Leave your eyebrows in the hands of a pro

Leave your eyebrows in the hands of a pro


Leave your eyebrows in the hands of a pro

Dear Lucy,

I got a little tweezer happy and over-plucked my eyebrows. How do I make them look full again?


Short of filling them in with a pencil or getting a tattoo (which I don’t necessarily recommend), you will just have to wait it out. Wait for it to grow back. And be more cautious next time.

Thin eyebrows have a tendency to make you look older than your years so instead of plucking them yourself and making a mistake, it is so much better to leave it in the hands of a pro.

Meanwhile, you can make the period of waiting less unsightly by going to a makeup counter in the beauty section of a department store where you can ask the resident beauty expert to please teach you how to make your eyebrows appear thicker and fuller than they are right now. All that said, you should at least be thankful that this is just a temporary glitch, so to speak.


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Better skin is just a few massages away!

Jade and rose quartz rollers can workwonders in reducing puffiness and minimize  the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

Dear Rissa,

I’ve been seeing celebrities use face rollers. What are the beauty benefits of this? Is it worth getting one?


Truthfully, I was quite skeptical of these at the start. I’ve always seen face massagers or face rollers in Japan over the years. They’re big in Japan until today. Face rollers are said to stimulate your facial skin and muscles to combat sagging skin and wrinkles. By moving the roller along the cheekbones and the jawline, the face massager also encourages circulation and relieves stress in minutes. It’s such a big hit in Japan that they sell even tiny ultra-portable versions of the face massager — as small as a razor and portable like a keychain. Japanese women keep them at home or carry one in their handbag for an instant “face lift” anytime.

I finally bought a jade face roller from a reputable beauty site but was so appalled because it wasn’t made of jade like it promised. It was made of resin and it didn’t pass the tests of true jade. I decided to buy on Instagram instead (which I was initially more hesitant to do because some social media sellers are not reputable). I bought from, which specializes in selling jade and rose quartz face rollers. These kinds of stones are said to have healing benefits to well-being, too.

When I first tried it, I kept everything in my skincare routine the same but used the jade roller to massage my face and skincare regimen into it. I was stunned. Results for me came as quick as the next day. My skin felt smoother and appeared poreless when with makeup. In fact, my face felt so smooth that I kept touching it all day. Results were so amazing that I wish there was a jade roller for the body! Really.

Now I understand why it’s so popular right now. I regret not listening to people who spoke to me about it many years ago. In past interviews I’ve had with global skincare and makeup experts, they shared that regular massaging really helps strengthen the muscles of the skin so you prevent sagging later on.

One international makeup artist even swears by it and makes it a point to massage the skin of models during fashion week before applying makeup. They even say a face massager is like a quick facial treatment and is the next best thing to a professional spa.


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Send email to Lucy Torres-Gomez at Email Rissa Trillo at or follow her on Twitter @RissaMananquil.

Wear a computer on your wrist with Fossil Q’s smartwatch

Wear a computer on your wrist with Fossil Q’s smartwatch


How cool is it to be able to finally wear a computer on your wrist? The efficiency of a smartphone with the compactness of a watch — but stylish? Until now, a smartwatch looks like, well, a smartphone on your wrist. No designer strap collaboration and face design could distract from its bulkiness. But there shouldn’t have to be a toss-up between functionality and wearability, which is where Fossil Q’s newest hybrid smart watches come in.

The full-round touchscreen Q Venture and Q Explorist models look unassuming when worn with a suit to a board meeting. It runs on Android Wear 2.0—the platform’s biggest update since its launch in 2014—that expands the smartwatch experience with features like downloadable third-party apps, watch faces, and notifications at a glance in high-res AMOLED display. It runs on Qualcomm’s Snapdragon Wear 2100 processor and 4GB of memory as well as Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity. You can get help with hands-free messaging from Google Assistant; just say, “OK, Google.”

I own the Q Scarlette, and its timeless pavé-framed face, stainless steel case build, and bracelet strap style dresses up a slinky slip dress for dinner and looks just as great with a classic T-shirt and trousers look. I love that it looks and wears like a regular watch, but is not lacking in smart watch functionality. On its side are three customizable pushers, which I have tailored to my specifications.

