We all know that beauty starts with smooth, healthy, glowing skin. And Filipinos are now turning to the web when looking for solutions to skin concerns, how-to’s and products recommendations. Yet, there has never been a single online expert on skin readily available on the internet until now. is the first ever website dedicated to skincare. A collaboration of the savviest authorities on skin, Unilever, the Philippine Dermatological Society and an editorial team of skin care experts and writers, aims to offer concerned men and women an omnibus site of everything and anything skincare related.

SkinMatters, features a wide array of content including articles on how to best fight pimples, how to decode your sunscreen, to how-to videos and even top bloggers’ and celebrities tips and trends. Visitors can even read testimonials from real users and can recommend products themselves in the reviews section of the website. The “Ask a Derma” function on the website is the most exciting feature where readers can consult with the Philippine Dermatological Society regarding any skin concerns. And they reply within 48 hours – so useful especially at this super busy time of the year.


“The website will be curated to remind our readers about the importance of taking care of their skin,” Editor-in-Chief Nicole Romero explains. “We teach them how to find the best products for their complexion by talking about the best ingredients to look out for in the aisles – not which brands to buy.”

For more information on, visit the website at, like it on Facebook at SkinMattersPH and follow (@SkinMattersPH) on Twitter and Instagram.



Since I was 16 years old, I have followed a very particular skincare regimen. This includes using a moisturizer with an SPF 30 and eye cream so I was pretty confident to try the skin analyzer at launch of Pond’s Expressions of Beautiful Stories.


Although my skin looks a year younger (27 hahaha. Yes, I am 28 years old and damn proud), I was a bit alarmed with the results – UV spots, roughness followed by the pores and wrinkles.


With that said, I think now is the perfect time to use preventive measures. Enter Pond’s Age Miracle, a hardworking anti-aging skincare range that leaves the skin looking up to 10 years younger. It has CLA and AHA,that exfoliates old skin cells and stimulate the production of new younger cells. It also has Retinol, a clinically-proven anti-aging ingredient that maintains elasticity of the skin by preventing rapid breakdown of collagen. Lastly, it gas Retinol boosters which prolong the effectiveness of Retinol by as much as 3x!


The Pond’s Age Miracle Expression of Beautiful Stories campaign also launched the brand’s newest ambassador, Ms. Iza Calzado.



“Be glad that you are able to feel and express yourself. There is nothing more liberating than being able to express your emotions with authenticity! Let Pond’s Age Miracle take care of the lines and wrinkles so women’s expressions are worry free.”

So ladies, if you feel joyous or sad, these emotions should be expressed without any hesitation. But the good news is that we can now use products to prevent fine lines and wrinkles – such as Pond’s Age Miracle.

Pond’s Age Miracle products are available in leading supermarkets and department stores. Know more about this line by visiting the Pond’s Institute in your favorite malls. Go to to know the scheduled runs.





I am so happy to announce that Nuxe, France’s no.1 pharmaceutical skincare, is now in the Philippines.

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This nature-inspired and luxurious cosmetic brand promises healthy youthful skin for all skin types. NUXE’s facial products are all non-comedogenic (their use does not result in the appearance of blemishes), and are formulated without paraben, mineral oils (ingredients of petrochemical origin) and animal-origin ingredients. Plus, Nuxe uses ecological, 100% natural and solvent-free processes to extract its botanical active ingredients, ensuring potency of each component.


The local beauty, Nikki Gil, was revealed to be the Philippine ambassador for Nuxe as she shared her account of rediscovering and maintaining a flawless complexion in the showbiz industry.


To date, 69 countries have benefited from the natural wonders of Nuxe. I’ve been using the Huile Prodigiese, a multi-purpose dry oil for almost a week and I now understand why it’s considered a cult favorite. My face, body and hair (yes, hair) has never looked so hydrated and healthy. The best is to apply this elixir after shower when skin and hair is still damp to lock in the moisture.


