Quick background—I’m Bianca, a newly-minted entrepreneur coming from the depths of the fashion and beauty industry. I’m a big beauty girl who just got BOTOX for the first time. I was 23 when my dermatologist first brought Botox up. “You’ll never get wrinkles,” she said. I was a baby with not a single line in sight.
I remember considering it, even posting on a beauty Facebook group if I should take the plunge. It’s a pretty polarizing thing, with some people telling me they wish they had started sooner, and others shocked to find me thinking about it way too early.
Botulinum Toxin, more commonly known as Botox after one of the more popular brands, is a neurotoxin that temporarily paralyzes muscles. In the world of cosmetic procedures, this temporary paralysis allows experienced injectors to manipulate face and body shapes, create looks, and prevent wrinkles.
At 27, I still don’t have any prominent wrinkles, but I did start to get bothered when one of my nose lines—a horizontal line right between my eyes—started to linger on my face longer than it used to whenever I’d *involuntarily* scrunch my nose.
I ran to my dermatologist. It was time.
Botox, when used in the context of wrinkle prevention, paralyzes the muscles that pull on the skin. Less pulling equates to a lesser likelihood of developing wrinkles. Of course, I could just stay stoic for the rest of my life and never develop any lines—but that’s a lot easier said than done!
My dermatologist, Dr. Windie Villarica-Hayano, is a master injector who was able to use botox to improve my face as a whole. You can watch my video and she’ll explain each and every detail so much better than I could!
I got injections on my forehead, around my eyes, and on my nose. I didn’t even know I was causing all these wrinkles, but THE DIFFERENCE it made. Wow. I was in awe.
It was super subtle, and my face isn’t frozen at all, but I do feel like I look so much younger when I talk because my face no longer creates lines whenever I make expressions. It is definitely what I was expecting it to be…and so much more than that too.
It only really lasts for about 4 months, and then you’ll have to do it again if you want to keep the effect going. If you ask me, I’ll definitely be back. BOTOX IS YOUR BEST FRIEND.
BUSTING BOTOX MYTHS
When I told my family I was getting Botox, I had a bunch of violent reactions. All ranging from you don’t need it to it’s bad. Botox has such a bad rap—everything from botched and overly done housewives of (insert city here).
I can assure you, if you go to a good injector, that wouldn’t happen!
Myth #1: You’ll look frozen
White Chicks is to blame for this—don’t worry! You absolutely won’t. You’ll still be able to move your face like you used to, but less involuntarily. This means you could still intentionally raise your eyebrows, but they won’t keep moving as you talk. Less movement = less wrinkles.
Myth #2: You’ll have to do it forever
No pressure! You can do this once, and never again if you don’t want to. Temporarily paralyzing your muscles just saves you a bit of time… but you know what they say: a stitch in time, saves nine.
Myth #3: You’re too young
There’s actually no right or wrong age to start getting botox. There’s also no right or wrong time. You could start very early and prevent everything from happening, or you could also wait for the first line to form.
Myth #4: It’s too expensive
It’s actually pretty affordable compared to other anti-aging treatments in the market. One unit of Botox will set you back PHP400–PHP700 depending on the clinic. I got 24 units done because I wanted to cover a lot of areas, but you could start as low as 10 units!
I hope you enjoyed reading about my Botox journey 🌻 If you have any other questions about it or anything beauty related—hit me up on my Instagram @biancaalecxis 💖 I hope you also enjoyed the video—if you want to see more of that, subscribe to my YouTubechannel.
A big beauty girl, Bianca Mascenon is a newly-minted entrepreneur coming from the depths of the fashion and beauty industry. When she’s not napping or being a beauty *influencer* you can find her on TikTok or watching reality tv shows.
Hormonal acne is such a pain in the butt. So I road-tested the COSRX AC Collection to help kick acne’s ass to the curb.
When I gained an alarming amount of weight during my dancing days and my teen acne had somehow come back full force, I didn’t think that it was a hormonal problem at the very least. I thought the acne came with the sudden weight gain—a sign that I was just unhealthy and needed to get back on my diet.
I wasn’t 100% wrong. I was unhealthy. But nothing I was doing on my own was working, not even my tried-and-tested regimen of workouts and diets—that was until I ran into my tita who just so happened to be an OB-GYN. On the spot, she told me I most likely had Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS). She invited me for a checkup and advised me to get an ultrasound. A couple of tests later confirmed her diagnosis. A deeper dive into my journey as a cyster or a PCOS-diagnosed patient is a story for another day.
One of the main symptoms that I’ve been dealing with is hormonal acne. It is the worst. It comes and goes and has a mind of its own. There are seasons when my skin is glowing, but also the very rare moments where I look like giant pus (bad mental image, shoo). The only positive thing to come out of my battle with hormonal acne? I get to test drive a ton of products to see what works best for me. Side note: birth control pills do work, but sometimes need a little help to heal the ongoing breakouts.
That being said, I’ve been a big COSRX fan since they first launched as they’ve been able to help me deal with my skin troubles. I’ve been able to slowly go through their product list to play around and learn. So far, I’ve loved most of their products and keep my faves well-stocked. When the #14DayMiracle #AcneChallenge came out, I thought it was a great opportunity to be able to test drive their latest AC Collection meant to target acne-prone skin.
