Beauty schmeuty



Gave a talk to Rotary Gems San Juan today. Topic: Creating a Beautiful World.
I posted this on Instagram the other day after I gave a talk to the Rotary Club about “Creating a Beautiful World.” Then I got questions about make up instead of the talk.


I’ve been getting a few requests for a video tutorial on how I do my own makeup. My goodness. I don’t think I have enough guts to do that yet. I’m too shy to give you tips because I am not a pro at this. And I have so many make up artist friends that are better at giving you professional advice.

Most of the time, I do my own makeup. And most of the time, I do it in the car. So while I can’t give you a step by step how-to yet, let me share the basic makeup products I use. These are the same products I use for on-cam shoots for Urban Zone and for an afternoon shopping trip to the mall. I just vary the degree/depth of use. Like if I’m on cam, I add a bit of shadow contour on my eyes, a bit more concealer and more powder foundation for coverage and anti-shine. I apply lighter pigment when I’m not on cam.

None of these products are freebies or PR gifts, so please don’t ask me prices and where to buy etc. Because I don’t remember. I will tell you the brand and the shades and they are pretty much sold in the usual places. I will give you as much info as I can. But I don’t have press kits for accurate info.


I love this powder foundation. It’s the best thing ever. I love the consistency, so smooth. And the coverage can be controlled so easily, either light or heavy. I haven’t even tried using it with a wet sponge yet because a little dust of this using a brush gives me enough coverage. I found this in The Face Shop. The best thing about it is the price – around P900ish. The down side is that it only has a few shades. This NB25 is already the darkest and I think it’s pretty light, considering. So not much range there.

For daily use, I stick to black eyeliner pencils applied in varying degree of thickness. I apply a line in my upper lid. Sometimes I smudge a thin line in my lower lid. But I already have strong eyes by birth so I try not to over do the drama there. This is awesome because once you apply it, it becomes smudge free. It’s called Shadow Liner from Maybelline. And it was inexpensive – probably below P500.

The pencil below is an eyebrow pencil from The Face Shop. Its got an auto sharpened brown tip on one end and a brush on the other. Again, inexpensive.


For eyeshadow, I have no brand loyalty because I like to buy new ones every season – Chanel, Guerlain, Estee Lauder, Shu Uemura etc. I love the packaging of luxury brand cosmetics. I like palettes as opposed to singles. This is a quad from Chanel, the newest one. In the photo above I used the gray shadow and applied one coat of it across my eyelids using one finger. Seriously. It was a no brainer.

I use concealer in my under-eye area. Very lightly because anything thick would create creases where my wrinkles are. So I just use concealer to lighten up my dark circles. I apply it before brushing the powder foundation. Then I reapply if needed. I use my finger. This particular one is from La Mer, 02 Medium. But in my other makeup bag, I use an old MAC concealer.

That lipstick is Spitfire form the Wonder Woman collection of MAC. I like that its got a deep pink purple tone. I’m into dark lips now.


I’m not picky with powder blush. I have them in different brands. The past few months I’ve been using this MAC Mineralize Blush in Cheek & Cheerful. It was a gift from an aunt in Toronto. I don’t know if it’s a special colour or a regular one. For me, any colour of blush will do. Experts can give you better advice on which blush to use for your skin tone. I use blush sparingly.

I’m happy with this mascara. It’s from L’Oreal. It’s called Telescopic Clean. It could have been any brand though. The day I bought this I was looking for any black mascara that wasn’t waterproof. I really hate stressing over makeup removal. And waterproof mascara just makes my lashes so thin. Everytime I use it and remove it, I feel like I’m losing 5 strands of eye lashes. This is water soluble but it’s not like it runs when you sweat. It comes off as flakes.


So I go cheap with basic things like black liner and mascara but I don’t like scrimping on lip colour. My lips get so dry and chapped easily. I find that Chanel is good for me. The deep red on the left is La Fascinante. It’s got a velvety finish. It has tendency to dry because that’s the look they’re going for, somewhat matte. So I condition my lips with lipbalm before applying this. This is the shade I used at the LV party. On the right is Insolente, a really nice bright pink. But not too fluorescent. It’s a very pretty pink. In the photo above, it shows a very faded Insolente. Oh I get that way, I don’t reapply lipstick unless I’m at a schmoozing event or on-cam. I usually just let my lipstick fade. Bad habit.


Let me know what you think. Share your beauty finds too.





