My GlamBox Day with Beauty Bloggers

A bevy of beauty bloggers came together one day in January to get a first glimpse at the latest innovation in makeup: airbrush cosmetics.

No, I’m not really a beauty blogger. But I must confess, being surrounded by all these friends who are into it has given me quite an education in the how-to’s of  ‘dagdag-bawas’ in the right places to highlight one’s personal facial features.

(L-R) Sophie, Mark (our photographer for the afternoon), BambiLauren and her friend Nikki

(moi with Cher and Nikki)

(with Shen, Nikki and Sophie)

Also there was Phoebe but for some reason, I can’t find a pic of her among my pics of the day!

So, what is this airbrush makeup?

Think of car painting. Yup, car painting.

Did you ever wonder why car paint is not applied with a brush but with spray paint using an industrial compressor? To give the body an even, natural look, right? Well, this concept is now being applied to makeup!

This tiny compact GlamBox, which comes in a luscious pink (my favorite color)  & black combination, when used with its compressor and gun, sprays a very fine mist of liquid foundation on the skin. The effect is natural, evenly applied, flawless complexion.

Glambox is so versatile. It can be used to contour and highlight facial features and it can also be used to airbrush the body for coverage and for sunless tanning.

The procedure is easy, actually, according to Valerie Tan, who first showed us a demo of the whole procedure. Pour about 10 drops of the liquid foundation into the gun, choose any of 3 air pressure modes (1-for the eyes, 2-for the face and neck, and 3-for the rest of the body), hold the gun about 6 inches from the area, and spray away!

I gamely agreed to be the guinea pig. Why not? There were 3 makeup artists in my midst! When else can I get makeup done for free — and with GlamBox’s airbrush makeup pa? Here’s my dear friend, Bambi, with what I call her “weapons of mass beauty” making me over.

After it was sprayed on me, I hardly noticed the airsprayed foundation. Unlike the usual liquid foundation which can feel cake-y and heavy, the effect of using the Glambox gun and compressor was surprisingly almost NOT there! Bambi finished off the makeup session with eyeshadow, blush-on. I reapplied mascara and lipstick and ***drum roll*** — here’s what I look like after, with airbrush makeup — and clowning around with Bambi.

And another one with Hannah, who also got to try the airbrush makeup.

GlamBox kits come in two varieties: Starter Set and Deluxe Set.

Starter Set (P8,500)

Airbrush Gun (w/ accessories)
Gun holder
GlamBox carrying case

PLUS + Three Bottles
One – 30ml Foundation (of your choice)
One – 20ml Cheek Color (of your choice)
One – 30ml Cleaner and Thinner

Deluxe Set (11,800)

Airbrush Gun (w/ accessories)
Gun holder
GlamBox carrying case

PLUS + ALL COLORS++ (Total 10 Bottles)

FOUR – 30ml Foundation:
– Florence (light beige w/ yellow undertone)
– Cannes (natural beige w/ reddish undertone)
– Barcelona ( medium beige w/ reddish undertone)
– St. Tropez ( dark beige w/ yellow undertone)

TWO – 20ml Cheek Color:
– Malibu (light pink)
– Cancun (darker rose pink)

ONE – 20 ml Luminizer in Venice Gold (highlighter)
THREE – 30ml Cleaner and Thinner

Thanks to Sophie for inviting me to this fun & beautiful event. And thanks to Valerie for introducing me to Glambox.

Order online at / Available at the Suesh Showroom and Studio
For more information please contact Andrea Hontiveros
0922-8210172 / 02-985 4064 /

UNO’s Man Up! Fashion Show

More than those corporate attires which make you look very respectable but cramps one’s style, I prefer very comfortable, casual and feminine outfits. The most manly outfit I confess to wearing is oversized pajama tops.

So, when an invite came up to attend UNO magazine’s fashion show for 2009 with the theme “Man Up!” featuring women dressed in men’s attire, I became intrigued about how the collections would look. Would the models turn out manly-looking (a thought I was not too keen about)? But curiosity got the better of me and before long, I was part of the beautiful crowd that went to the NBC Tent at the Fort last Nov. 16.

At the entrance, I was greeted by RJ Ledesma, UNO’s editor-in-chief. Yes, there too was Chris Tan, the boss of Kring at who I first met at RJ’s book launch. Soon after, I spotted other blogger friends: Vince, Jayvee (also UNO’s Online Editor), Fritz, Noelle and Dhon. After a quick light meal at the buffet table spread out (c/o Tamayo’s Catering), Noelle, Fritz, Dhon and I found seats on one side of the runway. They announced free beer too (c/o San Miguel) but really now, I am not a beer drinker!

