Saturday, December 31, 2011

Year Ender Report! Happy 2012!

This is it!  Several hours left and we're all ready to bid 2011 goodbye!  2011 may be the best or worst year to some of you but I believe this is yet, another memorable year for all of us!  

Because I have been blogging for a good 3 years going to 4th, I am comfortable enough to share to you --- "AMW's Highlight for the year 2011!"

The year started when I was asked to join the Bobbi Brown's "I am Pretty Powerful" campaign .  It was one of the first few post I poured my heart out and shared to readers my background as a Business English Teacher in a University in Hangzhou, China.  It was also the first post that I shared the "chubby Nikki" photos which I am proud (even at present) to show to everyone how the "Chubby, Round-faced Nikki" survived the harsh weather in China plus being the youngest and only Asian Foreign Teacher at that time.  

 I am Pretty Powerful...
Yesterday and today!

Comes the month of February, it was a first for yours truly to be in front of a camera!  Being a makeup artist, I am used to prettifying people who will go in front of a camera or video but it was nerve wracking for me when Tek Tok TV invited me to be a guest for one of their segment!

I guess being a teacher for almost 4 years helped reduce the nervousness of being on a spotlight!

Read experience HERE

To end the first quarter of the year, things started to get very busy when I was invited by Pond's Philippines to take part in the Pond's Flawless White Challenge (read experiences HERE) with Shobe Sophie as my diary as I do the testing!  We were able to finish the challenge and Sophie and I got the special award called "Editors' Choice Award".  Mission Accomplished!  The nerd side of me would like to add, the added cherry on top of the ice cream would be having my face (together with other gorgeous bloggers) plastered in a wall!  I have to admit, I want to take the huge wall home! :P

If having my face plastered on a huge wall isn't enough, AMW went digital!  Nokia offered to have AskMeWhats available in OVI Store!  Who would've thought AMW can be an app now? :D

Before the first half of the year ended, the kiddie side of me was super happy when I got the invite to visit Yakult Plant!  To those who don't know, going to factories is one of my greatest love as I love seeing how each product was made!  I can still remember the first time I visited a factory and it was Carlsberg Brewery!  (Great!  I was only 12 years old then!  *laughs*)

The next experience, I have to thank my Nuffnang Family for the various movie invites from X-men to Transformers!  As if those special movie screening weren't enough, they even had a Nuffamily Day (report HERE) were I enjoyed an almost whole day with fellow Nuffies at the same time, re-create what the movie Tangled have done.....

Lantern Lifting!
(it wasn't as easy as it looks but it was FUN!!!!)

And just when I looked back on how much I missed teaching, the wonderful gals from GlamBox Airbrush Cosmetics invited Sophie and myself to be Airbrush Makeup teachers for a day!  It was fun day for Achie and Shobe to share our knowledge of airbrush at the same time, meet wonderful girls who are as passionate as we are!

Aside from makeup, my nails have brought me places!  I mean, I've had random strangers coming up to me telling me how much they like my nails!  My nail art designs have always been a good conversation starter at random events!  Popularity isn't a reason why I've been doing various nail art designs from Plants vs. Zombies to Pacman, Frankenstein,  Angry Birds!  As you can see, my nail art designs are usually in line with an event or occasion and I feel like doing nail art is like putting on makeup!  I may not have creativity on paper but if I can show them on nails and faces, why not? 

Speaking of nail art, wonderful people from Style Speak, India contacted me again for their Nail Art Special Issue!  I was challenged to do Water Marbling Nail art and see the pride in my face when I saw a hard copy sent to me!  I will never get the hang of seeing my works printed on glossies!  This was my second time to contribute for the magazine and I appreciate their trust!

Read article HERE

And like I said, my nail art tutorial have brought me places!  Even at Kapuso Mo, Jessica Soho!  It was challenging to do Angry Birds Nail Art Tutorial right in front of a camera but I survived!  Thanks to the friendly staffs and producer from the said show for making me feel at ease.

