Back to Black

I haven’t had hair this short or this dark in the last decade or so. It’s so weird to not have colored hair that goes all the way down to my waist  when I have been sporting that look for what seemed like forever. I just went for it one weekend, my hair had been looking dull and straw-like since I don’t go for regular trims and the roots needed retouching for several weeks already. I had 7 inches chopped off and I felt so light after. 

Another weekend came and instead of touching up the roots, I decided to go back to dark brown. I was getting tired of brassy hair and have been seriously thinking about going back to black since the year started. At first it was soooo dark that I felt like Snow White with hair as black as night. Too bad I don’t have porcelain complexion or else I’d be able to pull that one off no problem. After a few days though, the color lightened a bit and looked more like my natural hair color. Photo on the left is how it looks like now. The one on the right is pre-back to black me.

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I seriously miss how my hair looked like in photos; long, brown and wavy. I still have some withdrawal symptoms after being a bottle blonde for 10 years. But my hair looks so much healthier now, after years and years of chemical treatments and heat-styling, I just want to be a little kinder to my hair. Who knows? I might go back to blonde after a few years. Until then I will enjoy the air of mystery that dark hair brings.

  • Hair color used: L’Oreal Excellence Creme No. 3 in Dark Brown bought at Metro Gaisano for Php 399
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Essence Pure Nude Highlighter

Bought this on a whim because the swatch looked really pretty but I haven’t quite figured out how to apply it. I think I may be the only one who doesn’t quite get how highlighters work. Don’t wanna spend extra on a separate brush but none of my other brushes seem to evenly disperse the color.

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Essence Pure Nude Highlighter in the shade 10 Be My Highlight
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Pretty champagne-y highlight that’s very finely milled
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Has a nice sheen but I see some micro glitter

Please share how you apply this highlighter especially on the cheek. I don’t wanna look like a disco ball, kinda scared of the micro glitter particles. Really excited to make this baby work.

  • Bought at Watson’s for Php 379

UPDATE: I tested the highlighter on my nose and cheekbones. I think I did a pretty decent job.

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    Lovin’ It! Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay

    Let me tell you about my skin. I have always had super oily skin. Since hitting puberty, blotting sheets, face powder and mattifying-anything have been part of my beauty must-haves because an hour after putting on make-up, the oilies will start showing up on my T-zone, then eventually, the rest of my face and neck. I consider myself lucky because they say that those with oily skin don’t show signs of ageing as quickly compared to those with dry skin. I have to say though that it’s both a bane and a blessing.

    Large and sometimes clogged pores, blackheads, occasional breakouts and of course, that shine that cannot be mistaken for a youthful glow are just a few of the problems I have to deal with. Masks were never my thing I have to admit. I used to experiment with egg whites when I was a teen, peel-off masks, too but eventually just did away with them after noticing that they didn’t do much to improve my skin’s texture.

    Now at 34 years old, I noticed that the blackheads around my nose and all over my chin are getting so annoying and I needed something to get rid of them. I didn’t want to have facials done because I’m too lazy and impatient.😹 So after reading about the Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay, I headed to the nearest Healthy Options. I always go there to buy a lot of stuff but didn’t really find the clay so appealing because the packaging looks gaudy.

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    Bought at Healthy Options Glorietta for a little over Php 400
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    100% Natural Calcium Bentonite Clay

    I mix 1 Tbsp clay and 1 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar in a non-metallic container. It starts to fizz but after a few seconds of mixing, it becomes a paste then I apply it with a foundation brush.

    I used Woebers Organic Apple Cider Vinegar and used a plastic spoon and ceramic bowl
    The clay fizzes once you add the ACV
    After mixing it thoroughly, it forms a thick paste. Use immediately or else it will dry out.

    After 10 minutes when it dries a bit, my face begins to pulsate and I feel a slight pulling, tugging and tingling sensation. It’s quite enjoyable actually because I know that it’s doing something. I leave it on for a total of 30 minutes although this is completely a personal preference and it has worked quite well for me so far. While the mask is on, talking may be a challenge because it feels tight on the skin and I can hardly move my face. It dries almost completely and starts to crack in places where I piled it on most.

    Eeek! I can’t move my face! <twinning with my bedroom wall>

    Then I step into the shower, just letting the water soften the mask before I gently remove it from my face using circular motions with my fingers. The redness around my face may look a little scary but nothing to worry about, it goes away after a few minutes.

    My face, all red after rinsing off the mask

    After washing it off, my face feels a lot softer and cleaner. Sure, there are still tiny bumps and blackheads on my chin, nose and forehead, but my skin’s texture has improved a lot since I started using this mask three weeks ago. I only use it on Saturday mornings although I have been thinking of doing it twice a week, maybe I will see more dramatic results. I even used it on my daughter’s upper arm where she has a few bumps. After just one use, the bumps were reduced quite significantly.

