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Paisley Purpose

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Rainbow Hands

OOTD Shoot ft DSLR, Laundry Basket, and Jewelry Box (Part 1)

 

Been wanting to shoot an OOTD piece for ages, but I’m so reluctant to appear in it. Plus, I’m dead on the equipment side: no one to shoot me and no decent mobile cam. DSLR’s not an option because I look horrible in high-res, and besides, who’s going to work that cam for me? But hey…girl’s got to do what a girl’s got to do, and voila, I shot OOTDs and more using a DSLR on timer with the help of a laundry basket and a jewelry box!

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I haven’t been out lately, so my pretty clothes haven’t seen the light of day for quite some time, which is sad, and also, all the more reason to put them on display. Had a lot of fun dressing up for the day, so I hope you pick up some good stuff from my “comeback” entry (I AM SO SORRY FOR BEING MIA FOR AN ENTIRE MONTH) 😀 Let the OOTDs finally take the spotlight!

Dressing Up

My grandma from Canada got me this subtly sexy striped cotton wrap-around dress. Though I’ve never worn it out yet, I know I will because it’s flattering and comfortable AF. Fabric’s really soft, and the fit’s a break from my usual go-to pampasexy look (the balot na balot and hapit one).

Though the neckline’s dangerously low and not compliant with my dad’s dress code, I find that the right underwear is an easy fix. Opt for a bra with lace cover up, or maybe a bandeau.

The yellow number is easily one of my favorite closet staples because ang lakas maka-Kris Aquino. Got it from a tiangge in Farmer’s Cubao and I’ve been wearing it when I’m lazy to pick out clothes. It’s a good shade of yellow: not too bright and perfect for yellow-undertoned-skinned Chinese peeps like moi. Because it’s fit and flare, it flatters pretty much all body shapes so yes. Perfect.

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I don’t wear shorts, but this pair’s an exception. Our yaya got me this from the market for 50 pesos, and I love it! Sulit, grabe. This pair fits just right because I can still breathe in it and my thighs don’t suffer from painful chub rubs in it, even after hours of walking. Yay.

Because of this pair, I found that the right fit can complement your thicc-ness. If you’re pear or hourglass shaped, choose high-waist ones that are loose on the thigh areas.

Because shorts generally go well with anything, you can go ahead and wear whatever you like. For me though, I go with bright, covered up tops to balance off the skin shown. Hehe.

Ways for Two-way

Two-way blouses are on-trend, and for good reason: they’re easy-breezy and versatile. They’re even better in white because white looks great on anyone. Wear it as a shift blouse for casual getaways, and go off-shoulder for dressier occasions. Tuck it in mom jeans or any high-waist pants for the sweet yet posh look.

This set of OOTDs is a combination of old and mostly new closet staples. Hopefully I’d get around to wear them out more often. Anyway, this shoot turned out quite well, didn’t it? Then, this is another thing that I’d like to do more often. 🙂

This is one of my fave entries so far, because it’s a result of trying something new. These days have been difficult for trying new things because I get anxious about the minute details. But hey, this came out great 😀 Blogging about these things is something I’d want to do more of. But trying…now that’s something I’d want to do even more of. 🙂

And…wrapping it up with this in the meantime. Catch the second part soon! 😀 If not, please bug me. Hehe. ❤

 

 

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Lady in Healing

Obviously I’m having some difficulties blogging the way I used to, and my monthly releases have gone down from 5 to 3 *sniffles*. Come June, and I realize I’ve only published ONE. ONE, which makes this only my second for the month.

But I do believe that this is all for good. While I wasn’t writing, I’m living out the stuff that I enjoy writing about. I guess that’s a positive development; when you value the moments in your life, capturing them becomes secondary to immersing in them. If you’ve been following Paisley Purpose since it started (huhu thank you very much for doing so), then you know I’m undergoing psychological counselling. And now, I’m glad to let you know that I’m thriving. 🙂

So, what have I been up to?