As I was jokingly telling Mr. AMW he needs to find me a manager because "A Star Was Born" *laughs* the same month, I was invited to share my makeup tricks for Rainy Season at Net 25's HOMEPAGE!  This was done LIVE on tv and I was as nervous as hell!  I think I got too nervous I used gay-lingo in front of a camera!  (Mr. AMW told me that after the show but I can't even remember the exact word I blurted out!)  *laughs*  Oh well, no one noticed I guess! :P

To complete the "Feeling Media Star", thanks to Nuffnang for choosing me as Blogger of the Month of August!  My dream to be on a radio show was answered as I talked about my blog together with fellow Nuffies from Australia!  
at the Wake Up Show with DJ Vince and Tracy

Now let's leave the Media Star for now and let's go back to reality!  *laughs*  Thanks to Sunsilk for choosing me together with 3 other bloggers to experience the ultimate Pampering Day with Sunsilk's Loyal Members!  Because of this experience, it was the makeup artist's day off and I get to experience having someone put makeup on my boring face!  *wooooppeeee*!  It was also a first for me to have my photograph taken in a studio by THE Niccolo Cosme at the same time, styled by Rain!  Because of that, I shall be forever grateful because I have a professional photo to share to my grandchildren!  (smile and read my experience HERE)

This photo screams Sex and the City
I look like a building in the city though!  *laughs*

As the real world is slowly creeping into my mind, I was brought back to reality with Clinique's Real Women Campaign Party!  It doesn't hurt to be dolled up or be on a radio show or tv show.  In reality, I do have a full time job, I'm a daughter, I'm a wife, I'm an employee, I'm a friend....there's so much things to do amidst our thirst for Fantasy!  Thanks to Clinique Philippines for inviting me and one of my reader to enjoy how it feels to be a REAL woman!  It was an evening of makeovers, getting to know our skin and the event ended with lovely dinner!  Who says beauty has to be "magazine" looking?  Each of us have a beauty in us that is so unique because God made us so....

AMW with Jenn

Speaking about real beauty, who would've thought Ms. AMW could pass up for a judge at Ms. Silka 2011?  I was surprised when I was invited to be part of the prestigious panel of judges! I have to be honest when I got "chills" and "goosebumps" when Mr. Luis Manzano introduced each of the judges and I was clearly introduced as "A BLOGGER" (bloggers...REPRESENT!) It may sound nothing to the audience but it was everything to be acknowledged as a Blogger!  As you all know by now, this started out as a hobby, a venue for me to share my thoughts and make new friends, who would've thought bloggers are starting to have a VOICE now? :)

The event was a huge success and I was able to share wonderful goodies from Silka to 3 lucky AMW readers!  :)  Contest ended yesterday and winners will be announced 2012!!! :)

AMW looking constipated 
because there were a group of cameramen flashing here and there!
Feeling "Media Star" ---- FAILED!

And just when I thought the year has ended as I am counting my blessings thanking the Lord, He never failed to surprise me with an invite at NAPBAS 2011!  Blogging really took me far!  As far as going out of the country!  

Thanks again to my Nuffnang Family!

Okay, wrapping up (duh!) I traveled 3 countries this year!
  • Shanghai, China
  • Singapore
  • Kuala Lumpur Malaysia
(promises myself I will travel more!)

Nothing beats spending a weekend with my co-Beauty Bloggers (a.k.a. Team E) in Tagaytay.  Oh my!  I can't even tell the topics we discussed and the stories we shared!  They will have to kill me before I can even kill myself!  hahaha *zips mouth* *adding double sided tape* :P

P.S. I did not forget my sunglasses, I just prefer not putting it on because I want to show the world how lovely my eyes are!
P.P.S. I really forgot to put on my sunglasses!  *lol*

Shots taken from Shen, Jheng and Phoebe
Aside from spending quality time with my local beauty blogger friends!  This year has been a "Blogger Friendship" year!!!  This was the same year I met most of my online blogging friends!

