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Saturday, December 27, 2014

December 2014 Empties & Quick Reviews

Sometimes, I think I really suck at trying to be a beauty blogger. The products I always use up, I tend to throw away involuntarily. Ugh.. Some of the products you'll get to see here are "survivors".
I'm not a fan of hanging on to things so maybe next time I'll try my best not to throw away stuff. Lol

I may or may not have given some updates on certain products that I've promised to review since they are indeed a handful. However, these are some of the products I do have tried and tested to the point of emptying the whole product, some even repurchased. Armed with full honesty, here are my product empties for the month of December. Hope you guys could check it out!


From L-R: Celeteque Advanced Anti-Aging Cleansing Oil, Bath and Body Works Pleasures Mango Mandarin Body Lotion, Fashion 21 Perfect Stick, Cetaphil DailyAdvance Ultra Hydrating Lotion, The Cream Factory SCRUB-in-a-TUB, Syoss Airy Curl Cream, Snoe Body Ritual Recipes Honey Bath Syrup, Celeteque Brightening Tri-Benefit Power Cream, Snoe Magic Apple Whitening S-Rub, Opti-Free Replenish, Candii Nail Polish Remover Wipes and Cetaphil Daily Facial Moisturizer with SPF 15


1.) Celeteque Advanced Anti-Aging Cleansing Oil - Ever since I started wearing waterproof make up, oil based makeup removers have always been a staple. I'm currently using the full-sized version since I have already finished a lot of these sample sized version. Check out how it easily melts off my eye makeup here.

2.) Bath and Body Works Pleasures Mango Mandarin Body Lotion - I got this from my grandma. It's a thick scented lotion that does the job at moisturizing the skin. However, I only get to wear this at night because it doesn't have any SPF on it. You can't have it all, right?

3.) Fashion 21 Perfect Stick in Almond - I loooooooove this! This was one of those impulse buys that I didn't regret having! Although it tends to crease when concealing the under-eye area, it does a marvelous job at concealing my pimple scars. Plus, it is difficult to find something close to my skintone. I love yellow undertones on my concealers since it blends well on most asian skin, like mine. I would repurchase this as soon as I get to finish up my current BB cream.

4.) Cetaphil DailyAdvance Ultra Hydrating Lotion - Staying in air-conditioned room for hours tend to dry my skin. This lotion is very hydrating without that greasy feel. However, like the Bath and Body Works Lotion... I only get to wear this at night due to the lack of SPF.

5.) The Cream Factory SCRUB-in-a-TUB - This is indeed a dessert for the skin. If you haven't seen my full review of this, check it out here.

6.) Syoss Airy Curl Cream - WHYYYYYYYYY. WHY DO THEY HAVE TO PHASE THIS OUT?!?!?! If I were to recommend a great and affordable styling product to everyone with curly or wavy hair. THIS IS THE HOLY GRAIL. Even better than everyone's HG product, the Monea's Curling Defining Milk Lotion. Trust me. Tough luck finding this as I've been searching EVERYWHERE for more than 6 months for this. (UPDATE: Finally, they already have these on stock! However, I find the P120 to P160 price increase a little bit steep. Because of this, I might try to find a more affordable curling cream in the future...)

7.) Snoe Body Ritual Recipes Honey Bath Syrup in Strawberry Smoothie - It a fruity scented body wash with bits of strawberry seeds to keep you smelling great while exfoliating the skin. Best paired with the Scrumptious Body Spritz.

8.) Celeteque Brightening Tri-Benefit Power Cream - I don't know if my skin brightened because of this, but I like this as my moisturizer because it doesn't leave my skin looking shiny. However, I will not commit to the full sized one because I might consider trying out their Celeteque Sun Care Matte Moisturizer soon.

9.) Snoe Magic Apple Whitening S-Rub - My elbows and knees lightened a little bit when I started using this product. If you like products that would last you forever, this is it! I remembered I bought this way back when I was an intern.

10.) OptiFree Replenish - Sadly, my eyes doesn't like every other contact lens solution brand out there. ReNu, Septocare, Lens Care, etc.You name it. If you haven't seen my detailed blog post about my very sensitive eyes. Check it out here.

