You Modern Mama You! | The Mother’s Day Edit 2015

Here’s a quick snap-up beauty edit for all the Moms who have laughed and ached with us, who have spurred us on to be the best.  I’ve handpicked a couple of faves that I feel are relevant for you amazing reproducing females, I’ve tried my best to make it a mix for mothers new and old alike.


My mind cauldron had these attributes thrown in: practical, effective, youth-boosting, and desirable.  The inspiration of the post screams from this image, how can you not do a Mom feature centered on a washable, wipe-down H&M x Marge Simpson monogrammed pouch?  Click through to the full post to see what’s inside!… To full post & COMMENTS...

The Nice Night Cream | Olay Total Effects Anti-Aging Night Cream

This basic but better night cream by Olay is available at leading supermarkets, drugstores, and department stores and you know what, I like it.  I pretty much grabbed the box I was sent to test and smoothed on the cream before heading out the door.  I tested it during the day for good measure because I have sensitive skin and didn’t want to sleep overnight in a cream I hadn’t tried before.  For the price it isn’t some miracle working cream and of course it isn’t organic, but it hydrates and clings well (an important night cream feature), and it contains coconut oil in the ingredients, which is a bit perplexing because one of the descriptions on the box says oil-free… (so which is it P&G?) putting that out there but I don’t fuss that much.  I like how the Olay Total Effects night cream applies and lasts, it feels somewhat oil-free but hydrating at the same time and the mild scent is appealing.

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PRICE: Php789.00 from Zalora click here

INGREDIENTS: Water, Glycerin, Niacinamide, Isohexadecane, Dimethicone, Isopropyl Isostearate, Coconut Oil, Polyacrylamide, Stearyl Alcohol, Sucrose Polycottonseedate, Tocopheryl Acetate, C13-14 Isoparaffin, Cetyl Alcohol, Behenyl Alcohol, Panthenol, Polymethylsilsesquioxane, Titanium Dioxide, Benzyl Alcohol, Dimethiconol, Ethylparaben, Fragrance, Laureth-7, Propylparaben, Cetearyl Alcohol, Cetearyl Glucoside, PEG 100 Stearate, Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Stearic Acid, Disodium EDTA, BHT, Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein, Zinc Oxide, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Triethoxycaprylylsilane.

This night cream hydrates with glycerin, corrects and treats with Niacinamide, and nourishes with coconut oil.  I’m generally not a night cream person because my perception of night creams which has caused me to “run” from them at the get-go is the general belief that they’re full of ingredients that might break me out.  While that is partly true it is just as true that I haven’t found or bothered to test one that agrees with me.  As you can see, the ingredients list would probably not measure up at all for some organic purists out there (I will still love first and foremost my now empty Tomato Lycopene Face Cream by 100% Percent Pure), but I do believe mass market brands like Olay are taking baby steps to include at least a couple of natural ingredients in their formulations, this contains more Coconut Oil and Camellia Extract.  I’m using this as a day cream currently which is proof to myself that it’s one of the lighter drugstore night creams out there on the market.  I also like that for a mass market product you get the sophistication in packaging thanks to a simple insert stopper for freshness before the actual lid.


You will still feel this night cream on your skin after application, it’s not one of those moisturizers that completely disappears but it is self-explanatory because it is a night cream, it’s supposed to stay on while you wrestle with your pillow just until you cleanse when you wake up in the morning.  As a quick insert or mention, just to share with you guys…in conjunction with this night cream I am using this relatively new mass market cleanser…yes it foams, but it does not contain SLS.



Safeguard Dermasense Cleansers: AVAILABLE IN 100ml Php199.00 and 50ml Php119.00 from Zalora (click here) and leading groceries and department stores nationwide

I must say it flat out, finally Safeguard, finally…a cleanser suited for the face, and they have this in the Sensitive Skin type and Acne Prone type.  This one is fragrance free and completely lathers up like silk and feels like the Johnson’s Ph 5.5. facial cleanser I loved once upon a time as a teenager.  It rinses clean but not squeaky which is good and I’ve put on the Olay cream after, together they didn’t irritate my skin or break me out.  By the way, this is NOT a paid post.  These do both happen to be P&G products (I hadn’t realized that right away, just a few hours later) but I’ve chosen on my own out of spontaneity to feature these because hello, voila,  organically I reached for them on a whim and yes, I’m using them right now and it looks like they’ll stick around for awhile.… To full post & COMMENTS...

