By Steve Angeles, ABS-CBN North America Bureau

Feb. 28, 2013

LONG BEACH, Calif. –The glitz and glamour of Hollywood may blind a person from the harsh realities of life in other parts of the world, but not this Pinoy, who hails from Bicol, who uses his success to help kababayans in need.

Arnel Bailon works in an industry where beauty is a must. He is one of the most celebrated Pinoy makeup artists in Hollywood, working for the likes of Paris Hilton and her family, and Hugh Heffner’s Playboy empire.

He was born in Bicol and migrated to the US at age 17 in 1983.

He said, “I’m from provinces, where majority of people who want to go to college want to be a doctor, nurse or lawyer. When someone told me to go to beauty college, I feel like I can do better but I didn’t realize that going to beauty college and also getting a license and being in the beauty industry — can give have so much.”

Arnel was trained by celebrity stylist Jose Eber. Now with over 20 years of experience, he has traveled the world, doing make up for awards and fashion shows. He is also a leader in his field s past president of the California Cosmetology Association and an active member of the National Cosmetology Association.

He said, “I’m always looking for something that will get the beauty industry better because they’re always looking at us like hired help. It’s a very low industry, I want to change that so we’ve been trying to change it and say to the public that we’re professionals,” he explained.

When Arnel is not beautifying the rich and famous, he finds true beauty in helping the community. He volunteers his time and effort doing makeup for charities and church productions.

He also founded an organization that helps the less fortunate in the Philippines called the Mon A Lisa Foundation.

He said, “I collect all the stuff here and money so we can provide uniforms, school supplies and shoes to kids in elementary schools. I want to do more.”

If you know a kababayan like Arnel Bailon who inspires you and makes you proud, you may nominate him/her by sending an email to or calling (650) 508-6137.

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