Month: January 2015

Casual to Corporate

“Make it simple, but significant.” – Don Draper

As I get older, I find myself investing more in simple pieces that go a long way. One such example is this navy blue knit dress, which has been in my closet for 4 years now. I like how you can wear simple dresses like this to almost any event.

It looks like something you can wear for your Sunday’s best, as well as casual day outs, simple dates, then layer with a blazer for a more corporate look. It’s also very easy to amp up, with a few details like jewelry and the right bag and matching footwear.

It’s also one of the dresses that I frequently abuse when I’m too lazy to think of something to wear to a not-so-fancy-but-not-too-casual affairs.

For this look, I added on a dainty layer of necklaces of different lengths, and kept it simple with neutral colored footwear and bag.

The necklaces make the look more dressy, which was what I was going for since I was out with friends then.

I’m definitely getting more pieces like this dress, classic and still true to my personality.

I love these quilted flats as well, giving a subtle spin to the classic ballerina flats.

What’s your go to all around piece?

Dress: Penshoppe
Necklaces: Pretty Little Blings (@prettylittleblings)
Flats: Spring (@springmanila)
Bag: Forever 21

Scatter Sunshine

“Nobody needs a smile so much as the one who has none to give. So get used to smiling heart-warming smiles, and you will spread sunshine in a sometimes dreary world.” – Lawrence G. Lovasik

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I love taking photos during golden hour, the sun’s rays just give a certain whimsical feel to every shot. I love everything, the glow, the way the light hits the right places to get a beautiful silhouette, it’s just so flattering in every way.

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This set was actually taken around September last year, before I had my ombre hair done, so the highlights and lowlights are actually missing from my hair.

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Anyway, it was a shopping day then, so I opted for an outfit that I could easily change in. A breezy top, denim shorts, and comfy mandals did the job. 

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I was also sort of into the festival hippie vibe so I wore a big hat and a pair of heart sunnies to match.

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I think my look matches the whole bright and sunny thing right? 

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I also think this look would work great for summer or travelling. Like say, the beach, don’t you think this is great with a beach in the background? 

What do you think of golden hour?

Top: Mango

Shorts: 7 for All Mankind

Mandals: Sewn Sandals (@sewnsandals)

Bag: Rags 2 Riches, Inc. (@rags2richesinc)

Heart Sunnies: Onymous Online Shop (@onymousonline)

photos by Ben Bigalbal

Makeup with Mikki Galang

There are days when I feel like I don’t look presentable, usually because of my skin. Getting sunburned, really flaky dry skin, or even blemishes like zits tend to be a damper for my day.

For those days, I wear makeup to brighten my mood and to enhance my features instead of sulking. I get really big pimples on the nose once in a while, so I tend to get really self conscious on those days. 

Back then, I just piled on a lot of concealer to hide the redness, I had no idea there were proper ways of application, or steps to even the tone, without putting too much on.

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Then I started attending Mikki Galang’s makeup workshops, I went to the very first one, a basic workshop. I never got around to blog about it, but that workshop is the basis of my beauty looks to date. Since then, I’ve been going to Mikki’s workshops whenever my sched permits, and I’m slowly getting more confident with the skills I have developed so far.

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I went to her latest workshop in collaboration with Make Up Forever afew months ago. This time around we were introduced to the Holiday makeup trends, and what would work best with the season’s abundance of parties.

I know, this post is late since the holidays just passed, but I think what she taught us here can be used in other seasons, with a switch of color options.

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She emphasized two techniques at the workshop, 1) Layering or adding shimmer, and 2) Lower Liner.

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I lifted this one directly from Mikki’s blog, (mikkigalang.com)

1. Layering / Placing shimmers/pigments – which is really based on the basics of eye contouring (highlighting the eyes) but making it more dimensional. With the use of the new Artist Shadows especially the diamond variant as base, and placing extra dimensional pigment/shimmer on areas such as the upper and lower inner corner of the eyes, and the brow bone. Mixing colors/shimmer products can also enhance the effects wanted.

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Can I just say, I’m really loving the artist shadows!!! I love the creamy texture and how pigmented they are!

The layering technique is sort of doing a smoky eye, except starting with a light base, and building depth with complementing colors.

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For the coming Valentine’s season, I say season because the Valentine’s Day theme seems to go on the whole month of February, you can use the same technique with earthier colors, as well as pinks and warm purple hues. I’m prolly going to do a peach base, then add depth with a deep brown or dark purple, then add pink. Finish with thin eyeliner, mascara and nude lips for full effect.

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See the shadows? They’re all so pigmented! You should see the palette with blues and greens, it’s even more spectacular. I have to give it up to Make Up Forever for coming up with really great eyeshadow pigments.

