Yeah, I’ve been bit by the exercise bug. Admittedly, it’s an itch I scratch almost everyday now. However I know a lot of you out there are with me on the fact that physical exercise is one of the MAJOR life changes one must adopt in order to lose weight. It is what it is, and nothing can change that whether we like exercise or not. For many it’s not something that’s easy to make a commitment to.
Photo: My friend’s LIFE book
Today while researching I came across a fantastic series of mini posts under the collective title “52 Little Changes for Big Weight Loss” from iVillage. At first I muttered “One or two are redundant, why not 50 instead of 52…” then Mom was quick to point out “There are 52 weeks in a year…”. Ahhh. It all made perfect sense then.
Begin with 1 little life change in the first week and add one every week as you go. It’s full of clever truths and factoids that sum up to meet my “I-didn’t-know-that” quota for the day. It’s really very insightful and I think all these little tips together combined with a moderate, weekly exercise routine will significantly impact someone with a weight loss goal, that someone isn’t me though…I’m more about “tone, sculpt, and strengthen”. Like for instance, did it ever occur to you that eating off blue plates might psychologically curb your appetite and that McDonalds wave red & yellow which mentally increases appetite? Did you know that eating away from the TV can dramatically reduce your food intake by up to 40%? Or that chocolate milk (skim milk) is one of the best natural recovery drinks out there? There’s a wealth of health and weight loss knowledge in this online series of mini articles, 52 Little Changes for Big Weight Loss” from iVillage, just keep clicking next to go through all. Awesome post, I’m glad it’s out there.
I know many of you have noticed there haven’t been nail-of-the-day posts in months. I’ve been giving my nails a sabbatical from polish. It’s also because as a makeup artist on the job I keep my nails clean and short the way Bobbi Brown likes to. That’s not to say I’ll never ever wear nail polish again, these digits have just been vacationing. I’ll have nail posts up again in about a week since it has been awhile. One of my pet peeves with polished nails is what a pain it can be to clear polish off sometimes (especially glitter polishes, they’re the worst…). In the past, I’ve had my share of purchasing horribly diluted, cheap nail removers. They come in small bottles and often take 1/3 a bottle and half a dozen cotton balls to clear off two fingers while a third of the liquid will evaporate into thin air when you’re not looking. I want my polish remover to work but I don’t want to drop over Php100 for a remover. Caronia Nail Polish Remover is affordable at Php65.00, a small amount on a q-tip is strong enough to edit your polish edges, and it works even faster than the Sally Hansen one I tried. I like this also because prepping models nails for a shoot if they came with cracked polish simply should not take forever to do.
As long as you keep the bottle cap on tight this will last you months without evaporating on you. This bottle of Caronia Polish Remover has had this amount in it since the last time I used it about 5 months ago and it hasn’t dried up on me. Plus I’ve once had this bottle in a bag sideways on a trip and it didn’t spill. I’m not an anti-acetone girl but I won’t use PURE acetone to remove polish on my nails. This contains some acetone but isn’t PURE acetone and it has ingredients that will keep your nails from drying. I still use hand creme or lotion afterwards especially around my cuticles. If you are someone who likes changing nail polish more than 3x a week I suggest that it’s better to use a milder remover formula out on the market. When I do use polish I only change polish 2 or 3 times a month so this is fine for me. This costs Php65-70 and should be available at most local department stores and drugstores nationwide.
Not on the market for a hip pair of Vans or Toms shoes? They’re both awesome brands but the prices tend to skyrocket don’t they? You might want to try a pair of these City Sneaks Slip-Ons which are available at Payless. They’re Php645.00 a pair and they have them in wides and half-sizes. I got these at the shiny new Lucky Chinatown Mall branch in Binondo but there are so many Payless shoe outlets with common stock on hand. If you’re on call in the medical or physical therapy fields these could prove to be happy working shoes. My size is a 6W (wide). Please excuse the cat hairs in the next few photos.
Shoe sizes that suit are relative to your foot shape. I’d say these shoes are great for feet of medium heft (not so slender) that are slightly wide, but I think they also carry non-wide sizes. I love that they make your feet look slim even if they’re not. There’s some wonderful trickery intertwined in the shape even for people with “kankles” like mine (large ankles). I got both pairs, in black and white because they’re just sooo wearable. If you’re an artist they’re also great for customizing with paints and pens (gives oneself an idea).
