Sunday, November 05, 2017

My 28 Day Skin Care Challenge + The Reveal

A few months ago, I was asked to participate in a skin care challenge. 

Now, anybody who knows me knows I am a skin care fanatic. I do have my favorite, tried and tested brands and products that I have used for a decade or so now, but I’m always up for trying something new. The same way makeup enthusiasts are always game to try a new brand of makeup maybe. 

The deal was, I had to use two mystery products – an essence and a moisturizer for 28 days on one side of my face only, keeping one side untreated.

Based on the packaging, I kind of had an idea as to what these were, but I couldn’t get a confirmation from the challengers no matter how hard I tried to pry, heehee 

Rather than being worried about leaving one side of my face untreated, I got excited and I found myself up for the challenge. I was curious to know how my untreated skin would hold up if I left it to the ravages of nature.

Because we were asked to journal the changes in our skin, I managed to chronicle the experience and I’m sharing it here with you. To manage expectations, I have to share that I have combination skin and my main problem is skin texture. I have some rough patches due to dryness and have some bumps on the oilier section of my face like my forehead. I have brown spots on my face due to sun exposure. My pores, wrinkles and skin tone is pretty much normal.

Day 1

Understandably, there is no difference in terms of difference in texture, pore size, skin tone, and wrinkles between the treated and untreated side. What I do notice is that my skin feels hydrated, moisturized, soft and smooth. I like that the essence and moisturizer (even if rich and thick) have a non-greasy feel.

Day 7 

After using the product for a week, I compared the size of my pores, color, wrinkles and the overall skin texture and there is no visible difference at this point.

I have noticed though that the rough patches on the treated side of my face has softened considerably. The untreated side has a slightly tight feeling and nothing changed for the rough patches on the untreated side. Also, the treated side feels more supple and plumper.

In terms of product, the treated side feels like it is covered in a barely traceable film that feels like moisture is locked in on that side. I also like that the products are:

- Not greasy
- Absorbs well and dries reasonably fast
- I don’t need to use a lot
- Skin feels nice and soft after use
- Skin feel moisturized and plump in the morning
- I get the same effect from the luxury skin care products I use

Day 14

 no makeup, just skin care 

After two weeks, I am happy to share that rough spots have practically disappeared and the treated side feels plumper. 

I like that the products are not greasy and don’t make me break out. Plus, I don’t have to use a lot yet face feels moisturized. 

If there is one thing that bothers me about the products, I find that the fragrance can be a bit strong, although it disappears after I apply on my face. 

I look forward to applying the serum and moisturizing cream after I wash my face in the morning and before I go to bed. It makes me happy applying it. I feel like I’m taking good care of my skin.

Day 28

In 28 days, rough spots have disappeared and my skin feels smoother to the touch. The treated side seems plumper, and more moisturized. I also think it looks firmer and more taut than the untreated side. When I look at my jawline on the left, it seems to have started to sag whereas the treated side looks sharper and even on the mirror.

Overall, I’m very pleased with how this experiment turned out. I’m used to using luxury skin care products and I’m both relieved and excited about the fact that my skin can work with and benefit from a product that isn’t as expensive as what I am used to.

I would be happy to recommend the product to friends. It’s a great product that feels like that of a luxury skincare brand but does not cost as much.

Want to know what it is? Watch this!

Olay scientists re-engineered the powerful formulas of Olay Regenerist, White Radiance and Total Effects to include even more scientifically proven ingredients that can make more women look ageless no matter their DNA.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

MFO Gift Guide: One Earth Organics

If I told you that you can give yourself or a loved one the gift of light and smooth underarms and it's no joke, you better believe it. Because we are talking about the highway out of armpit hell.

I met Tyff Short and her partners Ria Olonan and Cha Diaz a few weeks back and loved the story of how they started.

Ria, myself, Cha and Tyff

It all began many years back when Tyff had gotten so self-conscious about her underarms that she couldn't even raise her arms. She had tried all the commercially available products in grocery store shelves but nothing worked for her.

So she developed her a line of underarm products with the help of friends, a natural deodorant, whitening cream and underarm moisturizer which over a course of time, finally solved her underarm darkness, chicken skin and sweatiness. She realized she was on to something and decided to invest her son's tuition fee, the only money she had saved in the bank, to fund her business venture.

