Tuesday, September 27, 2011


Because of the dengue outbreak in the Philippines for months now, it is perhaps one of the top priorities of moms like me to protect their kids against this infectious tropical disease. 

According to Wikipedia, Dengue fever (UK: /ˈdɛŋɡeɪ/US: /ˈdɛŋɡiː/), also known as breakbone fever, is an infectious tropical disease caused by the dengue virus. Symptoms include feverheadachemuscle and joint pains, and a characteristic skin rash that is similar to measles. In a small proportion of cases the disease develops into the life-threatening dengue hemorrhagic fever, resulting in bleedinglow levels of blood platelets and blood plasma leakage, or into dengue shock syndrome, where dangerously low blood pressure occurs.
Dengue is transmitted by several species of mosquito within the genus Aedes, principally A. aegypti. The virus has four different types; infection with one type usually gives lifelong immunity to that type, but only short-term immunity to the others. Subsequent infection with a different type increases the risk of severe complications. As there is no vaccine, prevention is sought by reducing the habitat and the number of mosquitoes and limiting exposure to bites.

In my case, what I do to prevent dengue includes securing that our house is clean and free of anything where mosquitoes may live and multiply. We always have our anti-mosquito strip plugged in 24/7. Given these efforts, there is still no guarantee that we will be spared from dengue.

So, in addition, I see to it that I put on insect repellent, especially to my daughter, Akisha. Of course, I do not use harmful insect repellents on her as her skin is too sensitive for chemical-laden potions. What I use is Human Heart Nature Citronella Bug Spray.

Human Heart Nature Citronella Bug Spray is 100% natural and does not contain any harmful chemicals, which makes it safe even for babies. As the label says, it has no DEET, parabens or any other toxic materials. Its citronella-cious smell makes it effective against bugs that threaten your little ones.  Honestly, the scent appeals like a  spa-ish aroma to me. It comes in liquid/oil formula, and is very handy with its pump bottle. Available online and in Shopwise.

What about you, how do you de-bug your home and your kiddos?

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Say Goodbye to Conditioner, Say Hello to Lorys Hair Cream

My hair became brittle and lacks luster due to a lot of treatments I had done in the past. Blowdrying is also one of the culprits. But what will I do? Without blowdrying, my hair looks like a total disaster! So, to counteract the damage blowdrying gives me hair, I resort to trying different conditioners. 

Conditioners did a lot of help, but let's say it is only as good as your last "shower". When i did research for hair conditioners and treatments, a brand - Lorys Hair Cream - has a lot of good reviews. So I decided I should try it myself. 

Lorys Hair Cream is a big thing in Brazil. Have you seen those Brazilian models and how their hair looks so  beautiful ala Ms. Universe? Perhaps this is part of their secret. Lorys Hair Cream can be used as a conditioner (which I do) or as a hot oil treatment. It is very convenient because you need not go to a salon to do the treatment, nor you need a steamer/heating cap. Just apply it on for 15 minutes, shampoo it off to avoid making your hair too greasy and voila, instant hot oil!

Conditioners usually cost P80-100 bucks for 200 ml, but Lorys Hair Cream costs P185 for a 450g jar. THis jar can last more than a month. I have been using mine for over a month now and I'm only half way with it. It is available in Watsons, SM, Shopwise, PCX , First Aid, Landmark, and other major department stores and supermarkets nationwide.

Lorys has 6 variants, all suited for different hair types: Fruit Cocktail, Snake Oil, Ceramides, Chocolate, Shea Butter and Nutri-Sun Gloss. I was able to try all except Ceramides.

Snake Oil
At first I was hesitant to try this (what's with the name!). But when I opened the jar and learned that it doesn't smell like snake or snake oil for that matter, I was convinced to try it. =)

Lorys Snake Oil Effect enriched with a special blend of silicon, was specially developed to protect, restore and conditions damage and chemically treated hair. The special silicone blend in its formula helps to restore the hair protecting it by forming a special film, increasing the flexibility, leaving the hair nourished, soft and with an intense brightness. So no need to worry, 'cause it is not made from snake oil. =) 

I noticed that when i use this and I blowdry my hair afterwards, my hair looks bouncy and smooth. Plus, it does not make my hair brittle. A bit of exaggeration, but it made my hair looks like as if it was rebonded.

 Shea Butter
This one makes my hair smooth and soft without losing its volume. 

Fruit Cocktail
This is the first jar that I have tried and I use this until now. I love its fruity scent and it makes my hair manageable. Even without blowdrying, this one makes my hair looks neat and bouncy. I use this on a daily basis as a conditioner.

Duo Chocolate
When i opened this jar, I almost thought I mistakenly opened a jar of Nutella. It looks and smells like real chocolate. This is also one of my favorite variants because it smells so yummy! It has thermal activated silicone that intensively cares, conditions and repairs damaged hair.

