Casual Fridays: Blanc et Noir

Friday is probably the most anticipated day of the week. Many equate it to parties, road trips, dates, or movie nights. But to me it means comfort. Every Friday, I would almost always dress in jeans and shirt. It’s the last day of work so I guess I’m allowed to feel relaxed and unrestricted. For some working women though, office or client meetings often fall on a Friday. When that happens you don’t always have to stick to the usual corporate attire. Below are two laid-back outfit suggestions I have created just for you:

Black

Casual Days

 

Gone are days when the only allowed outfits for formal meetings are pencil skirts and blouses. Today, companies are no longer as stringent as before when it comes to dress code. As a result, many women have been experimenting with their looks and are more adventurous. One of this season’s hottest trends is the jumpsuit. It’s surprisingly comfortable to wear as it allows you to move freely without showing much skin. Pair it with a nice pair of black pointy shoes or strappy sandals with matching accessories and you’re now ready to close that business deal. Gold always complements black so I suggest wearing accessories with a hint of gold. ZALORA has a great collection of gold-colored jewelry that you can choose from.

White

White Balance

 

Like black, white never goes out of fashion. It immediately gives off that clean, cool vibe that’s why people love wearing this color during the summer. Lace cutouts are all the rage this season so you can try out this dress with lace detail. IMO white is a statement in itself so you don’t need to wear a lot of accessories. Gold jewelry with small, dainty pendants and designs are perfect. Complete your look with white or black pointy heels and you’re good to go. If you’re bold enough, you can also go for gladiator heels!

So which are you? Are you the jumpsuit or the dressy type? Spring-Summer 2015 has brought back some of our most beloved trends and styles. Feel free to check some of them here.

Check out my other boards on Polyvore.

Asian Secrets Lulur Indonesian Whitening Scrub Review

It’s been a while since I posted a skin care/beauty review so yay! One thing I love about my facial skin is that it’s not hypersensitive. I can use one kind of facial wash today, and a different one tomorrow without causing stress on my face. Of course I don’t do that on a normal basis, but for more than 10 years since I became aware of cleansers I’ve probably tried about five or seven brands already—all of which worked fine on me. Just a few days ago, I’ve been trying a new facial and body scrub from Asian Secrets. I always see them in department stores but I never got to try them until recently.

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What is Lulur?

The Lulur is a 300-year-old whitening ritual experienced by brides-to-be 40 days before their wedding. They are treated with the Lulur to give them softer, smoother, and fairer skin before the big day. This tradition was then passed on through generations, and is now enjoyed by both men and women. To complete Asian Secrets’ line of whitening products, they introduced the Lulur facial scrub.

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Facial Scrub

The facial scrub is contained in a pink + white bottle. When you squeeze the contents out, you wont see any spherical beads like other facial scrubs. Although the Lulur scrub does have beads, it’s a lot smaller. According to Asian Secrets, this is to ensure that they gently and effectively remove dead skin cells, revealing a healthier and brighter skin. It smells great, by the way, and not very foamy when used. When I’m using it, I usually just put a pea-sized amount on my palm or fingertips and apply the product on my *dry* face. Then all you have to do is to gently massage your face in a circular motion to completely remove your skin of impurities. Then rinse. Asian Secrets recommends that the Lulur scrub be used every two days, since exfoliating everyday can damage your skin. I use a mild facial wash instead in between scrubbing.

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That’s me with no makeup on. On the left is a picture of me before taking a bath. Lol I’m serious, just to show you guys if there’s any difference at all. The picture on the right is after I used the Lulur facial scrub. Do you see any difference? I think my face brightened up a bit. Of course, there’s no major difference since this was taken when I first used the product. Hopefully I can update this post in the future. After cleansing the skin, please do not forget to tone and moisturize. Sometimes facial scrubs can dry out the face so it’s important that you moisturize. With this product though, I have to say that it didn’t dry out my face like other scrubs do.

