Pearl Sarcauga-San Ramon perfects the art of cosmetics, stroke after beautiful stroke
By Deneb R. Batucan
FOR someone who never pegged herself as an artist, Pearl Sarcauga-San Ramon sure has made countless of women look and feel beautiful with her makeup prowess.
Pearl owns Dolled Up Makeup Studio and Supply, a business which she started online. Formerly called DollFace Cosmetics, she built her makeup business when she was still in her senior year in college through Multiply, a defunct social networking site that first paved the way of Philippine online businesses. But before any of this, Pearl was never a makeup enthusiast.
“Makeup wasn’t really a major interest of mine. But Youtube makeup tutorials were still very new then, and I somehow managed to watch a couple of videos and tried one tutorial on a whim,” she shared.
As she slowly got into the art of cosmetics, buying different ma
keup products was a challenge for her. “The market for quality but affordable makeup was almost non-existent. It was either cheap, local products with poor quality or high-quality, imported products that were sure to burn a hole in your pocket,” she said. “As a student then, I had no means to go with the latter but I wanted to find the best of both worlds.”
Pearl looked for a supplier who could provide with her cosmetic needs — great quality yet affordable. She ordered a small batch for her personal consumption just to see if it was to her liking. When it passed her standards, that was when she began toying with the idea of selling the products. As she tested the waters, the demand for her products was beyond her expectations. “What started as a small idea for milk money turned into a fully operational online business,” she said.
Many of her avid patrons were from Metro Manila, so she was constantly shuttling from Cebu to Manila. When she landed consignment deals in Manila, she decided to open Dolled Up Makeup Studio and Supply here in Cebu.
Doing makeup service was never in Pearl’s long-term plans since she has never thought of herself as an artist. Even if she had already taken up makeup training in Basement Academy at Edsa Shangrila Plaza, she didn’t really think of practicing the craft. She started offering makeup services at Dolled Up just to cover her overhead expenses.
As time went by, Pearl noticed that doing makeup services was enjoyable for her. She felt even more delighted when her clients praise her work. This motivated her to pursue further studies at Make Up For Ever Academy in Paris. “I wanted to really hone my skills and expose myself to the makeup trends in the fashion capital,” she said. “It’s fulfilling for me and it’s empowering for my clients when they feel and look beautiful.”
Today, Pearl is focusing more on her makeup services, upping the ante as she has learned numerous skills in cosmetics when she studied in Paris. But Pearl doesn’t stop there. Being meticulous with her craft, she constantly wants to better herself, always looking for new trends in cosmetics which she can learn and apply in her business. That’s when she stumbled upon microblading.
Microblading is the newest semi-permanent makeup procedure wherein very fine blades are utilized to manually create hyper realistic strokes by hand, thereby mimicking the natural hairs of the brows. This is unlike the old style of cosmetic tattoos which look very solid and harsh.
According to Pearl, eyebrows really make or break any makeup look and, not coincidentally, it is the hardest to do. Tons of her clients have shared to her just how taxing it is for them to do their brows every day. But aside from her clients’ woes, Pearl’s idea to offer this service came also from her own frustrations with her eyebrows. “I had naturally uneven brows and having to balance them every time I put on makeup was very time consuming,” she shared.
An avid traveler, Pearl decided to fly to Malaysia where she heard good reviews of the popular Asian eyebrow procedure. She got her eyebrows done and, to make the most of it, she also underwent microblading training there as well so she can bring this new innovation to her beloved hometown, Cebu.
Being the perfectionist that she is, Pearl took a year to practice and polish her microblading skills. “Unlike makeup, it cannot be easily erased, which meant that the margin of making mistakes is very slim. There’s a certain kind of delicacy and responsibility when working with something that’s not only permanent but also very visible,” she said.
At the constant pursuit of improving her craft, Pearl is never complacent when doing her art, which is why her clients are loyal to her. “There should always be room for improvement since the demands of the beauty and fashion industry is very dynamic due to the constantly changing trends,” she said. Good thing Pearl never gets tired of learning.
Photos: Alfred Gregory E. Bartolome
Locale: Dolled Up Makeup Studio and Supply