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Saturday, December 24, 2011

Procrastinate Much, October in Manila

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As I'm writing this blog, there's only an hour and 20 minutes left before Christmas. Allow me, to greet everyone a Merry Christmas xoxoxo



Last October, my mom, sister, aunt and cousins all went to the capital, Manila for a few days. For me it was really uneventful though there are a lot of good stuffs that I bought on sale, it also somehow triggered my ulcer which almost ruined the trip.

Soft Tofu Stir-Fried with Vegetables

White Chicken and Mushroom Congee

sinful Meat Lasagna with Meat Sauce


Always, I drop by North Park and eat my favorite stir-fried tofu with vegetables that makes my mouth water just thinking about it and platefuls of Sbarro's pasta. I just wish these two restaurants would open here in Davao soon.

French Macaroons from Bizou

Tinapa Rolls from Mesa



As usual, we stayed at Durban Hotel near Makati's Red Light District. I somehow like the quirky charm of this little hotel. It's good for photo shoots, unfortunately though, we didn't get to shoot that much because we were constantly on the go since it was my Aunt's first time in Manila, we have to squeeze in a lot of places to see and to look for a violin.





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Aside from moments spent in pain, I have had a huge pimple and it left a very visible scar on my face. I tried to use my Tony Moly concealer on it but it is still very much visible. I tried the Lorea'l Spot Correcter but it didn't do me any good. I was really really desperate. I Googled the best concealer that I could get my hands on, and so far one of the highly recommended one was Bobby Brown's Face Touch Up Stick. So my sister and I went to Rustan's as I search for that concealer when we were asked by their make-up assistant what we're looking for. I shyly pointed at that hideous spot and he sat me down and taught me the proper way of applying concealer.
picture from: http://www.beautezine.com/

You see, I was doing it the wrong way all this time. The best way to do it was to use a brush. Lightly tap the brush with the concealer on the outer area of the spot. Blend it well with your skin before covering the spot. Now with a (lightly spritzed with water) powder puff/sponge, lightly tap it on top of the affected area and VOILA! The concealer costs me about PHP1,600 or something. For something this small- the price is ludicrous but I was desperate back then.



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Among the shoes and outfits I bought from Manila. My favorite would probably the one that I wore recently on our Christmas Party. 


The first time I saw the blouse as I was passing the Meg boutique in Glorietta, I just had an image of Nam Gyuri from 49 Days which at that time was still showing, and I can't control myself from buying it. The shoes are from Linea Italia, used to cost PHP 2400 now it only costs, PHP 400. I paired the blouse with a pink shorts from Candy, I figured  that wearing it with a denim pants would take the "cutesy" fell of the outfit.
Picture was taken after the party when I felt really tired so forgive me for the under-exposed photo and the tired smile.


xxxx

Anyway, there are a lot of stuff that I would like to blog about and make-up reviews that I would want to post soon, but for now, let me leave you with these gorgeous photos of flowers. 





Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Asia's Most Famous DIY Hairdyes: Prettia vs Palty vs Etude

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Last time I dyed my hair with Etude house's bubble foam, I wasn't really impressed with the results. It barely covered my roots, didn't blend with my color ends and didn't last for more than a month. I had to go to my favorite Korean Salon and had it manicured which for the meantime masked my hair's uneven color.  




I wanted to go dark for sometime now but I always get tempted to go for the lighter shades. I started to consider trying something new- Palty.  Palty is one of the most used DIY hair dyes in Asia and also one of the most popular. I have read about it before and wanted to try it since they have a lot of shades/ colors to choose from. My main concern back then was that I have virgin black hair. I needed a dye that pretty safe and easy to use thus I experimented first with Prettia/Liese.

credits: from Soompi's Palty 411 Thread

Anyone who want's to know more about Palty, there is an entire thread dedicated to all your questions at Soompi, a forum I frequent.

After careful consideration, I bought 2 boxes of Palty in Bitter Capuccino to achieve this color.







And so here it is:



BEFORE

As you can all see, the tip of my hair looks reddish-orangey-brown while the top looks a dark shade or reddish brown while the roots are black. This is my uneven colored hair.