That Shiseido Glow Enhancing Primer | Interpreting Spring With JM Dayao

I’m pretty proud of the spring makeup look I created under the direction of LAX/NYC pro photographer JM Dayao.  It’s nothing fancy, pretty basic but he was very happy with the work I did even if it was just for a workshop.  He taught a workshop last weekend and was very particular on how he wanted his foreign workshop models to look.  We both agreed that though there are a lot of talented makeup artists in this industry, the looks that are approved day in and day out in advertising often take shape into something too contrived.  When I reassured him I wanted to take the makeup direction towards New York City’s take on beautiful appearances peace spread on his face.  I understood that he was frustrated by the local makeup standard we often have no choice but to abide by because of what most people in this country are accustomed to seeing.  While it’s all good makeup (and there are some heavy looks I’ve seen that I love) there’s nothing like once in awhile challenging the industry status quo some of us MUAs abide by.



On Saturday we completely did away with foundation nation, powder central,  coral pink lips, hair-raising graphic brows and contour, and did not use false eyelashes.  I thought of everything I had learned and I used my hands to work the base into the model’s skin.  I felt like I’d finally been set free to be the makeup artist I wanted to be.  This is one of the looks I did that a workshop attendee @gala_carlo posted.  This work of mine is a typical spring look JM requested.  It was a little tricky because the model had a moderate acne breakout on her cheeks and jaw, so I had to resort to target concealing properly.  I also had a secret ingredient for this look that I was way too excited to use.


What you are seeing is basically Shiseido’s own version of the dewy agent classic MAC Strobe Cream, but I like this Glow Enhancing primer better.  The shiseido glow enhancing primer glides onto skin and stays a bit more emollient and silky on the surface, there is no detectable shimmer, no tint, and it can be used underneath, on top, or mixed into foundation.  I applied this glow enhancing primer with fingers on key areas of the model’s face on top of MAC Face and Body foundation in N1.  I’ve been using this primer a lot on myself as well, as a highlighter or for added radiance.  This gem’s price is Php1750 from Shiseido Counters in leading department stores nationwide.… To full post & COMMENTS...

Pixi UK Spring Into Summer 2015 Collection | First Impressions, Gosh that Glow Mist!

Deep breaths, now, deep breaths…I wasn’t sent the whole collection, but what I was sent by the Pixi PH team included what I was super excited for.  The Pixi UK “Spring Into Summer” cosmetic collection is now live for purchase on the Glamourbox site!  Here are a couple of goodies to get you revved.



PIXI Cosmetics Spring Into Summer 2015 Collection

IN PHOTO: Pixi Glow Mist Php950, Pixi Brow Powder Palette Php750, Pixi Endless Silky Eye Intensity Duo Brown Eye Php890, Pixi Lip Lift Max cooling gloss Php790 


NOT IN PHOTO: Palette Bronzette Summer Glow Php1600 (eyeshadow, blush, bronzer), Pixi Makeup Fixing Mist Php950, Pixi Endless Silky Eye Intensity Duo Blue Eye Php890

I haven’t got a lot of time at the moment and the products I was sent won’t complete an entire look, so I’ll honestly but briefly go through each thing I was sent with my first impressions about my initial hands on experience.  Click through to see the full post.… To full post & COMMENTS...

Belo Essentials Whitening Deodorant, Anti-Perspirant & Cream | Loving the Scents of The “ANNEderArms” Arsenal

For the first time in local history, I actually like, no…love the scent of a local deodorant collection and the Belo x Anne Curtis ANNEderArms arsenal also comes with a sound skincare bonus, an underarm cream with better ingredients.    The Belo Essentials deodorants are so great they’ve got me sneaking a sniff every now and then.  Now, they’ve also got their own alcohol-free 48-hr protection, anti-stain aerosol spray version in their new scent, Shower Fresh which FYI has more aquatic notes and smells delicately yet freshly unisex.  Just so you know I am super, as in super liking both the Original and Shower Fresh scents (my fave is original though), it’s like the whole Belo team really internalized the details regarding what you’d like to smell like super up close all year round.



