The Make-up Artist

Admit it ladies, makeup remains to be one of the most essential beautifiers of our lives. Whether you’re the low-maintenance type who wears just the basic lipbalm and powder, or the type who goes the whole nine yards complete with falsies and bronzers, makeup plays a role in our lives, whether big or small. If you ask me, I think I’m somewhere in the middle. I’ll share a makeup post soon and then you be the judge.

So speaking of makeup, I would like to share with you the work of one of the most talented and down to earth make-up artists that I know, who also happens to be a very dear friend. We were once work mates and I’m proud to say that I was one of those people who nudged her towards considering make-up school. From practicing on us as her “subjects”, she then started doing bridal which eventually lead to commercial projects. She is Najeane Flores-Zaragoza or “Nadj” as we would like to call her, and this is my interview with her.

What got you interested in makeup?

It was singing then make-up. I used to be part of a band before that played in bars then of course, before getting up on the stage, I have to dress up and put on my smokey eye make-up. Then from there, I fell in love with it. I began exploring on colors as well.

When did you realize that this is something you can actually do as a profession?

My boyfriend then, now my husband would tell me his experiences from his commercial shoots. I was in the corporate world that time. He saw this make-up artist in one of his shoots. She was then the make-up artist of Mr. Edu Manzano for a big project. That was it! I realized that I can actually be a professional make-up artist. Then an opportunity came when a make-up school approached our Marketing department and asked us to give their students discounts and in exchange a scholar from our company gets to be sent to their school. I immediately grabbed it! I am forever grateful to Ms. Aimee Diego (yup that’s me), my former supervisor/a very close friend, and to colleagues who pushed and supported me from the start of my career and until now.

What kinds of make-up do you enjoy doing?

I love the clean make-up look…may it be for a natural look, high fashion or glamour make-up. Our teacher was very keen in checking our work. This discipline helped me strive for perfection in every project that I do. Now that my hubby is pursuing fashion photography and we’re working together most of the time, I’m inspired and challenged to create and express my own make-up for his concepts.

Where do you draw inspiration from?

I draw my inspiration from God, the perfect artist of all time and those talented artists who are known for their excellence and of course, life itself. I can’t stop appreciating God’s artwork and his best masterpiece: human beings! It’s so nice to use people’s faces as the canvass and making them feel beautiful is the best thing for me. It really is rewarding!

Can you share some of your favorite projects and what makes these experiences so special?


Photography: Carlo Saavedra,

Model: Lois Goff

My first ever Avant Garde look in my first year as a make-up artist. Lois Goff is a painter and a model here that time. She encouraged me to go out of my comfort zone as an artist. It turned out really nice I think.


Photography: Xander Angeles

Model: Kat C of Elite Manila

Hair: Pao Gabor

My first collaboration with a well-known professional and one of the best photographers here in Manila, Mr. Xander Angeles. I remember receiving a call from my hubby asking me to do make-up that day also in the afternoon for Elite Manila models. I was a bit nervous but did pretty well. 🙂

Photography: Xander Angeles

Celebrity Artist/Model: Nadine Samonte

Hair: Aaron Cunanan

Credits to Ms. Cindy Lichauco of The Fashion Academy Manila

This was my third project with Mr. X. Our first photoshoot with Ms. Nadine Samonte. It was part of her launch in TV5 as one their newest Kapatid stars. It was the all new and sultry Nadine. She’s really beautiful.

The Mad Mistress

Photography: JPaul Zaragoza

Model: Kristina of Elite Manila

Fashion Designer/Stylist: Joseph Aloysius Montelibano

Hair: Aaron Cunanan

Yes, the most fun high fashion shoot I did with the renegade fashion photographer, JPaul Zaragoza. Guess who he is? He’s my beloved hubby! Yiii, kilig! 🙂 Our first ever test shoot with our friend/ fashion designer/stylist, Mr. Joseph Aloysius Montelibano who was part of Project Runway season 3 as a contestant. We just used our own resources and the photos came out really fab! Shot in a condo only. I’m very proud and grateful to our team. This shoot stirred us up to do more out-of-the box concepts.

Celebrity Artist/Model: Nadine Samonte

Hair: Aaron Cunanan

My first red carpet look with Nadine. She was really stunning here. I love how Aaron, the hairstylist did her hair. Classy Nadine.

Regatta Summer Campaign 2012

Photography: RJ Palad/ Seven Barretto

Models: Rory, Erika, Lucas and Dana of Elite Manila

Creative Director/Styling: Suki Salvador

Hair: Mark Baquiran

Credits to Mr. Carlo Rufino and Ms. Erica Cortez of Regatta team.

I’ve been doing make-up for Regatta campaigns since 2011. It has always been a joy for me working with them. We always do outdoor shoots. They’re known for their leisure-luxe collection. Regatta was my first client who gave me an opportunity to display my work on their billboards along EDSA and their stores. Seeing your work on a big scale billboard in EDSA was one of my greatest accomplishments. It humbles me to receive such a huge blessing!

Get-Away Romance

Photography: JPaul Zaragoza

Models: Bruno and Havne of Elite Manila

Fashion Designer/Stylist: Joseph Aloysius Montelibano

Accessories Design: BJ Chavez

Hair: Aaron Cunanan

Credits to our dear friend, Mr. Jeric Chua for the location and Patrick Gutierrez and Rafael Froilan of All Things Work Studios, Inc. for our BTS video coverage.

Our first Hollywood-inspired themed shoot with our dear friends/models, Bruno and Havne. Two of the most professional models we’ve worked with. They are very dynamic as a couple. Their chemistry is one- of-a-kind and is really contagious in a good way. They do travel the world together through modeling. It was an honor to do another shoot for them with a complete team this time.

Photography: JPaul Zaragoza

Celebrity Actress/Host/Model: Steph Henares of GMA7 Artist Center.

Fashion Designer/Stylist: Joseph Aloysius Montelibano

Accessories Design: BJ Chavez

Hair: Aaron Cunanan

Steph has been a very close friend to me. She’s the sweetest thing. This was our first creative shoot with her. Inspired by Bohemian and Psychedelic 60’s look. We were aiming for an outdoor shoot but never happened on that day because of the rain, but what do you know, that didn’t hinder us from getting such a creative output. She’s very sexy and sizzling hot on this layout.


So what’s next for Nadj? Aside from her usual makeup gigs she is also venturing in a new company called “All Things Work Studios, Inc.”, which is her business with JPaul Zaragoza, her husband. I’ll talk about that company more in a future post.

She is also holding a workshop this May. For Philippine-based readers, details below.

Make-Up Foundations: Enhancing Your Beauty
Date: May 19, 2012
Venue: The Fashion Academy Manila, 3rd Floor, A-Venue Mall, Makati Ave.,  Makati City
1 Day Session for Php3,000 per student
* 15% Discount on all bridal packages for 2012-2013 weddings only. Availment of discount is valid till July 31, 2012.
* 10% Discount on all make up courses of The Fashion Academy Manila.

Topics to be discussed:
Day Make-Up
Night Make-Up

May 19, 2012 (Saturday) – 1:00 to 3:00PM

Students are required to bring their personal make-up kit and brushes during session. 50% DP is required to reserve a slot.Limited slots available. Contact (0915)5888045 or email for more details.

Congrats Nadj! 🙂 Excited to work on our little project soon. Excited and terrified! I’m sure it will turn out great! 🙂


2 thoughts on “The Make-up Artist

  1. Doing make-up professionally is in my bucket list. Have tried going to seminars but never got to. Busy mom. 😦 Anyway, thanks for the info re nadj’s workshop.

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