In high school or even in college, I was not used to wearing lipstick. The closest thing to a lipstick I applied was a tinted lip balm that’s easy to spread and control. As I entered the corporate world, I learned that one of the ways to look more presentable and put-together in my profession is to keep my lip situation on-point. 🙂 My interest on lipsticks grew, and from then on, I started researching and trying out several brands and formulations to see which ones last the longest—even after a meal.
Quite relevant to this course of thought was the theme of the event I attended about a week ago at Chelsea Kitchen by Raintree Restaurants, SM Mega Fashion Hall, SM Megamall. It was entitled Food Versus Lipsticks, basically a combination of a food and a beauty event where we tested several lipsticks in terms of moisture, color richness, and staying power, while eating some greasy dishes that could potentially ruin or rub off the lipstick.
This is my first time to publish a food/restaurant review with snippets of insights/lessons from the lipstick-testing session at the bottom of the post. Please read on! 😛
Beauty Materials We Used:
Lipstick Remover and Cleaning Wipes
Review of Chelsea Kitchen (Mega Fashion Hall, SM Megamall, Mandaluyong) + Food vs. Lipstick
Its location (by the entrance of SM Megamall, between Zara and H&M), the tasteful décor, and food props by the counter make the ambiance of Chelsea Kitchen more than inviting. It’s amazing how a well-designed dining area, no matter how simple, can alter the entire vibe of a place.
Thanks to the illumination provided by the mall, Chelsea Kitchen’s vigor seamlessly blended with its contemporary style. The atmosphere was laid-back, one where you can totally relax as you take the day off. Couches are stools were comfortable, and actions as seen in the open kitchen enhances attraction throughout.
As an appetizer, the Sesame Seared Tuna and Mango Salad (PhP 350) isn’t much to write home about, but there’s no doubt that this salad tasted fresh and sharp. Packing some lovely nutritious greens in the blend, it consisted of tuna chunks, shallots, cashews, sweet miso cream, and ponzu honey. Sorry, meat-lovers might wish to take their cue to the next dish instead.
Chelsea Kitchen’s Crispy Hot Wings (6 pieces) (PhP 295) with carrots, cucumbers, and jicama were quite greasy and saucy and these came perfect for the testing session. The wings were succulent and surprisingly clean and crisp. With a hint of sweetness, the orange sauce also left an impressionistic mark. Reminiscing its taste was enough to make me swallow my saliva while writing right now. 😐
I ordered the Roasted Tomato Cream “Cappuccino” (PhP 140) as its name got me curious. Did it taste like cappuccino? No, I didn’t think so. It was more like tomato puree that’s flawlessly prepared with bold, creamy, and savory flavor and velvety texture.
It was a no-brainer to get the Squid Ink and Clams Pasta (PhP 320) to check if our lips would be tinted in black after eating the pasta. Distinguished by the aroma of fresh dill and sun-dried tomatoes, the soft angel hair pasta was just coated with black ink and was not originally black. Taste was a little bland for my liking, and what I found missing was that taste of the ocean that’s always a defining moment for seafood entrees. Anyway, the clam shells made a perfect companion, and a squeeze fresh lemon was great to jazz up the dish.
The 12″ stone-fired pizza, Super Garlic Cream Pizza (PhP 250), was absolutely delicious. It was just mouthwatering visually and a gustatory delight. Evidently, the pizza was freshly baked and well prepared, topped with the cheese and a massive amount of garlic. Oh, I loved the slightly burnt crust!
Served with roasted tomato cappuccino and fries on the side, the Ultimate Grilled Cheese (PhP 295) was oozing with three kinds of cheese. It had just the right level of cheese to please our palate without any satiation. The bread was fluffy and incredibly stretchy. Every bite tasted as good as the last. Yummy!
Another must-try we enjoyed was the Triple Decker Club Melt (PhP 320). The large sandwiches were made with grilled pesto chicken, farmer’s ham, egg salad, American cheddar, romaine, and tomatoes. The dish sported a good flavor and it was worth to mention that it didn’t come out soggy.
The 4-Hour Cola Ribs (PhP 450) were recommended and did not disappoint. The sweet and spicy barbecue sauce developed a nice flavor to the tender ribs. I guess it’s a great meat option to order this summer season to appreciate something sweet with tad tangy kick.
Swimming in pomodoro sauce, the Roasted Seafood Cioppino Pasta (PhP 425) was made with pesto spaghetti, loaded with fresh seafood, topped with herb croutons, and drizzled with fresh lemon. Nom factor is high. Give it a place of honor on your table. 🙂
For dessert, we shared a slice of the Birthday Cake (PhP 195) which looked too cute with baby blue and baby pink icing. The cake was sweet but not overwhelmingly sweet. Sadly, the texture was a little too rough and I felt that the cake bits lingered after every mouthful. I would have preferred a softer and smoother icing to go along.
From a long list of drinks on Chelsea Kitchen’s menu, the Super Food Smoothie (PhP 195) looked most appealing with healthy ingredients, such as honey, yogurt, berry compote, banana, and chia seeds. It combined tastes of sour, sweet, and a punch of nuttiness from the chia seeds. It’s a total winner.
Price for Value: ★★★★☆
Offering a different menu from Chelsea Grand Café in Serendra, Bonifacio Global City, Chelsea Kitchen in SM Megamall is a congenial casual restaurant that’s ideal for tired and hungry shoppers in SM and those who just want to try some robust and adventuresome plates. Service is respectful and food in general provided a pretty good value for money. Come hungry for ample servings of delicious European cooking that’s decently priced. 🙂
5 Insights/Lessons Learned from the Lipstick-testing Session:
1. When you’re mindful about how your lipstick stays on while dining, food choice is important. More often than not, the lipstick comes off on larger pieces of food you put to mouth—overly greasy or otherwise, so it’s best to cut food to bite-size pieces. Yes, it’s usually the big bites that end up smudging the lipstick. In addition, it’s wise to put the effort of not touching your lips with the food.
2. As much as possible, drink a beverage using a straw. In cases when you really need to drink from the glass (like when drinking wine, champagne, or cocktails), just be more careful and try to avoid touching the glass with your top lip. Drink from the same spot so the mark of your lipstick will only be in one position.
3. Sticking with neutral or nude lipstick color is best. That way, you will be less worried when the lipstick fades. People will not notice as much and rather think that it’s just your natural lip color.
4. More than creamy and shimmering lipsticks, matte lipsticks fared better. All the lipsticks I tried had good lasting power (Nichido, Ever Bilena, and M&Co), however all of them dried my lips out and caused some flaking.
5. Covering the lips with a lip primer and then applying a lip liner will extend the life of a lipstick application and keep the color in place. Doing these is worth a try, to help prevent feathering or the migration of lipstick into fine lines around the mouth.
Feel free to comment both on the food and the lipsticks. 🙂