Saturday, August 27, 2011

Product Spotlight: Fanny Serrano Hair Strengthening Treatment Hair Fall Control

 Remember my post on Amla Oil where I expressed my frustration in finding a hair treatment that has hair fall control? Yes, Amla oil did the trick. It strengthened my hair and made it bouncy. However, I find it hard to apply the oil on a daily basis as I am too tired and lazy already when I get home from work. Also, there are times that I don't want its earthy smell. So I continued to research on products that might help address my hair fall concern.

While I was in SM Makati, I saw Fanny Serrano Hair Strengthening Treatment Hair Fall Control. After reading the label, and given that it is under Fanny Serrano's name, I thought this is promising. So I got one tub and tried it out.

The label says if your hair is slightly damaged to normal, use the product once a week. But if your hair is severely damaged due to perming, straightening and coloring, use this 3 days in a row and every 7 days thereafter. Lo and behold, I categorized my hair as severely damaged and follow the appropriate instruction. 

On the first day, I noticed that it somehow tamed my frizzy hair, not to mention that the scent really caught my attention as it smells citrusy and fresh. The scent lasted the whole day.

On the second day, I observed that there really is an improvement on my hair in terms of hair fall control as I closely watch my hair brush each time I comb my hair. Hmmm, promising.

On the third day, my hair became shinier but I also noticed that it lacks volume. 

On the fourth day, I tried to stop and use my ordinary conditioner. Though my hair was not as shiny and bouncy as when I use this hair treatment, I really noticed that fewer and fewer strands of hair is left on my hair brush each time I comb. I am now on the third week of using this (following the same regimen) and I must say, it really improved the texture of my hair. I noticed that when I ran my fingers through my hair, it doesn't feel as rough as before. So perhaps, it really helps reconstruct my hair to avoid breakage and hair fall.

And it's affordable at less than P150. Kudos to TF! 

Friday, August 26, 2011

Product Spotlight: Ellana Minerals Eye Primer

 I've been curious why people are going crazy over the latest eye primer in the market. In fact, I do not see the need for a separate primer for the eyes as i have a face primer already. But this has changed when I tried, out of curiosity, an eye primer - Ellana Mineral Eye Primer, to be precise.

As written at the bottom of the jar, it is supposed to make eyeshadows more intense and prevent it from creasing. True enough, when I used this beneath one of my powdery eyeshadows, it did the trick! It kept my e/s from creasing and it somehow intensified its color.

Ellane Minerals Eye Primer is a cream-based primer that I almost thought it's a concealer. However, when I tried using my concealer brush to apply it, it won't cling on my brush! So, I just used my fingers and voila, I was able to apply and blend it properly.

I think this tub will last a long time because I only need a small amount for my lids. 

Product Spotlight: Ever Bilena Advanced 5 Shades Eyeshadow in Blue Happiness

 This post is long overdue. I got Ever Bilena Eyeshadow in Blue Happiness about 2 months ago and was able to use it 3 to 4 times since then. Here's my review:

The color combination in this palette is simply amazing. I've been looking for good blue eyeshadows and what I found out there is either too dark or too "green" for me. But Ever Bilena's combination of blues, aqua and green seems the perfect one I am looking for. The darkest shade is a good color to contour or to line the eyes. It gives a posh look, especially when paired with blue contacts.

I use the 2 aqua colors as base. When I am in the mood for spring colors, I combine it with the green (top right).

The white one is a nice highlighter.

Here are the swatches with flash:

Without flash but under daylight:

The texture is powder to cream but it crumbles. So I make sure i tap excess powder so as not to have "blue" undereyes. I also use soft natural hair brush for this. Suesh Ultra Luxe set includes uber soft eye brushes (made of sable and squirrel hair). I also use Ellana Shine Free Matte Eye Primer to avoid creasing.

Color payoff is great but staying power is so-so. I checked out my e/s mid day and it lacks luster already. NYX is still the most photogenic affordable e/s for me.

Price is not an issue at Php 120. 


Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Wake me up with a Bag of Beans

Taaadaaaahhh! Meet my friend in white, Abel. =P

After we left Punta Fuego, we agreed to have coffee in Tagaytay because we haven't had caffeine boost in the last 24 hours. We decided to drop by the famous Bag of Beans (main branch).

I was so curious why this cafe is so famous. The dining area was almost full when we went down. The covered gazebos with the white curtains are offered for a fee, so if you want more privacy, you can take those.

