April 29, 2011

Kate Middleton's Wedding Gown

Kate Middleton/Princess Catherine's wedding dress  is by Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen.

“The dress was made by hand, using French Chantilly lace and English Cluny lace throughout the bodice, skirt and underskirt. The skirt, made of ivory and white satin gazar, was designed to emulate an opening flower: padded at the hips, it flowed out to the floor. The back of the dress was finished with 58 gazar and organza covered buttons fastened by Rouleau loops.” 

Kate's Cartier ‘halo’ tiara was lent by the Queen while  her diamond drop earrings are by Robinson Pelham, a gift from her parents, Carole and Michael Middleton. Pippa Midldleton, her sister,  also wore McQueen.

Listening to :  Story of a Girl by 3 Doors Down
             <3 : new crush... kyaaa!
              =( : period cramps

April 23, 2011

Restaurant Review: Nanbantei of Tokyo

What: Nanbantei of Tokyo, Japanese restaurant
Where: 3/F Greenbelt 3, Esperanza St., Ayala Center
Makati City, Metro Manila

Price: very reasonable bring at least P500-1000 and you'll be happy and full for two people.

Nanbantei The closest thing you’ll get to a Kanto-style Japanese barbecue place in Manila. Nanbantei remains my pre-movie and post-shopping favourite as it mirrors the unbelievably authentic Iizakaya, Toriciya in Sydney, renowned for having the most authentic yakitori menu and widest saki range in Sydney. Nanbantei’s a close second. Start with the complementary vegetable sticks and salt-rich red miso paste, then make your way through the selection of yakitori while you down a bottle of sake.

The tsukune (chicken meatballs) and shishitou maki (japanese pepper with pork) are a must, but if you’re feeling more adventurous (and traditional), order up some suna gimo (chicken gizzard), hatsu (chicken heart) and the crispy kawa (chicken skin) – it’s the stuff real Japanese salaryman garnish their saki with. The barbecues are all coal-fuelled, equalling extra meaty flavor. If you must have the requisite serving of rice, grab some onigiri – the warm, seaweed wrapped rice ball dumplings filled with bonito flakes, pickled plum or salmon – its good old fashioned comfort food, the way your momma would make it if she were Japanese.

Sushi, sashimi and noodles are on the menu too, with the uni (sea urchin), being a draw; as is the now requisite coffee jelly. However, the place really excels at traditional yakitori and you’ll find enough grilled pieces of meat and vegetable to stuff yourself to your heart’s content.

What: Nanbantei of Tokyo 
Where: 3/F Greenbelt 3, Esperanza Street, Ayala Center, Makati City, National Capital Region, Philippines
Contact: (02) 757-4130

- Extremely authentic, with real Japanese expats frequenting the place
- Wide selection of meats and a decent saki menu
-Very reasonable price. Almost too reasonable.

- It closes between lunch and dinner
- Getting a seat after 6pm can be a struggle with the dinner crowd
- Why does every restaurant need 16 degree air conditioning?

Verdict:  You may be tempted by the flash new Yakitori place a few doors down, but don’t be fooled – Nanbantei sports the Japanese executive expat crowd. So come for the barbecue and stay for the saki.

14/20 (Anything over 11/20 is very, very good)

Mark and Millie
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 Listening to: No One Said This Would Be Easy by The Postmarks
             <3: shopping
             =(: missing Mark

April 22, 2011

The Face Shop's Face it HD Perfect BB Cream Review


BB cream -also known as Blemish Balm or Blemish Base or Beblesh Balm, is a cosmetic item sold in East and Southeast Asia Originally formulated in Germany, it was initially used by dermatologists to help laser surgery patients protect, soothe and refine highly sensitive skin while providing light coverage for post-laser scars, acne and other blemishes.

