The genius behind Catriona Gray’s sultry "Catriona eye"—an extended cat eye—has quite made a name in the industry, having done the makeup of celebrities like Nadine Lustre, Martine Cajucom-Ho, Sarah Lahbati, Gerogina Wilson, and Solenn Heussaff. Jelly Eugenio, a rising makeup artist to the stars, gave ABS-CBN Lifestyle an exclusive interview on what it was like to train Miss Universe Philippines 2018 Catriona Gray.
[related: #ABSCBNBall2018 Diaries: Bb. Pilipinas Universe Catriona Gray Marked Her Debut With A Statement!]
It may come to a surprise to learn that Jelly, at first, didn’t exactly "believe" why everyone was hyping Catriona. He recalls, “I’m actually one of the hardest people to please, so when I met her, I said, ‘Let’s see.’ I needed to see it for myself before I really bet on her.” But things turned differently during Binibining Pilipinas—the very first time the two worked together. “She blew me away on the coronation night of Binibining Pilipinas. And I thought, ‘this is what’s meant for her,’” recalls Jelly. He adds, “This is the first time that I saw a beauty queen who is really meant for the crown; for Miss Universe.”
Now, the makeup artist is all praises for the 5’10” beauty, whom he says is a very sweet subject. “Actually, Catriona is like a totally different person if you listen to her voice because when she talks in person, she has this little, tiny voice—para talaga siyang pusa that’s very sweet, very malambing. But also, if you see her on screen, she’s ferocious. She could be fierce like a tiger or sweet like a kitten." (See more of Jelly's works on Catriona in the gallery!)
Jelly reveals that Catriona will be doing her makeup throughout this Miss Universe pageantry—which, if you ask us is inspiring because what else can Catriona not do? Jelly trained her to do her makeup, with another celebrity hair artist Brent Sales teaching her hairstyling tricks. “She has very good inputs with it (makeup), she understands what I’m saying kasi she’s been a model for the longest time. So, she knows how to do makeup talaga, and it’s very quick and easy lang. If you share something with her, she understands it right away,” says Jelly. But training Catriona's self-styling wasn’t just like a teacher-student setting, he adds, as everyone has to work together. “We always collaborate with the looks kasi that’s very important. That’s key when doing makeup, it doesn’t have to be one-sided.”
For Jelly, Cat definitely passed her crash course with flying colors. The makeup artist recounts one of his favorite looks of Catriona was when she attended the Miss Universe welcome dinner at Bangkok early this December in a blue off shoulder dress. “She asked us, ‘Hi! This is my dress, what makeup and hair should I do?’ And then our hairstylist Brent Sales said, ‘You can do a low pony, middle part.’ And then I said, ‘You’re wearing a blue dress, so you need to do the fun part that we practiced. The blue eyeshadow.’ She sent us a video, and then we were surprised! It was so good! She did it very well, parang makeup artist gumawa sa makeup nya. It was pang-professional. It was (a) really nice blue eyeshadow. It just peeks, parang pasilip lang. Pag pumikit siya dun mo lang makikita yung blue.”
For Catriona’s makeup this Miss Universe 2018 pageant, the glam team aims to depart from the doll-like Catriona we met at Miss World Philippines 2016, and on to a sultrier, playful, sexy but still classy beauty queen vibe. “We try to really change the eye shape and then lift the eyebrows a bit—her eyes are upturn, she really looks like a cat, even her nose is tiny. And then we tried to give her color a little more sun-kissed, more tanned, more warm tones on the eyes.” The key to nailing this look? “Eye shape. This focuses really on making a look. So yung eye niya is extended, medyo wing eye—which is my favorite—kasi it looks good on everyone,” says Jelly.
In less than 24 hours we’ll know who will be crowned the next Miss Universe, and Jelly is hopeful that Catriona will make it to the list. “I hope we did a good job in training her. But I can see naman that she’s doing the best job that she can.” Jelly shares to ABS-CBN Lifestyle, “Bago sya umalis ngayon actually, inaaral nya… she had a big book of King Bhumibol (Abdulyadej), the king of Thailand who passed away. So, imagine the dedication. Hindi naman 'yun necessary but she’s studying about it kasi it might be something of great help to her.”
But in the end, Jelly believes Catriona’s confidence, dedication, and love for the country will make her stand out. Those, plus her internet-famous lava walk, of course! “If you’ve seen her video with The Bottomline With Boy Abunda, she’s doing it for love. It’s (also) about passion because she’s very dedicated about this and you know about improving the lives of everyone around her. And also, it’s luck. Maybe because she might not have won you know a crown before, maybe because this one is for her.”
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Photos taken from Jelly's Instagram account