    What I love:

    • The price! You only pay a little over Php 400 for a huge tub. 1 lb of clay can give you more than 20 uses. I may have more than enough to last a year.
    • It’s the world’s most powerful facial. Well, that’s a huge claim but not at all farfetched. At least for me!
    • It’s locally available
    • I have used sheet masks and peel-off masks in the past but none of them gave me similar results

    What I don’t love:

    • While mixing with the ACV, it starts to dry out after 20 seconds so better apply it quickly
    • If you’re sensitive to scent, the ACV may be a little off-putting but tolerable

    Would I continue using it and repurchase if I run out?

    Absolutely!

    Oh and by the way, I used my brand new Samsung Galaxy S8 to take photos and write this blog using the WordPress app.❤

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    I ❤ My Skin Art

    This may sound like a cliche but in the last 5 years I realized that you only live once (cringe). That it’s never too late to live the life you want. Live and let live. Who cares what other people say? It’s not like you’re answerable to any of them anyway.

    Now my job happens to be part of Human Resources and my boss has this mindset that HR people should be very conservative. I am anything but; I speak my mind, I wear high heels like nobody’s business, I don’t like boring clothes (read: ultra-conservative) and I color my hair. Worst of all, I have tattoos. Not in the obvious places of course but one of them is just a little below my nape and sometimes it peeks out of my clothes. That’s sacrilege in her book.

    Our company is not even the conservative type. We take pride in being innovative, young, vibrant and dynamic. The dress code is business casual from Monday to Thursday.

    I wear blazers at work especially when I have to conduct training so I don’t see why she is so irked about my tattoos. I love my skin art and I have always believed that the stigma attached to tattoos are archaic and no longer as prevalent as it was before. Maybe it’s my upbringing, maybe I just don’t buy into that whole sanctimonious ‘we are still a conservative country’ bullshit. She says I have to accept that this is not the States, that the Philippines is still not very tolerant of people with tattoos especially in the workplace. I say it’s not my problem that my tattoos make her uncomfortable.

    I have tattoos. Get over it. They are permanent in case you didn’t know and they are here to stay. I am not going to change who I am just to fit into some mold. Who made those rules anyway? Whatever happened to respect for individuality? I refuse to become a zombie while I’m still alive just to follow someone’s (not even the society’s) ideals. Life is too short for any of that crap.

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    Back At It

    Hey there! It’s been a little over 2 years since I last wrote something here and over the holidays, I decided to go back to blogging. 4 planets are in retrograde since the beginning of the month and I have been feeling quite blah. So I needed to restart and what better way to do that than restart this blog.

    I needed to see the beautiful things in life again, having been preoccupied with so much negative stuff for quite a while. Let’s start with Taylor, my cute Persian kitty:

    I love the lighting in this photo!

    I’ll try to upload something regularly, even just a photo of the day sort of stuff just to keep this page alive again.

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    Bootyfull Mornings

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    My Chiniepots always says ‘bootyfull’ when she means beautiful and it never fails to make me laugh.:) I love her to bits and I hope someday I will be able to pass on some advise that would keep her ‘bootyfull’ all her life.

    I noticed that I haven’t bought new make-up in months except for the eyebrow gel from JC Jazzy Collections which was a steal at PHP 249.50 and my trusty cheek tint from Avon. Both of which are staples in my now streamlined beauty routine which took years to develop.

    I need at least an hour to get ready in the morning. Been working in BGC for more than 2 years now so I need to drive for an hour all the way to work every single day. Once school starts, travel time will take much longer so that means I will need to get up earlier than usual.:twisted:

    Here are the things that I use for getting ready in the morning:

    1. Toothpaste, toothbrush and tongue cleaner. I cannot live without my OraSweet. I always keep one for back-up and I have another one in my desk drawer at work. Brushing alone doesn’t cut it, you have to scrape your tongue to make sure that your breath smells clean after a meal.

    2. Pantene Shampoo and Conditioner. I am not maarte when it comes to hair care. I think I’ve used enough products to know what and what doesn’t work. Spending a thousand pesos on shampoo is not very practical so I stick to this drugstore brand. I might switch it up once a week with herbal stuff but I go back to Pantene each time.

    I always dilute my shampoo and never use it full strength, ratio is 1:8 more or less. I only shampoo the scalp and let the lather take care of the rest. After rinsing the suds, I squeeze out the excess water before putting conditioner at the ends. I put my hair up in a loose bun on top my head and do the rest of my body while hair marinates.;)

    3. Exfoliating towel. The first towel I bought a thousand years ago was from The Body Shop and it was only at PHP 200.00 back then. After a while though they started charging more so I finally gave up and started looking for a dupe.

