Saturday, April 12, 2014

Update: personal & derma stomp

Hello everyone! If you're following by blog, you'll know that I'm supposed to be putting up updates about my derma stamp experience. I am sorry to disappoint you all. I know I am supposed to but with my busy schedule, I really have no time to go to my dermatologist that frequently (it's peak season at work until June). AND I need to save up some moolah because I'm getting married next year! I want to have all my focus on that coz this is a once in a lifetime event & i need budget for my ideas to come to life hehe you know how girls are :) 

I hope you all understand my situation. I'll try to post more reviews of beauty products for you as soon as I can.

talk to you all soon! Bye :)

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Gale Reads: Psy-Changeling Series Book 1-7 by Nalini Singh

I have been on a reading marathon all March. It's been quite some time since I had the urge to read & read so I rode it. I started the popular Psy-Changeling Series by Nalini Singh, the same author of one of my fave Guild Hunter Series. The first book is published in 2006 & the 13th book will be out on June 2014. I have finished reading 7 books & 2 novellas. I am currently halfway in of book 8 Bonds of Justice. I only have time to read during my MRT ride to the office in the morning & an hour or 2 at night before I sleep (if I'm not too tired) so it's taking me quite a few days before I finish 1 book. It's frustrating sometimes because I want to read them continuously hehe.


GENRE: Urban Fantasy, Paranormal, Shapeshifters, Romance
SERIES STATUS: On-going, 12 already out  

http://images.mobilism.org/?di=45XI
COVER TALK:
I'm not actually fond of the cover. No offense meant but I personally prefer my books to have ambiguous or mysterious covers without the face of the cast. I really enjoy imaging the face & built for each them so I hope they can release some new covers. Luckily, I'm reading this series on my tablet so I don't get to see the covers that much hehe. Please please Nalini, do release new covers like the one in the Guild Hunter series.. 


MY REVIEW:

I really love Nalini Singh! I can't believe I just started reading this series this month. I should've started it a long time ago! I love how each & every character is unique in some way from the others even though they should have the "same traits" because they came in the same group/pack. I also liked how each book is connected with each other but still separate at the same time. You can actually see hints & glimpses of the lives that previous (& even future) characters had as time goes by. It's like this series is one big story then each main character was given a book to tell their own story. Even the connecting people outside of the packs are given their own stories like how Max Shannon (the Dark River pack human police friend) was given his own book so that it can connect the dots & tell the story from the side of the Psy. 

I am so in love with all the characters but Lucas & Sascha is still my fave because if theirs is not good, I wouldn't read the 2nd book, then the 3rd & so on. 

I have decided to cluster this series for review because I felt like they should be viewed as a whole story instead of separate. Although you can definitely read any of it without reading the others (I tried jumping to the 10th book hehe), I would suggest you go & invest some time to read it from book 1 so that you can appreciate the wonderful world building & can follow the story as smoothly as possible.

OVER-ALL RATING: 5/5
This is really a page-turner & if only I have all the time in the world, I can definitely finish 1 book per day. No negatives for this series yet and I hope it won't end any time soon coz I would love to read the story of their kids too :)


Thanks for dropping by!

Movie Review: Divergent by Veronica Roth

Hello! How's everyone doing? I'm so glad I have a free time today so I can upload my review of the last movie I've watched :)

I have been waiting for this movie to come out for so long because I am a fan of the book. if you want to read my book review, you can read it here. I also liked how the trailer showed how "dark" it is and that the producers & director didn't made it a PG 13 movie like what they did to Vampire Academy (that's so disappointing). I watched this with my fiance (who haven't read the book) and his sister (another fan of the book) on the 1st weekend airing. 

And I am so glad Veronica Roth is a co-producer because this movie really came out right off the book! Just like a live-action version :)

Synopsis:
"In a world divided by factions based on virtues, Tris learns she's Divergent and won't fit in. When she discovers a plot to destroy Divergents, Tris and the mysterious Four must find out what makes Divergents dangerous before it's too late." -IMDB
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/4/41/Divergent_film_poster.png
CASTS:
Shailene Woodley as Beatrice "Tris" Prior
Theo James as Four
Ashley Judd as Natalie Prior
Kate Winslet as Jeanine Matthews

To view all the cast click here.

