28 September 2014

Review: Heroine Make Eye Makeup

I realized I had so many things I wanted to say about the subject so before I knew it, what was supposed to be a quick prelude to my review of Heroine Make became a full-blown post of its own. After that, work took precedence so this comes a week late. Still, better late than much later. (^_−)☆

Here are some of my favorite Heroine Make products for the eyes that I received when I attended its launch event held in Makati Shangri-La Hotel late last month:

All Heroine Make:
Long & Curl Mascara, Smooth Liquid Eyeliner, Quick Eyebrow, and Eyelash Curler
I love using these because they are so easy to use! Also, true to Heroine Make's claims that you don’t have to worry about your makeup once you leave the house, these stay put the whole day. Perfect for girls who get either too lazy to retouch or too busy working on other projects to mind their makeup! Check out my capsule review of these four products below.

Bare eyes
Heroine Make Eyelash Curler



Save for a plastic unbranded eyelash curler that failed to cross over from Expectation to Reality, I've never owned an eyelash curler in my life, so I was secretly thrilled to find one in my gift box. Judging eyelash curlers should be easy; they either curl your lashes successfully or they don't. My Heroine Make Eyelash Curler did the job successfully and effortlessly and I didn't even need to fear pinching my skin!


See? Plus points for including an extra rubber pad!

Heroine Make Long & Curl Mascara in Black (P595)

I read somewhere before that a mascara's powers rely not in the mascara itself exactly, but in the brush. I have a feeling it's right, and so for your information the Heroine Make Long & Curl Mascara brush looks like this:

Heroine Make says the curved brush is specially shaped to fit the natural curve of your lashes to ensure every single strand is coated and curled! 
It has a waterproof formula and promises dramatic length and long-lasting curl.




The photo above shows a direct comparison of my lashes with and without the Heroine Make Long & Curl Mascara. It doesn't do much in terms of thickness but I do love the length it adds! It stays the whole day but is easy to remove using my eye makeup remover. I have another one of the same product in Brown and I use it on more casual days.

If anyone's interested, Heroine Make also offers other mascaras like the Impact Frame & Curl Mascara (which Tellie swears by) and Volume & Curl Mascara.

Heroine Make Quick Eyebrow in Light Brown #03 (P345)


I was initially concerned about this one because it doesn't have a cap; instead you get a twist dispense tip. It felt weird the first few times I used it because I always think like I misplaced the cap, but I realized just how convenient it is to just twist, draw, and go! It gives very natural-looking brows so I whip it out on days I don't want to look like I made too much effort, heh. Most days, I use either my Ellana Eyeshadow Quad that also functions as eyebrow powder or my The Face Shop Lovely me:ex Eyebrow Pencil (which incidentally ran out last week, huhu).

Heroine Make Smooth Liquid Eyeliner in Black #01 


I like gel eyeliner because they're easy to use but I hate that they dry in their pots before I get the chance to use them all up. I like liquid eyeliner but hate the waiting-and-peeking game. I'm sure anyone who has ever accidentally opened their eyes while waiting for liquid eyeliner to dry can relate. Eyeliners are the bane of my existence, but this? THIS, I LOVE. The brush feels soft, doesn't tug, and so easy to control! Dries in seconds and stays put all day, too! But like the mascara, it's very easy to remove using my eye makeup remover. I LOVE THIS!


Now here's a sample look I made using these Heroine Make products:

My winged liners from before looked odd, but my Heroine Make Smooth Liquid Eyeliner gave me more precise control!
It was very easy to do considering I haven't practiced doing cat eyes that much! I did this at around 11 AM, crossing my fingers that it won't melt before 6 PM, which was round about the time our event for work was supposed to start. My makeup stayed put all day and I was so happy that I repeated the same look at another, more major event the day after!

Makeup doesn't have to be complicated. Thanks for helping me make my eye makeup routine easier and faster to do, Heroine Make!

(Disclosure: Products were given to me at the Heroine Make launch event but I was not required nor compensated to write a review. Please see my complete Disclosure Policy here.)

