Friday, January 12, 2018

A 20-something's Affordable Skincare


Ever since I graduated from college, I started to dread early meetings and shifts. My 8 am classes are a horror as I have to be up by 5 to take a bath, do a bit of skincare, make-up, dress up, conquer the traffic of Botanical Garden-Teacher's Camp-Leonard Wood Rd, and arrive just in time at the office. As confident as I am in posting just-woke-up and no make-up selfies in my social media accounts, most of the time I also go to work with my bare face on. Putting no make-up saves me a lot of time, so it worked for a while. I didn't care so much until I started to have annoying pimples which are worse than regular pimples! I rarely have acne but when I do, it's big and "agaw eksena".

December of last year was when I had 2 big pimples on my face, one on my chin and the week after, another just above my left eyebrow.  Each pimple took too long to dry up and heal. I think I had them on my face for 2 weeks each. Aside from they look damn horrible, they also hurt as hell. That's when I realized I have to update my skincare routine. The busy lifestyle caught up with me that I only do the first 3 steps of my routine and skip the rest (sometimes I just cleanse, and that's it. Oops). I guess my #NeverAgainDecember experience taught me to value and care for my skin. Not only was I concerned with having acne, but I also want to maintain a clear, fresh, and young looking face despite the stresses of work and adulting.

So here's the post I've been planning for months! I was actually planning to end my blogging career (that's another story) but I've seen tweets and posts lately about my friends having skincare troubles so I thought this might help. Also, shout out to my friends who I promised I'll share my skincare routine to, it's finally here! Read on for affordable skincare products that worked wonders on my face.

P.S It is important to know what your skin type is first before completing your skincare routine. As for me, I have combination of normal to dry skin so this products work for me. I tend to have dry patches around my eyes and my forehead whenever the weather's too cold. I never had a dermatologist check my face or even have a professional facial as I'm afraid having my face picked, pricked, or "touched" will "curse" my skin. In Filipino, the concept of "baka mabati". 😆

On to the Skincare!

1. Cleanse

After a long day, I take my make-up off with a regular cleanser - Maxipeel Facial Cleanser in Classic does the job really well. For my eye make-up, especially for waterproof mascara, I use the Clinique Take the Day Off Make-up Remover. I do not use the Maxipeel cleanser on my eyes and lips as the formula is too harsh and it stings when applied to those areas. Clinique can be really expensive so I found a DIY formula for that. Tune in for my next blog post! If I have no DIY make-up remover left, I settle with using sunflower oil or coconut oil for my eyes and lips. 

🌻 Sunflower oil also lightens dark spots and scars.

Next, I head over to the bathroom and wash my face with my trusted facial wash. Trusted products are: Maxipeel, St. Ives, Nivea, Johnson's Baby Soap, or Cetaphil. Johnson's Baby Soap and Cetaphil are very mild products so they're quite good for keeping your face clean and baby-skin! For when I have acne, I found the Belo AcnePro Pimple Fighting Bar quite effective. Phylein also uses this and it really cleared up her face! It's good to use the whole Belo AcnePro Pimple Treatment System which includes a toner and a pimple gel for treating your pimples.

❗ Remember the ever so famous beauty tip for washing your face: Wash with lukewarm water to open your pores, next is soap/facial wash, then wash it off with cold water to close the pores. I think I started to have pimples when I'm too lazy to heat up water for my face, especially that Baguio City water is always always ice cold.  

2. Exfoliate

Exfoliate your skin to get rid of dead skin cells that cause your skin to look dull and dry. Dead skin cells can also cause oilyness and clogged pores which in turn can cause acne. No we don't want that, do we? I only exfoliate twice or thrice a month as I've observed that I tend to break out if I do more. I use Maxipeel's Exfoliant Scrub or St. Ives' and Nivea's exfoliant variant. I also tried the Miniso Spring Snow Facial Cleansing Mousse but I only use it after putting on a full face make-up as it kind of stings on my face. I love the brush that comes with it! I could use it to exfoliate and massage my face even with a different product. 

3. Tone

Incorporating toner in your skincare routine is important as it helps close and shrink pores while also restoring your skin's pH balance. It also refreshes your skin from all the oil and dirt! I love using Ponds or any other local brand as its cheap but works well. My skin is in between low and high maintenance, it can be sensitive with the weather and different chemical ingredients but it's fine with drugstore brands. Saves me a lot!! 💰 We ran out of the Belo AcnePro Toner and it was sold out everywhere when I was having my 2 major pimples, that's when I discovered this new alternative I am loving at the moment, the Ovale Facial Toner with Aloe Vera essence. This also comes in other variants.

4. Moisturize

Top 3 steps of skincare that I should never miss every morning and every night: Cleanse, Tone, and MOISTURIZE. Have you ever had that feeling where you just got out of bath, and your face feels parched and stiff that a single movement of your face can wrinkle the whole of it? That's because your face lacks moisture! Moisturizing reduces dryness of my face especially that I am currently living and working here in Baguio City. It also helps conceal blemishes and fight wrinkles. For daily use, one of my holy grail products: the iWhite Aqua Moisturizer Whitening Vita. This is quite cheap: Php 120 for 80 ml and Php 20 for 6 ml. I've seen a lot of beauty YouTubers using the same moisturizer so you better try it too! 💧 When I have extra time at night, I put on aloe vera gel on my face. One of the famous variants of this come from Nature Republic but mine's from Mumuso which is just a hundred pesos. 

