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Beauty & Wellness

Upgrade Your Beauty Regimen With These Skincare Tips

If you’re new to skincare or you want a reference of what products would be suitable for you, here’s a list of skincare tips from Zee’s managing editor.

Growing up, there was a time when I used to watch my mother as she did her skincare routine. Each night before going to bed, she would be at her vanity table, where she had at least four bottles containing different kinds of substances. While she applied them onto her face, I would sit on the bed and watch her through the mirror. Sometimes I asked her what a certain bottle contained or what it did, and sometimes I just keep silent until she finished. 

It’s been a while since then; mum doesn’t keep to a skincare routine as religiously as she used to because of her work. Interestingly enough, the situation is now reversed—I’m the one who’s fully immersed in having a full-blown skincare routine, and she’s the one watching me through the mirror.

She asks me things like “What does that do?” and “What’s the difference between this and that?”, and it amuses me to no end that she’s now the one who’s curious about things that used to make me curious. What makes me respond with raised eyebrows, though, is when she asks me: “Why are you doing a skincare routine when you’re still young?”.

My mother poses a good point—why am I starting a skincare routine young? It’s a common misconception that taking care of your skin is something that should be done by people in their 30s or 40s. Research shows that as early as 25, our skin’s two structural proteins—collagen (which keeps it firm, taut, and resilient) and elastin (which gives skin its flexibility, enabling it to stretch out and then snap back into place)—decrease, according to Dennis Gross, MD, founder of 900 Fifth Dermatology in NYC.

Backed up by other recent research on skin aging, it’s only understandable how the idea of a skincare routine appeals to the younger generation now—this, and how beauty enthusiasts and influencers all over social media are hopping on the skincare bandwagon. 

That being said, it’s best to start taking care of your skin as soon as possible; don’t wait until you see signs of aging. Personally, I’ve been sticking to a skincare regimen as early as 17 years old. Since then, my routine has changed quite a bit, as I’ve figured out what works for me and what doesn’t.

If you’re new to skincare or you want a reference of what products would be suitable for you, here’s a list of skincare tips I’ve learned and put together over the years.

Remove Your Makeup Properly

If you’re someone like me who wears makeup almost on the daily (in my case, it’s not just for work—I do love playing with makeup), it’s a MUST that you take it all off.

The first step would be to remove your makeup with a gentle product like Garnier’s Micellar Water, which you apply on a cotton pad and gently wipe across your face. It’s important to remember that with this, you’re only removing what’s on the top-most layer of your skin; that is, breaking down the layer of makeup or other products.

Do a Double Cleanse

This step goes hand-in-hand with the first one. After removing your makeup, you have to make sure that you wash your face to remove the residue. For this step, it’s best to choose a water-based cleanser such as gel or foam to deep clean the pores and get rid of impurities.

I recommend the Banila Co. Foam Clean It Zero or the Glossier Milky Jelly Cleanser, two products which I alternately use depending on what best suits my mood at the time.  

Don’t Forget to Exfoliate

Exfoliation not only cleans out clogged pores, but it also sloughs off dead skin cells. When you remove this dull layer of cells, brighter skin is revealed. This step is not recommended for daily use. If you have sensitive skin, you’ll only want to exfoliate once a week; otherwise, you may opt to exfoliate up to thrice a week. 

Personally, I prefer to exfoliate only once a week, especially since it’s an added step of my already-long regimen and I don’t always have the time to exfoliate. This gentle exfoliator, Dermalogica Micro Exfoliant, leaves skin feeling refreshed and clean, and isn’t tough on the skin.

Deep Cleanse with a Clay Mask

Clay masks are used to draw all the toxins and impurities from the skin. It’s said that clay is best for oily skin as it sucks out all the oil that’s built up deep in the pores. 

Apply the clay mask (try the Aztec Indian Healing Clay, in which you combine equal amounts of the product with apple cider vinegar or water) to your T-zone and cheeks two to three times a week, depending on how much you need it. Once your skin has gotten better, cut down the usage to only once a week or when necessary. If you have combination skin, you can multi mask. Apply a hydrating or tightening mask on the areas where you did not apply the clay mask.

Apply a Sheet Mask 



Sheet masks are something that I enjoy putting on, especially after a day’s worth of work. While sheet masks generally have moisturizing and soothing properties for normal, dry or sensitive skin, these masks also have variants that are best for oily skin, which include ingredients like tea tree, lemon, witch hazel, honey, and so on.

If you do a deep cleanse, there’s nothing wrong with doing a sheet mask right after. I recommend using Korean brands when it comes to picking out sheet masks; my personal favourite are those from The Face Shop.

