Friday, December 31, 2010

Among many of the Earth's bounty, the elusive yet highly revered and sought-after is the perfect coffee bean. Coffee, legend has it, traveled to different regions of the world carrying a variety of names and purposes to reach the heathenish pedestal as an elixir of flavor, joy and inspiration it is enjoying now. Together with the dew drops of this season, ZEN Health takes notice on these small wonders by highlighting the many reasons why coffee is an everyday alchemy's health marvel.

On a high
If there would be a Coffee-holics' anonymous to secretly gather the many fanatics of a cup of joe, I'm sure the circle woyld be as open as the possibilities coffee being an essential part of one'd diet. Thanks to coffee's rise to fame, a good brew is just about in every corner. this is unsurprising as coffee, according to studies, can elevate the mood, among other things.

Other than an investment on flavor, the coffee business thrives because it is among the few industries that founded itself on the natural human pursuit of happiness. Coffee can increase levels of pleasure as triggered by the brain, studies say. It comes as an expected surprise then why many of the world's biggest names in the creative industry refer or allude to coffee with their works.

In contemporary times, ZEN Health talked to Ripley's Believe it or Not-featured coffee painter Sunshine Plata regarding the inspiration and pleasire found in coffee. "Just like most people I used to take for granted coffee's presence in my cupboard but when I started learning the ins and outs of painting and how people value my works., I realized that this humble cup of joe has somehow transformed into a higher level of being, from a commonly consumed beverage to a 'curio' or what the art world calls a rare art piece that's made to last long," she said.

My friend Dan, a self-confessed coffee-holic living in Miami said, "I get migraine if I don't drink at least two shots of espresso. Coffee elevates my mood, its aroma and taste reminds me of cafes in Paris, bars in Rine abd cafecito (Cuban espresso) in Miami, leading to a feeling of satisfaction. If I don't get my shots, I either get migraine of feel that something is missing." Other than preserving talent of as a source of that quick rush, coffee is believed in some cultures to also be an aphrodisiac.

A wine-derful affair
Initially known in Europe as Arabian wine, coffee beans share with grapes the necessity of taking into account temperature, soil conditions, altitude, and degree of ripeness when picked. In a coffee seminar attended by ZEN Health, coffee specialists from non-profit organization Cafe Isla, narrated the exquisite art of breaking down a brew into details. Fortunately though, when extracted properly, the antioxidants you get from coffee would not be affected by how sweet or dark you prefer your cup to be.

The love for coffee is mainly a subjective enterprise. Some people like their coffee bold and heavy while some like it mild and even au lait, with milk. But generally, coffee when taken in moderation is a "lifestyle drink" that can be beneficial to one's overall health. The International Coffee Organization through the Positively Coffee campaign shared up-to-date information on the goodwill of a daily intake of coffee to limitations involved with pregnancies to coffee's cancer-elusive effects.

Cancer which is among the top medical complications in the world is estimated to be preventable with changes and improvements in diet and lifestyle. among these changes should be the adaptation of a good habit of coffee drinking.

Suggested as lowering the risk of some cancers, moderate to regulare coffee drinkers consistently win against those who drink less than a cup of brew daily. Other than cancer, coffee research also suggests that coffee drinking serves as a protective lifestyle approach against the development of type II diabetes and liver cirrhosis.

However, the caffeine content of coffee is argued to be harmful to one's overall health. With the addictive effects of caffeine, it is not a mystery why the aromatic brew receives criticisms despite the beneficial effects it is already proven to cause towards one's mental and physical health.

Based on a report found in the Positively Coffee website, researches have already demonstrated beneficial effects of caffeine from coffee and other sources on physical performance. Extending to a diverse variety of sports and physical activities, studies show coffee's benefits on well-trained athletes and excelling individuals from different recreational actitivities. In fact, recent studies reveal caffeine actually aids in improving muscular endurance as wekk as muscular work capacity in most, if not all, short-duration and high-intensity exercises.

Beautiful brews
The world's love for coffee has reached new heights with the recent innovations not just with coffee as a beverage but alsdo its inclusion as a top-rating beauty product. A recent find was from Z.E.N.'s baskets at the Sunday Legazpi Market: a body scrub coffee soap. It had the light tinge of coffee's distinct aroma while actual grounded coffee exfoliates and renews the skin. The idea seemed crazy but after just one bath, the once crazy idea led to a eureka for this nonbeliever.

The increasing selection of coffee scrubs, coffee-flavores lip balms, coffee-infused lotions and creams make it easier to see coffee as a typical beauty-regimen pick-me-upper. Coffee which contains caffeine effectively works as a vasodilator that constricts blood vessels within the skin which pushes water from the surface of the skin and improves circulation to reduce the cottage cheese effect of cellulite. In fact, the simplicity of this science can easily be claimed at home. In the absence of cellulite treatment products that already contain coffee as an active ingredient, just rub or place coffee on the problem area, leave for a few minutes (better if wrapped) and allow the caffeine to reduce the dimpling of the skin.

as published on ZEN Health magazine, July-August 2010


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Wellness in Every Cup

Among many of the Earth's bounty, the elusive yet highly revered and sought-after is the perfect coffee bean. Coffee, legend has it, ...

