Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Our satisfying lunch at Coco's Restaurant...

When I was in Dubai, I  didn't really get to eat much Arabic food since Mr. X is not into that in the first place.  He isn't as adventurous as I am when it comes to food as well.  I didn't mind though, as I'm the type who would eat anything (well, except for liver and okra!)  One restaurant that I would surely not forget is Coco's.  We went there for lunch before heading off to our Dubai Sand Safari adventure.  I love the food and I promised myself that I would go back to check out the rest of their menu.

Here's what we had:

free bread

this alone almost made me full.  it has the right kind of taste and softness that surely goes well with butter.  i think i asked more of this after finishing two pieces. I actually asked Mr. X if we can ask more for our take-away. LOL!

and there's me, enjoying our bread!

Cream of mushroom soup
(20 Dhs)
The restaurant's soup of the day.  Creamy, hot soup to start off the meal.

Sweet N' Spicy Wings
(34 Dhs)
Mexican marinated chicken wings baked and tossed with sweet and spicy sauce.

I LOVE CHICKEN WINGS, actually, i love anything chicken! My friends can attest to that.  I can finish an entire bucket in one sitting.  This one's no exception. It's different from other chicken wings I've tried.  I've tasted other chicken wings where the taste only lies on the skin.  This one is not!  It's so yummy that I can't stop gushing about it during lunch.  The wings are small, but i think there's more than a dozen pieces in this serving.   

Assorted Grilled Seafood
(79 Dhs)
Fish fillet, shrimps and squid, marinated in lemon and pepper, served with vegetables

Another jackpot! We were checking out their menu and since Mr. X can't seem to remember what he had in his previous visit (sign of old age, maybe? LOL) he decided to get this instead.  He knows I love seafood too (i told you, I EAT EVERYTHING...well, almost!) I love how this dish is cooked just right, unlike others that are either too raw or too cooked that you can hardly taste the sweetness/freshness of the seafood.  Again, this one comes in big serving, but I didn't give up on it...i finished everything, even asked for some dessert after! 

We visited their branch in Deira City Center.  Most of the food attendants are Filipinos, and we felt at home immediately with their warm smiles and very welcoming gestures.  The ambiance is very good, not noisy considering it's lunch time when we went there.   I've had some experiences dining in at some restaurants here where the crowd were laughing or talking too loud that I can't even concentrate on my food.  This place can be a good place to bring your date, IMHO.  

Prices are reasonable, just don't start converting to your local currency.  1Dh is Php12 approx.  Good thing I wasn't the one paying, so I didn't really mind. LOL!  But yes, the prices are a bit high but for the quality of food and service, it's definitely worth it.

One thing's for sure, I am going back to Coco's the next time I visit Dubai!

They currently have 3 branches (accdg to this site):

2nd Level, Near Cine Star Deira City Center
Khalid Al Attar Tower. Sheikh Zayed Road
Jumeirah Beach Residence, opposite Sheraton Jumeirah

Ahh, i miss Coco's!

Monday, January 30, 2012

Soap & Glory Deep Pore Detox Mask...

I initially wanted to put "Something New" on the title but, this stuff isn't really new...well at least to me (and some of my readers), it is.

When I first see these products from Soap & Glory at Boots back in Dubai, I thought they are from Benefit so I checked them out (yep, I'm a sucker for cute packaging!)  So when I realized they're not, I turned my back and walked away...kidding!   Hahaha.  Seriously, I've spent some time checking out their products.  They have skincare and cosmetics, boxed in cute retro pink packaging that made me want to buy everything!  LOL.

I didn't buy anything the first time I saw them, but a day before my flight back here, I went up to this mall right in front of our hotel to check Boots for the last time.  I honestly wanted to buy a lot, but after realizing that it's awfully more expensive in Dubai, I tried to hold  myself back.  So I only bought this:

Soap & Glory Deep Pore Detox Mask

The word "Poreclear" got me sold!  LOL.  I got this for Dhs90, so it's probably Php1000+.  I've read online that it's being sold for more or less $15 in the US, so yeah...Dubai is one hell of an expensive place!  But it's not locally available, so I don't  really regret getting it.  Actually, I seriously wanna kick myself for not getting other stuff from this brand.  I've only used this once and I love it, I'll post my review soon. 

it comes with a free pink smoothing sponge, which got me more excited...shallow me! LOL!