Before starting the 14-day journey, I was already at my wits’ end and so close to crying because of my painful, active acne and just all-around bad skin. I’d already tried almost everything at this point—TikTok hydrocolloid bandages, babying my skin, changing a couple of products, cutting out products, plant-based diet, about 10 packs of the COSRX master patches, MORE water—but hormonal acne exacerbated by the use of face masks? A really, really mean opponent! But hey, if I can still mask despite my acne, so can you! So no excuse, mask up when you go out!
A quick disclaimer before giving my two-cents on each product: in conjunction with the trial sets, I’ve already been using the Calming Foam Cleanser,the Ultimate Spot Cream,the Blemish Spot Clearing Serum, and the Acne Patches—all from the brand’s AC Collection. I really went for the full experience 😅 I was also prescribed Hyaluronic Acid by my doctor to help battle the maskne.
I wasn’t sure which one would work best for my normal (occasionally acne-prone) skin type so I decided to cop both the Mild and Intense variants when it went on P1 sale on their official store on Shopee. I was determined to get rid of my active acne and turnover healthier skin with COSRX.
Just like the rest of the brand’s product lineup, this is formulated for skincare to be more clinically effective, straight to the point, and at a reasonable price point.
CALMING FOAM CLEANSER
Hailed as the leveled-up version of their Salicylic Daily Cleanser, this Calming Foam Cleanser is formulated with not just salicylic acid, but with asiatic acid, and madecassic acidas well to purify, cleanse, and calm the skin. It comes in a minimalist, straight-to-the-point white tube packaging with COSRX’s signature clinical branding. It’s sealed with silver foil (which I always appreciate even with the trial-sizes).
THE JAZZY VERDICT:Feel-wise, there’s not much difference from the Salicylic Daily Cleanser that I’ve known and loved. BUT (and it’s a big but), my skin definitely feels cleaner (without the squeaky feeling!) and more purified with the Calming Foam Cleanser. The scent is slightly more herbaceous than the Salicylic Daily Cleanser, but definitely faint enough that you forget that it has a scent (until you sniff the product on purpose from the tube, hehehe). I use this twice a day when I do my cleansing routine.
💸 💸 💸 💸 💸 This is a definite repurchase for me and may finally have stolen me away from my first cleanser fave—the Salicylic Daily Cleanser, lol!
The Calming Liquid Intensiveis a fast-action liquid (toner?) that refreshes and purifies acne-prone skin for a cool, clear complexion. Its ingredient list includes some skin-loving components: propolis extract, lactic acid, tea tree oil, asiatic acid, madecassic acid. It’s the upgraded version of the brand’s Natural BHA Skin Returning A-Sol, so it’s definitely got a good amount of AHAs/BHAs to help bust acne-like music to my ears! It’s also got plant-derived alcohol to clarify the skin.
On the other hand, the Calming Liquid Mildis the gentle, soothing daily version with pretty much the same skin-loving, calming ingredient list that removes excess sebum and prevents further breakouts. It is free from any alcohols to help the skin maintain oil-moisture balance and calm any irritation. It’s EWG green grade (cool!), which means that it’s non-comedogenic, fragrance-free, silicone-free, oil-free, and gluten-free. The trial-sized bottle that it came in was translucent, showcasing the clear liquid inside.
THE JAZZY VERDICT:I found that each variation of the liquid is distinctive due to the scent, first and foremost. You could definitely smell the alcohols in the Intensive variant compared to the Mild. The scent of the alcohols honestly made my eyes water a bit and my nose scrunch.
I applied either variant with clean hands and no cotton pads—save the environment and also get the most bang for your buck! I found myself leaning towards the Intensive liquid during the evenings when my skin felt like it needed a little more help to purify and when I was producing too much sebum in a short amount of time. I opted for the Mild variant on the days (and nights) that my acne was more active and angry, thus my skin needed more calming and baby-ing. Listening to my skin and feeling it out day-to-day definitely helped with the balancing act.
Overall, I loved both variants equally. Okay, that’s a lie. I loved the Mild variant a touch more—but just because the alcohol and scent in the Intensive variant still has me scrunching my nose even after two weeks.
💸 💸 💸 I’m still on the fence about this for the time being and I’m not too sure I want to let go of my ride-or-die Son&Park Beauty Waterjust yet, but I do think a couple more weeks using this product might just change my tune.
BLEMISH SPOT CLEARING SERUM
This multifunctional serum made with a specialized formula clears traces of acne, dark spots, and scars by utilizing a new, methodical approach that controls excess sebum and balances the skin’s natural pH levels at the same time. Powerful ingredients enlist epidermal growth factor (EGF) to help acne skin to boost the production of collagen and elastin, 4% niacinamideto refine dullness and reduce hyperpigmentation caused by acne, and centella asiatica, andnatural moisturizing factors (NMF) to calm irritated skin.
THE JAZZY VERDICT: It has a watery consistency that feels like a toner. I apply this by patting it into my skin with clean, bare hands—post Calming Liquid. There is no sting, no tingle, no indication of it even being a disturbing presence in my routine. The serum absorbs quickly with no sticky finish. I love this so much that I use it in the AM and the PM since it is gentle enough for both.
It’s definitely overturned my skin and lessened the current damage that this round of hormonal acne has wrecked upon me. This product has absolutely calmed down redness and has pushed to clear any evidence of acne. A couple weeks more with it, and I’m sure that it’d be as if I never had a bad breakout.
