After my trip to Magpupungko pool in Siargao, I went back to Bravo Beach Resort and bumped into one of its staff, Monique. She asked me how was my trip, and before I could answer, she told me that I looked so beautiful without makeup.
“I’m not lying, I’m a frank person. You are so beautiful, your face looks fresh and you got amazing skin. Why do you even wear makeup?!” she said.
I didn’t tell her this, but I’m not too happy with my face without makeup. My lips are too thin, my face drained of color, my lashes are too short, and my eyebrows undefined. Yes, I am just like other women who are hard on themselves when it comes to their looks. Hence, I was never comfortable going out without makeup. It makes me feel like I am naked and unpretty, and it doesn’t help that most people would ask me if I’m sick.
I am one of those girls who wear makeup everywhere, including the beach. Monique saw my bare face because I went swimming at Magpupungko Pool, the sea washed away my makeup. But her remarks, however, had me thinking. Am I being too harsh on myself? Do I have a distorted view of how I look?
I have a friend who is naturally beautiful without makeup and I told her so. I honestly haven’t seen anyone in our circle who looked better without makeup but her. She has naturally curly and long eyelashes, one of the things that I wish I have. I compensate by getting eyelash extensions. They do brighten up my eyes but as they tend to be extremely long, they don’t look natural. And they are not permanent, once the lashes start falling off, the remaining lashes start to look like spider legs. I’ve been sporting spider lashes of late because I didn’t want to get eyelash extension, at least not anytime soon. I wanted to give my lashes time to rest and to regrow as some of them have inevitably fallen off with the extension.
Then one day I saw Yen Dreyfus’s Instagram post in which she said she’s wearing max2cara. Yen is the actor and now blogger, Chuckie Dreyfus’s lovely wife. Like her husband, she has her own blog, The Tummy Traveler. Whatever it is, it made her eyes look bigger and bright. Her lashes are longer and thicker but they don’t look fake. I stared at her photo and immediately thought, I want that.
In the caption is a promise she would post about it on her blog. Excitedly, I left a comment that I’m interested in it. This is one of those moments when a thing as mundane as leaving an Instagram comment could lead to something amazing. Yen replied and helped open up an opportunity for me to try not just the max2cara but also the semi-permanent eyebrows that I’d been meaning to get.
Yesterday, Yen and I agreed to meet at Contours clinic in Magallanes. I came in before Yen so I sat by the clinic’s lobby to wait for her. A woman came out to the reception and asked me what did I come for. I told her that I’m waiting for someone. She asked if I’m Marge, the blogger that Yen mentioned to her. I said yes and approached her to formally introduce myself. I just met Dr. Claudine Roura, a board-certified dermatologist. As I’m writing this I just saw her profile on her website and found that she is the first and only cosmetic surgeon certified to do VASER High Definition Liposculpture in the Philippines. Impressive!
Doc Claudine immediately attended to me. I didn’t expect her to be so down to earth and easy to get along with but she is such a darling. I also noticed that she treats her staff well, even jokes around with them. Before long I was already feeling comfortable, Doc Claudine has a spunk, not dainty as some doctors that I met in the past. Being a person who is anything but dainty herself, I immediately took a liking to her.
Before anything else, we had to remove the remnants of my eyelash extension. I was slightly agitated about this because the last time I had my extension removed, the solution got into my eyes and I howled in pain. It was like using hot sauce for an eye drop. So I braced myself when doc began to put the eyelash glue remover on my lashes. I almost couldn’t believe it when I didn’t feel any sting. Thank the heavens!
So there I was, lying on the bed with my closed when I heard Yen and Chuckie came in. We said hellos and I waved because that’s the only thing I could do with my eyes closed as we let the glue remover solution sit on my lashes. Yen said that she’s getting her eyebrows done and I was like, what? So cool! I wanna get mine done too! I don’t have major problems with my brows, just that, it’s one part of my daily makeup ritual that takes time. But brows give the face a definition so I can’t escape the ritual. You make it so thin you will look like a granny, you make it a bit bushy and straight as Koreans do, you will look youthful, you make the arc too sharp you will look fierce. Thus, it’s one if not the top thing women prioritize when doing their makeup. As we say here in the Philippines, kilay is life.
