What’s new in my closet?

Color Eyeshadow Palette

I have always wanted to buy those 120 color eyeshadow palette we see on Ebay but because most of them are unbranded or fake branded, I didn’t. Beauty magazines have always reminded us about harmful ingredients and how much damage it can cause. Un-for-tu-nate-ly (or maybe fortunately — depends who you ask), the tiangge of Eastwood was just too much for my EQ. By the 3rd stall that had the palettes, my wallet had a mind of it’s own.

What: Fresh Green Mix Mineralize Eyeshadow (Unbranded or dupe MAC)
Where: Eastwood Tiangge
Cost: P800

Sulfate & Sodium-free Keratin Shampoo &  Conditioner

As I blabbed on my previous post, I recently had Brazilian Blowout done to my hair. I am not inclined to repeat the process any time soon so I was on a hunt to find a sulfate-free keratin shampoo. The search was for Keratin Complex Color Care Shampoo & Conditioner but after 1 week, several salons, several malls, and several friends not finding any. It became a search for just any sulfate-free keratin shampoo while I continue the holy grail search.

Nice and I happened to be in MOA yesterday so I decided to see if Marionnaud carried any, I almost gave up but good thing I decided to search for OPI nail polish because right beside the OPI rack was Organix. The products were cheaper than Keratin Complex and Pureology and that’s not such a good thing. After buying the products, I went online to find some reviews and every website has mix feedback about the product. Seems like an equal percent like and hate the Brazilian Keratin line. Hopefully, I get to be part of the like crowd.

What: Organix Ever Straight Brazilian Keratin Therapy Shampoo & Conditioner
Where: Marionnaud, MOA
Cost: P449 each
Brand website: http://www.organixhair.com/

Orly Nail Lacquers

Every time I head into an Orly reseller, I am on the lookout for the Sweet Collection’s Snow Cone even if I know it’s part of their limited edition 2010 collection. Of course, I always get disappointed. To get over the disappointment, I bought 2 new colors (please help me remember to bring it to the salon when I have my pedi).

What: Orly Rich Creme Permanent Collection
Color: Basket Case
Where: Marionnaud, MOA
Cost: P349.75

What: Orly Hot Stuff Collection
Color: Blue Collar
Where: Marionnaud, MOA
Cost: P349.75

Brand Website: http://www.orlybeauty.com/

Waterproof Mascara

What happened to L’oreal’s Telescopic Clean Mascara? I can still see it in L’oreal Paris’ website but every store I’ve been to here in Manila does not carry it anymore. One attendant had told my sister that it had been discontinued! It’s going to be a shame if it truly has been discontinued as it’s the only one I’ve used for almost 3 years.

While I still have my last tube of Telescopic, I am on the search for a new mascara. Let’s start with Maybelline and the attendant’s recommendation for me.

What: Maybelline the Magnum Volum’ Express Waterproof Mascara
Where: Watsons
Cost: P359
Brand Website: http://www.maybelline.com/

Vanity Mirror

Vanity’s favorite friend, mirror. 🙂 Fits well into my toolbox.

What: Paganini Mirror
Where: Watsons
Cost: P129.75

I’ll try to post reviews as I get to use each item.

Fixing Fried Hair

I’ve had my hair straightened thrice, relaxed once, and rebonded about 6 times. Rebonding has always been great until the last one and I ended up with really brittle hair with most strands breaking at the point where it was last flat-ironed. I’ve been trying to revive it with BenchFix’s Kerastase treatments but it could take months and probably would require chopping all the damage off, which might leave me with about ear-length hair. Cry!

After trolling a ton of health & beauty websites and several weeks of contemplating, I finally decided to try out Permanent Blowdry (also recommended by Marjh). Since we were somewhere in Quezon City, I chose to checkout Great Cuts Salon in Timog. The receptionist was nice enough to inform me that they actually have an ongoing promo with CashCashPinoy  and even offered to use their PC so I can buy it online. Unfortunately, vouchers can only be redeemed starting 5th of November. Given the crazy schedule at work, I knew if I didn’t do it that day, it probably won’t happen for months so I opted to pay the full price.