There were 4 stylists featured in the show: Mara Reyes (Gas, Bench and Diesel), Tricia Gosingtian (Massimo Dutti, Marithe et Francois Girbaud, and Levi’s), Xie Antonio (Gap, Celio, and DC), and Dominique Tiu (Blued, Raoul, and Marks&Spencer). This actually caught me delightfully surprised because it turns out that Tricia and Dominique are my oldest girl’s friends. Imagine that! So young and already bursting into the fashion scene!

The collections fortunately did not disappoint me. I thought they would all show up in striped suits like the invitation above! Good thing it was far from it. And it was fun to have Noelle beside me because while I had no idea who the models were, she’d lean towards me once in a while and give this fashion newbie her comments.

One fascinating thing she pointed out to me was the style where two men’s shirts were worn like a dress with parts of one shirt gathered at the back for that sheered look.

There were some clothes that really appealed to me. Classy yet sexy! Good for officewear. Great-looking for dinner out after.

For a first, this fashion show did show elements of men’s clothing although they did not bring it to the max yet as most of the styles were still more sexy than manly (which I actually liked, haha). Maybe they’ll be bolder next year and actually incorporate men’s clothing with a dash of femininity. That I’d like to see!

Here are some videos. The first one is from Dominique Tiu’s line; the second one is the parade of models towards the end of the show.

I did not go to the after-show party anymore at the For Members Only club but Noelle and I did get to have a few shots together, thanks to Fritz, our ultimate photographer! Thanks, Fritz.

And to everyone at UNO magazine and the 4 stylists, a big congratulations for a fantastic show. SEE YOU NEXT YEAR!

Get Fit and Designer-Fitted with Nestle Fitnesse

Over a year ago, I discovered Nestle Fitnesse cereal. It went well with my being a yoga practitioner as it was light enough for me to munch on even before a yoga class without that heaviness that goes with eating. Yet, it provided the energy and fiber that I needed. It was a healthy snack that I always had around the house. In fact, while many take their cereal with milk, I took mine straight out of the box. It was something I could just continue snacking on.

When I took on a consultancy project, I found myself staying late in the office. Again, Nestle Fitnesse cereal was my constant companion. I had a resealable container in one drawer always filled with the cereal. I especially liked the variety that had fruit in it.

See? Here is my current supply of Nestle Fitnesse & Fruit!

Now, guess what! Nestle Fitnesse is offering a challenge to all of you to get into the FASHION AND FITNESS mode.

If you’re wondering what the “14 DAYS” is on the lower right of the box, that’s exactly how long one of my favorite snacks is giving you and up to 8 of your friends to lose some pounds and win an entire designer’s wardrobe. And I don’t mean just any kind of wardrobe. Handpicked by the country’s top editors, the shortlisted wardrobe is a dream come true for a fashionista. “For the prizes in NESTLE FITNESSE’s 14 Days to Show off Your Shape, we found out what some of the country’s most stylish people want to have in their closets,” shares Myra Garcia, Consumer Marketing Manager, Nestle Fitnesse . “And in doing so, we were able to shortlist what’s arguably the most coveted designer wardrobe to hit Manila.”

Start your way to a fit life and get rewarded with a set of clothes that will make you look good in a new body.

Take a look at 3 of the 8 designer items up for grabs by the winners:






Are you tempted already by these luscious clothes? I am!

The rules are simple and fun, actually. Here are the mechanics:

14 Days to Fitness and Fashion

So what do you have to do to get a crack at Manila’s most coveted designer wardrobe?

Simply form a team of 2-8 members, and using Nestle Fitnesse’s 14-day meal plan, everyone in the team has to lose at least 2 pounds in 2 weeks. “No, 2 pounds is not that daunting, it only needs a few diet tweaks,” quips Myra Garcia. She explains that participants only need to replace breakfast and one of the main meals – either lunch or dinner–for 2 weeks.  She adds that to exercise as well as eating plenty of fruits, vegetables and low-fat, carbohydrate rich foods is the best way to complement the 14-day regimen.

And as part of the challenge, participants also need to chronicle their 14-day regimen via an online “fitness diary” accessed at <> . The Top 10 most popular FITNESSE 14-day diaries will make it into finals.

The Nestle Fitnesse 14 Days to Show off Your Shape will kick off on November 14, Saturday, 9am, with the voting period lasting from November 15 to December 3, 2009.  And as adjudged by Manila’s top style icons the winners will be announced on December 10, 2009 in a special fashion show.

“People who’ll join this challenge will have nothing to lose but pounds,” jests Myra Garcia.   “Not only do they win the fashionista closet of their dreams, but they walk away with health tips, tweaks and tricks during their 14-day challenge and continue on living a healthier, fitter and a more runway-ready lifestyle.”

