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  • This sale consists of ten tops I haven’t been using in awhile but are still eye candy and in good condition…INCLUDING what I believe to be the main event of this sale: a TOPSHOP real knit wool sweater that I spotted to be similar or exact to what Emilia Clark wore in the Me Before You upcoming film trailer. This particular piece I’m convinced is the main event of my blog sale.

Bless My Bag Posts

L’Occitane Alcohol-Free Fresh Gentle Toner | Soo Nice it’s Got Me Toning Again

I side-stepped that blessed second skincare step for a year.  For the whole of 2014 for some reason I’d lost my love for toning in my skincare routine, I just went for the bare minimum at one point, cleansing and moisturizing and I think I had the odd very rare day of exfoliation.  My skin was breaking out in the last quarter and was reeling from neglect especially from the months of September to November last year.  I was loitering about Central Square mall the day before Valentine’s and I really didn’t believe I’d find anything I needed in L’Occitane. not meaning to snub them but I always saw it as the brand I’d give to other people but never really purchase for myself because nothing interested me other than their Almond Shower oil back then…until I sprayed this lovely liquid over the back of my hand which smelt tenderly of a romantic, sleepy summer.  First word that came to mind when I smelt L’Occitane’s Fresh Gentle Toner was “beach”.

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L’Occitane Fresh Gentle Toner, Php1050.00

“The two-in-one Shea Butter Gentle Toner removes make up as it tones and refreshes.  The Gentle Toner is a gentle alcohol-free toner that respects all skin types. Enriched with shea extract and floral waters (orange blossom , cornflowers), it completes make-up removal and tones skin. Your skin will be soft and your complexion will feel fresh.”

I found that this for me is like a slightly more emollient, comforting version of Bioderma crealine.  It hydrates with glycerin and floral extracts of orange blossom and cornflower.  This toner-slash-makeup-remover-slash-moisture-kick is also supposed to be used as a refreshing mist to top up your skin (body can be, too) in the middle of the day, but unlike Caudalie’s best-selling face mist this at least won’t hurt the eyes.  It can be confusing because they also have a L’Occitane “Fresh Face Water” in the US and this one I have is listed as the “Fresh Gentle Toner” on the L’Occitane Australia website.  The key of mine is in the two French words following Tonique Douceur on the bottle I have, Nettoie & Demaquille “cleans and removes makeup”…so I guess that’s the difference of this from just the Gentle Toner Tonique Douceur without “Nettoie & Demaquille” on the bottle. Can one product really do this much?  Cleanse, remove makeup, and tone?  I was just so happy about how the back of my hand felt after spraying this from that tester of theirs, really hydrated and soft, and the dried foundation splotches on the back of my hand were gone.  Click to read the full post, LOL yea I know what a brochure of an intro.  I never cease to amaze.

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Happy Heart’s Day | A Bridal Snippet

I barely knew Heart Evangelista a couple of years ago when I would greet her in person several times at our young couples and singles youth service in church.  I doubt she’d recognize me now with my pixie haircut.  All I knew is that every time I would approach her because she was a family friend I would check and compose myself and take a deep breath, with or without makeup she was that beautiful.  Then when she would recognize and greet me her smile would just knock my socks off even if she was a tad barefaced.  I just wanted to share these beautiful captured moments of her big day today (as half the country is probably doing the same thing at the moment).  I sincerely pray and hope for her every good and perfect thing.

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“Forever starts today.  In thy stillness I know you are God” – @iamhearte IG

Heart’s bridal makeup and hair are kept very classic and traditional.  The makeup by Albert Kurniawan who regularly does her makeup looks more fresh than packed on but Heart’s and eyes and lips boast enough intensity to still lure the lens.  Her hair by Jerry Javier was done in a very classic Hepburn-esque pulled and swept updo , a style also simultaneously reminiscent of Grace Kelly.  The bride’s gown is by Ezra Santos.

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Photo sources:

Instagram: @abtkurniawan (Makeup), jerrybuanjavier (hair), @caliberking, @djstaana #chizheart21515

 

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The First Valentine was to a girl named Julia

I know it’s a day late, I had work for the past 2 days, but it’s still Valentine’s Day in other parts of the world and I’m still feeling the buzz simply because I didn’t have time to super enjoy the moments on the day itself.  An aunt of mine who loves me dearly and homeschools her kids shared a bit of St. Valentine history with me.  I’m sure a lot of people have looked into the legend of Valentine’s Day for the sake of it, but I’m not one of them so I was sweetly surprised by the story of a martyred Christian named Valentinus who truly lived (his remains are buried in a church) and a young , blind girl named Julia, the pretty young daughter of his jailer, Asterius.  There are subtle, downplayed hints of Valentinus falling for Julia in the end but these remain in question given how young she might have truly been, in other accounts he was an old man and she was a child, but in this image as you can see, it may not have been that way.  It was always stated in the different stories though regardless of how old she may have been that Julia was beautiful and bright (naks, lol).