Though I asked for the permanent blowdry, the salon staff were all recommending the Brazilian Blowout instead. I was very hesitant as there’s a great deal on the net about the “aldehyde” concerns with this treatment. I voiced out my concern but was assured that their products/supplies were tested and all have BFAD approval. Convinced, I decided to have the Brazilian Blowout, some hair coloring, and a trim.

Like what I would normally do in a salon, I left my extremely fried hair to the expertise of the Sr. Stylist and my only condition was it needs to look good. First thing that they did was wash my hair with clarifying shampoo. This was to remove all dirt and products from the hair so treatment will be more effective. Hair color needed to be done first and the plan was to lighten my hair and put a color that will blend well with current hair color. He ended up choosing a Tobacco Beige mixed with Very Light Blonde.

While we were waiting for the color to soak, I asked on what maintenance should I have after the treatment. Using a sulfate-free shampoo is a definite must, which would preserve as well as delay the stripping of keratin in the hair, but what they absolutely recommend is to use a sulfate-free shampoo with keratin. My questions opened the opportunity to upsell their Keralove maintenance kit (shampoo, conditioner, and leave-on). The set seemed promising but I never heard of the brand so I decided to google Keralove before deciding to buy it. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find any useful review so I decided to pass until I get to compare it with Keratin Complex.

The next few steps were pretty standard: another shampoo, applied keratin treatment, another wash. As they were finishing the nth wash, the stylist then informs me that we will be going up to the Blowout lab. I imagined the lab they were talking about and asked why there was a special lab. Apparently the next part of the treatment can get very smoky. They joked that the next step was like being in the clouds thus, the lab was placed on the second floor and was equipped with exhaust fans.

The lab was not much different from the ground floor salon except that we would need to wear hospital masks and optional goggles. I sighed because I knew that this definitely not the formaldehyde-free process they had earlier assured. They applied treatment, explained that flat-ironing will seal the keratin into the hair but a by-product evaporates causing all the smoke. This was the most uncomfortable phase of the whole process. Though I didn’t smell the fumes like what most people wrote in their blogs, whatever chemical was being used stung my eyes like hell. I had goggles on but still had to keep my eyes closed throughout most of the flat-ironing process.

Alas, we finished that step! We went down to rinse and apply the Brazilian Blowout masque. They kept the mask twice longer than usual because of the damage that my hair has. The last step for the day was a haircut and the stylist was hesitant as he kept saying that the treatment had already fixed most of my hair issues but I insisted since I read somewhere that getting healthy hair involved chopping off as much of the damaged length as possible.

Like every other person who had Brazilian Blowout, I cannot deny that the results are just simply amazing! I have never been happier with my hair. I would have been completely satisfied if the treatment didn’t sting my eyes so bad and if I could only get rid of the worrisome potential side effects of formaldehyde exposure.

Most of you are probably curious how it was after the first wash, below are a pictures taken  7-days after the treatment. I am simply loving it.

And just to compare, here’s my hair before the treatment:

Friends kept on asking me what I did to my hair and I was more than happy to tell them about Brazilian Blowout however, I can’t help but tell them about the flat-ironing process and all that’s being said on the blogs. I personally feel that each person who decides to get the treatment should know all the risks they’re taking for that shiny, straight hair. Personally, I don’t think I will go for a second Brazilian Blowout — unless they actually invent a credible formaldehyde-free version. I think having it done once would not cause health issues but multiple exposure can definitely be harmful.

But I am positively-head-over-heels-in-love with the my hair so I am already in search of similar but safer alternatives. So far, I am considering Great Cuts’ Permanent Blowdry or Piandre’s Keratin Complex Smoothing Therapy. In the meantime, since I had already endured formaldehyde evaporation, I intend to try and keep my fabulous hair as long as possible. Thus, the search for keratin maintenance begins…

Salon: Great Cuts Salon
Services Tried: Brazilian Blowout, Hair Colour, Haircut
Stylist: Jun Almencion
Cost: P6500 – Brazilian Blowout & Haircut; P1500 – Hair Colour
How long will it last: about 4 months
Total Pampering Time: 3 hours

