Beauty & Shopping, Makeup

Pro Makeup Tips For Asian Eyes – Vanessa Tai

Single eyelids? Sleepy eyes? Not sure how to pull off the smokey eye look? Akinobu Nishimura, RMK’s international makeup artist, was recently in Singapore and Vanessa Tai sat him down for a 101 on makeup techniques for Asian eyes. 

Your eyes are the most expressive part of your face, so it’s only natural that you’ll spend more time and effort prettifying your peepers. But with so many different products and techniques out there, it can be hard to cut through the clutter. To make things simple, here are easy makeup techniques for the most commonly-used eye makeup.

Akinobu

Akinobu Nishimura, international makeup artist with RMK

Eyeshadow

1. As our eyelids are naturally oily, it’s recommended to prep your eyelids with an eyeshadow base or some powder before applying eyeshadow. This helps your eye makeup to adhere better to your skin.

2. Use eyeshadow in one colour, but in a gradation of shades. Start by applying the darkest shade on the bottom of your eyelid and slowly work your way up the eye socket to the lightest shade. This helps create a more 3D appearance.

3. When applying the next shade, don’t start at the line where the previous colour ends. Rather, the colours should be blended so that it looks more natural. Using a brush can help you create a more natural look, without any hard lines.

Mascara

1. Before applying your mascara, it’s important to curl your eyelashes properly so that it curls upwards and creates the appearance of wider-looking eyes. For the doe-eye look, you can also curl your lower lashes.

2. When applying mascara, avoid layering on too many coats as it’ll end up clumping and weigh your lashes down, which may make your eyes appear smaller.

3. Wondering if you should get falsies? It’s always better to work with what you have, but if your natural lashes are sparse to begin with, you can consider getting natural-looking eyelash extensions. Anything too thick or dramatic may also make your eyes appear smaller.

Eyeliner 

1. To create the perfect wing tip, start by drawing an outline according to the shape of your eyes. (For a clearer idea, refer to the sketch below.) From there, you can fill in the gaps, depending on how dramatic an effect you’re trying to create. Think of the wingtip as an extension of your lower lash line. If the tip is too high or long, simply use a cotton bud to adjust until you achieve your desired effect. Over time, you’ll discover the perfect angle and length for your eye shape.

To create the perfect wing tip, start by drawing your desired shape.

Akinobu-san demonstrates how to draw an outline according to your eye shape.

2. Some people believe lining your lower lash line can make your eyes appear smaller. However, it really depends on your eye shape. Experiment with different techniques to see what works best for you. If you want to continue lining your lower lash line, one way is to simply line it halfway (from the wing tip to the middle of your lower lash line) and use a lighter shade to fill in the other half.

3. If you’re bored with your usual black or brown eyeliner, some great options for everyday wear include shades such as navy blue or grey.

This collection from RMK is a symbol of the dual aspects of a woman's personality when it comes to love - she's equal parts strong and vulnerable.

This collection from RMK is a symbol of the dual aspects of a woman’s personality when it comes to love – she’s equal parts strong and vulnerable.

RMK 2014 Autumn/Winter Collection is available from August 2014 at all RMK counters (Isetan Scotts Level 1 Tel: 6887 5308; Isetan Serangoon Central Tel: 6634 481; Takashimaya Department Store Tel 6238 8043). 

About The Author: Vanessa Tai is a founder of Material World who has previously worked on magazines Simply Her and Cosmopolitan Singapore. Now a freelance writer and a full-time contributor to this website, the 27-year-old dreams of attending every single major music festival before she turns 30. Follow her on Twitter @VannTaiTweets.

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Beauty & Shopping, Fragrances, Hair, Makeup

How To Get Date-Ready In Under 5 Minutes – Vanessa Tai

So your crush suddenly hits you up for dinner and drinks tonight, or your boyfriend finally gets time off work and asks to meet. Vanessa Tai picks out four products that will get you from office-blah to date-hot, stat. 

Call me dramatic, but sometimes it feels like the universe is doing everything it can to get in the way of you hightailing it out of the office to meet your date. Your boss hands you a project with an urgent deadline at 5pm, the printer goes wonky just as you’re printing out slides for tomorrow’s client meeting, you’re trying to finish up an important proposal but can’t seem to concentrate, and so on. Add that to the stress of wanting to look your best before your date and you have a recipe for a potential meltdown. I get it, I’ve been there!

Don’t worry, with these easy tips, you can look (and smell) as fresh as you would if you had spent hours prepping at home. Here’s how:

Skin:

After an entire day of being in an air-conditioned environment, your skin may appear dry or dehydrated. Plus, if you’re going to be drinking alcohol later in the evening, it could cause your complexion to appear dull. Revive tired skin with The Body Shop Vitamin E Aqua Boost Sorbet. It contains over two million Aqua Spheres, as well as wheatgerm oil, shea butter, and soya oil to deliver a burst of hydration to your skin. With your skin looking so dewy fresh, you can even skip applying foundation.

