Personal: 2014 Year-End Time Capsule

Lifestyle, Personal, Travel

Primary Photo

Everybody keeps on saying it, but sometimes when you’re in a quiet room all by yourself, and reflect on the past few days or weeks of your life, you just can’t help but think about how time passed by so quickly.

Does this happen to you too or is it just me?

I find that I’m always absorbed with work or a particular project and when I emerge from that haze, I feel like time just slipped past without me noticing at all.  I always feel like this a few days before the year ends.   I regret that I wasted so much time.  It’s not so bad for 2014 compared to 2013 because last year, I got to travel a lot and I think I finally found what I would really love to do for a living, but I guess I shouldn’t regret because it did lead me to this point.

So why am I yammering about time you ask?  Well, it’s because this year, I’ve decided to do a recap of my year with a monthly highlight or two.

Ready? Brace yourself because this is one long trip down the memory lane.

01 Jan Macau


was for recalibration

A fresh and new beginning from 2013.  I was really happy to start the year with a trip out of the country.  I desperately needed some time off, away from all the craziness in Manila, and this was just perfect.

01 Jan HK

Trip to Hongkong and Macau

Nothing out of the ordinary since I’ve been to HK several times, but this time we took the time to visit Macau and I organized the trip on my own.  From booking the airline tickets down to the itinerary, my mom gave me free rein since my dad didn’t want to go on the trip. (Don’t ask me why he didn’t want to come along.  I don’t understand either.)

It was really fun and memorable because we discovered how to go around Macau on our own using the free shuttle services and on foot.  I really enjoy traveling, especially when I get to walk around foreign cities, so this was really fun for me.  I was surprised my mom didn’t complain because we walked a lot on this trip. We even took the ferry to Hongkong and from the docking area, we walked to our hotel.  We usually book a room in Marco Polo, which would have been the hotel right in front of the harbor, but this time I booked in the Holiday Inn which is a couple of streets across.  This walk, along with the luggage dragging, is what made my mom complain. haha!

I also went on a couple of solo walks in the evening, hunting for places to eat and makeup shopping.  Yeah, you might recall the makeup haul that took place.  I am yet to open some of the things I bought. Oops.

02 Feb Isabela


recharge and renew

I went home to Isabela for a couple of days to renew my passport, but I ended up renewing much more than just that.  Oh and that’s pancit cabagan in the photo, one of my favorite dishes from Isabela. 

Visited my hometown this month.  It was a really quick trip, and I flew in because I didn’t have time to waste on the drive to and from Manila.  I haven’t gone to Isabela for the whole 2013, and looking back, the visit was something that I never realized I needed until I went back.

Returning to the place where you grew up and everyone knows you is a great way to retrieve something that you lost unconsciously. People remember me as I was the last time I visited and how I’ve always been and that kind of treatment from the people you’ve know your entire life does something to you.  Sometimes, we lose pieces of ourselves without even noticing it until the people who knew you unconsciously return the broken fragments and you’re able to piece it back together.  It’s never the same as before but it’s better than having that gaping hole in your heart.

Am I making sense?  Probably not, but I’m being vague on purpose so it’s fine if you think I went off the rails on that part.

03 March Upgrade


life upgrade

When I started wakeboarding last November 2013, I was excited but I never expected to be a natural at the sport.  I didn’t expect it to become a fever in my blood either.  After receiving my job promotion as PR & Digital Marketing Officer for both Yabu and Ippudo Philippines, I decided to celebrate and finally upgrade to a better wakeboard set up.

Which brings me to the next month….

04 April Injury


setbacks and lesson learned

Picking up where we left off, I upgraded to a new wakeboard set up, started learning how to hit the rails (wakeboard obstacles).  Unfortunately, I injured my right knee on one of those riding sessions.  It was a long and slow road to recovery involving pain, more pain, an MRI scan, several rehab sessions and the worst part?  No wakeboarding until I healed.

I am very thankful to my friend, Louie, who helped me out and took me to the hospital for the MRI scan and rehab sessions, since I couldn’t drive in the early days of the injury. My wakeboard buddy, Jomark, who also skipped riding for 5 long weeks just so I won’t feel so bad about the “suspension” from the wakepark.  Thank you.  You didn’t have to but I really appreciate it.

This is a lesson on not biting off more than what I can chew and to ensure that the odds are in my favor when taking a big risk.  Especially when it involves any of my limbs. haha!

05 May Events


 most eventful month of the year + birth month

Yes, it has to be a collage because too many awesome things happened on my birth month.

