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Say Tioco: The Booming of Beauty

We’re down to the last #CalyxtaGirl of December, and of course, what better way to end our anniversary month than with the woman who represents Beauty—one of the first beauty vloggers in the Philippines with over 230,000 subscribers on YouTube and 100,000 followers on Instagram, Say Tioco Artillero.

As one of the pioneers of beauty vlogging in the country, what makes Say particularly stand out is how candid and open she is in sharing her stories through her platform. Back in 2010 when she knew nothing about starting her own channel, she did it only because of Michelle Phan—a household name in the beauty vlogging industry, who inspired a fair share of local beauty vloggers, including our very own December #CalyxtaGirl.

Now, despite her growth, Say remains as open and as candid—letting people see even her most vulnerable sides through daily video updates. Continue reading and getting to know Say’s thoughts on the booming of the beauty industry in our country.

With all the brands and products popping up left and right, what can you say
about the beauty industry in the Philippines growing more and more each day?

It’s super bongga! I remember buying my own products to review before. And now it’s so overwhelming because there are so many makeup brands. I love it. I just love it. Compared to other countries, we’re not left behind. We’re head to head with others. Bongga, diba? Like before, brands were so hard to find but now, we have almost everything. And even with trends, we’re not behind. So bongga.

As one of the pioneer beauty vloggers in the Philippines, how did you get started and what was it like starting out?

Michelle Phan inspired me a long, long time ago. At that time, I told myself, “Parang wala pa masyadong beauty vloggers in the Philippines.” It was in 2010. I knew nothing. And YouTube wasn’t as big compared to what it is now. I had to Google everything. How to link your account, etc. So it was very hard starting out, because I had no help at all.

How was it like after? Or during? Was it a struggle? Or was it easy for you to get a hang of things?

It’s been super fun because as the years went by, the community just kept growing and growing. Because Michelle Phan grew, and so more and more people were inspired by her. So as time went by, we were able to grow a small community. Some were even from Cebu, some were from Davao, etc. But it was so cute because we became part of a small group and from there, it branched out to a bigger community. And I started signing up with Style Haul, which has been my network for over 8 years now. So they also helped me with my channel, to collaborate with other YouTubers—not only from the Philippines but also from other Asian countries.

Was this the career that you’ve always envisioned for yourself?

Guuurl, no. When I was younger, I wanted to become a teacher. (laughs) But for real, teacher or dentist. But because I was so inspired by Michelle Phan because she was earning from her videos, I thought to myself, “Hmmm. Can I do that also?” I was in the kitchen at that time, and I just decided to try it out. I didn’t really have a goal or anything. I just wanted to try it out.

How do you deal with people who don’t understand beauty and only see it as shallow? And how can you encourage other women to not be afraid of being judged even though there are misconceptions about wearing makeup?

When I was in college, I had this teacher who was always so fixed up. And I was class president then, and there was this one time that I didn’t get to fix my face. I had no lashes, etc. And she asked me, “Ms. Artillero, are you sick?” So for me, makeup helps big time. Everyday, I would wear false lashes and I didn’t care what others thought. I just felt like life was too short to really care about what other people will say. Right? What matters is what you feel. And how it empowers you as a person—if it’ll affect you in a positive way and allow you to be even better at work. Who cares if someone says your lipstick is too red? Why? Are you the one wearing it? Filipinos have a tendency to say things about other Filipinos, and for me, you just have to learn the art of deadma. It will really help you in life.

Last question—what’s one thing that you’re proud to say about the beauty industry in the Philippines?

It’s ever-changing. It can keep up. We aren’t behind. We’re evolving. We can keep up with both Korean and western trends that’s why, bam! Plus we Filipinas have the face for it.

Catch Say’s Fast Talk video below, and a behind-the-scenes of her cover girl shoot. Plus—be sure to use her code SAYTIOCO upon checkout to avail a 10% sitewide discount!(Disclaimer: Discount code does not apply to promo items.)

Cover Story: Gretchen Gatan
Editorial Assistant: Maan Fernandez
Art Direction: Margaux Cortez and Ming Bagaforo
Video: Richard Webb
Photo: Kitkat Pajaro
Makeup: Anton Patdu and Sylvina Lopez
Hair: Mong Amado
Styling: Adrianne Concepcion

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