raveena wanderland

Meet The Filipina Makeup Artist Who Did Raveena’s Eye-Catching Wanderland Look

There's nothing wrong with shooting your shot.

Makeup artist Jia Achacruz tells us why there’s nothing wrong with sliding into your fave’s DMs—for a good cause, of course.

We all dream of a moment where we can hangout with our faves. Imagine going to Burning Man with SZA or going thrift shopping with Harry Styles? Seems like a fantasy, yes? But not for Filipina makeup artist Jia Achacruz. As a creative, getting to work with your number one artist may be farfetched, but she knew she had to do more than just double tapping their pictures.

When indie artist Raveena Aurora was looking for a glam team to work with for her Wanderland performance, the ball was in Jia’s court. She just had to shoot her shot. Below, we caught up with the makeup artist on how she reacted to bagging the job, doing Raveena’s makeup, and her thoughts on Filipino beauty.

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How long have you been doing makeup?

I’ve been doing makeup since 2015, but full time since 2017. 

What are your favorite works so far?

There is honestly too much to mention, but the ones I have a lot of stories to are the DBTK x H&M collab, Kakie’s abOUT HER SPACE album art and music video, NYLON Manila’s SB19 cover, my makeup for Daniel Padilla’s Halloween costume for Star Magic Ball, October 2019, and of course, Raveena for Wanderland.

We saw that you were the first to reach out to Raveena to do her makeup at Wanderland. Can you tell us about the whole experience?

I’m not really sure if I was the first, but I knew it was meant to happen. I mean, what are the odds? The morning of February 24, my co-makeup artist showed me Raveena’s Instagram story looking for a makeup artist in Manila and Tokyo for her shows with an email address of her management. Since we had a bit of down time as my team and I were waiting to start working for a wedding that day, I thought if I didn’t send that email right then and there, I would be busy the whole day and forget about it. I knew I’ll regret it if I didn’t even try. I typed a short message attached with a copy of my portfolio, sent that email, and let the universe play my cards.

“In my head I already knew I had to do more than just Instagram DMs and emails. I thought how can she notice me?”

For the next two days I was checking my email for a reply, nothing. But I had hope thinking Wanderland’s still a week away. A lot can happen. I have seven days to open doors for that opportunity. Another friend also sent me a screenshot of Raveena’s story and I told her “Oh, I’ve already emailed them a few days ago and I’m still waiting for their reply.” She wished me well and hoped I would book the job. In my head I already knew I had to do more than just Instagram DMs and emails. I thought how can she notice me? I tagged her in the comments of my pinned IG reel on my profile. It’s one of my most favorite I did on myself, and I thought the colors and concept of that makeup look fits Raveena’s vibe.

As I said in my post, I was shooting for the stars, and little did I know the comment was a flaming arrow. I was really determined to get some kind of reaction from her, because at the end of the day I just wanted to try. As long as Wanderland hasn’t happened yet, I still have the chance. The next morning, I was suddenly awakened by my dog at four in the morning. I also have a bad habit of checking my notifications right after waking up. Still half asleep I skimmed through my notifications and saw: “@raveena_aurora sent you a message.” And without exaggeration, I did jump out of bed in excitement. My heart was racing, and when her message read, “I would love that let’s do it,” I cried tears of joy because I trusted the process and it worked. It worked!

“I was shooting for the stars, and little did I know the comment was a flaming arrow. I was really determined to get some kind of reaction from her, because at the end of the day I just wanted to try.”

Her manager contacted me a few hours later via email and we had a brief conversation about rates, and guidelines about the project, as well as Raveena’s allergies. Her manager informed me Raveena has severe tree nuts and seed oil allergies, and that we’re not allowed to use any product on her with any nut/seed oil content. At that time I only had four days to prepare, and having shoots booked before Wanderland weekend gave me even less time to do my research. I checked every ingredient in every makeup product I have, and removed any thing that may trigger her allergies. It was gruesome, but I did learn a lot from my research. I also wanted to be extra safe, so when I had products that I cannot use, like my lip balms because of shea butter, my face mists and setting sprays because mine have coconut water or argan oil in them, or some face powders with jojoba oil in them. I had to find what I could last minute in the department store beauty section just so I could complete my kit, and be extra careful this time. I absolutely cannot f*ck this up. We also had last minute things to take care of as we didn’t have a hairstylist yet a day before her show. Luckily, Arthur Tolentino, a friend and talented hairstylist was willing to take on the gig.

The day of her performance, Saturday, March 4th, as much as I was nervous if I have prepared enough, I was more excited to experience doing her makeup. I have dreamt of this day so long—doing an internationally acclaimed artist’s makeup on tour. I knew I had to bring my A-game because I happen to be one of the very few lucky Filipinos she’ll be interacting with first hand. I mean, I gotta represent. She was really lovely. When she opened her hotel room door, I immediately extended my hand for a handshake introducing myself. Instead, she gave me a warm hug. That was nice. It felt so grounding being there with her. She asked us to help her fit her clothes on her before we do glam, told us how much she loved tocino, and how she would love to explore more of the Philippines given the chance.

For her makeup itself, we both agreed it should match the lovely tassel dress made by Denisse Vera, which was lilac and silver. I had makeup inspos prepared for her and we just edited what concept we liked best. She told me for performances, she likes keeping her makeup within the perimeters of her eyes as it looks best on stage. I decided to do some purple abstract squiggles on the sides of her eyes extending to her temples, highlighting it with silver, and placing silver rhinestone appliques strategically along the makeup design. I suggested we do a pop of pink on her inner corners to contrast all of the purple, and I’m glad we did because it looked really good on stage. We also decided to put rhinestones down her nose to give it a focal point, and unify the look as a whole. We finished off her look with a sleek cat eyeliner extending her inner corners as well, and finished off with wispy false eyelashes. For her lipstick we decided to go a deeper nude rosy color in matte to match the pop of pink on her eyes. Overall, it was a great experience as she has been very chill to work with. She knew what she wanted, but took suggestions as well. I will forever cherish that experience. 

Where do you see Filipino beauty in five years?

“Filipino beauty in five years would definitely be people accepting themselves as they are.”

 I think Filipino beauty in five years will be a globally competitive market, because we do have world-class products. I see brands putting out more complexion products, and better skin care and priming products. I feel like we’re becoming more aware of what works for our skin given our environment, and brands are putting out more products with sun protection, or better mattifying ingredients to combat oiliness, etc. I hope in five years we see more range in color, both in skin tones, and for the creatives out there. We need more options for colorful eyeshadow palettes and liners, because we love to explore what we can source. Color range should absolutely be inclusive and creative. Filipino beauty in five years would definitely be people accepting themselves as they are. 

What lessons can you impart to emerging creatives?

If you are ever interested in a career in the fashion and beauty industry, the best advice I can give and has worked for me is always be on your best behavior and show up. Showing up is not just being on time for work. Showing up means fixing yourself up even on your worst days, because you want to look presentable to clients, or lending a hand on set even if it’s not exactly your job shows you care for the whole project and not just your for your own benefit. Showing up is doing everything you can to get the best output for the project, and finishing what you started. Networking is also an important thing to learn because you never know what opportunities await you until you meet new people. And lastly, take risks and just execute your ideas! Remember that there’s always room to grow.

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