Sunday, October 31, 2010

The Morning After

Here are the brushes after drying. These were taken this morning at around 9 am.

dried asstd brushes, by bitsandtreats



dried asstd brushes 2, by bitsandtreats



dried asstd brushes 3, by bitsandtreats


dried asstd charm brushes, by bitsandtreats




dried charm blush brush, by bitsandtreats



dried charm powder brush, by bitsandtreats




dried ellana baby buki brush, by bitsandtreats


dried marionnaud and charm brushes, by bitsandtreats



dried marionnaud angled brush, by bitsandtreats


Sunsilk is definitely easier to rinse off. As for the softness of the brushes, they are still the same. It will probably take a few more washes with Sunsilk to see results. I’ll continue with this method and hopefully see some results. My Ellana and Marionnaud  (last pic) brushes are like that because one time, I asked MB to help me rinse the brushes and he got so gigil  that’s why some of the fibers are sticking out.

Shopping Post

I did some major, major shopping yesterday at Glorietta/Greenbelt and at Powerplant last Friday. There are times in a month when I just want to shop, shop and shop some more! Here’s what I got:

shopaholic and baby, floral notebook and xywhite toothpaste, by bitsandtreats

From Powerplant – a notebook because I need to make plans, Shopaholic & Baby because I’m not yet through with the Shopaholic series. I’m currently reading Shopaholic Ties the Knot. This was on 20% discount because of the British-Filipino Friendship Month. I also bought a few things at PCX including this Xywhite toothpaste which I will make a review of in the future.

boxed tissues, TFS nail polish, TFS nose hair scissors, ellana brush cleaner, by bitsandtreats

Ellana brush cleaner from SM, The Face Shop nose hair scissors for the boy and nail polish for me and some boxed tissues from Landmark.


watsons free bag, by bitsandtreats

I got this transparent bag with pouch free at Watsons because I bought these:

watsons haul 2, by bitsandtreats


watsons haul, by bitsandtreats

I bought facial tissues, wet tissues, Charmee, a headband from Nouveau, Monea Curl Defining Milk Lotion, some vitamins, Kleenex oil blotter, Sunsilk green shampoo and some hand wash (not in the photo). I wasn’t planning on overspending but as I approached Watsons Greenbelt 1, the word SALE was in red posters! I felt giddy and stocked up on items I frequently use. The bag is free when you purchase at least Php800 with at least one of the participating promo items. In this case, it was the Kleenex oil blotting film. MB was having his hair cut done next door so he was shocked to see this haul. Haha!

Finally, our first Havaianas!
 havaianas, by bitsandtreats

I was planning on buying Ipanemas but Havaianas was on sale at 30% and I couldn’t resist! MB was having my SIM fixed at Globe Glorietta so I wandered off on my own in search of treasures and this is what I found. You should have seen his face when I handed his bag complete with a card. He said, “you bought me Havaianas?” (in a whisper) like it was the most expensive thing in the world. Haha! It was priceless, I tell you.  MB is a very simple guy who grew up in the province. He rarely buys things for himself so he gets very happy (sometimes emotional, sssssh!) when I surprise him with stuff.

It’s Sunday today and we’re supposed to do the groceries. I’m running late as I slept at 2 AM. (Thanks Kitten for keeping me company!). I forgot to buy a few things yesterday (I got distracted, okay?) and I’ll probably go shopping again today. It’s really great to be a girl!

Washing My Makeup Brushes

As promised, here are before and after photos of my assorted makeup brushes. I used Sunsilk green shampoo to wash them. I just washed these a couple of hours ago. Please note that the Charm face brushes are unused.

