This is how Miss World Philippines Laura Lehmann does her makeup

She's beautiful, she's smart, and she's... nerdy? Miss World Philippines 2017 Laura Lehmann is the first to admit she never expected to become a beauty queen but she's absolutely thrilled about where life has taken her. Get a sneak peek into her pageant life and learn about her beauty secrets as she prepares for the global stage.

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Before strapping on her heels for the pageantry biz, Laura was a student aspiring to become a doctor. She was also a softball player and a part of the Philippine softball team. Her love for sports led her to become became a courtside reporter for the Ateneo Blue Eagles during seasons 77 and 78 of the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP). Eventually, she became a TV host for ABS-CBN’s Sports in Action channel and the lifestyle show Listed

“I was so geeky, sporty, and nerdy. I still am!” she shares. Joining a beauty pageant had never crossed her mind until the opportunity suddenly presented itself. “It all happened when someone approached me one random night during a Christmas dinner, and the rest is history!”

Ever been curious as to who does a beauty queen’s makeup during pageants? While we had always assumed that contestants would always have their own makeup artists, Laura tells us that this is not always the case. For the Miss World 2017 competition in Sanya, China, Laura reveals that she will actually be doing her own makeup! It's a daunting task considering she'll be appearing in front of millions of viewers all over the world but she’s received the makeup guidance and know-how of celebrity makeup artist Albert Kurniawan. Albert is a regular in the pageant circle, having made up the faces of Venus Raj, Shamcey Supsup, and Megan Young.

Pageantry makeup is a whole new level to makeup artistry so to prepare herself for the task, Laura tells us that she carefully considers the stage, the lighting, and the cameras. “You always have to consider the fact that you’ll be on stage with bright lights,” she says. “[You’re also] in front of hundreds of people, some of whom are sitting far back in the audience. Because of that, your makeup does have to be a little thicker and darker. But I always try to make it look as light and subtle as possible!”

Laura also confides that she feels the pressure of having to do a stage-friendly makeup look that doesn’t take too much time. “In the international pageant, we each do our own makeup, and so knowing that you’re on your own and performing on stage in the next two hours can be tricky,” she shares. “You don’t want to rush, but at the same time, you don’t have all day. You don’t want to apply too much, but you have to remember all the lights on stage.”

More than just the pressure of looking good onstage, Laura wants to put her best face forward for her country. “When you're wearing the Philippine sash across your heart, you want to look like the most beautiful Filipina you can. I never think of myself as 'Laura'. I think of myself as 'Philippines', and because of that I want to do my best. I want to show everyone how great we are as a people and as a culture.”

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So what kind of makeup does Laura like to do for herself when she faces the stage? In spite of having to make it look a little thicker and more defined, Laura likes to keep it natural. “I think it’s important to uphold your natural features, and use makeup to highlight them. Remember, BYS: Be Your Self!” she exclaims.

Back when Laura was in college and still trying to find her way around makeup, she confesses that there were only limited choices available in the Philippines: expensive brands that she couldn’t afford with her student budget and lower-tier brands that didn’t perform well. Then she discovered BYS Cosmetics and found the brand to be very accessible. “BYS [Cosmetics] gave me options,” she says. “It’s affordable, and something that has worked so well that I don’t need to look for anything else!"

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Before doing her makeup, Laura believes in prepping her skin properly. “For me, the secret to great makeup is great skin!” she declares. “When your skin is healthy, moisturized, and smooth, it will be so much easier to apply makeup. You won’t need to apply a lot of foundation, and your face will look naturally highlighted.”

For a good face base, Laura recommends the BYS Pure Silk Serum Foundation (P899). “It literally feels like silk on the skin,” she raves. “It’s just sooooo lightweight, and yet still manages to provide coverage. Usually I’m dying to remove foundation after a long day, but with the Pure Silk, I’ve never had that feeling. It also makes me feel clean and fresh, it actually makes me think there is actual silk in that bottle!”

Laura loves to emphasize her cheeks when she does her makeup. “I have high cheekbones and really round and chubby cheeks, but over time, I’ve learned to take pride in them because it’s part of what makes me, me,” she explains. “I’ll put a little extra pink blush because of it!”

To make her eyes pop, Laura counts on her favorite BYS eyeshadow palettes (P1,199 each). “I really like the Berries palette in particular because I love the pink and orange gradients. [The look it gives] is so feminine and I like that there are lighter colors for a day look, but also darker colors for a night look. The product is buildable, and the only palette you’ll ever need.”

Laura believes that blending is key in any makeup look. “It’s an important technique, [especially in] pageants so it translates well on camera,” she shares. “The HD cameras used nowadays can spot anything, and so it’s important to make sure your blending is on-point so your face doesn’t look harshly blotched or painted.”

As Miss BYS Philippines, Laura loves the diversity of products that BYS Cosmetics offers at an affordable price. “It’s fun, vibrant, happy, real, and true. And I think that’s how we should live our lives everyday! I am confident in putting it on by myself and that it will be perfect for the pageant!”

Have you experienced doing pageant-level makeup like Laura? What are your tricks and tips for stage makeup?

Photos courtesy of Laura Lehmann

This story is brought to you by BYS Cosmetics, the official sponsor of Miss World Philippines.