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The Body Shop Vitamin E Aqua Boost Sorbet, $32.90

Make Up Store LED Lipgloss in Sparkle, $35

Make Up Store LED Lipgloss in Sparkle, $35

Makeup:

Here are some easy makeup tricks to look perked up, instantly. If your eyes are looking a little bloodshot or tired, use a flesh-toned eye pencil to line the inner rims of your eyes. It will offset the redness and make your eyes appear brighter. Another way to brighten up your features in a flash would be to add a swipe of lipstick. While you probably can’t go wrong with a bold red lippie, I think there’s something surprisingly alluring about a hot pink lipstick. It’s not as muted as a nude lip and not as in-your-face sexy as a red one. Right now, I’m crushing on Make Up Store’s LED Lip Gloss in Sparkle. I love the glittery, jewel-like effect and the LED light is particularly helpful for touching up in darker rooms (say, a club bathroom).

Such a pretty  shade, yes?

Such a pretty shade, yes?

Hair:

So your hair is looking a little lank after a day of being hard at work. Bring your tresses back to life with Tsubaki Head Spa Sparkling Serum. This is an in-scalp essence that literally crackles and pops when you spray it onto your hair. Don’t worry though; it’s just the sparkling bubbles working its way into your scalp. Just a couple of spritzes should leave your hair looking and feeling softer and more luxuriant. Plus, the soothing scent of Camellia Oil and Camellia Flower Extract will calm any jittery pre-date nerves.

Tsubaki Head Spa Sparkling Serum, $18.90

Tsubaki Head Spa Sparkling Serum, $18.90

Fragrance:

Now, I know fragrances are a very personal choice and you should wear whatever makes you feel the most confident. However, I’m not sure if you read my recent review of Elizabeth Arden’s UNTOLD Eau Légère but there was something about the warm muskiness of the fragrance that was a real confidence booster … and it was a hit with my date too! Anyway, here’s a tip on how to wear your scent strategically – since you’re probably going to be holding hands that night, mist your fragrance on your palms so that your touch will release small amounts of scent throughout the night.

UNTOLD Eau Légère, $117 for 100ml

UNTOLD Eau Légère, $117 for 100ml

There you have it – my secrets to looking fab in under 5 minutes! Share with me your own pre-date beauty secrets in the Comments section below.

About The Author: Vanessa Tai is a founder of Material World who has previously worked on magazines Simply Her and Cosmopolitan Singapore. Now a freelance writer and a full-time contributor to this website, the 27-year-old dreams of attending every single major music festival before she turns 30. Follow her on Twitter @VannTaiTweets.

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Beauty & Shopping, Makeup

Simple And Effective Makeup Tips – Vanessa Tai

When Denise was experimenting with the Nars Guy Bourdin Holiday Collection, I was bowled over by the bold colours and textures available. So when we got invited to a Nars makeover session with international makeup artist Julio Sandino, I was stoked. Sandino has worked on countless high-profile runway shows, and his trademark style has earned him clients like Angelina Jolie, Eva Longoria and Tilda Swinton. Naturally, I was honoured to have him do my makeup.

Since Christmas was coming up, I asked him for something easy that I can re-create for upcoming parties. Here are three makeup tips I picked up during the makeover:

1. The importance of a highlighter 

After applying your foundation, apply highlighter on your temples, cheekbones and around your eyes to create that luminous afterglow. Be sure the colour of your highlighter matches your base makeup – you want to look contoured, not shiny. Another spot to dab on some highlighter would be above your Cupid’s Bow (the double curve of your upper lip), and just underneath your lower lip. It will help your lip colour stand out and look multi-dimensional. Try the Nars Illuminator or the Nars Highlighting Blush.

Celebrity makeup artist Julio Sandino applying my eyeshadow.

Celebrity makeup artist Julio Sandino applying my eyeshadow.

2. Apply your eyeshadow in a circular motion

As someone who usually applies her eyeshadow in a haphazard fashion, I was pleasantly surprised to notice how Sandino used languid circular motions to apply the eyeshadow on my eyelids. Instead of looking patchy – the way it does whenever I apply my own eye makeup – the colours blended beautifully in a uniform gradient.

3. Blend your lip products 

One of the easiest ways to create an inventive new look would be to blend various lipsticks and lip glosses together. Because each of us have different lip and skin colours, it’s worthwhile experimenting with different permutations to see which blend best brings out the look you’re trying to create.

I really like the creamy, matte textures of the Nars Velvet Matte Lip Pencils.

I really like the creamy, matte textures of the Nars Velvet Matte Lip Pencils.

Here’s my completed look!

Ready to party!

Ready to party!

