The Heart Swatch | A Handful of Meaningful Thoughts

There are some who freely spill their personal lives onto an online page, and everyone can with the freedom to do so but not everyone should at just any time.  I do, too, once in awhile…spill a couple of words every now and then.  I’m not made of stone.  DISCLAIMER: This is not a “kodigo (codex)” on how to figure me out, there are no tips and tricks, nor will you find “tsismis (gossip)” here…and please this is not an “I’m-single” plug.  I just want to encourage women to be more prudent, picky, and fabulous.  There have been times in the past where it’s been tempting to slap on all the feelings on relationships “Pollock” style into one post, whipping and splatting every ounce of emotion, frustration, or hope into WordPress for all the world to see.  However, unknown to many is the fact that I have loved ones who keep me in check, they’re heart watchdogs if you will (mothers and aunts who read my blog).  While they do not at all dictate what I choose to do I still look to them with the deepest respect because of the inspiring lives and perfect-imperfect marriages my parents, aunts, uncles have.  I’ve seen many of them at their best and worst but what’s amazing is as a whole, majority being more of the time, they all look like they don’t want to be with anyone else…victories, hangups, and all.  That’s why I don’t talk about what’s in my heart a lot online, because it’s a precious ounce of me and because it’s not always Spiritually prudent to do so.  Today I am led deeply to talk about this.  Once in awhile, I do go on a personal tangent like this just to let you guys know I do have a beating heart that is my own and to see if I can encourage or touch any of you with something other than a photo of lipstick or nail polish.  That was a long intro, but the rest of this should be relatively quick-er…lies.

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In case you were wondering…the Jane Austen heroine (women who find true love are heroines) I pretty much feel I can relate to or feel similar to is EMMA.  First, I look like Gwyneth Paltrow and I’m married to Chris Martin, I’ve been spoiled (in the best sense) but I am not a brat, I’m as stubborn as an ox, I’m snarky, thoughtful but not sweet (don’t let my smiley face deceive you), once in awhile because I’m so opinionated (oracle tendency) I let words fly and get into trouble unintentionally then I have to dig myself out but won’t ever hesitate to apologize.  I’m prayerful especially at the end of my rope (so is she).  Plus, ugh confession, I like playing cupid and try to match friends without them knowing and I take a step back to watch my handiwork potentially unfold (haha, are you a victim? You will never know…)

We begin with a name, Jane Austen.  As women today, we revere the brilliant author for her ability to fulfill every woman’s romantic desire and staggering hope within a few hundred pages, but we have also been forewarned to not base or align our real life hopes in the manner that Jane’s women have in the stories.  So shouts the world: “for crying out loud, Ladies, Jane ended up dying alone…don’t believe her…” that isn’t fair.  Gone are the ‘olden’ days, people say now, today is a new age…don’t set your expectations too high or you’ll end up alone.  Alone in a Queen size bed…alone, possibly, yes, but in the long-run HELLO at least not besieged by the wrong person who might also be besieged by me!  My prized morning breath is on reserve (he’s so blessed, lol).  Yea, I’m picky but I’m way too much of a cheesy romantic to don the “down-with-love” feminist cap, okay.  I’m not like that at all. People have been asking why I’m 30 already and still single… typical ask-a-roo at this point but I really don’t blame them,  it’s a fair question.  Truth is I don’t really know *shoulder shrug* and don’t really have a straight-up answer that I’m not required to give, it is what it is…my personal knight just hasn’t been discovered.  I’m not on a MAN BAN ayt?! LOL!  My last relationship (which was my 2nd) ended a while back and I just found myself about to turn 30.  I’ve known for awhile that I’m an old soul and late bloomer (still working on the independence tab), a true slow boiler, I’ve felt it ever since I was in grade school…I’ve always been slower than most people at almost everything (except studies, writing, and drawing, I’d just turned 16 when I entered U.P.).  Point that eases any tension: I am loved in more ways than one, and I know it to my bones…so I can’t keep from smiling on the outside.  Which is why I don’t cry myself to sleep at night while eating ice cream (puh-leez w/ a head shimmy) begging to be hitched or anything like that.  I just watched Sense & Sensibility with my folks and Dad cried (he’s an action guy who plays Call of Duty Ghosts and he finished S&S crying).  If you haven’t watched any Jane Austen film yet, try Emma, it’s a good JA starter that won’t make your nose bleed as much.    I told myself once that the bottled romance in my heart had a soundtrack…for a long time I kept hearing a tune played in my head, for years I couldn’t remember what movie it was.  When I replayed the movie Emma last year after many years I froze…it was the music…the music I’d been looking for, you can listen to the Emma track here, don’t worry it’s an instrumental, no spoilers :).  My Pangilinan grandfather (father of 9) was recently confined in the ICU, thankfully he’s out already, but while he was there he had a moment of present-mindedness …he recognized me near his bedside.… To full post & COMMENTS...

