MAC: cheap steals and freebies

I consider myself frugal when it comes to shopping for make-up because honestly, I find myself too lazy most of the time to use it. And when I do buy make-up, I tend to buy what I believe is a good quality brand. So when I see some good deals on the brand(s) I like, I don’t quite hesitate on doing the purchase and just last July 30 (#NationalLipstickDay) as promoted in Lazada, I did not double think on getting the mini trio lipstick of my favorite shades that came with some surprisingly good freebies along with it.

One of the brands I trust and my go-to brand is MAC mostly because I believe that they have some decent high-quality products that justifies its price, and also because I really am a sucker for black and classy looking branding. So when I saw their ad (I know, I know, it’s targeted ads) for their #NationalLipstickDay sale, I hurriedly click on that add to cart button even if most people think that we would have no use for lipsticks while locked down in a pandemic stricken country.

Let me share with you my #NationalLipstickDay haul from MAC and Lazada:


I bought the mini trio lipstick in the shades Ruby Woo, Velvet Teddy, and Mocha for only about $32 USD, and for MAC prices here in Southeast Asia that’s already a steal. I opted for this color combination because the Velvet Teddy (deep-tone beige) is my favorite everyday lipstick. Velvet Teddy really suits my skin color and it’s such a good MLBB (my lips but better) matte pick that isn’t drying to the lips. The other color that made me decide to purchase the set is the Ruby Woo. It’s MAC’s best-selling red lipstick of all time and there’s no question why – dubbed as ‘very matte vivid blue-red’ that seems to be universally flattering. Last but not the least is MAC’s Mocha, a peachy yellow-brown lipstick in satin finish. I don’t really do a lot of satin because I prefer make-up in matte formula, but I myself was surprised when I put on Mocha and actually liked it. Initially, I was thinking of saving it to give as a gift.

L to R: Mocha, Ruby Woo, Velvet Teddy

The sale trio on its own is already a super steal but MAC and Lazada’s #NationalLipstickDay promo got even better when they decided to throw in the top-selling MAC Maker Lipstick @mainedcm in a plush gold packaging FOR FREE. I was so surprised they gave it away for free when it was always sold out when it was just released. The shade is a plum-red matte, in total opposite of the MAC Maker’s first @mainedcm which was a good nude lipstick that suits the Filipino skin tone.

And as if a free full size best-selling lipstick is not enough, they also threw in a cute notebook style water bottle and cute stickers to customize your lipsticks with.

MAC #NationalLipstickDay freebies

I know, given the pandemic and the necessity to wear face masks outside, lipstick purchases seem to be illogical but I figured these little gems are good for another year or more if kept well. And well, why the hell not? A woman can choose to fix herself up at home… for herself, just because she wants to.

New Horizons on New Normal.

If you’re on social media, I’m pretty sure you have encountered a couple of picture or stories of cute animal characters from your peers, friends, and even celebrities you follow. Released on March, just about when quarantine started on most countries, Animal Crossing: New Horizons took the world by storm. It’s an addition to the Animal Crossing franchise from Nintendo, but this latest game caters to their newly portable console, the Nintendo Switch and its Lite variant. Nintendo sales have garnered an all time high during this period and this game is one of the reasons why.

The Animal Crossing: New Horizons was surrounded by so much hype mainly due to the reason that it has been eight years since the last game in the franchise was introduced, and that it offers an endless possibility in a controlled and limited life in quarantine. The addition boasts of features that gamers are excited about from autosaves to remote island life. Here are some of the reasons why everyone took on the Dodo Airline Ride:

