Why the Cream Silk #WorldClassFilipina campaign is so inspiring

When I was six or seven my mom had me take voice lessons in Manila. Every session would involve drills - mi oh mi oh mi oh mi oh mi! - and then we would study a song in the end. My voice coach made me memorize a Lea Salonga album that summer. I had a small, brightly-colored Sony cassette player with a matching mic and I would perform those songs for my relatives under a big mango tree.

That was the summer I learned that I can be anything I wanted, if I just put in the time and effort to learn how. It strengthened my confidence in myself and in my abilities - thanks to my ever-supportive mother, and of course, Lea Salonga! She has inspired me since I was a little girl, as she did all those amazing things in the world stage. This legendary woman is the proof that Filipinas are beautiful and talented enough to be successful internationally. To be world class.

Now I am constantly bombarded by ad campaigns from beauty brands (as are you!). Honestly? I feel desensitized towards them at this point. Be confident to be beautiful. Be beautiful to be happy (and vise versa). Believe in yourself to be beautiful. Accept yourself for who you are. These are all amazing positive messages, surely, but do you know what's wrong with them? They encourage women to look too far inward. You can't expand beyond yourself if you don't look out and look up to others who have done better than you.

Beyond being beautiful, beyond believing in yourself, you need role models to guide you. You need mentors, if you can find them. It pays to learn from those who have gone through monumental challenges so that you can get past your own with less friction.

Last Tuesday, I had the pleasure of being invited to an event by Cream Silk at Solaire Theater. I did not expect anything more than good food and a nice time, as these events go, but I came home so inspired. Lisa Macuja-Elizalde, prima ballerina, gave a powerful speech about her climb to the top of her field. She spoke about being 18 and alone in a Russian winter, training day in and day out. She said that while her work seems glamorous, it required a lot of sacrifices, focus, and a determination to make your family and country proud.

She was such an eloquent lady. Being seated just a few steps from her, I can feel her emotion as she talked about her challenges and triumphs on the road to becoming one of the most distinguished prima ballerinas in the world.

After Lisa's speech, Cream Silk premiered a short film called "Portraits" about the lives of their four endorsers, Anne Curtis, Toni Gonzaga, Lea Salonga, and Heart Evangelista-Escudero. It explored Anne's experience working on the Hollywood indie film Blood Ransom, Toni's first concert in Dubai, Lea's life during her Miss Saigon days, and Heart's first art exhibit in Singapore. 

Cream Silk Portraits: A Celebration of the #WorldClassFilipina will premiere on ABS-CBN on April 25 at 10pm and on GMA on April 26, 9:30pm. It's pretty nice! What really blew my mind away though was Lea Salonga performing "On My Own" from Les Miserables and "Gravity" from Wicked. She is so amazing! Here's a clip I posted on Instagram:

A video posted by Liz Lanuzo (@lizlanuzo) on

Truly, Filipinas are world class with our beauty, talent, and grit. Kudos to Cream Silk for such a great campaign, and for bringing these inspiring women together for one night to remind us that we can be more, if we can dream it. Beyond being beautiful, we must be ready to put in the work to achieve even the most impossible things.

PS - This is not a sponsored post, if you're curious. I just really super enjoyed the event which, to be honest, is not often. Photos are all taken by myself too. ^_^

The summer uniform

Every two or three months I pick a uniform to wear. I love clothes and the process of dressing up, but I just don't have a lot of time to shop and think about what I'm going to put on a daily basis. I want to be able to get dressed in 20 minutes, 30 tops, if I'm just going to my usual stuff! By "usual" I mean meetings and quick daytime media events.

This summer I've decided to stick to a white shirt and/or floral something topped off with a denim jacket. It's simple, in season, and most importantly - cool. Literally. I don't feel that much warmer with a denim jacket on in this weather.

Denim jacket from Mango / White shirt from Zara / Tan wedges from Ferretti Shoes

Denim jacket from Mango / White shirt from Zara / Tan wedges from Ferretti Shoes

So yeah, don't be surprised if you see me wearing this look all the time! :P Many thanks to Shari of Themistymom.com for the candid photos. I was calling my Uber ride here and didn't know she was taking shots haha. I'm not a very photogenic person, honestly, so I'm surprised I look okay here! Wouldn't it be awesome to have a photographer tailing you for outfit shots? Lol.

liz lanuzo

On another note, it's always awesome to run into my beauty blogger crew at events. The experience is just better and more fun versus being in one full of strangers! The other day I was in this formal thing and I did not feel comfortable. I mean, I knew a lot of people there, but we were not close, so a quick hi was all we can muster. It's nice but sorta pointless I guess.

