Archive for 2014

Uniqlo Opens at SM City San Lazaro!

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As if the jammed December streets aren't enough to stress us out, there's the unfinished December shopping list waiting to be done. Now if you'd like this year's holidays a lot less stressful than last year's, rock that list with the help of an infallible one-stop shop-- when in Manila, shop at Uniqlo SM City San Lazaro! @uniqlo_official @smcitysanlazaro

Japan's number one clothing apparel brand has opened its 20th store in the country last December 5, 2014 and they're spreading the holiday cheers by bringing the best deals in town! I wasted no time and scoured the (oh, so clean!) store for stuff I highly recommend for inaanaks, moms, dads, besties or special someones.

Roll out those red on-sale tags!

Starting with the ladies: sweet Merino striped and plain sweaters, coloured cropped legging pants, and awesome hoodies with cute cartoon prints.

Uniqlo's Heattech apparel-- perfect for you girlfriends who fancy working out in airconditioned gyms!

Some items without the discount but are still worth checking out: colored shirts, basic pique polo shirts, slub shirts, patterned leggings, and more legging pants!

A couple of  "for him's":

1. Slim fir coloured jeans

2. Heattech accessories

3. Long and short sleeved character shirts

Regular-priced items he will surely like include coloured walking shorts and nice belts:

For the little boys and girls-- some fleece jackets for the brrrr months, hoodies, basic tees, heat tech apparel and some long sleeved polo shirts!

The newly opened Uniqlo SM City San Lazaro will not leave you wanting; they have the best holiday presents for everyone in your list! Follow @smcitysanlazaro on instagram and you might even win for yourself a brand new mobile phone!

@uniqlo_official @smcitysanlazaro is located at the Upper Ground Floor, near the Event Center.

New, Affordable & Effective Anti-Acne Skincare Line: the Belo Essentials AcnePro 3-Step Clear Skin System

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I am not new to pimples or pimpy as I've been with it almost half my life! I've had a long list of insecurities and woes just because I had tons of pimpy all over my face. The very reason I started chronicling beauty products & regimens and dermatologic procedures is to make others aware that there are things that help alleviate stubborn pimpy and make them go away.

Belo Essentials now offers an anti-acne skin solutions in the new AcnePro three-step Clear Skin system. The skincare line banks on the efficacy of Purified Bee venom in clinically treating mild to moderate acne by minimizing inflammation. Through AcnePro's Cleansing, Toning and Repairing stages, almost anyone can say hello to a cleaner and clearer skin everyday!

Belo Essentials AcnePro Gel Face Wash (50mL, P99.75) "Effectively helps eliminate acne-causing bacteria & remove excess oil leaving skin smoother and pimple-free."

A pea-sized amount of the gel-like facial wash generously foams into a lather that cleans the face well and leaves skin fresh and still well-moisturized. This wash is nice to use in following up a good makeup remover to ensure deep-seated oil and dirt are taken cared of.

Cleansing is almost a forgettable part of a skincare regimen. I was able to love it more when I felt how soft and supple my skin has become after the 2nd week into using this.

Belo Essentials AcnePro Treatment Toner (60ml, P79.75) "Effectively unclogs congested pores, dry up pimples and exfoliate dead skin cells."

The toning experience further refreshes the skin with a cool, soothing liquid. I like how it is lightly scented making me forget that toners usually smell of medication or strong alcohol.

A word of caution to those with oily skin: the toner can take time getting absorbed into the skin so make sure not to over saturate the cotton pad for it. It's fine if it happens in the evening before bed time but can be a pain if you use to much toner in the morning as it can feel a bit tacky against the skin. What's great about the toner is that you don't need too much to make it work.

Belo Essentials AcnePro Pimple Gel (10g, P149.75) "Helps dry up pimples fast, lighten blemishes, calm inflammation and promote healing & ant-bacterial action."

Repair is probably the most exciting stage in the system as this is where "magic" happens. The AcnePro pimple gel tube is packed with a non-fragrant product that effectively retards the ugly process of an exacerbated & inflamed pimpy. The key is to be keen enough to do the Repair Work at the onset of a growing pimple!

I like that all products in the AcnePro skincare system are oil-free and are truly hypoallergenic & non-comedogenic during the whole time I've been testing it out. The three products are also packed well and in durable, fuss-free tubes and bottles and the sizes of each product is perfect either for travel or for a full-month's use.

With the truly affordable price tag on top of it all, Belo Essentials AcnePro 3-Step Clear Skin System is probably the next best skincare line worth checking out. Using the products twice a day makes it easier for anyone to finally take charge of their skin, face the world and do more, and finally say goodbye to pimpy!

Disclaimer: Products were sent to me for review purposes

Get Camera-Confident with the Maxi-Peel Skin Exfoliant Solution

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No teenager or young adult in his/her right mind would say, "Pimples lang yan". Fact is, pimple growth is a serious problem in the adolescent population that a clinical study links the presence of substantial acne with alarming mental health illnesses (depression & suicidal ideation) and social impairments.1  One relevant video making the rounds in the health & beauty community confirms this fact:

Like Cheska in the Maxi-Peel video, most people experiencing problem skin are embarrassed, anxious, and depressed. They are socially withdrawn and would voluntarily miss out on the fun things they should be experiencing--- like posing for a photo with their buddies in their biggest smiles!

