It feels like it was just yesterday when Bianca Mascenon and I were driving to Pasig for a shoot (of many). Between the early morning traffic, our brain cells trying to wake up, coffee (on my part), and the low hum of K-Pop or ‘90s RnB in the background, our usual chatter took a turn towards one (again, of many) of our favorite topics: FASHION. To be more precise, clothes, brand-building, and the hunt for the perfect tailor.
I can’t accurately tell you how we got there, but I can tell for sure that it involved one of us griping about ill-fitting clothes, being in-between sizes, our version of perfect clothes not existing, and having to look for a good mananahi who just gets us.
Since that fateful drive, wheels had begun turning and through some divine providence—stars and planets aligning, the Universe giving its blessing—Bianca is debuting her first lineup of timeless pieces with her grandma.
This grandmother-granddaughter duo grounds their ethos in high-quality craftsmanship made with the finest materials for comfort and longevity. No, really—your grandchildren will thank you for bequeathing these pieces to them.
With Bianca at the brand’s helm, I can guarantee you that her Virgo-perfectionist eye for detail will not even let one loose thread hang out of place.
If you need more convincing, here’s a quick peek at the debut pieces from Grandma Approves:
BOSOM BABY TEE
The white tee to end all white tees. The Bosom Baby Tee has a classic baby tee cut that hugs you in all the right places. An embroidered playful Grandma Approves logo emblazons the under bust. Wear it with anything and everything, anywhere and everywhere.
Level up your wardrobe essentials with this long silhouette. It’s hard to pin down which aspect of design is my fave but Bianca’s right: the devil’s in the details! Check out the matte-brushed gold buttons, the contrast-lined pockets, the curvedpockets. Each particular detail pulls it in all together to create a gorgeous piece that could be worn as a blazer OR a dress 💫
AL CAPONE BUTTON-DOWN
Named after Bianca’s grandfather this asymmetrical, block-colored piece is an ode to alter egos and 1980s Latin America. I can’t help but ooh-and-ahh over the duchess charmeuse silk that just flows. This versatile piece is ready to take you from day ‘fit to night chic in a snap.
BAMBI TIE TOP
Peek a boob! As a hubadera, I’ve got my eye on this piece. We’re living for that beautiful winged collar that works perfectly with the meticulously draped cowl neck. The gorgeous and well-thought-of placement of the embroidered logo has me swooning. And those exaggeratedly long ties for a nipped waist? Babe, I’ve already checked it out while writing this.
So grateful to have been privy to the process, even more honored to be part of the journey (the trust is real 🥺👉🏼👈🏼). Congratulations and let the champagne (or her fave tinto de verano) flow for my fave Bianca Mascenon and her Grandma Approves baby.
In true lola fashion: hija head on over tograndmaapproves.coand check out their new lineup of finely-crafted clothing.
Hormonal acne is such a pain in the butt. So I road-tested the COSRX AC Collection to help kick acne’s ass to the curb.
When I gained an alarming amount of weight during my dancing days and my teen acne had somehow come back full force, I didn’t think that it was a hormonal problem at the very least. I thought the acne came with the sudden weight gain—a sign that I was just unhealthy and needed to get back on my diet.
I wasn’t 100% wrong. I was unhealthy. But nothing I was doing on my own was working, not even my tried-and-tested regimen of workouts and diets—that was until I ran into my tita who just so happened to be an OB-GYN. On the spot, she told me I most likely had Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS). She invited me for a checkup and advised me to get an ultrasound. A couple of tests later confirmed her diagnosis. A deeper dive into my journey as a cyster or a PCOS-diagnosed patient is a story for another day.
One of the main symptoms that I’ve been dealing with is hormonal acne. It is the worst. It comes and goes and has a mind of its own. There are seasons when my skin is glowing, but also the very rare moments where I look like giant pus (bad mental image, shoo). The only positive thing to come out of my battle with hormonal acne? I get to test drive a ton of products to see what works best for me. Side note: birth control pills do work, but sometimes need a little help to heal the ongoing breakouts.
That being said, I’ve been a big COSRX fan since they first launched as they’ve been able to help me deal with my skin troubles. I’ve been able to slowly go through their product list to play around and learn. So far, I’ve loved most of their products and keep my faves well-stocked. When the #14DayMiracle #AcneChallenge came out, I thought it was a great opportunity to be able to test drive their latest AC Collection meant to target acne-prone skin.
Before starting the 14-day journey, I was already at my wits’ end and so close to crying because of my painful, active acne and just all-around bad skin. I’d already tried almost everything at this point—TikTok hydrocolloid bandages, babying my skin, changing a couple of products, cutting out products, plant-based diet, about 10 packs of the COSRX master patches, MORE water—but hormonal acne exacerbated by the use of face masks? A really, really mean opponent! But hey, if I can still mask despite my acne, so can you! So no excuse, mask up when you go out!
A quick disclaimer before giving my two-cents on each product: in conjunction with the trial sets, I’ve already been using the Calming Foam Cleanser,the Ultimate Spot Cream,the Blemish Spot Clearing Serum, and the Acne Patches—all from the brand’s AC Collection. I really went for the full experience 😅 I was also prescribed Hyaluronic Acid by my doctor to help battle the maskne.
I wasn’t sure which one would work best for my normal (occasionally acne-prone) skin type so I decided to cop both the Mild and Intense variants when it went on P1 sale on their official store on Shopee. I was determined to get rid of my active acne and turnover healthier skin with COSRX.
