Monday, March 31, 2014

Beauty Barrage: Up Close - Aveeno Smart Essentials Daily Nourishing Moisturizer

This is an extremely happy post because my favorite moisturizer and I are back together! My last tube of the Aveeno Smart Essentials Daily Nourishing Moisturizer expired this month, but for some reason I couldn't find it anywhere! I went to Pure Beauty, which is my go-to shop for it, but both of the Serendra and Alabang stores as well as their online shop didn't have it. I've been to several beauty stores the past couple of months looking for it, and it was nowhere to be found. The online stores I buy from didn't have it either.

I messaged my friends and asked them to let me know if they saw it anywhere. After a month, my friend Cielo found it at S&R! (Thank you so much Cie!) It's a huge relief because I really love it and I don't really feel like doing the trial-and-error thing with moisturizer again. My skin responds with forehead bumps whenever it doesn't like products, and since I've been repairing it from dryness lately, I didn't want to give it more problems.

I know this seems a little over-the-top that I'm so thrilled but discovering this moisturizer really changed my outlook on skincare. Seeing the difference it made on my skin made me want to take care of my skin more. I've talked about it in some posts before (check out Cold Weather Friends and Muji and Aveeno Loot), but I realized I have never done a full review of it. Ladies (and gentlemen), here is my story on this moisturizer.

Friday, March 28, 2014

For the Boy: An Introduction + Suits 101 with Bonobos

Happy Friday! It's an interesting day because I'm starting a new blog series called For the Boy. It will be made up of entries that will mostly be about men's style, but can also be about anything guys like, from toys and accessories to grooming products and such.

It all started with an email from men's clothing brand Bonobos, and I thought, why not? I always keep up with men's fashion, not just because I love fashion (you know I do) but the husband keeps tabs on men's fashion as well. We have email conversations about clothes and whatnot, I have a Pinterest board on men's fashion that I show him from time to time, and we both pay attention to Tumblr and Instagram posts by GQ (check out this post from them on Bonobos). I've featured him in a bunch of Clothes Spin entries here too! You can count on A to contribute some guest posts to this series in the future.

If you have a guy in your life, this series will hopefully give you some inspiration on style suggestions for him, as well as gift ideas. If you're a guy, then you might find this series interesting, as it is all about you!

Oh hello

My first For the Boy post is all about suits, featuring the Bonobos Spring 2014 Suit Collection. It was such great timing because A just posted today about the suit that he wore at our wedding. [Head on over to our wedding blog, That Happy Day, to read it.] Quite a few of our friends are getting married soon as well. Gents, you might want to check this out for your suits, as well as for your entourage attire.

Black tie

Bonobos' VP of Design Dwight Fenton sent over some suit tips and tricks for a great fit:
  • Fit is the most important detail for a suit. Marry that with classic color options and quality fabric, and you have a great-looking versatile suit for every occasion. 
  • Fit starts with the shoulders: The jacket should grab your shoulders snugly but not be overly tight. if the shoulders fit, pretty much anything could be adjusted.
  • Length matters: To determine the appropriate length, you should be able to cup the bottom of the suit with your arms by your side.
  • Show some shirt: A flexible but general rule of thumb is to have a quarter-inch of your shirt cuff showing. If you're wearing a heavier cuff, like a French cuff, you may want to show off a little more.   

It's all about the fit!

The Bonobos Spring 2014 Suit Collection piqued our interest immediately because it's an attractive, modern line, and yet it also has some classic and timeless pieces. There's a lot of range in this collection. There's a variety of cuts, designs, material, and fit. There are suits for the conservative guy (done in a contemporary cut), for the regular stylish guy, and for the loud, adventurous, out-of-the-box guy. They also came out with some fun, colorful neckties, bow ties, and pocket squares (which A and I have a soft spot for), that would be terrific for warm weather affairs.

  Color is good!

The husband is sitting beside me while I'm finishing up this post, and he's loving that I'm geeking out over suits right now. Here's the rest of the look book, after the cut.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Bookworming: Doctor Who - Beautiful Chaos by Gary Russell

I've been going through books like mad lately, and the last one I finished is Doctor Who: Beautiful Chaos by Gary Russell. I'm a Whovian, so when I saw this book at Fully Booked, I knew I had to have it for my Doctor Who collection.