Belo Beauty Whitening Deo 40ml Roll-On Php92.75, Belo Beauty Deo Mini 25ml Roll-on Php54.75, Belo Beauty Deo Aerosol Spray (available in Original & Shower Fresh) 140ml Php184.75 

These are available at all leading supermarkets, department stores, and drugstores, nationwide.

My personal favorite is the Original Scent, I like that scent so much I’d probably convert my underarm religion temporarily and go for their roll-ons just to smell like that (they also have an aerosol in the Original Scent, too, my fave), but it’s also nice that they released the Shower Fresh scent which is aquatic enough for guys to use, too.


It smells so nice and I’ve been using the spray deodorant in the new scent for over a week now and when I’m by myself sometimes especially a few minutes after application I do tend to do this because it smells super fresh and I really like it.


In addition to the nice collection of deodorants Belo Essentials have not left out a lovely skincare bonus for your pits and it’s much more than a novelty cream they threw in to expand the collection, so much more than that.  I think the best regimen for getting the most effective results out of this range is using the deo in the daytime and applying this cream over the underarm area at night.

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If there is any part of me I wouldn’t mind a little whitening assistance with it would be my pits.  Their underarm whitening cream is certainly not gimmicky, it’s got a sound formula containing Niacinamide (recently Ruth Crilly’s favorite skincare ingredient, A Model Recommends) which enhances the skin barrier, deals with discoloration and improves elasticity while it also hydrates with glycerin.  I think this gentle underarm skincare range retails for a very reasonable price and at least you get alcohol-free great smelling protection.  Keep fresh this summer with Belo Essentials! Follow @belo_essentials on Twitter and IG for more updates.


*DISCLOSURE: This is a sponsored post selected with care in association with Belo Essentials.  Bless My Bag will not endorse a product the author does not genuinely like.To full post & COMMENTS...

Out of Hiding by Bethel Music | A Song of Redemption in Retrospect

I felt I just needed to take a moment to really blog in thankfulness, because for the past week I’ve just had to wrap my heart and mind around the fact that God has redeemed me and essentially remade me.  I had an awfully challenging time last year to say the least.  It felt for awhile with everything happening on the outside like the Lord had completely taken my life as a vehicle and overhauled it with me inside, doors locked, but He knew what He was doing completely.  I needed it all even if it felt like it was the last thing I needed.  It is true, I’m leaning in reference to something I read, “They buried us, but they didn’t know we were seeds.”

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With the arrival of spring one year later I am grateful for it all, the layers of circumstances that was meant to mold me and other people.  I’m still thankful and now I can smile looking back because the Lord wanted me to just be even closer to Him really, in a way that I never was not even in my college years.  Even if I still have no idea what the future holds after all this, I trust Him more than ever now to weave the new threads in.  To be clear “They” in the quote doesn’t refer to anyone okay…just the heavy situations themselves, I never hint about grudges anywhere and if they existed the last place I’d take to venting about grudges is the internet. No grudges here now, only gratitude.

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So much stuff came my way last year, multiple things, that I cannot outline all of it in one night even if one friend were to say they’d like to listen to it from the beginning, one rounded off evening with single malt scotch wouldn’t cut it.  At one point I just wanted to disappear into some black hole (not die or anything like that okay, just hide from everything).  Some friends were even like “I can’t believe you were going through all this…and that you’re only telling me now, I didn’t know.”  A handful of my nearest and dearest endured my talking them blue in the face when I tried to make sense of things and they would firmly reassure me that the Lord worked all things for the good of those He loved and protected even if we don’t have all the answers.  Another friend from the West coast abroad emailed back “Natutusok yung puso ko sa mga pinagdadaanan mo, Juls.” Many of us have had years like this, years that contain moments you can’t even release onto paper because reading it out just makes one feel nearly nauseous and in the dark…but there is light, there always is.  The Lord supplied some of my much needed answers this year, but in hindsight I never needed them, I only needed Him.  Slowly into 2015 there was a song that drew even the most bruised portions of me out once again into the world.  I’m completely okay now and almost surprised to find myself here.  There were actually two songs, but this one was my new year song.  “Out of Hiding” a song by Bethel Music’s talented  Steffany Gretzinger and Amanda Cook could not have more astutely played out what I needed to hear for the new year.  I hope this song helps you, if any of you in the dark out there are still moving towards the light.  Because He says “Come out of hiding, You’re safe here with me…”.  Steffany and Amanda talk about the background of the song here at this BTS link in a special behind the scenes feature.  Here is the official lyric video of “Out of Hiding.”

