Makeup Artist Gabbi Pascua on Rediscovering Herself After Young Love

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Gabbi believes beauty comes from within. She is the makeup artist for The Talk on CBS. A philanthropist at heart, she spends her time off set working with at risk youth in confidence-building makeup workshops and is launching a makeup lifestyle Youtube channel this fall. You can follow her @gabbipascua and @madeupbygabbi_.

A SLOW BREAK
“I’ve had one big heartbreak in my life, but it wasn’t your typical he broke my heart, left left me, he cheated on me - not anything like that. My heart was broken slowly during the relationship and I didn’t know how to get out of it. At our relationship’s unhealthiest moments, I was so sad and broken because the one person I wanted to run to was him and he was also the one person I wanted to run away from. It wasn’t really a heartbreak though; it was more like a process. It wasn’t until I ended things, and it wasn’t until I was away from him, that I got to reflect. I really understood my role and my responsibility in the relationship too. It takes two people to make the relationship work or to make a relationship fail right?”

TAKING OWNERSHIP
“I never respected him. I wanted to keep the door open because I needed that little crutch. I was too scared of being alone. There was a big trip that I took with my girlfriends and we were out one night and I caught myself realizing that I was still trying to keep a friendship for the sake of using him for something. It was unfair to keep any friendship or relationship up for just wanting something from somebody, whether that be validation, emotional crutching, anything. So I snapped. I realized I couldn’t progress or move on. How was I going to invite a new guy into my life if I still have the door open for him?”

GETTING BACK TO THE GIRL SHE KNEW
“I don’t really put myself out there much, at all. I’ve been really guarded. I’m guarded because I feel like I had lost myself in the last relationship and now I’m having to rebuild relationships with family and I’m going on this self discovery adventure. I have to get back to the girl that I knew prior to being with him, but you know that was like 5 to 6 years ago. I’m 25 now and we were together from 16 to 23. Such formative years. If I’m going to step in with anyone, I want to know that I’m fully capable of being there, and I’m getting closer. I want to be fully whole for somebody.”

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HER BIGGEST VICE
“Partying period. Partying, drinking and everything that is fun. Everything that would allow me to escape. I booked a trip to Miami with my girlfriends for a week to party. A week of no sobriety and I returned home feeling empty. I felt so much worse than before going on the trip. Partying to alleviate the pains of heartbreak brings you so low - and it’s so dramatic.”

CELIBATE FOR A YEAR
“I’m really attracted to the guys that are kind of unavailable, those that just want to have a good time. And realizing that was a big thing for me. If I was going to engage physically with someone, I just wanted something familiar or I wanted a friend. But after sad attempts (with good reasons) to engage in those types of relationships, I realized how toxic sex and friends with benefits became in my life. I decided to be celibate for a year. It became a personal experiment within myself. And that is what honestly has shaped my dating life and my career, and has allowed me to find myself. I would be able to sit down and not need to feel validated.”

WHAT SHE IS LOOKING FOR
“I want a partner, period. I want a guy who is healthy, who has an awesome group of friends and an awesome family too. Someone with whom we can come together and keep it pushing together and enjoy life. I don’t want to externally reach out for a guy to fulfill what I can’t fulfil myself. I took a step back and noticed the pattern of the guys that I’m into and I saw a pattern; I was very attracted to guys that were well traveled, ambitious and had experienced in all the aspects that I still had yet to fulfill myself. And feeling set back already, I was like I’m absolutely not I’m not going to stop for anyone. My friend put it brilliantly: If you’re on a train going 100 miles per hour and you look to someone in another train next to you and that train is going 20 miles per hour, if you reach out to that person, your arm will get ripped off. So you just have to meet someone who is going at the same speed as you. Stop trying to reach for people who are going slower than you. You just have to keep it riding and whoever will stick will stick.”

FAVORITE MUSIC FOR HEARTBREAK
“I was a dancer growing up, so music was my escape. It’s what takes me out of my negative space. When I was healing, whenever Chandelier by Sia came on - the first line she sings, “Party girls don’t get hurt, Can’t feel anything,” - I was like Preach, girl, preach! That is the truth! And I wouldn’t say that it was my break up song but I related to it. That is all the truth.”

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WHAT KEEPS HER HEART OPEN
“I am busy, but I don’t want to be one of those girls that uses her business and her busy schedule to hide from anything. I wouldn’t want to close myself off from experiences and from stories because that is what life is about. So what keeps me open is the chance and the potential of that story. I’m a hopeless romantic.”

ACCEPTANCE
“I started going to a therapist and we were talking about this whole ‘fixing yourself’ thing. And in the process, I suddenly was like I just want to accept myself. Stop trying to fix yourself. Just accept everything. I had thought that I was not good enough for so long that I became paralyzed by thinking so poorly of myself. It was a downward spiral. And my therapist said that I needed to stop being so hard on myself, and instead, I needed encouragement. A friend recommended I read The Art of Loving by Erich Fromm, and in the book, it asks you to imagine yourself as a three year old child. You ask if you would come down on that three year old child harshly. No. You would be so sweet and say it’s okay, be happy. And so one day in my car, I imagined myself as a child and told myself it’s okay, we’re going to keep on rolling, and there was this positive shift in my self-compassion.

HER MANTRA: Love Thy Self
“I really want to work on loving myself because that will allow me to get everything that I want to get done done.”

Photographed by Ellen Huerta in Los Angeles.

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