#RealBeauty Rediscovered | My 2014 Dove Summit Experience

Have you ever woken up one day, looked at yourself in the mirror and said, "I am beautiful."?

Most likely not, huh? And if you ever did, I bet you can count it with just one hand the times you did.. And if it's more than five times.. it is either, you're on full-on makeup or just got something done to your face or body that day.

I could bet that 93% of women out there thinks that they are not at their best without makeup, without nice clothes, the spanx and high heels or a visit to their facialists. I know... I'm part of that 93%.

Because the truth is, only 7% of Filipinas believe that they are beautiful. With no makeup, no fakeups.

Find out what happened during the Dove Summit. :)

When I attended the Dove Summit, I thought that I'd be learning more about the products under it. After all, they have a lot of skincare variants available here in t he Philippines that I thought it would need almost 24 hours for them to acquaint us with each and every product.

That wasn't the case at all. Rather, the moment I got to Sofitel Manila on a very sunny afternoon, I was asked to remove all traces of makeup I had on after I checked in. Of course, I didn't want to at first. I was in the presence of Manila's top beauty editors, journalists, fashion and beauty bloggers, socialites, models and celebrities. I was scared to show off my bare-naked pimply-scarred face.

But I wanted to be cooperative and so with so much hesitation, I removed my makeup thinking how I would ignore the disappointed looks of the women I'll be in company with once they see what I looked like without makeup. It wasn't how I envisioned this overnight summit to be...

This is me with no makeup at all. :)

With fellow beauty bloggers Marj, Angela and Nikki.

Fashion bloggers Aisa, Ana and Sarah.

Apples Aberin welcoming all of us
When I entered the Dove Summit Tent, I was greeted with smiles... I was shocked! There were no judgment. The models, the bloggers, editors, everyone! We all didn't have our makeup on. There were shy smiles and happy smiles all around. I knew that most women there felt exactly how I felt, a little bit insecure but putting on a brave face for the event... I could bet that many of us were hoping that nobody noticed our flaws.

But all these troubles melted away once we saw this video.

I can't remember how many times I've watched this video on Youtube. Every time it would come out as an ad, I would stop and re-watched it. It's so powerful. It's like a good slap on the face whenever I doubt myself and the beauty I have. As a beauty blogger, I feel that I have an obligation to my readers to bring them the best beauty products out there and teach them how to use it to enhance their natural beauty. But I often wonder if I'm a catalyst for them to think that they feel less pretty than they really are that they would feel the need to rush to a beauty counter to grab something I recommend.

This video was so thought-provoking almost everyone had tears in there eyes and that we didn't realized that we will be having our photos taken that same day, with no makeup on. Seeing as how everyone was game for this activity, I gladly joined in. Trying not to worry about my unmasked flaws.

thank you, Sabs, for this photo! :)

I got my photograph taken by Pilar Tuason. She's very sweet. She made me so comfortable that instead of feeling conscious that I didn't have makeup on or that I feel sooo fat. She asked me about my pregnancy, asked if it's a girl or a boy, if I was excited.. and with every question about my baby Claud, I felt my spirit lifting and my smile becoming more geniune. Her questions about my baby made me feel so happy that it made the whole session so fun. She showed me some outtakes and I couldn't believe that the girl in the screen was me, with no make what so ever...

And we went down for dinner, our photos from all the photographers flashed in this big LCD screen continouously... and you know what? Instead of feeling conscious or shame, I was excited to see my picture. I wanted to know the real beauty of me without the makeup...

And it wasn't that bad. In fact, I was beautiful. Here is a raw photo of me, sans makeup, with a life growing inside me and I feel so beautiful. I didn't see the nose, the chubby cheeks, the gapped teeth... I saw a glowing woman, with smooth skin, with eyebrows to perfection, a warm smile and soft hands that can't wait to hold her baby girl. It was magic.

But if you think the evening of beauty realization, ended there.. it didn't. The sneaky PR of Dove Philippines has video snippets of our loved ones shown to us that evening... It was sort of like the letters that you receive during recollection that you have no idea of.

