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What Happens When Combination Skin Goes Makeup-Free for a Week

The no makeup challenge.
What Happens When Combination Skin Goes Makeup-Free for a Week
IMAGE Paolo Pineda
The no makeup challenge.

I have combination skin. I get one of two spots when I'm about to get my period. When that happens, I slather on my trusty retinoic acid cream (0.01%) from Dr. Aivee Aguilar-Teo. If it's really stubborn, I ask for a peel at her clinic or buy tetralysal pills over the counter. Works every time. 


Today I spent the morning at Upper Legazpi with my boyfriend. It was sunny out and we hit up cool menswear store Signet and Your Local for lunch—just a short walk between two airconditioned territories. My skin stayed matte, whereas if I had foundation on, my T-zone would have been shiny after a few minutes outdoors. Ironically, wearing a base (even a mattifying one) stimulates more oil production.



I had a White Facial (P2500) at The Aivee Clinic in SM Mega Fashion Hall. That means a double pass of diamond peel. If I am going to get through the week with a bare face, I might as well make sure it's squeaky clean. Plus points for the procedure's brightening effect. I looked in the mirror and felt like I had highlighter on. 


I slept in today so I didn't really have time to do anything past my skin care regimen: a milky cleanser from Physiogel; clindamycin toner to guard against pimples and an alpha-hydroxy acid gel to microexfoliate, both from Dr. Aivee Teo; Nivea sunscreen and lip balm. No one really noticed because I hardly wear makeup at  work anyway. One of our writers actually likes to comment when I do have makeup on. Today was not one of those days.


Normally, my sunscreen has a bit of a tint to it, which I've forgone for this experiment. So today I curned my hair and sprayed on Pantene's Root Lifter—so good!—to compensate for the lack of pep in my complexion. Note to self: A good hair day is ten times more potent than layers of foundation. 

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Further in my hair-as-makeup strategy, I tied my hair into a ponytail and knotted a red scarf around it that I picked up at Signet over the weekend. Findings: scarves are a great cheat for adding a bit of color to the face.


I had an event with some retailers today, always an occasion to put your best face forward. My hair was on day three of not being washed (a hairstyling break to match the makeup break), but it still had a bit of curl at the tips and major volume in the middle. I felt like Lauren Santo Domingo. When Allison Harvard said that she loved my hair, I toasted her with a glass of wine—a natural flush!



Today was my cheat day as I attended a fashion show. I stained my cheeks with a hot pink cream blush and on my lips and lids, slicked on some lip balm. I used the same on my curled lashes in place of clear mascara. At the venue, my pal makeup artist Omar Ermita greeted me by taking note of my "eye gloss." Mission accomplished.


I'm hard-pressed to find any major change as I don't really wear that much makeup. Skin clarity, pore size and oiliness were the same. Maybe it makes more sense to go back five years. If before, I would spackle on foundation, clogging my pores (a vicious cycle), now, I don't break out on my forehead and cheeks, and my nose is less prone to blackheads.

This article originally appeared in Preview Magazine June 2015 issue.

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