30 June 2013

Review: Clinique Pore Refining Solutions Instant Perfector

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Php1,500 (about $40)
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Clinique Pore Refining Solutions Instant Perfector in Invisible Light
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I started growing pores a couple of years after I got married. And yes, I said grow because I literally watched them blossom from cute little baby pores to humongous angry mommy pores. Every time I look at my husband's smooth as a baby bottom skin, I wanted to scream and throw mighty tantrums.
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See? Almost poreless.
Pissed off and insecure, I felt the need to wage an all-out war with my pores (yes, I'm crazy like that), trying just about every pore-erasing toners, serums and creams I could get my frantic hands on, only to come to the bitter realization that they simply cannot be shrunk. I was fighting a battle already lost. But hardly anyone has ever went for the orange-peel look and surely, I'm not the only one who has pores big enough to live in, so what do people do? Well, pore correctors, of course! These are primers you dab on pores - you can use it by itself, under and/or over makeup (so they say, but I find that it works better if I apply it right after moisturizer). What they do is minimize the appearance of pores. Basically, the pores are still there but they become so much less noticeable. These stuff work up to a certain degree. In my case, I achieve the soft-focus effect if I finish the look using an HD powder rather than a regular powder. I do need to apply powder a couple more times during the day to maintain the not-quite-poreless-but-the-closest-thing-I-could-get-to-having-small-pores look. I know it sounds like a lot of work but well, you got to do what you got to do. I've tried both Clinique Pore Refining Solutions Instant Perfector and Benefit POREfessional. I don't really prefer one over the other. Just that, if I have to choose, I'd only choose Clinique because it's Php100 cheaper. So, below is my before and after using Clinique (I'll make another post using Benefit soon). On the left is barefaced; on the right, with Instant Perfector and HD powder.
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24 June 2013

Swatches and Review: MAC Studio Perfect SPF15 Foundation

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Php2,750 (about $70)
Not a fan, here's why -

1. It broke me out. None of my other foundies make me break out in red, angry bumps. Not even the cheaper ones. And I know this was the culprit because a) it wasn't my time of the month, b) the only new product I used when breakouts started was this, and c) breakouts stopped when I stopped using this, which was also the first and only time I ever used this, as you can see, I barely disturbed the surface. A shame really because now it sits on my vanity, collecting dust.
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beauty,makeup,make up set,cosmetic,eat read shop,review
beauty,makeup,make up set,cosmetic,eat read shop,review
beauty,makeup,make up set,cosmetic,eat read shop,review
2. MAC counters are inaccessible. The closest to my location is at Eastwood Mall. As someone who lives just a few minutes away from major malls along Marcos Highway, even Libis is pretty far-off. Clearly, only a handful of malls carry high-end cosmetics brands. So distance alone is a non-issue. Obviously, if I really love the product, I will go get it no matter how out of the way. But throw pimples into the mix and I will run for the hills faster than you can say spot corrector.

3. Expensive. It costs Php2,750 - Php650 for the compact and Php2,100 for the foundation. Studio Fix Powder Plus foundation is cheaper (Php1,700) but it has no SPF and it's not refillable, at least that's what the MAC SA told me. Ridiculous! I've had this foundation awhile so whatever made me choose the more expensive one that time, I can no longer remember.

I am NC25 - fair, with yellow undertones.
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NC25, without flash
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NC25, with flash
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So there. Maybe I'm just a Revlon girl or maybe my humble skin is unaccustomed to really expensive stuff, but whatever it is, I am swearing off MAC products.

18 June 2013

Book Review: The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey


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From Goodreads: "After the 1st wave, only darkness remains. After the 2nd, only the lucky escape. And after the 3rd, only the unlucky survive. After the 4th wave, only one rule applies: trust no one.
Now, it’s the dawn of the 5th wave, and on a lonely stretch of highway, Cassie runs from Them. The beings who only look human, who roam the countryside killing anyone they see. Who have scattered Earth’s last survivors. To stay alone is to stay alive, Cassie believes, until she meets Evan Walker. Beguiling and mysterious, Evan Walker may be Cassie’s only hope for rescuing her brother—or even saving herself. But Cassie must choose: between trust and despair, between defiance and surrender, between life and death. To give up or to get up."

