The beauty movement of today has made one thing exceedingly clear: Makeup isn’t meant to hide who you are but to uncover it. Celebrity makeup artist Roi Santos, who’s made a name for himself in the Bay Area, is making it his mission to spread this message with his autobiography titled “A Life In A Live Canvas,” which came out in February.
Santos has been awarded Most Influential and Supreme Makeup Expert & Icon at the 21st Annual Gawad Amerika Awards and hailed twice by Soelish Magazine as the #1 Makeup Artist in the Bay Area.
We caught up with Santos while he’s back in the motherland and here’s how our conversation went.
First off, congratulations on your new autobiography! Tell us a bit about “A Life In A Live Canvas” and the parts that were most memorable for you to write.
In this book, I share my personal experiences on overcoming being bullied because of my sexual orientation, race, and facial acne. One of the turning points in my story was when a classmate pranked me with a gift of Clearasil for my acne. This book reflects how I found self-worth and how makeup artistry became my outlet for self-expression.
One of the main objectives of the book is to help aspiring makeup artists find their niche in the industry. I have included tutorials and lectures that provide a step-by-step guide on how to create different makeup looks as well as tips on how to build a successful career in the beauty industry.
Makeup is not just about enhancing physical appearance but also about empowering individuals to feel worthy and confident in their skin. It’s about promoting self-love, self-acceptance, and embracing diversity.
It was around the time when you started pursuing your passion for makeup while balancing your work as a pharmacy technician when you came out to your family. What was that period in your life like?
Embracing my sexuality and coming out with joy and courage was a significant turning point in my life. It allowed me to be true to myself and to express myself freely.
Although my career took up most of my time, I made sure to keep practicing the art of maquillage. Spending many hours doing makeup for my mom and sister allowed me to hone my skills and express my creativity in a safe and supportive environment. I learned that pursuing a career does not mean sacrificing your other passions in life.
You’ve mentioned in past interviews how you met your first celebrity client Rufa Mae Quinto while working at Sephora and how she helped open up doors for you when she introduced you to her circle of friends. What’s it like building relationships with Filipino celebs based or visiting the US?
Meeting Ruffa Mae Quinto and doing her makeup for a magazine was a divine opportunity. I’m also grateful to Sir Vincent Gotti, a renowned photographer in California who connected me with other famous personalities.
Establishing rapport with celebrities necessitates credibility, sincerity as well as honesty in communication delivered congenially.
Any interesting moments you can share from celebrities’ turns on your makeup chair?
At times, there are requests for servicing high-maintenance celebrities who have extremely specific requirements regarding their appearance. Should I receive such a request, extensive research is conducted beforehand by consulting images from their recent appearances and analyzing every detail. Maintaining equilibrium is key since I’m also taking into account what appeals to them personally.
If you’re a new makeup enthusiast, it’s essential to keep one reliable foundation nearby. Apply primer beforehand for better results. Fill in small lines and minimize visible pores before applying makeup. This step not only helps the product spread smoothly but also ensures longevity and prevents a thick or heavy appearance.
For highlighting and contouring techniques, I recommend experimenting with different formulas to determine which works best for your unique facial features. Seek out ways to showcase your artistic flair while identifying the style that instills a sense of assurance within yourself.
Down to our last question. Where can potential clients find you and what’s next for Roi Santos?
Currently, I am in the Philippines to explore its waters and vlog about mesmerizing places while displaying my craft.