Wine Not

Saturday night shenanigans involved some wild and crazy…hair color.

As some of you may have noticed on my FB Monique On Fleek, I’ve been pretty adventurous with my hair over the past year. It served as a way for me to a) let my inner personality burst through on the outside and b) allow me to have a permanent daily accessory.

Timeline: I had long, comic book orange hair around my birthday last February then I let it take its natural course back to an almost platinum blonde base. After I let my roots grow out a fair amount, I re-did my base, chopped off 5 inches, and went for a vibrant pink shade that eventually faded into peach.

Let me tell you, I thought I had outgrown pink, but rocking the pink hair (through all its stages) was too fun. Therefore, I decided to try out a maintenance color conditioner as suggested by my colorist.

Check out my little experiment below:

https://youtu.be/2Q49ujsPp6Y

Not exactly pink yet – more of a red wine really – but I think it’ll fade quite nicely over the next few washes.

The verdict: If you start with a light base like mine, Color Conditioner is less of a maintenance option and more of a whole new color option. It’s fun. It was totally easy-to-use and left my hair smelling great and feeling super soft. A total steal at P150!

I’d love to try other shades in the future and see how the henna tint would appear on darker hair bases.

Anyone willing to be the next guinea pig? If not, I’m sure my continuous hair color journey will keep both me and you entertained. 😉💁‍♀️

Fine-tuning

This year started off a little topsy turvy. However, I know that isn’t a negative thing nor a cause for concern. I am certain that this year will be one of self-actualization. Therefore, I treat setbacks and delays during this time as more opportunities for me to fine-tune my energy, my outlook, and my trust in myself.

I finally had the chance to do my annual major hair color change with Lifestyle Salon by Louis Phillip Kee. This time I decided to go for a really bold change. As opposed to balayage and blonde streaks in past years, I opted for – what I refer to as – comic book orange.

I feel it’s been a way for me to represent a louder side of myself that I tend to tuck away. It was the first jolt I needed this year for me to capture my sense of individuality. Nevertheless, this “crazysexycool” color will eventually fade back to base color, platinum blonde. Still a striking shade for me, albeit slightly less unique. Which leads me to see symbolism in my hair color alone. I will have these moments of total clarity and confidence and while they may be fleeting, I have to remind myself that what I will be left with will still be special.

I’ve been a little disappointed with my makeup work due to 2 recent cancellations (in spite of one being booked since last year), but again, I took those days off as time to be productive in other ways. I decided to a) come up with a concept and shoot for myself, b) do my own makeup in lieu of a client, and c) make the most of my orange hair with the aforementioned shoot. I have to say that I am genuinely thrilled with the outcome and I can’t wear to share the images with all of you soon.

In the meantime, here are some selfies to tide you over:

I’m sure you can instantly identify this particular look that I was going for. It reminded me that while I am very low maintenance on the daily, it does me a lot of good to bring back some glamour every now and then (and for no particular reason).

I suppose it is the very essence of self-actualization. Instead of wasting time feeling sorry for yourself, you can take control and be proactive about your situation… all the while looking fabulous in the process.

There will always be negative forces and unfortunate happenings – some of which we create within ourselves – but allowing that go-getter voice within to modulate must be the ultimate focus.

So concludes my current thoughts on fine-tuning. Let me know how how your year is going so far and some of your thoughts on today’s topic below.

Peace, 2018

The algorithm changed and I garnered a lot less likes on Instagram in 2018 (granted I posted a lot less, too). Yet, I am pretty unbothered by that thought, because man, was this year pivotal. Struggles and missteps of 2017 lingered, but this last quarter made all the difference. You really wouldn’t know, because social media is not a testament to what really went down and my introspective nature is okay with that. Basically, I just like to keep it pretty for y’all 🤪, but I’ll try to be more open, too.

I am just proud of my family’s unwavering faith and ability to “keep steppin’”. Still a long way to go considering there are always ways to expand oneself, but I am proud nonetheless.

Ready to ring in 2019! 2018, it’s been a whirlwind, but one’s thing’s for sure – it’s been REAL. ✌🏻HAPPY NEW YEAR! 🥳🎉💥


I can’t help, but point out that Heaven gained so many new angels this year. Most of which were shocking, to say the least. May the souls of all the faithful departed rest in peace. Love never dies.

Review: MakeUp Eraser

We all have those nights when we get home and just want to go straight to bed. And, as much as I live by the idea that beauty has no rules, I do have one that I never compromise – DO NOT SLEEP WITH MAKEUP ON. It doesn’t matter how long my day has been, how many drinks I’ve had, how horrible I feel – heck, it doesn’t even matter if I spent the day barefaced – washing up is an absolute must.