MY REVIEW:

I'll make this review sweet & short. This movie is awesome! I can't believe how good it is, really. It's like how Hunger Games the movie is made, with the right emotions & "reality" that the story has in the book. It also contains majority of the important scenes to create the story and I think it's enough for those viewers who have not read the book itself. I asked my fiance if he enjoyed the movie & if he understood the story, and he said yes to both. Even my officemates (both gender) who watched it w/o any background of the book enjoyed it too! 

The side of me that is a fan of the book? I really had no problem with any of it. I hoped there are more scenes included but I understand that they can't fit everything in the movie. Hey, it's already over 2 hrs hehe I shouldn't be complaining anymore :) 

I also have no complaints with the casts. They really did a great job in hiring everyone because they did a fantastic job in putting life to the characters that I loved so much in the book. I especially love Theo as Four (he's such a total hunk hehe) & Shailene as Tris (doesn't she look like Kate Winslet on some angle?) because they have a believable on-screen chemistry and I love how their characters developed throughout the story. I'm excited to see more of them :)


Over-all Rating: 5/5
The best book to movie translation so far in my opinion. The acting is great, the fight scenes are awesome & the setting/props/production is superb! I can't wait for Insurgent next year and my then hubby already agreed to watch it with me again. This is really a must see movie so do watch it with your special someone or friends and I promise that you won't regret any minute of it :)


Thank you for dropping by!


Sunday, March 9, 2014

Gale Reads: Dark Slayer by Christine Feehan



I have found this book in the sale bin of National Bookstore last month for only Php30 (that's less than $1!) and I wanted to try reading works from other authors so I bought it. I learned after reading it that Dark Slayer is part of a series called The Dark Series and that it's a Carpathian novel
http://www.fantasy-fan.org/files/Dark_Slayer_cover.jpg
So without further ado, here's my "first impression" on Christine Feehan's work :)

GENRE: Romance, Fantasy, Vampires, Magic
Synopsis: (from http://www.christinefeehan.com/dark_slayer/)
A rumor has persisted in the vampire world of a dark slayer—a woman—who travels with a wolf pack and who destroys any vampire who crosses her path.  Mysterious, elusive and seemingly impossible to kill, she is the one hunter who strikes terror into the hearts of the undead.
She is Ivory Malinov. Her only brethren, the wolves. Long ago betrayed by her people, abandoned by her family, and cast out by everyone she held dear, Ivory has lived a century without companionship or love. She has sustained her sanity by the habit of the hunt and the custom of the feeding. Until the night she picks up the scent of a man, her unexpected salvation. Her lifemate. The curse of all Carpathian women.

He is Razvan. Branded a criminal, detested and feared, he is a dragonseeker borne of one of the greatest Carpathian lineages, only to be raised as its most despised—and captive—enemy. Fleeing from his lifetime of imprisonment, Razvan now seeks the dawn to end his terrible existence. Instead he has found his deliverance in the Dark Slayer.

In spirit, in flesh and blood, in love, and in war, Ivory and Razvan are made for each other. For as long as they dare to live.



MY REVIEW:
I read the whole story without researching anything about it or the series so from the point of view of someone who have no clear idea of the premise of the story, the author was able to make me understand the what, why, who, how questions I had for this story alone. I think this book even though is part of a series can also be read as a stand alone novel. It doesn't really require the readers to read the previous ones since it's already explained somewhat. But on the other hand, I think it would create a better impact on me if I do have read the earlier books prior to reading Dark Slayer as to know the start of the whole conflict and how it affected all the characters I have encountered. Over all, I can say that this is a good read and it has a very entertaining and somewhat unique fantasy world and concept. It's actually a fast read, which surprised me. I loved how the heroine is a very strong woman, that's what really pushed me to get this book after reading the synopsis.  I just can't put my finger on it, I kept on thinking it's good but it didn't wow me that much. I can't pinpoint the exact reason why I can't give it a grade higher.

oh, wait, I take that back. I believe what put me off was the way the dialogues are written. It actually bothered me that they "speak" in Russian (I believe) and then the author will put italized English translation after it or vice versa. It's a nice touch actually until I experienced it in the entire book! It's too redundant in my opinion. Especially the endearments because  you can just put the translation once in the beginning and then continuously use the Russian word throughout the book. Or put an appendix at the end to explain all the terminologies. But aside from that, I really liked the book :)

OVER ALL RATING: 4/5 
I enjoyed reading it & I am intrigued enough on this series. I am still debating whether to buy the other ones or just download ebook copies, but I am pretty sure that i will check out more books by Christine Feehan in the future. Though I won't be reading those until much later coz I still have a lot of book in my list to read first :) 

I would recommend this to those who are looking for an action packed romance novel w/lead the heroine as a warrior.  

