Tuesday, October 30, 2012

MFO's Verdict On: ioECO Monotheme Artichoke Shower Gel

The Product: ioECO Monotheme Artichoke Shower Gel

The Promise: ioECO Monotheme is an innovative line characterized by active ingredients that are  more than 98% vegetable in origin. It is the result of an in-depth scientific research  that has produced a complete line of body care products that are naturally based and respectful of nature due to the low impact level on the environment of their production cycle.

- No Parabens
- No Artificial colourings
- No petroleum derivatives
- Dermatologically tested

Put to the Test: First thing I noticed about the ioECO Artichoke shower gel (for oily skin) is that it leaves a silky feel to the touch. After you towel off, skin definitely feels moisturized. While it does not smell as good as most shower gels, it has a pleasant scent that my husband likes. I guess that's the trade off given that the product is said to be 98% made from vegetables - yes, NO fruits or flowers. Tell me, is there a vegetable that smells good? Oh my gulay! If you don't like harsh or strong scents, this is the product for you.

A huge plus, given that I have sensitive skin is that I never had a reaction with this product. I use this in conjunction with a hypoallergenic shampoo and I do like the fact that I've never had bouts with zits on my back at all (I am prone to getting zits on my back when I use products not compatible to my skin).

Passing the Verdict: While there are many shower gels out there, there are limited choices when it comes to products that are made solely from vegetable ingredients and do not contain parabens, SLES/SLS and artificial colourings. If you are extra picky with the products you use and are on the lookout for something that is more natural than most, this is a safe bet.

Practical Tip: The ioECO Monotheme line comes in three vegetable variants

- Carrot: ideal for dry skin and hair, with nourishing vitamins

- Cucumber: ideal for sensitive skin, purifying and refreshing

- Artichoke: ideal for oily skin and hair, purifying and antioxidant action.

Because the line is natural and vegetable based, I would think these products are especially great not only for those who are into the green/eco-chic movement but also for pregnant women who want to take extra care in minimizing their exposure to harmful chemicals. 

Price: Prices range from Php325 for the Cucumber facial cleansing gel to Php395 for the full range of shampoos and shower gels. The most expensive product tops at Php445 for the Cucumber body lotion.

Point of Sale: Rustan's Beauty Source

Monday, October 29, 2012

No to Diaper Rash with Johson's Baby Complete Care System

To my mommy readers, how do you clean your baby's diaper area and have you ever had problems with diaper rash?

I have friends whose babies have super sensitive skin and get easily irritated (both the mommy and the baby, heehee). That is why I thought I'd share with you *drum roll here* Johnson's Baby Complete Care Diaper System.

First off, it's important to remember that baby skin is different from ours, that is why we have to take extra care of it. According to pediatric dermatologist Dr. Ma. Victoria C. Dizon, baby skin is nothing like ours:

And that is why, diaper rash happens.

Diaper rash can be such a problem, because babies get really irritable when they have them. To understand diaper rash better, here are the irritants which you should avoid:

I am lucky in the sense that my kids have never had diaper rash. Maybe it was from the horror of seeing one of my siblings (who shall not be named here, haha) suffer from it that I had made a conscious effort to prevent that from happening to my babies.

I am admittedly quite OC about changing diapers. I make sure to clean every crevice with a cotton ball dipped in water and diaper wipes, then wipe the diaper area with tissue paper to make sure it's dry. I then apply a vitamin barrier cream, just to make sure the skin is protected from urine and poop. I probably change Xavi's diaper at least once every hour when he wears a cloth diaper, while he uses about 3 diapers a night when he's using disposables.

But Johnson's Baby has a complete care system that takes care of diaper rash prevention in three easy steps - 1) Wipe, 2) Powder and 3) Change:

They've whittled the diaper changing steps down to 3 because unlike regular diaper wipes, Johnson's Baby Skincare Wipes doesn't just clean, it also helps prevent diaper rash like a diaper cream because it has oily lotion in it.

Johnson's Baby Complete Care Powder meanwhile, repels wetness, soothes rashes and helps reduce friction. This is because it contains Zinc Oxide which has anti-bacterial properties, and Magnesium Steareate, which is effective in repelling wetness.

To minimize rashes and irritation, regular diaper changing should be done every 3-4 hours to ensure that baby's bottom is clean and dry.

