Belo, fairest of them all

 

 

FA Belo Pamper Day

 

I have been going to Belo religiously for over ten years. By that I mean, regular facials every 2 to 3 weeks. I have the simplest maintenance routine — Honey Almond Cleaning and Power Peel. No chemicals, no ointments, no creams, no lasers. Two times I tried laser, Picosure, for research purposes. I love the results, but I feel like I don’t need lasers just yet. This is because I am so happy and satisfied with the quality of my skin.

To give you some examples I am posting some shameless selfies here — with no filters, no make up, just woken up face, and one photo shows what I look like with my everyday makeup. With all objectivity and humility I can say I have very little visible pores on my face. Because of my treatments at Belo, I’ve also reduced the need for other skincare. I don’t use masks or creams. Once in a while, I’ll use eye cream, only because I’m jealous of my friends who buy fancy creams.

 

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A few years ago the night before I turned 40.

 

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My every day makeup involves no actual foundation makeup. I only wear foundation if I have to go on stage. For real life and events, I just dust some powder on my skin. I wear concealer to mask some dark circles under my eyes and redness around my nose. Then I focus on the yes and lips. This was in 2013 in Toronto.

 

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Breakfast at home, 2014.

 

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Another “woke up like this” shameless photo. At the beach in 2014, during our early morning walk.

 

I’m not claiming to be perfect. But whatever imperfection there is, I’ve accepted completely. I have a huge scar across my forehead due to a bicycle accident when I was 8. I have red veins that show through my skin — which I actually love, because one side spells the letter “M” in red veins. My kids think it is my mark – M for mom. I have a mole in my lip. Speaking of, I know I have thin lips but I will not get fillers, not me. Too scared of injections. My nose is funny; it points down when I smile. Laugh lines and fine wrinkles are there too. I used to obsess over my teeth as a teenager because they were huge. My parents got me braces in my late teens when my jaw reached maturity. I had to wear a headgear at night. There is no such thing as effortless beauty. Haha.

I am raising three daughters who I hope will not be obsessed by their looks. I know that consciousness about beauty and body image is part of growing up. My role as their real role model is to show them that these things are temporary and what matters most is what they have inside – their good heart, intelligence, compassion, faith, drive — these are what will give them inner strength and peace. But of course, being beautiful helps a bit up to a certain point. And by this I mean, just care for what you have and be the best version of yourself. I tell them not to worry because that’s a given. They have beauty in their genes (my mom and Patrick’s mom). So now they just have to just focus on working on their inner selves and taking good care of their skin and body.

So before you go on throwing pie in my regularly scrubbed face, let me tell you that the reason I’m blabbing about this is because you may have a chance to win my treatments too! Thanks to Belo Medical Group, they are sponsoring a very special giveaway once a week for three weeks! And on the fourth week there is a grand prize! Scroll below to see mechanics.

 

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Belo and I go way back. I am so grateful to Dr Vicki Belo for taking good care of my skin for over a decade.

 

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With some of the Belo Babies.

 

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Before treatment.

 

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My Power Peel bed.

 

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Fairest of them all! Just yesterday at Belo Shangrila Plaza where I had a simple body scrub. (I’m into wearing loose clothing these days).

 

In celebration of Belo Medical Group’s 26th anniversary, they have meticulously designed each of their 12 clinics to make all the patients feel like royalty. Their fairytale-like clinics have various unique decorations but definitely support the main theme “Fairest of Them All”.

As part of the #DaphnexBelo giveaway, I am inviting you to visit one of the 12 Belo clinics to personally see the creative set-up for this 26th anniversary. And then you guessed it, please upload photos and/or a video to qualify to win a weekly prize and/or the grand prize. Visit any Belo Medical Group Clinic. See list of branches here.

For complete mechanics for the giveaway, please scroll down.

 

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Belo at Tomas Morato, Quezon City

 

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Belo at Shangrila Plaza, 5th floor

 

 

DAPHNExBELO Giveaway

 

In celebration of Belo’s 26th anniversary, Belo is giving away the following prizes during the period of August 16 to September 12, 2016 for you, my awesome readers:

1st winner – August 22 – Glycopeel cleaning/Honey Almond cleaning and Power peel
2nd winner- August 29 – Glycopeel cleaning /Honey Almond cleaning and Power peel
3rd winner- September 5 – Glycopeel cleaning/Honey Almond cleaning and Power peel
Grand winner- September 12 – Wet and Dry Dermabrasion and Revlite on the face

 

Mechanics of the contest:

1. Post a video or photo greeting for Belo’s 26th Anniversary on Instagram and tell us why Belo is the fairest of them all. The video must be no longer than 30 seconds. Video taken inside the Belo clinic is a plus but not required.

