Zen Natural + Organic



I was sent some sample products by a small local company called Z.E.N. Natural+Organic. It is being run by Angela Reyes Dinglasan who believed in the company and products so much she quit her 14 year corporate career and left the expat life (She and husband Robbie had lived in Shanghai for 3 years and Bangkok for 4 years). The previous owner of Z.E.N. was asked by his church group to find a way to help young, underprivileged women, primarily from the provinces. The overall idea was to create jobs – a livelihood program – that would teach women a craft. Most of the women were young and from desperately poor families. Angela continues to run the company with this social responsibility guiding her.


The shampoo with Lemongrass and Bamboo and Honey & Coconut Conditioner are so good. The conditioner leaves your hair soft and shiny (sounds like a line from a TV commercial, but it really does). It was a big surprise. I’ve tried other organic shampoos and most of them leave a film or thick build-up. This one doesn’t. I haven’t tried the massage oil yet because I’m not really a home massage person – it smells real yummy and clean though.


Z.E.N. was born from the principles of  using Virgin Coconut Oil and its healing properties. Studies show that VCO can alleviate and even cure various skin ailments. The first range of products really began from VCO-based massage oils, which quickly expanded into VCO-based soaps, body lotions, moisturizing butters, followed by shampoos, conditioners, repellants, scrubs, even herbal balms & rubs.


I’ve stopped using commercial/chemical-based insect repellants two years ago. My kids have to be protected from mosquitoes everyday, so I figured the less intrusive/chemical, the better — even if it means I have to deal with the smell of citronella. I’m glad this one smells like lavender.


These are some very yummy scrubs and lotions.


My husband loves organic soaps, so all these go to him – Mangosteen anti-aging soap, oatmeal bath soap, green tea relaxing soap.


Blush Crystals Foot Soak – can’t tell you enough how amazing this smells.


From the top – Ginger Minty Rub for headaches, cough and cold, Blush Crystals foot soak, Lavender-Citronella Anti-Mosquito sleeping cream, Eucalyptus & Peppermint body scrub, Olive Cream face and body moisturizer.


Zen GM
Meet Angela Dinglasan, Z.E.N.’s new general manager. “Late last year the company ownership has changed, which is really when I came in. The previous owner wanted to see Z.E.N. taken to another level, and the new management definitely has big plans. I packed up the house and husband and came home to Manila for this because I strongly believe in the products, the brand, the company…and I really want to make a difference here. Its important and wonderful to me that I can use all my previous learning & experience to really make this grow and create jobs & skills. In the end I hope for this to be seen as a world class organic beauty brand, I am thrilled to be creating jobs & a better future for these women.”


For more info check out Z.E.N. Natural+Organic on Facebook. You can find Z.E.N. at weekend markets in Mercato in the Fort and Soderno in Alabang. Z.E.N. is retailed by all Sesou & Echostore branches, and a store in Boracay Station 1 Urban Nature. They are currently working on their website and mall kiosks.

Good news, we’ll be giving away some Z.E.N. products this week. Stay tuned for that raffle.




Beauty review: K-Palette



Over the holidays I received some samples of K Palette (1 Day Tattoo) Real Lasting eye liner and eyebrow liner from the exclusive distributors. It took me a while to try it because the word “tattoo” scared me. I did a bit of research first and found some very positive reviews of this Japanese product. So I tried it and loved it. I even made my own amateur video demo below.


Both eyeliner and eyebrow liners come with a micro fiber brush applicator that allows full control and ease in application. The claim to fame of this product – and what makes it the “holy grail” of many makeup artists is that it stays put for 24 hours! Even if you cry, sweat or get rained on, your 1 Day Tattoo liners will stay on. And don’t fret about removing the product because all it takes is soap and water. No need for eye makeup remover.


I did further research and found that the waterproof eyeliner has been rated consistently as one of the top selling eyeliners in Japan, with 10 million pieces sold since its inception in the market a few years ago. It has also won  several best selling eyeliner awards year after year since its launch in Singapore. The eyebrow liner works so well. It has translucent ink so that you don’t get over-darkened eyebrows. It stays on all day even if you sweat. It is also smudge-proof. No need to retouch all day.


I was very intrigued with the product so I asked my makeup artist friend Xeng Zulueta if she’s heard of K-Palette. Her answer, “Ofcourse! I’ve been using it on you for years.” She discovered K-Palette years ago during her Shu Uemura makeup training days in Japan. I told her that the product is now available in the Philippines, exclusively at Beauty Bar. Each liner retails for P895.


xeng zulueta
Xeng Zulueta


I asked Xeng to share some tips for my readers. This is a product that many makeup professionals swear by. But it is also very popular among regular folk and novices. Here are Xeng’s tips.

Eyebrow liner:
1. Use the darker eyebrow pen when eyes are bare. Have an eyebrow brush handy and brush in the direction of the growth of the hair when blending.
2. For made up eyes/smokey eyes, opt for the lighter eyebrow pen to soften the over all look
3. W a light misting of hairspray, brush eyebrows into place to set

1. If your eyes are prone to veins and redness, opt for the black instead of the brown
2. Have a pointed q-tip handy to correct mistakes and smudge the liner
3. Try my anti-droopy eyeline technique: start lining the upper lash line outward going inward, using the 3rd to the last eyelash as starting point.
4. Wipe the eyeliner on a damp tissue to avoid clumping of powder/eyeshadow/concealer on the brush tip.


