With an effortless beauty, a cool-girl aesthetic, and laid-back energy, it’s easy to see why KAILA ESTRADA has over a hundred thousand Instagram followers. Sporting a naturally radiant bare face, an oversized striped blouse paired with jeans and comfy kicks, Kaila walked into the photoshoot with the ease and confidence of an experienced model. You immediately know she’s a natural as soon as she poses in front of the camera.
Kaila started modeling at 17 years old, where she walked the runway for designer Randy Ortiz in 2013. Since then, she has signed with Mercator Models and continued booking fashion shows and editorial shoots. In 2016, she won the SM Youth Go-See and became an SM Youth ambassador—the young model-slash-influencer is undoubtedly a trendsetter.
More than just a pretty face, Kaila is also an aspiring businesswoman. Asked about what she’s currently working on, she reveals to us a cosmetics line that’s in the works. She admits that beauty is a “challenging industry” to plunge into because “Filipinos are brand-conscious,” but it seems like the style star is determined to create her own brand and enter the local beauty scene with a fresh set of eyes. With her impeccable taste and knack for spotting trends, we’re thrilled to discover what else she has in store for us.
Keep reading to see Kaila rock the glossy makeup look and learn about the nifty way she uses lipstick, her must-have travel beauty products, and her thoughts on the modeling industry.
What’s a normal day for you like?
A normal day for me would be: I wake up, I go to the gym, and then around 7 AM, I go to work. Then after work, I go home, watch some Netflix, and go to sleep. That’s a typical day for me.
You’re the kind of person that’s always on-the-go. What’s one beauty product you can’t leave the house without?
What’s your favorite lipstick color?
My favorite lipstick color is nude—nude brown or a nude pink, that’s my favorite. It’s the closest to my lip color, I think, that’s why I like it so much.
What’s your go-to makeup look?
My go-to makeup look would be the no makeup-makeup look. It’s just a hint of color, lipstick, and eyebrows—that’s it.
What’s the most exciting thing about your job?
I honestly really enjoy doing shoots because you get to play around with different looks, different vibes, and different styles. I have my own style, but then I like to play around with different things and explore and internalize a different character every time I’m shooting, so I find that really fun. It’s like playing a role every time so it’s cool.
How do you wind down after a long day?
I watch Netflix. I feel like it’s so therapeutic for me ‘cause that’s when I space out, or I read a book or go to a cafe by myself and chill. It’s my self-care. I enjoy having that time for myself, especially with what I do and we’re so many at home. I’m always surrounded by people, but because I’m actually more of an ambivert than an introvert—it’s kind of like a switch, you turn it on and off—I do need time by myself to recharge, kind of, so I like doing the things that I do by myself or I choose to run errands on my own without anybody with me. That’s kind of like how I choose to recharge, by doing the things that I like on my own.
What I like about the modeling industry now is that it’s so diverse. Before it was like that, there was this certain standard of beauty in the modeling industry.
What are your thoughts on the modeling industry today? Are there any misconceptions about your job?
I wouldn’t say misconceptions, but then I feel like the fashion industry and the modeling industry evolves so quickly nowadays, so it’s like they’re riding the same tide, you know what I mean? When the fashion industry evolves, the modeling industry also evolves. What I like about the modeling industry now is that it’s so diverse. Before it was like that, there was this certain standard of beauty in the modeling industry. It was always leaning towards more Caucasian-looking people, you know? And very skinny [bodies] or people would say when you’re modeling, you can’t have any tattoos, but now it’s so diverse. I know some models that are bald and have so many tattoos and I feel like that’s so great because it shows the character of a particular person. In terms of body, there isn’t that certain standard anymore that you have to be stick-thin. Everybody is falling in love with the uniqueness of each person. I find that so great and that’s how I feel like it should have always been.
My style icon forever was Rihanna and Audrey Hepburn. Nowadays, I come across people that are just regular people that I find so interesting.
It’s apparent how you have an impeccable taste in fashion. Where do you get your style inspiration from?
I used to think that the right answer to that question would just be one particular person; for example, my style icon forever was Rihanna and Audrey Hepburn. Nowadays, I come across people that are just regular people that I find so interesting. So, yeah, it changes. I don’t know if you know Sara Crampton—Harper and Harley, I really like her style. I also like Aimee Song, Margaret Zhang, and Lauren Kittens, she’s a DJ and a musician. Those are like my icons. They’re not all the same style, but I like how they carry themselves.
How about some of your favorite Instagram accounts?
It’s so funny because one of my favorites now is actually our peg for the shoot today, si Taylor LaShae. Jeanne Damas—I don’t know how to say her name [laughs]. And also this girl Mirella, I don’t know if you’ve come across her Instagram. She kind of has the same hairstyle as Jeanne Damas, but then her feel is very artistic, her photos are very artistic, and she doesn’t wear that much makeup, and also, of course I love Glossier’s account. I love their campaigns.
There are a lot of things that people don’t notice about me, but when they do get to know me, I’m a little more quirky and fun to be with, I guess?
What’s one thing people don’t know about you?
My gosh, there are so many things people don’t know about me. I don’t know, I guess I’m funny [laughs]. I’m kind of introverted also, that’s why people don’t really see that side of me. There are a lot of things that people don’t notice about me, but when they do get to know me, I’m a little more quirky and fun to be with, I guess? I don’t know [laughs].
Can share with us your ultimate beauty philosophy?
My beauty philosophy is less is more. Especially now, I’m glad that the trends are more into skincare.
What makeup and skincare products do you bring with you when you travel?
When I travel, [I bring] a bronzer, blush, concealer, eyeshadow, lipstick, and eyebrow pencil.
For skincare, of course I have to sort of compromise and make it shorter, so the important skincare products that I bring are: a sheet mask, toner, spot treatment, and moisturizer.
What makeup look do you feel most beautiful in?
You know, I used to like super glam, but with the beauty trends now, it’s more [about] skin than it is makeup. So now, I feel the most comfortable and most confident when I’m not wearing as much makeup—when it’s just like cheek tint, bronzer, lipstick, eyebrows, that’s it. Practically bare-faced, like no-makeup makeup is my favorite.
What is your best beauty discovery?
My best beauty discovery right now is that you can use lipstick as eyeshadow, just like what [the glam team] did today. You don’t really need much, it’s just sort of being smart about using makeup ‘cause they are multipurpose products even if that’s not how they sell it. So, it’s a practical way to use makeup also because you don’t need to buy so many things.
Photographed by Miguel Alomajan
Makeup by Zidjian Paul
Hair by Raffy So
Styled by Ryuji Shiomitsu