21 August 2014

Full Metalmouth

Today is a special non-working day for us Filipinos to commemorate the death of Benigno Aquino, Jr. He is considered a hero because his assassination paved the way for the people to revolt and overthrow Martial Law and the Marcos regime.

Anyway, aside from working from home for a bit, I also got to be productive by going to the orthodontist.

Hello, my friends. We meet again.
The thing I feared would happen four years ago has happened: I am now wearing braces. Again. I wore braces all throughout high school to fix my misaligned teeth and underbite. I used to get bullied for my teeth back in elementary (kids are cruel!) so it felt so good when the teasing stopped. I wore my retainers diligently at first but stopped wearing it when (eeep!) I got lazy. And then, my ortho at the time migrated so I had no one to ask dental advice from.

Fast forward to this year, my teeth that used to be perfect seemed to lose direction again. My lower chompers developed gaps and I had the beginnings of another underbite. Since my sister also has braces, I decided to just see her orthodontists, who are a happily married couple. They put separators on my top molars last weekend.

Today, this happened:

This feels like high school all over again.
It's Throwback Thursday for realsies, y'all. May I remind you of my photo from my 18th birthday?

I know, right?!
Oh well. Kids, that's why you listen to your dentist.

I didn't opt for colored bands because I'm no longer in high school because I feared colored bands will clash with my lipsticks. But who knows, maybe I'll be in the mood for baby pink or baby blue bands next time. I know I'll be avoiding those neon-colored ones, though. Here's hoping it won't hurt as much this time since I should already be used to the pain, LOL.

19 August 2014

Have you found Wally yet?

My Kindle has become such an indispensable part of my life and I will forever hail how it has made reading a lot more convenient, easier, and cheaper for me.

Still, there are some books that a Kindle or any other ebook reader can never replicate, and although I hardly have space in my room to contain my books anymore, I still keep on buying them. Example situations are when I loved the book so much or when the cover is so exquisite (bonus points if it's a limited edition cover) that I must have a copy that I can hold with my hands. I am a frequent trawler of local bookstore chains, indie bookshops, and second-hand bookstores always nosing around for new buys. For books that are not available locally (like my The Dark Knight Trilogy and screenplays of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and Before Sunrise/ Before Sunset), I order online from Book Depository. They ship worldwide for free!

I have mentioned the website in this blog and recommended it to my friends countless times already that I feel like I should be a stakeholder, heh. I can't even remember how many times I've purchased from them! Anyway, I'm sharing this because one of my three orders from a couple of weeks ago arrived today. I'm so happy! 

From Sweden to the Philippines in eight working days
Multiple orders are not shipped together because some of them come from different merchants. Let me share with you what came today.

The Where's Wally Phenomenal Postcard Book
I'm sure kids from the '90s can remember this bespectacled beloved character with the red-and-white striped sweater and blue jeans because he used to be featured in a TV show! In some countries, he's known as Waldo. For the uninitiated, Where's Wally? is like a 'look for the hidden gem' game where you have to look for Wally amidst a flurry of busy and extra-colorful scenarios. Oh gosh how I loved that show. I even had those giant Where's Wally? books and I always got a kick out of beating my playmates to look for Wally!

This postcard book is exactly like those giant Where's Wally? books, except instead of being huge, it's postcard-sized because they are meant to be torn and sent away as postcards! 

Of course if you want to keep all 30 postcards to yourself then you are also free to do so. 。^‿^。 Here are some sample cards. Can you find Wally?

The Cake Factory
The Deep-Sea Divers
Once Upon a Page
Clown Town
Checklist of three additional things you have to look for at the back of the postcard 
Area for the stamp and address of the postcard's recipient
FUN, RIGHT? I am going to keep some of these postcards for my personal collection while some will be sent to my friends. 

Another bonus of ordering from them is getting random bookmarks designed by Book Depository customers included in your order for free.

This bookmark was designed by Simon Kneebone from Australia
You may view the full set of bookmarks for this year here.

Now I am eagerly waiting for the other two books I ordered: a Pixar postcard book and a How I Met Your Mother mini kit with a mini Barney Stinson bobblehead! I am so excited!

