Monday, February 27, 2012

Prepping for Kitteh

Cats are really hardy animals, and Candy is a perfect example. During his rescue, he was the picture of uttmost pity (yes, he's a boy, according to the doctor who neutered him) - wounded badly, thin, scrawny, with a hyperextended limb. When we brought him over to the vet the night of his rescue, there was a possibility that he would be put to sleep. The thought brought me to tears. Good news when the doctor looked on him though. All he needed was proper medical care. He's a fighter all the way, and each day all signs pointed to the positive. Due to the trauma, he's a bit apprehensive to people still yet the doctors and cat owners assured me that with the right treatment and approach, he would be as sweet as sugar. I haven't visited him since Thursday since I got sick and our updates are mostly from the calls we make to the doctor but as his stitches would be removed tomorrow, he's free to go home.

As of the moment, we haven't found a home yet for the little kitters so my pole Stevie's gonna have a lil brother kitty first. We possibly couldn't let him out the street on his own. We made room in our little shoebox. It's a bit overwhelming, really. Personally, I've always wanted a kitty but we thought we'd postpone the pet until we get either a bigger apartment or cleared out my hunk of stuff. Little did we know that we'd be hoomans to a kitty in two weeks. And this kitty is a very special little kitty, and one reason he survived because there were a lot who helped him - a handful my friends and friends of friends have donated money for his treatment, and during his rescue, I was directed to the right people. He may not have received a big media hype, but the help we got are all welcome and we're very grateful that people have helped us and Candy.

Why, you ask that I didn't change Candy's name when I found out he's a boy? Well, it was he who chose his name among the plenty we called him (we frolicked around food names like Sushi, Teriyaki, Wasabi. We tried Bogart, reaction was blank. We tried naming him from some guys who tried to hit on me, just for fun and the kitty gave a pissed-off hiss). He meowed prettily when I said "Candy" and so that was the name that stuck.

Anyhow, much of the afternoon was spent at Pet Express to purchase some basic kitty furniture stuff. The first thing was a cage. We got a decent roomy cage to fit him with a bit of room for his dish. On some days, a fellow cat-lover neighbor of ours who helped aid in the rescue agreed to cat-sit Candy whenever we'd be away for a whole day, provided he has a cage.

A litter box is a must-have. Unfortunately, Pet Express didn't carry litter box hoods like Bow & Wow did. We chose a location for the litter box where Candy could go and do his business as he pleases without anyone looking. Quite logical. I wouldn't want to poop where the whole world could see, so I chose a place that's near the bathroom and less chance to be spotted as if he's in the loo, we're facing the other direction watching TV or doing work. As for kitty litter, we chose clay-based kitty litter, a tip I learned from watching Must Love Cats. A friend suggested I add baking soda to the litter box as well.

I also got him toys, so he's not a bored kitty. One theme you notice? Nothing mouse-shaped. Eeeewww! The toys would multiply, I guess.

I chose a cute collar with bells. I need to get him a collar to differentiate him from random strays, because as he hasn't fattened up, he still looks like a random gray tabby cat.

As we lined up, I spotted pet beds. How could we forget pet beds? The guy pointed out affordable pet beds for less than Php400. I chose a pretty red one with satin pillows. I think it's originally for doggies but kitties could sleep in it too. Candy's a 2-year old tabby cat, not a German Shepherd, so I think the size would be aokay. As with the litter box rule, I chose a hidden spot for his little throne.

I'm quite new with indoor cat care though, since most of the kitty friends I have are strays and outdoor cats who come and go as they please. Candy was recommended to be strictly an indoor pet, especially that he's still recovering. I've been reading cat care articles online and asking tips from friends. One of the questions I have is how to train him, how to get him to warm up, and most of all, what to do when we would have to leave for work? That's why Google and cat-caring people are my best friends.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

An Afternoon With Bobby Carlos and Max Factor Ageless Elixir

Last Thursday, I got together with some select beauty bloggers in an intimate late lunch/early dinner with the people behind a very iconic makeup brand - Max Factor together with their Chief Makeup Artist, Mr. Bobby Carlos as they introduced to us Max Factor's newest foundation - Ageless Elixir 2 in 1 Foundation - a foundation which incorporates skin care for the very busy career woman who never seemed to have at least one hour to put on makeup.

After my doctor's appointment since I was kofkofing, I went back home, curled my hair, got my camera, and hopped over to Zuni in Greenbelt 5 where I was welcomed by Aireen where she introduced me to the people behind the Max Factor brand. Max Factor has probably been around much much longer than probably - the time I learned to walk. Remember when we were kids and we have those school plays where our mums or schoolteachers would powder our skin with Max Factor pancake foundation? Or the Max Factor lipfinity liquid lipstick that never seemed to come off? Max Factor has been present in the vanities of moms, aunties, grandmas, stage actors, tv actors, and beauty pageant contestants. If you were a kid or teenager in the 80's, Max Factor sure was one of the stuff in the makeup kit.