27 September 2014

Achievement unlocked: Watercolor

Typhoon Mario pushed my plans in that I missed an event I was so excited about, but I guess I'm still lucky because apart from being stranded in Makati on the day that it hit Manila, it was the only inconvenience it caused me. We had two big events for work this week (Toni&Guy Hair Trunk Show in Todd English Food Hall and the launch of the newly-renovated Forever 21 store in SM Megamall) and I thought there was nothing I wanted more but to curl up in my room and recharge all weekend, but the call of learning something new was stronger.

My sister and I woke up early and went to Makati for Liz's Watercolor Workshop.

Paseo de Roxas
Liz is one of my favorite beauty bloggers because her reviews are all so thorough and credible and her writing, impeccable. Lately, I've been trawling her Instagram more frequently because she's been sharing her artworks and they're all so beautiful! She gave us a quick watercolor workshop at the 30th Anniversary Party for Burt's Bees but I wasn't able to create anything remotely good. However, I knew it's an art form I really wanted to get my hands on even though I cannot even draw to save my life. When she posted about holding a Watercolor Workshop on her blog, I considered joining but hesitated. Liz must have "felt" it, because she personally invited me to join. Since my sister is more artsy than I am, I decided to enroll her instead and just come and be a silent witness on the day.

The workshop was held in Commune, an artisan café located in Valero Street corner HV Dela Costa Street. My carpool-mates and I pass by the café every day on our way to work but I've never been inside, so it was another new experience for me. We were told by the waiter that workshops are held there regularly, and true enough there was a session scheduled right after ours. I also saw a poster advertising Improv Thursdays.


Coffee and colors
I loved my Cafe Mocha
I went as a silent witness but Liz gave me my own set of papers and asked me to share my sister's watercolor tubes, brushes, and palette. Eep!
Photo grabbed from Liz
It was a small group of students all excited to learn and the mood was very relaxed. After a quick introduction of the practice, materials, and techniques, we all set to work.

My practice sheet of the different types of washes
I told you I was not expecting to be good at this so I won't even show you my painting of a red maple leaf that looked disastrous, heh. Three hours breezed by and before we knew it, it was almost time to go. For our final activity for the day, Liz taught us to paint the sunset. I really loved this watercolor painting she made so I was thrilled that we could learn how to make our own.

I used too much color on the sea and my clouds need more work, but I LOVED that sky gradient!
My sister and I had a great time, Liz! Thank you so much!!
Photo grabbed from Liz
When Kyla and I got home, we couldn't shake the art bug off just yet so out came the watercolor tubes and brushes again...


With only one theme in mind, I looked for a peg online (because I cannot possibly paint from just using my imagination yet).

Sketch sketch sketch
Using the techniques I learned from Liz (wet wash and splatter, specifically), I came up with this:

OF COURSE I had to make a How I Met Your Mother-inspired artwork!
I wish I already knew how to make this before my party!
This was inspired by this artwork by Polly Birchall.
The curb on the right looks wrong and the yellow umbrella is far from perfect but I COULDN'T BE MORE PROUD OF MYSELF! I am going to frame this! 

Thanks for sharing your tips and techniques to us, Liz! I'm hoping to practice more and come up with more decent watercolor paintings. I am so glad I got out of bed early for this. (ღ˘⌣˘ღ) 

21 September 2014

Sometimes when people grow, they grow apart.

It is a sad but known fact that not all friendships pass the test of time. There are a number of factors that can contribute to a friendship discontinuing like distance, change in circumstances, or the most common of all (at least in my case), growing apart. Things change, people grow apart, time passes.

Let me ask you: Have you ever found yourself not having anything in common with some of your friends that you start to question your friendship with them? Have you ever felt like you've forgotten who they are and what your relationship with them used to be? I have. Several times. And it's scary because we used to be really close! But as I soon found out, that's normal. It's normal to feel abandoned after realizing that you've both grown apart. It's normal to feel isolated after learning that the interests that bound you before are nothing but mere memories now, just fodder for nostalgia, just fun little tidbits  to share on Throwback Thursdays. Growing up and growing apart is normal. After all, where else does friendship start but in finding common interests with someone.


