Holiday Gift Guide – Skincare Edition

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

 

Holidays are just around the corner, and many people are starting to get their gifts list done. Although I don’t really celebrate any of the upcoming holidays, I love gifting in general!

I made up a list of some of my favorite things that would be great for gifting and in today’s post, I will be sharing skincare products.



PIXI BEAUTY GLOW TONIC


First on the list would be my all-time favorite PixiBeauty Tonic.



The Pixi Glow Tonic is a highly concentrated, invigorating facial toner that deeply cleans pores by sweeping away excess oil and impurities. I personally love this toner because it's gentle enough to exfoliate the skin but tough enough to remove dirt and impurities, leaving the skin soothed, refreshed, and radiant. It comes in 3 sizes - 15 ml, 100 ml, and 250 ml. It's perfect for gifting on its own, but if you want a more sophisticated one, you can get the Best of Bright Kit, which includes the Glow Mud Cleanser,  Glow Tonic, and Glow Mud Mask.


Photo from Pixi Beauty Website


GOOD MOLECULES - THE HERO REGIMEN


If you follow me on Instagram, you know that I often rave about this brand - Good Molecules. This brand has become one of my all-time favorite skincare brands. It's not only effective but super affordable too! I also love their initiative of listing all the ingredients and how much percent they put in the product written on each box. They mostly use glass bottles and avoid the use of plastics to save the environment. Plus, who doesn't love products that were never tested on animals?

For a perfect gift, why not buy a mix of everything? The Hero Regimen Collection would be the perfect one! This bundle includes seven of their best selling products to prep your skin from morning to night - Instant Cleansing Balm, Niacinamide Brightening Toner, Hyaluronic Acid Serum, Overnight Exfoliating Serum, Squalane Oil, Silicone-Free Priming Moisturizer,  and Caffeine Energizing Hydrogel Eye Patches. Check out my previous post about Good Molecules and some favorite products from them here.




MARIO BADESCU - DEW IT FOR THE GLOW


Who doesn't want that "glow," especially this holiday season? Why not gift a friend (or yourself) this Mario Badescu Dew it for the Glow Bundle?



Photo from Macy's Website


This set includes the Enzyme Cleansing Gel, Witch Hazel & Rosewater Toner, Facial Spray with Aloe, Herbs, and Rosewater, Hyaluronic Dew Cream, and Hyaluronic Dew Drops. These products are ideal for all skin types and will certainly give you (or anyone you are gifting this) a dewy skin that glows.

FIRST AID BEAUTY ULTRA REPAIR CREAM


Super dry skin? No problem! This First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream Intense Hydration is perfect for your friends or relatives that suffer from dry skin, especially this colder season. This multi-function cream provides head-to-toe moisture and instant relief for dry, distressed skin and even eczema. It's lightweight and fast absorbent with no greasy after-feel.



If you want to make it a fancier gift, try getting the All that Fab Kit, which includes Pure Skin Face Cleanser, Facial Radiance Pads, Ultra Repair Cream, Eye Duty Niacinamide Brightening Cream, and Ultra Repair Lip Therapy. This 5-piece limited edition set of FAB skincare essentials will help promote a smooth, radiant, and hydrated complexion. Anyone will be delighted upon receiving this!


Photo from First Aid Beauty Website

INNISFREE JEJU CHERRY BLOSSOM JELLY CREAM SET


This is definitely a cute set any skincare-loving youngster will love! This set includes Dewy Glow Jelly Cream, Dewy Glow Toner, and Dewy  Glow Emulsion. This trio is all you need for a simple yet effective skincare routine that can boost your skin's radiance while delivering soothing hydration the skin needs.



ELIZABETH ARDEN VITAMIN C CERAMIDE SKINCARE GIFT SET


Vitamin C and Ceramides can be holy grail ingredients. It can be a wonderful gift for moms and grandmoms or just someone that needs extra love and care for their aging skin! This Elizabeth Arden Vitamin C Ceramide Skincare Gift Set includes Vitamin C Ceramide Capsules Radiance Renewal Serum, Ceramide Lift and Firm Day Cream Broad Spectrum Sunscreen SPF 30, and Advanced Ceramide Capsules Daily Youth Restoring Serum.


Photo from Macy's Website


These are just some of my favorite skincare products that you can consider gifting to your loved ones.

Stay tuned for more holiday gift guide series!


*Some links are affiliates, and I may earn a small commission when you purchase through these links.

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Home Office on a Budget - A glimpse of my home office corner

Wednesday, October 7, 2020



As I transitioned back to working from home, I started working on building my home office. I want to be as comfortable as I can, because the more comfortable I am, the more enthusiastic I will be to work, won't you agree?

