Asian Secrets Lulur Indonesian Whitening Body Scrub


The kind peeps of Asian Secrets sent me a tub of their body scrub and herbal soap for promotion of their month-long sale, and I figured why not squeeze in a quick review of the product. I'm in no way an expert when it comes to these things but I can safely say naman na I'm no stranger to it. I do indulge in a body scrub every once in a while, a little pamper yourself session (mostly it's a combo of scrub for my face and body and hot oil for my hair) on a Saturday night when I want to stay longer in the shower after a tiring work week. But I'm not very particular about the brand, I just use whatever's available (aka what my mom bought).

I've never tried any Asian Secrets product before but I do know about it because of their TVCs that featured Solenn Heusaff.



After a bit of researching online, I was pleased to know that a lot of bloggers recommend this product. All the more I was excited to try this brand out. For this post, I was able to use the scrub on my hands only. I will update this blog entry as soon as I've used it overall and if there were really skin lightening on my elbows and knees (though other beauty bloggers swear by this body scrub!)


Thoughts about it at a glance:

The Pluses:
  • Scent: Somewhere in between spa-like and soapy. I love it actually because it's relaxing and you smell so squeaky clean afterwards!
  • Texture: Creamy consistency but not sticky at all. This one's very easy to apply and evenly spread throughout the skin. The beads were really fine and not harsh to the skin. I remember using scrubs before that left my skin feeling raw and itchy when dry. 
  • After effects: My skin felt really soft and supple, to my surprise, instantly after use. No feeling of skin tightness or irritation. (I read that while you can use it on wet skin, it's more effective when applied to dry skin.) 
  • Availability: Asian Secrets Lulur Indonesian Whitening Body Scrub is available at all leading drugstores, personal care stores and supermarkets nationwide. They're even available on Lazada now!

The Minuses:
  • None so far. It's supposed to reduce skin pigmentation in areas prone to darkening but I have yet to find out if it's true. 

If you're after a quality product that's on the affordable side or thinking of kick-starting a skin regimen, Asian Secrets is a great place to start. It's a no-fuss brand that gives you instant results. I was surprised with how soft my skin turned out after initial use! I'm definitely sticking around to see it even out my skin tone, not much on the overall lightening part, since I'm fine with my skin color.

Have you used any Asian Secrets product before? What do you think?


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Good news! Asian Secrets is at 30% off this month!

Exclusively for this month of May, all Asian Secrets products are on a 30% price off! Yes, you read that right. ALL Asian Secrets products—from its whitening dry body scrub variants to its herbal soaps and facial washes —are on a nationwide sale!


Included in this month-long sale are your Asian Secrets favorites: the Asian Secrets Green Tea Whitening Dry Body Scrub (now only PhP 95.55 from PhP 136.50 for a 250g tub), which removes dead skin cells and whitens skin; Asian Secrets 2-in-1 Anti-Pimple and Whitening Face & Body Herbal Soap (now only PhP 20.30 from PhP 29), a sulit bar soap that combines the efficacy of antibacterial turmeric, pimple-drying tea tree oil, and skin-healing mangosteen. These top faves and all other Asian Secrets products are on sale, so it’s definitely time to achieve the kinis-puti skin you’ve always wanted.

The 30% price off promo runs from May 1 to 31. For more information, visit Asian Secrets' official Facebook page.

Yay + Nay: Single/Single and Forever Sucks


I'm not much of a TV person, so any show or series I follow are mainly recommended by friends or those I find on the Internet. So when it comes to local series, I really know of none (well, yes, On the Wings of Love but I mainly watched it online). After OTWOL ended last February, I looked for something I could binge watch and something with the same flavor because, you know, we all need a happy pill to get through all this adulting. Haha.

