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Party Makeup Tips.

When it is time to head out to a holiday party, it is no secret that everyone wants to look their absolute best. Whether you are hosting the party or you are simply an invited guest, it is important that you dress to impress. You can save money on your party makeup by using coupons from Discountrue and other couponing websites and you can also follow these simple rules for applying makeup before you engage in any holiday festivities. The path to becoming the life of the party starts at your home's dressing table.
Photo credit: London Beep.
Prepare Ahead Of Time
Before you have even decided on a stitch of makeup, you will need to decide on what you are wearing. This includes your shoes and accessories. Selecting all of these elements well in advance allows your makeup plan to come together much more easily. Knowing the look that you want to project is immensely helpful and gives you the chance to choose your makeup accordingly.

Nail Preparation
The nails are an underrated element of every holiday outfit. To begin, make sure that the nails have been cleaned thoroughly. File them to give them the proper shape. From there, a coat of colorless base needs to be applied. Let the colorless base dry and then add two coats of your preferred nail polish. Take a ten minute break in between the application of each coat. Once this part of the process is over, tack on another coat of colorless base and let the nails dry before proceeding.
Photo credit: Pop Sugar.
Fresh Skin
To have your skin looking its freshest, start by washing your face with warm water and your favorite face wash. Then rub ice in your face, but be sure to do so in increments. Five to ten minute spurts are recommended, as long as you are taking regular breaks. Wipe your face down with cleansing milk, by using a cotton ball and some gentle dabbing. The final step is the application of moisturizer and/or lotion, but be sure not to leave your face looking overly oily.

Applying Eye Makeup
As most women know, this process is begun by applying eye shadow to the eyelids. Use your eyeliner to define your eyes and use short strokes to do so. The tips of the lashes are also crucial, so apply at least two coats of mascara. Three coats may be necessary in certain instances. Define your eyebrows by using an eyebrow pencil and this part is over.

Base Preparation
Your preparation process will depend on your complexion. You may need to apply foundation all over the face, or only in certain spots. After the foundation is applied, the shimmery powder comes next. Use a brush to add this powder to the foundation. As a finishing touch, add color to the cheeks gradually by blushing them. The chin and the sides of the forehead can also benefit from the use of blusher.


Seoul Searching | My Korean Visa, finally! (Tips, How To's, and FAQs)

I'm still recovering from a bad case of blogger burnout (hence the lack of updates in this blog), but I have a bit of news that's too good not to share. Drumroll, please... I'll be flying to South Korea next month! Yes!!! I will finally be setting foot in the Land of the Morning Calm, one of my dream destinations here in Asia!

Of course, this trip would have not been possible if not for this one very important thing - a Korean C-3 visa, otherwise known as a tourist visa. My son and I were lucky enough to have been granted not just an ordinary tourist visa, but a multiple entry visa valid for three years! How awesome is that?! :)
Early birthday gift for me!!! :)
I know there are many of you who share the same dream as I do (hello, fellow Kpop fangirls and Kdrama addicts!) so I thought of sharing my experience in this blog post. Hopefully, you might find this useful when you apply for your own Korean visa.

Basically, here are the documents that you'll be needing if you're an employee:
1. Application Form (which you can download here)
2. 1 piece of Passport size colored picture
3. Original Passport (should be valid for more than 6 months)
4. Photocopy of Passport Bio-page (page 2)
5. Original & Photocopy of valid visa/s and arrival stamps to OECD member countries for the past 5 years (If applicable, and Korean Visas will not be counted)
6. Original Certificate of Employment (must include applicant's position, date hired, compensation, office address, HR landline number, HR e-mail address)
7. Original Personal Bank Certificate (must include account type, current balance, account opening date, ADB)
8. Bank Statement (original or certified true copy of bank statements/passbook for the last 3 months)
9. ITR (Income Tax Return) or Form 2316 Copy and Company Alphalist (Form 1604 CF with BIR-received stamp with your name highlighted on the list)
10. Copy of PRC (Professional Regulation Commission) Card or IBP (Integrated Bar of the Philippines) Card (If applicable only)
My little traveler. :)
If you'll be travelling as a student, or with a child (as in our case), here's what you need to prepare:
1. Application Form
2. 1 piece of Passport size colored picture
3. Original Passport (should be valid for more than 6 months)
4. Photocopy of Passport Bio-page (page 2)
5. Original & Photocopy of valid visa/s and arrival stamps to OECD member countries for the past 5 years (If applicable, and Korean Visas will not be counted)
6. Original School Certificate
7. Photocopy of School ID
8. Photocopy of NSO Birth Certificate of an applicant
9. Parents' Documents
- If employed: Original Certificate of Employment 
- If self-employed: Copy of Business Registration from SEC or DTI, and copy of Business Permit or Mayor's Permit
- Original Bank Certificate 
- Bank Statement (original or certified true copy of bank statements/passbook for the last 3 months)
- Copy of Income Tax Return (ITR) or Form 2316 Copy and Company Alphalist
- Copy of NSO Marriage Certificate
This  boy is finally flying to Seoul!
Processing time is 3 working days for frequent travelers (those who have been to OECD member countries within the past 5 years) and 5 working days for first-time applicants and travelers who have not been to any OECD member country. Visa fee is FREE for those who plan to stay in Korea for 59 days or less. For those who plan to stay for up to 90 days, a visa processing fee of Php 1800 is required.