And finally, Lorys Professional Nutri Sun Gloss is what I use as a weekly nourishing treatment. It brings back the lost luster of your hair. It is also perfect to repair damaged hair due to excessive sun exposure, just like when you have just been to the beach. So the next time you travel, pack a small jar of this goodie and take advantage of your hotels sauna and steam bath area for an instant hair spa!

So now you know why I said goodbye to conditioners. 

Product Spotlight: Celeteque DermoScience Soothing Lip Balm with SPF 15

As promised, here is a review of Celeteque DermoScience Soothing Lip Balm.

Celetque Dermo Science's website says:

Soothing Lip Balm has double sunscreen protection against UVA/UVB rays for the lips and helps whiten darkened lips due to smoking. Contains SPF15 UVA/UVB filters that prevent UV radiation from damaging and rapidly aging the lip area.  Has moisturizing oils that keep lips healthy with their softening and smoothening benefits. Also contains MULBERRY EXTRACTS that help brighten and lighten discolored lips previously darkened by smoking.

True to its description, this lip balm really makes my lips smooth. What I do is apply it at bedtime and in the morning, before applying lipstick. I noticed that my lips (chapped and dry as ever) are now smoother and softer. And since it has SPF 15, this is perfect for our regular beach getaways. Isn't it  true that sometimes we tend to forget applying sun protection on our lips because we are too focused on applying sunblock all over our face and body? Our lips is just as important. Given the fact that it is one area of our body that has the thinnest layer of skin, therefore, it needs double sun protection as well.

Another edge of this product is the promise of lightening dark lips due to smoking. I sued to smoke and it left pigments on my lips that's why I am looking forward to this "lightening" benefit.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Product Spotlight: Colour Collection Mineral Lipstick with SPF 15

I have been hooked on pink lipsticks for quite sometime now and when I looked at my stash recently to find something not pink, I was surprised to see that I only own a few reds, corals and nudes. So I thought it's about time to get out of my "pink" lipstick comfort zone and try other shades. 

Coincidentally, I received this Colour Collection Mineral Makeup line loot last week. To my surprise, the loot contains 5 mineral lipsticks, 2 powder foundations, a BB cream, a blush duo and an eyeshadow quad. What a loot! And you guessed it right, I grabbed the lippies first! So here's my review.

The word "mineral" itself made these lippies enticing for me. When I worked as a trainer for a skin care and cosmetics line, I did a lot of research on lipsticks and the toxic ingredients it usually have (does lead ring a bell?). From those research that I have read, it is proven that not only cheap lipsticks contain lead. You may be surprised that even lipsticks of high-end and known brands contain lead. I need not mention those brands. Though some may argue that all lipsticks have lead, and that they just vary in intensity, I still feel the need to be cautious. Thus, when I look for lipsticks, I read the labels. Since mineral lipsticks boast of having all-natural ingredients, it may have lead but I am pretty sure that the amount of lead is insignificant to cause you trouble.

Luckily, for us here in the Philippines, local brands like Colour Collection continues to improve their line of products. Their mineral makeup line is not only less harsh to one's skin, but also affordable and conveniently available.

I was able to try Colour Collection Mineral Lipsticks in Satin Shell, Plumberry, Creamy Coral, Brick Rose ans Smooth Wine. These goodies are very creamy and the color payoff is amazing. Since it is creamy (take not creamy, not glossy), it won't amplify chapped lips and it may be worn even without a lip balm. For comparison, the finish is much like MAC's satin lipsticks.

L-R: Smooth Wine, Creamy Coral, Plumberry, Brick Rose, Satin Shell

Satin Shell is a very nice pinkish nude lipstick. This is my favorite of the 5 lipsticks. It's wearable from day to night, so you could pair this  with neutral e/s for work and a smokey e/s for a night out. I think I should hoard some of these lippies.

Satin Shell

Plumberry is a nice pink shade that is also wearable. It is a sort of a muted pink lippie, not the bright, blue-toned lippie I am used to. It's perfect for bridal look.

 Creamy Coral is almost the same as Maybelline's Cozy Tangerine, only this one lasts longer on my lips. Perfect if you are tanned and wants that golden goddess look.

Creamy Coral
 When I first saw Brick Rose, I thought it is red. But it is not. It's a nice dark rose shade leaning to brick red. Almost brick red but lighter.
Brick rose
Since reds are making a comeback nowadays, Smooth Wine is a good option. Again, it is not as bright as the blue-toned ones. It is a warm red wine shade that's perfect with just your perfectly groomed brows. It is perfect for something like a "nostalgic" look.

