Tales of A BeautyHoarder

It’s a bit of a stretch to call myself a makeup artist just cos I’m nowhere close to the people on Face Off. I have the audacity to use #mua all the time in my posts on Instagram just to join the bandwagon, if you know what I mean. What are hashtags for, right?

When people ask why I don’t take proper makeup workshops or attend makeup school, I only think of two things: 1) School again?; 2) I’m not sure if I’m committed to the craft enough to lay all my cards on the table, quit my full-time job to pursue a career that a million girls (and guys) are much better at.

In my chosen career-path, only the people who experience momentary insanity apply for graduate school; and the academe is a pretty small circle compared to the empire of art and cosmetics. Besides not everyone can be like Bobbi Brown, Anastasia and Michelle Phan. You’re lucky if you even get a ‘regram’ from them.

Okay, what the hell am I talking about.

Well, in my years of being a washed-up travel blogger/avid reader/frustrated actress/one-time Medical Doctor-dreamer/one-time Lawyer-wannabe/former PhD student (in the time being, at least)/university research associate/pseudo-fashionista, there was one thing that was in my purse–after all the sweat and tears, after all the dreams that have come true and/or shattered–a makeup bag.

I started walking down the aisle as a flower girl in weddings at the age of 2. My Mother would stand close to the altar with a cookie in hand so I’d walk and grab the coveted cookie. Of course, she couldn’t let the flower girl go to battle without the proper warpaint. Fascinated with whatever she’s doing to my face, and whatever watercolor thing she uses to do that, I would open her magic batik purse sitting on her dresser and spill the watercolor all over the place. I’d smear the colors, draw lines with the pencils, pucker my lips when it’s time for the red clay-ish thing, and whoa what do we have here–a baby clown.

That being said, I did the same thing over and over again every afternoon for years. I bought my very first eyeshadow when I was 12 and it changed my life forever. Since my Mom cannot grace all my programs in school, I’d do my makeup myself. I bought magazines and copy the looks of the covergirls (still can’t do the Candy-wink, unfortunately). Mismatched eyebrows, scraggly eyeliner, lipstick on my teeth–who cares. I just like the fact that my eyes looked bigger, my cheeks didn’t look like somebody slapped the heck out of me and my pout (and teeth) was a vision in red. Yes, even before the Anne Curtis red-lip craze, I was sporting a red lip in high school events.

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Why hello me!

Until one day, my friend bought me an 8-piece set of professional makeup brushes from the US as a present. It was the first time that I felt in control of whatever art I wanted to recreate. And even to this day–that I take selfies as makeup inspiration for my 57 followers on Instagram (HAHA!)–makeup is the only time when I feel calm, in control and focused. AND PREEEETTYYYY. With my chronic dissatisfaction of the things around me, and my ADHD tendencies, when I do makeup for myself and for my ‘clients’ and see them glow, radiant and happy afterwards? Screw Delayed Gratification, I am addicted to the instant fulfillment I get from it.

When people ask why I’m not making a career out of this. It’s the same with writing–I don’t want my love for it to be ruined by the whole rigmarole of the ‘industry’. The pressure of having to do this for everyone with unrealistic expectations is kind of overwhelming. I don’t want to end up hating it because I can’t live up to other people’s standards. I’d like for it to remain as a hobby, kind of a friend/sister helping another friend/sister in need. The compensation I get from it is just a bonus.

Right now, I’m happy with Instagram. Drawing inspiration from hustlers is kind of my thing nowadays. I don’t even care if some people think it’s stupid or it’s useless or it’s vanity controlling me. Because in a world where ‘happiness’ is the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, I think I already found mine. Let’s stick to that. 🙂

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An Open Letter To An Almost Lover

Pop!Dear Almost Lover,

You knew this was coming.

Let me just congratulate you on your newfound happiness. I guess it validates that –for lack of a better term–dumping me was the best decision you’ve ever made. Not that you had any doubt in your mind, but it simply makes emotionally blindsiding me–unintentional or otherwise–logical and acceptable. After all, the end justifies the means.

From the few months that we have gotten to know each other, I am aware at how particular you are with everything that’s going on with your life. So particular that most of the time, you don’t exactly know what you want but you know you don’t want me in it.

It’s also been a while since I last wrote to you. Letters that are never meant to be sent. Letters that make me feel we’re still connected somehow. Letters that will never change anything.

I must tell you, I still feel a tinge of bitterness and resentment whenever I find myself zoning out and revisiting those days. It’s inevitable. I don’t think anybody can blame me for having these moments as they were, and will always be, a permanent scene etched in my screwed-up and phenomenally sharp memory that has its way of getting to me during the worst times of the day, for some reason. An overwhelming year that was.

It gets better though. Every waking day becomes easier when dealing with flashbacks. I now learn to appreciate our encounter (yes, it’s now been reduced to an encounter) for what it was and not for what it isn’t. I even find myself smiling sometimes when I’m being reminded with the good. Everything turned out for the best because we were left without much choice, which is a good thing, really. Because look at you, doing incredibly well in all aspects of your life. Incredibly well. It does get easier–seeing you that way.

