Tor Torre, Makeup Artist

Tor Torre

makeup artist
Manila, Philippines


Tor Torre is a premiere makeup artist based in Manila. Initially trained at the London Academy of Radio Film and TV, his professional career has led him to work on fashion shows in Manila and brought him all over the South East Asian region doing TV commercials. In 2012, he sought further studies at Makeup Designory in SoHo, New York, and upon returning to the Philippines continued an independent practice. Today, he leads his own artistic team, FACE the studio, and continues to regularly handle talk-show host, Suzi Entrata-Abrera.  Tor is also a founding partner of ILAYA heritage farms, an organic pig farming project in the island of Marinduque, Philippines (isn’t that just wonderful?). On the side, Tor enjoys backpacking when bitten by the travel bug.

We’ve worked with Tor quite a bit for VMV Hypoallergenics shoots…and his artistry is only one reason. He’s an incredibly nice, kindhearted person. His empathy permeates the set. You’ll see his beautiful work in many of our ads and images…what you may not know is how instrumental his calm, positive energy is in every shot 🙂 #goodnessbegetsgoodness

Check out Tor’s blog for great tips on skincare and makeup, and follow him on Instagram for his beautiful travel photos and cool videos of skincare application tips!

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facebook logo   tor.torre

How long have you been a makeup artist?

I have been working professionally as a makeup artist since 2007. When I first started, I was lucky enough to have been a part of a makeup artistic team that did fashion shows for top Filipino and world-renowned designers; Inno Sotto, Josie Natori, BENCH, Cary Santiago and Michael Cinco just to name a few. That was good training ground for me. Over the years, I have managed to work mostly in various TV commercial productions throughout the Southeast Asian region and on a few magazine shows in a local network in the Philippines. It has been an interesting journey.

Some of Tor’s work with VMV Hypoallergenics

How did you get started? 

My first experience with makeup was when I was in college. I was 18 years old. Circumstances in life lead me to join gay beauty pageants in Cebu City. I didn’t do my makeup then. Roel used to paint my face all the time. With my eyes closed and through the sense of touch, I would take mental notes when a particular brush would touch a particular part of my face. Based on that and being a Fine Arts student, I quickly learned the art and started doing it on my own.  Years later, I moved to Manila and worked for an advertising agency.

It was Halloween. My partner, Cholo, saw me applying makeup on one of our girls at home; she wanted to be a Gothic Witch when she goes Trick-or-treating. Once I was finished, he told me, “You know, you can become a makeup artist here.” I was a bit apprehensive at first. I had just moved from Cebu and being a makeup artist wasn’t really considered a  “JOB.” Being a filmmaker, Cholo brought me to a shoot one day. The makeup department was kind enough to let me hang around. While I was observing the shoot, a voice in my head said, “You can do this!” So, I saved up for a year; sold my computer, my webcam, even my vacuum cleaner! At 25, I packed my bags, left for London and studied a course on makeup for film and TV at the London Academy of Radio Film and TV (now the London Academy of Media Film and Television). A few days after I got back from London, I was hired to shoot a commercial for a beauty product in Vietnam. As the cliché goes, the rest is history.


Tor and Cholo

Why do you do it? 

I love the fact that I can transform women, to lead them to understand and appreciate their own beauty. And that is a good thing. I also enjoy the fact that every single work day for me is a different experience. I get to meet different people and I get to learn many things from them. I have realized over time, people (especially women), have their own notion of their own beauty; and it’s always best to work around those parameters. After all what is important is that you make them feel good about themselves. 


What was your most memorable moment doing makeup?

When I had the chance to do Margie Moran, Miss Universe 1973. In 2010, I was working for magazine show and my assigned host was late because she was stuck in traffic. Everybody was stuck in traffic including the makeup artist who was assigned to do makeup on the guests. Our producer comes to me and says, “Tor, Margie is here. Can you do her makeup?” When I turned around to see who “Margie” was, I gasped. It was THE Margie Moran. To this day, I cannot tell you how I managed to keep my composure the entire time and refrained myself from “geeking out” all over her. After I did her makeup, she gave me her approval and thanked me. I remember bowing my head and saying something about how grateful I was to have had done her makeup. She then walked to the set to be briefed. When she was out of earshot, I remembered exclaiming “Oh my God! That was Margie Moran!” and everybody in the makeup room started laughing at me because they didn’t realized how nervous I was up until that moment. I should have asked to have my photo taken with her!


What is your favorite VMV Product?
My all time favorite VMV product is the Re-Everything Eye Serum. It’s the only under eye serum in the market today that doesn’t give me milia. I have one in my bathroom counter, I have one in my toiletry kit and I have one in my makeup kit.

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You feel prettiest when…
I’m in drag! (laughs)


Do you have any tips for makeup artistry fans out there?

This is what I told my students when I had a teaching gig a few years back:

  • Makeup artistry is a service-oriented job, if you do not understand the paradigm of service, then this is not for you.
  • Always be professional in everything that you do. 
  • Practice what you preach. If you tell your clients to cleanse, tone, moisturize and use sunscreen, you should do it as well.
  • ALWAYS clean your tools. Disinfect your products regularly.
  • Express your artistry at the right time, at the right place and with the right client.  Always remember that your goal in not to show them how good a makeup artist you are but to let them feel good about themselves at the end of a makeup session.
  • Be nice to people, it goes a long way.


What is your daily skin care regimen? 

Out of habit, I always start my mornings cleansing my skin with VMV Hydra Balance Smart Gentle Cream Cleanser.

I tone my skin with Superskin 3 Toner.

I then apply Re-Everything Eye Serum in my under eye area, and treat certain spots like my laugh lines around my lips and forehead.

I finish up my skin care routine by applying VMV Hydra Balance Smart Moisturizer.

On a side note: if my day requires me to be under the sun or under the harsh lights of the studio, I apply a generous amount of Armada Sport in SPF 70. If not, I skip it.

For evenings:

I cleanse my skin again with with VMV Hydra Balance Smart Gentle Cream Cleanser to remove the dirt accumulated during the day.

I tone my skin again with Superskin 3 Toner.

I apply Re-Everything Eye Serum again at the same spots I like to treat.

I then finish is off with  VMV Re-Everything Cream so my skin can renew and regenerate while I sleep.





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