Unboxing the (2015) June BDJ Box: Bare Beautiful Skin*

When I found out over the weekend that the BDJ Box for June was finally shipped, I couldn't help but ask if I have a package waiting for me at my shipping address. But we were all gone during the weekend so it was either no one was there to receive it or it was only shipped today. When I found out this morning that a package was delivered to me, I wanted to go home right away to confirm if it's the latest BDJ Box. But I was able to wait until I was off the clock!

So, yes, this is an unboxing post! The only unboxing post for subscription boxes you'll see in this blog!

A Bioderma Exclusive.

Food Escapade at Din Tai Fung

The first meal we had when we arrived in Singapore was xiao long bao from Din Tai Fung. I've eaten here several times but it was L's first time to try this restaurant. It was just across our hotel so I dragged him to Din Tai Fung without giving him other choices. Haha!

I love Xiao Long Bao!

Maybelline Color Sensational Rebel Bouquet Lipsticks*

Straight from the hottest trends of New York Fashion Week to this season's spring scenery, the latest lip collection from the number 1 and most loved color cosmetics brand, Maybelline New York, is the perfect juxtaposition of downright fierce and irresistibly flirtatious. This season, it's time for pastels to rebel with Color Sensational - Maybelline New York's power lip franchise - at the helm of 11 new vivacious shades brings you Rebel Bouquet.

These Rebel Bouquet lipsticks were released in Manila last June 1 only. I was so excited when I received these lipsticks because they were in a bouquet surrounded by roses. And hello, receiving 11 lipsticks? Who wouldn't be excited with that?! So, guys, this post is a swatch fest!

Getting Hitched Series: Finding the Right Makeup Artist on Your Wedding Day

When we were planning our wedding, I noticed that a big percentage of upcoming brides do not give much thought on who their makeup artist and hair stylist will be on their wedding day. As long as they find a person who can do nice makeup on others, that's good enough to hire them on your big day. On top of that, the major concern is the budget for hair and makeup.

To all upcoming brides, I hope this post will make you consider why you should hire a professional wedding makeup artist and why you deserve to spend for it on one of your most memorable days in life.

makeup by Gery Penaso
One of my last photos before I left The Peninsula Manila to go to the church.

Hyped Up: Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette

Last 2013, Hourglass was one of the makeup brands widely talked about in the beauty blogging community? Well, they released a finishing powder palette that's supposed to make your skin look radiant in all aspects. It's supposed to make your face flawless and perfect.

With all the things the palette claims, why wouldn't you be excited to get your hands on this? Not only that, one of the finishing powders was initially released as a limited edition as this palette was supposed to be limited edition. But due to the demand, it became part of Hourglass Cosmetics' permanent range.

Rekindled Makeup Affair: Revlon Colorburst Matte Balm

Did you ever love a makeup product so much that you used it so often that you forgot to blog about it? Did you ever love a makeup product but have forgotten it along the way to Makeup Haven? What the heck did I just say? Haha! I have one too many products that I like enough but never got to blog about it because I'm always using it and I feel like they're no longer photogenic on photos because they're too beat up (but hey, if you know this blog by now, you know that my definition of 'beat up' is synonymous to barely used). I also have products that I liked enough but have forgotten about it because I either misplaced it or switched to different brands (to try). The next thing I know, it's been 3 months since I last used it!

Kids, that's the story of how I have forgotten about my Revlon Colorburst Matte Balms.

Revlon Colorburst Matte Balm in Complex, Elusive, and Shameless

I swear, I thought I had more! This post is the first of many 'rekindled love affair' posts!

Get a Bang for Your Buck with Maybelline's Color Show Lipsticks


The Maybelline Color Show lipsticks were released last year during the NY Fashion Week in the US. That makes sense since the complete name of the brand is in fact Maybelline New York. I was expecting this range of lipstick collection to be expensive though because of Fashion Week. Lo and behold, it only retails for PhP165 at Maybelline counters. This is also the most affordable Maybelline lipstick available here in Manila.

I don't quite remember how many shades Color Show has but I got 3 lipsticks from this collection. I chose the shades that I can use on a daily basis - in the morning specifically.

