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Spotlight | Swish Fresh Breath Saver Pack.

Once upon a time, I was a smoker. And not just any smoker, mind you. I was a chain smoker. What started out of curiosity during my sophomore year in high school became one big bad habit that lasted for thirteen years. If not for my little man, I would have not been able to quit cold turkey. I stopped smoking in 2008 - the moment I learned I was five weeks pregnant with my son.

Receiving this Fresh Breath Saver Pack from Swish reminded me of the days when I used to smoke one pack (perhaps even more) of cancer sticks per day. Ugh. Kids, do not try that (I mean smoking) at home, or anywhere else for that matter. Lol.
Swish Breath Saver Pack + Vanity Pouch.
Back then, you'd always find a bottle of mouthwash or a breath spray stashed in my bag - together with a pack of cigarettes, a lighter, a hand sanitizer (you know, to keep my hands from smelling like burnt cancer sticks), and a bottle of perfume (to mar the smell of smoke on my hair and clothes).
Swish Breath Spray, Php 109 each.
Breath sprays, such as this one from Swish, make for a quick breath fix. Just one or two pumps would be enough to eliminate bad breath caused by smoking. They come in a handy dandy packaging that fits even tiny fob pockets (as in the right-hand hip pocket in your jeans). Hence, they're pretty easy to lug around wherever you go.
Fits even fob pockets!
Mouthwashes, on the other hand, provide longer lasting fresh breath. This one from Swish is equipped with the Surefresh Technology which not only helps kill bacteria that causes bad breath, but also prevents plaque build-up, gum disease, and tooth decay.
Swish Mangosteen Mint 120 mL, Php 78.
Like the other Swish Mouthwash variants, the Mangosteen Mint flavor is alcohol-free, which allows you to gargle for a good 30 seconds without the burning, stinging sensation in your mouth. Gargling with it twice a day leaves your mouth with round-the-clock freshness.

Now just because I've been nicotine-free for five years now doesn't mean that I have no use for these products anymore. I still keep a breath spray in my bag, and mouthwash bottles are a common sight in our bathroom.Because you know, bad breath is not caused by smoking alone. It can also be caused by eating and drinking.

With that in mind, Swish launches its 'Say Swish Campaign 2013'.
Swish will be having several 'Say Swish booths' set-up in leading supermarkets and drug stores nationwide. Customers can try the different variants of Swish for free at the Say Swish booths. There are five flavors to choose from, each with varying levels of mint:

Icy Choco Mint - sweet, minty sensation
Mangosteen Mint - fruity, minty sensation
Peppermint Fresh - strong mint
Cinnamon Blast - super strong mint
Arctic Chill - intense, strong mint

Freebies such as photobooth souvenirs and other premium items will be given upon purchase of any Swish product. And if you're really lucky, you can chance upon Swish endorser Ryan Agoncillo during the 'Say Swish' activities.
Say Swish!
Get to know more about Swish products and the 'Say Swish Campaign' by liking the Swish Philippines Facebook page!


Spotlight | BeautyCornerPH Mixing Palette.

Earlier this week, I received a surprise package from my friend Smile - the one-woman-army behind Updated Trends and Beauty Corner PH. Inside the package was a bunch of goodies - a Mixing Palette, the famous BCL 24-hour Browlash EX from Japan, Sleek Makeup's Flick It Eyeliner, plus Smile's handwritten note for me.

Don't you just love getting handwritten notes? In this day and age of Viber, Kakao Talk, and LINE, a cute stationery with a friend's penmanship is such a refreshing sight.
Thank you, Smile! :)
I'll do a separate review of the Browlash and the eyeliner, but for now, the spotlight is on the Mixing Palette.
A must-have for makeup artists!
An up and coming product from Beauty Corner PH, the Mixing Palette is a must-have, and should be a staple tool for every professional makeup artist. Made with acrylic, this mixing palette offers a hard, durable and easy to clean work surface where you can do some serious mixing, mashing, and blending of makeup products right before applying.
Mixing, blending, swatching.
Whether you're a professional or freelance makeup artist, or simply someone who likes experimenting with makeup on other people's faces, then this tool is for you. Not only does this palette make it more convenient to mix shades of lipsticks or foundations, it also makes the process more hygienic as you avoid constant dipping into your makeup and cosmetics.
My mixing palette and Seunghyun, my Samsung Note2.
The ring on the top-left corner allows easy grip on the palette. And mind you, this product is no bigger than a Samsung Note2.