When the pressure from peers simply get too strong, asking advice from your parents and well-meaning people who truly care for you can guide you in the right direction.

A CONSTANT source of pressure on teenagers and young adults are their peers. To fit the roles dictated by one's peers, some teenagers today find themselves in situations they don't realy want to be in. There are even cases where they end up doing things they won't really do if they were not pressures by friends to do so.

Peer pressure is the feeling of being influenced by friends, of their own age group, to make a choice whether good or bad. Worries can arise when the pressure leads to bad decisions. As technology invetably weaves itself to the generation's lifestyle, a survey conducted among social media networks found out that many Facebook users actually do not like Facebook, a social networking sit that has grown so rapdily up to 500 million users internationally. Fifty percent of Facebook users do not like Facebook but are pressured to subscribe to the site because many of one's friends and family are on it, according to MG Siegel of a weblog dedicated to profiling various websites and companies. Likewise, according to a website monitoring service based in Sweden, almost 30 percent of the 500 million and counting Facebook users are aged 24 and below.

Social interaction
The importance of social interaction makes out-of-school youth face higher risks of getting impregnated at a young age. Likewise, youth in depressed communities lack parental counseling because the tendency for family heads is to focus more on earning a living than talking to their children about sensitive issues like sex. Returning to the basic importance and strong influence of friends upon a person;s growth and well-being, and the need to compensate support caused by such voids during adolescence, makes peer pressure an important factor of concern for the youth today.

Friends may influence peers into trying cigarettes, alcohol, or worse, illegal drugs. Peer pressure may lead to dangerous activities and irresponsible decisions. Adolescence is a stage of discovery of oneself and character.

When in doubt, stop. Seek help from your parents or a professional like your school counselor. Asking the question "should you or should you not" is better answered by people who truly care about you. Don't let your fear of isolation push you into actions you might regret in the end. Peer pressure is a battle worth fighting, and if you can, try to be the good influence for someone else while at it.

Don't lose yourself in the crowd
ZENHealth listed down some inspiring tracks to include in your playlist to help you say "No":

"Beautiful" by Christina Aguilera
"You are beautiful, no matter what they say. Words can't bring you down." Channel your inner beauty and let it show. This song is sure to remind you that you shouldn't let peer pressure take the best out of you.

"It's Only Life" by Kate Voegele
Find courage and inspiration from this song's catchy melody. Matched with Kate Voegele's powerful vocals, remind yourself of your strength and don't ever give up on yourself.

"Under Pressure" by David Bowie/Queen
Listen to this upbeat track and let the music whistle away those worries of isolation. Find comfort in knowing that everybody's a little bit pressures, but like you, things can be taken under control with the right decision.

as published on ZEN Health magazine, September-October 2010.


Please like ang comment about the music!

Just Say 'No'

When the pressure from peers simply get too strong, asking advice from your parents and well-meaning people who truly care for you can gui...

This almost New Year feeling compelled me to upload one of my previously published articles which I think would be really helpful to those who have a lot planned for 2011! Enjoy reading and hope this article helps.

Photo credit:
As the saying goes, "Time is more precious than gold." Unless you have Midas' touch, every minute is a penny worth safe-keeping.

This issue, ZENHealth draws inspiration from the many successful teens who manage to prove the point that age really does not matter. Teens today have a lot going on, from school to other extra-curricular activities and given that we have only 24 hours to economize, proper time management plays an essential role in making sure everything on the checklist is taken cared of.

Time management means alloting time for different activities of various degrees of importance according to the different demands of each responsibility. As tiring as that may seem, not to mention intimidating and challenging too, ZENHealth has concocted this easy-to-follow guide to a schedule worth keeping.

Here are five breezy yet full-proof ways to make each minute count:

1. Start your day early.
There is truth behind the story of the early bird and the early worm. Waking up early is the quickest and most practical solution to problems of "time shortage". Instead of begging the heavens for an extra hour or two, waking up earlier than the usual would instantly "extend" the day's hours. Instead of waking up by 7 am, wake up an hour earlier and enjoy a nice morning stroll. If you have a dog, your pet would even love you more for this.

Clear up your mind and warm up your body for the long day ahead. Whether it's a dreadful exam or a loaded schedule ahead of you, an early morning would allow your mind and body to commit itself in accomplishing the tasks at hand. Likewise, revving up the body with consistent physical activity no matter how low or high impact, would convert itself to a stronger stride throughout the day. Besides, if exercise in the morning does not fuel you up for the day, nothing else will.

2. Be wise when you prioritize.
Priorities vary per person, so it is best to allow each individual to define which he or she would prioritize. Because teens are often subject to peer pressure, it is recommended to always maintain an open communication with them. However, this does not mean that you impose their priorities on them. One of the reasons why it gets difficult to keep a schedule is because of one's lack of commitment.

