Behind Sarah Geronimo’s Beauty Look at the Billboard Women in Music Awards

Filipino musician Sarah Geronimo is the recipient of the Global Force Award from Billboard. Photo by Mark Nicdao courtesy of Billboard Philippines

Chart topping songs, multi-awarded films, record breaking concerts: there is seemingly no road in Filipino pop culture that Sarah Geronimo had not traversed. For the 2024 Billboard Women in Music Awards, she travels to California for a remarkable achievement: as the first homegrown Filipino artist to receive the Global Force Award.

Filipina musicians have long been celebrated by local listeners for their remarkable stage presence, exceptional singing abilities, and outstanding artistic talents. In this ever-growing roster of talented Filipina artists, Sarah Geronimo was chosen by Billboard to receive the Global Force Award for the Philippines at the Billboard Women in Music Awards in California on March 6. 

The Billboard Women in Music Awards is an annual event hosted by Billboard magazine to recognize and honor women who have made significant contributions to the music industry. Since its inception in 2007, the event has celebrated female artists, executives, and other professionals for their achievements, leadership, and impact in music. Geronimo tells Vogue Philippines, “I think it’s a wonderful way to celebrate women and their positive and empowering contribution not just to the music scene but the inspiration it gives to the whole world. We are reminded how strong and capable women are to make a difference.”

Geronimo is in good company, sharing the Global Force Award with Italian singer-songwriter Annalisa, Brazilian singer-songwriter Luisa Sonza, Egyptian singer-actress Sherine Abdel-Wahab, Argentinian singer Maria Becerra, Georgian musician Nini Nutsubidze, and Chinese singer-songwriter Tia Ray. The Global Force Award is the newest award introduced at the ceremony, with the seven honorees selected by different editions of Billboard from all over the world based on their impact on the music industry. At the same event, Karol G was awarded Woman of the Year, while KPop group Newjeans was awarded Group of the Year, amongst other awardees. Previous awardees at the Billboard Women in Music Awards include Taylor Swift, who was awarded with the Woman of the Decade Award in 2019, and Lana del Rey, who was awarded with the Visionary Award in 2023. 

Geronimo tells Vogue Philippines that attending the event felt surreal. “Being surrounded by the press people at the blue carpet and seeing some of my favorite female artists doing interviews were both nerve-wracking and exciting. It felt like a dream.” Geronimo says. “Speaking in front of Katy Perry , Kylie Minogue, and other international artists was quite overwhelming, [but] at the same time it was also a powerful reminder of the incredible strength and capability that women possess to create meaningful change in the world. It highlighted the inspiring impact that women can have in various aspects of life.”

Sarah Geronimo’s look at the Billboard Women in Music Awards 2024 was all about shining subtly. Photo by Sthanlee B. Mirador courtesy of Billboard Philippines

Geronimo graced the event sporting a jet black mullet, a striking yet stylish juxtaposition to her light pink Michael Cinco gown. For her beauty look, makeup artist Gela Laurel accentuated Geronimo’s natural features with confidence in mind. “By accentuating the eyes, I envisioned her to shine with utmost subtlety. [I paired them with] a base that had just the right amount of coverage and sheen.” Laurel says.

Laurel, who has collaborated with Geronimo several times in the past, says it is always exciting to work with the singer on beauty looks with a raw brow, rimmed eyeliner along the waterline, and understated lashes. To achieve this look, Laurel used three key products: brow gel, brown kohl liner, and mascara. 

Geronimo’s authenticity in presenting herself at the event is a priority. “Staying authentic is important to me as an artist and person. I was grateful and honored to represent our country on a global stage.” Geronimo says.

Throughout her decades-spanning career, Geronimo has demonstrated an enduring relevance in Philippine entertainment. Aside from notable achievements as a musician and songwriter, Geronimo is also recognized as an actress for films such as “A Very Special Love,” “Miss Granny,” and “It Takes a Man and a Woman.” Geronimo is also a philanthropist and an advocate for education and animal rights. 

In her acceptance speech for the Global Force Award, Geronimo used the opportunity to raise the flag for her fellow Filipina artists. “I humbly accept this award on behalf of every amazing, excellent Filipina, Filipino artist back home and all over the world.” Geronimo says. 

In front of an international audience, Geronimo ended her speech by speaking in Tagalog, saying, “Muli, ako si Sarah Geronimo, isang Filipina. Maraming salamat po, mabuhay ang OPM. Thank you, Billboard. (Once again, I am Sarah Geronimo, a Filipina. Thank you so much, long live OPM.)”

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