I have a confession. Most people think Valentine’s is a silly marketing ploy, but I actually love it! Yup, I’m that cliché romantic who gets excited about flowers, chocolates, and candlelight dinners.
Whether you are cheesy like me, a cynic, or somewhere in between - Valentine’s is a fun excuse to primp and pamper yourself. Here are some ideas to get you ready for the love month…
Pull off the Aroza Midi Skirt with confidence, by making sure your gams have got their game on. Start off with a combo of GVC’s Body Salt Scrub to exfoliate, followed by their Anti Aging Body Lotion to make sure the new skin is moisturized well. After hours in heels to accentuate this skirt, use Phina’s Relief Remedy Massage Oil or the Mustela Light Legs Gel to soothe those overworked calves. This regimen will improve skin tone and help prevent unsightly varicose veins.
A romantic piece like the Walhala Polka Dress calls for some sexy and subtle prep. Treat yourself to a decadent bath with the yummy shower gels of Phina’s Little Factory. There’s Salted Caramel, Dream, Papaya Milkshake, and Love (which is apropos). Then spray your choice of CBeauty Oil onto damp skin for extra soft & glowy skin. For those with a tan from the holidays, this is a great way to show it off.
Don’t forget to use Snoe’s Underarm Forces to avoid any humidity mishaps. Finish off with a spritz of Audrey by Soleil et Lune. Audrey depicts a woman who is “the tenderness of early spring that is tinged with a new voluptuous sensuality”.
Show off the stunning Eula Classic Gown with your hair down and in fighting form. Start off with your personal selection of GVC’s Heathly & Heavenly Shampoo and Helpful & Delightful Conditioner. For hair that needs extra loving, use Snoe’s Intense Argan Treatment Conditoner as a hair mask. You may also use this for after the festivities to get your hair back in tiptop shape.
For sexy tousled locks spritz on some Beachborn Sea Salt Spray. Just flip your hair over, spray on roots, then flip back. Instant va-voom volume… Make sure to also bring along the new Tangle Angel Compact Brush for quick touch ups and a glam accessory.
A top with a high neckline like the Whale Flowers Bodysuit, calls for a flawless complexion. Start your prep with GlamGlow’s Flash Mud that is a power packed brightening treatment for an instant facial boost. Follow this up with the Condition Face Serum of Phina. The main ingredients of Frankincense and Argan will seal in moisture and tighten pores. To get the best benefits, use the new Rose Quartz Face Roller to massage in the serum fully. Rose Quartz is called the “ice of the gods” and the gem’s healing powers will help even out facial contours.
For the big date night, treat yourself to a natural makeup look with Pixi’s Hello Glow Kit and Vitamin Wake Up Mist. They are all you need to highlight a fresh face (especially if you followed the steps above). Top it off with a sexy pout courtesy of the Zenutrients Strawberry Lip Butter or Ofra's Mina Liquid Lipstick.
While you’re at it – don’t forget to pick up a few things for your man. Our new men’s grooming line called BAD LAB is perfect for the no fuss guy’s guy. Get him the Lean, Mean Machine Sculpting Shower Gel – sorry no miraculous abs but it is the perfect after gym cleanser. Tame his locks and make him feel like an alpha (even if we know women still rule, haha) with the Like a Boss Hair Clay. Then don’t forget to have him spray on the Call To Arms Deo Fragrance for those close encounters.
Well, now I’M READY for some love…and other things. How about you?
You Purveyor Of Beauty & Wellness,
The true pursuit of beauty is more than skin deep. A tube of lipstick, a jar of cream, or a bottle of fragrance creates the landscape – but it is YOU that defines it. First and foremost, you need to have a sound mind, body, and spirit.
After almost 4 years of seeking the best beauty finds, I was ecstatic when we launched our Movement Category. This closes the gap for a more holistic approach to beauty. The adage of "feeling good to look good" has never been more true... I found my center through yoga, and it is my wish that you find what works for you too.
Beauty & Wellness Purveyor, Vanessa Santos finds zen in the black mesh Amaya Performance Tank.
The key is balance. Wellness = Beauty.
We’ve sought a selection of mindful pieces that will (hopefully) inspire you to get moving with us…
Love & Madness Body Suits can go from the studio to a sexy night out.
Made from 100% recycled water bottles, Vichara Project Leggings are perfect for the Eco-conscious shopper.
Atsui Perfomance Tanks have built in sports bras, designed for ultimate support and style.
Having the right tools on hand are just as important to help you exercise safely and efficiently:
Sweaty Band Headbands keep your hair in place without pinching.
