@lizzzuy on Instagram
One of the longest standing friendships I have in Manila, where I grew up, is with stylist Liz Uy. Armed with our shared love for fashion, we used to spend our days working at a magazine and our evenings exploring the vibrant night scene of the city together. Since then, Liz has gone on to build a career in fashion styling, covering fashion weeks in Paris, Milan, London, and New York for publications in the Asia Pacific. You may have seen her mug in a street-style snap or two, amplified by a massive online audience on Instagram where she has 1.4 million followers and on Twitter where 2.3 million people are subscribed to her every musing (you can find her on both platforms @lizzzuy).
It’s been almost 15 years since we first met and while we live in different cities today, we still find our mutual Aquarian paths coinciding whether geographically for our bi-annual meet-ups at Paris fashion week or metaphorically for the shared phases we go through in life. During one of our trans-Atlantic What’s App chats, I talk to Liz about all things self-care, travel, and beauty.
Liz, can you share a little bit about yourself for DAMDAM?
I was born and raised in Manila but I’m temporarily based in L.A right now. I’ve never lived alone – we are so sheltered in Manila! – so I thought it was time for me to try it out and take some time off for myself. I have been working in fashion since 2004 as a stylist. I started covering fashion week in the last couple of years and that started taking a toll on me because that’s four months out of a year that I would be traveling on top of all the other regular travels I do for other projects I’m working on. When I go back home to Manila, I still have to be on top of all the work that’s waiting for me. I started feeling exhausted because I couldn’t find the time to take care of myself. So earlier this year, I decided to take a few months off and go on a long vacation. I chose L.A. over New York because I’m done with the fast pace of New York and I was looking for a slower, more chilled pace of life at the moment.
What has been your self-care ritual since temporarily relocating to Los Angeles.?
Since arriving in L.A., I started to take care of myself mentally, emotionally, and physically. It easier for me to do this in L.A. because I’m now far from all the chaos! Here in L.A., my life is slower. I’m staying in WeHo but on weekends, I spend it at the O.C. where life is even slower. Weekends at the O.C. are spent at the beach – Newport, Long Beach, Balboa. Balboa is so nice, it’s so quaint – it doesn’t feel like you’re in L.A. It has the mood of an old European town. I also do yoga twice a week and on the Sundays when I’m not at the O.C., I go to the Farmer’s Market. I love having brunch with friends when I’m there.
One thing I love is coconut oil from the Philippines. I think it’s important to use local ingredients. Coconut is everywhere in the Philippines – we drink it, we eat it, it’s part of our daily cuisine. It has so many benefits for the health, skin, and hair.
Let’s talk about beauty rituals. What are your musts in skincare?
For skincare products, I like light textures such as gels or light creams. I don’t want anything thicker than that. I have very dry skin so I know I need creams but when I use them, they feel so heavy that I can’t spread them out evenly on my skin. I also don’t like products with a strong scent. If there is a scent, I prefer for it to come from essential oils, which help the skin anyway. I prefer to use natural or organic products but once in a while, I will use a non-organic one if there is a new product I’m especially curious to try.
The most important thing for me is to hydrate my skin – it’s like drinking water for me. I don’t just moisturize once or twice a day, I moisturize every single time I feel my skin is getting dry, especially when I’m travelling. I always bring a small pot of moisturizer with me on the plane. Another thing I always do is to cleanse my face. I never go to bed without cleansing my skin no matter drunk I am! I also like to put ice on my eyes when I’ve had too many late nights – it not only reduces the puffiness but it’s energizing and gives me the extra jolt I need in the morning.
One thing I love is coconut oil from the Philippines. I think it’s important to use local ingredients. Coconut is everywhere in the Philippines – we drink it, we eat it, it’s part of our daily cuisine. It has so many benefits for the health, skin, and hair. It’s also good for oil-pulling or as a mouthwash. I use coconut oil as a body moisturizer and on my hair. It’s such a versatile ingredient – although sometimes it makes me smell like a ricecake!
What is your favorite recent travel memory?
Last year at my best friend’s wedding in Sienna, Italy. We went to San Gimignano and to Tuscany, and we ate all the local Italian dishes. It was a destination wedding so it was nice to be surrounded by just family and friends. Another memorable trip for me was when I visited Fukuoka last December because it’s nice to explore places in Japan that’s not just Tokyo or Kyoto.
What do you recommend to friends to visit in the Philippines?
Palawan is a must. You have to bring Philippe! It’s so beautiful. White sand, clear waters – peaceful! It’s one place I’m really proud to say that is in the Philippines. I always tell everyone I meet to visit it because it’s really one of the nicest places on earth.