A few Filipino makeup artists have had the privilege of working with founders of international beauty brands. One of them is Benjamin Ruiz.
While majoring in Microbiology in college, Ruiz worked on the side as a makeup artist.
On the invitation of Laura Mercier cofounder Janet Gurwitch, Ruiz joined the brand; he has been working there for the past 17 years.
“I have always been an artist at heart and have worked in various mediums; being a makeup artist seemed to be a logical choice. The gratification that comes from helping people feel better about themselves is priceless,” he says.
For the coming holidays, Ruiz dispenses some makeup tips, names his favorite products, and discusses the look he put on Charlize Theron.
‘Nobody wants matte’
Celebrities I admire for getting their “look” right are… Meryl Streep. I love a woman who knows herself and doesn’t conform to what-have-you looks of the moment. She does a less-is-more approach and nails it. Sarah Jessica Parker is very comfortable in her skin that transcends makeup genres and periods.
The look that my celeb clients are into right now is… glowing skin. Skin has to be radiant. Nobody wants matte. Everybody wants to glow because it translates to youthfulness. They aren’t into eye shadow. The Laura Mercier Caviar Stick Eye Colours are popular with my clients because they have that sheen.
I’m opposed to using completely matte eye shadows… because matte gives you no life. Nothing reflects back from matte. So, always wear a subtle shimmer in the eye. It gives the illusion of a soft focus effect.
A look I used to do on Charlize Theron is… a bronzy gold, which was her look. She doesn’t really like eye color with deep and dark values, just bronze and gold. This was a look I would create using the Peach Mosaic Shimmer Bloc. It’s great because it can be used as eye shadow, check color, or highlighter. She absolutely loved this look and I would always use this on her. Of course this was before she went under contract with Dior.
When applying makeup, I’m very particular about… keeping everything very clean. I like precision in makeup. I don’t like clumpy mascara. Brows have to be executed with fullness but gently tapered. I’m not big on dark-lined lips. I like lips with softened edges. You can do this with a Q-tip.
As for personal maintenance… I’m a health and fitness fanatic. I work out all the time. I’m nearing 50, so I try very hard to eat right, take care of myself and keep active.
My secret to keeping celebs looking fresh even after long work hours is… primer! I always have to start with a primer, because it gives longevity to makeup. My favorite is the Laura Mercier original primer; second is primer radiance.
My gotta-have-it products this season are… the Laura Mercier Eye Transformer Kits and Limited Edition plus the Laura Mercier Smokey Suede Eye color palette, because it’s so versatile—it can go natural when using the light sides, then very intense when using the dark shades. Other favorites are the Bonne Mine Glow Cheek Stick in peach and the mosaic color block in pink.
For holiday makeup, the focus would be on… trying to create a smoky eye with a little bit of shimmer by adding the Black Diamond Eye Transformer kit.
Laura Mercier products I’m hooked on are… Tinted Moisturizer, Primer Radiance and Secret Camouflage—they’re my lifeline! And my Secret Camouflage Brush.
Laura Mercier products I use daily are… the smooth finish powder foundation just to even out my skin tone, which is somewhat shiny. I wear the matte bronzer for some color and use a little bit of Secret Camouflage. For skincare, I use Laura Mercier’s flawless oil-free skin lotion SPF15 and the flawless eye serum.
Investing in and using the right makeup brushes and tools will not only help give you a flawless look, but save you time and money.
You may not realize it, but using fingers wastes more product, because you are swiping your makeup away and not blending it. It is a lot easier to blend textures with brushes and not create a big mess on your face.
When Backstage Pass heard that Make Up For Ever launched 75 new brushes, it was a story that had to be told. The brand-new collection of 75 artisan brushes are made of environmentally friendly, eco-certified wood, 100-percent engineered fibers for skin comfort, and new designs which allow specific, multiple and diverse makeup applications.
The new brushes are available in Make Up For Ever boutiques at SM Megamall Fashion Hall, Greenbelt 3 and TriNoma popup store.
Laura Mercier is available at Rustan’s Department Store.