La Fiera Mezcal prides itself in Guerrero's passion fruit curado
Mezcal is gaining ground worldwide as drink connoisseurs clamor for more history, soul, and tradition in their glasses. Andrea Villela, the founder of La Fiera Mezcal, joined some of our seekers in Mexico for some mezcal tasting - with a serving of history on the side.
La Fiera Mezcal is a group dedicated to bringing artisan mezcals to tables across Mexico. It was birthed in one of the nine Mexican regions that produced mezcal: the state of Guerrero. Andrea, who grew up in Guerrero, knew mezcal as a typical part of the meal table during baptisms, weddings, birthdays, and the like. One day, her mother brought a bottle of mezcal to a family book presentation and it became an instant hit. La Fiera Mezcal was born not too long after.
Seekers are treated to history and drinks by La Fiera Mezcal founder Andrea Villela
Passion fruit is added after agave cupreata is distilled
Often confused with tequila, Mezcal is a type of alcohol made from agave. Mezcal is not necessarily tequila but all tequilas are mezcals. While tequila is made specifically from blue agave (agave tequilana), Mezcal broadens its horizons to include a wider range of agave-based liquor. The two also differ in distilling processes and are usually made in different regions of Mexico.
Unlike tequila, however, a certain mythicism grounds mezcal to community and land. The Spanish conquest of Mexico introduced mezcal as the first distilled spirit in the Americas. The mezcal is also thought of as a drink for the soul because of its healthy spirit. It prides itself in tradition, which makes it more attractive to connoisseurs worldwide.
The bottles are hand-painted by artisans from the Montaña Baja. Leftover paint from making traditional tigre masks are used.
The bottles are hand-painted by artisans from the Montaña Baja
Mezcal is typically served with traditional snacks before a meal in Guerrero. Some of these include stems of the Hoja Santa leaf called tlalnipal, local cheeses, chalupas, pozole de frijol or bean pozole, and a specific guacamole recipe called aguacatada.
Seekers get a taste of Guerrero's artisan mezcals
Our seekers were treated to some of La Fiera Mezcal's passion fruit curado, which is made from adding the fruit to distilled agave cupreata. Some of La Fiera's tasting menu also includes natural mezcals "berrico" and "publio", mezcal de pechuga "publio", damiana curado, and even a smashed maguey worm curado (yes, you read it right: it is made from real worms).
Andrea estimates the alcohol level in a mezcal by blowing bubbles through a cane pipeSalted pumpkin seeds are only one of Guerrero's traditional mezcal accompaniment
More than a mezcal curator, Andrea likes to think of herself as a mezcal explorer. Her exploration typically consists of asking around towns in Guerrero, which once even led her to a 50-year-old mezcal bottle.
La Fiera Mezcal envisions a recognition for Guerrero traditions. This humble movement will continue to grow slowly but steadily until Guerrero's artisan mezcals are celebrated around the world.
Some of us have a favorite beauty sin: licking and picking at cracked, dehydrated lips. While we spend a good amount of time at beauty counters trying an array of cleansers, creams, and serums for our face, we neglect to give our kissers the TLC they very well deserve.
Thankfully, gone are the days when petroleum jelly was the only option for dry lips (don’t get us wrong - we have much respect for THE jelly). We broke down three easy steps to have your lips going from el niño to luscious.
1. Don’t hate, exfoliate.
We can get pretty obsessed with sloughing off dead skin on the face and body, but did you know that your lips can use some scrub love too? The skin on the lips is much thinner than skin on other parts of the body, making it more susceptible to drying and flaking. This in turn allows residue and dead skin to build up on the lips.
To keep your smoochers in tip-top shape, use a lip scrub to slough off pesky build up. We personally love Zenutrients epsom salt in Cotton Blossom and Green Bamboo. Just mix this all-around exfoliant with a tinge of balm and rub all over your lips. Repeat once a week.
2. It’s all in the mud.
Not-so-fun fact: the lips have no oil glands and hair, stripping it of natural moisture and protection. To add to the chaos, saliva on the lips evaporates quickly and takes whatever moisture it can with it.
Restore moisture on your lips with a heavy-duty potion like the GlamGlow PoutMud Treatment. These fun pots contain Sweet Almond Oil, Cocoa Butter, Shea Butter, and Tamanu Oil (among other awesome stuff) to quickly revive parched lips. Slather it on and leave on for 10 minutes.
