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Maine Mendoza Gives More Than Just Lip Service

Three years ago, she was Yaya Dub and her voice was a mystery. Now, she is simply Maine—and she speaks her truth, her way.

by leah puyat | Oct 2, 2018

When she was Yaya Dub, she wore Ruby Woo, and MAC stores ran out of the iconic red shade. Now, she is her own true self and lipstick is still a big part of her story.


Three years ago, Maine Mendoza was known to the country as Yaya Dub. Her monicker was always on top of Twitter's trending keywords worldwide, and the lipstick she woreMAC's classic red, Ruby Woo, to be exact—flew off the shelves mere hours after she posted a selfie.

When she first posed for a Preview cover (with her on-screen partner Alden Richards, who had to be shot separately and then photoshopped to seem as if they had been shot together), she was not allowed to speak the entire time. The "big reveal" was yet to happen and her management was determined to maintain her sense of mystery. She smiled at everyone on the set, though. She even pretended to act jealous when she heard that our Editorial Assistant Yanna Lopez had posed with Alden; she mimed karate moves and had everyone laughing hysterically. Although she did ask if she could take home a pleated yellow Gucci dress, that was pretty much the extent of our face-to-face communication. For the cover story, we had to email her questions but had no actual live interviews. Questions were emailed, and she emailed us back.


Fast forward to today, her choice of lipstick still plays a part in her story. While Maine's voice is no longer a mystery, she's still a phenomenal star in her own right and still breaking Twitter and the internet in general with minimal to no effort. More importantly, she still holds that power to cause beauty products to sell out, one of which bears her own name, her very own lip print, and her overall creative input: She has become the first-ever Filipina MAC Maker. In fact, her recent MAC lipstick launch was the top trending topic locally for days.

MAINE MENDOZA: THEN AND NOW

Three years ago, she was Yaya Dub and her voice was a mystery. Now, she is simply @mainedcm—and she speaks her truth, her way.

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During her fourth Preview cover shoot, Maine still isn't overly garrulous when she is on set. When asked to recall her first shoot, she admits to enjoying that era of silence, saying, "Okay lang talaga! Mas comfortable nga ako na ganoon. Natural sa akin 'yun."

When asked to recall her first shoot, she admits to enjoying that era of silence, saying, "Okay lang talaga! Mas comfortable nga ako na ganoon. Natural sa akin 'yun."

Sweater, P1995, ZARA, SM Mega Fashion Hall


A LIPSTICK ONLY LOOK. The sky is the limit with a good lipstick color, in this case MAC Maker in @mainedcm (P1100, SM Megamall). Turn your go-to shade into an all-over color stick by using it as cream blush, eyeshadow, and of course, a lip color, for an effortless monochrome look.

Looking back, when Maine started, she used to hide her real voice behind the app DubSmash. Now, her own voice has become a beacon of female strength online. When a senior host on Eat Bulaga made some trivializing remarks about depression, she very gently but firmly explained how serious it is and how misunderstood the whole issue of mental health is in our country. When she felt the need for a breather, she took a long break from work and Twitter, and came back bolder, wiser, and still with her legions of loyal fans.

MAINE'S TRUE COLORS: REAL VERSUS RED

When news broke of her collaboration with beauty giant MAC Cosmetics, some fans were quick to speculate that she would create a reddish shade. It was, after all, a signature color for her character when she first broke onto the scene. "[Nude] is really more of my personal preference. I know some people might think, 'Ah, she chose nude because it's an easy color to make.' Pero it's actually not! Every little increment of the pigment can make a difference. And I know that many Filipinas still don't like to wear bold colors. They find it too much," the actress explains. And out of all the MAC Makers, Maine stayed in the lab the longest, working to perfect a shade she felt would look good on every Filipina.

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"I know some people might think, 'Ah, she chose nude because it's an easy color to make.' Pero it's actually not! Every little increment of the pigment can make a difference. And I know that many Filipinas still don't like to wear bold colors."

A happy coincidence in the process of the creation of her lipstick shade was that Maine made a new friend. "MAC Cosmetics in Canada assigned a Pinay chemist [to work with me] and tawa lang kami ng tawa! Sobrang saya, walang pressure. She's also a fan and she just kept asking me questions and I would answer her as if we're old friends!"


CLEAR LIP GLOSS. Matte lipsticks are amazing for long-wearing color, but if your dry lips can’t handle them, help yourself to a generous coat of lip gloss to stay hydrated.


GLOSSY SKIN. Pat on a thin layer of face oil like MAC’s Chamomile Essential Oil (P1700) for glass skin that never feels heavy. Target the high points—the brow bone, tops of the cheeks, and the cupid’s bow for a youthful glow.