Before:

assorted makeup brushes before washing 1, by bitsandtreats

assorted makeup brushes before washing 2, by bitsandtreats


assorted makeup brushes before washing 3, by bitsandtreats


assorted makeup brushes before washing 4, by bitsandtreats


charm brushes before washing, by bitsandtreats



Right after washing:

asstd brushes after washing 1, by bitsandtreats



asstd brushes after washing 2, by bitsandtreats



charm blending brush after washing, by bitsandtreats
Charm blending brush


charm blush brush after washing, by bitsandtreats
Charm blush brush


charm powder brush after washing, by bitsandtreats
Charm powder brush


marionnaud angled blush brush after washing by bitsandtreats
Marionnaud angled brush




ellana kabuki brush after washing, by bitsandtreats
Ellana Baby Buki Brush


charm face brushes after washing with brush guard, by bitsandtreats
Charm face brushes with brush guards


drying my charm face brushes with brush guards, by bitsandtreats
Drying the brushes the Michelle Phan way


sunsilk green strong and long shampoo, by bitsandtreats
Apparently not just for hair, for your makeup brushes, too!

Let’s see what the morning brings.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Good News to All Shoppingeras and Shoppingeros!

MB and I went to Powerplant this evening to unwind. I haven't seen him much since he started his new job. Anyway, there are two super shops that are coming to Powerplant. Are you ready for it? PAYLESS AND MUJI!

I don't really know why I'm excited because I'm not really a fan of Payless shoes anymore and I visited MUJI (which I will write about in a separate post) and I have mixed feelings about it. But I think just seeing something that's not in my city (Makati) to actually be here in a few months makes me all giddy inside. I'd still look around Payless Powerplant when it opens. Hopefully they will have better shoes by then and I will definitely check out MUJI every now and then to get ideas. 

These two shops will be on the third floor. Muji will occupy some of Fully Booked's space while Payless is further down on the right (when your back is facing Fully Booked). I now have more reasons to visit Powerplant!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Cute Packaging

etude house clear polish, by bitsandtreats
Etude House Clear Polish (Php128)

etude house steam milk hand lotion, by bitsandtreats
Etude House Steam Milk Hand Lotion (Php198)
(To be reviewed soon)

kotex luxe design pads, by bitsandtreats
Kotex Luxe Design Pads in Canisters (Php42)

More on Charm Brushes

First of all, thank you to all the wonderful people who have left tips and comments on my 3-part post about Charm Brushes V2. I would just like to clarify some things for all you newbies (to my blog) out there.

1. I deep clean my brushes every week. For daily cleansing, I use Ellana brush cleaner. I used to use shampoo but I read somewhere that it’s not recommended for brushes so I stopped and started using dishwashing liquid. I’ve had no problems with this method on all my brushes. Plus there’s that Michelle Phan video too.

2. The photos on Part 1 were taken after the initial wash. I should have taken a photo before washing but the brushes already looked like that. I even showed it to my friend in the office (where I received the package) and she too, was disappointed.

3. The brushes were already shedding like crazy even before washing. The worst offender was the dual fibre brush. I can say this because I got the brushes the same day I got my Forever 21 package which included some makeup. I know you need to wash the brushes before you use them but my sister and mom couldn’t wait to try out the new makeup and so I used these brushes. They had brush hair all over their faces.

4. I rarely wash most of my version 2 Charm brushes after the 2nd week of usage/deep cleaning as I don’t use them that often anymore (with the exception of the eye shadow brushes). I always use my wonderful, wonderful Version 1 Charm brushes and my Marionnaud brushes. I think I’ve only used them around 5 times since I got them and I only use them when my other brushes are dirty.

5. The very nice and very beautiful owner of Beauty and Minerals, Sophie (aka the beautynomist), has already contacted me regarding this matter. I appreciate that very much, Sophie. You really know how to take care of  your clients. On another note, why not develop some Charm Brush Cleaner??!! I hope you do, because I will immediately buy! = ) I’m quite excited already just thinking about it.

6. Phoebe gave me a few tips on cleaning my brushes. I will use shampoo to clean my brushes tonight. I will take before and after photos and when my brushes have completely dried. I will write a post about it.

7. I DO NOT HATE Charm Brushes. They are my very first set of makeup brushes and I cherish them dearly.  If they come up with new ones that I like, then I’ll probably purchase again.

