In a world where we are constantly being told what to do, what to be, and how to act, going against the status quo and pursuing a lifelong dream can be just that: a dream. But makeup artist Jason de los Reyes braved quitting a stable job six years ago to follow his heart's desire. Today, you may have probaby heard of him as Gabbi Garcia's makeup artist and one of the most sought-after in the industry right now. Long before that, however, he was a licensed nurse.
Jason always knew in his heart that he was a creative. But he wasn't all that sure which passion he wanted to pursue, which was probably why he initially did not pursue a career in the industry. But that all changed when he was introduced to makeup. He explains, "I've always known that I was an artist but I didn't know which medium to engage myself in, whether it'd be designing, working in a fashion magazine, painting—I didn't know what I wanted in the beginning. Then, my friend introduced me to the world of makeup artistry and I think it was love at first sight."
Probably someone who will always be tied in with his career is his muse, Gabbi Garcia. It's no secret that Jason is Gabbi's go-to makeup artist, but their friendship goes beyond the makeup chair. "Gabbi and I met back in February 2014. Our first meeting was mediated by my friend who also happened to be her handler. Back then, she was a normal college student from an all-girls university and it was just like a typical client meeting. But eventually, we started hanging out and found out that we had the same interests, same behavior, and even the same birthday! So we just clicked."
Even though Jason is happily living his dreams working with all the glitter eyeshadows and glossy lips he could ever want, he admits that, like in every industry, the beauty world is not without its challenges. He had his fair share of paying his dues when he was just starting out, going in without any prior training of the craft. "Being a freelancer, you need to work twice or even thrice as hard to get clients and to earn money. Then there's building your own makeup kit, creating connections in the industry, and not to mention proving to yourself that you can do it. But I think also as an artist, for you to improve yourself, you need to study your craft often. Every year, fashion trends change so you need to embrace those changes and make your own identity out of it."
Below, the makeup artist chats with Preview as he reminisces on his first makeup kit, his beauty tips for brides-to-be, and why he believes timing is everything.
Taking the Leap
How did you start as a makeup artist?
"I had a job that time as a professional nurse in a government hospital, and I decided to join a [makeup] competition here in Manila that would give me the chance to represent our country in Indonesia if I won. Luckily, I won and then it all started there. I risked leaving my regular job to pursue my dreams with big fears, especially for my financial status. But I thought to myself, who cares? I really, really love my job and all I need is to wait for my time and I'll just work on becoming the best version of myself every day."
Where did you learn to apply makeup?
"YouTube. Also, a lot of trial and error. But that was my best teacher when I was starting. And then, I asked other artists how they apply makeup, what their approach is, those kinda things. For me, the more you ask, the more knowledgeable you become; so don't hesitate to ask."
What were the products in your first working makeup kit?
"My gosh! I still remember my humble beginning that time and I'm getting emotional. (Laughs) I had two foundations—one light, one dark; a Nivea moisturizer; a palette with blush, contour, and eyeshadows on it from SanSan; and a set of red brushes I bought from an online store."
How would you describe your signature makeup style?
"Right now, I love skin-like makeup, monochromatic, and bronz-y glow."
How would you describe a Jason de los Reyes bride?
"I like my brides to look like themselves. No heavy makeup 'cause I don't want them to look cake-y at the end of the day. Just perfect bushy brows, flushed cheeks, bronze-y glow, and lastly, I always focus on the soft smoke-y brown eyes that I always do."
Can you describe your process of creating a wedding beauty look for your bride?
"I always tell them two weeks before their wedding day: no more pricking, or popping of zits, or going to the derma because it might leave redness or peeling on the skin. On the day of the wedding, skincare is essential. I always need to know the client's skin type because some may require less, specifically for foundation. I always talk to the bride beforehand to know what they want. Communication is important."
What beauty advice can you give your brides to prepare for their big day?
"I know its hard to calm down your nerves, but one of the jobs of a makeup artist is to make you calm. Sleep at least six hours the day [before] the wedding because you need to look rested."
What are your staple makeup products for weddings?
"Setting spray, blush, waterproof eyeliner and mascara, lipstick, and gloss."
What's a common bridal beauty misconception?
"That airbrush is more beautiful than traditional makeup. I really don't believe this because the technology we have now for beauty has advanced. There are a lot of good foundations in the market with different variations, whether it's high-end or drugstore."
What words of wisdom would you like to impart to makeup artists who are just starting out in the industry?
"Everyone has their time, so wait for yours. Educate yourself more and don't do this job because of the money or fame; do it because it makes you happy and alive."
Where can people find your works and how can they book you?
"Find me on my Instagram @delosreyesjason or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org."