Saturday, December 31, 2016

Brands That Give Back and Recycle

Happy New Year everyone! We're down to the last few hours of 2016. It hasn't been such a good year, to be honest, but I do look forward that the next year may bring other good vibes. Ushering the new year also has a lot of traditions from the feast during New Year's eve, to putting round fruits on the table, coins on the corners of the house, wearing red, etc. Thankfully, after so many years, the practice of firecrackers is no longer popular for safety purposes. Also, it's quite stressful for pets. I remember back when my dog used to get stressed every New Year's Eve she would always be hiding in the bathroom or under the couch.

Another tradition of the whole out with the old and in with the new is a super general spring cleaning. We literally take everything out of our closet and evaluate things which we don't need anymore, which we either sell or give away. I did my own emptying, being a pack-cat myself and I found myself emptying get this - four bags of clothes which I do not wear anymore and would not be wearing being the main reason is that - they no longer fit me, most especially in the shoulders and lats area.

There are stuff that we can give away because there are people who can still wear them, but there are items hiding at the back of our closets where no one can wear as well, clothes that have seen better days, stiffened-up towels, etc.  I found out that there are some brands who do recycling programs, which can help the environment by reducing carbon footprint as we give ourselves (and our storage space) more space to breathe.

MAC Cosmetics

MAC is more than just a makeup brand. It gives back to the community in various ways. The Back-To-MAC program is MAC's recycling program. Instead of throwing out empty MAC containers in the trash, return 6 of them to the MAC counter and get a free lipstick. This service though is no longer available in the Philippines since the recycling facility isn't available here but other countries still practice it.


The black pots that hold your Lush cosmetic products actually go a long way. They are made of sturdy polypropylene plastic so that they can be cleansed, processed, and recycled for future use once again. Return  5 empty black pots and get a free face mask as your contribution to save the environment in reducing plastic landfill waste

Globe Telecom

Do you have these old phones lying around your house? That old phone from college or your first job or phones that no longer work along with conked out chargers? Drop off your old gadgets to any Globe store (there are boxes in the store). Our old phones can have a new life in helping build schools in Aklan.


If you have old clothes and linens which have literally seen better days, like faded shirts, stiffened-up towels, blankets with holes, etc. place them in bags and donate them to any H&M store and receive a 15% discount coupon for every bag donated. Unwanted garments of any condition or brand can have a new life by being recycled into something else.

The Body Shop

The Body Shop prides itself in being a cruelty-free cosmetics brand inspired by nature. You can return your empty The Body Shop plastic containers in the store. They also have promos for their recycling programs on certain seasons.

Your spring cleaning can not only help people in need, but it can also help the environment by reducing landfill waste and letting those old items which can no longer be used or wearable have new lives. Enjoy the New Year with a new start and more space knowing you have done your part to Mother Earth!

Friday, December 23, 2016

Healthy Holiday Eats

If you find yourself accumulating some Holiday fluff from eating too much ham and sweets or sweet ham, enjoy the feast by eating clean with these  alternatives that are healthy as well as tasty.

Lessen the bilbil tendencies by cleaner food choices that do not taste like chalk this Holiday season

Hummus and Veggie Sticks

Hummus is a dip made of chickpeas, lemon juice, olive oil, tahini, and garlic. It's great with toasted pita bread and veggie sticks. Use it as an option to chips and dip for starters. Hummus is also a vegetarian protein source that's great post-workout. Is that probably why Zohan is so strong?

Fresh Juices and Smoothies 

Have a smoothie instead of beer. You got good sugars and good energy
I developed alcohol intolerance so I don't drink alcohol. So what to drink in these Holiday festivities? The alternative may be fresh juices which are rich in antioxidants and vitamins. Cocktails also actually contain a lot of sugars which can be bad for you. Try this juice recipe, which I got from Solenn Heussaff's fitness book Hot Sos - slice 1/4 pineapple, 1/2 beetroot, 2 oranges, 1 big carrot, and a half-thumb size of ginger and place it in a juicer. Place in a wine glass and add chia seeds. The drink looks like red wine but it contains a load of nutrients your body would love. You can drink this any time of the day too! Try also a red margarita by combining beet juice, lemon juice, coconut sugar or honey, and water. moisten the rim of a margarita glass and dip in Himalayan pink salt. Pour in your concoction and drink up!

Healthy Cookies

I myself love homemade, fresh chocolate chip cookies. Too much of it though leaves me with a muffin top. These healthy cookies from Honest Junk do not scrimp on flavor as well as the pretty factor. These are gluten free, dairy free, low sugar, low sodium, vegan, and contain superfoods like malunggay (moringa) and chia that up the health factor. Try their healthy gummies too, which taste like citrusy orange gummy chews.