YAY: Single / Single


So in love with this mini-series by Cinema One that is so relatable on so many levels. Single/Single is a romantic comedy show that tackles the lifestyle and struggles of 20-something singles in this crazy, modern and fast-paced world. (#urbansurvivalguide) It's tailor-made for the young Pinoys and frankly, I've never seen anything else that hits so close to home. I don't know how I could emphasize more that it's a reflection of the lives of young professionals in all shapes and sizes right now. It doesn't get more contemporary that this! I truly related to Joee's (Shaina Magdayao) dilemmas on the aspects of career and romance, Joey's (Matteo Guidicelli) "spend like there's no tomorrow but there actually is, so now I am broke" attitude, and Ranee's (Anna Luna) frugality (one of the best points of this show IMO) and passion and obsession with Piolo Pascual (see how insanely I find this relatable? SEEEEEEE?)

I had doubts about Shaina and Matteo's chemistry but I was really impressed. It's like the entire cast is one big barkada in real life with how smooth their dynamic was. They'll be starting their second season this coming Sunday (May 15, 2016), 10:00 PM at Cinema One. Just found out the greatest news that JC Santos will be part of the sophomore season so that's another reason to watch it. If you want to keep up and see the first season muna, go to PhilstarTV.com!


YAY and a little bit NAY: Forever Sucks


I found about Forever Sucks while browsing JC Santos' Instagram account and decided to give it a go. It's a web series made by D5 Studio about a (wait for it!) vampire named Izabel (Jasmine Curtis-Smith) trying to fit in this world by being a call center agent. Before you flip tables, please hold your horses. I know the vampire story line has been used a lot of times to the point of exhaustion, but Forever Sucks had this cute but not overkill vibe that makes it okay. Izabel and TL Tony (JC Santos) are cute to watch, I can't help but break into a smile when they have scenes together (also, his Kit Harington-like hair). I've seen almost all the webisodes (skipped two, I think) and while it's, yes, entertaining to watch when I'm bored, there were some scenes that I felt were cringe worthy and there were some that's unnecessary ('nosebleed' scene while talking to a customer? I thought we're already past this. Hehe.)

I liked the friendship and acceptance side of Forever Sucks, it felt really warm and genuine. But my favorite episode though would be the sixth one because TL Tony damn nailed it. Hahaha.

It's available online, so you'd only need an internet connection to watch this. I truly hope the storyline develops into something more out of the vampire box so people would be more inclined to watch. It's 10 minutes per episode, so yes, take a bite, it's alright. 😊 Watch all 12 episodes here.

***

And I guess, for me, the greatest bonus to discovering these new shows was more exposure to local music. I've never listened to Never The Strangers before until their song, Sabay, which was featured in Single/Single. I discovered more beautiful tracks from Ourselves the Elves and Reese Lansangan, and fell in love with Rusty Machines' Can't Hardly wait, thanks to Forever Sucks! 😊


Now Playing: John Paul White - See If I Care

Photo from SingleLock.com

My The Civil Wars loving heart skipped a few beats when I noticed that there was some activity on John Paul White's Twitter account earlier last month: he changed his default photo and removed his bio, which previously said: "I am a War." Though I was internally screaming at the turn of events, it could just be out of whim. Nothing official. He just wanted to change his photo and move on from being a half of that duo.

After the band's break up last 2014 (and my life was a bit sadder since then), JP left all his social media accounts untouched. The two cited "internal discord" as the reason for the split but neither spoke about it in black and white. Joy gave vague answers to interviews and JP maintained his distance from everything. He resurfaced early 2015 for this interview regarding his new indie label, Single Lock Records. Joy Williams then released a solo album, Venus. The first single off of it was titled "What a Good Woman Does," and Joy confirmed this is about TCW's break up and that yes, there were a couple of songs about John Paul. As for John Paul, if I dig hard enough online, I find some photos of him making appearances on some events.