  • 2 birthday parties – 1 fun night out with my cousins and friends at 71 Grammercy for the birthday salubong (thanks ate Mae and kuya Jun!) and 1 house party for the family and more friends.  It was one of my best birthday celebrations by far.
  • Wedding – My cousin finally tied the knot with his long time girlfriend at Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar.  Part of the reason why we celebrated my birthday twice was due to relatives pouring in from the US and provinces to attend the wedding.
  • First Solo Trip Abroad – I booked round trip tickets to Cambodia and I was surprised when my parents allowed me to go and even gave me pocket money.  It’s my second time in Siem Reap but first time to travel solo and stay in a hostel.  3 words. BEST. TRIP. EVER. ❤

*Bonus – I started riding again this month!*

06 June AWang


Indulging on New Things

Yes, I finally have the Alexander Wang Rocco Bag!  It’s not the black one that I’ve always wanted but I love this nonetheless.  It’s one of the earlier designs and my dear friend, JP Singson of JP on Fashion Speed,  decided to sell this because he’s outgrown the design already.

He actually had the Black Diego as well, and I was torn between the black one and the design I wanted.  It was a hard decision to make but I eventually picked the Rocco.  No regrets.

06 June windsurf

I was also lucky to catch the tail end of the windsurfing season with a bunch of friends in Anilao.  We stayed overnight at the Philippines Windsurfing Camp, learned the ropes and had tons of fun before heading back to Manila.

07 July


Madness, makeup hoarding and a good break

By “madness” I meant makeup induced madness.  I decided to buy 2 MAC paint pots and the Pure Heroine lipstick due to sheer obsession.  What else would trigger that makeup hoarding?   I also got invited to attend the launch of the Beauty Scents outlet store in Paseo de Sta. Rosa, which is one of the biggest events I’ve been invited to since I started blogging.

  Oh, and as if the makeup haul wasn’t enough, I ended up selling my Liquid Force Peak 2013 board and forked out more cash to upgrade to my dream board, the Liquid Force 2014 FLX.

Oh the joy and the madness.

More madness ensues as I plow through piles of paperwork for VISA applications and travel arrangements, which means we need to hop over to…

08 August Kwi


Reunion and fulfillment of a dream destination

Reunited with one of my best friends who currently resides in Vancouver, Kwi!  Thank you for showing me around downtown Vancouver, Gastown and the delicious dinner at Miku.  ❤ Looking forward to your return to MNL!

This trip was whirlwind of surreal and beautiful destinations, but let me leave you with a gorgeous postcard from Tracy Arm, Alaska.

08 August Alaska

I will work on my travel diaries.  I promise.

   09 September


Return to Reality

Yep.  The trip was amazing.  Now make way because I have a bajillion things to do, and I wish I just made that up but I totally didn’t.

I was away for almost 3 weeks for the Alaska trip and I had zero time to spare when I got back because we had to prepare for the grand launch of the first Ippudo store.

I leave you with several food posts and this photo of me with the mandatory cup of coffee taken during the crazy pre-launch days.  At this point, I was trying to shake off my coffee habit, but I couldn’t because I needed the caffeine boost.  I was even reduced to wearing rubber shoes the day before the launch.  I never wear rubber shoes to work.  The intern from the PR company thought I was an intern as well. lolwut, right?  It’s the trainers.  I swear.

10 October


no rest for the wicked

Yep, work continues to pour in.  After 7 launch parties for Ippudo in Mega Fashion Hall, yes that’s right, 7 as in SEVEN insane parties, we went right back to the drawing board and threw a launch party for the opening of Yabu in Powerplant.  Then the KatsuFor200 a few weeks after.

Rest, is not part of the SHG president’s vocab.

On top of the day job, I also set up a temporary online store for a mini blog sale.  I sold off most of the makeup items that I haven’t used in the past few months….  Or I should probably be honest and admit that I did this to make room for my recent makeup purchases. erm… Yeah, anyway, I was about to say that it was really fun and satisfying to sell them off because I feel bad knowing the makeup is just sitting in the drawer and collecting dust.  I was surprised that I sold almost all of the items and I even earned enough money to get myself a GoPro! ❤

2 birds 1 stone.

I also decided to cut my hair.  Hello lob!  

Oh and yes, I finally landed the Kicker rail this month.  That’s the rail that caused my injury back in April.

11 November


retreat, reflect, strategize, and execute

When November kicked in, I couldn’t believe that I was on a 3 week vacation just a few weeks ago.  I felt seriously drained and in need of some time off.  The weekly wakeboarding trips to Pampanga just weren’t cutting it anymore. When my friend Timmy asked me if I would like to go to Sagada with her group of friends, I jumped in head first and said YES!  Then agonized for the next few hours on how to get my boss to approve another leave request from me. haha!

Good thing she approved it so I left for Sagada the next evening.  I love Alaska, I really did.  I also enjoyed my stay in Canada, but Sagada was just off the charts amazing! I enjoyed the physically challenging activities, the awesome food, great company and inner peace.  For the first time in a long time, I felt totally at peace with myself.

I ended up making a decision that I’ve been putting off for a long time.  I’m happy I did.

So what is the decision?

12 December


closing time

So we’re at the final and present leg of this time capsule.

