With a range of celebrity clients and various salon branches under her belt, legendary makeup artist and hairstylist Bambbi Fuentes is at a point in her career where she no longer needs to introduce herself. Yet she still does. As she walks in the studio for today’s shoot, she warmly greets everybody in the room, occasionally showering them with genuine compliments. Aside from her talked-about talent, perhaps it is also this sweet disposition of hers that has made her an industry favorite all these years.
Bambbi’s effortless skill in bringing out the best in others started early: “My love for makeup started in grade school, when I would slightly alter the makeup in the magazine covers my mother would subscribe to,” she says as she reminisces about her childhood, adding that she would use crayons to thicken the cover girls’ brows or change the color of their lipstick to highlight their features. Her interest in hair would start at around the same time, when she would play with her sister’s long hair.
She goes on to share that breaking into the industry then was quite difficult, but also highly rewarding at the same time. “During those years, most makeup artists knew how to do hair also, so that challenged me,” she says. Instead of getting frustrated over each challenge, however, Bambbi took this as an opportunity to grow: “I would never get tired during my early years, since I was having too much fun doing hair and makeup. I would also spend my money on fashion magazines for constant inspiration.”
For today’s shoot, Bambbi’ source of inspiration is news anchor Ice Martinez, who has been both a client and a friend for more than 10 years. “She was actually the one who did my makeup for prom,” the bubbly Ice shares, adding that over the years, Bambbi has been like a second mother to her. With a job that requires you to face a camera on a daily basis, it is only natural that Ice would not only want the best, but someone who truly knows her features. “Ice has chinky eyes, so we like to open them up with a smokey eye most days,” says Bambbi as she starts to work her magic.
“Classic looks—think Elizabeth Taylor, Marilyn Monroe and Audrey Hepburn—also inspire me a lot. I would watch a lot of these old movies and admire the makeup looks of these actresses. But at the same time, I was also interested in trendy looks. It’s always a mix of both,” Bambbi says. We can see this in the two looks that she has applied on her muse: the first one being matching peach lips and cheeks with simple liner, while the other look is centered on a more intense smokey eye.
In the same way that her makeup highlights her client’s best features, Bambbi believes that their hair should adjust to their type of lifestyle and the way they carry themselves: “I want my client to be comfortable. While I suggest to them to try different—but still flattering—styles every now and then, their hair should ultimately suit their personality.”
Watching and engaging in conversation with Bambbi is truly inspiring, whether you want to follow the same career path or if you are simply just an observer. For those of you who plan to get into the same industry, however, she shares a few tips. In addition to telling aspiring makeup artists and hairstylists to keep experimenting, Bambbi leaves us with a simple yet profound piece of advice: “Just keep doing what makes you happy; don’t think about the monetary reward yet, the rest will follow. As long as the passion is there, you will never go wrong.”
As seen on MEGA Magazine June 2018.