my various life bugs

Archive for the ‘Ladybug’ Category


CLARISONIC: The kind of clean that changed my skin

Every gal be it the beauty conscious or the plain curious would be interested in beauty stuff somehow.  So here I go again, curiosity biting me when I saw this beauty gadget for cleaning the face.  Its a gadget that tickles the techie side of me and for beauty, a combination that’s a no brainer for me.


Clarisonic Mia 2 Limted Edition Surf design

So I read a ton of reviews and watched more youtube videos than I can handle before I took the plunge.  Currently, there are no official distributor here in the Philippines but there’s and for the brave souls.  Or you may order direct from Clarisonic or at for peace of mind then just reserve your angst while waiting for your package to arrive.

I went the local online route which is buying from and I received the real deal and in the color and print I love – the Clarisonic Mia 2 in Limited Edition Surf.

So what is the hoolabaloo all about?   The Clarisonic system is a skin cleansing system that more thoroughly removes impurities trapped in pores so your skin care products will be better absorbed by your skin.  Okay, honestly I don’t have beautiful skin and add to that adult onset acne which my dermatologist said is caused by hormonal changes due to my age.  Yeah right, I’m a 39 year old with an adolescent skin problem.  It all started with one or two pimples on the cheeks then the darkened scar that takes forever to lighten up is the culprit which makes my skin look just nasty dirty.


Okay so here comes Clarisonic which right away I used twice a day.  I like that I have a choice of the cleanser I can use with it.  So far I dont have the perfect cleanser yet so to speak.  I just use whatever I have for the moment which is Clinique liquid soap, Burts Bees Sensitive Skin cleanser, Dr. Bronner’s peppermint castile soap, or Mommy Patch goats milk soap.  Liquid and bar soaps are great, thick cream cleansers I’m not too happy sbout.


I only use a 1 minute cycle with 10 seconds on my chin, 20 seconds at the nose area, 10 seconds on my forehead, and 10 seconds for each cheek.  If I wore make up that day, I remove it first before using the Clarisonic just to be sure I take all the gunk out.  But I rarely use make up.  Make up for me is putting on a tinted sunblock then pressed powder and some lip cheek tint.  I don’t have the skill to paint my face thats why I go for the natural look.

What I like about the Clarisonic Mia 2:
1.  Very easy to use.  1 complete charge can give me half a month of use for 2x daily cleansing.
2.  The beepy reminders is convenient for letting me know more or less how much time I have left in the alloted minute.   I don’t want to overdo cleaning my skin so I like that it has a timer as opposed to the first Mia.
3.  I like that its water tight so I can use it under the shower without fear of zapping myself.
4.  Great that it has various brush heads to choose from depending on your skin condition.  I am currently using the sensitive brush that came with the unit but will try the delicate brush next.
5.  Wonderful that I bought the Limited Edition Surf design beacause it came in my favorite bluegreen color.  Actually, I could have gotten a light pink or an emerald green for a much lower price of about less than Php 2000 but I told myself if I will be using this for like forever then it should be in a color I would love handling on a daily basis.  It’s a costly decision but a dark emerald green I think would be an oddity in my hands.
6.  It conveniently reminds you that its losing power by buzzing slightly just after your 1 minute cycle ends. As if to remind you something is amiss.  When it happened the first time, I thought it was breaking down on me.  Oh no, my uber expensive gadget dying before I reached its maximum value.  Then I realized hmm, it’s telling me something, oh I need to charge it. Ladeedah!  I was joyful again.
7.  The gadget is solidly built. The plastic feels sturdy and the brush head attachments look ready for long term use.
8.  It has a plastic case perfectly shaped to hold it for those traveling moments.



What I’m not so keen about it:
1.  The PRICE!!! Aaaargh!  My mind labored for a week finding the best deal and if I do need this in my life.  I knew my answer was yes since the first time I set sights on it at the net but then again Php 8000.00 you don’t stumble upon everyday.
2.  The rounded design is easy to hold and looks nice but try putting it on your sink and it will roll on the brush side which is not too great.  Maybe they can come up with a way that it will stay upright amd not roll like crazy all over.