For now, I need to be a good girl so I can ask Mr. X to get me more items from this brand.  If he doesn't give in, I could always ask my MIL back in the US to get them for me.

Something New: New and Improved Avon Naturals

AVON has been a household name for years. I remember buying my first beauty products from my uncle's wife who also happens to be an Avon lady at that time.  I think my first skincare and even makeup are from Avon.  I remember saving my school allowance...and how giddy I would be each time I'll get my new stuff.  I still have a few favorites from this brand: the Lotus hair cream, deodorant and some perfumes.

For 2012, AVON has a new (and improved) look and formulation for Avon Naturals. Bright, vibrant, fresh and yummy, these are packed with ingredients inspired by nature that are mild, gentle and suitable for everyday use.  So as part of our New Year resolutions (yep, it's never too late) let's all have a healthy looking, delicious looking and full of life year with Avon Naturals!

 Avon Naturals Tea Tree Oil & Green Tea Purifying Skin Care
  These products work deeply into pores to reduce oil production and bring away impurities.  Tea Tree Oil & Green Tea extracts contain Vitamin C & E that give the oil control benefit while leaving skin shine free all day long, with a refreshing scent.  You'll feel fresh, oil-free and worry-free.

Tea Tree Oil & Green Tea Purifying Cleanser
Deep cleans and removes excess oil, dirt and impurities clogged in the pores, leaving the skin looking and feeling refreshed all day long.

Tea Tree Oil & Green Tea Purifying Toner
Helps reduce the oily and shiny appearance of the skin, while removing the last traces of dirt from the skin, and preparing the skin for the next step.

Tea Tree Oil & Green Tea Purifying Mask
Controls the production of oil and draws out deep-seated dirt, oil and impurities that clog the pores, leaving the skin clearer.

 Avon Naturals Honey & Milk Nourishing Skin Care Line
Formulated to deeply nourish the skin and leave it feeling soft and supple all day long.  Avon Naturals Milk & Honey Nourishing Skin Care product bring together honey extract and milk protein that smoothen rough, dry skin and provide long term moisturizing benefits all wrapped in a sumptuous honey and milk scent.

Avon Naturals Honey & Milk Nourishing Cleanser
Effectively cleanses and removes rough texture from the skin, leaving it soft, smooth and moisturized.

Avon Naturals Honey & Milk Nourishing Cream
Works as a quick-absorbing moisturizer that instantly boosts the skin's moisture without leaving a sticky feeling on the skin.

Avon Naturals Honey & Milk Nourishing Mask
This mask instantly leaves the skin looking and feeling deeply nourished and moisturized.

Avon Naturals Rose & Rose Hips Whitening Skin Care

Made to give you a natural, rosy white glow!  They immediately brighten the skin and lighten skin tone over time.  The key ingredients, rose hips and rose extract, are rich in Vitamin C and help provide a natural whitening benefit to bring out the skin's youthful glow--all in a romantic, feminine scent.

Avon Naturals Rose and Rose Hips Whitening Cleanser
This white pearlscent cream cleanser effectively cleanses and refreshes the skin and helps brighten the skin for a natural rosy glow.

Avon Naturals Rose and Rose Hips Whitening Toner
Effectively cleanses and tones the skin, preparing it for the next step.

Avon Naturals Rose and Rose Hips Whitening Cream
This non-greasy whitening cream completely brightens the skin and leaves it feeling soft and moisturized.

Avon Naturals Rose and Rose Hips Whitening Cream SPF15 PA++
Provides SPF15 protection from the sun while restoring the skin's natural rosy glow at the same time.

These babies are now available through your friendly Avon representatives.  

Don't have an Avon Lady yet?  Log onto AVON to find out how to contact one.  You can also follow Avon on twitter via @AvonPH and on Facebook at Facebook.com/AvonPhilippines.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

I miss my EOTDs...

