Blanca de China

It was a rainy afternoon and I knew that my face was begging to be pampered and in need of some massive T.L.C. 

The boyfriend and I trekked over 259A Ibuna St. and conveniently tucked on the corner of P. Guavarra, was Blanca de China. The shop was much smaller than I had imagined, but was cute and cozy nonetheless. We were immediately greeted by two lovely therapist who made us feel right at home. You have to forgive me for the lack of photos in this post— too rainy and was feeling a tad lazy to snap a few shots.

We were set on two Ivory Facial’s which we were incredibly pleased to know cost under 1,000 php, which I was used to paying for one service. At this rate, I could most probably pamper myself on a regular basis! I decided to top up my facial with a Gold Mask to help aid with the circulation and get rid of impurities.

I want to begin by mentioning that I do have high standards. I expect to know what is going throughout my service and what touches my face as therapists goes about her business and works her magic. My therapist did just that. She politely and in almost a whisper mentioned that she was going to begin the service, and let me know what she was doing step-by-step. I loved and appreciated that. The arm and hand massage was an unexpected surprise and happily accepted. Once the service was over, we were treated to some tea and biscuits which was delightful touch to a relaxing facial.

Blanca de China is all I could wish for and more. It is a place where my inner goddess can run free and jump freely from service to service. Impeccably immaculate, hygienic, and cozy, with wonderful therapists that know what they are doing and are very professional. I really can’t ask for more.

My first visit to Blanca de China turned out to be wonderful and I would definitely visit again, however it would have made my service all the more superb if the facial extended towards the neck,  as it is just as important as the face, and I am used to it being a packaged deal whenever I get a facial—my neck is never neglected. Also, a complaint that I  do have; however not enough to turn my business away is that I wish my therapist throughly cleaned my face. I found the water to be not warm enough for starters, and when my service was complete, my mascara and my eyeliner still coated my top lids. 

I hope that when I return, the staff will be reminded that the cleansing stage is crucial before any extractions can be made. 

Other than that, I definitely intend on visiting again. Their affordable prices, warm and affable staff, as well as how sanitary they are when it comes to sanitizing their tools, and the fun menu of services—this is a place not to miss.

Best part are their hours:

Mondays – Thursdays at 11:00 am to 10:00 pm, and Fridays – Sundays at 11:00 am to 11:00 pm.

Blanca de China Lifestyle Spa

259A Ibuna cor P. Guevarra Streets San Juan 

Tel Number 542 8499

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Talking Snoe Beauty’s: Hair Heroes Intense Argan Oil

Snoe Beauty is a brand that is proudly Filipino and was established in 2010. Much like with many of the products that I decide to review, I hear about them through the grapevine, and luckily for me, this product came into my realm of thought in an extremely timely manner.

Last year, I was dealing with the aftermath of dying my black hair to practically blonde, and the serious damage it inflicted to my thick and gorgeous crowning glory. Left with orange, brittle, course, not dead but not quite alive hair, I needed a product to resuscitate my locks and give it the life it once had prior to all the toxins I had made my hair succumb to.

Snoe Beauty at first glance reminded me of the Filipino version of Benefit. The throbbing off-kilter colors, throwback vintage labels, and quirky product names are sure to catch anyones eye male, female, or a combination of both! Most recently, word on the street has it that Snoe Beauty will be launched in the U.S. by Urban Outfitters. It’s always exciting to hear of local brands making its way to other parts of the globe for recognition. Congratulations to Snoe Beauty!

As far as Argan Oil goes, everyone and their grandmother’s friends know about the beauty and restorative miracles that argan oil can do for ones skin and hair. That said, I wanted to test this local product and see if it lived up the hype.

I found Hair Heroes at first pump to smell incredibly entrancing. In fact, the delectable odor is what I would envision heaven to smell like. I used just a single pump of the product as I don’t like my hair being weighed down by too much conditioner. I’ve never used this product as a leave-in-conditioner as the product also suggests as another option; and found the results to be astounding. It took my dull and lifeless hair and made it incredibly shiny and sleek as featured in all those Pantene and Palmolive commercials here in the Philippines which depicts a ‘Grudge-esque’ quality to the hair, or a more refined ‘It’ from the Addams Family.

Like so

 

Cutting to the chase:

Having used this product for about a year and for the occasions when I feel my hair needs a little bit of loving, I found this personally to not be so suitable for the hairstyle I’d like to achieve. It on no account is a reflection of the product or the company as this product absolutely delivers through and through, and lives up to its promise. It simply is a matter of preference for me to prefer my hair to be ‘volumous’ and out of this world, versus stick straight and sleek like most  Filipina women prefer. I give Hair Heroes a 10/10 for the following reasons: living up to the products description, honestly sharing the ingredients in the product, saving my hair from an imminent death, and for letting my hair shine just like in all those t.v. commercials, smelling fabulous to boot!

Not my photo

 

 

Escolta Saturday Market Pitstop

This vintage throwback market which occurs usually every fortnight was put together by the crew from 98-b, and is stationed at: Ground Floor, 413 First United Building, Escolta Street, Binondo, Manila, PHILIPPINES.