Use a Toner

A toner is a way to prep the skin especially after putting it through a thorough cleanse. It resets the skin’s pH to help maintain moisture levels, minimize acne-causing bacteria, and quell inflammation. While I think each of the steps listed here are important, I always think it’s wise to not skip out on toner.

As someone with oily skin, I was constantly looking for the right toner that could balance out the double (and deep) cleanse that I do and improve my skin’s moisture level. I found Human Nature’s Balancing Face Toner works the best among all the toners I’ve tried. Aside from that, it’s an organic, cruelty-free Philippine brand that supports the local community, so that’s a plus in my book!

Invest in Serums, Essences and Ampoules

Popularized by the Korean wave, these are products that give an added boost to your skin. While there’s very little difference between the three (don’t worry too much, as it’s a marketing tactic more than anything else), such as texture and consistency, it’s best to figure out which suits your skin.

I typically use Korean products for this step, such as the It’s Skin Power 10 Formula PO Effector, although I’ve been using the Nuxe Nuxuriance Ultra Replenishing Serum for about two months now and it achieves a similar result. 

Use Sunscreen—Even on Cloudy Days

Aside from being an often-disregarded product, it’s a very common misbelief that there’s no need to wear sunscreen when the sun isn’t out. That’s quite wrong, to put it simply. Even when the sun can’t be seen for a whole day when you’re out, its UV rays are still able to affect you and your skin negatively. 

Try Nivea sunscreena product that’s made a name for itself when it comes to products containing SPF. 

Moisturize Your Skin

You’re probably thinking—we’ve already put on our sheet masks and applied toner, essence, serum, and whatnot, and we’re still going to moisturize our skin? Yes, we definitely are. 

It’s best to have to moisturizing creams; one for the day, and one for the night. The difference? The day cream is typically lightweight and contains SPF, and the night cream is usually thicker in consistency and can be left on overnight. Try the Nuxe Nuxuriance Ultra Day Cream SPF20, which in my case, doubles as my night cream because of its thick consistency.

Make Sure You Apply Eye Cream

Your eyes tend to be the quickest to show signs of aging. Depending on the eye cream you choose, its effects could range between lightening dark circles or get rid of fine lines and wrinkles. Most people omit this step, thinking that a regular moisturizer will do, but our eye area needs extra care beyond that. 

Give MAC Cosmetics’ Fast Response Eye Cream a try, a favourite among makeup artists and enthusiasts. Side note: you can also use this product on your smile lines or the fine lines on your forehead.

Prime Your Face Before You Do Your Makeup

While primer, for most people, is more of a makeup product than a skincare product, I’d like to think that it’s both. Aside from ensuring that you have a smooth base to apply the makeup, primer also preps the skin and makes it so that the layer(s) of makeup on top doesn’t penetrate too deeply into the pores.

I can’t apply my makeup without priming my face first, and the Banila Co. Classic Matte Primer is my all-time favourite primer in the world. Nothing compares to it—at least in my opinion.

These steps may seem daunting to most people, especially for a first-timer. Admittedly, this routine does take a good amount of my time, but let me tell you: it’s worth it. You can always omit steps that you find irrelevant to your case, and there’s no problem with that, really; not everything works for everyone. So go out and don’t be afraid to explore! 

Lastly, I am by no means an expert in skincare, but this is what works for my skin type and my lifestyle. I’m still constantly on the lookout for products or methods that can help improve my current skincare routine. 


Beauty & Wellness

Drench Your Skin in Bespoke French Facials at Beaute Affair Luxe

Bespoke French Facials at Beaute Affair Luxe

By Kara Mae Noveda

When it comes to skincare treatments, one size does not necessarily fit all, shared Dr. Gwen Bagay-Matias, the resident dermatologist of Beaute Affair Luxe. This is why Dr. Matias, a dermatologist of 15 years, would begin a client visit with one-on-one face time. A consultation gives the dermatologist or specially-trained aesthetician the opportunity to listen to the concerns and take a closer look at a person wanting to indulge in some skin pampering.

Such a targeted approach in aesthetics is attuned with the skincare philosophy of the 40-year-old French brand, Biologique Recherche. This brand has developed an exclusive, customized methodology of cosmetic treatments and products which aim to address each kind of skin’s unique needs. And Beaute Affair Luxe deservedly boasts of being the first and only accredited center of Biologique Recherche treatments and products in Cebu.