💸 💸 💸 💸 💸 This is definitely something I’ll be repurchasing when I finally run out—even if just to keep in reach in case my acne decides to flare up again 🙃
ULTIMATE SPOT CREAM
This toothpaste-looking spot treatment adheres to growing acne, effectively and quickly overcoming areas of concern! It’s formulated with not one, not two, BUT THREE legendary healing ingredients—madecassic acid, asiatica acid, and asiaticoside (is anyone else seeing a pattern?). It gently and effectively dries out visible acne overnight using a skin-recovery blend of Zinc Oxide, Calamine, CentellAC-RX Complex, and Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Water. If this last rundown of ingredients made you go “???” then fret not, it’s all skin-loving ingredients!
The instructions that come with it advise to apply thickly on the spot of concern.
THE JAZZY VERDICT:It definitely heals without the weird tingly feeling that I usually got in spot treatments, but it’s not as magical as we would all want it to be. It doesn’t banish the spot overnight by some miracle. But it’s so close! For my small marks, it does the job and effectively dries it out quickly, BUT the bigger, and angrier the spot then the longer it takes to work! Although, using it for two weeks did prove some really great results. I do wake up with calmer spots of concerns. IF USED EVERY NIGHT.
💸 💸 💸 💸 Of all the spot treatments that I have tried, this is definitely on the same level as the Innisfree Bija Cica Gelin terms of being able to calm down an angry zit overnight, so I would still definitely repurchase it as an alternative to the aforementioned.
LIGHTWEIGHT SOOTHING MOISTURIZER
This nourishing facial moisturizer for acne-prone skin can keep skin balanced and healthy. It gives a light and non-sticky moisturizing sensation that calms and cools heat-sensitive and acne-prone skin. It is also EWG green grade, which means that it’s non-comedogenic, fragrance-free, silicone-free, oil-free, and gluten-free. The product is housed in a tube similar to that of the foaming cleanser—so similar, you could almost mistake them for each other if you’re not looking!
THE JAZZY VERDICT: There were days where it felt amazing to slather on my skin post-cleanse for that extra hydration lock. Unfortunately, after the first week, my skin was overturning and clearing from the niacinamide courtesy of theBlemish Spot Clearing Serum, so the moisturizer (plus my SPF) wasn’t sinking into my skin as much as usual while my skin was sloughing off. I would get weird filmy little balls of product throughout the day whenever I accidentally rubbed a finger against my jaw or the side of my nose. I panicked for a tiny bit of course, but nothing a little assurance from skincare veterans and former beauty editors couldn’t placate. With their advice, I opted to hit pause on using any moisturizer for the time being while my skin was adjusting to this routine.
💸 💸 💸 This moisturizer might be the next thing I purchase should my current tube (also on pause) of Embryolisse Lait-Creme Concentrate run out. I love the very lightweight consistency of it and the ease with which my skin can absorb the product. It really lives up to its product name!
Each pack comes with 26 pieces of colloidal patches that work to heal acne overnight, sucking out all that bacteria and gunk from active pimples. COSRX has three variants, including this pack that’s dedicated to acne skin. Each patch is oval-shaped and is suitable for covering several acne spots at once AND for covering body acne. It comes in three different sizes that can cover from small pimples to even cystic acne. The border of the patch is thinner—compared to its predecessors—to strongly adhere to curved areas such as jawline and hairline.
THE JAZZY VERDICT: From the whole AC Collection lineup, this has got to be my favorite product—and not because I went through 8 packs of these in just 1 month (please send my skin some help). The adhesive grips better compared to the original patches and doesn’t slide around after application. Plastering on the acne patch really helps me stop picking at my active acne (which is a huge no-no, it can lead to scarring)
I love how the shape is more conducive and flexible to healing broader areas that have acne concerns. And honestly? Much like those colloidal bandages that TikTok made me buy, this worked as soon as I applied them. You could really see the gunk being pulled from the acne and into its colloidal-adhesive embrace (that sounded weird, 😅).
💸 💸 💸 💸 💸 I honestly regret not listening and taking Bianca’s (one of my fave people I trust with skincare and my momma 🦙) word every time I complained about any acne. Would purchase these in a heartbeat 💕—in fact, I already have a shipment of restock on the way 😗.
In the 14 days that I’ve road-tested these products, I can confidently tell you that there was a huge improvement in my skin that I did not expect to happen within just two weeks. I do still have a couple of tiny active pimples (like 1 or 2) and some marks that still need fading, but my skin is definitely not as problematic as it was when I first began the COSRX #14DayMiracle #AcneChallenge. Check out the results below:
I could cry now for totally different reasons aside from despairing about my skin. I’m so happy that my complexion has calmed down, gotten healthier, is glowing, has evened out, and is “turning over a new leaf”. I always knew that I could count on COSRX to help me right any skin concerns or issues I have—especially when I’m dealing with something as erratic as my hormonal acne.
I definitely recommend the AC Collection line to any one of you who might be experiencing what I experienced or just have sensitive skin and have found nothing working for you just yet. COSRX has been a brand that I really stand behind and laud praises about any time, anywhere—I’m so glad that the AC Collection continued to prove what a great brand COSRX is.
I’m leaving y’all with some great tips that I’ve garnered through learning, listening to beauty gurus, and experiencing firsthand when dealing with acne-prone skin or active breakouts.