Catching Up

While I’m able to function well, unhealthy thinking patterns robbed the joy off of many great experiences. Instead of adopting a loving attitude towards being the sister of the bride during my sister’s wedding preps, I found myself dreading the experience and being annoyed at how much work I had to do. Instead of developing my ideas and suggesting them to people who could have found them useful, I kept my marketing plans to myself, for fear that they will be rejected.  You get the picture.

Not only did the mentality keep me from enjoying; it kept me from doing things at all. So now, as I’m on my way to healing, I find myself catching up with life. In between lengthy breaks and alone times, I kept my productivity.

Got me a freelance gig as social media manager at Yeongyang Hansik (yes, that Yeongyang Hansik! See? This blog got me a job!), making graphics and captions to promote the place.

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Began doing song covers, which I have yet to record and share. Haha. Because it turns out that I surprised everyone by singing at my sister’s wedding. Who knows? Maybe in a few years’ time, I may even have a career as a professional wedding singer. Lol. Ayan o, feel na feel ko na.

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Finished watching Goblin, the Korean series. Yes, nagpapalamon na rin ako sa sistema.

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Downloaded the Uber app, and got a ride through it. You know, I was going to download Tinder but phone memory was scarce, and said phone died on me a few days after I planned to install the app. So yeah, it wasn’t meant to be.

Attended a singles conference with my best friend. I got invited to the event the day after I tried and failed to install Tinder on my phone HAHAHA. What are the odds?

And said singles conference has paved the way for what could be the biggest turning point in this journey so far: it got me to my knees.

Unprepared

I wasn’t emotionally ready to attend that conference because it centers on two things that hit dangerously close to home: God and singleness. I was still calling to God, but I refused to listen and trust Him. Those are the last things I’d like to do.  So I made sure to talk to the psychiatrist about it before I spend an entire day listening to the pastors.

Me: I got invited to a singles conference organized by this huge church, and I am not ready for it. More than having to meet new people, I dread having to face God’s presence. It’s a lot like meeting my ex after a very long time. I’m not sure I want to reconnect.

P: What kind of God are you praying to?

M: A personal one.

P: What is this God like?

M: Can’t say He’s fully good or bad.

P: Then what is He?

M: He is present.

P: And you’ve been through a lot together?

M: Yes.

P: And you think that it’s reason enough to give this relationship another shot?

M: Yes. More than enough.

I spent around half an hour debating whether or not to have a long overdue quiet time with Him in my favorite part of the university: the adoration chapel. After grabbing a bite and a bottle of water, I went into the chapel, taking the silence in as my heavy chest ached, and my legs began feeling as though I spent hours on the treadmill. It was then that I realized how tired I was of running from the spiritual stirrings that I refused to trust. And as I sat before it, the exhaustion from withholding all my burdens from Him overcame me and held me in place. Then there I was, listening again for the first time in a long, long time. The heaviness didn’t disappear immediately, but peace came.

It wasn’t the kind of “peace” that came with a resolve to give up. It’s a peace that surrenders all heartache and opens itself to faith…in spite of fate. So dread for that Saturday event was replaced with newfound excitement, a willingness to abandon that mistrust’s offshoots, and a decision to rebuild those which it has damaged as a result thereof.

So much weight has been lifted since then. And as I respond to these new feelings, I find something that I’ve long been missing: the joy of living.

Things haven’t been a walk in the park, and in between the breaks and the productivity, were days when I’d rather stay in bed, sleep, and just lock myself up in a room. On particularly stressful days, I’d have the urge to get on long bus rides without definite destinations—just so I could disappear for a while. Or for good.

The invitation to that event doubled as an invitation to begin my spiritual healing in the form of a reconciliation with God. I remember watching “The Shack” movie, in which God (portrayed by Octavia Spencer), said, “The problem in your life is that you don’t believe I’m good.”

That resonated with me, and I realize that it’s the root of all trust issues I’ve ever had with anyone in my life, ever since I was young. We’ll get to that in another blog. To have been able to start clearing it up is a major step in my journey to mental, emotional, and spiritual healing.