Do I recommend this?  Well, yeah!  (I initially wrote H over W but thought otherwise, censoring myself)  My skin feels smoother, looks cleaner and radiant.  I just had 2 pimples after I started using it but it died away instantly without scars and without dermatologist interference.  I felt my skin drinking the skin care stuff I put on it making it more effective.  And I think the reason I don’t breakout anymore is because my pores are clean and breathing well without any impurities clogging it.

If you have perfect skin and just want to get this out of curiosity and because you have extra moolah to spare, then don’t.  You don’t really need it.  But for the rest of us who are in one way or another are unhappy with their current skin condition then by all means, don’t think twice anymore.  Your skin will be thankful for it.  Mine did!


Sample Room experience


So, during the unexpected break of no school due to weather and holidays last week, I had time to reconsider my skincare regimen.  Looking at my current spread makes me wonder…are they still working for me?

I’ve been with Clinique for more than a decade and have stockpiled on some fave items but I’m not liking the condition my skin is in.

Thus another reason for me to search the web.  I then chanced upon the existence of Subscription boxes.  Currently, there are 4 I am aware of locally:

Orange Box
Salad Box

The above subscription boxes are are all on beauty products.  You subscribe for your choice of a month to 3 months delivery of beauty products for a specified amount ranging from Php 500.00 – 1,599.00 and you will receive a box filled with famous beauty brands and also some up and coming ones in sample sizes and full sizes.  You won’t know what you will receive but you are assured that the total price of the items in the box will be more than the amount you paid for.

I have been lurking at the websites of above-mentioned subscription boxes but haven’t taken the plunge yet.  Why?  Well, I am not very adventurous when it comes to products I put on my face.  When I need a specific item, I research it to bits comparing it to other similar products and learn which one will give me the best value for money.  Although receiving a big box full of goodies will tickle me pink inside, I might only like 1 or 2 items to justify the moolah I spent for it.  But I’m not totally closing my doors to this concept.  

So, here comes Sample Room.  This site offers new members with 100 points which they can use to get samples of products they wants to try.  The products featured has an assigned points rating.  You may only get a maximum of 3 products within your 100 points per transaction.  Then once you all ordered for them, you pay for the shipping fee of about Php 100.00.  Once you received them, you may road-test the product and send your review to Sample Room so when approved they will return to you the points you used for that product.  Then you may make another round of orders on samples again.  Neat right?

Okay, this idea of sampling is more my cup of tea.  I get to control the products I order.  It’s like asking for a trial size from the manufacturer before you take the actual plunge of buying the actual size at retail price.  Sometimes, the sample size is the actual selling size in the market which is great but entails also higher points.  So you need to be a VIP Member (for Php 599.00) to avail of more stuff you might like.  I still get this and understand the extra expense.  Have I piqued your interest now? 

All these being said, I signed up for Sample Room and became a VIP Member right away.  Why?  All the good samples have high points which I can only avail as a VIP member.  Oh, and to be quite honest, it was kind of a bummer when all the great products were out of stock but they do restock so if you are diligent in checking their website every now and then, like in my case 2x a day, then you will get dibs on the new stocks.

I made my first transaction with the following products:


Colour Collection Gluta Whitening BB Cream SPF 30

–  I have never tried a BB cream yet and would like to know what the fuss is all about
–  colour of the BB cream is a more natural shade of brown for the Filipina complexion
–  product came in full size of 40 ml. which costs approximately Php 599.00 in retail


Colour Collection Vitamin E Lipstick – Pinkish Nude (Sheer)

–  I need a very hydrating lipstick to give variety to my loyal Clinique Chubby Stick
–  I like that this is a sheer shade since I’m not too vavavoom with lip colors
–  product size is actual full size of 4g which costs Php 330.00 in retail


Pevonia Enzyme- Spherides Peeling Cream 

–  I guess I need a dose of micro peel to renew my skin
reviews sated great results so far
–  sample size is 5 ml. which costs approximately Php 374.00; full size is 50 ml. costing Php 3,740.00

Experience on Sample Room service

The Up Side:

1.  Response to emails are instantaneous when you’re emailing them during office hours.  Realistically, maybe a lag of 10 minutes.  You won’t die waiting for 10 minutes so it’s an excellent waiting time for email response.   They respond right away, are courteous, helpful, and straight forward with their communication.

