Independence Day x Garnier OilClear Sauna Mask

Happy Independence Day Pilipinas!

I’m so happy this day has arrived because it’s the 114th anniversary of our freedom plus I get to psychologically fool myself that it’s a FREE day which only means one thing: I get to do what I want today. HAH! Fooled you, Tracy! I initially planned on doing something else for my free day but my spontaneity got me to better places. 🙂 So here’s how I spent my Independence “FREE” Day:

I rode a jeepney to the city and sat there for almost an hour. I switched jeepneys then after so that manong driver wouldn’t catch me having a joyride. Haha. In our daily life, we rush a lot of things. We want to get things done fast for the day and 80% of the time mind our own business with work or school. Sometimes, we forget the little things like a stranger greeting you a pleasant morning with that huge grin on his face. Honestly, that made my day. 🙂 We should learn to appreciate the little but important things in our life and the jeepney ride taught me that. Btw, I’ve been dying to do this since I graduated. I used to ride random jeepneys all the time in college. Sometimes it would reach the corners of Jaro or Villa.

I also went to the city to look at some stores. “Look” became “buy” and I bought lots of arm candies, a ring, a bracelet bead kit and a roman jotpad from my favorite accessories store. It did cost me half of the money I had but they were actually very cheap!

Hafta say my favorites are the ones in the mid bottom. I love their beads! 🙂

I’ve been watching TV (so not me) for the past weeks and a particular commercial would always glue my eyes to the screen. I told myself if it’s really big ‘n’ tasty, then why isn’t it in my mouth yet? So for my free day I opted to finally taste the mysterious burger from Mcdonalds!

Just look at the ooooooooozing cheese O_O I didn’t regret spending 165 php for this heavenly burger. And I love how they only name it Big ‘N Tasty and nothing more. It’s the perfect title for a burger like this! I’m starting to love you again Mcdo! Keep it up! 🙂

Lastly, I treated myself to a sauna mask para relax 😀 I’m not a Garnier girl but I seem to have a liking of their masks and eye brightening products because they’re the only ones who really work for me. The Garnier Skin Naturals OilClear Zinc Self-Heating Sauna Mask (ang haba) is specifically for those who have oily to combination skin which is the one and only reason why I bought it instantly. I like how they make products for different skin types. It’s like you bought a pair of jeans that fits you just right. 🙂 So as not to bore you with more reading, I’ll give you a rundown instead of how it works:

1. Wash your face and pat dry. If you’re the type of person who uses heavy make-up, I suggest you use make-up remover first then proceed with washing your face.

2. Apply gently on the T-zone (forehead, nose and chin). Because I have a huge forehead, I used most of the product on that area. Hahaha!

And here’s where I break the rules, as usual. In a really hot day just like everyday here in Iloilo, I sweat a lot and with sweat comes oil. So I also applied an ample amount of the mask to where I would initially sweat. Not the armpits! It’s the area above my upper lip and right under my nose. 🙂

Say hello to my happy mask face! 😀

3. Leave on for 3 minutes. The moment I put a dab of the mask on my skin, I felt it tighten immediately which is a great sign that it’s working! But after a few minutes I could feel the heat. Sauna mask gani. It was not so intense but if felt like a hot towel was sitting on my face. When I breathe (which humans involuntarily do) the air coming from my nostrils feels like a hot air blower to the skin above my upper lip.

Here’s me trying to relieve myself from the heat of the mask. Like that would help. LOL 🙂
While waiting I turned to my laptop and pressed play on the Ellen Show snippet I’ve been endlessly watching all day.

It’s a short video of Ellen with the “T-Pain Mic” and T-Pain in the middle part singing with her. Wanna watch too? Link here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oauxjEaa7uI&list=UUp0hYYBW6IMayGgR-WeoCvQ&index=3&feature=plcp

4. Time to rinse it off!

You can now proceed to your CTM ritual. Cleanse, Tone and Moisturize! Use 2-3 times a week for best results! 🙂
Cheers to an oil-free face!

How did you spend your Independence Day? I’d love to know! 🙂
Comment below, send me a link to your blog or PM me!

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Bloggers United 3

It was my first time to attend Bloggers United and silly me for initially thinking the event was like a talk/seminar for bloggers. Shame on me!  -_- I wasn’t excited about this event, not at all! I didn’t purchase air tickets weeks before,  asked BU3’s admins everyday if they were selling advance tickets or joined every contest that would give away passes for free. Relax lang ako! I’m a BIG fan of ukay-ukays because you get items worth a lot less of their value, plus you can haggle or ask for discounts! Other than being giddy about diving in a pile of clothes, I was uber excited to meet their pre-owners aka the fashion bloggers of the country! 🙂


We arrived at Grandview Events Place around 10:30 AM.
Look at the line! The event was on the 3rd floor and the line went all the way to the 2nd. I think I was the 60th person on line.



