I typically don’t like heavy make-up and my daily routine is pretty simple. When I need to “ glam up” for a special event, I always turn to Agnes Ng at The Hair Shop, make-up artist to the stars. She always makes me look better but still like myself.
As a top professional in her field, movie stars such as Fann Wong, leading Mediacorp artistes like Felicia Chin and Fiona Xie turn to Agnes to get them red carpet ready. Singapore’s fashion glitterati and society darlings also flock to her for their beauty needs.
The eternally youthful Agnes recently kindly took some time out of her busy schedule jetting around with the stars and VVIPs to fill me in on her beauty secrets.
How did you start?
Since young, I love painting. I wanted to be an artist but realized artists don’t make any money until they die! Make up is like painting – making people more beautiful and interesting.
As a student, I helped out as a receptionist at my aunt’s salon during the school holidays. Later, I learnt how to do hair and make up. This is my first and only job. My work is never dull – it allows me to be on the move and meet people.
What are your make-up essentials?
A good make up base is important for me. BB cream is a must; those that come with sunblock are great. I like the Lancome BB cream because of its light texture, natural finish and sunblock. Dr Jart+ BB cream is also good.
Groomed eye brows are essential because it frames the face.
Lastly lipstick for colour. I love MAC for the large choice of lip colours and great pigments. Moreover prices are not too expensive so one can mix and match.
Whats your skincare routine like?
I find the Korean brand Sulwhasoo works for me. I use their toner, serum then eyecream and ginseng cream for night. In the day, just a little is enough. I also find Shiseido’s Future Solution eyecream also a good.
I go for regular Intense Pulsed Light Therapy (“IPL”) to improve my skin texture. It helps to firm, tightening pores, activate collagen production and zapping pigments. People used to do facials, now people go for IPL instead to maintain their skin. Now IPL treatments are as affordable as facials so they are accessible to more people.
What are popular brands/products/trends amongst your clients?
RMK is popular because of its light and fine pigments for a translucent finish. It creates a very natural look. For a matte finish and good coverage, MAC and Bobbi Brown are good. I find typically Asians like a translucent, natural finish.
With technology these days, the thing people now turn to is aesthetic and plastic surgery. Twenty years ago, the trend was tattooed eyebrows, now people go for IPL, botox, nose jobs etc. Make up is temporary; people now go for aesthetic treatments to bring back 10-20 years and improve their appearance.
For the make up uninitiated, how do you recommend they start their make up foray?
Start with lipstick. Makeup is a play with colours. Asians look good in bright lips – Pink / Red / Orange. Of course, groom your eyebrows. Then add blush, mascara, eyeliner.
I started with lipstick, then eyebrows, then the eyeshadow, mascara and blush. It’s building the look. I find the Koreans do the natural look best.
Is foundation really necessary?
If you have good skin, you can skip it. However as we age, foundation helps to achieve a smoother look. Also with a good primer, you can skip foundation. A primer will capture moisture and makeup will hold better. Some come with colour control and different finishes such as pearly glossy finish / translucent / radiant finish. I like RMK, Cle De Peau and Nars primers.
What’s an easy trick to make eyes look bigger?
Good lashes are key. As we age, your eye lashes become more fine, drop and lessen. Add on some falsies to open up the eyes and pile on the mascara.
The best way to hide dark eye circles?
Dark eye circles are due to poor circulation from lack of sleep and lifestyle habits.
Massage the eye area in the morning. Moisten your fingers and massage, to get circulation going, tone the area, exercise it.
Start with a good base/primer and concealer. RMK, Cle De Peau and Nars all have excellent primers.
For concealer, I like to mix Cle De Peau concealer and YSL Touché Eclat with a little bit of liquid foundation. I tap to apply then blend. A good primer helps to set the area so you don’t need to apply too much powder. People commonly make the mistake of applying too much powder to the eye area, making it look cakey and aging.
What do you think of Kim Kardashian type contouring?
It’s great for print and the stage. However, up close it looks very heavy and not realistic for everyday life.
How can one look 10 years younger?
Skincare is essential. On the day of an event, put on a good moisturing mask to prep your skin, or go for IPL. Then use a good base and foundation to prep the skin for make up. At the end of the day, if your regular skincare routine is lacking, makeup can only do so much.
When people have a balanced life and supportive family, their skin will look different. Happy people generally have good skin and look younger!
Agnes is at The Hair Shop Paragon Singapore (Tel: +65 6732 3773) for special occasions or just because you are worth it! Xoxo
Photocredit: Courtesy of Agnes Ng for My Own Loves