Hello Again, My Sparkly Loves!

I know, I know. I’ve been MIA on the blog…but I have a very good reason :p

I'm currently sparkling through Europe! :)

I’m currently sparkling through Europe! :)

This was taken on my first day in Paris. I arrived mid-August and I stayed in the city for a little over 3 weeks. It was fabulous, scary, exciting—and oh my gosh. You know how we rave about French women and their style? I gotta say, the men can totally hold their own, too. Ooh-la-la, they all put themselves together so well!

See what I mean? Spotted this cutie while I was in Strasbourg, France!

See what I mean? Spotted this cutie while I was in Strasbourg, France!

So basically, I’ve just been going around and trying to just live in the city (follow me on IG and Snapchat via @beautyandsparkl for real-time updates). I didn’t do too many touristy things since it’s my third time back, so I just explored on foot and had no itinerary. I’d wake up, check the weather, and see what I wanted to do. The biggest thing I loved about my trip? Just finding a random cafe to sit, sip wine, and just watch all the fantastic people walk by.

At the Paris Plages with my friend and event stylist, Beam. So much fun!

At the Paris Plages with my friend and event stylist, Beam. So much fun!

My first two weeks in Paris, I was with Beam and I was so tense-slash-paranoid-slash-uptight. I really had to push myself out of my comfort zone and it was lucky that I had someone there who had my back and not-so-gently nudged me in the right direction. Continue reading

Sparkle Bites: What I Learned From My BioBalance Visit With Hindy Weber

A few months ago, I attended (and co-hosted) an event for BioBalance Institute. I first heard about this place through my friend, Alyanna. She said she was going to the institute to help manage her stress and figure out how to take the right supplements for her body.

Learning about health and wellness with Hindy Weber and BioBalance's Dr. Stan Chua.

Learning about health and wellness with Hindy Weber and BioBalance’s Dr. Stan Chua.

I’m normally iffy about places that sell supplements or “wellness” in general because we’re at an age where everyone’s coming up with their own formula. But I actually trust Hindy’s dedication to healthy living (I mean, she did move to the province to grow her own food!) and Alyanna’s recos (seriously, this girl can make me buy anything because it’s usually worth it).

Taking the InBody test! It determines things like the muscle-fat ratio in your body, how hydrated you are, and how much fat is surrounding your organs.

Taking the InBody test! It determines things like the muscle-fat ratio in your body, how hydrated you are, and how much fat is surrounding your organs.

During the intimate event, I got to chat with Hindy and learned so many things about how BioBalance can help you take care of your body. They have several tests you can take to analyze what’s really going on in your body (check them out here), but my favorite would have to be the Nutrient and Metabolic test. It analyzes the specific level of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals in your body (view the detailed list of what they’ll test here—you’ll see why it’s worth it!).

Post-gabbing session with Hindy! Our background? BioBalance's wall of supplements!

Post-gabbing session with Hindy! Our background? BioBalance’s wall of supplements!

Before BioBalance, I was guilty of self-diagnosing my supplements. When I needed to sleep, I’d take melatonin. Dealing with hair fall? Then load up on Biotin. But guess what? Your body might actually have enough of these nutrients and you just don’t know it! Or maybe, your body just can’t absorb what you’re feeding it either. You can’t really know for sure, so if you feel like you’re doing everything you can health-wise and aren’t getting the results you want, then it may be time to take an actual test.  Continue reading

Sparkle TV: Non-Touring With Urban Decay’s Naked Skin Foundation & Concealer

Have you heard of this trend yet? Non-touring is a more natural and subtle way to sculpt your face (because apparently, people are sooo over contouring now). Basically, it’s like a no makeup look that’s spiked with some major highlighting. Here’s my take on it:

 
I super love this trend, and apparently, it’s a fave look of Kendall Jenner and Gigi Hadid! I really like how it adds more dimension to my face in photos and that it’s pretty glam without being too cray, you know? If you like this look and what to see more tutorials or reviews, show me some love by leaving me a thumbs-up and clicking here to subscribe! ♥

Sunday Sparkle

I watched After Earth last night and I super loved it. In true M. Night Shyamalan style, there were plenty nerve-racking moments. But once you get past that, the lessons were pretty cool—like this one about fear.

