Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Topaz Beauty: New summer makeup from INGLOT!

I rarely attend events now because I'm so pregnant and I don't like being stuck in traffic, so I appreciate events that are scheduled in the morning. I'm fresh and happy and relaxed, then I have the rest of the day to enjoy! When Polish beauty brand Inglot held a brunch at the Early Bird Breakfast Club for beauty editors and beauty bloggers a few weeks ago, I just had to go!

Inglot launched here in Manila late last year, with a store at Glorietta 5. Now they wanted us to share with you ladies their summer collection. It's real purty!

Model Jasmine Maierhoffer showcases the summer collection that makeup artist Mickey See painted on her face. As you can see, the summer colors are all about pretty pinks, flawless skin and freshness!

Here are the new colors of the Bright'N'Matte lipsticks. The colors you see on the tube are the colors you'll see swiped on your lips. Yes, the purple is really purple! I have never ever tried purple lipstick before. I shoulda given it a go!

Here are the HD Illuminizing Powders, with premium silicons powders for perfect for a matte and smooth finish, but your face won't look flat because of the diamond dust (meaning you can use it to highlight). I do need highlighter. I used to use highlighter—I'd dust it on my brow bone, the tops of my cheekbones, the bridge of my nose, my collarbones. I wasn't able to try this one either, though! I was too busy chatting up fellow bloggers! Oops!

Thank goodness I was able to take home a blush from the new Fusion Blush and Illuminator collection! I love blushes. They make me look less ghostly and more rosy, healthy, young, pretty. Just a little bit and I have color already! What I especially love about this blush is the illuminating part (that's the smaller, lighter part).

Then, for the girl with the sparkly personality, these nail polishes from the Pro Perfection Sparkling Nail Art Enamel! Ang haba ng pangalan! I'm a boring nail polish girl—I have a ton of pinks and beiges (ridiculous amounts really), although I do have a few bottles of reds and golds and blues. But these glitter polishes look perfect for a night of summer fun.

And now for pictures of moi at the brunch! 
I haven't cut and colored my hair yet! I'm with my friend, Tara Cabullo, who blogs at Chronicles of Vanity.

With Pauline Lim of Inglot (in white) and PR consultant Martha Sta. Barbara who blogs at The Beauty Junkee.

Find out more about Inglot's summer collection at their store in Glorietta 5, Ayala Center, Makati, or at the Inglot Philippines Facebook page. Have a colorful summer!

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Sunday, April 27, 2014

Skinny girls have feelings, too.

Got this from a friend's Facebook feed.

Say it, girl.

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Saturday, April 26, 2014

Topaz Beauty: My super happy Moroccanoil review

My friend Mariel, who blogs at NY Minute Now, is based in NYC and works for Moroccanoil. So when she breezed through town last week for a really quick visit, she gave me a few products. Now, I've known about Moroccanoil for years. As a Hollywood fan and former celebrity magazine editor, I've seen this oil keep cropping up on lists of celebrity beauty secrets.

Kim Kardashian told Elle UK: "Moroccanoil really helps to smooth my hair and makes it so soft."

Fergie of The Black Eyed Peas told Marie Claire, "I use this at night and it leaves my hair really soft."

Lauren Conrad told website Fashion Fantabulous, "Moroccanoil is my go-to hair product."

Katy Perry discovered Moroccanoil from ex-husband Russell Brand. She told Popsugar.com, "He's very protective of his hair... It's really beautiful. He uses the Moroccanoil stuff, which I love. I use it, too, but sometimes he catches me because it has a really nice, potent scent, and he's like [sniffing], 'Have you been using my products?'''

Other celebrity fans are Kristen Stewart, Lady Gaga, Amy Adams, Emma Stone, Minka Kelly, Emily Blunt, Faith Hill, Diane Kreuger, Scarlett Johansson, Zooey Deschanel, Ashley Simpson, Jordana Brewster, Jennifer Lopez, Carrie Underwood, and lots more!

So I was super excited about my new product! I've used other argan oils, my favorite being the one from Souq Organics, but I prefer using it on my face because when I tried it on my hair, it weighed down my super fine baby hair.

When Mariel gave me the tiny bottle above, I unscrewed the cap, took one whiff and was put off by the strong scent. It's not unpleasant, but it's—how do I describe it—it smells like it came from the Middle East, you know musky, heady, heavy. Then when I tried the oil on my fingers, it was thick and velvety. I figured, "This is going to coat my hair and make it greasy!"

But look look look!

