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4.29.2018

Spotlight | Holika Holika Aloe 99% Soothing Gel.

We're now officially on summer break, and here in the Philippines, summer also spells fun and is synonymous to beach trips, vacations, and barbecue parties. On the downside, summer also means extreme heat and humidity which can cause sunburns, rashes, all sorts of skin infections, and even damage to your hair. It is this time of the year when I find the Holika Holika Aloe 99% Soothing Gel most helpful.

Aloe vera, the thick, short-stemmed plant that stores water in its leaves, has been used for centuries for its medicinal and healing properties. It's also widely-used in many beauty products, as its inner leaf juice contains vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and antioxidants that work wonders for the skin. And this product from Holika Holika contains 99% of it.
Holika Holika Aloe 99% Soothing Gel.
Made from aloe veras grown in Jeju Island, the Holika Holika Aloe 99% Soothing Gel is a "fast-absorbing gel that provides lasting moisture and calms reddened skin". Aside from aloe vera, it also contains a variety of plant extracts such as cucumber, watermelon, centella, bamboo, and corn. This product also boasts of the 7-Free system, meaning it's free from harmful additives such as parabens, benzophenone, propylene glycol, BHT, mineral oil, animal ingredients, and artificial coloring.
Aloe vera packaging.
One thing I love about this product - aside from the fact that it's made with natural ingredients - is its packaging. Very on-point, if I were to describe it. It's an aloe vera product contained in an aloe vera-shaped bottle. How can you get wrong with that? :)
No-spill cap, still sealed.
I also love that it comes in a squeeze tube, which is more hygienic than having to dip my fingers in a tub. However, the tube tends to dispense a bit too much of the product even with just a tiny squeeze.
Squeeze tube.
Now as for the product itself, the Holika Holika Aloe 99% Soothing Gel has a watery, gel-like consistency. The texture is a bit slimy which is quite similar to raw aloe vera. It's easy to apply, fast-absorbing, without the sticky or greasy feel. It moisturizes and nourishes the skin and makes it look healthy and hydrated. It's pretty effective on rashes and sunburns as it soothes the skin and reduces redness and inflammation.
A 'not-so-small' squeeze of the product.
I also love this product's mild and refreshing scent which lingers on the skin long after you have applied it. The scent is more of cucumber than aloe vera, which I absolutely do not mind. This product can be stored at room temperature, but I keep mine inside the fridge for that extra cooling effect.
Watery but not runny.
There are plenty of ways to use the Holika Holika Aloe 99% Soothing Gel, but I prefer using it as a sleeping pack (applying a generous amount on my face and neck before I hit the sack) and as a soothing lotion (because I have a sun allergy and my skin gets red and itchy at the slightest exposure to the sun). My Mum, on the other hand, likes using this as a hair treatment - applying it on areas of her scalp where hairs are thin and seemingly sparse.
How to use the Holika Holika Aloe 99% Soothing Gel.
(Click to enlarge)
Price-wise, the Holika Holika Aloe 99% Soothing Gel is affordable at 5900 won (around Php 290 or $6) for this 250 mL bottle. Comparing it with similar products on the market, it is a tad more expensive than the Nature Republic Aloe Vera Soothing Gel, priced at 4400 won (around Php 215 or $4) for a 300 mL tub and the Foodaholic Aloe Vera Soothing Gel, priced at 2900 won (around Php 140 or $2) for a 300 mL tub.
Seal of authenticity.
However, the Nature Republic soothing gel is made with only 92% aloe vera and contains alcohol, while the Foodaholic soothing gel is strongly-scented and comes in a tub.
Hangul text at the back of the bottle.
Manufacturing + expiration date.
Use within 18 months after opening.
Luckily, I got my Holika Holika Aloe 99% Soothing Gel during a sale event at one of the Holika Holika stores in Myeongdong. For every purchase of the 250 mL bottle, you get a free 100 mL bottle - not bad for 5900 won, right? I actually bought several bottles for my Mum, my sister, and I, and gave the smaller bottles as gifts to friends.

Will I recommend and repurchase? Definitely, yes!
Expect me to buy a few more bottles of these when I fly back to Seoul next month. :)




4.26.2018

Sneak Peek | Holika Holika x Peko Collection.

