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Exclusive: Chelsea Manalo's Makeup Artist on the Beauty Queen's Looks

Jessica Bonoan tells us about the joy of doing the new Miss Universe Philippines' makeup

If there's one obvious thing newly-crowned Miss Universe Philippines Chelsea Manalo's good at, it's serving face and working the camera, both on and off stage. The 25-year-old Filipino-American Bulacan native wowed the crowd, emerging on top, being dubbed "the dark horse" throughout the competition. Not one to be put down by the bullying she's experienced in her life because of her skin color and hair texture, Chelsea gave it her all on coronation night, standing firm for what she believes in, and the values her mother taught her. 

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Chelsea Manalo on the bullying she has experienced | Seven Barretto

And one who's witness to this grace under scrutiny is none other than professional makeup artist Jessica Bonoan, who has worked with Chelsea numerous times in the past for fashion and beauty shoots, as well as during the Miss Universe Philippines pageant as well. We spoke to Jessica and asked her about some of our burning questions. Read on for our quick chat!

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Chelsea Manalo's makeup by Jessica Bonoan | Seven Barretto

Metro.Style: What it is like working with a dark-skinned model/beauty queen like Chelsea Manalo?

Jessica Bonoan: I have worked with Chelsea several times during her photo shoots with [photographer] Seven Barretto. I should say that working with her was one of the best experiences I have had. Her skin tone is as good as anyone else’s. As a makeup artist, I see to it that I match the kind of makeup products to the client’s skin tone and texture, face structure, and look preference, while also matching them to my vision. I’ve always thought that the secret to getting the greatest makeup look is client-artist collaboration.

Her skin tone is as good as anyone else’s


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Makeup Artist Jessica Bonoan | @makeupbyjessicabonoan


MS: What is the most memorable look you’ve done on her? How do you incorporate her values into the looks that you do for her?

JB: I should say it’s the Miss Universe Philippines 2024 preliminaries look. She wore a yellow gown by one of PH’s best designers, Mr. Manny Halasan. My vision was to make her look like a fierce, ready-for-the-crown beauty queen while making sure that her personality would reflect on her face. I focused on making her eyes speak to her audience; they are fierce and soft, just like Chelsea’s personality, which not everyone would know—confident, strong, and gentle. I’d also like to give credit to her hairstylists, Florenz Torrontegui and Amos Martin Nuñez. My vision for Chelsea’s overall looks wouldn’t come to life without them. They are good and easy to work with.

I focused on making her eyes speak to her audience; they are fierce and soft, just like Chelsea’s personality, which not everyone would know—confident, strong, and gentle.


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Chelsea Manalo, makeup by Jessica Bonoan | Seven Barretto


Banner photo by Seven Barretto. Special thanks to Jessica Bonoan.


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