Discovering Liquid Gold: A Review On The Nectar Hangover Cure of Yso Luna

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 by Kiiara!

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 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 👏


Best believe, the only filter this has is the Manila golden hour

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 🧚🏻‍♀️

✨ Jazz

PS. Keep in mind that she makes only small batches for higher quality infusions! 

✨ jazz

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.

Recreating Iconic Outfits to Celebrate FRIENDS 26th Anniversary

The One With The Iconic Outfits. ☕️

Could we be bigger fans? We know!

It’s hard to believe that it’s been 26 years since one of the most beloved (albeit controversial) sitcom shows first aired. It’s been such an enthralling experience to watch all ten iconic seasons, rewatch it, and then rewatch it yet again as we grow through our various phases of life–all while loving it the same way we did the first time. Kung may forever man, we’re sure it’s with Friends. Charot!

We’ve honestly been keeping it on loop since we first sat down to watch it all those years ago, most times as a pleasant background noise to fill the room with its unique sense of comfort and familiarity. Its had quite the impact on many aspects of our lives–from it’s witty humor to its snappy one-liners to its relatable showcase of life experiences and character troupes. While we do admit that many jokes in Friends definitely did not age well, we simply cannot deny how it basically created its own era in the 90s, solidifying itself as a classic amongst our peers.

Obviously, being the kikay gals that we are, one of the biggest influences the show has had on us were the classic styles and trends. They 👏 served 👏 and 👏 slayed in every episode, every season, every time! Whether you’re a die-hard fan or just passing by, you can’t deny that Friends had lent a hand in shaping many of our wardrobes, influencing our style decisions on more than one occasion.

Being in our twenties, the distinctive theme song now seems to be our own life’s soundtrack (how apt 🙃). So even if our job’s a joke, we’re broke, and it feels like we’re stuck in second gear, we’ve come out to celebrate this year’s anniversary of Friends by rounding up a few of our favorite ‘fits from the show and recreating them.

Check them out below! 🛋

Chandler Bing has been such a loveable bean since the pilot episode, resonating within us the sarcasm that complements his misunderstood personality. Something we all relate heavily with. This outfit from Season 2 (The One With Five Steaks and An Eggplant) is such peak casual 90s style that anyone can wear it–regardless of gender and era! Hello? It’s been more than two decades and we’re still sporting this on our days off.

And why not? It’s so versatile and easy to wear, whether you’re popping into your fave local version of Central Perk or running grocery errands, throwing on some cuffed straight cut jeans and a comfy oversized shirt is easy as 1-2-3!

This recreated outfit is Jazz’s go-to when she’s off doing menial things–but in style. This is also honestly reminiscent of her dad’s and titos’ style during their university heydays–with the white sneakers, cuffed up jeans, and rolled up tees, as they strolled into campus feeling like the hottest boys on the street. 😎

Bow down to the resident kween of 90s fashion: Rachel Karen Green. Undoubtedly, she obviously wore the sartorial crown for our favorite sitcom barkada with her never ending trendy and au courant wardrobe. It’s definitely no surprise that Rachel’s outfits are still relevant and easy to draw fashionable inspiration from, even 26 years down the road.

Whether you’re chasing down a monkey through New York or heading to SM Mall of Asia, there’s no way in hell that this look wouldn’t turn heads. While Rachel’s wardrobe is an endless well of incredible looks that we could only dream of owning, we love this outfit in particular for its vintage yet classic appeal that would give schoolgirls a run for their money. With styles reminiscent of Cher from Clueless (another one of our all-time favorite style icons), how could we possibly ignore the call of a gorgeous plaid skirt paired with knee high socks?

Rachel may be getting coffee while the love of her life is off with someone else (eh, same naman tbh), but at least she knew she was doing it très chic! Rachel is definitely the 90s OG queen of style, and the crop-tied button down is but one of her many blessings that we have been living for since seeing the show and upon accepting that button downs as a versatile wardrobe staple.

This particular outfit of Rachel reminds us how important a button down is in anyone’s style rotation. Whether we’re going on a coffee run or turning up to work for the day or running errands, a short sleeved button down can be easily dressed up or dressed down. Throw on some chunky oxford shoes and you’ve got yourself giving off the vibe that we raided a vintage baùl (aka our parents’) with this take on a retro knotted top.

Julia is, without a doubt, the biggest sucker for leather that we know of. When asked to do this shoot, she raised two pairs of leather pants in utter excitement, overjoyed with the thought of finally being able to wear such heat-inducing bottoms regardless of the fact that the Philippine heat would (and had) enveloped her legs in a layer of sweat akin to Ross‘ iconic yet pitiful leather situation. Who could forget his feeble cries for help in his date’s bathroom as he smacks his own head with a fistful of powder? We would never forget. As one of the most memorable comedic moments of the series, we just couldn’t let this article pass without paying tribute (condolences to your pants, Ross)!

Rachel’s the go-to style icon for working out how to make overalls stylish and relevant all the dang time. Her character evolution from spoiled little rich girl to an independent woman of the city had seeped in and evolved her style as well. This was perfectly showcased when she finally resolved herself to return the engagement ring from Barry, finally closing that chapter of her life. While her offbeat coats and dripping-in-dollars ensembles from her previous life have us swooning, we’re two girls who know how to dial down the fashion and lounge back in something more casual and practical.

Overalls are such a practical ‘fit that it’s basically one whole ensemble on its own. The challenge of a dungaree or an overall is styling it so that we’re looking less corn field farmer chic and more relaxed and casual feel. TBH, Rachel’s also partly why at least 30% of Jazz’s wardrobe is made up of overalls. Could you blame a girl?

How YOU doin’? Ever since the pilot episode of this series, Joey Tribbiani has been rocking it out in gorgeous leather jackets and slicked back hair, reminiscent of a 90s James Dean (not the porn star) that had all of us swooning all the way down to the floor. While he has been seen donning a leather jacket on multiple occasions, this look in particular stuck to us for the ridiculousness that the episode it was in presented: Joey hiring a twin to be able to pass for a scientific study for cash yet failing miserably, delivering instead the iconic line in the most hilariously distraught yell, “Pizza! We. Like. PIZZA!”

Although we did make minor tweaks by trading pants in for a mini skirt to add more dimension (aka legs) to an outfit drowned in black, we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to layer up a turtleneck under a sleek leather jacket to live our Danny Zuko-esque fantasies. We even added a purse–just a little call-back to Joey’s perfectly stylish man-purse (don’t listen to Chandler; boys can have bags, too!).

This casual but cool ensemble of ripped mom jeans and red tank top is an iconic outfit donned by Monica Geller has us obsessed. This outfit made its appearance during The One With The Flashback where Monica meets Chandler’s future roommate Joey. During the early seasons of the show, Monica’s go-to ensemble usually consists of mom jeans to showcase her cool but put-together style while obviously countering her usual intense personality.

We’re constantly taking cues and drawing inspiration from this hit 90s sitcom show in terms of style and fashion that this iconic outfit was so easy to put together and pull from Jazz’s closet (because she had it handy).

Who could ever let this iconic Friends moment go down the drain? Epic humor and petty fights is what we all live for, so it was such a no-brainer that we would be recreating Joey’s overly layered ensemble–donning all of Chandler’s clothes to piss him off for stealing his chair. Would we do it to each other in the name of spite? Damn right, we would.

We honestly could not stop laughing as we wiggled into the layers that we borrowed from our brothers, fighting the giggles very hard to take these photos and then some. This is just another prime example of what kalokohan we get up to when left alone together for more than five seconds.

If you loved the looks, we’d love to hear back from you! Or, if ever you’d like to recreate a Friends look with us, hit us up on the comments section or slide into our DMs over on Instagram.

As usual: slay safe, stay cute, loves! 😘

✨ jazz

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.

💋 julia

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.

Thrifty & Nifty: Clothes We Got on Instagram

Tipsy, thrifty, and thriving. We’re breathing new life to these amazing IG finds 🥂

This quarantine has brought a rise to many things, online shops being the most prevalent. But aside from the sudden influx of “hm?” and “dm-ed you” that now exists, this pandemic has brought about another big and notable change by paving the way clear for the rise of sustainable fashion. With clothing stores dropping left and right, the fashion industry has been shaken to its very core; now promoting quality and longevity in the place of fast fashion–something the both of us are incredibly excited about! Because of this, thrift pages and lovely Internet-dwellers that are looking to de-clutter while making a quick buck have been thriving. Needless to say, we’re LIVING for it.

As lovers of beauty and style, it’s always great to see the industry make turns for the better. To do what we can on that end, we’ve turned our shopping-goggles towards pre-loved fashion. There is no shame in giving new futures to clothes born in the past, and so we’ve recently been cultivating clean fashion habits.

There are so many out there in the world just waiting for us to find, but here are some pieces that we’ve collected over time and wouldn’t trade in for the world:

sporting spice


I’ve always loved typically “plain” things with a tiny bit of off-center detail–a.k.a this exact jacket. Its striking pink detailing, golden arrows down the sleeves, and high collar against what could’ve been just a typical sports jacket makes it easily one of my favorite things to throw on when I couldn’t be bothered with thinking of something to wear, simply because of how effortlessly charming it looks. To say I was the sporty type would be to lie straight to your faces (unless walking down a flight of stairs to the water dispenser is counted as a sport?), but I can appreciate the athleisure appeal this jacket brings to the table. While donning it may make you feel ready and qualified enough to start your own Rocky-esque training sequence to “Eye of the Tiger”, don’t think you can’t wear this kind of jacket with anything else. It looks great with denim, with skirts, with shorts–wear it with anything and you’re golden.

To say I’m a veteran at spotting thrifted deals is a grave overstatement, as my world into secondhand shopping was actually opened up by this very piece! Not a bad item to pop my pre-loved-clothes-hoarding cherry, don’t you think? Being such, I hold it near and dear to my heart–in part because of its overall style and sentimental value, but more so because of the fact that I am, on most occasions, too incredibly lazy to think of elaborate outfits on a regular day and inevitably reach for this one without question. It’s just that easy to wear, breathable in the Philippine heat, and comfortable, too. Why wouldn’t I love it?

rework it


I have one word for your loves: Jacquemus. If you don’t know who or what that is, you are missing out exponentially and you should get on Google to find out. If you know what I’m talking about, then, doesn’t this give you the vibes that patter along the lines of iconic Pre-Fall 2020 Jacquemus collection set in beautiful wheat field production design of the SS 2021 collection?