And looking back at how everything unfolded the way it did and still does, God is good, and so is life, even in the midst of struggle. I haven’t said that with conviction in a long, long time, and now I did. Praise God.

Happy for Me

This is truly one of the biggest steps I have ever taken so far, and I know that thousands of small ones will follow to lead me to other milestones in my healing. There are still plenty of issues to contend with, and addressing the fundamentals will strengthen me to face up to them, and maybe even see that they’re not issues to begin with J

I’m happy for myself, and if you’re on a similar journey, I hope you reach happier times in your process as well.

So…this is pretty much what I’ve been up to as a lady in healing: keeping busy catching up with, enjoying, and rebuilding the good things in life, with a good God. Finally, I’m turning on a new leaf for real 🙂

Local Goodies in My Beauty Loot

Lately I’ve been getting lots of questions about makeup recommendations. As I’m experiencing a bit of a writer’s block, the queries are very much welcome 😀 It’s like a much-awaited dash of inspo, so thanks, my readers, for trusting me to suggest good beauty stuff to add to your loot! *cries*

Anyway, to answer your questions, let me give you a peek of my own kit, beginning with the goodies you can easily score in drugstores or any department store’s beauty section. Yup, you got that right. We’re talking local beauty fixes! Here are my picks:

 Toner

 GT Clarifiance, PHP 85 at Watsons

What I love about it: Clarifiance has witch hazel extract, which is proven effective in removing acne and acne scars. They’ve been my problem for quite a while now, and just recently, I had this unsightly breakout on my chin. It looked like a bad case of allergy, as the entire area was covered with acne. Within a month of using the product every other night before I sleep, after washing my face, the pimples flattened, softened, and visibly lightened. Such a great buy, this one.

 Tip for use: wipe face using cotton, then use the other side of the cotton to dab a small amount of toner to pimples. This lets the area absorb more of the product. Apply once every other day.

 Hand and Nail Cream

 Beauty Fix Green Tea Hand and Nail Cream from Watsons, PHP 85

What I love about it: Actually not entirely sure if this is local, but it’s good stuff so I recommend it. The scent is mild, and it doesn’t feel thick or sticky against my skin. This is a must, especially because I’m the pasmado type. Moisturizing and smells great.

 Tips for use: Apply small drops to nails first before spreading to hands. Nails are essentially skin, too, so they need nourishment just as well.

 Eyeliner

 Ever Bilena Pencil Eyeliner, PHP 100

What I love about it: Easy to use and defining. Though it’s not exactly smudge-proof, it’s pretty long lasting. Gets me through my eight-hour shift without making me look like a panda, though it does fade a bit.

 Tips for use: Don’t rub eyes while wearing it, and make oil blotting paper your best friend. I think it works best on not-so-oily skin. And, dab sweatdrops so it doesn’t smudge.

Blush

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Nichido Blush in Cool Rum, PHP 80

 What I love about it: The shade doesn’t look dolly on me and blends well with my skin. Just the right color for me.

 Tips for use: Apply with a blush brush, and if you’re ma-pisngi, don’t do circular strokes. Line from cheekbone to the hollow of the cheek then blend using fingers.

 Lip liner

 Fashion 21 nude lip liner, PHP 100

What I love about it: The nude shade is very close to my lip color, so overlapping a different color of lippie doesn’t look awkward. Tried using it with both lipstick and liquid lippie. It gives me a well-defined yet not over-the-top pout, which is great.

 Tips for use: Draw following your lips’ original shape and you’ll be fine. Don’t go pointy, though, lest it’ll look cartoon-y.

Lipsticks

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Image from: Cosmo.ph

 EB Matte in Vivid Violet, PHP 165

San San Creamy Matte in Carmine, PHP 151

What I love about both: Colors, of course! Vivid Violet is just the right amount of fierce, while Carmine is the perfect everyday shade for those who love red, but want a hint of sweetness to balance the boldness. It’s slightly pink with pearl finish. And both are equally long-lasting.

 Tips for use: If you’re prone to getting chapped lips, apply aloe vera gel or lip balm first. Then, shape with lip liner before wearing these lippies.

