Month: October 2015

My Maybelline Story and Tips to Make Things Happen

Dreams do come true.

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To be honest, I never thought I would be able to collaborate with a brand as big as Maybelline. Ever since I started blogging 4 years ago, working with brands like Maybelline was only a dream, but today, I have finally achieved that dream.

I’ve known Maybelline since I was a young girl, I can still remember the commercials with the catchy singsong line, “Maybe it’s Maybelline”. Believe it or not, Maybelline was actually the first brand of cosmetics I personally bought as a student.

When I was younger, I couldn’t ask my mom to but makeup. She was super strict about my sister and I not trying on makeup unless it was really needed, like say, for grad pic photoshoots, as part of a bridal entourage for weddings, and related events. She was soo against the idea of putting on makeup because she was afraid my skin would be ruined.

As you guys prolly predicted, I didn’t listen. Watching One Tree Hill in high school inspired me to put on at least a sheer powder foundation, and some lip gloss. Wearing makeup in our conservative high school was forbidden, so looking natural was a must, else you get sent to the prefect for a violation.

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I saved some money from my student allowance, and bought myself my very first sheer (light coverage) compact from Maybelline (I think it was Clear Smooth), and the classic Great Lash mascara. I was convinced mascara would make my eyes pop, while the compact could hide my adolescent pimples :))

There’s also another reason why Maybelline is so dear to me. Earlier this year, a friend of mine from high school, Maybelline Sy, passed away. It came as a shock to everyone, because Maybelline was young and healthy, very much like most of us, her classmates. According to her mom, One day she was suffering from back pains, and a week later, a biopsy, X-rays, and CT Scans revealed she had stomach cancer. She was our friend who had very fair skin, and was always the fastest to blush. She would always, always, blush furiously (almost as red as a tomato), everytime we sung Maybelline (the cosmetics) tag-line, “Maybelline”. She had a vibrant personality, very witty, had a lot of friends, and a loving family. When you look at her family, you can mistake them for a barkada, because that’s how close they are.

When Maybelline passed away, it took a moment to sink in. I cried because I wasn’t able to get in touch with her recently, and this is how I last remember her? It was painful, but I will always treasure the funny memories we have together, like the time we dressed up in costume for school plays, or the time we went to an activity park and the tricycle we were riding and driving turned over 360 degrees, or the cake fights we had in China. You are missed, Maybelline.

Losing a friend made me reevaluate my life. Because it is these times that make you realize that life really is short, and that we have to make the most out of every minute of everyday. For me, I had to refocus and think about my goals in life. After that, I made the decision to make things happen, to spend every day working towards my goals, no matter how difficult and how many they are.

Here, I’m sharing my thought process on achieving my goals/dreams:

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1. Write down what makes and will make you happy.

I learned this when I went to the Passion and Purpose Workshop at Circle Hostel Baler. It helps to list things down, it was actually very therapeutic.

It also makes you stop and think of what really matters to you. It’s not just about listing down anything that pops to you your head, it’s also about learning which ones really make you happy.

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2. Simplify each one and prioritize.

Another tip I got from the workshop, is to prioritize. It gets overwhelming when you realize that there are a lot of things to do, in so little time. It helps when you prioritize or rank them in order, so you know which ones you have to focus on first.

Also, you can merge one or two things when you realize that they go hand-in-hand, therefore reducing the load. 

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3. Set goals and a realistic deadline.

After you’ve prioritized, set goals, and a general timeline. Say, you want to finish goal #1 in 10-15 years. You don’t have to be super specific, you just need a concrete deadline.

Don’t rush yourself. Remember that great things take time, so a dealine that has allowance for a few bumps on the road would be good.

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4. Create a Step-by-Step Plan of Action.

Now that you have a general timeline, you can start creating a mind map or a more compartmentalized timeline.

Again, give yourself extra allowance for time, and no need to be super specific. For example, for Goal #1, you gave yourself 10 years, what should you be doing in between those years? On Year #1, possibly brainstorming and research, on Year #2 say you’re developing a product, perhaps work on a prototype, Year #3, pitch to different companies or start up first shop. Whatever your goal is, think of the small steps you can take to achieve your goal.

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5. Consider all possible outcomes, whether good or bad

Let’s be honest here, nothing is all rainbows and sunshine. There will be times when you’ll question yourself whether you took the right path, or made the right decision. There will also be times that things are looking up. 

What matters is, learning from every possibility, so that in the end, you can keep moving forward.

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Remember, nothing worth having, ever comes easy. There will be roadblocks, and helping hands along the way, we just have to learn to roll with the punches.

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6. Be patient, persevere, and keep on working to achieve your goals.

In relation to number 5. Whenever you feel stumped, don’t give up. Think of alternatives. Sometimes, you just need the right timing, a small favor from a friend, more research. There are a lot you can do, don’t just stop because it’s hard.

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Keep going, refocus, reevaluate, trouble shoot, readjust, and whole lot more verbs to help you keep on going. In the end, when you reach your goal, it will be worth it.

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What do you do to make your dreams happen?

Btw, I have another ongoing giveaway on my Instagram account. Just regram the photo below, and use the hashtags #maybellineNYFW and #maybellineNYFWxPhya to qualify!

typography quotes and photos grabbed from Pinterest

4 Reasons Why You Should Upgrade to the new Instax Mini 70

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Fujifilm Philippines just launched the new Instax Mini 70, just in time for Halloween. Dubbed as the party camera, the Instax Mini 70 is packed with features perfect for the holiday season filled with back to back Christmas and New year parties, family reunions, as well as other occasions.

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The launch event was super fun, with the whole venue fully decorated with plastic pumpkins, zombies, a variety of animal masks, and an abundance of fake creepy crawlies. 

