Friday, May 18, 2018

Happy Shopping at Happy Beauty PH



I honestly haven't heard of Happy Beauty before. All I know is that they kept on popping in on Facebook every time I scroll down my account. Suggested page it said. But I never really paid much attention until I saw a product that piqued my curiosity more than the usual. The item was on sale, I clicked, and the rest is beauty history.


Eventually, I've learned that Happy Beauty PH is actually a subsidiary of Happy Beauty Singapore. It is a beauty marketplace for great finds. What is amazing about this site is that they never run out of promos and great deals.


Another great things is, shopping from Happy Beauty is absolutely hassle-free. They will take care of you all through out your ordering process and some items are even available for Cash on delivery. Very big deal for those first time skeptics whose afraid of being scammed out of their hard-earned money. My item though was not available for COD. I clicked COD anyways as Mode of payment as it was an available option in the order form while I was filling it out. But then I received a text message from the Happy Beauty team informing me that the item was not available for COD. The heads up was totally appreciated. If this happens to you, you have the option to go back your order history and change the Mode of payment on their site. I wasn't aware of this before so I had to place another order form and cancelled the first one.

According to Happy Beauty, items will be dispatched in 2 days once paid for. Unfortunately, the product I bought was out of stock directly from the manufacturer in Korea and they had to make more for the demand. They only sell original stuff here so stock availability will also depend on the manufacturer's end. Delayed as it was, I'm still grateful that Happy Beauty sent me regular updates regarding my order. Either thru e-mail or thru text. As a customer, this made me feel really taken care of. I didn't feel the urge to go postal or anything.

Alas, after probably around 2 weeks, my order came. They were so apologetic of the delay that they gave me more product samples. YEY! Who doesn't want them? hahaha...

FYI, an additional of around Php160  is added to your total as shipping fee

the one in bubble wrap is the only thing I bought the rest are freebies!
Curious of what I actually bought at Happy Beauty? Well....

Charaaannnn!!!  This would normally retail for Php 3,300 but because it was on Sale at that time, I got it at a 40% discount
bringing the price down to Php 990! Talk about a great deal!

What is it exactly? Well, you have to stick around for my in-depth review on this gadget soon on this blog. But for now, I really enjoyed purchasing thru Happy Beauty so if you are still skeptical, fret no more it will totally be one HAPPY shopping experience for you! Check them out here


Till next time,

Monday, May 14, 2018

Job Hunting in your Mid 30s



Okay, so let us take a break from the usual product reviews that you could find here. I just want to share with guys my experience that later turned out to be an experiment as well as to how, no matter how many advocates there are for job equality, there, would be always be a HUGE discrimination in job employment.

When I was writing for my high school newspaper, I've actually discussed about another type of discrimination with regards to job employment and that is about certain companies putting favors on applicants coming from certain schools. Although, as much as we want to close our eyes and cover our ears be naive and believe that is not the case, believe me, IT DOES.


Fast forward year 2011 when I had to stop working at a regular office environment due to some family issue, I've worked from home ever since. Be it being a freelance graphic designer or a freelance makeup artist and then starting out my small home baking business I've done it until to this day. But unfortunately, being a freelancer doesn't always pay the bill. Unlike regular office employment wherein income flow is regular monthly, for us self-employed people, if orders or projects don't come in this month, it means bills will go unpaid.

There would always be months where almost nothing comes in or it just is basically not enough. This whole month of April and May was brutal which made me think of going back to joining the regular office workforce. So, here I am, in my mid 30s trying to build up a resume once again. It was nerve wracking and a little intimidating. But re-constructing your resume was half the battle. It is actually getting a response from these companies that is pretty much the war zone. I think, out of all the postings on Jobstreet.com I've applied to, I've only received 1 thank you email for sending in an application. And no, I repeat, not a single interview invitation. THAT WAS TOUGH. 

