When a Favorite Fragrance Brings Back a Sad Season

Fragrance can be a notorious fiend for memories.  I’m highly against being a pessimist if I can help it, but there are few honest moments I can share.  I doubt it’s happened to many of you but has it ever happened that upon finding what you believe is your signature scent a series of sad incidents suddenly snowballed following its entry in your life?  That was my story.  To put it plain, I love Elie Saab Le Parfum.  It’s grown up but not old…and feminine but not flirty.  To this day no other scent compares to how it suits this old soul.  I ran out several months back and haven’t topped up just yet because of budget cuts but I keenly intended to…that is until I caught a whiff, and suddenly some memories that had cleared the runway for ages came rushing back.  So I thought…I’m certainly not going to replace my signature scent with something new (this really smells that good) but buying a new bottle of this can wait I feel…some things just still pinch a bit too much for comfort.   

It fills my head and takes me back.  Some things don’t need to change…but things can wait.  Perfume is a thing…perfume can wait.  Hearts require all the time they need.… To full post & COMMENTS...

Laura Mercier Watercolour Mist Palette, Raindrops on Roses and Whispers of Color

It’s time to inject a bit of color into this rainy season.  It’s a rare thing for a palette’s packaging to match this bleak time of year in such a straightforward, sleek, and pretty way.  Laura Mercier have done it with their Watercolour Mist Palette which is quite frankly one of the prettiest palettes to hand I’ve seen in years.  Faux water droplets across the chrome-y case are done so well, anyone could mistake them for the real thing.

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SHADES from left: MIST, FOG, STORM, SUNSET (cheek color, like Benefit Dandelion), EARTH (cheek color, like a warmer MAC Harmony), WIND, PURPLE RAIN, and CLOUD (P.S. I do not self-mutilate, I have a cat.)

I would have loved to wear these colors for you and given you a look but I just got well from some sort of glandular fever, explaining my absence, so my eyes are still kind of puffy and haven’t completely contracted back to their normal shape.  The texture of the eyeshadow shades is silky with minimal fallout, they adhere nicely to eyelids with diligent blending, primed or not (but better primed of course).  I like that the shades are soft puffs of color that you can try out if you’re willing to take a step outside of your usual neutral box.  My favorite shades are FOG, a soft khaki, and WIND…a noticeable but still muted lavender.

 

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Sorry I’ll have to have a hunt in my room for the price (will edit it in right here) but this is available at Rustan’s the Beauty Source, this is part of a seasonal collection so I can imagine it won’t be around forever.  In dreary weather like this, we all need a dose of prettiness to cheer us up.… To full post & COMMENTS...

Scholl Velvet Smooth Express Pedi Electric Foot File | Going Barefoot Has Never Been Better!

Sometimes the foot filing part of my pedicure sessions is what excites me, because I know that right after I’ll have velvety smooth feet.  I always thought it would be good to own a personal foot file…and I have been sent a couple, but it can be an inconvenience to feel the need to soak your feet first before general exfoliation and then there are lazy days when you just don’t feel like asserting those guns just to use a foot file.  Fancy foot brand SCHOLL have come out with a personal device that takes the sweat out of filing your feet and you don’t need to use it with damp feet either.  It’s also really convenient that it’s available at Watsons.

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  • PRICE: Device w/ 1 fitted rollerhead Php1685 (4x AA batteries included, good deal), rollerhead refills 2x Php550
  • Specially-designed Micralumina roller head for effective yet gentle removal of hard skin
  • Ergonomically shaped soft-touch handle
  • At least 80% savings vs. going for foot spa sessions
  • Available at selected Watsons outlets

To turn it on twist the neck of the device to the left.  The spinning motor on the specially-designed Micralumina roller head for effective yet gentle removal of hard skin roller head is strong even if only powered by 4 AA batteries (included with device).   You’ll need a firm hand once working it against skin.  The high powered sound takes a bit of getting used to.  Click through to see the full post and more pictures of the results of  Scholl’s Velvet Smooth Express Pedi Device.… To full post & COMMENTS...

Kidzania Manila Through My Eyes, Now Open! | Gi-Normous Post Where Kiddies Overtake Selfies

Once upon a time, for kids excited to play, Kidzania Manila was now made to stay!  The Manila chapter of this educational theme park chain has risen in the heart of BGC, Taguig at Park Triangle  (where the new LEGO store is).  They officially opened last Friday, on August 7.  Kidzania is, in one sentence, a supervised theme-park for children in the form of an educational mini city run with kids and for kids.  Here, children get to play at being adults for the day in a pretend economy, with actual citizenship, jobs, money, and added skills.  Adults are not allowed to enter the work establishments with their child (unless under special circumstances, like a child with special needs) to encourage independence and focused learning but parents, guardians, and family are allowed to roam the park and observe their children from large windows.  As you can imagine, for many parents, letting go of control is a challenging thought (and in some cases even letting the kids to choose their first activity on their own), believe me, the struggle is REAL, I’ve seen it first hand…it can get colorful LOL and that’s putting it lightly.  In Kidzania parents and guardians are highly encouraged to allow of-age children (8 and above) to roam freely, to be, and to choose jobs (minimum working age 4) in this special environment so that their natural inclinations surface.  I think Filipino parents are in dire need of this new concept of giving their child enough space to develop independence.

