The No Impact Project

It’s easy to think you’re going to save the world when you’re young…nothing is too big nor too impossible to dream up. But then, sooner or later, real life gets in the way and suddenly you’re inundated with chores, work, children and everything else. By then, ‘saving the world’ sounds like a farfetched battlecry, something best left to government officials, lawmakers, environment groups or large corporations. We feel the effects of climate change, we get alarmed, we pray for safety and deliverance, but in the same breath we shrug our shoulders and tell ourselves there’s really nothing we can do about it.

There are now 7.5 billion people on the planet as of August 2017, and while individually, we probably wouldn’t be able to make a dent—anything done collectively can make a difference.   It’s funny how, as a society, we can get totally caught up with something for the sake of entertainment (like, say, Game of Thrones), and yet be totally blasé about matters affecting our own survival. And speaking of Game of Thrones, you know how the premise is they’re all so busy scheming against each other and waging wars to realize that the real war is with the Whitewalkers threatening humankind? Well, it’s exactly the same here—we are so busy with politics, business, entertainment and mush that we’re completely ignoring environmental issues that could mean our complete annihilation.

I’ve recently learned about the No Impact Project (http://noimpactproject.org/experiment/) from my friend and colleague Dave Devilles of Aboitiz.  It’s a lifestyle change initiative that results in decreasing your carbon consumption, which in turn lessens the greenhouse effect that causes global warming. Patterned after this, corporations (like Aboitiz, in this example), has taken its cue to run this program inside the organization to compound its effect. Here’s what it looks like:

 

Week 1: Wellness

  1. Substitute one meal a day for a vegetarian meal. I know what you’re thinking- how is eating vegetarian better for the environment? Well, raising animals for food produces more greenhouse gas emissions than all of the cars, planes, and other forms of transportation combined. Aside from the methane from the belching, farting cattle, there’s also the gases released from the manure that they produce, the oil burned taking their carcasses to markets thousands of miles away, the electricity needed to keep the meat cool, the gas used to cook it, the energy needed to plough and harvest the fields that grow the crops that the animals eat, even pumping the water that the cattle need…all of that adds up. So if we can all collectively consume less meat (or no meat, for others), then that’s a form of helping save the planet.

    salad

    Yummers

  2. Go for a 20 minute walk (instead of driving or commuting). Traffic is so bad these days it’s almost mind blowing. So instead of hopping into your car or cab for pretty short distances, why don’t we walk there instead? Not only is it good for you to get some exercise from this sedentary office chair-dinner chair-couch-bed kind of lifestyle, it also reduces your gasoline consumption and the carbon monoxide emissions from these vehicles.
  3. Avoid carbonated drinks. Guess what- even drinking your favorite soda has environmental ramifications. There’s the genetically modified sweetener it uses, the plastic bottles, glass bottles or aluminum cans that gets accumulated as waste (because they don’t decompose), and the energy cost of the manufacturing, distribution and even refrigeration of the drink. So the next time you get thirsty, just drink water. Your skin and general health will improve too!

    cans

    Where do you think these go?

 

Week 2: Energy (added on to Week 1)

  1. Share a ride or take a bike to work. Aside from walking to short distances (#2), if you are going somewhere that’s not accessible by foot, then at least devise a means to do a carpool instead or use a non-fuel mode of transportation like a bicycle. Car pooling to work (or school) is a great way to make friends while lessening the number of vehicles on the road. And biking, aside from conserving space, is another way to get fit and incorporate exercise into your daily routine.

    bikes

    Spot the difference:  60 bikes vs 60 cars vs 1 bus

  2. Go off-grid: These days a charging outlet is like an oasis in the desert—we’re either charging our phones, computers, tablets, cameras or whatever else. All of this is using up so much energy, not to mention polluting our brains and affecting our relationships. So try, once a day, to turn off all your devices for at least an hour. That doesn’t count the time you spend sleeping! And with this digital break, take the time to have real conversations with people and spend quality time with those who matter.  zombie
  3. Keep the AC at 25C: Are you aware that every time you turn on your AC and for every adjustment you make to lower the thermostat, the world outside gets a little warmer because of increased use of nonrenewable energy? So try to make do without airconditioning, especially during cool rainy days. And if you can’t live without it, then at least set the temperature to 25 degrees celsius—that will mean decreased energy use, and a lower electricity bill (therefore more money for makeup), while fighting global warming!

