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Beauty School: La Prairie Complexion Artists share their tips

To mark the launch of La Prairie’s cushion compact, the Skin Caviar Essence-in-Foundation, the brand announces three “Complexion Artists”.

The beauty experts share their tips.

Alvin Goh, La Prairie

Alvin Goh

Born in Singapore and raised in Hong Kong, Alvin has worked with celebrities including Emma Watson, Kendall Jenner, Uma Thurman, Dakota Johnson, Margot Robbie, and Milla Jovovich. With two decades of experience, the self-taught artist is inspired by veterans such as Kevyn Aucoin, and Topolino.

What is the most important part of a skincare routine? Cleansing, protecting, massaging, moisturising and masks. Without proper skincare, there is no way one can get a good complexion. Knowing your skin’s needs before applying the products is also crucial.

How does one apply foundation correctly? Always prep the skin first. Make sure it is clean and free of dead cells, then moisturise. Never apply foundation to the skin when it is dry. I prepare my clients’ skin by cleansing it thoroughly, and then mildly exfoliating it before applying a mask. I also massage the lymphatic notes to improve blood circulation, before starting on the makeup application.

How would you describe your signature makeup look? I like to make skin look bright and glowing. I have also been told by many of my celebrity clients that my makeup doesn’t require any touch-ups. I remember Uma Thurman’s bodyguard calling me at 2am to ask me what products I used on her; as her makeup didn’t move an inch. On editorial shoots, I am known for clean but dramatic looks.

Share a beauty tip. Start your skincare regime as early; even from age 25. If you start early, you can keep your looks for longer.

Your favourite la Prairie product? The La Prairie Cellular Swiss UV Veil.

Georgina Graham, La Prairie

Georgina Graham

The London-born artist is also an editorial beauty director known for her trend forecasts and expertise in makeup curation for luxury brands. Her work has been showcased on the pages of Vogue (Paris China, Japan, UK, Germany, Australia and Russia), i-D and Vanity Fair. Georgina is also a campaigner for women and children’s rights with and She has given talks at London College of Fashion, The Design and Textile Museum, Central Saint Martins, and The Surrey Institute.

How did you start out in the makeup industry? While studying at University, I started working in beauty retail. That was my first introduction to makeup, working with consumers of all ages, not just practising on friends or myself before a night out. I was always obsessed with fashion, style and culture so it was an obvious career path for me. One day, I was invited backstage to an Alexander McQueen show and watched the makeup artist working. I was blown away and that moment I knew I wanted to work professionally in makeup.

What is the most important part of a skincare routine? All are important: from cleansing, exfoliating, to protecting and hydrating. One should not only to use the correct products for your skin type and age but also to know when to use them and how to apply them to achieve maximum results. Today, there many external factors

that we must take into consideration for our skincare routine such as pollution and dehydration caused by modern lifestyles.

How does one achieve a perfect complexion? The secret is to perfect the complexion without masking it. That is when the skin looks and feels flawless, but also looks real.

How would you describe your signature makeup look? I have a reputation for making women look their best in any situation from day to red carpet. I am also known for working fast, because as fun as beauty is, everyone is in a rush and time is a luxury.

How do you prepare the skin before a photoshoot or special event? 
Prepping the skin in a calm zone is very important for an actress or model as this moment helps set the mood and restore their energy. I start by thoroughly cleansing the skin, followed by applying a serum, a moisturiser, eye cream and lip cream. The red carpet look is all about using primers to ensure that the makeup to follow is long-lasting.

Celebrities dedicate time to getting ready for an important event because they know that this is also a huge part of their job. I think every woman could dedicate some time to herself even if it’s just a couple of minutes to connect with her skin and treat herself to feel good.

Share one beauty advice. Invest in good skin care and makeup for long-term results. I am also a big believer in a healthy and positive lifestyle that includes eating healthy, exercising and sleeping well.

What are your must-have beauty products? Lip balm or concealer. I can’t do without an eyebrow pencil either as I have thin patchy brows that I prefer filled in. I also keep the Light Fantastic highlighter with brightening treatment in my purse to add instant lift and luminosity to the skin when I am on-the-go. The Skin Caviar Essence-in-Foundation is a perfect for touch-ups. I also adore The Skin Caviar Luxe Sleep Mask, because who doesn’t want their skin to be working while they sleep, that’s a no brainer.  For my work, there are so many items that I need: a great moisturiser to hydrate and prep the skin, a concealer for any blemishes, a black mascara and a red lipstick. Then I can do anything. This question has made me realise that I am not the minimalist I thought I was.

