30 July 2014

July according to Sample Room

Pssst! Guess who just got a makeover?

A little more than a year of giving us Filipinas the option to try before we buy, Sample Room has debuted their new packaging featuring Arlene Sy's beautiful artwork! 

So pretty, yes? Perfect for reusing, as I'm sure my friends will only be too happy to get little presents from me housed in this beautiful paper bag. I'm so excited to get more samples in the mail because of this! Paper stock is thick and durable, too. In fact, these Burt's Bees products came in this paper bag and they all arrived unscathed!

I don't think I've ever received a package as yummy-smelling as this!
Contents include Burt's Bees Honey Lip Balm, Burt's Bees Honey & Grapeseed Hand Cream, Burt's Bees Soap Bark & Chamomile Deep Cleansing Cream, Burt's Bees Coconut Foot Creme, and Burt's Bees Peppermint & Rosemary Body Wash
Incidentally, July was a great month for being a Sample Room member as they released a lot of fantastic products. I got two samples these month: the Burt's Bees Lip Shimmer in Watermelon (worth 105 points) and the Colour Collection Lip Perfection Lipstick in Bella (worth 100 points). 

My Burt's Bees lip-care collection with the newest addition: the Lip Shimmer in Watermelon
When it comes to lip-care products, Burt's Bees tops my list. I'm so glad I received a free sample of Lip Shimmer from Sample Room and I'd be happy to repurchase once I finish this tube. At P395 a pop, I love how it moisturizes my lips while giving it a minty flavor. Can I just say that mint is one of my favorite things in the world? Okay. Burt's Bees Lip Shimmers have Vitamin E and Beeswax and enriched with Sunflower and Coconut Oils. I also love how it lends a sheer shimmery color to my lips.

One of the newest additions to my lipstick family: the Colour Collection Lip Perfection Lipstick in Bella
This line of lipsticks from Colour Collection is said to be a line of treatment lipsticks as they are infused with Argan Oil for ultimate lip protection.

As mentioned on one of my previous posts, Argan Oil is one of the rarest and most expensive oils in the world. This lipstick also contains a host of other nutrients and antioxidants like Vitamin E (fights off damaging effects of free radicals), Vitamin F (essential fatty acids for skin elasticity), and Squalene (powerful antioxidant that maintains skin's moisture.

Here she is on my lips
What do you think? Pretty without being too conspicuous. I think it's great for everyday wear! They're too soft, though. Mine feels like it would fall off whenever I use it as the base connected to the tube looks like it has melted. I might have to follow my blogger-twin Tellie's tips on how to depot my lipstick! If only carrying a lip brush everywhere doesn't sound so impractical. In any case I would also love to try Crema too, so I'm hoping they restock soon. 

Here are the two products side by side:

Burt's Bees Lip Shimmer in Watermelon and Colour Collection Lip Perfection Lipstick in Bella
I can't choose one over the other as they're both really pretty and the formulations are great. Of course, I can't really complain as I only got them for free from the site in exchange for my honest reviews.

Are you a Sample Room member yet? If not, what are you waiting for? Register here and enjoy sampling!

28 July 2014

Book review: Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

Oh Gone Girl, where do I even begin?

Written by Gillian Flynn, Gone Girl is one of the biggest books to have come out in the last two years. It has been in my to-read list for a while now but I didn't really get the drive to go and get myself a copy until I realized the movie adaptation's going to be shown soon. When I started, I couldn't stop. It's one of those books that grip you into a chokehold and never let you go until you stop resisting and fully submit yourself under its spell. It didn't matter how sleepy and tired I felt, I kept reading until past midnight. I actually finished it while on a weekend swimming getaway trip with my family yesterday; no matter how inviting the pool was on this cloudy but humid weather, I decided I wouldn't take a dip until I finish this book.

From an outsider's point of view, Nick Dunne and Amy Elliot-Dunne look like a perfect couple. And they were! Everything started changing when they both lost their jobs in New York and they were forced to move to Nick's hometown in Missouri. On the day of their fifth wedding anniversary, Amy mysteriously disappears. What follows is a riveting he said-she said tale of lies, betrayals, treasure hunts, and mysteries surrounding their marriage and the people around them. Where is Amy? Did Nick kill his wife? If not him, who?