 

Week 3: Water (added on to Weeks 1 and 2)

  1. Bring your own tumbler to work. Stop using up paper or plastic cups, or buying individual bottles of mineral water! Bring a cute tumbler instead and take it around with you to make sure you stay hydrated throughout the day, while minimizing container waste. You can take the same tumbler when you go to coffee shops like Starbucks or Coffee Bean and also save on the paper cups you would’ve used.

    starbucks

    Good job, Starbucks!  And they’re so pretty too. ❤

  2. Shorten your shower to 5 minutes. Take shorter, more efficient showers. There really is no reason to keep the water running while you’re shampooing your hair or soaping up, so please think of all the drought-stricken places in the world and how lucky we are in comparison next time you turn on the faucet . Same goes for brushing your teeth—use a glass instead of keeping the tap on.

    rachel

    She reportedly takes 5-minute military style showers.  Way to go, Jennifer!

  3. Recycle water at home. Since it’s the rainy season, keep containers out to catch rainfall, which you can use for chores like washing the car, cleaning out dirty aircon filters, or watering plants during dry days.

 

Week 4: Anti – Waste (added on to Weeks 1, 2 and 3)

  1. Do batch printing. First of all ask yourself if you really need a printout of that file. Meetings and presentations can be done with digital files instead of printouts that people are just going to toss out anyway afterwards. Now, if you really must print stuff, try to cluster all the printing so that you’ll only use the printer at most once in a day.   Then if you have any misprints, save the paper for notes. Pretty soon you’ll have enough scratch paper to create an entire notepad, instead of using up fresh sheets of paper or another notebook.
  2. Don’t waste food. Only order what you can completely consume, and be conservative with our intake. For instance, ask restaurants to give you a half serving of rice instead of the full cup. It is the saddest thing to watch them throw away extra food and unfinished rice when there are so many people out there starving. If you do have leftovers, take it home with you to consume another time—I don’t care if it’s considered baduy to be carrying a takeout bag, at least you aren’t wasting precious food.  food
  3. Use an eco bag. Make it a habit to carry a small foldable eco bag in case you end up purchasing something within the day, so you won’t need any of the shop’s plastic bags or paper bags. You’d be surprised how much you can accumulate just by buying knickknacks for your place, basic groceries or toiletries.  ecobag

 

All of these are small, simple things to for anyone to do, but considering a scale of thousands of employees, or hundreds of members of an organization, or even just a smaller bunch of people in villages, families or circles of friends, this is a lot.   We can promote wellness, reduce carbon footprint, improve resource efficiency, minimize the greenhouse effect—and guess what, we can even save the world.

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High School Throwback

My high school batch in St. Theresa’s recently celebrated a milestone reunion/ anniversary—I won’t say how many years it’s been since we graduated because you will then be able to deduce my age, but suffice it to say it was a big deal. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to join my friends and visit our dear old campus because of other pressing commitments, but seeing everyone’s photos on Facebook made me feel sentimental all of a sudden. It all came flooding back—memories of high school friendships, notes we used to pass around in class, barkada beach trips, crushes and cheesy swoon-worthy moments, prom night drama, cheering at Intramurals and all that great stuff.   It was the best of times, when the world lay right in front of us, waiting to be explored and discovered. Those were the days when we could literally become anybody we wanted to be moving forward, when we had endless choices and countless possibilities. Then the choices started, and with every choice we took, certain doors closed, and others opened. To all my batchmates—I hope you are all happy, healthy and content. I hope you’ve all been able to squeeze the juice out of life, and continue to do so with every day we’ve been blessed with. I hope you’ve been able to make some of your most treasured dreams come true, and I hope many more wonderful surprises are waiting just around the corner for you.  Because to me, you will always be the same fresh-faced, bright eyed girls who could do anything they put their minds to.

Anyway, so being kikay as I am, while walking down memory lane I also started to remember all my favorite outfits from those days that are now making a huge comeback. Oh if only high school could last forever! Well girls– even if we can’t be sweet sixteen for life, we can at least take bits of our awesome teenage years by incorporating elements of it in our wardrobes today. Here are some of my favorites:

  1. High waist jeans and shorts- The good news here is, if you’re slim and you know it you can wear your high waist bottoms with a cropped or fitted top, while if you want to conceal certain problem areas, this trend looks great with oversize tops as well. So yes, high waisted bottoms can be universally flattering as long as you pick out the right style and size for you. Make sure the waistband isn’t too tight, or you’ll have an awful muffin top.

    emily

    Emily Ratajkowski rockin high waist jeans

  2. Mules and kitten heels– These were the definitive footwear of the late 90s and early 2000s, and are apparently all the rage again. Mules look great with either wide leg or cigarette pants, and kitten heels are especially flattering worn with knee length pencil skirts and slip dresses. And both are way more comfy than stilettos, so indulge away!

    gucci mules

    Embroidered Gucci mules

  3. Small shades– Those glamorous oversize shades you love so much have to hibernate for a while because smaller lenses are the edgy way to go– whether round or oval ones, colored or metallic ones. Cat shaped lenses are super chic as well.

    colored sunnies

    Remember these????