Smooth Wine

Colour Collection is under Tupperware Brands. You may like to check out their FB account here.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Product Spotlight: Celeteque DermoScience Matte Moisturizer SPF30

 I've been a loyal user of Celeteque for a long time now (love their gel moisturizer from the old line) and so I panicked when I learned that they are brewing a new line. My fear is that they might not have a moisturizer as good as the old gel one. But I was wrong. Their new line- Celeteque DermoScience - still carries the gel moisturizer that I used to love. In addition, this one caught my attention:

A Matte Moisturizer? Oh, and a Matte Moisturizer with SPF 30? Looks interesting, as I often find sun care products to be generally sticky, hence amplifying the oiliness on my skin.

But again, I was wrong. When Celeteque says it's matte, it is indeed matte! So when I used this the first time, I did not apply liquid foundation nor BB cream anymore. I used this as my makeup base and just set it with mineral powder. One thing that bothers me though is that it is not fragrance-free. It smells like a typical sunblock. But that's not a big deal though. 

To use, apply a pea-sized amount to cover the entire face and neck and let it set for awhile. Then set it with your favorite powder foundation or setting powder. I've been using this for 2 weeks now and fortunately, no breakouts yet. 

Here it is. The consistency is thick so a little goes a long way. 
Up next: another sun care product from Celeteque DermoScience.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Product Spotlight: Indigo Baby's Yummymummy Pure Cocoa Butter

You know how frustrating it is to have stretchmarks after giving birth? Or how uncomfortable a person with skin asthma is when itchiness attacks? I happen to experience both. If only I could turn back time and prevent my stretchies or swap genes, believe me, I would. 

I used to use The Body Shop's Shea Butter and Jergen's Ultra Healing Lotion to alleviate my skin asthma. It is only recently that I discovered another body butter wonder, Indigo Baby's Yummymummy Pure Cocoa Butter.

It is made of 100% pure cocoa butter that helps prevent stretchmarks, chapped lips and keeps skin moisturized to the highest level! Use this after taking a shower while your skin is damp so that it won't feel sticky at all. I also use this on my lips before putting lipstick on. This is also why my baby Akisha refers to this bottle as "her lipstick" because when she sees me putting on a lippie and asks me to put on some on her lips, I will put some Yummymummy Pure Cocoa Butter on her instead. This is because I want to prevent her lips from darkening caused  by some lipsticks. And she'll always say "yummy!". Perhaps, it's due to its chocolatey scent. 

I also use this on my hands and feet to keep them soft and smooth. Of course, Akisha does that, too!

This jar would probably last a looooooooooonggggg time as you will only need a little amount for each use.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Product Spotlight: Sleek Makeup Blush in Pixie Pink

When I first saw Sleek Makeup at Greenpease05, I told myself I won't pass a chance to have one. True enough, when I saw this on DigitalTraincase, I instantly ordered one. Without further ado, I got a Sleek Makeup Blush in Pixie Pink.

The blush looks like NARS except for the un-rubberized pan. This is advantageous because it won't become a dirt magnet like the rest of my NARS blushes.

The color is a blue-toned cotton candy pink (think MAC Pink Nouveau turned into a blush). It is almost similar to NARS Desire. It is not powdery nor chalky. I noticed that even when I use a large blush brush with this, it does not make the product crumble into bits. Even the mirror stays clear even with the absence of an acetate protector.

A closer look at this pretty in pink blush. A swipe makes me look as if I just saw my crush (so teeny weeny, I know!) but it looks very natural. Just this and perfect brows and concealed undereyes and a gloss and I'm good to go.

This blush is pigmented that I only reapply after lunch (lasted about 5 hours). Here's a swatch on my NC30 skin.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Product Spotlight: Laura Mercier Secret Concealer in SC-2

 After my recent Fashion 21 Perfect Stick purchase, I told myself I need to invest in an above than average concealer. In short, I got myself another concealer for my under eye circles. This time, from one of my favorite brands, Laura Mercier.

Laura Mercier Secret Concealer in SC-2 is a creamy salmon-toned concealer that is perfect to hide under eye circles. I asked Linda (Laura Mercier store, Glorietta 3) to find an exact match for my previous MAC Studio Finish in NW30. She initially said it's SC-3 but later on decided to try SC-2 on me and it looked more natural on me than SC-3. Take note, SC-2 is not the exact dupe of NW30.

 I like the coverage  and consistency of Laura Mercier Secret Concealer than MAC Studio Finish Concealer because it is more blendable and buildable, hence, less creases for me. Though MAC Studio Finish Concealer in NW30 is my exact match in terms of color, Laura Mercier Secret Concealer in SC-2 looks more natural on me as it has just the right amount of salmon (to cancel out dark circles) and yellow (to blend with my skin color, I'm NC30). So no need for me to have 2 concealers, at least for the time being.

Linda also suggested that I get a Laura Mercier Secret Brightening Powder to set my concealer, instead of my powder foundation. This can help in diminishing the incidence of having cakey concealer that creases throughout the day. I told her I'll try it first and see if it won't cause breakouts for me as well as eye iritaion (as I wear contacts). So, she gave me a sample of the Laura Mercier Secret Brightening Powder.

