More and more I find myself gravitating towards neutral lip colors and these two from Mac are the ones I'm reaching for the most: Cosmo (Amplified) and Mehr (Matte).
While these are not really neutrals, but more on the pink side of the spectrum, I find both to be MLBB shades that's wearable everyday compared to my brighter pinks, reds and oranges. 



Left: Cosmo (Amplified) | Right: Mehr (Matte)

Cosmo is a creamy light brown shade that hints ever so slightly of peach with a yummy shiny finish that makes my lips appear plumper, while Mehr is a deeper blue-based pink. The difference in the two is pretty obvious (to me, at least) when I wear them on my lips. But looking at my photos, I was surprised to see that the colors look almost exactly the same! Makes me think that owning both might be a superfluity.


Left: Cosmo (Amplified) | Right: Mehr (Matte)

I love the creamy finish of Cosmo! It's a true MLBB that doesn't wash me out. It glides on smoothly and applies evenly. My only issue is that the color isn't as long wearing. But oh I am so in love with its shiny finish!


Left: Cosmo (Amplified) | Right: Mehr (Matte)
Taken under natural lighting

Mehr is a deeper pink that's a shade away from burgundy when applied heavily. The formulation feels comfortable on the lips and applies evenly, compared to other mattes from Mac like, say, Pink Noveau, which I find to be very drying and difficult to apply.


Left: Cosmo (Amplified) | Right: Mehr (Matte)
Taken indoors

I find Cosmo and Mehr to be MLBBs in spite of not being neutral shades because they strangely look like one's true lip color. They're not screaming divalicious shades, they don't wash you out, and they go with absolutely everything! 
I usually go for Mehr when I have a full day of meetings because it makes for a more polished and professional look, or when I have a ton of work and cannot be bothered with touch ups. Cosmo is my pick for days when I'll just be sitting around the office buried under piles of files.

The boyfriend and I were excited to try out the new pop-up store in Hole in the Wall called Fire in the Hall by Wrong Ramen. We heard they have some really spicy stuff so of course we had to check them out. 

Fire in the Hall serves three (3) noodle soups which can be served in mild, spicy or flaming hotness level: Hot Prawn and Fish Head Laksa, Thai Red Curry with Braised Pork Rib and Korean Army Soup. I was able to try the Hot Prawn and Fish Head Laksa and Thai Red Curry both in flaming hotness level.

Hot Prawn and Fish Head Laksa (PhP390.00) | Hotness Level: Flaming
 I LOVED this! Although I found this lacking in spiciness, everything about this bowl was great!  There was a generous serving of all things I love in my soup-- cilantro, leeks, and chillies-- in rich laksa broth. There were also shrimps, fishcake, clams, sprouts and an entire fish head staring up at me.
Other than creepy fish head, I enjoyed every bit and drop of this hearty noodle soup which I paired with Procrastination Pale Ale by Pedro Brew Crafters.

Thai Red Curry with Braised Pork Rib (PhP390.00) | Hotness Level: Flaming
The Thai Red Curry shared the same tonkotsu base, and was served with the same nice bouncy hakata noodles and generous heap of leeks, chilies, sprouts. This one, though, was served with okra, tofu and had a slightly minty taste.  
While we liked that this was loads spicier, I prefer the Fish Head Laksa. The pork in the Thai Curry was tender but fatty in a way that turned me off so I couldn't finish my bowl even if I came to HITW starving. 

Fire in the Hall will only be at HITW until December 2015. I'm not sure if they will be replaced by another pop-up store in 2016, or if a more permanent joint will be taking over. I am really hoping that there will be a series of pop-up stores at HITW. That will be really exciting. It'll be refreshing to have new food items there every so often. 
Wagyu Japanese Beef is a hole-in-the-wall tucked in the back portion of Sunvar Building along Amorsolo. This joint is hidden from the road, so don't expect to be able to spot it while you're driving.

First things first. Call ahead and make reservations. This place is tiny and can only seat about 12 people on the first floor. For dinner reservations, they can accommodate diners in 2 batches: 6-8pm and 8-10pm.

Our table for two was tiny! To not crowd our table too much, we decided to order one item at a time starting with this beautiful melt-in-your mouth Wagyu Sashimi (Omi) (PhP990.00).
It was so smooth and so crazy good! Hands down my favorite for the night. Eating the meat this way lets you really taste the delicate and mildly sweet flavor of the meat.
Wagyu Sashimi (Omi) | PhP990.00
Next we had the Steamed Tenderloin (Kago) (PhP1,375.00) which was served with some steamed vegetables. I also enjoyed this extremely. Every single bite was flavorful and fatty, but not too rich to the point of being too overwhelming.
Steamed Tenderloin (Kago) | PhP1,375.00
Next we tried the Stone Grilled Ribeye (Kago) (PhP1,595.00)
 and the Stone Grilled Karubi (Standard) (PhP777.00). We got two orders of stone grilled meat because E loved it so much. Personally though, I prefer the steamed wagyu.

Whenever I get to choose the doneness of my meat, I'll always have it medium rare. In this case, I think it was a mistake to do that. I should have let the meat cook a wee bit longer on the stone grill considering that these were bigger hunks of meat, hence, bigger slabs of fat. 
When we were on our second stone grilled dish, it began to taste too much and too fatty for me haha.
Stone Grilled Ribeye (PhP1,595.00) and Karubi (PhP777.00)
And of course we had to have sake! We had a bottle of draft Sake Hakutsuru (PhP450.00) and another of Open Bottle (PhP550.00)

Oh and we also ordered Crushed Okra with Konbu (PhP154.00) and Green Salad (PhP374.00) as our anti-umay precaution. E loved the Crushed Okra and easily finished two orders. On my part, I treated the veggies as what they truly are-- side shows to main event that is the glorious wagyu.