It seems like collaborations with food brands will be this year's trend in the K-beauty industry as another exciting collection is about to come our way!

Korean cosmetics brand Holika Holika, known for its 'fun and practical' makeup and skincare products, has recently joined hands with Japanese confectionery brand Fujiya Co. for this super cute, absolutely adorable makeup collection. Kawaii! 
Holika Holika x Peko Collection!
View the complete Holika Holika x Peko Collection after the jump!

4.22.2018

Super8 Funfest 2018 | Sale, Shop, and Save!

Sale, shop, save - these are my most favorite four-letter words, and I absolutely love it when I get to enjoy these three, all at the same time.

This penchant for discount shopping led me towards Super8, a chain of  grocery stores with a wide selection of goods at bargain prices. I heard they're having a huge sale event coming up this week, so Yue and I paid a visit to the Super8 branch here in San Pablo City to know more about it, and do our weekly grocery shopping as well.
Yue checking out the goods featured in Super8's bi-monthly catalog.
We were courteously welcomed by the Customer Service staff, who then introduced us to John Michael, the Branch Manager for Super8 San Pablo City. John was more than eager to tell me about the Super8 Funfest; apparently, it's a three-day event which has been held annually since 2012. It's like a celebration of sorts with celebrity guests and production numbers, raffle draws with huge prizes at stake, and exclusive deals and deep discounts on participating brands and items. It's sale, shop, and save all together, and any penny pinchin' mom's dream (shopping) event come true!
With John Michael, the cheerful and good-natured Branch Manager of Super8 San Pablo City.
According to John, the Super8 Funfest is open to all, with no entrance fees whatsoever required. However, you get an advantage if you own a Super8 Rewards Card because the first two days of the event will be exclusive to Rewards Card members.
The Super8 Rewards Card - your ticket to great deals and shopping points!
With the Super8 Rewards Card, you get to earn points with every purchase which can then be used as cash at Super8 stores. For every Php 200 spent, you earn 1 point which is equivalent to Php 1. At the Super8 Funfest, you get to rack up more points when you spend more - a single receipt purchase worth Php 3000 entitles you to 50 rewards points (aka Php 50).
More Rewards Points + Special Funfest Deals.
Signing up for your a Super8 Rewards Card is easy. All you have to do is fill-out the membership form and pay the Php 100 membership fee, and you get your Rewards Card right then and there. I signed up for the Super8 Rewards, of course, and as soon as I got my card, John gave us a tour of the store and showed us which items are on sale and which items will earn us more points.
Shopping for his favorites!
Yue was thrilled to see that all of his favorite snacks and food items are available at Super8, and they're all tagged at cheaper prices, too! We discovered even more amazing deals as we made our way through the supermarket - like the Super Sulit Points section, which allows you to earn 25 rewards points for every Php 500 single-receipt purchase of participating items.
Super Sulit Points.
There's also the Try Me section, where new products are priced 5% lower than the standard retail price. The Dove Baby Hair to Toe Rich Moisture Body Wash, for instance, is currently priced at Php 248.70. That's Php 13.10 savings, compared to buying it at beauty counters or department stores.
5% off on new products!
That includes snacks and other food products!
They also have 'Plus One' promos, where you get free products when you buy in bulk. Like this 'Buy 11 Get 1 Free' promo on detergents and other home care items. If you're a wholesaler or reseller, promos like these will definitely help you save more and allow you to earn bigger profits.
Save more when you buy more!
More items on sale!
Aside from big savings, Super8 also gives their loyal customers a chance to win prizes in their Super Hakot Promo and Scratch & Win Promo, exclusive to Super8 mobile app users. You get a promo code or an e-raffle entry when you purchase Php 300 of participating items in a single transaction. Some of the items included in this promo are Oreo cookies, Nestle Koko Krunch cereals, Magnolia milk products, and La Pacita Graham Crackers.
Yue's favorite cereal. :)
You'll get to enjoy more of these awesome deals and astonishing discounts when you head over to the Super8 Funfest happening from April 26 (Thursday) until April 28 (Saturday). The event will be held at the World Trade Center in Pasay City, from 9 am 'til 7 pm. As I have mentioned earlier, the first two days of the Super8 Funfest will be exclusive to Rewards Card holders, while the last day will be open to everyone, including non-members.
Super Bidang Buhay at the Super8 Funfest 2018!
Here are some of the celebrities who will be in attendance:
Is your favorite celebrity on the list? :)
And the fabulous prizes at stake:
Could you be the lucky winner of a brand new car? :)
To know more about the Super8 Funfest plus details on how to get to venue, read their FAQ here. Oh, and don't forget to 'like' the Super8 Facebook page to stay updated on promos, discounts, and event announcements!