  • Remote island life – On the start of the game, you are being ushered from the airport to a remote island of your choosing where you can get to customize basically everything as you progress in the game, opposed to the previous games where it was set on city life. This basically is a good selling point especially the timing of the game’s release when everyone was stuck in their houses. It’s a virtual island life getaway!
  • Character customizationRight from the start, you’ll be given the freedom to design how your character would look like and can change it, even your clothes, at any point in the game too.
  • Create your own tools – To move forward in your deserted island, tools are to be made and yes, you get to create your own and customize them as well. From basic tools such as flimsy shovels to gold decorations – the game boasts of a wide variety of DIY recipes that players will encounter and make.
  • Autosave – Unlike in the previous Animal Crossing games, there are certain times in this latest addition that it’s being saved automatically.
  • Nook Miles Rewards Program – Basically, you’ll be rewarded for uhm… doing anything. Just kidding! But yes, that’s more like the gist of it – there’s built-in goals in this program that you’ll achieve just by simply playing the game as it is. No puzzles, no hard thinking, no confusion – just play the game as you like, in your own pace, and you’ll get rewards. A game that keeps on giving.
  • Multiplayer ability – Okay, we’re all stuck at home when the game was released, and as social creatures we somehow look for interactions – what a fun way to immerse yourself in a game where you can showcase your creativity to your friends and even strangers by visiting each other’s islands, sharing custom patterns that you have created, make trades like our ancestors did before (barter system), or create virtual adventure relay games. I even had an Animal Crossing date with my boyfriend and had a virtual catch-up with a friend!
  • Updates – since March, a number of updates have rolled on. Usually, there’s one for every weather change (yes, you can have your Sakura moment, and even your Winter Wonderland in the game). There are also other seasonal updates such as the June wedding celebration. And some updates to add gameplay and characters: you can now go ahead and swim in the ocean in your nice wetsuit, or meet Redd, who’s being dubbed as the sly fox.

Animal Crossing: New Horizons paved a way for us escape the harsh reality that we get to face everyday. Even with the above stated features, I believe that the main selling point of the game was the open-ended style and the freedom of the players to take control of their own world – an option you don’t really get to enjoy in real life. Endless possibilities, escape from the pandemic, and witty animal friends – I mean what’s not to like?


I’m planning on doing a giveaway of my stuff and bells as I plan to start my island from scratch. If you want to join or simply looking for an item or colorway of an item, let me know in the comment below. 🙂

Pandemic Made Me Do It

By now you’ve probably seen tons of photos, articles and blog post that are all related to this pandemic. What can we do? This has been monumental for everyone of us – like it or not, we’re all affected by the rapid spread of this virus and it is such a game changer. We were all forced to take a pause from our daily routine, our sense of normalcy disrupted and have since been adapting to our new normal. But as social beings stuck in this world of capitalism, we still found ways to create new fads.

It started when Dalgona coffee took the internet by storm. This easy to make beverage is everywhere on the first few weeks of quarantine – you name it, it’s all over your face each day. The fact that it is easy to make, its ingredients readily available (for a fair price too), highly aesthetic and actually tastes good got the most of us whipping our hearts out. Then came the basque burnt cheesecakes and other pastries. By now, some of your friends have probably opened their own homemade bakeshops that you’ve already tried (
#supportlocal). And let’s not forget the release of Animal Crossing: New Horizons that everyone (including the celebrities we follow. Hi Elijah Wood and Brie Larson ) jumped on the hype train and went gaga over the deserted island life simulation game that even Nintendo was surprised by the sales not just of the game, but the consoles too. But I think, one of the most common guilty pleasure we all share right now is online shopping. It’s convenient, it’s hassle-free, and yes, it’s plain old “retail therapy”.

Again, what can we do? We all have our own coping mechanisms and online shopping can boost our mood or at least gets us something to look forward to. Careful though, it’s a slippery slope to going broke. I myself am a culprit of spending some hard earned cash during this pandemic period to help me get by and let me share with you some of the stuff I loved
:

