Friday, November 25, 2011

...And So It Ends.

Dear longtime readers of Domesticity:

As much as it pains me to say this, it is with deep regret that I have decided to close up shop on Domesticity.

Between the demands of being a full-time PhD student and the effort required to revise my fiction projects, I have determined that I may no longer have any time left to put up new posts on a regular basis. I will be doing a lot of writing, of course... just not in this forum.

(But just in case you're curious, however: I'm still @stella_meimei on Twitter! Feel free to follow me, and I promise to be more interesting. End of plug.)

This does not mean I will delete this blog altogether; all of the old posts will remain on this site. Don't worry, you can still relive all of the fun moments from haircut to haircut, lipstick to lip gloss, and - in case you're wondering - how I got from crushing on Peter Sarsgaard to, well, professing my undying love for a certain two-time Academy Award nominee who bears a passing resemblance to Mr. Potato Head.

I don't like to speak with finality; sooner or later I may end up blogging again, perhaps under a different format or subject. For now, however, let it be known that I will be forever grateful to all of you for being part of this journey. I will miss you terribly, but I look forward to meeting you once again.

With much aloha,


Monday, November 07, 2011

Today's Dispatch: Here Is Your Mind

I never thought I'd admit this, being the girly girl that I am, but Fight Club was the movie that changed my writing life.

...Well, not just that.

Here's the complete text of the "snowflake" scene:

You are not a beautiful and unique snowflake. You are the same decaying organic matter as everyone else, and we are all part of the same compost pile.

And you know why?

Monday, October 31, 2011

Today's Dispatch: Yet Another NaNo Preview

This post is brought to you, again, by the folks from National Novel Writing Month.

Last Friday we introduced you to Veronica San Luis, the titular main character (and reluctant heroine) of this year's novel, Her Name is Veronica. Today we continue with the question-and-answer portion with our main male character Dean Harper. 

Friday, October 28, 2011

Today's Dispatch: The NaNoWriMo Preview

This post is brought to you by National Novel Writing Month.

Being the crazy-compulsive writer that I am, I've decided to take the plunge and write my third novel this November, while putting the finishing touches on my July novel. (That one is 85% finished, by the by; the endgame is there, and the only thing left is to set up the big fights and other intense scenes in proper chronological order.) It's actually not too bad, since we have two long weekends this month to get cracking - one for Halloween/ All Saints/ All Souls, and another for Eid-al Adha - not to mention that my admission to UP Diliman is now... ahem... pending. 

Until then, here's a little primer on what to expect from this year's novel, a murder-mystery thriller called Her Name Is Veronica. This interview is basically a modified version of the Proust Questionnaire, but with a few creative edits. 

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Today's Dispatch: Party on the North Side, Y'all

This post was brought to you by the University of the Philippines in Diliman, Quezon City, where I may (will?) be spending the rest of the year now that I have received the go-ahead to start my PhD course work at the College of Education.

The Oblation says "Heeeeeeyyyy!"
Photo source:
Yep, it's been a crazy day at Hacienda de Meimei right now, ever since I received my acceptance letter from the big ol' State University campus up in the QC. On the one hand, I am on par-tay mode (or as close to it as possible, considering that I still have one final exam to give before the weekend), because I could not be happier. 

On the other hand, there will be... changes. 

At this point in time, a full-time move to QC may be inevitable, especially since I will not be teaching next semester and there's no way I would want to commute several times a week to and from the Hacienda. (At the very least, I just want to do a one-and-done deal where I can go home and do laundry on the weekends.) But I'm also scared - for good reason - because this means I have to be at the top of my game, all the time. That will require a lot of changes of routines, of scheduling, of... everything else, come to think of it.  And I'm scared that a lot of things that have kept me sane all this time - especially my writing - will end up falling by the wayside. 

I try to be optimistic, though. I have friends up in the North who I'd love to meet up with again. I may have the rest of Metro Manila to explore on my own, possibly with a little courage. And who knows? I may end up loving it after all. 

Until then, I'm looking forward to what the rest of this moment will bring for me. 

Are you, or have you ever been, in the middle of a major transition similar to this one? Do you have any words of advice to share for a girl in the middle of a crazy career change? Share the love by following @stella_meimei on Twitter, or leave a comment below!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Today's Dispatch: Sorry, Potatoface

This post is brought to you by the following movies that came to mind while watching The Town with Bakeks, because - as good as this movie was to us, though a little less than epic -  it also reminded us that we were better off watching any of these movies instead of sitting through The Town.

First and foremost: Blood Simple

Which was also remade by Zhang Yimou as A Woman, A Gun, and a Noodle Shop. 

Also: Out of Sight.

And... Reservoir Dogs.

(Seriously: As much as I love The Hotness and his movie-stealing ways, I'm beginning to wonder if Steve Buscemi should sue him for unlawful impersonation.)

Though I must say, to be very honest with you...

Friday, October 07, 2011

Today's Dispatch: Writing and Attribution

This post is brought to you by Jessica Zafra and her ongoing coverage of Gaz Holgate in the Philippines.

Screen capture: mine; original photo source, JZ and Team Gaz.
You want Gaz, I'll give you Gaz:

Screen capture: mine; original photo source: JZ and Team Gaz. 
All pictures screen-capped from this entry on Jessica Rules The Universe.