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My favorite Fujifilm personality, Mr. Takuya Maeda, Fujifilm Division Head for Photo Imaging and Electronic Imaging, was at the event to share how Instax has been doing quite well in the Philippine market. Maeda-san is such a character that I always look forward to him when going to events by Fujifilm, he’s just too funny sometimes.

Anyway, Fujifilm is always looking for ways to improve the film experience, since film is a great way to preserve memories. Especially with the holidays coming up, I’m sure there will be a lot of parties each of us would like to document. The charm with Instax is that you get an instant souvenir right after clicking the camera shutter, and also doubles as a small gift.

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What’s great about the Instax Mini 70 is that the additional features make it even easier and better to use over its predecessors.

Here’s 4 reasons why you should upgrade to the new Fujifilm Instax Mini 70

1. SELFIE MODE

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Everybody’s taking a selfie. Even my dad, who’s a senior citizen and hates new gadgets, had to learn how to take a selfie, because he travelled to Europe recently and wasn’t sure if there were people kind enough to take his photos. :))

Which is why this feature is so important. There’s even a selfie mirror right by the lens so you can check the framing to achieve the best angle. Choose the selfie mode so the camera can automatically adjust brightness and shooting distance to the level optimized for selfie shots.

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2. AUTO EXPOSURE AND HI-KEY

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It’s very frustrating when you have to manually figure out the right setting to bring out the right results. I’ve wasted film because I couldn’t get the right setting, they end up either over exposed or too dark and almost black. Also, with flash, a lot of things at the back of the subject just goes black. This is very sad whenever I take photos when I travel, because the view behind is not seen, when using the previous flash settings.

Which is why I was soo happy to learn that the Instax Mini 70 has the Auto Exposure Control function that captures both the main subject and background in natural brightness. You can do away with figuring out the setting and just press the shutter, then let the camera automatically adjust the shutter speed and flash amount depending on the surrounding brightness. 

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The result is clear, detailed photos, both in indoor and outdoor setting!

To test out this feature, I took a selfie, and a photo of the table centerpiece, shown below. Notice how you can still see the glass window behind the decorations, and the red decorations behind me? If it were the older instax camera, those would be way too dark to recognize.

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If this feature doesn’t convince you to get the Instax Mini 70, I don’t know what will. Haha. I was so sold on this feature!!

3. SELF-TIMER AND TRIPOD SOCKET

This feature is especially helpful for group gatherings. It’s very problematic when you want to take a group photo including everyone when no one can take the photo for you.

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The self-timer function and tripod mount are going to be useful for all your family and barkada shots. No need for anyone to get out of the photo!

4. VIBRANT COLORS

All these great features are packed into a sleek camera body with three (3) bright colors to choose from. The colors are Moon White, Canary Yellow, and Island Blue, any of which can suit whatever style you have.

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OTHER FEATURES:

  • Macro mode : 0.3m – 0.6m – for close up shots
  • Landscape mode : 3m – ∞ – for far away landscape photos of your holiday destinations.
  • Fill-in Flash

Here are other samples of photos taken using the Instax Mini 70.

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The Fujifilm Instax 70 retails at Php 6999, a good price, considering the features. 

With the holidays coming up, the new Fujifilm Instax Mini 70 makes for a trendy but functional fashion accessory you can bring around anywhere, anytime, and can keep up with whatever lifestyle you have, be it a travel junkie, partyphile, student, yuppie, and everything in between.

Join the conversation by using the hashtags #instaxHalloweenwith70, #TeamInstaxPH, and follow them on instagram @teaminstaxph, and Facebook.

This Cafe Allows you to Pay Whatever you Want for their Coffee

When I first heard about the concept of Recession Coffee, I was skeptical. It’s the first Pay-What-You-Want cafe in the country, with a you-price-your-coffee greeting at the cash register. 

Digital Walker, long known for its quirky pop art inspired stores, is the one behind Recession Coffee. To make things even more interesting, they put up Recession Coffee inside their Eastwood branch, perfectly mixing the cafe experience with technology. Not only do you get to sample good food and great coffee, you also get to immerse yourself in the colorful world of digital accessorizing.

“Truly a coffee lover’s dream in the heart of Eastwood City, the cafe shares its space with the fun and funky tech store, and have worked closely with the EDSA beverage design group to provide their patrons with the best cup of coffee at whatever price they wish to pay. Yes, it’s a pay-what-you-want café.”

The result: a pretty fun atmosphere for art, tech and coffee appreciation. I really like the Recession Coffee interiors, very organic looking with all the light wood furnishing and equipped with a lot of electric sockets for anyone planning to plug in laptops, phones, etc. It’s surprisingly roomy for a shared space.

I went ahead and ordered one slice of cake, and iced coffee, and I found the sign above the cash register really funny and witty. Scroll down for a close up photo to see what I mean. :))

Coffee as mentioned earlier, is by the good people behind EDSA Beverage Design Group, if you’re a coffee aficionado, expect good brews here, like their famed YKW espressos. The food, cake and cookies, are by Chef Miko Aspiras, the genius behind the Hole In The Wall hit, Scout’s Honor.

“Coffee enthusiasts and purists alike can now have excellent coffee brews. Choosing from a list of Espressos, for example, one may try the aptly named beans “Dark Matter Theory.” For the pour over coffee enthusiasts, a choice selection of Panama Carmen Estate, Ethiopia Sidamo Guji Suke Quto, and Kenya Wakulima grinds are available for discerning coffee-geek connoisseurs to analyze. Pair the cup with colorful, delectable confectionery offerings by Chef Miko Aspiras – or four. They’re delicious.”

This is the sign I was telling you about, the suggestion board for pricing. So much win, right?

“Recession Coffee’s Pay-What-You-Want concept challenges coffee aficionados to show their love for coffee by giving them the freedom to pay as much as they want for a cup. But, because Recession Coffee and Digital Walker have a deep appreciation for a dry sense of humor, it would be good to know that your cup will also get a price badge to poke fun at just how much cash is received. Give an amount greater than P200 and receive a marriage proposal, or contribute P50 and be mistaken for someone in between jobs. So contribute modestly at your own risk.

