Crimped and Bleached Out: Miley Cyrus for W Magazine

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Miley Cyrus poses nude and almost unrecognizable for W magazine's March 2014 cover. Her toned body, crimped hair and bleached out brows sure made a statement altogether!

“I just don’t get what half the girls are wearing. Everyone to me seems like Vanna White. I’m trying to tell girls, like, ‘Fuck that. You don’t have to wear makeup. You don’t have to have long blonde hair and big titties. That’s not what it’s about. It’s, like, personal style.’..."

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Anti-bacterial Soaps for a More Flawless Skin: Leading Brand (White variant) and Shield Cleansing White

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I've gone overboard crazy about whitening soaps in the past that I've completely ignored the power of a good anti-bacterial soap. After all, flawless, fair skin must not just be white but also clean and germ-free-- protected from harmful agents that may cause irritation that will harbor ugly marks and rashes.

Just recently, I started incorporating two anti-bacterial soaps in my skin primping regimen: Leading Brand (white variant) and Shield Cleansing White. I've been using both for weeks now and I see no reason not making either of them a bath mainstay.

Leading Brand

Its label says that it has been proven effective in removing skin germs that may cause skin infection and perspiration odor.

Price:  P14.75 for 60g and  P25.00 for 120g

(Also comes in two other variants: Pink and Beige)

Shield Cleansing White

Label says: "Shield is formulated with an anti-bacterial ingredient that provides a long lasting protection against skin bacteria that may cause disease and body odor. It is also infused with active skin moisturizers (she butter) that help maintain the skin's natural moisture while cleansing."

Price:  P11.25 for 60g and P19.75 for 120g

(Also comes in two other variants: Blooming Pink and Calming Beige)

The Anti-bacterial Soap Experience

I'm not a newbie to germicidal bath soaps but the experience using these two turned out to be an exciting one.

Both Shield and the Leading Brand leaves a just-got-off-the-shower scent that I've never experienced when solely using a whitening soap. What's more, that feeling of freshness lingers for hours which can be empowering-- the cleaner I feel, the more confident I am!

Shield Cleansing White may seem to have a winning edge over the Leading Brand (white variant) because of the active skin moisturizers it contains, but I found both to be equally moisturizing. Using either of the two gives my skin a smooth, soft feel.

The big difference lies in the fragrance. Shield has a more striking fresh scent.

It's also interesting that the Leading Brand lathers a bit more easily than Shield. Because of that, I ended up with a smaller bar of soap with Shield after using both soaps for two weeks. That may well explain why the Leading Brand is a few more pesos pricier.

Both are great anti-bacterial soaps, too! I should tell you about...

My Horrible Bug Bite Experience

Before I was sent these soaps to try out, I suffered nasty flea bites from occasionally petting a neighborhood cat (lesson learned, please don't tell me I should've known better :( ). Our general physician prescribed an antibacterial liquid soap and an anti-itch cream, which actually worked. If I used my usual whitening soap alone, my bug bites would blister and leave huge, hideous marks.

When the soaps came, I used Shield and the Leading Brand, in place of the liquid soap, using one bar after the other to isolate results. For a fraction of the liquid soap's price, these two worked surprisingly well! The stung areas no longer formed blisters hence, my marks looked a lot more acceptable as they healed.

Antibacterial agents help in bug bites by minimizing infection to the affected area. Less infection means less inflammation ergo, less trauma to the skin. (If you ask where the infection would come from, it's from the environment and from scratching the itchy area as anti-itch creams are not foolproof).

I will not hesitate to recommend these two affordable, very similar antibacterial soaps. Those who prefer a more toned-down refreshing scent will find the Leading Brand (white variant) more fitting while Shield is ideal for those who are on the go and would not want to fuss about spraying fragrance after bathing. They both leave the skin smooth and feeling fresh for hours and are genuinely effective germ-busters.

Disclaimer: Products were sent to me for review purposes. Post contains my unbiased personal experience while using the two soaps, the Leading Brand (white variant) and Shield Cleansing White.

Salmon Lips and VMV Velvet Matte Lipstick in Roustabout

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I never stopped exploring beauty during the months I have not been blogging. It was during these times I gave lipsticks a little more attention as I've always been a balm-and-tint girl, too afraid of lipsticks emphasizing my already full lips.

It wasn't easy looking for a shade and finish I didn't feel like tossing out after a few swipes, post-purchase. I wanted something close to my lip color and is almost sheen-free. Let's talk about a lippie I've been using a lot lately-- VMV's Velvet Matte in Roustabout.

How much: P1,050.00/ 4g
Where to buy: VMV counters in SM department stores, Trinoma Mall

You can classify Roustabout as an MLBB shade. It's brick brown on the tube and salmon on my lips. I'd say it's a notch more pink than my normal lip color and I love how it lights my face up.

Here, indoors and using flash photography:

And under natural light, without flash:

Roustabout is neither lip staining nor long-wearing. I notice major fading after the 3rd hour.

This is a nice color but I can't say it's a good buy. The finish may be wonderfully velvet, but it's a pain to put on! With or without lip balm, there's an uncomfortable drag when I use it. Also, it takes several swipes to get an opaque coverage sans a lip conditioner. Its weak formulation and barely satisfactory wear time doesn't justify the price tag. I've tried Shiseido's version of matte and they are buttery against the lips and covers fully at first swipe.

A few weeks after getting Roustabout, I learned that VMV holds a "Buy 1, Take 1" promotion for their lipsticks; had I gotten this on sale, it would've been a wiser purchase.

I know I could've gotten a similar shade from a more trusted lipstick brand for the price I paid for. What I'm unsure of is if the shade is as sheen-free as this one. VMV Velvet Matte Lipstick in Roustabout is still a tube-for-keeps as it is a nice warm shade and has a quality matte finish that's most flattering for my lips!



Naww, I'm not in Spain. The final quarter of 2013 has just been too eventful for me.

The most trying matter I (and my family) had to hurdle was my dad's heart operation last Christmas. A year after dad's long confinement in the hospital for some serious pulmonary condition, he again finds himself strapped to the hospital bed via ECG leads and a peripheral IV line.

Papa's heart's main artery has been 99% occluded. Another artery, 96%. We have been so blessed to be surrounded by the best support group and medical team, dad survived the heart attack and is currently working on getting his newly revascularized heart stronger.

     A similar looking cardiac catheterization room dad got into during his angioplasty  -SOURCE-

Celebrating the holidays was bittersweet. It can be daunting knowing that papa has been hospitalized a little too frequently in the recent years. However, I quickly turn to a happier state when I think of how blessed we are for still having papa around, surviving a series of serious health conditions.

To doctors J. Jison (interventional cardio), A. Cabalu (adult cardio), J. Foronda (adult cardio, critical care), J. Anson (nephrologist), R. Javelosa (adult cardio), and G. Florentino (cardio fellow)-- we thank you for your excellent professional service; to the wonderful nursing staff of Makati Med-- you've made my dad's stay in the hospital most comfortable.

More good news: I have more time to read my fave blogs and to update my page! Reviews, tips and new learnings will be shared and I can't wait to work on them in the coming days!

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