If you find yourself swayed by what other people think should and shouldn't be, stop. Allow yourself to find what is good for you. By managing your time this way, the schedule you would create for yourself would be more enticing to keep.

Be proactive when it comes to time management. Sean Covey, author of the book entitled "The 7 Habits of Highlly Effective Teens", said that being proactive serves as the key to unlocking the other success-boosting habits. Steering away the bad habits and welcoming the good ones will help maximize the value of each passing second.

3. Do not delay.
After prioritizing, the next big step lies on being productive. Now that you know which should be accomplished first, perform. Rid the "manana habit" as it would only delay each goal due you. Steer clear of distractions by reserving time for being idle. Instead of randomly being side-tracked, include in your schedule time to rest or to do anything that comes to mind. This won't harm your schedule as it could also serve as your "me" time.

Note that to make a schedule that is do-able, your schedule should also include less important tasks. This is why it is important to prioritize well. Erase procrastination from your vocabulary and remember that haste makes waste. It's all a matter of doing what should be done first, while avoiding any cause of delay.

4. Keep a journal.
Did you know that one of the most celebrated diaries in print is a journal gifted to a 13-year-old Anne Frank? The author of the celebrated adventures oif "Alice in Wonderland" also kept for himself a journal. Many of those who traced the lines of history also kept journals, either to chronicle experiences or to mark future adventures. This is because keeping a journal has proven itself as a very effective way to trace success.

Get over a burnout by reading through the days you have successfully covered. Find inspiration in yourself. Instead of letting emotion or frustration wear you down, turn them into wings that will carry you through a down-time safely. Keep a journal and see yourself spell success one day at a time.

Embrace change by slowly improving your "schedule" as you go. Achieve balance by giving yourself space to err--besides, mistakes are great teachers too. You'd be surprised by how exciting it is to see as much progress you have accomplished since day one.

5. Push but don't go overboard.
Being in demand is such a thrill, of course. To be invited to take on so many roles can be a dream come true for any go-getter teenager; however, doing too much can be both dangerous and irresponsible. Proper time management involves knowing what you can and cannot accommodate. Given the limited hours to allocate for various activities, from schoolwork to responsibilities at home, knowing what can still be written under your nametage is as important as accomplkishing various feats.

Don't do your body harm by sacrificing sleeo just to be everybody's player; but don't ignore opportunities once they visit your doorstep. Be involved, lead, and be led. Managing your busy schedule is not a difficult feat if you don't enlist as the leader of every band. Know yourself and your limits. sometimes it helps to be on the side than to always fight for the limelight.

as published on ZEN Health magazine, September-October 2010


Please like and comment. :)
Please check out this video below to emphasize what I was trying to say in tip no.4. Enjoy!

5 Tips to Manage Your Time

This almost New Year feeling compelled me to upload one of my previously published articles which I think would be really helpful to those...

Thursday, December 30, 2010

"Time is ours." -from my birthday postcard
Tanglewreck is my first experience of a Jeanette Winterson piece for younger audiences. As always, it was a delight to read. Funny, how after having read Winterson's brooding, passionate and romantic stories, I found myself chasing after yet another of her literary masterpieces, this time as a child. Her versatility is surprisingly amazing. Tanglewreck is nothing like Oranges are Not the Only Fruit, Written on the Body or The Powerbook, which I have read and fell in love with earlier this year--my first with Jeanette actually.

Tanglewreck very much reminds me of Neil Geiman's Coraline. The story was so vividly narrated and was so successful in defining an imaginary world where time is running out. Yes, at Tanglewreck, the world is coming to an end...

Tanglewreck is not like your run-the-mill the world is ending story. Made up of very interesting characters and settings: London, Rome, Egypt, The Past, The Future, Black Holes, Star Roads, Creepy Aunts, Round Thieves, Fighting Rabbits, Eternal Sorcerers, Talking Houses, Pirates, Queens, Time Travel, Time Transfusions and many more! Tanglewreck is a jam-packed story set in a world where magic is real and courage makes a hero out of a kid.

I recommend Tanglewreck to readers who would like to enjoy a fun graphic novel because although Tanglewreck isn't a graphic novel, it has very descriptive pages, it could easily be enjoyed as one.

Tanglewreck (Php 292) is available at Fully Booked. For inquiries, visit their website here.

To read more of Jeanette Winterson:
  1. Oranges are Not the Only Fruit
  2. Written on the Body


Book to Basics #18 Tanglewreck by Jeanette Winterson

"Time is ours." -from my birthday postcard Tanglewreck is my first experience of a Jeanette Winterson piece for younger audie...

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

I can't say this enough... I love Chinese and Japanese food! JAPANESE FOOD ESPECIALLY!

And if you get to know me more, then you'd also know that I love wine. I love drinking wine with friends and even alone. I think wine is sexy, bold and sophisticated. Those words, I'd love to keep under my belt, of course!

This is of course a favorite poster design for Letters to Juliet the movie because of the following elements: happy sunshiney girl, love letters and sunflower design.

