Season's Greeting

May your Christmas time be bright
Right from the moment of start
Bringing wonderful things
That bring joy to your heart!

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Unboxing my December 2013 BDJ Box

I was having a very chaotic Monday until I received this awesome December BDJ Box at my doorstep. My happiness went up another notch when I learned that it's another exclusive box, this time, from Max Faxtor, the so-called makeup of makeup artists!

{My December BDJ Box at a glance and a gift from the BDJ Box team, Forget-Me-Not list journal.}

Bazaar Escapade: World Bazaar Festival

Worldbex Services International (WSI), in cooperation with ABS-CBN, brings us the 13th World Bazaar Festival, the longest and grandest Christmas charity bazaar in the Metro.

This is one of the bazaars that we don't want to miss this year so last Sunday, together with my sister and mom, I went to the World Trade Center (WTC) in Pasay City and see for ourselves how magnificent the fair is.

{World Bazaar Festival Entrance Signage}

Since it's a weekend, many people of all ages trooped to the WTC. We were greeted by a long line of shoppers to the ticket booth. Entrance fee is Php50.


Unboxing My Secret Santa Glamourbox

It's the most wonderful time of the year (I know you sing this part ^___^) and Glamourbox made it sure that every glambabes who received the most recent box feel the spirit of Christmas as they played our "Secret Santa".

{First look at my Secret Santa Glamourbox upon taking the lid out.}


Tips on a Stress-free Christmas Shopping

The sweet high spirit melody of carols, traffic on the streets, and festive décor everywhere are reminders that the holidays are coming. And with it comes another excuse to hit the shoppinglandia. However, Christmas shopping has always been associated with last-minute panic buying. Although I don’t particularly enjoy the stress that comes with standing in long lines and braving the sea of other shoppers, I love being able to make my family and friends happy by giving them a gift. Here are a few pointers I do that makes my holiday shopping a little less stressful:
1. Start early and make a list. I usually scout for Christmas gifts by mid-October when old items are on sale and new stocks hit the malls. To plan my shopping, I make a list of people, write a corresponding gift that I knew they would have loved to get after their name and my allocated budget for each person or item.

2. Hit the bazaars. When I still can’t decide what to get for someone, a stroll through one of these will surely be a big help. The prices are not fixed so you can always haggle. A handful of them support different charities, too so I feel like I'm hitting two birds in one stone. I love spotting adorable novelty items and stuff you won’t see at the malls. There’s a string of bazaars happening until at the end of the month, so keep an eye out for great and affordable finds.

3. Generic or personalize? It's definitely personalize for family and relatives. I usually like to find out in advance what they like to make it more special. For all my kikay friends and sisters, I give beauty products, which by far the ones I enjoy hunting the most. To make it more personalized, stay clear from the pre-packed beauty items like bath creams or makeup combo. Get them individually while staying true to the receiver's color or scent of choice and toss it into a beautiful glamour box. It will surely melt their hearts out. For people you don’t personally know but that you'd still like to give to (Christmas is all about giving, you know...), a practical item is a good idea. Say for example, our messenger will most likely appreciate a quality face towel or the cheerful and friendly manong guard at our building will appreciate a thermal tumbler. I like to give snack-size food, too especially when I have time to bake. :)

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December 2013 Holiday Bazaars

Noel Bazaar
November 22 – December 1, 2013
World Trade Center

SuperSale Holiday Edition 2
November 29-December 1 2013, 10am-9pm
World Trade Center


Sample Room Stash: Moringa-O2 and Shiseido

My latest stash of beauty products from Sample Room includes premium samples of the very addictive Ibuki skincare line of Shiseido and the herbal soap and lotion combo from Moringa-O2. I got myself a free Sample Room sticker, too!

{Skincare products from Sample Room: Shiseido Ibuki Skincare premium samples set, Moringa-O2 malunggay herbal soap and lotion.}


MetroDeal: NailVille's Eyelash Extension Review

I was always contended with the length of my lashes until some years ago when eyelash extensions became a hit among fashionistas. Compared to their long, flirty lashes, mine was short and practical that even a curler and a good mascara can't help to make it fuller and longer.