Say, Cheese!

They say the rest was history when the first Nokia camera phone came out. Over a short course of time, aided by the growing popularity of social media, photography became not just a hobby but a lifestyle-- a dreadful reality for someone who wishes he/she had better skin for the cameras.

In 2012, it was estimated that more than 380 million photos are uploaded in Facebook daily.2  DAILY! So how does a camera-phobe live in these "hostile" times?

We will run out of excuses to avoid the camera and there's not much we can do about stolen shots. Like Cheska in the video, a pro-active game plan should work just right! Everyone deserves their own Bagong Ganda, Bagong Pag-Asa and the best way to get the confidence for the cameras is to take charge of one's troubled skin.

Say... Exfoliate?

Everyday, our skin goes through a constant, natural renewal process which brings about old, dead skin cells on the surface of the skin. These dead cells are notorious for clogging the skin and making it dull-looking. Exfoliation is the process of getting rid of these old cells and thankfully, our bodies exfoliate naturally through a process called desquamation to keep the skin healthy & radiant-looking.

However, over time, desquamation slows down and can result to dull, flaking skin, as well as, you guessed right, the proliferation of acne. This is most likely what Cheska's skin is having trouble with and when this happens, doctors recommend aiding the natural exfoliation process with physical agents such as chemical peels.

Using Maxi-Peel Exfoliant Solution is one good way to step up one's slowed down natural exfoliation process. One of its main active ingredients, tretinoin, is a known powerful exfoliant. Tretinoin effectively promotes proper cell renewal which in turn unclogs pores thus lowering the chances of acne formation.

How Maxi-Peel Works

Bagong Ganda, Bagong Pag-Asa is Maxi-Peel's promise and true enough through Cheska's video, it is possible for the skin to be reborn. The best results are always the ones that give a slow but steady progress and using an effective exfoliant that encourages the skin to undergo the Remove, Renew, Reveal stages is one of the skin's best bet in achieving a better state.

Remove- at the initial stage of use, Maxi-Peel will cause a harmless stinging which signals the skin easing in to the treatment. With constant use, the stinging dies down as the treatment continues to help remove stubborn dead skin cells

Renew- skin redness is also most likely to occur as the skin adjusts to the treatment but will be more persistent than stinging.

When the skin's natural exfoliation process decelerates, it becomes harder for new cells to grow. At the renewal stage, the slow-to-exfoliate skin is gradually sped up so that new, healthy cells start to move up the skin's surface.

Reveal- as with any other potent exfoliator, peeling is expected to happen. Maxi-Peel's reveal stage signals a breakthrough in bringing back the normal pace of skin exfoliation through visible skin peeling. In due time after the skin has thoroughly adjusted, only minimal peeling is expected.

We live in the social media era where everyone is compelled to look their best for the lenses. Heck, "selfie" has been made word of the year by Oxford Dictionaries in 2013 for its international relevance. It's tough to imagine how one covers up his/her reluctance when someone asks for a group shot or worse, a solo pic, just because he/she has bad skin.

Remove, Renew and Reveal--- more and more young adults can break free from the stress brought about by acne and dull skin! With Maxi-Peel's Bagong Ganda, Bagong Pag-asa promise, many can confidently say, "Pimples lang yan!" while smiling their hearts out for the cameras.

1 Halvorsen, Jon et al. "Suicidal Ideation, Mental Health Problems, and Social Impairment Are Increased in Adolescents with Acne: A Population-Based Study" Journal of Investigative Dermatology 131 (2011): 363-370. doi:10.1038/jid.2010.264.

2 Estrin, James "In an Age of Likes, Commonplace Images Prevail" The New York Times, September 7, 2012.

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post.

The RESIST C15 Super Booster Giveaway



I'm sure you'd like to experience the good stuff I told you about in my review of the Paula's Choice RESIST C15 Super Booster! One of you will win a trial size bottle and I'm hoping it'd be someone with a lot of skin concerns. A brighter skin tone with a pleasant texture makes up for all the horrible acne, scarring, huge pores and whatnot, and I'd like for one of you to experience it!  -Giveaway open to ALL residents of the Philippines-

To join the giveaway, please examine your skin and if you have virtually no problems, please give way to those who have tons! I'm not being an anti-clear skin jerk here but I honestly think the product would be so insignificant on the already good skin.


After skin screening and seeing all those bumps, holes and probably a few depressions, list down (in the comment section below) your skin concern/s that pull/s down your self-esteem. Briefly discuss how you are currently addressing it/them, or if you have given up. Just that.

Don't forget to write your name (or web handle) & email address so I can contact you in case you win. Winning comment will be raffled off and if there's a really, really good entry, I might give away a second bottle.

