Hair, Make-up, and Photography: Elisa Aquino / Modeling: Hannah To
Writing about God has been so difficult for me lately. The universe seems so dark and unforgiving. It takes so much courage to make sense of grace. Photography lends a hand during these trying times. When I don’t want to think, and when I feel the need to escape from reality, it takes me back – no matter how long I’ve ...
(Morphe 35O Eyeshadow Palette from Stuff in Style, P2,020)
Putting on eyeshadow frustrated me for the longest time. It took me years – and countless of YouTube videos – to learn how to apply eye make-up. It took so much prodding to get out of my basic eyelash curler-and-mascara routine. But, here we are now – a stack of palettes later – madly in love with shadows. I actually feel naked without any on. And, I hope ...
(L.A. Girl Luxury Crème Lipsticks in  Kiss & Tell,  Tell Me Lies,  Fling,  Rendezvous, and  Endless Kisses)
When I was an art student in university, my knowledge on anything related to beauty was very limited. I had few resources, and whatever money I earned from my freelance work, I’d spend it on clothing as a (clueless but utterly devoted) fashion magazine intern. I’d rely on the generosity ...
I used to take so much pride in being busy.
Man, I was doing a whole lot. I was juggling university, an internship, freelance work, and my blog. I actually lost so much weight because I didn’t even have the time to eat. I may have distanced myself from so much people who needed me. I hardly had time to be with my friends. When I would arrive home, I would get into unnecessary fights with my parents about the silliest of things because I was terribly exhausted; I took it out on them. I couldn’t reply to letters from readers who just needed my words to get through the day. Most importantly, I had no time for Jesus.
Why? I was verily afraid of being alone with my thoughts. I could not separate the idea of success and being, staying “relevant” without constantly doing so much work (and broadcasting my activities on every social media platform I had). These may not have been my intentions then but now that I’m a bit older and hopefully wiser, I know that was the desire of my heart.
Things have changed, thank God.
Lately, I have been living my life quietly yet well. Some days, I am so frustrated because I am so used to a life that calls for so much attention – my life revolved around it for years. Now, I can truthfully say that I am incredibly content and happy with where I am.
When I take the time to actually respond to messages, to reach out, show up, and just simply be present, I realize how people really need me. When I make that extra effort – that really isn’t difficult at all – I sustain the relationships I have with the people I love. This is how people stay. If I have the time to post videos of fat babies on Facebook, why can’t I take the time to reply to a text message from a friend? Really, how can we have all the means to communicate in this day and age and still intentionally disconnect from one another?
“It’s easy to confuse a lot of activity with a purposeful life. Get some rest.” (Bob Goff)
I used to make my being an introvert (surprise, I am one) as an excuse to keep canceling plans, bail out on people, and move dates until it never, ever pushes through but I realize that I’m just ridiculously lazy. Well, the people I love are more important than my comfort. I have pretty amazing, life-changing conversations with myself, yes. My alone is beautiful yet community is as important. People who intentionally ask you about your day, who encourage you with the little things, who remember your conversations…I cherish them so much.
One’s presence, one’s availability is the heart of every relationship. You sustain it by initiating, by reaching out, by exerting effort, by being present. Nowadays, I like the peace, I like the life of repetition because this seemingly unremarkable yet praiseworthy life allows me to be available. There may be a bigger promise out there for me but now, this is where I am, and this is what I am called to do. I am slowly, clumsily learning what it means to live life well, which is greater than success I am capable of achieving in this lifetime.
“Sometimes you pray, and sometimes you are the prayer.”
This post entitled ‘I’ll hold you in the light’ by the incredible Hannah Brencher encapsulates the heart of this entry too.
Banila Co. is a prominent Korean beauty and skin care brand which interested me upon hearing rave reviews about the cult favorite cleansing balm, Clean It Zero. Many claim it’s the best make-up remover in the market. FYI, one is sold every 4.8 seconds. I’m done buying cheap foaming washes and facial cleansers that just don’t do the job for me.
The brand is available online through Beauty MNL, Althea Korea, and Zalora but ...