Sunday, September 30, 2012

I Don't Believe in Make-Up: Shiseido's The Skincare Line

In my "I Don't Believe in Make-Up" series, I feature products that I use and work on my skin. I am not really a fan of putting on make-up to conceal flaws. I opt to spend the same amount of money nourishing my skin so I don't need to apply foundation. Please don't get me wrong, I put on make-up once in a while (because the occasion calls for it or I feel like it) but I usually don't have the time, resources and patience to do so everyday. I love that I still feel good with just powder on to control shine, lip balm to mitigate cracked lips, a dose of confidence and a happy disposition. Beauty is relative after all. I may have a double dose of confidence.


In this installment of this series, I am featuring Shiseido's The Skincare line

which I've been using for more than 9 months now. Although I can name a number of products which already work great on my skin, I am always on the lookout for new creams because there might be recent breakthroughs in skin care research. Plus, the products I swear by may be concocted for Caucasian skin so I am searching for something that are made for Asian skin. I have been coveting Shiseido but it's a little above the money I want to spend/mL of product. However, I can't resist trying Japanese products. In my book, Japanese equates to perfection and they rarely do anything wrong when it comes to consumer products. When I ran out of toner one day, I just said, "What the heck, I'll try it so that I won't have to deal with what-ifs later on".

According to Wikipedia, Shiseido is one of the oldest (established in 1872) cosmetics company in the world and the fourth largest. The Skincare is among the 7 lines the brand is offers to address all skin concerns. According to the product leaflet, It has long been known that the key to beautiful skin lies in the power of moisture. Obtaining the moisture - and keeping it - can pose a challenge. The Skincare offers your complexion all it needs to easily achieve perfect hydration each day ... whether faced with the stress of your life or your environment. Shiseido science goes beyond moisture replenishment to provide the tools for both actual moisture creation and optimal moisture management. With continued use, The Skincare gives skin the ability to avert dehydration and the resulting sings of aging. Day by day, you'll see the wonder of its work in the appearance of softer, smoother, incredibly vibrant complexion. Formulated with Yuzu seed extract which iproves the production of hyaluronic acid. 

The Skincare Hydro-nourishing Softener (PhP 1950)

Let me walk you through the product line according to my morning and night regimen. After washing my face with cleanser I apply Hydro-nourishing softener.

A dual action hydrating and exfoliating lotion that transforms the skin's texture in an instant. Improves clarity, radiance and moisture retention. This is the lightest toner I have tried that sometimes I can't help but question, does this ever exfoliate and cleanse my skin? Fret not, since I am using an extra-light cleanser, I still see traces of dirt clinging to the moistened cotton pad. I see this as a good sign. After application, skin feels instantly smooth that it feels like you've applied moisturizer already! According to the sales assistant, the softener prepares the skin for moisturizer application.

The Skincare Day Moisture Protection (PhP 1950)

A daytime moisturizer specially formulated to provide optimal hydration and balance in skin while protecting against UV rays and the damaging effects of other environmental factors.

This daytime moisturizer is similar to most moisturizing sunblocks although it's not as sticky. Secondly, although it is thick, it gets absorbed by the skin real fast. Another plus of the line are its product in a tight pumped container hence preventing the creams from oxygen exposure minimizing reaction to its chemistry.

The Skincare Night Moisture Recharge Light (PhP 1950)

After applying the softener at night, I pump small amount of this moisturizer and massage it to my face. The massaging is important because the instruction says to warm up the cream by mixing it on your palm before application. Rather than the palm absorbing the moisturizer, I opt to warm it up on my face. Wa-is tip.

A multi-action nighttime revitalizer that counteracts signs of daytime damage and delivers intensive hydrating benefits to skin while you sleep. Restores softness, smoothness, and a healthy-looking glow.

And I agree.

This is me after exposing my skin to harsh elements: 4 hours of sun, 2 hours of cave water with minerals, sweat and a heavy downpour, no powder or anything, I think my skin is holding up despite the "I am a Survivor" look. 

