Beauty with every PULSE and heartbeat

30 June 2012

It's always a pleasure to attend events organized by global beauty brand The Body Shop because of their Beauty with Heart advocate, that beauty is not just about looking good - it's also about feeling good and doing good.

Last Saturday, I went to SM Mall of Asia to attend the opening of the first PULSE store in the Philippines.

Appearing globally from May 15th onwards, Pulse is where The Body Shop's new beauty movement came to life. With skincare, make-up, body care and values taking centerstage, Pulse creates a unique and memorable experience that engages and informs, an innovative range of products inspired by nature, bursting with sensorial ingredients that tell a rich human history and additional in-store campaign-led events will capture the imagination of customers to actively participate in The Body Shop community, aiming to make the world a better place. Pulse is where activism, beauty, and community collide!

Aside from looking brighter and more space-efficient, the new Pulse store utilizes sustainable and environment-friendly materials sourced from different small communities worldwide as TBS's way of lending support to them. This store even has plants inside! Here is a mini tour:

TBS put their Top 10 best sellers on the spotlight, making it easy for shoppers to see their favorites, and for new customers to choose which products to try first.
Story-"Selling" Tables. Witty and fun ;p
This map shows which ingredients come from which part of the globe.
Underneath is a bulletin board where customers can post messages of support to TBS's advocate.
Affirmations written on mirrors
Gift sets galore!
The Body Mists I wrote about in this post are now available!
My officemate Arnz will be happy :)
The Lily Cole Cruelty-Free Make-up collection is also available now!
Look at all that yummy pink goodness ♥
Lily Cole Blush Ball
Sooo pretty! It's like a girly version of a Poke-ball LOL.
Lily Cole Lip & Cheek Domes

Their friendly staff also offer free makeovers and hand massages, all you have to do is ask. Just be sure to ask nicely ;)

It's always great to see these beautiful ladies Julia, Jheng, Martha and Ana
My pretty Sigaw sister Joyce and her adorable daughter Nat ♥
Miss Danica of TBS told us there are plans of remodelling more TBS branches to convert them into Pulse stores, but for the meantime I recommend that you pay SM Mall of Asia a visit so you can see it in person and join in The Body Shop's commitment in promoting Beauty with Heart.

Thank you, The Body Shop, for your generous gifts!
I got a Toning Massage Oil from the new Spa-Fit line and three pieces from the Lily Cole LE line!
Lily Cole Liquid Liner, Lily Cole Blush Ball, Lily Cole Lip & Cheek Dome
I have prepared a review of the Lily Cole Lip & Cheek Dome already and I can't wait to share it with you ♥

Have you visited the new Pulse store already? What do you think about it? Let me know your thoughts!

Special thanks to The Body Shop Philippines and Full Circle Communications for inviting me.

It's so important to make someone happy. Start with yourself.

28 June 2012

Aside from her fashion and DIY tips, one of the best lessons I've learned from my blog-friend Sarah is her advice "Choose your battles." I admit I used to easily get upset over the most trivial things. Now, if someone does something that would've already made the old me upset, I think it over for a while and then determine if it is really that important to me. Once I've thought it over and then decided it's a petty thing to be worked up about, I just let it slide. There are so many other things worth my time, feelings, and attention anyway.

Exhibit A. I used to have a friend who I met up with almost every week just to bond over desserts and other stuff. We went along great, but I found some of her Facebook posts offensive. You see, she always posts destructive and insensitive comments about homosexuals and fashion bloggers. I have a lot of gay friends and fashion blogger friends but even if I don't, I still thought they were uncalled for. I didn't want to see that kind of negativity in my timeline so I hid her posts. We didn't fight in any way, but the next thing I know she has deleted me from her two Facebook accounts (she keeps a public account and another separate account for her "true" friends). One of the last things I read from one of her posts is her saying fashion photography is so fake. What's weird is that she used to invite me on lots of fashion shoots before. Was she just being fake the whole time? Plus, she is still friends with one of my friends who is a fashion blogger. I don't know, maybe she just befriended me before to get closer with our mutual friend who she likes. I don't get it and I don't even want to because I have chosen my battles, and it's just not worth it. Life is too short to surround myself with negativity so kthnxbye.

