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Liz Uy and Mond Gutierrez Have Grown into Their Own

As two of the country’s new-generation tastemakers, Liz and Mond revisit their own style journeys and share their definition of beautiful.

by Sam Beltran | Nov 4, 2019

"There’s a whole scene of people playing more with makeup, and I’d like to see more of that. It’s an exciting time because people are more open and more accepting, and I think we’re going in the right direction."—Mond Gutierrez

It is daytime at Xylo at the Palace, its plush interiors without the usual throng of partygoers and the sound of glasses clinking to a toast mixing with the dance music bouncing from all corners.

Instead, it is well-lit and quiet, save for the hectic comings and goings of the Preview team and production crew while Liz Uy and Mond Gutierrez are getting their hair and makeup done. Swathed in rich hues and fabrics of high sheen, the two go about their usual business while the rest spin around them in a haze to recreate the opulence of Studio 54, the iconic New York City nightclub that encapsulated the excess and glamour of the 1970s’ disco era. There's glitter, gloss, and all things that sparkle and shine, as well as pops of color that throw away any sort of subtlety or restraint.

A high-concept shoot is only fitting for people like Liz and Mond, two of the country’s celebrity tastemakers and aspirational figures. Their high-profile friendship is one that their legion of followers look forward to with every Instagram update: Their most recent photo together posted in Mond’s account dated October 18 reveals over 4,000 likes.

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Liz Uy for Preview.ph November 2019


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Mond Gutierrez for Preview.ph November 2019

In spite of the fanfare that comes with simply being associated with one another, both share many things in common. Aside from being Preview alums, the  two are regularly seen in front of the camera as stars and influencers in their own right: Mond as a TV host and as part of the celebrity Gutierrez family, and Liz as an international style star jetting from one fashion event to another abroad. Both also direct their own creative pursuits, with Mond at the helm of various premier brand events and parties in the country, while Liz is still very much hands-on as creative director of StyLIZed Studio and Mood Bake, her first foray into food.

Now, their fans have a new collaboration to look forward to with Liz and Mond being named as NARS’ newest beauty ambassadors. The duo are a fitting choice for a multitude of reasons: both have relied on NARS beauty products for years, and blend in seamlessly with the brand’s mix of luxury and playfulness, unafraid to bend the rules.

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For this shoot, the trappings of a bygone era, as well as its luxurious details and theatrics are elements that appeal to the pair's take on beauty. Mond lists '70s superstar Elton John, as well as Mick Jagger and David Bowie as his personal icons who broke norms and rules in their own personal style, while Liz is quick to say her highly conceptualized look is a nod to Cher.


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It's no surprise, then, that Liz and Mond deliver in picture-perfect fashion, be it for a client’s ensemble, a high-profile event, or even their own OOTDs. Yet both recognize that everyone starts somewhere, and that their journeys defined much of who they are today as people and as creatives.

"I was never prepared to be in front of the camera. It wasn’t part of the dream,” Liz says. “My dream was just to be a fashion editor. You know, when you’re starting in a magazine, when you’re an editorial assistant, that was your dream. Back then, I didn’t even aspire to be Editor-in-Chief. I just wanted to focus on fashion because that is purely what I love and I was going to stick to that.”


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Meanwhile, Mond’s transition to the creative side happened accidentally after his stint as a TV host.


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Read on as Preview speaks to Liz and Mond, who revisited their own personal evolution in style and beauty.

Liz on Her Phases of Beauty

In an alternate universe, Liz Uy may not have become the style maven she is now. Instead, she would have been a beauty editor rummaging through tubes and jars of top-tier cosmetics rather than designer clothing, probably commanding a million subscribers on a platform like YouTube where she dishes out her absolute holy grail products in makeup and skincare as her viewers devote much of their screen time like it’s religion.

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But in this universe, Liz is just exactly where she should be: sitting in a makeup chair within glitzy Xylo as one of the most ubiquitous style icons in the country, where she has 1.6 million Instagram followers with thumbs at the ready to double-tap on her next outfit post as she jaunts from one eye-catching destination to another. It was Paris and Milan last month, and then Copenhagen, a city she describes as “the best place on earth” especially for all things design. We chat about the Scandinavian capital for a good minute, where the former Preview fashion editor waxes poetic about the city’s visuals and museums that detail all the best of design—be it in fashion, graphics, or spaces—rolled into one.

The celebrity stylist is the first to admit that she loves beautiful aesthetics, yet it’s clear that her love affair with fashion is the deepest and longest-standing. Ask her about the world’s best under-the-radar labels and trends and she will answer you in a heartbeat. Liz always had her sights set on fashion, a calling that has led her career to astronomical heights.

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Today, Liz heads her own styling company, StyLIZed Studio, serving A-list celebrities and corporate clients as Creative Director. She also is well on her way to becoming an international style star. She has scored countless seates and exclusive invites to the global fashion scene'smost important shows and events, as well as partnerships with big designer labels. This, after having long-cemented her status as both a local style authority and one of Manila's It girls.

