Wednesday, October 30, 2013

October 31 is...

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October 31, the day before All Saint's Day. has many different names.The most common one for it is Halloween. The question is, what is Halloween and what is it about?

Halloween’s origins date back to the ancient Celtic festival of Samhein which marked the end of harvest and the beginning of winter, a time of year associated with death. The pagan Celts believed that on that night, the boundary between the worlds of the living and dead blurred, and the ghosts of the dead returned to the earth. It was a night for preternatural communication with the dead, various forms of divination and prophecy, and sexual rituals.
-HALLOWEEN; A RETURN TO PAGANISM?By Marian T. Horvat, Ph.D.

But but...Halloween is just a party. Nothing more, right? Wrong! I, myself, am guilty of participating in these parties, small or grandiose. Until I realize that this celebration is of Pagan origin. So it's like.... I'm Catholic, but participating in a Satanic ritual! Horrible!


I remember, in my memories of distant past... Back in the province, when I was a kid... During October 31 (or November 1 maybe?), we didn't don costumes. We had this tradition of bringing only candles and visiting houses. At this time, the houses and streets were dimmed and the only source of light were candles. Before entering the house we would say, "Mangalag Kalag" (translates to... ugh... no literal translation but Kalag means Soul). Then the owner of the house would let us in. But before he/she gives us food or candy, we were required to offer a short prayer to the deceased loved ones of that house. I was a kid and my motivation of joining was that I could get free food! LOL! But I just realized that it was a good and proper way to celebrate the feast of the dead and to honor our ancestors.

I don't know if the tradition still lives in our province. All I know is that, here in the Metropolis, kids don in scary costumes for candy. Grown ups also wear costumes and attend parties. No prayers in between, folks. 

I do feel that Halloween feels too commercialized. It might seem cool, with all the posters, promos, or even the costume parties. This, however, is not what Halloween is truly about. Too much commercialization lets you forget about it’s pagan origin and blinds you to the truth. That is a trap!

Don't celebrate the dead! Pray for the dead! 




Ave Maria, gratia plena, Dominus tecum, benedicta tu in mulierebus, et benedictus fructus ventris tui, Iesus.Sancta Maria, Mater Dei, ora pro nobis, peccatoribus, nunc et in hora mortis nostrae. Amen


Monday, October 28, 2013

More Skin Care for My 7th Sample Room Haul

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While everybody is talking about and getting Vidal Sassoon samples at Sample Room, here I am breaking away from the trend and got two renowned skin care brands for my seventh hoard of samples. Yay! When I saw products from VMV Hypoallergenics and The Body Shop, I just couldn't resist! 

Skin care samples again! LOL! 
I have always wanted to have my own bottle of Armada Sport 70 Sunscreen. There are lots of positive reviews about this. It's not summer yet but it's okay. Sunscreen protection should be done everyday, right? Sample Room gave out 5mL bottles of these. 

The box of Armada Sport 70 sample

What cute packaging! The 5mL bottle comes with a spatula. 
Also, let me try out this unique offer from The Body Shop: Moisture White Shiso BB Serum Inside, something that I don't see from other brands. Sample Room gave out five sachets of 1.5mL each. I'm wondering if this is a BB Cream, too. 

Sachets of Shiso BB Serum Inside from The Body Shop
New high end products this time! I am so happy at how Sample Room is growing. Now lemme try out these products real fast so I get those points back. Who knows, they might restock at those awesome Vidal Sassoon samples. (^_^)


Sunday, October 27, 2013

Justice

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Sirach 35: 12 - 14, 16 - 18

The LORD is a God of justice,
who knows no favorites.
Though not unduly partial toward the weak,
yet he hears the cry of the oppressed. 
The Lord is not deaf to the wail of the orphan,
nor to the widow when she pours out her complaint.
The one who serves God willingly is heard;
his petition reaches the heavens. 
The prayer of the lowly pierces the clouds;
it does not rest till it reaches its goal,
nor will it withdraw till the Most High responds,
judges justly and affirms the right,
and the Lord will not delay.

