Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Two weeks of using Belo Intensive Whitening line (plus, a giveaway!)

This post is brought to you by Belo Essentials.

I'm in the middle of using the Belo Intensive Whitening line and this will be a mini review. It's mini because I've only been using it for two weeks. It takes the skin about 4-8 weeks before it renews itself so two weeks of using the Belo soap, face cream and body lotion isn't enough yet.

And yet I'll tell you a bit about it anyway!

I wanted to use Belo Intensive Whitening line because I have a lot of acne scars and sun spots. I'm always looking for a way to brighten (not whiten) my already fair skin, but—believe it or not!—I've never actually tried any! Mas malaking problem kasi sa akin before ang pag-manage ng acne ko. But now that my hormones have finally (knock on wood!) calmed down, I can see that the pimples have left dark spots all over my face. My three pregnancies have also left my body with pigmentation. In short, hindi na ako iisang kulay. I'm marbled.

Belo's whitening line has two ingredients that will address my concerns: kojic acid and tranexamic acid. Kojic acid inhibits the production of melanin, which is what gives us our skin color. Tranexamic acid is also a melanin-inhibitor but it also takes care of skin damaged by the environment, like the sun and pollution. It’s also great for targeting stubborn dark areas like elbows, knees, kili-kili, singit, hehe!

But, okay, the real reason I decided to use the Belo Intensive Whitening system is this commercial:


Haha, yes, sobra akong influenced ng mga commercials!

Since I can't give a full review, I'll just tell you my progress so far.

Friday, March 27, 2015

PLDT HOME + Disney = Fun for my kids!

This post is brought to you by PLDT Home.

Two of my favorite things just got together! Disney and PLDT HOME (which is the same company as that of my mobile services provider, Smart) are now partners! 

What does this mean???

Well, the new partnership means PLDT HOME subscribers can now enjoy over 300 online games, hundreds of e-books, even TV shows, without price components. All moms and dads have to do is click the Disney widget on their Telpad.

My kids and I were at the special press conference to announce this wonderful team-up. We had a yummy lunch at Cravings Shangri-la Plaza. Our kids (who came as adorable princes and princesses!) enjoyed the fun activities PLDT HOME prepared (face painting! balloon sculptures!), then we all trooped to the movie theater for an exclusive screening of the live action retelling of the best fairy tale ever, Cinderella

Prince Piero!
Waiting for the presscon to start.
A princess introduces #DisneyOnTelpad experience.
After the presscon, we got our tickets to the exclusive screening of Cinderella!

Thursday, March 26, 2015

The story of my short hair

Once upon a time, up to about last month, I had long hair.

Then because my hair was all falling off due to postpartum hair fall, I decided I wanted to cut it short. Just a bob really, which is trendy with all the It girls.

Just my luck, Franck Provost has a new stylist and I was offered a free haircut. So I went happily along. While she created a really stylish bob, it wasn't suited to my mom lifestyle. Instead of the simple, fuss-free bob that I wanted, she made many tiny layers. For it to look amazing, I had to spend 30 minutes styling it to look like this:

If I don't do that (and as a mom of three babies, I don't have the time to do that!), this is what it looks like:

So after two weeks of my strange bob, I went to Basement Salon and asked for a pixie cut like this:

Yes, that's me in 2008. But the stylist said we should go into pixie land gently so she chopped off my hair to a really short bob like this:

And now here's what people tell me:
"Oh, a very short cut! Is your marriage okay?"
"What a big change! Is anything big happening in your life?"
"Wow, how does it feel? You've never gone short before."

Wait. What?

First, unlike most women, my hair is not a barometer of the state of my love life. I cut my hair when I'm tired of it. I color it when I feel bored. It's hair. It's just hair. It grows back! So I like playing with it! Plus my husband likes it when I play with my hair. He says it's like having a new girl every time I come home looking different!

Second, I have actually always had short hair. Observe my hair while pregnant with Vito in 2010.

I dunno about you but those two photos look like I have short hair. Hindi siya Photoshop, promise!

I only grew my hair long three years ago, in 2012, because one day I wore hair extensions and thought, "Wow, I look good with long hair!"

Yes, that's hair extensions! They looked so good on me! So I grew my hair loooong for the first time in my history. But after three years of long hair, I am tired of it. Masyadong maarte. Blow dry, product, ang tagal pa pag i-dye! Four hours akong nakaupo sa salon! Who has the time?!

