Thursday, April 17, 2014

Strength and Beauty Defined.

The Lenten Season culminates in the joyful celebration on Easter Sunday of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. This story I am about to share with you is so timely for the Lenten Season. It is about a person's "resurrection" and the joyful celebration of her life. It is true that what defines us is how we rise after we fall. I hope you will be inspired by this story in the same way that it inspired me. Read on for Clarie's story:

Hi my name is Clarie,

A little something about my self, im 30 years old with 3 wonderful kids, a loving husband who is like my bestfriend as well. And I always see things as, “everything will be OKAY as long as you do things with a smile.

But then again, life always brings us surprises and God always push us to the limit of our weaknesses and strengths.
I was diagnosed with  ALOPECIA AREATA November 2013.
At first, I noticed one night that there was a handful of hair while I was taking a shower. I thought I had an allergic reaction to some hair product or something and thought that it was just normal. When I showed my husband the big chunks of hair that kept on falling out every time I comb it with my finger, we got a little worried. 

After about a week, I noticed that there were missing hairs, big spot on the right side area of my head. Then only that we became very concerned. I went to the doctor and she told me I have alopecia areata and prescribed me cream and told me to get blood work for thyroid. I have kind of used steroid cream but it's very hard to do by myself as i can't see all the spots. I couldn’t eat anything that would trigger my allergies.
Like my immune system, my confidence crashed as well. I started wearing baseball caps, bonnets and scarfs to conceal my head. Christmas became so depressing for me, I hated it whenever someone’s taking a picture of me. I was just feeling very sad for myself and just looking at myself in mirror and crying all the time. I felt ugly and would cry myself to sleep. For two months I hid behind car tints and caps. My husband would stare at me and sometimes cries as well. It was very hard for me to accept alopecia, I was sure that if I accept it that moment, my body decides that I will never get my hair back. People would ask me what happened, they thought I had cancer.
Everyday within those two depressing months, I would search the net and check, ALOPECIA AREATA. There were organizations, saw people suffering/ living with it. One thing that struck me the most, are the words “NO CURE”. Then the water works follows. Tried looking at bald women on the net. Thinkin’ I can never look this good. Only models, only beautiful girls can handle this kind for style. Taking a deep breath to every picture that would appear in front of me. It was very horrible. I asked myself the same question every day, “I’m already “not pretty” and yet this still happened to me?” I felt desperate. I fell so worthless without my hair. I'm no longer the princess with the beautiful hair. Nope, not anymore.

Then one day I just felt that I am so sick and tired of this miserable feeling I am having. I went to the barbershop for haircut. I told him to shave off the hair that survived. I went bald. After my haircut, I felt free. I went to the mall without the cap or wig. Just me and my bald head. People were staring but I didn’t mind. Did I not really mind? As i went home, i found myself looking for affirmation from friends i know, i took a selfie, and I went on FB to show and ask my friends how I looked.

Then… I asked my good friend ANGELO FALCONI III's opinion… (who is by the way one of the biggest names in the beauty industry.)
I chatted with him and I told him I have alopecia areata. He explained to me the same thing that my doctor said. I sent him my bald photo. He blurted out,  “God u look sooo pretty!!!!!!

Super bagay pala sayo ang bald?!!! Grabe!!!!!”
“You have the most perfect shape of head I’ve ever seen.”
Normally the initial reaction would be, “oh thank you” but in my mind, “IS HE CRAZY?” I was just asking if it suits me. He then told me pieces of advices, like, “you should have nice brows to go along with a red lipstick…
I really don't know what is in Angelo's mind when he offered me something that I would never thought anyone would offer me. It came like a big joke for me!
Angelo said: “No... Can i do a makeover while u are bald please?!!! Allow me! I want to bring out that super pretty face even na bald!!! Sige na!!!!

