Editor turns into make-up artist

Editor turns into make-up artist

Young Post editor Susan Ramsay has no time to read make-up blogs, so we sent her to learn some skills from an expert - and then practise them on a brave cadet

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Jimin looks nervous as Sue brandishes a brown pencil
Jimin looks nervous as Sue brandishes a brown pencil
Photo: Bruce Yan/SCMP

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Sue tries to remember everything make-up artist Pasu taught her
Sue tries to remember everything make-up artist Pasu taught her
Photo: Bruce Yan/SCMP

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Jimin and Michelle show off their new looks
Jimin and Michelle show off their new looks
Photo: Bruce Yan/SCMP

See the video of Sue in action at the end of the story


Okay, I confess, I find make-up to be a necessary evil. It's a camouflage to blend in with other women, and a complete waste of time and money.

And worse, I strongly suspect that much of what passes for make-up today is just a way for companies to take money from the gullible. But who am I to judge? I don't know my BB creams from my gel liners, and thinking about wearing a pore-clogging base makes me break out into a cold sweat.

So that made me the natural choice to try out being a make-up artist for Young Post's "Don't quit your day job" series.

I found myself in Kwun Tong on a rainy Tuesday, headed for a studio with Andy, our video man, and two cadets, Michelle Fasching and Jimin Kang, to meet make-up artist Pasu Choi Ka-leung.

Either Jimin or Michelle would be my model, and Pasu would work on the other to show me what to do.

So, for someone whose make-up bag consists entirely of Lip Ice, the sight of a heap of make-up and brushes on the table was quite daunting.

Was it too late to pick shark diving? Could I try being a tiger's dentist instead, I wondered. No, brushes and powders and squirty clammy stuff it would be.

Pasu used Michelle as his model to show me how to carefully apply the make-up. He made it look so easy I knew I would feel foolish if I failed.

So I kept on memorising the steps ... moisturise, blot, brown squeezy stuff, sponge, concealer, powder, eyebrows, brush, eyeshadow, eyeliner, squeeze the eyelashes in the torture device, goopy eyelash stuff, blusher, gooey lip stuff … and done!

It looked easy. Pasu was expertly blending colours and creams, and frequently standing behind Michelle to check his work in the mirror.

He pointed out that things needed to be balanced: if you make one eyebrow long, the other must be long. If one is curved, the other must be curved. You would think a child would know that.

Yes, I knew it, too. But what went on in my mind was not necessarily reproduced by my hands. I watched carefully as he masterfully blended the colours to transform Michelle from cadet to model.

Then it was my turn, and poor Jimin had to sit through the torture. To me, she looked fine to start with, so it was going to be a hard job to replicate what Pasu had done.

At least I didn't mess up the moisturising, and even sort of managed to get the base on, getting an approving nod from Pasu.

Then things started to go wrong. I had forgotten what to do with the concealer. As I couldn't see any flaws on Jimin's face, I found it hard to place it. Obviously I missed a few places, which Pasu quickly corrected for me.

Then I had to start on her eyebrows. Immediately I had a flashback to my days in kindergarten when I could never colour inside the lines. While other girls were producing masterpieces in their colouring-in books, I was wondering why colouring Santa's face with a red crayon wasn't working. I had visions of Jimin looking like an angry eagle.

And it was a struggle. Getting one eyebrow right is easy. Trying to get the other to look like it belongs on the same face? Mission impossible.

The eye shadow was much easier and then came the liner. Oh dear. I knew it would be trouble, and it was. I had a tail at the end of Jimin's eye, but I could not get the other eye to look the same.

Back and forth we went, left eye, right eye, tail up, tail down. Eventually Pasu nodded. I'll never be sure if it was in satisfaction or because he decided to quit while we were ahead. Lips ... erm ... yeh ... awful. You can see the results. I think I'll stick to being a journalist.

This article appeared in the Young Post print edition as
Making it up as she goes along

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