Ads 468x60px

3.28.2016

Pucker Up! | ColourPop Ultra Matte Lip in Limbo.

The other day, my friend asked me if I can pull off brown lipstick. "A really dark brown lipstick" - to quote her verbatim. I said yes, considering that from time to time I wear my Gap Lip Gloss which is a deep shade of burgundy brown. And just like that, she whipped this baby out of her purse and gave it to me as a gift.
Finally joining the ColourPop bandwagon. Haha! Thanks, Aiz! :)
Whoa. I get free makeup first thing in the morning! How lucky am I and how awesome are my friends? Haha! :)
Check out the bunny! Cruelty-free! :)
Anyway, this is the much-raved about Ultra Matte Lip from ColourPop, a hip and trendy LA-based cosmetics company. There are 43 different colors to choose from in the Ultra Matte Lip line, with shades ranging from nudes, darks, reds, pinks, and even blues and greens. 
Shade indicated on thebox.
This one is Limbo, which according to the ColourPop website is a 'deep chocolate brown'.
And on the bottom of the tube.
It comes in a simple yet elegant transparent plastic tube, with the usual doe-foot applicator.
Simple yet elegant packaging.
Looking at the bottle, Limbo doesn't seem too dark of a shade, but when I took out the wand, I was a bit intimidated at how dark it actually is. It's a very deep shade of brown with warm reddish undertones. At the back of my mind I was thinking, "I don't think I can pull this shade off. It might be too dark for me!"
The wand, up close.
It's highly pigmented, as you can see, with an opaque texture and a super flat matte finish.
A few seconds after swiping. One swipe on the left, two swipes on the right.
It dries down within seconds, making it a bit tricky to apply. So instead of swiping it once across my lips, I have learned to apply it in sections instead (top left, top right, center bottom, bottom left, bottom right). That way, I can easily even out the color and I get better coverage at the same time.
It dries pretty fast to a super flat matte finish.
I love this shade's kiss-proof formula, because I can wear them for five to six hours straight with very minimal fading. On the downside, this shade feels a bit drying the longer you wear it, so make sure to apply a small amount of lip balm before swiping Limbo on your lips. 
Limbo on my lips.
What I love:
- Highly pigmented.
- Super matte finish.
- Opaque texture.
- Lightweight.
- Kiss-proof formula.
- Awesome staying power.
- Lots of shades to choose from.
- Cruelty-free.
- Affordable price. (They sell for $6 each in the US,
while online stores in the Philippines sell them from Php 400 up).

What you might not like:
- A bit tricky to apply.
- Can be pretty drying the longer you wear it.

Products Used:
FACE: Innisfree No Sebum Blur Primer,
Benefit Erase Paste in Medium,
Tony Moly Luminous Aura BB Cream,
Peripera Snow White Pride Up Pact.
EYES: Shiseido Eyebrow Pencil in Brown,
The Face Shop In Graffi Pen Liner,
Tony Moly Simply Style Slim Curling Mascara.
CHEEKS; Ever Bilena Cheek Blush in Rasin.
LIPS: ColourPop Ultra Matte Lip in Limbo.
And it turns out, I can actually pull this super dark shade off! The color is even matchy-matchy with my current hair color and my eyebrows, which I love! Talk about color coordination! :)


3.26.2016

Seoul Searching | Top 10 Must-Try Korean Food.

For the most part of our two-week stay in Seoul, my Korean unni (my cousin-in-law's wife), would constantly tell me to eat as many and enjoy as much Korean food as I can because I will be missing them a lot when I come home to the Philippines. True enough, I've been craving for Korean dishes constantly. I miss Korea and its food so bad that it actually compelled me to write this post. Haha!

They say Korean food is one of the healthiest on Earth, with much emphasis on vegetables, and with meat cooked simply and without much oil. Similar to the Philippines, rice is also a staple food in Korea and is almost always present in a typical Korean meal. Likewise, soup and several side dishes are also part and parcel of a Korean meal spread.

Below I have listed some of the Korean dishes that we enjoyed. In my opinion, they are the most delicious, and these are food that I know most foreigners would also love.

