Tuesday, 1 December 2015

November 2015 Beauty Favourites & Recommendations

Hey guys!
So it's that time of the month again! A favourites video! Is it weird that I look forward to these types of videos more than anything?
So for this round of favourites I've pretty much compiled 4 months worth of beauty products that I've been using constantly and really recommend for you guys to check out.

List of products:
- Cetaphil Oily Skin Cleanser BUY HERE
- Beauty Pod Airbrush FX Sponge BUY HERE
- Loreal Infallible 24h-Matte Foundation BUY HERE
- INGLOT Freedom System Palette (Blushes 4) BUY HERE
- INGLOT HD Sculpting Powder BUY HERE
  • 503
  • 501
  • 505
  • 502
- Savvy Mineral Baked Blush "Coral" (They no longer sell this product online, though they do have other Mineral Baked Bronzers in other shades CLICK  HERE
- Too Faced Chocolate Bar Palette BUY HERE
- MAC Matte Lipstick "Velvet Teddy" BUY HERE


Thank you so much for visiting! I hope you all found this helpful! Let me know if you have any questions! And if you know any products to recommend let me know!

My Weight Loss Journey

My weight loss.
Growing up I was always the curvier girl. Being surrounded by size 6, petite Asian girls I always found myself (and let's face it - many others) comparing my body to them. 
Being 165cm tall and a size 12 doesn't really fit into the "Asian Body" criteria (which is usually 145cm tall and a size 6). So yes, I was the main target of the "fat" comments at church and family friend parties. 

I remember it all started when I was in year 6, where I went to a party, it was with a bunch of families from church that my parents have been friends with since they came to Australia. I was sitting with my mum and her friends (as the odd one out would usually do - my mum or dad was always my companion when it came to these sort've events).
Suddenly these women, these parents who also have daughters and sons of their own around my age, started talking about my body. Right there in front of me, as if I wasn't sitting right next to them. Mind you, Filipino women have no discretion when it comes to volume, so even people outside in the backyard could hear their "Vanessa's body" conversation. 
Just when I thought "Maybe they don't realise I'm actually here", they then turned to me and began to ask me ...

"Do you eat a lot of cake?" 

"Have you ever tried running?" 

"You should eat less meals." 

I was absolutely mortified. I remember pinching my hand under the table to stop myself from crying. Then one of the ladies - who to this day I still consider one of the nicest women ever, stuck up for me. She put them in their place and said...

 "Vanessa hasn't even hit her teens, you shouldn't tell her these sorts of things." 

I don't know why, but after she said those words I had to excuse myself from the table and locked myself in the toilet and I just cried, cried and cried. I felt sorry for myself. I really did. 
I then went home that night and ate a whole family size block of chocolate to myself while I listened to Lifehouse.

The next day I examined myself in the mirror, I never really thought of my body - mind you I was 11. My thoughts when I was 11 was if I could convince my dad to get me a baby born for my birthday that year - not the body. Then in that moment I decided I was going to lose weight. 

The next day I ate nothing but three pieces of plain potato chips, the day after that I had nothing but a glass of peach iced tea. Then the next I attempted to do sit ups (utter fail of course). 

My mum noticed the weight loss and threw a huge temper tantrum, calling me crazy and asking me what the hell I was doing. That night my dad cried (he's emotional like that) begging me to eat something. He bought me a happy meal. I ate it. 

Age 17 at a size 12.
Thus introduced my yoyo dieting, starting roughly at the age of 11. I would do all sorts of outrageous and fad diets and before you knew it I was an emotional eater. Lose 10kgs here, gain 10kgs there. Skip breakfast and lunch for two weeks, eat a whole box of Sara Lee waffles with condense milk the next. 

Fast forward to 19, when I met Tony. I fell in love. He made me feel like I was the sexiest woman alive - love handles and all. We never talked about my body, it was never an issue. I grew comfortable. Maybe too comfortable. LOL. 

