This celebrity makeup artist has a purrfect way to start her workday

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Anthea Bueno talks about avoiding social media in the morning, the intimacy of personal rituals, and a fluffy way to start her day. Photo courtesy of ANTHEA BUENO

Rituals is an interview series which highlights the different ways of boosting productivity.

Rizal (CNN Philippines Life) — Anthea Bueno is one of the most sought-after makeup artists in the country. Celebrities who have sat on her makeup chair include actress Sarah Lahbati, actor Alden Richards, and Miss World 2013 Megan Young — just to name a few. Her online portfolio speaks for itself: regardless of color saturation, her makeup looks always emphasize her clients’ healthy, glowing skin.

Although makeup is her main tool of the trade, Bueno says that instead of investing in new makeup products, she’s chosen to allocate her budget towards disinfecting and sanitizing tools — due to the nature of her job, makeup artists are unable to practice social distancing.

While opportunities in her makeup business are currently limited, she’s set her sights on developing video content instead. “I’m working on a YouTube channel,” Bueno shares. “It’s my way of giving back, since I did learn a lot from YouTube gurus when I was starting out. Maybe in this way I can help someone who’s just like me before, who doesn’t have the capacity to enroll in a makeup school but still wants to learn anyway.”

In an interview with CNN Philippines Life, the makeup artist talks about avoiding social media in the morning, the intimacy of personal rituals, and starting the day with cats.

What’s the first thing you do each morning? How does that affect the rest of your day?

I always say a short prayer of thanks for everything that I have right now. Being thankful at the start of my day sets everything right. I try to avoid looking at my social media accounts in the morning.

What time of day do you feel most productive? Why do you think that works for you?

I feel productive by midday. I have already warmed up in the morning.

What do you enjoy most about your job, and what do you find most challenging about it?

I enjoy creating different looks and interpreting inspirations for my clients and brands. What’s challenging for me is that my job requires interacting with different people, and I’m really an introvert.

How do you deal with distractions?

Being a creative person, it is hard for me to tune out distractions because my mind welcomes everything, every idea. When I need to concentrate, I would play some classical music and fix myself some tea.

With regard to day-to-day challenges, do you have a ritual that helps you through it?

I don’t exactly have a ritual, because I don’t like being confined to a single routine. But I always find myself playing with my cats first before going to work or starting to work on a project. It makes me happy.

When did you start this ritual? Was there a specific moment that inspired it?

I can’t remember when, but let's just say since the day I fell in love with cats.

Are you always able to accomplish this ritual? What do you do if you aren't able to do it? Does it have any bearing on your mood and your productivity?

There are days when I’d be rushing to work, so I don’t get to play with them as much. I feel fine. I just resume our playtime as soon as I get home.

Would you recommend this ritual to other people? Why or why not?

Rituals are very personal. I cannot recommend mine, but I highly suggest that you go and find what makes you happy and start with that.

Are there any apps you use for productivity?

I try to stay away from technology if I want to be productive.

How do you unwind after a busy day?

I bake cookies, sketch and binge-watch old music videos of my favorite artists in my pajamas.