Just like the rest of the brand’s product lineup, this is formulated for skincare to be more clinically effective, straight to the point, and at a reasonable price point.
CALMING FOAM CLEANSER
Hailed as the leveled-up version of their Salicylic Daily Cleanser, this Calming Foam Cleanser is formulated with not just salicylic acid, but with asiatic acid, and madecassic acidas well to purify, cleanse, and calm the skin. It comes in a minimalist, straight-to-the-point white tube packaging with COSRX’s signature clinical branding. It’s sealed with silver foil (which I always appreciate even with the trial-sizes).
THE JAZZY VERDICT:Feel-wise, there’s not much difference from the Salicylic Daily Cleanser that I’ve known and loved. BUT (and it’s a big but), my skin definitely feels cleaner (without the squeaky feeling!) and more purified with the Calming Foam Cleanser. The scent is slightly more herbaceous than the Salicylic Daily Cleanser, but definitely faint enough that you forget that it has a scent (until you sniff the product on purpose from the tube, hehehe). I use this twice a day when I do my cleansing routine.
💸 💸 💸 💸 💸 This is a definite repurchase for me and may finally have stolen me away from my first cleanser fave—the Salicylic Daily Cleanser, lol!
The Calming Liquid Intensiveis a fast-action liquid (toner?) that refreshes and purifies acne-prone skin for a cool, clear complexion. Its ingredient list includes some skin-loving components: propolis extract, lactic acid, tea tree oil, asiatic acid, madecassic acid. It’s the upgraded version of the brand’s Natural BHA Skin Returning A-Sol, so it’s definitely got a good amount of AHAs/BHAs to help bust acne-like music to my ears! It’s also got plant-derived alcohol to clarify the skin.
On the other hand, the Calming Liquid Mildis the gentle, soothing daily version with pretty much the same skin-loving, calming ingredient list that removes excess sebum and prevents further breakouts. It is free from any alcohols to help the skin maintain oil-moisture balance and calm any irritation. It’s EWG green grade (cool!), which means that it’s non-comedogenic, fragrance-free, silicone-free, oil-free, and gluten-free. The trial-sized bottle that it came in was translucent, showcasing the clear liquid inside.
THE JAZZY VERDICT:I found that each variation of the liquid is distinctive due to the scent, first and foremost. You could definitely smell the alcohols in the Intensive variant compared to the Mild. The scent of the alcohols honestly made my eyes water a bit and my nose scrunch.
I applied either variant with clean hands and no cotton pads—save the environment and also get the most bang for your buck! I found myself leaning towards the Intensive liquid during the evenings when my skin felt like it needed a little more help to purify and when I was producing too much sebum in a short amount of time. I opted for the Mild variant on the days (and nights) that my acne was more active and angry, thus my skin needed more calming and baby-ing. Listening to my skin and feeling it out day-to-day definitely helped with the balancing act.
Overall, I loved both variants equally. Okay, that’s a lie. I loved the Mild variant a touch more—but just because the alcohol and scent in the Intensive variant still has me scrunching my nose even after two weeks.
💸 💸 💸 I’m still on the fence about this for the time being and I’m not too sure I want to let go of my ride-or-die Son&Park Beauty Waterjust yet, but I do think a couple more weeks using this product might just change my tune.
BLEMISH SPOT CLEARING SERUM
This multifunctional serum made with a specialized formula clears traces of acne, dark spots, and scars by utilizing a new, methodical approach that controls excess sebum and balances the skin’s natural pH levels at the same time. Powerful ingredients enlist epidermal growth factor (EGF) to help acne skin to boost the production of collagen and elastin, 4% niacinamideto refine dullness and reduce hyperpigmentation caused by acne, and centella asiatica, andnatural moisturizing factors (NMF) to calm irritated skin.
THE JAZZY VERDICT: It has a watery consistency that feels like a toner. I apply this by patting it into my skin with clean, bare hands—post Calming Liquid. There is no sting, no tingle, no indication of it even being a disturbing presence in my routine. The serum absorbs quickly with no sticky finish. I love this so much that I use it in the AM and the PM since it is gentle enough for both.
It’s definitely overturned my skin and lessened the current damage that this round of hormonal acne has wrecked upon me. This product has absolutely calmed down redness and has pushed to clear any evidence of acne. A couple weeks more with it, and I’m sure that it’d be as if I never had a bad breakout.
💸 💸 💸 💸 💸 This is definitely something I’ll be repurchasing when I finally run out—even if just to keep in reach in case my acne decides to flare up again 🙃
ULTIMATE SPOT CREAM
This toothpaste-looking spot treatment adheres to growing acne, effectively and quickly overcoming areas of concern! It’s formulated with not one, not two, BUT THREE legendary healing ingredients—madecassic acid, asiatica acid, and asiaticoside (is anyone else seeing a pattern?). It gently and effectively dries out visible acne overnight using a skin-recovery blend of Zinc Oxide, Calamine, CentellAC-RX Complex, and Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Water. If this last rundown of ingredients made you go “???” then fret not, it’s all skin-loving ingredients!
The instructions that come with it advise to apply thickly on the spot of concern.
THE JAZZY VERDICT:It definitely heals without the weird tingly feeling that I usually got in spot treatments, but it’s not as magical as we would all want it to be. It doesn’t banish the spot overnight by some miracle. But it’s so close! For my small marks, it does the job and effectively dries it out quickly, BUT the bigger, and angrier the spot then the longer it takes to work! Although, using it for two weeks did prove some really great results. I do wake up with calmer spots of concerns. IF USED EVERY NIGHT.
