Month: November 2015

Lips on Fleek with Lip Pure lip balms! (Review)

I’ve never been a lip girl. I love doing my brows, and a little contour here and there, but for lips, it’s still that territory that I have yet to master. As I’ve shared before, I like a little bold lip every now and then to make a statement, but for the days when I just want to look simple, but polished, a look that doesn’t require so much effort, I use lip balm to hydrate my extra dry lips.

Lip balms are a great way to keep your puckers moisturized and healthy, a key to finishing a polished look. No matter what kind of gal you are, be it the makeup-savvy, or grab and go type, lip balm is a great makeup must have to instantly liven up a look. Especially the tinted ones. 

Remember the term “on fleek”? It’s currently a very popular hashtag on social media, which just means on point or done perfectly. So how do we keep our lips on fleek?

Looking well-kept doesn’t mean you have to pile on makeup. Sometimes, looking fresh is all it takes to look refined and well-maintained.

Dance floor maven and television personality Yassi Pressman, the new local ambassador of Lip Pure lip balms, shares, “It doesn’t take much for me, really. I try to stick to the basics no matter how busy I am. When my schedule is really hectic, I just put on cheek tint, mascara, and swipe on my trusty lip balm.” 

For Yassi, looking fresh is soooo much more important than piling on makeup, and she does just that by always having her Lip Pure tube ready for touch ups, anytime, anywhere.

“I think that perfecting the basics is a simple but effective way to always look your best. But of course, it’s not just all about beauty. As much as possible, it is best to go with products that are safe as well,” closes Yassi.

The lips are very important in accentuating or completing a look. Dramatic or subdued, keeping them healthy and moisturized is a must for those vying for double-tap worthy selfies.

Lip Pure, a new and all-natural beauty product by international OTC & health care company Mentholatum, offers just this with its unique formulation and ingredients. It contains all-natural components that are guaranteed to be safe for the skin.

Go Natural. Choose lip balms with 100% food grade ingredients.

I prefer food grade ingredients in lip products because we tend to also ingest the lip product while eating or drinking. This just makes sure that we’re not taking in anything harmful. Also, food grade and natural products tend to be more gentle on the skin than most chemical ingredients.

Lip Pure is a good option because it has gentle beeswax formulation and 100% food grade ingredients. It is also free of colorants and preservatives.

Hydrate and moisturize with all-natural ingredients

Proper hydration is the secret behind healthy-looking lips. This is particularly true here in the country, where the erratic and often extreme weather can take its toll on this sensitive part of the body.

Lip Pure is formulated with royal jelly and manuka honey to keep the lips moisturized even during the harshest of weather conditions. Other ingredients like almond oil, aloe extract, shea butter oil, and jojoba oil are also in Lip pure’s formulation for deep hydration and long-lasting moisture.

Anti-Oxidants for youthful looking puckers

Lip Pure is also infused with anti-oxidants like Vitamin E and grape seed oil to keep lips youthful looking.

That’s about it for a general overview of Lip Pure products, now let’s move on to my reviews!


Lip Pure (Php 129) in Fragrance Free and Orange


  • made with beeswax, royal jelly and Manuka honey from New Zealand
  • enriched with almond oil, shea butter and olive oil
  • made with food grade ingredients
  • free from colorants and preservatives


  • This glides really smoothly on the lips, almost like butter
  • very moisturizing, didn’t need frequent retouching
  • I like the fragrance free variant more, although the citrusy scent on the other variant isn’t too strong either
  • great value for money
  • it tends to run out easily than other lip balms in the market because it gets more product on the lips in one single swipe
  • because it is made form all-natural ingredients and has no preservatives, it might have a shorter shelf life

Lip Ice Tinted Lip Balm (Php 99) in Poppy Pink, Rose Red, and Baby Pink


  • infused with flavors: Raspberry for Poppy Pink, Wildberry for Rose Red, and Strawberry for Baby Pink
  • intense hydration with Hyaluronic Acid
  • firming and improvement of elasticity and texture with collagen
  • repairs dry lips with antioxidant Vitamin E
  • with UV protection of SPF 15



  • I love multitasking products like this, offering hydration, tint, and UV protection all at the same time!!
  • glides on as easily as Lip Pure
  • the flavors make the lip balms even yummier!
  • The slight tint is just enough to create a flush

Lip Ice Sheer Color (Php 145) in Strawberry, Shimmer and Fragrance Free


  • Color-changing: glides on clear and gradually changes to a natural sheer pink that is uniquely yours
  • with gentle beeswax for long lasting hydration
  • contains shea butter, macadamia ternifolia seed oil, jojoba seed oil, and aloe extract
  • with antioxidant Vitamin E

The Shimmer variant is the only one with extra sparkle



  • It’s like magic, the balm turned pink right after application on my lips
  • not as buttery as the previous lip balms
  • glides smoothly
  • the tube is easy to manipulate and the thickness of the balm is just right
  • The shimmer variant doesn’t show that big of a different, but it does have that extra shine

Lip Ice Watercolor (Php 145) in 01 Vintage Pink, 02 Dancing Pink and 04 Rock n’ Pink


  • contains Hyaluronic acid and ceramide for long lasting moisture
  • enriched with Maxilip that helps to reduce fine lines and Vitamin E

The Lip ice Watercolor line is the most pigmented out of all the balms from Mentholatum.



  • I love the pigmentation on this one, it’s not too heavy, and not too sheer either.
  • It adds just the right amount of flush when you want more out of your lip tint
  • Perfect for everyday use
  • The packaging is also the cutest among all the mentholatum products here, making it great for gifting!

What do you think about these Lip Pure, Lip Ice products? Have you tried any of them?