I always wanted to work from home, and I truly believed that this is the time for me. I started looking at home office ideas on Instagram and Pinterest. These are some favorites so far.


theunstitchd.com - Pinterest


Casinha Organizada - Intagram

worldmarket.com - Pinterest


Of course, I had to consider my budget, so I window shop  (well screen shop, really 😅) around for a few weeks to see the best offer. I am mainly looking for a desk and a comfortable office chair with good quality but won't break the bank.

I found my office chair in Walmart.com. 

Walmart - Yoyomax

This office chair was originally $169.99  but was on sale at Walmart for $91.99. I was drawn to it because of its ergonomic design with an adjustable headrest and lumbar support that looks so comfortable. It has a breathable mesh material that promotes air circulation and keeps my back and legs relaxed.  The headrest and the seat is adjustable up and down while the backrest can be adjusted forward and back. The installation is also a breeze - no additional tools or fittings are needed. It took me less than 3o minutes to install everything.

On the other hand, I found my office desk from Amazon.com:

Mr. Ironstone L-Shaped Desk - Amazon

I could have bought my chair in Amazon if the prize is on sale like in Walmart, but unfortunately, it was not. Anyway, I really fell in love with this Mr. Ironstone 50.8." L-shaped desk, perfect for the corner that I planned to build my home office. The original price was $129.99 but was on sale for $99.99. It has a white marble top and gold frame legs, so it was a perfect design. It also has excellent reviews and looks really good based on verified purchasers' photos. I also love that it arrived within two days! (I am a Prime Member, by the way😃)

The assembly is pretty easy too. It took me less than an hour to assemble everything all by myself, and I am impressed. 

So here's the overall look and feel of my humble home office:


I am really going towards the rose gold theme here, but I am still working on that. ðŸ˜‚  You can check my home office rose gold list essentials in my Amazon Store Front. You might find something that you would like too!

My Starburst Wallpaper Sticker is from Wallmonkeys that I was sent complimentary for review. The little frame below was from Dollar Tree; you will be surprised how much cute stuff you can find in there! You can also do DIYs from Dollar Tree products if you are the creative type on a tight budget. I like to do that, but sometimes my creativity runs dry along with my motivation. I am usually just too lazy. 😂

I also love the idea of having a brick wall. Am I the only one? I found out that one of the easiest ways to achieve brick wall design without spending too much time and money is by using faux bricks. I came across Faux Brickwork, which has some good selections of Faux Brick Wall panels.

Here's how chic they look:

I think this would really look great in my home office! 


Flemish Bond-Raw

If you are looking to step-up your brick wall-looking home or business, you may want to check Faux Brickwork. They are located in Clearwater, FL, and can serve the US market with exceptionally sturdy, beautiful, and realistic faux brick panels. They also offer samples to make sure you are 100% before committing to a large order.

Their panels range from $49.99 to $89.99 each with Dimensions of Width 39", Height 36 ½", Depth ¼" or 40", Height 35", Depth ¼".  They have a friendly design team that can assist and advises you on your design, and if you can't find the faux brickwork that speaks to you from their extensive line, they can provide you comprehensive design service for the more bespoke ideas.

What do you think? Is faux brick a good idea or no? Let me know in the comments below!

*Some links in this post are affiliates, and I earn commissions on qualifying orders.*





















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How to Build an Advanced Skincare Routine

Wednesday, September 30, 2020

 


Disclaimer: I am in no way a skincare professional or expert. All information in this post is based on my own combined research and personal experiences. Everyone has different skin types and can react differently from products. 

In my previous post, we discussed how you can start a skincare routine from scratch.

But although our skin's basic needs (cleansing, moisturizing, and protecting) remain the same, our skin's needs change as we get older. We might also develop some skincare concerns as we age - like pimples or acne breakouts, large pores, signs of aging, redness or uneven skin tone. So, you may want to step up your skincare game at some point.

Now that we covered the basics, let's move on to a more advanced skincare routine.

Basic Morning Routine:






















Advance Morning Routine:

1.  Cleansing - it is still important to do your morning cleansing to get rid of all the dirt that might have build-up overnight. Choose a cleanser based on your skin type. You can visit my previous post to help determine your skin type.

2. Toning - this is not only a great way to remove dirt that has been left behind from cleansing, but it also balances your skin's pH. The use of toners help tone and tighten skin.

3. Improving - this step includes adding antioxidants to your routine. Vitamin C and E serums are great for improving your skin's texture. Serums with Vitamin C can help protect your skin from damage and reverse sun and pollution damage.

