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2.24.2017

Revision of Visa-Free Entry Policy to South Korea.

Earlier this month, I blogged about the Multiple Entry Visa to Korea and how BDO and BPI credit cardholders can avail of this privilege. Just recently, the Korean Embassy made a revision on their visa-free entry policy and the announcement was posted on their official webpage.
Click to enlarge.
The announcement is as follows:

"Regarding the visa-free entry policy of frequent visitors to Korea, frequent visitors to Korea will be allowed entry to Korea after issuance of Multiple Entry Visa at the Embassy.

Application Procedure
- Submit application at the embassy.
- Bring Visa Application Form, Passport, 1 passport-size picture, and arrival stamps of entry to Korea.

Eligibility
- Those who have made visits to Korea more than 4 times within the recent 2 years at the time of application or have visited Korea more than 10 times in total (at least one of the visits must be within recent 2 years) .
- Visa-free entry (entry to Jeju, transit pass) or re-entry records of registered aliens are included.
- However, immigration records arising from simple labor visas such as Non-professional (E-9, E-10, seasonal worker), crew and landing permit are excluded

Ineligibility
The following are not for consideration:
-  Nationals of China, Cuba, Macedonia, Kosovo, and Syria
- Those who have been fined more than 5 million Korean Won or have been given deportation or departure order in violation of the domestic law such as illegal stay within 3 years at the time of application.

Visa Issuance details
- Short-term-General (C-3-1): Valid for maximum 5 years with maximum length of stay of 30 days
- Visa fee: WAIVED

Enforcement date
- Effective from March 1st, 2017

※ For all those who plan to visit Korea with the frequent visitor policy after the said date, please apply for a visa at the embassy."

Previously, the visa-free policy is applicable to any individual who has been to Korea for four times within two years. This is mainly the reason why Yue and I have been going back and forth to Korea since 2015. We were aiming for the visa-free entry after our fourth trip, which will be this Spring. Thus, I have mixed feelings about this revision because that means I will have to visit the Embassy again when our multiple entry visa expires next year. Oh well.

For other announcements, please visit the Embassy's official webpage.

2.17.2017

Spotlight | Clio Kill Brow Auto Hard Brow Pencil.

Clio, one of my favorite Korean makeup brands, had a huge sale event last winter. And by huge, I mean 50% discount on most of its items.

Of course, I wouldn't miss this opportunity to stock up on my Clio favorites so on Christmas Day, while the boys and I were out and about in Myeongdong, I made a beeline for the Clio store nearest to Yoogane so I could do a bit of shopping. It was actually the last day of the sale event, and I'm glad they still had a few Kill Black Waterproof Brush Liner (now my current favorite and HG eyeliner) in stock. Unfortunately, they ran out of the Kill Brow Tinted Tattoo, which I had been wanting to try ever since I fell in love with the brand.
Clio Kill Brow Auto Hard Eyebrow Pencil.
As such, I got the Kill Brow Auto Hard Brow Pencil instead. Originally priced at 16000 won (around Php 700), they were on sale at just 6000 won (around Php 300) each - definitely a steal!
Product description and usage directions at the back.
English and Hangul text.
I like that this product has a little bit of everything. It has a retractable tube so I can simply twist it up to get more of the product, and twist it down once I'm done. 
The pencil, uncapped on both ends.
It has a spoolie on the other end, used for blending the color and making the brows look fuller and more natural. 
The spoolie.
But unlike the usual triangular shape of most auto eyebrow pencils, the Clio Kill Brow Auto Hard Brow Pencil has a unique 'slimhexagonal' shape which makes outlining the eyebrows and filling it in with color even easier.
Slanted tip.
'Side view' of the pencil tip.
According to the Clio website, this product has been recently reformulated and now has the the 'new hard formula' similar to that of wood-type eyebrow pencils. Now I no longer have to worry about breaking the tip of the pencil (which happened quite often with other auto eyebrow pencil brands that I've tried) whenever I accidentally put on a bit of extra pressure while 'drawing' my brows.
A closer look at the slimhexagonal tip.
Photo credit: Club Clio.
The new formula also allows the product to glide on smoothly and create natural-looking brows.
Kinda looks like a chocolate bar, don't you think?
Surprise! It even comes with a built-in sharpener which you will find when you unscrew the bottom cap.
It has a sharpener, too!
The Clio Kill Brow Auto Hard Brow Pencil comes in two shades - 01 Natural Brown and 02 Light Brown. Mine is the latter, since it's the shade closer to my current hair color.
Swatched once on the left, swatched a few times on the right.
This eyebrow pencil is designed to glide more smoothly over foundation. No wonder it took me awhile to get the color to pop when I was swatching it on the back of my hand. The color is buildable, and the shade bears semblance to Shiseido's Eyebrow Pencil, which I have been using for the longest time. It has great staying power, too - around eight to ten hours with primer on.
When worn.
It took me a few days to draw my arch right with this product. Like I said, I've been using the Shiseido Eyebrow Pencil for years and switching to the auto-type pencil made me feel like a noob again! But you know what they say, practice makes perfect! I finally got it right after a week of practicing!
Products used:
FACE: Innisfree Cushion Primer,
Ever Bilena Liquid Concealer in Light,
Missha x Line Friends Magic Cushion in #23.
EYES: Clio Kill Brow Auto Hard Brow Pencil,
Clio Kill Black Waterproof Brush Liner,
Clio Salon de Cara Back Comb Cara.
CHEEKS: Tony Moly Cristal Blusher in Pleasure Peach.
LIPS: Innisfree Glossy Lip Lacquer in #6 Burgundy Pink.
 Brow game strong, baby! :)