11.) Candii Nail Polish Remover Wipes - I got this from my mom. It smells good and it's non-drying. I'd say this is a good idea when you're always on the go. However, it dries out if left unused for too long.

12.) Cetaphil Daily Facial Moisturizer with SPF 15 - I'm not sure if I got a bad stock but sometimes this product irritates my skin a little, which is weird because the samples I've tried before didn't do the same. I like this product especially on the holidays because it really moisturizes the skin well.

There you go! A quick rundown on some quality products I have tried till the last drop!
Hope you guys could check out my next batch of empties soon!

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Melatonin Pills are LOVE

The last few days of the semester left my thesis buddies and I drained. We developed different habits in dealing with stress. Most of us got into binge eating. For me, drinking.... coffee and beer. I doubled my coffee intake just so I could stay awake and it really took a toll on my body clock. Fast forward to a few days after our thesis deliberations, we were a little bit confused. My friends and I haven't really got rid of our "habits" even after all was done!
Like we couldn't stop binge eating, drinking coffee and we were still up all night for no reason.

This was our "fresh look" taken a month into our thesis..

I was a little messed up with a minor case of insomnia as I was still able to stay up until 4am. It sucks. I figured if I were going to start the year right, I have to fix other things first. STARTING with my body clock. 


So this week I have my stock of melatonin pills handy! Sleepwell in particular. I've tried this way way back and I LOVE IT. Melatonin pills are awesome!! And no, I'm not addicted to it since melatonin is non-addicting and produced normally by the body to promote good quality sleep. I just really love how energetic you are when waking up and how effective it is in knocking you down!

Looks like operation: fix bedtime will commence this week. Can't wait to be an early bird again!!
And probably ruin my body clock again when hell week approaches next sem. Lol

Monday, December 15, 2014

Recharge Naturally with Lightwater

Finally! My semester is officially O-V-E-R! Before anything else, I'd like to thank everyone who answered and supported my thesis. Your survey answers were truly valuable and I'm glad a lot of you were willing to share even the most personal experiences you had with my thesis topic! I can't say as of now if I aced my thesis research because I didn't perform well on the deliberations. But I'm just glad all those cups of coffee was very worth it!

No, I don't collect Starbucks stickers during December.

However, too much coffee made me a little bit acidic and causes me to palpitate. Which is why I personally prefer white coffee over the regular ones. But I'm excited to find out that there's a simple way to combat that acidity. Last week I got to know Lightwater, a alkaline based water (pH 8.2 to be exact) that has no sugar, no salt, no calories. Only electrolytes like calcium, magnesium and potassium for better hydration!  


Why alkaline based water?
According to undergroundhealth.com...

1.) Detoxify - Detoxify your body to remove normal acidic waste products accumulated daily, plus remove toxins accumulated in your body from your environment, prescription drugs, unnatural foods and from the "normal" process of aging. Acid wastes collected in the body could lead to more serious health conditions. Drinking alkaline water daily can neutralize the acidity and wash acid waste products from cells and tissues.
2.) Hydrate - Hydrate your body: this is the basic to maintain or regain optimum health. During ionization your water forms micro clusters that are easily more absorbed at the cellular levels thus "super hydrating" your body.
3.) Oxygenate / Antioxidants - Alkaline water helps balance the body's pH, which tends to be acidic because of our high acid food diet, stress and exposure to environmental toxins such as smog. Alkalize your body pH  from acidic to alkaline pH, because cancer and many other illnesses cannot live in alkaline environments. Alkaline is the "normal" state of healthy people.
4.) Alkalizes the Body's pH - Enhance your immune system to maximize your body's ability to fight off diseases and heal itself.




These exact benefits are the reason why achievers like Alvin Balderama, Christina Dy, Joseph Pagulayan, Tonette Nicolas, Miguel Lopez and many more Lightwater ambassadors are always in their tip top condition!


I know this because I was lucky to rub elbows with some of them during an intimate dinner honoring the Lightwater ambassadors at The A-venue Mall inside Treehouse.

