Sunday Sparkle

I got to enjoy a quick getaway this weekend!

My friends invited me to hang with them in Tagaytay.

My friends invited me to hang with them over at Crosswinds Tagaytay.

Yummy food, no thinking, and just spending lots of QT together—yay! After reading about Café Voila on KateWasHere.com, we decided to have dinner there and it didn’t disappoint. They served the best satays I’ve ever had (have it with the turmeric rice, guys) and if it’s dessert you’re looking for, try the salted caramel cheesecake. But the real highlight of the weekend?

Our spa escape! Nikki and I headed to T House for a quick massage.

Our spa escape! Nikki and I headed to T House for a quick massage.

We booked the 90-minute massage (P1,000) and it was actually pretty good. We both fell asleep at some point (that rarely happens for us!) and I loved the oil they used—it really softened my skin! There’s no aircon though and the spa amenities aren’t fancy at all, but massage-wise, I’d say that their masseuses will definitely be able to soothe your aching muscles and help you relax.

What’d you do to unwind this weekend? Tell me, tell me! ♥

19 Beauty Stops For Last Minute Christmas Shoppers

Christmas is in a few days and I’ve only bought like two presents. I’m obviously a last minute shopper and if your shopping habits are just like mine, then scroll through the list below to check out where you should go for fab beauty finds:

1. Jo Malone
Why You’ll Like It: The quaint store finally opened in Greenbelt 5 and it’s so elegant! Anything you buy comes packaged in the iconic Jo Malone box (yay for no gift wrapping) and you’re guaranteed to impress whoever you’re shopping for.

Such a pretty store! Read more about Jo Malone's philosophy scent layering here.

Such a pretty store! Read more about Jo Malone’s philosophy on scent layering here.

What To Check Out: Their famous fragrances and the different holiday sets that are available for every budget. The candles are also perfect for your gal pal who just got married or is moving into a new apartment!

Such elegant gift sets—perfect for your guy's mom or the tough-to-impress sister.

Such elegant gift sets—perfect for your guy’s mom or the tough-to-impress sister.

2. Acca Kappa
Why You’ll Like It: The brand is understated, classy, and there’s just an elegance about the craftsmanship of their products. They’ve got stores in Rustan’s and BGC Central, too.

And it's partly because of the new hair tools I'm using: a boar bristle brush from Keratin Complex, my Rowenta 2-in-1 Ceramic Ionic Curling Iron, and a paddle brush from Acca Kappa.

My favorite wooden paddle brush! Click here to read more about my hairstyling secrets.

What To Check Out: Their brushes are fantastic and you’ll feel like a queen whenever you run it through your hair. But my favorite will always be the Muschio Blanco line—I always get compliments whenever I wear this scent!

I'm seriously thinking of getting this for myself, guys. I want the soap and the solid perfume!

I’m seriously thinking of getting this for myself, guys. I want the soap and the solid perfume!

3. Burt’s Bees
Why You’ll Like It: If you’re into beauty products that pride themselves in being 99% natural (on average) and environmentally-sustainable, then this is a brand you’ll definitely want to support. Shop over at Beauty Bar, Estancia, or click here if you want to do it online!

A radiant gift set from Burt's Bees! The pouch is great for traveling, too.

A radiant gift set from Burt’s Bees! They have more sets that range from P795 to P1,495, so there’s something for every budget.

What To Check Out: They have lots of affordable holiday kits, but if you’re only shopping for one thing, make sure it’s a lip product. Considering that women reportedly eat about 7 pounds of lipstick in a lifetime, you’ll be glad that you’re ingesting something that’s practically chemical-free.

Fab stocking stuffers for your Kris Kringle baby. The individual lip balms in holiday packaging are only P225 each.

Fab stocking stuffers for your Kris Kringle baby. The individual lip balms in holiday packaging are only P225 each.

4. The Aivee Clinic
Why You’ll Like It: The reflective crystals and plush interiors in this beauty sanctuary can really help erase all the stress that accumulated throughout 2015. It’s also one of the most trusted derma clinics in town because of their constant innovations in the skin and cosmetic surgery arena.

