For all of my almost nineteen years of existence on this planet, I’ve only ever pushed against my comfort zone a couple of times. And most of those experiences happened at my alma mater’s annual school field trips.

One particular moment that pops into my head when I think about pushing past my comfort zone is the time our class went to Banahaw during our Senior year. You see, I’m not a big fan of sitting on boulders that are a couple of inches away from falling off a cliff nor am I a fan of fitting my body into tight spaces that’s literally only a couple of centimeters wider than myself. It really was something I’m not comfortable with and I spent the entire hike to the cave thinking over and over if I should just back out of it, but not wanting to miss out on the fun and challenge, I pulled my big girl panties up and marched towards the front of the line.

Now that I think about it, I’m actually really happy that I didn’t back out. It has become one of the few instances where I can say, “I’ve done something I didn’t think I’d be able to.” Looking back, I really didn’t think that I’d be able to go through that cave unscathed. The space was so narrow and so small that you would question yourself if it really were a cave. Whenever I find myself thinking of trying something new, may it be running for Executive Board or trying out sushi (I finally tried it and I am not a fan - I know, I'm weird) and then psych myself out of going through with it, I just think of what I've gone through in that cave and the accomplishment I've felt when I reached the end of it. That moment made me realize that sometimes, you have to face one of your fears in order to reach one of your goals.

It’s weird when you think about it, how one of my fears juxtaposes the other. One of those fears is being stuck at one place; never having the opportunity to leave home and explore new things, while the other is the fear of going against what you’re familiar with.

It’s easy enough when you think about it. You want to hop on a plane, land in a different country, and experience a new culture, new food and new fashion ideas, but then you think of other things that you would experience in that strange new place. The different modes of transportation, social etiquette, and maybe a different language, and it’ll be scary because it’s not something you knew growing up. That’s culture shock and the idea of me having the opportunity to experience something that different someday, surprisingly outweighs my fear of going against familiarity.

I have a small notebook I keep on me at all times. It’s become somewhat of a safe blanket and I write anything and everything in there. One page has all of my goals on it; from short term goals to long term ones. I don’t share these goals to anyone – I read somewhere that sharing your goals with others actually hinder you from making them, but hey, you’re the one that’s in charge of what happens in your life, right? So I’ll tell you one of my goals, and that is to be able to travel the world someday. It may not happen this month or the next, but soon (hopefully) I’ll be able to explore what’s outside Luzon.

My current top five dream destinations are: New York, Australia, Spain, Bali with their gorgeous villas, and South Africa.

Summer season is on its peak in the Philippines and that means more opportunities to travel, explore someplace new and try something different. Whether it’s trying out hiking for the first time, learning how to surf or simply going on a food trip somewhere new, all of these opportunities mean challenging our comfort zone. And since we tend to do most of these activities under the sun, we would need something to protect our skin and keep ourselves looking fresh – hey, there’s nothing wrong with looking good during a hike, right? – Here are a couple of my travel essentials:

Sunscreen // Handkerchief // Deodorant and Cologne // Facial Wipes // Tissue and Alcohol
Tinted Lip Balm or Lip Stain // BB Cream or Tinted Moisturizer // Make-up Brushes

Sunscreen: Skin protection is my number one priority and it should be yours too! Your stuck with your skin for the rest of your life, so you better take care of it. Applying sunscreen on your face and body may take away a couple of minutes more of your morning, but it's worth it!

Facial Wipes: This is for when you're feeling a bit lazy or extremely tired and couldn't be bothered to wash the dirt  off your face. It's easy and it works so no complains here.

Tissue and Alcohol: Just, trust me. You'll need these.

Tinted Lip Balm or Lip Stain: Our skin isn’t the only thing that needs protection! Most of the lip products I use have a bit of SPF on them so even my lips get protection against the harmful UVA and UVB rays.

BB Cream or Tinted Moisturizer: This one is optional but when I feel a bit tired, I’ll apply a light layer of this to give my face a bit of a healthy glow. A BB cream or a tinted moisturizer is lightweight so it doesn’t feel awkward on your skin when you’re doing physical activities. It also has added sun protection so that’s a plus! Besides, there’s no harm in looking your best even if you don’t feel like it.

Make-up Brushes: I’ve always wanted to try out the Real Techniques brushes by Pixiwoo but I didn’t exactly know where to get one. Fortunately, Luxola reached out to me and kindly gifted me a set! It’s the travel essentials set, which is perfect since I can just pop it in my bag and go.

What I love most about these brushes is that they’re incredibly soft. The fibers aren’t stiff and they distribute product really well. They also don’t irritate my skin, which is a big thumbs up because I have such sensitive skin. The brushes also have white details on the fiber’s tips, which makes cleaning much easier since you can tell whether or not the brushes are clean.

My most used brush in this trio set is the multi task brush (right). I know it’s mainly used for applying powder, blush and bronzer – not BB creams, but it gets the job done and the result is pretty damn awesome, if I do say so myself. With it being the biggest brush out of three, applying BB cream only takes me a minute or two. And that’s all the time you need, really. You still have a lot of exploring to do! However, if I want a tiny bit more coverage I’ll reach for the foundation brush (left). Its fibers are more compact than the multi task brush so it distributes the product more on specific areas. And if I’m not feeling lazy, I’ll even sweep on a light layer of matte eye shadow on the crease of my eyes with the domed shadow brush (middle) for a hint of definition.

It’s only been a few days since I started using these brushes so this review is what I would consider as a “first impression” review. If you would like to read a full review on the Real Techniques Travel Essentials brushes, I can do that for you guys as well just let me know!

I would also put an eyebrow make-up of some sort on this list if I was using one at the moment but, alas, I am not. If you have any recommendations please leave them down in the comments section! You will save my eyebrows from becoming astray.

If you want your very own set of Real Techniques brushes just visit Luxola.com and you can use my code BLX-SARTORIALNOIR until June 30, 2015 to get 15% off your first purchase! To know if your purchase can avail this discount, check out Luxola’s FAQ page. A huge thank you to Luxola for this collaboration and also to The Luxe Nomad for including me to take part in an awesome competition! A trip to Bali sounds amazing. What about you, where is your dream destination?


  1. Going to be doing a lot of travelling these next few weeks, so these tricks are going to come in handy!

    ♡ veena | seveninchstilettos.com
    twitter/instagram: @veenamccoole

    1. Thanks for reading, Veena! Glad this post helped you a bit x

  2. Cute post ! Love those Real Technique brushes, I am going to buy them for the 1st time this week :)

    If you need more support, follow me on GFC, I always follow back.

    1. Thank you! Hope you'll love your first set as much as I do x