I Am Her: Denice Sy On The Value Of Going Back To Your Roots | Clozette

Our “I Am Her” series features the female movers and shakers of the industry to learn how femininity and power coincide beautifully and seamlessly together.

Just four months after graduating from University of California-Berkeley in 2014, Denice Sy went back home to join Ever Bilena, her family's business and the leading cosmetics company in the Philippines. She admitted that it was not the original plan she had in mind, but she ultimately decided to come back and continue Ever Bilena's legacy. "I am in such a privileged position now because of the life my dad gave me, and I think it’s my duty to give back by joining him," she said. A living proof that no matter where we go, our paths will always take us back to where we came from. 

Denice Sy with her father, Dioceldo Sy

Dioceldo, founder of Ever Bilena and Denice's father, shared that upon joining the company, he trained her daughter to start from the ground. "I wanted her to know what's going on in the day-to-day operations and be in touch with what's happening in the company that's why I put her in the ground zero level," he said.

Due to her hard work and perseverance, Denice eventually rose to join the sales and marketing team. Her fresh take on things and knowledge of beauty trends gave the brand the edge of knowing the up-and-coming beauty products in the market. Ahead, we chat with Denice about her journey with Ever Bilena and the beauty brand's newest venture.

Fill in the blank: I'm a businesswoman, a Christ-follower, and a __________.

Corgi mom!

Pancake, Denice's Corgi (Image Credit: Hub Pacheco)

What were the initial challenges you encountered when you started working for Ever Bilena and how did you overcome them?

Having lived in the US for four years prior to returning to the Philippines, I’d say adjusting my personality to fit the local and company culture was one of my most difficult challenges. I was very accustomed to speaking my mind, being blunt about my opinions, and rushing everything.

But I realise in the Philippines, relationship-building is immensely important. I had to develop a more familial orientation, strengthen my emotional quotient, and revise my way of speaking. As one of the younger staff, because I was 22 when I first entered Ever Bilena and the company is very family-oriented, I had to exert effort to build relationships with everyone, get to know my older colleagues at a personal level, and learn terms that were appreciated in our office for getting things done, such as “pasuyo” (please), “po” (a Filipino term used to denote respect for elders), and refer to elders as “tito” (uncle), “tita” (auntie), “ate” (sister) or “kuya” (brother).

Upon getting involved in the business, what were the things you thought could be improved?

When I first got involved, I immediately noticed a shortcoming in our social media presence. Instagram and Facebook were already in existence for years in 2014, but we weren’t maximising the platforms to promote the brand. We really focused on facelifting the brands, making them more relevant to our specific target markets, and also enhancing the visual aesthetics of our in-store placements.

Careline and Ever Bilena just had brand revamps, what prompted the change?

The beauty industry is always innovating and always changing. As the leading local colour cosmetics brand, we, unfortunately, are not a trendsetter. Nonetheless, our role has consistently been to ensure that global trends are available in the local market and at affordable prices. Thus, our brand revamps really have a lot to do with responding to what the market wants and connecting more with our consumers and supporters.

What's next for both brands?

The newest venture coming soon for Ever Bilena is our special collaboration with [actress and host, dubbed Queen of All Media] Kris Aquino called the #LifeKit Collection. We are planning to launch the line in May 2018 in time for Mother’s Day.

What is the best advice you’ve been given?

Stay grounded and thankful. My dad says we should always remember our roots, no matter how far we go in life. When we stop being grateful and forget humility is when we lose touch with reality and overlook what truly matters.

You are the definition of looking good while doing what you do! How do you stay inspired and empowered to do that every day?

I like to ask myself, “How is the world better today because I exist?” My personal mantra is to live to make life a little better for other human beings or at least make it more tolerable and less burdensome. One has to feel whole before we can extend ourselves to others. And grooming myself and looking good is such a huge factor in my level of confidence, and inspiring me to continue empowering others.

Share with us your Clozette essentials.

Highlighters in the shades Candlelight and Strobe, my favourite liquid lipsticks which are the EB Advance's Skinny dip, Ever Bilena's Aura, and Gotta Go from Careline. Finally, my tissue and allergy pills.

Inspired? Check out stories of other exceptional women here.



We can definitely understand the micellar water craze. It's not every day that we discover a gentle product that can serve as a no-rinse makeup remover and cleanser in one. And almost overnight, the once well-kept secret of French women gained a cult-following in the beauty world. Now you can find as many as ten brands in your local drugstore that offer their own version of micellar water. 

Micellar waters that were tested are Bioderma Sensibio H2O, Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water, Simple Micellar Cleansing Water, L'Oreal Micellar Water (Moisturizing)

We put some of the most popular micellar brands to the test. Then, weighed the pros and cons of each formulation. All of the micellar waters have been used for at least a month, so other factors such as refreshing or moisturising effect will also be taken into consideration aside from the product's cleansing prowess. So keep reading to know which of these micellar waters is recommend for your skin type and lifestyle.

Makeup used for testing are Holika Holika Petit Jelly BB cream, EB Advance liquid lipstick in Soft Lace, Etude House Play 101 glitter pencil, Maybelline Hypercurl mascara, Colourpop Super Shock eyeshadow in Trois

Bioderma Micellar Water Sensibio H2O

PROS: With just three swipes, Bioderma was able to remove all makeup residue including the glitters from the Etude House pencil. It has a very pleasant, mild citrus scent, and feels refreshing on the skin. 

CONS: It's one of the most expensive micellar water brands in the market retailing for PHP938 for just 250ml

Recommended for: Busy gals who are willing to splurge a little bit for that on-the-go instant cleansing. 

Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water For Sensitive Skin

PROS: After using Garnier, you can feel an instant moisture surge and hydration on the skin. It's also an affordable option at only PHP249 (400ml).

CONS: It doesn't remove makeup as quickly as other brands. After seven swipes, there was still some residue of BB cream, mascara and a little bit of glitter. Overall, it took nine swipes to completely remove all traces of makeup. 

Recommended for: Those with dry and combination skin that needs extra hydration. 

Simple Kind To Skin Micellar Cleansing Water

PROS: Simple is loaded with other ingredients that are beneficial to the skin such as niacinamide (for anti-ageing and pore care) and Chamomilla Recutita flower extract, commonly known as German Chamomile (for soothing the skin). It's also very gentle and refreshing on the skin. Compared to other brands, the price is good at PHP499 (200ml) considering all the skincare benefits that come with it.

CONS: After 10 swipes, the BB Cream and mascara traces are still seen, and it took fourteen swipes to take everything off. 

Recommended for: Those who want their micellar water to have skincare benefits, too. 

L'Oreal Micellar Water Moisturizing (Sensitive Skin)

PROS: With just five swipes, L'Oreal was able to remove all makeup. It's definitely a more affordable option at PHP225 (250ml) if you want that quick cleansing. It also feels very refreshing on the skin.

CONS: Despite the moisturising label, there is little to no immediate hydration effect. 

Recommended for: Those who are looking for a more powerful but affordable makeup remover. 

We also tested the Glossier Boy Brow. Read our review to find out if it's really worth the hype.



Matte is out; glitter and gloss are in. This seems to be the trend these days. And we're definitely not complaining, especially since summer is almost in full swing. We're all about having that radiant glow and shimmer. If you're still unconvinced to skip the mattes, maybe these photos from the Community will lure you to trying out something new.


(Photo from: fionaseah)

Duochrome Diva

(Photo from: Perinsidhu)