Saturday, June 25

I've finally hit pan on something!

C.O. Bigelow's Rose Salve that I use mainly as a lip balm.

As you can see, there's a nice, big spot in the middle of that pot of balm that shows the shiny bottom, lol. I bought this pot of Rose Salve at a B&BW some time ago and I've been using it on my lips every night to keep things moisturized. It actually smells like roses, which may put off some people, but I'm not particularly bothered by it in any way. My relationship with roses is pretty neutral.

The salve claims to be "all-purpose," which I assume means it moisturizes any part of the body that needs moisturizing, such as cuticles and rough elbows and knees. I never used it anywhere except my lips. I used my fingers to apply the product, and I always washed my hands before and after use. I never double-dipped, instead applying a first coat of balm with the index finger and dipping my middle or ring fingers into the pot again if I needed more balm. I know that a lot of people are put off by pot balms for sanitation reasons, but I tried to keep things as clean as possible. This stuff goes on my lips.

This product is "Developed by Bigelow Chemists." and is "Not Tested on Animals."

The ingredients are as follows: Petrolatum, Lanolin Oil, Squalane, Flavor (Aroma), Octyldodecanol, Gossypium Herbaceum (Cotton) Seed Oil, Rosa Canina Fruit Extract, Bisbolol, Jojoba Esters, Red 30 Lake (CI 73360)

Directions: Pat on anytime as needed to care for lips and anything that needs a fix.

● Smooths onto the lips quite nicely.
● Has a pleasing rose scent. (This is a personal opinion.)
● Moisturizes the lips well over the course of one night.
● Has no odd taste whatsoever.
● Although it looks quite pinky red in the pot, is mostly transparent or at least very sheer on the lips.
● Product melts well with the heat of a finger for good application.
● Fair price for the amount of product. This was perhaps $6USD for 0.8oz or 22g of product, which lasted me...a very long time, especially since I only use this once every night.

● Pot form may be a turn off for some people due to sanitation reasons.
● The lid can sometimes be a real bitch to open.
● A little too slippery/greasy to use on cuticles or rough patches. (This is a personal opinion.)

Would I repurchase? No. It's a decent balm but I'm not really wowed by it enough to purchase it again. I'll go back to my nightly routine of using Vitamin A&D ointment for my lips once I use up the pot, which is a petrolatum base infused with said vitamins that help moisturize the skin. (It's widely used by breastfeeding women to help soothe sore and cracked nipples, which says something for its moisturizing properties, I think.) The rose scent may be lacking but to me they do the same thing, which is prevent my lips from drying out at night.

I've also used up a tube of my favorite cleanser! I love it so much that I massacred the tube just to finish the product up to the last remnants.

Pond's White Beauty Facial Foam, bought in the Philippines.

The top part of this tube is somewhere in the trash after I scooped out the product with a couple of cotton swabs and moved them to a pot container. I kept the bottom for photographic evidence, hehehe. This stuff is amazing -- I love the Pond's White Beauty cleanser. When I was in the Philippines during December 2010-January 2011 I realized just how much impact whitening products had on the Philippine beauty community: commercials for whitening products were always on, and there were even salons that specialized in skin bleaching! (I personally would never go for "skin bleaching" but different folks, different strokes, right?)

I don't actually use this cleanser purely for its whitening properties. Instead I love the way my skin feels very refreshed after every use and I find that it cleanses my skin really well. It lathers up into a very luxurious-feeling foam that glides over my skin and its whitening properties help fade acne/brown spots on my face helping me achieve a more even skin tone.

One of my many backup tubes, hehe.

Here are its product claims, directions for use, recommended associated products, and list of ingredients. I'll do a review on this product later on. :)

Friday, June 24

I don't know what it is but I like it

My body still complains about my working out, but I've learned to ignore the mild aches and pains and keep going nonetheless. The Thursday session was a breather day, but I shouldn't let up because cravings seem to be getting the best of me and I polished off my last bag of Ruffles Sour Cream and Cheddar chips today...