Avene Thermal Spray soothes blotchy skin and is a quick hydration during a workout.
Take your journey from beyond the studio with our selection of wraps and cover ups:
Hanuman Multi Way Cardigans are billowy soft and flatter any shape. Discover how to wear each style in different ways.
Toss on the Hana Cover Up and off you go.
The Miho Sleeveless Hoodie is perfect for Manila's unpredictable weather.
The Chiyoko Mesh Hoodie is amazingly airy and light as a feather.
For those who are too busy to attend a class, find your center with these mindfulness tools on the go:
Lovetuner Necklaces are hip accessories yes, but they are also meditation tools that bring peace and calm.
Urban Happiness Healing Oils bring instant relief and come in travel size tins to pop into your purse.
If you have never tried yoga or are looking for a new home base, we have special packages from Yoga+ Express Legazpi now up for seeking.
Their head teacher (and one of my gurus) Karen Demot, shares what yoga means to her: “I practice and I feel free from the complexities and drama of life. As I look inwards, I realize how simple it is to be myself. Although it is usually challenging, I remind myself that my actions have ripple effects I may not ever know. So I practice. Peeling away layers to bring out my truest self, living to uplift myself and others.”
Karen finds her flow in Hanuman's Graceful Motion leggings.
Whatever path you choose, making time for health and wellness is the best gift to yourself. May your life be filled with beautiful love and light. Namaste!
Your Purveyor of Beauty & Wellness,
We all love wonder balms - they are salves to heal almost every kind of skin concern. Lucas Papaw is arguably the best of the lost. For those who are wondering why... here is the down low.
Who created Lucas Papaw?
Dr. T.P. Lucas
Born in Scotland in 1843, Thomas Pennington Lucas developed a love for natural history, botany and medicine from a young age. His interests in these areas led to a lifetime passion for botany and an esteemed career as a medical practitioner.
Originally practicing medicine in London, Dr. Lucas came to Australia in 1876 seeking a warmer climate. He initially moved to Melbourne where he practiced for 10 years before moving to Brisbane in Queensland. It was in Queensland that the story of Lucas’ Papaw Ointment really starts to take shape.
How was Lucas Papaw Discovered?
While carrying out his botanical research, Dr Lucas studied tens of thousands of botanical specimens. The specimen which commanded his closest attention and to which he devoted special study was the papaw tree.
The papaw plant and its fruit impressed Dr Lucas so much that his investigations led him to describe it as “the world's greatest healing agent”. From then on, Dr. Lucas devoted his researches to its application to modern medicine and, as a consequence, its benefits to humanity.
Kevin Talbot, descendant of TP Lucas.
Now several generations on, the all important papaw remedies have been passed on to the descendants of Dr Lucas. Today, the family owned business continues to manufacture Lucas’ Papaw Ointment to the same formula that Dr. Lucas used to prepare the ointment he worked so hard to create in his lifetime.
The company still operates in Brisbane where the ointment continues to be produced. You might be amazed to know that the formula for the famous ointment is still the same proven remedy today as when it was created over 100 years ago.
What is in Lucas Papaw?
Carica Papaya 39mg/g Fresh Fermented Fruit
The papaya used in Lucas' Papaw Ointment is Queensland grown fresh fruit. The fruit is received fresh to our factory in Brisbane where we ferment it under strictly controlled conditions. Every item of fruit we use is hand selected. Once the fruit is fermented to just the right level we can use it to make the ointment. The finished product contains 0.1mg/g of Potassium Sorbate which acts as a preservative.
Base - Pharmaceutical Grade Petroleum Jelly and Wax
The product does not contain polyplasdone, polyvinylpyrrolidone, talc, shellac, palm oil, glycerin or sodium lauryl sulphate. The base used in Lucas' Papaw Ointment meets the purity and safety standards of the United States FDA and the European Pharmacopeia.
Gum Balsam Peru
A minute amount of Gum Balsam Peru is used as a perfume in Lucas' Papaw Ointment.
What does Lucas Papaw do?
The ointment has antibacterial and antimicrobial properties and can be used as a local topical application on the following:
Many users of the ointment also report temporary relief of the symptoms of dermatitis and eczema.
With so many uses and applications, it is always great to have a red jar of Lucas' Papaw Ointment handy in the home. Or, carry some with you on the go in the convenient 25g red tube.
Stop wondering and live wonderfully now!
Your Purveyor Of Beauty,
There is nothing sexier than a woman with luscious locks. Long or short, straight or tousled - our hair needs constant care.