- I mention Jessica Zafra here because we just had the most interesting discussion about the attribution of sources on her blog. This hits close to home for me, both as a teacher and writer, because I take attribution seriously; in my opinion, without the proper citation of a source, you are basically stealing somebody else's words and passing them off as your own. It doesn't matter if you're sharing a puff piece, a legal document, or an academic paper; all of your sources must be cited. I've learned this the hard way as a graduate student, and it pains me to see anyone cutting and pasting words without even thinking about the consequences, especially young people.

(As it goes, I am currently looking at all of my kids' term papers, and you won't believe how many of them I've flagged for not citing sources properly.)

- Since I'm on a roll, I might as well go ahead and mention that even fiction writers have to cite their sources too. My favorite attribution comes from David Mitchell in Cloud Atlas (one of my favorite books right now) who wrote in the credits that one of his characters "quotes Nietzsche more freely than he admits." In my case, I recently took out the lyrics to "Give A Little Bit" from one of my manuscripts after realizing that they had taken over an entire scene. (Which is funny, because I also left in a few lines of "Like a Virgin" because it's supposedly sung off-key at a karaoke bar.) My philosophy is that leaving quotes wholesale in a manuscript have the tendency to take a reader away from the action itself, much in the same way that an annoying pop song in a movie can take you away from an otherwise good scene.

- And because I must post about makeup: Swatches from the Bobbi Brown 1991 Lip Palette on Makeup and Beauty Blog. Want.

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Today's Dispatch: In Which Meimei Won't Stop Talking About Hot Guys, #5487

This post is brought to you by the young Robert Downey Jr., before he did drugs and went crazy and then came through in the end as a better person.

(For perspective: this picture was taken in 1988, which was probably around the time I first crushed hard on him. That means I was probably 11 years old around this time. )

I promised hot guys, so I will talk about hot guys.

- So Gaz Holgate - who just happens to be one of my favorite players from the Philippine Volcanoes rugby team - is in Manila right now, and will be staying in the country for the next two weeks for a working vacation. I'm too old for him, so I'll have to crush at a safe distance (or at least through Twitter and Jessica Rules The Universe), but there are two reasons why I'm in full swoon: He bears a passing resemblance to Colin Farrell, and speaks with a lovely Welsh accent.

- On the other hand, I just found out that Bakeks has a copy of The Town lying around in her house. This means we'll have to watch it, which also means that poor Bakeks (and possibly Mr. Bakeks) will spend a good amount of time restraining me so I won't scream and throw shoes at the screen whenever The Shortness Hotness shows up and speaks in that unconvincing Boston accent. Seriously, Hotness: You owe me that karaoke video now.

- And since I have to write at least one thing about my writing projects for this entry, I might as well bring this up: What is up with me and putting my male characters in flannel lumberjack shirts?

Image source: lovetoknow men's fashion
Yes, flannel shirts are versatile for most seasons, and wearing them over a T-shirt - especially in a fitted cut like the one above - is a lot less cliched than a leather jacket. But I have to wonder why I keep doing this: Is it nostalgia for the grunge years? A subconscious need to shop at LL Bean? Or maybe I love flannel that much in general? Strange, but true.

Monday, October 03, 2011

Today's Dispatch: Breathe and Stop

This post is brought to you by Q-Tip.

- The crazy rainy weather this time of the year has prompted me to take my workouts indoors and start doing yoga once again. I have to admit that I don't seem to burn as much with yoga as I do when I go running, but ever since I've started doing it regularly I feel like my mind is clearer and my posture isn't as tight as it used to be. Not to mention that I've been seeing a little muscle definition here and there, too, which is nice after having to live with a lot of flab for months.

- On the other hand, I've been quite edgy lately because this week is the last week of instruction, and I'm supposed to find out when my finals are any day now. It's nerve-wracking, because I've been calling the office almost every day to find out if the schedule has been released and I'm still not getting any answers on the exact date and time for them. The only thing crazier than this is the fact that I've got another week to wait for some good news coming from Manila, regarding a major career change (and possible move) that I'll have to keep under wraps until it is confirmed for sure. Either way, I'm just dying to get some time off after this crazy semester!

- In terms of my writing: After three straight months of working on Nominated, I've decided to put it on hiatus in favor of revising last year's NaNoWriMo novel, World on a Plate. (You may remember this as the novel I wrote in my attempt to work out my feelings towards the Smug Canadian Bastard, only to find out halfway through that The Hotness was not tall enough to play him in the film adaptation.) My decision to revise Plate has a lot to do with the fact that this novel, to me, would be easier to market for publication than Nominated, since it's a book written by a Filipino about the Philippines... but with a little humor, and a lot to do with food, travel, and relationships.

- In shallow showbiz news, I've gotten quite hung up over this blind item about someone on a social-media site who's about to change her handle. I don't know about you, but the social-media site in this story is soooooo obviously Twitter.

- And if you haven't seen my current writing-inspiration board on Pinterest yet, here it is. (And I'm also working on more boards for style inspiration, too!)

Got any style tips, advice, and possible blind item material? Show us some blog love by following @stella_meimei on Twitter, or leave a comment below! 

Friday, September 30, 2011

Today's Dispatch: Ten Things

This post is brought to you by this delicious smidge of cuteness in French Bulldog form, whose doppelganger was spotted walking alongside The Hotness in NYC a few days ago.

