Look Fab even with the Flabs: Feel Good with Your Bod after the big 3-0

“NOOOOO!!!!”  This was my reaction when I received a moss-green tank top from my hubby on my 35th birthday.  Though I loved the style and the color, I was aghast to see the glaring XL on the tag.  “XL! Since when did I fit into XLs?!”  Hubby was confident though that it would fit me perfectly and appeased me with the S‘s on the other two blouses he gave me and a supposedly gratifying remark of “you look sexier now than when you were stick-thin.”

So there goes my warm welcome to middle-age and to the many rude awakenings of aging.  One of the things that we should be prepared to lose when we start aging is the lean figures of our youth.  There are people who manage to maintain their figures until their golden years(lucky them!) while others seem to grow bigger as they age.  Some women find it difficult to accept the flabs that come with the aging process especially those who are blessed with hourglass figures during their younger years.  But accepting your transition from small to bigger and plus size womens clothing can help you age gracefully and look fab even when flabs start to build around you.

Physical fitness is essential in keeping our body healthy, but proper diet and regular exercise can only do so much when metabolism slows down and muscle loss which starts around age 30.  We can’t help but feel bad when our favorite pair of jeans don’t fit anymore or when your gorgeous top starts to show bulges on the sides when you put it on.  However, this dilemma shouldn’t keep you down.  Embrace the changes in your body and go for a make over with clothes that will flatter you. Here are some ideas on how to solve our figure woes and start looking and feeling fab again.

  1. You don’t have to bare a lot to be sexy.  Luxurious fabrics like silk, cashmere or leather and rich colors such as plum, champagne or chocolate can help you show your sensuality even when you are covered up.
  2. Stay away from tight-fitting outfits and go for clothes that fit you well.  Clothes that are fitted or those with structured shape are more flattering than those that hug your body.
  3. Baggy or shapeless clothes which are often chosen to hide unwanted curves in the body can actually make you look bigger.  Choose outfits with cuts that accent your best body parts instead.
  4. Go for prints. Certain prints can also help you look slimmer or flatter your body.  Clothes with vertical lines are your best options for a trim look.  Going for prints with overlapping images and ditching ditzy prints also works for women with bigger frames.  However, our print options become more limited as we move towards our 50s and senior years.  Leave the fun and funky prints to the young ones and look into blocks of solid colors to make your outfits more vibrant.
  5. Black is beautiful and can make you look or feel more beautiful.  Some people are hesitant to go all black on their outfits but I love going all black!  You can count on black outfits for chic and elegant looks for any occasion.

The most important accessory that we should keep is confidence and a good disposition in life. Make-over and wardrobe changes won’t keep you looking fab if you don’t feel good about yourself. Remember, when physical beauty starts to break down, inner beauty built with strength in character and wisdom hold up the fort for aging gracefully.  Thankfully, I’ve got my husband and two adorable children to remind me how beautiful I am, flabs and all.




BE GONE UNSIGHTLY HAIR! Zapping Underarm Hair with an IPL Laser Hair Removal Treatment At MI CARA

I have unfortunately inherited genes that exhibit much hair growth and pigmentation. I have the bane of unsightly dark underarms which have exceeded the darkest of the darkest skin tone during pregnancy. Permanent hair removal would have long ended this woe but the cost of treatment was above my means. So when Mi Cara Skin and Aesthetic Surgery Clinic offered their services at discounted prices, I knew I could not pass this chance of having baby smooth underarms again. The IPL Laser Hair Removal Treatment usually costs P3000 per session but they offered it at SaveOn Pinoy for only P399 per session. I grabbed the opportunity to try this permanent hair removal option and purchased 10 coupons.

Setting an appointment was fairly easy. They gave a landline and a cell phone number which made it convenient to contact them. On the other hand, it was a bit difficult to look for their clinic. I’ve never been inside the Eastwood Cybermall so I was not familiar with the area. It took me a while to find the clinic as there was nary a “Micara” signage anywhere. I finally found it after asking the two aesthetic clinics on the same floor. It turns out that they are using one of the rooms inside MD Eastwood. I should have paid more attention to the coupons which indicated MD Eastwood Cybermall. This I noticed only when I got back home and checked a coupon for the address of their other clinic.

