Category Archives: Stuff for Moms

One Day of Magic with K-Palette

Receiving an invitation from K-Palette Philippines is always something that gets me all excited. Aside from the wonderful events that Beautybox Corp. always holds, we always get first dibs on the new stuff that K-Palette has to offer.

I’m a huge fan of K-Palette, something I’ve written about before. So on a rainy holiday afternoon, I went to the K-Palette 1-Day Magic event with Basti in tow. (No babysitter, sorry na)

Top: The K-Palette 1 Day Magic product display; Catching up with Kris of OCMomInManila.com and our lovely host, Karrots Nazareno; special guests from K-Palette Japan. Bottom: Cheryl of K-Palette Philippines (Beautybox Corp.); a demo with the cutest Japanese MUA; my seatmates – Jackie of Go Jackie Go! and Michelle of My Mom Friday.

As much as the event was so much fun (and lovely, if I may add), I am going to zero in on the new stuff from K-Palette, because that’s what y’all are excited to see.

This series is called the 1 Day Magic Collection (as opposed to the 1-Day Tattoo collection, something we all know and love) and is comprised of four new products for our everyday beautification.

First off – The 1 Day Magic Liquid Eyeliner.

K-Palette also has a product called the 1-Day Tattoo Real Lasting Eyeliner.

1-Day Magic boasts of the same 24-hour lasting power and smudge free formula. The main difference is the brush.

While the 1-Day Tattoo eyeliner pen is a thin brush, the 1-Day Magic eyeliner pen has a flatter brush, allowing you to cover more ground if you want a thicker line, yet topped with a fine tip for the tip of your winged eye looks. Awesome! (Plus it’s pink. Cute!)

Second – the 1-Day Magic Eyeglue Liquid.

It’s what we all know as eyelid glue and is used to cheat an eyefold for those with monolids. I have a secret – I actually use this because I have a slight hood on the corners of my eyes. On my previous post about K-Palette, I used eyelid glue to lift up my eyelid and open my eyes a little more. Now if you believe Michelle Phan and her testimonial about how eyelid glue can permanently even out your eyelids, you should give the 1-Day Magic Eyeglue Liquid a try. PLUS: You can actually use Eyeglue Liquid as an adhesive for false lashes! It’s waterproof, and fast-drying.

Third – The 1-Day Magic 3D Palette.

Finally, K-Palette came out with an contour, highlighter and blush palette. It’s so cute.

The blush is pink and orange, the highlighter has little bits of shimmer in it, and the contour is a nice even versatile color. It comes with this tiny brush that I have yet to see if I can actually use because I carry a powder brush with me all the time.

While I don’t see this palette as part of my pro kit, I can definitely see it in my everyday makeup kit. It’s small enough for touchups, yet has everything I need for a quick on-the-go-spontaneous-lunch-with-important-people polishing up.

The last product on the 1-Day Magic series is the 1-Day Magic Fiber Mascara. I saved the most interesting for last.

It’s a double ended, with one side consisting of a waterproof, smudge-proof, lasting-curl mascara, and the other side, a formula made up of fibers.

So you put on a coat of the mascara as a “primer”, coat it with the fibers, then put another coat of the mascara.

Voila. Falsie-like lashes. Laveeet. It’s a little difficult to take off though, so make sure you have an oil-based makeup remover handy to take it all off.

Overall, the 1-Day Magic line of products is a good collection for the everyday makeup enthusiast. The products are easy to use and the long-wearing formula makes it perfect for those who are busy and on-the-go. Awesome, especially for busy busy moms like you and me!

Thank you for the wonderful time, the wonderful food and the awesome products, K-Palette! It’s always a pleasure.

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The K-Palette 1-Day Magic series is available in all Beauty Bar outlets.

1-Day Magic Liquid Eyeliner, PhP695
1-Day Magic Magic Fiber Mascara, PhP895
1-Day Magic 3D Palette, PhP895
1-Day Magic Eyelid Glue, PhP650

The #BetterMe Sessions: Better Relationships with Household Helpers

I have been trying to write this post for weeks but the mojo for it was hard to come by. Well, there’s no better time to write about it than now. I am, once again, household help-free. Our 4-year yaya went on vacation last Christmas and didn’t come back. Don’t freak. I am not upset by that fact. I am no stranger to a yaya-free environment. But this incident got me thinking back to the session we had with Coach Pia of The One Core on having better relationships with household helpers. It was a long morning, but I wanted to share with you guys the points that I took home with me, and hope that these will help you in your domestic dramas (don’t we all have them).

