With Halloween lurking right around the corner, let fashion designer and makeup artist Happy Andrada get you in the spooky spirit and inspire you with her jaw-dropping, Filipino-themed creations for this year's Halloween Makeup Challenge.
As a tradition to celebrate her favorite time of the year, Andrada takes on the challenge to showcase her creativity in a fun and playful way through makeup and costumes.
The award-winning fashion designer, whose pieces have graced international runways, is also a talented makeup artist. She studied professional makeup artistry at The London School of Beauty and Makeup apart from finishing fashion courses at the Central Saint Martins in London and the London College of Fashion.
For this year’s challenge, Andrada told PhilSTAR L!fe that she is veering away from the cliché Halloween looks and decided to have a Filipino theme, taking inspiration from everything Filipino—from mythology to festivals.
“I’m doing the Philippine theme for the whole month,” she said. “I find it patriotic and it is something different. At the same time, I’m learning more about our culture and I am able to share little details about them.”
When the first of October arrived, Andrada posted on social media her first look inspired by the sirenas or mermaids with hypnotizing water ripple effect. From there, she has done masterful, detailed characters that she says she enjoyed putting together.
These characters include nuno sa punso, agimat, Angono, Rizal’s Higantes Festival, and diety Amihan.
In every post, Andrada includes tidbits of information about the character and she also shares what makeup she uses for each look.
So far, among her favorites is the character inspired by the Alamat ng Pinya, which Andrada said terrified her when she was kid. For this trippy look, she used Mehron’s Paradise Makeup AQ and Ready. Set. Glow. liner. She is also wearing one of her modern barong creations. With Andrada’s realistic eye drawings, can you spot where her real eyes are?
It’s not all mythical creatures and scary characters in Andrada’s lineup this year. In keeping with the theme, she also did a different take on the image of National Hero Jose Rizal. Instead of the visual of Rizal that most people are familiar with, Andrada took inspiration from clothing brand Team Manila’s logo, which is a silhouette of Rizal in aviators.
“I wanted to share something about our National Hero and I’ve always been a fan of Team Manila’s signature Jose Rizal look so I decided to translate that in my makeup,” she said.
It was quite tricky doing this creation, Andrada said, as she only relied on the shadows to translate the look.
She starts conceptualizing a look by brainstorming and designing how the character will come to life, especially that some of them are not common makeup looks. She then draws and layouts the details on her face and paints away.
In a previous interview with L!fe, the fun-loving designer said it takes a tedious amount of work prepping to create a look—from putting makeup, hairstyling, getting in the costumes and props (which are her creations as well), and finally getting the perfect shot.
Last year, Andrada completed the “31 Days of Halloween Challenge,” where she religiously posted a different look every day the whole month of October. It culminated in a haunting, elaborate look.
This year, Andrada says she is eyeing between 20 and 25 looks (compared to the over 31 she completed last year) as she has been juggling a few things since the pandemic started—including designing and creating PPEs for doctors of the Philippine Society of Ultrasound in Obstetrics and Gynecology, and running H&T Wine Gallery, a business she and her husband, Tanguy Gras, owns.
The Halloween season, Andrada said, brings back memories of her childhood, where she, together with her sister and cousins, would dress up and do their own makeup for Halloween.
“It wasn’t our best looks because we only used our mom’s outfits, teased our hair and used powder with water and egg on our face,” she recalled. “But we learned independence by doing our own styling. It encouraged us to be creative and resourceful.”
This year, though restrictions and community quarantines are slowly getting relaxed, Andrada said she and her husband are planning to have a simple Beetlejuice/Tim Burton themed night at home to celebrate Halloween.
“With everything going on around us now, I think Halloween is an escape. It’s a day when we can have fun, dress up and be creative with our makeup and costumes, and bond with our family and friends even if it’s online,” she said.