KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA
Sheng has assisted
some of the top makeup artists, such as; Val Garland,
Terry Barber, and Sharon Downsett to name a few.
Sheng's work is natural and edgy, which goes with his
Exclusively Fashion Magazine:
How did your career start as a makeup artist?
I was fascinated by the old Serge
Lutens Shiseido ads. When I noticed that my mum had
bought a classic red Shiseido lipstick, I was so excited
I actually stole that lipstick and used it on myself.
She still does not know that I stole it after all these
years! Not my proudest moment, but at 15 years old, that
was sort of the beginning of my makeup career.
When you first started your career as a makeup artist,
did you find it hard to break into this business?
I started as a self-taught makeup artist.
Professionally my careeer started in London, around
1999. I got accepted at an agency that placed makeup
artists. They sent me to various brands like Chanel
and Givenchy. Givenchy accepted me and I started
working for them at their Harrods counter. It wasn't
a very difficult start compared to some other
artists, but I think getting accepted at that agency
really helped. Eventually I ended up working for
M.A.C, working as a makeup coach and also at both
their counters and various fashion shows that the
brand was involved in, including London Fashion Week
and the Paris Haute Couture shows.
Who was the first makeup artist you assisted?
am very indebted to Caroline Young. She was my trainer
at M.A.C and taught me practically everything I know
about this business… all the essential things from
makeup techniques to client handling. Caroline is now
the global trainer for the fragrance/skin care brand, Jo
Malone. Later in my career, I assisted Sharon Dowsett.
She was the makeup artist for the Rimmel campaign with
Kate Moss and has done a number of Vogue UK covers.
Sharon was awarded British Make-up Artist of the Year in
How important is it to assist established makeup artists?
Utterly, utterly important. You pick up essential
working techniques… from the obvious like new makeup
trends to the not so obvious, like how to remain calm in
stressful situations like fashion shows.
Who, what or where do you get your inspiration from?
From Serge Lutens, art exhibitions and the people that I
work with. My prime collaborator currently is Cheah Wei
Chun. He is a creative consultant/stylist specialising
in fashion and celebrity editorials. Many of our joint
works are on his website,
What are your beauty secrets?
Get enough sleep, keep healthy, clean-tone-moisturise-exfoliate
and have more sex! A
hidden beauty secret is that you can curl eyelashes by
holding down the lashes between your thumb and a warm
spoon. Not easy and needs practise, but it actually
Do you have a favorite color of lipstick; if so what
Yes I do! Mauve, a purplish gray. I find that it
flatters practically any skin tone. The same applies for
mauve eye shadow.
What advice would you give to an aspiring makeup artist?
Be hardworking, be inspired… think out of the box, find
a good, established makeup artist to assist and try to
be nice! Minimum effort with maximum impact ~ this
is what Sharon Dowsett taught me.
Interview by Rochell “E” James