Monday, June 12, 2017

How I Take Care of My (New) Hair

Hello, I'm here.

Has it been a month since I went on a break? I'm currently back and omigod, so much things have been happening! I've been teaching a lot of classes and been busy with a lot of stuff. It is a lot, and even if I come home just looking forward to go to sleep, I go home super happy because I'm doing things that I love doing. So much things has happened and I try to tell friends that, "Yes, I'm alive, please see my Facebook and Instagram for updates."

Anyway, after years of sporting mermaid-length hair, I've decided to take a summery cut and get a haircut a month ago. It's been really hot and humid and sticky hair that takes forever to dry is totally not something I want.

Left: Mermaid hair. Right: New hair
I told my friend Kit that it's a process of detachment. I've forever been attached to long locks since it's low maintenance and I can always tie it in case of a bad hair day. The heat though is telling me otherwise.I thought about it for a week, but decided to just go for it one Friday night after yoga class. I went to the mall, showed the peg, closed my eyes, and stared at the girl in the mirror sporting a lob (long bob).
20 minutes into my new hair
It's still long enough for me to tie it, but it's much lighter on my neck. I still can style this and unlike the pixie cut I did years ago, this one is more low-maintenance and I can wait a few more months before I have to cut it again. It now just takes minutes to style my hair now, which is a good thing. I can just scrunch some salt spray on my hair and run a blow-dryer while twirling my hair until it's 80 percent dry letting my natural texture do its course.

If I do have a bit more time, however, I can curl my hair with a large barrel curling iron for loose waves.
Curls while hugging a kitty 

I like too that it doesn't sit on my face when I arm balance or do forward folds or make me look like I'm from a Japanese horror flick after I do a hairflip.

Even though my hair is much shorter, I should take good care of my hair, Since I also subject my hair to the heat of a blowdryer, it needs the protection and care it needs. My hairstylist friends keep heat-protecting spray or serum in their bags and I apply this to my hair before styling. This creates a barrier so my hair doesn't get fried.

It's important to rest my hair as well from products and heat styling. When I do, I use hair products and hair care that cleans and nourish my hair.

Tresemme Keratin Smooth cleans and cares for my hair. It smells really good too. This one is currently in my gym bag. If the bottles are too big, you can transfer the contents to a smaller container to fit your gym kikay kit. This leaves my hair looking decent even if I don't use my styling tools.

Inasmuch as I love my ponytails, I also give my hair a breather when sleeping and try not to tie my hair super tight that it hurts. Once a week, I apply a deep conditioning treatment to my hair just to replenish and repair it too.

My hair grows fast, so my mermaid hair will be back before you know it. It does feel good once in a while to detach myself from my comfort zone. I may keep this length for a few months and maybe color it lighter for a nice, summery feel even though it's quite rainy.

Do I miss the long hair? No, not really. I do welcome it when it comes back in a few months but as of the moment, I'm enjoying this hair now.

Friday, April 7, 2017

Tips For Makeup For Mature Women

As we age, our makeup styles and techniques also change. When we were teenagers, we were all with brights and pastes and maybe matured to glam or neutrals when we got older. Our skincare needs also changes as we get older. Whether you're helping out your mom, auntie, or grandma with her look, have a mom of the bride or groom sitting or your makeup chair, or may already be approaching a particular age, here are a few tips to make cosmetics work for you so you enhance your beauty while having that fresh, glowing look at any age.

Just a few tricks and tools to help enhance mature skin

Moisturizer is your best friend

The Pond's Age Miracle line helps combat signs of ageing such as dark spots, lines, wrinkles, and saggy skin

The gel or waterbased light formulas we used in our teens may not be enough for someone with mature skin. As we age, we lose natural moisture in our skin, so older skin tends to be drier and thirstier. Use formulas for dry skin, alcohol-free toners (alcohol dries the skin), and make eye cream your best friend. Pond's Age Miracle line can be used to bring back the moisture on the skin. Massage this well and let it sink in before applying primer and doing your makeup. Also, encourage your mom or grandma to keep their healthy habits- have them drink lots of water and eat healthy food so their skin is cared for from within.

