Upon meeting 20-year-old singer and actress MARIS RACAL, you can tell right away that she’s not the type to put on airs. Aside from her glowing morena skin, her humble yet playful personality is one of her shining attributes. But don’t be deceived by her coy demeanor and angelic face because she sure knows how to be fierce in front of the camera and onstage.
Starting her journey into the limelight in 2014 after her stint in Pinoy Big Brother: All In where she won second runner-up, Maris quickly rose as a budding actress, landing several major roles in movies like Stars Versus Me alongside former fellow PBB housemate Manolo Pedrosa and in Metro Manila Film Festival official entries Vince and Kath and James and Haunted Forest. Apart from her silver screen success, she also played leading roles in the television drama series Maalaala Mo Kaya—a definitive proof of her acting prowess. Not only is Maris a talented actress, but she can also sing, dance, and play musical instruments. Is there anything this girl can’t do? Nowadays, she’s busy making music and writing songs. After recently releasing her first album Stellar, the sky is the limit for this fresh-faced star.
During our shoot, she shares with us the best thing about her job, what inspires her, and the beauty product that makes her skin glow—because let’s be honest, her skin is divine and we want in on her secrets. Scroll through to read our conversation and see Maris stun in peach and red makeup.
For someone who’s as busy as you, what’s the first thing you do in the morning to start your day?
Guilty ako dito: I check my phone. Before kasi talagang very prayerful ako, ngayon talaga yung first kong chine-check is yung phone, yung time. Then, papagawa ako ng coffee.
Growing up in a musically-inclined family, were you always inclined towards pursuing a music career?
I’ve always thought na may chance ako sa music industry. I just didn’t have the confidence yet because I wanted to build myself as an actress first and then eventually pursue music. Right now, I’m really excited about next year because there are a lot of songs that I’ve written already, and I’m really excited to produce it and record it as well.
I want it to be my flavor, my taste, and my emotions when I release an album. So I made sure when fans hold my album, all they can see is me: “This is so Maris, [these are] her emotions.”
How does it feel to finally create your own album?
Isa talaga siya sa mga dreams ko gumawa ng album. I was offered to do an album before, but I didn’t have that emotion and confidence to do it. I would always think that I’m not much of a good singer, but now I want to be recognized for my own words, my own emotions, so I started to write songs—it took me two years to write songs.
Did you write all of the songs in Stellar?
Four out of five. I want it to be my flavor, my taste, and my emotions when I release an album. So I made sure when fans hold my album, all they can see is me: “This is so Maris, [these are] her emotions”, and I also want to inspire a lot of people.
What inspires you when you’re writing songs?
My current state. For example, I would write sad songs and if I’m happy, I would write happy songs. But Taylor Swift really inspired me talaga. Yung artistry niya, the way she would write songs, the way she would tell stories to other people. Gusto ko makilala as Maris, “ito siya, ganito yung taste niya pag magsulat.”
Nakaka-challenge siya in a way na ikaw din, gusto mo mag grow and go beyond your limits. Also, yung mga fans din. Nandiyan sila to support you in any way, kung ano mang gusto mong gawin sa buhay.
Do you have any other passions apart from acting and singing?
Acting and singing are two things that I love doing ever since I started showbiz. But now, I want to write songs and produce music. So ‘yun na ‘yung gusto kong i-start next year and mag-focus on that if ever there’s a chance.
How is performing and acting different for you?
Performing takes a lot of practice, but acting is kind of an in-the-moment thing. If you’re sad, you could express your emotions, but in performing, you have to be lively and happy all the time. I think performing requires more discipline sa practice, stamina, and singing. Diba, one mali lang mababash na agad.
When you’re acting, there are times that you can’t portray your character well, so it takes two days to study your character. It’s hard when you’re not focused enough. In acting, there’s editing naman, so they can alter if ever may mali ka. You get several takes until you make it perfect.
What do you love most about your job?
