I always liked to believe that makeup, despite the notion of petty shallowness that surrounds it, is a tool for ministry. Makeup can be brought forward in many more meaningful ways. It is a medium that weaves all sorts of good magic in its own way. Watch the video by the MIMI Foundation in a project entitled “If Only For a Second” here via this link or watch it embedded below. The MIMI Foundation is a French cancer and well-being group. Twenty cancer patients with eyes with their eyes closed make their way into one studio only to reap a moment that will strongly impact their lives. Thank you, Mom, for sharing.
“Today I choose life. Every morning when I wake up I can choose joy, happiness, negativity, pain… To feel the freedom that comes from being able to continue to make mistakes and choices – today I choose to feel life, not to deny my humanity but embrace it.” – KEVYN AUCOIN, America’s legendary MUA, 1962-2002
It’s great to gradually yet finally be doing magazine covers. The ones I’ve started with may not be among the style mag racks just yet but it’s so much fun to be working with bunches of different, wonderful people every time. For the shoot of Cebu Pacific’s Smile Magazine November issue, we had pro photographer Xander Angeles on board and I’d like to thank Smile Editor-in-Chief, Tara Sering, for having Renz and I as part of the team for the day. The brief was natural makeup for our talent, who happened to be a family friend of ours, Mica Javier. I didn’t know my aunts and uncles and her parents were friends ’til we started talking in the car…hilarious. The makeup requirement was pretty basic, polished and pretty, nothing OTT or intense. Mica focused all her pedal power on the pies de resistance of the day, a retro aqua fixie bike AKA the bike with no brakes.
We shot the cover by the Sunken Garden of my beloved alma mater, University of the Philipines, Diliman, in Quezon City. I don’t have my own copy of the magazine yet but I pulled this cover photo from the Smile website. Click Read more to see more of my behind the scenes photos
I was thrilled to get a call-back to do Gary Valenciano’s makeup (twitter: @GaryValenciano1) for a second shoot, though the photos of him in this post are my shots from the first one. I knew through and through that even though I was given the opportunity to do his makeup that I might not get a second chance unless I did the job noticeably well and to his liking. We’re only talking about one of the biggest celebrity perfectionists I’ve ever known and if Gary V. doesn’t approve of something even in the slightest manner you will know it and begin muttering your full name back to yourself. To make matters worse his newly engaged son, Paolo, my BFF cousin, scared me the night before and said “Yea, you’d better do it good, he knows how to do his own makeup and he has his own way of doing it, so he’ll really be watching how you do it.” The day came and I tried not to think too much, the main man began having his hair done by his staple hair expert, Tony & Guy senior, Nelson. I began swatching shades I planned to use on the big GEE VEE who was in that moment brooding over his music downloads. I approached him to swipe a shade of foundation across his jawline and as I made contact he let out a sudden “ARAY! (ouch)…”. As I left the planet for a nanosecond he let out a healthy snigger “HEHEHEHE! Sorry, just keeding…”. Totally mean and advantageous I tell you, LOL. I faked stabbing him in the eye afterwards for revenge. Ay, caramba! Here he is, folks, made-up and unharmed.
To my delight I found out from his road manager that shortly after our first shoot they were being instructed by him to purchase the exact base color products I used (MUD products) so he could use the same shades when he does his own makeup on international tours. Then I got called back for the second shoot which is such an encouraging thing because I enjoy and love working with him. On board the second project I took the opportunity to ask what this well-loved tube was among his things and he spilled the beans, that it was his favorite moisturizer…obviously. You can like totally tell because it’s just…always there.
KIEHL’S Centella Recovery Skin-Salve
KEY INGREDIENTS: Honey, Aloe, and Tiger Herb (Centella) which contains alkaloids and minerals that are beneficial in the treatment of a host of ailments. It has antibacterial, anti-psoriatic, and wound-healing properties. The Tiger Herb plant is sought out by wounded tigers in the wild who rub against it for its healing properties. (Yeahhh, Tito Gary yerr a tigerr…)
Alcohol Free for Sensitive Skin
PH balanced and lightweight
Leaves skin feeling comforted and gently moisturised
I actually handed him a small container of my own moisturizer first, he began applying a bit of that but then he had to have a look around his stuff for what was familiar and well-loved, which was exactly this. Kiehl’s Derma Solutions Centella Recovery Skin Salve, with Tiger Herb and Aloe Vera. It’s got no-frills packaging which guys certainly would prefer and that neutral simplicity just shouts “THIS WORKS”. More than anything it’s really soothing and comforting. I asked GV about the tube and he goes “Ohh yeahh, I like this,” he says, “I actually use it BEFORE shaving not after just so it feels better, and I always have it.” Guys normally never elaborate more than that about skincare unless it was something that raised them or their dog from the dead, so the fact that he said it actually already says a lot. He added “You gave me your moisturizer first, I started using it, but I was really looking for mine because I like it. You wanna what? Take a picture of it? Huh? (LOL) Okay, why??” Because, Mr. Pure Energy, that’s just how I roll.
