If you’re a beauty junkie, there’s no better place than backstage at Singapore Fashion Week, or any fashion week for that matter. You get to hang around all this amazing makeup – NARS in this case, chat with and watch lead stylists at work, pick up some great tips and find new ways to use old favourites. Here’s everything I learned while hanging around NARS International Lead Stylist Jane Richardson and NARS Japan Lead Stylist Mutsumi Masaoka.
It’s important to prep the skin
“You can buy the best foundations, but if your skin prep isn’t good enough, you will be left wondering why the foundation you spent so much money on isn’t doing what you want it to do,” says Jane. Backstage at Exhibit, models had their skin prepped with the NARSskin Freshening Lotion, which helps tighten the pores, increase longevity of the makeup and soften the texture of the skin, followed by NARSskin Luminous Moisture Cream massaged into the skin for a beautiful glowing complexion. “The NARS skincare has actual light reflecting properties and has been created to make your makeup look better,” Jane tells me.
Blend, blend, blend, blending is your friend
To create the hauntingly romantic smoky eye that was the focal point of the look at Exhibit, Jane used a single domed blending eye shadow brush. “Using slight pressure, push the brush in and go in strong where you need to – like the outer corners – then using the tip of the brush, blend using a “windshield wiper” movement and soften the hard edges. It’s very simple because it’s only one colour.”
Use your hairstyle as the inspiration for your makeup
At Ong Shunmugam, NARS Japan Lead Stylist Mutsumi Masaoka drew inspiration from the blunt bobs with sharp fringes that extended almost to the eyelids, and chose to do a reverse smoky eye. Mutsumi first smudged Last Frontier Velvet Eyeliner into the lower lash line. Then using the Precision Contour Brush #44 she further intensified the colour using eye shadows Bali and Bengali, drawing it into the crease close to the brow bone to create a slight contour and finished the look with clear Triple X Lip Gloss on the lids for a bit of sheen that peeked through the fringe.
It’s all about balance
Mutsumi balanced glossy eyelids with velvet matte skin, dusting the Soft Velvet Loose Powder under the eyes, the edges of the nose and on the forehead. Similarly, the reverse smoky eye was paired with a soft lip: Dolce Vita Velvet Matte Lip Pencil that was toned down with the slightest buffing of concealer.
Mix your products to create a unique shade
To achieve a complexion that looked “natural, youthful, with a radiant glow” at Naeem Khan, Jane mixed Honolulu Honey (a neutral beige) with Catfight (a nude mauve), which are sheer and matte respectively to create a colour that mimicked a natural flush on the cheeks that looked like “they’d just been running”.
Get your products to do double duty
At Ong Shunmugam the entire look was focussed around a glossy eye; Naeem Khan had models sporting Honolulu Honey lipstick on their eyes and cheeks, and the most used products backstage were Bali and Bengali eye shadows used to fill in brows. When it comes to makeup, there are no rules. While not strictly formulated for use on the eyes, it is possible to make your lipstick and lip gloss go the extra mile if you’re careful. And don’t be afraid to create your unique blush with lipstick, or have your eye shadow double up as brow filler or even liner.
Cheat your way to lush lashes
“Drawing a really tight line right into the lashes actually makes them look thicker, instead of wearing false lashes, and it gives a nice contrast to the colour of the eyes,” says Jane of the tightlining technique she used backstage at Naeem Khan. Jane used Black Valley Eye Paint to ensure there would be no budging or smudging.
Don’t be afraid to use your fingers
“If you don’t like using brushes, just use your fingers, don’t be afraid of changing it up,” says Jane who applied eye shadow with her fingers for the models at the Exhibit show to achieve the desired colour payoff.
Which of these tips did you find most helpful?