The venue itself is historical, as apparently it is the building which housed the infamous Berg’s Department Store, which apparently was top notch back in its heyday. Now, it leaves much to be desired with its lonely concrete walls, and dilapidated building, a far cry from how it once glistened. Now it is stationed along side other tenement buildings chidingly to be renovated. Still, despite the chaos and the strange stench that permeates the area, it has its appeal and charm, and can be quite the adventure.

I stumbled in one sweaty Saturday looking for nothing in particular and stumbled upon a treasure trove of rare and interesting handmade knick knacks, as well as a few familiar faces. The atmosphere is buzzing with creativity and excitement, and was thoroughly enjoyable. I do see myself making the trek from Makati once again and looking forward to seeing more of a selection once vendors and other people start hearing about the hype.

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For more Manila Nostalgia, and information with amazing images of Escolta when it was roaring, check out this beautiful blog of Old Manila: http://www.lougopal.com/manila/?p=83

Mommy Treats – Lactation Cookies

Mommy Treats offers lactation cookies, brownies, and cupcakes that are packed and filled with galactatgogues such as fiber-and-iron-rich oats, Omega-3-flowing flax seed, cholesterol-and-blood-sugar-lowing fenugreek, and vitamin-B-packed brewer’s yeast! 

Anyway for my review written shortly after I practically consumed a week’s worth of cookies in 2 days: 

Did I just give birth or what?! My breasts are overfloweth with milk. To start, prior to giving birth, my body (or breast rather) was already preparing itself for being a milk factory. As early on as five or six months into my pregnancy, I already had colstrum that would annoyingly and embarrassingly place me in awkward situations. After giving birth, I certainly had no issues as far as milk production goes, as I constantly would have not only my shirt drenched, but have consistently managed to stain and soak the sheets for a good four or five months, until my milk started to regulate.

5.5 months post baby the bomb dropped. To be exact about 15 months of having no rag, the sea of red decided to make its awful appearance. I read about how there is a tendency for the production of milk to dwindle, and dwindle it did. I was producing 2 oz less of what I used to make each pumping session! It did not bode well for me, nor did it for my little girl.

With my roladex of emergency numbers and contacts in case of emergencies, I heard about Mommy Treats through the grapevine, and it was highly recommended to me by a friend of mine. Apart from already supplementing my diet with Malungay capsules, I needed an extra boost, and a little help. I Placed in my order for a week’s worth of Oatmeal and White Chocolate Chip Cookies.

Arriving on my doorstep, I was excited to see how they tasted like, I immediately ripped open the package, and shoved a couple of the treats into my mouth. Damn did they taste good. The brochure mentioned it may taste a bit chalky due to brewers yeast and fenugreek, but quite frankly, it tasted like any oatmeal cookie to me.

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Then the magic happened. I kid you not, after consuming only a couple of those badboys, the milk came three-fold within minutes.  I will spare you the details, but suffice it to say, I was leaking like a hose. A strong hose.

I love how Paula does not scrimp on her ingredients. There were plenty of white chocolate chips to be had. I would definitely order again just because the treats were delicious, and more importantly, delivered its promise. The only thing I have to worry about now, is engorgement! 

 

Oh you Diva, you!

I can’t keep my mouth shut, and have been ranting nonstop since day 1 to anyone who would listen about my obsession and my lifesaver— The Diva Cup.

To cut the crap and overlook a bunch of jargon, what it is really in simpler terms is a silicone cup that is an alternative to tampons for the menstruating woman. In sum, it is a sustainable feminine hygiene product. If the thought of a cup being filled with your own blood gets you a bit squeemish, then I suggest you not to even bother reading on any further.

I am incredibly overjoyed to have come across this product by a recommendation of a friend of mine, and haven’t looked back since. The thought of never having to deal with tampons again pathetically excites me. And you now what? The fact that I no longer have a guilty conscience of dumping all those disposable hygiene products into landfills and waterways, actually helps me sleep a little better at night. In addition, I do not leak. May I repeat—I DO NOT LEAK! Have I got your attention yet?

You have two options if you are interested in trying it out the Diva Cup: Model 1 is for women under 30 we have never given birth vaginally, and Model 2 is for women over 30 or have given birth vaginally. 

What you get in the box is a handy yet simple instructional manual, the cup itself, a cute pouch for the cup which is nice and discreet, and a pretty ‘Diva’ pin to top it all off. 

I kept thinking to myself before trying it that I would go a bit cray if I spent almost $40 on a product that didn’t turn out well, and that I would not be able to return…

Bottom line for me was the fact that it was easy to insert, easy to remove, and you can wear it up to 12 hours, move, dance, or frolic without it being obtrusive at all. As mentioned earlier, is that i barely even leaked. After my first few days with it, I knew i’d be a fan for life. 

As far as cleansing goes, you simply dump the cup and rinse with warm water and some soap. The beautiful thing about the Diva Cup, is that I could wear it overnight and it wouldn’t even fill half the cup. I can’t recommend this product enough to every woman. It’s a shame that there are quite a few people who haven’t heard of it yet. Truly a lifesaver!