Bobby's epic makeup station was already set up.

Dream makeup station! White lights, big mirror, and lotsa lotsa lotsa makeup organized. *drool*

Panstick foundation! Beauty contests anyone? That's the ultimate drag queen and theater foundation makeup with full coverage at its finest. Remember what Manila Luzon said in his makeup tutorial? "If your skin could still breathe, you're not applying enough!" But seriously, if you need like full on big theater transformation coverage - get this with all your might.

A "self-portrait" of me with the star of today's event in all seven shades- the Max Factor Ageless Elixir 2 in 1 foundation.

They look like bottles of liquid gold treasures, don't they?

The program started with Bobby giving us a lowdown on the product. The Max Factor Ageless Elixir 2 in 1 Foundation was created for women 35 and above, which are women who are at the peak of their careers who do not have the luxury of time to put on makeup for an hour. This foundation incorporates skin care into the product so not only does it provide the coverage we need but it also protects our skin with SPF 15 plus a very potent anti-wrinkle serum that cares for our skin too. However, this doesn't mean that women at our age should steer clear away from it like the plague. Women with dry skin could still use this since it's got a lot of ingredients to help hydrate the skin. It sits on top of the skin rather sinking into the pores so we need not worry of makeup clogging our pores that they suffocate, die, and cause ugly breakouts the following day.

Bobby demonstrates to us a very quick makeup routine on Jamie, using Max Factor products. We were free to test the products too as there were also samples for us to try. This makeup look is inspired by one of Hollywood's loveliest and sexiest screen sirens - Marilyn Monroe - the classic clean eye and red lip combo that's very easy to do. Only, he uses orange lipstick instead of red, to give it a more modern, updated look.

The foundation is already good enough to be used as a concealer from his demonstraton. Actually, on "normal" days, we could just dot and blend foundation only where needed and set with powder. It's nice to show more skin rather than have what we all jokingly call a "Foundation Day", where foundation could be distinguished miles away from home. When I was trying the foundation on on myself, it was potent enough to diminish my red spots and hide my undereye circles, it's all just finding the right shade.

After the demo, Jamie looks all glammed up yet still very very fresh. Another thing about this look is that it's so easy to do with very minimal equipment. I think Bobby used only like around 7 brushes for this look - foundation brush, powder brush, 2 eyeshadow brushes, an eyeliner brush (to demonstrate liquid liner application), and a lip brush. There were only two eye colors used - a nude base color and a black contour color (which also doubled as liquid liner when applied wet). It's not only quick but money-saving too. Another money-saving tip I learned with Bobby? The only lipliner a personal makeup kit needs is one in a nude shade. Sure, I own like a lot of lipliner shades, but I do this for a living so I need a lot of shades, but if you just do makeup for yourself, nude lipliner would do.

Bobby used a flat foundation brush to apply foundation. Of course, for work purposes, we use brushes. We need not necessarily use a flat foundation brush - we could use our favorite foundation brush - a stippling brush works nicely too or the makeup tool you've had ever since you were born - your fingers! Make sure they're clean, of course.

I used my fingers to apply the foundation on me and blended with a sponge. I used Golden on me, since I'm more on the warmer yellower side of the skin tone spectrum. I was thinking Natural first, but it worked more as undereye concealer/highlighter for me. Actually, it sets in a powdery non-sticky finish so a light dusting of loose powder is okay to set this for girls with dry/combination skin (I would guess some dry-skinned girls need not set this at all).

I needed a bit of powder in me as although I'm not oily, matte skin isn't my natural bare skin and it's like a reflector of some sort, so I need something to mattify it. When I asked about staying power, it stays on quite well. A bride can wear this to a wedding and still look pretty post-reception, provided that she not get overcooked in heat or jump in the swimming pool or ocean after. It's also got a nice, fruity smell to it. If you're not a fan of fragrance, though, this may not be for you. The fragrance though, is very mild instead of heady. It actually smells quite fresh when applied.

We didn't go home empty-handed as we took home the Max Factor Ageless Elixir in our own shade in a pretty quilted traveller's kikay kit plus more sample-sized shades for me to try.

Thank you Max Factor for the invitation and Bobby Carlos for the awesome, awesome quick and effortless makeup look we learned and all the other tips we got. :)

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Strong Is The New Sexy

The latest album in the Polecats Facebook page just totally blew me away, and here are some shots:

The complete album could be viewed here.

