This trip couldn't have come at a better time. There are a lot of changes in my life recently, and while I am not given to melodrama, I still need to figure out a few things. What's that line from Frozen? "It's funny how some distance makes everything so small." I think that our problems are all small, once we look at them from a fresh perspective. Traveling or doing something as mundane as reading a book gives me a set of new eyes. What does it for you?
Anyway! Nivea launched a new product, as you know, and invited press and celebs over to one of the best resorts in the country: El Nido in Lagen Island, Palawan. I feel lucky to be able to stay in such a beautiful place! Here's a photo diary of what went down on my first day there.
We rode a small, 16-seater (I think) plane to Palawan. It's the smallest plane I've been in! Not as scary as it looks.
The clouds look like they're sitting on top of a mirror
The port in Palawan
Ready for the sea!
Julia looking like a cute kid
Marj and Ana. I love that I'm traveling with my blogger friends! First time I went to a Nivea junket (about four years ago I think), I didn't know anyone. It was so awkward at first! I was just starting out as a blogger then. Now it's different - I'm with a group of friends, plus I'm also acquainted with lots of people outside my blogger circle. It's certainly more fun this time around!
It normally takes me a week to write about press junkets, but this time I decided to try writing everything down while my memory is fresh. I want to remember everything! El Nido, Palawan is the most beautiful place I've been to so far. Thanks to Nivea, I was able to experience it and #embracethesun!
I was invited along with fellow bloggers, press, and celebrities to attend this annual event. We stayed in a gorgeous resort for three days - El Nido in Lagen Island - and got to visit the surrounding islands. I'll write about our stay in a separate post, but in the meantime, I'd like to introduce to you the latest product from Nivea.
Guys, meet the Nivea Sun Protect & Bronze Spray (P599)! It simply lets you tan beautifully and safely, without having to resort to self-tanners or tinted oils to get bronzed. The liquid is completely clear as it works in such a way that your skin develops its most natural tan, versus orangey and fake-looking tans out of a bottle. It promotes the skin's natural melanin production so that you get a color that is truly yours.
It comes in SPF 20, 30, and 50, which means that you can choose the level of protection as you need it. If you're in the beach though, you should go for the PF50! It protects your skin from UVA and UVB rays for about 4-5 hours (depends on your skin). Did you know that you actually don't need to go higher than 50? It should bounce off 93% off all harmful rays from the sun! (If properly applied, that is.)
This is already available in all major drugstores and supermarkets. ^_^ Keep an eye out for it if you're soaking up some sun soon! Anyway, here are photos of the actual launch.
My birthday is in three weeks and I am feeling old. My skin is just not as supple as it used to be! I've also been having my legs lasered these past six months so they feel quite dry. Then, there's this freaky cold weather in Manila lately that just sucks out the moisture from my skin. Rant rant rant. Bottomline, I'm dry and I feel uncomfortable and old about it.
So I've brought out the big guns. My goal is to reclaim the smoothness of my skin, if for no other reason than to spit in the eye of my 26th birthday. Lol. I'm not yet that age conscious, okay, just very conscious of my changing skin. Anyway, here are three things that I've found most effective in battling the dryness on my arms, legs, and neck!
Whenever I get argan oil from brands, I usually give it away. Now I realize that's a huge mistake. It took me a while to open my eyes!
I love this Melchior & Balthazar Argan Oil, as it takes my legs back to their erstwhile youth! I'm not kidding! This stuff is crazy. It makes my legs super duper smooth and velvety again. I can't believe it. I never thought my legs can feel that way!
Buuut are you ready for the price tag?
Julia of Bless My Bag first got me interested in the Nivea Baby Smoothy Cream (P167) when she raved about it last year. Then, Dinna Vasquez, an editor at Manila Standard, told me on Twitter that she couldn't live without it! I take raves seriously, especially when they're from people I respect, so I hunted high and low for this moisturizer.
It's not easy to find. It's usually out of stock, or simply not available in the baby section of drugstores and supermarkets. I finally got hold of in the Mall of Asia Hypermarket some months back! It was in the bottom of the Nivea baby section then. Anyway, true enough, this "miracle" cream is something special.
This is designed for baby skin, so it's gentle and tested to be hypoallergenic. It doesn't contain parabens, alcohol, and colorants. It also contains natural calendula which is a well-known herbal remedy for wounds and skin irritations. It's meant for the sensitive skin of babies, but surprise - it's also great for big girls like us!
I haven't tried the famous Embryolisse moisturizer, but people say that this is a good dupe.
Serums traditionally provide intense care and repair for our face. They usually have more concentrated ingredients in a clear, gel-like, sometimes oily solution for better absorption on skin. I was pretty excited when I first heard about a new serum for - are you ready - the body. How fabulous would it be if we can lavish our whole body in intensified skincare?
The Nivea Body UV Whitening Serum SPF25 PA++ (P219) promises radiant and whiter skin with ingredients like Vitamin C, licorice, red seaweed, and Hydra IQ. Does it look and feel like the other serums I've tried before? No. It's white, watery, and feels like lotion. I was a little disappointed because "serum" was the word that hooked me in, but for P219 /200ml I don't see how it could be more than lotion.
But I love it nonetheless. :) Three things: it's the lightest lotion I've tried EVER, it has SPF25 PA++, and has a pleasant citrus smell - no chemical sunblock-y scent at all! Did I say it was super light?
I wasn't impressed the last time I tried a Nivea lip balm. The formula was somewhat better than similarly-priced alternatives in the drugstore, but I found that the balm didn't do much to actually moisturize my lips. It dried up quickly so I had to re-apply several times during the day, too. But that was two years ago, I think! Nivea has gone a long way and went on to refomulate their lip balms.