2.16.2017

Find a High-quality Special Event Venue in New Jersey.

If you are planning any Atlantic City special events, then you need a spacious and attractive venue that meets your specific requirements. When you are hosting a wedding or anniversary party in New Jersey, you must have an expert event planner who has an understanding of creating a gorgeous environment. In addition to needing the right number of chairs and tables, you also want beautiful decorations. You might want to rent a small venue for only a few guests, or perhaps, you need a huge venue to hold hundreds of people who are listening to a lecture.
Photo credit: NJ Weddings.
You Can Also Hire an Expert Event Planner
When you have a busy lifestyle, there is no time left for planning an event such as an engagement party, but a high-quality venue will also have knowledgeable planners available. In addition to planning the major issues concerning a special occasion, event planners consider the tiniest details such as hiring a professional photographer, choosing floral arrangements and managing limousine transportation. The event planner remains on-site to make sure that the rented room is cleaned and decorated before the caterers arrive. To ensure an event is arranged properly, the planner at a rented venue will discuss all of your plans with you first.

An Event Planner Takes Care of All of the Details
One of the best things about Atlantic City is its proximity to the ocean, and it is possible to find a location for a special event that has an oceanfront view. If you want to have the wedding of your dreams, then choose a premier location where there are expert planners and fantastic caterers who understand how to keep the event on a schedule. You won’t need to get frazzled about decorating the wedding and reception location because the planner has employees ready to complete all of the important tasks such as arranging chairs and place settings.

Have a Smooth Special Event By Renting the Right Venue
A professional planner will also remain nearby during the event to make sure that everything is operating smoothly. After the wedding, corporate meeting or luncheon ends, the event planner continues his job by making sure that the trash is cleared away and the venue is cleaned. You and your guests are not responsible for anything when you rent the right type of venue in Atlantic City.


2.15.2017

Fashion Pulse | 4 Dresses Every Woman Should Own.

As a woman, it's always nice to keep a few awesome dresses in your arsenal. These dresses are the ones you can wear when you know you want to look good and feel your best. In order to put your best foot forward, you have to maintain a variety of great dresses for an array of occasions. As long as you have one of each of these dresses, you'll be in great shape.
Photo credit: Agnes Maurice.

