Author Archive

3 Things I Wish I’d Always Known About Beauty

by marla
Wednesday, March 18th, 2015
Posted in Candy, Pretty Girl |

One of the perks of being in your late twenties (I know that’s, like, ANCIENT to you but this is my life now, you guys) is that you finally, finally figure out what works for you and what doesn’t in terms of fashion and beauty. As my 30s draw nearer, I also come closer to finding my personal style, accepting that there are some things I just can’t and shouldn’t wear (or some things I can wear but I kinda hate, so I shouldn’t), and crafting a reliable beauty routine.

Of course, there some things I’m still learning about makeup, hair, and skincare to this day, and just this month I made three discoveries that made my life so much easier, making me wish I’d stumbled upon them years ago. But that’s okay—as with anything worth mastering, the process of learning is half the fun.


1. That the right kind of primer does wonders for a greasy face. My face has always been on the oily side, and I was never a big believer in primers because they just didn’t seem to do the trick. But recently I tried Benefit’s Stay Flawless 15-Hour Primer and it totally changed the game. Now I don’t have to blot until late afternoon, and I barely need to retouch. I even use it on its own, sans foundation, on lazy days.
2. That brownish-pink is the closest morena girls can come to nude lips, without looking sick or pale or like you’re auditioning for The Walking Dead. I’ve always been a fan of deeper shades because anything light just washes me out, but the MLBB look, when tailored to my skin tone, is a refreshing, easy change. If you’re sunkissed like me, Wet n Wild’s Megalast Lipstick in Spiked with Rum is your new best friend.
3. That shampoo bars are the bomb dot com! They’re really really really fun to use (imagine rubbing a bar of soap all over your head until you form a suds party!), last longer than liquid shampoos, and cleanse your hair more thoroughly, leaving it lighter, bouncier, and healthier. This one from LUSH cheekily called Honey, I Washed My Hair has a rich toffee scent that will have you sniffing your own locks all day.

What beauty discoveries have you made recently? Let’s swap notes! ;-)


One of my favorite writers, Ramna Safeer, posted about The Nice Thoughts Challenge on her blog recently. It seems like a piece of cake at first—say 5 nice things about yourself in public—but coming up with this list was actually so much harder than I thought. I guess we tend to focus on being kind to other people and affirming their worth and value that sometimes we forget to do the same for ourselves. If you agree that this should change, then this challenge is a great start.


Here’s my list:
1. I’m a great travel buddy. I like all the researching and planning and will gladly do it for the group, but I’m also pretty spontaneous and low-maintenance. I’m a neat roommate, and I bring extra sunblock, and I won’t hog the shower.
2. I’ve been living alone for almost a decade, and I’m really proud of this fact because it means I’m independent and disciplined and in control… most of the time, at least.
3. On a good day, if you leave me alone with a cup of coffee and a cookie, I can write you a good poem in less than an hour.
4. I don’t fight dirty, and I rarely give up on people.
5. I’m becoming better at saying no when I need to, and saying yes when it counts.

I’d love to see your own list, so please please please take a few minutes to do this challenge—it’s pretty enlightening stuff. Have a good week ahead, Candy Girls!


Is It Summer Yet?

by marla
Wednesday, February 11th, 2015
Posted in Beauty & Trends, Candy, Pretty Girl, Travel |

I’ve never been a summer kind of girl. For so long, I disliked the beach, hated the hot weather, dreaded the months of April and May the most, and would choose sweaters over sundresses any time. But in the last few years, I met a bunch of people who are huge beach lovers, became really really good friends with them, and eventually realized that summer and I are actually pretty okay. Things are different now: it’s only the middle of February and I’ve already been to the beach three times this year, booked a huge out-of-the-country trip to the ocean, purchased two adorable pairs of bikinis I can’t wait to wear, and sifted through my closet and makeup kit for stuff I would definitely be able to use when the warmer days roll in. I’m actually excited, and the feeling, though unfamiliar, is definitely welcome.