10. Tteokbokki.
Pronounced as 'dok-bok-ee', it's one of the most popular street food in Korea. Usually sold by street vendors and at pojangmachas (you know, those tents where they drink soju in Korean dramas), it's a dish made by sauteing cylindrical rice cakes (called tteok) in red pepper paste (also known as gochujang). The sweet and spicy sauce combined with the chewy rice cakes can be simply addictive!
Tteokbokki.
9. Japchae.
Japchae, or Korean glass noodles, is a flavorful and nutritious dish that can be served as a banchan (side dish) or as the main meal. It's usually cooked by stir-frying in sesame oil and mixed with vegetables. The dish bears semblance to 'pancit' - a Filipino noodle dish. However, japchae uses sweet potato noodles called dangmyeon, which have a unique texture and don't feel heavy like rice or flour-based noodles.
Japchae.
8. Jjajangmyeon.
One of the most enjoyed delivery food in Korea, jjajangmyeon is a noodle dish of Chinese origin. It's made with black bean sauce, pork and vegetables, and sometimes, seafood. The noodles are thick and made with wheat flour, while the sauce is made from roasted soybeans and caramel. This dish is best eaten with danmuji (yellow pickled radish) which usually comes for free with every delivery order.
Jjajangmyeon delivered at our doorstep! :)
7. Bibimbap.
I have always been in awe of the intricacy of this dish whenever I see it on Korean dramas and Korean cooking shows. The ingredients are cooked individually, then beautifully arranged in a stone bowl called 'dolsot'. Really, it's a feast for both the eyes and the stomach.

Bibimbap is a colorful medley of vegetables, beef, and rice, cooked with garlic and sesame oil, and topped with an egg yolk (sometimes a fried egg) and gochujang (Korean chili paste). The name 'bibimbap' literally means mixed rice, so yeah, you mix everything in the bowl before you eat it.
Bibimbap!
6. Hotteok.
Another popular street food, hotteok is a pancake traditionally filled with brown sugar, honey, peanuts, and cinnamon. These days, many variations of the hotteok have emerged such as the matcha (green tea) hotteok, bokbunja (raspberry) hotteok, and hobak (pumpkin) hotteok.
Hotteok.
5. Omurice.
Originally from Japan, omurice was introduced in Korea during the Japanese Colonial Period. It has since become a popular and well-loved dish among Koreans, and has been made even popular across the globe, thanks to Korean dramas such as Rooftop Prince and Signal. Made with kimchi fried rice wrapped in scrambled eggs, it's one of the simplest yet most flavorful Korean fusion dishes that I have tried.
Omurice (with tonkatsu on the side).
4. Bungeoppang.
Out of all the Korean street food that I have tried, bungeoppang is and will always be my favorite. It's a fish-shaped bread (bungeo means goldfish in Korean) filled with sweet red beans. The bread is crunchy on the outside (I like nibbling on the tail and fins as they are the crunchiest parts), and the filling is sweet, but not cloyingly so.

There's a bungeoppang stall near our place, and I go there almost every afternoon to buy 2000 won (approximately Php 79 or $2) worth of bungeoppang. That's eight pieces of bread, and you can even choose from the usual red bean filling or the cream filling. Both taste jjang! That's great in Korean! 
My love, bungeoppang.
3. Yangnyeom tongdak.
Forget KFC, Korea's yangnyeom tongdak (seasoned fried chicken) is now my favorite fried chicken in the world! Prepared in such a way that fat is retained on the skin, the result is a crust that's thin and crackly and meat that's soft and tender. The chicken is usually seasoned with spices, sugar, and salt prior to and after frying, thus making the dish very flavorful. Best served with mekju (beer)!
There are many fried chicken stores in Korea, but this one is my husband's favorite - BBQ Chicken!
Gangjeong Chicken (glazed) on the left, Crispy Chicken on the right.
2. Samgyeopsal.
Next to kimchi, samgyeopsal or grilled pork belly is perhaps Korea's most popular dish.  The name samgyeopsal literally means three (sam) layers (gyeop) of meat (sal). It's a table-cooked dish usually served with banchan (side dishes) and lots of vegetables. The best way to enjoy samgyeopsal is to place the meat inside a lettuce leaf together with cooked rice and vegetables, roll it, then dip it in sauce before popping it into your mouth. Best served with soju, too!
Samgyeopsal!
1. Dak galbi.
Now this is the Korean dish that I miss the most. It's a spicy, stir-fried chicken dish made with boneless chicken pieces, cabbage, sweet potato, tteok (rice cakes), and other vegetables. I had the chance to try dak galbi during our visit to Nami Island, located in Gangwon province, where the dish originated. Like samgyeopsal, dak galbi is also a table-cooked dish, and is good for sharing.