Say hello to Tellie of Beautybytellie.com!

Say hello to Tellie of Beautybytellie.com!

Sooooo do you also have a summer uniform? What's your default look for this season?

Light like water: The Burt's Bees Radiance Serum

Hotter days call for lighter products to swap into our routine. I've recommended many light moisturizers and serums before but I've got the lightest one for you yet: the Burt's Bees Radiance Serum (P1,160). This is a water-based serum with royal jelly, a host of vitamins (B1, B2, B5, B6, C and E to be exact), biotin, niacin, and folic acids. It's touted to be 99.9% natural too! I'm sure organic buffs would appreciate that.

To clarify, I am not that into organic/natural products, but I do love a good light formula. That's the main selling point of this serum for me: it feels just like water!

This is a lightly-scented serum that promises brighter skin. The ingredients are actually pretty basic (listed them below) so don't expect any drastic changes to your skin. I mean, natural is nice, but this level of natural isn't going to make that much of a difference. What you can expect is a lesser chance of getting irritation. This is great for sensitive skin that needs gentle maintenance and nothing more.

I would also recommend it to those who have very oily skin who can't even use a gel moisturizer without getting even oilier. The texture of this serum feels exactly like water, yet it hydrates well enough on its own. It also dries completely with no feeling of residue; it sinks onto the skin quickly.

Ingredients: Water, glycerin, alcohol denat., royal jelly, glycyrrhiza glabra (licorice) root extract, glucose, xanthan gum, phenoxyethanol, sodium chloride, glucose oxidase, lactoperoxidase, caramel

Ingredients: Water, glycerin, alcohol denat., royal jelly, glycyrrhiza glabra (licorice) root extract, glucose, xanthan gum, phenoxyethanol, sodium chloride, glucose oxidase, lactoperoxidase, caramel

A 13ml bottle sounds quite pricey at P1,160 per, but you only need about 3-4 drops for every use. Not too bad! Try the Burt's Bees Radiance Serum out if you love natural products, have sensitive and very oily skin. This is perfect for summer if you're on the hunt for something that won't leave your skin feeling like it's about to melt off under the sun. ^_^

You can find Burt's Bees in Beauty Bar, but the brand actually has an online store now. Do visit it and browse the full line!

Five of my fave hair products, currently

If you've got fine hair like mine that's prone to hair fall, frizz, and dryness, then have I got some recommendations for you! I don't often talk about hair finds because it's so freakin' hard to find something that works for my wavy, thin hair. I need volume and moisture. I need products that won't cause any more hair fall. Fortunately, I've found five new faves that fit the job description.

Phyto Paris Phytocyane Densifying Treatment Shampoo (P795 in Rustan's). This was recommended to me by my favorite hair stylist, Jude Hipolito of JuRo salon. I've been complaining about my thinning hair since forever and he told me to try this since a lot of people swear by it. True enough, after using it for three months, I've experienced a lot less hair fall and breakage. I've also regained some volume in my problem spots!

This shampoo works, but it has to be used regularly - like, everyday - to get results. When you stop, the positive effects stop too. It's rather expensive but if your hair is seriously falling dead like fireflies before dawn then I feel it's worth the investment. Very little goes a long way! And it has a nice herbal scent.

A note on packaging: I wish it was a squeeze bottle instead of a metal bottle. The shampoo tends to pour out since it's so runny; I'm always careful not to tilt the bottle the whole way. 

Pantene 3 Minute Miracle Color & Perm Lasting Care Conditioner (P159/180ml). I hope you've realized by now that all the raves about this conditioner are not just sponsored and empty - it's a devilishly good product that does exactly what it promises. I've been using this consistently since I reviewed it in February, and I don't even use conditioner normally! I got to try the one for colored/treated hair and I love how i makes my dye job more brilliant after every use. I use it once or twice a week to keep my hair from being too dry and frizzy.

Don't know what's in this stuff but totally worth the purchase - and subsequent re-purchase!

