Wednesday, February 25, 2015

St. Marc Cafe

Now I'm not sure if this came with the cronut craze, or just one of the international brands that have been steadily infiltrating the market (watch out for the ASEAN opening for more), but St. Marc Cafe has been in the Philippines for a while with branches in Greenbelt and Megamall.

St. Marc Cafe Logo

 The logo of St. Marc's Cafe is their ever popular Chococro: a chocolate croissant. From the outside,  there are food replicas of their drinks and desserts (very Japanese) along with a menu. Traffic is high inside but most people don't stay long. Ambience in the Greenbelt branch is generally good. The interiors are a bit on the darker side, but there are few couches so you're not very inclined to stay for long periods of time. The best part of the cafe are the sweet smells from the baking area. The worst part is the occasional dropped glass.

Chococro and White Chococro
I've tried both the original Chococro (P55) and the White Chococro (P65). The price was decent for the serving size. While I did like the sweet filling, the dough was on the cold side and I didn't find it flaky enough. I wish the baristas offered to reheat this since I was dining in. I may try it again if the pastry I'd get would be fresh.

Matcha Latte
What I do keep coming back for is their Matcha Latte. The small is at P130 with P20 increments between that and the largest at P170. For me, it's a very good blend of strength, milkiness and bitterness. I find that most american coffee shops have green tea lattes that are too thin and too bitter (try Gyokuro for sweet caffeine love). Remember to stir since the sweet parts since the heavier, sweeter part tends to settle on the bottom or just have it unsweetened.

Will I go again? Yes, I'd go just for the tea latte.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

The Pillowman at CCP: Sandbox Collective

Last night, I went to CCP to watch a play, the Pillowman as done by the Sandbox Collective.

I got an unpleasant surprise I found as I discovered that it was a "Multi-Media Staged Reading."

In other words, I got to watch a screen as 4 actors performed behind a black curtain.

I don't know which group I'm more disappointed in: the Sandbox Collective for failing to supply the correct details or Ticketworld for not doing due diligence.

While the former's Facebook account does say what it really is,  below is all the info you get from the latter site:
The Pillowman Details
Aside from failing to properly advertise their show, the entire thing lasted closer to 3 hours than the promised 90 minutes.

While half the performers did well enough, reading their lines (admittedly, 2 of them did not need need their scripts and acted their parts out well), I basically paid P618 for 2D rendering of an unfinished performance.

I'd rather read the screenplay or wait for a movie version to come out.

For those who are interested, as the play stars Bong Cabrera, Art Acuna, Jojo Cayabyab and Richard Cunanan, a second reading will be done on February 24 at 8 pm.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Another Duh Moment

I've accepted that I am, and probably forever will be, acne-prone. One of the reasons is that I have a tendency to sleep without washing my face, sometimes even if I have make up on.

Some time ago, I got a bunch of zits near my hairline and I found it super unfair that I got them because even if I did wore make-up, I triple-cleansed with coconut oil, Bifesta and Clean and Clear. So why did I get those zits?

At first I thought it was my shampoo, which I didn't have problems with before. It took me a while to realize that it was because the facial surface area I cleaned probably wasn't enough. I blended my foundation into my hairline but didn't triple cleanse there, missing the bits that tend to have the most oil.

Note to self: Don't miss your hairline while washing your face!

Friday, February 13, 2015

Favorites: 2015

In honor of Valentine's Day and Friday the 13th, I thought I'd give a short post and reminisce on the best beauty basics I've loved (and lost) over the years.

Best Cleanser: Skintel Soap (Discontinued)

Before Skintel's rebranding as an anti-ageing line in it's multi-hued glory, it used to be an anti-acne line for teens. Their bar soap was the most cost effective way of decreasing my zits, both face and body. This success has never been replicated by the other acid bars I've tried.

Best Toner: VMV Superskin 3 Toner

I've just recently finished another bottle, so this isn't exactly a loss, but I'm on the fence about buying right now since I want to give my skin a rest from antibiotics: this product contains clindamycin. This is also very good for those suffering from acne with oily skin.

Best Moisturizer: Estee Lauder DayWear Plus Anti-Oxidant Creme SPF 15 (Discontinued)

This was a product discontinued a while back and resurrected as DayWear Advance. I had a tub before given to me as a gift, but honestly, I can't afford trying the new version on my own. I really liked it because it was very light and fresh - and prevented me from turning into an oil slick in the middle of the day.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Gluta-C Underarm & Bikini Skin Whitening Gel

I’ve been avoiding it long enough, but here it is: Gluta-C Underarm and Bikini Skin Whitening Gel. Why have I been avoiding it? Because, honestly, I’m not a very consistent user and it isn’t fair of me to talk about it without giving it a fair shake, metaphorically speaking.

