5 Things: 5 Favorite Beauty Finds of 2019

A couple of years back, I came up with a segment called “5 Things,” where I ask friends and peers five questions where they have to share their top 5 of anything. I forgot to follow through, so I have decided to revive it for nostalgia’s sake.

As you can tell in the title, I will be talking about my five favorite beauty finds of 2019. I’ve discovered a lot of products this year, but these five things are the ones that I’ve been enjoying at the moment.

  1. Revlon Ultra HD Hypermatte Ultra Lip Mousse in Spice 



A very recent find! I initially planned on buying the Sunnies Face Lip Dip in Femmebot, but I ended up buying this instead, since I got sold on the plush, yet longwearing formula, and the pretty pinky-brown color. It’s a bit pricey for drugstore (Php 575!), but if you want a lipstick that’s fairly comfortable, long-lasting, and suitable for all occasions, grab this one.

2. Hada Labo Gokujyun Moisturizing Cream 


One of my favorite purchases during my Osaka trip was this hydrating cream from Hada Labo. I forgot to bring a moisturizer for this trip, so I headed to the nearest grocery from our hotel to buy this. Anyway, this cream saved my skin from the cold, windy weather of Osaka, and gave me a nice glow throughout the trip. I love this cream so much.

Speaking of Hada Labo, Hada Labo is coming to Manila very soon, and I hope that they sell this here. If not, please point me to a dupe of this.

3. The Inkey List Hyaluronic Acid Serum 


Ever since I discovered the wonders of hyaluronic acid through the Hada Labo cream, I realized that I needed to add more hyaluronic acid to my skincare routine. This serum may be small, but it packs a lot of hydration. Since then, my skin feels a little bit more plump and less parched.

4. Scentsmith Eau de Parfum in Ambrette Sea Salt 

(I can’t find an exact photo of the Ambrette Sea Salt one, I AM SORRY)

Ever since I discovered Glossier You during my trip to New York last year, I have been on the hunt for its dupe. The internet has pointed out that Lanvin’s Eclat D’ Arpege and Jo Malone’s Wood Sage & Sea Salt are potential dupes for it, but I cannot really spend my money on them. Luckily, I found Scentsmith in Greenbelt 5, and I found Ambrette and Sea Salt, which reminded me of Glossier You and bread. Although it’s not as long-lasting as it seems, it smells warm and comfortable— just like a warm hug.

5. Nature Republic Triple Meringue Tint in Red Brownie


(Again: I can’t find the actual color for Red Brownie, but lol)


I was never really a red lipstick girl, but this lip tint/lip stain changed the way I perceive red lipsticks. It’s fairly long-lasting, and the texture’s pretty nice. In addition, it’s also a close dupe of the Sunnies Face Lip Dip, lol.


And those are my beauty favorites this year! What beauty products are you enjoying so far? Also, do you want me to interview people and share their ~~5 things?


Osaka: A Photo Diary

Japan is one of my favorite countries in the whole world. After falling in love with Tokyo in 2015, Dad and I decided to venture into Osaka this year for our annual family trip.

This trip was memorable to me for two reasons: one, it was my first family trip where I WAS allowed to venture on my own for a day; and two, it was my last vacation leave before leaving my previous company (I will spare you the details about this). Nonetheless, it was a healing trip, where I had the chance to immerse myself more deeply in the places that I wanted to go. This trip also made me realize that I need to take myself out on dates more often, and just enjoy things.

To achieve the goal of “enjoying things” on this trip, I decided to reacquaint myself with a film camera, and took some random shots of the places that I visited in Osaka and Nara throughout my trip.


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Looking back at these photos, I’ve been reminded that I am more than lucky to see these things, and experience what the world has to offer. Some of it may be good, some of it may be strange, but these experiences can help you stay open.