Qiwellness Part 2

Here is the couples room where we got our massage:

couples room at qi wellness, by bitsandtreats
It is really that dimly lit for maximum relaxation

Those baskets are offered to you and contain a pair of shorts and a robe for you to change with. The therapists leave you to get changed. When starting the massage, the therapists would cover your space with the blanket so that you can remove your robe and lie on your tummy. This way, she can’t see you undress.  Then she will cover you up. My masseuse was J while MB’s was M, both girls.

It’s great that they offer shorts and robes. Other spas just let you be in your underwear which can be quite uncomfortable. The garments are also chica and not just some cheap clothes so points for that!

Just a warning. If you have low pain tolerance, skip the Qivitality massage and opt for a softer massage. This is a deep tissue massage and it will hurt especially if you’re all clogged up and tensed. But I think you can ask the masseuse for a lighter pressure if you really want to try this. J asked me if the pressure was okay and I said yes although it hurt. I like hard massages, so sue me.

The massage was mainly focused on the back, particularly my left side. I was wondering about this as I really think my right shoulder/back area is in worse condition as this is where I carry my heavy bag. But, J knows best.

Qivitality is a full body massage and includes both arms and legs, the back, the tummy, the head and some parts of the face. The back and tummy massages were wonderful. The back and shoulder massages were painful but as soon as J stretched me out, I felt completely relaxed. I literally felt the tension slowly melt. It was bliss, I tell you.

The stretches are great as well. It really opens up your joints and promotes circulation. I’ve been slacking with my yoga practice lately because of my attacks and getting all stretched out again was wonderful. 

J was able to “heal” my foot pains but the pain in my hand is still there. I think it’s because of too much time on the computer.  Oh, well. I think regular massages can fix this and no, this is not carpal tunnel syndrome. = )

The massage is done on two parts – while lying on your tummy and then lying on your back. When you lie on your back, your eyes are covered so that the light won’t bother you.

MB said that M has solar hands. Haha! If you’ve watched Yakitate Japan, you’ll know what solar hands are. He said her wands were wonderfully warm, very relaxing. MB said he didn’t fall asleep but he certainly looked bagong gising when we finished.

All through the massage, soft music/sounds were playing to help you relax. There were also no chismis going on. J and M are wonderful, professional therapists with really strong hands! There were times when I thought J was already stepping on my back because of the pressure but then I hear her feet on the floor. Haha! Do not mess with spa ladies, guys!

After the massage, the ladies will stand on your side again and cover your space with the blanket while you put on your robe then leave you to get dressed. They will come back bearing hot towels. The hot towels felt very good on my skin.

What’s my verdict? The massage was absolutely wonderful. It was delicious! J and M were very good, very professional and they respect your space and your privacy. They are not like other spa therapists who blab and ask you all sorts of questions. J didn’t have solar hands. Her hands were a bit warm but not enough to warm  me up. I felt cold all throughout the massage but you must also take into consideration that I have polymyositis and Reynaud’s phenomenon so the cold really affects me. Plus, it was raining outside that night so I guess that heavily contributed to it. You know how my body reacts to natural cold. There were also a few times when my arms, hands and fingers slept and would go numb. I think that’s also because of the cold and because of the position. But it’s nothing a simple shake can’t cure.

I was also worried about getting all sore the next day because of the intensity of the massage. Bea told me that it depends on the person’s body. Sometimes, right after a massage, you will feel pain. Some don’t feel pain until the day after. I digress. I fear massages because the first time I had a massage, I literally cried. Tears were streaming down my face while the masseuse put pressure here and there but my mom insisted that I finish the massage because of the masseuse’s prodding and because the masseuse told her that she can cure me. She was apparently a “reflexologist.” I hated my mom for that and I loathed massages since then. I have only allowed certain people to massage me because of that experience. This was before quality spas opened in the Metro and before the doctors knew what my illness really was.

Going back, I went ahead with this treatment knowing the risk because I really needed a deep tissue massage. After the massage, I brought this up with J and she told me that if your masseuse does not know the specific pressure points to target and just gives you a hard massage all over, you will definitely feel sore the day after. She told me that I wouldn’t hurt the next day. My back didn’t hurt but I did feel a bit of soreness on my shoulders which was tolerable and was gone on the third day.