  4. Sling bag– Nearly every bag being sold these days have a sling attached to them, and I can’t see how we survived without them before. So pratical to keep your arms and hands free to move and scroll your phone with! Pick a ‘just right’ size that’s large enough to stuff your things in, but small enough to still be considered stylish.

    prada 2017

    Prada sling bags, I love!

  5. Heavy fringe– Let’s take a page from our European gal pals and try out a heavy fringe for once. It immediately draws attention to your eyes (so get ready to amp up the eye makeup), and somehow just adds 1000 sophistication points to your look.   What’s even more fun is if you created a sexy new persona to go with the bangs and ask yourself—what would a sassy, sophisticated version of me do today?

    selena

    Selena Gomez with full bangs

  6. Fitted top– Yes, those ribbed tops that show off every carb you consumed in the last 2 days aren’t going anywhere for now. So suck it in and enjoy. These look good with wide leg pants and A-line skirts- very Liv Tyler.

    liv tyler

    Eternal muse Liv Tyler

  7. Logo/Statement tee– You know those classic logo tees (like the Guess triangle) that were so popular back then? Yeah, they’re back. And so are statement T-shirts. If you want to look young(er), find one and wear them with millennial white sneakers.

    guess

    That unmistakable Guess triangle…

  8. Jumpers– Who knew overalls would make a comeback? And spaghetti strap or apron style dresses worn over fitted shirts? Well, I’m loving it because the look reminds me of my favorite Friends character—Rachel. Just counting the days till her famous hairstyle comes back in full force as well.

    Jumper

    Rachel in her element

  9. Leather sandals– Whether flat or platform style, these comfy leather sandals are having a moment, and are perfect weekend wear (as alternative to above mentioned sneakers, of course). They look great with the rest of the 90s/2000s ensemble, and are especially cute in white or camel shades.

    white sandals

    What about these??  Looks familar, eh?

  10. A line skirts– One of my favorite styles from high school are these button down A line skirts or the swirl variety. They’re flattering for pear shapes because they accentuate the waist and hide the hips, and are a bit more forgiving on the thighs as well. Just please make sure you wear boyleg underwear for this, ok?

    A line

    Alexa Chung in an A line mini

  11. Slip dresses– Kate Moss, is that you? I can’t think of anything more versatile than the spaghetti strap, knee length slip dress. Wear with a denim jacket or over a fitted tee for a more casual look, or on its own for date night. Do you remember how this looked on us back then, with hair slicked back or up in a clamp, and kitten heels?

    kate moss

    Signature Kate Moss style

  12. Denim or Varsity jacket– Perfect for the rainy weather in town these last few months. Both jackets look great with black leggings and sneakers (for a youthful, athleisure outfit), or over a dress for a campus crush throwback. Hmm, now where did I put my ex-boyfriend’s varsity jacket…

    coach

    Coach Autumn Winter Collection.  Gorge!!!

 

So there’s my top dozen, write me at muskwie@yahoo.com or tag me on FB or IG for your picks!

 

To my lovely Theresian batchmates, see you again in 5 years (and hopefully a lot more before then), and to all you 90s and Y2K babies out there, a toast to the good times.

Drugstore Beauty Loot

In recent years, we’ve seen such a dramatic shift in interest in all things related to beauty. From what seemed to be just a frivolous ‘hobby’ for women worldwide, makeup artistry is now a serious (and much sought after) profession– and we’ve got beauty vloggers like Michelle Phan, who has millions of YouTube followers, and blogs like Beauty Lookbook, I Covet Thee and Cult of Pretty—to prove it.

Being a beauty junkie can be an expensive thing. It is all too easy to blow wads of cash in makeup stores, but it is also possible to find great stuff that doesn’t break the bank. My favorite source of amazing and cheap finds? Watson’s! Considering it’s technically still a drug store, you would be surprised at the products you’ll find in here. Thus far, I have never entered any branch this store without buying something. Here are some of the best things you can score there:

