Saturday, February 27, 2010

Because It Just Had To Be Said

And because I'm more excited about the Winter Olympics than I should be at this point...

Hair like THIS?

Deserves a hair-care system like THIS:

I kid, I kid. (What can I say, the Seventies came pretty late to the Philippines when I was growing up.)

Credits: (Shaun White) and Vermont Country Store (Gee Your Hair Smells Terrific... yes, they still sell that stuff online, folks)

Thursday, February 25, 2010

The Hair. THE HAIR.

You may have probably noticed that some of the male "hotties" that I often mention on this blog share a vaguely similar trait: wavy, messy, slightly grungy hair. Peter Sarsgaard, in Shattered Glass? Guilty. Simon Baker, in The Mentalist? Doubly guilty. Rafe Spall, in the entirety of that placeholder post from last summer? Definitely guilty on all counts, and should be sentenced to several weeks' worth of deep-conditioning treatments if he didn't know what was best for him.

[/still bitter because I've watched Hot Fuzz a billion times on TV, and yet nobody has taken my idea of casting Andy Cartwright as Patrick Jane's brother in The Mentalist - okay, not really, but still]

Let us not even forget the glory that used to be Gerard Butler's hair in the otherwise craptastic Dracula 2000... say the least of my long-standing, old-guy crush on Jeff Bridges and his glorious head of hair, which not even the all-over grunginess of Crazy Heart could obscure. (Yes, it broke my heart when he had to go bald for Iron Man.)

(And, at this time, we should point out that Jeremy Renner has responded by thanking Colin Firth, Jason Statham, and Gilles Marini for reintroducing him to the concept of soap and water. Heh.

I mention this because I have been following the men's speed-skating events in the Winter Olympics, which means that I have been regularly exposed to THIS: 

Ladies and gentlemen, Canadian short-track speed-skater Charles Hamelin: frequent record holder, and one of the few folks outside of Team USA or the South Korean team worth betting on during the heats.

Here, the hair looks pretty good... but on the ice, when it's barely concealed by that speed-skating helmet? Good grief. Frizz everywhere, with the woolly beard hair sticking out like overgrown moss from under the chin strap and over the collar. Every single time that my Dad and I watch speed-skating, I always point to him and say, "Hey, it's the Canadian guy with Jesus hair." (No offense to my own Lord and Savior, but... really.)

The crazy part of it all is that the combination of all that grungy hair with the helmet, rainbow-tint Oakleys, and full-body spandex uniform takes so much of the pretty away from poor Charles. In fact, as I was sizing up the competitors for speed skating based on how they looked on the track alone, I actually thought that Francois Hamelin looked much, much better than his brother. (Never mind that, outside of the uniform, Francois is basically the French Canadian version of B.J. Novak.)

Eye candy factor aside, I like watching short-track speed skating because it's not that hard to watch: everyone skates fast, and whoever gets to the finish line without tripping over the other person or falling on one's rear end wins. And while I have a lot of respect for les freres Hamelin and the South Korean skating team, I also have to give a shoutout to Team USA - not just for my mestizo homeboy J.R. Celski, but also for Apolo Anton Ohno... who will always have my undying love and respect, just for THIS:

Credits: via Google Images (Jeff Bridges); Le Blogue de Le Point via Google Images (Charles Hamelin) 

EDITED @ 2/27/2010 to differentiate between speed skating and short-track speed skating. BIG distinction. Also to fix some major punctuation issues. 

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Trendwatch 2010: OMG Chef Iz Daddeh!

And now... a return from a much-needed Lenten mini-break. 

Fact: Having kids changes everything. I'm a childless singleton myself, but I've seen it so many times with my friends who've just had kids (including Scribey) that it's definitely undeniable.

Fact: Having kids changes everything, especially when you're a dude. This I don't have to explain, since I live with my parents and I'm still trying to wrap my brain around the things my dear PapaMei did before fatherhood changed his life.

Fact: If you are a male chef - and especially if you are a male celebrity chef of certain prominence and/ or notoriety - having kids will change everything in ways that you would never expect.

Okay, so "celebrity chefs as dads" is not a new trend. Gordon Ramsay and Tom Colicchio have kids; so do Mario Batali, Emeril Lagasse, and Tyler Florence. Heck, even Christopher Kimball has kids. (Not that I'd doubt Mr. Bowtie's ability to reproduce; I just don't want to know how, is what I'm saying.)  Some of the chef-hosts I've seen from the Food Network Canada reruns shown here, like Michael Smith and Roger Mooking, have talked about how Becoming A Dad has changed their culinary approaches.

What does stand out as trend-worthy, however, is the concept of fatherhood as a signifier of major change in a chef's public image.