Lip Pure is a product of Mentholatum, an international OTC & health care products manufacturer headquartered in Orchard Park, USA. In Asia, their regional office is in Hongkong. Lip Pure is available in the Philippines in all Watsons branches Nationwide. Other products they have are: Mentholatum Therapy Lip Balm & Lip Gel, Men’s Cool Aqua Lip Balm and the popular Lip Ice in Sheer Color, Fruity, Tinted and Water Color.

DIY Hair Coloring with L’Oreal Excellence Fashion Care-Color-Care Routine (Giveaway + Review)

Hair coloring is my go-to treatment when I want a quick change in my hairstyle. It’s also a great way to experiment and change your whole look, without letting go of your precious locks.

Back when my hair was really long, I relied on DIY bubble hair color because DIY is always cheaper than having it done at salons, and you have more control over the outcome.


Recently, I got to try L’Oreal Excellence Fashion, L’Oreal Paris Philippines’ first hair color kit that uses a care-color-care routine. L’Oreal Excellence Fashion is L’Oreal’s way of encouraging everyone, to be able to change up your hair game, as frequent as you want, without fear of damaging your hair.


This is such a great color treatment routine, because I used to have damaged tresses because of how frequent I changed my look. I think it’s also the first of its kind to offer a pre-color treatment. Usually I only see a post color conditioner in hair coloring kits, but L’Oreal Excellence Fashion, has a pre-color serum as well. Ensuring your hair strands are cared for.



L’Oreal Excellence Fashion is available in 6 intense shades, in all Watsons stores nationwide. Each box retails for Php 495. Not bad considering how expensive hair coloring is at salons, like once I had to shell out thousands of pesos just for retouching my roots!!


The photo above is an excerpt from the instruction manual, see? Care-Color-Care.

Review: DIY Hair Coloring with L’Oreal Excellence Fashion


I picked L’Oreal Excellence Fashion 5.13 Ashy Nude Brown because I wanted a color that could cover up my bleached strands, and even out the color. I also liked that this one looked very natural.


Each L’Oreal Excellence Fashion Hair Color kit contains:

  1. Protective Pre-color Serum
  2. Protective Creme Colorant
  3. Creme Developer with extra Comb Applicator
  4. Protective Conditioner
  5. Plastic disposable gloves
  6. Instruction pamphlet

Box claim: One box of product is enough to color shoulder length or shorter hair. If you have great hair volume or longer hair, you are recommended to purchase multi-box

My experience: One box was enough to cover my thick medium length hair. I did get more than one box just in case, but then I didn’t really need it.

Here’s a photo of my hair before L’Oreal Excellence Fashion:


Notice how half of my hair black, while the other half still has my ombre balayage.

Step 1: Pre Color Care



  1. Use on dry unwashed hair
  2. Squeeze generous dose of the Pretective Pre-Serum into the hand
  3. Apply to the lengths and ends of hair
  4. Leave in while you color


  • It felt like a leave on conditioner, with the appearance of a thick serum
  • fragrance free
  • since it was applied only to the lengths and ends, the tiny tube was able to cover that

Step 2: Color Mix



  1. Pour Creme Colorant into the Developer bottle
  2. Replace applicator cap and shake vigorously
  3. Twist off tip of applicator immediately after mixing to avoid the bottle bursting and damage from the product overflowing.
  4. You can choose the comb applicator on lengths. It glides easily through hair and is ideal for mid length

As with other coloring kits, this part usually has the solution going very hot. Don’t panic, because the exothermic reaction is normal. It just means that the chemicals are reacting to create the right color and consistency.

Step 3: Application



  1. Apply color mixture first to your roots and stubborn greys. Part your hair into small, even sections using the applicator tip. Then spread it all through the hair.
  2. Massage mixture all through hair until fully saturated
  3. let it develop for 30 minutes

The small pointy nozzle was easy enough to use, and the squeeze bottle easily dispensed product onto the roots.


I switched the applicator tip to the comb type for the rest of my hair. True enough, the comb applicator made it easy to even out the color on the lengths.


I usually wear a shower cap after application, so the dye doesn’t get to other surfaces. Dye is really hard to clean after and can leave an ugly stain on clothes.

Another thing I like about this product is doesn’t smell as pungent as those I’ve used before. Sure it still has the smell of ammonia, but it’s more subtle, and not as irritating to my lungs.

Step 4: Rinse and Condition



  1. Pour a little warm water on the hair and massage gently.
  2. Rinse thoroughly until water runs clear.
  3. Evenly spread Protective Conditioner all over his hair.
  4. Massage gently.
  5. Leave in hair for 2 minutes.
  6. Rinse thoroughly.

This one was my favorite part. After initial rinsing, you can feel that the hair becomes a little dry, but thanks to the pre-color serum, the ends were not. The Protective Conditioner is really amazing because the instant I wash it off, I could feel the difference! My hair became smoother and softer before coloring! My hair didn’t go limp and dry at all!


This was my hair the day after I dyed it. It looks a bit red, but I guessed it would eventually wash off.


True enough, when I took the next photo a week later, my hair was less brassy/red and more ash blonde.


I didn’t have to worry about breakage or anything because the L’Oreal Excellence Fashion didn’t weaken my hair. In fact, I believe my hair bcame smoother, bouncier and softer after it. 


So there, that’s my review on my latest DIY hair color project with L’Oreal Excellence Fashion.

But wait, there’s more!

