Friday, May 29, 2015

My new favorite beauty secret: OxyGeneo facials from Aivee Clinic

I'm 38 years old and my skin looks better than ever. Not perfect (yet!) because I was so bad to my skin forever. I only began a real skincare regime a couple of years ago and my skin is thanking me already. Makes me think of how my skin would've been like if I had always been masipag about cleansing, repairing, moisturizing and protecting! So if you're in your 20s and reading this, make sure to deep clean, apply eye cream and anti-aging serum, use sunscreen every morning and moisturize every night!

I also look so much better recently because of this amazing facial from the Aivee Clinic—the OxyGeneo. This is me at the relaxing treatment room at Dr. Aivee Aguilar-Teo's clinic (more like spa!) at Mega Fashion Hall. I'm just about to get my OxyGeneo facial, which is the BEST FACIAL I've gotten in all my 38 years. Let me tell you all about it!
Luxurious experience. From minty refreshments at the lobby to fluffy comforters on the treatment beds. 

What is it?
OxyGeneo is called the super facial because it's three facials in one: exfoliation, rejuvenation and healing. It's microdermabrasion on the surface and then infusion of nutrients and then healing oxygen into the skin. So dead cells that dull skin are removed and then revitalizing ingredients are pushed deep into the skin with oxygen. The result is smoother, firmer, plumper, finer skin.

Here are just a few of the benefits:
  • Hydrated and plumped up skin reduces wrinkles and fine lines
  • Collagen is increased so skin is firmer and tighter
  • Skin takes on a glow

How does it go?
The facial starts with a thorough cleansing. Skin is then exfoliated, then undergoes radio-frequency treatment for noninvasive contouring and firming. It ends with skin infused with essential nutrients and oxygen. The oxygen increases and hastens the effectivity of the treatment.

I researched all over the Internet and OxyGeneo in most clinics around the world is offered as an exfoliation-oxygenation facial, so their facials last just 30 minutes. Dr. Aivee adds lots of extra goodies. Here's what to expect:

Step 1: Makeup remover is applied on face and neck to melt away makeup, dirt and oils.
Step 2: Cleansing gel is massaged on face and neck for a thorough clean.
Step 3: Steaming is done for a few minutes to open up pores.
Step 4: Ultrasonic exfoliation lifts away dead skin cells on the surface while loosening stubborn dirt.
Step 5: Pricking out blackheads and whiteheads. My friend Nicole Romero of Beauty & Sparkle says you can ask to skip this.
Step 6: RF treatment for tightening and firming skin.
Step 7: Brightening gel oxygenation to infuse all these skin-saving nutrients deep into the skin.
Step 8: Collagen mask finishes off everything!

You're advised not to rinse till the next morning so I always schedule my OxyGeneo facials in the afternoon so I can go straight home and sleep.

What happens after?
You'd think that with all those steps above, your skin would be staging an angry revolution. I thought that would happen, too, after I had a facial in another spa-clinic and was promised there was no downtime. Grabe lang. My face was swollen and hot and felt burned for two weeks!!! So whenever spa-clinics tell me there's no downtime, I get scared. But with OxyGeneo, wala talagang downtime! In fact, my skin was tighter and brighter after just one session. And it really felt pampered.

See below, my skin before my very first OxyGeneo on the left, and my skin after on the right. No redness, just a nice glow!

We really saw a difference just three days after my facial. My husband (who discourages me from getting facials after that time my face was burned off) was staring... and staring and staring at me. He said my skin was nice and glowing and that I looked younger. That was just after one session of OxyGeneo! You can bet that he encourages me now to get my OxyGeneo facials!

I'm now in the middle of my treatment. A treatment is best at 6 sessions. My fourth will be next week. But I already see results. My fine lines decreased. My skin is brighter, clearer, tighter. I think I look younger! For example, my crow's feet are GONE.

See below my makeup-less, no-filter, super close up photo. Usually, a smile produces three very visible lines at the corners of my eyes. But now, wala na.

I really super love my OxyGeneo facials!

I wish I had the time to do the facials properly. I should go every 7-10 days. But because of my packed schedule, I go every 4-6 weeks. I guess if I did the prescribed schedule, my face would be so much more fabulous. Sigh!

Okay, if you have any questions, please leave them below and I'll ask Dr. Aivee. She's super smart and super nice and very helpful. And super galing! I highly recommend you visit her clinics and see and feel for yourself the Aivee touch!

