“I really don’t take fashion seriously,” Dr. Aivee Teo starts. Not quite the words you’d expect from someone who constantly finds herself on best-dressed lists. While this may initially seem paradoxical, her attitude towards fashion is what makes her inherently fashionable. Dr. Aivee is known for her bold fashion choices, whether it may be her choices of prints, colors, accessories—or sometimes all, but you’d be surprised to find that it only takes her 5 minutes to get ready.
Every morning, her three kids wake her up before they head for school. Afterwards, she hops into the shower and dresses up—fast. “I don’t plan my outfit for the day. I don’t want to waste my time worrying about what I’m going to wear and I just make sure I’m comfortable and love what I’m wearing,” Dr. Aivee adds. There’s also the fact that she herself buys and curates all the pieces in her wardrobe, and when everything you have is beautiful and representative of your taste, mixing and matching comes easy—which is exactly what Dr. Aivee prefers.
Since her day is spent mostly in the clinic, wherein she clocks a minimum of 8 hours per day (not including after-office hours meetings that can last until 4 in the morning), everything happens at work for her. If she needs to dress up for an event after work, she does so in the clinic. It helps that her assistant packs and brings her clothes, of which she makes the most out of and puts together a coordinated outfit. “For me, my work comes first,” says Dr. Aivee. But this is not to say that she doesn’t like fashion, she thoroughly enjoys dressing up and choosing what she wears; Dr. Aivee just doesn’t take it all too seriously. “Some people don’t like putting it together, or think that it’s a chore, but I enjoy it. I really like dressing up a lot. I want it to be effortless.”
According to her, when it comes to style, knowing yourself is key. “The most important thing is to just enjoy and be yourself. Know what looks good on you and know what to hide and what to flatter,” Dr. Aivee adds.
As our first ever MEGA Woman for online, Dr. Aivee kicks off the new year with her contagious passion as she shares her style and beauty philosophy.
Style Rules and Staples
“A good pair of jeans,” Dr. Aivee answers when asked what fashion items are her staples. “I can repeat my jeans with different tops or shoes. I also feel that a jumpsuit is something I can’t live without. It works for me—just accessorize it and it can be a perfect day-to-night look.” She also adds nude shoes to her list, as she can wear absolutely anything with it.
When dressing up, she starts with bottoms—either skirt or pants—then she chooses her top then shoes. Dr. Aivee likes to clash and break rules, and it’s apparent in her style. She loves bright colors yet finds that nudes and browns compliment her skin tone. There are two colors you’ll never catch her wearing, however: black and red. “I’m not a red person. I don’t even wear red lipstick. It doesn’t suit me. I know what works for me and what doesn’t,” she adds.
Shoes Vs. Bags
Given her busy day-to-day schedule, Dr. Aivee shares that she doesn’t have much time to change bags nowadays, opting for more practical and lighter options. “I now go for evening or travel bags. Something small that I can just sling on my shoulders and would be easy for me when I’m with my kids,” Dr. Aivee shares. She adds that while it’s hard to choose between shoes or bags because there’s a season for either, currently she doesn’t feel the need of having too much bags given that’s she’s already invested on pieces early on. “Maybe shoes. A lot of people are asking what shoes I am wearing. It’s the first question they ask me. I can’t really take my bag to every room in the clinic, but my shoes complete my outfit. But there’s definitely one thing that wins over either shoes or bags with Dr. Aivee. “I’m really more of a clothes person,” she adds with a smile.
She remembers clearly her first ever designer piece—her gown for her 18th debut created by her now dear friend Inno Sotto. An avid supporter of talented Filipino designers, Dr. Aivee cites Vania Romoff, Dennis Lustico, Rajo Laurel, Francis Libiran, Rossana Ocampo, and Patty Ang as her favorites. She also shares that Singapore is one of her favorite shopping destinations, frequenting the country once or twice a month to visit their clinic. It is here where she gets to go around her go-to brands: Stella McCartney (her all-time favorite), Dries Van Noten (her obsession du jour), Gucci (she loves their accessories), MSGM, Carven, Calvin Klein, and of course, Balenciaga.
“At night before I sleep. I wash my face, I use toner, a good moisturizer, then retinol cream, vitamin C cream, and whitening cream. In the morning, I use a sunblock foundation which I just wear because I don’t like make-up. I don’t really like make-up because when I’m at work I am so busy and have no time to touch up. I prefer to keep my face bare.” Her ultimate beauty secret is simple enough yet challenging especially for busy women: sleep. She also adds anti-aging treatments of Aivee Clinic to her beauty essentials—Ultherapy, Thermage, Botox Injections, and lasers for her skin. “I have to practice what I preach. I stay in the clinic 12 hours a day so we have access to all the treatments.”
Her top beauty products are a testament to her beauty philosophy. Dr. Aivee never leaves home without her sunblock, retinol, moisturizer and, of course, Aivee water. “I need constant energy and hydration.”
“It’s really important to take care of yourself,” Dr. Aivee shares. She urges us not to ignore our face and skin’s needs. “We only have one face. You can change your bags, you can change your clothes, you can change your shoes, but you can never change your face,” she adds. Prevention is very important for her. She can tell when people don’t take good care of themselves. “It’s like hygiene—it should be part of every woman who wants to feel confident and to look and feel good. It’s our responsibility to ourselves.”
What’s the biggest and most common mistake we Filipinos usually make when it comes to skincare? “We underestimate the harmful effects of the sun,” Dr. Aivee answers. She also notes that a lack of sleep, smoking, drinking, and a bad diet all contributes to our skin’s detriment.
On What Inspires Her
“[It’s really] my kids,” Dr. Aivee on her biggest inspiration. “I love my job too and I really try to be better and I compete with myself, not with other people, and aim to be better at what I do and perfect my craft. I want to be a better version of myself every day.” She notes that her family pushes her to do good and be the best in everything.
Another inspiration is her brand and business. “There are a lot of responsibilities and I have to live up to the expectations when it comes to the brand so I’m very hands on,” she adds. Whether it be with design, operations, marketing, communications, PR, and even social media, Dr. Aivee tries everything she can get her hands on.
At the end of the day—or in Dr. Aivee’s case, a really long day—nothing rings truer than her core philosophy. “The most important thing is that you love what you do.”
Photography by Ed Simon of Studio 100
Art Direction by Tanya Mallillin