Here are some tips and tricks I’ve learned along the way:
Hair coloring can allow you to change your look, improve texture, increase volume, or simply cover up gray hair. Instead of a block color, try highlights or lowlights which give hair a natural sun-kissed appearance. Make sure to maintain your hair's color with regular treatment.
HIGLIGHTS – lightens and brightens the hair in shades or blonde or gold
LOWLIGHTS – adds volume with deeper shades of auburn, plum, or chestnut
Don't turn up at the hair salon for a color treatment with freshly washed hair. Unwashed hair allows roots to show up better and color to penetrate deeper.
My Amazing Sheer Spray Dry Shampoo
The darker your hair color the more SPF protection it needs. The sun can bleach away richness, leaving color flat and dry. Skip any shampoos with sulfates, as they are just as bad (on colored hair) as the sun.
Use a thermal protection product before you blow dry to protect and quicken your drying time. The conditioners and polymers in these products will protect your hair.
Apply a hair volumizer to the roots of damp hair. Add lift by flipping over blow-drying your hair upside down.
Brushing out knots from the roots down results in tearing and stretching the hair shaft. Instead, start at the bottom and work your way slowly upwards. Use a leave-in conditioner to help with difficult areas.
Just like your hair - brushes, combs, and styling tools need regular washing to avoid build up. Use shampoo in some warm water and dunk in your brushes for about 10 minutes.
Spray some hairspray onto your brush and brush through hair. Wrap a silk scarf around your hairbrush and brush your hair with it for lustrous shine.
Last but not the least, MAKE FRIENDS WITH YOUR HAIRDRESSER. If he (or she) understands you and your personality, he can give you a cut and color that will bring out the best version of yourself. A good visit to the salon can instantly lift your spirits.
*Mehdi Moussaoui, Creative Director of Frank Provost Edsa Shangrila Hotel
Rustle up those tresses and have some fun!
Your Purveyor Of Beauty,
Summer is in full swing and while many are sun worshipers, there are also those who choose to stay away from the sun. Cheesy reference aside, a 'Snow White' complexion is one that is free of dull, pigmented skin and has a luminous radiance.
This is a round up of our tried & tested illuminating finds, that we suggest to use in this prescribed order:
Start off by cleansing with this brightening soap. It uses 3 active ingredients derived from plants: Kojic (whitening), Glycolic (for exfoliating), and Azaleaic (for treating acne). Lather in hands and leave foam on face for a minute before rinsing off.
Follow up with a brightening treatment. This is a youth elixir from Korea that rejuvenates skin cells from within. The Vita Snow Essence restores elasticity and improves skin tone by lightening dark spots and melasma. The Vita Snow Nano Crystal Powder is a whitening vitamin powder that targets melanin and cell regeneration.
Then, seal your treatment with an illuminating moisturizer. Yllume uses an exclusive proprietary process, so that high levels of actives are delivered safely to the skin. It allows skin brightening actives to be delivered to deeper layers of the skin cells.
Finish off with a dusting of these magic balls. They are a blend of shimmer and color with patented light reflectors. The effect is not obvious, but you will have a veil of radiance that is light and perfect for summer. This comes in the universal shade No. 2, that works for all skin types.
For those who love getting a tan (like myself), try this brightening regimen at the end of summer to heal and prevent sun damage. Glow on ladies!
Your Purveyor Of Beauty,
Our beauty category would not be complete without curated Wellness finds. One person who inspired our selection is Monique Borja-Gonzales. She is a woman who values health as much as beauty (not to mention is a loyal seeker too).
I met Monique years ago; she was one of my very first yoga teachers. Her peaceful and beautiful aura always brings a special energy to her classes.
Monique describes herself in her own words: "I am a wife, mom (expecting baby number 2 soon), yoga teacher, and entrepreneur. I am passionate about health and fitness and this dictates much of my lifestyle... I also love everything about travel - as it gives me the chance to discover new experiences in life and in work."
These are Monique's TOP 10 favorites from the site:
1) RITUAL Massage Therapy Set
My husband and I have massages at home twice a week, it's been on our schedule since we started dating. This set from RITUAL is perfect. I also respect the brand for staying true to its local organic platform.
I sleep like a pro. I have quite a selection of these sleep potions by my night stand, this is one of my favorites!
3) BLISS Lemon + Sage Body Butter
I discovered this lovely product when I stayed at W Hotel, Hong Kong. I was so enthralled by the combination of lemon and sage. Afraid I would run out, I hoarded for myself and gave some to my friends. Amazed to find this at SKU!!
