Here's Why Raisa Tantuico Vargas Looks Great Without Foundation

The architect and bag designer believes that beauty lies in keeping it real.

What keeps you busy?
Besides being a mom to two kids, I’m an architect at a relatively new firm. I’m also involved with my husband Miguel’s food business and passion project, Bucky’s, doing mostly creative stuff. I’ve always been into design, from designing bags to furniture.

How would you define luxury?
Luxury is having time for yourself. Having time to get manicures, pedicures, foot spas, stay in bed till noon, long uninterrupted showers. Luxury is having the time to escape work, to travel and just get lost.

“My daily beauty regimen is very simple, and there are two things I just make sure of: I don’t sleep with makeup on. I don’t go to bed without washing my face, and without a proper bath.”

From left: Kiehl's Ultra Facial Moisturizer, Greenbelt 5, 728.9561; Estée Laude Advanced Night Repair, Rustans Makati, 813.3739; Embryolisse Lait Creme Concentré,

What inspires and challenges you?
My biggest challenge is myself—believing in myself and pushing for what I believe in. Also,balancing time for myself, my kids, and my family. Before, I had all the time and energy to go after my dreams. Now, I have to find time to squeeze in my dreams in the equation. Traveling, on the other hand, inspires me. If I had unlimited vacation time and budget, my curious mind will always keep searching for new places and experiences.

The biggest lesson working has taught you?
Working has taught me to swallow my pride and value time with my kids, husband, and family. It’s also making me discover what I really want to do in the future.

What are these future plans?
I've always dreamt of having my own design studio. I’m also looking to do something that is purposeful and fulfi lling. If I can orient my practice in a way that’s not solely focused on profit and personal expression, but also in helping others, that would be a dream.

What would you never compromise on?
My values. If someone asked me to do work for something I didn’t believe in, I’d probably turn it down.


Beauty boo-boos?
Getting my makeup done in a salon and rubbing off the foundation when I get home because I can’t stand it on my face (or it’s not the right
shade). This has happened several times already!

“I like highlighting my morena skin tone, so I like the bronze shades for my blush and nude or light pinks for my lipstick. I try to stay away from foundation as much as possible as I don’t like the white, pasty undertones.”

From left: M.A.C Lipstick and Chanel Blush, Rustans Makati, 813.3729; Guerlain Bronzer, SM Beauty Store Makati

Your beauty icons?
My mom and my grandmother. They both are very strong women, who grew up in a largely female-dominated family. They’ve taught me to keep fighting and to also learn acceptance because there’s always something to learn. They’ve also encouraged my style, never discouraging me from wearing what I wanted at a young age, as to them, it was self-expression.

What is the best beauty advice you've ever received?
My lola always told me not to use any products on my face and just wash it with water every day. Both my mom and lola believe that you don’t need too much makeup to be beautiful. They taught me to be confident in baring my naked face.

Your personal definition of beauty?
Beauty is being real. In a world of well-curated Instagram feeds, the beauty lies outside the frame. It’s that makeshift house on the corner of the road that I pass every day. It’s the morning sun that perfectly lights the living room. It’s seeing a genuine smile on the faces of the people who help us. It’s these everyday things that keep it real and ground me.

What are you grateful for?
My family and the support they have given me. I did not exactly take the conventional path to where I am now, nor am I heading the conventional path in the future, but they are always supportive.


View More Articles About:
About The Author
Nicole Limos Morales
Managing Editor
Nicole’s career in publishing began in 2006. Before becoming Town & Country online’s managing editor, she moved from features editor to beauty editor of the title’s print edition. “The lessons in publishing are countless,” she says. “The most crucial ones for me? That to write best about life, you need to live your life. And another I still struggle to live by: ‘Brevity is a virtue; verbosity is a vice.’”
View Other Articles From Nicole
Latest Stories
Standout picks from Olivia d'Aboville, Jam Acuzar, and the Art Fair organizers themselves.
Kathryn Galitz talks about masterpieces, art collecting, the fickle art market, and artworks considered national heritage in private hands.
The former talk show host is backing an art auction to support Miss Porter's, a private girls' school.
An immersive nine-channel work greets you on the fourth floor of The Link at the Globe Platinum booth.
Take a look inside one of the most extensive fashion exhibitions in history.
Twelve luxury hotels and one spa were included in the Forbes Travel Guide.
In the age of likes and swipes, top photographer Tom Epperson presents images that invite conversation and consideration.
India Hicks and her mother zigzagged across London this week in search of the missing pieces.
Guests may not walk away with gold, but they do get some serious goodies.
He was a child prodigy, who translated Shakespeare to Tagalog at eight and studied at Columbia University at 12.
Load More Articles