  1. Nichido Eyebrow pencil– If you by now have memorized the strokes to perfect your eyebrows, there is no reason you can’t work with eyebrow pencils that cost less than Php 100. They get the job done, last for months and cost less than your morning skinny latte! Get the ones from Nichido—they have a dark brown and light brown variety.     eyebrow pencil
  2. Nichido Eyeliner– Ditto above! Nichido also has a great array of eyeliner pencils, from white or beige (to make your eyes look bigger), black (for that edgy kohl liner look), greens and blues (for a pop of color), and brown (for everyday use). Enjoy, girls!  eyeliner
  3. BYS contouring sticks– This thing is a dream! A retractable contouring stick you can easily use to draw in cheekbones, a sleeker jawline, a narrower nose, and a more balanced forehead. You won’t believe how easy it is. Just don’t overdo it ok, or you’ll look like one of those RuPaul drag queens. Think enhancement, not complete alteration of face.  BYS
  4. BYS foundation stick– This brand also has a foundation stick that’s super handy to keep in your purse. All you have to do is dab a few spots on your forehead, cheeks and nose, and blend with a sponge, and you’re done in 2 minutes. The coverage is great and it lasts all day. The only catch is, it doesn’t come in a wide range of colors so there’s a change your skin will not match the shade. A tip—no matter how good the purchase, do not force it if it’s not meant to be. There’s nothing more horrific than a face that’s waaay whiter than the neck/rest of the body, no matter how much blending you attempt to do!  bys-foundation-stick-cool-ivory
  5. Maybelline mascara– As far as mascara goes, Maybelline’s Great Lash can go head to head with any of the luxury brands in terms of performance, and costs less than half of the price of the others. I’ve roadtested it and have remained loyal for years—there’s a reason why this is still the world’s most popular mascara. lash
  6. Gatsby oil blotting sheets– If you have oily skin, the worst thing to do is layering on face powder every time you get shiny. That clogs your pores and causes blackheads and breakouts! A better idea is to blot your skin with these lifesaving little sheets, then spritz with face mist. If your makeup has faded, that’s the time you need to pat on a little face powder. That way you’ll look fresh all day—because oiliness is next to ugliness!  Gatsby
  7. Garnier Brightening Eye Roll On– Of all the products this brand carries, this one is my favorite. Say goodbye to puffy eyebags with just a swipe! It drains the swelling and works like magic, even after long, harrowing nights of watching Game of Thrones episodes.   So yes, I hardly slept for a month—and I consider it a personal triumph that nobody could tell! You need it, I’m telling you. garnier
  8. Petroleum Jelly– Pop quiz. What product can you use to moisturize your elbows, and knees, serves as cuticle cream, removes makeup, does the job of an eyeshadow primer, can be blended to create a gel blush, doubles up as shaving cream, eyebrow gel, thickens eyelashes, and whitens teeth in photos? Oh you didn’t know? Yes baby, that inconspicuous little jar of petroleum jelly is the answer.  vaseline
  9. Ever Bilena Lip and Cheek stain- I’ve always been a fan of a natural flushed look, like you’ve just come from a run or spotted a crush. Compared with blusher, a cheek stain, when applied correctly, looks more natural and less ‘made up’. So I was thrilled to find this product, it creates exactly that effect, and lasts all day too (unless you deliberately wipe it off). I prefer using it only for the cheeks, but it can function as a lip stain too. At less than 200 pesos, that’s a really good deal.  ever bilena
  10. Argan Oil- I’ve been using Argan Oil on my skin and the tips of my hair for the last 7 years and so far not a single wrinkle nor split end has appeared. That, my friends, considering my high stress-high gimmick lifestyle, is an amazing feat—not by me, but by this Godsend of a multipurpose oil. It’s called Instant Glow Moroccan Argan oil, and if you like it as much as I do, you’ll get the bar of soap as well.  argan
  11. Vitresse Hair Cuticle Coat- With this heat and humidity, I am not surprised people are walking around looking like poofed up Persian cats with frizzy hair. To keep your crowning glory sleek and smooth no matter what happens during the day, it is necessary to follow up your blow out with a light hair cuticle coat. So everything can blow up for all you care, but you’ll at least look like you’ve got things under control.  vitresse
  12. GT Carrot Lotion- My friends are going to kill me for publishing this, because we wanted to keep it our secret and hoard the stocks ourselves. But since I’m feeling generous today—ok, yes, this is our favorite lotion. At SPF 60, it doubles up as a strong sunblock, plus gives the skin a pinkish white glow, and it smells great too. Try it for yourself.  carrot

 

I know where you’re headed right now, girls! Enjoy shopping and tell me if you have some other great beauty finds from drugstores to add to our list!

Of Goodness

I know what you’re thinking—this is going to be one of those preachy articles about charity. Probably written by a person who wants praise for it, to feel better about herself. That’s not entirely false, actually, but give me a chance and keep reading.

