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December 1st, 2005
Celebrate your beauty no matter how old you are
beau<sum>ty (byoo'te) n., pl.-ties. the quality present in a thing or person that gives intense pleasure or deep satisfaction to the mind, whether arising from sensory manifestation (as shape, color, sound, etc.), a meaningful design or pattern, or something else (as a personality in which high spiritual qualities are manifest)

I BELIEVE IT WAS MY MOM, Chic Francisco, who first introduced me to this word. When my sister and I had to go to a birthday party we had to get dressed to look beautiful. When we watched a ballet performance which she particularly enjoyed, she described it as beautiful. She would make us listen to a song that was beautiful. And growing up, she taught us -- my sister and me -- how to moisturize so we could stay beautiful.

I think my mom is one of the reasons I have become a beauty editor. Apart from the fact that I enjoy making things beautiful, finding what is beautiful also makes my mom happy. And as children, we all want to make our parents happy.

Since I have the privilege of picking people I find beautiful in their 20s, 30s and 40s, I’ve chosen women who not only are beautiful physically but also have depth and strength of character: Bianca Zobel, one of the best friends of my husband, Paolo, for her loyalty and simplicity; Mandy Santos for her energy and artistic talent; and Mia Borromeo for her calm disposition and spirituality.

Join me in discovering what beauty is to them.

What’s your definition of beauty?

Bianca: For me, real beauty is a mixture of class, upbringing and presence which no makeup can cover. Makeup can definitely enhance a person’s look, but nevertheless, the character of a person rises above it. Mandy: Beauty is a reflection of one’s character. Mia: It’s a combination of physical appearance and beauty from within—the beauty of one’s character and the goodness of one’s heart.

Who do you find beautiful?

Bianca: Physically, I think Catherine Zeta-Jones. Also, Grace Kelly for poise and Audrey Hepburn for class. Not only was she beautiful, but she used it to advantage to promote her causes. And these are the three classic beauties I know: my mom Maricris Zobel, Tita Susan Reyes and Sam Eduque. Mandy: My baby Solenne, Claudia Bermudez, Ines Sastre, Christy Turlington. Mia: Among the most beautiful personalities are Audrey Hepburn, Grace Kelly and Queen Rania of Jordan. Of my friends, there are so many beautiful women: Lizzie Zobel, Sam Eduque and Mai-Mai Cojuangco.

Beauty regimen:

Bianca: Nothing can replace sleep. Mandy: I wash my face three times a day with Bodyshop Tea Tree bar, moisturize twice a day with Sjal moisturizer or Avon Anew (morning) and La Mer (evening). Mia: I can’t say I have a real regimen, but in everything, I believe in balance and moderation. I eat and drink everything, but I always have hot water after every meal. I try to walk most mornings and work out twice a week. I try to take care of my skin by using moisturizer and sunblock regularly. And very important for me is putting aside some quiet time for prayer and meditation everyday.

What makes a girl beautiful?

Bianca: When someone is unassuming about her looks like Cristina Garcia, who makes others feel comfortable because she is open to seeing beauty in others, not necessarily in the physical sense. Mandy: Character. Mia: So many different things make a girl beautiful. Apart from taking care of her physical appearance, there’s her character—her generosity of spirit, her sincerity, her integrity, her kindness, her warmth. There’s her intelligence—her creativity, her wit, her sense of humor. And then there’s her style—the way she puts herself together and carries herself.

What’s in your kikay kit?

Bianca: I don’t have a kikay kit. I have baby cologne, lip balm and Dr. Hauschka eye serum in my bag. Mandy: Don’t have one! Mia: Shiseido sunblock, Crème de la mer, Kielh’s lip balm, Bobbi brown bronzing powder/blush, Shu lipgloss and eyeliner.

Best beauty advice given to you:

Bianca: Always remove your makeup. Mandy:Stay out of the sun, drink lots of water, always keep face clean and moisturized, and don’t frown! Mia: I think it’s sun protection on a daily basis. In school, my friends and I used to love baking ourselves in the sun with Hawaiian Tropic and Lancaster dark tanning oil! But I realize now that using sunblock everyday is so important for your skin to age well.

What makes you feel beautiful?