As 1/2 of the self-proclaimed sartorially frustrated beans behind this blog, I’ve long been an advocate of reworking existing clothes. I love the possibility of making something yours way past its trend life and original design. I’ve countless of them from my family baùl already stored in my wardrobe. This beautiful find was breathed a whole new life into this reworked two-piece set. Upon spotting it on my feed, I had to add it to my ‘drobe.

The hubadera in me was immediately enamored with the tie-back bralette. The cropped long sleeved button down is perfectly multifunctional as a cover up or on its own as a top. I profess my love for many a high waisted bottoms, so pairing this with my sky-high-waisted linen pants is a dream ensemble. It’s perfect for the beach or a stroll through the weekend market even.

playing in my lingerie


Ooh-la-la! Whoever said you couldn’t wear lingerie outside of the bedroom? I rarely every buy something as daring as this, but 2020 has really turned me into the confident, skin-showing Leo that I am now–not even mad at it, TBH. This sexy lacy bodysuit is so gorgeous I’d wear it all day if it were socially acceptable (walking your dog in lingerie, anyone?), but alas this is not that kind of world. Boo.

What’s so appealing to me about it, aside from its obviously well-made and aesthetically pleasing peek-a-boo lace and thigh-high cut, is how well it looks when tucking it into jeans as a sexy top. Just, ya know, maybe not to the office or you WILL be called in by HR. Alternatively, I could always just show off my newfound confidence sans the pants just to take selfies in my bedroom. Don’t lie to me; we all do it!

It’s material is pretty thin (duh; it’s supposed to be) but it doesn’t feel flimsy one bit. It’s not uncomfortable anywhere, even if the thong cut really does leave so very little to the imagination that one wonders why fabric is even there in the first place. Am I in love with it? Damn right, I am. Fair warning though: its high thigh cut makes it extra risque, especially for those a little shy around the lady-bits–but we all crave a little danger once in a while don’t we?

Also, to be fair, this isn’t thrifted, but it was too darn cute not to include!

draw the line


Disclaimer: this is the only item on my list that isn’t actually thrifted. But nonetheless, this item deserves a spot on this list of our favorite sartorial buys from Instagram.

Photos of this line art print on the classic button down first went viral sometime between late 2018 to early 2019. As one who is full of quirks and equally quirky choices, I was immediately smitten. Unfortunately, it hadn’t made its way around yet and no one had it on stock—that is until Instagram got wind of my searches and hit me with an ad for a shop that had it.

Line art is one of the fundamental basics of standard illustrations, making it a beautiful addition to the classic white button down. I love wearing this button down anywhere and everywhere—whether I’m heading off to work, paired with work apropos trousers or a cute A-line skirt, or I’m heading out for simple brunch with the girls, completing the ensemble with cute denim cutoffs or linen shorts.

My only problem with this gem is that I have to physically stop myself from using it over and over again like a uniform. LOL!

lola chic


When I saw this dress online, I instantly fell in love. The color, the cut, the print, the hem–just look how adorable it is! Those that frequent Instagram shops would understand the anxiety of crossing your fingers so tight while hoping no one else out-bids you by the end of the night; luckily for me (and unluckily for everyone that missed out–ha, suckers) I was kindly bestowed this extraordinary beaut. Its vibrancy is something my wardrobe is so sorely missing; I just knew I couldn’t let anyone get their grubby hands on it!

Its short length is perfect for lowkey hoes like me that love to show off some legs–you gotta be proud of what you got, am I right? Plus, its adorable rounded hem adds just the right about of peeking playfulness that allows the mind to wander just enough without bordering on raunchy. Alexa, cue “Legs” by Hagibis, please. Thanks.

I love styling this so much with knee high socks and school girl shoes–perfect for nailing that youthful yet not-too-adolescent-that-you’d-get-arrested-for-flirting-with-her chic! The white collar and cuffs are gorgeous accents, a lovely contrast against the playful print that brings the marriage of classic eccentricity into one piece with ease.

I always joke to Jazz and call this my “lola” dress because of how old-timey it looks, but don’t be fooled! It’s so easy to pull off no matter what decade it is.

the second star to the right


Growing up in an all-girls Catholic school, I was victim to ruffles and pleats and the “conservative” dress code of the olden days. So imagine my bewildered surprise when I spotted this on my feed, up for sale, c/o Kenn, the beautiful soul behind the @closetsteal_! I was immediately sold on it’s pretty bishop sleeves with a smocked detailing on the cuff and the floral embroidery. The peter pan collar honest-to-goodness ties the whole piece together, lending it a very soft and classic vintage 1940s vibe.

Honestly, I was half horrified and half besotted with the piece right away; horrified because of all the war flashbacks of sitting through Mass in the sweltering heat in my starchy gala uniform—complete with stockings and the required layers (iykyk). The besotted half of my sartorial soul obviously won—I mean, LOOK HOW DAINTY AND PRETTY I PAINT!

I love how it fits perfectly and ends just on my mid-thigh, perfect for tucking in or leaving out. I am partial to styling this tucked into high-waisted shorts or trousers, depending if I’ll be dressing up for work or simply going for the casual cute look for some errands, polishing it off with cute sandals—whether chunky or strappy.

This piece definitely goes down in my wardrobe as gala uniform chic.

staying in cool


As a self-proclaimed weirdo (I’m weird; I don’t fit in–brownie points for whoever gets who I’m making fun of) I’m a sucker for asymmetry. When I saw this on my feed, I knew I just needed to have it. The cuffs–the glorious, unexpectedly over-sized cuffs–sold me immediately. It was the pièce de résistance to my impulsive shopping habits, so here we are. I always try to regret it, and yet the call of affordable (and très chic while we’re at it) fashion overrules all self-control. Should I laugh? Should I cry? I have no idea, but I can do both and look incredible in this shirt while we’re at it–everyone wins! I think.

The sleeves, over-stitching, minimal text print, and everything else that was sewn into this magnificent article of clothing just ooze such a nonchalant cool that brings me the bite of bizarre that I’ve been desperately trying to fill my band tee-filled wardrobe with. Its black over-stitching is the sartorial cherry on top of this unorthodox blouse; the sheer amount of character in this piece alone makes it a standout no matter what you pair with it, but offers a subtle class that never comes off as overwhelming when paired with louder pieces.

Though, I will admit that I’m partial to donning it with something a tiny bit bawdy (surprise, surprise) just to balance out how refined its sleek white fabric is–fishnets, you think? That was a trick question. It’s always a yes to fishnets.

hao you like that


If you’ve read my style intro, it’s safe for me to claim that 30% of my ‘drobe consists solely of rompers and overalls. This is because they satisfy my perpetual need for effortless comfort. So honestly, what better way to achieve that than rolling through the day in a bomb-ass overall.

Story time regarding this piece: I’ve had my eye on this piece the moment Florice released the teaser for the collection this was a part of. I was unfortunately too slow in bidding for it and it went home to another fellow bidder. BUT, a couple days after grieving its slip from my grasp (because we grieve for missed opportunities in this house), the original buyer DM-ed to offer me the item at the same price she bought it as it was not a perfect fit for her. Kismet? I’d like to think so. The universe heard me grieving and decided to take pity on me.

I’m such a huge sucker for drop crotch details, and the contrast print of the line art was just my The8 dreams coming to life. True to my laid back sartorial soul, I usually style this with a bralette (thanks to the sweltering heat of the PH), if I can get away with it, and rotating through cool sneakers or my white Birks. I love accessorizing this with a handy but classy scrunchie on the wrist and maybe topping it off with my leatherette bucket hat.

If fellow Carats could see this, I hope you’d be proud with my sartorial ode to Xiu Minghao of Seventeen.

striped sweater all the time


Complete the sentence: “The best time to wear a striped sweater is _?” If you said “all the time”, then congratulations! Not that you win anything, but hey, at least I know we can be friends! Spongebob and memes brings people together, after all. But, in all seriousness, this green and pink pastel-y sweater is mad cute–something I’d seriously wear on a constant basis if the sweltering oven that is the Philippines wasn’t the biggest inconvenience to the sweater-loving-layer-longing people of the world–myself included, obviously.

Still, on days where my armpits can graciously bask in some air-conditioning, this would be on the top of my “what should I wear today?” list. I adore this tucked into linen pants, but it looks just as cute in a flowing mini skirt or high waist jeans too. It can get a bit warm if you stay outside–what doesn’t in this country really?–for too long, but it’s wearable Islander-wise for the most part. It’s a yes for me!

bringin’ sexy back

Cue Justin Timberlake’s iconic track as you read this.

I grew up with the notion that special occasions, even as simple as a reunion or Sunday family dinner, always calls for something special to wear. Feeling special and fancy, I realized later on, didn’t have to be as expensive as the bubbly I’d love to be sipping on. So when I was scouring the depths of Instagram shops for a dress that I could wear both on the daily and for special occasions, imagine hearts for eyes when I spotted this!

It is perfectly dainty with its flowy mini dress structure and the sweet bow that rests delightfully on the curve of the lower back. It’s the epitome of business in the front, party in the back with its sweet conservative neckline but stunning low back. I dress this piece up usually with dangling silver earrings, a bold lip, and cute strappy sandals.

kimono she didn’t


As I said, I’m a lazy human being. Anything that can be topped over a bralette and shorts is literally already a win for me. So, when Jazz and I stumbled across this store selling kimonos, you better believe how fast I typed “mine”. What drew me to this, aside from the fact that kimonos are just generally in-style at any point of the year, was the tiny subtle details. It’s mostly black, yes, but the stripes are actually a subtle emerald that gleams just a tad when you really look at it. It has a unique detached-looking arm-stitch that I found incredibly intriguing–kind of like a Frankenstein of kimonos, but make it fashion.

The fit is also to die for. It’s loose, breezy, and literally my favorite thing to wear when I know I have errands to run and don’t want to run the risk of sweating up a storm. The length is also quite flattering, as it ends with around the derriere. Unlike longer, calf-length kimonos (which I still adore and would stab myself in the foot to acquire), this one may be easier to pair around and travel with. While I do love the effect of capes billowing in the wind, I do like that this doesn’t frump up much when sitting or gets snagged on unsuspecting bushes.

