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Not only for good girls and bad boys |

Fashion and Beauty

Not only for good girls and bad boys

CULTURE VULTURE - Therese Jamora-Garceau - The Philippine Star
Not only for good girls and bad boys
Rose with cherry on top: Very Good Girl Glam by Carolina Herrera.

With the launch of four new scents from Luxasia Philippines, we have the capacity to smell like very good glam girls, electrifying bad boys, forever-young heroes and a million bucks.

According to Luxasia product manager Dana Barrozo, their brands Carolina Herrera (CH) and Paco Rabanne (PR) are both owned by Spanish fashion and fragrance house Puig, so they decided to launch three scents from CH and one from PR simultaneously.

“We’re actually working very hard in producing fragrances that are vegan with sustainably sourced ingredients,” Barrozo said. “Actually, almost all the catalog is now certified vegan and cruelty-free.”

Following the successful global launch of Very Good Girl, the fruity-floral in the red, black and gold stiletto — “We encountered an out-of-stock for the entire world,” Barrozo notes — comes Very Good Girl Glam, another alluring take on the fruity-floral.

“The stiletto design actually goes back to 2016,” Barrozo says. “When they launched Very Good Girl, the inspiration behind the design was really sophisticated women empowerment. And then the color is almost dark red, so it speaks of its notes. The top note is cherry, and the base note is vanilla.”

I’ve noticed a trend towards cherry fragrances recently, and Very Good Girl Glam is one of the best I’ve smelled.  I’m hooked.

According to Barrozo, Carolina Herrera has been exploring better, more ethical ways of producing the fragrance. “One of the ingredients is rose water, so the Carolina team was able to figure out a way to upcycle it instead of just disposing of it when they extract the rose.”

Electrifying: Bad Boy Cobalt by Carolina Herrera.

Another ingredient is vetiver from Haiti, which has become the heart of CH’s program Sourcing for Shared Value. “The objective is to support those who work to get the ingredients: they sponsor education and infrastructure,” Barrozo says. “So Carolina Herrera is very socially responsible.”

For men, Carolina Herrera has released Bad Boy Cobalt, flanker to the successful Bad Boy EDT and Bad Boy Le Parfum launched last year. “Now it’s an electrifying twist,” Barrozo says. “Again the design is the iconic lightning bolt, and then fun fact: the cobalt is actually found in the earth’s crust, so it’s a very strong material.”

This “magic spark elixir” is a combination of pink pepper, lavender, heart notes of plum and geranium, and a unique base of truffle, Haitian vetiver, cedar and oak to symbolize endurance.

The fruity-floral heart evokes the tenderness in male friendships; Barrozo says the Bad Boy Cobalt campaign focuses on brotherhood. For me, this “freshie” with a twist really suits our weather.

Luxasia’s senior training manager Tin Conde introduced the next Carolina Herrera fragrance, 212 Heroes Forever Young, which, judging by its pink-skateboard bottle, is aimed at the young, female market.

“The top notes are raspberry and mandarin orange, middle notes are jasmine and orange blossom, and base notes are cedar and sandalwood,” Conde says. “The olfactive family is fruity-floral because our target is the youth, and who usually wears floral-fruity but millennials and Gen Z?”

Senior brand manager Dinty Alcantara presented the last scent: Paco Rabanne 1 Million Elixir Parfum Intense. “1 million is still doing very well worldwide,” she notes. “They sell a bottle per 10 seconds.”

The Elixir has a similar gold-bar bottle, “but if you’ll notice, it’s the strongest shade, has a solid base and the Holy Trinity is represented by the triangle.”

This sexy amber fragrance has top notes of apple and davana (an herb from India that has a sweet, tea-like scent), heart notes are liquored damask rose, osmanthus and cedar, which dries down to vanilla absolute, tonka bean and patchouli. “That makes it more sensual and long-lasting,” Alcantara says.

Any man or woman would smell like a million bucks wearing this addictive fragrance.

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All fragrances are available in 50ml and 150 ml sizes at Rustan’s, SM, and online at Zalora and

Re-wilding the skin: Pure Culture uses probiotic ingredients that preserve the skin’s natural micro-biome.