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That said, beauty and style are clearly intertwined, as Liz makes it clear, and it was her days of hanging out at the desk of former Preview Beauty Editor Agoo Bengzon during her time as an editorial assistant where she first picked up some of her own beauty insights. “I would always be at Agoo’s table, and she would give me products to try, because back then, hindi naman uso that PR would send everyone stuff,” Liz reminisces. “Back then, the PR people would only send samples to beauty editors, because they would get press from the magazines. So the beauty editors, they would get everything. And for Agoo, what was she going to do with all that, right?”

"You know in our culture we tend to follow what’s big in Hollywood, but then it just came to a point that I told myself 'I’m just going to embrace me, my whole being. This is me.' I stopped doing panda eyes, I stopped doing the bright lips."


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Days of being at the receiving end of Agoo’s generosity developed her taste for beauty and skincare. Liz recounts that Agoo once told her, “You know what, Liz? You’re a beauty editor, here”, pointing to the spot in her left chest where her heart rests. And true enough, Liz has dished out several beauty tips and recommendations within our conversation, including her ultimate obsession (“Lip balm—I have jars and jars of it at home”), and her best beauty find (“Isdin, a Spanish drugstore sunblock I picked up in Saint-Tropez”).

Liz describes her beauty evolution in phases that correlate to the course of her life and career. “I think before, I had this Kardashian phase when they were starting out—the big and curly locks and hair extensions, panda eyes, and pink lipstick when it was still very uso,” she recalls, adding that she was obsessed with Schiap, a pink NARS shade, during her days as fashion editor. It was the look of its time, as she said that she was a “late bloomer” when it came to embracing her own look.

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Liz says, “You know in our culture we tend to follow what’s big in Hollywood, but then it just came to a point that I told myself 'I’m just going to embrace me, my whole being. This is me.' I stopped doing panda eyes, I stopped doing the bright lips.'”

The stylist added that she got into skincare and shifted her whole look: “Just brushing my brows, not even curling my lashes, [wearing] just a thin layer of liner. I had a phase of just bare skin, a cat eye, and a rosy nude lip. It’s completely the opposite of the Kim Kardashian 2012 look.”


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Liz pared down her makeup even more, sporting a cleaner look in 2015. Then came her current signature short hair. Now, as a mom, a businesswoman, and a style fiend, Liz says that she is in the third phase of her beauty transformation. “And now, having my own family and all, I just really want to stick to a very simple 5-minute makeup look every day. I guess I lost that whole eyeliner [look], but I change my lipstick once in a while.”

The former fashion editor also touched on her transition from print to the digital scene through social media. “I’ve seen both. And it’s entirely different, because we would be given months to produce [content] before the magazine comes out. So it was like a routine, but now (for digital) it’s like, What’s going on? It needs to be out there right now,’” Liz says, adding, “I won’t say it’s bad. It’s good. Change is constant. So you really have to ride the wave. I don’t want to be a downer—if that’s what’s happening, then let’s do it.”

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Mond on Shedding Inhibitions

Mond Gutierrez needs no introduction—being part of a famous family will do that. That said, Mond was able to break from the typical trappings of show business and venture out into the creative scene.

The TV host and event director reveals that the first person to open the doors for him in the creative side was former Preview Editor-in-Chief Pauline Juan. Mond says, “I was with Preview for four years and that really opened the door for me in terms of relationships, working with the best photographers and stylists.”

His time working in the magazine opened his eyes to other creative possibilities. “That opened doors for me—I love going out, I love the nightlife, I love being social. So I said, I can actually throw parties and throw events and that’s how that part of my life came in.”

Now, Mond is fresh off the whirlwind and success of his Halloween fête, “Opulence: Let Them Eat Cake”: a torn Versailles-themed affair that he describes as “very Marie Antoinette but high-fashion.” Aiming to be the definitive Halloween event in the city, the event was held at the Tent at Solaire where he worked with nine of the best event stylists in the country. “It’s been brewing in my head for three years. I haven’t had the opportunity to do a Halloween party that I really own,” Mond says. “Last year I was invited to Adam Levine’s house in LA, where I took inspiration from a lot of things that I saw from that event that I wanted to bring back to the Philippines. I wanted to do something a little bit different and give people a different experience, where it’s a little bit more intimate but it feels grand. That’s what we’ve been planning towards and so I’m excited for that.”

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A quick scroll-through Opulence’s Instagram account shows the amount of detail and imagery that went into the event: frothy ball gowns and powdered wigs juxtaposed with pop culture references and overlays.


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Mond clearly has an eye for beauty and high concepts, and considers his celebrity background as the precursor. “I think when it comes to fashion, it really runs in my family. When I look back at my parents’ old photos, they have photos from Studio 54, my parents would travel to the US, I was looking at their outfits and I was like, wow, my parents were actually cool in the '70s and '80s,” Mond says. “My parents have always had a flair for fashion, so I was exposed to that at an early age. It’s the same thing with my sister being a beauty queen and an actress, it also comes with the territory. I think being in front of the camera you’re always expected to look good, present yourself in the best way not just for you but for your audience. Being in show business early on, I think that I was exposed to that type of thinking.”

