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Foundation and Liquid Eyeliner Quest Followed by Dashing Diva Pampering

25 Jan

My mom wanted foundation for her birthday gift so I arranged a Beauty Bar date, since they carry Human Nature. I wanted to give her something natural and local. Unfortunately, she had a requirement that Human Nature did not meet. She wanted the compartment separate for the applicator, as in the Body Shop Extra Virgin Minerals foundation that I have pictured below. She says I introduced her to this kind of compartmentalization when I gave her one too. Hmmm, I don’t even remember that. I would have taken her to Body Shop had I known that requirement. Human Nature and Body Shop are my go-to brands for natural cosmetics produced with fair-trade principles. Anyway, there we were at Beauty Bar, so fine.


The Body Shop Extra Virgin Minerals Foundation has a separate compartment at the bottom for the brush. Also, take a peek at my beautiful polish c/o Dashing Diva!

The hair on the Body Shop brush that comes with my foundation falls off before I finish the product so I use my trusted Sonia Kashuk foundation brush that I got from Target a few years ago instead. It has brushes on both ends, one for liquid/cream foundation, and another one for loose powder. I like that it’s full-sized but has covers and retractable brushes, which makes it good for travel. I have one for blush too.


Sonia Kashuk foundation and blush brushes

My mom’s other requirement was that the foundation should not cake over her pores. The winner turned out not to be a foundation product, but the creamy Smashbox Photo Set Pressed Powder.


Smashbox Photo Set Pressed Powder. Photo from

It was also time to throw away my beloved Palladio liquid eyeliner. I’ve recently tried two Body Shop branches, and they were both out of stock of black liquid liner. I was excited to find the K-Palette 1 Day Tattoo Real Lasting Eyeliner at Beauty Bar. The pen packaging with brush applicator at the end is more sanitary than Palladio’s, where you dip the brush into the little well of eyeliner, similar to how you would dip a feather into a jar of ink. Most of the words on the K-Palette packaging were Japanese so I got raised eyebrows from G3 and my hubby when they saw my unopened “1 Day Tattoo” in the bathroom.


K-Palette 1-Day Tattoo Liquid Eyeliner

My mom also wanted a mani-pedi so we tried out Dashing Diva, an international nail salon chain recently brought to the Philippines by Beauty Bar/Store Specialists. We got one of the mani-pedi combos. I like that they have a color wheel so you can easily check how the different available shades look on you. In my mind, since I’m not chinita or tisay, even though I have fair-medium skin I feel like the darker shades would suit me better. Using the color wheel, I found that I took to the lighter shades more. This isn’t the first time, actually, so I guess I’ll believe it already! I played with the OPI Try on This Color online tool once and had similar results. Try it, you can play with the skin tone and nail length so you can better see how the OPI shades would look on you! I went for an old rose kind of shade at Dashing Diva. My mom said it reminded her of my wedding motif, which my girlfriends totally thought were more debut-like than bride.

Anyway, it was a happy kikay date day. One unexpected benefit I got from our nail spa was… <drum roll, please>… SMOOTH ELBOWS! As in my elbows are at their smoothest that I can remember, thanks to the scrub and that white round rubber-like thing that they used, the one that’s used in facials sometimes.

P.S. About a week has now passed and I feel like throwing a kikay tantrum. MY K-PALETTE IS DRY!!! The cap had gotten off in my cosmetic kit, but it was off for less than a day! I tried to store it upside down overnight and shook it, shook it, shook it. Still dry! I sprayed Human Nature hand sanitizer on it and it was wet for a while. Crazy, I know, you don’t want sanitizer in your eyes. But I am just pissed at having something so new and now worthless. I tried sunflower oil and it did not work either. Do I now give up and throw it away? Was it good for just one day? 1 Day Tattoo, was that literal! Found somewhere it was supposed to be good for 3-4 months of daily use. I don’t think I can return it, I’ve thrown away the receipt. <sigh> … <sulk, sulk> 😦

Little Black Bag

19 Dec


Sometimes a girl doesn’t want to bring her big everyday purse for quick errands. My everyday bag feels like overkill, and all the contents make me feel over-armed, when all I need to do is go to church or get money from the ATM.

My solution: a little black pouch from Halo. It’s just the right size for stashing my phone, a card holder that carries my driver’s license, ATM, and credit card, my pink-topped bottle of hand sanitizer, and some cash in the inside pocket. Sometimes I even sneak in some tissue and lipstick.

