The Boy Who Lived

31 July 2013

Allow me to gush like a total fangirl here, but I just want to say how this date is significant to me not because it marks an important anniversary or whatever. It is significant to me because it is Harry Potter and Joanne Kathleen Rowling's birthday. ♥

Every Harry Potter chapter illustration
Harry doesn't need any Horcruxes. When JK wrote his story, she has given him and everyone in the wizarding world the gift of immortality. Long after our generation has gone, I'm sure his story will be loved by the next. Indeed, he is The Boy Who Lived. 

Aside from my copies of the seven books and supplements Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them and The History of Quidditch, these books are my pride and joy mostly because I love books, movies, and books about movies:

Harry Potter Film Wizardry
My post about this book and its awesome contents can be found here.
Harry Potter Page to Screen
The biggest, thickest, heaviest, most expensive book I own
Shown beside my Kindle for scale
The Harry Potter series is more than just a children's book to me. It's a world of wonder, friendship, love, courage, and all kinds of amazing things rolled into a seven book-series that I would make sure my future library will have a special place for.

I still tear up
every. single. time.

Freeway Mixed Prints Collection 2013

30 July 2013

The rainy season is here! Despite the dark clouds and the cold weather, looking dull and dreary is definitely not an excuse. What we need are pops of fresh colors and prints to brighten up our looks in this not-so-bright weather.

Freeway gives you what you need to brighten up that day!

Florals are taking over as Freeway brings out a special collection featuring its own exclusive prints exuding the perfect balance of femininity, charm and allure. It consists of tops and dresses featuring simple silhouettes and styles with stunning prints made out of soft, loose and flowy material, all with that comfort stretch component. The prints are comprised of blossoms with a watercolor and painting effect, seemingly comparable to wearing a beautiful collage of roses, tulips, orchids and more on a canvass. As for the colors, a mixture of sweet colors such as pink, blue, yellow, red and green are used, very much like the hues you see on a beautiful garden. As for the footwear, complementing the collection’s soft and feminine theme are lovely shoes from Janylin and Muñiz. 
Known for innovative ideas, Freeway first featured the renowned works of National Artists as a tribute to these legends through its National Artist Collectors' Series. Now, Freeway develops its own prints so that you can own that special item which you can't find anywhere else. Debuted in February this year, the line of own prints has been successful, prompting a development of more beautiful collection monthly. 
This collection will add sunshine to your wardrobe that can chase away a gloomy day. Definitely something women can wear and style on a day-to-day basis whether in the workplace, a day out with friends, or on a romantic date night, Freeway’s own exclusive Mixed Prints Collection embodies the qualities an empowered and graceful woman possesses. Catch this collection at Freeway stores nationwide!
For more information on Freeway's collections, please visit their official website. You can also check out their Facebook page and/ or follow them on Twitter and Instagram.

Watsons Men Zone presents: The Wolverine

29 July 2013

For someone who takes pride in her general knowledge about pop culture, I find it terribly embarrassing to admit that aside from the animated TV series popular in the '90s, I am not really familiar with the X-men lore. And no, I have never seen any of the movies. X-Men, X2, X-Men: The Last Stand, X-Men Origins: Wolverine, X-Men: First Class? Nope, didn't see any of them, all because I am not really a Marvel fan. (I didn't see any of the Spiderman movies either, but that's because I am not fond of spiders at all ha ha.) But when the opportunity to see Hugh Jackman take on his sixth role as Wolverine in The Wolverine presented itself, of course I could only say yes! IT IS HUGH JACKMAN. No one refuses Hugh Jackman.

Last Thursday night, Watsons Men Zone treated their friends from the media and their loyal shoppers to a special block screening of The Wolverine. Set in Japan, the movie follows Logan (I didn't even know his "normal" name, what is wrong with me??) as he makes the difficult choice between what is easy or what is right. Among other things, the movie explores how the desire for power - wealth, immortality, fame, etc. - can drive anyone to madness.