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For the second look, the emphasis was on putting bold colored eyeliner on the lower lash line. The colors for the holiday season were lime green, cobalt blue, military green, and surprisingly, it actually looked good on the model.

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I’m not a fan of putting anything on the lower lash line because I feel that it smudges too easily and doesn’t stay long. I really don’t like constant retouching so it might be a hassle. For Make Up Forever’s eyeliner’s though, they are waterproof, and highly pigmented, so I guess that makes it better for the lower lash line. Do remember that you should draw just below the lashes and not on the lash line. It looked better with black eyeliner on the lash line, then the bold colors just below that.

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The next part of the workshop is a practical exam. HAHA. Seriously though, Mikki told us to pair up and create looks using the technique she just showed us, and top looks would win goodie bags!

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I paired up with Kat of kikaysikat.com and we got to work immediately, picking palettes that would work for us. We decided that I’d do makeup on her, since the holiday colors suited her outfit more than mine.

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The most challenging part was the lower liner because we were afraid to overdo it. We used a light bronze hue for the base, then teal and emerald greens for dimension, then blended well using the diamond shimmer from the new artist palette. For the lower lash line we blended a lime green one and a dark green one.

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For the rest of the face, we stuck to neutral hues. Barely there blush, and slight contouring, as well as a nude lip. In the photo above Kat really loved the nude lippie we found, because it matched her really well!

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After presenting everyone’s looks, Mikki announced that we were in the top picks! Yay! I love how our look turned out, but the other teams did great as well, so I thought we weren’t going to get picked. It felt like I was one of Mikki’s top students! HAHA 

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To end this post, I’d just love to share how I admire Mikki. She’s a very vocal transwoman, standing strong in a culture that doesn’t easily welcome the LGBT community. I’ll always be her supporter, and a good friend. It’s been a great pleasure meeting you as one of my favorite blogger friends Mikki!

Cool Mint

“If the sight of the blue skies fills you with joy, if a blade of grass springing up in the fields has power to move you, if the simple things of nature have a message that you understand, rejoice, for your soul is alive.” – Eleonora Duse

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Last year, I was able to finish the 100 Happy Days challenge on Instagram. After finishing that, I got to appreciate everything around me more than before. I found happiness even in the simplest of acts, reading a book at a quiet cafe, seeing really nice cloud patterns, random acts of kindness, and a whole lot more. Times spent with my loved ones, family, friends have especially been more touching, and I documented them better this time around.

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These days I find myself still feeling that way, because really, a little appreciation goes a long way. One thing I realize I have been doing a lot lately is looking up the sky and looking for fluffy clouds, rainbows or birds. Especially in the morning before I walk to the office, I look up, see if the sky’s changed color yet, or if the sun is extra bright today.

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I think it is because of this habit that I have been getting more attracted to pastel hues like powder blue. Take my outfit for example. When I saw it on the rack, I immediately got it, without even fitting the dress or checking other colors available. I loved the bird print, and the pretty pale blue hue.

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It must really have been made for me, because the dress fit me well. It was made of really great material, thick but sturdy, stretchy, and breathable. I love how it’s bodycon but it isn’t tight on me, so it’s so comfy to wear!

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It’s one those dresses that are simple, easy on the eyes, and are very versatile. You can wear it on a casual day out with your friends, to family gatherings, and date nights. It’s very modest, but also great for a lot of figures.

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I also love how these photos turned out. I was initially worried that my dress was too light blue it would look white in photos, but it doesn’t. Blue is also a universally flattering color, so it complemented my complexion well.

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To keep everything really simple, since the dress is pretty on its own, i just accessorized with a bag, matching mint green heels, and a few rings, as well as earrings and a bracelet. Notice that pretty ring-bracelet connector I have on? I love how a simple arm party can add attitude to a simple dress.

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To match my look, I did floral decals on my nails, which was my first time btw. I even watched a tutorial on Youtube on how to apply nail decals! I really love how my nails look. Plus a peacock feather flash tattoo just for extra detail.

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This photo was actually Rhea’s concept. Haha. If you see her on Instagram, she’s usually posting a lot of very hipster photos, so I take her advice seriously. Thanks babe!

Dress: The Urban Hour (IG @theurbanhour)

Ring-Bracelet and Earrings: Pretty Little Blings (IG @prettylittleblings)

Peacock Feather Flash Tattoo: Cesa (IG cesaph)

Floral Nail Decals: Kuko Republic (IG @kukorepublic)

Mint Green Slingback Heels: Mango

Chain Strap Leather Bag: Tory Burch

Anyway, what do you think of my inspired by the-simple-things look?