So I cut my hair short. That's all there is to it.

It's so crazy to talk to people who say, "But you've never had short hair before!" I mean, how does one respond to that? Even though I show them pictures of me with short hair, they still insist I've always had long hair. May picture na nga! Ano pa kailangan niyo? Labo.

Anyway, this is why my hair is short: A stylist gave me a cut that didn't suit my lifestyle so I had it cut shorter so it's wash and go. The end. Wag na gawan ng ibang storya utang na loob lang! Thanks!


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Thursday, March 19, 2015

This is why I'm a SMART girl!


I have FREE Internet! ALL THE TIME! I'm always online on my phone (Facebooking, emailing, surfing, reading blogs, Tweeting, Instagramming, working, Whatsapping!) but my phone bill is always the same. Hooray!!! I'm so glad I switched to SMART!

And now, as I saw on Mark Zuckerberg's photo on his Facebook page today, I'm just as glad for all the Filipinos who can now have access (for FREE!) to the Internet. The first thing Pinoys were glad about, as I scrolled through the comments, is that free Internet means they can communicate better and more often with their family abroad. That's great! Me, I'm just excited about education and information. I think we can finally see real change soon when Pinoys are all connected and informed. Exciting times ahead!

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Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Progress Pre-School Gold on multiple intelligences (plus, a giveaway!)

This post is brought to you by Progress Pre-School Gold.

When I was a preschool teacher lifetimes ago, I had the great privilege to teach at Ingenium School in Marikina. In 1999, Ingenium started as a preschool. Now it teaches kids up to high school level! I was one of the first of four teachers. It was a new kind of school, a multiple intelligences school. I've never heard of anything like it. But I truly saw how each child we taught blossomed because we taught them according to their strengths and interests, or multiple intelligence.

There are various forms of intelligence: brain, body, and people. I remember one student, J**i, who transferred to Ingenium because his teachers in his previous preschool said he had behavioral problems. We believe he was just bored! We observed him for a couple of weeks and noticed he just couldn't sit down, making it difficult for him (and us teachers) to learn anything! 

Finally, one morning, I noticed he was running around the school. I yelled to him as he ran past, "One!" and he yelled back, "One!" When he passed me again, I yelled, "Two!" and he shouted back, "Two!" We did this counting with every lap. By the time he was tired, he had learned counting 1-20. Yes, he had a lot of energy! J**I is definitely body smart. That means he learns faster and better if he isn't sitting down. He has to be moving! 

This multiple intelligences applied to the other kids. And, fast forward to now, I'm happy that I can apply it to my kids, too! For example, my second child, Iñigo, learns fastest through music. He learned his alphabet and numbers and shapes and colors and words simply by us singing them to him. We had tried that with his older brother, Vito, and Vito just wasn't interested. What Vito liked to do was visual play. He liked to sit with an iPad or watch TV or draw with paint and crayons. For him to learn, he has to see it unfolding before his eyes. 

Vito loves visual stimulation.
Iñigo loves to learn through song and dance.
They both love learning via play!

Of course, parental involvement and encouragement are also huge factors in giving our children an edge with multiple intelligence. For example, a parent must discern what his child's intelligence is. In Vito's case, for example, the iPad works. It doesn't help Iñigo much unless he plays with an app that has a lot of music. But if a parent can't see beyond what traditional education says, then he or she'll just think, "Oh, all iPads are bad!" or "Something must be wrong with my kid because he doesn't like music!" or "Why is my kid so makulit and malikot? He must be naughty!"

Monday, March 16, 2015

#TopazReads: Liz Uy's StyLIZed by Liz Uy & Vicky Montenegro

Okay, let's talk about that blog post title for a minute. Liz Uy's fabulous book on style (and yes, it is a very good book!) was actually written by another person. It said so twice in the book, and Liz said so herself while promoting the book. While I am sure the book was Liz's thing through and through, I just want to give credit where credit is due. And Liz did so, too! She was very thankful to Vicky!

So now that that's out of the way, let's do our review of StyLIZed!

First, let's talk about Liz. Liz is the stylist to the stars. She started as editorial assistant to fashion magazine Preview, then became known as John Lloyd's stylish girlfriend, then became part of the It Girls (Anne Curtis, Solenn Heusaff, Georgina Wilson, Belle Daza) group, then became wildly popular for going on dates with the President of the Republic of the Philippines. But what Liz is known for is her work—she's a stylist. And now she also has a book.

