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One of my highlights for last week was finally attending the Watercolor Workshop by Liz of Project Vanity. I missed the first session and I was so happy that she offered a second session that I signed up as soon as I could! The workshop was held last October 18 at the Commune (a cafe along Dela Costa St, Makati City). My daughter is into art so I thought I’d surprise her with her own slot in the workshop. When we arrived the workshop venue was pretty packed! Liz has lots of watercolor fans!


We were provided with all the materials we needed for the workshop: watercolor paper, a set of beginner’s watercolors, brushes, a mixing palette. After a short lecture on the basics of watercolor, we got our hands dirty and did the drills. In this worksheet we tried different washes (flat wash, graduated, variegated, glazing, dry brush) and textures (stippling, stamping, salting).


Clearly my daughter knew what she was doing. Her worksheet looks so much better. She let drop that she may have done this in her art subject in school already. (??!!)


The participants were really enjoying the drills. That is, until Liz unveiled the application of all those different washes and textures. We were instructed to paint a tree, a garlic bulb, and a landscape, which looked pretty daunting looking at the final products! Liz broke it down into steps (which were all really made up of a combination of the above mentioned washes and textures) which made it all seem easy. This is what I came up with.


Not bad I suppose, although Liz did say that my tree needed more water (the mantra of the workshop!). I really liked doing the landscape!


At some point my daughter decided to paint more trees and a sunset/sunrise, and even had a little cartoon drawing on the bottom right. Grabe, I felt so… behind, at that point.


The experience was really great! I learned a lot of stuff and I went out of there inspired to continue to paint. I definitely have a long way to go, but the workshop taught me that I can learn it even at this stage in my life. Thanks Liz for holding this #watercolorworkshopbyliz!


This year I got the chance to once again attend Blogapalooza. This year was bigger, with a lot of participating brands, and a mind boggling 700 participating bloggers and social media experts. Blogapalooza is a Business-to-Blogger event that aims to provide brands with direct access to bloggers and their readers. It happened last October 11 at the SMX Convention Center at SM Aura.


Read on to find out more about what went down at Blogapalooza 2014!

Read the rest of this entry »

Are you familiar with Jergens lotion? If you’re like me, you probably grew up with some variant of Jergens lying around your house. My mom is a huge fan of this brand as it’s very mild and yet quite moisturizing. I took after her and started using Jergens starting from my teens. I’ve tried other brands of course, but there’s nothing like the “basics” to get my skin back to its youthful glow without getting my sensitive skin worked up.

This is why I didn’t hesitate to take up the 7-Day Challenge that Vibelle set up! It was a very intriguing activity and I was even more pumped when I received my challenge kit (below). I will be updating this post with the challenge for the day and what I did. Keep your eyes peeled!


Mission 1: Radiate beauty from within

I am so tickled with the “Mission” part! It really feels like I’m some sort of secret agent! Anyway, this mission is to radiate beauty from within by sharing the bottle of Jergens lotion from the challenge kit with a complete stranger. I will be completely honest: this is probably one of the hardest things I can be challenged with. I have big stranger anxiety and I couldn’t find a good way to approach a stranger for this challenge. I did the next best thing: I gave my bottle of Jergens lotion to the person in the office I feel the least connection to.


Meet Sheila. She is the company cleaning lady. I chose her because 1) I feel that I don’t know her that much and 2) this is a great way to appreciate her work, with a gift. I shyly asked if she would be okay accepting the gift and posing for a picture. As you can see, she was quite ecstatic to receive it, and was a quite tickled with having her picture taken. I’m happy I chose her; it seemed to have made her day!

Mission 2: LEFT vs RIGHT

Today’s mission is to compare skin that has Jergens applied on versus skin that is bare. I used the Jergens Ultra Healing lotion provided in the challenge kit. This lotion has an illuminating Hydralucence blend and Vitamins C, E, and B5 to address extra dry skin. This is actually my go-to Jergens variant, and I felt quite nostalgic when I took in that familiar clean scent.


As you can see here (click the photo for a larger version!), my left arm (where I applied the Jergens Ultra Healing) is very luminous, alive, and smooth-looking. In contrast my bare right arm looks really tired and absolutely dry. I really love how immediately obvious the effects of the lotion is by making my skin look more alive.

