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7.31.2013

Wordless Wednesday #48 | Tummy-fill!



One last hurrah before I began my HCG Diet.
I'm on my sixth day, and surviving somehow. Haha!
Sharing with Food Trip Friday and Food Friday. :)


7.29.2013

Spotlight | Canmake Four Shiny Eyes Palette in Strawberry Chocolate.

Last May, Canmake Philippines' chief makeup artist Bea Almeda held a Facebook giveaway in celebration of her birthday. At stake were the Four Shiny Eyes Palette, Eye Nuance Eyeshadow, and Candy Wrap Lip Gloss. I was lucky to be one of the winners, and for my prize I received this Four Shiny Eyes Palette in 01 Strawberry Chocolate.
Canmake Four Shiny Eyes Palette.
For those who are hearing the name 'Canmake' for the first time, it's a Japanese brand of drugstore makeup. Canmake finally made its way to Philippine soil, and the brand was officially launched in the country last summer.

Now back to my new toy - the Four Shiny Eyes Palette. Here's what the product does, as per the Canmake website:
Your eyes will look bigger than ever! Achieve deep-set eyes by layering on these colors with different textures! Use this four-shade palette of eyeshadows to try a wide range of tricks for making your eyes look bigger.
Strawberry Chocolate.
The Strawberry Chocolate variant is a trio of cute, pink shades plus the brown liner on the last pan. What's great about the Four Shiny Eyes Palette is that you have a lot of shades to choose from. There are seven palettes in this collection, all of them priced at 680 yen (somewhere around Php 300 or a little over US$6).
Wakarimasu ka? (Do you understand?)
It comes in a clear, plastic packaging. The case itself looks like a jewel, with studs and sparkles adorning the cover. I find the packaging really cute, though I've heard that the plastic container isn't very sturdy.
How to!
Pretty much everything is written in Japanese. But the instruction guide is illustrated and easy to understand.

Now for the swatches.
Texture is soft and creamy, though a bit chalky. Not as highly pigmented as my other drugstore brand eyeshadows (i.e. Almay), but the shimmery and sheer colors are pretty buildable. It'll take a bit of effort to build the colors, though. 
Swatches of Strawberry. And Chocolate. :)
Also, I've heard some complaints about this product's poor staying power, so just to be on the safe side, I use this eyeshadow with a primer on. I was able to wear this for a good eight hours without creasing or fading. Either they have improved the formulation, or my primer is pretty damn good. Haha!

What I love:
- Pretty packaging.
- Affordable price.
- Several shades available.
- Now available in the Philippines. 
- Staying power is good, when used with a primer.
- No fall-outs, surprisingly. :)
- No allergic reactions; safe for sensitive skin.

What you might not like:
- Save for the brown liner on the last pan, pigmentation is so-so.
Customary FOTD! :)
FACE: Majolica Majorca Skin Pore Lingerie,
Tony Moly Luminous Goddess BB Cream,
Benefit Erase Paste in Medium, Skin79 Skinny Mirror Pact.
EYES: Canmake Four Shiny Eyes Palette in Strawberry Chocolate,
BYS Waterproof Eyeliner in Black,
Fairydrops Volume Burst Mascara, Ever Bilena Eyebrow Liner.
CHEEKS: Tony Moly Cat Chu Wink.
LIPS: Double Hit Lip in Rose Riot.
Get to know more about Canmake here.

7.27.2013

Up Close and Personal with Xander | Alexander Fan Party in Manila Press Conference

Kpop artist Alexander Lee Eusebio (or simply Alexander to us Kpop fans) is in town! He'll be having a Fan Party on Saturday (July 27) and will appear live on Sunday (July 28) at KFest4. Prior to these events, I had the privilege of seeing him up close and personal at yesterday's press conference.

Held at KPub BBQ at The Fort Strip, the press conference was attended by media outfits, fellow bloggers, and some of Alexander's fans. Kring Elenzano was host for the said event and was the first to throw a question at Alexander - how it feels like to be back in the Philippines.