Juju Eats Big Boy Salad is my go-to post-workout light meal. 
Salads are refreshing as they are pretty! Have a DIY salad bar or make a family favorite. It's one excuse to literally eat a rainbow of awesome raw vegetables! Up the nutri factor by choosing light, oil-based sauces instead of heavy, creamy ones. It also gives you more space in your tummy to enjoy the main course

Grilled Food Versus Fried 

DIY Grilled lunch: Grilled zucchini and grilled salmon with chimichurri
Grill your meats instead of frying them, and choose meats that are lean like lean beef, top round chunks for stews, chicken breast, and seafood. A few weeks ago, I bought this book of healthy Mediterranean recipes with super-easy food that's fast and simple without the added baddies. I was surprised to find a healthy stew recipe that's flavorful but hardly contained salt! Yes, we can have our hearty, savory dishes  and eat healthy and low-cal! Just don't overindulge or burn the food!

I remember totally going YOLO one Christmas season and letting go and ended up having my pants a bit too snug and so much sluggishness shedding off the Holiday weight gain via training was more difficult. I mean it's okay to do a bit of indulgence. With a bit of research and switching things around, you can make healthy choices that are yummy, pretty, and you don't feel you are depriving yourself. Since these food choices contain a lot of good nutrients, it powers you through properly through the hectic Holiday schedule and can help you avoid getting sick during this time.

To introduce others to healthy food,  we can bring a healthy dish we prepared for others to try, most especially if it's something new. Choose one that's easy to prepare. It also helps to present it in a nice, Instagram-worthy way, so people can be attracted to it. For example if it's a dip, arrange the dip with veggies and pita in a nice plate. Choose a salad that's got lots of flavor and color. Present a smoothie in a pretty cocktail glass. This is one encouraging way of sharing healthy meals.

Do you have a healthy Holiday food choice this year?  Let's share this gift of health with family and friends. I'd love to see what you've got tomorrow on Christmas Eve!

Image Directory:

Cover Photo by Fritz Tentativa;

Hummus Photo:

Store Directory:

Honest Junk;; email at

Hot Sos
available at all leading bookstores nationwide

Real Girl Toy Kitchen;;

Juju Eats
click here for store locations;;

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Things to Quick Change Your Day Look to Party Glam

If lugging around a big bag of makeup kit is impractical if you have a get-together or party to go to after work or a daytime affair, here are a few items you can keep in a pouch that you can place in your bag, car, or desk to transform a daytime look to a stunning, glamorous evening look.

Change your look from day to night with these essentials. No need for a gigantic makeup kit!

Hair Donut

Hair donuts from PinkBox Php119,75/small, Php 129,75/medium, and Php 149.75 large
Keep sticky, sweaty hair away from your face and neck with a fuss-free hair donut which sculpts and styles your hair in an elegant bun that looks like you slaved over it. Whether it's an elegant low ballerina bun or a high bun at the top of your head (bonus: it makes you look taller!), you have a fuss-free, sophisticated updo in minutes.


The Manizer Sisters AKA "The Luminizers" Highlighter Palette, Php 1,395
My pole teacher Amaya loves makeup highlighters and I know why: it adds instant glow to the skin and adds texture to a matte-out look. The Manizer Sisters AKA The "Luminizers" , a highlighting palette from The Balm which combines all three highlighter shades (Mary-Lou Manizer, Cindy-Lou Manizer, and Betty-Lou Manizer) into one palette. Use this to add some glow to your cheekbones, collarbones, shoulders, shins, or wherever you want some shimmy to capture light.

Metallic Lip Color

Carmen Claire Cosmetics Matte Lip Frosting  Heavy Metals Collection
Penny Late and Rock 'n' Ruby
Php 395 each
Long-lasting metallic lip colors are making waves lately. They have both shine and pigmentation. Choose a lip color with a pretty, long lasting finish.  Try CarmenClaire Matte Lip Frosting in Penny Lane, an elegant, copper bronzey color. It's long lasting enough to last coffee, snacks, food tasting, and a plate of raclette.

Festive Polish

Morgan Taylor Nail Polish in Ruby Two-Shoes and Tinsel My Fancy
Php  350
Your tips also make an impact. Frost finishes usually dry faster so keep one if you're pressed for time. Red also is a classic that looks great on anyone. Keep a fast-drying topcoat as well with you so save lots of time

False Eyelashes 

Ingredients for sexy, fluttery eyes: sturdy lash glue (I use DUO), Red Cherry Lashes, Php 160 over at Digital Traincase  
Even with just simple neutral browns, false eyelashes and eyeliner already make a big difference. For newbies with falsies, I recommend Red Cherry lashes since they are light enough to be worn for extended periods of time (I use this on my brides). For your eyeliner, choose a pen-type eyeliner for easy maneuvering. No need for a separate brush as well!


