Friday, December 28, 2012

MAC Cremesheen in Creme Cup

Last year was all about bold, hot, pink lipsticks for me. Talk about NARS Schiap and MAC Pink Nouveau as my daily power lipstick. I just adore how it brightens my face even without any other makeup involved. But after awhile, I kinda got tired of my Barbie pink lippies so I looked for something pale. And so I learned about MAC Cremesheen in Creme Cup (Rustans, Php 1000).
It was my first time to try a MAC Cremesheen lipstick and I must say I am loving it. It is not matte nor glossy, just somewhere in between, thus, it isn't drying but still has good staying power. MAC's Pink Nouveau has a Satin finish and it has a nice amount of moisture when you apply it. But mid-day I noticed that it tends to clump on my lips, making it look cracked. That's not the case with MAC Creme Cup. It feels like a lip balm with a nice color payoff.
Nice pale pink color perfect for daily use, or to pair with bold or smokey eyeshadows
Good staying power. I reapply after 4 hours or after eating
Not drying
Nice smell
Can look too washed-out when worn alone. Ideally, it should be worn with a statement blush or bold/smokey eye makeup
Price can turn some off (not me, definitely!)
lip swatch under flourescent lighting

hand swatch
With my satisfaction with MAC Creme Cup, I am now eyeing MAC Shy Girl or Ravishing as my next lippie haul. Help me choose please! I am NC30. =)

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Having A Ball

MGR in red ball dress by Renan Pacson
Awit ng Ibong Adarna necklace by Palamuti by PJ Valenciano
Makeup by Chuchie Ledesma for Creations by Lourd Ramos
Hair by Jay-Ar for Creations by Lourd Ramos

Last November 17, 2012, I had the privilege of being part of Manila's most anticipated charity ball of the year - the 11th Philippine Tatler Ball - held at the Rizal Ballroom of the Makati Shangri-la Hotel. Just like in the past years, the well-heeled society congregated to the opulent venue in their most alluring evening gowns and suits. 

The night before the ball, we already had our hair colored and trimmed at Creations by Lourd Ramos in Arnaiz Avenue, Makati City. I was so happy with my new hair color (base: mocha brown, low lights: dark ash brown). Trimming my locks also gave it more volume and subtle, sexy waves, which I actually love.

The night before the ball
On the day of the ball, I had to go back to Creations to have my hair and makeup done. I was actually planning to do my own hair and makeup but decided last minute to have it done professionally at a salon. Chuchie, the makeup artist did a neutral smokey eye look for me complemented by pale nude lips. She had also put some falsies (a first time for me) which really made my eyes look dramatic. I hope I can replicate it on my own! For my hair, Jay-ar rolled my locks into big velcro rollers for some big sexy curls. Nice!

Subtle smokey eyes and pale lips plus sexy curls!
My friend , Renan Pacson, made me a bustier dress with full bias skirt in metallicized silk tafetta, while PJ Valenciano had created a red and black Awit ng Ibong Adarna necklace and earrings to complement my gown. 

Awit ng Ibong Adarna by Palamuti

The design is inspired by a mythical bird from Philippine literature “Ibong Adarna” by Francisco Balagtas. It has simple swirling patterns perfect for the ball's Chinoiserie theme. The necklace can actually be worn to add flair to a plain white or black shirt. 

The night was full of gastronomic masterpieces, overflowing wine and champagne, entertainment, and of course, a charity auction for the benefit of Sa Aklat Sisikat Foundation. 


Renan Pacson 
+63 917 498 3831

Palamuti by PJ Valenciano
+63 917 8607193
+63 2 9641997

Sunday, October 21, 2012

The Mandarine Reflexology and Spa at The Bellevue Manila

On our first night at The Bellevue Manila, our itinerary includes a pampering one-hour massage at the Mandarine Reflexology and Spa. 

The spa is located at the third floor of the Tower Wing where the pool and the poolside bar are also located. We were welcomed by warm interiors in shades of red, yellow and black. 

While waiting for our room to be ready, we were served two cups of tea. The tea was not too hot nor cold, just enough to awaken our senses before a rejuvenating retreat.

After awhile, we were led to our room, a couple's room that is. It is spacious enough to fit two beds and a small bed for my toddler (where she stayed the whole time playing her Dad's cellphone). There was also a huge flat television, so my daughter indulged in Nickelodeon for the time being.

