Monday, December 19, 2011

     While checking out new deals from Groupon, I was happy to find out they were helping The Philippine National Red Cross gather donations. Whoever thought of this is a genius! Donating via voucher purchase is by far the most convenient (at least for me) and up to date way of helping. I already bought mine which shows that I'm really living up to my blog's title. So to all CO VOUCHER ADDICTS out there, before buying a coupon for yourself, purchase at least one for our calamity-stricken kababayans in Mindanao. 

     To start donating you may log on to http://www.beeconomic.com.ph/deals/metro_manila/philippine-red-cross-emergency-alert--tropical-storm-sendong-donate-p100-to-the-victims-of-tropical-storm-sendong-today/715926326A hundred bucks might seem small but when grouped together can make a BIG difference! If I'm not mistaken, that's what Groupon is all about anyway right?

Some Vouchers DO SUCK!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

     I know by now most of you have heard of or purchased vouchers from websites like Ensogo, Cashcashpinoy, Groupon, Metrodeal and many more. I for one have been an avid follower and client of such sites since October 2010. Initially I was very hesitant to try it but when I found a very good deal on Ensogo with a skincare clinic I know and have trusted for eternity (YSA Skincare Center), I went ahead with my first voucher purchase. 

     The service I got from YSA was the same thing they do with regular clients. I'm sure of this 'cause I've been one since I was in college. This successful transaction gave me confidence in purchasing more vouchers but I kept my guard up on some deals offered by unfamiliar establishments. I was thinking, sooner or later, some of these deals are bound to suck. That day came when I bought a Metrodeal voucher featuring a Hydro Jet Facial Treatment at Skin U Love in Mother Ignacia Avenue, Q.C.  

     Scheduling an appointment wasn't at all a problem since their staff was accommodating on the phone. On the day of my visit, the staff immediately offered me an additional service of facial cleaning (as expected). She explained and insisted that facial cleaning was recommended before a hydro jet facial for best results. I just had facial cleaning with acne surgery 2 weeks prior and I really didn't like to have another that soon, especially in a clinic that I'm not familiar with, so I declined. But she kept on insisting which lead me to just tell her I didn't bring extra money. That was when they showed their true color. They were LOUDLY speaking to each other in their dialect which I found very rude and unprofessional. They just pointed me to the treatment room and assumed I knew what to do next. The so called REVOLUTIONARY treatment was over in less than 15 minutes. I really got my money's worth because their service was as CHEAP as their voucher. As for their staff, they were UNPROFESSIONAL and very JUDGEMENTAL. They already labelled me as a VOUCHER HOLDER instead of a client. I couldn't believe such POOR service existed in a clinic that looks reputable from the outside. I didn't show them my disgust, instead I waltzed out of their so called skin clinic without giving any tip, besides, they don't deserve a single centavo.

Books I've missed..

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

     In the past 3 to 4 years of being a pediatric resident, there was never enough time to rest, let alone sit down and enjoy reading a book besides Nelson (our reference book in pediatrics). Every minute of your existence counts and you always seem to find yourself working against the clock. This may be one of the reasons why I'm now going back to my first love... Reading. Don't get me wrong, I'm really not the type who has read all the New York Time's best sellers. I just read what I feel like reading. From inspirational books to romance novels and even short stories depending on what I think I need. I also read books recommended by friends, in that way I wouldn't be finding myself tossing the book back to the shelf after reading a few pages.

     While I was reviewing for my diplomate board exam last month, I came across people who had the luxury of time to sit snuggly in the comfortable couch of starbucks or coffeebean to read novels, magazines or news papers while there I was, sitting on a hard wooden chair to keep me awake while reading pages after pages of pediatric diseases. On the day I learned I passed the exam, I went immediately to Powerbooks and luckily bought 2 romance novels on sale! 'The Bride' by Julie Garwood and 'Highland Velvet' by Jude Deveraux. Just yesterday I bought Joshua Harris' book 'I Kissed Dating Goodbye' and I still plan on buying more from my friends' recommended author, Paolo Coelho. Maybe I'll read the twilight saga agian. Well, it really doesn't matter which one comes first, I'm just so happy for finally having the time to read.

