Fashion and Beauty

All set to reset: Beauty inventions from Korea and beyond

Kata Dayanghirang - Philstar.com
All set to reset: Beauty inventions from Korea and beyond
Among actress Heart Evangelista's beauty secrets are LED Lift Wands for eyes and face.

MANILA, Philippines — Staying at home doesn't mean one can't look polished especially when attending online classes or meetings. There is still the need to look presentable as it helps boost one's confidence and gives a sense of respectability. 

Prep your holiday look with these beauty tips and new launches that aim to address one's skin and wellbeing concerns while on lockdown.

One-stop shop for ‘hard-to-find’ beauty ‘holy grails’

The 1,000-square-meter space was designed by Malherbe Paris, the interior design and branding agency that worked on brands like Sephora, L’Occitane and Hera.
Photo release


Since many beauty mavens find it hard to travel nowadays due to COVID-19 restrictions, many cannot buy their usual beauty loots from abroad. 

For beauty junkies looking for so-called “hard-to-find” brands, Look Philippines recently opened in SM Aura as a multi-brand beauty concept with a 1,000-square-meter space designed by Malherbe Paris, the interior design and branding agency that worked on brands like Sephora, L’Occitane and Hera.

What makes Look unique, according to the brand, is its Shop Concepts such as NARS, Laura Mercier, Innisfree, Laneige, Clarins, Aveda, Makeup Forever, Shiseido and Benefit. Fans of COSRX would be glad to know that it is launching its first ever flagship store in the country through Look.

The store aims to become a candy store for beauty lovers with over 130 international and exclusive cosmetics, skin, fragrance and nail brands such as The Ordinary, Klavuu, Glam Up, Dr. Ceuracle, Jumiso, Son & Park, Acwell, Papa Recipe & Day Mellow and VT Cosmetics. It also houses curated and luxurious brands from all over the world, such as Glossier, Huda Beauty, Fenty, Kylie and Kat Von D, as well as prestige brands like Shu Uemura, YSL, Gucci, SK-II and L’Occitane.

It also has special areas. The Special Area line features Clean Beauty (Apothecary), Mask World, Colour World for hair brands, and the store studio areas. Instaspot is a digital space for brand activation, while the Lister area is for members. Lounge inside the Store Studio where a Nespresso machine awaits guests for their caffeine fix. 

The shop also has its own four playlists on Spotify. It will also launch its own shopping site and app.

As opening treat, it offers discounts on brands such as Benefit, Elizabeth Arden and Innisfree Dermaline until November 30. 

Cuticle oil pen, express gel nail polish

Do-it-yourself 'mani-pedi' kit
Photo release


Do you find cuticle removers messy and sometimes even staining your clothes?

To remedy this, Filipino nail salon chain Posh Nails recently unveiled its Nail the Day do-it-yourself manicure kit that contains a cuticle oil pen, a handy no-mess oil pen to keep nails from cracking and to keep cuticles moisturized, healthy and protected from damage due to sun exposure, excessive cold, salty or soap water and chlorination.

Apart from the pen, the kit also includes nail clippers, a dual-sided nail file with 180 and 220 grit, a buffing block with 240 grit, an angled touch up brush, a nail brush, a hangnail nipper, a pusher, a mist sprayer and an acetone-free polish remover. 

Designed by Posh Nails Chief Executive Officer and President Cat Ilacad, the handy tool kit was fashioned for beginners.
“My concept for the Nail The Day kit is self-care made easy,” Ilacad shared. 

“When our stores had to close in keeping with community quarantine guidelines, most of my friends were asking me how they can take care of their nails. Creating this kit was already part of our timeline for the business, but we had to launch ahead of time because of the requests of friends.” 

Each kit, now available in Poshnails.com.ph, also comes with a step-by-step guide on how to do a manicure, a fun sticker sheet, and a clear travel-friendly pouch. 

Of course, no “mani-pedi” session would be complete without a coat or two of one's favorite color. The kit comes with two bottles of Happy Skin x Posh Nails Express Gel Polish in choices of classic nail polish shades. The color combinations of Pink and White or Red and Nude that come with the DIY kits were created in collaboration with local beauty brand Happy Skin. The polishes are made with a long-wearing formula that dries quickly and cures in natural light with no ultraviolet lamp needed.