I visited the Beauty Bar looking for lightweight and natural every day make up to switch to. The shop's beauty consultant recommended these two (2) products: Smashbox's Camera Ready BB Cream (PhP1,900.00) and Photo Set Pressed Powder (PhP1,500.00), which I both purchased in the shade Light.


The Camera Ready BB Cream is exactly what I asked for. It is lightweight, has light to medium coverage, has great texture that's easy to apply and blend. moisturizing and looks very much like my real skin. A little of this product is enough to cover the mild redness I have around my nose and even out my skin tone.

I LOVED it!!! For the first couple of weeks anyway. After the honeymoon phase, I noticed that it made my t-zone oily after about 3 hours. During the first couple of hours, I'd have beautiful dewy skin. After 3rd hour, my t-zone would be too dewy to the point of looking oily.

I have combination skin, but I never had issues with oil control with my other BB creams or foundations. A layer of dusting powder and the Photo Set Pressed Powder does not help keep the oil at bay :( I wouldn't recommend this for ladies who are looking for some serious oil control power in their makeup.


The Photo Set Pressed Powder has a beautiful formulation- very fine, feels silky on my face and glides on smoothly. However, I don't feel that it does a lot to help control oil (due to the Camera Ready BB Cream *sigh*) and is FAR from being matte. I feel that the powder only sits on my face, without really blending into my skin. 

It does photograph beautifully, though. No chalky white cast. 


Overall, I'd recommend these products for the dry-skinned. 
While they are not ideal for my combination skin, the formulation didn't cause me any break outs, didn't crease or settle into my fine lines and don't have obnoxious smell. It's a shame these didn't work well on me since Smashbox's formulation for these two are awesome (and because these were not cheap!).

Even though the BB cream makes my t-zone look oily, I feel like I can learn to love it more than the pressed powder. I simply LOVE how the BB cream looks and feels on my face! During the first couple of hours after application anyway :p
On the other hand, the pressed powder only feels nice against my skin, but sadly, does not do anything to even wow me a little bit.
I'm a coffee-fueled working girl who needs a cup of joe to get me started in the morning. While Starbucks is most definitely everywhere and third wave coffee shops are slowly entering our local coffee scene, sometimes I just find it a lot easier and faster to grab a cup from the fast food joint beside my office building or that convenience store I pass everyday on my way to work. It's just a more convenient and fuss-free way to get caffeine into my bloodstream. 
Here's my little list of coffees from various fast food chains and my two cents on them which I started for my own benefit so I know exactly what to expect when getting brews below a hundred pesos (and which ones to avoid!): 


1. KFC a.m. Premium Coffee
Price: PhP30
Serving Suggestion: 1 packet of sugar and creamer
Boldness: 3/5
Sweetness: 2.5/5
Strength: 3/5 medium

Slightly sweet roasted flavor with a hint of nuttiness. Slightly acidic.
I like this because it's a slightly sweeter brewed coffee, with medium strength.

2. McDonald's Roast Coffee
Price: PhP25
Serving suggestion: 1 packet of sugar, 2 of creamer
Boldness: 1.5/5
Sweetness: 1/5
Strength: 3.5/5

Tastes very bland and watery (although I just might have been served from a bad pot), but surprisingly strong. I use 2 packets of creamer for this because I feel that the creamer helps bring out the flavor. I feel the kick almost immediately and even before I finish my cup. It does not have the boldest flavors or most distinguished notes, but if you're looking for something to kick start your morning, this works.

3. Jollibee Premium Brew
Price: PhP31
Serving Suggestion: 1 packet of sugar, 2 of creamer
Boldness: 2/5
Sweetness: 1/5
Strength: 4/5

Pretty strong at my usual 1 packet of sugar and creamer. Good brew with a slightly robust kick in the end.
I appreciate that they have a tiny tape to cover the small opening on the lid of the coffee cup to prevent the brew from getting cold. Good job, Jollibee.




4. Dunkin Donuts Original Brew

Price: a medium cup is PhP35, while a large one is at PhP45

Very watered down.  No distinct smell or taste.  Lousy packaging too. Their cup is incredibly cheap and flimsy.










5. 711 Americano

Very watered down. I will probably give it another go just to check if they really serve bland coffee, or if I just got  served from a bad brew that one time.

6. 711 Brewed Coffee
Price: PhP29 for a medium cup
Serving Suggestion: 1 packet of  sugar, 1 of creamer
Boldness: 1.5/5
Strength: 2/5

At 2 packets of cream, flavor is almost zero. No sexy aroma too.


7. Family Mart Cafe Americano

Price: PhP55 (small)
Serving Suggestion: 1 packet of creamer, 1 of sugar

They were out of creamer during my visit so they poured (a tad too much) milk instead, which made my coffee taste a bit too sweet. Slightly roasted flavor, slightly acidic.

Decent brew, and great packaging.

8. Kenny Rogers Brewed Coffee

Price: PhP60.00

Really a sad excuse for coffee. It was bland as hell and extremely watered down.