x

About five late nights ago, Moi and Le Hubby were watching a special feature from NHK channel showing some Japanese men and women, mostly in their senior years, climbing this peak everyday (I forgot the name but the height is more like a valley). As in. The reporter was following the trail of a super fit seventy-something year old man. On their way up, the latter was saying that he has been climbing that peak everyday for twenty five years. He'll wake up around 5 in the morning and start his ritual even if it's raining. Wow, that's what I call ultimate discipline. When they reached the very top after 1.5 hours of non-stop trekking, I was even delighted to see a group of old women exercising. The reporter approached one and asked her age: 82 years old! Sweet Jesus, she's all might and power. Wake up call Kathryne!

My hair has a mind of its own. I was born with straight locks but up until 2005, when I decided to grow my hair ala- Rapunzel (well sorta'), it unraveled this wavy, frizzy, dry, and often tangled hair. My friends think it's cute and a lot of times I have been  asked if I had permed my hair. In good days, the waves which are concentrated at the bottom and mid-section, happen to look sexy. But bad days outnumbered those. And seriously, I don't have the time to always style it, let alone use curling or straightening iron because it takes  too much effort. Quickie solution? Messy bun it is. But wait there's more! My ultimate hair dilemma is my never-ending battle with tangles! Without a hair detangler, the inner strands can rival a bird's nest. If only  my scalp can scream from all the painful tugging. Quickie solution? Another messy bun!

In my quest for that holy grail, I purchased my first Carol's Daughter hair product- Hair Milk (Lite) The Curl Booster (Sephora, $20).




Sick and tired of guessing what you will receive from your monthly beauty subscription, only to be disappointed with the inclusions? Make way for Beauty Army- a new monthly premium beauty sampling subscription that allows members to choose up to six deluxe samples ,   delivered FREE for only $12 a month!


Get enlisted! Beauty Army will formally launch on January 1, 2012 with exclusive 300 kits for the first month, so sign up now thru email to get early access 


Never bite the hands that feed you. But how can you resist those soft and callus-free hands of the most hardworking man you know?  and those tender lips that aroused Sleeping Beauty from her deep sleep?

Wake up to Jack Black Hand and Lip duo, a Sephora exclusive limited edition ($12). It's a nice little treat to the man who adores you like a queen.

Set includes 2 oz. Hand Healer (cream) & 0.25 Lip Balm SPF25


Need makeup idea for NYE? Try this Vamp & Purple!
I like the versatility of purple, it's definitely a shade you can rock from day to night.

1. Begin with a clean face. Wash, tone, moisturize. Skip any moisturizer that has SPF on it (it's night time anyways) because the titanium dioxide ingredient reflects light from the camera flash, rendering a ghostly white cast over your face (Casper, isdachu?)
2. Partying all night? Apply face primer to prolong wearability of your makeup.
3. Apply your favorite foundation and set with loose or pressed powder.
4. Groom eyebrows and prime your eyes. Again, doing so will prevent creasing of eye makeup especially if your lids grease like crazy!
5. Apply darkest purple on lids and a little above the crease.
6. Blend shimmer maroon shade on crease to create a softer transition.
7. Apply fleshtone eyeshadow on brow bone.
8. Let's intensify the eyes more! With a glitter glue, apply metallic purple on lids. Lightly blend the darker purple again on top of it for gradient effect.
9. Line lower lashline with purple eyeliner. Smudge for a sexier look.
10. Line waterline with black kohl eye pencil then tightline upper lashline. Top off with black eyeshadow to preserve the color.
11. Apply mascara (two coats would be enough). Feel free to wear falsies, it's NYE!!!
12. Because the focus is in the eyes, go muter with the rest of the makeup. Apply pink blush-on cheeks in upward motion towards the temple.
13. Line and fill lips with pink or nude lipliner. Finish with nude shimmer lip gloss.
14. Style hair as you like it. Sexy curls or messy updo will compliment this look.




Products used:
Face: Origins Youthopia (review here), MAC face primer
Eyes: Benefit stay don't stray, Tarina Tarantino, Smashbox Classifyed, Too Faced Glitter Glue (review here), NYX Pearl Mania, L'oreal False Fiber Lashes (review here) , Urban decay 24/7 eyeliner, Sephora purple eyeliner
Lips: Estee Lauder lip gloss
Blush: Cargo (Mendocin
o)


For live video tutorial, click here



Happy New Year and All the Best to Each and Everyone in 2012!



xoxo




Dear fab friends, subscribers, random readers, including my relatives who visit this blog occasionally,

I can't thank you enough for the encouraging messages and/or comments I always receive from you. Thank you for letting me borrow few minutes of your time each day reading my blog. Blogging requires an ounce of discipline and persistence. There are days I don't even know how to begin writing, and today is no different. But you're still there, sticking out with moi. My blog is only a year- old, there are still so much to learn and more odds to conquer. 

