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We chatted with Nippon Esthetic Solutions COO, Sydney Go, and discovered some of her beauty discoveries and beauty secrets. Learn more about her must-haves and her booming business in this week’s Real People. 

1. When and how did you get involved in the beauty industry?

My first foray into the beauty industry was when Mega Magazine (MMPI) took a chance on me as a fresh graduate last 2001 as fashion and beauty assistant. Honestly I didn’t know much about beauty but luckily my mentors Liza Ilarde (former Editorial Director MMPI) and Vicky Tensuan (former Beauty Editor Mega Magazine) broke me into the beauty scene effortlessly. By the time I left the magazine as Beauty Editor, I was totally and madly in love with anything beauty-related.

2. Tell us about Nippon Esthetic Solutions, how did it start and what is the idea behind it?

Nippon, a Japanese-inspired lifestyle brand was born out of love and addiction to hygiene tools seen and used during my travels. Since I loved browsing and scouring foreign beauty havens, I realized there was a lack thereof in our local scene. This is coupled with the fact that my makeup artist friends during my magazine stint are totally OC when it comes to makeup application for clients.

3. What are you must-have products from the line?

Nippon’s all-Star product would be the much raved about Cosmetic Wedge Sponges especially since all Professional Makeup Artists swear by this. For skincare, I love using the Nippon Makeup Remover Lotion with our Cleansing Sponge. I use it to exfoliate my face 1x a week. For my makeup, I love spritzing the Nippon Cosmetic Sanitizer directly on my makeup like powders, eyeshadows and lipsticks to sanitize my makeup. I’m particularly proud of this since I believe beauty sanitation need not be expensive and should be practiced daily. Since we are Manila’s Exclusive Distributor of Top US brand Parian Spirit Brush Cleaner, this is my go-to brush cleaner much like majority of Manila’s professional artists, as its strength and scent are simply the best.

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4. What useful makeup trick(s) did you learn while managing your own business?

Stick with what works. I’ve learned to use our Nippon 5-Minute Touch-Up with all things mini and disposable when I travel so it lessens my baggage when I fly.

5. What does your daily beauty regimen look like?

I quickly wash my face, put on my moisturizer, eye cream and do my brows. It takes me about 15 minutes to get my barely-there makeup ready, which I prefer especially on days when I have to be all over the metro for meetings and shoots. Then, on weekends when I want my skin to breathe, I go for my 3-step program of brows, powder and blush.

6. What’s your one beauty indulgence?

I spend 1 day in a month to do my “beauty overhaul”. This includes a trip to the salon for cut, color, mani/pedi, foot spa and other beauty rituals that I feel like having for the day. This day is usually a phone-off day to make sure I don’t get bothered, which is an indulgence in itself.

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Graffiti Wall in Shibuya. Tokyo, Japan

7. Any beauty secrets you learned from your Mom?

My mom still makes sure we listen to her when she reminds my sister and I to never be too hurried when washing our face and not to tug our skin (especially the eye area). One thing she’s adamant about is not to scrimp on sunscreen for her fear of pigmentation. She tells us “ You’re never too young to start taking care of your skin. Gravity won’t be on your side when you reach your 60s”. Point well taken.

8. What is/are your must-have beauty products?

I love using Vanicream Lite Lotion as my moisturizer as recommended by my friend from San Francisco. My Shiseido UV Protection is a must for unwanted skin damage. I believe in having good skin so I am partial to makeup bases. I shift my makeup bases from RMK/Giorgio Armani. For liquid foundation, I love and swear by Benefit/RMK/Giorgio Armani. I top it off with Benefit’s Stay Flawless Pressed Powder. I’ve been using these for years and never fail to get a compliment for sporting nice natural skin. For my brows, I can’t live without my Shu Uemura Hard Pencil #9. I try to be adventurous with the rest of my makeup so I don’t stick to one.

9. Best beauty discovery from abroad?

Vanicream Lite Lotion

10. One word that best describes you?

No Fuss.