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  • So just before we begin our beauty journey once again I thought this time I’d turn on the cuteness with these miniatures in a giveaway. Five of my high end skincare favorites all in mini form for one of you to own, aren’t they adorbs?

Bless My Bag Posts

TRAVEL TRILOGY Trip 1 | BOHOL and tag-along beauty…

Like I said in one of my Instagram captions.  The whole world has a major crush on Philippine shores.

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The first beach trip of the year was fine because Bohol remains pristine no matter what seems to happen.  I say fine because we had two days of rain which took the middle chunk of our stay but I shot the only two days of sun we had, the day we arrived and the day we left LOL.  What a tease of a trip weather-wise, my brother’s flight was cancelled, but the days with sun were gorgeous.  I just want to take you guys to places with me through a handful of posts…in some way, not challenging Lonely Planet’s info powers to any degree, mind you, promise.  As many of my Instagram followers already know, I was in Bohol for my Dad’s 70th.  It isn’t our home province but my parents have a couple of friends who own a resort, and so do I but note please, no one asked me to write this.  I just wanted to.

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BEAUTY NOTE: The subtle-but-makes-a-diff highlight across my cheekbone is thanks to a tiny tube sample of LAURA MERCIER Radiance primer, a new fave.  Swimwear provided by @roxyPH

To side-step for a moment, Boracay, another beach which is a well-known Philippine resort hub, is fun and scenic in strategic areas, with incomparable silky white sand shorelines and aquamarine water, but to be honest…and everyone can be honest about it, I get the feeling it hasn’t been maintained and preserved well enough.  I hope somehow we can find a balance between commerce and eco-tourism for that well-loved place which brings so many people together.  Bohol, on the other hand, while it may not be the spot-on place for young people thirsty for a bar-hopping or isle-clubbing rendezvous or endless aqua sports, it is still today home to quite clean shores (they get more debris and the odd piece of trash after storms) and crystal-clear sea water with lots of marine life…which is a sign.

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BOHOL BEACH CLUB, Panglao

Foreigners and locals alike will always find respite here and breathtaking surroundings exist for divers as well, especially in Panglao.  Despite the recent earthquake Bohol has pulled itself together quite well.  By the way, I’ve included the toiletries I chose to pack and makeup as well but chose to lay off the in-depth description and just listed the products :).

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THE SKINCARE, clockwise (sort of lol) : Yves Rocher Micellar Cleansing Water (Toning Makeup remover),Terramycin Triple antibiotic ointment, VICKS Vaporub (coz I was still raspy), Glamglow mask sachet (didn’t get to use it but saving it for the next trip), Daylong (by Cetaphil) After Sun Repair Lotion, Clinique Even Better Dark Spot Defense SPF45, Bioderma Cicabio Creme (every morning before SPF), Daylong (by Cetaphil) Kids SPF50 Face and Body sunscreen lotion (fragrance-free, very water resistant), Hygienix alcohol hand spray, Le Labo Rose 31 Shower Gel and Shampoo (from Fairmont Hotel, the conditioner is gone because it was awesome the moment I tried it at the hotel), Kiehl’s Creamy Avocado Eye Treatment, Avene Gentle Milk Cleanser (according to Mom it’s sold out in many places but a kind saleslady gave her deluxe samples.)

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 THE MAKEUP, clockwise: Pixi Bronzer in Subtly Suntouched, Pixi Endless Silky Eye Pencil in “BronzeBeam”, K-Palette Real Lasting Eyebrow Mascara, Physician’s Formula Black Waterproof Eyeliner, REVLON Colorstay Automatic Lipliner in “Mauve” (best drugstore brand lipliner for me), Marionnaud #37 Eyes crease brush (currently my best Php78 eye brush for blending my Pixi pencils and Laura Mercier caviar sticks over my lids as eyeshadows, great for hooded eyes), NARS #3 blending brush travel size (came w/ NARS And God Created the Woman Eyeshadow kit), Soffia flat top angled kabuki, Majolica Majorca Lash Expander Edge Meister Waterproof mascara (pink butterflies), Tarte Maracuja Oil deluxe sample (my only hair product and helps with stubborn mascara), Maybelline Instant Age Rewind the Eraser undereye concealer (from Duane Reade, NYC), Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer Oil-Free SPF 20, MAC Face and Body foundation (C2 for NC30), MAC All That Glitters eyeshadow, Benefit BeneBalm, Laneige Waterdrop TintKevyn Aucoin Lash Curler, Tweezers, Happy Skin PH Eye Love View EyeBrow Duo (Pen and Pencil), Laura Mercier Radiance Primer, Laura Mercier Caviar Stick in Cocoa, Clinique Chubby Stick Intense in Heftiest Hibiscus, Burt’s Bees Lip Shimmer in Caramel, and HURRAW! Earl Grey Vegan Lip Balm

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“I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.”
C.S. Lewis

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My Best of Beauty Video Picks 2014 | Happy Long Weekend END lol!

