Skin Care Empties: Toner, Cleanser, Serum, and More

One of the first things I did when I was sorting my life late last year was go through my baskets of beauty products. I had amassed all these makeup and skin care products that there was simply no place to put them in! I threw out all the ones that were past expiration, set aside the ones I’d give to family and friends, and I ended up with just a few things I wanted to keep for myself. I’ll be the first to admit that it’s so hard to stay away from the beauty aisle in any drugstore and to stop myself from adding stuff to cart on the Sephora app. But in reality, I don’t really need ten million moisturizers, right? Every time I post a snapshot of my makeshift vanity (I use a Gorilla Rack for my clothes and reserve one level for my beauty products), my sister-in-law keeps commenting, “All of that for one person?” So I realize that even pared down, it seems like I still have so much stuff! I think I’ve been pretty good the past couple of months save for my last purchase from Glossier (and their new Cloud Paint shades are definitely not helping…gah).

In an effort to be more conscious about my consumption, I’ve been keeping track of the stuff I finish down to the last drop. Then I decide if I love them enough to repurchase or not. So welcome to my first skin care empties report, lol.

Glossier milky jelly cleanser. I know some people don’t think much of it but I love it. It’s gentle enough for my eyes but gets all of my makeup off at the end of the day. I use this in the morning when I shower and at night. I’m already on my third bottle and have already repurchased a back-up. Just wish I knew where I could get these bottles recycled somehow?

Dr. Belmeur daily repair toner. I never used toner before but maybe getting older made my skin a little drier? I feel like when I put toner, everything else I put just gets absorbed better by my skin. Maybe it’s all in my head but after I shower, I pat it on and my face instantly feels hydrated. Would probably repurchase this but I’m going through a bottle of Bare Essentials Primer Water from Althea at the moment.

Bioderma Hydrabio H2O cleanser and makeup remover. I’m actually not sure what the difference is between this and the first one I tried (Sensibio) but I love this for days when I get lazy removing my makeup. It’s a bit pricey but it does the job. Also I don’t feel like my face is dry after using it. Haven’t repurchased since I’m finishing a bottle of Biore Moist Up Micellar Cleansing Water.

Nuxe Prodigieuse Yeux eye cream. I love this line from Nuxe but it’s so expensive. ): Maybe I’ll wait for the brand to go on sale before I buy this again. Haha!

MAC Lightful C vibrancy eye cream. Always thought this was an insta-brightener but realized a highlighter mixed with your concealer will probably do the same thing, lol.

Sephora honey lip scrub. Yes, yes, yes! Except I have two more (LOL! One I got as a gift and one I bought, I think?). Also finally used the coconut one and it’s bomb, too.

Drunk Elephant B-Hydra intensive hydration gel. I should have included the C-Firma that this came bundled with but didn’t get to finish that since it oxidized before I could. I loved this but I think I’m pretty happy with my Glossier Bounce.

Do you guys finish your products down to the last drop? Which of your skin care empties do you end up repurchasing? Not that I need any more reason to buy more things, but what are your fave skin care products?

Ten Things I’m Thankful For

♡ revisiting my favorite albums because of that modern-day chain letter in the form of facebook tagging (only one of the people I tagged continued the tagging haha)

♡ going back to sgd coffee and areté

♡ getting my pink bubble wrap pouch with new mascara 😛

♡ making intergalactic cupcakes for a mystical gathering

♡ making a mess in the kitchen again (made myself a grilled sandwich with caramelized onions and honey garlic cauli twice in two weeks)

♡ hanging out with friends over food and coffee and chika

♡ watching movies (in the cinema and on netflix)

♡ finishing a book after so many months of not reading

♡ writing about filipino brands—just a few of my fave assignments the past month!

♡ being indoors on rainy days

Currently / May 2018

Formerly a weekly themed post I adapted from That’s Chic, this is a list of my favorite things for the month.

Music Monday

After spiraling into a John Mayer time space warp with Patty and Chinggay, I started a collaborative playlist on Spotify featuring oldies but goodies. While I’m amused with his latest single (and matching kitschy video), I truly miss Room for Squares!JMayer.

Tasty Tuesday

I joined some friends for a cosmic collaboration called Mystic Matter. I haven’t really sold my baked goods at bazaars or anything like that (unless you count bake sales in grade school) so this was a fun first for me. I gave my bestsellers a magical makeover to fit the theme. Kahlua Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting never looked better!

