Backstage Interviews With MAC’s Beno Lim : Part 1

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During Malaysia International Fashion Week (MIFW) recently, I had the opportunity to interview MAC Singapore’s Senior Artist (who needs no introduction among MAC fans in Singapore) who helmed the MAC Artistic Team backstage. Briefly for those who’d like to know more about Beno, he has been a makeup artist for 20 years (9 years with MAC) and was the first man in Singapore to work behind a makeup counter (with Prescriptives). Beno’s specialties are runway, editorial and theatre looks and he has worked backstage at many international fashion weeks. We were very fortunate to have Beno in Malaysia to key the looks for 25 designers during MIFW. 

You’ve worked with so many designers at numerous fashion weeks. Is there any fashion week that has been particularly memorable for you?

Singapore Fashion Week in September this year was memorable as there were 8 Parisian designers (such as Stéphane Rolland) who stepped out of France to present their designs for the first time.

Is there any difference between the makeup looks for these designers during their shows in Singapore and in Paris?

No, the looks are similar whether their shows are in Singapore or Paris.

How do you go about preparing the looks for each show here (Zebra Square)?

The looks have been pre-selected by Andrews Models and when they send me the looks, I select the products to create those looks. When I arrive in Malaysia, I do makeup tests together with MAC’s Artistic Team.

Do you bring your own products to Malaysia?

Yes, I do (Beno also brings products from upcoming collections in 2012).

What’s it been like working with MAC Malaysia’s Artistic Team?

They’ve been great. I show them the demo once and they get it. They are experienced and talented.

What items do you always carry in your makeup case?

  1. Lightful range skincare.
  2. Fix +.
  3. Fast Response Eye Cream.
  4. The entire range of Prep + Prime.
  5. Studio Sculpt Foundation.
  6. Studio Fix Fluid.
  7. Studio Perfect Compact Foundation.
  8. Face And Body Foundation.
  9. Careblend Pressed Powder.
  10. Mineralize Skinfinish.

What are your favourite eyeshadows?

The whole range of browns, especially Concrete, Cork, Espresso, Coquette. Mid-tone browns are useful for softening a smoky look.

What are your must-have items from the Glitter & Ice Collection?

The whole collection is versatile and easy to use but my must-haves would be the eyeshadow palettes.

What are the 2012 makeup trends?

Brows are going to be fuller with no arch, keeping the shape full. Peach blush is very in and red lips will be making a comeback.

Which is more difficult/challenging – working on a fashion photo shoot or working backstage during fashion week?

There are different kinds of challenges to each situation. For fashion shows, we have to show up at 6.45 a.m. to prepare our work stations as the call time (when models arrive) is 7 a.m. We have to rush for back-to-back shows, changing the looks for each show. For fashion shoots, we have to do our homework and work closely with the photographer and stylist. We have to take into account factors such as whether the shoot is indoors or outdoors, take the lighting into consideration and whether the photos are in black-and-white or colour.

Note : In Part 2 of “Backstage Interviews With MAC’s Beno Lim”, Beno will be sharing some of his makeup tips.

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