The reading today is quite suited for me. I will always remember in these troubled times. Though there is injustice everywhere, my comfort is with the Lord, who sees everything. My reward may not be given today, but it will be in His perfect time.



Angel Mariel as Xion of Kingdom Hearts

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I got to cosplay a video game character for the first time! Last Cosplay Mania, I graced the event as Xion from the video game Kingdom Hearts. This character was suggested by my friend Reeve. He said that Xion and I have the same face shape so it will be a good fit. He convinced me further by saying that he will lend me his Organization XIII costume and Keyblade. So I decided to give it a go, as it would be good practice to cosplay a character from a game genre instead of an anime.

Kingdom Hearts poster

Xion of Kingdom Hearts
Just when I thought that it would be easy, I came across the first stumbling block. How would I do a study about a character on a video game that I don't know? Luckily there was Wikipedia But the story is so broad and complex that one article is not enough to fully understand the game. Actually, there are separate articles about the plot, characters, weapons, etc. Oh! What a complex world Kingdom Hearts is! 

Good thing there's YouTube! There is a summary of the whole Kingdom Hearts story. There are also cinematics which helped me understand the game better. 


From what i have read and watched, I developed a better understanding of Xion, her character, purpose, and her tragic end. She is a replica of Roxas' memories and she technically does not exist. But she is real. That is her paradox. She may have appeared shortly in the game but her character was very complex. 

"Who am I? What am I... here for?"  -Xion


However, I am glad that despite her tragic circumstances, Xion still has the courage to smile. I love characters who can be cute and can then be serious in battle mode. But just like my Rei Ayanami cosplay, I found difficulty in projecting the "I exist but I am not here" aura. But Xion is easier to potray as she has a personality that is easier to grasp.

So here is me, Angel Mariel, as Xion of Kingdom Hearts. Photo credits as tagged.

Angel Mariel as Xion. Photo by Dave Perez

Full body picture of Angel Mariel as Xion. Photo by arkadymac.com
Cosplay Mania 2013 allowed me to interact with other Kingdom Hearts cosplayers, too! Yay! 

Reeve as Roxas and Angel Mariel as Xion. Photo by arkadymac.com

Xion, Sora, and Roxas. Photo by Dave Perez

Roxas, Xenmas, and Xion. Photo by Kia
It's my first time portraying someone who I really didn't know from the start. After a thorough character study, I have developed a liking to Xion. Because of this cosplay, I have learned to take into consideration the character's face and body type, too. Special thanks to Reeve for introducing me to her and to the wonderful world of Kingdom Hearts. Now, let me get my own costume, wig, keyblade... and oh...a Nintendo DS! 


Tuesday, October 22, 2013

A Gift from Shiseido and Sample Room

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I joined the Sample Room Shiseido Ibuki blog contest with hopes to win! But God heard my prayer in a different way... 




Yay! I didn't expect to win on Instagram! I am not even active in there. Actually, I just saw the photo that I won three days later from the post date. It was the most wonderful surprise for me, especially now that my birthday is coming in about a month. 

Then I had a quick flashback when I visited the Shiseido Oxygen Lounge in TriNoma. The booth was made up of transparent glass walls and you could see different Shiseido products from makeup, skin care, and the latest Ibuki line. Below is the winning Instagram photo:



Christine was the Shiseido lady who gave me an introduction about the new product. She also gave me a short facial to experience the Ibuki line. Actually, it wasn't my first time to try out this product as I got samples from Sample Room days before. But I love the facial! Christine was so good at massaging and the whole experience was very relaxing! It was quick as well, lasting for only twenty minutes. Shiseido Ibuki does live up to it's claim that it is for millenials! See, even the facial was fast. 

Then weeks later, I won the contest! Yay! I thought I would only get one product. So I decided to wonder what it would be. Everything in the Shiseido Ibuki line is promising. My favorite is the Refining Moisturizer and it would be great to own it. However, I still don't have an eye care regimen so the Eye Correcting Cream would work just fine. 

But I really don't mind what it was! The feeling of excitement, or being surprised was coursing through my veins. And last Saturday (Oct. 19), I lost my breath for a moment when I saw the package lying on my bed. 