Before we tackle the heavy stuff, I just want to share that I finally made a separate Instagram account for all my makeup posts.  I’ve accepted the inevitable separation of accounts to keep from spamming my non-makeup-fan followers.

Now, I guess I can no longer delay telling you about it.

This will probably come as a surprise to many of the people I’ve worked with, but I finally bit the bullet and resigned from my current post at Standard Hospitality Group.  I ended my tenure last January 15.

I just want to make it clear, I have nothing against the company.  I loved and enjoyed working for Yabu and Ippudo, and part of me is sad that I will no longer be part of the SHG family and I have to let go of the brands that I handled and helped to build for the past 2 years.  However, I also feel that I’ve done my part and it’s time to move on and begin going after my own dreams instead of making other people’s dreams happen.

It’s finally coming together and I cannot wait to open the next chapter of my life.

2014 taught me a lot of things about myself.  Things I need to change, things I need to relearn and things I need to start doing.

Cheers to a fruitful year filled with friendship, travels, discovery and success.

I am liking you so far, 2015.   Let’s hope this year will be even better than 2014.




Canada x Alaska Travel Beauty Haul

Beauty, Hauls, Lifestyle, Travel

  Hi everyone!

I’m so excited to share this HUGE HUGE haul with you guys.  I went on a trip to Canada and Alaska last August and I have to admit that I sort of went crazy with the makeup shopping.  On a side note, I can’t believe that it’s been more than two months since the trip!  Time is seriously flying by!

Back to the haul, here’s a peek at the massive, wallet burning haul.Primary Collective

I know.  I feel guilty just looking at it.

Okay, maybe not. haha!

But hey, in my defense, I only splurge like this on trips because I’m on a trip.  I mean, how many times do you get to visit Canada or Alaska in a lifetime?  Right?  Besides the travel factor, I always look for hard to find items or good deals.  In this haul, I’m including some gifts, good drugstore and beauty outlet deals a plus a Canadian brand you can’t get anywhere else.

Let’s start with the Sonia Kashuk 15th Anniversary Limited Edition brush set from Target.

SK 1

I didn’t know about this brush set until I was in Canada already.  That means the collection has been out for almost a month by the time I heard about it.  I thought I wouldn’t be able to get a set anymore, and almost almost caved and ordered a set from an online store here in Manila.

Good thing my friend who lives in Canada was able to nab a set for me 2 days before I left for Manila.

You might be wondering, what’s so bad about ordering this locally…

Well, this set is USD 39.99 or CAD 39.99 plus tax.  Mine was about CAD 50.00, which is roughly P2000.00 in the current exchange rate.

The online sellers were selling this for P5000.00, which is 2.5 times the original price.  CRAZY.

sk 2

But it’s so pretty I would have paid P5000.00 for it.  Good thing I didn’t have to.

I’m sure you’re familiar with the next item.


Everyone and their moms have been raving about Hourglass Ambient Lighting powders, so when Hourglass came out with a palette, Hourglass fans got even crazier.  The Sephora exclusive palette is now a permanent in their line and they even came up with a customizable palette for the ambient lighting powders and the blushes.

To be honest, I wasn’t convinced about these powders, no matter how many rave reviews I’ve read or watched on Youtube.  I’ve had this for a couple of months and I’ve been using it on and off.  So far, I am very unimpressed.  I don’t mind spending a good amount of money on makeup, so long as it delivers, but in this case, I can’t justify the fact that this palette is almost USD 60.00 and costs P3500.00 if bought from local online stores.

I’ll be posting a full rant/review when I find the time.

And no, I am NOT getting the blush palette.

Joe Fresh Collective

.I researched about beauty brands I should try in Canada and Joe Fresh was the one that caught my eye.  The liquid lipstick, lip balm, mousse blush, mat lipstick, and cream blush looked really promising in the reviews.  The packaging is also nice and really emulates a “fresh” look.  Very brand appropriate.

You can only get these products in Joe Fresh stores, Canadian Superstore or Loblaws.

  I dropped by the Joe Fresh store in Robson Street at downtown Vancouver and made a trip to the Superstore near Richmond just to get these.  They were in the middle of restocking during my visit so some items were out of stock and a lot of them were on sale.  I did get the items I wanted and some other things on sale.

Let me show you the items I got.

Joe Fresh Cream Blush

I’ve been obsessed with cream blushes lately and these were on sale so I got all the shades they had.  Great deal at CAD 3.95 each!  I haven’t played with these yet, but I’m currently testing the dark red shade on the left.  It works well with my tan and as a lip tint.

Review to be posted as soon as I get to try all the shades.

Joe Fresh Matte Lipsticks

Matte Lipsticks were CAD 6.00 each.  I had a hard time picking colors because they had so many shades and they even have ones with satin finish.

I picked up 3 colors, Bordeaux (dark berry at the back), Raspberry (bright red) and Mocha(nude).

The formula is very light and comfortable on the lips, pigmentation is incredible too.  Love these!

