There’s always room for improvement. It’s the biggest room in the house.

I came across the above quote many years ago and never forgot it. It’s very apt for my attitude towards this blog. Some people have asked me if I still write here, to which I shamefully say no. In fact I was close to giving it up altogether, until yesterday when WordPress.com emailed me my annual blogging report of 2012. Even if I didn’t write a single entry (yes, not a single one!), I managed to get 6,600 views! To those who dropped by, thank you so much. Maybe 2013 will inspire me to write again and be excited to blog about beauty!

 

Still no gift for your guy?

Two of my friends just told me that they still haven’t found their man a Christmas gift (don’t worry ladies, your secret’s safe with me). If you’re like them, may I suggest Bulgari Man, a really fresh, masculine scent that was released about two months ago.

If you want to get technical, the fragrance is a white woody oriental scent that has top notes of Calabrian bergamot, violet leaves, and lotus blossom. This is what makes the initial whiff very refreshing. The middle notes consist of woody aromas like white woods, sandalwood, and cashmere wood, which give Bulgari Man that warm touch. Its top notes have hints of white honey and musk, which tie the sophisticated scent into one super sexy scent (at least I think so) that’s perfect for your better half.

PS It doesn’t hurt that hunky Clive Owen is the fragrance’s face. I can imagine getting a whiff of him wearing nothing but Bulgari Man.

Have a sparkling 2011!

Happy New Year!!! One of my resolutions this year is to update this blog regularly. Gulp. Let’s give this a try.

In my attempt to save on a mani pedi today (actually my favorite home service I DO NAILS was closed today), I painted my own nails with two shades from Orly’s ‘Tis The Season collection. I painted the base with Candy Cane (a deliciously apple red shade), then topped the tips with slivers of Glitz and Glamour (a deep gold shimmer).

Because I’ve been so spoiled with I DO NAILS’ great service, I haven’t painted my own nails in months. So when I did my own nails this evening, gasp, my nails look like they were painted by a two-year old monkey. They looked so bad that I didn’t bother taking a photo to post here (plus, I left my camera with my nieces over the weekend). Anyway, I liked the color combination, so I’ll repeat this in the morning when I have better lighting conditions, less New Year alcohol in my system, and well, I DO NAILS will finally be open.

Happy New Year, everybody! Have a sparkling year ahead!

Orly Tis The Season (P349.75 per bottle) is available at Marionnaud, First Aid Greenbelt, PCX (Rockwell, Ermita, Alabang Town Center), Watsons (Greenbelt 5, Ayala Cebu), Beauty by SM (Makati, Megamall, Fairview), Landmark-Trinoma, Caswell-Massey and Robinsons Department Store Ermita

I Do Nails is on my speed dial

I recently discovered a new at-home nail service called I Do Nails , thanks to former beauty editor of Cosmopolitan magazine Nicole De los Angeles. I’ve had my share of home service nail spas, but I have to admit, this one takes the cake. In fact my first experience with them was so good, I called them back the next week to get another treatment done! Here are the top reasons why I like them, and why you will, too.

Punctuality. I Do Nails proprietor Monica Maceda makes sure her staff gets to you 15 minutes before your schedule. She schedules appointments with enough allowance for travel and traffic, that way you don’t sit around and wait forever (which has happened quite a number of times with other home services).

Great service. The staff are well-trained (backed up by the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority or TESDA), and quietly carry out their business carefully and professionally, so you don’t have to worry about them pouring out their sob story about a cheating husband or rebellious child.

Added extras. The I Do Nails technicians set up a special lounge chair that has the perfect height so you can prop your feet up comfortably on their foot stool without straining your knees. Your forearms can rest perfectly on the arm rests, too. I realized how important this kind of chair was on their second visit. I said I could manage with the living room chair (pictured here), which wasn’t as comfy as their seat. And if you’re the type to bob your head from side to side when you fall asleep (and believe me, with their light touch, you will fall asleep!), you can use the provided neck rest to keep your head in place.

I especially like their refreshing cucumber mask—cool patches that they set on your eyes to rejuvenate the blood flow in that area.

Ice eyes, baby. Their cucumber patches are stored in a chiller.

Nifty little nail chart. I don’t know about you, but when nail technicians plop a heavy basket full of nail polish bottles on my lap, I don’t want to pick up each bottle and inspect the color. It doesn’t help that I’m paranoid that I’ll knock the basket off my lap and send the bottles crashing to the floor. So when I was handed their nail polish swatch, I could instantly visualize how the shade would look on my nails.