I read somewhere that instead of two, there are three sides to every story: his side, her side, and the truth. What kept me at the edge of my seat was wondering what happened to Amy, and I didn't want to be spoiled I didn't even check any reviews beforehand. I had at least five different theories regarding her disappearance, but I inferred from the get-go that Nick didn't murder his wife. Filled with red herrings and questionable characters, this book will get you guessing right until the second part where the plot twist is revealed.

Lies and betrayals aside, I think Gone Girl is also very romantic. In the words of Nick Dunne, "catastrophically romantic." Here's an excerpt from Amy's side of the story:
So you suffer through the night with the perfect-on-paper man - the stutter of jokes misunderstood, the witty remarks lobbed and missed. Or maybe he understands that you've made a witty remark but, unsure of what to do with it, he holds it in his hand like some bit of conversational phlegm he will wipe away later. You spend another hour trying to find each other, to recognize each other, and you drink a little too much and try a little too hard. And you go home to a cold bed and think, That was fine. And your life is a long line of fine. And then you run into Nick Dunne on Seventh Avenue as you're buying diced cantaloupe, and pow, you are recognized, the both of you. You both find the exact same things worth remembering. (Just one olive, though). You have the same rhythm. Click. You just know each other. And all of a sudden you see reading in bed and waffles on Sunday and laughing at nothing and his mouth on yours. And it's so far beyond fine that you know you can never go back to fine. That fast. You think: Oh, here is the rest of my life. It's finally arrived.
This book is very polarizing and understandably so. Immediately after I finished reading it, I was so puzzled! And mad! But mostly puzzled at how someone can be so diabolical. I kept thinking how it just proves that life is not fair and not everyone gets their comeuppance, and I wished there was some way I could unread it. However, after simmering in my mind for 24 hours, I must say that I really did like it. I mean, I hate that it had to end that way, but it is what it is. I cannot deny how mind-blowingly brilliant it is and how I got a kick out of the transitions to the succeeding chapter. I liked that the characters are flawed, because yes, I do like veering away from cutesy and ideal fictional-but-I-wish-they-weren't characters every once in a while. I also liked that I had to make use of my Kindle's dictionary because I wasn't familiar with some of the words Gillian Flynn used. (Yay for expanding my vocabulary!)

That being said, I am happy that the producers and the author decided to write a completely different ending for the movie. Now I regret not waiting until September to read the book, because I am freakin' excited for the movie! Just check out the trailers below.

I still haven't pegged Ben Affleck as Bruce Wayne/ Batman because I'm waiting for the trailer before I pass judgment, but I think he's going to be an excellent Nick Dunne! I actually pictured him in my mind the whole time I was reading the book. And Neil Patrick Harris as Desi Collings? It's so anti-Barney, I love it. I pictured Tanner Bolt as older and I wish they cast Rose Byrne as Go but other than that, I'm okay. David Fincher at the helm, hello? October can't come fast enough.

Brilliant book! The moral of the story? Never marry a sociopath. How do you know if someone's a sociopath? That's the problem.

25 July 2014

To market, to market, to buy a pretty clutch.

One of the things I enjoy the most with my job is the opportunity to go to a lot of different events with very creative themes.

A couple of weeks ago, we assisted world-renowned local fashion accessories label ARANÁZ for the launch of their Resort 2015 collection through a fun market-themed event named Boqueria (after a large public market in Spain; also the name of the collection) held in Privato Hotel.
Photo from Erica
Travel aficionados will find this collection hard to resist as it was inspired by designer Amina Aranaz-Alunan’s perpetual wanderlust. It embodies the essence of travel in every detail down to its name as Boqueria places emphasis on mixed media embodying the melting pot environs of global markets.

Aren't they just beautiful? Much like the places that inspired ARANÁZ Boqueria, the collection is colorful, bright, and showcases the expert artistry the brand is known for. Every piece is handmade with a heavy emphasis on weaving technique. This is a series that explores the rich combination of textures and materials, layer upon layer. Delicate embroidery atop Ikat prints and thoughtful beadwork on woven surfaces exude this pure, artisanal feel. The collection covers a range of materials from wicker to plastic and leather along with fun elements in vegetable and fish patterns. That Piña clutch, I positively covet.

Miguel Aranaz and the mother-daughters trio behind the ARANÁZ brand Rosanna, Amina, and Becky
Aside from being given an exclusive sneak peek to the collection, we were also treated with a mini shopping spree at the mini market they have set up!