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This longing for summer was only exacerbated by a trip to Balesin two weeks ago, when Nivea invited Erin and me to the island paradise for their #NiveaComeCloser getaway. We only stayed for three days but managed to make years’ worth of memories—it was an amazing mini-holiday filled to the brim with new friends, delicious food, clear blue waters, pristine sand, gorgeous villages, and great beauty loot. Here are my favorites among the products we got to try on the island, along with some of my classics and stand-bys for this coming summer:

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Clockwise: (1) Nivea In-Shower Skin Conditioner, which conveniently moisturizes while you bathe; (2) Nivea Fruity Shine in watermelon, a soft-sheen lip balm that smells and tastes amazing; (3) MAC Toledo in Sin, which is admittedly not a very summery shade but is the perfect goth girl plum I’ve been looking for my whole life and never ever ever want to part from #together4ever; (4) L’Occitane Fleurs de Cerisier, a light cherry blossom scent I can’t wait to wear on a weekend lunch date; (5) NARS Porto Venere eye cream, a super flattering beige that instantly brightens my lids and even works as an undereye concealer; (6) Nivea Sun Whitening Immediate Protection Face Cream, which is neither sticky nor greasy and packed with all that SPF goodness we need; and (7) Happy Skin Eye Love View, which is the only eyebrow pencil I can deal with on days when I just can’t be bothered with #kilayproblems.

What’s going into your summer beauty kit? I’d love to know!


Go to Taipei!

by marla
Tuesday, November 25th, 2014
Posted in Get Inspired, Travel |

The title of this post pretty much sums up what I’ve been encouraging/urging/begging people to do since I got back in town last week. Taipei is charming and cultured and colorful in all the right ways, and if you’re a fan of art and fashion and food, then this place is absolutely perfect for you. My boyfriend and favorite travel buddy described it as “a city bursting at the seams with kindness and creativity,” and I couldn’t agree more.

Here are some photos I posted on Instagram during our trip, along with some reasons why I fell in love with Taipei (and why I’m sure you will, too!):


1. There’s weird, smart, interesting art everywhere! One of my favorite spots was the Huashan Creative Park, where there was a free art fair and tons of cool things being sold at a mini bazaar. After walking through the exhibit, we spent an hour watching a French performance artist juggle, dance, and win the crowd over. Even the buildings join in on the quirk—look at that cheeky face!
2. The food is really cheap and really delicious. Street food stalls pop up all around at night (fish balls! grilled corn! chicken chops!), the sweet smell of freshly baked bread wafts from every corner, and you won’t run out of places to get your milk tea fix. The dumplings, of course, are top-notch; for lunch one day, we had two orders, a huge bowl of noodles, and a hearty serving of vegetables for only 300 pesos!


3. The weather this time of the year is nice and cold, allowing you to layer up and experiment with the kind of clothes you can’t quite wear in Manila’s sweltering heat. I got to bust out a super warm, super furry cardigan, then squealed in delight when I met two adorable dogs who happened to match my outfit. Tripsies!
4. Speaking of clothes: their bazaars and indie shops sell so. Much. Good. Stuff. We’re talking gorgeous knits, pretty dresses, the coolest graphic sweaters and shirts, and a great variety of boots. I might have exceeded my shopping budget by a little bit, but almost everything I bought was less than 500 pesos.
5. As if the city’s urban charm weren’t enough, you can simply hop on a train to get your fill of nature. That last photo was taken on Elephant Mountain, where you can do a quick hike to see an amazing view of the Taipei skyline. We reached the viewing deck just as the sun was setting and all the city lights were starting to come on, and it was beautiful. <3 There are also lakes and nature parks a couple of hours from the city that I would love to visit when I come back (and I will!).

What lovely places have you visited recently? Let’s swap travel stories! :-)


Happy Weekend! Here’s a 1989 Medley for You

by marla
Friday, November 7th, 2014
Posted in Spotlight |

I’ve been listening to 1989 on loop since it came out last week, and this cover medley by Superfruit just gets. Me. So. Much. Here are a few thoughts on Candy‘s favorite blonde-haired, red-lipped musical genius’s new album:

1. 1989 isn’t as insightful as Red, which is overflowing with metaphors and layers upon layers of references and meaning. Imagery isn’t as strong, either—pit “we danced around the kitchen in the refrigerator light” against “oh my God, look that face” and you have a clear winner—but this straightforward, carefree persona isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Fun Taylor is a breath of fresh air, a sign that she doesn’t take herself too seriously anymore because who has time for that? This album feels like a celebration of youth and confidence and change and possibilities, and when you’ve got all of that, who cares about a silly boy with slicked back hair and a white t-shirt?
2. I love how “Bad Blood” and “Shake It Off” are more well-rounded, less woe-is-me versions of “Mean.” Taylor doesn’t want your sympathy this time around; she wants you to know that she’s okay despite all the haters and frenemies and negativity, and that YOU will be too, no matter what.
3. Crowd favorites seem to be “Blank Space” and “Style,” but I’m really digging the bouncy electronic beats in “Clean” (because Imogen Heap), and the perfect festival and party anthem “New Romantics.” More of these kinds of tracks, please!

What did YOU think of 1989?


Posted in Spotlight | 1 Comment »

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