These are not as heavy and chunky as Vans awesome slip-ons but the soles are much thicker than Toms. The rubber soles are also non-marking if I’m not mistaken so you shouldn’t easily scuff floors with these and you’ll still be walking sturdy in them. These City Sneaks have got good density somewhere in the way between Vans and Toms and the quality kind of reminds me of Keds. A good dupe for pricy Toms slip-ons are also in Payless and what I’m talking about are the Airwalk slip-ons which bear a striking similarity to Toms it’s just that they don’t carry a charitable cause. I nearly walked away with those Airwalk ones but I needed shoes with thicker soles for wet days. Again, these were Php645.00 per pair from Payless Shoe Source PH.
The NIVEA Baby Range, which my fave, phenomenal facial moisturizer Nivea Baby Smoothy Cream, is part of, is now available at Mercury Drug! I’m also eyeing something new from the range because my skin has been quite reactive due to drastic changes in the weather. I’ve been getting random flare ups on my face which does usually happen around this time of year. I can’t tell you how much I absolutely love Nivea Baby Smoothy Cream which I’ve already reviewed. It calms my flare ups and also performs well as a basic moisturizer, it also doesn’t leave a greasy feeling behind, it leaves it supple which is how I like it.
Since I can’t afford anything from Aesop as of the moment I’ve spotted something new from the NIVEA baby range that may or may not work wonders for me as a facial cleanser once I’ve consumed my current facial wash. I personally don’t mind using baby products as personal skincare, this Nivea Baby Range is made in Hamburg, Germany and uses only the purest ingredients suitable for babies. I’m quite interested in this Nutri-Sensitive Milk Wash which is formulated for cleansing infants from birth.
So far that smoothy cream has worked wonders for me, I’m wondering if this will do the same and I’m so glad the NIVEA Baby range has now also been made available in select Mercury Drug stores locally.
I spent 15 years of my life with my paternal grandmother at home and up to this day I miss her terribly. She had designer bags and shoes and she even slept on Yves Saint Laurent bedsheets (that we still use today, talk about durable) and her 9 white dogs drank a teaspoon of Enervon-C Syrup daily and wore Johnson’s Baby Powder and cologne. I’m not saying that’s the only way life should be lived, I am sharing that once upon a time she indeed lived it that way because she was well provided for. She had some time in Europe when my grandfather was Philippine ambassador to the Vatican in Rome. When it came to beauty she was simple. She did her eyebrows, and carried pressed powder and lipstick. More often than not, nothing more. Several months back my mom fished these “gems” out of one of our safe-boxes and told me that at some point in my life, Lola wanted me to have both, the other one especially because of its custom initials. These are pressed powders if I’m not mistaken.
This Estee Lauder one looks more like a blush but I’m not sure if the color shifted because of age. It opens stopwatch style and has a black tassel which adds a bit of vintage flair. She most likely acquired this while living in Europe.
My first name, Julia, was a spin-off from my paternal grandmother’s name Julieta. We shared the same initials, J.A., which delighted her and my being her youngest grandchild at the time led to some welcome spoiling in the best sense of the word. If I’m not mistaken, everything about the initials on this custom gilded Moon Drops compact are genuine. Moon Drops is I think was once a niche brand under Revlon…I’m not sure if it still exists today.
My grandmother, Julieta, was a very strong woman and to tell you the truth sometimes she could be scary (she’d rattle off in Spanish when she’d lose her temper), but she was also lovely, sweet, and affirming throughout most of my childhood. She also helped me to enjoy eating vegetables because she was an excellent cook and natural foodie. Uh, that’s me on the left, I think I was two, I never knew how to look at a camera with flash when I was that age. I was thinking maybe these heirloom compacts are my key to possibly meeting someone like Lisa Eldridge one day who collects vintage items like these. Aren’t these veritable beauty blasts from the past?
The weather has just been pretty gloomy lately, hasn’t it? I’ll admit I’ve been a bit lazy on my beauty posts in the last few days and even skipped 1 or 2 days of pilates (that otherwise would have been daily) not just because of the moody weather but also because I’ve been spending a bit more quiet time with my family. I’ll catch up soon. It’s just that all those true but horrid stories on the news about people dying, drowning, or being crushed just made me want to silently be with my own pack. My mom, who has been working ever since before I was born, has also chosen to retire…from advertising, but not from work in its entirety. She’s still got something new up her sleeve in another field. At the moment she’s in transition and she’s been home a lot which is quite comforting to say the least. To pounce on today’s topic: I refrain from buying magazines. I do miss physically pouring over them, though. They’re easier on the eyes than blogs and sites online when I just don’t want to be glued to my laptop and they’re great references to show clients when they’re unsure of what they want makeup-wise. In addition to food, Mom likes treating me to magazines every now and then, today was one of those days. I have also been reading books again in bed which is something I super duper miss, will mention which books in another post after I get a few beauty and giveaway posts up.
