Monday, May 31

photos; The garden.

It rained a bit the day I took these photos, so the lighting was different. I liked it. (Baby albino cactus, yay!)

YouTube pet peeve #1: When doing costume/dramatic makeup, please don't say things like, "Blend the foundation/blush so that it looks natural." The fact that it is costume/dramatic makeup means that it is clearly not meant to be natural! Please don't be confusing! If you are applying a foundation that is supposed to make you look like a vampire, you are not going for a natural look! Please use words like "subtle" if describing unnatural contouring, or maybe "seamless" for blending. There are so many other words out there -- please wield them with relish!

This might just be me being a wordnerd, but I am watching Michelle Phan's "Tim Burton" makeup tutorial and after using foundation 1-2 shades lighter than her actual shade, she tells the world to then use translucent powder to "keep it natural." MP. You're doing a look inspired by Tim-effin'-Burton. There's nothing natural about it. :| not the words I'd use!

Aaaaand, exhale. I will now eat a salad. With ranch dressing. Yum.

Sunday, May 30

blog; Heritage.

So...are you Japanese?

I laugh whenever someone asks that question. It usually happens when I'm talking about music I like (Japanese pop/rock), celebrities I adore (girls named Keiko Kitagawa, Ryoko Kobayashi, and singers named Jin Akanishi), or languages I'm learning (Japanese). Yes, I love Japan. It's got a fabulous culture, awesome history (samurai and ninjas? So there!), and very pretty clothes.

But I am not Japanese.

The only time I ever lie about being Japanese? With people I don't want to know. That involves strangers at the club, people who come up to me in random places, and -- forgive me for my meanness -- the really Japanese-obsessed anime fans who think dressing up like Naruto is a great way to meet Japanese friends. In addition to lying about my ethnicity, I also lie about my name, location, and general history. It's a thing I do to prevent people from finding me. I've lived all over the place, let me tell you!

But seriously. Not Japanese.

I'm Filipina. And I'm happy to be Filipina. I'm very proud to be Filipina -- we're a strong, spirited people and we have really great food. Our language is quirky and our country is rarely cold, if ever. I was born and raised in the Philippines until I came here to California, and the Philippines is where my heart will stay.

I love our sandy beaches and our islands, our warm rainfall and our mountains. I love Metro Manila. The boardwalk. I love Malabon, I love Bulacan, where my family lives. I'm no longer used to living there, but I love it there. I love tropical sunshine and being in the middle of the ocean. I'm forgetting bits and pieces now, more often than before, but I've lived in California much longer than I lived in the Philippines, so it's understandable.

I don't speak much Tagalog. My accent? All skewed. Can I read? A little. Can I write? Probably not. Can I still recite the entire Filipino alphabet? Don't ask me to do that, please. But not knowing those things doesn't make me any less Filipina, does it? I look and act and speak like a tourist whenever I go visit, but I don't think I'm any less Filipina than my cousins who live there. I still take off my shoes whenever I go into someone's house. I wear chinelas. I can't really function without kanin and ulam. Whenever I meet lolos or lolas or even titos and titas, I still touch my forehead to their hands. I'm always surprised whenever people are surprised that I do that. It's a sign of respect, back home. I still remember. I still do it. I still say opo when I answer to people older than myself. Sometimes, I still speak English with a Filipino accent.

A couple of years ago, it was very in vogue for Filipinas to pretend they were of mixed ethnicities, but never actually Filipina. They'd say they were Chinese-Spanish, or Malaysian-Japanese...all these other ethnicities that weren't Filipina. I remember trying it out. It felt funny. Strange. I stopped doing it. I didn't get why other Pinays did that. Was it so bad just being Filipina? I never asked them for their reasons. Maybe they just fell into the trend like I did. Or maybe they just didn't like themselves. Hmmm.

There's nothing wrong with being Filipina. Despite the fact that I've lived in America much longer than I've lived in the Philippines, I don't think I'll ever describe myself as Filipina-American.

Being American is fine -- it's where I live, where I thrive. But being Filipina is who I am. And I'm who I am before I'm where I live.

I have never been unhappy being Filipina.

So...are you Japanese? Chinese? Vietnamese? No, I'm Filipina.
But you like Japanese guys and Japanese music. So? What's your point?

blog; formspring

Don't know what it is, exactly, but it looks interesting.

