Thursday, December 09, 2010

boracay in the eyes of a local beauty expert

a boracay pic completely unrelated to the story below

this is a story set in boracay (ok, maybe the pic is slightly related), during the wedding reception of two good friends, who had no idea about what was going on while they were celebrating their happiest night.

relieved after having fulfilled our duties as an amateur choir at the wedding ceremony, about five of my friends and i found our assigned table at nami, the reception venue. it was a great spot at a fantastic resort, and so conveniently near the extravagant buffet.

we all settled into our seats and waited for the program and the eating to begin. without warning, a lady descended upon our table and exclaimed,

"hi guys!!! i'm claire*!!! i'm going to sit here with you! i'll be back, OK, guys!?"

(*not her real name. i'm not that brave. to my friends who were there: get it? claire? wink wink.)

because of her excitement and familiarity, i thought my friends knew her. i asked them who she was, and they were all clueless. we surmised that she was the newlyweds' family friend who would double as the host that night. we found out soon after she sat back down that 1) she was the makeup artist, and 2) she wasn't a she.

it was hard to focus on anything else that transpired at the table that night. claire was sitting right beside me so i distinctly remember her plunging neckline, low enough to distract me, a certified female. many times i wanted to warn her that her boob was going to pop out but decided against it, thinking that it could've been intentional.

claire was so enthusiastic and outspoken that she made us – friends who have known each other for over 10 years – feel like the outsiders. all throughout dinner, she regaled us with stories of her overseas travel and rich friends, and of how she was a favored makeup artist in boracay. every now and then, she also offered free makeup advice.

bing, one of my girlfriends at the table, genuinely felt that she needed tips, so she asked claire about the best brand of foundation. claire was only too happy to lecture:

"you know, i've tried aaaall the imported brands and i still think the best one is san san. there are three shades of san san foundation, from 1, that's the lightest shade, to 3, the darkest shade ...

you, bing, you're a 1. actually, your skin is so fair and smooth, you really don't need foundation ...

as for YOU (and this was when she pointed her wicked yet manicured finger at me, while i was peacefully concentrating on my appetizers, pleased to be out of their conversation), you're a 3. blaaaack beauty."

thanks, claire.

shade 1 (left) and shade 3 (right) at the chapel,
taken 3 years and so many pounds ago

after declaring she was hungry, claire left us abruptly to get food before everyone else could attack the buffet. we were all dumbstruck at the table, looking like disheveled victims of typhoon claire. i think it took us a while before we spoke again, realizing that claire was not the only one with the gift of speech.

claire returned to the table with her plate piled high with steak and prawns, and she started raving about the food.

"you know this place really has the best food in all of boracay! look at this. WOW. this is really wow."

claire then sliced her steak, took her first bite and closed her eyes, obviously enraptured. no one dared to interrupt.

"mmmmm ... mmmmmmmmm ... it's like a butter!!!"

everyone at the table simultaneously looked away or down or up or behind, just to suppress a reaction. i found out much later that there was also a lot of kicking going on under the table. meanwhile, because i didn't want to be rude, i continued what i hoped was a normal conversation with my new pal claire. and guess what, the steak really turned out to be amazing.

i'll never forget 'claire' and how she stole the show that night. maybe someday i WILL try san san foundation (yes, yes, number 3 for me, of course). if we can't trust people who are passionate about beauty, boracay and butter, then who can we trust?

oh and happy anniversary, r&r! it was an unforgettable night.

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