Clean robes, shorts and towels are provided, and the sheets and pillows are all sanitary.  The room smells like a fusion of green tea and peppermint, which I both love. I asked the therapist to dim the lights so that I can take a nap while I'm having a massage.

The one-hour massage started with a few kneading to prepare the muscles to a more relaxing experience later on. I commend the therapist for using just enough pressure (I like it hard on my back and medium on the rest). She also placed a warm herbal pillow on my back which is so relaxing! I swear after that I wanna look for that herbal pillow and buy it for myself. We were, however, not able to see the shower rooms and the jacuzzi at the Mandarine Spa. I guess that's not part of the treatment. It would've been nice to stay in the jacuzzi for a few minutes before indulging in a pampering massage.

After our rejuvenating massage at the Mandarine Spa, we checked out the poolside and we were so amazed by the kois swimming in a little pond there. They are so big and vibrant!

The poolside also offers a nice view of the city's skyscrapers. Its vibrant lights complete the mood.

The poolside bar offers drinks, cocktails and snacks while you indulge in the Olympic-sized pool, or your toddlers enjoy in the kiddie pool adjacent to it. Good music and a smoothie will definitely make your day at the poolside!

Overall, our spa experience was a blast. So, if you happen to be in the south, why not pass by the Mandarine Spa at The Bellevue Manila.

The Bellevue Manila

North Bridgeway, Northgate Cyberzone, Filinvest Corporate City, 
Alabang, Muntinlupa City

For more inquiries, please contact 7718181 or email

Special thanks to Mr. Ryan Chan and Ms. Jehn Domingo for this wonderful staycation

Our Birthday Staycation at The Bellevue Manila

The grandiose lobby connecting the main and tower wings

Every year, my husband and I would always have what we call a "birthday trip". Two years ago, we went to Puerto Princesa before the Underground River was declared as one of the New 7 Wonders of Nature. Last year, we survived the paradisal Caramoan Peninsula. This year, we decided to postpone our birthday trip to El Nido until early November in time for the long weekend. But, when we were invited to stay at The Bellevue Manila, it just seems too good to say no. Lo and behold, we decided to have a birthday staycation in the city.

Artful wall accents in vibrant colours
The Bellevue Manila is located at the heart of Alabang in Filinvest Corporate City. Its name is derived from the French words "belle" that means beautfiul, and "vue" which means view. 

It is about  a 45-minute drive from Makati City, or even less if you're taking the Skyway. Or, you may also opt to commute by boarding any Alabang-bound bus from EDSA or Osmena Blvd. Alight across Starmall and walk through the terminal near Festival Mall where vans that go inside Filinvest Corporate City are located. Fare is Php 10. It will bring you right at the doorsteps of The Bellevue Manila.

The charming elevator lobby
The reception area of The Bellevue Manila is located at the Tower Wing (the other one being the Main Wing). The warm smiles of the staff will welcome you as they assist you on a smooth check-in. A charming staff in a beautiful long dress assisted us to the Tower Grand Deluxe - our room for the night.

We were so surprised when the lady showed us complimentary wine and cheese, and a delectable birthday cake waiting for  us in our room! How sweet of them! There was the award-winning Manny O Agapitos Branco and a plate of cheeses. They must have known that I can eat cheese for breakfast, lunch and dinner! I particularly like the one wrapped in herbs.The white wine stays true to its description,  a nose of tropical fruits with a refreshing soft acidity. Nice choice for The Bellevue Manila, I must say.

A birthday treat from The Bellevue Manila

The 46-square meter Tower Grand Deluxe room is the biggest among the deluxe category. It is a corner room so it gives a panoramic view of the city. It also has a plush king-sized bed with pillows that are so soft they will lure you to sleep. I do not know how The Bellevue Manila knew that we will be coming in with Akisha, my 3-year old toddler, but a small bed was waiting for her when we got inside the room. Talk about personalized service! These people must have done their research on us very well. Thumbs up! 

The spacious room with a plush king-sized bed

We were also welcomed by a complimentary fruit basket and a note card from Mr. Ryan Chan, the Corporate Director for Communications and Marketing of The Bellevue Resorts. Sir, maraming salamat! Indeed, we had a pleasant and enjoyable stay at The Bellevue Manila. Two coupons for a complimentary welcome drink were also handed to us. The drinks can be claimed at the poolside bar and at the Vue Bar at the 22nd floor of the Tower Wing. The bar boasts a 360-degree view of the city and a state-of-the-art light and sound system.

