Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Sample Room Haul

I was able to shop for toiletries for cheap without even having to leave home. How?

Sample Room! ๐Ÿ˜€

I almost forgot how fun it was to order from Sample Room! Last Thursday afternoon I woke up extra early so I thought of just browsing the site to see what's new. I spotted some nice bundled Palmolive samples to try, so I added them to my cart and paid Paypal (using my debit card). I used to line up at the bank and send a photo of the deposit slip via email (hassle), but when I discovered I could use my debit card, never na ko lalabas ng bahay. Chos! I was able to complete my order at 8:30AM last Thursday, and the next day my orders arrived! SO FAST! ๐Ÿ˜

Try before you buy ๐Ÿ’™

I loved the pretty paperbag! All my orders were taped and bubble wrapped so they arrived in perfect condition. (Thanks for the care, Sample Room!)
My haul ๐Ÿ‘

Palmolive Naturals White+Milk Body Wash & Soap
Palmolive Naturals Healthy & Smooth Shampoo and Cream Conditioner
Cรฉleteque DermoScience™ Sun Care Matte Moisturizer SPF 30
Because I've been with Sample Room for quite some time, I was able to earn points from my previous orders. (This one's my 13th! You can backread my previous blog posts about them here.) I only paid P130 shipping fee for everything! ๐Ÿ™Š SUPER SULIT!

Palmolive (Body) - P108.75
Palmolive (Hair) - P189
Celeteque (Face) - P69
TOTAL SRP: P366.75 - P130 (shipping fee) = P236.75 SAVINGS ๐Ÿ˜†๐ŸŒŸ

Super love it! I'm excited to use the Palmolive White+Milk Body Wash! While the Palmolive shampoo and conditioner duo is not new to me, we've been purchasing it for years. I'm also looking for a new face sunblock, so the tiny Celeteque tubes are a delight to have. They're so cute! ๐Ÿ’›

Thank you, Sample Room! ๐Ÿ’‹ Visit their website, guys! You might find something you'll like. ๐Ÿ’


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Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Workshop Bespoke Bakery at SM Mega Fashion Hall

Located within the Le Petit Soufflรฉ restaurant in the Mega Fashion Hall is Workshop Bespoke Bakery, the latest offering of Chefs Miko Aspiras and Kristine Lotilla. Their mission: To elevate the Filipino dessert experience.

The place is where rustic charm meets an industrial modern aesthetic. The Workshop is a space where the pastry chefs can create - it's their working shed where adventurous and even risky desserts come to life. It's where fancy meets fun and avant garde, and I have never seen a bakery that offers unusual finds - Matcha Canelรฉ, the Guava Cheese Tart, artisanal Valrhona chocolate bars, decadent Entremets, and more!

Last week, I visited The Workshop for the very first time and I loved what I saw...

The most decadent dessert spread I've come across. We were so spoiled.

They introduced to us their new cakes and collaboration with Yardstick Coffee. Pairing coffee and desserts is tricky business, and whenever I go to any coffee shop, I ask the barista which cake goes well with my drink because I feel that they know best. Now, The Workshop takes the guesswork out of these pairings. They know for a fact that the flavors shouldn't overpower each other so they came up with complementary pairs. Take your pick!

17 Layer Cake with Dairy-free Mocha

It has 17 layers of alternating Valrhona Araguani 72% Ganache and moist chocolate cake, enrobed in 70% Guanaja chocolate glaze and glaรงage, served with a dollop of whipped cream cheese. The 17 Layer Cake is the richest chocolate cake I've had - it's like biting into a block of thick and smooth dark chocolate with thin layers of soft cake. If you like dark chocolate, you will love this one. For me, a single slice is already good to share since it's so thick, dense, and rich.
Pistachio Roulade with Madagascar Vanilla Latte

The Pistachio Roulade has the simplest look, but it's not to be understimated. It takes a whole lot of effort to make, and it's made with 100% pureed pistachios sponge and filling. The taste is very light and perfect. I was able to finish my slice in just minutes. (I want more!)

Basque Burnt Cheesecake with Torched Butterscotch Iced Latte

THIS! This cheesecake is crazy good. I haven't had anything like it in my life. I'm used to normal cheesecakes, and I already love them as they are, but I am head over heels with the Basque Burnt Cheesecake!

