Creating Mermaid Island: How I Went from Being Jobless to Becoming My Own Boss in Just One Year

Me: “Babe, gusto kong gumawa ng sariling cosmetic and skincare line.”

Babe: “Anong unique sa gagawin mo?”

Me: “Natural and organic ingredients.”

Babe: “Meron ng ganyan. Ano pa ang difference mo sa mga existing brands?”

Me: “<Thinks deeply..> Hmm.. MERMAID?!”

This was our conversation way back in September 2017.

You see, life after work wasn’t easy. I thought I had a plan, but my plans weren’t working so well for me after I resigned.

I left my fancy and glorious corporate job (that I love very much by the way) after working there for five years last March 2017.

My Mom just passed away, our family business has been teetering on the brink of closing down, I have no savings, and it felt as if my life is falling apart.

It was the lowest point of my life, and I still have to keep things altogether.

I mustered all my guts to work on my shoe brand, Versaheel.

It’s the second brand I’ve put up after my now defunct brand Pomppet, which I started back in college.

I had a new concept, new strategies, a business partner, new connections, new everything. But after months of working on my designs, and learning the craft, for some reason, I still can’t manage to increase my sales.

I invested so much, I lost so much too.

One September night, I stumbled upon an episode of “My Puhunan”. It’s a show that features success stories of businesses, focusing on how they were able to scale up from such a small capital.

I got so inspired by the mother-daughter tandem – the team behind the featured local cosmetic and skincare brand.

It got me thinking on the possibility of creating my own too. Honestly, I was a bit apprehensive to share it to my then-fiance, now-husband.

Who am I to create another pitch, when I haven’t gained anything yet from my current brand.

Sure, the brand and marketing are amazing, but at the end of the day, numbers speak. And these, I don’t have.

Hence, the conversation atop this blog.

And after saying, “Mermaid!” he replied

“Hindi sapat yon!”

So, I shrugged the idea off, anyway I was planning our civil wedding back then. It ought to keep me distracted from the rejection and frustration of the brand, not generating sales.

Come 2018, shortly after our wedding, I found out I was pregnant!

My mind suddenly went into frenzy. I thought about getting back to work again, because I knew I have to contribute to our expenses.

John and I are starting a family, and we have to prepare for birth, and of course me, on finding a way on how to always be physically present, since I wanted and decided to breastfeed.

I needed a job at home. Or rather, I need to be able to earn while at home.

Since I cannot go to the shoe factory all the time, given by my delicate condition. As I was usually left all alone in the condominium, it gave me a lot of time to think on what I should do.

I applied as a home-based English teacher. I got into the first screening, but I failed my phone practical test. My proctor said I was a bit bossy and a little aggressive for an online tutor.

Haha That IS me, right there! Trained more than 15,000 Real Estate Agents, what does she expect? 😀

And then Mermaid Island, the idea I was exploring back in 2017 dawned on me again.

I talked to John, and he said,

“Hindi mo gagawin yan Babe. Tatamarin ka lang. Andami ng makeup sa market. Masasayang lang pera mo.”

But I was so determined, I secretly enrolled myself to a course behind his back. I even had to borrow money from my sister!

The more he said I can’t do it, the more I wanted to do it. I want to prove him wrong, or rather I want to prove to myself that I can make a brand work.

Creating Mermaid Island was also not easy for me as a blogger. I knew that when I create my own line, I have to say goodbye to some cosmetics and skin care sponsorships.

It made me hesitate, but I was inspired by Anne Curtis’ BLK Cosmetics and Vice Ganda’s Vice Cosmetics.

Their celebrity statuses are a big leverage for them, and I admire how they focused on creating their own lines, not minding the possibilities of endorsement opportunities from other more well-known brands.

I have to make this big step. For my son, for our family, and of course for myself.

I started with one product alone. After selling my ONLY 60 pieces of stocks in just a day, I reinvested them again to more raw materials.

I didn’t even blink on the thought of spending a centavo on a celebratory gift for myself. All profit goes back to the business. I have to make it grow.

Instead of focusing on marketing in the early stage of the business, I focused on product development. I learned that you don’t have to sell a product, when a product can already sell itself in the first place.

Ultimately, you have to create a product that sells.

I had so many inhibitions in Versaheel, so with Mermaid Island, I was not afraid to be risky. I have already lost so much, how much more can I lose?

In terms of ideas, I was also very raunchy.

Mermaid Island should not just be any other brand. I took the lessons I learned from working in the Marketing Department, and applied them here.

From the concept, graphics ,to the names, to its voice, and even its font styles should communicate the vision I have in mind.

It was a one-man team, sometimes two, when John was not busy with work.

I did a lot of trials before perfecting formulations.

Sometimes I cannot repeat the same shade because I lack equipment and appropriate measuring devices. There were a lot of wasted raw materials and containers too.

It was pretty messy and colorful at the same time. I remembered staining my clothes and the floor. Sometimes, it was difficult for me to reach the oven to heat the waxes because my tummy was already big at 6 months.

