Sunday, August 07, 2016

My skin condition just before I turn 40

Today, August 7, is exactly three months before my 40th birthday. Okay, just hold on to that thought while I jump to another.

I've been editing the posts on this 10-year-old blog and I found a draft I wrote when I was 31 called, "My beauty plan so I will look fantabulous at 40." I never got to finish that post so I never published it and now I'm almost 40. Reading that plan and realizing that life happened so differently from what I planned my past 10 years to be, well, that just made me marvel at the folly of planning an entire decade!

I wrote: "I'm going to sleep at least 8 hours every day. I'm going to follow a 10-step skincare regimen like the Japanese and Koreans! I will cleanse twice, I will tone, apply anti-aging serum,  eye cream, moisturizer, sunscreen and every beauty marvel. I will exfoliate my face and entire body twice a week then massage a deeply nourishing lotion on every part of me. I will apply a hair mask every weekend. I will drink 8 glasses of water and vitamins and beauty vitamins daily. I will do a beauty marathon once a day every month—visit Louis Phillip Kee's salon and spend the entire day getting a trim, a hair treatment, a color touchup, hand and foot spa, mani-pedi. With this plan, I'll be proud to turn 40 knowing I look nothing like 40!"


I didn't think I'd have kids and you all know what kids do to carefully laid out plans! I haven't slept well in 7 years. Average night's sleep is about 4 hours. I'm so consumed by childcare and home care and then my work that many days, I fall into bed too exhausted to wash my face, much less apply eye cream, anti-aging serum and moisturizer! My time in the bathroom—so sacred to me—is rushed. It's enough that I get clean. Get beautiful is out of the question!

This neglect has resulted to bad skin. My regular readers know I just came out of a horrible year suffering from really bad acne. I'm so thankful I went to Flawless Skin & Body Clinic, which really took care of my skin with twice-a-month anti-acne facials. I also stuck to a simpler skin regimen of non-foaming cleanser and just moisturizer (thanks so much, Physiogel Calming Face Relief*!), which really calmed down my skin. Still, my pimples are popping back every so often. Not so badly anymore because I've been managing my skin well. But I do long for the day that I need not see a pimple ever again!

I can now go out with just BB Cream on! But... (next photo)

My gynecologist said that as soon as I stop breastfeeding, she'll prescribe a contraceptive pill that will also address my pimple concerns. Till then, because my 2-year-old boy has no plans on weaning, I guess I'll continue to suffer this adult acne.

But today is three months before my 40th birthday! And maybe, because I'm not planning a beauty plan spanning a decade, maybe it's safe to plan for better skin! And the reason why I'm blogging about it is so that you know what my plans are and that you will hold me accountable. Like maybe you can tell me, "Hey, Frances, are you still applying eye cream? Are you getting enough sleep?"

... I still got a long way to go!

This is my makeup-free face now. The terrible acne is gone but the dark spots and ice-pick scars they left are there. Dark and puffy circles under my red eyes. Uneven skin tone. Still a big improvement from last year's horrible pimple-ridden, red and sensitive skin but nowhere near perfect. I've been on this good earth for almost 40 years. I really truly need to care for my skin!

Here's my simple plan to look good (not fantabulous haha) by my 40th birthday:

1. Sleep as much as possible. As a mom of young kids, this can be impossible. But I have to get as much rest as I can not only for my skin's sake but for my mental health and emotional well-being. All these years of inadequate sleep have made me  irritable, easily upset and weepy. I not only look bad, I also feel bad. And worst of all, the lack of sleep makes me a bad mommy because I'm so cranky all the time! So if I can't sleep the full 8 hours, I'll take naps whenever I can.

2. Wash face every night! Some nights, I really just fall asleep when I lie down beside the baby to breastfeed him. I get so sleepy and then I don't have the energy to get up and wash my face anymore. This is not good especially for my oily, acne-prone skin!

3. Eye cream, moisturizer and sunscreen—that's enough! I just got a new eye cream called Helix-D that promises amazing things so I'm looking forward to brighter looking eyes in a month or two! Will do a review in October. I also started using Marula Oil in the morning. Marula is said to be better than Argan Oil and can be used as a sunscreen. But I still like applying sunscreens from Bioderma LancĂ´me anyway, just to be sure. At night, I've added Philosophy Help Me retinol cream to my regimen. I apply Help Me before Physiogel. I'll do reviews on those in October, too, since two months is a good time to check if a topical product works.

