July 22, 2016

That SM Woman Top As Seen On Me

Alternative title: That SM Woman top you've seen on me for the 10000000th time. I know, I know. 

I remember being tagged in one of my friends' tweet that SM, or Shoe Mart to most of us, a leading department store here in the Philippines, is 30 this year. We also turn 30 this year, which means we have the same birth year - 1986 and why the SM brand is nothing new to me. I was already a fan of their SM Parisian line even in high school. But I've never really set foot inside its department store lately, let alone in its Women's section. Apparently, they had a major rebranding as if purposely catering the 30 somethings woman of the world - driven, confident, beautiful.

It goes without saying I am shamelessly an outfit repeater. If a blouse is as flattering as this one, you need to get the most wear out of it. It was also an instant people-pleaser, conversation-starter! "Where did you get it? Are there other colors? Ibigay mo na lang sa 'kin yang blouse mo." Not that I actually need to hear or receive any kind of validation from others but let's admit it - that's a happy feeling, that's a compliment, let's learn to smile and say thank you. As for the material, it's neoprene meets polyester, with what my little to none knowledge when it comes to this. It's overall flattering as it doesn't cling to any unwanted body parts, if anything it exposes every woman's flattering points - bare shoulders, draped arms, thin halter straps and square neckline - check, check, check, aaaaand check. They have them in 3 colors - creamy white, midnight blue and very black. It took all my non-existing powers to just pick out one for the meantime because I actually have my eye on some other designs as well. Their prices have always been competitive but very reasonable for what they are, ranging from PHP 599 to 1099, which is why I felt like I have always gone for the other brands than choosing something as generic from the department store but that was old news and before the newest collection and categories of SM Woman has been released. 

Case in point? People are as shocked when I actually tell them it's from SM Woman, including my very own mother. So I suggest that if you haven't been, rush to the nearest SM around your neighbourhood because true to their words - they've got it all for you.

July 08, 2016

My Kid Cousin Does My Make Up

"Oh it's 11:11. I wish for a romance like Clark and Leah." My kid cousin from Down Under, boys and girls with an On The Wings of Love reference. She's called Yana and she comes home once a year to be with us and she just stuns me every time. She does the flick like nobody's business, for one.

This is during one of the days she had asked me if she can do my make up. She's still too young to have all of the make up on her face so I am the willing volunteer. It was hard to keep a straight face during the whole make up session especially if every single time she looks at my face after every make up application, she would always laugh and then say, "Oh that's not so bad." And I would have to agree. She does the flick like no other, but I already said that. Hands down, one of the skills I never had when I was her age. Also, she prefers pink and glitters on the lid. That's maybe because she's just 12. And girls her age like pink and all of the glitters. I had my eyes closed and had no mirror within my reach because I wasn't allowed to look at her masterpiece until she told me so - her rules, my face apparently. A few more strokes and giggles after, I was finally allowed to do so. That's when I grabbed the mirror and the camera altogether to snap images of my face at once.

This kid knows her stuff. She was the one who handpicked all of the things she'd be using and you can tell from her selection how young she is and how she wants her make up to look like - all of the pinks and sparkles. She would only ever ask me what proper make up brush to use for foundation and eye make up. And she despises eyebrows. "Eyebrows are never my thing", her words exactly. I don't need to say that it's flick I like the most though because, would you look at that - that's using a pencil liner. And I would have to agree, it is not so bad - not at all.

July 04, 2016

The Liquid Lipstick Under 200 Pesos

Surprise, surprise! I'm finally here to talk about something we are all familiar with, as you can probably tell. It feels so good to be back into writing not-so-differently this time around. Anyway, enough of the blabbing, onto more serious things now, like lipstick of course. The liquid lipstick trend took the beauty world by storm especially when the likes of Kylie Jenner started dipping their toes in the business - with her coming up with an own line of Kylie Lip Kit and she's just one of the many. But if you can remember, I've already talked about my very own fondness for this trend on this post. However, I'm now back armed with something new and specifically a liquid lipstick under 200 bucks - downright budget friendly as opposed to the rest of the ones in the market, if you ask me.

Like I said, I have had the Bourjois Rouge Edition Velvet Lipstick for reference so when these collection started coming out, I was more than happy to swatch here and there. I decided to pick up Pink Pearla pink mixed with tones of muted mauve brown that's good for everyday use and Rich Vino which I find appropriately named as it is a deep plum red that reminds me of how your lips would look like after taking a sip of a wine. These are just two among the six shades from the ED Advance Liquid Lipstick Collection. And it's amazing how the shades look exactly the same on the packaging as how they are going to transfer on your lips. For a price of Php 180, I have to say, I'm quite impressed with these. The packaging is not too shabby either. While I find some of them can get too liquidy or wet for my liking even if the claim to have a matte finish and the others have got a flimsy doe foot applicator, even the Bourjois one has a funny smell to it - it's surprising how I find none of those flaws with these.

The only downside I can think of is the shade range, this morena girl could really use some mauvey browns thrown in there too but so far, there were just pinks and reds. Also, unlike most of the liquid lipstick in the market, these are not matte. Not. At. All. They have a satin finish which explains the slight gooeyness of the appearance on my lips in the photos. However, what probably makes this a no-brainer purchase for many is that they are locally available, easy to get hold of and very affordable. One swipe is opaque enough but I like to build it up to two layers. Which is why the colors are too intense in the photos, I wanted to make sure you'll see the color payoff clearly. I have to say, they are actually bloomin' nice. Agree? And since they were in no way matte, I had to apply some few tricks and tips to get the finish I prefer, I blot the excess off with a tissue, when I wear them out. But then again for a bargain price of Php 180, these liquid lipsticks are not so bad themselves. Whether for fun or for practicality, I don't see why you wouldn't want to just give in and try these ones out. Let me know when you actually do!

