Saturday, July 30, 2016

Ever Heard of a Brazilian Facial?

I've been getting Brazilian waxes done professionally for years now and I've gone from hot wax to cold wax to warm wax and now I settle for hot wax. For me, this one is the one that's less painful because the wax preps up your pores and relaxes them a bit so that whole hair removal process isn't super excruciatingly painful. If you go to the right waxer, it will be done well.

Brazilian waxing has been so popular nowadays. I actually prefer it because it's cleaner and more comfortable. I don't have to also worry much when I'm at the beach, swimming at the pool, doing pole, practicing yoga, or even teaching yoga with like hair peeking out from my swimwear or tiny pole shorts. It's just so perfect now that these super sexy 90s French cut swimsuits are coming back in fashion. Actually, sexier swimsuits and all-year-long swimwear weather that gives us excuses to wear shorter clothes are not the ones that constantly evolve. Even waxing has evolved to different styles. You can choose to leave a small landing strip or have a shape, or add bling like Jennifer Love Hewitt did, and even add-ons to care for your intimate area.

Each month is not complete without a visit to my favorite Strip branch

I recently tried new add-on to your waxing experience a few weeks ago at Strip: Ministry of Waxing. I've been going to them for around 5 or 6 years now since my friend introduced them to me as super fast, hygienic, and most importantly, virtually pain-free. I recommend them to anyone getting waxed for the first time ever or to anyone who wants a very good waxing experience. Their different yummy-scented waxes also have different purposes - chocolate for coarse hair, cucumber for extra TLC for the skin, and lemon for whitening and brightening. They also have other add-ons to prevent ingrown hair, soothe waxed skin, and slow down hair growth to make your waxing experience better.

Anyway, what I did try is their Brazilian facial, which just like their waxing, is fast and pain-free. It's kind of weird when you say Brazilian facial since it's not exactly done in the face and it's done in a part where it's not usually seen. However, just as we take care of the skin on our face, arms, legs, whatever, we also should care for the skin in our intimate area. Tight clothing (skinny jeans, leggings, stockings, and the tight, malfunction-free pole shorts we have), exercise, sweat, and dirt can contribute to darkening of the skin, ingrown hair, acne, and discoloration. No matter how sexy your shorts or bikini cut is, the discomfort of ingrown hair and acne plus the dyahe of discoloration in your bikini line can really affect your confidence. I cannot stress as well on bacterial buildup, which can lead to infection. So just as we clean the skin on our faces and do our monthly waxing, we should also take care of the skin down there.

 A Brazilian facial typically takes around 30 minutes and this involves a non-invasive exfoliation to remove dirt while delivering a pharmaceutical-grade solution that caters to a specific need.  I had this done right after my waxing, in fact (this service is called Wax and Polish). The machine for the Brazilian Facial looks like this.

With that machine, comes a wand (shown below), which deposits the solution. This solution treats a specific skin concern such as dull skin, acne, ingrown hair, and dry skin. The wand has a suction action kind of like the vacuum apparatus therapists use when giving regular facials. The suction effect stimulates blood circulation as well as remove dirt. The solution didn't sting at all and practically felt like water. For those with painful derma facial experiences, you need not fret with this as with regards to pain.

This wand gives a new meaning to "Lumos!" as it whitens and brightens dull and dry skin and decreases pigmentation
I kinda let the skin absorb the solution first before getting dressed so the skin gets all the benefits of the solution. When I asked when I could usually get this procedure done, monthly is usually recommended (you can even include it with your monthly Brazilian waxing). Results can vary depending on the skin type and actual condition of the skin. Due to me wearing compression pants, pole shorts, and yoga pants, which are quite tight on an almost daily basis, I'm quite prone to ingrown hair growth. This month, I didn't see those bumps much as I used to, If  you're the type of person who loves wearing jeans or if you're super conscious with your bikini area you may want to include this in your monthly waxing.

Aside from your intimate area, this procedure can also be done in your underarms, elbows, kness, belly, and even the buttock line, which can often be neglected. So go ahead and flaunt that bum with the squats you worked hard for in those cheeky shorts or bikini bottoms for a #SundayBumDay IG photo.

work on that perfect #SundayBumDay photo with squats, leg day, and proper skin care

Brazilian facials aren't just there to be sexy or have an excuse to wear sexy bikinis or one-pieces or wear those cheeky shorts which are becoming quite popular. They're there to help us care for our skin better, not just the skin that's exposed. This helps prevent bacterial infection and discomfort, and those stuff are definitely not sexy not to mention they're so much hassle because of the discomfort, the medicines, and so on.

The lighter, smoother bikini and buttock lines can also build confidence when doing those splitty and straddle-y pole tricks in a performance or competition or even if you're like me, the yoga teacher wearing the tiny pole shorts who does super deep hip openers.

Willing to try this new service at Strip? Then book an appointment with them by calling the Strip: Ministry Of Waxing branch near you.

Photo Credit:
SundayBumday photo by Dix Perez

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Revenge of the Classics: Ballet Manila's 21st Season

So how are your weekends usually like? My weekends if not at work (since my work usually is on the weekend) are usually pretty quiet since I actually prefer staying at home more than going out. I like making my own meals (especially breakfast!), catching up on blog posts, doing some cleaning, and of course, cuddling the kitties. There are times though that we do try to go to a restaurant to try (that I end up recreating the food anyway) or the mall but sometimes, I find myself spending money on things I really don't need or just an impulse buy.