All Fossil Q models require an app for syncing and monitoring, downloadable both on iOS and Android phones. I’ve customized my Fossil Q to double as a camera remote, music player, and activity tracker. It makes outfit photos possible even when traveling solo. It has also helped me find my phone with the press of a button, prompting my phone to ring even when on silent mode. Haptic motors and hands work together for notifications and feedback for the no-charge battery powered smartwatch.

“We know the watch industry is in a pivotal moment of change. The evolution of design to include technology is something that we, as a company fueled by creatives, are so passionate about,” Fossil chief creative officer Jill Elliott says. “We know fashion comes first for the female customer and with technology innovations, we are able to introduce smaller touchscreen watches, and our smallest hybrid to date in the timeless fashionable way only Fossil can.”


Share your Fossil Q experience by using the hashtags #FossilQ and #FossilPh on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. 

No excuses: Find your sunblock match at Watsons

SM Advantage Card members get a chance to win a trip for four to Japan, Korea, Thailand, Taiwan and Hong Kong with every P500 single-receipt purchase of participating products.

When it comes to sun protection, it should be all day, every day. But maybe you haven’t found the right kind of sunblock. Do you ditch it altogether to tan, or do you walk everywhere with an umbrella because your usual sunblock gives an undesirable greasy, white cast? With Watsons’ “Love The Sun” campaign, you have no excuse to skip the most preventive skincare step. Roving in Mall of Asia, SM North Edsa, SM Megamall and SM Fairview all month, you can try different variants and find your perfect match.

Belo’s Cristalle Belo-Pitt and Nicole Hernandez

“There is SPF not just in sun care. Regular products like powders and moisturizers now have SPF, too. We even have non-sticky powder finish sunscreen that complements makeup,” Watsons senior category manager Aimee Pernia says.

Will you be in the water all day? Do you want something lightweight and cooling to use on a hiking trip, or do you need a more thicker, emollient formula for your dry skin? Will your kids use it? Or do you want something hard-working yet affordable? Activations from participating brands Nivea, Banana Boat, Sunplay, Biore, Dermplus, Kojie San, Neutrogena, Solstice, Beach Hut, Hawaiian Tropic, Cetaphil, Olay, Pond’s, Snow, Celeteque, Thiocell, Shiro, Gluta-C, L’Oreal, and Vaseline allow you to sample what suits your needs best.

For Pernia, there is only one hard and fast rule for sun protection: “Use it every day and reapply every two hours, especially if you’ve been in the water.”

Sunblock is not just for the great outdoors. “Sun protection is the best form of anti-aging,” says Intelligent Skin Care Inc. (makers of Belo Essentials) managing director Cristalle Belo-Pitt. New in their lineup is a Hair and Scalp Shield, perfect for those who dye their hair.

Creamsilk’s Fresh Hydration conditioner is back, making it easy to style hair in on-trend looks like mermaid waves or fishtail braids, no matter how hot and humid it gets, as demonstrated by Janeena Chan with Creamsilk’s Camie Garcia.

Some brands have released post-sun summer exclusives. Pantene has a UV rescue variant of its 3-Minute Miracle line. For styling, Vitress came up with a Hair Freshener to spritz out amoy araw in a hot sec. Veet depilatory products allow you to go hair-free without shaving or waxing. Stay fresh all over with Lactacyd feminine wash and Dentiste toothpaste. Chic and Bobbie nail polish brighten up your digits and body mists by Body Fantasies keep you smelling fresh.

No summer plans? Watsons might just help you with that if you’re an SM Advantage Card member. Get a chance to win a trip for four to Japan, Korea, Thailand, Taiwan and Hong Kong. Every P500 single-receipt purchase of participating products is equivalent to one e-raffle entry to join.

Camie Garcia of Creamsilk with Janeena Chan

Meet Salt-Water, your ‘it’ sandals for summer

Slide: The perfect slip-on pool shoe with an adjustable buckle front and stitched sole style. Also in rose gold.

