life of a cuddlebit

my random ramblings


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my summer picks for 2018

Since it has been warmer, I noticed I get oily/greasier faster. (My scalp also gets greasy.) While this is not unusual given the warm weather.. It makes my skin breakout. I need to change something on my skincare/hair care routine.  So, after much research and contemplating…I recently swapped my daily moisturizer for a lighter one with a higher SPF.

So, have been using the Biore UV Aqua Rich Essence with spf 50 for a week now. It has proven to be a good switch since my skin has ‘stabilized’ for the time being. While I still have some acne from the breakout, my skin stayed normal without being too oily by the end of the day.

For my scalp, I switched to Head and Shoulders shampoo in cool menthol. So far, I like using it as it keeps the greasiness away and it does have the refreshing feel to the scalp as well.

all the products I am using this summer season

To avoid sunburns for the extended amount of time that I will be out in the sun, I still rely on Dermplus sunblock in the spf 130 as it has proven to work well for me last summer.

I also switched my perfume for the more summery ones that I have, these days I tend to use Versace Eros for women- it smells good indoors/in an air-conditioned room, and I still love my trusty old Ralph by Ralph Lauren for women –used when I go outdoors under the sun.  Both are fresh, fruity, floral scents.

For the lips and nail colors, I am going for that ‘natural’ looking but still a happy summer-y color so I am sticking with corals. For my nails I got them in the shade Coralium from Chanel that is a coral color with a tinge of pink. It sure is bright but not neon, that is just perfect for summer days! As for the lips I am using the Loreal x Balmain lipstick in the shade confession -a pigmented coral/nude that is perfect for summer.

So far these are the products that I am using this summer. Till I find something to add to it. 

What are your current summer staples?

 

*All my reviews, opinions, and other stuff expressed here are my own and based on my own experience with the product. This is not a sponsored post, I paid for this (from) my own pocket, with the exception of the nail polish that I am using -it was available as a nail color option from the nail salon. 

 

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acquired tea

While I am not a huge tea drinker, I do enjoy having a cup of tea from time to time.

I enjoy it more as a dessert or as a scent!

matcha -photo from the internet

green tea (matcha) -photo from the internet

I am particularly enjoying the Elizabeth Arden Green Tea scent spray that was given to me as a gift. It has a crisp, clean scent that is fresh and soothing.

Photo taken the day I got the bottle. – I am halfway through it right now. If only the scent stays for longer.

Photo taken the day I got the bottle. – I am halfway through it right now. If only the scent stays for longer.

On “eating” tea – I have a particular favorite.  Matcha – the ground green tea powder.

I had it as a hot/cold drinks, ice cream and the numerous KitKats I used to get as a pasalubong (souvenir) whenever someone goes to japan. I was just drawn to the color of it and the uniqueness. In time I have grown to like it enough to get me to “hunt” for matcha. It is an acquired taste. 

the ubiquitous matcha green tea -photo from the internet

the ubiquitous matcha green tea -photo from the internet

Later on Matcha KitKat can be found in most supermarkets here (in the Philippines). That made me happy and my personal rule is if can find it in the supermarket, one or more is sure to end up in my cart. *Its usually more than one and I also get the dark KitKats, to stock up at home. 

Imagine my surprise when I saw this at a store near our place. -I am not exactly sure if this is new or limited time only (I haven’t seen it at the place where I do my groceries)…but I am happy to see them! 

happy to have found these!

happy to have found these!

We now have Matcha KitKat ice cream (locally)! That is kind of like a 3 in 1 of my favorite sweets. -I like the taste of this ice cream but I find that it melts quickly.  

Nice and sweet! -But in true matcha style; not overtly so. Kudos to Nestle Philippines for making matcha available locally!

 

*All my reviews, opinions, and other stuff expressed here are my own and based on my own experience. This is not a sponsored post, I paid for the KitKats from my own pocket. 

 


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candy and peonies

In this sadness inducing damp weather, I thought I could use a new scent. So, I spritzed on Prada Candy Florale a while ago.

Prada Candy Florale

Prada Candy Florale

Smells a lot like Peonies, a peony bouquet to be exact. Since I love peonies, it placed a smile on my face.

peony bouquet -photo from google

peony bouquet -photo from google

Prada Candy Florale = Peonies.  It is a safe scent (can be used everyday/day or night type of scent) that smells clean, sweet and very much feminine without being overpowering or cloying. It starts as a fresh floral, then a consistent Peony. After a while it starts so have a bit of a lemon/citrusy scent. Making this a good transition scent to the colder weather.

It lasted for about 3 hours before I have to spray again. 