Hugh's hotness aside, let me be so bold as to say I really enjoyed the movie even more than I did Man of Steel. It felt like we were in the cinema for quite a long time because a lot of things happened, when the movie was only 126 minutes long. Hugh Jackman is a really good actor and I feel like no one else could play Wolverine better  than he can. Also, plus points for the women's badassery. ;)

I feel silly about this but I felt like enjoying the movie is almost tantamount to cheating on Batman as my favorite superhero LOL. 

In one of my favorite scenes scene in The Wolverine, Hugh Jackman was stripped off his clothes so he can be groomed by two servants. It actually reminded me of that scene in Beauty and the Beast where the pieces of talking furniture were trying to groom the Beast! After a bit of a struggle, Logan emerged from the bathroom looking dapper and without a trace of the "caveman" he was.

To help your man with his grooming and personal care essentials, Watsons has dedicated an area for men located in all Watsons stores nationwide: the men-specific Watsons Men Zone. 

In this time of options and accessibility, anyone—and we mean anyone—can be #hunkmaterial. No longer is it excusable for men to look sloppy. The time of dapper dudes has finally come. They know exactly what they want and where to get only the best of what they need. In comes the Watsons Men Zone, a one-stop shop that has anything and everything just for men.

Knowing that men hardly have the time and patience to scour through rows and rows for their grooming essentials, Watsons created the men zone. In Watsons, men’s grooming is quick, simple, and rewarding, and they house the best grooming products that’ll get men to look good and feel great.
Purchases are also duly rewarded with special gifts, freebies, and invites to exclusive events!

I was given a huge loot bag, and since I don't have a man yet, I gladly took them home for my dad and brother.

Some of the products I got are: Clear Men with cooling menthol that intensely cools and deeply nourishes the scalp; oil-zapping facial washes like Dove Men, which has a mild formula that thoroughly cleanses while effectively fighting dry skin, and Vaseline Men, which has the right amount of hydration for healthy, resilient skin, and Belo Men with DermWhite plus microbeads, which whitens and removes rough skin, Nivea Men, which is formulated with five natural ingredients for lighter, brighter skin; and L’Oréal Men Expert, a smoothing action formula that prevents the recurrence of acne marks and makes skin softer and brighter; Watsons Men Moisturizing Lip Balm infused with vitamin E and peppermint to moisturize lips and sweet almond oil to prevent dryness; Old Spice High Endurance, which offers high-performing odor protection; Gatsby Aqua Deo, an innovative powder product from Japan that contains sweat and sebum-absorbing particles for lasting freshness; and Adidas Ice Dive, a fresh scent for men who live the thrill of intense pleasures.

Not only does Watsons know what’s best for women, they also expanded their expertise to cover what’s best in male grooming maintaining to be a reputable and dependable store of overall health, beauty and wellness. Way to go, Watsons!

BRB finding myself copies of all the other X-men movies released that I missed (read: ALL OF THEM).

Official links:
Official hashtag - #watsonsmadeformen

Another weekend at Casa Simeona

28 July 2013

Getting away from the city sometimes just to unwind, relax, and leave smog behind can do anyone a lot of good. I do not get to do this often, so I was excited at the prospect of spending the weekend again in Alex's house in Tagaytay with her, Kira, and Anne.

Having learned my lesson from the first time we were there, I made sure to pack light this time.

I packed all my stuff in my high school backpack.
I couldn't believe I was able to pack everything here so I couldn't shake off the feeling I forgot something!
We spent Friday night in Alex's house in Parañaque and left early the next day.

Alex's cat Arya
A road-trip with friends while music from the '90s plays is the best kind of road-trip there is.
We would talk, and then a great song starts and we all pause and burst into song at the same time! It felt like we were in Glee, really!

After quick stopovers in Gourmet Farms and Mahogany Market in search for herbs and other ingredients, we were home.

Alex trying to hunt for food, Hunger Games-style.

Alex gave me shoes ♥
Gummi goodness
View from Starbucks Estancia
Aside from a quick run to a nearby spa for a body massage, it seemed like all we did all weekend were eat, wash dishes, and listen and sing along to music ♥ Anne fed us. Anne fed us a LOT.

I've always found attics of houses charming, maybe because of all the rep it has gotten from books and movies. Last night was the first time I slept in one - another thing to cross off my bucket list.

