Lists

December Favorites: Beauty Edition

I’m a huge fan of pretty, glam things. I love the smell of a great Eau de parfum, the pigmentation of quality makeup, and pink/gold ensembles. Here are my favorites for this December.

Aspyn Ovard Eye & Cheek Palette (Tarte - $39)

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While this palette isn’t a new product, it’s definitely been useful for the subtle, everyday looks I’ve been doing (when I’m not running late and have time to actually put makeup on). It looks gorgeous on the exterior, and even better inside. My only complaint is that the colors match one another too well. Like I said, it’s been perfect for everyday looks, though, so that’s a plus. The blush shade also complements my skin tone well.

Modern Renaissance Palette (Anastasia Beverly Hills - $56)

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TOTALLY in-love with this palette! Received compliments in and out of work the first time I used it. The colors complement one another well, so it’s been my go-to for warm, peachy looks. The brush that came with the palette could’ve been better though, but if you’re into makeup, you’re already aware that brushes aren’t really the best in this case.

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Ginger Sugar Lip Scrub (Aritaum, Althea - $5)

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The cap looks worn out, but it’s only because I’ve been using this scrub religiously. I highly recommend applying this before bed or before putting on lipstick. You can either wash it off or wipe it away with tissue after a few minutes, but I find water is a gentler way of scrubbing it off. It’s very cheap, and smells great, too! There’s really no reason to not pick this up.

Chance Eau Tendre (Chanel - $62)

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Smells like heaven. Since my other favorite fragrance (the next item) is at its edge, I’ve started wearing this everyday. It has a subtle scent after it calms down (but it’s potent during the first sprays). For an Eau Tendre, the smell stays well throughout the day. I love this.

Jour d’Hermès Eau de parfum (Hermès - $162)

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A scent I’ll never get tired of. It’s an Eau de parfum, which means it has more aroma content than Eau de toilette and has the same amount of fragrance as perfumes. Lasts longer than the former too, so I get to appreciate the smell longer. It’s almost gone, and I am in dire need of a refill, haha! Highly recommended.

Sorta Sweet Palette (Kylie Cosmetics - $42)

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Last for this month’s faves is the Sorta Sweet palette by Kylie Jenner. The mattes in this one are quite good given the price point, but the shimmers need a little extra help from either my finger or a damp brush. When they’re on your eyes though, the look is pretty and pigmented. Recommended for those who need a palette that’s warm-toned and small enough to fit in a purse for travels.

And that is it for this month’s Beauty favorites! Thoughts? What have you been using? You have any recommendations for me? Let me know in the comments!

Things Women Could Learn from Men

I’m going to go out on a limb and say that most (if not all) women have ‘standard’ attitudes that only differ in intensity. I’m also quite sure that men also have a common denominator with one another, and they’re most probably a little more chill than us women.

Now, I’ve been surrounded by strong men my whole life, and I’ve picked up a thing or two from hanging out with them. Some of those things are what most women don’t seem to get, as we do have our own way of dealing with certain situations. However in this case, I think we could learn some points from men - and reduce overthinking in the process.

If you're more of an audio consumer, you're in luck 'cause this post has been converted into a podcast! Access the audio version here and see other episodes.

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1. When business is just that, and nothing else.

Ladies, let’s not get carried away and assume that every other woman who our man mingles or spends time with is their side-chick. Nothing irks a man more and makes him want to ‘rebel’ in a relationship than when you decide to pester him about a ‘woman from work’.

Yes, not all women are decent enough to back off when a man already has a partner, but we have to be sure. Aren’t women accustomed to a little ‘investigating’? We can be focused and incredibly intelligent when we set our mind to something, so instead of falsely accusing your man and denting your relationship, do a background check. Observe. Play along. Chances are, if you know your guy well enough, you’ll pick up hints that will determine if he’s cheating or not.

Saying that, I don’t mean for you to endure that nagging, uncomfortable feeling. Talk to your guy first and get *his* side. Like I always say: there’s no need to escalate things to a fight if it can be resolved through talking about it first.

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2. Why it’s okay to be both friends and competitors at the same time.

Most women are naturally competitive. So much so, that two women may tend to pick each another apart until the other is figuratively bloodied and destroyed.

