Quick background—I’m Bianca, a newly-minted entrepreneur coming from the depths of the fashion and beauty industry. I’m a big beauty girl who just got BOTOX for the first time. I was 23 when my dermatologist first brought Botox up. “You’ll never get wrinkles,” she said. I was a baby with not a single line in sight.
I remember considering it, even posting on a beauty Facebook group if I should take the plunge. It’s a pretty polarizing thing, with some people telling me they wish they had started sooner, and others shocked to find me thinking about it way too early.
Botulinum Toxin, more commonly known as Botox after one of the more popular brands, is a neurotoxin that temporarily paralyzes muscles. In the world of cosmetic procedures, this temporary paralysis allows experienced injectors to manipulate face and body shapes, create looks, and prevent wrinkles.
At 27, I still don’t have any prominent wrinkles, but I did start to get bothered when one of my nose lines—a horizontal line right between my eyes—started to linger on my face longer than it used to whenever I’d *involuntarily* scrunch my nose.
I ran to my dermatologist. It was time.
Botox, when used in the context of wrinkle prevention, paralyzes the muscles that pull on the skin. Less pulling equates to a lesser likelihood of developing wrinkles. Of course, I could just stay stoic for the rest of my life and never develop any lines—but that’s a lot easier said than done!
My dermatologist, Dr. Windie Villarica-Hayano, is a master injector who was able to use botox to improve my face as a whole. You can watch my video and she’ll explain each and every detail so much better than I could!
I got injections on my forehead, around my eyes, and on my nose. I didn’t even know I was causing all these wrinkles, but THE DIFFERENCE it made. Wow. I was in awe.
It was super subtle, and my face isn’t frozen at all, but I do feel like I look so much younger when I talk because my face no longer creates lines whenever I make expressions. It is definitely what I was expecting it to be…and so much more than that too.
It only really lasts for about 4 months, and then you’ll have to do it again if you want to keep the effect going. If you ask me, I’ll definitely be back. BOTOX IS YOUR BEST FRIEND.
BUSTING BOTOX MYTHS
When I told my family I was getting Botox, I had a bunch of violent reactions. All ranging from you don’t need it to it’s bad. Botox has such a bad rap—everything from botched and overly done housewives of (insert city here).
I can assure you, if you go to a good injector, that wouldn’t happen!
Myth #1: You’ll look frozen
White Chicks is to blame for this—don’t worry! You absolutely won’t. You’ll still be able to move your face like you used to, but less involuntarily. This means you could still intentionally raise your eyebrows, but they won’t keep moving as you talk. Less movement = less wrinkles.
Myth #2: You’ll have to do it forever
No pressure! You can do this once, and never again if you don’t want to. Temporarily paralyzing your muscles just saves you a bit of time… but you know what they say: a stitch in time, saves nine.
Myth #3: You’re too young
There’s actually no right or wrong age to start getting botox. There’s also no right or wrong time. You could start very early and prevent everything from happening, or you could also wait for the first line to form.
Myth #4: It’s too expensive
It’s actually pretty affordable compared to other anti-aging treatments in the market. One unit of Botox will set you back PHP400–PHP700 depending on the clinic. I got 24 units done because I wanted to cover a lot of areas, but you could start as low as 10 units!
I hope you enjoyed reading about my Botox journey 🌻 If you have any other questions about it or anything beauty related—hit me up on my Instagram @biancaalecxis 💖 I hope you also enjoyed the video—if you want to see more of that, subscribe to my YouTubechannel.
A big beauty girl, Bianca Mascenon is a newly-minted entrepreneur coming from the depths of the fashion and beauty industry. When she’s not napping or being a beauty *influencer* you can find her on TikTok or watching reality tv shows.
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 .
Sleigh bells are ringing, these bitches are slaying it too~~ 🎶 We’re celebrating the holidays the best way we know how: our stockings stuffed and our faces dolled (up)
There are few things that make our hearts flutter more than freshly delivered packages and a fun, full-face of makeup. With the irresistible 12.12 deals and an non-existent amount of self-control (we really did try, but failed miserably), your resident Talkers (lmao) brought together our love for online shopping and beauty to drop some looks we’ve been itching to try for the holidays! 🎄 We pooled together our beauty knowledge, research, and sharing-is-caring logic to weather out all the amazing deals from the recent sale!
See how we prepped for the hoe-lidays with the sulit self-love selection we procured during the sale below!
Jazz’s “If the Grinch was a Pretty Hoe and Didn’t Hate People”
Christmas has been the holiday I have rocked since I was a kid! I really think that it is the most wonderful time of the year: castanas being roasted, Simbang Gabi mass traditions, and all the family reunions rolled into two weeks of holiday cheer! Many of my nearest and dearest are well aware that my top love language is gifting, it’s why I’m the designated Christmas Elf in the family (lol)! 🧝🏼♀️ Disclaimer: I’m not materialistic, I just really love the thought and efforts that go into each present.
I decided to take a little spin on my gifting elf persona by taking on Dr. Who’s Grinch for a little holiday look inspiration.
This 12.12 did not see me hold back from a little vanity update but they were all amazing deals, I promise! I will spare you most of the deets, but this sale season saw me finally able to update my usual warm, pink toned palettes with more colors and hues of the rainbow. With my usual routine for base, I’m proud to happily announce that this is such an easy look to cop because I only used, quite literally, a handful of products.
I was initially aiming for the Morphe x James Charles Artistry Palette (that Julia has), but that was a bit outside of my budget this season! So when I chanced upon the sale of the UCANBE Splashy Candies palette over on Shopee, then it’s an understatement to say that I was giddy beyond belief. This is a 54-pan palette filled with a variety of color stories that you would ever need to fulfill a variety of looks. It was literally all the colors of the rainbow and then some! Each pan is about the size of a P1 coin with high pigmentation. The mattes were creamy and easily blendable; on the other hand, the shimmers do adhere quite well but take some time to build up. Reviews online (thank you, Youtube and bloggers) likened it to having all the color stories of Colourpop in one big ass palette! But wait, there’s more! This sweet (and new fave) addition to my kit only cut me back around P450+ shipping fee! WHAT A FREAKING STEAL!
As some of you may already know, we love glitters and shimmers and anything high wattage that would scream: shining, shimmering, splendid! So my next purchase just makes absolute sense: UCANBE Kaleidoscope Highlighter Palette, retailing at a discounted price of just P225! Yes, you read that right! This is acclaimed to be the drugstore dupe of the Anastasia Beverly Hills Highlighter Palettes. This palette contains nine (9) cute varieties of color, each one a creamy formula of high wattage shimmer.
I began by putting washi tape (hehe) on the outer corner of my eyelids to avoid any untoward fallout (which, to be honest the UCANBE palettes said: fallout who? We don’t know her). Please note that the UCANBE palettes have no names and so I have taken to naming them myself, for your sake and mine! 😛
I used a C brush to then swipe and blend a forestry, Christmas Tree green (very Grinch) onto my creases. To make the cut crease sharp and the color more blinding, I patted on some Urban DecayConcealer. While the concealer was still a bit tacky, I then took a fluffy eyeshadow brush to mix silver and white highlighter across my whole lid and finished my eyes off by tapping some green glitter (flecked with gold) across my eyes. I played around with my eyeliner and did a little fox eye on my inner lids. Tip: go in with the eyeliner little by little, and don’t over do it!
I took the chance to take the Grinch concept to another level by using an angled brush to fill in my tamed eyebrows (via TDT Brow Soap) with more of the Christmas Tree green. Again, I added some holiday cheer via green glitter! I also used the same Christmas Tree green and green glitter as my “drunk” blush.
I had buffed on some concealer on my lips during my base routine to amplify the colors. When that had settled, I took a clear Floss My New Favorite Lip Gloss in Yulas a kind of grip for the eyeshadow powder. This is what I love to call: going the full Sheego effect with a tinsel twist. This time I used a lip brush to take the same Christmas Tree green on my upper lips and the white highlighter on my lower lips. I was very very careful not to smack and rub so that they don’t combine!
The metaphorical ribbon on my little makeup lewk was the pretty pressed glitter from Andy Mack. I rubbed in the opal, holographic glitter to my hair for some glitter dandruff. In real life, you don’t have to go as hard as I did, alas circumstances called for more as the glitter was not as visually present on camera as it initially was.
Julia’s “If Mrs. Claus was a Flirty 24-Year-Old”
When I think of Christmas, I always think of trees dripping in red and gold baubles–mostly because my family has had the same holiday color scheme for as long as I can remember. New decor or–god forbid–a different set of ornaments? We don’t know her.
With this look, I wanted to take all of what I just said and essentially just slap my face with it. While I really only bought 2 things during the 12.12 sale (be proud of me), these goodies that I found did an excellent job–especially when you check the price tag! To get an eyeshadow palette with an impressive variety of colors as well as a shimmer quad for under P600 (in total!), it’s needless to say that I am very, very pleased with myself.
This beautiful 36-pan eyeshadow Chalice palette from IMagic is such a steal. Aside from its aesthetic mythology-inspired double-door cover, it contains a mixture of impressive matte and shimmer shades, both of which deliver solid pigmentation without unsightly fallout. For this simple look, I only used three shades: Energy, Encourage, and Affection–literally everything we all need after the sh*tshow that was this year, am I right?
I started by laying down Energy, a copper shade, all over the lid then blending it out. I then packed Affection (sana all) over it to deepen the color and add definition to the outer edges of my eyes. Then, I got an eyeliner brush and lined out my crease with Encourage. With my pinky, I dotted my inner corners with the golden shimmer for the brightening pop that I cannot for the life of me stop doing in all of my makeup looks.
For my lips, I actually used two things. I started with the Maybelline SuperStay liquid lippie in Pathfinder, but found that it was way too impressive of a shade of ruby that I needed to tone it down to make it match my eyes. To give it a more brown tone, I dabbed a tiny bit of the Maybelline Chocoholic bullet lippie on top of my upper lip and blended it out. The bottom lip is actually just Pathfinder with a generous amount of Encourage (the golden shimmer from a while ago) layered on top while the lipstick was still wet.
My second purchase, theBeen Anna Moon Maiden quad (isn’t the holographic packaging the cutest?) helped me achieve the glittery dandruff effect, like when you step outside from Santa’s workshop into a light snowfall for a yosi break. Was that too specific? Lmao. All I had to do was rub my (clean) fingers into the first pan, which is a chunky holo glitter, and pressed it into my hair while praying to the heavens that my curls didn’t swallow them whole. And they didn’t! Hurrah!