In recent years BB cream has gained a huge following for its skin-regenerating properties and is now also widely used in Asia to provide natural-looking skin coverage.
BB creams come in a variety of different formulations. Some are said to have skin whitening or brightening properties, others are anti-acne, some are anti-wrinkle, some are intended to even out skin tone, and yet others to lighten blemish scars. BB creams are sometimes used like a primer under foundation, and if tinted may even replace foundation and some newer ones will have functions of primer, foundation, moisturizer, sun block, pore minimization and skin refining together which can save time and money in make-up.
Popular brands on the market today include, but are not limited to, Dr. Jart, Liole, Missha, Murasaki Japan and SKIN79 which are made in Korea and Japan. - Wikipedia

Item: The Face Shop's Face it HD-Perfect BB cream
What it has acc to the packaging: SPF30/PA++. Contains HD Skin Complex to meticulously conceal skin flaws and blemishes while covering widened pores and eneven skin surface to provide a dair and smooth HD skin appearance.
Price: 995Php, 40 grams. Pricey - __ -
Color:  Comes in one color only acc to the sales lady: Natural Beige
this pic is not photoshopped or anything. This BB cream was able to hide my dark circles, freckles and a bit of my mole near my lip.  It evened out my skin tone and I only used concealer under the eyes and pressed powder after.
After 1 week of using the product: before and after BB cream.. As you can see, it was able to hide some of my freckles and evened out my skin tone.  

-Smells good but if you want an odorless cream then this is not for you.
-Packaging is really nice.
-I was able to buy this small trial version so I'm very happy because I don't wanna waste money if I didn't like the product.
-First time I tried it in the office, I really liked it. Gave me a good glow even though I'm acidic which means, make up tends to get darker on my face and fades quickly.
-Moisturized my skin really well which is good because I have dry skin esp in our office where it's damn cold. Apparently it's also good for oily skin.
-My skin really improved after using a couple of times.
-I didn't need foundation! Thank God. My skin felt it could finally breathe because this BB cream was soo light.
-I now only use BB cream, MAC concealer, pressed powder and sometimes blush on. 
-Was able to hide my freckles. Yes, I do have them on my cheek bones.
-Evened out my skin tone.
-I didn't need to retouch too much whole day. Just needed to powder my nose.
-Lasted til night.
-Easy to wash off.
-For day use only for darker skin tones.
-Face felt smoother.
-It has a matte finish.

-Comes only in one shade. Really annoying to be honest and it's a bit lighter than my skin tone. I was able to adjust my skin tone with a darker shade of my pressed powder.
-quite thick and it's hard to spread on my face since it sticks and dries easily. Had to put more.
-REALLY BAD AT NIGHT. Seriously bad. Look at the photo above. Since it's made for whiter skin, you can see how uneven it looked not only in photos but also in person. They should seriously consider creating BB creams for different skin tones. 
-Quite impractical because you have to remove it and put foundation at night to even out your skin tone if you don't want to look like a floating face on pictures.
-I seriously do not recommend this for morenas, sun-kissed or Filipinas with darker skin tone. The product was made in Korea and I have a feeling, their target market were koreans and other countries with lighter skin tone.
-too expensive for its size I think

Verdict: I will buy the bigger version of this product but I'll only use it during the day. It's really good on my skin and I really like the results. it's good for any skin type, has a matte finish and was able to use as a substitute for my Make Up For Ever foundation. I just find this a bit impractical since I can't use it at night because it renders an uneven skin tone. All in all, it's not the best product but it's good.

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Listening to : Raphael by Carla Bruni
              <3: make up
              =(: heat

Beauty Haul: April Product Favorites

My first beauty haul... I think? I bought these because I needed a different, more natural look for the office. I've been browsing through BB cream reviews and wanted to try one. I was lucky enough to find a trial size at  The Face Shop in ATC. I also bought blush-on and eyebrow pencil from the said store and I got a free Vita C mask sheet. I was also looking for the right lip color because I wanted the whole coral lip thing which I think really suits Filipina skin. The tone gives off a more subtle, glowing effect and compliments our skin really well.  The best lipstick reviews I found were that of Revlon's and Maybelline's. I opted for warmer colors in both my blush and lipsticks. The fake lashes are not for the office obviously, it's for any photoshoot.  Reviews for the products will soon follow:)

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Listening to :  Only You, Kaskade

               <3: make-up

               =( : migraines 

April 12, 2011

Be Marked, Be Red Openshoot

Be Marked, Be Red Openshoot! JOIN & WIN!! 

