More organic products



Argan Oil
Moroccan Argan Oil, P1,500 for 30ml at The Souk Organics Boutique.


Almost every leading cosmetics brand now uses Argan Oil in their product lines. The first time I tried it was late last year during a shoot for Urban Zone. The owner of the house introduced me to the product. She told me that it was known as the “liquid gold” of Morocco. It can be used on all parts of the body from hair to face to legs and nails.

This rare oil is made from the nuts of the Argan tree, which grows in no other part of the world except in the Southwestern region of Morocco. It is high in vitamin E and is known as the purest anti-oxidant. The oil is golden coloured and contains high levels of phytotestorols, squalene, essential fatty acids and unsaturated fatty acids – all of which do wonders to the skin, hair, and nails. Because it is rare, argan oil and Argan Oil based products tend to be very expensive.

I have a few argan oil products from different brands now. The others, I use on my hair and I massage on my legs to keep them moisturized. This bottle from Souk International contains pure argan oil with no other mixture and is certified organic by Europe-based ECOCERT. I use it sparingly on a little patch of eczema on my knee. Sparingly because it’s not cheap and a little drop goes a long way. It hasn’t completely healed my eczema but it keeps it moisturized and controlled. I apply it every day. It sits by my bedside. I also use it on my dry elbows.

Upon doing some research, pure argan oil claims it can soften skin and reduce fine lines and wrinkles, reduce skin irritation and redness, especially in the treatment of acne, blemishes, eczema, psoriasis and skin asthma, make scars and keloids less noticeable, prevent stretchmarks, stimulate new hair growth and more. You can apparently mix it with your current skin care and haircare products. Just add a few drops. I have stopped using any product on my face now so I didn’t find the urge to try it. Though many beauty editors and even Hollywood stars swear by this.

Moroccan Argan Oil is available at The Souq Organics Boutique, Unit #2, Bellitudo, #79 Katipunan St., Whiteplains, Quezon City. Contact Numbers: 727-9731, 0906-2441539, 0906-2441537. The Souq also has other brands of organic products for skin, beauty and health – like Mukti and Pangea.


MUKTI pink grapefruit lotion. Mukti is a 12-year old Australian brand that makes products  that contain only pure, high grade certified organic and 100% natural ingredients


pangea bar soaps
PANGEA soaps using whole plant essences, P450.


For more info on The Souk Organics, visit


Raffle from Zen Natural + Organic



As promised, here is the giveaway from Zen Natural + Organic. I featured the brand a couple of weeks ago here. It is always nice to have a more natural and organic alternative. 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.

We will have three winners. I will divide the products into three groups so each of the three winners get a good mix of loot.
















Join here through Rafflecopter. Just follow all the steps. It’s easy. Winners will be chosen on February 20 and will be announced shortly after.


a Rafflecopter giveaway



I’m still here



I’m still here. I’ve just been incredibly busy the past week. It was all about my school homecoming, my daughter’s pool party, my parents’ arrival and planning a trip. I haven’t had a moment to sit down and blog. I do have some stories in the back burner.

Just wanted to share some photos taken by my friend Dan Gil. I grew up with Dan in the same quaint neighbourhood back when we all had beautiful backyards and we could skateboard down tree-lined streets. Those were The Wonderyears. Fast-forward to now, Dan is quite the creative genius. He runs a music/audio provider and recording studio called Liquid Post. He’s part of an ad agency, and he’s in a band called Chillitees.  He does a lot more than that, actually. Two weeks ago, we had lunch in Makati. We’re hoping to do a project together — purely for the love of creativity.

While waiting for our food, Dan whipped out his Fuji camera and began shooting me. I didn’t have makeup on that day. Ok, so I may have drawn on my brows with K-Palette. But no other chorvas. And I was running so late that day, I didn’t get to wash my hair. It was in a messy bun. I’m sharing this because I think in this day an age of over-styling and rampant (and useless) photoshopping of my square jaw, I find raw images like these quite refreshing. Or am I delusional?








All photos by Dan Gil.



Girly-girl stuff



I was organizing my closet the other day and found that I seem to be currently in a camel and beige mood. I told myself that I should wear sequins at least once a week – to keep me cheerful. But that hasn’t really happened. But here are some things keeping me happy…


J.Crew Edie bag from husband’s recent U.S. trip, Zara sequined skirt from last season and other things…


My friend Bryan gave me this lovely can of Kusmi tea. I’m turning into a tea person but only after lunch. I still need my double espresso cappuccino in the morning. This book, Food Rules, is love for two reasons – Michael Pollan’s interesting and silly list, and Maira Kalman’s illustration. I love her.


The Vita Fede people sent me this awesome ring for Christmas. It is more comfortable than it looks. I love it. Very architectural.


Melissa x Jean Paul Gaultier strappy shoes, gifted.


And my gift to self, Smashbox eyeshadow palette. It’s got a good mix of shimmer and bases – all perfect for daily non-occasion use. If you want to use it for going out at night, just use the more intense colours and cream liners. Very nice.


What do you wear to cheer yourself up?


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.