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Despite being exposed to beauty and style early on, Mond didn’t always have the best relationship with fashion that fueled his insecurities. "There was a time in my life where I was very overweight. That was the time I was very insecure. So I would hide in these big jackets and try to hide my body,” Mond recounts. “I’ve always been into fashion. So being overweight and loving fashion, there was such a disconnection: ‘How can I wear all of these amazing things if I don't feel my best?’ But I guess it also comes to a point in your life where you just accept it. There was a time when I was like you know what, I just wanna have fun, be myself, and that’s when I started playing around with fashion and not really caring about what others would think.”

However, Mond had to make a decision for his health. “It came to a point where I started becoming unhealthy, when it started affecting my breathing. And that’s when I was like, 'You need to lose weight,' not just for vanity’s sake, but for health purposes,” Mond says. “And that’s when I started my fitness transformation. And on top of that, the bonus was that clothes look better now! But that was just the bonus—it was more of ‘Let’s be healthy,’ rather than ‘I just wanna look good.’"

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"I think you just attract a more positive aura when you’re not shunning anything. And for me, men [should see] makeup as a tool to express yourself."


Getting into shape allowed Mond to experiment with more clothes and expand his style, as well as his way of thinking. Whereas Mond used to be highly insecure about the way he looked, he says that he is no longer embarrassed by seeing his old photos. “If that was me about 10 years ago, I would literally die of shame. I would be like, ‘Oh my god, please delete this.’ I was so in control of my image, that I would just be like, I cannot have this seen in public. I was so overweight, this is such a bad look. But now, I kinda just laugh at it. I’ve come to a point where I’ve accepted that that’s my past and I’m not gonna hide it."

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Mond adds, “Yes, I was big at one point and I was experimenting with clothes where I had blonde hair and going all through these different phases, but that’s part of my past, that’s part of my history and I take ownership of that. Now, I just laugh at it. I just take full responsibility.”

It’s a kind of mentality that also comes with time and maturity, Mond admits, and is now all about living his best life without caring too much about what other people think. He says, “When I accepted who I am, when I started to just fully embrace who I am and my authentic self, I think that’s when all my inhibitions and insecurities went out the door. I think you just attract a more positive aura when you’re not shunning anything. And for me, men [should see] makeup as a tool to express yourself."

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According to Mond, it’s the same thing with fashion and makeup. He says, “You get up in the morning, and you think, how do you want to present yourself to the world today? If you want to be a bit more loud, a bit more creative, makeup allows you to do that. Whether you’re a guy or a girl, you should be able to express yourself the same way.”

This is exactly why Mond isn’t fazed about guys wearing makeup. “It’s not just about being conceptual and putting glitter so you can be disco. It’s more of like, ‘I have certain problem areas that I want to cover or I want to accentuate, or if you have a breakout that day…it’s just a tool to help you feel your best."


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The Future of Beauty

Liz and Mond started at the beginning, experimenting with clothes and styles before they found the right fit for them. Now at the top of their game, the two make their own predictions and expectations for the local market.

For Liz, it's about the power of collaboration. "You don't know what life will bring you—now I have a cookie business," she says. "It isn't so off-tangent because I feel that at the moment, it's all connected—fashion, lifestyle, art, cars even. They're all part of one's lifestyle. I went to Milan for an event, and it was a collaboration between Trussardi, Panda, and Fiat, meaning there was also a car involved with a fashion brand. Now I'm realizing that there are no don'ts, it's all possible. It's the era of collaboration, whether it's in design, pillows, chairs, as long as it fits a lifestyle. A cookie can be fashion."

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Meanwhile, for Mond, it’s about everyone, including celebrities, taking ownership of their style. He says, “I'd like for people to take more risks and not wear things just because their stylist told them to wear it. Wear it because you like it. Don’t be someone’s puppet.” He adds: “Fashion is supposed to be a form of self-expression. Having a stylist is amazing. I work with some of the best and I’m friends with a lot of them, but as somebody who’s out there, especially if you’re in the industry, I feel like it would be amazing if I could see more of people’s personal styles and see them really express themselves.”

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Mond also adds that nowadays, people have been upping their game in terms of style and beauty. “There’s a whole scene of people playing more with makeup, and I’d like to see more of that. It’s an exciting time because people are more open and people are more accepting, so I like that, and I think we’re going in the right direction.”

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As two of today's most popular tastemakers, many look to Liz and Mond for what their eye for style might fancy. And as nothing stays stagnant, we look forward to see how they will evolve next and the inspiration we can cull from what the future brings them.


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Produced by Nicole Arcano

Photographed by Charisma Lico

Art Directed by Bacs Arcebal

Beauty Direction by Nicole Arcano

Fashion Direction by Steph Sison

Styled by Joy Bernardo of StyLIZed Studio

Styling Assistants: Jolo Bartolo & Justine Riguer of StyLIZed Studio

Makeup by Mac Igarta

Hair by Mong Amado

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Nails by Nailandia (Mond) & Mims Qiu (Liz)

Shoot Assistant: Chin Ann Obiedo

Shot on location at Xylo at The Palace

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