Like Kiehls, the entire morning and night regimen minimizes my pores, keeps my skin well-hydrated, smooth, supple and soft. Although, what sets this apart is it makes my skin partially luminous- which I wasn't able to achieve with other products. Therefore, Im currently loving the line and won't be replacing it anytime soon. And the staff at Shiseido Glorietta are very kind to give samplers if you ask for it. 

Of course, I try to eat healthy, exercise, load up on water and try to cover up. The hat does wonders in protecting the face, trust me.

Taking care of one's skin is not a single-product show after all.  

Saturday, September 29, 2012

My Very First Alessi

Meet the Girotondo, round fruit basket. 

From my colleagues at work. 

This is an out-of-this-world-icing-on-the-cake to your generosity in sharing challenges and successes especially in my formative years in the company. You all have set exemplary examples on how to live the values that are expected of us while delivering high quality results. I am both grateful and humbled. 

I especially love this photo collage because this is a testament to the "fun and fulfilling" trademark of the team. 

Going back to Alessi, I have "dreamed" of owning some accent pieces from the brand for the subtle elegance, high quality and functional designs. The catch: the products are beyond my means. Nonetheless, I got my first piece and I am a happy camper!

Alessi is an Italian kitchen company founded in 1921. From the 1980s onward, the company has been associated with the notion of "designer" objects with collaborations from Philippe Starck, Zaha Hadid, Alessandro Mendini, Richard Sapper, Achille Castiglioni. In 2006, the company reclassified their products into 3 lines: A di Alessi (products with lower price points), Alessi and Officina Alessi (experimental and limited edition pieces).

The product description of the Girotondo basket says it's a round basket with pierced edge in coloured steel. The cartoon men created by the King-Kong team are symbol and icon of mirror polished design. The "standing men" have appeared on objects from the farthest corners of Alessi traditions like trays and baskets, and then they multiplied, invaded and conquered other groups of objects - and not just in the kitchen and at the table. 

I am now more inspired than ever to save up for an abode and my would-be kitchen! This will surely look spectacular on my future kitchen counter top. However, the more plausible thing today is to head to the grocery store and buy some fruits to test run this basket.

Again, super thank you -(",)-*wink*

Thursday, September 27, 2012

According to Mr. Ramon Ang

There's a couple of oligarchs (business magnate to be more accurate) I'm very interested in: Manny Pangilinan and Fernando Zobel. I don't know a lot about them but from articles I've read, they seem extremely good in establishing and managing their businesses and they put an effort to give back. Plus it doesn't hurt that you're good-looking and a triathlete. =P I might think twice changing careers should I be offered an Executive Assistant position for either of the 2. I'm kidding. Maybe I'm not. I'm not sure. So typical of me.

To pick up some nuggets of wisdom from this elite group, I bought a copy of Esquire to "get to know" Ramon Ang. He surprised me. And I'd like to quote Esquire when asked why he's not investing on television entertainment like MVP.

He explains that what he's really afraid of is what his daughters will say if they see him in the company of pretty young things. "My daughters may no longer talk to me, I don't think I'll be able to do it."

His thoughts on investing in casinos with Mr. Okada

We won't enter that business. You'll be killing off a lot of domestic businesses and contributing to break-ups of marriages and families.

For that Mr. Ang, I'll consider you on my imaginary favorite business magnate list. You look so cool managing a  top conglomerate while making an effort to be committed to your spouse. And promoting it, too. *Two thumbs up* Just to be clear, guys who can commit to their wives for a lifetime are the coolest.

I should start checking San Miguel stocks. 

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Monday, September 24, 2012

Daylight and The Piano Guys

Manila is still on a high from Maroon 5's concert. Not only that, everyone is raving about Adam Levine's hotness. As much as I want to be in the crowd singing Payphone with the band, I missed out Maroon 5's concert for this. Difficult choices have to be made when you have limited budget. I settled on reading people's account of their fantastic night and I came across Raymond Gutierrez's interview with Adam Levine who mentioned that his favorite song in their Overexposed album is DAYLIGHT. 