How lovely to wake up to this.
Big thanks to Alex and the rest of the Lapa family for opening their Tagaytay home to us. May you never tire of inviting us over because we will definitely go, gladly.

Also, special thanks to Anne for making my belly and me happy. I miss you ladies already!

Hope you guys enjoyed your weekend, too. This coming week is going to be extremely busy as July comes to an end but I don't mind because I am also looking forward to a lot of things. My first anniversary with ARC PR, among others. ♥

What's new: SM Beauty Box

24 July 2013

Do you know that queasy feeling when you're hiding a really good secret and you're bursting to tell it? And that wonderful feeling of relief when you finally get to announce it to the world? I felt the former for more than two weeks until reprieve came yesterday. I've been dying to tell you about the SM Beauty Box and now that we have already sent them out and they have already been received by the right recipients, I can finally breathe freely and show you how awesome it is!

The first time my boss mentioned this to me, she said it was huge. She wasn't kidding! I actually thought it was a box for a big birthday cake the first time I saw it!

Here's another photo with my left hand (with matching pink nails, hee) for scale
The SM Beauty Box brings the thrill of discovery to beauty buyers. Yes, aside from having it all for you, SM also knows beauty. It contains a bevy of beauty must-haves, both for physical beauty and for inner allure. While some of the products included in the package are primping and preening essentials, others take personal care to a new level by promoting skin and general health. It is truly a beauty product variety package like no other!

A peek at the products inside:

Here is a list of the products inside together with some of my notes:

  • Palty Hair Color in Caramel Sauce In the two times I DIY-colored my hair, I used Richenna and Lolane. This will be the first time I'll use Palty and I'm very excited because I've read a lot of nice things about it.
  • Opal Virgin Coconut plus Aloe Vera Hot Oil Cream Conditioner This is perfect for me because I try to pamper my hair to a DIY hot oil treatment every two weeks.
  • Lucido-L Hair Make Supplement I'm not really sure if I can use this for myself since I don't curl my short hair anymore so I guess I'll just give it to one of my friends.
  • Vitress Hair Solutions Hair Cuticle Coat
  • Nanny Rose's Gugo & Lawat Anti-Hairfall Shampoo This is going to my dad hehe.
  • Olay Regenerist Advanced Anti-Ageing Micro-Scruplting Eye Cream and Lash Serum Duo This went to my friend/ officemate Rica. She's going to review it for a guest post in my blog, yay!
  • Snail Age Regenerating Multi-step Treatment It is admittedly a little weird when you think of snails on your face, but I've been seeing a lot of this in skincare trends recently. Might be worth a try.
  • FINE Metabo Coffee
  • Purederm Make-up Cleansing Tissues Perfect for those nights I am too tired to wash my makeup off my face!
  • Purederm Exfoliating Foot Mask This is going to my mom
  • Snake Brand Prickly Heat Cooling Powder Martha and Kira have good things to say about this so I guess I'll give it a try.
  • Skinklens Gentle Skin Cleanser Kira said this is a good substitute for Cetaphil.
  • EVAS Vitamin Hand I love that it comes in Lemon!
  • Quick FX Pimple Eraser
  • Quick FX Eyelift Cream
  • Quick FX No-Shine Mattifier
  • Quick FX Tinted Moisturizer
  • Flormar Magnetic Twist Nail Enamel I've been seeing magnetic nail polish from other brands and although I was intrigued, I never got around to buying one. I am excited to try this!
  • Essence XXXL Shine Lipgloss I have waaaay too many lip glosses and only one mouth so this is going to one of my friends hehe.
  • Beyond Care Skin Moisturizing Body Wash
  • Beyond Care Skin Moisturizing Body Lotion
If you buy the items separately, it would cost you more than P4,000. The Olay Regenerist Advanced Anti-Ageing Micro-Scruplting Eye Cream and Lash Serum Duo alone costs at least P1,500! But here's the best part about the SM Beauty Box: you can get EVERYTHING for only P799! What a steal! If you were me, wouldn't you feel as frustrated as I was that you couldn't share this great news to your friends straightaway??


The SM Beauty Box will be available at The SM Store Beauty Sections in SM Makati, SM Megamall, SM Mall of Asia, and SM North EDSA for a limited run beginning August 1.