To full post & COMMENTS...

Happy Skin Beauty in Bloom S/S 2015 Collection | Lip & Cheek Mousse Duo, Blush Duo, and a Mascara!

Though we’ve got a summer that blazes like no other we still like to vicariously live through the west’s celebration of the arrival of spring.  The welcoming of spring awakens all things dead, like my feed for example, which has been for nearly two weeks thanks to BIR duties, LOL.  I can hardly believe it’s been exactly a year since I landed in the US last year *stare-into-space-moment* and we’re back.



Get Cheeky With Me Beauty in Bloom 2-in-1 Blush
PHP 799.00
Eye Am The One Holy Grail Mascara
PHP 899.00
Shut Up & Kiss Me Lip & Cheek Mousse Beauty in Bloom Duo
PHP 1,199.00

Happy Skin never ceases to delight by gathering the girls together once again for the launch of a new collection, their second summer yet first spring season inclusive Collection which has 2 crayon lippies (we weren’t given the crayons at the launch), 2 lip & cheek mousses, and a new blush duo sure to perk up those cheeks.  With this limited Beauty in Bloom edition collection they have also released a new mascara!




Beauty in Bloom is a bright spring/summer collection that does also include two very wearable Shut Up and Kiss Me Lippie crayons (which at the moment I don’t have, here I’m wearing a lip mousse) in the new lippie shades Hold My Hand and Bride-to-Be viewable and available for purchase here.  Click through to the full post to get my thoughts on the products and see more photos of me wearing this collection.… To full post & COMMENTS...

The Requisite Mint Nail Polish | The FACE Shop’s GR501

Here we have no sweet name, no hype, no promise-laden formula, no fancy brush.  You just get the delight of that bright but non-neon and still pastel sort of mint that high dives off your fingertips EVEN WHEN backlit (you need that this summer).  This is FACE shop’s regular polish in GR501.  This is actually an eensy-bit more green in person, just a very tiny bit.  I’ve already stopped fussing trying to get the real live shade right in the photo with color balancing, and I’ve checked on 3 different screens, my laptop, my Samsung android, and my Apple ipad.  In general I’ll just tell you it’s a pop bit more green in person.  There was only so much I could do to try to get the shade right across all 3 platforms.  With the different warmth and calibration on various mobile screens and desktop monitors it’s quite a tricky and slightly elusive shade to photograph.  You’d have to offer buy me dessert to really see what I mean LOL.

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There are a gazillion brands that do this sort of on-everyone’s-market mint shade but sometimes the hue doesn’t have that spot on x-factor like this one does, sometimes they’re either too muted or too neon, this for me is spot on.  Here’s what I mean by it still being a standout shade against the light.  When you were young did you ever hold your hands and fingers up against the sun to space out on the red glow between your fingers?  That’s how I believed I was a bloody human being LOL, I was not really convinced whenever I got wounded or scratched.

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Here’s where this happens to be an absolute gem, I bought this polish over two years ago after seeing it on Sam’s (aka @yosameti) toes, she only had praise for the FACE Shop’s polishes then as did I since they were one of the first brands of polish I bought when I first began the blog.  She said this one was really nice and she consecutively repainted her toes with this two years ago.  Against darker skin this is even more of a popping hue and it’s gorgeous.  The last time I opened this bottle was a year ago, you’d think I’d have to bin it by this time, but no it is still so good.  I gave this a shake, after two years it is neither watery nor gloopy nor forming any ugly yellow oil.  It’s still uneven on the first coat like it always was anyway, but always perfect on the generously brushed on second layer.  Price point?  About Php200+ at the most if I recall correctly.… To full post & COMMENTS...

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