There was still another patient in the clinic when I arrived so I had to wait for a few minutes. When it was my turn, I was cordially greeted by the dermatologist, Michelle Sacdalan. There was neither a condescending look nor a snobbish air which some service providers show to non-regular clients specially those who have availed of group discounts like us. I liked her even more when I overheard her telling her two assistants to have lunch first and that she’d be fine by herself. Care for ones employees reflect a good heart.

The procedure was quite quick. First my underarms were cleaned and marked by a pen (I think it was white eyeliner or something that looks like that). Then ultrasound gel was spread on them. While doing these, Michelle asked me if I had sensitive skin or any history of skin reactions or scarring. When I said yes, she said that she’ll be lowering the energy level to lessen any skin reaction I may experience. After which, she adjusted the settings of the machine and started the laser treatment. If I remember right, she used about 8-10 pulses per underarm. The pulses stung a little but not as much as when you’re having a wax.

I’m no advocate of this treatment as I also have yet to see the results, but comparing it with waxing makes me lean more to IPL Laser Treatment. Even without the discounted coupons, you actually save more having your hair permanently removed than having it waxed every month for your entire life.

 

IPL Laser Treatment
Waxing
Cost
P 3000 per session
P 200 per session
Lifetime Cost
P 3000 x 10 sessions
= P 30,000
(It takes about 8-10 sessions for all the hair follicles to be killed for hair removal to be permanent.)
P 200 x 12 months
= P 2400/year
P2,400 x 30 years
= P72,000
(assuming you start waxing at age 20
and stop at age 50)
Frequency of Session
2 sessions a month
for 5 months
OR
1 session every 3 weeks
for 7 ½ months
once a month
for life
(or until you don’t care about unsightly hair anymore)
Pain
Stings
(depends on your pain threshold)
Stings
(depends on your pain threshold)
Skin Reactions
some redness for those with sensitive skin
some redness for those with sensitive skin

I’ve only had one session so there are still no visible effects. My sister and I will be coming back for several more treatments to ensure that our underarms will finally be hair free. And hopefully, smoother and lighter in color as well. I’ll let you know how the treatment works out a few months from now.

If you would like to try the IPL Hair Removal Treatment, you may call 506-3106 to set an appointment. You may also visit the Mi Cara clinics at the following locations:

MD EASTWOOD CYBERMALL
3RD Floor
Mon-Tues 11am-6pm

MICARA MEDICAL
Lot15 Blk25 JP Rizal St., New Capitol Estates 1, Commonwealth Avenue, QC
Thurs, 4 – 6pm
Fri – Sat, 11am – 4pm
Sundays, by appointment

Mi Cara Skin and Aesthetic Surgery Clinic also offers radiofrequency treatments, lipocavitation for fats, abformer, the usual facials involving diamond and chemical peels, along with other dermatological services such as acne surgery fillers, botox dermarollers and anti-aging injections.

***********

UPDATE (June 23, 2012)

After 5 sessions of IPL treatment at Mi Cara Skin and Aesthetic Clinic, there was still no noticeable effect on the growth of hair in our underarms.  We then availed of IPL treatment at Centro Estetico which we found to be more effective.  At Centro Estetico, we were given around 20-25 shots per underarm per session plus the deal we got came with whitening treatment which we availed of after we finished all 5 sessions of IPL treatment.   Probably because of the number of shots we received at each session, there was already noticeable decrease in hair growth after our second treatment.  They recommend a minimum of 8 IPL sessions for full permanent removal of hair.




Mom-ME Time: Total Feet Pampering at Posh Nails

munching on popcorn while our footsies got some pampering

For what seemed like ages, my husband and I were finally able to get some “couple time” which is also what I consider my “ME” time.  It was only an hour and a half at  Posh Nails Hand and Day Spa but it was truly something to cherish as we seldom get to spend time relaxing together.  It made me miss the pampering dates we used to have before the kids came.

It was a Monday night so the mall was not crowded.  We took the helpers with us to keep an eye on the kids while we had our pedicure.

I enjoyed my first foot spa at Posh Nails so I was eager for my husband to try their services, too.  I still had a voucher for a Buy One Get One Free Foot Spa from Enjoy Philippines, this we used to save a few pesos.  My husband and I both availed of Foot Spa Treatments, Foot Massage, and Pedicures for only P730.