Vegan pinoy skincare promises 'wild, sexy skin'

I’m excited about new skincare brand Pure Culture for a number of reasons: first, it’s a proudly Filipino brand dedicated to natural beauty; second, I’m friends with one of the cofounders, Kim Reyes-Palanca, a former beauty editor who really knows her stuff; third, it’s the first Philippine brand that global guardians like Ecocert and Safe Cosmetics Australia certified vegan, toxin-free, cruelty-free, and eco-friendly; fourth, it’s won beauty awards for its Bulgarian Rose products; and fifth, it promises “wild, sexy (read: healthy) skin” with its probiotic products that preserve the micro-biome of our epidermis.

“Its quality and formulations set it apart,” says The Beauty Edit’s Nicole Limos Morales, who’s been using Pure Culture since last year and included its Quench Cream in her Beauty Edit box.  “It’s a world-class luxury skincare brand priced affordably (prices range from P199.50 for the Biome Bar beauty soaps to P1,258 for the Bulgarian Rose Glam Gold Satin Crème currently on sale).”

Pure Culture is a passion project for founding friends Kim, Alex Gentry and Rina Dela Calzada. Alex, in particular, had already been making soaps, discovered “how awesome plants are,” and made bath and body products for friends and family. “I got into high-performance molecules and became obsessed with plants, talked to labs, and called Rina and Kim,” she says. “We knew we didn’t want to start just a beauty brand but also a sustainable platform.”

Pure Culture strongly focuses on natural ingredients that are bio-compatible with our skin and the environment, and all products contain probiotics, or the “good bacteria” that keeps our skin healthy. In fact, the “Culture” in the brand name is a play on bacterial culture.

“All of us had skin sensitivities,” according to Kim, so their products went through rigorous tests no other Filipino brand went through.

“The skin has a natural micro-biome, so you can’t put just anything on it,” notes Rina, who has “insanely sensitive skin that would always react. I was allergic to almost everything growing up, so I’m picky. We had one year of trials until we got to the six products.”

The six products are divided into two lines:  Wild Algae uses marine ingredients to calm breakouts, hydrate, brighten and youth-ify skin.

Wild Algae Super Skin Tonic is a spritz with Philippine Green Caviar (aka sea grapes or lato, a skin superfood sustainably harvested from Bohol) that’s very hydrating and moisture retaining.

Wild Algae Glow Up Serum with vitamin C, hyaluronic acid and New Zealand Black Fern balances and brightens for a healthy, natural glow.

Wild Algae Quench Crème with Cica, Niacinamide and NZ Red Seaweed is a moisturizing skin milk that repairs and renews dull, dehydrated skin. “One of my Beauty Edit box customers with psoriasis said it worked for her,” relates Nicole.

Pure Culture’s Bulgarian Rose line harnesses the youth-renewing benefits of that flower to reduce signs of aging, boost collagen, hydration and radiance. Plus, it’s made in Bulgaria so you know it’s authentic.

The Bulgarian Rose Everything Elixir with BHT-free retinol, anti-inflammatory Bisabolol and vegan elastin and collagen preps, sets, cleans, and moisturizes skin. This “wonder water” won the silver 2022 Organic Beauty Award for its glowifying, lifting, collagen producing, and brightening properties.

The Bulgarian Rose Sublime Serum with quince extract has 24k gold that not only prettifies but is also antioxidant and anti-inflammatory, while aloe extract soothes and moisturizes. This also won a 2022 Organic Beauty Award.

Personally I love the Bulgarian Rose Glam Gold Satin Crème, which I apply at night with a gua sha. This Organic Beauty Award gold winner gives my skin a subtle glow thanks to non-nano 24k gold particles, while CoQ10, shea butter and chamomile extract lift, plump and soothe.

Lastly, Pure Culture also offers Biome Bar soaps like the Kombucha Kickass Bar to detoxify; Green Caviar Miracle Matter Bar to revive; Dark Rose Everything Bar to moisturize; and Rice Milk & Oats Hello Glow Bar to brighten.

“Skincare is self-care if it doesn’t feel like a chore,” says Kim, “so we have to create an experience.”

Pure Culture certainly has.

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Shop online at and follow @purecultureph on Facebook and Instagram.

Scents of mediterranean summers

Diptyque pays tribute to Mediterranean nature in its Summer 2022 collection “Landscape of the Soul” — landscapes in Italy, Provence and Greece where Yves Coueslant and Desmond Knox-Leet, two of the three cofounders, loved to recharge their batteries from 1960 onwards and brought back plenty of materials and memories for future creations.

