Wednesday, September 21, 2011

How To Look Like A Million Bucks

This is a funny and interesting read from a 6-year old issue copy of Allure magazine.
An interview with fashion designer Michael Kors reveals the following tips on how to look like you've just stepped out of a yacht, even if you don't own one.

Go for natural shades
A woman with money has beautiful skin.  So make sure yours has a little natural shine and stick to makeup in neutral shades like taupe or slate.

In the red
The one exception from the tip above is red lipstick.  Wear this with nothing else for a full Katharine Hepburn moment.  It should look very non-chalant, very throw-away - like you just woke up, washed your face and went out with the red lipstick.

Disregard the weather
This just means wear a strappy sandals on rainy season and a pair of sunglasses on a cloudy day. How's that for a feat?  Kors said that these are the signs of a glamorous life and just shows that you are above the elements.

Subtle polish
A rich girl always has beautifully manicured hands, but doesn't act as if she thinks about them. This means no French manicures or bold colors, pick soft pink or beige tones instead.  Keep the nail length short enough to suggest you go horseback riding.

Fake it
Start every season with a stack of sophisticated black tees. And pair it with cubic zirconia studs  and rings - it will seem as if someone gives you great gifts, you can afford them yourself, or they were in the family.  All works in your favor.

Buy an expensive dress, and wear it often
Brown croc pumps by Yves Saint Laurent
It lets people know that you didn't borrow it.  Classic socialites went out in the same gowns over and over again because they were, in fact, theirs. 

Save up for a brown crocodile pumps
They can be worn with everything, and unlike black, brown croc develops a patina that looks better with time.

Head for broke
Nothing sets you apart like a gorgeous mane of hair.  So I guess it's not so bad to spend on a hair blowout.  It's the crowning glory, anyway.

Eva Mendes on
On pulling hair back
When pulling your hair back use a tortoiseshell comb or barrette - it's the scrunchy of the rich.

I found this read a classic one and will still surely work another 6, or even 10, years from now.  I know not all girls will agree, I, too  disagree with some of the points like disregarding the weather because I just wear flip-flops when it's raining!

Personally, I do not spend so much on clothes, shoes, bags.  Though I make sure that I own a few pieces of good ones.  And if there's one thing worth investing on, it's the SKIN!  I do not mind getting my things at bazaars, Divisoria, sidewalks, it's how you wear it, really.  One rule I try to always keep in mind is to not buy those pieces that I can see being worn by almost every girl I bump into on my way to work, or while in the mall.  You can definitely look like a million bucks even with non-expensive pieces tastefully put together, and worn with utmost confidence.  Above all, it's all about how you look at yourself and how you express the real you.  ♥

*This post is inspired by and most parts taken from an article of Allure Nov 2005 issue.

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Sunday, September 11, 2011

Discover Sugaring: A Safe and Natural Way of Hair Removal

Getting rid of unwanted hair for that smooth and flawless skin is quite a problem for us girls.  Shaving and plucking are the most common, cheapest and easiest ways to remove hair, but these damage the skin, and can make it dark or turn into the dreaded chicken skin.

It's been more than a year since I discovered this wonderful way to remove hair - SUGARING. I am using StripTease Cold Sugar Wax. It uses 100% natural cold sugar wax that does not require heating as opposed to other hair removal wax being sold at stores.

It comes with a complete waxing kit:
• 1 tub Strip Tease Cold Sugar Wax
• 1 pc wooden spatula (applicator)
• 1 pack reusable waxing strips (10pcs for small & medium tubs, and 15pcs for big tub)
• instruction sheet
• packed in a neat paper bag

It is truly effective, safe and convenient to use. When I discovered this and spread the word, my sister and friends tried it and they have nothing but positive feedbacks, and continued using. This can be used on legs, underarms, upper lip, bikini lines and can even be used in Brazilian waxing as this is all-natural. With StripTease Cold Sugar Wax, hair growth will be slower and finer, and skin would remain soft, smooth and healthy as opposed to turning into chicken skin due to excessive shaving or plucking. I used to be an avid Veet wax strips user, but I found this a lot better, absolutely safer and waaay less painful.  StripTease sugar wax is completely water-soluble, so it rinses away instantly with water.  It also comes cheap as one tub can last for several months.  Waxing services in salons cost PHP 500 and up, while the biggest tub of StripTease cold sugar wax with waxing kit only costs PHP 295.  