This is their version of the famous Spanish cake, where it's baked at a higher temperature to get that caramelized almost burnt top with a custardy core. Speaking of the custary core, you can enjoy this cheesecake chilled, at room temperature, or warmed. My favorite version of this is when it's warm and freshly baked, because the custardy core reminds me of the freshly baked egg tarts from Macau. It has a different texture when it's freshly baked compared to when it's at room temperature, but ALL versions of this cheesecake are delicious. To make this light cheesecake even more decadent, they also made their own dulce de leche pecans as toppings. MUST TRY!

Taste test of the 3 new cakes ๐Ÿฐ
Spotted: Petit gรขteaux (mini versions of a big cake, individually decorated and not sliced). Aren't they all pretty? ๐Ÿ˜

You can order/reserve your cake(s) by calling The Workshop at (02)944-6541. Workshop Bespoke Bakery is located in 2/F SM Mega Fashion Hall.

Facebook: Workshop_ph
Instagram: @workshop_ph

Which cake and coffee pair do you like best?
(Mine's the one with the Basque Burnt Cheesecake!
The coffee's so Instagrammable, too! ๐Ÿ˜)


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Monday, June 12, 2017

Life update + some ballet inspiration ๐Ÿ’ญ

Late last year my life was in disarray. I thought I had it all planned out. I quit my full-time job to pursue further studies. When the time came for me to finally actively search for work that would suit my newly acquired skills, I always seemed half-baked and wouldn't make the cut. The time I finally passed, the offer got stalled. I'm not sensitive towards rejection, but there came a point when I knew it simply was not God's will for me. I also lost important people in my life - death of a family member and the end of a relationship. I've never felt this lost. Sometimes, I felt like I was losing even my blog because whenever I tried to write, words won't come out. But I won't let that happen. Even when I feel like stopping, there is always a reason to go on.

Just the first half of the year has made me learn a lot of things. I've learned how silence can be powerful, too. I've learned that you must not depend on anyone else for your happiness. That joy comes from within you, and it's far greater than happiness which comes from external forces. I've also learned that sometimes you need to cut negative and toxic people out of your life for good, not because you're a mean person but because you deserve peace. Unexpectedly, I went back to my former workplace. This was definitely not part of the plans I had for myself, but sometimes life is funny. The only thing to do now is to bloom where I am planted. ๐ŸŒธ I'm slowly picking myself up and getting back on track. But I still need your prayers. So please please pray for me! ๐Ÿ™ That I may have the strength to get through this year. I may seem tough, but really, I'm not. I was just born with a resting bitch face. LOL ๐Ÿ˜œ

I also realized that if I want to feel happier, I must... EXERCISE! ๐Ÿ˜… Last month, I was given a very welcome break - a chance to try out Ballet Manila's Adult Summer Program. Ballet Manila is the country’s premier classical dance company, and they have schools in Pasay and Fisher Mall in Quezon City.

Due to my work schedule, I go home late everyday so I wasn't able to attend the weekday sessions. I was able to have a glimpse of Floor Barre though, which was a mix of fitness and classical ballet for adults - no previous ballet training required.

The class was under Teacher Victoria, who was both strict and motivating at the same time.

I tried the class when the Adult Summer Program was about to end, so my classmates were way up in terms of skill and knowledge. My only regrets was not being able to start the classes in April due to conflict with my work schedule. It's been so long since I really moved around and exercised, so I welcome this good kind of pain. The experience was fun and it definitely lifted my mood. Endorphins at work!

Ballet and dance were help me cope and adjust - to be more like my old happy self again. On a greater scale, art changes lives. Let me introduce you to two living proofs: Jamil Montibon and Jessa Balote.

Graceful, strong, and well-traveled. One quick look at Jamil (22) and Jessa (19) will never give you any clue that the two dancers grew up in the slums of Tondo and used to scavenge for a living. As scholars of the country’s premier classical dance company, Ballet Manila, both Jamil and Jessa have been to some of the most prestigious theaters around the world, performing in front of world leaders and society’s elite.

But their journey to success has not been easy. In fact, it was—and still is—riddled with trials. As both continue to dance their way out of poverty, one thing they note that Ballet Manila has provided them with the ability to dream.

“Ballet Manila has helped me aspire for more,” shares Montibon. “Before I entered the company, I was resigned to the fact that I will probably spend the rest of my life on the streets, collecting trash. Ballet Manila has made me realize that I have something to offer to the world. Now, my dream is to become a soloist and travel to more places. I really want to see The Kremlin Ballet Theatre with my own eyes!”