I think he likes giving people like me mini heart attacks because he made music (bless the heavens) and was part of the second season of True Detective's soundtrack. If you've seen the series, you would agree with me that he's perfect to be making music for them. And last November, he made an unexpected intimate performance at The Mothlight with The Secret Sisters. He sang 11 new songs plus Simple Song which was part of the compilation, Southern Family. (How dare you be silent all this time and just pop out of nowhere with 11 new songs! How dare you, John Paul White!)

Thankfully, someone was able to video the entire set and share to us once again the beautiful and sad music of John Paul White. I've only learned about the whole thing late last month, so I'm still in that state of perpetual excitement. I love how everyone present in the room with him seemed to be quiet and holding their breath while he sang, there's tension in the air and you're torn if you're really ready to hear his words once again. (At least that's how I would've felt if I was there. Haha.)

You may watch the entire performance here.

In See If I Care (my favorite out of the bunch), the piano ballad with hardly any guitar-playing opens with a whole lot of indifference:
See if I care / See if I give a damn what kind of man you really think I am
One of those guys who'd look for you everywhere 
Don't kid yourself / See if I care

But as the song went on, it's apparent that he, in reality, may still care. It reminded me of the song Lately by The Helio Sequence so much. There's a bit of anger in it and by the end of the song, the longing is very evident. I could picture him penning the song, talking to the memory of his past lover. 
See if I care / See if it moves me
You at my door wanting to hold me
I've moved on and you are not really there
So just come on in / See if I care

His silence all this time translated into beautiful songs of heartache. Maybe this is his way of speaking about the past issues. Or maybe not. We won't really know. There's always a lot of different ways interpretations of songs go. This type of music is what's been missing in my life for a long while now. And I honestly thought I would never hear anything again from John Paul. I finally have a chance to see The Civil Wars in person, although not together anymore. Either way, it still definitely works for me. Somehow, with John Paul returning to the music scene made my world a-ok again. I think it would take a bit of time getting used to that, I still can't fully wrap my mind about it.

And to make things official, two nights ago, JP updated his Facebook page as well. He posted a photo of his guitar (with his dog at the background) with the caption:

Hello. I hope this finds you well.
I know it's been a while.
We've got some catching up to do.
John Paul

***

To be updated about his touring dates, visit his website here.

Note: See If I Care is not the official title of the song. No song titles were given during his first public performance.

Loops & Links



It's time once again to share these links that have been bookmarked for so long. Most of these clickables I've got from Facebook (thank heavens for the Save Link feature), I usually flag a whole lot of links every time I browse my News Feed to be saved for future reading. But I realize now that I kinda suck at that, looking at how many links I've managed to save and forget about altogether. Haha.

Anyway, I hope you find these links as useful and informative as I did!

1. 15 best films about failed love. Because falling and staying in love requires conscious effort and will not always be a walk in the park, and sometimes, it was never meant to last. I've seen more than half of these movies, a lot of them are my favorites: The Lobster, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Blue is the Warmest Color and the Wong Kar Wai ones. As Frou Frou's song goes: So let go. Jump in. Oh well, what are you waiting for? It's alright 'cause there's beauty in the breakdown.

2. Grilled Strawberry Cheesecake Sandwich recipe. I don't like strawberries (the actual fruit) because I think they're just to sour to enjoy (but I like when it's in the form of ice cream, dips, yogurt, the works) but this sandwich just looks too damn good, I wanna make one right now.

3. The Ultimate Guide to Font Pairing. So happy to stumbled upon this article because putting fonts on blog post headers are the death of me sometimes! I always wanted that sleek, simple font but I end up putting too tacky and distracting ones. If you're running your own blog too, this would be of big help design-wise!

4. 10 Things You Can Learn From Your Future Self. I know this isn't new and you've probably read a thousand articles like this, but I've been having realizations lately and it's nice to be reminded once in a while of how things really do get better eventually and that you'll find your place in this world. Hey, if things are at a shitstorm right now, it will pass and everything will work out! I promise you that!