Find me at Formspring: kontext

Puns for the win!

Thursday, May 27

blog; Makeup for glasses,

courtesy of Michelle Phan.

I didn't do that teal eye shadow thing, though. I was just playing around, anyway. I didn't even put on concealer and foundation, haha.

I picked up a couple of things from the CVS Beauty Clearance sale that's going on. Items with stickers on them are either 50% or 75% off. I picked up mascara. You guys don't understand how much I needed new mascara. I'd been running off my Rimmel Glam'Eyes since 2010 started. That stuff was starting to clump something fierce. Admittedly, I had the Rimmel SexyCurves as a backup, but...we just won't go there. (Hey, self, maybe you should review those two before you chuck 'em? Ooh, good idea...)

Anyway, the CVS I frequent had pretty slim pickings, but I managed to snag two mascaras nonetheless. (I'm willing to try out any mascara that isn't the Maybelline Great Lash.)

I might hunt around another CVS for more mascara, but with these two and that L'Oreal Voluminous WP I got from Target on the cheap ($5US instead of the usual $8US, yer yer yer!), I've got some time to kill.

Using the Rimmel Volume FLASH Mousse for the next three months. MakeupAlley reviews made me worry, but it's left a pretty good first impression on me so far~

Juxtaposing these two pictures just looks so bizarre...

Anyway, my lashes feel nice and soft (must be the mousse texture) and they're lengthened. The 5x volume is pretty much a lie from what I'm seeing, but I'm willing forgive it for the lengthening. I really am. (When it comes to mascara, I'm pretty easy to please.)

Rimmel, with your awesome foundation and your yummy-smelling lipsticks, plus these nice mascaras, you're fast becoming one of my top drugstore brands...!

Wednesday, May 26

photos; la reina de flora

That would be my mum, by the way. She has a fantastic green thumb -- the kind I didn't inherit, sadly. The flowers under her care bloom wild and happy and ostentatious, and when I step outside, I'm greeted by colour: soft watercolour pastels and in-your-face neon brights. Viridians, vermilions, violets -- colour hits my eyes and startles me. And then there are the textures! Leaves, buttery-smooth or the slightest bit spiked at the edges; silk-soft petals and rubbery stems.

Here are some of the flowers under her care.

Have a good day.

Monday, May 24

blog; .maitai's epic giveaway

.maitai from a .maitai a day is having what she calls "An Epic Giveaway" in her blog, where she's giving away a $60US gift certificate for anything on You know what $60US can get me on that site? Some new shoes.

You can check out her giveaway post HERE.

Sunday, May 23

blog; Yagolicious giveaway.

Yagolicious Lipstick & Paint Quad

Lipstick --Blue Roses & Paint Quad --Diva

Nikki from EWWITSNIKKI @ is having a giveaway! Never heard of Yagolicious, but giveaways are always fun. :) click on the photo to go to the contest entry!

blog; ELF haul!

On Friday night, my favourite glamour-girl and one-and-only stylist ARES graduated from cosmetology school! How absolutely exciting. I, along with the rest of her friends, decided to go to her grad night to show her our support and our joy at her achievement -- in addition to tagging along to the club/bar where she'd be celebrating her final night at the school as a student. ARES was gorgeous as always (blonde curls with a cute headband, and a denim-tulle dress...yes, you read that right!) and there was a fair bit of crying, but they were happy tears, I'm sure!

ARES' cosmetology classmates, me, and DS.

The celebration took place at Mai Tai in Long Beach, which is a club/bar...though it's more of a bar than a club, that's for sure. It was a pretty place, but it was kind of small and there wasn't an actual dance floor to speak of. I rarely go out at night, but when I do I have certain expectations -- dance-related expectations -- and these were not met! Oh well. It wasn't a bad time, all in all. Got home at half-past three and knocked out almost immediately.

I woke up late on Saturday to my kid brother telling me I had a package!

"A package?" I asked groggily. I went to check. I smiled.