💸 💸 💸 💸 Of all the spot treatments that I have tried, this is definitely on the same level as the Innisfree Bija Cica Gelin terms of being able to calm down an angry zit overnight, so I would still definitely repurchase it as an alternative to the aforementioned.
LIGHTWEIGHT SOOTHING MOISTURIZER
This nourishing facial moisturizer for acne-prone skin can keep skin balanced and healthy. It gives a light and non-sticky moisturizing sensation that calms and cools heat-sensitive and acne-prone skin. It is also EWG green grade, which means that it’s non-comedogenic, fragrance-free, silicone-free, oil-free, and gluten-free. The product is housed in a tube similar to that of the foaming cleanser—so similar, you could almost mistake them for each other if you’re not looking!
THE JAZZY VERDICT: There were days where it felt amazing to slather on my skin post-cleanse for that extra hydration lock. Unfortunately, after the first week, my skin was overturning and clearing from the niacinamide courtesy of theBlemish Spot Clearing Serum, so the moisturizer (plus my SPF) wasn’t sinking into my skin as much as usual while my skin was sloughing off. I would get weird filmy little balls of product throughout the day whenever I accidentally rubbed a finger against my jaw or the side of my nose. I panicked for a tiny bit of course, but nothing a little assurance from skincare veterans and former beauty editors couldn’t placate. With their advice, I opted to hit pause on using any moisturizer for the time being while my skin was adjusting to this routine.
💸 💸 💸 This moisturizer might be the next thing I purchase should my current tube (also on pause) of Embryolisse Lait-Creme Concentrate run out. I love the very lightweight consistency of it and the ease with which my skin can absorb the product. It really lives up to its product name!
Each pack comes with 26 pieces of colloidal patches that work to heal acne overnight, sucking out all that bacteria and gunk from active pimples. COSRX has three variants, including this pack that’s dedicated to acne skin. Each patch is oval-shaped and is suitable for covering several acne spots at once AND for covering body acne. It comes in three different sizes that can cover from small pimples to even cystic acne. The border of the patch is thinner—compared to its predecessors—to strongly adhere to curved areas such as jawline and hairline.
THE JAZZY VERDICT: From the whole AC Collection lineup, this has got to be my favorite product—and not because I went through 8 packs of these in just 1 month (please send my skin some help). The adhesive grips better compared to the original patches and doesn’t slide around after application. Plastering on the acne patch really helps me stop picking at my active acne (which is a huge no-no, it can lead to scarring)
I love how the shape is more conducive and flexible to healing broader areas that have acne concerns. And honestly? Much like those colloidal bandages that TikTok made me buy, this worked as soon as I applied them. You could really see the gunk being pulled from the acne and into its colloidal-adhesive embrace (that sounded weird, 😅).
💸 💸 💸 💸 💸 I honestly regret not listening and taking Bianca’s (one of my fave people I trust with skincare and my momma 🦙) word every time I complained about any acne. Would purchase these in a heartbeat 💕—in fact, I already have a shipment of restock on the way 😗.
In the 14 days that I’ve road-tested these products, I can confidently tell you that there was a huge improvement in my skin that I did not expect to happen within just two weeks. I do still have a couple of tiny active pimples (like 1 or 2) and some marks that still need fading, but my skin is definitely not as problematic as it was when I first began the COSRX #14DayMiracle #AcneChallenge. Check out the results below:
I could cry now for totally different reasons aside from despairing about my skin. I’m so happy that my complexion has calmed down, gotten healthier, is glowing, has evened out, and is “turning over a new leaf”. I always knew that I could count on COSRX to help me right any skin concerns or issues I have—especially when I’m dealing with something as erratic as my hormonal acne.
I definitely recommend the AC Collection line to any one of you who might be experiencing what I experienced or just have sensitive skin and have found nothing working for you just yet. COSRX has been a brand that I really stand behind and laud praises about any time, anywhere—I’m so glad that the AC Collection continued to prove what a great brand COSRX is.
I’m leaving y’all with some great tips that I’ve garnered through learning, listening to beauty gurus, and experiencing firsthand when dealing with acne-prone skin or active breakouts.
🧖🏼♀️ Always wash your hands before washing your face. You don’t want whatever nasty germs you touched before to rub and contaminate your skin.
🧖🏼♀️ Don’t change your WHOLE routine abruptly when dealing with sensitive or acne-prone skin. Identify which products are becoming your “pain points” while your skin is sensitive or while you have an active breakout. Switch them out for calming products and ingredients.
🧖🏼♀️ If it stings or itches, gurl, then STOP USING THE PRODUCT AND BABY YOUR SKIN!
Have a great day, night, and week ahead! I wish you glowing skin and luscious hair, you beautiful sunshine you!
Slay safe, babes!
A 24-year-old creative who’s got the starry-eyes of a shopaholic with an irrefutable love-hate relationship with carbs and wine .
Here’s why we can’t help but rave about the Nectar Hangover Cure 🌼
About a little over a month ago, Ysobel Luna(aka Yso) came on over as a contributor to talk about her witchy skincare brew, Nectar Hangover Cure, for the first time ever! If you haven’t read it yet, pop on over here. As we love and support all things local, Julia and I could not stop our skincare junkie souls and purchased a bottle from Yso to take it out for a spin.
With that, we are so happy and proud to finally announce the launch of our review series! To add to our little sparks of joy, we are starting it off with a golden bang; so, Alexa cue Gold byKiiara!