5. DIY Light Box for those beautiful photos!


6. Everything You Need to Know about Beyonce's Lemonade. Last weekend, Beyonce shocked everyone and dropped her latest full length album, Lemonade, along with a short film, which totally reminded me of Kanye's Runaway back in 2010. Fortunately for me, I was able to watch the hour-long film even though I'm not on Tidal, and OMG how intense that movie was! I was raw and in your face that makes you feel hurt, sad, vengeful, scared and at peace. It was a smorgasbord of beautiful visuals and off the roof emotions!

7. If you're an Android user, you might find this link helpful if (God forbid) you lost your phone. I've always heard and saw on friends that are Apple users how they track their lost phones and even locking it so it would be no use to the thieves but never knew anything to that effect for us Android users. 

8. Because Iceland will always be that place I yearn to set foot on everyday.



"I can tell you from experience the effect you have on others is the most valuable currency there is. Everything you gain in life will rot and fall apart, and all that will be left of you is what was in your heart. You will only ever have two choices: love or fear. So many of us choose our path out of fear disguised as practicality. Choose love, and don't ever let fear turn you against your playful heart."

Zomato #FoodieMeetUp: Lucky's Burger & Bar


I always pass by the rows of restaurants inside McKinley Hill coming home from work the past year. And though I lived within the vicinity, I've never tried any of the restos (well, except the usual fast food joints when I have food delivered). Lucky's Burger and Bar always piqued my interest as well as Les Bagels and Planet Grapes. Luckily, the latest foodie meetup I attended for Zomato was held at Lucky's!

I wasn't supposed to go anymore because things that needed to be done concerning our condo that day was waaaay behind schedule already, but Trisha of Zomato was kind enough to extend her hours and wait until I came. (Thank you, Trisha!)

I was met with a few remaining foodies, which stayed a while to have a little chit-chat with Lucky's owner and the marketing peeps of Zomato present that afternoon. There was so much food just for me! ◉_◉ I wasn't prepared for this! Haha!

Look at this spread! O_O

First up, Lucky Burger. 1/3 chargrilled all beef patty, served with American cheddar cheese, streaky bacon, crisp lettuce, sliced tomato, sliced grilled onions on a bun with Lucky's signature burger dressing. Being named after the restaurant, I was expecting this to be a hit. And it is. This burger is enough reason to pay them a visit. The patty was tender and moist and had that smokey taste. I loved the grilled onion and cheddar cheese in it! Gave that extra oomph in the dimension of flavors. Very tasty and filling. The fries were crispy but nothing too out of the box.


I'm not really a fan of salpicao so I don't know if this was great or not. The chunks of beef were very tender and the dish was super garlicky (which is a plus for me)! I loved the pieces of fried garlic peppered all over the dish. Yum! I just found it a bit weird to be pairing this with bread since everybody I know eats salpicao with rice. (The Beef Salpicao is classified under Starters in their menu so I guess that's the reason.)


UGH. Lucky Bacon Chips! ლ(´ڡ`ლ) One of the best things I've had the pleasure of eating as of late! Hahaha! Already drooling for it as soon as I laid my eyes on that beautiful and sinful grub. It's thin, crispy, crunchy and surprisingly filling! My second favorite out of all the food I had from their menu that day! Although I think it could use a little more flavor, bacon is bacon. I still enjoyed munching on this treat, most especially every time I dunk it into that vinegar dip! Would definitely visit again soon to have this and drinks with friends!


I was able to sample both Aglio e Olio and Creamy Mushroom Truffle Pasta, but since I am more team cream-based when it comes to this staple Italian food, I enjoyed eating the latter more. I thought the pasta was cooked perfectly, not soggy nor undercooked, and the sauce was not too "heavy," which is what I observed with other restaurants -- when the sauce tends to overpower the dish, making it nakakaumay after a few bites. There was that subtle earthy undertone in the flavor, and the shaved parmesan cheese was a nice touch both aesthetically and in taste.