5. Mask

For nights where I feel stressed and tired, I end it with a good mask while watching Netflix. (I am currently hooked with Sense 8. Yep, it's a bit late...). When it comes to masks, I choose from Innisfree, Skinfood, or any face mask that looks cute and promising at Watsons. What I hate about face masks though is that they are all too big for my face so there's always an extra patch under my chin that sometimes even drip down my neck u g h. I don't like using peel off masks though as it hurts so much and I feel like it's not pampering my face but stressing it even more. The only mask I was ever perfectly happy with was a yogurt mask I got from Watsons, I think it was from Purederm. So when I got freebies from Vedette, I was so excited to try their clay masks - that way I won't have to hate the big mask and peeling off process. It was great and works well like a regular face mask! The only downside is that it's difficult to wash off.  

💡 For my evening skincare, I usually end it with castor oil on my lashes to pamper them after using waterproof mascara all the time. Castor Oil helps grow and thicken lashes. It also protects the lashes from breaking.

This has been quite a lengthy post but I hope you picked up a lot from my very affordable skincare routine.

Here's an infographic you can use as guide when you shop for your skincare. 💜

The only thing lacking with my routine is a facial essence or a serum and an eye cream. What would you recommend? 🌈

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Mventures: Giltbox Beauty Fair

Life Update

Last month, I was luckily invited to a beauty event in Ortigas: the Giltbox Beauty Fair, through one of my college bffs, Bay 💜 I was thrilled with the invitation as I rarely get opportunities given that I am not always available for events at the ~city~, and that MTU🦄 is (stilll even after almost a year) in the process of making its way into the limelight.  So when I checked my sched and figured I could do a side trip to the event, I was really all giddy because (1) I can finally go back to Manila after how many months, (2) it's something for the MTU, (3) it's beauty, and make-up - the ultimate stress reliever. 

Here's the view from our hotel room at the Exchange Regency Residence Hotel. I wasn't able to do a room tour but the accommodation was great with the discounted price of around Php  1600 we got through The original price for the room was at around Php 2000-3000. The booking comes with free use of all the amenities including the pool, sauna, jacuzzi, and game room. Plus it's just a 4-minute drive to Estancia Mall where the Giltbox event is. 

I enjoyed walking along the streets at night as it was completely quiet even as early as 8 pm. I have never seen the city so peaceful. The buildings are all lit and just a few cars were passing by. Since I was a kid, I've always had this little trips to Manila and neighboring cities because some of my relatives are living there. I have always dreamed of finishing college and someday finding my dream job, buying my dream apartment, being the lady boss that I am right at the heart of my dream city. It was the perfect goal I've been aiming for all my life. It always looked so special and perfect to me until I got old and realized I had to sacrifice a few things and just live with what I have for a while, figure things out and maybe give my dream another shot someday in the future. But hey, this dream gave birth to another one! Which turns out to be much more exciting and fulfilling. Gotta update you in 2 years!! ✈ 

Giltbox Beauty Fair: It Girl

At the entrance, we were greeted by the very pretty ladies of Giltbox who assisted us through the registration, raffle, and the bucket list. Each It Girl was given a bucket list to complete: all we had to do is to visit each participating brand, check out their products and have our card signed. The completed bucket list will be our ticket to winning the raffle which was just announced last November 30. I didn't get the price but hey I've got very awesome and special goodies! 🎊

Met one of my favorite Youtube vloggers, Shek from Shek's Diary! 💖

At the Benefit Cosmetics booth, testing the Hoola Collection.

Even with a lot of high-end and local make-up and skincare brands, there were also a lot of different small businesses who sell natural, organic, and homemade products! There were lip balms, lip tints, mists, face masks, scrubs, perfumes, and more.

Here I met the very quirky girl behind Serena. What I liked most about her oil and scrub was the infusion of coffee in it! I can't always drink it, but at least I can moisturize my skin with it! Another good thing she promotes is her Refill policy, as her products are 100% natural (and recycled! She uses recycled coffee beans), she greatly values the environment thus she gives discounts for those who send back their original bottles for a refill. Another good news is she's planning to bring her homemade tanning oil and overall scrub in La Union! Go follow her on Facebook at Stuff by Serena for updates!

Congratulations and many hugs and kisses to one of my happy pills, the very creative and bright mind behind all of these. 🎈 (We miss you, Ruby! Study hard!)


The TRESemme lady asked me a few questions about my hair and yes it is mostly coarse and dry so when I was given a sample of their new Detox & Nourish variant, I was thrilled to give my hair some pampering (and maybe a transformation!) Much to my dismay, my hair became drier every time I use this. Their Keratin Smooth works wonders on my hair though, so I guess I'm sticking to their best seller.