Very much like the French fashion’s affinity for the classics—a facial with Biologique Recherche products is unlike every other trendy treatment that will shortly fade into passé. The brand’s methods and products are meant to be tailored after your skin’s age, texture, and of course, your own expectations over time. In other words, this skincare line is not just a one-time affair, but meant to marry into your lifestyle. After all, any expert will tell you—good skin is not just something one is born with, but it is something that can be built from curated habits and products. Your monthly facial (twice a month, if you are acne-prone, recommends Beaute Affair Luxe’s Dr. Matias) helps keep your delicate facial skin fresh and healthy.

What can one expect from a Biologique Recherche session? The brand observes three main skincare protocols: 1) Assessment stage (the aesthetician carries a thorough dermo-cosmetic diagnostic to narrow down to your treatment option); 2) Initialization stage (the aesthetician preps the epidermis—skin is rigorously cleansed, before lotion and face mask are applied) and; 3) Actual Treatment stage (the aesthetician incorporates products with the highest concentration of active ingredients, this helps the top layer of the skin be primed for self-regeneration). To conclude, a relaxing one-hour session well-spent on yourself.

During the session, Beaute Affair Luxe’s aesthetician expertly proceeded with gentle hands—massaging luxe organic products generously on the face and neck. It is good to be reminded that organic products are free from synthetic fragrance and give off a naturally herby aroma (be assured though that organic products are kinder to the skin). If there is one thing that’s apparent throughout the session: the Biologique Recherche facial is refreshingly void of any prickly or stinging sensation! No pain, only gain, with this non-invasive procedure. All in all, a truly satisfying experience we owe our skin and ourselves. After all, our face is the mirror of our well-being and the image we project into the world—let us give it the discerning care it deserves.

Book a session in Beaute Affair Luxe to see the difference thoughtful skincare brings. The clinic is located on the second level of The Space, A.S. Fortuna St., Mandaue City, Cebu and operates from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., from Tuesday to Sunday.

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Beauty & Wellness

What Makes Your Coffee Truly ‘Guilt-Free’? Let’s Delve Into the Details.

Coffee, for most people, is an essential drink to kickstart or fuel up their day. There are probably more coffee lovers around the world compared to those who can’t tolerate this popular beverage. According to, coffee is a drink made from coffee beans, which are the roasted fruit of the Coffea Arabica bush. People most commonly drink coffee to relieve mental and physical fatigue and to increase mental alertness.

Although coffee has gotten some bad raps due to the side effects of its main active ingredient ‘caffeine’, which is a stimulant, it is believed the good side of it weighs more than the bad. Of course, everything boils down into not having too much of this beloved drink. ‘Drink moderately’, as the popular tagline goes.

According to Aaron Carroll, a professor at the Indiana University School of Medicine and health research blogger at The Incidental Economist, is taking a stand in a recent New York Times article: “It’s way past time that we stopped viewing coffee as something we all need to cut back on,” he writes. “It’s a completely reasonable addition to a healthy diet, with more potential benefits seen in research than almost any other beverage we’re consuming. It’s time we started treating it as such.”

Well, not all coffee are created equal. Some are carefully formulated so that you will be able to enjoy without the worry. So, what makes your coffee truly ‘guilt-free’? Aside from great taste, we are eyeing two important factors:

  1. It must be sugar-free. We’re all quite familiar on how too much sugar intake wreaks havoc not only to our inner health but also to our outside appearance. It can lead to some serious health problems like obesity and diabetes, not to mention how it destroys the natural collagen in our skin that is responsible in making us look young and wrinkle-free. Certain drinks opt for natural sweeteners like stevia, which is a healthier option.
  2. It must have benefits for both beauty and wellness. A lot of brands around the world has concocted unique formulations to amp up the benefits of coffee in terms of beauty and health. Natural and organic ingredients were used to provide benefits to the skin hair and nails and to the overall physical fitness of the human body. Most of these added natural ingredients contains vitamins, minerals and antioxidants to fight oxidative stress and provide boosted energy levels. Some of these claim to have therapeutic benefits and may help alleviate some health conditions.

EDITOR’S PICK. Good news for all local coffee drinkers! You can now indulge in your favorite morning brew without the guilty feeling! A local brand from Cebu, Philippines, Lumiché, has recently launched their inaugural product–’guilt-free coffee’, a carefully considered and researched beverage that promises all-day energy, with added benefits that will help you glow and flourish.

Long-time friends Michelle Lim-Cu and Janice Escario King started Lumiché in 2019.

