Music, Uncategorized

Singing Story

I love singing. When I was little, my parents would do a mock beauty contest with me. They play as the host of the show and I, of course, a contestant. I would introduce myself, perform a talent and do a question and answer portion. We only had a voice recording back then because cameras are still in analog (am I too old now? XD) so recording home videos cost a lot back then. Anyway, we were able to keep one of the tapes (cassette tape, if you don’t know what I mean anymore) and I was able to hear my younger self with it. I was two years old when it was recorded, I was still a bit ‘bulol’ but I know a lot of songs. I sung nursery rhymes and it still makes me wonder how I was able to memorize all of that at that age.

When I was 7 (cue music, “once I was seven years old, Mama told me…”, hahaha! Funny XD), my mom asked me to sing at her high school reunion. Titanic was in at that time, and of course, “My Heart Will Go On” by Celine Dion was, too. That was my first public performance. I got complements and many people encouraged me to continue singing (many more aside from my parents, they’ve been supportive all along), so I did. From then on, I was asked to sing in family and friends’ gatherings and eventually in school programs as well.

In fifth grade, one of my classmates’ mom suggested that I enroll in Center for Pop Music Philippines for summer. It was my first formal voice lesson. I also joined recitals and mall shows back then. It was really fun and I really enjoy performing, sing and dance at the same time and all. I continued taking classes but stopped when I entered high school. We had school activities even on weekends and my mom also gets too tired over the week and wanted to just rest during the weekend, I couldn’t attend classes anymore. It was also around that time that I caught some throat problem that lasted for over a year. I couldn’t speak, let alone sing, at that time. I wanted to join the school choir but couldn’t because of my condition, so I decided to join the dance club instead. I wasn’t able to fully recover (vocally) so I never got to audition for the school choir.

Then, I entered college. In our orientation, one of the university choirs performed and invited us to audition. I really thought they were great and wanted to be part of their amazing group, so, a few weeks before the school started I went to audition. It was a first for me. I never auditioned for anything before. I got in as a trainee and I joined their rehearsals for a month. I also had a chance to perform with them when they were invited to guest at the grand finals in one of the country’s biggest singing contests at that time. The down side of all of this was that I went home really late and my mom isn’t used to it. I’m the type who goes straight home after school in high school and I’m an only child, so I can just imagine how worried my mom got when I started going home late. Eventually, school started and I kind of had (at least that’s how I felt) to skip the first day of classes to perform for my fellow freshman. My seniors said it was okay since nobody really give classes on the first day of school, but it got me worried. I thought, there will be a time when I would have to skip class for the same reason and I worried that those times might come often. I didn’t like the feeling of skipping classes and not being excused and also considered my mom and me not wanting her to worry about me all the time. I decided to quit.

The next year, I decided to join the college choir. I figured it would be less busy and less demanding compared to the university choir. I was right, it was less busy and demanding, but still I had to go home late many times. My mom eventually get used to it. I also didn’t feel the need to skip class for any performance since we were excused not to perform if the schedule coincides with a class. I also joined my org choir. This one only had to be active for around two months to prepare for the inter-organization choral contests in December. I’ve been active in these two choirs for almost all my years in college.

After I graduated though, I didn’t have the chance to sing and perform again. I’ve been planning to post another song cover on YouTube for months now. I’ve also been putting it off for about the same amount of time. I really miss singing and performing, and in the past two years I’ve only been singing in the shower. I have to do something. In the past, I upload song covers in YouTube a few times just because I felt that I had nothing to do and was bored. I now want to do that more often and not let whatever singing skills I have and developed over the years totally fade away.

Reviews, Uncategorized

Review (Skin Care): Innisfree Super Volcanic Pore Clay Mask

I have large pores and an oily skin. And though I love it because these traits are what makes me look younger than my age, it also is a problem for me since these also make me acne prone. I mentioned before how I was never pimple free even when I’m not having my period and even now that I’m way past puberty.

I learned that clay masks are best for oily skin, and when I was first looking for skin care products to try, this clay mask is being featured at the online shop that I was checking out. It had a lot of good reviews and also heard from a friend that the brand has really good skin care products, so I bought it.

