A make-up expert tells Kasmiah Mustapha that cosmetics should accentuate looks, not make up for the lack of it
IF you have the opportunity to spend some time with Randolph Cheung, there are a few things that you would probably learn about yourself and make-up.
After all, the brand manager and make-up artist for Laura Mercier Hong Kong has 13 years of experience in the trade. You may learn that using a sponge to even out foundation is better than using your fingers and that women are often dishonest about themselves when it comes to applying make-up.
When it comes to mistakes that women do with their make-up, the soft-spoken Cheung has a lot to say.
Clearly, the subject of women who treat their face in an apathetic manner, upsets him.
He admits that at times he wants to pull out a brush or a sponge to repair the damage whenever he sees women in the street who obviously have no clue about the proper way to apply make-up.
“Women are never honest with themselves. They like to follow their friends. For example, they may not need so much foundation, but they see friends doing this and they think it will work for them.
“Because of this, the result will be horrifying. I will suggest that they talk to themselves and be honest with the mirror. If you are honest and know that a style doesn’t work for you, you should stop. Use your instincts. If you are not happy with using so much foundation, don’t. Make sure the style suits you. Sometimes what looks good on others will not work for you.”
Cheung says another mistake women often do is wearing make-up to please others. To them it is important that others perceive them as beautiful instead of just knowing it themselves. He says a woman should always know that she is beautiful and be confident with herself.
“Putting on make-up is about feeling good about oneself. It is not about making yourself presentable or pretty for others. The most important thing is to make yourself happy first. What is the use if you are not happy with a certain colour or style and yet you keep doing it because you want others to praise you?”
NOT ON THE MOVE
Women also have the tendency to put on make-up while they are on the move — such as in a taxi, a bus or while driving. This, he says, is a big mistake.
In addition, the lighting is wrong and this will not give the best results as the colours are affected by the light conditions which change as you move.
Cheung says: “As for light, putting on make-up in natural sunlight will give you a natural look. If you are using yellow light, you tend to apply a lot of colour or if you are under a fluorescent lamp, you will apply too little and you’ll look pale. When at home, use a halogen lamp, especially if you are going out at night.”
Women also spend far too much time applying make-up. He says 15-20 minutes is enough as a woman knows her face well. If she takes too long, she will start thinking too much and when that happens, the result will not be good as the woman will keep second-guessing herself.
The 35-year-old who has been with Laura Mercier for six years says being a make-up artist allows him to play with colours, something that he has always loved since he was a child.
“When I was a child, there was a cosmetic company that did make-up for cancer patients. I realised that I could use make-up to help other people. I also have the opportunity to make people feel confident. Making people feel and look good are important to me.”
At a meet-and-greet session with Malaysian media in Hong Kong recently, Cheung offered some tips.
“I always wait at least five minutes after I use a skincare product before I put on make-up. This ensures the skincare is well absorbed.
“Another tip is for women to challenge themselves. If you have tried one look today, don’t use it again the next day. Challenge yourself and be creative. Some people can wear the same make-up for 20 years. It’s time to change. Try something new. Have fun with make-up. Every time I’m bored, stressed or sick, I will stay in my room, look at magazines, pick a new look and practise on myself.”
Another mistake that women often do, he says, is to try to make themselves too flawless and some even resort to cosmetic surgery to look young.
“Don’t make yourself too flawless. Laura Mercier has this new slogan: Flawless Has Many Faces and I believe in that. The more you hide faults, the more visible they are.
“You can enhance them to look less visible, but don’t remove them. Flaws are a part of your life experience. Why don’t you enjoy your life experience? That is who you are. Celebrate your experience. Celebrate yourself everyday. Find something nice about yourself. Don’t be so harsh on yourself. Tell yourself that you are intelligent, that you are pretty.”
Cheung, who does not look his age, says his friends have tried to talk him into doing something about the lines around his eyes, a sign of ageing.
“I told them maybe someday I will think about it. For now I am celebrating my life It’s normal. I don’t want to hide the lines. I like some wrinkles. It shows who I am and what I have accomplished.”
What essential things do women need in their make-up bag? Cheung said a bright coloured lipstick, blush and powder are vital — items that one needs day and night.
According to Cheung, there are no wrong colours to use, regardless of age.
The mind should control the make-up, not the other way around. Make-up should be free. It should be your own style.”