A Painting major from the Sang-myeong University in Seoul, J Lee found her calling for mixing colors and textures not on the classic canvas she was trained in but instead on the faces of many women for both runway and print. Rising the ranks in the beauty world of her native Korea, she was named the National Lead Makeup Artist and Training Manager before being assigned to her current post as Nars Hong Kong Training, Sales and Operations Manager. Visiting Manila for the first time this week, we decided to ask the pint-sized artist about her best tricks for beating the heat and staying fresh despite the humidity of the summer season. Here are highlights from her sit-down with Style Bible:
1. Don’t skip the SPF on your lips.
One trend J noticed that Filipinas love is applying a really vibrant matte lip. With the Nars Velvet Matte Lip Pencils a big hit in the area (we hear the cult fave Dragon Girl is the #4 Nars best seller in the country), she noted that one trick to keeping your pucker smooth and hydrated is to apply a layer of balm underneath to make the sometimes dry wear of matte formulas a bit more comfortable. But even when not wearing the pencils, conditioning your lips everyday is key. While most women make wearing SPF on their faces a daily habit, they often overlook the same amount of care on their lips. She told us, "When you don't apply SPF, your lips get dry and the lines are more visible. Hydrated, protected lips give the illusion of being younger."
2. Use an eye primer.
In this weather, who hasn't been guilty of melting eye makeup? But to avoid turning clean winged liner into smokey racoon eyes, smoothing on the Smudge Proof Eye Shadow Base after applying foundation and before using color to ensure that even stubbon powder formulas stay in place. Further, color comes out more vibrant and ugly creasing is avoided. It may seem like a taxing extra step but it does pay off with longer staying power and ultimately a cleaner finish.
3 . Pressed powder is not always the answer.
Ok so its 12 noon and already you're showing signs of impending shine. But instead of reaching for your trusty compact to buff all the oil away, J suggests an interesting tip: use primer. "The Skin Smoother Face Prep which is a wax works both as a primer and as a retoucher," she told us. Small enough to tote in your bag, the clear balm works like blotting paper in absorbing your oil without resulting in a thick layer of cakey foundation that you may get from over applying powder throughout the day.
4. The Nars Multiple Sticks really do give you a bang for your buck.
Despite being a seasoned makeup artist, J did fess up to running out of the house without a speck of makeup on. Her tip for applying a little color on the go? The Multiple Sticks. A cream to powder formula, the Multiples allow you countless options when it comes to application. Whether worn on the cheeks, lips, decolletage or eyes, the rich pigment and buildable coverage is ideal for a woman who doesn't have a lot of time to mix and match products. J's favorite way to apply the lighter, iridescent shades is to use as the finishing step when doing her eye makeup. "“A highlighter works as a great final touch for the eye. Just spread it on and finish off with translucent powder to make it stay. You'll notice the shimmer despite setting it with powder. Really gorgeous!"