The Innisfree Super Volcanic Pore Clay Mask promises to draw out dirt and sebum, chemically exfoliate your skin and free it from dead skin cells, tighten your pores and give you a cooling sensation and moisture.

Directions:

Apply the mask over your entire face, leaving the eye and lip areas after washing and toning your face. Enjoy the mask for at most 10 minutes then rinse everything off.

Experience:

I’ve been using this mask for around two months now. I’m not using it religiously and regularly yet. I’m trying to use it at least once a week, but I sometimes get too lazy and go beyond a week before using the mask again. XD

While the mask is on, I can really feel a cooling sensation. I put it on even on the parts where I have pimples and I don’t have any problems with that. The sensation it gives really is relaxing. Over time, I can also feel the tightening, so I try to smile a bit while the mask is on (Hahaha!). After rinsing, my face feel so soft and smooth. My chin sometimes feel a little rough because of white heads and I also get very small bumps on my jaw line. This mask take all of these off. Pimples that are really red and irritated are soothed and are less inflamed after I use this mask. I feel that it really does what it promises to do.

I used to still put on aloe vera soothing gel after using this mask, but I noticed that I get way oilier the next day when I do this, so I stopped (putting moisturizer on after the mask). I realized that this mask was already enough for my skin (on days when I use it) and I don’t need more moisture than what it already gives. My skin feels fresh and clean for days when I use this mask.

Rating: 9/10

It’s really good and I love it! Although I’m really happy and satisfied with this product I’m giving it a 9 since it’s my first clay mask and I may found other clay masks that are as effective or better than this one.

[Pro tips]

  1. Apply the mask evenly on your skin and put just enough amount that you don’t see your skin through. Applying too thinly may not give you the full benefit of using the mask while applying too think layer will be wasteful.
  2. Don’t let the mask totally dry. Don’t wait for it to flake out that you can touch it and flakes would fall off. If you touch your face and it don’t transfer anymore, then it’s ready. Gently wipe the mask off with a towel wet with warm water. Rinse off whatever’s left on your skin, also with warm water, then rinse with room temperature water. Pat your face dry with clean towel.
  3. Make sure your face can handle the warmth of the water you’re using to take the mask off. Your face might be irritated if you use water that’s too hot for you. Don’t trust your hands too much. XD The skin on your hands is way thicker than the skin on your face, and the skin on your face is more sensitive, so just be careful with the temperature.
  4. You might not need to moisturize anymore after this mask if you’re oily since it already offer hydration.

I bought this mask online from BeautyMNL, but you can also get it from other online stores like ALTHEA and InnisfreeWorld.

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Health and Fitness, Reviews, Uncategorized

Skin Care Routine

I never cared about skin care before. When I was in high school, my mom would usually tell me how oily my skin was so I just sometimes put on some loose powder on. I never had a regular skin care routine, I always had facial wash available for me to use but still there were days that I don’t use it at all. The most that my face would get in those days would be some splash of water during shower. I was so lazy (and dirty, some of you might think), I know, but I thought that I was constantly having pimples because I was in my teenage years and that’s what’s normal. It was easy to dismiss my skin’s condition as something that every teenager experience and convince myself that my pimples, even though they’re constantly there, isn’t severe to be considered acne. I thought I could just wait until I get past this stage.

So I’m way past my teenage years now and I just recently just tried to learn more about skin care, and I already mentioned in my previous posts how this interest started. Others are lucky enough to not mind their skin care habits and still have good, healthy looking skin. I on the other hand is still struggling with constantly having pimples and have a very oily skin. I started following a skin care routine since November last year. I also started trying out face masks and some pimple treatment. I noticed that I don’t get pimples as big, red and inflamed pimples as I have before. They’re smaller in size and sometimes not too bumpy or inflamed. I also noticed that my skin got a lot less oily than I usually normally had. And so, I’m sharing with you my current skin care routine since it’s working out well for me so far.