It’s too hot for those boots made for walking these days, but fret not. You won’t be seeing any less action with Salt-Water Sandals. The footwear has been a cult American classic since the 1940s and has been spotted on boho style stars Alexa Chung and Michelle Williams twinning with her daughter Matilda. It’s now in Manila for the first time distributed by Tykes Trading (the ladies behind another summertime favorite Melissa Philippines) but if you think you’ve seen it before, it’s because it’s also a design that’s been widely copied for its vintage appeal, but nothing beats the real thing.

How she wears her Salt-Water’s: Salt-Water Sandal Europe and Asia managing director Rachael Laine loves it in red.

Missouri-based Walter Hoy first constructed the sandals using leftover leather from military boots, but that leather makes it special. They are coated with a sealant that shields it against water and moisture, making it wearable in both dry and wet seasons. It’s easy to break in a pair, so it’s comfortable. Straps with rust-proof metal tongues make for easy adjustment. They come with a plaited leather upper or in adjustable buckle front, classic leather to patent and metallic finishes like rose gold, with little way stitched rubber soles to spongy urethane soles for kids.?

Fan-turned-managing director Rachael Laine for Salt-Water Sandal Europe and Asia recently stopped by Manila to introduce the brand. A standout with her pink tuft, pairing her shirtdress with a statement necklace and red Salt Waters, she epitomizes the brand’s laid-back chic aesthetic. She tells us more about what’s poised to be the newest it-sandal for summer.?

Philippine Star: You are first a fan of Salt-Water. How did you discover it?

Rachael Laine: I was on maternity leave with my daughter. When I saw this brand, I had a toddler boy, and everything was covered in logos. Boys’ shoes had lights or they had squeaky soles. I saw Salt-Waters on a New York mom’s blog and I thought ‘This is so simple, nostalgic. These are so humble and straightforward.’ I thought they’d do really well in Europe. And they can get wet! UK beaches aren’t sandy. I thought these are practical. My background is launching brands into the market or helping brands that haven’t transitioned well internationally. I’ve worked a lot on packaging and communications so I approached them, saying that they should be in Europe.

Adventures in Salt-Waters — can you share some with us?

A friend went to Brazil for a holiday on the beach and her daughter just did not believe she could keep her sandals on in the water, so she took them off and the sea washed them away. The following year, they went back to the same resort. They went rockpooling and they saw this bright yellow thing. They picked it up and it was her sandal from a whole year before, washed around the coast. It was no longer perfect but still totally wearable. I wore Salt-waters to my wedding. I had a special pair made in champagne-cream to match my dress. A lot of people with a boho luxe wedding make their bridesmaids and flower girls wear Salt-Waters because they go perfectly with a broderie anglaise dress.?One lady did an around the world yacht race and she took two pairs of Salt-Waters with her. She circumnavigated the globe in Saltwaters. You can wear them while backpacking — they pack flat without ruining the shape — or while you’re in the hotel going to the pool, which is what I do.

Original: Available in children’s sizes to adult, it’s perfect for twinning with your little one.

What’s next for Salt-Water?

We’ll introduce two new styles next year from a pair that hasn’t been made since the ‘70s. Because of the success of our rose gold line, we’re coming up with a new metallic shade. We’re also developing a process where we can do limited- edition prints so maybe we can do some cool collaborations with graphic designers or brands specific to your market while still being waterproof and very durable.


Salt-Water Sandals are available at Rustan’s Makati (Ladies & Children Collection), Rustan’s Shangri-La (Ladies Collection), Commonthread Greenbelt and Rockwell; Mothercare Greenbelt and BGC; and Playground TriNoma and Robinsons Magnolia. Shop online at Follow on Facebook and @saltwatersandals_ph on Instagram for updates.

WATCH Beauty queen Katarina Rodriguez shows how to strut in swimwear

WATCH: Beauty queen Katarina Rodriguez shows how to strut in swimwear


WATCH: Beauty queen Katarina Rodriguez shows how to strut in swimwear

Deni Rose M. Afinidad-Bernardo ( – March 23, 2018 – 7:42pm

MANILA, Philippines — Prior to passing her Binibining Pilipinas-Intercontinental 2018 crown to Karen Gallman, Miss Intercontinental 1st runner-up Katarina Rodriguez showed her winning swimwear modeling moves in a runway show.