The cakes are very visually appealing. I’m not a fan of ranbow cakes because I find them usually heavy, but their version wasn’t. It layer upon layer of chiffon stuck together by chocolate fudge. I personally liked the Banana Chocolate Almond Tart the most because you really can’t go wrong with banana, chocolate and nuts. It was really really good, like a banoffee pie, but better.

Say hello to Chef Miko Aspiras, who was happy to grace the launch event.

I really really really don’t like coffee, but their menu doesn’t have any non-coffee drink, so I opted for an Iced White Latte. Mind you, all their coffees are strong, definitely something you’d drink when you’re trying to meet deadlines.

The Digital Walker part is consistent with the other stores. Lots of items are displayed in case you wanted to try out the gadgets before purchasing. My favorite display was the earphones, as evident with all my photos :)).

Also, ask for assistance from this lovely lady here, she was so helpful when I was shopping around, and explained a lot about the difference between the speakers I was so confused about. Eventually I followed her recommendations for my purchase.

Again, the cafe is roomy, and surprisingly peaceful. You can study there, or even hold serious meetings, and afterwards, shop around Digital Walker for some accessory you might need, like say earphones to help you focus, or powerbanks in case you get stuck in carmaggedon.

Also at the event, I joined an Instagram flatlay contest (see below) and won GCs! Yay! It’s nice to know I still have some game when it comes to Instagram contests :))

Visit the first branch of Recession Coffee by Digital Walker from the hours of 11am to 10pm at the 4th floor of Eastwood Mall, 1880 Eastwood Building, Eastwood Avenue, Eastwood City, Quezon City. For live updates, follow them on Instagram and Twitter with handle @digitalkwalkerph, or, like them on Facebook, and track them with hashtags #digitalwalker, #recessioncoffeebydigitalwalker and #recessioncoffee

Recession Coffee Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Me Time at Cedar Salon

With everything my hair’s been through, you’d think I’d already found the salon for me. For years, I’ve been getting services from different salons all over the metro. I guess I just haven’t found the ONE.

Recently, I got to try the newly opened Cedar Salon in San Juan. I admit, it’s initial impression does woo you to eventually make it your go-to salon for everything hair-related. The Bali-inspired zen interiors, to the friendly and accommodating owners and staff, and high quality products used per service make up a formula sure to produce an delightful pampering experience.

The facade of Cedar Salon is a bit deceiving. At first glance, it looks like your typical neighborhood salon. I do like that it has parking spaces, making the salon experience even more convenient.

Upon entrance to the salon, I was greeted by these lovely bloggers, who were also there for the service. The waiting area is roomy enough for companions to hang around in, especially for kids running around.

(L-R) Kristine of Real Asian Beauty, Kim of Kimpossibly Gorgeous, yours truly, and Michelle of Rockstar Momma

Before anything else, here’s a photo of me before my salon session. Notice how the permed part of my hair has unraveled, and it looks so dry. 🙁

The salon is actually two floors, with the second floor housing the private spa massage rooms, one washroom, and a general pampering area. For the first floor, it was set up like your typical salon, with two sides of the room lined with reclining salon chairs.

At the back of the room is the wash area, for shampooing and rinsing off of products.

The services I got were Haircut + Blow Dry + Style and the Spa Essence Deep Repair Treatment. My hairdresser went and cut my hair first before applying the product used for my treatment.

Cedar Salon uses Schwarzkopf products, ensuring consistently great results each time.

Spot my seatmate, Sarah Tirona, going a little crazy and hysterical because the staff initially got her dye job wrong. It was a good thing the owners were quick on their feet and immediately looked for solutions to her situation. I swear, it was a hair emergency!

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Anyway, the hairdresser proceeded to put the treatment product on my hair, then wrapped my hair with cling wrap. I was left to my own devices while waiting for the treatment to finish, it took about 30 minutes before the cling wrap was removed.

Now before I show you guys the final output, let me take you around the salon, where different services could be availed.

Kristine got her nails done, and I love how festive they are! Cedar has a variety of polishes to choose from, and from good brands like Orly, OPI and China Glaze too!

If ever you find yourself in Cedar and you’re in the mood for a new hair color, look for this guy (I’m sorry I forgot your name) He was also the one who fixed Sarah’s haircolor, and was really skilled at the different coloring techniques.

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Then the Big Reveal:

My new look! Didn’t go for a more drastic change since I really want my healthy locks back. A lot of people have told me the shorter length looks refreshing, yeah?

Thank you so much to the owners of Cedar Salon, Marielou Rodriguez and Christine Rodriguez, I had a great time.

Cedar Salon is located at 200 A Wilson St., Brgy. Addition Hills, San Juan. Follow them on social media via Facebook at www.facebook.com/CedarSalon  and follow @CedarSalon on Instagram. #CedarSalon #MeTimeAtCedarSalon

What to Wear for New York Fashion Week

Ever since I started going to Philippine Fashion Week a few years back, it’s been a dream to be able to go to a single show on New York Fashion Week. The ultimate fashion dream? To be able to attend a Chanel NYFW show, that airport/in transit themed runway just last season was just epic!

What if that dream finally materialized?

Maybelline Philippines, being the official makeup partner of New York fashion Week, recently shared to Filipinas updates on NYFW via Georgina Wilson and BJ Pascual’s social media updates. Just last weekend, Georgina’s coverage of NYFW aired on TV via GMA Network.

So what if it really does happen? We need to be prepared, with our wardrobe of course!

Since it’s currently fall, I was thinking of something weather appropriate. Sure layering would be so much better, but given the conditions here, this is what I came up with:

Look No. 1: Lace and Leather

It is NYFW, so leather should be appropriate. I remember wearing a leather jacket twice to PhFW before and got complemented for that, so I’m using the same trick here.