Thursday, 23 June 2011:
flexibility training for 15 minutes, burning 19 calories

By the way, has anyone watched JK Rowling's announcement about Pottermore? My friends and I were so excited about it, and I was the last one to register my email address. Apparently Pottermore is going to be some sort of online, interactive site where Potterheads can sign on and discuss everything related to the series -- it's essentially an official fan forum, I guess? Rowling didn't really divulge much, but she did say she was also going to be participating in the site, revealing facts, trivia, and secrets she'd been "hoarding" all about Potterverse, so I think that's what I'm looking forward to learning the most. The site doesn't open until October, but you can register your email at the website for an alert of the actual opening day. That's four months away but I'm already super excited! ♥

Check out the site if you're interested in the Potterverse:

Wednesday, June 22

walk it off, walk it off

Tuesday, 21 June 2011:
lower body strength training for 15 minutes, burning 15 calories

I had to go back down to 15 minutes since my Sunday workout kind of killed me, haha.

Monday, June 20

I'll feel this in the morning

I definitely feel out of shape after having struggled through a workout that used to be fairly easy to me. Seems I've regressed a lot! Maya likes to keep reminding me by remaining effervescent and cheerful through each of our exercises. Thanks, Maya.

Sunday, 19 June 2011:
core strength training for 30 minutes, burning 33 calories

And just now I was feeling a little bored so I messed around with makeup and a very bright camera flash. ㅋㅋㅋ

Now I just have to wash it all off...thank goodness for my eye makeup remover!

Sunday, June 19

photos at LACMA

Just a few photos I took on Thursday, 16 June 2011, during my trip with friends to LACMA. The Tim Burton exhibit didn't allow photography, but I went camera crazy in other exhibits, lol. Of course I can't post all the photos...because I took over a hundred of them. But here are some of me and my friends being weird!

Balloon Boy was just standing around near the ticket booth to let all the LACMA visitors know about the Burton exhibit. He was really hard to miss but a little difficult to photograph since so many people kept walking around him!

The entrance to the Tim Burton exhibit. Tickets are $20.

Little area outside the Ahmanson Building that was very fun and weird.
I can't explain was an area where lots of plastic noodles hung. Yeah.

I also visited the Korean art exhibit and saw this!

Fooling around in the Contemporary Art Building.

The weekend has become my resting time from the eventful few days before it, but I have a Sunday appointment with Maya. Let's ramp it up to thirty minutes for this workout!

Friday, June 17

a day at LACMA

Sporting purple aviators from Ray-Bans!

Today I went with friends to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, better known by its abbreviation: LACMA. It is an intensely beautiful museum that can be found near the intersection of the Wilshire and Fairfax Boulevards in Los Angeles, and carries a great collection of art from various parts of the world. The lure of today's escapades was undoubtedly the very popular Tim Burton exhibition showing from now until Halloween 2011. Unfortunately, photography was not allowed within the exhibition so I can't really post any teaser pictures, but I highly recommend it to anyone interested in visiting the museum. It's a must-see for anyone who has ever seen a Burton work and thought to themselves, "Well, where in the world did this idea come from?"

I'll readily admit that I'm not a hardcore Burton fan, and I have no shame in writing this down. In fact, the Burton fan within my group of friends is undoubtedly my artist friend Tracy, who has always had an affinity for the creepy-looking. She was also the first person to introduce me to Burton via the famous animated film, "The Nightmare Before Christmas," which I found highly intriguing because it was a really atypical Disney movie. But even I could really appreciate the exhibit, which showed a lot of work from Burton's younger years, including some of his art portfolio from his time as a student in CalARTS. The exhibition also featured some of his writings -- cool poetry -- and even some of his preliminary film projects as a CalARTS student and when he was only starting out with Disney! I found it incredibly fascinating to have been able to look inside the mind of a famous artist whose work influences even the very young, giving them something other than the cotton candy, Disney Princess fluff that I've been fed during my childhood. (Not that there's anything wrong with Disney Princess fluff, because everyone could use some cotton candy now and again, but you can't appreciate the "light" without some "dark" to offset it, which Burton's work does.)