The Nivea Fruity Shine Lip Balm (P80) is a non-waxy, moisturizing lip product that comes in three variants: Cherry, Strawberry, and Pomegranate. They feel wonderful on my lips plus they offer a hint of tint that goes on evenly.
Yes, that's me. I'm a closet Kate Middleton fan. I don't get rabid like the others do, but I'm certainly an ardent admirer of her taste in style and beauty! She is exactly the kind of woman I want to be someday.
One thing I really like about her is that even though she's a Duchess, and possibly Queen in the future, her style is not snooty and unreachable. Sure she wears designer clothes, but she also has a penchant for high street and even drugstore brands. She's the kind of woman who wears what works for her - whatever the brand is.
It's 2 am as I'm writing this. I am starting this week with a feeling of anticipation, mixed with a healthy dose of dread - I'm going to need a lot of patience and energy to get through it! Today, Monday, is going to be dedicated to meetings so I need to finish my tasks as early as humanly possible!
So anyway, let's talk about moisturizers (again). Body moisturizers don't need to do a lot of things to impress me. I just require three things: that it moisturizes, feels comfortable, and smells good but not overwhelming. One product that I am loving right now is the Nivea Express Hydration Body Lotion because it delivers these three requirements exceptionally well. I am pleasantly surprised because it's unlike the other Nivea lotions I've tried before!
Texture and feel. The Nivea Express Hydration is, hands down, the lightest body lotion I've tried to date. It's watery and absorbs almost immediately on skin without any sticky or greasy residue. It doesn't feel "thick" even when it's super hot and I'm all sweaty. Plus plus plus points - I can't stand greasy lotion.
You'll remember that I liked the Nivea UV Protection Body Lotion because of its lightness compared to other Nivea lotions. Well, the Express Hydration is considerably lighter than UV Protection!
Fluffy, watery texture
I declare this week as impromptu Body Lotion Week! Yes, I have slowly but steadily accumulated body lotions and moisturizers these past few months. I am not complaining, but I can be stubborn when it comes to this type of product! I stick to only a couple of favorites until they run out - that's the only time I consider trying something new, and even then, I usually just stick to my good ol' best friends.
But these latest products need to be reviewed, hence the relative deluge of body moisturizers lately. The next in the series will be two products from Nivea: the UV Protection Body Lotion and Extra Whitening Inner Cell Repair Body Milk.
The Nivea UV Protection Body Lotion does not claim a specific SPF number, but it can help ward off some of the UVA and UVB rays that can cause skin stress/damage and accelerated aging. It's really more of a daily sun protection product than a heavy duty sun care thing. Nivea has a different line for that.
I like the scent of this one - it's not too strong, and has a bit of jasmine mixed with the powdery smell.
MAC will be releasing its Semi-Precious Collection in the Philippines this July! Semi-Precious is inspired by gems (bronzite, black tourmaline, gold pyrite, and lilac lepidolite) that are not quite diamonds, but just as glamorous and glitzy. It mostly features MAC's mineralized blushes, skinfinishes, and foundation, but I think the stars of the show are the split fiber brushes.
Are you lazy when it comes to wearing sunblock? Eh, tell me about it. I don't like how I have to blend blend blend just to remove the white cast and how I have to wait at least 20 minutes before the sun protection kicks in. However, thanks to technology, clear sunblock sprays are now available for us lazy daisies.
I got my first bottle of the Nivea Sun Invisible Protection SPF30 PA++ spray more than a year ago. It became my constant companion during beach trips since it's idiot and lazy-proof to use: just spray and go! I also like using it when it's super EXTRA hot since I can't stand how lotion becomes so sticky when I sweat. Oh, this is also waterproof so it doesn't disappear as you sweat or swim.
Let's run through the pros and cons!
What I love about the product
- Super easy to use. The spray covers a lot of skin, and there's on need to rub it in to remove the white cast - there is no white cast. The product is a clear liquid.
- The spray works even if you turn the bottle upside down to get to your back and lower legs.
It's funny how the products that actually make it into your daily routine are the products that you forget about. Case in point, my Nivea Angel Star Lip Balm! I haven't taken a photo of it, so you just have to spot it here:
It's the small pink tube on the right side!
This Nivea Angel Star line is targeted towards tweens who are just starting to become self-conscious about their appearance and body. One of the products released is a lip balm that has a slight pinkish tint with a frosty-gloss finish.
Why I like it:
- My lips are evened out by a light, pinkish tint. The finish is frosty, with a hint of gloss. I don't need a mirror to use this so it's very convenient.
- Moisturizing! It really helps my chapped lips in this heat.
- Non-sticky and feels light on the lips.
The other weekend, the mega skincare brand held Camp Nivea for rising teenage stars and press people. It was three days full of activities that improved the leadership skills, camaraderie, music skills, fashion sense, runway talent, and camera projection of the beautiful teens.
The location was, how do I say it mildly, paradise! Club Punta Fuego is located in an exclusive property located on the tip of the Batangas peninsula. The clubhouse of the huge and exclusive summering compound is carved out from a ridge overlooking the clear blue sea.
Camp Nivea was the most fun I've had in a long, long time. I went to the event not knowing a single soul but I came home with new acquaintances that I hope to meet again (shout-out to the Candy mag girls, Mars and Cre, Star columnist Jori, and Sense & Style writer slash Heart Evangelista look-alike Marbie).
Marbie, Jori, Mars, Cre
Here's a photo essay of everything that transpired on Day 1! (photo heavy)