes) and releve, which really tested my balance (and reminded me to keep working both sides), and a surprise, the saute in classical ballet, which is a jump. In this jump, we learn to land safely by landing with soft knees and no sound. This technique is useful in our jump-forwards in yoga, in burpees, or coming out of flips.


I was more sore in this class than our last class in Fisher Mall, probably because we did more things and exercises. As my legs were pretty warm, I used this time for a split practice after class.



As a pole dancer, a refresher ballet class such as this can help increase my dance vocabulary and help me work on my floorwork more so I can combine several combos with some dance floorwork to come up with choreography, meaning better Wednesday choreo videos. Hopefully, learning these dance moves can also improve my muscle memory, so that staying within my box would be natural as well as keeping my hands in the proper position and my knees locked for pretty, long lines. 


Do you have to be a dancer to take this class? No. You can even come to class with zero fitness experience. All you have to do is just show up. These low-impact, flowy classes can exercise both the body and the mind, making dance a fun way to stay fit as well as to keep the brain healthy preventing dementia and Alzheimer's disease. We all start at level 0 and build up as we get stronger and more coordinated. Just have fun, and make it about the journey. 


Are you curious about Ballet for Fitness classes? Then head over to The Lisa Macuja School of Ballet Manila at the 4th Floor of Fisher Mall, Quezon Avenue. Quezon City. Try a class and see if you like it!







Image Credits:
Class Photos by Luther Abcede
Misty Copeland Photo: http://instagram.com/mistyonpointe 

Monday, February 13, 2017

The Fit Girl's Floral-y Alternatives

Funny thing is, I was never a fan of flowers. While most girls gush on bouquets of colorful blooms or go to flower markets to buy sprigs and blossoms for their house, I'm one who would be the one to keep the litterbox poop-free or vacuum the house. For me, I didn't really want the idea of someone to spend so much money on something that would be dying in a few days a slow, sad death. I would want something that I can enjoy aside from just looking at its beauty for just a few days.

If you would still want to give something blossomy-pretty, here are a few bouquet-inspired ideas on how to turn random things into something gorgeous and Valentine's-like. Not only are they gorgeous, but they are also yummy and good for our bodies.


Broccoli



Broccoli is a staple in most grocery carts of fit girls. For those allergic to fish, broccoli can be your source of  Omega-3's. It's also got anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties. It's also good for your digestive and cardiovascular system. Just get good broccoli (organic is best) and tie a ribbon with a short note. It also looks like a bouquet. If you're not a broccoli fan, you can use cauliflower, which can be "riced" and made into gluten-free cauliflower rice or pizza. You can also combine both cauliflower and broccoli.


Enoki and Bacon

A photo posted by Bernice Caruana (@bernicecaruana) on

Happy protein overload. This savory grilled veggie. They actually look like tiny boqueuts. Just grab a bunch of enoki (seasoned with olive oil, salt, and pepper)  and then wrap them with bacon before grilling. Cool a bit before eating. Don't they look like tiny bouquets in the photo?


Strawberries

Strawberries are also associated with Valentine's day. Let's make this awesome fruit the star of the show.  Did you know that they contain also a lot of antioxidants? They're also great in curbing PMS symptoms and prevent illnesses with the antioxidants. I've seen lots of tutorials on creating a strawberry bouquet. You can create your own and make it as small or as big as you want. For an added treat, dip some (or all) in dark chocolate for a nice treat. Even after dismantling the bouquet, the fruit will still be enjoyed in the form of smoothies, cakes, snacks, and even as it is.


Protein Bars

A photo posted by Lillemor (@lilylove666) on
Nothing makes a fit girl happy than the gift of #gainz or support towards the #roadtogainz so give her a stock of an after-workout muscle-building snack arranged like a bouquet or topiary in a flower pot. Make it one flavor (usually her favorite) or pick out her favorites and some bestsellers if you would want it assorted, Kinda unusual, but it's one happy gift for the one who wants some gainz.


Smoothie Bowls


Not really floral-y but just as pretty, these are gorgeous IG-worthy treats that are great for breakfast. I posted a few smoothie bowl recipes earlier so you can refer to that or your own if you want to go DIY,  This awesome acai bowl I found over at Blogilates looks super gorgeous (it's even got actual edible flowers! Substitute with food readily available and remember to use very little liquid with your fruit base.  Frozen fruit too helps create that icecream-like consistency.

Any ideas for floral bouquet-inspired Valentine's gifts? Post them on Instagram and tag me and I would love to see your creations!

Happy Valentine's Day!

Thursday, February 9, 2017

A Dream Space

In trying to come up with topics to write about, I thought about writing not really a goal, but a visualization of a space. When I started out with makeup, I thought that I would be needing a makeup studio so I thought about what my future studio would look like. Back then I wanted an all-girly theme, sort of inspired by Elle Woods. However, so many girls wanted that style too, so I thought I wouldn't want that since I would want to stand out. Also, with photographers closing their own studios and with us mostly being in the field most of the time, I thought of not getting one entirely since there's so much things to worry about.

Even now, I do dream of that space, but instead of making it solely a makeup studio, I want it to be a room where I can combine things that I like to do.  This may be a dream vanity to stash my makeup and film tutorials for the blog, work on new techniques. do makeup for my friends, as well as be able to incoporate some training on the side, because, well, you know how much I love fitness and for me you gotta take care of the body too! So let's call this not really a vanity, but a Happy Sacred Space, shall we?

