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Review: Nature Republic California Aloe Sun Block SPF 50 PA+++

Back again from a very long slumber from blogging, and with me, I bring yet another sun screen review born from haphazard purchases and what-not. So while I have the time to write this, here's a quick review on Nature Republic's California Aloe Sun Block.

Not to be confused with the Sun Milk version. That one's
for next time, as soon as my sunscreen stock runs out.

Progress Pics: 4 Months (Patience is Key)

My skin is at it's best condition ever, and I hope it's a plateau, not a mere peak.

Last June, I took a picture of my untouched cheeks (my skin "problem" area) which had literally huge pore issues. This was my skin, four months ago:

Four months later, I am glad to say my skin's pore problem somehow has improved, thanks to adding an exfoliant, switching to a less oily day moisturizer, and using face masks (yes, those creepy looking paper masks). Here's how my skin looks like now. (But please, disregard the fairer skin tone - the sunscreen I used prior to the now photo had a white cast!)

Sorry for the messy hair. It's because I hate
combing it.

It may not be quite evident in the photo, but changes to my skin include a smoother skin, and smaller, cleaner looking sebaceous filaments. I also feel like my skin became softer yet firmer - it bounces back, in a way. Application of cosmetics also became breezier. Yay!

I attribute the changes to ALL of the following:

1. I am now using an exfoliant every other day. I used to have none. Regular exfoliation helped me keep my pores and SFs at bay.

2. I switched my moisturizer with an emulsion (a lighter moisturizer of sorts, available from various Korean brands). My face does not look like an oil slick anymore so my pores are no longer emphasized by the shiny slick.

3. I started using sheet masks again. Every four days, I use a sheet mask instead of my usual night moisturizer. This made me skin plumper/more elastic thanks to the moisture boost.

I will post reviews on the emulsion and sheet masks when I can, so please stay tuned. And I hope you get to have a happy skin day, too!

Review: Mizon Mela Defense White Multi UV Sun Block SPF 50+ PA+++

Hi everyone! I'm back again with another sunscreen review! I've recently jumped into the Mizon AHA bandwagon on reddit, and in effect I also bought their only sunscreen available (in Suesh, at least) here in the Philippines. So here it is, my review for Mizon's Mela Defense White Multi UV Sun Block.

Korean Visa Approved: How I applied plus the impending haul

There's no shortage on guidelines on how to apply for a Korean visa here in their embassy in the Philippines. In fact, their website was quite helpful as it listed all of the necessary documents for application. I applied for myself, my husband, and my mother in law who's already a senior citizen. Here's a gist of how I did it:

1. Prepare all the requirements

While the requirements for employees and "plain old" housewives are easy to spot in the website, we had some trouble gathering requirements for my mother in law, because it was not listed anywhere. For housewives, the requirements are similar to an employee's requirements, except the wife will submit her husband's original COE, photocopy of BIR Form 2316, and the photocopy of their NSO Marriage Certificate. It's a proof that she'll be supported by the husband during the visit.

For my mother in law's case, since she's already retired and widowed, she had no ITR and COE or husband's ITR and COE to back her up and hence cannot apply as an employee or a housewife. So what we decided to use as a proof of her capacity to provide for her tour are the following:

   (The usual requirements)
   - Application form
   - Colored passport size picture that will be glued onto the form
   - Original passport
   - Original personal bank certificate
   - Photocopy of the passport's second page (the one with the name, passport number, etc)

   (And the senior citizen specific requirements to compensate for the lack of COE and ITR)
   - Pension certificate from SSS
   - Senior citizen ID photocopy

My mother in law also had this peculiar problem: the name indicated on her passport and birth certificate is quite different from the name she's always used in all of her documents and bank account. In order for us to prove that the passport holder and the bank account owner is one and the same, we also had to provide the following:

   - DFA document stating that  Name A = Name B, in order to remove discrepancy with naming of the 
      bank account, pension certificate and senior citizen ID
   - NSO birth certificate photocopy (which should bear same name as the one that's in the passport)

2. Apply at the embassy

The visa application time is only on weekdays, from 9 to 11 AM. You may apply for the whole group, just like I did! Also, the application is free, as long as the visa's effectivity is only for 59 days.

Before you enter the compound, you'll need to log in with the guard and present an ID. In turn, he will give you a guest ID. You'll be led onto a nearby building, where you'll need to log in again and a piece of paper from an embassy employee who would also scan your requirements. This will be the queue, and it has your window number and queue number. Don't lose it! 

Once your number is displayed on the top of your designated window, submit your requirements and wait for the officer to give you a claiming slip. In it you can find the date of releasing of the passports.

3. Wait for the date on your claim slip and go back to the embassy.

You may get your passport (with or without the visa in it) from Monday to Friday, 2 to 4 PM. 

You'll again need to log in at the guardhouse and obtain the guest ID. Upon entering the application area, you are to submit your claiming stub and a list of the names of the applicants to the guard. Again, he will give you a number. Cross your fingers as you file in the line!

When I claimed for our visas I was uneasy with the thought of getting denied. One, because about 10 people before me either had to wait longer as their visas aren't quite ready yet or were flat out denied. Another concern is my husband only had a Form 2306 because he's a new employee, so I was worried that this form would not suffice for Form 2316.

Well, anyway, all is well, so now we have to plan for the rest of the vacation's details and for my Korean skin care haul (more like Innisfree haul). Hooray~