I've been away for two weeks for a vacation, and so did my eye makeup.  Yes, I didn't wear eye makeup (except for a liner and mascara on some days) for that long.  Not because I've been too lazy or too busy, but because I was wearing sunglasses most of the time (except at night, of course!)  It was cold, but the sun's too harsh that I cannot stand not wearing sunglasses during the day.  So what's the point? Nobody's gonna see my eye makeup anyway.  I must admit, it was hard getting used to seeing my eyes so plain.  And yeah,  my eyes look terribly sleepy with no makeup on.

Now that I'm back, it's time for EOTDs again.  I was scared when I got my hands on my eyeshadow brushes again, for I might've lost my blending skills not being able to put it into practice for weeks.  I certainly hope not since I still have upcoming makeup gigs soon.  I need to practice, and probably try to learn new techniques.  I feel like I'm getting a bit rusty already.  I actually want to study makeup again, if only my schedule (and budget) permits.

So here's my first EOTD for this year...I wanted to do something brighter, but I am yet to get back on the groove of doing eye makeup again.  So I opted for something simple...trying to conceal any boo-boo just in case it'll be like my first time doing eye makeup. 

I've finally got to use my UD 15th Anniversary eyeshadow palette again, which I also missed.  I've let go of some of my UD BOS palettes, but I'm not letting go of this one. 

my skin's getting better after being clogged for weeks...so excited for summer, since my skin seems to prefer that season. weird, i know.


Friday, January 27, 2012

Product Review: Benefit Stay Don't Stray

When I was on my way to Dubai, I told myself that I have to make sure that I check out their malls because I was told that they have really enormous malls.  And geesh, it really is true.  Our malls here are no match with the size of their malls there.  A day really isn't enough to check out an entire mall.  But you know me, there's only one section I'd be interested to check out first...can you take a guess?

The funny thing is, when I should be checking out brands that aren't available locally, I check out those I'm familiar with first.  Well,  my reason is to compare the prices here.  And contrary to what I first thought,  makeup are much expensive there.  But thanks to Mr. X, I was still able to get a "few" stuff.

First, let me do a review on my favorite eye primer as of the moment:

Benefit Stay Don't Stray 
Stay-put Primer for concealers & eyeshadows
*This dual-action power primer works 360° degrees around the eyes to make concealers AND eyeshadows STAY PUT. Concealers don't crease, eyeshadows stay vibrant and true...you'll wonder how you ever lived without it! Comes in a neutral nude shade that is universally flattering and a custom airless pump that is sooo easy to use - just a dab'll do ya! Sodium Hyaluronate hydrates and fills in fine lines. Vitamins C & E help fight signs of aging.
(*taken from Benefit)

yes,  my dearies...what I got is a tester. Nope, I didn't steal it LOL!  I got it as a freebie when I got other Benefit stuff in Debenhams at Ibn Batuta mall.  The saleslady's a Filipina and she's just so kind to throw in freebies when I told her I'm a makeup artist back here.  And mind you, this tube is still half-full (or more!)  

Unlike other primers I have, this one comes with a pump making it more hygienic.  Packaging is really cute (of course, it's Benefit!) but what I don't like about it is tends to dispense way too much product. A little goes a long way so you don't really need to pump it on fully. Also, it would be great if we get to see how much product is left. 


as you can see, it's a bit thick so you really have to blend it well to avoid caking.

blended in

Left: with primer
Right: without primer

As you can see, it does really make a difference.  It makes the color pop and really does its job of keeping your eyeshadow stay.  

Here's another proof:

I've washed my hands and rubbed the swatches to see whether they would stay.  And yes, the one with the Benefit primer underneath passed the ordeal!  Thumbs up!

Now, on my eyes:

my bare lids

as you can see I have a bit of discoloration on my lids and on my under eyes.  and no matter how much sleep i get, it stays that way.  so yes, primers/concealers are my saviors!

I didn't use it on my undereyes.  But I will soon and will do a separate review for that.  For now, I just used it as an eyeshadow primer and I just love how it neutralizes the discoloration on my lids.  You can actually use it alone and you'll have fresh looking eyes even without makeup.

