Mommy Mundo Journey Box

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I've received a lot beauty boxes before and loved most of them. But a few weeks ago, I received the most unique box. It's not a beauty subscription box. It's a box for mommies!

Be Sample Room's Roommate of the Month!

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Sample Room is introducing the “Roommate of the Month” as their way of featuring the people that have supported them all these years. The Roommate of the Month will be chosen based on her activity at Sample Room's website and her posts on social media.

What does the Roommate of the Month get?
- blog and social media features on Sample Room
- additional 25 purchasing points in her account
- surprise gift

Use the hashtags #SampleRoomSpotlight and #RoommateOfTheMonth in any of your Instagram posts for monitoring.



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Baby Company's Mom Card

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I've always liked the idea of loyalty cards especially if I really like the brand. It's like getting your money's worth with an added bonus.

Last month, I got myself a Mom Card from Baby Company (SM's baby store). It's cheaper by PhP50 from the SM Advantage card without the coupons. Instead, it comes with a to-buy list for babies. This is definitely a must-have for mommies and mommies-to-be! You know who else can enjoy this card? Titas and Ninangs of Manila that have a lot of nieces, nephews, and godchildren.

What's In Store For November-December 2016's Commenter of the Month!

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All right, I'd like to think I'm back from a three-month hiatus!
I have a lot of backlogs and I'm hoping I'll be able to post them before the year ends.

But of course, to pump up readers who have been visiting this blog even when I was on hiatus - I'd like to say thank you! And yes, the Commenter of the Month is back! The winner will be getting these products! I also included a PhP500 GC although it's not in the photo. I might be adding more since Christmas is just around the corner!


As always, mechanics are simple but most of them are mandatory so make sure you follow them! Good luck!

1. LIKE Rare Vanity on Facebook.
2. FOLLOW RareVanity on Bloglovin'.
3. FOLLOW @rarevanity on Instagram. @raregem is my personal account. But feel free to follow the personal account.
4. FOLLOW me on GFC. It's on the sidebar.
5. FOLLOW @raregem on Twitter.
6. Comment away! Quality over quantity!

I will announce the winner on the first week of January 2017!


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Bloggers Have Feelings Too

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Today is that day of the year where I get to rant here on my blog.
I. Just. Need. To. Vent. Out. Like. Really.

Disclaimer: Oh gosh. I'm not the type to put disclaimer but apparently I have stalkers who are committed to misunderstanding every single thing I say and spread these misunderstandings as facts to gullible people. Crab mentality this 2016, yo. So, yea. This post is about my blogging life. Mostly. If you don't agree with my points in this post, I suggest you keep it to yourself.

On blogging: A lot of people have been asking why I have been on hiatus for months now. Here's the real deal - I've had enough dealing with the hypocrisy and user-friendliness in blogging. The game has changed since 2009. I've worked my way up purchasing makeup with my own money and reviewing them until brands have slowly but surely reached out to this blog. And while I do not deny the perks that I have enjoyed, the pressure has been suffocating and insulting at the same time. I have been loyal to certain brands simply because I have liked them ever since - but for them, I am just as good as my last post or probably not even good at all. It's like playing this push-and-pull game where the brands and PR companies always want to get more out of you. Bloggers are people with feelings, too. We are not robots that you expect to give your product a stellar review when it's pure crap. You do not even pay for my check up with my dermatologist when I break out. Get what I mean? For years, I have been nice to different brands and PR companies. Then I noticed how they started to treat bloggers. They act like they don't know you once they have "discovered" a new blogger. They make it hard for you before they compensate you. Excuse me, does it look like I am one of your overworked yet underpaid employees? Heck no. There are a lot of brands and PR companies that do not keep their word. It seems like they suddenly get amnesia about the word professionalism once a blogger has delivered what had been discussed. So, I decided to be very (and fully) picky starting next year. Well, I've actually started now but since I'm still on hiatus, I will be postponing it till next year. Treat me shit, I treat you like hellhole. That simple because respect begets respect regardless of age.