2.  Registration is eazy breezy.  You know, you just need basic knowledge with web surfing.  If you were able to sign up for a free email address at Yahoo!, then sign-up here is a no-brainer.
I paid for my VIP membership August 28 in the morning, got my 1000 points credit after an hour.  Ordered my items right away.  Paid for my shipping in the evening and voila!  Got my items at my doorstep on August 30 noontime via Xend.  I guess if I have paid for my shipping by noon that day I could have received my parcel the following day.  And to think I expected my package to arrive within 2 weeks, this feels like instant gratification!  Woohoo!

3.  Packaging is in a brown sturdy paper bag just like a loot bag sealed with a Sample Room logo.  I like that packaging is recyclable.  The lipstick was wrapped in bubble wrap for additional protection.

4.  Total value of my loot = Php 1,303.00 less my shipping cost of 100.00 less my VIP membership of 599.00.  I saved Php 604.00 with this transaction.  Great right?  The more I transact within the 2-month period, the more I gain.  Hmm, I’m liking this! Yippee!

The Low Side:

1.  There was a bit of a snag with my VIP Membership when I can’t order my chosen items due to my 1000 points not crediting properly.  But the operations team handled it all well for me that I never felt I had a bit to worry.  They solved it within 30 minutes.  So I guess this should not be on the low side after all.
2.  The list of items are mostly out of stock.  You have to snoop at the website every now and then.  But I think if you are a VIP member, you receive an email of items they restock so you get first dibs if you act immediately.  This is just on the low side for me because all the items I really want to try are all out of stock and I have no idea if it will be restocked soon.  


Over-all, it was a good first transaction.  I am road testing the BB cream and the CC lipstick.  Hopefully I will like them enough to keep them in my stash.  Thank you Sample Room for a great experience so far!



Discovering Trilogy


I just recently discovered rosehip oil and was on the hunt for the best preparation that I can readily buy here in the Philippines.   I was thinking, what’s the sense in getting hooked on a product but will have much angst sourcing your next bottle.   So I had about 3 brands in mind and settled for Trilogy when I discovered that an actual physical store is selling it just a city away from my home.

So off I went to WellnessConnect at SM Southmall and was pleasantly surprised to be attended by a very eager sales assistant, Leny.  She has above average knowledge on their products which is not common with most beauty stores.  I already did some research on rosehip and of Trilogy and her information were spot on which is bonus points for WellnessConnect. I got so used to not getting proper info from SAs that I always do my own web snooping before I decide to buy a product.

I had the Certified Rosehip oil pegged in my mind as the product to buy and was told that if I buy any 2 items from Trilogy, I’ll receive a gift pack.  Oooh, I’m such a sucker for gifts and although I had no inclinations on using other facial care products of Trilogy, I gave in.  So I ended up buying 2 bottles of the Certified Rose Hip oil and got this loot for free!!!


1.  Age Proof Active Enzyme Cleansing Cream
2.  Age Proof CoQ10 Eye Recovery Concentrate
3.  Age Proof CoQ10 Booster Serum


Oh happy me!  I was a happy gal that day.  Skipping all the way home.  Well, in my mind actually.  The skipping was just in my mind ok.

–  Certified organic rosehip oil, Php 1300.00
–  WellnessConnect has a buy 1 take 1 promo with their NutraLife Fish oil 1500mg for Php 1300.00.  Sounds a good buy people!

Who wants to get Down and Dirty?

I do!  Here’s what happens when a girl gets Down and Dirty with a bit of Dash…


I meant a mud run you ding-a-ling. I just came back from a 3 kilometer mud run with obstacles.  And when I say mud, its the slimy, slick, gooey, sticky icky kind. The one where it swallows your whole leg, clings to your shoes, just plain dirty and uber fun.

