Why I Shouldn’t Go to Bazaars…

…I end up splurging.

Moonlit Bazaar Loot
Loot from Moonlit Bazaar, PowerPlant Mall

It’s that time of year when bazaars make a killing out of people buying presents for their loved ones, but I made my way to PowerPlant Mall today to shop for myself.

It started when I wanted to check out a pair of shoes from Summersault: I’d seen them on Tricia and wanted to try them on, at least. They had a stall at The Moonlit Bazaar (from November 27 to 29) and I was in the area anyway for a friend’s birthday party. My inner shopaholic could not resist, even when presented with a P100 door charge (sigh).

The thing with door charges is that once I get into a bazaar, I feel like I have to purchase something to make it worth my while. I ended up getting a bag holder from Style and Carry Bags (P250), liquid leggings from Coeur (P650), and a multi-way cardigan from Decadence&Affluence; (P550). Adding my purchase of Empire macarons (P280 for a box of 9) from the Baker’s Dozen exhibit to the total amount, I spent way more than I should have for one weekend. In fact, it’s the biggest amount I’ve ever spent in the Rockwell area. (On the plus side, I didn’t get lost exiting Rockwell like I always do. Rockwell must be pleased with me.)

But this week I realized that a lot of the interesting things in my wardrobe have all been impulse buys anyway. I guess I should think of what I bought as an investment. (This is stating to sound like Confessions of a Shopaholic. Gaaah. Will stop buying clothes for now.)

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This Month in Action&Fitness Magazine

Hey everyone, before the month ends I really think you should pick up a copy of Action&Fitness; Magazine. Not just because Roxanne Guinoo is on the cover, but that could be a valid reason.

Action&Fitness November issue
Action&Fitness; November issue

But if you do check it out for the cover, I wrote not just one, nor two, but four articles featured on the cover, plus one more inside. Here’s a sneak peek:

  • COVER STORY: Sweating in Style (p. 44) Keep fit while staying in style with the proper and recommended sportswear.
  • Six Workout Myths vs. Facts (p. 62) Fitness myths demystified.
  • Yogurt or No-gurt? (p. 32) It’s the latest craze in town — but read this first before you ride the fro-yo bandwagon.
  • Boost Your Booty (p. 70) Give your booty a natural boost with these butt-busting moves.
  • Tricep Toning (p. 72) Get rid of those “batwing” arms with these easy steps. (BONUS! listen to an excerpt from this article)

A&F;‘s November issue is on all major magazine stands now, so go get it!

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The November Fashion & Beauty Mega-Post

With apologies to the men who are following this blog, I’m writing another mega-post for fashion and beauty this month. There were just too many kikay developments for me not to notice. Ü

Bootie Luv

If you’re following me on Tumblr, you might have seen me reblogging posts from fashion tumblr ShoeLust, or posting photos of shoes I want to have from Virtual Mae. I was under the impression that stylish gladiator pumps and booties could only be bought from online stores and boutiques like People Are People or Janylin.

Then I dropped by SM Department Store the other day.

Booties by Parisian
SM. We’ve really got it all.

I could not believe my eyes. Ankle-high booties with the correct chunkiness of heel! Studded heels! Etcetera! All that I had been dreaming of and drooling about were right there in-store. The best part was the most expensive pair were priced at P1,299. Not bad at all!

Of course, two weeks ago I told Dhon of Runway2Reality that I’d already made my last shoe purchase of the year. I’m still trying to resist the retail urge! Maybe I’ll reward myself with some awesome shoes in 2010.

DIY Event Make-up

I’ve always done my own make-up when I go out, but seeing other women have perfectly finished faces made me go research how to apply make-up for clubbing. There’s a different color palette for smoky gunmetal eyes, and I wanted to get the blending right for them.

November Fashion Mega-Post: New Loot!
new loot!

The make-up palette from Ever Bilena I bought a few months back is good for everyday use, but it tends to wash out when camera flashes are involved. So I picked up some e.l.f. eyeshadows (P129.75 each) because the colors are intense and don’t wear off easily even with my oily skin (bane of make-up artists). I got the Drama shades for gunmetal club eyes, and Butternut for when I want to achieve an old Hollywood bombshell look.

