Author Archive

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:

blog beauty

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 »

Class Act

by marla
Friday, October 24th, 2014
Posted in Candy, Candy Bites |

Okay, okay: we know this blog has been looking more like a food blog than a lifestyle/fashion/beauty blog lately. But we can’t help it—the universe just keeps showering us with delicious things! So while we do apologize for the barrage of food posts, here’s another treat for your taste buds, but one that’s entirely different from your usual restaurant or cafe experience: a super informative, super fun wine and cheese class!

French Cheese at Lepicerie

French Wine and Cheese classes (1)

Though we definitely don’t encourage #YOLO binge-drinking (responsible girls are the coolest girls!), a bit of a buzz—with the permission of your parents, of course, and with a designated driver to make sure you get home safely—wouldn’t hurt if it means you get to experience Sofitel Manila’s extremely cool private wine and cheese class. I got a preview of the class last night (Candy Girl Verniece Enciso and I giggled all throughout the wine tastings), and aside from getting my fill of the best wine and cheese selection in the country, I learned so much #impressivestuff that makes for pretty interesting dinner party conversation topics. For example: Did you know that “a good year” for wine is determined by international critics, and differs for every wine-producing country? Did you know that, contrary to the popular belief that only red works, many kinds of white wine can be paired with cheese? And did you know that the dragonfruit wine, fermented locally in Ilocos, is a sweet, refreshing, candy-colored drink that’s actually pretty good?

If you’re up for a unique cultural experience and a gastronomic treat rolled into one, sign up for Sofitel Manila’s private wine and cheese class (it’ll be held at the Spiral Cheese Room—more than enough reason to go!) with your friends, or better yet, with your mom and dad for some major family bonding. Classes will be from October 27-31, and you may call 832-6988 to inquire about fees and reserve a slot.

Happy weekend, everyone!


Sunday Funday

by marla
Sunday, October 19th, 2014
Posted in Candy Bites, Spotlight |

It’s Sunday and you’re probably already on sem break: if that’s not a reason to celebrate, we don’t know what is! In light of your newfound (and temporary—LOL sorry) freedom from academic madness, here’s a list of things you can do today with your family or best buds. (Or you can just, you know, stay under the covers and watch old Carrie Diaries episodes with nothing but a tub of butter popcorn for company. You deserve it.)

1. Treat yo’ self and yo’ taste buds at Niu by Vikings in SM Aura.

Niu by Vikings has everything (so. much. food!) for everyone in your family—from your pizza-monster brother to your carnivore dad to your dessert-loving mom. Everything looks so pretty and so Instagrammable, too.

Look! Bridges of Madison Sushi! (No? Okay.)

DROOL x INFINITY. Email [email protected] or call 478-3888/ 847-3888 for reservations.

2. Get dessert. Obviously.

Sebastian’s took all our favorite things in the world and put them in one ice cream flavor. Everything is right in the universe.

Photo via the Sebastian’s Ice Cream Facebook page. Visit their branches at The Podium, Mall of Asia, and Katipunan.

3. Watch Whiplash. We mean it.


“Eh? It sounds like a Disney TV movie,” a friend commented when we heard about this Sundance favorite starring Miles Teller. And while there’s absolutely nothing wrong with Disney TV movies, this film is ~serious business~. I saw it last week and still haven’t quit asking people to watch it themselves—it’s that good. Miles does an absolutely stellar job as a drummer in a cutthroat music program, and JK Simmons, who you might remember as Juno’s dad (he who taught us that “the right person is still going to think the sun shines out of your ass”), plays a jazz band conductor so deliciously mean-spirited he’ll make you question your faith in humanity. It will also make you question your own goals and dreams, and how far you’re willing to go to achieve them, and at which point steadfast determination becomes blind obsession. Heavy stuff, but pretty important things to consider, especially after the hell semester you’ve probably just had.

Have an amazing Sunday and an even better week ahead, everyone!


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