You know you’re in Manila when the current traffic situation gets an apocalyptic nickname: Carmageddon. I regard these pileups with horror and bewilderment, knowing full well that by the time I get to my destination, all my makeup is going to be gone. Completely melted off. Am I right, girls?
These days, I think we’d all rather stay home in our jammies and binge-watch TV rather than venture out onto the perilous highway. You know, catch up on The Walking Dead. It’s just safer that way…right?

The other day, I caught a commercial of a famous beauty brand promoting the movie Sharknado. Two actresses fend off a giant shark—with their beauty tools. I have never seen the movie (and honestly have no intention of doing so), but the ad still plays in my mind because I can’t help but think, “What the heck! What if I was in that situation? Would I somehow find a way to keep my hair and makeup on fleek in the face of danger and destruction?”
I mean, look at Liv Tyler in Armaggedon:
Eyeliner? Check. Blush? Check. Lipstick? Check. Did I miss a thing? Ah, yes. Hot astronaut boyfriend? Check.

Another example: Laura Dern in Jurassic Park. The woman has been chased through a humid, tropical jungle by velociraptors—but she still looks like she just came out of a salon!
Look at that perfectly-coifed hair, smudge-free face, and pinkish-nude lipstick! I only noticed this recently when I rewatched the movie. I wasn’t paying attention 22 years ago when it first came out—but the proof is right there.

And don’t get me started on Bryce Dallas Howard in this year’s Jurassic World:
I am more inclined to believe that someone could be breeding dinosaurs on one of the Philippines’ 7,000+ islands (climate change, you know?) than to believe a lady could keep her lipstick on while fleeing from said dinosaurs.
And how about Vivica A. Fox in the intergalactic romp that was Independence Day?
Girl looks good for an alien invasion. That’s all I’m saying.

Point is, would you be able to survive an apocalypse and still look this fabulous? How would you fare if you found yourself alongside these dynamic divas and without a tube of lipstick or smidgen of frizz tamer? Are we just going to chalk this all up to movie magic?

Not necessarily! I did a little research, and it turns out that you can “keep yourself together” with a few natural goodies (and some emergency groceries). Stock up while the world is still dino-free and far from dystopian—otherwise, you’ll have to hunt-and-gather when the apocalypse strikes!


What You’re Dealing With: Pimply skin, sunburns, and lesions caused by heat, humidity, and man-eating foliage
How to Survive: Aloe vera
Aloe vera grows right here in the Philippines! Cut it open (with your machete, of course) and rub directly onto your skin. Not only does this magical plant moisturize and treat acne, it also soothes burned skin.


What You’re Dealing With: Dirty hair, dirty skin, awful breath (and starvation on the side)
How to Survive: Bananas, honey, mint leaves
Aside from being edible, bananas and honey can be mashed together and used to cleanse and tame your hair. Mint leaves are a natural deodorizer when chewed—plus, they double as an astringent when rubbed on the face. They’re edible, too!


What You’re Dealing With: Absolutely no toiletries, some stress-induced insomnia, possible zombies
How to Survive: Baking soda, yogurt, teabags, lemons, beets
Recipe for Everyday Skincare: Mix four tablespoons of baking soda and one tablespoon of water. Apply this to your face in circular motions and leave on for three minutes. The baking soda will cleanse and exfoliate your skin, albeit in a cruder manner than your usual Korean products.
Recipe for Occasional Whitening: Cut a lemon in half and rub them on dry and dark patches of your skin, like your knees and elbows. This will slough off the dry, pigmented skin.
Recipe for Sleepless Nights: Take two damp teabags and place them over your eyes. You could also mix two tablespoons of yogurt with a handful of parsley (but who has parsley, really?) and apply this to the skin underneath your peepers. This will bring down the swelling caused by zero sleep and 100% fear.
Recipe for the Day of Victory: According to Shailene Woodley, beets work just like red lipstick when you rub the stuff on your lips. You will, of course, want to be wearing lipstick when the human race defeats the alien invaders.
And we all lived happily ever after.

Until the zombies.
Photos of Karen Pamintuan by Mezarc Bulson ( Makeup by Isabel Sarabia ( Shot on location in The Estate by Mary Lou ( Screencaps: AMC (The Walking Dead), Buena Vista Pictures (Armaggedon), Universal Pictures (Jurassic Park, Jurassic World), 20th Century Fox (Independence Day). GIFs from