Beauty Instead of Madness

So you guys might be wondering (or maybe not) why I am suddenly so agog over beauty, makeup, etcetera and etcetera. No really, it’s all I’ve talked about in the last few posts, on Twitter and on Instagram (And for a few more posts to come, I must warn thee). Truth is, if you’ve known me long enough, you would know that this obsession, fascination and addiction to makeup goes a looooong way back. I started with makeup at a younger-than-average age and I will be into it ’til I’m old and grey.

But why the amplified fascination now? Why not from the beginning of the blog? Well here’s my confession: I need to focus my energy elsewhere or else I will be one hot mess. Because…

Basti is weaning.

*I will pause here because again, tears are beginning to flow*

I first started to feel the end of our nursing relationship on the day Basti did not ask to nurse for 12 hours. 12 hours became 20, 20 became 24. And then just a few days ago, 24 hours became 2 days. Two. FREAKING. Days. I had to stop myself from asking Basti if he wanted to nurse. I wanted to ask him, no, BEG him to nurse, to become my little baby again, just so I could smell him, hold him, cuddle him and remind him that he’s my little itty-boy and he doesn’t have to grow up if he doesn’t want to.

But he is growing up as children do, and I am the bigger baby than Basti because I am such a SAP. So there I was a couple of days ago reading an email sent to me by Basti’s school. He’s entering nursery school in June and the email was just to outline the enrollment procedures and schedule; nothing major, nothing particularly inspirational, just your regular administration and principal stuff. But what did I do? Like an idiot, I was crying my eyes out. OVER A FREAKING ENROLLMENT PROCEDURE LETTER! Can you imagine me on the first day of school? At a PTC meeting? Moving up day? Prom Night? I’d be lucky if Basti still wants to be seen with me when he’s 13. I’m going to be the most embarrassing mother ever.

Do you guys want to know the last time I wore Basti in a sling? Well don’t ask, because I can’t tell you. I can’t remember. I haven’t worn Basti in weeks. My carriers, save for two, are all in storage now. I still keep a couple out just in case I hear the sweet words “Mama, carry Basti” again. My heart isn’t ready to give up babywearing my big boy even if my back is celebrating.

So because of all this mothering madness, I am choosing to focus, to channel, to regroup. I am choosing to focus on me.

I am choosing to focus on my passions, to channel my energy into things that make me happy in order to be a pleasant presence in Basti’s life. It’s also my way of getting to know myself again, after two years of virtually thinking of no one else but this little boy. The makeup kit is being revived, the heels are coming out, and there is finally a little room in my heart and my life for a bit of self-indulgence.

Basti is turning three years old next month, marking my 3 years of being a mother now and forever. This period is going to be like hard candy to me – sweet, jarring, awkward and irregular, seemingly unchanging and endless, until one significant crack makes the hardness go away. And then I’ll find myself holding hands not with a little boy, but with a tiny young man ready to take on the world and mark it with awesome. I hope he’ll still let me hold his hand.

So forgive me, readers, friends and stray-Google-search passerbys, if the Mommy is becoming a Mom-Me. It’s the most I can do to keep my wailing at bay. We have to brace ourselves for more Madness. Our kids may be growing up, but they’ll turn into babies when they need us to be their mommies. Let’s look amazing while we do it, shall we?

My Personal Makeup Lesson at The Makeup Secrets School

I have been wanting to take makeup lessons for a really long time. I have all this makeup and have read books, seen videos and experimented to death. I have my hits but I’ve also got misses, and I really wanted to know the basics of makeup. I finally took the plunge a while ago and invested in taking a Personal Makeup Class at The Makeup Secrets School in Robinson’s Place Manila.

Why take a makeup class? For me, makeup can be very empowering. Some people don’t understand how I can “waste” my time doing my makeup even just to go to the supermarket. I don’t know about you guys, but even just a swipe of lipstick gives me a boost and an extra jump in my step. I’ve been down the losyang road before, when Basti was really small. Losyang is a downward spiral that we mommies have to fight!

So I took the class with Marj and Olive – friends, fellow makeup junkies and mommies too! We have been talking and talking about makeup for weeks and were so excited to take the class. My friend Myrene Hernandez-Santos conducted the class. She’s a friend from way, way back and one of my mom-inspirations. I’ll talk more about her on another blogpost.

It was a 3-hour session and we learned the basics of makeup, from sanitation, application, and a touch here and there on technique. We were very fortunate that the class was very small, and we could insert our own questions. Myrene was also able to give us tips for each of us, having different faces, eyes and all.

Here’s an eye makeup demo on our model for the day, Jolly.

