Dove #RealBeauty

One of the many things I love about Dove is that they promote #realbeauty. Unlike most brands that tend to push a very exclusive version of beautiful, Dove inspires women to become the best versions of ourselves. By doing this, they help make beauty a source of confidence and not anxiety–their goal is to make all women look and feel their best, which ultimately makes us feel happier.

I’m pretty sure you’ve taken notice of Dove’s many campaigns. They are always inspiring, heart-felt and make us feel good about ourselves. It’s because Dove actually celebrates every woman’s beauty, promotes inclusion, and makes huge efforts to raise self-esteem and confidence, and these are clearly shown in all their campaigns. They have been doing this for 60 years, and today they are recommitting to this with three vows:

1) Dove will always feature real women. Dove believes that beauty is for everyone and therefore features real women of different ages, sizes, ethnicities, hair color, type or style. Real women are introduced by their names and their campaigns will continue to reflect the population’s diversity.

2) Dove will always portray women as they are in real life. They promise to never present the unachievable, manipulated, flawless images of “perfect” beauty which the use of retouching tools can promote. This means zero digital distortion of women, and images are actually approved by the women they feature.

3) Dove will always help girls build body confidence and self-esteem. Globally 8 out of 10 girls opt out of key life activities when they don’t feel good about the way they look. Dove has a mission to ensure the next generation grows up enjoying a positive relationship with the way they look – by helping young people raise their self-esteem and realize their full potential.

For over 10 years, the Dove Self-Esteem Project has educated over 20 million young people in body confidence and self-esteem and has become the biggest provider of self-esteem education of its kind. The brand works with world renowned body image experts and leading universities to develop evidence based and academically validated educational tools. Their goal is to educate 20 million more young people around the world on body confidence and self-esteem by 2020.

As you know, I was invited by Dove to attend their global campaign launch in New York City last month, and part of the program was to meet four amazing, wonderful women. To be honest, I was super grateful to be part of this trip, because I was truly inspired by their remarkable stories. They were as real as it got, and I could not wait to share their stories with my readers.


REBEKAH MARINE ( is a model, inspirational speaker and humanitarian. Despite being born without a right forearm, Rebekah has defied all odds in the fashion industry and has become one of the most recognizable models in the disabled community. She began her journey in 2011 when she decided to explore her options for a myoelectric prosthesis. When she was being fit for her new prosthesis, a friend suggested she model her new “accessory.” It was at that moment Rebekah realized she could turn her “disability” into something extraordinary.

“Throughout my journey as a “bionic model”, I started to realize that it is more than just about me. That it’s about helping people that may not see the brighter side of the cards that they were dealt; it’s about helping people embrace who they are as a person; and it’s about educating people who are living with differences. I have this rare opportunity to teach people that while we all struggle with our lives, we have the ability to control how we treat those struggles.”

Rebekah’s story is incredible. Despite her disability, she was able to start a modeling career and even walk in New York Fashion Week! She is such an inspiration to all of us, and teaches young girls that your disabilities or limitations should not stop you from achieving your dreams.

JESSICA TORRES ( is a style blogger, social media influencer, and body positive fashion reporter. She started her style blog in 2012 and has made quite an impact in the blogging universe as she is one of the first plus-size Latinas bloggers. She makes fearless fashion choices that promote body confidence at any shape and is a role model for so many women who are struggling with their weight and self-esteem. Apart from blogging, Jessica is also a full-time body positivity reporter for Revelist.

“It really affected the way I saw myself in this world, and I let it affect the way I let other people treat me. I missed out on so much in life. For example, I didn’t go to my high school prom, because I thought, ‘I’m gonna look really gross in a dress,’ so I didn’t want to go. And when I go to parties, which is really rare, I didn’t dance. I would sit in a corner, I would sit down, because I didn’t want my body jiggling to offend anyone. And I didn’t want people to look at me and say, ‘oh, she’s jiggling here, she’s jiggling there’; I didn’t want to be the center of attention–that was my biggest fear.