By the way, this is not a sponsored post. It's simply a book-lover's kind advice to kindred souls. ♥ 

18 August 2014

30 years of Burt's Bees

Is it the #TBT and #SentiSabado hashtags? Is it the notion that everything that goes around comes around? Is it the opposite of one of Barney Stinson's mottoes that "new is always better"? I'm not exactly sure why really, but there seems to be a constant clamor for nostalgia these days. Almost everything we loved from way back is staging a comeback, and I for one welcome it especially when it concerns one of my favorite beauty and skincare brands.

With Burt's Bees, it's not so much as a reemergence as a renewed interest for the brand locally. I've known of Burt's Bees ever since I could remember, but it is only now that they got my full attention, especially since my ultimate favorite lip balm is from them. I have a lot in my stash, yes, but I find myself reaching for my Burt's Bees Tinted Lip Balm more frequently than any other in my makeup kit. Well, did you know that Burt's Bees is celebrating its 30th birthday this year?  Why, it's only two years older than me!

I was invited to their anniversary party held at Seda Hotel last Wednesday, and of course I had to go.

A natural and healthy-themed buffet table welcomed us where we were asked to mix our own detox water with cucumber slices, citrus fruits, mint leaves, and honey. For my own concoction, I put ice, water, three slices each of lemons and oranges, and a dollop of honey. So refreshing!

Inside the Satin Room, Burt's Bees' Classics greeted us.

Our tables were also decked with an elegant table setting and our favorite Burt's Bees products based on the questionnaire they made us answer from the Daisy White event. What a sweet and thoughtful gesture!

During the short program, we were told of the three pillars where the Burt's Bees brand is built on: the bees, the beekeeper, and ingredients you can spell. Back in the '80s, co-founder Roxanne Quimby started making candles from Burt Shavitz's leftover beeswax. This eventually led to their bottling and selling of honey, until the company evolved as a corporation. From then on, other products using honey and beeswax including edible spreads and furniture polish were sold, until it moved on to providing personal care products we know today. Everything is still sustainable and cruelty-free as they don’t test on animals. Their goal is to "bring out and enhance your natural beauty without the harmful effects of chemicals and hard-to-read ingredients," and I think they're doing it well, at least for me, as I have been using the Daisy White line for almost three months now and haven't encountered any issues or breakouts so far, aside from my once-a-month regular visitor that comes at least a week before Aunt Flo comes.

During the event, Liz also gave a mini watercolor workshop which I found very helpful and informative. Tsk, too bad I have next-to-nothing art skills. I mean, I am a big crafter and tinkerer but I can't do art. p(´⌒`。q)

Seated beside pretty Mariana, pretending I know what I'm doing.
I didn't get to take a lot of photos with the other guests, but I was really glad to see my friends from the beauty blogging community! I like their company not only because they're always so beautiful, they're also always good-natured and pleasant to be around.

Krissy and Tellie
Two Kristel Anns born one day apart! Creepy but awesome, yes? I have this theory that we were meant to live in alternate universes but somehow there was a glitch or something and we ended up in the same galaxy LOL.
Fun event! Now let's move on to another fun part... Would you like to see my current Burt's Bees stash? Of course you do! Haha. (‾̴̴͡͡▿•‾̴̴͡͡ʃƪ)

Burt's Bees for the lips
Honey Lip Balm | Tinted Lip Balm in Blush Orchid and Red Dahlia | Lip Shimmer | Lip Gloss | Super Lip Gloss
Burt's Bees Daisy White line
Moisturizing Cream | Facial Toner | Facial Cleanser | Serum | Eye Cream
Burt's Bees for the face
Garden Tomato Toner | Orange Essence Facial Cleanser | Soap Bark & Chamomile Deep Cleansing Cream | Facial Cleansing Towelettes
Burt's Bees for the body
Peppermint & Rosemary Body Wash | Lemon Butter Cuticle Cream | Honey & Grapeseed Hand Cream | Coconut Foot Creme
Of all these, the Garden Tomato Toner, Orange Essence Facial Cleanser, Soap Bark & Chamomile Deep Cleansing Cream, Lemon Butter Cuticle Cream, Coconut Foot Creme, and Honey & Grapeseed Hand Cream are considered Burt's Bees Classics. It means they are the products that have spearheaded the birth of Burt’s Bees as we know it today. I'll post an individual and more comprehensive review of these products soon!

