On the path of reinvention, Rei Germar is embracing her identity that’s ever-evolving.
If there’s one thing you have to know about Rei Germar, the YouTube creator with 1.52M subscribers is that she refuses to get lost in the hype of numbers. Her viewers first came to see her as a normal teenage girl, sharing her finds with “Divosoria Hauls” and beauty product reviews. But for her 25th birthday, she decided to break her usual look of natural makeup and long hair and personally make the first cut to her new short bob during a photoshoot.
Most content creators would receive instant backlash the moment they start to change their look but what makes Germar remain with a loyal following? From day one, she produces content that is honest to herself and her fans. “I have on an average 100,000 people watching me and these people work really hard to earn their money. I don’t want them buying things I don’t truly like because they trust and support you, so the least you can do is be honest with them,” she explains and dives deeper into how she manages her transparent creative process, “I work closely with my handler Mika [Alcause] and whenever we get an inquiry, I have to try it first. Right now, it’s October and I’m trying a new product that I’m going to be representing next year. So I have time to test it out that long. I also have a lot of experience where I’m able to try a product that’s not yet in the market. It’s still under research and development but I’m already in the picture, trying it, and sharing to the brand my insights. Those types of experiences with brands I truly treasure because it’s so easy to recommend products you genuinely like.”
But this full-time job that’s based on likes and the public’s views on her mere day-to-day existence also comes with a cruel digital panopticon. Don’t let her youthful face fool you though, because the influencer handles the pressure and speaks wisdom way beyond her years.
Throughout the shoot, it was second nature for her to discuss intellectually about the industry she’s in. Germar talked about the changing desires of viewers, the importance of having an open communication with your fans, and using one’s influence to help brands grow more inclusive and stand by the values one believes in. “I work with brands and they have a bigger audience than me. So, we must collaborate in a way that maybe we should try this or that, we could be more open about this idea such as a campaign about body positivity or being inclusive. It’s important that you are also a voice of those people who aren’t heard and seen,” she says.
Rei Germar is clearly not the same college student in 2016 creating vlogs as a hobby anymore, or the girl from the province who couldn’t wear a red lip as she fondly shared with us while we put her in a smoky eye look and a full-sleeve tattoo. Today, she stands as a brilliant and driven woman who’s unafraid to take on new risks. All at the same time, staying real no matter what look, outfit, or path of reinvention she chooses to take on.
WHAT IS YOUR BEAUTY PHILOSOPHY?
Before, it was always something comfortable. I was so afraid to try something out of my comfort zone but right now I’m in the process of reinventing myself. And I would say I’m heavily influenced by the people around me. Working with more creatives in the industry like Raffy [So] before I met him, I was so afraid of crazy makeup looks. Everything we did today, it’s not something you would see on me but now I’m more open to exploring. I can’t exactly say what my beauty philosophy is because I’m in the process of figuring it out and in the process of looking at which path my reinvention will take me.
HOW DOES YOUR FASHION STYLE INFLUENCE YOUR BEAUTY STYLE AND VICE VERSA?
To be completely honest, I’m not experimental with my makeup. Usually, it’s the same and binibigay ko na ‘yon sa mga makeup artist ko to play with my makeup because I’m not a pro, but when it comes to styling my clothes, it doesn’t change. I would wear anything as long as I’m comfortable with it and starting this year, I feel more experimental with it. I was talking to my team two days ago, I said parang I want my style to be more mature compared to before, so we were talking about the types of styles we will try to avoid in the next coming year especially that I just turned 25.
WHAT ARE YOUR GO-TO MAKEUP AND SKINCARE PRODUCTS?
I can never live without sunscreen, outdoors or indoors; I always wear it because my mom, she has melasma, it’s discoloration in the face. The number one cause of aging would also be sun exposure.
When it comes to makeup, I can skip everything except for mascara because my eyes are very hooded. It looks tiny, so I make sure I curl it and then really volumize it. It changes everything.
For skincare, I would go for a serum that targets a lot of your skin concerns already. During my lazy nights, I would use just one serum that’s going to hydrate my face, specifically one that has hyaluronic acid because I have dry skin. I also laugh a lot and my face is very expressive, I have a lot of lines already, so I like products with retinol which are anti-aging.
HOW AND WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO CUT YOUR HAIR DURING YOUR 25TH BIRTHDAY PHOTOSHOOT?
I wanted a change. I’ve been in the industry for almost five years, and I felt like I was doing the same routine. With my path to reinvention, I wanted to change something about myself, and also to mark my 25th birthday, I felt like I was entering a new world. Turning 25 for me is a step closer to adulthood.
WHY DO YOU THINK PEOPLE GRAVITATE TOWARDS BEAUTY TRANSFORMATIONS SUCH AS CHANGING ONE’S HAIR?
Beauty is self-expression. And right now, we don’t have a lot of events, we don’t dress up every single day, but people see your hair every day through IG stories and Zoom meetings. Hair can also tell a story so personally; I like changing my hair whenever I have a big thing in my life.
WHY DO YOU THINK IT’S IMPORTANT TO DESTIGMATIZE AND BE HONEST ABOUT COSMETIC PROCEDURES ONLINE?
When it comes to being honest about it, I’m not going to blame people who are not yet ready to tell the world that they had something done or they would want to have something done in the future. Because again, it’s their personal choice and I think they’re coming from the fact that there is still a stigma from society. But personally, I like being vocal whenever I get fillers and Botox or having anything tattooed like my eyebrows because I want to normalize it. There’s nothing wrong with improving yourself. As long as you’re not doing it to fit into society’s definition of beauty but more of doing it for yourself, then why not?
WHAT IS YOUR DEFINITION OF SUCCESS AND YOUR TOP ADVICE TO ACHIEVE IT?
I would say success is when you are satisfied, contented, happy, and at peace–those four things. If I have so much money but I cannot sleep at night or I’m doing things I don’t really like just for the sake of earning, I don’t think that’s success.
With our generation, palagi rin tayo nagmamadali, we always want more, and sometimes we don’t credit ourselves for what we have reached already. So, it’s important to take breaks and pauses because I’ve been in a situation where I did not take any breaks at all. But I was able to realize that I can take it with my own pacing. We also spend so much time on screen and I would hear people saying “you’re just 25 and you’re able to do this and buy that” but I just want to tell the people out there to stop comparing themselves to others. We all have our timeline and you’re wherever you are right now for a reason.
Photography SEVEN BARRETTO of STUDIO 7 MNL
Art direction NICOLE ALMERO
Makeup RAFFY SO assisted by PAM CARREON
Hair CARLO ROBLICO
Photography Assistant CLAUDE VILLAHERMOSA
Production Design ERWIN BOTIN
Shoot Coordination MJ ALMERO
Temporary Tattoos by TATTUMUNDO
Special thanks to MIKA ALCAUSE and DR. SWAB
Shot on location at STUDIO 7 MNL