After two years of researching and looking at blogs, I decided it was my turn. The reason why I feel like this is that I didn’t have any role models–I didn’t have anyone that looked like me, I didn’t have anyone that was plus sized and said, ‘you can be fashionable too, you can be beautiful too, you can be as pretty and amazing as you want to be.’ So I wanted to start my blog, and I had my little brother who was my blog photographer, and one day I was like, ‘take a photo of me in a crop top’, for the first time. And I did it. And it was amazing, but I was still very nervous. And when I built up the courage to take a picture with a two piece swimsuit, that was the moment I was like, ‘OK’. Because I started to receive messages from women telling me, ‘hey, I saw you wearing this dress, and now I feel like I can wear it as well.'”

IBTIHAJ MUHAMMAD is an American sabre fencer, and a member of the United States fencing team. She is best known for being the first Muslim American woman to wear a hijab while competing for the United States in the Olympics. In individual sabre at the 2016 Summer Olympics, she won her first qualifying round bout, and was defeated in the second round by Cécilia Berder of France. She earned the bronze medal as part of Team USA in the Team Sabre, becoming the first female Muslim-American athlete to earn a medal at the Olympics.

“My entire life growing up in a predominantly white town in New Jersey, playing in a sport that made me stick out like a sore thumb. Being acknowledged for being different in a sport was the first time where I constantly had people questioning whether or not I belonged because I was black, or I belonged because I was a Muslim girl. Because I wore my hijab, was I safe to participate in a sport; could my opponent participate or compete against me and would that be safe for them because I was wearing a hijab. These were the questions I was getting as a kid.”

DAPHNE SELFE has gained the title: oldest professional fashion model. She has been modelling since 1949 when was picked unexpectedly for a magazine cover at 21 years old (she was born in 1928). She was rediscovered in her seventies, and has been working ever since. Now in her eighties, she is busier than ever and loving life, as campaigns from all over the world keep coming. Daphne proves to the world that age is just a number; she is truly an inspiration to all women!

“I was a model when I was 20, for about five years, just doing normal sort of modeling in the ’50s. And then I didn’t anymore for a bit, and then when I got to 70, I got rediscovered, which you all probably heard about. I’ve had such a great time since, I mean, much better than when I was 20. I mean, I never went abroad when I was young, well, then during my time nobody did. But for modeling now, well, you’re in Paris tonight, then tomorrow you’re in New York… and so here I am. I’ve been all over the world–I’ve gone to lots of places where I never thought I’d be in, but then I say, I’ll go anywhere for as long as you pay me.

That’s the thing with young models, they think when you get old, you’re going to go off. You can go off but you’ll still be a model, if you’ve got a bit of personality and enjoy it all. It doesn’t stop you. And it’s nice working with younger models because they’re not jealous of me. They just usually want to be like me, which is very flattering.” 

So, of course, I couldn’t get over how gorgeous the flat (where the event was held) was. I took plenty of photos, and was able to take one with Daphne as well!


i.Lipo at Marie France

YAY! I’ve signed on with Marie France for another year and I couldn’t be happier. As you know, Marie France has helped me lose all the baby weight and go down to my pre-pregnancy size. And while it took several months to do it (nope, it wasn’t an overnight thing), I am glad it took that long because I didn’t succumb to crash dieting or too much exercise. I did it the healthy way, which is why the pounds stayed off.

I don’t have much to lose at the moment, but I do need some toning in my tummy and leg area. I am glad that Marie France has all the machines I need in this department (they aren’t just for weight loss, but also for toning and skin tightening). One machine has become an instant favorite, because it is super effective and feels like a warm massage (seriously you relax while your fats melt away). It is called the i.Lipo Body-Shaping Laser, and it is the newest innovation in fat reduction and body contouring.

Okay, so more about this super machine: it is the first of its kind in the Philippines but it is also US FDA-approved for circumference reduction via laser lipolysis. Yes, i.Lipo has been clinically-proven to give visible, measurable results after just one session (seriously, it works). You can actually lose as much as 4 cm in your problem area on your first treatment, with results improving further after every session. Some cases have even been found to be comparable to results gained from liposuction, but without the cuts, bruises, pain and risks!

