She digs make-up over fashion styling and design. In fact she was an athletic tomboy and happy-go-lucky back in college. Someone's fate cannot really be told. From luxury fashion retailer to owning more than 6 dozens of make up brushes.
Runway2Reality interviews freelance makeup artist, Xeng Zulueta. Xeng shares her love for vintage, how important makeup, and how she remained to be herself when it comes to style despite the fast and ever changing trends in fashion. She'll tell us how an athletic human-resource graduate made it to the enigmatic male dominated world of make up artistry. Plus makeup tips from the expert!
Name: XENG ZULUETA
Background: Studies/Occupation/Industry/Company: I'M A HUMAN RESOURCE MAJOR IN DLSU-CSB. RIGHT NOW, A FREELANCE MAKEUP ARTIST.
Describe your Personal Style, Inspiration and Fashion Philosophy. MY PERSONAL STYLE IS EVER-EVOLVING. MY FASHION HEROES ARE CHLOE SEVIGNY, KATE MOSS & NICOLE RICHIE. I'M ALWAYS INSPIRED BY AN ERA OR A MOOD, HENCE MY LOVE FOR ANYTHING VINTAGE. FASHION IS TOO BROAD TO STIFLE IT WITH A PHILOSOPHY. I DON'T THROW ANYTHING OUT, YOU'LL NEVER KNOW WHAT WILL BE BACK IN FASHION IN 10 YEARS.
Can you tell us about your job. How did you start? How long you've been doing this? MY CAREER AS A MAKEUP ARTIST BEGAN IN NOVEMBER 1999. THIS COMING NOVEMBER MARKS MY 11TH YEAR IN THE BUSINESS. I STARTED A CAREER IN LUXURY FASHION RETAIL STRAIGHT FROM COLLEGE. I WAS WORKING FOR DKNY, PRADA & EMPORIO ARMANI IN 1996. EVENTUALLY I BECAME BOUTIQUE MANAGER FOR MANOLO BLAHNIK. FASHION RETAIL OPENED THE DOORS TO A MAKEUP CAREER. I IMMEDIATELY SAW THE POTENTIAL OF BEING ONE OF A HANDFUL OF WOMEN IN A MALE-DOMINATED PROFESSION IN MANILA AT THAT TIME. I WAS AT THE RIGHT TIME AND PLACE WITH THE RIGHT AMOUNT OF AMBITION, STREET SMART & TALENT THAT COULD BE HONED. IT WASN'T AN EASY ROAD EVEN IF I KNEW IT WAS THE ROAD THAT WAS MEANT FOR ME. THEN SHU UEMURA HAPPENED. THAT LOVE AFFAIR LASTED FOR 6 SOLID YEARS. IT WAS DURING THAT TIME THAT I PRETTY MUCH SEALED MY FATE WITH MY PROFESSION AND CONTRIBUTED MY SHARE IN REVOLUTIONIZING THE FASHION AND BEAUTY INDUSTRY. SUDDENLY, BEING A MAKEUP ARTIST WAS A LUCRATIVE AND GLAMOROUS CAREER. COMING FULL CIRCLE, I'M BACK TO FREELANCE WORK WHERE I FEEL I TRULY BELONG. I HAVE YET TO LEARN MANY THINGS AND WOULD LIKE TO REVOLUTIONIZE THE INDUSTRY ALL OVER AGAIN. IT IS A PRETTY EXCITING LIFE, I WOULD SAY.
You can be a stylist or a designer, but why makeup? AT THE RISK OF SOUNDING CHEESY, MAKEUP WAS A CALLING FOR ME. SO PERSONAL THAT I WOULD DREAM ABOUT IT CONSTANTLY. I WASN'T INTO MAKEUP UNTIL I WAS ALMOST GRADUATING FROM COLLEGE AND WAS PRETTY MUCH AN ATHLETIC TOMBOY/HAPPY-GO-LUCKY KID GROWING UP WHO HAD A LOT OF ACNE. I COULD HAVE BEEN A STYLIST, BUT I WAS STILL FINDING MY STYLE IN 1999. I COULD HAVE BEEN A DESIGNER BUT I CAN'T DRAW OR SKETCH TO SAVE MY LIFE (I STILL CAN'T!). IF GIVEN THE CHANCE AND THE BUDGET I WOULD LIKE TO STUDY SHOE DESIGN AT CENTRAL SAINT MARTINS IN LONDON.