I'm not saying you should discourage growth nor am I encouraging you to cut off all your friendships at the first signs of struggle. No. I'm just saying that some friendships are not worth fighting for, like those that undermine you and your worth, and those that stop you from showing your true self. You also have to learn to discern. There are some friendships where two people can go long periods of time without talking and when they finally see one another it's as if no time has passed and they continue where they left off, but there are some that are beyond repair. I realized that I also have to think of myself and that I'm better off without toxic relationships in my life. I'm not going to lie - it wasn't as easy as it sounds. It took a toll on my self-esteem and I questioned myself and my capacity to keep people in my life, but I guess that's really where my "gift" manifested: that when I need a friend, someone always comes through. 

The nature of my job means I get to meet a lot of people with the same interests, and I still have my close-knit group of friends from Elementary. I have lots of chums and acquaintances and a small group of close friends I know I can count on when the going gets tough, and I am grateful that they are in my life. As for my former friends, I'm still thankful for what we have shared but know better than to force it. I am being completely sincere  when I say I wish them well.

Cheers to friendships that grow together and friendships that recognize the reality that stopping being friends with someone doesn't necessarily mean you're throwing all your good memories together away!

15 September 2014

Purple with a chance of blue c/o JuRo Salon Exclusif

When your boss tells you that you'll get your hair cut and colored by the top hairstylists in the country, do you clap your hands and blabber excitedly about what hairstyle you're going to get? Because that's what I did.

Last Thursday, I went to JuRo Salon Exclusif in Fort Bonifacio for another session with Sir Jude and Miss Rose. Old readers of this blog will remember that I first had my hair treated by them back in 2012, and at the time it was the best haircut I ever had. Now I have a new favorite cut and color, and it's awesome that they're also the ones who beat their own "record". Not surprising, as they are indeed the country's top team when it comes to precision cut, color, and style, as recognized by numerous publications and their discerning clients from here and abroad. They are so passionate about hair that they even travel out of the country at least once a year to learn the newest hair trends and techniques that they can then tailor-made to their clients' needs and specifications.

I didn't have a decent BEFORE photo from the day so here's a photo taken a day before my JuRo appointment instead.
I love Sir Jude and Miss Rose not only because of their expertise, but also because they are two of the nicest and most genuine people I have ever met. When they ask you questions, you know they are not just trying to make small talk because you're their client; they are really interested in you.

Sir Jude is a graduate of Vidal Sassoon and is a certified, licensed cosmetologist in California. He employs a technique called the precision cutting.
The precision haircut was based on the theory that, with proper design and attention to detail, any texture of hair, even the most unruly, could be tamed and easily styled. This was accomplished by the scientific and artful hair stylist by means of engineering the haircut, taking into consideration wave patterns, or lack thereof, the creation of design lines, weight-lines, guidelines, and pivot points that allowed the freshly cut head of hair to fall naturally and flow into the predetermined desired style. (source)
Their philosophy is that each person's unique hair texture, face shape, skin complexion, and lifestyle all play a role in what hairstyle suits them best. When you have your hair cut and colored at JuRo Salon Exclusif, you get a style custom-made for you and you alone. 


After catching up over cakes and coffee (Sir Jude is a huge coffee connoisseur), we went to work. And by that I meant I sat back and took photos while the power duo (and their two assistants) worked their magic on me.

Prepping my hair for my haircut
In no time at all, I went from this:


to this:


I LOVE MY HAIR! I have convinced myself to grow my hair longer again after I got tired of my pixie cut, but Sir Jude told me I shouldn't let it grow past my shoulders, because then my head will be weighed down by too much hair, heh. I hate that it's too thick but I guess I'd rather have this than thinning hair.

After Sir Jude cut my hair, I was prepped for color. A day before my session, I actually told Miss Rose that I'd like to try having purple hair as it is a color I've always been intrigued by but never got the gall to try. I mean, really, how bad could it be? I've tried red before and it turned out alright. I guess it's because purple is such a tricky color. I don't want to risk looking like Barney, Grimace, Tinky-Winky, or Katy Perry! But with the able hands of Miss Rose, I know I am safe.