Mission 3: Keep Hydrated

This mission sounds pretty straightforward: using the tumbler included in the challenge kit, drink water and take a photo of the tumbler every time it gets refilled. Hydration is the name of the game! Keeping hydrated is a great way to hydrate the skin which will then result into healthier and more glowing skin. I, however, found it quite the challenge! Firstly I couldn’t figure out how to put timestamping on my camera, so I just.. put my watch next to my tumbler. The second and more difficult challenge is not drinking anything else for this day! I’m not a soda drinker by any means, but I am an avid coffee drinker. I could not properly function without a cup, but I took the challenge and drank only water! Here are my photos.

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I didn’t really think it was difficult to drink water, since I drink a lot of water everyday. The challenge of not drinking anything else (coffee in particular!) had me stumped, and to be honest it did affect my mood for most of the afternoon. I felt lethargic and irritable at the same time, which made me realize just how dependent I am to that drink. My skin, on the other hand, never felt so nice with all the extra water I’ve been drinking. I am loving how many insights I am getting with these challenges!

Mission 4: Nurture Relationships

This mission took a while to execute because of some logistics issues. I am tasked to take out my mom or my best girl pal on a surprise dinner at Cabalen care of Jergens. Unfortunately my mom is out of the country at the moment, and my gal pals are not available. I took my best friend out instead.


It just so happens that I married my best friend! My husband and I have been together for 14 years (gasp!) and married for 9. One of our favorite things to bond over is food, so this mission just seemed so apt. We had a great time at dinner as usual, and I definitely appreciate this chance to try out Cabalen. Thank you Jergens!

Mission 5: Make Someone Smile

Jergens would like you to smile! They are graciously giving away a Jergens gift pack through Becoming Sleek. Click here for the actual giveaway and you might win yourself a Jergens gift pack!

Win a Jergens gift pack!

Mission 6: Healthy Habits

This mission gives me the opportunity to share with you one of my favorite healthy recipes that includes an ingredient good for the skin. I’m supposed to share a family recipe but I don’t have many of those (my mom isn’t the cooking type unfortunately). I learned this recipe on my own, as with most of the recipes I know. I got this from a book called Just Bento, and I even published a blog post way back when I was still doing food blogging. This recipe of Stewed Chicken and Carrots contain, well, carrots! Carrots have beta carotene, which gives us Vitamin A and is also an antioxidant, both are good for the skin. Without further ado, here is the recipe! PS: This was copied word for word from my food blog, Baon Ko Bento.

Stewed Chicken and Carrots

Basic tsukune, modified

  • 600 grams ground chicken
  • 1 finely grated medium carrrot
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 egg minus a bit of egg white
  • 3-4 tbs cornstarch

I just dumped everything into a bowl and mixed them all up until they resemble a very smooth but slightly wet paste. I didn’t have any ginger on hand (the original recipe calls for about half a tablespoon of it) so I simply omitted it.  I don’t know what was wrong with my ground chicken, but it does look like it’s too wet to hold solid when dropped into the broth. Anyway, once I had the chicken mixture ready, I mixed up the broth.


  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • 2 tbs sake
  • 2 tbs mirin
  • 2 1/2 tbs dark soy sauce
  • 2 medium carrots, sliced into small pieces

I just put the broth ingredients into a large sauce pan, brought it to a boil, and dropped teaspoonfuls of the chicken mixture into the hot broth. I was expecting it to all fall apart once it hit the liquid, but to my surprise it stuck together. I left it to boil for around 15 minutes, and turned off the heat.

Here is how it looks like when done. I really love this because it’s quite easy to make, and you can put as much carrots as you want in it. It also keeps well in a baon container and reheats nicely in a microwave. Back when I was still bringing baon to work this was one of my favorite things to make.

Mission 7: The Finish Line

I can’t believe I’m at the finish line of this very interesting challenge! Today I am supposed to take a similar full-body photo of me three months ago, and compare it to a similar one today. Here’s my comparison photo.


It wasn’t really my intention but it turns out I wore the same shirt even. I really like how my skin looks more radiant and feels more smooth with the constant use of Jergens Ultra Healing Lotion. I also feel more confident after completing this challenge. Thank you Jergens and Vibelle for letting me participate!

Connect with Jergens on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter by simply clicking on the links I’ve provided.

It will be my second Blogapalooza in a row! This year is going to be bigger and with different brands reaching out to bloggers. I’ll be dropping by probably sometime in the afternoon, hopefully just in time for a couple of the featured talks. Are you going? Let me know!