Do you have a transition scent? Share yours!

 

*All my reviews, opinions, and other stuff expressed here are my own and based on my own experience. This is not a sponsored post, the perfume was a gift from my friend Janine.

 


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How we spent labor weekend: aka our Gay-bordate shopping weekend

So, most people we know are off to Boracay to spend the labor day weekend. Being true blue city-girl-mall-rats….my best friend and me have decided that labor day will be dedicated to hunting items from our Christmas wish list (last year 2014) but with the premise of getting the said stuff on sale or discount.

So, Joanna wanted a Marc Jacobs Henry Skeleton Watch, I was looking for Miss Dior EDP preferably the 100ml bottle. Those were the specific item we are hunting for. Since both items are pricey. We looked at every possible option to obtain them for cheaper. (That means we spent the past few months, going to Rustans, Cash and carry, Shangri-la and even looking for it online.) Till this weekend. It was do or die. We are going to wing it.

This is going to be a girly shopping day. Hence, Gay-bor date. 

With Kei in tow, off we go to Cash and Carry to look for the Miss Dior edp. I asked store after store to no avail.

close but not really the one. sorry.

close but not really the one. sorry.

Started with Bescost (they only have the old miss dior originale with the full houndstooth patterened bottle see top left photo), then to Criseldas’s (that only has the miss dior blooming bouquet variant see top right photo), Tia Loleng’s ( no miss dior here), till I saw it at Anselka’s! A 100ml bottle with the gold/amber liquid! Was grinning with excitement.

hollo lovely!

hello lovely!

I hurriedly dragged Jo to Anselka’s and showed her the bottle. Checked it for authenticity and went on to get the loot. Mad happy really.

Next, we went to meet Jo’s Dad and he drove us/treated us to a sumptuous lunch at Tim Ho Wan. That porkbun was melt in the mouth yums! Lunch was so awesome we finished lunch in less than an hour. I also learned a few Cantonese phrases over lunch. Also added a new food fave  – Lo mai gai. That my friends, is steamed glutinous rice in lotus leaf.

eating out with the HK peeps!

eating out with my HK peeps!

So after lunch our group went to meet our childhood friend Geordan, plus his parents. Chatted up a bit and it was time for them to go. Jo’s dad also went home.  With only the three of us are walking around Glorietta, Kei and I went to introduce Adora to Joanna. She loved the place! She is familiar with the bags! And proceeded to give me a crash course on bag appreciation. Fancy stuff. After the bags, I got her to try Penhaligon’s scents. After a few sniffs on the testers, she ended up liking what I liked best – Empressa. We like patchouli. Hahaha! 

Then looked at the watches on display. Little did I know, the watch Jo likes was on display! And an added bonus, on sale.

finally found you.

finally found you.

She has been looking for it for a while now. Her initial pick was the rose gold version of the Marc Jacobs Henry Skeleton watch, but seeing this lovely gold version made her change her mind. Few more minutes waiting for it to get adjusted, Joanna got her loot! With a gift with purchase sticky note pad! Score!

So we went to have a afternoon coffee to escape the summer heat.

escaping the summer heat

escaping the summer heat

Then proceeded to take outfit of the day pictures. Sun dresses are the in thing for the day!

our outfit of the day photos.  Much Thanks for the photo Kei!

our outfit of the day photos. Much Thanks for the photo Kei!

Come dinner, we get Joanna to try one of our fave food haunt Kitchitora. We both got Paitan ramen sets. So that she gets to sample the different appetizers. 

the Lupets at Kitchitora

Team Patchouli (the Lupets) at Kitchitora

Kei got tsukemen as expected. Here is our whole spread.

dinner is served

dinner is served

Joanna loved the place and the food! Good one Kitchitora!

After dinner we chatted a bit then its time to go home. To cap it all off here is our loot for the day.

our loot for the day

our loot for the day

*Much thanks to Kei for accompanying us, being the photographer for the day and helping us find our stuff! Our only regret is we did not take picture with Joanna’s dad and Geordan plus his parents. Next time… Overall it is a good day for shopping. 

Next day was Saturday. It was a normal work day for me. And also did all my grooming rounds. By that I mean going to the dermatologist and dentist. Kei prepared his presentation for church tomorrow. We spent the day at home watching big bang theory and eating chickenjoy,  heaps of palabok + Chinese take out dinner,  all of which are drowned with buko juice. We are cool like that. hahaha!

Sunday was a Yes and No day. YES that Kei pulled off the church activity he planned perfectly. All is well till Pacquiao lost. That was the NO. Bummer.