2011 is nowhere near perfection, life-wise. We lost two dear relatives, an aunt last March and uncle in November. Recession ain't over yet and am still chasing the elusive dream job. But blogging and vlogging kept me grounded and hopeful. I expanded my network and met wonderful people who share the same passion. Le Hubby always reminds me to count my blessings and that I can't have everything I want. So I keep my faith aflame.

2012 is almost upon us. New Year. New Beginnings. To all my friends who went thru tough times in 2011, those too will pass. If there is one life lesson I learned from being a Dog Mama, it's this > "dogs live in the present even if they had an ugly past". Don't let your past govern your future. What you do today will. Experience is a good teacher only if we learn something from it. It's okay to cry over spilled milk but never on a rotten one, and I'm talking about men who betrayed you, friends who abandoned you, etc. You are so much bigger than your problem. It's gonna be alright, only if you allow those circumstances to shape your present and future.

I don't want to leave you with tear-jerking moments, so I made my own resolution. Cross-fingers, I'll make them happen in 2012. Woot-woot!









I like the comfort of cross body bags (especially when I'm out shopping) and how it lends a funky twist to a rather formal outfit. Here are some fabulous finds for less than $50!

Cross Body Bags Under $50

You will be redirected to the merchants' site when you click the images below


Dear Diary,
It's December 26. The day after Christmas. My tummy is still recovering from food overload, and my pocket from being nearly-broke. Then comes my most awaited part of this holiday frenzy, the after-Christmas sale. How can I resist thee, tell me pretty please....

Back to blog reality, friends. Here are some post-Christmas deals you might wanna check out.

Sephora: Extra 20% Off  on Sale items. Online only. Enter code EXTRA upon check out. Free shipping at $50-up. Ends January 3 2012.

Bath & Body Works: Up to 75% off Online and In-stores

L'Occitane: Up to 50% off. Free shipping at $40-up. While supplies last.

Macy's: Up to 60% off in-store and online. Use code DEALS to avail additional 10-15% off for online purchase (Expires Dec 29 2011).

Nordstrom: Up to 50% off; Half-yearly sale for Men. Free shipping and returns.

Victoria's Secret: Up to 80% off on already-reduced items. Use code 20SAND upon check out. Ends December 29 2011.

Philosophy: Up to 40% off year-end sale. Ends December 31 2011

Bloomingdale's: Up to 75% off. Free shipping with $50 beauty-related purchase.

Remember to use your e-bates when you shop online. In a nutshell, it gives you a certain percentage cash back from your purchase. It's free to sign up, here's my invite. Spread the love... Click here


xoxo







I hope you and your loved ones had a fabulous Christmas observance, what with the gifts and food!
I am already winding down as I write this post. As in usual, moi was the self- appointed chef so I needed a quick and hassle-free makeup today. Here's what I came up with:


For my face, I used Cover Fx Brightening Foundation Primer, and Philosophy The Supernatural Hybrid Makeup SPF20 (it's a tinted moisturizer, review here) as foundation. To control oil throughout the day, I relied on my new skin hero Origins Zero Oil Instant Matte Finish (review here). To camouflage my dark under-eye circles, I dabbed The Body Shop Under Eye Brightening Concealer. Then I set everything with Bare Escentuals' mineral veil.
For my eye makeup, I used NYX eye primer, Smashbox Classifyed Palette (grayish-purple on lids, dark purple on outer corner and outer 1/3 of lower lashline, light brown on crease), MAC Blacktrack Fluidline for winged eye effect, Cargo Better-than-Waterproof Mascara, and Anastasia brow kit for my brows & shimmer white on inner corner.
For my cheeks and cheekbones, I used Tarte Amazonian Clay Blush (Dollface) and Park Ave Princess as bronzer (both reviews here).
Finally for my lips, I just swiped lip gloss from LORAC.

I skipped hairspray and tools and went for a simple and relaxed ponytail hairstyle. I'm a busy bee as you can tell...


It's downtime! How do you relax?
I enjoy watching 3D movies at home. The best so far I have seen (1) The Smurfs for vibrance and clarity (2) Final Destination (3) Resident Evil for effects galore

And for our traditional movie-thon since its release in 2008, Four Christmases!

I'll be back to the blog grind tomorrow. Ciao!



xoxo





We wish you a meaningful and fabulous Christmas celebration.


xoxo



There are days when innocence win over seduction.  
Moments when simplicity triumphs over complexity. 
As exhilarating as the morning dew
Today I chose you...


Ah, L'Occitane The Vert Green Tea, you just ignited the demi-poet in me.