Stylash Mink Lash Extensions 50% Off ‘Til Jan.15 | AND their SM BF Branch Opens Today

I looked outside and told myself today “I’m staying in…” then I saw an IG photo of my blogger friend,  “Reluctant Stylista”, Alex V. Lapa (who professionally styles my cousin KC Concepcion), in her newly done Stylash mink lash extensions and told myself “I’m going out, I’m going out!” LOL.  Seriously, I’m heading out later to get these “lashlettes” done before the 2014 countdown, especially since Stylash  got a 50% markdown offer on lash services until January 15 (that’s Php800 from Php1600).

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I’ve chatted with and interviewed Alex aka Reluctant Stylista online and she said what she had done is the Natural C-shape and the service took 1.5 hours to get done BUT these mink lashes, if you’re extra careful around the eye area for the period of having them, can last for up to a whole month and about two to three weeks for girls who accidentally rub their eyes or aren’t as careful.

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“It should’ve stung nga daw a bit pero for some reason that didn’t happen to me (during application)… when I went to bed that night, I was tearing up. Usually that happens when I sleep with something like mascara on.” – ALEX LAPA

What’s awesome about these is you don’t even need eyeliner to conceal them.  The only cosmetic reaction Alex got the day she had them applied was later on in the evening she told me she was tearing up just for awhile.  So I’m not sure I can recommend this for girls with sensitive eyes, especially for those of you who don’t like mascara or even pencil eyeliner that makes you tear up this service may not be for you.  Girls who love having false lashes applied though  or have tried a lash extensions service like for example “i-lash” without any problems should give these a go even just for the New Year!  If you have it done now you can reapply before the promo finishes!  Stylash offer different shapes and I certainly want to go for the “FIERCE” flared shape to lift my droopy eyes.  The GLAM shape looks like a great showstopping celebrity style.

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I will have a follow up review of my own as soon as I have them done and then a conclusive interview after about 2-3 weeks.  Just decided to let you guys know about the promo now since it’s on until January 15, 2014!  Lots of celebrities abroad have been into mink lashes for awhile.  They’re the softest, most wispy, natural looking lashes in the market that are a “level up” from human lashes and the many ways they source them are cruelty-free, minks have a period of natural shedding and they can also be brushed (will double-double check of course in Stylash’s case, I will get to the bottom of that).  The only mink lashes I’ve ever mentioned here on the site in the past are those lovely certified cruely-free Velour rtw lash sets you just can’t get readily available here (without losing an arm or a leg).  Stylash’s new southern SM BF outlet is OPENING TODAY and Stylash also has an outlet counter at Landmark, Makati, and a Quezon City branch.  For inquiries their mobile contact numbers are 0917.6685042 / 0918.5918694 and they’re on Instagram @stylashmanila and on Facebook.com/stylashmanila.… To full post & COMMENTS...

Cray Cray for Cases | RTW Phone Swag by HeadCase UK

I was kinda “down” and semi “out” for the last two days.  I had a sore throat and slight fever on Christmas day and symptoms ballooned the following morning.  Thanks to rest, lots of juice, a massage, and some paracetamol it didn’t get any worse and I’m better now.  I did a bit of browsing on Ebay over two weeks ago and decided to give in to the holiday offers phone case makers HeadCase had via their online store E-cell Global (“e_cell” on Ebay).  Regular price is about $8 per case, but with their holiday discount and FREE shipping offer I paid quite a bit less, nearly half price for all in fact.  To be clear, Head Case phone cases are designed in the UK and outsourced to be printed here in the Philippines.  What I like is I didn’t receive standard postal notices for these anymore even though they were FREE shipping.  They delivered my orders all together directly to mom’s office in Fort.  I initially chose four then added the Ariel surfing princess a couple of days later.

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HeadCase, From LEFT, S3 i9300 Cases: CARINA NEBULA, CAT GEOMETRIC, SURFING PRINCESS HIPSTER, PINK FASHION FLAMINGO

Can you tell by my SURFING PRINCESS case that I’ve stocked up on phone swag for summer?  Ariel splits her tail just to surf?  Yes, please!  The printing quality is moderate to high quality and the design doesn’t wrap around the whole case completely, the print stops short of about a third of an inch from the clear case edge.  The clear case that the design is on is obviously what makes it cheaper.  My ultimate favorite is this one they call “TIGER GEOMETRIC” but what’s strange is the face doesn’t look like a tiger.  I think they’re mistaken, it looks more like a lion or lioness, I can tell from the chin and the eyes and all I could think of when I saw this was “Aslan” not “Shere Khan”.  Generally, tigers have slightly larger, rounder  eyes than lions, slimmer snouts, and their eyes are closer together, not as far apart as lions’ eyes.  So to me, this is a lion.  No one disagreed on Instagram, LOL.  I also love that it blazes with multi-facets of the color of the new year and brings back childhood memories of Lisa Frank stickers and stationery.