Joe Fresh Mousse Blush

Mousse Blush in Rose and Melon

CAD 6.00 each

They had 6 shades but I picked the 2 most delicious colors.  I say delicious because looking at the tubs makes me want to scoop them out.  They look like ice cream!

Jury is out on these.  I went on a blush splurge on this trip and it’s taking me a while to try everything.  *oops*

Joe Fresh Plum Prune

Joe Fresh Liquid Lipstick – these were CAD 6.00 each, and hands down, this is one of the best liquid lipsticks I’ve tried.  Very similar texture to the limited edition creme de mat from Lancome.

Can you blame me for getting a back up tube? haha!  This is in the shade Plum or Prune.  Most of the shades were in pinky nudes and brights.  This was the only shade that I would actually wear.

Joe Fresh powder blush

The lone powder blush in the rack.  I love the sleek clear plastic packaging.

This was a total steal at CAD 3.00!

I wasn’t able to photograph the Bronzer duo on it’s own, and the nail polish is in a separate photo at the end of this post.  Needless to say, I really hoarded Joe Fresh makeup on this trip. :))

I totally recommend checking out this brand if you ever find yourself in Canada.

MAC haul

But of course, a trip to Canada won’t be complete without MAC!

I am a self-confessed MAC girl, so this shouldn’t be a surprise.

I found the elusive MAC Harmony blush and the limited edition Lingering Kiss lipstick in MAC Eaton Centre for CAD 22.00 and CAD 18.00 respectively.  Contrary to popular belief, MAC is not cheap in Canada.  It’s actually more expensive to buy it there because they have 14% sales tax for retail items.

The good thing was we went to an outlet shopping center near Toronto and there was this beauty outlet store that sells MAC at lower prices.  They don’t have the whole line, just a couple items from the permanent line and a whole bunch of stuff from previous limited edition collections.

I got the Mineralized Skinfinish in Medium Dark and MAC Soft Sand Bronzer from the Hey! Sailor collection 1 or 2 years ago I think? Both were only CAD 29.00 each :0  I wanted to get more stuff but we went there on our last day in Canada (which means I am almost out of cash! haha!) so I had to pare down my purchases and ended up with these two.

The paint pots (Quite Natural and Layin’ Low) were purchased right before I left for the trip, so I decided to include them anyway. haha!

MAC Lipsticks

Oh, new MAC lipsticks.  You make my heart flutter. haha!

MAC lipsticks 2

Three out of 5 were gifts to me.  I bought Lingering Kiss and Pure Heroine myself.  I am on the fence about keeping the Viva Glam Rihanna and Please Me.   Don’t get me wrong, the colors are nice and I actually wanted to buy these shades before they were gifted to me.  But after trying them a couple times, the colors just don’t sit well with me.

Hmm. We’ll see.

Is it weird if I get excited over drugstore makeup?


Because I feel seriously giddy over these Milani baked blushes.

Milani 2

Gorgeous aren’t they?  These are very pigmented and easy to blend on the cheeks.  The colors are gorgeous too!  My favorite is Bellarosa and Red Vino.

I’m seriously kicking myself for putting off buying these.  These are amaaaazing.  The quality is very much at par with MAC Mineralize blushes at just a quarter of the price.

If you’ve been on the fence about getting these, I highly recommend that you go over that fence and buy one already.  You won’t regret it!

rimmel haul

You’re probably thinking crazy Rimmel lady right when you saw this photo.

Rimmel is one of my favorite drugstore brands, and it totally sucks that it’s so hard to find a local online store that stocks Rimmel.  Good thing they were having a sale when I went to superdrug in TO.  Hooooarded lipsticks like nobody’s business.

Rimmel lipsticks

See what I mean?

rimmel lippies

But the colors are just too gorgeous!  Compared to other lipsticks in similar price range, Rimmel beats the other brands by miles when it comes to quality, texture and staying power.

I love my MAC lipsticks but man, these are awesome for P200.00++ per tube.

I did a full review on the Rimmel 107 matte lipstick in my previous post, just in case you want to check it out. 🙂

 rimmel brow pencil

I also got a couple of other items from Rimmel, like this eyebrow pencil.  This is the perfect ashy brown pencil for my brows!  Got these at CAD 4.99 because of the sale.

rimmel wakemeup foundation

Been hearing nothing but good reviews about this foundation so I decided to give it a try.  This wasn’t on sale so it was CAD 13.99.  Quite expensive for a drugstore foundation, but if it does turn out to be a good dupe for the YSL Touche Eclat foundation, it’s actually a pretty good deal.

rimmel wakemeup foundation 2

They have a limited shade range though, so you’re lucky if you have a match for your skintone.

I got the True Nude shade which is a little gray-toned for me.  Will use it some more before doing a full review.


The Rimmel Apocalips is another one of the brand’s seriously raved about product.  I’m not a big lip gloss fan so I only got one shade to try.  This is CAD 4.99 (sale again) in the shade Galaxy.

