Anthea Bueno is a pride of Torrijos, Marinduque. She is the daughter of Jojo Bueno and Pinky Carlos-Bueno. Though naturally creative at a young age, never in her wildest dreams did she imagine ending up with a career in the beauty industry. She considered herself “boyish” growing up, admitting to not knowing anything about make-up at all. In high school, she was fascinated with her classmates who showed up to their 7 a.m. class fully made up, not quite understanding how applying makeup could be part of one’s daily routine. “I didn’t wear makeup. I didn’t even have an idea about what concealer and eyeliner were. I didn’t appreciate makeup back then,” she recalls.
After high school, she took up Fine Arts at the University of Sto. Tomas. Her interest in makeup started during her junior year in college, when she was tasked to come up with looks for an upcoming show in school. As she was doing her research, she came across John Galliano’s Fall 2009 Ready-to-Wear show, now considered as one of fashion’s iconic moments. The frosty ice-princess inspired make-up looks were designed by well-renowned and influential British makeup artist Pat McGrath. “That was the first time I laid my eyes on a Pat McGrath work. I was so fascinated. I researched about her. I read articles about her. I researched all her works from before. I was so fascinated by how she created makeup as an art. It wasn’t something for vanity, it was something for art; it was so much more than kaartehan lang sa mukha,” Anthea shares.
Unfortunately, due to financial problems, she had to stop studying on her senior year. To help support her younger brother’s schooling, she worked part-time as an art teacher to pre-schoolers. Though fun and fulfilling, the job simply did not pay much, especially to an undergraduate like her.
As her interest in makeup grows, she decided to enroll in a basic makeup workshop at the Center for Aesthetic Studies. It opened a path on what would eventually become a fruitful venture for her. Upon finishing the course that provided her the basic makeup know-how, Anthea applied as an assistant makeup artist for the TV reality music competition, The X Factor Philippines. There, she met the show’s winner, KZ Tandingan, who later became one of her first celebrity clients.
Eventually, Anthea chanced upon a tweet of professional makeup artist Jigs Mayuga, who was then looking for apprentices. Familiar with Jigs’ works through various magazine features, she sent her resume to him, and became one of only two that were chosen out of the 100+ applicants. Her training with Jigs exposed her to what it’s really like in the world of a professional makeup artist and allowed her to hone her skills.
When asked about the best thing she learned from Jigs, Anthea says that—more than the expert makeup tricks and techniques—what she really appreciated the most was how he encouraged her to improve on her social skills. “I am painfully shy. Si Jigs before, pinapagalitan n’ya ako kapag super tahimik ko. Kailangan ko daw makipag-usap sa ibang tao, ‘wag ko daw sayangin ‘yung opportunity na makipag-network,” Anthea says. In the beauty industry, as with most fields, having great social skills could be a huge career booster. Knowing how to network with your clientele and how to market your work is invaluable, especially in this digital age when personal branding largely affects consumers’ perceptions and decisions. Though she admits she’s still not the best at this area, she has become a lot more comfortable with being more sociable while making sure she is able to deliver the best of her abilities to her clients.
From then on, she started building her celebrity clientele which included regular work with international model Kelsey Merritt, young star, Ylona Garcia and showbiz royalty, Leila Alcasid. In just a few years, she has quickly established herself as a sought-after makeup artist, with a long list of celebrities she has worked with.
Anthea is best known for her signature style: the barely there, au-naturel, “no make-up” make up look. When she was starting out, her makeup style was heavy on powder with bold brows and bright lipstick because those were the trends at the time. But what inspired her to change her aesthetic to something simpler yet impactful was the look Jigs did on a shoot with actress Bea Alonzo. It was for a skincare center, so the barely-there makeup look was required. She recalls, “Kailangan wala-walaan ‘yung makeup so, ako, I asked Jigs, ‘wow, ano’ng gamit mo, parang basa ‘yung cheek n’ya, parang highlighter?’ That was the first time I ever encountered highlighter. Na-fascinate ako sa highlighter kasi ang ganda, and I realized ang dami palang nagagawa ng highlighter and it adds dimension to the face.”
Since then, Anthea aimed to achieve that youthful, glowing skin for all her clients. Mastering this effortless style, she is their go-to makeup artist when they want that sun-kissed, bronzed or peachy look with dewy skin. Until now, despite the trends that came and went, Anthea has maintained her signature style—although she is no stranger to experimenting with some colors once in a while.
Today, Anthea serves as an ambassador of high-end cosmetics brand Laura Mercier after being an affiliate artist for the brand last year. She also works with most of the brands under Rustan’s, including luxury brand, Chanel.
Looking back, she realizes that the artist in her has remained despite the career change. She says, “Ang makeup, naka-connect s’ya sa painting, iba lang ‘yung materials but how you use it and how you emphasize the light and create the shadows or shading are pretty much the same.” Her career as a makeup artist not only gives her a creative outlet, but allows her to provide for her family. No matter how busy her schedule is or how tired she may get, she says, “I am blessed with a lot of work, so I am not complaining.” — This story was condensed from Mega Magazine and first published on The Modern Day Marinduqueñas
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