This EDT is clean, citrusy and fresh. Spray on pulse points and decollete for an uber-refreshing experience. Lovers of green tea, here's one to cheer us up.


*Top note: bitter orange, orange. Middle note: green tea extract. Base note: musk, cedar, thyme.




xoxo

`nothing to disclose`



If you have been following or reading my blog, I mentioned many times that I can't live without a lip balm, especially with this cold weather. What good is that red lipstick if your lips chap like zombies, eh?! 

One of my favorite brands is Burt's Bees because their lip balms are 100% natural. For this giveaway, one fabulous subscriber will win Assorted Lip Balms in a Keepsake Tin (4 varieties: Beeswax Lip Balm, Nourishing Lip Balm with Mango Butter, Rejuvenating Lip Balm with Acai Berry, Replenishing Lip Balm with Pomegranate Oil)

Wait for the Rafflecopter widget to load and follow instructions carefully. Mandatory: Be a subscriber or follower of this blog. Follow by Email (right side bar) or through Google Friend Connect (click GFC icon on right side bar or "follow" on top of my blog banner).  Do all rules and you earn 14 entries. This ends on January 5, 2012. Good luck and have a fabulous holiday celebration!

P.S. Rafflecopter rolled out a new way to enter giveaways, you can now use Facebook.









a Rafflecopter giveaway




xoxo





"A wonderful first time experience makes me want to have more"....
...I'm talking about my journey with makeups, ladies.

If you have read my previous post (click here), I raved about how Origins Zero Oil Instant Matte Finish became my oil-controlling grace. Using that as a leverage, I purchased a few more Origins products (separate reviews will be posted), hoping to find the ever elusive holy grail.

I am a huge I-wanna-try-that-foundation girl. Having oily and acne-prone skin, I found myself leaning towards buying all natural/ organic foundation recently. 

Origins Youthopia SPF 15 is a liquid foundation that promises firmer skin, tightened pores, and reduced wrinkles sans harmful chemicals.

1.0 fl oz. / 30ml, $27.50, origins.com


Each day that you wake up surrounded by your loved ones is a huge blessing already. The richest person isn't always the happiest.


xoxo

In my entire existence, I only won once in a giveaway, contest entry. While I love to hold giveaways in my Youtube, Twitter, Facebook, and Blog  (I will do more in my blog so pls. follow or subscribe so you don't miss a thing, here's how), I occasionally join giveaways too especially if they are being hosted by legitimate companies. Here are some I am hoping to win. Come join the fun!

Lancome: $500 Holiday Shopping Indulgence. Ends 12/31/2011. No purchase needed. Click here to enter 



The sun is nowhere out, it's snowing, and most of the time you are indoors. So the question is "Can you skip sunscreen during wintertime?"

You better not gals and gents. Just when you think your skin is safe while spending the whole day skiing or snowboarding, there is no excuse not to wear sunscreen. Sun reflects in the snow and while it's less likely to have sunburn at this time of the year, you still need to be aware of possible skin cancer and photoaging a.k.a. wrinkles!

UVA and UVB briefly explained. UVA or ultra-violet A rays penetrate the skin deeper and is responsible for skin cancer and skin wrinkling. UVB is the main culprit to sunburn. What is interesting to know is that UVB rays bounce back up to 80 percent at higher altitude and in snow or ice, hitting your skin twice! that's a real OMG!


The American Academy of Dermatology recommends to use sunscreen that protects against UVA and UVB and has SPF 30 or more. Apply sunscreen at least 15 minutes before going out. And please don't forget your lips- apply lip balm that has SPF 30 or higher. It's always better to be safe than sorry.










xoxo




*I have a confession to make* I'm a germophobe. I over-wash my hands and I have antibacterial gel in every nook, not to mention each of my makeup bag. This habit makes my hands really dry. Over-washing + Epic-sanitizing + Under-moisturizing = Unsightly dry hands. Not fab!

This cold weather isn't helping either. While I am content with body lotion in the past, I know I need to up my game lest I'd be battling with cracked hands. Enter Laura Mercier Creme De Pistache Hand Creme.

$15, lauramercier.com
Net wt 2 oz. / 50g

So let's be a little informal with today's post. Huh? I thought my blogging methodology style was always one. Alrighty mighty, what I meant was I'm skipping product reviews today and I'll just roll with the tide of randomness.

My ma-dear (mom) gave me some scarves a few days ago. You see, she's the original fashionista in our family. At 61 years young, she still got the swagger!  Okay, let's just say that she loves to shop for me and my sister. Not that she's obligated though. On a serious note, I consider my mom my super BFF and making her happy is important to moi.