Full review soon.


Sample and travel size products

I got the MAC moisturizer in Eaton Centre for CAD 12.00 🙂  They also had pigments, mascaras and lipglass in small sizes.

The other samples in the photo came with the Hourglass and Caudalie travel kit I ordered from Sephora.

 caudalie travel set

Speaking of which, here’s the Caudalie travel kit.  Great deal at USD 32.00!  It has my favorite beauty elixir, cleansing water, moisturizer, hand cream and lip balm.

This set is a Sephora exclusive.


Clinique was sooooo cheap on board the cruise ship so I decided to get the All About Eyes eye cream.  USD 27.00 only! 😮

I was tempted to get a backup of the DDL moisturizer but I haven’t touched this new bottle a friend got me from Korea yet, so I held back and included it in the photo instead.


Technically, I didn’t buy these on the trip.  I bought them on a recent S&R sale and I freaking love them!  I think they still have this in S&R stores.  P799.00 or P749.00 for all 5.

Oh, you’re welcome.

Great Lash

Ah, the world famous Maybelline Great Lash Mascara.  I’ve been putting off purchasing this iconic product for yeeears.  I tried it recently and it is mind bogglingly good!  Now I know why it’s one of the fastest selling mascaras worldwide.

I hoarded the remaining waterproof variants from the superdrug stores near our hotel. HOHO.

Did I mention that they were only CAD 3.99 each?

Oh, here’s a little something from Alaska.

GS Soap 1

Glacier silt soap!  Glacier silts are the sand particles in the glaciers.  These are seriously fine granules of sand that gives the glaciers a grayish tinge.  When the glaciers melt during the summer, it also releases the silts into bodies of water.

The silts are so fine that you can’t see it in the soap.

GS Soap 2

This was supposed to be USD 10.00 but I got it on sale in Ketchikan for USD 8.00 🙂

They have so many variants for the scent, but I picked Sea Pickle because the others were mostly floral and fruity scents.

One of the locals said this soap is a very gentle exfoliator due to the silts.

We shall see.  It looks like it will melt very quickly though. haha!

Unto my last few drugstore finds:


L’oreal Voluminous Carbon Black mascara – my lashes don’t really agree with L’oreal mascaras, but I’ve heard so many good things about this mascara that I just have to give it a try.

Picked up random eyeliners too!  The blue one is gorgeous! ❤

manic panic ultraviolet

Want to dye your hair purple?  Don’t panic, we have Manic Panic! haha!  Sorryyyyy, I couldn’t resist!

I finally got my hands on this hair dye!  This is ultraviolet and it looks much more violently purple in person.  I don’t know why it looks blue in the photo.

nail polish

I love Revlon topcoats! Especially the quick dry one.  It’s no longer available in Manila so yes, I had to buy 4 bottles when I was in Canada.  I also found a bottle of the Essie bar glitter top coat, and two Joe Fresh nail polish.

This is a very restrained nail polish haul.  Believe me.

I got some clothes and shoes from the outlet stores in Toronto, but it’s probably better if I don’t include them here.  I feel like I’ve been typing about this haul forever. haha!

So let’s end this with a shot of the souvenirs I got from the 3-week vacation

random alaska stuff

I collect pins like the ones you see in the photo.  It started when I went on a Eurotrip.  I pin them all on a military green beret, which is now seriously heavy. haha!

I also got a hackysack and a mug with a pop out moose and “I Moose Have My Coffee” quote.  I thought it was really funny. :))

So that’s it for this super huge and long haul post.  I felt it was neveeeer gonna end.

I’ve been super busy since I got back and there’s barely been enough time to just sit down and test my new babies.

I really am trying to post more often lately, and I have draft posts for the reviews on the way, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed.

Until my next post!



Beauty: Collective Haul

Beauty, Hauls, Travel

Hi everyone!

Today I’ll be sharing with you a massive collective haul post.  To be honest, I’ve been trying not to post any hauls since I feel like all I ever post are hauls, but I just couldn’t help it.  I think haul posts are so much fun!  I can blog hop for hours just looking at haul posts. haha!

Last weekend, I realized I’ve been stacking all of my newly purchased makeup to one side of my vanity area instead of putting them where they should be.   I usually put them away after shooting the items for a haul post.   After seeing how much stuff I’ve accumulated, I figured it is time for me to write another one.

We have a lot of ground to cover so I divided the products into different categories.

Tip: if this photo looks too dark to you, adjust the brightness of your screen.  I edit photos using maximum brightness to maintain photo quality.

Are you ready to see my recent purchases? It’s a mix of beauty products I hoarded from my recent trip to Hongkong, gifts, online shopping and sale shopping. Now I kind of feel guilty.  Kind of.

Let’s start with Skincare, shall we?  Honestly, I’m not big on skin care since I’m really lazy.  However I am a total hand cream hoarder, and I love trying new bath products.