Lose that Holiday Weight

Let’s face it, we all gained a little weight because of the holidays. I haven’t even been on a weighing scale for months, but judging on how my jeans seem to be tighter these days, I’m guessing I gained a few pounds. 

Before you go ahead and beat yourself up over gaining those extra pounds, stop yourself. It’s okay! You had fun in the holidays, you enjoyed your time spent with the people you love over good food and drinks. My December has been filled with Christmas parties week after week, and in every one, I have over indulged myself, getting caught up in the merriment. Also, when I had my SG vacation, my family overstuffed ourselves with really good food!

Now it’s time to get back in shape!

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Over the years, I’ve devised my own method to lose the holiday weight. In this post, I’m sharing tips and steps, all of which are effective for me.

 1. Start

The first step is to simply start, go out, walk around, climb the stairs, anything! Think about Dory’s, “Just keep moving”, and start by doing stuff around your home. Be it dancing around while cleaning, or breaking a sweat by playing with your siblings or younger cousins.

If you already have a preferred sport or activity, just pick up where you left off! It only takes one tiny step to your fitness goal. Exercising is difficult, so start out with activities you like to do, then progress to the more complex ones when you get comfortable.

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For me, I find working out a great stress buster. Studies show that an active lifestyle gives you more endorphins, which explains why a lot of my fitness buff friends are addicted to the gym! Before December, i found myself addicted to boxing, going 3 times a week even, because I love the feeling of accomplishment after a good workout.

2. Find inspiration, plan workouts and set realistic goals.

My current fitspiration is Filipino-German personal trainer to Madonna, Nicole Winhoffer (photo below). She’s currently the face of adidas for Stella McCartney’s newest line, and I can’t stop raving about her fab figure! I like how her figure looks very reachable, and how gorge she looks in the adidas campaign.

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For your goals, you can set one main goal (say for three months), and set weekly goals to get to that main one. Losing about 1-2 pounds per week is usually my weekly goal, losing more is a plus!

My main goal is either to fit into an old pair of jeans, or fit into a smaller size, or lose a certain number of pounds. Whatever your main goal is, make it specific so you have a solid idea of what you want to achieve. 

Make sure to write your goals and plans down, it makes it more official, and will push you more. 

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Create a schedule of your workouts or activities, and always track your progress. Knowing that you are getting closer to your goal will push you even harder to go that extra mile.

My schedule usually consists of alternating between running, boxing and the Spartacus workout. I read about the Spartacus workout on Women’s health magazine, which is a circuit training set done for about 30 minutes. I usually do Spartacus 2-3 times per week then alternate boxing or running between those dates. you can search the Spartacus workout online, it has versions for both men and women. It’s also good to alternate between high and low intensity workouts, so you don’t get fatigues easily and get to improve endurance.

Don’t forget to be patient. There will be times when you feel like your efforts aren’t doing you any good. But really, it may just be that your body is adjusting to your new routine. 

3. Rest and change it up once in a while.

If your body tells you it’s tired, rest. Resting will give your body time to recuperate and build more muscle in the process. Say you’ve got your workout schedule, put in about 2 rest days per week. Driving your body too hard will only slow down your progress.

If doing the same workouts doesn’t sit well with you, change it up once in a while. Say increase the number of repetitions for your workout, or do the activities faster. You can also try a new workout for a change of scenery.

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For me, I’m thinking of doing yoga again this year, like what Nicole Winhoffer is doing in the photo. Maybe do anti-gravity too, because I really love it, if only the prices weren’t so steep.

4. Drinks lots of water and eat properly.

Keep eating! Don’t skip meals! Skipping will only hurt your body and deprive yourself of the nutrients it needs. 

A great tip is to reduce your regular portions by 1/3 (one third). Or gradually decrease the size of your meals, to ease your body into getting used to smaller but healthier portions.

If you get hungry fast, you can try eating more often but in smaller portions throughout the day to keep your metabolism going.

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Don’t forget to take in vegetables aside from the protein, and get them from good sources like lean meat, whole grains, and fresh produce. Protein helps your body build muscle, while the fiber helps detoxify your system.

Drink lots of water! Sometimes when you feel hungry, you might actually just be thirsty. Hydrating also keeps you fuller for longer. Drink water before eating to decrease your food intake.

Always bring a water bottle to the gym or wherever you workout because hydrating will keep you refreshed, thus making you feel better about sweating more.

5. Motivate and reward yourself.

My motivation usually comes from thinking about an upcoming beach trip, or getting new workout gear. Whatever it is, find your motivation, because that will keep you going.

Speaking of workout gear, always remember to wear proper ones.

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I usually wear colorful stuff to the gym, to get my mood up.

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Sturdy, reliable, and appropriate footwear is also a must, since you will be using these often. Depending on your workouts, you should get the corresponding shoes for that.