The ambience is good, if you love those garden-type restaurants. But be cautious because you would need lots of insect repellent here. It must have been the bushes and the other plants around. They also have a pavilion where you book your private functions. A wedding package here costs about P30,000 more or less.

The patio

Their signage says "English Pies & Breads" but they also offer sumptuous breakfast and desserts.

And meet my gorgeous friend, Angela
They also have a souvenir shop that sells organic skin care products. My friend Angela got the Dark Chocolate Body Scrub which smells like real cocoa.
And my princess, Akisha

 Since we went here for coffee, I ordered Mocha Frappe. When it was served, I got excited because it looks so yummy! Though when I tasted it, it lacks that "coffee kick'. It's sweet, that's it. So perhaps they can improve on that. The consistency is also not that impressive as it is not as creamy as I expected it to be.

I also ordered Chicken & Mushroom Pie to share with hubby. I was about to order the Shepherd's Pie but was still too stuffed with our getaway's pig-out moments. Their Chicken & Mushroom Pie has generous fillings of chicken breast, mushroom and cream. Though I think it will be more interesting if they will add cheese on it. (Or is it just me, the cheese-addict?)

 This is their Chocolate Chip Pancakes that my friend ordered. Three-stack, fluffy and true to its name, chocolatey! Their pancakes are not just plain pancakes garnished with whatever its named after. Instead, the pancake itself is mixed with chocolate chips, thus the brown color.

Photo by Ron Dawa

 See? Even their blueberry pancakes are mixed with blueberries! Yum Yum Yum! This woke me up. And while I am writing this entry, I am craving for this heavenly goodie.

Photo by Ron Dawa

Photo by Ron Dawa

Haven't had enough of blueberries? Then try their huge serving of Blueberry Cheesecake paired with their White Mocha coffee.

Now I know why more and more people are addicted with the Bag of Beans. It may not be their coffee or hot chocolate, but their desserts will definitely kick you awake and make you come back.

Monday, August 22, 2011

A Weekend at Terrazas de Punta Fuego

My friends have been planning for this weekend getaway a.k.a. mid-year get together for months now and finally, last weekend, off we went to a beach house we rented in Terrazas de Punta Fuego in Batangas.

 We left Makati at around 10am and arrived at Magallanes Square in Tagaytay a little before 12 nn. There we had our lunch at LZM's. Bulalo, of course, is the highlight of our lunch. After munching lunch, we continued driving our way to Nasugbu. We arrived a little passed 2 pm.

The beach house that we rented (Php 15,700/ night) can fit 12 to 15 people. It has 4 big rooms, 2 T&B, a lounge, a kitchen and 2 swimming pools. Not bad! Since we were 13 in the group, we paid P1,200 each for the accomodation. Kids are included in the headcount.

Here's the dining area where we literally indulged ourselves with comfort food (Thanks to Angela and Tita Lei for your kitchen wonders).

 This is the outdoor pool in the garden. You can also eat in this area or have some booze like what we did. For smokers, this is your designated place as they impose a no smoking policy inside the house.

 The kitchen is complete with plates, utensils, microwave, fridge, water dispenser (you need to bring your own water though), etc. They also have a dirty kitchen where you can prepare your meals. If you need help grilling or washing the dishes, they have helpers on standby until 10 pm.

There are 2 rooms on the first floor and an extra bed outside the 2 rooms. If you're brave enough, you can sleep here (right Ron?).

 These 2 bedrooms share an aircon and an exhaust fan.

Both the T&B's are on the first floor so if you're the type who needs to pee at night, make sure you sleep on the first floor or be brave enough to go down at night.

 There's 1 room on the second floor with aircon as well. The other 2 rooms beside this room is locked as those are the owners' rooms.

There's a lounge on the second floor where you can watch a movie or just take a nap.

 They also have a collection of DVD's to choose from.

 This is the indoor pool at the 2nd floor. You can also play billiards here. The pool here though looks like a jacuzzi, like only knee deep.

A place for booze again.

The attic can fit 4 to 5 pax. Mattresses are also available as well as linens and pillows. The room is freezing cold at night.

Here's the beach. As the owner said in her multiply site, there really is no beachfront house in Punta Fuego. To go to the beach area, we drove a few meters away. Can you walk from the house to the beach? I bet you can go down, but going home passing the steep curves? That's the big question.

The building on the cliff is the luxe Amara en Terrazas. These are condo units inside the Fuego compound. I think some are open for rent as well. Not sure though.

The sand is not powdery white though. There's not "white" beach in Batangas. Often, there are off-white or coral sand bars.

