Sunday, March 10, 2013

Back from outer space!

I am the worst beauty blogger in the world. I hardly update this! It's so much easier to update my personal blog and my mommy blog, even my work blog. Beauty blogging is hard!

That's Kate on far right.
I'm only sneaking back here because Kate Alvarez of the beauty site BDJ Box just cited this blog as one of the beauty blogs to bookmark. Don't believe it? I didn't either until I clicked here. PANIC! There's not much here, Kate!

So now I will update this blog. I'll start on... Monday haha.

Have a beautiful weekend!

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Street fashion in Paris at Winter

Okaaaay, this being the Philippines, winter fashion is non-existent. We only buy the winter stuff for when we travel. Yep, that's the only time I bring out my coats and leathers and muffs and gloves. So I'm not really interested in winter clothes but since I'm subscribed to Refinery29 and this story on winter street style came up, I browsed through it and totally got floored at the Parisian girls.

Seriously, if that's what Parisian girls wear, then I need some seriously fab clothes when I visit Paris.

*all images from Refinery29

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Dry body brushing

Okay, after my feature on Divasoria's Glossy, many people are asking about dry body brushing. Since Twitter's 140 characters can't contain all the wonders of this regimen, I decided to blog about it!

I'm really skinny. My friends always tell me, "Why are you always covering up? If I were skinny like you, I'd be in shorts and tank tops every day!' Well, the reason is one ugly word: cellulite.

When I turned 30, dimples appeared on my butt and thighs. Not a lot but they were spreading. After I gave birth at 33, I was suffering from post-pregnancy cellulite like you can't imagine. Cellulite on thighs, arms, butt, stomach. Nothing got rid of it. Then I got pregnant again and after I gave birth, cellulite quadrupled. I've tried all the creams and exercises. Nada. I could live with the stretchmarks but cellulite was just damn ugly.

Then I read on her website, Kora, that Miranda Kerr—only my peg on looking absolutely fabulous!—uses dry body brushing on her beautiful mommy body. And so I have done the same.

Dry body brushing is brushing your entire body with a brush. Ya, it really is as simple as that. Your skin and brush have to be dry so it's a bit painful at first. You also have to be naked so you can brush every inch of skin. So do this in the shower. Here's a long video on it. It's very home video so be patient but it's the most comprehensive one I found.

I find it so interesting how her mouth hardly opens when she talks!

Anyway, I started dry body brushing last September. I use a long-handle brush I bought from MUJI for about P700. I think Body Shop has nice ones, too.

I count 10 strokes per side. So it's like 10 strokes on the top of my foot, 10 strokes on the sole, 10 strokes on my shin, 10 strokes on my calf, front thigh, back thigh, butt cheeks. And so on and so forth. Ten strokes on every exposed part of me! The brushing exfoliates your skin so you get softer and smoother. I brush towards my heart, towards my lymph nodes. This stimulates blood circulation, which facilitates distribution of oxygen and vitamins and minerals all over your body and to your skin, and flushes out toxins.

That was the first thing I noticed actually—the flushing out. As the woman in the video mentioned, and I hope you don't get disgusted by this paragraph, you'll really notice your bowel movements change. I've always been constipated. In the first week of dry body brushing, I noticed that my toilet appointments have become more regular and much easier. But my cellulite was still there. I figured, "Okay, my skin still looks awful but at least I'm no longer constipated!" So I continued with the brushing.

After a month (yes, just one month!), I noticed that my skin was less dimply. Much smoother. Bowel movements still regular. After almost three months, I have no more cellulite on my limbs. No more cellulite! I look so frikkin' good!

I still have some bumps and dimples on my tummy, though. Really still ugly. So no bikinis for me. Yet!

Try dry body brushing! I highly recommend it!!!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Unboxing my first beauty box, the super sulit BDJBox!

Oh hello! I disappeared again! But I came back because I just had to tell you the coolest thing ever, beauty-wise: beauty boxes!

I've never heard of such a thing but it's the hottest thing these days. What you do is you subscribe to a beauty box service and every month you get a box of goodies, in sample sizes mostly, usually about 5 products. This allows you to test a few products every month and find out which works for you, without fully committing to a big bottle or tube. It's such a clever idea, I wonder why I didn't come up with it! I guess that's because I'm not clever enough!

My very first beauty box is fantabulous. BDJBox!!! I'll let the photos tell you why I'm so excited about BDJBox:
Meet the pretty box. You just know it's filled with goodies!

Oooh, tissue paper just heightens the anticipation, don't you think?

The theme of the October box is Parisian beauty.

Oh wow, so many goodies!

And all that for a mere P480! Yep, that's all you have to shell out. Subscription fee starts at an incredibly low price of P480 and you get a box na super siksik with amazing beauty products!
There are many subscription packages to choose from. You can try it monthly, for three months, six months and even one year!