The collection includes Ilio, an eau de toilette and hair mist that take their name from the Greek word for “sun.” Ilio is blends prickly pear with bergamot, iris and jasmin to come up with the essence of summer itself.

Two new limited-edition 190g and 1.5kg Citronnelle candles celebrate lemongrass, another summer scent known for its cooling and mosquito-repellent properties. The large candle is decorated with illustrations by Matthieu Cossé for a true work of art.

Citronelle & Geranium body spray has essential oils of mosquito-repelling lemongrass, geranium and lemon eucalyptus softened with floral notes and musk.

Capping the collection is Vinaigre de Toilette, one of Diptyque’s first products, which they’ve reinvented in a Mediterranean edition inspired by regional recipes infusing lavender, rosemary and thyme. A lavender sprig is specially inserted into each bottle. You can use it to perfume clothes, help the body unwind, beautify the hair and even cleanse your home.

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Diptyque’s Summer 2022 collection is available at Rustan’s Makati, Shangri-La, Cebu and, Adora Greenbelt 5 and

How to get a salon-level blow dry

When I need to blow-dry my hair for a special occasion, my fave new go-tos are Phyto Defrisant Anti-frizz shampoo, Blow-dry Balm and Touch-up Care.  They’re amazing at getting the glossy volume that I previously only got at the salon.  The shampoo has Kukui nut oil, quinoa proteins and mallow extracts to tame unruly hair, while the balm has added Ferula, sage, horseradish, Matricaria Chamomilla and guar gum to bring out shampoo-commercial shine.  The touch-up care is dispensed via a handy brush to tame any flyaways, and comes in a portable tube you can take in your bag.

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Phyto Defrisant is available at Rustan’s The Beauty Source and

A serum that corrects and protects

Murad Correct & Protect Serum with Broad Spectrum SPF 45 is a satiny-smooth serum with 100% mineral SPF clinically proven to visibly correct discoloration and prevent future hyperpigmentation.

What makes it different is carotenoid technology, which reflects UV light for instant glow and acts as a powerful antioxidant to brighten and reduce visible discoloration, while beetroot extract quickly hydrates. Plus, the sheer SPF doesn’t leave a white cast.

Clinically tested on Fitzpatrick skin types 1 to 6, 91% of the group agreed that the product had a sheer, invisible finish and that their skin felt immediately hydrated; 80% showed an improvement in radiance after two weeks; and 84% saw brighter skin after four weeks.

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Murad is available at Rustan’s The Beauty Source.

Visibly youthful skin in 20 minutes

Perricone MD’s Cold Plasma Plus+ Concentrated Treatment Sheet Mask is formulated with a concentrated dose of proven, potent Cold Plasma Plus+ sciences to deliver the most visible signs of healthy, youthful-looking skin faster than ever before. This innovative two-sheet mask conforms to the contours of the face to deliver vitamin C ester, copper tripeptide and phospholipids to reduce dullness, uneven texture, tone, discoloration and loss of firmness, leaving skin feeling firmer, immediately renewed and rejuvenated, and looking brighter, more even and radiant.

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The mask is available at, Rustan’s Makati, Shangri-La, and ATC.

A lip balm for every need

Mentholatum Lip Care has so many products you can have a different lip balm in your everyday bag, workstation, or bedside table.

Therapy Lip Gel provides fast relief and repair from dry, chapped or cracked lips while providing a fresh, cooling menthol sensation.

Therapy Lip Balm contains the same moisture-retention formula plus SPF 15 to protect lips against harmful UV rays.

Lip Pure Botanical Oils is made with 100% food-grade ingredients and six botanical oils like argan, sweet almond and avodaco oil to deeply moisturize and nourish lips, while fragrance-free Lip Pure with Fruit Extracts contains three honey extracts to provide gentle lip care.

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Mentholatum Lip Care is available at Watsons, Mercury Drug, Shopee and Lazada.

Japanese botanicals to repair hair

New Ichikami Premium Hair Treatment Mask has the power of Japanese botanical oils like safflower, perilla, walnut and camellia sasanqua oils to repair damage and protect hair right down to the roots, strengthening against damage with every use. Sulfate-free with the lovely scent of cherry blossoms, the mask pairs well with Ichickami shampoos and conditioners, providing extra repair if your conditioner isn’t sufficient. It can be used once a week after shampooing and is safe for colored hair (P745 for a 200g jar).

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