Gold foil mask, flower serums, eye cream for entire face

Gold foil mask
AHC via Shopee


One might think that staying indoors means not being exposed to the sun's harmful rays. It is not true, however, as the blue light emitted by electronic devices are as harmful as the sun's rays. This can reportedly darken the skin by two shades and reduce skin barrier recovery rate up to 40%, which may lead to skin redness and irritation. 

Also known as hyaluronan, Hyaluronic acid is a clear, gooey substance naturally produced by the body. It is most commonly found in the skin, eyes and connective tissues. Its main use is to retain moisture and keep tissues moist and well-lubricated. Unfortunately, due to aging, Hyaluronic acid depletes as years go by, causing formation of wrinkles and other signs of aging.

To protect the skin barrier, Korean skincare brand AHC offers the Hydra Gold Foil Mask with a bottle of serum including Hyaluronic acid and a patented ingredient for lasting hydration and resilience. It is made of a patented three-layered sheet that prevents evaporation of the ampoule to help the skin absorb the bottle of serum in full. 

The brand also has Natural Essential Masks for lifting, brightening, nourishing and calming the skin. For best results, refrigerate the masks until the thermometer on the pack turns green.

Available in Lazada, Zalora, Shopee and Beauty MNL, AHC also offers a brightening line of serum and spot corrector called Peony Bright. It is produced in Gangwon-do, said to be the cleanest province in Korea that is known for its pristine beauty. To yield the brightening effects, the essence from pink peony is enriched as it goes through the K-Ferment Technique, an essence extraction technology inspired by the Korean traditional enrichment technique, Ihwa Fermentation.

As makeup artists used to say, if a beauty product is gentle enough for the face’s most sensitive part, the eye area, then it must be good for the entire face. Inspired by this, the brand also came up with The Real Eye Cream for Face, an anti-aging eye cream made with 14 types of natural peptides that are arguably gentle to be used not only for hydrating and preventing wrinkles in the eye area, but also in the whole face.

Topical treatment rivaling invasive procedures

Clinical trials on the Protinol, the main active ingredient in the shots, show that it has the ability to upgrade the skin’s collagen production in such a way that it can help restore “baby” collagen.
RFK Trends via Facebook


Studies show that the body’s ability to reduce collagen wanes down as we age, resulting in dull and saggy skin, fine lines and wrinkles. 

To help the body replenish lost collagen without the need to go to dermatologists or undergo laser treatments, especially during the pandemic, direct-selling company Avon Philippines recently launched its new Anew Skin Reset Plumping Shots, touted to rival invasive procedures with its patented active ingredient called Protinol, a serum that comes in individual ampoule format that promises to reverse seven years’ worth of collagen loss in just seven days.

The shots are the company’s most important breakthrough to date, said Anna Garces, Marketing Director for Avon Philippines.

According to her, clinical trials on the Protinol, the main active ingredient in the shots, show that it has the ability to upgrade the skin’s collagen production in such a way that it can help restore “baby” collagen.

“This is an effect that has never been seen in topical skincare products before,” said Garces.

Based on testing on skin cells in a controlled lab, Protinol has been found out to be reportedly the first topical ingredient that can boost the skin’s collagen types 1 and 3 levels. According to the brand, the skin is made up primarily of collagen and these two are the main types that hold everything together. Most products allegedly only boost collagen type 1, which still needs structural support from type 3. By boosting both the types 1 and 3, the shots claim to bring collagen supply closer to how it looked and function from several years back. 

To reap its claimed benefits, like smoothening fine lines “in just seven days,” the 130-year-old company recommends using seven-day shots once a month, as the third step in one’s beauty regimen after cleanser and toner, followed by eye cream and day or night cream.

Foldable bra

Actress Jennylyn Mercado
Avon Philippines via Facebook


Traditionally, bras are stored with cups stacked together to keep them in shape. 

To make bra wearers worry less about their bras losing shape when packed for travel or washed in a washing machine, Avon recently launched its new Blair Bra, its first foldable bra with Roll & Go memory foam that makes it adaptable to processes such as washing, spin drying and folding.

