From Manila with Love Empties and Reviews 1
Yes another post of what I sifted through my magical box of trash. Read on to see what I dug up, what I liked and what I didn't care for.
From Manila with Love Empties and Reviews 2
Ziaja - Jasmine Micellar Water - 200ml - Php 295
It's not one of those makeup - removal ones like Bioderma and Garnier. It's more of a toner (to my initial dismay) and it's a pretty mild, alcohol-free one. I purchased the "dry, mature skin" variant  because I knew it would be extra moisturizing. Case in point one of its ingredients is Hyaluronic acid along with Sweet Almond Oil, Castor Oil and Pro Vitamin B5 known "firmers" and skin "plumpers".

  • Hyaluronic Acid - Improves the appearance of fine lines and helps retain moisture.
  • Sweet Almond Oil - Has Vitamin E for repairing collagen and Vitamin A for reducing acne flare-ups.
  • Castor Oil - Helps in disinfecting open wounds because of antimicrobial properties and penetrates deep into the fine lines.
  • Pro Vitamin B5 - Most noted for its ability to perform as a humectant — a water-binding substance that attracts and retains water.

Asian Secrets Lulur Indonesian Whitening Facial Scrub 100g - Php 120
After all the marketing hype I finally got to try the famous Lulur facial scrub via a BDJ box.

Originating from Java, Indonesia, the Lulur scrub was traditionally a ritual used by bride-to-be's to smoothen and whiten their skin before their wedding day.

Verdict : It was okay. No apparent whitening effect in my opinion but the scrub was fine and subtle so it was perfect for everyday. It also didn't lather like other facial washes which I prefer. One thing I didn't like was that it had plastic micro beads (polyethylene). I avoid those as much as I can but was too late with this one. I figuratively smacked myself in the face when I finished the tube and decided to nonchalantly read the back for the ingredients.

From Manila with Love Empties and Reviews 2
Ziaja Eye Cream 15 ml - Php 150
I liked it as evidenced by the mauling of the tube. It's lightweight and creamy. I think it's a good eye cream for people in their early 20s. Full review here.

Lip Ice SPF 15 Lip Balm - ~Php 100
This soothed my cracked dry lips. I already have a backup. I like that it has spf. I haven't seen a lot of lip balms that have spf.

From Manila with Love Empties and Reviews 3

Pond's Dewy Rose Gel 50 g - Php 399
It's a light moisturizing gel in a pretty frosted glass tub. I thoroughly enjoyed using this one. Mainly for the fact that it was the only one in their line that didn't break me out. Read my full review here.

From Manila with Love Empties and Reviews 4

From Manila with Love Empties and Reviews 5
Kojie San Cleanser + Toner 100 ml - ~Php 70 +
Despite having Ethyl Alcohol as the second ingredient it was surprisingly mild and dare I say moisturizing even, which I can attribute to the third and fourth ingredient - Sodium Lactate and Glycerin (both have hydrating properties). This didn't break me out and it left my skin feeling clean, smooth and a little cool because of the menthol. It also has Ginseng extract, Castor Oil and Rosehip Extract.

Moringa-O Malunggay Herbal Facial Toner 100ml
Alcohol-free, dermatologist-tested and made for dry and sensitive skin? Sign me up please. I purchased this because of the aforementioned claims and because it contained natural ingredients. 

It supposedly helps in minimizing pores and reduces pimples, but I like it because it's not harsh, I never had any adverse reactions and it leaves my skin supple. I've repurchased this twice already. Even if it had fragrance like the Kojie San it's one of those toners that don't leave the skin "thirsty" unlike Eskinol and the like. #noshade

From Manila with Love Empties and Reviews 6
Zenutrients Witch Hazel Toner 100ml - ~ Php 200 +
I grew little bumps all over my face similar to pimples just devoid of any pus or redness. It wasn't harsh on the skin and didn't leave it stripped of moisture. I just had an allergic reaction to the Witch Hazel. I was hoping it was just the Dickinson's Witch Hazel I tried long ago that I was allergic to. Too bad eh?