It all happened today, the 1st of December 2012 at Nuvali, Sta. Rosa Laguna. It’s the Triple D: Down and Dirty Dash with Project Pink Cancer Support Group as the main beneficiary.  Its an all girl 3k fun run through a mud obstacle course.  I joined the 3rd wave of participants named Wave Fighters and kicked off at 6:30am.


Looks like I was too fast for the camera, eh. See the fuschia pink shirt and the streak of fuschia on the hair?  That’s how cool our group was.  Too bad I don’t have personal photos of us sticking our feet knee deep in mud, going all fours inside a barrel half-filled with water, wading chest deep in murky water with hidden muck on the bottom and slip sliding a 15 feet high mound.  All of these done with style by my group…







Meet my new buddies:

Barbara (leftmost)- the bubbly, funny, energetic femme who tried dunking one of the male marshals at the mud pit

Ela (to my left)- our very own dirty doctor who held my hand so tight I never slipped the whole race and was the brainchild of the combo outfit of fuschia top, black bottoms, black wristband and the fuschia hair streak. We were hot pink and lovin’ it.

Karen (leftmost) – my cousin once removed and our ultimate secret weapon to win this race. An avid runner who does triathlon and 21k runs with awards here and abroad but never got this dirty in any run until today.  Now she can include dirty running in her sports portfolio.



Finishing is cool when you get finisher shirts like this and get to shower with girlfriends in the open.





We missed 2 mates who can’t make it and our common friend Fritzie who invited me to this fun run. We missed you Fritz!  And oh here are my 2 photographers who came for the free ice cream.  Thanks boys for the snapshots. Oh and did I say Ernie my hubby was my driver, water boy, personal marshal, alarm clock, checklist ticker, prep assistant and more? Thanks partner!


Wait for this event again next year. It will redefine your concept of exercise.




Looks like I need new shoes.  Hear that my darling husband?!

A Simplified Life with Samsung Galaxy Note II


I jumped off the bandwagon and leaped into an unknown for me last October 6. I’m talking about how I eventually plunged into buying the very new Samsung Galaxy Note II after convincing myself that it will make my life lighter.

I have been carrying bricks in my bag for a year and it has to stop. Just by sheer collective weight of all gadgets inside my bag can send any hapless soul to dreamland when whacked with it. What’s inside my bag you ask? Well, I have my Blackberry 9360 for all those business calls, my Iphone 4 as my personal phone, the badly needed Ipad 2 for those long typing spells outside the office, my personalized LV small agenda as my daily diary, and the usual beautification knick knacks of a damsel. And not to forget the Jabra bluetooth, and the MIPOW Power Tube in case I need extra juice to power all my istuff. Oh woe is me! Such a burden to be a modern woman these days.

Well, not anymore. I promised to go lighter once for all for my shoulder’s sake, my bag’s sake and my sanity. I have to edit these 4 major gadgets I lug around all day. The Blackberry 9360 I think I should keep because I make a ton of calls and texts with it. I love the feel of the QWERTY keyboard and the fast response. The other features, I really don’t care because I have my iphone 4 to cover the other apps, camera and video and MMS messaging. I tote the Ipad with me as everything is too teeny-weeny on the iphone for browsing, emailing and documents. Then as a business person its imperative that I have a notebook/diary to jot down concerns for the day, make simple estimates and I always have a pad of Post-its for those note emergencies. Yes, I’m a closet OC!


What gadget should I remove and still make life workable? I think I need a small tablet where I can have a functional stylus for it to be a notebook, it has a big enough screen to serve my browsing and documents editing. And of course it has to have phone and data functions. This is where I eventually decided on a Samsung Galaxy Note II. It will hopefully replace 3 items – the Iphone, the Ipad and my beloved LV agenda. I got one 20 days ago and so far I am slowly migrating all my data. I planned to make a review after about 2 days of use, but I enjoyed it so much It became 20 days after.