Prostyle Fuwarie Styling Mist (P450 in Beauty Bar). This is an old yet recently rediscovered styling fave of mine. I find normal hairspray to be too stiff and irritating so I use something like Fuwarie. It's waterbased so it doesn't harden; it also provides a flowy shape to hair especially when applied before a blow dry. It smells nice too!

The Wet Brush Pro Select (available in Beauty Bar). I know it's bad, but I comb my hair after showering. My excuse is that it becomes a tangled mess if I don't do it. Now that I've got the Wet Brush though I don't have to worry about unintentionally pulling out my hair every time I comb it - damp or dry. The bristles are super bendy  and soft, but they detangle my hair smoothly. Love this!

Scunci No-Slip Grip bands (available in Beauty Bar). This is more of a styling-slash-comfort aid for my hair while I'm working. I don't like having hair on my face, however, I also don't like using headbands that squeeze my glasses and make my scalp warm. I like the Scunci slim hair elastic because it keeps my hair away while also keeping my scalp cool! You can use just one piece or use all of them in one go. They don't pull or pinch the hair.

So there you have it. ^_^ What are you current hair faves? Would love to know what girls with different hair types use for themselves!

Fake good skin with the Etude House Beauty Shot Face Blur Cream

News flash in case you've been living under a rock in the last half year: blur creams are now the "it" base. Foundations, finishing powders, and even BB/CC creams have taken a back seat to this new media darling! Blur creams promise flawless, smooth skin in an instant by diffusing light and filling in those little crevices on our skin. With them, you'll be photogenic from every angle and with the appearance of good lighting to boot.

So do they really work? Yes! I have quite a few from different brands and they all have something unique in how they accomplish the blurring and brightening biz. I'll do a post listing them all next time. For now, I've got the one from Etude House, the Beauty Shot Face Blur Cream (P898). This is my favorite out of the ones I have!

Unlike other blur creams, the Beauty Shot Face Blur does not have a heavy silicone texture. It feels like a thick liquid with some silicone, but it's more viscuous than semi-solid (that's the typical form of your average BC). It's white and sheer; it will look light upon application but when blended properly it should only leave your skin looking brighter and ultra-smooth.

Here's a thick swatch of the product. Underneath is the blended swatch; you can see how it's barely detectable. This product has what seems like micronised shimmer. It's hard to see but that's what makes the complexion appear fresher and ironed out.

The blur cream is meant to be worn under your foundation but I find that it's enough to even out my skin tone by itself. I love that it doesn't make me super oily; it also doesn't get overly dewy after hours of wear. Sakto lang! It stays on for about 8-10 hours on my combination skin.

Wearing the EH blur cream here with nothing else. No concealer, no powder! Love how my skin looks so translucent and healthy and smooth.

This product would be so much better though if it has more than SPF15. I guess they didn't add more than that to avoid a white cast as this is specifically designed to make skin look photogenic.

Overall, I highly recommend the Etude House Beauty Shot Face Blur Cream to anyone looking for a smoothing, brightening base. If you have good skin, you can just use this on top of your sunscreen and then set it with a face powder. If you have troubled skin, just add concealer and skip the liquid foundation; this should look great with just a powder foundation once you're done spot concealing!

This is good for dry to combination skin. If you're very oily, you might want something less creamy for your base.

Hope this helps! Lemme know what y'all think about this blur cream business!

Let's just chill out

It was so hot yesterday that I decided not to wear any makeup. My skin wasn't at its best. It's still getting over the usual pre-period pimples but I went bare because even the sheerest cosmetics felt like a blanket over my face! I felt so self-conscious at first as I walked around the mall. I was hyper-aware of every single blemish I have, every bump, every patch of roughness. But you know what? I realized soon enough that I was the only one who cared.

was the only one who nitpicked at every imperfection while everybody else went on and lived their lives, not even noticing my self-flagellation. I was stressing myself out for nothing.

So today, let's start the week right by accepting our flaws and stopping the constant criticism we heap onto ourselves. Let's not hold ourselves up to arbitrary standards of beauty. Let's do our own thing because it's what makes us happy and not out of some invisible, made-up pressure. Let's just chill out, for once.

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On another personal note, I've been reflecting about risks lately. The thing is I love my life right now. I'm comfortable and happy and I have everything I want (which isn't much, to be fair). I can take naps whenever I feel like. I can go out with friends if I'm looking for conversation. I will be traveling, which is one of my favorite things to do ever. 

