Ever since I started helping out with the development of my mom’s backyard business a few years ago, I learned to appreciate even more all the time, hard work, and effort that small, local companies put into their businesses. And it’s precisely this reason why I started an annual tradition with myself to buy my Christmas gifts from promising, local brands (like Viajecito, Mavyn, and Lace & Rue!), to support them and hopefully help them grow further.
This is also the reason why I’m more drawn towards buying local and sustainable brands even for myself. And just recently, while I was arranging and organizing the products in my bathroom, I noticed that majority of these brands are proudly local.
I’m currently using the Zenutrients Gugo Strengthening Shampoo. It all happened when I heard from Calyxta’s Editorial Assistant, Maan Fernandez, that the shampoo had been incredibly effective on her boyfriend’s dad. I got curious and bought a bottle for my fiancé, and after two weeks, I did notice the results. Because of that, even his officemates and best friend purchased bottles for themselves, and not wanting to miss out, I got one for myself and one for my parents! Nowadays, it’s all we can ever talk about when it comes to hair care. Aside from its promise to strengthen and thicken, what I’ve been experiencing personally is less hair fall. Once I finish my current conditioner, I plan to switch to their Gugo Strengthening Conditioner, and even add in the Gugo Strengthening Serum to my hair care routine!
This is one set of soaps that I repeatedly purchase from Calyxta every month. Made from carabao’s milk sourced locally from farmers in Bulacan, it keeps my skin moisturized even without the use of lotion! (Honestly, when I’m too tired or lazy in the evening, applying lotion is the one step I tend to skip.) And although it’s a little bit pricier than regular or commercial soaps, what I love about Kala Milk is how they continuously support the carabao farmers of Baliuag, Bulacan by giving them livelihood and even helping send their children to school. As for the variants, I highly recommend using the peppermint—the scent is so delicious, it makes me look forward to a relaxing bath every day.
Honestly, what convinced me to buy this product was the fact that it was made from coconut. And I am obsessed with anything coconut. I love drinking coconut juice, I love eating coconut meat, I love using coconut oil, and I basically love smelling anything coconut. So I bought this with every intention of smelling like a walking coconut! But more than that, what I discovered after using it the first few days, was how lightweight and incredibly non-sticky the formula was. I would only use this once a day—every evening after I’m done with my facial skin care routine. I’d always wake up to the smoothest and softest skin, and even if I’ve washed it off after my bath, my skin still feels extra soft and smooth.
I bought the large Happy Island Candle in Pina Colada early this year as a birthday treat for myself, and though I originally wanted it on my bedside table, I realized it wasn’t advisable because I have a dog and a cat that roam freely around the carpeted room and could easily knock it off. It would have been a disaster waiting to happen. So instead of placing it in my room, it now sits in my bathroom! Whenever I feel like adding a lovely tropical scent, or when it’s my mask night and I know I’ll be sitting around for 15 to 20 minutes, I just light it up!
To be honest, this was an impulse purchase when it was on sale at 50% off. I bought one without really thinking what I would use it for, but now I found a purpose! Every night after I apply my Cocoline Naturals Intense Moisturizing Lotion, I use this as an armpit cream to help achieve flawless underarms!
So those are just local brands in my bathroom. It doesn’t include yet the Sip PH Skinny Burrito that I always carry in my bag to prevent the use of plastic straws and utensils, the Zenutrients All Is Well Balm on my office desk that I like to use whenever I’m getting a migraine, or the Pink Sugar HD Lipstick in Butter inside my office makeup kit that I like to swipe on whenever I’m off to meetings or events!
Gretchen is a writer, makeup artist, and the beauty and lifestyle blogger behind www.gretasjunkyard.com. Her love for beauty all started when she discovered the wonders of doing her brows with a good eyebrow pen. Despite her girly ways and obsession with skin care, she loves watching wrestling and gets competitive while playing Ultimate Frisbee.