While I am not completely dissatisfied with my brows, I would love it if I could skip this part of the makeup routine if I can. Wouldn’t it be nice to wake up in the morning with perfectly shaped brows?
“Do you want to try it too?” Yen asked.
“Yes, I have plans to get it done in the future,” I replied, you know when I already have P20,000, I added but only in my head.
Apparently, the future is here, because the next thing I knew, Yen has informed Doc Claudine that I also want my eyebrows done and the latter agreed. And just like that, the deal is sealed, I was bound to get new brows.
While working on my max2cara treatment, they put a numbing cream on my eyebrow area in preparation for the treatment called digital hyper-realistic brows. But more on that later.
So far, no other clinic is offering max2cara in the Philippines. Doc Claudine is pioneering the treatment in the country via Glam Tatz. This means I was among the first ones to try this, exciting!
It took a while for me because they still had to remove my eyelash extension. After that, they permed my almost non-existent lashes. Given the fact that I lost some of them due to the extension, my lashes have become shorter, some are still growing. This affected the final result, my lashes were not as long as Yen’s. Nevertheless, I liked it because at least these are my original lashes with just a bit of enhancement. Max2cara can last from 2 to 3 weeks.
Digital hyper-realistic brows
Now for that eyebrow on fleek, Doc Claudine and I went to another room. The numbing cream has taken effect. When doc started tracing lines on my brows I didn’t feel a thing. This treatment is kinda like manual microblading only it uses a digital nanomachine, a bit similar to the tool being used in regular tattoos. They say that the color lasts longer with a digital hyper-realistic brows procedure.
Doc made sure that my eyebrows would be even by doing some measurements. She said that thicker brows would look better on my face. She also consulted me if I liked how the patterns looked before we went on with the procedure. I was a bit nervous, not with the procedure itself but with the result. I told myself that Doc Claudine is well trained to do this, there’s no need for me to be worried.
Then the procedure begins. Doc picked a dark brown color to ensure natural-looking brows. It is generally painless, but there are some parts when I felt a slight discomfort particularly in the middle part of the brows, but the pain is bearable. I remember thinking what a relief the numbing cream brings. I wish tattoo parlors in the country would start using this to their patrons to make the tattooing experience a little less excruciating.
Somewhere in the middle of the procedure, Doc Claudine said that it’s getting blotchy. Turns out I’m developing bruises and things are getting a little bit bloody as she continues with the work. She asked if I easily get bruises, I said yes, most especially when I’m on my period. Apparently, I’m the only person she encountered who bled under this procedure. As a result, there are some red spots on my eyebrow areas when we were done. Other than that, the procedure went smoothly. Bleeding and bruising happen in getting inked even in body tattoos. I have 5 tattoos, I wasn’t in the least worried. Late that night, the reddening has subsided.
How did I find my new brows? I love them! The only time I saw my brows that are this defined is when I get my face done by a makeup artist. I am so excited that now, I don’t have to rely on them or any other beauty product for that matter to get perfect brows. Now here come’s my favorite part, a side by side comparison of my brows and lashes before and after the treatments. It amazes me that the end result looks so natural.
While I may never be as beautiful as Demi Lovato without makeup, at least I can now go swimming without losing my brows, lol. I do hope my new kilay would stop people from wondering if I’m sick the next time they see me without so much as a lip tint.
Special thanks to Yen Dreyfus for this opportunity and of course to Doc Claudine for giving my now naturally looking flirty lashes and eyebrows on fleek.
If you too want to try max2cara or digital hyper-realistic brows, you may contact Contours at the following numbers +02 556-4878/ +63 917-5622247 or visit their website, rouradermsurgery.com. Contours clinic can be found at 2/F, SouthPark Plaza, Paseo de Magallanes, Magallanes Village, Makati City.