Dak galbi is typically not served with rice, but it’s customary to mix in some rice into the leftovers at the end to make fried rice. You have to order the rice separately, though.
Dak galbi, I can't wait to eat you again!

3.21.2016

Spotlight | Tony Moly Simply Style Slim Curling Mascara.

Just when I thought I was able to buy all my makeup and skincare needs from Myeongdong, I realized not too long ago that I forgot one important makeup item - a mascara. Good thing I have an extra wand hidden in my makeup stash! (And by hidden, I actually mean that I bought/got it, stored it in my makeup box, and completely forgot about it. Lol!)
Tony Moly Simply Style Slim Mascara (Curling).
This is the Simply Style Slim Mascara from Tony Moly, which sells at Php 199 each. Designed to make eyelashes look naturally longer and thicker, the Simply Style Slim Mascara line comes in two variants - Volume and Curling. Mine is the latter, as you can see.
Hangul text on the tube.
It doesn't come with a box, unlike some of the other mascaras that I have used. So yeah, the mascara tube is the packaging itself. There's Hangul text written on the tube, which I reckon is the list of ingredients. Unfortunately, my knowledge of Hangul is limited to the spoken language.
The wand and the tube.
The mascara comes in a slender black tube with a normal looking wand. But take a closer look at the brush applicator and you will see that the bristles are fine and thin. The slim tip is great for applying mascara on the bottom lashes, as well the lashes on the corners of your eye.
A closer look at the brush applicator.
The mascara does not clump, which makes it easy to apply. At the same time, the wand is easy to maneuver, which allows you to apply the mascara evenly on your lashes.

Now here's the mascara in action. As you can see, my lashes are naturally long.
Bare face.
 But after two or three coats of the Simply Style Slim Curling Mascara, my lashes appear longer, with a bit of curl, too. Looks like I can actually skip the curlash with this mascara. Volume is okay, though I was not expecting much. After all there is a 'Volume' variant, and this one is the 'Curling' variant. 
Lashes with the Simply Style Slim Curling Mascara.
Do note, however, that this mascara is not waterproof. Expect the occasional flaking especially if you're wearing it in this hot and humid Philippine weather. On a more positive note, at least it can be washed off easily with just water and soap/facial wash. :)
Products used:
FACE: Innisfree No Sebum Blur Primer,
Benefit Erase Paste in Medium,
Tony Moly Luminous Aura BB Cream,
Peripera Snow White Pride Up Pact.
EYES: Shiseido Eyebrow Pencil in Brown,
The Face Shop Ink Graffi Pen Liner,
Tony Moly Simply Style Slim Curling Mascara.
CHEEKS: Ever Bilena Cheek Blush in Raisin.
LIPS: Colour Pop Ultra Matte Lip in Limbo.

What I love:
- Sleek and handy packaging.
- Lengthens and curls the lashes.
- Lightweight and quick-drying formula.
- Doesn't clump. 
- Curl holds up for hours.
- No weird, chemical smell.
- Non-irritating, safe for sensitive eyes.
- Easy to remove; washes off easily.
- Affordable price.

What you might not like:
- It's not waterproof.

Overall, this mascara is a good buy, considering its very affordable price. Not bad for Php 199 since it lives up to its name of 'Curling' mascara. :)


3.20.2016

Seoul Searching | Lotte World Folk Museum.

To cap off our adventure at Lotte World, we paid a visit to the Folk Museum located at the far end of the third floor.
Lotte World Folk Museum.
Established in 1989, this museum gives visitors a chance to experience folk village life through an eclectic array of exhibits, miniature displays, and real-life renditions of architecture. The museum showcases pretty much everything about Korean history - from the Stone Age era to the period of Three Kingdoms (Baekje, Goguryeo, Silla), from Goryeo to the Joseon dynasty, all the way to the Japanese colonial period.
A Tyrannosaurus Rex replica, half of its original size.
Hunting during the Paleolithic era.
Fishing and gathering food the Neolithic era.
The use of animation (yes, the displays move and they have sounds, too) and smaller scale models allow for better illustration of Korea's history. It also makes the museum more fun and enjoyable, especially for children.
Yue: This museum is not boring! I like it!
There are also 'play areas' that allow you to touch and feel traditional Korean musical instruments and even play traditional Korean games, too.
Yue playing Tuho, a traditional Korean game of throwing arrows
into the top of a narrow-necked wooden jar.
More of the Folk Museum, in pictures, after the jump!