Welcome fruit basket

The bathroom and bedroom is separated by a glass panel, a drama that I like actually. There is a tub for a relaxing warm bath, and a rain shower. Premium Acca Kappa bath amenities are also available. I particularly like the White Moss Glycerine soap which I use up to now for my face. 

The glass panel separates the bathroom from the rest 

A rainshower in the sleek bathroom

Acca Kappa bath amenities 
From one of our windows, a panoramic view of the city and The Bellevue Manila's Olympic-sized swimming pool can be seen, while on the other, a picturesque view of sunrise in the morning.

The Bellevue Manila is a perfect nook when you want to somehow be "away" from the metro without actually leaving the city. I actually thought the location is inaccessible, but after we went there in less than an hour via the Skyway, I was quite amazed at how near the place is, and how convenient it is to commute from Makati. Plus, the location isn't as busy as Makati or Ortigas, so you will really feel like you are not in the city at all. It is very family-friendly so no need to worry about tagging your kiddos along. I am sure, The Bellevue Manila is also a nice place to celebrate the upcoming long weekends and even Christmas! 

Take advantage of their ongoing October promo rate of Php 5,500 nett per night on a Tower Deluxe room, or Php 10,000 nett for two consecutive nights or two rooms both overnight. 

More of our birthday staycation soon! So, stay tuned!

The Bellevue Manila

North Bridgeway, Northgate Cyberzone, Filinvest Corporate City, 
Alabang, Muntinlupa City

For more inquiries, please contact 7718181 or email

Special thanks to Mr. Ryan Chan and Ms. Jehn Domingo for this wonderful staycation

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Avon Simply Pretty Haul

 Due to insistent public demand, Avon brought back its  iconic Simply Pretty Lip and Cheek Tint in roll-on bottles. Currently, it has two shades (top to bottom): Cherry Pop and Pink Blush.

Of the two shades, Pink Blush is still my favorite. It gives a pinkish, natural pop of color to my cheeks and lips. Honestly, Cherry Pop doesn't even show up on my skin. It is not pigmented so I only use Pink Blush. I got these two on sale at Php 99 each.

I also got Avon Simply Pretty Shine No More Dual Powder Foundation in Natural. I've been reading raves about it, and some even compared this to MAC Studio Fix. However, I don't see this as something at par with MAC. Why? Here are some reasons:

1. It has limited shades (only three if I remember it right). I got  Natural which is still too light and has an inappropriate undertone for me. I'm NC30 by the way. The other shades like Soft Bisque and Almond are also too light.

2. It has medium to light coverage, unlike MAC which can withstand even warm spotlights.

3. It has poor staying power. Mine only lasts two hours when applied dry and three hours when applied wet. So, the tendency is, I had to reapply more often. This eventually results to caking at the end of the day.

4. It has so-so oil control. I'd rather have Fashion 21's Tea Tree Oil Powder Foundation to control my oilies than use this one.

Hope this helps!

Monday, August 6, 2012

MUJI to GO Returns

My favorite Japanese lifestyle brand brings back MUJI to GO, highlighting 50 selected useful items for smart travel. As a frequent flier, it is very important for me to have travel essentials that are compact, convenient and functional, and all these can be found in MUJI.

Here's a peek at my favourite MUJI to GO items this season: 

Hard Carry Case Luggage
Made of durable and lightweight polycarbonate, this travel case provides supreme comfort with its 360-degree turning wheels and an adjustable carry bag to fit any height. Available in 3 sizes: 33L, 56L and 72L. I personally like the one in the middle. It looks classy allowing you to travel in style.

Suitcase Belt with TSA Lock
A durable strap that has a snug and strong fit around Muji’s Hard Carry Case, this is created to hold and secure your luggage with a built-in TSA lock. Having had some bad baggage mishandling experience with some airlines, this strap is heaven-sent for me.

EVA Pouch
Made of strong and sturdy plastic material, this pouch can give extra protection to small, delicate belongings such as accessories and cosmetics. Perfect for my kikay stuff!

