23 March 2015

Currently Vol. 12

23 March 2015

At the beach, life is different.
Time doesn't move hour to hour, but mood to moment.
We live by the currents, plan by the tides, and follow the sun.

This is a different kind of Currently because I am taking a quick break from answering a set of questions about what I'm reading, thinking of, wishing for, et cetera, as I am currently at the beach, lying on the sand and watching surfers ride the waves.

I am in La Union with my friends Alex, Anne, and Kira for a vacation. We will be here until tomorrow, and suffice it to say we are enjoying it very much and making the most out of it.

Regular Currently programming resumes next week. See you when I see you! ♡ 

22 March 2015

Beach, please.

22 March 2015
Focus on the powerful, euphoric, magical, synchronistic, beautiful parts of life, and the universe will keep giving them to you.

And what a synchronistic message from the universe it is, when a huge package arrived for me last Friday with this loot:

Goodies from Nivea, Banana Peel, Angelfish, Sassa, Banana Boat, AXN, and Beach Hut
Thank you so much, Robinsons Department Store!
By the time this scheduled post gets published, I would already be in the beach with my friends Alex, Anne, and Kira, enjoying a much-needed getaway from the hustle, bustle, and humidity of the city.

Sunblock reservoir
See you again soon! The sun, sand, and waves are calling. ♡ 

20 March 2015

Review: Belo Intensive Whitening

20 March 2015
I am not really one to splurge on or treat myself to whitening products or treatments as I am quite happy with my natural skin color, but when I was contacted for this review I instantly thought it was timely because summer = swimsuits. I imagine it would be nice to have fairer skin to show off at the beach or the pool and to also lighten my scars on my legs that came from a skin allergy years ago. And so I said yes, and so here we are.

The Belo Intensive Whitening line boasts of the combination of two powerful whitening ingredients: Kojic Acid and Tranexamic Acid. A quick browse at supermarket aisles will yield several bath and personal care products that have Kojic Acid, but I think this is the first time I encountered Tranexamic Acid. Seeing “acid” on skin care products sounds a little scary to be honest, so I did a quick Google search. Kojic Acid is an organic compound that stops the production of melanin, giving the skin a visibly lighter appearance, while Tranexamic Acid is a peptide that prevents inflammation and melanin formation and works best on stubborn dark spots. Belo is already a household name when it comes to skincare so I guess I don’t have anything to worry about. I didn’t set high expectations though, but if these products could at least lighten my scars, then I would be satisfied.

I was sent three products from the line: the Belo Intensive Whitening Bar (SRP P59.75 for 65g), Belo Intensive Whitening Face and Neck Cream (SRP P249.75 for 50g), and Belo Intensive Whitening Body Cream (SRP P199.75 for 150mL). I stopped my usual bath and skincare regimen so I could use these exclusively for two weeks.

The Belo Intensive Whitening Bar suds up easily and cleans my skin well. Unlike some horror stories about Kojic soaps I heard from my friends who’ve tried other brands, this one did not leave a stinging feeling at all. There was a “tight” feeling after but it didn’t feel dry at all. I tried to run my nails over my skin after using it to see if it would leave a chalk-like mark indicating dry skin and I’m happy to report that it did not. I also liked its light citrusy scent.

The Belo Intensive Whitening Body Cream is a bit thick but not greasy. As with other lotions and body creams, it is recommended to apply it while the skin is still damp. It is moisturizing, but not enough for my dry skin as I had to re-apply in the afternoon. Note though that I am cooped up in an air-conditioned office the whole day so that could be a factor. SPF is also very important for me so I liked that it has SPF30 already. It is recommended to apply it liberally on the whole body at least twice a day for maximum effect, so I use it in the morning after bathing and at night before I go to sleep in lieu of my usual body butter or body oil.

Aside from whitening the skin on the face and neck, the Belo Intensive Whitening Face and Neck Cream aims to rejuvenate. It also has SPF30, which is a big plus since I didn’t have to use a separate sunscreen. I like that it has a spatula for hygienic purposes. It has a pleasant light floral-citrusy scent that might not sit well for some people who don’t like fragrance on their skincare products, but it was okay with me.

My skin with BB Cream. Photo taken under fluorescent lighting, with no filters used.
For those of you who are interested to try the Belo Intensive Whitening line, it is important to remember that Kojic Acid is also a peeling agent that assists in removing dead skin cells, so it is also important to exfoliate at least twice a week. Also, as the outermost layer is stripped off, it gives way to new skin which is more sensitive so you should avoid exposure to direct sunlight, pollution, and other harsh products as much as possible. Again, SPF is very important; it’s good that the Belo Intensive Whitening Body Cream has it but you might also want to top it off with another product. I use Belo SunExpert Face Cover SPF40 and Belo SunExpert Body Shield SPF60.

Photo taken during the Sample Room BBQ
Using the Belo Intensive Whitening line for two weeks made my skin at least a couple of shades lighter and whilst it did not really remove all traces of my scars, I noticed that they also got lighter. I will continue using the Belo Intensive Whitening Bar and Belo Intensive Whitening Body Cream together with sunscreen and hopefully they’ll finally fade away to oblivion.

Have you tried any products from the Belo Intensive Whitening line before? How did you find it?

Connect with Belo Essentials

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post but all opinions are my own. Please see my blog’s complete Disclosure Policy here.