As a final step, I pressed a light layer of the Been Anna Moon Maiden’s gold-ish shade under my brows, on top of my cheek highlight, and a little bit over the cupid’s bow. To be honest, I expected it to have a more noticeable hue and an eyeshadow-esque finish as it appeared like a packed brown in the pan (hence the -ish), but it turned out to spread like a neutral golden sprinkle, making it great for putting on top of things to add shimmer without mixing other colors in.
Got anything you love during the 12.12 sale too? Let us know in the comments! Hope you liked our festive looks and, as usual, slay safe, babes!
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 25-year-old writer with an obsession for beauty and an ineffable love for all things sharp—from cacti to hedgehogs to intense winged liner.
We’ve got our shopping goggles trained on Greta’s Junkshop for all the cutest and well-curated finds we could ask for!
With the holidays looming in and our wallets at the ready to be emptied out in the spirit of Christmas, we’ve been on the lookout for the cutest new local brands and businesses to get our holiday shopping done quick and easy from the comforts of our little bed nests. While the economy is still weaning off of its quarantine crutches (albeit in a excruciatingly haggard and clutch manner) and COVID cases still prevalent left and right, we’ve foregone the annual rat race to the malls and turned our shopping goggles towards online stores for safer (and infinitely more convenient) gift-getting. Plus, supporting small, local businesses always puts a smile on our gastadora faces–especially when the wares are oh-so cute!
That’s why we’ve decided to let y’all know about this new store we’ve fallen in love with: Greta’s Junkshop! Now, those that may know Julia would probably have heard of the lovely woman who runs this shop before; Gretchen Gatan (known to her cousin as Greta, hence the name) was her boss turned dear friend, mentor, meme supplier, and chismis dealer all in one. To say Julia owed a great deal of her self-growth to Gretchen is a grave understatement, as those who have read our article on the ex-bosses that have changed our lives for the better may have already known.
Aside from showing our ceaseless support for our friends and local business (two birds in one stone, yay!), we wanted to be able to also shed a little spotlight all the people behind the products and why our hearts–and wallets–adore them so much. In today’s spotlight, we’ve asked the beauty blogger, editorial writer, influencer, entrepreneur, and girl boss herself to let us into how her shop came to be. Maybe you’ll be just as inspired as we are to start your own biz!
So we’re letting Gretchen take the screen to give you an insider access to who’s been supplying the cutest junk in our trunk!
Who is Gretchen Gatan?
I’m a writer and editor based in Metro Manila, and the blogger behind Greta’s Junkyard. Greta’s Junkyard actually started as a Tumblr back in 2009. At that time, it was mostly a dump of fandom-related or emo posts. Haha! Greta isn’t actually my real name, but more of a nickname that my cousins and friends used to tease me. And then Junkyard—because it was literally a dumpsite of my thoughts and feelings! The logo, which shows a little kid inside a trash can, was randomly drawn by my best friend when we were in high school. And it just felt so perfect to use for my brand—because it captures who I am as a quirky introvert who loves to write about her favorite things.
In 2013, right after I graduated from college where I majored in Creative Writing, I ended up working for a digital marketing agency as my first job. I wasn’t able to write as much as I used to, and so my boyfriend (now husband) built what is now GretasJunkyard.com, so I could still write about my favorite things on the side—just on a bigger and better platform. And that’s basically how Greta’s Junkyard started!
What is Greta’s Junk Shop?
Greta’s Junk Shop was something I already had in the pipeline as early as 2016. In fact, the e-commerce section was ready (thanks to my boyfriend-turned-husband who also built it). But at that time, I didn’t have enough capital nor did I have a clear direction for the shop. I thought about starting my own beauty brand—but didn’t think I could pull it off. Then I considered self-publishing my own short stories and novels, and selling them on the shop—but I wasn’t emotionally ready to put my work out there. And so plans for the shop just stayed under the “Parked Projects” list of my personal Trello board.
When the pandemic forced the country to go on lockdown, and I was furloughed from my latest full-time job, it put things into perspective for me. I knew it was a huge risk letting go of a fixed income, but I decided to resign anyway and focus on the passion projects I had parked instead—which included Greta’s Junk Shop!
The ideas just kept coming as I was putting the plan together. Similar to how I started Greta’s Junkyard, which was writing about topics close to my heart, I wanted to sell items that I know I would love and use. I stuck to three categories: Fashion and Accessories, Home and Lifestyle, and Pet Fashion and Care. If you visit every product page, you’ll find a quick backstory on how the item is an extension of who I am. And because the blog was celebrating its 7th anniversary last September 2020, I thought it was the perfect time to launch Greta’s Junk Shop: a curation of my favorite things!
Inside the Junk Shop
How do you curate the items for sale?
I would research on different local suppliers and get in touch with the ones that fit my brand. Every time I see something, I think to myself, “Is this something that I myself would want to have?” And that’s how I make the decisions when it comes to curating and selling items in the shop!
Why did you want to start selling these things?
I’ve always been an avid fan of online shopping ever since I got into the e-commerce industry in 2014. I know and understand the giddy feeling of finding something unique and affordable with good quality—and I wanted to replicate this experience for my readers and customers. I used to always joke that shopping online is just your past self buying a gift for your future self, which explains why every package from Greta’s Junk Shop is prepared like a gift using sustainable materials.
Do you have inspiration when it comes to the things you sell?
I find my inspiration in the things and people I love. For example—all items under Pet Fashion and Care are inspired by my fur babies, Booboo and Bellatrix. The floral house clothes were inspired by the dresses that my grandmother started making for me during the quarantine to keep herself productive. The sports bras—because I saw how the lockdown encouraged my sister and cousins to keep themselves physically fit and healthy by working out everyday. And the pajamas? Because I love wearing pajamas all day, everyday! So yeah—all items really do have a backstory behind them.
What else can we expect in the future?
I plan to continue looking for and supporting local suppliers. I intend to keep growing my portfolio of products under the three categories—especially as I’m entering different chapters of my life. Maybe someday, I can have a category for Baby Fashion and Care! And hopefully, when I’m ready, I can finally self-publish my short stories and novels, and make them available on Greta’s Junk Shop.
Our Cute Junk
If you’ve ventured inside her store already, you’d already see just how adorably curated these finds are. From workout wear to pajamas to fluffy slippers to cute polos for your own little fur baby, this shop definitely lets you get some useful and aesthetically pleasing items all while having a peek into Gretchen’s personality. Just take a look at the “Never Too Cold for Iced Coffee Shirt”–big mood. Getting our hands on some of the cutest junk from her shop brings us such happiness that these thoughtfully curated finds already have a special place in our closets! 😍
Penelope Pajama Sets
Whether you’re doing socially distanced slumber parties, working from home, or simply contemplating your nth existential crisis of the day, loungewear is undoubtedly the unforeseen trend of 2020. With that, we’re hopping on the bandwagon of living in our very own sets of loungewear!
The Penelope Pajama Sets definitely has us switching out our usual oversized ratty tees for something much cuter! Our match-y sets are the definition of ultimate comfort, so we’re sorry (not sorry) that you’ll have to pry out our cold dead bodies from these PJs. 🌼 They’re literally so comfortable we’ve now declared them as our new second skin.
With cute orange hues are very relaxing for the eyes, coupled with the floral line art that are just 100% aesthetically pretty, it makes for super cute gifts for all the girls in your life–your sister, your best friend, your mom, your S/O, or even for yourself (because we all know you deserve some TLC)!
Pauline Yoga Sports Bra
Even before the pandemic hit us early this year, our number one motivation to get us moving has always been the excuse of being able to purchase and wear cute sports ‘fits. Our go to workout ‘fits are usually yoga pants and sports bra! So color us extremely kilig when we were able to add these super comfy, stretchy, and versatile sports bras to each of our growing collections of sportswear. These are obviously the best of excuses to get off our asses to work out and look cute!
Peep these baby “trainees” in action featuring our new workout staple! (Hello, we’re open to being scouted, char!)
Pineapple Jewelry Tray
We all have our go-to jewelries and precious trinkets that really are just our ride-or-die. These could be gifts from loved ones, heirloom pieces, or even cute self-care gifts from your favorite IG shop! So it just makes the most logical sense that they are kept in an easily accessible trinket tray so you don’t have to go fishing for them in your baul of treasures. Also, what an added bonus it is if you’re a bit clumsy like us and are always loosing a couple small things here and there! Keeping track of your tiny trinkets and treasures is made easy with this lovely tray!
This locally-made wooden tray deserves the fanfare as it serves both form and function with this adorable pineapple shape!
Clawed by Ming Press-On Nails
While we didn’t get this from the store as we ordered our set from the very, very talented Ming herself (follow @clawed_byming and you’ll be dying for 10 sets yourself, we swear), we were pleasantly surprised that Greta’s Junkshop housed these on her site as well!
We’ve posted them on our page before, but in the event that showing them to you again would be the budol sign you need to add to cart, then here you go sis! You won’t be disappointed. These sturdy, beautifully hand-painted gems are EVERYTHING, especially if you need a little reminder on what kind of irreplaceable bad b*tch you really are.
Now, it is only fitting that, as your friendly neighborhood enablers, we cheer you on as you browse and shop for the cutest junk at Greta’s Junkshop. BUT WAIT! There’s more! As a super cute and merry little gift to you, our lovely readers, Gretchen has graciously provided a discount code exclusive for Talk Tayo readers and followers. Hop on over to Greta’s Junkshop and addu-to-carteu 🛒 to get P150 off on your first purchase (for a minimum spend of P1,000). Use code TALKTAYO when you check out your goodies 🛍!
Happy shopping and merry hols babes 🥰 Remember to slay safe always!
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 25-year-old writer with an obsession for beauty and an ineffable love for all things sharp—from cacti to hedgehogs to intense winged liner.
All glossed up and nowhere to go–but we lookin’ damn fine 💁🏻♀️
We’ve got drawers and pouches and organizers (each) worth of makeup, but there’s one staple in both our collections that has long been missing: a lip gloss. You’d think that since so many brands carry glosses that it would be an easy thing to find, but we’ve scoured high and low but have yet to find one that we can truly call HG. And we’ve gone through a lot; trust us on this.