7 months later and I am still in love…

  • Dell Inspiron 1525 Blossom Pattern
  • Intel® Pentium® Dual Core T2390 (1.87GHz/533Mhz FSB/1MB cache)
  • Genuine Windows Vista® SP1 Home Premium Edition (32bit OS)
  • Glossy, widescreen 15.4 inch display (1280×800)
  • Intel Graphics Media Accelerator X3100
  • 1.5GB Shared Dual Channel DDR2 at 667MHz
  • 150GB SATA Hard Drive (5400RPM)
  • CD/DVD writer (DVD+/-RW) + Roxio Creator 10 Premier
  • Integrated 2.0M Pixel Webcam
  • 6 cell battery
  • High Definition Audio 2.0
  • Integrated 10/100 Network Card
  • Integrated Modem
  • Adobe® Acrobat® Reader 8.1

One of the things that drew me to the 1525 is the design. Back then only HP and Dell had the graphic lids but Dell was the only one that carried a lappy in purple. The Inspiron became available in PI on August and I got mine on August 6 (just a few days after they hit the shelves). The specs are pretty basic as Dell does not customize orders here, we’d have to settle with what make have been imported (though the RAM can be upgraded easily).


  • Boots pretty fast.
  • I loooove Dell Media Direct! Open a media player without booting up the laptop.
  • The laptop has a remote that works with Media Direct. Afraid of losing the remote? Don’t fret as the designers have thought of this, there’s a slot where you can lock the remote so that it becomes a part of the lappy.
  • Media Player (touch) function buttons.
  • Built in memory card reader. 🙂
  • 2 headphone jacks! (2 people can listen at the same time and not have to use one bud per person)
  • Display is definitely bigger than other laptops within the same price range.
  • The keyboard is elegantly designed and works perfectly with the silver interior. Does not look plastic at all unlike the other laptops who have a toy look to it.
  • 2 hours battery life at balanced plan (max brightness on battery and while plugged).
  • The indicator lights are blue!!!!
  • Since Dell does not customize here, I have one of the rare 1525 covers (if the sales person was not simply using a sales pitch, each store only had one unit with a graphic cover).
  • Purple and Flowers!!! What can be girlier than that?


  • No lock on the cover. This part of the design is one major flaw. I was (and still am) very worried about the hinge becoming loose but so far, it’s still the same as it was 7 months ago.
  • The DVD drive (sometimes though not often enough for it to be annoying) opens randomly.
  • Poor webcam resolution 😦
  • Built-in speaker is very basic. You definitely need to use an external speaker to enhance it.
  • Fan does get a bit too loud when under load.
  • Laptop heats up considerably faster now (so the loud fan turns on more too)… 😦
  • But… the most disappointing thing for me is the AC adapter problem (a known issue for Dell laptops). My lappy is just 7 months old but it does not charge properly unless move/push/re-plug ac adapter several times. Quite irritating!!! (… and we know that when the adapter or battery starts acting up, it’s not going to be long before they totally go kaput…)

Dell Wasabi PZ310 Photo Printer

I am drooling right now!

The default webpage on my laptop’s IE7 is still the Dell website (primarily because I don’t browse on IE unless I need to open 2 accounts on yahoo or google or adobe). Since I bought blossom last year, I have become a big fan of Dell (althlough VAIO’s metallic purple laptop is defnitely swaying my attention) and every time I happen to open IE, I take a few minutes to look at the flash ad.

The Ultramobile Photot Printer comes in 3 colors: Pink, Blue, and Black. It retails for $239 + plus shipping charges. Wasabi prints using Bluetooth® (no wires! wooohoo!), the paper used are adhesive backed and it uses the latest ZINKTM technology. How cool and convenient is it to print using Zero InkTM?

The only thing that stopped me from clicking the check out cart is the fact that it uses a special Zero InkTM paper. The paper itself isn’t expensive –each pack contains 12 pieces and buying 8 packs would only cost you $38…that’s roughly 39 cents (P20) per paper — but I am just not a big fan of devices that have specific requirements (I will only buy an ipod when there’s no need to convert mp3s to another format).One more thing to figure out is how long a person can remain satisfied about photos sized 2×3 inches only…

So if someone gave me this as a gift today, I’d be ecstatic… but if I need to buy it myself, i’d probably wait for a couple more reviews.

en route to a perfect Christmas

My past 3 Christmas-es have all been just a few lines over depressing. I was stupid enough to think that being on-call and working the during the holidays is a sign of being important, sad to say, I realized it was just a sign of being stupid and that you’re working as a pawn in multi-billion company that doesn’t really care about you. Well, no more!