I also replaced defective products, because you know, reputation means a lot especially when you’re just starting out.

I can recall that I am measuring my success by my ability to refill my box of raw materials. I once had them in a small PR box I got from a sponsor.

Fast forward to today, I have a whole room full of waxes, oils, extracts and actives, etc.

I have my staff who helps me with production. From the little table I once had, we now have a laboratory. We also have physical stores now, and upcoming bazaars.

I can’t believe these all just started last year. What mermazing journey it has been!

See, everything just comes to fruition when you dedicate your time, effort, and skills to a dream, and of course lots and lots of good marketing strategies. Which I think will come by experience.

A keen eye and humility to discern and admit that there can be room for growth wouldn’t hurt either.

After all, everything starts with a good idea. It’s your call whether you want your good to stay good, or to be great.

PS.

Just finished our first Trendsetter’s Bazaar last weekend!

So excited for our next this coming September 27 to 29, at SM Megamall Megatrade Hall C.

Sea you!

Your Mermaid Miss,

Via

Find Form and Function with CND’s Creative Play Gel Polish Summer 2019 Collection

Summer girls have different ways of expressing their vibe during their most favorite season, including me. It is a known fact that aside from the lips, nails are the absolute accessory of women that are part of the body. And they just call “Hey it’s summer, aren’t you gonna paint or glam us up?”

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True enough, nail trends have been on a great evolution ever since the very first nail polish has hit our shores.

In the 50s, classic red nails were the bomb, straid neutral palettes came by on the 60s that rocked ladies, and then we had gorgeous metallic almost donned in every female nail in the 70s. Fluoro and neon hues were reigned in the 80s, as they were succeeded by the deep angsty colors of the 90s.

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The flow of the century created major breakthroughs as far as the fanciful nail industry is concerned. Golly, I even remember using my dad’s white liquid paper when I was 5.

The beauty and fashion scene have seen the different colors of the decades, from French tips to demure nude tints then to the mesmerizing and intricate nail art, who’s to say that we can’t be blown away with today’s take on nail artistry?

“We’re still big fans of the elaborate techniques showcasing beautiful nail art popularized in recent years; or the classic colors and hues that are trademarks of great eras, but we find the creativity behind the return of basic and bold hues very refreshing,” says Arvin Amaro, Brand Manager.

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The trend somehow is entailed to be a combination of stability and functionality. After all, your hands, your manicure should still make a statement, but that’s difficult to do when your fingertips are crowded with rhinestones, plus you have to carry your baby like I do.

So instead you turn to color and quality instead, but of course it has to be durable as it is head-turning!

If you think we are asking too much from a nail polish, think again. Because I am bunnyhopping with glee as CND’s Creative Play collection is up for the challenge, and wins with flying colors!

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A week ago, I had my nails done using CND’s Creative Play. I was super amazed because they are really sturdy and resilient, despite me carrying my clingy baby the entire pampering time. And even up to today, as I am typing this down, my gel polish is still all intact. No chipping, no kidding!

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As you can see, I am that summer girl who wants to express herself through her nails, so I chose a mermaid pattern as it represents my blog and my passion project.

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Seriously, this gel polish holds! This is a perfect polish for moms like me who does a lot at home, and for girls who are planning on going to their summer getaways!

So where do you get them, merfriends?

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Just visit Nailogy. I went to the branch in Robinsons Magnolia, and the staff is very nice and patient! Calum is extra clingy that day (might be a growth spurt!) so he has to be on my lap the entire time, which made the whole pampering session challenging, as it is for me and my nail fairies!

So before you head out for your sunny adventures, it’s a must to visit Nailogy branches (Robinsons Place Ermita, Robinsons Galleria or Hypermart Pasig) and be sure to ask and try the CND Creative Play Summer Collection!

 

**, Via

Smell Scentsational with Perfume Dessert

Whenever I receive perfume as gifts, they usually end up not being used because I am pretty sensitive to strong scents. I remember nursing a cold after spraying what’s somewhat ‘too fragrant’ for my picky nose.

That was why; I am pretty impressed with this aesthetically appealing line of perfumes called Perfume Dessert.

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Perfume Dessert is a fusion of fun and sophistication wrapped in these beautiful cylinder paper bottles. Their eau de parfum (also referred to as EDP) fragrances from London offers a variety of delectable dessert-inspired scents that are oil concentrated at 20-30%. This offers a bountiful of ‘waft’; that means a good deal of staying power that could last from four to eight hours.

The science behind its gorgeous 30 ml crimped bottle is that it will help retain the freshness and potent fragrance of the perfume. Keeping the chance to diffuse or leak at bay.

Since air, humidity and erratic temperature can affect the perfume’s quality, the cap should always be on. Such bottle designs that cannot be opened and only be sprayed are the best for preserving and keeping the fragrance intact and always compelling.

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I also admire how Perfume Dessert’s elegant packaging is great not only for personal use but also for giveaways or gift for loved ones especially that it’s the Christmas season. It’s really an effortless, no need for extra wrapping kind of packaging.