Last week, we’ve been graced with the presence of the Gloss Boss (@racheldotph) as she sat down to talk about her brain baby, To Dew Today (@todewtoday), and her SHE-EO experiences (check it out here). As we love supporting our friends and believe in girls building up other girls, we’ve bought a couple products from her brand that we took for a test run for a couple weeks now.
While we cannot hide our bias for this brand, it’s with our utmost honesty that we continuously rave about these products and have collectively tried to convince everyone who would listen that this is something they need–whether they’re looking to replenish their beauty stash or just to look and feel good!
Without further ado, let’s get glossy and share with you all the reasons why you should #SupportLocal and slide your order forms into To Dew Today’s DMs.
A GLOSS:ARY OF THOUGHTS
With minimalist yet refreshing packaging and an innate sense of bright positivity that emanates throughout the brand’s core, it’s next to impossible not to be drawn into what it has to offer. To Dew Today’s overall branding ethos is grounded on giving beauty support for people who love to do their own thing. Each product that’s currently available is unequivocal in the fact that they are easy-to-use and effortlessly acclimatizes to the user’s lifestyle and beauty style
Above all else, we’re so in love with the fact that To Dew Today is the brainchild by a former HMUA who definitely knows and understands what many look for in a beauty product–having tested and used many herself.
ON THE GLOSS
Lip gloss is a staple in the arsenal of many a beauty lover. Whether you’re a kid with her first Barbie doll, a teenager walking into the halls of high school, or even as a school graduate a couple years down the road trying their damndest to be an adult, you need to have a trusty lip gloss on hand at all times.
Therefore, when we set our sights on the Lip Dew, we knew we had to try it. The goods arrived in a cute holo pouch, housed in a frosted tube with a pink cap. It comes with a doe foot applicator for easy use. Jazz’s favorite part is the cute little silver butterflies mixed into the gloss
So the real question is, what makes the gloss from To Dew Today special and set apart from existing ones on the market? GUHRL. It does the one thing that many lip balms and lip glosses can’t do: it’s multi-beneficial. Besides the obvious high-octane buildable shine, it actually does something more than sit pretty on our lips. In one of our earlier articles, we advised to ease up on the lipstick and lip gloss because no one was going to see it anyway thanks to the quarantine season protocols. Boy, do we take that back now that we’ve got To Dew Today in our corner! The Lip Dewis so light and wearable that you can gloss under a full PPE-clad ensemble (tried and tested, by the way).
Aside from having the incredible ability not to stick to masks, it also feels so lightweight on the lips that you can hardly even feel that it’s there at all. As girls who have tried countless glosses only to end up scowling at the sticky feeling and–worse yet–the annoyance of having a mouthful of hair stick to your lips with the slightest bit of wind, we appreciated how amiable this gloss was.
Plus, it’s so hydrating that you’ll definitely bid those cracked lips adieu with continuous use! Julia’s perpetually chapped lips have finally met a worthy adversary! It’s also knocked a lot of cult fave balms off of Jazz’s dresser–we’re not kidding!
ON THE TDT BROW AND GROOM
The To Dew TodayBrow and Groomis literally a fresh launch (say maybe a week new?), so it was a good thing that Jazz was in the market for a new brow soap and brow gel. She got so kilig when the SHE-EO herself personally delivered the goods. The sweetest!
The brow duo, like the glosses, arrived in a holo zip reusable pouch. The Brow Dew is housed in an unfrosted version of the tube similar to the Lip Dew but comes with a black, brow spoolie. Meanwhile, the TDT Brow Soapcomes in a metallic case like your usual brow soap containers. It also comes with two pink reusable angled spoolies–very on brand and very cute!
While having nice brows has more pros than cons (thanks to their beautiful moments in the sun), keeping them tamed and in line–whether for a beat or just on a daily basis–can get quite a bit troublesome. Jazz personally loves using the Brow Soap for when she’s going full out for a face so she could get some extra help in getting her brows to stay in line and fluffed up. It’s so easy to use; just a little spritz of water and you’re ready to swipe and style! For the record, Jazz really loves how her brows don’t harden from the soap, compared to other brow setting products out there, and is very light to wear–a feat!
As seen in the photo series above, Jazz filled in her brows with just a little bit of The Browgal once the TDT Brow Soap had had a chance to dry down and set. She did go in with a spoolie once more to keep her brows fluffy after the fill in.
On the daily, Jazz has taken a liking to using the Brow Dew for a little extra added oomph to her day. It gets her brows appearing well groomed without the hold and won’t necessarily set the hairs in any direction like a brow soap. It’s so simple and easy to use, even a newbie can ace it. Overall, this brow duo is definitely something people should cop and have in their arsenal. Even if you aren’t a brow gal, you’d love having this in your kit!
ALL GLOSSED UP
The way we styled our outfits and the beauty look for this article really reflects our personalities and preferences really well. We’re a well balanced out duo that way: Julia’s smokey edginess (a baddie in training) to Jazz’s airy and light freshness.
JAZZ. As someone who prefers a fresh look when it comes to makeup, I went through a lot of inspos that really reflected warmth and glitter. The lewk I settled on to project was a peachy red look that really highlighted the multi-purpose use of To Dew TodayLip Dew. And when I mean highlight, I mean really put her in the spotlight.
For that dewy skin we were chasing, I primed my skin with the Laneige Glowy Makeup Serum–which I love for how hydrating and smoothing it is, without a sticky finish–before putting on a layer of my holy grail base: theEstee Lauder Double Wear Stay In Place Makeup. To get the maximum glow and shine, I changed up my usual setting powder for theLaura Mercier Translucent Glow Setting Powder.
Obviously, I brought out all things that screamed glitter and shining, shimmering, splendid from my kit: highlighters in varying texture, loose shimmer powder, pressed glitters, metallic liquid lippies, and my trusty To Dew Today Lip Dew! Overall, this is one look that’s very simple and easy to nail down.
For my eyes–the focal point of my lewk–I swiped on some Pony Effect Metallic Matte Lip Colorin Gold Digger (hehe) using the doe applicator that it comes with–layering it twice as much to build intensity and opacity. You want to apply as you would using a normal C brush as if you’re using eyeshadow. On my outer lids, near my brow bone and crease, I had pat on my favorite Kaja Beauty Bento Bouncy Shimmer Trio in Orange Blossom with a fluffy brush. Going towards my inner corners, I blended in a tiny amount of Sundays Moderne BeautyHighlighter in Phoebe with my ring finger.I was looking to go blind from shine, so don’t be afraid to blend and build intensity!
I created a very thin, tightlined wing with my trusty L’Oreal Flash Cat Eye by Infallible, I usually start from the middle of my lids then follow the contour of my eyelid until the corner. I find that going in more than once will thicken the eyeliner (as is the curse), so I tried my very best to get this in just one go (I am very proud of myself and this skill).
Just before I finished off my eyes, I swiped on some mascara so that the gloss doesn’t stick to the wand or my lashes. I polished off the highlight of my look by adding layers of quite a lot of To Dew Today Lip Dew on my lids to really give it that intense and glossy shine. To keep my doe foot applicator pristine and my Lip Dew free from pigments and contaminants, I used a very thin cotton bud from MINISO to apply my layers upon layers of gloss. Safe to say, I really went ham with the gloss. A warning to many, be very careful when applying gloss on your eye makeup: don’t open too early and make sure everything else is set and dry before you go in with a gloss.
I swiped on a really great MLBB, Nudestixin Belle, before tying it all off with a top coating of more lip dew gloss. Et voila!
There’s always something about having highlighter dusted over every inch of my face that makes me so genuinely happy. I love drama; I love shine–this look really tells you all you need to know about me!
When conceptualizing this look, we both knew we wanted something that really, really glistened on camera; so naturally, I reached for my Too Faced Love Light Prismatic Highlighter (aka my most prized possession) and clutched it close to me, whispering, “This is it. It’s your moment.”
Dramatics aside, this look was all about capturing the essence of wetness, so while my hair could not hold the wet look (our spray bottle of water was no match for my uncooperative twists), I needed to make sure that my skin shimmered in absolutely every angle. To achieve this, I needed the help of a couple items before laying on the highlighter thick. First up, I needed my Smashbox Smooth and Blur Primer (shoutout to my Ate who just left this with me one day, LOL) to make sure the surface of my skin was all smoothed out. Then, I needed the L’Oreal Fresh Wear Foundationfor a nice demi-matte finish; my favorite thing about this foundation is how much nicer it looks the more you wear it, giving you a gorgeous natural glow all on its own after a couple hours of wear.
Because Jazz was going for a fresh peachy red look with a glossy lid, I thought it would make a good contrast to go in the opposite direction: a dramatic smokey eye and a nude lip. For this, my trusted James Charles x Morphe Palettecame to save the day, as per usual. I built a brown base to start with, then slowly packed on the blacks on the outer corners to give the look more dimension. I topped the center, brow bone, and the inner corner with a golden shimmer, then finished it off with a generous helping of eye liner–the thicker and more dramatic, the better!
For the lips, I wanted to keep it simple, focusing mainly on the To Dew Today Lip Dew. I popped on a tiny bit of the Sunnies Lip DipinFemmebotjust to give a little life to my ghastly lips before layering on the Lip Dew to achieve a glorious gleaming glow!
We’d love to hear your thoughts on your fave glossy looks (here or of all time)! Drop them in the comments below or share them with us on our socials! 😘
Glow all out but slay safe, loves 🤘🏻
A 24-year-old writer and content associate with an obsession for beauty and an ineffable love for all things sharp–from cacti to hedgehogs to intense winged liner.
A 23-year-old writer and producer who’s got the starry-eyes of a shopaholic with an irrefutable love-hate relationship with carbs and wine .
Meet the new gloss boss on the block: Rachel Torres. 😘
Finding (and creating) the perfect lip gloss isn’t easy. Creating a brand from scratch isn’t easy. Yet, over the past couple of months, we found one of our friends doing both and nailing it at the same time. Though we were first introduced to To Dew Today as our new go-to brand for lip-loving glosses, it has become much more than that in such a small amount of time, making both of us always so excited to see what’s coming next!
