A tale of (two weddings in) two cities

It was my own (un)doing. Somehow I ended up attending two weddings in two far-away cities on the same weekend. I could’ve chosen one or the other, and it would’ve been alright.

“Did you really need to attend both?”, I’ve heard a few times said in different ways from different people. To be honest, I did not need to. I did not really want to do both 100%, but since I’ve gotten myself into the situation already, I decided to just go through with it just for the heck of it.

It began when a good friend of mine from college told me she was getting married, and was inviting me to her wedding. This is someone whose love life I have somehow tuned in to since college. I left the country a year ago and had no idea how her love life would turn out a year after. She finally found the love of her life, and she’s getting married. I truly wanted to show her I am happy for her and I support her. And since the flights were on sale that time, I bought plane tickets to come home to attend her wedding.

Two weeks after booking, I realised that I had a friends here in Sydney who were getting married the day after my friend’s wedding back home. A wedding in Manila on a Saturday and a wedding in Sydney on a Sunday. I really wanted to attend this wedding too, because since I have moved here, these are friends that have happily welcomed me with open arms into the group. This was my present and my future. And yet the one in Manila is also a big part of my past.

It was very tough to decide, to go to one or the other. Another consideration was the flights I have already booked, I couldn’t really cancel them because they were on promo. And I wanted the chance to go home too. But I had to decide, because I can’t really cut myself in two.

By some stroke of genius or stupidity, it dawned on my that Cebu Pacific flights from Manila to Sydney departed at midnight and arrived at noon. Both weddings were scheduled in the afternoon until the evening. If I took the flight, I could just make it in time for both. I just had an eight-hour flight in-between.

Side story. Since I decided to do the very short Manila trip, I also figured I could use the time to do some errands and see some people. One friend who has been very hard to track was a professional makeup artist. What a great chance to multitask. I was lucky that she was still free that time so I booked her to do my makeup for the wedding. Although my true intention is really to have a good chat with her after a long time. I also warned her ahead that I was planning to make my makeup last more than 24 hours. She said it could be possible with airbrush.

I did my own hair, thanks to my sister’s robotic curling iron (highly recommended!), and used my old fancy headband (which I have recently realised are actually fascinators). Turned out quite better than I expected.

It is honestly the first time, and maybe I’d also have it a last time, that I would ever do something like this. For all its worth, I documented how my makeup did through it all.

img_2354 fresh makeup at the first wedding in Manila

img_2368 on board my flight

img_2373 when I arrived home in Sydney, before retouching

img_2374 after retouch

img_2379 at the second wedding in Sydney

And yes, makeup and hair survived. I am actually quite surprised, especially with the hair. I reused almost everything, dress, shoes and bag and all.

Truly, it’s an epic story that I can recount to friends over and over again, and maybe even to my children and grandchildren in the future. I attended two weddings in two cities within less than 48 hours. If I have chosen one or the other, the story would’ve been just like any other. I am happy to be there for both my friends. And I also am fortunate to be able to do the things I was able to do during my short Manila trip and be able to see the people I saw. My heart overflows, I am recharged again.

On the downside, I really don’t think I’ll be doing anything even close to something like that ever again. That (mis)adventure revealed my limits. I’ve been a zombie and needed a week of catching up on sleep before I could really recover. That’s why it took me a week before I could write this.

I probably won’t be going home to Manila to attend weddings of my friends, unless they coincide with my other longer trips (e.g. Christmas holidays). I may need to reserve my energy for my best friends (two of whom are already married, hehe) or my closest family. I hope my other friends will understand.

Congratulations Ana and Robby!


Congratulations Nau and Dali!



What a difference a curlash makes. ;)

I was putting on my “weekend makeup” one time, and just noticed how different my eyes looked when one already had lashes curled, and the other one was au naturelle. Thanks to genetics, I have long but naturally straight lashes, and although I have no need to have lash extensions applied, I do have to curl my lashes every day. Believe me, it does wonders.

My personal makeup skills is something that I have gradually learned over time. Thanks to the natural flair of the women in my family for beauty, I have role models to look up to. And as I learned from my beloved grandmother – never leave the house without any makeup – and I live by that rule. But that does not mean I always look made-up all the time. There is an art to always just having enough makeup on.

I learned the basics of makeup from watching my mom put her makeup on every day before going to work since I was young. I got beauty tips from my aunt all the time. My grandmother always had makeup on regardless if she has to leave the house or not. The more detailed parts of putting on makeup I learned from some talented friends – how to put on eyeliner, how to draw eyebrows perfectly, how to contour, etc. etc.

When it comes to the most basic makeup, which I refer to as “weekend makeup”, there are just a few essential things needed:

  • moisturizer (always)
  • BB cream (or a very light coverage foundation)
  • face powder (applied using a big brush instead of the puff)
  • blush
  • lip balm
  • and curled-up lashes

I would also throw in a very thin eyeliner for my top lid (none for the bottom), draw my eyebrows using a brush and some eyebrow powder, and a thin coat of mascara just to hold the curled lashes in shape, but you can skip these if you want to. This is what I do on relaxed weekends and casual trips. This is what I have on when I seem to have barely anything on.

I do full makeup on weekdays when I go to work, and that involves a whole lot of other stuff than the ones I listed above. I also do it differently for special events, and usually I use pictures from magazines as a guide when I need to put on makeup for special occasions.

It’s good to be beautiful always. You’ll never know who you’ll encounter anytime, and it’s good to look good always.

Cotton Balls

My eye-makeup remover of choice are two cotton balls. Yes, two cotton balls, and some other simple stuff I’ll explain in a bit.

Every day (except on weekends whenever possible) I put on almost complete make up, complete with eyeshadow and waterproof eyeliner and mascara. However, it has proven to be such a challenge to completely remove it at the end of each day. The typical eye make-up remover I know are oil-based removers. But it leaves it greasy or sticky feeling after. Some use cotton pads and some moisturizer, but I can’t seem to get everything off with just that.

Also, my eyes have been previously damaged and a little bit sensitive. I was diagnosed with keratoconjunctivitis sicca (or dry eye syndrome – DES) last year, so I have even more limitations with dealing with my eyes. Interesting though, one of the best eyelid cleaning trick I learned from my Ophthalmologist, and it was advised for me to minimize the effect of my DES.

So this is how I do it every evening:

  1. Before I wash my face, I ready two clean and dry cotton balls near and somewhere easy to grab.
  2. I wash my face using the typical facial wash. Before I rinse my face, I grab a cotton ball and lightly rub my closed eyelids to remove the eye makeup residue. The eye make up has loosened because of the facial wash, and is absorbed by the cotton ball. Then I rinse my face with water. Usually the eye makeup has been significantly removed at this point, but sometimes some residue still remains (especially of waterproof mascara and eye liner).
  3. I then put a drop of baby shampoo in my cupped hand, dilute it with a little water, and have the second cotton ball absorb this.
  4. With the second cotton ball, I lightly rub my entire eye area while my eyes are closed – including eyelids, eye brows, eye lashes, and eye bags. Then, I rinse thoroughly with water. Somehow it’s like shampooing your eye lashes and eye brows, and your entire eyelid and eyebag area.

The part with the facial wash, I kinda figured out myself. But the part with the baby shampoo is the one I got from my Ophthalmologist. I actually think one or the other may already be ok on their own, but I do both consecutively every time just to be sure I remove everything. I’m sharing it here just in case anyone is trying to find a way to get around this challenge. It’s pretty cheap, simple, and effective.