Exhibit B. Just like what I told a friend last week, if someone does something that makes her upset, all she has to do is pause and think how important that person is in her life. Constructive criticism even from acquaintances are fine, but if someone she barely knows (and/ or someone who barely knows her as well) does or says something rude to her, then she should just keep calm and carry on. That person might not even remember it in the morning, so why bother?

Exhibit C. I know that a lot of people have already spoken about the hot topic nowadays (at least in my corner of the interwebs) which is fashion blogging. I don't consider myself a fashion blogger but I just think the world wide web is bajillion times bigger than we imagine it to be. If someone wants to start a fashion blog but dress and pose just like the people who've already established a name for themselves in the field, let her. I don't think she's causing you any harm in doing so. If you're so affected, you can always click the x button on the top-right corner of your screen and check out the blogs you think are worth your time. Live and let live. Choose your battles ;)

If you're going to be upset with every little thing, you won't have enough time and energy to do other stuff. Get more out of life by letting some things slide and just focus on things and people that matter ♥

On a completely unrelated note, I don't have nice photos to accompany this post, so let me just share with you what I wore last Sunday. I went to Malinta after work to visit my aunt and cousins. Yes, I have work on Sundays, and yes I can wear shorts when there are no bosses around haha.
White shirt and teal empire cut top - 168 | Pink bag - Fabrics in Style
Shorts - BNY | Sandals - Grendha
Necklace - Things that Matter
My favorite color combination ♥
This necklace is part of the Back to School Sale until the end of June!
Bracelets - DIY | Watch - Skechers

It's so important to make someone happy. Start with yourself. Sometimes we get too wrapped up with getting approval from our peers and the general public that we somehow lose ourselves in the process. Why make life complicated when we can just be happy? If there are times you think I am not being true to myself anymore, please feel free to post a gentle reminder. That is one battle I don't and won't mind choosing :)

"You don't get to choose if you get hurt in this world...
but you do have some say in who hurts you."
- The Fault in Our Stars, John Green

Why I don't want the Spice Girls to reunite and be a girlband again

27 June 2012

I just noticed that I've been on a nostalgia train lately, and to be honest I don't want to stop just yet.

I am not going to lie. I almost cried when rumors of my five favorite girls getting back together were FINALLY put to rest when a presscon for a musical featuring their songs was held in London yesterday. In the same hotel where they shot their first music video back in 1996, no less. I was in third grade.

No, the girls are not getting back together, and frankly I am thankful.

Waaay before I became the self-proclaimed number one fan of Britney Spears (even forcing my classmates in high school to call me Bryttel), I worshipped the Spice Girls. I thought they all looked so pretty and oh-so-fashionable with their own uniforms depending on the nickname given them. I had all their albums! Do you remember those limited edition stickers that came with Chupa Chups lollipops? I had a LOT of those even though I didn't like the flavor. I chose Pepsi over Coke because of their Generation Next commercial (Generation next, generation next. Ah generation!) I loved their songs and memorized the lyrics (and dance steps haha). Say You'll Be There, The Lady is a Vamp, and Viva Forever are my favorites. Ten year old me loved their songs then, and twenty-six year old me still love their songs now, and it's not only because they remind me of the times when things were much simpler and social networking sites didn't exist. I might have been mortified when I realized years later what 2 Become 1 meant, but you cannot argue that all their songs were catchy, entertaining, and made of pure bubblegum-pop goodness.  Even now, I'd prefer a Spice Girls song over anything by Lady Gaga, but that's just me. Most of all, I idolized them because they all seemed to love each other so much - they gave meaning to the word BFFs even before Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie made the word happen. And we all know how that ended. 

Spice Girls. Making BFFs happen since 1996.
I loved Baby, Ginger, Sporty, and Scary, but Posh will always be my favorite. I will forever remember how she easily breezed through the obstacle course during the boot camp scenes in their widely-panned movie Spice World. In heels. I thought she was always the best dressed among them and I loved her hairstyles and the way she has maintained this haughty "you can't touch me" public persona all throughout her career, until now. I honestly don't understand why she gets criticized a lot by her own countrymen when I think she is a good mother to her kids and a good wife to her gorgeous husband, while at the same time being her own woman by pursuing her real passion (as she said) in the fashion industry. People argue that she doesn't smile a lot and looks miserable all the time. So? She has often said that she is insecure about the way she looks like when she smiles. I have watched her in interviews and she always comes across as sincere and funny. I guess it's just true - whatever we do, we really can't please everyone.

