Heart Evangelista is one of the most glamorous people you will ever meet but she’s also strikingly down-to-earth. After spending almost two decades as an actress, she’s taking a small step back from the career that made her famous and taking a giant leap of faith to building the life she’s meant to have. As she launches a new online platform and a fashion line under her brand, Love Marie, Heart is moving forward from the bittersweet chapter of her life and taking every opportunity thrown her way.
Famously working since her teenage years, you would assume that people know every single personal detail about the 33-year-old. But according to her, she’s far from what people portray her to be. She explains, “When they think, ‘she’s moody’ or ‘a bit too uptight’, it kind of works for you because in this world we live in, sometimes when you’re not so open, they respect you. But when they see that you’re actually really nice, they take advantage of your kindness. So as I got older, I don’t wear my heart on my sleeve as much or it would be invisible where nobody can see it.” It’s hard not to feel awed by her strong character and sense of self, especially after she bravely shared her unfortunate journey into motherhood. But as she worked to get her strength back, she was immensely moved with the outpouring support of fellow women who experienced the same tragedy. She is after all, human just like us. These days, she’s finally come to a good place. Painting has remained an ardent passion of hers and travelling from one fashion capital to another is just where she should be.
One look and you’ll realize why living a life in the spotlight suits her. In the words of Crazy Rich Asians author Kevin Kwan for Harper’s Bazaar, she’s “a modern day incarnation of Audrey Hepburn”. Even from afar—standing at just 5’2”—she’s instantly recognizable. She positively shines as she wears elegance like second skin. Up close and personal, she’s great company. Warm, candid, and so at ease, she makes you forget you’re talking to an actual star, which makes her even more endearing. But on the other side of her glamorous world, the multi-hyphenate is also an advocate for animal cruelty, working with organizations like PAWS (the Philippine Animal Welfare Society), where she adopted her adorable rescue dog, Panda.
Despite a rough few months, there’s an exuberance to her. Fronting high-profile campaigns for international brands, it seems the world is finally seeing what she has to offer. So what’s the next step? She’s aware she’s about to embark on a new journey. As for us, we’ll avidly be watching as she reaches the verge of becoming a global icon.
Here, we have an honest conversation with Heart as she talks about the thing she loves most about being married, the most important lesson she learned after having a miscarriage, and how she slowly got back on her feet.
Judging by your Instagram page, you’ve had a pretty busy month. How have you been coping with the schedule?
I really like it. I went through something recently so it keeps my mind off things. Sometimes when I’m not doing anything, it makes me overthink about what I’m going through so I’m very happy that I’m busy.
You’re always travelling too.
I actually just started to travel because I wasn’t allowed by my parents to travel growing up. Just a little trivia, I’m actually terrified of planes and travelling by myself, so when I got married, that’s when my husband saw a chance to push me to start travelling. And when I went to Paris, I fell in love. It’s like my escape where I can walk around wearing feathers or have glitter all over my face without anyone caring about how I look. Here, I still have a lot of people who ask me why I wear heels to the grocery.
“In this world we live in, sometimes when you’re not so open, they respect you. But when they see that you’re actually really nice, they take advantage of your kindness. So as I got older, I don’t wear my heart on my sleeve as much or it would be invisible where nobody can see it.”
L: Camisole by Mango, Wide Leg pants by Joseph; R: Knit Sweater by H&M
What are some of the things or projects you’re looking forward to for the next few months?
I’m leaving for Milan Fashion Week and I’m also going to be doing something for L’Oreal this September in Paris. What else? I have a clutch line, I’m also launching my website, and my Youtube channel.
What made you decide to start your own channel?
I’ve always wanted to share my life. I mean I don’t want to flood my Instagram page because I have so many pictures and experiences that I want to share with my fans or people who are just curious to know more about me and my journey. On my Youtube channel, I’ll be doing a lot of makeup tutorials and videos of my travels. I think it’s just fun and digital really is the next world to be in.
