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! 

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Domesticity Moments: My First Day in Sydney

I loved this outfit so, so much.

Taken at the lovely Holiday Inn Potts Point in Kings Cross. 

The sweater and the scarf is from Giordano; the black pants are from Gap. Look closely in the back and you'll see the black tote that I scored from Just Jeans in NZ. (And also the fact that I, uh, forgot to make my bed before stepping out of the house in this outfit. Lame.) 

I wanted to step out of the hotel wearing this whole thing, but it had been quite cold outside and I had to wear a jacket over this anyway. My plan that day was to walk all the way from Kings Cross to the Royal Botanical Gardens (the full story on that will be posted in a future edition of Domestic Travel), so I threw the jacket on and kept myself as warm as possible. Then I got to the Gardens, and the weather shifted back to "warm." D'oh! If it weren't for the fact that I had to walk home before the Gardens closed their gates for the evening, I would have been way past upset then. 

Upside: At least I had comfortable shoes. 

Friday, June 17, 2011

The Case for Your Dermatologist, Part 2

Dear members of the male species - and especially every single member of The List, because we all know that you need to hear this:

It has come to my attention that there has been a lot of speculation about certain habits and predilections that you prefer to keep in secrecy. We know that you have not, and will continue to refuse, to address these matters in public when pressed for comment. We also understand that you need your privacy, and you in turn would understand that, in a fair and just world, we ladies would never judge you at all for being up front about this matter, so to speak. In fact, after all these years of waiting and wondering, we may even applaud you for your refreshing candor.

But seriously, we just want to know...

Are you really, truly, honest-to-Dog taking care of your ACNE????

Dudes, we're not telling you to take your cues from Justin Bieber; that would be creepy. But let's be honest here: it's one thing to figure out why your hormones are betraying you at 17... and another matter altogether to get past your 30th birthday by refusing to acknowledge your ongoing love/hate relationship with those angry red spots on your face.

What we're trying to tell you here is that none of you - repeat, NONE OF YOU - are too macho to deal with your own damn pimples. Acne, in other words, is God's way of telling you that you are NOT Chuck Norris.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Last Song Syndrome: Full Swoon Mode

I've said it before and I'll say it again: When I heard "Not Over You" on the radio for the first time, I honestly thought that Prince just came out with a new song.

The only thing more shocking than finding out that this is the first single from the new Gavin DeGraw album is learning that he co-wrote this with Ryan Tedder... though I will admit that all bets will be automatically off as soon as Prince decides to do his own version anyway.

But really, it's good - as in "stop the car, I need to finish this" good - which I rarely do for many of the songs played on my local indie-music station, and even less so for songs that are so blatantly "poppy." This makes me feel like I'm 18 again... and who doesn't want that?

Monday, June 13, 2011

Face Time

An update on "the procedure": My face is actually healing quite nicely - not a lot of scabbing now, but I still need to put cream on to get the remaining red marks under control. Still trying to stay away from the sun, though (not that hard to do with typhoon season underway) and makeup - apart from a little lip gloss - won't be an option just yet.

Other than that, I'm actually back at work: my actual job has started up again with less stress (finally), my fiction-writing hobby is more manageable, and even my blogging is now up and running with a vengeance.

So, since I'm back on my feet (but not with my usual face), I've decided to share a few YouTube makeup tutorials with you.

Friday, June 10, 2011

The Case for The Basics: Your Dermatologist

The story started back in mid-April, when I went to the friendly neighborhood dermatologist's office to get myself a facial for the first time. My skin had been bothering me a lot in the last few years, but - healthcare expenses being what they are - I decided that this would be a good time for me to get checked at The Derma.

Right away the assistants knew that something was horribly, terribly wrong with my skin.

The signs of sun damage, while not entirely visible, were manifesting in gross and disgusting ways. My skin was getting rough, and the spots that I thought were sties in my undereye area were, in fact, a manifestation of something more insidious.

I can't go into much detail here, because I know that there are medical terms here in the Philippines that are always questioned Stateside... but I do know that our family has a history of invisible, age-related benign growths that practically have to be burned and/or lasered off before they start spreading all over the body.