And my el paborito that day: Lucky Chops! I was dead set that the Bacon Chips would be the one that stole my heart, until I sank my teeth on this delicious slab. I've read other reviews that they found this a little tough, but it was perfect for me. It was really savory and well-seasoned, and every bite, it just tasted more and more delicious. I'm not pulling your leg here. It was really how I felt the entire time I was eating it. The chops were of right tenderness, it was juicy and flavorful! And this was the only dish I managed to finish even though I am quite full from tasting all the other food. Would come back for this in a heart beat!


Lucky's Burger & Bar's Brownie Loco was divine! It was served to me warm and fresh! The brownie was decadent, super rich chocolate flavor, contrasted by the melting vanilla ice cream. It had the perfect collision of texture and taste! The brownie had that full bodied cocoa flavor while the vanilla ice cream injects the much needed sweetness to balance everything out. And honestly, eating something hot and cold at the same time was fun! Haha!



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Lucky's Burger & Bar Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Lucky's Burger & Bar is located at Unit RJ-RJM, G/F 5 Tuscany Estates, Upper Mckinley Road, McKinley Hill, Taguig City
Operating Hours: Mondays to Fridays, 11:00 AM to 12:00 MN
                               Saturdays and Sundays, 12:00 NN to 10:00 PM
Contact No.: (02) 246-9069 ext 354 / 0906 233 2747
Official Facebook Page

My April Online Haul (+ Tips When Purchasing Online)



I think we can all agree that online shopping is one of the best contributions of the world wide web to the modern times. It's easy, fast and most of all, convenient. And I was definitely not one to shy away from exploring this option when I first knew about it as I have been an online shopper for many years now.

I'm an absolute cheapskate when it comes to shoes and bags and even clothes. I always prefer those buy-1-take-1 for PhP 500 type of sneakers at SM Department Store. It's dirt cheap and it does what it's supposed to. I never see the point of buying an expensive pair of shoes. LOL. To be honest about my spending, a bulk of it goes to food (no regrets), then maybe my transportation fare everyday. Now that I've moved back home in Cavite, I get to have extra moolah to buy stuff for myself. And this month, I decided to spend a little more on the things I've been dodging to buy because it's out of my budget, and maybe invest on a good pair of kicks for a change! And where best to buy stuff than online! Online sellers always give you the greatest deals for a lower price.

So here's the stuff I bought this month and I'm going to share with you as well the online shops I purchased them from. They're legit!


Romoss Solo 5 10,000mAh Dual Output Power Bank (Online store: Lazada). I joined a blogging contest by ShopCoupons last March and actually won! The prize: PhP 1,000 Lazada voucher. You might say, "What? But Lazada sucks!" Yeah, I've read stories about Lazada's disappointing services but I still decided to give it a go since it's a freebie! I decided to get a power bank so that I have something to use during my travels, or just for emergency cases, in general. Verdict about Lazada: I was actually impressed by their service. I guess it's really a case to case basis. The product is working fine, I got it for a much cheaper price and it even arrived earlier than I expected!

Instax Wide 210 (Online store: Instaxtic). My old Instax camera gave up on me a few months back so I decided to purchase a new one. This time I opted to have an Instax Wide! I've seen a lot of shops on Instagram that sell these babies at a much lower price, so I went ahead and searched for a good deal. I found Instaxtic (thank God they aren't one of those that you need to follow first, and even if you already do, the prices aren't stated and you still need to DM the seller which I don't get at all), and found a package of this camera plus 2 packs of film for PhP 4,900! It was the best deal I got! 

I don't usually buy gadgets (or anything expensive) online because I find it too risky, but if the seller accommodates meetups near where I live or where I work, I push through with it. Instaxtic schedules a meetup for all customers who choose to pickup the items they ordered. 

