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How our view on beauty changed in the pandemic

By Gabbie Tatad Published Aug 13, 2021 6:00 am

As the pandemic continues to rage on, many of us have had to shift our focus to various other pressing concerns: our health as well as that of our loved ones, adjusting to online learning and working from home, trying to make it through this historical time without going absolutely crazy — just to name a few.

And yet, even in these times, we struggle with advertising messages that boil down the enormity of our struggle to beauty choices and societal standards. We are told that our weight gain is from neglect, our “maskne” is unacceptable, and our hair growth is something we should continue to stay on top of.

But I’ve personally found that as the world shifts, so has our attitude towards beauty. Because life and survival take precedence in this time, self-care may not only take the form of pamper nights, but also giving yourself the space to go makeup-free or to fall asleep without doing a full 10-step skincare routine. Many of us have found freedom in figuring out what beauty means to us when we are the ones who have to look at ourselves the most, away from society’s prying eyes.

Self-care may not only take the form of pamper nights.

Wondering what may have shifted in the beauty perspectives of others, we asked some of our favorite faces in beauty how their real, actual beauty routines have changed in the pandemic, and what about their routines continue to feel good.

Slo Lopez, Makeup Artist

I've had a beauty routine since I was 13 and it's something that's always been for myself. I think because I've had that dynamic with beauty products and consumerism since I was young, it's always been about making myself feel good and having fun.

The pandemic definitely amplified that I had way more time to take care of my skin, and applying makeup became my way of meditating on some days. I think my routines have been focused on grounding myself in things that are certain. I listened to myself more and only really did what I wanted to do or wanted to try.

I think it's such a disservice to assume or frame beauty in a way that makes a show of people taking care of themselves just for the sake of others’ approval or validation.

Some weeks it was about a 15-step routine because it was fun, and some days my mental state could only process a shower, brushing my teeth and then a quick cleanse and moisturization for my face, and that's okay. I enjoyed that too, because I was just listening to myself.

Working out was probably the hardest thing to maintain because it's always been hard for me if I don't find it fun, even if I love how I feel after a workout. I’ve surprisingly been getting back into skating, which is a childhood hobby but it definitely has more workout appeal now that I'm older.

I think it's such a disservice to assume or frame beauty in a way that makes a show of people taking care of themselves just for the sake of others’ approval or validation. The pandemic and lockdowns have definitely highlighted my agency in my beauty routines and how much power that has for me.

Nina Ellaine Cabrera, Beauty CEO

To be very honest, I’m slacking off on my skin care routine by a lot. Sometimes all I do is wash my face and call it a day. Aside from that, I’ve also stopped my regular lash and wax appointments. I’ve also avoided derm clinics and only go when I really, really need to. Pre-pandemic, I would do all these things in a two-week interval!

If anything, I take care of my hair more because I started coloring my hair more. But what I still do, because it makes me feel good, is really just putting on makeup. All else is forgotten.

Taki Yoneyama, Model

I rarely wear much makeup nowadays since I’m usually just at home and my face is 99 percent covered all the time whenever I’m out to run some errands. I have been doing my skincare regimen more religiously given that I have more time on my hands now to focus on pampering myself in this very stressful time.

Since I don’t really get to visit my favorite pampering place as often as before, I use a pocket IPL and it’s great that I can still get rid of unwanted hair while I am at home.

BJ Pascual, Photographer

I wear a lot less makeup now, so I’ve cut back on makeup products altogether. I've always had good skincare habits, but since the pandemic started, I’ve actually added a lot to my overall beauty routine.

I focus my routine more on general wellness: making sure I get enough sleep — which I’m still struggling with — getting enough vitamins, eating right, and really being mindful of my mental well-being.

Carina Santos, Artist

There isn’t one specific thing that I’ve cut out, but I think my attitude definitely shifted in a way that I’m even more casual with it than I had been. I think this has been a long time coming for me, shifting from a very particular beauty routine and life to one that actually works with my days.

I don’t wear makeup at all in the house, not even if I have a meeting online. I think my hair has taken the biggest hit, as I simply do not care to treat or style it anymore. I think my attitude towards beauty and makeup has really turned either very functional or just fun, as in done just to cheer myself up or because I’d like to play.

I still wear perfume, and have taken to painting my nails. At some point last year, my skin was at its worst in the entirety of my life, and I figured out it was because I let my skincare suffer. I never did it because I never went out, but since I’ve gotten back to doing it, it’s been grand. I wish I had the energy to keep doing nice makeup looks, but maybe it will come back to me when times are a bit better.