 Overall, our stay was fun! 

Bring some mosquito/insect repellent 
Bring your own towel. the beach house is well, a house, not a hotel, so they do not provide towels.
Bring your own 5 gallon water for the dispenser. In our case, we ran out of water on our last day.
Bring all the booze and food you need. Supermarket and convenience stores are far from Punta Fuego. When you pass by Tagaytay, get everything you need.

Where will our next get together be? Find out, soon!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Product Spotlight: Ellana Mineral Blush in Happiness

 I've been a mineral makeup user since I was pregnant with my only daugther, Akisha. that was almost three years ago and until now, I still use mineral makeup. Mineral Makeup gives my skin a lot of benefits like decent oil-control, sun protection and the ability to heal imperfections. It also gives me an airbrushed finish that's not only photogenic, but naturally flaterring as well.

In my quest for my HG mineral makeup brand, I've tried different imported brands like Bare Escentuals and Lauress, drugstore brands like Maybelline and ELF and even the luxury brand Laura Mercier. Thus far, I find Ellana Minerals as my HG mineral makeup line that I still use it until now. Ellana Minerals was also the first mineral makeup brand that I tried and got hooked to.

My newest baby is Ellana Mineral Blush in Happiness, a light coral-rose shade with a matte finish. When I swatched it on my wrist, I saw some micro shimmers, but it disappeared like magic into a flawless matte finish. It's matte but it still gives dimension to my cheekbones.

The color is very natural, as if I just got out of the gym with flushed cheeks. It's not opaque, so it really looks very natural and flattering. I am NC30 for reference. Here's a closer look at Ellana Mineral Blush in Happiness:

The color is comparable to ELF Candid Coral and a bit close to NARS Deep Throat, only more on the pink side. A jar of this eye candy will last you more than a month of everyday use, so for its price, it's a steal.

What I like most about Ellana Minerals is that is available either online, through its resellers or its stall in SM Megamall and Makati on Fridays thru Sundays.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Cheap and Fab: Fashion 21 Two-Way Cake with Tea Tree Oil

 After I finished my Laura Mercier Mineral Pressed Powder, I researched about what powder to try next. I was actually thinking of getting a MAC Studio Fix powder in NC30 or MAC Blot powder but I was hesitant because of the price. So I read about Fashion 21 Two-Way Cake with Tea Tree Oil and found many good reviews about it. Since it's cheap at Php 180, I decided to get one and try it for myself.

 I got this at Landmark Makati and it's sale, so it is priced at Php 160.

The next day, I used it to set my NARS Oil-Free foundation and I was amazed by the texture. It is so much like In2It Two-Way powder, very finely milled and gives an airburshed finish. 

The staying power is so-so as it lasted about 4 hours on me, given that my office is freezing cold.  Imagine if I use this on humid weather. Perhaps it will stay for 2 hours. (I have oily skin).

 Another thing I noticed is that the colors are limited. It only has 4 colors, labeled 1,2,3,4. I got number 4 as the rest looks too light and pink for me. I'm NC30 for reference.

Verdict, good enough for less than P200 bucks. I don't mind retouching on mid-day as this powder gives me a natural shine-free aura. I just wish they have more colors to cater to morenas put there. Will i repurchase? Yes I will but probably will use this for retouch only.

NYX Round Lipsticks in Hot Pink and Muse

I stopped buying makeup a few months ago because I was too focused on travelling and travel blogging. When hubby gave me the traincase, my interest in makeup artistry was reignited. So I started browsing the beauty thread on Girltalk to revisit threads on my favorite brands like NARS, NYX, MAC and others. I came across Shen's blog and saw swatches of NYX RLS in Hot Pink and I was instantly enticed to buy one. I visited the Hyphen Store in Prosperity Bazaar in Ayala Ave. (Beside Smart Bldg.) and asked if they have that shade. To my delight, not only did they have the shade that I want, they also have a clearance sale of their NYX  round lipsticks.

Here's NYX RLS in Hot Pink. It's brighter than NYX RLS in Paris but not as stunning as MAC Pink  Noveau. What I like about this NYX haul is that I did not smell anything weird with these lipsticks this time. I remember my NYX Paris smells and tastes like perfume or soap or something floral, which kinda turned me off.

NYX  RLS in Muse reminds me of NARS Lip Lacquer in Baby Doll. It's a very nice frosted nude shade that's perfect for bridal makeup or can perfectly match smokey eyes.

I haven't got the chance to take swatch photos of these but I will soon.