4. Drink water! No more other drinks! No more juice, cola, milkshakes! Just water. And coffee hehe. I like my Kopiko coffee too much. Omigosh, this water thing has been my resolution every single year for the last 20 years! Will I ever be able to do this???

5. Take vitamins and beautymins so that my body and skin will be nourished even when I forget to do all of the above because mommy life is so unpredictable! I dunno what beautymins actually to take since I'm still breastfeeding and I don't know what's safe. I also want to take probiotic supplements. What's a good one? Either that or I'll eat kimchi every day!

6. Exercise. Yep. No need to explain this extremely hard to do part!

That's it! Oh, and be more joyful and peaceful, too. That means meditate on God's Word and pray! After all, what's inside of us really comes out on our faces, and if we're angry, bitter, hateful, anxious and sad, no matter what skin regimen we do, the ugliness inside will ravage our looks outside! I really believe this.

Well, with my beautiful family making me so happy this past decade, I've been absolutely wonderful inside. Too bad I still suffer from acne. Not so much anymore because I started taking care of my skin last November but I really hope that by the time I'm 40, I'll be perfect. Naks! Perfect talaga ang peg! Good luck, me! So I really hope this new skin plan will work. Will keep you updated, my dear Loyal Readers, and if you have any tips, do share in the comments below!

*Here are my affiliate links to the Physiogel Calming Relief products:

Physiogel Hypoallergenic Calming Relief A.I. Cream 

Thursday, August 04, 2016

Review: LashEM lash and brow serum, mascara and liquid eyeliner

I posted a photo on my Instagram and Facebook in June about this product I've been using for my lashes and brows. That photo got a lot of comments asking for a review on my blog so here we go!

Sorry it took me more than a month to do this review post!

Today I'll be doing a review of Lashem products. I was given three products to try:

This is the Lashem All Eyes on You Eyelash and Brow Enhancing Serum, P3,599.75.

This is the Lashem Double Trouble Mascara (Lengthening and Volumizing), P1,029.75.

And this is the Lashem Colour Strokes Liquid Eyeliner, P1,029.75.

Let's review the brow and lash serum first.
It's the wonder product of Lashem and all you need to do is apply it on lashes and brows twice a day for 28 days. Made of amino acids that will lengthen, thicken and encourage hair growth, Lashem stands by their promise that there will be a "measurable difference." Well, I believe them because here's the proof!

Before I started applying the product last April, I took the before photo. And I took the after photo today. As you can see, there is a visible difference between my brows before and my brows now.

There's also an improvement with my lashes. Slight! I don't know if you'll notice but in the after photo, my lashes curl up on my upper eyelid. My lashes are so short, they never get long enough to be curled like that. So they did grow long! I was hoping that they would thicken and that new ones will grow, too, just like how my brows grew. But for my lashes, they only lengthened. Well, at least it worked!

Next: the Double Trouble mascara!
It also has the lash and brow serum! So if you use this, you kinda used the serum. But I highly recommend you still buy the serum instead of buying this because it's cheaper, okay?

Anyway, one end lengthens, the other thickens. I like the thickening end—I feel like it really made my lashes pop. The lengthening one parang okay lang. So what I just do is use the thickening one first then apply the lengthening after for lashes that spell double trouble!

My one con for this product is that it smears on my skin. It's my skin. I'm really oily. Like, oil spill. So I only use this mascara if I know I'll be in a mega airconditioned room.

And last: the liquid liner.
I love that's it's a felt tip, not a brush. Makes it easier to apply that tricky line. And this one also has the serum so your lashes are getting the treatment while you're sporting a cat's eye! I love that the liner has staying power, too!

So there's my quick review! Lashem works, ladies! There are 7 products in the Lashem line so check them out at SM Beauty!
Lakas ng loob! No makeup!!! Yes, I forgot to take a photo of me with the eyeliner and the mascara on! Anyway, my skin is better na finally (thanks, Physiogel, philosophy, and Marula!). I'm also trying a beauty supplement na that's anti-acne. Just started last weekend. You want me to do a review? Just tell me!

Lashem is available at SM Beauty Store, SM Makati.

Saturday, July 30, 2016

10 more ways to use rubbing alcohol

This post is brought to you by Biogenic Alcohol.

As a Biogenic Ambassador, I use lots of alcohol. Use, not drink hehe. Never drink rubbing alcohol!