After a very long time, I am entitled to a 2-week Christmas Holiday. Last day of work Dec 23 @6pm EST and no need to go back until Jan 5 @830am EST. The only thing about this schedule is it’s too near Christmas Eve for me to get all the things I want to get done done… Oh well! I am too giddy about getting Holiday off that I am putting every other thing as itsy-bitsy-I-do-not-care-about-anything-else list.

I haven’t had time to enjoy Christmas Carols or the lights on our Christmas tree yet (definitely making time even if it’s post Christmas)… but I am sooooooooooooo ecstatic about the gifts that I have received so far…

  1. an MP4 player from cdr king – nothing flashy like an ipod but it does what it’s supposed to do. plays audio & video, views ebooks & pictures, 4GB memory with option to expand via microSD and best of all, less than 2K! Such a steal… been watching episodes of gossip girl, chuck, criminal minds, house the whole week
  2. bronze tote – every girl can not have enough bags in her life! ’nuff said.
  3. initialed necklace and bracelet – donna definitely has good taste! matching silver necklace and bracelet with rhinestoned letter j charm.
  4. civicom tote with bonus surprises: bronze make-up pouch, bare minerals shimmer powder and kabuki brush
  5. purple l**^@$3 pouch – unfortunately, not an original… but the design is just what i needed: 3 seperate pockets that could hold money, cards, lip gloss, compact, phones and mp4 player.
  6. orange note holder – cute flower design that will fit perfectly on my cluttered desk!
  7. set of bath & body works in japanese cherry blossom – the spray, lotion, shower gel and body wash! an unexpected gift from mama azon and ate b. v. excited about it!
  8. 3 shirts: red nylon tank top a la sports wear, maroon three-fourths with slightly puffed sleeves and baby doll cut and dialogue shirt that says ‘if my mom calls, i’m not here’ – all do not fit so well. everything a bit too large… oh well, i lost a significant amount of weight since I stopped being with Nice all the time. am back to the larger medium sizes now and maybe a few more and i can fit on the regular medium…
  9. native inspired pouch – hmmm. another addition to our cabinet full of ‘maybe in the future’
  10. baked goodies – arrrrrrrgh! sinfully delicious and bad for my resolve….
  11. earrings in a very nice package – love the package, earrings to join the jewelry pit…
  12. subic-purchased chocolates: 2 large blocks of cadbury peppermint, macademia and crunch! – see complain on entry #10

Of course, gifts coming from me to me were also very exciting! A quick rundown of what I bought so far…

  1. silver necklace with a blue asymmetrical star pendant – amazingly unique. i’ve been counting compliments since day
  2. heart pendant made of pink and white rhinestones
  3. bronze platforms – casual heels often used when you want some comfort but need height added…
  4. divi shirts and dresses – cheap! cheap! cheap! black balloon blouse, army green and red spaghetti-strapped baby doll blouse, purple balloon razorback shirt with zebra print, brown ballon razorback shirt with gold sunflower print, black flowing dress with black&white tassel accent and black&white tube dress with a black belt accent
  5. brown glittered flats! – yes. shiny glitters like jeweled shoes.
  6. wide lace belt in old rose – it was a steal at P90 only
  7. universal car charger – for the mp4 and my phones. finally!
  8. denim shorts from kamiseta – last minute purchase for the xmas party!

Call me insatiable… but Christmas brings out my greed and lust for all things pretty. So let me end with the all the other things that are still on my list. Deadline: before the three kings day, the last day of christmas…

  1. an 8 hour hair treatment – stupid me messed up my hair at laiya. Note to self: don’t stay under sun too long without hair protection!!!!
  2. laptop bag – colorful and hopefully would fit all my gadgets….
  3. purple nike cortez
  4. a-line denim mini skirt
  5. the green blouse from f&h except make 2 larger and 3 smaller
  6. the black dress from maldita (the one with the polka dot ribbon)