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Redefining Filipino Beauty: Fanny Serrano’s Magic Touch

By: Kristine Abante

Considered as an institution in the Philippines, Tita Fanny has been known to wave his magic touch that would create flawless images of Filipino beauty – beautifying countless celebrities, runway models, pretty debutantes and blushing brides.

So when he decided to take on a makeover project for Kiray Celis, a young actress that has been the subject of unwelcomed criticism after her appearance on the much-talked Star Magic Ball,  everyone just had to hold their breath for the big reveal.

The result was a stunning portfolio that not only launched a “never-before seen” Kiray but has also challenged the typical Pinoy standards, with Tita Fanny showing us his take on what real beauty is all about.


How would you define Filipino beauty?

I have a different perspective when it comes to beauty. For me, beauty is regardless of whether you have prominent features like beautiful eyes, pointed nose, pouting lips or the exact opposite of those.  Beauty for me is the ability of a person to carry herself and be able to create an image that becomes attractive and pleasing to the eyes of other people. One doesn’t need to be physically beautiful per se to be really beautiful.  She just needs to be able to carry herself with poise and confidence.


What can you say about Filipino’s idea or standard of beauty?  Are we too harsh on ourselves and on others?   Would you say our (Pinoys) standards change over the years?

There’s a big change when it comes to the Filipino’s idea of beauty nowadays.  I’ve seen rampant cases of cosmetic surgeries done by individuals who feel like it will make them more beautiful.  I have nothing against it, but for me, it should be done only to enhance one’s beauty and not totally change how a person looks to a point where he/she is unrecognizable.  Less is more. Don’t overdo it.

Do you consider these “Pinoy” standards whenever you do a makeover?


It depends. I would be honest and sincere in suggesting only what needs to be minimally improved. While others would only do it out of “envy” of other people or they would like to look like a particular celebrity, I would still suggest they keep their natural image, hide their flaws and enhance their assets.

Why did you decide to do a makeover on Kiray?

Let me start by saying that I do not know Kiray personally. But I was able to watch her during her “Goin’ Bulilit years and this little wonder made me such a fan because of her wit and talent.   I find her cute. Her acting abilities and talents made me such a fan.


ABS CBN has a yearly Star Ball where all of their artists walk wearing their best dresses.  Kiray has been spotted wearing something that was less pleasing to many. She received negative comments.  But what really brought me to the idea of doing the make-over for her is when the comments started becoming more personal, they weren’t just talking about the dress anymore but putting out negative feedback about her physical appearance. This inspired me and brought on the challenge.

How did you do it?  What were here greatest assests? how did you deal with her flaws?


Kiray’s greatest asset is her beautiful skin.  Kiray is very petite yet sexy. Her body measurement is proportioned. The only flaw that I considered was her “droopy” eyes. I lifted up her droopy eyes through eye make-up and emphasized it. I turned her Chinese eyes bigger and made them more visible.

What was the concept of the shoot? 

The concept of the shoot/pictorial is the seven different looks of Kiray portraying different images, a transformation from an ordinary girl  into a model.

Being an actress, Kiray can project the character of every kind of make-up done to her. She is very easy to work with. I really enjoyed working with her.

What advice would you give the regular Pinays or those who consider themselves “ugly ducklings”?

To all Pinays and those who might consider themselves as ugly duckling, it takes courage but we need to accept our flaws. There are a lot of beauty products available in the market.  Consult an expert on personality development and beauty enhancement and make sure skin and hair are well taken care of.


For those who don’t know how to put make-up, a little eye shadow and lipstick will do. You don’t need to purchase expensive make-up believing they’ll do wonders on your face. Just a simple make-up will do. Less is more.  Maintenance of daily regimen should be attained.

As a seasoned makeup artist, having worked with so many different celebrities and accomplished so many things, what continues to bring you fulfillment?

I am so honored that to this date, a lot of people still look forward to being touched by a Fanny Serrano. While others look at it like a dream come true, for me, it’s an honor to be part of that dream.

It is even more heartwarming to see old clients come back with their daughters, and ask me to do their hair and make-up for proms, debuts and weddings. Being part of their live and their precious moments throughout the years give me fulfillment.

For someone who has devoted his life to making women beautiful, what is the greatest lesson you can share?

Being honest with my clients is the greatest lesson I always bear in mind. I always take into consideration their feelings.  For clients who would like to look like their celebrity idols, I’ll be honest in saying if it will be possible or not. And though I am doing a different make-up on them, I’ll make sure that it will enhance their beauty.

578057_10151992129549925_1162448269_nAre there other artists/celebrities or personalities in mind that you wish you can do a make over on?  Who would be your dream makeover project?

My door is always open to all celebrities and ordinary people who would like to experience my touch.

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Author: Illustrado

From the Middle East to the rest of the world, IllustradoLife shares the stories of Filipinos expats from around the world, providing a global venue championing the world class Filipino. IllustradoLife features articles on fashion and beauty, travel, lifestyle, business, events and other topics of interest to the international Filipino community from its mother publication, Illustrado Magazine.

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1 Comment

  1. I’m a mother of two…since I gave birth to my youngest daughter I failed to bring back the sexiness and beauty a single mom should have..I am really wishing to have a make over from The Famous Fanny Serrano…sana po mapagbigyan nyo ..right now po kasi I am an accountancy student, ang mga kaklase ko ay mga teenager..para po makita naman nila ang mommy nila na gumanda ganda …at sobra po ang tiwala ko sa nag-iisang Fanny Serrano..salamat po..sana’y mabigyang pansin nyo po ang sulat ko…merry xmas po at hapi new year sa bumubuo ng Illustrado…

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