My dearest love, Tin, was too sweet to accompany me to BU3. This was officially our first date! ❤
Pau, my sister, and Nang Weng were with us too!

Since Pau and I won free passes from Bloggers United giveaway on Twitter, they let us pass with ease.

Thought I’d snatch a pic first before entering heaven. 🙂

Can you imagine the fun and chaos put all together?

Upon entering the venue, the first booth you will find is Laureen and Camille’s.
Still wondering why they shared one booth when they had so many stuff to sell. Hmm.

There’s moi checking out Laureen Uy’s stuff.

Camille’s shoes! I regret not buying  the yellow strap flats at the upper left. :/

Next to Laureen and Camille’s booth was Kryz Uy‘s!
She’s a goddess! She’s beautiful, down-to-earth, charming, gorgeous… I could run out of words to describe her!
She was really nice and I chatted with her a little bit regarding the shoes I was desperately wanting to purchase.
Had to say what I bought from Kryz was my best find in the whole bazaar! 🙂

Seph Cham‘s hair really caught my eye! BLUE 🙂
He’s like the male Katy Perry!
I will admit, I had a little crush on this guy back then. Ehe 😀

With the ever stylish and gorge Anastasia Siantar all the way from Indonesia!
Bloggers United was kind enough to fly Anastasia to the Phils.
I stalked her site a few days before BU3 and I love her style! She’s my new favorite fashion blogger! ❤

My ever stalked and most idolized fashion blogger, Tricia Gosingtian, couldn’t be found anywhere. Boohoo 😥 It was her mother’s birthday so it’s excusable, I think. Anyway, just to feel like she was there I took a photo with one of her BFF’s Krissy! 🙂 Doms was too busy talking with a hot guy so I didn’t want to get in her way. Here’s a pic of  Doms with Tin:

Just look at these beautiful beings. O_O

Just learned that this girl right here is pure Ilongga!
With the bohemian chic Cheyser Pedregosa 🙂
Of all the bloggers, I could relate to her style the best. I love all of her looks! So relaxing and simple but very fashionable and hippie at the same time!
After introducing ourselves, I told her that I first learned about her on Tumblr, but as a poser. I later found out her real name and identity and started fangirling about her. Lels 🙂

Next up is the charming David Guison!
Everybody back home wanted me to pose for a photo with him. Now I see why! He’s cute and super stylish mamorma! 🙂

 

With the twins Verniece and Vern!
Verniece was very amiable and pakeng pretty!!! :))

“Have a good day mate!”
That short phrase and accent made my day!
Robbie Becroft aaaaaah!!!

Joanna Ladrido and her killer heels!
Followed this beauty on Bloglovin’!

The “kalurky” Divine Lee also dropped by at BU3!
She told me she liked my dress (True?) But I love her sequin shorts! 

Divine took a break from her booth and nagpahangin malapit sa aircon with her friends.
Yep! Though the area was air-conditioned but because of a lot of people going in and out, the heat was kinda intense.

While Divine was busy with the aircon, Tin and I stole her boyfie, Victor, for a photo!


Both Laureen and Camille were 3-4 hours late so we waited patiently.
See the look on Tin’s face? 100% patient!

Finally! Camille Co is in the building!!! 🙂
People were literally throwing themselves at her just to get a picture. Parang artista lang! Sobra pa nga.
Before posing for a photo with her, I told her I came all the way from Iloilo for this event, she was extra nice and said “Really? Wow! Cge damihan natin!”  ❤
Oh and she was really really tall btw. See how she bent down so I wouldn’t look too short? Haha! 🙂

Getting a picture with Laureen Uy, Philippines #1 fashion blogger, was a daunting task. There was even a line for chrisakes!
When I had my moment with her, it turned out to be comedic. She didn’t know which camera to look at because all cameras where at her. When my sister signaled to look that way, she gave out a cute laugh and said “Kaloka!” :))

We finished around 4 pm because our feet gave up on us already.
Outside Grandview Events Place at the Buma Bldg.

And that’s how my Bloggers United day went!
The experience was thrilling! My favorite part was buying from the bloggers. Everything was very cheap like almost 80% off their original prices. I can’t wait to go to the 4th installment! Heard they were doing it before this year ends? Will post all the stuff I bought from BU3 in my next post!

Meanwhile, here’s a poor and exhausted Tracy sleeping at the airport waiting for the flight back home:

BUT WAIT!!!
This post wouldn’t be complete if it weren’t related to skin!

For the longevity of the day I used Missha Perfect Cover BB Cream in Shade #1!