When I saw Letters to Juliet the movie, oh how I wanted to go to Europe!!! You know, to check some things off my checklist, like find love. :)

Happy to share that I don't have to go to Europe to find good tasting wine to love. Earlier this year I got to try Manny O Wines and so great to hear that as the year closes, this favored locally produced wine is garnering more international recognition!

To date, the brand has nine awards from Spain, Germany and Hongkong! Amazing right? So I suggest if you're thinking of something to make your holiday feasts more festive, make Manny O Wines part of your menu.

More good news: if you love Dimsum or Sashimi, like I do... and if you're thinking of having these dishes for Christmas, New Year or any other occasion, there is a particular award-winning bottle that is your dish' perfect pair! So nice to see the world settle down into perfect pairs, right?

Manny O's Discipulus Blanc just recently received TWO AWARDS from the Hongkong International Wine & Spirit Competition for food pairing: yes, you guessed it right, for dimsum and sashimi. Congratulations Manny O Wines!
For other award-winning choices, you may also try Sumiller, which carries over five international awards!


Please like this post through FB like button, or send me some love by clicking on the Hug button at the bottom of this post. :) Comment too if you love Japanese of Chinese food!

On finding a perfect pair...

I can't say this enough... I love Chinese and Japanese food! JAPANESE FOOD ESPECIALLY! And if you get to know me more, then you'...

(late uploaded blog, sorry)

Tonight is the Winter Solstice. I dare not speak of it as I know someone who just studied this type of physics, and I frankly didn't absorb much from my Physics class in college--well I did spend most of my time skipping classes or writing love letters on the occasions I would show up to class. Anyway, I'm starting to go far-off. Tonight is the Winter Solstice. For some it is a night to reckon with as in other parts of the world, the longest bestest lunar eclipse just happened. Well, I cringe at the sheer mention of the word eclipse as it reminds me of a "saga" I am ashamed I have complete hardbound copies of. (In my defense, they aren't mine. They're my sister's. But I did read them all, and gushed like a highschool girl myself. But like many other people, found it too... well, I can't think of a better word than pointless)

So is this the effect of THE Winter Solstice, on me? I just.. become?

Took this photo few days back. It's from our office' display. Porcelain doll ornament.s Freaky or Pretty?

Before taking the dinner I said I will not have, I biked. Alone. Not much of a feat as I just went in circles around the subdivision where I live in, but considering how... enclosed I have been living lately, I feel like the effort to even just go out, for no other reason than to feel the cold Christmas breeze, is a lot already.

So I rode the bike, and found myself singing "Just the Way You Are". I kept on giggling every now and then because I really don't know the song; I just keep on singing somefew words before/after the song's title. Meaning, similar to my "enclosed" life, my knowledge of my biking song was limited to the song's title only. Funny, how life plays with you, right?

It felt so nice. You know, to just be out. To feel free, in a way. It felt so... yeah, that's the only word that fits. Nice.

Christmas Lights, a-blinking, a-dancin'
More dogs
Kids who look like streetchildren, "caroling"
Parked cars
Cool cars
Old cars
Couples sitting on sidewalks
Guys playing cards at the covered court (hey boys, what happened to playing basketball?)
Clear wide streets
Karaoke along the street
More dogs
A goat (how province!)
Christmas Trees
People walking
Friends hanging out
The biggest full moon I've seen--not the most beautiful, but the biggest-haunting-chasingyouasyouridethebike type
More dogs
Tonight is the Winter Solstice and as I rode my bike and show-off my new gross scarred leg (to those who want to know what happened, my pet dog jumped on me and scratched my leg BIG TIME)... I realized how wonderful it is to live and have things to look forward to, especially after wrong scary turns.

Ignite for yourself.


To those who weren't able to witness the Total Lunar Eclipse Dec.21, 2010, here's a great video I found on YouTube. Enjoy. It's so magical.

Total Eclipse of the Heart

(late uploaded blog, sorry) Tonight is the Winter Solstice. I dare not speak of it as I know someone who just studied this type of physi...

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Have you ever loved someone so much? Like this post if your answer is yes.
Jeanette Winterson is a genius. She eloquently creates for her readers a different world filled with an escalated sense of being and logic, real life looks dull beside it. Written on the Body is so powerful and  thought provoking that I was practically hyperventilating while reading. And seriously, I wasn't able to put it down.

One evening, I found it difficult to sleep. It was around 10:30pm. I thought of starting my Written on the Body experience, and voila, by 12:30am I was done. I was undid. I was remade.

Written on the Body is the perfect book to give a loved one this holiday season, or anytime of the year. Die-hard romantics would love it as much as those who aren't. It is an incomparable work of art. Written on the Body, as it claims, but is undeniable rooted in the heart. Written on the Body is an inescapable love story...similar to the person you truly love and can't do without.

It is about true love and the mistakes that came before and in between. It's a modern take on marriage,m infidelity and the social constructs that define the two. It's about hurting and healing, It's an all-around love affair with the realities that comes with having an affair with love.

