Before Zoomcons took over my work life because of the pandemic, I used to find myself in a press conference or product launch everyday. Meeting celebrities, all dolled up, was a large part of that. And what always catches my attention more than a celebrity’s clothes is the makeup look. I believe that this can make or break one’s appearance in any event.

It is but natural to get distracted when an actress’ nose or cheek contouring  is too harsh or the blush is too red. Similarly, I easily get drawn to flawless looks and be amazed at how seamless makeup has been applied. This is exactly how I learned about the makeup artist behind the glam looks of our Kapamilya stars.

During the peak of events for former Pinoy Big Brother housemates, I consistently loved the fresh-faced looks of some of the girls and found out that makeup artist Eman De Leon is behind them. After monthsss of delay (yes, this feature has long been overdue!), I finally get to share with you my conversation with the talented artist whose eagerness to hone his craft is neverending.

Here’s our  Q&A:

When did you start your work as a makeup artist?

In November 2009, I started out as the PR officer of Revlon Philippines. A year after that, I studied makeup artistry here in Manila after some convincing by the makeup brand’s marketing head. Eventually, I started doing makeup demos for Revlon and exchange deal projects with publications like the Manila Bulletin (Students & Campus Section).
After doing a shoot for Pinoy Big Brother Teens – Clash of 2010 with James Reid, Ivan Dorschner, Devon Seron, and Ryan Bang, I met someone from their team who asked me to help out the handler, Ms. Abby Niesta, who’s a very generous and kind person, for her makeup for that year’s Star Magic Ball. Ms. Abby helped me get introduced to producers in ABS-CBN.

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Random note 1: Eman’s TV debut was through the teen-oriented show, Good Vibes, that served as the launchpad for some of today’s biggest names (Enrique Gil, James Reid, and more). He then got into reality shows- The X Factor Philippines in 2012, all the seasons of The Voice Philippines, and the recent seasons of Pinoy Big Brother.

Eman working his magic on PBB Otso alumna Karina Bautista.

Random note 2: Eman already showed inclination to the arts at an early age. He shared, “Nung bata ako, whenever my Papa would ask me what I want from the Middle East (when he’s preparing to send a balikbayan box), all I wanted were coloring materials – coloring pencils, pens, crayons, highlighters, and different colors of ballpen.

Can you tell me more about your training? Did you study makeup artistry, get trainining with a brand, or were you self-taught?

I studied in Manila in 2010, HongKong in 2014, Japan in 2015, and Korea in 2017.

Random note: Eman worked as the head makeup artist for popular reality program Pinoy Big Brother (PBB).  That’s where he got to work with the housemates-turned-household names Maymay Entrata, Kisses Delavin, Karina Bautista, Kaori Oinuma, Lou Yanong, Ashley Del Mundo, Lie Reposposa, Jelay Pilones, Yen Quirante, and a lot more.

How would you describe the Eman de Leon signature style?

I’d like to call my style, the corrective makeup style.  It’s like customizing the makeup look for each of my clients. I’m a minimalist. Makeup products I apply are subtle.  I try to make the products look barely there and natural on their faces. I also love doing Asian or Oriental makeup look. I find joy in making my clients look younger.

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Here are some photos grabbed from his Instagram page:

Random note: When asked which part of the makeup application he enjoys the most, Eman said, “Skin talaga, yung base. I always challenge myself on that part. The base has to look like real skin. I don’t apply anything on the neck.”

What kind of makeup look do you love creating?

Everything, actually.  I enjoy doing the barely-there, unnoticeable makeup look, the vibrant, glam, and even darker ones.  But I make sure that those looks would suit my clients’ facial structures.

Check out these looks Eman did on Ashley Del Mundo. He has really mastered the art of glowing makeup and the use of bright colors on the eyes without an overpowering effect.

What if there’s a challenge and you can only use three (3) makeup products for a gig from your current kit, what makeup items would these be?

  • my corrector-concealer
  • my cream blush-lipstick-in-one 
  • matte eyeshadow palette (which I can use for the brows, eyes, and as powder!)

Maymay Entrata was one of your muses and a lot of her fans love the makeup looks you did on her. What was your favorite part of doing Maymay’s  makeup? 

On Maymay, I loved doing the eye makeup because this is where I can showcase my knowledge on makeup correcting & enhancement.  I believe it’s the most powerful facial feature of Maymay, her eyes. My basic Maymay look is the same “Maymay (natural) who prepared a little to meet everyone” – an effortless and enhanced makeup look that can inspire others to not give up on their dreams.

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  • Did Maymay have specific requests in terms of application of the product or favorite makeup shades or items?                                                                          Just one, the shade of the lipstick.  She wants the shade to define her lips. Why? It’s our secret. 🙂

What do you enjoy the most about your work?

I love making one look more beautiful and that feeling when my client feels good about herself or himself.

Do you still have a dream client?

Kristine Hermosa

For budding makeup artists out there,  what tips can you give them?

Continuously seek to be better through learning.  Most importantly, hone, love, and stand by your craft.


WATCH Eman vlogging about his life as a professional makeup artist here:

Live TV makeup job

A day in his life

Behind the scenes with Maymay Entrata for beauty brand Megan (2018)

For more details and updates on Eman’s work, follow him on social media:

Twitter: @emandeleon

Instagram: @emandeleonmakeup

Facebook: Eman De Leon Makeup

Youtube: Eman De Leon Presents