Yes, The Hotness has been reading my mind. (See also: this previous entry on manly men with tiny dogs.)


So the lovely Laura from Ladies Who Critique came up with this blog-posting prompt, which I thought I'd try out for this blog. It's a great way for me to get folks updated on what I've been up to lately, since I do a lot of regular rambling on this blog as well. Thanks, Laura! :)

1. Eating this: Oatmeal with two slices of raisin bread, with a side of papaya cubes. Every morning. No fail.

2. Reading this: Actually, the storm ruined my chances of getting some work-related reading done because the power outages prevented many of my students from submitting their papers. After this, however, I'm going to Manila to pick up more books.

3. Browsing this site: I've been following How Sweet It Is through Twitter. And why wouldn't I, when the cupcake photos look like this?

Photo credit:
4. Writing this: I've started making a few dents on Nominated (my WiP from Camp NaNoWriMo), which means I am close to rescuing my protagonists from plot-mired limbo. Currently I have three critique partners looking at this manuscript, as well, which means that this baby should be in tip-top shape when I'm ready to send it in for publication.

Once Nominated is fixed - with a deadline of possibly mid-October - I will have the NaNoWriMo proper in November, though I haven't decided on what to do for this. Originally I was going to use this time to revise the previous year's NaNo (World on a Plate, aka "the Pinoy foodie novel"), but now there might be a possibility that I'll have time to write a new one, either a new chick-lit or possibly an alternate-reality espionage thriller with fairy-tale elements.

Photo credit:
We (Love) Delicious Food
5. Drinking this: I would have said "water," since it's the only thing I've been drinking lately, but right now I could really use more Oreo milkshakes. This, I blame on the mysterious #CookiesNCream hashtag that the rugby boys from the Philippine Volcanoes have been using every day on Twitter. No, I do not want to know what that's about, either.

6. Using this: In the software department, yWriter5 (excellent novel-writing software!) and the desktop version of Tweetdeck (faster than Tweetdeck for Chrome, plus it doesn't get in the way of work). In terms of beauty products, Neutrogena Rapid Clear acne treatment, Bench Fix Clay Doh, and Nivea's Fruity Shine tinted lip balm in Pomegranate, which is a lovely red stain that will get its own Glosswatch entry soon.

7. Watching this: TV-wise, I'm getting sucked into Law and Order: Criminal Intent, which is still my favorite series within the franchise. (Law and Order: UK is a close second.) I also caught my first episode of Sherlock (so intense, and Martin Freeman is so, so good as Watson), plus I've also downloaded the pilot for New Girl on iTunes as well.

As for movies, I have added The Descendants to my must-watch movie list for the fall. George Clooney, Alexander Payne, and gorgeous shots of very familiar neighborhoods in Hawaii? I am so in.

And I can't wait till Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy comes out, too.

8. Buying this: Mascara and (possibly) eyeliner. The last time I went shopping for makeup, an overzealous saleslady tried to push a lipstick on me, even though the lippy I wanted was in a different formulation. She was stubborn and persistent, and I gave her none of my money. This time, I'm going to branch out and try more mid-price Asian brands, like Etude House and Majolica Majorca.

9. Listening to this: My three favorite podcasts right now.

The Moth:

The Sporkful:

and Popspotting.

Screencap: mine.
And "Called Out In The Dark" by Snow Patrol, whose actual video isn't as awesome as the song itself.

10. Using this new word: Inveigle. 



Want to chime in on the discussion? Show us some blog love by leaving a comment below, or following @stella_meimei on Twitter!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Today's Dispatch: Hello, World at Large

This post is brought to you by Patrick Stump and his highly convincing Rick Astley makeover.

So, how's everybody holding up?

It's been a tough week for me; lots of problems on the job and writing front, a little drama on the family front... and then this storm happens. Don't worry, we're safe, but I'm also praying for the folks that barely made it through the typhoon, especially the evacuees. 

By the way, I've already made my Twitter account (@stella_meimei) public, so feel free to follow me and say hi whenever you can!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Today's Dispatch: The Chop

This post is brought to you by THIS haircut.

You know, two years ago, this hairdo would have looked like utter crap on me by turning my head into a straw mushroom and making my face look puffy. So why did I do it now?

- First of all, I was getting sick and tired of my mid-length hair. Every single time that I get it trimmed - and no matter how many pictures of hairstyles I bring to my salon - I always end up getting the same layered shag every single time, which always looks good for two months before it goes all pointy and frizzy on me. Add to that the drama of having fine, almost-thinning hair in my 30s (ugh!) and it's enough to drive anyone to the nearest salon and put themselves at the mercy of their hairdressers. Luckily for me, however, the one I went to actually "got" me and my problem, so I was able to trust him on this one.

- Truth be told, I've actually started taking more risks with my hair ever since I lost weight. I started first with getting bangs, which did wonders in bringing out my bone structure once I figured out how to wear them (diagonally, so that they'd curl under and fall on one side of the face). Then I toyed around with the thought of going chin length, which scared me because my students have been showing up with Posh Spice's old hairdo, and I didn't want to put up with that kind of drama.