1. Business Dress

If you're going to an interview or a meeting with a client to take care of a major business deal, you can wear a suit. However, suits can sometimes feel stuffy and annoying. A simple A-line dress in a darker color like navy blue or brown will be really easy to slip on. Match it with a pair of black pumps and some pearls. This type of look instantly oozes elegance and class.
Photo credit: Versace.

2. Little Black Dress
The little black dress is perfect for those times when you'd like to step out and feel sexy doing it. A little black dress always accentuates your body in all the right places. This dress typically comes above the knees and clings to your silhouette. Whether you have a hot date or you're spending a night out with the girls, match your little black dress with some strappy heels and a fun clutch for a sassy look.
Photo credit: Fashion Lobster.

3. Formal Wear

Depending on what your social life is like, purchasing formal wear might seem extremely pointless. However, you never know what will come up and it's nice to already have a dress to wear. There's nothing worse than clamoring at the last minute to find a dress to attend a formal ball or a wedding. An easy hack to formal dress shopping involves visiting the prom dress section. There are usually lots of inexpensive prom dresses to choose from. The prom dresses are sometimes sold at better prices than some of the formal dresses in the women's section.
Photo credit: Uniqlo.

4. Lounge Dress

After a long day at work, it's nice to have a dress you can come home and slip into. A lounge dress can easily be a long maxi dress or a tube top dress that you can put on without any fuss. Loungewear is nice to have because sometimes, people will visit your home without notice. Other times, you may decide you want to step out to the grocery store for a second. If you have a simple lounge dress you can wear, you'll be able to present a look that's polished yet comfortable.


2.14.2017

Teen Mom Jenelle Welcomes Baby Girl!

She's here!
Teen Mom's Jenelle Evans welcomed baby girl Ensley on January 24, 2017. Evans is already mom to two boys, Jace, age 7 with ex Andrew Lewis, and Kaiser, age 2, with ex Nathan Griffith. This is Jenelle's first baby girl, and she is definitely beautiful.

The Teen Mom star shared some adorable photos of baby Ensley along with boyfriend David Eason. Several photos showed Jenelle holding Ensley in a milk bath, and some featured David and Jenelle snuggled in bed with their new baby girl.

Photo credit: Jenelle Evans.
It's so nice to see that things seem to be calming down for Jenelle. Sources say that the reality star had a stressful delivery. Jenelle's mom, Barbara, even claims that Jenelle's boy friend David kicked her out of the delivery room, a claim that Jenelle has adamantly denied on Twitter. It's also a busy time for the couple as they build their dream home, and as Jenelle continues to battle her mother for custody of her oldest son, Jace. The next hearing in the custody battle is scheduled for the end of May. It's such a busy and exciting time for Jenelle, we hope that she is able to sit back and enjoy her beautiful new baby girl!


2.13.2017

Seoul Searching | Top 5 Must-Try Korean Snack Shops.

With the exception of my husband and the huge deals and discounts on my favorite makeup and skincare brands, there is one other thing that I miss dearly about South Korea - the food. They say you'll never go hungry in Seoul, and I can very much attest to that. With the diverse selection of street food available in just about every nook in cranny in Seoul (particularly in tourists areas such as Myeongdong and Dongdaemun) and with affordable prices to boot, it won't be surprising if you gain a pound or two after a vacation in South Korea.

In one of my previous posts, I made a run down of must-try Korean food. This time, I'm listing down some of the snacks shops in Korea that we have been to, tried, and enjoyed - and where to find them.

