Sunday, December 18, 2016

Cathy Doll Golden Gift Box

'Tis the season to be Dolly! Only a week to go before Christmas! Are you done shopping for presents? 🎅 

I'm excited to share with you the cutest, most precious thing to land on our doorsteps this week, and it's one of the most fabulous GWPs I've encountered!

Everyone, meet the limited edition Cathy Doll Golden Gift Box. You can get this fancy gift box with a minimum, single-receipt purchase of P1,500 worth of Cathy Doll products. I don't like wrapping presents, so this one's definitely heaven-sent. Box palang, gift na!

Its form resembles the lunch box I used to have when I was a kid - only more chic! This one's so nostalgic.

The Cathy Doll team also sent a sweet surprise inside, and it does look like a packed lunch. Haha! I can't wait to open it. Let's unbox!

Goodies! 😍 (Thank you so much, Cathy Doll!)

In the order of my favorites, let's see what's inside. Hihi!

Cathy Doll Petit Ice Cream Magic Blender

The packaging was its selling factor. LOL 🍦 Who doesn't love ice cream?! Good job on this one, Cathy Doll! I haven't used a blending sponge before, since I just use my fingers to blend. This one's going to be interesting. And it comes in the cutest mint color! 😍

Cathy Doll Geisha Iroka Eye Color Mousse #1 Unubore

I'm used to just doing the neutral eye look that I forgot how fun colored eyeshadows can be.🙈 This one's mesmerizing to look at, and it's said to have a mousse texture for easy blending. Excitingggg!
Cathy Doll Lip Blur in Electronic Pink

On the tube, it looks like a vivid, shocking pink shade so I'm curious with the color payoff when worn. (I hope it's wearable!) This one blurs the lip lines for a soft and smooth look.

Cathy Doll Geisha Hanazakari Lip Matte in Coral Red

I've already reviewed this lippie in Red Rose, and it's one of the longest wearing matte liquid lipsticks I have in my stash. I do have reservations when it comes to coral lip shades, since I don't usually go for orangey shades, but after trying ColourPop's Mama (review on that soonest!), I'll reconsider.😉
Cathy Doll Geisha Moteru Gel Liner Pot in Black

I usually don't open a lot of eyeliners all at once for practical reasons, but this one's on my "to try" list. Next month, perhaps! New year, new eyeliner! 😁
Cathy Doll Chilli Bomb Anti Stretch Mark Intense Cream
& Firming Legs and Arms Essence

I already have bottles of these in my beauty stash, but I haven't used them yet. (My sister is the one using them!) I usually don't buy the hype when it comes to topical "slimming" products, but Dior's review is very convincing so I'll give these a try.👍 (Go away, cellulite!) Haha 😂

Visit these Cathy Doll stores to get your limited edition Cathy Doll Golden Gift Box!

Fill your Cathy Doll Golden Gift Box with cutesy Cathy Doll products and give one to your BFF. It will certainly be a memorable gift! 💖

Instagram: @cathydollphils


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Wednesday, December 14, 2016

The Sweep Sparty at Manos Nail Lounge

I wrote about doing Human Nature's The Sweep Challenge last month, wherein I had to use all natural beauty products for 7 days. It was not difficult for me to do so, since I've been a fan of Human Nature since 2011. (I even signed up to be a dealer during the brand's early days!) 😊 The real challenge is straying, since I receive a lot of beauty products for review, and I just want to try them all! But the beauty here is that Human Nature gives us options and informs us of the better and wiser choices we can make when it comes to cosmetics, since up to 60% of what we put on our skin can get absorbed by the body.

Last weekend, I was invited to The Sweep Sparty, where I got to met fellow bloggers who also did the challenge and also the beautiful people behind Human Nature. The way they talk about their brand makes it so clear to me how much they love their jobs, and that's an amazing thing. 💚

The intimate event was held at Manos Nail Lounge at Burgos Circle, BGC. I had class in the afternoon, so I had to squeeze in this event that happened early Saturday morning. It's pamper time! 💅

Prior to my manicure, my hands and arms were scrubbed using Human Nature's Coffee & Vanilla 100% Natural Body Scrub. It smelled so good! (You can really never go wrong with coffee!) The scrub had a very gritty feel to it, since they make use of all-natural, biodegradable exfoliants. (Do not use any product with micro beads in it. When they go down the drain, they're eaten by fish. And guess who eats the fish?) After that, my nails were cleaned. Hello, even cuticles! Goodbye, hangnails! (I get them often because I hand wash my clothes.) My favorite part was the express hand massage using Human Nature's Massage Oil. My hands were definitely pampered already at this point.

