Woman, high maintenance is thy maiden name.


32 flavors and then some. That’s how old I am turning in July. Apart from the wrinkles and crow’s feet which are now starting to become more visible on my face caused by the combination of sun exposure and (the) occasional stress, I don’t feel old. In fact, and I keep telling myself this every morning when I face the mirror, I have never looked as good as I do now back when I was in my 20’s. I am healthier, fitter, more flexible and agile than most people my age – or even younger – and I always have random strangers telling me that I don’t look a day over 25! If you ask me, I think my skin has a lot to do with it.  This is the part where I suppose I have to give credit where credit is due. Mom, wherever you are, thank you! I have such an elastic and supple skin that you would never find even the faintest stretch mark on me even when I have gone as heavy as 120lbs and dropped down to 98lbs at one point. To say that I am mad for body moisturizers and beauty products is an understatement. I don’t patronize ridiculously expensive brands because, well, I can’t afford them. In fact, when it comes to body butter and moisturizers, the one brand that I love above all else is Boots – which I can only find in Thailand. It’s very reasonably priced but superlatively effective in making my skin look, feel, and smell deliciously soft and sexy.

But the wrinkles on my forehead and the now visible crow’s feet really get to me sometimes. Scrap that: All the time! I hate it especially when they show on photos and no amount of striking accessories can draw attention away from them. It’s not the thought of aging that scares me, because we are all going to get old and wrinkly at some point anyway. It is the thought of aging prematurely that causes me to do a double-take and seriously contemplate the use of anti-aging creams and beauty products. Any career-driven woman would tell you how important looks are in a cutthroat corporate jungle. Not that it is an absolute necessity for us to look ‘manufactured‘ by science, but more often, just being able to cover the basics – i.e. great skin, winning smile, manner of dressing, a 23-inch waistline, etc. – is enough to get us through the door.

Sooo, yes, ‘anti-aging’ anything is what I first look for when I go shopping for body butter, make-up, and demmit even body soaps! Not that I am attempting to defy (a)natural progression such as aging – I am merely trying to (super) slow down the process.  I have tried a few products and some of them I have grown a certain fondness for such as the Olay Age Defying series. But us girls being girls, we cannot resist the urge to try out other products – and there’s always something new that’s packaged as better in terms of performance and benefits.  And we always get hoodwinked into making mindless purchases, don’t we? But it’s okay. We’re girls and sometimes that’s explanation enough. *wink wink*

Today, I had an opportunity to try two new products from a beauty brand that’s been known and trusted for several decades now, Mary Kay. The anti-aging line is called TimeWise® and the two revolutionary products recently introduced in the Philippine market are TimeWise® Moisture Renewing™ Gel Mask and the TimeWise® Liquid Foundations.

TimeWise® Moisture Renewing Gel Mask which provides intense hydration to nourish skin whose moisture has been depleted during the day. This mask is scientifically formulated with ingredients to help quench the skin’s thirst overnight. It is formulated to add and hold in every precious drop of moisture. The skin will feel firmer, softer, healthier, and appear plumped from within.

TimeWiseâ Liquid Foundations make it simple for any woman to find her perfect match, with four shades to choose from, a choice of finishes for different skin types and the bonus of age-fighting benefits.  The foundation features two finishes – Luminous-Wear™ and Matte-Wear™ – which cater to skin that is either normal to dry or combination to oily, and a formula packed with ingredients to help protect the skin from environmental aggressors that can contribute to the visible signs of aging.

TimeWise Renewing Gel Mask and TimeWise Liquid Foundation

These two products were introduced via a special pampering event hosted for the media and selected beauty and fashion bloggers. I am not a fashion and beauty blogger, that’s for sure. What I am is a beautiful blogger. At least that’s a compliment I got a lot of earlier when I dropped by the event. And since they’re all strangers to me, I am inclined to believe and you can bet I will take every single word to bed tonight. Gullible much, yes. Now where are those ROTFL emoticons when you need them?!?

Anyway, the event was fun! Not only did I get an overdose of pink which happens to be a favorite color of mine (strawberry chocolate truffles, pink juice, pink bread sticks, pink couches, etc…) and free manicure, I also met a lot of very interesting – not to mention, beautiful – people. I remember chatting up nearly everyone that I keep missing the opportunity to have my nails done!  I even saw Hannah of Flaircandy fame whom some of you would also recognize as one of the House of Vanita blogger-models during last year’s fashion show. I especially loved talking to Jase and the beautiful event host who said she instantly noticed me when I walked into the room. The Tetchie Agbayani aura, she said was too strong to be missed! As most of the old-schoolers here would know, Tetchie, during her time, was synonymous to overpowering sex appeal. Wala talagang kakupas-kupas ang alindog ng lola nyo! Weeet weeew! Now if I had a peso for each time I get compliments like that, I’d probably be driving around a Kia. Another plate of ROTFLs, please!