If it hasn’t been obvious already, I’m big on simplicity, so I appreciate how easy this is to wear with just a tank top and jeans while still looking like you’ve put thought into your look. I do have to say though that if you plan on buying a kimono (well, this is technically a haori), you need to be pretty careful with it or the sleeves deflate, losing its uniquely kimono-esque flare.

cheers, my dears


There’s no pain in a little champagne, darling. Trust us on that. This little nugget of advice spills over to fashion, obviously.

I hate having to turn up to last minute events frustrated at the lack of versatility of my wardrobe colors. A neutral palette is the color wheel of my life as it’s easy to wear and easy to bring to most occasions. This little champagne crepe organza number is a prime example. This elegant piece curated by Danielle from @viel.mnl is equal parts simple, with it’s no-fuss structure, and equal parts fancy with that beautiful off shoulder detailing. It’s a breeze to wear and easily adjustable with the self-tie straps on the shoulders.

While the pandemic’s got me all cooped up at home for now, I can’t wait to wear this out and about for dinners and nights out once all the chaos is over and done with and the dust has settled once more.

tell me where it skirts


Tight high-waisted skirts? Sign me up for sure! I love this skirt so much, partially because it was actually a freebie given to me by the very, very kind owner of this shop (along with my regular purchases, of course), but also because I rarely every find long skirts that I actually like. Because of the high waistline, I find it to be incredibly flattering, giving my body a little help in shaping up the booty area–a blessing to the curvaceously challenged individuals like myself.

Because I’m obviously not the bustiest or bootylicious woman, garments like these really do wonders in giving me more self-confidence in my look. Aside from the cut and fit, I’m also helplessly in love with the army green color that matches most of my wardrobe (it consisting primarily of black, white, or denim). You can dress it up or down as you please because it’s versatile enough to handle whatever you want to throw on top–bralette, t-shirt, blouse, leather jacket; the list goes on and on.

I also love the zippers on either side of the front of the skirt; while they are incredibly useless, as female pockets apparently only exist for the sake of existing, I do think they add a nice edgy feel to an otherwise plain skirt.

love me in rose


I have a handful of things maxi. A very select handful. I’m a tiny human, the butt of most short jokes from my group of friends, and so I try to steer away from maxi skirts and dresses as they tend to drown and dwarf me. Be that as it may, I make certain exceptions when the maxi item is drop dead gorge and a must have addition to my wardrobe.

My hubadera soul will usually opt for a cool bralette to offset the amount of fabric making up the bottom. Alternately, I also love pairing this beautiful skirt with a short sleeve/sleeveless white button down tied at the waist for a very casual look. If it were colder, a long sleeved turtleneck is also something I would reach for. This is such a versatile piece that I could step out in a range of footwear—from chic boots to casual sandals.

Watch me living it up in full fashown on my next grocery run. Peep it under my required PPE at the next doctor’s appointment. It really is a la vie en rose with such a gorgeous sartorial piece.

coat of the day


How we’re constantly whining and wishing this country’s climate and weather was amenable to coats and sweaters and layers. Because honestly? We’d rock them all the damn time. We’d also have a never-ending rotation of coats to die for. Hands down. No contest, bub.

Hunting for a good winter coat is tiresome and annoying in a country that’s only got two seasons going: hot and wet. This snappy winter overcoat was going to be my first line of defense against South Korean winter—had Miss ‘Rona not decided to be a b*tch and dragged on to ruin my plans for later this year. (Yes, I’m pouting behind the screen). So this little gem of a pièce de rèsistence is unfortunately taking a back seat in my closet until the dust settles and we’re free to literally and metaphorically fly once again.

There is so much to love about this navy double breasted coat: from the single vent on the back to the gorgeous contrast embroidery that sports the phrase “goddess of new clothes in winter”. Ugh. I have one word: YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAS!

unica mija


While this isn’t clothes per se, we wanted to include this shop because it was one of the many, many shops that the both us started sending to each other over Instagram and saying, “Bilhin mo na. Bili din ako, tapos share tayo shipping fee.” Though these pieces in specific are not the latest that this store offers, as we bought them well over a year ago, their style still withstands the test of time. With Bohemian vintage themes for both pairs, they’re no-brainers when looking for something to add to an outfit to give it a little spice.

Loved our looks? Wanna share with us a store you think we’d inevitably wait with bated breath at each new collection? Let us know in the comments or drop us a DM over on our Instagram! We’d LOVE to find new (well, old but new) things to add to our collection (and maybe share with you again another time)!

Slay safe; stay cute, loves. 😘

✨ jazz

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.

💋 julia

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.

Nectar of the Gods: Unlocking the Secrets of the Marigold

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.

I woke up like this 😉

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!

Nectar Hangover Cure Face Oil is 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

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.

A flower child

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!

🧚🏻‍♀️ yso

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.

The 411: How We Knew We Were Meant To Be Lifelong Friends

Your resident maarte babes look back on how we figured out we were soul sisters meant for lifelong friendship 👯‍♀️

While some people come into our lives for a hot second to be temporary, there are friends that come along that imprint themselves into our souls forever—such is the case of your friendly neighborhood duo, bound together by their maarte tendencies and mutual understanding of each other’s trashy personas! 

What started as a simple freshman year acquaintanceship based off of a mutual love of canned goods and instant noodles eventually grew into the laughter-induced-stomach-cramping, beauty enabling, K-Pop obsessing, adventure-seeking companionship it is today! Through shared classes and internships and slumber parties and drunken fiascos that encompassed the eight (or so) years we’ve known each other, we—as the collective JaJu you’ve come to know and love—couldn’t help but look back at our stupidity this International Friendship Day and reminisce the best moments of our friendship where we knew we were meant to be soul sisters.

Hopefully, our stories crack a smile on your face and inspire you to give your besties some extra love today, too! 

When we could enter each other’s homes without knocking or announcing ourselves because our families are so used to us being a packaged deal. Our families have gotten so used to having each other around that they have foregone all decorum around the both of us. Jazz’s mom, for example, was once walking around in just loungewear and Jazz had asked her to wear something proper because they had a guest: Julia. Upon seeing who the guest was, Jazz’s mom remained unflinching and pointed out to her child, “That’s not a guest; that’s Julia,” and continued about on her way, flipping through Netflix in her loungewear with her feet up on a chair—thanks, Tita 😂

We also realized we spent too much time together when Julia’s dog, Batman, honest-to-goodness mistook Jazz for the former. Batman’s usually very bark-y at strangers—no matter how familiar they could be—so it came as a shock to us when he stopped being his usual bark-at-strangers self when Jazz came over one evening for dinner. He was wagging his tail excitedly and even lay down in front of her for rubs and pats! That was…until Batman realized Jazz was not his human! When Julia crouched down next to Jazz and actually got so confused between the two of us; It didn’t help that both of us liked pairing boots with our outfits and happened to be wearing similar pairs. He looked back and forth with the obvious shookt confusion of a dog, no doubt thinking to himself, “Why are there two of you?”

Jazz, who currently has her own pan de sal, cheesecake, and longganisa business running (PH readers please support her or you’re panget), also happens to swing by the house to make deliveries whenever Julia orders—so much so that Ate Lyn (Julia’s very lovely kasambahay) regularly notices Jazz’s weight loss (Ate Lyn is such a big support 🥰).

When we’re comfortable lending each other our clothes knowing full-well that we’re not going to see those garments for a good 2 months (at the least) until they remember to give it back. This happens so often, when something goes amiss in our closet and we’re in desperate need to find a certain piece, we usually call each other up just to check it’s not at their house (sorry, Jazz ✌🏻).

When we’re comfortable hitting each other up for a crying stress sesh or a drunken adventure and we know the other would be down either way because no matter what life throws at us, we can only take so much and we need a shoulder to hold us up. At the end of a stressful day, when all the sh*t hits the fan, and we’re in need of a little venting, all it takes is a simple text to hit up a drive or a call so that we could let all the feelings out. Alexa, play Charlie Puth’s “One Call Away” because it rings so true. 

We’re trying to make the most of our youth given the fact that we would never know what happens tomorrow (hello pandemic, we see you), which is why we’re usually down and ready to go for any random adventure we cook up in the moment—a pre-COVID bar hop? Yes! Maybe pizza and wine? Always! A little Grey’s Anatomy binge session? Sis, we’re already at each other’s doorstep with wine bottles in hand—sometimes already half empty. Because being within residential proximity of each other definitely has so many perks, we borderline abuse it.

This down-for-anything mentality started even way before we graduated, when we’d exit class with our stomachs gurgling only to randomly look at each other with knowing expressions that could only mean one thing: Chowking. Regardless of the fact the nearest establishment was a good 1.5km aways (and that we were too stingy to use our baon money for a pedicab), we’d use our lunch breaks to walk all the way there, no complaints in the slightest, and only happy to have someone to make damay

Our readiness for random extended trips (i.e hastily planned day-trips to the beach from a dire need to disconnect from reality) even went so far as to plan a week-long vacation to Korea for just the two of us, with itineraries based solely on the slightest possibility of seeing one of our favorite idols. Sure, we squeezed in some sightseeing for a day or two, but the rest of the trip? You better believe we concocted entire routes primarily just to hit up entertainment agencies and stare at their buildings, slightly bowing to them in respect. We’re dorks, we know. But as we’ve mentioned before: Stans Together Strong! 

When we could not speak for weeks but still pick up where we left off like nothing happened. While we love each other to death, we also need some space and time apart to deal with all the things that life throws our way individually. After a while, we’ve gotten a hang of picking up on each other’s quirks and moods—bonus points because the lemons life throws at us are usually simultaneous. We’re also way past the age of getting offended when the other doesn’t reply or talk to us every day—we’ve got our own lives to live after all! We’ll just update each other when the lemons have been squeezed dry and we’re not pulling our hair out from all the crazy. 

When we could be sitting together in silence doing completely different things, and still be happy with the hang out. Not everything is meant to be loud and put out into the world. Sometimes, the comfortable quiet and beautiful silence that only tried and tested friendships can endure are a god-send. We don’t always have to be doing the exact same thing or some big thing together; we’re happy just sitting in the same vicinity and stuffing ourselves silly while we scroll through our phones. Rest assured, we’d still be sending each other memes via chat even if we’re right in front of each other—when we’re not lazy to show our phone screens.

