skin care

Black is Back: Ella Naturals Active Charcoal Mud Mask

With all the layers of makeup, skin care, and gunk that bombards our face every day, we need to spike up our skin care routine regularly. Aside from the usual cleanse-tone-moisturize and bi-monthly facials, another good way to improve, detox, or boost moisture in skin is to use a mask.

I’ve favored detox masks more than anything, especially since my complexion is more on the combination type with somewhat oily T-zone. I am currently enjoying Ella Naturals’ Active Charcoal Mask made by fellow blogger, Gellie Abogado.

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If you’re my Instagram contact (if not, go ahead and follow me at @kirasworld), no doubt you’ve seen my IG stories applying the mask and making fun of myself once to twice a week. Lovely playlist courtesy of my Spotify, of course.

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My picks from Lunas by Nanny Rose

Old readers of my first blog would recall that when I started in 2008, I focused more on beauty and writing about local all-natural brands. That was the blog’s first inclination after all — to share my local beauty discoveries. Even though this new blog is geared towards more lifestyle posts, I still relish in visiting bazaars and discovering handcrafted products from indie brands.

And one brand that I’ve supported from the start was Nanny Rose who was known more for their cold wax hair removal kits exclusively available in Watsons. Now I’m featuring their new products from their sub-brand, Lunas (means solution in English).

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There is one particular product that I hoard and that is the Feel Good Cooling Cream (Php 500), I actually have 5 bottles waiting in the wing while I finish my current. It’s a body lotion made of beeswax and moisturizing shea butter plus essential oils including citrus, peppermint and menthol (of course!) which give it a fresh minty kick. Degree of mentholated-ness is decent, but the lotion is lightweight and absorbs fast. The citrus blend scent is also very comforting, I use this after every shower.

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Seriously Safe: Messy Bessy Bug Repellent Cologne

Messy Bessy is probably one of the most underrated local brands in the all-natural/organic scene. They’ve been around almost forever (do you remember Leyende back in the day? I used to support them alongside Messy Bessy), are so affordable, and are made of simple ingredients spearheaded by pure ol’ water.

Messy Bessy Bug Repellent_Elegantly Wasted 1

I’ve long been a supporter of Messy Bessy especially the minty Disinfectant Aroma Spray which can also be used as a deodorizer spray (for sanitizing public toilets, office tables, and other surfaces), hand sanitizer, yoga mat cleaner, and poo-fume. I just buy the 500ml spray bottle and refill my 50ml one to save big bucks and lessen plastic consumption (you can join me rid oceans of plastic, check my Eco Bricks challenge here)

A new discovery is their Bug Repellent Cologne from their baby line which I supposedly got for my nephew but ended up using while traveling. This was part of a special bundle pack released last Christmas, a pack of 3 was only Php 150.  Read More

The Good Bar: An on-the-go moisturizer that won’t leak in transit

Are you the type of person who tapes everything up because your toiletries might leak in transit? It’s so old school but I surely am guilty of that — I’ve taped up bottles of lotions, shampoos, sunscreen tubes, etc. because one time I opened my luggage and discovered moisturizer all over my clothes. Such a hassle to clean everything up, definitely not the best way to start your vacation.

Enter The Good Bar by Jarful of Goodness. From the makers of the decadent body scrubs in 2014 (read my review of the Coffee Scrub and Salt Scrub), Jarful of Goodness created solid bar moisturizers that are easy to use and tote around. If you travel a lot (even within the city) or desire to pack light, then you’ll enjoy these non-messy tubs of healing goodness that can be used a number of ways.


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Moisturize daily with Aveeno Active Naturals

I’ve always perceived Aveeno Active Naturals as brand that was gentle on skin, from its neutral aesthetics down to the ingredients. Back when it wasn’t available in the Philippines, we’d ask our relatives abroad to send us humongous bottles, gleefully open the balikbayan boxes, and consciously use only an ample amount to make them last a year or more. Thankfully, Aveeno Active Naturals is now easily available in our local supermarkets. The brand was kind enough to send me the Daily Moisturizing combo of Lotion and Body Wash which I totally love, here’s why:


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Venus & Mars Naturals

Rediscovering brands you’ve once loved can be quite a thrill, and god knows I’ve supported so many indie brands in their early days. Venus & Mars Naturals is one of them and my family has become quite good friends with the owner, Jamie Tan, in the process.

Prior to flying to Siargao, I had picked up these two products from their kiosk:


Keep Safe Tinted Sunscreen – Php 580

This was previously in a tub and now upgraded to an air pump container. Definitely more hygienic and easier to tote around. The tint is fairly light with very sheer coverage, texture is creamy without feeling heavy or greasy. Packed with tea tree oil and V&M’s signature emu oil, this is geared towards ladies with blemishes. The SPF number isn’t specified but I am told it contains an SPF of 15, decent enough for daily use.

Citrus Zest & Neroli Bespoke Fragrance – Php 450

On days when I want to switch up my Verbena fragrance, I turn to this playful scent that is reminiscent of Denenes baby cologne. It’s the perfect beach/summery option that leaves me feeling refreshed and energized.

You can shop the whole Venus & Mars line at