beauty . Interview

Artists Behind Artists: Celebrity Makeup Artist Jigs Mayuga

On professionalism and cultivating artistry

Behind every celebrity's brows on fleek and perfect contour lies the mastery of a makeup artist. It is quite intriguing to know the inspirations and motivations into transforming what others deem as a hobby into a career. So what better way to dive deep into this profession than hear it from the artists themselves?

For the third instalment of our Artists Behind Artists series, we had a chat with celebrity makeup artist Jigs Mayuga to know more about his humble beginnings, dream clients, and how to cultivate artistry in the industry.


Jigs Mayuga wasn't always a name beauty enthusiasts know by heart. When asked about his life before being a renowned makeup artist in the Philippines, he shared, "It was sort of an accident. I got laid off from my previous job in the airline industry. Since I’ve always had this interest in makeup, I decided to study it more and pursue the craft as a profession."

But it wasn't an abrupt decision. Jigs's love for beauty and aesthetics started early on. "As [young] as three [years old], I’ve already been fascinated with beautiful women like Lynda Carter and Madonna. But my biggest inspiration [when it comes to artistry] would have to be Kevyn Aucoin. I also admire local makeup artists who paved the way in professionalising the industry such as Juan Sarte and Jing Monis," he said. 

When asked about his 'big break', Jigs fondly recalled, "It would probably be when I was 'discovered’ by Xeng Zulueta at a workshop for the luxury brand Shu Uemura in 2004. It kind of jumpstarted my career in makeup so I am very thankful to her and the brand."

On challenges and professionalism

When asked about the struggles he might be facing in the profession, Jigs shared, "I don’t really see any challenges. It’s a very competitive industry, yes. But the only way to not get stressed about it is to concentrate on your own craft, cultivate your craft and continue to improve. It’s really all about work ethics nowadays. Artistry is a given if you will succeed in this field and that is very relative. Professionalism speaks volumes more than talent."

More dreams and visions ahead 

Although he's trotting in the fancy world of makeup artistry, Jigs keeps it simple and classic when it comes to his own style. He shared that his top must-haves at any time and day besides his makeup tools are a white shirt, black jeans, and his Nike sneakers. 

But just like fashion, the beauty industry is ever-changing. So when asked how many makeup looks there are before one's creativity runs out, Jigs talked about how he keeps himself updated with the trends. He also shared how he continues to  improve his skills to creating more stunning looks.

"I’m online a lot and I really check all the Spring/Summer and Fall/Winter shows each season to see which looks are up and coming. I also like a lot of street style makeup and trends that I see on social media and [those] help me get a diverse point of view when it comes to [inspiration]," he said.

Still, even at the rate of his career, he still has his dream clients.  He said, "[My dream is ] to shoot an international campaign with a huge recording artist like Madonna or Beyonce."

Before that dream comes to fruition, we're curious to know what is next for the makeup artiste. "Creating awesome content for beauty fanatics. It really is the next big thing. Video," Jigs shared. Now, that's something to keep your eyes peeled for!

(Cover photo from: @jigsmayuga)

Find out more about Jigs' ventures here