Do comment below if you have read other works by her. What should I get next? :)



Sunday, February 2, 2014

K-Drama Review: The Heirs

I'm on a roll today! This is already my 2nd post of the day because I had quite a hard time signing in in blogger for 2 weeks now. Everytime I want to write something, I can't sign in. Luckily, i was able to today so here I am, uploading all the stuff I was supposed to upload in the last 2 weeks. 

I have actually finished this drama last December since I usually like watching dramas the same time it airs in South Korea. So yeah, this is a long overdue drama review but it's better late than never, right? :)

TITLE: The Heirs/The Inheritors
EPISODES: 20
GENRE: Drama, love story
BROADCASTING NETWORK: SBS
AIRING DATES: October 9 - December 12, 2013
AIRING TIME: Wednesday-Thursday
SYNOPSIS:  
"He Who Wishes To Wear the Crown, Endure Its Weight – The Heirs" 
This is actually a high school drama revolving about the different kinds of heirs in the upper crust society. The drama showed how each class lives & the restrictions & responsibilities that comes with their family's fortune. It also showed how the commoners live day to day. It's full of family, money & love problems.

CASTS: 
Lee Min-ho as Kim Tan
Park Shin-hye as Cha Eun Sang
Kim Woo-bin as Choi Young Do
Choi Jin-hyuk as Kim Won
Krystal Jung [of F(x)] as Lee Bo Na
Kim Ji-won as Yoo Rachel 
Kang Min-hyuk [of CN Blue] as Yoon Chan Young
Kang Ha-neul as Lee Hyo Shin 
  Park Hyung-sik [of ZE:A] as Jo Myung Soo 


MY REVIEW:

I will start my review by saying I am a fan of Lee Min Ho. All of his dramas that I have watched were awesome! He is one of my fave Korean actors because he can act any character from a young innocent boy to a dangerous killer. He can pull off anything so I know he'll do great here, which he did, I love his acting in this drama. Now, I know it's not a good thing to compare all his works but you can't help but have some expectations. That's where my problem began with this drama, I had super high hopes about The Heirs. 

As I've said, the storyline itself is great. It's not unique coz the theme has been used a lot of time (Poor-girl-rich-boy-with-snobbish-parents-meets-in-a-prestigious-school) but it's not always that the focus of the story is the family & personal problems of the rich kids. Also, the setting is  beautiful especially the scenes in California. This drama is full of gorgeous sceneries & amazing outfits.

Another point is that all of the casts are good in acting, even the K-pop singers are great. i have no complaints in the acting department because everyone fit the role they are playing & they were able to portray it with the intensity needed for each scene. I really enjoyed watching them especially Minhyuk & Krystal because they really fit the role. I really think they have a future in the drama industry. Choi Jin Hyuk is always awesome & I'm glad he got another supporting role here. This is my first time watching Kim Woo Bin and I'm surprised that a model turned actor is good. His emotional scenes are really on the spot & full of emotions. Even w/o dialogue you will feel him. This is the 2nd time I've watched Kim Ji Won & I actually liked her role here coz she was able to portray the mean girl aura perfectly. Hyunshik has such a little role and it's a weird one so no comment. Kang Ha neul is okay, but he also don't have enough scenes for me to judge his acting. Overall, even the supporting casts (the parents) are great and believable.

Now, for the lead characters. I have watched Park Shin Hye since You're beautiful until Flowerboy Next Door. I liked her personally because she's really a talented girl, not to mention pretty. All of her dramas that I have watched, I never had any complaints with her acting skills. Even here in The Heirs, her acting is superb. My problem is, she really can't create an on-screen chemistry with his leading men (well, except w/Jang geun Suk). She always looks reserved in romantic scenes & boy can't she kiss. It's always two lips smacked together with the camera moving around and around. I mean, she's not underage anymore & her partners are all great kissers on other dramas, so I'm betting she's the reason why the kisses turned out like that. 

 
* man, what's with the facial expression? just relax those eyebrows please*


I really can't feel any connection with the main couple in this drama. No chemistry at all. I love everything except for their romantic scenes, even the hugs don't feel genuine. Kang Minhyuk & Krystal's scenes are way better coz that one's believable. I'm actually sad for Lee Min Ho especially on the highlight kissing scene inside the closet, he's giving it all but Park Shin Hye can't even show a good expression the whole time. If you watch this drama, do come back & share your thoughts about that scene with me, i'm really curious what you guys think...