Body Srub

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Like the facial scrub, the Asian Secrets Indonesian Whitening Body Scrub is made of fine spherical beads combined with a cream-like substance (I honestly don’t know what to call it. Haha!). It comes in three variants–Grean Tea, Licorice, and Seaweed. Each tub smells differently but produces the same result. I loved Licorice though–it reminded me so much of bath soap, ang fresh! Below is a photo of how each variant looks like:

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Not much difference. The instructions specifically says that you should use it before taking a shower, when your skin is still dry. I guess because dead skin cells are easier to remove that way? Not sure, but that’s how it’s done. The Asian Secrets body scrubs, according to them, helps even out your skin tone especially the problem areas, which are usually the knees, elbows, armpits, and inner thighs. I can’t show you my singit (because why should I haha!) but below is a photo to show you if it really works.

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Please note that this was the first time I used the product, so I had to test it first using the back of my hand. ALWAYS perform a skin test if it’s your first time. The right photo shows the “after application”. You can’t really see it in the photo but my forearm felt really smooth and soft afterwards. It didn’t feel itchy also, which is my skin’s usual reaction to harsh body scrubs. Like the face, apply lotion on the skin to prevent it from becoming dry. Since it’s my first time using the product, you can’t see any change in skin color yet, but I will let you know when it does. :)

Have you ever tried Asian Secrets? Don’t hesitate to share your experience in the comments section below! :)

 

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DISCLAIMER:

This is not a sponsored post. I did not receive any monetary compensation to publish this review. For more information about the products used in this post, please visit Asian Secrets Whitening Spa’s Facebook page.

Intermittent

By now you might have figured out that I’m not good at keeping my word. How many times have I made a comeback after a hiatus, and apologized for it? I can’t even count anymore, and I won’t be surprised that you have lost interest as well. Believe me when I say, though, that all these are unintentional. I’m not depressed nor have I lost interest in blogging, but I’ve reached a point where I began to question my purpose as a human being. I mean LIFE is doing pretty well. I’ve got a nice job where my skills are rewarded; I get to spend more time with my family now; and I’m getting married to the love of my life soon.

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In the past, when friends would tell me they’re not sure where they’re life is going, I would often say to them: “Everyone’s lost at 25.” And now, I can’t believe I’m telling myself this at 26. I thought I had it all figured out when I was 21, but I was terribly mistaken apparently. Some days I would catch myself reading articles about twenty-somethings on Thought Catalog and Elite Daily–something I swore off doing since they started publishing misogynistic, nonsensical articles written by self-entitled millennials. Other days I would just stay at home and reflect, which would often lead to more questions. Every week, my friends and fiance would ask me when I’m going to write again, to which I always answer with a shrug.

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I’ve had similar episodes in the past, but not as long and serious as this one. Have you ever felt envious of people who knew exactly what they wanted to be? I have. When my boss asked me a few months ago what my passion is, I couldn’t give an answer. All I was able to say is: “I’m still figuring it out.” At 26, I’m supposed to know already, at least according to society. Chad, my ever-supportive fiance, would often console me by telling that I’m not like most people. That maybe I’m not meant to have a single purpose, maybe I’m meant to do a lot of things.

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He could be right. I’m trying to embrace this idea; there are occasional self-doubts, of course, but they’re now much easier to overcome–thanks to friends and loved ones who have been with me throughout my (ongoing) existential crisis. They never asked, and I never said anything but they were there for me.

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Despite my intermittent absence, I still feel quite fortunate that brands like WALKTRENDY still trust me and my blog. WalkTrendy is an online street-style fashion retailer based in Hong Kong with a fulfillment center in the USA. They found my blog through Google, which is fantastic because that only means they do their research and not just base on social media followers. They reached out to me in April. I know that’s two months ago but it takes a really long time for overseas mail to get to my country. The WalkTrendy team has been really patient with me, and for that I’m extremely grateful.

