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Welcome to the all-new!

As a mom, I am constantly looking to other mommies for inspiration. Motherhood is not an easy journey. While it may be beautiful and rewarding, it’s also messy and chaotic. I’m sure the moms who are reading this understand how difficult it is to juggle marriage, kids, household management and work, much less find the time to pamper ourselves. That’s why I have this special feature, Mommy Peg! We’ll ask gorgeous moms their secrets to looking and feeling their best!

When Marilen Faustino-Montenegro walks into a room, she grabs attention. She’s tall and pretty with a shy smile, and with eyes that are always observing her surroundings. I’m guessing it’s her career as an interior designer that trained her to check out whatever room she’s in, but that’s just my guess. Marilen seems more of a woman genuinely inspired by life and is constantly searching for ways to make life even more beautiful.

On her blog,, and at her Instagram account, she’s coined a phrase (and hashtag): #inspiredhomeliving. That’s what Marilen—wife to Hans Montenegro and mommy to Iago and Elena Ysabelle—wants us all moms to have: a lovely home for us and our families to enjoy. While all of Marilen’s tips for inspired home living are simple and are definitely a must-follow, I asked her to divulge her secrets on what makes her beautiful.

Many moms find it hard to find the time to take care of themselves. How do you keep yourself looking so amazing and yet still have the time to care for your family, to homeschool, work as a designer, and blog?

Wow, honestly, there are so many things I wish I had more time to do (I’m looking at my neglected nails right now). I really just take things one day at a time, and try to make each minute that I have to myself beautiful. Like I make sure I savor and enjoy my baths, apply lotion, moisturizer, etc. I drink lots of water and eat very healthy.

Moms usually cut their hair short. What’s your secret to looking feminine and pretty with a pixie cut?

I cut my hair in 2009 and haven’t been able to grow it again because it’s just so easy to wear! I simply style with some product in the morning. I have an amazing hairdresser, Henri Calayag, who takes care of my color, too.

Celebrating my 36th birthday, my life story, plus more photos of my blog pictorial on A photo posted by Marilen Faustino Montenegro (@marilenph) on

What’s your beauty ritual in the morning and in the evening?

In the morning, I wash my face then apply sunblock. Before I leave the house, I put on makeup which consists of ZZ Cream from Happy Skin, do my eyebrows, put some blush, some eye shadow, then mascara and lip gloss.

In the evening I always remove makeup then wash my face. I apply toner, moisturizer and eyecream after. I exfoliate my face every other day.

What are the beauty products in your kikay kit?

In my kit at home you will find: Happy Skin ZZ Cream and blushes. MAC Studio Fix powder, Maybelline mascara, Urban Decay makeup palette, and a variety of lipsticks and gloss.

On the go, I just carry MAC Studio Fix, and some lip glosses. My favorite is Human Heart Nature.

Love these photos taken by @chestknots and styled by @lifestylebyfeliz. More photos in the blog

A photo posted by Marilen Faustino Montenegro (@marilenph) on

Any beauty secret that you totally swear by that you want to share with other moms?

Sunblock, moisturizer, and eye cream are very important. Put sunblock and moisturizer on your neck and chest, too. You will be glad you did when you get old. Notice old ladies often have wrinkled and neglected skin on the neck and chest? We don’t want that!

Thanks, Marilen!

I love that Marilen’s beauty rituals are simple. Just cleanse, moisturize and protect! I’m sure we can all find a little time from our busy mommy schedules for that!

Know more about Marilen’s life of grace and style on her blog, Follow her pretty snaps on Instagram (@marilenph).

Frances is a mommy to three little boys but she doesn’t let the busyness of motherhood stop her from trying to look pretty! For more on her stylish adventures as a mom, visit Topaz Mommy or follow her on Twitter and Instagram.

Photos from Marilen Faustino-Montenegro’s Instagram account.

Frances Sales

Writer, blogger, and magazine editor for many years, Frances Amper Sales has learned a lot about style and beauty. Yet it was only when she became a wife and mommy (to three cute boys!) that she applied what she knows about skincare, hairstyling and makeup. She realized that she needs to take care of herself now, more than ever! She now shares all that she's learned about mommy care to all you Bellas. Follow her family adventures, too, on Topaz Mommy.

Comments (2)

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  1. Thank you so much Frances! I love your blog and you really are an inspiring super mom!

  2. Now I know that we shouldn’t neglect moisturizing our neck, glad I read your blog, thanks for the info.

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