Get a chance to WIN a MyPhone QTV20 HANDSET and an EXCLUSIVE CONTRACT with RED TALENT STUDIO !!!

JOIN the 1st RED OPENSHOOT on April 16 & 17, 2011 with ace photographer ASH REGINALD EVASCO at Red Talent Studio Manila at 7E Tuscan Bldg., V.A Rufino St., Legaspi Village Makati City. 

For inquiries, call the studio hotlines at 02-5533675 or text 09153755333 or 09283222333. Register now for only P1,200!

Check out my friend Ash Reginald Evasco's portfolio here: 

April 11, 2011

Review: Coron Village Lodge 2011

Coron Village Lodge


Inclusion: 3 nights accomodation

9 meals and 2 snacks
2 days island tour
Mt. Tapyas and Hot Spring Tour
Entrance fees to all destinations
Services of a guide
Airport van transfer
Welcome drink
Free-flowing coffee
Free wifi signal

1st day-2nd day

Saw the town, visited the town plaza, the market, the schools, etc.
Went up to Makinit Hot Spring
Island Loop Tour:
Siete Pecados
Cayangan Lake
Twin Lagoons
Atwayan Beach

3rd day
Kayangan Lake
Calumboyan Island
Lusong World War II shipwreck
Coral Garden

 We tried booking last December but they didn't really accommodate  us so they asked us to book a month before. I tried calling several times to confirm my booking but they will only confirm it with a 5% down payment which you will deposit in their account. This really depends on the person you talk to and the kind of arrangement and price she gives you.

 I booked Cebu Pacific last December even if our trip was on March and we were able to get really cheap flights. Prepare at least 1,500 per person either one way or two way depending on your dates. I'm not sure if PAL flies directly to Busuanga. Our trip was originally Feb but we moved it so it became cheaper. We were picked up by a van from the airport but after that it's usually tricycles and boats. Be prepared to go up Makinit Hot Spring riding a tricycle, it's so bumpy and dusty, I felt like I gave birth to my intestines. The boat rides were more pleasant because they gave each group a boat. Even if it's just you and your lover, they will give you a separate boat and not try to squeeze you in other groups so I really really like that. Note that Coron Village Lodge is in town but is 5 minutes away from the port which is 15 minutes away from the islands and beaches.

 The most unimpressive part of the whole experience was our room. Maybe we're just used to hotels, I dunno. But my parents wanted us to stay in one big room with 3 beds, 1 queen size and 2 single beds for me and my sister. My dad wanted separate rooms for us but my mother wanted the whole family to bond.   The room was quaint. Very clean and comfy. The aircon was not working properly which worked for me because I don't really like uber cold rooms. The shower wasn't working properly as well even though it had hot and cold settings, the water pressure was terrible. They have room service every day so our room was always clean and we had new towels everyday. If you're a hotel-type of person like me/Mark who frequents every Ascott in Makati or Sunset in Aninuan then this is not for you. Luckily I was trained in UPLB so I didn't mind the room, I don't know about Mark but then again, we went to Coron not knowing anything haha.  Be sure to book a month before because as I recall, it was the only room available. 

Tour guide: 
Our tour guide was very professional, respectful and anticipated our every need. He could be a butler, swimming instructor, waiter, photographer,tour guide all in one. Kuya Jun prepared all our food before and during the trip. While we swam, he cooked our fish or meat if we wanted grilled stuff but it was generally packed lunch with condiments. We gave him 1,000php tip for his excellent services.