See what went down at Blogapalooza 2013 here.

As a HUGE Celeteque fan, I’m unutterably pleased and honored to be invited to their 3rd Anniversary celebration! I’m so happy that they continue to make their presence felt whenever I do groceries (Celeteque stocks are always there in many supermarkets), as I would like to see them become a household brand.


The anniversary party was held at an unexpectedly posh place on the second floor of Ziebart along Chino Roces at Makati City. This is Prime 101, a really awesome steak place with really cool interiors. Check this out.


Marcie, PR executive, Tina, Product Manager of Celeteque, and I had fun posing on the bed stationed near the entrance.


The food was divine! This overflowing plate does not seem much, but I was pretty stuffed at the end of it. Every single thing is delicious!


Along with celebrating the anniversary, Celeteque also launched two new releases.


First we have an interesting skincare-makeup hybrid. Celeteque Acne Solutions Line’s newest baby is the Acne-Clearing Concealer. In those days where we have that annoying pimple when we have an important event to attend, this concealer will definitely come in handy. It is designed to protect and treat the pimple before we put on other layers of makeup. It contains Salicylic acid which opens up pores and exfoliates dead skin cells, and Camellia sinensis (tea tree) extract which has soothing and antibacterial properties to treat the pimple.


The other new release is actually a reformulation. Celeteque Advanced Anti-Aging Cleansing Oil previously is my go-to waterproof mascara-remover, as it readily dissolves the stubborn product right off. The new formulation still does the makeup-removing part, but in addition, it is also an emulsifying cleanser. You apply a bit of oil all over the face (even still with makeup!), then splash a bit of water on it. It will turn into a white liquid, which you will then rinse off normally. Makeup will be removed, and at the same time leave your face cleansed and moisturized! The most amazing part of this is the fact that it only costs Php249 for the 50ml bottle!


Aside from hearing first hand about the new releases, I also got to hang out with some old and new blogger friends. Thanks again to Marcie, Tina, and Zei for inviting me to celebrate with you!


Visit Celeteque on their website, Facebook and Twitter, for more product information!

Vitress is a brand that I’m familiar with, but have not yet tried before. I see a lot of advertisements for their products, but for some reason I did not think it was a product set for me.  It should be though, as I have quite an unruly type of hair, and Vitress has products that fit right into my needs. Luckily enough I got an invite to a Vitress press event which allowed me not only to try the products, but also meet the brand ambassadors.


In this event participants are encouraged to walk the catwalk prior to the start of the program. Three huge electric fans are set up to purposely mess your hair up. At the end of the catwalk, attendants and models will assist you to put on the correct Vitress product to put your hair back into rights. Unfortunately I do not have any photos of myself doing this, but I totally did try it!


There was a selfie station at the end of the catwalk where we are encouraged to take selfies and upload them with the appropriate hashtags for a contest. I tried my best, but my phone isn’t good at taking “real” selfies.


I gave up, and instead asked one of the attendants for help. This is a much better selfie and is the one I actually uploaded. Didn’t win, but was still fun!


The much awaited brand ambassadors finally arrived! I didn’t get to take a photo of the first ambassador, IT Girl Solenn Heussaff, and one of the new ambassadors, fashionista Kim Jones, because there were too many people taking photos! I was able to grab one of star athlete Gretchen Ho.


All three of them did the catwalk, and applied their favorite Vitress product to put their hair back after the wind attack. They then took a turn at the selfie booth, along with the host.


Solenn Heusaff is a very popular model and actress; I see her ads everywhere. She has been the face of Vitress for some time. She uses Vitress Hair Repair Cuticle Coat because she curls and blow dries her hair a lot which resulted in damaged hair. She also co-designed her own product, the Vitress Solenn Cuticle Coat, a product that tames curls and waves for smooth and shiny hair.


Kim Jones, one of the new ambassadors, is a TV host and fashionista. When not on set, she relies on Vitress for her hair needs. She also uses the Vitress Hair Repair Cuticle Coat to keep her hair sleek and in place. She likes the fact that the Vitress bottles are portable!


Gretchen Ho also joins Vitress as ambassador. She is a pro volleyball player known for her humble demeanor and laidback style. She uses Vitress Sun Protect Hair Polish, perfect for her active lifestyle. She also uses Vitress Heat Protect Cuticle Coat for shoots, keeping her hair shiny and healthy even with all the styling it undergoes.