It’s even a great set of gifts for bridesmaids!

I particularly love the Cucumber Melon Cooler because it smells so clean and refreshing. The Orange Mimosa Sherbet is also perfect for your beaus!

Another fun fact, Perfume Dessert can also be a natural aphrodisiac, because of its gourmand notes, and it contains pheromones, which really have aphrodisiac properties. It explains why you get attracted to someone because of these kinds of scents. And everyone wants to be attractive, right?

 

These elegant perfumes come from the United Kingdom, and you can get them from as low as of Php 250.00 per bottle.

 

You may contact Perfume Dessert at the following:

FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/Perfume-Dessert-720410571416583/

INSTAGRAM: https://www.instagram.com/perfumedessertph/

 

Happy holidays! 😀

 

**, Via

Oh, Organic! – The Sweetest and Safest Way to Hair-Free Skin

Two-months into postpartum, I can say that my body is slowly getting back to its pre-pregnancy state, and I’m trying to get all the help I need.

When it comes to unwanted hair, I only go for the natural and organic.

Hey Sugar 2

You’ve probably already heard of sugar waxing. You’ve heard that it’s an organic process that uses deliciously natural ingredients administered by expert aestheticians. The whole process involves removing unwanted hair while exfoliating your skin. The end result is smooth, soft, glowing skin.
It’s all true.

Hey Sugar
The ingredients used in sugaring are all natural—and by all-natural, we mean ingredients that you could actually eat. This means it’s perfect for sensitive skin. You don’t have to worry about strange additives or weird unpronounceable ingredients.

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The process also involves a thorough exfoliation after removing unwanted hair, which is critical to the entire process because it will help prevent ingrown hairs, and make sure that the whole process is pain-free.

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All things considered, it’s almost impossible to imagine you’d go with any other grooming
method.

Hey Sugar 3

I am so happy we have better options in keeping our bodies and our skin healthier and more beautiful!

 

**, Via

The Naked Fusion’s Organic Soaps to Quench your Thirsty Skin

A lot of things can change in a woman’s body during pregnancy, and one of the most affected if I may say is the skin.

I have always taken pride on how my Mom took care my sister’s and I’s skin through the years, and that’s what I envision in doing to my son now that I am a mother.

That is why it is very timely that I got to know The Naked Fusion.

Ever since I got pregnant, I have been obsessed with organic and natural products. I wondered if I actually lived under a rock for so long for not opting to use vegan and cruelty-free products, but hey, it’s not too late, is it?

The Naked Fusion is an organic brand of beautifully handcrafted soaps that are beverage-inspired. They have a wide array of soaps for all skin types. They are 100% natural, made with certified organics, cruelty-free and vegan.

GLAMOR

Best for: Normal | Sensitive | Dry |Irritated Baby Skin (6 months above) | Children

Glamor is a mild blend of chamomile extract, lavender, and goat’s milk that are bound to keep your skin sophisticated like a glass of champagne. With continued use, it promises healing of irritated skin and other minor skin conditions. If you have extra sensitive skin, this is the perfect soap for you.

I also love how this soap can also be used for babies. I can’t wait to try this on Calum once he’s 6 months or older.

PLUSH

Best for: Normal | Oily | Acne-prone skin

Plush is a sweet concoction of sage flower, bearberry and licorice extract. It delicately prevents aging and skin pigmentations while ensuring skin remains supple, fair, and moisturized. The lavish feeling upon regular use will seep through like that of the red wine.

DANDY

Best for: Normal | Oily | Acne-prone skin

As soaring as a sip of vodka, Dandy brightens up the skin while keeping it soft and hydrated all throughout. Infused with lavender, peppermint, and rice milk, your skin will definitely thank you for a calming bliss together with your senses.

BUOYANT

Best for: Normal | Sensitive | All Skin Types

Taking inspiration from the youthful character of rum, Buoyant is here to help you achieve young-looking skin. Enriched with aloe vera leaf extract, sweet almond oil and oat, this beauty will leave your skin extra moisturized and hydrated with regular use.

LUCENT

Best for: Normal | Sensitive | Mature and Dry

Like the wild tequila, Lucent will leave no trace of dryness. Empowered with the healing extracts of shea butter, aloe vera gel, and Himalayan pink salt, Lucent is bound to help you purify your skin with much moisture, while inhibiting sagging.

SAVVY

Best for: Normal | Sensitive | Mature and Dry | With Skin Conditions

Just like the refined whiskey-like skin, Savvy is fuelled with Acapulco extract, cocoa butter, and sandalwood essential oils that are great ingredients in healing minor skin diseases, fade out dark marks, and improve the elasticity of the skin.

I think this will greatly help my belly skin in recovering post-pregnancy.

ENIGMA

Best for: Normal | Oily | Acne-prone skin

Just like the mysterious classic gimlet, Enigma is combined with the purifying benefits of activated charcoal, tea tree extract and aloe vera gel to help combat pimples, heal acne scars, and promote cell regeneration naturally.