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It’s already June but the heat has not subsided yet so I decided to wear this printed dress from WalkTrendy. It’s made of light, semi-cotton material so it’s perfect for the sunny weather. What I honestly love about this dress is the print itself. It reminded me of me a few years ago, when I was so in love with blogging and fashion. I used to go out with my hair in curls topped with a DIY floral crown or hat. That was also when my then-boyfriend-now-fiance was teaching me how to use a film camera. Good times, good times. :)

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printed dress from WALKTRENDY | shoes from Forever 21 | ribbon headband from H&M | bag from Parisian | watch from Casio

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I know I promised you several times that I’ll be posting regularly again, but I won’t do that this time. I want every post to be genuine, with more content, and I can’t do that when I’m not in the mood. Hopefully I can do it this time. Be back soon! xx crossed fingers xx

 

PS. To those who kept on visiting this blog despite the lack of updates (yes, I can see you), thank you for sticking with me. :*

ACHDB: Top Global Hairdressing & Beauty School Opens in Manila

????????????As someone who used to model for makeup artists, it made me curious where they got all the training they needed to become professional makeup artists and hairdressers. I wasn’t aware they go to “beauty schools” and attend workshops to learn. Back home, no one was organizing workshops where ordinary girls like me can learn how to properly use our makeup kits. Everything was trial-and-error, or whatever the parlor-ista thinks looks good on us. But despite the many so-called beauty schools that mushroomed in Manila, none of them could actually provide a certificate that would enable makeup artists to work abroad, or even demand higher pay. Many of them would still fly overseas just to get that certification, but how about those who cannot afford to get their certifications abroad? Since there’s no college in the country that could provide makeup and hair dressing degrees, no one is taking beauty professionals seriously, hence the measly wages.

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The opening of the Australian College of Hair Design and Beauty (ACHDB) Manila gives those aspiring to be professionals in the booming beauty industry the chance to earn world class degrees without having to enroll in schools abroad.

Joscelyn Langdon, the brainchild of Australian College of Hair Design and Beauty (ACHDB), is well aware of this. Committed to professionalize the beauty industry through education and science-based training here in the Philippines, she opened ACHDB Manila to give aspiring beauty professionals the chance to earn internationally recognized degrees and certification without having to enroll abroad. ACHDB first opened in the late 1980s in Victoria, Australia. Considered as the industry leader in beauty-related education, ACHDB is one of the largest colleges in Australia with six campuses across the continent, the biggest of which is in Melbourne. Her unwavering passion prompted her to open ACHDB in the Asia Pacific region, initially in Hong Kong and now, the Philippines.

How is ACHDB Manila different from all the other beauty schools in the country?

ACHDB Manila is the first and currently the only college with an internationally recognized license to provide hair dressing and makeup education in the Philippines. The curriculum is based on the local and global standards set by the Australian Qualifications Framework, the national policy for regulated qualifications in the Australian education and training system, as well as the Philippines’ K to 12 Basic Education program. Therefore, once you’ve completed your course, you are immediately certified to work not just in the Philippines but also overseas.

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Australian College of Hair Design and Beauty (ACHDB) Manila’s Principal/Marketing and Sales Head, Jaclyn Cayetano & Managing Director, Kenneth Asuncion

The Curriculum

The course curriculum features 75% hands-on practical training and 25% theory-based learning. The school has their own virtual salon, where students are expected to do all their practical exercises and exams. This provides them firsthand experience of the actual activities in their soon-to-be workplace. To facilitate learning effectively, ACHDB strictly adheres to the 16 students to 1 teacher ratio. The faculty is composed of hair dressing instructor Marvin Eustaquio, makeup artistry instructors Mitch Elendu and Faye Young, and lead instructor Cecille Rebollos.

