Tuesday, August 09, 2016

My boys are learning street dance moves at Elan Ballet Pilates Studio!

We had such a fun weekend!

My kids are now learning how to dance. I mean, they dance a lot. Since they were babies, they just hear music and they start contorting their bodies, twisting this way and that, and jumping and hopping, and basically loving life and music! I love it when my kids dance. So when a dance studio opened up nearby, well, we just had to check it out. And I'm so glad we did because my boys had so much fun, they asked if they can go to dance class every day!

Elan Ballet Pilates Studio is a big sunlit dance and fitness studio in the Sparta Complex along Pioneer Street in Mandaluyong. My friend, the beautiful ballerina, Philippine Ballet Theatre artistic council member, and Pilates instructor Cathee Lee Roslovstev, owns Elan, and I'm so happy that she has this place to share her love of dance and the strength and grace of the human body.
Cathee, our photos together are always pregnant and with arms full of babies!

I'm also so happy that Cathee makes sure every dance class is fun! Check out my kids at their street dance class:

Piero is still too young to take the street dance class so he was his older brothers' water boy and cuddle provider when the boys took breaks. He entertained himself with lots of running around the studio while waiting for his brothers to finish.

Here's Vito after dance class. Maybe he can do ballet, too!

Can't wait to take them back to dance class. They got so hungry and tired, they gobbled up their dinner without talking or getting up from the table and they fell asleep before 8! Mommy me and daddy Vince are sooooo happy!

Elan Ballet Pilates Studio also offers these classes: ballet for adults and kids, jazz for kids and teens, salsa, street dance for kids and teens, tap dancing, Zumba, and STOTT Pilates. I'm going to attempt Pilates, guys. Maybe that's what will finally get me off my flat ass!

Special announcements!

Moms of kids aged 2 to 4 years old! There's a free trial class for our kids on Sunday, August 14. Through music, movement and dance, kids can learn rhythm, develop motor skills, and enjoy play time with mommy! Click here for more details on the FREE Kinderdance class this Sunday.

Meanwhile, if you're a babywearing mama, there's a dance especially made for you this August 14, too. Bring your baby wrapped around you and have fun dancing. Your baby will love the rocking movements and your closeness while you get a workout. Click here for more details on the FREE Babywearing dance class this Sunday.

For the class schedules, fees, and more info on Elan Ballet Pilates Studio, check out their website or follow them on Facebook. See you at Elan!

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.