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Kai!  I do not work at Kidzania Manila, so for any FAQs (questions) regarding scheduling, pricing, and booking you may refer to their official site, manila.kidzania.com .  I’ll include limited information at the bottom of the post as well, but please refer to their official website for other park-related questions.

After spotting the G.O.T. Ned Stark Meme on the looming swarm of Kidzania Manila pictures I’ve decided to personally help darken skies.  Kidzania Manila, now the 20th Kidzania facility in the world (HQ is Mexico), opened the other day.  I’m ever so proud to say that Kidzania Manila is captained by none other than my beloved former advertising head mother, Maricel Pangilinan-Arenas and an entire team badly in need of cucumbers and under-eye concealer at this very moment.  How kool is it that to some level I feel like a Kidzanian Royal?  Hee.  On August 7, a somewhat anti-climactic Friday, after weeks of very intense testing, validation, and inspection by Kidzania’s founding Mexican admin team, Kidzania Manila’s park doors opened to the public.

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A Friday opening meant that yesterday’s flood of fun-size “adults” would ultimately pack the park for the weekend and the Saturday line, they say, actually stretched and left the building by afternoon.  Yesterday’s August 8 tickets sold out in just under a couple of hours. To be honest, even after being given special access to the park during the stretch of preview days, I myself didn’t plan a major blog feature at first.

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I put this one up first simply because I love her outfit. Aww…just there thinking of where to go next.

PLEASE NOTE: I was not asked nor paid to write for Kidzania Manila, I chose to.  I initially planned to support the team only via simple sharing on social media, but what changed my mind completely was simple.  It was the kids on Day 1 who got me shooting…and the fact that for several hours I noticed that people, myself included, could not help but re-focus outwardly and shoot these munchkins on the move.  Let’s put it this way, at Kidzania Manila in the past couple of days, the word “selfie”, I imagine, was not top of mind.  Be warned, this is a photo-heavy post with information at the start and a couple of captions here and there.  I shot tons but I didn’t shoot ALL the establishments.  However, each photo matters and shares a moment, and several of them are discreet.  Many actually exclude focus on children’s faces with the exception of my knowing the kids and parents personally or if I was shooting openly in front of them and they didn’t mind.  I was also not inside the establishments when I shot these pictures, I was outside alongside onlooking parents.  My 50mm lens brought me closer to the scene without being invasive.  Click through to see the rest of Kidzania Manila through my eyes while I mention a couple of things here and there.  Practically 99% of the photos I shot are candid takeaways from live shifts of first time visitors to Kidzania Manila.… To full post & COMMENTS...

My Maybelline Dream Academy Meet-Up, AUG.15, SM Makati! | Link For Sign Up Here! No Purchase Required!

Come and meet me this coming August 15, SATURDAY, UPDATE: Now 2PM in SM Makati for my Maybelline Dream Academy workshop, partnering with Maybelline’s official lead MUA Chuchie Ledesma!  No purchase required at all to be part of this lovely event JUST SIGN UP FOR AUG.15 2PM AT THIS LINK HERE http://bit.ly/MNYDreamAcademy.  The meetup-slash-workshop will be held at SM Makati, ground floor.

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Come on over, chat with us, and learn techniques using the reformulated Maybelline Dream satin range (including the new 2-way cake powder) and the New NUDES palette.  Click on the image below or on the link above to sign up.  To my understanding we don’t exactly have limited slots (so all of you just try and sign up!) but for gift packs the first 30 to sign up AND attend will receive special Maybelline gifts, just know that Maybelline have special makeup treats in store!  Hope to see you there, comment  below and let me below if you signed up or plan to but have questions (commenting not required to get a slot…I just want to know who of you are going haha!).… To full post & COMMENTS...

Julia’s Homemade Guacamole, My First Cooking Video Feature

This was not planned, but sometimes the best things result from impromptu inspiration.  I’ve decided to shoot a non-cooking cooking tutorial just to get my feet wet for food features.  I’m not really ready to worry about a live stove and a live camera being ON at the same time LOL.  Here in my new “How To Make Guacamole” video I share how I make my version of this Shrek-y sort of dip.  It’s a recipe that I personally expanded and changed using YouTuber Dan Phillippi’s version of guacamole as a base formula (but the video was on his wife Nikki’s channel).  Thanks Nikki and Dan for the inspiration and motivation from two years ago!  It’s totally not the same recipe and method anymore after I changed it up.