Snoe Snoe White Whitening Detox Clay Mask 40g - Php 200 - 350
Okay okay, I bought this because of the cute tin packaging and the artisan-esque design but at the time I was in need of a new mask to try. And a detox clay mask with Calamansi that helps eliminate deep-seated dirt and AHA's which help in drying up pimples, sounded convincing.

I wouldn't exactly say this was bad. It just didn't do enough to have a noticeable difference in my skin's texture and appearance. Apart from that, it dried up too fast. The gray clay turned "gummy" and doughy over time so it was hard to spread evenly on the face. No bueno.

From Manila with Love Empties and Reviews 7

Etude House Oh My Lash Serum ~ Php 200
It didn't do anything. Period. Full review here.

From Manila with Love Empties and Reviews 8
Snoe Body Ritual Recipes Hair and Body Glaze - 50 ml - Php 299 
Ugh. I always get sucked in by their packaging but most things I've tried from Snoe's body/skincare line always left a lot to be desired. 

The scent reminded me of cooking oil with a tinge of their "Vanilla Bean and Butterscotch". It felt like regular dry oil on my hair and body. It wasn't particularly moisturizing too. Their packaging maybe one of the cutest ones out there (punny too!) but I just can't get on with their formulas.

Kiehl's Creme de Corps Soy Milk & Honey Whipped Body Butter - 226 g - $46
It's a thick mousse-y body butter that melts onto the skin leaving it soft and hydrated. It's more of a night time moisturizer because of its richness. But avoid using this in the summer or whenever it's hot. It tends to be a little sticky and the smell can get a little cloying because of the heat.

From Manila with Love Empties and Reviews 9
Divinia Tinted UV Base Spf 30 Pa ++ 30 ml - ~ Php 200
It's a very watery tinted sunscreen that you have to shake to mix the pigment up. The shade was a little light and a little neutral but it was passable on my skin tone (MUFE 123) and worked well as an everyday base + spf. The finish was natural; A sort of demi-matte (I have dry/sensitive skin) boasting sheer - light coverage. I'd probably repurchase if I see it again. But I much prefer the un-tinted one in a blue tube.
Last , October 17th I was invited by the Cathy Valencia team to their branch blessing and intimate launching of their latest line at Eastwood City.

Cathy Valencia Advanced Skin Clinic - Established in 2002 - more than a decade in the skin and beauty industry- it's one of the most prominent and trusted clinics until today.

Its President and CEO, Ms. Cathy Valencia-Lim is a duly certified skin expert, having completed a degree in Atopic Dermatitis and Acne Management in Izumo Hospital in Shimane-Ken, Japan, plus extensive training in Beautiful Earth Skin Products under Dr. Tetsuo Santo of Beautiful Earth USA Incorporated. With her expertise and dedication to skin care, Cathy Valencia does not settle for anything below par.

Knowing her background as you walk in one of their clinics you can immediately tell that you'll be in good and capable hands. The posh color scheme and delicate furnishings give off a warm and tasteful luxury that Cathy Valencia-Lim herself seems to evoke.


The brand ambassadors of Cathy Valencia Skin Clinic and Cedrix [Their slimming center], Isabel Oli- Prats and Camille Prats along with Cathy Valencia-Lim.


With services that range from simple facials and peels to laser treatments and cosmetic surgery CV has covered all there is to cover when it comes to aesthetic beautification.

Knowing the clinic's impressive roster of clients and endorsers [Rufa Mae Quinto, James Yap, Erich Gonzales and Vina Morales to name a few] I asked Ms. Cathy Valencia, what she could tell the young professionals so they won't be to intimidated to get something done for themselves.


Their latest products — The Eternal Youth line. Lightening Cream, Soft Cream and Anti-aging Sunscreen SPF 50

  • Eternal Youth Lightening Cream - A natural skin lightening cream that inhibits melanin formation and provides exceptional brightening benefits fading the appearance of dark scars and discolorations. Fights photo-ageing, increases smoothness and cell vitality.
  • Eternal Youth Soft Cream [For day and night] - Aids in cell repair and longevity. Hydrates dead skin and rejuvenates skin cells. Formulated with bioactive polypeptides and biometic peptides that compensate for the natural loss of youth proteins as we age. --- wow.
  • Eternal Youth Anti-Aging Sunscreen with SPF 50 - Stimulates DNA repair mechanism after UV irradiation. A fast-acting cream that provides all-day moisture delivering a visible lift and reduces the risk of developing chronic photodamage.