It came like a gift, wrapped in a Shiseido paper bag with a heartwarming message. Awww... (^_^)


The package! Wow! 

.. with the Sample Room Sticker! Cute!

I really appreciate this. Thanks, SR Team! :)
It was sealed well. I had to remove the adhesives first but in every second, my heartbeat went faster. The thrill of knowing what's inside made me eager to open it the soonest! 


The pink paper inside completed the gift look! 
And now...
I got Refining Moisturizer AND the Eye Correcting Cream
Tadaah! My eyes got teary when I found out that I got BOTH of my heart's desire! Thank you to Shiseido and the Sample Room team for this wonderful and early birthday gift! 


The gift! :) 

I realized that the old saying is true, then: all you want in this life comes true, they just come in different packaging. (^_^) I'm so happy, very very happy!


Saturday, October 19, 2013

I Got Prettified at the BDJ Box Beauty Social

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Hi dearies! I apologize for this late post. I know that this event came in first before the BDJ Fair 2013. Time was not on my side weeks ago. But now, I have learned how to play with it and developed a technique to write fast. Yay! Bellas conquer all odds! So here I am writing about the BDJ Beauty Social...

Primp and Prettify was the theme of the second BDJ Box Beauty Social. It took place in SM North EDSA Skydome on September 29, 2013. I'm glad that they didn't wait for a year to have it! It just means that the technology for skin care and makeup is becoming a trend and improving at a fast rate, too! 


The stage of the BDJ Box Beauty Social Primp and Prettify

I was there early because I registered for a talk at 1:00 PM. But before I went to the stage area, I decided to explore some booths first! The place was all about cosmetics and I was loving the vibe!

Cure Natural Aqua Gel had a booth there! The girls gave me a demo and free samples! Cure is the best exfoliator I have ever used! 


The pretty girls of Cure

The Too Cool for School stall is something to love about, too! That was the first time I heard of the brand I was very impressed with their activities! There was a photobooth, skin consultation, free makeover, and a Korean game. Lots of girls were to try the makeup products. But since the queue was long, I decided to play the stick game called Yutnori, instead. I would like to experience it as I am exploring Korean culture, as well. 


The Too Cool for School booth
 These are the results of my sticks and so, I got three samples! Yay! More samples! 

Yutnori is a Korean stick game.
When our attention was called, it was time to go to the talk area. I registered for talks: Get Real with the BDJ Box Beauty Ministry for some Q&A and the Ready for Anything Skin with Shiseido segment. 


The talks I attended

Kate Alvarez, Nicole Hernandez, and Tara Cabullo gave us advice on skin care

Ms. Carmel Villongco of Shiseido identifies the daily stressors that affect our health and skin.

Fighting stressors with Shiseido's latest technology! 
The reason why I chose to attend the first two talks is so that I can explore the booths freely afterwards, without time pressure.

Each booth has its own activity but it was the Revlon people who welcomed me! (^_^) They had free makeup lessons. I was finally able to try this cosmetic product called CC Cream! Our makeup artist and instructor was Ms. Ghe. She taught us how to do a contoured eye shadow that I have always wanted to learn. I was also able to try out Revlon products, too. The foundation, concealers, primers, and powders apply well and lasted long on my skin. 


The CC Cream of Revlon

We're taking up makeup lessons! That's me at the left smiling at ya! 
Good thing I was able to put on makeup because the Garnier booth had a surprise for us: a meet and greet session with Ms. Georgina Wilson! She is my favorite model and I admire her! I was able to take a photo with her last year and I couldn't believe that I had a another chance! 

Garnier and Georgina launched the new product PureActive Fruit Energy Energizing Facial Foam on stage.


Georgina Wilson on stage
All the while, I explored the Garnier stall. And I give to them the Best Booth award! They served non-alcoholic beverages at the bar and a photobooth! I didn't want to be alone on the photo, so I asked the pretty Garnier girls to pose with me! They are so beautiful! 


Pink Tube Shots
Melon Shots

Citrus Mojito... this is my favorite! It looks nice, too! 
My photobooth picture with the Garnier girls
And now... the meet and greet session! After the talk, Georgina went to the Garnier booth. I was one of the first in line for the photo op session. Aside from the picture that I got from the official photographer, I also had a selfie with her. She is as gorgeous as ever! 


