Archive | December, 2012

Nail Vanity

27 Dec

A 200-peso bottle of nail polish is a splurge for me. php300? Maybe. php500? That’s a bag of groceries.

About a month ago I got this Revlon one (color name: Mischievous. price: php225, or about 5bucks) at a department store because I wanted to try on the stone-colored/mud-colored polishes that are in this cold, holiday season. Length of time to decide to buy: 30 mins.

And then about a week ago, I saw this small bottle of Sassy putty-colored polish called Coffee Brown (very milky coffee) at Watson’s SM Annex for 19 pesos or about half a dollar. Length of time to decide to buy: 2.5 seconds.

I also got a brownish-maroon polish at php100 (or about 4 dollars) at a kiosk called Girl Stuff, which only sells nail polish. The saleslady said they have the same composition as the bag-of-grocery equivalent, and that the polishes are formaldehyde-free and toluene-free. I like that. Length of time to decide to buy: 10 seconds.

L-R: Girl Stuff, Sassy, Revlon

L-R: Girl Stuff, Sassy, Revlon

L: Sassy Coffee Brown, R: Revlon Mischievous

L: Sassy Coffee Brown, R: Revlon Mischievous

Sassy verdict:

  1. Turned out to be more flesh-colored than cement-colored
  2. Formula seemed a bit thin or diluted, you need to apply at least 2 coats so color will look even.
  3. Ease of application: ok, but only because the formula was very fluid.

Revlon verdict:

  1. Had a bit of bluish tinge–but only very slightly.
  2. Color is more concentrated, formula is thicker, and you can get away with just one coat.
  3. I found that application gets a bit more challenging as the formula gets thicker. It was still not easy applying it evenly– I would either be over- or under-applying.
  4. Toluene- and formaldehyde-free: Yay!

Girl Stuff verdict:

  1. This may be toluene and formaldehyde-free, but it gave off a stronger (unpleasant) smell than most other polishes.
  2. Very thick formula, so it was a bit tricky to apply.
  3. This was the only color I liked in their line, so I don’t think I will repurchase. So to start getting some of my money’s worth, I ended up putting this one on 🙂


I still like nail polishes in these colors, very flattering to my skin color, and very Berenice Marlohe.


Well, kind of. I am not going to sport dark polish on long nails.

And to make your polish last, I recommend Etude House Jelly Pop top coat.

top coat to use: Etude Jelly Pop (L); base coat in photo: San San colorless polish from HBC

top coat to use: Etude Jelly Pop (L); base coat in photo: San San colorless polish from HBC

Then I use an acetone-free polish remover from Lander, which I only see in Landmark department store:


Acetone-free is supposed to be good.


It may contain methanol instead, which this article says is even more harmful than acetone, especially when it comes into contact with skin.

YIKES. Now I have a dilemma. Because I can’t give up nail polish yet, especially on my toes. I try not to leave the house wearing open-toed shoes without nail polish on. And I rarely wear closed shoes.

So until my favorite local healthy-beauty company comes up with a line of nail polish, I’m just going to have to make up for that toxicity by using other less-toxic products in my beauty routines, and eating healthy, etc.

For the meantime, I’m loving my painted toenails.



Looking Forward To The Markdowns After Christmas

27 Dec

At SM The Block, Nature Republic got me excited about their 50% discount on some major face creams

nature republic

Everything in this section of the store (shown below) are 50% off (until supplies last). Everything else is 10%-20% off.

nature republic

They heralded their natural ingredients


And so then I was so going to get this (this will only be php500 – or just over 10 bucks – after discount)

nature republic argan nutrixer

But stopped when I read the ingredients Methylparaben, Propylparaben, Propylene Glycol… thanks.  I am limiting my toxic or highly-probable-toxic compound intake, and I refuse to be sucked into the fancy advertising campaigns. No matter how pretty. I am sticking to my locally-produced, very reasonably priced, healthy skincare:


Human Heart Nature boasts of using over 90% natural ingredients in their products, and that they eliminate the downright bad chemical ingredients out of them (SLES, parabens, mineral oils, phtalates, etc.–really scary stuff).


Some of their other items:

human heart nature products

I’m not a dealer, I’m just a big fan of non-toxic products. Check out their website.

Bye, Nature Republic. Thanks, Miss Salesperson, you’ve been nice and helpful anyway


Hello, Mango sale


and the store beside you is on sale, too


And a host of other stores are on sale as well. That is why I held off going on a shopping spree before the holidays. Hope I still have money.

The Grinch After Christmas

27 Dec

Wait, what? That was it??


A family member of ours was in the hospital…

We woke up to the sound of ambulances and fire trucks

because a big fire burned down a house and killed its inhabitants early Christmas morning—

while we watched helplessly from only a block away.

There were no songs playing in the house, tv wasn’t turned on, no excited chatter among milling family members—we have a rather big, extended family all living together–kind of.

The living room was empty!


And the next day, I went to the mall, and there were more people than there were right before Christmas!

So why was I there? Because I went to my dentist.

The Metro Manila Film Festival may well be one of the factors to the surge of mall population because the cinema areas were so packed



This was at the theaters at The Block which wasn’t as bad as in the main mall, where I couldn’t take a picture because I couldn’t even stick my hand in my bag to take out my camera. We were like sardines in a can, or the MRT during rush hour.

Consequently, lines to the parking places and the toilets were long.

So why was I grumpy again? Oh yeah. I got my period.


Good thing animals are funny.

Does This Look Like A Funny Guy To You?

17 Dec


How bout this guy?

gary trainor

No, they’re not funny, they’re HILARIOUS!

