Muse and her makeup

Darleen Hopkirk and the art of radiating joy

By Fiona Patricia S. Escandor

Darleen Hopkirk
Darleen Hopkirk

A STUNNING beauty who makes heads turn wherever she goes, Darleen Hopkirk is undoubtedly a favorite of many photographers. With a sweet smile and bright brown eyes, the 26-year-old Filipina-Kiwi model lures lenses to zoom in, focus and shoot as she graces fashion editorials and walks down runways.

But this year, Darleen goes behind the camera as she turns her attention to a new craft she’s been dabbling in: makeup artistry.

She has never felt completely comfortable in front of the camera, she said. And since she’s always preferred being at the back, cozying in a spot with the crew has been pretty much an easy transition.

“If it comes, it comes. I can’t really say no,” she said of her modeling career, which is being handled by Cornerstone Talent Management, the agency also handling Sam Milby, Richard Poon and Slater Young among others. “But my focus now is to enhance my makeup skills and practice some more. It makes me happy.”

Playing with makeup

Darleen came to Cebu in 2003 for her college studies and has been based here ever since. Growing up in her “close-knit town” of Ormoc City, she said she was more of a tomboy, preferring outdoor games over dresses, and that she didn’t actually start putting on makeup herself until she was 19.

“I guess it started with hoarding products,” she said good-humouredly. “I’m the youngest of three sisters and one day we looked at our collection and we realized it was a bagful between the three of us, and so I started playing with it.”

COMFORT ZONE. As a model, Darleen Hopkirk doesn’t feel that comfortable in front of the camera. She prefers being behind the scenes, an experience she now enjoys more often as a makeup artist.
COMFORT ZONE. As a model, Darleen Hopkirk doesn’t feel that comfortable in front of the camera. She prefers being behind the scenes, an experience she now enjoys more often as a makeup artist.

Darleen said she would invite her friends over to style their hair and makeup, she would take their photos and post it online—it was purely a self-taught hobby, until this year when she finally decided to pursue it professionally.

Last July, Darleen completed six-weeks of studies in makeup artistry at the Make-Up Designory in Manila, which is said to be the only school in the Philippines that offers an internationally recognized diploma. “I practiced in Pure Beauty in Serendra,” she said.

SERIOUS MAKEUP. Darleen completed six-week of studies in makeup artistry from Make-Up Designory in Manila. The school is said to be the only one in the country that offers an internationally recognized diploma.
SERIOUS MAKEUP. Darleen completed six-week of studies in makeup artistry from Make-Up Designory in Manila. The school is said to be the only one in the country that offers an internationally recognized diploma.

Natural fulfillment

So far Darleen has done makeup for print, events, and video productions and is looking forward to working on more.

“You see the look on your client’s eyes and they seem so happy and they say ‘I look so pretty!’ even though they’re already pretty in the first place—it’s really fulfilling and that’s what I like about it,” she said.

As a makeup artist, Darleen is all for looking natural and simply enhancing someone’s features.

“I love skin,” she said. “I don’t want to slap on ten layers of foundation on someone who already has nice skin. My style is more natural. I don’t like changing somebody’s contours and make her look like somebody else—unless it’s for an avant-garde look.”

NATURALLY, NOW. As a makeup artist, Darleen is all for looking natural and simply enhancing someone’s features, not to make them look like someone else.
NATURALLY, NOW. As a makeup artist, Darleen is all for looking natural and simply enhancing someone’s features, not to make them look like someone else.

Happiness that radiates

Some of the artists that Darleen looks up to include Cebu’s very own Wenwen Zaspa and Jessie Glova. Among foreign makeup artists, she likes the works of Kevin Bennett and Alex Box of Illamasqua.

Despite not being much of a makeup junkie herself — Darleen admits that she doesn’t put makeup much on a day to day basis unless she really needs to — what keeps her going with her newfound craft is the sense of achievement it gives her.

“When you do someone’s makeup and they feel sincerely happy—it radiates,” Darleen said. “And then seeing my work on print or on video, it’s very, very fulfilling.”

Photography: Stephen Suico
Locale: CMYK Dessert Housel

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