In places with colder climates, I’d recommend wearing leggings or stocking under the skirt, and maybe a nice trench coat over it for warmth. That could work, right?

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Lace Pullover: H&M
Oxblood leather skirt: Usoplus
Gray Suede Wedge Boots: Zara
Lasercut Envelope Clutch: Iglesias PH

photos by Benedict Bigalbal

Now, when I do get to NYFW, I’m not just bringing one outfit. Of course you have to be prepared for any events that you could go to! Sure, one fashion show would be enough, but what if you get to go to more shows?

For the next two looks, I actually had to go through my OOTD archives to look for some outfits I could reuse. After all, the people of New York haven’t seen me strut in these, so no harm in outfit repeating. 🙂

Look No. 2: Tropical but Chic

Here’s look No. 2, not so weather appropriate, but with more layering, it could work. I love how the prints are so me, and the little peak of the bikini just shows the teensy bit amount of skin. Of course, I can always switch up my camisole for something warmer, like say a fitted long sleeve top, preferably with a boatneck.

Look No. 3: Colors and Ethnicity

For the third look, I’d bring my favorite look of all time to the Big Apple, this colorful number from 3 years ago. The necklace and the back add a touch of local flavor. The bag is actually a souvenir from a trip to Bicol, so I’m literally bringing my country with me if I strut this on NYFW.

What do you think of my NYFW looks?

FYI: 
There will be a Maybelline New York Fashion Week sale from November 13 to December 15, 2015. Discounted items includes the NYFW featured
products. This promo will make it even easier for asnyone to replicate Georgina’s looks during NYFW 🙂 #MakeItHappen at #MaybellineNYFW

Makeup Tutorial: Recreate Georgina’s #MaybellineNYFW Looks

Sale Alert!! Maybelline Philippines will be holding a
Maybelline New York Fashion Week sale from November 13 to December 15, 2015. Discounted items include the #MaybellineNYFW featured items.

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Already have the products? You can also win gift packs by posting your selfie of your version of Georgina’s look, post it on the comments section of the look that you’re trying to achieve. You can check out the looks here.

I’m sure a lot of you guys are excited to try out the products you got, but, are not sure how to actually use them together. For this post, I’m doing a tutorial of two of Georgina Wilson’s Maybelline NYFW Runway Ready looks, the SuperFresh and the Bold Eyes. All of the products I used are currently included in the #MaybellineNYFW sale.

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The SuperFresh

Maybelline New York Fashion Week never fails to deliver an abundance of inspiration and it’s always a refreshing scene seeing the fresh-face look as a cool and wearable fashion statement. Over-the-top makeup took a backseat as runway models rocked strong, natural-looking brows, and the secret is out – Maybelline New York closes the year by launching in the Philippines the Fashion Brow Palette. With shaping, filling, and contouring achieved through this multi-purpose brow and nose palette, creating the coveted 3D beauty look with a “Maybelline T-Lift” has never been this easy with Maybelline’s newest palette, or Maybelline’s Duo Shaper and Mascara. An understated makeup look brought to life by the essentials, achieve huge impact with full lash volume and zero fuss using the hottest-selling HyperCurl mascara complemented by fresh and matte skin with the most superior White Super Fresh 12H No Touchup powder foundation.

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Get the look: White SuperFresh Foundation (P299), Blush’em No. 5 I’m Fashionista (P 349), Hypercurl Mascara (P199) and Velvet Matte in Mat 10 (P299) Lipstick

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Let’s start off this tutorial by putting on a good base. Off course, before investing on makeup, good skincare is necessary, never skip the moisturizer and sunblock before primer and foundation!

For the photo above, I applied a think layer of primer, then a thin layer of foundation on top of it. I usually use primers when I want my makeup to last longer through the day. Always apply these products astarting from the drier parts of the face like the cheeks, before doing the T-zone.

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After that, I applied Maybelline White Superfresh in 03 Natural, and also filled in my brows. I usually apply brown brow powders, to match my colored hair.

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I currently don’t own a Maybelline Hypercurl mascara, so I had to make do with my Maybelline The Falsies mascara. The difference between the two is the latter has more volumizing effect, while Hypercurl makes your eyes pop more.

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Then I moved on to doing my eyes. For this look, I only used the Maybelline Eye Studio Color Tattoo Leather in Creamy Beige and the Maybelline Lasting Drama Gel Liner in 02 Brown, to keep everything natural looking. This is also what I usually do to get the no makeup look for my eyes.

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Put on a thin layer of the creamy eyeshadow all over the lid, one swipe will do, then blend properly.

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Keep the gel liner to a minimum by doing thin lines closer to the lid.

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Again, I didn’t have the Maybelline Hypercurl mascara, so I just used The Falsies. since we’re focusing on natural lashes, I only put on two coats of mascara, after using the eyelash curler.

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When using eyelash curlers, always start from the tip then move closer to the roots, that way, the lashes have a nicer curl.

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For the cheeks, I used the Maybelline Blush’em No. 5 I’m Fashionista. I also use this blush for slight contouring sometimes, and use it a little under the cheekbones for a natural flush.  

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Always remember to blend! Harsh lines along the cheekbones are not a good sight. 

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For the lips, I used Maybelline Velvet Matte in Mat10. I was super amazed as to how this one kept my lips moist while turning matte in a few seconds! Usually matte lippies, make my lips chap, since I have naturally dry lips, but this did none of those! The Velvet Mattes are definitely a new favorite, with great pigmentation to boot!

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Then tada! My Maybelline x Georgina Wilson Superfresh look. I love how the Velvet Matte in Mat 10 just gives a fresh pop of color to the overall look. It’s something anyone could wear for everyday makeup.