Wants vs. Needs

Coach Pia first had us make a list of characteristics of our ideal home. We had similar lists – organized, safe, environmental, etc. We were then asked to list down the tasks involved in making this list happen, which area of the house needed the work, the specific tasks involved to do it and importantly, WHO was in charge. With this we then determined which characteristics were “Wants” versus “Needs” and if the person involved in doing this work felt it was a “Want” or a “Need” as well.

In my own home, one of my needs was to a spotless and organized kitchen. To my helper, this was not a need. It was not even a want. We had constant disagreements and I felt I was endlessly reminding her of how I wanted the kitchen to be kept. To me it was important; to her I was being OA. What could’ve worked was for me to explain why this was a need for me, for her to understand the reasons behind my nitpicking and to communicate how important it was to me.

This is not just for your household helpers, but for the rest of the family as well. It works both ways too. As mothers who run the house, we sometimes feel we have a say on what goes for EVERYTHING and fail to see that the other members of the family have needs as well. So if the husband asks for a bike rack, doesn’t want it, but NEEDS it, then by jove, let’s try and make that happen. Being able to meet and compromise on everybody’s wants and needs is the first step to a harmonious household.

Willingness vs. Ability

When it comes to household helpers, there are varying degrees of willingness and ability we have to live with. We also have to figure out what levels we ourselves can live with. Check if your helper is:

  • Willing and able
  • Willing but not able
  • Not willing but able
  • Not willing and not able

I think I’ve encountered kasambahay in all these levels of willingness and ability. Sad to say, most of my friends who have trouble with their household employees have people who fall under the “not willing and not able” category. For me, I am quite content with “willing but not able” because then you can train them how to handle things in your household. I will never have anyone who is “not willing but able” stay with me because from my experience, they are smart-ass, eye-rolling, complaining, sass-mouthing people who will leave you at the drop of a hat with no consideration at all.

So once you’ve assessed your helper, assess the tasks that need to be accomplished in your household. Are these tasks well within the scope of her willingness and ability? Maybe you’re asking and expecting too much.

Go back to the values.

In line with needs, wants, willingness and ability, it’s very important to explain the core values of the family to our helpers. If you are a working, breastfeeding mom, for example, simple directions about the storage and handling of milk sometimes will not suffice. I have heard many moms literally cry over spilled and wasted milk. But, if you explain the benefits, the care and the effort you put into expressing milk, then she might be able to understand why she should thaw with care, check for spoilage, not throw leftover milk, and so forth. That is, if she is WILLING and ABLE.

+++++++++

It was a really fruitful morning, and we were fortunate to have the session, thanks to the wonderful people of Marca Piña Cheeseballs, Tonkita by Arix and Gustare Kitchen as the venue. We took home some very useful household cleaning implements from Tonkita (homemaker’s goody bag dream items, hear hear). I really like this two-well bucket. #homemakerjoys

The food at Gustare Kitchen was so yummy! I especially liked this squid ink sotanghon, which reminded me of my lola’s recipe. They also have packed meals ready for takeout. Perfect for condo-dwellers, small families and people who just need a break from cooking.

We also learned about Marca Piña Cheeseball (which was the perfect companion to grapes and made an awesome snack during the session). We had this session right before Christmas last year, so the timing was perfect. Who doesn’t get giddy over cheeseballs during Christmas season?

I think all of us went home that day with a bit of wisdom on how to handle our household. I hope there will less domestic drama for all of us this year!

Thank you Coach Pia! Looking forward to the next #BetterMe session!

 

Lock N Lock: New Store, New Stuff

You know you’re a mom when…

An invitation from Lock N Lock to visit their new store at the East Wing of Shangri-la gets you all excited. The last time we had an event at their store on Araneta Ave. in Quezon City, it was a frenzy! Then, I went all crazy over their Boroseal containers. I was very eager to know what they had for us this time.

So what’s new?