Step 1: Cleansing

Iimg_6029 tried using what I always used before more regularly but it didn’t work quite well for me. I usually try Pond’s new cleansing products. I used to stick to their whitening facial foam just because it’s packaged in pink tubes. Recently they introduced a new pimple fighting foam, so I tried using it regularly for around a month. It still didn’t do what it promised, which was supposedly to rid your skin from pimple causing dirt, which helps you get rid of current pimples and should in turn serve as prevention from new ones to emerge. I finished up the small tube that I got and decided to try other brands. Right now I use Pasjel’s Oh My Egg Acne Formula for cleansing. I foam it and leave it on my skin for a minute before rinsing it off. I do this step twice if I went out or I feel I was exposed to extra dirt that day.

Step 2: Toning

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I used to use Pond’s Pinkish White Toner before this one but I don’t think it did anything if not cause another pimple to emerge. I thought it wasn’t right for my skin type (which I didn’t consider before when choosing skin care products), so I decided to switch before using it all up. I saw Nivea Aqua Effect Mattifying Toner one time when I went to the grocery with my mom one time and decided to try this one out. I don’t exactly understand what toners do, but they say that it prepares your skin for the next steps. I notice that my face really was less oily after using it.

Step 3: Moisturizing

I img_6031only put day creams on my face before, but looking back, I think putting it caused pimples as well. I used to put Pond’s White Beauty Day Cream, but when I got more observant with what happens on my skin and noticed it, I stopped. I think even its Acne Prone formula had the same effect on me (I’ll give this one a second chance one of these days). I read somewhere that cream moisturizers are too much for oily skinned people to take, which may have cause the pimples to show up when I put them. I learned that aloe vera gel gives moisture and soothes the skin. Right now I use the Nature Republic Aloe Vera Soothing Gel as a moisturizer. I pat it all over my face after toning.

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These 3 steps is what I do in the morning and at night before I sleep. I squeeze in a few more steps whenever I feel a bit less lazy, notice a few new bumps or just wanted to pamper myself. I learned that exfoliating is a must, at least 2 to 3 times a week. For that, right now, I use St. Ives Blemish Control Apricot Scrub once every two days, at night after cleansing and before toning. I gently scrub my problem areas with it and leave it on for around 45 seconds before washing it off with tap water. I noticed that my face becomes smoother after regularly doing this. Some people get sensitive though and said that this only did harm for them, but it’s working quite well for me. There’s a warning at the back of the tube anyway, and I think you won’t over dry your skin if you don’t overdo it and if you make sure you moisturize after.

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I also recently learned about witch hazel and how it’s good in promoting skin healing, reducing inflammation, and is a natural antioxidant. Many says it has other benefit as well, and is really good for the skin. I found this The Beauty Bakery Clarifying Witch Hazel Facial Mist and bought this online. I added it to my routine and spray it on after toning and before moisturizing.

I also put on mask at least once a week. They say that clay masks are best for oily skin. Right now, I’m using Innisfree Super Volcanic Pore Clay Mask and put it on for around 10 minutes after toning and before moisturizing. It has a really relaxing and cooling effect, and my skin feels soft and smooth after. I’ll do a review on this product soon.

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As I have mentioned, I think this routine really helped in keeping my face calmer in terms of oil production. I usually get pimples whenever I forget to change my pillowcase or if I don’t get enough sleep, and they used to be really red and inflamed. I think my skin care routine helped keeping these pimples way smaller and less inflamed (hurt less too!) than what I get before. I know what I do is not (yet) perfect for me, but I feel that these helped me a lot. I’m still planning on trying out other ways to keep my skin healthy and I will be working on ways to keep the routine as simple as I can and still get it to work. I don’t really like spending too much on this, money and time wise. Although, I really enjoy using facial masks, it gets too expensive doing this regularly in the long run. I want to eventually just put mask to relax from time to time. I also want to learn and switch to making my own mask and DIY them to cut the cost.

Uncategorized

Happy 2017!

Happy new year everyone!

In the Philippines, we welcome the new year by gathering and having a feast with the whole family. People also enjoy lighting sparklers and fireworks, but we don’t do that in our home so we just watch our neighbors’ fireworks and firecracker displays. I was a little bored waiting, and wasn’t really doing anything. I thought of doing a song cover but some neighbors already started making noises and their firework displays. Since my niece and I got interested in cosmetics late last year, we decided to put on some make-up and take pictures of ourselves while waiting for midnight. I wasn’t able to take good pictures of the food though because I was too excited (and hungry) to eat. We had ‘kwentuhan’ and ‘videoke’ after eating, and then I invited my niece to try my current favorite mask (which I will review soon!).

