Monique Borja, yoga practitioner and makeup minimalist
For some people, business and pleasure are two aspects in their lives that don’t mix.
For Bliss Studio director, co-owner and teacher Monique Borja, her love for Vinyasa Flow Yoga has turned into a very lucrative business as she opened a second yoga studio.
What challenges do you face in mixing business with the pleasure of practicing yoga?
Actually, the opportunity to do both has positively affected my work and practice. Yoga is all about balance. It provides me the checks and balances I need to determine whether I’m working too little or too hard, if I’m practicing or teaching enough or if I should be doing less.
It allows me to make sure that all aspects of my life are equally abundant—spending time with my family, my boyfriend, my friends and myself.
I always hear yoga practitioners say “inner peace.” Define inner peace.
Inner peace is the state of being when you completely accept yourself regardless of your inner feelings or what you think of others, including negative thoughts.
I identify it as an overwhelming sense of “quiet,” in the face of even the most adverse circumstances.
What beauty products do you keep in your yoga bag or makeup bag?
Shu Uemura Facial Mist, Cetaphil Cleanser, Jivamukti China gel (always!), Bobbie Brown Lip Gloss in neutral shades, Fille et Fils in Solaina—so many sweet scents (my current fave cologne)—and my most recent beauty discovery, Giorgio Armani Luminessence BB Cream SPF 50 without the grease.
Your skin is always very clear and smooth. What’s your secret?
I mix it up a lot but stick to the basics. I also use different products depending on the weather.
Essentials include: Obagi cleanser and toner, VMV moisturizer, Shiseido Ginza eye cream
Before and after yoga class I apply: Aesthetic Science’s Antibacterial Toner
Before I sleep: I apply a generous amount of VMV’s Virgin Coconut Oil or Neutrogena’s Body Oil, then top it with any lotion.
Do you have regular facial treatments?
For facials I go to Aesthetic Science on Jupiter St. Makati. (They have really good therapists.)
Facial Care gives the best diamond peel and offers really good intensive treatments like RF. I’ve been going there since I was 19!
When traveling to cooler climates: I use La Prairie the Skin Caviar Set, which includes face cream, eye cream and serum.
I’m not very big on makeup, but I put a lot of importance on skin care.
For a night-out, what beauty and makeup products do you use?
When it comes to makeup, less is more. I look a bit matapang when I have a lot of makeup piled on. Makeup staples include: Bobbie Brown’s Gel Eye Liner, Giorgio Armani BB Cream and Face Fabric in #2, Bobbie Brown Duo Concealer in Beige, any MAC lipstick and NARS cheek blush in Orgasm. I usually don’t put any eye shadow on because I simply don’t know how to apply it properly.
What products do you use on your hair?
I do Keratin treatments about twice a year so I stick with the Coppola line of products (without sulfate). At night I put Moroccan Oil. And to finish a polished look when I put my hair up, I use the Bench styling Stick. I also use Coppola Shampoo, Coppola Vanilla Bean Deep Conditioner, and Oleo Slim by Kerastase.
What’s your secret to flawless and porcelain skin?
In my 20s I could get away with not doing anything, but now I follow a strict regimen.
I follow the basic three-step cleaning, toning and moisturizing system. I get a diamond peel, take supplements with collagen, and sleep at least eight hours a day.
Twice a year I do a detox, three to five days of juice cleanse (Juju Cleanse and Master Cleanse) and, of course, yoga. The glowing radiance that people talk about after yoga class is really true.
What’s the last beauty product you bought this month?
I just came from Japan and bought a Shiseido Benefiance set. I also picked up random Japanese facial washes and collagen drinks at their version of our 7-11, Lawson’s.