Katarina modeled some of the latest summer trends at a recent SM Woman fashion show for International Women’s Month.

“Pick an interesting background and try different poses,” Katarina advised those who want to excel in their summer #OoTD (outfit of the day). — Videos by Deni Rose M. Afinidad-Bernardo, EC Toledo IV; editing by Kat Leandicho

Deaf pageant finalist shares her ‘Superbod’ story

WATCH: Deaf pageant finalist shares her ‘Superbod’ story


WATCH: Deaf pageant finalist shares her ‘Superbod’ story

MANILA, Philippines — For the first time ever, a deaf contestant has made it to the finals of a national beauty pageant.

Christine Balaguer, 28, shared to in a recent interview how happy she is to represent the deaf and mute community at Century Tuna Superbods.

“I want to inspire the deaf community and show what we can do… To show that equality is here,” Christine said.

A total of 40 fit, smart, and sexy aspirants from Davao, Cebu and Metro Manila will compete in the finals of the Century Tuna Superbods Ageless 2018.

The finalists are consist of 10 Superbods male and 10 Superbods female (18 to 37 years old) and 10 Superbods Ageless male and 10 Superbods Ageless female (38 to 50 years old). Superbods male finalists are Luiji Panoso, Angelo Cacciatore, Jules Aquino, Sandro Roman, Elcid Camacho, Anthony Wahl, Farzam Nasirian, Denver Hernandez, Tommy Tiangco, and Tony De Oteyza. Female finalists are Maureen Montagne, Bella Ysmael, Faith Garcia, Queenie Rehman, Amanda Villanueva, Weizel Gulfan, Mariah Nilo, Christine Balaguer, Kim Ross Williams, and Joanna Toledo.

Male finalists in the Superbods Ageless category are Marc Dungo, Albert Adrales, Jerome Salvado, Manny Apilado, Jude Yap, Grech Go, Rob Geronimo, Ari Simangan, Manu Reyes, and Johann Ludovica. Superbods Ageless female finalists are Angel Jones, Glenda Bayona, Lois Hunter, Margaret Chua Lao, Anna Cope, Mica Fuentes, Maricel Cruz, Elisse Camarillo, Romela Nacar, and Michelle Garcia.

The finalists were chosen by a panel of judges composed of top photographer Xander Angeles of Edge of Light; Century Tuna Superbods 2014 grand winner Sara Polverini; PC&V Communications president and chief creative officer Ariel Comia; Century Pacific Food, Inc. vice president and general manager Greg Banzon; Century Tuna Superbods 2016 1st runner up Clint Bondad; professional volleyball player Alyssa Valdez; and online influencer Nico Bolzico.

“The hunt for the next Century Tuna Superbods has always been a long and rigorous process,” says Greg Banzon, general manager of Century Pacific Food, Inc. “But this year, we knew it will be even more challenging because of the introduction of the Ageless category. My fellow judges and I really had to be extra discerning in selecting the best of the crop.”

The 40 finalists will participate in an exciting line up of activities throughout the summer: the VIP Night hosted by Raymond Gutierrez and Gelli Victor; the Ultimate Challenge at the Inflatable Island in Subic where the finalists’ mental and physical health will be put to the test. This is hosted by Sam YG and Amanda Fernandez; and the Superbods Weekend which includes a fashion show by Zalora that will feature the finalists on April 7; the fun Underpants Run at Filinvest City in Alabang, Muntinlupa in the morning of April 8 and the Electric Spinning Party in BGC Amphitheater in the afternoon.

On April 12, 2018, the grand finals night will be held at the Cove, Okada Manila.

The four winners of Century Tuna Superbods 2018 will each receive P500,000 in cash. They will also receive an appliance showcase worth P250,000 from Indesit, Mabe, and Philips; an editorial campaign contract from Zalora; a training contract from Star Magic; a 1-year unlimited elite membership at Gold’s Gym; a May 2018 Mega Magazine supplement feature; P5,000 worth of Vansydical Sportswear; and a special prize from Cove.

One Superbods finalist will take home a brand-new Chevrolet Trax. The winner will be selected based on the transformation videos of each candidate’s journey towards becoming a Superbod.