On PR, branding, marketing yada yada: Two particular brands have asked for my help regarding a campaign and launch. Being the nice person that I am, I didn't hesistate about helping them because I like the product. This was their punchline, too: "Alam kasi naming matagal ka ng blogger, so you'd know who and who not to invite. We really need your help on this." What they asked from me was simple (for a blogger), give a list of bloggers that would best fit the product (i.e. if this was a makeup brand, of course you'd reach out to beauty bloggers). Since the product is quite vague in a sense that there are not a lot of that kind of bloggers locally, I picked the ones that I know have at least an idea of what the product is. One of the top considerations, too, was the following of these bloggers. As much as I didn't want to rely on following (since followers can now be bought), I kind of had to for this product because they wanted the hashtag to trend. After two days, I gave a list of qualified bloggers - good number of organic following and smart enough to understand the product. Guess what, they didn't invite anyone from the list that I gave. Result, the campaign was a total failure. Okay, I'm not saying that the campaign would have been a success had they invited everyone on the list I gave. But I gave them a list of bloggers with a good number of following and they settled for the ones who only started this year with a maximum number of followers of 300. Common sense lang naman, dba. Lesson learned: never help them again when they won't even listen to one sentence you have to say.

On PR and brands sending my proposals: FYI, you don't get to say how much [I'm]/this blog is worth. This year, I have been receiving emails from various brands informing me that they will send me their products. That's it. A few months later, they will make a follow up every freaking day asking for a blog post. Err, sorry but it wasn't in our agreement. You should have made it clear in the beginning if you wanted a blog post for it so I could have replied that I would blog about it if I liked it. As a thank you, it's posted on my other social media networks with the hashtag you want to trend. But to harass me daily for a blog post for a crappy product. Geebus. Then there are those emails from brands telling me they can't afford to pay me so they will just give me a GC as soon as I comply to the work they require from me. Excuse me, bangag ka 'teh? You get what you want from me while you restrict me with your merchant's GC? Unless it's Sodexo, Rustan's or a staycation at a hotel at least, eat your GC. Then another type of brand and PR sends me an email telling me they have been visiting my blog and they like it blah blah. With that, they want to place their ad on my site. I give them a price, they reply saying "your price is too high for us regardless which famous brands you've worked for." Oh honey, I thought you have been reading my blog?! I swear, ang daming makapal na PR and brands ngayon. They want everything for free.

On spending: Okay, this is probably the most personal topic in this post as it doesn't really involve blogging. But my threshold has reached its limit and really I'm already cussing specific people inside my head regarding this topic about spending. I'm currently undergoing a major life-changing event and it's actually another reason why I'm on hiatus. At the end of the day, I feel like a need a break - I want to just rest instead of sulking in my laptop typing a blog post. Going back, of course I'm talking to different people about spending. One thing I hate about conversations is when the other person is very persuasive on what she wants that she wants me to follow her recommendation like a facial regimen because she thinks it's the best out there. It's one thing to say your opinion. It's another thing to tell me my choice sucks because you have a better suggestion. Compare your lifestyle with my lifestyle, is it the same? It is annoying when people tell you incessantly that you are spending too much (even when you really aren't). It no longer sounds like you are concerned. It's beginning to sound like you are bitter because you settled for a PhP200 pork chop when I bought myself a PhP5,000 Wagyu beef. First of all, I'm not spending your money so stop being annoyed at me (or giving me uncalled for remarks masked as a joke) for settling for what I think is a better choice. Second of all, just in case your ego wants to know - we set budgets, too. It's just that your budget is different from my budget. Don't be bitter and envious cos I'm not. I was actually happy for these people. I'm not like other people that will ask for donations or set a higher limit for themselves and achieve it by hook or by crook just so they could brag about it on social media. Hindi ko igagapang ang isang bagay para ipagyabang. When I purchase something for myself, it's because I want it and not because I think my friends on my social media networks will like it. As I've said, don't be bitter and envious. Whatever Lawrence and I are spending is for us because it's our preference and not because it's what we think people on social media networks will like. Heck, Lawrence doesn't even post anything. Haha. I swear, there's really something up with envious people.

