"Do I need contour or not anymore? Should I go for thin or thick brows? Can you help me me mix foundations?"—three things Miss Philippines Universe 2017 Rachel Peters asked celebrity makeup artist RB Chanco during their first beauty mentoring session for the Binibining Pilipinas pageant. Incidentally, also three things reigning Miss Universe Iris Mittenaere from France first consulted RB with when the latter became her choice makeup artist for the pageant recently held in Manila. Major de ja vu for RB that gave her a positive feeling about Rachel's quest for the Bb. Pilipinas Universe crown.
[related: In Focus: This Celebrity Makeup Artist Is The Other Big Winner Of Miss Universe 2016]
"I don’t know if it was just coincidence but of course, I felt na something good, 'Oh my God, this is happening all over again,' this girl is also a winner," recalls RB in an exclusive interview with ABS-CBN Lifestyle. Like Miss France, Rachel also has prominent facial angles so contouring wasn't important. Iris and Rachel also both went for natural-looking brows, versus the full ones that everyone seems to be so crazy about. For the foundation, the goal was to find a shade that wasn't zombie-ish (too white) or looked too fake for her morena skin (too dark). And so Rachel went on to captivate everyone with her stunning looks, grace, and smarts, albeit it was her first time to join Binibining Pilipinas.
RB backstage at the Mall of Asia Arena with Miss France, now Miss Universe 2016, Iris Mittenaere.
RB, who counts Charo Santos-Concio, Erich Gonzales, Kris Aquino, and Julia Barretto as some of her loyal clients, wasn't originally into doing pageant makeup, save for her stint on Miss Universe 2016, as part of the official MAC Cosmetics x Miss U makeup team. Besides being an in demand celebrity makeup artist, her background is actually on conducting formal makeup classes. It was Rachel's overall look/style mentor, celebrity stylist Ton Lao, who tapped RB to train Rachel in terms of beauty, along with Justine Dimaalon for the walk, and Val Taguba for the gown. "Being well-prepared for Miss Universe is very crucial because the competition is very stiff, especially since from 2010, Venus Raj, until 2015, Pia's victory, we were placing in the final six," says RB.
So, what does she think is Rachel's edge in conquering the Universe, her makeup Midas touch aside? "She's very relaxed, very positive, very nice. During the Q&A, she answered in a way na hindi gigil. She answered what's in her heart and in her mind, unlike the others who gave answers people would like to hear."
If you want to channel Rachel and Iris' looks, as well as those of RB's other alagas, watch out for her upcoming makeup book under ABS-CBN Publishing. "When Publishing approached me to make a book, my only request was, I want it to be achievable, inspirational, aspirational. Relatable from market A to market D. I’m making the makeup process simplified. And to my fans asking for YouTube tutorials from me, it's gonna be granted: I’ll have my YouTube channel in connection with my book."
As you await her beauty bible, RB generously shared makeup tips to help you be the ultimate summer babe:
1. "Stay away from that oh so made up look na nauuso. Let’s keep it natural, I like calling it 'real makeup', just the real you. I'm not dictating na bawal ang made up look, you can still do that if you're comfortable with it, like me yun pa rin ginagawa ko. But to the younger ones, have fun, be young, enjoy playing with makeup especially this summer."
2. "Go for tinted lipgloss, stay away from matte especially in our weather."
3. "Stay away from contour. If you're always out in the sun, the contour magmumukhang madumi sa face mo since visible sya hundred times stronger. Opt for a nice bronze eyeshadow with a golden hue, thin liners; stay away from the cat’s eye. Curled lashes with mascara, or some thin falsies will do, just to open up the eyes."
4. "Tigilan na yung drawing na drawing sa eyebrows. Pencil with powder or gel is okay BUT accentuate them lang, do not draw on them."
5. "Shimmer is on trend, apply on the higher planes of your face... the forehead, the cheekbones, the nose, upper lip, below the lip. Instead of contour, do the bronzer."
As for RB's thoughts on Rachel's chances to bring home the Miss Universe 2017 crown? "If she continues to stay grounded, the Miss Universe Organization will see that. The same thing with Miss France, hindi nakikipag-away, very quiet, doing her own thing. She wasn’t stressed, she's not a fighter fighter na mananapak para makuha yung something if she continues that plus more effort, more training to improve further as a beauty queen, she will make it," RB says.
ALSO READ: In Focus: Let These 'The Voice Teens' Coaches Teach You A Little About Living Young
Photographs from Instagram.com/rbchanco and Instagram.com/missuniverse / Banner artwork by Jana Jimenez