Age 23 - Was pregnant with Maddy (my first born). I remember being pregnant with her and people thought it was appropriate to comment and compare my belly to other pregnant women. 
At the time there was a fellow mother (absolutely wonderful woman), who too was pregnant with her first. People were always comparing my body to hers, mind you this woman is about 145cms tall and a natural size 6 (by natural I mean she ate whatever she wanted and never saw an incline on the scale. She actually found it hard to gain weight). 

"Look at *insert wonderful womans name*s body, you're so big Vanessa compared to her." 

"Have you thought of not eating as much meals?" 

"Have you considered going to the gym?" 

"You're so big Vanessa, for sure you are going to have a C-section birth!" 

Pretty fucked up comments ay? No joke. Those are real quotes, indented to my brain till today. Nasty comments will always stick like paper on glue. 

Pregnant at 35 week with Maddy
After giving birth to Maddy I immediately started my yoyo dieting schemes again. Ever heard of the energy drink diet? It's where you eat absolutely nothing during the day until you pretty much get a headache and feel weak from hunger, then when that phase happens you line your stomach with an energy drink and for dinner you eat close to nothing but a can of tuna. Yeah... Well I did that. Lost 10kgs with that one. Gained it again of course. 

Then I had beautiful James. The apple to my stress. Haha. Post pregnancy with James I had reached a size 16. Understandable, just had two babies in two years. But then this happened... You know when you get tagged on Facebook of a photo and you see yourself for the first time? Like actually see yourself. The size that you really are. That happened. I felt the urge to private message my friend and ask to untag me - but I didn't. 
Instead I contacted my fit gym junky body building cousin and asked him for advice. Thus, the body builders diet. I lost 13 kgs and ate nothing but food that tasted like cardboard. Did the weight drop? Absolutely. Did I enjoy it? Fuck no. 

After that happened I went back to my snacking habits and nearly ate a whole cheesecake to myself.

Fast forward to a couple of months ago. I went to get a body health scan and had the biggest scare of my life. 
The body scan was hosted by my now gym trainer Luke. I remember walking through the doors of the gym with a goal of looking like a size 6 super model. Then my gym instructor slapped me awake (not physically). 
He asked me a series of questions and made me do a few jumps, sit ups and little exercises. After entering all my details into the computer he pretty much summarised my future. 

"Vanessa, if you continue your yoyo dieting and if you don't start making healthier choices, you will never see your children grow up past the age of 30."

Shit. Seriously? I will only see Maddy and James up until they're 30? Who even knows if they'll have kids by the time they're 30! That means I might not even meet my grandchildren? I always wanted grandchildren. 

I never walked into that gym that day thinking "Get healthy." "Make healthier choices." In all honesty all I was thinking when I had first walked into that gym was "Get sexy." "Prove those Tita's at church wrong." but now it had involved my family and how much time I had with them. I was completely stunned. 

You know those typical cliche health quotes you see online all the time but never really believe them enough to actually comprehend them?

"Make healthier choices."

"It's a change in lifestyle, not a four month diet."

"It's about proportion"

Yeah, those. Well I'm actually living by them.  I joined the gym, I invested in a trainer, I eat whole meal bread instead of white. And the only meal skipping I'm doing is the one where I skip the large Coke at Mcdonalds and get a water instead. 
I've dropped 2 dress sizes, I can run 3kms and I feel fucken fabulous.

In all honesty it doesn't feel like torture. Yes, I still have a slice of birthday cake, and yes, I still enjoy a slice of pepperoni pizza here and there, but now I don't punish myself by running 10000kms after it. 

It's been a long journey of ups and down, falling off and climbing back on. And there is still a long way to go. But I feel great, I'm healthier, I'm confident, I'm actually comfortable in my body and I now no longer feel embarrassed to run in public. 

I have now transformed into the parent that plays on the monkey bars and chases the kids at the park, rather than the parent that I was who just sat on the park bench and supervised from a distance.

