December Finds

My last post on this series for this year! Aaaah time flies so fast! Anyway, here are the things I got to try for the first time this month:
Daylong Sunscreen. After finishing the sunblock I got from my dermatologist, I decided to try something else. I was torn between Neutrogena moisturizer with SPF 15 and Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Complete UV Waterlight Lotion SPF 50 but I end up with this. LOL! I have been using this sunblock for almost a month already and so far I am loving it.

Ellana Minerals Lip Scrub. I read good reviews about this so I decided to get one for myself. I think this is ideal to those who loves to use matte lipsticks.

Glysolid Cream. My cousins who are based in Abu Dhabi usually bring home a few tin cans of this. I am using this on my underarms every night hoping that it will help lessen the chicken skin which I really hate.

Nyx Soft Matte Lip Cream in Istanbul. This is my second shade from the soft matte line and I’m loving it so far. It’s warm pink and is one of the MLBB (my lips but better) lipsticks I have.

Review: Neutrogena SkinClearing Mineral Powder

Face powders and foundations are not as important to me as lipsticks. I can go to work or meet up with friends with just moisturizer and sunblock on my face but I can’t do the same without applying lipstick. I feel incomplete without that hint of color. Probably because of my lip’s discoloration, my confidence to go lipstick-less vanished. Since powders and foundations are not that important to me, I rarely buy them and I would just often throw old or expired ones that are half or barely-used. However, there are times when I want to look a bit more polished so I would go hunting for a good face powder.

My latest catch is this Neutrogena SkinClearing Mineral Powder. It’s my first time to buy a Neutrogena make up (I have used Neutrogena skin care products before) so I’m quite excited how this one fares…

Product Description

Neutrogena SkinClearing® Mineral Powder is the first and only gentle powder to blend soothing minerals with MicroClear® technology that cuts quickly through oil to speed the delivery of maximum-strength acne medicine straight to the source of breakouts. SkinClearing Mineral Powder works quickly to treat and help prevent breakouts blemishes without the dryness or flakiness of other acne treatments.
  • Oil-free
  • Non-comedogenic
  • Gentle, non-irritating
  • Dual-sided applicator gives the perfect level of coverage

Review: Gran Tierra Suites Cebu

After our three day escapade in Bohol, we went back to Cebu for supposedly a bit more adventure. But since it's already around 8pm when we arrived in Cebu and yours truly got sick, we decided to just stay in the hotel for more R & R and just wait for our flight back home the next day.

Three months before our trip, I already booked our hotels and that includes this hotel in Cebu - Gran Tierra Suites. I booked through TravelBook.ph as they were having a promo at that time. I paid php 541 only for a room that is supposed to cost Php 883 per night. Gran Tierra Suites is located in Don Mariano Cui corner Don Jose Avila Capitol near the Osmeña Circle. I chose this hotel as it is near the hot spots but unfortunately, we weren’t able to spend the night outside because “someone” needs to rest. (Note: some taxi drivers do not know this hotel so better give the exact address as well as some nearby landmarks)
Gran Tierra Suites Double Room (credit:grantierrasuites.com)
If you have read my TravelBook.ph post, there is one comment there (made by someone who also booked through TravelBook.,ph), that they had problem during check in. It took almost one hour waiting time before they were accommodated and allowed to get in their reserved room as the hotel staff has to verify with TravelBook.ph if a booking is indeed made. Upon reading the comment, I immediately contacted the hotel directly to verify if there is a booking made under my name. Fortunately, they replied with a yes.

When we got there, I gave them my booking confirmation and after signing some receipts, etc, we were ushered to our room. I am thankful that we didn’t encounter any problem, thanks to my blog commenter.

Review: Dickinson Original Witch Hazel Pore Perfecting Toner

I have always wanted to get this since a long time ago but I can’t find one anywhere because there is no Healthy Option outlet nor seller in Iloilo. When I shopped online for our organic shampoos, I discovered that the seller also carries this and many other organic products of various brands. So without further hesitation, I added this to my shopping cart and got my hands on it a couple of days after.

