How To Master Pageant Makeup According To Gery Penaso

How To Master Pageant Makeup According To Gery Penaso


In a MEGA exclusive, pageant makeup expert Gery Penaso shared his insights and secrets to achieving a winning pageant makeup look

Transforming into a real beauty queen takes a lot of work. Apart from exhibiting authenticity, intelligence, credibility, advocacy, and grace, most candidates must also learn how to do their makeup. However, it’s not as easy as it seems. “Honestly, pageant makeup is incomparable to other makeup categories because there are factors to consider,” Gery Penaso explained. “Keep in mind that you need to stand out kasi you’ll also be surrounded by your fellow delegates.” 

How To Master Pageant Makeup

His proficiency in pageantry makeup comes as no surprise. In fact, a look into his portfolio unveils a long list of titleholders like Miss Universe 2015 Pia Wurtzbach, Miss Universe 2021 Harnaaz Jaur Sandhu, Miss Universe Philippines 2022 Celeste Cortesi, and Miss Universe 2022 R’Bonney Nola. Gery Penaso is undeniably one of the most-trusted artists in the category. As luck would have it, he exclusively shared all his expert insights and secrets to mastering modern pageant makeup. 

A look into pageant makeup 

“First of all, mastering pageant makeup is not an overnight process,” the artist candidly shared. “So if you’re doing your own makeup in a pageant or if you’re a makeup artist na nag-aalaga ng isang candidate if there’s an opportunity for you to try different looks so you can see what fits you the best.” Gery Penaso continued to detail that the category also requires training. “Not all pageants will have the privilege to have your own makeup artist so you’ll really need to learn to do it yourself. It takes practice.”


How To Master Pageant Makeup
How To Master Pageant Makeup

According to the expert, good pageant makeup can make any candidate stand out. “Of course, it also includes the confidence of the candidate, the techniques, the products, the plan for the whole look,” Gery Penaso expressed. “Take note that it has to be very defined pa din not only for the audience but also because the stage lights are strong. Makeups that are too plain or too natural ang gawa tends to look flat, kaya dapat kitang-kita pa rin yung features, na highlight talaga kung ano yung maganda sayo, at natago yung mga flaws mo.” 

As we continue our conversation, we can’t help but ask — does pageant makeup really need to be heavy? “On the contrary, it can’t be too heavy on the stage, there should be balance” the artist clarified. “You have to also consider that there are cameras that can capture the flaws that come with harsh makeup. Make sure na pag may close-up, hindi naman tapang na tapang yung makeup, diffuse pa rin, very natural pa rin tignan.” 

On his best-kept beauty practices and top-shelf products 

“The process when I do makeup for pageants are same naman pero mas intense lang,” he admits. His secret to achieving a pageant-approved base? Use the right amount of products and never overdo it. Penaso also shared one expert tip that any artist or candidate should not miss. “Each layer that you put on your base — concealer, foundation, primer, dapat you’ll let your skin absorb it,” he reminded “Para mas maging smooth ang finish.” 

How To Master Pageant Makeup

As we continue our conversation, the professional makeup artist also gave us a preview of his trusted products for the category. “One of my essentials is the Perfectionist Pro Multi-Defense UV,” he shared. “I use it as a primer kasi it can brighten the face and it has SPF.” Apart from that, the makeup artist also named Estée Lauder Double Wear Stay-in-Place Foundation as one of his go-to products for its shared range. “It’s matte and it’s buildable full coverage,” he praised. “But if I want to make it dewy, I add Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair” 

His kit also includes Estée Lauder Double Wear 24H Waterproof Gel Eye Pencil in Cocoa. “Saktong-sakto lang siya,” he noted. “It’s not too dark, natural lang siya but it also looks defined on stage. Perfect for every day.” Elsewhere, the expert revealed that his list wouldn’t be complete without MAC Cosmetics’ Mineralize Skinfinish Powder. “I carry three shades every day,” he shared. “I usually use the deep shade pang contour — pang labas ng cheekbones and jawlines meanwhile I use a lighter iteration sa inner corner ng face kagaya nung ginawa ko kay R’Bonney para mag-pop talaga yung red lips.” 

On the true means of becoming a pageant makeup artist 

“Our task is surprisingly bigger than our title of doing makeup, it goes beyond that.” Gery Penaso opened up. “Personally, kami na mga professional makeup artist, hindi lang kami makeup lang, we also condition our candidates yung inaalagaan naman, kailangan very kalmado lang. Yes, dapat mabilis ka but hindi dapat nararamdaman ng kandidata mo na naprepressure ka. Remain graceful and composed kasi ayaw natin silang mahawa sa stress.” 

How To Master Pageant Makeup

“Basically para ka ring life coach,” he laughed. “You boost their confidence so they’ll feel good when they go on stage and you also shield them from negativity that can impact their performance. As I mentioned, it’s a long process, sometimes magkasama kayo for how many sessions and weeks to complete the look. So it’s important for you to establish a relationship with your candidate.” 

Photos from GERY PENASO (via Instagram)

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