I’ve been using brown pencil liners to define my brows lately, reserving the black liner for rimming my eyes. Ever Bilena Color Pencils are cheap (P88), rich, don’t run, and won’t smear if set with powder. The white eyeliner in the photo is from Nichido; Tyra Banks and other celebrities tout its use on lower eyelid rims as a way to make eyes appear bigger.

For the SLIMS Retrospective, I picked up a copy of Cosmopolitan Magazine and copied a look from one of its pages.

November Fashion Mega-Post: Made-upAfter applying Clinique Superfit foundation (Rose Beige) with a foundation brush and patting it smooth with a make-up sponge, I used an Elianto cream concealer (Medium shade) to cover up dark circles. Then I applied the nude color from the Butternut palette all over my eyelid up to the brow. I swiped the lightest shade onto my brow bone as highlight, then used the two darkest colors to contour my lid and give it a deep-set look. Since it wasn’t dark enough not to wash out when I took test photos, I took my Drama palette and lightly brushed some black shadow to finish off the contour.

After filling in and extending my eyebrows with brown pencil, I went all around my eye with my black liner. I applied a line of white pencil beneath the black liner on my waterline, which lit up my eye area and finished the look. Blush powder from Nichido (Cool Rum and Passionate Red) and lip color from Clinique (Color Surge in Extreme Pink) added some warmth to the lower half of my face. I later attached very long false eyelashes from e.l.f. (not in photo).

I felt really confident about how I looked, and as the evening progressed, the make-up did not wear off or migrate. In the photos, the make-up was just right, not too heavy or too light. Success!

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A Night at the Museum: SLIM Retrospective

While I’ve attended fashion events in the past, this is the first time I’ve infiltrated been invited to a society event. The SLIM Retrospective opened yesterday at the National Museum for the Filipino People, and I was blessed enough to have friends who asked me to view it with them on its first night. (The exhibit will remain until March 2010, so there’s still enough time to go see it!)

SLIM stands for Salvacion Lim Higgins, a Filipina haute couture designer. Designing from 1947 until shortly before her death in 1990, she is best remembered for dramatic silhouettes, intricate embroidery and beadwork, and reinventing the Maria Clara and terno for Manila’s high society. She also started a fashion and art school that still operates in Makati.

Her legacy was on display last night, presented by Preview and Town&Country; magazines with the support of Citibank, Nokia, and the Peninsula Manila. The museum facade was aglow with washes of colored light and decked out with a red carpet for honored guests to walk on.

SLIM Retrospective launch: Night at the Museum
Red Carpet!

Preview Magazine’s November issue features Anne Curtis on the cover and inside in a fashion editorial that pays tribute to SLIM. A number of the dresses on display in the museum were also worn by Anne in the pictorial.

SLIM Retrospective launch: Morocco meets space-age
what was old is new again

I saw the Project Runway Philippines regular cast, UNO Magazine’s creative director Juan Caguicla, dignitaries from foreign embassies, actors and actresses, and perhaps I failed to recognize some of Manila’s movers and shakers because I’d never seen them before (or paid attention). Gosh, I’m so middle-class — not that there’s anything wrong with that.

I fully enjoyed myself with the wines from Titania, canapes, cold cuts, and cheeses from Peninsula Manila, and was able to move around pretty well in my gown by Ryan Madamba, who had invited me to come with him to the retrospective. You don’t see it in the picture below, but that gown had a train measuring about eighteen inches. The only other woman in the place with a train was Preview editor-in-chief Pauline Juan. Not bad for an interloper like me. Ü

SLIM Retrospective launch: interloper
fashion with friends can’t go wrong

Check out my Multiply album for more photos from the SLIM Retrospective launch, or go to Stylebible.ph’s photo gallery.

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Parvati Dessert Soiree

I’m not a dessert person, but I won’t refuse a free meal (hehe). So when I got an invitation to attend a taste-testing event, I didn’t say no.

Parvati Dessert Soiree
Parvati Dessert Soiree at 55 Events Place

Parvati is an upcoming shop concept; their tagline is “where home bakers and dessert lovers meet”. While there will be a physical mortar-and-bricks shop, home bakers will be able to offer their made-to-order dessets through Parvati. Through this taste test, the collected comments and ratings on each dessert will help determine whether or not it will be offered at a Parvati shop in the future.

Parvati Dessert Soiree: the spread
Got a sweet tooth?

