Friday, January 31, 2014

Clothes Spin: Gray Dress Love [Flashback Friday]

Gong Xi Fa Cai! Happy Chinese New Year!

It's also Flashback Friday, so it's fashion flashback time to one of my favorite dresses, a gray Forever 21 frock. I was wearing the exact same dress yesterday, so here's a look at all the other times I wore it. (I'm not a celebrity who doesn't repeat clothes. I wear them until they fall apart! Also, Kate Middleton and Michelle Obama are my idols when it comes to this.)

Date Night
The dress is too short and sheer not to be worn with leggings/tights. When I'm feeling girly, I just wear it with flats.

Forever 21 gray dress with black belt, Una Rosa leggings, black flats (forgot where I got them), Longchamp LM Metal bag in Steel

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Food Trip: Watami Japanese Casual Restaurant - First Visit

I love Japanese food, so I'm always on the lookout for a nice Japanese place. That is why when my college friends had a meetup, I suggested Watami. It's a new Japanese restaurant at the new Glorietta wing that is not a katsu place.


At first we actually walked into Lugang Cafe next door by mistake. The two restaurants had signs on a pole between them that were a little confusing. When we walked into Watami they said people going to Lugang sometimes end up at their restaurant too.

Watami looks really polished, but manages to maintain a casual vibe. It's large and comfortable, with lovely dim lighting. It's a franchise from Japan (with over 700 branches all over Asia) so we expected authentic Japanese food, and we weren't disappointed.

Our table


The food was amazing! The flavors were somehow different from other Japanese restos in the metro. The menu was extensive and everything looked attractive, so we had a tough time choosing what to order. While waiting, they served us some lovely house tea.


We started with the drinks because those were the easiest to decide on. A lot of Watami's drinks are huge, which we liked. I chose the Green Citrus Yuzu Marmalade Soda, Kitch went with the Fresh Kiwi Squash methinks, and Payi and Yong shared the Milk Tea with Black Tapioca. We all liked our orders. Mine was full of citrus-y goodness. I felt like I loaded up on Vitamin C that day, heh. 

Humongous glasses

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Makeup Madness: Up Close - Wet n Wild Mega Last Lip Color in Coral-ine

I've been using Wet 'n Wild Mega Last Lip Color in Coral-ine for months now (see my October - December 2013 haul), and it has now become one of my favorite lipsticks of all time. I actually chose it only because of its name, which reminds me of one of my favorite Neil Gaiman books, Coraline. Now I'm glad I chose it because it's such a great lipstick.

The Product

This is a semi-long-wearing lipstick. It has a semi-matte finish and a creme formula that should keep your pucker fresh for up to four hours. It's also hydrating, with a cushion-like feel, and won't bleed, cake, or smear.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Bookworming: The Divergent Series by Veronica Roth - My Long Overdue Story

Divergent, Insurgent, Allegiant

I must admit, I've been putting off writing this post for a very long time. I finished the Divergent series a while back -- as documented on my Instagram -- but I just couldn't bring myself to write about it until now. Why? I'll get to that in a bit.

The Divergent trilogy is a series of novels by Veronica Roth about a dystopian society set in a city that's uncannily like Chicago. I heard a lot of good things about it, so I got the first book when I was hankering for a book that wasn't Murakami-heavy, but wasn't John Green heartwarming/heartbreaking either.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Clothes Spin: Zara Striped Tee Love! [Throwback Thursday]

I don't know what it is but when I like something from Zara I tend to hoard them in all the colors I like. I did it with their trousers, and I also did it with their striped tees. Zara's striped tees are basic but with a kick. The stripes make them more interesting than the average t-shirt, and they have a flattering, fitted shape. They're super soft and comfy as well, which is why they have become staples in my closet.

Since I already blogged about how my uniform lately has mainly consisted of jeans and t-shirts, I thought I'd use this Throwback Thursday to go back in time and go through the times I took OOTDs of me in three colors of their basic tees. I wear these all the time though and probably have more photos in them than any other piece of clothing I have, so I just those three pictures for the blog. If you need basic t-shirts, these are the way to go.

Navy Blue and White
This tee has a nautical vibe. 

Zara striped tee, brown Liz Claiborne shoulder bag, brown Zara belt, Bench skinny jeans, studded blue and gold wrap bracelet from Meg, orange tassled loafers form Tomato

Monday, January 20, 2014

Random Cravings: Foodie Discovery - Vom Fass

My friend Geli and I met up last week for lunch and tea. We wandered around Shangri-la Mall's new East Wing a bit and ended up making a foodie discovery. It's a new store called Vom Fass, which looked like a wine store from the outside but had so much more on the inside.