I have to admit, I hardly used baby powder on Berry when she was a baby, because we were told in the US that it was an allergen. But now, we have different variants of it. For one, my husband still puts on Johnson's Baby powder after each bath, he has never outgrown it. Today, Berry likes getting puffed with powder after her bath too. Second, studies have shown that baby powder/talc is not an enemy.

Here are the stats on Talc Risk according to the presentation shown to us during the launch of J&J's Complete Care System a few months back:

1. In over 100 years of use, no case of lung damage to consumers from normal use.
2. The US National Toxicology Program, the US Occupational Safety & Hygiene Administration (OSHA) do not list or classify talc as known or suspected human carcinogen.
3. US American Congress of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) recently classified talc as “not classifiable as a human carcinogen”.
4. Studies have been done with talc miners and millers in Italy and France where they have been exposed to several hundred times normal cosmetic body-powder use. No effects have been seen.
5. Conclusions in an FDA symposium in 1994 and 2000:
• Reviewed lifetime exposure to rats & mice concluded that at doses 300 x human exposure no adverse effect
• At 1200 x human exposure effects seen in female rats
• Summary: no likely adverse effect to humans consumers in normal case.
• Talc in normal use does not adversely affect the lungs 

So yeah, that really convinced me that talc wasn't so bad after all, haha!

Learn more about Johnson's 3-Step Complete Care System, HERE
For updates on the latest from Johnson's Baby, visit Johnson's Baby Philippines on Facebook.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Nixon Fall/Winter 2012-2013

Nixon's Slow Burn collection for F/W 2012-2013

I was invited by Lyza Gutierrez of Nixon to the media launch of Nixon's latest Fall/Winter collection  the other day and the watches this season are just all too good! Unlike some watch brands that just slap on their label on whatever styles a factory in China comes up with, Nixon watches are designed by a team who really get the surf, skate and snow lifestyle. Drool drool drool...

Big, Badass Black watches from the Slow Burn collection

Styles from the Hudson Street collection feature high polish gunmetal plated stainless steel with high polish champagne gold plated details.  

Going for gold from L to R: Bobbi, Camden Chrono, Spur

Big, Badass Gold Watches: 42-40 "my dream watch" on the left and The Camden on the right

Time Teller P in splashy new colorways

More than just watches, Nixon is also now into apparel and accessories, turning out to be quite the lifestyle brand. But, back to my first love, the 42-20 Chrono. So here's the new color this season, which is now available in Manila. It is called "Gun & Gold" from the Hudson Street collection:

I swear, with the 42-20, you can never go wrong, especially since they come in all these colors that are just TDF! I've spotted these at the Nixon website and they are are amaaaazing as well:
All Black/Tortoise

My all time fave in All Gold
Rose Gold/White Granite

All White/Gold

High Polish/White Acetate

Sigh, right?

The Fall/Winter 2012-2013 Collection of Nixon watches are now available at Segnatempo Greenbelt and Newport, at Rustan's, SM, Landmark, Gaisano and Robinsons department stores as well as Meridian and Watch Republic shops.

My SSI Super Sale Finds!

I was invited by my friend Aneth & her colleague Alette to the SSI Super Sale for VIPs held yesterday at Mega Tent in Libis and if you have the time, it is worth a trip because there are quite some good deals to be found. Sale is ongoing from October 24 until October 28, 2012 from 11am to 9pm. 

Mega Tent in Libis is just past Wilcon Builders. They have everything from Rustan's Department Store brands to Gap, Zara, Make Room and all the SSI brands.

 Candy colored peep toe pumps from Prada

Prada - the nude beribboned peep toe pumps above were at 50% off. A long Prada wallet was about Php13,000. There were also bags, iPad cases and other small leather accessories.

nude platforms from Michael Kors

Apart from these ballet flats and boots from Tods, there were classic driving shoes and bags of course.

Smooshy leather bags in that trademark Bottega Veneta intrecciato weave

fancy footwear from Jimmy Choo

More from Jimmy Choo

Bags from YSL. I spotted a Muse Two behind the SAs. Not sure if those we're reserved though.

More styles from YSL

Bags from Burberry. They also had outerwear like rain coats and jackets.