Pink Avenue, True Toffee, and Nude Mocha

Shape and Sculpt at Flawless*


Two weeks ago, I paid Flawless SM Makati branch a visit for my much awaited 'Shape and Sculpt' session. Their branch in SM Makati was rather small but their service is great! Their aestheticians smile and chat with you while waiting for your turn.

Prior to going to Flawless, I was asked what service I wanted to try. It was a bit difficult for me because I wanted to try a lot of the services they offer. They have Gluthathione shots, body scrubs, facial treatment, etc. I chose Shape and Sculpt because I haven't been exercising since I got married and an easy way to be curvy would be really awesome!

Himalaya Herbals Purifying Neem Skin Care*


Hey guys, are you familiar with this brand? The first time I encountered these products was last year when they were sent to me. As I've mentioned on my previous posts, I change skin care products at least monthly (I think it's an apple time to check whether a certain skin product works or not). The products above were my skin care products for this June but I just had to stop using it because I broke out so bad. I had 2 acnes on my face - on the side of the chin and on my cheek. I've been thinking what I ate wrong or if I had a new routine but there was none apart from these skin care products. After two weeks of using this, I finally stopped and gave up. I didn't feel my face was clean enough after using the facial wash. The toner stings! The whitening day cream has this weird scent that lasts the whole day! I'm just frustrated because I know several people that love this brand.

Well, that's it. Just wanted to share if mine is an isolated case because most of the reviews I've read so far were good. I'm using Avene again as my facial cleanser until the end of the month.


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Food Escapade at Ippudo


And yet another Japanese restaurant featured here on the blog. We really can't get enough of Japanese food particularly when we came back from Japan last month. Ikkoryu Fukuoka on a Saturday then Ippudo on Sunday.

Ippudo has been here in Manila for awhile but it was the first time L and I tried it. The line in SM Megamall was always long and there were several people that said that the ramen was nothing special. We went on a Sunday and fell in line around 6pm. We were lucky that there wasn't a long line yet.

Matte Reds Giveaway Time! [CLOSED]


Fun fact: One of my favourite things to do is to guess what brand, collection, or lip colour people are wearing. :p

With that, take a look at this photo and tell me what brand AND collection name you think this is! Hint: this collection came out with the Perfect Nudes, a selection of five nude lipsticks, released July last year in the Philippine market. Will add up all correct entries and one lucky winner with the correct answer gets this new collection. Yes, all 8 lipsticks!

Open for 24hrs.
Let's start painting the town with #MatteReds! Good luck!

I'll be hosting this giveaway on Instagram and Facebook. Like this photo and you have to be following me on these social media networks: Instagram (@raregem) and Facebook (fb.com/gemofrarevanity). Only one winner will be chosen for both platforms. I'll announce the winner next week!

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Why I Love Uber


I'm sure you've heard about Uber. It's basically a ridesharing mobile app connecting you (as a rider) to the nearest driver around.

To be honest, I'm not used to commuting. I commute, yes, but I'm not used to it. And just by saying that, you could probably guess that when I say commute, I mean getting from one place to another via cab. I occasionally rode a bus before (most of the time with someone because I am not that confident to ride a bus alone) and I still ride a tricycle at times as a last resort when I have to go to the condo which is 5 minutes away from my parents' house. If I don't have a car for a particular day, I always hail a cab or look for another way to be able to get a car. But you know how Manila is. We have the worst drivers and our public transportation sucks to the core. It's smelly, slow, and prone to a hold-up experience. Most taxi drivers require you to add a certain amount of money on top of the meter or they won't take you to your destination. They drive recklessly and you'll be glad to get out in one piece.

Then, Uber was launched in Manila last year (?). I suddenly didn't mind not having a car on certain days.

Feel the power of Lenovo A7000 with Multimedia Bundle 2.0!

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Lazada Philippines

Feel the power of the of the Lenovo A7000 as they unleash the power of video though our Multimedia Bundle 2.0! Inclusive of Sennheiser HD 180 Over-The-Ear Headphones, a Globe sim card with free internet for 60 days and a screen protector with back cover for only Php 7,499! Promo starts June 18.
*write-up provided

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Be Incredible with Intel

Intel Philippines recently inked a long-term partnership with the Philippines’ One-Stop Shopping and Selling Destination Lazada.com.ph to provide best-in-value 2-in-1 convertibles, notebooks, smartphones, tablets, and desktops to more Filipinos.

