“IF YOU want to go into makeup for people to see, make sure it creates a positive impact,” says Raiza Contawi.
As one of the country’s foremost beauty vloggers, it’s easy to see what she means. Glowing and poised, Raiza is awe-inspiring whether she’s recreating the looks of her K-pop idols, or simply with bang sand light makeup.
Really, it’s no mean feat to pull off diverse looks— all of which are amazing.
There’s something innate about Raiza’s kind of effortless, playful yet sophisticated brand of makeovers.
Her best advice: “Keep practicing. Hone your skills until you’ve mastered it.” And not only that. “Wear makeup for yourself —because you want to feel pretty.”
It was years ago when the former marketing manager for a tech startup pursued her passion via a blog. The Internet has paved the way for a lot of content creators; and almost three years later, Raiza’s makeup tutorials have become a must-view for beauty enthusiasts who not only will enjoy the demos but also learn a thing or two about techniques.
There’s just no stopping the lady. Recently, the successful self-taught makeup artist flew to Cebu for “Influencity,” a gathering of local content creators at the Activity Center of Ayala Center Cebu.
Indeed Raiza is bubbly and beautiful in person, consistent to her persona in her videos.
Here, Raiza shares the importance of staying positive, keeping it real, and achieving one’s dreams. (NRG)
How’s your stay here in Cebu?
Maganda. It’s very sunny! It’s my third or fourth time here. Lagi akong happy dito. I’ve been to Moalboal and also did canyoneering before, but most of the time I’m in the city for work.
Did you have all this figured out, something you always wanted to do?
I’ve always wanted to do something for the people. That’s the main goal of my videos, and my channel is for proper makeup and beauty education and self-empowerment. The second one is to assist those most in need. There’s this orphanage called Missionaries of the Poor. They shelter kids with cerebral palsy and other disorders who were abandoned. My sister is a physical therapist and she accompanies me there. Parang maaisip mo na you’re just too lucky.
Where do you draw your inspiration for your makeup tutorials?
A lot of my inspirations come from, number one, my viewers. I ask them what they want to see. Next would be the relevance of makeup inspirations. For example, the latest one is CL. She recently came out with a huge change so naging talk-of-the-town siya but I wanted to release the video for empowerment against body-shaming. You know, kahit ‘di naman nagpalit ng talents and skills, you’ll be the same CL. I think na-appreciate din naman nila ‘yon. So that’s timeliness and relevance of the figure. Kung non-celebrity makeup inspiration, I always go back to beauty basics, and it’s like makeup workshops but chopped. And ang dami pa. Kahit this year hindi pa maaubos ‘yon. May videos at may videos na lalabas. So far, hindi pa naman ako nauubusan ng inspiration so it’s really what’s around me and what’s in my vision like my long-term goals. For instance, by the end of this year, I want to release the beauty basics so that everyone can learn how to do proper makeup.
How often do you upload a makeup tutorial?
Pagdating sa frequency ng upload, that’s three videos a week. It depends because it’s a mix of content planning; a mix of just a pop of idea; so a lot of my makeup inspirations are very random. A huge factor would be my creative momentum because I paint and I draw. So the same with that, ‘pag wala ako sa mood or sa momentum to create art, it’s either hindi ko natatapos or tinatamad ako, and siyempre sa makeup naman, I cannot just sit there and not continue. I have to finish it. So there were times na hindi ako satisfied. Everything will be scraped off talaga kahit five hours ako nag-shoot. Basta hindi sya okey, tanggal. Do it next time na lang ‘pag nasa mood na talaga to do it.
How do you keep yourself inspired?
By immersing myself in the arts. I go back to my roots, drawing and painting. So if I’m not inspired today, I draw and paint. I also take time off. Di ba, if you need inspiration, you go browse on Instagram and look at other people’s works, but for me, I go offline and go out. I just think and observe.
What’s the longest time you’ve been off the Internet?