I really wasn't looking for anything to buy for myself or Dada, but I am sure if you looked hard enough, there are some pretty good deals to be unearthed. I spent more time looking at kids stuff and found myself buying pieces for the kiddos. From Gap Kids, I got a onesie for Xavi at about Php400 down from Php1,400 and a tutu skirt for Berry for Php400 down from Php1,800. I also got Superga sneakers for Berry for Php795, they were originally Php1,450.

Check out the SSI Super Sale at Mega Tent in Libis if you have the time! Happening until this Sunday, October 28, 2012!

UPDATE: Sale is exclusive to Citibank clients and cardholders. Cardholders can choose to Pay with Points for up to 50% of their purchases. They can also avail of 0% PayLite for 3 months for at least P3,000 single-receipt purchase. 

Simply present your Citibank Credit Card to enter the sale. If you’re not yet a cardmember now is the time to sign up for a Rustan’s Citibank Card. Once you complete the application form you can join the sale and just pay in cash. 

Citigold clients need to show their Citi ATMs to enter the sale and pay for their purchases in cash. 

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

MFO's Verdict On: VMV Essence Skin-Saving Clark Wash

The Product: VMV Hypoallergenics Essence Skin-Saving Clark Wash hair+body "big softie" shampoo

The Promise: An ultra-gentle, non-drying, irritation, flaking and acne-preventing alternative for hair, scalp+body cleansing with super results. Skincredibly mild, light, supple, soothing, hydrating + non-pore clogging. Safe for cleansing sensitive areas. Safe for children as well as adults who shower frequently and even those with highly-sensitive, medically managed conditions.

100% All Types of Fragrance Free
100% Dye, Phthalate, Paraben + Preservative-Free
100% SLS, SLES + Allergenic-Surfuctant-Free
Usage+Patch Tested

For Men, Women, Teens + Children 2 and up

Put to the Test: While it's called a shampoo, it's really a shampoo and body wash in one. I have been on this for almost 2 months now and use it for my hair alone. Practically every single day. I started using VMV because after I gave birth to Xavi, my hair started falling. It had gotten so bad that my hair thinned out and I could practically see my scalp. I decided I needed something mild to use, and thankfully I had VMV's "big softie" shampoo in my stash of toiletries (I actually have VMV to thank for sending this to me, along with a host of other goodies for Xavi and Berry!)

I like that it has a mild smell, and that hair feels squeaky clean after. 

Passing the Verdict: True enough, it drastically reduced hair fall, that I did not have to massage coconut oil on my scalp before taking a shower every day. You know how it is, you have to keep the oil on your scalp for hours before washing it off. If you don't like the feel of greasy, then it can be a hassle, if you know what I mean.

Oooh here's a tip when you can't stand seeing not so pretty packaging (hehe). Transfer the contents to a better looking container!

Another bonus was that I never have to contend with "b-acne" aka zits on my back. 

One thing I especially like about this product is the fact that I don't get hair fatigue after using it for days on end. You know how sometimes you have to switch shampoos because the product you've been using makes your hair limp or weighs it down after using it non-stop? Well, I get none of that with this one.  

Practical Tip: Because VMV's Essence Skin-Saving Clark Wash has anti-oxidizing, anti-acne properties, if you are especially prone to zits on your forehead or back, or if you have an extreme skin condition, this could be especially helpful.

This is also great for those who are conscious about the presence of parabens, dyes and allergens in their toiletries and beauty products. Nothing beats VMV Hypoallergenics when it comes to ensuring their products contain none of that!

Price: About $30 online, and about Php1000 in The Philippines

Point of Sale: VMV counters and VMV Skin-specialist Boutiques, for the full list, see HERE

P.S. Incidentally, since October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, check out what VMV has in store  for you until October 31, 2012 when you purchase any of their "PINK" products:

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Happy Yummy Halloween!

Here's a Halloween treat that I can eat everyday - these spooktacular donuts from Go Nuts Donuts. They've got 3 new donuts out  this October - Jack-o-Licious, Mister Boo and Spooky Crawly. My favorite are those orange donuts in the middle aka Mister Boo. So much personality! The one on top looks like he's out to surprise. While Mister Boo at the bottom looks like he's seen a ghost. Or he must have been shocked by his credit card bill. Haha.