Can you tell us more about your clutch line?
Well, I’ve been working on it for two years. But it’s been very stressful because there are a lot of changes. Hopefully, I’ll be launching it this year.
“When I went to Paris, I fell in love. It’s like my escape where I can walk around wearing feathers or have glitter all over my face without anyone caring about how I look.”
L: Jumpsuit by Mango
A while back, you took some time away from social media. But before that you took a really brave step to share something so personal. Why do you think it was an important thing for you to do?
It’s like going through a break up. Some people are very open about their relationships and suddenly when they break up, they don’t say anything. I know it’s none of their business but the thing is, we’re public figures. People rely on us but I feel like they can also relate to us. Our lives aren’t perfect, we go through bad times, we are human beings too, so I felt that I needed to share my journey of motherhood because it was a part of me. You know, I thought I was inspiring them. But it was actually the other way around. People started messaging me about having miscarriages and I really appreciated that. I became stronger when I read their experiences.
How are you and your husband getting through it day by day?
I’m so much better. I do have moments where I’m back to normal but there are days when a song will play or I’ll see a baby at the mall and my tears start falling. I just feel a different feeling, but you know the way I cope, I try to brush it aside. I felt depressed for about a month but you just have to help yourself move on, so I try to be as happy as possible.
What’s the most important thing that you’ve learned about yourself through this rough journey?
I think it would be you can plan your whole life but at the end of the day, you have to remember that it’s really not up to you. That there is a God who’s really in control and His time is what we need to understand.
“People rely on us but I feel like they can also relate to us. Our lives aren’t perfect, we go through bad times, and we are human beings too, so I felt that I needed to share my journey to motherhood because it was a part of me.”
L: Dress by Tibi from Distinqt; R: Dress by Eve the Label
You shared that painting was your best form of therapy. What moment in your life did you realize that?
I think it would be when I was liberated from my family. My mom had been in charge of my finances. I’ve always loved shopping but I didn’t hold my money. I had an allowance, I had a credit card, but I didn’t know how much I was actually making for the longest time. I only found out when I became independent and that was the time I allowed myself to go wild like buy couture dresses and Birkin bags. But when I got disconnected from my family, I was so lost and didn’t know how to do anything. I was truly depressed and that’s when I started to paint.
What was the inspiration behind your favorite painting?
My favorite is a painting of women but it was a little bit more modern than what I usually do. I love it because I felt that it was timely. It was when I lost my baby and I was empowered by other women and their stories. I was so inspired to finish that painting which I was working on for a really long time.
Are you still painting on Hermes bags?
Yes I am, but I took a break. I also didn’t want it to be so commercialized because I wanted to respect the people who hired me to paint their bags. It gives them the exclusivity or elusiveness to have bags that not everyone carries.
“I do have moments where I’m back to normal but there are days when a song will play or I’ll see a baby at the mall and my tears start falling… But you just have to help yourself move on, so I try to be as happy as possible.”
Another form of art that you’ve somewhat turn into business is makeup. What was the best part about creating your own lipsticks for Happy Skin?
I wanted to work with brands that I could relate to like Happy Skin. They were one of the first Filipino brands that came up with a line that was all natural and healthy. So I contacted them and it was so cool to create my own lipsticks because I’ve been doing what I’ve been doing for quite some time and a lot of people always ask me what I’m wearing. And for me to come up with colors that say so much of my experiences and what I’ve learned throughout the years, it’s so amazing to share that with my fans.
With so many personal things lined up, do you still have time for show business?
I actually just signed my longest contract with GMA. This time around, we were really able to talk about my plans with my career and the things I’m doing outside like trying to have a baby. But I’m definitely making time for new soap operas in the future.
Since starting in show business, have you always been pressured to look your best?