Photo originally published on,
credited to Getty Images.  
- Also: Will you please look at Ginnifer Goodwin here? She's the poster girl for short hair on round-faced girls, except that I don't have the same gumption she does in keeping her hair short. (That, I blame on a terrible encounter with an incompetent stylist at Fantastic Sam's.) Still: The styling's uncomplicated and the 'do really brings out her eyes and bone structure.

- The only thing I want for my hair is to be cool, yet "livable": no complicated blow-out routines, just wash and brush and wear with a little product for kicks. I wasn't getting that with my longer hair, which was always prone to flyaways when it wasn't getting plastered over my head. Why not make the flatness work for me, for a change?

- Let's face it: The weather has been crazy humid for a "-ber" month, and I'm at the point in the school year where the stress is enough to make me want to pull my hair out. Might as well go for it, right? Besides, I've been assured that this will grow out nicely, so I'm looking forward to being perma-bobbed for the next few months. It's going to be fun.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Today's Dispatch: Everybody Needs a Hug

This post is brought to you by Toy Story 3, which made me bawl my eyes out just the other day.

- Two great moments happened this morning: Novak Djokovic won the US Open, and Shamcey Supsup of the Philippines placed third in the Miss Universe pageant. Honestly, I was more pumped about that epic Djoker-Rafa final than I was for Miss Universe (also because I had to go to work right away and the tennis game was just about to wrap up first) but all in all, a great finish nonetheless for both. Bravissimi!

- That said: Have you guys seen Miss Angola? That is one beautiful woman, there.

- And also, I can't wait for the Baseball Championship Series to start. Really.

- You know who's been really crushworthy to me lately? Joel Edgerton. Yes, he's also a ginger... and yet, there's something about him that comes across as huggable rather than spankable, especially when he's using his American accent. (Yes, I actually think he has a more convincing fake-New England accent than The Hotness. Sue me.) Maybe it's all those the family-man roles that he's been taking lately, though, because he's actually quite charming and convincing as a dad. Lurve.

- I've been looking at my schedule for this week and it looks like I've got a writing-heavy slate ahead: my students' essays are due on Thursday (except for one, who just went for the early submission credit), plus I've exchanged manuscripts with a critique partner who's looking at my work as we speak. (Thanks, Ladies Who Critique!) That means I have to focus on constructive criticism... and I hope it works!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Today's Dispatch: 9/11/01

Those of you who read my blog know that I don't like to share my personal stuff over the Internet. A lot of it has to do with concerns over my family and my career, of which I have every good reason to keep in confidentiality.

Today, however, I want to talk about the person that I used to be ten years ago.

Ten years ago, I woke up to a frantic phone call from a friend about the planes that crashed into the twin towers of the World Trade Center. At that time I did not want to believe him - he was one of those people who, quite frankly, was easily scared - but I went into a state of shock as soon as I turned on the television.

Friday, September 09, 2011

Today's Dispatch: Literal Crushing

Today's post is brought to you by the Philippine Volcanoes (Men's 7s) Rugby Team.

(...But seriously: How many times have I actually run that scenario in my mind where I'm at a bar in Makati with these guys, and The Hotness just happens to walk in and introduce himself to me? "Oh, hello, you must be The Hotness. I'm Meimei, and these are my friends Justin Coveney and Gaz Holgate. Yeah, I've heard people say that Gaz looks like your friend Colin Farrell...")

- I've been listening to Coldplay's unreleased cover of "You Only Live Twice" - yes, the James Bond theme song, originally sung by Nancy Sinatra - and the best way for me to describe it is that it's so Coldplay that it goes from being epic to terrible and looping right back into awesome. This isn't the song you would want to hear while Daniel Craig is driving off into the sunset, but you could totally imagine this playing in the background as, say, Tom Hardy - or Michael Fassbender, or Richard Armitage, or (what the hell) The Hotness - has a moment of silence before jumping off a bridge to get out of the game. 

- Status check on the writing: Yes, I am way too obsessed with my characters' outfits and natural pigmentation, which explains my renewed interest in color analysis and classifying certain characteristics as warm/cool, winter/summer, etc. This site has been quite helpful to me on that matter, because it just takes the guesswork out of the way. (For the record, I'm a Dark Autumn, which explains why periwinkle looks like crap on me.) 

- Also worth obsessing over: Wikipedia's list of Crayola colors. Seriously, I don't remember seeing a Brink Pink anywhere when I was growing up. 

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Today's Dispatch: Serenity Now

This post was NOT brought to you by the recent batch of photos from the Avengers set in New York.

- First, a shout-out to my gorgeous friend-from-high school Marie (aka Ms. LadyCakes), who now fashion-blogs on a regular basis for Instylation. Here's her most recent entry as of this writing, where she totally rocks the mod look for fall.

- Speaking of mod, how gorgeous are the new Stardust lip glosses from Urban Decay? I'm already a fan of the Stardust shadows, so I can't wait to try these in person... if I could find a place out here that sells Urban Decay, that is. (Link: a review of the glosses from Karen of Makeup and Beauty Blog, who gives them high marks for shine and staying power.)

- So, for some weird reason last night, I spent the whole night looking at shoes instead of doing... whatever it was I was supposed to be doing (okay, WRITING), and now I'm officially obsessed with these shoes from Valentino. Sparkly and chic: gotta love that combo!