This Acrylic Mixing Palette sells for Php 480 each, while the Mixing Palette with Stainless Steel Spatula sells for Php 650.

For orders and product inquiries, you may contact Smile via email ( or mobile (09162675881). And don't forget to like The Updated Trends on Facebook, too! :)


Four Eyes | Nerd Glasses, KPop, and my Frozen Yoghurt.

If you're a fan of Korean pop music, Korean dramas, or just about anything that has to do with Korea (like me, lol), then you're probably aware that eyeglasses are big in Korea. Not big in terms of size, mind you. Rather, they've become part and parcel of Korean fashion. It's a trend that will remain huge, and stay for years to come.
I know right? :)
I must admit, I have a penchant for eyewear. But that has nothing to do with my Kpop fangirling or addiction to Korean dramas. You see, I wear prescriptive contact lenses and I need to have some sort of protection for my eyes (sunglasses, nerd glasses, or whatever) whenever I go out. Why not just wear my prescriptive glasses, you ask? Well, I have really bad eyesight, and my eye grade is -8.00. So you can just imagine how inconveniently thick those lenses are even if they're already of the 'air wear' kind.

Now let me show the latest addition to my growing collection of eyeglasses. It's a simple yet stylish pair from Four Eyes - the first online optical store in the Philippines. Launched in May 2013, Four Eyes aims to revolutionize eyewear in the country - by making it more affordable and accessible to every Filipino.

When shopping for glasses from the Four Eyes website, buyers will simply need to choose their desired frame, (they have an array of styles that I'm sure KPop fans will love) upload the doctor’s prescription (for prescriptive glasses) and pick the lens type (multi-coated, bifocal, polycarbonate, or transitions).  Four Eyes even allows buyers to try the glasses at home because they understand that 'people like to touch, feel and wear the product before purchasing'.

The best part? They don't charge shipping fees at all - even for their Home Try-On service.
Frozen Yoghurt!
Going back to my eyeglasses... Dubbed as 'Frozen Yoghurt', this style features a square shape with a saddle bridge. It's a full rim frame that looks half-rimmed from afar, and is made of sturdy plastic material.
Zooming in for the view.
It features the Four Eyes logo on the temple, with designs on the hinges that remind me of Ray-Ban's RX Eyeglasses.
Four Eyes!
This style can be worn both by men and women, and suits those with oval and round faces best. I have an oval face, and I love how this pair accentuates my cheekbones. :)
Half-rimmed? Not. :)
This pair comes with a protective carrying case and a cleaning cloth inside it. A 'Care Card' also comes along with the package.
Instructions written on the 'Care Card'.
'Frozen Yoghurt' reminds me of Yoochun's eyeglasses in the drama 'The Rooftop Prince.'
Yoochun as Lee Tae Yong.
And this pair worn by Bae Yong Joon, who - as far as I'm concerned - made nerd glasses look cool in Hallyu.
Bae Yong Joon aka Yon-sama. :)
Now here's how 'Frozen Yoghurt' looks like on me.
Well-proportioned shape that accentuates my cheek bones. :)
Channeling Yoochun. :)
Wanna get this pair, too? 
They sell for only Php 1495, but you can get Php 300 off if you use my Special Discount Voucher when you purchase from Four Eyes.

Simply key in the code 'REBELSWEETHEART' prior to check-out so you can enjoy the special discounted price of Php 1195! This code is valid until November 2013, so enjoy it as much as you can!

Get to know more about Four Eyes!
Like them on Facebook, follow them on Twitter, and on Instagram.

Wordless Wednesday #52 | Million People March.