About The Author: Vanessa Tai is a founder of Material World who has previously worked on magazines Simply Her and Cosmopolitan Singapore. Now a freelance writer and a full-time contributor to this website, the 26-year-old dreams of attending every single major music festival before she turns 30. Follow her on Twitter @VannTaiTweets

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Beauty & Shopping, Makeup

Insider Tips From Celebrity Makeup Artist Lan Nguyen-Grealis – Vanessa Tai

material-world-lan-nguyen-grealis

Lan Nguyen-Grealis

If you said Lan Nguyen-Grealis fell into the makeup industry by accident, you wouldn’t be wrong. True story: 12 years ago, she was working part-time as a receptionist at a London photography studio that also provided makeover services. One particularly hectic day, her shorthanded employers asked her to help with the makeovers. From there, Lan discovered she had a natural flair for makeup, and she started helping out with makeovers on a regular basis. One thing led to another and she soon found herself designing key looks for the various fashion shows across Europe and doing the make up for celebrities like American actresses Jena Malone, Michelle Williams and Kimberly Wyatt. Apart from being a highly sought-after makeup artist, Lan is also a published author who’s working on a new book slated for publication in 2014.

Lan was also the Head Makeup Artist for The Body Shop at London Fashion Scout, an international showcase of up-and-coming designers. She has also helped create many makeup tutorials on The Body Shop’s Youtube page. Lan was recently in Singapore to helm a team of makeup artists for The Body Shop at Digital Fashion Week 2013. With The Body Shop being the official makeup sponsor, Lan created the makeup looks for each of the 11 shows, demonstrated live makeup tutorials and did the makeovers for celebrity models such as Jessica Amornkuldilok from Asia’s Next Top Model and Devyn Abdullah from The Face. In between her whirlwind trip to Singapore, we managed to sit her down for a quick chat on all things beauty.

Tell us a bit more about the looks you created for DFW 2013’s runway shows.
Before creating a makeup look, I would speak with the designer and look through their collections to find out the type of woman they’ll like to portray. A running theme for this year’s shows seemed be natural, beautiful skin with just a tinge of colours – pinks, oranges and pastels.

The Body Shop 4-Step Smoky Eye Palette in Smoky Brown

The Body Shop 4-Step Smoky Eye Palette in Smoky Brown

You’ve won so many awards during your career. Which one are you most proud of?
Definitely the “Golden Mask Award” for Makeup Art, which I won earlier this year. This award is usually given to lifetime achievers so to be given to someone my age was a real encouragement boost. What makes me even prouder is how critics in film, fashion and theatre from all over the world choose the winner. Knowing that so many people appreciate my work makes me feel I’m doing meaningful work.

Where do you usually go to get inspiration for your work?
I enjoy visiting museums like the Tate Modern or National Portrait Gallery to get inspiration on lighting, colours and concepts. A lot of my inspiration also comes from theatre, fantasy films and old films.

What are some of the upcoming makeup trends for winter?
This season, it’s going to be all about the eyes. Think smoky, grungy, bold and metallic eye shadows and eyeliners that are either lightly smudged or strong graphic eyeliners. For the skin, you’ll want to have it lightly flushed with a matte finish. For your lips, berry and plum colours are right on-trend. You can easily create this look with The Body Shop All-In-One BB Cream for that flawless complexion; and The Body Shop Winter Trend Special Edition Makeup Collection. The collection comes with a 4-Step Smoky Eye Palette in Brown or Plum, and Colour Crush Lipsticks in berry pink and plum colours.

(From left) The Body Shop All-In-One BB Cream, $32.90; The Body Shop 4-Step Smoky Eye Palette in Icy Plum, $39.90 and The Body Shop Colour Crush Lipstic, $22.90

(From left) The Body Shop All-In-One BB Cream, $32.90; The Body Shop 4-Step Smoky Eye Palette in Icy Plum, $39.90 and The Body Shop Colour Crush Lipstick, $22.90

The Body Shop Lip & Cheek Stain, $22.90

The Body Shop Lip & Cheek Stain, $22.90

Any makeup tips for women living in tropical Singapore?
Don’t be afraid of colours – you can never go wrong with bold eye and lip colours. If you’re worried your blusher may melt off by mid-day, start with a cream blusher (Lan recommends The Body Shop’s Lip and Cheek Stain) then set it with a powder blush. For a brighter complexion, go ahead and mix foundations to get the right shade for your skin tone.


What is one makeup item every woman should own?

Definitely a highlighter, like The Body Shop Radiant Highlighter. Even when you’re tired or your complexion looks dull, it’ll brighten you up immediately.

The Body Shop Radiant Highlighter, $26.90

The Body Shop Radiant Highlighter, $26.90

Finally, can you share with us one little-known professional makeup trick?
Before you apply your foundation, be sure to use a mattifying primer. It acts as a barrier between the makeup and your skin, locks in moisture in your skin and helps makeup last much longer too. Try The Body Shop’s Tea Tree Pore Minimiser. It’s made with organic tea tree oil to help smooth, prime and mattify your skin.

The Body Shop Tea Tree Pore Minimiser, $32.90

The Body Shop Tea Tree Pore Minimiser, $32.90

About The Author: Vanessa Tai is a founder of Material World who has previously worked on magazines Simply Her and Cosmopolitan Singapore. Now a freelance writer and a full-time contributor to this website, the 26-year-old dreams of attending every single major music festival before she turns 30. Follow her on Twitter @VannTaiTweets.

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