Women are also very emotional creatures, so if someone decides to target something or someone they’ve invested a lot of their emotion on (like a promotion or that guy from work they’ve been eyeing), they’ll do everything in their power to turn things around.


My message to all the lovely women out there is this: there’s no point in tearing other women apart. We’re already subjected to stereotypes and rules by a patriarchal society, and pulling others down isn’t helping address that. We can all be friends *and* still be competitors. There’s loads of opportunities out there!

In friendships, this unspoken rule of not stepping over each other’s feet is a given. In my case, my circle is mostly composed of designers, developers, managers, and bloggers. I’m friends with like-minded individuals who’ve pursued similar careers, but that doesn’t mean we have to fight over a position or a favorable impression. Healthy competition is always a good thing, no matter how negative it may seem to you.


3. When it’s just about sex, and why it could be okay.

Like I said before, women tend to get emotional most times, attaching a feeling to a person, place, or experience. This is a good thing, and it’s a common way for everyone (not only women) to relate that thing or person to a memory. When we feel something, we can look back to a similar experience in the past. That’s just how things are.

It’s understandable why women are more emotional when it comes to sex. It’s a sacred thing to be experienced only with the person you’ve given your heart and soul to, and that is what makes us vulnerable. (As a side note, I’m *so* happy men have the ability to compartmentalize things.)


Sometimes, we ladies have to learn to let our minds wander off and give in to sensations. We have to know when to let our emotions in and when to best leave it at the doorstep. Not all experiences are ‘a journey’ as much as meditation would like us to believe.

Having sex and making love aren’t always the same thing. Sometimes, sex is a way to blow off steam, to relieve stress in a way. Making love is where emotion rides best, and it has both partners invested in tuning into each other’s feelings.

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4. When to not talk about it.

I think that out of all these points, this is where men shine. They know when to lean back and put an issue on the side fir a little while and let it cool. Most women aren’t like that and they don’t want that. It’s an uneasy feeling when you know there’s an unresolved issue and it’s just hanging loosely in the air.

We women have to realize that talking about a problem immediately after finding out about it isn’t always the best thing to do. Not every little thing has to be brought up during dinner.

It makes a difference when both partners know when to talk about something and when to let things be. Kind of like an unspoken agreement you both share. Guys don’t really like digging through the nitty gritty details and many feel like it’s a waste of time to talk about something that isn’t such a big deal.


5. Why it’s not your job to make everyone happy.

Most women are naturally people-pleasers. It’s common for us to want to be liked by everybody, and that often tends to stress us out a lot. Maybe it’s because we’re normally the ones who entertain guests at social functions or maybe it’s because of our natural instinct to make everyone feel comfortable. Regardless of the reason, we’ve made it our responsibility to keep people around us happy, whether it was a conscious decision or not.

That being said, women can be too accommodating sometimes and try to please all the people all the time. This might be because of the stereotype that men are more aggressive than women. A man may demand and expect to get what he wants - which could be deemed almost rude and too straight-forward - but I really think we’d benefit from doing the same thing every now and then.

No matter how much you want to be inclusive of people, you can’t please everyone, and that will just add unnecessary, negative feelings.

Loving Long Distance: Keeping It Interesting

No matter how in-love we are with our other half, there are moments where the relationship can get pretty stale if there’s nothing new going on or if we’re doing the same things all the time. In this case, adding a little (or a lot) of spice will do you both good.

From being in a relationship for almost 14 years, I can lend a few tips and insights as to how to keep the relationship exciting and interesting. These tips have worked for us, and I’m hoping they’ll benefit you as well.

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1. Care for the little things. 

Short messages, small cards, or quick calls do so much to keep the relationship strong. This should be a no-brainer, so it boggles me when some friends ask for advice and tell me the same exact thing: that they need more from their boyfriends and that they don’t communicate much between fancy dinners and overseas trips (if there are any).

With my guy - I think I’ve hit the jackpot (in more ways than one). I don’t deserve the attention he gives me. To be honest, I’m the more passive half, but that doesn’t stop him from sending little notes my way. Be it a short message on Skype or Messenger, a tag on a meme on Facebook - in short, any action that allows him to interact with me throughout the day. I often send him little notes as well. I might be passive at times, but I’m not a snob, haha.

Given our distance, small things really matter as it helps lessen the miles and makes us feel like we’re physically together.