But enough chatter from us! We’re both beyond lucky and grateful that this brand’s very own gloss boss has come over to tell us her story, and so although we’d love to babble our mouths off about how much we love this brand (we’ve already purchased glosses for ourselves and will review them very, very soon), we’d love for you to read all about it from the She-EO herself! 💋
INTRODUCING: GLOSS BOSS RACHEL TORRES
I’m Rachel Torres and I used to be (as of now, I think that I will be using past-tense for this) a hair and makeup artist. I was a HMUA for 5 years, and with my job I found that a common problem I always had was what my client would touch up with after having applied the lipstick from my kit.
I usually would ask what the client would have on hand and I would pattern the shade from that, and sometimes they wouldn’t have lipstick at all (who’s to blame them; they pay for my service and products for a reason, right?). With that, I always knew I wanted to have my own simple lipstick line so that I would have something to give my client to touch up with during their event after we work together.
Let me expound on what I said: “former hair and makeup artist”. Unfortunately, because of the pandemic, many events are cancelled and even if I have been invited to work for some shoots, I don’t feel safe going to a shoot in an alien environment alongside working with several people. Especially with my role in productions, I would have to get up close and personal with a model. Hence, I thought that this may be my sign to pack up this chapter of my career because it may be a while until I would feel comfortable to go back to work and shoots knowing that I come home to senior citizens and an infant.
It’s not all bad, only because I’m lucky enough that my parents are still willing to provide for me knowing my source of income took a halt. A few months into the pandemic, people started to have small Instagram businesses on the side: selling cookies, old clothes, stickers, bracelets, and hand-crafted products. I took this as a sign that maybe I could use this down time to finally start what I’ve been dreaming of—my own brand for beauty. Although it’s not as easy as finding the ingredients and popping them into the oven or something I could YouTube overnight. It took a few months and almost my whole bank account just to start and experiment on a few products.
THE LAUNCH OF TO DEW TODAY
In spite of the level of difficulty, I present my brain-child, my brand baby, To Dew Today. It is currently a small cosmetic and skin care brand, locally and Filipina made. I launched To Dew Today with the birth of the perfect gloss duo. Lip Dewis a subtle, shiny, clear gloss that is very moisturizing on the lips. The OG, on the other hand, is made with thicker consistency for those who want to pack in more gloss and shine. Both feel very nourishing on the lips because they’re pumped with Vitamin E and natural oils like sunflower oil and Moroccan argan oil. I made sure when making these two that they were vegan, paraben-free, and, of course, cruelty-free. (We don’t test on bunnies, we test on hunnies 🍯)
Just a few days ago, I officially unveiled my second set called the Brow and Groom (a cute play on the phrase Bride and Groom). They consist of an easy and clear brow gel called Brow Dew and the TDT Brow Soap, which I think is self explanatory. Brow soaps are very trendy now, with people going for the bushy brushed-up brow look. Although I never forget those who just want simple-to-use products, that is why I am first coming out with sets to make sure I tap both markets: those who are beginning and first playing with makeup while they have the time, and those who are makeup savvy and are adding to their collection.
A PEEK BEHIND THE CURTAINS
Starting a beauty brand isn’t easy because people are so picky with what they put on their face. It’s even harder starting with lip products in the middle of a pandemic when everybody’s wearing a mask. This didn’t hinder me because my target market is younger people who are staying home, in online calls and meetings, and taking selfies. (I should emphasize that everybody should be staying home, not just my target market!)
With that, To Dew Today values confidence, individuality, and outspokenness—a few of the values underscored when taking a selfie. The first set of girls that I chose to represent the brand are girls who do their own thing, unapologetically who they are, and speak up for their own values and interests. Hopefully this radiates throughout my brand and that other people see these values from the way To Dew Today is presented.
WHAT IS IT LIKE BEING A SHE-EO?
The thought of Miranda Priestly of Devil Wears Prada comes to mind—the heels, the fabulous office. Or! The young Sophia Marlowe of the Netflix series Girlboss—easy, and lots of fun. Ugh, how I wish! I have to be brutally honest and say: it’s un-glamorously hard!
I don’t think about it–the label CEO–as I’m so busy focusing on the brand and working on its growth. Actually, I don’t even feel it. It doesn’t feel so strong-independent-woman and girl-boss-like when my bank account is depleting from the capital’s needs and I’m still trying to break even, which is still a looong way to go!
When you’re starting, especially starting a brand alone, there’s nothing easy and fabulous about being your own research and development team, social media manager, marketing director, and more. Everything’s on me, fortunately and unfortunately.
But you know what? I’m in my mid-20’s and alone I own my own cosmetic brand. That’s crazy! I could only dream of being a CEO of anything, really. I didn’t plan this, but life comes at us unexpectedly. I am so grateful for the growth of my brand, it’s slow but steady. I’m not in a rush to be at the top, I know I’m still in the process of building myself and my brand up, that’s why I accept my current state as well as my brand, and my bank account is in.
It may be un-glamorously hard, as I said, but I’m honestly having a lot of fun. I get to talk to so many people and I get to receive many positive feedback from customers which truly fills my heart. I appreciate all the help and support I’m getting from friends and strangers who buy from my brand and I can only hope to continue to produce good products to reach a larger audience to enjoy.
If any of her products caught your eye (as they should; because they’re GORGEOUS), do feel free to hop on over to To Dew Today’s Instagram (@todewtoday) to order for yourselves! Before we go, we wanted to give as many virtual hugs as our combined Internet bandwidths can allow to Rachel for letting us have an up-close look at her brainchild. Congratulations on the launch; we’re both so proud of you!
As usual, slay safe and stay cute, loves! 😘
A 20-something year old Cancer-Leo cusp, hobbyist, artist, and life-explorer who collects stickers and never sticks them anywhere.
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.
Drip, drop. We unlocked a secret: we’ve discovered the nectar of the gods were brewed into a skin potion 🌞
As we grow in our skincare journeys, we’ve come to listen to what our bodies want. We learn from them and, in doing so, become keenly aware of signs of issues or concern. This is so that they can live their best life and thrive beautifully.
We’ve come to an understanding that many products in our regimen contain the otherworldly powers of natural ingredients that the OG woman, Mother Nature, created. This world’s flora is one of the most mysterious and powerful elements of this planet. They have been a great way to supply food, an astounding source of medicine, and a fascinating fountain of skincare ingredients.
The ultimate goal for skincare? Effortlessly and consistently pull a Beyoncè and claim “I woke up like this” on the flawless side of the spectrum. While we’re still struggling to climb up the mountain and attaining that goal, we’ve happily come across a little skin potion that can help us cheat our way to rolling out of bed and just oozing with radiance.
And to stay true to our brand, we are so happy to announce that we are opening up conversations and dialogues with different people, kicking it off by inviting Yso to take the floor (or screen, lol) away! She’s the potioneer behind the magical elixir, NECTAR, and a lover of all things beautiful. We are so grateful to have been able to catch up with one of Jazz’s old friends from her high school days (in a socially distanced manner, people!) as she shares with us (and now the world) her new beauty baby. ✨
In the history of cosmetics, plant-based oils were most popularly used by the ancient Egyptians to boost circulation and deliver antioxidants to their skin in defense against sun and sand damage. Ahem, it’s time we gave Cleopatra a run for her money. Cue the drumroll!
The beauty elixir that I’ve concocted contains the luxurious oils of jojoba and argan, which are more elegant to use (and far more expensive to source, boo) than her favorite beauty oils: olive and sesame oil.
Nectar Hangover Cure was so christened after I woke up one morning after cooking it up one day and using it on myself, having only had four hours of sleep, a midnight snack of chocolate mug cake, and- I’m ashamed to admit- only four glasses of water the day prior. And yet looking in the mirror, I was honest-to-goodness surprised to find myself radiant when I should have looked like a wreck. Though the bags under my eyes were present, they more closely resembled the coveted aegyo-sal (cute eye fat) than they did hollow and tired panda-esque eyes. I was able to cheat my way to looking like I had a complete 8 hours of sleep and the prescribed 8 glasses of water a day ✨
Used in the daytime, my glow was such that I found I was able to go about my day without the need to use a highlighter- or any makeup for that matter- for that “lit-from-within: effect. Side note: one must always try to achieve the optimal level of glow through skincare rather than makeup, to achieve the most natural je ne sais quoi.
Self-care and beauty in my book is all about the experience. Beyond the old-world, floral, herbaceous scent and rich oil feel of Nectar, the creation process is particularly special. Handcrafting this from garden to shelf in small batches, knowing that I’ve stuffed this with only the highest quality ingredients, skipped the fillers, and formulated this to suit skin in the Philippine climate, I’m excited to share this potent, luxurious skin food with everyone!
NectarHangover Cure Face Oilis a potent, organic, cruelty-free beauty serum of natural antioxidants, vitamins, and essential amino acids—loaded with all sorts of skin boosting nutrients. This plant-based hydrating serum works to soothe skin and promote overnight rejuvenation—whether you were up till the crack of dawn for midterms, vodka, or Netflix. Waking up with tighter, radiant, and balanced skin
INGREDIENTS: golden jojoba oil. argan oil. apricot seed oil. AFRICAN MARIGOLD extract. mulberry fruit extract. lavender extract. jasmine flower extract. rosa damascena essential oil. English lavender essential oil. immortelle essential oil. vitamin E oil.
African marigolds help to repair skin damage and irritation, and reduce itchiness, sensitivity, and dryness. This works wonders on eczema and dermatitis. It encourages skin healing by strengthening the moisture barrier, thereby protecting skin from photo-aging, free radical irritation, and other environmental stressors.
Each bottle of clean skinfood is carefully formulated to be organic plant-based that are handcrafted in small batches and never tested on animals (just me and my sister), making it cruelty-free.
This infusion also has antibacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-inflammatory properties. (Don’t worry acne-prone loves, this is non-comedogenic and works to soothe breakouts, not exacerbate them!) It even balances sebum production, making this suitable for all skin types. I took care to use the lightest base oils (golden jojoba, argan oil, apricot seed oil) possible to suit the humid and tropical climate that our country is known for. Oily skin types can use Nectar alone or mixed into gel moisturizers; I love it with Celeteque Hydration—it’s my holy grail recommendation from Watsons.
Dry skin types can add a few drops to their thicker moisturizers for the antioxidant boost. A lot of love, research, and patience went into this bottle. From sourcing ingredients, growing and harvesting the plants, drying the marigolds and lavender, studying the chemistry, sterilizing tools and containers, experimenting with formulation, testing for adverse reactions on myself and on my family, I put a lot of love, research, and patience into each bottle. Now, at last, Nectar is ready! ♡ I’m finally an albularyo..