NYLON Singapore Aug 2012/British VOGUE Sept 2012/ELLE UK Sept 2012 travel size/Star Wars Moleskine Notebook
I do usually prefer a British Vogue issue over the U.S. Issue. The features of the latter are often so smothered by an avalanche of advertisements. British Vogue is just a delight to read, there’s just something in the way they sequence the ads and features together in a harmonious way. It’s not often as thick as their U.S. sister but in their case less is more. Don’t get me wrong, Vogue U.S. is still splendid, it’s just that for me there’s a quality I look for in that magazine that is missing, I can’t quite put my finger on it. I’m not an EDITORIAL EXPERT, but for my personal taste the content of British Vogue more often than not is rich, exceptionally well-written and of course it only boosts my love and fascination of all things British even more (maybe that’s it…really). The only items I bought with my own money was the NYLON Singapore AUG issue which I didn’t intend to buy (I grabbed it & thought ’twas a SEPT issue. Obviously Lost in TRANSACTION) and the limited edition Star Wars Moleskin notebook which I’m planning to gift to someone dear to me on that person’s birthday. Price? Php999=Php1k, yipe, but that person is worth it and I’m going to pen, pimp, and personalize its intro pages.
Relatives, if you are reading this and know who I am referring to, do not share because I know he doesn’t read my blog. There were two kinds of Star Wars Moleskine LTD Edition notebooks. I saw the Silver Light Speed design but I preferred this bronze embossed one with the nostalgic scrolling text supers. This design felt more epic and the ascending synopsis always lends itself to the act of chronicling one’s own EPISODE in life.
I’ve had this with me for awhile because I wanted to see how my skin would react with it. I’m personally not one for makeup primers and this Seaweed Pore Perfector isn’t actually a primer but it’s actually quite good underneath makeup. It’s supposed to be a soothing, mattifying gel treatment for pores that contains ginger essential oils, wild-harvested seaweed from the French coast and is generally hailed as a natural skin care item because it contains botanical astringents that help naturally unclog pores (you still need to wash your face wise-ass, ayt?). I tried it off the testing shelf at The Body Shop in Glorietta and asked them to put it on the counter for me right away, twas about Php800 but you only use like a tear drop size on each side of the face.
“Refine your skin with a targeted gel treatment designed to unblock pores and control excess shine.”
Community Trade bladderwack seaweed and seaweed harvested from the French Coast work together to balance skin tone and clarify the complexion.
Natural plant astringents including extracts of cinnamon, burnet and ginger help to visibly reduce the appearance of enlarged pores and blemish-damaged skin.
Now I believe this is somewhat similar to but not as silky and silicone-y as Estee Lauder Idealist. If you’re wincing at the price of the latter this is a great mid-range dupe for it. It’s more evident as a skin finishing product or skin primer to me. The only cons for some of you beauty enthusiasts or purists out there is that it isn’t entirely alcohol-free and it’s scented but in a lovely way. It didn’t break me out and I’ve got sensitive skin. It does a good job of giving some added moisture but eliminating excess shine which in my book is great for makeup prep. I love how soothing it is on the skin and it absorbs quite quickly. It’s actually also got some mild pimple-fighting ingredients like cinnamon in the mix for those who have low-level breakouts. I tested it out because I had a team of whiteheads threatening to turn themselves into zits. I applied this Seaweed Pore Perfector one night after bathing but before sleeping and woke up the next day to see that they had subsided. Well at least I know for that time it worked.
The Body Shop’s Seaweed for oil control family is a great facial care range. Currently it’s the natural but not fully organic range I’m most interested in whenever I pass any Body Shop boutique. What natural skincare items have been impressing you lately? Let me know and share them in the comments below, I’m really curious.
Okay, it’s taken me a LOOOOOOONG while to get this up and although my excuses are valid I’d still like to apologize. Four months ago I placed my teenage brother on a Help: Clear Skin 1-Month trial, which is a soluble fiber product by Works With Water UK containing lactoferrin, a milk protein that inhibits the population growth of zit-causing bacteria.
The Help: Clear Skin trial consisted of a daily dosage for one month, ergo 4 boxes of it (press sample). My “before” photo of my brother wasn’t too clear because I was too near and wasn’t using my HD mobile phone cam. It also wasn’t one of his worse zit days (believe me, I’ve seen worse with more enlarged cystic ones). To be discreet for my brother I’ve saved his before and after photos for after the excerpt jump. Please click on Read More to see the results.
