Tuesday, October 31, 2006

What I'm Wearing Tomorrow

Since I will be going to an '80s party, and I will be going as Tom Cruise in Risky Business (except my shirt is blue, and I will be wearing houndstooth shorts underneath -- plus flipflops, since I don't want to get my socks dirty), I've decided to get with the Halloween spirit and wear some majorly whacked-out makeup on my face. For your consideration...

- L'Oreal True Match pressed powder in Sun Beige
- L'Oreal True Match Super-blendable Concealer in W6
- Max Factor MAXeye eyeshadow in Metalicious (lime green/peacock blue/purple). Basically I'm dusting the lime green all over my lid and possibly using the blue as a liner under my eyes, which doesn't look freaky at all if I do everything with a light hand. Thank goodness for that 2-for-1 deal I got in the coupons, since I also bought the Max Factor eyeshadow in Premiere Pink (pink/brown/mauve) which I plan to wear on another occasion.
- Cover Girl Lash Exact mascara in black on the top lids only
- Stila Belle blush
- Jordana lip liner in Tawny
- Maybelline Moisture Whip lipstick in Mystic Burgundy (which shouldn't clash with the lime green)

I've thought about going over the top with the black eyeliner, but then I did the dry run with the eyeshadow and was amazed by how the bright pastel colors made my eyes look a whole lot bigger, which is so much more in line with the whacked-out preppy look I'm going after.

It's gonna be a happy, happy Halloween, y'all.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Domesticity Reviews: Scharffen Berger Nibby Bar

Hi, my name is Meimei, and I am a chocoholic.

Not just any chocoholic, mind you. I approach chocolate the same way I approach alcohol: Why settle for "regular" when the good stuff's still available? There's no way of explaining why I've become such a stickler about this, apart from the fact that I'm getting older and my taste buds aren't what they used to be.

Case in point: Two weeks ago I was able to track down the Scharffen Berger Nibby Bar at Fujioka's in Market City. At first I thought I was never going to be able to eat this at all - I was just so happy to have found one that I almost forgot that I had one at hand. Finally, after days of speculation, I broke down, unwrapped the bar, broke off a quarter... and had my first taste.

Here's the thing: This isn't my first bar of Scharffen Berger, at all. I've had their dark chocolate before, so I'm used to the fact that their dark chocolate often starts off really sharp and metallic on the tongue. (I've experienced the same thing with Lindt's Excellence Dark Chocolate, too, so I'm sure it's not an isolated phenomenon.) That's why I usually have a tendency to eat dark chocolate slowly - letting the stuff melt in my mouth so I could get used to the sharpness and let the other aromas permeate.

Not so with the Nibby Bar. The first time I bit into it, I immediately recognized the crunch of the cacao nibs, which I immediately wanted to crunch on with my teeth. The chocolate used for the Nibby Bar is 62% cacao - which makes it no stronger than your average Toll House morsel - but it's the crackle of the nibs that gets to you. The sharpness eventually gives in to a pleasant bitter-sweetness, not unlike snacking on a chocolate wafer.

This isn't just chocolate, folks. This is instant gratification.

I've heard descriptions of the Nibby Bar as a "candy bar for grownups," which I believe is pretty spot-on. I could come up with a more graphic description than that (ahem), but suffice it to say that for $2 an ounce, it's pretty damn good instant gratification, so grab one while you can.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

"So what are we going to do for FOOD!?"

While we're waiting for yet another video from the Philippines where the band wears more eyeliner than I do (and, guys, I love you, but y'all better start calling me before you start attacking the Max Factor counter at Watson's, 'cause you're making me and Alex Kapranos cry), here's a little something from the Kentucky Fried Chicken franchises of Hawaii, which I still can't believe I haven't posted yet:

Monday, October 23, 2006

Domesticity Reviews: New and Not-So-New Purchases

Enough with the blackouts, earthquakes, and pitiable music videos! (Besides, since my friends in Waikiki decided on an '80s party, I'm going as Tom Cruise in Risky Business instead.) Bring on the beauty product reviews!

