Archive for May 11th, 2011

glossy features cat juan ledesma

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(photo credit : Carlo Ledesma)

Glossy returns after a three-week hiatus and our feature for today is Sydney-based writer/former model/beauty editor Cat Juan Ledesma. Here are her favorite beauty products:


I have always been a beauty fanatic and I blame my maternal grandmother for lighting this fire. During summer holidays in Santa Monica, she would take my cousins and I to fluorescent-lit drugstore empires and place gargantuan baskets in each of our hands. “Grab two of anything you can’t get back home,” she’d advice.

It didn’t help that many years later I became the beauty editor of two high-end glossies in the Philippines, where products would be thrown at me from every direction.

“Try me, love me, write about me,” the products yelled from my desk, which was often filled to the brim with tubes, bottles and press kits.

My grandmother is no longer around to take me drugstore shopping and I’ve moved on from my magazine editor life, but I still find comfort trolling the aisles of beauty shops. Creams that promise suppleness, scents of freshly cut grass and mint, and colors that make your eyes glisten by candlelight. They are a world I am at home with.

Since moving to Sydney and having to pay for my own products, I’ve learned to tame this addiction. Once in a while I’ll treat myself to something small, but more often than not I’ve learned that miracles cannot be found in a bathroom filled with beauty artifacts. So here are my staples:


I am definitely a bar soap kind-of-girl and these three are my favorites. Dermatologists personally recommended them and they can be used on both your face and body. Dove can be found anywhere and doesn’t dry your skin, Purpose lasts forever and smells so clean (I have to ask people to get it for me in the States), and this blue glycolic soap from SkinLab gently exfoliates. A trick I learned years ago to make a bar of soap last longer is to cut it in half. You’ll be surprised how much more you’ll get out of a bar if you use the halves separately.


I discovered Lucas’ PawPaw Ointment during my first semester in grad school and I bring tubes of this stuff back home for my girlfriends every year. It’s a petroleum-like salve that has a sugary smell and is great on your lips or any dry areas. It also works well as an impromptu eye makeup remover. I keep a tub of this stuff on my nightstand and put it on my lips, hands, and heels before bed.


Ladies, you’re on the fast train to ‘Wrinkle Ville’ if you tan. I’ve slathered sun protection on my face and neck everyday since my early 20s. I lean towards sunscreen with physical barriers like Titanium Dioxide or Zinc Oxide. VMV has a great sunblock line, including a shiny gloss for the lips. Australian brand Invisible Zinc is my current daily choice. Since physical barrier sunblocks tend to make my olive skin look white, I mix a dollop with a few drops of liquid foundation that’s a few shades darker than my skin. Works like a charm.


I am a loyal user of MAC’s Studio Finish Concealer. I use it under my eyes, the sides of my nose, and on any damn blemish that happens to grace me with its presence. I love how one little tub can last for a year and it’s SPF 35. On nights out, I’ll slap on MAC’s Full Coverage foundation. I often just use clean fingers to spread it evenly. I love Bobbi Brown’s Shimmer Brick. It’s like having five gorgeous little eye shadows to play with. I also love Kit’s Lip+ Cheek stain and always put a little dab on my lips during the train ride to work. Nars’ Orgasm blush has been my holy grail for years. I think this is my third compact.


Living in Australia means we have to battle dry weather constantly. I love Kiehl’s Crème De Corps line; it feels like satin on my skin. Palmers is equally good, you smell like a chocolate cake and it lasts forever. A regimen my mom recently got me into is to add a few drops of Elemi Oil into my lotion. It’s proudly Philippines made (you can buy a bottle in The Collective), super rich in anti-oxidants (Chanel uses Elemi in their Ultra Correction Lift line), and super affordable. If it’ll make me look like my mom when her age, I’ll try anything.

as told to divasoria

Written by divasoria

May 11th, 2011 at 6:22 am

Posted in beauty

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