A MidSummer Night’s Gleam | So True Naturals’ CATERINA Candle

This candle named after super-mama blogger, Cat Juan-Ledesma of CatJuan.comwas created by Mia Rocha-Lauchengco’s locally loved brand So True naturals in limited edition jars last May.  You may recall they had a Sampleroom run over a year ago.  Toss the tomatoes at me for being late to the party in sharing, but this candle scent is still carried and sold by So True naturals and is highly requested.  It is just produced in limited amounts every so often (I’m not sure for how much longer) and in different jars. Through the warm atmosphere, Caterina brings whiffs of elegant verbena and greenery to the scene.





Caterina – “A gentle and quiet spirit who has the rare gift of seeing beauty in the mundane. The Caterina Candle is a calming and soothing scent of verbena and fresh-cut grass.”  There were 2 other scents but this was my favorite.

These were limited edition mini candles, 2 oz each sold as a set of 3 for a special price that day from the popupkids x CatJL event.  Now they will sell as large candles in approximately 12 ounces (double the heft of a tabletop diptyque 6oz) or 340 grams, for a longer burn time of 60-80 hours. sotruenaturals.com is updating their site this week where the large versions of this trio of candles will sell for Php1795, Caterina is available in new blue or red jars





“How far that little candle throws its beams! So shines a good deed in a naughty world.” WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE

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Jonathan Adler Scented Candles | Flame Fancy

My Top 10 Makeup bits for 2014 was supposed to go up today.  I shot it already but the flu that I’ve had incubating just got me really down now and so I’m not in the best condition for writing a long detailed post at the moment with many photos.  My head hurts and my throat is itchy so I’ve postponed that to tomorrow night hopefully and have decided to go with a simpler post for now with stuff that I didn’t buy or receive but discovered earlier at Dimensione.  If you’ve never had a whiff of these luxe candles by Jonathan Adler you certainly need to experience their scents even if just in store.  The scents are not executed super literally according to title (e.g. their “sea salt” candle brings to mind a delightfully clean, brute dude) but are thoughtfully put in fragrant context.  They are a whole ‘nother level of awesome.  If money were no object I would have taken the Earl Grey one home with me in a heartbeat but I’m using up other candles at the moment.  The good people of Dimensione Alabang gave me permission to take photos since I couldn’t afford one for now.  Even unlit these send pleasure up your nose as soon as you open the box.

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They are pricey, but for obvious reasons.  The line certainly makes it to the candle league of Diptyque and Malin + Goetz, but I think you get substantially a bit more candle for the price.  The 8 oz. J. Adler Earl Grey one (hear me swoon) is in the Php2500 range, while Diptyque’s standard 6 oz. one is close to Php3000 locally from Rustan’s.  These are great (the Fig one is also wonderfully forest-y) but the piece de resistance is this huge one also by Jonathan Adler, Muse Blanc, a very pretty feminine scent which reminds me of Acca Kappa Muschio Bianco but in a slightly more floral way.  Some might get creeped out by the faces, but I don’t…I think it’s pretty and it reminds me of some of the characters in The Neverending Story film.  The candle pot is a grainy matte ceramic finish.  This one is huge compared to the first ones above and is in the Php4k range.


Processed with VSCOcam with c2 presetThe Jonathan Adler candle range is available at select outlets of Dimensione, the staff I asked confirmed at Alabang and BGC Fort.… To full post & COMMENTS...

My Christmas Wishlist 2013 | 5 Beauty & 5 Almost Non-beauty

Today, I wanted to do a post where I didn’t have to think too much, but this will still be somewhat lengthy because Hello, it’s a list and not of press stuff I received or purchases either.  This is pretty much the “One can dream…” point and pick party of items that appeal to me and am happy to recommend them for people with similar taste.  We’ve  trimmed down on the extravagance and labor that goes into Christmas parties this year or cut out our company Christmas parties altogether in respect of Storm Haiyan’s victims.  Most of us are aware and we’ve gladly done our share to help. That also means more people can focus more on gift giving.  Whenever I make this wishlist annually please know that I don’t shamelessly email it to family and friends okay?!  These are mostly available locally (don’t be mad if I throw in a few aspirational gifts) and I’ll do the fair mix of high and low for you.  Mmm, I’ll make this a list of 5 beauty and 5 nearly non-beauty buys for the sake of variety…I’ll even throw in one or two things you can eat. Let us begin.  For fun, I’ll alternate the beauty and non-beauty bits.  This post is going to turn into fruitcake.med-img-2._freedom_system_eye_shadow_square

1.) INGLOT Single Eyeshadow– I’ve got the palettes you place them in, so surprise me with any single eyeshadow shade from a huge array of colors to choose from at their store.  They come dinky and boxed…the size of candy.  (Php375 from the INGLOT boutique at Glorietta 5)




2.) Canon EOS 700D Entry level DSLR – From tiny gift to big gift we go, the reason why I’ve got my eyes set on this is I’ve never owned a DSLR ever and this is a lower level camera than the 60D, also costs less than that 100D one AND it’s a newer release than the 600D.  The 600D was the entry level DSLR of 2-3 years ago, this is the next step up.  I like that unlike the 650D it has a varicam angle flip screen which is a blogger’s blessing if you want to check what the scene looks like while shooting yourself. I’m also very much in need of a DSLR for decent true to life before and after photos of my makeup clients.


