Oil Control After Makeup

For the last weeks I’ve been working on a print commercial for a big client. The days have been long and some of the shots were done outside in the middle of the day at a million degrees. There were beautiful locations like Siloso Beach and an ultra modern condo in the CBD area of Singapore. *CBD stands for Central Business District. We also shot in a football field for a couple of days, different conditions every time, all mostly warm. There were photography studio days of course.

The makeup always had to look great and the skin in both male and female talents was to be shine free. How did I manage this? I used a lot of blotting paper from Gatsby! **The oil blotting paper was sponsored. Basically I test drove it under the grueling humidity of Singapore. It worked extremely well! The main ingredients are talc and silica which have oil absorbing properties.

After the makeup was done, I used the blotting paper to keep the T-zone shine free (forehead and nose areas), using very gentle strokes to collect sweat/ shine. The Gatsby Oil Clear Sheet was excellent for removing oil/ dirt before makeup and before toning the skin/ using primer in some cases. After using the clear sheets, the skin was matte and the foundation glided on nicely without looking greasy. While we were outdoors on the beach, the Gatsby Powdered Oil Clear Paper worked its magic; I used it mostly on the male talents who were moving constantly and had to pose in the hot sun.

I am very happy to recommend the Gatsby blotting sheets, they are easy to work with and definitely deliver good results. **Gatsby is a Japanese brand available here in Singapore at most pharmacies and shops islandwide.

Beauty Wisdom

“After years and years of trying different hair products, and makeup, I can say I have had everything—long hair, straight hair, frizzy hair, short hair, no hair, a lot of lipstick, a lot of fake eyelashes, have tried everything. I understood very late that after a while, you have to be a bit comfortable and that people are not looking at you precisely—it’s a general feeling. But it took me years to understand that they are not looking at how your eyelashes are, except maybe if they are a professional makeup artist. It’s sad that all that you know when you are old, you learn when you are old. You try things, you have the feeling that you need things, when you are young. You think that if you have the right nail color it will change your life.

It is good to have few products that are very good quality. Listen to professional people so you can learn, read the magazines, so you learn things about looking better—I think everybody can look better. It’s good to have foundation on—it protects your skin from the weather, and nowadays it’s so easy to put it on.

I think there are a lot of people that still think makeup is painting on your face. But really makeup makes you feel better, and if you feel better then you look better. That is what I’ve learned, really—that I feel cleaner and neater if I have some makeup on.”

Excerpt taken from an interview with former face of Chanel and Lagerfeld muse, Inès de la Fressange, to read the whole thing, click here. (Thank you Into the Gloss). Ines is 51 years old and looks timeless.

When I read these words, it was like music to my ears, I even heard cherubs singing, stars and lights galore. One of the reasons why I got into makeup is the fact that everytime I applied a little bit, it always made me happy, radiant and the reactions I got from people were positive mostly. Makeup is about feeling good from the inside looking out.

Photo credit Vogue UK// Ines de la Fressange from her new book Parisian Chic © Paolo Roversi

Countour Tips Using Sleek Kit and Benefit High Beam

Countour Tips Using Sleek Kit and Benefit High Beam

Contouring is an art. To contour essentially means to define areas in the face such as the jaw as well as the cheekbones. When done correctly, contouring can help create a thinner more sculpted face, some call it plastic surgery without the needles, the late makeup genius Kevyn Aucoin was a master of that. All this depends on one thing, is your face square, rounded or oval? Not all faces need lots of contouring, some are lucky with an enlongated oval shape, so it is best to really study your face in the mirror to determine whether you need it.

Sleek Makeup from the UK has come out with a fantastic contouring kit equipped with a bronze brown-ish powder to create shadows and a highlighter. The lighter powder can be applied in the apple of the cheeks, the temple, the tip of the nose etc. The diagram photo is a pretty good guide to guide you through the process. For myself, I tend to contour my cheeks and highlight my temples to slim my face a bit as it is rounded. At night because I know the light is dim I highlight my temples and apple of cheeks using a cream product (Benefit High Beam is a favourite).

Easy Peasy Smokey Eye Technique Using Illamasqua Pencil


This fantastic video was forwarded to me by the great people at Illamasqua London. It is one of the most simple smokey eye techniques I’ve seen thus far, simply using a Sophie Kohl pencil in black, couple of brushes and powdered eyeshadows.

Key makeup artist Charlotte Savoury explains a step by step way to create a deep black and charcoal coloured smokey eye. Since it’s been uploaded, there has been over 4,900 views. And there is a great cause with every purchase of the Sophie-I pencil, a £3 donation is made to the Sophie Lancaster foundation, to find out more click here. Share with friends, it is a fantastic video!


I joined Pinterest about a month ago and just love it. If you like to group images, create folders online and like me, feel like you need ideas or perhaps like a specific subject like photography, art, DY, flowers, hair, ANYTHING – then Pinterest is for you.

My Pinterest ID is Norahluvsmakeup.
Follow Me on Pinterest

Decanting and Organizing Your Makeup

Decanting and Organizing Your Makeup

Decanting and Organizing Your Makeup. Currently, I own about 60 individual pieces of makeup from various brands/ sizes, as of a few months I no longer buy eyeshadows or blushers unless they come in a palette or individual metal pans. Why do you ask? It is so hard to remember and have everything on hand at once. As a makeup artist on the go, having your kit organized is essential. Also, when traveling powder makeup falls apart sometimes so keeping everything tightly secured is a must, makeup in Singapore costs dearly, I have to import a lot of my stuff. In the summer I will be going overseas again, and before it gets too overwhelming (this means also thinking about the liquids in foundations, OMG OMG OMG), I began the dreaded task of condensing my stuff.

