Those who don’t know Julianne immediately think “Liwanag” is a song of lovesick desperation…it is, but not for a person.  Liwanag is a Tagalog song of surrender to the Lord in a time of hopelessness.  “Liwanag” means “light” or sometimes when the word is used differently it can mean “clear” or “understood”.  This is one of Julianne’s few official music videos and the song pierces my heart in a painful yet good way…Tagalog lyrics are right below and I’ll put an English translation after.


“Liwanag” by Julianne Tarroja

Liwanag ng bagong umaga
Walang pagasang dala dala
Ni anino man o kahit ano
Hanap-hanap koy mukha Mo

Kahit sulyap lang
O paramdam
Sana ako ay pagbigyan
Alam ko’y Ikay nandayan
Naghihintay nakaabang


Di bale nalang
Kung hindi lang din Ikaw
Ang gigising sa umaga
Di bale nalang
Kung hindi lang boses Mo
Aking pakikinggan

Bawat buntong hininga
Bawat luha sa mga mata
Dinig Mo lahat ng sinasabi sa Iyo
Hawak ko lang pangako Mo

Na ni minsan hindi iniiwan
Lumayo lang aking tingin
Di ko kailangang maunawaan
Alam ko ito’y lilipas din




Di bale….
Di bale nalang

ROUGH ENGLISH TRANSLATION: Light of a new morning without any hope brought by anyone or anything, I seek Your face.  I wish You’d give me just a glimpse or even proof, I hope You consider my request.  I know You’re there waiting, just standing by.  CHORUS: I’d rather it not be if it won’t be You who makes the sun rise, I’d rather it not be if it isn’t only Your voice that I will listen to.  VERSE: Every sigh I make, each and every tear, You hear everything said to You, I’ll just hold on to Your promise that never ever did You leave me, It’s just that I looked away, I needn’t understand it all because I know these things will pass. CHORUS… Read the rest

In Better Hands by Julianne

One of the Philippines’ best acoustic performers, Julianne Tarroja, is someone I really admire.  Her songs of honest faith have been helping me cope with my storm and the way she sings with her whole heart and moves all the muscles in her hands just really holds you still in the moment.  The video may not impress, but her music in it, her personality, joy, and encouraging spirit have helped me make it through another night.  Julianne’s song Better Hands grabs me at the heart.  Lyrics are posted below the video.



BETTER HANDS by Julianne Tarroja


We’ve been going down this road for some time

And I don’t know where this is going

Even though I’ve been watching all the signs

I don’t know where this is leading


Wondering why it’s been taking so long

And I’ve been feeling kind of low

But You tell me that I need to hold on

To Your promise, that You’re in control



We are in better Hands

Than our own

Than our own

We don’t need to see

Before we

Before we believe


I look outside the window anticipating

the coming of a new day

You said it’s coming

I know it’s on its way


 Wondering what is in store for the both of us

And if it’s what we’re hoping for

Then You remind me that I don’t have to be afraid

That You’ll never let me down because you’re in control




 … Read the rest

Time to heal…

Without being overly informative I’d like to say that I may be “away” for awhile and express a few thoughts.  I’ve started a Just Julia category which is for  “personal” non-beauty related posts.  If there are any requests or questions regarding updates  just reach me via email, just click the Contact tab.  I’m going through a very personal and painful phase in my life right now.  Sometimes not everything falls into place with your beloved, there are times when things come crashing through to a screeching halt.  Sometimes even with lots of love, being yourself, and giving what you’re able to give, you’re both still unable to make a relationship flow and hurting each other happens often.  What’s even more painful is when you both recognize the truth after a handful of precious years together and it hurts not only both of you but the friends and family who support you.


Some of you may get what I mean, some may not, but that’s all I have to say.  I’m an honest person and I can’t pretend everything’s okay just to write about…”stuff”.  I just need some time to have my mind and heart move on.  The photo isn’t mine.  I just Googled and slapped it in there, it best shows how I’m coping.  If you’ve read this, thank you for taking the time to do so.  I might post random non-beauty related stuff…verses maybe or songs that move me or comfort me, but I’m quite uncertain of anything right now except this, that God loves us…… Read the rest

The Face Shop Color Nuance Single Eyeshadows, duping M.A.C. quality for less

It was my first time at Resort World Hotel  in Pasay and I was headed for the MEGA event that evening.  I was exceedingly early as usual and decided to have a look and walk about first.  Have you ever been there?  It’s kind of like a mid to high range shopper’s dream because you have the brands side by side at a really nice venue and no hustle and bustle due to less people on most days.  The boutiques are kept tidy and well stocked because it is a hotel, therefore making “dangerous” shopping for the financially misguided an easy thing (aptly so as the hotel has a casino tsk, tsk), it would be good to bring a friend who cares about you to act as your conscience.  Some of the brands included in Resort World’s Shopping Directory are Mango, Adidas, Bench, Charles & Keith, Cushe, Giordano, Guess, Hush Puppies, La Bagagerie, Lacoste, Technomarine, Paris Hilton, Puma, Sebago, Samsonite, The Body Shop, and of course The Face Shop (it’s a bit amusing that they decided to get both the Body and Face Shop, para complete noh).  At The Face Shop I did a little swatching spree on my hands and made a mess, not even half expecting to be impressed with the quality of their Color Nuance Single Eyeshadows.