The following special awards will also be given during the finals night: Superbod Beachbod, Superbod of the Night (Best in Runway), Superbods Challenge winners, People’s Choice, Photogenic award and Best in Congeniality. — Video by EC Toledo IV

Meet Joel Cruz’s adorable twins

Meet Joel Cruz’s adorable twins


Meet Joel Cruz’s adorable twins

The unassuming Joel Cruz, president and CEO of Aficionado perfumes, introduced his third set of adobrable twins, Charles and Charlotte, to the Christian world.

Charles’ name is of German origin meaning “free man,” while Charlotte is French for “petite.”

Maridol Cruz, Albert Castillo, Trisha Elegino-Castillo, Milagros Cruz, Kyla and Mike Cruz, (front) Prince Sean and Princess Synne Cruz

The twins are from the same surrogate mother from Russia, making all Joel’s six children true brothers and sisters.

The christening was held at the St. Vincent De Paul Parish at Adamson University, which is run by Vincentian priests, in San Marcelino, Manila.

Event stylist Mari Hilario decked the parish in autumn flowers, while the swags came in Prussian blue, burgundy and gold to complete the royal Russian theme.

Godparents included the “who’s who” in politics, business, entertainment, famillie and his now tons of breeds, naturalmente.

Atty. Jasmin Regis-Sy, Kit Regis, Milagros Cruz, Jill Regis, Marilou Regis

Baby Charles’ godparents are — namedropping time, palanggas — Senator Tito Sotto represented by son Councilor Gian Sotto, Senator Joel Villanueva, PNP General Gilbert Cruz, Muebles Italiano president Noel Gonzales, Mark Cruz, Dave Nucom, Michael Sy, Jiro Shirakawa III, Rep. Vilma Santos-Recto, Senator Loren Legarda, Senator Nancy Binay-Angeles, GMA 7 newscaster and Kapuso Foundation EVP and COO Mel Tiangco, Kyla Cruz, Vanessa Cruz-Nucom, Aficionado corporate lawyer Atty. Jasmin Regis-Sy and Kit Regis.

Baby Charlotte’s godparents were Senator Panfilo Lacson, PNP Chief Ronald Dela Rosa, Chavit Singson,  Batangas Mayor Randy James Amo, Vice Ganda, Albert Castillo, Royce Ramos, Capt. Miguel Regis, megastar  Sharon Cuneta-Pangilinan, Senator Cynthia Villar, Marla De Leon, actress Anne Curtis, Trisha Elegino-Castillo, Avic Cruz and Jill Regis.

The banquet was held at the Manila Hotel Tent with entertainment by the Lleghiero Strings, multi-awarded UST Singers, Asia’s Diva Dulce, tenor David Ezra and the all-male group Angelos and the Marcy David Band.

Ambassador Victor and Connie Garcia, Senator Nancy Binay-Angeles, Joel Cruz, comedian Eric Nicolas and wife Ethel

Joel was ecstatic with the arrival of his third set of twins and fulfills his dream of having a big family to continue his desire to help the less fortunate.

No wonder, dahling, you are so blessed.

ACC Philippines’ Art for a cause  at  Leon Gallery

Ken Natori with world-renowned designer Josie Natori and Leon Gallery owner Jaime Ponce de Leon

The Asian Cultural Council Philippines, in partnership with Leon Gallery, held the ACC Philippines Art Auction 2018 recently. The benefit event will help support several of ACC Philippines’ fellowship programs.

Cocktails were prior to the day before the auction at Leon Gallery so patrons could preview the artworks, furniture, religious paraphernalia and historical documents. The event was attended by ACC Philippines members such as Ernest Escaler, Josie Natori, Malu Gamboa, Maribel Ongpin, Dr. Joven Cuanang, Rajo Laurel and the gorgeous Ching Cruz.

Tats Manahan with Mico Manalo and Lisa Guerrero Nakpil

Other guests were Irene Marcos-Araneta, Fernando and Kit Zobel, Jay and Crispy Laurel, Ken Natori and Tingting Cojuangco. The curators of the ACC Philippines 2018 auction were Martin I. Tinio Jr. and that brilliant lady of stature Lisa Guerrero Nakpil, no less, dahlings.