I’m hosting a giveaway where two lucky readers can win a gift pack each from L’Oreal Excellence Fashion. Mechanics are posted in my latest Instagram post:

Made a subtle change on my hair! Did a little DIY with @lorealparisph care-color-care technology, the #ExcellenceFashion in Ashy Nude Brown. Now my ombre’s not as obvious, and the color’s more even. A big plus is that you don’t have to worry about damaging your tresses because of the care-color-care routine! Win your own #ExcellenceFashion hair color kit by posting a photo of your preferred variant (available in Watsons and SM Beauty), or a selfie of your #ExcellenceFashion DIY hair project. Don’t forget to use the hashtags #ExcellenceFashion #LOrealxPhya for your entries to count! 📷by @benbigs.jpg #clozette #hair #beauty #giveawayph #phyagiveaways #stylecentricgiveaway #bblogger #giveaway #lorealparisph

A photo posted by Phylicia Marie Pineda (@_phyliciamarie) on Nov 27, 2015 at 1:43am PST

Win your own #ExcellenceFashion hair color kit by posting a photo of your preferred variant (available in Watsons and SM Beauty), or a selfie of your #ExcellenceFashion DIY hair project. 

Don’t forget to use the hashtags #ExcellenceFashion #LOrealxPhya for your entries to count! 

Do join my giveaway/early Christmas treat!

Stay Snug and Comfy with the new Triumph Sports Bras

If you guys have been following me on Instagram, I recently posted about my new Sunday habit, boxing. I stopped boxing for about a year when the rates at gym close to my office became too expensive to maintain. Anyhow, after months of no solid fitness routine, I’m back!! 

To fuel my motivation, I even bought myself a new fitness wardrobe. Teehee. I don’t mind spending on sportswear because they are investments made to withstand wear and tear. Recently, I found myself investing on sports bras, because there really is a difference when you get the right one with the right fit and support.

I’ve gone to the gym quite a few times realizing my bra is either too low, doesn’t have enough support, or not snug enough for dancing or other cardio activities. Instead of enjoying the workout, I end up worrying if there’s anything showing, there are a lot of guys at the gym after all. 


This Christmas season, Triumph released their new sports bra collection, specially made for women with active lifestyles. I always bought my sports bras from the sportswear brands, and I’m glad Triumph made one, because it is a brand that truly understands the female physiology, having been in the business since 1886.


Triumph came up with pieces that go under either low, medium or high impact support, depending on which activities a woman is involved in. What’s even better is that they got Amy Ahomiro, college volleyball superstar, as their brand ambassador. I’ve been a fan of hers ever since their underdog season last UAAP Season 76, where the Lady Eagles beat all the odds to win the championship. I swear, she’s so amazing on court, and really humble too.

Just a few weeks ago, I got to try out firsthand how the new Triumph high impact sports bra was so comfy, snug, and provided support at a Body Combat class with Amy Ahomiro. Read more to find out what went down that day. 🙂


First up, Amy Ahomiro came out to greet everyone wonderful afternoon, sharing her experience with the Triumph sports bras. Amy says, “I use the high intensity Triumph Sports Bra because the training sessions are really intense. I really feel the support. It’s like one of those things – you can’t really do what you want to do if you’re not supported well. It helps me take care of myself, my performance, and that’s really important. We’re always jumping, rolling, diving… just always moving, and when we fall, we have to pop back up. So it’s important that I get the support I need so I don’t have to think about anything more. It just supports me and helps me do what I’m supposed to do. This one gives me the support and confidence that I need to play well.”

Just like Amy, whichever activity you engage in, be it low impact activities or are just as passionate about intense contact sports, choosing the right sports bra for your body plays an important role in the quality of our physical activity. 


Now let’s learn about the different sports bras Triumph currently offers:



Low Impact Sports Bras


The Low Impact Sports Bras come in two razorback styles. One is designed with a flattering low cut front and a thicker razorback, and, the other one has a higher neckline for additional support and coverage, with a thinner razorback for a balanced feel. 


These two bras were made for comfortable low impact activities such as Yoga, basic floor exercises and Pilates. 


Medium Impact Sports Bra

If you enjoy medium impact sports like jogging, cycling, cross training, and body combat, then this is the bra for you. Add some flair to your sports outfit with the striped design of this sports bra. It has a higher front to ensure that you don’t need to worry about readjusting yourself. A thicker mesh razorback is in place as well to make sure that your back receives adequate support to help improve posture.


High Impact Sports Bra

This bra is made for freedom of movement and is ideal for high impact ball sports such as volleyball, football, basketball, including other activities such as step aerobics, and Zumba. 


The High Impact Sports Bra, too, comes in bright stylish pops of colors such as red, cyan, teal and the ever classic black, and is made with very breathable material while remaining functional and stylish enough to wear alone. It has a high front and the thickest straps to provide maximum support on its own so you can exercise without worrying about underwear malfunctions.


At the event, we were assisted by the good people from Triumph with sizing. This is the same as what they do in the stores, to ensure that each piece is worn with the most comfort and maximum function.


I haven’t done Body Combat in a while, and even when the class was just half of the normal 45 minute class, it was already so intense!


There was a lot of air-kicking, air-punching, squats, jumps and whole lot of other activities in that short period. 


See? I already look tired halfway through. :))

i’m happy to report that Triumph truly delivered. My High Impact sports bra stayed put the whole session! I may sound like a saleslady already or something, but honestly, I was pleasantly surprised with it.

The garter part didn’t leave a mark, the bra had enough support, and most importantly, no pain even after all that jumping.


Many thanks to these three instructors for encouraging us to do our best even when we were panting.


Of course, to end this post, a photo of me and Amy, who did the whole class with us! She jumped the highest at the jump squats guys, She’s so awesome. 

Whether you want something to simply wear around the house or to help you get the most out of your fitness routine, Triumph, the maker of lingerie sine 1886, definitely has something for your needs. Visit the Triumph Store at Robinsons Place Magnolia or one of their many branches at all major department stores nearest you and get fitted so you can find the one.

Get live updates on the insightful tailoress that is Triumph by liking them on Facebook, or follow them on Instagram with handle @triumph_ph. Follow the conversation with the hashtag #TriumphSportsPH

What do you think about the new line?