Now the hardest part, which color to choose!

Zoya has a nice selection of nude nail polish so you're bound to find the perfect one for your skin tone. I let Ate pick out a shade for me, since she does nails and know best. She chose for me Zoya's Taylor, a light toffee cream, nude neutral shade. This shade had full coverage after 2 coats. My hands look so clean! YAY! 😍
Christmas gift from Human Nature 🎅

Thank you for the fun weekend, Human Nature! 💖

Instagram: @humanheartnature


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Tuesday, December 13, 2016

BeautyMNL Haul

Now I don't mean to be a Scrooge, but I'm not fond of going to malls, especially when it's December. During the holiday rush, nothing beats the convenience of online shopping! 📦 You just click and pay, and your items will magically make their way to your doorstep. If you can't pay online, some sites even have COD so you won't have to run to the bank just to pay. You don't have to commute, get stuck in traffic, pay for parking (if you drive), eat (yup, shopping can make you tired and hungry, so additional expenses for y'all!), and deal with the crowd and long lines.

Just last week, I was handpicked by BeautyMNL to give their site a test run, and it couldn't have come at a better timing! 🎄 I've already bought gifts for my loved ones early on, so it's time to buy something for myself. Hihi! 😁

I love how easy it is now to shop for my favorite beauty finds and also discover new brands along the way! BeautyMNL caters to the diverse beauty of Filipinas - they have a lot of brands so you're sure to find something you'll like every time you browse their site.

I first browsed their mobile site, and I liked how neat it looked. I was literally shopping in my bed past midnight. This sunscreen from Biore sounds like a great idea...

Add to cart! 😍

I find their Reviews section very helpful, too. I saw this new Korean skincare brand COSRX, and I got so curious with their Acne Pimple Master Patch. After reading all the 262 (!) reviews, I got one to try for myself.

I wasn't able to finish shopping because it was already 1:00AM then, so I browsed the site again the next day.

If your purchase reaches P1,990, you get a FREE Skin Genie Lip & Cheek Stain Alive and also have a chance to win a trip to Tokyo. 😮

I finished browsing their site via laptop the next day and checked out my orders at around 5:00PM of December 8. I paid for the excess amount via Paypal, but they also do COD deliveries within Metro Manila. When my dad met me the next day at around 3:00PM, he handed me my BeautyMNL package. My order arrived in less than 24 hours. OH MY! SO FAST! 😍 I couldn't wait to get home and open it, even if I already knew what was inside. Haha!

And now, here's my first BeautyMNL haul! In the order of my favorites, here are the items I got:

I confess: I've been delinquent with SPF this year. It's because I mostly stayed at home and didn't feel the urge to put on some, so it became a (bad) habit. My turning point was when we did a garage sale on a cloudy day just this month. When I took a bath, I realized that my skin burned to the shape of a tank top and it was ugly. LOL. This sunscreen from Biore has a LOT of good reviews stating that it feels just like water with no white cast, and that's how I want my sunscreen to be. I'm having high hopes here, and I'm so excited to use this one!

COSRX Acne Pimple Master Patch (24 Patches) (P170)

COSRX is a new Korean brand here in the Philippines, and it was actually the site reviews that convinced me to grab this one. This one works overnight to flatten painful zits that have reared their ugly yellowish heads (eww), and I'm wild about that! I don't always have that kind of pimples *knocks vigorously on wood*, but it's nice to have this "emergency" skincare item in my beauty kit.

The last time I bought one from another online store, it was as tiny as an eye-drop container and costed P250 + shipping fee. Now, I spot one in a way bigger bottle and at a more affordable price. No second thoughts on this one! There were other variants such as Lavender and Vanilla, but I personally don't think poo and vanilla will work well together, hence I chose Mint. I'm giving this as a gift to someone else, and I'm sure she will like it!

