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Saturday, October 29, 2016

Simple Skincare Launch + Makeup Remover Reviews (October 27, 2016)

Life is soooo complicated as of late. I am honestly at my thinnest and palest, and while I should be happy about the thin part, I can't really be 100% happy given that it was caused by extreme stress. Working day in and day out has really drained me, but I'm scared of taking a break because my workload might pile up even more. I wish that life were simple. Weeell, I can't make life simple, but at least I can make makeup removal Simple. 

Yeahp, you heard it. Simple is Unilever's latest baby to come here to the Philippines. It's the number one skincare brand in the UK featuring facial cleansers and moisturizers, and since it's Unilever, when they say number 1, they mean it. Having interned at Unilever has made me learn that any claim they make is backed up by research or official documents. So this is not some sham skincare brand from some hole in the wall factory trying to make some name for itself. This is probably as legit as facial cleansing can get! 

Friday, October 28, 2016

Leaders Mediu 2-Step Double Effect V-Line Pore Tightening Mask Review

Yaaaaay, I finally got down to trying out a unique and interesting K-Beauty product! This is Leaders' 2-Step V-Line mask and these kinds of mask sheets have been all the rage in Korea as of late. It's an affordable, quick fix for when you want to look like you lost a few pounds for a special day. 

Friday, October 28, 2016

Zenutrients Now In Sample Room!

For those already feeling the burden of getting good gifts for tita this holiday season, maybe this can help! Zenutrients is proud to have gone a major relaunch of their brand, featuring more sophisticated packaging and reformulations here and there. They believe that everything nature does is for a purpose so they try to harness the best of nature for the benefit of their customers. It's now time to make a quick hop to Sample Room to get this for your tita or the tita friend in your life in time for the holiday season! 

Friday, October 28, 2016

Beauty News: Zenutrients Undergoes Relaunch

The peeps behind Zenutrients are so excited to finally be able to show us Zenutrients' full brand re-launch! They revamped the total packaging design, from the main logo to the individual pack design, eying a more sophisticated look, but still staying true to the core green-ness of the brand. They also upgraded some key formulations, notably all shampoos, lotions and creams; the new labels will reflect the new ingredients.

 Lastly, to create brand harmony, they have collapsed in key best-selling products from the premium line Z, into Zenutrients. The Argan range (hair, skin and body), some repellants and massage oils have been added into the main Zenutrients line as well.

Nature does nothing without purpose – that’s what they believe in at Zenutrients. With over 8 years of experience in creating organic beauty products, they now have hundreds of product choices and are available in over 30 outlets nationwide. The brand is also carried by retailers Sesou and Echostore, and are available online through and

Friday, October 28, 2016

Beauty News: Simple Skincare Now in the Philippines!

Simple champions the belief that face care is not just about how skin looks from the outside. Rather, it is about how it feels—because it is always about how women feel about their own skin that truly matters. With that, the brand offers a range of products that gently hydrates while providing superior makeup removal and skin cleansing, specifically made for women with sensitive skin.

To deliver the best results, Simple only uses skin-loving ingredients that are kind to the skin and to the planet. Sourced sustainably, it is free from color, fragrance, and other harsh ingredients that can upset the skin. Still, it delivers its promise of leaving skin thoroughly-cleansed without that tight or dry feeling. Each product works in harmony with the skin for a calming and hydrating effect. At the end of the day, face care should always be as fuss-free, gentle, and as effective as that.

After all, #KindnessIsSimple

Five Skin-loving products for Filipinas
Five of the brand’s most well-loved and multi-awarded products are now available in the Philippines. Filipinas can look forward to finally experiencing the power of the Micellar Cleansing Water, Micellar Facial Cleansing Wipes, Moisturizing Facial Wash, Hydrating Light Moisturizer, and Dual-Effect Eye Makeup Remover.

