✨ Nectar 🌱 Hangover Cure Face Oil (I made my own skin thing lookie ♡)

Nectar Hangover Cure was so christened after I woke up one morning after using it, having only had four hours of sleep, a midnight snack of chocolate mug cake, and- I’m ashamed to admit- only four glasses of water the day prior. And yet looking in the mirror, I was radiant. I should have looked a wreck. Though the bags under my eyes were present, they more closely resembled the coveted aegyo-sal “cute eye fat” than they did hollow eyes. I cheated my way to 8 hours of sleep and 8 glasses of water a day ✨

Used in the daytime, my glow was such that I didn’t need to use highlighter for that lit-from-within effect. [Also, one must always try to achieve the optimal level of glow through skincare rather than makeup, to achieve the most natural je ne sais quoi.] In the history of cosmetics, plant-based oils were most popularly used by the ancient Egyptians to boost circulation and deliver antioxidants to their skin to defend against sun and sand damage. Ahem, it’s time to give Cleopatra a run for her money.

Self-care and beauty in my book is all about the experience, and it certainly was an experience handcrafting this for myself, my friends, and my family. I’m in love with the old-world, floral//herbaceous scent and rich oil feel of Nectar, and the creation process was particularly exciting. Knowing that I’ve stuffed this with only the highest quality ingredients, skipped the fillers, and formulated this to suit skin types in the Philippine climate, I’m excited to share this potent, luxurious skin food from garden to shelf with everyone!

Nectar Hangover Cure Face Oil is a potent, organic, cruelty-free beauty serum of natural antioxidants, vitamins, and essential amino acids- loaded with all sorts of skin boosting nutrients. This plant-based hydrating serum works to soothe skin and promote overnight rejuvenation- whether you were up till the crack of dawn for midterms, vodka or Netflix. Wake up with tighter, radiant, and balanced skin.

African marigolds help to repair skin damage and irritation, and reduce itchiness, sensitivity, and dryness. This works wonders on eczema and dermatitis. It encourages skin healing by strengthening the moisture barrier, thereby protecting skin from photo-aging, free radical irritation, and other environmental stressors.

golden jojoba oil. argan oil. apricot seed oil. AFRICAN MARIGOLD extract. mulberry fruit extract. lavender extract. jasmine flower extract. rosa damascena essential oil. English lavender essential oil. immortelle essential oil. vitamin E oil.

This infusion also has antibacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-inflammatory properties. [Don’t worry acne-prone loves, this is non-comedogenic and works to soothe breakouts, not exacerbate them!] It even balances sebum production, making this suitable for all skin types. I took care to use the lightest base oils (golden jojoba, argan oil, apricot seed oil) possible to suit the humid//tropical climate. Oily skin types can use Nectar alone or mixed into gel moisturizers; I love it with Celeteque Hydration- it’s my holy grail recommendation from Watsons. Dry skin types can add a few drops to their thicker moisturizers for the antioxidant boost.

A lot of love, research, and patience went into this bottle; from sourcing ingredients, growing and harvesting the plants, drying the marigolds and lavender, studying the chemistry, sterilizing tools and containers, experimenting with formulation, testing for adverse reactions on myself and on my family, but at last Nectar is ready ♡ I’m finally an albularyo.

*For any fellow witch doctors out there, this process is simultaneously easier and more difficult than you’d expect. Challenges include: growing your plants for the best and most bountiful yields; fighting off hordes of pests- those damned slugs and snails won’t give me a moment’s rest in this monsoon season. I lost half of my marigolds to snails a few weeks ago; drying herbs with this humidity- I’ve tried it all: oven drying, sun drying, silica gel, and dehydrators; sterilization is more than washing with soap and water; measuring ingredient quantities requires beakers, graduated cylinders, pipettes, a weighing scale… It’s a ride, let me tell you. But the results are well worth it.

*plant-based *handcrafted *cruelty-free *organic *raw *small-batch *skin-food *clean *no-filler-ingredients

I only produce this in small quantities to ensure high quality infusion. And because I can only harvest a little bit at a time, to keep my plants happy and healthy.

Walking the streets of Paris

Before I get lynched, this trip happened in March 2019, a full year before the corona virus swept the world in full force. I apologize in advance if this post awakens in you a hunger to get tf out of your four walls and off to Paris. I know I’m itching to do so.

