In the obviously cut-throat entertainment industry, it’s easy to say professionalism has kept a hyphenated queen like Anne Curtis-Smith-Heussaff a “stable” celebrity. I witness this first-hand as I drop by the headquarters of her makeup venture blk Cosmetics for an office tour. With expectations in my head of an excusably late host exhausted amid filming her new movie and keeping watch of her duties as a wife, daughter, and UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, I see the surprise of my day meeting up with a prompt and already made-up superstar. I go ahead and ask Anne—who arrives right after her It’s Showtime day job—if she wants to settle down before we do the interview and shoot. She shrugs it off cheerfully and says we can begin.
Anne is remarkably busy, of which I find no sense explaining how to an audience who has seen her metamorphose across all media through 22 years. Yet, in her sweet Aussie twang and energy cartridge still full, she answers my questions about her makeup brand’s headquarters matter-of-factly—a sign she’s always been there at the beginning, from the creative direction to the implementation phase, next to her partners Jacq Gutierrez and Stephanie Yap-Abellada. She is precise about the inspiration behind the brand—her favorite color black stylized for the name “blk,” and it signifying a simplified beauty regimen any Filipina can follow any day. She is similarly precise with what's on blk's vision board.
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It's sudden, but it only takes a matter of time before I let slip my awe. “You've been in showbiz for twenty-two years,” I tell her. “Age ko ‘yun!”
“Grabe yung buong life mo, nag-wo-work na ‘ko,” Anne, 34, says, breaking out in her signature reverberating laugh. “Nag-sink in na sa akin. Twenty-two years… my goodness!”
With all curiosity, I then ask how Anne even does it all.
Professionalism is more an external factor, yes, but she adds succinctly, passion and self-care are of tantamount importance. “I live day by day and I try to make sure that I enjoy each day. Given the 24 hours in a day, I’m able to give time to everything that I love to do because I stay inspired with whatever it is that I’m doing—whether it be film, whether it be concerts, whether it be singing, whether it be hosting, whether it be being a creative director for blk—I try to make sure that I’m always passionate about it."
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Anne is in fact still human. And in the times she does experience burnout, she knows what she has to do.
“Whenever I feel that ‘Okay, I’m reaching a burnout kind of point,’ I know that I have to take time for myself and just be quiet. I travel, take two weeks off, or a week off, or kahit three days lang,” she said. “You just need that time out for yourself. I think that’s what’s kept the fire burning for me and whatever that I’m doing, whatever field it may be, and that’s why I’ve lasted your whole life in the industry!”
At her age and a decorated artist at that, the Kapamilya star seems to have it all figured out. So, what else is in store, say, in a decade? Same, same, but, she reveals, “Hopefully, with a child. Naks! I’ll be 44 by then. I hope that personally, I have my own family. I really hope in 10 years, It’s Showtime is still around and I’m still doing films. And hopefully, blk will be stronger than ever. I hope we grow even more.”
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Ultimately, managing blk Cosmetics is one of the many things Anne is extremely passionate about. And so to end our interview, she lets the following piece of business advice come out of those famed lips. “For anyone who has always had a dream of putting up their own business, never lose hope even when you feel like it’s not going anywhere or you feel that you can’t do it or it’s never gonna happen. Don’t think that way.”
“Try to look for your own dream team that will help you through it because it’s true, you can’t put up a business alone. I firmly believe in that. I believe in finding the perfect team for you, people that you get along with, people that you can trust, and people who have that same goal as you and you keep those people. You make them friends, you make them family.”
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Banner image by Vyn Radovan | Photographs taken from instagram.com/annecurtissmith