3. Get your lipgloss poppin’.
Finally, make your lips look oh-so-kissable by layering on your favorite lip gloss. We recommend the Imagic Smudge Proof Lip Gloss, which comes in fun, highly-pigmented colors that won’t budge through coffee or brunch.
Upon application, these no-frills tubes start with a creamy consistency but dries matte. Oh, and did we say they smell nice? They smell nice. You’re welcome.
Seek our full range of beauty products here.
More than 10 years in banking has evidently taught Leigh Carcel one thing: to take risks but to be meticulous about it. The same could be said of her personal style.
An apparent perfectionist, Leigh paid extra attention to every minute detail of her outfit – at one point even wearing two different earrings on each ear just to see which one looked better – but also knew the value of collaboration by gracefully and unabashedly asking the stylist for input.
A pop of color in a sea of neutrals: Leigh styled her gray-and-white outfit with red loafers
Leigh put a new spin to the Karis cold shoulder dress by wearing it with shorts and playing with lines
Such structured habits do not come without a softer side – Leigh is, in fact, a highly creative person. Taking one sweep at her beautiful home shows that she is an avid collector of art pieces. A large collection of books sat on massive shelves in her living room, varying from classic favorites to coffee table ones, revealing that she is a woman who likes to keep her mind open.
“I’ve been trying to learn the saxophone because I think jazz is sexy,” she says with a mischievous grin, “but I realized it wasn’t as sexy because of the amount of spit involved.” We picked at the said open mind that even gave us a serving of wit on the side.
Blazers are a staple for putting together travel outfits
A stickler for detail: Leigh has mastered the delicate mix of hues and textures
Leigh's love for detail also shows in her elegantly styled home
Describe your daily uniform.
Since I’ve taken a year off from work. I am mostly dressed casually or in activewear clothes - very comfortable stuff. After 11 years straight of corporate life, it was quite a relief to go casual.
Staple items in your closet that you can’t live without.
I’ve traded in my heels to sandals or sneakers and I’ve traded in my corporate outfit to jeans. However, I do still like blazers - I travel a lot and it helps pull my outfits together.
What is one thing you splurge on?
I splurge on travel.
On normal days, Leigh likes to mix elegance with comfort
Not exactly a sneakerhead: Leigh's love for spinning birthed her humble collection of sneaks
Less or more?
Less. It’s surprising how quickly you can get used to less. First, my closet space has been quite a challenge and even with constant purging, I still can’t properly store my clothes. Second, I think you just realize that there is no need to be too fashionable – just pick out pieces that you like then mix and match them. But of course, less does not mean bad quality.
You shared that you used to design accessories. If you could design a piece of jewelry for Seek the Uniq, what would it look like?
We designed mostly charm bracelets so it would have to be that but with more unique charms.
Which style icon would you want to have lunch with?
I don’t really have style icons but lately I’ve been following the Nordic and Scandinavian girls on Instagram. They just make everything look so elegant yet simple.
A loft full of art pieces and books reveal Leigh's taste for culture
A pair of DIY ribbon straps show Leigh's creativity and resourcefulness with closet
Leigh's favorite fashion hack: oversized earrings
Favorite fashion hack.
Oversized earrings. If I’m not sure of my outfits, big earrings help.
How do you incorporate your personal style into your work wear?
When I was working in the bank, I couldn’t go wild on the colors but I could still make outfits interesting with prints here and there. Nicely cut dresses would be essential. These days, I am enjoying adding color to my wardrobe.
Any advice to readers still trying to find their own style?
Don’t spend too much on clothes, there are reasonably priced brands that have great designs like Seek. :)
We're may or may not have taken the word "lush" a little too seriously
You’ve seen the clothes online, now get to touch, feel and try them on offline.
Seekers will be happy to know that Gypseek Atlas is back with HABITACIÓN, a Guide Shop. We’re unplugging to meet our Seek community face-to-face, as well as to have our lustworthy items available to all of your five senses.
Habitación was created with our Seekers in mind so we turned the space into a lush expanse that will tickle your aesthetic. We threw in some plush seats – and soon, coffee and cocktails – for a full-on lounging affair.
A bright red truck carrying a chock full of woven things? Yes, we did.
It's not everyday one gets to lounge on a chic turquoise sofa
Feel free to browse, hang around or drop by just to say hello. Get to meet the Seek the Uniq team as well - they will personally guide you through our jungle of highly coveted gems.