Yep. I’m a sucker for body creams and hand creams alright.

Bath & Body Works Triple Moisture Body Cream

These were gifts from a tita who recently had a vacation here in Manila.  I love using these, but since they are really thick and sticky, it doesn’t sit well with Philippine weather.  Whenever I use this during the day and I start sweating, it turns into a sticky mess.   I still use it during the evenings though.  This type of body cream is perfect for use during the cold season because it is formulated for use in countries with temperate climate.

The Cream Factory SCRUB-in-a-TUB

(Goat’s Milk and Almond – Yummy Variant P699.00)

My current favorite body scrub!  I just love the scent and fine texture of this product.   The quality is very comparable to more expensive brands.  Most luxury brand scrubs are notable for their non-abrasive texture that still effectively exfoliates your skin.  If you’re on the hunt for those kinds of scrubs, you should definitely try this product!

I posted a review about this scrub recently.  You can read that here.

available at stand alone SNOE Stores &

The Body Shop Absynthe Hand Cream (100mL)

(HKD 130 for 2 tubes)

Don’t you just hate it when your hands get all dry in the mornings?  I tend to have dry, papery textured hands in the mornings so I make it a habit to slather hand cream on before heading out of the house.

I also keep a tub of body butter on my office desk and another one in my bag so I can moisturize my hands when necessary.

This Absynthe hand cream from The Body Shop is one of my favorites.  Absynthe is a new line from Body Shop.  I didn’t like it at first, but the fresh herbal scent grew on me and now, I prefer this over the Almond one.  I love that it’s  light, hydrating and non-sticky.

This 100 mL tube would cost you more than 1000 bucks here in Manila though, so when I visited their outlet store in Hongkong and saw that they’re selling these for half the price, I had to get two.

Le Couvent des Minimes Gentle Cleansing Milk

(P799.00 for 200mL)

I first heard about this product and brand while browsing Bless My Bag and Julia was raving about this cleanser.  She’s one of my favorite beauty bloggers as her site isn’t overtly commercial and I really like her thorough and honest product reviews.

Le Couvent des Minimes is a sister brand of L’occitane, but it is a more affordable line.

I saw their booth in SM Aura last February and I was pleasantly surprised to find that they were having a 50%  off sale on all of their products.  I remembered Julia’s review so I got one bottle to try.  Upon checking the rest of the products from the line, I opted to purchase a pillow mist and mint lip balm as well.

Regular Price: Gentle Cleansing Milk P799.00 || Lip Balm P499.00 || Good Night Pillow Mist P864.00

It was a good, albeit impulse, purchase since I loved every single one of these!  I had a mini panic attack when I read Julia’s post that the brand is being phased out of Manila so I rushed to SM Aura last Friday to stock up on the pillow mist and several things I wanted to try.

Out of curiosity, I asked the saleslady if they really are pulling the brand  out and she told me that they are not and in fact, they just restocked some products because the brand was doing well the past few months.  I was even able to get an extra bottle of the cleansing milk that seems to just fly out of their shelves!

I still purchased several items though just to be on the safe side. lol! They just might change their mind and pull out later anyway.  *fingers crossed*  I have the entire Rose Skincare line now and I’ll be reviewing that soon. 🙂

Le Couvent des Minimes products are on 50% off sale in selected SM Department stores until March 31, 2014.

Being the hoarder that I am, my trip to Hongkong wouldn’t be complete if I didn’t load up on Japanese beauty products.

Luminous Change Falsies in # 10 & 12

(HKD 68.00 each from Sasa)

Japanese falsies are awesome, and I really looked for the ones that looks like demi-wispies because they look more natural than the ones that are uniformly cut.  I already murdered a pair from #12 though. haha!

Andrea Individual Lash Adhesive

(HKD 28.00 at Sasa)

This isn’t anything special, but I needed adhesive for individual lashes and these were really cheap and latex free.  It can be a bit of a pain to remove though since it’s the type that hardens when it dries.

(L-R) Style & Noble False Lash Applicator and Shiseido Lash Curler

(HKD 68.00 & 72.00 respectively from Sasa)

I usually just stick on my falsies using my hands but one of my favorite YouTubers, Wayne Goss, uses a special tweezer like this one to apply falsies so I picked one up to try.

I don’t see the deal about expensive lash curlers, but I figured I should give it a try before making a judgement so I picked up this Shiseido lash curler.  I kind of regret it.  I’ll post a review about this soon and a comparison with my favorite lash curler by Grip.

Stila Written in the Stars palette

This was a  pasalubong from another tita who visited from the States.  I’m not sure how much this is but I do know this is from Stila’s 2012 holiday collection.

The eyeshadows are pretty good and easy to blend, although they aren’t as good as Urban Decay shadows.  I really love the packaging and product placement.  It might be impractical though since the shape of the pans will make it hard to pick up the product when it’s almost out.