For years now, I have this certain urge to try the eyelash extension service being offered by salons but I am always weary of the side effects that I may experience. Until recently, I came across a (supposed) good deal by Nailville posted on MetroDeal, one of the biggest online voucher shopping malls in the country.

{Nailville promo as posted on MetroDeal website}

The voucher offers a gorgeous and charming semi-permanent eyelash extensions service by Nailville for only Php199 instead of Php1500. 


Bazaar Escapade: Noel Bazaar 2013

Noel Bazaar, which is being held at the World Trade Center, features the best gift and personal items from select pool of merchants for the best shopping experience this holiday season. This fair features concessionaires ranging from fashion and beauty items, home decors, food, novelties, Christmas trimmings and other unique and affordable gift items for the upcoming holiday season and beyond. For this reason, it is one of the most awaited Christmas fairs every year. 

{Entrance signage}

The Noel Bazaar also features the Dingdong and Marian’s Celebrity Ukay-ukay, which will sell donated items by your favorite Kapuso celebrities. Proceeds of this project will benefit the Kapuso School Development (KSD), Unang Hakbang sa Kinabukasan (UHSK) and Give a Gift: Alay sa Batang Pinoy Christmas Projects of the GMA Kapuso Foundation.


Unboxing my November 2013 BDJ Box

It is that time of the month once again when we get to open this awesome box from BDJ. This month's box is pretty heavy, thanks to the super fragrant bath cream from The Cream Factory :)

{My November BDJ Box}


What is Sample Room and How Does It Work?

Sample Room is a sampling site that banks on the power of free product sampling. True to their motto, "Try before you buy", Sample Room is an online community where you get to try certain products for free. You'll just have to pay a minimal shipping fee to get the products delivered to your doorstep. They encourage all their members to post a review about the products that they received. This way, other people get to read the reviews before they order and try the same product.

{My second loot from Sample Room is from Armada Sports and Celeteque}

Signing up is free. By creating a Sample Room account, you automatically gets 100 points which you can use to get free sample products. A maximum of three (3) products are allowed per transaction. After choosing the items you'd like to try and checking out, pay for a minimal shipping fee through their convenient payment methods and wait for your items to arrive at your doorstep. You'll get the points back when you rate and review the products on their website. You can also earn extra points by inviting friends to sign up. It's basically recycling your points so you get to try another batch of items. There are nine (9) product categories: skincare, hair care, body care, fragrance, cosmetics, tools, health, slimming, and lifestyle.

Some of their brand partners offer premium sample products but cost a thousand or more points. This is the reason why they have VIP members. To become a Sample Room VIP member, you need to pay Php599.00, which is equivalent to 1000 points that you can use for 2 months. More points mean you get more product samples from their premium brand partners. You will also receive earlier notification of product uploads as well as join VIP exclusive contests, promotions and events.

If you like what you just read, head to the Sample Room website, sign up and choose your first batch of items to try. :)

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Review: Sutla Face and Body Bleaching Cream

I first heard about Sutla Face and Body Bleaching Cream (SFBBC) from a friend who was using the product a month ago. It is one of the most inexpensive bleaching creams available in the market but the big question is how effective is it? Is it harmful or not?

{The original jars of Sutla Face and Body Bleaching Cream; image source: https://www.facebook.com/oozedyardsale}


FDA Bans 26 Slimming Products

{Image source: literalgemini.onsugar.com}

SOURCE: http://ph.news.yahoo.com/

MANILA, Philippines -- The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has ordered the recall, seizure, and ban of 26 slimming products found to contain amphetamine, sibutramine, and steroids.
In a circular, FDA acting Director Suzette Lazo said these ''slimming products are not registered and not approved or authorized by this office to be sold in the market.''
The slimming products are sold in the form of capsules and slimming coffee.

