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.

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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.

Run for cover

A smash hit: Smashbox's Camera Ready Full Coverage Concealer

My girlfriends and I were exchanging beauty secrets at a Baby Shower earlier today when a friend of mine pulled out her latest makeup purchase, a stylish black tube from Smashbox.

As a beauty editor, I’ve road tested concealers in all shapes and forms, so I figured this little stick was the same as the rest. Until I twisted the tube, swiped a bit of the stuff on the back of my hand (to warm up the product), picked it up with my ring finger, and tapped it under my eyes.

The product felt very light and not cakey at all, and it went on my skin effortlessly. When I didn’t think the product was covering my dark circles enough, all I needed was to add a little more, building it up and stopping until I noticed my imperfections were, like Jack Johnson crooned, gone going gone.

I turned to my girlfriends and they all agreed—my dark circles were a thing of the past! Four hours later, the makeup hasn’t caked or creased, and I still look like I’ve had a full night’s sleep. My next step: sprint to Beauty Bar to get my hands on this nifty little stick.

Postrace Footcare 101

Uh oh. I made a mistake of watching an enthralling episode of Fringe while filing my foot calluses. Sure, skin on my feet may be back to their soft, pre-race condition, but they feel as raw as the complexion of an underdeveloped Shapeshifter (for Fringe fans only).

The skin on my feet grew so thick because of training for my first ultramarathon (an ultramarathon is a foot race above 50 Km). For four months I ran on mixed road and trail terrains twice during the week, and back to back on weekends to prepare for The Northface 100 Km race which was held in Baguio last weekend. (Incidentally, HAPPY ONE WEEK ANNIVERSARY!! My race companions and I crossed the finish line of the TNF 100 around this time last Sunday.)

Checking the damage after the race

All those hours training as well as running/walking/climbing on race day (it took my running buddies and I over 29 hours to finish) caused the skin on my feet to get pretty thick (thankfully, not cracked). I needed the thick skin on race day to protect me from blisters. Now that it’s over, however, I can finally file my skin down to original form.

Before I got overzealous with my foot filer last night, I had a more ideal set up the day before: a basin filled with warm water and a mix of two relaxing treatments: Hot Pink Tease Exotic Coconut Epsom Salt Scrub (unfortunately this is no longer available at Hot Pink Lingerie, so generic Epsom Salts will do) and Earth Therapeutics Tea Tree Oil Foot Soak (P675, The Beauty Bar). I placed my feet in this heavenly concoction and leaned back on my couch. Minutes later I took I took my Pedro Ceramic Callus Rasp (P750, Zwilling J.A. Henckels) and gently filed my wet feet. I then rinsed off the solution, wiped my feet dry and massaged a generous amount of Clarins Foot Beauty Treatment Cream (P1,650, Rustan’s) all over my pampered tootsies.

When two become one

Cleansing and moisturizing in one go

I’ve been getting a lot of sun lately (with SPF slathered on my skin, of course!) due to long runs on weekends and beach trips for fun and for work. All this sun exposure calls for lots of moisture, so I tried Olay Total Effects Shower Cream plus Body Butter (P250 for a 295 ml twin pack), a rich body cleanser that does a great job of washing off the morning’s sweat from the daily barre3 class I teach, or the dirt and soil that sticks to my body when I run off road. Its rich emollients also keep my sun-kissed skin from drying up, thanks to its “dual stream ribbon technology,” which deeply moisturizes and nourishes skin. If your skin isn’t as sun exposed as mine, you can do without body lotion; this stuff is enriched with body butter. I still need an additional layer of cream though, just to be safe.

Olay Shower Cream Plus Body Butter is available at top supermarkets, department stores, and drug stores

Oh, baby that’s what I like!

Nice, nice, baby. The Body Shop's infant care range isn't just for kids.

Nice, nice, baby. The Body Shop's infant care range isn't just for kids.