However, since it’s been with me for a while now, I think that this is already about the most compliant I can be with this product, and this is what I’ve found compared to its claims:

Gluta-C Underarm & Bikini Skin Whitening Gel Box - Front

1.     Whitening – no, but it has been preventing further darkening. Some would say that I should be using it everyday twice a day for a long period of time to see the whitening effect, but I believe that part of what makes a product effective is how well people can stick to it. And try as I have, I can’t really stick to it.
2.     Delays hair growth – no, but my hair doesn’t grow quickly. More hirsute users might see a difference.
3.     Softens and smoothens skin – yes, it helps prevent unsightly bumps.
4.     Antibacterial – not sure. You can use it without an anti-perspirant and it will keep you fresh for a few hours, but not as well as one.
5.     Fragrance-free – yes. You’re actually supposed to use this product under a deodorant.

By the way, I’ve just been using it on my underarms, so it might be a different case for different areas.

Gluta-C Underarm & Bikini Skin Whitening Gel Box - Back
Now, this product is a water based gel, so it sinks faster than a cream, but not as quickly as I would like. I end up wasting time in the morning just waiting for it to dry so most days, I end up using this only at night. It doesn't seem to stain clothes, but I wait until it's completely dry before wearing anything with sleeves.

I haven’t seen the whitening and hair growth delay on once a day application. Since I can't get to perfect-use, I can just say that at my usual-use, it has no whitening and hair growth retarding effect. However, since it does reduce friction between skin, it might prevent further skin darkening and have a "lightening" effect on some people.

What I do like about this product is that I can use it the next day post wax as it’s perfectly sting-free and soothes the redness that remains. I end up using this as a deodorant for a few days, so I do see value in it: but not as a skin whitener. It also comes in a tube, which makes it very hygienic.

Gluta-C Underarm & Bikini Skin Whitening Gel

Will I repurchase this? Maybe, At P200, it works quite well as a post-wax product without the heavy price tag, but I don't see myself finishing this tube anytime soon.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Sample Bottles: Washing and Recycling

Remember an old post of mine about Bobby Brown Extra Face Oil? Well, I may not be able to buy the  full size, but this little bottle is about to host another goodie. Stay tuned!

Bobby Brown Extra Face Oil

How to wash:

1. Clean with dishwashing liquid and hot water: A few drops of dishwashing liquid will do, especially if concentrated. It doesn't have to be antibacterial, but it has to get rid of all the dirt and grime it may have acquired. I like to fill half the bottle, add the dropper, and fill completely before shaking both as one. Rinse well, at least 3 times. When using a tap, put the narrow part of the dropper (instead of the fat end) closer to the faucet to keep it from breaking accidentally if it's made of glass.

2. Clean with alcohol. I do the same thing as with the soap, but let the alcohol soak longer. This will remove anything living on it. As usual, it may be harder to clean the dropper: I ended up doing a second round of alcohol with it. I generally don't clean the aspirator (black thingy) with alcohol. Some people use vinegar or vodka but I like plain rubbing alcohol best.

3. Leave overnight on clean tissue. Make sure the mouths are exposed to air so that the inside will dry out completely.

Fill with product the next day.

Travel sized. Recycled.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Weekend Misadventure: Brew Up

Actually, i'm not quite sure if it's Brew Up or Brew UP. And I never found out.

Last weekend, R and I went to UP Diliman in order to try the coffee and treats at Brew Up. I looked up their hours on zomato and saw that they were open on Saturdays. When I got there….


It was closed.



I looked at their FB and found that they were having trouble with ISSI, and that they were hoping to move to a new location. I hope I do get to try it sometime this year once they find a new one. But lesson learned: Facebook stalk places you want to visit to see if they're still there.

The FB account showed that they've been closed for a week, though their Saturday closure was announced afternoon of that day.

 I was disappointed because it seemed like such a cool place.

It looked like a place I could chill at. See the trees?

R and I ended up at the Snack Shack instead. Best P70 burger I've tasted. Waiting time: 20 minutes. I ended up buying some other food and drinks at the Shopping Center and Area 2 while waiting.

Snack Shack
No picture of the burger because it was hot and I was hungry.

This weekend's adventure wasn't a total fail.