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Was I able to pull it off properly? Do let me know in the comments section below.

Initially, I was going to do just one, then I realized it was easy to build the first look to like like this next one, so I included the second look, the Bold Eyes.

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The Bold Eyes

During the Maybelline-sponsored Brock, Derek Lam, and Marissa Webb shows – strong, dramatic eyes dominated the runway scenes. With sheer skin, it’s the perfect time for Filipinas to embrace their big, beautiful Filipina eyes by playing with the new Color Tattoo 24HR Cream-Gel in Creamy Beige solo shadow. Top off that eye-conic look with the most versatile and effortless nude-shadows from the hottest The Nudes palette lined with blackest of black for maximum impact with the beauty label’s most-trusted Lasting Drama Gel Liner. Highlight the inner corners and the high plains of the face to create a tinted effect on the eye. Complete molten and natural eyes by applying the gel liner for a full, cat-eye effect.

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Get the Look: Falsies Mascara (P459), Dream Satin Two-Way Cake (P399), Velvet Matte in Mat 12 Lipstick (P299)

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Remember that I’m only building from the first look, so I’m not redoing the basics. Since this one is called Bold Eyes, it’s all about the eyes.

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Let’s start off by using the bestselling Maybelline The Nudes Eyeshadow palette. If you noticed, you can actually use the palette by separating it into quads. For this tutorial, I followed the instructions from the photo above.

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Then apply a thicker line for the gel liner, and bring it up to a cat eye for drama. 

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Also apply more coats of mascara to make the lashes look fuller. What I love about Maybelline The Falsies Mascara is how it easily makes your lashes look double the actual amount!

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To make the eyes pop more, we have to subdue the lip color. This time we’re applying a nude pink shade of Maybelline Velvet Matte in Mat 12.

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Then tada, we finished our second look, The Bold Eyes.

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What do you guys think of these looks?

Remember, the Maybelline New York Fashion Week sale is ongoing, so go purchase some of these products while they’re on sale!!

Get inspired with B’lue Live to Feel Stories

“Here’s to today’s generation.
Those who explore rich, different experiences.
Regardless of size, distance or reward.

Those who love and love to create.
And sense everything around them.

Those who are not afraid to express themselves through inspiring statement and images and meaningful stories.

Here’s to those who go beyond existing.
The generation that lives to feel.” – Intro to B’lue Live to feel stories

It’s been a while since I last read a book. It used to be my favorite pastime, until life took over and pushed me to do other more productive things. Books gave me so much inspiration and contributed a lot to my imagination. This is why I was so excited when I got my copy of the Blue Live to feel Stories book. It’s a collection of moments and experiences from this generation’s storytellers. 

A few months ago, B’lue started an online call for Live to Feel stories, spanning topics from travel, arts, love, and other things. As a sample, B’lue shared actress, endorser, multi-faceted performer Jasmine Curtis-Smith’s Live to Feel story on Facebook to encourage everyone to do the same.

“New things and adventures give me thrills,” shares Jasmine. “I love
traveling to places I’ve never been before and understanding the environment I work in to develop my craft." 

"It makes me feel
that I am making my time on earth worth it, and it impacts me in a way
that makes me love life, especially my own, despite anything that stands
in the way of my dreams and new discoveries. No matter the struggles,
you just gotta keep going and keep getting better
.”

B’lue also shared club favorite DJ, Mars Miranda’s Live to Feel story,

“Everything
about being a DJ makes me feel alive,” says Mars. “The pulsating beat,
the crowd, the party vibe taking over my senses. Best feeling in the
world! To feel all your energy and enjoyment is what I’m here for.“

Netizens were encouraged to submit their stories at www.livetofeel.me, and after collecting enough stories and filtering through all of them, B’lue finally published the

#LiveToFeel compilation. 

The result is an easy-to-read masterpiece, with more than a hundred stories, each about a paragraph long. Even those who don’t like books would find it pleasurable because the stories are brief, yet have a strong message. 

The book is divided into 6 parts:

  1. Live To Explore
  2. Live To Sense
  3. Live To Express
  4. Live to Love
  5. Live to Create
  6. Live to Inspire

I just finished reading everything, and I’ll be sharing my favorite stories from each part.

Live To Explore

“Home to me, is not necessarily the place I was born into but all the places where I become myself. That is why I travel to reveal who I am and realize that I am synonymous with the world.” – Kimmy Roguis

Let’s go somewhere else. To meet new people, and not understand half of what they’re saying. To mimic an accent. To lurk around and be the observer leaning coolly against the wall instead of brisk walking down the street, dodging and overtaking within the influx of people just so I don’t miss the train. To look up and gape at strange buildings. To look down at my map and try to figure out their names. To walk backwards to try to remember where I’m going. To keep getting lost on my way home. To stare blankly at a menu for fifteen minutes. To hopelessly flip through a pocket dictionary. To end up pointing at a picture of roast beef. To find a park bench to sit on and write stories. To find a beach. To see the sun creep up an unfamiliar strip of mountains. To see it plunge a different sea. To know that no matter how far the water rises past my ankles, knees, hips, chest, and neck, I cannot swim back home.” – Racine Anne Castro

This one is prolly my favorite out of everything. I love how it was very poetic, and spoke of wanderlust, going places, getting immersed in another culture, everything that’s both exciting and terrifying when you go to a new place, whether locally or abroad.

Live To Sense

“I enjoy tasting the spice, sweetness, tang and thrill of any dish opresented before me. To put it simply, I live and love to sense and appreciate the creation of others, because anything that can make me feel as happy as food does is worth appreciating.” – Tricia Andaya

Live To Express

“Expressing is more of a ‘feeling’ form of communication, than necessarily an audible one. It rocks to navigate through life by feeling your way through and not by speaking your way through it. I live to express because I was born with a set of skills and a burning desire in me to change the world using these talents” – Mikey Bustos

Live to Love

Buti na lang kumapit ako sa salitang ‘PAG-ASA’. Na one day, lahat ng hirap at sakripisyo ko masusuklian ng ligaya at tagumpay.” – Marcelo Santos III

Translation: “Good thing I held onto the word ‘HOPE’. That one day all of my hard work and sacrifices will be rewarded with joy and success.” 

