I studied makeup artistry with Fashion Institute of Design and Arts March of 2016, and that is how everything started. I started with makeup and worked with freelance models and photographers while I was building my portfolio. My journey as a makeup artist has been fun and exciting as I have worked with renowned makeup artists in my city as part of their team during events, I have conceptualized and successfully organized fashion shoots where in photographers who are still building their portfolios and want to shoot something unique can pay an entry fee to shoot. I have participated in events, and runway shows. Another turn in my career happened when I met my mentor, a famous fashion designer in Cebu, Philippines, Dexter Alazas and signed up for his Stylissimo Mentoring Course. I was personally mentored by Dexter Alazas, and he taught me the essentials of being in the beauty and fashion industry. During the course, I designed a display window for a mall, styled a fashion shoot using his creations, applied makeup on his model during a press conference presentation and was taught how to manage clients, sponsors and models.
As I travel a lot, I tend to make use of the opportunity to use the international sceneries/locations as a backdrop for a photo shoot and use it to expand not just my portfolio, but also my network as I connect with the local models, photographers and brands.
My most recent shoot was in Norway on the 6th & 7th of October where I did makeup and wardrobe styling for three models in collaboration with a My Oh My, a beauty salon and Paulius Kumpys, a Lithuanian photographer based in Bergen, Norway. The day after that I was hired to do a fashion photo shoot for a couple and did four wardrobe changes.
I am passionate in what I do, and I hope to go far in this career. I love the gratifying feeling of how a person can transform not just physically but also mentally by just using the power of makeup and picking the right clothes. To see confidence blossom from a person who has less of it is beautiful.
Our readers would love to get to know you more Vernel. Tell us about yourself, what is unique about you?
I hate being late. People have called me OC when it comes to time. I think it is mostly because I don't like waiting and I understand the value of time. I believe in "Do not do unto others what you don't want others to do unto you."
Vernel, what are your passion and aspiration in life? How did you start as a Fashion Stylist?
I desire to work for magazines as a stylist or a makeup artist. Or become a celebrity stylist. I love the world of fashion and everything that comes with it.
I started as a Fashion Stylist when I started being mentored by Cebu's fashion designer and Hablon advocate - Dexter Alazas. I have told him that I was a makeup artist, however, saw my styling skills, and he helped me hone that skill by immersing me into some of his events and shows. This gave me more confidence to style fashion shoots internationally, and being a makeup artist became a bonus.
Who is your inspiration in life Vernel? How do you keep inspired?
My little ones, Emma & Aiden, are my constant inspiration in everything I do in life. They are my everything and everything I do; I do for them. For their future.
It also helps that a special person in my life has been very supportive in everything I set my mind into, especially my career choice as he knows and sees how passionate I am with it and it is where I am happiest when it comes to working.
They keep me going, even when the going gets tough. They make me want to be a better from the person I was yesterday.
We all make mistakes Vernal; we wish we could take back. Please tell us about time being a Fashion Stylist; you wish you’d handled a situation differently with a colleague.
I would rather share a mistake I wish I could take back as a Makeup Artist. I was asked by a photographer to do makeup for his photo shoot but something happened which disabled me from doing makeup, and so I had to cancel last minute (and I hate last minute cancellations). This I believe closed my opportunity to work with this photographer ever again in which I found out that he handles a modelling agency as well.
Vernel, when you’re working with a large number of clients, it’s tricky to deliver excellent service to them all. As a Fashion Stylist, how do you go about prioritizing your clients’ needs?
I always believe in being efficient with time and never settling for mediocrity. I believe that it is important to understand your client's personality to be able to deliver satisfying result when it comes to Fashion Styling. It is that plus understanding the event your client needs styling for. I always make sure that I study each client's taste in everything and learn from that.
Please tell us Vernal, about a time you had to be very strategic to meet all your top priorities as a Fashion Stylist?
I own and operate a language school where I am from however when I started the mentoring course; this took away a lot of time from my business. I had to weigh investing time, effort and money to makeup and styling versus sitting in the office and making sure everything ran.
Eventually, I chose not to miss an opportunity to grow as a Fashion Stylist and found a balance wherein I can still manage my business even when I am not physically present in the office. Thanks to mobile data, I can manage inquiries and employees online. I made sure I check my emails while I am on the go or in between breaks while on styling and makeup jobs.
Vernel, please give us an example of a time when you were able to successfully persuade someone to see things your way at work.
I am a pretty vocal when it comes to this work, so I normally layout my ideas to people I work with and so far I have not yet encountered any objections where in I needed to persuade someone to do things the way I want things done.
Other than that, I can't think of anything else other than persuading a model to wear only a bodysuit, fishnet stockings, knee-high boots and a trench coat for a fashion shoot in the middle of the city. Apparently, she thought it was too much to show in public. I explained the concept of the shoot and showed my story board for the shoot and eventually agreed. She was a bit awkward at first, but after a few pep talk, she managed to put more SWAG on and got great shots.
Vernel, please tell us about your proudest professional accomplishment as a Fashion Stylist. There might be many, but there is always this proudest moment that you just want to share with everyone. What is it and why?
I would say that the most recent fashion shoot in Norway was the proudest moment for me. Seeing my models wearing all the pieces I have picked, being satisfied with my makeup application on them, the salon team proud and happy with how the models look and seeing that their hairstyles are well done, to my awesome photographer being pumped up and excited to shoot because I have styled and made the models look amazing. He could not stop raving about how excited he was to edit the photos and publish.
Vernel, please give us an example of a time you were able to be creative with your work. What was exciting or difficult about it?
It was during the first time I organized a photo shoot and wanted to make my shoot one that is unique. I sourced out and rented an albino python and three beautiful tarantulas to co-model with models I picked. It was exciting to build the set for the python and the snake. I think the only difficult thing was that the python was heavy and it took a while for some of the models to overcome the fear of a big spider crawling on their faces.
What advice would you give to the people who want to be successful as a Fashion Stylist?
Your level of success is determined by your level of discipline and perseverance. The hardest battle you will ever to fight is between who you are now and who you want to be tomorrow. Go as long as you can, and then take another step. Train yourself to find the blessing in everything.
Are you looking for collaboration with fashion talents, brands and creatives? If yes, please state below what type of collaboration you are looking for?
YES!!! Definitely. I would love to hatch a fashion shoot concept where I am just given clothes to style and build a story around it or play with makeup for a shoot.
Now for the best part Vernel! Please upload 5-10 photos so we can get to see your work.
Cover Photo 1 & 2, Photo1-5:
Paulius Kumpys @kiuben86
Kristoffer Go @krispsaix
Dave Dionson @koda.kiko
Ryan Orcullo @ryanorcullocreatives