I now have a new appreciation for Burton's art, his work, and most especially his philosophy. Some people may talk about his work being gothic-romantic or something, but I think it's more satirical than anything. His style lends itself to his voice, and his work continually trips up the "romanticist ideal," of everyone being beautiful and of love being perfect. Life is a messy work, love can make people do some crazy things -- like tear themselves apart, hello, Sally! -- and everyone is "mad as a Hatter" even if they think they're completely justified to be a loon. Burton's characters are not perfect little heroes; most of the time they're incredibly flawed beings who get stuck in their own heads, thinking they're right while everyone else is wrong. Meanwhile everyone else thinks they're right and the character is wrong, and signals are missed, communication handled badly, and everything gets worse before it even begins to get better. Because that's real life, and Burton wants everyone to know that's how he sees it. And there's not much gothic or romantic about it. If anything, it's downright macabre.

Basically, I think Burton's brain is a combination of Edgar Allan Poe's and Doctor Seuss' minds. I don't think anyone expects those two to collaborate, but they do in Burton, and then you get the weirdest little fairy tales anyone ever did see. And from a literary standpoint, I absolutely find it brilliant. I love the macabre. I love it twisted and faulty and wrong, because it's not pretty and it's something people need to get over. And I think -- this really is just my personal opinion I'm writing down -- that Tim Burton sees it that way, too.

I recommend this exhibit. It's just a real treat, and the rest of LACMA isn't bad, either.

I would just advise wearing only the comfiest of walking shoes, because I walked almost nonstop with my friends for about ten hours just to try and see most of the place and I am going to be sore when I wake up. As it is, I've planned another day out with my sisters to go and see "Green Lantern" and I'm sure I'll be walking very slowly to the cinema. Whatever, it'll be fun. :)

I was meant to work out with Maya today, but I didn't get around to it, having returned home at a pretty late hour and being too tired to turn on the Wii. I've got no problem booting up the old laptop though!

This summer, it looks like I'm going to get in touch with my artistic side again. ♥ Feels good.

Wednesday, June 15

at the park

Today, I enjoyed a long day at the park and at a botanical garden with a few friends. It's where I encountered the lovely sunflower in the above photo and realized the awkward truth that my face is actually the darkest part of my body, being the only thing that's been regularly seeing sunlight for the past several months now. I'm not sure whether I should start wearing hats or applying fake tanner. Maybe the hats would be a better idea.

Here are just a handful of photos I chose from my 100+ photo batch; I went a little wild with the digital camera, lol. The park was really beautiful today. :)

Today involved a fair bit of walking, but it's probably nothing compared to our trip to LACMA tomorrow. I'm looking forward to it; my camera's battery is all charged! It seems sunblock is an absolute must for my face, so I think I'll pack my spray sunblock with me for quick reapplications! As strange as it sounds, I'll try to lighten my face to match the rest of me this summer. :)

Maya and CSULA

Tuesday is my first day back with my Wii and the My Fitness Coach virtual workout game. I don't really use the Wii for actual games anymore; a majority of my interest is for My Fitness Coach only. This game helps you achieve a more active lifestyle by creating a "custom-made" workout regimen for you dependent on your fitness goal. These goals include weight loss, cardio, upper/lower/core strength, and flexibility. You can choose your personal goal, but if you're not sure where to start, the game has physical evaluations that test your fitness level in each category and tell you where you are weakest. For me, my weakest area is my upper body strength, meaning I have noodle arms. Although my workouts are aiming to help me build up strength in my arms and shoulders, the game doesn't at all neglect the rest of my body. Each workout session focuses on a different area so that you don't strain a particular part of your body and everything works in harmony.