Second, this book is a year old na. I bought my copy last year. And it's a bestseller! So I'm hoping that means there are more of my readers who've read this book! Kasi the first pick for #TopazReads medyo isa lang ang nagbasa haha.

Third, my review! I love this book. It's actually more magazine than book but maybe I think that way because I've been reading Preview since 2002 and StyLIZed looks so much like the magazine that while I was reading it, I just had to think, "So is this how much Preview influenced Liz or is this how much Liz influenced Preview?!?"



My review then! What I love:

The focus of the book. The book is all about the ten style essentials that Liz believes every girl should have. These are a white V-neck shirt, a little black dress, blazer, slacks, white button-down shirt, leggings, jeans, tank top, shorts, and a pencil skirt. That's it. And then she shows you how to style these basic essentials so that you always have something to wear and you always look fresh and on-trend. It's very simple and straightforward.

The kinds of bags to wear with slacks, matched for any occasion.
The helpful tips and style tricks. One would think the above description wouldn't be enough to fill up an entire book, but because of the many styling suggestions (how to wear it on a weekday, on a weekend, to work, to play, etc), how to accessorize, how to give a basic piece second life, how to care for your clothes, how to find the style of a basic piece that suits your shape and personality, how celebrities—both local and Hollywood—wear the pieces, and soooo many more fascinating tips and tidbits, the book is just packed with chic goodies! It's super helpful talaga!

The editorial lineup. You know, if I'd done this book, I'd be consistent with each chapter, like so: closet piece, introduction, how to wear it on different occasions, how to accessorize it. That's it. But Liz, aside from that, came up with various extra topics per chapter: how to wear this piece on one chapter, the history of the piece in another chapter, undergarments for this piece in another chapter, etc etc! Hindi nakakasawa! Ang galing!

What I didn't love:
The celebrities. Okay, that's supposed to be one of the strengths of this book because, as a celebrity stylist, Liz of course should have a book presenting her star clientele. And she did. Luminous names like Kris Aquino, Anne Curtis, Marian Rivera, Sarah Geronimo, etc. adorn every chapter adorned in the style essential that Liz assigned to her. But that's it. Model lang si celeb. Sana there are other photos of her wearing the style essential—like Anne in a T-shirt sa bahay lang, or while shopping, or with a poufy skirt. Or Marian in a blazer with a sundress, or a shirt and ratty jeans, or with an evening gown. Like that ba! Diba mas masaya yun? Sa lagay, models lang sila so sana Liz just used models na lang talaga.
Plus, Liz always styles herself better than she does the celebs so sana si Liz na lang throughout!

The verdict? I think everyone should grab this book! It's a really good guide on the basic pieces you should have in your closet (although I have more to add: black heeled pumps, an A-line skirt, a classic watch, pearls, sunglasses!) and how to wear them so you look fabulous!!!

So! Did anyone else read Liz Uy's StyLIZed by Liz Uy and Vicky Montenegro? If yes, kindly leave your thoughts on the book in the comments section below. At 11 p.m. tonight, I'll be online for 30 minutes to respond to every comment and if you're also online, we can actually have a conversation! Do come chat with me tonight!

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Friday, March 13, 2015

My lips try out the Happy Skin x Liz Uy lippies

Last month, three new shades were added to my ever-growing collection of lipsticks. The strange thing is I'm not a lipstick girl. So it took me a while to try these new colors. Now, they're all I wear!!!

Ladies, meet the Happy Skin x StyLIZed collection of Shut Up & Kiss Me Moisturizing Lippies:

StyLIZed is the brand of celebrity stylist Liz Uy (and don't forget that we're doing her book, StyLIZed,on Monday for our book club!). She says, “Lipstick is a fashion essential because it completes a woman’s look,” Liz explains. “Just like shoes, the right lip color can change your entire look.”

According to Liz, the right lip colors are: 24 CARATS (pink), RED CARPET (red), and STYLE ICON (nude). “These are my favorite lip colors that I consider fashion essentials to our kits,” says Liz. “This is for the woman who is independent, feminine and fashionable.”

