It's confusing when Fatima Rabago walks into a shoot because the rest of the team has to guess what she's there for. The 5'11" stature, chiseled Spanish features, and sample size frame prompt you mentally that the model's in the room, but in more than one instance she starts unraveling a professional-size makeup kit, carefully laying out her tools as she keeps others wondering. Model? Makeup artist? "Sometimes, both!" she says.
While the industry has had its fair share of model-actresses, model-stylists and model-designers, Fatima's one of the few model-makeup artists. Surprisingly, there's a dearth of the hybrid even when it's perfectly logical—after all, who better understands makeup artistry than someone who has spent thousands of hours on the receiving end?
ON FATIMA: Black Top, P2290, H&M, SM Mega Fashion Hall
"I know that modeling isn't gonna last forever, so I have to be prepared for the future," she says, not without weight— she speaks with a cause for practicality, as wife to model Hideo Muraoka and mother to 6-year-old Daniella.
As a makeup artist one day and model other days, Fatima is mindful of the difference between being beautiful—that is to say, posing in front of a camera—and making others beautiful. "As a model, you perform to be captured in photos—you care about the product the client wants to sell and how it looks on camera. While as a makeup artist who works behind the camera, your job is to make sure that the model looks her best and that she feels comfortable before performing."
In early 2014, Fatima launched Agua Brazil, a line of Brazilian swimwear she founded herself. It's an entrepreneurial manifestation, really, of her obsession for fitness and a kind of beauty that can only be harnessed within through proper diet and exercise. Her explanation: "I'm simple. And while sometimes it's fun to go all out, I like being natural. Girls should learn about achieving the healthy look, the 'me' look— not the 'I want to look like this celebrity' look."
The interview wraps up with us asking what beauty advice she gives young Daniella. Fatima says, "I tell her to be herself, to love herself, and to know that she is special." Like mother, like daughter.
These are the products Fatima swears by, whether it's for herself or her clients:
This multicolor chrome lipstick palette from Inglot is what Fatima whips out for puckers that pop.
A long-lasting liquid liner with an ultra-precise brush.
Fatima's custom palette with multi-use blushes and bronzers.
Photographed by Carmen Goetz
Art Direction by Mark Buenaobra
Makeup by Fatima Rabago
Hair by Cats Del Rosario of Jed Root Manila
Styling by Maura Rodriguez
Shot on Location at Soma Stores, Green Sun Bldg., 2285 Pasong Tamo Ext., Makati
This article originally appeared in Preview's February 2015 issue.