The Blair Bra comes after the brand launched Empower Bra, its first ever Mastectomy Bra in time for Breast Cancer Awareness Month, celebrated every October. For every sale of the Empower Bra, the Breast Cancer Promise Umbrella and Tote Bag Set, and Evita Watch, P50 was donated to the Philippine Cancer Society. One can still continue to donate to this cause through BPI Account number: 0141-0431-53 or GCash Account number: 0917-5372662.

"Boob Talk," a breast care catch-up, was held last October 10 with Dr. Gia Sison, Dr. Rachel Rosario of the Philippine Cancer Society, brand ambassador Daniel Matsunaga, TV host and news anchor Dianne Medina, and event host Myrza Sison. 

Franz Tolentino, a breast cancer survivor and active Avon representative, shared her personal stories about fighting the Big C. To raise funds in an entertaining way, the "Shaped for More with Morrisette: The BOOBwatch Fundraising Concert" was streamed via Facebook, with more than 5,700 of viewers tuning in. Morrisette sang hits by Adele, Jessie J, and some of her own hit songs. 

“I am excited to be part of this campaign because I believe in their Breast Care Promise. Prevention is always better than cure. Our health is not something we want to compromise. We are shaped for more and we should not let anything or anyone hold us back from achieving our purpose," the singer remarked before the online concert. 

Likewise, a “Fitness Dance-a-thon” was streamed live on Facebook for one and a half hours. Jason and James Zamora with James Gaddi taught the viewers a quick Tiktok dance tutorial that shows how easy and fast it is to do a breast check.

Collagen with muscle mass benefits

While people may be familiar with collagen when it comes to skincare, collagen also play a valuable role in joint cartilage and muscle regeneration.
Recogen via Facebook


Collagen peptide is a chain of amino acids that acts as a connective tissue for skin and bones. It is a type of protein that provides structure to the body’s bones, skin, tendons and ligaments and is naturally produced by the body to act as chains, connecting different joints in the body and improving skin elasticity.

While people may be familiar with collagen when it comes to skincare, collagen also play a valuable role in joint cartilage and muscle regeneration. Collagen contains the amino acids proline and glycine, which help in muscle growth.

For people into an active lifestyle, Recogen, distributed by Dyna Drug Corp. and available via Goodwill Market website, is a nutritional and diet supplement with collagen peptides that play an important role in joint cartilage regeneration and building muscle mass. 

Reportedly made with 100% Bioactive Collagen Peptides from Germany, Recogen helps repair and renew cartilage for strong joints. A joint clinical trial carried out by Harvard Medical School and Tufts Medical Center in 2011 showed that the food supplement can reportedly improve cartilage tissue in 48 weeks, helping prevent joint conditions such as Osteoarthritis. 

Multiple studies also show that, alongside regular exercise, collagen supplements help build more muscle mass as opposed to exercising alone. Since athlete use their muscles more often, their muscles are more prone to getting worn out at an earlier age.

Moisturizing Kojic acid 

The beauty line's new HydroMoist formula aims to counter Kojic acid's drying effects.  
Kojiesan via Facebook


Kojic acid, the by-product of fermenting malting rice, has been found not only useful in making Japanese rice wine sake, but also in lightening and reducing dark spots on skin. Since it is still an acid, however, it can make the skin dry.

As remedy, Kojiesan recently unveiled its soap, toner, body wash and lotion line that still has the  Zero Pigment Light technology for lightening dark spots, age spots, scars, melasma and hyperpigmentation. But this time, the line is now infused with HydroMoist formula, which promises to help keep skin moisturized and well-hydrated for up to 24 hours. The newly formulated line is available at all leading supermarkets and drugstores nationwide, as well as Kojiesan’s official LazMall on Lazada and Beauty MNL.

The innovation goes with the brand's “Command Beauty” campaign that shuns restrictive beauty standards and espouses embracing one's meaning of beauty. 

Bamboo charcoal mask, snail slime

Snail cream


For over a decade now, snail slime has been used to make skincare products in Korea to stimulate collagen and elastin formation and protect skin from free radicals. 

One Korean brand that harnesses snail slime is Deoproce, with its Snail Recovery Soap. The brand also has black skincare masks made of sustainable bamboo charcoal sheet.