 Those are the local goodies I currently have in my beauty loot. Will let you know when I add more. Got other suggestions for amazing local makeup products? Feel free to hit me up. 😀

Your Natural Beauty, Made Better:Workshop By Naturale Makeup Services

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Nins San Agustin of Naturale Makeup Services is the fairy godmother who teaches you how to work that magic wand. How do I know? Last week, I signed up for Nins’ 5-hour basic makeup workshop, held in 87 Scout Delgado St, Tomas Morato Quezon City, and though I didn’t walk out of her door a pro (because that requires years of practice), I went home knowing about and enjoying skincare and the art of makeup, so much more!

The Instructor

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Photo from: Makeup by NINS

Nins San Agustin is a professional hair and makeup artist who runs her own makeup studio. She also offers eyebrowdery services. Nins mostly specializes in doing hair and makeup for different occasions, such as weddings and debuts. The goal of her work? To enhance her clients’ appearance by highlighting their defining features, without making them look like somebody else.

In short: naturally beautiful with a touch of magic. Nins opened the workshop proper by saying, “Di tayo nagme-makeup para magmukhang artista or magka-boyfriend. We do this to enhance what we already have. Dumating tayo rito na maganda na tayong lahat.” Pak! Agree.

The Workshop

The workshop was designed for a small group (there were six of us last week), so learning can be more personalized and hands-on. On the work area were mirrors, brushes, and Nins’s complete array of makeup and skincare products, which she’d let us use. And, let’s not forget the makeup manual which she authored herself.

The manual is the structure of the workshop, and it centers on creating a unique makeup arsenal and routine just for you. Before diving right into the products and how to use them, Nins discussed the factors that determine each of our makeup looks and must-haves. These include face shape and skin type, among other things. She then talked about the products that should make it to our personal kits.

Some that she suggested are:

Moisturizer

Eyebrow pencil

Foundation

Color corrector and concealer- *for the color corrector, the green one is ideal for those with red patches and discoloration on their skin, while the orange one works well for correcting dark circles under the eyes.

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Nins gave a lot of emphasis in keeping the skin moisturized before applying makeup, as it conditions it, keeps it healthy, and let’s makeup stay longer. “No matter what skin type you have, you need to moisturize. If you have oily skin, the more you need to. Your skin secretes oil because it lacks moisture, so use hydrating products before applying makeup and after removing it.

She then followed it up by telling us the correct order of layering the products: toner, moisturizer, pore enclosing product, primer (optional), color corrector, foundation,concealer and other cream makeup, and then finally, setting powder and other powder products for contouring, and blush. Nins asked us to remove every bit of makeup from our faces (oh no! Hahaha) to get started with the hands-on part of the workshop. Let the makeup magic begin!

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We layered each product and were able to create a base that turned our faces into clean canvases for the makeup techniques. After applying the foundation, Nins asked us to measure our brows (Yas! Kilay is life!) with respect to the sides of our nose, so we can define our ideal brow shape.

These are the markings we follow when we groom and define our arches. Nins taught us a simple technique to properly draw our brows.

  1. Lightly line the bottom of the brow, following the markings we did earlier.
  2. Do the same with the top part of the brow and make sure the tips of both lines meet at the end of the brow.
  3. Fill in the brows by coloring with the pencil.
  4. Get rid of the rough edges using a spoolie (pictured below). Set the hair in place with a brow gel.

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Image from: PopSugar

After this, we did the makeup for the rest of our faces, learning basic cream contouring in the process.While she told us that we can contour as darkly as we want to, Nins did caution us to stick to brown shades of makeup with yellow undertones to avoid looking muddy when we’re blending the contour. She shared a secret: going for a continuous number “3” shape on each side of the face, beginning from the hair line, to the hollows of the cheeks, to the jaw and chin.

Another recommendation is highlighting using concealer to enhance the parts of the face. We’re always reminded to keep blending everything carefully, for natural-looking results.