18 March 2015

Shiseido International Beauty Fair 2015

18 March 2015
Because what better way to celebrate Women's Month than with a Beauty Fair, amirite?

Global brand Shiseido is known for creating continuous innovations in beauty by combining the most advanced human science with exquisite aesthetic elements. I was able to use the Shiseido Ibuki skincare line and my skin loved it. They started the Shiseido International Beauty Fair last year with the "aim of empowering women through beauty" and this year, they wanted to continue this streak by inviting all of you beautiful ladies to a series of events that will inspire you in bringing out your beauty from within.

Here are the special activities you can expect at the International Beauty Fair when you go:

• A masterclass makeup and skincare workshop conducted by Naka Maeda, Shiseido's highly-trained beauty consultant who flew straight from Shiseido Japan, as well as their chief makeup artist Carmel Villongco. In it, you can learn the secrets in achieving flawless, healthy, and glowing skin, as well as discuss advanced yet office-friendly makeup techniques. Shiseido will also be giving personalized course certificates to all attendees.

• Swatch parties! Parties like these are fun but quite stressful because all the colors are too pretty that it's impossible to choose!

• Skincare analysis and consultation using Shiseido’s state-of-the-art skin diagnostic tools like Skin Visiom and Skin Sensor. The latter instantly measures your skin’s actual age (versus your real age), moisture level, melanin concentration, immunity of the skin, and your facial skin’s turn-over rate.

• Beauty Simulator that mirrors the state of your skin once you’ve started on the right skin care regimen. It also simulates a chosen makeup look using Shiseido’s newly-launched makeup collection without you having to take your makeup off. Basically, it's like those editing apps that put makeup on you, virtually. The Shiseido Beauty Simulator is not available for download from Play or the App Store, heh. This feature is now available at all Shiseido counters nationwide.

• Complete Shiseido Makeover that includes eyebrow reshaping and personalized makeup tutorial that touches on balancing techniques specific to your face proportions.

• Pampering activities like hand massages and quick facials that relax, tone, and lift facial muscles.

• Special discounts and gifts with purchase. This is your chance to treat yo'self via a slew of new products that aim to revive your skin’s "glow from within." Included in this list of star products are Bio-Performance Glow Revival Serum, Glow Enhancing Primer, The Makeup Perfecting Stick Concealers, Shimmering Cream Eye Color, and Veiled Rouge Lipstick.

The  Shiseido International Beauty Fair 2015 is even more fun when you go with your girl friends so tag them along!

My twinnie Tellie and I
Great minds think alike!
Shiseido was extra generous and gave all of us shopping sprees! Here are the things I got:

Shimmering Cream Eye Color,Veiled Rouge Lipsticks, 50+ Wet Force, and Glow Enhancing Primer
Of these, I have only been able to use the Shimmering Cream Eye Color in Fog and Veiled Rouge Lipstick in Venetian Rose and I absolutely loved them! I'm bringing Wet Force to the beach this weekend because sunscreen is important, heh. I'm also intrigued by Shiseido's claims that exposure to water makes it even stronger. My skin is a little choosy when it comes to sunscreen so I'm really hoping this will work on me.

The 2015 International Beauty Fair will run in three premiere malls this month:
• SM Mega Fashion Hall Activity Center - March 13 - 19
• Podium Activity Center - March 23 - 28
• SM Mall of Asia Atrium - March 29 - 31

Sample Room is also sampling Shiseido soon! Watch their space for the flash announcement!

Connect with Shiseido

16 March 2015

Currently Vol. 11

16 March 2015
To celebrate their 40th year of Good Times and Great Memories here in the Philippines, Shakey's is holding a colorful Fun Run this Saturday! The 5K run will start from Shakey's Malate, their first branch here, and will end in Shakey's ASEANA which, incidentally, is the newest.

The first and only time I joined a run was the Earth Run way back in 2011. Now, to say that I am out of shape is a terrible understatement. As you know, I am not a sporty person. It's been months since I last practiced yoga, more than a year since I boxed, and the only physical activities I have are flipping my book or Kindle to the next page and painting/ organizing my brushes and paints. I desperately need to train if I want to join the Fun Run, or else I'll end up with jelly legs at the beach (my girl friends and I are going to La Union!) after!

I actually wanted to jump-start this training early and was supposed to jog last week but Fate had other plans; it literally rained on my parade.

Today, with my red hair, pink striped top, mint sports bra, and pink and aqua trainers I looked like a running cupcake but HA! I did it!

Not so bad for an out of shape first-timer, yes?

View of the Ayala Triangle Gardens from the 9th floor of my office building
I'm planning to run again tomorrow! And now, my friends, we begin this week's Currently.


I just started Fall Like Rain by Ana Tejano in preparation for #SparkNA.

A blurb for my buqo YA story Once Upon a Sticky Note. I've been buried in a pile of work that I didn't realize the deadline is this weekend already! I'm not sure if stories in the ebook bundle will be given our own Acknowledgements section, but I guess I'll prepare one just in case.

Fool Me Too by Emile Haynie featuring Nate Ruess over and over and over.

A natural flush that only exercise can bring.

Of how I can conserve energy for all the work-things I need to attend to this month.

Sore all over. A physical activity after being lazy for soooo long does that, heh.

My Shiseido loot from the Shiseido International Beauty Fair 2015! I will share more details about that on a future post, and I might even give away a Shiseido Veiled Rouge Lipstick!

New bikinis for my coming beach trip, but I don't have the budget anymore because I just bought new clothes ahuhuhu.

To come up with a plan for my birthday, stat!

This week goes by quickly and without any other hitches.

I'm wishing you all an amazing week ahead! Take care of your hearts. ♡ 

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