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JULIA’S GUAC The Recipe and the Video Feature (Click here to watch):
2-3 (3 if they’re small) avocados
1 red onion finely chopped/minced
50g cilantro/coriander, “wansoy” stems and leaves coarsely or finely chopped
2 medium green tomatoes chopped
2 finger chilis “siling panigang” seeds removed and chopped
1 small wild chili “siling labuyo” chopped
1 or 2 tbsp. (try 1 first) Calamansi juice/lime juice
1 tsp. ground cumin spice
1 tsp. sea salt to season (add as needed)

CHIPS: I used Tostitos Hint of Lime Tortillas

Blend everything in a mortar and pestle for chunky texture or in a food processor for smoother consistency.

To full post & COMMENTS...

My ZARA Wardrobe Upgrade | Style Scenes After the Sale

I think in recent years I have underestimated the power of dressing the part.  My best friend Alma told me personally that in our little group I’ve always been the medyo mas “fashion forward” or more different when it comes to clothes because of my artistic side…ever since high-school.  However, I think I’ve lagged a bit when it comes to the age-appropriate aspect of dressing myself because I hang with so many younger people, my cousins in particular.  An aunt of mine mentioned a couple of months back that I might begin to consider NOT wearing extremely casual or trendy clothes as often, even if they are comfortable.  She recommended retiring T-shirts with Mickey Mouse on them or loud pop-art for public viewing LOL. 

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 Even if I bring on the professional charm and have great makeup on this mug of mine there is still that doubt that tends to hang mid-air betweenme and clients sometimes.  Of course, I deliver the work and they are surprised and happy (and relieved) but their initial lack of trust because of how young I look is unsettling sometimes and can interfere with the work.   So I concluded that a change in personal presentation across my wardrobe just might help as people close to me suggested.

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Black Suede Boots, SALE PRICE: PHP995.00, OLD PRICE : about Php2950 or 2995, (sorry, the old tag went missing) MADE IN VIETNAM

I first chose the black suede boots because for Php995 they looked exceedingly more expensive and when I wore them they felt much more than they actually cost when on my feet.  Then I chose a handful of top clothing pieces I needed, which you will see in the full post.  Two weeks ago, Filipino stylist, Michael Salientes, a good friend and former fashion director with Details magazine NYC (he was in the Big Apple for over 10 years and witnessed the Conde Nast publishing takeover when it acquired Details ), began egging me excitedly about the post-summer Zara sale, he said I have to go because of the major markdown on so many good classic pieces.  He said he was going that day during our shoot.  I said I’d go with him twice in a span of 8 minutes, and twice in that span I changed my mind after praying to calm my  excitement.  Because of the odd weather, terrible traffic, and other errands I decided to skip accompanying him on that exact day (others would tell me that was painfully unwise, to not accompany Michael Salientes on a shopping spree), but I said to him sincerely that I would try not to miss it.  When I have no peace I just won’t jump on it because I know there’s a reason why.  Long story short, the Zara sale left my mind for a whole week after Michael Salientes had told me that it was already the last weekend of the sale.  I figured I must have missed it.  Thinking the sale ship had sailed I silently beat myself up for not accompanying Michael.  However, on a very random day a week later, I found myself in Rockwell, lo and behold, the ZARA sale was still on, and many of the sale items had been marked down from the previous sale price AGAIN, bringing the prices even lower.  All photos in this fashion feature are shot by me using a Canon 600D with the new 50mm 1.8 STM lens and made possible with a tiny, hand-held Canon RC6 remote control which triggers 10 seconds of beeping before actually firing.  Click through to the full post to see the complete fashion feature on the clothes I chose from the ZARA sale.… To full post & COMMENTS...

JULY FAVORITES 2015 Video Up!

This is a not so long list, but I quite enjoyed talking about these favorites, especially since it’s my first MONTHLY favorites video.

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Click below to watch the embedded video:

PRODUCTS MENTIONED:

Maxipeel Skin Purifier (Glycolic, AHA toner, 2-3x a WEEK at night)http://blessmybag.com/2015/07/21/maxi…
(PRESS SAMPLE)

This Works In Transit Moisturizer/Primer
http://blessmybag.com/2015/05/14/this… (Luxola)

Mark Anthony Macadamia Oil Sulfate-free Conditioner (S&R membership grocery)

NARS Fall Collection 2015: Dual Intensity Eyeshadow “Pasiphae”, Velvet Shadow Sticks: “Flibuste”, “Sukothai”, Lipstick: VIP Red (Rustan’s the Beauty Source, NARS Central Square BGC)

Browhaus HD Mascara Waterproof (Browhaus)

Voluspa Black Figue and Chypre Candle
http://blessmybag.com/2013/10/28/volu…
(Dimensione)

To full post & COMMENTS...

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