Just a cute little background story: I’ve personally known Yso since we were in grade school, being a batch higher than her way back when. We’ve had mutual friends, similar interests, and even the same club during our younger years! So it’s definitely safe to say that I’ve been able to watch her skincare journey for quite some time now–through IG stories of course.
I first caught wind of her albularyo-esque skincare when I spotted her Instagram story of a bottle of golden skincare goodness. I slid into her DMs, told her it gave me life (because things like making your own skincare does give me life), and promptly ordered two bottles of her marigold concoction before her month’s batch ran out. It cost me a couple hundred bills overall (as it is P210/bottle, and shipping fee), but it would be well worth it.
As you all know by now, skincare products spark a crap ton of joy within us. So, when the Nectar Hangover Cure finally arrived in my hands, all wrapped up in earth-friendly and apothecary-esque packaging, I practically squealed with joy! At that point in time, my skincare routine was missing a facial oil to battle my seemingly dehydrated and thirsty AF skin.
THE ENCASEMENT OF BEAUTY
The packaging is very olden days apothecary, wrapped delicately in brown paper with a handwritten heart-shaped paper note that gave a quick lowdown about the product and its ingredients, neatly tied off by an earthy brown string (which I think was paper as well?). I really loved and appreciated the cute red stamp, but more so the pressed little marigold that came with the package.
The gold serum that is the Nectar Hangover Cure itself is housed in a beautifully minimalist clear glass bottle to show off the beautiful marigold liquid inside. To deliver the product onto your face (in a fuss-free and hygienic manner), you use the clear glass eye dropper with a white bulb that comes with it. Overall, Nectar Hangover Cure really screamed: “HOMEMADE SKINCARE! LOCAL SKINFOOD! WITCH BREW!”–and I loved every bit of the branding that goes into it! Applauses your way, Yso 👏
THE SKINCARE FIT OUT
The liquid gold potion is composed of all natural ingredients, namely: Golden Jojoba oil, Argan oil, Apricot Seed oil, Capric Trigylyceride, African Marigold extract, Mulberry fruit extract, Lavender extract, Jasmine flower extract, Rosa Damascena essential oil, English Lavender essential oil, Immortelle essential oil, and Vitamin E oil. A lot of the components on the list are already known to be amazing for the skin. But did you know that the star ingredient, African Marigold, is grown in Yso’s very own garden out on the hills of Westgrove? SHOOKT is obviously an understatement!
When I first began taking it for a test run, I was honestly still battling a slew of acne breakouts–which, according to acne face maps, was due to a flurry of things like hormones, face masks, and the main culprit being the dreaded s word: stress. To be completely truthful within this review (because we are nothing less than), I had to wait a full month of using the Nectar Hangover Cure, just to make sure that I wasn’t purging or breaking out from the new addition to my regimen.
The photo on the left was taken just a couple days before I received the package. I was having odd bouts of redness, a couple acne marks, a couple of fresh zits (most of which were on my jaw line and where the mask touches my skin. You can even spot some some dullness and the circles (under my eye) from all the stress that 2020 has thrown my way!
As of writing, Nectar Hangover Cure has already and comfortably situated itself into an immovable spot in my skincare routine. I usually massage just two to three drops of this luxurious facial oil (a little goes a long way, people!) into my skin at night as the last step of my nightly regimen just before I conk out for my beauty sleep 😴, then I let the rest of the night and the product work its magic while I slumber.
The marigold infused oil is less “oily” and less slip in feel and texture than the NUXE Huile Prodigieuse Multi Purpose Dry Oil that I usually use; even if the ingredient list is made up of more oils in the Nectar Hangover Cure. The fragrance is a tad bit powerful but disappears after awhile, kind of reminding me of my grandmothers’ boudoir and closet for some reason. I don’t really mind it one bit, and I’ve gotten used to it to the point that I kind of ignore it now.
Sis, I gotta tell you: this cocktail of a marigold potion has saved my skin’s breakout-prone self from full (and horrendous) breakouts a couple of times. Over the past couple of weeks, this luxe serum has restored the radiance that the stress of 2020 has quite literally drained from my skin and life (we are dramatic in this house; please keep up).
Another beautiful (and fun) thing that I have to point out is that Yso recently discovered Nectar Hangover Cure to be the true oil (and localized) version of cult fave Nacific Fresh Herb–with a shorter ingredient list! Definitely a plus for me, as my skin looooooooooves the Nacific serum (unfortunately, my wallet does not).
When Yso was first telling me that the Nectar Hangover Cure was her skin’s way of cheating 8 glasses worth of hydration and at least 6 hours of uninterrupted routine sleep, I was a bit skeptical, albeit very excited to see if it worked as well on me. To be able to see the effects IRL, gurl I was floored and utterly gobsmacked. I honestly cannot stop touching my now smoother and plumper skin (a bad habit, do not copy! I am working very hard on curbing it) which just goes to show just how amazing it is! (I still advise, that while this can cheat 8 glasses of water, please still take the 8 glasses of water to accompany this HG skinfood!)
Nectar Hangover Cure is definitely a godsend for hydrating and aiding in the streamlining of my skincare; I can honestly say (test me under veritaserum, I dare you) that it’s one of the best products that I have ever come across during my skincare journey. While it isn’t the end-all, be-all product and I’m still battling a couple more zits here and there (thank you for those, hormones), it’s definitely helped in curbing the breakouts and giving me one less problem to think about: hydration and radiance.