Performance Anxiety

Around late last year, my friend Roxy and I were discussing about our struggles at our old workplace. I shared to her my struggles with adjusting to various situations and environments, and the coping processes I use to deal with this struggle. As much as I want to assert who I am and the space that I want to occupy, not a lot of people will understand and appreciate who I am as a person. Most of the time, in order to appease many people (and do well), I have to conform to their ways, to the extent that I lose myself and feel negatively towards myself. I want to embrace the fact that I am kind, hardworking, and capable (as it is), but the voices around me say that I have to do x and y for them to prove that I am the things aforementioned. In addition, there’s always that nagging thought that I always have to prove others wrong whenever I take on something, be it a hobby or a work opportunity. Can I just learn and master that hobby or work opportunity out of genuine desire? Out of a genuine desire to grow and not just comply out of a need to achieve a career-related KPI? I honestly think that these lines blur a lot. There are times where I feel like I’m gaining skills not for my personal improvement, but to prove to institutions and other people that, “HEY! I’m capable! I’m good!” Or, “You said that I deserved to get fired? Well, my work says otherwise.” It’s frustrating, and it adds up to a lot of the anxieties that I feel.

I guess I’m just being hard on myself. I need to be kind to myself more, especially during stressful times. My job does not define who I am.



Some thoughts and feelings: Right Now by Aziz Ansari

Disclaimer: I’m sorry if this was poorly-written and somewhat ill-informed. I’ll edit this.

A few years ago, I was vocal about my admiration for Aziz Ansari. He was funny, self-aware, intelligent, and woke. If I remember correctly, I even wrote about my little crush on him on my Facebook profile. I loved Master of None.  Then the Babe.net story happened. In a time where most of us take into account one’s personal values in the goods that we consume, I struggled to grapple with the idea that Aziz Ansari is an alleged sexual predator. I fucking liked him, and it sucked to know that he was likely to be like that. 

Now that the brouhaha over the Babe.net article has mostly died down (or did it, really?), I finally had the balls to watch his latest comedy special. Needless to say, I was ambivalent about it. I actually liked how self-reflexive and contradictory it was (especially on woke culture), but I struggled to be comfortable throughout the sixty-five minute special. Is it because I found the apology somehow lacking? Is it because Aziz never really addressed the allegations head-on in his material? Most likely. 

Am I ready to forgive (and admire) Aziz Ansari again? I’m not sure about that yet. But one thing’s for sure: the journey of moving forward after a major screw-up is difficult and potentially life-altering. It’s not a linear path, and there’s a lot of introspection, empathy, and dark truths to deal with. He still deserves to move forward in some way, and I guess we all need to cut him some slack for that. 



Life Lately: In Pursuit of Balance

Hello, friends. I’m back. It’s been a while since I sat down and wrote something personal, so allow me to share things for a bit.

Ever since I returned to work two and half years ago, work has taken up a massive chunk of my life. I thought that I wasn’t going to be /that/ type of person, but my job as a social media manager has greatly influenced the way I approach my life over the past year and half. Because of the “always-on” nature that my job entails, the pursuit of a work-life balance has become quite challenging. Before, weekends were almost always completely free. Unplugging on social media was an option that’s readily available to me. Now, I have to manage myself (my energy, my time, and my resources) to create the work-life balance that I need (and desire). Although I feel envious of people who get to own their weekends, I’m reminded that work-life balance and free time doesn’t have to always happen on the last two days of the week, and that’s okay.

Because of the toxic circumstances that came with my previous job, I learned that I needed to be more proactive in pursuing my work-life balance now. Rather than aligning my working style and my habits with my co-workers so that I can be seen as “hardworking” and “capable,” I realized that I have to honor my personal strengths and limitations first. Second, I have to establish clearer boundaries when it comes to work and life, and those boundaries can only be fulfilled through a plethora of coping strategies. For example, I will only work for a certain number of hours during weekends, and I will not do work after office hours on weekdays (though it will really depend on the circumstances, but I’ll work towards that). I also have to do a lot of bullet journaling, and I have to keep track of my work too. It’s hard, since my executive functioning capabilities are not sharp (because of my ADHD), but I’m doing my best to get by. Third, I am slowly reintroducing old hobbies into my life again, and relearning household chores.

I guess balance looks different on everybody, and it’s a truth that we have to make peace with.