Why is hand spray part of my bare essentials? Because when we go to church K2 sometimes needs to pee in the public restroom, which doesn’t have soap. I reused an atomizer from a perfume giveaway I received some time ago and just keep refilling it from my big bottle of Human Nature Sanitizer. I love that the little bottle has a pink top! 😊

I weighed big bag vs. little bag. Big bag: 4.0 lbs. Little bag: 0.4 lbs. I can survive, at least for short periods, with just 10% of the stuff I lug around!

How about you? Do you carry the same big purse everyday in case you need something in it? Do you have a pared down alternative for quick trips? Or have you ruthlessly minimized what you tote from day to day?

Habits That Cause Pimples

19 Oct

Food, stress and hormones aside, there are some habits at work and at home that can more directly lead to pimples. I’m talking about touching our faces with bacteria-laden objects.

Here are some of my habits that bring me pimples:

  1. Resting my chin on my hand during looong meetings.
  2. Cradling the phone between my ear and my shoulder.
  3. Resting my chin on my son’s head, esp. when I lie down with him to get him to nap.

I’d been doing pretty well with not doing #s 1 and 2 but for about two months I’ve been getting pimples on my chin. I was ready to blame my toothpaste or my lipstick, none of which I had recently changed. Hubby pointed out the pimples were not near my lips. When I caught myself doing #3, it was like, aha, it’s the kiddo’s sweaty hair! Another score for the mindfulness movement.

I don’t want to go crazy and have the kid take a bath thrice a day. I’m trying to cut back on habit #3 and have been getting chin pimples less often.

Looking Young vs. Looking Mature

16 Aug

Looking young is good for kikays. Looking mature is good for managers.

As a young COBOL programmer in the mid-90s, I went to the US on a Y2K project. The immigration officer looked at me and laughed. He said that in the US, being a COBOL programmer meant you were a dinosaur. 

I have observed many instances since then where Westerners would think Asian women younger than they really are. So when we’re truly young, we look like kids. And when we’re, ahem, more seasoned, we look young. I used to wear glasses for astigmatism and joked that I only wore them to increase my credibility. I’ve since ditched them for kikay reasons and found that I could manage.

I recounted the dinosaur incident at a recent visit by an American client. He said, no way could you have been working in the mid-90s. Ooops, seems like I had forgotten the usual part of my introduction where I say I’ve been at my company for 16 years. It’s a credibility tactic. What’s funny is that this other Asian woman colleague of mine then asks me about my age. Traitor! I just smiled and repeated that I’ve been with the company 16 years.

Make Time for a Hair Mask

3 Aug

Being a mommy and a manager oftentimes take priority over my being kikay. I go for kikay express, e.g. putting on make-up in the car. I’m lucky hubby drives me to work.

As part of my kikay express approach, I have been using Human Nature’s hair mask weekly for over a year now, but really have been misusing it. I’ve been using it more like a conditioner because I didn’t want to spend the time to use it according to instructions, i.e. let it STAY FOR 30 MINUTES before rinsing it off.

Well today I decided to follow instructions. Lo and behold, my hair came out SUPER, DUPER SOFT!

So ladies, pamper yourself every now and then. Take 30 minutes for yourself! You’ll feel good that you did it.

Trivia: I listened to one of Human Nature’s founders, Camille Meloto, speak at Gawad Kalinga’s Social Innovation Camp last weekend. She’s kikay too! She loves cosmetics and so does a lot of R&D so that Human Nature can produce high-quality cosmetics too!

Beware of Stiletto Traps

19 Nov

Photo from

I had to drive somewhere for a meeting. The parking building floors were those aluminum-looking things with holes in them.

Walk, walk, walk, shoot! My stiletto got stuck! A few forceful wriggles got it out.

Add to shopping list: wedges that mean business.

Bargain Gown

17 Nov

I need a long gown of a certain color to be ninang (!) for a wedding. Whee, reason to dress up!

Canvass results:
Crossings not-so-nice gown: P6k
Rustan’s: P22k
Made-to-order at Mico Shang mall: starts at P10.5k
Reasonably-priced-couturier: unknown, too lazy to find the place

Contingency: borrow & alter ninang gown from my mother. Not that we have the same style!

Ran an errand at SM and saw a good-enough gown for a whopping P2,500! :)Got it, along with a Jockey thigh-length-girdle-like-thing because, even with the lining, what you get for the price point is thin. You don’t want your panty discernable, right?

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