The banned products are:
1. Ballet Dancer Fat Reducing
2. Bio-Lissom Fat Reducing
3. Brazilian Slimming Coffee
4. Cell Life Slimming Coffee
5. Elegant Shape Fat Reducing
6. Goodliness Fat Reducing
7. Happyslim
8. Leisure 18 Slimming Coffee
9. Lightness Fat Reducing
10. Maggie Fitness Essence
11. Mei Shen Ting Anti-Obesity
12. Modeling Fat-Reducing
13. New Original Lightness Fat-Reducing
14. Pearl White Slimming
15. Perfect Figure Slimming
16. Perfect Slim Fat Reduction Cosmetic
17. Perfect Slim Purely Natural Fat Reduction Cosmetic
18. Pill for Weight Reduction
19. Pretty Model
20. Qiaomei Fat Binder
21. Qi Xian Nu
22. Seven Days Miracle
23. Shaping Body Fat Loss
24. Slim and Beauty Slimming
25. Slim Up Extra Whitening and Reducing
26. Xianzimei Fat Reduction

FDA said it tested these products and found that they contained amphetamine, which the agency said is a dangerous drug; sibutramine, which was already withdrawn from the market; and steroid, a prescription drug.

''FDA's findings through laboratory tests showed the presence of amphetamine, sibutramine, or steroids, either singly or in combination with each other, in the above products,'' Lazo said.
She warned that these slimming products ''pose imminent danger or injury to the consuming public and the importation, selling or offering for sale of such is in direct violation of Republic Act No. 9711 or the Food and Drug Administration Act of 2009.''

Lazo ordered FDA officers all over the country to ''seize immediately the above identified products from all outlets or establishments where they may be found for custody and proper disposition.''
In addition, she warned establishments against selling these products as they will be administratively and criminally penalized.

Lazo urged local government units to report outlets and establishments that sell the slimming products and enforcement agencies to arrest and file criminal case against establishments found to be selling the banned products.

The FDA list shows that most of these products came from China.

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Review & First Impression: VMV Hypoallergenics Armada Sport 70

Another product from SampleRoom.ph, the VMV Hypoallergenics Armada Sport 70 claims to be one of the best selling products around the world because of its inducing lightweight comfort and efficacy even under extreme outdoor condition.

{Image courtesy of http://www.sampleroom.ph}


How To Spot a Fake Louis Vuitton Bag

Not too long ago, I posted on this blog how I encountered an eBay scam artist who sells fake Longchamp (LC) Le Pliage bags passing it all as authentic. Be vigilant when purchasing luxury bags as some of these people are heartlessly victimizing unsuspecting buyers. Here are some points to spot an authentic Louis Vuitton (LV) from counterfeit copycats.

Unboxing My October 2013 BDJ Box: I'm a Wild Thing!

My happy weekend was sealed with this BDJ box full of Maybelline make up that will help me express the wild child in me. I received this box just when we got home from the BDJ Fair.

Before we go through my BDJ Box, let me just mention that there are six different boxes released this month. Each box contains different set of Maybelline PH products that will help each of the girls express their inner self, for some are yet to be discovered.

{BDJ October Theme: Which type of girl are you?}


BDJ Fair 2013: It's Sunday, Funday!

I had the privilege to be one of the girls who received exclusive invites to the BDJ Fair 2013 which happened on Sunday, October 13, 2013 at the Music Hall of SM Mall of Asia.

It was indeed a day full of fun activities from some of BDJ's lifestyle and beauty partner brands. I for one conquered my fear of heights by trying out the Bungee Jumping station and had my future determined through the Tarot Card Reading station.

My time and the throng of other bellas did not permit me to visit every booth at the fair but I am happy to share with you my personal experience at this year's BDJ Fair:

{The participants of scavenger hunt commencing their activities.}

{VIP Charity Pass and BDJ fair map and guide: Got the VIP Charity Pass for Php 100.00, which allowed us to attend 2 talks, get a loot bag with goodies from some of the fair's sponsors, passport for Bungee Jumping, Tarot Card Reading, Wall Climbing and Free Coffee of choice from CBTL.}


AirAsia Flies from Manila

I will never forget the first time I fly with AirAsia, the world’s 5-time best low cost airline according to Skytrax, because it was my first out-of-the-country adventure trip right after getting married to the man I can’t live without.

{The enormous AirAsia aircraft: Taken from the viewing deck of the airport}


Recipe: Homemade Buttered Shrimp with Garlic

I believe that fashionistas can still cook hearty food, especially those that are easy to prepare and requires few ingredients. Sometimes, cooking at the comfort of your kitchen can be rewarding. You can even invite your boyfriend or girlfriends and earn 10 beauty points instantly!