I LOVE LOVE LOVE IT! Like it says in it’s label, Perfect Cover, it has 80% coverage ability. The finish is matte so it’s a pretty good choice for oil control. I use it every day after my moisturizer and it gives me a clean and refreshed look. My skin is very even after using it. This is my favorite BB Cream so far! 🙂

Hope you could join me in my next Bloggers United trip!
‘Til the next post! Ta!

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Mask of Tracy

When my sister took this candid picture, I wasn’t ready to do a review about this amaaaaazing mask yet since it was my first time trying it and literally my first time trying any kind of mask. (Hence, the messy fingers :D)

Without further ado, the mask I’ll be blogging about is Innisfree’s Jeju Volcanic Pore Clay Mask!

It looks greyish, like how a clay mask would probably look like. LOL 🙂 It has hardly any smell. I guess I was expecting a somewhat volcanic ash smell. LOL 🙂 I used up the whole pack in one try because I generally thought 1 pack = 1 use LOLOLOLOL 🙂 I found out later that it can be used 3-4 times. Haha! So there goes my embarrassment.

I couldn’t read Korean so I researched for instructions on the internet. Top sites in Bing! said to apply to the whole face excluding the eye and lip area and leave it on for 10-15 minutes. I’m a rule-breaker so I left it on overnight. Ehe 😀 Leaving it on overnight, as rumor has it, will lighten your skin and will give the mask the opportunity to work its way through. It didn’t irritate my skin by the way. The following morning, after I got laughed at by my Dad and siblings because I looked like a ghost :(, I washed it off with lukewarm water. My face felt tight, a good tight, it deeply cleansed and unclogged my pores, absorbed sebum and controlled oils on my face and improved my facial skin texture.

BIG +++!!! It kills your monster zits!!!
Last night, I had a zit on my chin and normally my first reaction would be to simply ignore it. Read that it’s an effective pimple treatment so I tried it out. I put a dab of the mask on ze zit and slept on it. Next day… tada! Zit is no monster anymore! It dried up!!! I’m not even kidding guys.

Another BIG +++!!! It’s a proven blackhead treatment!!!
Put an ample amount of the mask in your blackheads area and leave on for 10-15 minutes. You can be a rule-breaker too, you know, when you’re watching American Idol and it’s Jessica’s time on the stage, sure it can wait a few minutes more.  After Jessica’s awesome song, you can go ahead and rinse it off with warm water. Note: Use it regularly to get rid of blackheads, this ain’t no magic mask 🙂

Now I understand why it’s a rave in the skin market. I give this mask a 9 out of 10 rating! 😀

Wonder where and how I got this amaaaaaaazing mask?
I got it as a freebie from MsLoren GuiltfreeBeauty Splurge!
Thank you again Miss Loren! 😀

P.S.
Sorry if I blog on the wee hours of the morning. It’s the only time of day when my brain works. Ehe 🙂

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Skin Geek: BB Cream 101

If you haven’t already heard some of the buzz on BB creams, I’ll be buzzzzzzzzing on you right now.

So, what are BB creams? If you think of this stuff as a miracle cream, think twice. But if you think of it as a one-step makeup time saver then you’re on the right track.

BB Creams are simply a mash up of several products you’re probably already applying. Based on a formula developed in 1968 by a German doctor whose name I forgot, BB creams are multi-taskers that combine skincare ingredients with moisturizer, primer, foundation and SPF. Also referred to as beauty balms or blemish balms, they became wildly popular in Korea when a famous Korean actress credited one for her flawless complexion.

BB creams can be used on their own, or as a base (like primer) for regular foundation. They generally come in one or two shades designed to suit a wide range of skintones. Choose #1 if you have fair skin (For light skin, this shade is also appropriate but instead of giving your skin a lighter tone, it will give you a more flawless effect instead). Choose #2 if you have natural beige skin.

I get most, if not all, of my skin products online for the reason that malls here in Iloilo limit me to known drugstore brands only. I’m a big fan of Skinfood and when I spot products that I haven’t tried yet, I get my jig on. But before I let my shopaholic persona get the best of me, I first ask a lot of questions about the product and if I feel convinced enough to grab my wallet, I look for trial sizes. Ehe 🙂 That is why it’s such a blessing to have found MsLoren GuiltfreeBeauty Splurge on Facebook!

Miss Loren is a very lovely and nice lady, in fact too nice that she gives me advice about skin products. Having a transaction with her is easy-peasy, no order forms required. Meet-ups are no sweat, no trouble and if she has a minute or two, she’ll chat with you. 🙂

Anyway, I bought Skinfood Red Orange Jelly BB Cream in trial size since she recommended this product for me.