Notwithstanding, this doesn’t mean that I’ll opt out of shortcuts. On those nights of pure exhaustion, I’m all about the express route. I’ve gone for oils, wipes, cloths…you name it. I’ve even tried microfiber cloths similar to the MakeUp Eraser, but of course I wanted to find out whether or not this specific brand is as revolutionary as it is said to be.

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Claims:

“Removes your MakeUp with Just Water!”

“Waterproof mascara removed in just seconds.”

“Reusable for 1,000 washes.”

“Soft and promotes healthy skin.”

Response to Claims:

Does the cloth remove my makeup with just water? For the most part, yes. With the cloth clean and dipped into warm water, the bulk of my makeup does get wiped away. It certainly does its thing on my face products – foundation, concealer, blush, etc. –  and my long-wearing liquid matte lipstick.

Was my waterproof mascara wiped away in seconds? In all fairness, the cloth can remove my waterproof mascara, granted that there are traces left. Though, I will say that it is also probably due to the fact that I am unwilling to excessively rub my eyes. I have to also mention that when it comes to my K-Beauty liquid eyeliner from Eyemania, only my cleansing oil successfully breaks up the product. Upon which, however, I am able to wipe away any residue with the cloth again.

Is it reusable for 1,000 washes? I haven’t quite gotten around to using it 1,000 times yet, but it is certainly reusable as long as it is properly cleaned after every use. A warm delicate machine wash restores the MakeUp Eraser to its brand new state.

Is it really soft and does it promote healthy skin? It is undeniably soft. It actually reminds me of the texture of a baby blanket I had for my son when he was just a newborn. I suppose that alone is a testament to how gentle the material is on skin. As for promotion of healthy skin, thanks to its light exfoliating capabilities, my complexion just might be a notch smoother and texture-free.

The Verdict:

I give the MakeUp Eraser a 4 out of 5. My only qualms, to be honest, are that a) a full face beat most likely still needs reinforcement with makeup remover or cleansing oil, b) having to machine wash it isn’t something I have time for on the daily, and c) considering it acts as an exfoliator, I wouldn’t use it every night anyway. Other than that, I am satisfied with what it has to offer with respect to makeup removal and skincare. I recommend having one (or more) to get you through your evening bedtime routines.

Order your MakeUp Eraser on CarloPacific.com and use my discount coupon MCARLOPACIFIC to get 5% off your first purchase.

It’s All About Toning

It is oftentimes difficult to determine whether or not a “cult favorite” beauty product is truly great or merely that of great marketing. Believe me, I have fallen victim to some strategically marketed facial enemies (I obviously haven’t moved on), but then there are the products that are pleasantly all that they are hyped up to be. For that reason and perhaps due to my attachment to some of my tried and tested facial products, it took me some time to finally give Thayer’s Witch Hazel Alcohol-Free Toner a go.  The original Rose Petal formula has been making buzz for quite some time now, but I found myself on-the-fence about whether or not it would work out for my changing skin.

My Changing Skin

I have always had normal to combination skin, but there was a period of time in my teens when my t-zone became exceptionally problematic presumably due to hormonal changes. Upon regaining balance, my skin was blissfully effortless and I suppose you could say flawless all throughout my 20s and shifting into my 30s. This year, at the age of 34, my skin has undergone some changes once more and feels very reminiscent of my teen years. It’s almost as if some of my usual skincare products ceased to work. Whether or not it’s immunity to my products or simply the age of skin change, it was time for me to introduce something new into my routine.

I started to develop blemishes around my chin area, which according to skin mapping, is indeed a sign of hormonal changes. True enough, said blemishes would normally appear along with my monthly lady visitor. I also began to experience reddening and sometimes even cystic pimples on my cheeks, which I later discovered was a reaction to clogged pores due to makeup and environmental factors. While I was initially able to address the problem by always wearing oil-free primers prior to makeup, I noticed that my makeup-free days were actually more harmful than helpful with respect to skin healing. This signified, to me, that I needed a better barrier between my skin – particularly my pores – and the atmosphere.

Listening to my Skin’s Needs

My needs were pretty straight forward: I needed to effectively tighten my pores, calm and gently strip down my reactive areas, and stay moisturized while still allowing skin to breathe. Notwithstanding the fact that even the oiliest skin needs to be moisturized (skin’s natural reaction to lack of moisture is to produce more oil), I did feel that I needed to address moisture levels to my problematic areas within the first steps of my skincare routine. Alas, the introduction of Thayer’s Witch Hazel Toner into my life.

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I had both heard and read up on the benefits of witch hazel and specifically, Thayer’s formula. In spite of the odd negative review, I gathered mostly raves that commonly shared sentiments about the toner being ‘gentle’, successful in minimizing pores, ‘refreshing’, and having a light and pleasing scent.