🧖🏼♀️ Always wash your hands before washing your face. You don’t want whatever nasty germs you touched before to rub and contaminate your skin.
🧖🏼♀️ Don’t change your WHOLE routine abruptly when dealing with sensitive or acne-prone skin. Identify which products are becoming your “pain points” while your skin is sensitive or while you have an active breakout. Switch them out for calming products and ingredients.
🧖🏼♀️ If it stings or itches, gurl, then STOP USING THE PRODUCT AND BABY YOUR SKIN!
Have a great day, night, and week ahead! I wish you glowing skin and luscious hair, you beautiful sunshine you!
Slay safe, babes!
A 24-year-old creative who’s got the starry-eyes of a shopaholic with an irrefutable love-hate relationship with carbs and wine .
We’ve got our shopping goggles trained on Greta’s Junkshop for all the cutest and well-curated finds we could ask for!
With the holidays looming in and our wallets at the ready to be emptied out in the spirit of Christmas, we’ve been on the lookout for the cutest new local brands and businesses to get our holiday shopping done quick and easy from the comforts of our little bed nests. While the economy is still weaning off of its quarantine crutches (albeit in a excruciatingly haggard and clutch manner) and COVID cases still prevalent left and right, we’ve foregone the annual rat race to the malls and turned our shopping goggles towards online stores for safer (and infinitely more convenient) gift-getting. Plus, supporting small, local businesses always puts a smile on our gastadora faces–especially when the wares are oh-so cute!
That’s why we’ve decided to let y’all know about this new store we’ve fallen in love with: Greta’s Junkshop! Now, those that may know Julia would probably have heard of the lovely woman who runs this shop before; Gretchen Gatan (known to her cousin as Greta, hence the name) was her boss turned dear friend, mentor, meme supplier, and chismis dealer all in one. To say Julia owed a great deal of her self-growth to Gretchen is a grave understatement, as those who have read our article on the ex-bosses that have changed our lives for the better may have already known.
Aside from showing our ceaseless support for our friends and local business (two birds in one stone, yay!), we wanted to be able to also shed a little spotlight all the people behind the products and why our hearts–and wallets–adore them so much. In today’s spotlight, we’ve asked the beauty blogger, editorial writer, influencer, entrepreneur, and girl boss herself to let us into how her shop came to be. Maybe you’ll be just as inspired as we are to start your own biz!
So we’re letting Gretchen take the screen to give you an insider access to who’s been supplying the cutest junk in our trunk!
Who is Gretchen Gatan?
I’m a writer and editor based in Metro Manila, and the blogger behind Greta’s Junkyard. Greta’s Junkyard actually started as a Tumblr back in 2009. At that time, it was mostly a dump of fandom-related or emo posts. Haha! Greta isn’t actually my real name, but more of a nickname that my cousins and friends used to tease me. And then Junkyard—because it was literally a dumpsite of my thoughts and feelings! The logo, which shows a little kid inside a trash can, was randomly drawn by my best friend when we were in high school. And it just felt so perfect to use for my brand—because it captures who I am as a quirky introvert who loves to write about her favorite things.
In 2013, right after I graduated from college where I majored in Creative Writing, I ended up working for a digital marketing agency as my first job. I wasn’t able to write as much as I used to, and so my boyfriend (now husband) built what is now GretasJunkyard.com, so I could still write about my favorite things on the side—just on a bigger and better platform. And that’s basically how Greta’s Junkyard started!
What is Greta’s Junk Shop?
Greta’s Junk Shop was something I already had in the pipeline as early as 2016. In fact, the e-commerce section was ready (thanks to my boyfriend-turned-husband who also built it). But at that time, I didn’t have enough capital nor did I have a clear direction for the shop. I thought about starting my own beauty brand—but didn’t think I could pull it off. Then I considered self-publishing my own short stories and novels, and selling them on the shop—but I wasn’t emotionally ready to put my work out there. And so plans for the shop just stayed under the “Parked Projects” list of my personal Trello board.
When the pandemic forced the country to go on lockdown, and I was furloughed from my latest full-time job, it put things into perspective for me. I knew it was a huge risk letting go of a fixed income, but I decided to resign anyway and focus on the passion projects I had parked instead—which included Greta’s Junk Shop!
The ideas just kept coming as I was putting the plan together. Similar to how I started Greta’s Junkyard, which was writing about topics close to my heart, I wanted to sell items that I know I would love and use. I stuck to three categories: Fashion and Accessories, Home and Lifestyle, and Pet Fashion and Care. If you visit every product page, you’ll find a quick backstory on how the item is an extension of who I am. And because the blog was celebrating its 7th anniversary last September 2020, I thought it was the perfect time to launch Greta’s Junk Shop: a curation of my favorite things!
Inside the Junk Shop
How do you curate the items for sale?
I would research on different local suppliers and get in touch with the ones that fit my brand. Every time I see something, I think to myself, “Is this something that I myself would want to have?” And that’s how I make the decisions when it comes to curating and selling items in the shop!
Why did you want to start selling these things?
I’ve always been an avid fan of online shopping ever since I got into the e-commerce industry in 2014. I know and understand the giddy feeling of finding something unique and affordable with good quality—and I wanted to replicate this experience for my readers and customers. I used to always joke that shopping online is just your past self buying a gift for your future self, which explains why every package from Greta’s Junk Shop is prepared like a gift using sustainable materials.