2. Follow the Official IG of Belo and my IG in order to qualify for this contest. Use the hashtags #Belo26 #FairestOfThemAll #DaphnexBelo and tag @belobeauty @victoria_belo @daphneop

3. Posts should be made public.

4. The contest will run for 4 weeks starting from August 16 to September 12. The best answer to the question “Why Belo is the fairest of them all?” will be chosen every week for the first three weeks. Announcement of weekly winners will be done every Monday- Aug 22, 29 and September 5. Each winner for the first 3 weeks will receive Belo items and gift certificates for my favourite maintenance treatments like Honey Almond cleaning/Glycopeel Cleaning and Power peel (Total Value: P4,000+)

5. On the 4th week, the most creative video throughout the whole contest period (may include the three past winners) will be declared as the grand winner on September 12. Prizes include Belo items and gift certificates for Wet and Dry Dermabrasion and Revlite on the face (Total Value: P22,400+)

6. The winning entries will be posted on @belobeauty, the official Instagram account of Belo Medical Group.

 

Contest starts August 16. But you can start making your video now.

Good luck, everyone!

 

SM Appliance Center

 

 

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I have written a few times about my dream kitchen. It took 10 years of living in our house before I renovated and got exactly what I wanted. I worked with Rafael Calero of Kitchen Studio, but I was in charge of how it looked and how it happened. I sourced most of the materials and appliances myself.

I started with photo inspirations from magazines and Pinterest. Then I assessed the condition of our old house — kitchen is on the second floor, practically on stilts above the garage. I wanted to maintain the character of the old “Bahay na Bato” but also needed the comforts of a farmhouse style kitchen. I ended up with exposed beams in my ceiling, wooden floor boards, white distressed cabinetry, cast iron sink, pendant lamps, and modern, technologically advanced fixtures and windows.

 

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The defining feature of my kitchen is the enamelled cast iron sink and goose-neck faucet which I had to import from the US from Kohler.

 

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My appliances were the first things I decided on because we had to measure the section where the gas range went. My Samsung fridge is so big we had to place it by its lonesome against one wall.

 

As the months and years went by (the kitchen is almost three years old), I would discover little things I needed – a new toaster oven, coffee machines, a juicer, a new water dispenser. I’m not really gung ho about buying kitchen gadgets because I like to keep my counters clear. I no longer use a microwave for reheating, instead I steam or broil. But there are things we cannot do without — appliances that we need to make our lives simpler.

Our usual first stop is SM Appliance Center for the simple reason that there is one conveniently located in a mall near our village. I like that no matter which branch I go to, I get similar level of service that ends with a convenient paying and efficient delivery system.

Check out the good deals in SM Appliance Center:

MOULINEX PANINI MAKER SANDWICH SM 1568

 

HANABISHI ELECTRIC KETTLE

 

SEVERIN MIXER HM 3822

 

There are 10 different payment methods: SM Gift Card, SODEXHO gift certificates, cheques, credit cards, debit cards, SM e-card, shopping card. AEON, Home Credit, or good old-fashioned cash.

PAYMENT OPTIONS

 

And because it is SM Appliance Center’s 25th Anniversary, they have a promo giving 25% off for SMAC, BDO and Prestige members, plus a Frequent Shoppers Rewards Card.

 

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The Frequent Shoppers Card gives away shopping credits, Vikings vouchers and staycation to Taal Vista, Park Inn, or Radisson.

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For more information on SM Appliance Center’s 25th Anniversary Celebration Blowout, visit www.smappliance.com or SM Appliance Facebook.

 

 

Belo Pamper Day

 

 

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I was supposed to post this early today but I have been glued to the TV and Facebook because of the Philippine national elections. Promise, no talk of politics here.

I posted my selfie after voting yesterday. And my friends shifted the discussion from the voting process to my skin. Ok ya, that photo is flattering. I think my phone has a natural filter. But I wasn’t really that fresh. I stood in line outside in the heat for almost two hours. I wore a hat and sunglasses and used an umbrella. I also had two fans, a manual and battery operated mini fan. My friends asked me about my beauty regimen. This is not to say that I am an authority in beauty. I’m not. It’s not something that I dwell on. But I do make an effort to take care of myself. My regimen is not complicated. But it takes a bit of commitment.

Last weekend I broadcasted live on Facebook. I was so amused at all the questions sent to me. I think 80% was about beauty. So I know that this is something important to you, my readers.

Like I always say, all I do is get a facial and a Power Peel at Belo every three weeks. I barely use any products on my face because I have tendency to be oily. I only use moisturizers when we are traveling in a cold climate. Here in Manila, my skin remains hydrated naturally, so I don’t add creams. I only spend on makeup remover and the occasional sunblock when I know I’ll be exposed.