- Another sparkly obsession: Miriam Haskell jewelry, which started with Michelle Obama's earrings from the State dinner in El Salvador. I just love the craftsmanship that goes into these designs, which are so classic and avant-garde at the same time. I'm also besotted with this breathtaking pearl-and-crystal statement necklace, which is practically begging for a bare-shouldered formal dress to be worn with it, and the formal event to match.

- Finally, going back to our movie-related WTF news: What is this about Adele (possibly) recording a song for a new James Bond movie? Surely they must not be kidding... or are they?

Monday, September 05, 2011

Today's Dispatch: Know Your Pegs

This post was brought to you by Federico Fellini.

- Problem #1: My button-down shirts have been getting a little too tight around the mid-section lately. Not good. Problem #2: My podcast backlog for Popspotting and The Sporkful has gotten quite bloated as of late. Not good either! Solution: Start power-walking again! I find that it's easier for me to put on podcasts instead of music for my long walks around campus because they get me out of my own head.

- Been trying to get back into the groove of writing again. I am finally overcoming my writer's block, which means I should go ahead and start plowing into the next few chapters as well.

- And speaking of writing, I should let you know that I've started futzing around Pinterest lately. Currently I have a board full of pictures devoted to my current writing project, which is practically a mishmash. That's how I roll creatively. ;)

- Last thing taking over my brain (apart from work, writing, Twitter, and anything related to The Hotness) are the two new kittens in my back yard. There were supposed to be three, but the runt died last week and now we have two grey kitties with tabby-esque markings. From what I can see of them now, they look like they could be great mousers when they grow up. Cute!

Friday, September 02, 2011

Today's Dispatch: I Bet They Charge By The Hour

This post is brought to you by Robert Ludlum and the Film Development Council of The Philippines.

I was just about to say something about nothing much happening this week since I took the entrance exam... but then THIS happened, and I've been running around the place dancing like a real ninny. I'm torn: I want this to happen, because it's The Hotness and I'd give up a liver (or at least one of my classes) for a chance to hang out with him... but I don't want this to happen, because I still believe that The Hotness has been looking pretty haggard lately and I'd rather that he drop out of this now than be saddled with a project that looks like a turkey at this point. Yes, I still stand by my contention that he will pass out and fall apart from exhaustion by the end of the year.

But enough about The Project I Hate with The Guy I Really Really Like...

-...because I just realized that I do have a thing for redheads! I've already cited Jamie Bamber, Damian Lewis, Benedict Cumberbatch and Rafe Spall for their gingery ginger-itude, plus the young Timothy Hutton in Ordinary People before he turned gray for Leverage. Then there's this picture of the young Alan Rickman (hot) and another of the young Eric Stoltz (hot only between the late '80s and mid-'90s).... and don't even get me started on both Ryan Gosling and Edward Norton in their red-headed phase either.

And now I've noticed that a few of my favorite pictures of The Hotness (like this one*) make him look like he's sporting red hair, too. Holy crap, somebody needs to slap on some strawberry-blonde lowlights on that man, NOW.

- And the rest? Oh yeah, I just recharged the batteries on my camera. Which means there will be more self-taken pictures down the pike.

*EDITED 06/09/2011 to add this lovely (and slightly red-headed) picture of The Hotness, from this year's Oscars. Oh, potato-faced one, why won't you at least have coffee with me? Or do I have to send over my friends Justin and Gaz to convince you? 

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Glosswatch 2011 Extra: Sweet and Sunny

You might remember this one from Wellington.
The gloss: Clinique Long Last Glosswear SPF 15 in Kissyfit

What Clinique says: Lip gloss juiced up with 8 hours of lasting shine. Spends every minute comforting lips. In 18 glistening shades from sheer to full intensity. Moisture makes each one even more mouth-watering. Protects lips, too.

First impressions: This was not exactly my favorite shade from the Clinique Glosswear set that I bought at Honolulu International Airport two years ago, precisely because of its bluish-pinkness. As I mentioned in my Wellington entry, however, this was the only non-lip balm product I wore throughout the entire trip, not just in New Zealand but also throughout my whole week in Sydney. What else was a girl to do?

Texture: Slightly tacky. Uh-oh.

Color saturation: A little chameleonic. The picture above is basically the closest it will ever be to looking like the actual product in the tube; otherwise it could range from completely nude to doll-like pink in person.

Minty fresh factor: None. It's not a plumping gloss.

Hydration capacity: Meh - but that's to be expected from a long-lasting product. (The wear time is excellent for this, BTW; it does last for at least two hours.) I did notice that the moisturizing properties get juiced up with a little lip balm, though.

This product will remind you of: Summer - though, considering that it's sheer and pink, wouldn't you want to wear this with a smoky eye for the fall? (See also: the Kristen Stewart makeup tutorial from Pixiwoo, seen in last Friday's entry.)

The person you may want to smooch while wearing this is... THIS GUY.

Or at least the nearest Chris Hemsworth clone in your vicinity, because I swear to Odin that the hotter guys in Auckland and Sydney looked almost exactly like him. Swoon!

My recommendations: Again, like many of the glosses I featured in Glosswatch, I would like to see how this gloss works in other colors. (I'm particularly interested in the peachy Guavagold, red-gold Fireberry, and punchy-red Juicy Apple.) I'm definitely purchasing a new tube of this to replace the one I have right now, though, just for the staying power and the SPF. And definitely, definitely wearing this with mascara and eyeliner. 

