Makeup Artist Gery Penaso On The Meaning Of True Beauty

Makeup Artist Gery Penaso On The Meaning Of True Beauty


Writer Ronna Capili Bonifacio talks to the makeup artist on confidence, working with his muse Pia Wurtzback and why he believes being number one shouldn’t be the end goal.

At a time when makeup has seemingly grown more rules and how-to’s, makeup artist Gery Penaso’s take on beauty is honest, remaining true to the craft. “Being a makeup artist is not about developing trends and applying it to all your clients, because every client is unique,” he shares.

Gery had become interested in makeup as early as 10 years old but it was only after studying makeup while working at his corporate job did he think of doing it full time. For the first year, he focused on building his portfolio and laying the foundations to his career. He was already driven, setting career goals early on and setting deadlines for when he needed to meet them. “If there is one thing I have learned, even if you think that you are the most talented person in the world, it will never be enough. You don’t just sit around waiting for that big opportunity to come and be successful overnight. In order to be successful, you should plan your career.”

It was through a beauty editorial shoot—his first one—where he met model Pia Wurtzbach. This was before she began joining Bibining Pilipinas. “She already knew how to ‘smize’ back then. Gandang-ganda ako sa gawa ko kasi feel na feel ng modelo! And it took all the pressure away. I finished feeling inspired and excited to see my work in a magazine,” he recounts. “I always believed she was destined for something big. I’ve always found her to be a strong candidate, not only because of her looks but mainly because of the most attractive thing about her—her personality.”

MEGA | Makeup Artist Gery Penaso On The Meaning Of True Beauty

Related: 2018’s Best Beauty Advice From The Country’s Top Makeup Artists

As Pia’s makeup artist, Gery has also taught Pia how to do her own makeup since beauty queens don’t always get to have their makeup done. “When I was training her, I took her away from being a typical beauty queen who follows a template makeup style, because a pageant is not just a one night event. There are many activities involved and you should be able to showcase the range of your beauty without being unrecognizable.” As his student, Gery says Pia always takes note of what he’s doing and using on her, taking down notes. “She’s very professional. And she’s remained humble and grateful until today.”

These days, Gery and Pia work together on a whole gamut of advertising work. “Pia plays a big part in my growth but the only thing I can take credit for from her success is being able to establish relationships with people whom I meet and work with. This is very important because it always pays to be nice. Because of Pia, I have done shoots for big brands, TVCs, and billboards along EDSA. I made it in the world of advertising because we have invested in each other while keeping a certain level of professionalism as her makeup artist,” he says.

Gery is excited for his upcoming business with fellow makeup artist and close friend Anton Patdu. Now, they are business partners about to open a photography studio. “Our mission is to help young artists by sharing the things that we have learned. I want it to be a tool for me to be able to help the community through my talent and the projects that I plan to do in the future,” he says with a smile.

Now, eight years after he had started as a freelance makeup artist, he looks back at his career, saying, “I realized that your goals should not be about being the number one artist out there. In the beginning we all want to climb the ladder vertically but when we reach the top, what matters is you stay there and then you expand horizontally. You have to constantly feed your passion by putting a deeper meaning into what you do.”

In addition to this, he imparts to us more of his wisdom, saying that he believes true beauty all boils down to one thing: confidence. “Confidence is something that comes from the inside. No amount of makeup can make a woman feel beautiful if she is never confident about herself.”

As seen on MEGA Magazine October 2018.

Words Ronna Capili Bonifacio
Photography Dookie Ducay of New Monarq Creativx
Art Direction Jann Pascua
Styling Aldrin Ramos
Hair Ezekiel Otilla
Sittings Editor Marella Ricketts

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