I bought 3 of these for P100 only because it was included in her Summer Sale so YAAAAY! 🙂 I was so excited to try it out that after I got my orders from her I opened the package while riding the taxi on my way back to the office. Lol (Pictures were taken, of course, not in the taxi but in my house)

The texture of this the Red Orange Jelly BB Cream is just like pudding where it’s semi solid in the container but upon application or when it comes in contact with heat, it melts into a liquid that get absorbed by your skin almost instantly. I love it because I have oily skin and it keeps my skin hydrated without the excess sebum.

Skinfood Red Orange Jelly BB Cream Shade #1
(Upon application)

 (Melts when applied to the skin)

(Gives a smooth finish)

My fesss when I first tried out this BB Cream 😀
(That’s moi on the left)

What I love about this BB Cream is its smell. The scent is a soft citrus-orange, so fresh! Just how I expected it from all Skinfood products.

Other products I bought from Miss Loren were: Skinfood Peach Sake Pore Serum and Skinfood Salmon Eye Brightening Cream plus she gives freebies! I was so lucky because she gave me Innisfree’s Jeju Volcanic Pore Clay Mask which I am starting to love by the way because it’s super effective!

‘Til my next post!
Ta! 🙂

 

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Sunscreen: How well do you know me?

Understanding sunscreen isn’t rocket science.

Okay, most of us know that sunscreen isn’t just about SPF but face it, how many of us buy sunscreen based on a comfortable SPF number? Your sunscreen’s SPF can tell you how protected you are from the sun. This is essential, since just because you slather on a dab of sunscreen, you aren’t necessarily fully protected from the sun’s harmful rays. Simply put, sunscreen or sunblock is a solution containing protective chemicals which you apply on the surface of your skin to achieve some level of  protection from the sun.

What is SPF?

SPF stands for Sun Protection Factor. SPF is determined by a value of 2 up to 50 (anything above 50 is simply marketing and not FDA approved for higher protection), and the SPF determines how long the sunscreen’s strength will protect you. For example, an SPF of 2 means you can stay in the sun two times longer than you could without sunscreen before burning. If you burn in 30 minutes (like I do) without sunscreen, then an SPF of 2 will protect you for about an hour in the sun. SPF 15 is highly suggested. At least 15 SPF sunscreen should be worn not only in the summer or when on the beach but all year round. This is one of the reasons why companies include a minimum of SPF 15 in their cosmetic and skincare products.

Are UV rays my biggest enemy?

When exposed to the sun, our bare skin will eventually get red, swollen and feel painful because the internal structures are damaged. This is commonly known as sunburn. The main culprit? Ultra Violet rays or UV rays from the sun. UV rays can be further split into UVA, UVB and UVC rays which all cannot be detected by the naked eye.

UVA –  The Ageing ray and main reason behind sun related skin cancers. It destroys the vitamin A in our skin and also indirectly causes DNA damage. Makes up 98.7% in UV rays.

UVB – The Sunburn ray. This ray directly causes DNA damage to skin cells.

UVC – The most powerful out of all three rays, but most often filtered so there’s almost none of it when it reaches our skin. Damages DNA directly too.

All three rays, UVA, UVB and UVC damages the collagen fibers in our skin which is responsible for keeping our skin young, as collagen contributes to the elasticity of our skin. So, it is reasonably clear that UV rays contribute significantly to accelerate ageing of our skin as well as any part of the body exposed to it, such as our eyes.

How do I choose the perfect sunscreen for me?

Selecting a sunscreen product that offers some degree of protection from the sun’s UV rays can be one way to protect your skin.

Due to the variety and range of sunscreen products available, here are some basic factors to consider in making an appropriate selection:

1. Ingredients

Sunscreen products can be made with ingredients to protect against UVA rays and other ingredients to protect against UVB rays (which are in fact more harmful for sun burning than UVA rays). The best products offer ingredients for protection from both UVA and UVB rays.

2. SPF Number

The SPF number on the product’s label refers to the strength of protection, and the length of time a sun-screening product will allow your skin to be in the sun without burning – relative to the length of time bare skin (or skin without the product applied) would burn or redden.

12 minutes x SPF 15 = 180 minutes (3 hours).

12 minutes X SPF 30 = 360 minutes (6 hours)

3. Skin Type

When selecting a sunscreen, it’s important to consider the different skin types and how they react with exposure to the sun. Here are the different types of skin:

Very Fair:  This skin type generally burns quickly. Tanning is rare. Consider sunscreen products containing SPF 20 to 30.

Fair:  This skin type almost always burns easily. Some tanning can occur, although not much. Consider sunscreen products containing SPF 12 to 20.

Light: This skin type burns in the moderate range. Tanning is normally gradual, yielding a light brown shade. Consider sunscreen products containing SPF 8 to 12.