The Simple Micellar Cleansing Water (P499/200mL, P799/400mL) is the most advanced facial cleanser to date, yet is gentle enough even for the most sensitive skin. It contains micelles, which are clever cleansing bubbles that work to lift away makeup and impurities, unclogging pores while instantly boosting skin hydration by 90%. It’s non-comedogenic, hypoallergenic, and dermatologically tested and approved. This product is a cult-favorite in the beauty industry—aside from having a strong following, it was also part of Glamour UK’s Top 15 cleansers and Allure’s Best of Beauty 2015.

For those who still prefer facial wipes, the Simple Micellar Cleansing Facial Wipes (P299) is perfect to refresh and nourish your skin, remove tough make-up and is soft enough for use on delicate or sensitive skin. It contains a perfect blend of the purest possible skin-loving ingredients and added vitamins. They’re also convenient, quick-to-use and a fantastic addition to any makeup bag, perfect for when women on the go.

For a deep and thorough cleanse, there is the Simple Moisturizing Facial Wash (P299/150mL). Unlike other harsh cleansers in the market, it can get rid of oil, dirt, and impurities without stripping the skin of its natural moisture. It’s made of only the purest ingredients and skin-loving multi-vitamins to keep sensitive skin clean and hydrated. It’s also 100% soap-free, so even those with the most sensitive skin can benefit from it.

For makeup lovers, there is the Simple Dual-Effect Eye Makeup Remover (P499/125mL). It effectively dissolves even the toughest eye makeup without irritating the eyes. The two-part formula consists of oil and purified water for maximum effect—no eye-rubbing required. This means that even women who wear contact lenses can use it without having to worry about their eyes turning red.

The best part? It also cares for the eyelashes, as it leaves your fringes hydrated and nourished.
Finally, the Simple Hydrating Light Moisturizer (P499/125mL) is the moisturizer of dreams—it’s actually the UK’s #1 moisturizer. It’s created with the perfect blend of multi-vitamins, glycerin, and borage seed oil to keep the skin hydrated for up to 12 hours, as it instantly doubles the skin’s hydration levels. It’s made with triple purified water, making it perfect for the most sensitive skins.

Simple Skincare is available at Watsons and select supermarkets. Follow @simpleskincareph on Instagram or like Simple Skincare PH on facebook for more updates.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Beauty News: Watsons Hair Treats Promos Coming ASAP!

Don't lie to me. I'm sure you all know very well the fragrances of Watsons deep hair conditioners. Especially the coconut one. No one cared even if we smelled like coco jam because we had nice hair after anyways hahaha. I am so glad that Watsons never stopped producing their hair spa conditioners because there'll be a void in my life if they stop producing the virgin coco one! 

 Watsons Hair Treats truly is a treat for the hair (and for the budget)! Watsons is proud to be bringing natural ingredients from all over the world to haircare products that are affordable and easily accessible (like I am sure you are near enough to at least 1 Watsons branch!). There are plenty of products under the Hair Treats line-- there's Hair Spa, Hair Shine, Hair Gel, 3 Minute Wonder, and Mega Dose. 

There are 9 hair spa variants featuring different natural ingredients. There's Virgin Coco (Intensive Care), Coco Milk (Silky Straight Look), Tsubaki (protects long hair), Macadamia (Anti-Breakage), Lavender (Soft and Bouncy), Aloe Vera (Hair Fall Control), Argan Oil (Nourishing from Scalp to Tip), Honey Milk (Enriched Moisture), Keratin Vitamin (Damage Control).  You can get these fragrant things in 250g and 650g offerings, though I think the 650g one is a good idea because you are bound to use more than you need because of the smell... 