So this is how it works: i.Lipo uses low-level laser energy to target and breakdown fat cells in specific areas, like the tummy, arms, and thighs. This results in instant inch-loss and body-shaping safely and painlessly, and all while you are lying down (actress Jessica Alba has tried it and was impressed by it, and it has been featured in top magazines like Harper’s Bazaar, OK! Magazine, Shape Magazine and New You).

I know you are super excited to try it, but like me in the beginning, also hesitant to give it a go. So I’ve asked Marie France to give me more information about it. Read up and know what sets i.Lipo apart from all the other machines.

What is i.Lipo?

i.Lipo is the latest breakthrough in laser lipolysis, offering fat elimination and body contouring via low-level laser energy. It is a US FDA-approved treatment that targets and breaks down fat cells in specific areas like the tummy, arms, and thighs. With i.Lipo, inch-loss and body shaping are achieved safely and painlessly.

How does i.Lipo work?

i.Lipo stimulates the body’s natural response to fat-burning by utilizing low levels of visible red laser light to target and eliminate unwanted fat. With treatment pads placed on the problem area, i.Lipo emits laser energy to prompt fat cells to break down the stored triglycerides into fatty acids and glycerol. These are then transported to tissues for use when the body needs its energy reserves, thereby promoting metabolism. Once metabolized, these are eliminated through the body’s natural processes.

Who are the candidates for i.Lipo?

i.Lipo is best for those who are struggling with stubborn excess fat on particular areas, like the arms, tummy, and thighs. It is recommended for those who want a more defined figure, as it helps to contour the body to its ideal shape. And since it is non-invasive, it is also perfect for those who do not want to undergo risky surgical fat reduction procedures.

How long does a session take?

It varies depending on the size of the treatment area. But in general, it usually takes only 30 minutes to 1 hour.

Is it safe?

Very safe. i.Lipo is non-ablative and only focuses on the target area. It does not affect nor damage surrounding skin, blood vessels and peripheral nerves. Moreover, it can be performed on all skin types.

Is it painful?

Not at all. Clients have described the treatment to feel like a massage. But a slight warm sensation may be felt from the treatment pads, depending on the skin’s sensitivity.

Is there downtime?

There is no downtime. Normal activities can be resumed right after the treatment.

What results can be expected from i.Lipo?

Painless fat reduction and body shaping. You can achieve 2 to 4cm fat loss in your problem area in just a single session. An ultrasound imagery has likewise shown up to 30% reduction in fat layer depth after one treatment. And you can expect results to keep improving with more treatments. It has also been clinically-proven to yield results comparable to liposuction in some cases.

Try i.Lipo yourself and be wowed by the results. Call 894-2639 now for a free consultation.


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What an amazing feat, Dove! 60 years of caring for women all over the world with wonderful products that help bring out our best selves. Yes, it is truly a brand we all know and love, not only for its products, but also because of the powerful message it sends about REAL BEAUTY. This is the only brand in the world that celebrates every woman’s beauty, promotes inclusion, and makes huge efforts to raise self-esteem and confidence. I am so proud to be a part of this brand’s campaigns, because they really do care about women.

So to celebrate their 60th year, Dove has invited me to join them in their New York headquarters to know more about their rich history, and what they have in store for us in the next 60 years. I have to say, I was all kinds of impressed, and I now have a deeper appreciation for this amazing brand.

Okay, so for most of you who don’t know (a little history lesson here), Dove started producing its iconic beauty bar in 1957. And in that span of time, A LOT has changed, except for their formulation. I was actually amazed to find out that the Dove beauty bar is pretty much the same formula it was 60 years ago! How cool is that?! Of course, an entire line up of products have been created over the years and that have since become a staple in our homes. That includes the body wash, body lotion, deodorant, shampoo and conditioner and a Men + Care line.

What can I say, it definitely was one for the books. I really enjoyed this day as I got to try all their latest products and ask their in-house scientists exactly how these products work. I was more than happy to know about the latest innovations in these categories, and discover all the new products that are only available in certain parts of the world.