For more information about Nestle Fitnesse’s 14 Days to Show off Your Shape, please log on to <> .

A Mother’s Day Clinique Day

I enjoy doing “girl” things with my daughters and mommy bloggers. And summer is really the best time to bond with them as there are no pressures of work or school.

So it was indeed an opportune time when Clinique put together a blogger event very close to Mother’s Day and invited my 2 girls as well as some of my mommy blogger friends.

When we got to the 5th floor of Rustan’s, I had no inkling whatsoever of what was in store. May Samson just hinted that it was going to be a very nice experience so, having enjoyed my last experience with them during my skin typing session with Noemi, I thought it would be similar. I wanted my girls skin-typed because they have a history of skin asthma and as a Clinique user while a student in the States, I knew that Clinique products were safe for them to use daily.

The first signs that this was no ordinary skin care event met us. The Clinique area was festive in green. Very cool to the eyes! I could not wait to take pictures…and take a bite of the varied hors d’ouevres they also had laid out for us.

The Clinique area in Rustan's Makati

The Clinique area in Rustan's Makati

The Clinique 3-Step Skin Care

The Clinique 3-Step Skin Care line

My girls with their Clinique bags

My girls with their Clinique bags

Holding my own Clinique bag

Holding my own Clinique bag

The girls went through their skin typing activity with the Clinique consultants available. I was their official photographer since I already had my skin typed. And guess what! We all turned out to be Type 2 (combination skin) so the 3-step Skin Care products we would eventually buy can be shared! Like mother, like daughters.

Posterity photo showing our common skin type

Yey, we're all Type 2!

While waiting for my girls to finish their skin typing, Malou Gagarin (who had previously done my skin typing) explained the foundation line of Clinique. Wow, they indeed came prepared with the different shades of foundation in large, plastic bottles for testing.There were also tiny green sample containers so we could take home foundation samples best suited for our skin tone.

Malou suggested I use foundation the color of my neck so that I just had to apply the foundation on my face in order to match the neck color. Yes, I used to apply foundation on my neck and try to even it out all over my face, neck & shoulders. Her suggestion saved me time and use of foundation. Now why did I not think of that before!!!

The best was yet to come, though.

In one corner of the area was a closed-off area, which I found to my delight, was an instant spa experience. All of us were treated to special pampering. We took turns on the bed as the consultants first took our makeup off, then went through a facial and arm massage using Clinique’s newly launched products from their Turnaround line: the Turnaround Body Smoothing Cream and the Turnaround Instant Facial Masque.

Turnaround Body Smoothing Cream Icon - INTL Turnaround Instant Facial Icon - INTL

I was curious about the Turnaround body smoothing cream since I still had a sample of an older product of Clinique’s (the Body Sloughing Cream) which I would use sparingly to rub on my knees and elbows while taking a bath. That older product continues to serve me well till now so I was happy to find out they were now offering it locally via this new Turnaround cream. The difference between my old sample and this one? The new body smoothing cream was cool to the touch. The grains I felt as the cream was rubbed on to my arms assured me that it was exfoliating and smoothening my arms at the same time. This product is great on shoulders, arms, elbows, and knees that need extra attention.

Facials are something I am extra careful of in salons because I watch the kind of products put on my sensitive skin. But I had no hesitation trying the Turnaround Instant Facial Masque, as Clinique is known for its hypoallergenic and non-acnegenic ingredients. No regrets. The facial mask tightened my skin and after they had removed it, my face felt so squeaky clean and soft.

Watch out for these products as they will be available this coming July 2009 in all Clinique counters.

Getting a facial and arm exfoliation at the same time. HEAVENLY!!!

Getting a facial and arm exfoliation at the same time. HEAVENLY!!!

My girl after the facial mask was applied

My girl after the facial mask was applied

My girl with Malou Gagarin applying makeup on her after her spa experience

My girl with Malou Gagarin reapplying makeup on her after her spa experience

Here’s a big shoutout to Clinique (thanks to May, Malou and the other consultants that day) for making this event not just a wonderful skin care one but something I was able to do with my girls. After all, fashion and makeup are common bonding conversation pieces with them and it allowed me to be both a MOTHER and a FRIEND to them that day.

Our day did not end there. We headed down to Clinique’s product counter to check out their Mother’s Day promo where I ended up treating myself to one of the available promo packages.

Clinique launched other product lines as well this May:

1. Derma White – six (6) products that help the skin become more resistant to UV rays, environmental and other external irritants while preventing future darkening.