Elizabeth Arden Green Tea Scent Spray 
Boost the plus points for beso with a signature scent. Choose a scent that you love. To liven up your senses in a party after a tiring day at work or sitting through traffic, citrusy scents or green tea inspired scents lift your mood. Just a few spritzes on your pulse points and you're good to go.

Image Directory

Headshot by Alfred Mendoza

Carmen Claire Lip Frosting

Hair Donut

Store Directory

Carmen Claire Cosmetics;;

Digital Traincase
Unit G118 Corinthian Executive Regency, Ortigas Ave, San Antonio, Pasig City;  +639173116912;;

Elizabeth Arden
available at Rustan's

Morgan Taylor
available at Nailaholics, Beauty and Butter, Sundrops, Nailandia, and other leading nail salons nationwide

PinkBox Accessories;;

Red Cherry Lashes
available at Digital Traincase, Suesh, and BeautyMNL

The Balm
Available at Beauty Bar

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Bambikitty Moving Makeover: Raissa

What I love about these fit girls is that they have such wonderful stories to share with how they went in their fitness journey. Aside from hearing them, I love witnessing their fitness journey unfold before my own eyes.

I met Raissa at the yoga studio. She was still a Vinyasa yoga teacher in training and I was in my pre-teacher training yogi self. We usually attend the same classes and get to hang out after class.

Once, my friend (and fitness blogger) Nikki had a  training program and she did that program with a couple of other friends. I've witnessed her do her HIIT and circuit training after yoga (joined one session as well and didn't die!). Coupled with a few lifestyle changes and diet (which includes one cheat meal a week), I've seen Raissa trim down, tone up, and strengthen. She lost weight the old fashioned way, making it a lifestyle change rather than just vanity, which is the key to a very successful fitness journey. She has maintained the figure and upped her fitness game as well as living a well-balanced life. As of the moment, Raissa teaches Vinyasa classes, Hot Yoga, and Power Yoga. I attend her classes which have both restorative and relaxation as well as challenge to help you go deeper in your yoga practice. It was through her that I discovered and embraced yoga being everyday a leg day (also helped with my transitions and practices where I tend to arm out everything and sometimes solely rely and blame things on flexi). I recommend them at any time of the day, whether it's the morning when you want to wake up, or when you're just tired from work. The energy is steady enough while feeling the challenge and it winds down slowly towards then end, and you get and feel the relaxing benefits of yoga, like you came from a spa.

A photo posted by Rai Gatus (@raissagatus) on

With regards to her exercise regimen, Raissa does yoga, rowing, and cycling. She loves taking walks as well (walking is also a sneaky way of getting some movement to your system).

Two things we also have in common aside from fitness are beauty and food! We love food with flavor and character, in short, happy, good food. We have our veggies as well as our cheese and ice cream. She also introduced me to stay-put makeup products made by her good friend and we talk about our love for brow makeup. We have the same mantra about brows - never leave the house without awesome, gorgeous brows. See how I love these girls?

I did Raissa's look after she taught a Power Yoga class. She would still have one class at night so I made sure the makeup stays put (I used primer, long-lasting foundation, waterproof mascara, and makeup setting spray) as she would be going out after.

Since she was game for makeup, I did warm smokey eyes on her using coppers, browns, and a tad of red or chestnut, a look I fell in love with. I did a nude lip on her (Revlon Ultra HD Matte lip color in Seduction), which are very Kylie inspired. Cheeks were warm and peachy and I added highlight using my Lou-minizer palettes. I skipped the falsies, though as she would be teaching one more yoga class.

I styled her hair in soft curls, the type that when it loosens up, it will look like the donya blow-dry, with the curls loose and volumized just at the ends.

You can catch Raissa's classes at Beyond Yoga branches. Log on to Beyond Yoga's Instagram account for their schedules. Follow Raissa as well on Instagram at @raissagatus to get updates on her fitness journey as well as her adventures off and on the mat. Thank you Raissa for being my December girl!

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

The Quickest Makeup Tutorial Ever

Peak season for makeup artists means we have earlier call times on certain days. An earlier start at the office means I have to shave off a lot on morning rituals, than say an afternoon or mid-morning call time. I do quick morning workouts to jump-start my system and pre-prepare my breakfast (because you know me, I should never miss a good breakfast) of overnight oats, giving myself more time to spare. Since I have to go to work, I should make the effort of looking a bit more presentable, whether I'm teaching a morning yoga class or working on a wedding or a shoot. Since there's no time to do like the usual shebang of a 2-hour hair and makeup routine, I worked on a quick routine which makes me look made up while faking a good night's sleep. This routine also gives me more time for a better breakfast or time traffic allowance.

