Let it rain
With the right application, your make-up can survive spring’s wettest days, writes Tama Lung
Make-up artist Rennie Fensham, a native of South Africa, has spent almost a third of her 30-year career in Hong Kong. And after several years of trial and error, she has learned how to adapt the perfect make-up routine to the local climate.
For starters, she says, 'you have to use a primer. You can't get away without it. Apply a very thin layer like you would a moisturiser - over the eyes, under the eyes and around the nose. Give it 20 seconds to settle'.
In choosing a foundation, Fensham says the key is to experiment with a variety of formulas. She notes, however, that 'when it says long-lasting, it really is'.
'The latest fashion is to mix your own, a light one and a dark one,' she adds. 'When summer comes, you can add a bit more dark and in winter, a bit more light.'
Fensham favours foundation over concealer, applying the first layer over dark circles and other problem areas. She then applies it to the eyes, lips, ears, into the hairline and down the neck.
'For foundation to last, the secret is translucent powder,' Fensham says. 'You want to get rid of all the oiliness of the foundation and set the face.'
To add a healthy glow, she applies a powder blush - 'creams and liquids are really tricky to put on' - on the apples of the cheeks and upwards.
The final step is to apply bronzer all over with a big, fluffy brush. 'It just makes you look better and pulls the whole look together,' Fensham explains.
When it comes to the perfect eye make-up, Fensham says, the main focus should be the eyebrows. 'The brows are the frame of the face,' she says. 'Make sure you go once in your life to have your brows professionally shaped.'
To bring out the shape of the brow, she fills it in powder rather than a pencil. 'The powder stays longer,' she explains. 'Even when you exercise, it stays there until you take it off.'
Fensham then uses a neutral cream colour to 'create a canvas' from the lashes to the browline. For a natural look, she applies a soft brown eye shadow in a triangle shape from the outer corner to the midpoint of the eye followed by a white shadow to brighten the inner corner.
For lining the eyes, Fensham chooses a liquid liner for Hong Kong. 'Apply as thin as you can into the lashes for a day look,' she says. 'Then go over it with the eyebrow powder, which acts as a seal.'
'Use whatever is left on your brush to soften the line under the eye, starting from the outside in and never going all the way in because it makes your eyes look smaller.'
When it comes to mascara, Fensham says, 'there's no way you can go without waterproof in Hong Kong. For women concerned that their lashes will break, just remember the biggest issue is not the mascara but the make-up remover you use.' She also warns against putting mascara on the bottom lashes, which will 'definitely smudge' and create a spidery look.
For a smokey-eye look, go with a darker brown and black shadow - 'always shake excess off the brush so it doesn't land on your cheeks later' - and add extra layers of liner and mascara. Blending with a sparkly gold over the entire eye area will bring the colours together and help keep it smudge-free.
Fensham's big secret for long-wearing lip colour is a lip liner. 'Always, always colour in your lips with a liner,' she says. 'By colouring in, you're staining the lip. Then you can put a gloss or lipstick over it and if they wear off, you still have some colour.'
Rather than prepping the lips with balm or moisturiser, Fensham starts with a dry lip covered with a layer of foundation and powder. 'If your lips are oily, the liner won't last long.'
She begins by lining the edge of the lips before filling in the rest. For a natural look, she suggests a nude liner with a hint of pink. And for women afraid to go with a strong red lip, she suggests a red liner topped with a gloss to soften the colour.
In fact, Fensham doesn't even use traditional lipsticks, opting to create her own colour combinations.
'You don't need to invest in lipsticks,' she says. 'Just a good liner.'
For touch-ups, two of Fensham's must-haves are lip gloss and lip liner. The other: a good translucent powder. 'Once you have a good base in place,' she says, 'that's all you really need.'
GET THE LOOK
Rennie Fensham offers make-up lessons, and bridal make-up and beauty parties, through Glow with Ceri Silk. To find out more, visit www.cerisilk.com or call 2525 5198.