Let’s start by establishing the fact that I grew up pretty self-involved. I am an only child of two people who waited a long time to have a baby, so I was doted on and cared for every minute of every day. Sharing was not really in my vocabulary, as you can imagine. I floated through school being responsible, studious and obedient, and it pleased me to often be referred to as ‘good’. Life, as far as I knew, was also always ‘good’. I did not see or experience anything to show me otherwise.

And then, in my junior year of college, I happened to be in a Theology class that required a semester of community immersion. Our group was assigned to go to the Cribs Foundation in Marikina every Saturday for the duration of that sem. We were tasked to help out with the orphaned babies there, feed them, play with them, put them to sleep, etc. I remember my first thought was that we were lucky—we would get to hang with a bunch of cute babies instead of living in the slums or visiting prisoners, which would have been umm, uncomfortable to say the least.

So we went to the orphanage that first day and it was fun, everyone loves babies after all. The hours flew by, and before I knew it the immersion was over. On our last visit, one of the babies was crying and clinging onto me before I put her in her crib, as though she knew that would be the last time we would see each other.

Then it hit me—how many more goodbyes would this child have to say in her lifetime? The babies could only stay in this orphanage for a few years. If they were not adopted within that time, they would have to be placed in different shelters. How many volunteers, caretakers, foster families and adoptive parents might she go through? Who would care to cherish and celebrate any of her milestones, her first steps, her first words, or when she started to read and write? Who would hug her in the middle of the night when there’s thunder and lightning and bad dreams? Who would defend her from bullies? Who would encourage her to pursue her dreams—or worse, would she even have the luxury to dream?

I cried that day because it became all too real to me that the world isn’t fair. Here I was, brought up with the very best my parents could offer. While there were 25 other children in that center, and a multitude more around the world, who may never experience that kind of love, that kind of care and support. And I cried too because of how shallow and insignificant I felt, to not be able to do anything much except offer a few hours of my time that semester, in the midst of partying with my friends, studying for exams, having crushes on boys and planning my future career in the corporate world.

In my mid twenties, I realized my life felt quite empty, like something was missing. I wanted to give back somehow, so I sought to join a group of girls called the Zugbuana Jaycees, who were known for community efforts around Cebu. In the seven or eight years that I was an active member, and eventually leader, of that group, my friends and I managed to complete a lot of projects, from huge fashion show fundraisers for the benefit of sexually abused women and children, to granting scholarships to children from impoverished families, to livelihood or hygiene workshops at children’s centers, medical missions, activities for the handicapped, and so on. After every event I would give myself a little pat on the back and tell myself—‘you did good today.’ But you see, that wasn’t all. Because at the back of my mind, I wasn’t sure if I was doing all that because I really wanted to help, or because I wanted to feel good about myself, to tell myself I’m doing my part, I’m doing what a good person is supposed to do, or perhaps I wanted people to think that I was a good person. Maybe it was all of it, and somehow it just never felt like it was enough. I let that thought simmer for some time and moved along.

Today, at thirty plus years old (ha!), I have finally come to realize there is nothing to prove to anyone, nothing to prove to myself. I know whatever I do will never be enough to make a real dent in the world. And you know what? That is ok. For as long as I can make things just a little better, just a little easier for someone, it is good enough. For as long as small acts of kindness might inspire others to do a little more for others as well, it is good enough. As a wise friend of mine told me, the concept of depth is relative to everyone—what might have been a random thing for me, like smiling at a stranger, might have meant the world to that person on a really bad day.  So for as long as you accept whatever shortcomings you have, start each day with an earnest heart, and do whatever you can, yes it is good enough.

And so, about 15 years after that first visit to Cribs Foundation, I found myself back there again, with some of my close friends, this time bringing things to help the orphanage. It still breaks my heart to see babies as young as 13 days brought there because they were abandoned at the hospital, to think of what happens when they get sick, or scared, to know that we cannot really shelter them from the evils in this world. But to see how many people were so eager to help and give, to spend time on a weekend, to hold a child and make her smile, hoping that she will find her way to a loving family and grow up to be a fine young lady someday, hoping she will think of all the volunteers, caretakers and donors at that center, and somehow feel there is still some kindness and goodness left here—that is not just good enough. That is everything. Because in as much as we were helping these babies, they were helping us too: they were teaching us hope, they were strengthening our faith.

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So the point I’m making is that we all need to believe that everyone can make a difference. Whether it’s for a cause like these orphans, or for the sick and elderly, the soldiers fighting to protect our country, animal welfare, prisoners, farmers, victims of abuse and human trafficking, the environment, or even for causes closer to home like taking care of our household help, extending more patience and understanding to family members, being sincere to people at work—we can all spare a little kindness, a little charity. J.K. Rowling says it perfectly: ‘We do not need magic to change the world. We carry all the power we need inside ourselves already: we have the power to imagine better.’