It was a conscious effort when I was younger because I was also trying to discover who I was. But I grew up with a mom who was always dressed up, always postura and baridosa, meaning she really took care of her skin. So it came naturally to me and whenever people ask me if I’m wearing what I’m wearing to the grocery, I say yes because it’s how I am. It’s not an effort but being in show business isn’t easy when it comes to my personal life. It’s always splattered on newspapers, especially things about my family. But other than that, I think I’ve gone through so much in life that I don’t care what people say anymore.
“I grew up with a mom who was always dressed up… So [looking my best] came naturally to me and whenever people ask me if I’m wearing what I’m wearing to the grocery, I say yes because it’s how I am.”
L: Sweater by Mango and Skirt by H&M
How has it helped you embraced your individuality?
Maybe three years ago I would cry about bashers. But you know we’re only in this world for such a short time. You don’t have to be beautiful for anyone else but yourself and if by chance it inspires people, then keep doing you. You don’t have to care about what other people say.
You’re a style icon by many but who is yours?
I love Miroslava Duma, Chiarra Ferragni, Olivia Palermo, and Victoria Beckham. She’s like my life peg. And Grace Kelly!
Speaking of Grace Kelly, have you tried on your Grace Kelly-inspired wedding dress since?
No, I haven’t. Actually it’s vacuumed in a clear bag, so it will maintain its beauty until the end of time. (Laughs)
“You don’t have to be beautiful for anyone else but yourself and if by chance it inspires people, then keep doing you. You don’t have to care about what other people say.”
R: Cardigan by Numeroventuno
What is your most prized possession?
It would be my wedding band. I can’t live without it. In fact, whenever I have a soap opera, that’s the first thing I think of. So I’m seriously thinking of getting a tattoo that has something to do with my love for my husband because I have to keep taking it off for work.
How has it been since the wedding day?
I love being married. I think it’s nice because I got married to somebody who is fifteen years older than me. There is no pretending to begin with. He’s just who he was since the day I met him. So I really appreciate his honesty and for being comfortable with himself. And I love the idea that you don’t have to box your pictures and put them away, you can keep them out and put them on the picture frame and have it there forever.
Do you ever give him style advice?
I do, but he’s really stubborn. He likes to go to Uniqlo but we went to Topshop yesterday and I told him to wear these baby blue straight-cut cuffed pants and we were there for thirty minutes. I said, “Babe, you can do it, you can wear it!” And he said, “Hindi ko kaya!” (Laughs) He still likes to wear super skinny jeans and tight tops.
“I love being married… There is no pretending to begin with. He’s just who he was since the day I met him.”
So let’s go back to your travels. How do you curate your wardrobe for a trip out of the country?
Kat and I really prepare, like weeks before. Naka Ziploc. It’s packed by day like day one, day two, even with accessories. It’s easier to pack too because you can vacuum it.
But if you could only bring five wardrobe pieces with you, what would it be?
Jeans, white shirt, a nice Chanel jacket, my Louboutin beige shoes, and a nice bag.
What fashion piece are you obsessed with right now?
I’m obsessed with the J’adior woven bracelets of Dior. They’re always out of stock but I finally got them.
“[Makeup] truly changes my mood… The moment I decided to go out and put on my red lipstick, I felt like a different person… Thick brows, red lips, and mascara. It changes you, you know? It really makes you glow.”
What’s your skincare hack?
Heavy moisturizer for the neck and light moisturizer for the face. Then, whatever moisturizer I use on my neck, I use for my eyes.
So how does makeup make you feel powerful?
Oh my God, it truly changes my mood. I know that because I’ve never been incredibly sad in my life until recently. I wasn’t going out of my house, but the moment that I decided to go out and put on my red lipstick, I felt like a different person. As if nothing happened. Thick brows, red lips, and mascara. It changes you, you know? It really makes you glow.
What’s your number one go-to red lipstick?
Anything bright. But I just discovered the L’Oreal Infallible Liquid Lipstick in Matador. I love it!