Listen up, beauty wisdom doesn’t just come with age
Mich Sancianco was probably the nicest girl in her class. She was, after all, among the most pleasant young editors I’ve worked with during my time in publishing. And because of her innocent charm, she wasn’t the first person I thought of coming to for some beauty advice. With an unfeigned love and natural curiosity for the industry, I should have known better and come to her sooner.
Our paths cross again years later. Mich now works for one of the biggest retailers in the country, handling digital marketing for fashion, beauty and lifestyle. With brand and editorial experience, Mich has more than just beauty lessons to impart:
W: What does it mean for you to be a beauty girl?
M: I’d like to think of myself as a storyteller and a professional beauty pusher; an individual who can help influence another person’s beauty choices. And being exposed to so many brands and people from different walks of life has helped me understand that I have a responsibility when it comes not only to my own beauty and lifestyle choices, but also that of others.
When I was in publishing, our Executive Editor/ big sister Ning Hilario taught me the importance of diversity in beauty. Sometimes when you’re knee-deep in work you forget that what you produce can, in a way, impact how young girls view themselves and their perception on beauty. Along the way, I learned how to embrace my own weirdness/my individuality and this helped me to really think outside the box when it came to creating stories for the magazine back then. I learned that beauty doesn’t have to look a certain way, and that you can’t really define beauty. I began to see things with a clear mind. To quote Liddy Scheffknecht, “Beauty changes from person to person and over the decades. If you try to generalize beauty, you end up with a lot of other abstract contents.” It’s a privilege to work for this industry and I am grateful for all the kernels of wisdom I collect as I go on my way.
“What you produce can, in a way, impact how young girls view themselves and their perception on beauty”
W: Have you always wanted to work in beauty? How long have you been in the business?
M: I’ve been in the industry for 5 years now. I started as a Beauty Assistant for Mega Magazine (my first job!) and slowly moved my way up the editorial ladder, eventually ending my publishing career as Associate Beauty Editor for Meg. I spent 3 years and 4 months with One Mega Group, producing a total of 35 issues for both publications. After that, I moved to retail as the Brand Associate for French skincare brand Nuxe (1 year and 5 months) and am currently the Digital Marketing Officer for Rustan Marketing Corporation (RMK), handling Digital Campaigns and Content for all our brands (beauty, fashion and lifestyle).
Growing up, I never thought I’d end up where I am today. I guess the universe found a way. My mom sort of unconsciously influenced my interest in beauty. And when the opportunity of working for the industry presented itself, I said to myself, “Okay, I think I got this. I’ll take my chances and roll with what I know.” Next thing I know, I fell head over heels with my work and the industry.
Mich’s works published in Mega Magazine via @michlcs
My mom used to be a flight purser and exposed me to a variety of beauty and lifestyle brands. She took me to trips abroad, which expanded my knowledge and perception on beauty. I learned how to build my beauty routine because I liked watching her prepare before her flights–red lips ? MAC’s Ruby Woo and her signature DKNY Original Women spritzed on her wrists, nape, and hough (kneepits). She also introduced me to Argan oil before it amassed a global following and instilled the discipline of washing my face when I wake up and before hitting the sack no matter how dead tired I am. She brought home reading materials (now defunct YM, Elle Girl, Teen Vogue…) that served as my learning pamphlets during my awkward pre-teen and teenage years. Those might seem like little things, but it helped shape me and my interests, which eventually led me to the path that I’m on today. Thanks, mom!!
W: Can you share a few beauty lessons you’ve picked up along the way?
Don’t be afraid to experiment with your look. The all-time favorite no-makeup-makeup look is great, but ask yourself, “when was the last time I tried something for the first time?” Put the fun back in makeup by trying a new lip color… or a colored mascara… or glittery eyeliner/shadow… or even tinted brows! Life is short, so make the most out of it!
Blast from the past: Mich shares some of her favorite looks
Properly moisturize your skin and use a moisturizer that works for your skin type. Those with dry skin can look for hydrating ingredients such as ceramide and hyaluronic acid; oily skin types can opt for gel serums and oil-free formulas; while acne-prone should stay away from ingredients such as petrolatum and alcohol. When it comes to application, do not rub it in haphazardly as it can weaken the skin’s barrier and cause unwanted inflammation! You only have one face so take good care of it!
RELATED: We Break Down The ABC’s Of Skincare
Wash your hair before going to sleep! I practice this every night. I cannot sleep without washing my hair. Just think about it, your hair is exposed to pollution a whole lotta gunk throughout the day and then you rest your head on your pillow—your face on your pillow…you get the idea. Just don’t forget to properly dry your hair before sleeping!
“You only have one face so take good care of it!”
W: Any beauty lessons you’d like to validate?
M: I recently met a 92-year-old woman who looks like she’s in her late 70s. She walks without a cane, her hearing is superb by geriatric standards and she has a nice head of hair. Her not-so-secret-secrets on staying youthful are:
1) Avoid eating anything fried and adding more vegetables to your diet
2) Exercise! She likes taking the stairs when she can, instead of the lift/escalator
3) Don’t skip out on snooze time because it’s called beauty sleep for a reason
4) And finally, my personal favorite: having a positive outlook in life!
Other beauty lessons Mich swears by: wearing sun protection (at least 30 SPF) and staying hydrated. “A human adult is made up to 60% of water, so it makes sense to stay hydrated throughout the day,” she adds.
W: Fave products to use?
I like to highlight my best features, which are my brows, lashes and/or lips. When I’m lazy or when I have less than 8 minutes to look alive for work, I groom my brows with a brow mascara (for reference, I use MAC Brow Set in Beguile) and curl my lashes using my trusty Shu Uemura Eyelash Curler. No mascara because my eyes have been sensitive as of late. I’ve been blessed by the lash gods (long lashes ftw), so they stay curled throughout the day, even without product! Finally, I keep my lips moisturized with the Nuxe Lip Moisturizing Stick.
Every time our seating is rearranged, I always end up near the aircon/frozen tundra and I hate it. To avoid dryness, I keep my skin moisturized with Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse Beauty Dry Oil. It’s my holy grail. It smells divine and gives my skin a nice sheen. Best of all, it’s made of 98.1 % natural origin ingredients! I also recently discovered the Vaseline Intensive Care Spray Moisturizer. I’m not much of a lotion person ever since I switched to using dry oils, but I like that it comes in a spray format so I can take it anywhere without the fear of it spilling in my bag and it doesn’t grease up my skin!
W: Hurry! You have to leave the house and have a really small purse, what product would you grab?
M: I never leave home without my Messy Bessy The Little Warrior Sanitizer in Chamomile 50ml! I’m a bit of a germaphobe (lol) so this all-around sanitizer is my germ-busting bff.
W: Complete this sentence: Brows are…
M: …Sisters not twins! And when groomed and shaped to complement your features, your brows can give you an instant facelift.
So the next time you come across a girl unafraid to wear shimmer or even glitter on her face, you better believe she knows what she’s doing.
Art Alexandra Lara