My hair was so light and bouncy and soft and smooth all day long! And the scent? It didn't stick to my hair that much. I love my Moroccanoil hair!

This was what it looked like the next day. Still smooth and soft and glossy. I didn't wash my hair for another day (I wash my hair only twice a week since all the beauty experts say washing is very bad for hair and scalp) and yet my hair didn't become oily or heavy. It just remained glossy and gorgeous.

I love Moroccanoil! Here's how to use it:

Now where to buy it? I asked my beauty editor friends and they said they've seen it at high-end salons. I'm happy to say that it's available at my hairstylist's salon, Louis Phillip Kee Premier Salons! He has branches at BGC, Libis and Quezon City.

This product is not cheap, however. A tiny bottle is at least Php 1,000. I'm still trying to check if it will be cheaper if I just buy from the US and have it shipped here. Nevertheless, I am hooked. I will use Moroccanoil—and no other argan oil!—on my hair forever!!!

Mariel! Thanks again for my pasalubong! I love it!

UPDATE: Buy from BeautyMNL!

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Friday, April 25, 2014

I'm in love with the VW Beetle!

In case you didn't know, the VW Beetle is my absolute dream car since I was a little girl. I remember thumbing through my Papa's collection of old Reader's Digest magazines and loving the Beetle ads. It was unlike any car I've ever seen and I wished with all my little girl's heart that one day I'd own one.

So when I saw on my Facebook newsfeed that the Beetle is back in the Philippines, I got really excited! I actually went to the VW showroom in Bonifacio High Street after a client meeting just so I can see, touch, smell and love the new Beetle!

The Beetle is probably the most iconic car of all time. Well, that's my opinion. I'm no car expert so when I look out my window and watch cars passing by, if you took away all the logos, I wouldn't know what the car brand is. But one look at the Beetle—even without the logo—and everyone knows what that car is!

The iconic shape hasn't changed much since 1939, although of course, with the advent of modern times and technology, the Beetle had to undergo a few tweaks here and there to cater to the evolving taste of car lovers.

How does one redesign a classic, though? Just make it cleaner, wider, longer, bigger, but still remaining true to its perfectly rounded shape!

Monday, April 21, 2014

How to make sandals

I try to learn something new every year. I guess it should be "I try to learn something new every day" but I'm a mom and, believe me, I learn something new about myself, my kids, my husband, about life and about God every single day! So I try to take up something so completely far off from my everyday life. Last year, it was doll-making. This year, I learned how to make shoes. Or sandals, to be more specific. It is one of the most difficult things I've ever done!

The idea came to me suddenly as I was idly scrolling down my Facebook feed last month. I'm subscribed to the page of Craft MNL, which hosts regular crafts workshops. I'm actually not a crafty person. I'll do the occasional homemade cards but that's about it! Still, I subscribed to Craft MNL because I wanted to learn a skill, in case the world decides it doesn't need writers anymore haha. Anyway, I saw that Craft MNL had partnered with Renegade Folk to offer a shoemaking workshop, and I signed up!

The fee to the workshop is Php 3,000. The style of shoes we were going to make is called Summer Breeze and it's for sale on the Renegade Folk website for Php 1,450. So the workshop fee is actually Php 1,550 and that covers the venue, the tools (cutter, hammer, screwdrivers) and the instructor fee.

There were lots of straps since we were making strappy sandals. There was plain leather (silver, neon yellow, nude) and snakeskin leather (pink, nude). I chose pink, of course!

The soles were already pre-cut and pre-holed. Hehe, I made that term up. We had to squeeze the straps into the holes. That was not easy at all. We had to use screwdrivers to make the holes bigger.

Then we used a special set of pliers to pull the strap through the hole. All you need is half an inch of strap for each hole. Snip away the extra length.

Two holes down, eight more to go! That's just one shoe! My fingers were not happy at all, even though I looked happy in the photo haha

Yup, the bottom holes are for two straps each so that was an extra difficult step. Anyway, once all straps are in, you fit a foot form into the sandal, tighten the straps around it, then cut off the excess straps.


Here are the instructors from Renegade Folk and my classmates, too. 

So here's the assembled shoe. The insole with the straps, welt, outsole and heel.

Being pregnant, I had to step out of the room when it was time to apply the rugby to the welt. Our instructor (I forgot his name!) had to do that step for me. I do think that that was one failing of the workshop—the venue. Since we were going to be working with rugby, we should've been outdoors, or at least in a well-ventilated garage. Inhaling rugby fumes is not good!