The box contains a bottle, a tube, a brush-like applicator, plastic gloves and instruction sheet. First off, you open the bottle and pour the contents of the tube into it. Close the bottle and shake for a minute, after that replace the bottle cap with the brush applicator. Squeeze out the contents gently from the bottle and comb (using the brush-like tip) your hair.


RESULT


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Observations and Conclusions

1. Palty stings, more than Prettia (Etude doesn't), it makes my head feel hot and itchy after the initial application, I had to face the electric fan as my sister did my hair.

2. You need at least one person to help you do this since it's very difficult to apply at the back/nape. Unlike Prettia and Etude, this one needs you to section your hair for even application in my opinion.

3.No pain, No gain- despite these initial cons, the color turned out exactly like the color in the box. Really love the color! Unlike the previous hair dyes  I used, it doesn't have a strong red or reddish undertone.

4.Unlike Etude, my hair didn't  feel rough or course after applying it. It felt soft and silky too after I washed it.

5.It smells nice :-)

I'm definitely gonna use this product again. The color consistency won me over. I just so love the result. Also, for dyed hair, you hair is prone to drying so it is best to use a deep conditioner like Lory's. I discovered this one while I was searching for Pure Beauty conditioner since I can't find any. Lory's does the job for me, it is also conveniently available at Watson's.
I use the one in the middle, after shampooing with Pure Beauty

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Pure Love and Beauty

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courtsey of my sister's deviantart



I just had my hair manicured recently from my fave local Korean Salon- Haeng Bock. I wanted  to have my hair treated since a stylist told me that I need to have it treated especially if it had undergone any hair rebonding treatment. But for a normal girl like me, I can't possibly afford to go to the salon and have my hair treated (hot oil/ hair spa) every month. Since I had my hair volume rebonded back in February of this year at another Korean Salon in Manila, Beauty Brick, I have taken Mr. Shin's advice not to rebond my hair anymore.


image from: http://www.my-aloe-vera.com/


I have natural silky, straight and very black hair. When I was a baby, I had fine brown-colored hair that my grandmother shaved it all off-as it was an old tradition for babies to have thicker hair. My hair grew slowly back, my yaya planted alovera in our garden and put alovera sap/gel on my head everyday, leaves it on for a few minutes before I take a bath. I don't know if this really contributed to what my hair was before I abused it.

Research studies highlight the tremendous healing powers of aloe when used both internally and externally. Some of the benefits include: as a pain and allergy inhibitor, for inflammation, fluid retention, perspiration odours, itching, hemorrhaging and to close cuts for cell regeneration and healing, to destroy parasites, harmful bacteria and fungi in the intestinal tract, to relieve bowel tension and help produce bowel movements, moisturize skin, increase blood flow, remove toxins and dead tissue, penetrate skin to reach tendons, muscles, joints and the lymph system, and promote the growth of new tissue. It also has a normalizing action on fluid levels and the acid/ alkaline balance in the body. Research has shown that aloe vera can increase the proliferation of lymphocytes and stimulate natural immunity through killer cell activity. Aloe has a strong effect on the immune system, by activating and stimulating macrophages, monocytes, antibodies and T-cells, as well as increasing the number of anti-body forming Bcells in the spleen. - from herbsarespecial
I have always vowed to keep my hair dark, like Snow White's. I was never tempted to have it dyed even if it's the common trend until I started to work at my current job. I belong to the marketing arm of our company. In our company before I came, the most successful team was composed of three women, all with dyed blonde/ light brown hair. When I was having my training, the people around me joked that when I get into that department, I'd soon have dyed hair. I never thought I would, but I was wrong.

My yaya and I when I was about 2-3                                              Right after college, my black virgin hair

I soon dyed my hair, not because of peer pressure but more on curiosity. You see, having lighter hair makes you look more tamer and approachable while having dark hair intimidates clients. Since then, I constantly dyed my hair thus my hair is now in need of constant treatment.