"Has it really been three years?" Alexander asked, his eyes beaming at the crowd. It's been three years since Alexander's last visit and except for the fact the he is now a solo artist, the former UKISS member is still as bubbly, cheerful, and handsome as before. "I missed halo-halo!" Alexander said. "You've seen my photo eating halo-halo?"
Welcome back, Alexander!
Alexander talked about his upcoming movie, 3 Peas in a Pod, where he plays the role of Peter Park. He admitted that he's nervous with his silver screen debut, but doing the movie was a fun experience. Alexander also spoke of his co-star Calvin Chen, who was a good hyung (that's Korean for elder brother) to him.

The program went on with a Q&A portion, and Alexander gamely answered the questions from the media people and his fans.

I'm not going to name my son adobo! Haha.
When asked if he misses being in a boy band, Alexander admitted that he does. "When I was in UKISS, each member would take turns on answering questions, and when we go on the stage to perform, each one would have different parts. But now being solo, sometimes I really wish that they would help me with the workload and make me stronger."

The 25-year old also didn't have qualms in saying that he would like to perform again with the group. "I don’t know when but I’m sure it will be exciting.," he added.

Alexander, who has dabbled into singing, dancing, modelling, and now acting, was also asked if there are any other things that he would like to try. The crowd went wild when the idol star answered, "I want to try to be a husband. I want to find a girlfriend, later a wife, stuff like that..." A wave of laughter then erupted as Alexander protested, "But no I’m not going to name my son ‘adobo’! Because there's a rumor saying that I’m going to name my son ‘adobo’. No!"
Looking good, Xander!
As for his Fan Party, the Kpop star said that the fans should expect 'a not so fake Alexander' during the event. "I want to be more like myself," he stressed. He also promised to sing a Filipino sing, to which he has listened to several times.

The press conference ended in a happy note, with Alexander thanking the media and inviting everyone to his Fan Party in Manila, which happens later at SM Megamall Cinema 4 at 4PM. Hope to see you there!
Posing for the crowd. :)
A big, big kansahmnida (that's 'thank you' in Korea) to Fangirl Asia for inviting The Rebel Sweetheart to this event. :)
See you at the party! :)

7.26.2013

Building Skills for Life | How We Can Improve the Lives of Children in Africa

Plan UK focuses on improving the lives of children in Africa by teaching them the skills that they will need to thrive, protect themselves and look after their own needs. These important life skills are essential for young people to learn how to make a living and make their own informed life choices.

Adolescence is a very key time of important transitions. However, these will often go wrong for many young girls in developing countries in Africa. There are 500 million adolescent girls in the developing world and these young women are likely to drop out of school before they reach secondary level. They are also likely to receive a poor quality education or to be forced into an early marriage while they are still children. They are also likely to be exposed to violence, HIV infection and abuse. These young women suffer from complications that are related to early motherhood as well as high material mortality, danger of death in childbirth and other health complications.
Photo credit: Plan UK
How Do Skills For Life Help?
The ‘Building Skills for Life’ program that has been developed by Plan UK will help girls in four major important areas. The first area is education – the program will help girls to enrol and stay in school so that they can learn to read and write and to acquire other skills that will help them in their future. The skills for life also include information about sexual and reproductive health. Many health problems occur in developing countries because young women are not educated about how to take care of their own reproductive health and they have nowhere to go when they need advice or treatment. The goal of Plan UK is to education young women about their reproductive health and rights so that they can have access to good quality health care and advice.

The ‘Building Skills for Life’ initiative also tackles attitudes toward all forms of violence against girls, with the aim of protecting these young women from any danger of violence that they might be in. The work of Plan UK also tackles the issue of household poverty and lack of economic security. This is a problem that has become a stumbling block that is preventing girls from being able to access healthcare and schools. This program supports families in their access to resources so that they can increase their income, such as government cash transfer schemes.

Putting the Plan Into Action
With these goals in mind, Plan UK is devoted to making sure those boys and girls are given the skills that they need to be able to make good decisions in their lives and improve their communities. The project has already begun in Togo and it is improving life for girls in rural areas by providing equipment to their schools as well as support for families and teacher training.

To find out more about how you can support this initiative by sponsoring a child or signing petitions, visit the Plan UK website today.