Do any of you remember the local TV show Batibot? If you were born in the late 70s to mid-80s you probably do. Aside from watching Sesame Street I also watched Batibot whenever I caught it on TV. Yes, at the time I lived in Dasmariñas in a big house with my Lola and I was a teeny-weeny bit spoiled as an only kid, but shows like Batibot in addition to Betamax tapes of Sesame Street and Saturday Morning Cartoons from the U.S. kept me company and expanded my world with slice-of-life narratives. I wish more shows like this still existed today. One of those narratives was a video segment called “Bangkang Papel” which in Filipino means “paper boat”. A lot of children in the Philippines don’t have expensive toys to play with so they often make their own and folded paper boats were (before mobile phone games) just as popular here as paper planes are in the US. Today’s beauty post is a bit different in light of what’s happened because of the rain. The flooding here in the Philippines has caused a lot of people to lose their homes and relatives. Some have been relocated temporarily to cramped relief centers. I’ve decided to keep it simple today and just share a few current favorites brought to you in a “bangkang papel”. Two of these I’ve fully reviewed, the rest I’ve only just mentioned.
1. K-Palette 1-Day Tattoo Eyeliner - I’ll keep all these mentions short and simple because I don’t have it in me 100% to fully expound on cosmetics today because of the storm calamity. This is a great, easy-to-use liquid eyeliner that’ll help you get a nice sharp cat’s eye. K-Palette products are available in Beauty Bar. (upcoming full review)
2. K-Palette Kuma Concealer - - This concealer performs similarly to the peach color correctors of MAC and Bobbi Brown, it instantly lifts and corrects dark circles, comes in 3 shades with skin benefits, and is a smooth but concentrated consistency like Michelle Phan’s favorite Amazing Concealer. (upcoming full review.)
4. Clinique Shimmer Stripes Powder blush in 01 Peony (free travel sample size, a gift) -This was simply given to me by my Ninang, it’s a free sample size of Clinique Shimmer Stripes Powder blush. These aren’t glittery or even “shimmery” in a pixie dust way don’t worry, they’re a pearl-to-satin finish and the Peony shade gives cheeks that mild hint of rosy.
Right now many districts and provinces in Luzon are in a state of calamity due to the heavy rains these last few days. I may or may not be as active on the blog this week and some personal posts might go up. Let’s offer up prayers of thanksgiving for ourselves who are healthy, clean, and dry and prayers of compassion and mercy for people who have lost their loved ones, homes, hope, and joy. God, please be merciful and show us what more we can do to help people in need not just at this time but from now on everyday that we have life in us. Amen. To give us hope that majority of the Philippines can find joy again in simple things here is that video of Bangkang Papel from Batibot that has been on my mind for the past few days amidst all the chaotic reports from the news. Somewhere, somehow, families and children will find peace and joy again which is what this video brings home very well. Once upon a time, rain wasn’t always such a burden. This is a reminder of a time when we once actually even looked forward to the rain which could bring joy when it wouldn’t overwhelm us.
RT @RESCUE5PH: For Quezon City Rescue hotline: 928-4396 / 927-5914 / 924-2027
RELIEF CENTERS ETC. (Go and help personally or donate)
LBC branches will serve as drop-off centers for Phil. Red Cross. You may take your donations for flood victims to the nearest LBC branch starting tom Aug 8. Most needed are blankets, water, milk, easy-to-eat foods like biscuits, rice, baby diapers, mats/banigs, toiletries. Pls make sure these are properly labled as donations and we will make sure these are sent immediately to the Red Cross and to their evacuation centers. PLEASE don’t use plastic bags, instead use a blanket, towel or old shirt to tie-up and carry your donations. Thank you.
DAR (Department of Agrarian Reform) **”We are in need of volunteers for repacking of relief goods in Gate 1, Quezon City Circle. For more information, please contact us at 0916.320.0809.”
**Sagip Kapamilya ABS-CBN Foundation Inc. Building Mother Ignacia Ave., corner Eugenio Lopez St., Quezon City –Warehouse: ABS-CBN Foundation Sagip Kapamilya Warehouse(Edongs) #137 Mother Ignacia Ave., Quezon City
**Akbayanihan Relief Center Akbayanihan Relief Center now accepting donations. Food, water, clothes, and the like being accepted at the Akbayan headquarters in 36B Madasalin Street, Sikatuna Village. You may contact (02)4336933 / 09175381816 / 09064304315 if you want to volunteer.
Command Center for relief ops North NCR @hrd. Training Ctr, DAR Compound QC. #09991889683 / 09064192016 / 09228483806