Which one is your favorite among the box's contents? Will you be getting one when it comes out? ☆

A good day for fandoms everywhere

21 July 2013

If there is anywhere in the world I wish I could have been in just a few hours ago, it would have been San Diego for Comic-Con. I don't care if I would have had to line up for hours or even camp there for days, I would have relished the experience like I do going to concerts.

Here are just four of the reasons why:

1. The cast of How I Met Your Mother

From Neil Patrick Harris: Here's a candid pic of the HIMYM cast before going onstage at ComicCon. Love this gang. 
via CBS
I really love these characters and HIMYM is one of my most favorite things on TV ever and I will be terribly sad to see them say goodbye but yeah, I agree with Carter Bays - I want to see Ted happy after finally meeting the Mother.

2. Tom Hiddleston as Loki

via Buzzfeed
"To introduce footage from Thor: The Dark World, Tom Hiddleston took to the Comic-Con stage in character as Loki. The crowd. went. INSANE." I am not really a Marvel fan but I know how awesome it must have felt for the fans to see him there. What a great guy, and a terrific actor at that.

3. Batman AND Superman in ONE movie? AAAAAAAAAAAAAHH!!

via Buzzfeed
You guys know how big of Batman fan (BatFan heh) I am, so to see this development instead of a Flash or Justice League movie made me want to run all over the house pumping my fists high in the air! Apparently, this team-up is for the Man of Steel sequel. Man of Steel was just okay for me so after the initial delighted surprise wore off a little, I got a bit worried that it wouldn't be as good as Christopher Nolan's trilogy. But, whatever, let's see what happens. I wonder who would be the next Bruce Wayne now that Christian Bale has "supposedly hung up his cape." Crossing my fingers.

4. The new Catching Fire trailer and some of the cast!

I loved the Catching Fire panel and gushed at how adorable Jennifer Lawrence and Josh Hutcherson answered the questions thrown at them. I just wish Josh could've been a wee bit taller, but perfect casting, I tell ya.

And of course, what we were all waiting for, the newest trailer of the  movie version of the second book in the Hunger Games trilogy!

I must have watched it more than ten times. More production budget equals a more grandiose Captiol, I love it. We even had a peek at shirtless Finnick hee.

Katniss's wedding-turned-Mockingjay dress is nothing short of spectacular. Truly Cinna's finest hour, yes?

And can we all take a moment to appreciate how vulnerable yet fiercely brave Jennifer Lawrence looked here as Katniss Everdeen:

She is A.Ma.Zing. I watched The Hunger Games in the cinema thrice last year and there was not a single second that I wasn't convinced she was Katniss, fighting for her life in the arena. What a phenomenal actress.

And then I spent the rest of the afternoon watching old episodes of Glee and feeling sad again for Cory Monteith. Glee's execs have already addressed how they're going to address Finn's absence from the show, and that is that they are leaving it to Lea Michele, which I think was nice.

I spent half of Saturday sleeping and then more than half of today glued to my computer. I can't believe it's already Monday again tomorrow. But oh well, today was a good day for the different fandoms and nerds out there including myself, so I guess I can't really complain, can I? Ha ha have a happy week ahead!

This afternoon.

20 July 2013

This week has been particularly busy (who am I kidding, in this industry every week is always busy) as we had three events for three different clients and I had to be at each one. It was fun interacting with a lot of different people but very tiring as well that I spent each waking moment wondering if it was Friday yet.

I was excited for the weekend because I made a lot of plans: see my old friends in TriNoma, shop, have a haircut, and stay overnight at my aunt's house in Malinta. When Saturday rolled around, I woke up and decided I didn't want to do anything else except stay in bed. I came down with a cold and my entire body hurts. My date with my friend got cancelled last Thursday and I was able to shop a little last night so that's all well and good, but it sucks that I wasn't able to see my baby cousins.

I found solace in my afternoon tea and Iain S. Thomas's words. Are you familiar with his blog I Wrote This For You? His words, accompanied with Jon Ellis's photographs, were always hauntingly beautiful. Whenever I feel sad and lonely, I just visit his blog and feel, if not entirely okay, at least a little better. I've always wondered who it is really that he was writing for, until he wrote this explanation. It is sad that he and Jon have already decided to stop writing in the blog, but it is good to know that he still writes (I will get myself a copy of his book Intentional Dissonance the next chance I get) and that Manila is the first city he'll visit the moment he starts touring again.