Many thanks to John, Larry, and the Super8 San Pablo City staff for the warm welcome! Yue says he loved the VIP treatment! :)



4.19.2018

5 Ways to Make Your Workplace Eco-Friendly.

Saving the environment may not be the top priority on your mind when you clock in to start a work shift, but there are numerous ways you can put in minimal effort and make a big difference for future generations and the Earth. The decisions made in an office setting may not seem key to the survival of our environment in the long term, but in reality, simple changes can go a long way toward saving our environment one piece at a time.
Photo credit: Pop Sugar.
1. Optimize Energy Settings on Your Computer
Energy saving settings, as opposed to standby settings, draw less power when you are leaving for the day. Cutting down on power usage can make a significant difference for the environment. In addition, it is important to remember to turn off lights in rooms that aren’t in use.

2. Buy Recycled Printer Paper
Creating paper uses a lot of resources. When you choose a paper that is recycled, opt for one that uses minimal chlorine bleach and a high percentage of post-consumer content. This reduces the impact on the environment as well. Recycled paper allows the opportunity to keep trees in our forests, which leaves more trees to create oxygen and cut down on the erosion that occurs when tree roots are withdrawn from areas, causing unstable land surfaces.
Photo credit: Kitchen Nine.
3. Use Reusable Containers to Bring Your Lunch
When it comes to the environment, using reusable containers cuts down on plastic use. That means instead of contributing to the plastic use, 50-percent of which is a single use and then thrown away, you can reduce our plastic waste - roughly 10-percent of the total waste humans generate.

4. Use Recycled Envelopes, Pencils and Pens
Recycled office products can go a long way toward minimizing the work footprint on our Earth. The chance to use recycled envelopes, pencils and pens means less trees are cut and less refuse entering the landfill. These products give new life to used products, which is a two-fold benefit.

5. Think of the Environment with Cleaning Supplies
Biodegradable soaps and cleaners are also a smart move to make work more eco-friendly. The soaps in the bathroom or breakroom to wash one’s hands are as important as the cleaners used by the custodial staff. Act accordingly and encourage your employer to seek out biodegradable options that still clean effectively.
Photo credit: Human Heart Nature.
Chemicals are a significant issue for our environment, as they pollute groundwater and kill off various species. Like plastic, the dangers in chemical use are long-term and widely noted. The ability to decrease the use of chemicals that don’t biodegrade can give our environment a chance to survive for a longer period.

Along with the above-noted options is the fact that transporting lunch and items necessary for work should be done in reusable bags. When it comes to your lunch, if you want to keep it cool and be inspired to use the bag on a regular basis, opt for printed cooler bags that look great, keep your lunch cool and are sturdy enough to use for years to come.


4.17.2018

Simple Tips to Help Manage Your Family Finances.

Looking after your loved ones is a challenge. Managing your family’s finances is a whole different ball game. Not only do you want to provide the best things for your children, but you also want to stay in the black.

Finding the right balance between keeping your loved ones happy and staying within your budget may seem like a daunting task. However, there are many ways to pull that off successfully.

These methods may seem simple. Once you apply them, they can reduce stress in the long run. To help ease the management of your family finances, Alpha Car Finance offers these tips below.
Budgeting need not be stressful.
Don’t spend more than you earn.
It’s a very straightforward advice, but many folks tend to overlook the simplest things. These days, it’s easy to get swept away with huge sales or enticing promotions. Armed with a credit card, anyone can easily walk into a store and spend money like a millionaire. That’s why many consumers end up falling behind on their monthly expenses. One glaring sign that you are spending more than you earn is if you can’t afford to pay for something outright. So, if you intend to commit to a big-ticket purchase, make sure you have more than enough to cover the monthly installments.