- Cover Girl Lash Exact Mascara: I'm not usually the kind of person who buys into the hype for any given product, but I've used this mascara three times now and I must say that I am not disappointed. No clumps, no smudges, and enough lift to eliminate the need for an eyelash curler - and, as an added bonus, the falling-eyelash problem that I had in the Philippines (when I was using Maybelline's Sky High Curves) didn't happen here with this mascara! Could I have found my own particular Holy Grail Mascara? Perhaps. But we'll see.

-Palmolive Aroma Therapy Essentials Conditioner with Mandarin and Green Tea: Another purchase from the Philippines, and currently my go-to conditioner. Nice volumizing formula - my hair's soft but never greasy when I use this, with added bounce (as if my hair could be caffeinated!) - and the green tea scent is just delicious.

- Lush Fever massage bar: Lately I've been using this instead of lotion - partly because that rose-carnation fragrance is just heavenly, partly because I miss my regular massages back home, and partly because I need to use this all up before I step into the Lush Ala Moana store and purchase another one (yeah, Lush fans, I know what y'all are thinking). Seriously, though: My hands have never been softer, my legs have never felt so moisturized, my hangnails are a lot less tortuous, and my skin has never felt so much more touchable. Now if only somebody (and by somebody I mean "whoever it is that Evie and I have been discussing as hot boyfriend material during our nightly Google Chats") would just come up and smell me...

- Earth Therapeutics pumice sponge: Now, I can buy time between pedicures (since I can't have them every two weeks any more, boohoohoo) and keep my feet stilleto-worthy after walking in sneakers (or flip flops) all day. All I do is scrub out my calluses with the sponge (and a little shower gel) while my feet are wet in the shower; then, once they're rinsed off, I rub lotion (or a little smidge of Fever) on my toes and soles, and put my feet up like a princess for at least an hour or so to let the moisturizing stuff sink in. Just yummy.

- Bath and Body Works Pear Blossom shower gel: Whoever left this in my bathroom as a housewarming gift deserves my undying love and gratitude, because it's actually very fresh and exhilirating, and not at all "fruity."

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Straight Outta Blackout City

Just so you know:

Yes, I'm fine. The earthquake shook me out of bed between 7:15 and 7:22 in the morning. As soon as it stopped, the power went out, and I had no electricity for more than 12 hours.

No, there wasn't much damage in my neighborhood. Just rattling cupboards, stuff falling down, and people leaving Waikiki in fear of a tsunami, but that was it.

Yes, for a moment there I thought that the world was going to end, too - everything closed down all day Sunday, and there wasn't a single place that was left open where I could get food. Or at least that was the case in my neighborhood. But when I saw my neighbors taking out the hibachi and throwing food on the grill, I knew we're going to be OK.

No, I'm still in shock. I don't know - it wasn't until I got to the supermarket and saw that there were no milk or eggs left on the shelves that the reality hit me. I can't even watch the news any more. My attitude towards this whole thing is, "Heck, we just got the worst of it out of the way. Be glad to be alive." And yet it still doesn't excuse the fact that I couldn't even concentrate on my school work today.

Yes, I've contacted everyone. I hope they all know I'm fine.

We'll see.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

"But I'd be DAMNED if I see another chick on your arm!"

This post is dedicated to Koneko and our discussion about Halloween costumes, since I did say I was thinking about going out as Beyonce for Halloween:

I was thinking more about Beyonce in the beginning of the video, with the white shirt and the shorts - as opposed to Camo Bey or Basic Instinct Bey. The main point, though, is that it's ALL ABOUT THE HAIR. It shouldn't be that hard to find the biggest, fluffiest, wavy-textured blonde wig this time of the year, right?

She be rockin' chinchilla coats if I let you go
Gettin' the house off the coast if I let you go
She go take everything I own if I let you go
I can't let you go
Damned if I let you go...

Great. Now I have the song stuck in my head.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Coming Out of Blackout City

First of all, the good news: Electricity has been restored in our neighborhood since Sunday! YIPPEEE! My parents now have electricity and running water, and not only that - they donated some of my clothes to the folks who were affected by the landslides in our home town. It feels good - not only for helping out in my own way, but also for letting go of certain things from back home.

