Monday, September 8, 2008

Makeup Artist Chat: Tippy Destacamento

Just a year in the industry, makeup artist and stylist Tippy Destacamento (the surname is Portugese) has a lot of accomplishments tucked under his belt. After completing his Basic Makeup Artistry course at the Center for Aesthetic Studies last year under Mari Wild, he has had a rich portfolio and has graced newsprints, billboards, and even glosses. At present, he has just finished his photoexhibit, BARE, and he's currently under the tutelage of veteran makeup artist Steven Doloso.

Tippy's headshot by Ku Manahan

Aside from being a makeup artist/stylist/creative director (specialty being high fashion and avante garde), Tippy is known as one of the industry's most controversial bloggers. His blogs have awakened many artists with regards to their rights. He is not just a makeup artist and stylist. He is an advocate of artist's rights. If the makeup industry was a university, Tippy is one activist. Included in his numerous activities, is his current stint as a writer for 'Bout Pratique magazine, an upcoming magazine here in the Philippines dedicated to practical tips. :-)

Right now, the controversial blogger/makeup artist extraordinaire sits down with me and answers a few questions.

1. What was your job before being involved in makeup full time?
After graduating in college, I got persuaded by my then partner (laughs) who was working in a callcenter. I thought it was just a phase, like me staying there for only six months. But I enjoyed it. We were the pioneers then of then eTelecare International, which was still in Libis. Nobody knew what the callcenter industry was. It was not a hit with everyone just yet. Eventually it was hard to leave when promotion after promotion came in. It's funny i stayed for 6 solid years.
Fun times with Tippy (above) after the Model Project Shoot and (below) at the Ciao Italia Event.

2. How was it leaving the corporate world for the uncertainty of the life of a freelance artist? How do you cope with it?
It was life changing. I was earning a lot before i left. I can travel elsewhere and I can afford things. It was so hard. I say it was a humbling experience. I had to budget my money. It was hard because I went cold turkey. I was severely burned out from the corporate world. It was like the next day I said, "I'm gonna go and pursue my passion".

Tippy during his days in the corporate world

3. About your blog, you're known in the circle of multiply artists as a very controversial blogger with the two blogs that have stirred many reactions. Did you ever regret posting articles like that?
Yes and No. Yes, because I had this image where I am a bitch and a primadonna. Some people are stupid. You cannot take away stupidity from anyone. It's their gift. They cannot separate opinions from who the person is throwing the opinion. I was tagged negatively. Even models are afraid of me. I even heard gossips saying that i am difficult to work with. You know me, Bambi. I never am a diva. Well, yeah sometimes. Hahahaha. On the other hand, No, because it awakened some make-up artists that they have to stand up for their rights. I am happy to say that almost all make-up artists now are being fed during shoots.

Serious at work: As a stylist (above photo) and as a makeup artist (below)

4. Correct! We get fed now! Hahahaha! As an artist fully immersed in this business, we had our share of negative experiences. We can't help that we will have our detractors. How do you deal with detractors and rivals in the industry?
I just laugh at them. You cannot move on if you wallow. There are really people who are born to destroy. That's what they're good at. The most difficult I would say would be the people who heard the gossips. It's too hard to collect them all and revert whatever has been said. They already have this fear. Unexplainable fear.

5. Describe your artwork when you were a featured artist in Manila Bulletin. (for his artwork, Tippy used old makeup and eye pencil shavings and made a dinner plate using these materials)
I am very good in conceptualization. I thought of it as make-up being food. A make-up artist always has to have something to fuel the passion. It's actually dual. Figuratively and practically. Food being something that fuels his continous talent and artistic abilities. You feed on it. You suck on it like it is your breastmilk. As well as being a make-up artist is now known as a profession that can feed a family. It was known before as a hobby or a low level job that can never raise a family. Now it's otherwise.

Feature in Manila Bulletin with his artwork.

6. What are your plans in the future?
Like what Ms. Mari Wild always says, "It is a continous learning experience. You have to seek knowledge because the possibilities are endless." I am planning to study again. I am also introducing airbrush make-up slowly to those who can afford.

Tippy's Masterpieces!
model: Lauren Dalao
photographer: Jaydproductions

model: Keit Quiozon
photographer: Paul Ang

Serenity in Fury, Tippy's first photoexhibit (Model: Iya Consengco / Photographer: Pen Mulingbayan)

7. What's great about you is that I can give you any makeup, brand-name or whatever and still do a great job. Do you advice beginner makeup artists not to snub on cheap brands?
Actually some local brands are great brands. As a beginner, never ever play with expensive make-up brands. It's just plain stupid. I am known in the industry for carrying economical brands when I do pro-bono or low budget projects. For me as long as you have the ability, you can actually achieve the same results.

8. Tell us about your latest photoexhibit, BARE? (BARE is Tippy's second photoexhibit, the first one being last April, entitled "Serenity in Fury")
Bare actually was my baby concept. I hooked up with my good friend JayD Ramos to help me out with the photography. A lot of headshots are actually going around now. But mostly they are just for themselves. I wanna make something that's unique, raw and unmanipulated by photoshop. The statements should say something that's truly you. Whatever you believe in. That's what we put beside your picture. It's actually a headshot that's coupled with a shoutout.
Some of Tippy's work for BARE:
(models: Erika Maguad and Ina Mendez. Photo by Jaydproductions)

9. How is it working with Steven Doloso?
Oh! He is such a sweetheart! We met around two months ago. We hit it off pretty well. I am now under his tutelage. He was the one told me to immediately focus on beauty and glamour since the money is there. When he found me, I was already known to be good in avante garde. Manila Bulletin gets me for their avante garde-themed shoots. He is teaching me a lot. How to deal with things. How to do this and that. What products to use or buy. I don't actually mind being his associate. Anyway he is Steven Doloso.

10. Any advice to young makeup artists starting out?
Before you even start, make sure that you are packed with enough cash to make you survive for at least six months. Buy economical yet quality brands. Practice. Work with hobbyist photographers. There you'll know where you are really going. Practice good brows. Watch make-up videos online. You have so many resources around. use it!

11. If you were a makeup product what would you be?
A concealer stick. In this industry, we cannot afford to be ugly. We need to conceal things that are not good. We represent beauty. It is just right for us to represent it well. Like a concealer stick, it is handy. Very easy to handle.
For more of Tippy's work, log on his website at

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