I asked to interview the girls. They are very shy, I tell you but they are always smiling. They were able to answer my questions but I think they need more training when it comes to dealing with client queries. I asked them what type of oil they use and it was grape seed oil. Coconut oil is commonly used but I like grape seed oil better. I already know that grape seed oil contains antioxidants, Vitamins A, C and E but a quick Google search reveals a lot more. Click here if you want to know more. It also has cosmetic benefits.  It tones the skin, helps treat acne and aids in skin repair. It’s also lighter and less greasy than coconut oil. I asked some other questions and their answers were okay. Again, it would be better if they had more confidence in speaking to their clients the same way they were confident with their massages.

After talking with the girls, I now have higher respect for what they do. You might think that it’s just a massage but the education and training and dedication that they have for their job is amazing.

I think it would be better if they had a resident PT or wellness doctor. The PT/doctor can answer a client’s questions better and can recommend the perfect treatment. Prior to this, I only know that people with high blood pressure can’t have deep tissue massages. M told me that people with heart conditions and diabetes are not allowed to have any type of massage. Yikes! And I was planning to bring my mom here pa naman! Had I not asked, I wouldn’t have known that. Also, it would be better if they made a quick consultation with the client like ask the client about his or her health history just to be sure. I’m very well aware of my condition and very much attuned with my body so there was no harm for me. But for other people, this can pose a problem.

It would also be great if they had an in-house nutritionist who can suggest a better diet based on the recommendation of the doctor and therapist. But I think that’s another level of spa service and I don’t think they want to go there. = ) But that’s just my wishful thinking.

Overall, I would recommend Qiwellness if you want a good, quality, professional massage. The interiors are tasteful, peaceful and clean. The prices are affordable and the staff are nice, polity and definitely know what they’re doing.  Their regulars include the residents in the area and expats. MB and I will go back to try all the other treatments! If you’ve been to Qi Wellness, I’d love to hear from you. Or if you’re planning to try out their services, blog about it. I’m curious!

If you want to know more about Qiwellness, you can visit their website or give them a call at 556 1818 or 0916 793 6666. Look for Bea. They are located at G/F Picasso Suites 119 LP Leviste St. Salcedo Village, Makati City. If you want to know the price of a specific massage, leave a comment below.


Thursday, October 28, 2010

Vacation Day 1 - Qiwellness

On the first day of our mini break, MB spent a few hours nursing his migraine (if you don’t know what MB means, it’s Migraine Boy) in bed. I spent most of the afternoon unpacking and buying/waiting for lunch.

For the rest of the afternoon, well that’s another story. The very nice owners of Qiwellness, Mr. Ken and the lovely Ms. Rita invited us for an afternoon of relaxation and rejuvenation at Qiwellness down at Leviste St., right beside The Picasso.

Just a quick lesson on Qi. The literal translation of qi is life, breath or air. It is the animating force behind all life forms. It is the energy flow. As a martial artist and yoga practitioner, I know how important it is to maintain, balance and strengthen my Qi/Chi. Although I have to admit that I’ve been slacking lately.  Teehee.. That’s why I’m really grateful for this invitation.

Just to give you a quick background, Qi Wellness specializes in massages and reflexology. They have 3 major types of massages – Qitranquility, Qivitality and Qireflexology.

The Qitranquility is best for people who need to relax, sleep and just slow down. It includes various relaxing and lymphatic drainage massage techniques to facilitate blood and lymphatic circulation. This helps alleviate both emotional and physical stresses, inducing a deeper sense of calm and well-being.

The Qivitality incorporates deep-tissue massage and acupressure techniques that release muscular tension and promotes qi circulation. This also stimulates the body’s natural self-healing abilities. This is what MB and I got. We had the 90-minute massage.

The Qireflexology is done fully-clothed. The therapist applies pressure to specific reflex points in the feet and hands to improve circulation and enhance the delivery of oxygen and nutrients to the muscles and tissues in the body. This is a deeply relaxing therapy that encourages physiological changes and promotes balance throughout the whole body.