In their collaboration with Director of Photography Pong Ignacio and Dom Dycaico, they show a new meaning of sexy. Sexy has been stereotyped as the hourglass-shaped vixen with the red lipstick, tight black dress, and mile-high heels as she sashays with her margarita tossing her head full of curls. Sometimes, it could be the size 0 model in that couture gown as she sashays the catwalk. Sexy can be calculated as 36C, size 2, size 0, 24 inches, 105 lbs, 5'11". This shoot blurs out colors and numbers into a simple but beautiful dancer's silhouette.

Let the Polecats show you a new definition of sexy - it's not the makeup or skimpy outfits that make a girl sexy. We see perfect lines and clean form as they execute their pole tricks. Mind you, they're not easy to do, and executing these tricks beautifully require certain amount of muscle strength. And it's not just getting there, it's looking pretty while there and holding it.

This trick, called the Hummingbird may look easy, but mind you it takes a lot of core strength, knee strength, hip flexibility, and training to be able to hold it long enough for a photo before your body gives out (kidding on the body gives out part, you'll just be exhausted. :P). When I blogged that pole dancing is not just making pa-cute on the pole I kid you not. You have to be physically strong to do the moves beautifully and safely and emotionally strong to withstand the pain of skin friction.

The students had such positive reinforcement when the album was posted. This is what I love about the Polecats - they know how to give positive mindset on the students, and inspire them to really do good. On a personal note, my pole batchmates and I have advanced to Intermediate levels together and we all got our poles. Seeing the album makes us work harder even more and that means doing our homework and training hard in class. So how to rock in pole? I subscribe to two D's - Determination and Discipline.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Erasing Wrinkles Almost Instantly

Are you the type of person who's guilty with looking in front of the mirror inspecting every nook and cranny of your face? Then you discover a horrific thing especially when you're in your early 30s or late 20s - the formation of a wrinkle. A wrinkle is a fine, thin valley on your face caused by the sagging of the skin's outer layer - the epidermis, and this sagging is caused by the skin losing collagen and elastin - two components, which contribute to the skin's youthful appearance. When we're younger, we don't have wrinkles since our skin has a lot of these, which helps the skin in stretching and holding moisture. So you notice that some older women have dry or leathery skin, right? Or a friend who's in her 20s already having lines due to the skin appearing really dry? That's due to the lack of these collagen and elastin. Now we know that collagen injections aren't just for plumping lips.

Normally, when girls have a wrinkle, they freak out, sulk, or speed-dial the nearest derma to give them a shot of Botox. I personally have a love-hate relationship with wrinkles. I think they indicate expressions and how a person ages in time. I hate them for makeup appears to sink in creases enhancing them rather than making them less pronounced and that takes up most of the time in makeup. I find Botox injections crazy since it kills the muscle that causes the muscles to move so the face gets that taut and tight expression - with the cost of being sad or happy or angry even if you have a high-stress level meeting. Sure they look pretty in photos, but I think having a face that could move is so much better, especially if you're acting when you have to deliver lines really well.

Is there something that could magically erase wrinkles though? We don't have that yet but we do have something that can relax and reduce the appearance of wrinkles after an application. That's Olay's newest product, Olay Regenerist Wrinkle Relaxing Cream, which promises dramatic wrinkle reduction in just one application.

So you mean we'll have zilch wrinkles at all? It won't erase it entirely but it will help. What Wrinkle Relaxing Cream does is to fill in the depression in the face lines so they look and feel smoother.

Whereas most primers are silicon-based and feel like plastic on skin (which is why people don't use them), this Wrinkle Relaxing Cream acts the same without the blocking-the-pores like feel. It feels really nice on the skin when I tried it at the back of my hand with a faint scent. My back-of-hand skin felt really smooth. Take note that my skin's really dry so that's a big improvement.

So does that mean their effect will last only until you soap off the area. With immediate solution to wrinkles come preventive treatment. Aside from the particles which help us with the veil, Olay Wrinkle Relaxing Cream plus a combination of B3 complex and advances biopeptides, which heal and treat the skin enabling it to be healthier, especially if you're the type who loves subjecting the skin to frequent humane levels of abuse like tweezing and all.

If it works prettily on the face, I wonder how it would work though, but this could be an option for clients/models with dry and/or mature skin. Most clients like that like to get everything done fast, so it's cool I have this as an option.

Candy the Kitty update

My kitty friend Chewy's asking help to friends right now:

Candy's the name we gave the the cat we rescued last week. Actually, he chose the name, after a series of names that we gave, he responded to Candy the most. And you did note that I use he, because, in fact, he's a boy. We thought that he was a girl since the medical records during our first visit listed him as male. During his surgery, though, the doctor discovered that he happened to be a girl. Oh well, maybe he'll have a new name. Names evolve anyway.

How's he doing? Remarkably well. He's eating a lot. We gave him food yesterday as a gift and he seemed to like it. With regards to cat food preference, he seems to take a liking to Friskies more than Princess Cat. Basically, he's responding well to treatment and would be discharged soon.