When we could have 5 different chats running simultaneously on different platforms and in different tones but could still keep up with each other with ease. Besides the obvious “finishing each other’s sentences” best friend trope, our wavelengths are so in sync we’ve literally got a handful of chats which are labeled categorized in different tones and topics so that we’re able to talk about a million things at once without missing a beat: Kakao is for work related matters, Instagram is meant for scrolling and sharing the pretty ~aesthetic~ things, Telegram is for quick file sends, and Facebook is for our general life talks (i.e. memes and daily trashiness). While it’s such a foreign concept to many (mostly our parents), we’ve got it down with such practiced hands.

Yung saktong pa-cute lang at an inuman
One of the many girls’ night’s out

When we don’t have to think twice about the dumb shit we want to kwento because we know they’re just as stupid and won’t judge. Aside from the fact that we’re usually bursting with dumb b*tch energy (because thinking up all the ways we can contribute to the world and be sustainable in this economy takes a lot), we’ve stopped acting surprised at what stupid things we get up to on our own. The first one to know, besides the obvious eyewitnesses, is definitely each other. Random marriage proposals? Funny Bumble convo? Really weird experience with random older men at a bar? Unsolicited advances from cute Tinder boys? Receipts, or it didn’t happen.

When we could thirst over pretty boys and cry over personal matters and not feel ashamed about either of them. Believe us: this has bit us in the butt IRL a couple of times via all the weird looks people throw our way, but we regret nothing! One of our favorite examples of thirsting over pretty boys is our encounter of spotting a cute guy in the SM Entertainment’s Sum Cafe. We didn’t have the balls to go and dine in so we just stood outside (like complete losers) and looked in through the large floor-to-ceiling windows. Jazz had offhandedly pointed out to Julia that there was a cute boy sitting by the window having coffee with someone—in such a very K-Drama scene style with his casual way of sitting and his legs crossed, soft filtered morning light shining on his hair. Julia had doubled back and emitted a squeal so unconsciously loud that the old grandpa who was walking past us had shot us a surprised dirty look. We had to scurry away because we were a tiny bit scared that he would report us and we’d have to be deported for disturbance of public peace (lol).

Our parents’ number one fear when they sent us abroad together for the first time was that we’d be vulnerable to all the pretty boys we’d find 😅; it was the one thing they kept emphasizing during the lead up to our Seoul graduation trip. Lo and behold, not even a couple days into our little jaunt, we found ourselves trying to navigate an underground maze of a subway station when a cute oppa could obviously tell we were out-of-our-wits lost and took pity on us. He looked to be on his way to work with his preppy casual suit but had the kind heart to offer us help and find our way out by following him out of an exit he was bound for (stranger danger guys, don’t follow anyone unknowingly)—thank you muddled brain and slow loading Google Maps for gracing us with that encounter. In the end, he was kind enough to point out the correct exit for us when we declined the following him out option.

Exhibit A of the dumb things we spend time on together: hijacking BP’s comeback looks!
Exhibit B: The curly-haired Rosé to Jazz’ Jennie

When being in each other’s presence automatically increases our innate stupidity so much that we both gain confidence to do dumber and dumber shit. If you’ve read our article on concerts, all the antics we get up to on con day is really just a beautiful prime example of our integrated stupidity being enhanced more than threefold. From nearly falling down railing just to get a glass of beer or sweet-talking some guards for pabebe photoshoots in off-limits areas or practically foaming at the mouth when our fave idols get within ten feet of us, our capacities for idiocy knows no bounds when it has the both of us to bounce off of. 

How cute were we?

Honestly, what do you do you’re decked out in traditional Korean hanbok at Gyeongbokgung Palace and fellow tourists ask to take a photo with them for “authenticity” feels? The answer: shrug, smile, and pose for a photo! (They said we were cute and adorable, so we rolled with it 😅).

We’re also not sure how but we were able to convince a fellow intern to do a relay message run during an editorial shoot for a VIP. Long story short, the dressing room and the area for the shoot was a bit of a ways off so we were tasked with giving the editorial team a heads up that the VIP was on her—very reminiscent of “the eagle is landing” scene from The Princess Diaries 2. This occurred simultaneously when the VIP had passed Julia and she had curtsied at the former, not knowing what to do with herself. Consequently, once the VIP had passed Jazz, the latter had collapsed to the floor in laughter after seeing Julia curtsy (“I’m awkward with famous people, okay?!”).

When we could spend 7 days straight in a foreign country and not want to strangle each other by the time we got back home, despite the many reassurances that our RBFs did not mean we were pissed at each other, but just that the walking around activity was tiring for our stamina-deficient selves. If anything, our first trip abroad reaffirmed our friendship by proving to us that despite the initial five (5) years we’ve known each other, we were meant to be friends for longer. 

When they are the first person you ask an opinion from for almost anything and everything, because they’re basically half of the braincell you share and your best hype-person. Shopping trips have never been the same since. If we’re not trying to talk ourselves out of impulsively buying pretty things (ehem, Jazz), we’re turning to our bestie to help us out to do just that. Unfortunately for us, 9/10 times that barely works out and it ends up with somehow finding ourselves enabling each other leading up to us both purchasing items in our signature JaJu colors (rose quartz and serenity blue; hello fellow Carats). Either way, we walk out of stores with some percentage of buyer’s remorse.

Sometimes, when we despair to each other about it (without revealing that we had purchased something) it’s so instinctive to ask: what did you buy now?  

This show of solidarity has even gone so far as Jazz asking Julia to accompany her for moral support to a photoshoot she would take part in, only for Julia to dance around and scream “YAS, HOE!” behind the cameraman to help make sure Jazz loosened up and projected. If your friends don’t make absolute fools of themselves to help ease your nerves, are they even really your friends? 

When you know enough dirt on each other to possibly ruin each other but won’t because you love them. There have been countless rants and experiences and secrets that we’ve shared in the seven-ish years we’ve spent together as friends, it’s inevitable to have learned and uncovered some skeletons in our closet. It’s a gamble to even let ANYONE crack open a peek at said metaphorical closet, but we’ve proven to each other (and our respective trust issues) that we’ve got nothing to worry about and we’ve got each other’s backs always. All secrets will die with us, especially since we firmly believe that someone else’s dirty laundry isn’t ours to air out. 

When all it takes is one look or a quirk of a brow, and you know automatically what they’re thinking of. Whether one of us has noticed a cute boy had pass by or overheard a tidbit of someone’s conversation that had caused the signature JaJu silent-yet-judgmental sass to manifest, a simple side-eye or an eye roll to one another (even from opposite corners of the room) have us exchanging full-blown conversations without a single word.

When, despite not seeing each other for months thanks to quarantine protocols, your uterus (uteri?) still syncs and you still get your periods at the same time. Myth or legend, based on evidence blood sisters do exist. Although we’re not quite sure what science (or mystical forces of nature) causes this, it’s happened to us too many times for it to be just a mere coincidence. 

These are just some of the stories and kalokohan we’ve gotten up to during the course of less-than-a-decade old friendship! We’re telling you, there’s so much more we’ve yet to tell (maybe soon!)

If we’ve put a smile on your face this International Friendship Day (or if you can somehow explain how the innate female reproductive system’s apparent bluetooth connectivity works), please like or comment on this post! And don’t forget to follow us on our Instagram!

Let us know some of your favorite stories with your own besties; we’d love to read all about them!

Wishing you and your besties all our love 💖

✨ jazz

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.

💋 julia

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.

5 Movies We Never Get Sick Of

Pass the popcorn and settle in, love. We’re bringing out our fave flicks that still guarantee a good watch.

Most of quarantine season has seen us melding into our couches (or beds), constantly flicking through Netflix for something to transport us away from the horrors of reality. However, with the three months (and counting) spent with our eyes glued to our electronics, it’s inevitable for us to seemingly run out of things to watch—but, wait, why look elsewhere when we already know what movies we’d never tire of seeing? 

We’ve rounded up our five favorite flicks that we’ve seen more than a couple hundred (try thousands of) times—the kinds we could recite word for word from memory out of sheer passionate obsession. These films are more than our go-tos today. As most had been released during our formative years, they’ve even lent a hand at shaping and influencing our mindsets and personalities.

Scroll below to find out how these movies have defined the Jazz and Julia of today!

Mamma Mia (2008 / 2018)

Oh, what we’d give to be lying sun-kissed on a pristine beach with crystal blue waters on an obscure and tiny Greek island while we belt our hearts out to timeless music from ABBA. Sigh. With the film’s vibrant cinematography, instantly recognizable song numbers, and soulful acting that never fails to get us clutching our own mothers tightly to our chests, this feel-good musical is just what we need when we want to give our heartstrings a good ol’ tug. My, my, how can we resist it?

We’ve had countless dreams—albeit unrealistic ones, at that—of how incredible it would be to become a spirited youth like Donna (Meryl Streep), running away from the world to recklessly entangle herself with the most attractive strangers while on her quest to find her purpose; how she eventually settled into a remote island with just a backpack continues to boggle the mind! Though as (not) tempting as that may sound (especially given our present economy or the state of the world we live in), there’s no denying how much fun this film, and it’s surprisingly equally good sequel, actually is. Granted, its plot may be loose, seemingly existing to serve as a vessel in which LSS-inducing ABBA tunes could be poured into, but with such gorgeous Grecian scenery, soul jumping song numbers, and the hilarious quips by Tanya (Christine Baranski) and Rosie (Julie Walters), does it honestly matter? Here’s our short answer: not even a little

Donna and Sophie’s (Amanda Seyfried) pure, untainted love for one another is truly the heart and core of these films, never-failing to bring a tear rolling down our cheeks (or full on sob fests depending on the time of the month) as we guzzle down yet another bottle of wine.

This film is a quintessential no-fail when we’re in a mood for a pick me up too as it’s truly one of the few good things left in the world—in Jazz’s honest opinion. Just the first few beats of Mamma Mia and Dancing Queen has us on our feet and singing at the top of our lungs (we are very sorry to anyone who’s had to listen to us drunkenly sing at 2AM). We could be stressing about the world falling apart, but grooving to Supertrooper as we do so! 

As we wallow in quarantine, counting down to the day this nightmare is all over, we’ll be daydreaming of jet-setting away to Kalokairi with cocktails in hand via silver screen for now, content to know that we’ve still got glitter in our veins (Ruby Sheridan, you are a character) in spite of everything that’s happening!