Now here are some tips:
1. Fill out the form neatly, completely, and with no erasures. Do not leave any item blank. Put N/A if not applicable.
2. For your address/telephone number in Korea, you may write down the address/telephone number of the hotel where you plan to stay. In my case, I wrote down the address and phone number of a guest house in Hongdae, as recommended by my friend who has previously traveled to South Korea.
3. For the estimated travel costs, write a realistic amount that would be equal or less than the amount reflected in your Bank Certificate/Bank Statement. For instance, if you have Php 100,000 in your Bank Statement, it would be safe to declare $1200 as your estimated travel cost.
4. As to who will pay for your travel-related expenses, you can simply write 'myself' or the name of the person funding your trip. In my son's application form, I wrote my name and in the 'type of support', I wrote 'financial'.
5. Bring your old passports, if you have any. I brought mine, just in case the consul would need to check the stamps from my previous travels abroad.
6. For your Certificate of Employment, make sure that it includes your company's landline number and e-mail address. You'll never know if the Embassy will really call your workplace to verify your existence/employment details.
7. For the Income Tax Return, you can request this from your HR.
8. Now for the Bank Certificate/Bank Statement and the amount of money that you need to have... I'm not really sure. I guess it would be safe to have around Php 85,000 as your Average Daily Balance (ADB) for the last six months.
9. Plane tickets and itineraries are not required. I know of people who booked tickets prior to visa application, but I did not want to take the risk. I only booked our plane tickets as soon as I got home from the Embassy. :)

And here's a bonus for BDO Gold/Elite and American Express cardholders:
Promo has been extended until December 31, 2016!
BDO Gold cardholders can get a multiple entry visa valid for 3 years, while BDO Elite and American Express cardholders can get a multiple entry visa valid for 3-5 years. This is actually the secret to our Multiple Entry visa. Along with the aforementioned documents, I also presented my American Express card and submitted my card's Statement of Account from the previous months. BDO Gold and Elite cardholders are also exempted from submitting their Bank Certificate and ITR's. I wanted to be on the safe side, so I submitted a Bank Certificate and ITR nonetheless.

*edited 04 February 2016*
BPI Gold and Platinum cardholders are now also eligible for multiple entry visa South Korea. Same requirements apply.

Other things you need to know:
- The Korean Embassy is open daily from Mondays to Fridays, except on holidays.
- Applications are done in the morning from 8:30 am to 11 am only.
- Releasing of passports are done in the afternoon, from 1:30 pm to 4 pm.
- Once you enter the Embassy, your documents will first be reviewed by the security guards/personnel. You will then be given a number and will line up at either Window 1 (first-time applicants) or Window 3 (frequent travelers/BDO or AMEX cardholders).  Don't worry, the lines are not that long, and there are no queues that go on forever. It took me less than ten minutes to complete the entire application process. 
I said a little prayer before I handed our documents over. :)
- After the consul has reviewed and verified your documents, you will then be given a piece of paper which you need to present upon claiming your passport. I'm glad that our visas were processed after three working days. I had not been able to sleep soundly during those three days of waiting so imagine what state I would be in had I waited for five working days! Haha!
Claim Stub.
- Applying for a visa through a travel agency is alright, but I see it as a waste of money. After all, the documents will still be coming from your end.

Oh, and before I forget, here's the complete address of the Korean Embassy:
122 Upper McKinley Road, McKinley Town Center,
Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City 1634, Philippines
Korean Embassy.
This pretty much sums up my Korean Embassy experience. If you have questions, please feel free to ask. I would be more than glad to answer them! :)

For more information on Visa Requirements, and for the latest Visa Announcements, visit the official website of the Korean Embassy.


Tips for Shopping for Fine Art.