Sounds like me! Let's see how they look on me.
The big photo is me without any lipstick on. Top is Style Icon, middle is Red Carpet, bottom is 24 Carats. They're all creamy and smooth to apply, feels amazing and like nothing on lips, and has staying power. My favorite is 24 Carats. It's a nice, bold pink. Feminine and yet not girly. It's not too obvious in the photo above that it's pink so here's a better photo (with better styled hair, too!)

I do love these new lippies. I wear them nearly every day! I can always match one to any outfit I wear. Definitely lipsticks you should get before stocks run out (they're limited edition!).

Plus, they're just P599 each. Very affordable! Plus, for every Happy Skin StyLIZed lippie sold, a portion of sales will go to Gawad Kalinga Community Development Foundation, Inc., which helps end poverty by restoring dignity to the poor through community building. Gawad Kalinga made an unforgettable impact on Liz while she was volunteering for relief operations in Tacloban to help victims of Typhoon Haiyan.

Happy Skin is available at Rustan’s Makati and Shangri-la, Beauty Bar, Plains & Prints, The SM Store Makati and Watson’s Mall of Asia Store GeNxt. Shop online at www.happyskincosmetics.com


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Monday, March 09, 2015

Watch my Transitions lenses in action!

This post is brought to you by Transitions Signature Lenses.

My eyeglasses-wearing friends are asking me how my new Transitions® Signature™ Lenses work. They ask because we haven't seen each other in a while and we're all so busy we can't see each other so I have to do a blog post so I can show them how haha.

(Girls, we have to see each other naaaaaa!)

Okay, first, I want to just say why I got Transitions® Signature™ Lenses:

1. I don't have a lot of space in my bag because my kids' things are all stuffed in there. So it's such a convenience that I don't have to rummage about in my bag and switch glasses when it's super sunny because my prescription glasses can now shield my eyes from the sun's rays.

2. Unlike sunglasses which are a constant hue, my Transitions® Signature™ Lenses darken in reaction to the strength of the UV rays so as I exit a dark building and enter a bright spot, my glasses gradually darken. When clouds pass over the sun, my glasses adjust. So the way I see the world is not darkened by mega-dark tinted glasses. Colors stay vivid. And I can still see!

3. I also feel that the darkening/lightening is gentler on my eyes. With sunglasses, my eyes have to suddenly switch from light to dark and vice versa, which can be stressful to eyes. Did you know that when your eyes are tired, you get tired, too? With regular clear lenses and even sunglasses, eyes have to constantly adjust to changing light. The pupils dilate, you squint your eyes. It doesn't seem like much energy is expended with our eyes adjusting to the light, but over the course of the day, it does all add up, causing eyestrain and fatigue (and wrinkles!). Transitions® Signature™ Lenses filter the light so that my eyes don't have to work so hard. My eyes stay relaxed and comfy all day long!

4. When entering a tunnel, I don't need to take off my glasses!

Okay, now check out how it works:

Saturday, March 07, 2015

From BDJBox: My Tricks to Fuller-Looking Hair

I don’t have a lot of hair. What little hair I do have is fine, almost baby hair. So my crowning glory needs to be prodded and styled to look, well, glorious. Somehow, my little tricks seem to work because people ask me—a mom of three currently suffering from post-partum hair loss—how my hair seems so luscious! I reveal to you my simple secrets.

1. Use products, but not too many products.
FullerLookingHair1From start to end of your styling process, always choose products that will give your hair volume. Pay attention to labels with these words: thickening, volumizing, body, big, bouncy, fine. These will not weigh down your hair.
I never use conditioner since I find that it always makes my hair flat. I just use a treatment mask once or twice a month to nourish my locks. On regular days, I just use hair oil on the ends of my mane before I blow dry. On special days, I skip the oil and use a volumizing spray at the roots and mousse for the ends to give my hair body. Hairspray holds up the whole thing!
Don’t use sticky products, by the way, since these make hair clump together. That’s great if you have lots of hair but on fine, thin hair, clumps will just expose your scalp!
Plus, I always just use a small amount of product. I also use a maximum of two styling products at the same time because too much can weigh down everything.
FullerLookingHair22. Use tools.
Blow-drying hair is the biggest trick for big bouncy hair. It doesn’t even have to be salon-style. I just bend down, flip my hair upside down and blast on the dryer at my roots! Then, I roll up the still-warm locks in Velcro rollers. I keep my hair in rollers for as long as possible (while putting on makeup and dressing up, so about 15-20 minutes). When I free my hair of the rollers, I have a head full of gorgeous waves!
You can also use a curling iron for sexy waves. Just use the ones with big barrels for big, loose waves.
For the rest of my secrets to fuller-looking hair, visit BDJBox.com (click here!).