For Gypseek Atlas rookies, this is how the Guide Shop works:
Our lustworthy items are now available for all five of your senses
Adorn a bamboo bar cart with colored glass and copper to create an instant decorative piece for your home
The kind of clutter we love
We like moving pieces around to keep things interesting
Habitación is located at the new wing of Power Plant Mall in Rockwell Center, Makati City.
We can’t wait to meet all of you!
Cris honed her love for culture and the arts through her travels
Stepping into Cris Bonoan’s home does one thing: it knocks the wind out of you. Nestled in the middle of the concrete jungle that is Makati, Cris’ home is an extension of the busy city - chaotic still, but the mess made absolute harmonious (and tasteful) sense. It was the kind of chaos that titillated the senses – and we mean that in the most gratifying way possible. The front door opens to a wash of light flooding through gigantic windows, eventually revealing a space adorned with personally curated pieces, each with its own story to tell.
It was pretty evident that Cris built her home around her love for travel. As we wandered around her halls, she was usually not far behind with an interesting travel tale or two. Having lived overseas for many years, Cris honed her taste for culture and the arts through her constant forays. A Malang painting, among numerous other art pieces, hung casually on her living room wall as a testimony.
A colorful table littered with interesting pieces greets you at the door
The doorway is interestingly Cris' favorite part of her home
Confident and quick-witted, Cris’ charm was evident in each room. We leveled with her on the pieces that make her heart flutter, as well as some of her pro tips for the traveling art connoisseur.
Describe your style in three adjectives.
Unique, diverse, and casual.
Who are the people who influence your style?
I can’t really name specific people who have influenced my sense of style; I would say my travels have influenced my sense of style. Having lived overseas for many years has helped me embrace other cultures. My travels to other countries have shaped my diverse sense of style.
Cris enjoys a cocktail in her meticulously curated living room
Intricately carved cabinets are a welcome surprise behind the hefty living room set
We noticed that you have a lot of art pieces in your home. What do you look for when you pick out pieces? Are there artists that your particularly favor?
During my travels, I always make it a point to bring home an interesting art piece from places I’ve been to. I am a very visual person - if I see what I like, it doesn’t matter who the designer or artist is, or whether it is cheap or expensive. I do, however, enjoy seeking and finding a great bargain or a unique piece.
Which rooms do you spend the most and least time in?
I spend relatively equal time in all the rooms in my home. If I'm on my laptop working then I will highly likely be in the study room. Meals are a sacred part of our day and I do most of the cooking so I spend a lot of time in time in the kitchen too. My bedroom is my solace and I spend time there when I want to relax and unwind.
Every corner of the home is filled with pieces that tell stories
Cris pays special attention to frames as much as she does to artwork
During your travels, what are the things you keep in mind when hunting for home pieces?
I try to find items that are unique and native to the country I am visiting, as well as the quality, the history and meaning (for example, I used to collect African masks so I would research on the different kinds of masks and their significance).
What is your favorite country or city to shop in?
Africa, India, Turkey, and all over Europe.
Cris' home tip: copper keeps drinks chilled throughout the day
Cris lounges amongst art pieces collected over years of travel
What is the best bargain you’ve ever gotten?
What advice would you give to travellers who want to hunt for home pieces in foreign cities?
Don’t fall for tourist traps; always look for something unique and native to the place you are visiting. Buy something you truly like - it doesn’t matter whether it matches with your current theme or sense of style as long as you like it. I normally start palpitating when I see something I like. That’s when I know I won’t be able to live without it.
Cris' daughter, Amina, chose soft hues for her bedroom
The mix of romantic and eclectic pieces shows Amina taking after her mom's sense of style
If you could change something in your home, what would it be and why?
I wish I had a balcony. I love plants and unfortunately they don’t thrive in a condominium environment.
How did you marry your style with your daughter’s preference in designing her room?
My daughter has lived with art in our home since she was born and she is with me in all our travels. She's now 14-years-old and she chose the design for her room. Luckily, I approved.
Cool hues and romantic pieces make up Cris' bedroom
Cris shares that the bedroom is her place of solace
Woven trays keep accessories organized and accessible
If you were stuck in an island and could only take one decorative piece from your home, what would it be?
My bed! I'm a creature of comfort.
What makes a house a home?
A house is a home when we create a unique place that meets all our needs and expresses our genuine character. A home is a place where one walks in and instantly feels at ease and welcomed. A house is a home when it feels authentic, not contrived and stiff but a true reflection of the people living in it. A house is a home when it is a sanctuary for you and your loved ones.
