Archive for September 2011

Bibimbap Friday Misery At Kogi Bulgogi Eastwood



I've read at least 5 blog reviews highly recommending Kogi Bulgogi's affordable and delicious authentic Korean cuisine. And so we went, two Fridays ago, and tried hard to digest what affordable and delicious authentic Korean cuisine really meant.

Kogi Bulgogi, owned by Pepper Lunch Food Co, failed to impress us that night. The food was decent but we kept wondering why it was highly-raved.

That Friday Night's Woes:

1. The long wait time for seats and for the food to be served. This is the least distressing because we had to understand that it was a Friday night (the place was seriously packed!). But because we had to endure, we expected quite highly from the meal we're about to to gobble up. There were free seats along the veranda but we preferred dining al fresco sans the cigarette smoke. 

2. Squished customers + more. By the time we got seated, we realized that the table for six we arranged for was a makeshift. My sister was closely beside the ice cream freezer while my brother sat 'neath a dripping aircon. My bf had to sit still lest the rear leg of his chair slides off the decorative gutter.

I know we could've refused to be seated in such manner but we were utterly famished that we, again, endured (and smiled for the photos).

3. Food Quantity. Chef Frugal must've prepared our bibimbaps himself. You can barely distinguish the meat in each dish.

Dulsot Bibimbap (Beef, veggies and egg)

Salmon Bibimbap (Salmon, veggies and egg)

Sae-u Bibimbap (Shrimp, veggies and egg) has the most appreciable quantity of meat in it

A photo of their bibimbaps on the menu

Also their usual 6-7 plates of Banchan (appetizer) was reduced to 5

We also ordered Haemul Tang (spicy stew of mixed seafoods) because of how yummy it looked on the menu

We waited to be served with soup where the seafoods are almost popping out of the pot. Unfortunately, all our crustaceans may have fallen deep into the pot's abyss

Nothing much about their Jjajangmyeon (Wheat noddles topped with black soybean sauce with diced meat and vegetables)

I can't say it was a completely terrible experience though. The food was decent and we liked Kogi Bulgogi's neat and sophisticated interior. The customer service was fairly okay but I'd like to note that only the trainee (I forgot to take photo) had commendable performance.

Overall, I'm not crazy about this place. Food is definitely affordable but there are other Korean food joints that give you more value for your money while letting you experience authentic Korean dining (within the radius of de Leon Street, Holy Spirit Drive in Don Antonio Heights, Commonwealth). 

DID YOU KNOW THAT: Bibimbap is concerned with presentation… Everything arranged beautifully and in balance. It can truly almost be considered a work of art when properly prepared

I hope Kogi Bulgogi does something about their bibimbap. The quantity is very disappointing for its price.

Initial Impression on the Acnesol Pimple Control Facial Cream

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I got the Acnesol Pimple Control Facial Cream primarily because of the words, "Pimple Control". I knew it had to be some spot treatment for my adult, hormonal imbalance-induced zits. It never occurred to me that I was actually getting a 44-Peso (~$1) product that works better as a day moisturizer!

Acnesol Pimple Control Facial Cream, 1.1oz/30g, 102php (44php on sale)

Effective Moisturizer
I have been using this consistently for a week now. Previously, I've been on Human Heart Nature's sunflower beauty oil OR Cetaphil moisturizing lotion. I top em with the Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel to lessen the sticky afterfeel. But because the Acnesol Pimple Control Facial Cream is absorbed quicker by my skin and is non-greasy, I'm now able to cut down on my prep time by skipping the water gel. 

No Pimple-Fighting Effect
My skin notoriously reacts horribly to Pond's products. I put Acnesol's name to the test by buying a 5-peso sachet of Pond's facial wash and  bravely slathered the archenemy on my skin. Morning after the stupid yet noble experiment, the side of my nose hurt like there was a huge pimple waiting to explode (which progressed as a HUMONGOUS pus-filled whitehead... yeah, you get the picture). 