What’s New: Maybelline Velvet Matte Liquid Lipsticks (Review and Swatches)

UPDATE: As of January 2016, Maybelline Philippines has renamed the VELVET MATTE Line to VIVID MATTE Liquid Lipsticks.

Fun fact about me: I used to be very intimidated by lipsticks, especially the bold colors like orange, red and pink! Even with my love for color, I was so afraid of rocking bold colored lipstick because of how it might look too glossy, or worse tacky.

After seeing Blair and Serena rock a myriad of lip colors on Gossip Girl, I decided it was worth a try. After all, my TV style idols were rocking them, so I can too. But no, I still found it awkward. Then came the matte revolution, and that’s when I was really ready to experiment. I think it’s because matte or shine-free bold colors don’t intimidate me as much as the ones with pearl or gloss finishes.

So there, I finally tried on matte lippies, and it’s definitely the finish I’ll stick to. My only issue with it is that matte formulations usually dry out my already dry lips, so I always have to apply lip balm underneath. This reason is exactly why I was so happy to learn that Maybelline has come up with a cream-to-matte formulation, that ensures matte finish with the smoothest comfort.


Kiss your old mattes goodbye as Maybelline introduces the VELVET MATTEs from their highly successful power lip franchise, Color Sensational.

“As New York Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2016 unveils the hottest trends of the season, matte lips is definitely one of the biggest on-trend looks that has made a strong come back and there’s no slowing down!,” shares Katrina Diaz, Product Manager for Maybelline New York. “With the newest Maybelline Velvet Matte lip collection featuring sensational reds, hottest pinks, vivid plums, along with classic coral and nude – we make sure our Maybelline girls are always one step ahead of the pack by introducing the future of mattes. Leave behind the dry formulation as Velvet Matte delivers ultra-high pigmentation with strong staying power so Filipinas can now rock their perfect matte lips without the chapped look and dry feeling,” added Diaz.


In this post, I’m sharing my thoughts on all 9 beautiful shades, as well as a review and corresponding swatches. As a sneak peek, the photo above shows my portrait, with lips painted with my newest favorite matte lippie, the Maybelline Velvet Matte in MAT 12.

Maybelline Velvet Matte Review 


“Boasting of 9 vivacious shades in winsome and convenient lip tubes complete with lipstick applicator, Velvet Matte punches absolute matte, vivid colors with its anti-shine powder and velvety smooth finish thanks to its ultra-light Velvet Gel formula. Combined with specially formulated nourishing paste, it prevents lips from looking flat, dry, and chalky all day long.”


  • a liquid lip color which creates a liquid-to-matte sensation while providing petal smooth comfort
  • long wearing vibrant, richly-pigmented hues with a matte finish
  • lightweight, non-sticky, non-drying formula care of Velvet Gel formula

Directions for use:

  1. Apply lipcolor with applicator wand starting in the center of
    your upper lip. 
  2. Work from the center to the outer edges of your lip,
    following the contours of your mouth. 
  3. Then glide across the entire
    bottom lip.

Application: Using the wand/applicator needs a bit of getting used to. Since the product is highly pigmented, mistakes can easily be seen.

Packaging: Sleek, simple, and chic, I love how you can easily identify the colors just by looking at the tube.


Maybelline Velvet Matte Swatches


I only swiped once for the swatches, and it’s already very pigmented, same goes for the actual lip application. My only issue is that it doesn’t dry up as fast.


MAT 1 is a bright coral pink shade. It’s not bordering on neon, so it still works for a lot of skin tones.


MAT 2 is peachier/ more orange version of MAT 1, perfect if you like warmer tones.


MAT 5 is really orange. It’s definitely a great lippie to brighten up your day, but it’s not for business meetings.


MAT 6 is a plum – pink shade that’s not too purple. It’s more pink than purple, and more wearable on a daily basis than most plums.


MAT 8 is an orange red, great for people who want a bold red with a warm undertone.


MAT 9 is a very red matte, close to a tomato or a cherry apple. I would probably call it the true red from this collection.


MAT 10 is a nice barbie pink, but it isn’t too bright, also good for everyday wear.


Mat 11 is a deep red, with a blue undertone. It’s a very beautiful shade of red that can be worn by all skin types. It’s also perfect for days when you need a power lip to push through a hectic day of errands and meetings.


MAT 12 is a pretty nude pink, and is my favorite out of everything. I love how it doesn’t wash out my skin tone, even when it’s nude.

I’ve been looking for the perfect nude lip color since forever, and this is just perfect, and at an affordable price too!! If it’s not obvious, it’s my favorite Velvet Matte shade, which you might remember from this tutorial.


Here’s another photo of the swatch I did on my arm, after about 15 minutes, with some of them already mattified. I find that it usually takes about 15-30 minutes before the cream turns to matte, and also varies depending on how may layers you put on. Of course, the more layers you put on, the more time it takes to mattify.


Overall, I love the Velvet Mattes. This collection is prolly my most raved about from all of Maybelline’s lip color lines. I love the high pigmentation, the matte finish, how long wearing it is, and most importantly, it doesn’t dry out my lips!!!


“Definitely the ultimate steal of the season for only Php349 with an introductory price of just Php299, experience the most intense matte with a velvet smooth sensation with Velvet Matte available in  Maybelline counters nationwide starting this September 2015. “

Products are exclusively imported and distributed by Maybelline New York and are available nationwide in all Maybelline counters. For more information about Maybelline New York, please visit You can also check out the hashtag, #YourLipsMATTEr

What do you think of my review? need any more details?

UPDATE: As mentioned at the top of my post,as of January 2016, Maybelline Philippines has renamed the VELVET MATTE Line to VIVID MATTE Liquid Lipsticks. The VIVID MATTE Liquid Lipsticks are not to be confused with the Vivid Matte Solid Lipsticks launched this Summer 2016.