On why money can't buy class: so I guess people nowadays are so enthralled with social media that they always have to be part of the "in" crowd and be up to date with the fad. There was an article from Business Insider (I think) about what a millennial learned from using a Rolex watch for a month. It's such a good read. Sometimes, even if you have the money to purchase expensive things, it doesn't mean you have class. It only means you have the money. If you wear designer brands to a formal event, make sure that what you are wearing is fit for the occasion and not because you think a designer brand will cut it no matter what. If it doesn't, it's very obvious that you just want to show off the brand you're wearing. Honestly, masagwa tignan - ang sagwa mo tignan. Since you have the money, invest on a stylist. There's nothing wrong with purchasing designer brands especially if you can afford it. For me though, it's not wise to spend several years of your savings (then go broke for God knows how long) just so you could purchase your one and only designer bag or shoes. That looks more like social media pressure than having class. Mema - memapost lang.

On feeliing close: Lately, I'm annoyed and offended at people who think we are closer than we actually are. Let me share this short story: a handful of "feeling privileged people" that know I'm a blogger got pissed at me because they couldn't enjoy the same perks I enjoyed (as a blogger). They even asked me to hook them up with certain brands so they could enjoy the products/service for free. Here's the exact line: "Bakit ikaw sponsored, bakit ako hindi? Dapat libre rin ako kasi friends tayo." This wasn't said as a joke. The person that said it really meant it. This person wanted to try this product/service but refused to shell out money because it was quite expensive. I mean, what sorcery is this? Just because you think we are close friends, you can enjoy the same perks I enjoy as a blogger? You don't even have an idea how hard I work for my blog. Then you complain in front of my face why you can't get things for free. Eh di mag-blog ka! Seriously. Sometimes I can't believe I'm dealing with this kind of people. Then there are other people who got mad at me for not telling them something private sooner. I was even told, "hindi tayo sinasabihan ni Gemma dahil hindi na niya tayo close friends." Honestly, you are right and it is my unequivocal right who to tell these things to. Whatever I do not tell you is none of your goddamn business. It's appalling how some people react the way they do when they don't even tell me private information about them. Do you hear any complain from me? No - because I know how and when to give respect when someone wants to keep something to themselves. So, stop feeling entitled that you should be in the know about my life at all times. You are not part of my immediate family. You don't feed me. You don't even have any participation nor significance with my life-changing event. I don't owe you any explanation.

On travelling: I saw an article on Rappler about this foreigner commenting about a Filipino being well-travelled or something. That article that trended the past week. The article was alright. But man, it was the comments that are unnerving. There was one man that commented to focus on the article and stop commenting about people's travels as others might have been there, too. I so agree on that comment. There are people that are lecturing me about cities and countries they've been to once even when they know that I have been to those cities/countries several times. I have actually lived in those other cities/countries they lecture me about. Shut up na lang ako cos I don't want to humiliate them. But I tell you, it really gets irritating. There was even this one person that lectured me about LA and said this, "Gem, wala ka sa LA ganto, ganyan.. Tapos sa ganitong street nga nag shooting yung Fast and the Furious eh. Tapos sa Glendale ganto, ganyan.."  Oh, gosh. Please tell me something I don't know yet. I lived in Glendale, biatch. But I had to be nice so I just nodded. Then there was this person who asked for recommendation on where to eat in Tokyo. When she came back, she was like "ano ba yan lahat ng recommendation mo mahal. Kahit yung Ichiran mahal ne isa di ko na-try." Whoa, sorry! But was that supposed to be my fault that you didn't have budget to eat ramen for JPY1,000 or PhP roughly around PhP400 converted? [Okay, I forget the price in Tokyo but it's more or less JPY1,000. In Osaka, it's JPY790.] From what I know Ichiran Ramen is almost the same price with the ramen here in Manila. This is why I'm not particularly comfortable sharing my stories about my travels. It really depends who I'm talking to because - well, it's a personal preference because I don't do budget travel unless needed or something came up. I also don't appreciate people telling me incessantly to stay at AirBnB places rather than booking hotel rooms. I know AirBnB is cheaper but my preference is to stay in a hotel. There is nothing wrong with that just the same as I do not reiterate to you to not stay in an AirBnB place. Just so you know, I've stayed in a hostel before. As I've said, it's a matter of preference. So, I'm very careful on this topic so I don't offend unintentionally. What works for you might not work for me and vice versa. Kelangan pa ba memorise yan? If you travel just so you could brag about being "well-travelled," then you got it all wrong. But hey, to each his own so it's up you. I really don't care as long as you don't say uncalled for remarks to my face.