     I am currently hooked on the novels written by Julie Garwood and Jude Deveraux. I have finished reading 4 novels in less than a month! I also purchased 2 novels from ibooks and I find it so convenient to read novels using the ipad! 

     But even so, I still prefer the feel of a pocketbook on my hand and do my reading the primitive way. I just finished reading 'The Velvet Promise' and I am now about to start with Garwood's 'Gentle Warrior'. Talk about a reading comeback! 

OBAGI: Signature Facial Treatment

     While browsing the net last september, I stumbled upon a Groupon deal offered by the House of Obagi. They were offering their signature facial treatment for 50% off, from Php 3,500 down to Php 1,750. Knowing I couldn't get any other chance like it, I immediately succumbed to the offer and bought one.

     Two months after purchasing the voucher, I decided to avail of the offer and gave their Trinoma branch a call for reservations. The attendant I spoke to was very accomodating and was suggesting the best possible time for me to visit their clinic. She immediately confirmed that I was on their list and can drop by the next morning with the voucher.

     On the day of my treatment, they made me fill up an information sheet and in less than 5 minutes I was being lead to one of their treatment rooms. The room, as expected, was impressive. It was quite small but cozy and very private. Miss Julie, the nurse who assisted me, was very nice and made sure I was comfortable. Unlike in other skin care clinics, they didn't ask me to wash my face clean before the procedure though I came in prepared without any make up on, just a thin layer of sunblock on my face. When the treatment started, I realized why they didn't ask me to wash my face before the procedure, because they do the cleaning for you. They massaged my face for what seemed like forever with different Obagi products. Miss Julie was telling me what the products were before each application. Then came the most dreadful part of all skin cleaning procedures, the acne surgery. She was telling me how the procedure may be painful but I assured her I was prepared. True enough the acne surgery made me teary eyed but over all, the pain wasn't different from the last procedures I had. What I did like about it was the equally long facial massage and application of different Obagi products including vitamin C and a moisturizer with spf 30. They also used a machine which visibly reduced my skin's redness due to the surgery. In effect, my face wasn't too flushed or swollen after the procedure. Another thing I found unique with their service was the arm massage while waiting for my face to dry up. Finally, after the treatment, they didn't woo me into buying their products and suggested a skin consult with their in-house Dermatologist (which comes free with any procedure). The reason why they don't sell the products directly to clients is that the Dermatologists are the only ones authorized to prescribe them after examining your skin's condition. I find this very impressive and it definitely sets them far apart from many other skincare clinics who freely dispense skin products without an expert opinion.

     My experience with Obagi has been heavenly and though it was still expensive despite the 50% discount, the service they offered was worth every penny they charged. I may not be coming back often but I will certainly return when I feel the need to pamper myself with the best quality service, the Obagi way.

Dashing Diva Experience

Monday, November 21, 2011

     I've heard about Dashing Diva nail salon in the past years and have seen their branch inside Beauty Bar Trinoma but never tried their services until last Friday. I wanted pampering since I felt like I deserve one after several weeks of not having a mani-pedi. I tried the most sought after (at least that's what the staff said) package they offer, SPOILED (Php 950) while the other 2 packages were BASIC (Php 650) and ALL-OUT (Php 1,500).