This is why while I know the value of risks, I am hesitant of taking them. Why disrupt what I have right now for some big goal? How do I even know that I'll be able to pull it off? But these are silly questions. Of course I need to dream bigger and I will do everything in my power to succeed. If you know where I came from then you know why failure has never been an option for me.

So yes, I will chill out, and I will jump.

Rooting for Manny Pacquiao! #SugodManny

How's your weekend so far? I'm spending it by bringing my dog to the day care, having lunch with my family, and possibly sketching in the park after. Maybe Fully Booked has new titles on painting too so that's exciting. It's a lovely day. ^_^ Hope you have  good one too!

Anyway, not sure if you saw this on my Instagram but I made a video of Snaps doing his knockout move. He loves wrestling with his toys, and his favorite opponent is none other than the mean Mr Ratty. Snaps enjoys pouncing on him but his ultimate knockout move is a neck bite - it ends the fight! Haha. Watch it to see wha

A video posted by Liz Lanuzo (@lizlanuzo) on

I nominated friends to show their knock out moves as well. This is to support Manny' Pacquiao's much awaited fight with Floyd Mayweather Jr. this May 3! If you want to help make noise for Manny too, there are several ways you can go about it using the #SugodManny hashtag:

  • Make a video on Instagram showing your knock out move.
  • Tweet out words of encouragement!
  • Get Manny Pacquiao stickers for free to use on Viber, Line, WeChat, and more! Text MANNY to 2600.
  • Use Pacquiao-themed templates on the Camera 360 app.

Are you excited for the superfight now? If you don't have cable or access to streaming on TV, you can actually watch on your smart phone. Smart is offering a livestream of the Pacquiao-Mayweather fight through the Viewstream app on your mobile device LIVE and commercial-free for just P499 (the early bird rate). You don't even need a credit card; the fee will be deducted from your load or added to your postpaid bill Super cool right? 

Tell your family, hubby, and friends. ;) Do visit http://smart.com.ph/pages/sugodmanny for more information and live updates on the battle of the year.

This post is brought to you by Smart.

A 148-peso shot of awesome for your face

You know how some days you just feel off and blah? You don't know why, you haven't really done anything to merit such unpleasantness, but there it is. What do you do about it? How do you fix your mood and make everything right again?

The problem is often very complex and sometimes even paralyzing, but you can start with something as mundane yet skin-changing like the Leaders Coconut Bio Mask (P148). Leaders is a Korean cosmeceutical brand developed by dermatologists from Seoul National University. This mask line prides itself by being free of common irritants and using only natural preservatives. They also use non-luxurious packaging to keep their prices down.

I recently received their Coconut Bio Masks and oh my gosh, I swear, this is the real deal - and I didn't even like facial masks to begin with. I always thought masks were unnecessary. After trying Leaders though, I've done a complete 180!

There are different variants for lifting, moisturising, soothing, and "shining" the skin. I've used the ones for lifting (the Red Energy Tomato mask) and the shining/brightening (Yellow Energy Orange mask). Love the experience so far! My skin has been behaving in the last two weeks plus it's just a lot clearer and brighter compared to before. I keep on touching it! 

The actual mask comes in between two paper masks. It is so that you can put the mask on neatly. Remove the first paper layer first, stick the exposed mask on your skin, then peel off the other layer. The mask feels like gelatin; it adheres to my face perfectly and comfortably.

After 20-25 minutes, I remove the mask and pat the remaining liquid onto my skin. No need to wash it off! I then take the used mask and wipe it on my legs and arms. Hey, why waste the good stuff? Now my legs and arms feel nice to the touch too. ^_^

The catch is that Leaders is not yet widely available in stores. Currently you can only find it Festival Mall and soon in Lucky Chinatown Mall. In the meantime, buy it online at Beauty MNL. I swear you won't regret it! I am definitely getting more of this! 

Leaders Mask.jpg

Moisture and color in one: Etude House Sugar Tint Balm

I was talking to a fellow beauty blogger the other day about how some of us treat PR contacts. I admit, I can be a little bit difficult to talk to when it comes to publishing press releases, attending events, or even just writing about a product sent to me. I try to be better but I only have a limited time to accommodate everything here. Modesty aside, I always make it a point to create excellently photographed and written content. Frankly unless the brand is willing to hire me, then I'm afraid they have to wait for me to get to them.