Have primer handy

Instead of using layers of thick foundation to hide imperfections and mask discolorations, use a face primer to help improve skin texture and make lightweight foundation hold longer. The finish will be more natural and glowing instead of cakey.

Use foundation suitable for mature skin

Sometimes, heavy foundation can really creep into those lines further enhancing them. Get a light to medium coverage foundation blended well and set with loose powder or stick to tinted moisturiser dor everyday. If the skin is still oily, stick to BB creams for everyday or light foundation with oil-control properties. Apply  a light layer of foundation using a sponge, foundation brush, or your fingers and set with loose powder

Enhance your brows

Young or old, brows really make a difference. Have your brows shaped professionally to get a nice arc that suitable for your face shape. Create feathery strokes with eyebrow pencil and brush with a spoolie brush for a more natural look. Also, avoid black or dark brown as this can age you and stick to light taupe, ash, or light brown.

Choose shadows to bring color and life to the eyes

Yes, you can wear eyeshadow. In fact, this really helps bring out the eyes. I find shades of plum, mauve, and browns or grays flattering for most older women. just a wash of color on the lids, a contour on the crease and highlight on the browbone blended well can do. Choose matte or formulas with just a hint of shimmer rather than glitters, metallics, and frosts, which can enhance lines.

Use charcoal-colored pencil instead of black

Black can be too harsh so use a dark gray or charcoal pencil with less shimmer or glitter instead. Just apply them close to the lashlines and blend it in for the illusion of thicker lashes and more wide-awake eyes. Instead of lining the lower lashline all the way through, just make two to three dots on the outer lower lashline and blend it well with a cotton bud or a small brush to tie this with the upper lashline. Some recommendations are J. Cat Beauty Roll It Up Auto Eye Liner in Dark Gray and Make Up Store eyeliner in Not So Dark.

Do not be afraid of color

Color can brighten an otherwise sallow complexion. A bright color on the lips and cheeks can instantly add life and glow. Choose a natural-looking blush that can add color to the cheeks such as MAC Blush in Mocha, Make Up Store Must Have, or Benefit Blush in Coralista.

Moisturizing formulas over matte

Super matte lipsticks can dry the lips, and these can enhance the lines as well. Choose semi-matte or cream formulas which stay put while giving a lush look to the lips. Alternatively, you can use a lipliner (try Nichido in Rosette) and brush a matching tinted lip balm over it.

Never underestimate the power of false lashes

On special occasions, falsies help add that extra oomph to the eyes. Choose falsies that are light if you're not used to wearing them such as Red Cherry lashes in 747XS or individual lashes on the outer corners. The first 30 minutes might feel a little awkward especially if you're not used to wearing false eyelashes but if you choose a really good brand, you might forget you're wearing them.

Hopefully, this can help you when you're working with the mom of the bride or helping out a relative with their makeup or maybe you're in that age already and want a makeup technique upgrade. If you have brands that you can recommend or have techniques of your own, you can post them in the comments below.

Store Directory

Benefit Cosmetics
1/F Greenbelt 5, Makati; (02)-729-9854; 3/F TriNoMa Mall; Rustan's Makati; Shangri-La Plaza; Mall of Asia; SM Megamall; Alabang Town Center; Bonifacio Central Square; Wellworth Department Store, UP Town Center;;;;;

J.Cat Beauty
Uptown Mall, Bonifacio Global City;;;

MAC Cosmetics
Click here for a list of locations;;;;

Make Up Store
Available at;

Available at all leading department stores and drugstores nationwide;;

Red Cherry Lashes
Available at, and Suesh makeup stores;  

Available at all leading department stores, drugstores, and supermarkets;;

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Snippets of the YogaHive Grand Launch

It was a busy month for us at the YogaHive studio since we were doing photoshoots for the teachers as well as prepping for the Grand Launch, which happened on March 15-19, 2017. It was so much fun because there were classes, activities, and it was a time that I really got to know the community. Sometimes as teachers, we're just there whenever we have classes. When we were shooting, it gave me the opportunity to take classes by other teachers since I was there practically the whole day, which really helped with my practice and my own classes because I sort of got to compliment my sequences to the themes of other classes, like if one class is working on something, then maybe my yin class can help achieve a balance or have some stretches or poses to help them make their way towards that. It also gave me a chance to know the students more, since I stay longer in the studio.