For the basics – in the process of customizing the 28 refills of various brands in one palette, I used a heated hair straightener, rubbing alcohol (in case of spilled powder), stanley knife and a tea spoon. To remove the shadows from the plastic case, use heat at the bottom of the product, once it is hot with the stanley knife start pulling the edges until it peels off completely. The easiest brands to decant are Sephora, MAC, Christian Dior, Chanel, Makeup Forever (prob the easiest and it comes with a magnet, bonus). The most annoying ones were Inuovi and NARS, if you make any mistakes, the spillage of powder with these brands is epic – this is where the rubbing alcohol in a spray bottle became a savior, a few sprays of it will literally put your powder back in one place, using a tea spoon and pressing it. I learned all these wonderful tips on Youtube.

For decanting I chose two UNII palettes and organized them with the color range you will see in the photo (neutrals/ greens). I liked the design, sturdy/ airtight features and the fact that they come with a magnetic base so the pans will definitely stay on. In hindsight, I wish the palettes were bigger and less heavy! For personal use UNII is a good buy if you don’t own lots of makeup, the case comes with a mirror and will fit into a handbag. For my next batch I will get two large Z-Palettes which seem to be the most popular and talked about ones among the makeup pros. Makeup Forever makes empty magneted palettes as well, cost is £11.50 at Guru Makeup Emporium UK.

Smoothies For Skin Glow

I got the idea for this smoothie from this cool site called This blend is so complete with skin-loving plant-based proteins, potassium, calcium, fiber, and omega-3s. The essential fatty acids in the flaxseed oil have anti-inflammatory benefits, which is helpful for red, irritated, and puffy skin. Note -as part of my own daily routine I started taking fish oils (Omega 3) a month ago and have to say there has been zero irritation as of late, something must be working, right?

In a blender mix the following ingredients

1 tbsp flaxseed oil
2 tbsp raw almond butter
1 small banana
1/2 cup organic apple juice
1 cup ice cubes

Photo credit

Love For Your Lips

In some parts of the world it is cold outside or perhaps like us over in Singapore, the heat never seems to stop, the sunrays are strong and sometimes our lips get dry and chapped. The horror.

Here is a tip, for flaky lips gently brush them with a dry toothbrush for a few seconds and use lip balm to restore moisture. I like fruit tasting lip balm like Japanese brand Lush Lip Service in Cocoa Butter or Korres Lip Butter, excellent moisture and protection against chapped lips.

If you have a bit more time, do a DYI brown sugar lip scrub! It is so easy and most of all cheap. Mix a little bit of olive oil and brown sugar together, rubbing gently and rinsing it out with some lukewarm water. Tap dry with some tissue paper and then apply some lip balm.

Foods Good For Our Skin

Saw this on my Twitter feed and thought I’d share a few of the names of foods that are good for our skin (and some can also be applied as masks). If they are good enough to be eaten they can also be applied to our face and hair, I have done the pure avocado hair mask, yes you are reading this correctly! Avocado is a great natural conditioner. Green tea bags can be used as a cold compress for swollen eyes and even a sunburn, the colder the better, you can prepare them wrapped in a muslin cloth to avoid getting it into your eyes. As for berries, you can use them as a face mask mashed up with a little bit of natural yoghurt.

1. Avocado

The avocado is known for its numerous properties that benefit the skin. It contains many healthy fats that plump up the skin and smooth away the dryness. Avocados have the highest content of vitamin E when compared with other fruits, which is a powerful antioxidant that helps strengthen the white blood cells.

2. Green Tea

The health properties of green tea are vast. The list of skin benefits that green tea provides goes on and on. Green tea, whether consumed as a drink or applied to the skin, can decrease risk of damage from the sun and thus lessen the risk of skin cancer.

3. Berries

Strawberries, blackberries and blueberries are all good for the skin because of their high antioxidant content. These 3 berries have been found to have the highest antioxidant capacity of any foods. They produce collagen which keeps the skin smooth and plump.

Party Looks For NYE

Leading up to the new year, I am going to be featuring some party looks using my editorial tearsheets from December and January issues of Simply Her magazine in Singapore.

The look above is a smokey reddish brown using a solid base of MAC Paint Pot in Groundwork (cream eyeshadow) all over the lid. Paint Pots dry fast so you have to work fast using your fingers or a sponge. Next step, use a shimmer/ metallic color like a reddish or dark orange working in the shape of a half moon across the crease (Halfway into your lids) and all the way into the tear duct. Note – use a blending brush like this one by MAC (or any other brand just note the fan shape of the brush), and blend the colors in a circular motion so they mash together nicely). Makeup technique takes time and practice so don’t get frustrated – watch how the pros do it! I really like Pixiwoos tutorials.

I should add the brows were filled in using a Kohl eyeliner pencil. If you want eyes to go the distance, dab a little bit of Makeup Setting Spray over the eyelids and eyebrows (see my post here about this topic).

Lastly, the lips were done using a lipstain base – you can use Revlon Bitten or Cover Girl Outlast, cheap and very good for long lasting strong colored lips. Over this, you can apply a matte lipstick of your choice (MAC or OCC liptars are the best).