All in all it was a fun event, made more so as I got to hang out with my blogger friends!


Thank you Vitress and Marcie for inviting me to the event! Check back here soon as I give a more in-depth discussion of the different Vitress products.

Find out more about Vitress on their Facebook page, Instagram, and Twitter.


Ever since I first heard of it through BDJ, I’ve been super intrigued about the brand Pixy. I was lucky enough to be invited to the media launch of the brand (thanks again Liz!) so that I can get to know it better.


The theme was “Beauty Blossoms in Manila” and boy was it ever! Pink and white abound the venue, with sakura trees and japanese paper lanterns scattered about. Pretty was only the beginning!


I was really taken with the details on this paper lantern.

Pixy is a Japanese-formulated and Indonesian-manufactured makeup line that focuses on flattering skin tones and bringing out one’s natural beauty. It aims to be a loyal beauty companion, ready to support and awaken one’s youthful glow and creative spirit no matter where one is!


Photo booth station!

According to Hiroyuki Mitsuoka, President of Mandom Philippines:

Mandom is excited to bring Pixy here to the Philippines because we believe our purpose is to contribute to the beautiful, healthy and pleasant living.  Filipinas have an innate happiness and natural beauty.  Pixy allows women to enhance this beauty by offering quality products to highlight their Truly Asian Beauty.

The event included a makeup demonstration by Xeng Zulueta of two looks, Tokyo Kawaii and Tokyo Glam, exclusively using Pixy products. The demonstration was enlightening, and I learned a few new tricks to try out.

PIXY Launch Photo

Photo shows: The Mandom Philippines Corporation’s  President and CEO, Hiroyuki Mitsuoka (left to center); General Manager of Sales and Marketing, Hirotsugu Ohashi (center); Marketing Associate for All Ladies Brand, Olaiza Sunga (far left), and Product Planning Specialist Jacqueline David Calanoc (2nd to right) join makeup artist Xeng Zulueta after she gave tips and tricks with models Ana Leticia (2nd to left)  and Luany Ayumi (right of center) at the PIXY Product Launch on August 6, 2014, at Whitespace Manila.

We were also given a complete set of their makeup line to try out. It came in this adorable pink bucket.


Here are the items I actually was able to take home. I’ll be reviewing these over the next few weeks, so stay tuned!


I had a blast at the launch! It was really nice catching up with blogger friends, as well as make new ones!

pixylaunch5 pixylaunch6

Pixy Cosmetics is available at Watsons branches, and is distributed by Mandom Philippines Corporation. Like Pixy Cosmetics on Facebook!

A few weeks ago I attended a beauty talk held at Rustan’s Makati by NARS MUA Albert Kurniawan. It was a little difficult because I was seated almost at the very back and couldn’t really see what he was doing to the model. I was, however, able to take photos of the final looks. I will share with you the 5 key lessons I took away from that talk, and in between you will see photos of the event.


Before the event started. It was a full house!

1. Apply powder first before foundation.

This was a little counter-intuitive for me, as I’ve always applied foundations first before the setting powder. If I remember correctly, the reason for this is somewhat similar to the idea of face primers. It’s to even out the surface of the skin so that the foundation will be able to go on smoothly.

MUA explaining while demonstrating on a model

MUA explaining while demonstrating on a model

2. Don’t extend blush too far back up the cheek bones.

This is a little no-brainer, but we do experience that sometimes. In our zeal in applying blush, we sweep up the cheekbones a little too far. It becomes a little unnatural, since normally people’s flushed faces only show the red on the apples of the cheeks.

The finished Day Look. Neutral shadows and pink gloss.

The finished Day Look. Neutral shadows and pink gloss.

3. If layering mascaras, apply volumizing mascara first before the lengthening mascara.

Do you layer mascaras? I’ve only tried that a few times and I’ve tested variations of which mascara to put on first. It seems true that it’s better to put on the volumizing one first so that the lengthening mascara will be something to hold on to.

The finished Evening Look. A light smokey eye and coral lip.

The finished Evening Look. A light smokey eye and coral lip.

4. When defining brows, use a darker color on the outer arch of the brow.

Now this is something completely new to me. The MUA said that it looks more natural for the brows to go progressively darker as you move from the middle of the face outwards. I’m testing this out currently, so I can’t really comment on whether this is true or not.