I got a free copy of the book version of his blog from his publisher more than a year ago after I said I will write a review, and I feel bad that I haven't done it yet. But as the book's dedication goes, "I'm sorry it took so long. But life, as is so often the case, is life and we forget about the promises we've made."

Now here's me taking another shot at it. Please watch out for my review of this book. Don't forget to visit his blog, too, and even get a copy of the book when you can. ❤ 

Studs + Fashion News: Teegram

19 July 2013

What could be better than ending a busy, tiring, and eventful week than with a little retail therapy? A spot of shopping always does someone good. True story.

Earlier after work, I went to SM Makati to get some flats and/ or bags. After about thirty minutes of circling the department store (there are just so many that I liked, it was  difficult to choose!) I finally decided to take these home:

Would you believe these cost ONLY P499.75 each? Come drop by Parisian the next time you visit The SM Store, they have a LOT of new inexpensive shoes and bags that are TDF!

Now, time for an announcement ;)

SM Youth is in search of 100 faces to start the Tee Revolution! This nationwide campaign, the #TeeGram, will be a unique platform for individuals to show off their personality through the clothes they wear, starting with the basic tee. 
The basic tee has really evolved; from being an undergarment and a worker’s uniform to becoming a hot fashion item. Now, with all the colors, prints and designs the basic tee has; one can wear it and pull-off a confident look that can be worn almost anywhere. And this revolution is all about the richness and the style potential of the tee shirt. 
SM Youth is encouraging all dynamic individuals to show their best ensemble and join TeeGram on its Facebook page. They can style their shirt with a jacket, scarf, vest, jeans, cropped pants, shorts or whatever they can pull out of their closet. Once they’re ready with their sharpest look, they can take photos of themselves and share it online. 100 best looks will be chosen across the nation and their creativity will sure be rewarded. The 100 chosen revolutionaries will be part of a photo mural that will be installed in all SM Department Stores and they will also appear in a digital billboards. Each will receive Php 5000 GC from SM and shirts from TEE culture. On top of that they will be given a limited edition shirt specifically designed for this event.
TeeGram is this year’s style revolution with the basic tee taking the frontline. This serves as an invitation and a challenge to all fashion enthusiasts to come out and be proud of their individuality. Take the challenge now!

Good luck!

In outfits as in life, it is always best to be prepared.

18 July 2013

Want proof?

Exhibit A
I was invited to the press conference and exhibition opening of I Love Kusama in Ayala Museum held last Monday. The exhibit features the works of Yayoi Kusama, a Japanese artist who is one of the leading and most influential figures of the avant-garde scene and will run until September 1. I spent all weekend trying to decide what to wear, until I finally chose to wear my gold sarong that I got from Singapore back in 2004. Still, I figured I should bring backups just in case.

Here's what happened:

What I was supposed to wear VS what I ended up wearing
I was teased mercilessly by my officemates when they saw my outfit, saying I look like I was part of the exhibit -_- It was mortifying! I was swayed so in the end I opted to ditch the sarong and wear this gray structured skirt from Club Monaco instead. I figured the floral embroidery and panels make it look Japanese hee. Aside from the pain walking to and from Ayala Museum to our office caused, I think I made the right choice in switching outfits. What do you think?

Exhibit B
It rained heavily all Tuesday night and it continued until Wednesday morning. Anticipating the worst, I went to the office wearing shorts and my trusty wellies. We had an event that afternoon and I wanted to make sure my pretty peach dress (given by Helga) wouldn't get dirty and wet. The rain stopped by lunchtime and so I was able to change into my event outfit and reach the event venue unscathed.