Clueless (1995)

As one of the quintessential ~90’s girl~ films, we couldn’t possibly write a listicle on infinitely rewatchable treasures without Clueless. Along with the iconic Alicia Silverstone eye-roll that later became part of our defining personality traits (LOL sorry, not sorry), this hilarious teen comedy has absolutely everything we want from a rom-com and more—from gorgeous outfits to punchy one-liners (“Ugh! As if!”) to a heart-tugging romance with the ever-youthful Paul Rudd. Need a mindless film to give your nights an easily digestible pick-me-up? This is it and then some! 

Admittedly, the biggest factor for the inclusion of this film is because of its styling. How could it not be when Cher’s revolving closet is chock-full of fitspos that dare to withstand the gruesome and cruel tests of time? Of the most memorable are, of course, her plaid co-ords. Seen in vibrant yellows and classic red (with a kicky beret to top it off), this ensemble with knee-high socks redefined our visions of school girl chic. Even Blair Waldorf would curtsy before this queen! Cher even made sweater vests—SWEATER VESTS—look cool again, layering them on top of crisp white button downs or sheer long-sleeved blouses. This film is dogeared in our life as the start of our infatuation with see-through cover-ups, as Cher seemed to have a near-endless supply of them to accent her unfailingly flirty yet refined style.

While it’s unquestionable how good Cher’s taste is, let’s not forget that the rest of the cast was dressed to the nines as well! Amber’s (Elisa Donavan) eye-catching gym class ensemble where her matching black and white striped activewear is to die for—our closets are quaking as we speak—and Tai’s (Brittany Murphy, may she rest in peace) grunge-y plaid-over-leggings look would undoubtedly still be killer in today’s scene. 

If there’s anything to take away from this film, it’s that a good sense of fashion and a sharp eye for style never grow old. It’s been a good 15 years since its release and we still go gaga for their ensembles, squealing over each iconic piece as they stroll into the scene. Well, that and the actual plot that shows how a person’s wealth and image doesn’t dictate how good they are of a person. 

Telling you, iconic!

But let’s be honest: it’s really the outfits that’s got us coming back repeatedly! Haha!

Harry Potter (2001 – 2011)

Need we say more? This is the defining cultural touchstone of our generation, where both books and films played a transformative role in our upbringings and worldviews. We can’t even remember a time when getting to know someone was not initially based on what Hogwarts House they believed they were in. Much like how we obsess over zodiac signs these days, Houses gave all of us Potterheads a way to easily assess the kind of people we are! For reference, Jazz is a Slytherin and Julia is a Ravenclaw. 

This franchise is more than the magical world that it is on the surface. Whilst we love the grandiose idea of being able to live in a wizarding world, wave our wands around, stuff ourselves silly with Honeydukes sweets, and wait for our Hogwarts letters (although it’s around 12 years too late for us) to arrive via snowy owl, we can’t deny the fact that the underlying tones spoke volumes to us in our formative years. For a fantasy series aimed at children and young adults, it’s been able to sensitively touch on big topics that are deeply reflected in today’s societal issues like a sterling silver mirror, such as gender equality through Hermione as a strong female protagonist or unjust incarcerations in the case of Sirius Black. However, most notable of all is the allegory of ethnic cleansing and racism through their fight against pureblooded elitism. 

What a satisfying punch

This franchise is more than the magical world that it is on the surface. Whilst we love the grandiose idea of being able to live in a wizarding world, wave our wands around, stuff ourselves silly with Honeydukes sweets, and wait for our Hogwarts letters (although it’s around 12 years too late for us) to arrive via snowy owl, we can’t deny the fact that the underlying tones spoke volumes to us in our formative years. For a fantasy series aimed at children and young adults, it’s been able to sensitively touch on big topics that are deeply reflected in today’s societal issues like a sterling silver mirror, such as gender equality through Hermione as a strong female protagonist or unjust incarcerations in the case of Sirius Black. However, most notable of all is the allegory of ethnic cleansing and racism through their fight against pureblooded elitism. 

The values that were imbued in the struggles of the characters within this world were anything but childlike. The Harry Potter franchise was one of our first teachers who taught us that the world isn’t inherently black and white. In the words of Sirius Black, “The world isn’t split into good people and Death Eaters. We’ve all got both light and dark sides inside of each of us. What matters is the part we choose to act on.” 

It’s also laid the groundwork for youthful liberal activism today, empowering many of us to fight hard for what we believe is right—and to fight powerfully, loudly, and strongly (yes, we do not agree with J.K. Rowling’s comments on transgenders but we haven’t let that ruin our relationship with the books/movies). In a world where we’ve come into, what could only be seen as, a dark age of terrorism, climate change, and economic uncertainties, we hold steadfastly onto the belief that “fairy tales are more than true: not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten,” (Coraline 2002, Neil Gaiman). Raised to believe in our innate strengths and capabilities against tyrannical oppressors, these films have groomed us to become much of the same politically engaged hero generation brought up by Hogwarts. 

The beauty of the franchise doesn’t only come from the magic and the core values we carry within us today. Harry Potter pushed our generation to belong to something bigger than ourselves as we bonded over the books and the fantastical world it built for us, both canon and fan-made, with Potterheads found locally and internationally. In a world that’s been secularized for quite some time, that is definitely something powerful in and of itself, speaking so much to what the world could be like if we all got along and rallied under one banner: for the love and good of all.

Harry Potter’s struggles and pains to fight for freedom against evil continue to echo within us today (laugh all you want on Tiktok, Gen Z) and it’s the reason why we raise our metaphorical wands alight when another unwarranted AK is cast, why we still cry when the Battle of Hogwarts draws to an end, and why our hearts still ache when we’ve finished an 8-piece movie marathon.

The Sisterhood of The Traveling Pants (2005 / 2008)

We’re sure we’ve all had that one summer that happened to be our biggest wake-up call—a prologue to adulthood—much like Lena, Bridget, Carmen, and Tibby’s first summer apart.

Any girl who has seen these films (or read the novels) can always relate to each girl from the quartet of besties, wishing they share the same pair of magical jeans with their own friends, and dreaming of the whirlwind summers of Bridget or Lena. We’re not going to lie: the deciding factor of including SOTP in our run-down of favorites to rewatch is definitely Lena’s scenic summer in Greece (we really love Greece, okay).

The rollercoaster of emotions that we experience alongside the girls on screen is a set up for a good cry and to let all the ~feels~ out (hello, Bailey’s secret little documentary self-interview): from Carmen’s pent up anger about her dad to Bridget’s complicated feelings about her mom post-sex with Coach Eric, and from Lena acquiring her first love and learning deal with heartbreak, to Tibby dealing with existential and internal struggles.

These encapsulated the coming-of-age genre of films, pelting lesson-after-lesson at us that they were basically prepping us for the lemons that come with maturity so that we’d be able to make a semblance of lemonade (at some point).

These films finely imprinted on us, at the foremost, the need to form everlasting bonds and sisterhoods—ones that stood the test of time and whatever life threw our way, even if it might be something as small as spending a summer apart—and that those kinds come from the most unexpected places. For Jazz, it was her tether to a sense of normalcy and establishing roots after moving schools and leaving friends behind (because really, when the internet was new and cellphones were just for the adults, how do you stay in touch all the time?).

We’re drawn to keep coming back to these four girls, because while the lessons remain the same, watching them during different eras of our lives just helps make them make more sense. We see so much of ourselves in their journeys of growth as we grapple with truths on our own journeys.

To this day, despite already sharing closets, we still wish we had that one pair of jeans we could share that made us look as good as it did on all four of the girls and have something special occur (unknowingly) while we had it on. 

But the numero uno rule that the girls left with us, when you see someone hot, you must remain calm. Don’t go falling into the sea because you’re drooling over a Kostas, sis!

The Devil Wears Prada (2006)

As one of the most iconic films to grace theaters and streaming services, this Meryl Streep-Anne Hathaway masterpiece of a film has us constantly dreaming about working in publishing. We’re 100% sure that we’ve still got Miranda Priestly’s iconique sweater speech memorized down to pat (we took the Buzzfeed quiz!).

Casting alone was phenomenal. Aside from the dream duo, this film also gives us memorable performances from Emily Blunt (“I love my job. I love my job. I love my job!”), Adrian Grenier, and even Giselle Bundchen. 14 years after its release, we’re still waiting for our sartorial godfather in the form of Stanley Tucci’s Nigel to come judge and transform us to Miranda Priestly’s standards. That aside, the film undoubtedly captures the velvety glitz and glamorous illusions that the fashion world has wrapped itself in, but held no restraints in making sure that the tricks behind the magic were not left unseen or minced off. This movie is one of the reasons that led us to apply for a voluntary internship at METRO Magazine a few years back (a tiny shoutout to our fellow interns Nicole, Bella, Ezy, and Megan) as well as to birth our baby: t à ∙ y o!

Because this truly was one eye-opening experience that has also cemented our love for writing and all things sartorial, we decided to break it down individually. 

JAZZ: The opening sequence of the film alone always has me at the edge of my seat, young and eager wide eyes glued to the screen, as I watch the disparity between the clumsy and awkward but ambitious Andrea Sachs and the easy breezy and sophisticated fashion girls like Emily—the lyrics, “suddenly I see, this is what I wanna be” has never rung so true. It literally echoed in my soul like a church bell tolling on a Sunday morning. Ever since I sat down to watch it the first time (even for the eleven thousandth time), it’s been a thrilling and intimidating goal for me to be able to work in a room with people whom I aspire to be in such a powerful industry that lets you see how the art of fashion moves and shapes the world we inhabit—seeing each piece of apparel (and its use and styling) as symbols of “iconography used to express individual identity”. While to many it is still quite trivial, the film has so plainly verbalized for me how fascinatingly the kingdom of fashion is a realm where everything from power and beauty and art constantly intersects. And so, despite all the horrifying treatments and demands that Miranda Priestly dishes out on her minions, it’s oddly safe to say that I am still wholly tempted to bullishly fulfill my starry-eyed ambition of making a name for myself in that world.

Andy’s persistence to prove herself to the illustrious Miranda, complete with falling over herself (but in Chanel boots, of course) to climb into her good graces, is something that I’m more than all too familiar with. I have always been one to work myself to the bone—often sacrificing a few things to make everything else pan out perfectly and prove myself worthy. While it is one thing that Anne Hathaway’s honest and truthful character is able to work out for herself over the course of the movie, I’m still in the process of being able to fully figure that some things aren’t worth killing myself for (thank you, Bianca, for pushing work-life balance down my throat). 