4. Treating- this step includes the application of spot treatments and eye creams. Most of the acne treatments are advisable to be used at night time, and I personally only use them at night. Eye creams, on the other hand, is a staple for me. It helps to brighten, smooth, and reduce puffiness and darkness around my eye areas. 

5. Moisturizing - this will always be essential because our skin needs to be hydrated all the time. If our skin is dry, it can easily be irritated, and we don't want that.

6. Protecting - this step is crucial. Wearing sunscreen can help your skin not only in the present time but also in the long run. 

Optional: If your skin is leaning towards the dry type, you may want to try adding the use of face oils. Face oils can serve as an extra level of skin protection that strengthens the outer layer of our skin and preventing water loss. You can add this step after applying your serum (step 3), or you can mix it with either your serum or moisturizer. 

Basic Night Time Routine:






















Advance Night Time Routine:

1. Cleansing - if you wore makeup during the day, you may want to try double-cleansing at night to ensure all dirt and grime are removed.  You can either use an oil-based cleanser or micellar water first, followed by your regular lathering cleanser and water.

2. Exfoliating - this is an important step, but it's advisable to do it only once or twice a week. Exfoliating the skin helps remove the build-up of dead skin cells and helps unclog pores for smoother and healthier skin. You can use exfoliating cleansers or clay masks that are known to be good exfoliators.

3. Toning - apply your toner the same way you do in the morning. I prefer using my hands to apply my toner directly to my skin. I just gently tap it on my face instead of using cotton pads or balls. You can also use mist toners. Do whatever works for you.

4. Improving - add serums that are packed with hyaluronic acid. You can also alternate your hydrating serums with retinol that can improve your skin-aging concerns. 

5. Treating - Always follow serums with your eye creams of choice; we don't want to forget our precious eye areas! After taking care of your eye areas, make sure to address your other skin concerns like acne or pimples, dark spots, and acne scars by applying your spot treatment. If you are using retinol, make sure to read your product instructions before adding them to your skincare routine. It can sometimes be irritating to the skin if you use them both at the same time. 

6. Moisturizing - our skin works double time at night, and moisturizers are essential for glowing skin when you wake up. Use night creams, which are thicker than your regular moisturizer in the morning. It helps seal active ingredients and lock-in hydration. 

Optional: If you want to pamper your skin a little extra, add a sheet mask after your serums/essences (step 4). You can also use a sleep mask (usually gel or cream-like) in place of moisturizers. 

Final Thoughts

Again, everyone has different skin types and skin needs. 

Your skin may only need a 3-step skincare routine, or it may need the whole 6 steps or more. Listen to your skin and be observant to what it really needs.

Whatever you decide on, always remember the rule of thumb - apply products with the thinnest consistency to thickest, or from liquid to cream.

You may not see instant results, but if you find that skincare regimen that works for you, stick to it, and you will eventually see the results. 

Do you have a specific skincare routine? Share it on the comment box below!









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Home Improvements During the Pandemic

Tuesday, September 22, 2020






When the pandemic started, most of us have a 360-degree turn of our lives. 

My work implemented a rotation schedule for us when the pandemic took it turns to worse just so there's not a lot of people in the office and that we are complying with the social distancing protocol. I started working for two days and then two days off. With all that free time, my husband and I started a home project. We repainted the house and bought new furniture. It was a total make-over. But no, we did not overspend or splurge. We bought what we can afford and somethings I repurposed and was used for something else.

The first thing we worked on was our kitchen. We used to have a lot of plates, utensils, bowls, mugs, and water bottles that we don't really use, so I started boxing them and put them away. We are only two at home and rarely got visitors, so all of those are mostly clutter in our kitchen. We got a cheap set of plates and bowls from Walmart with a color that eventually started the theme of our house.


Mainstay Amelia Topaz Dinnerware Set

Here's a look of our kitchen:



Our next project was then the dining area. We found the cheapest but comfortable dining set from Wayfair, and since the brown color doesn't really match our home aesthetics, we bought some chair Covers are from Amazon. The giant wall frame was given to us by a friend.





The living room was the next one we did, and it took us a while to finish putting everything together. The sofa set was also from Wayfair. The coffee table was something we got from Facebook Market for super cheap, and the TV stand was from a local thrift store in our area. This living room update is definitely our favorite part of our home project! 



