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 great personality.

Exclusively Fashion Magazine: How did your career start as a makeup artist?

Sheng Saw: 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.

EFM: When you first started your career as a makeup artist, did you find it hard to break into this business?

SS: 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.

EFM: Who was the first makeup artist you assisted?

SS: I 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 2002.

EFM: How important is it to assist established makeup artists?

SS: 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.

EFM: Who, what or where do you get your inspiration from?

SS: 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, www.clanhouseonline.com

EFM: What are your beauty secrets?

SS: 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 works!

EFM: Do you have a favorite color of lipstick; if so what color?

SS: Yes I do! Mauve, a purplish gray. I find that it flatters practically any skin tone. The same applies for mauve eye shadow.

EFM: What advice would you give to an aspiring makeup artist?

SS: 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.

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Interview by Rochell “E” James


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