Filipino-American makeup artist Roi Santos is a rising star in the beauty industry!
Roi, whose work just landed him on the cover of MAXHEALTH magazine, has become the favorite professional makeup artist of Filipino celebrities Rufa Mae Quinto, Donita Rose, and LJ Moreno who are currently based in the US.
During a Zoom interview recently, Roi recalled the first time he made friends with Rufa Mae who got stranded in the US due to the pandemic.
“I approached her and asked if she’s Rufa Mae because I wasn’t so sure. She said yes and then after that, we instantly hit it off. Two weeks later, I met her best friend, who happens to be LJ. I’ll be forever grateful to Rufa Mae because I was able to meet so many celebrities,” he said.
Ås for Donita, Roi said: “It was also in Sephora, this was months after I met Peachy (nickname of Rufa Mae), and I thought that she’s working for a brand because she carried herself very nicely, all beautiful — she got her hair done, makeup done — and she said, ‘I’m a customer here.’ And then I remember seeing a picture of Peachy having lunch with her, so I asked if she’s Donita Rose, and she said yes.”
Aside from Rufa Mae, Donita and LJ, Roi has done stunning makeup tricks on Filipino beauty queens Miss Universe Philippines 2020 Rabiya Mateo and Maria Isabel Lopez.
“Miss Universe Philippines 2020 Rabiya Mateo. I got to do her makeup. I also did Miss Universe Philippines, Maria Isabel Lopez. We went to her mansion and it’s gorgeous. I will meet Cherie Gil in August,” Roi added.
Sought to give advice on how to achieve the perfect look with makeup, Roi said: “In this industry, practice makes perfect.”
Roi said that he is simply honored that celebrities trust him in doing their makeup.
“I am very happy and contented with my life. I am in a place where I am accepted of who I am. I am honored to do their makeup because it’s surreal. To get to practice this craft on their beautiful faces of celebrities and them as my models, it’s just perfect,” he said.
Roi said that he gains the trust of celebrity friends in making them beautiful by encouraging them to ask questions.
“Makeup is my art. In enduring every consultation, I would encourage them to ask questions. When they ask questions, you will know what they want. That’s what I like about these celebrities, they trust you when I do makeup for them. It’s crazy when they trust you. You’re going to be the bus driver,” he also said.
Donita, who works as corporate R&D chef of Island Pacific, said putting makeup has earned her the respect of clients.
“Do you know that people are much more responsive positively when I’m wearing makeup? I want to show people that I want to look my best, I may have a background as a celebrity, people recognize me, but then they are shock that a celebrity is serving my food,” Donita revealed.
Donita added: “It’s a combination of two worlds, like I’m a celebrity, and now I’m into food and beverage. When I fix my hair and I do my makeup, people treat me better. I feel it and I know it. In a sense, there’s command respect. Makeup commands respect. I usually keep my makeup simple. I want my makeup virginal. That’s just a joke. I use light colors. That’s how I usually put my makeup on.”
“But when I do photo shoots, I am more into experimental, since I don’t really enjoy putting my makeup on so much. I would tell the makeup artist ‘mag-play time ka. I trust you. That’s what good about having a makeup artist you can trust. You can relax and enjoy,” she said.
LJ, who migrated to the US with husband former basketball star Jimmy Alapag, said she’s not much of a makeup person.
“Me naman, I don’t really put makeup. I am very dependent. Ever since, laging kailangan kong magpa makeup. But si Jackie Forster, she’s a good friend if mine, she would remind me before, ‘puwede ba? mag-lipstick ka man lang or mag-blush on. Okay na yun. Huwag kang lalabas ng walang lipstick.’ Yun ang palagi niyang sinasabi. Tumatak na yun sa isip ko, and sabi ko okay, konting blush on and lipstick,” LJ said.
Donita added: “We feel transformed.”
Roi also dreams of doing makeup with one of the biggest stars in the universe.
“I love Angelina Jolie. Her beauty is exquisite. She loves helping out people, refugees, and she’s generous. I think she’s very beautiful inside and out.”
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