What is going on here? Would an older age bracket require a pretty much near to perfect resume to actually get these companies attention? I mean, what is actually going through these companies' minds when they see an older applicant? It's not like mid 30's is near to retirement age that they need to be worried yet in case they hire you. In some parts of the world Like Singapore and Hong Kong you can see even older people working at fastfood chains, why not  here in the Philippines? Why not in an actual regular office environment?Older people actually do have more experience and wisdom to contribute. Are they worried that more mature employees are not as controllable as the younger ones? Well, that would say a lot about a certain organization don't you agree? What are your thoughts on this? Did you have a similar experience? I would sure like to start a conversation. Do share it with me I'd love to hear your thoughts on this issue. 



Till the next,

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Save or Pass? Cheaper alternative to Eyebrow microblading?

We've all been hearing about the newest trend in eyebrows called microblading. Sounds painful right? Well, there might be some truth to that since it is basically what it is, making tiny incisions on your skin and letting ink sip in, sort of like getting a tattoo but this time, using a very thin blade and making incisions mimicking that of eyebrow hairs. Results are reported to be worth the pain and the buck. 

Pain? Yeah, I might be able to handle it but the BUCK, well, not everyone will have it. So basically, alternatives to a good thing will definitely make ears ring. Question is, is it worth it or does it even come close to the real thing?

In an age where everything and every one is always in a rush, makeup is something most girls will appreciate being a breeze to put on. "Kilay is Life" (Kilay, meaning eyebrows) is something most girls swear by. Forget the lipstick, forgetting everything else, as long as you have perfectly groomed brows, you are set to go.

I got this on a discounted price. Around 20% I think.

When I saw this product I was intrigued. Comparable to the idea of microblading, you'd be able to imitate three hair strands in one swift motion due to the tri tip feature of this eyebrow pen, cutting your kilay glam time in half. 


The tip, as you can see, tapers from thin to thick so that when you draw in, kinda imitates a hair strand. The thing with felt tip eyebrow markers, you have to have a very light hand when applying it otherwise, you will be left with thick fake looking brows.



Thoughts: With the Price, it is definitely very affordable. Students on a budget can afford this product. Using it, though, takes a lot of practice to master. the tip itself, in my opinion, is not thin enough. Look at the hairs on the back of my hand and compare that to the mark of the pen. If your eyebrows are naturally thick, this would be great for filling out gaps but if you really have sparse eyebrows then I wouldn't suggest an eyebrow marker because it will for sure look drawn in and very obvious. The best way to go is eyebrow powder because it mattifies the skin underneath and soften the eyebrows creating an illusion of plush brows that ain't too obvious. I have a technique for that on my YouTube channel that you can watch here.

Staying power will vary depending on your skin type. If you have dry skin then this might stay put on you longer. But if you have oily skin like me and the skin under the brows gets a bit oily mid day, I don't have high hopes for this one. Might work if you apply some eyelid primer on your brows first. But then again, that is another step ain't it?

Have you tried this product too? how did it fare for you? Please do tell me your thoughts I'm really curious to know.


Until then,

Thursday, February 8, 2018

The Curious Cat Tries the "Hype" : NU Skin AP24 Whitening Toothpaste



We all fell for it one way or another. After all, word of mouth is the most powerful marketing tool there is anyways. But when the claims are too good to be true, naturally, The Curious Cat will be there to investigate.

You open your Facebook account and you see one of your friends post a dramatic photo of their "supposedly" whiter set of grills and you can't help but sigh and gasp "WOW". Shen then tells you she's ordering again and should you be interested in trying it out too, send her a private message so that she can include your order with hers too and boom! You've been caught Line, hook, and sinker. Hahaha....I know it too well. 

But since most of my friends kept on posting about this magical paste that would "supposedly" turn you into an overnight toothpaste model, I had to give it a try.

Bought this for Php 380.00 (Philippine Peso). I don't know if that is a fixed price for resellers or if it varies from one to the other. But first, Let's start with the ingredients list. If you are allergic to anyone of these please don't join the bandwagon and just stick to your old all natural toothpaste.


Ingredients: Water(Aqua), Hydrated Silica, Sorbitol, Aluminum Hydroxyde, Glycerine,
Tetrasodium Pyrophosphate, PEG-12, Flavor(Aroma), Cellulose Gum, Poloxamer 338,
Poloxamer 407, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Sodium Monofluorophosphate, Dimethicone, Titanium Dioxide, Sodium Saccharin.