But this isn't just about eating and being physically healthy. It's also about being mentally healthy as well. I've filtered my life, taken all the negative and stupid people (with their stupid comments) out of it. And for people out there, who are or have gone through similar situations, you don't need it. You don't need people's bullshit. Now that I've "decluttered" and "purged" the belittling people in my life I am so much more happier. Instead of mean comments and revenge being my drive, my kids and my husband, who are my happiness, who I want to spend a long time seeing and being around are my inspiration. So to those that are mysteriously no longer my friends on Facebook, or if I haven't accepted your friend request... it not by accident. It's because sometimes people don't want bullshit. 

To end this post on a positive note I will leave you all with a few cliche quotes...

And this one... just because it's funny and completely irrelevant.

xoxo/ Vanessa

Thursday, 26 November 2015

26 years of living.

If you all don't know November is a pretty busy month in our household.
So many different things to celebrate in the month of November, Maddy turned 3! I still can't believe that just in two years time my baby girl will be in Kindergarten. Myself turned 26 - yet I feel like a 40 year old.

Madeleine riding her new bicycle. 

Madeleine Ava Kieves Pham was born on the 19th of November 2012. Tony and I always consider 2012 to be one of our biggest years yet (also the year we got married and traveled Asia).

On the 19th we celebrated by surprising Maddy with two presents that she had been asking for a long time. Honestly, Im surprised we held off to give them to her for so long.

The following day Maddy and I had a girls date at the nail salon - something she's been wanting to do for awhile. Is it weird that I couldn't wait for this day to come? The day that my daughter and I could go get our nails done and have conversations about all things that involve her.

And then there was my birthday which Tony and the kids surprised me with my favourite cake - fruit flan.

Then, of course we had to celebrate Maddy's 3rd Birthday! We organised a party for her at a hot spot for children 'Monkey Mania'. All Maddy's friends and family came, had cake and celebrated.

This has got to be one of my favourite photos. Maddy and James with their cousins.

Maddys Peppa Pig Ice Cream cake that Tony and I promised her.
Maddy blowing out the candles for her birthday -
surprisingly she was more interested in playing than she was eating cake. 

Daddy and James pooped after the party. 

Then the following Monday, Tony and I had a rare thing happen. We had a date. It was a really great chance for us to have some quality time together. The kids were at school and we were at the Seafood Market eating our Monday away.

My handsome hubby

Safe to say, we were in a definite food coma. Anyone else love oysters?!

I am just so grateful for all the things that have happened to me in the last 26 years. Looking back now and thinking of how I would picture my future, I did not see it like this. And I mean that in the most sincere and grateful way possible.

There have been many things in my life that could've taken my course in an entirely different direction - but I am so happy it didn't.

To be married to the most hard working, loyal and supportive life partner. I am so grateful to have found someone who makes me feel at home, to make me feel safe and loved. To make me feel like I could do anything in the world that I was passionate about and everything will be alright.

Do you know what it feels like to dive out of a plane with no parachute? Well, think of that, then think of the feeling of relief when you realise you actually do have a parachute, then you have an expert harnessed onto you to guide you and you are actually about to land on a bed of clouds. Not so scary anymore is it? - Safety. My husband is my parachute.

To have these two beautiful children - who, yes, drive me crazy and have made me reach high pitched notes of screaming (that I never knew I was capable of), and yet these kids are the same kids that give me the biggest smile I've ever had, who've taught me how to worry, how to love unconditionally, who have taught me to be stronger, work harder and strive for more. Who knew an 18 month old and a 3 year old could ever teach you those things?

And then to have the health that I now have, to have the opportunities that I now have, to have the determination I have now. Because goodness knows I did not have these qualities a few years ago.

Living has taught me so many things, and the elements that have contributed have evolved me into the person I am today. I never thought at 26 years old I would know, have seen and experienced the things I have.  I love my family, I love my life and I honestly believe the grass is greener on my side.