Helping out with the photoshoot of the teachers and some students also enabled me to share my off-the-mat practice with them. It's funny because a few years back, people get surprised that I actually do fitness-related things. Now, I surprise people when I bring out my makeup or when they take a peek at my blog or even when they see me with makeup in the studio. It was really fun, seeing how the teachers put on makeup and see how their individual personalities come out in our shoots.

 I'll post more BTS soon, but this time, let's talk about our launch.

Me and Teacher Quino on the YogaHive tarp, for which our faces (and our abs) shall be immortalised forever. Here's to more #fitspiration goals.

Photos of my yoga classes (I taught 3!!!)

I gave my signature hip openers in every class, which is my own practice that I share to most of my classes. Hip openers are fun! In yoga, in pole, in dance, and in life.

I also attended my very first Broga classs (which definitely shall not be my last), which really challenged my core and arms. They were dying in a super good way. Since I was dead tired, no photos in my camera. I highly recommend this not just to guys, but for those who want to add more challenges and breaks to the usual yoga class. Aside from yoga flows, there are HIIT-derived workouts like burpees, planks, and pushups which will make you sweat buckets and prepare your abs for the summer. I still hate burpees, but I like Broga.

There were also activities such as a High Tea Class Demo by Barista and Coffee Academy of Asia.

Certified Calm also launched their new Manduka Prolite mats. Some mats are still on sale in the studio so just in case you want a yoga mat for yourself, do stop by.

Manduka mats are thicker than the usual yoga mats you see and the thing I like with these mats is that they really cushion your joints in your arm balances (in my case, #roadtoarmbalance), downward dogs, and even table tops and lunges, They're pretty sturdy that they will not rip apart too when you're anchoring with your poses. I like also that they come in solid colors (I find patterns distracting). Im eyeing the caramel color actually, It looks so pretty, it reminds me of dessert, like salted caramel ice cream or salted caramel sauce on top of apple waffles, yum!!!! Manduka mats also come with a lifetime warranty. Oh, and Certified Calm is giving Php1000 off for every purchase of a Manduka Prolite mat exclusive at YogaHive.

The grand launch got me also back on air not just on pole but also via aerial hoop. It feels great to take aerial hoop once again.

group photo with our teacher Lance, holding our goodies from Lather Goods and Vita Coco

doing a Delilah (it looks and feels like a twisted scorpio)

This trick is called faint, which tells me to yin it our and relax
The highlight of the event of course is our cocktail night, which had food, raffles, drinks, poetry reading, live music, and a chance for us to dress up in clothes that are not just yoga clothes.

healthy, organic, and delicious spread by The Wholesome Table
Teacher Paulo introducing the teachers to the community
I was also glad to see familiar faces drop by to take classes.

A couple of badcats, me and Romina for the Sunday class

Kate and I doing the usual photowall pose
You can check Kate's post here as well.
It was a successful launch and every hour of work and effort was definitely worth it. The studio looked amazing, the classes had so much good vibes and energy, and we see people coming back again and again. I'm glad to be part in this community - as a teacher, student, makeup artist, and practically resident tambay since I'm in the studio almost everyday. I like the good vibes it has and I wish to share it to every one of you. Take our classes, whether yoga, pole, aerial hoop, corewell, NT Sweat, or anything that you like. We would definitely love to see you there!

See you on the mat!

