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From me, to me

By MARBBIE TAGABUCBA, The Philippine Star Published Dec 17, 2020 4:00 pm

I’ve already completed my seasonal shopping for my loved ones, but I just realized I forgot to get something for the most important person in my life: myself. So I’m adding a little something for me, from me to my cart, and I hope you are, too.

Self-gifting can be a positive outlet. In the most difficult of times, the anticipation of a new package itself is plenty inspiring, and I’m not alone. Past recessions prove that it’s human nature to comfort and reward ourselves with affordable luxuries. This year, 74 percent of global holiday shoppers research gifts for themselves, according to Facebook’s Holiday Insights.

Here’s a quick guide, and the fastest and safest way to order them. If you add to cart now, you can definitely get the items before Noche Buena.


A love of flowers and expertise in creating its virtual forms is what brings octogenarian designer-turned-Instagram sensation Sylvia Borja and graphic designer and illustrator Raxenne Maniquiz together in a collaboration of plush sweaters. Raxenne creates a custom logo made of tropical flowers, moth orchid, bird-of-paradise, and hoya, spelling out “Owa,” the nickname Sylvia’s grandchildren have lovingly given her, meticulously embroidered at Sylvia’s atelier with decades of experience. Many brands have come up with their own take on leisurely sweats this year, but you can’t deny that Sylvia and Raxenne’s combined green thumb makes these the prettiest around. Owa Sweater Series 1 comes in Oat and Cornflower colorways.

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P2,950. DM @owasylvia on Instagram or message Martin at (0917) 879 7985 to order.


Local e-commerce jewelry brand Penny Pairs is known for making on-trend and classic demi-fine jewelry affordable and available for all. They’re already using conflict-free stones, but they’re taking it a step further by going sustainable. Their newest collection is made of 100-percent recycled silver, and gold pieces will still be coated with thick 18K gold vermeil. My favorite is the sunshine this Flora set brings. It’s made with clear and yellow cubic zirconia stone and 18K gold vermeil over 100-percent recycled silver.

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P2,999 at


Thinking about what can fit inside your new mini bag? You don’t need extra gift-wrapping with this cute, exclusive ornamental packaging by Nars. It looks pretty hanging on your tree, but you’re going to love what’s inside. Swipe on the sweet life with the cutest, mini-size blush in matte dusty rose Dolce Vita and mini Lipstick in satin pink rose Tolède.

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P1,160 at


Jerome Lorico is missing the heartbeat of pre-pandemic Manila, so he’s giving you his heart in three hand-molded, heart-shaped scented candles called Manila After Dark. Pick from Ghost, an opulent mix of oriental spices and vanilla inspired by the complex game of seduction; Petrichor, a warm and honeyed citrus inspired from the fresh scent of rain permeating the earth and the atmosphere; and 3:00 AM, a dark floral with a spicy edge inspired from strong and mysterious feelings of desire.  

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P1,200. DM @jeromelorico on Instagram to order.


It’s been a great year for learning. Keep the momentum going with substantial new reading. In Asian Place, Filipino Nation: A Global Intellectual History of the Philippine Revolution, 1887–1912, Nicole CuUnjieng Aboitiz reconnects the Philippine Revolution of August 1896 to the histories of Southeast and East Asia, giving it a global context. It never feels like information overload as Nicole illustrates and connects each event with well-researched details. It’s the vital look we never knew we needed on our history’s most important event.

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The Ateneo University Press edition is P455 at Lazada.


Vania Romoff bow hair clips, to be exact. These are pre-tied with a barette closure and come in sets of two — one set in ivory silk and black velvet to tie up a ladylike holiday look, while the other is made of chiffon embellished in gold dots. It’s pretty and unapologetically festive.

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P3,950 at and in Vania Romoff’s store in Rockwell.


I was torn between recommending Anastasia Beverly Hills’ new microstroking Brow Pen or this, but I thought we could all use some indulgence, and the brand by the “Eyebrow Queen” herself, Anastasia Soare is giving fans sexy eyes to go with perfect brows with this new Soft Glam II mini palette. It’s six fan-favorite shades from the original Soft Glam Eye Shadow Palette plus two shades from the cult-classic Norvina Eye Shadow Palette, totaling to eight instead of the usual 12, but having them all in one everyday-to-night palette of essential mattes and glam shimmers makes the process more efficient.

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P3,100 at

Banner photo by Porapak Apichodilok from Pexels