For any fellow witch doctors out there, this process is simultaneously easier and more difficult than you’d expect. I’ve gone through a couple fretful challenges like growing your plants for the best and most bountiful yields. I’ve also had to fight off hordes of pests—those damned slugs and snails won’t give me a moment’s rest in this monsoon season, they chewed through half of my marigolds a few weeks back. Drying herbs and fighting mold with this humidity can be a nightmare—I’ve wracked my brain and tried it all: oven drying, sun drying, silica gel, and dehydrators. I’ve also come to the realization that sterilization is so much more than washing with soap and water, going through an extensive process to make sure all the tools are clean and ready to use. My measuring apparatus has grown in quantity as my brewing process requires beakers, graduated cylinders, pipettes, and a weighing scale.
It’s a ride, let me tell you, but the results have proven to be well worth it.
Stay magic, witches.
PS. I only produce this in small quantities to ensure high quality infusion and to keep my plants healthy and happy
If you’re in the PH and want to give Nectar Hangover Cure a go, follow and hit up Ysobel on her Instagram (@ysoluna) so you can watch out for her next batch of skinfood potions!
A 22 year old hedonist in search of all things beautiful, an apostle to the church of skincare, an archenemy of the common garden snail, and “alipin” to cats everywhere.
Not even the new normal protocols can stop us from slaying (safely)!
Raise your hand if you haven’t worn makeup for the outside world since quarantine protocol was put in place! 🙋♀️🙋♀️🙋♀️🙋♀️
We see you! We too haven’t been able to put on our usual decked out glam since we don’t really have anywhere to go (nor anywhere we want to be, seeing as there’s a, y’know, pandemic); plus, there’s the added hassle of putting on a full face when you’re struggling with sticking to the essentials only rule whenever you go out.
With the new normal protocols in full swing globally, we’ve been stuck in a rut on how to put on stand-out faces because half our face is perpetually covered by a face mask nowadays. To ease the burden (and because we love playing with makeup), we’ve put together four looks that’s guaranteed to turn heads and have you batting your eyes at everyone you pass by! We know because we couldn’t resist doing it to ourselves. LOL!
HOLUP! We’ve got to lay a few ground rules before we get into the actual ~lewks~
EASY ON THE FOUNDATION. If you’ll constantly be reusing one or two masks (which you shouldn’t be doing, by the way. Always use a clean mask!), you don’t want your makeup sticking to it, right? That’s unhygienic, if anything, and harbors acne-causing bacteria, so ease up on using foundation south of your mask line. No one’s going to be able to see or tell any imperfections you might be trying to hide–a newfound upside to masks, honestly!
CONCEALER IS YOUR FRIEND. Opt to grab for concealers instead for the little imperfections that cannot be covered by your mask. These also make amazing base and primers for eyeshadow because the paleness of the concealer will really make your palette colors pop.
EYE CREAM IS YOUR SAVIOR. Your newest asset to invest in will be your peepers, darlings. Bat them at anyone and everyone! BUT, it your look won’t be as fresh or put together if you’ve got those designer eye bags hanging about (a la panda). So don’t forget to slather on some eye cream at night; you’re never too young to start incorporating it into your routine. Jazz loves the OLEHENRIKSEN Banana BrightEye Creme as part of her skincare routine. She also recommends the CONTEXT Vitamin C All Day Eye Creammixed into concealer for brighter eyes–wakeup before you makeup, sis! 👏
PUT DOWN THE LIPSTICK & GLOSS. We’re all mourning the disappearances of all of our winning hundred-watt smiles. Unfortunately, it’s one thing we need sacrifice for the greater good–or, well, until transparent face masks aren’t made of unmalleable and heat-inducing plastic. For now, we recommend foregoing the lipsticks, lip tints, and glosses. Having those constantly sticking to your mask isn’t going to help anyone and, most of all, would probably just annoy you all day. Save yourself the trouble and care for your lips by slathering on some hydrating lip balm instead so they still look irresistible and kissable when you take off your mask (only when absolutely necessary in public).
EYEBROWS. Your new favorite asset needs the perfect frame to shine through! How are you going to do that if your eyebrows are unruly, or overly plucked and not filled in?
JAZZ’S RED WINGS
I’ve always been one to keep it to a minimum with my makeup during the day, opting for precise can-cut-you wings and pretty lip colors and loving the versatile simplicity of it. That’s what I was thinking of when I was figuring out my day look for the new normal. Gone are the days that I can wear varying shades of red and pink and wine-stained lips for the sheer show of it. I’ve turned to the next best thing by playing with my eyes!
One thing you should know, my makeup kit is basically a jumble of warmth, as it is easy to use and very complimentary to my skintone. This look is so simple that you only need three types of products: eyeshadow, highlighter, and mascara!
SHIMMER ME GOLD. For this look, I basically layered and packed on shimmers after applying my concealer. You can start off by swiping on some highlighter, like mySundays Moderne Beauty Highlighter in Phoebe, across your whole lid and blending it just a tad beyond your crease towards your brow bone. Then, I lightly sweep on some BENEFIT COSMETICS GALifornia Blush across all of my lids. Do not be afraid to use whatever you can to achieve your look. Most makeup products are actually multifunctional–like paint, but for your face!
My last layer for shadow and shimmer is my favorite KAJA Beauty Bento Bouncy Shimmer Trio in Orange Blossom–I got this from Sephora US via my cousin last year (Janelle, sis, thank you!)–which you can get on many Instagram shops that do pasabuy. I packed the coral gold (middle layer) on the middle of my lid until I got the poppin’ shine that I wanted. Don’t be afraid to build color and glitter–go off until you blind yourself in the mirror from all that shine sis!
Some dupes that I recommend you can also use are COLOURPOP Give It To Me Straight in Upfront and Candid, NATASHA DENONA in Morgana, and FENTY BEAUTYKillawatt in Ginger Binge and Moscow Mule. These are just a few really good recos but you are definitely not required to use the exact same ones. Any shimmers in warm toned gold, silvery pink, and coral with high glitter pigments will definitely do the job!
RED WINGS. The highlight of my look! So, I usually don’t stray from my signature precise black wings on a normal day, but this was too fun an experiment to pass up! What you’d want to do is take an eyeliner brush (or a lip brush if you don’t have any) and choose a mulled wine shade from your palette. I opted for the HUDA BEAUTY New Nude Palettein Spanked. Draw it on as you would using your gel liner or pen. I usually like to start from the middle of my eye and follow the contour of my eyelid until the corner. For your wing, just follow the natural corners of your eyes. If your palette is not pigmented enough, worry not, you just need to go in a couple of times, so just trace your initial lines to keep consistency. Also, remember to keep your hand steady by anchoring your pinky finger to your cheek.
I used a lip brush to apply highlighter on my waterline, using the same from Sundays Moderne Beauty, to give the illusion of wider eyes.
Don’t worry about the mess or the fall out. Pro tip: take a very thin cotton q-tip (you can get it from MINISO) and wet one tip with your toner or makeup water to refine and sharpen those edges.
VOLUME & LENGTH. Truth be told, since Igrew up onstage, I have a slight aversion to false eyelashes; I don’t really see the use for them when you’re out and about during the day. Personally, they are heavy, a bit of a hassle to use, and slightly painful to remove–thank God for volumizing mascara! I usually take an eyelash curler to my upper lashes before and after I swipe on some PERIPERA Ink Color Cara Volume Setting in Black Espresso to make sure it stays curled and not weighed down by the product. Do not curl too harshly either, you don’t want it awkward looking or accidentally pulling out your eyelashes. Make sure to apply from the roots and then rebrush with a clean mascara wand to avoid clumping. We want natural looking lashes, even if we’re faking volume and length.
JULIA’S POP OF PINK
As a teen, I thought it was the edgiest thing to abhor the use of pink only because I felt like it was so expected of me. I know, I know: cringe, right? Fast forward half a decade later and you have the present me: a Julia who’s so incredibly obsessed with anything pink and pastel that high school me would have probably looked at me and sneered. Luckily, I outgrew that embarrassing time in my life (thank God) and have embraced the color for what it is: fun, flirty, and sweet, with a dash of devilry all in one.
MIX BLUSH SHADES. Like Jazz said above, makeup is incredibly versatile. On especially lazy days when I don’t feel like thinking about what to do with my face (which is most of the time, if I’m being honest), I tend to reach for my blush, using it for a full monochromatic look that’s both quick to do and easy on the eyes–pun intended. I use a mixture of the two blushes in the Detail Cosmetics 4-in-1 Face Palette for the bulk of the look, sweeping it generously across the lids and under the lower lashline. Then, using the Vice Cosmetics Aura Blush and Glow Duo (what’s up, YoonKook stans?), I take the deeper pink shade to define the crease. That’s literally it. What’d I tell ya? Quick, right?
SPRINKLE ON THE SHIMMER. This purchase, like most of my makeup purchases, was an impulse buy because of a recommendation from a friend–a fancier way of saying “Nabudol na naman ako dahil sa IG stories ni Shawn.” This 6-piece shimmer palette from Shopee was literally under P200 at the time, so I can’t be bothered to feel bad about it. LOL! Stick your pinky into the reddish pan (you could use a brush, but I find that fingers deliver a fuller, more vibrant effect) and tap it from below the center of your crease to the inner corner.
EYELINER. Those that know me know that I hate drawing my eyeliner from the inside, so I personally recommend taking it from the edge of your lower lash line first, then flicking upwards. This is because when I draw from the inside out, I tend to increase pressure on the way to the corner of my eye, making the weight distribution of my line less precise and more likely to accidentally sploot into a much bigger wing than I wanted. When you have the length that you want, bring it down gently to the base of your lashes, then line lightly down the lash line. Fill in the blanks, and then you’re good to go! I like to use the Maybelline HyperSharp Power Black Liner; I discovered this way back in college and have absolutely no intention of replacing it anytime soon because of its impressive pigment, staying power, and ability to stay alive despite me using it on a daily basis for about six months–the only forever I believe in. Charot!
MASCARA. Another absolute favorite of mine is the Heroine Make Volume and Curl Mascara. This gives crazy definition and doesn’t even smear post-hagulgol. I don’t do anything interesting with this aside from applying them onto curled lashes, but I will say this: avoid the awkward L-shaped crimp by continuously curling your lashes as you move upwards. Basically, you need to apply pressure to your lashes in multiple spots: on the base, in the center, and towards the end. Make those peepers pretty, people!