FUSSY

Best for: Normal | Oily | Acne-prone skin

Carefully concocted as craft beer, Fussy prides itself with empowering ingredients such as goat’s milk, Himalayan pink salt, and bearberry extract that promise to lighten skin and improve its elasticity.

Just by writing I can already feel how thirsty my skin is. I cannot wait to use them and share with you the results. And did I mention that they all smell refreshing too?

Get yours today at:

Website: https://www.thenakedfusion.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/NKDFusion/

Instagram: @nakedfusion

Contact Number: (+632) 806 4504

Email: nakedfusion@gmail.com

Keep your skin happy! 😀

**, Via

Look Whooo is Almost Due Mom-to-Be Giveaway

Golly, time flies so fast and I’m turning 37 weeks on Tuesday, August 7! Which means, the merbaby can come out anytime soon!

To celebrate this huge milestone, I am conducting a “Mom-to-Be Giveaway”!

A Baby Shower honoring mom-to-be

If you are following my Encyclopevia Facebook Page, you would know that this started last week. But fret not, you still have two weeks left to join! 😀

You can win awesome prizes for yourself, or you could give the winnings as gifts too!

This giveaway is made possible by my generous sponsors. 🙂

Madison Hotel 101 + Tower

Madison 101

  • I have written and mentioned this hotel many times on my blog and social media posts. I had their premiere accommodation as my bridal suite when I got married last year. Great location, great place, and affordable rates. You can actually use my code: “VERSAHEEL101” to get 30% discount on your staycations!

Mermaid Island

Mermaid Island Logo 2

  • This is the new baby just got out. If the baby in my tummy is my biological child, Mermaid Island is my brainchild. I have conceived the idea last September 2017, and I have finally given birth to it this June 2018! Shocks, parang 9 months in the making din! 😀
  • My love and immense need for 100% natural and vegan cosmetics paved the way for me to open my own makeup and skincare line. Currently, we are offering edible lipscrubs, moisturizing tinted lipbalms, dipbrow pomades, and lip and cheek clay stains. I will definitely blog about this new venture soon! 😀

Gogozing Migration

Gogozing Logo

  • This is an independent Australian immigration agency based in Melbourne, Australia, and Seoul, South Korea. They provide top-notch immigration services to businesses, families, and individuals worldwide.

If you are planning on traveling, studying or even migrating to Australia, I highly recommend you check them out. They give the most effective yet practical strategy in achieving your tourist and/or migration goals.

Check out my interview with the CEO of Gogozing Migration!

Now that you know the sponsors, you may now check the mechanics below 😀

LOOK WHOOO IS ALMOST DUE (Giveaway)

Me!

To honor my ‘mom-to-be-hood’, I’m celebrating it with a giveaway! 😀

You can win the following awesome prizes:

1st prize : 1K Worth of GC from Madison Hotel 101 + Tower

2nd Prize: Beauty seacrets from Mermaid Island

3rd Prize: Dining GC from Ramen Bar in Greenfield

Are you ready? 😀

So here’s the mechanics:

  1. Like Encyclopevia in Facebook and follow me on Instagram

instagram.com/encyclopevia

  1. Like Mermaid Island in Facebook
  2. Like Gogozing Migration in Facebook
  1. Tag 3 friends in the comments below (3 Names = 1 entry) You can add more entries, by putting ANOTHER COMMENT with another 3 names. (So I can count easily! Hehe :p )

The more entries you send, the more chances of winning! 😀

  1. Finally, share this on your Timeline with the status

“I want to win awesome prizes from #EncyclopeviaGiveaway!”

That’s it! 😀 You have to do all of the above to make your entries valid. I will check ha? 😊😊

You may join by visiting this LINK.

I may have to say that this giveaway is open for Philippine residents only.

I will draw winners via random.org on Aug 19, at 8PM via Facebook Live on my Encyclopevia Facebook Page. 😀

Good luck merfriends! 😀

**, Via

7 Things to Do When Preparing for Your Maternity Shoot

Last week, I finally had the courage, and time to have my maternity shoot. 😀

It was such a surreal experience; it was a first time for everyone! My hair and makeup artist, the photo and video team, my husband, and of course, me!

I know it can be unnecessary, since we have so much to prepare for birth and the days after that, but I definitely wanted to push this idea to document this wonderful miracle while I can. And of course, it won’t be possible for me not to write about it here. Teehee!

So I’d like to share some tips and a guide on what you need to do just in case you’ll be holding your own momma-shoot!

  1. Find a Comfortable Venue

I was 35 weeks when I had this shoot, and according to some of my readings, the best weeks to hold this photoshoot is when you are between your 28th to 35th. In this time, at least your tummy is showy enough to be captured, and at the same time, safer. We don’t want to be bothered by the fact that you can give birth any minute while posing for the camera, do we?

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Photo Credit: http://sanrafaelriveradventure.com/

I tried looking for studios, and a good AirBNB place, but all the places I’ve looked for are either too cramped, doesn’t allow photoshoots, or are waaaaaaaaaaaaay too expensive!