So how is the Note II? Well from a consumer point of view, I can describe it according to my needs:

The looks
The size is similar to a small notebook just like the one I have (15 x 8 cm.). Very sleek and slim, not too heavy just a substantial heft for its size. I can get a case for it to look and feel like a diary. I need it to feel like a diary as I’m a tactile person and a pen person.

Its all about the Screen
Beautiful screen! Images are so brilliant. It’s like having a high-definition palm-sized TV. I can see the textures and shadows of depths I didn’t notice before. The screen is very responsive although too smooth for my preference. I realized it’s quite difficult to write on a slippery screen so I thought a screen protector would help. I got the matte one which made writing so much better but the images has this haze which robs the brilliancy and definition. I replaced it with a super clear screen protector and its perfect.

I love the 5.5 inches screen size. Its just the right size for a tablet to be small enough that it doesn’t lose its tablet functions. And still the safe size to become a phone. I tried doing phone functions on the first generation Samsung Tab and that was ridiculous! Embarassing and impossible, gosh I don’t even want to remember that episode.

The fastest gadget I had. The quadcore processor feels like its the Energizer Bunny on Red Bull. Everything is just speedier. Even with multiple programs open, I never felt a lag.

Camera and Video
It has an 8MP rear camera and 2MP front camera which I cant complain about yet. I am yet to explore this feature. I took the first photo with it so be my guest.

I need a Pen!
I love touchscreens but writing is never proper using your index finger. It just feels weird. I need a pen in my life and stylus for the iphone and ipad just doesn’t feel right. I need a stylus that feels like the ones from Palm or O2 era. The S-pen is just what I need. It has so many features you need to read other reviews to learn about it. What I can say is it feels like a proper pen although I find it too lightweight. It has this button thats supposed to give it more functions but it just gets in the way sometimes. But I’m not complaining. Its this S-Pen that made me shift to Samsung in the first place. They made it even hard to misplace it as the Note 2 reminds you if you left the room without the stylus with you. Cool eh!

So for now the ipad, iphone and agenda all came together to become this singular gadget for me which is the Samsung Galaxy Note II. I feel lighter discovering the Note 2 and highly recommend it for those who need the ultimate smartphone. Its for the techie person who needs to be connected all the time with multiple requirements in life be it Office documents, the staple emails, a Notepad, the music and video player or other fantastical needs of a modern human. Its the Jack of all Trades for the on-the-go me. Now, I’m on the hunt for its perfect case. Good luck to me!

My Balenciaga Love Affair

(I initially posted this at the Purse Forum and reposting it here)

I remember discovering Balenciaga last 2007 when a friend bought a Tomato City with very gorgeous leather and I was so jelly. There was no Balenciaga store yet in my country that time and I am not very confident buying from international stores and try shipping.  So I just visit the Purse Forum to have my Balenciaga fix.

My first Balenciaga was a 2004 Grey City in raised silver hardware.  I remember the leather was a bit thick but still slouchy.  I will try to find photos of it in my archives.  Pardon me as I started this thread using my ipad which doesn’t contain all my past photos.  It wasn’t a very gorgeous color, antiquey looking meaning old and I don’t get the vibe.  This bag has long been sold.



bbag grey back

Second was a 2007 Steel Part time in GGH.  It was so crackly, uber distressed, has feet but was a heavyweight!  It gave me strap marks on my shoulder as I tend to fill it with all my daily loot owing to its larger size.  This bag was also sold with half regret.  Half because although I love the leather but wasn’t a fan of the gold giant hardware and its added weight to the bag.


bbag blk frt tags

Third was a 2003 Mastic First in pewter hardware.  It was a cutie patootie and can only hold cute basic stuff.  Can’t carry my daily load so it has to go.

Here she is…




Fourth hit the sweet spot. My friend sold me her 2007 Tomato City in regular hardware.  This pretty thing was with me the longest.  I adore the leather, the scrunge, the smell, the vibe, but the color was not my perfect red.  It was a bit red orangey that was too eye popping and I was not as playful with color at that time.  I kind of regret the sale when I think of it now.