There, my husband was being interviewed about how he sees my real beauty and though I wasn't able to pay so much attention to everything he said because I was completely surprised that they got a hold of him to do the interview, I was touched with the last words he said. He said that when we looks at me while I'm sleeping, he can't help but say to himself how beautiful his wife is. In Tagalog, he said, "Ang ganda talaga ng misis ko."

Tears, nothing but happy tears after that! And then, there's more! At the last part, there was an additional snippet where he said that he thinks I'm beautiful with or without makeup. Le sigh! There was no way

It was a night of discovering the real beauty inside all of us. Eighty women attended the Dove Summit, and that evening eighty women slept feeling more beautiful more than ever.

Dove has been advocating inner beauty and self-confidence for years now. And I've always admired their campaigns. As a beauty brand, I've always seen them as a product that provides solution to real skin problems. Not something that masks our true beauty away. I find their products no nonsense, very direct and easy to understand. No big name ingredients, celebrity endorsements and flashy commercials. It's just showing what the product really is.

One of those is the Dove Hair Care Products that contains Keratin-Actives technology that helps with the no. 1 hair problem. We forget that the reason why we buy all these hair care products because we have damaged our hair one time or another. Either we exposed it to chemical procedures or plainly neglected it. 

This simple experiment showed us that real hair should float and when one uses regular shampoo with tons of hair-damaging chemicals, it will sink. While the strands that were used with Dove Hair Care shampoo just floated easily.

Many Filipinas are conscious about their underarm. I'm one of those. You'll never see my arms out stretched high to reach out for anything when I'm wearing a sleeveless clothing.

I get a lot of inquiries on whitening deos and methods that would help lighten underarm skin. During the Dove Summit, Dove shared with us that it takes 20- to 30 days for the skin for skin to heal in between shaving. But we don't wait for that long. We either shave once or twice a week, not allowing our skin to properly rejuvenate. This frequent trauma to the skin causes irritation that eventually leads to skin darkening. 

To avoid irritation, Dove encourages the use of their Dove Original Whitening Deodorant that contains 1/4 moisturizing cream, vitamin E and F that provides moisture to the skin and help with repairing and restoring it to its natural condition. In other words, all our underarm needs is real care with enough moisture to help it heal.

I've always been a fan of Dove Beauty Bar Soap. When I was introduces tot he New Dove Body Wash, I was intrigued. They claim it to be more superior than milk as it contains a lot more moisturizers that replenishes the skin to give it the nourishment it needs. The breakthrough Nutrium Moisture is a combination of gentle cleansing and ultimate moisturization. I was able to experience that the first time before going to bed that night and I woke up with soft smooth skin, more so when I used it the next morning.

Dr. Ana Palabyab-Rufino explained further that to get that covetable glowing skin, all we need is to moisturize our skin. From cleansing to post bathing, all we need is a product that contains enough moisturizing ingredients to replenish what was lost during the day, during bathing and other of our hectic activities. It's also important to maintain good diet of course.

Considering how low my self -esteem has been for the past weeks, I'm so glad that I was able to renew my confidence during this Dove Summit. Dove has awaken me to see that real beauty comes with real care. That if we surround ourselves with positivity, with people that care for our well-being and that we ourselves collect good things that uplifts us, there is no shadow of a doubt that we will always feel and look beautiful.

Ever since, I've started to see real me. The real beauty that is unmasked. It's not unforgiving and it's not as shaming. I'm not perfect, I do have the flaws but that doesn't make me feel any less prettier now. Rather, I feel good at saying that I am beautiful, I am real. Especially now that I am wife to a husband that loves me for who I truly am and that the true beauty that lies inside me... my daughter, Camilla Claudette.

It's high time we feel pride in our own beauty, to not feel the shame of claiming that we are beautiful! Let's increase the number of Filipinas who believes in her true beauty. One that will not require a statistic or a number. :) Rejoice in beauty and start truly caring for yourself. :)

More photos of the event below. :)

Carlo Isla

Neil Trinidad

Jules Golayan

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