2. Invest in experiences.

In a long distance relationship, every moment matters, and if you only get to see each other once a month (or less than), making each meeting special will take some planning.

As for us, we take turns in planning trips for our monthly get-togethers. Last December, Lance and I visited Sweden to spend time before the New Year. It was his turn to do the planning, and it was the best year-ender ever. He booked one of the prettiest hotels in Stockholm called the Nobis Hotel (and the most beautiful room ever), booked us a tour, and just made everything incredible for the both of us.

When it’s my turn to plan though, I can’t splurge on luxury trips. He insists on paying for everything all the time, but I don’t like having to rely on him that much. So, I try to budget. I book us hotels and fancy dinners too, but nothing so luxurious as somewhere abroad. I’m not as loaded as he is, but I do know how to give my guy a good time my own way. Often, the best experience is somewhere where it’s only the two of you present.

Simply put, you could either go big, or go as much as you can afford. What matters is you do something together, you experience something together, and that makes for some great stories and memories.

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3. Show your affection.

Here in the Philippines, public display of affection (PDA) isn’t really the norm. Perhaps in the cities, it’s become commonplace - but most of the country are still quite conservative, so couples don’t air out their love through physical touch that often.

In other countries, PDA is very common. Couples kiss in public and touch each other without having to think of being judged or scrutinized. This foreign way of thinking has always been normal for me living in Australia as a kid, and having an Australian boyfriend certainly helped solidify my opinion on the matter.

When he’s in the country, we WEAR affection on our sleeves. We hold hands, cuddle, kiss, and touch each other with little care for what the world thinks. It’s been like that for the past 13 or so years (minus the 1st year of high school, haha), and with every year that passes by, we’ve managed to keep things exciting. (Try touching his ass in public and you’ll see what I mean.)

Don’t feel like you have to hide how you feel because people will judge. That’s natural to humans. We judge others ALL the time. Let your body loose once in a while if you’re still not convinced. It’s quite therapeutic.

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4. Try role-playing.

While role-plays are usually for the bedroom, you can also use it to add some spice throughout the day. In a relationship where you can’t always physically be together, talking over Skype or phone is kind of the only way you can communicate. If you’ve been in a relationship for as long as I have, I think you’ll naturally develop some ‘inside language’ you both automatically understand depending on the mood.

There was a time where we were both feeling a little peckish (for food and something else, haha), and since we had some time to kill, we had a little phone conversation surrounding food (I was a fruit and he was a vegetable) and how we wanted to eat each other. Yeah, that happened. Left us both flushed afterwards, and it certainly helped bring us closer together.

Role-playing is the chance to look into some of your partner’s innermost thoughts. I’m very into the psychology and behavior of people, and from the books I’ve read, observing what roles they usually go for will indicate their desires. It’ll help you get to know your partner better, and complement his/her desires with your own.

5. Play with fashion.

We rely on our visuals very heavily, and when we see something we like, we snap out of boredom and turn our attention towards it like a hawk. When you’ve been with your partner for a while, playing with your wardrobe every now and then will bring the surprise.

If you’re more of a jacket, shirt, and jeans kind of girl, switch it up a bit! I’m the type who doesn’t dress up a lot, and when he’s on vacation in the Philippines, he has an expectation of what I usually wear, i.e. jeans, a regular statement shirt, and some rubbers.

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The last time my boyfriend visited, I changed my style. Instead of my usual ‘blah’ outfit, I wore a printed, tubed jumpsuit, some sandals, and a lovely floral kimono I had recently bought. The guy was all over me. Couldn’t take his hands off my ass, haha.

The attire not only made me feel better about myself, it also gave my guy a new image of me in his head when he went back to Australia. Something to keep him thinking about me until we see each other again.

(If you’re not comfortable with reading about intimacy, please skip the next point.)

6. Sext.

Sexting is a pretty taboo subject in the Philippines, but as much as people hate to admit it, this form of communication does wonders to keep the passion alive.

Personally, I think sexting outside a relationship is a no-no. Between couples though, I’m perfectly okay with it (I mean, we do it, so...). I think it’s yet another way to become closer to your significant other, and allows for exploration of another level of intimacy outside the bedroom.