7.24.2013

Spotlight | Human Heart Nature Natural Clarifying Shampoo.

Used and abused - these words pretty much describe the condition of my hair. Subjecting it to heat and all sorts of environmental pollutants (albeit unwillingly and unknowingly), plus the styling products that I use on a daily basis, not to mention the coloring products that I use every three months or so... My poor pixie goes through so much, all in the name of vanity. Lol.

Enter Human Heart Nature's new hair care product - the Natural Clarifying Shampoo. Launched two Saturdays ago, this new product is formulated to 'give your hair a breath of fresh air and a deeply purifying clean'.
100% Natural Clarifying Shampoo.
The Natural Clarifying Shampoo contains aloe vera to soothe the scalp and promote healthy hair growth. It also contains betaine, a renewable raw material derived from sugar beet, to moisturize your mane. In addition, this product is also enriched with natural fruit acids to rehydrate and restore the hair's natural shine.
Check the label! :)
And because this shampoo is 100% natural, it's free from harmful chemicals such as SLS (sodium lauryl sulfate) and SLES (sodium laureth sulfate). You'll be surprised however, that despite the absence of these lather-producing agents, the Natural Clarifying Shampoo can work a rich, foamy lather. Thanks to coco fatty acid sulfates (derived from natural ingredients), you get to enjoy a bubbly bath without posing a risk to your health.
100% Natural. Biodegradable. Cruelty-free.
What I love:
- Made from all-natural ingredients.
- Chemical-free.
- Sweet, fruity smell, but not saccharine.
- Makes the hair soft and smooth.
- For an organic product, it's pretty affordable.
- Safe for sensitive skin.
- Philippine-made.
- Supports the livelihood of local farmers.
- Cruelty-free!

What you might not like:
- None that I can think of. :)

The Natural Clarifying Shampoo is available in two sizes - 200 mL (Php149.75) and 500 mL (Php319.75). You can purchase this and other Human Heart Nature products online, at your local branches, or through your local dealers

Many thanks to Human Heart Nature Laguna for sending me these! Can't wait to try them all! :)
Clarifying Shampoo, Kids Shampoo, Hand Soap, Strengthening Conditioner.
Oh, and look! The Rebel Sweetheart is on the July-August issue of the Human Heart Nature Magalogue!

Excerpts from my Perfect Glow Mineral Blush review.
There's my blog logo! :)

Wordless Wednesday #48 | Pardon My Vanity...

The usual morning chaos.

Loving the vanity table behind me. :)

7.21.2013

Spotlight | Laneige Water Sleeping Pack.

Funny how I have several Laneige products in my makeup stash, but I haven't done a proper review of any of them. Sure, I've featured them in this haul post from last month, but that's about it.

And so today, I am finally posting my first product review for the brand that Song Hye Kyo and Song Joong Ki endorses. And this being the first, I guess it's only proper that I write about the brand's most popular (and one of my most favorite) skincare product - the Water Sleeping Pack.
Laneige Water Sleeping Pack_EX in a 20mL jar.
I've been using the Water Sleeping Pack for quite sometime now, applying it twice a week in lieu of my regular night moisturizer (ergo, Human Heart Nature's Moisturizing Night Cream). And I must say, my skin looks better and has become healthier since I incorporated the Water Sleeping Pack to my skincare regimen.
Just about everything is written in Hangul in this 20mL jar.
The Laneige Water Sleeping Pack is designed as a 'sleeping mask'. Meaning, the product should be applied before you sleep and left on through the night as the final step of your nighttime skincare routine.
Inside the jar.
As you can see, the product is a light blue, water-based gel that's easily absorbed by the skin. It also has a soothing and cooling effect on the face when applied. Its patented 'Sleepscent formula' is very aromatic, which is not surprising since this formula includes essential oils from orange flower, rose, ylang ylang, and sandalwood.
A pea-sized amount on the back of my hand...
As for the ingredients of the Sleeping Pack itself, the core components include Beta-glucan (regenerates the skin), Ceremide SLN (prevents skin moisture loss), Hunza Apricot Extract (purifies the skin), and Chestnut Extract (improves skin texture).
After applying the Water Sleeping Pack - dewy skin!
Now just to make it clear, what I'm using is the 20mL jar, which I bought for Php280 from Kimchi Jib. It doesn't come with a spatula, unlike the full-sized tub. That's 80mL, and usually sells for Php1250 at the mall. Here's how the full-sized Water Sleeping Pack looks like:
Price in Korea = 25000 Won (approx $23 or Php970).
What I love:
- Easy to apply.
- Light, non-sticky formulation.
- Gives a cooling sensation when applied.
- Aromatic scent.
- Skin hydration at its finest.
- Makes the skin soft and supple.
- Didn't make my skin greasy or oily. 
(I have combination skin.)
- Did not break me out. 
(My skin is quite sensitive.)

