How I got my job: makeup artist Anj Dargani

anj dargani makeup artist


How I got my job is a series that spotlights a specific job or position that isn’t often featured in media. Through this series, we hope to shed light on the duties and work-life of some of the most interesting jobs in the Philippines. We’ll also share a few tips from insiders on how to land one of these positions.

Pacifiqa talks to Anj Dargani on how to get started as a makeup artist, the must-have tools of the trade, and more.


Tell us a few things about yourself.

I am 37 years old, and I was born and raised in the Philippines. Out of college, I helped my dad in our family business and worked part time as I was busy with my child. Just 3-1/2 years ago, I discovered my passion for makeup, then pursued my dreams.


When did you know a career in beauty was for you?

Four years ago, our family went for a vacation in Dubai. We were there for two weeks, and I noticed the women there had such amazing eye makeup. I actually approached a random woman there and asked her how she did her eye makeup and what makeup products she used. I went to MAC Cosmetics and Make Up For Ever and bought makeup from them, but asked them to teach me how to apply whatever I bought. Once I got back here in Philippines, I decided to take up professional makeup courses.


Did you get formal training?

I started with a basic personal makeup course at School Of Fashion and Arts (SOFA) as I didn’t have much background in makeup. After finishing that course, I saw how I could transform a person through makeup.

I also took up the Beauty and Fashion Makeup Course, and Airbrush Makeup and Hairstyling courses at HD Makeup Studio and Academy, but I realized hair styling wasn’t for me as I didn’t see myself happy or excited while doing hair.

Just last year, I felt the urge to take a more advanced course so I took up the Advanced Beauty, Photography and High Fashion Make Up for Professional Artists course in Maguillage Professional School of Makeup Artistry and also ended up taking their Bridal Make Up course.

I still update myself through YouTube, Instagram, and various workshops. There is so much thirst to learn more.


(Dix Perez)
(Dix Perez)


Did you do internships?

I didn’t do internships. Instead, I offered my services for free to my family and friends for a month and a half. Then in December 2011, I started Magic by Anj Dargani and began offering my professional services. I am also a guest makeup artist in MAC-Rockwell.


How did you get your start in the beauty industry? Did you earn right away?

I tried my best to get connected to different photographers, stars, models, and beauty queens.

I didn’t earn right away. It took me two years or so to start earning. I kept investing on good quality makeup, as well as taking courses and workshops. I still do that, though I try to control myself when I shop for makeup.


Do you have a signature look? What sets you apart from other makeup artists?

I make sure my clients look neat and clean. I make sure my canvass is clean before and after makeup application. My clients always say, “Malinis ka mag-makeup.” And I am also known for my eye makeup application, particularly smoky eyes. I love playing around with different colors: earth colors for natural look, colorful eye shadows for fashion, and avant-garde makeup.

(Pilar Tuason)
(Pilar Tuason)


What is a typical day for you?

I get up early, as I drop my son to school. I make sure I clean my brushes before I step out for gigs or after I get home from a gig, if it’s not too late. If I am not working, I am either watching makeup tutorials or updating my social media profiles for more exposure.


What has been the biggest challenge of your career so far?

Well, I could say my biggest challenge so far is to increase my clientele and to always be updated with my makeup skills.


What are the perks?

What could be a better perk than being able to instantly beautify myself? As I am vain, I also like to look good. Another perk is I get to work with people from different walks of life: students, brides, celebrities, beauty queens, local and international models. I also get to be a part of some prestigious events when I am asked to do makeup for VIPs.


What is it about being a makeup artist that not a lot of people know?

A lot of people have the impression that our job is very easy, but what they fail to see is that it can get tiring. A two-hour job can quickly turn into to a whole day or even a two-day session. Sometimes, we have to skip meals as well, as our priority is to beautify our clients. It is an everyday thing as one has to still clean brushes after going home from work.

Another thing they don’t know is that it takes time to be successful in this field — you really need a lot of patience.


Who would you love to get into your makeup chair?

I have worked on some celebrities, beauty queens and international models such as Jasmine Curtis-Smith, Phoemela Baranda, Patti Grandidge, and Sandra Seifert.

If given a chance, I would love to have Kim Jones, Julia Barretto, and KC Concepcion in my makeup chair. I would also love to do the makeup of Jennifer Lopez, Megan Fox, Angelina Jolie, and Kim Kardashian.

(Ken Go)
(Ken Go)


Can you give us an idea how much beginning makeup artists would need to invest in cosmetics, tools, and kits? What are the must-haves?

Be ready to invest about a total of Php 70-100K in your schooling and good quality makeup products. With quality products you can never go wrong — especially the lasting power and pigmentation of makeup. Don’t be scared to make mistakes in purchasing makeup products. I did, but I learned from it. You will eventually know what you should invest on and what you shouldn’t.


1. I prefer mirror with lights than a makeup station as it is easier to travel with it.
2. I highly recommend a makeup chair as your back would be protected and you could easily work on many clients.
3. Skincare Products: cleanser, toner, moisturizer and lip balm.
4. Primer is a must-have as this is main reason your makeup will last up to 12 to 15 hours.
5. A good foundation is a must. Remember this is the base of your makeup.
6. Two to three blushes in different matte shades.
7. Contour powder.
8. Eyebrow powder/ brow pencil / brow mascara.
9. Brown and black eyeliners which are water proof and smudge proof.
10. A palette composed of natural eye shadow perfect for natural and bridal makeup and palette of various colored eye shadow for fashion and avant-garde makeup.
11. Waterproof and smudge proof mascara.
12. Different kinds of false lashes.
13. Various long lasting lipsticks and lip liners.
14. Colorless lip gloss.
15. Colorless loose powder.
16. Pressed powder in three shades: light, medium, and medium dark
17. Concealers and color correctors.
18. Others: cotton, cotton tips, makeup wipes, makeup remover, scissors, tweezers and shaver.


What are some tips you can give for new makeup artists? Any advice on preparing a portfolio?

It is okay to do ex deals photoshoots with good photographers because you can get a good portfolio that will really show your makeup well. Continuously build your portfolio as new trends come up, so you can easily showcase your skills and let your clients see how updated and versatile you are.



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