Bless My Bag

beauty bagged by a cheeky Filipina

Aeropostale “Live Love Dream” Hand Lotion | Holy Grail Hand Cream, Batman!

It’s a bit tricky to find a hand cream you like in a tropical country, and the least thing you expect is to find it in a clothing store.  Day in and day out for most of the year anyway we “sweat it out” and the weather is generally quite sticky at planet earth’s waist.  Hand lotions from abroad usually end up making hands feel like they’ve got a greasy layer over them when worn locally, especially if some of the richer formulas were developed for the international markets that get winter.  During the first few days of January I did a bit of post Christmas sales shopping for upcoming bridal showers and birthdays and I, quite typically, ignored the clothes at Aeropostale and floated over to the fragrance counter to test the Live Love Dream scented stuff with no expectations.  The packaging was, to be expected, teeny-bopper-y (mild gag) but when I looked again…it wasn’t too bad, but what surprised me most of all in the range was the hand cream/lotion itself.

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INGREDIENTS: Water, Butylene Glycol, Sweet Almond Oil, Fragrance, Cetearyl Alcohol, Glycerin, Isopropyl Myristate, Cetyl Alcohol, Glyceryl Stearate, Avocado Oil, Phenoxyethanol, Ceteareth 20, Microcrystalline Cellulose, Shea butter, Sodium Polyacrylate, Ethyhexyl Stearate, Vitamin E, Trideceth-6, Limonene, Disodium EDTA, BHT, Sodium hydroxide, Lilial, Methylparaben, Propylparaben, Alpha – isomethyl-lonone, Geraniol, Citronellol.

Individually, the 50ml hand lotion sells for Php285.00, they don’t carry a bigger size but a little more than pea size amount of this cream is enough for both hands .  I stalled with the tester in my hand after first application and had to apply a bit more…it felt akin to the Victoria’s Secret Body Lotions which in my 90s teen era experience smell great but also delivered back then in terms of skin softness.   I wasn’t imagining things, the LIVE LOVE DREAM cream moisturized my hands just enough but I didn’t feel like I was left with a “glove” of ingredients sitting on top of my fingers.  The scent…oh my golly gosh, that slightly universal but bright, non-annoying fresh scent didn’t leave my hands for hours.  Note though, if you’re not open to tart fresh scents you won’t like this.  Later on in the day while walking about the city if I smelt something I didn’t like nearby I’d put my hands up to my face to smell them instead.  Read more (click “more”) for the full review (yes, told you I liked this hand cream) and a sneak peek at one of my upcoming Valentine giveaway prizes!

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“Fast” Food 2014| For Us Who Can’t Go “Food-less”

Okay, consider this a cheat post, but actually…not really because I’m primarily fasting from beauty blogging.  The main reason why this could not at all wait ’till next week is simply because almost everyone who is fasting will be done by the end of the month or even next week…which would render this post with food suggestions useless.  I know there are many of you like myself who are anemic and cannot go  on “food-less” or 100% juice fasts.  In fact my doctor, Roberto Salvino (Spanish for “savior”), who actually saved me from my second bout with dengue over a year ago said because of my blood with naturally low hemoglobin I’m required to eat “lean” meat (fat and offal NOT recommended with the exception of liver) at least 3 times a week with iron supplements.  So this January, actually at the beginning of this week I began my “fast” by trimming indulgence and sticking with this more or less balanced diet to detox and lose Christmas weight.  I put on 3 or 4 lbs because of no exercise last Nov/Dec and mainly because we ran out of oatmeal for breakfast and Tipco juice so my morning meals were greasy again, that detail of a different breakfast, plus instant Milo instead of Tipco juice, with no exercise every morning really put on the pounds.  I’d like to call this post “Fast” Food, pun intended, so it’s basically just a purer, healthier selection of eats that actually taste good in my opinion (you don’t have to agree about V8, I know more than half the world hates tomato juice, but I love it). I originally planned to stick with this lot just for a week but I now plan to extend ’til the end of the month so it will make more of a difference.

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V8 Low Sodium Original vegetable juice  – 8 veggie juices in tomato base, I add Tabasco to spice it up, don’t get this unless you like tomato juice.

Silk Chocolate Soy Milk – No GMOs, so I get my chocolate milk fix without actual “dairy”, my brother likes the Vanilla flavor in a purple box.  This is so, so yummy and it tastes like the right kind of chocolate.

Tipco Broccoli  juice – This is NOT yucky at all, looks suspiciously green BUT tastes just like apple juice :) the kids at Brent school love Tipco. 

Comida Rica Kaffir Lime Dressing – THIS makes me eat lots of salad, if you’re tired of European vinaigrettes try this Asian inspired one available from Echostore.  I can safely say we’ve gone through about nearly 10 bottles of this stuff in the past few months.  It’s the perfect vinaigrette partner option along with that roasted sesame Asian cream dressing everyone likes.  Now the vinaigrette people can be happy, too.

Quaker Whole Grain Rolled Oats – If you’ve hated oatmeal all your life it might just be because you were eating the instant variety…that used to make me gag, I had bad memories of being force-fed instant oatmeal by some yaya.  When I tasted REAL oatmeal that wasn’t instant I started eating oatmeal everyday and I shed unnecessary flab just by changing my breakfast.  Mix it with honey and fruits if you still can’t take oatmeal “neat”.

