If you've never heard of Chuchie Ledesma, then you should definitely look her up on Instagram right now. A Manila-based makeup artist who does incredible lip art, Chuchie is as quirky as her name and it shows even in the makeup looks that she does.
Chuchie's been in the industry for nine years now, but she hasn't always been a makeup artist. She started as a magazine editor and had years of experience shooting with beauty pros, which eventually inspired her to follow her fire, too. She shares, "I've always loved the arts but never got to pursue it fully back in college. So I thought of dabbling into makeup artistry after seeing the makeup masters like Mickey See, Barbi Chan, and Owen Sarmiento work."
However, even after deciding to pursue a career in the beauty industry, the writer-turned-makeup artist still felt boxed by traditional pegs. Eventually, she decided to follow her own beat and started doing creative projects that gave her more room to experiment—like lip art and SFX. While she still occasionally does classic glam, she admits that it's the crazy, outrageous looks that really excite her. "I got so bored with the usual no-makeup makeup look during one test shoot that I started doing lip art on the model instead. She had nice lips so I said I might as well maximize it."
It was during this time when she realized she wanted to push the envelope further. And it definitely paid off as she gained "a three thunderbolt stamp of approval" from one of the most successful international makeup artists and owner of a billion-dollar makeup brand, Pat McGrath, for one of her works.
Below, Preview had a quick chat with Chuchie where she shared her process and inspiration:
Where do you get inspiration from?
"I get inspiration from almost everywhere! Mostly from random stuff I find fascinating. I've done lip arts inspired by neon signs, Lisa Frank, Vincent Van Gogh’s Starry Night, [Piet] Mondrian, candies, fruits, iridescent beetles. The latest one I did was based on one of Distort Monsters’ creations."
What materials do you use to do lip art?
"Just the usual lipstick, pigments, and gloss. Oh, and a steady hand and tons of patience!"
How long does it take you to finish one art?
"Around one to 1.5 hours, depending on the design and how the model behaves."
What's a memorable lip art that you did?
"The one I did for the test shoot I got bored from. It was this glossy red lip with glitters and shadows of different colors on it. I did it the night before my birthday, February 20, 2016. The next day, I woke up with it being reposted by the Val Garland and Maybelline New York, and [it was] commented on and liked by Pat McGrath. Best birthday gift I got by far!"
What's your next lip art project?
"I’m thinking of doing something gross and grotesque for a change. Something that’s got to do with [some] prosthetics and special effects."