Sexting shouldn’t have to be “dirty”, okay? You can do it in a classy way. Make it an art. Make it a poem or something. It doesn’t have to be a foul, disgraceful thing. Text just enough to make his imagination go wild, but don’t withhold so much too that the other has no idea what you’re actually trying to say. This is also the perfect place to try out some role-playing.

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7. Write each other stories of your day.

Out of all the tips, this has been the one which I’m always excited for. I love it when Lance tells me about his day and what he feels at the end before going to sleep. Our stories could be very long or very short depending on our energy levels and how much we want to share. (Yes, you don’t have to share everything with your other half.)

In the past, we’ve sent these stories over email, but as mine has started to get clogged by other urgent things, his messages fall to the bottom of the mailbox. To avoid this, we keep a shared diary online, a blog that only we have access to. We log our events of the day and we read them before bed.

You know why this works? It makes both parties feel that regardless of how far apart they both are, they’re still involved and “in-the-know” about the important parts of their partner’s day. Yes, it requires effort, especially if you both had a very tiring day, but it’s worth every last bit of energy.

Lance and I don’t often get the chance to actively chat and be present at the same time, that’s why we leave messages and just wait until the other sees it later in the day. With these story logs, it’s the perfect day-ender. It’s like you were with him the entire day.

Like I said in the beginning, these have worked for us and are all based from experience. If any or all of these work for you, then I'm happy. If not, let me know how you made your relationship last. I might be missing a few things in here, haha.

Listed: Chic Living Room Ideas for 2018

When it comes to house designs, we want to make sure that everything is in line with what we envisioned our space to be. For this post, I'll be listing a few designs I'd love to do for my own living area (when I get my own place, haha) and why I chose it. Ready?

1. Right off the bat, this living room speaks character and modern themes. One of the really awesome things I love about it is how airy and well-decorated it is. Despite having grey-toned furniture, the space benefitted from the huge window, giving it that perfect wash of light. Another detail to note is the flooring. I LOVE wooden floors. It balances the "cold" furniture like glass and metal with "nature" in the best way possible. 

2. Aside from how comfortable this living room looks, the pastel blue and white makes it refreshing to look at. Last year was when the trend of natural lighting, pastels, whites, and minimalism really took the wheel, and for 2018, I'm quite sure these will stay on trend. Our living rooms should emit a relaxing mood, and there's no better way to achieve that than getting comfortable furniture and positioning them properly.

3. Color harmony and contrast took the cake in this photo. The caramel-colored chair, white sofa, and cool-toned grey wall were all put together tastefully. Playing the lighter colors against the dark wall really helped set the mood, something that will be helpful for smaller spaces. The patterns on the pillow covers and the wooden floor also helped bring up the "chic" vibe of the living room.

4. Most of us work with a smaller living room, so being able to make it seem bigger without losing its coziness is important. What I particularly like about this photo is that it made use of neutral greys and whites, decorating it with candles and fairy lights. Even without the candles lit, I feel as if the window on the right will give it the illumination it needs to make the room bright and airy. Of course, the wood flooring makes the room 10 times better. ;)

5. Now THIS is brilliant. There's almost always a problem about storage, and this design solves that while still keeping your space chic and fun. I'd prefer the wall to be a darker grey or navy-colored, so I could up the contrast between colors. It would be better if there were wooden floors too, haha.

 

Any of you on Pinterest? What do you mostly use the platform for and what kind of boards to you make? Don't forget to share this post to inspire your friends and follow me on Pinterest

5 Youtubers I Can't Get Enough Of

Youtube is a great place to watch videos on everything. Gaming, cooking, self-improvement, math, whatever - it's a rich place to explore and spend hours in. Well, while watching a Pewdiepie video earlier today, I suddenly remembered a post I wrote last November 2013 called "My Top 5: YouTube Gamers". That got me thinking about logging in my current favorites - not necessarily Let's Players anymore - and why some on the previous list are no longer present. 

PewDiePie

He was 1 on my previous list, and he still is. He has transformed a lot. From the first time I watched him, Felix has done a lot of things, said a lot of things that affected his channel - both good and bad. I won't go into details, but what happened last 2017 transformed his content for the better. While I miss his old videos, I love how varied his content is right now, and he's become even more genuine and open. 