Leather Half Case (Online store: Manila Vintage Primes). Because my X30 needs to look pretty and need some tender lovin' care at the same time. Manila Vintage Primes offers leather cases for almost all cameras you can think of as well as camera straps (neck and hand), the cameras itself, other accessories, kit lenses, and equipment.

Vans Era Lace Up (Online store: OLX). Searching for a comfy pair is kinda getting addicting. This is my second pair for the month and expecting another one. Hahaha.

Gouache Camera Bag. (Online store: You Pound It). This has got to be my best buy so far. During trips and special occasions, I usually bring both my cameras, which makes my totes extremely bulky, and when I put them in my backpack, they usually get lost deep within the bag along with my other things (LOL) and sometimes, I think, it's what's caused the scratches. I've done some researching and found out about Gouache from a friend. I love it. It has detachable partitions (click on link to see) in it and a compartment for laptop. Just perfect. I was supposed to go to Henry's or their store in Katipunan, luckily, I found out about You Pound It and even got the bag at a discounted price!

Socks with the cutest and happiest designs (Online store: SockhouseMNL). Because new shoes need to go with new socks! Found this Instagram store with such a wide variety of socks of different designs and colors! There's Totoro, Disney princesses, any character you can think of and even your favorite food and pet. Of course, I went with food. Haha. Sushi and breakfast food forever! SockhouseMNL has an ongoing sale, PhP99/pair and 5 pairs are free of shipping fee within Metro Manila!



1. If possible, purchase from reputable online shops that have rating systems like EBay or Lazada. When I first started purchasing things online, I always go to EBay because it's more secure. An honest review is needed every after successful transaction. Sellers there pay a lot of attention to their feedback rating and shop reputation. Look for the cash on delivery option. You're protected this way because you can get to check if the item is in pristine condition before paying for it. Although I've read about Helga's dispute with Lazada before. So research is still key.

2. But EBay and Lazada doesn't have the thing I want! It's on an IG shop! What now?
If it's an IG seller, check the number of followers as well as the comments section. Look for customer testimonies and feedbacks. Legit IG sellers usually ask their customers for feedback that the item has been received so they could screencap convos and post it on their accounts. Sometimes they even use a special hashtag for it so future customers can view it. What will make it more convincing is if the screencaps are tagged to actual IG accounts. Just be vigilant about it.

3. If you're buying from individuals like sellers from OLX, it's always better to do a meetup. Since OLX doesn't have a rating system, the person you're transacting with could just fall of the face of the Earth after you've made your payment. Also, ask for their personal FB account, for example, just to prove their authenticity. Legit sellers would actually give in to these requests. Don't forget to have the meet up in an accessible place like a mall, just to be on the safe side.

4. Read the item's description meticulously to save both you and the seller time. Don't forget to ask their reason for selling and the last price they're willing to sell the item. They usually cut it down a few bucks more when they want to sell it ASAP. Ask for the actual photo of the item. If they're just posting Google-d photos, you can never tell the true condition of the item and how it looks in normal setting. Don't be afraid to demand for more photos if you need them. 

5. If a deal is too good to be true, it most probably is. I've seen this way too many times before, especially those days when Multiply was still up. There would be countless stories of how a buyer found this ridiculously great deal online and after depositing their payment, the seller goes MIA. Yes, online shops mostly have great bargain prices, sometimes even lower than of the malls, but if it's unbelievably cheap, yes, don't believe it because there's a catch. It's a scam.

6. If you're using your credit card for payment, please use your own computer or laptop so that no one gets to access your information. And provide information that's only needed.

7. If buying gadgets online, steer away from online shops that were just created a few weeks ago. Order from trusted ones like DBGadgets or Kimstore. If buying from another individual, go for a meetup and inspect thoroughly the gadget. When I bought a camera before from DBGadgets, I asked my friend who's more knowledgeable about cameras to come with me since I'm not yet familiar on the things I need to check on.

That's it. Online shopping still comes with its risks, so the bottom line is be cautious. Happy online shopping!

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