 

*In case you want to know more about the Cribs Foundation and wish to help out as well, check out their website at www.cribsfoundation.com.

The Elegance of Saying No

Sometime last year, I wrote an article entitled ‘The Magic of the Yes’.   It pretty much stated all the reasons it would be a life-changing experience to say Yes to new experiences, new friends, new challenges, to seize the day and grab the bull by the horns. Over months of reflection though, while I still strongly believe that our default answer to life should be a deep, resounding Yes, I’ve come to realize there are certain things we need to learn to say No to as well.

‘Elegance is refusal’, Coco Chanel once said and I’ve come to understand what she meant. To live a life you love, a life you can be proud of and look back on without any trace of regret, you need to leave some things behind. Here’s my list. You should make one for yourself too.

  1. Say no to harmful substances. This is the most obvious. There are some things in life that can give you a heady rush but a bad fall, and it’s just not worth it. Examples– Drugs. Too much liquor. And umm, bad boys?
  2. Say no to bad food. Life is too short to scarf down canned food, fast food, junk food, and basically anything that is not natural and nourishing. You think your body will never know the difference, but it does– and you don’t want to regret it by getting sick, having a bad mood or feeling weak when you are supposed to be in the pink of health, enjoying every moment. So yes, spend the extra cash on your proper nutrition. That is one expense you’ll never regret.
  3. Say no to empty conversations. If it’s gossip about other people, gleeful accounts of somebody else’s mistakes or downfall, a stream of name dropping and bragging, or random nonsense small talk with people you can’t truly connect with, just avoid it. Spend your time with people who broaden your horizons, feed your imagination and enrich your soul.  modern-prints-and-posters
  4. Say no to fake friends. There are ‘friends’ who are only your friends when times are good—either they ride on the winds of your success, enjoy freebies, social media attention, or benefit from you in some way. There are also ‘friends’ who are only your friends when times are bad—they cannot handle seeing you do better and secretly resent it when you are living a good life. Lastly, there are ‘friends’ who are neither of these, but are simply not good people. They drain the life out of you, backstab and bitch about others, and just aren’t a healthy influence. All of these people do not need to be in your life, and it’s time to cut them loose.  lose
  5. Say no to one-sided relationships. It is one thing to go the extra mile for love, to bear hardships and whatever else, to make extra efforts to make a person feel special, to understand moods and quirks and bad days, bad months, or even a bad year. It is quite another to keep doing this and not receive enough in return– to be taken for granted, played with, set aside, talked down to or ignored. It’s really very simple. Choose people who choose you.  1960339864-sometimes-you-need-to-give-up-on-people-not-because-you-dont-care-but-because-they-dont-quote-1
  6. Say no to being too busy to enjoy life. Since we really aren’t sure how much time we have in this world, stop procrastinating and start enjoying life. Do what you’ve always dreamed of. Yes, you can be busy. But sometimes ‘busy’ becomes an excuse and a fallback for not taking that long deserved vacation, for not spending enough time with your family, for not getting out there to meet new people, for not learning new things like languages or hobbies, for not starting a business of your own, for not really living. Because really living requires courage, and passion, and energy, and love. So what’s it gonna be?  life
  7. Say no to settling for less than you deserve. This applies to everything. If you are not getting the customer service you deserve or paid for, then say so. If you are not getting the love and care you give, then go. If you are not getting the respect you earned through your work, or simply for being who you are, then leave. Enough with the ‘puede na (this will do)’. Life is too short to make do with scraps and crumbs. If you deserve better, believe it and go get it.  heels
  8. Say no to status quo. Do not be afraid to rock the boat once in a while, because the only way to remain relevant in this world is to change. Do not keep doing the same thing but expecting a different result. There is always a better way, there is always room for improvement. Keep setting the bar higher for yourself and know that you have the capability to surpass even your wildest dreams.
  9. Say no to ugly clothes. This column wouldn’t be called Kikay and you wouldn’t even be reading this article if you don’t appreciate the importance of good aesthetics. And to add to living out your full potential, make sure you always look your best anywhere you go by only wearing what really, really looks good on you. I mean c’mon— surely you know that a trend overkill usually makes people look like roadkill? So if you’re going to open your wallet and spend money anyway, it better be to pay for only the very best you can afford. Never mind if you have fewer things and simpler clothes, as long as anything you put on makes you look like a million bucks.

    fashion_roadkill_t_shirt-r702158aba07e452cb3362e1d00e2e592_k2gml_324

    Sometimes I want to give people these shirt as a gift… 

  10. Say no to anything that doesn’t light you up from the inside out. Once upon a time, an organizing consultant named Marie Kondo came up with the ‘KonMari’ method of tidying up, and it became a runaway hit. The basic principle is that you keep only what ‘sparks joy’ in your home and in your life. You are supposed to pick up the object, study how it makes you feel, and if it brings back a happy memory or is simply something you love, then keep it and find a proper place for it. Everything else needs to be discarded. And yes, this does not only apply to things but to the rest of your life too. Make room and free up space for only those that matter. The rest of it is just noise.

