You know that a certain look is in when the granddaughter-in-law to the Queen of England wears it with unparalleled confidence to her royal wedding.
Yes, we’re talking about Meghan Markle’s beautiful ‘no-makeup’ look at her wedding where she kept things looking minimal. What really caught our attention, however, is how proudly she wore her natural freckles and how gorgeous and youthful it made her look. Who could tell that she is actually three years older than Prince Harry?
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Can that fly in Singapore? Will Singaporean women gladly flaunt their skin imperfections to their wedding?
We interviewed four top celebrity makeup artists in Singapore about their experiences with their bridal clients, and what they themselves would recommend for the perfect wedding makeup look for Singaporean women.
Some Singaporean women are proud of their freckles too
Of the three makeup artists we interviewed, the answer was pretty unanimous when we asked about whether showing off freckles on their wedding day was something acceptable in Singapore too.
“Showing freckles is pretty rare. Yes, I do encounter clients who love their freckles in bridal makeup,” says Ginger Lynette Leong, a celebrity makeup artist with more than a decade’s experience, and who has most recently done the makeup for Avengers: Infinity Wars star Karen Gillan when she was in Singapore. “It represents them and they don’t think it’s a flaw, they are proud to show it!”
Tinoq Russell Goh, a makeup artist with more than 20 years of experience in the industry and who has worked on the faces of Lily Cole, Jet Li, and Andrea de Cruz, exclaimed, “When I had a bride who asked me not to conceal her freckles, I was so happy I gave her a hug!
“I don’t find it common in Singapore yet. Everyone still wants to cover up and look flawless like Korean celebrities, but my motto is ‘bare-skinned beauty’. Makeup should be translucent and light-handed, so it doesn’t cover up your own character and beauty.”
Marie Soh, face and founder of local makeup and image consultancy 27A and INGA Cosmetics, also agreed. “We are moving away from the flawless, porcelain skin look, and people are embracing their characteristic imperfections.
TG Goh, a celebrity and bridal makeup artist who has been in the industry since 1992, shared with us that it’s usually the grooms who request for lighter makeup and not to cover up ‘flaws’ of their wives-to-be. “It’s usually because they want their brides to know that they are marrying her for who she is, including her physical imperfections. I always feel very touched by the grooms’ sincerity and love for his wife-to-be!”
Do Singapore women like ‘natural’ makeup looks on their wedding day?
In general, the makeup artists we spoke to seem to find that ‘natural’ makeup looks are popularly requested by Singaporean brides, although it’s up for debate about how ‘natural’ they really want to look.
For makeup artists like Tinoq, ‘natural’ makeup looks really meant going in with a light hand. “My motto is ‘bare-skinned beauty’,” declared Tinoq. “Makeup should be translucent, but many Singaporean brides like to ask me to cover everything up.
“I have brides who tell me they want a ‘natural’ look, but when they show me an example picture, there’s nothing natural about it!”
Marie agreed with this, relating an anecdote of when a bride requested for a ‘natural’ look and showed her a picture of Kim Kardashian as an example. “It’s the kind of natural look that requires a ton of makeup to achieve!”
TG, meanwhile, shared with us a story of how he had a bride who really wanted to show off her tattoos. “She insisted on showing them off on her shoulders and arms. She felt that since she has been living with them since her teenage years with her parents’ and the groom’s acceptance, she sees no reason why she should conceal them just for her wedding. I really admired her self-confidence in being proud of who she is!”
Would makeup artists recommend concealing your imperfections?
At the end of the day, would makeup artists recommend concealing or flaunting your skin imperfections?
Generally, they would recommend concealing under-eye darkness, acne, and scars, but for other types of pigmentation like sun spots, freckles, and moles, the makeup artists we spoke to love to see them on a bride’s face.
“I personally really like it, it’s so much more interesting to see a face with all these details rather than covering up these so-called imperfections,” says Marie. “I even have brides who don’t have freckles but request for me to add them on with a light eyebrow pencil. It gives them a youthful, sun-kissed look, and people are embracing that.”
To Tinoq, there is no ‘imperfection’ worth covering if you are comfortable with it. “I don’t see imperfections in people, I see what makes their faces unique. I think these so-called flaws add character to a face, and ultimately, it’s the laughter and their smiles that really count.
“But of course, the person’s comfort level with their makeup is also very important. If you are uncomfortable with the makeup, it will show in your photos at the end of the day.”
The bride’s comfort level is also very important to the other makeup artists.
“I normally have a meet-up session with my potential clients to discuss their needs and requests,” says TG. “I’d listen and respect their decisions on what they want or don’t want in their look, and whether they’d like to conceal those imperfections or not.”
The looks that they personally like on brides
You may think that makeup artists, who make a living in covering up people’s faces with makeup, would prefer dramatic, glamorous looks.
While these are appropriate for editorial photoshoots, the makeup artists we interviewed were generally unanimous in their preferences for natural-looking makeup.
“I don’t agree with full coverage,” Ginger stated. “The more coverage you have on your face, the more lines you may see because of how cakey the makeup can get (over the long day). I will always prefer clean and fresh looks for my brides: good skin, eyes full of life and energy, and angelic makeup that works best with the white gown.”
Tinoq also agreed with this sentiment. “Lesser is better when it comes to makeup – after all, you can always top it up if you need to, but you can’t take off makeup easily if you go in with a heavy hand from the start.
“When taking photos, 20 to 30% of your makeup disappears, so I always recommend my brides to elongate the eyebrows slightly. You can skip the eye shadow and the eyeliner, but you can never skip the lashes. I will generally ask to put at least mascara on all my brides, if not high-quality, soft, fluttery false lashes. It’s the hard, plasticky ones that people generally don’t like the look of, but if you use the correct ones of a good quality, they make such a difference to your eyes.
“I also put a lot of importance into blushers, because it makes a huge difference. I love to see a nice rosy sheen to the apples of the cheeks when brides smile, and they should be the happiest on their wedding day!”
For Marie, fresh looks are great for the daytime activities of a wedding, but at night she prefers to go a little more intense on the makeup. “As a bride, you want to stand out a bit more. You don’t want to get lost amongst your guests on photos, especially if your guests are already going to be wearing a bit more makeup than usual too.
“I’d go with red lips, a bit of smokey eyes, and for a more old school glam kind of look for wedding dinners.”
TG Goh, however, feels that all of this is up to the bride. “I can suggest hair and makeup looks according to the bride’s wedding gown and the banquet venue, but I’d also make sure to listen to their specific requests and preferences before giving my opinions.”