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It’s a heartbreaking but touching story about a man who literally died to uphold love and the Christian faith.  In other specific accounts, he was tortured terribly.  I will quote the story here from a source and will not attempt to paraphrase.  The story is quite intact across several sites even official Catholic history ones.  Some aspects of the story vary with regard to her being healed of blindness either within the jail cell with Valentinus after they prayed or possibly after.  There is supposed little embellishment to the core story.  What is not mentioned here is the true historical reason behind his imprisonment, Valentinus would illegally marry young soldiers in secret.  It was not legal because young soldiers were expected to remain single and focus on being warriors.  However Valentinus officiated marriages for young couples in hiding. Too romantic for words. The phrase “Love is blind…” will never sound the same for me again  So goes the tale of the first Valentine:

“The story of Valentine’s Day begins in the third century with an oppressive Roman emperor and a humble Christian Martyr.   The emperor was Claudius II.   The Christian was Valentinus.

Claudius had ordered all Romans to worship twelve gods, and had made it a crime punishable by death to associate with Christians.   But Valentinus was dedicated to the ideals of Christ; not even the threat of death could keep him from practicing his beliefs.   He was arrested and imprisoned.

During the last weeks of Valentinus’s life a remarkable thing happened.   Seeing that he was a man of learning, the jailer asked whether his daughter, Julia, might be brought to Valentinus for lessons.   She had been blind since birth.   Julia was a pretty young girl with a quick mind.   Valentinus read stories of Rome’s history to her.   He described the world of nature to her.   He taught her arithmetic and told her about God.  She saw the world through his eyes, trusted his wisdom, and found comfort in his quiet strength.

“Valentinus, does God really hear our prayers?” Julia asked one day.

“Yes, my child, He hears each one.”

“Do you know what I pray for every morning and every night?  I pray that I might see.   I want so much to see everything you’ve told me about!”

“God does what is best for us if we will only believe in Him,” Valentinus said.

“Oh, Valentinus, I do believe! I do!”  She knelt and grasped his hand.

They sat quietly together, each praying.   Suddenly there was a brilliant light in the prison cell.   Radiant, Julia screamed, “Valentinus, I can see!  I can see!” (in other accounts she was healed weeks later after opening his letter to her which contained a yellow crocus flower that she could slowly begin to see)

“Praise be to God!”  Valentinus exclaimed, and he knelt in prayer.

On the eve of his death Valentinus wrote a last note to Julia, urging her to stay close to God.   He signed it, “From your Valentine.” The next day Valentinus was killed.  His sentence was carried out the next day, February 14, 270 A.D., near a gate that was later named Porta Valentini in his memory.   He was buried at what is now the Church of Praxedes in Rome.  

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It is said that Julia planted a pink-blossomed almond tree near his grave.   Today, the almond tree remains a symbol of abiding love and friendship.   On each February 14, Saint Valentine’s Day, messages of affection, love, and devotion are exchanged around the world.”

Sources:

http://www.olrl.org/lives/valentine.shtml

http://www.cbn.com/spirituallife/ChurchandMinistry/churchhistory/st_valentine_the_real_story.aspx

http://www.priestsforlife.org/africanamerican/blog/index.php/happy-valentines-day-the-legend-of-saint-valentineTo full post & COMMENTS...

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The Imaginary Vday Wishlist | If Price or Place Were No Object

Where we are can kind of suck sometimes when it comes to stuff at the frontier of modern beauty.  While I’m glad more brands have joined the global ones already present in the market, the ranges are far from updated and nowhere near as complete, hello, Clarins doesn’t even have their makeup here, we only have the skincare.  Where is is this rambling headed?  Towards an imaginary Vday wishlist…life of course goes on without any of these things but I thought I’d put this selection out there for you to see as an imaginary edit…what I’d like if price or place where no object.