Presenting, my very own homemade Buttered Shrimp with Garlic - prepared with love :)

{Homemade Buttered Shrimp with Garlic}


Review: OraCare Merrymint Mouthrinse

A week ago, I received my first package from Sampleroom.ph, a sampling site that banks on the power of free product sampling. It is an online community where you get to try a certain product for free (you'll just have to pay a minimal shipping fee to get the products delivered to your doorstep) and post a review about the products you received. This way, other people get to read your review before they order and try the same product. Really cool, right?

As for me, I tried 2 items (as most items are already sold out!) - an 80mL bottle of OraCare Merrymint Mouthrinse and 2 boxes of Carbtrim Iced Tea Mix. I get to try these products and I must say, they're both worth it! This post is about OraCare Merrymint Mouthrinse. I will post my personal review about Carbtrim Iced Tea on a different post.

{OraCare Merrymint Mouthrinse 80mL (Php57.20); 250mL (156.20)}

Before we go through the nix and everything, let me tell you a story. The same day that this package arrived, I  went to a mall to meet a client. While waiting for my client, I was tempted to buy a mango and bagoong (shrimp paste). Needless to say, I gave in. I was halfway into finishing my serving when my client finally sent a text message informing me that she is inside the mall and asked where can she find me. Panic stricken, I reach inside my bag and luckily, I found the OraCare Mouthrinse that I received from Sampleroom.ph. I sprint to the loo, pour me some of this OraCare mouthrinse and prepared myself not to feel my mouth as I gargle (my mouth usually turned numb every time I use a mouthwash). To my surprise, it does not sting at all! I got the fresh breath that I desperately need at the time without the sting. :)

So, what's this OraCare Merrymint Mouthrinse? It is a mouthwash that contains Stabilized Chlorine Dioxide. Its no-alcohol formulation keeps the mouth's natural moisture and provides a clean, fresh feeling without the painful burning sensation and sting. It is gentle enough for the mouth's sensitive and delicate tissues so it can be used as often as needed.

It does not have alcohol (which is the main reason why it does not sting) and strong flavours present in other mouthwashes. Unlike most mouthwashes, it is colorless but it does have a fresh sweet minty smell. Its main ingredients are Stabilized Chlorine Dioxide, purified water and spearmint flavor.

Will I buy another bottle? Yes, definitely. After it saved me from a possible client loss, I will surely stick with it for a long time. :)

I am in no way connected to Pascual Laboratories, Inc., the makers of this product. They did not ask me to review their product for them. I created this post in good faith to give feedback and share the effect of this product to me. Please know that you may have a different view or experience with this product.

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SM Advantage Members' Exclusive: 1-Day Shoes and Bags Sale

If you're an SM Advantage member, be fashionably ready for this year's festivities without overspending. Just make sure to make this one day shoes and bags sale by SM Store.

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Product Review: Flawless Papaya Soap

I was browsing my Facebook notification some months ago when I first read about Flawless Papaya Soap. It claims to whiten skin in as early as two weeks. Flawless papaya soap has a micro peeling effect that helps remove a light layer of skin to reveal smoother, younger looking skin. It has whitening and bleaching ingredients, can remove fine lines and wrinkles, lightens dark spots and freckles, blemishes and other minor skin pigmentation. It promises to lighten minor scars and stretch marks as well. The advertisement shows a body of a woman displaying the difference of her skin color before and after she use the soap.

Because more and more people buy this soap and express changes on their skin complexion, I gave in and ordered my first batch of Flawless Papaya soap from a trusted seller just to try if it’s going to be effective to me, too. I got it for a very low price of Php20.00 per bar.


McDonald's Espresso Day

 Get a FREE Regular Cappuccino or Medium Iced Mocha upgrade every Monday and Saturday, at ANY TIME OF THE DAY! You'll also get a Buy One, Take One coupon that you can use for any Regular Cappuccino or Medium Iced Mocha a la carte purchase. Promo runs from September 23 to October 19, 2013. Check out McDo on Facebook for the list of participating stores and other details.