Happy 60th birthday, DOVE! 

This is how the first Dove Beauty Bar looked like 60 years ago!

A timeline of their product launches and beauty campaigns that rocked the world.

Another one of the iconic beauty bar from the 1950’s.

Their ad campaigns feature real women, who were always introduced by their first names.

One of the first Dove print advertisements.

Yep, Dove is the only beauty bar around with 1/4 moisturizing cream.

Loved the location of the products presentation. We were high up and had this amazing view of NYC.

I was up on a cloud, floating away while smelling Dove in the background. This was so relaxing.

Absolutely blown away by this Dove Micellar Water from Japan. It truly removes all traces of makeup in one swipe.

That iconic logo!

An entire line of Dove Spa products! Ugh, cant wait for these to arrive in our Philippine shores.

This line smelled heavenly. So clean and fresh.

Selfie while I waited for the next presentation.

NEED!!! Dry shampoo for our hot Philippine weather. This line is just so amazing. We tested it on flower petals (with and without the conditioner) and the one without got completely burnt with a hair iron while the one dipped in the conditioner stayed protected from the heat.

 This was the experiment we did: the ones on top were dipped in Dove Conditioner. They were obviously not burnt, not like the ones in the bottom.

These were so much fun. Dove’s shower foam line has the most moisturizing foams in the market.

Light and fluffy, but packed with moisture.

This line is just amazing.

So happy to have been sent to NYC for this!

Selfie with other journalists/bloggers!

What an amazing day of discovery. Dove is truly a brand to love!

Another line that I super love: Dove Nourishing Care is the most moisturizing line, ever. This is available in countries with four season weather–it effectively returns lost moisture to the skin, which is always a problem in autumn/winter.

      Love this cool limited edition toiletry bags/soap cases! They were designed by artists from all over the world.

This was my favorite from the bunch.


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Tricks of the Trade: Blusher basics


Hi Kelly. Can you tell me how to apply blush? I tried it before but I ended up looking like a clown. Is there a proper way to do it? -Pia Y. 

One of my earliest (and fondest) childhood memories involves makeup. I think I was four or five years old at the time, and my sister was eight or nine. We had discovered my mother’s makeup kit hidden in the back of her closet and it was as if we had found gold. We excitedly went through her loose face powder, blue eyeshadow, pink blush and red lipstick and wore everything all at once. After our little makeup session, we had managed to apply every product in that bag on our faces, my parents’ bed and the floor. It must’ve been a nightmare for my parents to come home to this mess but I have to say, it was worth all the trouble.

It was the most amazing introduction to makeup, and let me tell you, it was not the last time we raided my mom’s makeup stash. It was also the first time I fell in love with blush, and to this day I never leave home without it as it has become my go-to product when I want to look good without applying a full face of makeup.

What I love about blush is that it lends a healthy dose of color to the skin and immediately gives a finished look. I can go out with just a sweep of blush on my cheeks and already I look polished and made up. Plus, there are just so many amazing options to choose from—from lip and cheek tint, cream blush and powder blush to every shade, color and finish imaginable. We have so many choices, it is impossible not to find one that works for you.

Admittedly, I have made more than a few blushing blunders over the years. I, too, have left the house looking like a clown one too many times and didn’t realize it until I got home that evening. The good thing about making mistakes is that we learn from them, and improve by asking tips and advise from experts. I did exactly that and sought the help of makeup artists I worked with back when I was still modeling full-time. I hope these tips work for you, and you get to love blush as much as I do. Here are the fundamentals of applying blush:

Blushing basics. As much as possible, blush shouldn’t be applied too close to the eyes. Leaving a two-finger width space between your eye and the start of your blush is ideal–it should sit on and below the cheekbone. What I like to do is smile when I apply blush, so that I hit the apples of my cheeks, and then I use a darker, more taupe shade to contour and bring out my cheekbones. If you are using cream blush, dot it beginning at the apple of your cheeks, and gently blend up the cheekbone toward the hairline.