Yes, we're talking about rubbing alcohol today! And I'm really happy to share with you these 10 ways I use Biogenic in my home. I'm sure you also have lots of other reasons for buying a big bottle of alcohol for your house, right? It's not just for the first aid kit, right?

Oh no! What to do? Don't worry—Biogenic to the rescue!

I already wrote about keeping my home and my kids healthy and safe (10 Ways I Keep My Home Healthy and 5 Simple Ways to Keep Our Kids Safe from Germs at School), so today I'll tell you all about the other ways I use Biogenic.

1. Hairspray fallout remover
Because I have such flat, thin, limp hair, I employ hairspray to keep whatever body I forced into my hair (via mousse and blowdrying) with some generous blasts of hairspray. Hehe, matrona helmet! The problem is hairspray coats everything around me—sink, mirror, doorknob, my makeup containers, everything!—in a fine sticky mist. So a quick wipe on these surfaces with tissue moistened with Biogenic instantly removes the sticky spray fallout.

2. Faucet cleaner
This is connected to the tip above but I gave it special mention because alcohol makes chrome fixtures extra shiny. I don't actually know why. Try it!

3. Deodorant alternative
Hehe sorry TMI. But we're all girls here, right? I don't use deodorant. I don't have body odor. Promise! I just quickly wipe my underarms with a cotton ball wet with Biogenic. What causes body odor is bacteria, so if your armpits are germ-free, there won't be odor!

4. Phone and keyboard sanitizer
Because fingers and faces are oily, this oiliness transfers to things you touch. Like your computer keyboard and your phone. My face is extra oily, like you can't imagine, so I hate using my phone for calls because it sticks to my cheek and then it's an oil spill. So gross. My instant solution to removing slime and grime? Biogenic.

Oh, and let me take this opportunity to show you my Biogenic ad out now in the August issue of Good Housekeeping!

5. Stove de-greaser
Because of the above find (that alcohol can fight oil), I spray the stove and surrounding walls with Biogenic after I cook. It lessens the grease considerably. We still do a big cleanup after dinner using a cleanser but at least there's no huge oily mess anymore. Plus, my stove ends up extra shiny!

6. Sticky stuff remover
Ever peeled off a sticker from stuff you bought like books, pens, plastic anything, and the sticker residue stubbornly refuses to un-adhere from the product? Use Biogenic to wipe that stickiness away!

7. Ink stain remover
This works. I proved this when my toddler Piero took my ballpoint pen and wrote on our dining chair. Not a line, not a few scribbles. He did a whole Cy Twombly on the loveseat! I seriously thought I needed to have the whole thing reupholstered. But Biogenic and lots of scrubbing later and the pen scribbles disappeared.

8. Marker ink dissolver
If it can remove ink, markers are even easier to tackle. I don't panic anymore when my kids go on a marker spree on the table, the dining chairs, the walls, and on themselves. I just Biogenic them all!

9. Whiteboard cleaner
Again, because of my reason found in #8. But I just wanted to reiterate that alcohol can really dissolve whiteboard marker ink, even if you haven't cleaned that whiteboard in years. The ink will just disappear!

10. Bug bite first aid
Whenever my kids get bug bites, I spray Biogenic on the bite before I smear booboo balm. The alcohol sanitizes the area so that when my kids scratch it, at least I know the affected area is free from germs, in case they break the skin from scratching. The cool sensation of alcohol also relieves the itchiness. Try it!

Do you use alcohol in these ways, too? Do you have more tips and secrets? Please share in the comments!

There are also more tips on the Instagram account and Facebook page of Biogenic alcohol. Like and follow the hashtags #BiogenicAlcohol #MyBiogenicWorld and #BiogenicxHome.

Also just wanted to invite you all this weekend (yes, it starts today!) to the My Biogenic World: Playtime Discoveries event at Market! Market! Activity Area.

There will be FREE seminars you and your husband can enjoy. For example, I'll be giving a talk on how to take care of your marriage even with kids. Yes, I heard it can be done so let's talk about it later!

There will also be celebrity moms like Rica Peralejo-Bonifacio and Danica Sotto-Pingris at the event. They are two of the nicest and truly real women I've ever met. I totally recommend you meeting them, too!

Bring the kids! There are soooo many fun activities for them! There will be an area for Build & Play and Water & Sand games. There'll be creative play at Kids at Art. And your kids will definitely enjoy the Inflatable Castle and the Biogenic Train!

All aboard then! See you later at the My Biogenic World: Playtime Discoveries!