Aivee Teo M.D. Anti-Aging Institute
Forbestown Center, Burgos Circle, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig; tel nos. 403-3245/1892

The Aivee Clinic
Mega Fashion Hall, SM Megamall, Mandaluyong; tel no. 642-4833

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Wednesday, May 20, 2015

My first ever carbonara!

This post is brought to you by Nestlé All Purpose Cream.

I'm a pretty good cook. My husband says that's one of the reasons he married me. But you know what? I've never cooked carbonara. The major reason is I prefer red sauce to white sauce. But now that I have kids, I figured I shouldn't impose my culinary preferences on them. Since my boys love pasta, they should try all kinds of pasta and sauces. I mean, all the pasta they know is spaghetti with tomato meat sauce! And, I'll be honest, they don't seem excited anymore when I serve them spaghetti. 

And that's why I decided to cook my first carbonara!
I found a carbonara recipe online and I liked that the ingredients weren't so intimidating. Just bacon (my family's favorite!), ham, cheese, milk and cream. I confess that I have never cooked anything with cream before. That's the territory of my sister, Jacqui, who swears by Nestlé All Purpose Cream. She says that it makes everything she makes extra creamy, adds a great texture, and makes food malinamnam. So for my first ever carbonara, I'm using Nestlé All Purpose Cream!

Half a kilo of noodles (I used spaghetti noodles so that it's familiar to my kids)
1 can evaporated milk
250 ml Nestlé All Purpose Cream
1 can cream of mushroom soup
200 grams sweet ham (since my family loves bacon, I didn't use ham and just added more bacon!)
200 grams bacon
6 cloves of garlic, minced (the recipe called for a whole head but my kids don't like garlic)
1 onion, minced
1 tsp white pepper (you can use black pepper but I prefer white so that it looks nicer, no black spots on the white dish!)
Parmesan cheese, grated
Chopped parsley as garnish

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

How to spell my name

My first name always gets massacred. Francis. Franzen. Princess. Pansit. My last name is pretty simple but it's spelled as Salas, Sanchez and Sally. I'm exasperated but I'm used to it because I grew up with people wondering about my maiden name, too, which is Amper. Amper is not so common so people turn it into Amber, Ampere, Unfair. So I'm quite used to people not remembering my name. Then there are also a lot of people who can't forget my name because apparently it's unusual.

Frances Amper.

I think it's a pretty name. An intelligent name. I love my former name. I love it so much that when I got married, I didn't change my name. My husband is Vince Sales and his wife—me—is Frances Amper.

I also married at 30 and have built a career with that name so I didn't want to change my name. But on our first anniversary, Vince said he'd like for us to share the same last name. So, because I promised to love and obey, I changed my name to Frances Sales.

I use Frances Amper Sales professionally. Because of that, I guess that's why people address correspondence to me as such: "To Ms. Frances Amper-Sales."

My last name is just Sales. It isn't hyphenated. When you hyphenate a last name, that means you use the whole thing, so if we must be formal, I'd be addressed as "Ms. Amper-Sales." On invitations and letters addressed to us as a couple, the correct address is "To Vince Sales and Frances Amper-Sales." But my last name isn't Amper-Sales. It's just Sales. No hyphen. So you can write on the envelope, "To Vince and Frances Sales."
This is correct because Amper is my middle name.
This is incorrect because my last name isn't Amper-Sales.
Frances Sales.

In normal, ordinary life, that's the name I use. When I introduce myself to my kids' friends, teachers, to my husband's friends, I'm Frances Sales. In the last couple of years, I've dropped my maiden name, however. I now just tell people—whether I work with them or not—to address me as Frances Sales. It's simpler.

I like my name now because it rhymes. Someone even asked me if that was a stage name I invented. Haha, it's my real name, folks. I really married a Mr. Sales and I married him for love not because I wanted a name that rhymed.

Was it difficult for me to become a Ms. Sales, to let go of my father's name and take on my husband's name? Well, in the beginning, yes. I'm attached to Amper. I mean, I've been attached to it all my life! But I like that I changed my name. Here are my reasons:
  1. To my surprise, I actually loved that my new name made me feel like I am one with my husband. We're a team. That's what married life is all about!
  2. I liked how symbolic it was to drop my maiden name—it didn't just usher in a new life as a married woman; it also reminded me that I was leaving my family. By changing my name, I felt like life was going to be better because I'm a new person now. I have a new name! 
  3. When the children came, I was happy I shared their last name. We were all the same, in the same team, one family unit. My new name told my kids that I belong to their papa, I belong to them, and that they all belong to me. 
  4. I actually like that my name rhymes!
How about you? Did you keep your maiden name? Did you take your husband's name? Do you like your married name? Did life change when you changed your name? Tell me! I'd like to know!