4) SPARROW Aroma Room Fragrance Diffuser
Apart from the fragrance, I love the packaging. It makes for a nice gift for any occasion. Of course knowing the maker makes it an even better find, Cat Cantada is a wonderfully bright and cheery person whom I know I can trust with creating products.
5) GRANDMA's Secret Spot Remover
Always comes handy and a true miracle worker. Somebody gave me this as a gift years ago and I've been hooked ever since.
I received this kit when I was a brand new mom, and this was a life saver! It gave us all that we needed to take care of our baby. My daughter is one year old now, and I've continued using Mustela on her.
7) SKII Skincare
I have experimented with so many beauty products, and this one works best for my skin. I noticed a difference in texture after using it religiously for 3-6 weeks. No more experimenting for me, I found it.
I tend to have dry skin, especially when I travel. It is made with Propolis and Argan Oil. I love how a single spritz of this mist feels on my face. It instantly refreshes my bare skin. When using it after putting on make up, it sets everything in place and gives a nice finish.
9) YOGALOVE Healing Cream in Cooling Chamomile
Obviously biased to include this on my list, but I promise it is a daily staple! When I created this product I was looking for a muscle relaxant that didn't smell like granny came for a visit. I use the Healing Cream before yoga, when I have sore muscles, stuffy nose, or just need a pick me upper. It is so good you can't help but share it.
Messy Bessy helped me formulate the perfect combination of essential oils to create the YogaLove line. This Antibacterial Spray may be used on yourself and your yoga equipment to keep them fresh and free of all germs. Many yogis use this as a mat spray during practice to avoid slipping. The scent both relaxes and energizes at the same time.
Monique shares the journey of YogaLove - "It's humble beginning was as a product I wanted to share to a small circle of yoga practitioners, and has now grown to so many other curious seekers."
Like Monique, we should all strive for inner beauty (rooted in wellness) that shines through.
Your Purveyor of Beauty,
Happy New Year beauty seekers! One of the best resolutions for 2016 is to take better care of your skin. As you know, at STU we love all things DIY. When it comes to your face though, I'd be careful busting out the pantry ingredients. Here is a happy middle...
First - a little background on PHINA'S LITTLE FACTORY. A homespun brand started in 2013, that has gained quite a cult following. I met (and have become good friends) with Phina Gono, the owner & founder. She is an amazing woman with such beautiful skin - you would never be able to tell that she is already a grandmother! Her passion lies in creating soaps and skincare of the best quality, that are handmade with love. The rest as they say is history.
Phina Gono, learning how to make extracts during an advanced soap making class.
Here we go...
WHAT IS IT?
A perfecting mask that deep cleanses and gets rid of toxins and impurities, pushing them out to the surface of your skin. Adding the PERFECTING POTION is that extra step to make skin supple and not dry, as the clay absorbs the oil and moisture on your skin. Lastly, a generous dose of Vitamin C is added to achieve youthful, glowing skin. It is a vital component to help in our body's collagen production and it is also a potent anti-oxidant which helps rejuvenate aged & photo-damaged skin.
WHAT DOES THE KIT CONTAIN?
1pc 70ml Green Clay + Goat's Milk Mix
1pc Pure Vitamin C Powder Bottle
1pc 100 ml Perfectionist Potion
1pc mixing spoon
HOW DO YOU USE IT?
STEP 2: Add 5ml of Pure Vitamin C powder.
STEP 3: Mix in 2 tsp. of the Perfecting Potion.
STEP 4: Add 1 tsp. water.
STEP 5: Mix well and apply onto clean face with a brush or hands. Massage into skin with a gentle circular motion. Leave on for 5 to 10 minutes.
STEP 6: Use a damp face towel to wipe off mask, then rinse off excess with warm water.
SOME HELPFUL TIPS:
*Do not let clay mix come into contact with anything metal, as this will reduce the effectiveness. Use the wooden or ceramic spoon and mixing cups provided as much as possible.
**If using for the first time, use only once a week. After than you can increase to three times a week for the second week, and down to maintenance of once a week after using for a month.
PHINA'S PERFECTIONIST MASK KIT is the 'perfect' complement to your personal skincare regimen. It is the much needed boost to revive your skin on a weekly basis. You will notice lighter pigments, tighter pores, and a more radiant complexion.
Go ahead and enjoy some DIY skincare. Beauty should always be fun!
Your Purveyor of Beauty,
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