July 03, 2016

An Overnight Stay at The Island of Cagbalete

I prefer spending summer on a beach or climbing a mountain. In my mind, it's far more logical to sweat with a purpose rather than just sweat at home, in your pajamas, lying around. So when a friend asked me to go on a quick island getaway with her and some of our friends, (when I say quick I mean an overnight stay since she'll just be home for 10 days), saying no is just not an option. We could've easily drove to a nearby beach down south or up north just to quench the thirst but where's the fun and thrill in that? Plus we're too stubborn for our own good that we didn't want to just scratch off the beach itch, we wanted all of the works we see on Instagram, travel blogs and news sites come to life so we ended up picking a secluded white beach that will take us a bus ride and a ferry to reach. Welcome to our overnight trip to Cagbalete Island in Mauban, Quezon

This trip was extra memorable because I had to do all the planning and organising but do not be fooled, having my friend Rora on the other end for the decision-making made all the difference. Booking a place to stay in was easy. We listed down all the available resorts, sent out inquiries and ended up booking a 2 day trip at Nilandingan Cove. Their website is very easy to navigate and understand so we quickly had an IT ready the next day. Accommodation, instructions how to get there, food packages and reservations, even the menu for the meals we'll be having during our stay. And if you must know, their resident caterer, the manangs who were more like our adopted nanays during our stay were excellent cooks! I recommend you avail of the food package, it's not pricey and it's sulit to the bones, take my word for it. You can also message them on their Facebook page, if you want a quick response to your inquiry. They have a reservation form readily available for filling up so the transaction will be made easy from there on. Here's a quick rundown of what went down. (Naks, I try so hard to rhyme sometimes.)

At 4 in morning of April 25, we were already at the JAC Liner Bus Terminal in Cubao as we decided to catch the earliest scheduled trip which is at 5AM. Travel time is for about 4-5 hours so our estimated time of arrival in Mauban is at 930AM. The port is just 15 minutes away via a tricycle ride and you can find them lined up outside the terminal so the transfer for one place to another is as easy as it can be. So is booking your private boat, paying for the terminal fee and the actual boat ride to the island which took about an hour. So that's half of our day done, we have to maximize our stay so right after checking in, we ordered for our lunch to be served prior to heading out to the Yang-In sand bar. It will turn out to be a good call because going to and from one island to another takes more time than we thought it would be. After taking loads of photos and selfies and everything in between, we eventually disregarded the gadgets and just spent some quality time with each other, the beach and the sun. Until our attention was caught by one of the boatmen because our things are starting to be swiped off by the rising tides and waves. We thought it was also a good time to finally head out back to the resort too. It was a glorious island that we had all to ourselves, more than all the Instagram-able photos, the experience we took home with us is something out of the ordinary - you had to be there, I'm so glad I was. The rest of the day was spent winding down in one of the villas kubo, munching over a sumptuous dinner with a few cold drinks and Hawaiian chocolates on the side. It was the perfect way to cap off a good day.

We were up by 7am the next day, April 26. We changed into our swimwear at once and headed out for an early morning dip session by the beachfront. Since the tide is still high, there was no way we can go to The Magic Tree located on the further area of the mangroves just yet. We waited it out and hoped for the best and what do you know, by 10AM, after taking our turns in the shower, we were happy to discover the tides have finally gone low and we can now walk our way towards the tree. Giving us enough time to take a few snaps with it before heading out of the island for good and not before giving it a new name, The Lonely Tree just because we can. Major props to Nilandingan Cove for taking good care of us. The owners were there to welcome us with their warmth and drinks, which we appreciated after an hour long trip from the port - literally refreshing and to send us off wishing we'd return sooner rather than later. Leaving the island was a bit hard as expected, if it were up to us, we would've wanted to stay for a little longer but our happy hearts and tired sandy feet were more than grateful for the sweet and short experience. T'was good enough to last us until the next one and as good as any overnighter can get - we'll take it.

July 02, 2016

The Necklace: A Deep V

I am not exactly one to accessorise, let alone excessorise - I have had a more detailed post on this as to why, read about here, but I do love a jewelry statement piece every once in a while. There was a time I would only wear a gold wrist watch from Swatch and nothing else. Or a pair of pearl earrings with studs and that would be it. Part of the many reasons why is because I am a very acidic person which means if I wear anything fancy, it'll rust up in no time and change its color before my eyes. I used to buy few trinkets from the high street stores like F21 and H&M, especially when they come in rose gold but I've learned the hard way that the most wear out I can get from them is just up to 3 times, if I'm lucky. So eventually, I decided to take a pass on them altogether.

Until I came across a collection of necklaces that is somehow acidic-resistant, if that's something I can call them. My sister have had one for the longest time, although with a different design and she was brave enough to let me try it on and actually wear it out. Given my history I didn't want to at first, I was afraid of ruining the piece all at once but when I finally did, we were all surprised that my acidic nature didn't react badly to it. So I made a mental note to myself that the next time we across the same collection, I'll make sure I'd get one for myself.

And that is how I ended up with this dainty deep V gold necklace. I love how incredibly thin the chain is, it almost goes unnoticed. And then suddenly there's the deep V at the bottom holding the two sides together. I got this from a local pop-up jewelry boutique inside Robinsons Malolos called Edz & Len, if you must know. And this is how I've been wearing it. You know how much I love my vneck tees, I think it's safe to say they have found a partner with each other. I think it's now been established that when it comes to accessories, for me - the subtle, the better. I mean, it may be subtle but it's still there. But definitely, no tassels and feathers - it stays on as a dream, for now.
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