(On depicting a typical scene of adultery...and how conveniently it is the third party's fault)
"Don't be long darling. She pauses. I've tried to get you out of my head but I can't seem to get you out of my flesh. I think about your body day and night. When I try to read, it's you I'm reading. When I sit down to eat, it's you I'm eating. When he touched me, I think about you. I'm a middle0aged happily married woman and all I can see is your face. What have you done to me?"

You never give away your heart. You lend it from time to time. If it were not so, how could we take it back without asking?

(On cheating...)
"Cheating is easy. There's no swank to infidelity. To borrow against the trust someone has placed in you costs nothing at first. You get away with it.You take a little more and a little more until there's no more to draw on. Your hands should be full with all that taking but when you open them, there's nothing there."

(On what kills love... reminds me of Still Life of Woodpecker)
"I miss you Louise. Many waters cannot quench love neither can floods drown it. What then kills love? Only this. Neglect. Not to see you when you stand before me. Not to think of you in the little things. Not to make the road wide for you, the table spread for you. To choose you out of habit not desire, to pass the flower seller without a thought. To leave the dishes unwashed, the bed unmade, to ignore you in the mornings and make use of you at night. To crave another while pecking your cheek. To say your name without hearing, to assume it's mine to call."

Written on the Body (Php 596) is available at Fully Booked. For inquiries, visit their website here.

To read more of Jeanette Winterson
  1. Oranges are Not the Only Fruit
  2. Tanglewreck



Please watch this video below, taken from Isabelle Allende tells tales of passion.

"What matters most more than training or luck is their heart. Only a fearless and determined heart will get the gold medal. Isn't it always true? Heart is what drives us and determines our fate."

Book to Basics #17 Written on the Body by Jeanette Winterson

Have you ever loved someone so much? Like this post if your answer is yes. Jeanette Winterson is a genius. She eloquently creates for h...

Saturday, December 18, 2010


Don't we all have a share of a love lost?


Lucas: I never meant to hurt you.
Brooke: That doesn't really matter Lucas cause in the end it all hurts just the same.

I'm here, I'm now, I'm ready. What are you waiting for?

Starting Over and 23

3:42 Don't we all have a share of a love lost? -K- Lucas: I never meant to hurt you. Brooke: That doesn't really matter Luca...

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Christmas is LITERALLY just around the corner and it excites me so much because to me, Christmas is pretty much the funnest season to play with make-up. Everybody's on a festive mood, more or less, and it's cold so it's not icky to layer on some color and powders and creams, etc.

This week tops my excitement because Elianto eyeshadows are on SALE. This is super great news for those who are thinking of personalizing their make-up kits since Elianto palettes (sold separately) can be filled up with shades of your choice! You don't have to buy different palettes just to have all the colors you want. Elianto have pretty cute eye shade holders ranging from four to I believe six shade palettes so it's really practical and fun to create your own set using Elianto eye shadows--which again, are on SALE this week!

Elianto's vibrant eye shadows are really pigmented and are great to use for photo shoots and themed parties because you can really achieve note-worthy pigments in one pop. But...

I prefer Elianto's pearl shadows because they're shimmery and are very silky when applied. Of compared to the vibrant eye shadow line, the pearl shadows come in lighter shades and tones, but to me it's an advantage because not everyday's a party so the pearl eye shadows are a more practical and even convenient choice.

It all depends on how you plan to use your make-up. So for those who are creating their palette, make sure you have at least a general idea on how you intend to use your make-up kit. :)
Check out the NEW eyeshadow palette I created using my select Elianto pearl and vibrant shadows:
Please wait for my upcoming holiday look featuring these wonderful pixie colors. For the mean time, why not check out Beauty and Wellness tab at the top of this page for previous Holiday Features. :)
Here's also a sneak of my (not so older) personalized eyeshadow palette using Elianto shadows. :) What are your thoughts in my color selections? Please comment and click the HUG button at the bottom of this post if you like my selections.

I love these shades!

My make-up cheat sheet definitely uses shimmer sticks. When I feel lazy and I just want a little color on my face, I skip almost everything else, give my brushes a rest, and just line my eyes with shimmer sticks or colored eyeshadows. They do two things in one: define the eyes and brighten up the face with a hint of color.

You can easily achieve a subtle smokey look with shimmer sticks or colored eyeshadows by simply smudging the color your applied on your eyes using a cotton tip.

Mascaras are also on sale so if your budget permits, try to include a mascara in your eye make-up kit because swiping and curling your lashes can really add more drama and depth to those pretty windows.
As for me, here's my Elianto haul yesterday December 14. Kinda went crazy but very happy because I ended up taking home the pretty basket you see in the picture--for free! My make-up haul today includes 2 lip liners, 2 lipsticks, one vibrant eyeshadow, 2 nail lacquers, 1 make-up refill palette in black, 1 pack of make-up remover tissues and an eyebrow defining pencil for nanay.