Had a wonderful cold-brew from Bo’s Coffee whilst waiting for our flight. I asked the barista to leave out the disposables, promising to circle back and get this mug back to them as soon as I finished (there was no room left to sit by the bar. It takes a bit of effort, but it’s these little changes that will really make a difference in reducing our consumption of single-use plastics. Please be mindful consumers, everyone!

This map of the Paris was actually a few years old, saved from my 2016 trip. I thought it’d come in handy. Again, every little bit helps. (Or maybe I’m just a hoarder.)

We were mistaken for Chinese tourists constantly during this trip, and were unfortunately subject to a number of dirty looks- presumably because of this. I didn’t understand until we neared a Louis Vuitton store to find scores of mainland tourists all but camped outside the luxury stores, taking up the sidewalks. I can see how the locals could find this bothersome, but it was rather intimidating for us to go around.

Thankfully, we were lucky enough to find kind people whenever we needed directions or assistance. They may seem cold on the metro and in Champs-Élysées (by the luxury stores), but in truth: the French are just not outwardly warm people. Don’t be shy to ask for help when needed, most people will be very accommodating. They’re happier when you speak to them in French (or try, pathetically); it’s heartwarming when a foreigner makes an effort to learn your language and culture.

Gaumont Opéra, 9e arrondissement, Mar 2019
Porte Saint-Denis, 10e arrondissement, Mar 2019

It’s amazing how everywhere you turn in Paris, theres another new landmark you’ve never heard about- just waiting to be discovered. The inscription Ludovico magno reads “To Louis the Great”. Looking it up now, I’ve learned that this Porte Saint-Denis is one of the four triumphal arches still standing in Paris. Designed by François Blondel in the 17th century, the arch was raised in honor of Louis XIV for crossing the Rhine, the Waal, the Meuse, and the Elve rivers, conquering 3 provinces, capturing 40 strongholds, and taking the city of Utretch (Netherlands)- all within 60 days.

H&M rue Lafayette et boulevard Haussmann, 9e arrondissement, Mar 2019
Opéra Garnier, 9e arrondissement, Mar 2019
Opéra Garnier, 9e arrondissement, Mar 2019

Finally, for the love of my life. The Opéra Garnier was built in 1875 under Emperor Napoleon III’s rule and designed by a then little-known architect, Charles Garnier. Taking a good 15 years of construction amidst the Franco-Prussian War, the Siege of Paris, the Paris Commune, the ultimate fall of France’s second Empire, and the 1973 fire, she is a sparkling jewel in testament to Paris’ resilience in the face of a century of civil unrest. This was a haven for the bourgeoisie of French society in the late 19th century. More than being a grand stage for the performing arts, the Opera was a place to see and be seen; a symbol of wealth and power. It was a palace, a temple, an administrative center; a place where money was king.

Today, the Opera still houses the Paris ballet, and it is my dream to attend a gala. Unfortunately, we didn’t have the time to do so on this trip, and my dream will have to wait a while longer. I grew up enchanted by the Phantom of the Opera, and always fall head over heels for Eric every time I see it. Would that I could be an opera diva in 19th century Paris, the object of infatuation for a tortured, beautiful prodigy. [Ramin Karimloo and Sierra Boggess are the most captivating leads to take the stage of this production, ever. Watch the 25th Anniversary performance- and then get back to me with your thoughts, I beg of you.]

Just doing my happy dance.
I was born in the wrong century.

Merci pour le vin pas cher, mon cher Paris. Wishing I were drunk on Paris, and drunk in Paris, encore. Next time, I won’t be passing up the opportunity to attend the Opera.

Here’s hoping this little taste of travel and romance brings you joy or hope during these trying times. Stay safe, and healthy. (And please wear a damned face mask.)


SKIN ROUTINE 🌖🕯 Nightly Detox

I’m a firm disciple of self-indulgence. Living in a city as polluted, humid, crowded, and chaotic as QC and coupling this with the unhealthy college lifestyle, I tend to burn out very quickly. A few hours out is my threshold. I like to spend most of my time in my little sanctuary, located deep in the heart of my apartment complex. In my room, it feels as though the world is a whole universe away. Typhoons have come and go without my being any the wiser. Hell, the zombie apocalypse could happen and I’d still be in my room, LUSH face mask tingling away, and still trying to get FoodPanda delivered to my doorstep.