Hi readers! This month, I'm editing both my blogs to prepare for migration to Wordpress. So I won't be blogging much (except for my sponsors!). Because I don't want you to have nothing to read, I'm republishing my articles in BDJBox.com here. Enjoy my beauty news and reviews! 

Thursday, March 05, 2015

Breathtaking blue ball gown!

I'm a fan of Cinderella because unlike Sleeping Beauty and Snow White, Cinderella actually worked to make her dreams come true. Okay, so her dream was kinda lousy. But a dream is a wish your heart makes and she wished to become a princess so let's let her have it!

I like princesses, to be honest. I like Princess Grace and Princess Diana and Duchess Kate. Though I'm more of the girl who would rather say, "My dream is to be queen!" Still, if to become a princess first is how you get to be a queen, then I'll take it.

Back to Cinderelly. So there's a big movie coming out this month. I don't particularly care for it since Lily James is not winning me over (nope, not at all), but after seeing Ms James in this absolutely gorgeous Elie Saab Couture gown, I'm a convert. She looks ethereal. Like how I imagined princesses all my life!

That dress! I can't get over that dress!

I wish Kate Middleton would wear something like this. I know she buys her own clothes (she doesn't accept any gifts from brands and designers) so maybe she's just avoiding criticism by keeping her fashion simple. Elegant, of course, but still simple. I still dream of gowns like this Elie Saab will be worn by Kate while she's still young and princess-y!

My family got invited to the movie premiere and I'm excited to watch it now! Will you be watching the greatest fairy tale of all time?

Photo from Jezebel. Click it to see more photos of Lily's sumptuous dress, see-through shoes, and clock clutch!

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Wednesday, March 04, 2015

Avon Body Illusions gets StyLIZed (plus a giveaway!)

Avon sent me some samples of their shapewear line called Body Illusions. I got leggings and a slimming tank, both of which I really like. I've been using Avon girdles since 2010 so I can attest to their quality and efficacy. Avon Body Illusions is comfy and lightweight, and yet because it's made of stretch nylon and spandex, your bulges get reined in. They have a Control Skirt, a Waist Cincher, an Underbra Top, Seamless Slimming Tank, Boyleg Shorts, High Waist Boyleg Shorts, High Waist Control Brief, Knee Length Shaper, Crop Leggings, Support Dress, and the amazing Swimsuit Dress. Do try Avon Body Illusions! Just call your Avon lady to order. My Avon lady is my old yaya.

Anyway! Top celebrity stylist Liz Uy has collaborated with Avon Body Illusions because Liz knows that one of the best secrets to looking stylish is a smooth silhouette. Whether you're curvy or skinny, if anything bulges out or looks droopy, no outfit is going to look good.



For more of Liz's style secrets, Avon sent me her book, StyLIZed, which I already have so I'm giving it away!!! I'll send na rin a Body Illusions product kasi ganyan ako ka-generous!

Just so you know, hindi ito sponsored post ng Avon or ni Liz. Hindi kami friends ni Liz, although we used to work together in Summit Media and I told her, "Why are you dating that guy??? Hindi kayo bagay!!!" I was referring to John Lloyd whose charms are so lost on me. Hindi ko talaga gets. Baka kaya hindi kami friends ni Liz dahil dun hahaha!

Anyway!!! How to win? Just leave a comment below with answers to these:
  1. Why do you want to win StyLIZed? (If your answer is "So I can join the #TopazReads book club!", you get extra points!
  2. What's the problem area in your body? Mine is my tummy. Sigh!
  3. What's your size? 
  4. How can I contact you? NO EMAIL ADDRESSES! No phone numbers, too. Just leave your Facebook account name or your Twitter/Instagram handle.

Okay. Contest will only be for one hour. YES! Contest ends at 12 midnight. Kasi kailangan ko na ipadala agad yung book at yung mystery Avon Body Illusions product sa winner sa lalong madaling panahon upang may panahon siya magbasa at nang makasali siya nang maayos sa book club discussion on March 16!

Good luck! Mwah!

CONTEST IS CLOSED!

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