Cleanface 101

My goal of  establishing a skincare routine has snowballed into a full-blown beauty product obsession over the past few weeks. I’ve googled countless product reviews and caught myself perusing beauty counters/skincare aisles on every possible occasion. But being the absolute skincare newbie that I am, I thought I’d first try out the more popular and reliable drugstore brands before venturing into cult favorites for a more distinguished experience. Above are results of hours spent poring over beauty counters, and are my current favorites; just a handful of products to set the bare minimum of a budding skincare regimen so as not to overwhelm myself.

I love how Liquid Neutrogena Pure Mild Facial Cleanser glides so smooth on my skin and leaves it feeling clean without drying it out completely, despite its funny smell that comes from the exclusion of any artificial fragrances. St. Ives Fresh Skin Apricot Srub on the other hand smells irresistibly yummy, and is a handy once-a-week facial scrub habit to slough off all the impurities and whatnot off my face. After cleansing I moisturize with VMV Smart Moisturizer, and I have to say this recent find is amazing. It feels quite heavy upon application, but magically dissolves into the skin and leaves it feeling nothing but smooth and supple after a few minutes, and doesn’t make my face all greasy the morning after applying! Instead of moisturizer, I use Yadah Oh My Sunblock SPF 35 during the daytime. I like how it makes my skin look sheer and glowing right after I put it, but it tends to make me feel like a grease ball as the day progresses. Shopping around for a better facial sunblock is definitely next on my list.

More Early-Mid 20’s Drama

A few days ago, after a long day of roaming the city, I found myself at my favorite watering hole, seated among a group of people quite older than I am. These people led unconventional lives in unconventional careers, and barely made minimum wage, yet they led perfectly happy and satisfied lives. These people have gone against every path I’ve struggled to follow with regards to personal goals; they are living-proof of the “alternative career path,” how I would’ve ended should I have decided to instead make a livelihood out of my personal passions. Nothing seemed to be wrong with their lives. They didn’t seem to be in want or need of better-paying jobs or higher profile careers. Maybe it would’ve turned out all the same for me.

I’ve been raised to think that making a living out of frivolities like art and music wouldn’t get you far in life. I’ve been taught that an education, a degree, a diploma, automatically warranted you a stable career. Maybe I’ve been taught wrong. Wouldn’t it be nice to wake up and actually look forward to going to work?

#personal  

Alessi Likes Social Interaction Over Froyo

Last week I did some catching up with one of my oldest friends over chicken pie and cheese pasta, and talked about all sorts of things from family issues to backward Filipino ideals to the Gossip Girl plot. Getting out of the house and touching-base with someone is always a good idea when I get too caught up in my own personal bubble and have been shunning myself from the world for a while. It’s amazing how quality time spent thoughtfully sharing stories with a good friend, or just plain genuine social interaction, can leave you instantly rebooted and replenished. It’s the perfect boost I needed to start my week.

Alessi Likes to Get Pampered at Make Me Blush

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Ahhh the universe finally heeded my call and granted me a relaxing Sunday with awesome company to match. I feel so happy and grateful that I got to enjoy some pampering after an increasingly busy and stressful work week. Indulging in little pleasures like these sure calms me down and puts me in such a good mood; I think I should do this more often.

We were treated to an afternoon of pampering and hardcore girly time at Make Me Blush Beauty Lounge, who invited us to try their signature foot spa with back massage. From their absolutely cutesy chic interiors in an assortment of muted pastel shades, to their pretty teacups and friendly manicurists who were all-smiles, this pretty place has definitely got me smitten.

It felt so rewarding to sit back and let Make Me Blush’s skilled manicurists buff, scrub, and groom my tired and seriously abused feet. Each and every part of my afternoon - from enjoying my warm foot soak, sipping my hot tea and picking out which polish to use on my toes, to watching my nail polish dry and dishing some hot goss with the girls was relaxing haze. The back massage at the end of my session added a nice touch to my experience. And it doesn’t hurt that Make Me Blush’s foot spa service only costs Php 249.00, such a sweet deal if you ask me. They also have a great selection of nail polish by the way; I like that they have a wide range of pastel shades (my fave!) from brands like Orly, Essie, and Sally Hansen.