Good thing, I stumbled upon a post in my feed about this cute getaway place in Bulacan. It’s called San Rafael River Adventure, and the place actually looks divine! 😀

They have a lot of fun activities that you can use for other types of shoots, like the prenup. But since I will just be using the entire accommodation, this should be enough.

It is highly important that you feel comfortable with the location or your venue, because of our condition. This is not the shoot where we can be adventurous. Leave it to the prenups and getaway trips! 😀

I booked the Glass Stilt Cottage, which is newly constructed by the way. I can’t believe I have a view of the lake in front of me! They have a comfy bed, and a jacuzzi. The space outside was enough to cater at least 6 people. There was a hammock, a sliding sofa, good lighting and a breezy weather to top it off. The air condition was good inside as well, plus the windows were perfect for those silhouette shots I was eyeing. Plus I thought that their rainy season promo was just perfect! So, what does a pregnant girl got to do? Book it right away of course! 😀

I am happy that the resort was very quick to reply, and I was given the available dates. I made a group chat, and voila, scheduled it right away together with the available dates of my team! 😀

2. Create Your Mood Board

I am a very bad pregnant-person-slash-client. Grr. I bash myself.

Oh well, I know I have to prepare for this weeks ago, but I was only able to send this to my team two days prior to our shooting day. I was too busy with some other things that I rarely had time to browse Pinterest or create a mood board.

But being the good crammer that I am, I was able to whip one just in time. Hehe 😀

Since I got a really good deal with Grid Studio too, (they are our civil wedding photo and video team by the way); they offered me unlimited shots, so yeah I want to maximize that. 😀

I thought about 5 sets and took inspiration from the things I found online, and of course with the available props and wardrobe that I have.

a. Whimsical Woman

I bought this pink ensemble way back in May, thinking it could be a good alternative for a bridal robe for my church wedding. But turns out, it could serve its purpose at an earlier date!

I also bought these flower crowns in SM. I couldn’t decide which one I like more, so I got them both. Haha Ayoko na pahirapan sarili ko! (I don’t want to have the burden of thinking which one is better!)

b. Simple and Laidback Mom + Hubby

I saw a lot of simples, and laidback shots that are perfect to include baby things, and the husband too. It looks soft on the eyes, very loving, and “very family”.

c. Boss Mama

This one is credited to my working-productive-self! Even though I’m pregnant, I am still very hands-on in my business especially that it’s new and the brand is just starting to pick up.

I always tell myself, I will not lose my identity and individuality just because of the new role that motherhood could bring; more so, it will be a big improvement. I will be a much better version because I’m adding a new role in my resume.

d. Boudoir

I actually wanted one before prior to getting married, but due to time constraints and indecisiveness, I wasn’t able to come up with one. Hopefully, when I get my body back post-pregnancy!

So in the meantime, I thought why not have one while expecting? It’s a totally new form because for once in my life I am not skinny, and I’ve got a few extra curves to flaunt. 😀

I can’t wait to share the silhouette photos! 😀

e. Summertime

Since I love wearing a bikini, and there was a Jacuzzi in our venue, there was no way I would pass on the opportunity of wearing one.

It was very funny too, because for once in my life, I have to buy an extra-large bikini! Haha 😀 I was pretty sad when I didn’t get the color I wanted because I was too big for the available Large size. Goodie, they have this red one that can fit my baby bump.

Which reminds me, I actually had a mini shoot wearing a bikini when I was in Bataan. I was 18 weeks here, and you could see how I just look ‘busog’.

3. Find a Good Maternity Shoot Team

This was easy. I was able to establish a really good relationship with my civil wedding photo-video-HMU team that I thought about them instantly. They actually haven’t done any maternity shoots, so this made the whole experience more exciting.

I actually thought of getting other suppliers, but I realized I will still get a better deal if I get my original team. I also saw some studios offering maternity shoots. Sure they are cheaper, but what I didn’t like is that they don’t give raw files of the photos, and they will only release like 5 to 10 shots, printed and edited. Plus there was no video too.

Grid Studio offered me unlimited shots, a video, printed photos and raw files, plus we can shoot anywhere I like, so yes, there was nothing left to discuss.

Elaine Cordova Makeup Artistry is such a good find too. She has done my makeup for a blog photoshoot and at my actual wedding, and I am really satisfied. She has great skills, plus I don’t have to burn holes in my pockets just to avail her airbush makeup. Elaine is also very instinctive, she knows what you want, asks for your makeup pegs, and deliberately retouches you every now and then, without you even asking.

4. Know Your Poses

Expect a lot of dreamy looks and belly-touching poses on a maternity shoot. So be sure your nails are polished! If you gain some weight and some extra chubbs in your face like I do, be sure you know your angles so you can still achieve the looks you want.

It’s also good to research poses with your husband/partner so things could go on smoothly. I am so happy that Rose and Michael of Grid Studio are very directive when it comes to poses. It was amazing how they handled and directed us even though it was also their first to cover a maternity shoot.