So last weekend, the fan girl in me immediately looked for the song and true enough the tune is very catchy. Just like most of the band's song, the lyrics is "oversharing of intimate moments" but it doesn't really matter. There's still no music video of the song, so you can opt to listen instead of watching.

I think this song will make it to the top of the charts. And if it doesn't, I will still have it in my favorites playlist. 

Speaking of songs, let me share with you my current gasgasin hanggang magsawa artist. The Piano Guys! According to their website  But just who are The Piano Guys? Actually, there’s only one piano player, Jon Schmidt, and one other instrumentalist, Steven Sharp Nelson, on cello. Yet the other three – Paul Anderson, Tel Stewart and Al van der Beek – are equally significant members of the group. The Piano Guys’ name comes from Anderson’s piano store in St. George, Utah, which was called The Piano Guys. 

Jon Schmidt first got into my radar when I can't get over this cover and mash up of Taylor Swift's Love Story and Coldplay's Viva La Vida. This copy, which I can't embed, is much better than what is shown below.


What I am playing right now is their cover of One Republic's Secrets mashed up with Beethoven's 5. 

Piano and cello are 2 classical instruments which when applied to contemporary songs make wonderful music. Say what? Hahaha that sentence is lame. Anyway, Person A loves the video. I think he secretly loves the rendition too, boyband eh. =P One Direction's What Makes You Beautiful

And watch and listen to David Guetta's Without You played on the piano and cello.

I love listening to instrumental pieces. It magnifies my brain's processing speed when I do modeling. Not the strut on the ramp kind (I don't have the height for the job, just to be clear) but the ones you run in the computer to forecast engineering processes behavior and whatever it is you want to predict. Geek talk alert! As a child, I was diligent with my piano lessons but realized that I can never be a concert pianist considering that my fingers can barely reach an octave. Hahaha! Small girl = short span. No regrets there. I am generally a happy camper, flaws and all.

One day, I'll play the piano again. Recital level.

Hahaha! Ambisosya.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Can't Resist

I am on my fourth magazine this month. You might remember I bought these.

I put this in my grocery basket because of Mr. Ang.

I am interested to know what his secrets are.

Should have bought the MVP issue back then.

I have dreams becoming a tycoon someday. Hahaha! Ambisyosa lang ang peg. 

Just kidding.

Annual Birthday Report: Cake Overload

Looking back at the birthday week that was, I've come to realize that I breezed through it with at least 2 surprises, 5 birthday cakes (or were there 7? 9?), maybe a kilo on my mid-section and another kilo each on my thighs, and a grateful heart for family and friends who put in effort to make me feel special. With the changes and a hundred more things happening in my life, I only wished to have a quiet birthday celebration with family and friends. Actually more of spending time with them. And celebrate I did... but was it quiet enough? Maybe. Though all I can remember is I laughed hard through most of the dinners and dessert despite me being tired from other activities. Please allow me to honor and thank the people who helped me welcome my 27th year and made me realize that relationships are more important than all the wealth this world has to offer. 

Taken at 2 in the morning!

Four days before D-day,  I met up with my SFC (that's Singles for Christ) girls for a fellowship night only to be surprised with balloons (handed one at a time at strategic points) as I walked the 50-m stretch to our meeting place. 

They topped it off with an accomplice who I thought was spending the night elsewhere.  Goojab! One of the rare instances you were able to surprise me. Great stalking skills, too. 

Girls, thanks for giving me birthday cake #1 and the balloons, I am fascinated with balloons.

Two days later,  Person A and I had dinner with my college girls and celebrated the way we always do... goofing around. 

My birthday wish is for my 2 beautiful girls to bring their respective dates on our future celebrations. Presenting the sansrival and chocolate cake we had. 

Yakkkiiiieee! May ibidinsya!

I ended the night receiving flowers from Person A and a very sweet card. His friends pitched in by writing these post it notes which had me laughing hard at 1 in the morning. 

There were greetings about me working for a competitor company, Person A's dry humor, his latest role at work and the question everyone has been asking frequently (read: kasalan!)