The most important things I learned were:

  • Proper makeup sanitation. I thought I was already careful with my makeup but I learned I could do better. I learned a few tips and tricks about keeping my makeup clean (not just the brushes, mind you!) so that my skin will always stay safe.
  • Picking the right foundation. I brought 3 kinds of foundation that day and all of them were REJECTED. Can you imagine my dismay? I learned how to match my skin and pick the right color for me. Right after the class I headed over to L’Oreal and got a new one. The Sales Assistant was trying to push a color that was totally wrong for me! I felt bad for ignoring her but I was not going to walk around with the wrong color foundation ever again.
  • Contouring. Cheekbones. Nose. ‘Nuff said.
  • The proper way to prep my skin, apply and set foundation. Take the time and touchups will be few and far between.
  • Zooming in on my eye’s crease. Crucial in achieving that eye look you are aiming for.

  • Pulling the look together with blush and lipstick. Sometimes I would look at my face, think I did everything right and yet I can’t tell what it is that’s not quite there. This was IT.

Aside from these main points, I also learned new tips and tricks for doing my eyebrows, blush, and eye makeup. There’s still so much to be learned really, and taking this class made us even more excited.

After we discussed the topics, it was our turn to take theory and apply it.

Here’s Myrene guiding Marj in applying eye makeup.

Pretty everyday looks from Olive and Marj.


We wanted to raid the school’s display of makeup, tools and accessories. The Makeup Secrets School carries MAC, Sleek, NYX, Beauty Blender and lots of other beauty goodies that you may need or simply want.

We had a really good time and we want to take more classes in the future!

If you’re still wondering why we should even bother with makeup or fixing up everytime we step out, let me share a quote shared to me by Myrene from the fabulous Coco Chanel:

Image source: tumblr

You don’t mess with destiny.

Attend your own personal makeup class with The Makeup Secrets School. Contact them at:

THE MAKEUP SECRETS SCHOOL
4th floor, Midtown Wing
Robinson’s Place, Ermita Manila
(02)5598481

What’s Beauty? Snoe Knows!

Snoe Beauty first entered my realm of consciousness (wow deep) when Karotitay (the enabler of all things lovely and beautiful) tagged me on a post, raving about their liquid eyeliner. At that time, I lived but a kanto away from their SM Supercenter then-kiosk-now-store and checked them out immediately. I found their things interesting and the branding super cute, and filed Snoe in my “to try in the future” space in my brain.

I first had my first taste of Snoe when I got a sample of their Oil for All Argan Oil in the February Glamourbox. That, and some urging from a couple of friends to try out their makeup, pushed me to visit their Supercenter outlet to buy the much-raved-about Poudre Extraordinaire.

This finishing powder did not disappoint. It gives great coverage, has a really nice texture and quite affordable too. Since recommending it to a few people, it has earned the nickname “diwata powder” because of the flawless coverage it gives.

I had a hankering for more Snoe products after trying out these two products and as the universe would have it, a basket of Snoe goodies landed on my doorstep! (Thank you Jardine!)

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For skincare, I got the Shoo-Zit Don’t Bother Me Deep Cleansing Acne Wash, the Emu.Cleanse Foaming Cream Wash and the Vitamin-C Rich Calamansi Whitening Detoz Clay Mask.

I’ve been using Emu.Cleanse for a few weeks now. It reminds me of cucumber-scented products maybe because of the singkamas in it. I also love masks so I am enjoying this Calamansi face mask very much. They have other products in their Emu oil line. Emu.Tox caught my attention in particular, because of it’s description – Botox Serum. Ooh, definitely something to try in the future.

For makeup, they sent me Poudre Synthesis, which is a BB liquid powder base with a matte finish, Poudre Extraordinaire, Parallel CC Cream and Rouge Deluxe lipstick.

The Poudre Synthesis went well under my Missha BB Cream and I didn’t get so oily as I did when I would wear BB cream alone. The Rouge Deluxe was very moisturizing, had great staying power, and is highly pigmented. Even after I ate a full meal, the color was still on my lips.

The Snoe body stuff sounds simply delicious. Here’s Hair Heroes Super Fresh Sage Tea Tree and Peppermint 5-in-1 Conditioner, Body Ritual Hair and Body Glaze, Honey Bath Syrup and Scrumptious Body Spritz – all in Vanilla Bean and Butterscotch, Face Custard Body and Face Powder and a Body Softener.

The Vanilla Bean and Butterscotch line is nice for those who like sweet and rich scents. I’m more of a light, fruity person, so I would like to try the Honey Dew and Melon version of the spritz.