Here's a quick summary on what went on during the event:


Opening speech from Vice President Jasper Ong


A very satisfying buffet courtesy of Treehouse. The shrimps are PERFECT. Would totally go back for more.

Photo courtesy of Running Photographers

Lightwater also prepared a special game for us! It was more of a game of wits as they asked us questions about sports trivias and such. Our team got the most points so we were awarded with these bags. 
Perfect to travel with this holiday!


Denise and I also got to play Treehouse's awesome arcade games for free! 
We got to play Pacman, Donkey Kong and other classic games!


I also got to try Magners from the Treehouse. It's an Irish Cider Beer made with 17 different kinds of Apples. The best part? A crisp flavor with no aftertaste. Better than most of our local flavored beers. However with 4% alcohol content, it won't give you a strong kick which is pretty much okay if the night is young.

Lightwater was quite handy that night because anything with alcohol tends to dehydrate. 
What perfect way to to hydrate our bodies faster? Be greater with Lightwater.

To know about Lightwater, follow them at their social media pages:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/betterwater/

Monday, December 8, 2014

Allison Harvard for Bioessence: A Top Model for the Top Choice

What would you do if you got invited by Bioessence to meet THE famous Allison Harvard upclose and in person? 

 
Uhmm.. This is just a standee.

What every other ANTM diehard fan would do of course! 
NEVER LET THAT OPPORTUNITY GO!!!

This meet and greet event was held at The Old Bonifacio Grille in Mandaluyong

Home of these appetizing finger foods and desserts! The Ham and Cheese Croquettes are heavenly!!


Little of you may know that Allison Harvard loves traveling in Asia so much that she's actually living here in the Philippines for exactly a year! She says she loves us Filipinos because we're very friendly, kind and motivated people. Some of the things here she's crazy about are mostly our desserts (like Halo-halo, Baguio Ube jams are to name a few) and some of our beautiful beaches in Marinduque.


If you're not as crazy as I am about her, here's a short background about her. She's an American model, artist, actress and internet celebrity (thanks to 4chan). She got her big break when she won as the runner-up for America's Next Top Model Cycle 12 and All-Stars. Not only does she look unique but her bubbly personality is very interesting as well. I'm actually glad that she isn't a total diva unlike some of our local celebrities. Ugh.


Growing up, Allison always believed that building your self worth and starting early to take care of yourself
As a top model, investing on your beauty is a must. Her philosophy is caring for yourself is the priority and constant self-improvement is very important. Having the same vision as Bioessence, she found a home that not only takes care of her beauty but also her wellness needs as well. For her, Bioessence is like a haven for relieving stress and getting your beauty fix without any hassle.

During the event, everyone was lucky to get to ask her anything under the sun.


Some of the interesting stuff she divulged were:

Q: How do you measure success?
A: Success is being productive and achieving things by yourself that you are personally proud of.

Q: How do you deal with your insecurities?
A: Focusing on what makes you happy and enjoying different activities other than your negative energies.

Q: Do you have a boyfriend? Is he Filipino?
A: I already have a boyfriend and no. He is not Filipino. He will visit the Philippines soon!

Q: What's your next upcoming project?
A: A clothing line with Bench where they'll feature my artworks.

-----My Crazy Question-----
Q: Where do you get your inspirations from your old paintings in DeviantArt? Is it inspired by blood?
A: They were inspired by my dreams. I have a fascination with blood but ANTM cut off some of my scenes on cam and made it look like I'm a vampire or something. They never got to air that I always wanted to be a forensic scientist.
---------------

Q: How do you take care of your skin and what's your typical skin care routine?
A: Keeping the skin moisturized and wearing sunscreen you're outside. Taking a break off makeup on some other days.


On top of that Allison enjoys her every visit to Bioessence and does so regularly. Her favorite treatment is the Oxygen Botanical Celebrity Facial that helps bring out her natural glow and protects her skin from all the stress of her daily routine.

Other than that, everyone got to experience some of their other products and services such as the:

 Pampering Massage
I didn't get to try this out because I was too distracted by the presence of Allison Harvard. Maybe next time.