This book is a part of the Doctor Who 50th anniversary collection, where each Doctor has his own book. Ten (played by David Tennant), is my Doctor, so picking a book among the eleven books was a no-brainer. I was a bit hesitant because the plot involved Donna Noble, the Doctor's companion that never quite made it to my list of favorites, but that little detail was easily overlooked. This is a novel about the Tenth Doctor, and I wasn't going to let it slip by.

Clothes Spin: Color Play [Throwback Thursday]

Hello! I haven't posted a Throwback Thursday entry in a while, so I decided to do one today. I haven't been taking any recent outfit posts or even done a post on Instagram OOTDs, so this is a reminder for me to catch up with those soon.

My husband and mine's anniversary is coming up and I'm feeling a bit nostalgic today, so I'm posting about a dress I wore during our post-wedding staycation last year. This frock is a little schizophrenic like me -- half of it is colorful, and half of it is black.

Color-block Joey Samson for Human dress, orange watch and black sandals from Cotton On 

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Makeup Madness: The Great Lipstick Destashing Project

Ever since the Lipstick Tag I've been meaning to do this post. I recently faced the daunting task of trimming down my lip color collection, and I talked about it a little bit in that entry.

How many lipsticks do you own?
I currently have 32 lip products (including balms, creams, scrubs, and gloss) in my makeup stash. I think it's a pretty well-rounded collection. I have enough to keep me from being bored, but I also don't have too many that I don't get around to using it all. I just let go of 32 though, so before yesterday, I had 64. I realized that it was too much for me, heh.

I've been a lippie addict for as long as I can remember, but after a while, I felt like I had too many products just sitting around not being used. I love lipstick for the pop of color it brings to my face and its ability to transform a look, but it's no good when they're just sitting in my makeup collection, looking pretty. I got rid of 32 tubes/tubs/palettes because I have either used them up, or they have expired, or they simply weren't good to begin with.


I'm not going to let them go without talking about them though. Some of them were well-loved, while some have been languishing in my makeup box for a while, pitifully ignored. I figured I'd post a rundown of everything, and what I think of them. Check out lip stuff from Fresh and Lush to Etude House and Forever 21. I've included mini-reviews as well as some swatches.

Beauty Barrage: Up Close - The Body Shop Vitamin E Nourishing Night Cream

Remember my post on my cold weather friends? The Body Shop Vitamin E Nourishing Night Cream was one of the products I talked about in that entry, and I promised to post a full review after a couple of weeks of use. Well guess what? It has been about two months since I started using it, and it's time to share my thoughts.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Bookworming: The Lost Hero by Rick Riordan

Awhile back I was complaining on Twitter about how I couldn't find The Lost Hero by Rick Riordan anywhere. It's Book 1 of the Heroes of Olympus series, which is a spin-off of the Percy Jackson series. It was really weird how every bookstore I went to had all the Percy Jackson and Heroes of Olympus books (even all the books of the Kane Chronicles, which is the author's other series), but this one book was nowhere to be found! When I inquired at Fully Booked High Street they even told me that they had one last copy but somebody bought it a few hours before I arrived. Talk about tough luck! I eventually found it in faraway Fully Booked Alabang. Crazy.


I started reading the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series last year. I didn't know if I would like it so I got the e-books first, but the story hooked me in almost immediately. I lost a ton of sleep for a few days, reading all five books one after the other. I have always loved Greek Mythology, so these books are so perfect for me. 

The first series was so good I felt like Percy Jackson and the other demigods' stories didn't have to end after five books. I'm glad the author thought the same and went on to create the Heroes of Olympus series. The adventure begins again with The Lost Hero, yay! I decided not to get the e-books this time around and start building my Riordan library and get the actual books. 