Do you have inspiration when it comes to the things you sell?
I find my inspiration in the things and people I love. For example—all items under Pet Fashion and Care are inspired by my fur babies, Booboo and Bellatrix. The floral house clothes were inspired by the dresses that my grandmother started making for me during the quarantine to keep herself productive. The sports bras—because I saw how the lockdown encouraged my sister and cousins to keep themselves physically fit and healthy by working out everyday. And the pajamas? Because I love wearing pajamas all day, everyday! So yeah—all items really do have a backstory behind them.
What else can we expect in the future?
I plan to continue looking for and supporting local suppliers. I intend to keep growing my portfolio of products under the three categories—especially as I’m entering different chapters of my life. Maybe someday, I can have a category for Baby Fashion and Care! And hopefully, when I’m ready, I can finally self-publish my short stories and novels, and make them available on Greta’s Junk Shop.
Our Cute Junk
If you’ve ventured inside her store already, you’d already see just how adorably curated these finds are. From workout wear to pajamas to fluffy slippers to cute polos for your own little fur baby, this shop definitely lets you get some useful and aesthetically pleasing items all while having a peek into Gretchen’s personality. Just take a look at the “Never Too Cold for Iced Coffee Shirt”–big mood. Getting our hands on some of the cutest junk from her shop brings us such happiness that these thoughtfully curated finds already have a special place in our closets! 😍
Penelope Pajama Sets
Whether you’re doing socially distanced slumber parties, working from home, or simply contemplating your nth existential crisis of the day, loungewear is undoubtedly the unforeseen trend of 2020. With that, we’re hopping on the bandwagon of living in our very own sets of loungewear!
The Penelope Pajama Sets definitely has us switching out our usual oversized ratty tees for something much cuter! Our match-y sets are the definition of ultimate comfort, so we’re sorry (not sorry) that you’ll have to pry out our cold dead bodies from these PJs. 🌼 They’re literally so comfortable we’ve now declared them as our new second skin.
With cute orange hues are very relaxing for the eyes, coupled with the floral line art that are just 100% aesthetically pretty, it makes for super cute gifts for all the girls in your life–your sister, your best friend, your mom, your S/O, or even for yourself (because we all know you deserve some TLC)!
Pauline Yoga Sports Bra
Even before the pandemic hit us early this year, our number one motivation to get us moving has always been the excuse of being able to purchase and wear cute sports ‘fits. Our go to workout ‘fits are usually yoga pants and sports bra! So color us extremely kilig when we were able to add these super comfy, stretchy, and versatile sports bras to each of our growing collections of sportswear. These are obviously the best of excuses to get off our asses to work out and look cute!
Peep these baby “trainees” in action featuring our new workout staple! (Hello, we’re open to being scouted, char!)
Pineapple Jewelry Tray
We all have our go-to jewelries and precious trinkets that really are just our ride-or-die. These could be gifts from loved ones, heirloom pieces, or even cute self-care gifts from your favorite IG shop! So it just makes the most logical sense that they are kept in an easily accessible trinket tray so you don’t have to go fishing for them in your baul of treasures. Also, what an added bonus it is if you’re a bit clumsy like us and are always loosing a couple small things here and there! Keeping track of your tiny trinkets and treasures is made easy with this lovely tray!
This locally-made wooden tray deserves the fanfare as it serves both form and function with this adorable pineapple shape!
Clawed by Ming Press-On Nails
While we didn’t get this from the store as we ordered our set from the very, very talented Ming herself (follow @clawed_byming and you’ll be dying for 10 sets yourself, we swear), we were pleasantly surprised that Greta’s Junkshop housed these on her site as well!
We’ve posted them on our page before, but in the event that showing them to you again would be the budol sign you need to add to cart, then here you go sis! You won’t be disappointed. These sturdy, beautifully hand-painted gems are EVERYTHING, especially if you need a little reminder on what kind of irreplaceable bad b*tch you really are.
Now, it is only fitting that, as your friendly neighborhood enablers, we cheer you on as you browse and shop for the cutest junk at Greta’s Junkshop. BUT WAIT! There’s more! As a super cute and merry little gift to you, our lovely readers, Gretchen has graciously provided a discount code exclusive for Talk Tayo readers and followers. Hop on over to Greta’s Junkshop and addu-to-carteu 🛒 to get P150 off on your first purchase (for a minimum spend of P1,000). Use code TALKTAYO when you check out your goodies 🛍!
Happy shopping and merry hols babes 🥰 Remember to slay safe always!
A 24-year-old writer, producer, and stylist who’s got the starry-eyes of a shopaholic with an irrefutable love-hate relationship with carbs and wine.
A 25-year-old writer with an obsession for beauty and an ineffable love for all things sharp—from cacti to hedgehogs to intense winged liner.
All glossed up and nowhere to go–but we lookin’ damn fine 💁🏻♀️
We’ve got drawers and pouches and organizers (each) worth of makeup, but there’s one staple in both our collections that has long been missing: a lip gloss. You’d think that since so many brands carry glosses that it would be an easy thing to find, but we’ve scoured high and low but have yet to find one that we can truly call HG. And we’ve gone through a lot; trust us on this.