It turns out that 500 people registered for the event, which was dubbed a “dessert soiree”. At the entrance, I registered and was given a comment sheet to review four desserts of my choice. (You can only get four desserts at a time.) I chose a slice of chocolate decadent cake, some kind of muffin, a slice of banana loaf, and a lemon square. I had some friends with me, so I probably tasted twelve desserts just by nibbling off their plates.

Parvati Dessert Soiree: my thinking cap
I’ve got my thinking cap on.

The wide array of choices overwhelmed my palate and my belly, so I ended up rating just the four desserts I had taken. The decadent cake was the best, with its moist chocolate crumb and gooey caramel sauce just melting onto the tongue. The muffin was the worst — I could only describe it as feeling and tasting like bits of cardboard. The banana loaf could have used a bit more sugar, and the lemon square a bit more moisture.

Overall, I’m excited for the day when a Parvati shop opens near me. More of that decadent cake please!

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Finding My [Clinique] Perfect Match

“Hello, Miss. This is for you.”

Clinique Perfect Match event: white rose
a rose for me? how thoughtful!

And with that gentle welcome still ringing in my ear, I breezed into the penthouse suite of Fairways Tower yesterday for the Clinique Perfect Match Foundation event.

Because I’d covered a Clinique skincare event for Kikay Exchange in May, I was invited to this sneak peek at the upcoming foundation line Clinique is releasing, formulated for Asian skin. Check out Project Vanity for Liz’s review, coming soon! The other foundations were also still available for testing.

Clinique Perfect Match event: Makeup!
I, like other women, love make-up

They had a computer set up with a questionnaire that would lead me to find the right kind of foundation for me. Based on my consultation at the counter, I received a whole bottle of Clinique Superfit Makeup in Rose Beige. Superfit matches skin types 2 (combination dry), 3 (combination oily, my skin type), and 4 (oily). It’s oil-free so it won’t clog pores, and it’s long-wearing so it won’t melt off my face.

Clinique Perfect Match event: foundation
Superfit Makeup in Rose Beige, SRP: P1,750

My last pot of liquid foundation from Clinique was the Perfectly Real Makeup in True Beige, which was rather thick and needed a light hand when applied. The Superfit Makeup felt lighter and spread very evenly on my face.

Clinique Perfect Match event: applied
foundation on left side, bare skin on right side

I’m acidic, but this foundation blended very well into my natural skin color. I really like how it dried to a matte finish and covered up light splotches, redness, and dark circles. I didn’t even need to use concealer when I finished applying foundation to my whole face.

I use powder mineral foundation on most days, but when I need more coverage, I’m glad I have Clinique to turn to.

(Check out my Tumblr for photos I took at the event: slideshow 1, slideshow 2.)

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Man Up! UNO Mag Fashion Show

The recently revamped UNO Magazine threw its first fashion show last November 16 at the NBC Tent, and I received an invitation to attend it. You all should know by now I’m a sucker for fashion shows, so I jumped at the chance to dress up and make a night out of it. Ü

Titled “Man Up!”, the UNO fashion show presented menswear modeled by women, styled by Mara Reyes (Gas, Bench, and Diesel), Tricia Gosingtian (Massimo Dutti, Marithe e Francois Girbaud, and Levi’s), Xie Antonio (Gap, Celio, and DC), and Dominique Tiu (Blued, Raoul, and Marks&Spencer;). I first met Tricia when she photographed cosplayers (including Alodia Gosiengfiao) for my article on cosplay in the Philippines. She’s only 21 and in her 4th year of college, but she’s already styling for a major fashion show — props to her!

I arrived right on time, as the invitation said “6:30pm”. While I was wandering the precincts all by myself, I bumped into RJ Ledesma, the editor-in-chief, who I had met briefly at the UNO Bloggers and Contributors Night. (I also added him on Facebook. LOL) I was surprised when he approached and greeted me.

RJ: Hey! Where are the other six?
Me: Six? What six? Huh wait — who do you think I am?
RJ: (brief pause) Well, I think you’re Noelle.
Me: Yes, I’m Noelle but I didn’t bring six others with me. (awkward!)
RJ: Oh it must have been another Noelle who said “me plus six”. Well, thanks for coming early!

Oops.

