Photography, Relationships, Uncategorized

What’s up?

Hello~

I haven’t posted for quite a while, so here’s some life update.

Wedding Preparations

We have been busier these past few months preps wise since we only got less than a year now. Spent so much time looking for, checking out and reading reviews about wedding suppliers. We’ve booked some suppliers already but we’re still far from being done. At first my fiance and I both thought that after booking the church, reception venue, caterer and photographers and videographers everything will become easier. We’re both wrong and we realize that now because there are still a lot that needs to be done. We totally forgot about what we’ll wear and didn’t think about how we’ll manage on the day. I thought we can DIY the rest of the things that we need but now I think I’m expecting too much from myself. I’m slowly realizing that things are more complicated and difficult than we expected them to be so we might really have to get some help from experts. Finding suppliers that are good and love their craft but are also within budget is really challenging. It’s still fun though and we both get to learn new things together.

Other Events

I treated my Mom to a spa session for her birthday. I had a period back then and thought twice about also getting a full body massage, but I decided to go for it. It went well, and I didn’t get any bruise from it. I guess you just have to warn your masseuse that you are in your period and ask to be gentle(r).

My cousin, who’m I did pre-debut photoshoot with, already turned 18 and celebrated with her last July 15. It was an evening party at the beach and we (my niece Rica and I) were asked if we can cover it (though we were actually already kind of planning to do so even without being asked XD). So here’s some of the things that I learned:

  1. It’s hard to do it alone. Good thing I wasn’t but I feel like we could have done better if we were better coordinated? We didn’t plan anything, didn’t know the program, etc., so we just captured what we can. XD Also, we were part of the program and weren’t ready to pass on to anyone the camera when it was our turn.
  2. I should have prepared better since I usually shoot in daytime with natural sunlight. I should have set my camera to a better mode or find a better camera settings to capture evening photos. I was already in auto mode to avoid missing moments but there were times that my camera took too long to adjust, captured blurry or out of focus images, took an image with bad lighting.
  3. I should ask how the event will be going next time for me to have an idea how to get better shots.

I also learned that the battery of my camera can last a whole debut program (continuous shooting) without running out. That’s about 4 hours I think. I’m really happy about this.

I also recently attended a bridal shower for a friend and experienced hand and foot spa, both for the first time. Also the first time I got manicure from someone else. XD I usually do it myself at home. I’m not sure though whether or not I like the color that I chose. It looked good, natural and a bit sophisticated (for me) on their sample but I later realized that it looked like a kiddie nail polish color. I went home and noticed that it shines and sparkle like the toy nail polish for kids. I don’t know. My nails are growing out anyway and would have to do my nails before the wedding so I can change the color then.

What’s Next?

I made two pillow covers using the portable mini sewing machine that my friends gave me on my previous birthday. I emptied out my Nature Republic Aloe Vera gel and just opened a new jar. I’m almost out of my Aveeno foam facial wash, I love it and I don’t know how I can purchase it again. I started using a seaweed exfoliating gel from Miniso and I think it’s really working well. So these are the items that I’m going to make a post on and review soon!

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Reviews, Uncategorized

Review (Skin Care): NARUKO Shine Control and Blemish Clear Toner

So, I emptied another skin care product and it’s time for a review!

One time in the office, my office mates and I somehow talked about skin care products. I was just starting to explore on skin care at that time and I didn’t know much (well, I knew a lot less than what I know now XD). One of them mentioned about a toner that she only buys online, if I remember correctly, and which she only use 2 drops of every time. She said her face started to clear up since then and didn’t had problems about being oily anymore. She also mentioned only buying one big bottle and it would last her for a year.

So I got curious and searched about it. But now, I’m not sure if I actually got the product that she mentioned. XD Anyway, I emptied out my Nivea toner and decided that I should give what my officemate mentioned a try. I thought this was it and I was able to buy it from Watsons. They also have other products from the same brand but I chose this one since I’m oily skinned and have blemishes. It’s a little bit pricey (okay, a lot), so my fiance told me to buy the smaller available size and see if it’s effective for me first.

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Experience:

The 30mL bottle that I bought lasted me for a little over a month (a few days more than a month). two drops won’t do it for me (otherwise, I tend to exert more pressure when swiping) so I put a few more drops on my cotton and wipe my face with it after I cleanse in the evening. I use less product in the morning since I don’t have much to wipe away. It gives a cooling sensation when applied and had a scent that’s similar to eucalyptus oil that my Mom used to apply on me when I was young.