Hand Paraffin Treatment
 Did you know that lactic acid build ups or "lamig" could also occur in your hands?
As an artist, it's very easy to strain and overwork your hands. Sounds wrong, but it is true. Anyway, It was my first time to try this out and it really does relaxes the hands. It was a new sensation for me and my hands felt a little bit smoother too.

Bioessence BIOLITE Professional Skin Care Line
Made with the innovative Japanese technology that improves the skin condition with Vitamin C and other ingredients.

For all the beauty and wellness enthusiasts out there, this is what Allison has to say "I would like to thank Dr. Emma for giving me a second home in the Philippines who takes good care of me and truly makes me feel a part of the family. For everyone who wants to know just how much Bioessence can give you a one of a kind pampering like you have never had before, feel free to visit them anytime. Bioessence is a one stop shop for pampering and rejuvenation. For all skin, slimming and spa needs, Bioessence is my top choice."


Other than those, they also have Stress Relief Back Massage (which I tried last month) and other services. I'll probably treat myself to Swedish Massage after my thesis deliberations. If you happened to be interested, drop them a call at 0918-8-BEAUTY or (02) 376-7106 so that they could recommend which services would best suit you and find out the most convenient branch near you.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

PR: Elabram Systems Group at LTE World Summit in North America- GBN

Elabram Systems Group (ESG) just recently participated this November 2014 at LTE North America (LTENA) as exhibitor and speaker with the Group Managing Director Mikel Yaw, Group Deputy Managing Director Sunny Yaw and Business Director Tommy Ng. 


LTENA was part of the LTE World Series Summit around the world and the biggest convention of all leaders in a telecommunication industry with operators, vendors and media and participated by 150 exhibitors and more than 1500 attendees.

Elabram Systems Group believes in collaboration and partnership for the four solutions under this 15 years old company. Solutions are Business Process Outsourcing (BPO), Talent Acquisition & Deployment (TAD), Knowledge Process Outsourcing (KPO) and Network Planning & Optimization (NPO).

Mikel Yaw as speaker discussed the roles of vendors in rural areas and one of the key founders of Elabram Systems Group, a reliable Telecommunication Engineering and IT service provider specialised in Specialist Resource Provision, RF Engineering Services and Project Management of advance telecommunication in wireless network solutions but expanding right now in BPO and IT sectors which are big in Indonesia under Sunny Yaw. Elabram Systems was founded in year 1999 and it has office in Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines, Vietnam and Thailand.

For more info:
Engr. Grace Bondad Nicolas
Marketing & Branding Head
mariagracia.n@elabram.com

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Tamayaki: The Home of the Great Tasting Takoyaki

We all know there's a lot of takoyaki stands in the market, but have you ever wondered where you could get the biggest and uniquely flavored ones?

 Enter Tamayaki at SM North Edsa!

Tamayaki is a well-established franchise which originated from China that specializes in making quality takoyaki balls. They started out last 2013 and as you've remembered I've visited their first branch at P. Guevarra.
Check out my previous food review right here!


If you're wondering where you could find Tamayaki, it is conveniently located at the 2nd floor of the SM North Main Building near JCo and Coldstone. The store is quite eye-catching so I'm sure you won't miss it!


The interior design of the store is very striking in a sense that they played around with fun colors and interesting textures like hot pink, purple and chrome to create a futuristic look that would appeal most to the young.


Tako in Japan means octopus while yaki is derived from the word yaku which is a cooking method in Japanese cuisine that means "to fry or grill". Just like the same applies to teppanyaki.

What exactly did I mean when I said uniquely flavored? The usual takoyaki balls consists of wheat-flour based batter, filled with diced octopus, tempura scraps, pickled ginger, green onions or cabbages.
Theirs are not your ordinary ones because they like to experiment with the traditional and the new.
Imagine Grilled Steak as one of their takoyaki flavors, that's really an interesting mix!

Their takoyaki comes in various delectable mouthwatering, and innovative flavors that are sure to fit the taste palate of both the old and young generation. Something I'll get to in a little while.


If you're curious as to how takoyaki balls are made, here's a quick video! I'm sorry for the low quality video. I think there's something wrong with my camera and YouTube that I don't really understand.