I've tried shampoo after shampoo, conditioner after conditioner. I have praised Japan's Pantene treatment but unfortunately, I haven't seen it on the shelves of local department store. CreamSilk total repair is good, but I don't like the smell-it makes me sneeze as I have a sensitive nose. I have been searching for Lux also since it's one of the best shampoos I ever tried but sadly it's not available locally anymore. I have tried Clairol Herbal Essences- love the smell but it just doesn't work for my hair.







Catherine Zeta Jones for Lux, Japanese commercial entitled "The Alchemist"

Bai Fern-the lead star of the Thai movie, My Crazy First Love for Pantene

When I went to Hong Kong, last year, I was tempted to buy bottles of shampoo as they (Tsubaki and Lux) were abundant in local groceries/convenience stores but I was worried about the stuff we bought, we might exceed the check-in limit and they can't be hand carried, worst, they might spill since sometimes baggage handling is not satisfactory (in fact on that particular trip-the handle of our luggage broke).


Last week, I was browsing through Watson's when I found this shampoo, Pure Beauty Tsubaki. Curious, I bought it and tried it on my hair along with the Hair Mask and the Water Essence. Surprisingly, I worked well on my hair. The Water Essence was so nice, it doesn't give your hair a greasy feeling. The mask you should leave on for a few minutes and you'd see the difference. I can't stop raving about this shampoo.

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Currently, I'm addicted to the drama 49 Days or Pure Love (it's title here in the Philippines). The story is about Shin Ji Hyun/Dianne Shin- a girl whose practically living a perfect life. One day, she got into an accident that placed her in a coma. Her soul must gather 3 pure tears to wake up in 49 days. Through her journey, she finds out that her fiance and bestfriend are traitors and are trying to get her family business bankrupt so that they can have their wealth.
Nam Gyuri as Ji Hyun, cast also include Lee Yoo WonJo Hyun Jae etc



Ji Hyun photo courtesy of kerynadzirstory
I'm not going through the further details as you can all google the summary of this series. What I love about this series is that it goes beyond or deviates from the usual "revenge plot" and at the same time, the story doesn't just focus on 4 characters unlike most Korean Dramas.










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Last Wednesday, we ate out at Italianni's. I was so shocked when I opened the menu, expensive. I was so full after the meal though. It was also fitting that we watched Letters to Juliet when we got home.




Amanda Seyfried's character is an American fact-checker for a magazine who travels to Verona, Italy with her bistro chef (hehehe! currently addicted to this android game) boyfriend played by Gael Bernal. She meets the women of Juliet-those who wrote back letters to women who left letters for Juliet and answers a letter dated 50 years ago. She meets the woman who wrote the letter and embarks on a journey to recover her lost love.

FOOD!

Sicilian Chicken Salad


Pizza Abbondanza

Roast Pork Ribs Italian Style


Spaghetti Meatball




 Grilled Chicken Fettucine








Tuesday, September 13, 2011

How To Be A Princess

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When I was younger, I'd dress up in the afternoons in frilly dresses and play in the garden like I'm some random princess out of a fairytale book. It's pretty common for little girls to wish that they'd be "princesses" when they grow up while some have the innate belief that they were born with a royal blood thus having a "Princess Complex". Almost every girl in all parts of the world wants to be a Princess.

In Japan, there is what we call Hime Kei or Princess Fashion. Hime Gyarus dress in Princess outfits that look like a costumes that might remind you of Marie Antoinette and her ostentatious fashion.



Ayumi Hamasaki, read more about Hime Kei here


When we girls get older we'd have to face the reality that not all of us can be Princesses in real life. No matter how much Disney Movies we watch or the number of royal etiquettes we know, they're only a bunch of girls handpicked by destiny to become real life Princesses.


Of course, you can be a Princess in a number of ways even if it's not in real life. 







Miss Minchin: Don't tell me you still fancy yourself a princess? Child, look around you! Or better yet, look in the mirror. 


Sara Crewe: I am a princess. All girls are. Even if they live in tiny old attics. Even if they dress in rags, even if they aren't pretty, or smart, or young. They're still princesses. All of us. Didn't your father ever tell you that? Didn't he? 