If you are interested to try it or have questions, you can visit for more details. ♥

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Saturday, September 10, 2011

Whiten Thy Skin with White Henna: DIY Style

Who says beautiful is white?  Well, they say it looks neat, clean, fresh.  We gotta admit we live in a society being dictated to perceive white skin as beautiful.  No wonder whitening treatments and products are as in demand today as toothpastes. 

So for those who want to get whiter all over, or those who just want particular parts of their bodies to be whiter, like underarms, knees, elbows, etc. (These parts should really be a bit lighter than our normal skin  tone because these are some of the parts that have extra skin to be bendable.) here's a very affordable DIY treatment to bleach the skin at the comfort of your own homes... and wallets.

Have you ever heard of White Henna?  I haven't heard of this until Jillian mentioned it to me like a month ago, so she deserves a credit.  I got curious and found out about it.  It is a white powder that can be bought at Mercury Drug Store, I'm not sure where else, and comes very very cheap.  There are a few brands that I know like Marquee, White Princess, CM, Etta's.  White henna powder when mixed with hydrogen peroxide, which is known apart from being a disinfectant to be a bleaching agent, and ammonia can act as a fast and effective whitening  agent for the skin.

You will create a mixture for the treatment, and you'll need the following:
  • White Henna powder (12 g)
  • soap chips (12 g)
  • Hydrogen Peroxide (20 volumes)
  • ammonia
Some add in egg white, calamansi extract or milk.
Soap chips can also be bought in  Mercury Drug Store, same brand as the white henna powder.

Dilute first a pack of soap chips with a small amount of Hydrogen Peroxide (just enough to dilute the soap chips into paste), and then add a pack of white henna powder.  Ration of soap chips and white henna is 1:1. Gradually add Hydrogen Peroxide if still needed and stir until you achieve a softy, puffy consistency. And then add 4 drops of ammonia.

This mixture should be used immediately as it quickly stiffens.  Just apply throughout your body or on any particular part, NOT on the face please, using a spatula or tongue depressor - the one doctors use to stick inside our mouth and press our tongue to see the tonsils, and makes us gag a bit  (can also be bought at any drug store).  Leave it on your skin for 30 mintues.  Grab a magazine, watch TV, listen to iPod to kill boredom and to avoid walking around as this can be pretty messy.  As I've mentioned it quickly stiffens, so expect the mixture on your skin to solidify after a few minutes.  This can easily fall off, so be careful with your eyes if you are lying down.  Best to do this while sitting on a tub, or just sit inside the bathroom. Or as long as you don't wander around the house or even the bedroom. 30 minutes is not that long anyway.  After 30 minutes rinse it thoroughly with water, and towel dry.  You can moisturize after as you may feel dryness on the skin that has undergone the treatment.  It is advisable to keep a hand towel or tissue beside you to wipe any possible mess that this "beautification attempt" will create.  In Filipino slang, we call it "tiis ganda". :P

As they say, patience is a virtue, especially if it involves your precious skin. Do yourself a favor and try the mixture first on a small part of your body before going all in with it to see if your skin will have a severe reaction with the formula.  I know it sounds a bit scary with all the liquid ingredients that are deemed to be strong, but I have searched and never found an article about a harm that this treatment has done.  If there are, please drop a comment.   Before writing this post, I have tried the treatment of course, and nothing happened to me, really, except I spent quite a time cleaning up the mess after.  Moreover, there are forums with claims that this is really effective.  Jillian, too, told me that this is being used by the beauty pageant contestants in their high school a week before a pageant.  

There are many salons and clinics that offer skin bleaching treatments, one of those being Let's Face It which offers this for P350-500 per session.  And I guess they use the same bleaching formula, which of course they won't tell.

It is ok to use this once a day for a week, and then once a week for 2 weeks.  After which, you can  do it once a month for maintenance.