Marcelo Santos III is widely popular on social media sites. His #hugot or #feels posts are among those most frequently shared on my feed. His writing is simple, yet very easily strikes a chord with anyone. I especially like his story, because it speaks about his struggles, and how he emerged victorious. 

Throughout the book, Marcelo Santos III has different stories, and is the one who did the Foreword as well. With someone witty like Santos telling you to get ready to be inspired by this book, you sure are going to be.

Live to Create

“A life of creating is very empowering and rewarding. It’s having unlimited opportunities to do something and your only limitation is yourself.” – PJ De Jesus

Live to Inspire

"Every time I doubt myself if I can finish, be it because I have an injury or maybe because I am slow, I will always tell myself that anyone can run,” he says. "Fat or thin, fast or slow and young or old. Anyone can run. As long as you finish what you started and believe in yourself, you will succeed.”

It doesn’t matter how you run. What matters is that you did and you believed that you can.” – Joseph Calimon

I enjoyed this bottle of B’lue water-based drink in Lychee while reading it. Surprisingly, it was really refreshing, especially when served chilled. I like how it’s not too sweet, but still has good fruity flavor. It also contains Vitamin B-complex, to make it even more stimulating. Another plus is that B’lue has no preservatives or artificial coloring, making it healthier than the other flavored drinks available.

Overall, I liked reading through stories of different people, from actors, to writers, to artists, teachers, nurses, etc. It’s also an easy way to find inspiration whenever you’re at a block. Just pick a story or check out the life recipe inserts at the end of the book for that much needed boost.

For more updates on B’lue and the Live to Feel Stories book, check out their Facebook page or website and find out how you can get your own e-book. Join the conversation by using the hashtags #LivetoFeel and #FullyAlivewithBlue

Note: This is a sponsored post, but opinion is entirely the blogger’s.

Go Crazy over Craft Beer at Circuit Brewfest!

I was first introduced to craft beers about 2 years ago, when I first got to try Katipunan Craft Beer. Recently, I’ve noticed that there are a lot of craft beers available in various establishments, unlike previous times. I used to think either San Miguel or Red horse when it comes to beer, but then came Circuit Brew Fest, and suddenly I know a whole lot more.

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I went to the press preview for Circuit Brew Fest last week and I got to sample some of the beers that would be available on October 17, 2015, the actual day of the event.

Circuit Brew Fest is an event by Circuit Makti, the up and coming hip entertainent district of Makati. It’s essentially a beer festival that will focus on local and international artisanal beers.

Circuit Brew Fest has perfect timing as more and more people are getting interested in craft beer. With new flavors and techniques, it’s set to change the local pint-swilling culture.

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Over thirty variants of artisanal beer will be available for ale afficionados, including Craftpoint Brewing Co., Craft Beer Asia, Joe’s Brew, Holgate Brewer, Nipa Brew, Baguio Craft Brewery and Palaweno Brewery. 

I was so surprised to like the Gordon Biersch Hefeweizen beer, with
a blend of citrus, bubblegum, clove and banana. For someone who doesn’t like beer (like me!), I really liked the how this stroke the right balance between sweet, fruity, sparkly and bitter. 

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Booze.com.ph, The Brewery at the Palace, and The Bottle Shop will also be setting up and showcasing both local and imported beers.

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Some merchants like Brotzeit will also be at the event to introduce food that would go well with beer. I got to try these bacon pretzels, and they really go well with any pint of beer.

Tickets

Entrance fee to the Circuit Brew Fest starts at P1,000 per head and will include a prepaid tap card with P800 consumable to be used for all transactions during the event. Meanwhile, tables for 8 may be reserved at P15,000 per table, and will include eight prepaid tap card with P800 consumable piece, and eight special beer mugs.

Games

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To make the event more fun, the organizers will also host a lot of games, mostly of the drinking kind.

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At the preview, I was encouraged to participate, and I got to play in a relay drinking game! Sad to say, my team lost. There was one guy in the other team (Yes Neo, I’m talking about you) who gulped the beer so fast we couldn’t catch up!

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Music

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Combine great beer with music from Nicole Asensio, Brass Munkeys, Flippin’ Soul Stompers, Marmalade, Blue Jean Junkies and The Zombettes, it will surely be the go-to event for urbanites who enjoy a cold bottle of beer and good music together.

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“To us, it’s a way to give people experiences that are unique and have interesting stories behind them—kind of like what craft beers are known for,” explains Sheilla Aguilar of Ayala Land Strategic Landbank Management. “It’s also a great way to feature the diversity that drives the growth of Makati’s premiere entertainment district and give our guests a one of a kind experience.”

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(L-R): Valorie Dela Cruz and Sander dela Cruz, of VMDC Events Management; Stephen Co Nipa Brew;  Shiella Aguilar, Project Development Manager for Makati of Ayala Land Inc.; Malou Yambao, Brottzeit German Bier & Restaurant; Joey Viray, Mike Vergel De Dios and Marco Viray, Joe’s Brew; Francis Blanco of Baguio Brewery

Tickets may be purchased at The Bottle Shop, The Brewery, and all participating breweries and merchants or you may also call Valor dela Cruz at 0917-934-1402.

Circuit Brew Fest is just one of Ayala Land’s go-to event for Circuit Makati, as the 22-hectare property will soon be filled with people of all ages as they offer different events like live performances, bazaars, exhibits etc.  that will cater to their different tastes. 