3.17.2016

Seoul Searching | Fun at Lotte World!

On our second Sunday in Seoul, my husband and I chose to go to a place that Yue will never be able to resist - Lotte World! It is a theme park after all, and there would be no chance in hell that Yue (or any other kid, for that matter) would say no to this. The little man got out of bed as soon as we told him we were going to a theme park. He even ate breakfast in a jiffy, and was the first one to take a bath that morning.

By 8:30 am, we were out and about, waiting for the subway to take us to Jamsil Station. It was our first time and the only time we took the subway during our two-week stay in Seoul.
Waiting for the train to arrive.
The train came after a few minutes, and about three or four stops later, we finally arrived at Lotte World!
Hello from Lotte World!
But first things first - tickets! We purchased ours at a discount, thanks to my Korean unni. She was the one who bought them at the Ticket Office using her credit card, which had some sort of ongoing promotion.
Ticket Office.
From the regular rate of 48000 won (around $41 or Php 1900) each for the 'Daily Passport Ticket', we were able to buy ours for only 15000 won (around $12 or Php 600). That's just 45000 won (around $38 or Php 1785) for the three of us!
Our tickets to adventure!
The Daily Passport Ticket includes admission and playing facilities to both the indoor and outdoor theme park, as well as free admission to the Lotte World Museum (will write a separate blog post about this later). If you're not into rides, you can settle for the Admission Only Ticket, which is a bit cheaper at 33000 won (around $28 or Php 1300). However, I suggest you buy the Daily Passport Ticket for you to fully enjoy the theme park. 
Lotte World Adventure!
More of our Lotte World Adventure after the jump!

3.14.2016

Spotlight | Etude House Lip & Eye Remover.

After having our passports renewed at DFA Alabang two weeks ago, I made a beeline for the nearest Etude House store, located at the ground floor of ATC (that's Alabang Town Center, in case you didn't know). I was supposed to buy a box of Bubble Hair Coloring, but alas, they do not have Wine Red in stock! I didn't want to leave the store empty-handed, so I ended up buying this Lip & Eye Remover instead.
Lip & Eye Remover.
Sounds scary, I know. Haha!
The product sounds scary, I know. Haha! That they should have named this 'Lip & Eye Makeup Remover' was my first thought when I saw this product. The grammarnazi in me wanted to insert a caret and add the word 'makeup' as I was paying for this bottle at the cashier.
Product description.
Anyway, if you pay attention to the product description on the bottle, you will know that it's supposed to remove makeup and not exactly your eyes or lips.
Directions for use and product ingredients listed on the back.
"Gentle, yet highly effective, this double formulated lip & eye remover easily and instantly dissolves all traces of make-up for a soothing and moisturizing effect on the sensitive eye & lip area without any irritation." - so goes the product description.
After shaking.
It's a dual phase product, so you have to shake it well before using. 
Comes with an easy-twist cap.
Apply a few drops (about three or four will do) on a cotton pad, then wipe it on your face, starting with your eyes and lips. This product smells a lot like baby oil, which some of you may find a bit off. I'm not crazy about the scent, but I don't hate it, either.
A few drops of the product on the cotton ball.
It does a good job of removing makeup, even those hard-to-remove waterproof mascaras. It does not sting the eyes, and it does not feel greasy on the skin. However, this product does not work too efficiently with shimmery eyeshadows. There were still hints of shimmer on my eyelids when I removed my makeup using this product. Not that I wear eyeshadow very often these days, especially with this hot and humid and weather in the Philippines.
All that gunk off my face.
What I love:
- Gentle formulation.
- Non-greasy.
- Doesn't sting the eyes.
- Removes waterproof mascaras.
- Affordable price (Php 198 - the cheapest among all the makeup removers that I have tried).

What you might not like:
- Struggles with shimmery eyeshadow.
- Personally, I am bothered by the name of the product. Haha!