2. Sun – a definite summer must-have line of products to protect the skin against the harmful rays of the sun that also includes a Self-Tan product for a sunless tan look.

3. Comfort on Call – a new product that helps the skin protect itself against external environmental irritants. Available by June 2009.

Beauty Time with Clinique’s 3-Step Skin Care

Clinique's 3-step Solution

My history with Clinique goes waaaayyy back to the years when I was in the States taking my masters degree. Being one with sensitive skin, I always relied on Clinique products which are all allergy-tested and 100% fragrance free. Clinique is not known for being cheap; I had to scrimp and save in order to buy the products I wanted to use. So whenever my late sister-in-law, who lived in Canada then the US,  visited us she regularly gifted me with Clinique products.

Out of the blue, my friend Noemi invites me to a Clinique skin-typing. YEY! We went to Rustan’s Makati and had ourselves “typed” by Clinique. With us also were Noemi’s daughter Lauren and her friend Nikki.

Clinique’s 3-Step Skin Care System is Cleanse-Exfoliate-Moisturize. Cleansing removes dirt and oil (if you use makeup/foundation, you need a facial cleanser prior to the 3-Step Care. Exfoliating removes dead skin from the surface that make our skin look rough, dull, and flaky and helps skin renew faster. Moisturizing brings back the moisture into the already clean skin to keep it soft and hydrated.

My beauty consultant for the day was Malou Gagarin.

The first step was to analyze my skin type. Clinique categorizes skin types into 4:

The 4 skin types


You Are Beautiful Despite Your Flaws

Look into the mirror. What do you notice first? Do you immediately notice your flaws — that big nose, crooked teeth, a birthmark, freckles, wrinkles or lines?

In our society, beautiful women are those who are considered flawless. Beauty products are geared towards eliminating such flaws or at the very least, concealing these. The beauty standards women are held up to often make us feel uncomfortable going out in public without doing something about the flaws that make us un-pretty.

But last night, C1 and I attended the launch of an unusual collection of pictures and stories of ordinary women by famed fashion photographer and model, Sara Black.

Sara Black

Dove, as part of its Campaign for Real Beauty, collaborated with Sara Black to produce the book When I Look in the Mirror.


Featured in Sara’s first book are 50 women who, at first glance, are beautiful. A number of women featured in this book are familiar to me: Maan Hontiveros, Cris Villonco, Wilma Doesnt, Aimee Marcos. But a large majority of those featured are ordinary women just like me. And it is only upon close inspection that you realize that they are far from flawless. Each one of them has a facial mark.

The amazing thing about how they were captured by Sara though was that she captured each woman’s true beauty essence. Each portrait picture showed the woman’s unique and individual beauty. Every page of the book had the woman’s story. I leafed through some of the stories and I identified more and more with them. These women were real women with natural beauty.

Dove slogan: Campaign for Real Beauty

We bumped into a young lady about the age of my girl C1. C1 was immediately attracted to her. “Mom, I LOVE her Oxford shoes!!!” So I approached the young lady and asked if they could have a picture wearing their Oxfords.

KC Pusing

It was only later that I realized KC Nina Pusing was one of the featured women in Sara’s book and it was because she had a birthmark.

KC up close

In yoga, my teacher told me that it was acceptance of one’s body (flaws and all) that we needed to learn. Instead of being impatient that we were inflexible or could not execute a pose as well as the one beside us, we just had to accept that this was where we were at this point in time. We are taught to push our bodies only as far as we could make it go and in time, the body would just naturally bend with more flexibility.

Sara Black’s focus on women with flaws is a definite statement for us who can enumerate a litany of defects whenever we look at our face and body in the mirror instead of seeing the beauty that stares back at us. Sara told me, as she was signing the books I held out for her, that she really admired the women for allowing her to catch them up close, flaws and all, for this book. Sara, who so often captures the beauty of people in fashion, admirably states: “This book is my reaction to working in an industry that can sometimes be so overly obsessed with perfection. Sometimes, so many alterations are made to a person’s face to remove “imperfections.” These perfect images of women put a lot of pressure on other women who end up thinking that it’s their benchmark or standard of beauty, but in reality that really isn’t how the model looks.”

I attended this event primarily to accompany C1, who was the REAL guest of Dove Philippines here as she is one of the bloggers featured in their Real Thoughts page. But after talking to Sara and after meeting a real person like KC, I came away knowing I could confidently look myself in the mirror and see my flaws but still be able to look beyond them and come closer to what yoga teaches — acceptance, contentment, love.

The photo exhibit of Sara Black showcasing the women of When I Look in the Mirror will be at The Gallery, second floor of Greenbelt 5 till March 22.