Graduation portraits are not exactly known for showcasing an individual's personality, at least not the one that exists outside of three-hour-long lectures and thesis papers. When it comes time to force a smile in front of that studio background, there’s just no room for your vintage band T-shirt collection or the red Solo cup that’s been affixed to your hand in every photo from the past four years to now.
Given the right prop, however, the mandatory mug shot can go from being a piece of evidence that exists only to prove to your parents that their money was well-spent to something that showcases at least a drop of personality. Janssen Mendoza, who is graduating from Polytechnic University of the Philippines this coming May, made sure her senior photo was instantly iconic by including something really special in her life: her Anastasia Beverly Hills Glow Kit.
Mendoza told Seventeen.com that she was first inspired by another graduation photo she saw someone else post on Twitter. “This girl posted her senior photo putting on an eyeshadow,” the 19-year-old explained, “so I decided to have my own version.” A poppin’ highlight is more her speed than a smoky eye, hence the choice in palette.
But Mendoza had more to say about her photo than that it’s just a tongue-in-cheek way to boast her love of highlighter (and maybe get some love from social media in the process). She’s also worked as a makeup artist on the side while pursuing her degree, and she wanted to make a statement to show that being a good student and loving beauty products are not mutually exclusive.
“I posted this picture to show that I could pursue my love for makeup while excelling in academics,” Mendoza said. “I'm a full scholar and a candidate for honors. I just want to prove to others that I can do both.” Who says you can't have it all?