With Aileen of The Shades of U
Click HERE to read her article re: the meetup :)
With my #evurl girls...twice this year baby!!! :)

If I may, I'll do a separate entry for meeting Lisa and Alex!  3 Times this year!!!  First 2 times were in Manila and the third was shown on photo above!!!  It was a pleasure for both Mr. AMW and myself to have spent time with the couple and got to know them well....too darn well! :P

First time at Sentro

Second time at The Stock Market

There's quite a number more bloggers both local and international I would love to meet!  Who knows? By year 2012?

I know some of you may have fallen asleep from this super looooonnnnggg post!  But hey, it isn't easy summarizing the "highlights of the year" in one post!  Anyways, if you reached this bottom part without falling asleep..THANK YOU SO MUCH, if you have fallen asleep and just scrolled down to this paragraph...well..I guess we need to meet up for Coffee? :P

Let's not forget, this year has been the ultimate year were my mom got "miraculously" better!  After more than 2 years of treatment (and still under treatment for now).  She has gone a long way on the road to recovery!  I want to thank my family and God for this!  You can remove all the material stuff and I won't care, as long as my family is doing well! :)

Out of all the bad things that has happened in the year, I don't think its even worth mentioning considering how many good stuff has happened (take note: haven't written ALL of them).  At times when I'm feeling down, it pays to look back to all the "good times" and from there, thank the Lord for all the blessings.  It doesn't hurt to look at the half full glass than a half empty glass!

Of course, the year won't be great with the wonderful Mr. AMW beside me supporting me all the way with a cheerful heart!  Trust me, I won't be THIS ---> :D cheerful without a cheerful partner!  

We're the Wonder Twins!

We're the Petronas Towers

We're Itchy and Scratchy
(from the Itchy and Scratchy Show, Simpsons)

We're Pucca and Garu

And most of all, 
we're just plain Mr. AMW and Mrs. AMW

Who wishes everyone a wonderful 2012 Ahead!
Happy New Year!
P.S.  To the companies, readers who believed on my blog....thank you!

Keep smilin'

Stay happy!

Friday, December 30, 2011

AMW Reviews: Benefit Cha Cha Tint

I'm good with ballroom dancing!  I can do the Swing, Foxtrot, Rumba and Cha Cha anytime you ask me too! (with a small fee by the way..bwahahaha)  Why in the hell am I talking about these dances you've probably seen your parents or grandparents danced to?

Because you probably felt what's next!  I got Benefit's Cha Cha Tint!  *woohooo*  Before I move on with the review, seriously!  I can do Cha Cha!  (I just won't give this! hahaha)

During the sneak peek, I was gifted by Benefit Philippines with my very own Benefit product of choice, it wasn't an easy decision but I went for Cha Cha tint because I have loved the Posietint and thought this would at least fair up!  

Was I dismayed or am I happy with the decision of taking this home?

Benefit's Cha Cha Tint says ---
This mango-tinted stain beautifully blushes lips & cheeks with a tropical sunset hue. Smooch-proof & smudge-proof, this sheer stain will have you looking deliciously sun-kissed for hours.

Size: 12.5 mL 0.42 US fl. oz.

AMW says ---
  • Others may hate the nail-polish like packaging but I like it because it is easier for me to control how much product I need without directly contaminating the product.
  • Shows up fairly well on both cheeks and lips.
  • The color stays until you wash your face!
  • Some may find this too pricey for a cheek product, I personally think this is a great investment especially if the color suits you.  I do not need to re-apply my blush for the whole day!  This bottle can last for months to probably a year!
  • Best to be used for brides!  (depending on the bride's complexion.)
  • No weird scent.
  • Dries up easily so if you are slow with your application, you may be left with a circular mark.
  • If used on lips and you have dry lips to start with, it will dry out your lips even more!
  • Can stain your fingers or brush so you have to really clean your fingers or brush well after every use.
  • A bit tricky for newbies to balance the application on both sides of the cheeks.
My favorite cheek tint for the moment!  The shade suits my skin so well I am using this almost on a daily basis!  I even brought this with me during the NAPBAS 2011 and partied the whole night at ZOUK and came home with the lovely flush I liked since application!