A lot of us like to read about beauty in blogs and magazines but let’s face it, when it comes to learning about the latest tips, tricks, and products nothing beats seeing it all presented on video.  YouTube, for example, is teeming with beauty information and a whole lot of it really useful.  This is a beautiful artwork of top YouTuber Michelle Phan who was one of the if not the most major video pioneer in YouTube beauty with now nearly 7.4 million subscribers.  Art is by user sheepskeleton on Deviant Art.  She was my first video inspiration when it came to makeup and I don’t care what others say about her starting off as an amateur, she created a brand for herself, she is where she is because of her innovation and awesome talent and her videos eventually led me to real professionals online.

michelle_phan_by_sheepskeleton-d705rvhI’ve placed here in this video selection a blend of professional experts and vloggers and most of them are their best of 2014 videos.  I’ve also thrown in a couple that aren’t Best of Videos.  I’m still trying to create a gallery where you can see the videos embedded here. While I’m still trying to fix that just click on any video’s plain YouTube links listed at the bottom.

 

TTSANDRA BEST OF 2014
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PXKkzxTfzNU

CAROLINE HIRONS BEST OF 2014
http://youtu.be/sol9XMW6hLw

VIVIANNA DOES MAKEUP BEST OF 2014
http://youtu.be/kcqcZn_Cf7M

ZOELLA’S 2014 BEAUTY FAVORITES
http://youtu.be/Mo24eMwGAP4

ITG’s WEIRDEST BEAUTY HACKS
http://youtu.be/ajpsHS_7JhQ

FRMHEADTOTOE (JEN) HOLY GRAIL 2014 PRODUCTS
http://youtu.be/t69qXESM42s

RAEVIEW BEST OF 2014 IN SKINCARE
http://youtu.be/YxHh_t5eWj4

NIKKIETUTORIALS BEST OF 2014
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MdjMO3kMeUI

ESSIEBUTTON BEST OF 2014
http://youtu.be/wYbg0q4oNRs

MICHELLE PHAN GLAM X LOOK 2014
http://youtu.be/sn2YzWqnS7M

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My Bath, Body, & Skincare Picks 2014

For a whole chunk of last year after Dad recovered from his stroke and when I got sick for a bit I sort of went on a beauty hiatus.  Then of course the holidays came and for most of the first 2 weeks of January I’ve been sick again with the flu that half the Philippines has right now  (tell me ’bout it, I called a friend and her officemate in the background was coughing).  It wasn’t a flat out choice that I made, beauty just wasn’t a main priority for a long while ’till just before Thanksgiving.  But we’re back and these were my bathroom and bedroom best from last year.

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So because I wasn’t so hyped up by beauty buzz for quite awhile I was reaching for things for my personal upkeep with less self-consciousness so to speak, but of course I still had my preferences and was happy to find my current signature fragrance in 2014.  The list is pretty pared down compared to like a year ago.  However I think you’ll like that most of them are readily available here in department stores or local groceries.  Click on to get the details.

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Glam at 2015’s Golden Globes | My Top 5 in Beauty and Some Style Faves

I was only able to catch a portion of the live telecast of the 2015 Golden Globes earlier and it wasn’t the red carpet part which is what mattered where the blog was concerned.  I didn’t plan in advance to do a feature but when I saw certain faces I couldn’t help but decide to share with you who ranked as my top 5 in beauty (hair and makeup or just makeup).  We begin with number one who tops the list, simply because she’s the first face I saw during the ongoing program which convinced me to do this post.  In the past she was also featured as my favorite made-up face during the Academy Awards.  Photo sources will be placed at the end, but many of those official sites actually retrieve the same stuff from Getty images or other sites.  The ones whose outfits I also liked will have full-length photos.