We ran off to the mall again, where else?! hahaha! the afternoon was spent on retail therapy. We tried Old Navy as we heard that they make good looking comfy-casual clothes and that their pant/s selection is good! Meaning they carry a wide range of pant sizes! So, Kei tried on pants and I tried on dresses.

Here are the ones I tried on. From left to right: White eyelet dress (no xs size so not for me), the middle and right are the same design, only the middle is a swiss dot design and the right one is in stripes. All my picks are 100% cotton fabric. I hate polyester. 

all pretty!

all pretty! photos taken from old navy

He got two pants one in denim and another in khaki. I got two dresses. The swiss dot and the stripe. After that we doused our hot temper in iced macchiato and went back to grab our new found fave porkbuns. Then ate a lot again for dinner.

this is

this helped us feel better. but our wallet does not feel better. lols. 

This sums up our weekend. We eat and shop.

How did you spend you labor weekend?


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scent trail

I have an agenda. I am going to AC+632 (in Greenbelt) to buy a bunch of peach/pink peonies. That being said I hurriedly asked Kei to accompany me. So, after getting my peonies. (And spending the next 30 mins or so looking at all the quirky finds inside the store.)

peonies

 

On the way back, we passed by Adora. We used to walk past, but this time Kei wanted to go exploring so we went. Inside was a trove of imported brands. Looking around one corner of the store caught my attention. Maison Francis Kurkdjian. (I have read about Francis Kurkdjian in Fragrantica!) Perfumes! I love perfumes.

MFK

Since Kei is on the hunt for a perfume. This is perfect! I told him to try and sniff around for a new scent.

He likes Francis Kurkdjian’s Aqua Universalis (A unisex scent good for daily wear. Makes me think of fresh just took a bath scent). While he was trying it out the sales representative let me try a women’s perfume that she thought would suit me.  It was Francis Kurkdjian’s Pluriel (Soft, rose, feminine floral. This to me is like a Lady who goes to a afternoon high tea).

Pluriel

Aqua Universalis on the left, Pluriel to the right.

Really liked them both. That was not a surprise as Francis Kurkdjian is a noted perfumer and has made perfumes for luxury houses like Hermes, Burberry, Elie Saab, Elizabeth Arden… etc.

On the other corner is another perfume brand. Penhaligon of London. Since we are already there might as well explore right?

penhaligon

 

The colorful displays really piqued our curiosity. What made it more interesting is that it is a brand with a history. They make perfumes for the Royal Family. 

Kei was offered Quercus. (A citrusy cologne good for daily wear. I can imagine this would be good to use on sunny days outdoors)  Then Sartorial, a woody, musky scent. (Strong, masculine scent good for dressed up occasions. It leaves the impression of a date scent to me.) Both scents are good. We also sniffed the other masculine scents that they offer but, we seem to back again to the first two offered.

kei's picks

While Kei is talking to the sales representative, I found myself reaching for Artemisia (Powdery, woody, oriental scent. Makes me think of a rich auntie). It was, apparently their best seller.  Liked it but not that much, the powdery scent makes me think that it is a bit “mature” for me. To which she quickly recommended Empressa. (Citrus, fruity, floral scent. Clean, just got out of the shower scent) This one I liked but I think the scent is a tad generic. Not really something I would go for.

my picks

I got distracted. Going back to Kei’s perfume hunt. It was unanimous.

We both agreed Sartorial is the one who wins the hunt.

 

AC+632 and Adora can be found at 2/F, Greenbelt 5


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scent of remembrance

Mention perfume to me and one of the images that will spring to my mind is my (late) Grandma from the father’s side. She is one classy lady with a taste for the finer things in life. She has a huge perfume collection (and adores scents from Dior), collected jewelry (gemstones), tended a garden full of (scented) tropical flowers and only wore tailored clothes. She has perfectly maintained curly white-grey hair, always seen wearing a muted pink lipstick and smells heavenly even if she only stays at home.

Fancy. I know. More so, now that I can comprehend a bit of how fabulous she and her life was. 

I can recall my childhood days with her walking around the living room carefully arranging freshly cut flowers on the vase. She normally uses Sampaguita (Jasmine) as altar flowers. But for home decorating, her flower of choice was locally known as Rosal (or a Gardenia).

Rosal/Gardenia photo taken from the internet

Rosal/Gardenia photo taken from the internet

I loved that it looks and smells lovely.  The scent alone reminds me of her. 