Though confronted with the two sided face of the glitz and glamour, I can’t ignore or shut out the three important life lessons—no, commandments—I’ve (for anyone who’s watched it really) taken away and continue to keep close to heart. No. Shan’t. Each time I find myself in a slump, I ask myself is everything truly worth it—both the pretty and the ugly truths—if it’s not the life you’re dying to have? Because if it isn’t and it won’t make you penultimately happy, then you have to really reflect and ask yourself the reason you’re here. In such a cutthroat world, imagine the girl you aspire to be and continuously show up as her, to be what you want to be and where you want to be, you’ve to project to the world so confidently until you get therebecause darling, the wolves will sniff you out and eat you alive. Last but never the least: girl, the work will be hard, but you’ve got to get your ass to the top, might as well make it look easy and glamorous.

JULIA: I’d be lying if I said I never dreamed of having Miranda Priestly metaphorically step on me with a stiletto as I scribbled down her every word as if it were law. I had always been in love with the art of the writing, but never have I been more inclined to write specifically for the world of fashion and beauty as I did after seeing this film for the first time. I was at the ripe age of fourteen then, so young and eager to make a name for myself in this world; seeing Anne Hathaway’s character, Andy, succeed in making an indelible dent in the industry by poking a hole through her steely Editor-in-Chief’s heart sparked a flame within me, bursting into a life-long desire for all things beauty and editorial. I know, I know: that’s not what the film was supposed to be about—the exact opposite, even—but her iconic makeover montage and the slow transformation of Priesly’s disgust-turned-approval made a bigger impact on me than I could ever express today. It’s precisely this reason why Jazz and I got into our first internship at METRO Magazine back in 2015, as well as the reason I interned (and eventually worked with) Calyxta.  I would even go as far as saying all of my internships afterwards have been affected by this very instance; every company I’ve put myself under have been geared towards the same ruthless yet intriguing world—all because of this movie.

I’m lucky enough not to have been put under the same kinds of pressures as Andy (I probably would’ve peed myself, if I’m being honest with you; thanks for being a nice editor, Gretchen!), but my determination to be part of that world stuck HARD. Today, as I willingly submit myself to the internal struggles of continuously improving my writing amidst our society’s continuously shortening attention spans, creating original pieces for online content for work, and facing the whirlwind experience of putting together, planning, and overseeing the magic of editorial shoots, my mind always goes back to this film. I am where I am and who I am because of this film, and every time I need a reminder, I allow myself to recognize my inner Emily Blunt because I, with all the sincerity my soul can muster, really do love this job.

But aside from the incessant need to surround myself with that kind of life, this film taught me the value of hardwork, the sacrifice achieving your dreams may cost you, and the deep, deep need for one to be in tune with their own personal priorities. Being prepared to take on struggle is always easier said than done, and almost always said in hindsight; but, when you know who you are, what you can do, and what more you know you offer, then despite what anyone else tells you, there’s always a way. Most of all, it taught me to recognize worth, to know where to draw the line when it comes to being handed unreasonable scopes of work, and to trust myself to do what I need to do for myself. A boss b*tch doesn’t mean being you’re your boss’s b*tch, after all.

At the end of the day, this was a truth we couldn’t ignore

If you’re in a binge watching mood, or any mood at all honestly, have a go at our quintessential films! Let us know if some of these movies have made an impact on your life or better yet, let us know what titles have made that impact and defined who you are today by commenting down below! You can also reach out to us via Instagram or Facebook!

Stay safe, babes! 🌸

✨ jazz

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.

💋 julia

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.

Easy New Normal Makeup Looks To Wear With Masks

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 Bright Eye Creme as part of her skincare routine. She also recommends the CONTEXT Vitamin C All Day Eye Cream mixed 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?


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 my Sundays 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 BEAUTY Killawatt 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 Palette in 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.


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!


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.


For this look, I used shades found mostly in the Morphe x James Charles palette, my most recent impulsive 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!

✨ jazz

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.

💋 julia

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.

A Reflection on Self-Acceptance with Karwa

It’s a tough world out there, undoubtedly. So there’s no need to be tough on yourself too. Darlings, you are enough. Every morning, every sunrise, every day.

Self-acceptance isn’t something people just gain overnight; it’s something cultivated through years and years of introspection, of trials and tribulations that test the very core of our existence, of moments both bad and good that collectively give us an idea of who we are and what direction we want to take. Like many people out there, self-confidence was one thing that didn’t come easily to the both of us. As individuals, we both found that only through hard work and persistent self-reassurance did we stand a chance at falling in love with who we are and how we look. 

The journey to accepting ourselves was a rough ride, and even through our growth, we still sometimes catch ourselves in a web of our own insecurities. That’s why when one of our good friends, Karina Dayrit (a.k.a Karwa), verbalized it into a mellifluous song with hard hitting lyrics that hit too close to home, we knew we wanted to share it and the powerful meaning behind it with you. 

But before we dive right in, we wanted to share what self-acceptance means to us:

What it means to Jazz: When I’m faced with the phrase self-acceptance, I think of it as synonymous to being enough for myself. It is a constant reminder that whatever the external world thinks or opines of you, your very existence does not need to be tailor-made for them. Self-acceptance is never doubting yourself in whatever you’re wearing—be it that loud hot pink sweater or an ankle-length skirt or your short pixie cut. It is about living comfortably in the body that you’ve been bestowed and rocking it. Many of our insecurities are so deeply rooted in flaws that are pointed out to us that we tend to oversee what truly matters: that through every phase of growth you are in, you are loving yourself each step of the way, coming to terms with your flaws, and keeping confident even without the final results just yet. So go out there today, unbowing to the standards that the world has set for decades, if not centuries, and remember that real beauty is being able to stand tall and proudly declare to the world that this is who you are and you are taking no one’s sh*t.

What it means to Julia: Self-acceptance for me is really just detaching yourself from the idea that other people can define you. What they think, how they see you, how they choose to treat you—these are all things that you cannot control. The one thing you can control is yourself, and choosing to stay true to your nature, to go about your path with the assurance that you are being who you are because you’re doing what you love, and being open to the fact that you can, along with everyone around you, constantly change is what I see as the rawest form of self-confidence. So, no matter what you wear, or what makeup you like, or how you want to express yourself, as long as you feel that it is untainted by undeserved external judgment and truly from your heart (and not harmful to anyone in any way possible), that’s good enough. You’re good enough. Always. 

But, of course, as young women, we grew up around the concepts and standards of beauty set by society and the beauty industry as a whole: from clothes to makeup to skin care to body image, we were constantly led to believe that there is one type of acceptable beauty. Although the industry has been working around the problem of acceptance and non-conformity as well as learning to embrace facts that beauty is not just on the outside, it still presents itself to be quite a looming shadow for many people. While the beauty industry can be wielded as a powerful tool to create and uplift, it can also stand as a double-edged sword to those that fall into their intimidation tactics. These are but a few of the topics that this song tackles, so let’s unpack more of these in depth with the songwriter herself. 

Stream it on Spotify

To help us take a deeper look into her latest song entitled “Who Is She?”, we were able to catch up with Karwa this quarantine season via email (stay safe indoors people) to talk about her inspiration for the song and what it means to her personally!

Please introduce yourself. Literally, who is she?

Getting asked that question is sometimes difficult because we continually evolve as people; our careers, likes/dislikes, beliefs can actually change through time. But for the sake of answering it, here’s “me” at the moment: I’m Karina Dayrit, but I go by the artist name “karwa”, which is one of my nicknames back in college (with a sabaw story probably reserved for another chat). I currently work with a digital marketing company and teach yoga therapy part-time to my community in Muntinlupa called “Flow Village”. Dancing, creating music, eating good food, hanging out with my family and two dogs makes me sane, especially through this tough time.

What was the inspo to write this song? 

I was watching a short video clip of Yoga by Adriene where she was talking to a crowd about how she started creating free content on YouTube for people who want to practice and know more about Yoga, which has eventually grown into this big community. One of her lines during the talk struck to me: “What’s the point of looking good if you still look at the mirror and you don’t know who you are, and you don’t love what you see?” I was like, “Damn girl, you have a point!” At this time, I was kind of struggling a bit with what direction I should take in life and also body image issues, so that line made sense to me.

Can you tell us about your creative process when it came to producing the song and the video?

Since that whole line was so powerful, that became the root concept of the song so I just picked up my guitar and started babbling words until I got into the flow of writing. I collaborated with my co-workers and friends who are into beauty, fashion, and make-up vlogging to get their clips for the video. I wanted to highlight the mirrors at home to show how when we look at ourselves, sometimes we are our harshest critics and there would be moments where we don’t even recognize ourselves while looking at our own image.

We’re hoping you can share with us your personal experiences and self-love growth?

Ever since I was a kid, I would always be on the lookout for something to do, and I was always hungry (literally and figuratively) for more. This type A personality made me push myself to go after anything I ever wanted to achieve, but it would also make me stressed and unappreciative of my own efforts. To be honest, a big shift in my perspective happened when I got hooked into taking Yoga classes back in 2016, then went on to becoming a certified teacher where I got to learn more about the philosophy and the supportive community that fosters acceptance. It also helps that I have a very good support system which is my family and friends who I can always count on when life gets tough. 

What are your personal thoughts on the standards of beauty in society and the use of makeup?

What is deemed beautiful is subjective and beauty standards are always changing in our society. We are constantly exposed to messages telling us, “This is what you should wear” or “This is how you should look”. Over time, when such messages are consistently ingrained in our minds, we then believe that this is also how we should be. Sometimes that can be problematic because it sets us up to unrealistic expectations like seeing a brushed up model and thinking, “I should be that flawless” But, of course, you forget that some pores were edited in Photoshop. As for the use of make-up, I grew up with my mom putting very minimal make-up on her face. Her go to would be a compress powder, eyeliner, and a lip balm. She already has a beautiful face so I think she can do without it to be honest. And because she’s like that, I did the same – believe it or not my blush on back in highschool was me pinching my cheeks. Plus, I would sometimes joke to people that the reason I don’t put on so much make-up is so they can get used to my bare face and not compare it to an enhanced version of me lol. But kidding aside, I think make-up is also a form of art that has this amazing power to transform and highlight  our natural features which can make people feel good about themselves. Sometimes, when you’re feeling a lil’ ugly at home and you just put some tint on your lips, it can actually make a difference in your mood. 

Do you have any advice to someone experiencing self-doubt or insecurities or having trouble finding who they were, what would it be?