Always keep in mind that it doesn't matter what skin tone we have, as long as we feel confident wearing it is what matters.  So if you're more confident with a fairer skin, go ahead and make yourself feel beautiful.  And I hope that I've given you another option to whiten thy skin. ♥

Where to get White Henna? Check out BloomBox Manila on Facebook

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Thursday, September 1, 2011

Iloilo: Of La Paz Batchoy, Churches and Falls

I have always wanted to go to Iloilo for a steamy bowl of authentic La Paz Batchoy, and finally I was able to get this one off my bucket list before 2010 ended.  And, surprisingly, this La Paz Batchoy craving that made me flew 295 miles to this province led me to discover an unexpected, wonderful and not so famous side of Iloilo.

Ted's La Paz Batchoy
As we arrived Iloilo Domestic Airport at 10 in the morning, we went straight to Guimaras for the first half of our vacation-adventure.  To read about the Guimaras trip, click here.

Iloilo is actually a gateway to many destinations in the Western Visayas Region of the Philippines like Boracay (3-hour bus ride to Kalibo), Bacolod (fast ferries serve Iloilo-Bacolod routes eight times daily), Negros Occidental, Capiz, Antique, and, of course, Guimaras.  Negros Navigation and Superferry dock to the city where it serves routes going to Manila, Bacolod, Cebu, Zamboanga and Cagayan de Oro City.

We chose Guimaras as it is the nearest and most convenient place to jump to, and we haven't been there yet.  How to get to Guimaras from Iloilo City? Click here to see details.

After spending 2 nights in Guimaras Island and exploring its wonders, we traveled back to Iloilo for the second, and final, half of our vacation.  We got back at Ortiz Port of Iloilo City at around 12PM, and then checked in at One Lourdes Dormitel.  Room rates here were cheaper with only Php 1,045 per night for a room for 4, and the room was nicer as well compared to what we had back in Guimaras.  If you want to check them out, their website is  We only stayed in Iloilo for one night.

Our room at One Lourdes Dormitel
After checking in and taking a rest, with regained energy we went out and looked for, my ultimate purpose of going here, a hearty La Paz Batchoy meal.  There was Deco's, but that would be corny as there are Deco's branches in Manila already.  I want to eat somewhere that does not look like too formal or proper or classy, if you know what I mean.  For me experiencing food when I'm in a travel destination means experiencing it in the most unexpected places.  But that would not be much of the case on this day as we had the meal at Ted's.  It does not sound too familiar to me, sounds home-cooked, looks old-fashioned, plus Ayn said she and her father used to eat here when she was young (her dad's from Iloilo), so Ted's it is.  We ordered the most complicated (the special of all special) bowl of all, and some puto to go with it.  How was it?  Of course it was good, but I was expecting more.  Something magical? Perhaps I was being too idealistic.  (Sorry for leading you on with the La Paz Batchoy's promise and then this abrupt and sort of dissatisfied ending. :p)

The Churches 

After our late lunch, we headed back to the dormitel to figure out a plan for the rest of the day.  We asked the staff hoping they could guide us with the tours and places, but they were not much help.  So we Googled the places we can go to strategically, and hired a cab for the city tour.  The cab was a bit expensive, but we decided to go for it because we just might get lost if we take chances with jeepneys and buses.

We visited the following:
  • Molo Church
  • La Villa Arevalo
  • Guimbal Watch Towers
  • Plaza Libertad
  • The famous Miagao Church
And then bought more pasalubong at Biscocho House

Mosaic made of really small tiles
Miagao Church, one of the most beautiful churches I've been to.

Iloilo's Smallville

The last stop before we and the cab driver departed was Smallville for dinner and some drinking.  We ate at Bauhinia, and hang out at Pirates bar after.

Crispy Pata Kare-Kare

The next day we would be flying back to Manila already.  But before that there's still one more stop we need to go to that will make our Iloilo trip one hell of an adventure.

Nadsadjan Falls

On the day of our flight back to Manila, we hired a cab to take us to Igbaras to see the Nadsadjan Falls.  Google told us this is the nearest falls from the city that we can go to.  Igbaras is located  39.9 km southwest of Iloilo City.  The cab driver took us to the municipal hall so we can inquire to the right people and to ensure our safety as well.