It’ll be great!
Growing up with two sisters who's both very pretty and smart… and now… “ME? I never dreamt of this coz I already left the beauty and brain up to my sisters. All I can ever be Is the happy girl who never grows old. And now THIS!!!!????
I don’t know if I was going to cry or laugh and immediately called my hubby and told him what kuya Gelo’s plan was. He said with a very excited voice, “go for it” maybe this is your chance to help others as well. And I said YES…
Photo by Eunice Vallesteros
I trusted him now like I trusted him when he made me look like a princess on my wedding day.
Kuya Gelo was very happy and so excited that he wanted the make over and do the photoshoot as soon as possible.
Then the day came. It was my first time to meet the gorgeous Ms. Eunice Vallesteros, the photographer. I was very nervous, conscious, feeling of “ I wanted to poo and pee at the same time”. Afraid, I might make mistakes… but then, all I could ever hear from kuya Gelo and Ms. Eunice was, “ang GANDA”. I am not used to hearing those words. Everytime they let go of those words, my heart would skip a beat. “she’s a natural”, I love her…
Still, I couldn’t believe. Still doubting.
During the outdoor shoot, Clarizza, one of my sisters, came to pass by and Angelo showed some sample shots. Again, i heard, "Ang ganda mo!" Angelo and I looked at one another with bewilderment and excitement! He said, "Did you hear what your sister just said?" I saw how happy Angelo was then! I felt his purpose was justified! Hearing my sister tell me that is new to me! I can't stop telling, "Am I just dreaming?" 
Photo by Eunice Vallesteros
I thought one shoot was enough. But Angelo gave me another chance to do another Studio shoot with Mr. Shannen Tomita. I felt so nervous as we went to the studio. I was catching my breath! Hearing Shannen, the Stylist, and Mitch Desunia say, "You've got the X-factor!" "Ang ganda mo!", made me feel like i'm in a dreamland again! I just can't believe this is happening to me!
And now this… when I finally saw the pictures, I couldn’t believe my eyes. “is that me”,” is it really me?”, come on,  slap me on the face or pinch me. I might be dreaming!
There were negative feedbacks on why I did it. But I didn’t mind. Kuya Gelo was there and promised me that he will make sure this will be the bridge to a new life. I trusted his purpose. He said, "GOD is here to guide us through this process Clarie." He supported me and really showed me the beauty that was hiding behind the hair. I had an opportunity of a lifetime. I loved every moment of the spotlight.
The whole family supported me specially My husband and sister (Clarizza Beldua).

I want you to know that you are not alone. 10 out of a 100 gets this type of disease. But you know what, it's just hair. if it doesn’t grow back, accept it, and say thank you. If it does, then “thank you” as well.
GOD has his reasons for giving me this kind of trial. He used ANGELO FALCONI III as an instrument to enable me to get back on my feet and tell the world that “hey, Alopecia wont stop me from living a normal life.
Finally, I am happy again. I regained not just my confidence, but also my trust.

Photo by Eunice Vallesteros
Photo by Shannen Tomita

To ANGELO FALCONI III and staff, for making me feel like i'm on a first class seat on a plane going to beauty land.
To Eunice Vallesteros, for the outdoor shoot and for helping us make this possible.
To Shannen Tomita for making the studio shoot possible.
To Cielo Fronteras, for helping me help other people with the same case.
My family and friends, thank you so much for believing in me. Ahbi Lim, Madez Rinon, Richard Beldua, Leah Goloran, Maricel Concepcion, Wesley Obedencia.
To my husband to whom I cant thank you enough for staying by my side this whole time.

Photo by Eunice Vallesteros

Clarie, YOU ARE an inspiration! And I would like for you to know that your beauty shines even more now. Thank you for sharing your story. I know this will be an inspiration to many. And to my mentor, Angelo Falconi, you never stop helping others and I want you to know that you have inspired me and so many others as well. You are indeed a blessing to so many people! I know you will never get tired of being an instrument of goodness and I know you will always be blessed! Thank you to my readers for reading this amazing story and I hope you all have a wonderful holy week with your loved ones. GOD BLESS!
Photo by Eunice Vallesteros

