Best in makeup: Miss Universe 2016
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As official makeup sponsor of Miss Universe 2016, M·A·C Cosmetics was present during the first five days of the Miss Universe Candidates in the Philippines.
Upon arrival in Manila, the candidates went through interviews, fittings and final registration to be officially signed as a candidate for the pageant.


M·A·C Cosmetics helped all 68 candidates get glammed up for their official photoshoots. Each candidate was also given a Miss Universe Kit complement their skin tones.
Miss Costa Rica loves her kit.

Costa Rica
Costa Rica

My neighbor Apple Faraon is a M.A.C makeup artist. When I asked her who her bets are, she said, “All of them are beautiful.
M.A.C sent me hundreds of photos of the first five days. After going through all of them, I came up with my choices for Best in Makeup.

While Miss Albania has an interesting face and shocking hair, I feel her beauty is more for runway than beauty pageant.


Miss Brazil has a beautiful face, but I think her hair looks dated (read: ’80s). She could pass for a contravida in Dynasty.


I feel like this T-shirt isn’t flattering to Miss Colombia. But I am partial to her because she looks like Kerry Washington, who I love.


The white T-shirt looks better on Miss Philppines


Miss Guatemala


Miss Belgium is one of my favorites (more on her later)


Miss India


Miss Indonesia looks like a winner


Miss Kenya looks perfect


Beautiful Miss Kosovo


Ayaw ni Donald Trump: Miss Mexico


Makeup perfection: Miss Nigeria


Miss Thailand


Miss Vietnam could pass for prim and proper Mocha Uson


Congrats to the M.A.C Philippines team for an amazing job!

makeup artists

(To be continued)

Introducing the perfect selfie phone: Vivo V5 Plus
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“Why don’t you ever smile in photos?” people often ask me.
1) I grew up in the ’70s. We only took photos on special occasions.
2) I had braces for seven years.
3) When I tried to smile for pictures, this was my peg (read: smiley = no teeth).


I kind of envy the kids now who grew up comfortable with cameras, although I draw the line at duck face.
These days, it’s all about the selfie and it’s not just millennials. And now you have the perfect selfie phone.
Last Saturday, Vivo officially unveiled its flagship phone, the Vivo V5 Plus, at the SM Mall of Asia.

Vivo 5 plus

What makes it the perfect selfie camera?

The Vivo V5 Plus has the Bokeh Effect—a background-blurring photography filter—as well as the Face Beauty and Selfie Soft Light Effect, which give you radiant selfies even in poor lighting conditions, so there’s no need for editing or post-processing.
This means you can always tag your photos with #NoFilter and actually tell the truth.

Photo 2
There were different selfie stations where guests could test the different features of the Vivo V5 Plus. NBA superstar Stephan Curry is Vivo’s brand ambassador.

Dual cameras on a smartphone is not a new concept but most of them are located at the back. Vivo V5 Plus has pointed its dual cameras to the front for the benefit of the selfie generation. On the front, you get a 20-megapixel camera that uses Sony technology that is paired with an 8-megapixel camera. You can readjust the focus of the photo even after taking the shot.
The Vivo V5 Plus improves upon the previous model by upgrading the rear camera to a 16-Megapixel camera.
So you have three cameras total—two are for selfies.

If you’re like me who’s always dropping my phone, worry no more. The 5.5-inch full HD display has a Gorilla Glass front for added protection. To protect the contents of your phone, the V5 Plus has an integrated fingerprint scanner on the home button for fast unlocking.

It’s powered by an octa-core Snapdragon 625 processor, an upgrade from the previous processor, with 4GB of RAM, and runs on Vivo’s Funtouch OS 3.0 on top of Android 6.0 Marshmallow. This means that aside from the dual front camera, you are getting a very powerful mobile phone.
The Vivo V5 Plus supports dual-SIM cards with one slot doubling up as the microSD card slot. It has 64GB of built-in storage that can be expanded.

The Philippine launch was hosted by Magic 89.9’s DJ Nikko Ramos and featured performances by boyband idols James Ryan and Tony Labrusca as well as singer KZ Tandingan. Meanwhile, a Perfect Selfie Fashion Show saw models demonstrating how to use the Vivo V5 Plus on the runway.

Photo 11
Host Nikko Ramos (R) asks Pinoy Boyband Superstar’s James Ryan Cesena and Tony Labrusca why they think the Vivo V5 Plus is the ideal phone for them.

Photo 12
Vivo Philippines Vice President Hazel Bascon at the launch

Photo 14
(From L-R) Shou Shou Chen, Vivo Philippines CEO Ted Xiong, SAVP-Sponsorship and Cyberzone Patrick Raymund Pacla, Vivo Philippines Vice President Hazel Bascon, National Sales Manager Robert John Decillo, and Brand Director Annie Lim

The Vivo V5 Plus is available at all major retailers.
To know more, follow them on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter @VivoPhil.

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What I learned from my “sabbatical”: if you sleep for a very long time, you will get a migraine.
Sorry, hindi ko kaya panindigan ang blog break ko.

I had lunch with my cousin Keri earlier, who told me a story about meeting young actor Daniel Padilla at a party in my neighborhood.
Keri is a huge #kathniel fan, so she was very excited when she heard Daniel Padilla was going to their friend’s house.

Daniel and Keri

“Daniel was so nice,” Keri said over lunch at Kimpura. “He was so polite…Unfortunately he called me ‘Ma’am.'”
LOL. I nearly choked on my steak.
Keri continued, “I told Daniel, please don’t call me Ma’am.”
Daniel replied, “Okay, tita.”
LOL, I asked Keri, “What did you say?”
Keri: “Call me Ma’am na lang…”


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Hey guys, I’m about to do something I’ve been thinking about for a while now. I’m going on a break from blogging.
I’ve been blogging since 2001 and I haven’t taken a break for a long time. I even discussed it with my children.
Ben, 15, said I should definitely take a break.
Chris, 9, was worried. “What will you do mommy?”
“I want to sleep for a month.”
“But what if your friends want to visit you?”
“Then I will wake up.”
Funny, Chris thought I was literally going to sleep for a month.

So much has been going on. As I write this, I am nursing a migraine. My eyesight has gotten worse overnight and I saw Dr. Alnette Tan earlier at American Eye. Dr. Alnette said though my eyes have a 75 grade on the left, they are looking good. No cataract. Just normal signs of aging.

Here’s what I plan to do during my break:
1) Drink less Coke. Shrink my tummy. Change my diet.
2) Lose weight.
3) Clean my house.
4) Take care of the children’s needs. Take care of me.
5) Collect money, cause many people owe me…. so hard to collect. I have enough money to collect to support my lifestyle until I figure out what I need to do next.

Hopefully these will improve mind and body. I haven’t been feeling well in a while. I just want to stop looking at numbers. Social media has been cluttering my life.
For a while now I was blogging to support my shopping, but now I realize I can do with less stuff, less clutter.
I don’t know what the next step is, but I leave it up to God. I just want to clear my mind of junk and clutter. It must be done.
Meanwhile I want to thank all of you who have been with me through many years. You know how to reach me.

Wish me luck on my journey.

Cecile van Straten
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