THE FACE PAINTERLeslie Kay Before 2 makeup looks for the perfect selfie.jpg

Make-up artist Dollei Seah – who has spent two decades getting actors and models ready for the big screen – shares tips and tricks so you can look your best in front of the camera.

Ms Seah gives Urban writer Leslie Kay Lim (photo) two makeovers for her profile picture on a dating app.

THE VA-VA-VOOM LOOK1 Vavavoom 2 makeup looks for the perfect selfie.jpg

1) Follow the same foundation, eye make-up and contouring techniques as with the casual look.

2) For the lids, add another layer of soft brown smoky shadow (photo 1). Blend the shadow from the lashline in a seamless gradient towards the eye socket.

3) Highlight the points of the face where light hits. This is also a make-up technique that reality TV star Kim Kardashian favours.

Apply highlighter from between the brows to the middle of the forehead in the shape of an upright fan. Blend with a synthetic brush. Apply more highlighter on the nose bridge and blend (photo 2).2 Vavavoom 2 makeup looks for the perfect selfie.jpg

Paint a small inverted triangle just under the nose and above the cupid’s bow, and another one on the chin and blend.

Paint a sheer inverted triangle that extends from just under the eyes, to the cheekbones and blend. Apply blusher on the apples of the cheeks.



  • YSL Beaute Touch Eclat Pen Highlighter, $55, from YSL Beaute counters
  • Precious Light Rejuvenating Illuminator, $66, from Guerlain counters

4) Paint lips in a semi-matte nude pink for a sophisticated finish (photo 3).

Try:3 Vavavoom 2 makeup looks for the perfect selfie.jpg

Burberry Lip Velvet in Pink Amber, $43, from Burberry counters

Tom Ford Lip Color Shine in Frivolous, $72, from Tangs Beauty




1) Prepare the skin with a face oil to soften it, help make-up to go on more smoothly and last longer. Warm just one or two drops between your palms and press the oil into your skin.


  • Boscia Tsubaki Beauty Oil, $68, from Sephora stores
  • Bio-Oil, $15.50 for 60ml, from selected pharmacies and personal care and department stores

2) Use a synthetic foundation brush and a thin layer of concealer to even out the skin tone and hide blemishes. With a small dollop of concealer, start blending from the

T-zone towards the cheek areas and the rest of the face. Add more concealer in sheer layers if necessary.2 Casual look 2 makeup looks for the perfect selfie.jpg

Finish with a dusting of sheer powder foundation (photo 1). 

Pick a tone that is one shade darker than your regular skin tone so your face will not look washed out when you take a picture in front of a flash or well-lit window.


  • Urban Decay Naked Skin Weightless Complete Coverage Concealer, $40, available at Sephora stores from the middle of this month
  • Urban Decay Naked Skin Ultra Definition Powder Foundation, $53, available at Sephora stores from the middle of this month

3) Draw on the brows.

1 Casual Look 2 makeup looks for the perfect selfie.jpg

4) Using either a powder foundation that is three tones darker than your regular shade, a light brown shadow or bronzer, contour your nose bridge (photo 2). Do this with a blending eyeshadow brush from the inner corners of the brows down to the inner corners of the eyes. Stop the contouring on the inner corners of the eyes. If you contour any further down the sides of the nose, the shadow will look too fake.

5) Blend an iridescent nude pink eyeshadow from the lashline to the browbone. This will help to highlight the contours of the eye area.


  • Burberry Sheer Eyeshadow in Tea Rose, $46, from Burberry counters
  • Shiseido Shimmering Cream Eye Colour in Mousseline PK224, $32, from Shiseido counters

6) Crimp lashes and coat with mascara.


  • MAC Toledo Mascara Modern Twist in Vinyl, $40, available at Sephora Ion before the end of this month
  • Kate Black Feather Lash, $25.50, from Kate counters3 Casual Look 2 makeup looks for the perfect selfie.jpg

7) Apply blush on the apples of the cheeks (photo 3) to enhance them for the picture. Just smile to pinpoint the apples.


  • MAC Toledo Blush Ombre in Ripe Peach, $52, available at Sephora Ion before the end of this month
  • Dior Blush Kingdom Of Colors 873 in Cherry Glory, $72, from Dior counters

8) Fill the lips with a soft, pretty pink to brighten the face (photo 4).4 Casual look 2 makeup looks for the perfect selfie.jpg


  • Estee Lauder Pure Colour Envy Sculpting Lipstick in Infamous, $45, from Estee Lauder counters
  • Chanel Coco Rouge Shine in no. 97 Desinvolte, $48, from Chanel counters

9) Contour the face to make it look slimmer in front of the camera. Do so from the temples to the apples of the cheeks, from under the ear to along the jawline. Accentuate the jawline by flicking the brush in short and swift strokes from under it and upwards (photo 5).

Try:5 Casual look 2 makeup looks for the perfect selfie.jpg

  • Tom Ford Shade & Illuminate, $102, from Tangs Beauty
  • Marc Jacobs #Instamarc Contour and Highlight Powder, $60, from Sephora stores

Tips on taking good pictures

The Straits Times photojournalist Mark Cheong

1. Find your best angle by taking pictures of both profiles and see which looks more flattering.

2. Always take pictures with the chin down and from the top-down angle. If you take pictures from below the chin level, you may appear to have a double chin even if you do not have one.

3. If you are shooting someone’s portrait picture, never take a picture of the face close-up with a wide-angled lens camera, such as a DLSR, as that will only make the face look wider than it really is.

4. If you have only a wide-angled lens camera on hand, use the zoom function to take a tighter shot of the face.

5. Phone cameras generally do not make the face look bigger, so you can use them to take close-ups.

6. Play with light and shadow. For example, stand by a window lit by a high sun for a shot to accentuate curves and abs. And if you take a snap while facing a well-lit window (best if it is frosted), you get a nice softness to the picture that will make you look better than any filter function.

Blogger Katherine Sng of Bubba Mama

She has been on the dating app Tinder since July.

1. While shooting from a top-down angle will give you a sharper face, do not lift the camera too high up or your face will look distorted. Straighten your arm and lift the camera at a 15-degree angle instead.

2. If you have a wide jaw, use your hair to hide it, or cup one hand over the jawline on the side that is facing the camera.

3. Make yourself the main focus of the picture (instead of loading one that you took with a group of friends), with a well-lit and pleasant background.

This article was first run in The Straits Times newspaper on February 6, 2014. For similar stories, go to You will not be able to access the Premium section of The Straits Times website unless you are already a subscriber.