The virtual trainer in My Fitness Coach is Maya, a very fit lady with short hair pulled back in a ponytail and a no-nonsense attitude. Maya takes no excuses and works you every minute of your session, and she doesn't let up. Then again, she's not real so she doesn't get tired. Lucky woman. Sessions last in increments of fifteen -- 15, 30, 45, 60, and 75 minutes, depending on how hardcore you feel that day, and there's a water break every fifteen minutes. Usually. Each workout comes with your choice of environments and music; more environments and music are unlocked the longer you stick to your workout schedule. It's pretty fun, considering it's a real workout, no punches pulled, and I think results are visible, if not gradual. Working out with Maya is fun, even if I complain and cuss at her while I'm struggling through pushups, and I hardly feel forced to keep going. Even though Maya's a fictional trainer made of pixels and good intentions, she can be really motivating!

This first workout back with her lasted for only fifteen minutes and focused on cardio, my second-weakest area after upper body strength. Before I stopped regular workouts with Maya I was capable of lasting through a forty-five minute session with plenty of complaints, but since I'd fallen off the wagon I thought it was best to start slow. Turns out I'm not as rusty as I thought I was, since the fifteen minutes passed like a few heavy breaths, so perhaps next Tuesday I'll try for thirty minutes.

Tuesday, 14 June 2011:
cardio for fifteen minutes, burning 39 calories

All photos courtesy of me.

On Saturday, the 4th of June 2011, I went with my friend to Cal State University Los Angeles to view an art gallery. The theme of the gallery was "Here Tomorrow, Gone Today" and featured work from student artists. My friend Tracy, who recently graduated from CSU Long Beach, is an art major. She was invited to view the gallery by one of the featured artists and invited me along; of course I agreed. This was my first art gallery and it was, without a doubt, very inspiring.

Plastic Surgery by Ryan Copriviza & Google 65 Roses by Dominic Quagliozzi

I wish I could say that each piece spoke to me; that every piece of work I saw was full of emotion and a message so strong it was branded in my brain and my heart and the very essence of me -- but that's just purple prose and I don't exactly have the eyes of an artist. I will say that the featured students were all really creative and I was impressed by the variety of mediums they used to carry their messages and interpretations of the gallery's theme. Being the daughter of a nurse and a nurse-to-be myself, I was of course drawn to these two pieces: Plastic Surgery on the left and Google 65 Roses on the right. Plastic Surgery's interpretation of the theme was strongest to me -- the artist took disease and its transmission through blood carried Ryan's message of: "Disease will always be here tomorrow, but you might not live through today." Dominic's piece held less meaning for me, though the message was similar, but I really admired the medium he used; it's not every day I walk into a gallery and see sixty-five balloons just dangling from the ceiling.

Deconstruction/Reconstruction by Wayne Michels & Untitled by Zoee Sciarotta

Although I could relate much better to the pieces above, these two works were actually my favorites. Deconstruction/Reconstruction shows the fickle world of an artist, and the constantly-changing world of art itself. Wayne uses ceramics to show how ideas evolve, shift, and are continually taken apart and put back together in newer, more innovative ways for the sake of that thing called "art." As for Zoee's work, I'm just a real sucker for photographs, and the way her pictures came out just held me. In the pamphlet given to everyone who came to view the gallery, Zoee wrote that she wanted to show the "pliability of human memory," which I connect to the haziness of her photographs. Sometimes, you can never really be sure of your own thoughts, right?

Captivity by Diana Madriaga & Winchester Bride by JadeMadeCouture

These were two of the most confusing pieces for me in the way that I just didn't understand how they connected to the gallery's theme, but I'm in love with one while mostly apathetic towards the other. Captivity charmed me in the way it was such an organic work; it was the only piece in the gallery that wasn't in the building. Instead it was down a little walkway just beyond the exit, little glass jars hung from the branches of a nearby tree. I didn't have to understand it to think of it as a beautiful and original work, and I only wish I had more time (and light!) to take more pictures of it, especially as a whole. Meanwhile, Winchester Bride just confused me, and the feeling remained even after I read its entry in the gallery pamphlet.

There were other pieces, two sets of paintings and another set of photographs, but I didn't have much interest in them to really photograph them. There was also a movie thing in a secluded part of the gallery, but it was way too much trouble to photograph moving pictures, not to mention it actually made me dizzy to look at it for much longer than a minute. Nonetheless, for my first experience in an art gallery, I was amazed by the student artists of my generation, and more than that, I was really inspired. Another thing I didn't realize was that they serve snacks during these things! Chocolate-covered strawberries? Score!