She started selling them in bazaars where it quickly gained a cult-following and that was the beginning of One Earth Organics, a homegrown line of FDA-approved organic and plant-based beauty products. 

Apart from the best selling Antibac Whitening Deo Spray, One Earth Organics also makes plant-based moisturizers, body scrubs and masks

Her initial foray into underarm products simply spread by word-of-mouth because it has helped a lot of women, especially young girls undergoing puberty to no longer worry about or be ashamed of their underarm issues. 

She has since branched out to acne and whitening products as well as soaps and oil serums.

Clarifying, Restorative, Milk and Facial soaps by One Earth Organics

This Rosehip Oil Serum is meant to repair and rejuvenate the skin

The scents are pleasant and the moisturizers don't leave a greasy afterfeel

The full line of One Earth Organics products are now available at select Beauty Bar stores such as Shangri-la Plaza, Rockwell Power Plant, Century City Mall, Glorietta, Central Square in BGC, Robinsons Magnolia and Midtown, Lucky Chinatown Mall and Ayala Cebu.

  and online at as well as

P.S. I have been using One Earth Organics Antibac Whitening Deo Spray since I discovered it in August and I would definitely continue to buy it from hereon. I'm trying out the Miracle Light Advanced Whitening Serum for the brown spots on my face (I refuse to call it age spots haha) and have yet to see results but will be happy to share about it once I can vouch for it.

Monday, September 11, 2017

MFO Gift Guide: Aloore

Let's say you have a Php500 max budget for holiday gifting and you don't want to give the same old candles, box of brownies, and last year's flavor of the year - salted egg potato chips. What do you get this time?

Something different that your people have never gotten before, of course.

Aloore by Mrs. Minkle's is made in the spirit of Aesop's Post-Poo Drops, meant to be neutralize smells post number-two. But instead of being packaged in a bottle with a dropper, it comes in a spray bottle, so you can use it as an air freshener as well as to sanitize seats.

It's way cheaper too. Php295 to Aesop's $29.

Apart from the pocket-friendly price, here's another feel good factor. When you buy Aloore, you support a homegrown brand.

Plus points - Aloore Loo Sprays are developed by a Grasse educated perfumer who trained with the nose of Hermes scents. Inspired by fresh, crisp citrus and floral smells (the Lavender & Jasmine variant like mine, was inspired by the perfumer's year long stay in Provence specifically), the scents really are a deviation from grocery store air fresheners.

Once you discover the allure of Aloore, you'll never look at aerosol spray fresheners and scented gels ever again.

Aloore is available locally at Lanai Manila, and For more about Aloore, Like Mrs Minkles on Facebook and follow @mrs_minkle on Instagram.

Wednesday, September 06, 2017

MFO Gift Guide: Jo Malone

You want a no-fail gift idea? Trust Jo Malone to take the guesswork out of the equation.

I've been into Jo Malone for 2 decades now, back when I was still a student in college and the scent that I shared with my sister was only an in-house cologne Jo Malone made for French Connection. 20 years later, her scents still have never lost their appeal, even now that I'm a wife and mom with three kids. It is just one of those classics that stand the test of time and will continue to do so for decades ahead. It also reminds us that whatever our role in life may be, we are women, and we deserve to enjoy everyday luxuries.

While the classic scents in their signature bottles are always a welcome treat, the special Limited Edition collections like Cologne IntenseThe Bloomsbury Set and the newly launched Rare Teas Collection will please anyone from the everyday scent enthusiast to the hardcore Jo Malone collector.

Dark Amber & Ginger Lily is my favorite scent from the Cologne Intense Collection. Calm and relaxing, it is also heady and intoxicating. It's a perfect evening scent, and I associate this with dressing up in fancy dresses and heels.

These do not look like your typical Jo Malone bottles, and that's the point. The Bloomsbury Collection is inspired by the free-spirited artists who lived in their legendary country house in Sussex England.

We love our teas, to drink and not to wear us a scent. So imagine giving this to your tea-loving aunt or mother-in-law, cousin or best friend. She'll be thrilled that you thought of something personal without being too predictable.

The Star Magnolia Collection has got to be my most favorite limited edition collection and it is SOLD OUT in other countries. It is so light and fresh and best of all? It comes with a Hair Mist. I always feel so special when I spray it on my hair not only before I head out, but throughout the day. Who's afraid of poorly ventilated restaurants? Not me. Totally pang-donya hacks.