Would you believe I only spent Php 1,078 for all of that! Super steal... so I ended up doing my favorite thing to do: swipe it! haha!

Please read here for some tips on choosing and using a make-up brush... I mean we all go through that phase where make-up brushes = alien language. :)

Shop and get freebies! On top of my free basket this week, I also got other freebies last week. Read here.
Because I found my freebie basket so cute, I stocked it with all my old and new Elianto goodies. I was surprised with how much Elianto products I use pala!

Gotta love Korean Beauty loots! :)
I love their make-up removers. As you can see in previous photo, I use Elianto's Lip and Eye Pomengranate Make-up remover. Other than that, I also LOVE their make-up cleanser tissues. For this week, items are on 50% off! 30 tissues for just Php 109!

Currently using the sprakly green polish, for more Christmas spirit!
I had so much fun. Was it obvious?  
How about you? What is your favorite Elianto product?
Please click the HUG button below to send me some love. Comment to if you like!
Thank you for following!

Don't forget you still have few more days to join Clarity's Holiday Giveaway... and my Yr-ender giveaway! Join both! :)

Elianto Holiday Sale of the Week: Have a colorful Christmas :)

Christmas is LITERALLY just around the corner and it excites me so much because to me, Christmas is pretty much the funnest season to play...

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

From top to bottom: Fan brush, Angled Blush/Contour Brush and Powder Brush from Elianto. I'm not a fan of their Face brushes because they're not as soft as their eye brushes but did you know that you can actually soften your brushes using professional diy hot oil/hair mask/hair treatments? For example, I just recently softened my Elianto powder brush using HBC Protein Hair Treatment. I left it on the brush for two minutes and it did leave me with softer bristles.

Note that you CAN'T leave a hot oil treatment on your make-up brush too long as it might affect the color of your brush. As with Elianto brushes, leaving a hair treatment on the brush can make the pretty red pigments of the brush bleed.
So you're just starting to learn about make-up? If you're serious about improving your make-up skills, then you're probably testing the waters and learning bit by bit about the different make-up tools out there. For starters, of course the make-up brush is your first 101.

I've been there and frankly speaking, there are times I encounter new kinds of brushes that are completely alien to my vocabulary. Make-up brushes vary not just in uses but also in composition, including length and density. But to avoid overwhelming you with info, here's a short list of the important tools you should first consider investing on. I know many would suggest that you buy a set because it is cheaper, but personally I think it is best for beginners to buy make-up brushes per piece for the following reasons:
  1. You are still discovering your make-up application style. This affects the specific details you'd be looking for in a brush such as length, weight, softness, etc. Of course there's the universal need for durability and quality but based on my experience, among many, brush handle length can vary per person so it's best for you to find on your own what you'd be most comfortable working with.
  2. Other than application style, you are also still discovering your make-up preferences. If you're just starting to fall in love with anything make-up, then let me welcome you to the possibilities. There's of course liquid and powder make-ups. There's mineral make-up (which uses recommended types of brushes for optimum results) and there's also make-up that comes in mousse and cream form (thus requiring minimal use of make-up brushes); so it's really going to be helpful if you don't overwhelm yourself with too much too soon. Enjoy the gradual process and as they say in yoga, find your center. Make-up should be something YOU enjoy doing FOR YOURSELF so be very vain about it and make each of your make-up choices all about WHAT YOU WANT and WHAT YOU NEED. :)

Brush Basics:
Here's a shortlist of brushes that you might encounter as you go build your make-up kit.
  1. Powder Brush (shown in photo above)- aka Face Brush, is used to dust loose powder all over the face prior make-up application or to set your make-up. It is used to mattify the face using loose powder. Simply load the brush with loose powder, tap excess, and swipe and swirl all over the face to evenly spread powder. Tip: Should be kept properly in a roll, preferably with a brush guard. A brush guard can help protect your brush from dirt and bacteria from sitting on the bristles and also it can help maintain the shape of your brush. A Powder Brush can be really fluffy so in order to maintain the its proper shape, use a brush guard. Check out
    Click the photo to enlarge.
  3. Blusher Brush (show in photo above)- which can either be angled or not, is used to apply blushers on the apples of the cheeks to add a natural pinched and rosy glow on the face or to apply bronzers that add and reflects light to give out a golden glow on the skin. Tip: Blush application depends on the shape of your face. Check out this photo I got online for your reference sorry I have no diagram as of the moment so I just borrowed from as they have a really sensible and easy to understand diagram on proper blush application for your face shape. :)
  4. Personally I love investing on eye brushes because among many things, it is the eye make-up that can be most exciting, difficult, challenging, delightful of them all! Photo above features Eye Brushes from Elianto.