Dining: Guernica’s Tapas and Restaurant

Guernica’s Tapas and Restaurant is the newest diner at SM Sucat so hubby and I went to try their authentic Spanish dishes. The place is fantastic. The decors and furniture bring you back to the Spanish era but still gives you the feeling of dining at the comfort of your home.

I was craving for something light so I ordered a Tapas platter (a trio of Mushroom and Garlic, Calamares Fritos and Meat balls) while hubby ordered Afritada, Gambas al Ajillo and Paella.

 {The interior.}


Unboxing My September 2013 BDJ Box

When I was little, one of my favorite fairy tale stories is that of Snow White with her evil step mother who became the queen only because she married Snow White's father. That evil queen is pretty self-absorbed, always asking the magic mirror "Who's the fairest of them all?" - which later became one of the most popular phrase among growing kids.

Being vain isn't one of my fetishes in life before. I am contented with the normal cleaning and maintaining schemes until I attended a major bridal fair in 2009 where they talk about bridal skin care preps. Ofcourse, I wanted to be a radiant bride so I tried a couple (and more) of beauty products in the market. Some became a staple even after the wedding so imagine my excitement when I received my September BDJ Box yesterday and saw that it is full of beauty essentials (most of them are in full size so yey for that!) that promised to help my hair shine,  my skin glowing and radiant, a discount voucher and gift certificate for an intimate apparel and a hand cream that will protect and soften my skin.

{My September BDJ Box}


Spot The Difference: The Fake and Authentic Longchamp Le Pliage

Not too long ago, I bought a (supposedly) authentic Longchamp (LC) Le Pliage from an eBay seller but it turned out, it's actually fake. You may read all about it here. On this post, I will visually share the difference between the authentic LC Le Pliage that I bought from Rustan's Makati and the fake one that the eBay seller sent.

 {This is the authentic LC Le Pliage Medium Short Handle (MSH) in Blanc that I purchased from Rustan's Makati. It comes in a complete set with care card, yellow sticker and paper bag.}


Bayo Clothing: Get 20% Discount on All Items (Online Exclusive)

I've been a fan of Bayo since year 2000. I found their clothes comfortable, stylish and easy on the pocket. Most of their dresses are versatile and their collection grew from just clothes to bags, shoes and other accessories. 

Because Bayo is one of the popular local clothing brands, here's something for everyone to enjoy. They are giving out 20% discount for all items through their online store.

Happy shopping! :)

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Online Purchase: The FAKE Longchamp Le Pliage

There are numerous reasons why Longchamp (LC) is one of the most coveted bags. Authentic LC handbags are versatile, compact, durable and among the most inexpensive luxury bags in the market. Because of its popularity, more and more online shops offer this brand. The question is, how do you spot an authentic from fakes?

On this post, I shared that I had the unfortunate experience of being duped by an online seller on eBay. This seller strongly claims that his LC handbags are authentic. Although there is no actual photos on his listing (only one photo of the particular item that was captured from Google search), I placed my bid in good faith and in reference to the hundreds of positive feedback that this seller have under his belt.

I had the highest bid at the end of the auction so I eventually won the item. This would have been my very first LC handbag so in excitement, I immediately sent the payment. The seller then shipped the item using one of the cheapest couriers in the metro (seller asked for Php 100.00 shipping fee but the actual cost of shipping is only Php 50.00). After a few days of waiting, this is what I received:

 {Item won on eBay: A Longchamp Le Pliage Medium Short Handle (MSH) in Cyclamen and care card}

The bag looks real at first glance but when I closely inspect the bag, I noticed that the stitching was very poorly made and there was a misspelled word which was stamped at the back of the leather flap (see photos below). I immediately informed the seller about my concern but the seller defensively said that minor stitching imperfection is to be expected because the bag was made in China and it was sold cheaper than the mall price. He insisted that the bag is authentic but politely offer to refund my payment.

I am no expert but my instinct tells me that the bag is not authentic because number one- authentic bags do not have misspelled word/s; and two- authentic bags have flawless stitching. 