Deoproce is among the labels distributed in the Philippines by iFace, Inc., which is carried by new direct-selling brand NiXY, a new player in the beauty industry that boasts of a business model designed to make selling beauty easy, especially for those needing extra income during the pandemic.

According to its write-up, NiXY's business structure has only two levels: franchisees and business partners. This streamlines the process as the products from its headquarters go directly to the latter who will sell them to the customers. While the traditional way of direct selling is still an option, the company is set to go mostly digital with its own app and website. 

Another innovative feature of the brand is drop shipping, where orders are delivered only as needed. This eliminates the old problem of having orders stockpiled in the homes of direct sellers.

Stylist-turned-entrepreneur John Lozano said that the brand was created to provide livelihood amid these tough times. 

“What we sell isn't really the beauty products per se, but the opportunity to have your own business,” he said. “I think that's the best commodity that everyone needs right now.”

Addressing e-commerce packaging waste

The recycling rate of paper at 85.6% greatly outweighs the recycling rate of plastics at 42%. Not only will it take the honeycomb material two to six weeks to biodegrade in nature, but this eco-friendly alternative is also fully renewable.
Photo release


As Christmas draws nearer, gift wraps are also becoming more and more in-season.

L’Oréal Group aims to reduce the environmental impact of e-commerce packaging with global sustainability targets geared toward fighting climate change, sustainable water management, respecting biodiversity and the preservation of natural resources. As such, Garnier launches Green Beauty, an end-to-end approach to sustainability in beauty retail aimed at reducing its environmental impact at every stage of the value chain – from education, purchasing and recycling. 

“The past few months has been a very exciting journey for us as we accelerated our transformation to creating a more sustainable world for beauty, with a focus on environmental stewardship and social empowerment. Green Beauty is our springboard to get our partners, and most especially our consumers, involved in this important cause. We believe that through collective action, we can meet our bold ambitions faster, and give our consumers the information to make more sustainable choices,” said Supriya Singh, Country Managing Director of L’Oréal Philippines.

Garnier is driving the wheel for the company’s sustainability endeavors by ensuring products contain more than 90% natural origin ingredients, certified organic product ranges and vegan formulas. The beauty brand will be championing sustainable e-ommerce through Green Parcel, Green Spaces and Sachet Recycling initiatives with in-store retail partners and will continue to push for the empowerment of consumers through Green Education. 

In partnership with Shopee, Sain Bags and Econest, the beauty brand launches sustainable e-commerce packaging made of honeycomb, cassava starch and other biodegradable materials. Each purchase made from the brand’s official store on Shopee will be specially packed using eco-friendly sources and materials to reduce their overall packaging footprint. 

As an alternative to bubble wraps, the brand partnered with EcoNest Philippines for the use of the Geami honeycomb protective packaging solution. The patented three-dimensional die cut paper is made from FSC certified virgin kraft paper with an interleaf tissue that provides surface protection to prevent possible damages and abrasion when wrapping and handling parcels. 

The recycling rate of paper at 85.6% greatly outweighs the recycling rate of plastics at 42%. Not only will it take the honeycomb material two to six weeks to biodegrade in nature, but this eco-friendly alternative is also fully renewable.

In partnership with SainBags, the packaging will be made from cassava that are made from cassava starch and other materials from renewable resources. It is biodegradable and compostable, leaving no toxic residues and causing no damage to our oceans, waterways, land and is harmless to animals and plants. It can safely return to nature in the form of H2O and CO2, and in turn feeds our agriculture, making it part of a truly sustainable lifecycle. It does not contain a trace of plastic, therefore, do not contribute to the micro-plastics problem and takes around 90 days to compost in soil or a body of water, as opposed to hundreds of years for a regular PE bag. 

“By assessing how we work and the key areas of our value chain where we can find more sustainable alternatives, we can create a positive impact on the environment and give our consumers a better and more holistic beauty experience,” shared Isabel Falco, Marketing Director of Garnier and L’Oréal Paris Philippines.

“Our constant search for innovation and reinvention of consumer experience fuels us to lead the change in creating a sustainable world of beauty.”

RELATED: Less is more: Experts give tips to prevent ‘maskne’


  • Latest
Are you sure you want to log out?

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

or sign in with