First thing I noticed was a wall full of baby stuff. Cuteness. Silicone bibs and sippy cups.

Then, here are containers from the Interlock series. Stack them up as high as six containers on top of each other with no danger of falling over. What a space saver!

Then there’s the Sound Lock series, a container line that gives a definitive sound to assure you that all your food is locked up in airtight goodness. Little Juro shows us how showcasing is done.

I am saving up for these drawers. Perfect for office supplies, and for me, makeup organization. Mega-super-duper WANT.

Then this. The Speed Cook series. Non-stick, ultra-light, super-fast heating time. It’s the stuff my homemaker’s dreams are made of. No need for oil, and it cooks up your food in half the time. Holy high-tech cookware Batman!

This is what a table full of hungry SoMoms looks like.

Over lunch at Wee Nam Kee, these two #SoMoms, Tin and Tina, had a pancake showdown. The woman with the most pancakes wins. Can you see the glint in Tin’s eyes?

And the Speed Cook Pancake challenge winner is Tin! She gets to take home the pan that sealed her victory.

Back at the store, more stuff took my fancy.

An old favorite – ceramic cookware.

An updated version of the salad server my mom used for our DIY salads/pasta/taco meals when I was young. The cover makes it perfect for picnics and potlucks.

A sealed ice-cube mold. BPA-free. Perfect for guarding your ice from the other elements in your freezer to prevent contamination. You know what else it could be for right? Breastmilk storage! Just pop a few cubes into your feeding implement and thaw as little or as much as you need.

I just recently got into bento for Basti, and I like this partitioned food container and lunch box.

While Lock N Lock is readily available in supermarkets and department stores, you have better chances of finding the more interesting selections at a Lock N Lock store. Not only that, you can take advantage of sales going on that are in-store only. They’ve got one going on right now at the new Lock N Lock store at the Shangri-la Plaza East Wing until December 31, 2013. It’s a great way to spend your Christmas loot money, hehe!

Thank you Lock N Lock! We had a great time, as always.

I will be back for you. I promise. You will be mine.

 

Curves Philippines: Real Fitness for Real Women

I have an issue with gyms. I’ve been a member of a certain gym chain a few times. Different branches, same issues. Never mind the overcrowding, the deteriorating facilities, or the battle to end the membership. There’s just a certain culture in gyms that doesn’t work for me. Seriously, I just want to work out. This was my expectation when some of the SoMoms were given the chance to try out Curves Philippines. In my mind, it would be just another gym. Membership. machines, classes, trainers, showers. I expected to be assessed, to be told I was vastly overweight and bordering on obese, assigned a set of exercises that went something like 20 mins on the treadmill, then some reps on some machines on the floor.

I have never been more wrong.

The first thing that caught my eye was the sign. “Curves. Strengthening Women.” A gym just for women!! I was in heaven!

More encouraging were signs with funny captions.

Quite a number share this sentiment with me. You’re supposed to go to a gym to lose weight and be fit, but end up not going because you’re too self-conscious. Where’s the logic in that?

On my first visit to Curves Philippines in their Eastwood branch, I got assessed for my current weight and measurements. Then, Coach Liezel and I sat down to set some goals. I was very surprised. These one-month goals were very, very doable. I can really imagine myself achieving this!

Hay, I’m so big na. But I can do this!

The facilities are nice, simple and clean. Lockers and shower rooms available for anyone who comes to work out.

But at the heart of Curves Philippines is the program itself. It’s circuit training, designed to be done in 30 minutes on different machines set in a circle on the workout floor. It is an efficient workout that combines cardio, toning, strengthening and flexibility. This is what the circuit looks like.

You alternate working out on a machine, then switch to a recovery pad for cardio to keep your heart rate up. A trainer is always present to lead you through your workout, whether you are alone or with other people. You do the whole circuit twice and you are DONE. I am sweating buckets by the end of a session.