Here's a peek at the luxurious lobby at the Aivee Clinic Alabang.

Here’s a peek at the luxurious lobby at their Alabang branch. Click here to visit their site and find clinics closer to you.

What To Get: Grab a gift check for your friend who’s in need of some R&R. This way, she can choose whatever service she likes (I reco the Geneo facial) and welcome the new year looking absolutely fresh and gorgeous!

I could spend all day here! It really would be the perfect way to pamper yourself for all the hard work you did in 2015!

I could spend all day here! It really would be the perfect way to pamper yourself for all the hard work you did this year!

5. Benefit Cosmetics
Why You’ll Like It: Their stores always look Instagram-worthy and you won’t get overwhelmed when you’re looking through their displays. I always enjoy reading the fun and witty packaging while testing out their latest products on counter.

This is their newest (and biggest!) store in SM Megamall! So cute, right?

This is their newest (and biggest!) store in SM Megamall! More store locations here!

What To Check Out: Definitely get their 12-Days of Gorgeous Advent Calendar because you’ll get to sample all of their best-sellers for just P2,500. Watch my unboxing below to take a peek at all the goodies you’ll get!

There are SO MANY more lust-worthy beauty products to spy on (even if you’re just “window shopping” for yourself). Check them out after the jump! Continue reading

Davao Day Trip For Hair Philosphie by Jing Monis

I had so much fun flying to Davao for the opening of Hair Philosophie by Jing Monis. Check out my little travel diary to see what went down (and do a little celeb spotting!).

4 a.m. I am packed and ready to go! I was just hitching a ride with my brother-in-law, since he was going to Hong Kong. It’s APEC week here in Manila, so air travel (and traffic!) is crazy.

Thankfully, I did make it! I checked in at 6 a.m. and tried to calm my frazzled nerves. LOL, it was gonna be a busy day!

My flight was to Davao was at 6:40 a.m., and even though I was en route to the airport pretty early, I almost didn’t make my flight because of the traffic!

9 a.m. After landing in Davao, we were whisked away to Seda Hotel. It’s right in front of Abreeza Mall (that’s where Jing’s new salon is), so that was convenient. It was my first time to stay at the hotel (I stayed at Marco Polo last time), so I wanted to explore a little.

The pretty pool! I wish I brought my bikini, but there was no time to swim anyway.

The pretty pool! I wish I brought my bikini, but there was no time to swim anyway.

9:30 a.m. After looking around, my next stop was the breakfast buffet! I was so happy I had 30 minutes left to eat. I was so hungry on the plane!

I always need to have an omelette (or two!) at the breakfast buffet. So yummy!

I always need to have an omelette (or two!) at the breakfast buffet. It’s my little tradition—hehe!

10:30 a.m. When I realized I was the only one left at the buffet, I decided to head up to my room for a quick nap. Based on our itinerary, I had about an hour to rest before meeting Jing for lunch.

So I just chilled out in the room for a bit. Sorry about the bad photo—I think I plopped down right after and zonked out.

So I just chilled out in the room for a bit. I wanted to take more photos, but I plopped down and zonked out. Hotel sheets and pillows are the best!

11:30 a.m. I woke up because someone called me and realized that I had to get ready for lunch already. The day was going by so fast! So I freshened up my makeup, changed my top, and got ready for more…food! Haha!

At FCF Davao for lunch with the Jing Monis and his brand ambassadors! That's Paul Jake Castillo, Kaye Abad, Fifth Solomon, Mich Sanciano of Mega magazine, Jing, Phoemela Baranda, and the rest of Jing's team.

At FCF Davao for lunch with the Jing Monis and his brand ambassadors! That’s Paul Jake Castillo, Kaye Abad, Fifth Solomon, Mich Sancianco of Mega magazine, Jing, Phoemela Baranda, and the rest of Jing’s team.

12:30 p.m. The food at FCF (it stands for Filipino Comfort Food) was delish—traditional Pinoy cuisine! And OMG, Jing was spoiling us like crazy at this point. Seriously, he was the sweetest host and really made everyone feel so welcome.