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How did you celebrate the New Year? I hope you all had a great 2016 and have an even greater 2017 ahead. Happy new year!

Health and Fitness, Uncategorized

Pimple Conscious

I mentioned in a past entry that I recently got conscious about my face because I never had it perfectly clear of pimples. Really, I don’t remember a time when I didn’t have at least one or two medium sized ones, and a few really small ones (growing). I get really big ones whenever the time of the month comes. And whenever one of them start to subside or heal, another one starts to grow. I’m way past the puberty stage now but I still have at least a few pimples all over my face, all the time.

I didn’t considered my condition severe, and I thought having it worse is what’s considered acne. So, I just went on with my life and didn’t really care about it. My parents usually tease me about it, but I only shrug it off and jokingly tell them, “I’m already beautiful as it is, imagine if I don’t have them. Too many suitors might show up and bug me all the time.” I never liked make-up though because aside from feeling so heavy on my face and being uncomfortable when wearing them, I was afraid that wearing them will cause my skin problem to become worse.

Now that I’m engaged, my parents and fiance’s teasing kind of had an effect on me. I now want to do something about it and dream of having a perfect skin on my wedding day.

Last October, I started to be more conscious about pimples showing on my face and started taking steps towards a hopefully better skin. I started treating my pimples with Quick Fix Pimple Eraser that I got from Watsons. Since I’m putting it on pimples twice everyday, I got to monitor not only the changes that happen on the pimples I’m putting cream on, but also when they appear. Here are three things that I just realized and noticed (why didn’t I know these things before? XD):

One, my sleeping habit is the main reason why I always have pimples on my forehead. I realized that in the few couple of days that I slept at around 12 midnight and got a long and satisfying sleep (at least around 7 hours per night), my forehead got clear of pimples (even the tiny bumps are gone during this time). And when one day I ruined this beautiful almost forming habit, a large pimple and a few tiny bumps showed up (on my forehead). I’ve always been a late sleeper, even since I was in high school. Then, I would sleep at around 1 am, and would wake-up at 5 am to get ready for school because my school service arrives at around 6:15 am. This sleeping habit got worse when I entered college. I got different class schedule everyday, so I never formed a regular sleeping habit. At times I sleep at 2 or 3 in the morning and would have to wake up at 6 am, there are times that I have little to no sleep at all.

Two, accumulated dirt on my pillow and pillow case causes large pimple on my cheek to grow and stay for long. It takes longer to subside and heal and, just when I thought that it will finally go away, it reemerges. I watched a bunch of “how to get rid of acne” videos and read a couple of articles on it, too. I heard this a few times, and I realized that I never actually washed and cleaned my pillows and I seldom change my pillow cases. And so, I bought a new pillow and pillow cases, washed and cleaned my old ones, and now change my cases regularly (I do mine weekly, but some others do it everyday). Over time, I noticed that a pimple forms a few days after I change the case which tells me that it’s dirty and I should flip or change it. I also realized that this large cheek pimple show on the side that touches my pillow when I sleep. When I change side, the other one heals and a new one forms on the other side that now touches the pillow. When I hugged a pillow when I slept and it touched my chin (maybe repetitively) during sleep and its case wasn’t newly changed, a pimple also formed on my chin (it healed quickly when I avoided having facial contact with the pillow that I hug). They say that silk fabric don’t absorb oils, dirt and sebum unlike other kinds of fabric. I’m going to buy a silk pillow case soon, so that I can use pillow cases for longer (or at least just last a week without growing a new pimple because of my pillow case).

Three, I can’t only rely on acne treatment products. Creams, facial wash, masks or whatever product that says it will remove your acne can only do so much. They may help fasten the life span of a pimple. They may help fasten the amount of time it takes to erase the dark spot it left when it healed. They may remove all the dirt, sebum and oil that cause pimple that are currently sitting on your face. They may help your recently popped pimple to heal faster. But they will not be able to prevent an acne to show up if you don’t keep things that touches your face clean or you don’t get proper and enough sleep. I think, to actually achieve a healthy, glowing skin, a lifestyle change should also be in order. It’s true, prevention is better than cure.