The primer, once well blended on the lids provide a smooth canvas for your eyeshadows so blending is a breeze.  Some primers are just too tacky and will give you a hard time blending your eye makeup making it look cakey.  There was a little bit of creasing the first time but it was because I didn't make sure my lids are dry first before putting the primer on.  So what I did the next time was I didn't put eyecream on my lids anymore (just on the undereyes) and made sure my lids are dry.  That did the trick and my eyeshadow stayed the entire time without any creasing.

I love this primer to bits and have been reaching out for it often. I am definitely going to get one after i finish my "free" tube.  I am not sure how much this costs here, and I wasn't able to ask how much it's being sold in Dubai but it costs $26 in the US (online store price). I must admit, I didn't bother checking this out at first because I still have a lot of eye primers...good thing the saleslady gave it as a freebie, yeyy!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Product Review: Snoe Beauty's Hair Heroes Intense Argan Oil

It's been almost a week since I started using Snoe Beauty's Hair Heroes and I am loving it to bits that I consider it my current HG conditioner.  Like Sophie, I only have good things to say to my new found love when it comes to hair care..and if you wanna know (and see) why, read on...

Snoe Beauty Hair Heroes Intense Argan Oil 
Lavish your hair with Snoe’s Revolutionary 5-in-one Intense Argan Oil Moroccan Liquid Gold. This cleansing conditioner replaces shampoo, conditioner, deep conditioner, de-tangler, leave-on conditioner, and even shaving cream. For all hair types, 5-in-one is formulated to add moisture without weighing hair down. It effectively cleanses & hydrates hair without stripping or robbing it of its natural nutrients and oils. It has astonishing healing, conditioning, and anti-aging properties to keep your hair nourished and revitalized, to keep you looking beautiful.

Active Ingredients:

  • ARGAN OIL: Split-end protection. Restores damaged hair, providing remarkable shine to dull hair. It not only prevents hair damage due to styling and outdoor activities, but also improves elasticity and reduces hair loss due to breakage.
  • WHEAT PROTEIN: Anti hair-breakage efficacy by more than 80%, anti-inflammatory, Moisturizes
  • MILK PROTEIN: Protection and repair of dry and damaged hair
  • MORINGA EXTRACT: Protects hair against environmental stress/pollution.  It also helps gives strengthening, conditioning/repairing effect and UV protection
  • INDIAN SENNA: improves hair surface, rendering hair softer and brighter and aid in making your current color maintain its vibrant sheen
  • CUCUMBER EXTRACT: Anti-oxidant and moisturizing properties. Helps maintain healthy scalp.
(taken from Snoe Beauty)

 I love that this comes in a pump.  I just found it hard to pump the product out the first time.  I had to check if the pump is not working, turned out that the product is just so rich that it takes time to get the product out.

 It comes in a thick consistency, more or less the same with other conditioners that I've tried.  It has a slight coconut scent, but it doesn't leave you with that coconut oil-like scent that is usually annoying to most people.

What's also great about this product is that it can be used as a conditioner, deep treatment mask, leave-on conditioner and a detangler.  I was told that you can use it without shampooing your hair first, but I haven't tried that.  I still use a shampoo first before this.  The first time I've used it, I found my hair become a bit stiff when I was massaging it on.  But it was like my hair totally transformed when I started rinsing my hair. I know your hair's supposed to become smooth and soft  when you are rinsing your hair...but this one's has its magic working even after you step out of the bathroom. 


I promise I didn't use any straightening iron...I just air-dried my hair using an electric fan.  I didn't even put any hair shine or anti-frizz serum...but look how straight my hair is.  Well, I do have naturally straight hair to begin with, but I usually have frizzy hair most especially when I didn't get much sleep the night before (which usually happens).  But not anymore, thanks to Hair Heroes! The product totally suit its name!

I also used to have split ends but I can hardly find any now.  I still see some falling hair, but not as much as before.  A colleague even asked if I had my hair blow dried, or if I had it treated. They were surprised when I said No.  Also, my hair stays straight and manageable throughout the day.   So I recommended this product to them and I am sure they already have their own bottle at this time, LOL!  

I had my hair colored and treated more than a month ago and I was thinking of having it treated again in a salon but with Hair Heroes, I don't think I need one soon.  