     The first thing I noticed about the place was the the girly ambiance. They have a long pink cushioned couch with small tubs that look like bathroom sinks (only a little bigger) across the edge where your feet can be dipped in. The thing that bothered me (same with other nail salons I've been to) was the lack of privacy between customers. There were no dividers or curtains that separate you from the others. Anyway, the clients were glued to their magazines most of the time so privacy wasn't at all an issue. The thing that separates them from the other salons was the free drink, choice of iced tea or a cosmopolitan! Not bad. They do massage your hands and feet but it only took a few minutes. They were more OC on cleaning, moisturizing and perfecting my nails. They applied different moisturizing creams for several times before and after cleaning the nails. After applying the nail color, they assisted me to a counter where you stick your hands and feet under a blow dryer which I thought was a no-no after having newly polished nails. The end result was more than satisfying, it was perfect! (Sorry for the image, I could't get a clear shot)

My nails were perfectly colored and dry! The texture remained flawless even after 4 days, the longest wearing polished nails I've had. As for the price, it's a bit more expensive than the other salons but if you're not a massage freak like me and you're after good quality service and satisfying results then this is the nail spa for you. I have already recommended this salon to friends and I am definitely coming back in the future.

Accidental GOOD BUY

Saturday, October 29, 2011

          I was at Trinoma with a friend (Kristen) a few days ago and we made a quick stop at Healthy Options. I was surprised at the volume and variety of things they sell. They have an array of food items, supplements, skin and hair care products. But the best thing I saw was this tinted lip balm. 

          I haven't heard of this brand before (Alba Botanica) which made me quite hesitant to buy it at first but when I read the label and saw it was 70% organic with SPF 8, I immediately reconsidered. This product reminds me of Burt's Bees tinted lip balm which I love above all others but if you're on a tight budget and you want a more affordable product that can give you the same effect, this is a good substitute. It moisturizes your lips with just the right amount of shimmer and pigment. The downside is they only have 2 shades available. The one I got was Bloom which has almost the same color as Burt's Bees Fig while the other color was in purple. Burt's bees tinted lip balms are priced at P395.00 each while Alba Botanica offers theirs at only P139.00. 

The Power of TEA TREE

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

     For the past months, after residency, I have been experiencing break outs. Maybe due to hormonal changes or stress, but whatever the reasons are behind these unwanted pimples, what's important is how to get rid of them and prevent them from dominating my face. Well, pimples aren't new to me, I have been a victim during my teen-age years. It really got worse that my mom already brought me to a dermatologist. I had my face treated and I judiciously went to the clinic for treatment and after a few months, not only did my pimples clear but I had a healthier, fairer and more radiant complexion. So since then, I became very loyal to my dermatologist's products, from facial wash, toner, moisturizer and sunblock, all things I put on my face I bought from her line of products. There were even times when I tried on new commercial products I saw on advertisements but I never got the exact same results that I get from my derma. I always ended up going back to my old routine. So for more than 10 years now, I haven't had any pimple problems until 2 months ago. I started having pimple break outs on my face so I just continued the regimen I'm used to. But it seemed endless, one pimple would break out after another. Leaving dark pigments on my skin that don't heal as fast as they used to. Maybe because I'm aging and skin regeneration is slowing down on me. I felt so helpless, as helpless as I was years ago. So I started to look for ways to treat the pimples. I bought Clean and clear pimple treatment gel which really worked but not to the point of preventing other break outs. I hate the dark pigmented areas on my face after each pimple dries out. Also, I hate the fact that I need a spot corrector to get rid of the pimple marks. So I searched the net for products that will help me find a solution to all of my concerns. The answer came just in time when I received the email update from body shop. I browsed through their line of products to find out what they offer to those with pimple problems. Tea tree was the answer I got. So I went out and bought their starter kit which by the way was on sale at that time! Here are the products I bought:

Tea tree oil starter kit, all 4 products in a cute net-like green pouch

Tea tree skin clearing facial wash, toner, oil and lotion

Tea tree skin clearing facial wash (60ml): A refreshing daily gel-based facial wash to remove excess oil.

Tea tree skin clearing toner (60ml): 
A refreshing "shake to activate" toner with mattifying powders that effectively tone the skin and remove traces of impurities to leave skin looking matte.