The internet has made spending time with fine art something you can turn into a daily habit. Social media pages, museum websites, and gallery websites are just some of the places where you can seek out classic and contemporary fine art. This may inspire you to want to buy fine art for your home or office space. Here are three ways you can shop for art, whether you're on a small budget or looking to invest.
Photo credit: MET Museum.
Purchasing Fine Art Posters
If you're on a tight budget, you may want to start by purchasing reproductions. A number of online stores sell a variety of fine art posters and prints at reasonable prices. Many of these venues, such as, offer the opportunity to browse art by subject but also by recommendations for various rooms in which you could display the prints. They also offer framing services.

Get to Know Local Artists
Local art galleries and centers often put on exhibits by contemporary artists, but you can also find fine art in many other places. Check the art and cultural calendar of the city nearest you to learn about outdoor art festivals or markets, where you can get to know the works of local and regional artists. Sometimes these artists sell prints and reproductions of good quality, but you might also fall enough in love with a given artist's work that you decide to purchase an original painting or sculpture. Many artists are also happy to work on commission, so you could perhaps end up with a one of a kind piece.

Visit Local and Regional Galleries
A visit to a local gallery can be a rewarding experience, both in terms of enjoying art and in deciding on a piece to purchase. If you're willing and able to invest in an art purchase, some galleries, like the Lanoue, a Boston fine art gallery, offer services to help you begin or expand your fine art collection. They will go to home or office to measure and evaluate your display area so they can give your recommendations about art rentals or purchases. They even have an online "virtual preview" feature that allows you to see how a work of art you're interested in will look in your given space.

Whether you're a novice or seasoned fine art collector, finding ways to add more art to your life can be a rewarding and enriching experience.

Benefits of Home STD Testing Kits.

Sexually transmitted diseases refer to any type of disease you pick up from someone you had sexual contact with in the past. Doctors today often refer to STDs as STIs, which stands for sexually transmitted infections. Some of the more common diseases include chlamydia, gonorrhea and genital warts. As some of these diseases and infections have little to no symptoms, the only way you can really tell if you are clean is with testing. Using a home testing kit like an HIV ELISA kit often has a number of benefits over visiting a clinic for testing.
Photo credit: QWOC
Truly Private Results
When you visit a clinic for an STI test, you generally need to submit blood and/or urine samples, go home and wait to receive a call back. The doctor or nurse will then take you into a separate room to discuss your results in private. While the tests are private, you never know who might see you enter or leave the clinic. Taking the test at home ensures your privacy. You can complete the steps associated with the test and mail the test to the testing center. Your results will come directly to you at home or any address you choose.

Lower Costs
Though the Affordable Care Act reduced the cost of health insurance in the United States, some people still cannot afford insurance. If you do not have health insurance or live close to a free clinic, you may need to pay as much as $100 or more for each STI test you take. Major cities are usually the only places that offer free testing, and many hospitals and clinics require that you meet certain income restrictions to get free STD tests. With home kits, you can usually submit your sample and get your results for as little as $50.

Protect Yourself
As many STIs come with few symptoms, it's important that you get yourself tested regularly and especially before you enter into a sexual relationship with someone new. You may find that you contracted an STI years ago and never showed a single symptom. Taking one or more tests lets you protect yourself and any future sexual partner you may have. With home testing kits, both you and your partner can get tested for the more common diseases. This ensures that you are both clean, healthy and ready to start your new relationship.


Remembering Those Who Have Passed Away.

After a loved one is cremated, you probably think of the ashes being placed in a container or an urn so that they can be kept on a mantle or in an area where the person can be remembered. Some people will bury the ashes once another family member passes away, or scatter the ashes at a favorite location.

Another option is a keepsake bracelet. A small amount of the ashes are placed in a bracelet so that you can wear it all the time. This is a way that is comforting for some who want to keep their loved one as close as possible. It's also a way for children to keep a family member, such as a grandparent, close to them after a death. A bracelet is often a gentle reminder that the person is still there instead of looking at an urn on a mantle in the home.
Heartlink bracelet.
There are various designs that you can get with the bracelet depending on how detailed you want it to look. Most bracelets are made of sterling silver. This gives the piece a delicate look and a reverence that you might think of after someone passes away. Details like crystals or pearls can be added to the bracelet. As light hits the bracelet, it can cause a sparkle that will make it look like an angel is shining from Heaven, which can be a way for you to remember your loved one. Most bracelets have a charm on them, many that are in the shape of a heart. The ashes are placed inside this charm so that they are secure. There are some bracelets that have tiny areas on the links where the ashes are placed.

If you don't want a bracelet, then consider getting a ring with a stone where the ashes are placed. You can add a birthstone of the person who passed or stones of your own family. There are also necklaces with crosses and other charms. Some of the pendants include teardrops, a small urn or a heart. These are keepsakes that give a reassuring feeling that your loved one hasn't left your side.