Try different blushers. The most common type is powder–this gives a drier, more matte look, but you can also explore creams and tints if you want a more hydrated look. I like wearing cheek tints when I want to be bare-faced (no foundation), as they are lightweight and super easy to apply. They lend a wash of color with a natural glow–when I’m having a good skin day, this is my best bet. For oily skin types, or those with blemishes, it is best to stick to powder blush as this can easily be worn on top of foundation. You can set your blush by applying a light dusting of translucent powder–this works for powder, creams and tints!

Blush brush. A good rounded blush brush is essential for perfect application. Forget the tiny applicators that come with your blusher. These do not apply the product evenly, and give you a blotchy, messy look. Concentrate on the apples of the cheeks and blend out with your brush. This works for all kinds of blushers, so don’t be afraid to use it on your powder or cream blush. When applying, think about where you really blush after working out and mimic it.

Consider the color. Most of us forget that our blush should complement our lip color. So, more or less, the shade of the blush should be in the same shade: brown/bronze, peach/orange, coral/red, pink/fuchsia, or plum/berry. There are, however, some shades of blush with equal parts of brown, orange, red, pink and plum that work well with most lip colors. The best advise I got when choosing  the best shade of blusher: try it on before you buy. I usually spend quite a bit of time at the makeup counters to not only to check out the newest products but to see which shades work for me. More tips to remember when choosing a blusher: colors that are brighter, such as a rose or peach, are great accents to highlight cheekbones, while darker (browner) tones will make cheekbones recede. Also, using a soft shimmer over your blush will give an added lift to the cheekbone. And colors that contain a little bit of everything–red, pink, brown and orange–will go with a variety of skin colors.

Jo Malone: The Bloomsbury Set

What a lovely event! Jo Malone recently launched their newest set of fragrances and it is everything you can expect from the brand, and more. It is called The Bloomsbury Set, and it comes in five gorgeous, wearable scents that you layer. The Baby Barangay (that’s me, Bianca Santiago-Reinoso, Patty Laurel-Filart, Nicole Hernandez-de los Angeles and Cat Juan-Ledesma) was complete that day, and (after much discussion) we decided that this collection is just all kinds of amazing.

What I love about it is you can actually choose which ones you like and decide to wear them alone, together, or with your favorite classic Jo Malone fragrance. The girls and I had a great time sampling the different scents and mixing and matching them to create a totally new fragrance. I like Blue Hyacinth and Garden Lilies the most, because I love floral, feminine scents. But if you are into rich, woody notes, you should go for Tobacco & Mandarin, Whisky & Cedarwood and Leather & Artemisia. These is such a wonderful collection, I am certain you will love it. ❤

Inspired by the free spirit of The Bloomsbury Set, a collection of scents capturing the intoxicating essence of an unconventional life. The lily pond at dawn, bold blue hyacinths, blossoming fruit trees, absinthe afternoons and golden linseed on paint-stained hands. Warming whisky and sweet pipe tobacco. The secret of waxed floors burnished by footsteps in the night.


“When we visited Charleston, in the middle of the English countryside, I didn’t know what to expect but I fell in love with it. When I was there I made a storyline in my head from morning to afternoon to evening, so the five fragrances have a natural evolution. What I particularly loved about The Bloomsbury Set was the juxtaposition of domesticity and simplicity with this hugely intellectual environment.” Yann Vasnier, Master Perfumer


Of course, the best way to discover this collection is by trying it on yourself. But for those of you who cant right this moment, well, here is the description of each scent.

Blue Hyacinth. Intoxicating bold blue hyacinth warmed by the sun entwined with the vibrancy of garden geraniums and woody vetiver.

Tobacco & Mandarin. Vibrant mandarin and herbaceous sage sweetened with the warm elegance of beeswax sweet pipe tobacco.

Whisky & Cedarwood. An enigmatic blend of fine whisky and opulent roses edged with spicy pimento, warm cedar wood and an intriguing accord of waxy wooden floors.

Leather & Artemisia. The striking green facets of anise-tinged absinthe blend with aromatic artemisia, soft orriswood and the deep richness of leather enhanced by the amber woody notes of Cypriol.