After that, I texted Jayvee, who told me he was on his way. I was quite pleased to find fellow bloggers Fritz, Jane, and Dhon to sit with, and we attempted to find seats that weren’t in the direct path of the aircon vents. There was free-flowing food by Tamayo’s Catering and beer by San Miguel (I keep trying to appreciate it, but I still hate the taste of beer. Yech.), and guests kept pouring in as well. I think we stole seats meant for some of the celebrities who showed up, since I saw Joey Mead and Iza Calzado on their feet when the show finally started around 8:30pm.

UNO Mag Fashion Show
Women as tall as men can wear menswear.

I recognized some of the models who strode down that runway — Grendel Alvarado, Ornusa Cadness (who was UNO’s October cover), Isabel Roces, and Ana Sideco. Three changes per model, but the show ran along smoothly. You can check out photos from the UNO Fashion Show on my Multiply.

And what did I wear? Oh, just something I threw on:

My Outfit at the UNO Mag Fashion Show
this old thing?

It was dressed up enough to stand up against the well-heeled women at the fashion show, but fun enough to wear at the after-party at Members Only.

So what do I think of the show? It’s an interesting concept, having women wear men’s clothing. It certainly must have been a challenge to keep the models looking sexy in boxy men’s cuts. And really, how creative can you get with button-down shirts, sweaters, shorts, and pants? But I watched these items of clothings come down the ramp transformed into skirts and dresses.

What I didn’t see were women wearing men’s business suits — pinstripes, neckties, formal jackets, fedoras, suspenders. At the end of the show, RJ promised an even bigger fashion show next year, and he left me a comment on Facebook saying that next year I could expect to see that sort of stuff. Hope so! Congratulations to the stylists and to UNO Magazine for a kick-ass event. Ü

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Philippine International Marathon

For my last 10-kilometer race of the year, I ran at the Philippine International Marathon held on Roxas Boulevard on November 8.

Running 10K at the Philippine International Marathon
at the finish line

My dad dropped me off at the assembly area at Quirino Grandstand around 4:30am. The marathon runners had just started, and the roads surrounding the area were already blocked off. It took some effort to find everyone else I was running with, particularly Lalah, who had picked up my race kit for me. By the time we had all gotten together, I didn’t feel like switching my Race for Life top for the blue Izod singlet that all the other runners were wearing. (Hey, I like standing out.)

I was running the 10K distance with Joel, while the rest of the gang had signed up for 5K. Joel insisted we place ourselves near the front of the pack since I was attempting a new PR. I’d seen the route on Google Maps a few days before and knew that it would be a flat course for most of the way, excluding one flyover. This was the route used by the Milo race earlier this year (before I started running), so Joel warned me about certain smells I would encounter along Roxas Boulevard.

Former president Fidel Ramos fired the gun, and we were off. Some Marines and Coast Guard men were among us, and I found a group among them I could comfortably keep pace with. Everything about my run felt good; I wasn’t taking it easy like I did KOTR, but I wasn’t pushing myself too soon yet. I took notice of landmarks so I would know when to start pushing myself to sprint pace on my way back.

The water and hydration stations were wonderful. Water and energy drinks were there when I needed them, so I never felt like I was going to run out of “gas”. After every drink break, I was able to speed up just a bit more.

Then I hit the wall of stench: a smell of rotten eggs was emanating from stagnant water trapped between Roxas Boulevard and the reclaimed area in Manila Bay. I coughed, waved my hands in front of my nose to fan the smell away, but the only way I could escape the smell was to run faster. So I did.

When I got to the flyover, I leaned into the incline and drove my legs down to push my body up and over the crest. Then I sped up my footstrikes going downhill, gaining much-needed time. The U-turn point came pretty quickly.

I thought the home stretch would be the easier part since I still had a lot of leftover energy (I was unwittingly doing a negative split, where the latter half of the run would be done faster). I had no idea that the slow-moving molasses masses of people participating in 3K and 5K would block our way. All runners had been directed to U-turn onto the other side of Roxas Boulevard, so imagine trying to speed up when there are 20,000 people standing in your way. There were people strolling along like they were walking in Luneta Park (which was beside the race’s starting line), students horsing around, unmindful of serious runners like us who were hurtling towards them, girls moving against the flow because they were looking for their friends, and a woman who crossed the street while texting. I yelled at her, “NO TEXTING WHILE DRIVING!” as I sped by.