On the side note, I was a sneaky enabler and applied the Benefit's Cha Cha tint on Angela telling her how much I love it, she at the end is lemming for this too!  (peace Angela!  hehehe)

  • Just like regular nail polish bottle, be careful with spillage as this product stains!
  • If you prefer to use your fingers or brush in application, you have to be fairly quick on either of the application.
  • When to apply the Benefit Cha Cha Tint?  After liquid foundation application, apply this on cheeks before you set with powder!  Keep in mind to always apply this first before any powder application!
  • Darker skinned individuals may find this to come off a bit light unless you apply more.
  • Fair skinned individuals will find the Benefit Cha Cha Tint to show up really well.  Some would have coral-shade, others would find this to be on the mango-orangey shade.
  • If you're not used to using the applicator brush that comes with the packaging, apply a few drops on your fingers and gently (and quickly) blend on the apples of your cheeks.
  • If you think this whole thing is too much for you, you can purchase some "sets" that includes a sample size of the Cha Cha Tint!
  • For those who like to apply this on lips, use a separate lip brush and top it with a lip gloss or lip balm to prevent lips from drying.
  • Like Benefit Cosmetics Philippines on Facebook to be updated with promos and tips. 
Will I repurchase?
Yes!  I will be repurchasing another bottle to be included on my makeup train case!

To whom do I recommend this to?
Anyone who likes long lasting flush!

Where to purchase and how much?
At Benefit Boutique Greenbelt 5 for Php1,800.00 (approx $41.90).

Almost neon orange looking Cha Cha Tint

Once blended, a matte, coral shade is evident

2 dots are enough for one cheek
I actually like applying this with a "smiling face - u" mark
and blend at once

After quickly blending it on the apples of my cheeks
going upwards

Benefit Cha Cha Tint
Applied on Cheeks and lips
The reason why Benefit Cha Cha Tint goes to my "favorite" and "most reached" box is because for the fact that this is an "upper-lifter" product for my tired days.  I do not even need to apply any other makeup as it gives a whole "cheerful" and "chirpy" image as shown on photo above!

I can't compare this to the Benefit Benetint as I do not own the latter at the same time, both shades are quite different anyways.  As compared to Posietint, Posietint is best used on "no makeup" look while Cha Cha Tint is best used if you want people to see an obvious "flush"!

What's your favorite tint brand?
Have you tried Benefit's Cha Cha Tint?
Love it? Hate it?

Keep smilin'
Stay happy!

(Product received during event.  Reviews 100% mine.  Kindly purchase at your own discretion.)

Thursday, December 29, 2011

AMW Reviews: Innisfree Apple Juicy Cleansing Oil

A few days left before we bid goodbye to 2011!  Are you excited?  

Looking back at this photo brought me back to my fun Korea Travel year 2010!  Would you believe, by this time, I'm 99% done using all the products that I hauled in Seoul!  I guess it's time to go back to Korea to replenish my 'stocks'. *wishful thinking*

Long time reader would know how much I love cleansing oils!  Cleansing oils are not so secret in taking care of my skin amidst the various product testings!  I'm lucky my skin isn't that sensitive with cleansing oils as I was able to finish up different brands of cleansing oils from high end to friendly-priced ones!  The last among the Korean-made cleansing oil is the one from Innisfree. I bought this because it came with a free "orange spongie"!  *laughs* I'm a sucker for GWP (gifts with purchase) and you have to admit it if you are one too! :P (come on cheapo :P don't leave me alone here!)