This is also a very lovely gift suggestion to your office mate who loves pooping in the office. LOL 😂

I initially added a dry shampoo in my cart, but Panda and I were browsing the site together and we spotted cute soaps from The Soap Farm. Since I wanted to stay in budget, I decided to just get this soap for Panda instead as one of his Christmas gifts. His favorite cake is Black Forest, so this one was supposed to be a no-brainer variant for me to pick. I read the reviews and they were all positive, but I wasn't too happy to see its state when it arrived.😕

The plastic packaging it came with was squished, and I hope they would wrap this soap in bubble wrap before putting it inside its packaging to minimize movement, but there wasn't any.

Also, the soap had a white gritty film all over the surfaces that had been exposed to air. These aren't exactly harmful, but they're not nice to look at.

The more photogenic side of the soap shows the part of the cherry which was wrapped properly, and it looked glossy and nice. I just hope the whitish layer would be gone when Panda uses it. The good bits of this soap was its scent, as it really does smell deliciously sweet. If you don't look at it closely, you'd actually think it's food, as my Mom and sister asked me who sent me cake while I was taking photos of it. 🎂

As of writing this post, I'm still amazed with BeautyMNL's super fast delivery! I'm very satisfied with 3 of the items I got, they were definitely fresh stocks. For the cons, a lot of items I also wanted was out of stocks, particularly the high-end brands. The stock issue is something the site/supplier can improve on. I didn't bother having the soap returned since the price wasn't very substantial. I'll just do an updated review on their site once I have feedback.😊

Facebook: BeautyMNL
Instagram: @BeautyMNL

Have you shopped at BeautyMNL? If not, it's time! 🎅


PS. If you like taking selfies (hihi we looove selfies!), join BeautyMNL's #selfieMNL contest! Get a chance to win a Printster polaroid of your pretty face and a PHP200 BeautyMNL GC. Click here for the complete details.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Project Vanity Naughty and Nice Kit

I usually check my social media accounts when I wake up, and one of the first things I saw was the new Project Vanity Naughty and Nice Kit, launched just this week. I found it to be an amazingly good deal since you could get almost P6,000 worth of items for just P1,450. I immediately sent the link to my sister who's also kikay, and when she browsed, the Wanderlust Kit caught her eye. (To each her own!) We ordered at the same time, and she decided to just buy the Naughty and Nice Kit for me as Christmas gift! 😍 (Thanks, Cindy!)

I deposited the payment last December 6, and the 2 kits arrived the next day. So fast!

Project Vanity Naughty and Nice Kit

The items comes with a well-made marsala neoprene pouch. Not a stitch out of place, and it comes with a YKK zipper, too.

 It comes with a product info card including the prices of each item.

This kit sparked joy and pushed me to purchase it. It's because there was no surprises and risks involved, and you already know it's beyond sulit upon purchasing. (It's just that my sister decided that she would give this to me as a gift instead, kaya nareimburse. Hehe!) Some of the items here are tried-and-tested beauty finds, while some are totally new to me, so it's really exciting!

In the order of my favorites, let's see what's inside! 

Jordana Sweet Cream Matte Liquid Lip Color in Sweet Marsala Wine

I couldn't get over the deep and dark Sicily Iris matte liquid lipstick I tried during the event of The Body Shop. When my sister asked me what I wanted for Christmas, I said I wanted that dark lippie, but she asked me if I was sure that was all I wanted, since it's just P350. So naupgrade gift ko to this Project Vanity Kit with a Sweet Marsala Wine matte lippie in it! 😁 I know I won't be wearing a dark lippie everyday, but I hope this one sates my makeup craving.

Flormar Loose Powder in 01 Pale Sand (P399)

I'm about to empty my second jar of Ellana foundation and planned on repurchasing soonest, but now I have a new jar of loose powder and I'll be putting this to test first. I've read good reviews, so I'm excited. I hope it matches my skin tone!

Essence 2-in1 Eyeshadow and Liner in 06 She's Got The Mauve (P279)

This one's a 2-in-1 product, but I think it's only good as an eyeliner when it's new and sharp. It's said to be waterproof, so I'm excited to see if it will withstand my oily, hooded eyelids. I got the mauve shade, but you have the option to go for the bronze one if you like.

My Amazing Blow Dry Secret Travel Kit (P1,048)

This kit is something I wished I had when I went to Hong Kong. I'm not fond of sachet because of potential mess and wastage, so I refill small bottles of shampoo and conditioner whenever I travel. I'm most curious about the Quick Dry Shake 'n Spray!