Here’s what I love about Curves:

  1. Designed for women. No matter what shape, size or age you are, you are welcome, encouraged, empowered and invited to come. No men, no mirrors, no spandex!
  2. The goals are realistic. Curves is no bootcamp, but they promise results. Judging from the results board and the many happy women who I see everyday, I believe it!
  3. The time to work out is ideal for busy people. How many times have I used this excuse: “I have no time to go to the gym.” Well, with Curves’ workout lasting as short as 30 minutes, that excuse is down the drain. It is so easy to squeeze in a circuit! Forget spending half an hour on treadmills, bikes or ellipticals, then spending another hour on machines. It takes me 20 minutes to get to Curves. I work out for half and hour then I go back home. Everything, including travel time is less than two hours!
  4. There is no time to get bored. Because of the way the program is designed, you have burned and toned long before it gets boring. And the program itself is not boring at all. On certain days, they even incorporate Zumba! So much fun.

This engagement with Curves actually came at a time when I finally told myself, “That’s it. You’re done. Move your lazy ass.” This is the biggest and most unfit I’ve ever been in my entire life. Basti is just three years old. Time to get moving!

So thank you, Curves, for tapping the SoMoms! I am enjoying my workouts immensely and I can’t wait to see the results in a month or so. Here’s to a #betterme!

Patty and I after our Zumba Circuit. So tiring but so fun!!

For more information on rates, schedules and the Curves program, please contact them thru:

New Perfume Scents from Clean: Rain and Skin

What’s a scent that sends you straight to comfort? Mine is the smell of hotel sheets, and Basti after a bath. That feeling is the essence that perfume brand Clean has been trying to capture (and quite effectively, I may add) since the launch of their line years ago.

I attended the launch of their newest scents last week. The old favorites were on display.

Original, Ultimate, Warm Cotton, Fresh Laundry, Shower Fresh and Outdoor Shower.

I wish you guys could be in that room that day. It smelled heavenly.

But of course, the stars of the show were the two latest scents from Clean.

Clean Skin and Clean Rain. They actually don’t need much of an explanation. I think that’s part of the charm of Clean.

Clean is available in Rustan’s, SM, and all other leading department stores. The 60ml bottle retails for P2,950.00 and the 30ml is priced at P1,650.00.

This is my everyday scent now. I’m kinda obsessed.

 

Blanca de China Lifestyle Spa: A Piece of Peace in San Juan

My new place-to-be is San Juan. I say that not out of choice but lack of it. Basti’s school is in the area, so I find myself in the area, five days a week, three hours a day. At least. Oh what to do, what to do?

At the very least, I’ve got one place to go to in the area when I’m feeling tired and ragged around the edges. In the quiet little corner of P.Guevarra and Ibuna is a quaint little spa called Blanca de China. It’s in a pretty cool area of San Juan. The street itself is quiet, tree-lined and devoid of the usual rush and rage that is of this very busy street. This is the facade.

Tell me this scene doesn’t make you want to take your shoes off, put on your headphones and surrender your hands and feet to their very competent therapists.

There are tiny little bits of  inspiration everywhere.

Inspiration you may take home with you, if you wish.

They even have a tandem room where one can have a massage while the other is getting hand and feet treatments. Perfect for couples or girl friends who want to chit-chat while getting pampered.

For that day, I got their Ivory facial, which had me dozing off in no time. I plan to go back very soon for a massage and a mani-pedi.

To cap off your treatment session, you get a pretty little tray with tea and a cookie. Duma-Downton Abbey.

Thank you Joanne of Blanca de China for my wonderful afternoon! I’ll see you  guys again real soon.

Find Blanca de China on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BlancaDeChina

Blanca de China is located at 259A, Ibuna cor. P. Guevarra St., San Juan, MM.

The Way of the Cloth and Cup

I haven’t exactly been the “go-green” type. I would say that I am somewhere in the “trying” zone of the environmental awareness spectrum, with our reusable bags, and segregation of trash. But, I would have to admit that there are still many, many aspects of our lifestyle that could use some tweaking to be a little kinder to our planet.

Part of this effort was my decision to use cloth diapers on Basti when he was younger. We used Chino Pinos, along with a Thirsties Duo diaper cover for when he was home from birth till he was about 6 months old.

At that time, the cloth diapering movement was not that active yet, and I lost the drive when our one helper started to complain and the rains came. Now, at 3 years old and in the potty-training stage, I put Basti back on cloth at home. I recently purchased some Babyleaf trainers from Mama. Baby. Love., and a few from Cluebebe as well. Basti still uses his one and only next9 cloth diaper too. I just like the trainers to get him more used to the idea of underwear.