That's so sweet of you friends, Person A and I are so blessed to have known you. 

Then off I went to the province to feast on the yummiest lechon with family. 

I should write an entire post about Mindanao lechon, it's very tasty from the secret herbs and spices, it's juicy and cooked just right. Trust me, walang sinabi ang best lechon from whereever. My dearest Anthony Bourdain, I'd like to invite you to taste lechon from Mindanao. 

Mr. Piggy was raised in my parent's backyard and was friends with my dogs. Buti na lang we didn't get to meet each other, else I couldn't bear nourishing myself from its flesh.

It's actually my Mom's birthday celebration who turned 60! Me with Mama's friends.

To one of the most generous and loving person I know, happy birthday.

Birthday cake #2 courtesy of my parents. 

When I returned back to the big city, I met up again with friends when they surprised me with cream cheese frosted cake after watching The Mistress.

I am about to blow birthday cakes #4 and #5.

At this point, I was already 2 days into my 27th year and my upper SFC household gave me Cake #5 with the sweetest greeting.

Yes, kilig na ako sa salitang "Love: MarVin Unit". I am now officially a simple girl. Sorry for being the girl who has the earliest curfew. Umaalis na, hindi pa nagsisimula ang household!

And the cake is so soft, I should have taken a picture of myself making out with the spatula. I had the layer divided into slices for storage. Sayang naman the crumbs if I won't finish all of them.

I am yet to have dinner with work friends which I am looking forward to reviving our Hainanese Chicken nights.

Thinking about everything now, I might have done something good to deserve the love of these amazing people. Maybe I bought too much cake for friends the past year that I've been blessed 77x more. The only regret I have the past days is not having a decent photo with the best-EST person in the whole word.

We do have one but it's botched. :(

I took a page out of your book and spent the special day with people who matter and it's the best decision I ever made. Thank you.

Alam mo na yun!

As for my actual birthday, I spent the day doing nothing. 

And I am looking forward skip-hopping through life making memories with all of you. 

Cheers to growing older and getting wiser.  Life, let's bring it on!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Anatomy of The Mistress

A day after turning 27 I flew back to the big city, had my driver's license renewed and watched The Mistress with my college girls.

I turn a year older, I line up for a John Lloyd-Bea movie. That simple.

Watching the film made me proud of the Filipino film industry. There are still a number of opportunities to improve on but we surely have come a long way and on the path to greatness.

So here's why I think the film is awesome:

1. The story has substance. Despite the trailer's revelation of the plot, the movie focuses on the flawed characters and their background. Case in point, Sari, the mistress is a breadwinner but she does love the benefactor. The fact that you can write a reflection paper out of the movie is proof enough that it has substance.

2. The cinematography is awesome. I am not a film critic so from regular viewer's point of view, each scene is shot from a very good angle, the lighting makes everyone beautiful. 

3. The cast is top-calibre. Except for being too pretty for a seamstress/master cutter, Bea provides depth to her character while Hilda Koronel deserves a round of applause for her performance.

4. John Lloyd. Pangalan pa lang nya, tumili na ako! JLC for life! The guy delivers. You can see in his eyes the spectrum of his emotions: happy, sad, in pain, wrath... you name it. Plus he looks good in his cockpit ray bans (?), his confidence when he goes topless despite the one big flab, JLC in a suit and his skinny jeans which doesn't flatter his thighs... Flaws and all, he's so adorable. *spoken like a true fan girl*

The film is well thought of. It has a better than expected soundtrack/musical score and Callao Cave in Cagayan is beautifully shot. And with that, here's the making of the film.

John Lloyd, it's okay to lose the bitin pants and sockless look.

I still choose you over Brad Pitt any given day. =P

Monday, September 17, 2012

Frog Prince

I had a surprise guest for dinner tonight last Saturday night.

A frog prince, perhaps?

I pondered on kissing the frog but nah, I am not interested in turning it into a prince. Besides, it’s too busy with the worm, why would he trade his yummy food with an annoying little girl disturbing his feast.