I’m not a mom, but I am aunt to 11 nieces and nephews, all of whom I have, at one point in their lives, given them a bath. Recently I played baby sitter to my nieces Erin, Iana, and Faith. The first two are eight and seven years old, so they’ve got their shower rituals down pat. The third, just turned six and needed help in the shampooing department. She stood in the shower with her eyes shut tight. Her cute little belly stuck out, and her long hair was in knots as I tried to untangle them carefully. “Owww, the shampoo is in my eyes!” This tense Tita quickly rinsed Faith’s face and closely observed if the suds were gone. Her eyes were still shut and she wrinkled her forehead and complained “owwww!!!! My eyes hurt!” Minutes and splashes of water later, she finally opened her eyes. Whew. What an ordeal.

Sleeping over beauties: my nieces Erin, Iana, Faith after a shower.

Sleeping over beauties: my nieces Erin, Iana, Faith after a shower.

That’s why I am making a mental note to get The Body Shop’s Buriti Baby range, for the next sleep over with my nieces. The entire line is pediatrician-approved, dermatologically-tested, and suitable for sensitive skin, so I’m sure they’ll get cleaned and moisturized safely and gently, thanks to the buriti oil ingredient, which contains beta carotine, pro-vitamin A, oleic fatty acids, and essential fatty acids. The scent is a gentle baby fragrance that has a hint of powder laced in it— so fresh and light. It’ll be hard to keep my hands off of these products until the next sleep over, so girls, pack up your bags and come over.

The Body Shop Buriti Baby range will be available at The Body Shop by end August. Prices start at P550.

Pump up the volume!

Guess who got a new Lab partner? Kerastase did.

Guess who got a new Lab partner? Kerastase did.

I visited Bench Fix Lab (G/L Glorietta 4 between Ascott Hotel and Modern China Restaurant; 815-6913), who recently partnered with Kérastase to give birth to the Kérastase Lounge, a private area dedicated solely to haircare. Oliver Salva, Kérastase’s product manager, gave me the tour of the swanky-looking lab, which not only has an extensive menu of haircare and makeup services, they also have private rooms for full body massages, waxing, and threading services (ooh, another place to get fully landscaped!).

Oliver then sat me down in front of a scanner, which magnifies one’s hair and scalp up to 1,000 times (before you get any kind of treatment in the Kérastase Lounge, you have to get your head and strands checked to see what treatment suits you).

Getting my head checked: That's my scalp.

Getting my head checked: That's my scalp a thousand times magnified.

Aaak, my hair strands looked sooo thick and the little capillaries on my scalp looked huge under the microscope—I got flashbacks of Darth Vader’s head—sans his helmet—in the Empire Strikes Back). Oliver knew what my head had been through the day before. “Did you wear a cap yesterday?” he asked, pointing out that my scalp looked a bit red and slightly irritated (yes, I wore one in the race I joined the day before). I was amazed. It was like I was in a confession booth, and Oliver knew all my sins.

Thankfully my hair and scalp were in pretty good shape (whew!) so I was cleared to receive the salon’s latest offering—Kérastase Volumorphose, the solution to limp, flat, and volume-less locks. The process is simple: your hair is sectioned and then applied with the volumizing ingredient Intra-cylane, which penetrates the core of your hair strand. It supposedly causes your strand to expand, thus giving it volume and body. Your hair is massaged for 20 to 30 minutes, and then rinsed and shampooed, then your locks are blown dry. What?! That’s it?

Those fat black cables are my hair strands.

Those fat black cables are my hair strands.

Nope. You see the effect the next day. I washed and air dried my hair (I let it air dry), and was surprised to see that I looked like I got a professional blow out. No kidding! People that I saw or worked with that day couldn’t quite put their finger on what made my hair look good (whew), but now YOU know my secret. One thing I forgot was to shoot myself before and after. You have my word though: my hair looked pretty good.

What to ask for at Bench Fix Lab: The Volumorphose Treatment
How much it costs: P1,000
Added treats: A hot stone massage (it comes with the service) while you wait for the product to set in.
How long it lasts: Up to 10 shampoos. After five, however, I noticed that it’s not as voluminous, but it still looks good.

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