Both Jamil and Jessa are proud products of The Lisa Macuja School of Ballet Manila—an institution that will celebrate 20 years of classical dancing education this month with a recital titled ‘Just Dance 20’.

To date, dancing has taken the two from the streets of Tondo to those of Hong Kong, South Korea, and London. Ballet Manila ensures that their scholars always have a fruitful experience whenever they travel. The company allots time for them to enjoy and immerse themselves in the local culture of the places they visit.

Both Jessa and Jamil were handpicked by Ballet Manila’s Artistic Director and CEO, Lisa Macuja-Elizalde, to become part of the company’s Project Ballet Futures program. According to Elizalde, it was their distinct physical attributes that made her decide to include the two in the program.

“One attribute of Jessa that allowed her to stand out among those who auditioned before is her ability to turn out her legs,” says the famous Prima Ballerina. “Meaning, her ability to rotate her legs 90 degrees to the right and left. Also, she had really clean lines."

"Meanwhile, the strength of Jamil’s legs really impressed me. We asked him to jump on the very first day of the auditions, and he just soared."

Since being accepted in the company, both dancers have undergone classical dance training based on the famous Vaganova style of dancing. Considered by experts and dance enthusiasts as the best in the world, the Vaganova technique served as the foundation of Elizalde’s long and fruitful career—allowing her to reach her dreams of becoming a famous prima ballerina and traveling to places she never thought she’d see in her lifetime.

“Ballet has given me so much and I know that it can give the same to others. The key is really to just keep pushing yourself and to constantly open yourself to learning—not just from your teachers, but from your peers as well. I know for a fact that the Philippines has so much hidden talent waiting to be discovered, and some of those, like Jessa and Jamil, are often hidden away from the spotlight. And that’s why Ballet Manila continues to run Project Ballet Futures.”

Ballet Manila’s Project Ballet Futures is a scholarship program that scouts for potential ballerinas and danseurs in some of the most deprived neighborhoods all over the country. Once accepted, all scholars get free meals, transportation, supplements, dancing gear, and allowance in addition to the full dance scholarship. The program recently held another round of auditions where it accepted a total of 17 new scholars.

“The beauty of dancing is not limited to performances. It transforms people for the better, and that’s one message we want to send out to everyone. Dancing—especially ballet—offers so much more than superficial beauty. It instills discipline and helps uplift spirits,” ends Elizalde.

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Saturday, June 10, 2017

Unboxing & Review: Althea Trouble Breaker Box

Remember when beauty subscription boxes exploded on the internet years ago? I liked the idea of trying out curated products, but I wasn't too keen on the idea of receiving duplicate items. (Yup, that happened often with some boxes. ๐Ÿ™ˆ) Being the segurista that I am, I want to know what's inside the box before I actually shell out money for it. (Yup, I'm boring and practical. LOL) ๐Ÿ˜œ While the hype has died down, I think it's only BDJ left as the last man (or lady) standing that has been releasing Elite Boxes locally.

Anyway, I've been window shopping at Althea for months since I'm on an alleged shopping ban - I think I have too much makeup already! But with skincare, it's another story. My sister was talking about Althea's Trouble Breaker Box one night, and the next day, I received an email asking me if I wanted to do an unboxing for the very same box.


Althea Boxes have different themes and the products are specially curated by the elves from Althea! My box contained 6 full-sized products - all targeting acne concerns.

These limited edition boxes usually cost a little over P1,000 on the average so that automatically means free shipping straight from Korea. (FREE SHIPPING on orders above P999!) The only difficult part is waiting. Based on past experiences my orders from Althea would usually take 2 weeks before they reached our doorstep, but that's fine since I never went through the hassle of having to claim it from our local post office.

What I especially like about Althea is you ALWAYS get fresh and authentic stocks. My sister and I have ordered twice before, and this is actually my third box (but first official unboxing) and all stocks are all newly manufactured. My Trouble Breaker Box had products with expiry dates on 2019 and even 2020.

Althea Box: Trouble Breaker Box (P1,440)

Unfortunately, this box got sold out only days after its release, but I have linked the individual products to Althea's site in case you're interested in purchasing. (Althea Boxes usually get sold out quickly, so you need to act fast when you like what you see!)

We've gone a long way from using cold cream and cleansing oils. I personally love using cleansing water since it's less messy. This one does a good job in removing my daily makeup, and while it's an all-in-one cleanser, I'm OC so I still double cleanse at night. In the morning, I just use this to cleanse my face then I proceed to moisturizer, SPF, and makeup. It contains 100ppm Australian tea tree component to remove excess oil. It has no strong scent, and it's soothing and safe even for sensitive skin.