Its claims include: 
- Whitens teeth while fighting plaque with AP-24 proprietary technology.
- Removes stains while whitening, brightening and polishing teeth for a radiant smile.
- Provides a long-lasting fresh, clean mouth while aiding in prevention of dental cavities.

Now, apparently, AP-24® is a patented plaque-fighting agent of medical grade dimethicone and surfactants. AP-24® is a long chain that can wrap around teeth and hold tightly to leave your mouth feeling slicker and fresher longer. If you want to know more about the scientific explanations regarding this product, you could write about it from the NuSkin website here.

The warning you could see at the back actually confused me a bit. it says "Warnings: Keep out of reach of children under 6 years of age. In case of accidental ingestion, Seek professional assistance or contact a Poison Control Center immediately." But then, you could see after that, directions and even an illustration on how much you should give a child 6 years and under. A tad bit confusing.


The tube itself is sealed prior to usage which is a good thing to ensure you of no product contamination right off the bat. For smell and taste, if you are used to the regular fresh minty breath feeling your regular toothpaste gives you, you will feel that lacking here. This has a faint minty taste with a hint of vanilla. Right after brushing you will notice that your teeth has a glossy feel to it. That my friends, I believe is their AP-24 technology coming into effect. 

I used this tube religiously 2x a day until it ran out. The product lasted me a little over 2 months. and this was the result I got. (Yeah, brace yo selves for some uneven realness..hahaha...)


Pictures and resellers often posts on facebook such a drastic change for only two weeks of usage I believe? Hmmm.... based on my experience and as the picture itself shows, yes, there is an improvement. My teeth definitely brightened but not to the incredible extent some people claim to be for two weeks. Heck, this was over 2 months and that was the only effect I got. Most of it, I think, is the AP-24 technology's work. It coats your teeth with some sort of a protective film that will prevent your teeth from coming in direct contact with foods that might stain your teeth. But stop using this for a week, your teeth will go back to the way it was before.

Verdict: for a toothpaste, something you use daily, the price is not practical at all. pretty steep. Now, if improvement on teeth's brightness jumped from point A to point C or D, I wouldn't have mind the price, in fact, I would have included this in my staples. But for that effect at that time frame, I think not. I'd have to pass. It was great to have tried it and it does work to some extent but will definitely not buy again. 

Of course, effects will vary from one person to the other. Have you tried this toothpaste? How did it fare for you? Leave me a comment or two and let me know.

Till then,

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Ellana pressed mineral foundation

The first time me and this brand met was back in 2009. It was during my second job at a new company. I noticed having bad breakouts and I remember using the new Maybelline mineral foundation at that time. Loose mineral foundation was slowly becoming the next best thing. Maybelline didn't have the widest range of shades available and it was frustrating and I was suspecting the product is not pure mineral. So on  to multiply shopping! That where I first found out about Ellana and that's when my love affair with this brand started. They have come a long way and I'm like a proud mother standing by the sidelines witnessing her child grow :)

One of the things I loved about their mineral foundation is the coverage. But one thing I also hate about mineral foundations, in general, is that it is messy to take anywhere. My makeup bag would be in a complete mess once I forget to screw on the jar's cap properly. Quite frustrating. I researched for pressed mineral foundations and the only ones I could find is available in the US and is expensive.

Fast forward a couple of years later, Ellana finally came out with pressed versions of their mineral foundation. and eyeshadows. I was elated.

Wrapped properly to prevent breakage
Double sealed for assurance
I got myself one. I ordered another set of their free sample because I had no clue what my present shade was.

Samples! Samples!
Last time I checked, I was a hazelnut latte(warm undertone). But then, I contemplated into getting one with a more neutral undertone. 
Based on the description on the site and after a round of guessing games, I went and got Almond Latte.


It was a miss. Turned out, this was too dark and too orange for me.