First Impression

I am not even exaggerating, but the toner gave me nearly immediate results. I had momentary paranoia within seconds of swiping the product all over my face, because my skin felt tingly and I thought that it wasn’t agreeing with my chemistry. Fortunately, after waiting out that initial feeling, my face felt firm yet supple and smooth. So much so that I was able to refrain from moisturizer on my problem areas, because the toner kept my skin substantially hydrated on its own. The Rose Petal scent was certainly lovely and I seemed to have a rosy glow with my first use.

I had a stubborn zit front and center on my right cheek and I was really impressed with the fact that product was already able to strip the layer surrounding it upon my second use in the evening. With that, I was ready to see this product through more uses.

Major Results in 1 Week

My complexion, specifically my t-zone and cheeks, are drastically clearer with no more active blemishes and just some gradually fading marks left. I see a lot more hydration vs. oiliness now and it still amazes me how my skin can be taut yet soft at the same time. While my bare face isn’t as flawless as it once was (yet!), just one week’s worth of Thayer’s Witch Hazel use has worked wonders for me.

Still some fading blemish marks, but proud and confident about my first makeup-free (and filter-free) selfie in ages. #literallywokeuplikethis

Recommendation

Based on my research and my personal experience, I would recommend Thayer’s toners for most skin types. They are all natural, so mild and offer so many skin benefits.  I must also mention that you don’t have to break your bank accounts for them.

Rose Petal is obviously the original formula and the most universal choice, but those with oily skin may also favor Lemon. Those with very sensitive skin – especially those prone to reddening or dermatitis – might want to test out small patches of skin first, but I can imagine Lavender would be a very calming choice.

Make sure to order your Thayer’s Witch Hazel toner on Carlo Pacific

Get a 5% discount on your first purchase using my discount coupon: MCARLOPACIFIC

Maybe She’s Born With It…

When it comes to my personal beauty routine, I am all about minimal effort. Ironically, and I’m sure every girl will agree with me on this: looking effortless requires effort. Therefore, when I come across treatments, products, and such that allow me to cut down my getting ready process, I am beyond ecstatic.

Now, one way to look instantly bright-eyed and put together – even without a full face of makeup – is having curled lashes and mascara. Sadly, come night time, the dainty feathers on our lids must come off, leaving some of us looking and feeling dull-eyed. That is, until the introduction of permanent lash lifts and tint technology. For 1 to 2 months at a time, us ladies are able to enjoy lashes that appear curled and coated in mascara 24/7.

I had the opportunity to try out Nail to Toe’s Lash Lift & Tint service recently and not only was it super accessible to a Las Piñas resident like myself, but it was also a very steady process that was paired with the most relaxing foot and back massage. I had the option of going for this “natural” look or a heavier look called Lash Lift with Mascara – I went for the former. In any case, I could still opt to wear mascara with my choice of service.

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As you can see from my before and after photos, I started with decent length and volume, but with typical Asian hair, my lashes were naturally straight and dense. I was particularly satisfied with the outcome of this service considering it improved the one thing I was truly lacking in my lash game – shape. Thus, the final result was (emulated) naturally gifted eyelashes, bringing to mind the well-known tagline: “Maybe she’s born with it…”

 

Pure happiness.

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Book your Lash Lift appointments at Nail to Toe via 846-5987 / 09328765478

Love & Light

In an all-consuming and ever fast-paced world, we often forget to prioritize emotional stability. Whether we are busy or simply distracted, we tend to not even realize when we are distressed, when there is murkiness in our inner waters. Sometimes when we do recognize the same, we find it too overwhelming to process and believe it to be easier to just carry on. Yet, the energy that we choose to keep within plays a vital role in determining our life paths. And, when we don’t stop to clear our waters, no matter how hard we attempt to conceal, what is inside will eventually manifest on the outside.

Continue reading “Love & Light”

Ooh Baby I Like it BRAW

There was a time when getting my nails done and being pampered for hours upon hours was part of my weekly routine. But, perhaps with age and the increasing number of responsibilities that I have to face on the daily (read: “adulting”), the idea of being rendered immobile for even a single working hour makes me beyond antsy. As it may, the absence of a manicurist in my life is not an excuse for me to run around with unkempt nails.  In fact, I still obsessively maintain a mani/pedi routine.

Continue reading “Ooh Baby I Like it BRAW”

REPUBLIKA, Represent. 🇵🇭

What do I love more than discovering new brands? I love discovering new local brands. While I can’t exactly call myself the most patriotic consumer around – far from it really – I am becoming increasingly aware and passionate about unique, world-class products crafted in the Philippines.  Latest discovery: Republika bags.

Continue reading “REPUBLIKA, Represent. 🇵🇭”