Other than hot takoyaki, they have a wide variety of beverages. Tea lovers would rejoice as they also have an endless choice of milk tea, fruit tea along with interesting add ons. I admit, I've been to a lot of milk tea places but it's the first time for me to encounter a rice ball as an add on.

MENU



If you're gonna compare your typical takoyaki with Tamayaki's, you might find it a little more expensive. However, you will get what you paid for. First, they don't just fill theirs with cabbages and call it a day!! Second, their servings are nowhere near their competitors. I swear, it's a little bit heavy for a snack. I wish I took a photo for comparison.


Milk Tea


Blueberry Cheese Milk Tea (P100)
Of all their milk tea, I have to say that this is one of my favorites. It is not too sour that is a little bit similar to yogurt that I find very interesting and refreshing.


Takoyaki

One order contains four takoyaki balls ranging for P95 to P125 depending on the flavor. I like how they put them into these cute packaging, plus it's also very convenient to take them out if you're in a hurry.

Here's a photo for comparison. Both of these are Kani and Shrimp takoyaki but the one on the left is drizzled with the spicy sauce while that on the right is the regular one.

Seasoned Octopus (P115)
See what I mean? They don't scrimp on the ingredients that they put into the takoyaki balls! I don't know if you could spot the other chunks of octopus in the photo but I found at least three of them there!

Kani and Shrimp (P115)
If kani sounds familiar to you, it's one of those ingredients that you would usually find in your sushi rolls.
If you're into seafood, you should give this one a shot!

Grilled Steak (P125)
One of my favorites for the takoyaki flavors because I love the smokey taste it has.
Almost everyone agreed that the chunks of steak inside are very delicious.

Mussels and Cheese (P125)
Just like all their takoyaki balls, this one is crispy on the outside and has a soft texture on the inside. If you love baked tahong, this one might be perfect for you.

All in all, I am definitely glad that they have one now at SM North so that I won't have to visit P. Guevarra anymore! That street address is quite difficult to visit if you're a geographically challenged commuter like me. Lol



If you want to try these out yourself, do visit their other branches at SM City Fairview, Fishermall and P. Guevarra.
And to know more about their ongoing promos, check out their social media sites above!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

On Sexual Harassment & Other Things

From my previous posts you all might have noticed I have been stressing out on my thesis.
I know it's wrong to talk about it my thesis as early as now because I wanted it to be a surprise to everyone but I'll give you all an idea.. It's about sexual harassment.

My thesis topic has always been close to my heart because it's an issue that I have experienced A LOT ever since I "bloomed". Regardless of what I wore, whether it be my ankle length school uniform or denim shorts... I'd still get cat calls. Growing up, it was something I never really understood.

I'm sure some of you might say "Cheer up, it's a compliment!" or "Ganyan kasi kapag maganda". Honestly, I don't think telling someone "Tara ganda, motel tayo!" nor touching someone without consent is a form of compliment. The same way appearing to look like you're "asking for it" justifies any person to engage in such behavior. I'd still like to believe think we're better than that.

The internet is a powerful tool for change and we're very lucky to grow up in a generation that information is very easy to access with just one click. Now here's where I'd like everyone to help me in my pursuit of creating an effective solution to address this social issue...If you have a minute or two to answer my survey questionnaire, I'd be really really grateful! Not only are you helping me in providing important data, but you are also helping me in my quest to fight sexual harassment that would be beneficial for the future generations to come. I'm counting on you!


And if by chance you've already answered this...
Thank you so much in taking part in this very important study!! I truly appreciate it!

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Defying Time at the Aqua Mineral Bondate

Here's something I haven't told anyone..
I only review products and services that I really like and have personally tried.



If a certain beauty product broke me out or I had a severe reaction to it, I don't bother blogging about it. If I don't have anything good to say, I'd rather not say anything at all. Besides, bad publicity is still publicity at the end of the day.. right?



Last Sunday, I was invited by Jonah to an exclusive bloggers' event hosted by Aqua Mineral at the Gramercy Residences near the newly built Century City in Makati.