As I tested these on my hand they reminded me of the quality M.A.C. single eyeshadows instantly and I was delighted because I was planning to buy a handful of MAC shades at Mall of Asia or Rockwell for my professional kit but after seeing the prices in comparison to these I didn’t.  The total price for these 6 was Php1650 (that would only amount to 2 MAC colors) and I believe I got a 15% discount that time coz I exceeded the 1500 mark, there was a promo of some sort.  I did bring home two MAC colors from Singapore but that’s because I availed of the price drop with my friend’s discount card.   At Php 275.00 each for these Color Nuance eyeshadows you get color that isn’t overly soft or smudgy, minimal fallout, but with intense payoff and great blending quality.  I bought these six shades because the colors are so wearable and work so well together.  My mother found the selection I made so lovely that she said she would have picked the exact same colors.  I’m not familiar with the names of a lot of MAC shades but I can definitely say the black with a tiny hint of sparkle is like MAC’s Black Tide, the satiny white is like Shroom or Vanilla, and the chocolate shade is like Woodwinked or Wedge.  First thing that I love about them is… they’re not very “shimmery” and some aren’t at all, these have matte and satin finishes.  Here begins the parade of swatches and I’ll include the shade names beneath the photos.

LEFT TO RIGHT: BL605 a deep neutral blue and GR504 a greenish olive peuter shade, both have a satin finish

LEFT TO RIGHT: BK904 Matte black with super subtle sparkle and BR805 a satin beige champagne color


LEFT TO RIGHT: BR806 soft, deep matte brown with some gold flecks and WH002 satin cream white (not pure white) like MAC Vanilla or Shroom.  Sorry my arm is white in this last shot, I moved my arm to a different area near the window.

The swatches are about 2 swipes each so you see the exact color of these eyeshadows.  The shades with the strongest most velvety pigment are the mattes which are the black and most especially the dark brown, a single light touch already picks up a lot of color. … Read the rest

My facial cleansing pals, I alternate between these two…

When it comes to cleaning my face I like and need to keep things simple because my facial area is so sensitive.  I have normal to dry sensitive skin, I easily react, easily itch, and easily break out.  Though many may think that as a beauty blogger I try a truckload of different products on my face, that’s not the case when it comes to cleansing, and I test products not on my entire face, only on my chin area.  I keep cleansing simple because otherwise…I’ll suffer the consequences when I’m older.  I did mention the L’oreal Dermo Expertise Cleansing Milk in the past, but I use that for colder, drier seasons when I need moisture.  Generally through the years I’ve alternated between these two wonderful products to keep my skin clear and supple with no irritation.

I think I’ve given you ladies two pretty good options here, the Cetaphil Antibacterial bar is quite expensive at Php 350.00+ but lasts long if you keep it in a proper draining soap dish.  I can tell you, with sensitive skin almost everything that works can tend to be more expensive.  It can get frustrating.  These two buddies are my no-fail, no-doubt facial cleansers.  They won’t harm my skin and I get extremely good results when I use them.  I think it’s a pretty good thing that I’m talking about a liquid and solid cleanser, I know you like options, the common feature they share that’s a check on my list is their foaming action.  I can’t stand soaps that don’t foam.  Let’s talk about who I met first.

I’ve been using the Clean and Clear foaming facial wash as far back as when I was in high-school when I first tried it out…I’ve tried other things in between, but when my skin reacts to tell me it’s getting bored with the make-up product parade I go back to this cleanser to rebalance my skin and prevent zits.  It’s a glycerin cleanser that quickly foams and gets my skin squeaky clean but without drying it out, it leaves it soft with no residue. Recently, when I bought this again in Singapore it reawakened my skin and the surface felt as soft as when I was in high-school.  For some reason before leaving for SG I couldn’t find it here before I left, but I’m sure this is available locally because I bought my boyfriend the Clean & Clear Deep Clean Green Tea cleanser (which he likes he said) in Rustan’s grocery, and I can tell what I bought for him is from the same product line coz of the Chinese characters on the label.  Also, the Clean & Clear Philippines marketing team is very active online so I’m certain this product is still available.  When one of my brother’s half-British friends who came home from the UK brought his British girlfriend to the house we gave them a house tour and when she and her boyfriend saw this in my bathroom they were like “OMG, where did you get this, we’ve been looking all over for it and couldn’t find any…” they groaned when they said I got it in Singapore.  Now onto a more recent find, my Cetaphil cleansing bar.

Cetaphil’s Antibacterial Cleansing Bar meets the criteria in my head for simple white soap right down to the clean soap scent that’s neither fruity nor floral (I love it, it smells like it kills germs but won’t hurt you), but of course it’s a step up from simple soap because it’s by Cetaphil and it’s more than good enough for my sensitive skin.  There is a Gentle Cleansing Bar version but I like the Antibacterial one because it’s like Cetaphil with a plus, germ-killing action.  The clean white wonder comes boldly branded and neatly sealed in plastic inside the box so you get what you paid for it at its best.  When my face gets bored with the Clean and Clear one I will most likely search for this, I’ve intermittently come back to this Cetaphil product for about 4 years now and I think I’ve gone through 3 or 4 bars so far in the midst of rotation.… Read the rest

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