I have been going to Belo for about eight years now. My regimen has remained the same. I like sticking to what works. I am happy with the quality of my skin. I can go out of the house, and even attend events, with no make up on. Seriously.

Fast forward to now, it is the month of Mother’s Day. I know most moms would love to get treats and pampering. So Belo Medical Group and I partnered to bring this amazing opportunity for you to get the same treatments I do. Most moms work too hard – in the office, on location, at home, and even just before going to bed. It seems like we are always “on” and never on break. Sometimes it feels like the entire house will fall apart if we were absent. But really, moms need to take a break regularly. Let everyone else pick up the slack. Take care of yourselves first before you can care for others.

So this week we are doing a major giveaway for one lucky mom. She will be getting a #BeloPamperDay. My lucky reader can have the chance to win a #BeloPamperDay gift certificate for herself or his/her mom. This amazing package includes –

  • 1 session of Glycopeel Cleaning/Honey Almond Cleaning — An aromatic honey almond scrub that gently exfoliates dead skin cells and is perfect for those with dry and sensitive skin.
  • 1 session of Body Scrub — The body scrub makes use of sea salt or sugar scrub to gently remove dead, dry, rough skin, leaving it soft and smooth.
  • 1 session of Exilis in the abdomen area — A new body contouring and skin tightening machine. This makes use of focused RF technology to treat jowling, loose skin on the neck and décolletage area. It can also help fat and flabby abdomen, back, arms, legs, and knees.

 

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Me and my mom.

 

All you have to do is tell us why your mom deserves to have this amazing beauty treat from Belo. Here are the mechanics:

  1. Upload a photo of you and your mom on Instagram and tell us why do you want to treat your mom to a #BeloPamperDay.
  2. Use the hashtag #BeloPamperDay on the caption and tag @belobeauty
  3. Post should be made public
  4. There will be one winner who will get all three treatments. Winner will be notified in Instagram.
  5. Contest runs from May 10-13 up to 3pm Manila Time. Announcement of winners can be on May 13 shortly after contest ends. You may claim the prize from May 16-20. The GC is valid for 6 months.

 

Congratulations, the winner is @chloelgmn

Uniqlo and Ines de la Fressange

 

 

RELAXED ELEGANCE

 

When Ines de la Fressange came out with her first collection for Uniqlo in the spring of 2014, I went nuts. It was my first time to really love a designer collaboration. While most people lined up for high street collabs with couture and luxury brands, I raved about the basics that IDLFxUniqlo came out with. It was all about easy-to-wear basics with that Parisian je ne sais quoi that Ines embodies. Lots of boyish shirts, shrunken blazers, slim trousers, longer shirt dresses with a 1940’s silhouette (lawn dresses). I was able to throw the pieces together without giving it much thought. It was very Parisian Chic, her guidebook to French effortless style.

Every season since then, Ines came out with  Uniqlo pieces and I continued to shop. Admittedly I preferred the spring-summer items over the fall-winter lines, simply because of the fabric used and the fact that I live in the tropics. I’m all about cotton and linen, and Uniqlo uses both fabrics so well.

This season Ines’ latest collaboration with Uniqlo does not disappoint. It showed three themes — voyage, uniform, and sport.

 

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My favourite of the three themes is Voyage. I’ve been doing a lot of travelling the past couple of years. IDLFxUniqlo has been part of my staple wardrobe. This season, they use a lot of “French Linen,” which is a premium type of linen made from natural and high quality linens produced in northwestern France and Belgium. The fabric is extremely breathable, has outstanding water-absorbing properties. The fabric does not stick to your skin and is nice and dry to the touch.

My 13-year-old daughter, Sophia, took the next two photos of me in our garage. I’m wearing my favourite pieces from the Voyage theme — the heavy linen jacket and the linen relaxed trousers — which were sent to me by Uniqlo. I’m wearing them with Robert Clergerie loafers. The jacket has this crisp, refreshing feel of linen material. The large flap pockets and safari-style design complement the natural texture of linen. This jacket is heavier than the other linen jackets and tops. It would be perfect for spring days in Toronto or Hong Kong. But it’s too hot to wear in the Philippines, unless you’re guaranteed to stay inside an air-conditioned room all day. I got it anyway because it is one of those timeless pieces that I know I will wear for many years. The pants, as the name suggests, is very relaxed. It features an elastic waist with a drawstring cut loose in the hips and narrow towards the cuffs. I have these pants from an earlier season, and they were my travel uniform!

 

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Wearing Ines de la Fressange by Uniqlo heavy linen jacket and the linen relaxed trousers. Photo by Sophia Paez.