Got a lot of goodies from Benefit which definitely made me fall in love with them. This means working harder because uhm... 💰💰💰 I got sample sizes of 2 of the lip and cheek tints: Gogo tint and Benetint, the The Porefessional Pore Minimizing Make-up Foundation, the Gimme Brow eyebrow gel, and the Boi-ing Airbrush concealer.

I don't remember which one of these are the freebies but I only paid Php 50.00 to join their little raffle where I got 2 FREE masks! Thanks, Vedette!

Esfolio, Vianne, Ponds, Bath Junkies
A lot more participating brands were very kind enough to let me try their items and even have me bring home some more samples!

Club Clio
Before I entered the fair, I was asked to fill a sheet of paper with my name and contact details for the raffle that is held throughout the duration of the event. This raffle's different from the other raffle I've mentioned earlier, and although I didn't win the bucketlist raffle, I was so lucky to win a set of Club Clio's Kill Cover Ampoule Cushion Foundation!!! Plus with a re-fill!!!

Thank you so much Giltbox for a wonderful experience 
for me and MTU! 

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Mventures: Fork N' Dagger

It's been a while since I last posted and I am sorry for that. It was just quite a tough ride being exposed to the adult work with all the hustle and bustle of the work industry. I have been to so many places while I was away and yes I promise to blog all about them soon. I also have some queued personal posts about My List of Happiness and various topics that are close to my heart but I don't think they're ready yet. 

Short life update: I quit my SEO job. Not that I wasn't happy with it, I really am fulfilled by working with the SEO industry but I just felt like there's a place somewhere out of my little nook where I can enhance further and discover myself.  The craft really amazes me. I swear I can never look at Google the same way again because of that job. Websites, pages, and the whole social media looked different to me since I joined the industry and I will be forever grateful for having experienced such an amazing pursuit. After I left my job, I was completely lost and confused as to where to go. I was that girl who's in search of a job that (1) feeds my passion, (2) has room for opportunities and excitement, and of course, (3) pays well. And who would have known? I landed a job as a teacher! I am currently an instructor for the International English Language Test or IELTS which is an examination for those who wish to go to abroad either to study, work, or migrate. The examination is conducted by IDP, British Council, and the University of Cambridge. At last, I felt satisfied with where I am because I am passionate with what I do, I have brilliant workmates, and I have a lot of room to shine and learn. That's the thing with me, I never want to stop. I am always yearning for something new to discover, to develop, to cherish, and to appreciate. I think with where I am now, I won't have to worry about looking for THE job and saving up money in order to live. I still have so many dreams to pursue and places I want to see, but for now I guess I would stay here for a while and savour what great things this job has to offer. 

On to the Mventure! I am one of those younger generations in UPB where Nevada Square don't sound familiar to us anymore. Whenever Puy talks about her misadventures on Nevada nights, (or Fridays? i forgot, woops), I am always left with an imagination of how the area was maybe once like what the The Camp is now. I've passed by the area once in a while but I never really did went around the compound. So one day after work, Puy took me to Nevada Square! We were too early for the The Eves exhibit in Old Baguio Boys, an art exhibit featuring the lady artists of the Tam-awan Village, so we stopped by at Fork N' Dagger first!

We were welcomed by a live band and both a fresh and romantic sight. I guess the lights and the interior did the trick. For a person like me who hates small spaces, I loved how the place is of big glass windows! It's neat, and simple but is still striking. I did not like the seats near the wall though since the seat is too narrow for me and I tend to slip AND since I'm short, I can't really reach the floor - it was uncomfy. Nevertheless, their tables and chairs are fine. ✌

I have to say, the minimalist light fixtures has been quite a cool trend with cafes and restaurants lately, most especially the ones enclosed in geometric frames!

Looks quite simple but this Pork & Herb Mushroom is complete bombdigs. The meat was cooked just enough for it to be tender, and juicy. It wasn't undercooked, and it wasn't so hard as well. I'm wondering what could their marinate recipe be? 

I was badly craving for nachos for weeks and good thing this place has one! Php 160 for Nachos sounded really expensive but when I saw how large the serving was and how damn delicious it was, no more complaints! I finished this all by myself. Their nachos was a mix of beef, tortilla chips, salsa, cheddar cheese, mozarella, and lettuce  plus the heavenly ranch dressing! I didn't know lettuce could be paired with nachos!

I wish we were more starving and rich to afford to order more from the menu. The table next to us ordered buffalo wings and I can't help but wonder in awe how sexy the plating was and how hot and scrumptious it could be. I definitely promise to update this blog once we have the chance to visit again. Oh good! I would have an excuse to spend because your girl's turning 21 this Saturday! 🎈



A bit pricey for a student but it's worth it 👍

The staff is very friendly and accommodating. Although, the place was quite busy when we came so we sometimes have to wait a little bit before we get noticed. 


Over-all Rating

No. 2 Green Water Road, Baguio City 2600
Behind Nevada Square. Pass through the steps beside LockedIn.

Contact Number: 09176810056

Facebook page:

 This place really stabbed me in the heart, and the stomach! 

Ahhhhh. No regrets for my bigger belly. 'Til next time! 🦄