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.


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About The Author
Nicole Limos Morales
Contributing Beauty Editor
Nicole is the former managing editor of Town&Country. After working as features editor and beauty editor of the title’s print edition for 6 years, she helped launch in 2016, creating new concepts and story formats, analyzing data, and mastering digital audiences—establishing the title to become the Philippines’ leading luxury lifestyle website. She left her full-time position in 2019 to focus on family life, while carrying on writing beauty content for T&C as a contributing editor. “I think what’s amazing about beauty is that in its arena, you can really only be a skeptic for so long,” she says. “There will always be a product that will make you believe.”
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