Make Me Blush is at Hemady Square, Dona Hemady St. cor. E. Rodriguez Ave. at Quezon City. Like them on Facebook here.

April 3rd, 2014

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A quick hello! Today I just went with my gut, threw caution to the wind and took my flamboyantly swishy skater skirt out for a spin, partly because I haven’t worn it in a while and I was eager to maximize the clothes I presently have, and partly because I was so inspired by Karla Deras’ shirt-skirt combo that I decided to fashion a complete copy-cat out of it. I paired it with my thrifted stripey blouse and topped it off with my trusty Vans (with the notion that EVERYTHING goes with black Vans - you be the judge of that) just to make the entire thing look a little undone. Wore this to shop for bikini bottoms, do groceries and have dinner with the family - something I haven’t done in a while, and feel rather blessed to have had the time to do. 

Alessi Likes a Wardrobe Overhaul

Basics
Basics Part 2

Above is a collection of what I like to think would be “key-pieces” in my closet, stuff I’d choose to keep if the need to limit my wardrobe to a few pieces of clothing was ever called for. I find the idea of a carefully curated wardrobe filled with a select few of your most beloved pieces very much appealing.

Into-Mind, a blog that takes a minimal approach to perfecting personal style, has got the process down-pat to a science.They offer very informative step-by-step guides on every sartorial condundrum you may have, from how to efficiently draw inspiration from your mood boards to tips on how to know if you’re making the right clothing purchase. While most people may find the very technical approach they take to personal style a bit restricting and in-the-box, it sure is a breath of fresh air for people like me, who have closets bursting at the seams, filled with half-hearted purchases I’ve realized no longer correspond to my personal aesthetic. Their 10-step Wardrobe Revamp guide sounds like a fun project as well, might give it a go one of these days.

Alessi Likes to Detox

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Much like fun runs, yoga, Crossfit and Kettlebell, juice cleanses are pretty much a lifestyle fad; its popularity fuelled primarily by social media - penetrating our Instagram and Facebook feeds with those colorful bottles as per celebrity recommendation - and thus propelled into a level of widespread popularity as evidenced by the numerous juice cleanse franchisers that have sprouted up in the last 3 to 5 months. Yet of all the fads I’ve tried, taking on a juice cleanse would probably be the least embarrassing - as there shouldn’t be any shame in attempting to live healthier (even just for a day.)

To be honest, I am absolutely curious about the juice cleansing experience. The idea of detoxifying your body of impurities, “giving your body a break,” relying solely on fruit and veggie juice concoction for sustenance and entirely taking away the experience of chewing on solid food for three days (as most standard juice cleanses last) sounds very enticing, as it does challenging, rewarding, and slightly new-age and obnoxiously exclusive all at the same time. I guess all these attributes lends the juice cleanse much fad-appeal, but it also sounds like something I need. My body could use a bit “cleaning” and “detoxifying” at the moment, and a little quick-fix to get healthy didn’t hurt anyone.

And so it is with open arms and ready limbs that I jump on the juice cleanse bandwagon. I might try Detoxify Bar’s One-Day Juice Cleanse Kit Thingy in the next few weeks, after trying an assortment of their cold-pressed juices and healthy dishes at the their recent McKinley launch and left feeling sufficiently full of healthful goodness. You can read about my feature on that here.

life: end of march

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My life is presently consumed in late nights and short days in all my lonesome. I terribly miss early mornings and late afternoons, and I’ve yet to learn to enjoy the comfort of my own company. To be honest, i just really want those happy sunsets back.

On the other hand, all this time alone has had me looking for ways to be more attune with my life at present. I’m currently in the process of streamlining my daily routines in attempts to find some order in the madness of everyday life - not too subtle a lifestyle shift to be fleeting and irrelevant, yet not too drastic to be a complete overhaul. I’m starting with the little things: purging my closet of items I no longer wear, a *teeny-tiny* work-out segment everyday, 10-minute morning meditation, remodeling my skincare routine, corny stuff like that; hopefully these little steps would eventually lead to a generally forward shift in lifestyle and overall happiness. Some examples of appropriate reading material I’ve enjoyed can be found here, here, and here. I love self-help manuals, and I love feeling that I’ve already taken the first transformatory step to self-improvement just by reading a self-help article, so this can primarily be considered as a fun summer makeover project. Wish me luck!