More deets about my trip and take an exclusive peek at the Hair Philosophie salon after the jump! P.S. Cute pics of Daniel Matsunaga included! Continue reading

My Quick Blowdry Stop

When I’m in a hurry and don’t have a lot of time to do my hair, this is where I go for a blow dry!

Status Hair Premier Salon is along C5/Acropolis. I love that it's so easy to park here, too!

Status Hair Premier Salon is along C5/Acropolis. I love that it’s so easy to park here, too!

I like staying in this little room in the back since it's more private.

I like staying in this little room in the back since it’s more private. Hehe, it keeps me away from the other customers so they don’t have to overhear how OC I am when I give instructions to the stylists about my hair.

To make sure my hair stays protected from the intense blow drying, I always bring my own heat protectors (like this and this). Based on all the blow outs I had to get for my bob cut, I realized that heat is more damaging than rebonding and perms.

blow-dry-status-salon

All done! A good blow out can really turn a blah day into a fabulous one. It’s one of my instant, feel-good tricks! I’m not even wearing makeup here—no need for it when you’re having a good hair day!

I was invited to try visit the salon for this review, but when I go on my own, I usually spend around P450 on my blow dry (excluding tip). It’s a nice way to change up my coif style vs. my usual roughed-up strands.

What kind of hair do you prefer? Sleek and straight, slightly wavy, or va-va-voom curls? ♥

Beauty Directory:
Status Hair Salon  (02)638-4001, (0916)5305170. Visit their website here for more details.

Korea Beauty Diaries: Day 3

I love spas. Whenever I’m abroad, I always make sure that I indulge in a massage mid-way through my trip—especially if I’m doing a lot of walking. While in Seoul, my friend took me to an authentic Korean spa (or a jjimjilbang) called Sparex. It wasn’t super fancy, but it was quite an experience. Here’s what happened:

sparex-korea

Walking to Sparex, which is in Good Morning City Mall (building on the right). It’s a worthy trip since there’s cheap shopping at the mall and you can also explore the Dongdaemon History and Cultural Park (the spaceship looking structure) right across.

Step 1: Check-in
You pay an entrance fee (it was 10,ooo Won or $10 USD). I thought this was weird, but apparently, this covers the use of the facilities like the bathing room, sauna, and sleeping rooms. You can stay in most jjimjilbangs overnight or up to 24 hours, so backpackers or businessmen on a tight budget sometimes hop from one spa to another to save cash on accommodations.

I wasn't able to take a photo since it was super crowded. But found this on Instagram—it's the locker area at Sparex.

I wasn’t able to take a photo since it was super crowded and, well, you’ll see why when you read Step 3. But I managed to find a pic of the locker area (and these cute Korean gal pals) on Instagram.

Step 2: Locker Time
After you check-in, you’re given a locker key, a shirt, a pair of shorts, and two towels. The first locker (near the check-in area) is for your shoes. We weren’t given slippers, so it was kinda icky to go around barefoot on the floor—especially in the bathing area. The second locker was located in the women’s communal area on the lower floor. This is where you can change your clothes.

Imagine something like this. But with women.

Imagine something like this. But with women.

Step 3: The Bathing Floor
Here’s something I wasn’t prepared for: Everybody was walking around completely naked! Although my friend kinda warned me, I wasn’t prepared for the full onslaught of boobs and bush (there were at least 50 women there, so that’s a lot of flesh!). Everyone sat on everything—floor included—on their bare bottoms. The bath area looked super cool though—there were huge, gorgeous stones that you can sit on and bathe. I took a quick peek by the door and saw women pouring water over themselves and giving themselves a thorough scrubbing…but I wasn’t brave enough to go in or go naked. C’mon, I was already a wreck about the fact that I had to walk around barefoot on a wet floor! The germ freak in me just couldn’t do it. #sorrynotsorry

Check out more fun photos (like freezing cold rooms and the goofy-looking headpiece you’ll want to wear) inside! Continue reading

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