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Bella Interview: Lan Nguyen, Makeup Artist

Lan Nguyen is a London-based self-taught professional makeup artist most famous for creating edgy looks on the runways. I was lucky enough to interview her backstage before the Inbar Spector show during London Fashion Week.

I watched her in action and we gabbed about our shared love of makeup, her experience working with Michael Jackson and Madonna, and makeup tips for Asian women. For all the details,


How did you get started in the business?
I was working in PR while I was in school studying fashion. One day I was asked to help out with makeup for a photo shoot, even though I had no formal training, and they loved my work. I started to do makeovers and then filled in when they were short staffed. I loved it and when I eventually starting doing shows I worked with Pat McGrath. She became my inspiration to pursue makeup as a full-time career.

What do you see as the next big makeup trends for Spring and Fall?
The look for Spring is fresh skin and strong, bright, neon-colored lips. Fall makeup is grim, gothic and rich. You'll see a lot of contoured cheeks and eyelashes are back too. People aren't afraid to look a little bit more stylish.

What has been your favorite fashion week show to work on?
I'd have to say the most recent Gavin Douglas show. I loved creating a new take on old Hollywood glamour.

You work with all types of ethnicities. Can you give our Asian readers and makeup artists in training any advice?

  • Asians always want to do a smoky eye, but they often wind up looking like they are punched in the face. Because Asian eyes are small, try putting dark colored shadows in the socket line (crease) only.
  • Also, I recommend staying away from matte pastel shades as they tend to make Asian skin look ashy.
  • Lastly, any type of cream shadow is great. They look really nice on Asian skin tones.
Join The Conversation
Tabloid Tabloid 9 years
she was right*
Tabloid Tabloid 9 years
Waow... Viet proud! I've never heard of her before thought. Thank you soo much for thinking of the Asian readers, Bella! I don't have small eyes for an Asian but I know it's a bad idea to circle all your eyes in black eyeliners because it'll make Asian girls' eyes look smaller.. and yeah, just was right, I always want to do the smoky eye and it looks great on me. HAHAH
cottonpoots cottonpoots 9 years
Thanks! I'm Vietnamese myself, so these tips are really useful.
x_juicyfruit x_juicyfruit 9 years
haute77 haute77 9 years
i agree with pandacn. these tips only work for asians who have the "normal" double crease eyelid. these don't work on me and i've tried them all. i just do what works on me and forget the tips because they never look good on my eyes. :)
pandacn pandacn 9 years
I don't have small eyes for an Asian, but I only have a single eyelid, which makes general eye makeup tips really hard to apply and it never looks as good as it does on Caucasians! Thanks for the post!
aimeeb aimeeb 9 years
bailaoragaditana bailaoragaditana 9 years
She seems cool!
Thiv04 Thiv04 9 years
I'm one of those asian people that don't have small eyes, and it is still hard to figure out how to do my eye make-up. Thanks for the tips, I have never tried any cream shadows.
Shopaholichunny Shopaholichunny 9 years
Yeah I agree with Mn48225! Thanks Bella!
mnp mnp 9 years
Awesome tips. Thank you, Bella, for thinking of the Asian readers! .
Lovely_1 Lovely_1 9 years
Awww great tips! I love bella interviews :)
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