I started using this around the time my acne problem is 90% healed. If I got this earlier, when my acne is still at its worst, I might have hold off using as I do not want to sabotage my treatment. I know this Dickinson Witch Hazel Toner is natural and has lots of good reviews but I am just cautious to prevent those pesky pimples from ruining my face again. So is it causing my pimples? Find out...

Product Description

Since 1866, our original formula is still the only gentle, non-irritating, oil-controlling skin care product made with Original Witch Hazel. Our natural facial toners gently remove excess oil and impurities without overdrying, leaving your skin soft, smooth and naturally balanced.
  • Refines Pores
  • Removes and controls oils
  • Soothes irritation
  • Locks in moisture

Review: Panglao Regents Park Resort

It’s been a month since our trip to Bohol and I have not finished working on my posts yet. I might be able to publish all of them next year. :D Anyway, for this post, I will be talking about our home while we were in Bohol - Panglao Regents Park Resort. We were there for three nights and we didn’t have any trouble all through the duration of our stay there (except for me getting sick, I guess).

Panglao Regents Park Resort, frequented by foreign tourists, is in Ester A Lim Drive though can be easily accessed from the highway as it is only just few meters away. Given the location, the resort is obviously not beachfront but the famous Alona beach is just walking distance.

We arrived at the resort past six in the evening through commuting. When we checked in at the front desk, we were accommodated by friendly and competent staff. Since I booked online through booking.com, I was asked for the credit card I used. After confirmation of my credit card, we were then reminded of the hotel’s rules, which for me I think is necessary to avoid conflicts later on.

Main building
The standard room I reserved is in their annex just across the street (that’s the cheapest deal when I made the reservation). The annex building has only three floors and we are on the third. They do not have elevator or escalator but that wasn’t a problem to us. We are kind of used to it already as our office is also on the third floor and we do not have elevator or escalator either. A little exercise won’t hurt! Besides, they also offered to carry our bags but my husband refused since the staff taking us to our room is a girl and we only have one trolley bag. It’s nothing to a man who tries to lifts weights everyday. :D

Review: Milea Calamansi Soap

The use of organic soaps is not new to me. In fact, I have tried a few kinds already and all have varying effects. One thing I love about organic soaps is that they are made of natural ingredients like papaya, calamansi, milk and many others. Recently, I tried Milea (All Organics) Calamansi Soap because I was attracted with its deodorizing claims. I was on the process of switching to natural underarm deodorant at that time and I was thinking that with the help of this soap, I may skip using any deodorant during less active days and still feel confident that I won’t stink.

Photo credit: milea.ph

Find out how Milea Calamansi Deodorizing Soap fares...

Product Description

The Calamansi extract in Milea's Organic Calamansi soap is particularly useful in eliminating strong and harsh odors, especially the distinct smell that accompanies fish that may linger on hands or a cutting board.

Milea's Calamansi soap can help wash away dull and dry skin and also help with acne.

Commuting from Cebu to Panglao, Bohol via Tubigon

Traveling is one of the activities that makes me really happy. Being in a new place gives me that unexplainable kind of high. However, traveling can be damaging to the bank account if you are not resourceful enough to find cheaper routes, modes of transportation, hotels and the likes. That is why before we travel, I always plan ahead of time. Our itinerary (and sometimes our hotel reservations) is made months prior. Doing so made me confident that everything will go smoothly although that is not the case always.

During our recent trip to Bohol, I made a thorough research as to how to make our trip smooth-sailing without spending too much. My first trip to Bohol was a couple or so years ago and we reached the province via Tubigon (through chartered van though). It felt just right to go the same route this time so I decided that we take the Cebu - Tubigon ferry. Additionally, reading lots of blog posts that commuting from Tubigon to Tagbilaran is easy and cheaper confirmed that it’s the best thing to do.

