Archive for July 2012

Brow Dye Die Hards Alert: Andrea Gentle Creme Bleach Review

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Since I dye my hair quite often, I make it a point that my brow color stays in harmony with my crowning glory's. I first met the Andrea Gentle Creme Bleach when I grew tired of hearing beauty attendants saying that the Sally Hansen bleaching cream is out of stock. I knew right then I had to look for another effective brow bleaching brand.

Where to buy: Beauty Bar
How much: 300php for 42g of bleach and 28g of activator
Shelf-life/Expiration: 24M

Application and Results. Preparing the product is easy. Quite easier than the Sally Hansen bleaching cream because the activator comes in cream form and not in the usual difficult-to-scoop-out granules. The Andrea Gentle Creme Bleach contains an instruction guide but allow me to repost, in photos, what the guide says:

  1. Squeeze 2 1/2-inch strip of Creme Bleach into mixing cup. Measure by squeezing creme in a full circle once around the inside of the bottom rim of the mixing cup.
  2. Squeeze Creme Activator into the mixing cup making a semicircle on top of the bleaching creme. 
  3. Using the spatula provided, mix the two cremes thoroughly with rapid strokes.
If you hate the Sally Hansen bleach for its strong ammonium-ish odour, Andrea's rather faint scent may come as a surprise (and an advantage!) for you. I apply the creamy mixture as shown in the photo below and make sure that all the hairs are covered from roots to tips.

The first time I used it, I failed to cover all the hair (see photo below) and missed on sweeping the spatula toward the nasal area. The result? Unevenly bleached brows with the hair roots remaining black. It wasn't anything stark obvious but upon close scrutiny, it's a silent disaster. 

Bleach it right by following the tip given on the above photo and covering all the hair like how I did it in this post.

I leave the mixture on for 8 minutes. I find that this a gentler version of Sally H's because I rarely worry about overbleaching. You know how I leave on Sally H bleach in two bouts: first 4 minutes and the second 4 minutes? I do it in that manner because I always end up with orange brow tips when I do a full 8-minutes. 

Sally Hansen Replacement? Nope. But it's a good back up whenever Sally Hansen isn't available. Also, Andrea Gentle Creme Bleach appears to give me coppery brows while Sally H keeps hair bronzed out.

Andrea's hair lightening properties are a little weak and therefore, the risk of overbleaching is low.

What I love about it:
  • cheaper than Sally H's and never goes out of stock (don't you just hate it when you need something so bad and stores tell you that they ran out of it?)
  • I end up with a more natural-looking, lightened brow color
  • no-drip, creamy formula (you never have to worry about drowning your eyes in bleach)
  • faint ammonium scent
  • the activator does not dry out. have you ever experienced Sally H's activator grains melting out despite tightly sealing the container?

  • first time I used it, it stung so bad (even after passing the patch test) and caused the skin around the brow area to redden
  • it still did up to the third time I bleached
  • bleach dies down fast relative to Sally H's

It's ironic that I find the Andrea Creme Bleach a less stronger formulation (i.e, milder scent, no need to section application into 2 sets, bleach wears out faster) but has caused stinging and redness on my skin. 

Recommendation. Highly recommended to those who consider brow bleaching paramount to their primping habits and can hardly get hold of the Sally Hansen bleaching kit. I'm still thinking if I'll repurchase the Andrea Gentle Creme Bleach. I rebleach so soon with it but when I think about Sally Hansen's activator powder melting (rendering it useless) after 4 uses, I begin to consider switching brow bleaching brands.

Promos in the Metro

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Doing anything for the weekend? If you plan to just laze around because you still haven't thought of anything yet, why not treat yourself with these delightful sales and workshop?

The Bodyshop x SM Advantage Card Promo  (For SMAC holders only) 
If you wanna try out bath and body care from the Bodyshop and would like to get some few pesos saved, this is the best time to get them! Buy one and get the next item, of lower or equal value, for only 100php! 

FREE Shiseido Workshop 
Now, this is something you must not miss -- learning great tips on Japanese skincare and makeup for free! Call up Shiseido Greenbelt 5 (7299853) to reserve a slot today! Please confirm the time from them because I know that the Trinoma workshop happened at 3-6PM.

VMV VSRC Promos for July
Dear Calendar, Seriously? Less than a week before July ends? You gotta reserve slots ASAP.

Revlon Colorsilk Free Color Application (Landmark, Trinoma)
Colorsilk and Luminista dyes are ready to kiss you hair (love how it puckered up mine)! Get them applied on your hair for FREE when you purchase them. I believe there's also a 10% discount on these products. TIP: Don't wait till Revlon's last day (July 31st) since you might not be catered to because of the very long queue!

And I do hope that 70% OFF Bluecross Sale at Debenhams starts tomorrow!

