Incredible Transformations: The Work Of Jan Bonito


Don’t get us wrong, we love our vids and pics of fierce queens and savvy ladies transforming into cartoons, celebs, and movie monsters. However, the painterly skills of artist Jan Bonito deserve a category all their own.

Case in point, Jan’s latest instagram videos showcasing his transformations into all the best loved characters of this season’s American Horror Story: Freak Show. This proud Filipino, who works magic by day at Denver’s Ergün Tercan European Salon, has only been doing makeup since 2013! With a background in fine arts, Bonito takes special FX makeup to another level entirely—a skill he discovered just over a year ago in cosmetology school while competing in a hair and makeup contest. He now takes appointments and has worked on several local sets including FOX31 Denver.

We tracked Bonito down with a few questions on how he developed his mind blowing makeup technique.

Jan Bonito as Anglea Bassett __from American Horror Story

Your method of contouring is like a master-painter. How did you develop this unique style?

I’ve been drawing and painting since the 7th grade, after immigrating from the Philippines, and I believe my artistic style has transferred into makeup. Besides my one-week basic makeup curriculum in beauty school, I am completely self-taught.

What draws you to transformative and Special FX makeup?

I just love the amount of creativity, technique, and discipline that’s involved with the type of makeup I do. Also, drawing and painting portraits are my favorite thing to do in art.

Jan Bonito as Jyoti Amge __from American Horror Story

What are some of your most favorite looks that you’ve done on yourself and others?

My favorites so far are Patti Labelle as Dora, and Jyoti Amge as Ma Petite from American Horror Story. I’m a Patti Labelle fan, and I just ADORE Jyoti!

Jan Bonito as Patti LaBelle __from American Horror Story

What advice do you have for people looking to develop skills in transformative and special FX makeup?

My advice is—just go for it and give it your all. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes because that is how you learn. Keep practicing because you will always discover things that work (or things that don’t work), and you will improve with every attempt. Don’t be too hard on yourself and HAVE FUN! Do it because you love it, not because you just want to be famous. If you’re passionate about what you do, you will eventually achieve success.

Jan Bonito as Lana del Rey

Jan Bonito as Jessica Lange from American Horror Story