There are great promotions coming up so watch out!
1.) Get the Hair Treats HairSpa 250g for only Php59.00 when you purchase any shampoo or conditioner product on the following dates:
 November 4-6
 November 18-20
 December 2-4
2.) Get a free Hair Treats Hair Shine 30mL with every purchase of either a Hair Treats Hair Spa 650mL Buy 1 Take 1, 3 Minute Wonder 250mL Buy 1 Take 1, or a Hair Treats Megadose Pack, any variant on the following timeframes:  
 December 16-18
 December 30-31
 January 1, 2017
 November 3-December 31 for SM Advantage Card Holders

Monday, October 24, 2016

CBTL The Giving Journal 2017 Launch (October 21, 2016)

Hoooraaayyy, planner season is upon us!!! Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf proudly unveiled the designs of their planners this year. Their planners are more than just planners, they're called The Giving Journals for a reason. Every year, CBTL has a main beneficiary whom the proceeds of the planners' sale will go to. This year's main beneficiary is the Real Life Foundation, a social advocacy that aims to change lives through education.  

To give a brief profile as to what kind of foundation will benefit from your coffee addiction this year, the Real Life Foundation is a Christian non-profit NGO. It aims to provide better futures for underprivileged Filipinos through educational assistance and character development. The scholars under their program are not only sent to school (through monetary support), but are also coached in the areas of L.I.F.E. (Leadership, Integrity, Faith, Excellence) 

Monday, October 24, 2016

My BeautyMNL Shopping Spree

In the advent of online shopping, I am generally happy that more and more sites are springing up that make beauty shopping for the Pinay much easier. Remember the days when it was sooo hard to get beauty products? Like if the product couldn't be found in malls, it basically was virtually nonexistent in the minds of consumers? Online shopping has really changed the way we discover, perceive, and try all sorts of brands. 

I am happy to be doing a mini post about BeautyMNL today! The site has been floating around since last year, but I think it's this year that the site has really gained traction amongst local beauty junkies. I actually knew of this place while I was interning in Unilever as my boss was like "oh let's put our new product in BeautyMNL." Before him saying that I didn't know that the place existed! But now they are among the key trade partners of most beauty brands in the country.  

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Silka Avocado Now in Sample Room!

For those who felt that Silka Shea smelled too sweet, rejoice! This is Silka Avocado, the latest from the number one in whitening. And it's now on Sample Room! I was reading reviews on Sample Room over Silka Shea to see how people felt about it. Opinion was split as some people hated sweet fragrances and complained that the products made them dizzy. Some on the other hand, like me, loved the variant soooo much. So I think this will receive less polarized reviews as this doesn't smell sweet. This, in a stark contrast, doesn't smell like avocado at all. 

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Korea Diaries Day 4 (September 24, 2016)

Mari 2.0 says hiiiiiii!!! T'was my first time ever to go blonde and I was able to do it when the lovely peeps of Charis brought us to RaBeautyCore for a total makeover session! I had my makeup done in Korean style as well, so watch out for that in this post. But I think the blonde hair is already enough to catch a lot of people's attention hahahaha.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Korea Diaries Day 3 (September 23, 2016)

These mermaid bras are tooooo. cuuuuute. foooor. myyyy. lifeeeee. As in waaay too cute! This is the third installment of my Charis Beautiful Journey experience in Seoul and this episode is filled with lots of very interesting experiences because this is the shopping day in the trip! We got to go to Chuu store and Dr. Althea in Hongdae as well as the Line Friends store in Itaewon! All the stores we went to had very cute interiors and items!

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Korea Diaries Day 2 (September 22, 2016)


And yeahp all that's possible through Charis! Charis treated us bloggers to an unforgettable week in Korea last month and of course I just have to talk about it. 

Before everything, I just want to say that I was able to sneak to a cat café at night look at this cutie patootie

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Korea Diaries Day 1 (September 21, 2016)

So yeah, I was in Korea for a week last month! I was invited to take part in Charis' Beautiful Journey in Seoul. Charis is an influencer based platform that allows bloggers like me to be able to make people experience rare K-beauty products I like in logistically feasible ways. I can go on and on yapping about rare K beauty brands and products, but if it's not feasible for people to own the products then it'd be hard. So that's where Charis steps in. It helps to bridge that gap so that consumers can also try the products. Check out my site!!! 