She mentioned the importance of spending on yourself to be the best version of you when meeting new people and just for the fact that one needs to indulge a little. And I agree, one does need to indulge from time to time and what better investment than yourself? Especially young professionals, who work hard (and party harder) hustling away, taking care of yourself should be top priority. 

After all prevention is better than the cure.

Employing cutting-edge technology and showcasing an extensive range of products made from materials imported and specially formulated in Japan, USA, France along with rigorous testing and certifications from international and local quality control standards, their pricing is still affordable according to them. Given how long they've been in the industry, their prices might be a little more steep than the casual "facial place" you might frequent.


I'll be visiting their clinic soon for a facial so I'll let you guys know about the prices and how everything goes ;).


PS. For more information about their products and services you can visit their Facebook or website or you can give them a ring!
PPS. Their prices according to them, are crafted to your specific needs, so you won't find a pricelist online. 
PPPS. They currently have a promo for their Eternal Youth Peel, 40% off for people aged 40+ at their Eastwood branch.

Instagram : @cathyvalencia
Tel : +6329135189 | +639173732838
nail polishes to try 1

I've never really considered myself a nail polish person. My first and supposed last love-affair with nail varnishes was in college. After my freshman-sophomore college phase I always wore my nails bare. Part laziness, part my nails' brittleness.

Lately though I've taken an interest in painting them again and here are just some that have impressed me based on their formula, brush-shape, colour and efficacy.

Golden Rose color expert nail laquers

First-up Golden Rose Color Expert in 07 [tan beige one] and 53 [lavander-pink one]. This Turkish brand was the one who re-ignited my interest in polishes. The brush is wider than the typical brands' I've come across and makes application a breeze. And the formula [like all coloured polishes mentioned in this page] while thin is by no means less opaque. I find I can get away with one coat of 07. But of course two coats yields a smoother and more even colour. Plus it's cheap!

Price : Php 79
Weight : 10.2 ml

Picture Polish in Rebelle and Ornate

This online-exclusive Australian brand — Picture Polish, was love at first swipe. Rebelle, a light creamy peach shade with silver glitters and Ornate a royal purple with multi-coloured glitter with golden glitter chunks combined look pretty on especially if you have longer nails [mine are super short]. They're a little pricey but [in my opinion] for good reason.

  • Smooth despite the glitters [even the chunky glitters of Ornate]
  • Non-streaky
  • Opaque
  • Vegan!
  • 5 Free [meaning free from formaldehyde, dibutyl phthalate, toluene, camphor and formaldehyde resin - chemicals that could disrupt the endocrine system and/or cause cancer].
  • Touch-dry in 2-3 minutes
  • Has two metal ball bearings inside to shake up the liquid thoroughly and keep it from thickening

Website : [Tons of other foreign brands and wide range of payment methods]
Weight : 11 ml
Price : Php 660
Note : This was sent to me for review. As per my blog's policy, thoughts are unadulterated, unbiased and completely my own.

Essence Quick dry top coat and Jordana Calcium Boost Basecoat

I never really understood the necessity of a base coat until recently. The Jordana Calcium boost base coat was a fast favorite. I can't really affirm the Calcium absorption but I feel like it helps lengthen my nail colour on top and provides a barrier between my nail bed and the polish. I also bought the white coloured base coat but I feel like that one makes my nail colour chip way faster.

Available at : SM Megamall
Price : Php 99

This Essence "quick dry" top coat gives more shine to normal polishes and true to its name it does dry fast [touch dry in 2-3 minutes]. I haven't tried a lot and I can't say this is the best but compared to Caronia or the other local top coats, this beats them by a mile.

Facebook :
Price : Php 99 - 100


PS. Have you tried any of these brands? What other polishes can you recommend that are thin but fully opaque in two coats?

Most people probably don't know about C&C Salon. This secluded and somewhat hush-hush nail haven might be a challenge to some who don't have a keen eye and/or are not familiar with the BGC area.