Now, I’m adding her own photo




Fifth was a 2010 Anthracite City in silver giant hardware.  This has more of green undertones and I have tons of photos of it.  I let it go as it was too green and not the Anthracite-grey I was looking for.  Also, although it was in a City style, the giant hardwares lent extra weight to my already heavy daily load.  Here are my own photos…

Sixth was a 2011 Grenadine City in RGGH.  Oh the pinkness of this color is just the right shade.  Not too bright , not too light, not too pop!  Love the rose gold hardware but when I went home and hubby saw it, he went ballistic.  But alas, it can’t be kept with reasons I am not at liberty saying in this blog.  Too many ears out there.   Here are my photos of her pink highness.


Seventh is a 2003 Blue Jean City in pewter hardware.  I never thought I can wear a light blue but I think I rock this just fine.  This pretty gal is currently with me and I did some DIY restoration on her.  Her color has lightened 1-2 shades through use but her leather is still clean and intact.  I love the smooshy leather and the old grunge look.


Eighth is a 2006 Cognac Hook GM.  Leather is thin, crinkly, flops splat when empty and color is a beauty.  But hardwares are too jingly and adds weight.  I’m keeping it as a go to big bag when I need more stuff to stuff.  Also adds variety to the usual motorcycle style although I’m missing the smiley face in front and the zippered pocket to hold my phones.


Ninth is a 2008 White Floral City in silver giant hardware. It was a surprise to me when I picked her up and carried her. I like that she’s a limited edition and as one tPFer commented that it can be an everyday bag if you live in the tropics which I am.   She was sent to LMB (Loving My Bags) for restoration of handles.  Photos here are her before shots.


Tenth is the berry on my Balenciaga love affair.  This 2009 Poupre Twiggy in regular hardware was an impulse buy but worth every peso.  It’s my first venture on the Twiggy and I love the shape.  It can hold my dailies and even my ipad which is an essential for me.  More to come, I’m sure.

I love the mysterious red color.  It’s like red but not quite.  Has purplish undertones and the best smelling leather.  Hmmm, I bury my face in it every now and then.  Of course, when nobody’s looking.


Midnight in Paris at 6:00 in the morning



I have to prepare breakfast of french toast, cheese and sausage omelette, coffee and fresh fruits for my darling hubby who is off early for his weekly dose of hobby.  After he left, I was by my lonesome self which I embrace.  Instead of opening the Sunday papers, I opted to watch this movie I downloaded months back.  Midnight in Paris, the movie’s title was the sole reason I bought the film.  Having Owen Wilson as the lead actor was an added bonus.  You know, that hippie guy from “Meet the Fockers” and partner of Jackie Chan in “Shanghai Nights”.  Anyway, I love the laid back, molasses slur talk and natural bedhead mess of a hair of this guy so I chose him to be my breakfast buddy today.

I  will not attempt to give a critique whatsoever of the film as I am not an authority of such.  I can tell you this though, that I thoroughly get what Gil (character of Owen Wilson) felt.  The crossroads in his life, the mental anguish and drama, the weight of his present and appeal of his nostalgia.  I also find myself in such musings – of times past, of another life lived.  The present can be so full and weigh me down that I look back to the time I was just myself.  That I can pack my bags full and drive and drive into the sunset.  I have done this and felt free.  I pause at towns I fancy, walk the markets, sample the delicacies and connect with the locals.  I thought then that I blend with them but looking back now, I see I was like a sore thumb sticking out of the picture.  I was young, naive, an empty sponge absorbing life, like a child needing to touch and feel everything to find it is real.

What the movie tells me loud and clear is that my present is very real and can be what I need it to be.  I can look back at the past and give me insights but I cannot live there.  I should put my shoes here and now and see the beauty of what I have.  It may not be like what I had before but it is there.  I just wasn’t looking.  Maybe I am you too.  No sense living the present halfway.   



Whew!  What a way to start my Sunday.  Have a good one yourself!  I raise you my coffee mug…cheers!

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