They treated us to so many products and places while in Seoul that there really is one vlog per day. I also learned a lot about Charis and the brands that they work with, so you'd also see them mentioned here and there. 

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

The Swan, The Fairy, and the Princess

Hoooray for ballet! T'was the second time I watched ballet my whole life. The first time was when Lisa Macuja had a mini show at Star City waaaaay back in 2002 or 2003, and the second time was this ballet. I've never really watched ballets on my own, like on YouTube or whatever. So it was nice to be able to see it live. I am lucky that while this is Ballet Manila, it actually feels like watching a ballet in Russia. I am no ballet expert, but I think that as far as ballet goes, this is as good as it gets here. 

This is The Fairy, The Swan, and The Princess, one of the shows at the 21st show season of Lisa Macuja's Ballet Manila. This is perhaps a very interesting ballet even for seasoned enthusiasts as they combined The Swan Lake, The Nutcracker, and Sleeping Beauty in one 2 hour spectacle. 

I didn't take videos because I personally felt that one should really watch the shows to feel the magic.  Ballet is much more alive when watched live, apparently. The music was played live by Manila Symphony Orchestra under Maestro Alexander Vikulov. There is this warmth and indescribable spark to when the music is played live. It's really an experience that one should try. 

Monday, October 17, 2016

Thailand Diaries 2 (August 9-12, 2016)

Welcome back to another Thailand diary vlog. Soo to recap, I was in Thailand last August for the Karmart Asian Beauty Blogger Contest. I was representing the Philippines to the said competition. And to those who are curious, Karmart is the maker of Cathy Doll.

August 9, 2016
Moving on after the lunch, they had Mayy R come over and do a talk about how she became a blogger. She is very popular in Thailand because she shares a resemblance with SNSD's Yoona. She is an interesting personality because she was so timid here, but on YouTube she has the same energy levels as I do. Even more amusing is I met other Thai bloggers and they're also puzzled about why she's so timid during events despite having such a loud YouTube persona. 

Afterwards, they showed a lot of the commercials Cathy Doll has produced over the recent years. I asked Thai locals, and their notion of Cathy Doll is that it wasn't really such a popular brand until the more recent years when they devoted more budget to hiring big time celebrities to endorse their products as well as making more advertising efforts. There were Cathy Doll billboards wherever I went to in Bangkok-- they were really that serious about advertising. I wasn't able to have the time to watch Thai TV while I was there so I don't know about how frequent their TV ads come up.

And finally, our videos are presented to the guests. This is Ruby's video. Ruby and I tried to be as faithful as possible to the set items provided by Karmart as it was intimated to us that we had to be faithful to the products. In my case, too, even if I wanted to buy other products, there was nowhere to buy from as many products still hadn't come while I was making my videos.

The rules and regulations were quite chaotic to be honest, and when we all got to talk, we realized that many rules were not uniformly communicated. In the first place, there was no written mechanics form made at all. Ruby and I, for instance, thought that we had to be as faithful as possible. We were given crazy eyeshadow colors to work with, so Ruby did a disco look to be faithful, while I piled lipstick over my eyeshadow so that it'd be copper. Others were not given such a rule and bought all the other products they needed, so their looks ended up being more wearable. There was also no specification on number of videos to be made, which made it confusing as well. Some countries' representatives got to have help from professional filming and editing crew, while some countries were able to devote a budget to scouting for a good location to do the tutorial in. Not all countries got to have these perks as it was not properly made uniform. No rule for or against such implements were made.