Sweet Spring Country Farm Organic Salad Greens – In case you didn’t know my uncle, Kiko Pangilinan leveled up from Senator to Farmer and our family now has regular access to organic salad greens every week.  We buy our fresh salad greens from him, here the tomatoes are also from his farm in Alfonso, Cavite.  Check out their Facebook page here. “farm stall is located at Robinson’s Summit Ridge along the Tagyatay Nasugbu National Road in Tagaytay city. We are open Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 10am to 8pm.” Mobile: 0932 846 1572 Email: sweetspringcountryfarm@gmail.com

Kimchi – Korean kimchi (spicky pickled cabbage) always adds lots of excitement to my meals.  I like anything pickled actually.  This gives added oomph to mealtime especially when seafood is the main.  A simple pickle you can put together that I ALSO love which is more Tagalog is radish ceviche (ensaladang labanos) the thin, shaved or sliced white radish (labanos) slices steeped in white vinegar , salt, a bit of sugar and pepper, together with some sliced red onion and tomatoes to make the dish blush a bit, an added touch would be chopped spring onion, just a little. :)

White Fish -  You can switch for local fish like boneless bangus (milkfish) which I super love or tilapia.  This one here is River Cobbler filets from S&R, huge double filet in a Php150 frozen pack. 

Free range/organic eggs – In case you have a sudden hankering for meat eggs are the lesser evil. You can whip up something quick with them or use them in vegetable dishes for added body in dishes.  You can go yolk-less and stick to using the white if you’d like to restrict yourself more from dairy.

I’ve allowed myself mainly seafood and chicken for protein, lots of fruits & vegetables, salad, real (not instant) oatmeal sweetened with organic honey, pure juices, water,  and soy milk.  I am forbidding myself to take heavy red meat dishes, instant noodles, sweet junk (chips I don’t really like, anyway, except for Piknik), pastries.  carbonated/softdrinks, and powdered drinks are a complete no-no.  What I’ve forgotten to include in the picture is Apple Cider Vinegar and Tabasco which I use a lot for seasoning in conjunction with some of these.  For those of us who still need to eat but want a safe detox I think sticking to these is great. For munchies dried fruits and nuts are a good option but I try to drink juice or water instead when I feel the urge to munch, less calories.  Just remember it’s much better to consult your doctor if you’ve never drastically restricted yourself from certain foods and if you have vitamin supplements don’t quit those during the fast.  This is pretty much a low sodium balanced selection with no red meat. What do you think?  Have you already jumped on the fasting bandwagon?  Would you much rather stick to a selection of “fast” food as I have rather than go food-less?

Before the Blog Fast | Jessica Chastain for Disney’s BRAVE

I’m going for a one week blog and YouTube fast but I thought I’d let you guys know instead of just disappearing. I’ll still be shooting and collecting content (as well as preparing my Valentine giveaway items) so as far as the wait goes you’re still in for a treat. I thought I’d leave you with something breathtaking. Jessica Chastain’s Disney dream portrait as Merida from “Brave”. Makeup by Kristofer Buckle, shot by Annie Leibovitz.

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Bridal Beauty, A Rare Chronicle |Two Days, Two People #LexandYelle 2014

All photo copyright belongs to Blessmybag.com, shot w/ a Samsung Galaxy S3 mobile phone

It’s not everyday that I get to do makeup for a friend, one of my best and happiest friends from U.P. Fine Arts in fact.  Marielle Nadal or “Yelle” as we fondly call her (current crafty head of CraftMNL), uniquely planned out a two-day wedding with her husband, Alexander “Lex” Reyes.  Both are extremely well read and soundly creative, passionately prayerful, faithful, bound by wanderlust, and deeply sentimental.  They see the good and potential in nearly every person or situation and work relentlessly with the best of their talents to make the world a better, happier place.  They quite often burn the candle at both ends to get the job done perfectly so you can just imagine the beautiful outcome of their union. Yelle was one of the original founders of graphic advocacy hub Ideals PH, and when she met Lex, an Atenean project spearhead sort and graphic designer, he was involved in educational outreach camps for children.  The first actual day of their marriage was an intimate one in a church with the official Catholic rites and minimal trimming…

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Yelle’s crafted bouquet made of cuttings of tweed and woven fabric, crocheted leaves and petals, some pre-made embroidered flowers and twine wrapped stems.  Made by the bride herself for both blessed days.

 

…and the second was an outdoor renewal of vows where they could invite friends and extended family.  I was completely touched to be handpicked by Yelle as bridesmaid and makeup artist to her personally so I thought I’d share with you glimpses of my fun-filled duo of wedding days.  Read more (Click “more”) to see more photos and even a before and after of the bride. :)

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VDL Cosmetics Festival Single Shadow in “Sepia”

Very rarely does a single eyeshadow, more uncommonly a brown shade, catch my attention on counter and actually deliver in a noteworthy way.  Newly launched brand VDL cosmetics (last December 15) caught my eye at Alabang Town Center last week.  The boutique is like a makeup candy store.  I walked away with 3 small purchases the most valued being SEPIA, this gorgeous fudge brown eyeshadow that has an inexplicably pretty plum or violet undertone.  The texture is a velvety satin-shot-with-shimmer, fall-out is moderate and the finish is just too beautiful, plus it’s only about Php475.00.

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Processed with VSCOcam with h3 presetSepia is such a pretty shade that I don’t mind wearing it on its own, I just stick a primer over my lid (I use my Shiseido Ibuki Eye cream as a primer) then shade it in with a MAC 217 brush and blending the edges with a clean fluffy brush.  Incidentally, while VDL’s  false lash sets might be somewhat expensive (Php400+) I can’t deny that they’re exquisitely natural looking and the strip is long enough to suit larger eyes, with transparent bands.

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I know that there are lash sets that look like this in Divisoria that are dirt cheap, but I considered these as a present  as well to the bride who is a family friend.  I used this very pair on the last bride that I did.  The cute packaging is also what did me in.  You can’t deny that the box makes VDL lashes look more special just before you use them.

 

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