There's nothing we could do with the right hind leg though, which would be another surgery. But he's able to walk though with it in his modified way.

All signs are good. Now all we need is a forever home and foster home for him. Although Candy's a sweetheart, we think it's best that he have a new home. You see, whoever attacked Candy might live nearby and it won't be safe for him to return to the same place near the person who tortured him. Besides, his second chance in life is best spent in a new environment, hence a new home. He would be discharged this weekend so we're on the lookout for a friend willing to take him as a new and loving pet.

What warms my heart is how friends selflessly donated for his treatment, which I would like to thank. Plus the love given to him probably gave him strength to recover quickly.

Fingers are constantly crossed for his recovery. For those who are willing to help, they may contact me via my email address at Thank you.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Avon Ultra Moisture Rich Rose Lipstick Swatches

Last Valentine's Day, a pretty pink box arrived at my doorstep. It was my first V-Day Gift for the year, not counting Steven, which came last month.

The tubes tell you that these are ten of my favorite things in the makeup world - lipsticks. One lippie gets me giddy so imagine receiving ten by my doorstep. I'm hyper and I haven't had chocolate yet!

And just in time for Valentine's day, the name of this line of lipstick is just apt: Avon Ultra Moisture Rich Rose Lipstick, with its soft and gentle touch inspired from one of Valentine's Day's iconic symbols - the rose. These are all the shades for a pretty perfect Valentine's look. Aside from providing kissable pretty colors, rose extract and almond oil in the lippies help keep our lips soft and cushy so no unsightly cracking or splitting of lips that burns at a sip of wine.

It's kinda soft though due to the creamy formulas, so you see most of them appear kinda smushy on the tips. There's no irritating strong smell, really, but you have to take really extra caution in opening them because the bullets are really soft and mushy, if you're not the type to transfer them to lipstick palettes.

There are shades in peach, coral, pink, berry, and red - ten shades swatched to suit the wearer's personal taste:

L-R: Amour Rose, French Lace Rose, Apricot Nectar Rose, Blushing Bride Rose, Amelia Rose, Passionate Kiss Rose, Rosabella Rose, Carmen Rose, Royal Celebration Rose, and Jubilee Rose.

Two of my favorite colors are French Lace Rose, which is a sort of "my-lips-but-brighter-and-better" look, which is a neutral pastel coral-peach. Blushing Bride Rose is the next runner up since it caught my eye in the, well, obviously bridal department. Bright lips but not too chapped.

If you're a red girl and collecting every red shade in the market, check Carmen Rose, which is worn by 2011 Bb. Pilipinas-Universe Shamcey Supsup in the latest Avon Brochure. This is another proof that you need not be alabaster white to rock red.

As of the moment, these shades are already available nationwide via Avon representatives (you can log on to find out how to contact an Avon representative). It's priced quite affordably at Php 299, so you can get a natural French Lace Rose one day and switch to Carmen Rose for the night or on some days when you feel adventurous, a bit of plummy stain of Jubilee Rose.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

A Cat Rescue Story

As you all know I'm a proud and self-confessed cat lady and animal lover. I feed cats and I'm kept company by the neighborhood kitty friends. I keep kibble in my bag to feed strays who come my way. Let me tell you a story on a rescue mission we did on a cat that went through horrible things.

While I was pole-ling, the hubby got home with a worried look. He told me if he knew the situation that was going on outside. I said I didn't since the music was loud and I didn't hear any unusual noises. Turns out that on his way to our unit from the parking, he saw our kitty friend Chompy "meowing" at another cat. It was a gray tabby cat that looked like our other kitty friend, Jessie. This cat that looked like Jessie had deep gashes all over its body and it was severely wounded and it had a difficult time walking. The cat appeared to be malnourished and thin. At first, we both thought that Chompy and the cat had a fight. However, a neighbor who also saw both cats told us that the cats weren't fighting and in fact, Chompy was sort of "conversing" with the wounded cat. Besides, with the wounds of the cat, it could not have possibly been attacked by another cat. The wounds were so severe that you could see the intestines and internal organs. I couldn't look at it but then I decided that we had to do something.

A witness told us that he was walking that day when he saw the cat bound with plastic straw. It was bound so tight that it couldn't move and it was in obvious pain. That witness took pity and cut the string so the cat would be free. But the bounds weren't what just kept the cat in pain. It had wounds all over its body. The wounds were deep that some organs could be seen. The hind leg seemed like it was fractured then healed on its own but it didn't heel the right way so it's sort of bent. With all the traumatizing things, the cat cowered at people and it hid at the backyard. Two of our neighbors kept it company and tried to give it assurance that we were there to help it. (I do apologize that due to the high stress level at this time, I wasn't able to take photos for documentation as you'll see later why).