Anyway, after applying the rugby and letting its sticky magic work for a few minutes, you help the sticky process out by hammering the welt and insole together. I suppose this is to get rid of air bubbles? The hammering step wasn't explained but hammer away we did! I also hit my thumb with the hammer. Ouch.

Once you've hammered in the welt to the insole, the straps underneath will make the welt bulge out. This is not going to be comfortable to your feet so you take a sharp knife or a cutter to level the material. This is careful work. You can slice yourself! After my hammer-meets-thumb incident, I did this slicing step very carefully.

And here it is! My almost finished sandals! Pretty! We had to leave them with the Renegade Folk people so that they can finish it by sanding the sides so that all the soles are perfectly aligned. But I took a photo of me wearing my new sandals (that I made myself!) and shared it with all my Instagram and Facebook followers:
Excuse the swollen pregnant feet and ankles! I insisted on getting my real shoe size (US 6) since my feet always go back to normal two to three months after giving birth. So there! I now know how to make sandals. I have a deeper appreciation for all my shoes now. Also, I am never going to buy cheap shoes ever again. The amount of work that goes into a single pair is amazing. That work should be compensated well so I guess cheap shoes mean the brand is paying slave wages to their shoemakers!

To shop from Renegade Folk, click here.

To check out Craft MNL's workshops, click here.

Now you know what to do this summer!

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Friday, April 18, 2014

What I wore 7 years ago today

Seven years married today, folks! Fifteen years madly in love. I was looking through all my previous wedding anniversary posts and blushed at how I completely adored my husband (I still do!), so I was wondering what to do this year on the blog that wouldn't make me sound like an infatuated teenage girl (to my husband's disappointment because he says he loves it when I gush over him haha).

Well, since it's Fashion Friday, I decided to do an OOTD hehe. Seven years ago, this was what I wore:

It's a Kate Torralba design, back when she was still making clothes. Now she's making music. I didn't want something bridal, since at my age (I was 30), I wanted to look sophisticated and elegant, not virginal and sweet. Vince just wanted me to look sexy. He even wanted me to expose my back.

Kate came up with this super tight mermaid dress. In the course of the making of that gown, I had it loosened twice because I kept insisting I wanted to be able to move around. A week before the wedding, however, I had the flu, and the stress just made me unable to eat! So on the eve of the wedding, the seamstress came over to the house to tighten the gown because by then it had become very loose!

My earrings are borrowed from Kate, too. Makeup by my high school friend, Jigs Mayuga. He gave me his services for free, as his wedding gift. Yey!

At the church entrance with my parents! Well, I guess that even if I hadn't wanted to look like a bride, the veil just gave me away. Vince said his favorite part of the wedding was when I ran down the aisle to him. Ya, I couldn't contain myself. I left my parents and threw myself into Vince's waiting arms. I was that excited!

And this is us. I love our wedding clothes. I loved our simple but stylish wedding. I love that we laughed all day that day. We're still laughing today, fifteen years down the road, seven of which as married people, and with two-going-on-three kids, the love we share just gets better and sweeter and deeper. Happy anniversary, Vince!

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Tuesday, April 01, 2014

My new fabulous clutch: the Ni-QUA Paper Bag!

Many moms (well, many women for that matter) can't fathom how I absolutely love clutches. "How do you fit anything in that small bag?!" Well, I actually just need four things: my asthma medicine, my wallet, my phone and my house keys. That makes me almost like a man, I guess! I do have a long wallet so I can't stuff it in the back pocket of my jeans so I still need a purse, and in my case, a clutch is my favorite.

I have a new addition to my growing clutch collection: the Red Paper Bag clutch from Ni-QUA. It's so fabulous!

Here are the reasons I love my Red Paper Bag clutch:
Ni-QUA is a homegrown brand so I'm loving that my new clutch is Proudly Pinoy.

It's pure leather. It's soft and buttery. The heady aroma makes me happy.

The simple design is based on the brown paper bag so it's so roomy! I can fit a TON of stuff in it—my camera, the kids' toys, diapers, my small vanity kit. One time, I even brought a manuscript! Of course, I couldn't seal the bag anymore but that's ok. I just carried the bag like a paper bag!

I'll be sporting a few more Ni-QUA things soon but for now, I'm super loving my Paper Bag clutch!

Show this Pinoy brand some love!
Like their Facebook page.
Follow them on Twitter (@niquashop) and Instagram (@NIQUAshop).
Shop at their website!

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