CBTL encourages you to Give Flavorfully with the Giving Journal 2016


Consistent with The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf’s The Giving Journal tagline, “Brew your best year”, CBTL released the new Giving Journal 2016, with a brand new look, layout, and even more encouraging quotes. 

Last year, we were encouraged to live a life that overflows, this year, CBTL encourages everyone to give flavorfully. Designed to inspire each individual to pursue passions, fulfillment and happiness in everyday moments, each Giving Journal is also a way to give back to others thru the Real Life Foundation supported by CBTL.



The Giving Journal 2016


It has always been a tradition for CBTL to give back to the community. For the last few years, CBTL has partnered with Real LIFE Foundation, the Giving Journal’s beneficiary, where proceeds are given for the educational needs of the less fortunate.


To date, The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf has sponsored 38 university scholars since 2011 – giving them a chance to fulfill their dreams, help their families, and improve their prospects for a brighter future. CBTL is also proud to share that 13 of these scholars have graduated and are already paying it forward to the community they grew up in.

What’s great about the CBTL involvement is that they don’t just sponsor, they also contribute to the holistic development of the scholar by helping hold leadership or mentorship programs, so these scholars can inspire more people.


The Giving Journal 2016 comes in four colors, Cyan, Mustard, Caramel and Deep Violet. 

I got one each of cyan and deep violet, one for me and one for my sister, and I’m still completing my stamp card for another planner! I really frequent CBTL, so I find it easy to fill up my stamp cards, plus the proceeds will go to a good cause anyway, giving me more reasons to get more Giving Journals!!

You can check out this article to know how you can claim one of yours! 

Tip: Last year, they ran out of planners early, and with this year’s pretty colors, I’m predicting the same trend. 🙂

The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf Holiday Drinks 2015


In the spirit of the merriest season, The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf® has taken upon itself the mission to spread joy in all forms, giving flavor, one cup at a time. This Christmas, it is offering its customers two special holiday flavors that make the perfect companions for celebrating the holidays. Each drink comes in two variations: an iced drink, and a warm latte. 

Fans with a sweet tooth will be happy to try the Toffee Nut flavor, which is a new addition to the menu. Inspired by traditional holiday confections, its flavor comprises of a buttery caramelized sugar with a hint of nut, paired with the richness of espresso and a sprinkle of toffee bits. 

In the Winter Dream Tea, a drink that has come to be anticipated and loved by the café’s patrons, rooibos and black tea are blended with sweet spices and hints of Vanilla– a beverage that is truly what holiday dreams are made of. Each drink was lovingly crafted to capture the spirit of Christmas in a cup, to be savored and enjoyed amidst the chaos of all holiday preparations.

I loved the Winter Dream tea from last year, so I’m definitely still ordering it this time around. I do miss the Red Velvet Latte they had last year, but hey, they say the Toffee Nut’s good as well!


I love Coffee Bean’s 26th St, Bistro because the branch is the coziest one I’ve been to. They also have a long expanded menu different from the usual The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf branches. I got to try their Grilled Chicken ceasar Salad before and I love how the serving was generous and had lots of chicken! The same goes for their Salmon and Herb Linguine, perfect mix of spices and fish. I also highly recommend their sandwiches,the salami and cream cheese is always a winner. For pastries, their cheesecakes are good too, but I find the banana chocolate muffin to be the best one to pair with their coffee.


As a part of The Giving Journal 2016 launch, CBTL encourage everyone to bring out their creative juices for a fun afternoon of arts and crafts. It was a small art fair, with these amazing local artists: Alessandra Lanot for Watercoloring, Abbey Sy and Jelvin Base for Hand
Lettering, Karl Ivan Presentacion for Papercutting, and Alexis Ventura
for Calligraphy.


The watercolor station has to be my favorite. Chessika and I spent most of our time there, really learning how to to watercolor typography. I was also super amazed by the waterbrush we used, so much, I just bought one for myself! Now I’m on the lookout for watercolor paints I could use with it.


Then tada! presenting my work! the word uplift actually had a pattern, so I just followed that, I did believe by using the techniques Alessa taught, and I’m pretty happy with the outcome.


Next was hand lettering. It was like normal writing, except you had to experiment with placement and different fonts. 


This station was one of the hardest, papercutting. You really need a lot of patience. I tore two of my practice sheets unintentionally by either pressing down on the blade too hard, or doing too many strokes.


Also another frustrating activity, calligraphy with ink pens! I had so much difficulty controlling the nib, and ended up poking through my practice sheets. 


For more updates on The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf and The Giving Journal 2016, like them on Facebook, follow them on Instagram, or visit their official website.

Don’t forget to use the hashtag #GiveFlavorfully when posting on social media! 

26th St. Bistro by The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Be Acne Free with Avène Cleanance Expert (Launch + Review)

Isn’t it such a downer when you get breakouts? I personally find it slightly affecting my day, especially when I have to go to special events or important meetings, it lowers my confidence because I’m so conscious of my zits. Usually, I settle with covering it up with makeup, but we all know that only makes it worse. 

Thankfully, Avène, Europe’s leading dermo-cosmetic brand, recently launched its Cleanance EXPERT, a daily treatment which targets unwanted spots and blackheads. I like how Avène products have mild formulations great for sensitive skin, and it’s even better that they have a specific line for managing acne. Typical anti-acne lines are usually potent and a bit harsh, and Avène doesn’t want that, so instead of using the usual ingredients like benzoyl peroxide, and similar compounds, they replaced those with ingredients that are naturally derived and less harsh, but just as effective.

For this post, I’ll show you guys what happened at the launch, as well as a short review of the

Avène Cleanance (Anti-Acne) line that I was able to try out.