Photo credit: Philnews
Photo credit: GMA News
Photo credit: InterAksyon


CC Cream Chronicles | Etude House Correct & Care CC Cream.

So many things to blog about, so little time. Had a sudden influx of products for review this weekend, to which this blogger is grateful and happy.

But before I touch any of those packages, I wanted to do this review first. It's currently one of my favorite products from one of my favorite Korean brands, Etude House.
Etude House Correct & Care CC Cream.
Yep, it's their version of CC Cream. The Correct & Care CC Cream, to be exact. This product comes in two variants - #01 Silky and #02 Glow. This is the #01 version, which has a semi-matte finish. The latter, on the other hand, has a dewy finish.
#01 Silky.
In one of my previous posts, I've mentioned the difference between CC Creams and BB Creams. CC Creams function both as a makeup and skincare product. BB Creams, which offer more in terms of coverage, are more of makeup.
Multi-tasking 8-in-1 formula.
The Etude House Correct & Care CC Cream has several functions - it's a moisturizer, primer, concealer, sunblock, whitening, and anti-aging product all in one tube.
Pump it! :)
This 35 gram tube has an easy-to-control pump at the end of it. Its nozzle is so fine that it dispenses just the right amount of product with one pump.
A glob of white. :)
Like the Tony Moly Luminous Pure Aura CC Cream, this product is white with tiny speckles, otherwise known as 'color capsules'. Consistency is a bit creamier than Tony Moly's, but has the same lightweight, easy-to-blend formula. It also has a mild, pleasant scent which I've become really fond of.
Spread and blend. :)
My first stab at using CC Creams made me lower my expectation with this product (and CC Creams in general) in terms of coverage. CC Creams, after all, are meant to 'correct' your skin tone, not exactly 'cover' it. I was pleasantly surprised, however, that this CC Cream suits my skin tone nicely and gives me a better coverage than Tony Moly's. Of course, my dark undereyes are a totally different story - I still need a separate concealer for that perennial problem of mine. Haha!
Left without CC Cream, right with CC Cream.
The Etude House Correct & Care CC Cream comes in one size only (35 grams) and sells for Php 798 (approximately $20) each. It's cheaper by Php150 than Tony Moly's, but relatively smaller in terms of product size. Bought this at Etude House's Festival Mall branch, by the way.

What I love:
- Sleek packaging, pump is easy to control.
- Lightweight formula.
- Mild, pleasant scent.
- Easy to blend.
- Adjusts with my skin tone nicely.
- Gives better coverage than my other CC Cream.
- Semi-matte finish.
- SPF30 PA++.
- Stays on for about 8-10 hours.
- No breakouts, no allergies, safe for sensitive skin.
- Affordable price.

What you might not like:
- Coverage is not enough for my dark undereyes.
Products used:
FACE: Etude House Correct & Care CC Cream, Missha Undereye Brightener,
Krave Luxurious Perfection in French Latte.
EYES: The Face Shop Design My Eyebrow, BYS Waterproof Eyeliner,
Majolica Majorca Lash King Mascara.
CHEEKS: Skin Food Sugar Cookie Blush in Bebe Pink.
LIPS: Avon Ultra Color Lipstick in Dream Fuchsia.
I have another Etude House product that's due for review. Hopefully, I'll be able to post it within the week so please look forward to it! :)


Hair Story | Human Heart Nature Smoothing Hair Serum.

Just because I have short, wash-and-wear hair doesn't mean that I care for my hair less. In fact, I spend almost quarter of an hour everyday just combing, parting, and styling my hair, making sure that not a single strand is out of place.