You can also just get a deep tissue massage, a Swedish massage or Shiatsu and for your feet, the Tea Therapy Foot Treatment.

Here are photos of the place. Upon entering, the very pretty Bea will greet you:

bea at qi wellness, by bitsandtreats

Bea is very nice and very friendly. It’s very nice to see someone like Bea, who is always smiling, when you enter a spa to de-stress. She is also able to explain the treatments well with simple words. No confusing terms here.  I asked her what she would recommend for us and her recommendation hit the spot.

Here is the receiving area:

receiving area at qi, by bitsandtreats
I just love the clean, minimalist lines


the red seat at qi wellness, by bitsandtreats
Ze Red Seat…Love the contrast!

We waited in the lounge while our room is being prepared. We were offered tea to which we politely declined.

IMG_8488
Ignore MB’s silly grin


qi wellness lounge 2, by bitsandtreats

carafe on table at qi, by bitsandtreats


While waiting, I took a tour of the place. Here’s the scrub room:

scrub room, by bitsandtreats


scrub room at qi, by bitsandtreats
It’s a bit small if you’re claustrophobic

sink at scrub room, by bitsandtreats
I love that sink too!

The whole minimalist, white/transparent theme is seen throughout the spa. The bathroom is lovely and is fully equipped with tissues, paper towels, mouthwash and disposable cups, soap, etc. I swear, their bathroom  is better than A. Venue’s!

I love the whole ambiance of the place. It gives a very relaxing vibe. At first you might think that the d├ęcor is intimidating. You might also think that this is an expensive place since it’s right next to The Picasso, but you’re wrong. Nothing is at Php1,000 and above and you get to choose between a 60 and 90-minute massage.

Next is the massage experience.


Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Charm Travel Brushes Review Part 3

Sorry for the delay. I know this post is a bit overdue. So, let’s get on with the show, shall we?

These are the eye shadow brush, pointed eye shadow brush and a contouring brush for the nose and eyes. I use all three for eye shadow application.

charm eye shadow brush, pointed eye shadow brush, nose contouring brush, by bitsandtreats


close up of eye shadow and contouring brushes, by bitsandtreats

The white brushes are scratchy. It gets pretty irritating whenever I use them but I have to admit that they do a good job especially the contour brush. Just be careful not to get some bristles in your eye because they hurt and itch like crazy. The contour brush on the other hand is nice and soft.

close up of eye shadow and contouring brushes 2, by bitsandtreats

Next are these flat and angled liner brushes. I’ve only used them once and I can truly say that the old, smaller angled liner brush is better. These are just too soft and not compact enough. They’re not scratchy and are easy to wash.
charm flat and angled liner brush, by bitsandtreats

close up of flat and angled liner brush, by bitsandtreats

charm spoolie and angled liner brush, by bitsandtreats

I haven’t really used these two brushes as I have my Marionnaud spoolie and I really don’t use gel liners. Well, not yet that is. This liner brush is very good for gel liners.

close up of charm spoolie and angled liner brush, by bitsandtreats

charm lip brush with cover, by bitsandtreats

Finally, the “retractable lip brush”. It’s not really retractable. It has a cover. I’d say that this brush is better than version 1 which I completely ignored. This brush is bigger and the pointed tip is perfect for lining and filling in the lips. Just be sure that the brush is clean before covering it as the cover is hard to clean.

charm lip brush close up, by bitsandtreats

Before I forget, here’s the free blending brush:

charm blending brush, by bitsandtreats

As you can already see, this isn’t a very good brush. It’s scratchy and the bristles are all over the place. Like the white brushes above, this too sheds. I can understand why this is for free.

I haven’t touched the other freebies yet. I’ll let you know once I get around to using it.

My final verdict – Not worth it. If you’re a makeup newbie, better buy the Marionnaud brushes and you are sure to get your money’s worth. If version 1 is still available, then I suggest you buy that instead but it’s a travel set so the brushes are smaller.

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