Witness, for example, Jamie Oliver's speech at the TED 2010 conference:

And then, there's our favorite potty-mouthed culinary bad boy (and known embodiment of the chef-as-debauched rock star archetype) Anthony Bourdain, turning up as a guest star in - of all places - Yo Gabba Gabba! 

In fact, now that I've mentioned this, I'd like to go ahead and nominate a few more food-show hosts for the inevitable on-screen "OMG I IZ DADDEH!" epiphany:

  • David Rocco (Food Network Canada): I want to hate him based on his show alone; he has the face and body of a GQ model, lives in Italy with his gorgeous wife, and gets to cook - and eat - all sorts of fresh and delicious Italian food while exploring a life that I can only dream of... in other words, the male version of Giada de Laurentiis. His Wikipedia entry, however, mentions that he and his aforementioned wifey just had equally beautiful twin daughters, so I'm totally looking forward to the episodes where he cooks for the girls.
  • Adam Richman (Travel Channel, USA): Now here's a thought for you - the guy from Man Vs. Food, taking time out of his busy schedule of chowing down and pigging out to reproduce. Regardless of how that thought is coming into your mind right now, you gotta admit that it's more palatable (pun intended) than seeing Andrew Zimmern on Sesame Street.
  • Bob Blumer (Food Network Canada): Not that I would know if he's available - let alone willing, for that matter - but I've already stated in this very blog that I am willing to volunteer myself for the cause, so that's that...
  • Curtis Stone (late of TLC, though I still prefer him on Surfing the Menu): ...Annnnnd, in the off-chance that Bob Blumer really isn't up to the task, I'm going to join that very long line of female shoppers at Whole Foods who have been waiting for him to, um, be taken home for the purpose of spawning his messy-haired babies. Heh.
  • Guy Fieri (Food Network USA). On second thought... um, no.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Styling a Diva

I promised a post on the Charice gig on V-day, so here it is.

Here are some "before" shots from the sponsor's commercials that ran during the concert:

Yes, she is wearing a sequined sweater vest here. Talk among yourselves.

This screencap comes courtesy of a cheese-spread commercial where Charice is supposedly doing karaoke in what looks like a school uniform. I don't have any problems with the outfit or the voice, but I do have a problem with the way she pronounces the words "mini burger" and "eggplant roll." (Though, to be fair, I have a bigger problem with processed spreadable cheese on mini burgers and eggplant rolls.)

And now for the concert...

Let's be honest here, since she is, after all, wearing a chiffon cape (!) with bejewelled (!!) and fringed (!!!) epaulets (!!!!) over a black unitard and silver cage heels.This is the kind of outfit that would look totally ridiculous on, say, Alicia Keys, but on a petite young'un like Charice it looks very modern. The details don't overwhelm her completely, and the lines actually make her look much taller. Plus I love the flat-ironed hair here, which makes her look more like Devon Aoki.

Then there's this:

Again, a pure performance outfit (ie. not applicable offstage), yet I think that the dress is nicely proportioned to the girl, and the black is a nice contrast to the bright silver on the corsetry and the microphone. Cute! The dress also became a moment in itself, when her duet partner (singer Erik Santos) became so transfixed - okay, distracted - by the framework of the dress, that he couldn't stop touching her skirt while singing... not in a pervy way (minds out of the gutter, people!) but more like a cat distracted by the shiny, shiny ornaments on a very shiny Christmas tree.

Also, I forgot to make a note here, but my Mom and I noticed that she was wearing some large cuff bracelets on both wrists, which practically covered both of her forearms throughout the night - basically, wider versions of this:

Again: ooooo, shiiiiiiiiny.

I didn't get any shots of the other outfits from this concert (a red Michael Jackson-inspired jacket over the unitard, and a knee-length red tank dress with a skirt covered in fabric roses), but overall I'm actually pleased by the way our favorite young singer has been styled for this concert. Nothing too overtly sexual, overtly babyish, or just plain overwhelming for this kid - just a lot of fun fashion that doesn't wear her down. It's pretty obvious that the girl's already using her performance wardrobe as a way of experimenting with fashion; here's hoping for more stylish risk-taking in the future.

Credits: Pictures from concert taken by Meimei and PapaMei. Bracelet picture from Polyvore.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Once Upon a Looklet: A Tribute

Here's a confession for you: I am not a big fan of Alexander McQueen. And I probably never will be.