Shrink Wrap T-Shirts
Wear comfortable shirts with crinkles that add interesting texture and distinctive look. Pack it into a compact, cube shape for a convenient and discrete fit inside your suitcase. This is genius! I can conveniently pack several pieces of this without the bulk, plus, no need to worry about ironing it as it already looks good as is.

Deodorant Case 
As a storage case, its special features is its deodorizing property that reduces odor of dirty clothes. It is also suitable to separate clean clothes from dirty ones inside your suitcase. Nice especially if you'll be bringing home your dirty, soaked clothes in your luggage.

Well-Fitting Beaded Neck Cushion
Known as Muji to Go’s Best Selling item, this travel pillow provides support to your neck and back when going on long flights or road trips. Never mind long haul flights, as long as I am comfy with this pillow!

Mobile Speakers
Bring your music with you through these foldable speakers with a built-in amplifier for great effects. Connection cord can be packed neatly away inside the speaker for protection and packing purposes. Perfect for my mp3 player!

What about you, have you chosen your top MUJI to GO items already? 
Go, travel in style and comfort!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Oh So Sassy! Nail Colors in Vivid Shades

Happy rainy Sunday everyone! And just because I was so lazy to go out for the weekend, I decided to write about my latest nailaholic discovery -- Sassy Nail Polish! I know these have been in the market for quite awhile but I must say whoever was in-charge of their R&D has done a very good job! Nice colors that are unique and wearable!

Last week, when we were in SM Mall of Asia and I was looking for some new nail colors, I saw a bunch of Sassy nail polish in its new packaging, along with its new line -- their version of cracking nail color. Since I still have a lot of cracking nail polishes that had remained untouched in my bucket, I decided to get a few of the regular ones. I got (L-R) Neon Pink, Lucky Red, Neon Red and Midnight.

These babies are so cheap (Php 17 - 18.50 each). The bottle may look small, but for me, the contents are just enough to satisfy your nailaholic cravings. This gives room for you to try more colors and allow variations, rather than getting a big bottle for several hundred bucks only to find out you are starting to get tired of having the same color on your nails for months!

In terms of color pay-off, I must say it is pigmented, except for Midnight (frosted) which I had to put four coats before arriving at the dark blue color that I want. I used two coats for the other three colors. 

Overall, Sassy Nail Color is a steal! I'd love to get more colors in the future! 

Available in all Watson's nationwide.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Avon Shine Attract Lipstick in Guava

I've been seeing Anne Curtis' ad on the walls of Ayala Avenue's underpass - the one with her signature red luscious lips - and so when I saw Avon's Shine Attract Lipstick on my neighbor's brochure, I ordered one just to give to it a try. I got the one in Guava, a natural-looking apricot shade.

The formula (or presentation) is quite unique, as it is a mousse lipstick on the center, surrounded by clear lipgloss on the side. 

Nice nude-apricot shade
Sleek packaging

Color payoff is so-so
Not longwearing
Hard to apply

I am just thankful I didn't get the red one, as I am pretty sure it is harder to apply. I use this now on top of my Avon Simply Pretty Lip and Cheek Tint, the way I use a lip balm before.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

CHI, The Spa at EDSA Shangri-La Unveils the Secrets of the Sea

Photo courtesy of EDSA Shangri-La

It was a hot summer night and I was  trying to finish an article then when an email popped into the screen of my computer. It was from the EDSA Shangri-La, containing their Mother's Day specials. I browsed the email from top to bottom and the phrase "Secrets of the Sea" caught my attention. A Golden South Sea pearl body scrub? Interesting. 

Who wouldn't want to  indulge in an invigorating body scrub made of immaculate Golden South Sea pearls? Seriously, tell me, who wouldn't? So I replied to the email and asked more information about it. The staff at EDSA Shangri-La responded promptly., and I was very fortunate to be invited to try it.

When I went at CHI, I was welcomed by the opulent Shangri-La ambiance. We walk through the 5th floor where the Spa Suites  are located. If you want to spend a night of bliss, the Spa Suite is the best option. Pamper yourself with its own Jacuzzi and L'Occitane toiletries, as well as other premium amenities. CHI's treatment rooms are located in the same wing as the Spa Suites. We went down a few plight of stairs where CHI's reception is located.