Garden Lilies. The scent of dawn at the lily pond captured with effervescent water lilies, dewy green sap and lush ylang ylang enhanced with white musk and a wisp of vanilla.

The Bloomsbury Set is available from March 2017, each 30ml cologne is P3,780.

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Photos by Cat Juan-Ledesma and Patty Laurel-Filart. 

Tricks of the Trade: Quick ways to fight stress


I’m not going to lie, these past few weeks have been especially tiring for my husband and I. We moved house, Tristan had the worst case of teething imaginable, I got sick and Carlos had to undergo minor surgery. I don’t know how I am blogging right now, but since I found the time and blogging relaxes me, here I am. I am actually having a difficult time putting our current situation into words because it is all so overwhelming. This explains why I took a short break from blogging and posting on social media–I needed time to just take in our new situation and rest.

During my time off, I researched quick and easy ways to de-stress and uplift my mood. This was the best idea ever, because I immediately felt better once I started taking care of myself. As a bonus, most of the things I tried worked and I didn’t need to leave my house or pay a thing. I guess it really pays to incorporate me-time into a busy schedule (as moms we are always last on our priority list). Here are super easy tips that worked for me when I was super stressed out. I hope they work for you, too!

Do the hot-cold plunge. One way to recharge your batteries when your energy is low is to do the hot-cold plunge. It is simple: start with a warm shower then increase the temperature to really warm, then switch to a burst of cold, then back to really warm. People have been doing this for centuries when they want to feel energized (notice how they have hot and cold pools in the spa), and you can totally do it in the comfort of your home. This works for me in the morning when I have a long day of work ahead of me and I have to be awake and productive. Don’t overdo it though; a cycle of one to four rotations is enough for one day. Oh, and if you are pregnant or have high blood pressure, you might want to skip this.

Try aromatherapy. I recently discovered how wonderful essential oils are and how beneficial they are to our health. This deserves its own blog post (this week, I promise) so I wont get into it now. But can I just say, all you need is a drop of lavender (to relax), peppermint (to invigorate), or orange (to lift the spirits/calm the nerves) to instantly elevate your mood and put you in a happy disposition. So what you do is you put a drop of the essential oil in the palm of your hands, rub it, apply on your neck and shoulders and immediately breathe in the scent in your hands.

Ban headaches. I usually get migraines or headaches when I’m stressed out. It really is the worst feeling in the world (with the worst timing) and if I can find a way to not have a headache, I would. I did a bit of reading on this and found that the cause of most migraines can be directly linked to a magnesium and calcium deficiency in the body. I didn’t think this applied to me until I began taking these supplements, and I have to say, it worked. Also avoiding triggers like red wine, cheese, citrus, caffeine and chocolate helped. I found out these types of food were actually causing my migraines, and yes, I used to indulge in these whenever I was stressed out.

Dry brush. I always wondered what those long-handled natural-bristle brushes were for–until I discovered dry brushing. It is basically brushing your entire body before taking a shower. This helps remove dead skin, boosts circulation and makes you feel energized. I didn’t think it would work until I tried it, and now I do it once or twice a week. So what you do is you brush your legs, then arms, and start from the tips of your fingers and toes towards the heart. You can brush your torso toward the heart, as well, but be gentle with the breast area, and avoid the face. You’ll notice that you will feel re-energized and smooth all over after showering.

Stand up straight. I’ve always had bad posture. This is something I want to change, and its a constant battle because I have to keep reminding myself to stand/sit up straight. I found out the body holds stress–physical and emotional–in strange ways, which is why it is so important to be aware of your posture. It takes a lot of practice to make it a habit (this is something we can all work on together). Looking at how I stand in the mirror has helped me correct my bad posture, as well as doing stretching exercises in the morning.

Massage your ears. Most of us forget the ear is loaded with acupressure points, which can relax and energize the entire body. A quick way to relax and de-stress is to massage your ears between your thumb and index finger, from bottom to top, and back down again.

Let me know if these work for you. Leave a comment and say hello! ❤