Strip Manila All Off Wax - Brazilian (P1,598)

I've been to Strip in Greenbelt several times, and would have gone more often if it were near my place. I highly recommend this to Brazilian first timers, since they're very professional and the most OC about hygiene among all the waxing salons I've been to.

The GC expires on November 15, 2017, and is strictly by appointment from Monday to Friday. The value of this GC alone is more expensive than the price of the entire Project Vanity Kit. If you're a regular client of Strip, you know what to do! 

Holika Holika 24-HR Auto Eyeliner (P235)

I'm glad that this eyeliner comes in black. My eldest sister is looking for a black eyeliner, so I might share this with her. If not, this goes to my waterline. Hehe!

Ellana Makeup Brush Cleaner (P400)

This cucumber melon brush cleaner works fast and leaves my brushes soft! It also dries quickly. I like using this for my gel liner brush (right after application, so I can clean it ASAP), and for when I'm playing with eyeshadows and my brush needs a quick wipe so the pigments won't mix. It has a wonderful scent, too!

You might think why is this below my favorites list, but it's not the Kit's fault that I already have one at home! Hihi

The last 2 items below are allotted to my younger sister Ann. Since my brows are tattooed, I don't need fancy brow products as much as before. (I'm sure she will LOVE these!)

K-Palette Lasting 2 Way Eyebrow Pen (P895)

Back when I didn't have brows, K-Palette 24h Real Lasting Eyebrow Liner was my all-time fave pangkilay because it lasts me the entire day!

Browhaus Brow Construction (P648)

I've had my brows threaded by Browhaus before, and they did shape my brows well! (Based on my past blog post, they were just filled-in too dark. The shaping part was perfect, though!) Since you have this GC, why not give it a try? It will make your morning makeup routine easier since your brows are properly groomed!

The Project Vanity Naughty and Nice Kit (P1,450) is curated with all the things you need for the upcoming holiday parties and even the new year ahead. Think of it as a makeup kit upgrade! It's already sold out at the Project Vanity Store, but you can still buy it from Whether you've been naughty or nice this year, you deserve this Kit. You can even buy this to give the contents as Christmas gifts. Grab one now!

Congrats, Liz and the Project Vanity team! 💜 Already looking forward to the next ones you'll come up with!


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Saturday, December 10, 2016

My Contadina Holiday Recipe: Pasta Arrabbiata a la Casa + GIVEAWAY

Sometimes, food excites me more than makeup.🙊 Such is the case when this basket loaded with Contadina goodies arrived in the mail this week. My mom and I were over the moon! I couldn't wait to get started! From the makers of Del Monte, let's welcome the newest cooking brand that will enable you to create pasta dishes (and more!) with minimum effort and maximum flavor. (I like that!)

Contadina is an Italian word meaning "woman of the fields", a symbol of the care and passion that women of old poured into the making of savoury dishes. The brand takes to heart the Mediterranean philosophy of cooking with passion, using only the finest ingredients to deliver rich and authentic flavours.

Let's take a look at their products:

Contadina olive oils are extracted from freshly-pressed Hojiblanca olives cultivated in Andalucia, Spain. I'm seriously new to cooking; good thing the back label of these bottles were very informative as they have a story to tell. Contadina Pure Olive Oil is best used for sauteing, frying, roasting, or grilling due to its high smoke point, while Contadina Extra Virgin Olive Oil has fresh and fruity tones, ideal for salads, dressings, dips, and pastas.

Contadina pastas are made from premium-grade 100% Durum Wheat Semolina, and they come in 3 variants: Spaghetti, Linguine, and Penne. For our special holiday dish, I used Linguine (which was perfectly al dente in 8 minutes).

My favorite from their product lines has to be their bottled pasta sauces! These are all made in Italy, with no preservatives and coloring added. They make everyone's life easier, and taste-wise, they're bursting with flavor! You can make restaurant-quality pasta dishes in the comforts of your own kitchen with these. My forever favorite is Pesto, but I was equally excited to try the red sauces.😍

These versatile canned tomatoes are convenient to use, and they can enrich your recipes.