Just when I thought I did a good job at cleansing... (With any facial wash in general.) Mirror check: My face looks and feels clean. But whenever I use this toner at night, the cotton ball always turns into a dirty yellowish shade. (Yikes!) Those are all pimples waiting to happen, so I'm so happy with how this toner is working its magic without ever drying out my skin.

While I am not really familiar with the brand Swanicoco, the box says to "Trust and use." and so I did. Haha! The box and the toner's bottle itself gives off a premium feel, and when I did research, the toner's price is even more expensive than the Althea Trouble Breaker Box itself! ๐Ÿ˜ฎ It's an acne-specialized toner that helps and prevents skin troubles.

  • Improving tired skin
  • Maintaining clear and fresh skin
  • Moisturizing with no-sticky
  • Elasticity of the skin
  • Delicate scent

At first I thought that this one was a facial wash, because it comes in a big 100ml tube. It turned out to be a moisturizer. Hehe ๐Ÿ˜‚

I've tried the facial wash version from the same Bija line before and I loved it to bits. This moisturizer has a light and watery lotion texture that has a bit of a cooling and soothing feel when applied to the skin. (Nope, no menthol listed in the ingredients. It's mainly due to its light texture vs heavier moisturizers.) It's an oil-free emulsion type of product, so my oily skin takes it with ease. I use this moisturizer on my entire face, and I like how it calms and heals my skin due to its Jeju bija seed oil and salicylic acid. My favorite part of this moisturizer is how my face feels so soft every time I wake up. Squalane is listed 4th on the ingredients list - and this one's an excellent moisturizer and antioxidant.

Pimples that pop up during that time of the month need extra help so I reach for this tea tree oil. This one from Aromatica contains 20% natural tea tree essential oil and 33% natural tea tree leaf extract to purify the skin. Hence the 53 in the product name! ๐Ÿ˜Ž It also contains hypo-allergenic salicylic acid LHA - my skin's BFF. This one forms a thin barrier over the pimple to protect the skin and treat inflammation at the same time. Oh, and it comes with a pack of cotton buds so you'd never need to touch the bottle's tip. (In fact, do not touch the bottle's tip at all with your bare hands to keep bacteria from contaminating it.) This tea tree blemish spot makes my pimples dry up faster.

Missha Speedy Solution Anti Trouble Patch

This small pack I'm preserving for pimple emergencies. It contains 12 pieces of pimple patches similar to CosRX which I've previously purchased, but I ran out even before getting the chance to review it. LOL

Definitly curious about this Icy White Cooling Massager! It's similar to icing your face (literally - with ice cubes) which I used to do way back when I was in high school, but this time it's mess-free! Can I just say how perfect this product is for our hot and humid weather in the Philippines? ๐Ÿ˜

This product is eco-friendly as it doesn't harm the environment, and you don't need batteries or electricity for it. Just freeze the cartridge and use it as needed. Whenever I take this out of the freezer, any droplet of water that touches the smooth aluminum surface turns into a thin ice sheet! It's that cold, and it feels so good on the face. It keeps at the temperature 2°C to 5°C and you can use it for more than 60 hours. You can use this after cosmetic surgery (the material used for this doesn't cause allergic reactions), to relieve swelling, before applying makeup, or even for fever (yup, no need to buy Kool Fever forever!)

Overall, I am very satisfied with the contents of the Althea Trouble Breaker Box. It definitely gives value for money and the products are what my skin currently needs! I will definitely look into the future editions of Althea Boxes, since I get to discover Korean brands that are new to me, and products that I wouldn't have picked for myself in the first place that turn into new favorites... such as the Icy White Cooling Massager. I just can't get over it. Haha! ๐Ÿ˜†

You can purchase Althea boxes here. ๐Ÿ’–

Facebook: Althea
Instagram: @altheakorea


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Sunday, June 4, 2017

Cathy Doll's 1st Anniversary + NEW Products!