With my new friend Jase
With the beautiful host whom I had one of best conversations with at the event
Hannah of Flaircandy having her make-up session
Vicky supersizing it at the manicure area
With Jase and birthday girl

Of course, I didn’t let pass the opportunity of talking about running and preaching health and fitness to the people around me. And it’s NOT just because I am now officially a Reebok brand ambassador for running (respect, earthlings, respect!) but because I am really passionate about these things. Why do you think I quit smoking and drinking cold turkey and at the same time three years ago? Why do you think I quit red meat and embraced ultrarunning and circuit interval training workouts? It’s because I love this body I was born with and if I don’t take care of it, who else out there would?

Team REEBOK.

Anyway, enough digression. All I really wanted to share was how great a day this has been for me. I met some great people whom I hope I would meet again. I brought home two great products I couldn’t wait to try. I accomplished a lot at work. And lastly, I had a great sharing session with Ro and the rest of the Wednesday Victory group. The blessings just keep coming and it feels so good to be back!

Tuesday Group.

The House of Vanita Dares You To Ditch The Granny Undies!


When it comes to seduction, one cannot simply rely on looks alone. You may be in the running for the world’s prettiest face but if you are often caught wearing the wrong sorts of clothes and shoes and your personality is inversely proportional with your beauty, chances are, you will end up playing sub-roles to someone who may not be as superior in the looks department but knows exactly how to play up her assets – and win stacks of chips for it without even trying.

I know a thing or two about seduction. I may have deliberately used it one time too many to get what I want and yes it has often worked to my advantage. Emphasis on ‘I may have‘. Of course, we’re not talking only about sex here. That seduction can be done only by shedding your clothes is a very common misnomer. Seduction of the mind is just as potent – if not MORE – as seduction of the body. I’m quite modest so I won’t tell you that I have been told countless times that my mind is as sexy as my curves. No, I most certainly won’t tell you that I’m always told such.

 

Wearing a Vanita corset in lavender shade.

 

But let’s talk about seduction of the body. If I can give you only one piece of advice on seduction, it would be this – lingerie. It’s the simplest and most effective tool to get your partner’s temperature rise to a boiling point. But don’t think that it’s just for the guy’s visual satisfaction. It’s for us women as well. Wearing the right lingerie makes me look and feel sexy. The world obviously does not need to know I’m wearing corset, thongs, and garters underneath my corporate suit but the fact that I have them on and my skin responds beautifully to the silky feel of the fabric gives me some sort of inner power, which in turn, gives me that mysterious glow that men find irresistible.

There are many types of lingerie to choose from. You can go from mild to sweet and even all the way to the bold and risqué.  Now if you remember last month, I took part in the unprecedented bloggers’ lingerie fashion show for The House of Vanita which generated quite an attention in the social media circle. Now I hate to make you squirm in envy but part of our talent fee was X amount of free lingerie from Vanita and that alone is more than enough gratis for an hour of strutting around insexy intimate apparel.

Now here’s good news for us fine, fierce Filipinas: The House of Vanita is giving you the opportunity to be part of the House of Vanita Club which entails a whole range of perks to make sure you keep fabulously sexy!

How does it work? It’s very simple. If you are interested in purchasing a set of Vanita lingerie, click on this link here to become a Friend of Vanita and get the following benefits:

  • A 50% discount on all succeeding swimsuit or lingerie* purchases after the initial  purchase at registration. The 50% discount shall apply to all subsequent purchases made until November 30, 2010.
  • A 20% discount on all succeeding swimsuit or lingerie purchases made after  November 30, 2010 until June 30, 2011.
  • A 70% discount on all Limited Collection purchases made until November 15, 2010, or  until supply lasts.
  • Special invites to exclusive shows and events from the House of Vanita.
  • Free Boudoir Shoot of a group of at least four Friends of Vanita, subject to scheduling.
  • Free use of Vanita Lounge wifi
    facilities.

*The Arianne, Gioia-A, Luna Bustier, Lilla, Abree and Sylvana styles are not included in this campaign.

Simple, isn’t it? Now don’t keep the sexy secret all to yourself! Spread the word and get your friends to sign up for the House of Vanita Club and join me in my revolution to make this world a very sexy place to live in!