    I vouch for their Eye Blender Brush, Small Angled Brush, Precise Crease Brush (though I'm not sure if it's still available since it's a really old stock... I don't even have it anymore, it's that old, but it was one of my first few make-up brushes that really went a long way!) and their Nose Shaper Brush (which I declared I would use also as an eye shadow applicator--haha!). Their Eye Brushes are really so soft compared to their face brushes. 
  5. Eyeshadow Brush- which comes in varying sizes (small, medium and large). The name speaks for itself. It is a fluffy brush used to apply eyeshadow on the lids. The size affects precision in terms of applying eye color. Larger eyeshadow brushes are preferrably used to apply a base color on the lids while smaller eyeshadow brushes can be used to reach corners or to sweep precise lines of colors on the eye lids. A Medium-sized eyeshadow brush can be the best of both worlds as it is capable of easily priming and in precisely coloring the lids. Tip: It is best to use a brush per eye shade when doing a multi-colored eye make-up so as to avoid mixing shades on your brush--something you wouldn't find pleasing especially if you want solid areas of particular colors for your eye make-up. As follows, it is best to clean your eye shadow brushes often, especially after using a strongly pigmented eye shadow. Light colored brush hairs can also be stained if not cleaned often/soon after a pigmented eye shadow.
  6. Liquid Foundation Brush- recommended in applying and spreading all over the face your liquid foundation (as the name suggests), Liquid/Cream make-up primer and even your BB creams. I really do recommend Elianto's Liquid Foundation Brush. I use it every time! It's so durable, cause for the longest time it's MY ONLY Liquid Foundation Brush, and I do clean my Liquid Foundation Brush everyday, and this Elianto baby just never sheds! So great! It makes application more flawless and even compared to just using the hand. Not to mention it is also more hygienic and neat. Speaking of hygiene, since wetness is breeding ground of bacteria, it is advisable that you wash your Liquid Foundation Brush every after use, no miss. Tip: A Liquid Foundation Brush tend to leave brush strokes on the face. Don't fret! Just user a latex sponge to clear your face of the strokes. If available, you can also use a stippling brush to do the same. A stippling brush can also leave your face with an airbrushed flawless look. (A stippling brush is aka dual fibre brush.)
  7. Lip Brush- I fine tipped brush that is used to evenly apply lipstick on your puckers. It is recommended because it prolongs the life of your lipstick not only in terms of consumption but also in terms of shelf life. Using lipsticks directly on the lips can be unhygienic EVEN if you don't share your lipstick! (Imagine those who do!) Same with the Liquid Foundation Brush, you should often clean your lip brush because it can easily breed bacteria--bacteria you wouldn't want to be anywhere near your mouth!
Well, those are the basics that starters should first invest in. Of course there are more brushed out there, but like I said... take your time. Start with a solid foundation and pave your own way.

Don't forget to have fun!


My other brush recommendations include:
Charm Brushes from Beauty and Minerals (I love their Eye Blending Brush. So helpful in softening edges and of course in blending eye make-up.)
Ellana Brushes (specifically their Kabuki Brush which is just divine!)
For cheap brush sets, try also Dollface Cosmetics Brush sets
For cheap yet functional brushes, try also E.L.F.

Please send me some love by clicking the Hug button below.
Please comment. :) Thank you for following!

I dedicate this post to someone really special... and someone really clueless about make-up and make-up brushes. :)

Make-up Brushes

From top to bottom: Fan brush, Angled Blush/Contour Brush and Powder Brush from Elianto. I'm not a fan of their Face brushes because ...

Sunday, December 12, 2010

somewhere between the sheets is you and I
different people floating with different tides
but holding on to life, sharing the same thread count
somewhere between the sheets is the defeaning silence
marked by the space left behind, turning to a gap
so deep, so big, so easy to fall into in my sleep



somewhere between the sheets is you and I different people floating with different tides but holding on to life, sharing the same thread cou...
After a successful Japanese-Novel series of Reviews, please check them out:
I now close this fruitful year with my review series featuring one of the most inspiring and amazing author/novelist in the world, Jeanette Winterson. Fruitful being the operative word, let me indulge you with Winterson's Oranges are Not the Only Fruit.

Cover art #1: What do you think of the book cover art? Isn't it delightful?
I enjoyed reading Oranges are Not the Only Fruit because of its rebellious vis-a-vis religious undertones. It covered very sensitive grounds involved in a person's becoming. It has very strong insightful ideas about life, people and the different shades of grays that comes in between the two, when they dance the tango.

Since I've learned of Jeanette Winterson's powerful command of words and imagery, I knew I should learn more about the author. Coincidentally, Oranges are Not the Only Fruit is Winterson's autobiographical piece that delved on many of the author's views on perception and perfection, among others.

In a way, the book was a philosophical journey that takes readers to and from and back and beyond the real and unreal. I really enjoyed how each turn of a page welcomes a different perspective, as if the end promises a clearer broader worldview.

I apologize for the term, but the book's completely an art-lover, modern-day romantic, cynic's mind-fuck. It's definitely a must-read.

Oranges are Not the Only Fruit (Php 560) is available at Fully Booked. For inquiries, visit their website here.

Speaking of art, here's a shortlist of other amazing book covers for Oranges are Not the Only Fruit. Comment on which you like the best!

