Pride Creatives: Queer Makeup Artists and Hairstylists are Leading the Forefront of Local Beauty

Pride Creatives: Queer Makeup Artists and Hairstylists are Leading the Forefront of Local Beauty


Today’s beauty revolution is spearheaded by LGBTQIA+ creatives. Here are five queer artists who have created an impact on the beauty industry

Throughout history, makeup has been a pivotal tool of expression for many LGBTQIA+ individuals on themselves and on others. Slowly, over the past decade, they’ve claimed their rightful space in the beauty realm. Today, the industry is awash with their presence. As we continue to celebrate Pride even beyond its month, here are some of the queer creatives who continue to spearhead the industry and make up the current beauty boom.

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Jelly Eugenio

Jelly Eugenio is a mainstay in the world of Philippine beauty culture, cemented by 15 years mastering the art. Glamming up a high profile clientele such as Nadine Lustre, Catriona Gray, and Georgina Wilson, his name now carries prestige within the industry.

As one of the leaders of today’s beauty landscape, the queer artist tells MEGA, “We’re at the forefront of beauty because we can access both our masculine and feminine sides at the same time. We have the power to make things happen and make ourselves known, and introduce something that is impactful to the beauty industry.”

Queer Creatives MEGA Jelly Eugenio with Catriona Gray
Jelly Eugenio and Catriona Gray

Jelly is an inspiration for fellow queer artists to connect with their most imaginative, unabashed selves. He continues to say, “We’re at a good place in the beauty industry, but I don’t think we’re at the same level as other countries yet. The Philippines is very conservative; I just hope we get to accept people for who they are and the beauty that they do—more than what their gender is.”

Renz Pangilinan

A loud and proud creative of the LGBTQIA+ community, Renz Pangilinan has aced the hair look for a queen—having created the regal do’s of Kylie Verzosa, Pia Wurtzbach, and Megan Young. In bringing a gamut of looks on his clients’ tresses, Renz values creativity, quality, and the right amount of precision and discipline.

Queer Creatives MEGA Renz Pangilinan
Renz Pangilinan and Megan Young

“One thing that we gays are good at is being creative. It feels amazing to feel like we have a place in this world,” Renz tells MEGA. “The local beauty industry is full of passionate people. I hope that we get to do more and we can be seen in the world stage.”

Paul Nebres

When it comes to the art of the hair, Paul Nebres’s craft is also impeccable. Having worked with a high-profile clientele such as Sam Milby, Anne Curtis, and Sarah Lahbati, the artist has cemented himself as a sought-after hair stylist in the country. Apart from that, Paul has also given actress Andrea Brilliantes a full drag transformation with an effortless blow-out wig.

Paul tells MEGA, “As a queer citizen in the Philippines, I feel inspired and encouraged that the beauty industry is a safe space for us to express our creativity and true selves in all its vibrant colors. There are few industries where queer creativity and talent is appreciated and celebrated in the same way.”

Queer Creatives MEGA Jelly Eugenio Paul Nebres Nadine Lustre
Paul Nebres alongside makeup artist Jelly Eugenio and celebrity muse Nadine Lustre

The beauty industry is fresh, vibrant, and colorful because of the force of the LGBTQIA+ community. However, while the hair stylist emphasizes how far queer artists have come, there is also so much more to conquer. “We still operate within the confines of a conservative culture and our freedom of expression can often be limited to certain mainstream standards of beauty,” he says. “I do recognize and appreciate the privileged space and platform the beauty industry provides queer creatives like me. At the end of the day, I simply enjoy transforming a client’s dream into reality and savor the smiles I can bring to their faces.”

Beauty can be a driving force for something greater in the country. Paul adds, “I hope that queer creatives in the beauty industry can inspire greater diversity of beauty standards in the Philippines. I also dream of using our platform with major brands to tangibly push for and support issues like the SOGIE bill, and not simply pink-washing marketing campaigns during Pride Month.”

Jake Galvez

In the beauty department, Jake Galvez has an impressive resumé; his creative spirit is inspired by big-screen nods Kim Chiu, Belle Mariano, Alexa Ilacad, and more. With his practiced techniques and signature touches, he has become one of the most sought-after makeup artists in the country.

“Queer creatives’ fresh perspectives and bold ideas are shaking up the industry in the best way, making it more inclusive and exciting,” he says. “We’re always redefining beauty standards and encouraging everyone to embrace their true selves. It’s really inspiring and makes the beauty world a much more vibrant and accepting place.”

MEGA Queer Creatives Jake Galvez
Jake Galvez creating Belle’s makeup look for Star Magical Prom 2024

But despite the thousand photoshoots under his belt, runway shows, and red carpet moments executed to perfection, the queer artist admits there’s more to be done in this space—and more to be done for other LGBTQIA+ creatives: “Even with all the progress, there’s still a lot of pushback and discrimination to overcome. I’d love to see more and more queer creatives getting the spotlight to show off their talents; this could broaden beauty standards to include all skin tones, body types, and gender expressions.”

Jason Delos Reyes

It is hard to overlook the creative force that is Jason Delos Reyes. In addition to his impressive roster of A-list celebrities such as muse Gabbi Garcia, he made a name for himself in the industry with his expertise in cosmetology and constant advocation for morena skin. His place in the beauty world is unquestionable, and his work has elevated his status as one of the most notable artists in the industry.

For Jason, queer people have always been at the core of the beauty realm. “Like Thierry Mugler in fashion and in fragrance; Way Bandy, one of the highest paid American makeup artists in the 70s and early 80s until his death; and of course our very own Ricky Reyes, who championed the empowerment of queer creatives by setting up beauty training schools in the Philippines. People are more aware and accepting of us due to the rise of queer influencers and the mainstreaming of RuPaul’s Drag Race or Queer Eye,” he explains.

Jason attributes these influences to have pioneered a broader and bigger space for queer individuals—no matter the creative outlet. For the makeup artist, he stresses that gay people can be as feminine or as masculine as they want, and still work in the beauty industry and practice their art well without facing discrimination and judgment.

Jason with muses Megan Young, Angelique Manto, Gabbi Garcia, Klea Pineda, and Winwyn Marquez MEGA
Jason with Megan Young, Angelique Manto, Gabbi Garcia, Klea Pineda, and Winwyn Marquez

“But how are we going to sustain it?” the artist questions. “How can we, the queer creatives, influence other industries to be more inclusive and accepting of us? The beauty industry doesn’t exist in a vacuum; we are just a small part of our bigger society. My hope for the beauty industry in the Philippines is for it to continue supporting and empowering queer creatives like me, so we can serve as inspiration for other queer people in other industries.”


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