Breakfast is at 7AM onwards and the food is served per table, not buffet style. You can choose from any Silog combination or International Breakfast. After your meal, you proceed with the tour. You stop over an island around 12PM while your tour guide prepares the table in one of the huts. The food is very Filipino. I think they ask what you like and then they'll cook and prepare it. My parents wanted grilled fish so Kuya Jun brought fresh fish and grilled it while we took pics and swam. They also brought condiments, dessert (usually fruits) and sandwiches for snack. You can ask for a jug of water but they usually bring soft drinks. Again, it's up to you. Our family does not eat a lot so Kuya Jun and two other boat men were very lucky. They wait for you to finish your meal and eat what's left so if you like your meals hearty, you might want to bring your own snack but the food is usually a lot so it's not really a problem.
You'll be back in Village Lodge by 5PM exhausted. You go up to your room, take a shower, rest a bit and eat at 7PM onwards. The staff will assign you a table. The food is served buffet style so if you're really hungry, you have to fall in line first. They serve the food hot and they always bring additional so you don't get leftovers. Quality of food is good and the ambiance is relaxing. 

Bloody amazing. I've been to different countries and their beaches but Coron is paradise. I assure you, it's one of the most beautiful places in the world. 

I cannot give you the exact amount because the price differs per season/flight schedule and arrangement so I will give you an estimate in Philippine Peso per person.

1. Cebu Pacific-1,000-2,000 depending on your schedule and booking.

2. Coron Village Lodge-7,500 per person which includes everything I mentioned above, board and lodging, meals during tour, tour guide, transpo fees (boats, tricycles, van, entrance fees to hot spring and beaches). Again, depending on your arrangement. 5% down payment is required a week or a month before to confirm your booking.

3. Airport snack, additional snack etc- 500-1,000 We had Mrs. Fields and ate in this French cafe.

4. Tip (optional)- 1,000 to our tour guide Kuya Jun.

5. Internet- 15 pesos per hour, internet shop right beside Coron Village Lodge. They have free wifi in the cafe but we didn't bring our laptops so yea.

All in all, prepare at least 10,000 per person if you wanna go to Coron. Again, we didn't know anything about Coron and were only advised by my cousin who stayed in Coron Village Lodge months before. Will I go back to Coron Village Lodge? Yes, but I'll make sure to get a better room. This place is good if you're new to Palawan and you want everything organized for you. As a family, it's better to stay in a more expensive hotel since the parents can afford and you can take advantage haha. They let me do all the bookings so I apologize to my parents if it's not the best but my mother liked it because she didn't have to think about anything. I might take Mark there one day or we might stay in a different hotel but I will definitely go back to Coron Village Lodge for the tour and food. This is also good for couples, students and backpackers. It's really worth your money.  I hope this review helped a bit. Enjoy your summer. :)

For more inquiries visit their website http://www.coronvillagelodge.com

More pictures of my Coron escapade here .

Listening to : Smells Like Teen Spirit (Nirvana) cover by Ituana Jazz and 90s
             <3: Coron
            =( : leaving this place

April 08, 2011

Where is Mark?

We've been doing this for 5 years now, going 6. We talk every single day no matter what continent we are. We talked every day even though he was in South America, Asia, Europe and of course, Australia. My mother actually pointed this out yesterday how consistent we were. We'll both be very busy soon and I know you're feeling down now, so I hope this post kind of cheers you up

Dear Mark, 

I've been taking several pics of you while we chat. I tried to capture you while you talked and made all kinds of expressions. We've been chatting for several years now but this is the first time I've seen you in pajamas. I really like you in pjs. You look so young and vulnerable. The simplicity of the garment led me to dwell on your face. Your smile lights up the whole screen if not the world. When you smile, your eyes arch like rainbows on a sunny sky that is  the amber of your skin.  Your mouth carries a vast ocean of stories and waves of your laughter. You have beautiful eyes that reflect your beautiful soul and I can see it even through a machine. Always smile and everything will be alright. 

By the way, people have been asking me where you are right now. It's funny because I still feel you're near because we still keep in contact every day but anyway, I'll just tell them you're in pajamas. hahaha


Listening to :  Rhythm of Love Cover (Plain White T's) by Clara C and Joseph Vincent
              <3: Ani
             =( : missing you
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