1. Limburg Waffle.
Deoksugung Palace, City Hall Station, Exit 2.
Limburg Waffle, Deoksugung.
After watching the Guard Changing Ceremony and a quick stroll inside the Deoksugung Palace, Yue and I decided to grab a quick bite at the nearby stall of Limburg Waffle. Located right next to the main entrance of the palace, this hole-in-the-wall snack shop serves liege waffles with toppings, coffee, hot chocolate, and fruit smoothies.
While waiting for our waffles to cook.
Small as it may seem, there's almost always a queue at this snack shop - even in the dead of winter. The waffles smell heavenly with the scent wafting towards the direction of the Deoksugung Palace, as if inviting tourists to drop by for a waffle or two.
Their best-selling waffle, which I eventually ordered.
Yue ordered the Nutella Waffle (3500 won), while I got the Blueberry Spread (3500 won). Both waffles were perfect - coated with caramelized sugar on the outside with a bit of crunch on the edges, and soft, fluffy, and buttery on the inside. Hands down, the best waffle I have tried in Seoul!
Nutella Waffle.
Blueberry Waffle.
2. Deli Manjoo.
Myeongdong Station, near the ticket gate entrance.
Deli Manjoo, Myeongdong Station.
I love Myeongdong for so many reasons, and among them is this extremely popular Deli Manjoo stall. Located near the ticket gate entrance of Myeongdong Station, this stall is a tourist attraction itself as there's always a line in front of it whenever I pass by. 
Not your ordinary mandu.
Deli Manjoo is short for 'delicious mandu', or 'delicious dumpling' (mandu is the Korean word for 'dumpling'). They're not your typical meat/vegetable-filled dumpling, though. These bite-size corn-shaped treats are filled with sweet and creamy custard that my boys (and I) love. 
My boys love these just as much as I do!
Freshly-baked and served piping hot, they're perfect as pasalubong, or as a snack while riding the subway. Yue would always ask for these whenever I go to Myeongdong, and he can finish a pack in just one sitting! These yummy treats are usually sold by the dozen, and I would often buy the 5000 won pack which contains 24 pieces.

3. Poop Bread.
Ssamziegil Mall, Insadong.
Poop Bread stall, Ssamziegil.
Ssamziegil, the iconic cultural complex located in the heart of Insadong, is home to handicraft stores, accessory shops, art galleries, food stalls, and a variety of charming knick knacks. Here, we discovered this quirky stall which serves 'dong bang' - or in English, 'poop bread'.
Hey poop! :)
Don't be disgusted, though. They're simply pancakes in the shape of poop. Think of it as bunggeoppang (also known as taiyaki), cooked in poop-shaped molders. Similarly, these poop breads also come with a dollop of filling and you can choose between the traditional red bean filling or the creamy custard filling.
They're edible, and yummy at that!
Paired with a cup of brewed coffee or warm cocoa, they're the perfect tummy-fill as you explore Ssamziegil and the rest of Insadong. The stall is located near the entrance of Ssamziegil - you can't miss it!

4. Dragon's Beard Candy.
11-2 Insadong-gil, Jongno-gu.
Dragon's Beard Candy, Insadong.
Another interesting food find which we chanced upon while at Insadong is the Dragon's Beard Candy. Also known as 'kkultarae', this traditional Korean dessert is made with honey and maltose, repeatedly spun and stretched to create 16,000 fine strands.
More than 16,000 strands of stretched honey.
The strands are then filled with peanuts or almonds, even chocolate at times, with the finish product looking like a cocoon. Said to be a highly-priced sweet within the Korean royal court, this candy has a rich, sweet flavor and a threaded, chewy texture.
Peanut-filled candy.
There are several of these stalls lined up along the streets of Insadong, and the friendly candy-makers will definitely catch your attention. Most of them can speak in different languages, and some of them even sing and dance as they make the candy. Truly, a sight to behold!

5. Isaac Toast.
Hyundai City Outlets, Dongdaemun.
Isaac Toast, near Hyundai City Outlets in Dongdaemun.
There's a hidden gem tucked along the streets of Dongdaemun and it's called Isaac Toast. Yue and I discovered the stall on our way out of Hyundai City Outlets in Dongdaemun, one of Seoul's most busiest shopping districts.