For more information kindly visit http://www.ayalaland.com.ph, or follow @brewfestPH on Instagram, and checkout the hashtags #CircuitBrewfest #BrewfestPH. 

Make It Happen at NYFW S/S16 with Maybelline! (Giveaway + Review)

As a fashion enthusiast, I always look forward to New York Fashion Week (NYFW) each year. I love browsing through photos of models off-duty, fashionista VIPs hailing cabs in NY while clad in designer goods. and the glorious fashion shows. Aside from ogling at the beautiful fashion pieces staright off the runway, I also love observing the different beauty looks the designers came up with to go with the collection. A lot of these makeup looks actually end up starting a trend for next season, so I always take notes. :))

Maybelline, known as a brand that embodies New York trends, has always been a partner of the prestigious NYFW. Last month, New York Fashion Week unveiled the upcoming Spring-Summer trends, with Maybelline serving as the official beauty partner.

Maybelline brings the trends closer to every Filipina, by showing us what products are featured this season. With these, it’s easy to cop those luscious lips and cat eyes. In this post, I’m reviewing some of the NYFW S/S 2016  featured products, and also sharing another giveaway!

Maybelline White Superfresh in 03 Natural (Php 299)

“Experience no more touch-ups with Maybelline White Superfresh! This breakthrough SPF face powder keeps you looking matte and flawless all day, while protecting your skin from the sun’s rays.”

Features:

  • 5X the absorption of talc
  • Clean touch technology for a fresh feel
  • Long lasting UV protection, SPF 34 PA+++
  • Keeps you flawless and shine-free for 12 hours
  • Available in four shades – 02 Nude Beige, 03 Natural, 04 Honey and 05 Sand Beige.

Directions for Use:

“Apply White Superfresh Long-Lasting UV Cake Powder all over your face using the puff application. See a difference immediately, as skin looks fairer and feels fresh throughout the day with a lasting matte texture.”

Here’s a photo of my bare face before applying White Superfresh Powder. Note that I only have on moisturizer and sunscreen.

Then tada! After application:

I’ve been using White SuperFresh in 03 Natural as my daily powder foundation. I love that it easily glides onto the skin and leaves a smooth finish, and light on the skin. It also gives light to medium coverage, which is good enough for daily use. As you can see in my photos, White Superfresh isn’t able to cover my pimple, or other pigmentation, but it does a decent job of smoothing everything out. I also love that you don’t need to do touch ups a lot because it surprisingly has long staying power for something so light on the skin. The SPF as added sun protection is just a great bonus, because you should still apply sunscreen. Powder based makeup can’t really give you proper sun protection, but it does help.

What I don’t like is that it leaves a white cast. Probably because of the sun protection factor. Usually products with SPF cause a white cast (when your face looks way too white and does not match your neck in flash photography) because of the ingredient zinc oxide, or similar agents. That’s the only downside for me though. I really love it, and one pact lasts long.

Maybelline Eye Studio® Color Tattoo® Leather In Creamy Beige (Php 379)

“So rich. So creamy. Only our cream gel eye shadow formula gets the look of couture leather so right.”

Features:

  • Ink technology creates 24HR wear shadow for our most intense, long-lasting color saturation
  • Cream eye shadow formula glides on without creasing and keeps color vibrant
  • Leather Lush with a creamy touch!

Directions For Use:

“High impact look:
Illuminate. With fingertips, sweep all over eye from inner corner and work outwards. For added drama, darken as desired.”

As you can see in the photos above I applied the eyeshadow on one eyelid to compare it to the bare one. I like the texture of Color Tattoo because it’s somewhere between mousse and cream. It’s good enough to use as a primer, and great on its own. It has a slight sheen, highly pigmented (the shadow above was just one swipe of the product) and long wearing. It also blends well, and easily buildable. This color in particular is really nice because it’s a neautral shade that’s appropriate for work, yet can be turned into a smokey eye for a girl’s night out.

Maybelline Lasting Drama 36Hr Gel Liner in 02 Brown (Php 399)

“A super long-lasting gel eyeliner that draws precise and dramatic lines. Formulated with deeply concentrated black pigments; draws sleek, glossy lines, both thick and thin; long-wearing formula resists oil, sweat, and water, so it won’t smudge, crease, fade, or flake throughout the day.”

Features:

  • Oil-free formula holds highly concentrated pigments in a clear gel base
  • Smudge-proof and waterproof for 24 hours
  • Most intense line for lasting drama
  • Safe for sensitive eyes and ophthalmologist-tested
  • Contact lens safe
  • perfect for oily skin
  • Available in 4 shades, Blackest Black, Brown, Eggplant, Charcoal

Directions for Use:

“DEFINED LOOK
Define – In small strokes, glide liner across lash line from inner to outer corner.

DRAMATIC LOOK
Define – In small strokes, glide liner across lash line from inner to outer corner.
Enhance – Extend and thicken line from outer corner up towards brow; wing out for extra drama.

Removes easily with Total Clean Express Makeup Remover.”

The applicator it came with was just perfect. It takes just the right amount to create a line. It’s highly pigmented, but the formula is not heavy, so it doesn’t feel sticky or dense. I was suprised at how easy it was to create a wing, since I usually need a pen liner to be successful at that. The gel eyeliner glides on smoothly, and does not cake or flake.

It doesn’t smudge as well. I had it on for about 6 hours, and it didn’t smudge! It did lose a bit of its color, but the shape was there, and no unsightly raccoon eyes!! 

What’s great about using brown eyeliner is that it isn’t too severe looking. you can do a small thin line for day wear, then build up to a crazy cat eye, for a fun night!

Maybelline Color Sensational Bold Matte Lipstick

Maybelline Color Sensational Bold Matte Lipstick in Mat1, Mat4, Mat5 (Php 299)

CLAIM TO FAME: Maybelline’s newest matte formula from its bestselling lipstick line

FAST FACTS: Delivers vivid color with a soft satiny matte finish; enriched with honey nectar, jojoba oil, and rosa canina; moisturizes lips for a cushiony feel all day

“With its powderless formula, Bold Matte delivers the most vibrant matte shades with a smooth, moisturised finish.”