Review: Nyx Soft Matte Lip Cream

A new lipstick makes my world go round! LOL! But yes, owning a new lipstick, especially a shade that is not in my arsenal, is making me really happy. The recent addition to my humble collection is this Nyx Soft Matte. This isn’t my first product from the brand as I have a few shades of Nyx Round Lipstick before and one Nyx Matte Lip Cream. I think the Round Lipstick is one of the factors that got me hooked to shades outside the MLBB (my lips but better) shades. If only, the formulation of this one is better, I might have stuck to it. Anyway, this time around, I will be reviewing the Soft Matte Lip Cream from Nyx.

Product Description

Neither lipstick nor lip gloss, this matte lip cream is a new kind of lip color that goes on silky smooth and sets to a matte finish. Soft Matte Lip Cream is surprisingly durable and, unlike some matte lipstick formulas, also moisturizing.

My Christmas Wish list

Christmas is just a couple of weeks away. And while I already did a little Christmas shopping for myself, there are still a few things that I want to get. Hence I am sharing my Christmas wish list hoping that Santa go techie and decide to read blogs and chance upon mine. :D

For beauty and fashion, here are the things I have been lusting for:

Ellana Mineral Primer. I know this shouldn’t be on the Christmas wish list as it isn’t even that expensive. However, I can only get this online and they are out of stock in Zalora. This product is available in Ellana.com.ph but I prefer buying from Zalora as there are other items I want to buy from there aside from make up. So yes my point is, I want to save on shipping and I am not that uber make up addict to lust a lot of products that would cost Php 1600 which will entitle me to free shipping. :D

Revlon Colorburst Matte Balm in Striking. This is another thing I can easily get from a friend who sells authentic US brand makeup cheaper than that in the malls but I am banning myself from buying any new lipstick until I have used at least 50% of the ones I already got. I know a girl can never have too many lipsticks but I am also a frugal one so I am torn in between. :D

MAC Lipstick. A stingy girl like me buying a MAC lipstick is an indication that I have already reached the stage of ultimate addiction. I know it isn’t much compared to others but this is me. :D I have been lusting to get one for a couple of years already and I am sooo close to the edge. If ever I decide to get one (or two!), maybe I’d get Ruby Woo, Russian Red or Dark Side.

Complete Skin Care from a reliable brand. The problem with this is, I don’t know what brand is reliable enough to deliver its claims and most of all, will not trigger another acne breakout. Ever since I had that breakout which lasted for more than half a year, my confidence in trying new products diminished. I have been sticking to products recommended by my dermatologist for months now and things can get boring sometimes. :D I miss the fun of trying a new product for the first time. Also, I know that I am not getting any younger and I am seeing the need to add something to my skin care regimen to slow down aging, if not prevent it. What scares me in buying such products is that they will trigger my acne. Isn’t it annoying when an expensive product causes you negative skin reaction? Ugh! Ultimate pet peeve.

Review: Human Heart Nature Natural Strengthening Shampoo

My hair used to be my big beauty problem until acne took over. During the time that my acne is difficult to control, I changed so many things in my regimen including my hair care products. I switched to natural hair care products hoping that it will hasten the improvement of my face but it didn’t only helped me with my acne problems, it improved the health of my hair too. The product I am referring to? Its Human Heart Nature Shampoo and Conditioner from the Strengthening line. Since I have reviewed the conditioner months ago, I will only be reviewing the shampoo.

Product Description

96.4% Natural | SLS/SLES-free

Save your hair before it’s gone! Our Natural Strengthening Shampoo is infused with hydrolyzed protein to fortify your hair, and Philippine coco nectar, a revolutionary ingredient that bursts with amino acids, vitamins and minerals. Our breakthrough CREAMFoam® technology acts like a lotion to moisturize your hair and scalp, leaving you with hair so much stronger, healthier, and shinier!

For silky strong hair, follow up your shampoo with our 100% Natural Strengthening Conditioner.

Available in Cool Peppermint and Soothing Aloe scents

Did You Know? Enjoying that foamy lather you get from chemical shampoos? It’s usually from chemical surfactants such as sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) and sodium laureth sulfate (SLES). Sure, the lather feels nice but do you ever wonder what happens to all that foam after you rinse it off? It goes back into our rivers and oceans, where it is very toxic to the ecosystem.