Innisfree Apple Juicy Cleansing Oil says ---

Innisfree is Korean skin care line made up of natural ingredients
Apple Juicy Cleansing Oil
Penetrates deep into pores.  Cleanses skin thoroughly
Size: 150ml

Base on research (source), this has apple extract, grape class oil, sunflower class oil, marshmallow root extract.  Organic and is kind to the skin.
AMW says ---
  • Sealed with protective cap to prevent accident.
  • Smells like real apples!  I am not into apple scent but seriously, the scent is great and I was literally smiling while washing my face! *lol*
  • One of the most "natural" smelling cleansing oil I've tried to date!  (check with me again after a
  • Can remove  makeup easily.
  • Doesn't blur out my vision when I tried this on the eye area to remove regular mascara.
  • Lathers up really well once applied with water.
  • Skin feels soft and non-greasy immediately after wash.
  • No skin irritations nor allergic reactions occur.
  • May not completely remove super hard to clean waterproof mascara. 
  • Those who doesn't like the scent of an apple may find the scent irritating.
I like this cleansing oil!  One of the best smelling cleansing oil and most natural I've tried to date!  It does remove makeup and leaves my skin grease-free, soft and smooth!

I am not surprised this is included in Innisfree's Top 5 Global Bestsellers!

  • International readers who are into online shopping can purchase this at various online shops like Facial Shop (Please purchase at your own discretion, I have personally purchased from this online store and so far, I do not have problems with them.)
  • 2-3 pumps for the whole face, gently massage it all over your dry skin concentrating on areas that has the most makeup.  
  • With lukewarm water, lather up and continue massaging dissolving the makeup on your face.
  • Wash your whole face with warm water and continue with your preferred facial wash.
  • Once itchiness or skin irritations occur, stop usage!
  • I use this to remove regular, light makeup and use the heavy duty ones from Shu Uemura or Bobbi Brown to remove heavily applied makeup!  I was able to save a lot of money at the same time, saves my skin!
Will I repurchase?
If I visit Korea, I wouldn't mind purchasing this again.  Since this is not available locally, I can settle for Etude House Cleansing Dream Light Cleansing Oil or Nature Republic Forest Garden Balancing Cleansing Oil.

To whom do I recommend this to?
Cleansing oil users who love the scent of apples!  This can be used by normal, combination, dry or oily skin.

Where to purchase and how much?

At Innisfree Store in Korea for 20,000KRW (approx Php800.00/$18.00). I won't be surprise if Innisfree will arrive our shores as within 2 years, Etude House, Tony Moly and Nature Republic came!  For now, this can be purchased in Korea or your trusted online shops.

Have you heard of Innisfree brand?
Any products you've tried in this brand? 

Keep smilin'
Stay happy!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Eureka Moment: Wipes For Travel

When I was invited to attend the NAPBAS 2011 in Kuala Lumpur, to be honest, I wasn't that ready to travel on a month of December!  The month of December was a roller coaster ride with Christmas get-togethers here and there!  The night before I leave, I wasout enjoying dinner with College friends and got home around 1:00am!  I had to get up at 3:00am for the 5:30am meet up at the Fort.  

Insane right?  So insane I forgot a couple of things!

I just threw in some makeup stuff for me to prettify myself during the Awards night, the thing I wasn't ready though, is co-Nuffies who would want yours truly to apply makeup on them!  Don't get me wrong, I ain't complaining, I'm actually honored to do their faces and I was just a bit worried as I forgot my trustee makeup cleaner! 

As I rummaged through my luggage, thank goodness I randomly insert the Purederm Make-up Cleansing Tissues at the side pocket of my luggage!  The size is as small as the palm of my hand so it was really easy to bring them along minus the worry of spillage!  

These saves me from dirty brushes!  I also use these in pre-cleanse my face before the night ends and so far, I did not suffer any allergic reactions!

 If I may have to add, the Deodorizing Wipes also helped me freshen up in between tourist spots!  I used these also to wipe public toilet seats *lol*  (if only I could wipe my underarm in public!) *shhhh* I didn't okay??? :P

Overall, it was a greatly packaged tissues as I was able to take these as well and put them in my small purse when we went out at  ZOUK and cocktails at The View Rooftop Bar at G Tower Hotel.