I was not told of any time limit, and Ruby was told it was 10 minutes. The others didn't know that it was just supposed to be 5 minutes either. To make matters worse, what ensued was a bloody splicing of our videos down to 3 minutes, perhaps in a bid to make it less boring for the press. I honestly cringed when they showed my video because they spliced out so many clips off of it without my permission, and I honestly felt that it was poorly spliced. They took out all the eye makeup details but kept the whole footage of me applying snail cream. It was just the intro, face makeup, then farewell already. It was spliced so poorly. Ruby suffered the worst because her video was at 10 minutes. Angeline from Malaysia suffered a lot, too, as her video was at 7 minutes. This was one of the parts that made me sad because our videos were supposedly the key highlights of the whole contest. These were what were judged, so I felt that due time was supposed to be given to showing them. They could have actually not done the talks or makeup demos as they were just supposed to be supplementary to the showing of our work.

But well, life goes on as Cris Horwang comes to light up the stage. She is one of Thailand's most popular actresses, and when she entered gasps were heard from the Thai visitors. She spoke about the Cathy Doll products that she really likes and how she has always been advocating for the said products regardless of whether it's required in her contract or not.

She really does have pretty skin, and she doesn't seem to wear a lot of makeup. I thought she was a sexy actress given her outfit till people explained to me that deep V-necklines were just the prevailing trends in Thailand at the time.

And finally, it was the live challenge round. We were each made to do drawlots of numbers and of the products we were supposed to do a live review over. Johnstan got number 1 and so he had to bravely be the first to do it. And well, this was much more intense in real life because we only had 5 minutes to do reviews for 3 products. And the 5 minute rule was very very strict there was really a countdown on the projector and on the monitor in front of the stage. Remembering all the products' benefits and being able to demonstrate and talk about them coherently in front of Thai media and press under time pressure really wasn't easy.

Ruby, Jane and Angeline got to be in the first half so they're not nervous here anymore.

This was the moment when the judges were deliberating on who'd win. SuJin is excitedly waiting for the results. She wasn't part of the panel of judges so she had the luxury of not having to make the difficult choice of selecting winners.

And the next thing we know, everybody is onstage with Cris Horwang and Ploy Chermarn. They are very big celebrities of Thailand so the media was in a frenzy during this moment.

So yeah this is me with my 2nd runner up award in front of Ploy Chermarn much wow. I wanted Boy Pakorn to come as well given that the other Cathy Doll endorsers were already there, but he must have not been available. I am actually very amused with the celeb system in Thailand because this barely ever happens in the Philippines. Appearances are normally used as bargaining chips by managers and fees can go up to 1,000,000 pesos just for a celeb to appear at an event. But from what I understand, these celebs came out of their goodwill to support the brand and just went after their other engagements were over.

After the photo op, the media is now in a frenzy to get interviews with the celebs. Nope, these people aren't there for us, they're there for the celebs. Everyone wants to get a good scoop on what's the latest, especially when it comes to the love interests of the celebs.

After our interviews, we were immediately whisked to a banquet hall for our party. The party was started and ended early because everyone's flights was going to be in the afternoon the next day that this night was the only night for most to be able to do some shopping and food tripping.

And we got out of our party clothes and got into shopping mode quickly as the stores were about to close soon.

I forgot the name of this mall, but this store's shoes are so pretty. If I only had the money I would have gotten one of each design from this store.

We also went to the food markets nearby, although I was already so full at this point that I didn't think of buying anything anymore.

We then went to 7/11 to stock up on essentials. I am soooo amused with their whole beauty section. The beauty section has a life of its own and there is virtually a travel sized version of every single cult beauty favorite. Like not just sachets, they really have travel sized versions of powders, mascara, and even BB cushion.

August 10, 2016

This is the photoshoot day! Most of the behind the scenes footage went to my vlogs and this is one of my behind the scenes photos for the advertorial they were making. This contest is in conjunction with Lemonade magazine but I ended up seeing ourselves in Praew and Sudsapda, so I am now understanding that this seems to be an advertorial photoshoot staged by Karmart itself. 

The photoshoot was soooo early. We had to be in the photoshoot prep area by 6:00AM (5AM Manila time) with full makeup and we had our individual shots first before we were able to go for breakfast. I had to change back into my own clothes because the clothes they made us wear were expensive designer garb.

And once the photoshoot was done, I finally got to go to Caturday Cat Café. 