A popular sandwich chain in Korea, Isaac Toast serves freshly-grilled sandwiches, prepared and cooked right before your eyes. Their menu consists of a variety of flavors, with prices ranging from 2000 to 3200 won.
I see bacon!!!
Isaac Toast was founded in 1995 by an elderly woman who resorted to selling sandwiches to money for her sick husband. She started with a small stall outside one of Seoul's popular universities.
Toasted! :)
Years later, the business changed hands but the taste and the flavors remained the same. Customers continued to patronize the brand which led to its increasing popularity and huge success. In 2003, Isaac Toast opened its doors to franchisees and now boasts of more than 500 outlets all over South Korea and even abroad.
Best. toast. ever.
Paired with a cup of Caramel Macchiato (which they also serve, along with other coffee and tea flavors), Isaac Toast makes is truly worthy to be called the 'Breakfast of Champions' - or snack, lunch, and even dinner for that matter.



2.08.2017

Get a Multiple Entry Visa to Korea with a BDO/BPI Credit Card!

In 2015, my son and I applied for a Korean visa for the very first time. I documented our application experience in this blog, and even listed down the requirements, as well as some tips on what to do and what to expect once you have submitted your application at the Korean Embassy. (Read all about it here.)
Get a multiple entry visa to Korea!
We were lucky to have been granted a multiple entry visa on our first application, thanks to my BDO-issued American Express credit card. Back then, BDO had a promo wherein its cardholders (BDO Gold, Platinum, and American Express) can enjoy a multiple entry visa privilege to Korea for up to five years and be exempted from submitting financial documents such as Income Tax Return (ITR) and Bank Certificate.
The first step to our Seoul Searching - applying for a Korean visa!
More info on how to get a Multiple Entry Visa to Korea after the jump!

2.06.2017

7 Budget Travel Tips for Students.

Heading off to college for the first time is an exciting time for most of young people, but with the new-found independence comes challenges and responsibilities. One of the biggest issues for college students is budgeting their money. But there's no reason why a tight budget has to prevent you from having fun or even exploring the world. In fact, if you take our advice and follow these 7 budget travel tips, you can learn how to plan low budget holidays without burning a hole through your wallet.
Seoul Searching with my childhood friend Kay, December 2016. :)
1. Fly using low-cost airlines
The cost of flying to Europe might set you back a few hundred bucks, but once you get there you'll be shocked to discover that flying discount air carriers such as Ryanair, Wizz Air, and EasyJet can actually be cheaper than taking a bus or train. In fact, flights between European cities can cost as little as $10 if you plan early.

2. Choose Backpacker Hostels
Staying at a hotel in major European cities is insanely expensive. In fact, even a modest hotel in places like Rome and Barcelona can cost $200 a night! But backpacker hostels, where you share a room and bathroom facilities with fellow travelers, are not only affordable (around $15 a night even in popular destinations), they are truly a fun experience. Many city-owned hostels, such as the one in Geneva, Switzerland, even offer a discount on public transportation and airport transfers. Finally, a lot of hostels provide a free breakfast, which means one less meal to spend money on.

3. Hitchhiking
Through the Country Although hitchhiking went out of fashion in America in the 1970s, the practice is still very much alive and well in Europe. Not only is it the cheapest way to travel (and often entirely free), it is the perfect way to take in the landscapes and countryside while making your way through such places as France and Italy.

4. Join Couch Surfing
Couch Surfing, a popular hospitality service and social networking site, is how savvy travelers find places to crash without spending a dime. In fact, your host will often be eager to show you around their city and some even offer to cook meals in order to give you an authentic culinary experience. Airbnb is another hospitality site to use when you want to enjoy cheap European vacations, although unlike Couch Surfing it does require payment.

Street food! :)
5. Choose Meals Sensibly
While it might seem tempting to eat in luxury while visiting London or Paris, it is truly a budget breaker. But fear not, there are plenty of ways to eat delicious, satisfying meals while traveling. For example, the simple task of avoiding the restaurants in the most touristy parts of a city will save you money. Street vendors offer a taste of the city in a way that is very affordable. Many hostels have kitchens where guests are welcome to cook, so buying food at the supermarket is yet another great option.

6. Visit Museums When They're Free
Visiting a museum in a major European city can get pricy, but very often even the most famous ones designate a day or time when they are free. For example, the Louvre in Paris (home of the Mona Lisa) is free to everybody under 26 on Fridays after 6:00pm. While you are busy taking in all of that rich art and history, you may also discover the benefits of buying a college essay. Your custom college paper will meet all of your specifications and is guaranteed to arrive in your inbox on your deadline.