Create a realistic budget.
No matter how busy life gets, find the time to create a family budget and make sure you stick to it. You can start by writing a list of all your monthly bills. These expenses may include mortgage, car payments, utilities, groceries, phone and internet bills, among others. Determine the things you can live without, then allocate more money to your savings.

Keep track of your spending.
Part of committing to your family budget is by keeping track of your spending habits. You can research online and use free financial apps, like You Need a Budget (YNAB), Mint or similar tools to help track your expenses and manage your finances. It’s easier to manage what you can track. After doing this for a month or two, you’ll get a better handle on your finances.
Photo credit: Kiplinger.
Avoid impulse buying.
Many people find it hard to resist the temptation of buying something expensive on a whim. To counteract impulse buying, give yourself at least 30 days to think before making a huge purchase. This way, you’ll have enough time to realize whether you really need something or not.

Share the responsibility.
Get every member of the family involved. When you get everyone onboard, it will be easier for you and your family to achieve your financial goals. Be transparent about your finances, so you won’t have any unforeseen issues.

Also, set some ground rules. Get your partner and children to agree on having spending limits. There will be instances that you may appear like the bad guy because you need to enforce these rules. But, remember, you must set a good example for your children. It will make your job a lot less difficult.

Look for ways to get extra income.
These days, it’s easier to make money on the side by making good use of your skills. If you enjoy writing, you can start a blog and promote other people’s product or services and get paid for your talents. If you have older children, they can do simple jobs like mowing the neighbor’s lawn, delivering the newspaper, do some babysitting, the possibilities are endless.

Even if you apply some or all these tips, we hope they help you get better control of your family finances. Though keeping track of your spending and sticking to a budget may seem difficult, just remember that you and your family will reap the benefits in the long run.

Do you have some tips to share? We’d love to hear them. What steps did you take to manage your family’s finances? How was your experience? Please share them in the comments.

4.16.2018

Spotlight | Ever Bilena Matte Lip Liner.

The past two weeks had been extremely hectic, hence the lack of updates in this blog. I was crazy busy and didn't have time for anything else except studying with Yue and preparing for his Final Exams. But now that the exams are over and done with, I'm pretty much stress-free and have lots of time to work on my pending blog projects and my Korean drama backlog, haha!

Yue and I headed over to the mall as soon as his exams ended, for some much needed R&R. For my little man, that means eating a hearty meal at his favorite Korean restaurant and playing arcade games to his heart's content. For me, that means going through beauty counters, swatching testers, and splurging just a wee bit on makeup.

Ever Bilena had a 2+1 Sale on all its lip products over the weekend, and of course, I took advantage of this promo and got myself some new lip liners. Each liner is priced at Php 120; I paid only Php 240 thanks to the weekend promo.
Ever Bilena Matte Lip Liner.
Launched earlier this year, the Ever Bilena Matte Lip Liner lines and defines and helps you achieve fuller and soft-shaped lips.
Ingredients + usage instructions. 
The matte lip liners are available in twelve shades, and each shade has a corresponding pair in the Ever Bilena Matte Lipstick and Liquid Lipstick line. You get a bolder, more defined look when you pair the matte lip liner with its matching lipstick/liquid lipstick shade. The shades are indicated on the cardboard packaging, but not on the liner itself. Sure, the caps are colored accordingly, but wouldn't it be nice if you have a name to refer to when you're using them?
They're retractable! No need to sharpen, yay!
Nonetheless, I love that these lip liners are retractable - no need to sharpen or worry about jagged edges or the tip breaking off.
Top to Bottom: Siennas, Sexy Nude, Toast of New York.
They also have a soft and creamy texture which makes outlining (and even filling in) a breeze.
Top to Bottom: Siennas, Sexy Nude, Toast of New York.
They have amazing color payoff, too! These liners are just as pigmented as their lipstick/liquid lipstick counterparts.
From L-R: Siennas, Sexy Nude, Toast of New York - indoor light.
From L-R: Siennas, Sexy Nude, Toast of New York - natural light.
The best part? The Ever Bilena Matte Lip Liners are so versatile, you can actually use them to color your entire lips! If your favorite Ever Bilena counter always runs out of Toast of New York lippies (which is the case here in my area), use the lip liner instead!


Toast of New York - a crowd-favorite, reddish brown shade.

