Bodyworx Medical Spa: A stylish, personal touch to skin care

Entering Bodyworx Medical Spa feels more like entering a hotel lobby rather than a skin clinic, with its sophisticated high-ceiling, stone...


Entering Bodyworx Medical Spa feels more like entering a hotel lobby rather than a skin clinic, with its sophisticated high-ceiling, stone-finish reception area.

The husband and wife tandem behind Bodyworx, aesthetic medicine practitioners Andy and Sugar Mantilla, had their humble beginnings providing skin treatments in their apartment. Three years later, to accommodate their growing clientele and range of services, they have recently opened this beautiful, full-fledged clinic in Cebu Business Park with four treatment rooms and dedicated areas for IV and nail treatments.
Doctors Sugar and Andy Mantilla of Bodyworx Medical Spa

We are accustomed to choosing from a menu of services, but one of the things that makes Bodyworx unique is the thorough analysis that will be done on each client in order to determine what service would be most effective. In the same way we go to our regular doctors, we don’t tell them what needs to be done; we get a check-up and are then advised what to do.

Aside from the patient information sheet, clients will be asked to go into detail about their skin concern, what products they use for skin care, and what past procedures they have tried. Dr. Andy and Dr. Sugar make sure that they are able to consult with every patient for a thorough assessment, and take the time to educate their clients on everything from product ingredients, to how a certain type of laser works. They aim to provide personalized, effective treatments that their clients can enjoy in a very clean and comfortable clinic. 
The Visia face analysis machine checks patients' skin condition
as part of the pre-treatment assessment.

Though both Andy and Sugar are doctors, they differ from dermatologists in that their treatments do not require pathologic testing. The services at Bodyworx are cosmetic to enhance the health and vibrancy of the skin, rather than medical, which focuses on treating diseases.

Facials are Bodyworx’s trademark treatment, and often last up to two hours. Those who regularly go to skin clinics will recognize state-of-the-art machines like Ulthera, Pollogen, Mesobiolift, and Opera; these are all offered at Bodyworx for less compared to other clinics. Other face and body treatments target pigmentation, scarring, acne, fat reduction, and hair removal. 




In a separate area, clients can avail of several types of IV vitamin therapies (popularly known as drips), and nail services including the fun and unique 3D nail art printing. Each lounge chair in the nail area even comes with a tablet so you can Netflix and chill while having your nails done.
Nail lounge with individual tablets

Choose from top nail polish brands like Morgan Taylor, OPI, and Cuccio.

IV therapy area

Bodyworx is located on the ground floor of Solinea Tower One, Cardinal Rosales Avenue. It is open from Mondays to Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., and on Sundays from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Contact them at bodyworxmedicalspa@gmail.com.

A version of this post was published in Sun.Star Cebu on July 5, 2019.


Favorite brow products (pencil, powder, gel)

If there are two things I never leave home without, it's my eyebrows. I only started practicing on them around 7 years ago even if I hav...

If there are two things I never leave home without, it's my eyebrows. I only started practicing on them around 7 years ago even if I have been playing with makeup for 15+ years, but it's now the beauty ritual I can't leave home without. Here are the best brow products I have used so far to achieve my preferred brow style, which is shaped and defined, but not too bold or dark.

Brow pencils
All of these pencils meet my requirements:
* pigmented
* blendable
* not too soft (very soft or waxy pencils will smear easily, not to mention run out quickly)
* has a spoolie
* comes in my preferred shade of medium to dark brown (nothing warm, too gray, or too red)
* long wearing even with my oily forehead

Pinkies Collections eyebrow pencil (Light Brown) - This pencil is so good I am willing to overlook that I have to sharpen it. Available for P100 in Watsons.

Tony Moly Lovely eyebrow pencil - The sticker has come off so I don't know what shade this is, but this suits me best when my hair is darker. Waterproof and stays on even at the beach. Available for around P300 in Tony Moly stores.

Dearberry Rockcat Girl eyebrow pencil - I hoard this whenever I find it available on ph.althea.kr because it is frequently out of stock. About P130.

Soap & Glory Brow Archery (Brownie Points) - Has a fine tip for added control. Bought for £10 in London.

NYX Cosmetics Micro brow pencil - Also don't know the shade name because it has rubbed off. Ultra-fine tip makes it easy to draw cleaner arches or tiny strokes for feathering in sparse areas. Available online for P350-P550, depending on the seller.