Thanks to everyone who tried some and posted about it, too. I haven’t been cooking since Ate Elena came back plus the heat has been unbearable, but I’m hoping to spend more time in the kitchen again now that the rainy season is just around the corner.

Wishful Wednesday

Full Moon

So during the last full moon, I pulled some cards to help me figure out what’s next. Though the first five months of the year has been all about collaboration, I think it’s time to focus on my personal goals. The thing about working in a group is that sometimes, we tend to get lost in all the noise, losing sight of our own vision in the process. We’re almost halfway into 2018 and there are just so many possibilities! So here’s hoping the next few months will help me move forward in the right direction.

Thoughtful Thursday

A reminder that this, of course, goes both ways.

Fashion Friday

Dandy Ona x Prima Kirby

When I was planning the Dandy Ona x Prima collection with Mansy, I asked my friend and fellow Candy Girl Sam if she and her husband Ralph (omg then-boyfriend when I asked!) could shoot the pieces. We were originally planning a location shoot here in Manila but they ended up taking the clips on tour while they were in the US for their wedding. <3 Love how all the shots came out and happy to finally share them in a Prima Diary on the Dandy Ona website. You can still order your own Prima clip online or drop by any of Hey Kessy’s branches to pick up a piece for yourself or to give as a gift. I also have a few pieces on hand so just let me know if you want to order from me!

Getting In Tune With My Intuition

I’ve always been the type to flip to the horoscope part of the newspaper or a magazine ever since I can remember. I thought it was cool when my reading would mirror what was happening in real life. But I never made it the all-encompassing guide of my life. Sure, I would obsessively check Astrology Zone for my monthly horoscope (and now I’ve moved on to Madame Clairevoyant‘s weekly reminders on The Cut) and have followed astrology Twitter accounts, but as I’ve grown older, I realize that astrology has a lot to do with our personal intuition.

Chinggay Labrador of Practical Magic
Chinggay of Practical Magic giving me a birthday reading in November of last year.

A couple of years ago, my friend Chinggay started offering tarot readings for us as “practice.” Now, she runs Practical Magic, which marries the magical with the practical—tarot readings that help make sense of what’s happening in your life or help nudge you in the right direction. Every reading I’ve had with her has always been enlightening. I leave with a sense of peace and clarity and it helps me sort out my own thoughts and feelings.

Oracle and Angel Cards
Oracle Card from my birthday reading and an Angel Card my friend Em pulled for me

I’ve never really paid much attention to my intuition until recently. You know how some people almost always know when something major is about to happen or when there’s that voice in your head that feels like a warning? Malakas ang kutob, in Filipino. I think I’m one of those people. A palmist told me over a decade ago that should I want my third eye opened, I would be able to harness my untapped energies. Apparently, she could see I had the potential. At that time I got scared because I equate anything occult to, well, ghosts. But I realize now that it has more to do with intuition and foresight.

Practical Magic deck from Chinggay

Naturally, when Chinggay released her Practical Magic Starter Deck, I knew I had to get myself one. At first, it was more as a show of support to a friend, who was one of the people I turned to for advice and was basically there for me when I was not in such a great place. Then, when I started to pull cards for myself, it became apparent just how life-affirming reading for myself would be. I also started to read for friends and it’s amazing to see how the same cards can mean different things to different people, depending what their situation is.

Practical Magic tarot cards

I’m still learning but there are so many resources to help me understand or go beyond what’s already written in the super helpful zine that came with my deck. I also now have a Tarot Support Group with Chinggay and Ines, so that’s been fun, too! We share our pulls and try to figure out what the cards mean when we don’t understand them right away.

Practical Magic deck

Another practice I’ve recently started is to set intentions during the full moon and since I’ve gotten the PM deck, I’ve started to pull cards to help me figure out what I need to let go of and make space for. While it’s important to manifest what you want to happen, I think it’s equally important to be open to what you actually need. We get disappointed when we ask for things and they’re not given to us but we fail to see the things we actually have and should actually be grateful for.

I know some people still think things like tarot readings and horoscopes are strange but so far, it has done nothing but good things in my life. I’m more mindful of the way I live and the way I make my choices. I’m even more self-aware now and recognize that every failure makes way for a chance at success. Though these cards will never really predict the future (that’s what I think, anyway), I know that when I feel lost or if there’s something that isn’t making sense to me right now, I can look at them to help put the puzzle pieces together. And in the end, I know that ultimately, it’s my actions that will lead to what’s written in the cards.

Practical Magic deck
My pulls for the last full moon. I wonder what cards will appear tonight.