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    Read this book!

 

So you see? While there is magic in Yes, there can also be elegance in No.

 

Follow #kikaycebu ‘s adventures on Instagram at miazamora116.

Summer Essentials

In case you missed it, summer is in full swing and everything is burning up–it is that hot!!! School’s out, work people are on vacation mode, and the annual party called summer in the Philippines is definitely raging this year. Don’t miss out on these must-haves to keep you looking fabulous all season long:

  1. agnes b. Lunettes– This très chic French fashion brand first opened its doors in 1975, and now has more than a hundred stores all over the world. It’s known for classic apparel, accessories, watches, jewelry, and eyewear. A couple of weeks ago, the eye care center Ideal Vision launched the very first line of agnes b. eyewear made available in the Philippines, and the whole collection is delightful! The styles are timeless and elegant, whether for glasses or sunglasses, but come with a fresh twist, like colored or striped frames, mirrorized lenses, and flattering shapes—all embodying the brand’s free spirited vibe.   I think I just found a new favorite! Check them out at select Ideal Vision branches soon. Visit idealvisioncenter.com.ph. and like or follow Ideal Vision Center on Facebook and Instagram for all updates.

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    Fresh frames by agnes b.

  2. Tipsy Pops– I tried one of these and after that first taste I Just. Could. Not. Stop! Such an awesome idea to create these yummy alcoholic popsicles perfect for any summer bash. They come in all your favorite flavors too: Piñacolada, Kalamansi Margarita, Mango Rum, Strawberry Daiquiri, Orange Arancello, Seabreeze, Bloody Sunset, and Tropical Tequila Sunrise! You can order a party stash by emailing tipsypops2015@gmail.com, or swing by Cebu’s number one weekend market Sugbo Mercado IT Park for your fix. Check out their Facebook page at facebook.com/lickmoderately.

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    You know you want this…

  3. The chic one piece– Yes, those itsy bitsy bikinis will never go out of style, but if you want to amp up the ante on the fashion front this year, go for a sexy one piece instead. Whether it’s the side cut-out variety, the lace up neckline, or the sideboob-baring type, you’ll surely sizzle like the sun. Check out styles at Cotton On, Forever 21, or the many online shops available and rock it like you mean it at the beach!

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    A Cotton On one piece– bet you’ve never seen denim look this good!

  4. Metallic tattoos– Move over, henna, and don’t even get me started on those ridiculous flower crowns. The coolest body adornments to wear this season are of the metallic kind, on smooth, bronzed skin setting off resort chic dresses and lace up sandals.   The easiest way is via stick on metallic/glitter tattoos, or even better, try out metallic body paint with a friend! Now who’s a gleaming goddess?  2da069525e2b251eb6d1ad470dd58ca1
  5. Inflatables– We went crazy for them last year, and we’re definitely still crazy for them this year! Buy your giant rainbow unicorn, swan, winged horse, donut or slice of pizza and float away to summer bliss. A word of caution: it’s better to use these babies in the pool instead of the sea, it’s kinda hard to get back to shore against the current on a giant inflatable creature, unless you tie it down.

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    Take your new pet unicorn to the beach!

  6. Yellow– Literally the color of summer (and Coldplay), and what a heyday it’s having right now! Make sure to add a splash of lemon yellow to your wardrobe this season, whether via a bright yellow top worn with denims or whites, or a skirt/shorts, a bag, or a pair of gorgeous yellow heels. Trust me, it’s impossible not to be happy wearing such a vibrant color, and more smiles will be headed your way.

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    Loving this butter yellow top from Stradivarius

  7. Crop tops– As the temperature gets hotter, the tops grow smaller. So I hope you did all your crunches, core work and everything you possibly could to get a flat tummy (and abs, perhaps?) in time for summer…because since 90’s fashion is so back, we are seeing blouses shrink to Britney Spears 1997 levels filling up all the fashion racks. Wear with high waisted jeans/shorts, or drawstring-waist skirts.