After we had our fill of art -- and perhaps strawberries -- Tracy and I went back home, stopping at her house to brainstorm over a restaurant for her birthday dinner and being treated to the Elephant Bar in Torrance by her mum. Thanks, Mommy! ♥ It was a very refreshing day in my usually humdrum life, and I told Tracy that if she ever felt like going on an art kick again, she could count on me to come along.

As it is, on Thursday our gang is planning to head down to LACMA to view the Tim Burton exhibit. Score! Will blog about how it goes, I promise.

Also by Diana Madriaga.

And we'll end it here with this charming wooden acorn left woefully alone in a corner of the gallery. Neither Tracy and I had no idea whose work it was...or if it even belonged there.

Monday, June 13

2011 summer blog renewal

The first leisure reading of the summer is Neil Gaiman's Coraline, which is a part-fantasy and part-horror short novel -- novella? -- that went on to become an animated motion picture starring Dakota Fanning as Coraline and Teri Hatcher as The Other Mother. This is about the second or third time I've read this book -- which I purchased at a Borders that was going out of business -- and I've also seen the movie, and I just want to say, if you haven't read/seen either of them, please do. It's a very good read. ♥

This evening's topic is a "blog renewal," in the sense that it's obvious I've been neglecting this blog -- and blogging in general -- for a very long time, and it's time for me to return to it. I want to make Faux Naturelle my summer project; it is my hope that this summer, I make a blog that can be both enjoyable and informative in my own way.

I first started a Blogger back when I was first getting into YouTube beauty tutorials, and I found out that a lot of these awesome women had blogs that further detailed their work/hobby with makeup. I've always been a real blogging fiend, having started with Xanga way back in high school and continuing on to LiveJournal when a friend introduced me to it, so I latched on to the idea of beauty blogging almost immediately. It's taken me two Bloggers -- I killed my old one, it just didn't feel like me -- and a lot of time to realize one thing: I'm not a beauty blogger. If there's one thing I've learned about beauty blogging, it's that is a dedicated, selfless art. And as for me: I'm the farthest thing from selfless. I'm selfish as anything.

So it's time for a blog renewal. I want to stick to a solid topic with this blog from now on, and after talking it over with my maknae+ Rose, we both decided that a really good topic would be health. I don't want to write about just physical health, although that takes the most precedence with people in our age range nowadays. The World Health Organization (WHO) defines health as "a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity."

I want to write a blog dedicated to my health.

So there it is: a start. I told the sannin+ maknae that I was going to start working out again soon and recording my information down in this blog, so we'll see how that works out. I'll be back to working out on my Wii, playing the My Fitness Coach videogame, which is a virtual workout game taught by a virtual physical trainer named Maya. She's a real gem, kind of completely unyielding and strict, but as she's not real I can't actually make her quit on me. I'll be updating my physical health information according to my workout schedule, which will be every Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday. Recording my workouts will hopefully keep me on track with both blogging and my workouts, so wish me luck!

Of course, no fitness regimen is complete without at least a slight change in diet.

Lately I've been indulging a lot by drinking sodas and having late-night snacks. I'll try to limit my soda pop intake to once or twice every week and snack on healthy things like these strawberries when the cravings strike. Luckily, my mum bought a box of these at the nearby farmer's market. ♥ I managed to get through half a Tupperware container's worth before I felt like quitting, haha. Maybe I just need to drink more water to fill up my stomach. For me, eating is as much a hobby as a necessity so it might take some time before I can stop snacking completely. (Or I could stop staying up so late, but that's a project I'll tackle later on...)

Last Wednesday, I went out with two of my best friends to watch "X-Men: First Class" and we had lunch right before. We went to a small Korean restaurant called King Tofu House, which is a restaurant I've only been to twice but already really love. The prices are decent, the servings are immense, and the staff are really nice! On the left, our yonnin+ maknae had a beef bulgogi lunch set; on the right was my kimchi+ jjigae+ with a special appearance by my Blackberry smartphone. I absolutely LOVE jjigae even if it was so hot it burned my tongue. ♥ Of course it was delicious with lots of soft tofu and rich soup, and very warming on that cold day.