Thank you all for visiting and reading todays post. I hope you all feel as blessed and grateful for the life you have as much as I do.

xoxo Vanessa.

Tuesday, 24 November 2015

OOTD Summer Look Book Ep.1

I remember back in high school I would spend my school holidays in my bedroom sketching, sewing and staring at my wardrobe (I even convinced my parents to allow me to turn one of the guest bedrooms into a sewing room). I always told everyone "one day I will be a fashion designer". Here I am, almost 11 years later and still hold a strong passion for fashion. 
To tie together my love for merchandising clothes and creating videos, I decided to start a series on my youtube channel CLICK HERE .
This series is pretty much what it's called "OOTD Look Book". In this playlist I will upload 1 minute videos of an Outfit Of The Day, where in I can express my love for fashion and style. 
Today I've uploaded the First Episode to hit the series off. This OOTD featured in the first episode has got to be the one that I've been replaying over and over again the past month (just switching it up with different accessories to suit the occasion). 
The khaki T-shirt is definitely a favourite piece this Summer, I just love khaki in the Summer time (so flattering for tanned skin), and who doesn't live in boyfriend jeans all year round? Haha!

This is seriously one of my default outfits for this Summer

Using the technique of simple fashion pieces and then jazzing it up with embellishments of accessories

The clutch bag has been a best friend for those days when I don't need a nappy bag. And for convenience and comfort it comes with a long strap as well.

It's the details that got me with this outfit. This top caught my eye, not only because it's as comfortable as a pair of PJ's, but also the detail of the back - who says you can't be sexy with a simple Tshirt?

Top: Lee Cooper CLICK HERE
Boyfriend Jeans: Lee Cooper CLICK HERE
Oxford Brogue Shoes: American Eagle CLICK HERE
Necklace: Colette Hayman CLICK HERE
Clutch: Sportsgirl CLICK HERE

Okay guys so that wraps it up for today's blog post. Thank you all so much for dropping by and reading. I'll see you all very soon. xoxo.

Wednesday, 18 November 2015

Sydney IMATS 2015

OK. IMATS happened last weekend. Not only am I still smiling from all the festivities that IMATS had to offer, but my wallet is also crying. My brain is wired and my hands are itching from all the inspiration that IMATS gives me every-single-year.
IMATS 2015 was freaking awesome. We asked. They delivered.
Not only were there some amazing artists that showcased their work of art, but there were also a few brands that hadn't shown their faces in previous years, brands that were just beckoning me to spend my $$. They asked. My wallet delivered.

Now for you guys who do not know what IMATS is, it pretty much stands for International Makeup Artistry Trade Show. It is what it stands for. A trade show that travels the world once a year. An event where makeup artists from all ends of the earth gather, show case their art and sell their product. So if you're into makeup, love the art and want to stock up on items that just seem impossible or over priced to get online (yes, IMATS offers an extensive amount of discounts to all sorts of brands), then I suggest you pre buy your tickets for next year! For more information on the event CLICK HERE.

Ok, so story is, my sister decided to be the BEST-SISTER-EVA! And buy us both tickets to attend this years show - I honestly was so happy when she offered because I really wanted to go (even if that meant me going alone). For months I saved, saved and saved, held off shopping for makeup for a looooong time (in my eyes that is) and then last weekend I pretty much knocked down that wall and spent, spent, spent!

Before I delve into the haul of the delicious candy I bought, I thought I'd show you a few cool pictures I did manage to take when I wasn't staring at makeup (the rare times I pulled my phone out of my bag instead of my wallet - HAHA).

Myself and these two gorgeous ladies from the 'Beauty & Hair Academy of Australia' booth.

How awesome is this piece of art? A model made porcelain doll/puppet. Scary yet freaking awesome!!

Okay, this lady looked like she just stepped off the set of "Hansel & Gretel : Witch Hunters".
Looking back at these pictures I seriously wish I had taken more to show you guys, these pictures do not do justice as to how much talent was in that one room! It was intoxicating, inspiring and just plain talent dirty!