5. Prepare Your Props

We weren’t able to buy a lot of props, but good thing I was able to nick some of the random shopping baby finds we had. Plus it is so helpful that friends and family also gave their baby gifts earlier! Haha More props for us!

Here is the list of the props I think would help add more character to a maternity shoot:

  1. Baby clothes
  2. Baby shoes (Be gender specific)
  3. Baby socks
  4. Baby toys
  5. Ultrasound Photos
  6. Baby book / Storybook
  7. Pregnancy book
  8. Stuffed toy (I had a kangaroo with a little joey in its pouch)
  9. A figure of the first letter of baby’s name (We didn’t have time to find one. Sad. )

6. Get a Good Night Sleep The Day Before

Please do! It’s good for your skin, and to rid those circles under your eyes. Plus it helps you to have good energy for the entire day!

I only had an hour’s sleep though. I was finishing bulk orders ready for delivery the next day, that’s why. I think my strong desire and excitement for the shoot to happen are what sustained me to last the whole day! 😀

7. Enjoy Being Gorgeously Pregnant and Pose the Belly Away

Honestly, I was extra weary that I won’t look great in this shoot, because I’m fat, my skin is dry, my belly button is protruding, my linea nigra is so apparent, my face feels like it’s going to burst, etc.

But hey, I am a walking miracle! That should be enough to keep me happy and make me feel beautiful. So I just accepted all these flaws that I have in my head, after all, these are all normal for a pregnant woman, duh?

So I just prepared myself that I won’t get the usual results in this photoshoot, unlike the past ones. I have to accept that early on. I will look different. Very different. But there’s a growing life inside me, and this little one is going to change my life forever. And being able to document that in a maternity shoot is already a blessing. Truly, something I would treasure for the years to come.

If you are thinking of having one too, I highly recommend it! It doesn’t have to put a big dent on your wallet though. You can always have the kind of shoot you want, whether in your home, studio, in a DIY setup, on the beach, or anywhere you find it comfortable doing. You just have to do your research, and be resourceful!

Go my mermom merfriends! 😀 Be confident and strut that baby bump soon! 😀 You only get pregnant once, or twice, or thrice! Haha 😀 Whatever the frequency is, it would be a great keepsake for your family to remember by, and a great photo to show the little one once he is outside too!

I will share my final shots when I get them!

Enjoy your pregnancy! I’m popping soon!

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Hello Kitty Then and Now: From a Child’s Toy to a Lady’s Best Friend

I am 29 years old, married to a beautiful man, and pregnant to a sweet baby boy (his kicks always try to reach my hand whenever I absent-mindedly touch my belly, take note, I’m not even pressing on my bump), and I am still a big fanatic of Hello Kitty.

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I remember buying sooo many Hello Kitty items when I was younger. I usually get the pink ones, while my little sister gets the blue versions. I spent most of my childhood in different cities in the Philippines because of my dad’s work, and we stayed in Butuan City in Mindanao the longest – 6 years.

I recall that there were no malls back then, and I was pretty appalled. Haha 😀

People who are close to me know how “maarte” I can get.

In Butuan, there was probably only one store that sells nice girly things. It’s just a little boutique in the center of the city, and naturally, you wouldn’t be surprised to know that most of the little girls drag their moms there to buy them whatever. The stocks are very limited too, so when you get a pretty item, you suddenly become a star in your class.

I can say my sister and I were two of the hoarders, and my mom was extra-giving too, so lucky us! 😀

Recently though, I came upon a new brand of sanitary pads that illustrates the face of Hello Kitty – Softex. My 10-year-old self would’ve been so excited to get her period I guess.

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Softex is based in Indonesia, and that will explain some of the foreign words you can see in their packaging.

I got curious so I immediately tried their pantyliners.

I was kind of giddy because normally I only get 20 liners in one packet, but theirs have 5 more! 😀

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I love how ultra-thin it is, given how the liner contour fits perfectly. My thighs have decided they want to go extra meaty to support my baby weight, hence my concern for feeling uncomfortable in trying new pads. I am quite happy that Softex pantyliners did not disappoint. 🙂

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They also come in Comfort Slim pads that you can use during your red days, no matter how heavy the flow is.

The interior has a pillow-like feel for extra comfort, with breathable layer and has a 1-second absorption rate! 🙂

Softex Comfort Slim pads utilize SILKTOUCH Surface Technology with BICOMPONENT fiber that combines super-soft fiber with a strong inner fiber that has a 2mm thickness that you’ll barely feel. The housed in an aluminized packaging with an open/close sticker are also incorporated in the design package to ensure utmost cleanliness.

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You can also try their Comfort Slim Long pads specially made for heavy flows and night-time. The wide backguard ensures you don’t leak and stain the sheets, and helps you achieve that good sleep and sweet dreams!

 

The innovative pack of extra long, ultra-thin, hypoallergenic pads is the lady-down-there’s new best friend!