What you might not like:
- The price.
But then again, this is a premium Korean skincare brand, and the product delivers.

Have you tried the Laneige Water Sleeping Pack before? Did you love it as much as I do? :)

7.18.2013

Foodie Goodie | Macaroons for a Cause!

I love macaroons. No, not the meringue-based macarons, but macaroons with a 'double o'. Those tasty little treats that have coconut in it. And so when I heard about this collaboration between Red Ribbon, Franklin Baker Company (it's based here in my hometown of San Pablo City), and Apl.de.Ap Foundation, I was more than excited to share the good news with you, my dear readers.
MacarOOns! 
With the Philippines being among the top five countries where children do not have access to education, organizations such as Red Ribbon, Apl.de.Ap Foundation and Franklin Baker Company teamed up to help address the problem through the

A lot of Filipino children are deprived of the chance at a better life because they have limited access to education. Even if it is every child’s right to go to school, a lot are forced to drop out while others can’t go at all due to varying problems they encounter in their childhood. In fact, an estimated 1.5 million out-of-school youth were recorded in 2011. the severe shortage of classrooms nationwide. For school year 2011-2012 alone, the Philippine public school system lacked about 70,000 classrooms.

In the heart of Manila at the Teatrino Music Hall, well-known Philippine-based bakeshop Red Ribbon, Apl.de.Ap Foundation, and global natural ingredient company Franklin Baker Company, joined forces and launched “Red Ribbon Macaroons for a Cause,” to help bridge the education gap in the Philippines.
“Macaroons For A Cause” is our newest offering that lets you create more sweet moments with your family and friends,” says Zinnia Rivera, General Manager of Red Ribbon. “With each pack you buy, you’ll be giving our youth a better future through the gift of education,” she continues.
Apl.de.Ap performing during the event.
Allan Pineda of Angeles City, Pampanga, more popularly known as apl.de.ap of the world-famous pop sensation The Black Eyed Peas, knows from his own experience that education is the only ticket to a better life. “I just wanted to have an education - to have a better life. In every Filipino family, the children want to help their parents – that was my goal,” he shares.

Sharon Chandran, Chairperson of the Franklin Baker Company, a global natural ingredient company and the leading branded coconut ingredient establishment in the United States flew to Manila to share this message, “As we celebrate 90 years in the Philippines, this is our way of thanking the country and sharing the natural goodness of Franklin Baker Company’s ingredients. The coconut taste and quality that will be experienced in Red Ribbon Macaroons for a Cause” is the same “gold standard” that Franklin Baker delivers to its food customers in the US. We congratulate Red Ribbon for only choosing the best ingredients for its customers.
Apl.de.Ap, Sharon Chandran, Zinnia River, and guests
from Franklin Baker Company enjoying the macaroons.
Macaroons for a Cause is all about coconut goodness in creamy perfection. Each pack contains 10 pieces of macaroons and sells for Php50.00 at all Red Ribbon Bakeshops nationwide. From every pack of Macaroons for a Cause sold, 14% or P7 will go directly to the Apl.de.Ap Foundation to help in building a public high school that will pave the way for students to gain access to education and pursue their interests in becoming global professionals in the field of music and technology. The group aims to sell 4.2 million packs of Macaroons for a Cause to build the first school of the foundation.    

Apl.de.Ap Foundation is a non-government charitable organization that is committed to improving the quality of life of children in the Philippines through education, technology, and music.