To celebrate this recent partnership, Intel is generously offering PhP 2,000 discount on select 2-in-1 convertibles such as the Acer One 10, Acer Switch 10E, Asus T300 FA, Asus T300 Chi, Redfox Wizpad Scribe WS-101, Redfox Wizpad Scribe WS-101 3G, HP Pavillion 11-N002TU X360 11.6”, and the Lenovo Yoga 3 11”. The first 100 customers can avail of the discount simply by using the voucher code INTEL2000 upon check out in Lazada.com.ph or even in the Lazada Mobile App. Hurry now! Simply log on to www.lazada.com.ph/shop-intel and be incredible with Intel!
* write-up provided

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Great Nails for June Brides!

The weekends of June are packed because of weddings left and right. I still do not understand why June is one of the most coveted month for weddings. But for all June brides out there, make sure your nails are as beautiful as your face on your big day!

Caronia has you covered with they nail care products to make sure your nails are pretty on your big day. Their best bet for shades are Silver Platinum, White Rose, and Platinum Special. It's the first time that I've seen Platinum Special and I would have worn this have I known about this before I got married. If your wedding motif if silver like Toni Gonzaga's wedding, then Silver Platinum would be a great fit for you! White Rose will surely look good in any wedding colour motif.

Caronia is having a giveaway! All you have to do it post your bridal themed manicure on Instagram and tag @caroniaph. You must include the Caronia nail polish you used on the photo and use the hashtag #junebrides and #caroniaph. That's it!

Caronia is available at all leading department stores nationwide. Visit their website at caronia.com.ph. You can also follow Caronia on Facebook and Instagram.

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Zenutrients Organic Bar Soap

It's been awhile since I've used an organic soap. I try to void it as much as possible for the most obvious reason: they melt rather faster than a normal soap would.

But since I went crazy at Zenturients' Headquarter last month plus the fact that I was sold on the Coffee Scrub bar soap, I went home with three organic bar soaps. For only PhP78 per bar, who could resist?

3 of among the many variants of Zenutrients bar soap

Food Escapade at Cafe Público


If only everyday is a Public Holiday!

I follow The Bag Hag on Instagram and she's been to this restaurant called Cafe Público quite a number of times. I thought it is a cafe in a different country but I found out thought the location tag that it's Greenhills! The next thing I knew, I was telling L that we have to go to Greenhills.

Disclaimer though, these photos are from 2 years ago. That's how long it's been on my draft. Promenade had a renovation recently and I'm not quite sure if Cafe Público is still there.

Luxurious Powder at its Finest: Shiseido Snow Beauty Powder

To date, this is the most expensive powder I have ever owned. EVER. And I know I told myself 6 six years ago not to fall prey on limited edition beauty products but I couldn't resist this one. Besides, I've never had a product like this before. A first for me and maybe for you, too.

What's in the box?

My Lips are Feeling Retro Matte!

The title of this post totally gave it away, didn't it? I haven't talked about MAC for a while. I checked my archives and it's been almost two years since my last blog post about MAC Cosmetics. But hey, don't get me wrong. I didn't stop using MAC, I just focused on other brands to be featured here.

In this case though, I use these retro matte lipsticks  frequently that I keep on forgetting to blog about them. Plus, they were in my makeup kit that I thought I lost for a while. Out of sight, out of mind. Even with makeup, apparently.

Retro Matte lipsticks in Runway Hit and Fixed on Drama

Zenutrients Body Scrub

One addiction that I currently have is getting a body scrub. I wasn't into this until last year when I was forced to buy a scrub due to IPL. After taking a shower and the body scrub, I knew this would be something I'd do every week. You can call it a luxury but I call it refreshing.

Alrght, my first legit body scrub is those salts from the dead sea. While I love how it feels on my skin, I don't like the price tag that much. I had to look for alternatives. 

That's when these Zenutrients body scrub came to the rescue.

Zenutrients Body Scrub, 100g - PhP390 per tub


My makeup spring cleaning just never seems to end. In a few months, I'll be moving to a new place again and I'm already arranging the beauty products I can bring with me. I don't mean to sound boastful but it's harder than it sounds. I'm also talking about the products on top of the 3 boxes I left in my parents' house.

I have limited space right now. And when I say limited, it is limited. See photo below as proof.