Tea tree oil (10ml): A naturally infused, targeted solution to help clear blemishes quickly and effectively without overdrying the skin.

Tea tree skin clearing lotion (15ml): 
A lightweight moisturising lotion that contains powders to help absorb excess oil and control shine.

     I purchased this last week and I am now on my 5th day of using the entire line and I must admit, I am very much pleased with the results I am getting. I start off with cleansing my face using the facial wash, followed by the toner. Then I use the tea tree oil, applying a small amount on the blemish using a small cotton and finish off with the lotion all over my face in upward and outward stroking motions. On the first day, I felt tingly from using the toner and the concentrated tea tree oil. It was bearable and lasted for only a few minutes. They smell like menthol when you use them which didn't bother me at all. I love the way body shop made this starter kit which is very useful and a great buy for those who are not yet sure what products to buy from the tea tree line. Well on the following days, I saw my face starting to clear up. The pimple marks were peeling off discreetly and appeared lighter. I felt a new pimple about to break out on my chin the other day, but when I applied the tea tree oil concentrate, it never appeared, as if nothing was there in the first place. Well, I have to admit that I never thought I would discover a new effective way of treating my pimple problems. I have never seen any other product that delivers what it promises. The Body shop Tea Tree line truly gives the results it promises: visibly clearer and deep cleansed skin with reduced excess oil and unclogged pores without the harsh side effects of blemish-control products. All these results from the power of Body Shop's Tea Tree.


Saturday, August 20, 2011

     I really haven't heard of Fitflop until just recently. I remember seeing them on displays at different malls and some of their designs certainly captured my attention but I have to admit that I never tried on any because I thought they're a bit expensive. I was thinking I could already buy a pair of decent shoes instead. So I went around by passing each and every pair that caught my attention. But when I realized I needed comfortable footwear that can fit with any dress on my trip to Singapore next month, I reconsidered and tried looking for Fitflop on ebay. Well, there were many designs to choose from and they cost way cheaper than the original ones. But when I went to SM North this afternoon and saw this..

... I couldn't just turn away and get out of the store empty handed. Especially when I tried it on, it felt so right on my feet. Okay, I know I've been ranting about this for a long time but seriously, though I feel that I have been defending my impulsiveness since I started writing this review, I believe I have made a reasonable purchase.. :) 

My very own SIGMA!!!

Friday, August 12, 2011

     I've been eager to get my hands on this baby for the past months and it's finally here!!! My very own SIGMA premium travel kit. Pictures first before the story of my long agonizing wait.. :)

The complete set: brochures, free gift, brush set with pouch

The brush kit was in this pink net drawstring pouch

Sigma premium travel kit 

Opened Sigma premium travel kit 

Sigma premium travel kit with flap open

7 AWESOME Sigma brushes

Freebie!!! Sigma blending brush E25

The entire deal.. :)

ORDER YOURS NOW!!! Click on the pic above.

     I can't begin to describe how I felt when I got this from the post office this afternoon. Finally, after the very long wait.. months of looking at different sites and blogs for reviews on the best and reasonably priced brush kits.. 4 weeks of waiting for the shipment to arrive.. Well, I have to say that it was worth the wait.. I love the brushes, carefully packed and placed in the pouch. Each one in its' own plastic cover. The bristles are so soft and they really smell good.. at least for me. The kit is everything I have hoped it would be. I love the pink metallic color of the entire collection. I also love the free brush they threw in, blending brush E25. I have never purchased a brush kit and it's really a good thing I never did and waited until today. :)

Newly acquired skin care and hair care products.. MINI HAUL

Monday, August 8, 2011

     Over the past months, I picked up a few new products I haven't tried before and not so new ones with new releases from a previous line I have used. I will review each product in the future but for now I just want to share what they are. 