Last week, we’ve been graced with the presence of the Gloss Boss (@racheldotph) as she sat down to talk about her brain baby, To Dew Today (@todewtoday), and her SHE-EO experiences (check it out here). As we love supporting our friends and believe in girls building up other girls, we’ve bought a couple products from her brand that we took for a test run for a couple weeks now.
While we cannot hide our bias for this brand, it’s with our utmost honesty that we continuously rave about these products and have collectively tried to convince everyone who would listen that this is something they need–whether they’re looking to replenish their beauty stash or just to look and feel good!
Without further ado, let’s get glossy and share with you all the reasons why you should #SupportLocal and slide your order forms into To Dew Today’s DMs.
A GLOSS:ARY OF THOUGHTS
With minimalist yet refreshing packaging and an innate sense of bright positivity that emanates throughout the brand’s core, it’s next to impossible not to be drawn into what it has to offer. To Dew Today’s overall branding ethos is grounded on giving beauty support for people who love to do their own thing. Each product that’s currently available is unequivocal in the fact that they are easy-to-use and effortlessly acclimatizes to the user’s lifestyle and beauty style
Above all else, we’re so in love with the fact that To Dew Today is the brainchild by a former HMUA who definitely knows and understands what many look for in a beauty product–having tested and used many herself.
ON THE GLOSS
Lip gloss is a staple in the arsenal of many a beauty lover. Whether you’re a kid with her first Barbie doll, a teenager walking into the halls of high school, or even as a school graduate a couple years down the road trying their damndest to be an adult, you need to have a trusty lip gloss on hand at all times.
Therefore, when we set our sights on the Lip Dew, we knew we had to try it. The goods arrived in a cute holo pouch, housed in a frosted tube with a pink cap. It comes with a doe foot applicator for easy use. Jazz’s favorite part is the cute little silver butterflies mixed into the gloss
So the real question is, what makes the gloss from To Dew Today special and set apart from existing ones on the market? GUHRL. It does the one thing that many lip balms and lip glosses can’t do: it’s multi-beneficial. Besides the obvious high-octane buildable shine, it actually does something more than sit pretty on our lips. In one of our earlier articles, we advised to ease up on the lipstick and lip gloss because no one was going to see it anyway thanks to the quarantine season protocols. Boy, do we take that back now that we’ve got To Dew Today in our corner! The Lip Dewis so light and wearable that you can gloss under a full PPE-clad ensemble (tried and tested, by the way).
Aside from having the incredible ability not to stick to masks, it also feels so lightweight on the lips that you can hardly even feel that it’s there at all. As girls who have tried countless glosses only to end up scowling at the sticky feeling and–worse yet–the annoyance of having a mouthful of hair stick to your lips with the slightest bit of wind, we appreciated how amiable this gloss was.
Plus, it’s so hydrating that you’ll definitely bid those cracked lips adieu with continuous use! Julia’s perpetually chapped lips have finally met a worthy adversary! It’s also knocked a lot of cult fave balms off of Jazz’s dresser–we’re not kidding!
ON THE TDT BROW AND GROOM
The To Dew TodayBrow and Groomis literally a fresh launch (say maybe a week new?), so it was a good thing that Jazz was in the market for a new brow soap and brow gel. She got so kilig when the SHE-EO herself personally delivered the goods. The sweetest!
The brow duo, like the glosses, arrived in a holo zip reusable pouch. The Brow Dew is housed in an unfrosted version of the tube similar to the Lip Dew but comes with a black, brow spoolie. Meanwhile, the TDT Brow Soapcomes in a metallic case like your usual brow soap containers. It also comes with two pink reusable angled spoolies–very on brand and very cute!
While having nice brows has more pros than cons (thanks to their beautiful moments in the sun), keeping them tamed and in line–whether for a beat or just on a daily basis–can get quite a bit troublesome. Jazz personally loves using the Brow Soap for when she’s going full out for a face so she could get some extra help in getting her brows to stay in line and fluffed up. It’s so easy to use; just a little spritz of water and you’re ready to swipe and style! For the record, Jazz really loves how her brows don’t harden from the soap, compared to other brow setting products out there, and is very light to wear–a feat!
As seen in the photo series above, Jazz filled in her brows with just a little bit of The Browgal once the TDT Brow Soap had had a chance to dry down and set. She did go in with a spoolie once more to keep her brows fluffy after the fill in.
On the daily, Jazz has taken a liking to using the Brow Dew for a little extra added oomph to her day. It gets her brows appearing well groomed without the hold and won’t necessarily set the hairs in any direction like a brow soap. It’s so simple and easy to use, even a newbie can ace it. Overall, this brow duo is definitely something people should cop and have in their arsenal. Even if you aren’t a brow gal, you’d love having this in your kit!
ALL GLOSSED UP
The way we styled our outfits and the beauty look for this article really reflects our personalities and preferences really well. We’re a well balanced out duo that way: Julia’s smokey edginess (a baddie in training) to Jazz’s airy and light freshness.
JAZZ. As someone who prefers a fresh look when it comes to makeup, I went through a lot of inspos that really reflected warmth and glitter. The lewk I settled on to project was a peachy red look that really highlighted the multi-purpose use of To Dew TodayLip Dew. And when I mean highlight, I mean really put her in the spotlight.
For that dewy skin we were chasing, I primed my skin with the Laneige Glowy Makeup Serum–which I love for how hydrating and smoothing it is, without a sticky finish–before putting on a layer of my holy grail base: theEstee Lauder Double Wear Stay In Place Makeup. To get the maximum glow and shine, I changed up my usual setting powder for theLaura Mercier Translucent Glow Setting Powder.