Subtly striking. Yes, that's what I was going for.


After prepping my hair for color, the next step was to bleach some of my hair because Miss Rose wanted to give me dark purple verging on blue to give it dimension.

Feast your eyes, as this is the only time you'll see me with blond hair!

For those who are curious, Miss Rose used Majirel, L’Oreal’s top salon hair color brand, on my hair. It has two treatment innovations infused in its formula (Ionene-G and Incell) that makes hair stronger and healthier with every change of color. Props to both its formula and Miss Rose's expertise as I didn't feel any discomfort at all while having my hair colored, as opposed to feeling like twenty pairs of hands were pulling my hair to different directions the last time I had my color professionally done!

AFTER
What do you think?


I hope I've always come across as honest and genuine in my reviews. Everything I've raved about are worth raving about, and things I wasn't really satisfied with I just didn't bother writing about. In that note, I'd like to say that Sir Jude and Miss Rose are really the BEST in their field. Even my friends told me this is the best haircut they've seen me have, and you know I've experimented with a lot.

I'm not going to sugarcoat it: JuRo Salon Exclusif charges a premium fee for cut and color, but you are assured that you are paying for high level of expertise, quality, precision, and years of experience. I love them and the wonders they've done to my hair and my self-esteem that I am very much willing to save up for my next cut and color. If you know me personally, you know how hard it is for me to save up, heh. Seriously, call them at (02)8225673 to book a hair consultation, and if you are are convinced and (this is very important) you have the means and capacity to do so, then schedule your hair couture appointment as soon as possible. You may also visit their website and follow them on Instagram for more testimonials.

I had my hair cut and colored last Thursday. Here are some photos I took the Sunday after:




I love how the color seems to cascade in purple waves then ends with dark purple streaks with a tinge of blue, and I love that it doesn't show as bright under fluorescent lighting or when it's dark. Purple hair requires a certain level of chutzpah and I hope I was able to pull it off. Do you think I achieved my goal of having subtly striking hair?


For my home hair-care/ maintenance, I use the Super Smooth line from Pureology, which is 100% vegan, has zero sulfates, and made with organic botanicals. You can use other sulfate-free products for your hair of course, but what's good about this brand is that with every purchase of any Pureology product, a percentage of sales will go to ICanServe Foundation to help fund their support programs for breast cancer patients. These are available at leading image salons nationwide, like JuRo Salon Exclusif. For more information, you may visit L'Oreal Professionnel's Facebook page.

I'm grateful that my job lets me meet really amazing, inspiring, and passionate people, and the JuRo duo is just one of them. Thanks again for giving new life to my hair, Sir Jude and Miss Rose!

Disclosure: I was given a free Hair Couture treatment but I was not compensated nor required to write this post. All opinions are my own.

13 September 2014

Expanding in Good Times & Great Memories: Shakey’s Newest Branches

Julia Child said, "People who love to eat are always the best people." I guess it's true, as one of my favorite activities when I'm out with friends is eating out!

One of our favorite restaurants to go to is Shakey's. There is one branch near our office and sometimes we eat dinner there while passing time after work instead of getting stuck in traffic with our stomachs grumbling for food.

Me with Ralph and Mike
It's Ralph's birthday tomorrow! Happy birthday, Ralph!
It's good to know that with more stores opening across the country to bring Good Times and Great Memories to more people. Seven new branches in Luzon have started operating, so in case we find ourselves in Evia, Buting, Kawit, Kisad, Hemady, Aseana, or Taytay, there'll be a Shakey’s Pizza Restaurant waiting for us.

Ain't that a welcoming sight?
12 more stores will open before the year ends. How exciting!

When in Shakey's you should also try the new Shrimp Chorizo Pasta.


It contains imported Spanish Chorizo and succulent tail-on shrimp, sautéed in olive oil and garlic with a dash of pepper flakes for a spicy kick, and is served with garlic bread. Delicioso! Visit Shakey's and try it soon as it's available for a limited time only.

Do you love Shakey's too? What are your favorite food items from their menu?

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