I don't really have drawings of that space since I'm not really an interior designer and the most interior design I did was probably designing houses at The Sims, so I'm just going about certain photos of things I found online and in Instagram of people who already have their awesome workspaces. I won't be doing their exact design, but I would just like these to inspire me.  It's quite a rare design since I'm combining a makeup studio with a yoga/dance/exercise studio but it's somehow something like that.  After all, this is a dream thing, and if it does happen, then at least I have a few ideas jotted down and the pegs saved in this post and then let the pros do their thing and conceptualize my ideas into something more tangible.

Back then, I wanted an all-pink girly scheme, but obviously that has changed in a span of a decade. I considered a rocker chic theme, with hints of black, gray, and animal print (I'm so inspired from my Stellar 3 performance) but I thought, if this were to be a fitness space as well, I wouldn't want a lot of distractions, especially if I would be doing yoga. Besides, clean lines and simple interiors means easy spotting of dirt and easy cleanup. I'm very hands-on in things and I really enjoy doing cleanups and general cleaning myself, no hired help necessary.

A photo posted by kendra.carson (@kendrarae25) on

A photo posted by Carlee Johnson 😉 (@carlee_johnson_bb) on

I personally like warm white or cool grays or ecrus as my color scheme. I may skip carpeting and rugs though, and I would explain why. I would prefer a softer floor that's easy to clean, something like wood or whatever they use in dance or yoga studios as these are more friendly for the joints.

In any space, I always consider light. Sometimes the light affects our mood and energy. Bright lights not only look good in photos, but they also reenergize us, like how the sun hits our faces first thing in the morning, acting like a natural alarm clock. Therefore, in creating a good working space, I want lots of natural light to come in. This makes for better makeup application and photos/videos for documentation purposes. The vanity itself would have the mirror with lights, with the right mixture of white and yellow lights to mimic daylight, should daylight not be available (say I'm filming a tutorial at night, when my creative juices hit me).


 The clean, simple lines of this lamp would be good at a reading corner. It's also pretty stable enough not to be knocked down by cats. The lamp can be dimmable and be the light source should I want to do some yin yoga at night to prepare for rest. I saw this gorgeous lamp over at this site called Arhaus.com that sells a lot of things for your home and office space, whatever style you want.



The wall sonce actually looks nice on walls, as added lighting to the ceiling lights, I may have this warmer, so it looks prettier during night.


I thought this would look pretty too on the makeup area, as added lighting on the ceiling. Again, the simple and clean lines go well with the theme. Pendant light from Arhaus.com

Since makeup needs to be in such a controlled environment, I would prefer them stored in drawers and cabinets, again, in white, gray, or neutrals to facilitate easier cleanup. I actually have so much makeup and tools that I would ever need, so I need a lot of cleverly-crafted and gorgeous storage areas where I can label where things are.

desks from Arhaus.com

Black (such a pro color) and so much storage to fit books and so much more tools and it looks pro enough as well. That long desk can actually be the vanity area. All I need is my director's chair and a smaller chair for hairstyling.

With makeup work done, or during downtime, I can probably devote my sacred space to my fitness passion. Remember that I specifically didn't want carpets or other fuzzy things? that's because I want ample space to spread my yoga mat and do some yoga. I also wanted clean lines in its interior and decor since I don't want to be distracted with a lot of things.


Something like this when the makeup and chairs are tucked away and the lights are dimmed, and probably close the curtains if I want to wind down, or open the curtains to let the sun shine in if I want to reenergize, pretty simple, really.

Of course my personal space has to be a welcome to friends dear to me so I probably can have a few chairs for them to sit down to chat and all, or maybe have some throw pillows and a low table around so we could sit Japanese-style to entertain friends, just like in cat cafes. Speaking of cat cafes, of course, I would want my personal space to be welcoming to my favorite furry creatures - kitties!



I may want to have a cat tower here and maybe a litterbox cleverly tucked away in a little table or storage drawer. Also, with the cats being welcome in my sacred space, I would have to consider as well the furniture (no to leather sofas) as well as no carpets or rugs that may be harder to clean with kitty fur. Of course, I wouldn't forget an ample supply of lint removers to remove kitty hair in clothes, shoes, or bags.

I don't know if this may happen, but if it does, I would probably want a space that's welcoming to things that inspire me, making it a place conducive for learning and inspiration. I was chatting with my friend a while ago, and one advice he gave me was just fill my life with positivity, and positivity can come from the space you have. I want to create a space to be filled with things I like, colors (or absence of colors) that I want, and of course, I would want it to be low-maintenance because I would want to just enjoy the whole thing without worrying about things toppling over or hassle cleanups, and such.

Are you like me who likes simple lines, neutrals, and a place welcoming for cats for their sacred space? Or are you all into girly sugar, spice, and everything nice kind of style? I'm not really good in drawing so I just drew inspiration from photos I found online but if you are good in drawing and have an idea how it looks like, post it in Instagram and tag me and I would like to see your idea. Or you can also post your own mood board or drawing board and let's share your ideas too! Even if we don't have the blank canvas to create our space yet, It's nice to think and dream things like these because who knows, it may just happen. If this may not be the style you want when that time comes it's okay! That's why it's a dream board!