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! 

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.