My favorite is the Hair Heroes Conditioner. It is perfect for the coming scorching summer we are predicted to expect. It’s a cleansing conditioner, but you can also use it as a deep treatment mask, a leave in conditioner, head massage treatment and even a foot treatment!

What I also love about the Snoe is the passion behind the business. The two women behind the brand, Jen and Gen, are both passionate about cosmetics and it’s this passion that has helped build Snoe into a brand that’s making a mark in the local beauty industry. Nevermind that they are not dermatologists, chemists or pharmacists. They are real women who know what other real women want and need! I’m so happy to see a Filipino beauty brand deliver such good products. Hope you guys can try some of their stuff for yourselves! They come out with new stuff all the time, so check back them often to see their latest products.

You may buy Snoe from any of their stores and outlets all over Metro Manila, Cebu, General Santos and Bohol. Visit and like their Facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/SnoeBeauty) for updates and more information on branches and products. Follow them on Twitter (@SnoeBeautyInc) and on Instagram (@SnoeBeautyInc) for the latest news and updates! You may also buy Snoe online from their website (www.snoebeauty.inc) through the link that leads to their Shop Pinas portal.

LATCH Breastfeeding Classes and The Importance of Breastfeeding Education

Breastfeeding education is one topic I will never, never, EVER be tired of talking about. Every time I comment, speak or have a conversation with one mom about breastfeeding and feel like I’ve somehow made a difference, I meet 20 other women who have no clue about the basics of breastfeeding, believe in utter lactation myths and half-truths, or being fed absolutely wrong information by friends, family and worst, medical professionals.

I’ve heard this too many times when I tell people that I am a part of an organization that speaks about breastfeeding and conducts breastfeeding classes: “What? There are breastfeeding classes for mothers? You can’t be serious.” And therein lies the problem. More often than not, the breastfeeding problems that I hear of are brought about by the lack of knowledge and information on the basics of nursing. Coupled with lack of support from their family and doctors, this leads to unsuccessful breastfeeding. Most mothers who were not able to breastfeed from lack of information say this: “If only I had known”, or “I didn’t know breastfeeding was going to be like this.”

The statement that saddens me most is this: “I had no milk when I gave birth so I fed my baby formula first while I waited for milk to come.” Worse, some women don’t wait at all, and assume they don’t have milk and will never have milk. The different stages of breastmilk is a basic breastfeeding principle that can and should be explained by a nurse or a doctor at the hospital. Instead, some encourage the mother to buy formula without medical reason and even add a bit of fear by saying the baby is starving because the mother has no milk. While there are many hospitals and doctors already making an effort to be updated on the latest information and protocol regarding breastfeeding, this is still happening everyday.

Every couple of months, LATCH holds FREE breastfeeding classes at The Medical City called “Best Beginnings in Breastfeeding”. It is held on a Saturday morning at TMC’s Center for Patient Partnership conference rooms. The next one is this Saturday, March 9. Check out the Facebook event HERE.

We talk about the Benefits of Breastfeeding, What to Expect in the First Week, Myths of Breastfeeding, Going Back To Work, and break out in smaller groups so we can discuss proper positioning and latching.

The class is run by trained LATCH breastfeeding counselors. We are all mothers who have exclusively breastfed or are still exclusively breastfeeding. Collectively, our experiences range from the most basic and common concerns, to issues such as pre-term breastfeeding and relactation.

 

Em talks about the Benefits of Breastfeeding. Photo courtesy of Claire Mogol.
Claire talks about the basics of latching and positioning. Photo by Bryan Sales.
No I am not sleeping on the job. Sometimes you have to get down and dirty for breastfeeding! Hehe. Demonstrating side-lying. Photo by Bryan Sales.
Working, pumping moms need all the support they can get! Lawyer Fritzi talks about going back to work and sustaining breastfeeding. Photo by Claire Mogol.

Most of the attendees are mothers-to-be, but we do get the occasional breastfeeding mother who wants to brush up on her knowledge for affirmation and confidence. The breastfeeding mindset, after all, is half the battle won!

We love seeing the support system come in with the moms. The support of husbands, partners, lolas and yayas are so crucial to breastfeeding success.

One of the dads takes a guess on a breastfeeding question and gets a gift! Photo by Claire Mogol.
A father assists his wife in learning the proper position for the cradle hold. Great practice for the real thing! Photo by Bryan Sales.

Breastfeeding success lies largely on having the right knowledge and support. Even with the amount of information available online about breastfeeding, nothing compares to hearing it straight from mothers who’ve gone through it and will cheer you all the way. It worked for me!

I hope to see you at this weekend’s breastfeeding class or the classes to come in the future!