Mai Quynh, La Prairie

Mai Quynh

With over 16 years of professional experience in makeup, Mai earned her stripes at the MAC counter, while assisting makeup artists like Stephane Marais, Paul Starr, and Frank B on music videos, commercials and photo shoots. Inspired by the 90s supermodel beauty icons like Linda Evangelista and Christy Turlington, she is a go-to make-up artist for some of Hollywood’s top celebrities.

Mai’s work has been featured in Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, Elle, and Marie Claire, and shot by renowned photographers including Patrick Demarchelier, Annie Leibovitz, Max Vadukul, Sofia & Mauro, Alix Malka, Alexei Hay and James White.

Tell us about your background. When I was younger, I would paint and draw in my free time. I grew up in the ‘90s, the Supermodel era, so I was fascinated with their chameleon-like abilities. After high school, I decided to go to makeup school and realised makeup had such a big part in fashion. Later, while freelancing, I met a celebrity makeup artist. I assisted her and experienced how it was to work with actresses on photo shoots as well as movie premieres. I was hooked. That’s when I realized this is what I wanted to do

Who or what inspires you? Anything that moves me. I love seeing and working with different textures and using references from photos or stills of movies. Anything character driven, someone with a story or background and layers.

I have been fortunate enough to be exposed to so many incredible artists throughout my career– If I had to pick two, they would be Stephane Marais and Pat McGrath.

Studying Stephane’s work has taught me that the world of film has so much to offer in terms of inspiration. He loves the idea of creating characters, I think I like to draw from this concept too. The clients I work with whether model or actress, are all trying to tell a story; and I feel that I can play a role in that with my work.

In my opinion, no one has done more for my generation of makeup artists, than Pat McGrath. Her work is so unique, innovative and the word “adventurous” always comes to mind when I think of her. I think with what we do, there’s sometimes an element of risk-taking – and Pat is always brave. She has such an incredible instinct, and has worked with the most iconic faces, photographers and designers. She has always truly been a trend-setter in every definition of the word.

What does beauty mean to you? It is found in someone who is confident and comfortable in their skin. The way they carry themselves when they walk in a room. You can tell how they feel about themselves, and if they love themselves.

What is the most important part of a skincare routine? Staying consistent with a trusted skincare regimen. Whether you’re too tired to take off your makeup at night or too busy in the morning to apply sunscreen, it’s important to find the time because that’s when you’ll see long-lasting results.

Skincare plays a huge part in perfecting the complexion. Because if your skin is healthy and hydrated, you won’t need to use as much makeup and your natural skin and beauty will shine through.

Share some tips on applying foundation. First, ask yourself what kind of coverage is desired. If you’re applying a liquid foundation and want more coverage, then use a foundation brush. If you want lighter coverage when using liquid foundation, apply it with a damp sponge. With powder foundation, use a loose powder brush for lighter coverage. For heavier coverage, apply powder foundation with a dense powder brush or a dry wedge sponge. If you want complete coverage, apply liquid foundation and then brush on a powder foundation on top.

How would you describe your signature makeup look? It is all about the skin, a healthy, fresh glow from within. From there, I use color to help interpret whichever look we’re trying to achieve.

How do you prepare the skin before a photoshoot or special event? If time permits, I love putting a sheet mask on my client while she gets her hair done. If there is not enough time, I have learned that layering Skin Caviar Essence-in-Lotion, a serum (Skin Caviar Liquid Lift) and then Skin Caviar Luxe Cream will always give skin an instant hydration that will show through the makeup. I apply these products after the sheet mask is removed as well.

Any celebrity secrets for an A-List complexion? My client Ginnifer Goodwin taught me to not over-dry my skin by washing it in the morning, just rinse with water. There’s no need to strip or clean the face again especially if you just washed it before bed.

Share one beauty advice that you stick to. Identify the features that make you unique, embrace, and highlight them. Don’t try to change and conform with “the norm” because you’ll just end up looking like everyone else.

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