That's it! Those are my thoughts on The Heirs. This drama got very high rating both domestically & internationally w/ reason. if you haven't watched it yet, do so because it's worth the time. I really enjoyed it :)

OVER-ALL RATING: 4/5.
Not the best Lee Min Ho drama because of the lack of chemistry with Park Shin Hye but everything else was great! Really a good light high school themed drama for K-drama lovers out there that wants a somewhat romantic comedy w/lots of conflict behind it.

For English subbed videos click here DramaGo.

Note: I don't think I can watch another Park Shin Hye drama after this. I'm so bored in her roles already, no variety anymore :(

Thank you for dropping by! Stay safe :)





First impression: We got Married Jang Wooyoung & Park Se Young (2Young Couple)

It has been a long time since I have watched We Got Married. I actually stopped watching the show after the 3 original couples of season 4 left. I'm not actually interested in the new ones so for how many months I didn't bother with the show. Last month, they have announced that Jang Wooyoung of 2PM will be replacing Taemin & Naeun and it really created the buzz I needed to be interested again hehe. I am a 2PM fan & Wooyoung has a really fun & energetic personality so it would be nice to see him in a variety show interacting with a girl. Plus, there would probably be more 2PM appearances every now & then as guests so that would be great. 

He got paired up with the actress Park Se Young. I have watched her in Faith (click for my review) and I loved her character in that drama. She's so pretty and soft spoken so I am so psyched to see how the two will interact with each other.

 

There have only been 4 episodes so far and, like always, I watch the English subbed videos @ Kshownow since they sub the fastest (new episodes w/subs are posted every Monday) & the quality is always great. 

After 3 episodes, I think this is a good match! They have so many likes in common but is still different in personality. I also liked the fact that they only have a 1 year age gap so there's no such thing as a "noona" feeling like usual. I really would prefer it if Wooyoung is the older one but it's not much of a big deal this time. 

I am looking forward every week to see more of them. I just hope We Got Married PD won't butcher this couple like the others. The 1st 3 seasons are still the best because the couples have time to grow & know each other better unlike in Season 4 were in they just stay together for a few months. I hope everything will go well *crossing my fingers*

Do post in the comment if you have watched this couple already or if you are as excited as I am that another 2PM member will be part of the show coz it means more appearances of the group :)

Until next time! Keep safe :)

Thank you!

Monday, January 20, 2014

Skin Diary: Vampire Stomp

Howdy! Hope everyone is staying warm in this very cold weather :)

As I have mentioned in my intro last week, my first official post of 2014 is the start of another Skin Diary Series. I have decided to try another procedure to keep my skin acne-free & also to remove my acne scars.
Since I had great results with derma roller a couple of years ago, I chose another procedure that is almost similar in idea but is said to be much better in acne scar treatment. 

This procedure is called Vampire Stomp or Autologous PRP Fractional Micro Needling. It's more commonly known as derma stamping but mine is only done in clinics as it uses a machine & my own blood plasma. I will try to take a picture of the machine next time since I can't find the exact brand that the derma clinic uses online.

1st step of the procedure, the nurse will apply topical anesthesia all over your face & put a cling wrap over it. This step lasts at least 30 minutes. And while waiting for anesthesia to work, the doctor or the nurse will get some blood from you, put it in a test tube & then to the machine to separate the clear plasma from the rest of the blood components. That part of the blood contains a lot of healing properties.

Since I am having a case of congested skin during the time I had the procedure, my skin was actually rough in texture as it has lots of bumps. I was given a cleaning prior to the actual procedure & an injection to my huge acne just to prep my skin.
 
The procedure itself is fast. It can be done by the doctor or the nurse. Mine only took a couple of minutes & it is painless in my opinion. Compared with my experience w/derma roller that you can still feel the pressure from the needles even with the anesthesia, you won't feel anything poking in your skin w/vampire stomp. It is also more even so the redness that my face had after the procedure was okay. I was able to go out of the clinic & commute because it faded fast. And since the needle stamp is quite small, it can cover lots of areas like around the mouth & nose a little better than w/the roller.

My face felt tight after the procedure was done because the plasma had already formed some crusting on my skin. Have you had a wound and then a yellowish clear liquid forms a crust to seal it? That's the same thing used all over my face. If you don't like that, I guess you can opt for the collagen serum instead (that's what I used during my derma rolling procedure) & it will give you the soft moisturized feel. I also did itch a little with the topical antibiotic that was applied after but that is normal for my sensitive skin. 