Features:

  • More vivid colour, packed with brighter matte pigments to infuse the most luminous shades without drying your lips
  • Enriched with honey nectar for visibly moisturised lips with an incredibly smooth touch
  • perfect as All day lip color, in sensational shine-free shades 

Directions For Use:

“Apply your lip colour by starting in the centre of your upper lip. Work from the centre to the outer edges of your lip, following the contours of your mouth. Then glide across the entire bottom lip.”

Swatches:

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Mat 1 is more of a fun pink color, very reminiscent of barbie, while Mat 4 is an orange red. Lastly, Mat 5 is pink-red with blue undertones. The swatches above and below were about two swipes. 

These Bold Matte lipsticks are really bright! Although they aren’t as pigmented as the other lipsticks from Maybelline, I love the vivid colors. These would be great for everyday wear, as they dry up matte, but have a creamy texture, so lips stay moist while looking matte. It also has decent staying power, although it can be easily removed with any makeup remover.

If you want more pigmentation, you can just get the Velvet Mattes, those are sooo pigmented, the color stays even with just one swipe.

Now for some of the things I didn’t get to review, but are also highlighted this season:

Maybelline The Nudes Palette Php 675
Maybelline Hypercurl mascara Php 199
Maybelline Fashion Brow 3D Palette – Coming soon in 2016!

Bonus:

here’s another giveaway loves!! Just regram this photo via Instagram, use the hashtags #MaybeliineNYFWxPhya, #maybellineNYFW, and get a chance to win one special gift pack from Maybelline and I!

For more on Maybelline NYFW S/S2016, click the hashtags #MaybellineNYFW, #MakeItHappen, and join in on the convo!

Canon Pro Night: A Better Take on Fashion Photography

As a fashion blogger, you guys would think I’d know a lot about fashion photography. To be honest, I wouldn’t survive taking decent ootds without getting some help from Pinterest inspirations, photographer friends, and fellow bloggers. When I heard about Canon Pro Night, I was very excited to go to the event, because there, fashion photographer Sara Black and Wes Villarica will be present to show everyone techniques on how to take great fashion editorials. This might just help elevate the quality of my photos, besides, I’m always up for a skills upgrade.

“Canon Pro Night: Fashion Revolution” is the main event for the 2nd Manila Photo festival organized by Digital Photographer Philippines (DPP). Fashion and portrait photography take the spotlight as Canon Marketing (Philippines), Inc. (CMPI) bring in famous photographers and Canon Crusaders of Light members, Ibarra Deri, Wesley Villarica, and Sara Black. The Canon Pro Night demonstrates how fashion photography is brought to a new light with Canon’s diverse portfolio of lenses, accessories, and printers. 

“While fashion portraits are often appreciated because of their subjects, having achieved a certain quality of artistic shot actually demands great talent and the right set of imaging solutions,” said Lim Kok Hin, CMPI president and CEO. “At Canon, we ensure that we keep up with and enhance the craft of photographers, and that can be clearly seen by the array of imaging products we offer – from camera units, lenses, and other accessories that allow them to be best at what they are doing.”

At the event, Canon enthusiasts are free to participate in the Open Shoot. Canon gave consumers free hand to try their knack on fashion photography with the available units and lenses ready to be tested, perfectly coupled with Canon printers that allowed them to bring home mementos of their best fashion shots. Canon Crusaders of Light were also there mentoring the participants on how to take great photos of the model in Zodiac Theme.

Guests were allowed to bid for the newest Canon products at the lowest prices in a Dutch auction. The bid starts at the original price, then going lower and lower until an acceptable minimum price. Let’s be realistic here, you don’t expect to get Canon latest camera for just 100 pesos right? If I remember correctly one Canon Powershot camera went from 35k to 25k, which is a pretty good deal, especially since it was perfect for action shots. 

They also posted on the Canon Phils facebook page to encourage participants to bring their old cameras. The participant with the oldest camera got to take home a new one!

During the Canon Pro Night: Fashion Revolution, Ibarra Deri shared his expertise in lighting and portrait photography. He shared some really helpful tips, but half of it I couldn’t understand because it was getting too technical. His workshop is definitely more for the professional photographers, and not for hobbyists like me.

Canon also revealed that they’ll be launching the Canon ImageNation site soon, where Canon users can post photos and get feedback regarding each one. Basically it’s a community where Canon photographers can help each other out.

The highlight of the night was the Shoot Out between topnotch photographers Wesley Villarica and Sara Black. Skill and ingenuity were tested using the array of Canon cameras and accessories available, producing stunning images despite challenging settings.

I initially thought it was a shootout between the two, turns out, theywill just be mentoring the actual participants. They each got one participant, and during the shoot, you can see they have very different styles and techniques when it comes to taking fashion editorials.

The winner? Team Wes! I love the movement you can feel from the photo.

Canon loyalists enjoyed treats and deals in Canon’s exclusive sale. They enjoyed P10,000 worth of rebate on select cameras and lenses while cameras were also on sale up to 70% off. The sale will continue from October 2-4 and 9-11 as the Canon booth extends its presence at the Samsung Hall Foyer, SM Aura. For more details on the sale, visit www.canon.com.ph/promo/manilaphoto2015.

Spot me and Chessika wearing matching red dresses and gray cardigans on the front row!!

To know more about Canon’s suite of imaging and printing solutions, please visit www.canon.com.ph. Interact with the brand on social media at:
www.facebook.com/canonphils
www.twitter.com/canonphils
www.instagram.com/canonphils

Note: This is a sponsored post, but opinion is entirely the blogger’s