As you can see in the photos that I have so generously provided of my zoomed in, filter-less, very and obviously bare face, I can finally say: b*tch, I actually woke up like this! 😎
After just a month of using this beaut of a potion, I am no longer a “fry-an-egg-on-my-face” kind of oily babe and can now say that I am gracefully dewy (let’s go chok chok skin) and a naturally glazed donut! Oiliness was such a long and arduous issue for me (both as a hormone and just a normal skincare problem). So I am obviously well and truly relieved to be waving goodbye to the hoarding of blotting papers, retouches, and the facial egg fry life! 👋🏻 On top of that, all those years of sleepless nights (some voluntary and some not) looks to have barely left a mark now, and I’m finally kissing my panda eyes a well earned adieu as well. We’re now basking in the glow of being a naturally glazed donut with plumper under eyes, radiant skin, and just an overall healthy and hydrated complexion. A DEFINITE WIN!
Overall, I am so thrilled to have taken on this marigold concoction crafted by Yso and have obviously reaped the benefits of the hard work and elbow grease she has put into her brew. I am so grateful that I can be a tiny part of her witch doctor process as her “patient” as she continues to make it better and prettier for you people (and me) out there!
With that said, you can bet all your butts that Julia and I have already reserved our next bottles because we have already run out of the good stuff and our skin is just thirsty for more liquid gold! 🌼
If I have somewhat convinced you (as an unofficial brand ambassador) of Yso’s skin care products, please go forth and hit her up on Instagram (@ysoluna) and order your own bottle of this luxe life saving oil, the Nectar Hangover Cure, right now! Don’t forget to share with us your thoughts on it too!
Get your chok chok on and slay safe until next time babes 🧚🏻♀️
PS. Keep in mind that she makes only small batches for higher quality infusions!
A 24-year-old writer, producer, and stylist who’s got the starry-eyes of a shopaholic with an irrefutable love-hate relationship with carbs and wine.
Sage advice from the cool old ladies and their dressers.
My maternal grandmothers (up to the fourth consanguinity) were always very particular about their grooming. They would spend hours in the bathroom and longer primping in front of their boudoir dresser—often with a steaming cup of coffee on the table as they did so.
With barely any playmates of the same gender, as my female cousins live in the US, I used to entertain myself by rifling through said boudoir and playing glamour. I would sit and watch, completely rapt in awe, when all the women in the house would get ready for events and bustle around me with curlers in their hair or hot irons in their hands.
Way before I was even aware of the existence of beauty trends and routines, they were already being drilled into me. So I am sharing with you a rundown of sage advice from my ancestral boudoir, passed on from my maternal great-great grandmother.
These nuggets of wisdom I am gifting are not a cure-all and are definitely not a one-size-fits-all, but they have been deemed no-fail by the women who preceded me. So don’t knock it ‘till you’ve tried it!
Your soul should be made of magic, so people crave your vibe.
It may sound cliche, but they really advocated that beauty came from within first and whatever you do externally is just to enhance it a hundred-fold. It’s been repeated by women from all over the world and ladies from varying timelines: you are what you eat. My great-great-grandmother Lola Gelay termed it quite differently though, and used to say that foodmust always be soul quenching as it resonates physically
As suckers for sweets, they would say that you should take what you will in whatever form they came in as sweets would give you a healthy glow of happiness; which was why a careful balance of chocolates and pastries and fruits were always stocked and a staple in the house—even up to this day. Seriously, ask anyone in my family.
Speaking of quenching, never forget to hydrate 24/7. It honestly makes no sense if your soul is metaphorically hydrated but your physical body is literally a dried out husk.
Your body is a temple, respect it by investing in it.
My great grandmother Lola Puring always said that bathing is an investment of time, there is never any need to rush—so don’t! And honestly, why would you want to rush through it? You risk not being able to fully cleanse yourself both physically and mentally—bath meditations are one of the most effective relaxation techniques. Do avoid bathing with hot water to maintain skin elasticity and avoid premature wrinkles, if you can’t help it then splash on some cold water before finishing up. Always pat yourself dry and do not rub post shower so as only to rid of excess moisture and not irritate your skin.
Moisturize. Moisturize. Moisturize. And do it right after you’ve patted your skin dry so as to be able to lock in that much needed moisture. A pro tip from my greats: apply a layer of dry body oil, let your skin absorb it, and then slap on some lotion for maximum hydration. No one wants to look like a prune when they’re geriatric, you’re welcome.
At the risk of sounding like my grandmother, hija you must put down that razor and do not shave anything because you will come to regret it when you develop chicken skin, grow thicker hair, risk ingrown hair, and definitely ruin your skin. Once you take to the razor blade, there is no going back. Opt to sugar wax versus hot wax as it’s definitely less painful and you risk less irritation to the skin.
To attain and maintain that baby’s-bottom-smooth skin we’ve always coveted, try to invest in a monthly appointment for a full body scrub. If you can’t afford to maintain a body scrub appointment, then invest in a good physical exfoliating scrub and do it once to twice a week depending on the sensitivity of your skin. Don’t be disgusting, you can never afford to be crusty. Also, they help with the dark spots that are such a pesky problem that I honest-to-God pray you never have to encounter them. But if you happen to come across a couple spots that will just not budge, then you’re in luck! You can rub half a calamansi fruit (calamondin) on those dark spots as it is a natural remedy proven to be ever effective because it contains a high concentration of citric acid and Vitamin C, well known bleaching agents.
Never leave the house without getting your nails done, it’s unseemly and you will be judged for it. My grandparents and my parents are very meticulous about our nails, even if we’re now full grown adults—always checking if they’ve been manicured or if our toes haven’t transformed into talons.