I’ve used this palette a couple of times already and it is a good everyday palette.  It’s not something that you have to have, since it doesn’t have any unique shades, but it’s nice to have a neutral eyeshadow palette.  You just can’t go wrong with them.

Urban Decay Naked 3 Palette

(P2500.00/USD 52.00)

I’ve been a big fan of Urban Decay eyeshadows since I got my hands on the Naked 1 palette over 3 years ago.  The texture of the eyeshadows are just phenomenal.  All the shades are super smooth, blendable and incredibly pigmented, so I don’t mind shelling out some extra money for these palettes.

However, it took me a while to jump on the Naked 3 bandwagon (and completely ignored the Naked 2 craze) because I feel like they’ve overdone the entire Naked line already.  Remember Naked Basics and Naked Flushed?  Oh, let’s not even start on the face powder and highlighters.  It’s just too much.

Another reason is I detest anything pink.  As much as I love makeup, I’m not a total girly girl and I avoid owning anything in pink if I can help it.  There’s nothing wrong with it if pink is your favorite color.  It’s perfectly fine.  Personally though, I feel like pink and I will never mix well.  I feel like it screams “girly-girl over here” and that is just not my thing.

Anyhoo, long story short, I have an automatic aversion to pink.  Naturally, I didn’t have any eyeshadows in that color family either.  It wasn’t until Nikki Tiu of gave me a pinky eyeshadow palette that I tried using the color for my eye makeup.

I was surprised to find that it’s actually a flattering color on me.

As I continued to use that eyeshadow quad, I couldn’t quite decide if I should get the Naked 3 palette.  In the end, I obviously did and I was lucky to find it at such a low price.  Online stores usually sell this for P2900.00 up to P3500.00, but I only had to pay P2500.00 for mine.  Just 100 pesos more than the US price.

So far, I am enjoying this palette.  I don’t go all out and use all the pink hues all at once though.  I’ll be posting a more thorough review on this palette soon.

available at and @bonmarchepage on instagram

Sidebar: I thought of getting the Naked 2 palette as well and I could have, just to have the complete set, but I figured some of the Naked 2 shadows are in the Naked 1 palette and some of the darker shades in Naked 3 are similar to some Naked 2 eyeshadows so I decided not to buy it.

Who knows, maybe I’ll get sucked into it eventually.  Or not.

Heroine Make & Fairy Drops Platinum Mascara

(HKD 65.00 & 118.00 from Sasa)

I have a hard time finding mascaras that retains the curl of my lashes, but I’ve been hearing a lot of good reviews about Fairy Drops and the much more obscure Heroine Make mascara so I bought a few to try it out.

Fairy Drops is more expensive since it is more popular and already repackaged for distribution in Sephora stores.  Heroine Make is slowly gaining popularity as well so make sure to try this before they start repackaging it.

Both mascaras are excellent in adding length, lift and volume.  Something that even Lancome Hypnose cannot do for my lashes.

Dolly Wink Brow Tint in Cocoa & Makemania Brow Tint

(HKD 89.00 & 59.00)

I use three products to fill-in my brows every single day. The last product is the brow tint.  My natural hair is black but I like to fill-in my brows with a grey-brown brow powder so I need to use a brow tint to lighten my brow hair.

I haven’t used these yet, but I’m definitely posting a review once I do.  I just need to finish my The Face Shop Brow tint first.

Dolly Wink Brow Pencil & K-Palette Brow Pencil

(HKD 65.00 & 55.00 at Sasa)

I use brow powder to fill in my brows, but it takes me about 10 minutes just to get it perfectly filled-in, and there are times when I simply do not have the patience or the time to do that.  I think brow pencils are the most convenient brow makeup to use because it’s so easy to use.  You can have perfectly filled-in brows in less than five minutes.

I like my brows to look ash brown instead of black or red brown, and Dolly Wink Cocoa is just perfect for me.  I haven’t tried the K-palette one but I’ve used the liquid pen before so I think they will be pretty similar.  It’s good too but it has a red undertone which I’ve come to dislike in the past few months.  Nevertheless, I’m reserving judgement until after I use it.

This part of the haul has been long overdue.  Got these items online last November.  (see what I meant by overdue? haha!)

Real Techniques Brushes – Sam’s Picks set

(P1750.00 – The Vanity Zone)

I’ve had my eye on this ever since it came out.  I like the multipurpose brush and buffing brush, but they aren’t available individually, plus I didn’t really care for the other brushes that comes with them in a set, so this is a great way to get both brushes.  I like all of the brushes in this set except for the flat foundation brush.  IDK, I like flat foundation brushes but I think this is way to small for a foundation brush.

Still, I think this is a good brush set.  Although, I don’t recommend this for makeup beginners as it doesn’t have all of the basic brushes you will need.