Deadline for entries is on May 20, 2014, 11:59PM on comment timestamp. Winner will be announced within 24hours after giveaway closes.

Disclaimer: Giveaway prize bought by the author and is new, unopened and unused. The bottle was taken out of the box to be checked for condition and be photgraphed.

Dull & Sallow Skin? Find Your Fix in Paula's Choice RESIST C15 Super Booster

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I have been using the RESIST C15 Super Booster for almost a month now (thank you for the trial size, Paula's Choice Philippnes!) and this tiny dropper bottle has never let me down! It instantly brightens my skin after use which makes up a lot for the other discouraging skin imperfections I wince from-- pock marks and huge pores.

A moisturizer or a serum?

The website does not particularly mention it's a serum (like it does with its other products) but I'd say it is one. It is described as a concentrated, light-as-water liquid treatment product designed to supercharge serums or may be used alone. It is a blend of 15% stabilized vitamin C (l-ascorbic acid) at a pH of 3.0, vitamin E, ferulic acid, and peptides which altogether repairs visible signs of aging and stimulates collagen production for smoother, brighter, and firmer skin.

The wonder booster promises to:

  • Quickly brighten the skin
  • Visibly reduce brown spots
  • Promote firmer-looking skin
                                                 Paula's Choice RESIST C15 Super Booster, trial size 3.5ml- P500

How I Used It:

The 3.5ml trial bottle can last 3-4 weeks despite it being designed for a two-week consumption. Directions for use is to apply once or twice daily after cleansing, toning, and exfoliating & dispense 2–3 drops and add to your favorite Paula's Choice serum, or use alone and follow with moisturizer where needed. 

First week: I used Paula's Choice RESIST C15 Super Booster 2x/day after cleansing & applying clindamycin, my antibacterial toner. I follow with Neutrogena ultra sheer or Banana Boat Sport sunblock in the AM and retinoic acid gel in the PM.

Second week: I cut down use and applied at night only. I observed results were not very far from the twice-a-day habit.

Third week: I've read that this product can oxidize over time rendering it less potent so I got back to using it twice-a-day. I thought I could skimp on this as once-a-day usage works mighty fine as using it 2x/day.

I dot three drops on my face using my fingertips in this fashion:

Little Pain, Big Gain

Two things cringe-worthy about it is that it feels sticky upon application which consequently takes time to get absorbed, and it's not the best-smelling skincare product out there. However, it is able to improve skin clarity in an instant giving the skin a healthy, supple and bright aura. I have not noticed a significant improvement in skin texture in 3+ weeks of use.

I like using the treatment in the morning as it helps face bases look a lot cleaner against the skin. Best news is that throughout the time I've used it (almost a month already!), Paula's Choice RESIST C15 Super Booster proved to be hypoallergenic & non-comedogenic.

Other things I like about it are:

  1. It is economical to use, thanks to the dropper. Each bottle can last few more days/weeks than it actually should and that's always a good thing.
  2. The bottle and dropper-type cap are specially designed to prevent the product from unnecessary light & air exposure which can degrade Vitamin C and E.
  3. Trial size bottle is great for travel!

The trial size was very promising I decided to buy the full size! I'm hoping to achieve a firmer skin texture a few more weeks into this serum.  (List of Paula's Choice Resellers in Manila, Cavite & Laguna, bought mine from Skin Box/Amanda Castilo, free shipping till May 15!)

Paula's Choice RESIST C15 Super Booster, full sixe 20ml- P3000; trial size 3.5ml- P500

What It's Not

It's not a moisturizer, nor a pore shrinker, or a zit zapper. Also, the significant improvement in skin clarity dies down within the day. I would recommend constant use of the product may it be once or twice a day. Trial size is suuuper sulit at P500!

A Quick Note on Ferulic Acid

I stumbled upon the Journal of Investigative Dermatology and learned how ferulic acid can provide additional stability to topical Vitamin C and acts as a photoprotector rendering Vitamin C effective even in the morning. What's even better is that with the right amount of ferulic acid in the solution, thymine dimer formation can be reduced thus lowering the risk for skin cancer!

Final Thoughts

I've always known that with a brighter skin complexion, I can somehow get away with huge pores and acne marks. And true enough, I do. Oral glutathiones have addressed my dull & sallow skin but the weight gain is unforgivable. With Paula's Choice RESIST C15 Super Booster, I'm getting radiant skin everyday and people hardly notice I'm only getting around 4 hours of sleep on a daily basis. I will have to restructure my schedule to be able to get a healthier amount of rest and who knows, I might be able to make the temporary skin brightening effect permanent!

One Super Final Thought on the Super Booster

And because this is a comeback post and especially on a super great product, I won't pass up the chance to get goofy & exciting by doing a follow-up after the final thoughts heading and naming it the super final thoughts section. If that confused you, this won't: I'm giving away a trial size of the Paula's Choice RESIST C15 Super Booster to one lucky reader!!! Jump to the separate post about the giveaway to keep comments in this review a lot less spammy :)

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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