I’m giving birth next month, and these pads will sit on the dresser waiting for me to use them soon! 🙂

 

You can buy them in the following stores:  Puregold, select branches of SM Health&Beauty sections, Watsons, Robinsons, Waltermart, Ministop, Shopee, Lazada, BeautyMNL

 

Follow Softex in their social media channels:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SoftexHelloKittyPH/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/softexhellokittyph/

 

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7 Times I Felt Fearless, Fierce and Playfully Bold (Some Secrets Revealed!)

Have you ever had that moment when the world agrees that you are weak, obsolete, and someone who cannot do anything better with her life?

If your answer is yes, same here! 😀

Everybody has those periods of weaknesses, but it doesn’t matter how many times you felt betrayed, disappointed, hurt – all that matters is that you were able to rise up, and be a phoenix from those ashes.

Let me share something personal today because I’m feeling sentimental and extra motivating. Haha 😀 Because nothing is sweeter and worth-reading that those inspiring stories that let you reflect on your own to do something that will yield growth for the next 24 hours.

On Family and Friends

  1. I am a registered nurse, and obviously, I didn’t pick my course, but I had to do it because that’s what my Dad wants. I had to be a good daughter, and I know he just wants the best for me. After graduation, and passing the boards, I knew I had to do something with my life, and that doesn’t include using my PRC license.

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My Dad and I had a discussion, a long and gruesome one. He wanted me to join the family business if I don’t intend to work in a hospital. I was so thirsty with the life outside of school, so I made my stand. I said I want to work and experience how it is like to be part of an organization that does not involve any assistance or connection from my parents. I want to know if I am cut for a job, just by being me.

And so, I got hired and became an SEO Copywriter! No assistance, no connections. License not needed. Just me, and whatever I have in this frail little body.

  1. Sometimes, it really takes a whole lot of courage to be honest with a friend, especially if you think that the truth might hurt them. I once had an experience with a friend who wants to change her life and attract a mate but didn’t know where to start. I had to tell her that she needs to love and take good care of herself, to invite wealthy situations and wonderful people in her life.

Golly, I was so cautious to pick the right words so I wouldn’t have to hurt her feelings, especially when I told her she needed a makeover. But that’s something I am not regretting, because she was able to change her disposition towards herself, and that’s quite enough for me.

On Career

  1. I took 3 board exams. The Nursing Licensure Exam, which I passed. The Real Estate Broker Exam, which I passed, again. And the Real Estate Appraiser Exam, which I failed.

I have never felt such a failure in my entire life. I have always been accustomed to winning, to getting what I want, and not anticipating anything might go wrong. As for my plans for the 3rd exam, I got a taste of something I never even planned of cooking.

My boss back then told me, that I don’t have to prove anything, as far as career is concerned. I am good at what I’m doing, and a failed attempt for a third license is not going to diminish my value as a professional and as a person.

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Via Galang 5

I soon realized that failures are just disguised blessings, because fate and Someone Up There has their way of giving you something more, something you deserve, and something that’s going to weigh more than the other failed plans you even bothered conjuring.

After that, I became a Shoe Designer and a Public Speaker. Not bad, don’t you think?

  1. I was too shy to raise concerns about my needs and directions as a professional, thinking that I may be regarded as too ambitious or too demanding. But after months of contemplating and reflecting, I was able to finally find the nerve and the bravery to speak up.

I filed my resignation. And soon started a career on freelance, and put up my own business.

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I knew the career path I wanted to take, and I am thankful I found the guts to follow it; knowing that my dreams will not be handed to me, I have to get them myself.

On Love

  1. It’s funny how some people advise you that no one goes away from someone who is tall, fair, beautiful, rich, an heir to a business empire, etc. But nobody tells you that it’s also okay to let go when you think the relationship is going nowhere.

How is that even possible? I once had this perfect guy, and he was all sweet and nice, and gentlemanly, and everything you can think of your ideal prince charming. Only that, he was not customized for me. He was a generic Ken doll, and  I’m a specialized Barbie.

It took me almost a year to realize that, and muster the sanity that I have to get out of that relationship. I was kidding myself that maybe I was too “maarte” or too choosy. He was indeed a perfect guy, but not the perfect One for me.

So I guess do not be afraid of walking out on the love that you think you don’t deserve.

  1. I’d like to use this part on how I met my husband. I was definitely the epitome of fearless, fierce and exceptionally bold. I met him on Christmas of 2015 in a club in BGC.

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He was like a shiny new toy. Chinito, may braces, makinis, rosy lips, very Oppa! Someone I think will not even give me a second look. We chatted for a while, maybe around 45 minutes tops, and then my tita friends said we had to go home.

It was 3AM! But I was so engrossed in his personality and our conversation, that I asked them (my friends) for an extra 15 minutes. But my girl buddies were on haste. So I had to decide if I should go home or not.

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In about 2 seconds in my mind I was thinking like: If I go home, I will always wonder what will have been had I stayed? But if I stay, I will find out. After all, you only live once. And it’s just one adventurous night, that I can tell my future grandkids!