Yep, photos were taken on the same day.
What difference does changing outfits make?
Instead of my usual shirt-and-jeans combo on regular days, I try to dress up more when we have events. Most of the time, I even make sure my outfit matches the overlying theme. For last Wednesday's SM Babies event, I dressed up in soft peach and wore dainty accessories and floral wedges. Everything's well and good, except when the night sky cleared of any rain clouds and there was not a drop in sight. I felt silly wearing my wellies on the ride home -_-

Lesson learned: In outfits as in life, it is always best to be prepared. Aside from the heels I left under my desk so I can whip out an extra pair when needed, I have to make sure I also have a pair of rubber slippers with me all the time.

BRB packing.

So there. Gotta go prepare tomorrow's outfit ;)

My Lips But Better: Ffffound!

15 July 2013

Life goes on. Hello, Monday.

It's a special moment in a girl's life when she finds her MLBB (my lips but better) lipstick. The idea of having one enticed me ever since I learned about this concept because, well, wouldn't it be nice to have a go-to lip color just because? A lipstick shade that suits my skin tone so well  a perfected, amped up version of my lip color. As what an article in a magazine I read before said, an MLBB is "what your lips would look like if you were a character in a movie."

I had been on a search for my MLBB lipstick for so long - I tried a lot of other nude lipsticks but they either made me look pale and sickly, or worse, dead! - but now I am happy to say I have finally found it!

For those who are not familiar with the brand (like me, at first), Benecos is a German brand that started in 2008 with the goal of creating high quality natural cosmetics at affordable prices. They are completely cruelty-free and do not use petroleum-based ingredients, synthetic ingredients, Genetically Modified ingredients, synthetic dyes, synthetic fragrances, ethoxylated raw materials, silicon, paraffin, or mineral oil derivatives. You may visit their website here. Benecos was brought here by Canary Cosmetics, a new start-up company in the country that aims to provide natural and organic beauty products to the Philippine market. You may visit their Facebook page here. They sent me a couple of their products to review, and here is the first.

Ladies and gents, here is my review of the Benecos Slimline Natural Lipstick in Rose Love.

Get gorgeous lips with these Slimline pure mineral lipsticks that offer brilliant color, sweet aromas, and natural moisture with organic Jojoba and sunflower oils. The creamy, opaque, and stay-put formula gives lasting color. Benecos Slimline natural lipstick is super comfortable and has a soft velvety feel.

Not gonna lie. When I first uncapped this lipstick, I was a bit underwhelmed and thought, "meh", because you know I love bold colors on my lips. But when I swatched it, that "meh" turned to a big "WHOOP!" and a "YAY!"

So pretty
"Soft" and "petals" are the words that instantly came to mind.
On my lips
Really tight shots are not exactly flattering but whatever, I wanted to show you how it looks like and how it flatters my skintone perfectly.

I liked:
  • the color. It's pretty without being too loud and subtle without being boring. Perfect for Day Makeup and super flattering!
  • the finish and formulation. I have noticed that I do not need to put lip balm on first before putting this on. Non-drying and moisturizing.
  • that the brand does not hurt bunnies or any other furry babies.
  • that it doesn't have any weird taste or smell.
  • that the search for my MLBB lipstick is finally over! Yes, I feel like this is an achievement of some sort. Maturity level: unlocked. Like what I felt when I first used an eyebrow product on my brows, I feel like I have moved up further in life ha ha.
I didn't like:
  • that shades are quite limited.
  • that it costs almost as much as other more expensive makeup brands. I know that this is true for all natural-based brands, though.
It stayed on me for about three hours without drinking nor eating. To make it last longer, you might want to use the lip liner + setting powder + blotting before reapplying technique.

So will I repurchase? A resounding YES! I should probably stock up on this lipstick just to be sure, yes? Discontinued products, after you elevated them to HG-status, break my heart.

Benecos Slimline Natural Lipsticks cost P895 each and can be purchased from Canary Cosmetics.

A quick post script. A few weeks ago, I wrote about how Canary Cosmetics wins Best Online Shopping Packaging. Here's why:

I love how it looked like a gift excited to be unwrapped, and I love how I can reuse the wrapping papers!

Oh hai, look, aside from the Slimline Natural Lipstick, Ellaine and Rica gifted me with another product to try: the Benecos Natural Lipgloss! Watch out for my review of that ;)
How about you, have you found your MLBB lipstick yet?

Disclosure: The product was given to me for free but all opinions stated here are my own.