BHLDN.com is a European bridal site that offers editorial picks on everything bridal for your wedding day, kind of like an online “bridalzine” if that is a word. My cousin Paolo Valenciano’s fiancee, Sam, messaged me this morning encouraging me to do video tutorials inspired by these ones she saw on BHLDN which actually stands for BEHOLDEN from the Dutch word “to keep” or “preserve”. I’ll embed the Romantic video look below, but you’ll have to check the rest on BHLDN.COM or directly at these links which are the Lady look, Bohemian look, and the Muse look.
Sam worked with me on my first studio folio shots as a makeup artist and actually helped launch my professional career and next year she’s getting married to Paolo <3. I wanted to share these with you because these simple hair and makeup how-tos by BHLDN are nothing short of exquisite. Note to those who’d like to follow these looks, no foundation was used apparently in most of them, just skincare, a bit of unmentioned concealer maybe and pressed powder, I’ll include the list of products they used as shared on their site.
Prep hair with Redken Smooth Lock Shampoo & Conditioner
Comb Redken Full Frame Protective Volumizing Mousse through hair with fingers
Gather hair and tie into a topknot; let sit for 20 minutes
Release hair; fluff with fingers while blow drying to add volume
Part hair on right side
Begin French braiding hair along the hairline until you reach the back of your left ear; fasten with a small elastic
Starting from the right side of your part, French braid toward your right ear; do not fasten
Gather all loose hair together and backcomb to add volume
Begin folding hair under and pinning to create a pretty shape a the nape
Place tiara directly behind the main braid on top of your head
Start pulling at braids carefully; release a few pieces to create airier look
Oribe Super Fine Hairspray!
Prep skin with Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cleanser, Facial Toner, and finally Facial Cream
Lightly apply Smashbox Photo Finish Luminizing Primer over entire face
Tap on matte pressed powder to set
Brush Smashbox Softbox Eye Shadow in ‘Fizz’ across your entire lid, including the inner corners of your eyes
Curl lashes and brush on black mascara
Fill in eyebrows following your natural arc with a like-colored pencil
Rub Smashbox Cream Cheek Trio in ‘Show Biz’ on the apples of your cheeks
I was sent a lovely package by Splash Corporation last week, a funky pink and zebra striped box containing the complete cuticle coat and hair polish ranges of Vitress. It was oh so very timely to have been sent this since I recently cut my hair very short. My hair isn’t by nature unruly but for the first time I found myself in need of some finishing or styling products to set it in place.
CUTICLE COAT Smoothens dry, dull and hard-to-manage hair
• Gives hair glossy shine • Enriched with moisturizers to nourish hair • Style straight or curly • Dermatologist tested Safe and Effective • Net wt. 30ml
Comes in 3 unique variants: 1. Heat Protect-with Thermo-Shield Complex that protects hair from styling stress 2. Instant Relax-with Vita-Relax Technology that helps flatten curly, wavy hair for that relaxed look 3. Hair Repair-with Hydro-Restore System that resists the ill-effects of hair coloring, perming and other hair treatments.
BEHIND THE SCENES Vitress TVC with Solenn Heussaff
HAIR POLISH Light, non-greasy hairstyling cream
• Tame frizz and smoothens down fly-away hair without the sticky feeling • Deeply penetrates each layer of hair strand for intense moisturization • Leaves a glossy, silky shine hair • Dermatologist tested Safe and Effective in 50ml and 100ml tubes
I prefer to use the Cuticle Coat “serum” for normal days, if I want to look more “slick” and don’t want as much lift from my roots I’ll probably try the Hair Polish to add a bit of weight. Usually, I pick up the Instant Relax Cuticle Coat variant, squeeze out a drop, and briskly rub it together between my palms before smoothing my hair over with my hands. Read more to get the full review on Vitress Cuticle Coat and see another special behind the scenes video with Mark Nicdao and Solenn Heussaff.