Zamboanga, one of the provinces that are in need of basic education facilities, was selected to be the beneficiary of the project’s pilot school that will benefit more than 600 students when it is completed. Rivera notes that sharing the vision of a future where no Filipino child is deprived of education is the reason behind the harmonious collaboration of Red Ribbon, Apl.de.Ap Foundation, and Franklin Baker Company of the Philippines. “Their goals are very much in tune with ours,” she quips. “We are confident that this collaboration will make a difference in the lives of Filipino youth.”

Shared with Food Trip Friday and Food Friday

7.15.2013

Spotlight | The Face Shop Mango Seed Skin Care Line.

Sometime last year, my husband sent me a bunch of goodies from The Face Shop. And in that haul was a box of miniatures from the Mango Seed Skin Care Line, which was the latest release from The Face Shop during that time.
Mango Seed Skin Care Line from The Face Shop.
This box came as a freebie, and inside was a 30 mL bottle of the Mango Seed Silk Moisturizing Lotion, a 30 mL bottle of the Mango Seed Silk Moisturizing Toner, and a 10 mL jar of the Mango Seed Silk Moisturizing Facial Butter. This is one of the many reasons why I prefer to shop for Korean cosmetics in Korea. Aside from the affordable, at times even dirt-cheap prices, the shops in Myeongdong are pretty generous when it comes to giving away freebies and samples. Thank goodness I have a husband who works in Korea AND buys me makeup, haha!
Yes, practically everything is written in Hangul.
Anyway, here are some key features of the Mango Seed Skin Care Line, as well as the product benefits.
- It contains Mango Seed, a seed made of 100% natural vegetable butter. These seeds are concentrated with healthy nutrients that are good for the skin.
- Addresses 5 skin solutions: dryness, puffiness, itchiness, redness, poor elasticity.
- Locks in moisture for more than 24 hours.
- Made of natural ingredients.
- Free from alcohol, formaldehyde, ammonia, silicon, sulfate, parabens, and other harmful chemicals.
- No animal testing.
- Fair trade.

Now here are the products up close.
Mango Seed Silk Moisturizing Toner.
(Full-sized bottle is 145mL, priced at 16900 Korean Won)  
The Mango Seed Silk Moisturizing Toner is different from the other toners that I use/have used before. This one has two layers - the water layer, which replenishes moisture; and the milky layer, which smoothens and nourishes the skin. This two-layer feature reminds me of Face of Australia's Makeup Remover, which has a dual phase formula as well. Don't forget to shake the product before you use it!
Used with a cotton ball, of course.
Meanwhile, here is the Mango Seed Silk Moisturizing Lotion. No, it's not a hand and body lotion. You use it on the face, just like your usual moisturizer.
Mango Seed Moisturizing Lotion.
(Full-sized bottle is 125mL, priced at 16900 Korean Won)
It has a lighter consistency, typical of most emulsions. It does a great job of keeping your skin soft and supple, and it smells like real mangoes, too.
Ready to rub! More like, apply and pat. :)
Finally we have the Mango Seed Silk Moisturizing Facial Butter, a 'new concept facial butter' that contains 100% mango seed. Its creamy, buttery formula melts into the skin to completely replenish the skin and improve its elasticity. 
Creamy, buttery goodness!
(Full-sized jar is 50mL, priced at 22900 Korean Won)
This product boasts of keeping your skin moisturized for up to 36 hours, and I can pretty much attest to that. The mango scent is sweet and subtle, and lingers on your face for quite a bit. My only gripe is that in comes in a jar, and you very well know that I have a love-hate relationship with products that come in tubs and jars. 

All in all, trying these samples from the Mango Seed Skin Care Line have been a pleasant experience. I love that they're made from natural ingredients, cruelty-free and chemical-free, and they do exactly what they claim to do (ergo, moisturize the skin and make it radiant and glowing). Best of all, they're safe for sensitive skin (like mine). 

Will I go full size? Perhaps.
Let's just say there are bigger chances of me buying full-sized Mango Seed products here in the Philippines than me getting full-sized bottles of these. :)