This look is easy, clean and versatile and achievable by anyone. It also uses less tools so it's super efficient. To make things more efficient, I placed everything I'm going to need in one makeup bag. 

Shortcut your prep time by placing all the makeup you need in one kit.
Better if the cat is asleep too.
Placing everything in one bag just zeroes in on what we would be using. It also keeps me focused on the routine so there's no more temptation to experiment on eyeshadow combos. Save that for a later call time. 

Create a perfect base

Products used:
Pond's Age Miracle BB Cream in Beige
Revlon Colorstay Concealer in Medium
After skin care and primer, I applied concealer on redness and dark circles and blended this evenly. If you want more coverage, use a BB cream before concealer. BB creams are like one of the best inventions of modern-day makeup because it creates a super smooth, flawless base while caring for your skin. 

Set your base

Product Used:
Make Up For Ever Pro Finish Multi-Use Powder Foundation
We can get away with powder in colder climates but since we live in a humid country, powder has been the best friend of every Pinay I know. To know if I set my base right, I give my skin a tap. If it feels powdery and velvety with no "stick", it's good. 

Define your brows

Product Used:
 K-Palette Lasting 2-Way Eyebrow Pencil
Use a brow pen or a brow pencil to define the brows and avoid looking funny. A long-lasting formula is awesome especially for long work days, so I don't end up with a half-brow come midday.

Apply some blush

Product used:
Max Factor Creme Puff Blush in Gorgeous Berries
Blush makes you look not dead. If you have  a super early call time, this also fakes the sallowness from lack of sleep. 

Define eyes.

Product Used:
L'Oreal Paris Super Liner Superstar in Black
We love our eyes and eyeliner is our best friend. I'm thinking aside from lipsticks and powders, eyeliner is one of the most favorite makeup products. I know a friend who doesn't wear makeup anymore except eyeliner in a graphic cat eye. So yes, eyeliner is important in creating wide-awake eyes. What I did here is just to line super close to the lash roots, creating the illusion of thicker lashes and wider eyes. With this technique, I won't have to worry about winged eyeliner being even or super straight lines. I used black in this look but you can go crazy and use colored or metallic eyeliner.

Thicken those lashes

Product used:
Fairydrops Volume Burst Waterproof Mascara
In an effort to bring more attention to eyes sans eyeshadow, curl your eyelashes and be generous with mascara. Hello, eyes! 

Apply lipstick

Product Used:
Happy Skin x Disney Princess Moisturizing Matte Lippie in Aurora

Choose any lipstick you like that matches your blush. You can go with a neutral shade or a pop of color as shown below:
Product Used:
Sephora Collection Color Lip Last Lipstick in Royal Raspberry

Highlight For A Final Touch

Product Used:
MAC Iridescent Powder in Coupe D'Chic
(MAC Cinderella Collection)
We like things all pretty and healthy-shiny, instead of shiny-oily or dull matte. Highlight creates dimension and gorgeous glow. Apply highlight on the tops of the cheeks, browbone, and maybe the bridge of the nose and the chin.

Complete Looks:

with natural-colored lipstick

with  a bright berry hue
This is something really quick you can do when you're going to work or going somewhere early and you don't have that much time or if you would want to spend more time with say, getting 10 minutes extra home workout or maybe a nicer breakfast. The quick look also doesn't compromise a lot. It would probably take around 10 minutes to do, and when you've memorized the moves, maybe 5 minutes? Let me know how it goes and what products you used.

Store Directory:

Fairy Drops;

Happy Skin
Glorietta 3, Ayala Grand Mall; Greenbelt 5, 2/F; Powerplant Mall 2/F; Robinson's Magnolia 2/F; SM Megamall, 2/F Mega Fashion Hall; Eastwood Mall, 1/F; UP Town Center, 1/F; available at Rustan's Beauty Source, Beauty Bar, and Plains and Prints;;;

Available at Beauty Bar;;

L'Oreal Paris
Available at all leading groceries, beauty hubs, and department stores nationwide;;;

Click here for a complete list of stores;;;; 

Make Up For Ever
2/F Mega Fashion Hall Building D, SM Megamall, Mandaluyong City, (02) 631-5681; G/F Greenbelt 3, Makati City, (02) 621-5248; 1/F TriNoMa Mall, Quezon City, (0915) 990-9571; 2/F Main Mall, SM Mall of Asia, Pasay City (0919) 273-4805;;

Max Factor
available in all leading department stores and beauty hubs nationwide;;;

available at all leading department stores, drugstores, and supermarkets

available at all leading department stores nationwide;;;