Siennas, is a lighter version of Toast of New York, but just as lovely.

Sexy Nude, a soft, peachy tan shade.
These liners have decent wear time, with the darker shades staying put longer - about four or five hours with no bleeding or smudging even with a bit of eating and drinking. They're very comfortable to wear, and don't feel dry on the lips. These lip liners are pretty impressive, I might just get every single shade in the collection!
Products used:
FACE: Beyond Alice in Blooming Skin Tone Sun Base,
Peripera Ink Concealer in Cover King Vanilla,
Innisfree Long Wear Cover Cushion in N23.
EYES: Shiseido Eyebrow Pencil in Brown,
Clio Kill Black Waterproof Brush Liner,
Nature Republic Pure Shine Mascara.
CHEEKS: Sleek Makeup Blush in Sahara,
Sleek Makeup Highlighter in Ecliptic.
LIPS: Ever Bilena Matte Lip Liner in Toast of New York.

4.02.2018

Seoul Searching | Namsangol Hanok Village.

Somewhere along my decade-long obsession with Korean dramas, I have developed a penchant for the hanok - the traditional Korean house. An embodiment of Korea's rich and flourishing culture, the hanok is fascinating from an architectural standpoint and gives a homey, nostalgic vibe to onlookers and passers-by. Deeply enamored by this tangible cultural heritage, I make it a point to visit Bukchon whenever I'm in Seoul. It's a residential area within the vicinity of the four grand palaces where you can find a large concentration of hanoks, all well-maintained and beautifully preserved.

On the north side of Namsan Mountain, in the central district of Jung-gu, lies another village with opulent hanoks restored to mint condition. The place is called 'Namsangol Hanok Village', and we had the chance to tour the area last spring.
Welcome to Namsangol Hanok Village!
The village features five traditional Korean houses from the Joseon Dynasty recovered from different parts of the city. The structures were then relocated to the foot of Namsan Mountain to recreate an old hanok village. In 1998, the Namsangol Hanok Village was opened to the public and has since become a popular tourist destination.

Virtual tour of Namsangol Hanok Village after the jump!

4.01.2018

3 Reliable Methods To Help You Choose The Appropriate Size Of Bike.

Did you know that the size of bike that you buy is of much significance when it comes to your health, your comfort level when riding, as well as your riding posture? Most people buying bikes tend to neglect this aspect, as they tend to focus on other factors such as price, model, and features of the bike. Usually, the size of the bike that you choose determines your comfort level, the pressure your wrist takes when riding and the level of control as you ride. One of the common questions that most new buyers have is whether there is a method used in determining the appropriate size of bike for them. This article provides an overview of 3 simple yet reliable methods of determining the appropriate size of bike.
Bike ride, anyone? :)

1. Use of bike size calculator

The use of the bike size calculator is one of the easiest methods to find the ideal size for you. Often, majority of people do not know the value of choosing the ideal bike size. However, you do not have to strain and worry about all the measurements. All you need is just a bike size calculator. Using the bike size calculator is not only simple but also fast –it will do everything for you. The only thing that you will be required to do is answer a couple of basic questions, after which the calculator should indicate the bike size that aligns with your answers. Check out this awesome calculator now.
Bike size chart.
2. Use of bike charts (easy and simple)
The other alternative that you can consider is the use of bike size charts. This method is advantageous in two ways. The first advantage is that it is simple to use, and the other is that it can be used by anyone since it requires no technical knowledge. All one is supposed to do is evaluate and compare his or her size with respect to the bike size. Often, the charts give just estimation and hence, there is no one size that is considered fitting for you. For example, if you are between 4’11’’ and 5’3’’, the chart estimates that your ideal size of bike (center to top) should be 13-15 inches.

3. Use of advanced bike size charts
The difference between the advanced and the simple bike size charts is the fact that the advanced ones can offer you the chance to find the most appropriate size. Choosing the ideal size using the advanced bike size charts is easy since they have specialized charts for each type of bike. For example, the charts show whether the bike is ideal for females or males, its size in centimeters, as well as a size description such as XXS, XS, S, M, L, XL, XXL. Choosing the appropriate size of a bike is something that many people overlook while others find it hard. However, with the three methods highlighted above, you will find it easy to choose the right size for you.