Finally, we came to the hardest part of gift-giving! What to give to him? hubby, fiance, dad, brother, boss, etc. I share your predicament ladies. Even Mr. FabKath repeatedly told moi that I don't need to buy him anything. Of course I'm no Lady Scrooge- I bought his present awhile back and it's confined somewhere... *sshhh, I hope he won't read this blog** 

If you're still in a state of quandary, here are some practical gift suggestions to the-man-of-your-life.

(Clockwise)
Replace his old wallet with stylish Tommy Bahama Grayston front leather pocket wallet, $68
Let him look presentable and well-groomed on business trips The Art of Shaving Travel Kit, $75, theartofshaving.com
A man needs to smell good. No explanation needed. Gucci Guilty Intense Pour Homme, $79, Sephora
Give a gift of soft lips! Okay, this time I have vested interest on these lip balms so it's technically a gift for him... nope, half-half! Jack Balm Lip Quad, $25, Sephora


xoxo


Same rant, different day. If you want change to happen, stop complaining and start doing something new. Sometimes, you need to go against the flow to discover a brand new horizon. Just me sayin'....


xoxo

Just a quick heads up my fabulous friends and subscribers that moi is really feeling the Christmas spirit so I have spruced up my blog with snowballs and a holiday greeting banner. There is no snow in the 808 (aloha) state and this is the closest thing I can get, obviously. So when you see white balls on the screen, don't think you have some kind of visual problems. They're there for a limited time. Who knows, tomorrow might be Santa Claus singing, oh no!

From my ohana to yours, I wish you a fabulous and meaningful Christmas celebration!



xoxo

It's exactly ten days before Christmas! Are you excited? Do you wait for December 25 to open your gifts? Me, not anymore. I guess age has something to do with it, such party pooper! Well oh well, we don't have kids in the house so the only one who opens her present on Christmas day is none other than Winkles, our furry baby! **which reminds me, I gotta wrap her gift after this post**

Still on the subject of excitement, who won't be if you receive this Neiman Marcus exclusive Ken Downing Holiday Nail Polish set from Le Metier De Beaute?

All That Glitters Nail Set,  $32


Love is sometimes a devil in dashing suit. Don't let  emotions derail you from reality. After all, gut is a.k.a. common sense.


xoxo

I got bitten by the Polyvore bug! No, it's not a new strain of virus but a cool site for bloggers who are into fashion and beauty stuff. It's the saving grace to the Photoshoppe-deprived-slash-ignoramus homo sapiens, whichever is applicable. Ouchie!

Anyways, I am revisiting my hibernating fashion page- sort of an ice breaker for all the beauty posts that I have been doing the past days. Okay, months. Seriously, don't you just love dressing up for the holidays? Here are some suggestions sans the high tag. In this economy, anything under $50 with luxe appeal screams fab to moi

Next style challenge: Complete wardrobe under $100!
xoxo
Click arrow to scroll....
10 Holiday Dresses Under $50


Style & Price Reference (In order of appearance)
White Bodycon Dress With Embellished Shoulder Detail - Clothing - desireclothing.co.uk
$47 - desireclothing.co.uk

Party dresses - fashion and designer brands online - NELLY.COM
$44 - nelly.com

Nude Chiffon Pleat Wrap Over Dress - Dresses - desireclothing.co.uk
$47 - desireclothing.co.uk

Gray Party dresses - fashion and designer brands online - NELLY.COM
$48 - nelly.com

Red long sleeve jewel dress
$27 - dorothyperkins.com

Tiered Leopard Dress
$23 - forever21.com

Black, Streak of Luck Dress
$50 - modcloth.com

Black, fringe and beaded dress
$48 - warehouse.co.uk

Pewter sequin scoop back dress
$37 - dorothyperkins.com

Metallic Bandeau Dress
$31 - missselfridge.com


Two things I am incorporating in my skincare: natural ingredients and exfoliation. Having oily skin, I am prone to acne, blackheads and open pores. With regular exfoliation, dead skin cells that clog the pores are removed. Combine that with fruit enzymes that has natural skin-healing benefits, could this be my holy grail? I will be reviewing a new product made from orange extract which is known to treat blemishes and prevent wrinkles. #womenproblem, I know! As in usual, I will document the results for all of you. 'Til then.




xoxo
FTC: Product will be sent for PR consideration by Naturalskinshop.com

I attended a webinar organized by iFabbo and Polyvore this morning, and since then I have been hooked creating looks for the holiday season. Polyvore is so addicting, you can create thousands of styles from their collection. Good Lord, it's 12 noon already! Time to feed my system or I'd turn into a roaring beast. Here's my Luxe for Less Holiday Dressing. Take note, all items are priced under $50. 

Luxe for Less: Holiday Dressing Under $50


xoxo
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