Pocket-friendly prices. The treatments range from P90 (a quickie manicure) to P600 (the Paraffin Dip: soak + your choice of organic or non-organic scrub + Paraffin + shape + massage + paint; and the Happy Weekend Package: soak + shape + massage + paint + spa for hands and feet)—very affordable rates, especially since they use O.P.I. products.

I was never one to be addicted to manis and pedis and could go for weeks without a treatment, but these guys are close to changing my mind.

Book an appointment with I Do Nails at (02) 635-2654; (02) 502-9099; (0917) 5315365; Idonailshomeservice@yahoo.com

Touch up with TATCHA

Tatcha way u-huh-u-huh I like it!

A few weeks ago I went on a four-day surf trip that left me with a glorious tan. The upside: I don’t have to wear concealer under my eyes (my dark skin has caught up with my dark under eyes), and all I need is a swipe of blush and a bit of lip gloss to look polished. The downside: my skin has gotten oily, leaving me with a film of grease (not the John Travolta kind) on my face.

I’ve been keeping a pack of TATCHA Aburatorigami on my dresser for the past weeks, and finally remembered to use it two days ago. What’s a TATCHA,  you ask? The Aburatogami is a Japanese oil-blotting paper which was discovered hundreds of years ago by Japanese artisans who would hammer gold into ultra thin pieces. A special handmade paper was wrapped to protect the gold, and in the process this paper was made very fine, thus producing the very first form of Aburatogami. By some serendipitous process, the Japanese discovered that this paper was very oil-absorbent, and soon after that, Kabuki actors started using it to touch up their cakey stage makeup without fear of smearing off. Pretty soon Geishas got wind of it, and this became their beauty secret to keeping their skin fine and oil-free.

Many kinds of oil-blotting brands have surfaced, one of which is the TATCHA Aburatogami (P595, Beauty Bar) A package contains 30 pieces of natural, fragrance- and oil-free sheets. Each sheet has a few gold flecks—proof of its gold leaf workshop origins.

My skin is far from that of a Geisha’s, but blotting my oily, sweat-laden face with this 95-mm square leaflet is enough to get me looking naturally fresh and dewy. Now my pack of Tatcha is no longer on my dresser; I take it with me wherever I go.

Looking for a trusty razor? C’est Schick!

At the Enervon Happy Trail Run I joined two months ago, I crossed the finish line and received some goodies from race sponsors. One of them was a Schick shaver. I’m very loyal to my regular Gillette razor and am skeptical about plastic disposables (they don’t give a close shave, so my leg hair starts to grow two days after), but I took one from the promo girl anyway (okay maybe I took three).

And because I’m not a fan of flimsy-looking plastic shavers (give me a sturdy, silver, hi-tech looking gadget that looks like it can chop your head off), I let those three Schick shavers collect dust on my bathroom shelf.

Last Tuesday however, as I was about to shave my legs in the shower, I found my trusty razor had reached the end of its life span. So I fished out the mint green Schick shaver from the shelf and cynically used that instead. Three days later the skin on my gams felt like they were still newly shaved, and only two days later did I start to feel a hint of leg hair growing. And they weren’t the sharp stubbly kind; they felt like fine sand grains on the surface of my legs. Looks like I’m sticking to Schick.

Now that’s a proper French tip!

This evening instead of going for a run or accepting a friend’s invitation to Salsa night (next time, Digoy!), I stayed home and ordered a home service mani/pedi. Nail technician Wheng from Massage By Us (Mandaluyong branch) promptly arrived at 7pm and set up her station in front of my couch.

I had her paint my nails with two coats of Essie in Fed Up, one of my favorite shades because it gives my digits a fresh-looking finish. Wheng and I were admiring her work when she suggested “Ma’am lalong gaganda yan pag nilagyan natin ng French tip.” Because of my rock climbing, I have stubby fingers and I keep my nails short, so I wasn’t crazy about having her swipe a half moon on the tips of my nails (my last French tip was more a 3/4 moon than a half moon). But Wheng convinced me that she could make the tips look real, so I allowed her to do her light little swooshes on my finger nails. She kept the tip of the brush (short bristles are better than long for more control, she says) very close to the edge of my nail, to the point of painting the skin on my fingers. Then she cleaned them up any excess with polish remover. Minutes later she presented my new and improved digits which looked longer and more feminine. And because she gave me such a wonderful French tip, I gladly gave her a big tip.

Massage By Us San Juan, Mandaluyong Branch 392-6437; 0917-84RELAX

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