Everything used to be filled with my beauty stuff - the ones I use and haven't used. Since October, I've been trying to put everything in my acrylic boxes. I still end up putting stuff here and there. On the floor. In the living room. You get the idea.

This is what I mean when I said there are stuff on the floor.

Now, that you've seen 1/10 of my makeup shenanigan, it's time to show what I have for this leg of Blog Sale. It's right after the jump!

Food Escapade at Ichiran Ramen

Okay, I left like we were always on food come everyday when we were in Osaka. Food was just great! We tried a lot of food and yet we still missed out a lot!

But of course, you can't leave Japan without eating Ramen. We decided to go to Ichiran Ramen for that. Luckily, Ichiran was just about 1 block and a half away from our hotel.

Ichiran Ramen along Dotonburi

Beauty Budget Series: Fashion 21 All Day Matte Lipstick

Does it ever happen to you that you kill time inside SM Beauty store and end up with several beauty products you don't need? It always happens to me. I was looking at local brands to try and ended up at Fashion 21's counter. Quite honestly, I wasn't impressed but I checked the lipsticks anyway because I saw the word matte. I swatched the lipsticks and decided to get one.

I wanted to get more but I'm not sure if I will like it or not. I got a shade that I can wear any time of the day.

Fashion 21 All Day Matte Lipstick in Bronze, Php175

Eau Thermale Avène Hydrance Optimale Light Hydrating Cream*

The name of this product is a mouthful! If you can remember, I attended the Bloggers' event of Avène last March and we were given 4 products from the brand. This moisturiser was one of them. I wasn't really planning to use this right away as I was still using another brand. But when I saw that the product was about to expire in May, I dropped everything and switched to using the products.

I've seen Avène before but never really paid attention to it. I don't know why, really. I know they're famous for their thermal water and when I got to try it at their counter, it didn't fascinate me. How would I? I didn't have rashes then and I felt forced to spray it on my arm. The brand is known to people with sensitive skin and I know a handful of people who use Avène. They all say the same thing - it's good. It's effective. The price is worth it.

Avène Light Hydrating Cream, PhP1,650

Have Your Most Color Sensational Rebellion


Have Your Most Color Sensational Rebellion
Lips rebel as they yell in blooming pastels with
the newest Color Sensational Rebel Bouquet by Maybelline New York

Manila, 2015 – Straight from the hottest trends of New York Fashion Week to this season’s spring scenery, the latest lip collection from the number 1and most loved color cosmetics brand, Maybelline New York, is the perfect juxtaposition of downright fierce and irresistibly flirtatious. A burst of rebellious colors with more than enough blooming shades to choose from, these bright and dainty shades take the spotlight with a perfectly wearable trend for lips that scream floral rebellion. This season, it’s time for pastels to rebel with Color Sensational – Maybelline New York’s power lip franchise – at the helm of new shades brings you Rebel Bouquet.

“From catwalk to sidewalk, Maybelline New York in the Philippines has always been about bringing the New York fearless trend forecasts closer to every Filipina, especially when it comes to makeup looks that make a statement,” shared Maia Ang, Product Manager of Maybelline New York. “Lips blossom with attitude as pastels from our Color Sensational Rebel Bouquet go bold and rebellious with the new Color Bloom Technology for super-saturated pigments that give these fresh-picked pastels a bright kick.”

With 11 vivacious shades that feature a kicky bouquet of lip colors in pink, reds, and mauves, the collection’s new Color Bloom Technology infused in every lipstick ensures you have a whole new bright for lips that are never dull, washed out, or shy. Charged with honey nectar, Rebel Bouquet lipsticks leave a rich sumptuous feel on your lips with every swipe.

At just Php299, your lips bloom for that rebellious wow. Maybelline Color Sensational Rebel Bouquet lipsticks will be available in all Maybelline counters nationwide starting June 1. With Maybelline Color Sensational Rebel Bouquet, rebellion has never been this pretty.

Products are exclusively imported and distributed by Maybelline New York and are available nationwide in all Maybelline counters. For more information about Maybelline, please visit www.facebook.com/MaybellinePhilippines.
* write-up provided

Thank you Maybelline Philippines for sending me the complete range of Rebel Bouquet! Will post swatches and review soon!