Since I was also online in Facebook, I immediately changed my status message asking for medical help for the cat. Since it was around 8:30 p.m., it was probably the time that people were winding down from Facebooking or being in front of the computer the whole day or trying to go to bed. I began calling my friends who I know have cats for pets who could tell me what to do. I called Arpee and he advised me to call CARA Welfare Philippines since they have experts who could help us in animal rescue. I checked their website and called their hotlines. Hubby also left a message in the voicemail, since it was off office hours probably.

I still continued contacting people. I googled vets near in the area. I also contacted friends who might know people involved with CARAPHIL or other animal welfare groups. Definitely the cat needed medical care and it's best to seek advice on how to handle this from the experts. We didn't have proper catching equipment since the cat has wedged itself further in its hiding place. Any DIY attempts we do could stress the cat and besides we didn't have a cage to keep it in. Finally, we were able to contact Reb and Tanya of CARAPHIL (thanks Gail and CD for giving us their contact info!) and they were able to direct us as to what to do. Basically, what we needed was to get the cat to be easily and safely transported for medical care. Fortunately, Reb sent me the contact information of Ms. Nancy Cu Unjieng, the president of CARA Welfare Philippines. She had her staff come over the house and safely catch the cat using a cat net. They put the cat in a cage, and we took her to the vet.

The cat was attended by Dr. Dan, the doctor taking the night shift. According to him, the gashes of the cats weren't fresh, so it could have been there before the cat was bound tightly (so the cat was mutilated then bound? how bad could her torturer be?). According to Dr. Dan, the cat would have to be confined and observed.

Kitty in the hospital, Day 1. Don't worry lil one, you'll be okay. See the leg that juts straight out? that's her injured leg. It fractured then healed on its own but without proper alignment.

While at work this afternoon, I was contacted by Dr. Riza, the surgeon. She gave me updates on the cat. As of the moment, she's responsive and she's been given antibiotics and dextrose and her wounds taken care of. Since the cat's in pain, it was difficult to examine her wounds while she's conscious. She would have to be sedated so that the wounds could be examined carefully and see what could be done. Her surgery would be tomorrow. I asked about the blood tests. She said that all results are within normal limits except for elevated white blood cells, which meant that the cat had an infection.

After work, we visited the cat to check on her. We found out that she's a girl. She doesn't have a name yet, though. She hasn't pooped or peed yet judging from the medical records. She was awake when we visited her.

Actually, if you do look at her, she's a very pretty cat. She's got long whiskers and expressive eyes. Her meow is really pretty though. And it's just adorable that when I do my "meow", she meows back. Her meow seemed polite and enunciated well. This cat seemed to be a proper aristocratic lady . Being alive despite the injuries, I could tell that this is one fiesty kitty who could still put up a fight.

She's been in that position all day since she's still in pain.

She must be scared of people because sometimes the doctor told me she hisses when approached.

From how it looks like, our kitty friend seems to be putting up a good fight. I don't expect her to be up and running the following day. We're taking baby steps but we're both hopeful that she'll be okay. Cats are hardy animals and this little one has been on the street for most of her life so I'm getting my hopes up high that she's gonna be in a good fight.

It breaks my heart that there are people who actually torture animals and subject them to all sorts of cruelty. I wasn't able to look at her wounds when she was found due to my weak stomach but the hubby and the neighbors told me it was really severe. here are some people who aren't fans of animals but if that were the case, it's best that we let the animal be instead of subjecting it to torture and mutilation. This cat had undergone all sorts of torture - it was starved, fractured, mutilated, and bound and strangled and left to die.

But with the presence of those who torture innocent animals in our community, I'm glad that we were with people with compassion towards them who helped us somewhat in helping the cat. Hope that someday, animal welfare awareness could be encouraged.

To those who have helped us bring the cat to recovery, Thank you very much. We'll constantly update everyone with regards to the cat's condition. We're currently looking for a family who would love to adopt the cat as their own when she gets better.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

A Healthy and Zen Afternoon with Leyende

I first heard of Leyende products over at Jill's blog and her raves on their products got my attention to get myself aware of this brand in the market. Apparently, Leyende is another organic skin care brand that started right here in our shores. Yes, another Philippine skin care brand made from locally-grown products. So when Nina passed my email and blog over to them, I was really thrilled to meet the people behind the brand personally. By this time, I've seen Leyende products on my client's kikay kit as well as a co-worker's gig kit while we were doing a play together.

In a very intimate setting at Sugarleaf in Makati, I met with Neva and Claude of Leyende where they showed me some of their products as well as gave me a short background and lowdown of their ingredients, in a simplified and non-jargonic manner, of course.

Before starting, my man-hands were treated to a spa-like treat by the girls of I do nails. My hands were cleansed with the cleanser followed by a scrub called la dolce scrub.