Yes, for 2 seconds!

So I said, “I’ll stay! For 30minutes. Then I’ll leave, promise!”

Haha 😀 At the back of my head, I was taking a chance. On a total stranger! That I just met that night! Allowing myself to have 30 minutes of a chance at a possible boyfriend, or friend, or connection. Haha 😀 Assuming!

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If I knew I was staying for a chance at love, marriage, and for the rest of my life, I could have dropped that 30-minute detail in my disclaimer! Haha 😀

You can imagine my friends’ reactions when I told them I’m choosing to stay. Haha :p

So the lesson is, take risks! But choose them wisely! 😀

On Life

  1. The most difficult downfall I ever had was to witness my mother pass away from the life as we know it.

You can never prepare enough for a death of a loved one, especially with someone who was entirely essential to make you alive for your first 9 months of life.

She was my hero – my biggest influence. I still get teary when I talk and write about her. I feel so honored to be her daughter, to be her extension, to be her legacy.

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There is no forgetting, you may just get used to the pain, in that small hollow part in your heart. I may have moved on, but her memory will always flourish, and the fact that she has shared her strength, her wisdom, her talent, her passion, her love, her life to me is what’s going to making me fearless, fierce, and playfully bold for the rest of my years until I see her again.

And that my merfriend is how you own life, be unabashedly beautiful, confident, unfazed by nothing, and empowered from within.

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This post is inspired by the #Curvalicious Movement of Whisper in bringing forward a whole new level of attitude, zest, and inspiration for women to keep slaying, winning, and doing things their own way – no holds barred.

Whisper’s upgraded pads are now featured with the new #Curvalicious fit, with a bump on the pad that ensures a more snug fit, so you feel comfortable like any other day. Its soft cotton cover and dermacare lotion cares for your skin, and with pad’s longer fit, 12-hour leak protection, and anti-leak barriers from all sides, you have absolutely no reason to worry!

So let us all celebrate to see ourselves sassy, edgy and fabulous, even on red days. Always be present, and don’t lose focus on your goals, with nothing to stop or distract you.

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I hope this post inspired you to become a better version of yourself and to never lose sight of who you are, what you want, and why you’re doing it.

Remember, above anything, you have to always like yourself amidst all these new things and changes happening in your life.

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As always, you have my support! Whisper does too!

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What You Need to Know About Boudoir Photography

The title of this post just makes me giggle a little bit. I mean I am not an expert with photoshoots, and I am not a photographer either, but I am just in so much awe about this concept.

I just feel that it really screams women empowerment and a great showcase of confidence!

So what am I talking about really?

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Credits: Buyagift

 

A Boudoir Photography is “a photographic style featuring intimate, romantic, and sometimes racy or suggestive but classy images of its subjects in a bedroom or private dressing room”.

I am a member of a wedding group, and this is where I learned so much about this rather sensual photography panache. Usually, the bride engages in a photo shoot and wills to give the polished work to her groom as a wedding gift. It has an utter feeling of a “for-your-eyes-only” gift.

So let me just round up some things that you should know, just in case you finally brave up and take the leap of holding your very own boudoir shoot!

 

THE STYLE

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You can actually form your own concept. Oftentimes, brides opt to hold it in a private location or room, like the one in hotels, to maximize privacy. You can look like a modern maven, a French maid, a morning-after-look vixen, a sexy Fifty Shades of Grey rip-off, a pin-up girl, the fifty’s, the sky is the limit!

It is up to you too should you want everything in black and white or in whimsy filters and colors.

 

THE MAKEUP

Valerie Hammer Makeup Artistry

Credits: Valerie Hammer Makeup Artistry

I suggest you streamline it with your chosen theme. Most of the time I see women in smokey eyes, and nude lip tints for that sultry look. Or you can always try that innocent, no-makeup makeup look. 🙂

 

THE PHOTOGRAPHER

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This can be a little tricky though because some girls prefer an all-girl team. They feel more comfortable when they know that everything will be handled by females, knowing that the concept is a bit intimate. But for me, I don’t really mind. I am more concerned about their talent, and abilities to execute great images for me to worry about gender.

 

THE WARDROBE

You can actually look for lacy pieces, white button-downs, robes, or sexy lingerie. Just in case you don’t find anything you like in the local stores, you can always try to SHOP NOW at ROSEGAL. They have amazing collections for sheer bodysuits.

 

THE EXPECTATION

Finesse Boudoir Photography

Credits: Finesse Boudoir Photography

Here’s the thing, it doesn’t matter if you think you’re over or under the weight that you are supposed to be in. This is about accepting your flaws and highlighting your assets. It is about a celebration of you being a woman, right here, right now.

I am pretty bummed that I haven’t done it yet, but I’m thinking of holding one for my maternity shoot, and once I get my pre-pregnancy body back.

Now if you’re considering on having your own boudoir photoshoot, here is a resounding BIG YES! Go for it, and don’t let anybody tell you, you shouldn’t.

 

Your body, your rules! Go, merfriend!

 

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