The Deal-maker

While all the steps and tips are worth learning, the workshop’s main deal-maker, IMO, is  the eye makeup part. With Nins’ demonstration and assistance, I finally found the right look for my hooded eyes, and conquered my fear of applying eyeliner  and falsies! Yay! The secret? Light, stable hands and concealer to erase the eyeliner runs. For the falsies, eyelash glue is everything.

Just a little lippie, blush, and translucent powder (for that makinis glow), and we all have the natural yet leveled up look! That’s me when the workshop began…

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…and after it ended 😀

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The Overall Verdict

I love the instructor, the workshop, and the results! Nins is very generous and ready to share everything she knows. Makeup services may be her business, but through this session, she showed us that it’s her passion above all. It’s safe to say that she empowered all the participants to find a beauty routine that works for them, and I’m sure we all agree that the workshop is worth our while. 🙂

Soooo…if you’re a makeup lover interested in learning more, and having fun while you’re at it, give this fairy godmother a visit at Naturale Makeup Services in Tomas Morato, Quezon City. And, follow her social media accounts for updates on her workshop schedules! Better yet, book her services for your events. Her works speak for themselves. 😉

Wouldn’t you want to work that wand with Nins, too? Of course, you do. ❤

Art+Coffee=Love (and a Fun, Messy Workshop) | Barista Cafe

 

Coffee is a necessity for writers like me. It’s that instant kick of energy that almost instantly gets the mind going, and the words flowing.

Art. Oh my. As someone who likes making a canvas out of anything, being able to create is just exhilarating.

Now, put these two together and what you get are beautifully crafted cups of well brewed caffeine fix.

Or not… if you have pasmado hands like mine. Haha. But, it’s an awesome experience nonetheless. How can I tell?

Latte Art Workshop by Barista Cafe

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Last week, Dec. 10, I joined the Latte Art Workshop organized by Barista Cafe, in Kendo Creative, Shop 33, Cubao Expo. Coffee-making equipment brand Breville’s brand ambassador and award-winning Barista, Dave Dource, facilitated the intimate 5-hour workshop. With him was Barista Cafe manager, Eirene Go.

He first offered freshly brewed and Instagram-perfect coffee to us, which he did within a few minutes’ time. It looked so effortless, so I thought it is, but boy was I wrong.

Opening the Session

Dave opened the session with a brief discussion about latte art, which he described as dependent on the quality of both the coffee and milk used, as well as the manner in which the milk is poured.

It’s an eye-opener from the start, since it made me realize how meticulous the process is. I’ve handled paint and liquid makeup, and I sure know how to improvise even when the quality of the materials isn’t very good. With latte art, you can’t do the same, because you’ll be serving the finished product.

Everything is precise: from the temperature, to the amount of time used, to the angle from which you position the pitcher against the cup when pouring, to how you work everything out using the machine and still make the whole process look as visually appealing as possible.

Dave pointed out the importance of following the specifics in latte art. The milk, for example, when over-steamed, is going to pack too much air, which will make the coffee drinker feel bloated after drinking. In addition, it will affect the texture, which will make it hard to form the pattern.

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Photo Credit: Chris dela Cruz 🙂

Hands-on

After a few more pointers on the technicalities of the process, Dave demonstrated the patterns and techniques. First, he gave a demo on etching, which involves using a spoon and etching tool to shape the milk foam on top of the crema (the darkest, top most surface of the coffee).

His samples turned out amazing, obviously.

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Now, it’s our turn. All the participants brewed and steamed on their own, following what Dave taught. I’d say they all turned out pretty well, though mine looked a little too…original. Hahaha. Instead of swirls, I formed some sort of a rose…hahaha.

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Next up, it’s the pour-dependent patterns, and Dave demonstrated the heart, the rosetta, the tulip, and the swan, which all looked awesome, and easy, as expected.

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Dave wanted us to each have three rounds of the heart pattern and  one round of the rosetta, and had us practice pouring using water in the pitcher and the cup. It was pretty messy, so everyone was nervous about doing the actual thing.

Before we started with the hands-on, he gave a reminder: thicker steamed milk is great for patterns like the heart, while the rosetta, which has a more refined shape, works well with thinner consistency.

