Local & Asian beauty brands flourish in the new normal

CULTURE VULTURE - Therese Jamora-Garceau (The Philippine Star) - December 30, 2020 - 12:00am
Teatime: Black Tea MNL’s range of natural, sustainable soaps and skincare made with different kinds of tea

No, it’s not milk tea; yes, it’s tea for the skin

Filipino couple Pia and Michell love handcrafted teas and were inspired by nature and wellness in every country they traveled to, so they decided to combine their passions in Black Tea MNL, a natural, sustainable soap and skincare line based on different kinds of tea: White Rose Tea soap brightens and rejuvenates, Matcha Tea exfoliates and invigorates, and Black Tea has antioxidants and moisturizes.

They also offer Tea Clay Masks for face and body, Skin Butter and Sugar Lips, a nourishing lip exfoliator.

“We strongly believe that having great skin doesn’t always mean having a feminine design, since all Black Tea MNL products can be used by both genders,” say Pia and Michell.

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Black Tea MNL is available at www.blackteamnlph.com and on Instagram @blackteamnlph.

Shine on: Stylista Hair Essentials’ masks and treatments

Up your hair game

Hair treatments needn’t be salon-expensive, as Stylista Hair Essentials proves. The local brand aims to up your hair game with hair masks, spas and treatments that are affordably priced and harness the goodness of native ingredients like coconut oil.

The Coconut Hair Mask is formulated with rich proteins and vitamins to tame unruly hair and keep heat-styled hair soft, smooth, and nourished. I like how it gave my hair volume, body and shine.

For itchy and flaky scalps, the Lavender & Peppermint Hair Spa has essential oils to relax you and natural scrub ingredients to gently exfoliate the scalp. It smells great, too.

If you heat-style your hair every day, the Daily Keratin Treatment repairs damaged, frizzy hair and reinforces your strands to keep it strong, silky and shiny.

Stylista also has a range of detangling brushes; the Large Bamboo Brush has gentle pins to stimulate the scalp and natural bamboo bristles to detangle and volumize.

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Stylista Hair Essentials are available at BeautyMNL.

Green beauties: Diwatang Maria’s Sinukuan, Makiling and Cacao soaps

Local, Green Beauty soaps

Born into a family of soap makers, Ma. Concepcion Macalintal is passionate about green beauty, so she created her own line of organic soaps, Diwatang Maria, named after goddesses who protect the mountains they inhabit.

Diwatang Maria Makiling is an orange soap combining papaya enzyme and Kojic acid to lighten melasma and hyperpigmentation; Sinukuan has oatmeal to relieve irritation and itchiness, while glutathione, Kojic acid and papaya enzyme lighten and brighten; chocolate-scented Cacao has no lighteners but shea butter and oatmeal to nourish, tone and soothe skin.

Diwatang Maria is open to distributors and Macalintal launched Project Bayanihan for her resellers to make a living during the pandemic.

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Diwatang Maria is available at Diwatangmaria.com, Lazada and Shopee.

Eye do: K-Palette 1 Day Tattoo Procast The Eyeliner

Pro-quality liquid liner that’s a snap to use

Scared of liquid eyeliners? Fear not. K-Palette’s new 1 Day Tattoo Procast The Eyeliner is professional-quality and so easy to use. The secret is in the brush, which has 290 strands at the base that taper into one extremely fine and flexible tip that makes it very easy to draw on a straight or winged line, even if your hands aren’t architect-steady like mine.

The colors are must-have in anyone’s eyeliner wardrobe:  Ice Black, Cocoa Brown and Azuki, a reddish-brown shade based on Japanese adzuki bean that I totally love because it’s so unique and flattering. And Cheryl Tan Chua of local distributor Beauty Box Corp. says that more colors are coming soon.

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Procast is available at The SM Store, Watsons, Rustan’s The Beauty Source, Beauty Bar, The Landmark and online at Shop.beautyboxcorp.com and other ecommerce sites.

Go for gold: The three steps in Bio-Science’s s k i n c a r e ro u t i n e includes celeb fave Bio-Gold Gold Water.

Economical, effective skincare for Asians

Bio-Science is a skincare brand from Singapore that understands the needs of Asian women, offering lightweight products that address premature aging, blemishes, dark spots, and dry skin. Economical yet effective, some users claim to see results in as little as seven days.

Bio-Science’s three-step skincare routine consists of the Bio-Water Foamy Cleanser, with hyaluronic acid and aloe vera to ensure skin remains hydrated while dirt and oil are swept away; the Bio-Gold Gold Water is a celebrity and influencer favorite that acts as both toner and serum, hydrating, tightening and infusing 24k gold into the skin; and Bio-Water Energizing Water Face Mist locks in moisture and can be used as a face primer, makeup setter, and all-around refresher that prevents maskne with Niacinamide.

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Bio-Science is available at Watsons, SM Department Stores, BeautyMNL, Shopee and Lazada.

Str8’s gift pack contains a deodorant and body fragrance spray.

Get it Str8

You might not be engaging in any team sports just yet, but lockdown doesn’t have to be about cultivating an atmosphere as stale as last week’s sushi bake. Thanks to Str8, an EU men’s fragrance brand that has as endorser NBA 2019 MVP, Milwaukee Bucks power forward Giannis Antetokounmpo, you can feel fresh, invigorated, and not at all like a couch potato with their line of deodorants, shower gels and cologne sprays with variant names like Faith, Rise, Live True, Adventure and Hero.

For guys, there’s a fine line between smelling fresh and smelling floral. The Rise deodorant spray and cologne pack subtle notes of citrus, cedarwood and sandalwood, delivering a fine balance between “just showered” and “feeling powered.”


Str8 fragrances are available at Watsons, The SM Store and online at Amorfia and Lazada.

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Follow the author on Instagram @thebeautytraveler_ph.

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