I had a break out after a few days of using the product. My face was already clearing up at that time and I was really disappointed. I thought it was only because I had my menstruation coming, but new pimples continuously appeared even when I’m regularly changing my pillowcase. I also mentioned that¬†my pimple scars became lighter before (while I was still using my previous toner), but turned darker while I was using this product. The life span of my pimples also extended while I was using this toner.

Rating: 5/10

It’s too expensive and it didn’t work for me. I went back to being super oily skinned, had break out, my pimples had extended lifespan and the scars they leave became darker. I think I’m still generous for giving it a 5. I’m giving it some points because maybe, just maybe, I had some faults in using it, too. Like, I ate a bit more junk food than I used to while using this product, and that might have an effect. But I don’t know. I also ate junk food before but I still noticed positive difference when I used the previous products.

Also there’s alcohol in the ingredients list which I think, from what I read and watch around, is bad and too drying for the skin. There’s witch hazel too, that they say is good for oily skinned people but I think is not good for me. I’m still testing this out though.

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I won’t buy this again. The price I pay for the 30mL bottle of this toner can already buy me a 200mL bottle of my Nivea toner. I’m going back (and might stick to that for a while since my Mom also bought me another new bottle, so now I have an extra).

How about you? Do you have an experience on this product? Does this work well for you? Tell me about it in the comments section bellow. ūüôā

Family, Photography, Uncategorized

Debut Photo Shoot

I’ve been noting to myself some spots around UP Diliman campus that I thought would be good locations for a photo shoot. My photo shoot partner, or my model-photographer tandem partner, Rica,¬†is so busy with work these days so I can’t schedule a session with her.

Lucky, my cousin Kyra, who is turning 18 this coming June, is on school vacation. So I messaged her in facebook and asked if she wanted to do a photo shoot with me.

I said she could use the photos we’ll take for her debut if she likes them, so I wanted to slightly align the pictures to her celebration theme. Her party will be held at a beach, so I wanted to take pictures that have summer-y vibe. Some of my workmates even sent me samples to help us out. It was sunny and all the whole day, but I’m not sure if I actually captured the vibe. XD Rica said the pictures gave more of a “Spring” and “Fall” vibe and that we should take pictures with “Winter” vibe just to leave “Summer” for the party. We don’t even have those seasons here in the Philippines. LOL.

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Whatever vibe these pictures give, I like them anyway. I hope Kyra liked the outcome of our mini photo shoot as well. My fiance told me that my composition improved. I think I also improved in terms of how quickly I adjust my camera to the changes that happens around, like if I shoot at a different angle, different location, or if the lighting changes (like if cloud covers the sun for a while). I only used one lens, the 18-55mm kit lens, for the whole shoot.

Health and Fitness, Uncategorized

Updated Skin Care Routine

I posted my skin care routine¬†a while back and now I’ve finished using the acne soap. At the time, my father came back from overseas work so we went to Dutyfree to shop. I haven’t changed much from the routine but here’s my updated morning and night skin care routine:

Morning:

I don’t wash with my foaming cleanser in the morning. I simply rinse my face with water then pat it dry with face towel. Sometimes, I use toner, but most of the time skipped this step in the morning. Then I apply my aloe vera gel as my moisturizer. Sometimes, I completely forget to do this, but, I think it was okay.

Night:

I do a complete routine (like the one in the routine posted before) at night, only this time, I use a different facial cleanser.

After a few weeks, I noticed that my skin improved a lot. I don’t get too oily when I wake up in the morning. I don’t oil up too much during the day as well. My pimples had quicker life cycles and don’t leave marks that are too dark. They don’t last longer than 4 days, unlike before that almost a month would pass and a pimple would grow, will seem to heal then just grow back, sometimes even bigger or just plain worse than before. Sometimes, they would only last a day, even and won’t leave any marks. I think I’m doing my skin care right, or way better than before.

I still get pimples whenever I don’t sleep well, get stressed or forget to change my pillow cover. But, the pimple that show up don’t cause me stress anymore because they’re manageable and easy to fade away.