As explained to me, finely-milled Jewelmer Golden South Sea pearls  are mixed with CHI's signature element oils. To know what element oil suits me, the spa therapist handed me a questionnaire before the treatment. After I accomplished the questionnaire, she told me that my elements are a mix of fire and water, and that my mood for the day leaned towards fire. So, having said that, to complement my mood, water element oil was used for my scrub, and fire element oil for my massage. I wonder if this water element of mine has something to do with my love for beaches, islands and marine life?

 The spa therapist then led me to the lavish treatment room and had informed me that I can use the steam bath (which she had pre-heated already) for 15 minutes. I love this part. I just love steam baths than sauna. I can dwell in it for hours. 

Photo courtesy of EDSA Shangri-La

After the soothing steam bath, the therapist showed me the finely-milled Golden South Sea pearls and the water element oil. She started putting oil on my body and gradually dust it with the immaculate pearl powder. It felt cold when it finally touched my skin. It is not coarse like the usual body scrub. It feels like baby powder. Unless you have allergies to pearls (I am not even sure if there is such a thing), this treatment is a better option for those who have sensitive skin. Since it is finely-milled, there is less risk of having abrasions. 

When the spa therapist had finally finished applying the delicate pearl powder on my body, she asked me to touch my skin and indeed, it was very smooth. A refreshing shower and another few minutes of steam bath followed, before my another  favourite part - the massage.

A gentle yet penetrative massage pressure focusing on the earth element (building ch’i), wood element (moving ch’i) and fire element (clarity and peace of mind), their signature massage - CHI Balance - uses techniques that include acupressure, energizing massage to stimulate yang and relaxing massage to calm yin. 

In the earlier questionnaire that I had filled out, there was a part there where I have to mark some body parts that I wish the therapist to focus on. True enough, these marks are very well taken into consideration. The spa therapist focused on my stiff back and legs. The strokes were divinely perfect. It was so relaxing that I almost fell asleep. 

For a local fare, CHI also prides itself in promoting the Philippines' very own - Hilot massage. It is an authentic treatment that focuses on ancient diagnostic methods passed down through generations of Philippine culture. In the traditional setting, warmed coconut oil and banana leaves are placed over the body and allows the healing hands of the Hilot to detect areas of energy imbalance and blockages in your body. 

I was awakened by the clink of this metal, the final ritual for every CHI treatment. It is believed to dispel bad vibes. There. Back to reality. How I wish this indulgence did not come to an end.

Photo courtesy of EDSA Shangri-La
I was served with a soothing cup of honeyed ginger ale before I put on my wardrobe back. The treatment lasted for about two and a half hours. Believe me, every single minute of those two and a half hours are all worthwhile. 

The Secrets of the Sea is available at CHI, the Spa at EDSA Shangri-la until June 2012 only, so better grab the opportunity to indulge in this unique indulgence. For reservations please call(63 2) 633 8888 or (63 2) 634 7303 or email at

While I was waiting for hubby to pick me up at the CHI lobby, I saw these lavish oils and soaps available for purchase. This is perfect for your very own DIY spa treatment at home.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Product Spotlight: NYX 10 Color Eyeshadow in Haute Couture

I love neutrals and grays. Perhaps it's because these colors are so easy to pull off. These are so easy to blend, mix and match. One can never go wrong with browns, beiges and taupes. A reason why Urban Decay's NAKED palette sells like hotcakes when it was launched. So you could just imagine what my traincase contains - lots of neutral palettes for eyes, cheeks and lips. Lately I realized that my stash contains almost the same colors, only with different brands. Redundancy, that is. 

But out of all my browns, beiges, nudes and grays, I found this one! NYX 10 Color Eyeshadow Palette in Haute Model. I remember that when I was about to order this from Digital Traincase, I was actually eyeing the Nude on Nude palette (a dupe of the nude superstar NAKED), and the other neutral palette from NYX. But, as if a blessing in disguise, all of those were out of stock back then. So I settled for this colorful palette.

It has silvers that are perfect for smokey look, as well as brights for some out of the box eye makeup experiment. I actually like the aqua blue on the bottom right paired with either the light silver above it or the dark metallic blue at the bottom left. The bronze and maroon are also nice for some nightouts.

Texture-wise, NYX eyeshadows tend to be a bit chalky, but color payoff is better than drugstore brands like Maybelline or Revlon. I also believe that NYX palettes are cost effective than the individual ones. I mean, you won't need a whole tub of say a blue eyeshadow to consume before its expired right?