Aside from these adorably spooky donuts, Go Nuts Donuts also has frosted Halloween cookies for all your cookie monsters!

It's not yet too late to get these new treats, they're available all throughout this month! To find out what's new with Go Nuts Donuts via their Facebook Page or follow @gonutsdonuts on Twitter!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Parenting and Timing the Teaching Moment

In case this is your first time here in the blog, frequent readers, especially you mommies, would know about New Beginnings, the "mommy support group" I am a part of.

Here I am 5 weeks after giving birth, I just had to attend the 2nd parenting talk because of the valuable lessons I learn from Coach Pia and my fellow moms. Photo by Lawrence del Mundo

I just wanted to share with you a blog post I did for New Beginnings on Timing the Teaching Moment aka when is the best time to teach your kid a life lesson.

The insights I learned are life changing. I do remember exactly when and how my mom taught me tips or gave me advice that I still adhere to up to today. There really is a right time to have that "talk" with our kids, and I am sharing with you when, HERE.

Read and feel free to pass on to other parents you know! =)

PS - New Beginnings and Friso Mum is having a Belly Buddies Promotion, where you get to earn gifts from Mothercare, Rustan's and Mustela. Click HERE to find out more.

Friday, October 19, 2012

A Steady Saturday with Keds

Hello Dear Readers! What are you doing this Saturday? If you happen to be in Fort Bonifacio, then drop by the Daylight Party hosted by Keds - October 20, 2012 from 1 PM to 7 PM.

Enjoy live performances by Bloomfields, She's Only 16, and DJ Sweetheart. 

Plus, gorge on free cupcakes, snow cones, pizza and good ol' lemonade!

Everyone's invited! It's a FREE event too! What better way to spend a Saturday right?

Rip Open that Glamourbox!

Honeys! You can start subscribing na! Subscriptions for the November Glamourbox is now open!

Visit www.glamourbox.ph and sign up, sign up!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

We're on Live Love Lolz!

Fake yang video na yan! Do not click! Go and watch HERE: http://nmfnetwork.tv/2012/10/13/l3-12-manila-fashion-observer/ or download the Podcast lang! Just search Live Love Lolz, Manila Fashion Observer!

Ok, quick background: my friend Donya Karrots has this show produced by New Media Factory (Basti Artadi and Miguel Olfindo levelz ang producer mga day!) called Live Love Lolz and in one of her earlier episodes, she said hello to Berry and her sandelles. I showed Berry the podcast, she said she wanted to be in Tita K's show, and severelle episodes later, et voila! Here we are. Actually, title of this episode should be "Berry" and not "Manila Fashion Observer". Extra lang ako dito! Haha!

For those expecting that we talk about fashion, we do naman. We talk about shoes: mine as well as co-host Jopa Malantic's Lanvins and Balmains, 90s fashion, and my personal style, ahihihi. Oh! And Berry's Donya problems.

Watch and see Berry in action! Warning, she's madaldal!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

DVF for Moi & B

Back to personal style. Here's an example of buying something you love, even if its not an iconic piece.  Or a dress that everyone would want.

DVF may be known for her wrap dresses, but I've tried on so many and still haven't found one that fits me right. Maybe because I do not have boobs for the jersey to cling on to! Heehee. But anyhoo, I found this dress at the DVF outlet in Woodbury Common back years ago, when Dada and I were just newly  married. I loved that it was a safari style dress. A style I've always wanted. A classic piece. But it was like $100, on sale. I walked away and went home.

Days after I still couldn't forget about this dress. We came back two weeks later. It was there, nobody bought it. It was meant to be. Sold! To me!

5 years and two kids later, it's still alive and still looks great. A true investment buy.

Diane von Furstenberg dress and Louboutin heels

Meanwhile, Berry wears a dress by DVF for Gap Kids. This was taken after school, so she already had glue stains on her dress. Eeep! Thank goodness for Grandma's Goo Remover (it's our new product, yes! More about that soon!)

We bought the dress plus the printed leggings at Gap Kids in Bonifacio High Street when this line first came out. Months later, Tita Trina and Uncle Jun went home, and Tita Eubelle sent her this t-shirt. It was perfect with the leggings! The outfit just came together naturally. Fashion kismet.