Don't fret because I was invited by Cookie last October 7th to experience C&C Salon first hand, to give you guys the low-down.

I came in about an hour after the supposed meeting time [got lost] and chanced upon one of the managers — Cookie while I was taking pictures of the entrance.

We proceeded inside after a little chat with this timid cutie where I learned that not only were the managers young, they were still in school. High school and College to be more specific.

The salon was put up by their mother and she manages it along with her two daughters — Cheenee and Cookie [C&C]. Situated in BGC and in a fairly nondescript hotel I asked, why here?

"It's near our home and the rent is reasonable." Cookie stated.

Apart from that, being dab smack in the heart of the business district I could agree it was a smart choice. Their guests are mainly working people taking some me-time after a hard day at work as well as locals in the area.

Going in I was greeted with pale gray, white and purple shades and contemporary interiors with a comfortable and relaxing "homey" vibe. Kind of like your Aunt's shabby-chic-rustic-modern-contemporary home that you can relax in but you better not get dirt on her white suede armchair.

The concept I gathered, was to not be ostentatiously royal and not be ostentatiously glittery so the men won't be scared and actually encourage them to get something done themselves.

The space was tiny but cozy and fully air-conditioned [a must in this part of the world]. There were four chairs on the lower ground and upstairs were a sofa, a love seat and a massage bed. Perfect for spa dates with the beau or the squad.

I got the Classic Curtsy which includes this amazing foot reflex massage. I don't know if my feet were just especially tired but that massage was everything. The whole treatment was fairly standard for a nail salon I would say. The prices are appropriate especially for the ambiance and the great service I got from Cookie.

What was made evident to me though was that the tools to be used on every person was sanitized, sterilized and individually wrapped to ensure the guest's safety. That gets a two thumbs up for me because people don't know how easy it is to get infections from communal nail clippers and files. *cringe*

If you're wondering about the polish selection, they don't have a massive array of colors but the basics are there. The brands they carry are Orly, Morgan Taylor [vegan], Sally Hansen, Revlon, Cutex and Maybelline. They also offer gels — Gellish [vegan] and True Gel.

All-in-all a quaint little secret spot to treat your self. As C&C puts it, if you don't treat yourself, you cheat yourself!

Thanks for inviting me Cookie!


PS. Have you tried this place before? Or any place you'd like to recommend for nails?
PPS. They're working on the wi-fi for people eager to update their social media to instagram their new nail colour or catch up on some work. :)
PPPS. Say hi to the managers for me if you do drop by!

C & C Salon
Address : UGF, F1 Hotel Manila, 32nd St. Bonifacio Global City,
Taguig, Metro Manila, Philippines
Telephone : (02) 257-4280 (0927) 972-6143
Facebook :
Bobbie Cosmetics Lash Liner Review 1
I used to line my waterline with an off-white shadow (yes it hurt) or a white eyeliner. Both of which were worn alone - sans a liner on top - making my small eyes look like two dots on my face. (Think a plate with two raisins on it.)

So when I [first] discovered that using a beige-toned pencil was less stark looking years ago, I scoured the beauty sections to test it for myself. Alas they didn't fare well (Nichido etc.). They were too hard, too soft or they disappeared within two hours. Early this year though I decided to get this Bobbie brightening liner because...

  1. It was beige.
  2. I saw a picture of it on instagram I think.
  3. It was cheap as heck. Php 80 at the time of purchase
  4. It was a new brand.
Bobbie Cosmetics Lash Liner Review 2

It's creamy, pigmented and a little soft but not so much that it breaks whenever I sharpen it. The color — a sort of yellow-beige was perfect for brightening the eyes.

One problem though... I don't know what happened but my eyes became more sensitive and I cannot stand putting any eyeliner on my upper or lower waterline. It was a little ticklish, uncomfortable and weird. This particular brand though made my eyes HURT. The product itself, as creamy as it is hurt my waterline as I was putting it on. (◉︵◉)

Another con is that it doesn't last throughout the day. After about 2 - 3 hours there would be the faintest pigment left. Now keep in mind my eyes were watering a little more than usual (yes I still continued to test it out) so that might've been a great influence on the staying power.