Ellana pressed mineral foundation in Almond Latte side by side with my Maybelline White
Superfresh cake powder in 05 Sand Beige

Thoughts:
The packaging is great. The compact is enclosed in sealed acetate for protection. The pan had a magnet stuck on the back so you could stick it on a Z-palette or the generic one Ellana also sells.


But one thing I noticed when I first used it, though, is that it's not as pigmented as I remembered it. I'm not so sure if it being pressed somehow affected the formula or what but I remembered how impressed I was before as buffing it onto the face was enough to cover acne marks but now, coverage is leaning more into light to medium.
The pressed version is also more expensive at Php 599.00 per pan with 11 grams of product compared to the loose version at Php 499.00 with 8 grams of product. But come to think of it, taking the grams into consideration, price is almost the same.

I've stored this in my drawer for now as it is too dark for me to use. I would only take it out once in a while and use it as bronzer.

Convenience-wise, this is a better option for travelling but you have to be careful though, even if it is pressed, it shatters rather easily when dropped. Mine did and had to repair it with the old alcohol trick.

They also have a new refurbished website. It is now http://www.ellanacosmetics.com not the old ellanaminerals.com.
Also, the new pans, I believe, is now square rather than the round one I was able to purchase.

Have you tried Ellana's pressed minerals? What are your thoughts? Kindly share it with me and let's start a conversation!

Till then,

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Go back in history with Malens

Food tripping is fast becoming an "in" thing with today's generation but usually, the crowd come in troves towards Quezon City, Manila, Makati, and other places around North. Little do people know, South, specifically Cavite, is just as food trip worthy as any other place. Heck, even Aguinaldo's house becomes a huge food mercato during the weekends complete with colorful and plentiful string of lights.

Nowadays, we are plagued with food trucks and fastfoods that an honest to goodness plate of classic home cooked meal becomes a welcome treat once in a while.





Located at Noveleta Cavite just across Puregold is a place called MALEN's. 


Upon entering this establishment, you're easily transported to the old Spanish era with it's interiors. Visitors are greeted by a huge wall sculpture of Gabriela Silang on a horse.







A cake display chiller is located near the entrance door boasting of their different baked offerings. They can also customize a cake for you should you require it for your events.




A function area is also available for reservation. 





Solid wood dining tables and chairs fill the entire floor and waiting for your order will never be a bore for there's a vast display of pasalubong goodies you could check out while waiting.



A wooden rocking horse is a big hit for the kids. My niece had a rockin' time with her new friend! :)



Malen's menu also have that rustic feel to it. Each dish has a corresponding history attached to it. Though, this same menu is the reason why part of our whole Malen experience almost turned into a disaster. We were not aware that only selected items on the menu was good for sharing and the rest already is a meal for one person and their server, one in particular, did not tell us that our orders already came with rice (we also ordered a separate order of rice, which is indication we are clueless). When we found out and asked if we could cancel the other rice order because we were not aware, the server, a male, that could totally pass as bouncer for a club, "apparently" told us that he informed us while we were ordering that our meals already came with rice! Hello?! Tulog ba kami kuya nung nag-oorder kami? That totally put us off and we did not enjoy the food as much as we wanted to due to poor customer service from this waiting staff who completely turned it around and lied up front.

We ordered a couple of things to try but please excuse the poor food shots as lighting inside the restaurant is pretty dim.


Sungay Green salad is your basic green salad paired with honey mustard dressing

Nothing too fancy, just your regular unbreaded fried chicken

This was my order. I was disappointed with it. Clearly, sandwiches wasn't their strong point. I almost cried at how lonely and sad this sandwich looked. A couple of roasted beef slices in between COLD, WHITE bread slices. Fries is cold and tasted generic. The salad siding is too little to save this sinking ship.
Ordered fresh buko to drown my sandwich disappointment.
The beef is surprisingly very tender and tasty.


I'm a baker, so normally, I gravitate towards baked goods. I checked out what their resto had to offer. In the end, we decided on the chocolate crinkles. Theirs had additional cashew nuts mixed in to make it a bit different.



More items they offer. The baked chicharon is a must. 

