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A Beauty Hall at PAR with the world’s best |


A Beauty Hall at PAR with the world’s best

CULTURE VULTURE - Therese Jamora-Garceau - The Philippine Star
A Beauty Hall at PAR with the worldâs best
Cutting the ribbon are (from left) Anton Huang, president of Stores Specialists, Inc.; Michael Goh, Shiseido Philippines managing director; Catriona Gray; Donnie Tantoco, president of Rustan Commercial Corporation; and Zenaida R. Tantoco, chairman and CEO of Rustan Commercial Corporation

Rustan’s Makati’s new Beauty Hall was unveiled at the Beauty Addict event “Seeing Beauty in a New Light” on Sept. 7, hosted by Tim Yap and Nicole Andersson.  Even the entrance to the iconic department store was renovated, with marble stairs lit by a crystal chandelier leading up to the expansive Beauty Hall.

Guest of honor at the ribbon cutting was Catriona Gray, with celebs like Hannah Pangilinan, Stacey Gabriel, Mikaela Martinez and Ella Pangilinan in attendance.

Rustan’s president Donnie Tantoco says the luxury journey of Rustan’s began in the city of Paris: “More than 70 years ago, when my grandparents — our founders — visited Paris, this is where they were inspired to bring the experience of luxury into the Philippines through the Rustan’s Department Stores.  The future of Rustan’s begins with our Beauty Hall.”

The Hall houses every luxury brand you could want, from beloved names like Chanel, La Prairie, Clarins, L’Occitane, La Mer, Hermès, Shiseido, MAC and Diptyque to newer additions like Tom Ford, Anastasia Beverly Hills, Cle de Peau Beauté, Maison Francis Kurkdjian, Malin + Goetz, L:A Bruket, and Grown Alchemist.

Rustan’s executive vice president Anton Huang says, “What makes Rustan’s special to Filipinos, in my mind, is the heritage and reputation that we’ve built over the past 70-odd years of our existence. That's something that we are very, very proud of.  Why do we have these brands exclusively in our stores in our market? Because of our reputation — our reputation for customer service, and our reputation for a shopping experience that we guarantee to be the best the Philippines has to offer. We took the time out to plan properly and come out with a finished product that you see here today — one that is of international standard and is completely comparable to any beauty hall that you would see in key cities throughout Europe or even the United States.”

I played games and won samples from so many brands, from Laura Mercier to Aveda to Neal’s Yard Remedies.

Guests who posted their selfies on socials during the event had a chance to win the “Best Selfie Award” and a P10,000 shopping spree at Rustan’s The Beauty Source.

“We're a community collectively trying to do extraordinary deeds, working for a purpose and a vision that's bigger than yourself,” says Donnie. “Everybody knows what Rustan’s is — it’s a legacy — and what it can be, and Rustan’s is here and we want to make those contributions in a humongous way.”


Until Sept. 30, Beauty Addict members can enjoy x5 Beauty Addict points for any purchase of their beauty faves at Rustan's The Beauty Source.

Until Nov. 30, for a minimum-receipt purchase of P30,000, Beauty Addict members are entitled to a complimentary Make It Pop Floral Jewelry Box from Kate Spade New York.

In the Beauty Addict Holiday Raffle, one winner will get a three-night, luxurious stay for two at an exclusive hotel in Paris, France, inclusive of Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer miles, redeemable for a Business Class Saver Award ticket to Paris. Beauty Addicts and KrisFlyer members are entitled to one electronic raffle entry, while Metrobank cardholders who are also Beauty Addicts and KrisFlyer members are entitled to two raffle entries when they shop until Nov. 30.

Are your tresses stressed? Get to the root of the problem

Are your tresses stressing you out?  Fear not, because high-performance vegan and cruelty-free haircare brand Aveda is back with a pop-up at Greenbelt 5, where they offer not only a wide range of haircare solutions for every concern, but also advanced hair and scalp-analysis technology that determines which products are right for you.

“This is a complimentary service that we offer guests in all our stores,” says Justine Qui, Luxasia Philippines assistant brand manager. “It's a process that enables us to take an in-depth view of the condition of your scalp.”

The scalp analysis takes only about five minutes with a gadget that’s a little bigger than a smartphone, and they can determine your overall scalp health, hair density, and even how many strands you’re losing if your problem is hair fall.

Studies show that the most common issues for both Filipino men and women are thinning and hair loss, due to stress or other external factors. To fight hair loss and thinning, Aveda offers Invati Advanced, which happens to be their bestselling line.

“At Aveda, we’ve discovered a plant-powered solution that not only prevents further hair loss, but rejuvenates the scalp and thickens the hair’s diameter using biotech natural ingredients,” says Qui.

Invati products have been proven to help reduce hair loss by 53%. The three-step system starts with the Exfoliating Shampoo, which exfoliates the scalp by removing build-up that clogs pores. Invati Thickening Conditioner can instantly thicken hair and provide fullness that lasts all day. Lastly, the Invati Advanced Scalp Revitalizer is a daily leave-in treatment to help provide thicker, fuller, and healthier-looking hair.

Aveda also addresses other concerns with solutions like Botanical Repair for damaged hair, Nutriplenish for dry hair, Color Control for colored hair, and the newest Scalp Solutions for scalp care.


Aveda pop-ups are located in Greenbelt 5, SM Megamall, Rustan’s Makati, and Look stores.

And now, a biological beauty brand

There’s clean beauty and then there’s Grown Alchemist, a biological beauty brand from Melbourne, Australia, that Rustan’s has brought to the Philippines.

Founded by brothers Keston and Jeremy Muijs in 2008, they’ve established such a solid reputation that L’Occitane recently acquired them, sharing as they do a belief in the wonders of plant-derived actives and how beneficial they are to the skin.