Don't miss out on the workshop if you live nearby Greenbelt, okay? Which sales are you most likely to give in to? Are you as sad as I am that we're hanging on to July by a thread? Time flies. so. fast. *Sigh*

Coming Home to Mandaue Foam

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Mandaue Foam, a proudly Cebuano-owned furniture company, offers an array of great home treats for the modern Pinoy family. I first learned about them when I read Patty Laurel's blog. She and her fiance (or are they already married? I'm not sure.) were shopping for their future home.

So silly me started imagining present BF becoming my fiance and us shopping for great stuff for our Zen-themed living room (syempre, ako lang nag decide nyan at di pa nya alam...). My first three picks include:

An L-shaped sofa - This one's sleek and perfectly Zen

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Pure Beauty Perfect Cleansing Oil Review | A Cheapskate's Great Find

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If you are up-to-date with my cleansing oil posts, you know how I'm madly in love with Shu Uemura's High Perf Balancing Cleansing Oil. But there was one morning this year when I sat down and conferred with my finances; I sheepishly asked permission to restock my Shu cleansing oil in the midst of a budget crisis.

Wallet: Well, go ahead. Just make sure the money that gets out of me gets replaced.
Bank Acct: Don't look at me. You know I can't be withdrawn.
Bank Acct 2: Why exactly do you need to spend that much on some bottled-up oil again?

Long story short, budget denied. Your finances will never understand the power of a pricey makeup remover.

And that was how I met Pure Beauty's Perfect Cleansing Oil. Forgive the long prologue. 

Pure Beauty is a saving product especially for those who know the great benefits of removing makeup with oil but is reluctant to break the bank for a cleanser. Do you really need to shell out thousands of pesos to get a superbly clean face? No. 

But let me tell you that Pure Beauty is a far cry from Shu Uemura --- it just doesn't give you the peace of mind that you already have a clean face because it feels and smells a lot like grease. It took me a week to get convinced that this makeup remover really melts off all the foreign stuff on my face. I also hoped to see some skin glow after completely rinsing off this cleanser, as I do with Shu, but no, that may just be a higher price to pay for. 

Tips: Application- Spread 2 1/2 to 3 pumps (yes, it's possible to control the amount of product pumped out! great, huh?) of the makeup remover on your UNWASHED, DRY face. Gently massage all over the face and feel the deep-seated dirt and makeup disintegrate. Use another pump of product when dealing with eye makeup. Rinsing (very important) - cup a tiny amount of water on your hand and massage on the face to turn the oil into a soapy state. Oil gets emulsified in this manner rather than rinsing with TOO MUCH WATER. It's a tedious job but it's a fair price to pay for this inexpensive yet effective product.

Follow up with your usual cleanser after completely removing oil. The Neutrogena Deep Clean Revitalizing Cleanser (pink grapefruit) tandems with the cleansing oil well.

What's to like? The inexpensive price tag! For 149php, I got something that does a good job in removing waterproof makeup and to some degree, mascara and liquid eyeliner. I've used this since January of this year and I never broke out from it. It's also nice that most Watsons outlets, if not all, carry Pure Beauty cleansing oils. 

Uh-ohs. If you are accustomed to Shu High Perf Balancing Cleansing Oil's luxurious scent and feel, then be ready to shake the hand of disappointment with using something that smells and feels like cooking oil. This makeup remover takes time in getting completely rinsed off. And if you just splash water and don't rinse off well, expect the face to feel tacky to the touch.

190 mL, 150php, available at Watsons
shelf life: 3 years

Recommendation. I'd highly recommend to acne-prone girls who use longwearing/or waterproof makeup and sunscreen. It's safe and gentle to use on a daily basis, just make sure not to rub the oil too hard on the face. I definitely choose this over Kanebo Freshel cleansing oil because it works just as good and is 5x less expensive. 

I will NOT recommend to:
  • those who already have a budget for the Shu cleansing oil 
  • those who barely have time to primp their faces at night --- won't work for you since it can be a pain to emulsify and rinse the oil off.
Through the years I've incorporated oil cleansing method in my evening skincare, I have grown to appreciate the benefits of a perfectly cleansed face. I've tried deep cleansers that barely does the job right and my acne-prone skin acts up whenever I get too lazy to get the cleansing part of my regimen right.

Cleansing oils help save the day (or night!) because it  makes me less susceptible to breakouts. Pure Beauty cleansing oil has proven that no one needs to to bite the bullet for a Shu cleansing oil to ensure clear skin. It's good to know that pimply girls like me can steer clear from horrible zits with just 150 a pop!

Nisce Skin 'N Face Bloggers' Night

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Nisce Skin 'N Face Skincare & Wellness Center gains ground by launching the Niscenssa Online store during the bloggers' event last Tuesday. We celebrated the clinic's newest venture at Secret Recipes, Megamall.