You can take that love for scents further with Jo Malone candles for the home. Last Christmas, I received a Pine & Eucalyptus scented candle from Erika Reyes and Camille Flores Soloan, the lovely ladies at Jo Malone Philippines and I loved it! Lighting it up not only set the mood but also made our living room smell like Christmas indeed.

It would be interesting for you to know though that Jo Malone actually started out her business not with colognes or candles, but with bath oils. Her first creation was a Nutmeg & Ginger Bath Oil that she gave to her clients as a thank you gift for their business (she was a facialist known for her skillful hands and amazing fragrance combinations). One client ordered an extra 100 bottles to give to friends, 86 of whom called to place further orders of their own. 

It's that level of good. When you're open to trying out something different from the store, go for the Jo Malone bath and body line consisting of shower oils, body scrubs, shampoo & conditioner, soaps and lotions.

Just imagine my surprise when I got home from Pilates and this big box of bath treats was just waiting for me. It felt like Christmas in August. That's the kind of reaction you want from the recipients of your largesse.

Worth checking out as well are the diffusers plus room and linen sprays for the home. These make excellent hostess gifts and housewarming presents and is just something different to give to someone who loves to make her home hygge.

In the Philippines, visit the Jo Malone pop-ups at malls, and stand alone boutiques at

Jo Malone Greenbelt 
Ground Level, Greenbelt 5
Legazpi St., Ayala Center
Makati City
Tel: +632 729 9491

Jo Malone SM Aura
Upper Ground Floor
SM Aura Premier
26th Street Corner McKinley Parkway
Taguig City

Sunday, September 03, 2017

Aerin Beauty Now in the Philippines

I first learned of Aerin Lauder from reading Vogue and Vanity Fair, plus seeing her in one of those now defunct New York society websites - more of the fawn-y Park Avenue Peerage than catty Socialite Rank. Because she's cool like that.

It is hard not to notice her. She's blonde and elegant. If Truman Capote were alive to day, he'd have named her one of his swans. 

But unlike the socialites of old, she's not only a tastemaker and philanthropist, she is a working doña.

The granddaughter of beauty visionary Estée Lauder, she continues to work for the company where she has held various executive roles, including Senior Vice President and Creative Director. Currently, she is Estée Lauder’s Style and Image Director. 

After all, who else can interpret that effortless elegance the company's brands are known for better than her? 

So it was not surprising that in 2012, she eventually started her own global lifestyle brand, AERIN.  Based on the premise that living beautifully should be effortless, the brand develops curated collections in the worlds of beauty, fashion accessories, and home décor. With her passion for art, travel, fashion, and design, Aerin's own lifestyle serves as a focal point of inspiration for the brand. 

Itsie-Bitsie in Rockwell carried AERIN. My gorgeous leather sandals that I still wear to this day is from her Spring 2014 collection. I feel like a donya when I wear it, which is I think Aerin's point. The same goes for her scents, which I'll tell you more about below.

For Aerin, every piece by AERIN is created to make life more beautiful, with a sense of ease and refinement. Like my summer sandals which I got from Itsie-Bitsie in Rockwell in 2014 and now, from the AERIN scent and lotion which has finally made its way to Manila.

Because if we can't have her Hamptons beach house, then we can at least look and smell like we own one, heehee.

The AERIN Fragrance Collection launched in November 2013 with five distinct scents, Gardenia Rattan, Amber Musk, Lilac Path, Ikat Jasmine and Evening Rose, each evoking a sense of luxury, lifestyle and personal experiences.

In February 2015, the first parfum of the Premier Collection, Rose de Grasse launched in key markets. Two additional fragrances, Waterlily Sun (which is what I have - so dewy and fresh, even with a hint of musk) and Iris Meadow, joined the Fragrance Collection in November 2014, followed by Mediterranean Honeysuckle in February 2016 and Tangier Vanille in August 2016.

The AERIN Rose Collection, an edited assortment of bath and body products with a signature floral infusion, was initially introduced in September 2012 and now features nine distinct products, notably the Rose Lip Conditioner and Rose Hand & Body Cream.

Today, AERIN Beauty is available in 25 countries worldwide. In the Philippines, it is available at Rustan's Makati. 
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