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Another year, another Digital Fashion Week, another incredibly illuminating makeup masterclass by head makeup artist Lan Nguyen-Greaslis. Let’s get straight to it!

Loving this look laid out for Max Tan’s Spring 2015 show, which at first blush appears to be all about that punchy pop of pink on the lips. Not so. There’s a stellar ensemble cast supporting the star player, starting, naturally enough, with the base:


STEP 1. We’re going on the assumption that you have solid skincare fundamentals down pat: Serum, emulsion, moisturiser, the works. Done? Now for foundation. We’re not gunning for blanket coverage here, which is why all Lan used was a deft dab of tinted lotion. Digital Fashion Week’s sponsored by The Body Shop, so she’s using the brand’s All-In-One BB Cream, but feel free to sub with your go-to blemish balm.

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Quick note on application: Fingers are fine, but blending with a synthetic brush works best. Lan likes starting from the centre of the face and fanning outwards for a well nigh undetectable finish. Take your brush and and use stippling motions to buff up and out towards your jawline and temples – “stippling” being fancy vernacular for “dotting”.

STEP 2. Now for a bit of what Lan evocatively refers to as “underlighting”, which I understand to be an understated, less garish sister of highlighting proper. What you do is to mix a liquid concealer and highlighter in a roughly 1:1 ratio, then brush this custom concoction under your eyes and over strategic areas of your face: Brow bone, nose bridge, cupid’s bow; wherever you think would do well with a touch of light.


STEP 3. On to the eyes. The lids are gilded with a creamy all-purpose balm; smudge with warm fingers right smack in the middle of the crease for a most fetching gloss. Very cool, and such a cinch to pull off.

For definition, pick up the bronzier hues from a nude palette – try The Body Shop’s Shimmer Waves, a spectacular quintet of scintillating sandy shades – and lightly rim the outer third of your upper and lower lash line. (Use the same palette for a spot of cheek contouring.)

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STEP 4. Next, grab an ebony liquid eyeliner for a subtle amplification of your peepers. “Tightlining” is the way to go: With a steady hand, “connect the dots” between your lashes, following your eye’s curvature and getting as close to your upper lash line as possible. Restraint is of the essence here. Don’t wing it out; rather, stop lining at the farthest end of your natural lash line.

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STEP 5. Brows are bold, bold, bold: Think Cara Delevingne and then some. Top tip: Never use a true black, even if you do have very dark hairs to begin with, as you’ll end up with what Lan amusingly refers to as two “slugs” crawling across your face.

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It’s all about calculated balance: You want to “anchor” the inner part of the brow with a stronger hand, so use a charcoal powder formula and “feather” it on with short strokes of a stiff angled brush. For the ends, where you want things to taper off nicely, switch to shading it in a softer brown. Incredibly intuitive, yes.

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STEP 6.  Now for mascara in a dark chocolate, but only on the upper set for lift and dimension. What Lan does runs counter to conventional cosmetics wisdom: Instead of sweeping up from the roots, she starts by wiggling the wand straight from the tips, pushing up and then swivelling down the length of the lash.

By depositing the product at the tips right from the get go, you get a really tight curl without the heaviness that can come with volumising formulas: Fantastic for droopy lashes.


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STEP 7. Seriously sexy smackers, coming right up. They’re what Lan calls “fashion lips”: Very editorial and runway-ready, but infinitely wearable if you’re game for a gamble.

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You start by using a lip brush to trace a candy-cane pink lippie, starting from the middle of your cupid’s bow and hugging the curves down to the corners of your mouth. What you want is a beguiling, bee-stung effect, so by all means go over your natural lip line.

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STEP 8. Fill it in, then switch to a fabulous fuchsia in a satiny finish; try The Body Shop’s Colour Crush in 205. You want this second layer to be super punchy, so swipe it straight from the bullet.

Gun for an almost ombre effect by applying it only the centre of your pout, so the two shades engage in a sort of sensuous dance whenever you press your lips together. 

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STEP 9. Almost there! Now grab a neon salmon shadow pot and pat on with a fluffy paddle-shaped brush. Your lip colour will “grab” onto the powders like a moist cake would to a sugary crust. What you get is astoundingly beautiful: A vivid velvety flush, like the petals of a blooming rose.

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A final sweep of a silvery-white illuminating powder along the bony bit of your cheeks – remember to keep the highlighter right under your eyes and extend it up into the temples – and you’re good to go. Bold brows, bright lips, perfect for party people. Break a leg, fab folks!


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For more on Lan Nguyen-Greaslis, visit and follow Lan on Facebook and Twitter.