JAZZ’S SHINING SHIMMERING GLAM
For those of you who are in love with nude colors in a blush pink tone, like me, then this one’s for you. I haven’t had a lot of chances to play with my HUDA BEAUTY New Nude Palette, so this evening look I chose to do was a perfect chance for me to do just that. The moment I had set my eyes on this, I knew I was in love with the marbleized pressed glitter and heavily pigmented pans of color. You would have heard me squeal with joy! Normally, I wouldn’t have been able to afford it (hehehe) but one of my gracious titas gave it to me after many, many bouts of convincing and numerous “pleases with cherries on top”.
Majority of this lewk is centered on eyeshadow–so for the love of God, please apply concealer to your lids so the colors pop more. A note to all: for less fall out, I taped the corners of my eyes. Also, if you know me personally, I love gradients on my eyes using the same-color-family eyeshadow! So I usually leave my inner corners the lightest shade for this to happen.
ALL ABOUT THA’ BASE. Don’t wait too long for the concealer to dry and lightly swipe a bone colored base, for this palette it was called Bare, so that the pigment sticks. Make sure that you cover your lids, your crease, and just halfway before your brow bone. Do the same with the buttery matte in a pinkish brown shade called Tickle–but apply only to your crease and lids.
COLORIZE. Apply and constantly blend a deep purple shade (Love Bite) on your mid-crease and focusing on your outer lids to add depth and definition to your lids. Again, don’t be afraid to build color and define your crease using a C eyeshadow brush. If it’s one thing I learned from stage makeup, lights of any kind eat color. So, if you want it to be poppin’, then build that color, ghorl. Using a blending brush, apply the satiny glitter shade Kinky (or any shimmery purple for that matter); blend from your mid-lids to the outer lids. Using a lip brush, gently apply a very thin layer of the deep purple from the center of your lower lash line to the corner of your eye, then blend it out so you don’t have a harsh line.
SHINE, BABY, SHINE. Gently pat on a mix of bold red pressed glitter (Excite) and purple-y pink marbleized glitter (Fantasy) to the middle of your lids. I’m warning you: the fallout from the pressed glitter is real. You’ll want to be very careful when doing this. I say pat and press it in, not swipe, so that you get all that pigmented goodness in there. Not sure when to stop? My answer to that would be when you deem it so!
Pro tip:For any excess fall out that may have been inevitable, you can use tape to lightly remove it from your skin. Using tape will lessen the risk of ruining your base.
SHARPEN THOSE WINGS. After the demise of the initial design for Maybelline Hypersharp (you know the one, with the metallic purple packaging), I’m currently using the L’OREAL Flash Cat Eye by Infallible as it is basically the same as the former and is so easy to hold and use. Also, the life of this eyeliner is so long–and that’s saying something because I use it everyday. You can use the tape you’ve placed on the corners of your eyes to help with your wing first and draw it. I usually start from the middle of my lids then follow the contour of my eyelid until the corner. Fill in any empty spaces. If you want cattier eyes, you can tightline from the inner corner until you meet your initial starting point.
BAT THEM LASHES. You can add faux lashes to this look to give it an extra oomph in the glam diva department. Gurl, I really wanted to use my HUDA BEAUTY Faux Samantha Lashes, but alas I had run out of glue! So, due to my little oversight, I opted for my ever trusty eye lash curler and my handy GLOSSIER Lash Slick–applying two coats this time for added volume, and making sure I applied from my roots. I really love this product from Glossier because it is one of only a very few handpicked products that don’t weigh my lashes down and defeat the purpose of the curler. I also applied mascara to my lower lashes to widen my eyes.
JULIA’S SULTRY SMOKEY EYE
For this look, I used shades found mostly in the Morphe x James Charles palette, my most recentimpulsive purchase when I splurged a little too hard on The Makeup Store MNL a couple paydays ago. If you don’t have it, don’t despair! Because this is such a neutral look, any brownish palette you have lying around will do the trick just fine.
EYESHADOW. Start off with a light, tan transition shade and blend it all over the lid, extending it out towards the brow bone and up from your lower lash line–like a guide for the bold, winged liner that we’ll apply later! Then, take an orange shade all over the lid and under the lower lash line to add a pop of warmth. Next, take a darker brown shade and accentuate the outer third of your eyes to add a bit more definition, blending this gently into the crease. Then, take a black eyeshadow and accentuate even further, focusing more on the edges, the outer corner of your upper lash line, and the bottom corner of your lower lash line. Give the center of your lids a little pop of shimmer with a golden shade, then you’re done!
If you want to give it that extra pearlescent gleam, I also popped on the creamy pressed Single Shadow Shimmer in WH01 from The Saem (bought from their branch in Glorietta) over the center of the golden shade to give it an extra oomph when the light hits you just right! This single shadow pot is one of my ultimate favorites in my makeup kit because it gives you a gentle sparkle that can easily build up intensity, so I’m free to pile more on when I’m feeling extra (i.e always). I will say, however, that the gold has a cooler undertone to it, so the way it reflects in the light is more greenish than I initially accounted for.
EYELINER. My all-time favorite step is–if it isn’t so painfully obvious yet–drawing on a long wing. As per my usual routine, I start from the outside in; I take my Maybelline HyperSharp Power Black Liner from the outer edge of my lower lash line and flick upwards, gradually releasing pressure towards the end of the wing to help create the sharp corner. Then, I connect the line to the center of my lid and fill in the gap! When you’re happy with your feline flick, go back in with the black eyeshadow to help blend the corners into the wing.
LASHES AND MASCARA. I honestly never put on falsies until the quarantine started and I got too bored doing nothing, so I started playing around with them–oh boy, are they a struggle! I’m using cheap lashes from MINISO, as well as some MINISO lash glue, but do yourselves a favor and get a much, much better quality pair, as these are a little difficult to work with. Not a bad option for beginners looking for affordable training wheels though, but if you can do better, do better. Don’t forget to curl your real lashes before applying the falsies, then bind them together with mascara! For this look, I actually used two: Maybelline’s The Rocket Volum’ Express Mascara for building up intensity at the base of my upper and lower lashes, then the Heroine Make Volume and Curl Mascara for lengthening and defining each lash.
For the Maybelline products and Heroine Make products mentioned, you can shop them online on Calyxta!
We truly hope this lends you a hand in looking glam in our new normal world! We know there’s a lot going on, but maybe makeup will be just what you need to lift your spirits.
Let us know in the comments below what looks you’ve tried out or are eyeing to do!
We continuously hope for your safety! So slay from home, babes!
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 25-year-old writer with an obsession for beauty and an ineffable love for all things sharp—from cacti to hedgehogs to intense winged liner.
We’re learning to invest in the one crown we never take off: our hair!
For quite some time, hair care has not really been on the forefront of our priority list in self-care. It was high time we’ve shown our crowning glories some extra TLC and let our tresses live their best lives too. Besides, we’ve also come to the stark realization that while we can get filters for skin on a bad day, we can’t really get that when it comes to hair!
THE BASICS THAT WE BOTH DO
LEARN YOUR HAIR TYPE. There are loads of references online, like this one here, so do make sure to check your type first before hoarding your conditioners.
Julia personally has very porous hair, which means it loses moisture and frizzes out in humidity much faster. It also tends to look dull because the cuticles are lifted, and can get damaged pretty easily. Her curls are also a looser, springier type of twist which look great when maintained well, BUT are incredibly prone to dryness and frizz. This means all of her products need to be geared toward moisture, moisture, moisture!
Jazz, on the other hand, has hair with normal porosity which means it requires the least maintenance and that the cuticle layer is looser, which allows just the right amount of moisture to enter while preventing too much from escaping. Her hair type is “swavy” and plays between S-type waves and straightness, tending to hold styles very well. Her products are geared towards volume and curl definition.
LEARN YOUR INGREDIENTS. While we don’t plan on going all in on the details, here’s the abridged version of what you need to know. Avoid sulfates, as these can strip your hair of natural oils and cause your scalp to overcompensate, leading to greasiness. Avoid silicones, as these coat your strands in film and repel moisture, which is often found in conditioners that give you added shine and slip, which is incredibly misleading as it can give you the illusion of healthy hair without actually giving you nutrients. Avoid water-insoluble ingredients like mineral oil because again, it creates an impenetrable film that doesn’t let the good stuff soak through. Avoid parabens, which are essentially shelf-life prolonging ingredients, as these are irritants that are found to cause allergies, dermatitis, and even rosacea. Lastly, avoid alcohol (not the fatty kinds!) as these can dry out your hair and cause frizz. You can check out your hair care ingredients with this bot if they contain any of the aforementioned ingredients!
USE LESS SHAMPOO. Most commercial shampoos contain sulfates and surfactants that strip your hair of its essential oils. Traces of these ingredients are also harder to rinse off for curly haired girls, like Julia but an easier rinse for girls with looser curl patterns like Jazz. So depending on your hair type and your daily routines, try to experiment with wash schedules that would leave you reaching for that shampoo less and less. We’ve already cut down from the daily wash to a couple times a week to a couple times a month. It might feel weird and greasy for a bit there but that’s only because your scalp is adjusting from the dependency on shampoo.
USE A HAIR MASK 1-2x A WEEK. Hair, especially curlies and wavies, are big fans of moisture—much like most of our bodies. Hair masks lock in nourishment and ensure your hair gets all that yummy moisture and hydration, so slapping on a hair mask is the ultimate addition to your routine. Make sure you shop by hair type if you’re going for the commercially made ones—you wouldn’t want to be using one that’s highly moisturizing if it isn’t actually for you. If you’ll be making your own, read up on the different effects of the ingredients of your homemade ingredients to achieve the effect that you want.
THE JU-JU-JOURNEY FROM REBONDED HAIR TO BONDING WITH CURLS
I, like many other Filipinas, used to believe that the meaning of beautiful hair was sleek, silky, and most of all, straight. I looked at other girls with their gorgeous flowing hair with envy and wondered why I had to be born with the perpetually buhaghag, undefined curls that I had—it wasn’t fair, I thought! I saw my waves as messy and a nuisance, so I began rebonding it; plus, because my ate started doing it first, I, being the copycat little sister that I am, thought that she was the coolest so I had to do it too—not that I’m blaming this all on her or anything! But maybe a little. LOL!
