It’s been over a year that we’ve committed to our new lives as indoorsmen. After we’ve cycled through the banana breads, Dalgona coffees, ube cheese pan de sals and sushi bakes, the question now is what brings us comfort in these times?
The answer is different for everyone, if you’ll remember our At Home With series from last year. But personally, I’ve found myself looking towards local purveyors for touches of beauty, comfort, history and community, apart from plain old wares.
Home is where the comfort is
The place where we’re all in — home — seems like the best place to start, and there are two spots that have brought an immense dose of necessary vibrancy to my space that deserve the most honorable of mentions.
Doze Days sheets
Most of us who’ve spent more time at home have noticed the state of our sheets. And with so many looking towards more ethically produced and sustainably sourced products, including myself, Doze Days ticked all those boxes.
They use bamboo lyocell and TENCEL lyocell, which feels wonderfully silky while remaining vegan. It’s even perfect for these current rising temperatures, because of its thermoregulating and moisture-wicking properties. (Those with sweaty bedfellows, take note.)
Because their sheets come in solid colors, bereft of fussy patterns and in really chic tones, these are an easy addition to any linen closet or to spruce up any bed situation. These are made to last in both durability and aesthetics, making them a great investment overall.
Maartefacts Vintage Shop
I’ve been loving digging around online vintage shops, and Maartefacts captured my heart with its really sweet, quirky collections. I’ve purchased a heavy cherry-printed plate that looked brand new, as well as one of their many adorable ceramic cats.
It’s a shop that fulfills the need and adrenaline rush of the thrift shop haunt, with unexpected drops throughout the week and a range of vases, candlesticks, glassware, art pieces, dishes and things that bring color and life to a home.
Have a poke around over at @maartefaacts on Instagram, and make sure you subscribe for post alerts!
Behold the lockdown beauty
I’m someone who, on a busy day, can have eight Zoom calls, back to back to back. That’s a lot of time spent in a window glancing back at your own face, but also trains one to slap on a full face in seven minutes or less. These are some of the current heroes in the rotation:
Issy & Co Active Skin Tint, Loose Powder, and Brow Refiner
I wasn’t a big fan of their color products, so I was fully surprised by how much I loved this latest drop. I don’t have to talk at length about their Active Skin Tint (oil-free, packed with skincare and SPF 35, comes in 6 adaptable shades, great light to medium coverage) or their finely-milled Loose Powder (the illuminating variant is my hard fave for its blurring and setting properties without a flat matte finish). Both of these are a hard YStyle fave, but what is new is their Brow Refiner.
The first iteration of their brow gel came in double ended packaging, one end with castor oil and the other with the actual brow gel. It was really just okay for me, but this revamped version that’s now flying solo (their improved lash and brow serum also comes in individual packaging) won me over quite quickly.
There’s a texture to it that gives it a good hold without making it uncomfortable, sticky, or crunchy. It adds just enough colour and, I’m happy to report, will last through a good sweat behind a face shield in this summer heat.
While I’d still recommend running through with a spooly for a softer brow look, the Issy & Co Brow Refiner is that really easy groom and go product for when you have five minutes before hopping onto a Zoom.
Shop Issy & Co on Shopee and Lazada, and follow them at @issyandcompany on Instagram.
Stroke Beauty Lab Microblade Pen Perfector and Velvet Click Stick
On the subject of brows, I’ve never been handy with a brow pen, but Strokes Beauty Lab makes one with the softest brush tip that dispenses the lightest, most realistic stroke of color. If you’re into a bushy, more natural looking brow, but have areas with gaps you’d like to fill in a bit more, the Microblade Pen Perfector is the key. It’s almost alarming how easy to use it is and how gorgeous the results are.
The brand has similarly launched a range of semi-sheer velvet matte lipsticks that come in a click pen component. These are really lovely to apply (would still recommend starting with a lip balm), with a nice cushy feel on the lips. The opacity allows you to control how full-on you’d like to wear color, but whether it’s a single swipe or a full-on lip statement, it lasts for a good while before fading evenly. The nine shades cover a lot of bases, but Lady Luck and Viper are my favorite perk-me-up summer picks.
Werq from home
Some of us draw a specific comfort from our garments that, while it may seem frivolous to some, can truly spell the difference between a good mood and a horrendous one, or a productive day and a more chilled-out one.
Many of us have wrestled with falling into the daily duster trap, and Owa Sylvia came through with its own take on a duster that can go anywhere.
Crafted by artisans in Marikina under the legendary Sylvia Borja (for both her dressmaking skills and her love of butter), Owa Sylvia has a lovely, tight duster edit. There’s a swing duster, an A-line silhouette with spaghetti straps; a midi duster, gathered at the top with wide straps; and the babydoll duster, which is a mini-dress with sleeves.
All three come with signature cut-out detailing and come in the shades eggshell, pebble, and strawberry. As with all things Owa Sylvia though, there’s a bit of a waitlist, but patience pays off in spades.
Learn more about dusters (or dasters) and the most endearing content on Instagram via @owasylvia.
Fashion has not always been as kind to those struggling to find maternity wear, and Flutter Collection is here to address the gap. Their garments are airy, breathable, in silhouettes that both flatter a body (pregnant or otherwise) and one that can feel beautiful with the least amount of effort.
The line is replete with thoughtful details — stunning prints in delicious colors, dresses that can be adjusted from XS to XL or converted to skirts, hand-smocked shoulder panels sewn by local artisans, matching scrunchies should you desire them.
Because these are clothes made by an actual busy mom in search of ease without compromising beauty, Flutter Collection embraces maternity wear while creating garments that can be worn by all women.
An online shop that is fantastic with a pun and exceptional in its vintage finds, Glorious Dias does regular drops through Instagram stories (which it calls its “story-story store”). More than its special finds, Glorious Dias also makes clothing out of repurposed vintage and vintage fabrics that’s imaginative and extremely well-fitting on a multitude of body types.
They’ve been best known for their pinafores, which are always snatched up in the blink of an eye, so much that they’ve transitioned into pinafore-style crop tops. There’s a thoughtful blend of patterns and colors, from batik and Japanese kimonos to 1960s Cordilleran weave.
But what is equally impressive is that the shop, in its own creations and in the vintage pieces it carries, is inclusive in its size range, effectively democratizing vintage for larger bodies that love a bit of historical clothing, too. And that, we can say, is truly glorious.
Skip the sari-sari store and hop on to the story-story store at @gloriousdias on Instagram.