I think the first step is acknowledging that you have these doubts and insecurities and trying to identify where these all started and what triggers them. Are the harsh words you tell yourself your own voice or are they the words of other people? When it comes to finding who you are, girl I’m still figuring out who I am most of the time! Maybe we’re all just trying to wing it in life. Personally, I find it helps to keep doing what you love doing, have a solid support system, and know that things are always changing – even the answer to the question, “Who is She?”

Don’t forget to follow Karwa through her various socials! For more music and movement, come say hi via her pages below:

And remember to drop a like on the video

If you’ve got stories about self confidence and personal growth that you’d love to share with us or what you think about Karwa’s new song, please feel free to reach out to us in the comments below!

And remember lovelies, becoming the baddest b*tch starts from within.

Our Hair Care Story: A Journey to Loving Our Natural Waves and Curls

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!


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.


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! 

Hella throwback to Junior Year HS with my bestie. Miss you, Maj!
Umawra ang ate mong college na at bagong rebond. Photo by Aly Uy.

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. 

Oh, ya know. Just random quarantine shoots.

Fresh face and freshly dried!
Tested out a new palette in untouched, slept-in curls

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 scrunch the 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!

Peace out, happy squishing, and keep yo masks on outdoors!

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.

Klorane Ultra Gentle Shampoo (R)

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 condish method: 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.

Freshly dried hair after a dip in the ocean, no shampoo or conditioner rinse here!

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 Spray but 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.

There’s a shower cap underneath that terry cloth, fear not!

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.

Just a little quarantine shoot
Freshly plop-dried

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!

✨ jazz

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.

💋 julia

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.

A Day in the Life of Two Fangirls: Concert Experiences and Tips

Because we believe that stans together strong, and that we’re waxing nostalgic about our favorite concert experiences!

With the global pandemic uprooting what we all know as “normal”, the thought of attending concerts now seems like a fever dream that’s left just out of reach. While live streaming and YouTube content can satiate our needs to see our biases and future spouses—us girls can dream—for now, it’s safe to say that nothing compares to being in the midst of it all: the sore throat-rendering screams, the sweat-soaked bodies bouncing in synchronization, and the communal love for music that ingrains each and every concert experience into the deepest recesses of our souls. 

Right now, as the world is still testing the waters of what’s to be the “new normal”, we’re left with our memories and our deep, deep longing to be thrown back into the throng of fangirls (and boys!) and see our faves up close. So, to quell the ache in our hearts, we’ve decided to come together and recount some of our favorite concert experiences and everything we learned from them! 

To preface this, you should know that the both of us have seen quite a few concerts together, namely: G-Dragon (our first together), iKON, GOT7, Seventeen (twice!), and Troye Sivan—technically also EXO, if you count the digital concert we attended in Seoul. So we think it’s safe to say that we’ve earned our veteran’s badges. LOL! 

Ready to join us and relive our fangirl days?   


THIS GOES WITHOUT SAYING, BUT BE EXTRA, EXTRA EARLY WHEN BUYING TICKETS. As soon as those concert dates are up, write it down on your calendars and do not, we repeat, do NOT forget to set alarms for it. Julia once slept through her alarm to buy EXO tickets (in Manila, this time) and woke up a solid four hours later. Needless to say, we did not go to EXO that year. Don’t be a Julia. For online ticket buyers (especially for those wanting to watch Korean idol groups), expect a LOT of lag and the need for multiple attempts to get into the website, because believe us when we say that K-Pop stans are CRAZY. Have your account ready beforehand to cut the time needed to log in! 

It would also help if you and your buddies tag-teamed then split the costs afterwards, just to have more chances of nabbing those precious tickets! For those buying tickets in person, we’ve learned it’s best to go for the malls that aren’t usually as populated (e.g a smaller SM) because you’ll SURELY catch more people camping in the larger main malls. We elected to go to a smaller mall with a ticket outlet right when it opens and found that the line was actually pretty manageable! Just remember to be there around 1-2 hours before ticket selling to be extra, extra sure!

SEATS. Personally, we’ve experienced concerts in various parts of venues: from all the way at the back in Gen Ad for G-Dragon’s ‘Act III MOTTE’, to Upper Box for Troye Sivan (where organizers bumped our section to Lower Box), to Lower Box for SEVENTEEN, and to VIP for iKON and GOT7. It goes without saying that the closer you are, the better your view is, so when it comes to deciding your seats, be sure to have a budget set aside and to set your expectations accordingly. 

Every concert is gracious enough to have a gigantic LED screen anyway, so the view of G-Dragon’s gorgeous jawline was still very much visible to us in the very back. Keep in mind that VIP tickets tend to come in 6-digit figures, and while we do admit that it’s A LOT of money to pay upfront, the miraculous view of Mark Tuan’s biceps or BOBBY’s bunny smile up close are really unforgettable life moments. BUT, it also comes with the pressures of extreme body heat, being carelessly shoved about, and straining your neck because the sis in front of you won’t put her phone down. Besides, other sections have seats and the opportunity to set down your belongings–pros and cons to everything! 

It doesn’t make it any less fun to vibe in non-VIP sections, so don’t feel too pressured to shell out the cash!

LIGHTSTICK. A K-Pop concert experience just doesn’t feel really complete until you’re waving this in sync with everyone else to the beat of the songs. It’s such a special, goosebump-inducing moment to be able to see the venue light up with the lightsticks specially designed for each fandom. Many fan projects also make use of the lightsticks, and seeing them turn different colors thanks to bluetooth tech is just a whole ‘nother level of awe. Trust us when we say, you will experience complete and utter FOMO if you don’t have one in hand on the day, so canvas from trusted sellers months ahead. There’s a lot of sellers out there who do group orders (G.O.s) way ahead of time. Your lightstick will arrive literally in the nick of time for concert day. Do yourself a favor and purchase ahead. You will save yourself an infinite amount of stress down the proverbial road. Pro tip: your batteries should be the alkaline kind and taken out right after the event—lest you forget it inside and it leaks.

VIBE TO THE SETLIST BEFOREHAND. You can usually find these online prior to the concert, especially if the group has been on tour prior to landing in Manila. Being the addicts that we are, we usually have these on repeat for around two weeks (a minimum, at least) just so we have the main parts, like the iconic lines, down pat! It also wouldn’t help to try to know the lyrics at least phonetically, so you can still sort of sing along even if it’s in Korean and you have no idea what you’re saying. By concert day, you should be singing along like a karaoke pro! LMAO! 

MEMORIZE THE FANCHANT. There is NOTHING more heart-melting than hearing an entire venue chant at the same time. We have shed literal tears because of this alone, and trust us, you’ll feel like you’re part of something so, so much bigger if you join in. And if you’re a SEVENTEEN stan, then it’s also the perfect way to practice and jumpstart your rap career! 

PREPARE YOUR HEART as well as your mind. The experience will still definitely rock your world and blow your mind, but it’s best to come prepared. The crowd will be intense. The whole experience will leave you shooketh. Seeing your bias in real life? Girl, it might just send you to an early grave. So keep in mind that while the rush is amazing, keeping your wits about you through the whole ordeal will keep you first and foremost, safe. Your biases do not want your falling over yourselves just for them. Please bear that in mind.

PREPARE YOUR SIGN. What’s a sis got to lose? A chance to get noticed by your bias, or one of his members, maybe. Note that your sign is the same size as everyone else’s! So keep it witty and easy to understand—remember, your oppas are Korean. Make it flashy and colorful or maybe even neon! A surefire way to get them to see it is that it’s readable and eye catching. Also, be doubly sure it’s organizer compliant and small enough to fit in your bag too!

COORDINATE YOUR LOOK WITH YOUR BUDDY AND THE THEME. Something we both love doing is coordinating our outfits with each other, so we tend to wear complimentary colors or clothes with similar levels of hoe-ishness. For K-Pop stans, your groups usually have fandom colors, so we like to play it up with those too! Going to see GOT7? Green Ahgase eyeshadow! Going to the iKONCERT? Wear something red! Not only is it super cute, but it’s also so fun getting decked out for a concert and seeing other people do it too. Also, pro-tip: don’t wear jewelry in case it gets stolen, or caught on people and their hair. That’ll be a nightmare.

BRING EXTRA MERCHANDISE CASH. Both of us are notorious impulsive buyers when it comes to merch and knick knacks, and as much as we say we won’t spend on a thing, we WILL end up spending on the thing anyway. Our Troye Sivan experience is quintessential impulsive buyer behaviour: we walked in completely confident that we wouldn’t buy the hoodie because we were outraged by the price (it was around P3,000 or so), yet ran immediately to the merchandising stall right after the concert because we were just so engrossed in the moment and needed (yes, NEEDED) memorabilia. If you’re like us, prepare yourself, because it’s uber HARD to resist.


SET YOUR MAKEUP LIKE YOUR LIFE DEPENDED ON IT. Sis, when we tell you you’re going to sweat, you are GOING TO SWEAT–most especially if you’re in VIP Standing. We both come out of concerts looking a hot mess every single time, but do the eyeshadow or blush fade? No. Why? Setting spray! Don’t believe us? See the gif below for proof that setting spray saves lives.

WEAR DEODORANT. We don’t know how much we have to drill it into you that the sweat is real. Keeping your pits dry isn’t just for your own comfort, but also a courtesy to the people around you. You don’t need to add to the eau de sweat already permeating around you. Do everyone a favor and bring extra for that ate gurl who didn’t put on deo. Also prepare for random kili-kili by your head or your shoulders. It’s a bit gross to think about, but it is inevitable. That random kili-kili will find you.

SECURE YOUR HAIR. This is mainly a Julia tip, because she was dumb and wore space buns to a concert in VIP Standing. Do you know what that means? Her hair got caught in literally everything: phone cases, light sticks, hands, faces, shoulders—you get the idea. Keep the mane neat and don’t be a Julia

BUT ALSO, BE PREPARED TO HAVE ALL THE HAIR IN YOUR FACE. This is self-explanatory and is in conjunction with the tip above, but you will not exit the VIP Standing section without having a mouthful of hair on you at least once. And that’s not even the minimum, honestly.

FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, BRING A SMALL BAG. This is not only for your own personal safety, as it sticks closer to your body, but it’s also to make sure other concert goers aren’t being harassed with your big ass backpack swinging around everywhere and hitting everyone in the face. Stick to your tiny purses or crossbody bags or fanny packs and pack only your essentials: mist, powder, a fully-charged power bank, phone cord, wallet, ticket, lipstick or balm or gloss.