I was heartbroken when Geri announced she was leaving the band, mostly because it felt like the end of an era. The quartet tried to get by. After a not-so-successful album, they tried to pave their own solo careers, with Geri and Mel C. enjoying moderate success. It just wasn't the same.

In 2007, I was ecstatic when they announced a reunion world tour. I wanted to see them, by hook or by crook. But then, that tour was cut prematurely amid speculations of fighting within the group, citing 'personal and family commitments' as the reason. I was heartbroken once again, but not as much as when Britney's life, career and sanity seemed to disintegrate right before our own eyes.

Now, back to the presscon. Producer Judy Craymer and scriptwriter Jennifer Saunders (the same duo who brought Mamma Mia! to Broadway) have teamed together to make Viva Forever! a musical based on the Spice Girls' original songs, telling the story of "a beautiful, talented girl and her best friends who get swept up in the obsession of today's TV celebrity culture. The musical charts her journey into the world of overnight fame and its impact on her relationships with her mother and the friends she thought she'd have forever." Based on that premise alone I'm guessing some of the songs they'll use are Mama, Who Do You Think You Are?, Wanna Be, and (of course) Viva Forever.

Photo from the presscon held at the St. Pancras Renaissance Hotel yesterday
Yes, from the same stairways where they short their first video, Wanna Be, in 1996
So, if I love the Spice Girls that much, why don't I like them to reunite and form a girlband again? It's simple, really. It's because I love them that much.

Before you continue reading (if you are still reading up to this point), watch this first. Skip the article as it's just full of spiteful comments about Victoria. Noticed how they looked like they were just there because they had to, not because they wanted to? I love Victoria, but it was painful to watch her try to belong, especially after she has admitted music isn't really her passion and was allegedly the reason why the group didn't get to perform at the Queen's Jubilee Concert. I don't think there'll be any major BFF bonding happening anytime soon, especially as they had to be interviewed individually by the musical's producers for their input to the project. Note also that no questions from the press were allowed during the presscon. Also, not to sound rude or anything, but I think they will look ridiculous if they try to bring back time as they won't look (and perform) at par with their younger selves. I just want to remember them as these dynamic, vibrant girls singing Stop right now, thank you very much, I need somebody with the human touch while dancing and not as trying hard middle aged adults singing pop tunes with their bits hanging out. I don't want to get my hopes up about another reunion world tour (and the odds they will include Manila on this tour) and then just get my heart broken for the third time upon learning this has been cancelled because of 'personal and family commitments' yet again. I think it's obvious I care too much about this topic when I was able to write a full-blown post about it when I was just planning to rant on Twitter at first.

I want to remember 90s Spice Girls, not 2012-and-beyond Spice Girls. I'm all about pursuing their passion and all, so if this is really not about money but rather about music, why don't they try to build their own careers again and not use the instant worldwide interest and fandom they know being in the girlband will generate? It was alleged that all they do is fight anyway. In my opinion, each Spice should put the Union Jack dress, the trackpants, the leopard prints, the platform shoes, and the micro minis to rest and just take care of their respective partners/ husbands and children. That being said, I don't know if I will ever get the chance to see the musical, but I know I will be one of the firsts in line if they make it into a movie.

And I think I will be just like this.

*Photos from Google, The DailyMail, and Pinterest.

From Commute-Friendly to Event-Savvy

Alternate title: This is what happens when you don't have a car.
Another title: I need more taxi money. Gimme gimme.

Hello everyone! I just wanted to release some stress by talking about beautiful things. And by beautiful things, I mean clothes.

I've been wanting to wear this pretty dress I got from Penshoppe about a month ago but I never found the chance to do so. I got the chance I was waiting for last Saturday when I had to dress up for two events! The first event was held in SM Mall of Asia, call-time was 2PM, and I came from my far-away hometown Navotas. The second event was held in Greenbelt 5, call-time was 4PM, and after going to these two I went back home to my apartment in Quezon City. So yeah, that was a lot of commuting to and fro for one day.