Medium:  This skin type burns in the minimal range. Tanning happens much of the time, yielding a moderate brown shade. Consider sunscreen products containing SPF 4 to 8.

Dark:  This skin type rarely burns. Tanning occurs big time, yielding a dark brown shade. Consider sunscreen products containing SPF 2 to 4.

What’s the proper way to apply sunscreen?

You see it in movies, in commercials and in magazines. You’re already in your swimsuit ready to dive in the pool but something’s missing: sunscreen. You walk your sexiest walk to a reclining chair and eye the cutest guy you see and ask him, “Can you help me put sunblock on my back?” While it’s effective in luring boys, it’s the wrong way to put on your sunscreen!

Before heading out, put on your sunscreen in the comfort room, naked, and apply to all the parts of your body, even in those corners you think shouldn’t hit the sun. Now, wear your swimsuit and go directly to the pool. Ehe 😀

Is sunscreen all I need for protection from the sun?

Sunscreen is just not enough. Here are some things you wear in the summer which also contribute to sun protection:

  • Hats – SPF 3-6
  • Summer-weight clothing – SPF 6
  • Sun-protective clothing – up to SPF 30

Share your magic SPF number!

So which SPF number gives you peace of mind? For me, it’s SPF 15 for daily wear and even a moisturizer with SPF 15 eases my mind somewhat. If I do head outdoors, than a sunscreen with SPF 30 would make me feel a lot more protected.

Now you know your sunscreen 🙂
Glad to help out!
Show that sexy bod this summer! 😀

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What’s in your summer bag?

Allow me to introduce you to my favorite summer products! 😀

1. Olay Total Effects Cream Cleanser

As I have mentioned in my previous post, this gentle cleanser is my BFF! Although I don’t look my age, people have said I look a lot younger than I am (Hihi :D), signs of skin aging must be prevented. So better to start now than never. According to it’s packaging, it’s supposed to target the 7 signs of skin aging. It cleans, softens, helps remove excess oil, gets rid of dirt, smoothens, hydrates and exfoliates. It’s a wonder tube in one! The best thing I love about it is it contains salicylic acid which helps in blemish control and is a good exfoliator.

Why it’s perfect for summer: Since this cleanser is totally alcohol-free and cleans your face in just the right level, it’s perfect for oily skin and the summer sun! Having a squeaky clean face in the summer may trigger your oil glands to produce more oil, thus an oily face.

2. Olay Total Effects Day Cream

This is my miracle right here! I absolutely love this product!!! I have been on the search for moisturizers since last year and because of a review I stumbled upon on Youtube, I was introduced to the Olay Total Effects Day Cream. Believe me, it does what it says it does: Visibly reduces the appearance of lines and wrinkles, noticeably smooths skin texture, transforms skin dullness to a radiant healthy-looking glow, reduces the appearance of pores, diminishes the appearance of blotches and age spots, intensively hydrates dry skin and visibly evens skin tone. After continuous use (I’ve been using it for almost 2 months now), I noticed fine lines on my face have started fading and my skin tone has fully evened out.

Why it’s perfect for summer: Moisturizers are very important in the summer season. It is a need to keep your face hydrated and moisturized all day. It’s a gentle moisturizer so it doesn’t hurt when your face is fully visible to the sun. I bought the Olay Total Effects Day Cream: Touch Of Foundation with SPF 15. I use this after my emulsion. A few dots around the face and neck, spread evenly and you’re good to go! Powder is sometimes not even necessary.

3. Clean&Clear Oil Control Film

The solution to oily skin! This oil control film soaks up excess oil from your face without smudging or leaving behind a residue. Use when needed especially after being out in the sun. I’d like to point out the tagline: Won’t Clog Pores

Why it’s perfect for summer: I hate that oily and messy feeling I get when the heat strikes. I always snatch this from my bag, I use 2-3 films a day. After blotting it to my face, it looks immediately fresh, like I put powder on.

4. Vaseline Lip Therapy in Cherry

My new favorite lip treatment! Since I always suffer from chapped lips which I really really despise, lip balms just won’t do. I’ve been using petroleum jelly for the past few weeks and it works, but the bland taste and smell wasn’t satisfactory at all. I went to Watsons before Holy Week to stock up on the Energizing Eye Mask that I raved about in my 3rd post. When I was about to pay, this little marvel was sitting beside the counter. When I saw it was a product of Vaseline, I grabbed it without reading it’s details because the petroleum jelly I used before was also from Vaseline. I’m still on the look-out for a lip therapy by Carmex though.

Why it’s perfect for summer: All Vaseline products contain what they call “rod wax” that were from oil rig pumps. The oil workers had used it to heal cuts and burns. Vaseline Lip Therapy protects my lips from being chapped and gives a glossy effect too.