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Top to Bottom: Paloma Picasso for Tiffany’s Handwritten Love ring (Mom has her petite “X” earrings in yellow gold), Whistles Mini Verity backpack black leather, Sunday Riley Juno Hydroactive Cellular Face Oil, Canon EF 50mm f/1.2L USM lens, Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution Lipstick in “Amazing Grace”Clarins Instant ConcealerReturn to Tiffany Rubedo heart earrings, Clarins Instant Light Lip comfort oil (seen here in the Original and ever elusively sold out Raspberry formula)

I was also thinking about Tiffany & Co. the 5th Avenue jewelry hotspot I wasn’t able to hit while in NYC.  I don’t mean I wish there was one here, I wasn’t able to go in the US.  I didn’t have any plans to purchase anything from there, the visit was supposed to be like a tour in honor of a memory.  I wanted to have a peep inside and then have a foodtruck breakfast outside and take a selfie, there’s always a next time.  I know, it would have been such a touristy thing to do but here’s why.  It was the one place there which would supposedly remind me of my paternal grandmother the most.  She would tell me stories of how she loved the place while we watched Breakfast at Tiffany’s together.  Lola said when she was there it was not always to buy, but she loved the staff, the service, and appreciating the precious beautifully feminine pieces they had there.  She also sang Moon River along with me passionately, it was the only song I’d ever heard her sing like that…once in awhile she would also hum Claire de Lune or Nat King Cole songs.  Her eyes used to light up like gems before at the mention of Tiffany’s.  Also did you know, I heard from someone married to a Tiffany executive that Tiffany’s only offer a major half price discount once, on a person’s first engagement ring purchase, it’s a discount that will not be offered again in the same lifetime precisely because they like to honor that value. I’ll go through my other faves in quick random, no-order, this-is-my-blog style today, coz I’m just not in the mood to be like super structured right now, have work later and tomorrow and haven’t eaten breakfast.

For style I’m sure like half the female planet is already making the Whistles Mini Verity backpack that Zoella “showed and told” online a major sellout, who won’t like its simple, small but just rightly sized real leather design?  I believe there’s a silver version which might be an ASOS exclusive if I saw it right.  Regarding the Canon EF 50mm f/1.2L camera lens it’s Canon’s priciest 50mm with their widest opening, meaning it’s awesome for close-up shots with beautifully boke’d backgrounds and great for low light…in other words a beauty blogger’s dream lens.  As you can see in this sample photo:

vdafave_canonBy the way, I like that Charlotte Tilbury lipstick not just because of the name, if you click on the CT link you will see the color “Amazing Grace” is just gorgeous, a more modern, more neutral coral with less of a yellow undertone.  Sunday Riley does modern skincare and they do the science battle with botanical weapons of mass reconstruction.  Juno is one of their more gentle facial oils which they say consists of extracts from Broccoli, Carrot, Chardonnay Grape, Black Cumin, Cranberry Seed and a berry seed blend of blackberry, blueberry, and raspberry.  Yea, I’ll take my face to-go please.  On the Clarins stuff, if you haven’t heard Guardian beauty guru Sali Hughes say “I can’t rave about this concealer enough” about Clarins’ Instant Concealer in that wonderful Brit accent of hers then you should on her SaliHughesBeauty channel,that was ’bout before Christmas last year.  Then Caroline Hirons, skincare madame, flashed that new Lip comfort oil  of theirs at her camera in her recent New Stuff video and the dim part of the world (like over here) without Clarins’ newest releases semi went gaga.

Do you have an imaginary Vday wishlist?  Or one probably that hangs around all year in the fluffy cloud above your head?  Mention one or two things you wish for in the comments whether it’s because you can’t get it here or can’t afford it at the moment.  I can’t make your wish come true but I do know that sharing wishes with other people is a happy sort of release.… To full post & COMMENTS...

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Bomb Cosmetics’ Little Hotties Scented Melters | On Vday Melt Hearts At Home

This is probably the last month that it is still cool enough to melt a scented candle in the evening.  While I highly encourage getting out and doing any of the activities I mentioned in my previous post I know that a small bunch of you will be choosing to stay in on Hearts’ Day to save and be with each other or yourself lol in the place that matters most.  Whether it’s ME time or WE time there’s no reason staying home should be bereft of a little love in the air especially if “some people are worth melting for”.  Twisting a cap off essential oils and tediously dripping them from a small bottle into your burner can get fiddly or messy.  Toss any of these solid melts in or get guests to pick or make their scent from a bowl of variety (F-U-N) and you’re beyond good.  Kids will also probably love to watch these melt.

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Example of what it looks like after it’s cooled off over a scent burner, just like melted candle wax. Php445 for minimum of 100g of your chosen melters (mixed scents allowed).

LH_01Bomb Cosmetics in the UK seems to be like a cheaper brand spinoff of Britain’s world-famous highstreet LUSH Cosmetics, they have bath bombs, bath melts and other bath stuff just like LUSH.  These fragrance-filled pieces are like candle biscuits, sort of.  These fragrant Little Hotties by Bomb Cosmetics UK (via Beauty Bar) are a big twist on the warmth that a standard scented candle provides and the fun in choosing and combining scents is what brings these little buggers home.  Click to read the full post and see which scents I chose from Bomb Cosmetics’ vast and their super fun fragrance combo menu.

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