What got you into wearing makeup?
Sonia Chew (SC): “My dark eye circles got me into wearing makeup. When I was in poly, I had no clue about makeup. I had no idea because I came out of a girls’ school and I was just clueless. Then, I realised that I had to look fresher because there were boys in my school now – for the first time after ten years. I came out of girls’ school and I was like “oh my gosh, there are attractive people around now! I need to try to look cute.” And I learned a bit from my peers as well, we taught each other a few tips and tricks and I learnt a lot from them. It really just started as going over the counter and buying drugstore brands. I had no idea how to shade match. Every time the flash came on in the club, I could see the flashback. I told myself that this has to change and I have to do something about it. So I went to get shade matched properly and in the last year of university, I joined a talent competition and I came into the industry. That was when I realised how important it is to be able to handle your own makeup in the fastest possible way while still looking and feeling confident.”
What’s your everyday makeup routine like now?
SC: “As I grow older, I’m a bit more conscious of my skincare routine, so Estee Lauder’s Advanced Night Repair serum is definitely one of them that I need. I actually use it in the day and night. Even though it says that it’s a nighttime serum, but it’s okay to use it in the day as well. I realised that if you have better skin, a good canvas means lesser time doing makeup as well. So skincare takes up more of my time and I try to mix in the serum with my foundation as well, to get a nice glowy finish. I also powder my face selectively, so that you get nice definition and it’s not just one flat matte surface – it needs to have nice tones and look natural. And of course, brows and concealers are a must. I’ve just permed my lashes, so it speeds up time.”
What are three things that you wish you knew when you started wearing makeup?
SC: “Firstly, how to draw eyeliner properly – it’s really practicing and drawing it as close to your eye line as possible. Secondly, how to add definition to the eyes. Sometimes, when you change up your eye makeup a little bit, it makes your whole face pop a little more. I wish I knew how to draw my brows properly when I just started and I think learning how to put on lipstick properly and adding a pop of colour is really important as well. You should pick a tone that enhances your features. I learn a lot from makeup artists when they do my makeup. They’ll tell me that I suit pinks or reds or oranges and try not to go too dark because it may not bring out my features as much.”
Your skin seems to be flawless all the time, was there a time where you’ve struggled with bad skin and what did you do to overcome it?
SC: “Having acne at any point in your life is not fabulous – it sucks, but I think the advantage of me having it at a younger age was that I wasn’t so conscious. We all had breakouts, we all had bad hair and we just looked bad in general – because you can’t wear makeup in secondary school right? And I didn’t know a thing about makeup. So at that time, I related to people who had the same problems as me. It was helpful to be surrounded by people who understood what I was going through. I think if I had it in my later years – like now for example – would it take a bigger hit at me? Yes, I think it might because the cameras are so close, everything is 4K and it’s high definition. My personal journey was to step out of that rut and not feel like I was stuck at home and not go out just because my skin looks bad. I’ve got to do something about it, so that’s when I decided to go to the doctors and get my skin fixed. It is a journey – it took a few years for my skin to stabilise and I think it’s hormones as well. The key at the end of it is to not let one zit get you down, just get out there. Go about your daily life and don’t let it stop you. And the problem that you face? One thousand other girls (or more) probably face it too, so you’re not alone on it.”
Do you ever leave the house without wearing makeup?
SC: “I used to not be fine with my bare face. I still had to put on a bit of foundation or concealer, but over the years you’re just like “so what?” Dark eye circles are normal, pigmentation’s normal. People have pimples, spots, whatever. So nobody’s really going to judge you for it. I can’t be bothered with people who are judgemental about that because we are actually normal people at the end of the day and we probably pile on more makeup than anyone else for work purposes. Just give your skin a break, it deserves it.”
How has makeup made you a more confident person?
SC: “With the Double Wear, it doesn’t clog my pores and it keeps me really flawless throughout the day. The funny thing about it is that looking naturally flawless takes more steps than you’d think – it comes with the skincare effort, makeup effort like matching your foundation properly and choosing the right concealer. Having a nice canvas and complexion with the help of makeup has made me a little bit more confident.”
What are three makeup products that are always in your makeup bag, and why?
SC: “I use Estee Lauder’s lip balm now. It’s really comfortable and it adds a bit of a tint to your natural lips and it brings out that nice, natural flush. That’s my base and I actually put on the lip balm before I start on my entire face routine, so that at the end of it – when you want to put on lipstick – you can wipe the lip balm off and your lips are nice and smooth. Secondly, it would be some loose powder. And I carry a small, little brush around with me as well because I feel like a brush gives you a more natural finish, so you don’t cake up. But with the Double Wear Foundation, I hardly need to touch up, except for the occasional T-zone areas sometimes. And I also bring the Double Wear Flawless Wear Concealer.”