Princess Diana
the most photographed woman in the world

One of my favorite books and anime cartoons that I had followed while growing up was A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett. It's a story of a girl who seemed like she's a Princess in every way that she caught the ire of some envious girls and at the same time earned the friendship of people from different social backgrounds. In that book, it is clearly illustrated how to be a Princess you have to have humility and that je ne sais quoi- that magnetism that draws people towards you.









I remember how if fourth grade, I hid this book under my bed so that my mom wouldn't catch me reading this book instead of studying. She eventually caught me and took the book away from me and I started crying, she then bargained with me that if I study harder she'd have the book photocopied since it was a library book. That book was very hard to come by since a lot of girls borrow that book too. I had to hide it among the shelves so when my library card is finally available (since our school library allows us to borrow 2 fictional books and 2 non fictional books at a time), I can borrow that until I can't renew (we were only allowed to renew borrowed books twice since books in our library are limited) it anymore.  Anyhow, I ended up being an honor student while my mom gave me a copy of the book and finally managed to finish reading it.




picture credits to: http://royalreader.wordpress.com/
Recently, when Kate Middleton married Prince William there was a revival of my Princess obsession. I was browsing Amazon and was buying "To Marry A Prince" by Sophie Page when Jerramy Fine's "Someday My Prince Will Come" popped out in the recommendations. I clicked it and I immediately wanted a copy of it but since I ran out of budget, I opted to get a copy from BetterWorldBooks since they offer free shipping. It was Friday when it finally arrived and I was sick in bed. I was bored from lying down so I grabbed the book and started reading it, I couldn't put it down and finished it in roughly 5 hours just pausing for 15 minutes to take lunch in between.



I really fell in love with the book that I emailed the author to commend her and she replied graciously.The fun thing about this book is that when I was younger, I had a similar plan: go to London. The book reminded me of how in the afternoons after school, 4 friends would laze around the benches and talk about going to London one day, how we might go separate ways in college only to find ourselves one day in the streets of London. Up to this moment, only one of us girls had the opportunity to travel around Europe( but she has yet to get a UK Visa since it's UK entry is not part of the Schengen Agreement).

To be a Princess, persistence and commitment to your dream is essential. Hold on to your dreams even if  achieving it feels like next to impossible.

Lastly, one must have grace under pressure.



Back then, there was a movie that I watched on the TV but I was very young and it was so hard to understand it. It was Princess Caraboo, it's a tale about a girl who fooled people into thinking that she was a Real Princess from a faraway land. For me, she was the prettiest Princess I've ever seen. (Of course back then, I didn't know about Audrey Hepburn yet or Grace Kelly). Princess Caraboo, played by Phoebe Cates, was taken into custody and tried for vagrancy and begging (?) but then she manages to convince them that she is indeed a Princess- grace under pressure.

Unlike in Fairytales, a lot of real life Princess stories didn't end up happily ever after. Princess Diana's bitter divorce and tragic death  is an example. I have also written about Hope Cooke who also became a Queen of Sikkim and her life after she married Sikkim's last King. I guess being a Princess, you have to made of tougher material because you can never know how your story would end. You have to resilient, to know how to pick up the pieces if life doesn't go your way and eventually leave a mark that would make you unforgettable like Princess Diana and Grace Kelly.

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So much for this topic. I also find it befitting to include this piece of news. I am very happy for our Ms. Universe candidate Shamcey Supsup for placing fourth in the recently concluded Ms. Universe. I think that if given that question, I wouldn't have answered differently. Even if she didn't win the crown, I can never be so proud that such a woman of faith still exists today.


photo courtsey of http://www.missosology.org/




Funny to note how Ms. Universe 2010, Ximena Navarrete reminds me a bit of Kate  Middleton.

Ms. Universe 2010 from Mexico, Ximena Navarette

Rounding up this post, I am happy and proud of Lea Salonga as well. She was introduced as a Laurence Olivier awardee and the singing voice of Princess Jasmine and Mulan- Disney Princess. She also asked Ms. Angola's winning question.