Anyway, last Friday night, I bought a bouquet of pink gerberas and stargazers wrapped in white paper for my mom. I had it arranged while Person A waited for me in the car.

When he saw the bouquet he gave a curious remark.

Only to find out that this bouquet was waiting for me at home. 

Looks familiar? Pink stargazers and carnations wrapped in white paper.

Somebody knows me too well.

And that’s one of the reasons why I won’t ever need to kiss a frog to find my prince.


Thursday, September 13, 2012

Some Things Don't Change

While randomly flipping a magazine, I saw this picture and I felt giddy.

Kilig! Aanhin pa ang six pack kung meron namang one big flab! Just to point out another correlation, six pack begets a Mini Cooper whereas one big pack equates to a Mercedes Benz SLK.

Hahaha! Chismis!

And another find tonight.


Yay! Can't wait.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Adventures of the Little Girl Who Spoke Too Much

By 9PM yesterday, I can't utter a word and my throat felt it's scraped dry. However, my week-long health issues (from colds to gastro problems and now cough) did not stop my blue nails from  doing domestic errands ...

... and so let me share why I am so proud of myself and my side-kick for accomplishing a number of things yesterday and we even celebrated the Virgin Mary's birthday. Yay!

I started the day at 730. Showed up for Jellybean's preventive maintenance appointment. That check mark signifies that I am a responsible owner... again I am giving myself a pat on the back.

Then we had leisurely breakfast at a nearby coffee shop to start our Saturdate.  

My toast, his sandwich and our coffee - vanilla latte, a favorite.

Sometime in between, we took a jeepney ride and this poster had me thinking. 

I should commute or walk some more. Saves gas, saves mother earth.

Lunch was at Seryna to catch up with old friends and meet a new one. I spent the time conversing with our party of 6. Wrong move. I am happy, my throat wasn't.

My bento box of sashimi, tempura and grilled tuna.

Person A's order of tonkatsu

and 3 kinds of sashimi. 

Seryna's lunch sets are about 50% cheaper than ordering ala carte at dinner time. The tonkatsu bento box of soup, appetizer, main course, rice and grapes for dessert is only ~PhP 400. If you want value for money at Seryna, I suggest visit at lunch. 

Meet the adzuki and green tea shaved ice. Culprit # 29.

When I went back to fetch Jellybean, I was told by the maintenance guy that I need to change the car battery: the voltage during cranking is at the red zone (8-10 V). I was advised to buy at a nearby battery shop because their prices are 50% less than the service center's quotation. For fear of stalling in the coming days, I headed to the battery center and in 20 minutes, I had the diagnosis confirmed, installed new batteries and I was some thousand pesos poorer which could have afforded me a night's stay at a premiere resort in Mactan with food and spa credits or a Kate Spade bag I have been lusting for months or a roundtrip ticket to some remote Asian destination. #adultresponsibilities 

Wala akong karapatang magreklamo. I signed up for this.

Battery life is about 2 years, I am using mine for 2.5 years. 

Speaking of preventive maintenance, I went to the dentist Friday to have oral prophylaxis and my crown put back in place. The crown detached after subjecting it to spicy Bangkok tamarind. I am an advocate of PMs because it prevents catastrophic failures and saves a lot of moolah. Imagine your car stalling and you're teeth falling off because the cavities overran them.

Late afternoon 'til evening I dropped by my mother's doctor to get her prescription, had santol, heard mass and accompanied Person A to get his travel essentials. 

By 8PM, I was already tired and hungry and can't utter a word. I blame the cough, Person A thinks that I didn't give my throat enough rest the entire day when I declared the night before that I won't be talking too much. Masyado akong madaldal!

We headed to the nearest inasal restaurant inside the mall for dinner before bidding each other goodbye.

The halo halo is so tempting. Culprit #56. 

I have a habit of craving anything I can't have everytime I am sick. After posting this entry, my laundry is waiting for me with open arms.

I should rethink my career options and consider domestic goddess as an alternative.


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