Amidst the crazy rush of Kuala Lumpur Fashion Week (KLFW), I managed to sneak in backstage (okay I lied, it was by invitation) to see how the official makeup brand for KLFW, Bobbi Brown, works make-up magic on the models. I did accidentally stumble backstage into the models changing room by accident though, only to find that the makeup area was 8 floors away from the backstage of the actual show. Ooops.
Anyway, I was given the free rein to walk around and watch the make-up artists at work and look into their thought process and working system. The system ensures that the make-up can go on without a hitch, in time for the models to totter 8 floors down to the backstage area to slip into their runway clothes. It wasn’t as utterly chaotic as I expected, but it was the last day of KLFW so presumably everyone was a little more relaxed and ready to have the week over an done with. They have been at Pavilion all week from morning till night, and I don’t blame them for feeling a little rushed and positively winded.
The makeup team consists of Bobbi Brown’s finest from around Asia – Hong Kong, Korea, Malaysia, The Philippines, just to name a few. The girl who also taught me how to maximise my make-up during my Lessons with Bobbi Brown, Grace, was also here. She has the boldest, craziest eyebrows!
I had the privilege to meet another amazing make-up artist – June Tea, who was the lead artist for Silas Liew’s show. I interviewed her about her inspirations and exchanged a few makeup tips in between. Read below for the full Q&A.
How long have you been in the makeup industry?
I would say 10 years, and that has all been with Bobbi Brown. I love the company’s philosophy of creating natural looks.
What other reasons do you love Bobbi Brown for, other than their philosophy?
I love their products! Their skincare is amazing, especially their serum. Their makeup products too, especially their corrector & concealer, I cannot live without them! These are the key products I use personally, and in my work too. They are they main tools for perfecting any look!
What is your inspiration behind your looks?
For the upcoming Silas Liew show, I’m using a charcoal smokey eye that is very soft in the middle but defined at the edges. I balance it out by completing this look with neutral lip color. My style is such that I always pick a main focus and in this case, I draw attention to the eyes and mute the lips. Other times, I do things the other way round to get a different effect. Lip and eye must always complement one another, but only one can be the attention-grabber.
What part of the job do you enjoy most? Photoshoots or runways?
To be honest, I actually like both BUT my favourite part of my job is when I am working with regular people who are NOT models. I enjoy making people look beautiful and feel more confident about themselves. Because models are already beautiful, they only need a little bit of makeup to conceal and enhance their features. Whereas working with regular people gives me that challenge because they are not of the cookie cutter model looks, and the right makeup techniques will vary from person to person. You can call it job satisfaction!
What are the challenges you have faced so far?
I face challenges everyday because not everyone is the same in terms of skin texture and shape. I like to educate my customers and my junior artists as well. I not only want to educate them, I want to empower them to have that drive to go out there and help customers as best as they can. Our challenges are all faced in the store and during all our Bobbi Brown Makeup Lessons that are available in-store.
What is your favourite beauty trend for the season?
Eyebrows! These strong brows that are a Korean trend that you can see in magazines these days. We have a Bobbi-Korean-style specialty artist too! (Grace whom I mentioned earlier came over to chat for a bit, and her eyebrows are as usual, amazing!) They are great because you can always play around with them. Sometimes they can be bold, sometimes fine. But I like defined eyebrows, which is a little strong. I personally don’t even need eyeliner and mascara, as long as I have strong brows, my concealer and corrector.
If you are not a makeup artist, what would your dream job be?
I would like a job that has no stress! *cue laughter* But I am a mother of two so.. stress is part of the job. I think even if I am not a makeup artist, my dream job would still revolve around the beauty industry as I am a person who always likes to look good. Call me a vainpot if you may, haha. I pride myself in doing my skincare routine right and I never miss a step.
[I told her that I’m usually lazy with skincare regimes. She then lectures me about my obvious neglect in getting my skincare steps right because I admitted that I usually skip a step or two. She stresses that you can NEVER EVER skip toner and serum. Trust her girls, she knows her stuff.]
What advice would you give to aspiring makeup artists?
My advice is to try doing makeup on as many different types of face textures, shapes, angles and features. It’s how you become a better makeup artist, by learning – we never stop learning.