Finally, it was time for some free pour latte art action! My hands were shaking, needless to say.

Pour, swirl, big amount, CUUUUUT! So far, my hearts turned out like half hearts or full circles, and my rosetta…uhm, yeah, I won’t embarrass myself any further lol. :)) My co-attendees did great, though. Here are some of our works:

Left: Co-attendee Diana’s rosetta. Her first try, btw. Awesome!!! Right: My heart HAHAHA.

Few more rounds for everyone, and we began our cleanup.

Much Love for Coffee and Art

While my attempts didn’t turn out as nicely as I hoped they would, I still enjoyed the experience. For someone who doesn’t have a background on coffee-making, the workshop provided great insight on the craft: it’s meticulous, it’s not as easy as it looks, and it takes practice, lots of it, to perfect.

I appreciate how the majority of the session was dedicated for actual latte art, and I commend Dave and manager Eirene for patiently guiding us throughout the session. Kudos to you guys 🙂

As a writer who just happened to consume lots of coffee and have a knack for art, this workshop has been a fresh and thoroughly enjoyable learning experience. If I enjoyed it, then I know well that those who have a background in coffee will, too.

Thanks Barista Cafe, for letting me walk out of the workshop with much love for both art and coffee! And, congratulations to us, my co-attendees! 😀 Now, I just need to fix my shaky hands HAHAHAHAHA!

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Do follow their Facebook page for more updates on future workshop schedules, or maybe, sign up for them, too! 😀

My Version of the Easy DIY Liquid Lippie

I like trying out different DIY projects just for fun, and just last weekend, the DIY bug bit me. Thus, I decided to make a liquid lippie from the stash I currently have. While most of the DIY versions I came across involved using a boiler to melt old lipsticks, I skipped that step and managed to come up with an awesome finished product. Beginner’s luck, maybe?

Anyway, before this intro gets any longer, here’s my version of the easy DIY liquid lippie.

WHAT YOU’LL NEED

Old lipsticks

Lip balm or petroleum gel

Aloe vera gel

Bowl

Teaspoon

Blade or knife

Toothpick

GETTING TO WORK

  1. All my old lippies are in stick form, so I just sliced whatever’s left of them and put them in a bowl.
  2. I did the same with the lip balm, also in stick form, then mixed them together with a spoon. Note: the lipsticks I used here are all satin type, so I think that’s how they’re able to melt easily without heating.
  3. My office buddy warned me that the finished product may turn out too greasy, so I researched what I could use to offset the grease, and, at the same time, blend the colors better. Because I still have a container of aloe vera gel handy, I thought I could add around 3/4 teaspoon of it to the mix, a little more than the sliced lip balm. Aloe vera gel is a good remedy for chapped lips, and it’s also proven to control sebum production. This makes it the perfect neutralizer to the greasy lipsticks.
  4. I stirred the mixture with toothpick and transferred it to a small canister. That’s my finished product right there. 🙂

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THE RESULT

Since I finished this DIY project, I’ve used the lippie more than a couple of times already, and I’m liking it. It doesn’t feel too sticky or thick against my lips, and it can withstand more than a few rounds of gargling and drinking water. While the color lightens, just like it does in any other lipstick, it does so, nicely. It doesn’t appear awkwardly faded, maybe because the shade is close to my natural lip color.

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TIPS

Because this is quite easy to make, the only thing I’d suggest is to have fun experimenting with the colors you mix. Incidentally, the ones I used are very rosy tones. When it first came out, it was almost identical to one of the old lipsticks. I used a small amount of a dramatically different shade to vary the tone, and that’s how it came out the way it did. :p

Apart from that, there’s not much to say other than have a blast prettying up with your new lippie :* mwah. ❤

My Fave Tiangge Outfits

A few weeks ago, I wrote about tiangge shopping etiquette. Today, I’m going to show off some of my proudest and most affordable finds, most of which make up my favorite outfits 😀 Everything here costs less than 500 pesos, perfect for a budget shopper like me. Here they are 😀