The grandest auctions in the Philippines have always been masterfully conceptualized and facilitated by Leon Gallery. We just have to wait for the next one as this one was even five notches higher, palanggas.

Marot Moreno with Andres Barrioquinto’s painting

Leon Gallery is on the ground floor, Eurovilla 1, Rufino corner Legazpi Sts., Legazpi Village, Makati.

Retinol is your skin’s friend, even in the summer

Retinol is your skin’s friend, even in the summer


Retinol is your skin’s friend, even in the summer

#NOFILTERChonx Tibajia (The Philippine Star) – March 28, 2018 – 12:00am

Retinol is one of those skincare ingredients struggling with a bad reputation — mostly misconceptions that are a result of misuse. The most common: “Retinol will make your face really red and you’ll burn under the sun.” True, but only if you don’t ease your skin into it first and if you don’t wear sunblock, which is something you should be doing anyway whether you are using retinol or not. The truth is, retinol is recommended for nighttime because, being a vitamin A derivative, it breaks down when exposed to sunlight and oxygen exposure. It just won’t work. It’s also important to use trusted brands. The goal is obvious peeling but a gradual and subtle dead skin cell turnover.

Murad has a daytime retinol product, the Retinol Youth Renewal Serum, which was introduced last year. It uses time-released retinol, so it delivers the same benefits gradually through the day to prevent dryness and reduce irritation. Recently, Murad launched the product’s nighttime counterparts under its Resurgence range, the Retinol Youth Renewal Eye Serum and Night Cream, which use the same Retinol Tri-Active technology.

According to Murad, it improves skin in three ways. By at once boosting cellular turnover, delivering time-released retinol for sustained benefits and boosting skin’s receptivity to the ingredient, it gently minimizes lines and deep wrinkles, firms, evens skin tone and boosts radiance. The products also contain Sweria flower extract, an ingredient native to the Himalayas and known for its ability to aid in the regeneration of skin cells after a burn. The eye serum contains Marine Kelp Complex to firm and brighten dark circles, while the night cream has peptide-rich Red Algae Extract to improve skin’s firmness and elasticity while soothing skin.

According to a Murad-sponsored study, users of the Retinol Youth Renewal Eye Serum saw 93-percent reduction in lines and wrinkles in four weeks.  These are women from different age groups, from their 20s to their late 40s, reaping the benefits of retinol.

Some guidelines for first-time retinol users: 1) Start with a low-strength formula to prepare skin for retinol. Use at night, every other day, then gradually increase strength and use more frequently. 2) According to, retinol itself is sensitive to light but it doesn’t make skin sensitive to light when used. Nevertheless, it’s best to err on the side of caution and always apply sunblock as the last step in your skincare regimen. 3) Stick to the retinol product for at least a month, maybe add a moisturizer, but avoid other medications so you can more or less gauge if the results (or the reaction) you experience are from the retinol. 4) Finally, get a relaxing facial at least once a month (Murad Spa in Rustan’s Makati offers super relaxing facials) and get your skin assessed and treated accordingly for best results.

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Murad Retinol Youth Renewal Eye Serum (P4,850 for 15ml) and Retinol Youth Renewal Night Cream (P4,550 for 50ml) are available at Rustan’s Department Stores.

Eye makeup hacks

Eye makeup hacks


STYLE S.O.S.Lucy Torres-Gomez, Rissa Mananquil-Trillo (The Philippine Star) – March 28, 2018 – 12:00am

Dear Lucy,

How do I make my eyes look bigger? I find that wearing heavy eyeliner during the day seems too harsh, and takes up too much time especially because I can get obsessive about precision. Do you know of any eye makeup hacks?—Aida            

I also do not like wearing eyeliner during the day, maybe because I also never quite know how to apply it in an effortless swipe and it just takes foo much time.

I do have my own version of a five-minute face and part of it involves using eyeshadow as eyeliner. I take a defining brush with a soft, rounded tip and I dip it in brown and brick-orange eyeshadow. I use it as a shadow all around my eyes. I use a darker shade at the outer corners of each eye and use a light brown shade for the crease.