Second of all, because I feel like I should share this: I just had this weird dream last night. Something about me being invited to a beauty-blogger convention ("Hey, I know you! How's your hair holding up? Awww, maybe you should try the Paul Mitchell...") and everyone keeps asking me how I'm holding up with the blackout. Then they make all sorts of constructive suggestions on how to improve my blog, and... it was all weird and funny and brutally honest at the same time, but there you go.

So, in closing, it's so good to be back. And just in time, as well.

There were so many things to write about (Tower Records going out of business, ongoing construction at Nordstrom's, my laptop dying and coming back to life, etc.) but I just want to talk about two things in particular:

- Ever since I got back from Manila I feel like I've been working the red lips lately. Those of you who have read my comments during the Rock the Gloss Challenge on Blogdorf Goodman would remember that I have shades of red from MAC and Maybelline, but my current obsession - and most recent purchase - is L'Oreal HIP Intensely Moisturizing Lip Color in Driven #778, which looks like a dark violet in the tube but goes on me as a plum-based red. This one reminds me of the first time I tried Chanel Vamp ten years ago - a little too purplish for me - but this L'Oreal HIP lipstick is truly moisturizing on me (good news for someone for whom no lipstick is "moisturizing" enough) and the color builds up nicely, even if the blue tones bring out the worst in me.

- Speaking of lipstick: I am so going to put The Beauty Newsletter (beautynews.blogspot.com) on my blogroll. Those lipstick-buying tips alone are worth the read.

- While we're on the topic of lipstick, one of the reasons why I've started rocking the dark lips again has a lot to do with me getting back into the Pinoy rock scene, which you may have read in a couple of entries for this blog (see the "Manila" section for more). And because there's nothing I love more than makeup and Pinoy rock music... well, yeah, so you know how I'm madly in love with this band in the Philippines that's, like, named after a certain food item, and how I think their lead guitarist is so freaking hot and all? Yeah, those guys. That's why it hurts me to snark on this video. Granted, this was shot during a dark(er) moment in their career and all - which explains the low-budget feel (and, yeah, crappier videos have been made for more money) - but I don't have the heart to embed this, folks. Seriously: Evie and I have been snarking about how half of the budget for this video must've gone to hair and makeup for the lead singer ALONE. And it hurts me more to think that my Hot Guitarist Boyfriend was still sporting Beyonce's old weave on his head. Yeah, I know. Still love these guys, though, and I'm glad that they're doing so well back home. Now if you'll excuse me, I should go ahead and weep into a Special Education Law texbook, or something.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Blackout City, Part 2

For those of you still reading this: Rumor has it that the electricity won't be restored in my home town until October 18. Some neighborhoods do have electricity, but not everyone does - and because there's no electricity, water is also in short supply.

Yes, my parents and friends are all fine. But that doesn't take away the fact that my town was smack in the middle of the storm. Trees and landmarks that have been familiar to me for more than 20 years are now gone, snapped in half like used skewers or popsicle sticks. One of my friends, who works at a biochem lab, can't come to work any more because the offices and labs were flooded - even the refrigerators were knocked down. Important events have been cancelled, postponed indefinitely.

Sad? I don't know. Still, that's about two more weeks' worth of blackout.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Some Happy News, for a Change

Guess who just had a baby girl?

(Clue: Not me. Oh, no, definitely not me.)

In any case, cheers to the Mom and Dad in question. Hope all goes well.

We now return to the blackout currently in progress...

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Blackout City

And now my bitter hands cradle broken glass
Of what was everything?
All the pictures have all been washed in black, tattooed everything...

All the love gone bad turned my world to black
Tattooed all I see, all that I am, all I'll be...

- "Black," by Pearl Jam

Just got in touch with everyone in Manila. They're still recovering from the big storm that hit Luzon last Thursday, which lasted well into the weekend. There was a serious landslide in my home town - not in the town proper, but in a village within the town boundaries - that claimed a dozen lives. Electricity has yet to return to certain parts of Manila and the outlying provinces because the power lines have been downed. The highways were littered with the remnants of billboards and uprooted trees. Traffic to the city was so bad that Evie, on her way to work, ended up checking into a resort instead of getting stuck on the road all night long.

Suddenly, blogging about shopping and clubbing in Honolulu seems so pointless.

My parents are expected to get their electricity back by next week. Until then, I, too, will have to go black for a moment.