Vom Fass actually sells wines and spirits, but it also offers vinegars and oils. The unique thing about the store is that you can choose your own poison in a very personalized way. The place is filled with casks of hard liquor; earthen jars full of vinegars and oils; and flavored liqueurs in big, clear, bottles.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Fashion Candy: Back to Heels

When the new year rolled around and I was looking back on 2013, it hit me. I haven't been wearing heels. I scrolled through the memories in my brain and realized that I only wore heels last year when there was something out of the ordinary -- parties, job interviews, prenup shoots, debuts, weddings. I couldn't remember any regular days when I made the effort to dress up and wear heels.

The thought bugged the hell out me. I love heels! What happened?

Looking back now I'm discovering that although I wore heels a lot in my twenties, I practically stopped wearing them when I hit my thirties. That was when I developed a love for flats of all sorts -- moccasins, ballet flats, sandals, brogues, loafers, and oxfords -- and of course I never outgrew my sneakers. Don't get me wrong. I still bought heels -- I just didn't wear them much. 

Aside from the obvious fact that heels can be tough (they're not as comfortable as flats, they can be hard to walk in, etc.), I reckon I stopped wearing them because they require effort to wear. I feel like I have to get dressed up to wear them, and since my 2013 uniform consisted mostly of jeans and t-shirts, I didn't feel like wearing heels at all. In a way, me not wearing heels is directly related to the fact that I didn't make much of an effort to dress up last year. 

Gray and blue strappy heels from Charles and Keith, blue loafer heels from Celine, black suede platform doll shoes from Forever 21, rust-colored fringe heels from Sole Society, paint-splattered wedges from Jellybean, wooden blue wedges from the Greenhills bazaar, black platform peep-toe heels from SM Parisian, strappy black geometric heels from Aldo, orange wedges from Forever 21, blue and brown ankle-strap wedges from Lela Rose for Payless

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Gizmo Fixation: iPhone 5s Unboxing and Casual Review

When Apple came out with the iPhone 5s in October, guess who was up for a phone recontract? Me. This is my geek-out post over this thing of beauty, so if you have one, or you're curious about the phone, or you're just into gadgets overall, read on.

I knew it was going to be my next phone because of the lucky timing, of course, and also because it is a far cry from its previous versions. It has an A7 chip with 64-bit architecture -- a first for the iPhone. That means it's pretty fast, and has terrific graphics. It also has an M7 coprocessor to assist the A7, which makes it faster, and LTE connectivity means it's capable of fast Internet as well. Plus, the new iOS7 was made for it too, so it's just hardware and software beauty in one neat package.

Another first is the awesome fingerprint sensor built into the home button, which unlocks the phone for you and let's you authorize app store purchases in a flash. Then of course there's the camera, with a larger sensor, larger aperture, and more light sensitivity. It has true flash now, which makes those awful pictures taken in dim lighting so much more bearable. And it all boils down to how gorgeous this phone is. At this point in time, I like my phones sleek and slim. I don't really like the large phones because they're not handy for me. The iPhone 5s is thin and light, and that's that.

The phone arrived in Philippine shores last November, but I was too lazy to call my service provider and set things up. I had to acquire it through my provider's rewards program, that's why, because I've been a postpaid subscriber for so many years now and the phone was a lot cheaper because of it. I ended up getting the phone in December and I've been using it for about a month now.
I did take unboxing pictures though, because I love unboxings. (I even unboxed our Keurig!) The phone was actually unboxed at the store because they needed to put the sim card in and have me inspect it to make sure it had nothing wrong with it. I also went straight to another store shortly after to have a screen protector and bumper case put on it because I'm obsessive-compulsive like that. However, I still unboxed it at home. Here go the pics, as well as a quick, casual review.

Hello, iPhone 5s!

Home Base: Hopes for 2014

It's January 2014 -- the start of a brand new year. This is the time when people -- myself included --  usually make resolutions. It's the season for making a change. You know, out with the old, in with the new, etc.

It's hard not to get into that kind of hopeful spirit, and lately I've been finding myself thinking about all my hopes and goals for this year at random times of the day. My brain is all muddled up though, and it usually runs faster than I can write or talk about things, so, contrary to what it seems like, this isn't going to be a New Year's resolutions post. This is just a rambling sort of post, where I talk about my hopes for this year and sort out what's going around in my mind.

From my Instagram last Monday

The photo from my Instagram (follow me there @liatenshi) of my planner filled with last week's hectic work and personal activities kind of encapsulate my goals for this year. I have career hopes, plans for this website, fitness agendas, other personal to-dos, including fun stuff with family, friends, and my husband.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Clothes Spin: Fashion Love for September, October, November, and December 2013

I know, I know. The title of this post says it all -- I'm way behind on my blog entries! This is my attempt at catching up.