Sometimes, you just really have to stop and think about what story you’re telling yourself. This way, you can move past it (when you’re ready) and have faith that everything will work out the way it’s supposed to. And if it doesn’t work out, you ask? Then dig deep, take a knee (you’ll know what this means if you watched the movie), and find a way to put a better spin on that story. ♥

Skincare Options For Your Specific Skin Concerns

Okay, you guys. I have been trying some major skincare products recently and I thought I’d put them all together in one post. I categorized everything according to skin concerns, so it’ll be easier for you to sort through the products based on your current skin need. You ready? Let’s do this!

1. If You Want…Matte Skin
Practically every Pinay I talk to complains about the fact that her skin looks shiny or oily. If you want to control your grease production (or at least curb it while you’re wearing makeup), these goodies from Benefit can help.

That's the Benefit Porefessional Matte Rescue Gel, License To Blot, and Instant Wipeout Masks set.

That’s the Benefit Porefessional Matte Rescue Gel, License To Blot, and Instant Wipeout Masks set.

The Skin Lowdown: The mask is fun to use (watch how here) and it’s a great way to cleanse your pores of unwanted dirt and oil. As for the water-based mattifying gel, I like applying this on my T-zone when I don’t want to wear makeup and just want to look fresh all day sans retouching. Meanwhile, the License to Blot stick is fantastic for touch-ups. It has invisible blotting spheres that zaps shine for up to six hours and the stick is shaped like a diamond, so you can get apply it over the corners of your face easily.

2. If You Want…Smaller Pores
The reason your pores look big is because there’s dirt and oil trapped in there. This means that you need something that’s gonna get in there and do some deep cleaning!

Check out the Algenist Multi-Perfecting Pore Corrector Concentrate if you want tighter pores.

Check out the Algenist Multi-Perfecting Pore Corrector Concentrate if you want tighter pores.

The Skin Lowdown: It has alguronic acid (so it has anti-aging benefits) combined with salicylic acid (to exfoliate and cleanse pores). I usually apply a moisturizer after I use this because it’s not super hydrating, but this lightweight, oil-free serum did help refine and brighten my skin. Full disclosure: my pores aren’t too huge to begin with, so I didn’t see much of a difference. But research results showed that 90% of the 100 women they tested noticed that their pore size minimized within four weeks of use.

3. If You Want To…Control Oil Production.

I started taking new vitamins recently and it made my face (and scalp!) super oily. It was weird, because my skin would feel grimy even after I washed my face. So I added these goodies from Bioderma into my routine to help balance my complexion again.

From left to right, that's the Bioderma Sébium Pore Refiner, Sébium Akn Smoothing Purifying Care, and the Sébium H20 Purifying Cléansing Micelle Solution.

From left to right, that’s the Bioderma Sébium Pore Refiner, Sébium Akn Smoothing Purifying Care, and the Sébium H20 Purifying Cléansing Micelle Solution.

The Skin Lowdown: I wanted to control my skin’s oil production without overdrying it, so I would use the Sébium H20 Purifying Cléansing Micelle Solution after I wash my face. Yup, after! It’s actually more of a makeup remover, but since it’s also a cleansing water, I would swipe it over my skin to get rid of leftover oil (think of it as a substitute for toner). After that, I’d apply the Sébium Akn Smoothing Purifying Care in the morning. It helps prevent your pores from getting clogged, so it served as a barrier between my skin and makeup to help prevent breakouts. Loved this complexion balancing formula because after 2 to 3 weeks, my skin went back to normal!

More skincare recos for anti-aging, pimple-clearing, and dry skin after the jump! P.S. There’s an event invite also for Murad if you want to join us for a fun Makeup Mixology class! Continue reading

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