How important is makeup? IT DEPENDS ON THE PERSON. THERE ARE WOMEN WHO WHO NEVER WEAR MAKEUP AND LOOK FABULOUS. THEN THERE ARE THOSE WHOSE BEAUTY IS ENHANCED BY IT. PROFESSIONALLY SPEAKING OF COURSE I WOULD SAY "VERY IMPORTANT" OR ELSE I WOULDN'T HAVE A JOB!
Biggest misconception about makeup? THAT ONLY WOMEN CAN WEAR MAKEUP
When it comes to fashion and style, what inspires you the most? I'M AN OLD SOUL TRAPPED IN A NEW-AGE BODY. I LOVE EVERYTHING THAT'S VINTAGE. A PIECE OF HISTORY & A GOOD STORY BEHIND A DRESS, A BAG, A PIECE OF FURNITURE OR AN OLD PHOTOGRAPH. RIGHT NOW I'M INSPIRED BY THE 80s, 70s & EARLY 60s. NOTICE HOW I'M GOING BACK IN TIME?
How many brush do you have? THAT'S A GOOD QUESTION. I ACTUALLY DON'T KNOW. I'M GUESSING ABOUT 6 DOZEN.
What are your favorite makeup brands? SHU UEMURA, MAC, CINEMA SECRETS, CHANEL, PRESTIGE, REVLON, DIOR, YSL, HARD CANDY, NARS, PHYSICIAN'S FORMULA
What is the best fashion/make advice you ever received or learned? FASHION - I DON'T FOLLOW EVERY FASHION TREND, I FIND I'M MORE INTERESTING WHEN I EMBRACE MY UNIQUENESS AND OWN FASHION SENSE. MAKEUP - LESS IS MORE!
What type of cosmetic you can't live without? MASCARA & LIP BALM
What is you biggest splurge or the most expensive item you ever bought? FASHION - $400 BURBERRY PUMPS MAKEUP - $1000 PORTABLE SALON WITH LIGHTS THAT I BRING PRETTY MUCH EVERYWHERE
What advice can you give when it comes to personal makeup? 1. KNOW YOUR 'NON-NEGOTIABLES'. WHAT ARE A FEW THINGS YOU CAN'T LIVE WITHOUT? FOR ME, IT'S MASCARA & LIP BALM. 2. BE REALISTIC & PRACTICAL. CUSTOMIZE YOUR SKINCARE AND MAKEUP ROUTINE AROUND YOUR LIFESTYLE + NON-NEGOTIABLES + WHAT YOU CAN AFFORD. 3. DO NOT UNDERESTIMATE THE POWER OF THE EYEBROW. A WELL-GROOMED PAIR BRINGS OUT THE EYES AND BALANCES THE FACE. 4. BE OPEN. MAKEUP IS ALL ABOUT TRIAL & ERROR, WHAT WORKS FOR YOU AND WHAT DOESN'T.
Samples of Xeng's work:
Anne Curtis by Doc Marlon for Mega Magazine 16th Anniversary Cover
Daphne Osena-Paez by Doc Marlon
Ruffa Gutierrez by Sara Black
Solenn Heusaff by Xander Angeles for X, the 2010 Exhibit
Georgina Wilson "Koi fish" by Mark Nicdao for People Asia Magazine
Isabel Roces "Wild Orchid" by Mark Nicdao for High Profile Magazine
Kat Alano "Pin-up" by Mark Nicdao, Edge of Light Calendar
Kelly Misa "Eye Candy" by Darren Tieste for Metro Magazine