brow pow-wow

April 26, 2017  |  Makeup Tutorials  |  No Comments

I’m always flattered but flustered when people ask me how I do my brows – I never know how to answer because the truth is that I do very little to them at all. Personally, I like a more natural look (which is a nice way to say I barely tweeze) and on a whole am not a huge fan of the whole Instagram-brow, so my focus is usually on enhancing what’s there rather than creating a whole new shape.

There are pretty much only 3 brow looks I rotate through depending on my mood, the rest of my makeup and how much time I have. So when Make Up For Ever sent me their brow product collection and asked me to illustrate a few looks from their new pro-approved brow product campaign, these were the ones that I chose because they’re what I honestly wear myself.

1. Natural
When I want a fresh, natural look to pair with light makeup, I usually just brush my brows with brow gel – either clear or tinted – to give my brow hairs some hold and a touch more volume. I’m using Make Up For Ever Brow Gel in 0 here, which has tiny fibres in the gel to fatten up sparse brows while holding hairs in place.

Brow gels are probably the easiest and fastest way to do *something* to your brows so they aren’t completely bare. I also like to layer clear gel over softly filled-in brows for more hair definition.

make up for ever brow gel natural brows

2. Full
This is currently my de-facto brow look: filled in and more defined, but with a slightly wild, carefree vibe. I usually do this with powder or a pencil*, but for this exercise tried it with Make Up For Ever Brow Liner in 40 and was pleasantly surprised at how easy it was to use. I initially thought it was just for people who wanted to patiently draw in individual hairs but even my fast, slapdash application yielded good results. All I did here was to colour in the sparser areas of my brows, with a heavier application in the centre of my brows and a lighter touch around the edges.

My tip for recreating this look would be to either first deposit the bulk of the product into the middle of your brows, or wipe the applicator off on the back of your hand before doing any edge work so that you don’t get any blobs of colour.

*Honorable mention: I use Make Up For Ever’s Pro Sculpting Brow in 40 which I reviewed here. I’m actually onto my third one now, because it’s the only pencil-type brow product that is foolproof enough to work for me!

make up for ever full brows brow liner

3. Sophisticated
I usually only wear my brows like this when I do very dramatic eyes, but I just wanted to keep the looks consistent for clarity so please excuse the incongruence of this look! This was created with Make Up For Ever Aqua Brow (a mix of shades 25 and 30) which in my opinion is a great product on its own but pushed into “must have” territory by its exceptionally smart packaging: it comes in a tube rather than a pot so it’ll never dry out on you.

Here I used a stiff angled brush to trace the natural outline of my brows before filling them in with short, light strokes. I also brushed them thoroughly with a spoolie to distribute the product and soften up the edges. My advice when doing the initial outlines would be to trace just on top or slightly inwards from your natural brow line rather than outside of it. Visible hairs around the edges of your brows is what will keep them from looking too stencilled-on and artificial.

make up for ever aqua brow sophisticated brows

I hope this post was helpful to anyone thinking about upping their brow game! If you need a little more guidance, Make Up For Ever Singapore has kindly offered my readers a 2-for-1 deal on mini brow makeovers at Sephora! $15 will get both you and your BFF a brow trim + your choice of any 1 of their 6 Brow Show looks. All you have to do is book your appointment at either Sephora ION (6836 5622) or Sephora Ngee Ann City (6341 9017) at least 3 days in advance and quote “EMILY” to get the deal. If you do make an appointment, I’d love to hear which of the looks you chose!


This post features products that were provided as press samples, however all opinions and observations are my own and not influenced by the brand or its PR team. This post contains affiliate links.

tutorial: natural contouring with powder

August 25, 2015  |  Beauty, Makeup Tutorials  |  15 Comments

The best way I’ve ever heard contouring described was in an article that likened its effect to standing under the most flattering light possible. It isn’t going to change your bone structure, but it can certainly turn you into the most sculpted version of yourself. Mouse over this image and you’ll see what I mean (you may need to give it a minute to load):

Before we get started, it’s important to begin with a very smooth even base. This of course means using medium to full coverage foundation and a fair bit of concealer, plus translucent powder to set your base products and make for smoother blending.

For this tutorial I used Marc Jacobs Beauty #Instamarc Light Filtering Contour Powder in Shade 40, which I absolutely adore for its amazingly silky texture. It has a darker contour shade and a lighter highlight one, both of which are matte. Let me know in the comments if you’re interested in a full review of this. In the meantime, on to the good stuff….

Step 1: Suck in your cheeks to find the hollow beneath your cheekbone. That’s where your contour shade will be going.
how to contour1

Step 2: Using a very dense brush, pick up a good amount of your contour colour and draw a stripe of it in the hollow of your cheek. I used Marc Jacobs Beauty The Shape Contour and Blush Brush.
how to contour2

Step 3: Based on your face shape, add contouring to other areas you’d like to recede. I have a round face, so I like to add a bit of contour to the sides of my forehead and on my temples which makes my face look less wide. I also contour the sides of my nose to give it a sharper appearance.
how to contour3

Step 4: Blend, blend, blend! With a soft fluffy brush (I used Sephora’s Classic Must Have Angled Blush Brush), use the lighter shade to blend your contours out. Focus primarily on softening the edges of your contours – you don’t want to over-blend it all into a tan!
how to contour4

Step 5: If you’d like, you can also sharpen your jawline by contouring along and just beneath it. I actually like to bring my contour shade down my neck a little as well just to blend my face in with the rest of me.
how to contour5

These next two steps are optional – it’s a weird little trick I do to give my contouring even more pop and my jawline better definition. It has a lengthening effect on short faces like mine, but skip to step 8 if you have an oval or long face.

Step 6: Suck in your cheeks again and locate the lowest point of your cheek hollows, just above your jaw.
how to contour8

Step 7: Using a flat foundation brush, draw a line over this area with the highlight shade and blend downwards over your jaw. With your dense brush, buff over the line. Once it’s no longer visible, you can add a touch more contour to the hollow of your cheeks if necessary.
how to contour6

Step 8: Finally, dab blush onto the apples of your cheeks, blending it towards your hairline and into the contour colour slightly.
how to contour7b

Thank you for making it all the way through my first tutorial! For easy reference I’ve included a Pinterest-friendly chart below, but I promise that after a few tries you won’t even need to look at it. If you have questions, please leave them in the comments and I’ll try to answer them to the best of my ability. Also, I’d love to hear your feedback on tutorials like this, so let me know if it’s something you’d like to see more of. I’m seriously considering a cream contouring tutorial next…

**Sale Alert! Take 10% off (15% off for members) this and all other base products at Sephora Singapore till September 3rd**


This product was provided as press sample, however all opinions and observations are my own and not influenced by the brand or its PR team. This post contains affiliate links.

fotd: rose gold glow

January 1, 2015  |  Beauty, Face of the Day, Makeup Tutorials

For the record, I’m still not over my obsession with glowy skin. It’s so nice to not be constantly fighting my face and caking on the powder to stay as matte as humanly possible. The grass is finally greener on this side!


But since not everyone has naturally dewy skin, I thought I’d do a look using mix of highlighters this time. For this experiment, I got my face completely matte and layered highlighting products over it to replicate the effect they would have on drier skin types.

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