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Art, beauty and the empowerment of women

By THERESE JAMORA-GARCEAU, The Philippine STAR Published Mar 24, 2024 4:00 am Updated Mar 25, 2024 3:14 pm

Rustan’s biggest summer beauty event which happened last Mar. 7, called “GRLPWR: Resort to Beauty”, was all about women empowerment, art, and beauty—a chance to see, touch, and feel the latest art, beauty and lifestyle trends at Rustan’s The Beauty Source in Shangri-La Plaza Mall.

As guests decked out in their best resort wear, played to win product samples from new and beloved luxury beauty brands like Chanel, Saturday Skin, Clarins, Maison Francis Kurkdjian, and soon-to-arrive Eve Lom, the spotlight was trained on three Filipinas who excel in three distinct artistic fields: Zarah Juan, Elle Battung and Clara Benin.

Zarah Juan is a fashion-accessory designer and social entrepreneur whose road towards creating artisanal bags began with her desire to save the environment. Her uniquely colorful bags and shoes have captured attention, not only from the local community but captivating the international market as well. She also used her great influence to enhance livelihood opportunities for marginalized communities.

Rustan’s “GRLPWR: Resort to Beauty” event this year was all about women empowerment, art, and beauty.

Committed to Filipino craftsmanship and social responsibility, Juan empowers artisans and preserves cultural heritage through her innovative designs and collaborative efforts, demonstrating her dedication to eco-conscious design with the Mobula bag, crafted exclusively for Rustan’s The Beauty Source. Inspired by the manta ray, the piece embodies grace and fluidity, while also emphasizing sustainability and environmental stewardship in fashion. Juan continues to engage artisan communities in her creative process, preserving cultural heritage through impactful and meaningful art.

Elle Battung is a Laguna-based freelance illustrator. A working artist for over a decade, she has been designing for brands and working with clients, as well as continuously crafting her personal art. Battung skillfully intertwines elements of design and nature in her artwork, drawing from experience to create captivating pieces that resonate with depth and authenticity.

Event host Janeena Chan

Bringing her artistic flair to the Rustan’s GRLPWR event with an exclusive mural, Battung created a soothing ambiance, hoping that it would make viewers feel relaxed and blissful. Reflecting on her creative process, she shared, “My style is deeply influenced by children’s literature and those elements of curiosity, hope, and magic.”

The last but not the least of the featured artists, Clara Benin is a Filipina singer, songwriter, and independent artist who became known for her debut album Human Eyes. Since then, she has gone on to produce, write and mix her own music, including her EP “Riverchild". Hailed as the indie darling of the Philippines, Benin mesmerizes listeners with her voice and heartfelt acoustic melodies, establishing herself as a prominent figure in the music scene both locally and internationally.

Artisanal advocate: Accessory designer Zarah Juan designed her Mobula bag exclusively for Rustan’s The Beauty Source’s GRLPWR Beauty Addict Gift with Purchase promo.

Serenading guests at the Rustan’s GRLPWR event, Clara deeply moved her audience and left them enchanted, harnessing the transformative influence of music for self-expression and empowerment.

Get resort-ready for your summer getaway

Beauty Addicts can get a head start on being resort-ready in the Beauty Addict Exclusive Gift with Purchase promo. For a minimum spend of P30,000 at Rustan’s The Beauty Source from Mar.1 to April 30, 2024, Rustan’s Beauty Addict members are entitled to an exclusively designed Zarah Juan Mobula bag available in three colorways: Natural White, Black, and Tan.

With the Beauty Addict exclusive raffle promo, members can get the chance to win the summer getaway of their dreams. For a minimum purchase of P5,000 at Rustan’s The Beauty Source from Mar. 1 to May 31, 2024, earn one e-raffle entry to get a chance to win a 4 days, 3 nights all-inclusive stay for two in the Garden View Villa of Nay Palad Hideaway in Siargao, inclusive of roundtrip flights.

Nay Palad Hideaway is a world-renowned five-star luxury resort located on the southeastern tip of Siargao Island. The hideaway village overlooks the Pacific Ocean and sits behind the white-sand beach that runs along the peaceful private bay, while ancient mangrove forests and natural waterways grace the other side. The resort is known for its ethos of barefoot luxury, where guests don’t have to lift a finger to achieve peace of mind. More than a luxury resort, Nay Palad Hideaway is a way of life rooted in simplicity, authenticity, and sustainability. Learn more at

Once again, the Philippines’ premier beauty mecca shows that by celebrating and supporting women in art, it is fostering a brighter future where women can thrive and their artistic freedom can flourish.

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Shop in a Rustan’s store near you, online, or connect with your Rustan’s Personal Shopper, 09171111952. Follow Rustan’s The Beauty Source on Facebook and Instagram, and join Rustan’s The Beauty Source Viber Community for the latest updates on your favorite beauty brands.