Obviously, I brought out all things that screamed glitter and shining, shimmering, splendid from my kit: highlighters in varying texture, loose shimmer powder, pressed glitters, metallic liquid lippies, and my trusty To Dew Today Lip Dew! Overall, this is one look that’s very simple and easy to nail down.
For my eyes–the focal point of my lewk–I swiped on some Pony Effect Metallic Matte Lip Colorin Gold Digger (hehe) using the doe applicator that it comes with–layering it twice as much to build intensity and opacity. You want to apply as you would using a normal C brush as if you’re using eyeshadow. On my outer lids, near my brow bone and crease, I had pat on my favorite Kaja Beauty Bento Bouncy Shimmer Trio in Orange Blossom with a fluffy brush. Going towards my inner corners, I blended in a tiny amount of Sundays Moderne BeautyHighlighter in Phoebe with my ring finger.I was looking to go blind from shine, so don’t be afraid to blend and build intensity!
I created a very thin, tightlined wing with my trusty L’Oreal Flash Cat Eye by Infallible, I usually start from the middle of my lids then follow the contour of my eyelid until the corner. I find that going in more than once will thicken the eyeliner (as is the curse), so I tried my very best to get this in just one go (I am very proud of myself and this skill).
Just before I finished off my eyes, I swiped on some mascara so that the gloss doesn’t stick to the wand or my lashes. I polished off the highlight of my look by adding layers of quite a lot of To Dew Today Lip Dew on my lids to really give it that intense and glossy shine. To keep my doe foot applicator pristine and my Lip Dew free from pigments and contaminants, I used a very thin cotton bud from MINISO to apply my layers upon layers of gloss. Safe to say, I really went ham with the gloss. A warning to many, be very careful when applying gloss on your eye makeup: don’t open too early and make sure everything else is set and dry before you go in with a gloss.
I swiped on a really great MLBB, Nudestixin Belle, before tying it all off with a top coating of more lip dew gloss. Et voila!
There’s always something about having highlighter dusted over every inch of my face that makes me so genuinely happy. I love drama; I love shine–this look really tells you all you need to know about me!
When conceptualizing this look, we both knew we wanted something that really, really glistened on camera; so naturally, I reached for my Too Faced Love Light Prismatic Highlighter (aka my most prized possession) and clutched it close to me, whispering, “This is it. It’s your moment.”
Dramatics aside, this look was all about capturing the essence of wetness, so while my hair could not hold the wet look (our spray bottle of water was no match for my uncooperative twists), I needed to make sure that my skin shimmered in absolutely every angle. To achieve this, I needed the help of a couple items before laying on the highlighter thick. First up, I needed my Smashbox Smooth and Blur Primer (shoutout to my Ate who just left this with me one day, LOL) to make sure the surface of my skin was all smoothed out. Then, I needed the L’Oreal Fresh Wear Foundationfor a nice demi-matte finish; my favorite thing about this foundation is how much nicer it looks the more you wear it, giving you a gorgeous natural glow all on its own after a couple hours of wear.
Because Jazz was going for a fresh peachy red look with a glossy lid, I thought it would make a good contrast to go in the opposite direction: a dramatic smokey eye and a nude lip. For this, my trusted James Charles x Morphe Palettecame to save the day, as per usual. I built a brown base to start with, then slowly packed on the blacks on the outer corners to give the look more dimension. I topped the center, brow bone, and the inner corner with a golden shimmer, then finished it off with a generous helping of eye liner–the thicker and more dramatic, the better!
For the lips, I wanted to keep it simple, focusing mainly on the To Dew Today Lip Dew. I popped on a tiny bit of the Sunnies Lip DipinFemmebotjust to give a little life to my ghastly lips before layering on the Lip Dew to achieve a glorious gleaming glow!
We’d love to hear your thoughts on your fave glossy looks (here or of all time)! Drop them in the comments below or share them with us on our socials! 😘
Glow all out but slay safe, loves 🤘🏻
A 24-year-old writer and content associate with an obsession for beauty and an ineffable love for all things sharp–from cacti to hedgehogs to intense winged liner.
A 23-year-old writer and producer who’s got the starry-eyes of a shopaholic with an irrefutable love-hate relationship with carbs and wine .
Drip, drop. We unlocked a secret: we’ve discovered the nectar of the gods were brewed into a skin potion 🌞
As we grow in our skincare journeys, we’ve come to listen to what our bodies want. We learn from them and, in doing so, become keenly aware of signs of issues or concern. This is so that they can live their best life and thrive beautifully.
We’ve come to an understanding that many products in our regimen contain the otherworldly powers of natural ingredients that the OG woman, Mother Nature, created. This world’s flora is one of the most mysterious and powerful elements of this planet. They have been a great way to supply food, an astounding source of medicine, and a fascinating fountain of skincare ingredients.
The ultimate goal for skincare? Effortlessly and consistently pull a Beyoncè and claim “I woke up like this” on the flawless side of the spectrum. While we’re still struggling to climb up the mountain and attaining that goal, we’ve happily come across a little skin potion that can help us cheat our way to rolling out of bed and just oozing with radiance.