The powder has shimmers on the jar, but once applied, I cannot see a single shimmer. All I have is glow! It also made my eyes look bigger and more awake. So I am sure after I finish this jar, I'll get a full size one.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Product Spotlight: Fashion 21 Perfect Stick with Tea Tree Oil

 Remember my previous post on Fashion 21 2-Way Powder Foundation with Tea Tree Oil and how I was satisfied with it? Affirming that post is yet another entry on Fashion 21. This time, I tried Fashion 21 Perfect Stick, still from the Tea Tree Oil line. 

As I was about to finish my MAC Studio Finish Concealer in NW30 (gawd! took me 2 years to finish the entire pot, super worth it!), I searched for the next concealer to try. One that is locally available and affordable as I am not yet on a makeup-splurging mode yet. I was about to get Fanny Serrano's concealer in Walnut but it turned out it was not my exact match from the said brand. I continued browsing and there, I saw Fashion 21 Perfect Stick. The packaging looked familiar and when I took a closer peek, I realized it is the "sister" of my Fashion 21 2-Way Powder Foundation with Tea Tree Oil. 

This is available in Watson's and leading department stores nationwide for only Php 185. Cheap right?

I showed the saleslady my MAC concealer and asked her to find a match or at least something near NW30 shade. She recommended Almond Tea. Lighter but it's the closest she can offer. The others are too light or too yellow. Since I'll be using it to conceal undereye circles, I have to stay away from yellow toned concealers and opt for a peach/salmon one. This is to avoid having grayish undereyes that is way too obvious in photos.

Here's the swatch. It's lighter than my MAC NW30 but it is pretty close. 

I tried wearing it the next day and it lasted around 4 hours on me. My only concern is the consistency as it is not as creamy as my MAC one is. Given that, coverage is also not as good as MAC but can pass for everyday use. You have to make sure you set this with a translucent powder to avoid creasing.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Gastronomique: N.Y.Or.K.'s Choco Lava Cake

Anything hot usually clashes with anything cold. Well, N.Y.Or.K's (Not Your Ordinary Koffee) Choco Lava Cake is a different story. Let me tell you why.

N.Y.Or.K's Choco Lava Cake is a moist chocolate cake filled with molten bittersweet chocolate. The best way to enjoy it is by warming it a little in the microwave and putting a scoop (or 2 ) of vanilla ice cream. Try it and you'll see heaven for a second. There, that's the reason why N.Y.Or.K's Choco Lava Cake is an exemption to the Hot vs. Cold rule. No ice cream? Pair it with N.Y.Or.K's Vanilla Velvet Frappe.

N.Y.Or.K Choco Lava Cake is available at N.Y.Or.K (Not Your Ordinary Koffee), Cinema Lobby, N.E. Pacific Mall, Cabanatuan City. You may email Angela at nyork.cabanatuan@gmail.com.

Breathing Fresh Air at the Nurture Spa Village

Tagaytay is popular not only because of its proximity to the metro, but also because of its cool climate throughout the year. It is also a perfect place if you want a quick breather from the toxicities of the city. Here, you can find a lot of boutique and posh hotels and B&B's, as well as plush gardens that will let you bond again with nature even for a day.

Nurture Spa Village is not just a spa nor just an accommodation. It is engulfed in lush greenery and blossoming buds, a perfect venue to relax and breathe some fresh air. 

When we arrived, we were greeted by their staff with ethnic song (Think Dos Palmas) and were given this hot pandan tea. 

Greenery? I mean it! Nurture Spa Village has a hectare of zen-inspired garden situated on a cliff. You need not worry about landslides because the sides of the cliff around Nurture Spa Village was crafted like the Banawe Rice Terraces so as to prevent landslides. This was done by the Ifugaos commisioned by the owner- Ms. Cathy Turvill. The Ifugao huts in the Nurture Spa Village are also authentic ones.

They have a small pool for your dipping indulgence. This is just beside the Dulang Restaurant.

You can read a book or simply bask in the sun by the poolside while sipping some fresh mango shake.

Aside from the authentic Ifugao huts, they also have air-conditioned accommodation like the Pag-Ibig (love) room. This is usually the room they give to the bride and groom as part of their wedding package. 

The Filipiniana-inspired room reminds me of an ancestral house, only more modern.

How modern? Well it has a tub and flat screen TV! The rooms are a bit far from the pool area which gives serenity, especially for couples.

The owners of the Nurture Spa Village is also the man & woman behind the famous organic line of spa products, Amu'in. They have a small souvenir shop beside the reception area where they sell not only Amu'in products but other native products as well.

 They also have an open al-fresco gazebo where you can have your wedding or other affairs.