The secret to Heart Evangelista’s charmed life? Being free and open in her own skin
“Next level” for most actresses usually means baring more skin. Heart Evangelista has been in show business for nearly 18 years, but somehow, she evaded that route. Her “next level” wasn’t a change in persona or image; it was more of Heart simply becoming more who she is.
Introduction to the beauty world
Case in point: her first book, aptly titled This Is Me, Love Marie, gives a peek into the woman behind the photogenic maquillage and shares the beauty knowledge she has picked up for the past three decades, from when Heart would watch her mother wear a scarf-like Hermès dress after a day of pampering, her hair moisturized with coconut oil and wrapped up in a bun. Within the pages that feature Heart’s handwriting and drawings, she reveals a bare face that somehow, despite its familiarity, still surprises people. “The most unexpected reaction I got about my book was that I didn’t have anything done on my face,” she says. “People thought I had my eyes, my nose, my chin done. But makeup really can transform how you look, and I think it’s good to show that. It’s good to show that I’m like everyone else, what I look like when I don’t have anything on my face.”
Perhaps it’s her younger years spent trying to fit into the usual teenybopper mode, perhaps it’s the close scrutiny she got from the public—par for the course for most celebrities—but Heart seems more open to revealing her real self, including her interests outside the entertainment world, such as animal welfare advocacy and, more recently, art. Last September 3, Heart staged her latest exhibit Carry Your HeART, featuring nearly 50 designer bags she has hand-painted. “Anybody can get the same bag, wear the same clothing,” she says of the exhibit’s theme. “But not everybody can be you; this exhibit celebrates that.”
Her art, in fact, is generally about celebrating her authentic self, as it had helped her find a new, creative purpose at a crucial junction in her career. “I started painting out of frustration,” she recalls. “In showbiz, the older you are, the less people are interested in you. But in art, the older you are, the more interesting you get. With my art, I reintroduced myself as Love Marie, and there are endless possibilities now that came about through it.” Some of them are a perfume line she’ll launch at the end of September, a clothing line of classic pieces in neutral colors with stylist Kat Cruz, and even home ware, and she’s also working on a cookbook of heirloom recipes with her mother.
Happy Skin collaboration
In July, Heart also launched Happy Skin x Love Marie, her limited edition collaboration with the popular homegrown makeup brand that features matte lipsticks in flattering palettes of nude, red, and caramel. It was a project that she initiated, and it was a most natural fit. Aside from the lip colors, she was involved in the products’ packaging, their boxes featuring her doodles. “I’m in a creative stage in my life,” Heart admits. “I’m doing a lot, and it’s overwhelming, exciting, and inspiring.”
With her hectic pace, Heart looks after herself: while telenovela shoots keep her from regular workouts, she relies on vitamins, juicing, working with nutritionist Nadine Tengco, and “being happy about everything” to keep herself in good health. “I just learned not to stress too much about life. We only live once, so why make life hard?” Why, indeed, when Heart has shown that being yourself works?