In the meantime, I suggest that you check your skincare products and see whether you need to update it. You might want to visit the nearest Burt's Bees counters at all Beauty Bar branches nationwide and go back to basics.

17 August 2014

Catch up Day

I have a series of beauty reviews coming up but I don't want this blog to be saturated with too much of those (not that it's a bad thing) so I figured I'd sneak in a quick update on what I've been up to aside from work (just in case any of you guys are interested, heh). ✿♬゚+.(。◡‿◡)♪.+゚♬✿。

A week ago, I went on a roadtrip to Antipolo with my breakfast buddies/ carpool-mates Mike and Ralph so Mike can have his new car blessed at the Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage Cathedral.

It was a fun trip, punctuated with a stopover at Maginhawa Street to eat. It's been a while since I went there and I'm glad I was able to bring my two close friends at places I used to frequent with my dear friends from HSBC.

I was in the van on my way to work listening to the Magic Morning Show with DJ Mo, Sam Oh, and Mikey Bustos when news that Robin Williams has died broke out. He was one of my favorite actors and I was so affected.

Rest in peace, oh captain my captain. Thank you for your life.

Depression lies, depression kills. If ever you feel the hopelessness and indifference are going to swallow you whole, please, get help.

After being friends online since I was in college and seeing one without the other a handful of times since, I finally got to see Belle and Janelle together! They went to Manila for a quick visit to finalize plans for the business they're building together and I couldn't be happier for them! Dinner was spent talking about books, the current state of Tacloban, and (of course!) Harry Potter!

Now I'm hoping I can also visit Tacloban soon!

I regret to inform you that my mint plant has died. (╯︵╰,)

I'm happy to see this little guy flourishing, though! He sprouted those three little thingies since I got him, and he looks so healthy that I wish he really is a fluke on my apparent lack of a green thumb.

I am going to have braces again. I can't believe I'm going to subject myself to the same torment I went through for about five years but, yeah, it's not like I have a choice. I'm going to have them put this coming Thursday so I have until Wednesday to eat everything I want to eat that would be next to impossible once I go full metalmouth. The only problem is that the ortho placed separators last Friday so it's already a struggle.

Anyway, I spent the weekend at my aunt's house in Malinta. As expected, I was lost in a flurry of stuffed animals, kiddie movies, and lots of giggles.

Baby Gab trying to apply Kiele on Winnie the Pooh
I love my baby cousins.

Of course, I also got to have time for myself.

De-stressed by deep-cleaning my makeup brushes
I tried to read Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins but it felt out of sync with my current disposition. Then I remembered I've always wanted to read Sylvia Plath's The Bell Jar but I was a little scared because I know she wrote this as a semi-autobiography. Reading this also reminded me of J.D. Salinger's The Catcher in the Rye.

I've always been fascinated by her and have always related to quotes of hers I see online. One month after publishing this, Sylvia Plath committed suicide. This is her first and only novel. I'm now on Chapter 9, amazed that something published in 1963 could feel so contemporary. I'll try to gather my thoughts and write a review if time (and my mood) allows it.

There you go, folks. Now I'm excited for all my online purchases that are due to arrive this week. I'll turn my computer off for a while and enjoy the rest of my weekend by eating cake. Hope you all have a great week ahead!

Hello, how are you? What have you been up to?

13 August 2014

The Perfect Nude by the World's Most Beautiful

Hello, everyone! It has been a long day and I considered turning in early, but this being a significant date I wanted to make sure I at least drop by and say hi. ♥ Today marks my second year with ARC Public Relations, Inc. and I couldn't be happier! Working in PR can be maddening, stressful, and very tiring at times, BUT it also feels very satisfying and fulfilling seeing your projects and campaigns come to life and be featured by both traditional and digital media. I am so glad I didn't quit when I was tempted to, and I'm very thankful to my bosses, colleagues, ex-officemates, present officemates, and everyone I have worked with in this journey. I'm extremely excited for the days ahead!

Moving to a different topic that I also touched on briefly on a previous post, I have decided to get rid of my clothes that make me look like I'm still in college and start dressing my age. This applies to my makeup as well. Whereas before, bold-colored lipsticks were all I had eyes (and cash) for, now I'm more interested on experimenting with softer and more neutral looks. Not to say I'm bidding goodbye to more than half of my lipstick arsenal, though. ;)

This is where the Collection Star by L'Oreal Paris comes in.