I know that makes me sound like such a horrible person, but consider this: I've worked on this website for seven years. I've invested (and I continue to invest) so much time and money on it, and for someone to expect me to jump whenever they say "go here!", "try this!", "write about this!" is too much. I would like to keep the right to do what I think is right for my blog. If your brand or product excites me then I guarantee you a fabulous write-up - no need to pay me a single cent! If it doesn't, and we have no relationship prior, and you're not interested in building one with me, then forgive me if I pass on it. We all have to focus on more fulfilling work.

Anyway! Today I'd like to introduce one of the latest lip products to hit the stores: the Etude House Sugar Tint Balm (P498). This is a balm-type color that is surprisingly not slinky, overly wet, or glossy. It feels thin and light on lips. It hydrates. The colors stick. Did I say it's moisturizing? It's especially useful for those with chappy lips.

The plastic packaging is pretty simple and straightforward, the only difference being the screw cap. This seals moisture in so that the balm doesn't dry out prematurely. 

I've got PK003 (Grapefruit Tea) and RD301 (Cranberry Pie) with me. Here are the swatches!

PK003 Grapefruit Tea is a light pink shade with a tendency to streak even after several layers. I would've found it pretty on me if I had hair that's less red, but currently pale pink shades like this isn't working out for my colouring. It's cute as is though.

RD301 Cranberry Pie is more my thing! It's a bright berry red shade with a suede finish. It's very chic at the moment. I'm quite surprised that such a sophisticated color came from a girly brand. ^_^

Overall, I recommend the Etude House Sugar Tint Balm to those who like hydrating rich colors with good wear time (around 4-5 hours). Just remember to avoid the streaky shades and you'll be alright. ^_^ Let me know what you think!

A cute phone case to remind me of spring

Summer is in full swing and it's hot as hell here, but my mind is still on spring. The cool weather, the random riot of flowers in even the most mundane places, just the general lightness of being in the air - that's what I love most about that season. I wanted something to remember it by so during my trip I picked up this cute printed phone case!

Yes apparently I am a person who likes blogging about phone cases now. :P I got this from Loft in Yurakucho for around 2,300 yen. It's a folio-type case for my iPhone 6 with a magnetic snap and space for two cards. At first I wasn't digging the extra bulk, but I realized that because of it there will be no mo' drama if I accidentally leave my wallet home (again). Which I did the other day like a total dork.

Bottomline: when in Tokyo, get a cute phone case! There are oodles of unique ones + you get to reminisce about your trip literally all the time if you're as attached to you phone as I am. ^_^

My Tokyo Spring 2015 beauty haul

It's easy to get overwhelmed when shopping for beauty products in Tokyo - there are tons of options, and you can easily get lost in a store for hours just looking at everything! So what if you can barely understand what's written on the label? Just seeing the brands and awkward illustrations of how to use them is enough to get the blood pumping haha. I'll blog about where to get your fix next time. For now, here's my modest haul from my last trip to Japan!

You'll notice that there are no cosmetics. I still have a bunch waiting to be used so it's not wise to add to that; skincare and hair care products, particularly Japanese ones, are always nice to have though. They're so cheap too!

I got the new Tsubaki Volume Touch products since I need something to fluff up my hair. I'm kinda annoyed that I mistakenly got the conditioner in the big bottle but fortunately I got the shampoo in the big sachet. The bottled product is about 750 yen, while the one in the sachet (not in photo) is 550 yen both for the shampoo and conditioner.

I also grabbed the famous Shiseido Speedy Perfect Whip facial wash (around 300 or 500 yen I think) and the Shiseido Baby Powder (280 yen). These are drugstore Shiseido products that have quite the reputation in the beauty circle. The Baby Powder in particular is said to be good for oil control and soothing acne-prone skin.

 

The Skilabo Cleansing Water (around 500 yen) also went into the basket. It's a way cheaper micellar water compared to Bifesta so I'm interested in trying it out! The tiny Tsururi pore brush is 820 yen. It's supposed to be used around the nose with your facial wash to remove black heads and white heads. It was very prominently displayed in all the stores I visited so it must be popular! Can't wait to see if it really works as I would love a quick fix on my yucky blackheads.

Tokyo Beauty Haul 4.jpg

So that's what I got. ^_^ I'll let you know if anything is truly worth hunting down soon! What are you interested in the most?