This is done once a month so my next session will be the 1st week of February. The price is almost the same as w/the derma roller but once you decided to have a lot of session, it would be best to talk to Dra. Manuel so she can give it to you at discounted price. Right now, I am now doing it per session as I am still not sure until when I want to have this done since I think my skin will not need as many session as it used to because I don't have cystic acne breakouts anymore.

I haven't noticed any difference yet and I am still checking if I will continue to do the plasma or I will switch to the collagen serum, but the doctor suggested it would give better results if I used my own blood to heal my skin problems. And since I'm curious about he effectivity & differences I think I'm leaning towards using my own blood hehe.

If you have any specific questions that I haven't addressed here, do feel free to post it in the comment box below or just send me an email if that's easier for you. :)


Thank you for dropping by!




NOTE: I know I'll get asked this so I will put the clinic info here. Do call before you come so that you can talk to Dra Manuel.  :)
MBM Medical & Skin Clinic
2nd Floor Wilcon Builders Building (Near the escalator)
Visayas Avenue, Quezon City
986-6712

Friday, January 17, 2014

I'm back!

Hello everyone! I can't believe it's 2014 already. Time flies so fast!

Thank you so much for waiting and sticking with me. I am now well adjusted with my work and our schedule is not that hectic anymore with all the holidays already done. So I have decided to start getting back into posting more reviews for you all. :)

If you have been following me on Facebook or Twitter, you now know that I have another Skin Diary project. I have decided to undergo Vampire Stomp or more commonly known as derma stamping. Anyways, it's quite similar w/ derma roller in a sense that it uses needles to stimulate the skin to heal itself but it uses your own blood instead of an artificial serum. I am doing this for my acne scars and some breakouts that I had after trying new skin care & make-up stuffs. If you're interested to know more about my experiences with that procedure, I will be posting about it once a month after every session.

I am also gonna be back into watching TV dramas & reading books. I will try my best to finish a lot so I can put up more reviews for you guys. I have a lot of series that I want to read so that's something I look forwards to :)

I have also been trying a lot of products in the last couple of months so I'll start putting up reviews for those too.

That's it for my first post of the year. My next one will be my initial reaction for my 1st session of Derma stamping. Till next time!


HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE!


XOXO,
Gale

Sunday, October 27, 2013

I'll be on hiatus for a while...

Good day!

I'm so sorry for doing this to you all again but I'm really having a hard time on my personal life right now and I can't make myself to do anything especially some reviews for the blog.  I thought I can go back asap but it's already turning into months since my last post and I don't want you guys waiting for nothing. So I have decided to just be on an indefinite hiatus here in bloggersphere. I just wanted to inform you guys of my plan. I will try my best to bounce back sooner rather than later.

I hope you guys will still be w/ me when I come back. Thank you so much for all your support. Always keep safe! God bless.

Regards,
Crystal Gale

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

A new online shop for fashionistas on the budget!

Hello everyone! 

I recently found an online store called PINK CITY SHOPPE in Facebook that sells clothes at very affordable prices. I kept on checking all the items they are selling and I can't believe majority of them costs less than Php500! I inquired about the items I was interested in and I was so surprised that the owner was one of my college classmates hehe small world. Anyway, I felt comfortable buying from her because of that so I got myself a pretty dress and it fit very nicely :)


*I used the photo from the website because my camera is broken so I can't take an actual picture*


WHAT I LOVE ABOUT PINK CITY SHOPPE:

 - very affordable items

- The designs of the clothing items are really fashionable and some are even unique.

- hassle free transaction. The owner replies very fast to inquiries and it's easy to settle the payment.

- shipping is fast! Just 1-2 days after you pay for the items.

- Quality of the clothes is good. The dress I got is not scratchy on the skin.


WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE:

- because everything looks good design-wise and they have cheap price tags, you will be tempted to get more than what you planned on purchasing LOL
 
- Not all of the items are on-hand so that can affect the turn around time for your order.

- There's a chance that you'll see someone with the same style of clothes on others because the designs are the "in" thing as of the moment.



Do check Pink City Shoppe and see for yourself how vast your options are. No need to spend a lot of money to look good! AND You won't need to worry about the customer service because I guarantee you will not be duped by the owner :)


Thanks for dropping by!