  • Animal Crossing: New Horizons
    I am guilty of being completely crazy over this game for the first two months since its release. I was playing (more like grinding) this simulation like game which helped me escape from the clutches of reality during the first few weeks of the quarantine. Check out my thoughts on this game here.
  • Kindle Paperwhite
    Late last year, I broke my Kobo (another ebook reader) and has been meaning to replace it ever since but only got around to it during this quarantine period when I stayed with my grandmother. All my books were at home and it also didn’t help that I slept in the same room as to keep tabs on her and therefore could not continue with my late night reading. For those reasons and the sale on Lazada (the leading online shopping platform in Southeast Asia) got me eye-ing this new version of the Paperwhite, I haven’t been disappointed by this since I was able to get my hands on it!
  • UVC Sterilizer
    Even before the virus outbreak, I already have a small bottle of alcohol with me inside my purse or my pocket. I bring it with me when stepping out for lunch or while drinking with friends. When traveling, I see to it that I buy some sanitary wipes and alcohol on the first or nearest convenience store that I could find. So when this pandemic hit the Philippines, I was one of those people who are a bit more careful – spraying alcohol everywhere, getting my hands clean all the time, wearing mask even inside the car, and now, carrying with me a UVC sterilizer too. I just had to up my disinfection game! The efficacy of this product is debatable especially when dealing with the corona virus, but I did my research on the dos and don’ts, and also looked for a reputable brand that I believe in.

Aside from these three and the local food businesses that I support, the best purchase during this period is actually this: yes, this blog. engrvwrites.com. I was a bit hesitant at first because this is my hard earned money that I’d be spending to fund this little passion project of mine but then I realized that if I’m not gonna believe that I’m worth it, then probably nobody else will. I took a bet on myself, and it has not been the same since then.

How about you? What are your favorite purchases this quarantine period? 🙂

Sex and Vanity

It was 9:52 on a Sunday morning, fair but a bit cloudy outside. I was feeling quite tired despite of having been able to sleep for eight hours. I reached for my Kindle and decided to go for some light novel instead of a heavy read, and let myself be carried into the world of extravagance by Kevin Kwan in his new book Sex and Vanity.

The first part of the story revolves around another crazy expensive wedding, but this time set in the beautiful island of Capri and an adventure of a nineteen year-old Lucie Tang Churchill, our protagonist with Eurasian beauty that she seemed to be completely unaware of and born of old American money, and her love interest George Zao from Hong Kong, also born from a ridiculously rich family who kept his mysterious character together in the first act. It centered on Lucie and finding herself being drawn to yet also appalled by the young lad in the cobbled streets, ancient mansions, upscale hotels and historical beauty of the island only to be separated by a heated and passionate albeit unfortunate incident on the wedding day itself.

Reading the first part of the book really made me search for the tourist and some historical spots mentioned. What more can I say? Kevin Kwan has the ability to captivate us in the world of the crazy rich and yearn to see or experience it someday. For me, the first part captured the youth of Lucie perfectly while setting up the foundation for the other characters too, who would be later seen or mentioned in the story. While reading about the wedding week in Capri, I could almost immediately picture this novel in the big screen. That’s how Kwan delivered his storytelling – another chic story waiting to be adapted.

The second part of the book takes five years later from the incident involving drones and on to Lucie’s life back in New York where she says yes to the exorbitant wedding proposal of New York’s most eligible bachelor, Cecil Pike. Most of the chapters take place in the Hamptons but also takes us to an even more elite circle in the Upper East Side than Gossip Girl did. The extravagance of these characters quipped with satirizing them was what made me stick to finishing the whole book in a day despite (for me, at least ) the story not being able to pull off the romance part, at all. I simply find the young “love” of Lucie and George in the wedding week a little too weak to practically make that of an impact on the later part of the story, and Lucie and Cecil’s relationship doesn’t make sense to me (or to anyone probably, I mean really, how did these two even got together??)

I’d hand it to Kwan still for not only delivering a romcom but throughout the story, topics such as racism, the feeling and experiences of being multi-racial, and even the new vs. old money issue (probably being a problem only for the upper 10 percent of the world’s population) are being tackled. However, these were not deeply dealt with but was just a recurring theme and can be easily shied away from. Given these shortcomings, I would still recommend reading this book now. Why? Because I’d rather be transported to the enchanting landscape and dramatic scenery of Capri than be cooped up in front of my T.V. again for a whole new day in this quarantined life.