 

Reviews, Uncategorized

Review (Skin Care): Watsons Chamomile Calming and Softening Facial Mask

My friends gave me sheet masks for my birthday (it was then when I first tried leveling up my skin care game) but I didn’t try them immediately because there’s a warning in the package that it shouldn’t be used on damaged skin. I didn’t know what is considered damaged, and I have oily and pimple prone skin, so that made me cautious about the product.

I decided to try one today because I thought I will never really know whether or not sheet masks are effective for me if I don’t try. Also, if I try it later and my skin react in a bad way, it will be harder to treat the damage and I will stress about time constraints (since I’m doing all of this to improve and eventually clear my skin before my wedding) which will then worsen my skin situation.

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Anyway, let’s move on to the review.

Experience:

I tried this one before sleeping. I washed my face with Aveeno Clear Complexion Foaming Cleanser then toned it twice with Nivea Aqua Effect Mattifying Toner. Then, I put on the mask.

I had quite a hard time trying to make the mask stick to my face. It had small holes for the eyes and I worried that products could get into my eyes if I’m not careful. The lip hole was quite small as well, which also made me worried about unintentionally getting product into my mouth.

I was trying to make the mask stick and I get excess product in my hands, so I spread them on the back of my hands, on my neck, elbows, arms and knees (because they’re dry). The package said that I should put the mask on for 15 to 20 mins. But as I was waiting, the back of my hand started to itch and I noticed that it got red and had bumps (like mini mosquito bites). I slightly panicked, but since I don’t feel anything on my face, I continued to wait for my 15 minutes to finish. Then my arm started to itch as well. I removed my mask after a short while. I had it on for more than 10 minutes but under the suggested 15 minutes.

I didn’t notice anything really bad when I removed it so I just removed the product that was in my under-eye (because they say that part has thinner skin and is more sensitive than other parts of the face) and let the rest of the product on my face be absorbed (or evaporate, whichever happened faster). It feels sticky when it dried. I got conscious after some time (around 40 minutes) and worried that it will cause new pimple to show up the morning, so I rinsed my face.

I woke up with slightly paler pimples though. I guess the mask was effective for calming. Some of the bumps seemed more flat as well the next morning.

Rating: 7/10

This is my first sheet mask so I don’t have anything to compare it with so far. Overall I’m giving this mask 7/10 because it was hard to put on and make it stick to my face, especially in the area around my nose and mouth. The holes for the eyes, nose and mouth were a little too small which made the mask hard to adjust. I don’t like that it’s sticky after it dries, though maybe sheet masks tend to feel like that since they’re packed with essence.¬†But, I liked that it was effective even when I rinsed my face to get rid of the sticky feeling. It seemed to really calmed and soothed my skin, and it showed when I looked at my pimples the next morning. It also didn’t make my skin extra oily.¬†img_6038

Also, it’s really cold last night and my skin reacts like I have skin allergy whenever it gets too cold. So, maybe the redness and bumps were actually caused by that and it wasn’t an allergic reaction to the mask’s solution. They were gone after some time as well. I didn’t feel any kind pain, tingling or stinging while the mask was on, so I’m now assuming that the damage mentioned in the warning¬†refers to damage caused by too much sun exposure, burns or wounds.

It wasn’t so bad. I was too afraid for nothing. XD I can now use the rest of my sheet mask collection with less worry.

Photography, Uncategorized

Jogging and Bird Watching

Last Saturday, my fiance asked me to go with him to jog. We weren’t able to bring the car and I wanted to bring some things, but then I realized that if I do I will have to jog with all of them. I decided to just walk around instead and take pictures. Here are some of the pictures that I got.

 

My father bought me a monocular lens so I thought it would be great to go bird watching with it. My fiance and I had fun trying to have closer look at the birds flying around and resting on trees. We’re noob bird watchers though and we weren’t able to spot a lot. We can hear different bird sounds and we know there are other kinds of birds around but it was just hard to spot them. I tried taking pictures of some birds resting on trees. Too bad, I left my other lens at home which was more suitable for zooming.

Can you find the birds in these pictures?

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After his jog and a short bird watching, we went straight back home. We were already in the jeepney ride home when we realized that we failed as a social media couple. We weren’t able to take picture of ourselves together. XD What kind of millennials are we? We both have smartphones and I even have my SLR with me (which I used to take the pictures above). The only picture I took of him running was blurred. I will definitely go with him again to redeem myself as a stage¬†fiancee.

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.