The cats are the cuuuuutest and I took so much footage that it deserves its own blog post.

Since the queen's birthday was nearing, there were beautiful set ups of the queen's portrait everywhere. This is her 84th year, and in the zodiac she has technically finished 7 cycles of 12, which is why this birthday is a little more special than the others.

August 11, 2016
I went to the Grand Palace but not for the grand palace itself but for another reason. 
The real reason is because I wanted to go to the Queen Sirikit museum of textiles. Her Majesty has an ongoing exhibit of her clothes that were designed by Balmain for her during Their Majesties 1960 tour to Europe. Queen Sirikit knew that Thai clothes wouldn't really do it, but she wanted to use the tour to be able to highlight Thai elements and fabrics, so she sought the help of Balmain (and House of Lesage for the beading) to conceptualize clothes that come with a Western style but with a visibly Thai touch.

Photos of the actual exhibit are not allowed, but instead they have books for sale over the exhibit.

The Queen Sirikit museum also has a store, and this is where her books are sold. One of the queen's advocacies from before till now is to uphold Thai traditional arts and crafts, especially the weaving of special Thai fabrics, hence a museum of textiles dedicated to Her Majesty. Her Majesty also advocated for the use of many Thai fabrics otherwise only used by marginalized Thais, all in order to make the fabrics fashionable so that rich investors would have a demand for clothes using these fabrics. The Queen has done a lot to promote fabrics that originally had a stigma for being worn by lowly villagers and has put many of these supposedly forlorn Thai fabrics centerstage in many of her engagements. This has helped to maintain, if not revive, many of the traditional fabric industries in the rural areas of the country.

And just to amuse you, here is Batman in the middle of Bangkok, in front of the grand palace.

Lunch was at Jim Thompson restaurant. He is known as the American who helped cultivate the fine Thai silk industry, but his brand has kind of evolved into an empire. This is perhaps the best Tom Kha Gai I have ever had I am still yearning to go back to Thailand just for this.

I also did some shopping at Platinum shopping mall, although I didn't buy clothes as a lot of them were too small. I instead got myself some nail glitters and some accessories.

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Monday, October 17, 2016

Thailand Diaries 1 (August 8-10, 2016)

Yaaaay, it's only now I got to really write about my Thailand experience here on the blog. The vlogs came much, much earlier! So as you may or may not know, Cathy Doll is already in the Philippines. It's a Thai brand made by Thai beauty giant Karmart, and starting May this year the brand is already formally being distributed here in the Philippines by Lifestrong Marketing. The brand has gone a long way here already, to the point that Cathy Doll is now in most major malls in the metro, and already has selected products available in 7/11 nationwide! The good thing with Lifestrong is that they are no first timers to this whole distributorship thing, so they already knew how to get things going. I am so happy that people didn't have to wait for so long to be able to try Cathy Doll. 

But going back, one of the major things Karmart did this year was to hold a major international beauty blogger contest, with representatives from Thailand, Philippines, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, and China. I joined the Philippine search and eventually ended up as the Philippine representative to compete in Thailand at the Karmart Asian Beauty Blogger Contest last August. We already made our video entries in our own countries, but in Thailand there was still a live challenge round, which is why 'compete in Thailand' is the term. 

And so this is a diary because this is how I documented everything that happened, but in photo form. Since this has always been a blog (I don't really see the site being an online magazine yet), this is really just going to be filled with my thoughts and opinions.

August 8, 2016

There are tonssss of Karmart ads in the airport. For one, here's Mario Maurer and Boy Pakorn. 

The store is tiny but extremely packed with items. Karmart is the official distributor of Missha in Thailand, so the store sells bestselling items of Missha as well as the Line Friends items.

