Putting up a team of beauty and fashion enthusiasts in less than a month was no mean feat. I took over the Editor post in April 2013 and to be frank, I was more of an arts and culture, travel and food writer than a beauty junkie and fashionista. But actually, my real profession is as a TV and video producer/writer.
Clueless as I am, I guess one of my God-given talents is spotting the right people. And so, putting up a powerhouse team was what I did. I was able to convince two hair and makeup artists Maita Atienza and Gex Garcia to share beauty tips. I found Sai Montes’ and Kumiko Mae’s blogs when I searched for top fashion blogs in the Philippines. Thank God for email and Facebook I was able to contact t. They trusted me and agreed to this project.
I met graphic designer and artist Jica Lapena through her sister who previously worked for GMA News Online. Her range of fashion interests dazzle me until now. I also found multi-tasking PR gal, events host and social media enthusiast Jey Amurao through a common friend. I admire her go-getting approach in life and we became instant friends. My “kumare” and one of my bridesmaids is my good friend and staunch supporter Mitch Velete, who is an excellent writer and an editor by profession. Come June, I felt being an all-girl team alienated the other sex, who must also have their share of fashion and beauty concerns too. Excel Dyquiangco came highly recommended by a fellow editor. And yes, Excel proved men do have their dilemmas they need help with.
We all have our busy schedules (and our day jobs!) but somehow, we found a way to write something as fun as beauty and fashion stories. I look through the content of our section and I can’t believe we were able to churn out so much. Here’s a roundup of the best of poc.net Beauty and Fashion for 2013.
1. Dressing up your gadgets Sai Montes’ story was the unexpected hit of this year. It was barely one week old when I noticed the surge of views. The story, which revolved around how one can accessorize gadgets, like phones, laptops and tablets, merged simple and fresh writing with colourful pictures. Today’s techie generation sure knows how to make their gadgets prettier.
This is one of the things I am proudest of about our section. We don’t confine ourselves to traditional beauty and fashion stories. We go out of our way to broaden WHAT IS defined as beauty and fashion.
2. Shoes for the trendy commuters
Most fashion and beauty magazines will uphold the image of the elite: of the upper class femme who lives in an exclusive subdivision, owns designer bags and is accompanied by a chauffeur or family driver to all these fashion balls and product launches.
POC changes the game as it speaks to everyday women who have 9-5 jobs and who commute to work or school. Mitch Velete, who commutes a lot, gives us a detailed list of trendy shoes for daily commuters. The best part? It’s inspiring women that they can look their best, even if they experience the stress of commuting in Manila.
3. Show some body love
Who said fat women can’t be fabulous? This is actually the unwritten bias of most fashion magazines and sites. They uphold the image of the slim size-6 woman, causing a widespread “I am not good enough” psyche for most Filipinas. Thus, the cause of bulimia.
That’s why it was so inspiring when I met the founders of Pinay Curvies, an online community who promotes body love among Pinays across all sizes. This article on the first plus sized Pinay community has had a high traffic and positive comments from members and supporters alike. However, the site underwent renovation and the comments got erased. Tough luck.
4. Geek chic
We have Zooey Deschanel of New Girl to thank for transforming the way nerdy, geeky girls look. As hair and makeup artist Maita Atienza observed, gone are the days when geeky girls are picked last.“Josie Grosie” is now a hot girl.
Credit Maita Atienza for spotting this geeky chic trend and advising women how to make their geek looks chic.
5. Feature on Habi and socially responsible brands
After Ondoy, it’s been evident more than ever that we Manila dwellers need to find ways to be more environmentally responsible. Here at POC, we make it a point to feature and salute brands who have found ways to help people gain a living and the environment as well. This year, Jica interviewed the owners of Habi Footwear, and visited their first store in Katipunan. Recently, Kumi, whose advocacy lies in eco-fashion, featured 6 eco-fashion brands.
6. Big trends
7. Fashion advice for men
How often do you find straight guys who will agree to making beauty and fashion stories? We found a gem in magazine writer Excel Dyquiangco, who tirelessly researched and wrote about guys’ concerns such as skin care, hats, shoes, and a whole lot more.
8. Online contests
This year, POC gave away freebies to deserving readers with two online contests. The first one’s our Mother’s Day promo tied to Sai Montes’ tribute to her mom. Riding with the popularity of #ootds and #selfies, we held POC’s first selfie challenge and awarded the reader with the best selfie a day of top-to-toe pampering.