Here’s the little demo-slash-review of K-Palette Eyebrow liner. Don’t laugh.


The good news is, we are giving away six of these award-winning KPalette liners (3 eyebrow and 3 eyeliners). Open to anyone with a Philippine address.  Just join the raffle through my rafflecopter program. All steps are mandatory. You increase your chances of winning if you log-in everyday and Tweet about the contest through rafflecopter.

Winners will be chosen at random by rafflecopter on Monday January 30. I’ll be announcing the winners on January 31st.

If you’re curious about KPalette, check them out at any Beauty Bar outlets nationwide.


a Rafflecopter giveaway




Links of London and FEED



Feed Lauren Bush
Lauren Bush, founder and designer of FEED Projects


I’m a huge fan of Lauren Bush. She’s already achieved so much in her young life. She’s set such a great example to social entrepreneurs as a young woman who’s used her fame, influence and family connections for the betterment of the lives of millions of hungry children around the world. The FEED Program which she set up in 2006 has already sold over 580,000 bags and has donated over $6 million or 60 million meals.

Last Fall 2011 Links of London joined forces with FEED to produce a friendship bracelet collection will help fight hunger amongst children around the world. There are five playful colours with each featuring a silver bead in the shape of a different motif, each chic bracelet fights against world hunger in a different way. The donations include 50 school meals and 500 days of clean drinking water and with these engraved onto the bead, it acts as a visual reminder of the personal donation that you have given to this important cause.



Fashion with a conscience, the Feed Leaf Green Cord Bracelet competes in the style stakes and helps fight hunger amongst children around the world. Stack different styles for an eclectic look.


Feed Dove Grey & Metallic Pewter Cord Bracelet


Feed Heart Fuchsia Cord Bracelet


I just checked US online site and it says that they are currently all sold out. But they have a very efficient waiting list system. I know because I did it with the Duchess of Cambridge Hope Egg earrings. You can put yourself on the waitlist for the FEED bracelet at the Links of London US site. I love the one with the dove. Lily’s second name means dove. I put myself on the list.



About FEED Projects
FEED Projects was started in 2006, when Lauren Bush, former fashion model and niece of President George W. Bush, designed a bag to benefit the UN World Food Program’s School Feeding operations. Lauren teamed up with former World Food Program Communications Officer Ellen Gustafson to launch a socially minded business with the hopes of feeding the world. Each FEED bag sold feeds children around the world in their schools. Hunger and malnutrition kill more people than AIDS, malaria, and TB combined. In fact, every five seconds a child dies because he or she is hungry. For hungry children, school is not even an option. FEED bags raise awareness about child hunger while giving an education, a full belly, and a brighter future to one hungry child at a time.



One day sale of Angpao bags



I’ve been looking forward to this. Last year National Book Store had a one-day sale of Angpao Bags during Chinese New Year. It was filled with so many goodies – a best-seller book, school supplies, office supplies, craft supplies. They sold it for P500 each but it was worth over P1,000. I bought eight bags and saved them for Sophia’s 8th birthday party. I gave them out as her lootbag.

This year — TODAY — National Book Store is doing it again. Only today.


Annual 1day sale of AngPao bags in National BookStore. Over P1,000 of goodies for only P500. Jan 23 only
This year’s Angpao bag.


All these for only P500. (The value is over P1,000). Today only, at National Book Store.



My happy place



This week was all about my website. I’m sure you’ve noticed the reposting of many Urban Zone stories. There are a few of reasons for that. One is nostalgia; two is to satisfy the readers’ interest; and three is to test my server. We had some problems a couple of weeks ago due to high traffic. And this week I reached record highs. And no crashes. Thank you to my very capable technical guy (he’s more than that, actually) – Joben Ilagan of Seer Technologies. So folks, if you see any kinks in my site please let me know and we’ll get to the bottom of things.

There are many things I am grateful for in my life. This is probably one of the shallowest – but I am shameless enough to share it with you. This is my happy place. My closet. And the irony is, I don’t love this space because of my clothes. It’s really just the space in general. Here, I can surround myself with little things I love.


My husband made this lamp. It used to be a candle holder. I occasionally try to change the little vignette that I have here. A few days ago I added a mobile that I bought in Hobbes & Landes.


There’s really no significance to the mobile. I just liked how it looked.


I love this St Anne sculpture. It was a gift from my brother in law. The snow globe with Karl Lagerfeld inside, is a gift from Ingrid. Behind it a painting by Olan Ventura. In the foreground, a paperweight and a little handpainted box I bought in India.


And some books that are filed here for no particular reason. There are books all over our house.


La Blusa Rosa by Julian Schnabel.


Yes, it’s hanging in my closet. So I can see it everyday.

I’d love to see your happy place. Share…