Photo by Shannen Tomita
Photo by Shannen Tomita
Gown by Mitch Desunia

Photo by Eunice Vallesteros
Photo by Shannen Tomita
Gown by Mitch Desunia

Photo by Eunice Vallesteros
Photo by Eunice Vallesteros
Angelo Falconi at work

Photo by Shannen Tomita
Bridal Gown by Mitch Desunia

Photo by Eunice Vallesteros

Photo by Shannen Tomita
Gown by Mitch Desunia
Photo by Eunice Vallesteros
Photo by Eunice Vallesteros

Photo by Shannen Tomita
Bridal Gown by Mitch Desunia

Photo by Eunice Vallesteros
Photo by Shannen Tomita
Bridal Gown by Mitch Desunia
Photo by Shannen Tomita
Bridal Gown by Mitch Desunia

Photo by Eunice Vallesteros

Photo by Eunice Vallesteros

@angelofalconi_d3rd (Instagram)

Outdoor Shoot: Eunice Vallesteros of PURPLE DOT Photography
@shootthatpurpledot (Instagram)
+63917-8153485 for bookings

Indoor Shoot: Shannen Tomita

Gowns: Mitch Desunia


Sunday, April 6, 2014

FASHION: Change.

It amazes me how much I have changed as a person. Looking back 10 years ago, 5 years ago and even a year ago... there are so many things I no longer see myself doing at all. Change is a part of life and while it may seem so scary to move on from something we have been so used to, sometimes we just have to embrace change and realize how things are meant to be in the end. Now that I am 30, I definitely have seen so many of my perspectives in life change. I know I have grown older and wiser, and yet I also know that there are still so many thing for me to learn, too. I am thankful for difficult times for they have made me stronger and more appreciative of what I have. I now have a greater satisfaction for simpler things... and for things that REALLY matter. =)

It's getting warmer in Vegas and I love it! Time to take out my shorts and dress the way I'm used to. I love peekaboo lacey tops like this one I'm wearing. Its so sexy in a subtle way! I was feeling a bit retro today so these sunglasses are perfect. And because It's a nice day out to walk down the strip, flats and a sling purse are the way to go. 

Images by Eunice Vallesteros of Purple Dot Photography

Blonde and Blue Ombre Hair by Angelo Falconi III

Black Top by @alvapaushop

Gold Bag & Flats by @anmfashion

Eyewear from @hoshiesavenue

Accessories by OLEIC by Cielo Fronteras

Friday, March 28, 2014


Maliche Clothing is one of the brands I strongly support. This is the second time I featured this brand. You can read about my first feature here

Maliche clothing supports the Virlanie Foundation. 10% of their profits go to the foundation which aims to take care of children in need and help to support them for their future.

About the Virlanie Foundation:
Virlanie provides children with a home... A family.
12 homes serve as the home to more than 200 children every year. Children can be in a Virlanie Home for as short as a few months to many years depending on their needs. Apart from food, shelter and clothing, Virlanie provides children with opportunities to study, finds ways to try to re-unite children with their famiies (if they are capable of caring for the children), and endeavors to give children psychological intervention, and assistance with their legal cases.
Virlanie, through the help of individuals, organizations and companies provides nutritious meals for all 240 babies, toddlers and children, formal schooling and educational support and psycho-social developmental activities.
This foundation has been able to change the lives of many young people who otherwise, would have stayed in the streets, and would have not developed into responsible individuals.

I first featured a long dress from Maliche that is so versatile, it can be worn for casual days as well as for formal events. This time, I am featuring something from their RTW line, the denim origami skort! I super love shorts and I wear them almost all the time. This skort is now one of my favorite pieces in my closet since it doesn't really look like shorts. This design has been gaining popularity and I am not surprised at all! For the types of girls like me who love wearing shorts all the time, this is the perfect design that can go from casual to dressy very easily. I wore this in a previous outfit post that looks more dressy... you can see it here. And now, I am wearing it in a more casual way in this feature! Hope you like this outfit as much as I do! =)

Photography by Eunice Vallesteros of Purple Dot Photography

To see more of Maliche's designs and for orders, you may visit their social media accounts:
Maliche Clothing
Facebook Account:
Instagram: @malicheclothing
SMS: +639053160175
Viber: 971559346996

Ombre Hair by Angelo Falconi III

Accessories by @disndatonlineshop