Top: next9; Bottom: Babyleaf, Cluebebe

I joined the Modern Cloth Nappying Pinays Facebook page last year, and was exposed to the world of cloth diapers and the fantastic practice of group buying. As moms, we always find a way to get what we want at the best prices possible, right? The prices are much lower than retail, the process is easier (you order, you pay, you wait. That’s it!), and you can buy things not available in local shops. It was through a group buy that I bought Basti’s Sunbaby trainers.

Oh how I wish the pocket diaper trend was alive and well when Basti was a baby! I think I would’ve made more of an effort to purely use cloth!

Another effort I’ve made is for myself.

NOTE: The rest of this post talks about reproductive health, specifically, menstrual period, and I understand if some are not comfortable discussing or reading about it. Consider yourself warned.

I’ve been a tampon user since I was a teenager. Having a very active lifestyle necessitated it. I also do not like the feeling of pads. They are so uncomfortable. I heard about menstrual cups back when I was still single from a friend of mine. It didn’t really register to me as an option because the whole concept seemed alien to me.

Menstrual cup, did you say? So what is it? This is it:

The idea? You use it to catch your flow. Yes you put it inside. How does it feel? Like nothing. So comfortable that I forget it’s there. No fuss, minimal mess, and there’s nothing to throw away. It’s reusable, and if used properly, can last you for years.

Not so bad right? You have to punch in the side for insertion.

I cannot say enough about how this invention has made my period irrelevant in how I plan my life. Having my period is now the lamest excuse I can think of for not doing something. Uh-oh, now if I tell someone I can’t go because “I have my period” they’ll know I just don’t want to go and I’m lying.

This one if from Lunette, and I bought it, again, from Mama.Baby.Love. Along with adopting the menstrual cup, I’ve also gotten rid of disposable pantyliners. I now use cloth pantyliners as well. For those who are not comfortable with “invasive” methods, Jenny also sells cloth menstrual pads at her store.

Interested in cloth diapering? Check out the Modern Cloth Nappying Pinays Facebook group page here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/mcnpinays/

 

How I Fund My Makeup Addiction: Online Jobs!

You know that saying, “If there’s a will, there’s a way?” Online work is the perfect example of that. Not too many people are aware that I actually work on other things aside from this blog, and make a pretty decent living out of it, too. There’s also a part of me that can’t let go of making even just a little bit of money on my own. I was just too used to the affirmation and satisfaction of getting paid for a job well-done.

I found online work to be perfect for me because:

  1. I could choose when to work and what to work on,
  2. If I get bored with something, I have the freedom to choose something else,
  3. No extra expenses. I spend all my time in front of the computer anyway, so why not earn while doing that as well?,
  4. The work is relatively easy. Any mother will tell you extra stress is not welcome in life.

And so, I just wanted to share with you guys how I earn extra money at home. Note that there are many many ways to earn from home, and these are just the few things that I like doing.

1. Rarejob

Rarejob is an online English-tutoring service that caters to Japanese citizens who reside in Japan. Since the time difference isn’t that huge, the work hours are doable (no graveyard shifts!) and best of all, flexible. You’re the one who sets your teaching schedule, the number of classes you want to teach each week and adjust as life dictates it. Sometimes I’m able to teach every afternoon, everyday. Sometimes I only teach one class a week! They are perfectly legit, very professional, and the support given to the tutors is wonderful.

Requirements:

  • College graduate of school in Rarejob’s list of accepted universities
  • Fluent English speaker with minimal accent
  • Previous teaching experience is a plus, but not required
  • Broadband connection and Skype account.

All my teaching experiences have been quite enjoyable so far. The age range of my students is from 7 to 65, and I’ve learned a lot from teaching as well. To apply to become a Rarejob tutor, visit their website for applicants here.