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Today's Dispatch: A Conclusion in Sight

This post is brought to you by the good folks in charge of wrangling the hair, makeup, and wardrobe duties for Rihanna.

- This week will (hopefully) mark the end of the Long Rough Patch that I've faced in the last few weeks... and when I say rough, I mean rough: pressure at work, graduate school, and my mom getting sick and landing in the hospital for a few days due to dehydration and exhaustion. (No worries - she's actually doing OK now; just needed the rest.) The good news, however, is that I have a four-day weekend ahead of me before I head out to that big campus in Quezon City first thing Wednesday morning, to take my admissions test for the PhD program, so I'll be up to my ears with studying and keeping in touch with my students. Wish me luck.

What Matters Most - Barbra Streisand Sings The Lyrics of Alan And Marilyn Bergman (Deluxe Edition) (2 CDs)- Okay, back to our usual blog content... and I hate to say this out loud, but did Barbra Streisand get a little "work" done on her face? Seriously, take a look at the cover art for her new album and tell me that there's something un-Barbra-ish about that face right now. I personally want to believe that it's a bad camera angle and/or a furious photo retoucher, but as long as nobody touches that profile - and that nose - it shouldn't be so bad after all. (And also on my wish list: an all-Streisand episode of Glee. You know you were thinking it!)

- Current favorite "thing" of the moment: bubble milk tea, which I have been craving since Nathan Fillion mentioned it in one of his tweets. (Just try to imagine him saying the words "boba tea" out loud, if you can.) Right now it's having a foodie renaissance of sorts here in the Philippines... which is weird, since I've been drinking the stuff for the last decade or so. Haven't tried the trendier versions of bubble tea in Manila, but I've been getting mine at the local Zagu outlet: not exactly made with real tea, mind, but their tapioca pearls strike the right balance between smooth and chewy - just the way I like it.

- And yes, there is a Glosswatch entry in the works! Stay tuned.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Today's Dispatch: Skin and Tones

This week's tutorial was brought to you by Pixiwoo.

- Since I already brought up my new dermatologist last time, I might as well share the rest of the regimen with you guys right now. I currently use proprietary prescription-strength products for my sensitive skin, but I think this can be easily replicated with OTC products as well.
  • DAY: Gentle cleanser, followed by oil-free moisturizer mixed with refining cream, and BB cream blended on top. 
  • NIGHT: Gentle cleanser, followed by creamy moisturizer mixed with refining cream (on a relatively moist face), and a little cortisone cream for red spots. 
  • PRODUCT SUBS: The cleanser I have right now is basically a creamier version of Cetaphil, which is not too hard to find at your local stores. I already mentioned BB creams in my previous posts, but you can also use an oil-free tinted moisturizer with sunblock instead. (The cream I'm using is similar in consistency and coverage to Benefit's You Rebel.) 
And after the jump: Too much analysis to bear, just for one single picture.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Today's Dispatch: Updates on the Previous

Our first Dispatch starts with a few recurring players from the Domesticity archives.

Levi's Men's 505 Straight Fit Jean, Static, 32x30- I have fallen in love again with the Levi's Mens 505 Slim Straight jeans that I wore in Queenstown this May. Yes, they're baggy enough to look like Walk of Shame jeans - and super comfortable, to boot - but not too baggy that they're practically dragging on the ground. Part of it has to do with the combination of the dark wash and the fade pattern on the front of the pants (sorry, not really up-to-date with denim terms), which still gives the impression that I have actual legs instead of tree stumps under them. I love them enough to wear them on days when I don't have to dress too formally, like non-teaching work days, casual trips to Manila, and girls' nights with my friends.

- On the other hand, I have fallen out of love with the dermatology situation on my face, partly because I got sick and tired of my post-cauterization skin care routine and partly because I could not go one more day without wearing makeup. Long story short, I broke down and got a second opinion with another dermatologist, who correctly diagnosed my skin as sensitive and dry and gave me a more suitable (and livable) solution for my face. One of the things he prescribed to me was a combination tinted sunblock and BB Cream, which - once again - has changed my life for the better. This one also has a high SPF and titanium oxide (last seen on my face at Bondi Beach), but it's tinted and covers smoothly (even under my eyes) without leaving a chalky finish. I try to put this on with my fingers as much as possible, and buff out any unblended spots with a sponge for good measure. My BB cream is a doctor's brand, but you can also get good ones from Missha, Dr. Jart, and Smashbox; there are also Asia-exclusive ones made by Maybelline, Estee Lauder, and MAC as well.

- Good news: Law and Order: UK is airing in the Philippines on Universal Channel Asia! Bad news: I'm only one episode in, and I'm already in full drool mode over Jamie Bamber. Odd, because I honestly did NOT get the big deal with him when Battlestar Galactica was still running... but put him in a suit, and have him keep it on for a good chunk of an entire season? Oh, hello, officer!

- Dear moviegoing public at large: Yes, that really is Rafe Spall hanging out with Anne Hathaway in One Day. Yes, he is a ginger. Yes, he really is that talented. (Did I mention that he's also turning up in Anonymous?) Yes, it looks like he's turning into the British version of Edward Norton. And yes, he is ten million times foxier without all that hair, plus he only looks like his Dad whenever he stops working out. Now will somebody please cast him in something more significant, for a change? (No, Domesticity: The Movie does not count. He's way too tall for the role of Potatoface McHotness.) 