This has to be one of the most important of my grandmothers’ rules: you must care for your lady bits, hija (cue a finger wag). Until the invention of feminine wash, my great grandmother used to use cane vinegar diluted with water for the upkeep in hygiene. Honestly, I can’t imagine using vinegar, but it works wonders apparently. My grannies never really owned granny panties either because they barely wore any as they would aerate their lady bits, a practice which is actually recommended by OB-GYNEs all over. (Quick reminder, please do see your doctors regularly.)
As smelling good is intrinsic to good hygiene, you should always smell divine or at least smell clean. Invest in your signature scent, it’s what you’d be known for when you walk into a room, when the wind decides to huff and puff, when it’s years down the road and your grandchildren decide to open up your baúl of treasures. Spritz it on your clothes (front and back) and then apply purposefully on your pulse points—inner wrists, neck, behind the ears—to last longer. Pro tip, just a bit on your pelvic area (you never know, wink wink).
And to beat the blues, a trip to the spa or the salon is always a great way to brighten your mood! A pampering day of self-care brightens your outlook and gives you the glow only a beauty salon can. But only ever go to your specific and tested establishments—go to one manicurist, go to your most trusted hairdresser, go to the one wax technician you’re most comfy with etc.
Your face is the visual of your branding; keep it polished.
It takes approximately seven (7) seconds to make a lasting impression. What exactly do you want people to make of you? They size you up from your head to your toe, and zero in on your face as it is the visual of your branding that they are confronted with most often.
First things first, and I feel like a broken track record by now when I say, keep hydrated. Sis, it is so better to have to run to the toilet multiple times a day versus battling a stubborn zit because you decided to be a dehydrated husk.
In the case of makeup, these are the four (4) things that are ever present in my ancestral boudoir: lipstick, eyebrow pencils, press powder, and rouge. You must never leave the house without lipstick; it’s akin to leaving the house sans underwear. Grandmas knew the saving power of a press powder because no one wants to look like a greasy midday mess darling. The image of hulas (melting) makeup is so unsightly, I can already hear them screaming “polbo!” in my head as I write this.
Pro tip from my lola: always keep a spare lippie in your purse, in your car, and in your office desk. Just in case you forget to swipe some on during the morning bustle.
As they believed that whatever you painted on your face should only ever enhance your natural beauty, the best route to go down is to keep it simple. So they insisted on perfectly drawn and filled in eyebrows. You could forego the eyeshadow and the eyeliners and the mascara, but never forget to draw on your eyebrows—how are you supposed to wordlessly communicate with your girls without it? Also, never ever pluck or shave your eyebrows, they’ll never grow back properly, if at all, and that shit hurts a like a b***h. You don’t need that kind of painful regret in your life. To tie your look together, rouge is so important because you don’t want to look like a walking corpse, no one wants to look like the dead, hija.
Way before the skincare diet trend swept the world by storm, my grandmothers’ have been swearing by it by streamlining their routine with certain products like Pond’s Cold Cream. Thus, I’ve taken a page out of my grandmothers’ beauty book and taken to hopping on the train to an anti-10-stepskin care routine. Cutting down on the many products and finding your HG skincare routine is so important because they are your skin’s most loyal crew. Love them forever, use them for always once you’ve identified your skin’s dream team, and you’re basically set for life. Take my great grandmother, Lola Puring, for example as I would always hear my mother, her siblings, and her cousins rave on about and her love for Olay—then called Oil of Olay—which she discovered after migrating to the United States in the mid 70s. She used to stock it in her dresser in fear of running out. But it was proven to be ultimately effective as her skin was so supple well into her golden age—you’d think she was a vampire.
To maintain that glowing healthy skin, you should never crash into bed without removing your makeup. All that gunk on your face is an overnight hotbed for bacteria that will guarantee a horrible breakout. Hilariously, this is always coupled with the sentiment, “Naku, don’t come crying to me if you find a giant zit in the morning”. Of course, sometimes I just can’t help it and I do end up breaking this cardinal rule especially after a fun night out or an extremely stressful day. So when a giant and angry zit makes itself known, I usually come crying to my mother, who would nag my ear off as she injected steroids into the offending thing. Et voilà! It’s gone by the next morning, as if nothing happened!
An important note: My mother’s a licensed and experienced physician, she knows what she’s doing. Please do not ever try this on your own or with someone who isn’t a licensed physician.
Your hair is your crowning glory and a determinant of your mood and perception.
After all, a good hair day foreshadows a great day. To ensure healthy scalp and enviable luster, my grandmothers recommend a routine twice-a-month treatment of coconut oil by extracting it from boiled coconut milk and then leaving it in for half a day. Opt to wash your hair at most twice to thrice a week and reach for the shampoos with the least chemicals so that it doesn’t strip your hair of its essential oils and moisture.
What are you going to do with to-die-for locks when it’s a nest on your head? Never show your face in public without running a comb or brush through your hair at least once—you’d be called a bruhita and be cussed out in Spanish (and Tagalog) before you can even say hairbrush. My maternal grandmother, Lola Babes, would keep another in her purse for safety.For my wavy haired ladies, you can use a wide toothed comb to detangle your hair while washing, then let it air dry to maintain your waves.
Can I just say that the amount of times I have heard my mother and grandmother scream in scandal when I’ve tied my hair, I cannot count on both hands. But, like a good child I have learned to never tie my hair when it’s dripping wet lest I risk it smelling like a used wipe-cloth—believe me when I say, you will not love yourself for it.