2. Writing

I actually don’t do this much anymore, but I just wanted to share. There are a lot of websites in the world, and these websites need content. There are also specialized jobs that needs specialized knowledge. I started to explore content writing while I was pregnant with Basti upon the suggestion of my cousin. I was bored out of my mind and looking for something to do. I was able to get my first clients through Freelancer.Com. My style was, I would get just a couple of clients who could give me work on a regular basis and then take the negotiations out of the website. My account is dormant now. I think some people would prefer to stay active in their accounts and build their profiles on these contractor sites so they could get high ratings and better offers. That would be good to do, especially if you are looking at finding work on these sites on a long-term basis. Recently, I also did a few writing projects for an independent virtual assistance firm referred to me by a friend. Pay for these projects can vary, depending on the work required. It can be as low as $2/article, but it can also go to $15. Again, this would depend on your own working style. Some writers like getting jobs by the bulk, projects of 10-20 articles at $2-$5/article, while some prefer the projects that require some research and longer work, but do pay higher by the hour. Sometimes you will get that dream project of a very good rate on a range of topics that you can write in your sleep.

3. Transcription

This is one “racket” that I just recently got into. I wanted to save my writing mojo for this blog, so  I wanted to do something else that didn’t require the same juice. I recently signed up for another contractor site called oDesk.Com, where I was recruited by an Australian firm that contracts transcribers from the Philippines. It’s quite fun – you listen, you type, you submit, you get paid. Along the way, you get to learn about topics you would never otherwise think about. One misconception I had about transcription is that is was all about medical or legal stuff. Not true! I’ve recently listened to stuff about gillnet fishing, chocolate, teaching for the hearing impaired, and engine maintenance. It can be quite interesting! Outside of oDesk, I was also given an opportunity to do subtitling for movies for a local firm that specializes in audio production. So I’ll be basically watching movies and typing up the dialogue. That’s not work to me, because I LOVE MOVIES. Transcription projects start off anywhere from $7-$15 per audio hour, while there are some projects that pay by line.

4. Social Media Management 

Social media marketing is a relatively new arena. My first taste of it was handling the customer service Twitter account of a telecommunications firm. Some of you may have actually sent me a tweet complaining about your connection. I promise I didn’t take it personally. 😉 Other than “Twitter-jockeying”, there’s also management of Facebook pages. Facebook community management is also relatively new, but quite important! It seems when you have a business these days, having a Facebook page is as imperative as having a phone number. It can get busy – messages, wall posts, complaints – and they need someone to monitor it regularly and respond promptly. The opportunities that came to me to manage Twitter and Facebook accounts came from personal contacts, but you can find postings for these kinds of jobs online as well.

 

Even though this kind of work is not really the focus of my time, I find it a good diversion and a painless, stress-free way to get a little extra money at home. I am not the model of an online worker. I’m not vigilant about building up my profile and I don’t mind if negotiations are taken off the site. This is not a good practice because to be offered jobs, it’s better if everything you do is recorded on your profile so that clients will see how much work you’ve done and be confident about your reliability. For those who want to make it their career (and I know some people who really make a substantial living out of working from these sites), you stay active, build up your profile, get feedback, take in more clients and soon enough you will build a good reputation that will consequently result in a higher rate. You can actually command a per hour or per project rate. It can be rewarding, career-wise and money-wise.

So there, I just wanted to share. I know some moms out there are looking for ways to earn while at home. Whether it be out of necessity, or out of boredom, know that there are opportunities lurking in corners. All you have to do is look for them!

Happy hunting!

Not-So-Guilty Pleasures at Taste Central

I have a confession: I am an online shop-a-holic.  Not surprising, actually, considering my Ethernet cable is practically intravenously fed into my arm at this point. It’s really easy to get hooked. How else can I explain the rush of sitting in front of your computer at 4am, dressed to the nines in pajamas and a clay mask, and checking out Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-hour blushes at the same time? It’s grubby and glamour existing in the same pocket of area in the universe. When does that happen without colossal fail?

When Taste Central broke into the online shopping scene, I thought, “Okay, another online buying site.” What, with all the online stores already existing, it certainly wasn’t anything new, at least to me. But I was proven wrong.

Taste Central is the retail partner of a premier group buying site, Deal Grocer. Deal Grocer is known for their lineup of awesome deals from well-chosen vendors. Honestly, it’s the one group buying site that doesn’t cast a shadow of doubt on my mind. Given that, Taste Central proves to follow suit with their roster of well-curated brands and products. I didn’t hesitate when the SoMoms were given the chance to try out their service.