Everything that isn'ta Studio Line brush is a gift for my friend Hilly. :)

Man, for $3US a pop, the Studio brushes are super soft! They smelled odd when they came out of their packaging, but that's why you wash a recently-acquired brush is all I'm sayin'. I've never had a foundation brush before so I want to see how it's different from a duo-fiber foundation brush like the MAC 130 I've got. Exciting!~ (I am expecting a lot out of that flat-top powder brush, by the way, if its reviews are anything to go by.)

In other news I spent 30 minutes on the "My Fitness Coach" for the Wii and my fictional personal trainer Maya is a demoness. I am all kinds of "ouch! SORE :(" and it is not fun, I tell ya. I'd better have some great results after three weeks of this...

Thursday, May 20

blog; Good day today.

(Today was a really good day~)

I didn't get much of a chance to write about here, but a week or so ago my friend K informed me that UK cosmetics brand Pixi was going to have a really fantastic sale going on in Culver City on this date. It was a one-day sale of Pixi products for a whopping 90% off! I live pretty close to Culver City -- maybe a half-hour drive on a good day, less if the 405 freeway is being especially sweet -- so I told her I wanted to tag along. The sale was going on from 8am -, yeah, I decided to play hooky and go check out some Pixi makeup. Shhhh!

We wanted to get to the sale early, so we did; we were there by 9 or 9:30am. That's about the time I get up to start getting ready for class, so I was so space-cased like you wouldn't believe, but I perked up when I saw the sale -- Pixi cosmetics (they're sold at Target usually) are usually $12-$32.00US were being sold for $5US...max.

I was ready to pull out that debit card like a Hilton heiress, let me just say, when K told me the devastating news: cash only.

I was ready to stalk out and head to the nearest bank right then and there, but the nice man who was manning the sales very nicely said I could go shopping first and he would my purchases on hold when I go withdraw money at the nearest bank (a Wells Fargo). I was touched, told him thank you, and then K and I stepped into battle --

okay, it wasn't really a battle. It was a little suite office filled with boxes upon boxes of Pixi makeup and two impeccably-dressed Pixi salesgirls. There were already a few women browsing, but it wasn't like some madhouse, for which I was fervently glad. K and I wandered around, the salesgirls handed us some plastic bags, and K was absolutely indiscriminate -- if she saw it, and she liked it, it went in her bag.

I was a little bit more frugal. K had money to spend. I did too, but at a much lesser capacity. So I picked and poked around, skipped lip cosmetics -- I've got enough lipsticks to last me a while -- and the giant palettes -- haha, yeah, my Profusion 88 palette and Giovi 120 palette don't even have dents in them! -- completely, and focused on blushers (my current obsession) and maybe a a shadow palette or something for my friend Hilly. (She hits me when I get her things, but I know secretly she loves it. She should stop the playacting...or I'll bruise!)

I ended up getting about ten things, which cost $15US. I needed fifteen dollars because I have a slight case of obsessive-compulsive disorder and if I can round things to the nearest five or number divisible by four, I do it. I also turn doorknobs and lock-unlock them before I go to bed. I'm weird, I know.

K ends up getting so much more than myself, calls it a day, and we head to pay. K offers to pay for my stuff, but I'm iffy. I really feel weird about that sort of thing, you know! I give my bag to the nice man to hold while I run down to the bank and withdraw some money --

and K, that scheming, beautiful, wonderful woman, gives her purchases to the guy and says, "Paying for both." Like it's nothing! Like that isn't an extra fifteen dollars out of her wallet. I gape at her like a fish, sputter out, "A-are you sure?!" and the girl just nods and takes out some cash. Wham. Bam. Thank you, ma'am.

(I was still fish-gaping.)

She walks out like nothing out of the ordinary just happened, and when we get to her car she's just like, "Let's go to Denny's!"

My friends are amazing.

We actually ended up going to a Coco's, mostly because we needed a bathroom something fierce. We had a little too much fun with all the testers back at the sale and our hands were makeup palettes (why didn't we think to bring wipes?), so we washed up and were just wondering what else we could do when V, one of K's friends, shoots her a text message to say she just arrived at the sale. K and I exchanged glances and went straight back to see her, since K rarely saw V while V was studying at UCLA. I met V -- she was a sweetheart! -- and K ended up getting one last purchase: a shade of blusher she didn't get the first time around. She also found this one eye shadow palette thing I'd wanted when we arrived, but it was out of stock and apparently they just restocked it then. She paid for that, too, and then V had to go head back to school with her purchases and K and I were back to where we started.

