From Beauty Blogger to Clean Beauty Enthusiast

I did beauty blogging as a hobby at first after giving birth and I felt like doing something different (or probably it was my way of coping up with postpartum stuff). So, I took the whole beauty thing seriously and became a pro at it after I helped organize a Personal Makeup Workshop by a good friend of mine, Jessa Horca, who is a really good makeup artist from Ormoc City but was Cebu-based back then. This happened in 2013.

From then on, it was a whirlwind of makeup for, my previous blog that was dedicated to beauty and other reviews. I worked with major brands and did honest reviews for products I bought myself to try and wrote feedbacks and recommendations. Then big brands from the beauty industry took notice and PR people started contacting me especially having been a part of the now-defunct Nuffnang Gliteratti bloggers in the Philippines. Basically, I became a guinea pig of sorts. Don’t get me wrong as I loved every minute of it! Then I hosted my own personal workshops and advocated that beauty is self-confidence applied directly to the face!

I also had the fabulous opportunity to be a part of Avon's Makeup Council and I flew up to Manila for a workshop with Lauren Andersen, who is the MUA of Madonna, Jessica Alba, Ginnifer Goodwin, and many other Hollywood stars, Here's a screenshot of my old blog featuring that event.

As with all things, the learning never stops and I also had a chance to attend Tita Fanny Serrano's workshop! Yayyy!!! It was such a blessing because even though I loved wearing Mac, it also broke me out and I had some reactions to some of their products. FS Cosmetics is geared towards Filipinas and honestly, I prefer using it over "imported" or US brands. Mas hiyang ako!

Aside from learning how to apply makeup properly, doing those countless reviews allowed me to do in-depth research about how cosmetics are made and their various formulations. Since no two individuals have the same skin and even if we got the same skin type, we all react differently, so it's always trial and error really. All these experiences led me to create my own brand and formulate my own skincare products because I have really troublesome skin and no amount of 10-step Korean skincare or high-end products ever did justice to me. 

Right now, I'm still continuing to experiment because it's partly due to my hormones that I haven't fully addressed yet. But so far, my very own PUGONG SA EDAD moisturizer that I formulated for my skin has been doing well for myself and some friends that have been using it as well for the past year or so. 

I have a couple more beauty and skincare products up at Savon Ormocana that are all made with love in pursuit of clean beauty, with no harsh chemicals and with natural ingredients. From lip tints to eyebrow pomade and deodorants, you can check them out for yourself and let me know what you think. If only I had enough time and money to spend for R&D, I know I'd be able to create a lot more. I actually went to DOST pre-Covid to apply for assistance and they already came to inspect my manufacturing process. I just didn't get the chance to follow that up because of travel restrictions, etc. I guess, all in God's time or when the stars align. 

Another thing to note when it comes to the pursuit of clean beauty is starting from within. Skincare and beauty products can only do so much. So, you have to look at your diet and your overall health basically. One thing that helps me especially now that I'm middle-aged is the addition of a collagen supplement. It's expensive but if you have extra to spend, why not? I'm actually using the Bloom skincare line as well and I will do a proper review about it in the coming months, so watch out for that if you're interested. 

As a beauty blogger, I learned that expensive isn't necessarily the best and the cheapest options aren't really the worst. As a consumer, you have to do your own research and look at the ingredients carefully. Just because celebrity A or influencer X is endorsing this or that, it doesn't mean it's guaranteed to work for you, too. Like I said, we all have different skin and you just need to find the one that works for you. Also, you have to consider the product's sustainability, animal cruelty/testing, as well as the eco-friendliness if you're concerned about those things as well. That's what clean beauty is all about. Choosing products that are non-toxic and use plant-based ingredients. Basically, it's safer for the people and safer for Mother Earth.

See how you can avoid toxic chemicals in your home with this super easy #DitchAndSwitch guide. For us, pursuing this...

Posted by Maria Oilbularya Beauty Botanica on Saturday, November 21, 2020

One of the reasons why I created a different blog is because I wanted a new space to demystify green beauty and detoxify my beauty routine. Ultimately, I'm here to continue writing reviews and sharing my personal experience, but I'm also hoping that I can help educate people through this platform. Remember: It's your money, so it's always your choice.

Maria Franco