I used Acnesol Pimple Control Face Cream for a week but it wasn't able to address the induced zit. Perhaps, since this product is devoid of the more potent pimple-fighting ingredients (i.e., salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide), it was unable to control a throbbing pimple. But it may be able to prevent future zits. I have to roadtest for a longer time.
Acnesol Pimple Control Collection, approx 230+php

Ingredients Detective: 

Ingredients: deionized H2O, shea butter, squalene, potassium azeloyl diglycinate and fragrance, caprylic capric triglyceride, MDBGN/PE, Hydroxyethyl Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate

  • shea butter - popular, highly effective moisturizer; contains beneficial vegetable fats that promote cell regeneration and circulation, making it a wonderful healer and rejuvenator for troubled or aging skin (quoted)
  • squalene - (and squalane) act as lubricants on the skin surface, which gives the skin a soft, smooth appearance
  • potassium azeloyl diglycinate (PAD) - helps control the secretion of oil to prevent the formation of blackheads and whiteheads; inhibits the activity of Tyrosinase, in order to help lighten the skin and facilitate the fading of spots; increases skin’s moisture to improve skin elasticity.
  • caprylic capric triglyceride - (quoted) some benefits of caprylic/capric triglyceride include the fact that it is not greasy at all, and has a very light texture. It is also rapidly absorbing, and is highly skin-compatible, due to the fact that it will not aggravate sensitive skin types. It also does not leave behind visible oil remnants on the skin; ALSO, slows the loss of water from the skin by forming a barrier on the skin’s surface. It is also used to alter the thickness of liquid products
  • MDBGN/PE - a cosmetic preservative that may cause allergic reactions. do a patch test!
  • Hydroxyethyl Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate - provides a sensation of freshness followed by a melting effect on contact with the skin; it leaves a feeling of velvety softness

Because of this new discovery, I can't help but take a peek at their other affordable skincare combos: Anti-Aging, Whitening, and Sensitive Skin lines.

Dermatox Age Reducer Collection

Illuminous Skin Whitening Collection

Puressence Mild Skincare Collection

These kits cost 200-300php. Separates are also available if you're plainly interested in one of the products in the collection. My eyes are on the Illuminous Collection!

I will continue using the Acnesol Pimple Control Facial Cream. No breakouts, no allergies, only better skin 'neath makeup as of now.

Bright Hues and Bold Prints from Peter Som Spring 2012



Peter Som Spring 2012 x Charlotte Olympia chunky loafers and platforms

Snob It Or Steal It: The Body Shop's Extra Virgin Minerals Line

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The Body Shop has come up with a new mineral makeup line, the Extra Virgin Minerals. For the mineral makeup junkies out there, this line definitely deserves your attention and critique.

Photo taken from The Body Shop website

I've read a couple of posts about it and because of the beautiful swatches and FOTD's made by the bloggers (you'll see them below), I'll definitely check this line out at the store.

Steal Factors:

  • flawless and creamy finish
  • extra virgin oil (EVOO) has been highly reviewed as a beauty staple over the years and is favored by majority of skin types, the Extra Virgin Minerals line is basically cold-pressed Italian EVOO
  • website lists 12 awesome shades for each foundation variant

Snob Factors:

  • poor oil-absorbing properties
  • its steep price (1,600+PHP locally)
  • mineral makeup purists will definitely scream at the mob of ingredients the liquid and cream foundations have. Only the Extra Virgin Mineral Powder is a true mineral makeup, ingredients-wise

The Body Shop Extra Virgin Minerals' Liquid Foundation

This liquid mineral foundation is a unique combination of pure minerals and cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil. It provides light to medium, ultra-blendable coverage with a smooth, dewy finish. Key Features: light to medium coverage, dewy finish, ultra-blendable, no added fragrance, paraben free

The Body Shop Extra Virgin Minerals' Compact  Foundation

This cream-to-powder mineral foundation contains pure minerals and cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil for a smooth, matte finish. It has an ultra-blendable formula and contains a custom brush for flawless application. Key Features: medium to full coverage, smooth, matte finish, integrated cruelty-free brush, fragrance-free, paraben-free.

The Body Shop Extra Virgin Minerals' Powder  Foundation

This featherlight powder base gives a radiant, natural-looking finish and can be built up for extra coverage. It is non-comedogenic and suitable for sensitive skin. Key Features: buildable coverage, radiant finish, covers imperfections and fine lines, non-comedogenic, dermatologically tested

Now, let's look at these pretty girls' take on each foundation type:

Shen is so pretty with the Compact Foundation. She raves about the brush that came with it. Read here review HERE:

Katie tests all three bases and was partial to the powder foundation. Read her review HERE

Mag, like Katie, tests all three types of the Extra Virgin Minerals. She loved the compact foundie. Read her review HERE

I love my Oil-Free Foundation but it just sucks up the oil so good it leaves my cheeks a bit dry. The Body Shop's Extra Virgin Mineral line might just work for my extra dry patches on the cheeks and on the sides of the nose. My eyes are set on the compact foundation and mineral powder!

Thank You


I can't thank you girls enough for your well wishes and prayers. Papa has been discharged from the hospital already and is now trying to regain his strength back. Our family is greatly blessed with people like you who never forgot to include my dad in their thoughts and prayers.