Not Your Run of the Mill Baby Onesies

If you are on the lookout for unique and fun onesies to give the little man in your life, then check out Mothering Earthlings for a great selection of cute onesies that would only cost you anywhere from Php300 to Php399, pinkie swear!

Here's Xavi wearing a Future Azkal onesie from Mothering Earthlings. This little boy's got super strong legs, I can see a Future Azkal in my crystal ball. Actually and with a name like Xavi, he could be playing for Barça too (heehee, a mom can dream!)

Facebook Like onesie and Born Awesome onesie both also from Tita Rone Guerrero of Mothering Earthlings

Start your Christmas shopping early for the little ones na! No excuses with the ease and convenience of online shopping these days! Ano ba!

Your Baby is a Star!

There's a fun app on Johnson's Baby Philippines Facebook page where we can have our babies star in his/her own video!

I had fun choosing photos and seeing Xavi on screen! Moms, you'll get a kick out of this!


- Visit and like the JOHNSON’s BABY Philippine’s Facebook fan page and click on the JOHNSON’S BABY Complete Care Diaper System tab. 

- Click on ALLOW in the Request for Permission window

- Click on the CREATE YOUR OWN VIDEO button in the homepage

Step 1: Register with your name, your baby’s name, your baby’s gender and birthday, as well as your email address and click YES, PROCEED TO STEP 2.

Step 2: Upload your baby’s photos Upload your baby’s photos by clicking on the “+” button in the box located at the left side of the sample photo. Adjust your baby’s photo to fit the outline by dragging on the photo. Click on the SUBMIT button to proceed to the next step. This step will be repeated until all 4 photos have been uploaded.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

DwellStudio in Cebu!

Take note! 10% OFF purchases made from October 19 to 21. Double the fun if you are an FSP 2 cardholder, you get 20% OFF on your purchase of DwellStudio products!

Cebu, get ready to dwell in DwellStudio!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

TOMS + Giving in The Philippines

My "collection" of TOMS through the years

My love affair with TOMS started in 2009 when I was still pregnant with Berry. I had been on the lookout for a comfortable pair of summer shoes, and TOMS just happened to be there at Whole Foods asking to be tried on. Of course it helped that my friend Xsa was with me at the time, and we collectively decided when we got home, that we were going to be TOMS Twins and got these madras ones online:
My second pair are these black ones, that are more suitable for walking around Manhattan. This was taken on the sidewalk across the Bookmarc store in the West Village. Berry was napping on my shoulder, and I still managed to take a photo haha.

My third pair are these gray ones, still something neutral, but not too dark like the black ones. Here's Berry wearing her first Tiny TOMS, a Neiman Marcus exclusive that her Uncle Jun and Tita Trina got for her.

Sadly, Berry lost half of this pair in Singapore. It was so tragic for me! Thankfully, I had a back-up pair in red, that she still uses to this day. 

I am now on to my fourth pair and Berry is on to her third, thanks to Sugar Pecjo and Cher El-Khoury of TOMS Philippines who gifted us with TOMS, knowing how big fans we are of the brand and its advocacy! Thanks again Sugar and Cher!

Oh, and I thought it would interest you to know that TOMS has taken their One for One Movement to the Philippines! They have partnered with We International Philippines and did their first shoe drop here last year, giving away shoes to children who are in need of them most. Watch this video and get goosebumps!

Incidentally, have you seen their latest collection for Summer 2012? They have so many designs that came out a few months ago, perfect for everyone in the whole family!

Mens styles are perfect for guys who like to keep it simple – and comfortable. From the rope-soled Cordones to the bolder Stitchouts and Biminis.

Tiny TOMS and Youth have bright and sunny styles for the little ones. With new color-pop outsoles and velcro enclosures for easy wearability.

What I am most excited about are the Womens Strappy Wedges -  a combination of the gently raised platform and the classic TOMS comfort.

Lovin' these wedgesssss! These as well as the other new styles are available at Nothing but Water, Rustans and Adora!

About TOMS Shoes: In 2006, American traveler Blake Mycoskie befriended children in a village in Argentina and found that they had no shoes to protect their feet. Wanting to help, he created TOMS Shoes, a company that would match every pair of shoes purchased with a pair of new shoes given to a child in need. One for One. To date, TOMS has given over one million pairs of new shoes to children through giving part- ners around the world.
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