 {Stitching woes}

{Incorrect accent of the first E in DEPOSE. Guides say that it should be MODÈLE DÉPOSÉ.}

In my quest to prove that my gut feeling is correct, I took photos of the bag and posted them on one of my groups in Facebook so the "experts" (read: LC handbags owners) can tell if it is authentic or not. My friends said that the leather doesn't look good and confirmed that an authentic bag should have a flawless stitching. The hot stamp at the back of the flap should be perfect, too. Furthermore, I searched for guides on how to spot authentic LC bags from counterfeits. Thankfully, I found this very helpful blog post about determining authentic LC Le Pliage bags and this forum where people can post photos of their LC bags if they would like it to be authenticated. Experts will then tell if a certain bag is authentic or not. I posted the photos of the bag in this forum and yes, they confirmed that the bag is indeed FAKE. The experts declined to be more specific (to lessen, if not totally avert, production of counterfeits) but the verdict is that the bag has generally poor leather quality and wrong/fake tag.

This isn't the end of it all. To further know the difference between the authentic and fake bags, I went to Rustan's Makati to personally see and touch the authentic LC bags being sold locally. Rustan's Makati is one of the authorized stores to sell LC bags in the Philippines (to know other authorized stores, check the list here). The visit opened my eyes on how little I know about authentic LC bags but I was able to point out the difference between the ones being sold at the mall and the one I bought from eBay (which I brought with me, by the way). Did I mention that LC bags are irresistible? Well, I bought one for myself at the mall (LC MSH in Blanc). This time, I am sure that it is authentic. Nevertheless, I posted photos of this bag on the forum. Experts confirmed that it is indeed authentic so I was very happy :).  I am going to share the difference of the two bags on another post. Read the difference of authentic and fake LC bags here.

Meanwhile, I sent this bag (LC MSH in Cyclamen) back to the eBay seller and have received my full refund. In the spirit of eBay tradition, I left a feedback for the seller. I gave him a neutral feedback only because he refunded my payment in full (including the shipping fee) but for the sake of other eBay buyers, I indicated in my feedback that the bag I received is fake.

Lessons learned on this experience:
1. Having hundreds (or even thousands) of feedback does not always guarantee that the seller's description of the item is true and correct.
2. Absence of actual photos of the item being auctioned may indicate that the item you'll receive is significantly different from the photo or descriptions in the listing.
3. Once you received the item, do not leave a feedback without closely examining the item. Some sellers end their after-sale talk after getting a feedback.
4. Be nice in communicating with the seller even if you're so angry (i.e. you got duped, like me:)). 
5. You can always open a case against the seller if the seller kept on ignoring your private messages. In my case, I opened a case against the seller (Item Significantly Not as Described). I personally think that this played a major role in getting my refund :)

Do you want to add something else based on your experience? Have you ever received a fake bag even if it says on the listing that it is supposed to be authentic? Your thoughts are welcome. Share your experience by commenting.

Thanks for reading and have a safe online buying. :)

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Unboxing My August 2013 BDJ Box

This is my very first BDJ Box so I was so excited when I (finally) received it yesterday. This month's box is focused on giving us our best skin care products with Shiseido's Ibuki line. It was great to know that the line was designed to deal with our lifestyle and in making sure that our skin will be strong enough to resist the stresses that we undergo throughout the day. Nice, right?

{The August 2013 BDJ Box: Breathe New Life Into your Skin with Shiseido}


LONGCHAMP "Le Pliage" Medium Short Handle in Cyclamen: Authentic or Not?

Bought and won this Longchamp Le Pliage from an eBay seller. The bag seems to be authentic at a glance. It measures just like the original. The leather seems to be ok until you look closely and see the pattern. It has the correct snaps, button says "original", zipper closure, almost the same shade of thread as the original and a convincing care card.

I almost believed that the bag is authentic until I noticed that the stitching is very poorly made. After reading this guide on how to spot a fake LONGCHAMP, I begun to question the bag's authenticity.

Red flags that I found:
Leather pattern is a bit off (almost fish scale-like)
Stamped words at the back is misspelled (it says LE PLIAGE TYPE “M” – MODÈLE DÈPOSÉ)
Stitching isn't as polish as it should be


Hello, World!

My first post on this blog. Welcome and thanks for dropping by :)

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