Benefit Cosmetics Goof Proof brow pencil (Shade 3) - Hands down the most kikay pencil of all, with a unique diamond-shaped tip. It is also the most expensive of all in this lineup, at P1,660 for the regular size, so this is really an indulgence or something special for me, not something I use everyday. Benefit has boutiques in Ayala and SM Seaside, and is available online on Zalora and Sephora.

Not pictured is the Etude House brow pencil that I have been buying on and off for years, but everybody already knows that one anyway.

Brow powder / pomade
Anastasia Dipbrow Pomade (Dark Brown) - Still the best if you want brows to last even through surfing. About P1,200 on Sephora.ph.

in2it brow palette - Another one that many of us swear by. I was skeptical when the saleslady told me this would last 3 years, but I have probably had it for that long and still haven't hit pan. About P300 in Watsons and department stores.

Wet n Wild Ultimate Brow Kit (Ash Brown) - Seeing how battered this is, it's obvious how much I use this. The powder is more pigmented than in2it but can go on too harsh if you use too much. I mix two dabs of the darker brown with one dab of the lighter one. You can probably also tell I don't use the wax in this palette.

Brow gel
If I know I'm going to have a particularly long or sweaty day, I use brow gel as a last step for added longevity.

Aritaum Idol brow mascara - Suits me best when my hair is lighter, but I find the spoolie size perfect for quick application. Available on Cebu-based daraholic.com for P260.

Benefit Cosmetics Gimme Brow (Shade 3) - Has a teeny, tiny spoolie, which means you don't pile on too much product if you have fine hairs, but also means you can carefully build up brows for a bushier look without caking on the product. P1,500 for the full size, though it comes in a mini size and value kits so it comes out cheaper.

Maybelline Brow Drama Sculpting Brow Mascara (Soft Brown) - The bulbous end is kind of odd because I don't see how this improves application, but this is a good brow gel for everyday since it comes with a lot of product in the tube. Available for about P350 in Maybelline counters, Shopee, and Lazada.


Sunscreens with high sun protection from Nivea, Human Nature, Belo Beauty

The rainy season is drawing near, but many of us are still having end-of-summer escapades, and with our tropical lifestyle, it's easy fo...

The rainy season is drawing near, but many of us are still having end-of-summer escapades, and with our tropical lifestyle, it's easy for us to go to the beach or island hopping on a sunny weekend any time of the year. Before you go out to get sunkissed, check if you might be due for a new sunscreen; sunscreen’s shelf life is only one year, so remember to purchase a new tube or bottle every time summer comes around. Based on experience, sunscreen that is more than a year old is no longer effective; you can coat yourself in it, but the protection will last no more than a few minutes. And yes, everyone needs sunscreen; it is not true that those with darker skin no longer need it.

Whenever I'm at the beach, I spend as much time as possible in the water. I am not afraid of getting a tan, but I am afraid of burning because 1) ouch! and 2) skin damage. Here are a few sunscreens that have worked the best for me for high sun exposure. All products can be found in your local grocery store or pharmacy or can be ordered online, and will not cost a tanned arm and leg. 
Nivea Sun Protect and Moisture Face Cream
This has SPF50 and feels lighter and less sticky compared to Nivea face sunblocks I’ve tried in the past. It absorbed easily and did not leave that comical white cast even when generously applied. I put this to the test when I dared to swim in the beach during the hottest hours: 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. I reapplied halfway through (a must when in the water), and managed to survive with just a red nose and cheeks.


Human Nature Safe Protect Sunscreen
If you plan to go snorkeling in a coral garden, or are conscious about ingredients used in sunscreen, this one is formulated without oxybenzone, octinoxate, benzophenone and other chemicals that can bleach corals. This is a natural sunscreen free of parabens and synthetic fragrances so it’s good for your skin, too. It also comes in a Kids and Babies formula for young or sensitive skin.


Belo Intensive Whitening BB Cream
I use this on days when I expect to be under the sun in the city, or at the beach if my skin isn’t looking particularly even-toned. The texture is a little tacky (sticky), but if in the city, a light dusting of face powder with a brush does wonders. Unlike many BB creams that are too white for most Pinay skin colors, this one adapts to skin. I don’t know if this is really whitening, though; I don’t use it everyday so I can’t conclude.