Avène Cleanance Expert Launch

“Acne usually takes a toll on a person’s self-esteem. Some even avoid going out with altogether or meet new people. These situations are very alarming,” said Harry Tsai, General Manager of Karihome Inc. exclusive distributor of Eau Thermale Avène products in the Philippines. “But with our new Avène Cleanance EXPERT product, people with acne-prone skin can finally have the confidence to face people.”

The Eau Thermale Avène Cleanance Expert is the latest component of the whole Cleanance skincare line. Cleanance is Avène’s special line for acne prone skin, which includes the flagship products Cleansing Gel and Mattifying Toner.  

Avène Cleanance EXPERT, as mentioned before, is specially formulated for acne prone skin, effectively eliminating mild to moderate blemishes.

Avène Cleanance EXPERT comes in an oil-free emulsion that’s easy to apply, quickly absorbed, hydrates and mattifies the skin as it treats the blemishes. 

Avène Cleanance EXPERT has three active ingredients: 

  • Diolenyl – limits risk of bacterial proliferation, reduces redness and helps eliminate spots
  • X-pressin – reduces blackheads and keep the skin’s texture smooth 
  • Monolaurin – regulates the hyperproduction of sebum to create a matte finish

The Avène Cleanance EXPERT is priced at Php 1,230, but as a thank you to all of Avène’s beloved patrons, they’re keeping the price at 

Php 985.00

until December 31, 2015. 

As with most Avène products, Cleanance EXPERT is also rich in Avène Thermal Spring Water, known for its natural soothing properties that help maintain the skin’s normal pH level.

“The Thermal Spring Water was captured directly from a spring in Avène in France ensuring that the soft, soothing and healing water is never exposed to sunlight and air until the time it is released from the bottle,” said Charline Tang, ASEAN Product Manager from Pierre Fabre Dermo Cosmetique. “Using the Thermal Spring Water as its primary ingredient across all its products catalogue helped in developing products that provide optimum skin care to people who have even serious skin conditions.”

The event was held at the SM Makati Beauty Section, where they also had booth for free consultation, product discounts, raffle prizes, and photobooth activities.

Don’t forget, the Cleanance EXPERT is on promo price of Php 985 until the end of the year, so if you’re planning to get one for yourself or as a gift, now’s the best time to purchase! 

Avène is available in selected Wastons and Mercury drugstores nationwide. For more details, like their Facebook page.

Avène Cleanance EXPERT Review & How to’s

For your journey to acne-free skin, Avène recommends this skincare regimen, including the Avène Cleanance Expert.

The Avène Acne Free Skin Ritual:

  1. Cleanse with a Cleanance hygiene product. In my case, I used the Avène Cleanance Cleansing Gel. Do this twice a day
  2. Spray an fine layer of Avène Thermal Spring Water all over the face.
  3. Apply Cleanance Expert oil-free emulsion to the entire face.

Avène Cleanance Cleansing Gel

What I like about it:

  • contains Glyceryl Laureate to purify and regulate sebum production
  • the clear soap-free gel does not foam, only bubbles a little, meaning less harsh ingredients in it (soap bases in big amounts are rather caustic)
  • The packaging is very secure, and it’s easy to dispense the gel out of the squeeze bottle
  • doesn’t leave my skin too dry
  • very refreshing feel, with a mild cooling feature
  • non-irritating

What I don’t like about it:

  • contains alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs), which make the skin sensitive to sunlight and may be prone to sunburn, for this, you have to always wear sunscreen
  • does not effectively remove makeup. Because it is soap free, the mild formula can only take off light makeup.

Overall, I like the results, but I might use another cleansing product during the days when the sun is particularly harsh

Eau Thermal Avène Thermal Spring Water

I’ve been using Eau Thermal Avène Thermal Spring Water for months now, and I love it. I use it as a makeup fixer, and also spray it right before I put on moisturizer and sunscreen. I also spritz it on whenever my skin feels extra sensitive because it instantly soothes redness. 

As I’ve mentioned before in this post, the Avène Thermal Spring Water has a unique and original composition that soothes, softens the skin, and restores the skin’s natural balance. It’s the first water mist that has a major clinical study conducted in the ASEAN countries, proving the clinical efficacy on Asian sensitive skin.

I think of it as a magical multi-purpose water spray, perfect for everyday sincare, as well as for some dermatological needs like redness, sunburn, itching and irrittation, because it really helps. I remember there was a part of my chin that was really itchy, and I spritzed it on, instant soothing.

To use the Avène Thermal Spring Water, spray a light mist all over the face or affected area, then leave on skin for 2-3 minutes before patting dry.

Avène Cleanance EXPERT

Instructions for use: Apply a thin layer every morning and evening to the face.

Usually for acne creams, they’re used as spot treatments, but as most dermatologists advise, we should apply the cream allover to avoid re-infection. Remember how when using a potent pimple cream like benzoyl peroxide effectively makes the pimple shrink, but even with that, the pimple seems to grow at that same spot each time. That’s because the bacteria might have spread or migrated to a part where you didn’t put pimple cream, and when you stop putting the pimple cream, the bacteria simply migrates or grows right back to the same spot. putting the cream all over limits the risk of bacteria proliferation.

What i like about it:

  • easily absorbed by the skin and feels very hydrating, so I feel like it’s okay if I forget the moisturizer sometimes
  • visibly reduces redness over a short period
  • easily glides on to the skin and dries up matte

What I don’t like about it:

  • the effects are not instantly seen. not for those who are impatient and want their zit to disappear right away

Overall, I really like the Cleanance EXPERT. I still use it over the other similar products from other brands because it still delivers the same effect, with better ingredients. I also love how smooth my face feels after every application, it’s even better than putting on primer!

To track my progress with this regimen, I took photos of my face from Day 0, pre-Avène Cleanance, Day 1, right after application, and Day 7 and Day 14 after my daily use.

Notice that I have breakouts inbetween my brows, around my lips, and at the lower part of my cheek.

