Miss Makeover, makeup and self-acceptance

"Jet-set from the idyllic beaches of Iloilo’s Isla Gigantes to the lush jungles of Bali as you follow beauty writer and makeup maven Mara Francisco, Miss Makeover’s heroine, in her funny yet heartfelt search for true love — after she’s transformed in the makeover of her life. 

Get ready to laugh, cry, and get that dose of "kilig" as Mara embarks on a crazy adventure in a bizarre, back-to-basics boot camp in Carles, Iloilo where she’s barefaced — yet face-to-face with men who just might be The One for her. Who will Mara choose? And more importantly, will it be the right choice?" - Miss Makeover by Claire Betita de Guzman



Miss Makeover kept me up all night on Valentine's Day. As I read, I learned about quick makeup fixes and felt amused at a social media influencer cum bully, a not-so-relaxed relaxation coach eaten by jealousy, and young and idealistic writers, who all contributed to some of the lead character's predicaments. (You have to read the book to find out more)

Author Claire Betita de Guzman's storytelling style is so kikay and light but with substance which appeals to the Generation X or millennial soul.

Makeup Tips

A good book is one that empowers you after you put it down. Miss Makeover is that kind of book.

Before the start of every chapter, there's a makeover tip. Lack sleep and got puffy eyes? Want pouty lips? Prefer a no-makeup look? No problem, de Guzman has the answer.

Like her character, de Guzman loves makeup and is always on the look-out for new trends. "My makeup kit is composed of concealer (very important), powder, blush, contour and highlight and lipstick! I believe it can really enhance your features and make you appear less tired and more sophisticated. But of course, I can do without it. It’s just a fun way to express myself and experiment with new looks," she told this writer.


Some girls love romance. And sometimes, during ruminations, one wonders if her man would still love her if she shows her true colors. In the case of Mara, her "true face".

Work takes Mara to Carles, Iloilo for a no-frills, back-to-basics program called the Real Beauty Boot Camp. The boot camp's main rule? Absolutely no makeup during the six-day workshop. But it's been years since Mara has gone out without her "face." And she needs to be filmed for her magazine's vlog — by her cheeky but irresistibly charming colleague, Jack. Was it fate that she bumps into Joel, an old, intense high school crush she discovers she hasn't really gotten over yet? And why is she drawn to the aloof and unavailable Ilonggo town local, Victor?

A lesson on self-acceptance

In this age of foundations, BB creams, CC creams, concealers and contour makeup as well as photo editing apps, I ask these questions: Do we need makeup to feel good? Do we need makeup to make a man love us? Will society still love us despite our #nofilter look? Is beauty just skin deep? Miss Makeover provides the answers.

I also asked the author if she's comfortable without makeup. "Yes, I do feel comfortable without makeup! There are times when I’m pressed for time or I’m at the beach or somewhere low-key and I feel that there’s no need for makeup. It’s very liberating. I love those times, and I hope to do it more often!" said de Guzman.

"I wanted to write a novel about self-love and self-acceptance and wanted to reach out to an audience, my audience who were readers of NBSB and Girl Meets World. This novel has that lesson, but told in a light, fun way, with a character who’s very kikay, and hopefully, one they can relate or identify with," she added.

"After reading the book, I expect readers to start being comfortable in their own skin! Makeovers and makeup are fun and very uplifting. But the true lesson I wanted them to feel is that you can be your best self even without these beauty aids," she concluded.

The Author

Claire Betita de Guzman is an Ilongga author of the bestseller No Boyfriend Since Birth by Summit Books, which was adapted into a mini-TV series starring Alessandra de Rossi and Joross Gamboa, aired on TV5. Her other novels include Girl Meets World, also by Summit Books, and Budget is the New Black, published in Singapore by Marshall Cavendish. Miss Makeover is her fourth novel.  

Claire Betita de Guzman is an Ilongga author of Miss Makeover

De Guzman is the former associate editor of Cosmopolitan Philippines, managing editor of Preview, and deputy editor of Harper’s Bazaar Singapore. She has a degree in Journalism and graduated cum laude from the University of the Philippines in Diliman. She has taken writing courses at Oxford University in England and participated in writing retreats in France and Bali, Indonesia. 

Iloilo City has been her home since she was 10 years old, going to school in Assumption Iloilo and spending summers in her hometown in Carles. She's based in Singapore for the last 10 years.

She now writes creative fiction full-time and shuttles between Singapore and the Philippines. 

Apart from make-up, traveling is her other passion. She roams the world with her husband, Alfred, and 21-year-old son, Ulric — although she doesn’t hesitate to travel solo. She’s been to 35 countries including her favorite Iceland, and have countless (often hilarious) travel stories to tell. 

Miss Makeover is available at Book Latte in Festive Walk, Megaworld Iloilo Business Park. The book will soon be available in National Bookstore and other leading bookstores in the Philippines. 

For direct book orders, visit www.clairebetita.comwww.facebook.com/cbetitadeguzman, or email clairebetita@gmail.com

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