Out of all her grandchildren, LolaBabes would look at me and blatantly call me out on my ka-artehan (mannerisms) at times. To which I would only shrug and say that it’s in the genes and then go about my way, not bothered in the least—scratch that, as I sashay away much to the exasperation of my many titas and my late lolo.
I hope that this little love letter of beauty secrets from my ancestral boudoir has given you an insight or two. Got any beautè tips that you’ve inherited from your grandmother’s baúl of secrets? Share them in the comments below!
WAIT! There’s more! The whole package isn’t complete until you’ve donned your sartorial armor. So if you’ve not seen it yet, don’t forget to check out Julia’s article for tricks from her family’s wardrobe here.
BUT WAIT! There’s STILL more! We’ve also got a little announcement for you! We’re so excited to share that our Instagram is now live and kicking! Pop on over to http://www.instagram.com/talktayo for a quick look-see and follow us (but only if you want to)!
✨ Ta for now!
A 24-year-old writer, producer, and stylist who’s got the starry-eyes of a shopaholic with an irrefutable love-hate relationship with carbs and wine.
A sartorial rundown of the perks we get as ladies with small boobs but big dreams.
Hands up, if you’re a member of IBTC!
Like all girls, we were supposed to grow and bloom out of the awkward stages that puberty hit us with when that chapter of our lives came to a close. Acne should’ve faded, hips should have widened, and breasts should have developed—should being the operative word. Imagine my despair when I was in the throes of university life and I still felt that I looked like I had the chest of a prepubescent boy.
I used to tirelessly wait for my “boobs to grow in” as I am constantly the butt of jokes in the décolletage department—precisely because I barely have any. So to all my sisters who’ve been struggling or who have struggled with their cup size, you are definitely not alone!
I’ve grown to accept and even love the smallness of the boobage that Mother Nature has bestowed upon me and I am very thankful for the fact that the benefits of being a member of the IBTC definitely outweigh the cons: no underboob sweat, no trouble finding bra sizes, and no need to wear a bra without feeling self conscious about people noticing.
Thanks to my IBTC membership, I’ve barely run into any issues in the sartorial category—definitely my favorite perk!
Just a quick and friendly reminder to note that this is not a “big vs small” debate. All breasts are beautiful—whatever size they come in.
Scroll on to my favorite ways on how I’ve learned to dress with my itty bitty titties.
Without the big boobs interfering with sizing, fit around the bust area has been a breeze and I honestly have very minimal problems risking my girls from spilling out from various necklines or low cut tops and ensembles. Feel secure tucking in that plunging neckline into high waisted pants without having to worry about taping or looking too risqué. Pop on a variety of lengths for necklaces to polish off your look.
You can try to unbutton as many buttons you feel comfortable with and not risk a peek-a-boo. An unbuttoned blouse is easy breezy when you don’t have to compete with your own cleavage.
If you’re feeling a bit more on the conservative side, high necklines enhance the illusion that you’ve got more going on than in actuality—all the while being able to steer clear of the uniboob. Halter necklines also accentuate your body, maintaining a sexy air of mystery at the same time as a little tasteful sideboob never hurt anyone.
That tiny chest you’ve been despairing at in the mirror? Girl, that’s your sartorial canvas! You have the enviable option to pile on layers that bustier girls don’t have as it tends to result in looking bulky and frumpy on top for them. Layering is such a fantastic way to show off your style prowess and add an avant-garde flair to your lewks
Sis, you may still be feeling a bit self-conscious about your flat chest but you are blessed with such a beautiful body that you can draw eyes to your more favored assets if you so wished.
Personally, I am all for the high waisted anything trend as I am lucky enough to have a cinched waist (and my hips flaring out). Cinching your waist with a belt, especially if your waist is smaller than your boobs, is always a great way to create the illusion of a fuller bust. You can also try booty popping jeans or skirts to accentuate that fine butt you’ve been working out. A fun skirt with frills or patterns is also a great way to draw the eye away from your chest.
Not having to deal with bras is one less effort that you would need to deal with. Going braless is such a divine perk to having small boobs that you can go down various routes in the clothing department without risking a Janet Jackson.
Business in the front, party in the back with no bra needed? You can count me in! Flirty backs and unexpected cutouts are such a fun way to go, especially in the sweltering heat of Manila where we’re constantly reaching for clothing with minimal fabric that would save us from heatstroke.
Didn’t anyone tell you? Bras are made to be seen. It’s actually why they’re so expensive. Don’t be afraid to wear bras as tops—as long as they don’t obviously look like a bra. If you’re feeling a bit demure but still want to tease, you can tastefully flash a little of your favorite bra.
You could throw on a chic blazer on top of a swanky bra, and everyone would be none the wiser when it’s paired with playful high waisted pants. Definitely très chic!
The bralette trend is also heaven sent. They are adorable, sexy, highly comfy, and you can pair them with anything and everything. Being able to wear these babies without having to worry about comfort or support is über sexy. Pair a lacy bralette underneath sheer tops for a playful look or let it live its best life by utilizing it as a crop top!
You can feel free but safe with the knowledge that you aren’t revealing too much. It’s very classy!
Love yourself and your girls, sis. They’re made exactly for you and you alone.
If I’ve successfully convinced you that small boobs equate to big perks, then let us know in the comments below or you can tell us about how you’ve been dressing your itty bitty titties—we’d love to hear all about it!