 

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My favourite pieces from the current collection — and I only have one out of the three. Very sad. I have the 3/4 sleeve striped dress. It runs a bit short, so I wear them with shorts underneath. The slub long sleeve dress is the perfect anything dress with lots of pocket. I wish I had bought this. My biggest regret, not buying this wool blend navy blazer. It is structured and perfect for more serious occasions but also good for layering while traveling. It’s so elegant. Sadly, it’s sold out in the Philippines.

 

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I also stocked up on these. A cotton ribbed blouson jacket, perfect light jacket for spring. Or all year round if you’re in Manila. And this shirt is pure love. The ruffled neck and cuffs – such a great detail in what otherwise would look like a very masculine basic shirt. And look how it flares out in the bottom.

 

I’ve been really pleased with all my IDLF pieces. This was her fifth collection. I hope it never ends. Though Uniqlo seems to be churning out more interesting collaborations. I’m just glad I got some very good pieces that will stay in my closet for a long time. Here are moments in the past when I wore IDLFxUniqlo pieces…

 

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A throwback to IDLFxUniqlo’s first collaboration from March 2014. This lawn dress is still with me. I love the vintage silhouette. And I’m a fan of shirt dresses. I’m not a fan of wearing prints though, but this one has a graphic quality despite all the flowers. This makes the cut for me.

 

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Also from the 2014 spring-summer line, this casual cotton “suit”. I dressed it up a bit with my Jewelmer strand when I wore it back when I hosted the Salon Talks during Cebu Design Week in 2014. This is still the suit that I bring when I am traveling in case I need a serious outfit. It is light weight and unlined. I also love wearing these separately.

 

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From the 2015 spring-summer collection, another shirt dress cut loose in French linen. This is me in the fall of 2015 in the French countryside, when I chaperoned my daughter at camp in Gerardmer. This dress never makes it to the back of my closet. I always wear this when I need to rush out of the house, like say to pick up my kids at school or run to the grocery. In this photo I’m wearing the dress with staple, the Birkenstock Gizeh in black patent leather.

 

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This dress was from the 2014 collection, but the photo was taken in June of 2015. Again… linen, relaxed, Birkenstocks. And yup I’m inside a bathroom (of Casa Loma in Toronto).

 

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And here’s something crazy real. My sister and I at the Port Credit playground in Toronto last 2015 summer. Those pants are also IDLFxUniqlo. It’s in cotton-linen with a thin pinstripe. I can wear these with clogs and wedges, but I also love wearing them with slip ons. The socks bit isn’t too chic, but with five small kids around us, my sister and I didn’t really care. This was taken one morning before I even took a shower. Haha. Note that most, if not all, IDLFxUniqlo trousers are cut low on the hip. It’s not a problem for me, but may be an issue for taller people. Best to try them on.

 

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From the fall-winter 2014 line, cotton twill chinos from IDLFxUniqlo. I use them as my “roughing it” pants. This was our trek up to Tiger’s Nest in Bhutan in February 2015.

 

 

Meralco Orange Tag

 

 

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My kitchen, renovated in 2013

 

When I was a kid, I never understood why my mother was always so conscious of us closing the door whenever the air conditioner was on or shutting off lights in rooms we were not using. I knew it was about energy conservation. But when you’re not the one paying the bills, it remains an abstract concept.

The past couple of years, I had gotten way more conscious of our energy consumption, most especially during the exaggeratedly hot summer months. Try being in Manila in April and May. You will melt without the air conditioner on. It’s almost a given that the chart of our electricity bill peaks during summer months. And needless to say, I have turned into my mother.

I have learned some tips along the way, especially when I renovated my kitchen a couple of years ago. All my new appliances were energy efficient (digital inverter types). We also use our washing machine and dryer during off peak times – like weeknights as opposed to daytime or weekends.

 

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I have an all-gas range and electric stove. My refrigerator is inverter type.

 

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My kitchen air conditioner also uses digital inverter technology.

 

But now, there are even more tools that can help you figure out the energy consumption of a certain new home appliance. And this is done not by the appliance brand, but by our own local electric company — Meralco. Very timely as I’m sure a lot of families are shopping for new electrical appliances this time of year — because of Christmas bonuses and homecoming of family members from abroad.

So before you go out there to shop for that new air con, fridge or washing machine, or small kitchen gadgets, look for the Meralco Orange Tag — brought to us by the Meralco Power Lab. In one look you already know the estimated operating cost of the new appliance. And you can make better decisions based on this information.

 

Cute commercial…

 

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Now you can compare appliances not just based on design and performance, but by energy consumption levels. Look at the numbers! That’s cost per wash.

 

image5You won’t miss the Meralco Orange Tag. It’s big and orange!!

 

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The Meralco Orange Tag shows the estimated cost consumption, estimated energy consumption and rate used, and transparency in computation.

 

It’s a great way to get the whole family involved in energy consumption consciousness.