These benefits are as follows:

  • Sugar-free
  • Helps maintain energy levels
  • Strengthens hair and nails
  • Acts as an appetite suppressant
  • Has anti-inflammatory properties
  • Helps improve skin texture
  • Aids in fat-burning and weight loss
  • Aids in better bowel movement

Lumiché guilt-free coffee is able to provide the above-mentioned benefits due to the natural ingredients it contains:

  • Collagen
  • Spirulina
  • Ginseng
  • L-Carnitine
  • Mangosteen
  • Garcinia Cambogia
  • Moringa
  • Stevia
  • Non-dairy creamer

Lumiché guilt-free coffee is indeed a must-try!

Lumiché  is available for online buyers on their official website, as well as on Lazada and Shopee. Starting April 6, 2022, lovers of coffee may also purchase in either take-home packs or ready-to-drink hot or cold cups in SugboMercado IT Park.

For more information and updates, like and follow their Facebook Page.

Lumiché is also looking to partner with resellers within Cebu Province, and distributors in major cities in the Philippines. For inquiries, call (+63.917.707.5279 or email them at

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Beauty & Wellness

Tea with Coralie

When a basket filled with tea goodies of macaroons, delicate cakes and sandwiches was delivered, it came in the signature purple color of this iconic brand. “Very Charriol”, as Coralie , the CEO of the Swiss brand, might have put it. She didn’t actually use that term to describe the savories. Rather, she was describing the cable bracelet that makes their products distinct. Avid Rustans Cebu shoppers will find the Charriol boutique just off the main entrance of the department store, near the familiar scented hall at the first level. On display are an array of earrings, bracelets and watches enticing to those looking for retail therapy with pieces that are timeless and yet not overtly breaking the credit card limit.

The tea Zoom party, as arranged by our host Ginggay Joven, and Luzanne Manlapit who is the brand manager of Charriol in the Philippines, was as good as any press-do from pre pandemic normal times. And an intimate peak at lifestyle editors’ lives as most of us were zooming from our living rooms, including Coralie who was answering our questions from her home in Geneva. Like most of us, she readily says, “I have a travel bug, and on weekends, I dream of where I can go!”.

Philip Charriol, Coralie’s father who started the brand in 1983, was a frequent visitor to the Philippines, making Manila (and Cebu) a side trip to his rounds of Singapore and Hong Kong. He made many friends in Asia and it was a sad day when everyone heard of his passing more than a year ago in a car accident at the Le Castellet racing track in southeast France.

These days, the company is in good hands with Coralie. She is set to debut a series of new collections building upon her father’s vision, including a reimagined Celtic collection, a line of watches first introduced in the 80s. The latest Celtic Legacy watch has a more striking face with two dials and bigger bezels available in gold or rose gold. The cable bracelet is made up of 6 strands of steel and titanium alloy that are flexible and durable. It comes in an elegant 30mm case, making it an equally perfect accessory for both a lunchtime affair as well as to a glitzy night on the town.

Also new are their ocean-themed pieces. The Forever Starfish watch comes in two iteration of stainless steel or rose gold case with a white mother-of-pearl dial. The second one is the Marina bracelet collection — the Charriol signature cable tied around a porthole and clasped together by a Charriol dial, it’s a fresh and young take for an everyday jewelry.

As a contemporary business leader, Coralie shared cautionary tales of polar bears and melting icebergs. Through their Charriol Living initiative, Philippe Charriol is a partner of the global organization Lonely Whale. It is a community of international businesses cognizant of the harming effects of disposable stuff in today’s world. Particularly single-use plastics, which are harmful to marine life when they end up in our seas. She co-produced a compelling documentary titled The Story of Plastic ( “a searing expose revealing the ugly truth behind plastic pollution and the false solution of plastic recycling”.

The company is committed to being socially conscious. Pretty soon, all Charriol packaging will be made of paper and sustainable materials. “We are interconnected tru our oceans”, she explains. In addition, part of the proceeds of selected ocean-themed Charriol pieces like the Forever Turtle watch, the Forever Waves and Ocean bracelets, will go to the Lonely Whale organization.

Philippe Charriol comes up with new design for watches once a year or once every two years to keep it fresh. Their jewelry line is much more frequent with bracelets and earrings. When asked if the company will be coming out with smart watches, Coralie was quick to reply that although other prestige watch companies have tried it, Charriol will not be producing one. “But I am coming out with something by October which is a kind of an accessory to a techie watch. To connect Charriol to technology.”


Coralie Charriol, the CEO of Charriol showing the Forever Starfish collection using mother of pearl face and their entry level cable bracelets in bright colors.


Screenshot of the Zoom tea party attended by top Manila lifestyle editors


The tea goodies for the tea party delivered by the Charriol team


The Charriol boutique inside Rustans at Ayala Center Cebu


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