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From left: Hair Dressing Instructor Marvin Eustaquio, Makeup Artistry Instructors Mitch Elendu & Faye Young, & Lead Instructor Cecille Rebollos

ACHDB Manila offers flexible learning programs to suit students’ various interests, needs, and lifestyles. The learning programs are:

Diploma or Accredited Hair Dressing Courses and Make-up Courses – a full 9-month program of intensive learning, training, and real salon work experience

“Build Your Own Program” – allows busy individuals to take a diploma or an accredited course by enrolling with minimum course units depending on their available schedule and finish their program at their own pace

“Manila to Melbourne Program” – where students can begin their training in Manila and culminate their studies in Melbourne and potentially find work opportunities thereafter

Recognition to Prior Learning (RPL) – specially offered to experienced hair and make-up practitioners but wish to gain a diploma or accreditation, whereby their skills and competencies will be evaluated by the school and in accordance with its qualification standards (all you have to do is pay the RPL fee to be evaluated)

Short Courses – including but not limited to Avante Garde Creative Cutting; Colour and Fashion Foiling; Basic to Bridal Elite Make-up; as well as Film, Theatre, TV and Specialized Make-up

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ACHDB is the best training ground in the country for individuals who wish to hone their talents and carve their niche in the beauty industry. Just imagine the exciting career opportunities that await you after you’ve gained that coveted diploma! For questions and enrollment inquiries, visit ACHDB Manila at Unit 301 Fox Square Bldg. 53 Connecticut St. North East, Greenhills San Juan City, Metro Manila or check out achdbmanila.com. You can also call Jaclyn Cayetano at (02) 507-8591 or send an email to jaclyn.cayetano@achdbmanila.com :)

Emerald

Hello! I know this blog was supposed to be posted two weeks ago but I got really busy and sick. Schlemiel me contracted some kind of infection, which left me ill all week. I’m not the kind of person who falls ill all the time. Maybe twice or three times a year, but not every month! Maybe time to re-evaluate my priorities? Something good came out of those two grueling weeks though–I realized I’m really fortunate for having the best and the kindest workmates and friends.

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Some of them covered for me while I was sick, and were genuinely concerned for my health. Being away from home for more than five years, I’ve become quite accustomed to taking care of myself–although every once in a while I would text my mom, telling her how much I miss the back massages she used to give me and my siblings everytime we’re sick. Sometimes it can get really lonely being alone, but that’s life I guess. At some point you have to leave the place grew up in and live in an unfamiliar city to actually grow as a person.

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Being in a strange place has its perks. When I arrived in Manila, I felt relieved. Finally I can leave behind all the bad memories and start a new leaf. I never knew anyone in Manila, save for my sister whose only address I know at the time. I and a college friend came with two big bags in each hands, traveled to Quezon City (a two-hour ride from my sister’s place) and looked for a room that we could rent. Our first months were not easy–our salaries were barely covering our needs; our room was too small for us both. We separated ways a year after and found myself living with three of my then-officemates afterwards.

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Many have told me how brave I am for leaving. Naga is a wonderful place, but I knew long before college that I’m destined for something greater, far greater than what people had set out for me. Maybe it’s because of my youth, but I’ve been like this for as long as I can remember. Add to that my dream school, University of the Philippines – Diliman, is just a stone’s throw away from where I’m currently living. As soon as I settled myself in our new apartment, I enrolled in a Master’s Degree program, got a nice new job, and met new friends.

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SM GTW dress | Zapatto wedges

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I remember when I was just starting out in the big city, I made a dream wall where I posted things I wanted to achieve in five years–tangible and otherwise. I’m about 95% done. Looking back at some of the obstacles I faced, I think I deserve a pat on the back. For taking risks and facing the consequences after. For failing many times, but never giving up. Now I’m pretty much satisfied with what I have–really awesome friends, enough ‘resources’ at my disposal, and I’m marrying the love of my life. Things may have not started off right, but as they say–your end is always better than your beginning. Just hang in there. :)

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