I was about to chuck it when...

Bobbie Cosmetics Lash Liner Review 3

Eyebrow "Cleaner"

I thought of using this as an eyebrow "shaper" or "cleaner" to make the edges of my brows a little more sharp and defined; I found that it works well for that. It blends nicely on the skin and as I said it's pretty pigmented. It lasts a lot longer on my skin than the waterline especially if I set it with powder. So all-in-all I didn't just throw money down the drain.

I recommend for you guys try it for yourselves! Available at Watsons' and Mini Stop (Yes that conbini was where I first saw the brand).


PS. Conbini is slang for convenience store in Japan. Like 7/11 or Lawson's.
PPS. Have you tried the brand before or this pencil? I noticed that they have a LOT of new products. :)
The body shop colour glide lipstick review 1

I have a penchant for neutrals. To be more specific neutral lipsticks. Sure there are lip stains, tints, cremes and glosses but if I want something neutral it has to be a lipstick.

I decided to "borrow" and test my mom's The Body Shop lipstick in Clover Pink 06 after seeing it on her one day and asking her about it. The first time I tried it though I was immediately put off by the strong smell coming from the tube. The scent also lingered on my lips and tasted the way it smelled — waxy.

The body shop colour glide lipstick review in clover pink 2

The body shop colour glide lipstick in clover pink swatch

But the color was gorgeous. It was a very wearable peachy mid brown color and very opaque [reminded me a little of Uber Beige from Bobbi Brown]. Knowing my scaly lips I thought it would make it more visible when I tried it sans a balm but the dryness wasn't obvious at all. Not only that I think it even quenched my parched lips a little. [I imagine the lighter colors in this line would be harder to pull off without prepping the lips.]

I wouldn't say outright that this was very moisturizing but it didn't dry out my lips and it was very comfortable to wear throughout the day.

It's a little draggy but the finish, wearability and color are tops for me. The only con I can think of is the smell. I just cannot get over it. I'd recommend for you guys to try it out at their stores but I think they're phasing this out because I can't find them anymore on the PH website. But I did find it at their main site.


PS. I love The Body Shops' values. They include defending human rights, setting proper working conditions and reducing CO2 emissions apart from being cruelty free!

PPS. Have you tried this line? What do you think of the smell? I might just be really sensitive to these things especially since it's on my mouth but what about you?


Lanolin Oil (Skin Conditioning Agent), Sesamum Indicum Seed Oil (Skin-Conditioning Agent), Acetylated Lanolin (Skin Conditioning Agent), Cera Microcristallina (Stabiliser/Emollient), Mica (Opacifier), Lanolin Cera (Skin Conditioning Agent), Synthetic Wax (Binder/Emollient), Simmondsia Chinensis Seed Oil (Hair & Skin Conditioning Agent), Cera Alba (Emulsifier/Emollient), Synthetic Fluorphlogopite (Viscosity Increasing Agent), Lanolin (Emollient), Sclerocarya Birrea Seed Oil (Skin Conditioning Agent), Calcium Sodium Borosilicate (Bulking Agent), Isopropyl Palmitate (Emollient), Parfum (Fragrance), Stearalkonium Hectorite (Viscosity Modifier), Tocopheryl Acetate (Antioxidant), Rosa Moschata Seed Oil (Skin Conditioning Agent - Emollient), Cocos Nucifera Oil (Emollient/Hair Conditioner), Propylene Glycol Dicaprylate/Dicaprate (Emollient), Gardenia Tahitensis Flower (Skin-Conditioning Agent), Isopropyl Titanium Triisostearate (Emollient), Silica (Absorbent), Propylene Carbonate (Solvent), Tocopherol (Antioxidant), Benzyl Salicylate (Fragrance Ingredient), Vanilla Tahitensis Fruit Extract (Natural Extract), Limonene (Fragrance Ingredient), Tin Oxide (Opacifier), Ascorbyl Palmitate (Antioxidant). [+/- CI 77891 (Colour), CI 77491 (Colour), CI 77499 (Colour), CI 15850 (Colour), CI 77492 (Colour), CI 15985 (Colour), CI 45410 (Colour), CI 73360 (Colour), CI 19140 (Colour), CI 42090 (Colour), CI 17200 (Colour)].