Panda and I invented a holiday dish that is very easy to make. You can also easily find the ingredients at home! We thought of this because you can easily prepare and serve it to guests during this bustling holiday season.😉

Pasta Arrabbiata a la Casa

Main ingredients:
1 box Contadina Linguine 500g
1 bottle Contadina Arrabbiata Pasta Sauce 446ml
1 bottle Contadina Pure Olive Oil 250ml 
*Optional: Contadina Diced Tomatoes with Italian Herbs (for added chunky texture)

For sauteing:
1/2 onion (sliced)
5 cloves garlic (sliced)
1 slice sweet ham (sliced into squares)
1 piece hotdog (sliced pa-slant para mas sexy daw sabi ni Panda) HAHA 🐼

Sugar and salt (to taste)
Spanish paprika (for an added kick)
Tarragon leaves (to spark herby flavor)

Parmesan cheese
Parsley leaf (as garnish)

Directions (pasta):
1. Boil 4 liters of water with 2 Tbsp salt. You may drizzle Contadina Pure Olive Oil to prevent the pasta from sticking.
2. Add pasta.
3. Boil uncovered while stirring occasionally.
4. Cook for 8 minutes.
5. Drain and rinse immediately with running water to keep the pasta al dente.

While waiting for the water to boil, you may do the sauce to save time.

Directions (sauce):
1. Saute the onion, garlic, ham, and hotdog in Contadina Pure Olive Oil. (I usually use butter, but pure olive oil is the healthier way to go.)

2. Add the whole bottle of Contadina Arrabbiata Pasta Sauce (a spicy pasta sauce made from Italian tomatoes and red chilli peppers cooked in garlic and olive oil) into the pan. Add sugar to taste and Spanish paprika if you want it even spicier. The Pasta Sauce, on its own, has a mild kick, but Panda is very fond of fiery dishes.🔥

You may also opt to add salt and sprinkle on some Tarragon leaves to taste.

The sauce is now ready for our linguine pasta! 💛

 Linguine pasta with perfect texture after exactly 8 minutes!

3. Toss the pasta into the sauce. We cooked the entire box of pasta, and there were leftovers. We estimate that this bottle of Arrabbiata Pasta Sauce (when mixed with pasta) is good for 4 servings dahil matakaw kami. Hehe! If we added more pasta into the sauce mix, the flavor might "thin out". Have no fear, we have a surprise dish coming up with the leftover pasta (around 3 servings left).

4. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and add a parsley leaf as garnish.

Congratulations! You have made your own "Pasta Arrabbiata a la Casa"

We shared this dish with our families, and it was gone in minutes. Not one tiny bit survived. The pasta had a firm and very nice texture, and the sauce had an amazing kick to it. Not too tangy, not too spicy, but definitely very tasty. MASARAP!


Now because we had some pasta left, Panda and I proceeded in making our forever favorite, Pesto Pasta! If the first dish we featured above was in easy mode, our Contadina Pesto Pasta is cheat mode! LOL

1. Chop 3 cloves of garlic and saute in Contadina Pure Olive Oil.
2. Add the entire bottle of Contadina Pesto alla Genovese (190g) into the pan. This pesto sauce is made from freshly-picked Italian basil, Grana Padano cheese, cashew and pine nuts.

3. Toss in the cooked Contadina Linguine Pasta and mix.

4. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and add a parsley leaf as garnish.

I've bought instant pesto sauce mixes in powder form before, and it had a strong salty flavor that I usually tone down with all purpose cream, but this Contadina Pesto Pasta had the most delightfully light and balanced flavor. I can also distinctly taste the cheese in it. It's amazing! The small jar of pesto sauce plus the (leftover) pasta is good for around 3 servings. This makes for a very quick but satisfying meal. I'm definitely repurchasing this sauce since we've already ran out.

In total, we were able to make 7 servings from 1 box of pasta: 4 servings of Pasta Arrabbiata a la Casa, and 3 servings of Contadina Pesto Pasta.😍

I can't wait for you to try Contadina products!😋 Because of that, I'm hosting an easy Christmas giveaway. One reader of Lucky Citrine (residing in Metro Manila) will win a Contadina holiday package (to be claimed in Makati). The winner will be randomly chosen. The first 3 steps in the Rafflecopter widget are mandatory, and incomplete entries will be disqualified.
God bless! 💖


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