© Razer ( link )

© Razer (link)

He's also given his subscribers more time to shine by creating a subreddit for submissions to contests he announces on his channel. His audience is very diverse, contrary to what most people think that his views are mostly from 12-year-old babies. 

His sarcasm is gold, his ideas and views on certain issues are actually sensible, and he seems like an awesome person overall. 

Shane Dawson

SUCH. A. QUEEN. I don't remember when I first saw his video, but when I did, I knew I wanted to subscribe. At the time, Shane was one of the most raw, honest, genuine people I've come across online, and his humor was and is infectious. His content seemed varied at first, but through the years, he's come to be more colorful and surprising in terms of presenting videos and his ideas. 

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© Seventeen

His channel covers a lot of varied content, from food reviews to conspiracies, to vlogs, to music videos - every video that comes out has such charm and character that once you get used to his humor, you'll want to NEVER miss one. I look forward to his uploads everyday and depending on how early I wake up, I watch his and PewDiePie's new upload during breakfast or during lunch break at work. 

Shane has become a part of my day and it always makes me feel happy to see him doing what he loves and that helps me destress throughout the day. I feel a real connection to him as a person and I love that he's just so genuine. 

Marzia

I'll be honest - the only reason I found her channel was through her boyfriend Felix, a.k.a. PewDiePie. At first, I was pretty annoyed by her voice because I wasn't sure if that was real or she was making it extra cute, but the more I watched, the more I realized she wasn't faking it. Now, Marzia's channel has become my go-to for relaxing videos that speak to me on such a feminine level. 

© Simon & Schuster Canada

© Simon & Schuster Canada

Recently, her videos have really gotten formed, with cute doodles, lovely, lovely video editing, cute shots, light, feathery feels... I am obsessed. I'm just so in-love with the aesthetics of everything she does! Regardless of whether her video is about completing errands, creating crafts for Edgar and Maya (their adorable pugs), cooking meals for herself and Felix, or just heading to the beach, every video is super calming. 

Marzia also has her own blog and product line, which are also extensions of her aesthetics. I've wanted to subscribe to her monthly subscription box for the longest time, but it's still not available for shipping to the Philippines. Sad life.

Jeffree Star

This guy. Up until half of last year, I had only ever watched female beauty gurus just because I wasn't sure how I'd become attracted to follow a routine from a man. When I discovered Jeffree Star (I don't know how that happened but thank you God), I felt so happy. I can relate with him on so many levels, and I am just so amazed by what he's accomplished. 

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© Teen Vogue

I never thought I'd be taking tips on makeup from a guy (sorry for my stereotype, but that's in the past), but this guy right here is better at makeup than most girls I know. I trust his reviews, and his frankness towards brands just makes you trust him more. I also love how he shares his life with Nate (le boyfriend), his friendship with Manny MUA (another awesome Youtuber), and just life in general.

Not a lot of people buy boujie makeup products just to review them, and that's one of the things I like about jeffree's channel. He tries a lot of items from each end of the spectrum and it just stretches his knowledge and experience on how makeup should feel. He also has his own makeup line so that definitely helps establish his clout in the beauty community.

Alonzo Lerone

I saw one of his videos on Facebook around November (I think), and it was about the biggest grammar fails his fans saw on Facebook that were sent to him. I couldn't stop laughing! Aside from the content being super funny and *ehemm* stupid, his reactions always does it for me. From Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tinder - his fans send him screens of the fails and he reacts to them.

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© Youtube

While this type of video isn't new (there are a LOT of react videos on the tube), his reaction and the content he chooses to react to offers something more. When he isn't posting reactions, he's posting vlogs and just recently, a cooking video which he filmed in six hours. As expected, it failed, but that's how you know you're in on the community, you know? It's not a surprise, but it's not bad either. 

If I had to choose just one reason for subscribing, it would be the fact that we are irked by the same thing - wrong grammar/spelling. With Google readily available, your errors shouldn't be there at all. Look the word up before posting and go from there. 

 

That concludes this list of Youtubers that I am currently watching and can't live without. There are quite a few more (which I will reserve for another post), but these were the creators that immediately came to my head when I started the topic. They're all very nice people with various content, so please check them out if you haven't already and subscribe if you like their videos. 

I'd love to know which Youtubers you watch daily! Recommend me some down in the comments, okay? :)