Surprisingly, the municipal hall has a tourist center and there was where we were asked to proceed.  One of the staffs accompanied us to the market to buy lunch as there are no stores where we will go.  And then we rode the cab again to take us to the starting trek point.  On the way, we picked up the guide from his house, and together with the municipal hall staff and this other guide, the 3 of us started the supposed-to-be 45-minute trek to Nadsadjan Falls.  It was certainly the highlight of our Iloilo trip, yes not the La Paz Batchoy.

From time to time I slowed down, not because I'm getting tired, but I wanted to just watch the surroundings, absorb it, marvel at it, because I know there are very very slim chances that I will be going back to this same place again.

It was awesome.  It was deserted, very quiet, only sounds of nature can be heard.  It was like a big world of rivers and rocks with only us as the inhabitants.  There was not a single soul that we encountered on our trek to, and even as we headed back.

As we got near the falls we could hear the water gushing.  After about an hour, we finally made it.  Nadsadjan Falls is a 100-foot high falls dropping on a giant cauldron-like natural swimming pool.  It does not look boastful, but rather contented and confident of its own beauty.  It was one of the most beautiful falls I have ever seen. If this falls has a gender, it's sure to be a lady. It's definitely worth the trek.

Photos cannot justify the  beauty of this falls.
It was emotional, just watching it.

We had lunch by the falls, and then trekked back to where our cab driver was waiting.  We were covered with sweat and dirt and it would be embarrassing to go to our flight like that.  So we asked the cab driver to just drop us off at SM, as it was still early, so we can grab a bite and wash up and change clothes.  After looking like ladies again, we made our way to the airport.

Here's the complete summary of our Iloilo-Guimaras trip itinerary:

To read about the Guimaras trip, click here.

Day 1 - Nov 27 (Sat)
9:50 AM –  Arrival at Iloilo Domestic Airport
                    Transport from Iloilo Airport to Ortiz Port via van (Php 250 for the 3 of us)
                    From Ortiz Port take a boat to Jordan Port, Guimaras
                    (Travel time: 45 minutes -1 hour)
12:45 PM - Arrival Jordan Port, Guimaras
                     Take a tricycle to Villa Igang (Php 250 per tryk)
1:30 PM -   Arrival at Villa Igang
                    Lunch at the resort
5:00 PM -   Dinner at Raymen Resort (nearby resort)

Day 2 – Nov 28 (Sun)
8:00 AM -  Move to Raymen Resort, check-in 
9:00 AM -  Island hopping (Php 1,150)
                   -Lawi Marine Turtle Rescue Center
                   -Snorkeling at Soly Luna
                   -Lunch at Baras Beach
4:00 PM -  Guisi Lighthouse (Tricycle to Guisi Php 150)

Day 3 – Nov 29 (Mon)
9:00 AM -   Drop by Trappist Monastery for pasalubong  (Tricycle to port Php 250)
10:30 AM - Arrival at Jordan Port, then take a ferry back to Ortiz Port of Iloilo City...


12:00 PM - Arrival at Ortiz Port of Iloilo City
                    Check in at One Lourdes Dormitel
                    La Paz Batchoy lunch at Ted's (walking distance from One Lourdes)
4:00 PM -   City tour
                    Molo Church
                    La Villa Arevalo
                    Guimbal Watch Towers
                    Plaza Libertad
                    Miagao Church
                    Buy pasalubong at Biscocho House
7:00 PM -   Dinner and night life at Smallville

Day 4 – Nov 30 (Tues)
9:00 AM -    Check out
10:00 AM -  Trek Nadsadjan Falls at Igbaras
                      Lunch by the falls
4:30 PM -    Eat and freshen up at SM Iloilo
6:30 PM -    Arrival at Iloilo Domestic Airport, go back to Manila!

Iloilo has more than just La Paz Batchoy and Nadsadjan Falls to brag about.  It has a number of falls, beaches and lakes to go head to head with other tourist destinations in the country.  It's obvious that there are no "formal" tours yet being organized to Nadsadjan Falls with certified guides and fixed rates or packages for tourists.  No wonder it's still amazing, free from undisciplined humans trying to make money out of it.  We just gave monetary tips to the municipal hall staff and the other "guide" who gladly accompanied us.  It was no joke to trek forth and back that falls. They were really nice and polite.  I am so grateful that with trips like these I not only discover the wonders of each place, but the goodness of the people there as well. ♥

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