As a makeup artist, anything skincare-related gives me butterflies in my stomach, so I’m very ecstatic to try their other products in the coming days.

Nuxe is available in Beauty Bar, Rustan’s Makati and Rustan’s Shangri-La. For more information, follow Nuxe on Facebook (NUXE Philippines) and Instagram (nuxeph).



Let’s face it, although sunblock and sunscreen help in keeping our skin protected while under the sun, most of the time we still need extra hands from experts. For my monthly skincare visit, I only trust SKIN 101 Clinics because of the quality and affordability of their services.


SKIN 101 Clinics is headed by Dr. Oliver Diaz for Cosmetology and Dr. Jenie Francisco-Diaz for Dermatology. They have 10 branches in Metro Manila and are looking into opening more clinics this year.

When SKIN 101 Clinics invited me to experience their Revlite Toning Facial, I immediately agreed because of the many good reviews I’ve been hearing from my friends.  Revlite is a non-invasive treatment to remove scars, sunspots, pigmentations and other discolorations while keeping it firm and smooth.



Before the Revlite treatment, patients undergo a regular facial which involves thorough cleaning, massage and removal of any whiteheads, blackheads and such.



After the facial, I was brought to the Revlite room. At the start of the procedure, my eyebrows and hairline were taped since exposure to the laser will cause the hair to lighten and burn. I was also given stress balls and was required to wear laser-protective goggles – a bit scary but as they “BEAUTY HURTS.” haha.


To my surprise, I expected the pain to be worse than facial pricking. There was only a slight discomfort (think a rubber band lightly tapping your skin) and a burning smell from the exposed facial hair. The procedure is done 3 times covering the whole face and lasts about 15-20 minutes.


The Revlite Toning Facial is only Php 3,000.00 per session but they have a Php 15,000.00 rate for 7 sessions (5 + 2 free). Intervals should be done 2-3 weeks after.

So if you need your skin to be checked or just planning to pamper yourself, try SKIN 101 Clinics. They really are competitive in terms of service and price. 🙂

For more information, visit their website at :



Gone are the days of severe contouring and razor sharp angles. For this season, it’s all about strobing!

Here’s the gist: Instead of creating shadows to achieve the ultimate cheekbones and a narrower face, strobing seeks to define your features using light. Think gleaming skin, glossy cheekbones and bright eyes.

Though it may sound that it like it’s totally low maintenance, a disciplined skincare regimen (Check my post on how to achieve glowing skin.) is still paramount since this look requires natural healthy skin as its base.

Luckily, I was able to round up my 5 steps on how to create that strobe like effect at home.

1. I don’t know how many times I need to reiterate this but – good makeup starts with good skin. To get that high-shine model skin, take your skincare seriously. Plus, if you want to take it a step further, bi-weekly brightening face masks is a must to amp up your skin. I use Retinol Advanced Brightening Mask from Beauty Bar. It removes the dead skin cells through exfoliation while brightens and helps even skin tone.


2. Fuse your makeup and skincare for extreme dewiness. For example: if you’re going to use concealer add a little bit of moisturizer, followed by adding cream highlighter (over the existing makeup) on the high points of the face. Try Benefit’s High Beam to achieve that luminous sheen.


3. Strobing shades can be very tricky. It’s important to select the appropriate color to brighten the skin’s undertones. What you want is porcelain glow rather than a tanned one. Try MAC Strobe Cream under your foundation or even over your makeup. It’s non-greasy and has a non-oil formula. Just don’t overdo it and only on the highest points of your face (forehead, cheekbones, brow bones, nose tip, cupid bow and chin). You don’t want to look like an 80’s disco ball. Haha


4. Gloss your lids. For my recent shoot, I smeared Maybelline Baby Lip Balm Hydrate over my model’s lids to achieve wet-look eyes in a flash. Petroleum Jelly is another beauty trick to gloss the lids.


5. For those who are living in a tropical climate, powder is still necessary. To set everything, use a fluffy brush and sweep a finely luminescent powder such as NARS Soft Velvet Loose Setting Powder. A little goes a long way so you only need a sheer wash of powder to set the entire face.