7. Go on Free Walking Tours
The best way to learn about a city is to take part in a walking tour. Not only does every major city offer them, they are often free! While the tour guides appreciate tips, it is a small price to pay for 3 hours of fresh air and fascinating stories about the city that you were not aware of.

We hope you found this advice helpful. There are numerous additional tips that are guaranteed to save your many and time while travelling. Do not be afraid to explore your options.


2.03.2017

Pucker Up! | Human Heart Nature Velvet Color Liquid Lipstick.

On January 21, leading social enterprise brand Human Heart Nature held its first magalogue turnover and product launch for 2017. Human Heart Nature branches across the country simultaneously unveiled the latest magalogue (magazine + catalogue), together with the brand's all-new makeup, skincare, and social enterprise products.

I had the honor of attending the magalogue turnover at the Human Heart Nature Laguna Concept Store, and among the products that were launched that day - and I got first dibs on - is the Velvet Color Liquid Lipstick. If you're following me on Instagram or a fan of the Human Heart Nature Facebook page, then you've probably seen this photo of the back of my hand with the liquid lipstick swatches.
Swatches, first seen on my Instagram. :)
Now here's a closer look of the Human Heart Nature Velvet Color Liquid Lipstick in Poppy Berry. It's the darker shade among the two.
Human Heart Nature Velvet Color Liquid Lipstick.
I really like the Hawaiian/tropical vibe of the packaging. It's like a reminder that it's almost beach season here in the Philippines, and elsewhere around the world, it's gonna be spring soon.
Product description.
The box contains all the information you need about the lipstick - product description, list of ingredients, storage instructions, and expiration date.
Take note of the cruelty-free logo + the product's expiration date.
Complete list of ingredients. :)
The shade, on the other hand, is indicated on the box flap.
Poppy Berry.
The product comes in a simple yet chic transparent plastic tube with the usual doe-foot applicator. It has a subtle berry scent, which fades once the color has settled on your lips.
Tube and wand.
The liquid lipstick is very easy to apply, and glides on the lips effortlessly. Its formula is very pigmented, creamy, and non-drying. On the downside, it's not really long-wearing. (Not really complaining since this product does not contain harmful chemicals and is made of nothing but natural ingredients.) The color stays on for 3-4 hours at the most, with very little to no eating and drinking. It does fade evenly, so retouching is not a problem.
A closer look at the applicator.
Its 'moussey' texture kinda reminds me of Colourpop's Ultra Satin Lip; even the shade and the finish bears semblance to one of my favorite Colourpop shades, Frick N' Frack.
Swatched once on the left, twice on the right.
A warm, terracotta shade with rosy undertones, Poppy Berry has a buildable coverage with a semi-matte (almost satin-y) finish. The color is opaque and very pigmented, and can suit a variety of skintones.
Poppy Berry on my lips.
If you're planning to try this shade, I suggest you get the other shade - Pastel Rose - as well. There are only two shades to the Velvet Color Liquid Lipstick line, and I do hope Human Heart Nature will release more shades in the future.
Products Used:
FACE: Innisfree Cushion Primer,
Missha x Line Friends Cushion in #23
Ever Bilena Liquid Concealer in Light.
EYES: Clio Kill Brow in Light Brown,
Clio Kill Black Waterproof Brush Liner.
CHEEKS: Tony Moly Cristal Blusher in Pleasure Peach.
LIPS: Human Heart Nature Velvet Color Liquid Lipstick in Poppy Berry.
Originally priced at Php 450 each, these Velvet Color Liquid Lipsticks can be bought as a bundle for only Php 795. Do note that this sale price will be happening for a limited time only; I reckon they will revert to the original price once the next magalogue turnover happens. ;)

The Human Heart Nature Velvet Color Liquid Lipstick is available at the Human Heart Nature online store and at all Human Heart Nature branches nationwide. If you live within my area, you can order through me instead! :)