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Makeup Madness: Girly Date with Berrymix and the NARS Workshop with Janice Daoud

Instagram pic from that day

Last Friday, I had a girly date with my friend Sheva of Beauty by Berrymix at Shang. We had lunch at Watami and attended the NARS Workshop organized by Rustan's. It was fun and a half! Here's how the day went.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Makeup Madness: Up Close - Smith's Rose & Mandarin Lip Balm

I have always had dry lips. They're always cracked and peeling no matter what I put on them. This is probably why lip balm is one of the products I consider essential. I always have it lying around, on our nightstand, in my bag (as seen in almost all of my Purse Peek posts), and even in the fridge (hello, EOS).

The thing is, I keep buying them but never use them up. I just have too many, that's all. I am obsessed with finding the perfect lip balm for me -- one that absorbs quickly, keeps my lips smooth and moisturized, has great flavor, and doesn't feel thick or sticky. I've found many that I really liked over the years -- The Body Shop's flavored balms, Maybelline Baby Lips, Burt's Bees, and EOS are top contenders -- but I'm still obsessed with lip balms. It's just my thing and I don't think I'll ever stop trying out new ones.

The latest lip balm I tried is Smith's Rose & Mandarin Lip Balm from my mini weekend haul several days ago. Smith's Rosebud Salve has been on my must-try list for ages, as it is a cult favorite, especially among beauty editors. I didn't know that it was available here though until I found it on the counter at PCX. I was so thrilled, I went off with it as soon as I saw it.

The Product

Smith's Rose & Mandarin Lip Balm is the brand's newest flavor. I chose it because hey, it's orange-flavored, and I adore anything rose-flavored as well. I considered getting the original one first, but this won out.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Bookworming: Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

Hello there! I'm still catching up with reviews of my book haul last November, so I'm making this short and sweet.

After Eleanor & Park and Attachments, I went straight to Fangirl. It's Rainbow Rowell's most recent book, and it proved to be a quick read. Like her first two books, I couldn't put this one down. I just felt like I wanted to know what happens next and I didn't have the willpower to wait.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Beauty Barrage: Manicure Monday - Hello Summer Polish

Here in the tropics, summer arrived about a week or two ago. I was feeling the heat already last week, so I thought I'd welcome my favorite season with fun, bright polish.

I chose an orange shade of course! If you know me or you've been following this blog, you'd know that orange and blue are my favorite colors. I also knew that I would be spending the weekend swimming, and that orange would be really pretty against the blue color of pool water.

I did my nails a few days before and did a late-night rush job of it on Thursday because I had an event to go to on Friday. I picked out Y'All Come Back Ya Hear by OPI from the many orange lacquers in my collection because I knew it would apply easily and I'm not likely to make a mess with it. Despite being manicure-challenged, I'm kind of a perfectionist when it comes to nails and I can't stand it when manicured digits look uneven or simply don't look as neat as I would like them to. When a polish formula is giving me a hard time, I would take hours just doing my nails over. That's why when I'm in a rush, I pick lacquers that have super smooth, manicure-challenged-proof formulas. 

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Home Base: The Life Domestic - Insomnia Busters

For the past few months I've been having a tough time falling asleep at night. My normal sleep time these days is 2am or 3am, and there have been days when I was only able to catch the zzzs at 4am and 5am. There were a couple of times when I was actually up until 7am!

I have always had some form of sleep trouble. There are months when I am perfectly fine and then suddenly, I'm not. The weird thing is that I sometimes fall asleep when I'm not supposed to and I'm actually doing stuff. I've fallen asleep while watching TV, reading a book, and texting on my phone, but this has never happened to me at night.

I figure stress is the main cause of my insomnia problems so I'm mainly trying to be happy and not worry too much. I've also stopped having any form of caffeine in the evenings, and sometimes I just have warm milk instead. I also try to relax at night now. I avoid cramming work and pulling all-nighters if I can help it. I am also currently trying to stop surfing on my phone whenever I can't fall asleep because it only makes me even more awake.

There are three things however that have helped me immensely. I call them my insomnia busters. Note that I have never considered sleeping pills, and I've only been trying natural remedies. Here's a rundown.

Celestial Seasonings Sleepytime Herbal Tea
This tea is wonderful at helping me get drowsy. I first tried chamomile tea in Shanghai and I was really surprised then that it made me really sleepy. When I started having bouts of insomnia, I tried the K-cup version for the Keurig, and thought it was even better than plain chamomile tea!

