Wednesday, April 15, 2015


Last March 28, 2015 I had the wonderful opportunity to share my beauty and image expertise to a younger audience than I usually cater to.  I was invited by Michelle Aventajado of to give an image and beauty workshop to young women or teens.  Athough this may have been the first time I have conducted  a workshop of the like, it has been a long time coming.  Since the beginning of my private image and beauty workshops, mom’s have already frequently asked me if I could give a workshop to their young teens or daughters.

Given the environement young women are growing up in today (with the main channel of social media), mom’s are increasingly concerned that they are not being given the right and sufficient values or messages when it comes to the proper approach to image and beauty.  Young women are maturing at a much faster rate and are beginning to dable into cosmtetics and experimenting with different looks at an earlier age.  These factors are what inspired Michelle to bring about T.E.A. for Teens (Thoughtful Empoweirng Inspiring Teens) an afternoon filled with activites to form well-rounded young women.


Michelle invited me to give a workshop on beauty and image.  And I was definitely very happy to finally have the platform and the forum to do so.  Adding on to this I was more elated to have Benefit Cosmetics join us in this engagament.


Benefit is a premium beauty brand that caters to beauty needs of women coming of age and also pride themselves in a light hearted fun-going approach to beauty which is less serious without sacrificing quality.  It is in this light that it was a perfect fit for the audience we had that afternoon.   A light hearted non-intimidating beauty brand to have the girls dabble their hands on.

Growing up in Manila beauty was not something that was truly taught or emphasized to us growing up.  Culturally, I believe Filipinas are underlyingly taught that one should not pay attention much to beauty since it is frivolous and the fear of being branded as such (or “maarte” a term that comes instantly associated with beauty or one that is deemed to focus too much on it).  It took 20 or so years and living in two continents before I truly understood beauty techniques and regimens and the proper approach to beauty.  I previously never understood the need to moistuirze or the importance of using sun protection till I was already an adult. Things that I wish I had been taught earlier on.


These are the some of the things which I wanted to share to this group and to young Filipinas today.

First and foremost, Beauty is not a bad thing or paying attnetion to your image.  It is a reflection of how you value yourself and how you value others by being your most authentic and presentable self.

Second, Beauty is personal.  There is no one look or standard regardless of what we seem to be bombarded with though media and cultural connotations.  It is in our uniqueness and our differences that we are beautiful and this is what we must embrance in order to become truly beautiful.

I believe these two primary mind sets are essential when it comes to starting your beauty journey.

The third and fourth things I taught the girls and which they were most interested in were the detailed subject matters of Skincare andMake up (and this is where I definitely had a 100% attention), age appropriate beauty.

When it comes to approaching beauty, it always begins with skincare no matter what age but most especially at this age.

And then follows color which serves to compliment and highight our personal beauty and unique features.

The girls each received a B.right skincare kit from Benefit.  The kit included a complete skincare regimen a cleanser, serum, moisturizer, eye cream, and exfoliator.  Starting with skin is the foundation of all beauty.  It is of even greater importance to inculcate a good regimen at a young age before one begins to dabble into the use of color and cosmetics.

Proper skincare practices was the main focus of our beauty workshop that afternoon.  We ran down the basic elements of a proper skincare routine after which I spent time showing the girls how to properly apply different skincare products.


After skincare I proceeded to show the girls how to appropriately use make up at their age.  Given the products that we were fortunate enough to have from Benefit cosmetics we proceeded to creating a natural polished look fot the girls. Starting from an even skintone to a hint of color on the lips and cheecks.
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It was a fruitful and rewarding afternoon indeed the girls were able to have an understanding on a plethora of cosmetic products and how to properly use them.  The clear product winner of the day was the Fine One One Cheeck Stick product that had a blush, highlight and bronze in one.  It was the first time I had tried this product as well but was very impressed with the natural glow and universally flattering shade it gave each of the girls in spite of the nuances in their colorings.

The girls learned how to use an eyeliner, refine their brows with brow products such as brow whiz and even apply mascara with Benefit’s They’re Real.  A lot of the products the girls were familiar with, but they did not know how to properly use or apply.  We also dabbled into the different brushes and tools and how to properly use each one with the corresponding product.  It was truly a hands on workshop which I knew would go a long way and serve as a firm foundation for these young women’s perspective on beauty and how to apply it to their needs and achieve their personal beauty.


Most importantly we went around the table to ask each girl what her ideal or who her ideal of beauty is.  We got a number of interesting answers and some personalties mentioned I was vaguely familiar with, a clear indication of the generation and culture gap but one thing remained common is that no matter their definition or benchmarks for what or who embodied beauty for them beauty is an ideal that every girl strives to embody.  A universal value that we all had as women.

At this age and time, these young women have also showed me that beauty has become an almost unattainable value given the images they are flushed with through all forms of media.  To a certain extent they question themselves or find fault in little physical attributes causing slight unecessary insecutiries.  At the end of the session, once every girl had applied products on their own to create a natural polished look I instantly saw a light in their eyes which they previously did not have when we began the session and their words were far and few in between.

All it took was two hours a little demonstration and know-how and they were transformed young women from insecure to confident.  And no amount of make up or products can replace that although they are amazing allies to have !!

xo, Cristina552e15c244ded325


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