5. Garnier Lightening Peel-Off Mask

This peel-off mask is the real anti-dull skin solution to gently remove impurities and dead skin cells that darken the complexion, as it claims. It instantly reveals a lighter complexion. After a long day in the beach, you’ve gathered probably a lot of dirt in your face that if neglected, can help cause blemishes.

Why it’s perfect for summer: This mask which contains pure lemon essence does not only help clarify your face but will also give you that great morning glow. And who doesn’t want to glow this summer?

6. Kleenex Hand & Face Moist Wipes

No touching! Haha. To know what I’m talking about, refer to my previous post. I’m sure I don’t have to repeat what I posted there. I don’t want to sound like a broken record.

Why it’s perfect for summer: As I said, no touching! 😀

7. African Shea Butter

My best discovery yet! 🙂 Shea Butter can provide relief from everything from just dry skin to many minor dermatological diseases. Shea Butter is like food for the skin containing Vitamins A, E and F.  Vitamins A and E help the skin keep itself healthy.  These vitamins are especially important when it comes to helping sun damaged skin heal. Shea butter minimizes skin peeling after sunburn, soothes sunburn and protects the skin from the sun and the wind.

Why it’s perfect for summer: I never had a liking for sunblocks. Because African Shea Butter contains cinnamic acid, it’s an effective sunscreen. It’s a natural byproduct and with all the skin benefits that you’re getting, especially STRETCH MARKS (I had to exaggerate because it’s one of my major problems), nothing could possibly go wrong! I applied this to my whole body and with it’s yellowish color, it made my skin shimmer, like I put body balm or something. I really recommend this to all my readers. 🙂

What’s in your summer bag?
Blog about it and send me a link. I’d love to read about your summer raves too!
Hafta go! Will have my early morning swim tomorrow.
Soak up! Have a great summer!!! 😀

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5 Healthy Tips to survive Holy Week

What is Holy Week to you? To most Filipinos, this is the time to renew and relive your faith with God, to simmer and soak up in the beach and to trade those office shoes with flipflops. Holy Week is simultaneous with the summer season and the long days seem fitting for backpackers to go on long road trips and vacations. Whether you fall into  the stay-at-home category or the wet and wild, health and skin is a big MUST. And now is the perfect time to care and concentrate on you, yourself and your skin more than ever!

Here are 5 healthy tips to survive Holy Week:

Tip #1 To those of you aged 15-59, those of you that are excluded from the privilege of normal eating, this is definitely for you! Fasting is part of religious tradition and as time progresses, people have considered fasting more of a sacrifice than an obligation and for this I’m proud of ya’ll. Red meat is a no-no… and that’s good! 🙂 Fasting doesn’t mean you have to deprive yourself of great tasting food.

Stock up your fridge with fresh lettuce, romaine, tomatoes, cucumbers, apples, mangoes, corn, a little cheese and your favorite dressing (Mine’s garlic ranch). Add your favorite fruits to make it more you plus add a little bit of olive oil too for extra sultriness. Eating salads is a super convenient way to work in a couple of servings of vegetables and/or fruit. With green salads, you’ll likely have higher blood levels of a host of powerful antioxidants (vitamin C and E, folic acid, lycopene, and alpha- and beta-carotene,) especially if your salad includes some raw vegetables. Antioxidants are substances that help protect the body from damage caused by harmful molecules called free radicals.

If you’re aiming for a protein diet with fish, make sure you cast your nets carefully. Choose fresh! 😀 Avoid opaque and grey colored fish. Stale fish could cause food poisoning.

Tip #2 If you live in a year-round humid climate, ehem, Philippines, there are advantages and disadvantages for your skin. Never whimper because humidity is healthy for the skin! Hydration and moisture are most essential because the air that surrounds you is rich in moisture, your skin absorbs water and moisture from the air throughout the day. Humidity is great for dry skin and for ensuring youthful-looking skin. But if your skin type is combination, normal or oily, then humidity can increase your skin concerns. Oily skin is already flushed with often excess moisture, and combination or normal skin can be overly oily throughout the T-zone (the area of your face that forms a “T” and is made up of your forehead, nose, upper lip and chin). If you live in a humid climate and battle oil and dryness on your skin, consider packing these essentials in your summer bag:

  • Alcohol-free, non-abrasive cleanser (I suggest Olay Total Effects Cleanser — My BFF!)
  • Moisturizer with SPF of not less than 30
  • Your ever-trusty sunblock
  • Oil blotting sheets
  • Eye Cream
  • Lip Treatment

Tip #3 No touching! While humidity can cause sweating and moisture buildup that can feel uncomfortable, avoid touching your skin with your fingers and wiping your face with your hands. This simply spreads any present dirt and oil, and can add bacteria to your skin that will only make your acne worse. Instead, when humidity strikes, try blotting your skin with a clean tissue or better yet, take a midday shower.