A version of this post first appeared on print in Sun.Star Cebu on May 10, 2019.

Guardian Sheet Masks at Rose Pharmacy

A sheet mask is just a sheet mask, right? In the case of Guardian, there’s more to sheet masks than meets the eye. The brand has made it so...

A sheet mask is just a sheet mask, right? In the case of Guardian, there’s more to sheet masks than meets the eye. The brand has made it something of a mission to provide a variety of sheet masks to provide different benefits for the skin. The variety of Guardian Happy Masks exclusively found in Rose Pharmacy outlets can rival or outdo those available in Korean beauty stores. 
Guardian Happy Masks

Jeju range. P49 each

These may be the first range I noticed available by Guardian, and the first ones I tried out. These AquaPlux sheets provide ultimate hydration and are free of parabens, mineral oil, and colorants. Jeju comes in Lily, Green Tea, Lotus Flower, Tsubaki, Seaweed, and Aloe Vera to replenish daily nutrients your skin needs, and to address complexion concerns like dullness or dryness. 

Premium Truffle range. P79 each

For more mature skin or if your face needs some extra TLC, White Truffle brightens and strengthens the skin with niacinamide, while Black Truffle makes skin supple with ultra-moisturizing hyaluronic acid.

Sleeping Mask. P79

These are not sheet masks that you only leave on and dispose after 15 or 20 minutes, but for overnight application just like a night cream. These come in translucent gel or milky cream textures, and deliver benefits like reinforcing skin’s natural lipid barrier for dry skin, or antioxidants for protecting the skin and keeping it healthy.

Berries Garden: Antioxidant, Vitalising. P59 each

Berries Garden: Hydrating, Rejuvenating, Brightening. P59 each

Marine Jelly Essence range. P79 each

If the Jeju and Berries range take inspiration from the garden, the Marine Jelly Essence range turns to the sea. Sea Cucumber revitalizes skin for a healthy-looking complexion, Seaweed smooths and soothes, and Jellyfish makes dry skin soft and supple.

Not only are these masks easily accessible since you can pick one up anytime you’re buying medication or personal care products, but they’re so affordable you can use them once a week or even more frequently, if you're feeling extra indulgent!

A version of this post was published in Sun.Star Cebu on September 21, 2018.


Review and how to use Althea Korea Skin Detoxers in Rose, Mint

Althea Korea has been on a roll with introducing their own brand of products. In time for the online store’s third anniversary is the relea...

Althea Korea has been on a roll with introducing their own brand of products. In time for the online store’s third anniversary is the release of Althea’s collaboration with Get It Beauty, the top beauty show in Korea. The Althea x Get It Beauty Real Fresh Skin Detoxer comes in Rose for daytime refining and Green Tea for night-time purifying.
Althea Korea Real Fresh Skin Detoxers in Rose and Green Tea
Roses have been incorporated in beauty routines for maybe 1,000 years. The Rose Detoxer contains real rose petal pieces and rose water to gently balance skin’s pH levels. This doesn’t use just regular roses, but specifically the May rose from Grasse in the French Riviera, which Conde Nast Traveler writes blooms for only as few as three weeks every year. It’s five times more potent than the regular rose for skin nourishing properties. I like the rose scent, which is noticeable but not irritating. 
For your night-time routine, you need something to soothe your skin from the day’s stress and prep it for sleep, when your body, including your skin, does its self-repair. The Green Tea Detoxer contains baby green tea leaves from a Jeju plantation to cleanse and relieve tired skin. Green tea contains five times more vitamin C than lemons, for antioxidants and brightening the skin.
The instructions are to apply a sufficient layer (not too thin, not too thick), and leave on for 10 seconds as a mask pack. Then simply wash off as you would your regular cleanser. Personally, I leave it on while I proceed with the rest of my shower. From the first use of the detoxers I noticed that my foundation looked better all day and my skin looks healthier, plumper, and more dewy. Obsessed! These are definitely staying in my skin care routine and I am going to repurchase once I run out.
Despite these natural and potent ingredients, Althea Korea makes the Fresh Skin Detoxers affordable so that we don’t have to stress over affording our skin care. Even better, you can currently get both products on a buy one, get one free offer for just P1,100 until stocks last.
A version of this post first appeared on print in Sun.Star Cebu on August 3, 2018.