Creating an account with BDJBox also gives you access to beauty tips and tricks from some of the best beauty experts in this country. I'm talking about my friends!

Erica and Nicole were beauty editors of the country's two top women's magazines, Kat was the fashion editor of the Philippine edition of the world's biggest women's magazine, Kate used to be the fashion and beauty editor of OK! (yes, my magazine!), Tara is a popular beauty blogger, and Barbi is one of the hottest makeup artists ever! The former editors have left their magazines for bigger and better careers and BDJBox was able to get them all as a team!

Now, who wants a BDJBox? You do? Well, BDJBox is feeling generous! You can win your own box and here's all you need to do:
1. Tweet your answer to this simple question: "What's your best beauty discovery?"
2. Follow @FrancesASales and @BDJBuzz.
3. Tag @FrancesASales and @BDJBuzz when you Tweet your answer. 
4. Use the hashtag #BDJBox in your Tweet.

So for example, I would Tweet this: "@FrancesASales @BDJBuzz My best beauty discovery is SK-II Facial Treatment Essence and Souq Organics Moroccan Argan Oil! #BDJBox"

Tweet contest ends on Wednesday, November 7, which happens to be my birthday. So yup, this is my birthday gift to one reader! I'll announce the winner at 6pm via Twitter and my Facebook page.

For more on BDJBox, click here.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

shu uemura + Karl Lagerfeld = FAB!

I love the new collection of shu uemura! It's a collaboration with famed designer Karl Lagerfeld. Yes, of Chanel fame. Which makes me wonder why he didn't work with Chanel's makeup instead! Well, Lagerfeld answered that question at the launch (via video, haha, he wasn't there personally!). He said that no other makeup brand has the amazing colors that shu uemura has.

That is true. My job as a magazine editor has exposed me to a lot of makeup but, yup, nothing beats the pigments of shu uemura. When it comes to color, get shu uemura. My eye shadows and blushes are shu uemura.

Anyway! Lagerfeld's line for shu is called the Mon Shu Uemura. It's French for My shu uemura. Lagerfeld's signature black tie and white shirt is worn by the Mon Shu Girl he sketched himself. It's so cute and quirky!

For a better idea on what the products look like (and their correct colors), here are the official product shots:
Two beauty icons! Karl Lagerfeld and shu uemura's premium cleansing oil!
Must have before makeup! UV underbase. 
Makeup palette
One of the shadow palettes.
The bestselling lash curler with the rubber pad in blazing red.
Need more lashes? Try these!
Red lipstick. It's all you really need actually. 
That is the most flattering shade of red polish!
Add nail art stickers for instant designer nails!

Fab fab fab! Okay, I turned the next photos black and white. A little tip to events organizers: Never ever use lights that are blue and pink and other colors. Never! It messes with people's skin tones. Everyone looked either 100% cyan or 100% magenta. Sorry, had to use print publishing terms.

And if it's a product launch—whether it's makeup or clothes—the colored lights mess up the products' real colors, too. That is not a good thing. For example, the makeup above. The eyeshadows look muddy.

So always mimic sunlight. Take my photo above, for example. I posed near a window. So I look normal. No blue tones on my skin. Blue tones give people a deathly pallor. Hence, the B&W pictures below. Everyone either looked like zombies (blue) or lobsters (red). Such a shame because everyone from shu uemura looked amazing!

This is the always chic Nina Solano. Happy birthday!
Super cute and stylish Karen Crisostomo. You met her here.
My friend, shu uemura makeup artist John Pagaduan, weaving his magic using the shu x Karl makeup.
John always makes me so beautiful (see proof here)!
Beauty bloggers cluster around John to learn his secrets.
The finished makeup on the models. Sorry, no colors! Really such a shame. The makeup was gorgeous.
But the cameras couldn't capture it because the lights washed out the colors.
The shu uemura Philippines team!

I super love shu uemura's new collection! Actually, I love anything shu. And so will you! The special shu uemura x Karl Lagerfeld Collection is available at shu uemura boutiques at Power Plant Mall, Shangri-la Plaza, Rustan's Makati, Alabang Town Center and Trinoma.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Kiehl's Power Plant now open for business!

Kiehl's just opened a new branch at Power Plant Mall. Hooray! My family has always loved Kiehl's. My husband Vince is the real fan—nearly all his grooming products are Kiehl's. I use the hair thickener and sunscreen. My babies use the foaming baby wash. Yup, we're fans!

But with their boutiques at Greenbelt 5 and Mall of Asia, I haven't really been able to buy the products my family loves. But now that there's a Kiehl's shop 5 minutes from my home, my new problem's going to be I ahve to stop myself from shopping too much!