Aside from the usual shopping malls or restaurants or movies, here's another great weekend plan, how about catching a ballet show? It's something new and it's perfect for a night out with friends or family and we don't have to travel super far away like out-of-town trips or getaways.

Just last week, I was invited to the press preview of Ballet Manila's 21st season and this got me so excited because I will get to see excerpts of several ballet shows - the shows that Ballet Manila has to offer.

Watch the Swan take flight next season
Some snapshots while waiting for the show

obligatory #OOTD
The top betrays my appetite so it's a reminder to constantly control my portions at the buffet table

Bumped into supermom and super talented photographer Sheila Catilo, who brought along her daughter who at a very young age, shows passion for ballet.
It's been so long that I actually watched a ballet show and the last ballet show that I watched (I believe it was Peter Pan when I was around 10 or 11) was something I enjoyed not because I knew the fairy tale classic but also it was sort of around that time I was still taking my weekend ballet lessons in the community so the terms and steps were something I could relate to.

Just like our pole recitals have themes, Ballet Manila's 21st season also has a theme (or in this case, title) - Revenge of the Classics - that's because all the shows would be all the classics. Now don't get scared when I say "classics" if they remind you of the books during elementary school you had to read for your book report. These classics are carefully chosen favorites, and some of them, even if you're not a ballet dancer or ballet aficionado, will be appreciated because these classics were adapted from fairy tales and there have been cartoon adaptations of these shows as well. They would also feature one original piece, dubbed as a modern classic.

Ms. Lisa Macuja-Elizalde gives us a brief background of the company she founded that is Ballet Manila. Lisa Macuja is practically a household name in my generation - every little girl studying ballet had her as an inspiration - being a Prima Ballerina. She has retired from performing full time and now serves as the Artistic Director and CEO of Ballet Manila.

The 21st season opens with Rebel: EDSA30, which is dubbed as a modern classic. I'm pretty much excited to see this one because this one is fairly new and the subject is what we've all been reading about this from our History classes. I was already alive during the EDSA Revolution but I have very faint actual memories from it apart from just what I read in school or read in blogs and documentaries.

The Swan, The Fairy, and The Princess is a show that presents excerpts from Peter Tschaikovsky's most celebrated works. These stories have had modern adaptations from cartoons  (remember The Swan Princess cartoon?) and Barbie series had their own adaptations of these stories. Even if you do not do ballet, the musical scores would be still very familiar.

Cinderella would be something to bring the kids as this takes a Disney adaptation with the songs and all. The kids would be familiar with the songs. In fact, during the Cinderella number, the little girl beside me was super duper excited and singing to "So This Is Love".

Don Quixote would be the closing the season. It's a favorite among the ballet enthusiasts. Set in Spain, this show would definitely be featuring colorful costumes and backdrops and strong choreography with music that showcases the romantic Spanish culture.

The season opens next month so if you guys would want something else different to do for the weekend you may want to catch a ballet show. These are timeless pieces that may be appreciated by everyone, ballet dancer or not. The choice of having several fairy tales can get the attention of youngsters. Normally, kids get bored in grownup events but these shows have so much reference to tales they have seen in cartoons, especially Disney or Barbie movies. If you want it to be a whole family affair, Cinderella, and The Swan, The Fairy, and The Princess is a good choice. Adults and older children can appreciate Rebel as well,  If you know a ballerina or if you're currently taking ballet or have been fascinated with ballet or any dance for that matter, you may set a weekend to watch a show.

When I was taking ballet then as a child, I kinda got teased a lot so I quit but really looking at these professional dancers who have been dancing probably since they were kids, you know that ballet is no joke and takes a lot of discipline and passion to learn. If you google all these ballet documentaries these ballerinas are a lot stronger than you might think. They also have love for their craft. Some of my friends in pole bring their daughters to ballet class, which is really great because at an early age, these little girls developing their passion (and their splits and pointes) early. Also, that's much better than sitting with gadgets all day long.

So if you want something new, please consider watching a ballet show during the weekend with the people you love.  All the shows are going to be at the Aliw Theater in Pasay City. You can check the website of Ballet Manila at or follow Ballet Manila at their social media accounts (Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram).  It's a good experience to see familiar stories at a different light, and if you kinda got inspired, you can take ballet classes. More of these soon. :)

As of this time, I want to see both Rebel and Cinderella. Rebel  since it's pretty new plus with all the history in it, it's like coming alive in an art form. Cinderella always wins since it's a Disney classic as well and I like Cinderella (I even bought the Cinderella MAC makeup). I'm just not to keen on the mice part but Disney has always been part of my childhood and with ballet also being part of my childhood, it's like a throwback kind of thing.  Let me know in the comments below if you're watching a show or two or you're about to take a class or bringing your ballerina friend to a show.

Monday, July 18, 2016

I Bought Books!

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

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

No, Sebastian. That book is for Mommy.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, July 8, 2016

A Look Back: Throwback Items in Our Kikay Kit

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

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

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

Bath and Body Works

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

Hard Candy Polish

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

Bonne Bell Lip Smackers

A photo posted by Sidney Ann (@fannypackclub) on

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

The Paddle Brush

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

Johnson's Pressed Powder in Beige

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

Butterfly Clips

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

What were your 90's beauty essentials?

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

Trying Out Peel-Off Lip Tattoos

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

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

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

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

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

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

Here's the result:

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

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

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

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

worn with lip balm over

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

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