This post is a love letter (and guide) to self-indulgence. I’m so glad that the emergence of the 8-step Korean skincare routine has given me an excuse to extend the length of my own pampering ritual. (Am I using too many products, mom? I can’t be. Look, the Koreans are doing it too!) I recently discovered a term that illustrates this perfectly: metox. Continue reading “SKIN ROUTINE 🌖🕯 Nightly Detox”

Spring Favorites 2018 🦋🍃🌼🍑

Hi everyone! It’s been almost a year, I think, since I lasted posted. I hope you’ve all been doing well.

Today I’d like to share with you my favorite things of the season! (Note that by ‘spring’, I really just mean the slightly less hot weather in the Philippines which converts to a temperature of about 28-31℃ during the day.)

Continue reading “Spring Favorites 2018 🦋🍃🌼🍑”

Notes on Air Travel

It’s been less than 24 hours since I’ve been on home soil. The food is free, the air is clean, and the parents are generous. This is a post I wrote up whilst on the plane. I’ve put some helpful tips and reminders together that may help you when preparing for your next flight! (Photos from my Instagram story.)

Continue reading “Notes on Air Travel”

Contour and Highlight Staples

Everyone’s got bloated days. Either you stayed up until 4 in the morning ugly-crying over the Goblin (도깨비) season finale, had just one beer too many at your local watering hole, or pulled an all-nighter to finish a paper you started hours before the deadline- you’ve been afflicted with siopao face. (For those who are unaware, a siopao is a steamed bun.) I just wanted to quickly talk about what products I’ve been using to make my face look more human before I go out! Continue reading “Contour and Highlight Staples”

Story Time: Lost My Passport in Seoul

The recent monsoon in Seoul has finally come to an end. Though I live for rainy days, it does get hard to run daily errands (ahem, shopping) when the torrential downpour prevents you from making it five minutes outside without looking like a drowned rat. Having had nothing to write about as of late, I thought it might be a good idea to transfer a short anecdote I’d posted on Facebook during my trip to Korea last April. This won’t be a long read, but I do hope it will be an entertaining one! Continue reading “Story Time: Lost My Passport in Seoul”

Brunching in Hongdae

There’s just something about brunch that sets it apart from other meals. The easy chatter, light flavors, and choice of menu all contribute to a warm ambiance so characteristic of brunch. It always makes me feel like I’ve started the day right. (You know, instead of inhaling last night’s slice of pizza or having a red velvet cupcake for breakfast.)

I was naturally quite excited when my friend- and supervisor- Camille asked me out to brunch on a lazy Sunday morning. The two of us agreed to meet up at the small cafe I had pointed out only a few days prior.  I’d noticed a line of at least seven people waiting patiently outside Butter Milk’s (버터밀크) storefront. With it being a mere five minutes away from my boarding house, I knew I had to give it a try.

Continue reading “Brunching in Hongdae”

Seoul: What to Prepare Before You Fly Out

So you’ve got your tickets, booked that Airbnb, and made sure your luggage fits well within the bounds of standard weight allowance. But before you bring yourself to sign up for “city tours” or “tourist packages”, consider taking the challenge of facing the alien streets of Seoul without a forever-grinning guide with a microphone urging you on like a flock of sheep to the next stop on the itinerary.

Seoul may not be as easy to traverse as Manila (as Koreans normally speak less English than Filipinos do), but it’s certainly a piece of cake given adequate preparation. These are the things you’ll need to have on you during your trip (particularly for the monsoon season)!

Continue reading “Seoul: What to Prepare Before You Fly Out”

Korean Skin Care Products I’ve Been Testing

Good afternoon everybody! It’s a rainy Sunday in Seoul. Danbee mentioned that a monsoon will be with us for about a week or two so we can expect some more days of warm coffee and overcast skies. Most people dislike this kind of weather, but I thrive on gloomy days. It’s the closest a tropical specimen such as myself can get to wintry snow days. You know, the kind of day when the snow piles up so high that the city cancels school and you get to just light some candles, put on a facemask, bring out the hot cocoa and watch movies in bed.

Anyway, today I will be sharing the skin care items I recently purchased in Olive Young and Watsons to handle my skin’s freak-out in response to the change of weather. Continue reading “Korean Skin Care Products I’ve Been Testing”