Dolce means "sweet" and the grains are actually muscovado sugar, which explains the sweet sugary smell, which reminds me of calamansi juice (that's also because there's calamansi extract in the product, which acts as an antioxidant and it's also got benefits which helps even out the skin tone). The sugar melts into the skin instead of coating it with a slimy, oily, or heavy layer and it left the skin feeling soft.

Leyende takes inspiration from our lolas and their own kikay routines back then when spas and commercial skin care products didn't exist yet. Using calamansi to whiten skin, VCO to condition and thicken hair, the same principle of taking trips to the kitchen to make beauty concoctions synthesized into products without losing their potency and active enzymes. When I asked if the La Dolce scrub would attract ants upon storage, Neva told me it won't. Although Leyende products use ingredients derived from food products (pineapple and calamansi extracts, Mango butter, muscovado sugar, virgin coconut oil), they won't cause ant invasion since these aren't cooked and heat wasn't use to make the products. So not to worry about pests here. Also, it is important to note that although these smell yummy, the products are not to be ingested, even if sugar really is used.

After exfoliation, My hands were coated with Lift Off, a natural peel-off face masque with calamansi extract (the label "F" means it's for the face, although it's pretty okay to use this on the hands, it will just be a bit costly to use this all-over body). Like peeling glue off hands when we were kids, it's the same principle. It was brushed on my hands and let dry till it was okay to peel off. It gets stiff and crusty but once you peel it off, there's soft skin underneath. There will be areas that are hard to peel, probably on areas where the masque was applied thinly. A cotton pad or damp towel could be used to remove this so we don't go out looking like a molting snake.

While snacking on pita wraps, my hands were massaged with the Face Canvas moisturizer. The first time I saw this moisturizer, it was still in a jar. I think packaging it in a tube makes it more hygienic, especially using this on clients. The face canvas also acts like a makeup primer also, so that's two birds in one stone, er, tube. Instead of using silicone to fill in lines and make the skin velvety-smooth, it uses mango butter which nourishes the skin with no greasy afterfeel. I sure could keep this in mind especially if I'm doing gigs which need everything fast.

I noticed that if not unscented, the products have a very faint scent that reminds us of food. For skin care on clients, I prefer those that aren't heavily perfumed since perfumes mean added chemical fragrances, which can irritate some clients. Not only too are the products friendly for the skin and wearer, they're also friendly to the environment. I'll get into detail with that when I review one of their products, the Place In The Sun sunblock, which I'm currently testing on myself.

Thanks to Neva and Claude of Leyende as well as Nina of

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Swatching Pink Pigeon

Two weeks ago, I woke up early and ran to Rockwell and fell in line and purchased another hot pink lippie for my lipstick collection. I know that I have a lot of pink lipsticks but I couldn't resist another hot pink lipstick. As springtime comes, out comes pretty bright colors! When MAC launched their recent collections, and one of the highlights is a hot pink lipstick from the Iris Apfel line, a bright neon pink called Pink Pigeon.

Pink Pigeon is a bright pink color that's super in-your-face in a very pigmented matte finish. Looks familiar? I compared it with last year's Candy Yum Yum, which is pretty similar.

Pink Pigeon on the left and Candy Yum Yum on the right. You can see very well that Candy Yum Yum is much brighter and more neon bright pink. If you ask me, it's more on the cooler bluish side too.

On lips, there is a difference

Candy Yum Yum

Pink Pigeon

If you have both shades, you'd notice Candy Yum Yum is a drier matte. It has probably the same texture as Ruby Woo. Pink Pigeon is also matte, but it's a little bit less dry. Think the consistency of Russian Red or Diva. They're both very pretty shades though. Pink Pigeon is also deeper in color. It fades t0 a nice and pretty deep pink stain, so it's pretty long lasting too in keeping your lips colored.

Both are really pretty shades to wear with a bare eye or full-on smoky for events, a-la Katy Perry. As my advice for makeup, just have fun with it!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Winners of the Weekend Avon Giveaway

How was your weekend, everyone? Well, as the week starts, let me start by announcing the winners of my Avon Giveaway. Again, I used the fruit machine to know who the winners are. Since there are three giveaway sets though, and there were three entries (mmm... must be since it's a short run) everyone's a winner, so yay!

Anyway, the first winner of the Floral CZ Marquise giveaway:

The next winner is the winner of the Knotted Collection:

And lastly, we have the winner of our Avon Skin So Soft Whitening Hand and Body Lotion and Body Wash, which was the obvious pick since it was the only entry left:

Congratulations winners! Please email me your full name, contact number, and shipping details (mailing address) at Thanks and have a great week ahead!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Everything's Up In Chocolate

Something yummy's in my drawer but it's not for my tummy. In line with Valentine's Day, The Body Shop takes inspiration from an iconic Valentine treat that's not just for grownups but for everyone, regardless of sugar level - CHOCOLATE. Their bath and body line, Chocomania, isn't just a treat for the skin but also for the senses.