The last part of the house that we had a significant update was the master's bedroom. The bed was, of course, from Wayfair too.😆



We did some minor updates on our bathrooms, but that would be for some other time for us to share because we are still in the process of repainting it. We are also still working on my husband's "man cave," a.k.a gaming room; when it's finished, we are going to share it with you too! As for my playroom, I updated it a couple of times already, and most of the furniture I have there was some old furniture from our bedroom and living room that I chose to repurpose instead of just throwing them away. I will do a separate post about it since I've got so many things to share from there! But here's a glimpse of my vanity area:


We are happy with how things turned out. I believed that even if you are renting, you can still make the best out of your home. But I am looking forward to that day that we'll be able to own our house that we can call forever home. I always wanted to move somewhere else. Maybe not on another state, because I love Florida!😂 I guess, just somewhere new.

I've heard a lot of good things about Jacksonville. And if ever you are in the market for a new house yourself, you can count on Coldwell Banker Vanguard Realty, Erin E. King MBA. Erin was recognized as Best of Zillow Realtor. He specializes in Jacksonville's historic homes like the homes for sale in Ortega



Erin King is also a Ramsey Endorsed local real estate provider in Jacksonville. A Ramsey endorsed local provider is a 3rd party affiliation that he has, and he's really proud of it! With his combined expertise and experience in buying and selling, you are in good hands and can definitely find your historic dream house in the Jacksonville area. 





His website is also easy to navigate, and there are quite several beautiful homes for sale in Ortega. I particularly like this one:



My husband and I always dreamed of a house far from neighbors and with a big extra lot where we can have our fur baby, Luke, run around and play. 

You can check out more houses from the website and if you find what you are looking for, make sure to give Erin a call.

Hopefully, someday, we can have our own little house, may it be here in Florida or back home in the Philippines. For now, we are grateful that we are living in a charming and affordable townhouse that we can decorate on our liking. 

What about you? Are you planning on buying a new home anytime soon? Or were you able to do some home projects or improvements during the pandemic? I'd love to hear from you!

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My Top 5 Favorite Romantic-Comedy Korean Series!

Wednesday, September 16, 2020


Are you a K-drama fan? If yes, you probably already watched everything I have on this list. I won't say that I am a big fan of Korean drama because I don't watch everything that most of the k-drama fans will watch. I mostly like romantic comedies and feel-good dramas, although there's definitely a couple of heavy drama ones that I did love (that's for another time for me to share).

Today, I am just sharing my top 5 favorites, which I watched two or more times already. I usually re-watched them to entertain myself during my treadmill workout. 😁

My Top 5 Favorite K-Drama Series

5. The Secret Garden -   this is a 2010 South Korean television drama starring Ha Ji-won and Hyun Bin. At first, you will think that it's your typical Cinderella story between a stuntwoman and a rich and arrogant department store CEO. But there's more to it than that. I love how they mold the characters in this drama - including the supporting casts, and how each of their stories unfolds throughout the series.

Netflix/Giphy


4. My Love from the Star -
a 2014 romantic fantasy TV series starring Jun Ji-Hyun and Kim Soo-Hyun. This is about an extraterrestrial alien who landed on Earth in the Joseon Dynasty and, 400 years later, falls in love with a top actress in the modern era. What I love most about this series was the hilarious character of Jun Ji-Hyun and the mysterious but cute character of Kim Soo-Hyun. This drama also entails family relationships, the complicated life of an actress, love, and friendships.

Giphy


3. The Legend of the Blue Sea -
this is another romantic-fantasy tv series aired 2016 and starring Jun Ji-Hyun and Lee Min-ho, two of the most top-rated Hallyu actors. I already love both of these actors, and they have the perfect chemistry in this series. This drama will leave you laughing because of the innocence of the mermaid who made it to land to follow the man she fell in love with, who turns out to be an expert con-artist. And at the same time, it will make you cry because what is Korean drama if it can't make you sad and cry, right?

Giphy


2. Full House - this will be one of my forever favorite TV series because I just love the story and the characters, and also, this is the first series that my husband watched with me. Among this list, this seems to be a classic, which aired back in 2004 and starred by Song Hye-Kyo and Rain. I love the storyline. It's about an innocent and ordinary girl who is just trying to survive as an orphan and become a successful writer and a famous actor who wanted to escape all rumors surrounding him and his career. They ended up living together in a fake marriage.

Photo Credit: KBS / Wikipedia


1. Crash Landing on You - this is the most recent series that I probably watched four times already. I love the plot of this 2019 drama starred by Hyun Bin and Son Ye-jin. This drama is about a South Korean heiress who, while paragliding, is swept up by a storm and ended up crash-landing in North Korea, where she met a North Korean officer, who tried to protect her, and they both ended up falling in love with each other. This is the second k-drama series that my husband watched with me, and considering he was actually the one who chose this series.😆

Netflix / Giphy


If you have any recommendations, comment below and let me know so I can check them out! And please share your top five too!

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