Shamcey looked every bit the beauty queen—beaming, statuesque, and absolutely impeccable. But little statements like this hint at a previous life: how she hung up her hard hat in exchange for a tiara and how, until a few months ago, she donned sneakers instead of heels. Before being certified as one of the most beautiful women in the world, she was an architect—graduating magna cum laude from the University of the Philippines and topping the boards in 2009.
But for Shamcey, almost winning Miss Universe doesn’t make her a celebrity. “Parang ganoon, but not quite there,” she says with a little laugh, adding, however, that she does have a list of projects (mostly causes) lined up. Shamcey was to participate in the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer Awareness on October 2 as her first role as an Avon endorser, though this was postponed due to the weather conditions brought on by Typhoon Quiel. She will also be the face of a fragrance slated for release later this year.
Female Network took a few minutes with this self-proclaimed “non-celebrity” to talk about her latest endeavors, her makeup tips, her insecurities, and even her views on beauty pageants (there’s more to them than strutting around in swimsuits, she says). Read on to learn what this beauty queen had to say.
Apart from good genes, Shamcey credits her glow to regularly washing her face—once in the morning and once before bed. “I always have to wash my face. I can’t sleep without making sure that I’ve scrubbed off all the makeup,” she says. Any other add-on depends on the situation. “If my skin’s a bit dry, I put on moisturizer. If the sun is bright, I wear sunblock.”
STAYING IN SHAPE
However blessed she is with a naturally slender frame, Shamcey was almost too skinny for the pageant world. “When I joined Binibining Pilipinas, they wanted me to be fuller and toned,” she shares. She underwent a strict diet of meat, milk, and protein shakes. “I go to the gym three times a week, but it’s more for bodybuilding—to make my muscles firmer. I don’t do cardio, just Pilates for core exercises.”
For someone who wasn’t always a girly girl, Shamcey has the basics covered in her makeup bag. “I have compact powder, lipstick—because you always have to (touch up)—lip gloss, eyeliner, and eyebrow pencil.”
If you want to have your makeup routine perfected, she advises, “Practice, practice, practice.” When she first joined Binibining Pilipinas, she confesses she didn’t know how false eyelashes were applied. “Everything was new to me,” she admits. But after three weeks of wearing makeup for Miss Universe, she got the hang of it. A natural artist, Shamcey even did her own makeup for the Miss Universe coronation night.
If you find something you like, she adds, stick with it and practice. Shamcey also recommends focusing on finding the right foundation. “If your chosen base doesn’t match your skin tone, pangit. (It’s unattractive.)”
ADVICE FOR FILIPINAS
One thing Shamcey learned from Miss Universe is that people in other countries love tanned skin. “[Filipinas] should work with what they have. If they have brown skin, then they should make that work for them,” she says.
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Her family and friends make a sturdy support system. “When others believe I can do it, that’s what gives me confidence, and I tell myself na kaya ko ‘to (I can do this),” she says. Knowing that these people love her no matter what pushes her to be strong and to overcome new challenges.
When she was young, this 5’8” beauty would often slouch, just so she would be level with her classmates. “I felt that it was abnormal for a girl to be this tall,” she muses. In school, Shamcey always wound up at the back of the line or seated at the last row. She hoped to shrink to 5’4” or at least 5’6”. Though she has finally accepted the gift of height, Shamcey admits that she still doesn’t like wearing heels.
THE BEST AND WORST THING ABOUT MISS UNIVERSE
If she had to pick the best thing about participating in the Miss Universe pageant, it would be meeting her fellow candidates. “Just to be there, to be part of Miss Universe is the best thing,” relates Shamcey. The worst? Being away from her family for over a month. Thankfully, technology like cell phones and the Internet made the separation more bearable.
ON HER ANSWER
Many speculate that Shamcey’s conservative answer in the Q&A portion of the pageant lost her the crown, but she is set on what she said. “In the Q&A, there’s no right or wrong answer. It’s just your opinion,” she says. “I wouldn’t change it just to get the crown. [That] was me, that was my personality.”
ON THE OTHER QUESTIONS
When asked how she would answer her fellow top five candidates’ questions, Shamcey laughs, exclaiming, “I wasn’t listening!” She does, however, remember the question for Miss Angola: “If you could change one of your personal characteristics, which one would it be and why?” Like her co-contestant, who was eventually crowned Miss Universe, Shamcey is satisfied with herself. If she really had to choose one thing though, it would be the size of her feet. “Para it’s easier to look for shoes that are smaller siguro.”
ON BEAUTY PAGEANTS
Contrary to popular opinion, pageants aren't just about looking beautiful. “When you’re there, it’s not easy. It’s one of the hardest things I’ve ever done.” She adds that there’s increased pressure because everyone who watches you already serves as a judge.
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(Photos by Sasha Lim Uy)
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