Maine concedes that there are still some old fashioned preconceived notions about women who love wearing makeup. "Some people still think that being into makeup is shallow, but it's not. It's a way of expressing yourself. Let's face it: Ang laki ng nagagawa ng makeup." When asked if this experience made her want to to go the celeb makeup line route á la Kylie Jenner and a number of our own local celebrities, she crinkles her nose, thinks for a minute, and answers, "The thing is, how can you top [working with] MAC? I'm really super super grateful to them and I really couldn't believe that a high-end company like them called me."


FAUX FRECKLES. Unlike the rest of your makeup, faux freckles don’t need to look perfect. The more uneven, the more natural it looks. Here, Maine is wearing dots of MAC’s Velvet Brow Liner in Fling (P1400) over matte skin for a fresh-looking complexion.

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MAINE ON BEAUTY: BEYOND WHAT IS SKIN DEEP

Pressed to discuss more about the collaboration, Maine reveals, "They told me that I'm real, genuine, relatable." Of her own looks, Maine reflects, "I still have a hard time considering myself beautiful. I admit, may times, like now, na uma-awra ako, na may GGSS moments rin." On being morena, she says, "I do love my skin, so I don't feel comfortable about ever doing ads for whitening products. That would be hypocritical and my conscience couldn't take it." She adds, "Maybe I can consider myself beautiful especially when I'm really happy! That's when I feel [most] beautiful. That's why I post mostly smiling shots [on Instagram]. I know that those are the ones will have the highest likes. But I feel that part of being beautiful is just really owning it, and I feel that I'm still trying to figure myself out. And when I feel that way, I think and remember, 'Well, I'm only 23!'"


T-shirt, P995, MANGO, Power Plant

"I feel that part of being beautiful is just really owning it, and I feel that I'm still trying to figure myself out. And when I feel that way, I think and remember, 'Well, I'm only 23!'"

On the day of the shoot, Maine's lipstick had already sold out in one minute on its premier release on Lazada. When asked what she felt when she heard the news, she literally shook her head and exclaimed, "It's crazy, crazy! Hindi naman ako magpapa-humble. I knew that it would sell out. But I thought it would take three to five hours. One minute! Wow!" And despite trending on Twitter, despite the record-breaking sale on Lazada, she whispers, "Pero I am so nervous for tomorrow!" Tomorrow being the launch in the makeup brand's brick and mortar store in SM Megamall. Turns out, she had nothing to worry about, though. Her fans started camping out in the mall's entrance at 2 a.m., and by 4 p.m., all floors of the SM Mega Fashion Hall were packed with her fans.

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GRADIENT LIPS. If there's anything we learned from the '90s, it's that any two lip colors, no matter how different, can be worn together. Maine's reverse ombré lip has MAC's classic Ruby Woo lipstick (P1100) on the perimeter and her custom shade @mainedcm (P1100) in the center.

I end my conversation with Maine with this question: What has surprised you the most since you became famous? She smiles her signature wide-eyed, full-on grin and says, "Everything! Everything! When I was 15, that's when I decided that I wanted to be famous. I was crazy for attention, and I thought it would be easy work. But it's not, it's really hard work. Last year, when I took my long break, I was ready to lose everything. I really was."

Maine adds, "Even now, I am already so happy with everything that has happened, so grateful. I can't ask for anything more. I'm really not so much of a planner, so I trust my handlers and those managing my career to help me. But am so happy and grateful that people accepted me as Maine, not just my character; because I did have doubts if they could or couldn't accept me just as myself."

And if there's one thing Maine has discovered since she started in show biz, it's that strength within herself she never knew was there before. "I learned that I am a strong person. That's why I can enjoy Twitter again because I know that I can take it. I used to think that I was a weak person; I really don't know where that came from. But now, I know that I am strong."


MATTE SKIN + CLUMPY LASHES. Break up the look of ultra-matte skin with multiple heaping coats of your favorite volumizing mascara. The result? Bold, clumpy lashes that'll define your eyes and make you look anything but flat.

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Produced by Isha Vallés

Photographed by Paolo Pineda

Art Directed by Mark Buenaobra

Contributing Creative Director Vince Uy

Styled by Patrick Perez and Steven Coralde of StyLIZed Studio

Co-Produced by Nicole Arcano

Makeup by RB Chanco for MAC Cosmetics

Hair by Celeste Tuviera

Nails by Jocelyn Salay of Nailandia

Shoot Assistants: Teresita Gabat and April Lozada

Special thanks to Antonio Tuviera, Mike Tuviera, Jojo Oconer, Rams David, Jenny Ferre, Michael Uycoco, and Jecker Juarez of TAPE, INC. and All Access to Artists, Inc.

Shoot Assistant: Teresita Gabat

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