3.) Bloom Eye Brow Duo (Brow Gel & Pencil) – Now, I’m not sure if Beauty Bar stocks all of Bloom’s latest products (or if they still stock Bloom at all, shame on me, I’ll confirm), but this is what’s on the Bloom website.  My cousin’s wife, Sam, loves their automatic brow pencils and while I’m not sure that this is the same one, this is what got me interested from the site, one end is a brow gel, the other is a brow definer.  Just know that Sam and I know brows and according to her Bloom’s brow stuff is better than good.  READ MORE to see all 10 on my wishlist…click “more”.

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My Holiday Gift Guide Video 2013…whew… | Be nice, LOL

After around 2 hours of shooting and 8 hours of editing (I had to relearn Adobe Premiere to get exactly what I wanted) here it is, my Christmas Beauty Gift Guide featuring some items I’ve blogged about and some that I haven’t mentioned yet.  I really wanted to fit in so much more, like smaller stocking-filler (cheaper) items but the video stretched to 15 minutes simply because I talk too much and haven’t got the hang of this yet, but thanks to some painstaking editing I think I did a pretty good job.  By the way, I forgot to include the shampoos in this photo…who cares, lol (that’s how tired I am lol).  These are photos, the video is at the bottom.



The selection is mid-range to high-end with a few bargains thrown in.  Still contemplating on whether I should do the equivalent of a stocking-filler video (cute, cheap buys).  Don’t judge me if I’m ugly on a freeze-frame…hahaha, (yewwww, shakes finger) anyone would be.  I’ve personally always felt, in all honesty, that I am more “photogenic” and “real-agenic” (lol) than “telegenic”…but anyway the video isn’t about me, it’s about the stuff I’m presenting.  I made it 15 minutes long since I rarely do videos anyway.  Next time I’ll learn from these gurus amidst YouTube on how to fit everything in under 10 minutes and still sound sane :).  Enjoy my Christmas Beauty Gift Guide Video 2013 at this link or watch it embedded below :).  By the way this doesn’t have a giveaway, but yes I am thinking up a one-winner Christmas giveaway for you guys…hopefully I can fit it in before delivery becomes too difficult to manage :).

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The Beautiful Diptyque Baies Candle – A bestseller from the Diptyque Boutique HK

Mom shared that she was going to Hong Kong for an overnight work trip and she asked me four magic words “What do you want?”.  I could only hope for one luxuriously fragrant thing, my very first  Diptyque candle.  If there was going to be a scented candle featured for the first time on BlessMyBag this would have to be it, Diptyque’s highly in demand, best-selling Baies Candle.


What better way to light my Diptyque Baies candle than with these pretty in pink Langham hotel matches?  They’re not just pretty, they strike a flame in a half-second.   Diptyque are French purveyors of some of the finest scented candles in the world and the business actually began with 3 artisan colleagues who partnered in 1961.  They opened shop at 34 boulevard Saint-Germain to showcase their avant-garde fabric designs and then introduced candles with perfumed wax as an accompaniment to their original wares.

Photo Credit: Chic-cityrats.net

Customers are then smitten with the candles which are an instant olfactory hit.  Diptyque showcased the first official Diptyque candle in 1963 and their first range of fragrances were released in 1968.  They’ve been in the business for 51 years now.  The Diptyque Boutique (repeat 5x if you can lol) in Hong Kong is located at the International Finance Center (IFC) mall.

The scent of this Baies candle dispels any doubt one might have about Diptyque’s preceding reputation.  A waft of this Baies candle bears notes of roses in bloom embraced by the deep warmth of black currants.  In my mind it’s the perfect waltz of fruity and floral.  When Mom, Dad and I smelt the box as we opened it, eyes rolled back.  My dad is a hygiene freak and loves strong fragrances.  Having lived as the son of a Vatican Diplomat in Rome for 3 years he’s sampled some of the best and he loves smelling lotions, salves, and colognes in bottles and that’s an added bonus to me as a beauty blogger.  To me, it smelled like Christmas but not in a stereotypical way, it’s a more refined sort of scent and it also brought me back to the time when Baguio didn’t smell like diesel fumes, when the hints of pine in the breeze still hit you if you had your car window open.  I don’t think this candle actually contains notes of pine but it brought me back to that time in my life and the Christmas accent in the fragrance combination isn’t overwhelmingly Christmas-y.  Mom says she paid roughly Php1800 for this mini candle here which is a bit bigger than a shot glass.  Your jaw dropped, yup, they’re expensive but undeniably memorable and they come in a bigger standard size which would cost about Php2100 (or more in Rustan’s) as I estimate from the Diptyque website.  This Baies candle and the Langham pink matches have reawakened my childhood joy of lighting candles.

My mom also bought Diptyque fragrances for both herself and Dad, more on that next time.

“One Candle lights one candle, Two Candles light four, and when they shine there is no darkness anymore…” – Everlasting Light music album

I think I know what I want on my birthday, 1 more Diptyque Candle in a different scent (I’m eyeing  Feu de Bois which is a “sophisticated accord of woods”) or one of their scent ovals which is a fragranced oval you keep or hang in drawers, wardrobes,  baskets, bags or wherever to keep a scent going in the area.  A limited range of Diptyque products is available at Rustan’s Makati and Rustan’s tower Shangrila-Plaza mall.  Diptyque products are expensive but they’re made with love and are an absolute delight to own.

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