I didn't really take a lot of fashion pics during the "-ber" months. I didn't dress up much. My uniform has mostly been t-shirts and casual tops with jeans. That is why I kept delaying this blog entry. It's funny, considering how I said I had high hopes for September in my last Fashion Love post. Well, my bad (hey Clueless reference). The thing is, since I kept procrastinating on this, the photos piled up. So now I have a pretty hefty blog entry. Here are my few fashion moments from Instagram during the last months of 2013.

Thinking Pink
When you look at my closet, it's full of neutrals - grays, blacks, whites, plus splashes of blues and oranges. Now I'm getting a feel for more color in my life. Pink was the color of this particular day.

Pink patent flats from Payless, blue jeans from Bench, striped pink and gray Zara t-shirt, pink Mango fringe bag, pink ring from Market! Market!, pink bead bracelet from The Bead Shop, gold knuckle ring from Yhansy, gold Forever 21 LOVE bangle

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Beauty Barrage: Quick Reviews - L'Oreal Smooth-Intense Caring Shampoo and Conditioner + Clean & Clear Deep Action Cleanser

This week is shaping up to be a really busy one, so I'm getting some quick reviews out of the way. I'll be talking about the L'Oreal Smooth-Intense Caring Shampoo and Conditioner and the Clean & Clear Deep Action Cleanser in this post, which were products from my drugstore haul last August. I've had a few months to use them and see how they work on me. Here we go.

First up is the L'Oreal Smooth-Intense Caring Shampoo and Conditioner. I got this set specifically because I have frizzy hair that I always need to keep in check. Well, it does the job. It manages to make my hair smooth enough to look tame, but with enough body so it doesn't look flat. It has a mild scent too, and feels light on the hair.

This shampoo and conditioner duo isn't as awesome as my favorite shampoo ever -- Lush Rehab that I have yet to do a review of -- though, but it's good enough for every day use. I'll be putting it on rotation along with Clairol's None of your Frizzness.

My second quick review of the day is the Clean & Clear Deep Action Cleanser. All throughout college I used the brand's Foaming Facial Wash, but I decided to give this a go when I started wanting more out of my facial wash than just a clean face. I figured some deep clean action might do my face some good. 

This cleanser did clean my face. It has a pleasant soapy scent and feels smooth on my skin. However, I didn't see any difference between before I started using it and after. It just cleans my face, but it didn't stop me from getting breakouts or soften my skin. This means the quest for a proper facial cleanser continues.

That's it for my quick beauty reviews today! I'll be back with some in-depth reviews soon. 

Monday, January 6, 2014

Beauty Loot: Mini Drugstore Haul from the Holidays

Happy New Year! I'm back from the holiday break. Goodbye 2013! Hello 2014! I'm so ready for everything this year has to offer.

Let's start with a makeup haul, shall we? The holidays were beyond hectic for me, but I was able to pick up some makeup I've been wanting in the midst of all the craziness. Here's the story and my first impressions.

  • Wet n Wild Color Icon Eyeshadow Collection in Petal Pusher - The Wet n Wild counters have disappeared from SM Department Stores for some reason, so I have gone back to the original place where I get my Wet n Wild fix - Pure Beauty in Serendra. We were in a rush to buy things for our New Year's celebrations but I just had to drop by. I realized during that visit that I didn't have a Color Icon Eyeshadow Collection palette yet. I only have the small trio palettes which have less than half the number of shadows in the Eyeshadow Collection palettes, so I picked one up. The Petal Pusher set has really attractive colors, and I don't have most of these shades in my makeup kit yet. The shadows look pigmented and they look pretty festive too, which I need for party makeup. The palette I got looked a little battered, but it was the only one left at the store and it was the palette I liked the most out of the palettes there, so I got it anyway. 
  • Maybelline Color Elixir in Glam 13 - I love this lip color! I've been wanting the Color Elixirs since they were announced, so I just had to stop by the Maybelline counter at Watson's after a long day of Christmas shopping to get one. (Maybelline calls them "Lip Polish" here though. I really have no idea why they need to have different products for Asia.) First off, the packaging is simply clever and cute, which hooked me in right away. I thought the colors were really unique too, and now I want all the shades. I actually started using the one I got immediately -- even ended up using it all throughout the holidays -- but I'll reserve my thoughts for a proper review. To be honest, I have no idea what shade I got. The color name wasn't anywhere in the packaging and the sales assistant didn't have a clue either. I just looked at swatches online and decided Caramel Infused was my best bet. I need to get more colors. This lip gloss is just too good.

That's it for my mini haul. Reviews to come soon.

For past beauty hauls, check this tag: Beauty Loot.