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A life­time ago, Raiza Contawi was a mar­ket­ing man­ager for a tech startup when she de­cided to start a blog on the side. Al­most three years later, she’s thriv­ing as a self-taught makeup artist and has switched to vlog­ging af­ter join­ing a Youtube com­pe­ti­tion and re­al­iz­ing she pre­ferred mak­ing videos over writ­ing. “The big­gest chal­lenge for me,” she re­calls, “was de­cid­ing whether I should keep my cor­po­rate job [for fi­nan­cial se­cu­rity] or take the plunge as a makeup artist and beauty in­flu­encer.” Clearly, the gam­ble paid off.

Raiza’s beauty hauls are typ­i­cally work-re­lated. Her per­sonal beauty arse­nal, how­ever, is sur­pris­ingly low-key. “Brow and lip prod­ucts are a must in my kit,” she says. “If I have those, I know I can live and pull off a de­cent ev­ery­day look in five min­utes.”

She finds it amaz­ing that the beauty in­dus­try has grown into such a pos­i­tive move­ment online. “I love how it em­pow­ers us, both men and women, and boosts our con­fi­dence [so we can be­come] bet­ter ver­sions of our­selves,” she shares. “Above all, the friends I made and the lives I’ve touched one way or an­other through this com­mu­nity [are] what I trea­sure the most.”

ON RAIZA: Lace dress with ruf­fles, P5000, ALEXA CHENG, cel. no. 0917 556 6002. Lace dress (worn un­der­neath), P11,500, LILLY PULITZER, Rus­tan’s Makati. Ring, P125,000, PRI­VATE COL­LEC­TION, Rus­tan’s Sil­ver Vault

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