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I do know I won’t find fantastic graphic designs I can browse through locally as I was able to so easily do on their Ebay store.   What I like is it’s not a printed, peel-off sticker they just slapped on a clear case, they’ve obviously got a special printer that makes veneer designs that adhere and mold to plastic.  On my current case, the “Tiger” Geometric, it even looks like the darker facets in the graphics are beveled or embossed, you can see and feel it, so nice.

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These are great but don’t naman expect Casetagram quality (which costs over $33 USD).  When I say print quality is moderate (for $5-$6 I paid each) that’s because I still can see printer striping if you look closely at the medium tones (look at the flamingo case where it’s most obvious, that was the dud of the 5).  I don’t mind too much about this for the price (about under Php200 each), I’m just really happy that my favorite designs, the cat, the lion, and the mermaid were printed well.  HC_03

I skimmed through hundreds of designs within my phone category, nearly a thousand Samsung S3 cases on the “e_cell” Ebay site before picking these 5 (they do same designs for other smartphone models including iphones).  By the way, if you’ve got the same phone as me make sure you’re looking at the Samsung S3 i9300 cases, NOT S3 MINI cases, easy to be mistaken.  Have fun browsing :).… To full post & COMMENTS...

Maybelline’s Luscious Looking Lip Polish! | AKA “Color Elixir” Abroad

I’m sooo glad I went with my gut and did NOT cave on an Ebay purchase for a few of these.  I remember praying and truly not having enough extra to get these so I went with wisdom and let it go.  Thank you, thank you to the Maybelline team for gifting me with not one, not two, but eight if not ALL of your lovely newly available Lip Polish lippies!  They’re known abroad as “Maybelline Color Elixirs” and ever since London-based Canadian Youtube-r  “Essiebutton” (Estee) raved about these I’ve been hankering to have me one or two, and now without lifting a finger, I do…and so many more than I imagined!

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Why You’ll Love It

  • A trio of concentrates delivers the color of a lipstick, the cushiony care of a balm, and the glass shine of a gloss
  • Our exclusive smoothing angora brush delivers a polished , even application and smoothing sensation to lips

I love how elegantly lined up they are in a box suited to their size, they kind of remind me of how the Aromatherapy Associates Bath Oils are packed.  What the lip polishes are basically are non-sticky lipglosses, they give a pigmented sort of jelly shine without the annoying stickiness and fade nicely to a noticeable stain after a few hours (3-4), plus they’re easy to bring and a snap to reapply, need I mention they won’t cost you an arm and a leg at about Php450/475?  I set my eyes on this wearable lavender-ish color GLAM5 which…obviously, I’m being very typical at this very moment, best represents next year’s color of the year, Radiant Orchid.

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Actually I’ve been onto these purple-y shades even before the color of the year was announced.  These tenderly tint the lips and in fact when you swatch them on your hand or arm (sorry don’t have a swatch photo) they sort of look like watercolors on the first swipe but with a pop of color.  Color intensity is build-able, which is just uniquely awesome for a gloss.  Tip though, for any lippie like this exfoliate lips and hydrate lips beforehand, dry flaky lips don’t ever help when applying products like these.  The lighter shades are lovely to wear for a soft everyday look and the deeper ones are gorgeous, too.  Here I’m wearing GLAM 5 and I do love me a good gloss that adds OBVIOUS color and lasts not at the expense of sealing your lips together.  I hate lipgloss that looks lovely in the tube but amount to “zero” when you slick it on.  These aren’t like that and they don’t have an odd taste or smell.  I especially recommend these if you want your lips to catch the light in joyful group photos this holiday season.  :)  Available almost everywhere Maybelline is sold in local department stores, Mercury Drug, or Watsons outlets.  Are you done with shopping and wrapping? I’m still wrapping a few more but am excited for our first Christmas family gathering tonight, Dad’s side!  An early Merry Christmas to all of you, mwah! xxx… To full post & COMMENTS...

