The Heat Is On

It’s Summer and I’m melting faster than the Wicked Witch of The West.

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You’d think the heat in Manila is helping make my dry skin a little less so. Unfortunately, it isn’t. My skin remains dry and appears to peel from time to time even if I’m sweating 24/7 especially the moment I step out the door. I’m telling you – putting make up on in this weather is futile and I don’t know why I even bother still.

Then again, I am not the best at figuring out the optimal layering of clothes (or strategic area coverage) to keep me breezy enough when out under the sun or covered enough for full blast air conditioners I’m bound to come across. Between the heat and the AC, I’m developing thermostat-bipolar-disorder. It’s not a thing yet but it might as well be.

I did discover a bunch of body wash variants to help me get through the day. Thanks to Olay Fresh Outlast, I have the option – 3 to be exact – of showering to my choice of scent and level of invigoration. For extra sweltering days, I use the Cooling variant with Strawberry & Mint (my favorite scent). For mornings when I need a bigger boost than just caffeine, I use Olay Refreshing body wash with Cucumber and Green Tea. And for those days when I’m feeling and looking a little flaky (TMI, I know, but the body does what it wants), I use Deep Moisture with the saccharine remnants of Honey.

Really, just thinking of taking a shower is making me want to have another one in the wee hours of the night. Is that really such a bad idea? Thank you, Olay, for making bath time – especially in the midst of global warming severed summers – especially fun.

Who cares if I sweat a lot post bath? I can always jump back in.

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This post is in collaboration with Olay Philippines

Enter the Digital Pop-Up Store

Enter the first Zalora digital pop-up store. Figuratively, of course.

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I know I seem like a kid online most of the time but I do work. For almost two years I worked at an e-commerce site. Though I didn’t directly handle merchandising or marketing (I handled writing for the sister blog site), I saw how difficult it’s been for Filipino consumers to trust online shopping.

You can’t blame them either. Sizing is a mess across brands and gets pretty confusing. Consumers are bombarded with trends that may or may not look good on certain body types and there’s still a general fear of using credit cards to transact online. Hacking is a threat anywhere in the world, it seems.

I personally shop online. I’ve bought certain favorites via international sites like Barneys.com (my personal favorite) and ASOS.com. I like getting first dibs on sales and being able to order in pajamas. I value convenience and not wasting time more than anything (that’s why I work freelance so I don’t waste time stuck in traffic), but I do understand anxiety over uncertainty on whether pieces would fit and look good.

With that said, the first ever digital pop-up store in the Philippines was launched by Zalora last June 17 in Shangri-la mall to address these very concerns. The pop-up store will be up until September giving shoppers the chance to feel the clothes, see them in person, try them on and fall in love with them as they would given a regular shopping environment. But since it’s a digital pop-up store, customers order the items via laptops and iPads in-store (with assistance if needed) and the items will be delivered straight to one’s doorstep. I think it’s pretty smart given that Zalora is addressing a fear that online shoppers face – some brands (especially on Instagram) filter so well that pieces look so much better in flatlays (or shoots) than they do in real life. They also get a sense of sizing for reference in purchases moving forward. It’s relatively simple really. Shopping is so convenient when done online. Plus there’s no hassle of lugging along shopping bags full when you’re in heels and still want to walk around the mall, maybe drop by the grocery and have a meal with friends.

I actually shopped at Zalora right before the launch and wore the in-house brand from head-to-toe. My friend Angela is also matchy-matchy in a full Zalora look. Naturally, we had to take #twinning selfies and hog the dressing room.

Do check out the store at the fifth level of Shangri-la mall and try on pieces you’ve already been eyeing. If you’re a little lazy to dress up and head out, just head to zalora.com.ph. You’ll get addicted to online shopping in no time.

Trust me, I already have (another) long Zalora wishlist of my own.

Dress, trench coat and shoes from ZALORA | This post is in collaboration with ZALORA 

Who’s Aging Now?

Let’s talk about the inevitable process of aging and the miracle of anti-aging products.

I just turned 25 and already I feel like my metabolism is slowly declining and my laugh lines starting to appear. My ascent into my late 20s may be causing some age-induced paranoia but I found that it’s better to be safe than #sorry.

Fortunately, I was gifted with age-defying products just in the nick of time. I won’t be pretentious and say that I’m knowledgeable about skin care because I’m really not. But I did ask a beauty blogger friend if I could start using age defying products in my 20s and the answer was a resounding yes. Not that I needed approval, I was rather keen to start.

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Enter Olay Regenerist’s Miracle Boost Youth Essence and Advanced Anti Aging Micro-sculpting Cream Moisturizer known as the #MiracleDuo. The products are the newest from Olay Regenerist and impressively have already been gaining traction in the beauty community. Best used together for maximum youthful effect, these products are the freshest additions in my otherwise easy skincare regimen.

The Miracle Youth Essence is a serum best used twice a day after toners and before creams. It’s sheer, light and is easily absorbed by the skin unlike most serums that leave your face a little oily. Its promise is to help the skin look energized and I think my skin definitely got a gentle glow.

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The Olay Regenerist Micro-Sculpting Cream on the other hand is a really effective moisturizer. My face is so dry most of the time and this is exactly what I needed to make my skin look healthier and dewy. A friend of mine taught me to always use moisturizer on the neck as well as the face so this cream is being spread throughout.

I personally think that it’s great that these two products can be used both during the day and at night so I don’t have to keep changing products or remembering a whole different product line up. My handy Miracle Duo will be kept within reach.