Monday, April 3, 2017

Post-Op Update, and my April Schedule

Hello all! Wow! The first quarter of 2017 passed by in a breeze!!!! I guess that means good right? I also saw that the blog entries have been fewer, and this is probably because I'm doing so many things in real world. most of it is in my IG though for stories and posts but for my friends in Facebook, they probably see a lot of what I'm doing in Facebook live.

Now I begin the second quarter of the year in rest mode. I'm currently recuperating from dental surgery so that means a lot of bedrest, soft food, hydration, and no strenuous activity. According to my doctor, this is actually considered a major dental surgery, and one of the hardest things to undergo. I had three teeth extracted, two of them being impacted wisdom teeth. I underestimated the entire procedure because boy did I feel pain (and I have high pain tolerance). I cried a little but I was glad it was out of my system before further complications set in. I think it's a bit hardcore, though. I spent the entire day yesterday getting all the rest I need as it was very hard for me to talk. One of the hardest parts though was eating (can you believe it!) because the anesthesia wore off  during lunchtime and I wanted to take my painkillers right away yet my tummy wasn't full and I couldn't even finish the food I was eating. I had to power through the food, pain, soreness and all to be able to take my painkillers. The only comfort is that could eat a lot of ice cream, which was soft food and the cold helped a lot with the swelling.

I'm still at rest now, which gave me time to load up my blog with posts and see what's going on. I could now get up the bed and go around the house but I still can't crouch down to clean litterboxes or work out (I dunno how I'll be one week with no exercise) or take the stairs. I was able to make smoothies for myself though and serve myself my pre-prepped lunches.

I've been practically eating baby food for the past 24 hours. I can tolerate some solids now better than yesterday though. Aside from ice cream and cream of mushroom gazpacho-ish soup (since I have it cold or room temp rather than warm, I've been having smoothies as meal and snack replacements as well as lots of water. I've never felt so hungry yet so hydrated it's quite weird! Hopefully I can get to eat oats and soft breads soon. There's still tenderness and swelling in my jaw area and it's still quite hard to talk but the fact that I can sit up to type and make smoothies means I'm more ambulatory than yesterday's crying, bratty, self.

Oh and let me share to you our April Schedule over at Yoga Hive:

We've just added another 11 am Easy Vinyasa class on Friday for those who want some more 11 am classes. There's also a new class.. Aerial Hoops! I've tried this during our Grand Launch (which I shall also blog about) and it's super fun! I haven't been doing aerial hoop since 2013. So if you want to try a different aerial workout and you're shy about the pole because of the outfit, you can try doing aerial hoops.

YogaHive will be hosting it's first ever yoga and surf retreat on April 29 - May 1 2017 in Baler, Aurora.

 For more details and inquiries, kindly visit http://www,

Hope to see you all soon!

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Hands and Feet Fit For A Princess

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

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

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

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

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

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

Now let's talk polish, shall we?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Store Directory


Morgan Taylor;

Monday, March 13, 2017

Announcement: YogaHive PH Grand Launch

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

And here's the schedule for the week (to be updated) for free classes. I suggest you sign up because slots are filling up fast!

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

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

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

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Makeup Artist Tips That We Haven't Talked Much About

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

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

Maintaining my yin while on the job
Photo by Paulo Leonido

Do Not Forget To Eat

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

Leave Early

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

Learn To Say No

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

Jot Everything Down

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

Have a Plan B

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

Pace Yourself and Know Your Limits

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

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

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Vegan Flourless Black Sesame Pancakes Recipe

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

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


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


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

Enjoy breakfast!

Monday, February 20, 2017

Learning Ballet Again

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Image Credits:
Class Photos by Luther Abcede
Misty Copeland Photo: 

Monday, February 13, 2017

The Fit Girl's Floral-y Alternatives

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

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


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

Enoki and Bacon

A photo posted by Bernice Caruana (@bernicecaruana) on

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


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

Protein Bars

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

Smoothie Bowls

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

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

Happy Valentine's Day!

Thursday, February 9, 2017

A Dream Space

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

desks from

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

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

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

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

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

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

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