Papa seems to be more lively now and a bit stubborn with complying to doctor's orders (he complains about why he was recommended to rest for a month; says it's too much rest. sigh). He's pretty much back to his old self. 

However, our family's battle isn't over as we are awaiting test results that will allow us to have a better grasp of dad's REAL condition (we'll be held in suspense for a month). I am hoping that you can still include my Papa in your prayers.

I can't believe my scheduled posts reverted back to draft! What's up with blogger's new posting interface? I'll revert to the old one...

Need Your Prayers... Desperately


I will be on break for some time until my dad recovers from his condition. I have scheduled posts to keep the blog virtually running and still be of help to those with skin problems who are on the lookout for great products.

Yesterday, we learned that my dad went straight to the hospital after work. He was admitted due to hematemesis (vomitting blood). This sad event may confirm my family's worst fear, that Papa isn't telling us the entire truth about his medical condition.

I am breaking down. I panic easily, and now, my eyes are brimming with tears and my heart's really pounding so hard. I know I need to be positive. I'm trying to find peace and consolation in soliciting prayers from friends, and yes, even from strangers. 

Please pray for Jonathan Tabac Sr.'s speedy recovery.  

A photo taken after Papa's successful eye surgery, 2009

Get Longer Looking Lashes: A San San Long-Wearing Mascara Review

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During the HBC Great at 88 Sale, I got myself San San's long-wearing Mascara in 01 (black). I have moderately thick but short lashes and this works well for me.

Price: 111php ($2.50), may go as low as 88php during sale
Availability: HBC stores; comes in 02, brown
Best for: naturally thick lashes with length problems

What I love about it:
  • lengthens my short lashes without looking too made-up
  • mascara consistency is neither watery nor too thick
  • withstands our humid weather... truly long-wearing
  • dries up in a few secs
  • affordable
  • smear-proof, no raccoon eyes

  • not ideal for evening affairs
  • experienced difficulty in coating my very short inner and outer lashes
  • below-average pigmentation (which may be the reason why it seems I'm not wearing mascara at all)

This is definitely a good everyday go-to mascara especially if one wishes to sport the au naturale look. With one swipe of the San San long-wearing mascara, I love how it gives people the impression that I naturally have long lashes.

San San Long-wearing Mascara 01 after 4 hours

The wand's advantage is its ability to separate my lashes beautifully so that it gives my eyes that soft, feminine look. However, due to its roundness and without the bristles tapering along the tip, I find it difficult to use when trying to coat my inner, shorter lashes. Girls with small eyes and short lashes might give this a thought before buying the San San's long-wearing mascara.

San San uses the old-fashioned wire-y wand (modern wands here)

I find that using 1-2 quick coats works best for me. Going beyond two coats gives me spider leg lashes. The formulation, which dries up fairly fast, never weighs my lashes down. I hate how this smells, though. 

Don't I look a little more girly after?

Recommendation. Skip this mascara if your focal points are your eyes in creating makeup looks. Also, this is a waste of money if you want glamorous, thick, stark black lashes. 

There isn't really anything beyond special about the San San long-wearing mascara except for its cheap tag and its ability to separate the lashes perfectly. I bet you already know that mascaras are the types of cosmetics that expire the fastest (3-6 months) and if you are on the hunt for a cost-effective one, then this is one product to consider.  If you have a tight budget and prefer a less made-up look, this may just be the one for you especially if it goes on sale!

Sale Alert: VMV Skin Soiree This Thursday

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Another day for beauty freebies, discounts and makeovers! Check out another round of VMV's Skin Soiree:

WHEN: September 15, 2011, 8AM-10PM
WHERE: VSRC, 117 C. Palanca St., Legaspi Village, Makati
Call 8112449 for inquiries

DIY Treatment To Skin Allergies



When I first contracted severe contact dermatitis, I was prescribed oral steroids for it. The ugly rashes went away but it left me looking fat, feeling bloated and with a hideous moon facie. Despite the cured allergies, I was annoyed at how I looked like. That's when I knew I had to come up with a better treatment to my frequent case of contact dermatitis.

Cetaphil + prednisone combo for my contact dermatitis

You'll need
  • a tablet of Prednisone, 5mg (available at Mercury Drug, ~P5/tablet)
  • kitchen pestle
  • small cosmetic jar
  • spatula
  • your favorite moisturizer, I use Cetaphil moisturizing lotion

Procedure for the DIY Treatment
1. Pulvurize the Prednisone tablet using a kitchen pestle. Make sure the tablet is still sealed inside its packet.