The House of Vanita: On Appetite for Flawlessly Sexy Things Part I


Looks like I may very well be on my way to fulfilling my not-so-secret fantasies of world domination. As to which world, planet, or universe is entirely open for debate and all sorts of interpretation. Obviously, I couldn’t think of anything wittier than that lame blog opener so I beg of you my dear readers, be kind to me. But what I really wanted to share with you – or anyone who can be bothered to spare a few seconds of their precious salaried time to take a peek into my little blog domain – is this:

Last Saturday, I took off my clothes and got paid for it!

Aaaaaand NO, it’s nothing like solicitation. I might as well make that very clear now before you get your underthings all up in a bunch or a very painful wedgie. Ouch. Okay, enough horsing around. Here’s what really happened.

A few weeks ago, I got an email from Mitzi Dayrit inviting me to be part of a swimsuit slash lingerie fashion show featuring selected female bloggers in the country. The word used, I think, was ‘top’, in reference to the bloggers, but seeing as I’m hardly up there in the top ranks  –statistically, I mean but I do know that in your heart of hearts i’m number one, right? No? Yes? Maybe? What do I have to do to get some love in here?!? – let’s  just go for the word ‘selected’ for now. Who knows? Maybe after I post a few photos, my blog’s rating will go skyrocketing‘innit? *insert LOL smileys here*

The luxury lingerie and swimwear brand which I, along with six other lovely bloggers, was tapped to model for is called House of Vanita featuring exclusive designs by top Italian designer Fabiola Marin, who, in her last visit to the country when she officially launched the brand, had this to say about the Filipinas and what inspired her to design for them:

“Filipinas are very strong women, achievers at home, in school, in the arts, within the walls of corporations and even in public service. Knowing, let alone wearing, an intimo line specially designed for her blends perfectly well with her empowered image. I hope every Filipina will have at least one in her closet because really, Vanita is the only line that brings together Italian mastery, European systems and Japanese efficiency in a collaboration to flatter her,” — taken here.

The launch which featured a host of Brazilian models was a huge hit and Vanita had, right there and then, established itself as a formidable brand  in the luxury lingerie industry in the Philippines. The response was so overwhelming that the owners immediately followed it up with another show scheduled on the 2nd of October. Only this time, there won’t be real models involved. Instead, it will be the female bloggers who will serve as the brand ambassadors for that day. Or night, as the case truly was. Yay for us!

The bloggers selected for the show were AlexHenzel, Aby, Helga,Hannah, Shanna, and yours truly. I didn’t know any of them until the day we all sat down together for the briefing, as I have never really attended any blogging event since I started my own site in 2005. Well, except for last year’s Philippine Blog Awards where I was one of the nominees but as you all know, I went home empty-handed that night. Call me Thank You, Girl. Yes, I’m cute that way. Sorry I keep digressing!

The night before the fashion show, all seven of us were called to do the final dress rehearsal and it went well despite the fact that none of us has ever actually done any ramp modeling of sorts. At least I haven’t.

This is already pretty lengthy so I am going to take a break right here. I will post Part II tomorrow if:

(a.) I have time to do it
(b.) You’re good and sweet and actually beg me for the photos
(c.) You bribe me with a copy of Graham Greene’s The End of the Affair and 6 pieces of Lord Stowe’s yummy cream puff

Otherwise, I will still write the rest of the blog entry and post some of the photos because truth be told, I can be quite attention-starved that way.

Okay, fine, just one photo. The rest will come in a day or two…

The House of Vanita: On Appetite For Flawlessly Sexy Things Part II


Boy, I’ve had one hell of a crazy week! And quite too soon after my House of Vanita stint, of which I remember making a promise of posting some more photos. We’ll get to that later. Sometimes I like keeping things in suspense. Don’t you? It’s kind of like having that thing you want most in your life just within reach but you decide to delay gratification for a little bit and then, kabooom!

Two things officially crossed off my bucket list: Doing some fashion type of things and, tadaaaaah, running an completing my first Ultramarathon! Respect, earthlings, respect. This 30-something all-around fitness freak participated in the 1st PAU (Philippine Association of UltraRunners) 50k Mt. Pinatubo Trail Challenge and actually romped off with a first runner-up win! Now this deserves an entire blogpost of its own so we’ll keep it nice and tight first and make way for all things vain, sexy, sassy, and daring. Drumroll please…

All photos except for the first two were taken by Noel Abelardo.

****
And oh, congratulations to entrepreneur-slash-goddess-slash-Ultramarathoner Abby Jocson on the launch of her bag line and a swanky website to boot! I’m kind of somewhere in the website too. Check it out here. Photos were again taken by the multi-talented Noel Abelardo. Talk about girl power – yes, that includes Noel.*wink*