That's what prompted me to get an estimate for the procedure from the dermatologist herself, right before I was due to leave for New Zealand. She concluded that the growths have already started spreading around my face, especially in the under-eye area. It wasn't urgent - in fact, she wasn't taking any patients until June - but I knew that I had to have this done when I got back, just so I could get it out of the way.

Finally, I got the "procedure" done yesterday, and... well, details after the jump.

(Warning: The rest of this entry is not for the faint of heart. Proceed to read at your own risk. Also, we do not recommend reading the hot-guy sections of this blog after the jump, for the same about-to-be-obvious reasons.)

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Bang On

Right before I left for Auckland, my Mom handed me her round brush and a bottle of Finesse hair spray, telling me to curl my hair under because my hair looked limp and flat. Since that moment, I'd resolved that I would remedy that situation in any way possible.

Unfortunately, "any way possible" was not possible in the Southern Hemisphere, where I spent most of my time in New Zealand with hat head. Things were a lot better in Sydney, since I was able to use a blowdryer and shine serum (and a visit to Bondi Beach) to their best advantage... but it still did not give me the desired touchable, bouncy look.

Since I still wanted to volumize my hair without pulling my shoulders out by blowdrying it on my own with a round brush, I went for the next best thing: A curling iron.

This is the look that I'm currently trying to master with my existing curling iron (part of the Rowenta Imagin8 set) - the only difference being that I use the smaller iron because my bangs are much shorter and finer. I still need practice, to be honest, but it's definitely a step towards de-frumpifying myself for the coming months.

Pictures of this experiment are forthcoming.

Monday, June 06, 2011

Domesticity Retail Mini-Roundup: The Most Wanted Shoes in Metro Manila

The sales clerk at Payless Shoes in Festival Supermall was totally not kidding.

She told me that these shoes used to come in every color - not just purple, but black, blue, and red - but eventually they sold out at every single branch. Then Payless brought it back again, by popular demand, and it sold out so quickly that buyers at the SM Megamall branch were practically fighting over the last few pairs. Agawan po, ma'm, she said, conjuring up images of women snatching shoes out of each other's clutches.

And, she also added, this was the last pair in my size.

Payless, people. Not Prada, not YSL, not Marc Jacobs, not even Kenneth Cole. Payless.

I didn't know if I wanted to laugh or cry. PhP 1,150 for a pair of purple stiletto platforms that are destined to drive my parents crazy, just for the impracticality alone.

The saleslady asked me if the local shoe merchants have tried to make their own version of these babies. I told her, sadly, "No."

Friday, June 03, 2011

Domesticity Retail Mini-Roundup: A Preview

The long national nightmare is over: After four months of pining and yearning, I have finally managed to land my personal version of these dream shoes at my local Payless store.

More about them - and why they're considered the most wanted shoes in the Philippines - in an upcoming post.

In other news: Meimei finally gets a curling iron. Also another post for another day, since the pictures aren't exactly what we'd call "flattering" right now.

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Domesticity Moments: Queenstown, NZ

For those remaining readers of Domesticity whom I have not alienated after that last entry about The Hotness and Captain Tightpants, I give you... one of the less-sexy photos taken of myself during this whole entire trip.

Breakdown, from the feet up: Running shoes by Reebok (now totalled, RIP); men's jeans by Levis; Gore-Tex parka by The North Face; scarf and hat from an NZ chain store that had them in sale (2 for NZ$10). The green suitcase is mine, and the red one belongs to my cousin JuniorMei.

I look like I'm going snowboarding here, but let's face it: Queenstown at this time of year is cold. As in, bone-chilling, sweater-layering, cannot-be-cured-by-a-Starbucks-hot-cocoa cold. (The Hotness was never an option, but even if he was... hello, still colder than a deep-freeze.) It may be warm and toasty in the hotel room - warm enough to convince you to ditch that parka - but step outside and you'll be forced to run in and throw on the bulkiest layer in your wardrobe. The only thing missing here is an awesome pair of gloves, which sucks because I still don't know how to shop for 'em.

But seriously: This is what one gets when one travels to a resort town that's practically a stone's throw away from Antarctica. 

So how does one cope with cold weather like this - besides copious amounts of hot tea, throat lozenges, and an awesome pair of gloves?