My experience here was so-so. It could have had good potential had it not been for the whole rice debacle. Some of the food were good like the caldereta but serving was a bit steep for the price. I advise you to veer away from their sandwiches not worth your buck.


Till next,


Sunday, February 19, 2017

Product Review: Hard Candy Mix-in Pigment Drops



Aaaaahhh...music to one's ears when we see the word "DUPE", atleast for makeup. :)

The Cover FX custom cover drops had been gaining popular reviews from beauty gurus the world over and us, mere mortals, have been salivating over this wonder product ever since the rave reviews came out.

What's not to like? The promise of full coverage with the power to take that "foundation you've accidentally bought in the wrong shade" out of the waste bin, is enough to make any makeup junkee swoon.

But, as spiderman would put it, with great power comes...a hefty price tag! Yes, this much talked about product from cover FX retails for US$44 a pop! As much as I long for it, I don't have that much blood and enough kidney to sell for it.

So, when Hard Candy released something of the same nature with a US$7 price tag, I forgot to breathe, went online and scour Walmart's page for this product. As expected, it went flying off the shelves as I've been reading about certain shades selling out and some not finding stocks of it in Walmarts around their area.

So when it actually became available online, I HAD TO GET IT. Luckily, a friend of my friend who currently resides in Los Angeles, was coming home to the Philippines. He was kind enough to agree to bring me some things from the US.



This was one of the things I ordered off of Walmart's page. I got two shades, Light4 and Medium3 because I thought I could just mix them together to achieve the right shade or so I could have options to use for foundations I have that are too dark and too light for me.



Like the one from Cover FX, this too comes with a dropper (hence, the name mix-in drops).

Now, I don't own the custom cover drops or have yet to try it but based on reviews I've seen from other bloggers, that one has a thicker formula than Hard Candy. Ingredients list of the mix in pigment drops are as follows:



One of the product's claim is full coverage. So why don't we test that out shall we? (I also did the same test with my first ever product from Hard Candy here)



I went ahead and drew lines using a waterproof black eyeliner and the lip ink in the shade red. Then, I used two equal drops of both shades to test out the extent of its coverage.



First layer was not able to totally hide the marks. They still seep through and you could still distinguish them both underneath so I went ahead and did another drop.



With the second drop you could now see an improvement coverage-wise. But still nothing too impressive.

Now let see what will happen if we mix it in with two different foundations.

I mixed the Light4 to my Milani conceal+perfect foundation in medium beige since it has become a bit darker for me every since I started on the Benzoyl Peroxide treatment.



And the medium3 with my revlon photoready foundation which is a bit light and too yellow for me.



I took a drop each and place it on a dish to mix.



I drew another red line on my arm using the lip ink smear proof lip product for the coverage test.



Here's the result:



At a drop each added on both foundations, there's only a minute difference on the coverage but the shade of the foundation you can clearly see a difference. The revlon which was a bit lighter and yellow for me became a bit darker more beige now. The milani one became a little bit lighter.

Conclusion:

Though both Hard Candy and Cover FX have the same purpose and objective, each one is a league on their own.

In terms of price, I believe you get what you pay for pigment-wise. If you're looking into just altering your foundation shade which already have a light or medium coverage and want to amp it up to a full, then by all means try the one from Hard Candy it'll get the job done without breaking the bank. You just have to put in more drops than you would with Cover FX.

The bottle with the separate dropper I'm not too fond of. It can get messy if you are not too careful and you get the dropper neck to touch the mouth of the bottle. I prefer a bottle with a dropper spout instead.

Another factor to consider, after swatching the Hard candy mix-in pigment drops, I took a bath but did not scour my hand with the swatch. I only let the suds drip over it then took a photo after.



Notice how it got darker? It somewhat oxidized on my skin. I Have no clue what happened. It is not waterproof either.

All in all, if the price points weren't that far apart, I would go and save up for the Cover FX custom cover drops instead. But the Hard Candy Mix-in pigment drop is worth trying out and experimenting with.

Have you tried this one out? What are your thoughts? Share it with me please. :)


Till then,