One of my fave beauty brands just turned 1! ๐Ÿ’– Happy 1st Anniversary, Cathy Doll Philippines! This brand has captured the hearts of Filipinas with their cute packaging, winning formulations, and affordable pricing. From 6 stores/kiosks when they started, they now have over 30 stores and counting! ๐Ÿ‘ You can learn more about Cathy Doll from my previous blog posts and reviews. ๐Ÿ˜

To celebrate this milestone, Cathy Doll had a fun-filled afternoon with the theme "All Dolled Up with Cathy Doll" at Spatzle in Shangri-La East Wing. (YUMMY!) ๐Ÿ˜‹ When Nikki of Askmewhats invited me to join, I couldn't pass this one even if I had a day job, so I excused myself from work that day to bond with fellow beauty bloggers over good food and new makeup!

Lunch! ๐Ÿ’›

We were asked to come in boho chic attire, and were given pretty flower crowns upon arriving the event. ๐Ÿ’ฎ Our nature-inspired outfits had something to do with the products that was launched that day.

Here are the newest Cathy Doll items to add to your collection of must-haves! ๐Ÿ’„ These new products can help you achieve that natural look everyone's aiming for.

Lovely new items from Cathy Doll!

Cathy Doll Nude Me Liquid Lip Matte (P399)

  • Kiss proof (proven & tested)
  • Conceals lip lines
  • Smudge proof
  • The soft texture offers smooth lip look

I remember trying Cathy Doll's Geisha Hanazakari Lip Matte before where all 5 variants come in bright shades. I liked how it didn't budge, but wished they'd come up with more neutral shades. WISH GRANTED! I was over the moon seeing these new lippies on display. At first glance, they all looked like regular lipstick - only upside down. ๐Ÿ˜ต

The formula dries quickly. When I was swatching the 6th shade, the first one was already completely dry!
Left to Right: 01 True Brown, 02 Nude Brown, 03 Rose Embroidery, 04 Rose Bloom, 07 Moss Rose, 09 Burgundy Red

Once it sets, it won't budge at all. Not with water, not even with soap. My micellar water had a struggle with removing this one, too. It would only come off with an oil-based makeup remover. As of now, there are 6 shades available, but they will be bringing in 3 more to complete the line. I'm definitely loving the nude shades. The 4 shades in the middle are so perfect for everyday wear, but I will definitely use the 2 darker shades for days I want to look extra fierce. I will do a full review on these soonest - lip swatches and all! ๐Ÿ˜˜

As for the eyes, they have 2 new releases: Cathy Doll Nude Me Eyeshadow (P499) in 3 different shadses: Nude, Smoky, and Pink Champagne! Everyone fell in love with Pink Champagne palette during the event.

Cathy Doll Eyebrow Cara (P199)
in Milk Chocolate, Dark Chocolate, Creamy Caramel, and Hazelnut

Ugh the shade names sound so delicious... To be honest, I have never used an eyebrow mascara before. I didn't feel the need since I've stopped having my hair colored, but my eyebrow tattoo is fading to a grayish hue, so I'll be trying out the darkest shade from this line (which is Dark Chocolate) to see if this can make my brows look a bit softer. ๐Ÿ˜Š

Cathy Doll Sculpting Highlight & Shading Cushion (P749)
in Fair Skin and Honey Skin
  • Highlighter to emphasize your features
  • Shading to add three-dimensional appearance
  • Matte finish, grease-free
  • Leaves no rough patches
  • Sweat-proof, water-proof and sun protection

When the Cathy Doll team interviewed me earlier on during the event on which was my favorite among the new products, I immediately said the Nude Me Liquid Lipsticks of course, since I like to do a simple face base and just change my lipstick. However, when I got the chance to play with the Cathy Doll Sculpting Highlight & Shading Cushion, I was so amazed!!! ๐Ÿ˜ Nikki helped me apply this on one cheek, and it INSTANTLY sculpted my non-existent cheekbones! ๐Ÿ˜ฒ I first thought that the highlighting part of the cushion was too small, but the shape proved to be very functional since you just literally stamp on the product once on your cheek and buff away using the puff. Contour newbie Helen was able to do the other cheek successfully, so it's easy to use. I'll share with you swatches soon! I'm just so excited about this product. It comes in 2 shades - Fair Skin and Honey Skin. Fair Skin is the one I'm holding, while the Honey Skin variant has a more yellowish highlighter (not white).

Favorite! ๐Ÿ’


Thank you for inviting me to celebrate with Cathy Doll, Nikki! ๐Ÿ˜—
Thank you to Mr. Lance and Ms. Margaret Lee for bringing Cathy Doll to the Philippines! ๐Ÿ’•

Facebook: Cathy Doll Philippines
Instagram: @cathydollphils


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