Website :

If you've been slowly but surely bombarded with random Christmas songs at the store, at the mall or radio then you know Christmas is upon us. It's not as worse as November wherein after the first week every single day, wherever you go there will be a yuletide jingle playing. *Let's get through October - and its holidays- first shall we?*

That's when you realize that a year has gone by and think what the hell I'm still here? But I am glad I've been consistent with my posts. My subconscious probably decided it was finally time to review the rest of my shit that's just sitting here.

I have been reading a lot of ebooks lately. Mostly fanfics. Actually only fanfics. But omg it's so hard to find one wattpadd ebook that has good grammar and a clear pov (I've read ebooks that switch from first person to third person omniscient without warning)

Listening to

Rick and Morty Season 2

If you're into Adult Cartoons (Family Guy but leagues better) and/or Adult Swim on Cartoon Network. This is god-sent. Despite the obvious stupidity it's smart and adresses t....just watch the fucking show.

How people can be so close-minded as to hate the word feminism. There are some extremists who take it too far (that's why they're called extremists) but isn't that much more reason to rally and support the cause more so people know what real feminists (people who support the social, political and economic equality of ALL -yes LGBT too- sexes) look like?

That people stop hating the word Feminism and using the term "Feminazis" to describe women who whole-heartedly present personal, deep and passionate encounters and thoughts they have on the matter. Discounting the whole movement because of extremists (which a lot of political, economic and social groups have) is not only unjust but perpetuates the thought that we don't need equality and all feminists are spouting nonsense, non-issues and just want to burn their bras all day and kill men. You know just because.

My favorite gray shirt and cycling shorts. Thinking of doing yoga before I sleep...hmmm

My consistency with writing! Yay!

A massage!

Neutral. But a little happy. Happy-Neutral?

el hijo de cabra food review 1

Whenever my sister and I go out we always make sure to check out new spots whether or not we're craving for anything in particular. Initially we went to Greenfield District for the weekend market, but apparently they changed it up so what was the usual 12 AM closing time was now changed to a very inconvenient 12 PM. Damn. [for reference we were there at around 8 PM]

So like any young'un with the munchies we set out to El Hijo de Cabra one of the few brick and mortar restaurants at Greenfield [and the slightly more upscale relative of El Chupacabra.]

el hijo de cabra food review 2el hijo de cabra food review 3

Prices were fair relative to their location. Some items were a little up there in price for me but I can't say for sure because I haven't tried a lot of them yet you never know, the serving size and/or taste might justify the price. I ordered the Gringas [my staple at El Chupacabra] and my sister got the Fish tacos.

While waiting I decided to take a few pictures of the decor. The interior was extremely nice and colorful. It had a very laid-back, chill "neighborhood" vibe and as we learned from one of their signs, they're relatively new. The days we came in was actually their "test run week/day"?

el hijo de cabra food review 4el hijo de cabra food review 5
el hijo de cabra food review 6

I ordered the cheese, garlic and onion / cheese and garlic [I forgot which one] and it had a sufficient amount of cheese. The other flavors inside were distinct enough but not overpowering. I admit the food's nom factor was mainly because of the tasty dips [mmmm pesto]. They were good but I think the tortillas at El Chupacabra's were bigger... I have to go back to make sure. [yay!]

el hijo de cabra food review 7

I can definitely excuse the "unliveliness" and "deadpan" service because they were still on a test run. Not that I was expecting them to be perpetually smiling, peppy and *clap* *clap* happy-to-serve every 15 minutes [customer service is HARD work yo] but it definitely made me feel just a tiny bit unwelcome especially since I was looking for a highlight to my visit as the food wasn't particularly exceptional.

I'll try their other offerings next time I'm in the area.


PS. We went there last August 20th.
PPS. Food blogging is hard oh my god. I will read up more on proper food blogging and of course educate my uncouth self on describing flavor. Which is 100000x harder because I don't really cook.
PPPS. I mean I do know how to cook *scoffs*. If it involves, frying, boiling, pasta-ing, soup-ing and assembling, I got your back.

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