“Grown Alchemist differs from other natural brands in that their products are bio-compatible, meaning they’re designed so that they work in synergy with your skin, and they’re free of harmful chemicals such as lauryl sulfate, artificial fragrances and colors, petrochemicals, parabens, paraffins, glycols, etc.,” says Jo Ruo, Grown Alchemist’s head of marketing for APAC.

In their research, the Muijs brothers found that, because our skin recognizes natural ingredients, when used in the correct formula they can improve skin-cell health, optimize skin function and consequently reverse the signs of aging. And so, they decided to create a brand capable of transforming skin by using the purest active ingredients from nature.

After starting with a core line of 10 products, after 15 years the brand has grown to 80 SKUs. Rustan’s has brought in the top 25 bestsellers, and the brand has created a universal routine to fit their Philippine customers. “The Philippines is the first country that launched in all of Asia, so it has a very, very special place in our hearts,” Ruo noted.

In Grown Alchemist’s system of “Cleanse, Detox, Activate,” there are four key products. First, the Gentle Gel Facial Cleanser, which is so mild you can cleanse twice without stripping your skin.

Highly recommended is the award-winning Instant Smoothing Serum, which Ruo calls “the Cinderella serum” because it has the fairy godmother’s power to transform, with three weights of hyaluronic acid that hydrate skin from top to bottom.

Hydra-Repair Day Cream empowers skin with plant-derived actives like aloe and vitamin E. With its silky texture, this moisturizer doubles as a priming base for makeup application, smoothing the look of pores and leaving a blurred canvas.

Lastly, the bestselling Age Repair Gel Mask is a lightweight, regenerating gel mask formulated with rambutan, pomegranate extract and green tea, proven to be highly effective in firming skin to deliver a radiant, rejuvenated look.


Grown Alchemist is available at Rustan’s The Beauty Source.

Cinderella routine: Grown Alchemist’s Instant Smoothing Serum is available at Rustan’s.

These customizable eye and face palettes are a beauty bargain

Issy & Co. recently released a customizable eye- and face-palette system, and the 54-pan introductory collection features 32 eye shadows, nine powder blushes, three powder bronzers and three powder highlighters that you can insert into travel-friendly metal palettes.

The high level of pigmentation, buttery texture and blendability of all these powders is of professional quality, and the prices — ranging from P149 for an eyeshadow single to P249 for blush and P299 for the fillable palette itself — are a bargain.

If you don’t know where to start, Issy has pre-curated palettes like Sundown, containing warm-toned eyeshadows and shimmers; Courtesan, full of rosy tones; and Spacecraft, housing all cool tones. There are also pre-curated blush and bronzer trios and a Light & Shadow contouring palette.

My suggestion is to choose four eyeshadows (three mattes for transition, crease and liner, one shimmer for lid, brow bone and inner corner), one powder blush, one bronzer and one highlighter, and voila: you’ve got a complete, customized face palette you can take with you everywhere.  Beauty made easy indeed.


Available at the Issy & Co. official store on Shopee.

J-beauty that comes from movie sets

In 1986, a celebrated Japanese actress became concerned about her stressed skin.  Depleted from hours spent in heavy makeup each day, her skin lacked the fresh glow she craved.  Inspired by her need and the deeply rooted skincare traditions of her country, she began work on a line of pure and healthy skincare designed to deliver radiant skin on- and off-screen.  Soon she extended the benefits of skincare into a color cosmetics line, and Koh Gen Do was born.

Thirty years later, the brand is still a staple on movie sets, where makeup artists use it to give actors dewy, healthy-looking skin.  Beloved bestsellers include the Maifanshi Makeup Color Base, high-performance primers designed to color-correct and illuminate skin before foundation is applied.  This velvety cream glides onto skin, imparting a thin veil of translucent color that brightens dullness, corrects discoloration and blurs pores and lines.

Another bestseller is the Maifanshi Natural Lighting Powder, a radiant setting powder that prevents makeup meltdown and enlivens skin with a golden luminescence.  Finely milled for the most natural finish, it contains hydrating hyaluronic acid and precious silk powder with light-diffusing technology to impart a flawless glow.

Koh Gen Do’s Maifanshi Long Lush Treatment mascara is infused with Japan’s iconic black lacquer pigment to define lashes with length, luster and curl.  The non-fiber formula coats lashes with water-resistant polymers to prevent smudging and streaking, while moisturizing botanicals treat your lashes throughout the day.

At night, take off your makeup with Koh Gen Do’s Cleansing Spa Water, a gentle, alcohol-free cleanser made of Izumo thermal spring water and natural herbal essences like lavender and white birch sap to replenish and brighten skin.

It’s best applied with Koh Gen Do’s Organic Cotton pads, which are 100% pure and haven’t been chemically treated, bleached or pigmented.


Koh Gen Do is available at Rustan’s The Beauty Source.

Face tints that are your best skin flex

Careline recently released tints for the face, and they’re your best skin flex.  Makeup, skincare and sun protection meet in the Oil Control Skin Tint: Tone Adapt Technology provides a natural finish that complements all skin tones; SPF 50 PA+++ protects you from up to 98% of UV radiation; niacinamide brightens skin and helps control oil; salicylic acid helps minimize the appearance of pores; and Cica helps smooth, moisturize and restore skin.  All that for P285!

For color, Careline’s Whipped Cream Tints can be used on lips, eyes and cheeks. This air-whipped mousse tint in five shades is highly pigmented, lightweight and non-drying.  Cotton is a pinky nude, Cloud is a pretty pink, Mallows is a deep rose, Mousse is brick red and Puff is a purply mauve. Just layer it as desired and blend with your fingers or a brush (P220 each).


Careline is available at SM Store Beauty, Watsons, Robinsons Department Store, Shopee, Lazada and TikTok.

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