Sunday, November 29, 2015

Unboxing: BYS Matte Maven Glamourbox

Happy Sunday everyone! I know you're all excited to see the contents of this Glamourbox x BYS collab after the success of their BYS Makeup Pro beauty box last September, so here's a quick unboxing before I run out the door. Of course, thank you to the team for sending me one :)

This makeup stash is filled with full-sized matte must-haves that will allow you to create a variety of muted looks.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Time to reformulate: Human Nature Perfect Coverage Mineral Foundation

It doesn't take a lot to surprise and please me nowadays, and I'd like to think that with age I've come to appreciate the simpler things in life. Like sleeping in on weekends, successfully downloading an ebook that I've been waiting for for so long, or playing with Meerkat and Epsilon. But if there's one thing I'm passionate about is natural products, with the inclusion of mineral makeup. Granting that not all natural-made products are safe for everyone (there are still allergens about), I try to make them work as much as I can, sometimes even to a fault. Case in point, the Human Nature Perfect Coverage Mineral Foundation.

The reason I switched from my other mineral makeup brand is the compact case -- sometimes having to apply foundation on the fly with a sponge is better and faster than having to buff everything in the car. Sponge application equals heavier coverage, too, another perk of switching.

So anyway, I've been a fan of this brand in the past and wrote a review here. But for some reason, I've been getting duds lately. In just a week, my powder was in bits and pieces. I had discovered upon arrival in Manila that the product had already made a mess inside my kikay kit.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Basking in Bali: The Beach

There are only two things I wish for in life: to have a farmhouse or retire by the beach. I have all the details down-pat, from the flowers in the yard down to the terracotta kitchen tiles. And I want my white geese running around, too. One can dream, I suppose. Seriously though, I have a bad case of the Bali blues. I miss Bali tremendously and I can't stop thinking about it.

While many well-meaning friends advised me to stay away from Kuta Beach as it is considered the default and "mainstream" beach (ala Boracay), I couldn't help but still feel so lucky to be there. I mean, come on -- it definitely doesn't have white sand but take me to any beach with the sun shining bright and I'd be deliriously happy. 

The beach shoreline stretches from Kuta to Seminyak, the latter where most of the tourists, surfers, surf instructors are located. In short, Seminyak (from the side of beach anyway) is a more populated area where I spotted so many tourists hanging out, drinking, sunbathing -- it was pretty crowded. But it's in the Seminyak  beach area where all the activities are: you can rent the surfboards, kayaks, banana boats, jet skis, etc., and where you can enjoy Bintang by the beach if you prefer to mingle with tourists and locals.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Fairer & firmer skin with Nivea

As the weather cools down and the holiday season approaches, a lot of women focus their attention on achieving even-toned skin. Back when I was fairer, I'd recall having to deal with ashy skin during this time of the year. Aside from the regular weekly exfoliation in the shower, you can also try switching to lightening skin care products to achieve that holiday glow perfect for parties and family gatherings. 

When I got back from Palawan, a wonderful gift pack from Nivea arrived on my doorstep. I've had first-hand experience using Nivea at their previous #ComeCloser launch in Balesin last January, and I was impressed with their sunscreens and lotions, so I was glad to receive back-ups of their popular products.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Celebrating Puerto Princesa Underground River Day

Puerto Princesa has long been a tourist destination but recently garnered more attention when it was inscribed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site on December 4, 1999. So obviously, you can't leave this wonderful city without visiting the Underground River at least once!

The Underground River

To get to PPUR, we rode the van to Sabang Wharf and travelled for 1 hour and 45 minutes at 90-110km/hr. It's really far so leave early. For solo travelers or those without a tour guide/agency, you have to secure a permit from the Underground River Booking Office at the PPSRNP Office, City Coliseum, Barangay San Pedro, Puerto Princesa City or call them at (048) 434-2509. Book 2-3 months in advance if possible.

If you want to skip all the hassle, book with an accredited tour guide/agency beforehand.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

The Puerto Princesa City Tour

Take a break from lounging and sunbathing by the beach and explore the inner workings of Puerto Princesa by going on the city tour. After all, a deeper appreciation and understanding of the people and the community is the reason why we travel, right? 

You can book through an accredited travel agency or for budget travelers you can do a DIY tour by taking one of the tourism-accredited tricycles. The former is most convenient as you will be seating comfortably in an air-conditioned van for the rest of the trip, while the latter is deemed more exciting (I would even drive the tricycle myself if possible). Choose your own adventure. 

Here are some the popular tourist spots you can visit in the city: 

Iwahig Penal Colony

Known as the "prison with no bars," Iwahig houses inmates that cannot be accommodated anymore in the Bilib Prison or Muntinlupa City Jail. These inmates (I've been told) have committed the gravest of crimes and are sent to Iwahig for rehabilitation. 

They live and work freely with their families in Iwahig. Their duties vary from farming, to handicraft-making, carpentry, fishing, etc. Inmates are free to choose whatever vocational activities they prefer.

Recreation Hall
The Recreation Hall was built during the American period and is so old that only 60 people at a time are allowed to occupy it. It's for receiving guests and tourists, and serves as a "showroom" of the handicrafts made by the inmates.