I guess this is the end of my post. Regular programming resumes in November!

The Only Two Things You Need To Capture The Best Wedding Pics*

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No, it doesn’t include wedding filters. But, these two requisites pump up those pics to perfection.


There are a lot of elements that come into play when it comes to executing wedding shoots, from finding the right location for the prenup shoot, to making sure you look radiant (note: not stressed!) in your wedding pictures. Swish always wants to pump up your confidence for life-defining moments like your big day, so they talked to top wedding photographer Oly Ruiz to know what he does to get the best out of the couples he’s shot.

One look at Oly Ruiz’s work, and you know that it’s a major production. There’s a lot of drama and art that goes into what he does. Oly shares, “I’ve always wanted to be different. Throughout the years, my photos have become more refined, but still different. I fused elegance and uniqueness together.”


When couples approach him, it’s a common story that they say that they love his photos, but they don’t know if they can do it. “That’s understandable,” Oly says, “But all I’m asking for is their willingness. And the fact that I was approached by the couple, that shows that they’re willing.”

Being willing to do the shoot is different from having the confidence to go all out on it, though. It’s a good thing Oly has become a master in getting some of his couples to do what they thought they couldn’t do. Capturing a perfect photo largely depends the couple having these two crucial things: 

Comfort. Oly says that even if they have the best location and all the elements click together, if the couple doesn’t look comfortable in the photos, it will ruin the shoot. The couple has to be prepped and ready, feeling and looking their best so that their comfort levels can aid in eliciting the best shots. Their breath should be fresh (a spritz of SWISH Breath Spray in between shots will work wonders!) for those extreme close ups, their stance comfortable, and their minds free of worry. When the couple feels comfortable, they’ll open up and be more willing to pose for the camera.  “It’s about easing them into the shoot, and gauging the extent of the couple’s willingness. Like if I ask them to do something and they don’t want to, I ask them to do another thing until they look like they want to. The poses then progress to become harder and harder, but they didn’t notice because I eased them into it as slow as possible.” Taking it one step a time seems to be the secret to feeling comfortable in front of the camera. 

Confidence. Through the years, Oly has learned what poses make the couple look good on camera, and when he shows the shots to the couples, it pumps up their confidence. It helps to get the bases covered, of course. Make sure hair and makeup are on point with a proper style team, get a stylist you trust, and have a shoot plan ready. Super pump up that confidence with readiness, so that when the camera is clicking, you’re only thinking about your partner and the emotions that should cut across to photographs. Oly adds, “The photos are proof that they look amazing, so I keep on encouraging that until it warms them up and make them want to do more.” There hasn’t been a couple that Oly has shot that didn’t come out looking like they were made to be in front of the camera, perhaps it also because Oly takes extra effort to ensuring the couples are comfy, and every couple knows that they’re getting a completely unique shoot from Oly. “Every couple has a signature shot where they can say, ‘That’s us, and we did that.’ It’s a challenge all the time, but it builds their confidence knowing that each shoot I do for them is different from the rest. It’s a win-win situation.”

** article provided


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Commenter of the Month Winners Plus an Update!

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Hi, everyone! I've been on hiatus for more than one month. I thought I would get back to shape by September but as it turns out, I need more time. Hopefully, I'll be back by October.

I'll make this short and sweet! I'm announcing the 2 COM winners today! Winners are:

EMILY GATUS
and
IT'S ME JANINE

Please send me your full name, mobile number, and shipping address to hello@rarevanity.net so I could send your prices! You have until October 31, 2016!

See you all in October!


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