Sensual, sweet, and tantalizing, the Chocomania bath and body line came in time for Valentine's day. Taking a whiff from the products, it really does smell like chocolate. I'm reminded of chocolate cake or brownie batter, had I closed my eyes, I would've taken a taste. But let me remind you that although they smell sweet and yummy, the Chocomania range is best left for the skin instead of the digestive system. It's not an edible treat okay?

What I have here with me are the Chocomania body lotion and body butter, both for moisturizing my skin on off-pole days or relieving chafed skin (I always have to stress that I use moisturizer only when I'm not dancing) after an hour of class or practicing. The one I have is just half of the entire Chocomania range, though.

For sloughing off dead skin, the body scrub (Php 995) makes showering and exfoliating a nice treat. This one was the one whose appearance reminded me so much of brownie batter, and it smells like it too. Then use the shower cream right after (Php 895)

To retain the soft baby smooth skin in the shower, seal off moisture with the moisturizer. The moisturizer left my skin feeling nice and soft, and it's easily absorbable on the skin. I'm glad that it didn't rub on my clothes after, or else that would be a pain to remove.

The Chocomania body butter is pricier than usual body butters (Php 1095). It is not your usual body butter. Your usual body butters provide only 24 hours moisturization. This body butter is a little more generous in adding another 24-hour duty, so that's a total of 48-hour moisturization. If you compare it to other body butters, if you're a body butter user like me, it's richer and heavier in consistency, almost like real spreadable butter on bread except that it's semi-solid on room temperature. I use only little amount and on areas that are super dry and need extra care - elbows, knees, feet, hands, and sometimes my tummy and back. It works well, too well that it's scary to pole if you have this on your thighs, back-of-knee and tops of the feet the night before. The best time to use this? Saturday night, when there's no pole on Sundays.

Aside from layering the entire line for an intense, yummy, and chocolate-y feel, feel free to experiment and mix with your favorite The Body Shop lotion/body butter "flavors". I've tried mixing my Chocomania lotion with my Candied Ginger hand cream from the holiday scents and I got a really nice, warm, spicy-sweet scent that reminded me of hot cocoa and gingerbread. A very romantic concoction could be classic romance icons - strawberry and chocomania - like sweet strawberries dipped in dark chocolate. How about mixing satsuma and chocolate? or if sweetness is your thing, try vanilla and chocolate. I have yet to try the combination of Moringa and Chocomania, which can be interesting, but so far the ginger and chocolate scent is in my favorite list. Now that's something yummy!

FOTD: Neutral Eyes and Pink Lips

I've been stuck to my usual routine of concealer, brows, and bright lipstick for the past weeks, since I've been so busy. That routine I do, when I get the time to do my makeup. My face has been thankful yet hiding under big sunglasses or thick frames though, so I thought on a day when I'm not working, I think I ought to iron my hair and doll up a bit. Plus, I get to practice an eye makeup look I'd try on a client.

It's still my usual look though, of bright lipstick on neutral eyes, but I actually wore eyeshadow and mascara there complete with blending and a full face of foundation. On client work though, I'd keep the lippie neutral, but I'm not wearing a face mask so I can wear hot pink lips.

Even wearing thick frames I still didn't look like my eyes or brows are kapoof.

MAC Studiofix NC40 + Maybelline Angelfit foundation in In the Buff applied with a MAC 187 brush
MAC Studiosculpt NC30
Maybelline Clear Smooth All In One Shine Free Cake Powder foundation in Honey
MAC Lightful nc15 on undereye
The Body Shop Bronzer to contour
MAC Stark Naked on Cheeks

MAC Paint Pot in Painterly
The Body Shop peach eyeshadow on lids
MAC Saffron on crease to warm it up
MAC Lucky Tom on the outer V for smokiness and also to set pencil eyeliner
Prestige Waterproof Automatic Eyeliner in Expresso on lower lids
Covergirl Liquiline Blast in Black on upper lids topped with MAC Blacktrack
Make Up For Ever eyebrow corrector in 0
Ulta Bone on browbone

MAC lipstick in Pink Pigeon

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Esel and Gelo's Tagaytay Wedding

I've only attended two weddings of my high school friends. The first being around five years ago in Alabang and this second one further down south and up the hill in chilly Tagaytay, and one ofthe most beautiful weddings I have ever seen. Although I'm not the bridal makeup artist here, this is a wedding definitely worth blogging.

The bride is Esel, and she married Gelo, her love of seven years.

I've known Esel for more than a decade already, since we were awkward teenagers, because we went in the same school together in high school. I could say that she was one of the girls that I looked up to, those perfect girls in high school that I admit secretly envied. She had it all -beauty, brains, poise, talent, success with being team captain, cheerleader, honor student, and student leader at that. She's also the one I have kept in contact with the longest, not only because I work with her but also she's the one who keeps the batch together organizing reunions or occasional dinners/meetups.