I’m excited to learn more about myself and be able to figure out more about keeping my skin healthy and acne free as I try new habits, experiment on products and constantly monitoring my habits and skin health patterns. I read that eating dairy products causes pimples as well, and I love fresh milk, butter and cheese. I’ve yet to do something about this one because butter and cheese just make food tastier and more delicious! This one will be harder to address. I hope I can take small steps about this soon. We’ll see, and I’ll tell you about the result next time. 🙂

Do you also struggle with pimples? Have you solved this skin problem a long time ago? Tell me your story in the comment section bellow.

Reviews, Uncategorized

Review (Skin care): Maybelline Micellar Water

I wanted to try out putting make-up because I thought I would need the skill soon. I have an oily, acne prone skin, and I was worried that putting on make-up will make my skin condition worse. This is why I always tried to not be interested in make-up.

So I tried putting on Maybelline Clearsmooth All-in-one Powder Foundation, filled in my brows with a Nichido eye pencil, put on some liquid eye liner and mascara also from Nichido, some powder blush and a Maybelline matte lipstick. I used to have trouble removing make-up. This is the most complete full face make-up routine that I can do. I don’t have eye-shadows and BB or CC creams are too expensive for me, I fear that they will expire before I even feel the need to use them. I lose confidence rather than gain them when I have make-up on, for some reason, and I feel more beautiful bare faced even with all the pimples that I usually have. I really try to only put on a little of each product since I feel shy and uneasy whenever I wear make-up, but whenever I try to remove my make-up, the products on my face seem to be too much that the process of removing them seem endless. No matter how many times I wipe and rinse my face, I still feel and see some make-up product on it. I tend to rub my eyelid, with wet coton and q-tips, excessively trying to remove liquid liner and mascara that are still left behind after all the wiping and rising. I didn’t buy make-up removers before because I thought that I’ll never be able to use all the product in a bottle since I don’t wear make-up much and I don’t want to spend too much on something that I will not be able to use and utilize.

And then, this product was introduced. This Micellar Water is kind of an all-in-one product. It promises to remove make-up, cleanse your skin, act as toner and hydrate. It has no fragrance, alcohol free and oil-free.

Experience

I put a little on a cotton ball and swipe it on my face. You can easily see the amount of make-up it can remove with one swipe. I try to utilize all of the cotton, turning, folding, opening inner the part and all that to get all possible side and wipe make-up off my face with it. I move on to a new cotton with Micellar Water if I feel like the cotton I’m using can’t hold anymore make-up product. I like that I only need to gently swipe the cotton ball on my face and it gets the make-up product off it and onto the cotton ball, no need to rub harshly.

I also like that it’s gentle on the eyes. I once put too much Micellar water on a cotton ball that I used to remove my mascara and eye liner. I intended to pat and gently wipe my lid off eye make-up but kind of pressed on the cotton ball in the process, squeezing out some Micellar water which eventually made its way into my eyes. It didn’t sting at all, it almost felt like my own tears. I saw make-up removing products that are specially made for your eyes, but with this Micellar water in the market, I don’t think anyone would need those anymore.

There was also a time that residents water line was cut off temporarily for some fixing and I was too lazy to get water outside of my room, so I skipped my whole night skin care routine and only cleansed my face with this. It promised to remove dirt, tone and moisturize after all. I was surprised that I actually had less oily face the next morning and had no new pimple.

The only thing maybe that I’m not so fond of about this product is that it’s a bit sticky on the face if it’s the last product you swipe on. But for me, it’s tolerable. The stickiness subsides over time anyway.

Overall, I really like this product. It performs well and stays true to its promised effects. It’s “sulit” since a 200mL bottle costs around 200php, way cheaper compared to other make-up removers, and also cheaper to other Micellar water from other brands.

Have you tried this already? Let me know what you think about it and share your experience in the comment section bellow. 😀