Heart Evangelista : Change of Heart  
     

Heart Evangelista is digging into her banana split, whipped cream and all. gI always eat my dessert first,h she says. A plate of cheesy nachos follows. This is her treat to herself today, a breather after a full dayfs work that left her starving after a long photo shoot. She has chosen to meet at this place for a reason?boyfriend Jericho Rosales is performing here tonight. The 23-year-old actress-host says that Rosales, who is five years her senior, is a major inspiration in her newfound stability. The influence is apparent in her personal life as well as her career: The Heart that audiences will see this year will no longer be the cutesy, hyper artista whose bubbly persona was perfect for endorsing mass consumer products.

gI felt like my image was created for me,h says Heart, looking back on a career that began when she was seventeen. gIf they gave me a hosting job now, the way I talk, the way I dress up, would be different from before.h Last year, she chose to glay lowh, taking time off to think about her career choices, and even learning to surf in La Union with Rosales. Before this, she had never been up north to La Union, or to places like Marikina (where Rosales lives), or 168 in Divisoria, the famous bargain haunt (which she visited last year on a whim, without telling her managers). These days, Heart wants to explore what the world has to offer, and just wants to gwork, work, workh.

gIfm not gonna be so high energy anymore. Ifm tired of that. Ifm more relaxed now,h she says. Although she has just finished shooting two independent films, Ay Ayeng and Tingala sa Pugad (both directed by Ed Palmos for possible entry to Cannes), has been doing pictorials almost every day this month, and has just entered into producing her own album, she has made marked changes in this new direction. gI like things to be busy, but not so hectic that I canft take a shower in my own house.h

The reference made is to her previous life?a rigorous schedule demanded of one of the most visible faces in the industry?which left her burnt out and feeling rebellious. gI was working 24/7. I would take a shower at ABS-CBN. I would sleep in my car. My car contained all my shoes, my clothes on hangers,h says Heart, who in addition to appearing on TV and movies was a VJ on local music channel MYX for seven years. gIf youfre everywhere, therefs no more mystery. It was goodcfor a time.h These days she is committed to creating a fuller life for herself, not just around showbusiness?bringing her five dogs to Serendra once a week, going shopping for her favorite Louis Vuitton or Chanel bags, or just painting at home, a favorite stress-release hobby.

gIfm in the stage where Ifm tired of the game, of trying to be famous. I got fed up with that whole attitude of mine, of everything that was happening. I was so showbiz,h she says. gIfm sick of being fake. Now, I donft force myself [to be anything Ifm not].h This includes exploring her entrepreneurial side as well, and she is planning to put up a business. In the future she is also toying with the idea of going back to school to be a veterinarian, or putting up a dog clinic. She volunteers for her favorite causes-animal rights (she is a member of PAWS) and children (donating nebulizers to public hospitals through the Heart Can Foundation). gI want to do so many things now. After everything Ifve been through, Ifm back, and I have so many goals. I feel like I just gotta do it all now.h

Her transformation has begun with things as simple as getting eight hours sleep, which she was never able to get during those early years in the business. gYou have to rest,h she says. gIf you want good, Ifll give you greatc a great performancec but let me get my eight hours sleep.h She rattles off a list of beauty tips she learned from her mother. She uses only Cetaphil on her face and Shu Uemura cleansing oil. She rinses her hair in cold water. gI donft take a shower with hot water for my hair, because I really do feel that it really causes your hair to fallc especially because I blow dry my hair all the time for shoots. When Iem not doing anything I hardly touch my hair.h She does a deep conditioning treatment once a week.

This is not to say she has not had her share of hair mishaps. gThere was a time when it was really damaged cause I had to curl it, I had to do stuff with it for projects, I also put extensions. But now Ifve made it rest and itfs getting better. I do a lot to my hair. Itfs recovering now,h she says.

Leaning towards classic and ladylike styles, itfs no surprise she would refuse to cut her hair short again (something she did do once, in a fit of rage). gI really do believe that your hair is your crowning glory,h she says. gLong hair is really different. In Victoriafs Secret, in their fashion shows, all the girls have long hair. Iba yung dating.h

It is no wonder Heart, together with Maja Salvador and Marian Rivera, was chosen to endorse global hair care brand Sunsilk as brand ambassador in its new gLife Canft Waith campaign. gThe moment I heard it I was crying already,h says Heart, when she was told she would be celebrated for her achievements and being an example of the modern girl who wants to and can make it happen. The campaign puts her in the same company as Madonna, Shakira and Marilyn Monroe, the global icons used by the brand.

Her preference for the timeless look in beauty reflects in her hair and makeup choices. gI would have a hard time going punk,h she says candidly. gI like my hair up in the morning, and down at night. I like to keep things simple. I love wearing red lipstick. Just a pale face and red lipstick. I think itfs a standout. Ifm not always sweet. I can be sexy, but elegantly sexy. Thatfs how I want to look.h

   
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