BTW, Chinggay just restocked the Practical Magic Deck. You can order through her website!

Chunky Potato Tomato Soup

A story I did for Cosmopolitan Philippines’ final issue required me to create 5 lunch recipes and I’m sharing one with you today. The easiest soup for anyone craving something warm and comforting. You’ll need only about 15-20 minutes and there’s absolutely no need to turn on the stove to make this.

Chunky Potato Tomato Soup

The easiest soup to make when you're in the mood for something warm and comforting.

Keyword soup
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 2


  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes roasted
  • 1/2 cup white onion roasted
  • 3/4 cup marble potatoes roasted
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 cube chicken bouillon dissolved in 1 cup hot water
  • 1/4 cup sour cream


  1. Slice white onion in half and separate into rings. Cut marble potatoes in half.

  2. On a baking pan, place tomatoes, potatoes, and onion and drizzle with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Roast in oven toaster for 10-15 minutes or until potatoes are tender.

  3. Place roasted vegetables and sour cream in a blender and pulse until just combined. Slowly pour chicken broth into the blender while mixing. You can puree until smooth or pulse for a chunkier soup. Season with salt and pepper. Serve with your favorite bread for dipping!

Also, I forgot to take photos when I made this so you’ll have to settle for my quick watercolor illustration. To see the recipes (and the nice photos, haha) for the 4 other dishes I created, buy the May 2018 issue of Cosmopolitan Philippines available on stands and online. P.S. I also interviewed Julie San Jose for the cover and my Prima x Dandy Ona collection is mentioned in the Ed’s Note. Thanks, Marla and Dyan! <3

Ten Things I’m Thankful For

♡ making chocolate chip cookies even in this heat

♡ finding old photos in the digital wormhole that is photobucket

♡ spending an afternoon with friends in new places

♡ the p2p that saves me from having to spend P400 on a ride going home from makati O_o

♡ friends you can drag to your rdo so you can attend a free tax seminar

♡ finding out you can file your taxes online (except for one minor mishap, I think I did it successfully)

♡ a tarot support group on viber (lol, hi guys)

♡ this 10 favorite albums tag on facebook that I didn’t want to be tagged on but now I’m totally obsessing over hahahaha

♡ cleaning out my makeup and doing a full face even if I had nowhere to go lol

♡ a bag of classic polvoron

An Obsession With Rose Gold and Neutral Palettes

My first memory of putting on makeup was in grade school when my two younger brothers and I were part of a play written and directed by Fr. Reuter. It was a production of The Night Before Christmas and I was one of the ballerinas. Back then, my mom was the one who did our makeup. She bought green cake foundation (for stage, she said) and did my eyes in a gradient of fuchsia pink and royal blue. I thought I looked amazing. Haha!

In college, we would do our own makeup for performances and I only ever knew one style of eye makeup. Blue and silver shadow plus black eyeliner and mascara. I guess blue eye shadow from watching My Girl multiple times kind of stuck with me. I don’t think I even knew anything about foundation or grooming my brows. So I only did my eyes, put on pressed powder and blush, and I was done.

Makeup for Elevate competition in 2003
Makeup for Elevate competition in 2003. Hai to 2/3 of my Driving Queens!

Fast forward to when I was interviewing for jobs as a fresh grad, I unearthed my mom’s old Estee Lauder palette that was in the perfect neutral shade for everyday, no-makeup makeup (before I even knew that this was a thing~ years later in my job) looks. I pilfered an old Ever Bilena pencil eyeliner from her vanity, too, and that was basically my makeup stash until I could buy any of my own.

I’ve always been drawn to earthy nudes and rose gold tones because I figured even if I didn’t know how to properly put on makeup, the colors would be a lot more forgiving. And now, I have a total of six palettes and I don’t know how that happened. Haha!

Eye makeup from MAC, Urban Decay, Kylie Cosmetics, Stila, and Colourpop Cosmetics
(Clockwise from top left) Amber Times Nine, MAC; Naked 2, Urban Decay; Eyes Are The Window – Soul, Stila; Bronze Palette, Kylie Cosmetics; Give It To Me Straight, ColourPop; Michief Minx, MAC; Naked 3, Urban Decay / Photos courtesy of brands featured

