Beauty by ‘Faith’

Hair and makeup artist Faith Joy R. Napila works on her chair.

Rising local hair and makeup artist (HMUA) Faith Joy R. Napila believes in the notion that what women apply to their faces complements their natural beauty and enhances the definition of who they are.

Telling a woman that using makeups is a way of cloaking herself and that it is a sign of unassertiveness is just inaccurate because it has been around for many centuries and nowadays, they play an important role in building confidence in one’s own worth.

“Too little self-confidence can leave a woman feel defeated or depressed, especially if it’s her debut or wedding, where she’s the center of attraction. Believing in our self and accepting who we are is important, but there is completely nothing wrong if a woman allows herself to be handled by a hair and makeup designer who would work with her to further complement her natural beauty,” said Faith, who owns Faith Makeup Artistry.

A registered nurse, Faith has an innate passion for taking good care of people. She believes that making a woman beautiful through makeup empowers her to conquer the world.

Complementing natural beauty is the type of makeup artistry that Faith Makeup Artistry wants to promote in Palawan where there is a growing market of women who want to look their best “personally and photographically” during special occasions.

But how did Faith start her beauty artistry venture?

Faith, who takes care of two children as a full-time mom, said getting started as a HMUA was daunting for her since it was really a side interest that grew out of her love for artworks using pastels and watercolors.

First, aspiring HMUAs have to understand the startup costs that come as part of becoming a hair and makeup designer or specialist.

Clients have varying skin types and tones which are financing regards, and makeup brands expire fast so maintaining a HMUA’s kit is a continuing cost.

All of these need to be taken into consideration and covered, which means setting her fees is crucial to her business.

“I started it as a hobby because I like coloring using pastels and watercolors. Then when I was in my first-year college, I got intrigued by the use of makeups and practiced on my friends. Ten years later, or last year in July, it came. But I wanted to professionalize my makeup artistry so I enrolled in a makeup academy,” she said.

Faith enrolled at the High-Definition (HD) Makeup Studio and Academy in Ortigas, Manila, the only hair and makeup school in the country where top diploma graduates of Vidal Sassoon Academy in Los Angeles, Cinema Makeup School in Hollywood, and CMU School of Makeup Art of Toronto, Canada, teach courses on hairstyling and makeup artistry.

She saved lots to enroll since the makeups the academy allows its trainees to use are all top of the line and the instructors do not take the courses they teach for granted.

“I really saved for my enrollment, and luckily, I gained a certificate as a professional fashion and beauty makeup artist last year in July,” Napila said.

After finishing her course, Faith started to practice what she learned mostly on her friends again for free during fun photo shoots to build her portfolio. She collaborated with local photographers who are also trying to establish themselves in Palawan.

Faith shared that the makeup artistry she offered without charge then was not only for weddings and debuts but for avant-garde or high-fashion events.

“This is my passion, and I think of it every day. It’s therapeutic for me to design the makeup of someone. Right now, for me, this is the profession I want to do. My children are still small and as a mother to them, doing this on the sideline makes me earn to contribute to our family. And what’s even important is I am able to do what I love on my own schedule,” Faith said.

These days, Faith’s week is no longer complete without any HMUA gigs. In fact, her schedule until April 2019 is almost full with mostly weddings to cater.

She still offers free makeup sessions to friends whenever she has the spare time, but gone are the days that she takes clients who bargain with her on the price of her services because she wants to be known now as a HMUA who learned and studied to become a professional in the trade.

That means even the makeup products she uses are of the best quality, the most expensive of their kind since she does not want to compromise the faces of her clients.

Some have very sensitive skin types that only high-quality makeups can handle, she added.

Faith said the happy feeling she gets whenever clients express their deep gratitude for the makeup style she makes them wear is something she cannot often describe into words.

“I can’t explain how happy I am whenever they give me good words about their makeups. Sometimes, I am surprised too, whenever they like my work. So far, I have not had any complaints,” Faith said.

There is no need to change the client’s natural beauty by applying too much makeup. What Faith offers is to complement that by coming up with a style that can improve a client’s confidence and glamour several notches higher than usual.

Wedding makeups, she admits, are the hardest and trickiest because there are clients who have been used to being the HMUA of themselves for a long time they think they know what they like and what would work best for them.

They are those who are not open to trying out new looks that would go along well with the wedding motif they have chosen.

