In conjunction with the launch of MAC’s latest collection (Quite Cute), I had the opportunity to interview Stev Chong, one of MAC’s Special Events Artists at MAC, 1Utama. Stev joined MAC as a part-timer in 2004 and as a full-time makeup artist at the MAC outlet in Penang in 2005. In 2008, he was transferred to MAC, MidValley where he has been based ever since. The first time I met Stev was at the Barbie Loves MAC event at MAC, KLCC in 2007 where he recommended me products which have been part of my makeup staple since then.
Over the past few years, he has been more involved in work outside the MAC outlets and recently, he was with Salabianca in Paris for their photo shoots. These days, sightings of Stev at MAC, MidValley are rarer than blue moon sightings as he is much-in-demand shoots and other work. Thanks to Stev, I have picked up invaluable tips, ideas and advice on how to use products I wasn’t sure about. Soft spoken, patient and personable, it’s not difficult to see why he is a favourite with customers. Not to mention, it’s not just the latest collection that’s quite cute! Interviewing Stev was more like talking to an old friend with whom it’s always a pleasure to chat with.
If someone is unsure which products in the Quite Cute Collection to purchase, which ones would you recommend? In other words, what is the must-have item?
Stev : The colours in the Quite Cute Collection are very interesting colours which you don’t see in the regular line such as the blushers, eyeshadows, lipsticks and nail lacquers. These are soft pastel colours. I’d recommend Miss Behave & Giggly (blushers), swirl them to achieve a luminous effect. The makeup trend now is about a natural, healthy look, it’s about getting a 3-D tone, not too shimmery or strong.
What do you say to those who tell you they don’t like pastel colours? How do you make it work for them?
Stev : I’d sit them down and try out the colours on them, let them feel the mineralize colours. They are suitable for all skin tones. For tanner skin, use something stronger like Sakura (Mineralize Blush) and Miss Behave (Mineralize Blush) as a highlight.
Can you create a dramatic look with this Collection (since the colours look so soft)?
Stev: It depends on how you want the dramatic look. For lips, we have a shocking purple, Play Time lipstick and a shocking pink, Candy Yum-Yum (the latter) which reflects the Pop-Classic trend. For a dinner look, use the dark purple (Azuki Bean-midtone dirty violet) in the Cutie eyeshadow quad to create a romantic smoky look. It’s a kawaii look. After using a black eyeliner, smudge the line. Then put on the 7 Lash (in the Quite Cute Collection).
How do you do a look with the eyeshadow quad, in particular how do you use the pink (Goody Goody Gum Drop) without making eyes look red and swollen?
Stev : Use the purples as a base colour and then #217 brush to apply the pink on top to soften the purples so that you don’t see any harsh lines.
This seems like a collection for the young. How do you suggest this collection to someone who thinks the collection might be too young for them?
Stev : This collection was inspired by Harajuku girls and so it’s very kawaii. I’d show and teach the customer how to use the colours to tone down. I have many matured customers who like strong lip colours. They like to just put on just foundation, a strong coloured lipstick and sunglasses.
What are your favourite eyeshadow, brushes and skincare product?
Stev: For eyeshadow, it’s Rice Paper as it’s good as a highlighter and base. If you just want to highlight, it can be used on the inner corners of the eyes to brighten.
For brushes, it’s the #217 eyeshadow brush which makes your life easy as it can be used to create the whole eye look and #138 face brush which is tapered and softer than a powder brush. As it slants to a tip, it can be used for smaller areas of the face. To apply blusher, just use the tips.
For skincare, I can’t live without Strobe Cream as it can be mixed with foundation to give your skin a glowy finish. The trend for skin this year is more towards a moonlight glow look rather than the (more shining) sunkissed effect of last year.