Naturally, where would I look first? Makeup of course. I could not resist these awesome deals on shu uemura sets. I bought these two:

I also got Basti a little something-something:

The whole online shopping process was painless, with a flat rate of 100 pesos for shipping. The box came promptly the next day, wrapped perfectly and securely in a Taste Central box. Even the receipt was properly presented. It’s in the little things, really.

And here’s our stuff! Yey!

Taste Central comes up with new stuff all the time, so it’s great to check it every week. The range of products is pretty neat.

Yummy food selections, including stuff from Trader Joe’s. I have a feeling the most-Instagrammed product of all time, Cookie Butter, is not far behind.

TJ’s Corn and Chile Tomato-less Salsa. TJ’s Cinnamon Sugar Grinder, TJ’s Red Quinoa, Sabatino & Co. White Truffle Cream, Godiva chocolates, unique Kit Kat flavors from Japan, Vosges Mo’s Milk Bar with Smoked Bacon

Cool stuff for the house.

Eames placemats with matching coasters, the Bang & Olufsen phone for those who want to go all Devil Wears Prada, Heima Skala House Lamp, DwellStudio duvet set, Bang & Olufsen earphones, and a cute set of drawers I want for Basti from Costa del Sul.

And of course, more beauty stuff. They carry one of my favorite brands, Tarte. Here’s hoping they bring in more Tarte products. Fans of Tarte’s Amazonian Clay 12-Hour blush, raise your hands!

Tarte’s Lipsurgence Tint, Chantecaille loose powder (which has achieved HG status among some beauty junkies), Philosophy Purity cleanser (excellent with the Clarisonic), Tarte cheek stain, Tarte Prime, Shine and Define kit (sold out dammit), and Chanel nail polish

Overall, it was a pretty pleasant shopping experience. They’ve made a customer out of me.

Thank you for the shopping spree Taste Central! Have a look and see for yourself. But prepare, (if I may borrow a line from Taste Central’s website), “Hold your breath… Amazing coming your way.”

http://tastecentral.com/

 

Makeup 101 by BYS Cosmetics

BYS Cosmetics is an Australian brand that I only heard of when I saw Michelle post a picture of some of their products on Instagram. After that I started to notice their counters in SM department stores and in Watson’s, but never had time to stop and check out the products. So when I was sent this:

I was soooo excited. It just wasn’t a day of makeup, it was a day of makeup with the SoMoms! Guaranteed fun.

I got there late, because this is my motto in life:

I’m kidding. I’m just really not a morning person.

I did not follow instructions and came with my makeup already in place, so I chose to just sit in, enjoy the BYS products and be usisera to the SoMoms and their Makeup 101 session.

They had these makeup stations with a bunch of BYS goodies to try.

So early in the morning, and already so eager to learn. #notamorningperson

Fleur and Jen were my seatmates. I loved the subtle bronze eye that Jen did on her monolids.

Daytime, everyday looks all around.

BYS stands for “Be Yourself”. It’s a brand that originates from Australia, where it gained popularity within a few years from its introduction and is making its way into the ranks in other countries as well. Japan is one of its biggest markets, which is highly encouraging, since it has one of the most stringent cosmetic quality control systems in the world. They are super affordable and cater to a wide market of beauty enthusiasts.

The one product that I am most curious about is their primer.

It’s got Vitamin E and Chamomile Extract, is supposed to moisturize and prime at the same time. Must get that.

I wasn’t able to take a picture of their brow pencil in Blonde, and their retractable lip liners in the nude colors that I liked. I was too excited. I must make my way to a BYS counter soon and get a couple of those.

Onsite, they also had a couple of their eyeshadow palettes, cream eyeshadows, eyeliners, mascara, lipgloss, lipsticks and some blushes for us to try. BYS has over a thousand products in their lineup, including a mineral makeup line, so what we had in our vanity was not even a fourth of what they had to offer.

Even Berry had so much fun.

It was also at the BYS event that I met these two ladies for the first time.

I’ve regularly checked Shen‘s blog for product updates. It was about time Patty and I met, considering the hours we spent chatting online about anything and everything!

We walked away with this awesome lootbag full of BYS beauty products.

Thank you BYS for a super fun morning of beauty!

Check out BYS Cosmetics at Watson’s and at SM Department Stores.