While McQueen's death did shock me - and I do feel sorry for the guy, having to go through so much sadness and loss to end his life the way he did - reading some of the obituaries that ran in his honor (like this one) did not really alleviate the annoyance I usually have towards the guy himself. It's already bad enough that I'm not "intellectual" enough to "get" him (like, dude, I'm sorry that I'm just an entry-level teacher who goes to work in Gap khakis, mmmkay? *eyeroll*), but I get this sense that he was an exasperating person to talk to - let alone know - in the first place. It's so heartbreaking and infuriating at the same time, to be around someone whose life and work sought so blatantly to be confrontational... yet still be unable to completely hide the fact that he really, truly needed the attention.

And let's not even get started on the armadillo shoes, which... really, why?

That said, I was pleasantly surprised to learn that Alexander McQueen was responsible for some of my favorite celebrity looks. Witness, for example, the arisaid-inspired* gown that Sarah Jessica Parker once wore for the Metropolitan Museum Costume Gala:

*Yes, I know this term from all those romance novels about lusty Scottish lairds and the high-spirited, cloak-wearing lassies who yearn for them. Heeeee.

And the infamously leggy minidress ensemble that Gwyneth Paltrow wore to the premiere of Iron Man:

Okay, so the bare legs are a little bit jarring here; I would've recommended self-tanner if she wasn't going to wear hose. But the dress! With the jacket! HOT.

So it follows, then, that my most recent Looklet set would include some Alexander McQueen in it. It's a tribute, all right, but not a literal one; a tad conservative, but with enough dramatic elements to shake things up a bit. Why not, indeed? 

As for the designer himself: Wherever he may be, may he truly rest in peace.

Credits: Screencaps taken from the Daily Mail. "Twisted Transition" set created on

Thursday, February 11, 2010

What's NOT Your Fantasy: The Non-Augmented Reality Edition

Okay, folks, let's be honest here, because I know for the record that these "celebrity" "fragrances" do exist...

Would you like to smell like this guy?

(I kid you not, Jersey Shore fans: The Situation really is coming out with his own brand of cologne. Insert offensive Italian-American stereotype jokes here.)

Or would you rather prefer to take your olfactory cues from this guy?

(I kid you not, my dear Pinoy readers - the Bench store at Alabang Town Center has a ginormous display window advertising the new Willie Revillame fragrance. Insert offensive jokes about stereotypical Filipino TV-watching habits here.)*

 *EDITED (2/13/2010) to include a photo of the Willie Revillame fragrance, courtesy of the Philippine Star

Seriously: Death is not an option. And neither is anosmia. YOU MUST CHOOSE!

Photo credits: E! Online and 

And for those of you who need something to rinse out these horrid thoughts from your soul, may I recommend the Hotties section of this blog, dedicated to those who might actually deserve their own cologne.

(Insert jokes about Peter Sarsgaard hawking Eau de Predatory Douchebag here, alongside jokes about Jeremy Renner smelling like gunpowder, flop sweat, and Skittles. Heh.)

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Randomesticity: Test Drive Edition

My month-long ESL stint has ended, for the time being - with no new assignments coming up immediately - so Domesticity posts will resume during the weekdays, until I can work out a blog schedule. Easier said than done, since I've got a full slate during this break, but it can be done.

Here are a few things that I'm planning to test-drive for possible future entries on this blog:

- The 2010 Ford Focus. The familia has finally caved in and decided to replace our decade-old Japanese stick-shift sedan with a sporty American model equipped with automatic transmission and improved fuel efficiency. I'm a little excited about this because I'm now expected to drive after years of relying on public transport... yet, at the same time, you could see why I'm also a tad worried.

- Human [Heart] Nature's Sunflower Beauty Oil. Now that the company has gone into direct selling, it's easier for me to get my hands on Human [Heart] Nature. (I use the brackets here because they've started calling themselves "Human Nature," but we still say the "heart" out loud.) Thus, the Sunflower Beauty Oil was my first purchase, since it's being marketed as a viable substitute for eye cream. I've only been using it for days, but - lo and behold - my under-eye circles have faded significantly, and my eyelids no longer look like they're sagging. More comprehensive reviews to come later.

- L'Oreal's Made for Me Naturals, Asia Edition. My ongoing quest for a nice nude lipstick has officially begun with the quickie purchase of this lipstick in Shade #615 (Tea Rose), which is allegedly made for a "Golden Tan Skintone." I bought it without testing because I liked how this pinkish-terracotta shade looks in the tube... and, helloooo, it was also selling for 50% off! How it looks on me, on the other hand, may turn out to be another story altogether - but, hey, gotta run with all the chances that you can get!

- Avon Glimmersticks lip liner in Rich Ginger. Another direct-sell purchase, this time from another co-worker from the ESL gig. All I can say right now is that it doesn't look too dark in the tube; we'll see more of it later on.

