Last September, I attended a personal make-up class offered at Trade School (yes, it was that long ago and I’m only writing about it now. Please forgive me). It is no secret that I love make-up and rely on it to hide some late nights or look just a little bit more presentable for meetings and stuff.

I started experimenting with makeup since I was in high school, I think. Though makeup at that time meant lip balm and a little bit of lipstick, which was my staple even all through college, apart from the occasional parties and events. I only started using other stuff when I started working and my first job involves looking just a little bit older than my clients’ firstborn to be deemed credible.

Anyway, back to the class. It was taught by Kris Bacani, a New York-trained, Manila-based makeup artist specializing in wedding, fashion, beauty and airbrush makeup, as her website describes her. I’d like to describe her as a make-up angel: fun, knowledgeable, patient, and with the ability to effortlessly discuss technical stuff in a way that even non-professionals like myself can grasp.

Hi, Kris! :)
Hi, Kris! 🙂

Kris has had more than a handful of achievements under her belt and the work she does are just flawless. If you go through her portfolio you’d know what I mean. I just lover her wedding makeup. Plus, I’ve seen the before and after photos she posts in Facebook. Amazing.

Before I get accused of sucking up, lets talk about the class, shall we? Kris walked us through basic skin care; products to use, an example of a basic skin care regimen, and a good skin care regimen’s connection to make-up.

She discussed brow shaping, matching your foundation to your skin, different types of make-up and the merits of each, and the different tools used and how to take care of them. She even gave suggestions on affordable products and brands that do the job well.

After a short discussion, she practiced on one of us and showed us how to do a basic day makeup. After that, she transformed it into a night makeup complete with smokey eyes and contouring.

Of course I totally tried it when I got back home and yeah, I now know how to do the smokey eyed thing to myself. Yay!

Also, I’ve been using what I learned daily and had become more confident that I put my make-up on right. Aside learning the smokey-eyed thing and variations of it (which I practice on myself when I’m bored at home), I found out that I’ve been doing the eyeliner thing wrong (powder first before liner so it won’t smudge) and have corrected it so am now enjoying smudge free eyes. A few more practice sessions and maybe I’ll be brave enough to try the liquid liner.

Kris' Kit
Kris’ Kit
Discussing eye shadow
Discussing eye shadow
Demonstrating how to shape eyebrows
Demonstrating how to shape eyebrows
How to find out which shade of foundation works best for you
How to find out which shade of foundation works best for you
The secret of perfect eyes: blend, blend, blend
The secret for perfect eyes: blend, blend, blend
Our class
Our class

So, some key take-aways:

1. The face is a canvass. Doesn’t matter how beautiful or expensive your make-up is, if the skin it sits on is crap, it can only do so much. Kris said it much more politely though. Basically, it means that the first step to good make-up is a good skin care routine. So cleanse well, exfoliate regularly but not too frequently, tone, moisturize, and use sunscreen. Also, proper diet helps. A lot.
2. Use products that are right for your skin. Ask for suggestions but make sure that the products you buy are made for your skin type. For example, if your skin is dry, don’t use products for oily skin, and vice-versa.

3. Match your shade. Foundation should be the closest to your skin shade, not lighter, not darker. I think this is a challenge especially in a country where people love to use shades lighter than their skin. But doing this eliminates that face-whiter-than-the-rest-of-the-body thing that’s been plaguing the population.

4. Choose one. Don’t highlight all features of your face. For example, if I’m wearing heavy eyeshadow, I use nude lipstick. If I wear dark or  bright lipstick, I go easy on the eyes. Stuff like that. I know every article on make-up tips say this but, believe me, this bears repeating. I see more than enough people everyday to be able to say that this should be a mantra.

5. Clean up your stuff. Your brushes should be cleaned regularly. I know of some people who has never cleaned their brushes since they got them. Ever. This usually causes skin irritations because it becomes a breeding ground for germs and other stuff you wouldn’t want near your face.

6. As much as possible, don’t share makeup. If it can’t be helped, do as make-up artists do: use a clean spatula and transfer it on a palette or something. Along the same spectrum, don’t share brushes. If you share brushes, clean it much more frequently than you usually do if you use it alone.

7. Cream on cream, powder on cream, powder on powder, but not cream on powder unless you want to make paste.


Visit Kris Bacani’s website for more information and photos of her work.



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