The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey 
Series: The Fifth Wave, #1
Genres: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Post Apocalyptic, Dystopia
My rating: 3 out of 5 stars
I can understand the hype, why people say it's the next Hunger Games. I wouldn't go so far as to say that it is, only that I get it. The 5th Wave is a fast-paced post-apocalyptic survival novel with a touch of romance. It's a fun read really, some parts dragged a little bit but other parts kept me at the edge of my seat. I thought Rick Yancey did a good job finding the right voices for his characters. Some did say that Cassie's POV doesn't match that of a typical teen girl's but I didn't really notice until it was pointed out. The romance for me is just OK, not nauseatingly cheesy but just a small amount of cringe. I was rooting for Cassie and Evan but almost lost it when Cassie came face to face with Zombie. What I loved the most is that though right in the middle of an alien invasion, people still seem to care about their own personal hygiene. I have yet to read a post-apocalyptic/dystopian novel that involves characters brushing their teeth, showering and taking a bath. And that's a plus for me because call me crazy but I always obsess about the quality of the characters' breaths, especially when kissing, so thank you Rick Yancey, for being very detailed about that. I just wish he's detailed about other things as well. Because behind the heart-stopping action and suspense is a plot that doesn't make sense to me and if reviews on Goodreads are any indication, then to a lot of people too. But disregarding all those little plot holes, the 5th Wave is rather entertaining.

14 June 2013

Recipe: Lasagna Soup

I love lasagna but hate how big a production making it requires. Also, I'm not very good with the oven, so apart from baking cookies, I don't use it much. Good thing I came across an easy alternative, yummy lasagna soup adapted from a Paula Deen recipe.
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Serves 4

Ingredients
¼ lb ground beef
¼ lb ground pork
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 red bell pepper, chopped
½ teaspoon thyme
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
¼ teaspoon salt
½ tablespoon sugar
2 cups chicken broth
1 small pouch tomato sauce
6 small tomatoes, peeled
1 ½ cups broken lasagna noodles
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
½ cup grated mozzarella cheese

Directions
1. In a large pot, sauté garlic and onion until they are soft. Add the ground beef, ground pork, and bell pepper, then cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally until the beef and pork are browned.

2. Add thyme, Italian seasoning, salt, sugar, chicken broth, tomato sauce and peeled tomatoes. Bring it to a boil over high heat. Stir in lasagna noodles, reduce the heat and simmer until al dente.

3. Sprinkle cheese over the top.
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10 June 2013

Swatches and Review: Revlon ColorBurst Lipstick

I too went through a nude lips phase. I loved the effortless, neutral look. I still do but I just can't seem to do the nude lip without streaking, I don't know if it's the color or the texture, maybe both. Anyway, some of the nude lippies in my collection are the Revlon ColorBurst lipstick in Soft Nude, NYX Round lipstick in Circe and MAC Creme d'Nude lipstick. All of which are super creamy that at high temperatures, they may melt. Revlon for me is the most workable among the three because I can't stand Circe's taste and smell and Creme d' Nude almost always makes me look corpse-y. So in light of Revlon discontinuing their ColorBurst lipstick line, I thought I'd post swatches before everyone forgets about them. I have 075 Peach, 070 Soft Nude and 012 Cherry Ice.
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beauty,makeup,make up set,cosmetic,eat read shop,review
beauty,makeup,make up set,cosmetic,eat read shop,review
beauty,makeup,make up set,cosmetic,eat read shop,review
From left-right: 070 Soft Nude, 012 Cherry Ice, 075 Peach
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Without flash, from left-right: 070 Soft Nude, 075 Peach, 012 Cherry Ice
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With flash, from left-right: 070 Soft Nude, 075 Peach, 012 Cherry Ice
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Php575 (about $15)
070 Soft Nude is a peachy, pinky nude, with no shimmer.
070 Soft Nude, without flash
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070 Soft Nude, with flash
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075 Peach is a soft coral, peachy shade with gold shimmers.
075 Peach, without flash
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075 Peach, with flash
without flash
012 Cherry Ice is a sheer, blue-based cherry red with gold shimmers.
012 Cherry Ice, without flash
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012 Cherry Ice, with flash
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The colors are really pretty but they don't stay on very long. The rounded paddle shape of the lipstick doesn't really bother me, although some might say that that makes application a bit of a challenge. Soft Nude tends to move around my lips. Peach sometimes settles into lines but nothing a good lip smacking cannot remedy. Cherry Ice is my favorite.

01 June 2013

Resto love: Chefs' Quarter

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Tessie Tomas Salad, Solo Php390 | Family Php720
Mesclun salad with marinated salmon, roasted prawns and grilled shiitake mushroom drizzled with balsamic dressing
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Grilled Tiger Prawns, Php550
In lobster cognac sauce, served with baby potatoes and house salad
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Chefs' Quarter Steak, Solo Php450 | Family Php650
Grilled US top blade with roasted potatoes, vegetables and parsley garlic butter
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Marinated Duck Confit, Php430
In lemon orange sauce, served with potatoes and vegetables
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Stir-Fried Seafood Paella, Small Php250 | Large Php430
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Beef Salpicao Fried Rice, Solo Php195 | Family Php395
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North Carolina Pulled Pork, Solo Php195 | Family Php395
In raspberry sauce, served with bread, cabbage relish and tomato-coriander salsa 
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Strawberry Cheesecake, Php130
A slice of cheesecake with fresh strawberries