Emphasizing the “beauty” in beauty queen, Michelle Dee is also a perennial inspiration in the hair and makeup department
“You don’t have to fit into this stereotype, you don’t have to fit into this mold, to be able to become a beauty queen. Of course, the times are changing, the world is progressing, and the more that you break those barriers, the more that you stay true to your authentic self and uniqueness,” Miss Universe Philippines 2023 Michelle Dee once said in a MEGA interview. The titleholder, who is currently preparing for the much-awaited coronation night, has matured to become one of the most refreshing candidates in the pageant industry—but it is not just what she is known for. In fact, the archives reveal that her beauty moments are equally notable.
Fans have witnessed her grow up from a teen model to a strong pageant candidate. Apart from her signature pasarela and her remarkable interview skills, her beauty commands attention. “She’s certainly beautiful, for sure. With or without makeup, she’s stunning,” celebrity makeup artist Dave Quiambao told MEGA. And as the world—the universe, rather—anticipates the coronation night, what better time than now to revisit some of her best beauty moments? Below, we explore the Miss Universe Philippines 2023’s notable hair and makeup looks through the years.
Her biggest beauty move
It is undeniable that waist-grazing tresses often appeal as a standard among pageantries—the exact reason as to why short hair becomes one visual key to stand out among other candidates. But it appears that an asymmetrical bob cut goes above and beyond as a beauty strategy for Michelle Dee. “We’ve lived in a world where people are judged because they don’t represent what they feel is perfect, but everyone should be celebrated,” she said. “And I hope with this mere gesture of cutting my hair, staying true to my identity—I hope that sends a positive message to everyone around me.”
Decoding her beauty signature
“Warm, sultry, and classy,” Dave Quiambao described the candidate’s signature look. It is quite evident that a radiant complexion and a warm, bronzy palette have always been synonymous with her beauty direction. In fact, it can be easily spotted in her previous posts. As for the standout detail? Her modern take on a smoky eye. It’s fair to say that she convinced many beauty fans to reconcile with their brown palettes, which makes her a true beauty icon even before the coronation night.
The winner takes it all
Of course, her red lip moment can’t be left unmentioned. In May 2023, the candidate traded her signature nude lipstick for a regal rich rouge to complement her evening gown. As for the coveted product? “I used MAC Cosmetics Ruby Woo!” Dave Quiambao revealed. “A red lipstick is not her usual go-to, but I decided to go for the color when I saw her final gown. I wanted her to look very regal and classy.” The makeup artist also expressed it was also a full-circle beauty moment. He added, “She won Miss World Philippines 2019 wearing [a] red lip shade, too!”
Oh, the quintessential side-parting
Call it a hair canon event, but even Michelle Dee is not exempted from the side-parting renaissance. In December 2019, she sported the millennial favorite hairstyle in a shoot with BJ Pascual. The popular parting also made an appearance in a post that featured the candidate in a Francis Libiran masterpiece. But who can blame her? Side-partings are incredibly versatile. More so, it’s one foolproof beauty move that can give any look a refreshing update.
It is quite expected that social media often features red carpet-approved entries or editorial makeup looks, but there is no other category that is as timeless and empowering as bare-faced selfies. Of course, the actress-beauty queen is among the personalities to front the movement as they inspire fans to embrace the beauty of real skin. Here, the candidate posted an entry with her face stripped off from any ounce of foundation or concealer. That is to say, Dave Quiambao is right when he said that she is stunning with or without makeup.
Before the bob, there’s the long tresses
Once upon a long time ago, her natural long tresses were heralded as her hair signature. After all, it’s one versatile look that is effortless but never boring. Take a cue from her early pageant days. Moments before she was crowned as Miss World Philippines 2019, Michelle Dee posted a photo that emphasizes her raven locks. It’s fair to say that the candidate looks good in any hair length, but there is something about her bob that feels more true to her.
The right way to play with color
It’s undeniable that a swish of a colored eyeshadow creates the right amount of statement—just take a cue from MMD herself. Here, her makeup is kept minimal with a radiant base and nude lipstick, which makes the vibrant blue eyeshadow in her lower lashline the main focus of her overall look. As luck would have it, the look is quite easy to replicate. Pro tip: Apply an eyeshadow primer for a vibrant finish. Elsewhere, add a festive twist to the look by layering a shimmered eyeshadow on top of the hue.
Because you’ll never forget your first
The list reveals that the candidate has delivered several hair and beauty moments throughout the years, but there is nothing quite as iconic as her first-ever MEGA cover. In December 2017, Michelle Dee graced the front page alongside Catriona Gray, Lauren Reid, and Sabina Gonzalez. As for the makeup breakdown? The ever-popular pink monochromatic look. Think strawberry smoky eyes, punchy pink blush, and vibrant tinted magenta lips—all worn together for a memorable beauty entry.
Photos: MICHELLE DEE (via Instagram)