Design books



If you’re anything like me, your house is constantly in a stage of redecorating. I never get done. As soon as I think my space is fine, something always looks wrong. And most of the time, clutter takes over. My new kitchen hasn’t happened yet. Though I’ve pretty much found all most of the suppliers I want to work with. I still haven’t found a way to get my kitchen sink over here yet. I promise (myself) to get this started right after Christmas.

Meanwhile, I keep buying design books. I know, I know, Patrick always tells me to just browse through net and find pegs there. But you know me and books. I love being surrounded by them. I like touching paper. These picture books aren’t so much about ideas anyway but basically more for inspiration.

Here’s what I found in National Book Store in the course of a few months. Most of the books are still in the stands. In case any is sold out, you can always just reserve a copy and order through their customer service desk.


Design Sponge at Home by Grace Bonney. I’ve been reading her blog forever. It has been my go-to site for anything home.


Like most successful blogs, it all started with a need to express oneself and the desire to connect and create a community. Jonathan Adler wrote the foreword, and he called Design Sponge a game-changer (eww, buzzword). But it’s true. Prior to Design Sponge, interior design was stiff, formal and snooty. Now it’s very democratic and organic.


It shows highlights from homes she’s featured over the years. These are homes that don’t scream “designer” design. Homes of people who express their own personal style in the way they live. Funny how it all started with a Brooklyn vibe. Whenever I get frustrated with my creaky uneven wooden floor planks I tell myself – pretend this is a Brooklyn brownstone.


I’d say 70% of the book is about ideas on how to do it yourself. I am however very un-crafty. So I doubt I’ll be doing any of the projects. But there are enough ideas that can help you when you’re sourcing through segunda mano shops.


Creative Walls by Geraldine James. Beautiful book, physically. I love the linen cover.


Lots of gorgeous layouts on how to display tchotchkes. And heavens knows I have a lot of that in this house.


The Well-Dressed Home by Annette Tatum. I think younger people would get a lot out of this book. Simply because when you’re in your teens and 20’s and still (possibly) living with your parents, not too many really focus on their spaces and how they live. But I say, if you spend so much on clothes and shoes, you should at least have a decent room to house your stuff in. Start with bed linens (yes that book is resting on Daphne Linens, hee hee). Honestly, fashion isn’t just about having nice clothes. It’s how you live.


So this book starts off with inspiration from fashion and the runway and shows you how you can translate it in your home.


Undecorate by Christian Lemieux. Love this.


In keeping with my own personal choice (for practical reasons) of designing my own space, Undecorate has put together a set of homes that, again, ooze with personal style. Nothing too decorated. Nothing contrived. And I like how Lemieux’s products, Dwell, are subliminally strewn across the pages. Smart.


I also placed an order for Vicente Wolf books through National Book Store. I’m waiting for those to arrive.

How about you? What design books have you recently discovered. Share.




NAIA news



A couple of weeks ago I was surprised to receive this tweet from Kenneth Cobonpue, asking for my opinion about their proposal for the NAIA 1 rehabilitation.


NAIA Cobonpue


Kenneth and his group were asking for my thoughts? Ok, I know. Disclosure. We are friends. I’m no expert.

If you haven’t seen the video proposal yet, here it is. Note that Kenneth Cobonpue, Budji Layug and Royal Pineda did the design and plans pro bono. I asked Kenneth why they did this for free. His answer was, “If we don’t do anything, who will?” Kenneth is one of the millions of Filipinos who see the need for upgraded facilities.



I didn’t have the chance to actually share my opinion because Kenneth’s Facebook page and Twitter were flooded with reviews from all sides. But in a nutshell, based on the video presentation (and not having seen the total plan), I think this is a good start. I like how they thought of the flow people and function of spaces and didn’t just come up with a pretty design. They considered cultural nuances – like the busloads of people who send off and pick up their relatives. Nice touch on the food outlets in the waiting area, though I don’t think it should really be that nice because then perhaps people will linger. Hee hee. I like the non-stop roundabout because as it is now, whenever we have to pick up my parents and their flight is delayed we have to turn all the way in Nayong Pilipino (because that parking lot is small and gets filled so fast).

While we are at it, I think a “new” airport would only be successful if the management and systems are overhauled. I think the airport authority could look into getting people with professional background in property management to run the show. Give the contract to a separate group – like an Ayala or even the property management of Power Plant Mall because that place is impeccable. This way the head of the airport authority can focus on security issues. Because I don’t think retired generals make good property managers anyway. Look at how all the bathrooms have turned out. But of course this is just my opinion. Now on to the news…


Oh, wait. We need good art. Preferably of the same calibre as the public art in Bonifacio High Street and St Lukes’ Hospital at the Fort. None of this. What is this anyway? No offense to the winners of this NAIA 3 art competition. I will save my comments for later, if and when the rumoured controversies surface.