Right after application, the redness is visibly reduced. Plus, a matte finish!!!

Do remember that I did the whole 3-step regimen.

The pimple in between my brows are pretty persistent even after Day 7, but those around my lips and on my cheek have disappeared.

This is the latest update, after two weeks, the pimples in between my brows have decreased, and the ones around my mouth and cheek have disappeared. However, because I have been stressed out and sleeping late, I’ve had more breakouts on my chin.

There you go, my review on the Avène Cleanance line. I’m thinking of continuing this regimen because I like the results so far, and the gentle formula is just so refreshing.

What do you think about my review? Were you able to get the same results?

For more information on

Avène, like their official Facebook Page, or follow the conversation with the hastags #BeAblewithAvène and #AvèneFightAcne

Beauty Promo Alert!! The Maybelline Crazy Sale is on starting Nov. 15!


Remember the Maybelline crazy sale I kept mentioning from my previous Maybelline related blog and IG posts? It’s finally started!!

Maybelline New York launches its Craziest Sale ever! Starting November 13 to December 31, 2015, Maybelline New York is slashing P200 off from over 200
of your Maybelline favorites!

The timing is so perfect, because I’m not even halfway through my Christmas list, and a lot of my friends would love to receive one of these bestsellers!

Click the read more break to find out which products are included in the sale so you can plan ahead for your shopping spree!


On my list are the Maybelline the Falsies mascara (which I did a tutorial and review on), Maybelline The Nudes palette


More Maybelline Velvet Matte, especially the Mat12!!


Stocking up on my favorite drugstore powder compact, Maybelline White Superfresh (tutorial and review), too!

This promo is open to ALL Maybelline counters nationwide, so troop to the nearest Maybelline counter and hoard before stocks run out!!

Btw, watch out for my upcoming giveaway featuring these #MaybellineCrazySale items on Instagram, posting soon!

Which products are you including in your shopping list?

Create your own Stuffed Toy at the Plush and Play Date

You guys know I always support a great advocacy, especially those that are sustainable and bring about change in a big community. This is exactly why I was so excited to learn that a new social enterprise, Plush and Play, has just entered the mainstream toy market.

Plush and Play-date

This weekend, to get more people to be aware of this homegrown brand, Plush and Play is holding their first ever event, Plush and Play-date at the 2nd Level Mega Atrium of SM Megamall. At Plush and Play-date, participants can get to make your own stuffed toy from scratch by simply getting Plush and Play items with a single receipt purchase of 500 pesos. What’s great is that you’ll get to learn the whole process of toy making from the lovely resident mothers of Gawad Kalinga, and learn about their stories and how Plush and Play helped transform their lives. 

I personally tried my hand with the DIY plushie this morning, and I now have a deep appreciation for well made stuffed toys! Each one takes time and effort, and the GK nanays (mothers) were very meticulous with the stitching. I’m going back on Sunday and bringing my family because it’s also a great bonding activity. You can also gift your DIY plushie to a loved one, saying it’s personalized. 🙂 

Learn more about Plush and Play, and my personal DIY stuffed toy experience after the read more break. 🙂

What is Plush and Play?

Plush and Play is Fabien Courteille’s passion project. Fabien is a French GK volunteer turn social entrepreneur, who spent his time here in the Philippines thinking of ways to help the GK community, especially the seamstresses who lost their jobs once the big factories closed up here and moved to countries with cheap labor.

The result is Plush and Play, a toy social enterprise. Fabien says that toys are perfect because our country’s population is very young, and we have a lot of kids.

I have always believed that empowering mothers always lead to a brighter future for their kids. Plush and Play gives a great opportunity for moms to earn income, while staying in the household and taking care of their children. Yup, Plush and Play allows moms to work from home, just bringing the outputs within a certain schedule. This way, moms get to be hands on with their child’s development, while helping the family financially. It’s a win win situation for everyone.

Plush and Play-date

The event occupies the whole Mega Atrium at the 2nd Level, so it’s easy to spot. It’s also surrounded by a lot of restaurants, so groups can drop by after dining there, or go to the restos after crafting.

Meet the Plush and Play Gang:

L-R: Fili Pinya, Pan Talong, Karla Mansi, Mang Gustin, Manny Pakwan, Jessica Saging, Anne Kamatis, Buko Martin

Not in photo: Dalan Daniel, Maria Mangga, Mais Ganda, Okra Aunor, Antonio Repolyo, Sili Crawford, Apple De Ap, etc. 

1. Pick your design

The first step for Plush and Play date is picking your design. They have the representative Filipino symbols, the carabao, the sun from the Philippine flag, the bahay kubo, bangus or milkfish as national fish, mangoes as national fruit, and the cute Pusong Pinoy or Filipino heart.

I picked the mango because it was too cute!

2. Pick a color.

They’ve got the colors of the Philippine flag, red, yellow, and blue. Yay for nationalism!

3. Cutting

Be mindful about leaving about half an inch of allowance from the drawn line for stitching!

4. Sewing

The resident mothers from Gawad kalinga are the ones who sew the cut cloth together, leaving a small unsewn hole for stuffing

5. Stuffing

Plush and Play used the highest quality of polyester fiber filling available locally to stuff the plushies. I was most meticulous with this part because I wanted my stuffed toy to have even softness all over. 

You also had to stuff little by little to ensure the uniformity of the softness.

6. Stitching

This is the part where you can customize your DIY plushie! you can cut out shapes from the available felt materials and create leaves, eyes, lips, etc., then stitch them on.

After much trial and error, presenting my version of Maria Mangga!

Clockwise from Top Right: mine, Earth’s, Ava’s, Yuki’s

With the nanays who helped us out!

Thank you so much Fabien for the fun experience, can’t wait to grow my Plush and Play plushie collection!

For more info on Plush and Play, visit their official website, For quick updates, you can also find them on Facebook or Instagram.