Day and Evening looks

Day and Evening looks, with a close up on the eye makeup

5. Sweep powder over the finished eye makeup.

When I heard this, I thought it made a lot of sense. Do we not apply setting powder to our face after application of foundation? Then it should follow that we need to set the eye makeup as well with the same powder, doesn’t it? Lazy me though hasn’t done this yet; but then I only regularly put on neutral eyeshadow so it doesn’t matter yet. I intend to try this out when I do more colorful eye looks.

Me with the MUA Albert

Me with the MUA Albert Kurniawan

There you have it! Btw, I attended the event with Rae of Scatterbraintures and her friend.

narsworkshop2 narsworkshop3

Do you agree with the above ideas?


Who knew there was something like this in the middle of Makati CBD?

Posh Nails Perea reception area

Reception area

Posh Nails Perea


I was invited to check out the Perea branch of Posh Nails. It’s not a new branch (they have been there for just under a year), but they are launching a new service called Posh Spoiling with Watermelon mani-pedi. I was excited to try this because I never had a complete hand and foot treatment before.


Watermelon scrub and moisturizer

The watermelon scent is so nice! Very summery indeed, and it definitely assuaged my anxieties about the foot treatment. I have the opposite of a foot fetish, and I usually don’t like my feet touched.


Room full of relaxed girls

The treatment itself was very relaxing though. First my feet were submerged in some soapy water, then transferred into a bubbling foot bath thing. My legs were then propped up on a seat, then scrubbed down with a watermelon exfoliant then wrapped in towels. My arms were likewise scrubbed and wrapped. After being left like this for a few minutes, my attendant went back to buff the bottoms of my feet with a foot paddle/pumice stone.



A pedicure came next. I requested my toenails shaped into squares, and to please not cut off my cuticles. The attendant happily complied. I chose green to be my color for the day, and China Glaze Agro (a nice metallic olive green) went on my toes.


The exfoliant was then washed off. A matching watermelon moisturizer was applied, followed by a vigorous arm and leg massage. The manicure came last. To match my green toenails I chose Zoya Neely (a cool mint apple green) for my fingernails.


I really enjoyed the service! It’s very relaxing, perfect for an after-work treat. Posh Nails Perea is open until 10pm to accommodate the working women looking for some destressing. It’s also very near Glorietta and Greenbelt, with ample parking space. They also accept private sparties for 10-15 people. Here is a list of the services that they offer.

Posh Nails Menu of Services


Do check them out! I am definitely planning to go back for some more pampering.

Posh Nails

  • Twitter: @poshnailsperea
  • Instagram: @poshnailsperea
  • Facebook: PoshNails Perea Makati

One event I recently attended is a free makeup workshop by Clinique, held from March 24-27 2-4pm at SM Megamall Atrium. I believe it is part of Megamall’s month-long sale event (women’s month or something?). The Clinique workshops are pretty small, with only about 10 participants per session. I caught  wind of it through twitter, and since I had some time to spare I signed up for the last session on March 27. For these four days the Atrium was set up specifically for Clinique, and their theme is A Splash of Summer.


This is how our table was set up. There were a lot of makeup items as well as skincare, and we got to try almost all of it! I also had a big mirror to help me see what I’m doing to my face.

cliniquesummer3 cliniquesummer4

This day’s workshop is headed by Ms. Ana Isip.


She first had us remove our makeup with Clinique’s makeup remover. It was in a cream form, which was quite new to me! Then, she had us put on Clinique’s much-vaunted 3-step skincare system: first the cleanser, then the toner, then the famous yellow moisturizer. It felt so good on the skin! After that we put on a sunblock.

After the important skincare step, we were then instructed to put on the foundation. Luckily I matched the shade provided (64, I think?). Concealer came on next. We were then shown how to do the eyebrows, eyes, cheeks, and lips. Tadah! We’re done! I felt so fortunate to be able to try out Clinique skincare and makeup. All my prior experience with Clinique was just from a travel palette, which is not a good representation of their lines. Here are some post-“makeover” selfies along with some friends I made that day.

cliniquesummer5 cliniquesummer6

What was even more amazing were the goodie bags given out afterwards! Inside was a Clinique Bonus tin filled with samples of skincare and makeup! Wow!


A big big thanks to Clinique Philippines for holding this workshop and for the amazing freebies!

Who is Becoming Sleek?

A Filipino blogger interested in all things makeup, skincare, and nail polish. She may or may not also be interested in crafting, cats, and food.

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