Cover art #2: Reminds me of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind's Clementine, as played by the beautiful Kate Winslet. (See next photo)
Such a wonderful color, Orange is.
Cover art #3: I think that tambourine's a nice touch.
Covert art #4: This particular cover has a satanic feel, agree?
Look what I found online! Interesting, the narration is also the very first few lines from the actual book! Enjoy watching, please don't forget to read the book too! I'll just embed video #1, you can check out the rest of the videos available on this embedded video's "related videos" on the side. Load it on Youtube for your convenience. :)

To read more of Jeanette Winterson:
  1. Written on the Body
  2. Tanglewreck



Book to Basics #16 Oranges are Not the Only Fruit by Jeanette Winterson

After a successful Japanese-Novel series of Reviews, please check them out: Train Man by Hitori Nakano Kitchen by Banana Yoshimoto Never ...

Saturday, December 11, 2010

I figured that the difference between now and then
is the space I create when I stretch my arms
to hug you

as if

and the only way to settle that difference is to
well, ignore it
but you said you don't like passive

or i did

does it matter

who now
who then

lately i realized life was better when it didn't make sense

funny how my biggest mistake is not in thinking wrong
it's that I thought at all

I thought it's you and I
I thought it's all of each of us
I thought there's no one else in the world


Never Think


Never Think

so I figured that the difference between now and then is the space I create when I stretch my arms to hug you as if and the only way ...
Obviously, my L'oreal Open Eyes palette is becoming a favoriiiite.
Whenever the "December Fever" strikes, you know when it's extra-ordinarily cold during the evenings and everything just feels so romantic... I become overly sentimental. Because it's the year-ending season, whenever December strikes, I try to re-evaluate the year I'm to leave behind and assess how much of a better person I have become since the last time I wore my December shoes.

Whenever December strikes, I feel extra sensitive about the things I feel or should feel or even, should recognize as blessings I should be grateful for. This is why I came up with my yr-ender giveaway, which I invite you to join just so we can all together celebrate this season of giving thanks.

In my giveaway, all I ask of my interested readers is to share the things they're thankful about. This inspired me to share with you my two-cents on L'oreal Paris Open Eyes Pro palette. I don't know if it's cheesy, but because I am the type of person who loves and practically names everything, the Open Eyes Pro palette caught my eye because of it's really pretty design and monicker.

Happy ending: the monicker won't fail you. L'oreal Paris Open Eyes Pro palette can really open and brighten up your eyes, professionally (see photo below).

Using L'oreal Paris Open Eyes Pro palette is so easy. It even comes with a step-by-step Smokey Eye tutorial at the back/bottom of the pack. I think the Open Eyes palette is a silly mistake-proof palette that is a great first investment for newbie beauty enthusiasts/make-up lovers.

In the photo: I am using L'oreal Paris Volume Collagen Waterproof mascara which has a full sized thick mascara wand capable of coating each of your lashes with voluminous layer of mascara for a fully-flattering fluttering lashes.

Because Smokey Eyes are best worn with smooth and clear skin, I opted to use L'oreal Base Magique Transforming Smoothing Primer. Read my review here.

I really like the velvety formula of Base Magique. It makes my skin feel baby soft. :)

Don't fear that Base Magique is only for the fairest of them all. I'm not fair myself (but am working on it using L'oreal White Perfect Whitening Day Cream!) yet Base Magique works just fine. :) It looks like a white thick filmy formula on the photo but it turnes invisible upon application. Parang rosy white-pinkish glow ang effect niya.

For starters, you can use the applicator that comes with Open Eyes Pro, but as much as you could, try to invest on the right make-up brushes so it would be 10x easier for you to achieve a clean professional looking Smokey Eye make-up.

My favorite in the Open Eyes Pro is shade#4 (the glittery gray shade at the upper left corner, as seen in the photo). Most often than not, you would use a white shimmer in the inner corner of your eye, just above your tear ducts, to "open up your eyes" and achieve a doe-eyed look. For L'oreal Open Eyes Pro, it's not your basic white. It comes with a specially pigmented and glittery shade to match the professional eye shade palette.

I used shade#3 (the blackest darkest shade of the palette) to define my eyes and add a flirty wing on the side. See how glittery it is. Party-party!

I took this photo before applying the darker shades of gray. :p You can opt to use your L'oreal Open Eyes Pro for day make-up too. Just add na lang the darker shades at night when you're ready for a night-out or a date. :)

Match your eye make-up with your nails.

Here are some few things I'd like to say to end this lovely post:
Don't live with your eyes closed.
Open your eyes so the world won't seem too dark. :) 

*photos are unedited because I didn't want to tweak the pigments of the palette. The color difference in skin was caused by the camera flash. Tan skin: with flash. Fair skin: just basic indoor lighting.

#8 Open Eyes, Open Heart (L'oreal Open Eyes Pro and more)

Obviously, my L'oreal Open Eyes palette is becoming a favoriiiite. Whenever the "December Fever" strikes, you know when it&...


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