It was only around two years ago when I stopped chemically treating my hair completely. I let my then-digipermed hair (ironic that I turned to faking what I could’ve already had) grow out and chopped it all off, letting me start my hair journey and curly girl mindset anew. Ever since then, I’ve had no regrets. Besides being incredibly expensive to maintain, I just thought rebonding my hair was too much of a hassle as it took literally an entire day to accomplish, so I figured it was best to embrace what my momma (technically, dad’s side, though) gave me and go au naturel.
I’ve come to the realization that my curls were a beautiful, unique aspect of who I was and the only reason I despised it so much was because of this strange culture we grew up in where straight meant great, where commercials, television shows, and even relatives always seemed to imply that straighter hair was better, and that little kinks were somehow less than. When I began to tell myself I wouldn’t rebond my hair anymore (let’s face it, ya gurl doesn’t have that kind of cash anyway), I started to see the light: like a great beacon descending upon the heavens telling me I was being an idiot for trying to be something I wasn’t. Rejecting what I was born with was a complete waste of time and money, and as I fully let go of my fixation with straighter hair, I realized that the mere act of learning what my hair wanted rather than forcing things upon it made my natural hair come to life in ways I never thought possible.
And so, thanks to one of my lovely interns back at Calyxta (hey, Nat!), I was introduced to The Curly Girl Method a few months ago and have been reaping its rewards ever since. I won’t go into it so deeply because it would take ages to explain, but fellow curlies can head on over to the Philippine Curly Girls Facebook page for a full (and extremely detailed) guide and everything you need to know, down to local CGM-approved products, which supermarkets/websites to get them from, and specific no-no’s you need to learn. My personal routine is based mostly on this method, with some exclusions, such as the “final wash” (where you wash your hair with dishwashing soap to strip out all the silicones so you can start with a clean slate) just because it sounded weird and I didn’t want to do it. Hahaha! Following the original method to the T would definitely make your results come faster and better, I’m sure, but this way has helped my hair improve so much within the 3 months that I’ve been doing this routine anyway, so I’m not too mad at skipping a step.
Without further ado, here’s my routine for maintaining my curls! But please do bear in mind that my hair is thick and is up to my ribs in length, so my usage of conditioner may vary greatly with yours.
CO-WASH, THEN USING A SULFATE- AND SILICONE-FREE LOW-POO AS NEEDED (AKA 2-3 TIMES A MONTH ONLY). For newbies out there, here’s the 411 on these terms: (a) co-washing is relying on a light conditioner to wash through your scalp and mane, (b) a low-poo is a strictly CGM approved shampoo, meaning it is made without all the bad stuff a.k.a parabens, sulfates, silicones, and bad alcohol; both are used in replacement of your regular commercial shampoo whether you’re washing daily or weekly.
Some ladies opt not to wash their hair daily, which is completely fine if it works better for you. I’ve seen ladies wash their hair every three or so days, so try it out for yourself and modify as needed. However, since I personally try to get some exercise at least 5-6 times a week, it doesn’t sit well with me NOT to wash my hair daily. BUT, to compensate for this, I only co-wash (NOT shampoo!) daily so I can still get off all the workout sweat while still retaining moisture in my hair. Massage the product thoroughly with the pads of your fingers onto the scalp to lift away dirt and grime, rinse well, then go in AGAIN with a conditioner for the body of the hair (see below step). It feels a little weird at first because you might oil up from losing the dependency on shampoo, but after the first week of doing so, you’ll stop noticing the difference completely. For frequency, I only ever shampoo once every other week if I didn’t sweat too crazily within that period of time.
PILE ON THE CONDITIONER. When I apply my conditioner, I usually do it many, many, many times. The application can vary per person, as some people like to apply it in different methods depending on their type of curl. The following steps are the ones that have been effective for me personally, for my loose, springy twists! First, apply some to your hands and rake through your hair, just to make sure you get the tangles out and coat all your strands. Next, I apply even more to my hands and rope sections of it upwards, meaning my conditioner-coated hands clasp around segments of my hair and gently climb upwards—basically, imagine you’re pulling yourself up a rope. Lastly, I put the tiniest bit more of conditioner (I know: ang gastos ko sa conditioner, but bear with me) and “squish to condish”. This means that you scrunchthe segments upwards towards the center in small, pulsing motions to really force that product into your locks. This also helps guide your hair on how the curls will form later as it dries! This part is crucial in shape formation and takes the longest for me, because I typically squish for about 2 songs (apparently an accurate measure of time in Julia-world LMAO) before I rinse. If you can squish to condish for longer, then better. The CGM also says not to rinse it out completely (only around 90%), but I honestly forget this step sometimes because I’m an idiot—don’t be me! Try to leave just a bit in. It’ll be uncomfortable at first, but you’ll get used to it, sis.
For product recos, I’ve used Human Nature Moisturizing Vanilla (both shampoo and conditioner) and LOVED it, but since I go ham on the conditioner, I’ve run out and have had to switch to the Zenutrients Tea Tree Conditioner presently instead. The Human Nature conditioner was much richer in texture, as the Zenutrients formulation is a lot lighter and more watery in consistency; I find myself using more product with Zenutrients because of this reason, but it does its job well regardless. Comparing the two, I’d much rather buy Human Nature because it’s a bit more moisturizing for my hair and doesn’t need to piled on as much as Zenutrients does to have the same effect.
DRY SLIGHTLY WITH A MICROFIBER TOWEL OR AN OLD SHIRT AND SQUISH. I personally use an old shirt because I couldn’t be bothered to get a microfiber towel, as is my lazy nature, but do get your own towel if you can! This material helps to keep it from breaking or frizzing, as opposed to the rough texture of terry cloth towels, and to help maintain the shape of your curls. Using a scrunching motion, squish your hair upwards slightly to remove excess water and reshape your curls—but just enough so you’re not dripping all over your bathroom floor! You’ll need your hair to stay wet for the next steps. Pro-tip: don’t you DARE rub! Rubbing your hair between a towel can cause breakage, so be gentle with your locks, please.
LEAVE-IN CONDITIONER. I know what you’re thinking: “Is she serious? Conditioner AGAIN?” To that, I say, “The more, the manyer!” As I said earlier, my hair is extremely prone to losing moisture, so I try to help it along with another layer of conditioner. Make sure your hair is still soaking wet, then apply. Here, I go in with my 3-step conditioning method again: rake, rope, and scrunch. For this step, I use the Andalou 1000 Roses Complex Leave-In Conditioner. Luckily, you don’t have to use as much product with this one, since a little glides a much longer way.
DEEP CONDITION 2 TIMES A WEEK. Because I’m in dire need of moisture, I try to use my Andalou Argan Oil and Shea Butter Deep Conditioner at the start and end of every week (Monday and Friday, usually, but can be altered due to my lapses in memory, LOL). I personally enjoy this product a lot, as my curls hold much better and are visibly more lustrous on days I deep condition—plus it smells amazing, too! I owe much of the newfound vitality of my locks to this product alone, so I highly recommend this for those looking to rehydrate their rough manes.
Keep this on for at least 20 minutes (preferably inside a plastic shower cap so the moisture doesn’t escape, but I broke mine and settled for my cloth hat with ears which was just too cute not to use) while you go do your thing. You can do whatever you want in this time, though if you’re like me, you’ll probably just end up sitting on your toilet in a robe the whole time while watching Sims gameplay videos on YouTube until the timer runs out. Any CallMeKevin or James Turner fans out there?
STYLING GEL. I honestly never blow dry or diffuse my hair, mostly because I’m lazy and I don’t want to—in true Julia fashion—so I just let it air dry all the time. This might not work for everybody, so if you do want to use a diffuser, do it after your leave-in conditioner and gel! Also, since I haven’t been going out lately, I haven’t had the need to put gel in. But on days that I need the curls to hang on for a little longer, as humidity, wind, and constant touching makes it lose structure, I like to use the Andalou Sunflower & Citrus Styling Gel (I’m not sponsored, I swear. I just went a little nuts in Healthy Options with this brand, okay?). Again, I use this on damp hair (after the leave-in conditioner) in my usual 3 steps. Say it with me, now: rake, rope, scrunch!
This gel doesn’t get crunchy unless you use A LOT of it, which I don’t usually have to since it holds decently with minimal product use, but if you do experience crunch or are using gel that stiffens more than this product does, that’s completely fine. Don’t panic! Just scrunch out the crunch when it’s COMPLETELY dry and be on your merry way!
DO NOT TOUCH YOUR HAIR AFTERWARDS AT ALL. This is the part that I have the most trouble with, as I have a tendency to flip my hair often or shift it from shoulder to shoulder. DON’T DO THAT. Constantly moving it is how it loses its shape and how it separates the distinct curled segments.
ARGAN OIL. This isn’t really required, but sometimes, if my hair is dry and I’m already outdoors but I need a quick fix because my frizz has gone out of my control, I whip out some oil to tame it down. I like this one from Healthy Options (again, not sponsored, but hoping? CHAROT) called Aura Cacia Organic Argan Oil. It’s a bit on the expensive side, but for a 100% pure oil that’s travel-friendly and actually does something—unlike cheaper, diluted versions that literally give me shine for a grand total of 2 seconds—it’s worth the investment. Besides, one or two pumps is really all I need for my entire length of hair, so I know I’m going to get a lot of use out of it.
Aaaand that’s all that I do, really! From the past 3-ish months, I’ve seen a tremendous improvement in both shape and texture with my hair, and while I still have a long way to go to keep it from frizzing out or losing its form quickly, I’m beyond proud of how much livelier it looks.
The overall form is much more distinct now rather than being a homogeneous blob of unrefined frizz, so I’m definitely more confident wearing my curls outside; so confident, even, that I know my rebonded high school self would probably look at me with proud, tear-stained eyes—at least that’s what I like to tell myself. Haha!
The Jazzling Road from Unidentifiable Tresses to Embracing My Ideal Swaves
For many years, my mother has long tried to wrangle my hair into some form of tameness in compliance with beauty standards—straight and sleek—even going as far as tricking me into a salon chair and getting my hair rebonded. Cue the horrible war flashbacks of walking into grade school after what should have been a normal weekend, and coming back with stick-straight hair that felt like my scalp was being bared for the world to see. True to my Aquarian nature, I wasn’t one for going with the flow, so when everyone sought out hair irons and relaxed tresses, I opted for everything else no one wanted: waves and curls.