I know I said I found my MLBB (My Lips But Better) lipstick before, but since I ran out of it already I figured it wouldn't hurt to try to find for a new replacement especially when it's specially designed for the Asian market. Every girl should have an MLBB lipstick as a staple in her makeup kit as it's really the most versatile lipstick one can own. As what an article in a magazine I once read said, an MLBB is "what your lips would look like if you were a character in a movie." I know lipstick can't solve all problems, but it's a pretty great start. ;)

Without further ado, here are the lipsticks from L'Oreal's Collection Star, the most luxurious collection of made-to-measure nude lip couture. Do check out the swatches and tell me what your favorite is or what shade you're most likely to buy!

The limited edition lipsticks are housed in a rose-gold tube that bears the autograph of the World's Most Beautiful who helped come up with the perfect barely-there shade to best represent them. The packaging makes them look so elegant and chic, something I wouldn't mind showing off on my boudoir.

L'Oreal Collection Star
Barely Plum • Barely Moka • Barely Coral • Barely Greige • Barely Pink
Barely Plum • Barely Moka • Barely Coral • Barely Greige • Barely Pink
These colors are perfect for fall and look best when paired with a clean face and neutral makeup for daytime and smokey and dramatic eyes for nighttime events. L'Oreal says these neutral hues are perfect for every Filipina skin tone and hair color, but I'm afraid two shades didn't suit me. Still, two misses out of five shades? Not bad, not bad at all. Here are more photos and swatches, with green smokey eyes as my constant variable in these fun "experiments".

Barely Plum inspired by Bollywood star Sonam Kapoor

Like the MAC Pink Nouveau, Barely Plum is a beautiful light plum shade that looks more like lilac. I really, really wanted to work for me as it's so pretty, but unfortunately I didn't think it did. I have a light-to-medium skin tone and I think it will look better on girls with skin tones just a tad darker.

Barely Moka inspired by modern Chinese beauty Gong Li

Among Gong Li's movies, her portrayal of Hatsumomo in Memoirs of a Geisha is my favorite. I love Gong Li and I think it's only fitting that this striking lip nude with a powerful, warm punch of mocha finish is also my best bet from this collection! I didn't think I would like brown-toned lipsticks ever, but this great neutral brown (that I have been using every day ever since I got these lipsticks, mind you) proved me wrong. Now I can't get enough of them!

Barely Coral inspired by Chinese movie sensation Fan Bingbing

L'Oreal said Barely Coral is one of the most beautiful coral shades you can wear even in  the workplace and I agree. It's so feminine, flattering, and pretty! I love that even though it's more like nude than coral really, it doesn't make me look too pale nor sickly due to its subtle and earthy tone. I love it!

Barely Greige inspired by global superstar Jennifer Lopez

Of these five beautiful women, Jennifer Lopez is the most known by the general public. Barely Greige shade is a universally flattering color that suits all skin tones, and I have to agree. With no hint of a shimmer  finish, JLo's creation leaves a lush gloss behind. It is even referred to as the 'perfect nude' because it has no strong color but has the right amount of shine. You have to try this and see for yourself.

Barely Pink inspired by supermodel Doutzen Kroes

This is another shade I liked but unfortunately didn't work for me. L'Oreal says Barely Pink is the perfect combination of freshness and femininity with a sprinkle of undeniable softness as the lightest shade in the collection. This will look great on those with fairer skin tones.

There you go. I love the Collection Star and highly recommend these lipsticks. My only gripe (if you can even call it that) is that I think they should have included a Filipina on this roster since they are promoting how these shades are specially formulated for Filipina skin tones. They also don't last *that* long so expect to reapply every couple of hours, but it's not a problem. I don't mind reapplying because they are so moisturizing and glides on very smoothly on the lips.

So, which one's your favorite and most likely to purchase? I will buy Barely Moka and Barely Coral again in a heartbeat! If you guys have plans to check these out in person, they are distributed exclusively by L'Oreal Paris Philippines and are available nationwide in all L’Oreal Paris counters for only P625 each. Enjoy your search for the perfect nude!

(Disclosure: Products were sent to me for free but I was not required nor compensated to write a review. All opinions are my own. Please see my complete Disclosure Policy here.)

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