K decided on finding food. I said "aye" and we headed to Little Tokyo.

left: me in K's car -- I just like making stupid faces.
right: random painting I snapped at the Little Tokyo Galleria~

In Little Tokyo, there is a hole-in-the-wall restaurant called スエヒロ, or Suehiro. The word means "folding fan" in Japanese, and it serves some delicious food for pretty decent prices. (Standard dishes include rice bowls, curries, cutlets and soups.) I don't get to visit Little Tokyo often, so I was surprised when I saw that Suehiro had a new dish on their menu: Hayashi rice. Hayashi rice is a kind of savory beef stew served over white rice, and I'd never actually had it before, but I'd seen it on a drama called "Meteor Bond" (流星の絆) starring some really attractive Japanese guys. I was pretty intrigued, so I ordered it -- and Suehiro did not disappoint.

left: I look unenthusiastic, but it was just hot outside.
right: my Hayashi rice dish. 美味しそう! (Looks good!)

This Hayashi rice is beef, onions, tomatoes, mushrooms and garlic (I think?) simmered in a brown gravy flavoured with red wine. The sauce itself was savoury and sweet without being too overpowering, and the beef wasn't as tender as I'd like but it was still a pleasure to eat. This dish cost me $8US and comes with the usual miso soup. If you ever stop by Suehiro's, I'd recommend it. Suehiro can be found right across the street from Little Tokyo's Miyako Hotel.

(I cleaned that bowl, by the way. No grain of rice was left behind!)

K and I walked around a bit -- a whole serving of Hayashi rice made me feel a little sluggish, and then she went to drop me off home before she went to try and beat rush hour traffic. I thanked her, went inside, had a little nap, and woke up remembering that I had a whole bunch of Pixi makeup in my bag.

Now you get spammed with pictures. Haul ti~me!

(I ♥ my eco bag! Mousepeace 2008!)

All this cost about $15.00US. The smokey palette alone is $18.00US retail.

Today was just really fun. And as if this Pixi haul wasn't enough, I came home to THIS announcement by Becky from EVERYDAY MAKEUP, telling me that I won her Hana flat iron giveaway. When I read the announcement (twice! Just to make sure!), I screamed. I couldn't help it! I'm so lucky my brothers didn't think I was having a seizure or something like that!

K, Becky, thanks for making today absolutely awesome. :)

And's time for a workout.

Wednesday, May 19

photos; Baby haul 19 May 2010

Jeez, California, give us more spring days, will you? (Especially as we're already heading into summer territory?)

Snap of the day. :)

This week, Rite-Aid is having a BOGO Free sale for everything Wet 'n Wild. I walked on over hoping they'd replaced their old display with some really good stuff from the new line -- ColorIcon palettes! -- and was met with a nearly-empty and not!updated display of Wet 'n Wild products. sigh.

Anyway, I bought some stuff anyway. And I saw the limited edition NYC makeup stuff with a $1 off manufacturer's coupon sitting right I took a coupon and the last tube of NYC's new cream blush stick in "Pink Flash" along with four new Wet 'n Wild eyeliner pencils.

Wet 'n Wild pencil eyeliner in 648 Taupe not shown.

The NYC cream blush stick looks wild on my hand and in the tube, but it isn't bad blended out. Anyway, haven't tested it for lasting power, but clearly the pigmentation is quite nice. As for the Wet 'n Wild eyeliners...they were $0.99US each and buy one, get one free. So it was like saving $2US for four pigmented pencils -- one for brows and three for fun.

I used one of the new liners I've got for a blue look -- 667 Deep Blue -- and it's so nice and creamy and smudgy. I love Wet 'n Wild pencil liners. They're so inexpensive but fun! The colour payoff is really good, too. I might go back and get a couple more in the bronze colour... (Of course they smudge and fade eventually but they're decent, especially for the price!)

eyes; Wet 'n Wild shadows & liner
cheeks; NYC cream blush stick, Pink Flash

Okay, I swear that this is the last of my spending!

...except for tomorrow when Pixi is having that 90% off super-sale.

Oh, my poor debit card...!