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My Half-A-Cheese Experience

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I've always loved McDonald's fish fillet until two months ago --- the day I confirmed from a store manager that their Fillet-O-Fish just has half a cheese!

The first time I discovered the horrifying truth was when I wanted to add some greens in my freshly delivered fillet-o-fish. To my surprise, not only was there a big joke on the small amount of tartar sauce in my sandwich, but the cheese --- ugggghhh, it was a measly part of a whole!

I went to the store some few weeks after and ordered the same sandwich. I specifically told the cashier to make sure that my order had one whole cheese in it or else I'm returning it. The store manager overheard what I said to which he beamed with joy saying that it really just has half a cheese and a dollop of tartar sauce. How disgusting. 

I politely told the cashier to cancel my order because I'm not getting ripped off.

And I never bought from them since then. I know I'm not a significant loss to their business but I'm happy to know that no one's ripping me off my hard-earned cash.

McDonald's explains the Half-a-Cheese Scandal

Still disgusted, I googled if some other Filipinos have gone berserk about the cheese (and tartar sauce!) discrepancy. Zilch.

However, international bloggers and writers have already decoded the preposterous mystery:

"But for the average McCustomer, a full slice might be too much with the Filet-O-Fish, she said. "When you think of a cheeseburger, it's really cheesy. With the filet, a half slice complements the taste, rather than overwhelming it." - Julie Caturano, McDonald's Chicago spokesperson, to Journal Star columnist, Phil Luciano. 3.3.2010 full story
You buying that? If not for the photos showing the delectable cheese oozing from the inside of the Fillet-O-Fish, I could forgive them. Here's McDonald's Philippines' photo of their "fish quality":

Oooohla-la! They sure took a photo of the sandwich's good side --- the one that showed the edges of the halved cheese looking like you're getting your money's worth. Ho well... are you willing to experiment and complain about the half-a-cheese deal? If you ever do, tell me how the store deals with it. 

Mums and Kids --- Grab the Chance to Bag 100K Via the SM Toonfest KPOP Contest

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SM is holding a search for its K-Pop Rising Star to celebrate their Toon Fest collection. This song, dance, and lip-synch competition invites boys, girls and groups aged 2-14 to let their inner superstars out for a shot at the spotlight and the Php100,000 grand prize!

SM Toon Fest Brings Our Fave Characters to Help Kiddie Stylistas

Staying on the cutting edge of children's fashion, SM Department Store injects the electrifying excitement of K-Pop fashion into its character apparel. Glitzy, glam, funky and spunky looks highlighted by bright colors and bold patterns showcase the new collections, giving favorites like Garfield, Mickey Mouse, Snoopy and Barbie newfound sartorial energy. This season's SM Toon Fest exclusive lines combine all-original licensed character apparel with Korean style dynamics to elevate kids' fashion choices - while keeping things colorful and fun!

"Kids today are a lot more conscious of what's ‘in’ and get fashion ideas from their idols", states Ms. Jo Dy Juanco, VP for Children's Fashion, "These days, they draw inspiration from K-Pop stars and want to dress just like them."

Available in stores nationwide, SM Toon Fest carries trendy apparel emblazoned with the familiar faces and logos of favorite characters. Hello Kitty, Robby Rabbit, Winnie the Pooh, and Marvel Superheroes like Spider-Man are just a few of the licensed characters represented by the line. Old favorites like the Disney Princesses, Disney Fairies, and the Sesame Street gang also have their own quirky-yet-stylish collections. 

Mums --- Here are deets on how your kid/s can be SM's newest K-Pop Rising Star and win 100K!

Joining is easy! All you need to do is take a video of your young ones perform their fave K-pop songs. You may do it using your personal cams or you can visit SM malls to get HD videos of your kids. Upload the video as your entry and presto! a huge chance to shine and win cash!

To know more about the SM Toon Fest KPOP Rising Star Contest, visit and ! 

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Huge Buddha and Thin Pyramids at Wat Pho | Culminating Day 1 of the BKK Trip

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After touring Bangkok's Grand Palace, next on the list is its adjacent Temple (or Wat), the Wat Pho or the Temple of the Reclining Buddha. Wat Pho is just a few meters away but because our heads were already feeling stuffy from the unbelievable heat, we chose to get a tuktuk to take us to our next stop.

This temple's entrance fee is way less costly than Grand Palace's. Also, Wat Pho closes a lot later than the Grand Palace (4PM vs 9PM) so make sure you consider this when doing your itinerary.

Wat Pho Entrance

The ticketing office did not fail to make us smile :)

Wat Pho Reclining Buddha

Wat Pho Rec Buddha

The reclining buddha poses a big challenge for photography amateurs like me

Wat Pho may be popular for its herculean Reclining Buddha but the most memorable structure in this place for me is the chedi. Chedis are very ornate tower-like structures. This type of architecture displays Thai patience, passion and creativity and can be more captivating than the golden masterpiece.