As much as we would all love to be Superwoman 24/7, our inner Lois Lane calls out to be saved from time to time. A busy career, kids, and the like leave us too exhausted to even take off our makeup after a long day.
According to a recent survey, the average woman has up to 12 skincare steps daily. This is basically torture when all you want to do is hit the sack. While we don’t advocate skipping your skincare routine and sleeping with junk on your face, we do feel your pain.
We came up with a 5-step daily skincare routine for days when your bed calls out for you:
1. Cleanse face with Zenutrients Foam Wash.
This Manila-bred brand boasts of using only high grade blends of the finest natural ingredients. Pump out a sizable dollop and remove the day’s stresses with this refreshing wash.
2. Spray on Phina's Little Factory Lemon Toner.
Nothing says lazy girl more than a spray-on toner. Cut out the extra uncapping and cotton dabbing steps with this natural acne-control spray. Made with lemon peel, glycerine, Vitamin E, and therapeutic grade essential oils.
3. Apply Green Mama Apple Cider Moisturizer.
This VCO-based product promises to even out skin tone and moisturize skin. It also contains other skinfood such as apple cider, apple oil, Vitamin E and alkaline water. Your skin will thank you in the morning.
Tip: VCO-based products can coagulate in cooler climates. Just run the bottle under warm water or rub the product between your hands.
4. Lightly pat on Zenutrients Argan & Cucumber Eye Cream.
Forget cucumber slices – this potent potion will do wonders for your tired peepers. Scoop out a pea sized amount with your ring finger and lightly dab around your eye area.
5. Slather on Provamed Tinted Sunblock.
If you find yourself with no time and on-the-go the next morning, this tinted sunblock is your best friend. It gives enough coverage without suffocating your skin. You can also wear this under your daily makeup.
Seek our full range of beauty products here.
ArteFino has come and gone but luckily, our handpicked items are here to stay. If you missed the opportunity to seek great local finds last weekend, fret not – we got you covered.
Gorgeous Anthill pieces marry modern silhouettes and traditional weaves
Seek the Uniq is the official online partner for this year's fair
To the unfamiliar, ArteFino celebrates the Modern Filipino and the Artist-Entrepreneur. This unique platform sees Philippine artisanal crafts in a progressive light, marrying modernity and tradition through different applications for Filipino indigenous materials.
A beautiful display of crates and woven products greets you at the door
Upon arriving at the Penthouse in 8 Rockwell, a beautiful display of crates and woven products welcome you at the front. A dizzying array of beautiful artisanal crafts sprawls over the entire floor, showcasing everything from fashion to home and yes, even to food.
Rows and rows of artisanal shops showcase local talent
ArteFino boasts of some of the country’s established artist-entrepreneurs and enterprises including Rhett Eala, Rags2Riches, Filip+Inna, Rosanna Ocampo and Zarah Juan. What’s most interesting about the fair, however, is discovering the up and coming designers who hold their craft to an equally high premium.
Zarah Juan showcases beaded beauties at ArteFino
Zarah Juan's Marahuyo bag in blue
Zarah Juan has been known in the industry for their creative use of indigenous materials that are also very wearable. The brand has perfected the craft of striking a balance between the old and new, breathing new life into the words “modern Filipino”.
Lilianna Manahan shares a creative corner with Rosanna Ocampo
Up and coming designer Lilianna Manahan combined commercial upholstery and hand-woven fabrics to create her gorgeous Wilbur stools. She also produced other quirky pieces such as beaded lizards on pillowcases, unique hand-painted vases, and her own postcard artworks on canvas totes.
Close-up detail on Lilianna Manahan's Wilbur Pillow
Lilianna Manahan combines commercial upholstery and hand-woven fabrics from the Yakan and Blue Mountain Inabel
Marsse might look like a traditional wooden craft store at first glance, but don’t let first impressions deceive you - a closer look shows a passion to bring wooden products to the next level of artisan. Marsse creates beautiful products using the Lichtenberg wood burning technique, which is a special process using electricity producing one-of-a-kind fractal patterns.
Marsse brings their sustainably-farmed Gmelina wood from Pangasinan to 8 Rockwell
The brand prides in their Lichtenberg woodburning technique which uses electricity to produce fractal patterns
Interweave showcases traditional patterns in scarves
ArteFino puts the spotlight on local finds in a lush setup
Seek our full collection of handpicked ArteFino items here. The Pop In is extended until 9 Sept, Sunday!
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