I find that playing with eyeshadow in lieu of liquid eyeliner softly defines my eyes, making them look like there is just a bit left after I had wiped off a whole lot from the night before. It is subtle and pretty and does not make you look like you tried too hard.

I also like cream to powder eyeshadow. You just swipe them on the lids and you’ll look like you spent some time blending some eye makeup when in fact it is easily effortless. My favorites are from YSL, Tom Ford, RMS.

Curl your lashes. That is one fast step to instant pretty!— Lucy

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Send e-mail to Lucy Torres-Gomez at E-mail Rissa Trillo at or follow her on Twitter @RissaMananquil.

KC Concepcion's jeweller idol Victoire de Castellane of Dior

KC Concepcion’s jeweller idol? Victoire de Castellane of Dior


KC Concepcion’s jeweller idol? Victoire de Castellane of Dior

KC Concepcion’s debut as a jewelry designer at Manila House was one unforgettable event.

Memorable because the beautiful and articulate KC  was there, speaking from her heart and mind as to why she decided she would no longer be labeled just an actress. Her hidden talent for creating gems had long been there since childhood, waiting for the right moment to shine.

Victoire de Castellane from the blog of fashion designer Rita Saardi

Perhaps untold in the many stories written about KC the jeweller is her inspiration  and idol: Victoire de Castellane, the designer for Dior’s fine jewelry.

KC and Victoire have parallel stories. Both grew up watching their grandmothers’ penchant for gems. Victoire’s paternal grandmother, Silvia Rodriguez de Rivas, Countess de Castilleja de Guzman, would “change her baubles to match her different outfits in a day.”

It is written that “when she was five, Victoire dismantled a bracelet of her mom to make a pair of earrings. At 12, she created her first ring using gold melted down from religious medals she’d receive at Communion.”

Claudine De Leon, Theresa Leung, KC Concepcion, Javi Martinez, and Tim Yap

KC got her first pearl earrings from her grandmother Elaine Cuneta when she was five, “and they’re still with me,” says KC.

KC said she was 18 when “my grandmother asked me to design something I wanted.” And her design was made into a real piece of jewelry.

Both KC and Victoire loved florals. And both basked in the inspiring milieu that is Paris.

Nix Alanon, Pam Quinones, KC Concepcion, Rajo Laurel

KC offers some sensible advice to women regarding jewelry: “First, don’t overdo it. I say choose something you can wear on a daily basis… Don’t choose something to show off. Wear a piece to express yourself… Lastly, don’t wear everything at the same time — earrings, ring, necklace, bracelet. Be sparing and don’t be eager to make everything too matching.”

Why Sharon was absent

As we walked on the red carpet leading to the long dinner table in the room decorated with roses (all 8,000 roses covering an entrance wall, hanging from the ceiling, arranged in clusters on the dining table, or simply strewn all over the floor, as has been over-written about) basking in dramatic red lighting, we looked for our names among the place cards to find our seats. We saw the expected names in the places of honor near KC’s seat: Kiko Pangilinan. Frankie Pangilinan. Angeli Pangilinan. Judy Ann Santos. And then farther away: Gabby Concepcion. He was a no-show. And so was Sharon Cuneta.

Charles Tiu, Tess Oben, KC Concepcion, Atty. Chin Tecson

Earlier, we asked Kiko if Sharon was coming, and amid the noise and the music, the gentleman’s answer was a blur.

We found the answer by looking at Sharon’s Instagram account. She was in Malacañang attending a dinner hosted by President Duterte, together with her brother Chet whose dream was “to finally meet his idol and hero.”

Georgia del Rosario, Dominique Cojuangco, KC Concepcion, Pia Campos, Rachel Peters, Patti Grandidge

Sharon said: “It would have been awkward had I been to KC’s jewelry launch — had both her Papa (Gabby) and Dad (Kiko) — then I — been there. Turns out her Pa wasn’t able to make it. Still, glad I didn’t go to unintentionally steal any of KC’s thunder or happiness. And KC knew I wasn’t going to be able to attend before dinner was confirmed…Congrats again, KC.”

So there.

The four-course, rose-infused dinner for Avec Moi by Kristina.

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Follow the author on Instagram and Facebook @milletmartinezmananquil.  Email her at