2. Transfer pulvurized content into an empty cosmetic pot.

3. Since Cetaphil moisturizing lotion has a pump, I use 1 pump for 1 tablet of Prednisone used. If you are using other moisturizers, just make sure you come up with a 2:1 ratio of the moisturizer and powdered prednisone.

4. Mix powdered steroid until most of the powders are dissolved into the moisturizer. This takes time. After this, you now have a cheap, topical alternative to using oral steroids for your skin allergies!

Slather a thin film of mixture onto the areas affected 3x daily until the rashes resolve. If you have a small span of allergy, the whole pot can last you 2 full weeks. For bigger areas, this mixture is good for approx 3 days.

Room temperature. Be ready with your spatula every once in a while just to make sure that the prednisone particles that settle are dissolved back to the moisturizer.

In my case, I have observed that my allergies tend to calm down the following day (less redness, less inflamed-looking, less dry and less itchy). Full recovery of my skin happens within a week if it's a small patch of contact dermatitis.

I kept googling related literature on the efficacy of prednisone tablets used as topicals but have not found any. This DIY skin allergy treatment may be lacking in scientific evidence as to its efficiency but basing on the photos above, you can tell that it works amazing on my skin.

One Horrible Nail Polish Brush

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Do you actually open the bottle of nail polish you are about to purchase to check on the brush? Because I don't and I learned that there's a good deal in doing so, the hard way.

I purchased The Face Shop's polish in BR806 and I was horrified to see that my new bottle of polish had a brush specially designed for Hulk's nails. Sigh.

I'm reluctant to return it (even if it's unused) because I'm doubting The Face Shop will replace it. I know I have to try but it's not worth my time if I can't get it replaced since I purchased this from a branch faaaaaar from where I live.

The Iphone 5 Beauty + HELP ME


Whether it's a publicity stunt or not, rumors about the iphone, like its supposed design being leaked, its prototype being found in restos and bars,  and its possible early release this September, are making a huge wave on the net for the past few months.

The only thing I'm ever eager about is how awesome these people have proposed it to be (I'm not believeing anything yet unless I see it on the Apple website). One of the rumored looks below:

You can google up more proposed looks.

Now, the help me part. Can anybody recommend a good RSS reader from iTunes or Android Market that allows in-app commenting? I've tried Mobile RSS, Feedly, Google Reader, gReader and iReadG. I'm trying to get Pulse right now. All are free apps but I'm willing to pay for a good app that meets 3 things: easy-to-use, fast, allows in-app commenting.

Can anyone pretty please help me with a good RSS reader + commenter? Super thanks!

How Fab Salon Gave Me The Bob I Thought I'd Never Sport

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"Yung pong sharp sa sides ng face tapos may umbok sa likod", that's what I always tell the different stylists I've been to every time I wanted the perfect bob (remember my cheap hair cut from David's?). Unfortunately, I always end up with a cut that only tried hard to mimic what I specifically wanted. Until Fab Salon did my hair last week. 

(photo credits to the lovely Lexi Payumo, Krissy Cruz and Fab Salon)

Before the cut. Krissy and I discussing hair stuff.

Last August 25, Krissy invited me to join her to a beauty boot camp (you have to check out her pretty pixie!). I'm glad I went with her, otherwise, I would still be thinking that my "dream bob" remained a fantasy unless I shelled out a fortune to get a high-end stylist to cut my hair.

The salon's interior employed a minimalist design that allowed the huge mirrors and posters to stand out.

Here I am, complete with my hand gestures, chatting with the Fab Salon reception folks on their rates and services.

Don't strain your eyes. Click photo to enlarge :)

My stylist, John, was the best. We talked about the cut and we met halfway. I like the fact that he was able to assert what he thought would suit my face shape while adjusting to my preferences.

I always do half ponytails because the sides of my hair tend to become unmanageable
every after cut unless I get them blowdried

Now, here's John in action:

No more half ponytails just to put more volume at the back of my hair

Not only did I get the cut I specified but I realized that John was able to give me a sleek bob that's low maintenance. During the succeeding days after the salon experience, my classmates ooohed and aaahed at how the back of my hair stayed in great shape sans the blow-drier. Thanks to a 300php ($7) cut! I've never been so happy!

I hate the fact that Fab Salon's a hike from where I live. But with John's expertise plus the salon's affordable rates, I will travel miles and brave the ever-jammed traffic in EDSA just to get my hair in its best form!

(Fab Salon treated us wonderfully on more services and I'll be blogging more about it. Also, I just couldn't contain how impressed I am with the salon's stylists that I'm thinking of asking any of you, my local readers, to get a cut from them, too. Who wants to add more pizzaz to their hair???)

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