*L'oreal total repair 5 repairing shampoo 
*L'oreal total repair 5 repairing conditioner
*Sunsilk co-creations weather defense serum
*Sunsilk co-creations weather defense light cream
*Dove daily moisture therapy replenishing mist
*Maxi-peel exfoliant #3
*The Body Shop soft hand kind heart hand cream
*Asian Secrets lulur whitening body scrub

OLAY: Regenerist eye make-up remover PLUS!

      Well, for the past months since I got My Ipad2, I have enjoyed using it so much that I haven't used my laptop. The Ipad2 has lived up to my expectations and exceeded them. It was everything that I have hoped it would be and even more. What I love about Ipad2 are the added features that sets it apart from the first Ipad.. CAMERA, therefore allowing facetime, taking pictures & videos and uploading them anytime, anywhere on the web! Since I have been using this incredible gadget for months now, the ONLY problem I have encountered is maintaining the cleanliness of my pink smart cover.. I know, this sounds like a minor issue but if you use a certain gadget everyday, as often as or maybe more often than using your cellphone, it gets really dirty and therefore unsightly. So I searched the net for an answer to my problem.. What is the proper way of cleaning the Ipad2's smart cover. Several suggestions included using water with mild soap, alcohol, leather cleaner (the ones you use to clean leather car seats) and some even mentioned vinegar (???). I didn't do any of that. I figured apple must've thought of manufacturing a suitable cleanser of some sort for the smart cover. So I dropped by the apple store in Trinoma a week ago and asked if they do have such thing and the sales person told me that there's none and suggested to just clean it with soap and water. I didn't do that either. Then one time I was going through my skin care products, I came across my OLAY Regenerist eye make-up remover which I got as a freebie from my last purchase of Olay products. 

I only used it several times since I don't regularly wear eye make-up. I told myself I might as well use it to clean the smart cover. I used a square shaped cotton to apply it and a wet tissue to wipe off the excess. The end product was FABULOUS! It didn't take much rubbing to clean off the dirt. It dried so fast that I didn't need to wipe off the moisture. Overall, I am very much SATISFIED with the result. By the way, I also used this to clean my white philips earphones and I must say that it gave me the results I really wanted.

RATING: ****

BLISTEX: Ultimate favorite lip balm

Sunday, July 17, 2011

My ultimate favorite lip balm as of today is the Blistex lip infusion moisture splash liquid lip balm. You read that right, it's a lip balm in liquid form. I am not actually that crazy over lip balms, I used to prefer tinted lip glosses that are creamy and come in tubes. But when I got a bad case of cracked lips just a month ago and tried on my usual lip gloss, my lips didn't look quite presentable. Some of the gloss I applied can be seen deep in the cracked portion of my lips and it looked scary. I wouldn't go into details about how it looked but it was really unbearable seeing it that I had to go the mall to find a suitable lip treatment. I went to Landmark that afternoon and couldn't quite make up my mind on what brand to buy. I was torn between Nivea, Carmex and Blistex. But among the array of Lip balms displayed on the counter, only one product got me curious enough to try it even if it costs higher than the rest. The Blistex liquid lip balm.

I figured it was perfect for my cracked lips since it's in liquid form, none of the product would be grossly trapped between the cracks. Problem was, there were no test products available so I realy had to buy it first to find out if it's worth the price. Well, it wasn't at all that expensive, it was only P125.00 but compared to the other lip balms it was the most expensive. Anyway, after buying, I went to the ladies room and had to try it right away not because I was excited to use it but more because my lips were so cracked and needed to be moisturized. The packaging is really impressive, it didn't look cheap at all. It has a metallic roller ball that actually feels soft and cool on your lips. It glided smoothly on my lips and the roller ball was so effective in releasing just the right amount of lip balm with every stroke. Though the lip balm was quite runny, the consistency for me is just right to really moisturize your lips without leaving a greasy feel. Over all I would say that this product is PERFECT. My lips were healed in just 2 days of using it. Though I still use my other lip balms and glosses, I still reach for my Blistex liquid lip balm whenever I feel my lips need extra care and treatment.
RATING: *****