In addition, SLS/SLES has been reported by the Environmental Working Group (www.ewg.org) as a moderate hazard to human health. It’s been linked to skin irritation, cancer and organ toxicity.


Bohol Itinerary and Travel Expenses

Our recent Bohol trip is one for the books. Not that it’s extraordinary or something but it is because I got sick during the trip and we needed to go to a hospital in Tagbilaran (we were staying in Panglao) to see a doctor. Thankfully, it didn’t ruin our schedule… only our budget. :D

Anyway, I am sharing to you our itinerary and summary of expenses  for future reference.
Day 1
Time
Destination/Activity
Expense
Cost/Pax
Price for 2
09:30 - 10:00 SM City Iloilo to Airport Van 70 140
12:10 - 12:50 Iloilo to Cebu via Cebu Pacific Plane 1250
Terminal 200 400
MCIAA to Cebu Port Taxi 194
02:00 - 03:00 Cebu to Tubigon Port via Starcraft (Economy) Ferry 220 440
Port to bus terminal Tricycle 10 20
03:15 - 04:30 Tubigon to Tagbilaran Bus 50 100
05:00 - 06:00 Tagbilaran to Panglao Jeep 25 50
Panglao Regents Park Resort 1500
Total Expenses for Day 1 4094
Day 2
Island Hopping (Dolphin watching, Balicasag Island and Pungtod Island)
Time
Destination/Activity
Expense
Cost/Pax
Price for 2
05:45 - 06:00 Assembly time at Alona Beach
06:00 - 06:30 Travel to dolphin watching area Boat rent 1500
06:30 - 07:00 Chased the dolphins
07:00 - 07:30 Travel to Balicasag Island
07:30 - 10:30 Snorkelling, swimming at Balicasag Entrance 50 100
Guide 150 300
10:30 - 12:00 Rest, lunch
12:00 - 12:30 Travel to Pungtod Island
12:30 - 02:00 Pungtod Island
02:00 - 02:30 Travel back to Alona Beach
Panglao Regents Park Resort 1500
Total Expenses for Day 2 3400
Day 3
Supposed to be our beach-bumming/chill day but I had to be brought to the hospital. I will not include our hospital expenses here since it isn’t supposed to be here. :D
Panglao Regents Park Resort 1500
Day 4
Countryside Tour (Tarsier Conservation Center, Loboc Ecotourism Park, Chocolate Hills, Loboc River Cruise, Blood Compact Site and Aproniana Souvenir Shop)
I lost track of the time here since it easy to do so when you are having fun. :D With that, I just included our expenses.
Time Destination/Activity Expense Cost/Pax Price for 2
08:15 - 04:15 Countryside tour Car rent 2000
Tarsier Conservation Center Entrance 50 100
Loboc Ecotourism Park Cable car 250
Loboc Ecotourism Park Cable car/ zipline combination 350
Lunch of driver (optional) 100
04:30 - 05:50 Tagbilaran Port
06:00 - 07:45 Tagbilaran - Cebu via Weesam (Tourist) Ferry 375 750
Cebu Port to Gran Tierra Suites Taxi 150
Gran Tierra Suites 550
Total Expenses for Day 4 3650
Day 5
Time Destination/Activity Expense Cost/Pax Price for 2
10:00 - 10:45 Hotel to MCIAA Taxi 220
10:45 - 01:00 Waiting time (flight is supposed to be 12:30)
01:00 - 02:00 Cebu to Iloilo (heavy air traffic) 1250
02:00 - 02:30 Airport to SM City Airport Shuttle Terminal Van 50 100
Total Expenses for Day 5 1570
Total Expenses for the WHOLE trip 14214

Notes:
  • I didn’t include the amount we spent on foods as it varies per person. For us, we usually pay not less than Php 500 for lunch and dinner (for two persons) and usually lesser for breakfast. Maybe we spent not more than Php 5000 for food for the whole trip.
  • For tours like island hopping and countryside tour, you can join other tourists (group tours) to save on costs/rent but we opted not to join so that can do whatever activity we want or go to spots we are only interested in without having to consider other tourists in the group.