I was at the opening event last week. It was an all-day affair and beautiful women and well groomed men were dropping by throughout the day. I passed by after lunch. If I had known there was going to be a buffet, I'd have eaten lunch there instead!

Here are photos of the event, plus the luscious products I brought home to try.
Kiehl's originated from New York City in 1851.
The decor is very NYC.
The pasta bar and other edibles.
Munchies and dessert station
With MEGA's beauty team, Kim Reyes-Palanca and Max Ignacio
This is the new Aromatic Blends Collection. It includes body cleansers, lotions and fragrances.
The scents are sourced from around the world in sustainable ways.
Here are the fragrances! I liked the bottle of Nashi Blossom & Pink Grapefruit best.
My husband's order. He super loves this facial foam.
This is my hair essential since I have the thinnest, finest, flattest hair in the world. 
The Kiehl's team recommended I try this. I'll give a review soon! I hope it works!
I love argan oil. It rid me of pimples! So I'll try it on my body, too, with these.
Truly excited that Kiehl's is so near us now! I urge you to drop by the new boutique at Power Plant. It's on the second level, near the center of the mall. You can't miss it. Now, if unlike me, you live noweher near Power Plant, other Kiehl's boutiques are at Greenbelt 5, Trinoma, Mall of Asia and Alabang Town Center.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Daphne Oseña Paez sent me Vaseline lotions

I love that the new endorser of Vaseline Healthy White Perfect 10 is Daphne Oseña Paez. She's such a gracious woman. When she sent out gift packs to her friends, she put the lotions in a sturdy cream box and enclosed a personal note in each.

Perfect 10. She says I'm a Perfect 10. I think only my husband thinks that of me. So it's really sweet that another person—an amazing woman at that!—thinks I'm a Perfect 10, too.

A lot of times, wives and mommies and career women forget to take care of themselves. There's always something to do, something more important, more urgent. And then when we end up looking old and ugly, we console ourselves with the thought that we sacrificed ourselves for the more important things in life. Well, that's nice. Very noble. But unnecessary! It's totally possible to love ourselves and love our families and careers!

Vaseline's lotions make that easy. They're multi-tasking (whitening, nourishing, moisturizing, protecting and anti-aging!). They're fast absorbing. And they're affordable. Perfect for busy women everywhere!

I haven't tried the Healthy White line yet, to be honest. I'm still using the Total Moisture line. I am currently finishing my bottle of Aloe Fresh. I super love it. It's light, smells fresh, absorbs fast and I am really truly smooth and moist (but not greasy) all over.

Best of all, my husband likes massaging the lotion on me! And this is a man who hates greasy, thick, perfumed lotions. Vaseline's lotions passed his test. And mine! Definitely recommending these! You can buy Vaseline from any supermarket and drugstore. Be a Perfect 10... just like me (according to Daphne)!

*Daphne photo from Philippine Star

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Loving shu uemura's new Supreme Matte Lipstick collection!

My friends will tell you that I've been on the hunt for a hot pink lipstick. Not a pretty pink, pale pink, sweet pink, bridal pink, virgin pink. I've been looking for a pink so hot, your eyes will melt with one look. Yup, hottest pink! And I finally found it in shu uemura's latest Rouge Unlimited Supreme Matte Lipsticks!!!

The new matte collection has a ton of shades but what's currently available in Manila are just 6 shades: (from left) brown, nude, hot pink, hot red, light pink, pink.

Unfortunately, I can't seem to do a proper color correction of my photos. The shades above are super saturated. They don't look like that at all. Sorry!

Here I am at shu uemura Power Plant to test the hot pink shade (MPK 376):

That pink is much brighter in person. It makes my lips scream. It's super hot! The lipstick is matte but it goes on smooth and creamy. My lips didn't feel dry at all. Its super ingredient is ceramide. I looked it up in Wikipedia and I didn't understand a lot about ceramide. But I did see that it's a fatty acid. Our skin naturally has ceramides—it's what holds our skin cells together. Somehow, shu uemura was able to add this to its lipsticks.

I'm super in love with my new hot pink lipstick. But when I saw shu uemura's Karen wearing the hot red, I wavered. I've been looking for a vibrant red lippie, too!

Each tube of the Rouge Unlimited Matte Supreme Lipstick is just P1,195. Now before you complain that that's too much for a little tube, consider that it's so deeply pigmented, just a few swipes will do! Your little tube will last a long long time.

I also got a super cute limited edition shu uemura tote. Hmm. Looking at the illustration... Maybe I should get bangs, too. My post-partum hair loss is freaking me out. I'm getting balder by the day!
But at least my lips look great!

Make sure you drop by shu uemura this weekend. The Matte Supreme shades are in limited quantities so get your coveted color now!