- More fashion tips for Charice Pempengco? I hope I don't have to go there again, but I am going to see her in concert for V-day with the 'rents, and I'd be less than thrilled if she shows up looking like some overly zealous stylist has given her a hoochie makeover... or worse, some bizarre outfit that makes her look like she's trying way too hard to be all punk rawk and emo and stuff. (See also: Stewart, Kristen; Sebert, Kesha; and Lovato, Demi.) For our country's sake, dearest Charice, don't waste the pretty!

Photo credits:, via Google Images and (Ford Focus), and via Google Images (Charice). All products in this entry were purchased from PCX (L'Oreal) and individual direct sellers (Avon/ Human [Heart] Nature) by the author herself . 

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Beyond The Basics: Nude Lipstick

Here's a question for you: Why is it that, as soon as I find the perfect nude lipstick, I suddenly find that it's being phased out?

It happened last year with Max Factor's Vivid Impact Lipstick in Vegas, Baby...

...and it's happening again this year with BeneFit's Full Finish Lipstick in Lady's Choice, which I discovered via the Celebutante set.

(Disclaimer: I have no idea if BeneFit is really discontinuing this; I just happened to find out from Makeup and Beauty Blog that it's being sold for 50% off under the BeneFit site's"buh-buys" section. Still and all, though: WAAAHHH!)

Seriously, people, it's not easy to find the perfect nude lipstick anywhere... short of wearing dark concealer on my lips and applying stuff over that, which is ultimately impractical for my schedule. What I liked about both the Max Factor and BeneFit ones is that they both had a hint of peachy-pink undertone, which not only flattered my existing skin tone but ultimately made everything else I wore on my face look much, much better.

The other thing that makes this situation more of a bummer for me is the fact that I don't live anywhere near a Sephora right now. I could, of course, save up for my next trip to Manila... which means that I'll have to check the nearest counters for Max Factor and other mid-range/ high-street brands (ie. Maybelline, L'Oreal, Face Shop, Body Shop, etc.) before shelling out for the big guns at the likes of MAC and Shiseido. I could also go the Avon-lady route, which could at least save me money for gas.

So, readers, I'm opening this discussion up with you now: Where should I get my next nude? Which brands should I try? Leave me a message in the comments!

Saturday, February 06, 2010

What's Your Fantasy: Oscar-Nominated Augmented Reality Edition

I have no time to faff around with Esquire's Augmented Reality issue online.

I do, however, have a lot of time to look at this guy:

Because, seriously, Jeremy Renner is the embodiment of "attainable hot." (Expression stolen from somebody on the Television Without Pity forums, during a discussion of Renner's lead-actor role in the late, lamented police series The Unusuals.)

Okay, make that Oscar-nominated attainable hot, but still: Doesn't he look like the kind of guy you should be dating anyway? Like, not blindingly hot, or male-model hot, but hot in a way that your friends and family would understand, yet only you would totally get the whole deal about the guy. In all possible definitions of the word, of course.

No additional technology necessary.

Photo credits: (screencaps mine) and Also, if you miss The Unusuals as much as I do - or if you just want a good dose of Renner to keep you warm - you can also pre-order the complete series on DVD, exclusively at Amazon.

Friday, February 05, 2010

MAC Spring Colour Forecast: A First-Impression Review

Of all the four Spring Colour Forecast collections that MAC has put out this year in the US market, Amber might be my favorite.


1) I can't think of any other company that would put eyeshadows named Flip and Manila Paper in the same quad. (It helps that they're both neutral, too - even more reason for Pinoy and Pinay MAC addicts to go nuts!)

2) Ever since I started working at the university, I've become obsessed with wearing earthy nude colors all over, especially on my lips. Not boring, work-safe nudes, mind you, but nudes with a little bit of tint and shimmer. These lipsticks fit the bill.

3) Seriously, that Gold Dust lipglass looks like fresh mango juice to me. Again, very Filipino - and very Tetchie Agbayani - without being too literal.

My second-favorite collection would be Coral, because I'm more partial to warmer tones of peach and pink. Unfortunately, I can't wear pink eyeshadow without looking ridiculous, and I can't bring myself to wear a lipstick named "Fresh Salmon." That hasn't stopped this lovely Blush Ombre from calling my name oh so softly.

The other collections, Pink and Plum, don't seem to appeal to me... but that's ultimately because cool, blue-based colors rarely flatter me, if at all.  So until I can get my hands on this collection at my nearest MAC outlet, I'll still continue to dream of Amber and Coral.

Disclaimer: No samples were provided for this review. All screencaps are mine, with additional commentary produced with MS Paint.