DRESSES

Stretchable yellow waffle dress from Farmer’s Cubao Bazaar, Php 350

Pink lace dress with lining from Farmer’s Cubao Bazaar- Php 250, Belt, Php 50

Printed arrow black and white cotton dress from a shop in Katipunan, Php 150

TOPS AND BOTTOMS

 

Blue skirt from St. Francis Square, Php 100; Lace top from Landmark Bazaar, Php 250

Pink top from Eleven Six Nine Clothing, Php 150; Floral skirt from Market! Market! bazaar, Php 100

Cream polo from a bazaar in school, Php 150; Leopard pants from 168 Mall, Php 150

Plain black top from Farmer’s Cubao Bazaar, Php 90; Black skirt from Farmer’s Cubao Bazaar, Php 250

I know a lot of people who think tiangge clothes easily wear out, age, and tear. It must be because of the price difference, because when it comes to clothes, you get what you pay for, right? Well, I dunno if I’m just lucky, but some of the items I posted here, like the pink dress, the lace top, the polo, and the leopard pants, have been my closet staples for around 3-4 years now, and they’re still holding up just fine 😀 And I wear them often because we didn’t have uniforms in university. The dress and the polo even made it to my yearbook 🙂 yup, those are my graduation photos.

My tip for scoring bazaar finds that will last you a couple of years? Look at how they’re stitched up. Make sure they’re tight and aren’t frayed when you buy them, and always ask for new stocks.

I still have other know-how’s to share on finding adorable and long-lasting bazaar outfits that are worth your money and closet space, but I’ll save them for another entry 😀 This is it for now 🙂

Trinket Treating All Year Round | N. Cat

Just a few days left till Halloween, and if you’re hyped about finding the right accents to complete your costume, then you’re in luck! I recently visited top Korean accessories store N.Cat for some of the most quirky and adorable trinkets you’d want to rock for Halloween and beyond 🙂

Yup, you don’t have to reserve them just for your fright night party because you can count on them to spice up your OOTDs all year round 😀 Here are some of my favorites:

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Sparkly Cat Ear Headband

This adds a feisty and glamorous touch to that kitty costume you’re planning to wear. Because it comes in gold and silver with rhinestones (is that what you call them? haha), it’ll surely have the same effect to your other outfits.

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Spider Brooch and Black Crown Hairpin

Equal parts quirky, dark, and elegant, these versatile pieces can go from your creepy doll costume to your dolled up ensemble.

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Dainty Embellished Headband and Faux Pearl Necklace with Flower

I can’t resist taking a photo of these babies as a pair. They just go so well together ❤ Wear them to a day at the Toy Con, and later on, to a day out on a date.

halloween

Skull-printed Headband, Monster Socks, and Ghost and Skull Earrings

YAY for this set for being perfectly spooky-cute. They’re the pieces you can trust to cop off a Halloween-y look from head to toe, especially if you haven’t decided on a costume but still want to get into the spirit, anyway.

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Can we take a moment to appreciate these earrings? *sigh* Anyway, for a twist to your ear accessory, you can pair one white ghost  with one black 😀 And, yes, you can definitely get both because the prices are right (well below a hundred for these babies), and they’re hypoallergenic, making them cooler.

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Rhinestone Studded Crowns

Perfect for princess-ing, all day, everyday. They’re just the right size and the right sparkle, in case you’re afraid to look OTT.

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Vintage Native American-inspired Necklace

It will make you want to paint with the colors of the wind…or, on a non-Halloween day, it will make you want to go boho-chic.

cat-bag

Black Cat Pouch

Superstitions say black cats are a sign of bad luck. Whether or not you agree, this charming pouch looks anything but unlucky. Take it as a pet (and makeup and cellphone holder) to a costume party, and use it as a practical and stylish accessory when the spook fest is over.

There are a ton of trinkets you can treat yourself to at N.Cat, any time of the year. They have stores in Market! Market!, Park Square, Festival Mall Alabang, and other new locations. Check out their Facebook page or Instagram for more updates 😀

Have a stylish Halloween 😀

Nagmahal. Nasaktan. Nag-accessorize. (I Loved. I Hurt. I Accessorized.)