Were you able to drop by the event? how was your experience? 

7 Fun and Easy Christmas Gift Ideas for your #GirlSquad / Barkada

Yesterday, I posted about going out of your way to find unique items as Christmas presents for your loved ones. But what if you’re that type of person who’s really really really really busy, you don’t have time to hand pick specific items for your Christmas list?


Fear not ladies, because I’ve created a list of my fail safe one-gift-fits-all Christmas picks for those of you who have the same dilemma. Most of these are readily available in nearby stores and supermarkets, and even online!

7 Fun and Easy Christmas Gift Ideas for your Barkada / Girlfriends:

1. Baked goods with personalized thank you notes

When I’m really out of ideas, I result to buying food as presents. I buy my favorite cookies or banana loaves from my favorite patisserie, buy cute jars from the supermarket, and repackage them with ribbons. To make it more personal, stick a thank you note or a short message.


photos from

2. Hot Cocoa Mix Ornament

It doesn’t have to be these exact ornament balls. You can opt to get mason jars instead, and carefully layer hot cocoa powder, then chocolate chips, sprinkles, and top with lots of marshmallows. Get more creative and mix up the flavors by adding more ingredients like peppermint candy or pretzels. To make it cuter, tie a sugar cane to the lid so it can serve as the mixing spoon once water is added 🙂


photo from

3. Monogrammed Items

I think I’ve done this every other year for my friends. I pick a certain practical item, then have them monogrammed. Make it even more personal by DIY-ing their initials yourself using metallic Sharpies.


photos from Pinterest

4. Jewelry / Accessories

It’s the holiday season, meaning parties, parties and more parties! And what better way to spruce up your holiday wardrobe than by wearing accessories. These can also double as friendship bracelets/rings. I suggest getting the stackable or charmed ones because they’re more versatile not to mention conversation starters in a party.


I got these photos from Zalora, and I was quite surprised that they had quite a range of accessories for men and women. They even have sunnies and hats, aside from the usual jewelry pieces.

5. Makeup Kit or Cosmetic Pouch

I love gifting makeup bags because there are a lot of cute designs everywhere. They can also double as toiletry kits when travelling, so plus points for functionality. You can also match the colors to the favorite colors of the ones you’ll give these to, and have them monogrammed as well. Lot’s of possibilities, yeah?


photos from Pinterest

6. Travel Organizers

These things are sooooooooo useful when travelling. They keep your belongings in order and intact. Especially those packing cubes, they help keep your clothes less wrinkled so you don’t have to iron them. Duh, extra chore. You wouldn’t want to iron your clothes when you’re supposed to be chilling and having fun on your trip. I also use these when organizing my gym clothes so my bags don’t get messy. You can pick between packing cubes, travel wallets, bag organizers, to name a few.


photos from Pinterest

7. Sheet Masks

Sheet masks are my recent beauty discovery. I love how affordable they are and how there are a lot of different types for every skin concern. Gift these to your barkada and you can have an instant Christmas sparty! What’s even more amazing about sheet masks is how the effect is seen almost immediately after application, if not, the next day.


photos from Zalora

There you have it, my Christmas gift suggestion for your girl friends. What do you think? Do you want to add anything to the list?

Shop at The Caravan and celebrate “That Christmas Feeling”

It’s that time of the year again! Malls are slowly filling up with holiday shoppers and traffic is getting more unbearable. I love Christmas, but both road and human traffic is just driving me crazy. So before the streets get fully clogged because of those mad dashes to the mall for last minute gifts, start gift shopping while the crowd is still tolerable.

When I go gift hunting, I usually shop at trunk shows because of 2 main reasons: 

  1. Better gift options – trunk shows feature local talent and exceptional products from around the globe, avoiding the possibility of generic items
  2. Less crowds – usually, a less rowdy crowd goes to these things, carefully examining each unique piece, and thinking of possibilities to personalize each one

These two reasons are exactly why I’m going to The Caravan this weekend. The Caravan, a unique lifestyle market inspired by traveling gypsy caravans filled with eclectic items from exotic places, is having the theme “That Christmas Feeling” for it’s latest installment.


This November 14-15, 2015 at the Kirov Model Unit beside the Rockwell Tent, outside Powerplant Mall, The Caravan and the Proscenium at Rockwell invites patrons to look forward to wonderful holiday decor, scents, tastes, music, and most especially, gifts, perfect for That Christmas Feeling.


That Christmas Feeling is already the fifth installment of The Caravan. As is consistent with previous runs, The Caravan is giving everyone a tasteful assortment of fashion, beauty, health, food and home products as options for that extraordinary Christmas gift, we’ve always wanted to share with our loved ones.

Here’s a preview of what you’ll be able to find at The Caravan, these, and so much more:


Beach scarf and cover ups from Quiver, minimalist jewelry from Saxum Jewelry and Stockton Row, scents from Kiele, bags from Pambahay by Halo Halo


handcrafted clay tags from Noteworthy PH, personalized stamps, embossers and monograms from The Best Impressions


jewelry with precious stones from All That Glitters


genuine leather bags from Ni Qua


button down shirts from Aware and Present


Mitchell Black tabletop pieces from Statement Theory


upcycled items from Retaso


Terrariums, and various botanicals from The Space Garden Plants


Colorful boho pieces from Ethnique


shabby chic and quirky wood items from Rustique

and so much more! (Not in photos: Mich Arraullo, Dhalton Home, Two chic, etc!!)

See you at The Caravan: That Christmas Feeling this weekend! 
Come join us celebrate all things merry and bright!
November 14-15, from 11am to 9pm at the Kirov Model Unit (beside The
Rockwell Tent). 

For more information on The Caravan: Follow @TheCaravanPH on Instagram and use the hashtags #TheCaravanPH #ThatChristmasFeeling