Revlon Matte Balms

(Sultry, Elusive, Mischievous, Shameless)

(P520.00 at The Vanity Zone)

The first time I saw a review on this by a Youtuber, I knew that I had to have the purple one right away.  Unfortunately, it takes a while for new Revlon products to arrive here in Manila.  I had these pre ordered last year and I got them way back in November, but I never got around to posting about them.  I also ordered a couple of other colors, but the more intense shades are your best bet when it comes to this product.  Sultry and Shameless go on smoothly and opaque in just one swipe.  They also stain and fade evenly.  I find the other two lacking in pigment and staying power.

Overall, these are great!  Since I like my lip color to be matte, I prefer this over the kissable balm stains and the lacquer balms.

I’m thinking of getting Striking and some of the nude shades now that these are more widely available. You can now get these in Revlon counters for P575.00 each.

K-palette Kuma Concealer, Bourjois Healthy Mix Concealer, Flower Cream Blush

(HKD 95.00, 109.00 and 23.00 respectively.  All items are from Sasa)

For someone who used to dislike concealers and cream blushers, I’ve been purchasing too many of these lately.  I blame it on tanning and the summer heat!  It’s making me reach for products that feels lighter on the skin without sacrificing the staying power.

My skin has gotten a lot darker recently so most of my face products no longer match my skintone.  </3 It’s a sad thing, I know.  BUT it still works to my advantage because I finally got to use the Kuma Concealer that I couldn’t use before.  It used to be a shade too dark once it oxidizes, but now it’s a perfect match.  I’ve been using this just to cover up blemishes and my under eye circles before setting it with powder.  It evens out my skin tone perfectly and it doesn’t crease or budge the entire day so it works out pretty well.

Because I’ve been using it a lot, I used up about a third in a month so I restocked when I was in HK.  It costs less that P600.00 there but if I buy it here it will cost P900.00.  The 50% markup is just cray!

While I was in HK, I remembered reviews about Bourjois.  I’ve seen their products in Singapore last 2012 but I wasn’t really enticed to purchase any of it since I haven’t seen reviews on it.  After seeing a lot of rave reviews, plus the fact that their products are manufactured by the same company that makes Chanel cosmetics, I would be insane not to try it out right? 😛 Unfortunately, the cream blushes aren’t available in HK and the other products were just so-so so I settled for the Healthy mix concealer.  I’ll let you know how it goes.  🙂

Last thing in this section is this wonderful bargain find!  HKD 23.00 for a cream blush?!  Crazy kind of awesome! I picked one up to try and the coral shade is just perfect if you want to get a sunkissed look.  It’s not a cream to powder finish cream blush so it’s easier to work with.  It doesn’t streak and it sets into a dewy finish which is really lovely.   This is a bit hard to find because it’s in the bargain bin where everything is just dumped together and you’re left to scavenge for hidden gems.

Bourjois Maxi Format Makeup Remover (HKD 59.00)

This was a great find in a Bonjour store in HK.  It works just as well as the Lancome Bifacil makeup remover but you get so much more product at a lower price.

Rosy Rosa Point Makeup Remover

(HKD 40.00 from Sasa)

I’m curious about this as I haven’t tried any on-the-spot makeup remover yet. However, haven’t used this yet so I can’t tell you if it works well.  In any case, the pencil format makes it easy to use and carry around in a makeup kit.

Caudalie Hand and Nail Cream, Caudalie Lip Conditioner and Lavshuca Eye Liner

(Caudalie set HKD 75.00 Lavshuca liner HKD 70.00)

If you’ve been reading my old blog, you would know that I am a big fan of Caudalie.  The hand cream is one of the best I’ve tried and this lip balm is really good! I favor lip balms that aren’t viscous or too slick.  This one hits the perfect note between the two.

I’ve been using the K-Palette eyeliner for a while now and while I do like it, it is pricey at P800.00 for an eyeliner.  Even the P600.00 price tag in HK is expensive. I was browsing online and I saw several posts on the Lavshuca eyeliner.  It was more afforadable at HKD70.00 so I thought I should give it a try.  I’ll give this a whirl once I finish my current line up of eyeliners. 🙂

Beauty Bargain Tip: In case you are in HK and you plan to shop for beauty products, make sure to canvas for prices of products in several Bonjour and Sasa stores first.  It can be overwhelming as the way they display items are just crazy!  I suggest that you check Sasa to see if they have the items that you want as they have the most organized display of stocks, then check Bonjour if they carry that item then compare the prices.  A lot of items are usually HKD 10 cheaper in Bonjour, especially the Dollywink, K-palette and Heroine Make products.  This is something I learned a little too late.

WHOOHOO! We’re finally done!  I feel like I’ve been typing on and on with this post! CRAY!

I’ve been using some of the stuff in this post for a while now and they are definitely going to be in my favorites for the month of March!  Watch out for the next posts!  I’ll be posting about my March Favorites and Summer beauty essentials.

I hope you guys enjoyed this post.  Let me know if there’s a product you’d want to see a review on.

As always, thank you for reading!