I am aging after all. When I get feedback on how old I look, I’ll get back to you. But I’m willing to bet that with this Miracle Duo it wouldn’t be 25.

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originally posted for everydayme.ph 

Canadian Tuxedos

Rekindling my love for sparkly footwear with my new Menina Step flats.

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Remember that scene where Dorothy clacked her red glitter pumps to go back to Kansas? Why she wanted to leave the wonderful world of Oz I don’t really know but what I am sure of is that my penchant for sparkly footwear started the first time I saw that movie. And I saw it a lot. I can sing Somewhere Over the Rainbow in my sleep – if you ask nicely.

Interestingly, decades of living in this world don’t seem to change childhood favorites. I still think fondly of anything Disney, Power Rangers, Pokemon and, thanks to Dorothy, over-the-top sparkles. With that premise, one can instantly infer I zoomed in on these sparkly Menina Step flats the moment I laid eyes on them on a website. I never let them go since. I love how these flats sparkle with every touch of light making me feel like a 14 year old princess – precious and feminine with a literal twinkle.

I do love how the look was styled (by Raiza Poquiz) in a skirt version of a Canadian tuxedo. It kind of puts into perspective the age of the wearer (me) leaving behind the looming threat of looking like a Disney-addicted grown-up who can’t act nor look her age. (I’m 25 if you were wondering.)

It’s cool how it shows that these glitter bombs can be worn with anything. So if you were a closeted Disney/glitter fan, now is the time to come out and literally strut. There’s no place like home the streets to raise your fashion flag, in Meninas that is.

This post is in partnership with Menina Step flats from Spain
Photos by Karlo Torio
Hair by Blowout Bar
Makeup by Reggie of Inglot Cosmetics

Retro Summer

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A recent shopping trip to Giordano introduced me to the concept of a retro Summer – one reverberating in the new collection. With clothes in tow, I felt challenged to recreate my own concept interpretation. See, the theme of a retro Summer to me initially meant a rainbow of orange hues rendered by the sun, 50s style bathing suits with women with elegantly coiffed hair and all the right junk in all the right places. Think: Marilyn Monroe on a beach. But despite having some tempting ideas on how to recreate that, I figured I should instead focus on what a retro summer means to me, a 21st century, digitally-addicted woman.

Now, while I remember horrific memories of camping, tasteless vienna sausage, unwittingly bringing home a giant caterpillar and falling from a log (don’t ask), I actually don’t remember ever doing a picnic for fun with food I really like with company I enjoy. So before Summer ends, I figured I might as well mount this dream of an activity I’ve had since time immemorial and prep a makeshift picnic with my favorite cheeses, spicy salami, fruits and wine. A spread of blankets and food was exactly what I needed to unwind last weekend, decked in my new Giordano outfit, of course. Full disclosure: I consumed almost 200 grams of salami (I am a salami eating machine, it’s not a pretty sight), laughing in between bites under the veils of a glorious sunset. It was a magical picnic and I can’t wait to do it again.

If you’re thinking of an activity to try, why don’t you spend an afternoon mounting a picnic. It’s so worth the UV exposure and the mosquito bites come dusk. Or you can just go to the nearest deli and prepare yourself a feast, without the commitment of being entrenched in grass. Up to you. But a #retrosummer themed activity is a pretty smart itinerary add-on. You’re welcome.

Photos by Paul Mendoza
Top and shorts both from Giordano. This post is in collaboration with Giordano. 

Birthday Dress

I just turned 25 – my favorite cause for celebration.

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I just turned 25 a couple weeks ago – last June 2nd to be exact- and it’s been a whirlwind ride ever since. First, I’d like to officially share my new job as the Managing Editor of Explore Philippines, a bi-monthly travel lifestyle magazine. (Sorry, had to. I love saying I’m now an “editor.”) Expect a lot of fun and exciting things to be covered in magazine pages, online, on Insta and maybe even on the blog. I personally think it’s a millennial’s dream to be able to work in the travel industry so I feel extremely blessed and excited for things to come. I might just be the next expert re: the PI.

Second, I wanted to thank you guys for the support throughout the years. I feel like I changed a lot the past five years and you’ve witnessed it via the power of the interwebz so whether you’ve hopped on this blog’s bandwagon just recently or since its questionable beginning, thank you. I’m not saying goodbye – far from it. But I think a shoutout to you is absolutely necessary. Didn’t really get to celebrate my birthday with friends but an online clicking of metaphorical glasses with you, my dear readers, will more than suffice.

I guess I should also share how I’ve been feeling a little stuck recently in terms of content and growth – seriously, how many OOTDs can a blogger post? Am starting to feel inspired all over again so I know it’ll be an even better ride from hereon out. If you have any ideas you want to throw at me – posts you want to see, topics you want me to cover, just holler. I appreciate your creative minds much more than you think.

Threw on this gorgeous dress from Zara I bought especially for my birthday. Unfortunately shooting with disposable cameras can be big misses and I don’t even understand what happened here exactly but I’m sharing them just the same to prove that a blogger’s life is not always perfect and there aren’t always edits or filters. (Or maybe this specific blogger just can’t work Photoshop magic (still!) to save these snaps.) To be fair, it’s very nostalgic of an easier life of developed Kodak moments and physical photo albums. Spent my day on a date in Antonio’s Tagaytay which I still think has the most amazing steak. Drop by when you get the chance, thank me later.

A celebration seems imperative, so cheers both to my life’s updates and to yours. Hoping you’re having an amazing June (and 2015 for that matter) so far.

Dress, ZARA | Sandals, TRES SHOES