The dress I was meaning to wear is not really that commute-friendly because of the low neckline, but I managed to find a way! Sharing those tips with you now :)

From Navotas to MOA: Jeep to the bus terminal > Bus to North Avenue MRT station > MRT to Ayala Station > Bus with Ana from Ayala to MOA

Maxi dress - Penshoppe | Plain white shirt - Surplus Shop
Bag - Accessorize | Sandals - Grendha
Bangle - YRYS | Watch - Pacific Blue
As I mentioned above, the dress has a low neckline and is halter-type. As I didn't want to risk having rude stares directed at me, I wore a shirt over it and tied it on the front to make it look more dressy (at least that's what I think). I knew I would do lots of walking and would most probably stand in the train (I did, I gave my seat to an old lady), wearing heels wouldn't be practical. It's a good thing the heels I brought with me come in a nice shoe-bag that I was even able to sling on my shoulders.

Event in SM Mall of Asia

Earrings - SM Accessories
Heels - The Little Things She Needs
Ana and I passed by the loo prior to going to the venue to freshen up and retouch our make-up. I kicked off my sandals and wore my heels. This time, I was able to put my sandals inside my bag. I also put on my pretty drop earrings as I was afraid to wear it outside haha. It has been over a year since I got mugged (not because of what I was wearing, but because I was at the wrong place at the wrong time) but I still get scared sometimes. I guess the trauma never leaves.

From MOA to Greenbelt: Cab with Ana, Jen and Kai

I didn't take my heels off since we were in a cab anyway. When we reached Greenbelt, we went on another stopover at one of the restrooms so we can freshen up (again! It was hot and humid that day). I took off my shirt, et voila:

Problems with halters? No problem. Just use a halter triangle bra as well. Low neckline? I'll let you in on a secret: double sided tape ;) 

I really loved how the dress looked (and felt) when worn. I loved the nautical vibe it gives with the light gray stripes and the rope as straps. I'm not kidding, this dress made me feel beautiful with every step and swish of the fabric against my legs heehee ♥ I guess that's the magic that beautiful clothes bring, and it's that idea that clothing brands sell to us and that we, as consumers, willingly errrr, consume.

I even got to have dinner with Sarah and Ana just because I didn't want to go home yet and change into normal house clothes haha. But then 8PM came, and I turned into a pumpkin :D

From Greenbelt to Fairview, Quezon City: Bus to Buendia MRT station > MRT to North Avenue Station > FX from SM North EDSA to Brgy. Holy Spirit

Put on my shirt again, took off my heels and earrings, wore my sandals, and went home.

Big thanks to Ana and Sarah for taking my photos. Thank you for reading, I hope this helps! ♥

Keep Calm and Color Your Life

26 June 2012

After all, life is about using the whole box of crayons.

Floral Dress - Alex's booth at the BU3 Bazaar | Watch - Skechers | Socks - The Landmark | Booties - PILL

This is what I wore at the food tasting-party/ Reg's mini despedida at Bar Dolci and Flique magazine launch party held last Friday. I was able to use it as a day-to-night outfit as the Flique party was 90s-themed :) I had a white cotton cardigan on earlier in the day though, and I used an apple green satin bag I borrowed from my officemate Terry. Yes, it's all about color!

I think it would've been much better if they had a neoprint station instead of a photobooth to give it a more 90s feel. I remember having lots of neoprints taken with my friends so we can stick them on our wallets and notebooks. Those were the days when camera phones and digicams weren't around yet and bringing film cameras on field trips and retreats was still the 'in' thing to do ;p

I had a really great time at the Flique party! I was surprised at first because the songs being played were songs by Nicki Minaj, etc (read: NOT from the 90s). Also, how many times can you listen to the song Call Me Maybe before getting sick of it? But the moment they played N'SYNC's Tearin' Up My Heart, I just went wild LOL. Everything's a blur since that moment, thanks to two shots of vodka-sprite. It felt great to loosen up with friends, just singing along and dancing to the songs from our childhood/ adolescence days with them :D

I am feeling pretty inspired lately, and I guess that translates to the number of times I changed this blog's layout since yesterday. I don't know what it is about me that I feel compelled to change templates all the time. Do you think this roots into a deeper fear of permanence? Of committing? I don't know. I've been in front of this computer for so long, trying to sort out html codes and css that I don't even know if I'm making any sense now haha. Anyway, I have a long list of blog ideas I can't wait to write about.