A chedi houses the remains of either buddha, members of the royal family or buddhist relics (thinking of pyramids? I thought so, too!). Wat Pho serves as a ground for 91 chedis. Ninety one!

Wat Pho Architecture

Wat Pho Archi

Wat Pho Bangkok Temple

Wat Pho Bangkok

Wat Pho may be a smaller area than the first temple we visited but if you're visiting during Thailand's hot months, you'll find this place a shady, relaxing refuge. It is a cooler place than The Grand Palace.

We took a tuktuk for 100 Baht to take us from Wat Pho to Wongwian Yai station (check Bangkok skytrain map), the nearest BTS station to take us back to Pathumwan Princess Hotel. The ride was such an adventure it's the perfect way to end Day 1 of our Bangkok trip!

Wat Pho to train tuktuk

Day 1 Entrance and Transpo Fees (per head):

  • National Stadium to Saphan Taksin BTS: 30 Baht
  • Chao Phraya boat to Maharaj Pier (Grand Palace): 30฿
  • Grand Palace Entrance Fee: 400฿
  • Tuktuk to Wat Pho: 50฿ (divided by 3)
  • Wat Pho Entrance: 100฿
  • Tuktuk to BTS: 100฿  (divided by 3)
  • Wongwian Yai to National Stadium: 40฿
  • -------------------------------------------------------------------
  • Total sightseeing expenses: 651฿ 
Wat Pho rest

For 651 Baht, I can say that I got a good bargain for a tiring but meaningful Thailand Wat experience. It's a total shame I didn't visit Wat Arun because we lacked time but it just means that I have to get on the plane  back to Bangkok one of these days and settle some unfinished business!

Vanilla on My Skin | Nature Republic Vanilla Sky Pact Review

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Nature Republic's Vanilla Sky Pact SPF 30 PA+++ sure is a looker on the counter with its adorable mint cream case reminiscent of Paul & Joe products (and even the nail polish bottles are!). 

Nature Republic Vanilla Sky Pact 23

The powder smells as good as its name --- vanilla. I love that it is finely milled and gives a velvety smooth, matte finish. My scarred skin might frown at the fact that it doesn't give any additional coverage for acne scars and marks but I think that with the right shade, this works well in evening out the complexion.

I got the Vanila Sky Pact in #23 (they only have two shades: 21 and 23) and I think this shade is suited to set very yellow-toned liquid and cream bases. It appears ugly grayish-pink on my face when used solo. I will experiment how this sets off good old Estee Lauder Double Wear in Sand and will fill you in about it soon.

'replace cap' daw after use.. hehehe.

  • Price: ~ 500php (will verify with Nature Republic)
  • Availability: Nature Republic counters (SM North, SM Fairview, Festival Mall), contact numbers HERE
  • Expiration: Manufacture date stamped at the back of the compact, not on the box; since it has good preservatives (parabens), I give it 1- 1.5 yrs before I throw it out
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While this holds off oil along the T-zone fairly well, I'm wary that it sits on the face. Like you look all made-up though not cakey. It's useful to use a facial mist/spritz to allow the powder to blend better into the skin. (Check out how Earth loved it on her skin)

Mint Cream Stuff Beauty Bin

Overall, I think that the Nature Republic Vanilla Sky Pact is a little expensive considering that there are other   crazy inexpensive pressed powders that are as good as this, even offering a wider shade range. However, if you're not scrimping on setting powders, you'll definitely fall in love with the matte finish this gives off plus its cutesy compact that comes with the softest & smoothest powder puff!

Disclaimer: Product was sent to me for review purposes. Post content is in accordance with my personal experience while using the Nature Republic Vanilla Sky Pact SPF 30.

Revlon Colorsilk Dark Soft Brown 33

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When Hortaleza Professional's Light Havana on my hair finally came to a flatline, I immediately planned to have my hair recoloured in Revlon Colorsilk's Light Ash Brown 50. However, my colorist recommended Dark Soft Brown 33 to avoid any improper hair gradation due to some presence of the previous color proximal to the hair tips.

Imagine my relief seeing how my hair colour toned down from screaming red to --- well, good old brown. I nearly made a disastrous choice in opting for Light Ash Brown. Revlon colorists sure know great stuff for the hair.

Before: Hortaleza Light Havana| After: Revlon Colorsilk Dark Soft Brown
(both pics used flash under indoor lighting)

If you think you made a bad choice with a very vibrant hair color like Light Havana (well, my blogger friends from the Goody event thought otherwise), you can go for the Revlon Colorsilk Dark Soft Brown 33 to tone things down a bit. Sure worked for me.

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