Part of my daily (combing) ritual is this Natural Smoothing Hair Serum from Human Heart Nature. I've been using this product for almost six months now, but for some reason, blogging about this product slipped my mind. I would have completely forgotten about it if not for my fellow blogger, Sam. Thanks for making me remember, sister! Haha! :)
Another great product from Human Heart Nature -
the Smoothing Hair Serum.
Human Heart Nature's Smoothing Hair Serum is made with the following locally grown ingredients: soybean, broccoli, and sunflower oil. Soybean oil is packed with vitamins and other nutrients that make it a good source of nourishment for the hair. When your tresses are properly nourished, they are easier to tame and manage. Sunflower oil, on the other hand, prevents breakage and strengthens the hair. Finally, there's broccoli seed oil which gives the hair a healthy glow and natural lustre. It has excellent anti-oxidant properties that makes it a great substitute for silicone, often found in commercially available hair care products.
Perfect blend of sunflower, soybean, and broccoli seed oil in this bottle.
And that's one of the main reasons why I love this product. It has zero traces of silicone in it, and does not contain any harmful chemicals. And like all of Human Heart Nature's products, this one is not tested on animals.
Pro-poor, pro-Philippines, pro-environment, and cruelty-free.
This product comes in a sleek, 50 mL pump bottle. The pump, however, is my only gripe with this product. I find it a tad difficult to control, and oftentimes, it dispenses more than the amount of hair serum I need.
I have a love-hate relationship with this pump, haha!
But as far as the serum is concerned, I have nothing but good things to say. It's light and non-greasy, very easy to apply, and has a mild and pleasant scent, which I reckon comes from the soybean oil. It makes my hair soft and shiny, and keeps those tiny baby hairs from sticking out of my scalp. Haha!
Food for the hair. :)
The Smoothing Hair Serum comes in one size only (50 mL) and sells for Php 249.75 per bottle. Good news if you're planning to buy one after reading this review, because they're currently being sold at the promo price of Php 199.75. Available online, at your local Human Heart Nature branch, or via Human Heart Nature dealers.

What I love:
- Organic, all-natural.
- No silicone, no harmful chemicals.
- Light and non-greasy formulation.
- Mild and pleasant scent.
- Makes my hair smooth and shiny.
- Tames the hair and makes it soft and manageable.

What you might not like:
- The pump can be a pain at times.

Tip: Apply the hair serum away from the roots, as the roots tend to be the oiliest part of the hair. Concentrate more on the tips, which tend to be the driest and needs nourishment and hydration the most.


Foodie Goodie | Caesar Coleslaw.

Taking a stab at healthy eating?
Here's a salad recipe that's easy peasy to make. Prepare this dish the day before serving and refrigerate overnight so that the dressing soaks well into the vegetables.

Caesar Coleslaw
1 cup low-fat mayonnaise
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon garlic, minced
1 teaspoon mustard
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper

8 cups of shredded cabbage
2 cups of shredded carrots
4 scallions, thinly sliced
2 cups croutons

1. In a large serving bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, lemon juice, garlic, mustard, and pepper.
2. Add the cabbage, carrots, and scallions to the bowl and toss to coat.
3. Cover and refrigerate the salad overnight, or until ready to serve.
4. Top with croutons prior to serving.

As seen on Spoonful. Shared with Food Friday and Food Trip Friday.


Wordless Wednesday #51 | Typhoon Maring.

The country is literally in shambles right now, as Typhoon Maring continues to devastate the greater part of Luzon. Classes and even work, have been suspended for the past two days (today is a National Holiday, so no classes still), there's flood everywhere, with houses, buildings, and livelihood all destroyed.

Photo credits: Yahoo / PhilStar / Rachel Linatao
I'm thankful to be living in a place surrounded by mountains. My family is safe, and so is the rest of my hometown. Other towns in my province are not as lucky, as they have been ravaged by floods as well.

The rain seems to have stopped today, and I'm going to the nearest donation center to help in my own little way. I'm bringing some of my little man's old clothes, along with a few canned goods. It's the least I can do for the victims of Typhoon Maring.

If you would like to donate too, here's a list of places I know where you can drop off your relief donations:
- Red Cross
- SM Malls
- LBC branches
- McDonald's 
- Ateneo de Manila
- Colegio de San Agustin Makati
- DLSU - Dasmarinas
- UP Diliman

And here's a list of emergency hotline numbers for everyone's reference.

Here's hoping that Typhoon Maring leaves the country soon. Stay safe and dry, everyone!