Tip #4 If you’re travelling long hours, prevent your road trip from becoming like hell. It is always best to respond to the call of nature before you embark on your journey. If you’re travelling via bus or jeepney, you won’t be assured of frequent stopovers. For this week, you might increase your chances of bladder infection if you don’t take your “me” time seriously. And who would want humiliation + a stink bomb on a bus?

In addition, be prepared! Always have a first aid kit onhand. Anything can happen so it won’t hurt to be a girl scout. For your gastronomical needs, pack healthy snacks. That way you’d save money and save yourself from the possible effects of food sold in bus stops and terminals. For me, I love munching on mandarin oranges.

Tip #5 Eat your water! Water is the key to surviving summer. Keeping a water bottle with you at all times is the easiest way to stay hydrated without thinking about it.

Stay away from your everyday soda drink though how tempting an ice-cold bottle of Coke might sound. Give your body a break from all the chemicals you’re normally digesting from day to day. Water detoxifies thus helps in cleansing toxins from the body. Chowing down on water-filled foods like watermelon is an easy and refreshing way to keep hydrated. Good news 🙂 Watermelons are in season too, which means they’re cheaper! 🙂

Have a healthy summer!
Stay hydrated, moisturized and beautiful! ❤

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Skin Geek: Serum 101

Welcome to my first Skin Geek (Skin Deep) post!
This category will serve as a dictionary of skin products that I have researched about and bravely tried out for myself. Hihi 🙂

I went inside Skinfood at SM City last week with Nicolea Irene to see if they had stocks similar to the products I’ve been using. I was expecting to see just the basics: BB creams, toners, body butters, lavender-scented nail polish removers and the like. The polish removers smell nice btw. 🙂 My eyes started to drift from one bottle to another as I hastily read the descriptions of the labels. There were tons of things I were unfamiliar about. They had serums, emulsions, essences, mists and oils and I was naive about how they worked.

For those of you scratching your heads and having the same dilemma too, let me break it down for ya, Tracy style! Let’s have a go at it. First, SERUMS.

This type of product earned a reputation not only in beauty salons worldwide where cosmetic serum was first used as long as 20 years ago but also among everyday users of skin care who never knew any serum except for “sweet curd” serum. Nowadays, both men and women, who are striving for competent skin care, use it. So, what is serum?

A serum is a highly concentrated product based on water or oil as any other cream. Serums, or concentrates, contain approximately ten times more of biologically active substances than creams, therefore quicker and more effectively coping with skin problems.

When concentrates are used, the skin immediately gets the necessary amount of active substances in such form which assimilates easier. The active substances in high concentration act in the same way as creams – they moisturize, rejuvenate, lift up, etc. What’s great about it is that if concentrates are used correctly the noticeable results will be reached quicker.

According to the effect produced all serums are divided into the following categories:

  1. lifting up
  2. revitalizing (rejuvenating and regenerating)
  3. moisturizing
  4. nourishing
  5. anti-inflammatory
  6. soothing
  7. anti-stress

Use of serum also depends on the season and climate where a person lives. Where I live, the humidity is unbearable and the heat is intense. In this climate, concentrates are based on water (for normal and dry skin) or accompanied by antiseptic concentrates (for oily skin as they have a slight drying effect). For my readers who live in the North (if there are any), I suggest oil-based serums, whether it is a cream or a concentrate.

Serum can be used by people of all ages and gender. Yes, gender. 🙂 It can be used by a teenager with acne problems, older women suffering from wrinkles and signs of aging, or guys with sensitive skin who want to get rid of inflammation caused by shaving. All of these, serums can do with very immediate results! TRUE!

But while serums will give you that instant skin improvement, it costs my 15th day pay. 😦 That of Skinfood, that is. While I was giddily looking through the store at Skinfood like a little girl in a candy store,  I couldn’t buy it off the shelf with the money from my piggy bank. If I was still a little kid, I’d look at Mommy with puppy dog eyes and point to the “toy” on display.

As my new favorite saying goes, SKIN is a good investment. So I bought one in tester size. Ehe LOL 🙂 (Cheater!)

I highly recommend Skinfood’s Peach Sake Pore Serum. Since summer has come, it has magnificent sebum control. Use it at night and apply ample amount to the facial area. You should wake up with a fresh face! Say no more to oily skin! P.S. It has a peachy smell, that’s why I love it even more.

Have an oil-free summer! 🙂
Happy Holy Week!