Bianca: The glow of happiness comes out when I’m comfortable in my surroundings. When I’m around people I love and when I am able to laugh at myself. Mandy:A really good haircut. An Inno Sotto gown. Lots of sleep. Oh yeah, and great sex! Mia: Feeling good about myself, which means not only taking care of myself physically but emotionally and spiritually as well... Being relaxed, content and at peace with myself and those around me.

What’s your best asset?

Bianca: (When asked this question, Bianca just laughed, so a friend answered for her.) Physically her eyes and shapely figure. What really makes Bianca attractive is her sense of humor, wit, loyalty and ability to say the right thing at the right time. Mandy: I think I shall turn over this question to my husband. Mia: Fortunately, I have fast metabolism, and since I love to eat, it allows me to really enjoy good food without putting on much weight. In terms of beauty, what is the best thing you did for yourself? Bianca: I recently went to the San Benito Farm (6963175) for cleansing. I highly recommend their kidney cleansing treatment. They cover you with a powdered form of heated charcoal, then wrap you. After 30-40 minutes, your skin starts glowing and you feel lighter. They also hold office in Mandarin. Mandy:This is a really tough question considering I’ve never been to a dermatologist my whole life! I guess it would be the consistent lifestyle choices I’ve made, such as sleeping early, working out regularly, being a vegetarian (trying) and being a nonalcoholic (trying). Mia: The Chi Spa at the Mactan Shangri-La treated a group of us to a fantastic “spa journey” not too long ago. What a wonderful experience!

How important is beauty to you?

Bianca: Physically, everyone is going to age. So a positive outlook is most important. Also, don’t take age as a bad thing, but as a time of experience, wisdom and opportunities. Mandy: I’m a Libran, so aesthetics is definitely a priority. However, once it becomes time-consuming and a “put-on,” it ceases to be so. Mia: Inner beauty is the most important to me—when one has a beautiful character he or she radiates that.

What attracts men to women?

Bianca: Initially, every man has his own physical type. But in the end, he is looking for a friend. Someone he can be with and be comfortable with. Mandy: Presence. Mia: A whole bunch of different things. I know it’s a cliché but beauty is in the eye of the beholder. You can never really explain the chemistry between a man and a woman—it just happens!

Filipinas are beautiful because...

Bianca: ...They take good care of themselves, and the humidity doesn’t dry up their skin. Plus, we have a unique mix of races which makes us different from others. Mandy: ...We smile through adversity. Filipinas, regardless of age and demographics, have the most beautiful smiles in the world! Mia: ...They’re feminine, well-groomed and full of life!

Do you believe in plastic surgery?

Bianca: I’m not against plastic surgery as a whole. But I am against reconstructive surgery for vanity. There are a lot of things I don’t like in me, but these so-called imperfections create the character of a person. Mandy: Is a boob job considered plastic surgery? Mia: Personally, I’m afraid of going under the knife.

What’s your standard procedure for an event?

Bianca: Two weeks before, I pick my dress and shoes. Two days before, I try to get some color because it brings out my eyes and I get a healthier glow. Then the day itself, I get my hair and makeup done. I prefer heavy eye makeup and dark thick mascara, which I balance off with just lip balm or a nude shade. I also like bronzers, plus I make sure I get a manicure and pedicure. I’m very simple when I dress up. I’m quite classic, and if my dress is colorful then I will not accessorize. Mandy: I’m pretty much a wash-and-wear type of person, although I will try to squeeze in a workout before an event. I find that this gives me more energy to last the night. Mia: My schedule is quite hectic so I don’t really have time for any elaborate procedures. And I’m not really a parlor person. Once in a while, I’ll get a blow-dry, but most of the time I just gel my hair and tie it back, put on some light makeup, and I’m pretty much speedy Gonzalez when it comes to getting dressed.

Random beauty tips:

Bianca: Try medicated lip gel rather than lip balm in stick form because it goes through your lips and conditions them better. Mario Badescu SPF 30 is great! Mandy: Prioritize a healthy lifestyle. Mia: Moisturize your skin, use sunblock regularly, drink lots of hot water and no matter how tired you are, always cleanse your face before you sleep at night. And, of course, have a positive attitude. Count your blessings and make the most of what life brings you. Because when you are happy inside, it shows! (INQ7)




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