Anytime someone asks me about my hair, it somehow always ends up in a discussion about what my true hair type is. For quite some time, no one really knew—even my hairdressers! We were sure they weren’t either stick-straight or tight coils, but never the nitty gritty details. I swear to you, and everyone that I’ve met, that my hair has its own personality and mood: on some days, I wake up with pliant and style-malleable waves, and it would be a great hair day! Next, it could decide to show up and be straight as a bamboo stick, complete with style and product resistance as well! Fed up with having to wrangle it into its waves and looking like a limp mess sometimes, I opted to get it permed once and for all just to get one thing off my daily stress list! They’re called tresses not stresses, people!
Today marks about just over a year of foregoing the perm and letting my natural hair grow out; my last perm was exactly a year ago when I decided to go for a big chop and wanted to renew my curls with fresh hair. Today also marks about eight (8) months of foregoing heat and styling tools! Yay!
Let me tell you something about this little journey I undertook, it is not as easy as it sounds! It took so much trial and error, which I’m still going through to be honest! I’ve known about the The Curly Girl Method for quite some time—thank you to my all-nighter foray into the deep archives of Byrdie—but the wavy hair isn’t the same as curly hair, so it was a bit harder to figure out how the CGM would work for me—which I honestly believed, wasn’t a fit at first because my waves didn’t look like their curls. If it’s one thing I’ve taken away, it’s that it’s a constant reminder game of no one size fits all! The key for CGM working for wavy hair is you must definitely modify, modify, modify until your hair feels and looks right to you.
With the quarantine season keeping me at home and letting my skin live its best life—no makeup, no pollution—I decided to give some extra TLC to my crowning glory since I had the extra time on my hands. Also, I got into it to lovingly push my tresses into the more defined curl pattern I knew existed: swaves.
So this is what I’ve been up to for the past couple of months trying to get into the swave of things:
First of all, I apply most of my products with my hair upside down. This gives my waves a chance to form as well as leave off on getting weighed down. If, for example, some products do not get to the canopy of my hair for some unknown reason, only then will I do a very very light once over with my head right side up.
CLARIFY 2X A MONTH. I know we said to avoid sulfates in the basics, but I personally like surfactants for my hair at least twice a month but never more than once a week. I opt for a clarifying shampoo that contains surfactants to be able to strip my hair effectively of everything that built up in my scalp over the course of a wash cycle: from natural oils and sebum, to pollution and sweat and products. BUT if you’re going for it, search for sodium laureth sulfate (SLES) or sulfonates in the ingredients list, these are definitely way less harsher than their counterpart sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS).
How do I know when to clarify? (1) If you’re suffering from scalp issues, clarify! (2) If your scalp is itchy and feels disgusting, clarify! (3) If your hair is frizzy in a bad way from all that buildup, clarify!
A product that I definitely recommend which leaves my hair feeling soft but utterly clean without feeling like it was horribly stripped would be Klorane Ultra Gentle Shampoo (Oat Milk). It’s SLS, silicone, and paraben-free, very CGM approved! It is also formulated with oat milk which provides the softness for your hair and is so mild, you can use it everyday—which TBH, I wish I could! It doesn’t help that a little goes a long way and it smells divine!
ALTERNATE CO-WASHING & LOW POO. In the heat of this country and due to my daily routines, not washing my hair or even rinsing it for a day sometimes leaves me on edge, often tempting me to reach for that clarifying shampoo. To remedy this in between wash cycles, I usually alternate between using a low poo and co-washing. My schedule is akin to this right after a clarifying session: no wash/no poo, co-wash, no wash/no poo, low poo, wash/no poo, co-wash, no wash/no poo, low poo, no wash/no poo, etc. This is because wavy hair gets flatter faster since sebum and oil don’t have as many “hoops” to jump unlike our curlier sisters.
To wash my hair with low poo or a conditioner is basically the same as when I’m clarifying it—stick to your roots and massage only with the pads of your fingers!
Currently I am trying out the new Clean Oceans line from Love Beauty and Planet in Bergamot and Sea Salt. This is their first line that is fully CGM approved! While I am a bit meh about the fact that it contains sea salt, the other version of the line, Blue Algae and Eucalyptus isn’t available in the Philippines just yet. A fun fact about this line is that the bottles were sourced and recycled from ocean bound plastic! Unfortunately, I can’t give a fully backed product reco just yet, but maybe soon!
CONDISH & DETANGLE. Because my waves don’t take to heavy conditioning as it gets weighed down when dried, I use the same light but moisturising conditioner for co-washing as I do for my normal conditioning post-poo. What usually goes on during a conditioning for me is that I apply only mids to end whenever I am post-poo by raking the product through and then taking a wide toothed comb to gently detangle my hair before rinsing thoroughly. Do not be forceful when you detangle, that hurts and you don’t want to accidentally break or tug out clumps of your hair! Then, when I am not hit by a bout of lazy and tired, I will use the squish to condishmethod: take conditioner to your wet hair once again and squish or scrunch sections with both hands from the ends to the middle, making sure to flip your hair from once side to the other for even product distribution. I rinse only 80-90% of my conditioner before leaving the shower.
LEAVE-IN TREATMENT. If I didn’t squish to condish, I do a leave-in treatment instead. Here, I would still have wet hair upside down, and then scrunch in from the ends to the middle with a very light but moisturising or volumizing leave-in conditioner. I am still currently on the hunt for one that does both and is pocket friendly as well, but to no such luck as of yet! (If you have any recos, please please please hit me up!) But, I have been using a DIY one that I’ve stumbled across recently. To make your DIY leave in conditioner, mix together two (2) caps of extra virgin coconut or olive oil, four (4) tablespoon of your favorite conditioner, and around 6-8 ounces of distilled water in a spray bottle.
STYLING. I have two things on hand that may still be a hit or miss for me depending on the day: (1) sea salt hair spray, and (2) curl defining spray. The first one is to add texture and volume to my hair as I have found that my swaves truly come alive when they’re freshly drenched from sea water and air dried! The downside of this is that salt is drying, so I make sure not to go too high up and keep it just at my mids to ends. For the second one, you guessed it, is to define my wave patterns and hold it there for as long as it could go. I usually go in with damp hair, scrunch either product in and upward, twist it and then go in for another plop. If my hair is feeling a bit on the straight side and refuses with just one styler, I use both but I leave a 20 minute gap between the application of each product just to make sure they are fully absorbed.
I never spray these directly to my strands as that doesn’t give me even distribution. Instead, I spritz it onto my palm and then use my hands to squish and scrunch them babies in! For cheap and easy to find sea salt hair spray, I use Beach Born Sea Salt Spray (support local, sis!), and for my curl defining spray, my waves and I are still loving TIGI Bed Head Foxy Curls Hi-Def Curl Spray. I would also recommend the Ouai Texturizing Spraybut to be used very sparingly as it contains a drying alcohol (easier said than done when it smells so good).
DRYING. There are three (3) phases to drying my waves. Fresh out of the shower, I use my microfiber towel to “micro-plop” or to scrunch and remove excess water at my roots only as we don’t want to keep my crown from achieving any form of fluff and volume. Never wring your hair or rub with a terry cloth towel, this leads to excess breakage and frizz. Once that’s out of the way, I pull out my stylers and an old cotton tee and lay it down on my bed or my carpet with the collar facing me and proceed to plop my hair after having applied my stylers. It’s a bit funny to explain so I’m gonna let that gif help you along with that! Once I feel that my hair is damp enough at around 80%, I let it air dry and go about my day! If I wash my hair in the evening, which I am more prone to do, I sleep with my hair in a microfiber turban or a cotton tee.
Like a petulant teenager, there are days when my waves might need an extra push to form properly. I would then opt to pull my hair into one or two buns secured with either grandma hair pins or my ever reliable silk scrunchie—a few hours later and they should be well formed!
DEEP CONDITION WITH A HAIR MASQUE ONCE A WEEK. This sounds like such an extra step to do, but honestly my hair could not thank me enough. Despite not being in love with anything on the heavy side for fear of weighing down my hair, I still do a hair mask once a week if I’m feeling like my hair needs it. If it doesn’t feel dry or frizzy or in need of an extra hydration push, I forego it for the week just so my hair doesn’t throw a tantrum and sulk for the rest of the week.
Again, because the product weighs down and builds up, I usually never masque all the way up to my roots, keeping to my mids and ends. When I do, I make sure that I am only using either just aloe vera or coconut milk, this is to ensure a healthy scalp. I usually leave my concoction on for about an hour or two, hair twirled up and tucked into a shower cap before doing a rinse out with a low-poo.
Two things to remember: (1) do not mix too many ingredients, you never know what’s cooking in your hair, (2) cleanse your hair pre-masque, or it doesn’t work as well as intended!
On the days that my hair is feeling a bit on the dry side and it isn’t time yet for a deep condition, I spritz just a tiny bit of Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse Multi Purpose Dry Oil on my hands, rubbing my palms together before scrunching the product into my hair. Yes, it’s a bit of a cry for my wallet but then again it is multipurpose—so it’s still a win! PS. It also smells amazing and fancy!
REFRESH. Sometimes, when I think my hair is falling a bit lifeless or in need of a little pick me up, I spray down a very fine layer of water and then scrunch it back up! Et voila! It’s good as new! To hold down the fort, I go in with just a tiny bit of either of my usual stylers or a very light mousse. I cannot emphasize enough that a little goes a long way for wavies, we want to have beautiful mermaid-esque hair not weighed down seaweed babes!
One hard and fast rule that I have found so hard to adhere to though is TO NOT TOUCH YOUR HAIR. Anytime I catch myself in the reflection of anything or even just finding my hands empty, I tend to reach for my hair to give it a little bit of fluff or switch my part.
It’s only been a bit for me since I began obsessively caring about my hair, but I’ve already seen much improvement from its texture, shine, and even wave patterns. Definitely much more to see and explore down my Jazz-ling (hehe) road of hair care towards my favorite form: mermaid hair, but it’s feeling like we’re on the right track! I’m hoping that pretty soon I can start sitting on ocean rocks and belching out Part of Your World. Fingers crossed!
If you have any product recommendations or would love to tell us your own hair care journey, feel free to reach out to us in the comments below or on our Instagram page!
Stay safe; stay cute, loves!
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 25-year-old writer with an obsession for beauty and an ineffable love for all things sharp—from cacti to hedgehogs to intense winged liner.