The price may be a little steeper than your regular neighborhood salon but, believe me, the service is unrivaled.  The pink and purple hued walls and furnishings create a very relaxing ambience making you feel pampered even before the actual treatments begin.  You are also assured that your feet and hands do not get butchered by inept manicurists.  I used to be be wary of manicures and pedicures due to cuts I suffered a couple of times when the manicurists insisted on cutting my cuticles.  Those in Posh Nails are really very careful and know how to really pamper their clients.

My husband and I will definitely be back for another feet-pampering a few weeks from now. They also offer back and full body massages which I know my husband would want to try too.

Check out how other moms spent their Me-times at

Cheese Bakes and Latte at Figaro

Whenever I am given the chance to spend a few hours away from home to de-stress and recharge, one of the places I often go to is Figaro. Aside from it being less crowded than other coffee shops, I love its homey atmosphere and rustic surroundings.  It is also the nearest coffee shop from our house which makes it a very convenient getaway for this stressed out mom.

After pampering myself with a facial at Flawless Face and Body Center, I gave in to the cravings of my tummy and had a quick snack at Figaro. Instead of ordering my usual White Choco Mocha, I opted to try their Butterscotch Vanilla Latte (P 115). As my tummy was nearly growling at that time, I also ordered a plate of Cheese Pimiento Bakes (P 129). I do love their cheese bakes and would, more often than not, order a plate of these rich and filling delights when I’m there for coffee.

 

Figaro: You Know Coffee

my soothing cup of latte

a plateful of Cheese Pimiento Cheese Bakes

rich, filling, and delightfully yummy cheese bake

The branch at SM Marikina was also strategically located on the second floor and had a great view of the Atrium that I was able to watch a performance of Philippine folk dances while sipping my coffee and enjoying my bakes.

Pamper-Me-Day at Flawless

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I had the luxury of getting myself a facial at Flawless Face and Body Center. This was the very first time I availed of their services and I must say that I was impressed and would definitely be back to try out more of their other services.

Upon entering the establishment, the receptionist asked me which service I required. Upon being told that I needed a facial, she showed me the list of facial services they offered and she recommended the Acne Control Facial as I had several blemishes that time. After filling out their client information sheet, I was lead inside the treatment room which had a very relaxing atmosphere with the lights dimmed and soft music being played.

Lourdes, the aesthetician assigned to me, dabbed some soothing eye cream and placed a pair of cool pads over my eyes forcing me to keep my eyes closed in utter relaxation. She then used cleansing foam to rid my skin of dirt in preparation for its much needed thorough cleaning. The hot steam was turned on and I had my mind set on getting a few minutes of snooze time.

I was surprised though when Lourdes gently held my hands, sprayed alcohol on them, and placed them inside a hot moist pack. In all the other facials I have had, the aestheticians always left me to my lonesome during facial steam and would just be back when it was time for the next procedure. But this time, Lourdes only left for a few minutes and promptly went back to give my hands a gentle massage.

Another thing I found peculiar was that the steam was not turned off while my face was vacuumed. I asked my aesthetician the reason behind this and she explained that it was how they were trained and furthermore, the hot steam kept the pores open ensuring that vacuuming was more efficient.

The extraction was also not traumatizing. Lourdes was very gentle and would caution me when she needed to use the needle to prick something. When she had extracted all that she could, she applied a thin film of Vitamin C on my face.

two thumbs up for a truly great facial

After that, a Green Oxygenizing Mask was slathered on my face. A small electric fan was used to hasten the hardening process. The cold wind from this fan heightened the cooling effect produced by the mask itself. I was able to enjoy a few minutes of quiet time while waiting for the mask to harden. Then, a healthy dose of Vitamin C was again massaged on my face after the mask was removed.

getting some snooze time

I truly enjoyed the experience that I just had to have my husband experience it too. He, after all, also needed some pampering. I was so excited for him to try the facial service that I took him there the very next day. His verdict? He was asleep when we went back an hour after we left him at Flawless which means he was totally relaxed. He bought a set of Acne Control skin care products which means that he liked the service enough to trust that the products would also provide good results. That being said, I am certain that he would be back for other services as well.