It costs Php499 for a 250ml bottle with a pump.  It's more expensive than my usual conditioner but it's totally worth it.  It's like having your hair treated, blow dried and styled at the comfort of your own home at a cheaper price than when you get your hair done at a salon.

So, yes I am totally recommending this hair product.  I am planning to stock up soon for I'm pretty sure this baby will be selling like hotcakes once a lot of people get to know how good it is.  Actually, to say that this product is good is such an under statement.  This product is awesome, heaven-sent and surely your hair will be thanking you for giving it some love by using it.

Try it and lemme know if you love it (or hate it)!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair: Look Younger on Your Next Birthday challenge

It'll be my birthday months from now and I am turning 33...yes, you've read that right..33!  It's not I don't want to get old...it's inevitable. But if only I could look younger as I grow older,  that would be great!  Who wouldn't want that, anyway!?  Besides, it's possible and I know someone who's like that...getting younger looking as the years go by. She calls it a curse, of course she's kidding.  To be like that isn't really a curse, but a gift!

 So when I was asked by our friends from Estee Lauder if I want to take part in the "Look Younger on Your Next Birthday" challenge...I immediately said yes!  Estee Lauder has been a part of my skincare regimen for months now (I'm using their Cyberwhite serum & sunblock) so I know I'll be in good hands.   The challenge is to use their most famous product, the Advanced Night Repair, for 4 weeks to prove that after 30 years, it is still the first and the best anti-aging product in the market.

Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair

It's been 30 years since this iconic "little brown bottle" with a dropper made it to the market.  The packaging was made that way to reinforce the product's serious skin care sentiment.  And though it doesn't look "modern" like the other beauty products available of today, women around the world continue to love this product as it helps them stop the hands of time.

I love how it instantly gives me brighter skin as it calms the redness on my face.  The serum is easily absorbed and I wake up in the morning with brighter, tight (but not dry) feeling on my face.  No wonder why many women around the world has been using this for years.  It was also said that approximately 7 bottles of this magical serum is being sold every minute.  WHOA!

Now, I really want to give myself a good kick since this product is not really new to me at all.  Actually, I got myself the ANR eye cream some time ago and I got sample bottles of this but never really got to use it.  I dunno, maybe it's because new stuff always come out and I'm always eager to check them out rather than take my chance on stuff that has been tested and raved by many.

As part of the challenge, I'll be documenting my progress as I continue to use this product as part of my skincare regimen.  I'd still be using my Obagi toner at night, followed by this then moisturizer.  For moisturizer, I alternate between Clinique DDM and Clinique Youth Surge night cream.  For my day regimen, I still use Obagi toner, followed by Obagi Exfoderm then sunblock.

I promise to use ANR religiously for the succeeding weeks (I'm supposed to use it for 4 wks but I was breaking out when I got back from my vacation so I gave my skin a rest first) and will post my progress here.  Let's all see if I will really look younger for my next birthday :)

But it doesn't end there, my dearies...our friends from Estee Lauder is giving away ONE full-sized bottle of ANR to ONE of my readers.  
It's easy to join, here's how:
  • Comment with your name and email address and tell me why you deserve to win and why do you want to look younger on your next birthday. Of course it'll be fun to know when your birthday would be too! Who knows, we might be having it on the same day!
  • Contest is open to Philippine readers only, but my international readers can also share their experience on this wonderful product.  It can help me and those who will be joining to know what to expect.
  • Only one entry per person.  My other friends are also having the same contest and you can also, by all means, join their contest too but you can only win once
  • Contest ends on Feb 13, 2012 and the one with the most tear-jerking comment wins!  Hehehe, kidding...just be sincere with your comment and tell me why you really want to win.

Now, remember that someone who has the "gift" of looking younger as the years go by?  Here she is...

no other than my Mom 
(Me - my sister, Sam - Mom)

I can't mention her age because she might kill me for that but I'm turning 33 this year, so go figure :)  Maybe I should also include guessing my mom's age in the contest?  LOL!
  She's an avid user of ANR and she loves how it gives her supple, glowing skin all these years.  So yes, I want to look as great as her when I reach that age...and maybe you would love that too!

Join the contest now and let's look younger on our next birthday, shall we!?

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