Mini tissues priced at Php29.00 (approx $0.50) for 15 sheets, sold at Watsons, it's worth it! 

Oh before I end this post, I also saw a nicely packaged Skinlight Make-up Cleansing Tissues at Watsons which I put inside my train case for clients!  This packet costs around Php99.00 (approx $2.00).  Not bad!

Random Eureka Moments that saved my day!
Any stuff you think aren't important but saved your life?
I'd love to hear from you!

Keep smilin'
Stay happy!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

AMW Reviews: Lucido-L Designing Aqua Hair Curl Lotion

I have been searching high and low for a curl lotion that's none-sticky at the same time, helps my "waves" or "curls" stay as long as I can!

I have used a couple of products for the past years that I got interested on hair products (which was more than a decade by the way!).  During my last trip in Singapore, I visited Watsons and find Lucido-L products!  My dearest friend Connie sent me my first Lucido-L product as gift and I was able to use it up but I'm searching for one that doesn't require me to "touch" the product!  I know, I'm a bit too lazy for comfort!  Sue me! :P

As I was kneeling down at the racks of Lucido-L products, I chanced a "spray type" curl lotion (and angels started to sing), I grabbed one right away and was able to road test it back home!  (home=Manila)

Lucido-L Designing Aqua Hair Curl Lotions says ---
  •  Smooth and non-sticky finish, keeps created style for many hours even on humid day.
  • Contains Panthenol (hair care ingredient)
  • Light fragrance (green floral scent)
Size: 180ml
Made in: Japan

AMW says ---
  • easy to use spritz packaging
  • smells really good
  • hair feels soft and easy to comb
  • my light, airy curls do last the whole day even on a humid weather.  (Note: my hair is rebonded, easy to style.)
  • Inexpensive even when converted with local currency as product lasts me more than 2 months.
  • Not available locally!
The Lucido-L Designing Aqua Hair Curl Lotion is definitely a great heat protectant spray, it prolongs the curls even on a very  humid day and it never weighs my hair down!  This product is designed for "soft" feel curls, not the stiff, over-sprayed curls.  The wonderful scent is a bonus!

  • Once product get into the eye, immediately wash your eyes with warm water.
  • Divide your hair and spritz product at least 5-10cm away one layer at a time before heating or styling your hair.
  • Gently massage product onto your hair before you start curling.
  • For bouncier and tighter curls, use a smaller curling iron.
  • For relaxed waves, use a bigger curling iron.
  • If you prefer to use this for really tight curls, use a styling mousse prior to curling and spritz this for finishing.
  • Do a weekly at-home hair treatment if you frequently style your hair with heating tools.

Will I repurchase?
I did! I purchased another 2 during my KL trip!

To whom do I recommend this to?
The Lucido-L Designing Aqua Hair Curl Lotion is best used if you have short to medium length hair!  If your hair goes longer, the curls may not last as long as we want as the weight of the hair may pull the curls down making it hard for the product to work!

This product is best used on a daily basis especially if you are into heating tools. 

Where to purchase and how much?
I purchased mind from Singapore and Malaysia for less than Php400.00 each.

I have to remind everyone that this particular product from Lucido-L is meant for "airy curls" - in our dictionary, it means loose curls.

(photos without watermark taken from Lucido-L site)

Just like this...

and this...
Super love this hairstyle, can't wait for my hair to grow longer !

AMW Version
I've used this for more than 2 months and I'm still loving this!  It helps that it comes with a spray bottle which makes it easier to spray the product on all areas needed.  I do apologize for showing a half face shot!  You know that I don't want you guys to be so distracted by my gorgeous face and not look at my hair!  *laughs*  Hohoho!  Leave that comment as a Christmas present from you to me okay?  *laughs*

Seriously speaking, it's a half face shot as the full face shot will be shown once I do a review on this certain cheek product!  *secret for now*

P.S. this curl lasted me the whole day!

What's your heat protective spray or curl lotion?

Keep smilin'
Stay happy!