EAT BEFORE THE CONCERT STARTS. Do not starve yourself pre-concert. You are going to need all those calories (and a bit more) because concerts are just basically one giant zumba class but with your faves! All the jumping around, getting squished in the crowd, and dancing around? You’ll be burning all those calories, sweetie—and not just the ones you gained from dinner.

HYDRATE! Hydrate! Hydrate! You’re crying and sweating, the idols are crying and sweating, everyone’s mushed together; that’s a lot of water to lose in less than a handful of hours. They usually forbid outside food and drinks inside the venue and will ask you to surrender those upon getting admitted into the lobby of the venue. And because you don’t wanna prune or die in front of your bias, you should definitely hydrate while you’re in line and post-concert. If you’re a non-VIP, they might allow water inside but only if you buy from the venue concessionaire—but even then, you might risk spilling it on yourself as there’s a no cap policy in most venues.

DON’T WEAR BIG OBSTRUCTIVE HEADBANDS. This is as a courtesy to your fellow concert goers because they will sapak. We have seen videos of fans throwing water bottles at people’s heads to get them to remove it, so just don’t

BE SWEET TO THE STAFF. It goes without saying that being nice is a trait that everyone should employ regardless of the occasion, but being extra, extra nice to staff reaps its rewards. Take, for example, our very cringey attempt at sweet-talking a guard to let us take a photo behind the rails as the sun was setting in a really opportune angle. At first, he said no, which was to be expected. But we pulled out the “Sige na, Kuya! Mabilis lang naman eh! Pang picture lang po, promise! Tapos alis na kami agad. Sige na, po!” with matching pout and little-girl stomps and what do you know? He let us do our mini shoot! Julia’s friend even messaged her afterwards because she was a few rows down and was like, “Dude, what the heck? Was that you? LOL.”

This also helped during the iKONCERT, because we were already queuing up and filing into the venue, but it was moving at such a glacial pace that Miranda Priestly would have had an aneurysm. We were parched (see above reminder to stay hydrated), so Julia decided to hop over the fence to the mini mart across the street. Was that allowed? Technically, no. But once again, the miracles of being pabebe and utilizing your kapal ng mukha let her cross to and fro without issue. Fair warning though, but lady guards may not be as susceptible to such wiley charms.

DON’T BE AFRAID TO BE KAPAL MUKHA. Take all the photos and capture all the memories. For content purposes (and because receipts or it didn’t happen) we try our best to take as many photos as we can of the entire experience. Also, you’re playing the waiting game, so might as well entertain yourselves while you’re at it! Note that people will stare when you have your mini photoshoots—so what? It’s your experience! Soak it all in and have photos for keeps!

While most fans are calm and happy and actually very nice, it is unfortunate to say that some can actually be mean and rude. We’re not going to specify which fandom they’re from, but people will and do fight and push. You must double down and stand your ground, sis. Jazz has gotten into numerous stare downs and confrontations because someone had shoved her too strongly or picked a fight for no reason. But don’t think everyone is out to get you, though! There are a lot of really nice stans out there that will help you wiggle forward and even give away free things. STANS TOGETHER STRONG.

WEAR COMFORTABLE SHOES OR YOU’LL DIE. There’s nothing more boring than being seated during a concert, and trust us when we say that NO ONE stays seated anyway. Save yourself the pain and wear something you’ll be comfortable standing in for at least 3 hours. Especially if you’re a SEVENTEEN fan because everyone knows that their encore with AJU NICE is basically a whole ‘nother concert in and of itself. Pro-tip: opt to wear platforms! They’re way more comfortable than heels and will help you see better if you’re vertically challenged–sorry, Jazz. 

THERE IS A 90% CHANCE YOU AND YOUR BUDDY WILL GET SEPARATED IN VIP STANDING. So, we went into the venue for iKON together and were fully prepared to share this life experience with one another, right? Oh, honey, we were so wrong. It was our first VIP Standing experience, and maybe thirty minutes into the concert, we both got separated by the massive homogeneous mob that were the iKONICs that pushed and pulled every time a member moved closer to the edge of the stage. 

Julia was way too busy trying to track Donghyuk on the other side of the stage, so like a dummy, she followed him. Lo and behold, once she turned over her shoulder, Jazz was nowhere to be seen! Boohoo for Julia, though, since Jazz ended up right at the barriers and was able to get an up close look at the boys. It’s suffice to say that Julia’s regret runs deep, but it was all good in the end! 

To be fair, it wasn’t the biggest deal, because both of us stopped giving a sh*t after literally 2 seconds of losing each other and immersed ourselves in the experience instead because we’re those kind of people, but just know that separation CAN and most probably WILL happen unless you are very diligent with gluing yourself to your friends. Or, you know, be like us and just go with it, because hey, it’s still a once in a lifetime thing, right?

This is why it’s important to keep a powerbank on your person in case your phone dies from all the videos and photos you took–so you can recharge and find your buddy! Or, you can discuss a designated meeting place in case this happens, because it will.


STRETCH. You will be tired. This one is especially for those in VIP Standing: give your neck a good stretch to avoid pain further down the line. Staring up at the baes is beautiful, yes, but it can also be painful. No one ever said love is without sacrifice!

RE-NOURISH. Rehydrate and get some food because you WILL be tired and hungry. You need to stay alive so you don’t miss the next concert, right? 

RELIVE THE EXPERIENCE YOU LITERALLY JUST HAD. We have this habit of just sitting in some coffee shop or restaurant in silence just to check or exchange videos and it’s so much fun just basking in the realization that, “Damn. That really happened, didn’t it?” 

Troye Sivan: The Bloom Tour

CLEANSE. Numero uno to-do when you get home is to remove the gunk on your face and your body. You do not want to sleep in makeup, sweat, and someone’s kili-kili essence. That’s just not right in any universe. You will thank yourself for it when you’ve fallen into your dreams filled with your bias and you’re squeaky clean! So cleanse sis, cleanse. 

CRY. Cry because it’s over for the next few years, but also cry because you experienced it. 


THE BEER INCIDENT. During our Troye Sivan concert experience, one of the sponsors was San Miguel. Therefore, SanMig Light was being sold at the concert! And you were also allowed to bring it in! So of course, being self-pledged alcohol enthusiasts, we went for it. Not even halfway through the first half of the concert, we were already done with our cups. During one of the lulls in between songs, we looked down from our balcony railing into the mosh pit and there, to our utter surprise, was another SanMig Light stall! We frantically waved and got the bartender’s attention and tried to convince him if he could do us an immense favor by refilling our cups with another round of beer. After much struggle (a.k.a Jazz holding onto Julia’s belt loops so she doesn’t fall into the VIP section and the bartender standing on a couple of crates), we were immensely happy with ourselves by not sloshing the drinks onto the people below us. A couple beside Jazz blatantly looked at us as if we were either: (1) crazy, and (2) wordlessly asking where we got our drinks. We did them a solid and got them theirs, repeating the whacked process once more. To say our alcohol-loving selves were immensely satisfied is quite the understatement.

GETTING AWAY WITH PHOTOSHOOTS. We ramped up our confidence game and took all the photos. It worked to our advantage that we had each other and that we trust each other to take amazing photos for the ‘gram! Befriending the security and staff were plus points because they let us take photos in restricted areas because the lighting was the bomb. It pays to be nice to anyone and everyone, people! (Also we’re very pabebe, ask anyone.)

KUYA GUARD BEING A CUTIE. During SEVENTEEN’s Ideal Cut, we weren’t allowed to take videos with our phones—the heck, right? So, during the entire concert, there’d be this guard moving throughout the aisles (context: we were Lower Box) with a sign telling us to stop taking videos. But the entire time, he was dancing. He was swaying to the music, and every time he’d catch someone with their phones up, he’d get real close and dance into their video cams. So adorable, but also quite the hassle when you’re trying to film Mingyu dancing to TWICE’s ‘TT’. Grr at you, Kuya Guard. Grr. 

(JAZZ) VIBING BIASES. Being tiny has its ups and downs during a concert, especially when you’re in the VIP section. But the one thing I’m thankful for is being able to squish my way—voluntarily or not, but most often not–to the barrier up front where it’s only basically an arm’s length away from being able to touch my biases. In the iKON 2018 Continue Tour, Jinhwan basically just vibed out in front of me onstage for an amazing 10 seconds. I was also able to get a quick brush of Donghyuk’s person when he came down and ran by our section. Gosh, what a dream. During the 2019 GOT7 Keep Spinning Tour, I didn’t even realize how close I was to the stage until Jackson rose out of it for the concert exclusive AmeriThaiKong Unit stage. I honestly thought I’d died with how close he was. My sign was so forgotten because I got so caught up in the moment, I prayed to whichever deity could hear me that Julia would be able to take photos or videos of the moment in my stead as I definitely did not trust myself to do so.

(JULIA) TAKE THIS AS PERVERSELY AS YOU WANT TO, BUT JAEBEOM (GOT7) MADE ME WET. Like, literally. With a literal water bottle. Getting splashed in the face with water that was partially sipped from by an idol is one of the most strangely satisfying concert feelings ever, and it doesn’t help that he is definitely on the top of my list of the most attractive K-Pop idols. Unfortunately, Ahgases know how hard he friendzoned us as a fandom, so I will respectfully appreciate him from afar even as my heart aches—wow, drama? Wetness aside, for that concert, I also had an LED app on my phone that made the phrase “JAEBEOM BE MY BABEOM” scroll repeatedly, and it was the funniest thing seeing Bambam look at it, pause, scrunch his eyebrows, and tilt his head in confusion before completely ignoring me afterwards. At least I was noticed, I guess?


Each one is a different set of memories and no con experience is ever the same. Upon writing this article, with all the looming “new normal” protocols floating around, it really hit us hard that the realization of concerts not being a thing for a couple of years is too real to even comprehend. So treasure the experiences you’ve had so far, because you’ve literally no idea when the next opportunity will happen.

If you’ve got any concert tips or memorable experiences you’d like to share, let’s talk about it in the comments below! Or you can reach out to us on our Instagram account (@talktayo), we’d love to hear all about it!

As one of Jazz’s favorite authors have written, “Go to the theater, to museums, and to concerts as often as possible: it gives you a healthy glow!” 

But don’t be that sis and always practice proper hygiene and social distancing. 

Stay safe, lovelies!

✨ jazz

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.

💋 julia

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.