September is my family’s birthday season | Lifestyle.INQ

OCTOBER 27, 2022

September is birthday season in our family. My two boys, my mom and I all celebrate our birthdays just days apart. Two of my favorite aunts, Mary de Leon and Cory Alindogan, are also Virgo ladies.

It seems that we were all conceived over the Christmas holidays. Maybe babies arriving in September is the reason that the ’ber months are the start of the holiday season. The four ’ber months become one nonstop holiday celebration.

Celebrating always makes me think of Rustan’s. There’s no easier way to fill a shopping list than by walking the fabled aisles of Rustan’s Makati. The newly renovated main floor is now called the Grand Mall.

For the truly top of the list, I stop off at Tiffany & Co. Their flagship store offers vintage-inspired pieces that are ever so charming and effortlessly chic, perfect for both the classic and modern woman. Nothing makes a lady feel more like Audrey Hepburn than seeing a little Tiffany blue box under the Christmas tree.

Their new collection of Tiffany Locks was just launched in an evening of sophistication and elegance, complete with Bizu Patisserie cocktails, canapés and a candy buffet. Magazine editor Liza Ilarde was one of the very lucky ladies who took home a heart lock in the raffle. Another lucky winner was Paulet Tan, who I last bumped into at the “Lion King” show in Singapore.

For gifts that are more affordable, I move on to Rustan’s The Beauty Source ( I like the unique atmosphere from being surrounded by so many stand-alone boutiques, from Laura Mercier and Nars to Mac and L’Occitane. It’s a great way to get a cosmetics fix.

The Grand Mall also features a fragrance boutique, where I found all the likeables, Acca Kappa, Santa Maria Novella, Creed, Rancé and more. The unveiling of Bond No. 9’s newest fragrance, Madison Square Park, will be at 4 p.m. on Sept. 20 at the Grand Mall. Madison Square Park is touted to be the scent of the new Gilded Age, “an arresting, super-bright mélange of romantic florals and crisp greens.”

Rustan’s Beauty Source has a skin care selection that boasts of professional brands such as Perricone, Murad, Mario Badescu and Dermalogica, and offers a large selection of organic, hair-care and skincare brands like Phyto, John Masters, Body America, Rich Green, Cath Kidston and Pür Minerals. It’s an amazing menu.

At the opening of the Rustan’s Cosmetics Festival, I discovered Clinique’s Take The Day Off Makeup Remover. Nothing removes my false eyelashes more effectively! Since I wear Shu Uemura lashes almost on a daily basis, I need to make sure all the adhesive is wiped off my lids, and Clinique seems to do the trick.

Today at Rustan’s Shangri-La Plaza Mall, Shu Uemura will conduct an On-Counter Workshop. It’s a great way to get makeup tips and suggestions on how to contour one’s face best.

Stylist Liz Uy and I were given Shu Uemura makeup kits, with our names monogrammed and personalized with our choice of makeup palettes. We both felt Shu special.

Also in the Grand Mall is Diptyque, a fragrance boutique focused on the home. Well, it does make sense for everything around to be fragrant, doesn’t it? Diptyque is conducting a Scent and Space Workshop by Satoru Inokubo, who will focus on Kanebo’s Lunasol A/W collection.

Villa del Conte

Another recent ’ber month launch was for the latest chocolate to hit our shores, Villa del Conte ( This confectionery masterpiece has an interesting history, having been perfected three generations ago by its founder, an Italian named Nazzareno Cattapan. This fine cioccolato has its first store at the Shangri-La Plaza Mall, third level.

I had a taste of heaven at the launch of Villa del Conte. Everything about it screams premium, fine chocolate—sumptuous flavors that only first-grade chocolates can offer. The best part is that the pricing is not over-the-top. The local distributors will be supporting the Red Cross Ball next month, providing each guest with a specially designed box of Villa del Conte chocolates.

A brand doesn’t have to be new to have a ’ber month launch. Levi Strauss Philippines launched its first-ever global marketing campaign with the unveiling of their “Go Forth,” which taps the pioneering spirit of the youth to stand out and mold the future.

Ronnie Celestial, Levi’s marketing head, told me that the brand wants to promote youthful optimism and energy through its campaign. Their Levi’s pioneers include Niccolo Cosme, Nina Terol-Zialcita, Johnoy Danao and Divine Lee. The latter, of course, is my co-host on TV5’s “Extreme Makeover Home Edition.” Divine also supports the Child Haus Foundation.

Alphaland Makati Place

The best ’ber month launches are the party events, like the recent one for Alphaland Makati Place ( The cocktail atmosphere at The Tents, the event place in Alphaland Southgate Tower, is just so much more relaxed rather than the frenzied, bazaar ambience of locations.

A crowd of taipans flocked to the Makati Place launch, listening to sensational singer Bea Tantoco belt out a few tunes. The spiels were kept to a minimum and the selling was subtly done in a very classy way.

Babes Oreta, president of Alphaland, told me they are making an impact in the real estate development community with their few but quality projects. Makati Place features fully furnished apartments, each with a membership in The City Club, a two-hectare fitness and lifestyle center in the building. It should be great to just take an elevator instead of a car when going to a yoga session!

What with the economic frenzy of the ’ber quarter, September is really a month of product launches. And with so many shopping opportunities, it’s also the perfect month to have a birthday!

Follow Tessa on Twitter @tessavaldes, or e-mail her at

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