If you missed their show, Potted Potter, here in Manila, start saving up for their comeback performance on January 20 – February 3, 2013, still at the RCBC Plaza In Makati (Buendia Ave. corner Ayala Ave.). Click the graphic below for online tickets and reservations:


This is why I try to live simply, so me and my family of five can get tickets at almost three grand a piece. Haaay…

Tickets run from php936 to  a pocket-busting php3,068. Go look for your ninongs and ninangs now.

Can you imagine ALL seven books in SEVEN minutes? I was a bit dubious myself, but I am so glad we went. Keep in mind, the venue is not big, so if you are planning to watch on a WEEKEND, please buy early.


Just to give you a sense of the size of the venue. Not a basis for ticket availability.


As of this post, the Friday schedule – Feb 1 – is SOLD  OUT. Told you so.


Recycle Magazine Pages into Envelopes or Gift Sleeves

17 Dec


STEP 1: Get a nice magazine with nice paper and graphic layouts that would like nice even folded up.

I found this boho magazine in a second-hand bookshop for php65 (less than $2). It had such pretty layout and graphics, and interesting, down-to-earth, earth-friendly articles. But I knew I was going to use it for some project. The loose leaf pages above it I got from another magazine of another issue:


STEP 2: Choose your page

STEP 3: Slice as close to binding as possible, with a cutter as much as possible. You don’t need a ruler, let the opposite page be your hand’s guide, for your hand  to rest on while you run the cutter along. Don’t worry if you didn’t make the cut deep enough, it feels good to pull it off easily from the binding 😉

STEP 4: Divide the page as it fits the intended gift or card.


STEP 5: Fold simply into an envelope case (Note to self: post a set of detailed photos for this). Or search for envelope templates on the web. Cut the corners at angles, and one of the sections,  to make flaps easily. I used double-sided tape instead of glue for a faster and smoother finish (no unsightly bumps).


I like to divide the tape to save 🙂


STEP 6: Adorn. Pressed for time, I just punched out shapes from plain-colored contrasting paper and stuck it (with glue, this time) there. You can place it anywhere, and use flat-backed beads, ribbons and other scrapbooking material embellishments. Done!


What the bell, I put two more


I also wanted to use these ready-made angpao envelopes from Daiso, but these pages were so pretty! The chartreuse against the gingham, and the aqua….

For the earrings I bought here (the teachers), I cut a section from the back of the magazine to use as earrings backing. I love this print!

I made another envelope from a full black-&-white-photo page that just had a little pop of color from the text.


Funny, but this issue was published way back in 2009, and this was the trend


But it just recently got big here, and it’s all over the bazaars like this one, stores, and fashion blogs. No complaints, they do look nice.

Happy gift-giving!


Off with the heads! Etude Green Tea Nose Pack Review

17 Dec


It’s time. Blackheads have never failed me, they have been with me since grade school and never left my nose. My only effective alternative to painful derma extraction was the Pond’s Nose Strip that has been AWOL  for a long time now.

Then suddenly, there was the Skinfood Black Bean Nose Pack for me, tried it, and forgot about that Pond’s watchamacallit. But I have to have alternatives to the alternative in case  the latter becomes AWOL as well.


As usual, richly-colored, sticky side protected by the plastic sheet is the side you stick on your skin. Rough side is exposed to air. These products love a very wet nose to adhere to. Smooth it down on your skin, making sure it sticks to every millimeter of skin area, especially the ones covered by blackheads, and get into the valley on either side of the nose.

Now find a place to hide while you wait for that strip to stiffen up and dry out. Your boyfriend or husband does NOT need to see these routines.


Mmmm, smells like mildly green tea-minty, mashed adzuki beans.


Hope you weren’t eating when you saw that.

Another great blackhead-removing strip. Two down, four to go.

Eastwood City Bazaar – Mall and Plaza

17 Dec


Seems so nice to live in a community like Eastwood City if you work there, too, because everything is pretty close to each other. You would be within walking distance of shopping, entertainment, work and leisure activities. It’s a good-sized community, not like BGC/The Fort, where you will need a vehicle to, say, go from Market Market to the UCC Coffee Shop (UCC Cafe Terrace) at the Forbes Town Center.

bonifacio high street

bonifacio high street

And unlike Rockwell where the environment is kinda limited to the  snooty uppercrust side.

rockwell land

rockwell land


So in Eastwood City, for shopping, you have the mall for the pricey stores and the City Walk and Cybermall for cheaper, but not necessarily all cheap and tacky, alternatives. Eastwood City is, in and around, peppered with highend stores at the ground level of the condominiums, and they often hold bazaars (and shows) at the City Walk Central Plaza under the tent like this one they were holding when I was there last week.



where I got these:


from this seller who had these as well:

90 pesos a necklace

90 pesos a necklace

php90 hanging above, php200 chokers displayed below

php90 hanging above, php200 chokers displayed below

php50 a pair of earrings

php50 a pair of earrings

Gee, if they sell these earrings at 5o a pair, how much did they get them from their suppliers? 20-30 pesos? And those local suppliers probably got those from China at what, 100 pesos for a dozen pairs?? Anyway, I’m still stoked that I got these, still considerably cheaper than if I traipsed to Divisoria in December.

Then in Eastwood Mall, they were having a bazaar of accessories as well:

Eastwood Mall bazaar

Eastwood Mall bazaar



(Sigh) Some people can’t look away when they see a camera that’s not really aimed at them. Clearly, my telepathic powers didn’t work that time (Gee, lady, get out of the way, I am not taking your picture!)

Anyway, so happy I got these as my daughter’s gifts for some of her friends


I also got something else at the mall which I ate up a lot of my time before deciding to buy. But I’m saving that for another post. Hint: They just wouldn’t let you go!

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