Here are some other photos of things that have inspired me:

My favorite Kikomachine Komix, now on its 8th installment!
I love how some characters and storylines are just so out-of-this-world, yet still shows us a slice of life (if that even makes sense to you). Have you read any of Manix Abrera's comic books yet? Check this out if you still need to be convinced haha.
And since we are on the subject of the 90s...
The Best of Archie Comics!
I devoured these when I was still in elementary and high school, so when I saw this collector's item in National Bookstore a couple of months ago, I got a copy straightaway!
I ship Archie and Betty ♥
I would like to write more but my sister's beside me and she's bugging me so she can also use the computer. Later!


Life is sweet at Bar Dolci.

25 June 2012

When you see a framed photo like this in any establishment in the metro, you know you can expect the experience will be extraordinary: is a one-stop urban lifestyle guide to the best of Manila
My blogger-friends and I hung out at Bar Dolci in Burgos Circle before going to the 90s-themed Flique party last Friday, and I can speak for all of us when I say we [and our tummies] all had a great, sweet time ♥

Bar Dolci at night
Photo grabbed from Ana
To be honest, when I first got the invite from my BU boothmate Reg, I thought we would go to a bar bar, so I was surprised when gelatos and macarons greeted me as I entered the place. Thankfully, the owner Nikolai corrected my misconception by telling us that gelato places in Italy are actually called bars. Cool piece of trivia about one of my dream destinations.

Different flavors of gelato. Oh yeah, this is my kind of bar.
Photo grabbed from Ana
We were invited to try out the newest additions on their menu, and we were very willing guinea pigs. You will be, too, when you see these:

Hazelnut Nutella Frappelato
I mean, who could resist Nutella, right?
Ricotta Strawberry Bruschetta
Another fun fact about me: I don't eat strawberry jam. But I didn't want to look ungracious so I took a bite to taste it.
I am SO GLAD I did! It tasted so good especially with the cream cheese. You must try this.
These brought back memories of playing Cafe World :)
My favorite is the Spinach-Bacon Quiche. For those who don't like eating vegetables, don't be intimidated by the greens. This is perfection.
I was already full at this point, but I made sure I got my share of the Turkey and Brie sandwich, which is also really good.
But no matter how full I get, there is always time for desserts.
We were served Gelato Burgers in different flavors, but I got the Hazelnut Nutella flavor as well so it'll match my Frappelato.
One of Bar Dolci's specialties: Macarons!
I have yet to meet someone who has said not-so-nice things about this popular sweet treat.
I got the Limoncello-flavored Macaron!
I loved how the somewhat sour and tangy taste of the lemons jived well with the sweetness of the Macaron.
This is true love.
We were so full after but Ana and I also ordered brewed coffee. 
Do you know that Bar Dolci serves the best and most authentic macarons in Manila? Yup. Bar Dolci owner Nicholai said it's because the ingredients they use are also the same ingredients used in dessert places in Italy. Technically, a bite of Bar Dolci's Macarons is a bite of Italy. :)

I really enjoyed the afternoon with some of my favorite people in the blogging community:

Reg, me, Ana, Earth
Photo grabbed from Ana
Not in the photo are Sarah, Ava, Aisa and Paul.
The event also served as a mini-despedida for my BU boothmate Reg as she would be leaving the country on the first week of July to work and live in Singapore for a couple of years.
Reg and I aren't actually that super close, BFF-level friends, but I really like her a lot because she's always fun to be with, sensible, and smart. She's also very pretty :) Even though we didn't really hang out together as much, I will definitely miss her. She promised she'd be here for BU bazaars though, so let's see how many baggages she would be needing on her way home hahaha.

If only they have a branch more accessible to me, I think that like Reg, I would also be there all the time. The place looks very chic, yet still cozy - perfect for chill days away from the noise [as, admit it, coffee shops have gotten so crowded these days already]. Fun afternoon with friends stuffing our faces full with yummy food before we went to Resorts World for the Flique party. Thank you, Bar Dolci! Life is sweet, indeed! I just wish they open a branch in Quezon City soon ♥