By the way, "X-Men: First Class" was a really good movie. It was enjoyable and the cast was 90% amazing. James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender were brilliant.

On the beauty front, these are my most recent purchases. On the left: a facial massage tool and eye makeup remover from The Body Shop, Almay's One Coat Triple Effect mascara in the waterproof formulation, and the Physician's Formula Shimmer Strips Custom Eye-Enhancing Gel/Cream Liner for Brown Eyes. On the right: Olay's Night of Olay firming cream. Out of all of these, the only things I haven't tried out yet are the cosmetics. So far, all the skincare stuff is pretty darn good. How did I ever live without that nifty facial massage tool?

Here's hoping this project's a success! ♥

maknae - Korean word for "youngest [sibling]"
sannin - Japanese for "three people" used to describe a group
yonnin - Japanese for "four people" used to describe a group
kimchi - Korean side dish made of spicy, pickled vegetables
jjigae - Korean stew of medium thickness, made with meat or tofu

Sunday, June 5

blog; Current state in June.


So that's how I've been looking like recently; I'm trying to grow my hair out again so I haven't done much to it at all. My bangs, being beastly, have once again grown at a crazy pace while the rest of my hair remains slow as molasses. But at least I can tie most of this back in a small ponytail if I get bothered by it! :)

The time between this blog and the last has been mostly uneventful, but summer holidays are coming up soon so I'm excited. These past few days have had a little more action happening, so I thought I'd just slowly start to come back to blogging and start with an update on my current state of health.

My mum's got a cold/cough and I think my little brother might be catching it too. Strangely enough, I'm still safe even though I'm pretty well-known for having the weakest immune system in the family! Lucky me~I guess it's because I've been pretty regular about taking my vitamins/supplements so my body's a little stronger than before. :) This past week has been my (feminine) hell week so my skin isn't in the greatest shape but breakouts have been pretty small.

I've broken my no-buy. Sales have been pretty good and CVS is having their huge clearance sale on beauty items so I couldn't help myself. On the plus side, I've recently downsized my collection a little, giving away a couple of eye shadow palettes to my best friend who is getting as interested in makeup as I am. She's an artist so she's a huge fan of color and she has some really nice stuff, so I thought she could get more use out of my barely-touched Wet 'n Wild six-pan palettes. They deserve much better than me; besides, I have the 100-shadow and 32-shadow E.L.F. palettes I received from ARES for Christmas. At least I haven't bought new eye shadows -- lately I've been on a huge blusher/mascara kick.

I also went to see "Kung-fu Panda 2" on Friday and I thoroughly recommend it. It's a really good movie with legitimate substance and a strong plot despite being a sequel! Everyone's voice acting was so good, especially Gary Oldman's, and I'm not just saying this because I consider myself a fan of the guy. He made Lord Shen hilarious without taking away from his villainy, and made him a character with whom people could sympathize without making him seem weak. Very awesome. And I can't forget Po the baby panda. Just watch it for the cute baby panda. You will not be disappointed.

After "Kung-fu Panda 2" my friend T and I went to eat udon. Haha, we couldn't help it, not after Mr. Ping constantly talking about noodles in the movie!

We couldn't find a good Chinese noodle restaurant around so late at night, so we settled for Japanese udon instead. I had the tanuki udon while my friend T ate the tamagotoji udon. It was really good. I plan on going back to that udon house just so I can get its business card and write a better food review on it, because I really liked it! The service was great, the atmosphere was lovely, and the food was yummy.

June 4th was T's birthday so I spent the day with her too. This was part of our adventure:

It was a very good day and I think the birthday girl enjoyed herself. :)

And even though this isn't a beauty blog in the usual sense...

The CVS Beauty Clearance sale isn't as amazing this time around, but there's proof of my blusher/mascara addiction.