    This one is from Metro supermarket and it’s only PHP 49.00. Same effect, I love how gritty it feels against my skin. What I don’t love is the sides get all frayed after a few days. Oh well, I guess that’s the trade-off for buying something of a lesser known brand.

    4. Dove Winter Care Beauty Bar. This was a recent discovery when we went grocery shopping at Robinsons. I bought 2 2-packs for a little over PHP 300.

    It’s always summer in the Philippines and the weather here in -ber months is nowhere near winter-y. My skin is always parched though and I suffer from contact dermatitis so I have always been on the lookout for a great moisturizing bar that works so well I wouldn’t need lotion anymore. Sad to say but nothing has ever wowed me so much to ditch lotion or body oil.

    This one comes pretty close though. The first time I used Winter Care, I was like meh… nothing special. I mean, the lather was super creamy like the regular Dove bars, the scent is similar also but the bar itself is little more buttery. After two weeks though my skin actually feels softer and more radiant. I wish I could still find this in the supermarket though since it’s limited edition.

    5. After stepping out of the shower, I put Aveeno’s soothing bath and shower oil on my damp skin. I find that this keeps my skin more supple than most lotions. I used to make my own concoction of Hei Poa Monoi soothing oil, sunflower oil and baby oil. I settled for the Aveeno since I was able to use it a lot of times in the past and it helped relieve my allergies.

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    Selfie Saturday

    Today's shameless selfie
    Today’s shameless selfie

    I have taken more than a thousand selfies in 3 years. Yup, over a thousand. For someone who absolutely avoids social media, I would never hesitate to bring out my phone and snap away if I stumble onto good lighting. Yet, I barely post any of them… I dunno, maybe out of fear that no one would ‘like’ them or because I feel vain enough taking pictures of myself that posting them would be overkill.

    So here’s my Saturday selfie while caught in heavy traffic this afternoon. Yup, I changed my hair a bit and I gained 20 lbs but I’m healthy, happy, it’s a Saturday and I’m spending it with the 2 most important people in my life. 🙂

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    Will 2014 be any different?

    Whoa… Wait, that wasn’t supposed to sound as cynical as one might think.

    Here are some of the things that I would like to achieve in 2014. More like goals than resolutions, I think it’s all about the things I need to start doing, keep doing and stop doing:

    START

    • Lifting weights. I have zero muscle tone. And all that holiday binge-ing left me pudgier than ever. Must. Exercise. Pronto.
    • Adding more fruits and veggies in my diet. I officially started juicing veggies at home last Monday. I couldn’t substitute a meal with just juice yet but I have seen positive effects in the last 5 days. I’m not as crazy about soda as much as before and I feel so “clean” in the morning. <read between the lines>
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    Started making my own green juice at home!
    • Doing Pilates again. I need to make time for Pilates. It’s going to be bikini season before we know it.
    • Saving money. I am 31 years old and I haven’t started putting money away for retirement or emergencies.

    KEEP

    • Drinking no less than 2L of water daily.  This is something that I have done quite religiously in the last 5 years (more or less) although I have to admit that I am not as conscientious with this at home. SoI need to have a separate water bottle at home to remind me of my daily 2L requirement.
    • Using up toiletries before buying new stuff. Yup, I think I was pretty successful at using up body lotion, shampoo, conditioner and face stuff down to the very last drop in 2013. Just one teeny-tiny addendum – no more impulse buying until I run out of stuff (keeps fingers crossed.)
    • Washing my face, slathering on moisturizer and eye cream before turning in. I am not getting any younger so this is absolutely mandatory.

    STOP

    • Smoking. I couldn’t quit so abruptly but I have definitely cut back. Dramatically. I am down to around 4 sticks a day from nearly finishing an entire pack in 24 hours.
    • Buying shoes. I have more pairs than I could ever wear. My Visa card is weeping.
    • Just a few work-appropriate pairs. More shoes in the car trunk and in the closet at home.
    • Buying cosmetics specifically lip products. Seriously. I haven’t used up any of my lipsticks in years because I have too many. I need to start on a project. One lipstick a day just so I’d be able to use them before they go bad.
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    I am a hoarder!
    • Procrastinating on writing blog entries. Haha! Enough said. 🙂Logo_Study 2

     

    Hello there

    Welcome to my new blog! I started blogging in 2007 but kept the page private due to personal reasons but since a new year is about to begin, I decided to create a new space. This is where I will share my aimless thoughts on beauty, love and life.

    So why snowflakes? Well, for starters, these crystals are delicate and unique, each one is made differently based on the temperature surrounding it. Pretty much like people and beautiful memories. Fleeting yet unforgettable.

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