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Friday, May 15, 2015

Meet Topaz Horizon, the nail polish from Girlstuff

Summer is nearly over but I still can't get over the fact that I have a summery nail polish color named after my blog! Thanks so much, Girlstuff Forever! I'm so enjoying all these photos of the #BloggersEliteSummer Collection having a fun summer:

I also enjoyed it when nail art and nail polish enthusiasts posted their fabulous nails over on Instagram:

I'm so in love with the Girlstuff #BloggersEliteSummer Collection but I'm definitely most smitten by my bright and creamy yellow polish, Topaz Horizon! It's soooo ME—bright, bold, can't ignore and yet comforting and friendly.

Here are a few behind-the-scenes photos from the photo shoot of us bloggers (Nikki Tiu of AskMeWhats, Jackie Go of Go Jackie Go!, and Cristina Decena of Strutting on Sunshine).

Monday, May 04, 2015

Girlstuff launches their #BloggersEliteSummer collection in a fun party

It's been five weeks since I told you that I have a new nail polish color named after this fabulous blog. Have you gotten yourself a bottle of Girlstuff's Topaz Horizon yet?!? Please tell me you have a bottle of Topaz Horizon and you're wearing that fun and bold yellow hue on your nails!

I've been enjoying the various masterpieces that nail artists have been posting on Instagram using the #BloggersEliteSummer collection, which are four bright colors named after four fab blogs: AskMeWhats, Go Jackie Go, Strutting on Sunshine, and Topaz Horizon. I'd like to see your nails, too!

But I'll talk about those stunning nail art in another post. Right now, I want to share with you the party! It was so fun and cute and colorful and girly!
The media found this smorgasbord of treats!
I'm the yellow, Nikki Tiu is the pink.
My new friend Cristina Decena!
The party started with everyone getting nail art.
Here's mine! Topaz Horizon with an accent nail of confetti.

Friday, May 01, 2015

Paper lovers, meet the Leuchtturm1917 journals

If you're anything like me, this set of photos will make your heart quicken.


Friends, these are the newest journals I've fallen in love with. Meet the Leuchtturm1917 journals. That's pronounced at LOYKT-term. Leuchtturm1917 is a stationery brand in Germany producing planners and journals for over 90 years and is available in more than 50 countries. This year, it arrived on local shores, thanks to National Book Store.

Leuchtturm1917 planners and journals are really nice. People ask me how they are compared to Moleskine and I actually have to say that I like the Leuchtturm1917 journals better. The paper is better. Thinner and lighter but doesn't bleed through. I guess it would depend on what pen also is used. The Leuchtturm1917 paper is designed for fountain pen use so if you're a fountain-pen lover, you might want to explore this new journal brand. I also like the contents page, page numbers, perforated pages, the bookmark, an inside cover pocket, and stickers for archiving and labeling. I'll do a more thorough review next month!

Yes, I can do a review because I am a proud owner of Leuchtturm1917 journals! National Book Store sent me one as a Christmas gift and I love it!

I now have two: the red that National Book Store gave me and an orange one because orange is my favorite color. Pink is also my favorite color so I want a pink one next. But seriously, I want them all. All! 

And I want them all emblazoned with my name!!! For a limited time, you can visit Leuchtturm1917 pop-up corners at the following dates and branches to have your journals specially embossed for free: 
May 4 in National Book Store, Greenbelt
May 8 in Powerbooks, Greenbelt 4
May 12 in National Book Store, Power Plant Mall-Rockwell
May 16 in National Book Store, Shangri-la Plaza
May 20 in National Book Store, SM Aura Premier
May 24 in National Book Store, Trinoma
May 28 in Powerbooks, Alabang Town Center
June 1 in Powerbooks, Serendra

Leuchtturm1917 planners and journals are available in selected National Book Store and Powerbooks branches. Shop for Leuchtturm1917 journals online at and earn reward points for online purchases. For reservations, call 8888-NBS (627) for calls within Metro Manila, 1-800-10-8888-NBS for calls outside Metro Manila, or text 0998-8888-NBS and 0917-8747-269. The National Book Store hotlines are open Mondays to Sundays from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Follow National Book Store on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram (@nbsalert) for updates on the latest events, promos and contests. Share your Leuchtturm1917 finds using the hashtag #NBSfinds. 

Photos courtesy of National Book Store.

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