It stretches from a day to a full weekend.
You have an incredible career as YouTube sensation makeup artist. What has been the highlight?
It was when I joined the Cathy Doll, an international blogger contest and the Philippines won! Being able to represent the country in an international beauty scene is something.
It may not be that big compared to others, but the fact that you’re able to bring the name Philippines in a competition— that’s fulfilling. Also, when I get to meet my concrete goals, like my ultimate makeover series and it happened. Making things happen is also a highlight for me.
Among the many videos you’ve done, do you have one that personally has a great significance to you?
That would be my ultimate makeover series and two pa lang ‘yung nagagawa ko. One, she dreamed of getting made up for her graduation ball. She had never been done by a makeup artist. It was her first time so it was a dream come true for her. Gown for her prom and everything else were given to her, and I did her makeup. The second is when I visited a charity for the Philippines Cerebral Palsy Inc. and my advocacy is to raise awareness for kids with disabilities. One of the kids has cerebral palsy and her dream is to become a beauty queen. Never siya nakasuot ng magandang gown and crown, so there’s this one video called Queen of Roses. I was wearing this pink wig with a crown just giving the story behind my name. Raiza means rose. It was a very memorable video but it was more memorable when I passed the crown to the kid, for her dream to be a reality. This was before her major surgery in two weeks. It was challenging because we dressed her up from her wheelchair. ‘Yung mom lang niya ang kabisado kung paano siya bihisan but we wanted it to be a surprise so we tried dressing her up ourselves.
This other side of Raiza isn’t something we see in videos. What’s your take on people who put their charity online for publicity?
I think it’s okay to use the platform for a good cause, but to do it simply for the sake of publicity, that’s when it becomes unpleasant.
How do you de-stress?
I reach out to friends and luckily, wala namang masyadong hate sa viewers. May certain videos na may hate, but generally my viewers are positive. I think the way to cope is to go offline and be surrounded by happy people.
Do you get a lot of pressure from your viewers?
No. Sila yata ‘yung na-pre- pressure sa akin. (Laughs). Na-shookt na lang sila sa mga pinagagawa ko! Parang, iba ka na naman! (Laughs). But na-pressure ako sa sarili ko sa mga nasimulan kong videos. Parang, bakit ko ba to sinimulan?
What do you love about makeup?
It’s an expression. It really is a therapy. Pangtanggal ng stress. Yung iba, washing the dishes is therapeutic. You don’t think about anything else but just the dishes and getting them cleaned. It’s the same with makeup. You don’t think of anything else but just the process and the need to get it done. It’s therapeutic. It’s a form of self-expression. It’s art. It’s a powerful tool to boost someone else’s confidence.
Who are your style icons?
My favorite is CL talaga. Audrey Hepburn too because she’s classy. And for a time, Gal Gadot. Also Ellen DeGeneres, my girl crush.
What were you like as a child?
As I child, I can probably create five artworks in a day. That would be my playtime. I can do that all day. Nakaka-fashion sketch ako but now I can’t seem to find the time. Noong bata ka, wala kang
bills! No adulting. (Laughs). But that’s the main reason why I’m artistic and I guess that’s the reason I always want to go back to it kasi yun ang nakakapagpabalik sa akin.
What do you think every woman should have in her makeup purse?
Lipstick. Color on the lips is always good idea on the face.
And what’s the common mistake most women commit when it comes to makeup?
A common mistake is when they strictly follow rules. When they do, that’s the end of creativity, and makeup is about creativity. Go beyond and create. Also, when they’re not willing to explore.
What’s your beauty advice to women?
Keep practicing. Hone your skills until you’ve mastered them. Wear makeup for yourself. Wear makeup because you want to feel pretty. If you want to do makeup for people to see, make sure it creates a positive impact all the time.
When do you feel most pretty?
Surprisingly, when I don’t have much makeup on and I’m happy, I feel pretty. The inner glow would show. A smile is the best accessory.