The Reluctant Stylista

beauty secrets

I don’t think much of myself as a make-up junkie, but what I do take seriously is skin care.  That’s my major major beauty philisophy, and the first thing I thought of when I read the question, “What are your beauty secrets?”

It’s not much of a secret, really.  But I’d like to think of skin care as worthy investment because when I’m older, I don’t want to be one of those women still bogged down by make-up, looking cakey and worn, with product catching onto my wrinkles no matter how miniscule I’d probably like to imagine them by then.  When I’m older, I want to be comfortable enough to wear just my own skin; I want to age gracefully.  I religiously apply moisturizer and SPF everyday so I can do just that.

My skincare regimen consists of organic products, and even the make-up I use are mostly mineral make-up.  I want the kindest products possible, containing the least amount of synthetic chemicals.

So far, my motto is: never go out without moisturizer (check), SPF (check) and then finally, eyebrows.

Yes, eyebrows.  I cannot overly emphasize just how important it is to have nice eyebrows.  People often make the mistake of overlooking their own brows. Even when a girl first dabbles with make-up, it’s usually experimenting with eyeshadows or blushes or lipstick first.  No one thinks of tampering with eyebrows unless you were born with a unibrow–in which case I know you’ve probably been itchy with the tweezers even as a kid.

It’s story time again: old friends from high school once remarked at my “improved” appearance, but couldn’t pinpoint exactly what it was that changed.  I still looked the same, overall; same height, gait, curly hair and build. When I finally told them what it really was, they didn’t believe it. Only one of my friends did, and only because we had the same secret. Haha! 

It had to be seen to be believed.  And so, as reluctant as I am to show this online, I’m sharing my college freshman ID picture taken x years ago.  I used to show this to people who didn’t believe me when I say that eyebrows make all the difference:


no kilay!


You didn’t think I was going to show my ID number, did you? :P   Anyhow, that was me, with some baby fat on my face, awkward hair and almost non-existent eyebrows.


Nicole looking at my ID picture

Nicole, one of my incredulous friends looking at my ID picture and then back at me. That’s Nayna grinning in the background–we both have tremendously improved kilay since high school.


kilay in the present

What I more or less look like now (only with blown-dry hair). I usually draw my eyebrows thicker than this, as I don’t actually like making them look too polished, if that makes sense.  I do have my eyebrows cleaned and shaped every once in a while, like thrice a year, maybe even less.  There’s not much to thread; my eyebrows are too sparse that most of what you see is brushed and drawn.


kilay again

Again with the Red Horse pic (it’s one of my better kilay pics!).  When I was in college, I hardly got asked if I had a student ID (for student discounts in bus fares).  Once I was out of school and was getting pretty good in drawing my own brows, that was when people began mistaking me for a student.  Which probably means just having a thicker set of brows makes you look years younger.

Also, a tip from one of my friends who used to quote a YouTube eyebrow tutorial: eyebrows should look like sisters, not twins.  Pretty much the best kilay advice I’ve ever heard!

So what is this sharing all about?  Liz of Project Vanity is holding what she calls The Great Asian Secrets giveaway, with over P40,000 worth of prizes.  Here are some contest details from her site:




Asian Secrets wants to congratulate all brides-to-be* out there by giving them a chance to win a full body makeover package worth P15,000. It will include a relaxing spa day, waxing, hair cut, color, facial, nails, makeup lessons, and other similar treatments in the best salons all over the metro. Aside from that, we will also be giving the lucky bride a beauty loot worth P5,000 which she can use on her wedding day. I will be personally handpicking what goes in there (definitely NARS, MAC, and other favorites!). She will also win a supply of Asian Secrets.

Not a bride-to-be? Don’t worry! There will be a second winner. The winner will get a 32 gig iPod Touch to help with her daily productivity and lifestyle. She will also get a beauty loot worth P6,000 full of goodies to be handpicked by me. She will also win a supply of Asian Secrets.


Contest mechanics

1. Simply write an answer to this question!

For the brides: The big day draws near and you have to look perfect. How do you plan to look your best? Youʼre encouraged to talk about your gown, makeup artist, desired look, motif, beauty rituals, and how Asian Secrets can help you on your big day.

For the general readers: What are your beauty secrets? Youʼre encouraged to talk about the beauty products, tips, tricks that you swear by, plus how Asian Secrets can be incorporated in your routine.

2. Once you have it, blog your answer (+1 entry) and/or post it as a note on Facebook (+1 entry). Donʼt forget to include four things: your answer to the question, the contest poster, mechanics, and link to the contest page. You can also promote this contest on Twitter (+1 entry), and Plurk (+1 entry) for more chances of winning. For Twitter and Plurk entries, include the hashtag #asiansecrets.

3. Post all the direct links of your entries in the comments page (below). Donʼt forget this step, because without it, we wonʼt know you joined! Also include a valid email address.

Weʼll be picking the grand winners based on the quality of your answer and how well you promote your entry online. The contest will run from September 8 to October 1, 12 noon. We will be announcing the winner on 6pm. Good luck!




Since I’m not a bride-to-be, I’m answering the required question “What are your beauty secrets?” and here it is!  I do want to win in this contest, and especially because I love body scrubs.  I can’t get enough of them!  Plus, I’m constantly suffering from ingrown hair due to epilating and waxing so body scrubs are something I use regularly to help prevent that.


The Great Asian Secrets Giveaway

Click to join!

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