And to stay true to our brand, we are so happy to announce that we are opening up conversations and dialogues with different people, kicking it off by inviting Yso to take the floor (or screen, lol) away! She’s the potioneer behind the magical elixir, NECTAR, and a lover of all things beautiful. We are so grateful to have been able to catch up with one of Jazz’s old friends from her high school days (in a socially distanced manner, people!) as she shares with us (and now the world) her new beauty baby. ✨
In the history of cosmetics, plant-based oils were most popularly used by the ancient Egyptians to boost circulation and deliver antioxidants to their skin in defense against sun and sand damage. Ahem, it’s time we gave Cleopatra a run for her money. Cue the drumroll!
The beauty elixir that I’ve concocted contains the luxurious oils of jojoba and argan, which are more elegant to use (and far more expensive to source, boo) than her favorite beauty oils: olive and sesame oil.
Nectar Hangover Cure was so christened after I woke up one morning after cooking it up one day and using it on myself, having only had four hours of sleep, a midnight snack of chocolate mug cake, and- I’m ashamed to admit- only four glasses of water the day prior. And yet looking in the mirror, I was honest-to-goodness surprised to find myself radiant when I should have looked like a wreck. Though the bags under my eyes were present, they more closely resembled the coveted aegyo-sal (cute eye fat) than they did hollow and tired panda-esque eyes. I was able to cheat my way to looking like I had a complete 8 hours of sleep and the prescribed 8 glasses of water a day ✨
Used in the daytime, my glow was such that I found I was able to go about my day without the need to use a highlighter- or any makeup for that matter- for that “lit-from-within: effect. Side note: one must always try to achieve the optimal level of glow through skincare rather than makeup, to achieve the most natural je ne sais quoi.
Self-care and beauty in my book is all about the experience. Beyond the old-world, floral, herbaceous scent and rich oil feel of Nectar, the creation process is particularly special. Handcrafting this from garden to shelf in small batches, knowing that I’ve stuffed this with only the highest quality ingredients, skipped the fillers, and formulated this to suit skin in the Philippine climate, I’m excited to share this potent, luxurious skin food with everyone!
NectarHangover Cure Face Oilis a potent, organic, cruelty-free beauty serum of natural antioxidants, vitamins, and essential amino acids—loaded with all sorts of skin boosting nutrients. This plant-based hydrating serum works to soothe skin and promote overnight rejuvenation—whether you were up till the crack of dawn for midterms, vodka, or Netflix. Waking up with tighter, radiant, and balanced skin
INGREDIENTS: golden jojoba oil. argan oil. apricot seed oil. AFRICAN MARIGOLD extract. mulberry fruit extract. lavender extract. jasmine flower extract. rosa damascena essential oil. English lavender essential oil. immortelle essential oil. vitamin E oil.
African marigolds help to repair skin damage and irritation, and reduce itchiness, sensitivity, and dryness. This works wonders on eczema and dermatitis. It encourages skin healing by strengthening the moisture barrier, thereby protecting skin from photo-aging, free radical irritation, and other environmental stressors.
Each bottle of clean skinfood is carefully formulated to be organic plant-based that are handcrafted in small batches and never tested on animals (just me and my sister), making it cruelty-free.
This infusion also has antibacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-inflammatory properties. (Don’t worry acne-prone loves, this is non-comedogenic and works to soothe breakouts, not exacerbate them!) It even balances sebum production, making this suitable for all skin types. I took care to use the lightest base oils (golden jojoba, argan oil, apricot seed oil) possible to suit the humid and tropical climate that our country is known for. Oily skin types can use Nectar alone or mixed into gel moisturizers; I love it with Celeteque Hydration—it’s my holy grail recommendation from Watsons.
Dry skin types can add a few drops to their thicker moisturizers for the antioxidant boost. A lot of love, research, and patience went into this bottle. From sourcing ingredients, growing and harvesting the plants, drying the marigolds and lavender, studying the chemistry, sterilizing tools and containers, experimenting with formulation, testing for adverse reactions on myself and on my family, I put a lot of love, research, and patience into each bottle. Now, at last, Nectar is ready! ♡ I’m finally an albularyo..
For any fellow witch doctors out there, this process is simultaneously easier and more difficult than you’d expect. I’ve gone through a couple fretful challenges like growing your plants for the best and most bountiful yields. I’ve also had to fight off hordes of pests—those damned slugs and snails won’t give me a moment’s rest in this monsoon season, they chewed through half of my marigolds a few weeks back. Drying herbs and fighting mold with this humidity can be a nightmare—I’ve wracked my brain and tried it all: oven drying, sun drying, silica gel, and dehydrators. I’ve also come to the realization that sterilization is so much more than washing with soap and water, going through an extensive process to make sure all the tools are clean and ready to use. My measuring apparatus has grown in quantity as my brewing process requires beakers, graduated cylinders, pipettes, and a weighing scale.
It’s a ride, let me tell you, but the results have proven to be well worth it.
Stay magic, witches.
PS. I only produce this in small quantities to ensure high quality infusion and to keep my plants healthy and happy
If you’re in the PH and want to give Nectar Hangover Cure a go, follow and hit up Ysobel on her Instagram (@ysoluna) so you can watch out for her next batch of skinfood potions!
A 22 year old hedonist in search of all things beautiful, an apostle to the church of skincare, an archenemy of the common garden snail, and “alipin” to cats everywhere.