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Cold summer nights

It’s finally summer! But why the cold summer nights? On nights like these I just can’t concentrate on my work. The weather, as I call it “the tamad weather” makes me… tamad! I’m a layout artist and my creativity needs to fuel my work. It feels like my brain is giving up on me and so are my eyes. When my bed and warm blanket are just 5 feet away from my work space, I just can’t say no. The temptation is too hard to bear! :/ Since I’m too tamad, better to rest my eyes.

I browsed through the rows of Watsons yesterday like I was in a library. I stopped when I saw a pile of facial masks and tada! JACKPOT! An eye mask! When it comes to work, my eyes are my investment so this is just what I needed. 🙂

Watsons Energising Eye Mask (Refreshing for Tired Eyes) contains multiple plant nutrients which deeply penetrate into the skin. It’s specially formulated for the delicate skin around our eyes. Since there’s a cooling sensation you can feel where the mask is placed, it reduces puffiness of the eyes and lessens the appearance of fine lines and dark circles.

Now let’s get rid of those tired eyes!

Step #1 Remove contact lenses (if you have) and eye makeup. Clean your face thoroughly.
Sorry if I didn’t take a photo of this step.

Step #2 Take out eye masks and place them lightly over your eyes using your fingertips.

Step #3 Keep eyes closed and relax for 20 minutes. (My favorite part!)

The best thing to help me keep relaxed? Marie Digby’s Unfold Album! I have been an avid fan of Marie for 4 years way back her Youtube days. I love her voice and the acoustics on her songs sound soothing and calming. My favorite tracks on her album are “Paint Me In Your Sunshine (Bonus Track)”,”Beauty In Walking Away” and her own rendition of “Umbrella”. Unfold is available for download at iTunes here: Download Unfold

Follow Marie on Twitter! @mariedigby

Well that was a good 20 minutes. 🙂

Step #4 Gently massage any remaining essence into skin around your eyes. No need to rinse with water! Discard eye masks after use.

And you’re done!

With continuous use, your eyes should look revitalised even after a long working day! Watsons Energising Eye Masks costs P30 so if you want to achieve well-rested and healthy under eyes, I suggest a daily dose. But if you always get enough sleep (unlike me), use it 3 times a week or whenever you wish.

Keep those beautiful eyes in check!
Off to dreamland! Night night! 🙂

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First love never dies…

My love for Dove started when I was about 12-14 years old when Mom switched the family soap to Dove White Original. I was young then and I didn’t have any know-how about how this soap worked. I grew up using Safeguard everyday because it was the only soap commercial on TV and in the radio that appealed to the mass when it came to anti-bacterial soaps and the infamous “Kuya Germs”. The thought of being squeaky clean was sold! During my Safeguard days, I smelled like bagong labada and my skin had this somewhat harsh texture. I despised lotions because they had this sticky feeling and it would take time to squeeze that bottle and put on. 3 minutes of putting lotion is too long for me since I wake up 30 minutes before school starts almost every day. Everyday was a race. Carrying my Robbi stroller bag up 20 flights of stairs was easy-breezy. Anyway, the first day I used Dove, I was immediately satisfied with the results! It deeply moisturized and gave my skin a smooth and silky finish. What I love about this soap is how it lathers on your skin and with Dove it’s frothy and creamy, like icing! The scent is nice too. Since then, I never turned my back on Dove.

I was a stranger to facial washes too. I’d chuckle at Pond’s commercials promising you a fresh, clean and lighter face in 7 days. I used Dove every morning and night as my preferred facial wash. It just gave me this natural glow and I was simply satisfied. Come my 4th year in college, I became aware of my skin issues. I had dark spots, blackheads and a lot of pimples on my forehead since I had bangs. On a random weekend, I went to Watsons and bought Pond’s Black Beauty facial wash. Ehe 🙂 Ate my words. Black Beauty worked all right. I don’t know if it lightened my dark spots or lessened my blackheads but it kept my face pimple-free… for a while. I ran out of my supply and my Pond’s regimen went on a halt for about a week. And wow, I broke out like I really broke out! I also had minimal redness on my skin. So when you start using Pond’s, never discontinue using it. Bollocks for me.

Then came the new Dove 7-day challenge. I was hesitant at first but then the boyfriend told me to do it. And I did! I didn’t genuinely follow the rule: no mirrors for 7 days, but hey, it worked out just dandy! Dove gave my face a break from all the chemicals that Pond’s was inflicting on my skin. I came back to my first love. And my love for Dove will never cease. Oh this time, I use Dove in Pink Rosa.

What I absolutely love about Dove is how their brand empowers women of all ages and color. The thought of being contented with what God has given you is uplifting.

Dove launched their own hair products too which is dream come true! And do you know who’s the new face of Dove? The ever charming and GLEE-ful Leah Michele! Click the link, watch and listen as she sings about her favorite things: Leah Michele’s Favorite Things

Have a great Dove day and stay beautiful! 🙂

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