Hindi siya yung memorize mo na yung gagawin mo. Like every day, may challenges, may bago. If you’re given a role, it’s not the same role like what you did before. So parang every day challenge siya and challenging din in a way na you have to keep up, kailangan may something new. Nakaka-challenge siya in a way na ikaw din, gusto mo mag grow and go beyond your limits. Also, yung mga fans din. Nandiyan sila to support you in any way, kung ano mang gusto mong gawin sa buhay. And nage-enjoy ka na nage-enjoy din sila.
You’ve also been making an impact with your elegant looks. What do you think was your best beauty moment?
When we did the Cleopatra-inspired look sa Mega Ball. From then on, na-realize ko na every event gusto ko may statement, may iba.
What’s the best beauty tip you’ve ever gotten?
Beauty oil is important—facial oil or vitamin E oil. Any oil will do. Super importante niya kasi sobrang laki ng difference pag nagme-makeup ka. It makes your skin glow and then mas kapit yung makeup. For me, one of the things you should do before putting on makeup is to put on facial oil and massage your face.
Also, there are certain lipstick shades na magma-match talaga sa kulay mo, so not every lipstick will match you. Morena ako, so kailangan ko ng deep browns. Kasi pag brown yung lips ko, hindi siya super brown, parang nude lang siya. I have to be careful when it comes to choosing my lipstick shades. Pag super red naman, nagmumukha akong matanda, not my age.
What’s your go-to makeup look?
If kailangan ko mag-makeup, I would go for orange blush, kasi orange tones ngayon yung gusto ko, and bronzer. I would also always apply eyeliner and mascara. Anything orange and nude. Lately, na-addict ako mag-beach waves out of a braided hair. Bine-braid ko lang yung hair ko and I put sea salt spray.
Super cliché, but I believe that beauty comes from within. Kung ano yung nararamdaman mo inside, yun yung nilalabas ng physical appearance mo. If happy ka inside, magkakaroon ka ng natural glow.
What’s one beauty product you can’t leave the house without?
Lip tint, of course. Kasi hindi naman ako yung super ma-makeup talaga na tao kasi sobrang tamad ko talaga, and I guess I can bring two, that other one would be a concealer.
Can you share with us a recent beauty discovery?
Hindi ko siya ginagawa, matagal na siyang sinasabi sakin. Using soap with a wet facial towel will really help your skin like mas malala yung pag tanggal ng dead skin mo. Sobrang ganda sa skin, parang banat na banat. I do it twice a week.
What’s a skincare step you never skip?
Washing my face, yun lang. Kasi aminado ako na sobrang lazy ako when it comes to skincare, so if may pimple na ‘ko, doon ko lang aayusin. Then after two weeks, ito nanaman ako. So di talaga ako consistent, but then [I use] either micellar cleansing water pag super tamad na ako or I wash my face. If may time naman, lagi kong ginagawa yung mag-steam ng face and mag-clay mask. Masarap siya sa face after a long night.
How do you keep your hair shiny and healthy? Do you have a hair care routine?
Wala, as in. Ito na talaga siya. I just use ordinary shampoo and conditioner. Minsan nga lang ako nagco-conditioner. Everyday ako nagwa-wash ng hair. Growing up, meron na talaga kasi akong makapal na hair.
You spoke of gaining confidence earlier, what makes you feel confident?
First is support ng family and fans, of course. Second is when I’m well-prepared and well-rehearsed. Third is when I’m happy and contented with myself.
What is your beauty philosophy?
Super cliché, but I believe that beauty comes from within. Kung ano yung nararamdaman mo inside, yun yung nilalabas ng physical appearance mo. If happy ka inside, magkakaroon ka ng natural glow. Basta yung pinaka-best makeup for me is happiness kasi meron siyang natural glow—may spark sa eyes.
Photographed by Miguel Alomajan
Makeup by Anthea Bueno
Hair by John Valle
Styled by Ryuji Shiomitsu