1) JESSICA CHASTAIN

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Actor Jessica Chastain is gorgeous with or without makeup.  A lot of us have seen this disarmingly beautiful and talented redhead with the barely there look in movies like Tree of Life, Zero Dark Thirty, and more recently Interstellar.  I like how her hair and makeup looks are often so well balanced.  The base looks like skin and the eyes are intense but softly lined and her blush picks up on camera.  Plus that flowing red hair is unrivaled.  I wasn’t too keen on her dress but it was pretty still…because of her.  UK makeup artist Mary Greenwell (THE one Lisa Eldridge and Charlotte Tilbury apprenticed for) has done her makeup in the past, I’m not sure if she did Jessica’s makeup this time.  Easy on the eyes Jessica is, Yoda would say.  Click to see the rest.

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Grazing on Green Kitchen Stories

To blog about another set of bloggers, the act is usually carried out when you’re truly inspired.  First thing’s first, let’s put it plain.  I love Instagram, along with millions of you out there.  I won’t say I’m addicted but that I have a healthy connection with the enabling app.  Other than my love for photography it was through Instagram that I connected with my makeup artist role model, UK Celebrity pro Lisa Eldridge, who liked and commented on two of my blogged makeup looks, and then I suddenly placed in one of her online contests a couple of weeks later and my face actually appeared on her website.  A couple of months after she sent me beauty prizes.  Now that I recall all that, it is still quite surreal for me…it’s amazing how a mobile app opened that window.  Instagram hosts a multitude of eye-catching personal portals to this wide, wide world of amazing people.  While engaged in beauty I also follow lots of other inspiring individuals who like to present good food.  One of the best presented online IG accounts I ever chose to follow was Green Kitchen Stories (@gkstories), behind the handle is Stockholm based couple David Frenkiel and Luise Vindahl.  There are a lot of food-inspired IG accounts but I do believe it’s mainly because of them that so many are presenting the healthy meals on their table from a bird’s eye view.  I’m so glad we have our own copy of this now.

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I wasn’t aware that team @gkstories were already famous when I followed them early last year.  Online popularity bloomed for them between 2011 and 2012 when they started a cooking blog focused mainly on creating easy vegetarian dishes ( vegetarian = veggies, seeds, fruits + dairy and eggs sometimes).  In 2013, they published their first book The Green Kitchen.  Because of their creative food success, they’ve gotten to travel a lot, I think they were recently in Australia.  I haven’t kitchen tested this book yet, but it’s the first cookbook I read from the start all the way to the dessert tail right after we got it at Fully Booked, probably because of all those beautiful photos, short processes and simple words.  The only challenging aspect is a couple of the ingredients they source (looks like I might be beaching myself at Healthy Options, the weekend markets, and/or Santi’s).  I can’t wait to try the recipes this coming week.  The book contains a list of the pantry ingredients they use on a regular basis, a collection of basic methods, recipes for breakfast, light meals, entrees, to-go picks, desserts, and drinks.  It is also full of breathtaking photos and that for me is the fresh cherry on top.  This one isn’t in the book but is a recent one from their site.

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Beet, Apple, Quinoa, and Sprout Salad, photo credit: greenkitchenstories.com

This book would be wonderful for making lots of fresh food and drinks in the summertime.  Lots of you know that I also love to cook and bake occasionally so I’m hoping to kinda cook my way somewhat through their book, but not everything perhaps due to availability of ingredients.  I don’t do it everyday (I should) though I believe I just might have a knack for it (‘coz some people attack my food ’til it’s gone) and I will admit I’m not afraid to try complicated dishes.  I also have an appreciation for simple healthy preparations you can toss together with hands.  I think a notch up versus my appreciation for Instagram is my love for the edible plant world: herbs, fruits, fungi, legumes, and vegetables.  I’m not vegetarian but I love eating them, making salads, and cooking with them.  When it comes to cooking there are tons of food blogs out there but there are a handful of gems with great culinary quality like GK Stories.  A few years ago and up ’til now I still like Jennifer’s Tiny Urban Kitchen blog for the Asian side of food prep and appreciation.  Jennifer’s also brilliant because she’s sort of like a former chemist turned food fanatic (featured by CNN Eatocracy awhile back).  She also loves to include creative culinary ventures using characters like Totoro in her food.… To full post & COMMENTS...

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