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    Tiny tops to wear on endless summer nights

So there’s my lucky seven for the summer. Now all you need is some sun, sea, sand, and an awesome Spotify playlist, and you’re all set to have the best season ever. Have fun, kikays!

Beauty Bulletin 2017

Hello darlings! Spring is here, and it’s not only the flowers that need to get blooming. We’re lucky to be living in this day and age of flash technology, where products get upgraded at the blink of an eye. When you read up on all the latest beauty loot below, you can’t help but wonder what they’ll think of next! So get your online shopping face ready, take out those credit cards, and I’ll bet you you’ll be ordering away by the end of this article. Here are the top 10 products I’m excited about for 2017:

  1. Dyson hair dryer– We all know Dyson for their hi-tech cleaning machines, but they’ve gone a step further and created hair dryer that is as quiet as they come! With 3 precise speed settings and 4 precise heat settings, this gadget is going to revolutionize your blowout, not to mention make your husbands very happy! An even better idea—tell him to get you one if he wants to be able to hear anything while you’re doing your hair!  dyson-supersonic-iron-fuchsia
  2. Avene or L’oreal Micellar water– Cleansing oil is a thing of the past, you can say goodbye to that greasy, sticky feeling in this humid tropical climate of ours. These days girls in the know are using Micellar water, which feels literally just like water but deep cleans your face of all gunk—from makeup to waterproof lipstick, deep seated dirt and whatever else. No need to go anywhere near the sink! Just swipe that dirt away with a cotton ball and crash into bed.  loreal
  3. Charlotte Tilsbury Dry Sheet Mask– You know how using those individually wrapped face masks can get super messy? Here’s a mask that’s completely dry, like a sheet of paper. There’s a thing to put on your ears to keep it in place, and the idea is to massage your face for about 30 seconds before the product comes out of the sheet and onto your skin- everything you need from hydration to brightness to smoothness and lift. And you can use it up to 3 times, which is more than you can say for your messy mask.  multi-pack-mask
  4. Cutex BB Nail Concealer– When you’re always getting your nails polished, you know very well that there are periods where you need them to rest and breathe. But you can’t exactly go around with yellow, brittle nails no matter how clean they are! So this BB nail concealer is infused with vitamins to help your nails recover from damage, but hides any discoloration under a healthy, pinkish hue. Nice!  cutex-bb-nail-concealer-0-5-oz
  5. L’oreal Extraordinary Clay Pre-Shampoo Mask– For those of you with oily roots, this clay-texture mask absorbs all that excess oil so that you can clean your tresses properly. Just massage into your scalp for 5 minutes, and when rinsed out, your roots are completely clear and the ends much softer. Who wouldn’t be a fan?  loreal2
  6. Shiseido Synchro Skin Glow– How about a foundation so smart that it knows your skin better than you do? Yes, sounds unbelievable. But this fluid foundation (with SPF 20, mind you) has a special sensing technology that gets in sync with your complexion and adjusts itself throughout the day as your oil levels- and stress levels- change. So you’ll always have that gorgeous glow and just the right level of hydration.  shiseido
  7. Urban Decay Vice Liquid Lipstick– We’ve all used waterproof lipstick, and long-wearing lipstick, but this baby is transfer-proof too. That means, once that color is on your lips, it ain’t going nowhere. No lipstick marks on your teacup, bf’s face, or whatever. And it comes in 30 shades, so you’ll definitely find your perfect match.  urban
  8. Murad Matte Effect Blotting Perfector– This little gem is a cushion compact that contains a serum that immediately absorbs grease, perfect for those besieged with oily skin. It dries down to a clear, velvety finish and goes over your makeup without messing up your perfect blending and contouring. You know that saying ‘oiliness is next to ugliness’… murad
  9. Tweezerman Expertweeze Lighted Slant Tweezer-Even when you tweeze your brows during the day, it can sometimes get difficult to see what you’re doing. This tweezer has a built in LED light and is slanted in such a way that it makes it easier to catch those little buggers of hair strands. How did we even survive without this?  tweezer
  10. HiMirror– Okayyy so I saved the best for last. The Hi Mirror is a data protected smart mirror that not only analyzes your skin but also suggests a customized skincare routine, offer beauty tips and track progress. I am totally sold on this one! Check it out on amazon.com.  Hello Santa baby, any chance you’ll give me my Christmas gift early this year?hi-mirror-640px

 

I don’t know what my credit card bill is going to look like after this rampage, but hey—your best investment is and will always be yourself. As that famous brand tagline goes, ‘Because I’m Worth It’. Cheers and tell me your kikay stories on muskwie@yahoo.com or Tweet @MiaZamora116.