I have a confession to make. I didn’t always like makeup and fashion. I know right? What a shocker.
It’s true though, as unbelievable as that may sound. If I meet my old self I am not sure we’ll even recognise each other. Am I only a fragment of the old pieces that used to make up ‘ME’? I refuse to believe that, and without quoting the cliche ‘people change’ let me just say that people can be an improved version of themselves over time. It doesn’t always mean that they changed who they are. It simply means that some people refuse to belong to stereotypes, or perhaps some people just want to explore all the possibilities that is within themselves. I am both.
Growing up, I have loved dancing so much that I thought that was what I was going to become when I grew up – a dancer. But of course that was after my mother told me that becoming a veterinarian in the Philippines is pretty pointless because the people there did not care enough for their pets, and those that did can’t afford animal healthcare. I don’t even know if pet insurance existed then. I grew up watching ASPCA and RSPCA on animal planet and making a vow to be part of either of the two charities when I grow up. While I had a ton of fun being part of dance troops and cheer dancing in all the schools I have been in, I soon realised that it wasn’t a dream that really had enough purpose. And with no support from anybody, it was simply impossible.
At the age of 8, I discovered the world of computer gaming through my brother. I blame Scorched Earth and all the hundreds of other games that I ever ‘wasted’ my time on playing. Well, at least that’s the word people always use to describe gaming – a waste of time. To me, it’s simply a part of the life I chose to live. I met so many wonderful people through online gaming, the longest friendship I have that started online is 16 years. We’re still in-touch and the best of friends. We don’t always chat but when we need the assurance that only certain people can give, we are there for each other almost instinctively. Being a gamer also strengthen the bond I have with my brother. While some people view computer games as a waste of time, to me and my brother it served a really stable and sturdy bridge that filled our 9-year age gap. Who would have thought that while I was playing and loving Baldur’s Gate, somewhere 8,000 miles away, on the other side of the world, the man I was destined to marry was also playing the same game as me? It will be seven years before our paths would cross. I understand that some people play games and get paid for doing so but I’m not that dedicated during the time…I actually had a RL (real life) as well as the fantasy one! I also understand that I wasn’t as intelligent as my brother to actually make the kind of games that I was so fond of playing. He is now a software engineer, and still an avid gamer.
The home I grew up in was practically a library. Needless to say it was almost unavoidable to not read anything when I was in the house which was most times since I was only allowed an hour each day of outdoor play then. I wouldn’t change that for the world. I have always enjoyed reading but I must admit, unlike my brother, sister and mother, I am no bookworm. Well, OK, maybe there is one thing I might have liked to change. In the rare occasion that everyone will be home at the same time to allow a family meal, everyone was reading either a book, a newspaper or a magazine whilst eating, as you would imagine people nowadays are on their phones or tablets during tea times. Maybe a bit more conversation over a nice meal and less reading might have been a more ideal setting. But no matter. I think that is one of the best things that my mother had instilled in me. I remember when I would ask her to help me with my English homework and ask for a meaning of a word, she would not tell me the answer. Instead she would take a book from one of our many bookshelves, pass it to me and say nothing. Sometimes the book was bigger than me. I swear we had the biggest dictionaries ever. Reading is easy but enjoying the company of good books is a gift. One that I will be forever grateful to my mother for.
My biological parents were both editors and novelists. In the midst of my rebellious teen, for some unfathomable reason, my English teacher chose me to write an essay as entry to a national writing contest. What’s more unfathomable was the fact that I won that competition and that sealed the deal for my mother. I was going to be a writer just like her.
But I did not become any of these things. I am 30 now and I am neither a dancer nor a veterinarian. I did not become a computer engineer like my brother, nor did I become a novelist like my mother. Instead I am a mother to a wonderful boy and a wife to the best man that some ladies only ever wish for.
Dancing, on the other hand, has helped me to easily lose the 4 stone of baby weight I put on during my pregnancy, that is over 50 lbs! And because I love dancing so much it didn’t even feel like I tried. My ever-enduring love for animals still makes me feel like I have a purpose on this Earth and I have been doing what I can for my local RSPCA! Being a gamer has meant that me and my husband will always have that in common, we even play with my brother online! And I am able to share my thoughts with you right now, that is my gift of writing. Maybe I am not as good as my mother in expressing emotions through writing and I most definitely am not as articulate as my sister, but I can write. Most times I just write sad poetry but even that has helped me through the most difficult times. My mother still believes I will publish a book in the future but I guess that is the reality of parenthood — you never really stop dreaming for your child. Who knows? Writing is in my blood apparently, maybe I just had a bit of genetic malfunction of some sort
Oh, yes, and reading. It keeps me from spending ridiculous amount of time on social media and restricts any pointless interaction with the idiot box.
Those are some of the things that I am made of – my core. And then there are the little things.
SO WHY FOOD AND FASHION?
The first time that I ever used moisturiser was when I was already 23! And the first time I have ever attempted to use a foundation was in 2010! You probably won’t believe it if I say I have never done my eyebrows properly until after my child was born. So I suppose you could say I am pretty new to this stuff. But it doesn’t mean I haven’t learned much and in fact I am still learning. And sharing as I do
It is pretty much the same with cooking. I made my first fondant-covered cake in 2009, and on the same year attempted a decent Black Forest Gateaux.
As a mother you sometimes can’t help but feel like you have lost your identity as a woman somewhere between trying to become the best mother and the perfect wife. Makeup makes me feel pretty and making beautiful cakes makes me feel fulfilled. That I can make something beautiful out of flour, butter, eggs and sugar is pretty astonishing to me. I know that I will not become a pro makeup artist and I am not the next Mary Berry but that does not mean another shattered dream. As far as I am concerned, my ultimate dream has long been fulfilled. That I found the man of my dreams and that we are happy with a healthy child and the best dog ever is THE dream, the only one I really care about. Hans Christian Andersen taught me that much about happiness.
I wanted to share what I have discovered so far about food and fashion to those who are interested in exploring and discovering more of themselves. I don’t live and breathe fashion and I certainly don’t idolise Anna Wintour. If I had to idolise someone it would have to be the late Margaret Thatcher or Angela Merkel. No, I am not a feminist, I just think that being a successful woman in politics takes a whole lot of balls. The two women I mentioned have balls bigger than their male counterpart, no doubt.
Being a mother doesn’t mean you have to let yourself go. A little makeup can actually pick you up on your most depressing days. And it’s OK to feel beautiful when you’re all gussied-up and makeup is great for exactly that — it is naught but a temporary fix. You have to feel your absolute best when you are most naked.
And that cake you thought was rubbish will become the most exceptional cake when your little one demolishes it down to the last meager crumb. Nothing compares to that feeling.
All you have to do is keep your core stable and strong, that is your substance. Style is the easy part. Because when all the make up is on that single baby wipe you used to take it all of, and when you are down to your pyjamas, what you are made of is really all that is left. Who you crawl into bed with and who you kiss goodnight every night defines a good chunk of your life. They are who matter the most to your happiness. Vogue has nothing to do with it.
Sunglasses and earrings from New Look
Shoes from New Look Tee from ASOS Blazer from H&M
Ring and Belt from ASOS
Bag from River Island Jeans from ASOS