But my Grandma is already in another place now, her tailored clothes are nowhere to be found, the gemstones are already lost, the garden which she lovingly tended has grown tangled and unruly, her regal home is now a a empty shell of beauty it once was. Soon enough, the house was sold, along with the fragrant garden. The said house holds a lot of my childhood memories as I grew up there with my cousins before we move to Manila to go schooling, I sometimes still think about it, I also miss my grandma, from the soft touch of her wrinkled skin and her faint lingering smell of perfume.

I was only fifteen when she went away. Was given a small jade pendant (she once wore, is all I have) to remember her by. 

If only I have the brains then to save cuttings of her beloved plants, to be replanted to pots. Even only her signature flower the Rosal.

So, I searched for a Rosal. I asked around, and came up empty. After months of asking. I was about to give up. 

I was resigned to the fact that the memory and the scent is lost and I should just go sniffing bottles of her (used to be) perfume/s to remember her. Then Kei took me to the relocated Manila seedling bank, It is now on Quezon City circle.

There it was. A rather huge sized shrub with shiny dark green leaves.

A Rosal plant about to bud.

Without much thought we brought the plant along with a huge pot and soil. All the thought of gross-ness went out the window as we took turns carrying the huge and heavy potted plant back home. Kei took good care of it and as of now it has many buds ready to bloom anytime soon. We named it “Groot” from the Guardians of the Galaxy.

We got a flowering plant to remember her by, I think my Grandma would smile at the idea.

I am excited to see it bloom and also get Kei to smell what the rosal smells like. 

It smells like the scent of remembrance to me.

For that I am grateful.


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stop and sniff

I could still recall the day I encountered a perfume we can’t resist sniffing.

Joanna (my best friend) and I were out playing when our neighbor Ava passed by. She is older than us (by 8-10 years, I guess) and she is beautiful, we liked looking at her and imagining what we would look like if we were her age, and we would always know if she was near because she always smells nice. (like peaches, or caramel apples) We liked her perfume. We just didn’t have the nerve to ask her what it is. To us it was magic.

sweet peaches  photo from 1zoom.net

sweet peaches – photo from 1zoom.net

So, we would wait for her to pass by every afternoon to get a sniff.

Fast forward to high school, I got a a bottle of perfume from my aunt in States. It has a acrylic crystal box and the bottle resembles a teddy bear. It smells sweet and light and I loved it to the last spray! Too bad I cannot recall the brand. 

Come college days I used a lot of  baby colognes. I got Johnson’s baby cologne in morning dew and summer swing. Also used Bench bay cologne in bubblegum and lemon drop plus the sweet pea body mist and kiwi cologne spray.

I then started work, I got Glow by JLo from a officemate. (who learned that I love JLo) And my interest in perfumes was piqued! I mean this stuff lasts for more than an hour! I then bought Japanese cherry blossom perfume from the Body shop from my own pocket! (This was a big move for me because at that time, I was skeptic to buy perfumes as they are expensive, i see them as a “want item” not a “need item”. Well, at least for me.)

Japanese Cherry Blossom photo from hdwallphotos.com

Japanese Cherry Blossom – photo from hdwallphotos.com

That christmas Joanna got me a bottle of Guess for woman perfume and I absolutely adored it! the next year rolled around and she got me Jlo’s Still perfume (I really love JLo, and her perfumes too.), then a Ralph Lauren perfume for women, D&G light blue, Salvatore Ferragamo incanto shine… almost all of the perfumes I own are gifts from her.

I also got her to look at Fragrantica! and got the idea to go searching for a new perfume, we listed what we like to try out. But with the tall order that we will not “blind buy” we will smell it first. *Perfume counters in the Philippines doesn’t give out samples. 

these are not mine... I just hope it was. photo from we heart it

these are not mine… I just hope it was.
photo from we heart it

So our last shopping meet-up was spent looking for and sniffing at perfume counters! We sniffed till our feet hurt, from all the walking and lamenting why they don’t give out sample vials locally. We tested, and compared. On the end of the day Joanna loved Marc Jacobs Dot-honey, while I liked Juicy Couture Viva la juicy-noir and of course Miss Dior that I have been looking at from fragrantica. 

The one I have been looking for photo from we heart it

The one I have been looking for – photo from we heart it

I was actually looking for Miss Dior Le parfum. But locally (Rustan’s Philippines) they don’t carry the Le parfum, they only have the Eau de parfum and I am undecided to get it till i smell the le parfum

We ended up not buying any perfumes that day.

But we learned what scents we like and what we don’t, which perfume works better with our skin, what gives better projection, lasting silage… more than just looking at the descriptions on the internet.

We got to test the fragrances.

And that was okay for us. We could always buy on the next shopping day.

 

 

A woman’s perfume tells more about her than her handwriting. – Christian Dior