Monday, August 22, 2011

Meet The New Domesticity

So: No blog entries for the longest time.

Reason being that I was having a bit of a crisis about what to do with Domesticity, now that I'm on the verge of getting other things done with work and family and my own writing projects and (possibly) graduate school. To be honest, it has been driving me crazy, too, because I see other Filipino bloggers getting more readers for the same things that I do, and it makes me wonder if I'm doing anything wrong by keeping up this blog as it is.

Let's be honest: Without direct access to the primary content for this blog - in this case, makeup and fashion - there really is nothing much left for me to write, especially now that I'm too tired to look up and scan pictures. And even I get sick and tired of writing about hot guys, too.

(Yes, guys on The List, I am fully aware that a few of you have gotten even more boink-worthy as of late... but sometimes a girl just needs to spend her quality time at Net-a-Porter, you know? Unless you really are that interested in buying those Miu Miu shoes for me.)

So what's left for a girl in her mid-30s to do with a blog like this?

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Trendwatch 2011: The Robot T-Shirt

I don't know what's cooler here: the robots, or the homage to London Calling by The Clash.
Maybe it's more of a new-ish trend, what with the Transformers movies and all, but I've become quite obsessed with robot T-shirts lately. Not that I would want one for myself, but there's just something cute and ironic about grown adults over the age of 18 running around with clothing decorated with robots on them.

Call me crazy, but there's something very Custo Barcelona about this. 
When I was working on my Camp NaNoWriMo novel last month, I was looking for an outfit for my male protagonist - basically a cross-hybrid between The Hotness and one of my nicer ex-boyfriends - to make him look cool and nerdy at the same time. At first I thought that I could give him one robot shirt, but the concept was just so awesome that I ended up giving him an entire closet of robot T-shirts as a way of giving his character a little bit of irony.

Can't get enough robot T-shirts? This list from Hide Your Arms should get you started.

Can't get enough of robots in general? Here's a song from British-Malaysian pop artist Jamie Woon, which has a bit of a Jack Johnson/ Terence Trent D'Arby feel to it.

Monday, August 01, 2011

Going Blind

...Sorry, guys, but this one isn't about J. Lo. 
Up until recently, I have considered myself to be a mild gossip addict.

Sure, I've weaned myself away from the straight-up smutty items in favor of the less confrontational (and relatively more thoughtful) likes of Lainey and Crazy Days and Nights, and I still could not resist the pull of the Pinoy-centric blind items on Professional Heckler. Yet I was able to manage all that and still go to bed early.

But then... things happened.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Spotted in Sydney

From the ABC Shop inside the Queen Victoria Building. (Not to be confused with the ABC stores in Waikiki.)


Poh Ling Yeow cookbooks and mugs, right on the first row! (Yay swag!)

Rafe Spall. Desperate Romantics. Swoon.
(But wait: Anonymous AND M:I4 in the same year? Somebody wants me dead. Lulz.)

Friday, July 29, 2011

Randomesticity: The Doldrums of July

So: I'm back.

I'm taking a break from novel writing (which I'm still doing, even though I'm already past the 50K mark for Camp NaNoWriMo) but I'm not going to deny that scads of things have happened while I was away. Some of it was very personal, like the professional setback that started with a bureaucratic boo-boo and ended up costing me more than it should. Some of it was awesome, like meeting up with old classmates and discovering TweetDeck.

(I kid you not, Twitter users. TweetDeck will shave seconds out of your tweet-addicted lives, especially when you are as addicted as I am and prone to joining games.)

And some were... okay, will somebody please explain to me why and how The Hotness ended up in the same car as John Krasinski not too long ago? (No, seriously. We are practically one step away from finally seeing that karaoke video, which also means that it should not be long before The Hotness shows up in Manila for the sole purpose of propositioning me at Robot Bar. Make it happen, universe.)

Plus there's also the shoutout I got from longtime friends Ryan and Jen on Popspotting, which totally made my month. Yes, that's my July for me. :)

So what can we expect now? Here are a few things to get us started for August:

- A few thoughts on the Manila blogverse. Granted, I personally feel like I'm lagging behind compared to bloggers like Divasoria (check out her excellent beauty posts here) but I also feel like there are areas where I could probably still catch up.

- Speaking of blog trends: There's something I really, really need to get off my chest regarding my addiction to blind items. Seriously. I blame myself for this one.

- An update on the whole dermatologist front. Yes, you will finally see the words "Meimei" and "microdermabrasion" in the same sentence.

- And, for a change: Girlcrushes!

See you guys in August. :)

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Oh, No, Not Another Vacation

Multiple Choice: Meimei may not be updating Domesticity too much because:

a) She's spending more time on Twitter
b) Her day job won't let her
c) The Hotness has finally decided to take her out on a proper date (purple hair be damned) at an undisclosed and highly private location (ie. far, far away from Tom Cruise)
d) THIS:

Yes, I am crazy enough to write a 50,000-word novel in July, but that's the beauty of Camp NaNoWriMo: I don't have to wait until November for the muse to strike, as long as I can get the ball rolling and take out all my energy on the creative process... especially now that I have a lot of pent-up frustration (ahem) to unleash on all of these pages.