Knowing her OC-ness and her being a perfectionist, I knew that she's the bride who'll be super hands-on with her wedding, making sure that every detail and stitch falls in the perfect place. Esel and Gelo chose to have a destination wedding, inviting only close friends and family. They chose a perfect place to get married - Hacienda Isabella, a beautiful garden setting with an old-world Filipino charm. If you've been following my blog, it's the same place where my Jho got married last year. Since I've been to the place already, I absolutely had no excuse to get lost in transition right? Besides, there were numbers listed in the couple's e-vite of who to call should anyone get lost or need directions.

Esel also delegated me to be supplier that day. I was assigned to be a makeup artist to her mom and three ninangs, and I couldn't be happier. I'm already honored to be invited but it's even more of an honor to be part of her wedding supplier list. I wouldn't mind getting my hands in primers and lipsticks and carrying my equipment then switcharoo to a cocktail dress. As I remember, a year ago, Esel drove all the way from QC to Daang Hari, Las PiƱas to be there on our wedding braving January traffic. If she asked me to pick flowers for additional sprigs on her bouquet I would.

Esel was a picture of a beautiful blooming bride - everything was perfect. She wore a beautiful Monique Lhullier gown. Tita Roselyn, one of the ninangs, told me the story of her gown. Esel was gown-hunting in New York. She walked in Saks Fifth Avenue and found it - it was in the designshe wanted and it was her size, as if fate made her see the gown for herself.

I've never seen Esel so happy, radiant, and nervous at the same time.

The party continues at Hacienda Isabella.

As the couple did they post-nuptial shots, the guests enjoyed cheese and cocktails (Wiiii!!!! Food) and the place's old rustic charm. And although I played supplier that day, no way will I look like a train wreck when it's guest mode. I followed the wedding dress code of cocktail dress/long flowy gowns in pastels or neutral colors. May isang pasaway lang dyan who didn't follow the traditional Barong Tagalog code.

The look I pegged for me that day was Angelina Jolie meets Victoria's Secret - that explains the big wavy hair and smoky eyes.

I love, love, love, love this dress. I already wore it once and I'll wear this once more. It's such a pretty, pretty, and comfy dress that hugs me well. This dress will have a sister pretty soon, and I have my alkansya ready for that.

Dress: Pia Gladys Perey
Hair: Lorybelle Barretto
Makeup: Me! I airbrushed myself again
Shoes: SM
Bag: GWP from Body Shop

Belle did an amazing job with my hair, despite the fact that she had like twenty minutes to do my hair. Should I red-carpet this look? Why not?

Okay, OOTD commercial over. Back to the wedding.

I made sure that I had a picture with the bride as soon as they arrived from the photos before the rest of the world does. :) I am so dark compared to her. And shorter, because she's in heels and I'm in flats because it's a garden reception.

I'm glad my outfit had a drapey front detail because I must have enjoyed the food that day that I needed something to hide me. The reception program wasn't the usual formula. In true Esel style, it was very entertaining, with presentations, both in video form and live presentations.

Gelo's friends from Duke University surprised the couple with a dance number and invited them to join too. It was really sweet of these guys to take time off and travel all the way to the Philippines to witness this special event.

More video presentations were shown - song-and-dance numbers edited in true MTV style from loved ones abroad, an AVP made by Esel's bridesmaids (who are our classmates from high school, which I have to thank the high heavens for not including embarrassing awkward shots of our teenage selves, 90s fashion and all), a song number from Gelo's siblings, an original song written by Gelo's dad, that he sang with his mom and a modified toast by the best men and maid and matron of honor done in The Buzz-style talk show form.

The couple's first dance as husband and wife was something that I have seen for the first time in my life. It was beautifully rehearsed and choreographed. It was only that night that I've seen a couple's first dance polished to pointed toes, clean lines, backbends, headthrows, and spinning/flying moves.

For giveaways, the couple chose a very practical choice: food! A slice of yummy chocolate cake enclosed in a pretty box prepared by the members of the entourage. You know how I found out it was chocolate cake? I stuck my finger inside and got frosting on my index finger. Then, I read the tag:

The tag read: "All you need is love but a little chocolate now and then doesn't hurt". Ayun naman pala, magbasa kasi.

To end the night, the couple took inspiration from the movie Tangled and along with the other guests lit sky lanterns and released them to the night sky.

Rapunzel was right. They do look like stars.

Thank you so much, Esel and Gelo for choosing us to be present to witness your very beautiful wedding. The drive to Tagaytay and back was definitely worth it. Lots of love and happiness to both of you!

*pictures taken from personal cameras
*Esel's makeup by Kris Bacani. Esel's hair by Dimple Callada