As for why we're here, it's because one of the activities for the event is a shopping spree in the store. Karmart has a lot of brands, not just Cathy Doll. They also have Jejuvita (health supplements), Baby Bright (innisfree dupes), Cathy Choo (premium toiletries), Reunrom Spa Product (spa items with a Thai twist), Crayon (professional makeup), and I'm sure I haven't named everything yet. So they gave us all vouchers to be able to shop here. Initially, we were told that the voucher was going to be 5000 baht, but it became 3000 baht in a latter announcement, and finally, in the store premises, it became 2000 baht. I had intended to buy a lot of items for blog giveaways, but it had to be curbed. I devoted the budget to getting items that aren't in the Philippines yet. I was making tutorials without the most basic items like eyeshadow and BB Cream so I thought I'd use the budget to fix this.

I got myself their eyeshadow singles because they're the best. Like OMG. When I saw the brochure photos of the eyeshadows, I thought that the photos were mere zoom ins for aesthetic effect. But whelp, in real life, the eyeshadows have pans as big as blush pans, and the pigmentation is crazy good. Price is also crazy good because it is 89 baht (like 108 pesos per eyeshadow). But the deal was even crazier when we were there because mother's day was nearing, and so they threw out BOGO deals.

To those who are wondering as to how mother's day can be in August, it's because they celebrate mother's day during Queen Sirikit's birthday. Thai people immensely love Queen Sirikit and the late King Bhumibol (huhu why did he leave Thailand so soon so sad) that their birthdays are mothers' and fathers' days in Thailand, respectively. I am not Thai, but I think I will come to the Thai people's defense against criticisms that they are merely blindly worshipping Their Majesties. The King and the Queen have done many projects over the years covering agriculture, fish breeding, dairy production, road paving, dam building, irrigation, flood control, distance learning, livelihood, rainmaking, among others. Thai people respect the two not because they are the assigned rulers, but because they have devoted their lives to concretely helping their subjects with legit projects.

So yeah, that is the whole explanation why plenty of things were on sale and there were plenty of freebies and promotions when we went to the store.

The others were busy shopping. I finished first if I remember correctly because I already had a good working idea of what I wanted and needed before coming here. I wanted to get their AA Cream (their take on BB Cream, but they call it AA because it's anti acne, anti aging, and automatic aura with the pearl pigments in it). I also wanted to get their eyeshadow singles, highlighters, Missha Line Friends items, powder and cushion blushes, their contour-highlight-blush trio, false eyelashes, and their hand creams. These are the items that weren't in the Philippines yet when I was there, so I thought I'd get them. But now, the landscape is different. You will be shocked with how much Cathy Doll Philippines has in store.

Here is Ruby with her purchases. I loved the photographer guys because they had high energy throughout the whole trip.

And after the shopping, we were brought to dinner. I am sooo happy they spelled my name right. I am so happy whenever my name is spelled correctly because that barely ever happens. I am actually annoyed to death when people call me Marie or pronounce Mari the way people pronounce Marie because it's like a never ending nightmare. People always spell my full name wrong. I've seen Marilyn, Marlene, and Marlin throughout the years. I've also heard people pronounce it as Ma-ri-leh-neh. I began using the nickname Mari in hopes that since Marilyn also starts with Mari, it'd be easier to spell. But still, a lot of people do not pay attention. So I am immensely happy whenever people take the spelling seriously.

We went to this fusion place called Wicked. It's still in the mall complex so it was a short walk from the Karmart store.  As with any other Southeast Asian meal, the appetizer is spring rolls.

We were also served this red pasta (I don't know why it's red, actually) with edamame and an egg. But it was really nice and creamy.

The first dessert that we have in Wicked is this lychee strawberry kind of sherbet. I was already so full at this point because we ate soo much. 

For "legit" dessert, we walked out of to a nearby place called Mango tango for dessert.
Everybody got this mango pudding and ice cream together with a slice of mango. It was interesting to try this given that we are a mango powerhouse, too. Thai mangoes and Philippine mangoes are both sweet but have different flavors. Thai mangoes have this different kick that you know they're Thai. So I think that's why consumers of mangoes are specific about whether it's Thai or Philippine.

