Behind the Look: Bianca Bustamante’s 2024 Gold Gala Glam is Right on Track

Photo by Tommaso Boddi/Getty Images

Wearing a simple yet striking ball gown by Monique Lhuillier, racecar driver Bianca Bustamante embraced a different limelight.

Bianca Bustamante is a trailblazer: at just 19 years old, she is the only Filipina racer on the international racing circuit, currently competing for ART Grand Prix at the F1 Academy under McLaren. But at the 2024 Gold Gala, organized by Gold House to highlight influential personalities from the Asia Pacific, Bustamante blazed a new trail with elegance and sophistication.

Photo by Rodin Eckenroth/Getty Images

While the gold carpet seemed like a far cry from the asphalt race track, Bustamante demonstrates her ability to seamlessly change lanes. “The aspect of my look that I loved the most about the Gold Gala was the fact that for these types of events, I get to be a totally different person,” Bustamante muses. “I feel like on track I’m always the same person – the type of person I’ve always been since I was 3. But going to different events, especially such a prestigious red carpet event like this, allows me to accentuate the other features I like about myself – especially my skin color and I wanted to find a dress that would complement my morena complexion.”

Stylist Danyul Brown emphasized the deliberate intent behind Bustamante’s glamorous transformation. “Bianca is a dream to work with. She’s collaborative, comes with great ideas of her own, and looks picture-perfect in everything,” Brown says. “We sourced a multitude of gorgeous gowns and decided on this chic Tiffany blue look. Simple chic and statement was the goal! I think we achieved it.”

To complete her transformation, makeup artist Nova Kaplan brought Bustamante’s glam to life with meticulous care. “I prepped Bia with Charlotte Tilbury’s Magic Cream to smooth and plump the skin. I love the luxe texture because it acts as a magnet for makeup application allowing me to skip a primer,” Kaplan reveals. “Bia loves how an orange undertone compliments her complexion so I went in with a liberal amount of the Beauty Light Wand in Peachgasm. The light wands transition beautifully between sunlight and red carpet flash, so it was perfect for an event like the Gold Gala.” 

Photo by Tommaso Boddi/Getty Images
Photo by Charley Gallay/Getty Images

Kaplan finished the look with Airbrush Flawless Finish in Tan, lightly dusted over Bustamante’s face, and concentrated on shine spots like the t-zone. “Bia rushed straight to the carpet so I made sure to use the Airbrush Flawless Setting Spray to engage her natural oils for a perfect glow that would last through the after-party!” Kaplan adds. To ensure Bustamante stayed radiant throughout the night, Kaplan packed her bag with Peachy Plump collagen lip bath, Foxy Brown Lip Cheat Flawless Finish Powder, and Joyphoria Fragrance.

“Less is often more and on this occasion the gown and the diamonds spoke for themselves. They deserved a moment without over complicating the look.” Brown further expounded on Bustamante’s Cinderella-inspired glam and her complementing jewelry. “For the Gold Gala, it was important to Bianca to celebrate her heritage and who better to collaborate on dressing with than Filipino designer Monique Lhuillier.”

Reflecting on her experience at her first Gold Gala, Bustamante raved about the Filipina designer. “It was incredible to have the chance to wear Monique Lhuillier! I actually know their family from motorsport and it’s an honor that I get to represent my Filipino heritage on a global stage,” Bustamante says. “The long powder blue ball gown made me feel like a princess for a few hours before I had to head back to the track. Dressing up, getting glammed and being a different person for one night felt really nice,” she shared. This brief departure from her usual racetrack attire marked a refreshing change, reflecting a side of Bustamante seldom seen by her fans.

As she navigates the high-octane world of racing, Bustamante also expands on the significance of embracing different facets of one’s identity especially at events such as the Gold Gala, which aims to increase the visibility and recognition of Asian Pacific talents on global platforms. “I got to understand why it’s important to be brave enough to stand on your own,” Bustamante says. “Because eventually one day we get to celebrate and appreciate all the little wins in our own careers and paths together.”

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