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I’m not anywhere near a professional artist, but I try to be by doing better at every photoshoot sneaked out of my hectic rest days. Likewise, I have no certificate in makeup or hairstyling, nor have I attended a workshop in photography, so I resort to a lot of googling as well as leafing through fashion magazines . . . currently those sent by my US-based friend May Nacario-Repunte.

Last Saturday, whim struck me again, prodding me to literally pull my niece Jersey Anne out of her post-lunch nap for an afternoon of makeover-cum-pictorial. Bent on becoming a beauty queen/model herself, she hastily kicked her blanket aside and willingly obliged again to be a victim of my irresistible mania for makeup, especially that I’d just been driven by my glossies to create a wavy Oscars-esque hairstyle, a sophisticated Latinaish eyeshadow, and an Arabian model’s nose line.

I don’t see myself becoming a photographer in the longest run, although I’m inspired by Patrick Demarchelier’s story and fascinated by Fadil Berisha’s Miss Universe/Miss USA/Miss Teen USA portfolio. But then again, I hope that through my newfound passion for portrait photography, my irreparable appreciation for beauty and my God-given way with words, I could fulfill my mission to help in bringing out the best in everyone.

Beauty—whether classic, or exotic, or whatnot—is innate in each one of us. It is the makeup artist’s, the photographer’s, and the writer’s goal to embellish it so that, by doing so, we’ll learn to appreciate the beauty that we’re all endowed with.

As what Jawaharlal Nehru, India’s first prime minister, said: “We live in a wonderful world that is full of beauty, charm, and adventure. There is no end to the adventures that we can have if only we seek them with our eyes open.”

Hair/Makeup/Photography: By Ariel Allera
Model: Jersey Anne Allera Salazar
Outfit: Almira Allera Baginski
Location: Malabuyoc, Cebu