If you’re going jogging or running, it’s good to invest in running shoes that have heavily padded soles, just ask the friendly sales people in sports stores. For dancing, boxing, or other sports, invest in good cross training shoes like the one I have above. I always pick my shoes with bright colors, because, that’s a very me thing to do. haha.

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Reward yourself once in a while for your efforts, even if the change is small. When I reached a fitness goal last year, I really wanted to get myself these adidas Tubular runners (photo above). I specifically wanted that maroon one, but they got sold out immediately after release! Boo.

The hype over the collection is because of its unique outsole design, inspired by inner tire tubes, which features dual-density EVA for unbeatable comfort. Partnered with stabilizing plates, the Tubular supports the wearer with a firm stance, whilst sacrifices nothing in the way of aesthetic. A sock-fit neoprene upper continues the contemporary street look and features printed overlays that provide additional support. It is said to rival Nike’s Rosheruns, which I also like, by the way.

Other stuff I’m eyeing to expand my gym closet are these things:

  • adidas Originals WMNS Mountains Clash Capsule collection jacket and training bottoms – I just love the abstract color combinations of cliffs and different scapes.

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  • anything from the adidas x Pharrell Williams tennis and polka dot packs – Equality is something I feel strongly about, and having that message in really good looking sportswear just makes me want to buy everything from this collaboration!!!

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“Equality is love visualized. It is a symbol of affection, the action of affection. Equality is everything from a greeting to a declaration of true love. In all its forms. It is ACCEPTANCE. It is LOVE. It is STRENGTH.”
-Pharrell Williams, November 2014

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What do you think about my tips? Let me know if they work on you, and more points I can also add.

Let’s do this!!

Forward and Beyond

Happy new year everyone!!

Looking back, 2014 was indeed a challenging but fulfilling year. I had a lot going on, graduating college, passing my board exam, personal milestones, and tons of blog events in between. It wasn’t easy, but I’m happy with where I am now, stronger, wiser and very excited for what’s to come. 

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“Forward and beyond”, I always say. It’s to remind myself that looking back and reminiscing isn’t bad, but we should always keep moving forward, no matter what. Look beyond what’s in front of you, and create endless possibilities. 

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This year, I want to live in each moment, and take every learning to continuously improve myself. I want to spend more time with the people that matter, and document those so I can always go back to those mementos and smile. I want to meet more people and listen to their fascinating stories. I want to travel more domestically and internationally, and appreciate the unfamiliar.

This year is going to be bigger, bolder, and better for me, and hopefully for you as well. Bring it on, 2015!

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So, for my first outfit post for the year, I wanted to incorporate Pantone’s 2015 Color of the Year, Marsala. 

PANTONE COLOR OF THE YEAR 2015 - Marsala 18-1438

          photo from pantone.com

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Then I realized I didn’t have anything of the exact same shade, so I decided on something similar, which was this burgundy colored hat.

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I also wanted my first ootd for 2015 to be something colorful, to show you all my excitement for this year. Thankfully, this floral maxi dress from Cruella and Co. matched my hat well, so I wore them together.

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I love how this look is so me, bright, sunny, colorful, it just reminds me of happy memories at the beach, or in colorful theme parks like Disneyland.

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You can also wear this look on colder days, just layer with a warm cardigan, or put on a fuzzy pullover over the dress, and you’re good to go. 

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I was in Singapore for my family’s Christmas getaway, and I really wanted to wear this to Sentosa Island, while walking barefoot along Siloso beach. Too bad the weather in Singapore’s so unpredictable, really really hot one minute then raining really hard the next. I swear, the weather was more confused than I was when I got lost in the crazy sale H&M Orchard Road.

In my last trip to SG years ago, I was so so so hot there, so I packed mostly summer outfits this time around, with two jackets since Accuweather predicted a few showers. I didn’t expect it to be really hot in the morning and suddenly really really really wet during lunch until the afternoon. Boo. Some days it would keep raining the whole day. 

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Well anyway back to my look. I love how this dress is very lightweight, perfect for the tropical weather. The lovely print is a great plus since I do tend go crazy over floral prints.

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Next time, I hope I’ll finally score some items in marsala so I can show you guys how to rock the earthy hue! For the meantime, this is my rough interpretation.

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Btw, I’m currently abusing these necklaces, because they go well with a lot of my clothes! Expect a few more posts with these!

Floral Maxi Dress: Cruella and Co (IG: @cruellaandco)

Two Layer Bar Necklace and Evil Eye Hamsa Necklace: Pretty Little Blings (IG: @prettylittleblings)

Suede Hat: SM Accessories

Shoes: Lazada

How do you feel about 2015?