Also because writing it in August would be highly inconvenient due to the day job in question.

Wanna know what I'm writing about for this project? Read all about it here

See you guys in August!

Monday, July 04, 2011

Will This Madness Ever END???

Ignore the Tom Cruise for a moment there. Scratch that, ignore the Tom Cruise altogether. You all know why I'm posting this.

The Hotness, in all his potato-faced glory, stuffed into a white dress shirt with his sleeves rolled up. Do I have to repeat that? Because I would totally marry make out with him if he keeps dressing that way. Damn.

(You know you have it bad for someone when even the sight of his forearms makes your ovaries start to quiver. Trust me.)

Still doesn't mean that I take back all those karaoke-related things I said in the past week, though.

Friday, July 01, 2011

What's Your Karaoke

See, this is the kind of thing that makes me love John Krasinski and Jason Segel more so than possible.

And THIS is the kind of thing that actually makes me like Novak Djokovic a little more, even if I like him best when Uncle Roger beats him at tennis.

For comparison's sake, here's the original video where Shakira gets to sexy-dance for Rafael Nadal.

...I'm just saying.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Last Song Syndrome/ Video Style Moments: Elvis Costello and White Stripes

If that blackmail-quality video of The Hotness doing karaoke shows up anywhere in the universe, it would be just and fair for him to sing this right off the bat.

And THIS version would be the song that he thinks he's singing.

To which I say: That better be me doing the actual sexy-dancing in your mind, babe.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Domesticity: Now Available on Twitter!

It's official: I have finally gone mad.

Ladies and gentlemen, I now have a Twitter account! And it's about time, I say.

I've only been on Twitter for a few days, and already I'm having way too much fun with it. Sure, there are some very obvious reasons (*ahem* Nathan Fillion, Edward Norton, and the Philippine Rugby Team *ahem*) but I've actually found a way to make the whole thing work for my own nefarious purposes.

So why should you follow me... er, I mean Domesticity... on Twitter, then?

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Please Please Please Make This Happen Soon

To be fair, this one is currently exclusive to QVC for the next six months... but after years of wondering why BB creams are only available in - literally - "pinkish white," don't you think it's about time we tanned and darker-skinned gals got a chance to try one that's much closer to our skin color?

(And if so, wouldn't be a good idea to have this one available in Manila, in the full shade range shown here?)

Don't let us down here, Smashbox. We're counting on you folks to make this work.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Domesticity Reviews: Neutrogena Rapid Clear 2-in-1 Fight and Fade Gel

I never thought I'd begin a blog post with the phrase "Continuing with our ongoing themes of pimples and Australia," but... here we are.

The story goes like this: During my trip to Sydney - and I think it could've been the day after the city tour including Bondi Beach - I found myself sporting some unfortunate-looking red spots on my chin. Since I knew for sure that there were no mosquitoes nor sand flies in that area (good gravy please, NO), I thought I'd go ahead and trudge through downtown Sydney in search of a pharmacy... or at least a store that sold decent cosmetics.

Long story short: I made a new friend on George Street.

After getting over the initial giggles over the name itself, I ducked into the local Priceline in search of something to take care of my little problem. But all of my leads came up short, and the only pimple-fighting brands I could find were "the usual suspects" targeted for teenagers.

I was just about to give up when I thought, Hey, why not duck into the Neutrogena aisle and see what they have over there? That's what I did, and that's how I managed to walk out of that store with my first decent spot treatment  in years.

No, scratch that: I walked out of that store with one of the greatest pimple-fighting spot treatments of all time.

Neutrogena Rapid Clear 2-in-1 Fight and Fade Gel, 0.5 OunceHere's why Neutrogena's Rapid Clear 2-in-1 Fight and Fade Gel is worth all that trouble, and more: When they tell you to start with a thin layer of product, they mean one thin layer of product - and when they tell you to start using "once daily," they mean once daily. Usually, when I put pimple-fighting stuff on myself, I have the tendency to pile it on the monster and let it dry overnight. I was tempted to do exactly that with the Neutrogena on one of the zits on my chin... but since this one was a gel, and formulated for acne sufferers who are no longer served by the Clearasil market, I figured I should try going slow first. Besides, the tube promises to fight and fade - and it wouldn't hurt to do it more than once if it didn't work the first time, right?

The next morning, I checked myself in the mirror: One application + one thin layer = zits gone, practically overnight. Bingo.

The secret, so to speak, is in the sauce - specifically, the proprietary blend of salicylic and glycolic acids that get over and under the skin to get to the zit without leaving the unsavory acid-burn marks that come from traditional zit treatments. It works for me, especially, since I suffer more breakouts on my T-zone and don't have to worry about acne everywhere else. I also appreciate the fact that the gel formula absorbs fast (unlike the goopy peel-off mask gels that I've used in the past) and the fragrance isn't obnoxious at all.

The only caveat I could think of with this is the increased sun sensitivity as a result of all the acids in the formula - that, and the possibility that it might not work if you'll need something stronger for regular breakouts - but other than that, no problem anyway.

Verdict: Thumbs way up, and worth passing on to your family and friends.

Edited to add: The folks at Neutrogena recommend starting with one application daily, and then building up to two to three times daily if the zit is especially bothersome. Good thing to know!