One thing that fascinated me about Thailand is their whole concept of having all these mango themed dessert shops that pull in not only tourists but plenty of locals as well. Mango Tango actually does have a lot of competitors, and all of them churn out all sorts of mango themed desserts. Throughout my trip I saw mango with sticky rice, mango ice cream, mango sherbet, mango with shaved ice, mango cake, and the list goes on. As a mango country I would say the Philippines lacks this kind of concept. We see our own home bakers and bakery chains come up with mango offerings, but themed dessert shops almost always seem to fixate towards foreign flavors. I can't name a dessert chain that revolves around mangoes.

This was a cute clothing store by the Mango Tango outlet we went to. After walking back to the vans, we were already whisked back to the hotel because the next day was even more jam packed.

August 9, 2016.

We had to be ready by 10 so that meant that we had to be awake by 8AM (which is 7 in Philippine time) at the latest in order to have had breakfast and be made up by the call time. The buffet has pandan pancakes, which proved to be a favorite as I had this every single day of the trip.

I had clean fish soup with fish balls, went for the Thai pancakes, and had some Indian roti and dishes.

This is the actual event place. The front row was reserved for all of us, and the rows and rows of chairs behind us were reserved for Thailand's top bloggers and members of the press and media.

The event involved a lot of VIP's, so of course, delays were inevitable.

The event was technically about us, so they started off with introductions. This is Ruby from Vietnam introducing herself. She was my roommate and she was very kind. I thank her for tolerating my talkativeness hahaha.

The first main activity was to have Gabby (he is the innovations and marketing executive at Karmart) talk about the new products they have and what makes the new products special. Cathy Doll usually absorbs Korean trends, but they don't merely copy. They usually try to make it better than the original thing that went on trend, which is why they do spend time explaining what's new.

There was a whoooole lot of innovations that Gabby talked about, but perhaps one key thing they now have is their brow tint gels that come in 5 shades. The shades cover all sorts of undertones that people might have for their hair color, which is why I think it's nice. It took the trend and expanded it into something like this.

Wong (the one in black, head of operations at Karmart) and Gabby are busy taking photos of the next segment because they got SuJin Seo to do a makeup demo.

Sujin seems to always do a Tiffany makeup demo (I've seen her do it twice, once in Thailand and once in Korea), but for good reason. SNSD's Tiffany really does epitomize the ideal Kpop idol makeup, and her makeup also embodies a lot of very Korean principles in makeup, which is why she is a good point person to emulate. Sujin is a very popular makeup artist in Korea who is often invited to do makeup for Korean beauty TV shows and the like.

She swears by a lot of the products of Karmart. I did see her do the same demo in Korea and she mentioned a lot of Cathy Doll products in her talk despite not having the items in front of her and not having any requirement to talk about them since she wasn't in a Cathy Doll event at the time. She really does stand by a lot of the products.

Isabel Tan, a popular Singaporean blogger, then did a talk on fashion. She gave tips on how to dress, and how her travels and experiences have shaped the way she views fashion.

Of course, it wasn't just about listening. We were immediately challenged to a fashion challenge. They brought in racks of clothes and gave us like 15 minutes to choose items from the choices and get dressed. This is TianXin talking about her OOTD. 

After we got out of the borrowed clothes, it's finally lunchtime. I wasn't sure if I'd get the chance to have good Tom Yum elsewhere so I already helped myself to a bowl of Tom Yum.

I also got Thai salads, crabsticks, and octopus tentacles. I really miss the Thai salads because they were sooo good. They are also not so easy to make given all the ingredients and spices needed. I also have a hard time finding Thai ingredients because most retailers stop after Tom Yum soup bases and curries.

And this is Ruby taking photos of her meal with Namwarn and Jane behind her. We were all made to wear the same brand shirts, so that's why hahaha.

Stay tuned for part 2!!! We did so many things that 1 blog post is not enough to stuff everything.

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