It's a blend of chamomile, spearmint, and lemongrass, that's why it's so good. Other ingredients include tilia flowers, blackberry leaves, orange blossoms, hawthorn, and rosebuds, which give it such a soothing scent and flavor. We only had a limited number of the K-cups though and have yet to find a seller here. Luckily, I found the tea bag version at the grocery store and bought a box. Now whenever I still feel active around bedtime, I just steep a bag. This tea really helps me relax before bed. It's a real cup of comfort.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Bookworming: Attachments by Rainbow Rowell

I got into a big Rainbow Rowell phase last year after I read Eleanor & Park. I loved the book so much, I needed to check out her other books immediately. I wanted to see if they had the same kind of young and fresh but with an edge stories as that of Eleanor & Park.

Well, I wasn't disappointed. I got Attachments and Fangirl, and they were just as addictive. I read both really fast. I wanted to know what happened in the stories that bad. The books were actually part of my book haul last November, but I got caught up reading other books since then and haven't been able to make a lot of book posts. Yep, that's me -- always catching up! 

Let's start with Attachments. Unlike Eleanor & Park, this book isn't YA (young adult). It's like chick lit actually, since it involves a love story and will make you giggle a lot. The story is about Beth and Jennifer, who work at a newspaper office and have a tendency to email each other frequently on the job, and Lincoln, their colleague, who  keeps track of their correspondence.

Beauty Loot: Mini Weekend Haul 03.09.14

This is a quick post to talk about a couple of items I picked up over the weekend. As mentioned in this blog, I haven't been buying much makeup, mainly because I want to save money as well as be able to use up the products in my stash first so that nothing goes to waste. I don't always have that much willpower and self-control though! While I try to stick to the essentials, I sometimes indulge in something nice. I think I'm doing good in balancing my obsession with makeup and being practical though.

The beauty loot I got this weekend is one example of what I'm talking about. One product is a necessity, while the other is a product I've always wanted to try.

  • Maybelline The Rocket Volume Express Mascara - I've been using Origins mascara, but it has been with me a while and while it hasn't gotten clunky or funky, I decided to trash it. Mascara only has a shelf life of a few months, so I really needed a new one. I got Maybelline The Rocket because I've been seeing it in YouTube beauty guru channels so much, it must be good. Hopefully, it helps my stubborn straight eyelashes keep their curls.
  • Smith's Rose & Mandarin Lip Balm - I've always wanted to try Smith's Rosebud Salve because it's kind of a cult product and a lot of beauty editors swear by it. I had no idea that the brand has arrived in our shores though, until I found it at PCX. It was totally a case of I-had-to-get-it. I'm a sucker for lip balm and I always have a zillion lying around so this was a no-brainer. There were a lot of variants and I was torn between getting the original or Rose & Mandarin. The latter won out because I really can't resist anything orange, and the addition of rose -- which I also love -- made it even more enticing to me. It's also Smith's latest flavor for Spring 2014. 

Can't wait to try these and do a post on them!

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

Friday, March 7, 2014

Makeup Madness: My Wedding Makeup

Hi! This blog has been quiet this week because I've been busy with work and the wedding blog, That Happy Day. I've started writing about our wedding details over there, just trying to get things done.

This is going to be a "when worlds collide" kind of post. I thought I'd share some things from there that are relevant to The BluePurse, like the What We Wore entry I did in the past. Today is all about the makeup! We chose to go with Japanese brand Shu Uemura for the wedding. I need everything that was used that day in my life! That Happy Day has all the happy details. Here's a sneak peak:

 Product love!

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Makeup Madness: The Lipstick Tag

When my friend Sheva tagged me this morning to do the Lipstick Tag, I got really excited. I LOVE LIPSTICK. I can leave the house without any makeup on except lipstick. It's also the perfect time to do this post because I just finished organizing my lipstick stash and unloading the ones that I haven't been using and those that have expired.

This is a chance to talk about my favorite beauty product -- even more so than usual! I decided to spice it up and include some pics, since this is essentially a geek-out post over the makeup I get the most obsessive about. Without further ado, here is my lipstick story.

Me wearing NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream in San Paulo