“There is a need to identify the skin tone of the bride and her hairstyle to give her the total look she deserves personally and photographically. The wedding motif needs to be considered too. Sometimes, this is the hardest especially if clients are not cooperative,” she said.

Some brides would choose the smokey eyes makeup style with red lips over the romantic with blush look that is more suitable to them and the light-toned motifs they go for in their weddings.

If the bride’s hair is dyed hazelnut or any brown shade, then a classic makeup look that requires delicate lip color is not advisable. What is needed is a harmonious impression of foundation with a fun clear red lip tint and a savvy flush accent.

“There are makeup looks they want that won’t complement their facial features. But if they still insist, I talk to them so we could meet halfway because I don’t want to get blamed for a look they want and would later find out was really unsightly,” she said.

Beauty by Faith speaks of longevity which when ignored can lead to the makeup sinking in the client’s pores or settling into the ridges on her face.

Makeup is all about what is good lasting long than going wrong quickly because the incorrect type of mixture was used. Depending on the skin and the weather, minor enhancement is better than overdoing the whole process to regret it later.

“Makeup is basically emphasizing your client’s favorite features and not making her feel bad because of the sticky feeling on her face. I use the formula depending on the type and condition of the skin, and I make sure they stay with minor retouches for long hours,” she said.

Faith uses varying kinds of foundation for oily, dry skin, or a combination of both. From toners to moisturizers, primers, and finishing sprays to lock the makeup, she has them all for different skin types.

The makeup brands she uses are by RCMA by creator Vincent J-R Kehoe, Elizabeth Arden, Clinique, Bobby Brown, Laura Mercier, MAC, Kiehl’s, and other high-end products that might feel like a splurge but are actually effective in keeping clients still look beautiful even after long hours.

“The makeup brands I use are not readily available in the market. Sometimes, I order them. That’s because the makeup you’re supposed to use are those that make you prettier and prettier through hours even if you have an oily skin, rather than washing down fast when the event has not really started,” she said.

This makeup artist mom, who is hitting the headlines fast in the city and province, is a follower of American makeup artist, voice actress, entrepreneur, and Youtube personality Michelle Phan whose makeup tutorials have inspired a lot of budding millennial HMUAs in the world.

Although Phan has stopped video blogging her makeup tutorials, Faith said she is one of the reasons why she was inspired to bring out her passion for art into makeup artistry.

“If we’re talking about experiences, I must say I am still a newbie compared to those who are already here in the business longer than I am. But I know I have the passion to continue what I am doing, I only need to gain more experiences. What I can ensure though is I won’t practice on you as a client. If you’re on my makeup chair, I know what I am doing to you,” Faith assured.

As a registered nurse, Faith said cleanliness is a huge part of her artistry. It is important that her makeup tools are sanitized before she uses them on her clients.

The standard she follows, she said, is what she was taught by the makeup academy where she graduated.

“Cleanliness of the tools I use is very important from brushes to makeup, they should be cleaned and sanitized. I go for hygienic steps in the makeup procedure, I don’t go direct using the brush on the product to the skin. I use a spatula and a palette to avoid contaminating the makeup, and for mascara, the brush is single-use,” she described.

Faith said it is in her nature to care for the skin of her clients to prevent cases of transferring contaminants.

She said it is a must too, that clients are informed about what she can and cannot do that is why she suggests for brides to get good nights of sleep, drink lots of water to hydrate their skin, and have their makeup trials 3-5 weeks ahead of their big day.

“I can hide skin blemishes with correctors and concealers but I don’t have magical powers to hide heavy eye bags and serious facial skin breakouts. I inform them about this immediately because I want to do this business based on honesty. Most often, they have high expectations,” she said.

The photos of clients she posts on her Facebook are au naturel, without elaborate filter treatments to make the viewers believe what is not true even if expectations about HMUAs today are very high.

Like how the old saying goes, “a picture tells a thousand words.” Faith is loyal to the truth that no matter how nice she describes her services, it will be insignificant to potential customers until they see the results themselves.

This is the reason why she often collaborates with local photographers to do the documentation of her work using the right balance of light and exposure for her portfolio without photoshopping the pictures to create beautiful images.

“It should be a no-no because photoshopping images are no longer the makeup artistry you applied and clients have ways to know that,” she said.

Faith’s long-term goal now, she shared, is to be the “top of mind” makeup artist in the province, who is not only there for the business but for the passion of being able to contribute to the totality of the Palaweña beauty.

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