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Anti-Dandruff Beauty in Bran

15 Jan

Most of my toiletries and cosmetics are already locally produced, eco-friendly, and manufactured with fair trade principles. I had finished my tiny bottle of a leading anti-dandruff shampoo – I like using one weekly for preventive purposes – and decided it was worth a little effort scouting for an alternative that would fit the above criteria.

My go-to brand for toiletries is Human Nature because it’s convenient enough to restock – a minimum of PHP700 gives me free delivery in my area plus there’s a membership discount. Unfortunately, as of this writing, they do not carry any anti-dandruff shampoo. I went to Body Shop, which is my go-to store when I can’t find anything local. They had a ginger anti-dandruff shampoo but after getting used to Human Nature prices, I couldn’t bring myself to shell out PHP800 for it.

I told myself I’d check out Echostore first and only get this ginger thing as a last resort. I don’t frequent the malls with Echostore so it was a little more effort. I wasn’t hopeful since it has been a few years since I’ve seriously scoured their toiletries. Was I pleasantly surprised to see so many more brands in stock! With a salesperson’s help, I found what I was looking for in the form of Oryspa Rice Bran Gugo and Aloe Vera Shampoo. Oryspa uses rice bran and rice bran oil in its products, and so I learned that rice bran oil has anti-fungal properties, which helps it prevent dandruff. The 250 ml bottle was ~PHP300. Good enough for me! I grabbed an Oryspa conditioner too. 🙂


It was the first time I encountered the brand, but it turns out Oryspa already has branches in several Philippine malls and one in Singapore.

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?

A Real Kid-Friendly Bible

28 Aug

Would you like to get your kid more interested in the Bible? As in THE Holy Bible, not a Bible Stories for Kids kind of book?

G3 needed to bring a Bible for Catechism class. The only physical Bible at home was the one from our wedding – covered in old rose cloth and heart rhinestones, in line with our wedding motif. Not exactly the kind he would be proud to whip out in class, huh? I didn’t want him to bring this to school either, for fear of having its pages getting torn, as kids his age still tend to be rough with things.


We had a Bible on the iPad. We didn’t want him bringing that to school either, so we decided to get him his own Bible.

Looking through the different versions available at National Bookstore Shangri-la Mall, we were drawn to one that looked kid-proof – the United Bible Societies’ Good News Translation Holy Bible. It had a zippered cover that would be perfect for protecting it through all the times G3 would have to take it in and out of his bag. The cover was made of spill-proof material too!


We bought the Bible with its being kid-proof as the main consideration. What came as a bonus were the colored illustrations and passage titles. It gave the Bible the appearance of  a compilation of children’s stories! Now G3 takes his Bible with him, around the house, to church, sometimes just to the car. He is genuinely interested in reading Bible stories (credit goes to his animated Catechism teacher this year too) and asks things like, Mom, can you help me look for the story of Samson? The iPad Bible remains my ally for quick searches, of course! 🙂

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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