Before you judge (haha), I only bought 2 of the palettes in the picture. Three came in a press package from my old job and 2 were given to me as gifts by family and friends. I have used and abused my Naked 2 palette ever since I got it from my cousin Gail. I probably use just 4 to 5 shades so maybe I should explore this one a bit more. I did my own makeup at my brother’s wedding a few years ago and just used the Naked 3 palette. I love love all the colors in this one and I would probably choose this if I had to pick only one out of the 7. My go-to for every day (that is if I’m leaving the house, haha) is Amber Times Nine. I’ve been using the darkest shade as eyeliner lately, too. I spritz a bit of Glossier rosewater spray on my brush before dabbing on some pigment. It creates a really soft wing for days when I don’t want to use liquid liner. If you’ve seen me in the past couple of months, you’ll notice that I’ve been digging orange-y, copper lids. I’m probably using the Bronze Palette or Mischief Minx (or even both!). I’ve only ever used the Stila one maybe thrice and mostly for weddings or the very rare nights out since the colors are a bit dark. I recently ordered the Give It To Me Straight palette and I know, I know it looks like all the other palettes I have. BUT it was recently restocked and it’s only $16! Shout-out to Mikko for notifying me and ordering for us, LOL.

So the next time I rave to you about eye makeup, please direct me to this post so that I may be reminded that I have more than enough.

Currently / April 2018

Formerly a weekly themed post I adapted from That’s Chic, this is a list of my favorite things for the month.

Music Monday

My friend Koko was just asking me how long it has been since Jason Mraz put out new music and days later, he put out a teaser for a new song. The single is now out along with a music video and I love what he wrote in the newsletter announcing it.

“Have It All” is a simple song with a hopeful message. Of the many I’ve written in the past four years during ever-changing times, “Have It All” is a reset back to the heart; a return to joy; a song with a message of generosity; a blessing disguised as a playful rap song; one meant to be paid-forward and shared.

Tasty Tuesday

I finally got around to watching Chef’s Table Volume 4. And after seeing the first episode featuring Milk Bar’s Christina Tosi, I woke up the next day with the urge to bake something, anything. I found some dark chocolate I needed to use up (Hiraya’s 70% Cocoa with Coffee Nibs is sooo good!) and whipped up a batch of chocolate chip cookies. I’ve given a few to friends and my family finished the last of it today. Hope the weather cooperates (it’s just way too hot to be near an oven!) so I can bake some more.

Wishful Wednesday

My Facebook keeps showing me beach trips from a few years ago the past couple of weeks. I haven’t planned any trips this summer but I would really like to be near the sea soon!

Here’s a photo from a trip to Boracay way back when. Taken by Kaich with my LC-A loaded with some good ol’ Elitechrome.

Ready for the sun

Thoughtful Thursday

Trust me, no one’s
going to be hurt again

Fashion Friday

Could not stop thinking about this saddle sling from Bags by Rubbertree. I finally got it a few weeks ago and I’m in love. Can’t quite photograph the salmon color well but you’ll just have to trust me on this. It’s beautiful!


A post shared by 𝐦𝐚𝐜𝐲 𝐚𝐥𝐜𝐚𝐫𝐚𝐳 (@macysfields) on

Ten Things I’m Thankful For

♡ watching all my kacheapan shows, hahaha

♡ spending time with mira

♡ being a tourist in manila

♡ getting dolled up to help out a friend with her passion project

♡ celebrating birthdays with yummy food and lengthy conversations

♡ catching lany in concert

♡ learning to trust my intuition and trying out tarot reading (just for myself and friends) with the help of my practical magic starter deck

♡ working with some of my favorite people on their last issue—always nerve-racking to interview someone for a cover story!

♡ being there at my brother’s band’s 20th anniversary show and witnessing my niece’s first time to watch her dad onstage. the best!

finally launching one of my dream projects of the year

Photo Diary: Calle Wright, Destileria Limtuaco, and First United Building in Manila

I’m guilty of not exploring my hometown enough, making me a tourist even in my own country. A few weeks back, I made plans with some friends to go on a Manila Day. We plotted out 3 spots we wanted to check out: Calle Wright, a newly-opened home-turned-gallery in Malate; Destileria Limtuaco in Intramuros, a museum of the longest-running distillery in the Philippines; and First United Building along Escolta. Despite the extreme heat on a Saturday afternoon, we found respite in a couple of airconditioned spots we got to visit. Loved going around the city and discovering new places. Would 10/10 recommend doing a Manila Day again! Enough chatter, onto the photos!

Calle Wright
1890 Vasquez St, Malate, Manila, Metro Manila

Destileria Limtuaco Museum
481 San Juan de Letran, Intramuros, Manila, Metro Manila

First United Building
413 Escolta St, Binondo, Manila, Metro Manila