But there’s still a part of me that misses everything. That part of me that never really outgrew you, nor have forgotten you. That part of me that still wishes things have been different. That part of me that you took when you left.

I miss everything.

I miss the feelings, the emotions, the happies and smilies.

I miss the thought of what could have been.

I miss what we had even if it was short and vague and pointless, to me it was everything that moment.

I miss us.

And I want to say that I miss you but I guess I just miss the person that I met, unfortunately that isn’t you right now. Not anymore.

I want to do it like you did, you know. Move on without a trace. Like it didn’t happen. Like we don’t exist. It’s the only way that I would start living now as opposed to dwelling in the past; stop feeling bitter, stop feeling so inadequate, stop feeling like it was my fault. What happened the past year changed me in a not-so-ideal way and I’m still finding myself back in the right track. Slowly but surely.

It was a good past after all, before it got ugly.

I’m pretty sure that if we stumbled upon each other one day–if ever that day comes–we’ll pretend we don’t know each other, which is a bit sad, if you ask me. But I guess being strangers was the unspoken agreement when you wrote me off your life. Apparently, you made the rules and I should follow. It was your choice that mattered more. It was your happiness that was at stake. Who am I to get in the way.

There’s really nothing left to say and yet there’s still more. I’m not sure. But despite everything, I don’t want anything bad ever happening to you. At least this much is true.

Regards,

Your Almost Lover

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Sometimes, You Just Gotta Try

Photo by Ms Bestie :)

Photo by Ms Bestie 🙂

Speeches, writing one and delivering it, is one of my long list of weaknesses. As much as I appear that I can handle public speaking–I have a good amount of smiling and hair-flipping going on due to years of practice of faking-til-you-make-it–I choke at some point and then fumble with my words, babble and ramble until the time limit is up. A [wannabe] writer doesn’t necessarily equate to a good speaker, although in theory, it’s almost synonymous.

Public speaking, personally, more than content and delivery requires charisma, bearing and a certain je ne sais quoi that pulls an audience into persuasion, as if into deep slumber. Some people are built to speak, some are trained to speak and some, unfortunately, are meant to be listeners. But the good thing about a world of possibilities and a feisty personality to compensate for lacking that X-factor is you can always try.

A Brief History of Trying

The farthest I’ve gone to place in speech contests was 2nd place, back in high school. Usually, I don’t even make the Top 3 due to my tendency to freak out and get easily disoriented during delivery. That silver medal meant more to me than anything else that time. I joined an extemporaneous and impromptu speaking contest because nobody in our class was available to compete on that date. I had sore eyes that day but the sh0w must goes on and so should life. I was able to land 2nd place–out of 3 competitors HAH!

In college, a professor commented that I lacked ethos and that my speech wasn’t well-written at all. I didn’t cry, I didn’t go into a mild depression but I immediately moved to other ventures and hid behind the radio and accepted the fact that public speaking isn’t for me. No, not really. I love broadcasting; it wasn’t because I couldn’t handle hardcore public speaking but radio feels more like home than the stage. Somehow, I wasn’t bothered that I am more comfortable in a radio booth than facing a live audience.

BUT as fate would have it, I found myself in a speech club and preparing for a contest in Taguig City, getting up at 4 in the morning, doing my makeup in the dark because our power was cut off the night before.

Saturday, 27th September, I competed in a humorous speech contest. Let’s just say, it turned out as expected–I didn’t place. Watching the other contestants, I knew why they were there to begin with. They were comfortable, confident and above all, having fun. And as much as I’m a Regret-Queen, surprisingly, after the contest I didn’t wallow in what-ifs. I wouldn’t want to change a thing about my speech and how I delivered it. I was, in fact, proud of it. I lost for a multitude of reasons, yes, but it’s not because I was terrible or anything (or maybe I was LOL) but it was because the other contestants owned the stage and were truly impressive. They were it.

It was a memorable experience; I wouldn’t trade it for anything else. Being there was enough of an achievement for me seeing my hapless background in standing in front of an audience. It was enough to validate some things about myself: 1) I’m not funny LOL; 2) I need to learn more about public speaking than merely not fumbling; and 3) I look awesome in high heels.

I’d like to extend my deepest gratitude to the Los Baños Community Toastmasters Club for being the beacon of hope and supporting its members in sharpening their skills in public speaking and leadership, most especially to Sir Caling (Our President) and Ms. Betsie, DTM, our mother mentor, Theavy and Aids. Hope we, together with Sir Ian, did you proud 🙂

Keep calm and keep speaking up, after all, we’ll never know what’s going to happen until we try.

PLUS my paper got accepted in a national conference–this is my academic alter ego speaking–to be held the same week as the [contest] Finals. It’s another bout of public speaking but at least this time, I get to have notes *whew*!

Yes, everything happens for a reason.

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