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Beauty Budget Series: Catrice Cosmetics All Matt Plus Foundation

Catrice Cosmetics is one of those drugstore makeup brands that I've been wanting to be available here in Manila. I've tried their lipsticks before and I liked it a lot. When I found out last year that Catrice Cosmetics had landed in SM department stores, I rushed to SM Megamall only to find out that their counter (then) was only in SM Manila.

I found a reason to go to Manila and go to SM Manila for lunch. I had to make an excuse to L because he might not be game to go all the way to Manila just to see a new makeup brand. LOL.

I came home from SM Manila PhP3,000 poorer but happy that I have new products from Catrice Cosmetics.

How matte can this foundation get?

Nekkid Beauty's Nourishing Lip Balm

Another product that I have from Nekkid Beauty is their lip balm! When I was fixing my makeup and sorting everything, I realised that I have a lot of lip balms. As in a lot! They are all open, too! Nekkid lip balm isn't an exception. I have already used this a few times although I usually use this when I'm home.


It's packaged in a tin can and you slide its cover to see the balm. I'm scared that the cover can slide off inside my bag causing damage to the contents inside. I don't want to risk that. So, I use this before I leave the house and before I go to sleep.

Flavored lip balms is nothing new but I don't always encounter a watermelon flavour like this. I love smelling this because it just smells so freaking yummy I wanna eat it! It reminds me of this gum when I was a kid.

The texture is smooth although I find the balm rather hard. I have to put pressure on my index finger to be able to get a slap of balm and apply it on my lips. Apart from that and the tin can, there's nothing else I don't like about this product. It keeps my lips moisturised the whole day although I use this twice a day because I want my lips to feel softer.

Nekkid Beauty's Nourishing Lip Balm retails for Php200 and is available at nekkidbeauty.com.

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Preview x Happy Skin Collaboration

Happy Skin just keeps on surprising us! I'm still not over how gorgeous their Beauty in Bloom Collection is and now they released two new shades of their best-selling product!

To celebrate Preview's 20th anniversary, they have decided to collaborate with Happy Skin Cosmetics and came up with two limited edition (LE) of Shut Up & Kiss Me lipsticks. I'm not sure how long it was promoted before its release last June 1. I only found out about this collaboration over the weekend and could not contain my excitement. Last Sunday, I waited til midnight so I could order the lippies at Zalora. They also collaborated with Zalora so for the first week, these lippies will only be available thru this online shop. Order it there and slash Php100 off from its retail price of PhP1,099 for the set. I didn't get a discount because they only announced it yesterday afternoon. Boo.

Shut Up & Kiss Me lipstick in Too Cool and Hot Stuff

Etude House Easy Brow Pencil

I was (makeup) spring cleaning last night and I tried to sort them by type of product. I realised I have one too many brow products. Shaping and filling in my brows is still my weakest feat. Yes, all these years and I still can't do a perfect brow. I also checked my travel makeup kit and saw two eyebrow pencils from Etude House. Oh, I also have another one in the office and in my bag.

Meet my practice brow liner and so much more.

Colour Collection Intense Powder Blush*

Sometimes, I also get tired with the variety (or the lack thereof) of blushers that I have in my vanity. Have you ever seen me sport an orange blush.. ever? Never. That's because I don't have one and I do not have lemmings on having one. I only have the safe colors. And trust me, the wildest I've gone with blushers was Tarte's blush in Exposed. I tried liking other shades of blushers but I don't have the guts to wear it outside the house. I don't know but I feel like a clown every time I try a darker and bolder shade of blush.

During Colour Collection's event last year, the brand was generous enough to tell us that we could take home all the makeup that we could see in the area. Yes, THAT generous. I picked up several lipsticks and one blush. Okay, there were two blushers on the table and it was either no one was interested with the shades or they hadn't seen it yet so I grabbed both. One darker shade and one lighter shade of blush. I can't remember the exact shade if is was something of a hot pink shade or orange and the safe shade of peachy pink. Of course, I chose the latter. Always. Haha.

Colour Collection's Intense Powder Blush in I Have A Secret

Winners of May 2015's Various Giveaways and What's in Store for June's Commenter of the Month!


Okay, guys! May was a record breaker. 29 blog posts! Whuuuuuut! That is an achievement for me. A-game was definitely on last month. I hope I can keep up with this inspiration till forever. LOL.