Much love ‘til next time, and remember: small boobs, big dreams. With that, I’m leaving you with a little something something from legendary Miss Sandra Oh:
A style spotlight on Jazz, our author who’s gaga for clothes, champagne, and dancing…among other things.
Hey stranger, fancy seeing you here!
This little intro to who we are was definitely both exciting and daunting to create—mainly because I didn’t realize how much self-meditation it would entail to learn more about who I am based on my aesthetic.
Though I have honestly come such a long way from my more timid and shier, younger days—having grown up performing—it is still more often that I will wait for people to initiate contact or conversation before I reveal my more extroverted side. So this is me, being an extrovert, making the first move, and drawing you into a conversation about my personal style.
I’m telling you now that I’ve flipped through tons of articles and editorials just to figure out what made them all click together like some sort of crime investigation board in my head—a moodboard of everything that visually screams who the hell I am. I’ve come to conclude that personal style is an ever evolving beast that can’t be pinned and scrutinized in one glance.
Many people that personally know me are aware that I’m a very transparent person who just usually says what I think and feel at the moment and I find it interesting that it directly translates to my sartorial aesthetic value of genuinity and elevated chill-ness. Given that, you’d often can tell what I’m feeling based on what I’ve decided to wear for the day. It’s honestly not really one specific thing or another—so if I really had to give my style a labeled definition, it would be that my personal style is a very cool and effortless minimalism, with a dash of hubadera and statements.
LET’S SET MY HAPPY SCENE. If you sat with me for a day, we’d have a very late brunch after lunch filled with mimosas and fruits and pastries, hunkered down in a quaint cafe somewhere. As the breeze huffs, the mildest scent of cotton, sesame, and baby soap wafts through the air—I’m not one for complicated and fussy scents, not really caring for citrus if I’m not eating it. When the day begins to fold into night is my favorite time because of the softness of muted golden hour sunshine—the painless and heatless type of sun that I often crave to bathe in. When I’d finally let the night take over, I definitely want nothing more than bubble baths with a side of champagne or tinto de verano coupled with a book or a feel-good film rolling. Ugh, I’m grinning ear to ear just thinking about it.
THAT PARISIENNE AESTHETIC. Whatever you do, please do not limit yourself to the images of dainty dresses, mariniere tops, and baguettes; it’s definitely much more than that! From its neutral tones with bold pops of color to the overall “anti it girl” feel that it screams, I am so terribly fascinated with how effortlessly put together Parisiennes are and how much they value comfortability without ever sacrificing style. It’s entrancing to have je ne sais quoi imbibed into one’s closet and still looking amazing. There’s honestly something so attractive and easy with just a white button down and cuffed up jeans that I find myself automatically grabbing for the combo whenever I’m headed out. This directly translates to how I usually decide to do my face as well, never leaving the house without opting for winged black eyeliner, natural brows, and a swipe of either lipstick—always a toss between, vino, nude, or bold red—or gloss.
*If you want to know more about this style,I definitely reco How To Be Parisian Wherever You Are (Berest, Diwan, de Maigret, Mas) and Dress Like A Parisian (Alöis Guinut).
STATEMENT POPS. Though I prize an understated (la discretion), effortless (la nonchalance) elegance (l’élégance), I am definitely not one to shy away from other influences and styles—particularly since Hallyu was such a big influence on my consumption of media. The 3rd generation of K-Pop idols have paved a more relaxed look for stage outfits that I get so excited to cop with my own spin. Mixing up trends is just something fun to do, especially when a blend that I’m able to achieve translates to fun outfits that still resonate with my personality. Patterned kimonos and silk robes are such a staple in my closet precisely because they off-set the neutral palette that I usually wear as well as are my go-to cover ups given how breathable the fabrics are in the unparalleled heat of this country. I also always make sure to bring or wear a statement piece—be it a bag, jewelry, or done something special with my makeup—to tie together my looks. So you might see me with a full black ensemble underneath a pleather fire truck red coat or in a striped linen blazer set with ginormous locally handmade earrings (that screams maharlika) and chunky white shoes. You never know really.
EFFORTLESS. Having been a dancer for quite a while now, I like the simplistic ease of just wearing what I feel but with a certain refinement. Also, I’m very conscious about my lines and what would make my body type look great and long, what would show off my best features and whatnot because it’s ultimately what’s going to be able to make me feel good as I go throughout my day
With that, I definitely value the freedom of motion and of skin especially with the heat constantly blazing down on us in Manila where the temptation to wear minimal fabric is a never-ending argument with the more conservative individuals of our society—aka my dad. To minimize the risk of looking like an unsavory girl, I tend to style my hubadera (skin revealing) pieces with items that can lend a cover up or are inherently more conservative (like jeans) to strike a well balanced look; which always makes me reach for my white sneakers (my wardrobe go-to) as it goes well for everything and doesn’t give me the hardest time running around to do errands or something to do for work.
My mother’s motto makes it to the forefront of my mind now that I think about it and everything makes sense: look presentable every time you go out, you never know who you’re seeing—but don’t let them know that you’ve made an effort.
Julia and I honestly didn’t think this little introduction would reach this long. If you’ve made it all the way down here, then give yourself a pat on the back! I hope that I kind of made sense to you and you can visualize more of who I am—we are definitely not strangers at this point.
We’d definitely love to see you back here when we’ve got more things for you to find and enjoy (fingers crossed)!
A 24-year-old writer, producer, and stylist who’s got the starry-eyes of a shopaholic with an irrefutable love-hate relationship with carbs and wine.