Hikaw. Kwintas. Singsing. (Earrings. Necklace. Ring.). They’ve been in my wardrobe and life for as long as I could remember. From being my go-to “princess” loot,to my self-esteem-saving distraction from snide remarks, to my creative outlet, accessories have come far and wide, and close and deep, with me.

Let me share parts of my love affair with accessories, and the many reasons I love them.

They’re Great Distractions

It’s tough to be a fan of pretty things when you’re not pretty yourself. But, see, while my large teeth, acne-marked skin, and large frame didn’t get me compliments, my bracelets did. They’re noticeable, in a good way. And it made me happy that they were, because at least, for a moment, they weren’t seeing the un-pretty me; they were seeing the pretty bracelet.

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They Almost Always Don’t Require Sizes

They fit almost anyone, and they look great on anyone, because they look awesome by themselves.

Being a lover of princess-y stuff, there are certain types of clothes I wanted to wear when I was younger (READ: pink lace dress with lots of drapes and puffy sleeves), but was discouraged from wearing because they didn’t flatter my frame. And yeah, I do get a lot of “Ang taba mo sa suot mo” comments during reunions and gatherings, so I couldn’t really count on clothes most of the time. But, I never get those with the earrings framing my face, or the rings on my fingers.

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They’re a Way to Express Yourself 

I love coming home to my truckload of bead supplies after a long day at work. There’s something therapeutic about threading colorful stones together and wearing the finished product the day after.

While it’s certainly fun to hoard trinkets, for me, nothing beats the feeling of making something exactly like you’d imagined it to be, without worrying about anyone wearing the same thing. The photos above are perfect examples, at least for me 🙂 say hello to my creations.

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They’re An Elegant Way to Beautify

It saddens me to see that up until now, beautifying one’s self comes with negative connotations. When one dresses a certain way, they get slut-shamed. When one wears makeup, they get accused of being fake. Those who attempt to be beautiful in their own terms don’t get to win.

It’s bittersweet to note that blings are perceived under a relatively positive light. Shining and shimmering mean splendid and rich, and it has been that way since the beginning of time. But, of course, there would always be those who’ll waste no time in calling you a Christmas tree or a fashion nightmare when you show up in full-on bling. Can’t always win, but at least, with silver or gold adornments, you get to, somehow.

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They’re Symbolic and Sentimental

There are only two accessories I wear everyday, without fail: a small tarnished crown ring on my pinky and a silver crown ring on my ring finger. They’re both symbol rings I got for myself, because, duh, I’ve been single all my life.

I got them both when I was having a hard time in life. I was under a lot of pressure, professionally and personally. A budding relationship ended before it even began. And I just felt like nothing was working out in my life, and it sucked. I thought of getting myself a crown to remind me that I’m in charge, that this is my life, and while it sucked, I can choose not to be a victim of the circumstances.

It was so fitting, actually, because one of my “moving on” songs was “King” by Lauren Aquilina. Seeing those rings on my hands, I do get a sense that I’m queen, and I can overcome the rut. Around a year after getting them, I sure did.

They Make You Feel Special

My yaya was my most consistent supplier of accessories as a teen. She got them from all sorts of places: the marketplace, bazaars, grocery store…just about everywhere. One Christmas, she even gave me a rosary bracelet I could wear for protection. She told me she had it blessed in a church near the wet market.

She got me a lot of trinkets for my birthdays, and she’d apologize because they’re “simple lang“, as she’d often say. But they aren’t. She got them for me when she could have bought stuff for herself, and that’s more than enough for them to be special.

Regardless of sentimentality or whatnot, when you wear elegant pieces, you will feel special. That’s something accessories have always done for me, and I’ll always be happy to remember that. There are stories behind them, and these are mine. Nagmahal, nasaktan, nag-accessorize. Sometimes, minahal, pinasaya, nag-accessorize.

Surely, accessories will continue to become part of my stories for a very long time.

 

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