Early Christmas Gift from Lisa Eldridge | Being chosen is the best gift of all…

I woke up with my eyes still stuck together.  They burst open when I peeked at celebrity makeup artist Lisa Eldridge’s post on her website announcing her My Lisa Look contest winners and saw my face, my actual face, posted on there!!  I won 3rd place in her My Lisa Look global IG contest (here at this link)! And she even described what she thought of my look and why she chose it! *Thud*

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“Third place goes to Julia, who was inspired by my ‘Baby Bardot Fresh Spring Makeup‘  The finished look is just so fresh and suits her face and personality so well – of course I dont actually know her but I can sort of feel her personality through the sparkle in her eyes in the picture … if you know what I mean. Well done Julia, I love your make-up!” – LISA ELDRIDGE

mylisalook_01One girl from her team just emailed me a few minutes ago asking for my details so they could send out my prize by New Year.  I brightened the photo up for you guys, it won without me doing so but I wanted it brighter for the blog.  I really, really don’t care as much about the prize as much as the fact that Lisa actually looked at my artistry and approved and thought she saw “sparkle” in me.  Lisa looked at me and she actually liked what she saw.  That made me sparkle more today :D.  It’s like the best God-given early Christmas gift.  I can’t imagine asking for more this year.

 

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ZOYA Dakota, the Rouge Noir Contender | Those Essential Black Cherry Nails

Zoya is probably my ultimate favorite nail brand up there along with Essie.  It’s a brand birthed by a former classical pianist turned cosmetologist and her husband who was an advanced chemist.  With Zoya they’ve released, to date, the longest wearing TOXIN-FREE nail polish formula in the market.  What I love about the Zoya formulas is, similarly to Essie, they dry over the nails but still have that ultra shiny, wet, glossed over look.  With Zoya polishes I like skipping top coat when I can…they look newly applied for days before major tip wear becomes noticeable.  I’d like to take a moment to revoke what I said a few posts back about not really being into dark ruby/black cherry nails…that was only because I hadn’t tried the nail polish Mom brought home for me from Japan (Zoya is a U.S. brand), they had Zoya over there and she got me Zoya Dakota, which is a beautiful black cherry or bloody sort ofhue.  It’s a beautiful crimson with 2 coats on, and a worthy Chanel Rouge Noir contender with 3 coat like the way I have it on below.  The point about “rouge noir” shades is that meters away your nails appear like they could be black, but up close people see that your nails are as deeply red as precious rubies.

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A close local dupe for this might be Caronia’s Pussy Red (cringes at the name) but what I hate about that is it feels like it has a brown undertone that makes my hands age, it doesn’t have the lovely ruby undertone that Zoya Dakota has.  When I’m going to go for dark nails I like having my nails shorter, just because it looks younger, fresher, and more rock-chick sort of sophisticated if you know what I mean.  Zoya Dakota’s ruby red sort of rouge noir hue really reminds me of the ruby key (yes, key, not shoes) of the evil princess in Return to Oz (1988).  If you were a strange child in the 80s as I was you may have watched that.  I loved it to bits and memorized it.  It was a general film flop because parents then thought it was too “film noir” or strange for Disney children to enjoy and Fairuza Balk as Dorothy might have looked too “crafty” to them.  My mother had many recorded and let me watch lots of movies (as long as not occult) about unusually talented, brave, strange girls (Alice, Dorothy…) who were out in dark places trying to find their way home all the time (she had a scheme obviously for the future LOL) and she wouldn’t shield me from potentially scary scenes like when the heroine is in a dark place for example, she’d let me wield my imaginary sword.  Er…back to Zoya Dakota, this is good “rouge noir” candidate that lasts longer on the nails and looks glossy for a long time. W-I-N.… To full post & COMMENTS...

My Nationwide Christmas Giveaway 2013 | Until Dec. 26, 2013

It’s gift giving time!  First, I’d like to thank the many brands that have supported my blog this year (there are lots of new ones) and also the brands that have been there since the beginning.  This has certainly been the blog’s biggest year ever now that I’ve collaborated with brands that I would never have imagined working with a few years back.  I’ve been given huge opportunities and have been blessed with so much!  It’s definitely that time of the year to give back with gusto!

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However my biggest thank you goes out to all of you who’ve been reading this blog, I’ve even just discovered that there are some of you who’ve been reading this blog since 2010?!  That’s like totally cray (lol, ‘di bagay).   Well this one’s for you and to join you simply have to follow the steps via the Rafflecopter widget at the end of the post.  Please understand that I’ll do my best to send out the whole package before New Year, but if that doesn’t work the winner will receive the prize in January 2014.  However, before that, let’s go through the loot first, shall we?  Read more to see the individual prizes up close.… 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)

 

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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.

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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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