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Making it in Makeup

Doing makeup for Melai Cantiveros

HOLLYWOOD, CA – Apart from my girlfriend carrying me to Sephora, one other thing I remember greatly about professional makeup is when I hosted a big university event. There would be thousands of people watching, my face would be shown on the big LED boards, and gazillion lumens had my eyes burning to its core. The production told me what and what not to say, what and what not to wear – but they did not say I had to wear makeup, until it was 30 minutes before the show.

Of the many times I have hosted, that was the only time I wore makeup while hosting because I really never cared for it. I was only convinced when a staffer commented that I look pale and that Diane Lorenzana would be doing the makeup. Two things: I need color. I trust Diane Lorenzana. 

Diane Lorenzana and I are from the same program in college. I know her to be a very professional and artistic individual. She is assertive, opinionated, but is very genuine and a humble person, with a bucket full of life’s positivity. I also find her humor my cup of tea. We were both exposed to the principles and praxis of multimedia – from journalism, advertising, management, radio, television, film, and theatre. She is well-exposed and well-trained that she had her phases of earlier fame in the university. Diane Lorenzana, even before she graduated and has started in the industry, has already made a name for herself as a professional makeup artist. Prior her move to the United States, Ate Diane had worked at events and had Filipino celebrities for clients such as couple Melai and Jason Francisco, beauty queens Catriona Gray and Valerie Weigmann, and veteran actress-activist Boots Anson-Roa. She has been very active in the Philippine Fashion Week, and jumped on opportunities at the LA Fashion Week as she arrived here in the US. 

In 2015, Diane was mentored by former Vice President and current Governing Board Member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (Yes, THE ACADEMY AWARDS) Leonard Engelman in professional beauty and high fashion at Hollywood’s Cinema Makeup School. She was chosen as a finalist for the “Battle of the Brushes” at the International Makeup Artist Trade show in Los Angeles for the beauty/fantasy category, and won the first ever National Makeup Artist Championship award at the 2016 Stan Lee’s LA Comic Con . 


Diane enrolled at Hollywood’s Cinema Makeup School where she was mentored by Leonard Engelman, former Vice President of the Academy. The picture on the right shows Diane three-time Academy Award winning makeup artist Ve Neill.

She is also a licensed cosmetologist in California who moonlights at the high society skincare brand Erno Laszlo.
Seven years have passed and I’ve talked to her again over egg whites and guacamole. The makeup artist known in university has ventured into bodybuilding and may soon apply for a role of an amazon in a Wonderwoman installation. Why not? She’s in Hollywood, anyway.


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I praised her prosthetic work and I am just at awe with the whole gore thing. It looks very real. 
“I look up to people like Greg Nicotero of The Walking Dead fame, Mike Spatola, sculptor Jordu Schell, Lois Burwell, Ve Neill, Kathryn L. Blondell and a lot of amazing women special effects artists here in Hollywood especially because SFX makeup is a male dominated field,” she replied.
“Male dominated field, but there are so many women into makeup, right? Ang daming babae na gumagawa ng makeup tutorial videos. Maraming kalaban. (A lot of women publish makeup tutorial videos. There is great competition.)”
“Exactly. That’s what makes it harder. The competition is a little rough now because a lot of people want to do makeup. But I find that with the right company, you actually learn and grow more as an artist. Also, the challenge of being creative all the time, sometimes it can be a little difficult because of time management and working with different people that all have different visions on a project. I’m lucky naman to be able to work with people that give me some sort of liberty when I do makeup on their films, whether a short film or feature.”
I asked her why she decided to move to the United States. 
“Well, this is Hollywood. I’m pretty sure people will agree with me when I say that this is where I should be if I want to work on film and television. Just going around the city, you’re able to meet people that work in the industry and it’s pretty amazing. I want to go back to the Philippines one day so I can share the knowledge I acquired here to the artists in the Philippines. I dream of one day opening up a studio or school to teach makeup in the Philippines, the way that it’s being taught here in the US. I think there are many amazing artists back home that just can’t afford to leave or study, and I want to help them learn and hopefully help the entertainment industry in the Philippines as well.” Ate replied.
I agree with her. Costume, makeup, and production design are very important to every production. They are our unsung creative heroes of the entertainment industry. They aid in the suspension of disbelief as much as our actors do onstage or onscreen. The better part is she has already taken few steps in achieving her goal. 

“Now, I am working with a startup production company that believes in my craft, so with that, I want to be able to shoot a movie in the Philippines eventually. Since I’m also working on set and now I’m part of a work study program at a special effects makeup lab, I’m gathering more knowledge on the craft and what it takes to run a studio/school so that one day soon I’ll be able to establish one in my home country.”

I like it when she mentions the Philippines so I asked her how her being Filipino helps her in the industry.

“It keeps me grounded. I know I have a lot to learn still and definitely more skills to work on, but I am pretty confident in the way I work with people. I’m very proud to say that I’m from the Philippines, no matter where I go, because of how I was raised and how I am able to deal with others. My dad always reminded me to stay humble no matter who I rub elbows with, so in some way, these attitudes set me aside from the whole ‘Hollywood’ persona, I believe. This also allows me to stay true to my craft and be someone that people want to be around with, especially on set. I am also very diligent when it comes to learning new things, I don’t think learning ever stops. Filipinos are diligent and industrious. You have to constantly be practicing your skills, even if you think you already know how to do it.”
“Do you work with Filipinos, too?”
“I work with Filipino designers, models and photographers, but I haven’t met another Filipina makeup artist here that I actually have worked on set with. There’s a good community of Filipino artists here in LA actually that I get along with pretty well and as much as we can, we collaborate with each other to promote the culture.” 
Ate, how do you see yourself ten years from now?”
Matanda? (Old?) Haha. Ten years from now, I see myself doing the same thing I am doing right now and with even more passion, if possible. I want to have my own studio in the US and also in the Philippines. I would be working on set, but also help young artists to better their skills. I am a big believer in passionate people, and I feel very blessed to be given the opportunities that I have now, I want to be able to share that to others eventually. I also want to create an impact in the Philippine entertainment industry and improve the standards we have when it comes to film and tv production. There are so many artists out there that, if given the right training, chance, and products, can create amazing art for film and television. We need the right guidance – and I want to be one of the people that will help bring that to light. Filipinos can compete with other countries when it comes to quality tv shows and movies. I think it’s achievable in ten years.”

It’s elating to see Ate Diane in this developing phase of her life. She is moving towards new challenges, conquering Hollywood, breaking the glass ceiling, not just for her but for her people. I admire her passion and her tremendous discipline. If only more Filipino artisans could have her characters, I am sure more Filipino faces will get over the phase of difficulty and find success wherever they are in the globe.

This is to seeing more of your name in makeup credits in Hollywood. Cheers!

For more information on Diane Lorenzana: https://www.facebook.com/dianelorenzanamakeup/

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