We shopped using our ARANÁZ pesos

Some of the wares available for sale were:

herbs and succulents;
kesong puti (that I regret not getting because after consuming the cheese, the jars would've been perfect for mini terrariums);
Photo from Celine
organic pineapples;
organic coffee;
an assortment of jams and marmalades;
an intricately designed dishware, among others.
Aside from a sumptuous buffet, we were treated to yummy pineapple sorbet by Kool Kids Ice Cream and Co.
I went home with these:

A mint plant and succulents I told you about in this post, the freshest and sweetest pineapple I have ever tasted, Rosemary + Peppermint Soap, and jars of orange marmalade, strawberry jam, and mango + pineapple jam.
Select pieces from the ARANÁZ Boqueria collection are currently available at ARANÁZ boutiques in Greenbelt and Rockwell with the full collection launching soon at all ARANÁZ branches.

ARANÁZ is also available locally at Raffles Hotel, Balesin Resort, Amanpulo Resort, District 32, and Shangri-La Mactan, and internationally at Wolf & Badger (London), A Bag With A Story (Belgium), Latitude (New York), Aha Life (New York), Iris House (Kuwait), Miranta’s (Greece), Itsie Bitsie (Hong Kong), and Four Seasons Hotel in Hong Kong and Maldives.

22 July 2014

Come join The Caravan II: Bespoke

Are you in the mood to go shopping this weekend? Ah, who am I kidding. It's not like you need to be in a specific mood to go shopping. 。^‿^。

Since that's the case, I'm inviting you all to come join The Caravan!

Following the success of the first The Caravan, The Caravan II is now here. Follow the tale of the thread and find something just for you with the second installment of The Caravan: Bespoke, An Affair of Monograms and Stories, in coordination with The Proscenium, Rockwell. Discover a diverse selection of customizable finds on July 26 to 27, Saturday and Sunday, 10 AM to 7 PM at The Kirov Model Unit (beside the Rockwell tent), Rockwell Center, Makati. From bags to shoes, jewelry, food, and beyond, it's time to make your mark and create something truly unique.
If you love customized and personalized finds, you'll definitely enjoy it there! Aranaz will offer bags monogrammed with letters of your choice, Mawee Borromeo will do illustrations, Adorno will sell repurposed jewelry and monogram charms and pendants, Risque Designs will sell bespoke shoes and carved heels, Coco & Tres will monogram leather goods on the spot, Twinkle Ferraren will showcase customizable swimwear and belts, while The Best Impressions will also sell personalized embossers and stampers. Other designers who will display their designs include Maureen Disini, Camille Villanueva, and Michelline Syjuco.

Guess what, you can also choose your own charms for your one-of-a-kind Stockton Row piece!

What I am most excited about are these Crow's Nest bespoke dolls, though. Just check out these samples of their dolls!

I'm sorry Hulk, but Batman holds a special place in my heart.
Your Local, Scarsdale, and Habitual Coffee will also be there for refreshments!

Come join The Caravan and join this new wave of cult shopping!

21 July 2014

Share a Coke with me

Say what you will, but I didn't think I'd be this *kilig* when I saw my very own Coke bottle with my name on it.

These special Coke bottles have actually been making the rounds at the supermarkets and neighborhood sari-sari stores for a little more than a month now.

Look, even Tegan and Sara has one each!
As I don't have any luck whatsoever in finding my name on keychains, notepads, and the like, I didn't think I'd find one of these. Thanks for considering my name and including it in your selection, Coca-Cola Philippines! Would you like to find out if your (or a friend's, or a family member's, or a lover's) name is already available on a Coke that you can readily buy in stores? Click here!

For over 128 years, Coca-Cola has consistently been finding ways to spread happiness all around the world. I certainly appreciated sharing a Coke with a friend I haven't seen in a while!

We solemnly swear that we are up to no good that we didn't plan on matching outfits that day!
Photo from Kira
Even though it's not Christmas yet, spread the happiness around by creating a virtual Coke and sending it to a friend together with a sweet message!

I made my friend Niel a virtual card ♡ 
If you're not contented with a virtual Coke and you want the real thing, you can actually vote for the names you want so that they'll have a chance to be included in the next batch of 50 additional names to be released in stores! Awesome!

Buuut if you're impatient (like me, heh), you can also get your own personalized Coke by dropping by the #ShareACoke tour! They'll be in TriNoma, Glorietta, and Market! Market! this weekend, isn't that exciting? You may check out the schedule of this tour as well as the official mechanics here.

Do you have your Share a Coke bottle already? Now I want a Share a Coke with Krissy, too. ^_^

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