Me and Georgina Wilson
Seeing Georgina made my day complete and it was time for me to go home. I learned a lot about skin care in this event. The world of cosmetics is expanding! New promising products and brands are coming out by the minute! Now, with all the samples in my loot, it's time for me to try them out and see what works best for my skin!  


My loot


Thursday, October 17, 2013

Making It Happen at The BDJ Fair 2013

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October 13, 2013 - The BDJ 2013 was held in SM Mall of Asia Music Hall with the theme, Make It Happen! Despite the threat of rainfall, the day went by smoothly. Thank God the sun shone that day! (^_^) Lots of Bellas attended and participated in the booth activities and talks from the renowned guests. 


The VIP Charity Pass
The crowd of the BDJ Fair 2013
Look at all the booths in this map!
The first thing I did? I went to the selling booth to claim my personalized Belle de Jour Power Planner 2014! I waited for it for so long that I couldn't contain my excitement when I saw it! Yay! 


The hardworking Bellas in the selling booth

My very own BDJ 2014! Yay!
Then, it was time for me to explore the booths. I visited the Canmake stall for a free makeover! This was intentional! Of course I should look good in my BDJ Fair photos! LOL! 


The Canmake free makeover booth

Canmake cosmetic products on display! So cute and tempting! 
I was privileged to have Bea Almeda as my makeup artist. I learned a lot about Canmake cosmetics and makeup from her! I love the Cream Cheek now! It does give a soft tint to the face. Ms. Bea is so skilled with her craft. She made me beautiful with a natural look. 


Me and Ms. Bea
Tokyo Posh got me so curious about clip-on hair extensions and I was very lucky to try it! Wow! Hair does change the overall look of a person! I tried the long curly one and it made me look younger and innocent. LOL! The hair extension looks natural too. 


Natural makeup by Canmake and hair extensions by Tokyo Posh = glam me! LOL! 
Boxes of hair extensions were there! 
Food booths like J.Co were there! I love the fact that there was no queue in there! LOL! 



Here is the Roxy Wall Climbing booth that I have been wanting to try since last year! But nah... I didn't want to go alone.


The Roxy wall climbing booth
Waaa! So sorry I wasn't able to take photos of all the booths! BDJ had this Instagram thingy going on. Just tag #BDJMakeItHappen on your photos and you will get a free print out from Print Social! Not only that, your photos will appear on stage too! Wow! That is so new! And you know what else is new? Me taking selfies with friends and posting it online! LOL! I wanted print outs, too! 

Live photos on Instagram appeared on stage.
Speaking of selfies, I took the Trilogy Boutique selfie challenge and got a slot for the T-Shirt Cutting Workshop! I really enjoyed being part of this activity! We were laughing while cutting a PhP1,000 shirt! Oh my gosh! LOL! This one I will write in detail in a separate post. 


The Trilogy T-Shirt Cutting workshop
When 4:10 PM came, I went to the stage area for a talk entitled "An Inspiring Way to the Crown" by none other than Ms. Venus Raj! She talked about living well and eating healthy food. She emphasized that diet is the biggest contributor in having good skin and body. 

Ms. Venus Raj on stage
She talked about her experiences, too.
My only photo with Ms. Venus Raj! Photo by Bella sister Christine
While moving around, I got to bond with my soul sisters, too! It was good to see you again, guys! These pretty girls completed by BDJ Fair experience! It wasn't just about makeup, talks, celebs, and freebies! This day was about making memories with friends, too! 


Here is another thing I always write about: The Freedom Wall. This time, it was about something that you will make happen in 2014. 


Hmmm... I couldn't think of anything else apart from seeing those I love. So...

Off to see these countries in 2014, I hope! :) 
The year 2014... a complete mystery of time! A loop of possibilities, failures, success, beginnings, and endings await! Scared? Yes, but courage is here to stay! With that, let me say, 2014 will be my year of letting go and making my dreams happen! Live life to the fullest! 

The 2014 Belle de Jour Power Planner in leather and matte covers

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