Okay, so here is why I’m writing this story now. Today’s news…

naia renovs

This report came out today in the Business Mirror and was carried by ABS-CBN News. Full story here.


According to the report by Recto Mercene, MIAA GM Honrado said, “the firm of Leandro V. Locsin and Associates, the original architect of NAIA-1, is helping conceptualize ideas about how the newly rebuilt structure would look.” But also “part of the project” are Cobonpue, Pineda and Layug.

My thoughts – this is the first I heard that Andy Locsin is part of the rehabilitation bid. Though I know it makes sense as his father built it (and I am probably one of the few that still loves the original structure and would like it to be saved). I am waiting for confirmation of from the Locsin group regarding his involvement. I would love to see his proposal too, wouldn’t you?

The report was a bit vague as Honrado didn’t really say who was awarded the contract. I assume that has to go through some public bidding process. But the design – is it Locsin? Or the Cobonpue/Pineda/Layug group? The report went on to cite basically everything that the trio proposed in their plan. He even quoted Royal Pineda from previous interviews. Confusing. Misleading.

As soon as I read it, I congratulated Kenneth by text.  He replied. This was news to them. As of 8:30pm this evening – neither Kenneth, Royal nor Budji has been officially informed that their design got adopted by NAIA management.

So who’s getting the NAIA1 contract? Very exciting.

I would love to hear your thoughts on this. And what do you think of the Cobonpue/Pineda/Layug proposal?





Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson




I didn’t rush out to get the Steve Jobs biography by Walter Isaacson when it was released last October 24 because I still had so much reading to catch up on. Plus real-life work which included reading, writing and creating pretty things (trying). Today I figured, I’d walk in to the book store and pick up a copy. Duh. It’s sold out and everything that’s coming in has been pre-ordered.

Of course!

This article in the Wall Street Journal talks about how readers chose to buy Isaacson’s hardbound copy of “Steve Jobs” over the e-book version. And as soon people got their copies, they posted photos of the book on Instagram and Twitter – kinda like the ritual of “unboxing” an Apple product.



In Isaacson’s last conversation with Jobs he asked the one question that has puzzled him for so long – why did the very private Jobs want to reveal so much in a book? “I wanted my kids to know me,” Jobs told Isaacson. ”I wasn’t always there for them, and I wanted them to know why and to understand what I did.” Source: ABC News


The book was scheduled to be released in November 21. But because of Steve Jobs’ death (gosh I still feel so orphaned every time I say that), Simon & Schuster released the book earlier. Needless to say, it’s #1 on the New York Times best seller list.



I have some down time right now and this book would just be perfect for me this week. Ugh. I wish I had it now.

I called the head office of National Book Store. They found one last copy for me. One! In the Ermita branch. It’s headed my way now. I should get it tomorrow. It’s P1275 hardbound.

If you want to reserve a copy of “Steve Jobs” by Walter Isaacson, just visit any National Book Store and give your name at the Customer Service counter. No need for deposit. Or check their Facebook page for updates.

Curious. Who has read this? Share your insights please…





Winners of Facebook giveaway



Thank you to those who joined my little Facebook giveaway a couple of weeks ago. All your photos are here. I appreciate all the new “likes” in my Facebook page. It was so easy and stress-free for me. This time I didn’t have to count and double check the hundreds/thousands of entries. I know not everyone is comfortable with “like-like” contests. But until an easier random way is discovered, I think I like this. Spare me the lecture about Facebook policies and DTI rules. None of my personal giveways require purchases. And these are just for fun. My computer-generated random giveaways before were headache-inducing because I still had to manually count each entry. Gasp.

I decided to give the runner-up a gift too. Because she worked so hard on getting her votes.


Helen Ramos
Helen Ramos. 662 likes.


Helen wins this box of hair accessories.


Sun Manahan
Sun Kyung Manahan came in second at 549 likes. I was touched by her effort so I decided to send her a little present.


I bought this book in National Bookstore. It’s loaded with tips on personal style from the world’s top fashion bloggers. It’s cute and user-friendly. Check it out in NBS.


Check out my FB Page regularly for more giveaways. And Helen & Sun, I sent the packages already but because of the holiday, you’ll probably get it on Wednesday.