Now off the topic of talent and onto the topic of shopping! Below is a video I had made that I posted on my Beauty Channel SUBSCRIBE HERE. I hope you all enjoy this video- thought I'd do something different than a normal chatty 10+min video.

Thank you all so much for visiting and reading today's blog post. Don't forget to subscribe via email (located at the top left corner) to get instant updates!
Chat to you all in the next post. TATA!


Hi all!
First and for most I want to start this blog post off by apologising. I am so sorry for the looooong absence. 
Where do I even start? Things have just been so overwhelmingly busy that I haven't even had a chance to turn on my laptop (not to also mention the fact that I have been without internet for over a month). 
So, what's been happening? 
Well I haven't died or fallen off the face of the earth that's for sure! 
My family and I have actually recently bought a new house and moved. Yes, moved. New location, new house and new internet! Not to mention all the little things that have been happening around that - Maddy's 3rd Birthday, holiday season and starting up a new business (did I even get a chance to mention that?).
But not to worry, Vanessa is back - Vanessa's Corner is now back! Back with a major face lift (meaning the social media face, not my literal face). Expect to see a few changes happening to not only this blog, but to my two youtube channels (did I ever mention I had two?). 
I am now trying to juggle 2 youtube channels, one being my Beauty/Lifestyle one CLICK HERE and then my family and I have also started a Daily Vlogging channel CLICK HERE - so if you are interested in what my family and myself get up to that doesn't always have to do with beauty, don't forget to check that out. 
Thank you so much for still popping by even though I haven't been very dependable in the last few months. 
I leave you all with well wishes and a good day! Cheers!
- Vanessa

Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Product Review: Covergirl Ready, Set, Gorgeous Foundation

Hi readers! It's been a long time since I've last posted huh? Well don't you worry! On today's post we will be reviewing drugstore brand Covergirl's "Ready, Set Gorgeous" Foundation.

The claims of this foundation is:
One simple step for a flawless, natural look that lasts all day. The formula blends easily to even skin tone and reduces shine all day. 
  • Oil Free 
  • Won't clog pores
  • Suitable for sensitive skin
  • Lasts all day 

  • 30mls of product
  • Translucent Plastic Squeezable tube
Let's see if this works?

Before Application
Bare face, no primers have been applied. Apologies, I am in the middle of a breakout, but hey! It's the perfect timing to test the coverage power of this foundation.

Initial Application
1 Layer
  • Smooth to blend 
  • Thick formula 
  • Evens skin tone - Covers redness, scarring and hyper pigmentation
  • Luminous Finish
  • Buildable coverage
  • Skin like finish - skins textures (pores) are visible
  • Clings to dry spots - my under eye area
The foundation clinging to the dry spots under my eyes
 After Applying The Rest Of My Makeup

 End Of Day - 12 Hours Later
  • A little bit of visible shine - not overly
  • Creased along my nostrils
  • Coverage is still in tacked 
  • After my natural oils kicked in I noticed that the foundation no longer seemed to be clinging to any dry areas
  • Patchy along my nose where my glasses touch my face - which is a usual with me and unset foundation. 

Final Thoughts?
  • Natural Look? You can still see your skins texture and it leaves a nice bounce to your skin that gives it a very natural finish. 
  • Lasts All Day?  It lasted 12 hrs!
  • Blends Well? Definitely blends well, took me under a minute to do my whole base. 
  • Reduces shine all day? I am definitely impressed with how it maintained my shine. By the 8th hour I'm usually fighting to find blotting paper or compact powder to touch up - but with this foundation I didn't find myself doing that. 
In all honesty, I am very impressed by how this foundation sets and wears - definitely a great everyday foundation for work or running errands. 

Thank ya'll for reading today's review! Don't forget to check out my youtube channel Click Here to view more makeup and lifestyle goodies!

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