(I should have followed the other 10K runners who were on the other side of the street, counterflowing against the few stragglers who had started their 3K and 5K late. That’s what Gingerbread Runner Luis did, and he was able to finish under 50 minutes.)

A race marshal was pointing the way to the 10K finish chute with a placard, but he was facing the wrong way so I got shunted away with 5K runners. I had to vault a steel barrier to get back in position. Then I saw the clock at the finish line: 50:46. I went nuts, screaming “What? WHAT?!” in disbelief as I sprinted towards it. I felt another runner closing the gap behind me, and launched my body forward over the mat into the finish chute before he could overtake me. HAHAHA

For a run that I entered at the last minute, I did surprisingly well — I set a new PR of 51 minutes, 15 seconds (unofficial). Maybe it was my new cropped running tights and socks. Maybe (most probably) it was being well-rested and well-nourished the night before. Maybe it was the novelty of running a new route. I just remember thanking God for giving me a great way to finish my running year.

Well, it’s not over yet. I still have the Del Monte Dare to Be Fit ‘n’ Right Run this Sunday. I’m running it with the same group of friends I went to PIM with — they got hooked on running too! Ü

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Propel Vitamin Water: Not Calorie-Free

Back two years ago when Gatorade launched Propel in the Philippine market, I wondered if they were going to come out with a low-calorie version. Then they released Propel Vitamin Water, with big “CALORIE FREE” markings on the label.

Propel is not calorie-free, even if it says so on the label.

Yesterday, though, was the first time I actually examined the contents as listed on the label.

According to Food & Drug regulations worldwide, a product has to contain less than 1 calorie to be allowed to call itself low-calorie, and should have no caloric content at all to be considered zero-calorie.

Propel is not calorie-free, even if it says so on the label.

Most people don’t read the Nutritional Information, which is the mistake I’ve been making for some time. But there’s 10 calories per serving, and each bottle contains more than 1 serving. That is definitely not low-calorie at all.

When I saw this, I wondered why the product could have any calories. After all, it was just supposed to be flavored water fortified with vitamins, right? Checking the ingredient list, I saw the second ingredient: sucrose.

Photobucket

It was totally disingenuous for Gatorade to mark a product as “calorie-free” when it’s not, but that’s a lesson learned not to trust claims of a product unless it’s backed up by the nutritional information and ingredients.

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Kaladkarin sa Lakad/Takbo

kaladkarin: n. one who can be quickly convinced to join a trip or activity

I think you can guess what happened after my back-to-back races — I rested hard. I went to Boracay on All Saints’ weekend and absolutely did not schedule any running. There wasn’t room in my bag for my Lara Croft boots and running shoes, and I think you know which one won out.

I wouldn’t be running this weekend either, if a friend who works for ABS-CBN hadn’t alerted me to the Philippine International Marathon: A Run for the Pasig River. Apparently, most of my friends who had run Race For Life 2009 would be there as well. No, not the full 42 kilometers of a marathon (except for Pastor Ferdie Cabiling, the senior pastor for Victory Ortigas). So, on the very last day of registration I agreed to join them all at the start line at Quirino Grandstand this Sunday. Oh boy. I’ve been teaching my exercise classes all week, but haven’t run at all. Good luck to me!

The good thing about this race is it’s not held at the Fort. Seriously, there is only one good 10K route there (but it also involves Buendia and Makati CBD), and it’s been used twice: by Globe and by Adidas. I want to see different sights! The 42K runners at the PIM will cross 9 bridges over Pasig River. There’s even a marathon relay event where groups of 40 runners will run the route (roughly 1 kilometer per runner). Takbo.ph has a contingent, which would have been a great alternative to running 10K all by myself if I had known about it earlier.

The one thing about this race I’m unsure of is its organizer. R.A.C.E. has organized good race events in the past, but its most recent one was the Adidas King of the Road, and that didn’t turn out too well — faulty race kit distribution, long lines at the finish chutes, and now inaccurate official results which are posted only on the Adidas Philippines Facebook fan page. I am hoping that PIM will be different and much better, although my experience with races all throughout this latter half of the year is that there has always been one issue or another. My smoothest race experiences have been with Globe and Race for Life, and even those had some hurdles to jump.

Side note: I used the Race for Life gift certificates I won to buy a pair of cropped running tights from Nike. I’m using those for PIM and I hope they make me run faster! LOL

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