Until then, here’s to hoping for better days.

Inspo: White Lace

Photos from Pinterest

I am obsessed with all things flimsy, flowy, drapey and white for this season. Some of these photos I’ve pinned twice (or thrice) on my Summer Style Pinboard, to give you an idea of how obsessed I am. I can just imagine working something like this down the beach, inhaling the balmy heat and sipping some coconut-infused cocktail while I laze the day away. What a dream.

Cali Burger

This entry isn’t really about Cali Burger. 

It’s about happier times - overdosing on golden hours and walking around the city looking for coffee shops, discovering cheap Korean restaurants and sharing beers until I get too sleepy. Better times. At least to me, they were. I often prefer to be subtle in this little space of mine, I don’t usually go into detail with things, but there’s no other way to get this across than to put it bluntly: my boyfriend’s flown back home abroad and I am, in a nutshell, a train wreck.

This is so embarrassing.

I always thought of myself as the self-sufficient girl who never let the extraneous affect how I feel, yet at the moment I am eating my words and feeling unusually handicapped. Life at present seems to have lost its color, days appear duller, and I have surprisingly lost my appetite. It’s embarrassing, and I don’t really know what I’m tackling here: the absence of a loved one, my sheer inability to cope with the inevitable, or just how crappy life is.

I also have so much more to say now, as testified by my daily journal entries. Raw human emotion sure does make a great catalyst for compelling prose, fiction, and art. Who knew that this empty space I feel would adequately fill up this entire blog entry? I guess that makes it okay to be vulnerable sometimes.

I digress; it is not the end of the world, I will still live another day, maybe find other circles to fit into, and make more time for myself. Change is good, and adapting to change is a valuable skill to be harnessed.

Honest D.: Malasimbo 2014

My Malasimbo feature on WhenInManila.com may or may not have been a sad excuse for not bringing a professional camera to cover the festival. Either way, I am pretty happy with the outcome. I practically turned the website into my personal blog and performed a 30-minute verbal vomit rushing to finish the blog post before leaving for night shift.

Honest Docu - Single and Unattached

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As I type this I am feeling (almost) at inebriated as I was during this weekend we spent at La Union for Coast Thru Life’s Singe and Unattached (single fin, no leash) surf competition. While I’ve failed miserably at any attempt of substandard surf on this trip, I did enjoy watching foreign and local surfers cross-step and hang numbers from a distance. The thing about surfing (especially for beginners who practice rarely) is that you have your good days and you have your bad days. During such instances it helps to look at the bigger picture and appreciate everything else you have going for you, in this case we had gorgeous warm golden sunsets, drunken nights at the beach, the company of fun friends, and picturesque views worthy of a square frame at every turn. Such is life.

How NOT to Dress For a Skate

Not the most appropriate attire for skating at an underground carpark.. or a korean bbq buffet for that matter, but us girls have been notorious in the impractical dressing department for most of history, which makes this entire argument invalid.

Recently I’ve been resisting the urge to devour sale racks and instead work with what I have in my closet. I can see so much potential in every article of clothing yet have neither the time and inspiration to maximize it. It also doesn’t help that I am painfully fickle, and take at most half a day deciding what to wear. Every other girl must understand how I feel, right? I swear, I can’t be the only one. Now excuse me as I try (and miserably fail) to convince myself to get out of the house and go for a run.

Inspo: Sneakers

I’m  a huge fan of functional/practical dressing; which is why I never got the hang of wearing heels regularly and often end up finishing off my outfit with my Vans slip-ons. Currently obsessed with pinning stuff to my Sneaker Steez board on Pinterest, and definitely have my eye on those New Balance kicks that I’ve been seeing so much of these days.

#ghour

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I think I’ve gone on a million times about how much I love watching the sunrise on my way back home from night shift. I love how the sun turns into a buttery, golden ball of light, and how it bathes the roads in that glowing filter that looks so good in photos. Such a fitting reward for an exhausting night at work.

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