Just like contouring, strobing is also very technical. For those who have oily skin, remember that little goes a long way therefore you don’t need much to get that beautiful ethereal glow.

So will you be swapping contouring for strobing? Show me your strobing efforts by tagging me on Instragram @nikki_duque.


5 Tips to Take Care of Your Skin

As a makeup artist, no canvass is better than a smooth, healthy, glowing skin. While heredity may determine how your skin looks, behaves, and ages, you can improve it by taking good care of yourself. Here are my 5 tips to properly care for your skin.

1. The health of your skin begins with a good diet. Remember to look for “ACE” vitamins: A to help prevent aging, C to promote clarity, and E to protect against the environment.

A: carrots, spinach, broccoli, sweet potatoes, melons, egg yolks, dairy

C: citrus fruits, peppers, berries, tomatoes, broccoli

E: leafy greens, nuts, whole grains

Ever since I was little, we were taught to eat all kinds of vegetables and fruits. Aside from the health benefits, I just love the colors, textures and most importantly the taste. For those who are haters, start with small amounts and gradually add more to your meals as the weeks pass by. Call me weird but I think of them as beauty vitamins.


2. Exercise is a skincare essential. Raising the heart through vigorous exercises increases blood flow, brings more oxygen to the skin, and cleanses impurities from the body through sweat.

I’m obsessed with HIIT. HIIT or High Intensity Interval Training is a method of exercise in which low to moderate intensity interval are alternated with high intensity intervals. It is considered to be more effective than normal cardio because the intensity is higher and you are able to increase both your aerobic and anaerobic endurance while burning more fat. For more information, follow HIITPH on Instagram.

If you’re just starting a workout program your goal shouldn’t be to get buff or lose weight. The first step is getting to a fitness level where you get excited to workout. And for that, all you need is consistency. I can’t believe I’m saying this but “there’s always time for fitness”. Haha



3. Excess sun exposure is skin’s number-one enemy. It causes wrinkles, age spots and other skin problems as well as the increase risk of skin cancer. Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen on your face and body with an SPF of 30 and above.

I’m an avid fan of sunscreens. The standard rule accepted by most dermatologists is to use an ounce of sunscreen or what would fill a standard shot glass for head-to-toe coverage. For the face and neck, liberal application is approximately ¼ teaspoon, and if exposed, the same amount for the chest area.

With technology nowadays, makeup products such as moisturizers, foundations, pressed powder and the like have SPF in it. Make it a habit to put on every day to keep your skin looking young and to reduce the risk of brown spots, sagging and most importantly, skin cancer!


4. Smoking and excessive alcohol intake can cause the skin to age prematurely. Lessen it or just quit. It severely damages your skin and lungs and is common cause of cancer. Plus, it makes you smell and robs color from your skin and lips.

It’s hard to quit smoking, but you can do it. To have the best chance of quitting and staying a non-smoker, you need to know what you are up against, what your options are and where to go for help – so do your research.

I used to be a social smoker a few years back. I stopped smoking when I became a makeup artist since I don’t like my clients saying that I smell like an ashtray. Haha Quitting is one of the best things I have done and I’m super proud to be called a non-smoker.


5. Uncontrolled stress can cause acne breakouts and other skin problems. To encourage healthy skin and a healthy state of mind, take steps to manage your stress. Set reasonable limits, scale back your to-do list and make time to do the things you enjoy.

I’m a planner. I like to jot things down and make sure that I do everything that needs to be done that day. Every year I buy a planner to keep work and social activities organized. That’s a good trick to keep yourself on track.

Vacation helps shrink stress and anxiety while also boosting the mental and physical health. Every year I make it a point to go on trips with my loved ones. Taking a break from the fast paced world is important to renew the mind, body and spirit. Think of it as a brain break and a timeout from technology.


5 Tips to Take Care of Your Skin