If the name Aqua Mineral rings a bell, you probably have heard of it since it's been around for almost 10 years in 56 different countries all over the world. Aqua Mineral is not really into heavy advertisements so chances are you've heard it through word of mouth or probably seen their charming booth at the mall.

Check out the breathtaking view inside Gramercy Residences.

Infinity pools are just awesome.


It was an intimate gathering of beauty bloggers where we all got to know the philosophy behind the brand and a little trivia about Dead Sea Salt which I would share with you in a while.


Aqua Mineral is a complete beauty line based on the naturally occurring Dead Sea Salts and minerals which are famous for counteracting the effects of aging and improving the skin's well being. 

Dead Sea Salt is a naturally occuring product of the Dead Sea and it's very common in Israel and Jordan.
Since the sea is pretty much "dead" since it's too salty for animals and plants to live in; it's located at the lowest elevation on land and 427 below sea level, it's really clean and untouched.

Remember the Dead Sea in Jordan? People go all the way there because of the healing properties of the Dead Sea. It is said that having a dip at the Dead Sea could help treat psoriasis, skin asthma, eczema, rhinosinusitis, osteoarthritis and many more. However, not everyone has the luxury of money and time to travel there. Luckily, we don't have to wonder how the Dead Sea Salt would feel on the skin. Imagine having the benefits of the Dead Sea in a jar?


I know what you're thinking, this must be one hell of an expensive product since it's imported from Israel. Honestly, it is quite pricey and they don't have cheap products. Imagine their most expensive set, the Optima + would range around P56,000 (roughly around $1302).

The philosophy of the brand is they don't have cheap products (the ones with tons of SLS, parabens and other harmful chemical additives) because they don't like cheating their customers into buying products that won't work wonders. They believe the products speaks for itself and it's more of an investment. As they say, investments are something you get back.


Exactly a year ago, I was supposed to meet someone and that person was one hour late! I decided to pass some time at the mall and checked out the Aqua Mineral booth at SM North. I remembered my grandmother loves bathing at the Dead Sea so I was really curious on how this one works.

You will be amazed. This is something you should try personally! I recalled I had a shower prior to going to the mall but I was shocked to see how excellent of a job it does at moisturizing AND exfoliating the skin at the same time! 


Check out my video to find out what I'm talking about!



A pyramid of Aqua Mineral Blissful Body Butter in Springtime. I have tried this product last year and not does it highly moisturizes but it also smells really expensive too. Imagine if Chanel No. 5 and Clinique Happy Men had a baby, this would be it. I love it!


Each Aqua Mineral Professional Nail Kit comes with a Nail buffer, Cuticle Oil, Velvet Touch Hand and Body Lotion and Nail File. Available in three different variants: Midnight Magic, Delicate Dew and Gold Charm.


Check out this nifty nail buffer! According to them this four-sided nail buffer comes with the professional nail kit. Take note: with a free lifetime guarantee. Just bring your old worn out nail buffer and they'll give you a new one free of charge! From what I've heard, the nails buffed by this would continue to be shiny for 2-3 weeks. How lovely!

From L-R: Before and after using the nail buffer from the Aqua Mineral Professional Nail Kit


Other than those we've tried above, they also have other product lines that would suit everyone's different skin needs. Young or old, male or female.. chances are they have it since they usually come up with 10 new products every year!

As I've mentioned earlier, it's not just for the women..here's their exclusive set for the men!

From L-R: The Extensor Uplifting Mask, Juveness De-Wrinkle Cream and the Optima+ Supreme Thermal Mask


Here's the very elusive Optima + set! According to them, this is some of our local celebrities' must-haves since it deemed to remove 40% to 60% of the skin's wrinkles. All products are formulated with provitamin B5 and coenzyme Q-10 and based on the patented ResistemTM. I was afraid to touch it because I can't afford it. Jk



Watch out as I'd be reviewing the Total Silk Body Scrub and Blissful Body Butter soon!
 Here's a toast to a youthful healthy skin!

For more information on Aqua Mineral and their other products, check out:
www.aquamineralspa.com
http://facebook.com/aquaMineralph
http://twitter.com/PhAquaMineral
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